Posts Tagged ‘red hot chili peppers’

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Shuffle Time, Again

October 9, 2006

Hey, sorry about the missed update on Thursday again. It’s not that I’m running out of things to say so much as time to say it in. And beyond that, I am having difficulty finding things to review that haven’t already been acclaimed by everyone already. It’s not that I don’t want to review things like Oasis, Tool, or Liquid Tension Experiment. I’m just 90% sure that you don’t give a shit. And why should you? I don’t want to stray too far into the mainstream even though I am your typical mainstream whore. I just want to keep things a tad interesting.

Sonic Youth – Silver Rocket

Talk about a dream job. What non-jock guy wouldn’t want to be Thurston Moore? He’s around fifty now, and yet he’s still kicking, producing great records with his art punk band that not only revolutionized music, but can still kick out some good hooks and also features his lovely wife. Now that’s the life. I haven’t heard Rather Ripped yet but I’m told it’s pretty awesome. Daydream Nation, however, I have heard and it is an awesomely badass album not to mention revolutionary and extremely important on it’s own. Silver Rocket is actually a standout punk song of sorts, with a livid guitar squall in the forefront driving it all the way home. It’s no Teenage Riot, but holds it’s place as a fantastic short rocker.

Head Automatica – Broklyn Is Burning

Theres something awesome about this, but I don’t know what. It’s got a solid beat I guess, and the riff is nice, but that’s about it. It’s kind of sleazy rock, and if you are in the right mood for it, that’s good. I haven’t heard too much else by these guys nor do I really have a desire to. I believe they just recently came out with a new album. The guys voice really annoys me though, enough so that even if this is a half-decent song, I have absolutely no desire to get anywhere close to anything with these semi-emo vocals.

Stone Temple Pilots – Days Of The Week

This was one of STPs last hits off of Shangri – La Dee Da in, what, 02 or 03? Something like that. The album is rather difficult but if you give it a chance it could be considered better than No. 4, which is usually classified as a little better than Shangri. In any case, this is one of the bands better songs. But there are a few other good ones on that album… Bi-Polar Bear, Hollywood Bitch, even Coma. Theres good things to be found in the druggy mind of Scott Weiland, and it’s surprising enough that these good things are infectious straightforward pop. Purple was the height of that talent though, and after that things sort of went downhill, at least as far as albums go. The band still produced pop gold until the end, but just not consistantly as they did before.

Home – Smashing Pumpkins

This is one of the better tracks off of Machina II, the final album from our great friends Smashing Pumpkins. I’ve already ranted more than necessary in refference to their current situation, so I won’t do that. But this is a great song from a pretty underrated album. In my opinion, Machina II is miles over Machina/The Machines of God. For whatever reason, it is just much more inviting and comforting than it’s predecessor. For those of you who don’t know, the album was only released in hard copy form in extreme rarity in the form of four rare EPs (I think they may have all been vinyl, actually), but the gist of the whole thing was that the bands last album was encouraged to be shared on the internet for free. What a nice gesture. The only problem might be the production, and even then that might just be the version I have. I’m sure there is a higher quality version elsewhere on the web. Anyway, this is actually a standout track from an album that really shines and serves as a grand sendaway to SMP.

Led Zeppelin – Night Flight

As far as I’m concerned, Physical Graffiti was the last Led Zeppelin album that really mattered. Presence never did anything for me, nor did In Through The Out Door (although I guess In The Evening is a classic product of it’s time). I never even really liked Houses of The Holy that much either, but I would still say it’s a good album. Physical Graffiti, however, remustered the bands old energy and innovation and put out all the cards on the table. It was a big deal when it came out, surely. My mother even remembers the sign in the local mall above the entrance to the record store. “ITS NOT HERE YET.” That’s just how big they were. Half the album was new stuff and the other half old unreleased stuff. It’s hard to pinpoint which was which, but you can hear some of it having some newer eastern and even dance type stuff in it, while the other half is more vintage Led Zeppelin, consisting of more bluesy and pop stuff. This is one of the better tracks from that world. Great track from a great album.

