Jerry Cantrell “Boggy Depot”


(7 April 1998, Columbia)

Boggy Depot is my favorite albums in the expanded Alice in Chains universe because it is the most unique. I really think this is the only album from AiC or Cantrell that doesn’t have Layne Staley on it anywhere.

I know what you’re thinking: “Staley died in 2002. He can’t be on any of the new Alice in Chains material, you fool!” but hear me out. See, Staley made a few appearances on Cantrell’s 2002 album as inspiration for the songs “Bargain Basement Howard Hughes,” “Pig Charmer” and “31/32.” Likewise, he appeared on the title track of the reunited AiC’s first album Black Gives Way To Blue. He’s not as noticeable on the more recent releases but I still hear him occasionally. It’s subtle. He appears in the harmonies and the phrasing. There are no more drug-addled demons being exorcized in the lyrics, but Staley still is and will always be a part of Alice in Chains. Much like Brian Johnson, Jason Newstead and Zakk Wylde no matter how great William DuVall proves to be he’s always going to have that shadow hanging over him.

The only song on Boggy Depot I could see working for Alice in Chains is “Jesus Hands.” It has the dark feel and guitar work that put them on the map. But even though it includes bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney, I still can’t imagine how Staley would fit into the picture. Maybe he couldn’t either and that’s why it was skipped over during sessions for the Dog Album.

Much of the songs on that album are like that. “Dickeye” and “Cut You In” are both driving hard rockers. “Breaks My Back” is very similar to something AiC would do as a ballad. But the real treat is the songs that are unique to this particular album. “Between” has the most country feel. I’m not a huge fan of Country and Western music but I do enjoy Cantrell’s take on it in “Devil By His Side,” “Keep The Light On” and “Hurt A Long Time.” Sure, none of them are going to get him inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, but it’s always nice to hear someone do something different.

My favorites are the piano-driven songs. Something about that simple lick in “Settling Down” really gets me and “Cold Piece” is a great closer. I don’t think pianos make a whole lot of appearances on Alice in Chains material so it’s always nice when they pop up.

I would highly recommend this album as something everyone should listen to. If you’re a fan of Alice in Chains it’s a neat detour into another side of their primary songwriter. And if you’re not a fan of Alice in Chains this will give you a softer version of what you’re missing.

 

Advertisements

Workout Music Vol. 1


Are there any gym rats reading this blog? I know it’s about music, but I find music is a big part of the gym experience. The songs pulsing in the earbuds can make or break a great workout. You’re not going to get the same amount of reps or achieve a personal record if you’re not jamming to the right tunes.

I assume most people go for heavy music. Metallica. Slayer. Black Sabbath.

Not me. Aside from moving toward punk and away from metal over the past few years I’ve noticed that the type of music that gets me jacked up to build muscle and burn calories is:

 

That’s right. If you see me in the gym, and the sweat is pouring and I’m getting swole… I’m probably listening to Adele or Katy Perry’s MTV Unplugged or something extremely wimpy with soaring female vocals.

What about you? What gets you pumped?

AC/DC “Highway to Hell”


(27 July 1979, Atlantic)

I love how some songs make you think of loved ones who have passed away. What’s even better is when the song also appeals to my warped and depraved sense of humor. I wrote about the odd feeling I had when the Vandals’ “My Girlfriend’s Dead” stuck in my head and my thoughts on AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” aren’t really that different.

You always hear about siblings turning each other on to different bands and types of music. It’s a story as old as families that’s been happening ever since the first cave-older-brother brought home an 8-track by Dinosaur Jr. and turned his cave-little-brother onto it. It would be a heartwarming story if they hadn’t both been eaten by a sabretooth tiger the next day.

My story is a little different. I was never a huge fan of AC/DC, but I liked them a lot more before my little brother discovered them. We grew up in a modular home, one of those tin cans with paper thin walls. This meant that whenever he was jamming to Back in Black or Fly on the Wall everyone else in the trailer was also jamming to it. It was this more than their continuous play on modern rock radio that turned me off.

I’ve been meaning to do a review of Highway to Hell for his birthday for the past six years since he died, but I haven’t really known how to go about it. Looking back at what I’ve written I still don’t. Highway to Hell was the one album of his I kept. I still have several DVDs, Blu-Rays and video games, but his musical taste was just atrocious. I didn’t do a very good job as an older brother in that sense.

It seems silly to try to review an AC/DC album. You’ve already heard the title track, “Girls Got Rhythm,” “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” and “Touch Too Much” more times than any of us can count. The other tracks are both instantly recognizable and immediately forgettable. AC/DC has done more with three-chords than others have done with jazz encyclopedias.

