Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brains to Shit

It's been a while since I bitched about the music industry and the state of music today. Since I last sounded like an embittered baby boomer unable to comprehend more than 4 tracks in the composition of the song, and yes like them I find punk highly overrated and can't understand it's popularity or appeal, particularly in more recent incarnations.

Anyway a song I gauruntee you haven't listened to for ages and forgot how cool it was is 'Pretty Little Ditty' by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. In fact though I can't say Mother's Milk is my favorite RHCP album, it's the one I hope is not forgotten. Californication onwards deserves to be, even though arguably they make up at least 40% of the groups fame.

I believe though that if your like me, Mother's Milk is the album where you go 'okay I see how there could be some contention to the Flea vs. Claypool debate' over who's the best bass player. Even by Blood Sugar Sex Magik Flea had pulled way back on his playing.

But your probably not like me, but if you are one of many people on earth go listen to Mother's Milk if you want to hear music that as Tenacious D puts it 'will turn your Brain to shit' albeit they were talking about their own musical offerings.

There are albums harking back to late 80's early 90's when bands played the shit of their instruments and really pushed musical frontiers. And what was more amazing was that they were pushing the playing frontiers not the technological ones.
They were revolutionising instruments that had essentially not changed since Hendrix and Clapton were the biggest selling artists in '69.

Nowadays the focus is on song writing. But man 'Good Time Boys' or 'Nobody Weird Like Me' are noisy explosions of sound that send the synapsis firing. Just like I've mentioned before if there was one album I could hear for the first time for the rest of my life it would be Primus' Frizzle Fry. Possibly Suck On This.

I mean I remember seeing Primus playing Woodstock '94 on a video about a year after Brown Album was released, and was so blown away my brother procured a bunch of Primus Albums off his mate.

The first time my brother threw on 'Suck On This' my brain literally turned to shit.

Let me put it in context, one day driving in a car my dad put on Crossroads by Cream, and remarked 'I remember the first time I heard Cream I couldn't believe how different it sounded'

That I couldn't comprehend, by the time I heard Cream they had the 'classic sound' 12 bar blues driven rock. But when you compare Cream to the Beatles early albums which had been setting the musical agenda at the time, it was probably much the same as taking acid, the drug of choice at the time.

But 'Suck On This' I didn't even know how to comprehend. I got an ear for it but the basic description of 'eclecticly complicated Bass lines by Claypool combined with rolling drums from Herb all garnished with psychadelic fire by Ler.' which doesn't do it justice but is essentially true.

I understand, the music industry, and entertainment industry are dominated by a desire for more of the same. More of the same makes money. Wolf Mother are nothing but a tribute band to Led Zeppelin and they made money. Ben Harper is a pop idealisation of Hendrix and he made a lot of money.

Nirvana were unprecedented and made money, and thus opened a window briefly for unprecedented bands to make my radio waves, Primus, Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Then not now), Tool, Stone Temple Pilots etc.

Then it was either 'Mechanical Animals' which kicked off the 80's throwback or Californication which kicked off the 'write songs to get pussies wet, not to turn brains to shit' business mentality in the industry which has lead to little innovation and little talent since.

The late 90's spawned more one hit wonders than the early 90's managed to. And I believe it's because the bands offered nothing new. They hadn't hardened up serving on the frontiers, relied on gimmicks and emerging technology and as such were easily replaced or superseded. I imagine when I'm 50 I'll be paying $400 for platinum seating for a Primus reunion tour (if they ever split) and not many will be paying $20 to go see Blink 182 and their army of clones.

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