Tag Archives: AC/DC

Axl Rose’s Debut with AC/DC: Defensible Dreck?

Let there be…Axl? This weekend Axl Rose officially hit the stage as the fill-in lead singer of AC/DC. The band resumed their ROCK OR BUST tour in Lisbon, Portugal (I bet you think I had to look up where Lisbon was…you are correct) Saturday with a skeptical world ready to rip the band apart. I was surprised to see so many positive reviews for the show online. The general reaction online from fans has either been a resounding “meh” or a frothing “how dare they!” So when a bunch of major publications praised both the band and the new singer, I was stunned. I think that for the most part, people want Axl to succeed in “coming back.” The sad part, of course, is that Axl never really went anywhere. But with the recent announcement that Guns ‘N Roses would be getting back together it does seem like Rose has come back from the dead in terms of the popular culture.

Curious as to what this mash-up of rock titans would sound like, I was pleased to learn that the band had released some official video of the weekend’s show in Lisbon. The two clips that I saw, one of the classic “Shoot to Thrill” and the newer song “Rock or Bust,” were interesting to say the least. Axl fractured his foot (can you believe the luck?) and was forced to his awkwardly in a rock throne for the performance. It should be noted that this throne was NOT the one used by legendary rocker Dave Grohl when he hurt himself on the last Foo Fighters tour. Watching Axl bob his good leg up and down while his injured foot was propped up came off way less cool than when Grohl sat though shows. Worse, seeing the geriatric members of AC/DC run around the stage like adolescent school boys was strange. People are always saying that the younger generation just isn’t as good/tough/whatever and this visual kinda made it difficult to argue with that sentiment. Axl should have been the Spring chicken injecting life into the band…but instead he seemed older than Angus.

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Oh man, there is no beating around the bush…this sure doesn’t look very cool. 

But all this cosmetic stuff isn’t important if the band sounds great, right? The videos released didn’t have the best sound quality, but it doesn’t seem like Axl sounds right. He’s doing his usual screaming thing, which these days sounds a bit less-than-stellar if I’m honest. Also, he’s doing this weird thing where he’s singing like he’s in GNR sometimes and then at other moments kinda doing a Brian Johnson impression. I don’t think he’s succeeding in walking the fine line between honoring the sound of AC/DC while at the same time coming at these classic songs from his own unique voice. I’d love to know what exactly he’s going for with these performances. As far as these official recordings go, I think he’s generating a sloppy mess that doesn’t tickle my fancy as an Axl Rose fan nor as an AC/DC fan. That said, if I had to see AC/DC without Brian Johnson, I guess I’d want to see them with the absolutely most famous signer available. And, if I’m being honest, if a live album of this material was/is released I’d most certainly give it a careful listen (or three). This isn’t unlistenable dreck, just not as impressive or cohesive as it could be. I’m stunned that so many people are writing about how great this show was and the what a stellar job Rose did. My guess is by not totally sucking,  people are impressed. My expectations were higher than most, which is why I’m not super impressed with what’s appeared officially online.

Also, and I feel bad writing this…but if I paid a ton of money to see Guns ‘N Roses and had to watch Axl flop around in a chair I’d be pretty disappointed. This stint with AC/DC is such a train wreck that the bum foot adds an extra dimension of WTF-ness to the whole proceeding. I feel bad every time I say or write this if I were AC/DC, I think I’d finish up the tour and call it a day. There certainly is no way they are going to be able to top a seated Axl Rose. I feel like there is going to be a really interesting book or documentary about all of this one day…that interests me more than anything else about this whole situation.

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Will Axl Put the “A” in AC/DC?

From the files of “Too Strange For Fiction” comes the rumor that W. Axl Rose, your friend and mine, is going to step-in as lead singer and finish AC/DC’s current tour. Excuse me, what? Seriously, this is without a doubt the weirdest story I can personally recall involving modern rock music. But let’s take a step back to see just how we got to this (really freaking weird) place.

