We here at the Rockist Society have much to be thankful for. Among those things -- the end of Megan McCain's "music" blog, a Ray Davies show at the 9:30 Club in December (will he play Father Christmas?); friends; smoked poultry; Rob's latest craze, the bacon-infused Old Fashioned; the long-awaited release of the Flaming Lips' Christmas on Mars (though the soundtrack somehow does not include one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs, "Christmas at the Zoo" off Clouds Taste Metallic); the forthcoming Beatles Rock Band inspired video game; an early copy of 2009's new Oranges Band LP, The Oranges Band Are Invisible; family; oyster casserole; the opportunity to absentmindedly watch no longer two, but now three football games we care little to nothing about; classic rocker on-stage jam sessions; willful attempts at obscurism like McCartney's latest The Fireman LP; Buzz Coffee Shop's caramel apple cupcakes; at least one of our number getting to see the DBT/THS monster-tour (G.L., if you're out there, please blog about it). And then the Redskins and the Bears both haven't entirely embarassed themselves yet.
And as ever, we are thankful for Big Star, The Bigger Lovers, and Music From Big Pink, as well as the Beachwood Sparks, the Beach Boys, and On the Beach.
Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at the Rockist Society.
We've done some stuff on this before, but the AV Club just posted a fairly funny article on fake bandnames.
I've been privy to a number of brainstorming bandname sessions, and somewhere have a spiral notebook filled with aborted song lyrics and potential monikers for the never-existent groups I briefly dallied around with.
Some of them included:
The Motorsouls - a name stolen from something I read in my Religions of South Asia course and decided it would make a great band name at a time in my life when I thought mystical Indian religious concepts made great band names. The Motorsouls was later appropriated by my friend's actual band for exactly one gig, when they were billed as "Bebop, Rocksteady, and the Motorsouls.
Natty Bumppo - would've been a decent name for a Ween-influence slacker dub/reggae outfit of literary liberal arts college types. Unfortunately, we were just a Ween-influenced slacker classic rock cover band of mostly literary, mostly liberal arts college types. Did play one gig -- "Devilstock 2000" at Henry Clay High School (nickname: Blue Devils) in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Comanche/Soul Trio - Meant to be an acoustic three-piece, musical direction undetermined. Birthed my now-defunct blog of the same name and my own personal, unofficial record label.
Bobby and the Malt-Shop Boys - the one-off alter ego of Juggernaut (see below). Played the exact same songs as Juggernaut, but performed in letter jackets and neckties.
The Bro Sweets - named for Clinton Portis' press conference alter ego, Kid Bro Sweets. Envisioned as a return to power pop almost-glory -- just three, brightly ringing chords, a fine melody, a dash of bittersweet resignation, and middle-of-the-road harmonies. Without any musical ability, my role in the band was never determined.
The Milkshakes - An indie pop alter ego of The Bro Sweets. Acoustic. Practiced once in our old basement on Capitol Hill. Later gathered together to listen to a Yo La Tengo all-request show. Broke up shortly thereafter.
Wow. A quick review of that list reveals it to be far more embarassing than I would have thought. On the other hand, there was Angus and the Beefcattle, a high school group fronted by a gentle giant of a man that banged out the simpler side of classic rock with relative abandon; and Juggernaut, a (still on hiatus) college group featuring myself and G.L., lots of over-the-top antics, cheap bourbon, endless renditions of "Down By the River" and a decidedly sloppy take on "Sweet Jane".
How about you all? G.L. suggests Jump Ball Jones and the Backcourt Violations and The Horse Collars. I always liked the Zambonis, but I think that's a real band. Let's have it: what's your imaginary band go by?
I can't go see Centro-matic Wednesday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel because I have to study. But you really ought to go. An all around good lineup of Will Johnson and co. side projects and full band stuff, and nary a Rockist has seen them and not been impressed. Johnson is also an affable sort, quite funny on stage when he opens his mouth.
In honor of them though, and in hopes that you will attend, here are five hypothetical songs off a future Centro-matic LP:
Epicureal on Channel Forty-Two Argyle at the Limited Co.
The Mighty Midget Kitchen Toaster in the Recycling Bin
Sad news today. Legendary drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience Mitch Mitchell has passed away in his Portland hotel room, apparently of natural causes. He had just wrapped up a Hendrix tribute tour at the end of last week.
Mitchell had a number of other bona fide Rockist credentials -- playing with Lennon's impromptu band for the Stones Rock and Roll circus, playing with the Pretty Things -- but his lasting legacy will be as the backbone of the numero-uno powerhouse trio in rock history (in this humble Rockist's opinion).
With Hendrix's Band of Gypsies drummer -- and talented solo artist in his own right -- Buddy Miles passing on earlier this year, it's a tough 2008 for Hendrix cohorts. Chas Chandler may want to schedule a checkup with his primary care physician sometime soon.
If you have one, leave your favorite Experience tune in the comments. Mine may well be "Manic Depression", Mitchell carrying the band the whole way.
I can't remember if we've blogged about it, but we sure have dreamed about it.
Yes, it's been a couple of years since we first said that the Hold Steady and the Drive-By Truckers should tour together. And then they did. And not just a couple shows together, a whole freakin' tour. That somehow, someway, appears to be hitting every major and minor city in the eastern half of the United States -- EXCEPT Washington, DC or anywhere within three hours of it.
I do think this is odd, as the Truckers and the Steady sell out each and every time they play around here. But then again, both have been through relatively recently and maybe didn't want to oversaturate? To that I would say "No, please, saturate! Saturate liberally!"
Well they took it one step too far the other night. Largehearted Boy -- God bless him, I know he meant well -- posted an mp3 of the two bands covering "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World", together, like one of those sweet Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-induction-ceremony jam sessions with way too many people playing rhythm guitar, two bassists, everybody sharing mics, the roadies shaking tambourines. It made me feel like an 17 year old, discovering a vast new world of indie rock bands, but unable to get in the door to any of their shows.
The election's over, liberalism reigns, and let's honor it with some feedback-laced guitar jams from the Pacific Northwest.
About twice a year, I revisit the deep catalog of Doug Martsch and Built to Spill and remind myself that they would at least have one -- if not two -- entries in my list of ten deserted-island discs. For three albums, Martscould simply not miss. I am the sort of person that looks at the run times on iTunes and goes for anything sub-3 minutes first, but his lengthier songs like "Kicked it in the Sun", "Broken Chairs", and my personal favorite "Velvet Waltz" have enough twists and turns to keep your attention. Now I've seen them twice in concert and Martsch once by himself (actually the best of the three), and they do tend to wander. The last time out they couldn't stop fiddling with the projector behind them, and they must've made 6 songs last an hour. Like their mediocre last album, it was just too much. Martsch also briefly dabbled in this slide-blues phase that resulted in a solo album (Now You Know) which wasn't quite ill-advised but not exactly revelatory either. Still, it proved Big Doug is talented and compelling enough as a songwriter and as a singer to carry songs without the gauzy layers of guitar.
But lately I've noticed BTS fans are very good about posting all kinds of live stuff online, so with a great many thanks to the more sophisticated bloggers with "technological capabilities", "work ethic", "dedication", "tape recorders", and "cameras", I bring you a concise little weekend collection of some very fine Built to Spill moments.