Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ant Music

Anyone I've ever met who has liked Adam and the Ants has been cool. No exceptions. I've met plenty of cool people who don't like Adam and the Ants, but every single Ant fan has been awesome. I don't know what it is, and I'm sure there are a few dicks out there, but overall -- incredible.

Back in the '80s this was a band I was fascinated with. Admittedly it was the band's costumes that attracted me to it. The music, though, sealed the deal. Songs of adventure, romance and voodoo got under this young boy's skin and stayed there. I even watched that Nickelodeon concert special way back in the day. If I recall right, part of it took place on a pirate ship.

Fucking cool.

Yeah, Adam and the Ants is pop music, but it's not like any pop music before or since. It had something special to it that you couldn't quite put your finger on. It was like it music out of time, yet timeless. It holds up to this day, too, and does not sound dated. That's kind of weird when you think of the era it came out of.

Like Prince, Doug and the Slugs and a handful of others, fans of this band all share the knowledge that they are onto something special that some people in the world just haven't caught onto yet. Call us elite (we would argue). Call us delusional (we may not argue that one). Just don't call into question the fact that this band had a look and sound as unique as anything you've ever seen and heard.

That voodoo that you do, indeed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Very Pro Pain

"Are you listening to angry music?" my co-worker asked.

I was at work. I'm always listening to angry music. In this case it was Pro-Pain. Great stuff. Gave it a good review in Tattoo Savage if memory serves me correctly. My co-worker could tell something was up by the expression on my face.

Angry music is cathartic. Like writing, it lets my demons out. It pumps me up for the day. It gets me motivated. It's no wonder that during the first Gulf War (GWI -- The Beginning) soldiers killed the innocent and not-so-innocent to a soundtrack of Slayer. This, of course, leads to the question: Is music dangerous?

It's not, but it should be.

Most of the music forced on us today by the radio, television shows and rags like Rolling Stone is so safe that you have to wonder if it would even offend your religious aunt who won't watch toilet paper commercials because they are too suggestive. I wish that weren't the case, though.

In a perfect world, music would inspire more than it does now. Inspiration is nothing but dangerous. That's even more potent than GG Allin inspired mayhem. Allin was dangerous to his audience. Crass was dangerous to society. We don't have anything like those two acts these days. Now everything is sanitized for your protection. If your idea of dangerous is a Twisted Sister reunion, you got another thing comin'.

Yes, aggressive music makes me aggressive. Yes, I like it because it causes me to work faster. Yes, I think aggressive music is a good thing. If there's a problem with that, it's only because there isn't nearly enough good aggressive music out there.

So today it was Pro-Pain and Plantabiss, a stoner grindcore band few people actually remember. Tomorrow? I don't know, but I do know it will be something necessary to get the blood flowing.

Just don't get in my fucking way.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

7/4/92 -- Ass Song

Where were you July 4, 1992? Sitting in the backyard sipping a cool beverage while you watched your neighbors swim and hoping his wife's bathing suit top would come off? Perhaps you turned up the radio a bit as that hot song came on. You couldn't remember the guy's name. It was too black for you. But you knew the song. It was about women's asses.

"Baby Got Back." Sir Mix-A-Lot.

It was number one that week. It had the country by its puckered hole, and it was accompanied by a video that was nothing short of anal worshipping. (Later Burger King would use the song so its customers could know what part of the cow they were eating.)

It was, by every stretch of the definition, a bad song. Pointless. Tired. Novelty. It was the kind of thing older people couldn't believe was on the radio and younger kids thought was funny. Anyone between 15 and 30 just thought it was dumb.

While still a joke, it is no longer number one. That was actually the only Fourth of July when it was. It was replaced the next year by Janet Jackson singing one of her songs (they all sound the same so no title is necessary), and no song since then that has hit number one on the Fourth has matched it for sheer pointlessness. Maybe Brandy and Monica's 1998 hit "The Boy is Mine." Maybe not.

Of course, any self-respecting music lover knows Top 40 music is utter crap, so being number one only means your crap floated to the top of the bowl. Occasionally something good, like 1984's entry (Prince's "When Doves Cry") will sneak in and remind you that sometimes the public gets it right, but 1992 capped it. It was totally downhill from there. Not even the 1989 Milli Vanilli classic "Baby Don't Forget My Number" was as bad as Mix's ass anthem, and I'm glad one of the Vanilli boys are dead.

Freedom, as you should know by now, does not mean freedom from bad music. It only means you are free to ogle you neighbor's wife.

Boz Scaggs Visits Humboldt

The Scaggs, whose last name sounds very much like a skin disorder, will visit the Arkley Center 8/3/09. I know people who are excited about this. I don't know why.

Humboldt County has plenty of great local music, but many of our citizens get wet over the idea of a one-time name coming to our little corner of the world. Night Ranger comes to mind.

I'm not a Boz Scaggs fan. I won't go see him for all the obvious reasons. I am, however, tempted to hang out outside the venue selling "genuine" Scaggs merchandise like condoms and coke spoons. It could be exciting.

Besides, I just want to see who will show up to this thing. I can imagine some husband getting his wife tickets and her saying, "You are so getting laid tonight." And he will, while visions of Scaggs runs through her head.

The mind reels ...

Friday, July 3, 2009

You Are Missed

Sixteen years ago. Right around this time. Got word of his death while in New Orleans. And while I don't agree with everything he's said, this is why I respect him.

How many of you could face a crowd and say the things he did without your voice trembling? He would have fought them all, too.

Long live, GG.