Nirvana – Stain

Well, it was bound to happen. How many Nirvana songs do I have on my iPod anyway? Over two hundred easily. So one is bound to come up early in a shuffle. To be honest, there isn’t too much special about this song. There are some Nirvana songs I just don’t like. They are few and far between yes, and most of them are b-sides like this. It’s just generally an uninspired obnoxious rocker. And yet when I get to this whenever I listen to Incesticide, I won’t skip it. It’s got pretty good production and the solo is good. It’s got the punk attitude down, it just doesn’t follow through with it, and the lyrics are kind of tasteless. Not much else to say.

Porno For Pyros – 100 Ways

Theres something strange about Perry Ferrel…
Wait, I didn’t just fucking say that, did I?
EVERYTHING is strange about Perry Ferrel. He’s totally weird, but ingenious too. For some reason, not one of my friends likes Jane’s Addiction, and they seem to bring up the fact that they don’t like them at totally irrelevant times. I can’t understand that. Whatever. Porno For Pyros was the sort of follow up project to Jane’s Addiction featuring Perry as the main songwriter. They had two albums, and the approach was generally much more relaxed and mellow. This is a pretty good song, but there is something unnerving to hear him making something serious and contemplative instead of genuine angry punk like Mountain Song. I still like it though.

Elvis – Can’t Help Falling In Love

Here’s one from the King, maybe my favorite song from him. It’s just a beautiful love song. It’s a cover, like most all of Elvis’ songs, but we all know that Elvis didn’t really shine in his songwriting ability so much as his keen delivery. Everyone has to have a little Elvis, right? Right. Want a greatest hits? Go here and prepare to get sick.
http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:6qotk60x9kr0~T21
I myself find the vast number of movies he starred in more dependably hokie and interesting than I find his music ingenious or fantastic. He’s the man, theres no denying that.

Tool – Parabola

Tool disorients me. They are a great band, don’t get me wrong, but they have some obvious downfalls. One of which is their fanbase, which is about 7/8 complete and total ass wipes. Second is the fact that I personally find it tiring to listen to one of their albums all the way through. Their sophistication in the metal genre is off-putting to the casual listener too. Their sound is very tribal and often times filled with strange time signatures and progressive outings that people find difficult. I know I sure did, and it took me a long time to bring myself to like Lateralus. But it happened eventually, and this is probably one of the better songs off of the album, standing up there with The Grudge, Reflection, and Mantra (what can I say, I was never really one for Schism).

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dosed

The best song off of the bands best album, By The Way, easily. To be honest I’m not a big fan of the band, but they can pull off some great songs if they put their mind to it. I think the main reason why is Anthony Kiedis. I think the instrumentation of the band is utterly fantastic. But with his voice and lyrics… I find I can’t really take them too seriously anymore. Especially on Stadium Arcadium. There are so many great songs there just ruined by uninspired lyrics, but you have already heard my take on that album. Coincidentally, my friends mother recently saw Anthony Kiedis in an airport. Apparently there was some fuss in the ticket line with him, and he was a little flustered. Keep in mind that my friends mother is pretty much the biggest RHCP fan EVER. He was doing a little damage control I think, so he allowed a picture to be taken with her. Strangely enough, she saw the band on an airplane ten years earlier, before she was a fan. Weird coincidence.

Brian Eno – The Big Ship

Another Green World defined the electronic genre and what synthesizers could do in not only a pop context but in a lush instrumental. It’s easily one of the greatest albums ever made, truly a one of a kind piece. This is one of the instrumentals, which arguably make up the more interesting portion of the album. A very floaty and airy guitar fuzz wall is in the middle, with a piano like instrument augmenting the chords, a noteworthy beat supplementing the beauty, and an interesting synthesizer cut in the background (which if you listen closely enough, is in the same rhythm but not the same time as everything else). The image is what it sounds like. Think a traveller who has come all the way from a monastary in sixteenth century England, now arriving at a port with a big beautiful ship ready to take off to his next destination into the early morning sea.