Anyway, I’ve always just wanted to put something like this up as a tribute for my brother. I wish I could put it more poetically or deeper, but considering I’m using a post about AC/DC as a way to pay tribute this probably makes the most sense.

Everything’s Shocking


I think I’m going to start a shock rock band. But instead of an elaborate stage show, crazy costumes or playing with my own feces I’m just going to make a big point of not playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and telling everyone I’m offended by the phrase “Merry Christmas.”

I bet I’ll get more death threats than Marilyn Manson tearing up a Bible.

I’ll have to give it a really offensive and controversial name also. Something like Antifa, Barack Obama or Empowered Woman. Maybe just Politically Erect or Donald Trump’s Tiny Penis will do.

Who knows, maybe I’ll learn to play the Star Spangled Banner while kneeling.

Nine Inch Nails “Closure”


(25 November 1997, Nothing/Interscope)

I’m not a huge collector of CDs and DVDs. As such, I don’t have a huge number of shelves and other areas to store them. This posed a bit of a problem when my last girlfriend was moving in and trying to find space for her movie collection on my tiny storage rack. A friend from work had given it to me several years ago when I moved and it’s served me well ever since. It has enough space that the bottom is nothing but Daniel Tiger and Peppa Pig DVDs for my daughter. But when Darcy moved in it wasn’t nearly enough for both of our collections.

The obvious solution was to remove a few of my ‘questionable for children’ movies and put them in the less-visible entertainment stand cupboard. I suggested moving the GG Allin documentary Hated, GWAR’s Ultimate Video Gwarchive and Nine Inch Nails’ Closure to that area. My daughter hasn’t taken any interest in this sort of thing yet, but it’s good to be proactive.

It seemed like a good idea and we were able to make enough room on the shelves for both of our collections. Nevermind that she replaced Closure with Scarface. I think that’s a step in the right direction.

I’ve always loved the music video format and Nine Inch Nails were definitely at the top of the game. They were edgy, artsy, creative and controversial all rolled into one. The best part of this double VHS package is the tape that features all of their videos up to that point (with the exception of “Burn” from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack and “Gave Up” from the unreleased Broken movie).

Some of these videos I was familiar with from MTV and other stations: “Closer,” “The Perfect Drug,” “Head Like A Hole.” I even saw “Pinion” late one night. But a lot of these weren’t made to be aired on American TV. I was blown away by the strap-on clad, joint smoking guys in “Sin” and just a little disturbed by the torture machine in “Happiness in Slavery.” Throw in the musical snippets and electrocuting an elephant footage between the videos and you have the best music video collection ever released.

The other tape wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered. Which was strange considering this was one of the biggest musical influences on me during my teen years. Sure, there’s plenty of cool stuff on there: Backstage antics and destruction, celebrity/tourmate cameos featuring Lou Reed, Marilyn Manson, Jim Rose and David Bowie and live performances. Maybe in the DVD age, 60 minutes isn’t long enough for something like this and I would just like to have some more.

There are some great performances, “Terrible Lie,” “The Only Time,” and the “Hurt” duet with David Bowie are all great, but “Down in It” and “Something I Can Never Have” fall short. Plus, I’m unsure why “Wish” should appear on this tape when it appears on the other as both a live video and the official video. I guess I just would have liked to have seen more.

The best part is that we now live in the age of Youtube and all I have to do to see footage from early NIN shows, Lollapalooza or interviews is to open a tab on my browser and click down the rabbit hole. That’s never the same as having a nice physical copy of a video album. And this is one I’ll always cherish.

(I was going to post the NSFW “Happiness in Slavery,” but that’s not available on Youtube.)

You Can’t Say Anything Without Offending Someone


I’ve often heard the refrain “you can’t do anything without offending someone.” At first, I just shrugged it off as people being assholes and saying offensive things. I’ve never had much of a problem with it. But lately, I’ve noticed a few cases of political correctness run amok. I like to think of myself as a progressive and generally go with the flow, but there are a few terms I think it’s a shame we have whitewashed.

I mean, we used to be able to call people Nazis, Klansmen and racists. Now we have to call them “alt-right” or “White Nationalists.” It just doesn’t have the same gravitas to it. I mean, maybe we should get rid of Nazi as no one is actively plotting genocide (that we know of), but if you’re wearing a white robe with a pointy hat you’re a Klansman.

And the word ‘racist’ seems to have taken on the same air for whites as the N-word has for blacks. I’ve never seen white people get so offended at being called anything. We have our own racial epithets like ‘honkey,’ ‘birdshit’ and ‘peckerwood,’ but none of them ever elicited the same outrage as ‘spick,’ ‘chink’ or ‘nigger.’

