The music blog that doesn't want to hear itself

Archive for the ‘smashing pumpkins’ tag

Praise Your Music Heroes Before They Die: The Libertines

without comments

I meant to get to this post a while ago, as the stench of 2016 (the year of shocking deaths and depressing Facebook posts) was still in the air. As I read the outpourings of appreciation for David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, George Martin, Merle Haggard, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher and other people who were important to my people, it occurred to me that it usually takes a hero’s death to bring people to their keyboards to write out what they appreciated about that person. It’s disappointing that the artist can’t receive any of it, and that for those discovering these artists for the first time, it was just as the artist died. Boo.

That’s why I decided to fire up this ancient blog and start a new series called “Praise Your Music Heroes Before They Die.” I plan on gushing without reservation (ok, maybe a little reservation) on the bands that are important to me — before they’ve gone and kicked the bucket in headline-grabbing rock-star fashion. This way, if you’re not already familiar, you can start getting into them while they’re, you know, actually doing things (1).

But here’s the bigger picture: If someone reading one of my diatribes is inspired to gush about one of their own favorite artists, then someone else, and so on, then the act of writing out our appreciation for great artists will extend beyond the event of them dying. And that will be cool.

Now on to the Libertines.

My first entry is on probably my most treasured music hero. The Libertines are a London indie group consisting of dual singer/guitarists Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, drummer Gary Powell, and bassist John Hassall. I found them in college, reading about them in Rolling Stone while sitting on a friend’s couch with a chinchilla. Something struck a chord, and I grabbed their I Get Along EP at a Tower Records the next day.¬†They blew a refreshing blast of unpretentious, foreign indie rock into my universe, which at the time was crowded with overproduced emo bands, metal-ish aggro rock, and punk bands that swung dangerously close to being cute. Hey, it was NorCal.

Today, the Libs continue to take up valuable real estate on my phone — and trust me, storage on that device is at a premium when baby pictures are in the mix. Even the Zombies and the Beatles suffered deletions to make space. Not them.

Here’s why:

They’re rough … but fun rough. I don’t mean sucky. I mean too busy having a good time to worry about acoustics.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Smashing Pumpkins at the Viper Room, 6/30/10

with 2 comments

smashing pumpkins viper roomI got home at 1 am Thursday morning knowing I had to wake up in five hours, and the tinnitus roaring in my ears could probably have woken up the neighbors then and there. But I was extremely, utterly, brazenly happy.

I had just seen the Smashing Pumpkins live at the Viper Room. One of the most scarce, long-shot bands that also happened to define half of my generation’s high school, college and post-college experience had played less than 20 feet from me in a venue the size of a large studio apartment. There are a handful of lifetime events I decided long ago were essential in order for me to die happy, and this one just got slammed out of the park.

After making the crowd wait about three hours (except the die-hards who had been posted up outside since 7 am), The Corgan and ensemble trickled up the left side of the crowd and onto the stage, where they started up a feedback frenzy that could best be described as very fucking loud. (This is where the aforementioned tinnitus kicked in.) Corgan wore a thin, dark, long-sleeved shirt reading NATURE, which recalled his trademark ZERO shirt and made everyone feel back home in 1996. His head glistened like a well-polished agate.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Peter Kimmich

July 1st, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Reviews

Tagged with

Some Good Songs to Download to Your iBrain

with 7 comments

dr pepperLike many people, there are songs constantly streaming in my head. They can fade in like a mist, or come crashing onto the scene like a warthog. They can drown out things like real-life conversations, or simply hang in the background while I go about my day. It’s like having a built-in music player, sans record-industry meddling. iTunes, meet iBrain. Now kindly go get iBrain a Dr. Pepper.

The thing about my iBrain, though, is it doesn’t cost anything. Not a dollar a download, not one cent a download, nothing. Even better, there’s no account to sign up for, no annoying emails to block, and no mega-corporation to decide what songs are allowed to be there. Unless you count taste. I usually let Taste, LTD pretty much do what it wants.

So here are a few of the songs that have been occupying my iBrain rotation as of late. Feel free to listen in, start your own mental download, and show the industry suits that you’ll listen to whatever you want, when you want. As long as it’s not while your boss or significant other is saying something important. That’s just bad for business.

The Vines, Autumn Shade II. Like the first one, but Craig Nichols nailed the wispy, esoteric harmonies even harder, and it survives more than three listens.

Blur, Tracy Jacks. Because that guitar part is catchier than a left-fielder with sonar. Whoa, did a sports analogy just make it onto this blog?

Radiohead, I Might Be Wrong. This riff could smash a hole in the side of your grandaddy’s barn without an ounce of remorse. I heard it even robbed a nun in broad daylight. Shame on it.

David Bowie, New Killer Star. The bassline to this song would make me punch a guy in the face, if the music video didn’t make me feel dizzy.

The Primrose League, Stealing All Those Cars. It’s not as well-known as some, but the intricate guitar work and vocal harmonies manage to find their way into your bloodstream.

The Smashing Pumpkins, Hummer. That opening solo is like a bucket of cold water on a saturday morning, but somewhat more awesome.

The Von Bondies, C’mon, C’mon. Ok, I watch TV. But screw you if you don’t appreciate 1-2-4 guitar stumming and a loud voice. At least I’m not repping Jet.

Versa Vice, It’s Clear. Another lesser-known band, but the guitar and bass are the muggers who 1-2 you to death in the alleyway behind Circle-K.

Blur, Death of a Party. I usually try to avoid dumping the same band on people twice, but the creepy vibes from this one have a tendency to linger. You just try to shake them off.

Queens of the Stone Age, Make It Wit Chu. Who knew a song titled in text speak would actually be good? Josh Homme once again demonstrates his ability to get inside your head with a piano and a guitar.

Gran Ronde, Wisdom. This short number hits the pleasing-guitar-riff quotient right on the head.

Written by Peter Kimmich

September 8th, 2009 at 1:03 pm