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Oct. 16th, 2017 04:48 pm
nebris: (Default)
[personal profile] nebris
OKAY, MY BROTHERS, THIS IS ALL CAPS BECAUSE I HAVE FOUND THAT MOST MEN NEED TO BE FUCKING SCREAMED AT IN ORDER TO HEAR OVER THE HARD WIRED *ME TOO* THAT ALWAYS RUNS IN OUR BIG THICK SKULLS!!! [I'M LOOKING AT ALL MY GAY AND NON-WHITE BROTHERS, TOO]

“ME TOO” IS A *WOMEN'S SPACE*. PERIOD FUCKING PERIOD!!

WOMEN HAVE BEEN TOLD TO “SHUT UP” AND “STAY IN YOUR PLACE” AND “YOU HAD IT COMING” AND ON AND ON AND ON FOR AS LONG AS CAN BE REMEMBERED. AND WHENEVER THEY SPEAK UP WE MEN HAVE TO BUTT IN WITH OUR TWO CENTS. [THAT HARD WIRED *ME TOO*]

MY BROTHERS, I'M SORRY IF YOU WERE RAPED OR WHATEVER. I WAS TOO, AT NINE YEARS OLD, WITH DETAILS THAT WOULD HORRIFY YOU. [NO, DON'T SAY YOU'RE SORRY...SHIT IS TOUGH ALL OVER]

...AND I AM NOT SAYING “ME TOO” BECAUSE THE REST OF MY LIFE I HAD MALE PRIVILEGE AND WAS LISTENED TO AND ALL THE PERKS THAT COME WITH BEING A MALE. THAT HAPPENS IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES, TOO. *THE COCK IS THE COCK* AND IT IS STILL *GOD* IN EVERY PART OF OUR SOCIETY, HIGH AND LOW.

SO, MY BROTHERS, STEP BACK AND STFU AND ALLOW WOMEN TO HAVE THIS FUCKING SPACE FOR ONCE....

Life in The Desert

Oct. 10th, 2017 06:12 am
nebris: (Nebs Palms)
[personal profile] nebris
~It is presently 39° and 17% humidity. This afternoon is will be 79° with humidity in the single digits.

On the Shelf 188: Depeche Mode

Oct. 10th, 2017 07:44 am
bedsitter23: (Default)
[personal profile] bedsitter23
Depeche Mode have a special place for me.  For me, 1988 was a special place for music.

There is a triumvirate of Post-Modern bands and they are the Mode, the Cure and New Order.

Although I would never have been allowed to see any of these bands in concerts, I did rock the ubiquitous Mode 88 shirt.

DM had released the masterful and grandiose Music for the Masses.  New Order re-released "Blue Monday" in a remix that plays every night somewhere since it was released.  The Cure's most recent release was "Kiss Me" x3 which had their finest moment "Just Like Heaven".

In the next five years, despite being on the fringe of the radio were playing stadiums and having massive hits.

From an American chart point of view, it certainly is a triumvirate, though the discussion is incomplete without The Smiths as their final album and Morrissey's first were brand new in this time frame.  The Moz similarly got play on MTV and was even able to break into the radio Top 40.  Nor is it complete without mention of the self-titled Echo and the Bunnymen album of the same time- their biggest American cultural moment with "Lips Like Sugar".

From a personal point of view, I also include the Best of OMD which was also released at this time and is fantastic.  "Dreaming" was a chart hit, but their chart days were behind them.  Their massive pop success puts them in a different discussion in the US, but for me they are just as important.

Surely, part of this is the excitement of youth, but the next year gave us PiL's 9, Elvis Costello's Spike and The Cult's Sonic Temple were all touchpoints of excitement.  Then there was Doolittle and the Stone Roses and the floodgates were open.  Also, I was discovering (as was much of America with the resurgence of) The Doors. 

In any case, in my nostalgic haze, i have lost my point.  Music for the Masses was and is a classic.  Everyone knows "Strangelove" and "Behind the Wheel" and "Never Let Me Down Again", an anthemic conversion of the band's 80 s sound.

Still, if Masses had never been made, Depeche Mode had made their mark.  You can make similar arguments for Black Celebration.  This was another great beginning to end listen. The goth/not goth shroud covers this album and some people prefer it to Masses.  In any case, all of the elements were there.