Now people get pissed off about it. Someone will tell you that they never go to a certain Hardees because they have black cooks or that they’re voting for Trump because black on black violence makes it harder for them to do their job getting signatures on petitions, but when you call them racist they’re ready to fight you.

It’s so confusing.

We used to be able to call ignorant bigots like Archie Bunker buffoons, now we have to call them “Officer,” or “Your Honor” or “Mr. President.” It’s such a shame.

It’s weird that all these Trumpkins have such thin skin. Trump made his political name insulting President Obama. He has insulted all of his Republican rivals on the campaign trail, Senator John McCain, Pope Francis, NATO, The Department of Justice, the NFL, Justin Trudeau and one disabled reporter. You’d think a guy that dishes out the insults like that would be able to take them a little better. Oranges are known for their thick skin.

Everyone loved Trump for telling it like it is, but boy do they hate to see him called out.

But that’s a topic for another post.

 

Thor: Ragnarok


Welcome to the slaughter, what are you going to do?

I enjoyed the most recent release of the Thor franchise: Ragnarok. It had action. It had comedy. It had the Incredible Hulk. It had a little bit of stuff that confused me. (like Idris Elba’s character. Who the fuck was he? He looked like Dreadmon from the Ninja Turtles.) For the most part, it was an enjoyable escape from reality for two hours.

But this isn’t a review of Thor: Ragnarok. I don’t do movie reviews (very often). I do music reviews. And something about the music in Thor: Ragnarok really pissed me off!

Not the score. I’m sure the score was fine. I barely noticed it so it couldn’t have been that bad. What pissed me off was that the only rock song used in the film was “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. What the fuck, producers? Did you not see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? That song was already used in a movie this decade. Is there some new law stating that any movie about/set in/referencing the mythology of Scandinavia NEEDS to have that fucking Zeppelin song in it?

That’s total bullshit. There are more than enough bands that could provide songs for fight scenes that are actually from Scandinavia. I’m betting a few of them even worship Thor. Or Loki or Odin or whoever black metal band people worship. You don’t have to keep using that same song from an English band about Vikings or wizards or fucking trees talking to each other. For fuck’s sake, the only thing Scandinavia is known for is socialism and black metal.

But if you’d like to use the music from some American (well, American/Israeli or American/Canadian) bands I can think of a few good choices.

1.) Kiss has a song called “God of Thunder.” I’m not a huge Kiss fan so I can’t pick this track out of a lineup, but with all the focus on how Thor is the god of thunder in this flick you’d think that track would have made an appearance.

Then again, maybe they used that in the first movie. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at some point during that one so maybe I missed it. Did it play during the credits like Black Sabbath did in the first Iron Man? Or it could have been used in the second film. There was a second film, right? I didn’t even bother to watch that one. Who can keep up with all these things?

B.) How about the song I got stuck in my head every time I saw that damn poster. It comes from the album Ragnarok by the greatest band ever to come to Earth from another galaxy. Yes, I’m talking about GWAR’s “Ragnarok.” That would have been perfect for some battle scenes. It might not be my favorite track of theirs, but it’s definitely top five.

Anything is better than that fucking “Immigrant Song.”

Bastards.

Are You Lost 22


I like to think it’s because I’m a great writer that people are coming to read my thoughts on music and politics.Of course, what’s really happening is that people are typing crazy shit into Google and somehow ending up here.

Of course, what really happens is people type crazy shit into Google and somehow end 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.


stevie nicks nue – finally, someone looking for something nue.

stevie nicks desnuda

“stevie nicks” nude

kind girl nude – Personally, I prefer mean girls nude.

 

This is the only guy I know of with a red penis.

man with a red penis – This raises so many questions…

 

driven by boredom.com nude

mike patton overated dickhead – I’m not sure about his personality, but I do get tired of hearing about him.

vulvatron nude – personally, I’d rather see her with clothes on.

sexy nude phish chick – Does this exist? I’m guessing Phish has some good lucking female fans, but can you ever call them “nude” if they don’t shave their armpits or legs?
dicks – Eight searches for dicks have led to my site this year. Eight! What the hell have I done with my life?

Happy Easter


Yet another Easter; yet another chance to reflect on the fact that there are a million and a half Christmas songs and no Easter songs.

Such bullshit.

Wait… What is this? Band named after our Lord and savior? A song about rising? Could this be the perfect Easter song?

 

Happy Easter everyone. Enjoy the chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs.