Archive Page 2

26
Jun
08

Rock God? Really?

What I’m listening to right now: A Day in the Life by The Beatles

Since when did Chris Martin become a “Rock God”? Who voted on this? Why was he even on the ballot? If I had known about this, I would have walked into that room and smacked every single person in there. This flamboyant marching band attire-wearing singer has in no way, shape or form achieved what is necessary to be considered a Rock God.

But that does bring up an interesting discussion. At what point does an artist or band earn the title of Rock God? Is it massive record sales? Legendary offstage antics? An iconic sound? Jaw dropping live performances? Probably a combination of all of them, which makes the title understandably hard to attain.

So lets compare: Here’s Jimi Hendrix, and here’s Coldplay. Here’s Led Zeppelin, and here’s Coldplay. Here’s The Beatles, and… ok you get the point.

I’m sorry, but when I think of Rock Gods, I think of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jim Morrison. Not Chris Martin. I think of Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles. Not Coldplay.

However, this is not to say Coldplay CAN’T someday earn the title. While I’m not a huge fan, they’re pretty decent, and are already one of the biggest bands in the world right now, becoming one of the first UK bands to top the charts in the US in a decade.

So I’m not anti- Coldplay, I just think Rolling Stone is using the term a bit loosely here, and MUCH too soon…

25
Jun
08

Oh no! He’s gonna break his Mac Book Air!

What I’m Listening to: Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket

So apparently Kanye responded to all the “hating” on his Bonnaroo performance on his blog.

Best Line: “I’m typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!” I wonder if he got paid for that name drop…

“Call me any name you want…. arrogant, conceited, narcissistic, racist, metro, fag whatever you can think of….” That’s a good start. I’ve already beat ya to it though.

“BUT NEVER SAY I DIDN’T GIVE MY ALL! NEVER SAY I DIDN’T GIVE MY ALL!” Apparently you’re “all” wasn’t good enough, especially not good enough to make those fans forget that they waited 2 hours for you. There are just some things in life where “doing your best” doesn’t cut it. If a plastic surgeon get sued for doing a shit nose job, he can’t stand up in court and say, “But I did my best!” Whether he did or not, he still gets sued. Sorry, welcome to real life, not the fantasy world you live in where your Jesus. People do not love you unconditionally, and if they pay money to see you perform, they expect to get their money’s worth, or else you get booed and get light sticks and bottles thrown at you.

And through all this, he still hasn’t come close to apologizing to his fans. All he’s done is bitch bitch bitch. I’m already sick of this douche thrower…

24
Jun
08

Why Kanye West Blows (Also: how many different variations of “Douchebag” I can invent)

What I’m listening to right now: Steam Engine by My Morning Jacket

Before I start ranting, here’s a summary of what happened at Bonnaroo: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b142905_kanye_booed_bonnaroo.html

Ok, here goes:

Kanye West is the biggest self-absorbed douchebag on the planet. Lets run down what he did here in the name of his own massive ego:

First, he asks for his set to be at 2:45 AM because he has a sick light show planned. I don’t consider this bad because light shows are sweet, especially on acid or shrooms, which in case you don’t know, tend to be pretty popular at Bonnaroo.

Then he asks to be on the main stage. It is important to note here that no one has ever played on the main stage that late at night. No one. Not even Phish. But since he’s a headliner the Bonnaroo people let him.

Here’s where it gets douchy. He’s supposed to go on at 2:45 right? Yea, doesn’t actually go on till 4:30 AM!!! 4:30!!! He makes all the fans wait almost 2 HOURS before gracing them with his presence. I know, I know, Pearl Jam went late, but by all reports, the stage was set up and ready to go, and he still fucking waited.

Now judging from what I’ve heard from people who went to the show, the reason he waited is that Phil Lesh and Friends were playing at that time on a different stage, and Kanye wanted to wait till they were done so he could have all the attention on himself, a typical douche move by someone notorious for his douchitude.

Then when he FINALLY comes out, he doesn’t even address the crowd! Let me explain: at Bonnaroo, its become a “thing” for the crowd to yell “BONNAROOOOOO!!!” and when the band comes out, they usually say, “Whats up Bonnarooooooo!!!!” and the crowd responds with yelling “BONNAROOOOO!!!!” All of them do it. Every. Single. One. Kanye decided he was too good for this tradition because, all together now, he’s a giant douche nozzle. But I can forgive that, its just a little faux paus. What I can’t forgive is not at least apologizing for being so late, maybe say something like, “Hey, sorry for being so late everyone. I promise to make this an awesome show.” There, that’s it, its just that easy!!! (Name that TV reference).

THEN, and I think this is the worst, he finishes his set EARLY!!! The prick not only goes on two hours late, he doesn’t even finish his fucking set!!!! To me, that’s the true sign of a shitty artist. People paid to see you play (or whatever rappers do) and you screw them. That’s like paying a lawn service to mow your lawn and watching them leave after only mowing the front. God dammit I hate douchebags.

