Saturday, April 21, 2018

Song Of The Week: 4/22/18







Song: "Waste"

Artist: Bigwig

Album: "An Invitation To Tragedy"

Year: 2001

Place Of Origin: Nutley, New Jersey

Years Active: 1995 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Waste" appears to be about people who go through life with blinders on. These people are like robots with no minds of their own, never rocking the boat or never acting on something they believe in. They are puppets, just wasting their lives away. The vocalist is not about to stick his head in the sand like these people. He's ready to react, and to revolt if need be.

BIGWIG DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1997 - Unmerry Melodies (Fearless Records)
1999 - Stay Asleep (Kung Fu Records)
2001 - An Invitation To Tragedy (Fearless Records)
2006 - Reclamation (Fearless Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF BIGWIG:

Bigwig formed as a band back in 1995, hailing from New Jersey. After dropping a self-titled 7" single, Bigwig hooked on with Fearless Records for their debut full length album in 1997, "Unmerry Melodies". It was the band's second full length, however, that put them square on the punk rock map. 1999's "Stay Asleep" was great mixture of hardcore with skate punk melodies as shown with songs like "Sellout", "Flavor Ice", "Still" and "Friends". Bigwig was soon sharing stages with the likes of Pennywise, The Ataris, No Use For A Name, Less Than Jake, NOFX and Lagwagon to name a few. After recording "Stay Asleep" with Kung Fu Records, Bigwig would return to Fearless for their next two albums, 2001's "An Invitation To Tragedy" and 2006's "Reclamation". Those two albums definitely saw the band strike a heavier tone with much more technical playing. Unfortunately, "Reclamation" is still the band's last studio album. It's been more than 10 years since Bigwig has given it's fans more material, which sucks!! This does not mean the band has been dormant however. Bigwig has continued to tour throughout the years, whether supporting other acts or heading to various festivals. Vocalist and lead guitarist Tom Petta also keeps himself busy as a producer. He is credited with producing albums for bands such as Midtown and Only Way Back. Perhaps his focus has been more on the production end at this point and Bigwig is more of a hobby to get out of the house. Who knows? I'm hoping that the band heads back in the studio and gives us some more material because Bigwig is a really good band. If you like your punk hardcore, with technical playing then you'd like Bigwig. I'd say their style is similar to that of bands like Propagandhi, Good Riddance, A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere and This Is A Standoff. Solid, solid punk rock band. Now let's get a new fuckin' album already guys!!!

TEN BIGWIG SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Flavor Ice
2. A War Inside
3. Sink Or Swim
4. Sellout
5. Sore Losers
6. Still
7. Hope
8. Outer Rings
9. Last Song, Last Call
10. Cheers

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Song Of The Week: 4/15/18







Song: "In Search"

Artist: Pulley

Album: "Together Again For The First Time"

Year: 2001

Place Of Origin: Simi Valley, California

Years Active: 1994 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"In Search" appears to be a song about going back to your youth, mentally and physically, to not forget who you are and where you came from. You almost get the sense that the vocalist is talking to himself, or his younger self. He's trying to get back to the core of who he is, and what made him be what he has become. Kind of a "get back to your roots" song.

PULLEY DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1996 - Esteem Driven Engine (Epitaph Records)
1997 - 60 Cycle Hum (Epitaph Records)
1999 - @#!* (Epitaph Records)
2001 - Together Again For The First Time (Epitaph Records)
2004 - Matters (Epitaph Records)
2005 - Beyond Warped (Immergent Records)
2016 - No Change In The Weather (Cyber Tracks Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF PULLEY:

