All posts by freealonzo

FMD — Super Groups

Remember back in the 70s when Super Groups were a thing? For all you youngsters, a Super Group was when members of various bands or solo artists would get together to form one Super Group or band. Creem is generally considered the first Super Group (or at least named as such) CSNY is an obvious one, perhaps the Travelling Wilbury's too, although that band could've been considered a "one-off."

Generally Super Groups fell out of favor by the 80s, another version of dinosaur rock that was bestowed on these aging rockers. I bring this up because there seems to be a slight surge in Super Group-ism. Boy Genius was formed by three accomplished solo artists and on Saturday I saw the Flesheaters, which consisted of Punk poet Chris D, but two members of X, two members of The Blasters, and the saxophone player from Los Lobos. Clearly a Super Group of the early 80's Punk scene.

Any favorite Super Group? Any Super Group that was more popular or accomplished than the bands they came from? Any Super Groups you wish had never formed?

Of course drop your lists if you got 'em.

FMD — When Artists are Horrible People

The New York Times had an article a couple of days ago that pretty much lays out that Ryan Adams is a PoS. Since the article has come out, other women have come forward as well and basically comfirmed having similar experiences. Although never a fan of his solo stuff, I loved Whiskeytown and there are a couple of those songs that are some of my all time favorites.

It got me thinking about how do you love the art but hate the artists? It's not just confined to the music industry either. Picasso was a world class asshole (Sorry Jonathan Richman, I just went there), and Woody Allen definitely is too. But it's hard denying the greatness of their creations.

I have heard from a lot of people that they are done with Ryan Adams, not going to support him by buying albums, going to shows, etc. Which makes perfect sense, and something I can easily do as well. But what about when I'm in the mood to hear Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart or 16 Days? He's already gotten my money. Is just listening to a song that does something for me "supporting Ryan Adams" or forgiving what he did? I could just find other songs that move me the same way (or not).

Does it bother you when a artist turns out to be a horrible person? How do you respond, do you separate the art from the artist? I am not sure there is a right or wrong answer, just curious on what people think.

Also drop your lists.

FMD – Neil Young

So I saw Neil Young twice this past week. Tuesday’s show at the State was amazing, even with the dudebros hootin’ and hollerin’ at inappropriate times.

Interesting that I’m not really interested in seeing any other legacy acts live such as The Who or The Rolling Stones but Neil Young. Heck I was thinking of going to Winnipeg to see him there.

Drop your lists.

FMD — “New” old bands

So I recently came across a band called the Vulgar Boatmen. They had a couple of albums out in the late 1980s and 90s that didn't get a lot of play, broke up, and then released a complilation album in 2004. I had never heard of them. The thing is they are pretty cool. Kinda like a Murmer-era R.E.M. and I even think The Beths may have even been inspired by then. Anyway definitely check out Please Panic and You and Your Sister (which was rereleased in 2015).

So any bands out there that you missed but came across years later?

As always drop 'em if you got 'em.

FMD — Live Music

So it's no secret that I go to a bunch of live music shows and 2018 was no exception (see full list in comment below). By my count I will have seen well over 50 live acts this year, although a lot of that was due to my Memphis and Nashville trips where I saw over a dozen acts on Beale Street and Broadway. I have only one regret, I missed the David Byrne show at Northrop, which I heard was excellent. I had a chance to go, but the $140 price tag turned me off. Now I'm kicking myself.

Some Highlights:
Most fun show -- The Posies
Artist having most fun -- Liz Phair
Most visually stunning -- Thom Yorke
Most anticipated -- Guided by Voices Dec 30 (duh).

2019 promises to be fun too as I already have tickets for Neil Young solo acoustic, Teenage Fanclub, two different Billy Bragg shows, and the Flesheaters. Also the Blue Ox festival in Eau Claire looks really good too.

What shows did you see this year? What was your favorite?

Hope to see you at a show sometime in 2019!

FMD — Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

So the Rock and Roll 2019 Inductees came out yesterday. Here they are:

• The Cure
• Def Leppard
• Janet Jackson
• Stevie Nicks
• Radiohead
• Roxy Music
• The Zombies

I guess no big surprises. Well Def Leppard is a surprise. I like big dumb hair metal like anyone else but in the Hall of Fame? Whatever.

Was surprised The Zombies weren't already there. Can't be many boomer-centric bands left who haven't been inducted.

What do you think of the inductees? Upset Devo didn't make it?

Drop 'em if you got 'em.

Superchunk — Break the Glass

This is really in honor of an entire album. Superchunk's What a Time to be Alive is a 32-minute blast of political punk(y) rock that's accessible musically. A genre that was common in the eighties but rarely heard these days. If you like this song, check out the whole deal. It will make you jump up and down, who knows maybe even break something. But be careful, wouldn't want to throw your back out or have the neighbors talk.

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FMD — The White Album

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles releasing their album The Beatles, or as it is commonly known The White Album. In celebration of the anniversary, the album was re-released with a remaster of the original, a bunch of demos and alternate takes, and other studio arcana. Here's a hagiographic article on it I highly suggest reading if interested.

The common refrain of The White Albums was this was when the Beatles starting to break up. Many of the songs appeared to be one or two Beatle composing and recording on their own. One thing the re-release has shown as that they were much more collaborative than previously advertised. The so-called Escher Demos really point this out. I wish that the Escher Demos were in fact released as a stand alone. I would definitely pick that up.

My own history with The White Album goes back only 40 years or so. As a teenager, I listened to The White Album a lot, stoned, in my bean bag chair, with headphones. Which is what white suburban teenage boys did a lot of in the late 70s and early 80s. So I know this album intimately. Even as a teenager and into adulthood, some of the one-off songs bugged me so when I was able through I-tunes, I eliminated what I considered the crap songs. That left me with a solid 18 song album in the 55 minute range. It had a nice mix of the rockers and softer songs. I've listened to this version of The White Album for the last 10 years or so.

Reading some of the articles on the making of The White Album, I learned that there was discussion among the Beatles to release two albums instead of one double album. This intrigued me. My 18 song version could probably be broken down to a two album hard and soft version, in fact I could probably add Martha My Dear to the soft version to make it a bit longer, instead of an EP.

So below is my "Rock" version of the White Album. It's 12 songs, 37 minutes long and pretty much every song is a killer. Savoy Truffle makes it because the song rocks, even if the lyrics are dumb. Why Don't We Do it in the Road and Everybody's Got Something to Hide make it for the same reason. The order is the same as the original album except I put Revolution #1 at the end. It also follows the basic structure of mostly Lennon-McCartney songs, with a smattering of Harrison, and a Ringo song. The White Album is beloved because of its sprawling, druggy, vibe. If they had released my Rockin' White Album version, who knows how history would've been changed :o)

Back in the U.S.S.R.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
I'm So Tired
Don't Pass Me By
Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
Yer Blues
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Helter Skelter
Savoy Truffle
Revolution 1