Category Archives: Music
Now that anyone can basically steal any bit of music they want, how does the record industry make up for falling sales. Among other things, the answer is to make outlandish, super deluxe versions. You could probably find all this music online but you wouldn’t get the extras, like books, t-shirts, a working amp or turntable. Some of these are beautifully designed, some are just plain crazy and all are expensive.
And the biggest money waster is….
U2 – Achtung Baby. 6 CDs of outtakes and original LP, 4 DVDs, badges, vinyl version of LP, Bono’s sunglasses, a couple of singles, prints and posters. Remember this is for 1 LP that really isn’t that great. $500
And the most expensive
Some people feel like they can do everything or anything they want and that we all should be party to it. Robert Mitchum, one of the 40′s and 50′s coolest movie stars (Thunder Road, Night of the Hunter, et al) sure as shit could, with his super cool LP, “Calypso – is like so…”. But what makes Bruce Willis think we want to hear his washed out white boy blues or Steven Segal’s bullshit new age guitar. Some of these folks were actual recording artists before they were movie stars (I think) or at least could really sing – Andy Griffith, for example. Some were just boobs – David Hasselhoff (even though he is huge in Germany).
Drag always seemed to be a British thing, Monty Python, Benny Hill, Bowie, The Stones, etc. Well, obviousely, not always the case. Kurt Cobain fancied an occasional frock – probably Courtney’s and Iggy looks smashing in a very pricey halter dress. To include Bowie seems too easy but his ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ video found David in drag as 3 very odd women. My vote for the worst looking woman easily goes to Freddy Mercury – or perhaps all of the Cure in their ‘Little House on the Prairie’ house dresses.
And the Winner/Loser is….
Clinic – “Walking with Thee” is not specifically a scarey Halloween LP – no lyrics about murder, no Marilyn Manson metal crunch, just the eeriest sound you’re likely to hear, more like a soundtrack to a good horror movie. They base their sound around cheap organs and pianos and the always creepy Melodica (a hand held keyboard that you blow into). “Walking with Thee” was their 2nd LP, released in 2002 and voted one of Rollings Stone Magazines ’Top 50 LPs’ of that year. Stand out tracks for your Shoctober Playlist are ‘Harmony’ and the title track. Sure, their surgical costumes can seem a bit affected and at times a bit corny, but it somehow works pretty well for these 4 lads from Liverpool. They certainly give off a creepy, somewhat Victorian vibe – perfect for Halloween.
Saw The Hives last week in Seattle and it’s fair to say it was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, and damn, they look sharp doin’ it. 5 Swedish guys with a great sense of humor, a ton of energy, a wicked fasion sense and some of the best garage rock tunes in the last 20 years, The Hives are something to see and hear.
The Undertones grew up in, arguably, one of the most dangerous places in Britain at the time – Derry, Northern Ireland. Starting their career in 1975 as a cover band they were miles away from what was going on in London at the time – as seen by their keen fashion sense. When the Sex Pistols hit big in 1976 not even Northern Ireland was exempt from Punk. The boys quickly changed their name from The Hot Rods to The Undertones and set their course. Unable to get a contract, they sent their tape to England’s most influential DJ – John Peel, who financed their first recording, a 4-song EP call “Teenage Kicks”. The title song would become John Peel’s “all-time favorite song” – an opinion he held to his death in 2004. High praise indeed. All 3-chord power pop, The Undertones didn’t sing about the troubles of Northern Ireland, they sang about teenage angst, girls, cars and candy bars. They would stay together until 1983, when lead singer Feargal Sharkey went solo, citing musical differences. They have reformed, without Feargal, he becoming CEO of a British pressure group involved with rights for musicans. The others would briefly form a band called “That Petrol Emotion” with US singer Steve Mack. Where to start with The Undertones? The first LP is their absolute best – their 2nd and 3rd are pretty great too. There are about 5 greatest hits LPs out there, for some reason, though “Anthology” is the best.