Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Perfect Band

There are few bands I can honestly say are perfect.  These are bands I can listen to at any time and will somehow always fit my mood.  Even the bad songs are good.  The Clash is one of them.  Nashville Pussy is another.

Yesterday, I drove to work knowing there was a fairly good chance the day would be hell.  The first song that popped on my MP3 player was "Speed Machine" from Nashville Pussy.  I figured this would set the tone of the day in the most splendid of ways.

I was right.  It was Nashville Pussy.  How could I be wrong.

When I write, either creatively or on one of the blogs, NP can usually be heard pounding out the speakers.  It just always puts me in the right mood. 

I once described NP's sound to a friend like this: dirty, raw sex in the South on the most humid of days with the most uninhibited woman you could ever hope to find.  You will be left sore, but you will go back for more.

I think that description fits.

"Good Night for a Heart Attack" and "Struttin' Cock" are two songs that fit my mood way too much.  How can you not hear the latter and just think sex?

Open wide and put a little South in your mouth.  Perfect fucking band.  Perfect.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good-Bye, Mr. Dio

I have never been a huge Dio fan.  Mr. Ronnie James is one of the grandfathers of heavy metal, though, so he has my respect.  He's put in time with some of the greats and inspired countless number of metalheads the world over.  His death, at 67, is not shocking, as it came after a battle with stomach cancer, but it was still surprising.  Hell, KTVU out of San Francisco even did a piece on him which was pretty respectful and bare bones.

His death doesn't bother me in the way GG Allin's did, and I can't suddenly pretend to be the world's number one fan.  I thought he was talented, but he never struck me as interesting enough to actually buy anything he did.

Don't mistake that lack of enthusiasm for lack of respect, though.  I readily acknowledge his contributions to the metal genre.  He just doesn't excite my senses the way Iron Maiden or Pantera does when it comes to metal.  He was a workhorse.  He always delivered, but what he delivered was, by my tastes, average.

There is one thing I'll give him, though.  At 67 years of age, he had to have been the creepiest grandfather ever.

Metal will miss you, Dio.  I'll also miss you as and elderstatesmen.  Your music will live on, as will the legend.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's Just Dumb Music

I am not a fan of Limp Bizkit.  It's not the worst music in the world, and I can tolerate it being played near me, but I would not purchase a CD or download (even for free) any of its music.  That said, a girl I know really, really likes the band, and could not understand why I wasn't into it since I like "extreme shit."

(She and I obviously have different definitions of "extreme shit.")

I told her it just didn't do much for me.  I didn't loathe it like I loathe The Presidents of the United States, but there is other stuff I'd rather be listening to.  "It's just dumb music," she said.  "It's not supposed to make you think, just bob your head."

I couldn't help but think that sums up a lot of music ... especially currently.  It's not designed to make you think or even feel, but to simply move in time with the beats.  Something to blare from your car, windows down, on a summer day so that those around you know you belong to a common civilization.  Kind of like the reason businessmen wear suits or Giants fans wear the team's jersey on game day.  It lets people know you are part of something.

I guess in this sense, Limp Bizkit and other bands that are just meant to make you shake, are not only harmless, but actually also serve a purpose.  They make you less of an outsider and more of a "someone."  Of course, every genre and every social group has these bands.  Limp Bizkit applies to a certain group, while Jewel applies to another.  Instead of creating divides, the unite, and while those outside your peer group may not recognize the song or the band, many of them can be sure they heard it somewhere at some time before, so it can't make you all that bad.  After all, it's not like your Toyota pick-up is rattling to Total Chaos. 

I still won't buy the band's stuff, though.  I like that outsider status.  The outsider is handled differently.  There is more caution used ... at least until a group decides to kill him.  I'm fine with that role.  It suits me well.  At the very least it keeps me from buying "dumb music."  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Strange Urges for Strange Projects

If you're a fan of the Misfits, the name Kryst the Conqueror is probably familiar to you.  The band was essentially Jerry Only and Doyle (joined by Jeff Soto and Dave Sabo) doing metal songs with a religious theme.  I was given the cassette by the brothers when I got to meet them in their shop in New Jersey.  Expecting to hear a Misfits-like project at the time, I was a bit stunned by how metal it sounded.

Earlier today, for no apparent reason, I had the urge to listen to the cassette.  I hadn't played it in years, and I can't remember any of the songs, but for some reason it seemed like a good idea to pull it out and give it some fresh ears.

Unfortunately, life distracted me, and I ended up listening to some bootleg live Samhain instead.  It wasn't Kryst the Conqueror, but I think it scratched that itch for the time being.

I've always been puzzled as to why Kryst the Conqueror had to be such a radical departure from the Misfits.  At the time it came out you could say it was because the Jerry and Doyle wanted nothing to do with the Misfits sound and decided to go a radically different direction, but time would prove that to be wrong.  You could, if you believe Wikipedia, say that the brothers (Jerry and Doyle, in case you aren't familiar with the history of the Misfits) thought this band would be an almost counter message to what Danzig had done since the Misfits disbanded.  (Wikipedia states that Jerry found Danzig's later music to be "Satanic," something that was never brought up with me in my dealings with them.)  Either way, you can't argue that Kryst the Conqueror was about as different from the Misfits as you could imagine the brothers getting while still keeping a guitar-heavy rock sound.

As it stands, Kryst the Conqueror is another interesting side note to the history of the Misfits, like Dr. Chud's Sacred Thrash and Gorgeous Frankenstein.  It's not the Misfits and clearly isn't meant to be, but it's also not anything you would expect out of anyone even remotely associated with that historical band.

Now I really want to find that cassette just to see how well it has stood up through time.  My guess?  Not nearly as well as the Misfits have.