The former-current lead singer, Brian Johnson, announced on March 7th that he would be unable to finish the last 10 dates of the band’s tour. The reason? His doctor told him that continuing to perform would cost him his hearing. Let that sink in for a moment. Brian Johnson no doubt has access to the best healthcare available to human-kind (dude is in one of the biggest rock bands in history). I’m sure there was much “are you sure?” and second-opinioning made before such a lucrative tour was essentially placed on pause. When this story first broke, I thought “damn that sucks, but that’s the price you pay for being in a rock band.” Then it came out that Johnson lost his hearing as a result of driving race cars. Could there be anything crazier than losing your hearing from race car driving? Not being in one of the biggest, hardest rocking bands of all time…no driving a really loud car did his ears in.

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Like most people (I think) yours truly thought that this was finally the end of AC/DC. I remember thinking “Damn, first they lose Malcolm Young to dementia…then kick Phil Rudd out for going bananas/plotting murder…losing their lead singer is the end of this band.” Of course, I should have known better. AC/DC is the band that deified the death of their original (and best) lead singer Bon Scott. A true hellraiser, Scott was AC/DC and yet…after his death in 1980 after basically drinking himself into a stupor. Brian Johnson joined the band, and AC/DC released BACK IN BLACK. You know, the band’s most popular album, the one that even non-fans know entirely by heart. Besides being such a huge smash and a cultural milestone, BACK IN BLACK proved that it was possible for a band to not only move on after the loss of a frontman, said band could thrive. So why wouldn’t guitarist Angus Young want the show to go on and for AC/DC to get a new lead singer?

But this is where the story starts getting…strange. On March 15th comedian Jim Breuer (yes, the stoner-ish dude from SNL) stated that his friend Brian Johnson hadn’t quit the band for health reasons: he was kicked out. Breuer claimed that Johnson was planning on defying his doctor’s orders and finishing the tour. Before he had a chance to work out plans with the band, Breuer claimed Johnson was kicked out of the band.

Brian Johnson is 8 years older than Angus, whom Breuer claims wants to continue the band “for at least another 10 years.” So a much younger lead singer would certainly help AC/DC to solider on and make that sweet, sweet touring money. But who would be cast into the role of frontman? Speculation swirled online, with several people throwing their names into the hat for consideration. My favorite of these was Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist the lead singer from The Hives (whom apparently toured with AC/DC in the past as an opening act). Another interesting person in the running (maybe?) is the Marc Storace, the lead singer of Krokus. This choice seems more likely, as he was asked to audition for AC/DC to replace Bon Scott back in the 80’s, which he famously turned down.

I’ve been trying to figure out where the rumors of Axl Rose joining AC/DC originated from, and it’s a bit tricky. Apparently, both Rose and AC/DC where in Atlanta, Georgia (of all places) at the same time…and this geographical proximity launched the rumor. At least, I thought it was just a rumor. Then late this week, Malcolm Young’s son posted twice on social media that Rose was going to take over singing duties for the band. These posts were quickly pulled down, adding further fuel the the fire that this was serious and that there are negotiations happening right now for Rose to front the band.

Would Axl be a good choice for AC/DC? From a financial and marketing perspective I would say: hell yes. Both AC/DC and Axl could use the bump in promotion. AC/DC are as popular as ever, but having the lead singer from another legendary rock band would do wonders for their bottom line. Axl Rose also stands to reap the benefit$ as well. With the Guns N’ Roses reunion looming on the horizon, anything that Axl can do to increase his visibility and prove that he’s still a great frontman will only help put asses in seats and make him money. A Guns N’ Roses reunion is a certain money maker, but promotion costs money but joining AC/DC would be one helluva marketing campaign. And it wouldn’t cost Rose anything. Hell, if this all turns out to be an elaborate hoax, the reason neither side is coming out and squashing it is no doubt due to the tremendous interest this story has caused.

