SYWSAB 8


imagesSo You Wanna Start A Band? Part 8

I’ve learned enough playing in bands over the years to have some wisdom to pass on. I see a lot of awful things bands pass off as normal behavior and hope I can make the world a better place by helping prevent this. I don’t know everything about ‘how to make it in the music biz.’ If I did I would be writing this from a tour bus and not my apartment. If you disagree with my views I encourage you to share your own. If you have another way of doing things which brings more success I’d love to hear it.

The Covers Debate

You probably don’t know this, but there is a war going on in your local scene. Bands aren’t fighting over the best venues, genres or turf; they’re just badmouthing each other based on the type of material they play.

You see, cover bands hate original bands because they think they’re too untalented and lazy to learn to play other peoples’ music and original bands hate cover bands because they think they’re too untalented and lazy to write their own music.

So who’s right? They both are, silly. I’ve always wanted to be in a band that was 50% covers and 50% originals, but I always come across assholes who agree 100% with the above paragraph.

rockemsockemrobotsOf course, if I have to pick a side I’d go with the cover bands. I’ve heard criticism that it doesn’t take any talent to learn someone else’s music, but I’m pretty sure it takes just as much talent as picking up an instrument and playing your own awful racket. Plus, cover band usually play good songs. Songs that people know and love. I like to think I’m a decent songwriter, but the best tune I’ve ever written was called “Our Band Sucks.” And that little ditty is nowhere near as good as some of the crap written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney or George Harrison. Although it may be somewhere close to some of Ringo Starr’s crap.

Hell, even Dave Grohl who is for all intents and purposes a very,very talented and successful songwriter (even if you don’t like the music you have to admit that he’s had a very prolific and profitable career) took a back seat in Nirvana because he felt that Kurt Cobain was a better song-smith. If it was good enough for Dave Grohl, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles and even Nirvana to play covers I don’t think there’s any person anywhere who is too good for it.

Your band sucksElvis never even wrote his own songs. Elton John can’t write lyrics for shit. Neither can Meat Loaf. The difference between all of these great artists and every shitty original local band is that they admit they can’t write music. I’m all for artistic expression, but I don’t like hearing local bands playing crap because they think they’re too good to play a Ramones song.

The secret is that while it is very, very easy to play the main riff to “Smoke on the Water” it is nearly impossible to write something as catchy, simple and timeless. And most people in original bands are too lazy and self involved to learn other peoples’ music.

Are You Lost 11


1910001_10202366648590091_7589657265662642234_nI like to think it’s because I’m such a great writer that people are coming to read my thoughts on music. Of course, what’s really happening is that people are typing crazy shit into Google and somehow ending up here. After reading Lebrain’s posts about what search terms lead to his site I thought it would be fun to share what leads people to The Audible Stew.

i hate jocks with my religion – You should probably switch to Judaism.

riff solo hd wallpapers

joey jordison nude

Jerry Cantrell Dimebag Darrell picjerry cantrell’s family photos

dimebag darrell ghost seen

lead singer of in this moment nude – I knew it was only a matter of time before this one showed up.

maria brink sexy – No. Sexy’s her middle name.

bands related to in this moment – I believe their sister is in One Direction and they have a distant cousin who plays in Little Big Town.

go fuck yourself febuary

assyrian beard

pics of marilyn manson sucking his own penis – Why the hell would you want to see this?

penny dreadful lyrics the said so

Tits seen at the gathering

Tits seen at the gathering

tits i saw at the gathering

penis in musci – What is a musci? And why would you put a penis in it?

i’m the motherfucker that named you sue

pornbelow15 – I usually like my porn hot like a sauna. Or at least room temperature.

You Know, GWAR Is Actually A Pretty Good Band


The only reason these guys look so cool is because they wrote songs like "Sick of You," "Saddam A GoGo" and "Fuckin an Animal"  If it hadn't been for that they'd look as stupid as you.

The only reason these guys look so cool is because they wrote songs like “Sick of You,” “Saddam A GoGo” and “Fuckin an Animal”
If it hadn’t been for that they’d look as stupid as you.

I’ve heard people say a lot of stupid things in my life. Some of them came out of my own mouth. I hear ridiculous things all the time like, “Can I save the internet at work to use at home?” “What happened to Pluto now that it’s not a planet anymore” and one of the most mind boggling: “I’m not racist at all, but Obama is a lazy nigger.”

One of the things that really makes me scratch my head is when people tell me “You know what, GWAR is actually a pretty good band.” No shit? I have about 10 of their albums, I never would have guessed. And even if I wasn’t a fan, they’ve still managed to stick together for 25 years and become one of the biggest underground acts of all time.

I suppose a few of my acquaintances live in an alternate universe where shitty, awful morons with no talent are able to sell hundreds of thousands of albums. Sure, there are a lot of truly horrible bands that grace the top 40 every week. But it could be argued that all of them possess some modicum of talent, strong will and/or hard work ethic. Even those tools who use auto tune and choreographed dancing have learned something I never have: how to be really good looking.