Luckily, his various acts of douchery backfired in oh so many wonderful ways. When he came out, everyone booed him mercilously, throwing glow sticks at him and chanting “Kanye Sucks!” Awesome. Oh, and apparently not only is he a douche, he’s also a moron, because by the time he came out, the sun was coming up, and sweet ass light shows don’t exactly look very sweet ass when its FUCKING LIGHT OUTSIDE.

And the last and arguably best way in which his douchitude backfired, is that despite waiting to be the only artist performing so that everyone would be at his show, only roughly 500 people actually stayed till the end. Out of 60,000. Apparently the massive gravitational pull emitting from his ego couldn’t keep them there, maybe because stoners take their music very seriously, and don’t put up with douchebaggery.

Now I have never listened to Kanye, and wasn’t planning to anytime soon, but I will never listen to that douchebag’s music.

Ever.

There. I’m done. I’m gonna go listen to some good music, made by good musicians. Like this:

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/20010530/album_preview_my_morning_jackets_evil_urges

23
Jun
08

Slightly New Direction

Hi

So obviously I haven’t written in a while. I’m very sorry. I’ve been working on a lot of other stuff, venturing into fiction writing, and actually wrote a book, along with a few short stories.

That brings me to the new direction. I’ll still be doing plenty of music writing (a rant about why Kanye West is a giant cunt muscle coming soon), but I will also be posting some of my other writing, and the categories I had before probably wont be used much anymore.

Hopefully everyone enjoys it,

Kid Zeppelin

06
Sep
07

The Hold Steady at Littleton High School

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/download/41132-the-hold-steady-live-at-littleton-high-school

http://pitchforkmedia.imeem.com/video/ZtpG08ZA/hold_steady_high_school/

Both of those links are to videos of The Hold Steady playing at Littleton High School, one directly adjacent to Columbine (yes, that Columbine). Below is an article explaining it and an interview dealing with it. Proof that Rock and Roll can have a positive affect on the youth of America.

Interview: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20070126/ai_n17164795/pg_3

Article: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/35224-the-hold-steady-not-too-cool-for-school

29
Aug
07

My Musical Story

I don’t really have a topic type for this article, but I had to write this for a class and its very music related and its good to be reminded sometimes what music is all about.

By the way, in case I actually have any regular readers, leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you have any general suggestions or things you would like to see, or just to say you like what I write or maybe that I suck, whatever you want. While I’m not really doing this for money or attention or anything, its nice to know that people are reading, so let me know.

Alright heres the article finally:

 

Everyone, whether they know it or not, has a musical story to tell, one that has helped define their musical tastes and feelings. It could be a person that has influenced you or maybe a concert that you will remember forever, or simply a song that touched you with its melody or message. One of the best musical experiences I have ever had happened over two days at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park.

For those that do not know, Lollapalooza is a three day music festival that happens every summer in Chicago. Seven stages are set up and groups play on the different stages from 11 AM to 10 PM, the idea being to walk around and see the bands you like when they happen to be playing. I highly recommend going if you have the chance.
After hearing how much fun all my friends had Friday night at the show, I decided to go see what all the fuss was about. After spending $80 dollars for the one-day ticket, I was expecting something great. I was not disappointed.

I consider Saturday my ‘New Music Discovery Day.’ I saw bands like Cold War Kids, The Hold Steady, and Muse that I either did not know or was vaguely familiar with play amazing shows that made me fall in love with them instantly. There is something about seeing a band play live that makes the music really come alive. It gets your blood pumping, your heart racing, and before you know it you’re jumping up and down yelling every word. There really isn’t anything like it. But music can also amplify more than just feelings about the chords being played or the words being sung. When shared between two people, music can create an atmosphere of perfect harmony and the feeling that you are the only two people on earth despite being surrounded by thousands of screaming fans.

I was fortunate enough to have this experience Sunday. After getting the opportunity to see two of my favorite bands up close and personal, I thought I may never be happier in my entire life. Then I met up with a girl who is a good friend of mine in time for Pearl Jam to play the last show of the festival, and I proved myself wrong. While neither of us are big Pearl Jam fans, the music combined with the magic of Chicago at night flipped a switch in both of us, sending us into an alternate dimension where time and space had no bearing on either of us, all that mattered was that we were together, floating along in a sea of our own feelings for each other, letting them and the music engulf us. It was a sense of calm despite being encompassed by chaos.

And as we walked out together, the magic of music and how it can affect people hit me square in the face. I realized that despite all of the problems I was having in various facets of my life, I had never been happier. It was like a vacation from real life that had completely washed away all my depressing thoughts and innermost fears, and as I thought about it more, I realized that music was the only thing that has ever had that sort of effect on me, and looking at the other people filing out of the show, I was sure I was not alone.

H.A. Overstreet once said,I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.” I cannot even begin to explain why this is, and I think as a society we will never be able to. But one thing remains true: no matter what happens to you or me or any of us, music will always have the power to bring people together and express what words cannot.