In the early 90's, skate punk band Ten Foot Pole decided to part ways with their lead singer, Scott Radinsky, mainly so that they could tour and record more frequently. The problem was that Scott was also a Major League Baseball pitcher so for a long stretch of the year, he couldn't be there for the band. Radinsky's passion for punk rock music could not be contained however and in 1994, he formed the band Pulley. Quickly signed to legendary punk label, Epitaph Records, Pulley would drop five albums in an 8 year span. "Esteem Driven Engine", "60 Cycle Hum", "@#!*", "Together Again For The First Time" and "Matters" more than put Pulley on the southern California skate punk map! Then, the hiatus! From 2004 to 2016, Pulley managed to put out 2 EP's, "Time Insensitive Material" and "The Long And Short Of It" as well as a live album, "Beyond Warped". Radinsky's MLB career was winding down, but he took multiple jobs in the sport, mostly as pitching coach and bullpen coach, which he currently does for the Los Angeles Angels. 2016 saw the return of a brand new full length from Pulley, "No Change In The Weather". Despite the band's sporadic nature, this new album proves that Pulley still has their chops!. I remember back in 1996, I was at a listening station at the Tower Records in Boston, MA and for the first time, I checked out this band Pulley. From the first chords of "Cashed Out", I was hooked and have been a fan ever since. Besides my love of the Seattle sound, the skate punk bands were a huge part of my youth. Bands like Ten Foot Pole, No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, Good Riddance, Much The Same and Face To Face were right in my wheelhouse. And Pulley was right there with those bands for me. Awesome to see that these guys are still making great music. Much props to Scotty Radz!!!

TEN PULLEY SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. The Ocean Song
2. If
3. Insects Destroy
4. Working Class Whore
5. Cashed In
6. In Search
7. No "I" In Team
8. Sick
9. Immune
10. Sick

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Song Of The Week: 4/8/18







Song: "Hail To The King"

Artist: No Use For A Name

Album: "Live In A Dive"

Year: 2001

Place Of Origin: San Jose, California

Years Active: 1986 - 2012



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Hail To The King" appears to be a song about two different views of a sexual relationship. The girl doesn't really love the man, but loves what he can do for her. He has power and pull. She sees sex as a tool to get what she wants from him or out of him. The man sees her as just another number or notch in his belt. He has no feelings whatsover for her, but he knows he can have her so he does. It's just pure lust to him. The girl may regret her actions in the future, but in the present, she will do whatever she has to do to get where she wants. For my song of the week, I chose a live version of "Hail To The King" which appeared on No Use For A Name's live album, "Live In A Dive". The song has roots back to the band's 1988 self-titled EP, which featured Chris Dodge on vocals. The song was re-recorded for the band's debut full length album, "Incognito", as well with Tony Sly on vocals.

NO USE FOR A NAME DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1990 - Incognito (New Red Archives)
1992 - Don't Miss The Train (New Red Archives)
1993 - The Daily Grind (Fat Wreck Chords)
1995 - Leche Con Carne (Fat Wreck Chords)
1997 - Making Friends (Fat Wreck Chords)
1999 - More Betterness (Fat Wreck Chords)
2001 - Live In A Dive (Fat Wreck Chords)
2002 - Hard Rock Bottom (Fat Wreck Chords)
2005 - Keep Them Confused (Fat Wreck Chords)
2008 - The Feel Good Record Of The Year (Fat Wreck Chords)
2017 - Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers (Fat Wreck Chords)

CURRENT STATUS OF NO USE FOR A NAME:

