Music Inspired By The Bush Administration

The George Bush administration has been a complete joke and disaster, but times like these can galvanise the political musicians like no other.

Neil Young’s Living With War rocks my socks. He has not been this intense since 1994’s Sleeps With Angels, and not this raw and loud since Ragged Glory. There’s of course the hilarious and controversial Impeach The President, “Well, it’s a song that pretty well follows the title just with a bunch of reasons, and it’s a long song…” indeed. The opener After The Garden and The Restless Consumer are the standout tracks for me on first impressions. The entire album is streamed for free.

The other big release is Pearl Jam’s self-titled eighth studio album. I found Binaural and Riot Act not up to their usual high standards, but I can safely say with this one Pearl Jam is back. The Who-ish introduction to Life Wasted kicks things off on a totally rocking note, and the excitement and energy reminiscent of a live performance is palpable throughout the album.

Add new albums from Tool and RHCP to the mix, and this is one of the best years for me musically.

Dead Musicians

A friend claims I have an obsession with dead musicians, and I cannot say she is incorrect as I am very much looking forward to Johnny Cash’s soon to be released American V: A Hundred Highways. I am not a fan of country music, but I have been a big fan of Mr. Cash since his dominating performance on U2’s The Wanderer. The Man In Black was a total badass, and Bono is in agreement1.

That I count Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Buckley among my favourite musicians only supports her opinion.

Speaking of which, is it a sign of aging that I am as excited about Johnny Cash’s and Neil Young’s new albums as Pearl Jam’s and Tool’s?

[1] Bono said: “Locusts and honey … not since John The Baptist has there been a voice
like that crying in the wilderness. … Every man knows he is a sissy
compared to Johnny Cash.” Amen.

Categorized as Music

Diabolus in Musica

Interesting article on the BBC about the Devil’s Interval, otherwise known as the tritone. It’s cool that Black Sabbath was mentioned, but come on, you have an article about the tritone and no mention of Hendrix’s Purple Haze?

Wagner’s music rocks, by the way, even if he was said to be an unpleasant individual.

New Love

Picked up this darling just a couple of days ago, courtesy the government of Singapore.


Its an Ibanez SZ320. The photo fails to do it justice.

Posing it in front of my other treasure, the CD collection. Fell in love with the tone and feel when I tried it, was a no brainer. The intonation was just about perfect off the shelf, and I did not need to adjust the action. It has a set neck, string-though-body design, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard… and the bridge is a thing of beauty. Sustains forever. Aaaaaaa… you could go and have a bite and… aaaaaaaaa… you’d still be hearing that one.

Oh my ex-guitar, you have served me well, but your hardware is corroding, the frets are worn out, and your knobs and pickup toggle and other bits are falling off. And Marty Friedman endorses my new love. I’m sorry but it wasn’t even a contest…

Now all I need is an amp that goes up to eleven.

Daughtry Unoriginal? Surely Not…

So, the controversy over how Chris Daughtry made the cover of I Walk The Line “his own” refuses to die. Get over it folks, its American Idol, blandness is a virtue. It only proves one thing, the judges are out of touch, and Daughtry really should have corrected them.

Disclaimer: I do not watch American Idol.

Categorized as Music


…to John Densmore.

Ex-Door Lighting Their Ire

“People lost their virginity to this music, got high for the first time to this music,” Densmore said. “I’ve had people say kids died in Vietnam listening to this music, other people say they know someone who didn’t commit suicide because of this music…. On stage, when we played these songs, they felt mysterious and magic. That’s not for rent.”

Oh yes. It definitely takes me back to the time I…well, moving on.

Here are some words from the man himself:

Riders on the Storm

So buy a album by the Doors today. I recommend their self-titled debut or the follow up Strange Days.

Categorized as Music

Old Guys

Its impressive how some veteran musicians like David Bowie, Jeff Beck and John Paul Jones are still creating relevant or even downright cutting edge works at ages when most mere mortals would be contemplating retirement, or are already running through tomato plants with their grandchildren. Of course there are more just rehashing old material or are content keeping to the middle of the road.

Neil Young is unique in that he belongs to neither side. Not cutting edge, but always relevant, he has just released his latest studio work “Prairie Wind”. Influenced by surgery for a brain aneurysm and the death of his father, the album reflects on mortality, loss, life and family. Intimate, haunting, and possessed of an incredible grace, it is yet another inspiring work in his trove of stories.

Review later, maybe.

Categorized as Music

so, so you think you can tell heaven from hell

My friend kp told me about the losing finalist Marty Casey of Rock Star: INXS, which is a travesty by the way, and his performance of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and sent the audio clip too. I wanted to dislike it but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. A good performance by Marty and only let down by the house band; especially the guitarist, but trying to emulate David Gilmour is a lost cause anyway. Also the arrangement was a little too rich towards the end which I thought was uncalled for.

So I told him, “Well, listen to THIS.” THIS being the reunited Pink Floyd at Live 8.

A little background:
Roger Waters has not been on speaking terms with the rest of the band for more than two decades, but the band agreed to put their differences aside for the event. Wish You Were Here and the album it came on was dedicated to founding member Syd Barrett who suffered a mental breakdown due to both drugs and pressure from life on the road. Roger mentioned Syd during the introduction, making it clear that this performance was for him, and it was an incredible performance. The first time I saw this clip I wanted to cry.

One could only hope that these men mellowed by the years could find the joy in creating beautiful music together again.

Categorized as Music