But that’s not really the question is it? Would Axl be a good fit for AC/DC in a musical sense? No, as much as I love Axl, I don’t think he’s the right guy to sing AC/DC’s songs. He’s not gruff and bluecollar enough to pull that off. Oh sure, one or two songs would be cool, but I can’t imagine he’d be able to pull of an entire setlist of songs from the band in any sort of believable way. And are they going to toss in a GNR song or two? I think that people would expect that and I don’t see Angus wanting to play any of those songs.

I feel really grateful that I had the chance to see AC/DC on the BLACK ICE tour in 2008. I’m also really grateful that I run an Axl Rose-themed blog in a year where we’re going to see a GNR reunion and a possible Rose-fronted AC/DC. Can you imagine what this is going to do to my page views?

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The Music Streaming Gods Giveth and Taketh Away…

Music streaming has been in the headlines this week in a big, big way. I’m sure you’re all aware that Apple threw their proverbial hat into the music streaming business this week with the launch of their new Apple Music service. Everything that I’ve heard about this service sounds a bit underwhelming. I’ve been with Spotify for so long now that Apple really needed something speculator to get my business. And despite what many pre-teens might think, Taylor Swift isn’t that spectacular thing. I get that Swift is the biggest thing in music right now (or whatever) and that she is one of the few acts still selling records, but her exclusivity on Apple’s Music service isn’t what I needed to sway me into changing.

I’m an Apple fan, but I don’t like how restrictive they are when it comes to the music  you buy from them. On top of that, I think the iTunes store is way overpriced, so I’m very reluctant to hop into bed with an Apple Music streaming service. I hope that Spotify can weather the storm and remain competitive. I’m glad that the music streaming field is widening, however I worry about splintering. The thought of many artists only being on one exclusive service is worrisome–how long will it be before fans will need several paid subscriptions just to have access to the bands they want?

I also worry about songs and/or bands vanishing overnight without notice. This has happened a few times with a couple of smaller bands that I like on Spotify, but this week there were two major cataclysms in the Spotify music library.  The Music Streaming Gods giveth and then taketh away! On Tuesday AC/DC showed up on Spotify! I love AC/DC and was luck enough to see them on their last tour a few years ago (when they were supporting BLACK ICE). Sadly, I’ve never really delved too far into their catalog–mostly because it was so hard to find electronically. I’ve been binge-listening to the older, Bon Scott-era albums that I’m not as familiar with as I should be (it’s all really great).

These minstrels will soothe my jangled nerves...

These minstrels will soothe my jangled nerves…

Of course, to maintain balance in the streaming universe, Prince decided to pull all of his music from every streaming service imaginable. This hit me much harder than you might expect. Last year, after he performed on Saturday Night Live, I fell head-over-heels in love with his latest album ART OFFICIAL AGE. Believe it or not, this was probably my most-played record from last year. It’s a big hit in my household, with even the musically fickle Mrs. Defending Axl Rose enjoying the hell out of the Purple One’s most recent album.

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I’d been toying with the idea of writing a review of ART OFFICIAL AGE for several months, but something always seemed to get in the way. I’ve purchased exactly one CD this year, The Darkness’ latest album THE LAST OF OUR KIND, but I‘m seriously considering heading down to my local record shop and picking up ART OFFICIAL AGE just because it bums me out that I no longer have access to it. Is that part of Prince’s plan? Tease us all with his music and then take it away so we all rush out to buy it? Maybe. Is he perhaps jealous of Taylor Swift, who’s decision to leave Spotify was (weirdly) a huge news-making event? I certainly hope he isn’t waiting for Apple to cut him a similar exclusive-deal. Prince has gone to war against the Internet in the past, last year he wiped all of his music from YouTube (a pretty impressive feat if you think about it). I hope these shenanigans are making Prince a shit-ton of money, because I think it may end up costing him most (all?) of his cultural relevance. By disappearing from the Internet, Prince could end up vanishing from history. Think about it, if kids today can’t watch his videos on YouTube or stream his music…does Prince exist for them? I don’t think he does.