No Use For A Name formed as a band in 1986 and right from the jump, their was lots of inner turmoil with band members seemingly coming in and going out. But, in 1987, Tony Sly would join the band, originally as a guitarist. The band dropped a couple of EP's and by '89, songwriting and vocal duties would be turned over to Tony Sly. This is when things got serious for No Use, but not quite right off the bat. The band's first two albums, 1990's "Incognito" and 1992's "Don't Miss The Train" were clearly a band trying to find themselves and especially Tony Sly trying to find his voice. These albums were essentially hardcore punk albums. That's not quite what the band was however. In 1993, No Use hooked up with Fat Wreck Chords and released "The Daily Grind". You can start to hear a band coming together with this album. Soon after this album, punk rock began having a bit of a revival with bands like Green Day, Rancid, Bad Religion and The Offspring putting out massive hit albums. Fat Wreck would soon catch the wave, with bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, Swingin' Utters and No Use For A Name ready to corner the skate punk market. In 1995, No Use dropped "Leche Con Carne" and they had officially found their sound. The video for their song "Soulmate" started getting in rotation on MTV's alternative video show "120 Minutes". In fact, "Soulmate" was the very first video of any Fat Wreck Chord band to air on MTV. The band was at it's height during these next few years. The line-up of Tony Sly on guitar/vocals, Chris Shiflett on lead guitar, Matt Riddle on bass and Rory Koff on drums is really the definitive No Use line-up. I'll slide Dave Nassie in their as well as he took over lead guitar when Chris Shiflett joined the Foo Fighters. 1997's "Making Friends", 1999's "More Betterness" and 2001's "Hard Rock Bottom" are essential punk rock albums, period. To this point, Tony Sly's songwriting had been mostly personal as well as socially aware, but he hadn't been overly political. This changed with 2005's "Keep Them Confused". The band's last studio effort together would be 2008's "The Feel Good Record Of The Year". At this point, Sly was beginning to focus more on his solo career and doing acoustic shows. No Use would still play some shows and festivals, but you could tell Tony's heart was in his acoustic material. On July 31, 2012, tragedy befell the band when Tony Sly passed away in his sleep. Just a total black day in the world of punk rock music. The band obviously could no longer go on without Tony. They did perform four tribute concerts as No Use and Friends, most notably celebrating Tony's life at the 25th anniversary show for Fat Wreck Chords. Matt Riddle, Rory Koff, Chris Rest and Dave Nassie were joined by punk frontmen like Joey Cape (Lagwagon), Jason Cruz (Strung Out) and Fat Mike (NOFX) to perform No Use classics. In 2017, Fat Wreck released "Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers" which features the many songs that No Use covered over their career. The "Vol. 1" suggests that maybe there is more No Use material that will surface one day. No Use For A Name. Let me just say it. This is one of my favorite bands of all time. They are top 5 for me. In any genre. When I was younger, No Use was just the soundtrack. What set them apart for me was the songs. Tony Sly, in my mind, is the best songwriter in punk music. His lyrics were so strong and personal. His sense of melody was incredible. "Leche Con Carne", "Making Friends", "More Betterness" and "Hard Rock Bottom" are four of my favorite albums and to this day get heavy rotation in my car and on my itunes when i'm at home. These four albums are just greatness to me. If you don't think so, hey, that's your problem and your loss because those are classic albums. When Tony Sly passed away it left a hole in the music world. Definitely in my world. Selfishly, I want one more album. One more show. One more song. Still sad over his death but grateful he left us with a whole bunch of great songs.

TEN NO USE FOR A NAME SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. A Postcard Would Be Nice
2. Let Me Down
3. Chasing Rainbows
4. Friends Of The Enemy
5. Justified Black Eye
6. On The Outside
7. Soulmate
8. Invincible
9. Room 19
10. Biggest Lie

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Song Of The Week: 4/1/18







Song: "Oh Yeah"

Artist: Ash

Album: "Live At The Wireless"

Year: 1997

Place Of Origin: Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

Years Active: 1992 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Oh Yeah" appears to be about the vocalist's very first romance. You get the sense that this is the very first girl that he was intimate with. He remembers everything about it, the beginning of summer, the warm wind, her swollen lips, her flowing hair, her kisses. Though the relationship didn't last, he never regrets it and looks back to it remembering every detail. Definitely a "first love" song. This version I chose for my song of the week is taken from Ash's 1997 live album, "Live At The Wireless". The original version of the song appears on the band's 1996 album "1977".

ASH DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - Garage Girl (self-released)
1993 - Trailer (Infectious Records)
1996 - 1977 (Infectious Records)
1997 - Live At The Wireless (Death Star Records)
1998 - Nuclear Sounds (Infectious Records)
2001 - Free All Angels (Infectious Records)
2002 - Cosmic Debris (Infectious Records)
2004 - Meltdown (Infectious Records)
2007 - Twilight Of The Innocents (Infectious Records)
2010 - A-Z Vol. 1 (Atomic Heart Records)
2010 - A-Z Vol. 2 (Atomic Heart Records)
2015 - Kablammo! (Atomic Heart Records)
2016 - Live On Mars: London Astoria 1997 (Atomic Heart Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ASH:

