I've suspected this for a while, and I'm sure various co-bloggers and bandmates will vouch for this: When it comes to music and music-related endeavors I'm a bit of a masochist. I will listen to music I hate to see why it works e.g. Katie Perry's I Kissed A Girl. It's like neurolinguistic programming, that song. Put the words "curious", "kissed a girl", "taste", "cherry", "I liked it", "not what good girls do", "it felt so wrong", "so right" in a song, make the singer a hit chick dolled up like a 50's pin-up, and boom, instant Top-10. That and the song sounds like a mash-up of Tainted Love - which always makes for a good hook, see Rhianna's S.O.S., that Pink song w/the textspeak title, and an outtake from NIN's Broken e.p. Which makes it electro/house enough for the hipsters to dig ironically. Never mind that the production is bloody awful. I get it, you made out w/a girl. Stop shouting at me. Read Nick Southall's article on the abuse of compression then listen to the song and you'll see what I mean. As a complete aside to this aside, eventually I'm going to track down the paper mentioned in this blog post re: manufactured celebrities. (Unfortunately the links in the post itself are dead.)
And, of course, that whole bit above has nothing to do w/what I originally intended to write about. To get back on track. Last week my bandmate Carol and I were talking about new does songs, etc..., etc... A while back the goslings had mentioned something about collaborating on a cover of Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love." That never worked out, but I liked the idea. Then I got to thinking about classic rock, covers, and how a good 90% of what most people listen to is either classic rock, or sounds a lot like classic rock. I suggested that instead of doing a cover we just write a song that sounded like a classic rock song, just really fucked up. (Yeah, yeah, Pussy Galore did it, they covered ALL of Exile on Main St., whatever, blow me.) Carol was down. Then last Wednesday. I figured we should take it a step further, and before we start writing, listen to nothing but classic rock for a week. The cut off date is 1983. Although I could have went later, they play Pearl Jam and Nirvana on classic rock radio now. We're about mid-way through, and I gotta say, I'm looking forward to Wednesday. I don't own a lot of "classic" records, not the stuff I consider classic rock anyway, i.e. Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Foghat, so it's been classic rock radio for me. Some observations, from the past four days (Carol's been blogging on behalf of herself and Alex here):
AC/DC rock. Period. I can see why they seem to be the only rock band Keith Richards has anything good to say about. And since they're "classic", K-Rock here in St. John's has been playing their new song. It's way better than it has any right to be. The production could be better, but fucking hell, Malcolm just cranks out those riffs.
Those Lynyrd Skynyrd ballads (Freebird, Simple Man), are depressing as hell. They make you want to smoke Marlboros and drink whiskey. The someone yells out, "Play Freebird!" at a show, I just might.
I've gained new respect for Neil Young. I especially like that the best riff in Cinnamon Girl is played once or twice at the end of the song. He's Neil Young, he can throw that shit out at you.
I loathe Rush. The guys in QOTSA must really dig on Tom Sawyer though. Make the lyrics about a girl instead of Objectivist nonsense and add some Zep drums and boom. Tom Sawyer could be a Queens song.
Thin Lizzy = Led Zeppelin divided by AC/DC = Brilliant.
Why do people even mention Jeff Beck in the same sentence as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, yeah they were all in the Yardbirds, but Beck is ten times the guitar player than either of them.
ZZ Top were good before the drum machines. The drum machines fucked up a good thing. Cheap Sunglasses man.
Any 70's (and even late 80's) Aerosmith song is worth listening to just to hear the guitar solo. And while the stuff they play on the radio is good (Deuces Are Wild, Walk This Way, ...), it ain't no Chip Away At The Stone.
I've vastly underestimated Free. Really.
Led Zeppelin sound huge.
I have no idea how anyone can listen to early 'Stones aside from Paint It Black and Under My Thumb. Jagger could have been a brilliant lyricist had he not hit the coke so hard and got with the social climbing.
The Beatles confuse me. I've tried. They do absolutely nothing for me and I don't quite get what they do for other people.
Fuck the Eagles.
Fuck Bruce Springsteen. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but fuck him.
Fuck Elton John and his lame Ziggy rips. Rocket Man? Yeah? They should only play Tiny Dancer. And not very often.
Heart are underrated.
Queen are...what can you say about a song like Killer Queen? What can you say about Queen? In their way they out-weirded Bowie, but no one knew at the time.
70's Bowie = The good stuff. (No pun intended.)
I loathe Pink Floyd. Maybe not Pink Floyd, I loathe Roger Waters. Fuck. "His lyrics are brilliant." Yeah, in the same way that Marilyn Manson is "intelligent". Compared to say...Rod Stewart, anyone's lyrics are gonna seem brilliant.
Golden Earring are not only hilarious, Radar Love is a great song.
I'm completely ambivalent about Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
If the Doors had a Keith Richards-type to counter Morrison and toughen up the sound, they could have been the best rock band of the past 40 years.
...and I still have three days to go.