The Jam In The Van video series continues on strongly and the latest batch of songs/performances comes from Jessica Childress, who offers “Run” which were performed with her band in West Hollywood, California at the Filth Mart parking lot. If you’d like to check out the other two songs CHildress performed, click to watch “Tell Me” and “Starting Today“.
You may have known of Dean and you may have known of Gene, but you may not have known about the other Ween brother. Claude Coleman Jr. was their drummer for years and he’s now going at it on his own as amandla with album called Laughing Hearts. Getting a chance to show off what he has been doing with years of session work, you can now hear him for himself, beginning with “Talking Sweet”.
According to the press material, “rock stars went extinct but Marilyn Manson is still here” so if the Foo Fighters are not rock stars, maybe they’re just a cool band with punk roots. This means Marilyn Manson may be someone else within the rock star persona, that could be very true if you think about it. New album out on january 20th called The Pale Emperor, bow down to his likeness to a new song called “Deep Six”. Think about it: you’re dead now.
Just because Howlin Rain is now essentially a solo project doesn’t mean he can’t round up some new friends and head out on tour. That is exactly what Ethan Miller will be doing next year when he and said friends will gather as Howlin Rain and brave the road in support of their Mansion Songs album due out January 27th. This is where they’re scheduled to be, primarily west coast dates for the time being:
February 25, 2015… Arcata, CA (Humbrews)
February 26, 2015… Portland, OR (Mississippi Studios)
February 27, 2015… Seattle, WA (Tractor Tavern)
February 28, 2015… Vancouver, BC (The Hindenburg)
March 1, 2015… Bellingham, WA (Shakedown)
March 3, 2015… Boise, ID (Neurolux)
March 4, 2015… Salt Lake City, UT (Kilby Court)
March 5, 2015… Las Vegas, NV (The Bunkhouse)
March 6, 2015… Flagstaff, AZ (The Orpheum)
March 7, 2015… Santa Ana, CA (Constellation Room)
March 10, 2015… San Diego, CA (The Casbah)
March 11, 2015… Los Angeles, CA (The Echo)
March 12, 2015… Santa Cruz, CA (Crepe Place)
March 13, 2015… Oakland, CA (Leo’s)
March 14, 2015… Mill Valley, CA (Sweetwater)
Until then, check out a song from the album to come, a track called “Wild Bush”, which may be about shrubbery, good smokes, or perhaps it’s vaginal.
The last time we heard from The Flaming Lips, they made a fantastic album called The Trial (my review of which can be read by clicking here.) After having a bit of surprise success with their cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon in full, the Oklahoma gentlemen decided to get into their mushroom storage shed again to cover another classic rock album, this time The Beatles’ highly cherished Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The new album is called With A Little Help From My Fwends (Warner Bros.), called this because the Lips are joined by a number of special guests, some welcomed, some unwelcomed, some surprises, others not so much. Overall, it is a split effort. Some songs work fairly well while others fail miserably, even within the context of The Flaming Lips. Some of the more demented stuff is quite good, including versions of “With A Little Help From My Friends” with Black Pus and Autumn Defense), “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” (with Maynard James Keenan, Puscifer and Sunbears), “Lovely Rita” (featuring Tegan and Sara, Stardeath and White Dwarfs), and “When I’m Sixty-Four” (with Def Rain & Pitchwafuzz). Surprisingly, it is Miley Cyrus’ two contributions (yes, two) to the album are some of the best songs here, playing roles in “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (which also features Moby) and “A Day In The Life” (featuring New Fumes). If Cyrus ever steers towards making more serious music, she may become a huge influence on a generation or two of many young singers. That’s not a joke.
The absolute best track is “With A Little Help From My Friends” not only because it has Black Pus but because it’s the noisiest on here. Would I listen to this on a regular basis, not really. I prefer other Flaming Lips albums and EP’s and I like The Beatles’ album a bit too much, even though I do enjoy the way they’ve always reinterpreted other people’s works. It may work very well for other listeners so if your mind is open up to this, definitely plug it in. Despite the fact that a good part of it sounds like a total failure (and definitely feel freel to define “failure” in your own way), the good thing about this is that all proceeds from record sales will go to The Bella Foundation, an organization in Oklahoma City that helps provide veterinary care to needy pet owners. Buy it for that reason.
There was a time when Howlin Rain was the ID card for a fantastic band out of San Francisco, releasing a number of great albums that will hold up in the years to come. Then something happened. Vocalist Ethan Miller found himself without band members and with that, no record label to call home. Miller still had a passion to make music and rather than risk putting everything to rest, he decided to write a new set of music. That new set of music became a new album, and it’s credited as being Howlin Rain but now you’ll be able to hear things in an all new light, from an all new perspective. The album, to be released on January 27, 2015, is called Mansion Songs (Easy Sound) and will show Miller as someone going through much more than just the motions and emotions, but what he was able to bring forth to the recording studio is a set of songs that are sure to make Howlin Rain fans excited and perhaps bring a new set of listeners to his talents. Check out “Big Red Moon” and then wait a few more months before the new full length surfaces.