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Rock Heroes Wyldlife Return With “(It’s Called) Rock ‘n’ Roll”

New York bad boys Wyldlife make down and dirty rock ‘n roll, a commodity in short supply these days. Imagine the swagger of The Ramones smeared with the blood of Iggy Pop–that’s Wyldlife. The band has a primeval rock sound that I thought was dead until I stumbled upon their 2013 album THE TIME HAS COME TO ROCK & ROLL. I’ll never forget that first listen, I thought somebody had slipped something into my drink. Or that I’d died and gone to world where rock hadn’t died/gone underground. What impressed me the most about THE TIME HAS COME TO ROCK & ROLL was that it didn’t feel like just another nostalgic rehash. Wyldlife don’t reheat classic rock and try to pass it off as their own thing, instead the band is a real contributor to the modern rock scene. Their songs are well written and infectious, their singer possesses a brash confidence that charms and disarms…in short, they’re the real deal.

“I never had no religion, believed in nothing at all, till I found that one thing bigger than God…and it’s called Rock ‘n’ Roll!!!”

So you can imagine why I was super-stoked when I found out this week that the band has just released two brand-spanking new songs: “(It’s Called) Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Rock Candy.” I sincerely hope that these songs are only the opening salvo of their next mind-blowing opus of awesomely sleazy rock. “(It’s Called) Rock ‘n’ Roll” is your classic tribute to good times and good tunes. The song is a musical manifesto extolling the virtues of rock music. It’s basically like The Ramones covering AC/DC. This is raise your lighter kind of music and I love it. “Rock Candy” is (shockingly) not about candy, but in fact a girl. This song has a super-sweet hook, this track straddles the line between rock and pop—again I love it. The quality of these songs is just as high as the bar the band set on their last album, which fills me with so much hope for the band’s next album. I highly recommend you check out both of these songs. Then go listen to the first two Wyldlife albums, because they are excellent.

Valid.

Valid.

About a month ago I posted an article about another really great New York garage band, The Star Spangles. If you enjoyed The Star Spangles you owe it to yourself to check out Wyldlife. While not as punk-influenced as The Star Spangles, Wyldlife possess the same in-your-face brashness and youthful spirit that many bands today are sorely lacking. Plus, they can write one helluva a song…but don’t take my word for it.

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CHINESE DEMOCRACY (Possibly) Worth More Than In 2012

Last night, while mining the depths of Amazon.com’s music section, I decided to check-in and see how much a brand-new copy of CHINESE DEMOCRACY was going for these days.  The last time I did this two years ago, I was horrified to see that the album was going for less than $4.00 a copy.  That was back on October 25 2012, would the album be selling for less than $2.00?

As you can see, the value of CHINESE DEMOCRACY was low in October of 2012.  This would have been the prime opportunity to "buy low"

As you can see, the value of CHINESE DEMOCRACY was low in October of 2012. This would have been the prime opportunity to “buy low”

Thankfully for Axl, the album’s value has…increased!?

$1.22 increase! A thousand shares of CHINESE DEMOCRACY could have netted you $1220 profit! That's simple rock 'n roll investing, folks

$1.22 increase! A thousand shares of CHINESE DEMOCRACY could have netted you $1220 profit! That’s simple rock ‘n roll investing, folks

I’m kicking myself for not checking the price last year and this year on October 25–not that doing that would provide a reliable barometer of the album’s value.  As most of you serious online shoppers know, the prices on Amazon.com are in a constant state of flux.

And even taking Amazon’s pricing system out of the equation, CHINESE DEMOCRACY has a couple of things working against it in terms of it’s price/value.  Firstly, the album was sadly panned by many critics and ignored by the public.  But bad reviews and a lack of singles doesn’t necessarily make a cut-out-bin record.  Even after all these years the name Guns N’ Roses as a brand still has remarkable value.