Yet, the discussion doesn't end there.  1984's Some Great Reward would stand as the standout album if the band had never recorded another note.  Critics are never kind to electronic music and this album gets short shrift.  Same goes for Yaz, Soft Cell and many other pioneers who more often than not get ignored for traditional guitar-based bands like U2, the Clash and the Smiths, or at least traditional in terms like Bowie.

In the US, things get muddy, since most of us picked up the compilations Catching Up with Depeche Mode or People are People, but many of these songs are legendary in the alternative community- Blasphemous Rumors, Master and Servant, People are People, Everything Counts and others.

The story probably should end there.  Having conquered all, the Mode grew their hair and picked up guitars (while on the other side of the spectrum Metallica cut their hair and picked up electronic influences).

We weren't sure what to make of the new look and the new sound which culminated in the commercially successful Violator.

What is my take on Violator almost three decades later?

I still listen to it all the time.  It's perfect.  I still listen to Mode a lot but I never tire of Violator.  Although it might not be the "cool"est of choices, it's on my short list of greatest albums ever. 

Anyway, so you know where I stand.  I am not a big fan of the last 30 years of the band's recorded output.   Credit to the band for being willing to push their sound.  Indeed, electronic music is more challenging in that aspect than guitar-bass-and-drums.

In recent years,the Mode seems to have a love affair with Delta Blues music and are trying to incorporate those sounds into theirs.  This eventually made its (il)logical conclusion in a cover (ish song) of Son House's "John the Revelator".

The DM albums have all been interesting in their own way, but nothing really grabbed me.  Finally, the closest that they have come is when Dave Gahan collaborated with soundscapists Soulsavers.

The secret to what 21st Century D Mode needs to sound like is in that ambient sphere perhaps.  Electronic based bands like Pet Shop Boys and OMD have tried various things to recapture that old sound, but our ears have changed.

Indeed, bands influenced by Depeche Mode have had entire careers and their own influence passed along-  electroclash and ddarkwave bands that  have pushed their own boundaries-  The Bravery, She Wants Revenge, Rammstein, Apoptygma Berzerk, the Faint, Fischerspooner, the Killers, Ladytron, Goldfrapp, the Crystal Method- this list obviously goes on and on- but these are all bands that have come along since Songs of Faith and Devotion and have had beginning to end careers.

Spirit comes the closest they have in awhile to making a release that matches the best of their output.  They have teamed with producer James Ford who has worked with Florence and the Machine, Arctic Monkeys, the Klaxons, Peaches, Everything Everything and Haim.

The lyrics are political, though they kind of let the band down.  They are the weakest moment, though you can't blame the band for the thought.  It just isn't Dave Gahan's strong suit.  Though he does deliver strong vocals, so maybe it's Martin Gore's lyrics which can be summed up in the song Scum ("Hey scum, what are you gonna do when karma comes").

In any case, I was ready to write Depeche Mode off, and this album has done quite a bit to reverse that position.  It's not essential by any means but it has some moments that prove they still can be vital.







Tom Petty RIP

Oct. 7th, 2017 08:34 am
bedsitter23: (Default)
[personal profile] bedsitter23
This one is a bit unexpected and certainly sad for me.

Tom Petty fell in a unique spot in modern music.  I can't think of many solo rockers who were loved for so long by so many.  Yes, he was part of a band, but for purposes of this discussion, everyone did think of him as an individual.

It's Springsteen and everyone else, but in the last decade Petty might be more beloved.  Giving this some thought, I think we can agree on a triumvirate of Springsteen, Petty and Mellencamp.

There are rock bands of course (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Metallica, even Bon Jovi) and there are people in the pop genre, but I am not talking pop.  Nor do I feel Petty belongs in that category of great rock guys who dipped into soft rock.  Soft rock did love Petty, but I don't consider him a soft rocker.  So I am not including in the discussion guys like Henley, Sting, Collins, Clapton, Stewart, Adams, Elton and others.

Nor do I feel inclined to include those rockers who either have too infrequent with their output or just never stayed in the commercial spotlight.  So as much as I love some of these guys- I say you can leave out Jackson Browne, Randy Newman, Peter Gabriel, Lindsay Buckingham, Mark Knopfler, John Fogerty, Roger McGuinn or Jeff Lynne.  I am also talking charts, so we won't include icons like Dylan, Neil Young and Mccartney or cult figures like Elvis Costello, Lou Reed or Chris Isaak.