When MTV premiered in Honolulu, with visuals but no sound, on December 24, 1981, I did not know how much this cable network would change not only my life, but tons of other people’s lives in general. I’m sure I had seen records by The Pretenders at stores but never heard them on the radio, or at least they were not a primary focus of pop radio back then. They weren’t, they may have been on the rock stations on the FM but definitely not AM. When videos such as “Brass In Pocket”, “Talk Of The Town”, and “Kid” started getting a lot of MTV airplay, that paved the way for them to gain a much bigger American audience, not bad for a band with a vocalist with Ohio roots.
By the time The Pretenders hopped into my vision, the group had already released two albums (Pretenders and Pretenders II) and an EP (Extended Play) but again, I didn’t notice them because I wasn’t listening to FM stations. When I became aware of who they were and moved to FM radio, then I realized how popular they were with DJ’s and listeners. While I liked the group’s poppier songs, I always find an attraction to the harder stuff, or at least I felt “Tattooed Love Boys” was the harder of their material, with James Honeyman-Scott’s guitar work ripping things apart. Pete Farndon’s bass work, and Martin Chambers’ insisting drums. Eventually I came across “Message Of Love”, which sounded a bit aggressive as well compared to “Brass In Pocket” and “Kid”. It’s hard to say even today what made me like this song at first: Chambers’ drum pattern, Honeyman-Scott’s strutting guitar, or when Farndom comes in to punch himself into the song. Yet what I also loved was Chrissie Hynde’s singing and lyrics. The song may have been about love, something I wasn’t concerned about yet, age 11, but who didn’t want to hear a love song? Maybe it was the lyric “look ’round the room/everybody stand up”, as if it was some calling to people at a concert hall, bringing in people and wanting to keep them revved up. Whatever the reason was, I fell in love with the song as deeply as the song’s romantic lyrics and I became a fan of theirs.
(Odd Pretenders factoid: I was familiar with Grace Jones’ “Private Life” when I entered the Froggy’s store in Honolulu when the store played The Pretenders doing the same song. I knew it was Hynde but I thought “wow, this is a horrible verson, not realizing at the time that The Pretenders wrote and performed it first. I hear it differently now but it showed the power of what Jones could do with powerful material, a bit like her rendition of Roxy Music’s “Love Is The Drug”.)
While “Message Of Love” and “Tattooed Love Boys” was not released back to back in any country, if I had a dream jukebox, I definitely would make a custom pressing of it and ave both of those songs on one 45. They are my favorite Pretenders songs and deserve to be with one another so for not, I’ll place “Message Of Love” within and make the jukebox happy.
The name of the band is not Odd Future, but they are called Wolf Gang, which will hopefully not make people believe this is Tyler, The Creator and friends. The group are wrapping up work on their second album, which is being produced Flood, known for his work with PJ Harvey, nine inch nails, and U2. Today, they are releasing a single called “Lay Your Love Down”, which will welcome in older fans to the new and newer fans to find out what Wolf Gang are all about. Initially, Wolf Gang started off as a one man project by London musician Max McElligott, but it now is a full band featuring Gavin Slater, James Wood and Lasse Petersen. This is exactly what it says in the press release and thus I must believe it. Now you believe in the Gang and be (im)patient for more to come soon.
Henrietta’s The Trick Is Not Minding could sound intriguing by title alone but unfortunately, that’s the only thing that is intriguing about this release. Granted, these guys are competent and are able to sing, play, and write songs, but they come off like every other bar band that does the exact thing, and I want to hear something that goes beyond that. Maybe I’m the one who is wrong. Okay, as far as playing like a bar band is concerned, let’s get out of that. These guys make powerful pop/rock songs that could easily be used for any amount of television shows or movies as a means to catch the ear of a scene or something, and maybe these songs will be remembered as a key moment. The only problem I find is that it has too many key moments and it gets lost amongst one another. I don’t hate it, but there’s not enough here that will make this listen to me repeatedly, or months from now. Check in in ten years and we’ll see what happens.
It’s considered one of Frank Zappa’s most cherished albums, and now for those of you who have been trying to hunt down an older copy of it but have been unable to locate it, good luck my friend. Apostrophe (‘) will be reissued on vinyl by
USM on October 20th. Originally released 40 years ago, this is the album where Zappa is joined by the likes of George Duke, Jack Bruce, Ruth Underwood, Ian Underwood, Sugar Cane Harris, Jean-Luc Ponty, Ray Collins, Napoleon Murphy Brock, and many more. The album features such greats as “Cosmik Debris”, “Excentrifugal Forz”, the awesome title track, and the mega popular means of advice called “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow”. No word yet on who is remastering this new pressing but as soon as I find out, I’ll let everyone know.