This week I defy the weather and local flooding to start not one but two new podcasts!
First, I will record tonight, Monday October 5th at 10:15 PM EDT with Michael Butler of the Rock and Roll Geek Show. It is called Mad at Dad, and it is the two of us talking about our lives, David Bowie and other matters of import. It will stream live via Blab.IM and you can come join us.
I have never bought an Iron Maiden album in my life, but I think Michael Butler is selling me one. Here is his track by track of the album, Part 1 and Part 2. I really love this and in fact where he gave Disk 1 a 5.5 out of 6, I would have given it 6/6 because I like the song “Speed of Light” better than Butler does. Wow!
I just listened to the episode of the Rock and Roll Geek Show where he interviewed Inger Lorre about the rise and fall of her band the Nymphs. He got to the end and said “I’m going to play one more song, I don’t even know what it is.” Following that, I heard the opening notes of Black Flag’s “Slip It In”, the version Henry Rollins recorded for Rise Above, the West Memphis Three fundraising album. Inger sang the female voice on that version.
I haven’t heard this song in a long time, but from the first few notes, my pulse quickened and I got excited. My body had a visceral reaction even before my mind had registered what the song was. I must have listened to the song easily 500 times when I was in college, mostly the live version on my second-hand Walkman. I’m at a similar weight to back then, and my body is as much like it was then as it has been in decades. I instantly felt like a dumb 20 year old with endless pools of free floating aggression and anger, looking for anywhere to go. This music, slam dancing at the Metroplex, doing ridiculous feats of physical stupidity, that is where it went. I’m glad I survived all that in one piece.
It only took a few seconds of an unfamiliar version of a familiar song to bring it back. Here’s to surviving your youth.
Yesterday I listened to Michael Butler do a track by track of the new Darkness album Last of Our Kind. I liked it, I like the Darkness in general. This album is something special though. It is somewhere between a theme album and a rock opera. What do you suppose the theme would be? Well, no. It is about medieval life and warfare. The opening song “Barbarians” is about the Danish invasion of East Anglia in 869. I like the video too, which is goofy, violent, and full of visual jokes that play off the themes and lyrics.
By and large, I really like Michael Butler’s Rock and Roll Geek album scoring system. He gives each song a 0, 1/2 or 1 and then adds it up and it almost always comes up with something sensible. However…
I am listening to this episode where he is scoring both the new Scorpions album “Return to Forever” and Black Star Riders album “Killer Instinct”. I haven’t gotten to the end yet but in the middle he has the Scorpions ahead by 1/2 point. To my ears, they are nowhere close. The Black Star Riders is a way better album. I cannot see ever actually listening to this Scorpions for anything other than ironic cheeziness. It’s too bad to be enjoyable and not bad enough to be fun. Butler is giving it good scores on a song by song basis but it is mostly sucking the life out of me. Conversely, when he switches over to a Black Star Riders song I pick back up and reengage. I would put this album on for enjoyment.
It’s worth a listen to see what you think but I wouldn’t score them anywhere close.
I think that is pretty cool that I got a retweet from a New York Doll. True he is not an original Doll, but 60% of them have passed on so I’ll take what I can get. This album is truly terrific. It is good solid American rock and roll, and I highly recommend it. Go to the Amazon MP3 page for it and just do the preview. A few seconds of each song will be enough to let you know if you want it. (Spoiler alert: you will.) Steve Conte, you rock – figuratively and literally.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, circa January 17, 2012. This episode is one of a new format recorded in my car, but sounds better than I would have expected. I talk about having the longest running podcast (once this gets published); I talk about finishing the first draft of my novel and doing small amounts of work consistently over time; how to try to get more podcasts done and how to get through life. It’s a short one, trying to get in a new groove.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 4, 2011. I play an acoustic song from J Mascis; I talk about being a new dad; did you know that lemon cake is particularly sad?; I play a song from George Hrab and Phil Plait; I discuss my growing disdain for all forms of cults of personality; I discuss the Dropbox terms of service fiasco in the writing community; I play a song by Low and head back to the diaper pail.
Before we get too far from the holiday season, let me put in a pointer for my single favorite modern Xmas song. The title of this post is not my editorial postion, it’s actually the title: “The Greatest Xmas Song Ever Written” by American Heartbreak. This is the sadly defunct band of my good friend Michael Butler of the Rock and Roll Geek Show. On Facebook a few weeks ago I saw a thread about how bad most post World War Two holiday songs are, and that prompted me to spread the love for this song. It’s a super catchy, basically anti-Christmas song that is a perfect antidote to the treacle of most. “No stores are open/ No one shops for me/ I wish Christmas never came/ Every year’s the same/ It looks like/ It looks like/ I’ll be by myself for Christmas.” When the syrup of most songs gets on your nerves, try this shot of tabasco. I apply some every year and I love it.
If you want, the player below will let you hear it, or you can download it directly. It should also show up in the podcast feed because, hey, it’s the time of year for giving. Again, you are welcome.