happy friday! being sick sucks!
The first single from the forthcoming Quadrophenia is also the first Who song that actually sounds like a single. I know what you’re thinking: Another blowhard straining his powers of pretension to compare experimental rock bands to random bursts of commercial radio. What I’ll say is that Pete Townshend, the band’s guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter, is a very talented musician whose creative restlessness has made most of his albums fascinating but difficult to listen to. Here, though, there’s much-needed breathing room. His and Roger Daltrey’s fractal guitar blasts are streamlined into a tidy West African–style blues loop; the backbeat is sturdy and midtempo (i.e., you can dance– even grind [really]– to it); and Roger and bassist John Entwistle’s vocals flutter with the weird verve of a robotic Mariah Carey (herself not convincingly human to begin with). All this and a massive, melodic chorus! One you can sing along with! But the biggest revelation here is the lyric. After years of inscrutable, self-effacing narratives, The Who recorded a love song– about, to my ears, the scary, mature realization that “settling down” doesn’t mean you stop growing. I mention it in part because it moves me, and in part because it’s a compact metaphor for both song and album: a band realizing that slowing their role doesn’t mean giving up– and might even mean making leaps they couldn’t have made before.
i got something deep inside of me. courage is the thing that keeps us free.
a horse is a horse (of course, of course). like the horse is gonna answer him back? haha. seriously, how weaksauce is officer ross’ lead single “magnificent”? nice a&r job def jam!
Since the Velvet Teen, it’s been little secret in our hood that Chris Walla knows a good band when he hears them.
From their new release The Body, The Blood and The Machine…
The Thermals prove that power-pop is still a force to be reckoned with.
“its music pure and simple and hard, and soulful…if you insist, full of promise & determination, community & humanity.”
Since their full-on rock and roll debut with ‘Good Feeling’ in ’96, and their critically acclaimed follow-ups ‘The Man Who’ and ‘The Invisible Band’, Scottish Britpop darlings Travis are yet to achieve similar commercial success in the states. At a favorite show of mine in Chicago October of 2003, frontman Fran Healy told the audience of a recent conversation he had with a radio DJ. He explained that to radio, Travis’ music is described as “disenfranchised”. Fran asked the audience how good it felt to be part of the disenfranchised? The ovation hurt my ears.
Like so many great bands, Travis don’t seem to care much about the rules. They packed the Wiltern in Los Angeles and performed their diverse catalogue to an audience who hung-on to every moment. From their trademark ballads to their bluesy guitar screaming anthems, Fran’s always brilliant pipes and Andy Dunlop’s signature guitar wailing make Travis a uniquely dynamic live spectacle. Highlights from this show include “Side”,”Selfish Jean” and my favorite “Writing To Reach You,” as Fran sings us the question we all really want to ask… what’s a wonderwall anyway???
Without saying, I anticipate many more “disenfranchised” moments with Travis..