-Kid Zeppelin

26
Aug
07

You Like This Band, You Just Don’t Know It Yet: The Hold Steady

holdsteady.jpg“I’ve said a number of times that people think of songwriting as a very personal thing: A guy gets up there with an acoustic guitar and he sings his heart out, bares his soul. What we’re doing is more cinematic. No one goes up to Quentin Tarantino and goes, “You must shoot a lot of people. You must do karate all the time.” And yet, I think in the context of what we do in rock, there is this expectation that it’s somewhat autobiographical. These things haven’t happened to me, but they’re stories of things I’ve been around that I package in characters.”

Craig Finn (Pitchfork)

 

One of the fastest rising bands in the music scene right now, the Hold Steady are bringing back no-frills rock n’ roll and everything that music should be about. The Brooklyn-based band (though 4 of the 5 members are from Minneapolis) is a hard-rocking, endlessly touring, group of normal looking guys with one of the best live shows on the planet, doing it without fancy lighting techniques or pyrotechnics like a lot of bands do. Their local bar-band style highlighted with frontman Craig Finn’s story-telling, talk-sing lyrical style makes you want to bust out the air guitar and start riffing while singing along to the easily understandable lyrics.

The band started because another ended. Craig Finn and lead guitarist Tad Kubler are both former members of the group Lifter Puller, which was very popular in the Minneapolis area, but did not have many fans elsewhere. The band broke up because, as Finn says, “We set out to play shows and make records and we felt like we had accomplished that. At the time I really felt that it had reached its maximum potential. I may have been wrong about that. (Indieworkshop)” After the breakup, the band members went their separate ways, with Kubler going to Los Angeles and Finn to Brooklyn. After a couple of years they reconnected, by way of Finn inviting Kubler to play some filler music with him in between comedy sets his friends were doing. The band simply grew from there, “That’s kind of how the Hold Steady grew, focusing more on writing good songs than on how we wanted to appear to people, what scene we wanted to be a part of. (Pitchfork)”

Quickly Finn and Kubler found more pieces to the Hold Steady puzzle, adding former auto mechanic Bobby Drake on drums, Franz Nicolay on keyboard, and Galen Polivka on bass, completing an odd-looking rock band. Nicolay could win a Groucho Marx look-alike contest, especially at Lollapalooza in 2007 when he came out in a suit and bowtie. Polivka seems like he would be more at home teaching kindergarten, and Drake just seems too quiet and nice to fit the rock star mold. But the oddest two are Finn and Kubler. With both wearing thick-rimmed glasses and neither in the best shape, they look more like the guys you would expect fixing your computer than up on stage blowing you away with explosive guitar riffs and lyrics any teenager could relate to on a personal level.

Finn’s lyrics and his talk-sing style are what make this band stand out from other hard rock groups. Finn clearly isn’t the best singer to grace the rock n’ roll landscape, but he more than compensates for it with what he is saying. The songs tell stories of teenage abuse of alcohol, sex, and drugs, usually revolving around central characters. But while a lot of times rock glorifies the party lifestyle, these lyrics show a different side of the story, “I’ve known people who have had drug and alcohol problems and I don’t think its funny. I don’t think it’s something to be glorified. It’s just a story I’m telling… I think the people who are really paying attention realize that. I can tell you that the people who are fucked up the most are singing those lines the loudest. There’s a bit of an irony there. (Aversion)” The stories and characters portrayed are people or at least bits of people we’ve all known in our lives, and its weird to think that a band whose lyrics generally deal with the downsides of drugs and alcohol could be up onstage rocking out to largely drunk audiences, even having a beer or two themselves while playing.

But there they are, dishing out pure head-banging bliss with all the pure joy and excitement that seems to be missing from the music scene in this day and age of greedy record labels and shallow MTV manufactured fame. The Hold Steady represents everything that music should be about, the music and the joy it can bring to the masses. They’re not out there preaching that we should all be sober or that we should all get drunk and high as hell. They aren’t out there for money or fame or groupies. They simply love playing music, and it comes out in every show they play, “Last year we said this was the most fun we’ve ever had before 3 PM. I think this is the most fun we’ve ever had.” I heard them say that at Lollapalooza this year, and as I watched at the end of their show as Polivka jumped on top of the bass drum and started banging relentlessly on the drum set, and Finn and Nicolay jumped off the stage to give high fives to the front row, I realized that any band can say something like that, but not many can truly show it like The Hold Steady do. That is what truly makes them the greatest rock band around.

-Kid Zeppelin

 

Website:

http://www.theholdsteady.com/

 

Line up:

· Bobby Drake – drums
· Craig Finn – guitar, vocals
· Tad Kubler – lead guitar
· Franz Nicolay– keyboards, accordian, harmonica
· Galen Polivka – bass guitar

Albums:

  • Almost Killed Me (2004)
  • Separation Sunday (2005)
  • Live at Lollapalooza 2006: The Hold Steady (2006)
  • Boys And Girls In America (2006)

The band also just announced new tour dates with Art Brut:

http://www.theholdsteady.com/shows.php

 

References:

Pitchfork: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/14668-interview-the-hold-steady

Indieworkshop: http://www.indieworkshop.com/interviews.php?id=18

Aversion: http://www.aversion.com/bands/interviews.cfm?f_id=232