Aug 17, 2021
Oct 12, 2018
By Robert Dean
What’s good with your life? The kids ok? Your mother in law still bugging you? She’ll get over it. They all do. We’ve all got some stuff to get through, and sometimes blasting some jammers is the only thing keeping you sane, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
First up is, ho-lee crap did you see the videos of the dude from Deer Tick fronting Nirvana? That was awesome. Look, he ain’t Kurt. No one is Kurt Cobain, ok? But, that said, he did a fantastic job capturing the presence of an icon via “Scentless Apprentice” and “Serve The Servants”, which some dickhead audiophile blog referred to as “deep cuts.”
I guess if you only know “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, those are deep cuts, but to anyone who actually likes Nirvana, those are as well known as anything. Joan Jett did a few tunes with the dudes, too, but ultimately they didn’t have the oomph that John Macaulay had. Either way, I’d cut off a hand to see anyone play Nirvana songs and give me a chance to holler at the top of my lungs. Do it for the kids, Krist and Dave. I’d say cash in, but neither of you needs the money, so do it for us.
The American Music Awards happened and Migos, some mumble rap bullshit won for best pop/rock group. So, that’s where we are on the national landscape, huh? Corey Taylor, a man of many opinions dropped his .02 about the subject, and ultimately, I agree: you can’t sell Pepsi to rock and metal. We’re too dangerous, and you know what? When Migos is winning awards meant for rock and roll, all I can say is 'good.' Let the music fester in the clubs, and when the next wave comes, hopefully, the music business is even deeper in the lurch.
Vision of Disorder is doing a show in Brooklyn, and I’m mad I can’t go.
Speaking of former band dudes doing classic tracks, Philip Anselmo and The Illegals are randomly ripping out Pantera tunes along the tour, and damn, they sound scary good. They should consider doing a “night of Pantera” or something of the like because that band is as tight as Pantera circa Far Beyond Driven.
I’m seeing Paul McCartney Friday night. I’d write the show up, but really, do you think it’s going to suck? Extremely doubtful. I’ll save you the trouble with a prediction: it was awesome.
That’s all I got. Stay weird.
Sep 24, 2018
by Robert Dean
If there was ever a human who’s been written about ad-nauseam, it’s Paul McCartney. His life story has been told over and over, his every note has been picked apart, his lyrics have inspired college courses, and psychologists alike. He will remain immortal while the rest of us fade into the ether.
What do you write about when a guy has been obsessed over so much? I’m not new to the Beatles game (one of my son’s middle names is Lennon). I’ve been a die-hard for as long as I can remember, and while John has some of the best stand-alone Beatles tracks, and the best Beatles song ever, in “Day In The Life,” Paul pound for pound had more songs that were better.
But, once the Beatles broke up, Paul was left to his own devices; he had to make a career in the ashes of his former band. A band that wasn’t just big, but the band that literally changed the world. That’s a heavy burden to bear for any of the now former Beatles. Suddenly, this dude who wanted to write spinning epics, and operas, but also quirky barbershop tunes was out of his dynamic – he’d started playing within what would become the Beatles at 15 with John Lennon.
What Paul McCartney came up with was light years better than any of the garbage John cranked out. Sorry, while John Lennon gets this cultural pass as this too cool for school autre, it was McCartney writing the solid records. Plastic Ono Band has, maybe a handful of solid tracks, while McCartney has cuts that rival any of the Beatles best work.
Listen to those first two McCartney records, they pre-date a lot Jack White and Dan Auerbach's DNA. Those early solo records were created with one vision, a lot of elbow grease and hustle. There's an elemental funk there, a lapse of polish, which makes them all the more appealing today. McCartney showed loud and clear that the soul of the Beatles wasn't just John and his beard.
I wasn’t always high on Paul McCartney’s solo stuff. Honestly, I find a lot of his solo stuff corny. “Silly Love Songs,” “Lovely Linda,” “Wonderful Christmastime” – I hate all of them with the fire of a thousand suns. “That Would Be Something” is pure Beatles. In fact, those two first McCartney records feature a lot of tracks that reach far past his former bandmates, with no disrespect to George Harrison, because All Things Must Pass is a stellar record.
But, it was an unlikely source that turned me onto Paul McCartney’s solo tunes: Howard Stern. Because I’m a regular Stern listener, I get to hear Howard rant and rave about all kinds of things I love, explicitly explaining how much country music, vinyl, and Halloween suck. But one thing Howard did turn me onto is how much Paul McCartney’s solo stuff is vastly underrated.