Ash formed as a band back in 1992, hailing from Northern Ireland. The band first began creating some noise with their song "Jack Names The Planets" but it was their 1996 album, "1977", that really put the band on the map thanks to the singles "Goldfinger", "Girl From Mars" and "Oh Yeah". That album quickly shot to number 1 on U.K. music charts and eventually went platinum. The band, then a trio of Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray, decided to add a second guitarist/vocalist to the line-up, Charlotte Hatherley. While releasing their next album, "Nuclear Sounds", Ash almost went bankrupt. It was their 2001 album, "Free All Angels", which once again thrusted Ash's popularity, especially in their native Ireland and in England. With singles like "Shining Light" and "Burn Baby Burn", "Free All Angels" also claimed a #1 spot in England and also sold platinum. After 2004's "Meltdown", the band decided to go back to being a trio and split amicably with Hatherley. In 2010, the band decided to release a single every two weeks. This was called the A to Z series, each single named relative to the letters of the alphabet. Eventually, the band released two albums which featured the 26 singles, "A-Z" volumes 1 and 2. At this time, it would also mark the band's relationship with Atomic Heart Records after pretty much spending the first 15 years as a band on Infectious Records. The band's last proper full length studio album was 2015's "Kablammo!" and their most recent release was a live album in 2016, "Live On Mars: London Astoria 1997". The band was touring in early 2017 in support of that live album. Ash has also confirmed that on May 18, 2018, their new album, "Islands", will be released. Ash broke on the music scene right at a time when Seattle's grunge was king but there was a burgeoning alternative rock movement that was creeping to the surface. Though they're from Ireland, they sometimes get tossed in with the Brit pop scene that was beginning to happen as well. Though they got some love in the United States, especially when "1977" came out, they were a pretty big deal in Europe, especially Ireland and England. Their style is alternative rock with definite hints of pop and at times punk. If you like the music of bands like Superdrag, Everclear, Donots, The Vines and Oasis, then you'd most likely enjoy Ash. Ash is one of my favorite bands, moreso when I was younger, but I still love their music. It's a shame that Charlotte isn't still in the band though. She added a dynamic to the band that I miss, especially her harmonizing background vocals that fit so well with Tim Wheeler's lead vocals. To this day still, when I hear "Goldfinger" or "Burn Baby Burn" I get excited. Definitely takes me back to my younger days getting loaded with good friends!!

TEN ASH SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Goldfinger
2. Burn Baby Burn
3. A Life Less Ordinary
4. Shining Light
5. Jesus Says
6. Starcrossed
7. What Deaner Was Talking About
8. Tracers (featuring Emmy The Great)
9. Cocoon
10. Warmer Than Fire

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Song Of The Week: 3/25/18







Song: "Fuckin' Up"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "Live On Two Legs"

Year: 1998

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1990 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Fuckin' Up" is a song that appears to be about someone's ability to either lose everything or everyone he/she loves and their ability to bring everyone around them down. The vocalist sees himself as a drifter, and perhaps not by choice. He feels that everything and everyone he loves falls victim to him screwing things up. He feels he's better off being alone yet he just can't get the answer as to why he fucks everything up! Pearl Jam has covered "Fuckin' Up" dating back to the early 90's. It is often played to close out their live shows. This version I chose was performed in Mansfield, MA on September 15, 1998 and released on the band's first live record, "Live On Two Legs". The original version of "Fuckin' Up" was written and recorded by Neil Young and released on his 1990 album "Ragged Glory". Neil Young, along with Pete Townsend of The Who, was one of the legendary rockers who embraced Pearl Jam early on in their career and through his guidance, really helped save the band and steer them along as they endured the roller coaster of fame.

PEARL JAM DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1991 - Ten (Epic Records)
1993 - VS (Epic Records)
1994 - Vitalogy (Epic Records)
1996 - No Code (Epic Records)
1998 - Yield (Epic Records)
1998 - Live On Two Legs (Epic Records)
2000 - Binaural (Epic Records)
2002 - Riot Act (Epic Records)
2003 - Lost Dogs (Epic Records)
2004 - Live At Benaroya Hall (BMG Records)
2006 - Pearl Jam (J Records)
2009 - Backspacer (Monkeywrench/Universal Music Group)
2011 - Live On Ten Legs (Universal Music Group)
2013 - Lightning Bolt (Monkeywrench Records)
2017 - Let's Play Two (Republic Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF PEARL JAM:

