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Posts Tagged ‘How We Are’

Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool are insolent fools and just be punished for their sins against alternative music. I know that Green Day has grown momentously popular ever since their American Idiot album won all sorts of prizes and critical acclaim, no doubt about that. A dirty little punk band from California made it in big league, yippity do da, group hug anyone? I’m one of their Nimrod-era fans; was thrilled that they made pop punk an alternative sound to college rock. Then they took that nice catchy sound and forced it to watch Ben Hur, Troy, and King Arthur thrice without blinking. Out of this cruelty came delicately orchestrated, intricately-woven rock music that made tattooed kids feel a lot less pansy for crying. You might as well listen to My Chemical Romance. Or wait for some brutally bad R&B tribute to Michael Jackson.

*****

I love Wilco because they don’t care about the audience. Not the Foo Fighters-types who would let their prospective CD buyers decide the level of experimentation or wussification they dabbled in. Wilco has made music for Volkswagen, Apple Inc., given up alt-country for avant-garde folk and even released a 15-minute track of droning ambient noises, conquering my heart by casually hinting, “Everyone will probably hate it”. They’ve jammed with Richard Lloyd (Television), Feist, Fleet Foxes, Nels Cline and pledged their allegiance to Woody Guthrie, John Cale and The Band. Don’t hold Wilco’s Grammy nominations and wins against them; these guys know and make great music. Their current line-up along with their self-titled album’s unabashedly swooning melodies is my second favourite incarnation of the Wilco sound, next to only the glory days of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s pop psychedelia. Bull Black Nova, a fantastic garage jam drunk on electronic blips, is a great place to start if you have never given the sextet a try. If you don’t like it, no harm done…that makes seven people who don’t really care.

*****

Maybe it’s the Indian inside screaming for cultural relevance or maybe I just like kooky band names, but I can’t have a band called Bombay Bicycle Club go past me without taking notes. I came across one of their tracks – The Hill – heard it for two minutes and quickly wrote them off as Coldplay on amphetamines. At around the 2.25 minute mark, guitarist Jamie MacColl and drummer Suren de Saram break free and start jazzing it up, getting a great groove going as vocalist Jack Steadman brings back the chorus of “alright lets go outside, and rise, rise, rise, to the meaning of life”and somehow everything sounds infinitely better this time around. Hopefully there are other gems to be discovered on their How We Are album that are as exquisitely crafted. Now if only other bands like Congratulations on Your Decision to Become A Pilot and When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water sound as good as their names do.

*****

If you thought Johnny Cash’s version of Soundgarden’s Rusty Cage was badass, I suggest you listen to Pastor Patrinell Staten Wright belt the hell out of their Jesus Christ Pose. Apart from being one of their heaviest slabs of psychedelic metal, Jesus Christ Pose also seemed like one of their more not-to-be-messed-with tracks. Pastor Wright sidesteps such humble assumptions and blows the roof off gospel style – with a bunch of fantastic musicians courtesy of Wheedle’s Groove records backing her up. This, my minions, is so much better than you could possibly imagine.

Download

Pastor Wright with Wheedle’s Groove – Jesus Christ Pose

Watch

Green Day – Walking Contradiction

Wilco – Bull Black Nova

Bombay Bicycle Club – The Hill

Buy

Green Day’s Insomniac

Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Wilco’s Wilco

Bombay Bicycle Club’s How We Rise

Seattle’s Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-75: Wheedle’s Groove

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