Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Cursed Female" / Porno for Pyros / Porno for Pyros

One of my unofficial rules here at RTB is that I'm not going to post songs from artists I've previously covered (unless they are B. Mo pantheon artists). Of course, PfP skits close to that line, as they were Perry Farrell's post Jane's Addiction band.

I bought this CD upon its release back in 1992, and because I loved Jane's so, so much and was extremely upset with their demise, I somehow convinced myslef that this CD really was good. Not so much, though. I think it was a CD that I played for a few months, put back in its case and rarely took out again. I finally sold it to a used CD store, but I bought this song on itunes one day because it was far and away the best song on the CD. It still holds up pretty well, and to me it sounds the closest to a Jane's Addiction song as anything that was done after their breakup (that is, until thier short lived reunion.

Overall, I feel really let down by the guys from Jane's Addiction. Dave Navarro had that brief stint with the Chilli Peppers (and did some pretty cool, underrated songs with them) before becoming a complete media whore, marrying Carmen Electra and appearing on MTV reality shows and second-rate band competition shows. I had always thought Perry Farrell was at least above all that, until my brother ("Big D" in the comments) called me one night and told me to turn on ABC to watch their college football intro song. He had taken issue with a post I made chiding Hank Williams II for selling out, and wanted to rub in my face what one of my "boys" was up to now with his new best friends Kelly Rowland and Fitty Cent:

"Cash in now, baby"

Back to the song though - as I said, it's really close to a classic Jane's sound - Stephen Perkins (the JA drummer that was in this band too) begins with that patented tribal beat. Well, it actually begins with a harmonica(?!), which was, inexplicably, all over this CD. It sounds really ominous combined with that rumbling bass part too. The mood of the song recalls those dingy, grimy, underground-of-LA type JA songs like "Whores" and "Pigs in Zen"; it's completely, awesomely sleazy. When Farrell hits those high notes, like on my favorite part, "Two girls in two nights got caught in the back of the alleyway / Fresh as strawberries"(2:13), I could almost believe that this band could have made something of themselves. Alas, it wasn't to be. Maybe 'ol Perry is on the comeback trail, though, after recently seeing him in Jimmy Kimmel's "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck" (3:41 in). He's still a bit of a whore, but at least he still has a a since of humor!

Oh, yeah, the video is pretty badass, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Slave to the Grind" / Skid Row / Slave to the Grind

The itunes has been digging the metal here lately, and who am I to argue?

Although, I have to admit a bit of sheepishness at this selection. I bought Slave to the Grind when it came out in 1991, when metal (as I mentioned in the Slayer post) was at its commerical peak. If I recall correctly, this album debuted at number one and took everyone by surprise, as it was the first metal album to do so. Sebastian Bach was on the cover of Rolling Stone. Nirvana was still a topic you learned about in your high school world history class. Life was pretty good for metal.

I was happy to buy this CD back then based on the strength of Skid Row's eponymous debut in 1988. They really weren't all that terrible of a band, and like Def Leppard, I hesitate to include them in the "Hair Metal" genre, despite Bach having srguably the most beautiful mane ever before seen on stage.

Skid Row always seemed to have a little bit beter chops than your average hair metal group. I believe bassist Dave "Snake" Sabo wrote the songs (which could be one reason I liked them), and while obviously never reaching the credibility of your Metallica or Slayer, they were tougher and more metal than shit like Warrant, Winger or Firehouse. I mean, this song is a fraction of a time signature from speed metal, but it got heavy play on mainstram radio and MTV back in the day.

One thing about them I always found interesting as well was their lyrics. Sure, there were the chick songs ("I Remember You"), the tough dude songs ("Piece of Me", "Slave to the Grind") and the "let's bang some skank songs" ("Get the Fuck Out", "Sweet Little Sister"), but I appreciate them for at least trying to rise above that. Although, if anyone can explain "They swallow their daggers by turning thier tricks / They tore my intentions apart brick by brick / I'm sick of the jive, talk verbal insecticide" (the bridge in this song), have at it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Break!!!! Whooooo!!!

Taking a break this week - be back next Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the meantime, there is a new CD I got last Friday that I have been listening to nonstop since and have been talking up to anyone I've seen lately.

The group is Band of Horses , and the CD is "Cease to Begin".

Here's a song called "Is There a Ghost"

And "No One's Going to Love You" (check out some textbook hipster concert head nodding going on here, too)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Dissident Aggressor" / Slayer / South of Heaven

MF'n Slayer, ya'll. Fantastic.

Let me go on record as saying that "South of Heaven" is easily one of the top five metal albums of all time. Ten tracks of soul crushing, leather studded, pseudo demonic speed metal.

I respect the hell out of Slayer. They have stayed the course through the years, never changing their approach or sound, even during the early ninties when metal was scoffed at and derided. One of my co-workers, a likewise unreformed metal fan, made me a copy of one of their most recent CDs and they still pack the same punch. They also have one of my top underrated musicians, drummer Dave Lombardo. Check out the insane double bass work :21 seconds in here on "Silent Scream" (off the same CD, by the way)


I've had the good fortune to see Slayer in concert, too. Back in 1991, when metal was at its absolute commerical zenith, I went to see the Clash of the Titans tour at the old Omni. Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer laid waste to the arena, and it was full on wild. Each band took turns closing the show, and that night was Slayer's. Growing up a good Baptist boy, I have to say that the evil energy and demonic roar when the lights went down and Slayer began their show bathed in an eerie green light was frighteningly intoxicating. One of my all time favorite concernt moments came from that show - getting in an old fashioned circle pit with lots of scary, SCARY looking dudes during "Angel of Death".

Wow - learn something new every day. While looking for this song on YouTube, it seems that this is a cover of an old Judas Priest song. That makes sense now, as I always thought it sounded just a bit different from the normal Slayer fare. That's cool. Mainly, I'm thinking about my favorite part, and the part that from time to time pops up in my head during stressful or sticky moments - the "Stab!.....Fight!" refrain throughout the song. It also makes one of the lyrics immediately after, "I know what I am" MUCH more interesting when you know that it came from (at the time) closeted homosexual Rob Halford. Huh. Other than that part, it's pretty much a dirgelike, slow burn of a song. I have many more favorites by Slayer ("Ghosts of War", off of this same CD, is actually my favorite), but that chorus always gets me. Check out the guitar solo too. I alwys find Slayer's guitar solos funny. You could take the solo from every song and switch it with another, and I don't think anyone would notice. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman's strengths are definitely to be found in the riffs - not the solos (but don't tell them I said that).

Here's a quick listening version (complete with requisite demonic imagery). Hotlink after will get you the song.