This week’s reading: Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day. It tells the story of how a bunch of hippies and hustlers convinced the Stones to hire the Hell’s Angels to provide security for a free concert in the middle of nowhere.

For further consideration: Albert and David Maysles’ documentary Gimme Shelter, which begins with their Madison Square Garden show and ends with footage shot from the stage and in the crowd.

Date posted: October 12, 2017 | Filed under books, music | Leave a Comment »

I’m currently reading Here Comes Everybody, written by James Fearnley, the accordionist of the Pogues. It starts out with a little of his background before the band formed, how he met Shane MacGowan, and how the band went from tiny gigs in run-down London pubs to breaking out and being an international hit. Fun fact: Before the Pogues broke, Fearnley was asked to play guitar in Culture Club. (previously, previously)

Date posted: September 28, 2017 | Filed under books, music | Leave a Comment »

Walter Becker, one half of Steely Dan, is dead at 67. Fuck you if you think Steely Dan is lame.

Date posted: September 3, 2017 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Wow, I could spend days on this site: the Great 78 Project is digitizing old shellac-based 78’s before they disintegrate. There’s a wealth of music here, from Jazz to Blues to everything in between.

Date posted: August 10, 2017 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

A former employee of the Gap has compiled playlists of the in-store music they played from 1993-2006. While for some this might be a torture worse than death, I think it’s quite interesting. And there’s this picture of douchebags to laugh at.

Date posted: July 7, 2017 | Filed under history, music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Apparently Jane’s Addiction is putting out a retrospective video to celebrate Ritual De Lo Habitual sometime this year. Two years ago, on the actual anniversary, Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro did a track by track run through of the album, which was interesting from their perspective, and another take from the producer, who has a different view on how things happened.

Date posted: June 13, 2017 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Queens of the Stone Age is going to release a new album…soon.

Homme described the forthcoming record as “uptempo,” and whereas 2013’s …Like Clockwork was “about making it through, this time we’ve made it through the other side and we’re ready to roll.”

Date posted: May 25, 2017 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Oh, fucking hell. In a world of screeching guitars and screechier vocalists, Soundgarden was heavier, with more of a Sabbath-influenced sound, and they eschewed guitar shredding for emotion and momentum. They were my first baby steps out of the classic and hair metal rock genres, which dominated my high school years, and pointed the way towards my future tastes. Seasons was one of the key songs of my later college years, and still remains one of my favorite all-time songs. I’m sad to see him gone.

Date posted: May 18, 2017 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

I read an article last week ranking the best entries in a book series about seminal albums in music history, and I got curious. The series is called 33 1/3 (RPM for LP vinyl, you whippersnappers) and it covers everything from the Rolling Stones to Public Enemy. The authors are different for each volume, and there are (as of this writing) 120 books in total. Intrigued, I looked through Amazon’s listings, found that Paul’s Boutique was rated highly, and bought a used copy.

The books themselves are small, but there’s a pleasing amount of information per page. Dan Le Roy, the author, starts out at the launch party for the album and then resets the clock to the end of the Licensed to Ill tour, explaining where the band was creatively, why they moved to L.A., how they eventually met the Dust Brothers and a man named Matt Dike (the unsung third producer of the album), smoked a mountain of weed, somehow recorded the album, and details the aftermath of the release (which bombed). The end of the book is a track-by-track runthrough of the album which goes into short detail about the stories, samples, and background of each.

I was not a fan of Licensed to Ill when it was released; all the proto-bros in my high school loved it, which didn’t compute (these were the same casual racists who hated rap and loved Slayer) and I couldn’t stand the nasal whine of their delivery.

Paul’s Boutique is a touchstone from my college years, after I’d been exposed to De La Soul, Tribe, and Jungle Brothers, and found that I did, in fact, like hip hop. The first time I heard it I was blown away by how different it was from what had come before. It was the soundtrack of most of the parties I was at in the latter half of college. It stands as a monument in my life for a time of optimism, poverty, boundless creative energy, and a sudden discovery of who I was and what I was good at for the first time in my life.

I just put Endtroducing, Spiderland, and Exile on Main Street in my Amazon cart. Here’s to hoping they are as good.

Date posted: May 11, 2017 | Filed under books, music | Leave a Comment »

Wow! The The (Matt Johnson, Johnny Marr) released their first single in 15 years for Record Store Day. Dusk was a pretty seminal album for me in ’93-94, so I wonder if they’re getting the band back together to record more stuff.

Date posted: March 22, 2017 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »