Let’s just get this out of the way: I’ve been absent. I’ve faltered in my blogging responsibilities. Hey, it happens to everyone. You’re blogging away, and then suddenly you realize it’s easier to just make cheap cracks in your Facebook status updates, and it’s all over. Blogging lethargy. Lapse of faith.
But I got a fire under me now. Why? Well, the “You’ve Never Heard?!” feature on NPR Music’s (otherwise great) All Songs Considered blog, for one. As the site editors describe it: “This is a recurring series in which we ask our unimaginably young interns to review classic albums they’ve never heard before.” OK, sure.
You’re just starting out, right? Got that guitar for your birthday. Or maybe saved up to buy a starter axe. Gonna take some lessons. Gonna download tablatures for your favorite jams. Ready to rock the neighborhood.
But heed my warning. You are faced with a choice. And it’s this. Do you want to be Steve Vai?:
Or do you want to be Angus Young?:
Don’t be a sucker. I think you know where I’m comin’ from.
In fact, how about you try for a Chuck Berry? It’s the right thing to do:
I have a glitch in my musical tastes that I have a terrible time explaining, but it’s so pronounced it’s hard to ignore. Would you believe I kind of don’t like the Ramones? Well, let me get specific: I love the Ramones in many ways. The concept, their look, their history, their never-say-die dedication to their craft — all of that, brilliant. But for whatever reason, I can’t really listen to them. Ramones songs bug the shit out of me. Are they too simple? Too circular? Part of me wonders if it sort of nags at my tendencies toward OCD, but if the Ramones come on the radio, I actually change the channel. For real.
Anyway, point is, I’m nuts for Misfits records. Sure, this is sort of an unfair comparison to the Ramones. They didn’t emerge at the same time, they were each embellishing three-chord punk with different things, yadda yadda. But it’s not totally apples and oranges by any means. And despite how much Glenn Danzig turned into an unintentionally comic figure as he went solo and the years passed (and I should mention I love that stuff too, for different reasons), the truth is that I could listen to Static Age on repeat for a solid week before even thinking I should put something else on.
Maybe part of the attraction is that they imploded when I was still in grade school. The Ramones I got to experience live, but not the Misfits. Even today, in the magical age of the interwebs, all that’s out there are interesting but kinda frustrating little snippets like this one. And no, I will neither consider nor discuss post-Danzig configurations, thanks.
And then, this past Halloween, while I sat unawares in my Brooklyn living room watching the World Series, Ted Leo and a handful of other industrious Misfit fans-turned-indie rockers executed the finest Misfits imitation I’ve ever seen in a Philadelphia club. OK, it’s really the only Misfits cover band I’ve ever seen, period, but this is beyond awesome. I’ve also discovered the key element of being an ingenious cover band: Execute the band’s music flawlessly and with devotion, but also be in on the gag. Enjoy part one, and navigate to YouTube to see parts two through six.
You know, maybe no one else will find this even a fraction as funny as I do, but for whatever reason, it makes me collapse into giggles a couple of times per week.
Anyone follow Sebastian Bach on Twitter? I guess you don’t really need to unless you want to know whether the new Ace Frehley solo album “rules.” (Baz thinks it does, natch.)
Well, I suppose no one’s taken those few valuable minutes to give Sebastian the Twitter tutorial. Because he’ll be silent for days, and then out of nowhere he’ll spend a few hours like he did last night: Posting one thing over and over, or posting each and every one of his tour dates, one by one. Look at this insanity, and this is just the start!
You know why this makes me laugh? Remember those old Samsonite commercials with the gorilla flinging around the luggage? That’s kind of how I picture Sebastian when he sits down with “the Twitter.”
Misunderstood songs are one of those funny/sad things. Hilarious, then totally depressing. You probably know some of the biggest ones. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” is a dour song about the crumbling of the American Dream, even though Ronald Reagan thought it was such an uplifting piece of patriotism, he requested to use it as his campaign theme. Hey, I admit I’m a don’t-bore-us-get-to-the-chorus person myself, but Ron, seriously. Check out one verse at least.
Perhaps one of the most embarrassingly abused misunderstood songs has to be U2 “One.” Have you taken a close look at the lyrics to “One”? They’re miserable. It’s about adultery and bitterness and spite. Dancing at your wedding to this thing is bad enough — and that happens probably 4 or 5 times every weekend in America — but even more inexplicably, “One” has somehow been contorted into a peace anthem. No, really.
OK, OK, I’m not gonna go all cranky on peace anthems, but come on. It’s pretty weird. You know what’s even weirder? That U2 — the authors of the song — have begun to present it that way. Bono has said many times (to my exasperated sighing and eye-rolling) that there’s nothing else on Earth that U2 can do. Well, bastardizing your own work seems to be a new one, so hats off. I heard about a segment of U2′s current concert tour where a message from Bishop Desmond Tutu is played on the giant screens as an intro to “One,” which is then performed and transformed into a unifying, lighter-waving moment. For real. Video after the jump.
With that in mind, let’s first review those lyrics, yes?: