Friday, October 3, 2014

Halloween 14

Halloween 14
  1. Nina Simone, "Sinnerman"
  2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "The Carny"
  3. Fiona Apple, "Sally's Song"
  4. The Sonics, "Strychnine"
  5. White Zombie, I'm Your Boogie Man"
  6. Echo & the Bunnymen, "The Killing Moon"
  7. Clipse, "Nightmares"
  8. The Coasters, "Poison Ivy"
  9. Roky Erickson, "I Walked with a Zombie"
  10. Swans, "The Seer Returns"
  11. Metallica, "Jump in the Fire"
  12. Howlin' Wolf, "I Ain't Superstitious"
  13. Geto Boys, "Mind Playing Tricks on Me"
  14. Peter Murphy, Trent Reznor, Jeordie White and Atticus Ross, "Warm Leatherette"
  15. Têtes Noires, "Selcric"
  16. Dr. John, "I Walk on Guilded Splinters"
For Ellen.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monster Dog

You always learn something new at the Lucky 13 Saloon. The other night, my friends and I were admiring the promising title of the film Monster Dog (set to the Lucky 13's jukebox soundtrack, of course) when we were startled to see that the film's star looked just like the former Vincent Furnier.

It turns out that in 1984, in the depths of his commercial and artistic decline (before his comeback), Alice Cooper starred in a Spanish horror movie, as a rock star ("Vince Raven") dealing with a slew of, yes, monster dogs. To dedicate another sentence to the plot would give it more credit than it deserves, but it is a blast to watch Cooper, the film's sole good actor, ham it up among the b-special effects. He even gets a song, "Identity Crises," which proclaims "I've got an image out of control," as if anyone with a passing interest in this movie didn't already know that about Alice. But no matter how much he feels like "James Bond...Billy the Kid...Sherlock Holmes...Jack the Ripper," there's no escaping the fact that he's Alice, a first class rock star who shines in every role, even Monster Dog.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Andrew W.K. on I Get Wet and I Get Wet

Phillip Crandall's book on Andrew W.K.'s I Get Wet for the 33 1/3 series combines several of my favorite things, yet somehow passed my expectations. Crandall reviews the album and its history lovingly and objectively, going deep into Andrew Wilkes-Krier's background, recording process and artistry, with revelations that will surprise and enlighten even Andrew's biggest fans (trust me). I'm happy to report that I Get Wet is one of the best books in the series, and worthy of its album. Enjoy this video the two made for Slate, and check out the party-worthy book here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AC/DC, "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)"

For Maxx, who was a great guy to experience the Black Ice tour with.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Motörhead, "R.A.M.O.N.E.S."

I'm a U2 fan, and I have not been enjoying the bad press they've gotten for Songs of Innocence's rollout. Tyler the Creator's meltdown and the applause he got for it represents American at its privileged worst--that's what you're getting mad about, kids? A free album from the world's biggest band in your media player (or, as Bono put it, "junk mail")?

However, as a U2 fan I hold them to high standards, and on initial listens Songs of Innocence does not reach them. First single "The Miracle of Joey Ramone" feels like a self-conscious effort from a media giant to hold onto its increasingly distant punk roots. It's more in line with a major rock star yelling "I'm not Justin Bieber" than anything on Rocket to Russia.

The best tribute to the Ramones remains this song, from another punk and metal pioneer.

Like the Ramones, Motörhead made an entire career off basically one fast, loud and catchy song, rewriting it album after album with mind-blowing consistency (other than AC/DC, there isn't another band that has gotten away with it for so long). On their excellent 1991 release 1916, Lemmy and the gang became one of the only bands to pull off a successful Ramones impression, honoring them with a song the Ramones liked so much they ended up covering it (with Dee Dee on lead vocals). Gabba gabba, see them go.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014