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Archive for the ‘the killers’ tag

Praise Your Music Heroes Before They Die: The Libertines

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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.
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My Confused Stance on the Cold War Kids

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cold war kidsThe human brain is weird, sometimes things just don’t add up. Why, for example, can somebody like peanut butter but hate peanuts? Or try to squeeze through the last quarter-second of a yellow light, but get annoyed when the guy behind them does it? It baffles.

As you may have gleamed from the title, this baffledom extends to none other than the Cold War Kids. I’ve had several run-ins with this OC band (like, as in their music) since they began their steady ascent to popularity a few years ago, and despite a damning heap of evidence suggesting I should like them (a lot), it just seems to be one of those things, and I have no idea why.

To demonstrate the depth of this conundrum (which I’m sure is shattering your world as you read this), here is a list of everything the Cold War Kids have going for them, in my modest opinion:

1. Nathan Willett’s voice is unique, loud and completely amazing.

2. Their sense of melody is pretty much genius.

3. Their choices in instrumentation aren’t obvious, and provide just what each song needs.
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Written by Peter Kimmich

July 16th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Revelations Rooted in Listening to Office Music

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radioSome random revelations that came from listening to Internet radio stations at work (a work-in-progress, watch for sudden changes):

  1. Thom Yorke definitely seems to have gone through a “whiney, screamy acoustic version” period. Meh.
  2. After a long time, yes, it is possible to be sick of hearing the Beatles.
  3. Pandora can play long sets without repetition, but not that long. I’d say the euphoria dies around the 4-hour mark.
  4. John Mayer sounds like a rock and roll version of Dave Matthews.
  5. David Byrne struggles a bit to hit that high note in “Psycho Killer” when he sings it live, but he’s a badass for not lowering the key.
  6. In any group of people, young and old, there is always the “metal guy,” and he’s not who you think. Don’t let him control the station.
  7. Some ’70s group covered the Rolling Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown” and slopped it up, and I don’t know who they are. Must look into this further.
  8. New Order’s “Blue Monday” is catchy, but also long and redundant. I don’t know why so many bands have covered it. Note to self: If I start a band, don’t cover “Blue Monday.”
  9. God, the Strokes are undeniably awesome, and I’ll wall-slam anyone who disagrees. Try me.
  10. Also on the Strokes: Ignorant people sometimes bag on Fab’s drumming, but I believe simple and steady outperforms fancy and flamboyant any day.
  11. The Killers line “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” is like a grotesque mustard stain on an otherwise halfway decent song. Must write band and complain.
  12. Someone somewhere started a “sad, high-pitched girl singer/pianist” trend, and then everybody started copying it. Boo, hiss.

Written by Peter Kimmich

April 9th, 2009 at 12:09 pm