So, Petty is truly unique.  He was born of a southern rock spirit that should have likely carried into the 80s but didn't.  There was the Skynyrd plane crash, the Allmans break up and finally MTV came along and killed the momentum of bands like .38 Special and Molly Hatchet.  Petty was able to succeed in this era by embracing the medium and giving us one of the striking music videos ever.

I knew Petty like many of my age from the Alice pastiche "Dont Come Around Here No More".  It is still a work of genius- striking and a bit disturbing, and unexpectedly a more lasting Wonderland tribute than anything Johnny Depp or Tim Burton ever put together.

I remember 1986 as Petty rode high and being too young to know my history, and thinking how lucky Bob Dylan must be to be able to tour with Tom Petty.  The local Wal Mart played MTV on a loop and it was about my only exposure so I ate up the excitement of the Petty/Dylan tour as much as I did the soul-inspired mid 80s version of the Stones and the excitement of up-and-comers Jason and the Scorchers.

Full Moon Fever of course ended up being the megahit, and no matter what kind of music you liked, you probably bought it.  For me, it is still great, though to be honest, I have had my fill of "Free Fallin" and immediately turn it off.  To be fair though, I would never turn off "Runnin down a Dream" or "I Wont Back Down"

My friends and I were in love with Manchester in those days, and punk, so the only cool Heartbreakers were those of the LAMF variety, and alternative, which meant it was ok to like REM which was born off the Byrds just as well, but not as cool to like Petty  who had the same influences.  Petty stuck out but I was never too worried about it.  Sure, it was all about the Replacements and the Pixies, but I wasn't afraid of a little Full Moon Fever as I wasn't afraid of Diamonds and Pearls.

Into the Great Wide Open and Wildflowers came out in the landscape change of the 90s.  The 90s showed Petty still knew video, and his title song was memorable with the Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway leads and the single "Mary Jane's Last Dance" with Kim Basinger in a 'memorable' role- like a Hollywood movie.  I hated Wildflowers, and I think that was a prevailing thought, but time has come where critics now consider it his masterpiece.  It was a commercial success and to be honest I do love all those hits- "You dont know how it feels", "It's Good to be king" and the throwback "You Wreck Me".

Though "serious" music guys discredit Greatest Hits, Petty's Greatest Hits is absolutely perfect. "American Girl" is as perfect as it gets.  Released in a world where it wasn't cool like punk or new wave, time has established it as the perfect rock song.  It is as good as "Born to Run".  The early singles are all there and most are standards now.  The only drawback was that it was released before capturing the Wildflowers singles, and another of Petty's finest moments- 2002's "The Last DJ".  "Last DJ" is one of this young century's best rock songs. It is less known than the similar "Radio Nowhere" but is just as good.  In those days, it was ok to have Britney sing about threesomes, Nelly sing about weed and Eminem to sing about all of that and more, but it was revolutionary to sing about Clear Channel, so the song didn't get near enough exposure.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the two Mudcrutch albums.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a big champion of these albums.  They are some of the best of recent years.  Mudcrutch doesn't sound like much in theory- it was Petty's pre Heartbreakers band, and is very similar in lineup (Tench and Campbell, but also Bernie Headon's brother).

Those two records are fantastic.  Very much in the vein of Byrds and Flying Burritos influence, with a little bit of NRBQ and Buffalo Springfield.  If you have not listened to these records, I once again strongly encourage to do so.  Petty was an amazing singles artists, but these are fantastic records.  Also the song "Trailer" got a bit of airplay on Adult Alternative radio. 

The sad thing of course was that the last Mudcrutch record came out last year and that meant we were still being treated to essential Petty music.  What an artistic loss.

Her Prophet Despairs

Oct. 3rd, 2017 02:37 pm
nebris: (The Temple 2)
[personal profile] nebris
~Started writing a whole...'essay' on the Vegas thing, but I just ran out of stream. I'm pretty depressed because I feel like Collapse is 'speeding up' but The Sisterhood is crawling along and that shit will crash before SH can get far enough along to survive said crash.

This has triggered suicidal ideation, but that is fucking frustrating too because I cannot abandon those who rely upon me. Plus I am also all too well aware of the 'suicide from despair' Karmic Reset Button.

So I whine here again, suck it up some more, sleep it off, etc. and so on....

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