Monday, October 29, 2012

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 61: “Riding the Storm Out”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 61: “Riding the Storm Out”

“Riding the Storm Out” by REO Speedwagon

Set 1
“Stormy Weather” by Etta James
“Call It Stormy Monday” by T-Bone Walker
“Shelter from the Storm” by Bob Dylan
“In from the Storm” by Jimi Hendrix
“Storm Front” by Billy Joel

Set 2
“Curse Me Good” by the Heavy
“Can’t Relive the Party” by Toussaint Morrison
“Can’t Change Me” by Lydia Loveless
“Like Lightning” by Lucero

Set 3
“Lost in the Flood” by Bruce Springsteen
“Smokestack Lightning” by Howlin’ Wolf
“Weather Radio” by Pylon
“Hell in New York” by Slaughter & the Dogs
“Louisiana 1927” by Randy Newman

Set 4
“Oh, Katrina” by the Black Lips
“Let’s Get Sandy (Big Problem)” by Be Your Own Pet
“Hurricane J” by the Hold Steady
“Hurricane Blues” by Seth Morgan
 “You Taste Like the Tropics” by Bush Tetras

Set 5
“The Wind” by Cat Stevens
“Wind & Walls” by the Tallest Man on Earth
“Whistle Down the Wind” by Tom Waits
“Hasten Down the Wind” by Warren Zevon

Set 6
“Monster Mash” by Bobby Boris Pickett & the Crypt Keepers
“Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley
“Halloweenhead” by Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
“Vampira” by the Misfits
“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

“La Fin Du Monde” by the Dirtbombs

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Darkness @ Terminal 5

The Darkness; Dirty Pearls; Sweetheart
@ Terminal 5
New York, NY - October 21, 2012

For once, I am glad to not have to justify avoiding the CMJ marathon in its entirety and instead choosing to see an act considered irrelevant. It's all part of the timeline in dating one's self, and also part of fighting the straw man I call "Stay Hip MacGillicudde". Unlike the last few times when things like this happened, I don't care to seek a remedy. It's that same sort of attitude that fuels the almighty Darkness.

Let's go back, shall we? A decade ago. Right in the midst of the retro rock revival, one band took the flag as representing the arena glam band set. And for a scene or sound curiously devoid of much in the way of Britishness, they were one of only a few bands to hail from England (the others being the imploding Libertines and if you remember them, the excellent 22-20's who I discovered after the fact). The immediate fear, if you saw them before you heard them, was that the Darkness were going to be hair band revivalists - the one defunct rock sound that did not need to come back in any way whatsoever. Fortunately, if you heard them first, you knew it was the best of Queen meeting the rock ethic of AC/DC. Maybe a little Sweet or Slade thrown in. Even a slight dash of the Damned.

And oh what a backlash! From all sides. Many of the elite classicists saw this for what it really did seem to be: novelty farce. And of course the mainstreamers - then in the throes of the Linkin Park/Limp Bizkit sound - hated the Darkness for being happy and friendly and melodic (the boys once told a story - probably apocryphal - of being confronted by the lead dude from Staind who chastised them because music is "supposed to make people cry"). The one thing that seemed to unite all those who found the Darkness vile was that there was no place for falsetto singing anymore. I would generally agree with that, except that when the falsetto is a middle finger fronting three chord riffs forged like Hephaestus himself was welding the instruments, then this is truly a right royal wonderful thing.

A decade later, I regret nothing! Permission to Land remains one of my favorite albums of all time. The second Darkness record, One Way To Ticket to Hell, was half good. And I legitimately felt bad that the band broke up for a spell. My only regret was that I never got the chance to see them when they were "popular".

It was worth the wait. They played exactly as I hoped. They were the unit I wanted them to be. Justin Hawkins did all the frontman things I like. He and his brother played guitar just as I would have requested if I had the opportunity to take them for tea prior to show time.And maybe it's because I find the new record, Hot Cakes, excellent, that after several years of saying to myself (usually out loud on the train, eliciting stares) "I can't believe I still like the Darkness like they just came out", I now say "damn right I still like the Darkness and I don't care what you think" (though admittedly a few months ago I tried to portray this upcoming gig as merely a delayed rite of passage as opposed to what it really turned out to be - a long awaited dream damned come true).

Funny story - I remember when I bought Permission to Land. I bought it along with the first Jet album and the Star Spangles record. I never listened to Jet again after the first few months I had the album. I still listen to the Star Spangles record now and then, wishing things worked out better for that band. And the Darkness album...well, see above.

Dirty Pearls were a fitting opener. Gaudy, almost-slick, mindless 80's hard rock through a modern prism. But two things - 1. don't fake being a luddite when it is your one method of turning a profit and 2. if you have a ballad, don't play it until you figure out more than the first verse and the chorus.

I caught the last half of the last song of Sweetheart. I think I would have enjoyed them.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 60: “Missing Pieces”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 60: “Missing Pieces”

“Cut Your Hair” by Pavement

Set 1
“Why Can’t I Be You?” by the Cure
“Suspect Device” by Stiff Little Fingers
“So Young” by the Stone Roses
“You Cheated Me” by Martha Wainwright

Set 2
“1901” by Phoenix
“Blood Bank” by Bon Iver
“I’m Confused” by Handsome Furs
“Swim (to Reach the End)” by Surfer Blood

Set 3
“Night Time” by the Strangeloves
“Graffiti Eyes” by Stellastarr*
“Crush on You” by Brakesbrakesbrakes
“Turn Me On” by the Grates

Set 4
“Oscar Wilde” by Company of Thieves
“Lions” by the Features
“Fight from Above” by Between the Curves
“How the Game is Played” by the Redwood Plan

Set 5
“Pork Chops” by the Two Man Gentleman Band
“Blues My Naughty Baby Gave to Me” by Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks
“Perro Loco” by Forro in the Dark
“Bitter Heart” by Zee Avi

“We’ll Be Good Together” by Evan Voytas