Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hooked on rock 'n' roll phonics Pt. 3

Hey everyone! I'm back! Can I tell you a little story? I can? Alright. So, there I was, listening to Paranoid (the album) by Black Sabbath (like real men do), when I thought to myself, “Why do so many people listen to lame shit like Blink 182 when Sabbath and the like are where the REAL rock ‘n’ roll is?!?" I mean, gimme a fucking break! Mark Hoppus and that other douche-bag from Blink BOTH have signature guitars manufactured by Fender?!? FENDER!! I could see if they were shitty Squire guitars, but actual FENDERS?!? Who’s responsible for this shit?? Only Tony Iommi has a signature guitar by Gibson! Where’s fucking Geezer Butler’s signature Fender P-bass??? Where is it, Fender?!? Huh?!? the fucking guitar-buyers of the world really NEED some shitty Strat with ONE cheesy-ass humbucker and only a fucking VOLUME knob. Fuck the modern music industry.....and most of the record-buying public.

Hi! I’m Justin, and I’ll be your cynical bastard for this evening! May I recommend our sarcasm? It’s delightfully fresh and masterfully prepared by our head chef!

Anyhoo.....this is the final installment of “Hooked on Rock ‘n’ Roll Phonics” where I teach you how to spell using the rock ‘n’ roll alphabet! Let’s get started!
A: A is for the “axe” that you shred.
B: B is for the “bras” that women throw at you when you’re shredding on your axe.
C: C is for “C.C. DeVille" of Poison.
D: D is for the “drugs” that you snort off a groupie’s a-

First: 2000 Light Years from Home by The Rolling Stones. Fuck yeah! The Rolling Stones were once psych rock space cadets! And here’s proof. Listen to that mellotron! And those crazy sound effects! Hooray for Brian Jones! This is from Their Satanic Majesties Request, easily my favorite Stones record. Go buy it! It’s chock full of shit like this!

Peek-a-boo, it’s: Lovefingers by The Silver Apples. These two men were electronic gods. Well, the one was.....the other one was just a head-explodingly amazing drummer (you know, like Jaki Liebezeit from Can.) Have you heard this band?!? They were putting this shit out in ’68!!! SIXTY-FUCKING-EIGHT!!!! It sounds like it came from some Krautrock band from 6 years later! I love the crap out of this band and so does Beat Pervert. So don’t be afraid to take this song home and cuddle with it.

Don’t laugh, it’s: The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase by Tomorrow. Tomorrow is one of the best-kept secrets of the psych era. I mean, they had Steve Howe (later to join prog gods Yes) on guitar!! And Keith West singing! Those lyrics! "It's just us, and we're there, too." Hah! Awesome! and witty! Dig those acoustic guitar/piano bridge parts! Amazing.

Razzle-dazzle: Coming Down by The United States of America. Yes, every citizen of the United States of America came together in ‘68 to record this song (not really). If you listen real hard, you can hear my dad sing in the chorus! This song’s about an acid trip! That means it’s cool! Where would rock ‘n’ roll be without drugs?!? Lame...that’s where. That ‘whoosh-y’ electronic sound makes my head feel funny.

*gasp*: I Heard Her Call My Name by The Velvet Underground. Holy Jesus! This is the mack-daddy of ALL noise rock! Pretty much the greatest song The Velvets EVER recorded....which is saying quite a lot. Shit, man.....those fucking guitar riffs will steal your wallet, screw your girlfriend (or boyfriend), piss on your stereo, drink your last Miller High Life, and get into a knife fight with your mother. God, if I could play guitar like that....And all while Mo Tucker pounds the fuck out of those toms, and Lou sounding like a mental patient on amphetamines! Which is awesome! This song fucking TEARS! (Here's an artist's (my) rendering of what this song probably looked like performed live.)

Beep: The Visit by Keith West. Keith was in the legendary psych band Tomorrow. Then he got all famous and Tomorrow started to be billed as "Tomorrow featuring Keith West" and the band got sick of it, so they split. (You know, like when Hall and Oates started being billed as "Hall and Oates featuring Daryl Hall" and Oates got all pissed off and started his own band called "Daryl Hall is a Prick featuring John Oates". It was just like that.) The song! The song is amazing. Not really psych, sorta garage, definitely 60's. It's pretty bluesy. That chorus "there is the window/there is the door/give me a reason/tell me some more" gets me every single time.

Splash: The Throat of Winter by Tyrannosaurus Rex. I know it doesn’t start with an X, but there’s an X at the end, so shut up. This is before Marc Bolan got all glamm-y. I know Marc sings like a fruit and is a little too obsessed with witches and elves at this point in his career but, damnit, I like this song. It’s simple and pretty, and those ”aaaaahhhhh”s in the middle of the verses make me feel nice. And that backwards part at the end is pretty fucking rad.

Presto: Turn Into Earth by The Yardbirds. The Yardbirds weren’t just an English white-boy blooze band. They could psych it up with the best of them. The music’s a little unsettling, and Keith Relf’s echoed, dead-pan vocals don’t help make it any less unsettling. But that’s a good thing! And the chanting voices are creepy as a bastard!

At last!: Peaches en Regalia by Frank Zappa. I know Phish covers this occasionally, but that doesn’t make it bad! It’s actually a great song! It’s from his ’69 album “Hot Rats”. That Zappa guy sure could play a mean guitar! He plays that first riff on what sounds like a guitar...then he brings in just about every instrument imaginable, in subsequent verses. Jesus...there’s an organ in there, a mellotron, some sort of synthesizer, a mandolin(?), a clarinet(??) a kazoo(???). I have no idea, but it’s total genius! Just listen to it!! You’ll think so, too! The power of Zappa's 'stache compels you...

Bonus!: Just to prove that I like other types of music besides 60’s psych rock, I’m including a bonus track...that’s NOT psych! OR from the 60’s! Apt. A, Pt. 1 by cLOUDDEAD. Oh, Doseone, how I love thee. I’m convinced that anything Dose touches turns to awesome. Listen to those lyrics! “Do you know how many times I’ve thought about writing about the paper I’m writing on?” The guy’s a fucking poet! And those beats!?! Amazing!

So there you go...28 songs...just for you! I did that for YOU!!! And for the spirit of Bon Scott...because he guided me through these three posts. You should seriously download these songs and listen to them. You never know when someone you’re trying to impress will say, “Hey man, have you ever heard of The Pretty Things? They fucking rule!” (like I occasionally say) And, if you’ve followed my instructions properly, you can say something like, “Hell yeah, man!! I fucking love Talkin’ About the Good Times!! Have you ever heard of Almendra?!?” and then, when they say no, you can laugh at them!! Because they don’t know as much as you!!! Haha!!

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