Showing posts with label Rage Against the Machine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rage Against the Machine. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

C'mon We Got to Keep the Fire Burning


High Hopes - Bruce Springsteen

Considering it was a Bruce Springsteen concert staple throughout the 00’s, it is a bit surprising that American Skin (41 Shots) never got an official studio recording until now. High Hopes is not truly a rarities album but more of a hodgepodge of rarities, covers, and reimaginings of older songs in Bruce’s catalog all recorded on his most recent tour, the first time Springsteen ever recorded an album on the road.

American Skin (41 Shots) is the most notable inclusion since it dates all the way back to 2000. The song is about the police shooting death of an unarmed twenty-three year old Guinea resident Amadou Diallo who was shot forty-one times by four plain clothed officers while reaching into his pocket, pulling out what turned out to be a wallet. Like it live counterpoint, the new version of the song is slow simmering but starts to soar with a Tom Morello solo in the middle of the song taking it to heights the older versions of the song never reached.

Morello of Rage Against the Machine, who was subbing in for Steven Van Zandt who was off filming Lillehammer during the most recent tour, contributes to eight of the twelve tracks. This includes an updated version of Ghost of Tom Joad which appeared on Rage’s covers album. The new version splits the difference between the folksy original and the high octane of the Rage version which sees the two singers trading verses.

Since some of the rarities date back a decade and a half, two fallen members of the E Street Band make a couple of appearances to the album. You can hear Clarence Clemons’ saxophone on Harry’s Place while Danny Federici plays organ on The wall. While both can be heard on Down in the Hole which sonically recalls I’m on Fire but lyrically would have sounded out of place on The Rising. Like most rarities album, High Hopes is mostly for completist as most of the songs, despite being good, were probably left off the albums they were written for because they were just not good enough to be included then.

Song to Download – The Ghost of Tom Joad

High Hopes gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ten Most Absurd "Related Artists" on Spotify



Last week, Grantland featured a story on the art of the comeback explaining how to do it (Daft Punk) and what not to do (Guns N' Roses). Not surprisingly the writer suggests not letting the back-story overshadow your record, you know, like taking fourteen years and thirteen millions dollars to record it and certainly do not wait until Dr. Pepper guilt you into releasing it because it will turn out bad for the both of you (five years later I still have not bought a Dr. Pepper after getting stiffed on my free can that I was promised). But in the article, the writer suggested that Chinese Democracy is better that you probably remember which made me pop up Spotify to give it a first listen in five years (nope, still extremely disappointing). I bring this up because while on Spotify I had a big laugh at who was listed as Guns n’ Roses top “Related Artists” according to Spotify. I got such a good laugh out of it I decided to comb through the sight for the most absurb “Related Artists” according to Spotify and here are the top ten I found.

1. Guns n’ Roses – When I think Guns ‘n’ Roses I think eighties Sunset Strip and the hair bands of the era or possibly the other hard rock heavyweights of the time Metallica who they had an ill fated tour with back in the nineties. But nope, the most related artists to Guns n’ Roses is The Proclaimers. Yes the creepy twins one hit wonder from Scotland who sang I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

2. Beastie Boys – Most people think of the Beastie Boys as rappers but they have released punk albums too back in the day, and this may very well lead to the most random top five related artists currently on Spotify: classic rock God the The Jimi Hendrix Experience, underground hip-hop group Jurassic 5, the industrial Nine Inch Nails, alternative rockers Smashing Pumpkins, and the indie group Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Pull up the full Related Artists page and it gets even more random: Justice (dance), The Heavy (funk), Soundgarden (grunge), The White Stripes (garage rock), Wu-Tang Clan (hardcore rap), and Blind Melon (one hit wonders).

3. The Chemical Brothers – Here is another group that is listed as a Related Artist of the Beastie Boys but just because their top Related Artist is another Related Artist of the Beastie Boys (though I have no idea how either group are related to the Beastie Boys) does not make it any less head-scratching because do not ask me how the electronic group from the nineties is at all related to punk forefathers The Clash.

4. Taylor Swift – Taylor is a country artist whose records get poppier and poppier as they are released and other female contry crossover artists Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry and Sugarland are all in her top five, but number one? The YouTube superstars and elecro-pop duo Karmin.

5. Rage Against the Machine – Sure Rage and Thin Lizzy are both technically rock artists that were featured on VH1 Classic’s Metal Evolution but it was two entirely different episodes, sub-genres, and eras. Granted if I were Rage Against the Machine, I would not want to be linked to the horrible nu-metal moment that came after them either.

