Last Thursday I stayed home sick. And while I was laying in bed hoping for my cold to go away, I was chilling out listening to some music I hadn’t turned on in a while. One of those bands was T-Rex. In North America, we mainly know them for their “one hit wonder” Bang A Gong and their song Buick McKane, which was covered by Guns & Roses on their “The Spaghetti Incident?!” album.
Marc Bolan and T-rex were an extremely influential band from the glam rock era, really only second to David Bowie. They were catchy, just slightly aggressive enough to be dangerous and totally weird, especially lyrically. T-Rex had a massive influence on the first have of punk bands out of the UK, post-punk, new wave and the hair metal bands of the 80′s. They had hits on several of their records, but for my money, their best album was The Slider, which is chock full of bizarre lyrics, insanely catchy hooks all backed up by a massive string section. If you want to kick your Monday up a notch, throw on this little gem called Chariot Choogle.
Meet Tom Bingham. Tom loves Star Wars. Tom also loves guitars. Tom has been combining his two passions for the past few years buy purchasing toys and guitar parts at car trunk and auction sales and carefully creating these masterpieces. The B and Y wing guitars are sweet, but the Millennium Falcon, often seen all over the internet, is still awesome.
Here’s some new Public Enemy for y’all this morning. It’s a great way to get your Monday afternoon really rolling. It features Brother Ali and feels like it could be a new school track off of It Takes A Nation Of Millions. Public Enemy may not be the sound of the day, but they will always be cool.
In this day and age of cheery, friendly, folk-inspired alt-rock-turned-pop hit makers, it makes me feel good knowing that there are still people out there who are playing good old fashioned ass kicking rock and roll. Last Thursday me and some pals hit the Ship & Anchor to see former Xposure winners The Suppliers play with some good friends in The Martyr Index. Sandwiched between the two was this bad ass 4 piece out of East Vancouver called Dead Voices. They brought a great intensity to a bill jam packed with face-melting rock and roll with their Thin Lizzy/New York Dolls/Zeppelin/Joan Jett swagger.
One of my favorite new addictions is a website called Afropunk.com. They feature a lot of really cool/funky/gnarly pieces of culture that doesn’t fall under most media spotlights, especially when it comes to afro-rock music around the world. Through Afropunk I discovered this bad ass band from Los Angeles called Radiorelics. It would be really easy to compare this band to Living Colour, but in my opinion, there’s a lot more too them. They kind of have a funky Van Halen/Rolling Stones swagger with some serious Rage Against The Machine/Hendrix/Fugazi/Bad Brains sensibilities. They don’t have much information on the web, but they apparently have a record in the works. Hopefully we can hear more soon. Here’s a great track called The Few:
Kurt Cobain died on this day in 1994. Pretty much everything that can be written about the man, has been. I was (and still am) a Nirvana fan and it was the first time that the term suicide really meant something to me. I was 14 years old when the word came down about Cobain and it was shocking. What I couldn’t figure out was why someone at the top of the world would kill themselves. It didn’t make sense to me.
It still doesn’t.
Personally, I don’t think Nirvana is as great as everyone has made them out to be. Sure, they had some great music and played some incredible shows, but every time this anniversary comes around I ask myself “would Nirvana/Kurt Cobain be as massive today if Kurt hadn’t killed himself?”.
And the answer to that, every time, is “of course not”.
Through suicide, Kurt Cobain obtained some kind of mythical martyr status. For a while, it made suicide seem “cool”. And that really pisses me off in hindsight. There’s nothing cool, courageous or artistic about taking a 12 gauge shotgun and blowing your brains out for someone to find and someone to clean up. There’s nothing martyr-like selfishly taking your own life and leaving your daughter to be raised by Courtney Love (and let’s not even discuss the Courtney did it thing. Save if for Alex Jones).
It wasn’t until I lost a few friends and a family member to suicide that I really realized how selfish and gutless it is to pull the trigger on yourself. And whether you want to believe it or not, there is help out there. All you have to do is ask. Shoot, talk to a stranger. There’s always another way out that’s far cooler, braver, tougher and more bad ass.
Maybe it’s not cool or acceptable to talk about suicide as a total dick move, but that’s how I see it. I’m sorry.
This past fall I took in the Nirvana exhibit at Seattle’s EMP museum. It was very clear throughout that trip through Nirvana’s history what a talented, kind, shy, warm and uniquely funny guy Cobain was. Too bad he took the sh*ttiest way out.
So today, instead of celebrating death, celebrate life. Here’s one of my favorite Nirvana tracks that always makes me feel alive. Go out and live your life and have a good weekend.
I had a great time at MBF’s Canadian Tuxedo birthday bash spectacular at Macewan Hall on Saturday night. There was a ton of denim, I drank a lot of Village beer and danced to Tribe Called Quest until they booted us out of the beer garden. Mark Mills did a great job of warming up the crowd but Michael Bernard Fitzgerald really blew the roof off and (as usual) pulled out all the stops on the show. There were so many highlights of his set, from Firecracker and Care For You to his covers of Dancing In The Dark and It Ain’t Me Babe. Personally, my favorite song of the evening was Movie Life.
The whole thing took me back to a time when I first heard of MBF via this video clip.
A huge thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday. We had a great time.
You can find some pretty awesome things on Youtube. These dudes, CineFx, have started doing low budget shot for shot takes on a few different pieces. Their latest masterpiece is a re-take of the infamous Terminator 2 scene where the T-800 walks into the bar & grill and gets “your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle”.
Very well done. Particularly when you see them side by side.
Supergrass came into my musical brain sometime in 1997 with the release of their sophomore album, In It For The Money. They never really got the pay and the success in North America that they enjoyed in the UK, however there were a few tracks that really made a dent over here at the height of the Britpop mania. I have a few favorite tracks off of In It For The Money, but this one is probably my favorite. Great for a sunny day like today.