Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Song Of The Week: 8/29/10

Song: "Muffled"

Artist: Ten Foot Pole

Album: "Rev"

Year: 1994

This song is about a relationship that is totally failing. You get a sense from the vocalist that he is surprised that it in fact has lasted as long as it has. In the end, however, to both him and her, the relationship has turned out to be nothing more than a waste of time. Ten Foot Pole is a skate punk band from California that rose from the ashes of the band Scared Straight. Lead singer at the time, Scott Radinsky, chose to change the name to Ten Foot Pole so that they would not be confused to be a "straight edge" band. "Rev" would be the final full length album to feature Radinsky on vocals as his other career, a Major League Baseball relief pitcher, made it difficult for him to make the band his number one priority. Guitarist Dennis Jagard would assume lead vocals for the rest of the band's releases. The band went on almost a three year hiatus following the 2004 release "Subliminal Messages" but they did reunite to play a few live shows. Their is no current news as to the state of Ten Foot Pole. No releases seem to be on the horizon anytime soon. Dennis Jagard keeps himself busy as a sound engineer and has worked with the likes of Prince and many others. Former member Radinsky went on to form the band Pulley while also working as the Cleveland Indians bullpen coach.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Song Of The Week: 8/22/10

Song: "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window"

Artist: Jimi Hendrix

Album: "BBC Sessions"

Year: 1998

"Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" was originally written and performed by Bob Dylan in 1965. It was recorded during the "Highway 61 Revisited" sessions. Jimi Hendrix covered the song for the BBC, which is the famous radio program in England. To this day musician's record live in the BBC studio and the program is just as much of a big deal as it was when Jimi recorded there in 1967 as well as 1969. The song itself seems to be about telling a woman to get out of a relationship in which she may be being abused or even somewhat being used by her partner. The vocalist is saying to her to get out and enjoy life and in the end, if you're afraid of leaving, you can always go back to him if you want to. It seems the vocalist doesn't necessarily want any long term relationship with her perhaps just a fling then she can go on her way and do whatever she wants. In just seven years of making music, 1963 to 1970, Jimi Hendrix cemented his mark on the recording industry. There was perhaps no guitarist in history as innovative as Hendrix and even some of his legendary peers, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Pete Townsend consider Jimi the greatest guitar player of all time. The way he experimented in the recording studio is second to none. He was always trying to make his guitar create sounds that were unique, original and atmospheric by using various effects and recording methods that have never been done before. Jimi's music has trully stood the test of time and songs like "Purple Haze" and "Voodoo Child" hold up to any current piece of music and will forever i'm sure. His music is timeless. His innovations are legendary. His guitar playing is second to none. Who knows how much further Jimi could've have taken his talents had he not passed away at the young age of 27 back in 1970. While we sit and ponder that question, we can all go back and listen to the recordings he's blessed us all with and just enjoy what he gave to the world of music.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Song Of The Week: 8/15/10

Song: "Shoot Down"

Artist: Liam Gallagher w/ The Prodigy

Album: "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned"

Year: 2004

This song is a rare treat for any Oasis fans out there. The song was actually put out by English electro dance group The Prodigy and features Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher on vocals as well as his brother Noel on bass. The lyrics, also written by Liam, really don't seem to mean much. It's really about shooting a gun basically, no big obscure meaning or anything like that. Oasis had a history with performing with electronic dance groups in the past, most notably Noel Gallagher and The Chemical Brothers released the hit song, "Let Forever Be", so they are no strangers to performing this type of music. As for Oasis, their musical career was somewhat of a roller coaster ride that spanned from 1991 to 2009. There were many highs, the peak probably being the release of 1995's "(What's The Story) Morning Glory", which went on to become one of the most successful albums of that decade and really put the band on the map. There were also several lows, however, mostly concerning the inner squabbles of brothers Noel and Liam, both onstage and off. Finally in 2009, Noel had had enough of the constant turmoil and dissention between he and his brother and he officially left Oasis. Liam and the remaining members of the band would decide to continue on under the new moniker, Beady Eye, and he hopes the band will have new material out either by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011. As for Noel, he is focusing on a solo career and has been playing various shows, mostly performing acoustic sets featuring Oasis hits and some cover tunes. One of those performances was released as "The Dreams We Have As Children" which was a benefit show that was recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall. The performance shows that Noel is going to have no problem going it alone as it is a solid show which features some help from The Jam's Paul Weller on a few tracks as well.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Song Of The Week: 8/8/10

Song: "Emotion Sickness"

Artist: Silverchair

Album: "Neon Ballroom"

Year: 1999

"Emotion Sickness" is an epic ballad from Australia's Silverchair. The song is about depression, addiction, disorders and hopelessness. It's about feeling trapped in your condition and feeling their is no way to escape. It could very well be about lead singer Daniel Johns own struggles with an eating disorder right around the time "Neon Ballroom" was released. Silverchair formed as a band in 1992 and were very much a product of the grunge scene when they first came out. Their first radio single, "Tomorrow" was released when the band members were just 15 years old. 1999's "Neon Ballroom" was the first album that started to show the band moving in a different direction musically as they began experimenting with more orchestration and piano in their sound. The band you hear on 1995's "Frogstomp" and 2007's "Young Modern" couldn't be farther apart stylistically. The band has stated that they are not afraid of alienating some of their old fans for the sake of pushing themselves musically. They feel they have a freedom in their band that allows them to explore different sounds. Here in the United States, Silverchair is somewhat of an afterthought. In their native Australia, however, the band is hugely popular, winning various awards for each album they've released while selling millions of albums. Currently, the band has confirmed that they are in the studio working on a new album and, to no one's surprise, Daniel Johns has stated that the new material will be even more experimental than their previous efforts.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Song Of The Week: 8/1/10

Song: "Immortality"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "July 2, 03 #62 Mansfield" North America 2003 Bootleg

Year: 2003

Though Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder claims that "Immortality" was not written about the Kurt Cobain suicide, there are many things in the song that seem to be just about that. Perhaps this is true because Eddie himself has stated that the song is more about understanding the pressures on someone who is on a parallel train. So the song may be more autobiographical yet indirectly linked to Cobain. This rings especially true in that both Vedder and Cobain rode that shaky train to superstardom and both had to deal with the enormity of success and all the dangers and pitfalls of all of the sudden being cast as the voice of a generation, without really wanting the responsiblity of being that. It was hard for them to remain true to who they were at that time and not be dangled about like a puppet on a string. There were only so many things they could do. They could have walked away from it all and seclude themselves from the world. They could pull back and take control of their lives, their band, and their direction, as Pearl Jam did. Suicide was the final end to Cobain and Nirvana. Who knows if Cobain was alive today if Nirvana could have sustained their legendary status. A lot of times, music fans and the industry tends to move on to the next big thing. Perhaps, Nirvana would have been left behind, much like bands like Pearl Jam have been in the music world today. By that tragic event in 1994, Cobain and the music of Nirvana was immortalized. "Immortality" was originally released on Pearl Jam's 1994 "Vitalogy" album. At the height of the band's popularity, "Vitalogy" was the second fastest selling album of all time, only behind Pearl Jam's "VS" album. This version I chose was recorded live in 2003 from the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA. Always one of my PJ highlights, the three dates the band played in Mansfield, MA on the 2003 tour featured the band only repeating one song twice, which was "Yellow Ledbetter". For the hardcore Jammer, these shows were a dream come true, and besides possibly the 10 year anniversary show in Las Vegas, these were my favorite concerts which I attended by the band. Currently, Pearl Jam just finished up touring in support of their latest release, "Backspacer", and are taking some time off to recharge the batteries.