6. Snow Patrol – Earlier this month when I posted my Greatest Eras in Rock and Roll History, Snow Patrol was featured in the Pop-Rock wave of the early 00’s and I would have figured other acts I had with them, Coldplay, David Gray, The Killers, would be among their top artists. Nope, instead it is the teenaged cover artists who takes every song and turns it into a mopey depressing ode, Birdy. Snow Patrol is not even one of the bands she covered. The rest of Snow Patrol’s top five which includes Lissie, Paloma Faith, and Counting Crows is almost as head scratching).

7. Lionel Richie – Lionel was one of the biggest acts of the eighties and I fully expected to see other RnB-pop acts of the time like Michael Jackson or Prince in his Related Artists or even his former group The Commodores. Instead his top five in order are new wave band Berlin number one followed by Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins (who is also absurdly Jackson’s top Related Artist), Chicago, and Eric Carmen.

8. Robin Thicke –Considering he has the biggest song on the planet, Spotify would get this blue eyed soul man some artist of his ilk like contemporary Mayer Hawthorne or maybe the greatest blue-eyed soul man ever Daryl Hall, either solo or with Oates, but no, his top artist is Janet Jackson while other female nineties RnB acts TLC and Aaliyah also populate his top five.

9. Weezer – Sure Weezer and Stone Temple Pilots both are under the very large alternative rock of the nineties tent, but I would like think Spotify would be smart to have Weezer grouped together with other geek rockers Barenaked Ladies or Ben Folds Five instead of the second wave of grunge.

10. The Breeders - The Breeders were an alternative rock one hit wonder off shoot of The Pixies from the nineties, Robert Johnson was a blues singer who was born 102 years ago. Seriously Spotify, how does this even happen?

Friday, February 01, 2013

Some of Those that Wear Forces Are the Same that Burn Crosses




Back in the post-Nirvana wild west of early nineties MTV, it seemed like anyone could get their fifteen minutes of fame no matter how weird they were (seriously, remember Ween?). Thinking back it is amazing that a band like Rage Against the Machine could get so big: two number one albums and three multi-platinum albums. Sure they did not invent the rap-metal fusion, which probably goes to Faith No More (unless you count the time Run-DMC teamed up with Aerosmith). But as good as Faith No More was, their rapping always seemed like a novelity, and I am sure in some circles they are just considered a one hit wonder.

Even more amazing was how Rage became such pioneers in the musical landscape (just do not blame them for the blasphemy that turned out to be Limp Bizkit, the douchebag you knew in college with the “Free Mumia” sign in his window even though he could not tell you the difference between Mumia and Mustafa, or Paul Ryan) was there was a very strong message which can been seen right on their debut album cover, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, which depicts a monk who set himself on fire protesting an anti-Buddhist regime. It was only highlighted by the opening track Bombtrack which repeated the line, “Burn, burn, yes you’re gonna burn.”

Rage Against the Machine even had their breakout MTV moment when the former music channel picked up their most politically charged song and video Freedom as a Buzzworthy selection and put it into heavy rotation. In-between a vigorous live show, featuring a very sweaty fat young kid, the video gave us a history lesson about Leonard Peltier who did not receive a fair trial when convicted of killing two FBI officers. But for the most agro for your buck, there is Killing in the Name Of which builds and builds until lead singer Zack de la Rocha (and pretty much every male under the age of forty within earshot) starts screaming “(Expletive deleted) you I won’t do what you tell me.”

Rage Against the Machine (WARNING: the next line will make you feel old) turned twenty late last year and included the prerequisite rerelease with plenty of different version that includes demo full DVD of a concert and music videos (the most bare bones version you can currently download for only $2.99) which will have frat boys and Paul Ryan raging for another twenty years.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 8/18/12


Quote of the Week: No One Takes Khaleesi's Dragons. (Michelle, Bunheads)

Song of the Week: One Day – Matisyahu (Covert Affairs)

Scene of the Week:


Big News of the Week: Paul Ryan: A couple Fridays ago, AMC announced just hours before the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics that they were not renewing The Killing for a third season. It is common practice to release bad news late Friday in hopes that people will forget to be angry by the time the weekend concludes and to do it as the Olympics starts helps to bury it further. I bring this up not because I enjoy pissing on The Killing (even though I do) but I found it a bit odd that Mitt Romney chose Saturday morning on the last weekend of the Olympics to announce his running mate. What exactly was he hiding (besides what is in his tax returns), making the announcement at a time when most people are trying to bury news? Why not wait until Monday when you can own the new cycle instead of a time when people would rather talk about Usain Bolt or why didn’t Noel Gallagher jump out of the crowd during the Closing Ceremonies to punch Liam in the face when he was performing Wonderwall? Sometimes I wonder if Romney really wants to be president or if he has already resigned himself to losing.