Pearl Jam came from the ashes of Mother Love Bone and exploded on the Seattle music scene in 1990. The band's debut album "Ten" is a landmark album which has been certified diamond. What does that mean? It means that album has sold massively worldwide! It also propelled the band to superstardom, almost before they knew what had hit them. At the forefront of the grunge explosion of the early 90's, along with bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, Pearl Jam kept the heat on with their next two releases, 1993's "VS" and 1994's "Vitalogy". The pressures of being that big, that fast began to weigh on the band, especially vocalist Eddie Vedder and the band made a conscious effort to start pulling back the reigns. No more videos and less media obligations. They also did a 180 on their next album, "No Code". This was a much softer, more experimental side of the band and really an effort to change it up musically. Battles with Ticketmaster and going into a shell of sorts began to alienate the band from some of it's fans. The band itself was having some inner struggles and wondering if they were even going to co-exist much longer. Luckily, 1998's "Yield" was a return to form for the band. It also marked a full band collaboration whereas Vedder really took over creative reigns on "Vitalogy" and "No Code". From this album on, every band member would contribute to all future Pearl Jam releases. The early 2000's were a bit of a weird time for the band. "Binaural" and "Riot Act" were both good albums but seemed to be lacking something. The band also began offerering their bootlegs from every show available at this time, beginning with the "Binaural" world tour. Their bootlegs continue to be offered through their website to this day. This period also marked the biggest tragedy that the band was a part of, the 2000 Roskilde tragedy where 9 of their fans were trampled to death during their performance. In 2006, the country was becoming more and more split over the actions of the Bush administration post-9/11. The scene was ripe for a band like Pearl Jam to get their creative juices flowing and write what is perhaps their most political album yet, the self-titled "Pearl Jam", sometimes referred to as "Avocado". This album was a breath of fresh air to me. Urgent and hard hitting, an album with a definitive purpose. 2009's "Backspacer" is probably the band's most positive and fun album. The band's most recent effort was 2013's "Lightning Bolt". This album proved that Pearl Jam is still relevant in an ever-evolving music scene. The band also released a live album/dvd in the fall of 2017 called "Let's Play Two", which chronicles the band's two performances at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2016. More good news out of the Pearl Jam camp in 2018 is along with a tour of South America and some stadium dates in the United States, the band also released a brand new single in March titled "Can't Deny Me". The song is said to be part of a brand spankin' new studio album that could be released later this year! Pearl Jam's sound is a culmination of a slew of influences from The Who, The Ramones, Kiss, Neil Young, Dead Kennedys, Pink Floyd and many, many more! Of the 4 major grunge bands to emerge from the early 90's, Pearl Jam's sound always commanded arena crowds. Their music is powerful. Their lyrics personal and emotional. They have influenced hundreds of rock bands who came after them. They are equally comfortable playing arena anthems ("Alive"), acoustic ballads ("Elderly Woman"), punk influenced hardcore ("Mind Your Manners") and groove laced stompers ("Evenflow"). The band takes more time between albums as they tend to focus more time on their growing families as well as keeping busy with solo and side projects, but they always get back together to tour all over the world and their shows are always epic and must see performances that rival Springsteen and the Grateful Dead. I'd say they are overdue for a new album. Perhaps the band will be inspired by their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 or the current political turmoil in the United States and drop another aggressive album with a purpose!

TEN PEARL JAM SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Alive
2. Release
3. Yellow Ledbetter
4. Corduroy
5. Rearviewmirror
6. Go
7. Given To Fly
8. Not For You
9. Do The Evolution
10. Light Years

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Song Of The Week: 3/18/18







Song: "Rearviewmirror"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "July 3rd 2003 Mansfield, MA" bootleg

Year: 2003

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1990 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Rearviewmirror" is a song about gathering up the courage and strength to finally get away from an abuser. Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder has said that he feels like the song is being sung from a car and driving as far away from a bad situation as you can get. The song has a connection to the song "Daughter", both studio versions are featured on the 1993 Pearl Jam album "VS". One key line in "Daughter" is when Eddie sings "the shades go down". In that song, the abuse is being hidden and the person feels trapped by the situation. In "Rearviewmirror", Eddie counters with "finally the shades are raised". Hence, the person has finally decided to get out of the abusive situation and get as far away from it as they can. This version I chose for my song of the week was performed live in Mansfield, MA on July 3, 2003. A show I was at!!

