Tag Archives: rock
So, three men in flannel shirts and hi-tops, a Pearl Jam, a Nirvana, and a Soundgarden, walk into a hotel lounge. It’s 4 o’clock and all of the greys are taking advantage of the early bird special on steak and baked potato. On the stage, there’s a singer who looks vaguely familiar. He has long hair and a leathery face, but is otherwise dressed like this Holiday Inn gig is his lifeblood – black suit and tie and impeccably polished loafers. He’s backed by a similarly professional band, all sporting suits and ties with neatly styled hair. Their music is quiet and polite, as not to disturb the old folk during their night out. The smell of cheap meat and cheaper perfume fills the air.
Then the lounger singer opens his voice, it’s a stunning voice, well-worn and deep, comfortable and emotive. He’s your favorite jeans. He’s your god on Sunday. He’s singing “Mack the Knife.” The Pearl Jam immediately recognizes the man as Mark Lanegan from his Seattle days in the grunge scene. He walks up to the stage and punches the lounge singer in the balls.
Undaunted, the lounge singer continues with the James Bond theme, “You Only Live Twice.” The greys are more focused on their cheap eats than the music coming from the stage. The wait staff is not impressed with either the lounge singer or their lot in life. They stand one next to the other along the bar, all arms folded, and each face more dour than the one before it. Then, the Nirvana walks up to the stage and punches the lounge singer in the balls.
The only reaction from the lounge singer is a Marlboro cough and steely glare directed with laser-like focus on the three men who clearly don’t appreciate the classics. “Here’s one by Neil Sedaka,” says the lounge singer, and before he can even finish his introduction to the next song, the Soundgarden punches him in the balls. The lounge singer leaves the stage. He orders a shot, then a bottle of whiskey from the bar. The wait staff can’t be bothered to make way. The three men in flannel shirts and hi-tops leave the Holiday Inn lounge. They made their point.
Now, I’ll make mine. Mark Lanegan has such a voice that he can make “It’s a Small World” palpable. That doesn’t mean I’d want to listen to it more than once, and that for damn tootin’ don’t mean I’d want an album of standards. Imitations tests the patience of even this, self-avowed Lanegan fanatic. If you’re looking for a Lanegan fix, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere, like the album Black Pudding, released earlier this year by Lanegan and English guitarist, Duke Garwood. At least that one doesn’t evoke scenes of the Holiday Inn Lounge.
Dim Peaks is a four-piece band out of California. They play a smooth, quiet style of indie rock that is instantly captivating. Check out “Reason” (below), the combination of Niilo Smeds dry vocals and the tinny sounds coming from his guitar, make the song one of the standout tracks on the album.
They recently released their new LP, Time of Joy, with Gold Robot Records. You can buy it at Dim Peaks’ Bandcamp page or get it on vinyl from Gold Robot, either way you need this album in your collection. Enjoy.
Dim Peaks – Reason from Time of Joy (2013)
Don’t laugh. It could happen someday. You could be at the bar between bands chatting about Philly Rock ‘N’ Roll and you could drop names like Kurt Vile and Purling Hiss, and to prove you’re the real deal, Birds of Maya and Spacin’, too. Then, just as your giving yourself the virtual pat on the back for being a virtual smart phone, you hear, “Purling Hiss are ok, I guess, but they early stuff was way better.”
“Gitar Damage Pt 1″ is what the early Purling Hiss stuff sounded like, back when it was guitarist Mike Polizze recording jams on old, not necessarily vintage equipment. Those old jams were wild and spontaneous psychedelic rock with little use for either structure or fidelity, a metal riff here, a glam rock stomp there, and sticky sweet, burned out vibes blowin’ out of everything. The guitar genius wasn’t so obvious, as it was on Purling Hiss’ 2013 record, Water on Mars. You had to work at your listening to catch the slickest riffs. Yes, those were the days. Look for Purling Hiss’ Paisley Montage to be reissued on vinyl 10.29 on Richie Records.
Bent Shapes are a three-piece band out of Boston. They pound out a great mix of fuzzy meets jangly garage rock that’s sure to get you bouncing in your seat. They recently released their debut LP Feels Weird with Father / Daughter Records. Check out the noodly guitars, driving beat and vocal delivery of “Behead Yrself, Pt 2″ (below), it will blow your mind! It’s one of my favorite songs right now, I can’t get enough of it.
Bent Shapes – Behead Yrself Pt. 2 from Feels Weird (2013)
It’s not that I dislike the quiet and introspective Ty Segall as heard on his latest solo release. Rather, I find it all too pedestrian when compared to the sweet racket he’d been making with the Ty Segall Band, Fuzz, and even his earlier solo work.
Fuzz – What’s In My Head
That’s better. Isn’t it? We’ve got loud. We’ve got stomp. We’ve got Fuzz.
Record collectors, this note’s for you: The pre-order for Fuzz’s debut record on In the Red (10.01) is scheduled to begin this Sunday night. As with all things Segall, there’s a chance that pre-order could sell out right quick.
Also, as I mentioned during today’s other featured track post for CCR Headcleaner, Fuzz will be on tour, but not stopping in Cleveland. There’s a Thursday night gig in Detroit on 10.16 and a Friday night in Chicago with CCR Headcleaner, The Men, and Purling Hiss. Road trip!