Monthly Archives: February 2013

Song for the Rough Week Ahead – Iggy and the Stooges

First this…

Now this…

Song for the Rough Week Ahead – Paperhouse by Can

CAN…they spontaneously created works of wonder in concert, some recordings have 40+ minutes of instant composition. Check out this video from a European music show for a live version of Paperhouse…at about the three minute mark the groove gets locked by Jaki and off they go.

Records Collecting Dust

This looks very interesting. How many indie rock stars can you name???

Modern Recording Techniques Explained


Song for the Rough Week Ahead…Roscoe Holcomb

Actually a twofer….

Book Review: Makeup To Breakup by Peter Criss with Larry Sloman

Peter-Criss-Makeup-to-Breakup-BookWhat can I say about the band KISS? Let me see…I loved them with a passion that verged on worship when I was 13 to 15…they were the first band I ever saw in concert (in 1977…How is that for age?)…they were pure rock and roll marketed as product. Yeah they might have started out as a rock band, but with each album and tour they ventured more and more into just a promotion for the next line of merchandise items. But hey, when I was 15 I didn’t know or care about all that…KISS was just cool. They were everything I wanted in a rock band…a spectacle with loud guitars, fire and blood. I liked Ace the best. He just seemed cool and detached from reality. I wanted rock and roll hair like Ace. I practiced Ace moves with a cardboard cut out in the shape of a Les Paul. Gene was cool too with those boots and general monster vibe. Paul…well, I wasn’t too sure about that guy. Something a little funny about that guy. Then there was Peter, the drummer…and best singer of the bunch. My best friend at the time was a drummer and he loved Peter, so I liked Peter too. Although in reality I didn’t much care about the drummer…after all what did he do, levitate? Meh…

Which brings me to Makeup to Breakup – My Life In and Out of Kiss the autobiography by Peter Criss. I was happy to get a chance to read his book. After all, I had read Gene’s book and I had read Ace’s book. Both of those books ultimately failed in the sense that both books left the reader feeling that like so much is being held back…the dirt is never spilled. Peter is throwing shovels full of the dirt in his book. He is pissed-off enough at all the other members of the band (even his best friend Ace) that he really slings the mud around. Drugs, sex, money, egos…man what a wild ride. He has some truly funny stories from the road. Talks about the betrayal he felt from everyone associated with the brand…oops, I mean band. He dishes out the plenty of dirt on his fellow band members…Gene’s ego, greed and general lack of hygiene (how’s that menstrual blood tasting?), Ace’s alcohol and drug consumption (which may have lead to Ace helping a groupie give Peter a little oral sex under the sheets…I said MAY have), Paul’s ego and willingness to be Gene’s henchman…and, well…there is just something a little funny about that guy.

paul stanley

Peter does a lot of complaining (and bragging about his penis size) in his book…blaming everyone for his problems. He at times will own a certain problem as something of his own making only to shift the blame a couple of pages later. He is bitter…bitter at ex-wives, ex-band mates, ex-labels and lawyers. His chapters on the reunion/farewell tours are especially frustrating. He writes leading up to reunion about a downward spiral of artistic failures and financial ruin that lands him on the brink of suicide. Then he endlessly complains of the money Gene and Paul are making compared to the measly $25,000 per show he is making. Then he finds out Ace is making more per show than him and Peter really hits the fan. He feels betrayed by Ace, a person that is closer than a brother to him. But in the end he just comes across as a person that can’t take the blame for some of the extremely bad choices he made that lead up to him to being a ‘hired hand’ in the band he helped form. Not to say Gene and Paul are not at fault for being money grabbers, but you signed the contracts and you knew how it was to be. Own it Catman.

If you were a fan of the band at anytime Makeup To Breakup is a good read. Full of dirt and funny stories…just like we like our celebrity tell-all’s. No matter how blurred the line of celebrity gets…

I guess around the time I was 17 KISS just weren’t cool to me anymore. I barely put up with the disco of Dynasty and the bubblegum pop of Unmasked, but by the time Music from the Elder came out I had moved on. Punk rock was knocking on my door. I do think every teenager needs a band like KISS…to introduce them to young adulthood and to give them music that will piss-off their parents. My stepson turns 14 this year and I am wondering what his musical tastes shall be…that will be an interesting blog post.

Sangre Rated – 4 out of 5 stars

Review – m b v by My Bloody Valentine

mybloodyvalentineI admit it. I was late to the game. Back in the early 90’s I had friends telling me that I must check out My Blood Valentine, but I lumped them in with all the ‘shoe-gazer’ bands from England that I could not stomach. Bands like Luna, Galaxie 500, Love and Rockets, Lush….oh, the horror. I didn’t get it at all. So when people told me to check out Loveless by MVB I flat out refused. Then over the years that damn album would pop up on a lot of people’s best of lists. Still I refused to even give it a chance. And then musicians I respect called it anything from the “best album of the 90’s” (Trey Anistasio) to “it set a new standard for pop” (Brian Eno). Crap…so about 10 years after it was released I went out and bought a used CD of Loveless to see what all the brouhaha was about. It is still one of my favorite albums of all time. The sound of the hushed vocals and the deluge of guitar sounds on the songs are truly unlike anything I had heard at the time. It is a masterpiece, no doubt.

That was the last My Bloody Valentine album released until Saturday night. Twenty-two years after the release of Loveless comes m v b.

If I were to believe the initial twitter buzz this was also a great album. I don’t think it is great, but it is pretty damn good. On headphones this thing comes alive. And it is unmistakably My Bloody Valentine…any of these songs would not be out of place as outtakes from the Loveless sessions. While some may question the lack of growth of new sounds I feel that the band still sounds vibrant. The song writing is a tinge more mature. It is pop, less the total assault of the earlier albums (but with pop underlinings). This album breaks no new ground and ultimately will not have the huge impact of Loveless, but none the less it is a worthy follow-up…even 22 years later.

4 out of 5 Stars

Song for the Rough Week Ahead…Fidlar – Cheap Beer

Very cool young band out of the LA area that just released an hell of a debut album. Oh, and Fidlar is surfer/skater slang for the motto “Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk”.

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