PEARL JAM DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1991 - Ten (Epic Records)
1993 - VS (Epic Records)
1994 - Vitalogy (Epic Records)
1996 - No Code (Epic Records)
1998 - Yield (Epic Records)
1998 - Live On Two Legs (Epic Records)
2000 - Binaural (Epic Records)
2002 - Riot Act (Epic Records)
2003 - Lost Dogs (Epic Records)
2004 - Live At Benaroya Hall (BMG Records)
2006 - Pearl Jam (J Records)
2009 - Backspacer (Monkeywrench/Universal Music Group)
2011 - Live On Ten Legs (Universal Music Group)
2013 - Lightning Bolt (Monkeywrench Records)
2017 - Let's Play Two (Republic Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF PEARL JAM:

Pearl Jam came from the ashes of Mother Love Bone and exploded on the Seattle music scene in 1990. The band's debut album "Ten" is a landmark album which has been certified diamond. What does that mean? It means that album has sold massively worldwide! It also propelled the band to superstardom, almost before they knew what had hit them. At the forefront of the grunge explosion of the early 90's, along with bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, Pearl Jam kept the heat on with their next two releases, 1993's "VS" and 1994's "Vitalogy". The pressures of being that big, that fast began to weigh on the band, especially vocalist Eddie Vedder and the band made a conscious effort to start pulling back the reigns. No more videos and less media obligations. They also did a 180 on their next album, "No Code". This was a much softer, more experimental side of the band and really an effort to change it up musically. Battles with Ticketmaster and going into a shell of sorts began to alienate the band from some of it's fans. The band itself was having some inner struggles and wondering if they were even going to co-exist much longer. Luckily, 1998's "Yield" was a return to form for the band. It also marked a full band collaboration whereas Vedder really took over creative reigns on "Vitalogy" and "No Code". From this album on, every band member would contribute to all future Pearl Jam releases. The early 2000's were a bit of a weird time for the band. "Binaural" and "Riot Act" were both good albums but seemed to be lacking something. The band also began offerering their bootlegs from every show available at this time, beginning with the "Binaural" world tour. Their bootlegs continue to be offered through their website to this day. This period also marked the biggest tragedy that the band was a part of, the 2000 Roskilde tragedy where 9 of their fans were trampled to death during their performance. In 2006, the country was becoming more and more split over the actions of the Bush administration post-9/11. The scene was ripe for a band like Pearl Jam to get their creative juices flowing and write what is perhaps their most political album yet, the self-titled "Pearl Jam", sometimes referred to as "Avocado". This album was a breath of fresh air to me. Urgent and hard hitting, an album with a definitive purpose. 2009's "Backspacer" is probably the band's most positive and fun album. The band's most recent effort was 2013's "Lightning Bolt". This album proved that Pearl Jam is still relevant in an ever-evolving music scene. The band also released a live album/dvd in the fall of 2017 called "Let's Play Two", which chronicles the band's two performances at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2016. More good news out of the Pearl Jam camp in 2018 is along with a tour of South America and some stadium dates in the United States, the band also released a brand new single in March titled "Can't Deny Me". The song is said to be part of a brand spankin' new studio album that could be released later this year! Pearl Jam's sound is a culmination of a slew of influences from The Who, The Ramones, Kiss, Neil Young, Dead Kennedys, Pink Floyd and many, many more! Of the 4 major grunge bands to emerge from the early 90's, Pearl Jam's sound always commanded arena crowds. Their music is powerful. Their lyrics personal and emotional. They have influenced hundreds of rock bands who came after them. They are equally comfortable playing arena anthems ("Alive"), acoustic ballads ("Elderly Woman"), punk influenced hardcore ("Mind Your Manners") and groove laced stompers ("Evenflow"). The band takes more time between albums as they tend to focus more time on their growing families as well as keeping busy with solo and side projects, but they always get back together to tour all over the world and their shows are always epic and must see performances that rival Springsteen and the Grateful Dead. I'd say they are overdue for a new album. Perhaps the band will be inspired by their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 or the current political turmoil in the United States and drop another aggressive album with a purpose!

