Good morning, David Bowie, Aladdin Sane. Lightning flash and introspection, drive-ins and Detroit, 197?-201?. If a pop star could release Time as a single 40 years ago, they can challenge today’s dystopian cusp further.
Good morning, Fugazi, Steady Diet of Nothing. Throwback to the nascent curl of the culture wars. Warnings about Supreme Court appointments, women’s rights, anti-abortion control freaks, and to Keep Your Eyes Open. Fugazi were often taken to task for strong ideologies by those more blinkered or less progressive for being too vocal. Looks like Fugazi got the last laugh. KYEO.
Past the fourth but nothing’s more red-white american and blue summer than the spitting churn and howl of this officially classic rock aged classic. The fact that it’s not a Kinks chaser on playlists and radio merely underscores the paucity of pasty business brains burning hot under the influence of google spreadsheets not guts. From lead-infused garages to you, open doors, heatwaves, humidity-choking, single-coil huffery.
Vitriolic slash and burn necessary for our times. Return to fury, return to form. As they’ve done, so should we all.
Fantastic Voyage, drifts out an album/day opener benign as blossoms before unfolding its lyrics, a parasol of depression, recrimination, rumination: loyalty is valuable, but our lives are valuable too…nobody’s perfect…
But that’s no reason / To shoot some of those missiles / Think of us as fatherless scum / It won’t be forgotten / Because we’ll never say anything nice again, will we? Sentiments illuminated as pointed relevant in the simmering summer post-fireworks, all angry ideologues and threats.
Truly lost, master tapes thrown away, this is in-between a more convential past and his freer future. Often in the last 21 months thoughts turn on the Church of John Coltrane, his use of music to explore spirituality, art as a higher means of expression, being, and, ultimately, escape or release, depending. Send the Sun Ship.
PS: the freer tracks are my faves.
Good morning, The RockATeens, Sixth House. Of all the unbelievable 2018isms, this new album is the most welcome. The crooked cracked vocals, bombastic showtune anthems dredged through broken reverbed amps, soothe any aching-hearted optimist. A welcome addition to a band as American as there’s ever been: outcasts, underdogs, heroes.
Good morning, Joan of Arc, 1984. Appalachia amateur aurals crossed on a Chicago street with indie experimentalism. Echolocating in from childhood games among abandoned backyard cars, Punk Kid punches languid JOA exceptionalism. Maine Guy is a story told and re-told w/a dreamtrack unfolding during and after. Never for the easily-annoyed.
Good morning, Shellac, Dude Incredible. Twenty-plus years Shellac have pushed against convention with gentle force. Music still hasn’t caught up or fallen back yet. Songs about math, founding fathers, ocd, primal struggles, unions—these our histories, futures, aren’t these all thèmes américains? Universal themes? Themes for all earths, all times? Delivered with humor, unexpected twists, bludgeoning riffs, screaming clang—it shouldn’t be feared. Learn from the past, lean into the future. Every scene needs its own Led Zeppelin, after all.