The Jesus And Mary Chain – Dirty Water

This is the opener to the bands 1994 accoustic album Stoned And Dethroned. It’s really a very relaxing tune. The entire album is underrated I’d say, and it contains a lot of mellow almost country-ish chill tunes. Like Psychocandy, it’s got such a great number of songs that it should keep even the most avid Chain fans satisfied for a long time. To me, this is the more obvious choice for a single, way more obvious than Come On or Sometimes Always (with all due respect). This song reminds me of when I was on vacation in upstate New York when I was in Seventh grade. We stayed with some relatives, and we all went swimming in a pond one day. I didn’t really swim so much as put my feet in the water. I was still a little pampered back then, so I didn’t really want to jump into the dirty and cold water on that chill late summer morning. It wasn’t that big of a pond as far as diameter goes, but it was bordered by an extremely high cliff, at least a few hundred feet tall. I remember someone saying that the pond was probably at least as deep as the cliff was tall. That always stuck with me for some reason.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium

May 19, 2006

I guess I have never really been a huge fan of RHCP, but I’ve liked them in any case. I heard their songs as much as any other kid who listened to the radio regularly would. The band had some solid classics, such as Give it Away, By The Way, and Under The Bridge. The band is simply irresistable to whoever listens to them, for whatever reason. I have found very few people who don’t like the band at least a little, and I think that is because they are versatile enough to be able to crank out at least one tune that you will like. They have their hard rockers and wacky stuff, they have their relaxed California tunes, and they have their more artistic slower songs from recent years. So they can find some kind of, well, weakspot in everybody.

So out of the three big releases of older bands this Spring, Stadium Arcadium is going to be the one that sells the most, easily. Fans will obviously jump for it. The fact that it is a double album is reason enough for even casual fans to pick it up. And Anthony Kiedis said it was the best material they have ever made, so then even less casual fans jump for it. And then, get this, the album ends up almost being a summary of all of the bands different eras and styles, so even people who only like a few songs by the band will probably get more interested.

Is it good? …Yeah, it’s good. It’s actually really good. And I think the reason why it’s good is because the band is experienced enough to know how to make an album while appealing the general public more than their desire to go off and just try something different. All bands do that, where they go off and do experimental stuff after their initial popularity. Well, I think that Red Hot Chili Peppers just know how to keep it real, and keeping it real means doing what they have been doing for over twenty years. And then putting it on a double album.

It’s not all solid gold. In fact, I’d say maybe around half of the material is mediocre. But mediocre is a misleading word. The album does touch on all of the different styles the band has done, but they haven’t exactly done this in a balanced way. They seem to be more geared towards their recent By The Way/Californication type stuff, at least that’s what it seems like to me. And I think that’s great. By The Way is still my favorite RHCP album, and I think the band can do really well when they are concentrating on these relaxing slower sad type songs. But they do it an awful lot on this album, and not all of this material is good. But they still manage to produce some of the funkier older type stuff, the flat out hard rock, and then some stuff that’s in between. So I guess half of it is mediocre because the other half is just better. Sometimes the band recycles ideas, and sometimes they force beats and riffs too much, but that’s okay, because the really solid stuff is stuff that everyone will love, and the other half seems like the kind of stuff that fans will eat up more than anyone.

The album is divided into two disks called Juppiter and Mars. It’s hard to say which one is better, but you have to keep in mind, this album doesn’t exactly flow, and it finds it’s better points more in the songs than in the big picture like By The Way did. Juppiter kicks it off with Dani California, which to me seems like the tune that the band things would get the most radio play and popularity anyway, so they put it out as the single so that the album will sell and people can see the rest of what they have to say. It’s a good song, and it sort of does the typical funky thing in the verses and explodes into a more serious album opener type of chorus. I like it a lot, even though I didn’t at first. Next is Snow (Hey Oh) which in my opinion, is a real keeper because of the atmosphere it creates. That guitar is just such a great weapon for the band, and John Frusciante can do that quick rhythmic sound really well. This is one of the more successful riffs he makes on this album. Also keep in mind that the chord progressions on this album are extremely predictable, and you can find yourself almost humming the tune when you have only heard it for a little bit. And only sometimes does the pull a trick out to make it a little different. But that happens mostly on the filler.

