Archive for April, 2015

Sharon’s Back. To Campaign for the Boss

April 22, 2015

American Bands-Who are the best?

Sharon Gerber returns for one last swing. This one is for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Describing something as esoteric as a live performance can be difficult, but I’ll try.  It’s not just technical proficiency, because you have that in hundreds of hobby bar bands wherever you go that get ignored in favor of conversation.  And it’s not just energy, because lots of shitty bands have that and nothing else. It’s more than just a combination of the two.  There’s something that needs to happen on top of that – something that makes you shush your friends, put down your beer, and turn towards the stage.  And more than that, it makes you walk up to the merch table to buy an album, or to at least find out where they’ll be next.   It might be a hearty drumbeat or bass that makes you tap in unison.  It…

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James Gerber does the impossible?

April 20, 2015

American Bands-Who are the best?

James aka @sailorboyj is the spirit of the internet. He’s a joking, thoughtful, humorous, jocular…so many adjectives describe the man. So I asked him to talk about what I believe to be the most overrated band of the 60s. If anyone can pull it off, he can. James opens The Doors of Perception.

The Doors.

“Insert Standard Aldous Huxley Quote Here”

First off, The Doors come with baggage. To be fair, many bands, I will handcuff them to their baggage. Tie them to their suitcases, and push them off a bridge. But the Doors… nah. The Doors are so much more than baggage and an Oliver Stone “not quite historical film.”

Let’s address the baggage. Mostly…Jim Morrison’s. Yes… he committed the unpardonable act of trying to put on Native American drag. I’m sure Bob Dylan never got over that. Yes, he followed the path of artists like Rimbaud, Dylan Thomas…

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My favorite music writer talks about two of my favorite bands.

April 17, 2015

American Bands-Who are the best?

Eric Koslofsky does an amazing music podcast called the Old Time Modern Mixtape Hour, where he plays new favorites and old ones, and chats in between tracks. We asked him to write about several bands. Today he expounds about the Replacements and the Ramones.

The Ramones

The first I ever heard of the Ramones, it was my pops, who said “NOISE”.  And not in a good way. For full context, he also said Billy Joel was “NOISE” and that Billy Joel was “hard rock”. In hindsight, I realized he had only heard of the Ramones, not actually heard them (witness when I played “Needles and Pins” and he loved it as much as I did).

But that was enough for me to avoid them in my youth. And ignore punk in general. Noise. Meanness. Disrespect towards nice people. Spitting. But as I wound my teenage way backwards from the latest…

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Lisa Gets Arty.

April 17, 2015

American Bands-Who are the best?

Lisa Chamoff, AKA @lchamoff or IndieUntangled in her professional life, is a music aficionado like Seth and myself, but in a different vein. Lisa asked us if she could write about the Velvet Underground, and here it is.

It was 1996 and I was a Beatles- and Britpop-obsessed teenager when some random guy started Instant Messaging me to talk about music and literature. In this ancient, pre-MySpace and Facebook era, you crammed the Interests section of your AOL profile with all the bands you listened to in an effort to look cool and find like-minded souls to chat with.

While I’m assuming Jeff the University of Maryland graduate and English major was looking for more than a friendly conversation with someone who he eventually learned was a 16-year-old girl, he had more of an impact on me than he’ll probably ever know.  At one point, Jeff asked if I’d ever…

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Patrice talks about her favorite band. At least I think it is!

April 17, 2015

American Bands-Who are the best?

Patrice Bartell writes for us, and it’s a blessing. She’s a passionate fan of so many bands. We asked her to expound on her favorite band, possibly of all time!

On R.E.M.

I was around seven or eight years old when, while watching a music video show on network TV, the video for “The One I Love” came on. My siblings, who rarely agreed on anything musical (Aerosmith, I think, was the only band at that point they could agree they both liked), both piped up, “Hey, it’s that new band from Georgia we’ve been hearing about! They’re pretty good.”1 So, I watched the video and walked away with one question on my mind: “Where’s the singer?”

See, R.E.M. is nothing else if not a band that set up unusual rules for itself to follow, many of which it would break later on in the future. They for a time didn’t…

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April 17, 2015

American Bands-Who are the best?

The inimitable Sharon Gerber returns today, teachin’ the blues about the Black Keys

It’s a rare gift (or perhaps not so rare) to be the kind of band that wins a listener over more with their live shows than with their album. The album (and its singles) can be good, even great. So, you get your hands on some tickets and go to the show, hoping to be entertained. What you get is your mind blown out, and are sent away with a brand new appreciation of the band. This has happened to me a few times – it happened with the White Stripes, with the Mountain Goats, and most recently, with The Black Keys.
The Black Keys have a fabulously raucous sound. In an age where buckets of polish are poured on anything and everything released on every platform from band camp to iTunes, they are a glorious source…

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