The Wisdom of Rock


I used to really enjoy deep and meaningful lyrics. I’m not sure what changed. Did I mature? It’s more likely that I did the opposite. What do you call that? Immatured? Yeah, I think that’s it.

I’ve immatured to the point where I tend to prefer songs about sniffing glue and smoking banana peels to anything the Eagles have ever done. But every now and again I still come across a lyric, and even in without any marijuana in my system I think to myself, “Wow man, that’s deep.”

So let’s celebrate some of the wisdom that somehow manages to seep through the crack and drip down on us, even though we don’t listen to jazz.

 

“If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice”

Rush “Freewill”

 

“You’ve got to lose to know how to win”

Aerosmith “Dream On”

 

“It’s better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do”

The Butthole Surfers “Sweet Loaf”

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A Man In Uniform


One of the best perks of my new position at work is that I get a uniform. This has numerous benefits; the biggest of which is that I don’t have to do nearly as much laundry. And when I do laundry I don’t have to worry about oil and soot staining my clothes.

The other benefit is that I look pretty damn good in the uniform.

There is one thing I don’t understand though:

I swear I didn’t get a job as one of the priests of the temple of Syrinx. I have no idea what the 2112 means. Something about fire protection.

 

The Best Drummers


drum-2I’m not a huge fan of the “Name Four Musicians to Form Your Dream Super Group” game. I usually just rattle off the members of Alice in Chains or Tool. Sometimes it’s fun to pick a trio or quintet and add or subtract a member, but that was never my game.

I do really enjoy “Best of…” lists though. And I thought it would be a good idea to do some for this blog. That’s not because I’m running out of ideas or anything. I swear I’m not. I’ve got tons of ideas. Make sure you check in next week when I do this with Bass Players.

 

Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies) – Wackerman lands on this list not only because of his awesome chops and stamina, but also for his great last name. It’s like his ancestors knew that someday one of their brood would become the drummer for a great punk band so they picked the coolest surname they could think of.

Frank Beard (ZZ Top) – Yet again, here is a man who’s name is as great as his ability to keep a beat. He gets bonus points for being the guy without a beard but having the name beard. God, will that ever get old?

Jimmy Chamberlain (The Smashing Pumpkins) – The best of the pumpkins if you want my opinion. And you must or you wouldn’t be reading this.

sexy drum machineMax Weinberg (E Street Band, Meat Loaf, Max Weinberg 7) – I had to add someone to make this list ten names. He was the most obvious choice.

A Drum Machine (Too Many To Name) – I was in a band with one of these for a while and I have a ton of praise for these guys. He was always on time (both for and during practice), never got too drunk to play, never had girlfriend drama and never threatened to quit. Aside from his lack of stage presence and sleeping with my old lady he was perfect.

Tommy Ramone/Marky Ramone (The Ramones) – I’m not sure if the trophy should go to Tommy for inventing the Ramones’ drum beat or to Marky for perfecting it.

Raymond Herrera (Fear Factory) – I’ll just let his feet do the talking:

 

Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander (Primus) – Both he and Larry LaLonde are pure geniuses just for being able to work with Les Claypool.

Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell) – Do you know anyone else who could come up with those great intros to “Angry Chair” and “No Excuses”? I don’t.

Neil Peart (Rush) – I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rush. I like them, but I can’t say I love them. Still, Neil deserves a spot on this list.

Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Probot, Scream) – I read him saying in an interview once that he is completely overrated as a drummer. And that may be true. He isn’t flashy, over the top or as machine gun fast as some other guys. But he has been very prolific as a timekeeper and has a knack for playing beats that accentuate the song without overpowering it. Sorry dude, you may be the best drummer ever.

The Best Canadian Rockers


The United States and Canada share the world’s longest undefended border, but I sometimes question wisdom of this. When I think of Bryan Adams, Theory of a Deadman, Nickelback, Barenaked Ladies and Justin Beiber I strongly support the option of bombing our neighbors to the north. Some people complain about Mexicans stealing American jobs, but I think the true travesty is not cheap produce, but Canadians sneaking south to take advantage of Americans’ horrible taste in music. When I think about how there’s a kid with an acoustic guitar somewhere in Saskatchewan trying to be the next Chad Kroeger I find myself in favor of preemptive strikes.

But Canada has given us some great things. maple syrup, hockey, the second most visits to my blog (although the UK is catching up with you)

and of course these ten bands:

10) Steppenwolf – I don’t think they’re a really a Canadian band, but they’re on Wikipedia’s list of Canadian bands and I couldn’t think of 10 bands.

9) Bubbles – Bubbles is pretty bad ass on guitar. And he even played in a band before his stint in Sunnyvale.

8) Anvil

7) Crash Test Dummies – It’s probably going to piss a lot of people off that I put the “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” band ahead of Anvil.

6) Those guys who did “American Woman” before Lenny Kravitz – That was a pretty cool song before he got a hold of it.

If any of you ever find yourself in need of American citizenship, use me for your green card.

If any of you ever find yourself in need of American citizenship, use me for your green card.

5) The Tea Party – Of all the bands I discovered on MuchMusic USA in my teens (Artificial Joy Club, Our Lady Peace, Change of Heart) The Tea Party are the only one I still enjoy today.

4) Kittie – Maybe I just like them because they’re hot chicks, but unlike a lot of other people who bought Spit and forgot all about them I’ve been keeping tabs on them and find their newer stuff to be a lot better than the old stuff.

3) Neil Young

2) Rush – Obviously the greatest Canadian Band ever.

1) Leonard Cohen -Perhaps the greatest songwriter ever. Not just the greatest Canadian songwriter. I know it’s a little cliche to put “Hallelujah” here, but very few other songs give me chills the way this one does.

So if any of you hosers disagree with my list, the largest bodies of freshwater in the world are separating us. I don’t want to look like a hockey player…