Charlie is the kind of thing you would expect from the band in the BSSM era, and for a while it’s just this free verse nonsensical rhyming, which is okay, because these guys may be older but they are still totally kids. So they can get away with that really easily. It’s a classic song. The part where Anthony goes “so much more than/Charlies waking me” is just fantastic. Its’ one of the best hooks the band has produced in years, at least from the stuff I have heard. The song is supposed to be about little sparkles of immagination you can find, which is probably the lyrics talking about this hook and how good it is. Maybe.

Anyway, the band clearly put all of it’s best stuff on the first disk, in my opinion. Stadium Arcadium is another lush By The Way type song, but it’s one of the better of it’s breed on this album. Hump de Bump is also interesting, mostly because it is just a fun groove. Maybe the best one is Slow Cheetah, a song with another mildly uncreative and familliar chord progression, but it’s good. It’s rugged, and it is also very accessible. But when a lot of people listen to RHCP, they don’t want JUST this touchy feely more creative type stuff. A lot of the better RHCP is when they are totally unleashed, and they are doing “let me jump on top of you and work you uncontrollably” stuff. Which is why Especially in Michigan and Warlocks are cool. They aren’t THAT uncontrollable, but they are happier and more optimistic, and they are a good break from the sadder stuff.

The rest of the first disk is okay, but it starts up again on the next disk. You have to keep in mind, it’s not like a good deal of this album is bad or anything. It’s just you have heard it before. And there is better stuff that tries to do the same thing in other places. Desecration Smile is surely a highlight, even if it is more of what you have already heard. It’s still a solid track, and I like it a lot. Hard To Concentrate should be better than it is. It’s sort of built lyrically like a marriage proposal. That’s what the words say anyway. While I am always the kind of person to accept new ideas, this is just too un-RHCP even for me, and I’m not a huge fan. It’s a shame, because the riff and groove are solid. Whatever. It happens. We have bad stuff.

Readymade is another one that people seem to like a lot. I guess it’s okay. It’s just that the tune doesn’t sound as strong or anything than a lot of the Peppers better material. And it doesn’t seem to really go anywhere. The chorus is short enough to propell the song back into the riff, which is just generally uninteresting after a while. But it’s a rocker, so any fans who were waiting for a relentless ball breaker, well, here it is. A song that tries a different style successfully is If, which sort of explores a simple trippy summer sleep feeling. I like it.

Probably the best thing on Mars is Make You Feel Better. This is another totally classic song, and it’s fast paced and more aggressive and catchy. Yeah, you might still be able to call the progressions as you hear them, but the lyrics really don’t fault too much here like they do in some of the albums lesser works. It’s just vintage Peppers. I know that and I don’t even know them too well. It’s good stuff. Beyond that, Animal Bar is probably the second best thing on this disk, and it does the entire mellow schtick without exactly being sad or boring. It just seems to drive itself.

Just because I summarized most of the better stuff doesn’t mean there aren’t other treats to be found on this album. That’s essentially what it is… An album full of treats. There are only a few tracks that will stand out as the best of the best in the RHCP catalog, but the rest is still really good for fans, in that they have their own tunes that can be accessed with time, or at least that’s how it seems to me. I feel bad that I haven’t completely gotten to know this album and all of it’s songs, but that’s okay. The great thing is, it’s got material for everyone, and that is enough to make it one of the better albums I have heard this year.

I still probably like Pearl Jam better though. I mentioned that I have heard two out of three of those releases that older bands are releasing this year. The only one that I haven’t heard is Tool’s 10,000 Days. I might talk about it once I hear it, which will be soon, but I’m not huge on Tool, so we will see.