Secondly, and the biggest reason CHINESE DEMOCRACY’s value is so low is the fact that Axl twisted Best Buy’s arm and made them buy a bajillion copies in advance so they would have exclusive rights to the infamous album’s initial release.  It’s a smart move on his part, because the albums Best Buy bought to sell were counted as “sold” albums, thus making the album appear to be a bigger hit than it was.  AC/DC did a similar deal with Wal-Mart when they released BLACK ICE back in 2008.  But there’s a downside, much the same way a Chevy Impala don’t have much re-sale value because they’re used so much as fleet cars–Axl prematurely saturated the market with albums. Thus, an abundance of unsold albums means the price is gonna drop.  I can understand why bands do these store-exclusive releases, but I really dislike them.  CHINESE DEMOCRACY was probably one of the last new CD’s I bought at Best Buy because I dislike the store so much.

The album’s going for just under $5.00, which isn’t great but it is higher.  Of course, beyond the Amazon price-fluxing, this higher price could be due to inflation or some other over-reaching economic force I’m too stupid to understand.  I’m going to definitely try to keep an eye on the album’s price for future music-geek research.

That said, at less than $5.00 there’s no excuse for you to not own this album.  I’m going to pick-up where I left off on my track-by-track review of CHINESE DEMOCRACY soon-ish because I really do feel like it’s an amazing, underrated album. The merger of Industrial rock and tender piano ballads is just too incredible.

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Classic Albums Revisited: DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP

The second album that AC/DC recorded, DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP has an unusual release history. In this modern age of iTUNES and instantaneous/simultaneous global releases it sometimes shocks people to learn just how fucked up some band’s catalogs are. The best examples are The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. For whatever reason, there is a huge differences in album art, album titles, track listing, etc. on much of the these classic band’s output. This issue often creates a problem for international fans who invariably ask, “which is the official or canonical release for this band?” Oddly enough, The Beatles and Stones are (like in most cases) polar opposites. For The Beatles, the British releases are considered the “true” or “real” catalog. Thus, in the 1980’s when their records were converted over to CD the American public was…confused when the British LP’s were released on CD. Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones choose to have the American release act as their “official” cannon.

Whatever.

What does any of this have to do with AC/DC? Well, if you live in Australia or Europe DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP was the band’s second album, and it came out in 1979. If you lived in America it came out in 1981 after the massively successful BACK IN BLACK record. This might seem like a little detail, but if you’re living in America and AC/DC puts out BACK IN BLACK as a tribute to their fallen lead singer, Bon Scott, with new vocalist Brian Johnson and a year later Scott returns on a “new” record…you might wonder what the hell is going on.

The following “Classic Albums Revisited” is true, only the names have been changed to protected the innocent.

The delay in the album’s release in America is all about taste. The good folks over at Atlantic records didn’t get, probably couldn’t get, songs like “Squealer” or “Big Balls.” What they could ‘get’ was the piles of money the band made after Johnson’s death when BACK IN BLACK hit #4 on the US record charts. What’s amazing, however, is the success of DIRTY DEEDS. It went on to reach #3 here in the US, making it the highest charting AC/DC album.

This of course just goes to show you that the suits at the top have no idea what the hell they are doing.

I first heard AC/DC growing up listening to classic rock radio with my parents. I never really noticed a difference between Brian Johnson and Bon Scott. As an older, more critical listener I can separate the two (Scott having a slightly higher register than Johnson). Many consider Johnson to be an imitation of Scott, but I don’t think that’s very fair. However, as a music geek/nerd I have to love the original line-up more.

Growing up, I only knew one person in the whole world that liked AC/DC, a kid named Josh that lived over on the next street. I remember him showing me his CD collection before class in 8th grade. Our teacher was one of the younger teachers at our school, she happened to be walking by when he was showing me his collection:

“Oh, AC/DC…they were popular when I was in High School. I can’t believe people still listen to them.”