TEN PEARL JAM SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Alive
2. Release
3. Yellow Ledbetter
4. Corduroy
5. Rearviewmirror
6. Go
7. Given To Fly
8. Not For You
9. In My Tree
10. Light Years

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Song Of The Week: 3/11/18







Song: "My Wall"

Artist: Ten Foot Pole

Album: "Rev"

Year: 1994

Place Of Origin: Simi Valley, California

Years Active: 1993 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"My Wall" appears to be a song about trying to suppress the youth's creativity and individuality, especially in the form of street art or graffiti. Those who build the department stores and plaster their windows with advertisements look at the kids with the spray paint as a nuissance and degraders of property. But really, who is the one that is ultimately degrading the property? Where once was green grass is now a paved parking lot. Where once there were trees is now a mall. The young punk spray painting underneath bridges had nothing to do with that but, they have the money so they make the rules.

TEN FOOT POLE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - Swill (Ten Foot Records)
1994 - Rev (Epitaph Records)
1996 - Unleashed (Epitaph Records)
1998 - Insider (Epitaph Records)
2002 - Bad Mother Trucker (Victory Records)
2004 - Subliminable Messages (Go-Kart Records)
2017 - Setlist (Cyber Tracks Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF TEN FOOT POLE:

Ten Foot Pole formed as a band back in 1993 in southern California, but their roots date back to a band called Scared Straight. That band featured Scott Radinsky on vocals and Dennis Jagard on guitar. After going through line-up changes and not wanting to get lumped in to the straight-edge scene with a name like Scared Straight, the band changed their name to Ten Foot Pole. After self-releasing "Swill" in 1993, the band hooked up with legendary punk label Epitaph Records and dropped "Rev" in 1994. At this point, the band felt like they were gaining steam, especially with the punk rock resurgence happening in music at the time. The problem was that Radinsky's first priority was being a Major League Baseball pitcher and the band would have to work around that. Ultimately, the band and Radinsky decided to part ways and Jagard would take over vocal duties along with playing guitar. The first album featuring Jagard on vocals would be 1996's "Unleashed". This was a solid album but it definitely took some time for the band's hardcore fans to get used to Jagard singing the songs. Scotty Radz had a much more powerful voice. 1998's "Insider" would be Ten Foot Pole's last album with Epitaph Records. The video for the song "The Getaway" did get some pub on alternative video shows. The band signed on with Victory Records for their fifth release, "Bad Mother Trucker" in 2002. I saw this as kind of a down album for the band. But, the 2004 album, "Subliminable Messages", was awesome! I felt that Jagard finally felt comfortable on vocals on this album and he sounded strong. Ten Foot Pole was probably at it's low by the time "Subliminable Messages" was released but in my mind, this is the band's best album to date. After this album, however, Ten Foot Pole went on a long hiatus. Though they never disbanded. They popped up to play a few shows here and there between 2009 and 2015 but new releases were non-existent. In 2017 however, Ten Foot Pole released the album "Setlist". This was basically a compilation of new renditions of old songs and also featured a few new tracks as well. Ten Foot Pole is one of many southern California punk bands that mix skate punk with a little hardcore. For similar artists, I would say Strung Out, No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, 88 Fingers Louie and of course, Pulley. Pulley, for those that don't know, is the band that Scott Radinsky formed soon after he was let go from Ten Foot Pole. Awesome band!! For me? Ten Foot Pole never rose to the status of a No Use or a Lagwagon or a Pulley. They always seemed like a secondary band to those. But that doesn't mean they aren't pretty damn good. Maybe this "Setlist" album they just dropped is giving the band the creative juices to get back in the studio and drop a proper new album in the near future. I know Jagard is pretty set working in the industry as a sound engineer, but perhaps he has enough free time to work on new TFP material. Fingers crossed!!

TEN TEN FOOT POLE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Wake Up (And Smell The Fascism)
2. The Getaway
3. My Wall
4. Seven
5. A.D.D.
6. Kicked Out Of Kindergarten
7. Broken Bubble
8. Scars
9. Armchair Quarterback
10. Plastic