Interiors is Quicksand's third full-length studio release, and their first since 1995's superb Manic Compression. The post-hardcore legends from New York City come out swinging with this wide-ranging, 12-track effort, which will no doubt sound both familiar and foreign to long-time listeners. From the land of the recognizable, fans will no doubt be happily reunited with the clipped, staccato delivery of singer/guitarist Walter Schriefels' signature vocals.
Who are your musical influences? This is a question asked of musicians, obviously, but what about the ordinary music listener? Why do you listen (or not listen) to certain artists and genres? More than just filling the time during the commute home, listening to John Fogerty’s Wrote a Song for Everyone made me reflect on my own musical influences and why this album is a good illustration of them.
Danny Garcia begins following and filming The Clash after their manager, Bernie Rhodes, has lifted the band to the heights of commercial success. Rhodes is ferociously competitive, blinding him to the idea that there is no place for success as he imagines it for The Clash. They’re part of, and play to, an angry underclass. They’re searching for an authentic voice (and find it, early on). But by the 1980's they’ve become stadium rock, their image looks bought not made, Mick Jones quits listening, quits collaborating, and Joe Strummer has a crisis of conscience.
If you remember (or have heard anyone talk about) LPs, 8-tracks, bell bottoms and the time when disc jockey Wolfman Jack ruled the FM radio waves; watch this to relive it or to see what it was like. The 6-disc set compiles some of the best performances from the NBC Friday night variety show.
Everyone famous has to be discovered at some point in time. Jimi Hendrix was discovered in 1966 while playing guitar for a funky rock group in one of Manhattan's numerous clubs. Linda Keith, then girlfriend of Keith Richards, becomes captivated while Jimi plays and begins a frantic search to make him a star. She eventually lands Chas Chandler from the Animals as Jimi's new manager and whisks him away to London which is where, in the middle of the historical rock-and-roll scene, Jimi makes his mark on the music world and begins his journey to stardom.
Of the six and a half albums released since the resurrection of Guided By Voices in 2011, The Bears for Lunch is arguably the strongest (with 2014’s Cool Planet a close second). There is an energy and playfulness in a lot of these tunes that's lacking in the other albums. "Dome Rust" and "Finger Gang" are prime examples of the kind of oddball hookiness Robert Pollard, GBV’s lead songwriter, has mastered for decades. “Amorphous Surprise” continues in this giddy, surrealist vein.
I don’t know much about Mikal Cronin. He has two albums out under his name, MCII and a self-titled debut that only hinted at the accomplishments found on here. He is obviously an acolyte of the kind of very melodic power pop music that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Does he reveal too much about himself in his music? Is it that he’d rather let his songs speak for themselves than have to provide a press-ready narrative? Who knows?
Kathleen Hanna, the subject of this documentary, pretty much embodies pure energy. Whether or not you like her voice or music is beside the point, as is usually the case with punk music. Hanna is unapologetically feminist, never anything less than direct with a willingness to be confrontational. Again, this is what punk rock is all about. So what makes Hanna documentary-worthy? Her music is cathartic and brutally honest. She’s fearlessness and charismatic. She’s the leader of the Riot Grrrrl movement, which has endured and grown over the past twenty-five or so years.
Holly George-Warren’s new biography on Alex Chilton, A Man Called Destruction: the Life and Music of Alex Chilton From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man, is a true cautionary tale, especially if you’re planning on becoming a rock star. Talent and hard work don’t always translate to success. What you do, no matter how good it is, can be so anachronistic as to render your hard work audience-less for decades. Drugs and alcohol can really mess things up (duh).