Another sign that Romney may not want the presidency was his selection for Vice President. Paul Ryan is a super wonk who’s claim to fame is his budget that is supposed to save the country from financial ruin by slashing Medicare, lower taxes (mostly for the uber-rich) but will actually increase the debt according to a non-partisan economist. The guy is part of the most hated Congress in the history of polling and one of the bigger reasons why the country hates this Congress. This was clearly a pick to shore of the base of the party, but if you need to shore up your base by your vice president pick, you have pretty much already lost (see 2008). But on the bright side Ryan is a fan of Rage Against the Machine who will hopefully be invited to play the Republican National Convention later this month. Not surprisingly Tom Morello is not fond of his latest fan calling Ryan “the embodiment of the Machine our music Rages against”.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Falling Skies season finale


Leverage: Hardison biting that one dude (after actually warning him he was not above biting) has to be the funniest scene in the history of the show.
You can download Leverage on iTunes.

Falling Skies: I was all excited about the trip to Charleston this season, but I did not like all the politics when they got there (a dictatorship overthrown by the military; yeah). And even with running, heated water (which is not explained how they could keep the electricity going for an underground mall 24/7) Tom decides to keep the ratty beard. Alrighty. And wasn’t Weaver’s daughter going north to the mountains? How did she beat them to South Carolina?
You can download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Grimm: Where most people spend up-fronts hoping the shows they watch get renewed, I secretly hope they all get6 canceled. I really did not need a second season of Grimm, but here it is and a month before everything else. I always liked the idea of the show way more than the acting (the dude from Road Rules? The chick from Quaterlife?). They need to find some compelling leads and quick.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Grimm on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: With her absence this week, I have come to the realization that CiCi is my favorite character on the show. Granted it does not take much to be the best character on the show. All she has to compete with is whenever Hanna goes H*A*M on people., which is not nearly enough
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.


Free Download of the Week: Go On / Animal Practice (iTunes): If you missed their preview during the Olympics, you can download the new comedies for free.

Deal of the Week: Blu-Rays Under $10: The Expendables, Total Recall, The Terminator)

New Album Release of the Week: Last of a Dyin' Breed - Lynyrd Skynyrd

New DVD Release of the Week: Revenge: The Complete First Season

Video of the Week: The season two trailer of Homeland was just released and not surpisingly it looks all shades of awesome. Despite being unceremoniously booted from the agency, Carrie is back, in some cases with new hair and eye color, but unfortunately it looks like she is back on her meds. And just when you thought things could not get any more moody, they had to go and add a children’s choir to make it more epic. Remember The Social Network with Creep? And yes the Scala & Kolacny Brothers version of Every Breath You Take is available to download. Hopefully that does not last long. Homeland returns Sunday September 31 at 10:00.


Next Week Pick of the Week: Falling Skies, Sunday (tomorrow) at 9:00 on TNT: The first season was a bit rough at times and tiresome at others, but it seemed to hit its strike this season as it finally had a direction (and that direction was towards Charleston). But now there are there, now what? Apparently political drama as the series closes out its sophomore season.

Speaking of rocky first seasons, Bunheads also draws to a close this week. Hopefully it finds its foot too in the next season (it was recently renewed along with Melissa and Joey and Baby Daddy).

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I Want My Music Television vol. LXXXI


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


Next Girl – The Black Keys



Frank the Funknosaurus Rex is back for the latest Black Keys video and those the boys in the band don’t seem to like him (I am just hoping that was a pretencious musician meta joke), but I am glad he is back and better than ever.


Not Myself Tonight – Christina Aguilera



Had Christina Aguilera made this exact video a decade a decade ago I may have thought it was the greatest music video ever in the history in the world. But since then she got the most unnecessary breast augmentation ever in the history of the world, started looking more like a contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race than the girl from Genie in a Bottle, got married, had a kid and now knowing all that, watching the video now just feels, well, dirrty.


Rewind – Diane Birch



Not the head scratcher of her last video, but when Diane Birch writes a song as beautiful as this you do not need all the bells and whistles (or whips and gags).


