[ Saturday, November 27, 2004 ]
Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!
I recently purchased a bootleg copy of the as-yet-unreleased (and maybe never-to-be-released) documentary about The MC5, called A TRUE TESTIMONIAL. Unbelievably cool. What a great fucking band. Anybody who's never heard the 5 (or seen the precious-little footage, much of which is collected in this documentary) knows that this is a fucking rock and roll band
. Apart from the energy level, which was exponentially higher than any hippie rock band and higher than most rock bands period (they could even give The Who a run for their money), the band were all inventive and talented musicians, revolutionary in their political consciousness, and smart men with eloquence and soul. (Having had the pleasure to interview band member Wayne Kramer, I can attest to this personally.) Plus, and the documentary cemented this for me, they were as cool-looking as any band of the time, or any other. The front-line of Kramer, Fred "Sonic" Smith and Rob Tyner can compete with Strummer/Jones/Simonon, Daltrey/Townshend/Entwistle, Rotten/Vicious/Jones, etc., in terms of presence and iconography. It made me wish there were some current bands that could harness rock and roll's potential in the ways the MC5 did. Green Day has gotten close, and there are plenty of rock bands who hit me deeply in other ways (Wilco, Drive-By Truckers), but - particularly in these scoundrel times - what I wouldn't give for a band with the righteous, kick-in-your-teeth power of the 5. Oh well...maybe it's time to start that band myself.
So, anyway, see this documentary. It'll make you want to grab the loudest guitar and amp you can find, set the dials to "atom-smashing" (which is how Kramer described the MC5's volume), and strike a few blows for humanity.
On the box right now: The MC5, THE BIG BANG: BEST OF THE MC5. All three 5 records are essential, but this is probably the place to start.
On the box right now: The MC5,
Dove With Claws [9:57 AM]
[ Thursday, November 25, 2004 ]
A few things to be thankful for
Laughter, dance parties, fine wine, cheap beer, Barack Obama, THE DAILY SHOW, Steve Earle, Stax Records, bluegrass, MoveOn.org, the National Voting Rights Museum, Al Green, Russ Feingold, The Onion, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, Green Day, Mos Def, pianos, guitars, McSweeney's, local convenience/grocery stores, Richard Pryor, CHAPPELLE'S SHOW, the 2008 election, forgiveness, wisdom, the promise of a new day, each other...
On the box right now: The Roots, THE TIPPING POINT. Thankful for them too...
Dove With Claws [6:57 AM]
[ Tuesday, November 23, 2004 ]
That's a lot better than what I had
I was just at the record store, picking up today's big trifecta: U2, Gwen Stefani and Alison Krauss. While I was there, I saw that Kenny G had a new record, entitled AT LAST...THE DUETS. I actually started laughing out loud at this, and I think you'll agree that a more encouraging title for anything by Kenny G would be AT LAST...KENNY G HAS STOPPED PLAYING.
Speaking of Gwen, that's what I'm spinning right now, and it is about as fun as any record you'll come across. Completely disposable, somewhat overwhelming, endlessly catchy pop/R&B/dance music. The tracks with The Neptunes, Dr. Dre and Andre 3000 are amazing. In fact, speaking of perfect titlles, one of the Andre tracks has a title that sums up the whole record: "Bubble Pop Electric." Lester Bangs could write no more appropriate summation...
On the box right now: Gwen Stefani, LOVE.ANGEL.MUSIC.BABY
Dove With Claws [9:37 AM]
[ Sunday, November 21, 2004 ]
My favorite singers, Part 1
In no particular order:
Al Green, Charlie Rich, Mavis Staples, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, George Jones, Pete Townshend, Tammy Wynette, Ralph Stanley, Gillian Welch, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, William Bell, Dan Penn, Martha Reeves, Robert Johnson, John Fogerty, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Cee-Lo Green, Dorothy Love Coates, Dave Edmunds, Mary J. Blige, Jerry Lee Lewis, David Hidalgo, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lyle Lovett, Buddy Miller, Keith Richards, Arthur Alexander, Alison Krauss, Mahalia Jackson, Hank Williams, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Teddy Pendergrass, Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Aretha Franklin, Linda Thompson, Lefty Frizzell, R. Kelly, Anthony Hamilton, Bill Withers, Joe Strummer, Bob Dylan, George Soule, Patty Loveless, Jimmy Cliff, Lucinda Williams, Toots Hibbert, and Junior Kimbrough
If I think of any more, I'll let you know...
On the box right now: Pearl Jam, REARVIEWMIRROR: GREATEST HITS, Disc 2.
Dove With Claws [7:27 PM]