She had a nasty, slightly disgusted look on her face. Like we were looking at a Playboy instead of a stack of shiny plastic discs. I can’t really say I blame her, there is something inherently…dirty about AC/DC. Oh sure, they sing about the usual sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll…but that’s not quite what makes them seem so…’brown bag.’ For me, and I suspect lots of people, AC/DC is a bit of ‘brown bag’ bag. You know, the sort of thing you buy looking down at your shoes. The sort of thing you stuff under your mattress.

The album’s title track, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” is one of the most cinematic rock songs I’ve ever heard. Every time I hear this song, a roaring advertisement for a dubious, back-alley problem solving service, I can see the vicious High School principal. I can see the cheating boyfriend who needs his ass kicked. The bitchy woman that needs to be put in her place. All of these people harass us throughout our lives– how often have we wished for a tough-talking wise guy to appear and magically “solve” these walking-problems by kicking some ass? The only thing better is: this service is surprisingly affordable (dirt cheap).

“Big Balls.” I’m sure there are a few of you reading this that have never heard this song. And I bet just by reading the title you have a pretty good idea what this song sounds like. Right??? Wrong. Oh sure, AC/DC could have gone all low-brow and written a song about how big their balls are. They could have, but they didn’t. Instead, these (seemingly) dunder-headed rockers form Down Under have crafted a shockingly up-scale double entendre. A song that’s both rockin’ and 10X funnier than any Weird Al song.

My favorite part:

“Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they’re held for pleasure
They’re the balls that I like best”

The Chuck Berry-esque “Rocker” is an awesome, breathless song that clocks in at only 2:52 but manages to perfectly encapsulate everything about rock music. That this track is so perfect (and yep almost haphazardly dashed-off) is surprising…but not as surprising as “Ride On.” Think about AC/DC and what do you think of? Loud. Balls-to-the-walls rock, right? “Ride On” is a quiet, introspective cowboy song. It’s my favorite track because of the vulnerability in Bon Scott’s voice, the regret and yes…heartache in his soul. At five minutes, it’s too long for radio-play (and was thus, never released as a single) but in my book ranks as one of the greatest rock ballads of all time. The guitar solo starts at 3:40 and goes all the way to 4:47. It’s not a complex or blistering solo, but like great bluesman of the past, Angus Young astounds by somehow conveying real human emotion through thin steel stings.

It’s an amazing, beautiful moment and it’s on an AC/DC record.

The original Australian Artwork:

This album artwork was…DONE…DIRT…CHEAP!!!

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GIRL TALK & The Art of Sampling

So lately I’ve been listening to Girl Talk’s 2008 album FEED THE ANIMALS.  I know, I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve been busy.

For those unfamiliar, Girl Talk is really one a musician named musician Gregg Gillis who uses unauthorized samples.   Of course, that’s putting it lightly–Girl Talk’s music is damn-near 100% samples.  Now, I love a good mash-up as much as the next guy.  The thing is…there aren’t very many good mash-ups.  A mash-up seems like a really easy thing to create, song 1 + song 2 and you’re done.  But it’s more complicated than that, it takes a lot of time and effort to create a mash-up.  And it takes probably ten times longer than that just to come up with good/interesting song pairings. So understand, I’m not coming from a place where I think Girl Talk creating entire albums of mash-ups is easy or simple.  Gillis has talent, that much is apparent when you listen to FEED THE ANIMALS.  The songs swirls together, blending so seamlessly you literally need a scoresheet to keep track of what exactly you’re hearing.  Luckily there are people who have made such a scoresheet.

Why does Girl Talk hate that man’s lawn?

So if it sounds awesome and it’s not super-simple/requires some consideration what’s my problem? Why can’t I just let go and enjoy?

