Intro: Well, happy post-Labor Day. I hope my readers one and all enjoyed their holiday weekend. I had a fairly ironic Labor Day (spent it working). Tonight will be a short column for two reasons. 1.) I have early meetings tomorrow. 2.) I have A Super Secret Special Interview to edit for tomorrow. So enjoy the shortish column for tonight and tune in tomorrow for the first ever Fifty Two Tuesdays Interview.
Listening: Been on a Raconteurs kick lately, broken only by the occasional listen-through of The Wallflower’s Breach. (My friend Trevor’d never heard the album, so I introduced him to it on our way out to Seattle last week and a few of the tunes have been stuck in my head ever since.)
Two preference questions for the audience: Broken Boy Soldiers or Consolers of the Lonely? Breach or Red Letter Days? Personally, I think that Consolers of the Lonely is the better overall album. It’s more cohesive, better written, and more musicall mature. That being said, Broken Boy Soldiers DID have “Steady, As She Goes” and “Hands”. On the Wallflowers side, I think that Breach takes the cake. It’s a much more expressive album, and Jakob Dylan’s songwriting and vocals are best when they’re emotive. Red Letter Days has some groovy tunes on it, but I think it lacks the emotional punch of Breach.
Upcoming: New albums out today from Jefferson Starship, Olivia Newton John & Friends, and New Kids on the Block, making it a perfect “wait, they’re still around?” trifecta. (I’ll leave to the audience any snarky observations of irony regarding a band called “New Kids on the Block” coming back after 14 years to release and album called The Block.)
Next week new albums from…Well, just about everyone, really. Michael Franti, Calexico, Joan Baez, Gym Class Heroes, LL Cool J, Jessica Simpson, Okkervil River, Dar Williams, Metallica, Joan Osbourne,…
Thinking: …no, wait. I’m sorry, I just can’t leave a reference to Metallica’s new album to slide casually by.
PLEASE stop making albums. Every time you release a new album, it only serves to remind people that you used to be influential, energetic, and listenable. St. Anger was an album too far. I mean, I wasn’t even that big a fan of ReLoad, but okay, fine, I was willing to give you one last go after such an illustrious career. But seriously, guys, you’re becoming the Bono of metal music. When was the last time anyone gave a rat’s ass about what Bono was doing musically? If you said “right around the last time he took off those ugly ass shades of his”, you’d be perfectly right. You’re becoming That Guy of the hard rock scene! (Except that, you know, there’s four of you.)
Now, I was a fan of Load, and your self-titled, and some of the early stuff. I even like some of the covers you did on Garage, Inc. But the most influential thing you’ve done in the past decade was to sue Napster and we still haven’t forgiven you for it.
C’mon guys, it’s time to hang up the recording equipment. You can still tour, still play in the garage of any of the four dozen mansions that you have amongst the lot of you, but we really don’t need to hear it. St. Anger was bad enough, anything else is sure to just damage the memory of what was, ultimately, a good an important career in modern music.
A. M. Brown
Thanks, had to get that off my chest.
News: Rock stars are strange, strange people. A short sampling: Axl Rose is creepy, dirty old man, despite being chronologically younger than I thought. Pete Doherty gets his (apparent) wish and dies, only to have some meddling paramedics intervene. Jack Black is a strong contender for “Most Boring Addict In History“. And Amy Winehouse has another mind-altering influence in her life.
Song of the Week: The Wallflowers, “Letters from the Wasteland”, off of Breach.