Once while lecturing joke writer, and continuously homeless Benjy Bronk, Stern played McCartney’s “Too Many People” a song written about John Lennon and applied to Bronk’s tardiness and taking advantage of the system in place, considering the high pay and three day work week.
It was after hearing that track and then digging deeper into RAM and McCartney that I’d realized I’d not given Paul his proper due. While, I’m not a massive Band on The Run fan, “Let Me Roll It” could be used in any lonely bar scene in a Tarantino flick. That’s an all-time banger, rivaling anything on Let It Be.
I appreciate that Howard is relentless in his adoration of McCartney’s music, it was sweet listening to him interview Paul recently because it was from such a genuine place of love and respect, he also tried to do the same with former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, but Plant was a condescending asshole the whole time.
McCartney, on the other hand, did his best at navigating those waters of Beatles, and personal life talks that he’s done for so long, and with so much class. Paul McCartney knows his place in the history books, but still maintains an aura of cool. Plus, the dude did kill it with a cigar box guitar playing with the surviving members of Nirvana.
I think as Paul McCartney gets older, it’s crucial for us to reflect upon his post-Beatles career with different eyes. He’s one of the last living legends of that era still kicking, and doing it well. I’ve grown to love a lot of his solo stuff, and for that, I have to thank the guy who played FartMan.
Paul's latest album is Egypt Station and is available at Amazon and everywhere else.
Sep 10, 2018
By Robert Dean
Let’s talk that real shit…..
It’s time for The Rodeo, and as Marc Maron would say, “LOCK THE GATES!”
I was drinking in one of my favorite watering holes down here in lovely, Austin, The Crow Bar when I heard these dudes talking about their band. I had to stick my nose in their business. Forebode is a local outfit that’s a hearty mixture of bands like Iron Monkey, EyeHateGod, and probably a little High on Fire for some added spice.
Give these dudes a listen. They just dropped a demo that’s super raw and gives off an old school black metal vibe with it’s recording quality, but honestly, it makes the approach that much more endearing.
Somehow, in my random internet adventures, I stumbled across Author and Punisher, and my god it. This stuff is HEAVY. If you’ve got a soft spot for mega heavy, machine-driven industrial/one-man metal, give this dude a listen. I stumbled on a video from Noisey that showed how this dude creates his own ways to make sounds meaner and heavier, and down the rabbit hole, I went. Check that video out here, and check out his new song here. If you’re looking for something that sounds like a Terminator battle scene, complete with bodies crawling out of the twisted wreckage, this is most definitely your jam.
Another “holy crap this is heavy” track I managed to discover is Anaal Nathrakh’s "Forward! – I have no idea how to pronounce their name, but this song makes me want to destroy everything. I can’t listen to this song in the car, because honestly if it pumped me up any more, I’d be on the evening news for pulling someone out of their vehicle and pummeling them for no reason other than the riff compelling me. These dudes are everything Fear Factory ever wanted to be around the Demanufacture and Soul of A New Machine era. Not Obsolete, though. That record sucked.
If you’re an Iron Maiden kind of person, I recently found Bruce Dickinson's demo tape that got him the gig. I don’t like Iron Maiden aside from a few tunes when I’m drunk (they’re too happy for me), but this is a neat little nugget I stumbled across.
And now for some stuff that’s not metal or heavy as a fat pair of butt cheeks:
Ole’ WB Walker AKA the dude that should be on Sirius Outlaw Country has some “Well Hell” patches for sale. I bought one and didn’t even try to score one for free because I’m a good friend. If you’re not listening to The Old Soul Radio Show, you’re missing out on the best country/Americana podcast in the game.
If you’re a Spotify user, I just discovered this rad playlist – it’s called Southern Gothic, and it’s got all of the good dark shit that sounds like the scene where the down on his luck boxer drinks his beer alone in a dive and then drives his truck to his empty house. Which is exactly my speed.
Since Paul McCartney has been promoting his new record, and all over every podcast and significant show, I dove down into his catalog, and man, those first two McCartney records SMOKE.
I’m a diehard Beatles fan, and I’ve been on the McCartney solo train as he’s my favorite Beatle, but when you sit down and really give RAM and McCartney a listen, they’re fantastic. That dude recorded both records by himself – every instrument. What he did 47 years ago sounds like the indie stuff a lot of kids are putting out today.
That’s all I got. Stay weird.