I don’t think it’s the fact that FEED THE ANIMALS is probably the most illegal record I’ve ever heard.  True, I think it sucks that he didn’t pay the respective copyright holders a dime in order to sample their music, I don’t really blame him.  I mean, for one thing, the number of samples is staggering.  A glance at one of the charts that detail the samples created by Girl Talk fans reveal a massive amount of samples–some of which are only a few notes others complete hooks or riffs.  But let’s pretend the guy had an unlimited supply of money and had asked for permission–many of the artists sampled on FEED THE ANIMALS probably would have said no. Do you think Ace of Base (or their copyright holders) want to be associated with DJ Assault’s song “Ass and Tities”? I don’t think so.  FEED THE ANIMALS features samples from several artists that don’t want to play in the digital age, like AC/DC, who don’t distribute their music in very many digital venues outside of iTunes (and they do that begrudgingly).  It also features Michael Jackson.  Do you think the Michael Jackson estate would let someone mash-up and mangle his music .  Rappers sample all the time, but what Girl Talk does is sampling taken to the next level. Artists that might not be unfavorable to a more traditional sampling (like Jimmy Page appearing on Puff Daddy’s “Come With Me”)  might not like Girl Talk’s 2% usage of a song.  There’s glory in having your stomping rock riff sampled or you chorus used, there is no glory in a few fleeting seconds.

I know that music is a business and that for the right price anyone will sell anything, but I can’t see FEED THE ANIMALS existing as a legal product.  But is it the illegality that’s holding me back from fully enjoying FEED THE ANIMALS?  I don’t think so.  I think ultimately Girl Talk is the harbinger of terrible things.  I recognize that what Gillis does is pretty awesome, but what he’s done is basically stand on the shoulders of giants.  As good as “Give Me A Beat” is, it’s nowhere near as creative as Tom Petty’s “American Girl” or Carole King’s “It’s Too Late,” hell it’s not even as creative as Brittany Spear’s “Gimme More” (all three of which are sampled in “Give Me A Beat”).  Taking something from nothing is infinitely greater than building on an existing  foundation (especially if that foundation includes Brittany Spears).  When a rapper samples he’s still written his verses if he hasn’t also created his beats.  What does Girl Talk create? It creates a julienne-cut jukebox.

FEED THE ANIMALS is a work of art and Gillis’ efforts is to be admired, but I can’t help but worry about the next step.  I can’t help but worry about a generation of kids that grow up listening to albums like FEED THE ANIMALS.  Will they bother to learn how to play instruments?  Will they bother with songwriting?  Or will they skip over a few dozen steps and create mash-ups of songs created by samples of other mash-ups.  I feel like Girl Talk is an evolutionary dead-end.  It’s like a platypus,  unique and interesting…so long as we still have other animals.

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Van Halen Announces 2012 Tour Dates, I Wank Dismissively

Well it looks like another Van Halen tour is really going to happen.  You can check out the complete list of dates over at the band’s website, but if you live in the continental United States Van Halen is playing in a city near you.  I’m sure the tickets will be super-pricy and I’m sure a majority of the dates will sell out.  I’m also sure that everyone is going to get up and go to the bathroom during “Tattoo” and the other two or three new songs they play.  I guess that’s just the way of the world.

Speaking of “Tattoo”  I have some rather disturbing news to report.  I’m afraid that all this week I’ve had the song running through my head. I haven’t really been humming or singing it per say…I just keep thinking about it.  Sort of like the musical equivalent of tonguing one’s canker sore.  It hurts me and every time I think about it I’m shocked and how much it hurts.  Not that I’m saying the song is like a canker sore (it’s worse, canker sores go away eventually, this piece of shit song is going to last until the end of time).

I really wish I’d been able to see Van Halen back in their heyday, but I’m going to be suckered by another “Dinosaurs of Rock” tour.  The last one that I saw, AC/DC was really fucking good.  In fact, AC/DC was better than they deserve to be considering. But the band I saw before that was The Police reunion, and let me tell you, that was downright disgusting.  I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.  I guess that’s the problem with making the kind of loud, in-your-face, youthful music like Van Halen used to make: it’s pathetic when old dudes try to pull it off.  Besides, I’m not getting any younger myself and arena-rock shows just aren’t my bag anymore. Better leave those to the kids…

There's nothing wrong with being a fat kid...just don't be in Van Halen.

*SHUDDER*

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