Hi there and welcome to Part 2 of my ongoing series on The Music You Want to Hear But Can’t Find Because Radio Sucks.
This video, while on the longish side, hits the nail square on the head as to why what you hear on the radio and what you see on TV is nothing short of terrible. Frank Zappa, Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, Ken Lopez, Dave Marsh, Chuck D and Dick Dale all weigh in to give the real reasons for the decline of the music industry, and it’s not the internet. The internet is the merely a bell, tolling the death of an outdated, dilapidated, greed-oriented and top-heavy business model.
Pearl Jam are the prototype of the post-music industry rock band: anyone who wants to make it big should take a good look at what they’ve done, how they did it and emulate it. They’re the most successful rock band ever for the sole fact that they became as big as they are completely on their own merits and as a result of their own actions and hard work. They really are ‘professional’ rock stars.
Now, without further ado, I bring to you…. Marshall!
The Dead Pirates – Wood
The Dead Pirates are a virtual band, like Gorillaz. They don’t have a huge catalogue of music, but what they do have is pretty great, including this rocker. Keep your eyes peeled for more great stuff from them.
Andrew Bird – Imitosis
Admittedly, I’m still just discovering Andrew Bird and so I really don’t know which is the best example of his music. But then, his style varies wildly from one album to the next, enfolding everything from jazz, gypsy, rock and folk into is own unique brand, so maybe the best example of his music is all of it. You may not like everything you hear but you’re guaranteed a musical journey like no other you’ve embarked on for years and years.
Oh, and apparently he can play just about any stringed instrument he sees; if that’s not enough to make any self-respecting musician jealous, I don’t know what is.
The Sword – How Heavy This Axe
“I, for one, welcome our new Heavy Metal Overlords.” For that is truly what The Sword are; Lords of Metal. But don’t take my word for it; listen for yourselves and if by the end of it your ears aren’t bleeding, your head isn’t banging and your hand isn’t in the air making the devil’s horns then clearly your ears are full of wax, your soul is truly black and you have no hope for redemption.
Worship at the temple of The Sword in the only way possible; turn it up to 11 and bang your head.
Francis and the Lights – The Top
When you see or hear the name of an artist, you can generally make some sort of call about the quality and direction of their work.
For example: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention; Prince and the Revolution/New Power Generation; Pussy Tourette; Foreskin 500. Often, when their name is a little on the odd side, you can pretty much assume that what you’re about to hear is either super-spectacular or geared for public shaming.
So what to expect from someone named Francis Farewell Starlight? You tell me. I’m just here for the ride, and dude, what a ride.
Wolfmother – Woman
If you haven’t heard of Wolfmother by now, then shame on you.
They’re a 3-piece from Australia and thankfully, they don’t suffer from the Aussie Band Curse; that is, they don’t sound like either AC/DC or Midnight Oil. Not that there’s anything wrong with AC/DC or Midnight Oil, other than that almost every other Aussie band to make it big in the past decade or so has used them as a template for their own sound.
Like The Sword, Wolfmother are part of a new wave of old school metal bands that show everyone exactly what is wrong with the so-called “nu-metal” genre: music shouldn’t be masturbation.
Cunninlynguists – Beautiful Girl
One of my major problems with hip-hop of late is the fact that, to my ears, it all blends together into a seamless, undifferentiated mash of sound. So many tracks I hear start off in the same fashion: some sort of “bum-bum-bap, bum-bum-bap” rhythm kicks in, some undistinguishable MC chimes in with, “yeah, what up? Niggas got it goin’ on!” along with them telling me what their name is, that they’re in the house and then launch into this non-stop recitation of their lyrics. This invariably ends up with the same kind of fade-out and an identical lead-in for the next track. I have a friend who loves hip hop and (sorry man, this is not a shot at you) so many of the tracks that he fires my way are pretty much of the same formula. It’s tired and to be honest, I long for the Golden Age, when hip hop was exciting and fresh.
This Kentucky trio is part of the wave of hip-hop coming out of the South (I mean the American South). They combine Motown soul aesthetics with positive, upbeat lyrics, a generous helping of wit and (gasp!) real, actual music to make what they put out truly different from what has been so prevalent from the mainstream for so long. They make music tracks that have MCs as part of the focus of the music, not the main vein (vain?). The result? Something different, something exciting and dare I say, something new? Whatever. They’re one of the first acts to come along in a long, long while that my ears haven’t tried to throttle me for listening.
Jamie Lidell – Game For Fools
One of the most soulful voices I’ve heard since Sam Cooke.
Except that he’s British. And white.
Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Sorry for the crappy video.
Probot – Shake Your Blood
Apparently not content with being involved in two (three?) of the most well-known bands of the past twenty years, Dave Grohl steps out of his post-grunge/hard-rock persona and jumps with both feet into the heavy metal pool with his new collaborative effort, Probot. Teaming up with the vocalists from metal acts Motörhead, Sepultura, Soulfly, Corrosion of Conformity and Venom, Dave makes a definite departure from his Nirvana/Foo Fighters/QotSA roots and shows that he knows how to mash the ‘loud’ button.
Dave gets the formula right, no question: overdriven guitars, pulverizing rhythms and half-naked women. What’s not to love?
Goblin Cock – We’ve Got a Bleeder
Speaking of odd band names. What can I say? I mean, really.
Taking their sensibilities straight from the earliest days of metal, Goblin Cock fit right in with groups like Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Manowar, Budgie and Witchfinder General. Oh, you’ve never heard of Witchfinder General? Stay tuned, kiddies.
When I posted this video, the number of views was at 34 814. Brand new, catch the wave. My favorite part of the vid is the sissy fight in the park.
If this is your kind of music, you should check out some of their other tracks. Seriously, it’s worth it.