GWAR-GOODNIGHT-MOON-facebookGWAR is actually one of the things that got me into writing about music. It’s been a dream of mine to write the authorized biography of the band. I’m pretty sure this would be the greatest book ever. Think about it: On one side you have the story of a bunch of dudes from Richmond, VA who got together, formed a band, released a whole bunch of albums, appeared on numerous talk shows and became legends in their own time, and the other story is that a group of intergalactic warriors came to Earth to enslave the indigenous population. Either way you slice it, it would be a great read!

I’m not sure if that dream died with Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus) last year. It’s sad that such a huge part of the GWAR team, their voice and their leader, is gone. But I give props to the band for continuing on. I haven’t seen their new show yet, but I hope to. A world without GWAR is not a world I want to live in. And if any of you guys like my idea of a biography I can be reached via the comments section below. (I actually pitched this idea to Todd Evans of Mobile Deathcamp who used to be in the band, but I was told he’s not really in contact with the GWAR camp any longer.)

 

I did manage to meet Oderus at Sounds of the Underground 2005 when he was signing autographs. I’ve never been so nervous about meeting a rock star. This was probably because he walked around the table and dry humped the girl in front of me while singing “White Wedding.” It also probably has something to do with the way he scribbled ODE on my album cover, tossed it aside and then tossed the table aside before retiring to the corner of his tent while merch people cleaned up the mess. It was definitely an experience.

I suppose the thing that really miffs me about the “GWAR is actually a good band” comment is that the people who have said that to me were in a band just like GWAR! They wore elaborate costumes and had an intricate back story. Their main goal seemed to be to shock. Yet, they had never looked at the kings of shock rock who lorded over the genre so high no one has ever been able to touch them, and likely never will. It’s like if a punk band never listened to the Ramones, a metal band never listened to Black Sabbath or GWAR had never listened to Alice Cooper or KISS.

Mad Season – Above


above-Mad Season

Platinum Anniversary Album Series

(14 March 1995 Columbia)

This post is not about the Matchbox Twenty album Mad Season, but about the grunge super group Mad Season.

I seem to remember liking the album Above a lot more when I was younger than I do today. That could be due to a number of things. The most probable is just a change in musical taste.

Of course, I believe I also got this album before the passing of singer Layne Staley. I think the opener “Wake Up” is probably the best song he ever penned. It’s a slow number with Staley telling someone to wake up from the struggles and pitfalls of drug addiction. The line “slow suicide’s no way to go” is made even more poignant by the fact that slow suicide is just the way Staley met his death. Heroin overdoses have killed far to many rockers people over the years, including the bands bassist John Baker Saunders, but I think the story of one of rocks biggest stars of the 90’s becoming a recluse and poisoning himself over a decade until his body couldn’t take any more abuse is perhaps the saddest story in rock.

 

Mad Season began when Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready met Saunders in rehab. They recruited drummer Barrett Martin from Screaming Trees to start a side project and thought it would be good for Staley to spend some time with sober friends. The results are a much more mellow and bluesy record than any of them produced with their main bands.

This isn’t really a big rock record. It’s more of a laid back coffee shop record. There’s a bit of distorted guitar on songs like “X-Ray Mind,” “Lifeless Dead,” and “I Don’t Know Anything,” but the band really shines on the clean ballads like “River of Deceit” and “Artificial Red.” There’s just something about McCready’s clean jangly guitar work mixing with the heartfelt lyrics Staley wrote that produces a heartfelt vibe. When you hear the words “my pain is self chosen” on “River of Deceit” it’s hard not to feel something. It can be hard to feel sorry for the death of a heroin addict. Once you go down that road there aren’t too many options left, but I think Staley knew that by the time he made this record.

600full-mad-seasonScreaming Tree’s front man Mark Lanegan guests on the songs “I’m Above” and “Long Gone Day,” but the Staley/Lanegan vocal harmonies don’t really hold a candle anywhere near the Staley/Cantrell team. “I’m Above” also suffers from some weak guitar tone from McCready. The saving grace of “Long Gone Day” is the saxophone. The saxophone is not heard nearly enough in rock music anymore.

I recently read a list of the top “drug” songs in rock and the entire Dirt album was at the top of the list. I’m sure more than a few parents would make the argument that Dirt was a glamorization of heroin and drug culture, but Above is the exact opposite.

This definitely isn’t an album for a hard rocking good time, but if you’re looking for something to chill out to on the way to or from an AA meeting I’m not sure you could do any better.

 

For more Platinum Anniversary Albums:

Weezer – The Blue Album

Soundgarden – Superunknown

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “The Crow”

The Summer Nationals Tour 2014 

Marilyn Manson- Portrait of an American Family

Korn-Korn

Hole – Live Through This

Happy Vernal Equinox!


Congratulations Northern Hemisphere (and more specifically the eastern part of the North American continent),

We’ve made it through what has been the worst winter I can personally remember. It was cold, it was snowy, I was miserable, I slept too much.

But now it is over! Today marks the first official day of spring. I’ve taken some of the plastic off my windows and am not wearing three layers of long sleeves while writing this.

I’m glad that’s over… now let me prepare for a blistering hot summer.