Rise Up – Cypress Hill featuring Tom Morello



This may not Prince, but Cypress Hill teaming up with Tom Morello makes me want to party like its 1999. I am not sure that is a good thing. The video even looks very 90’s.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. LV


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


21 Guns - Green Day



I guess these are the two characters that Green Day chronicles throughout their new album and even recreate the album cover for good measure. The song is still a Boulavard of Broken Dreams retread.


(Expletive Deleted) You – Lily Allen



Like I mentioned during my review of her latest album (see: I Am a Weapon of Massive Consumption) Lily Allen randomly ripping on George Bush after he is out of office is just bad form. But the special effects are pretty cool and the video as a whole comes off as a less creepy version of Smack My (Expletive Deleted) Up.


Laughing With – Regina Spektor



For more on Regina Spektor check out yesterday’s review of her new album Far, It Was so Easy and the Words Were so Sweet.


100 Little Curses - Street Sweeper Social Club



For his fourth group of the decade, Street Sweeper Social Club, it sounds like Tom Morello splits the difference between Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. But it is hard to take any social statement away from a video when it stars the dude from Road Trip and the chick from Joey.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Don't Download These Videos vol. XVI


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


Never Again - Kelly Clarkson



This is the story of two Kelly Clarkson’s. You have the Clarkson in white, who is definitely serviceable. Then there is the creepy Clarkson who makes you realize why the dude in the song would drop her for somewhere else. The video oddly reminds me of Owner of a Lonely Heart without the animals and unfortunately she doesn’t force the dude to jump off a building. And as I said before, the song is no Since U Been Gone (or Behind These Hazel Eyes for that matter) but there is something I like about the lyric, “Give me that Sunday school answer.”


Umbrella - Rihanna featuring Jay-Z



Rihanna is good for at least one good song per album. Okay she is good for only one good song per album. But Umbrella definitely isn’t going to be that one for her upcoming release. And you really have to blame Jay-Z, ever since he unretired, everything he has touched has been sub par; Déjà vu with Beyonce was a cheap rip off of Crazy in Love; Kingdom Come was a massive flop, and this song just plain sucks. And as much as I like moderately attractive chicks naked, that body paint made me feel like I was watching some creepy soft-core robot porn.


Road I Must Travel - The Nightwatchman



I would much rather Tom Morello to focus more on continuing the Rage Against the Machine reunion, as his Nightwatchman isn’t nearly as good, but this video is a good watch.


When We Die - Bowling for Soup



Do we really need a serious song and accompanying video from Bowling for Soup? Probably not. The video is a little too soap opera-y, but effective nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Microphone Explodes Shattering the Mold


Evil Empire - Rage Against the Machine

It is the first of the month and that means it time for a new induction to the Scooter Hall of Fame. In honor of the band reuniting this weekend at Coachella, Rage Against the Machine, and their best album Evil Emipre will be this month's induction. The only problem is I with the semester coming to a close and a major project due Thursday, I just do not have time to do a right up. I will most likely have that ready later this week. Until then, here is my favorite Rage song, Bulls on Parade, from the Coachella set (which really is not that safe for work):





Thursday, April 26, 2007

It Started in Basements and it Started in Sheds


One Man Revolution - The Nightwatchman

With Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello help create the hard rock/rap mash up genre that got ruined by lesser bands in the late nineties. Then he took a step back in time with the seventies arena rock of Audioslave. Now he is going even further back in time musically with his latest outfit, The Nightwatchman. As the one man band, Morello is channeling such folk heroes as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. The Nightwatchman came to fruition during the Audioslave era when Morello needed an output during the Bush administration with lead singer’s Chris Cornell’s moratorium on political songs.

So between Audioslave gigs, Morello would go to local coffee houses and sign up for local mike nights under the moniker The Nightwatchman with songs about the war. And with Audioslave on indefinite (and it looks now like a permanent) hiatus, Morello had time on his hand to make an album of these songs called One Man Revolution. And just like Audioslave was pretty much how you expected a combination of Rage Against and Soundgarden, The Nightwatchman is pretty much what you would expect Morello would sound if he unplugged and did his best Bruce Springsteen circa Nebraska impression.

With his weapon of choose, the guitar, rendered useless by going acoustic, Morello has to rely on his voice and lyrics to get his point across without a front man to do it for him. To hear him sing is at first a little jarring with the deep baritone. The lyrics are hit and miss as Morello isn’t adept to writing folk songs yet and even clumsily steals the line, “three times I shot the sheriff, but I did not spare the deputy.” And with the little background noise, you will notice Morello’s out there political views, which is something you can overlook with Rage because, well, the rock.

Though hearing anti-war songs from Tom Morello are much more palatable than ill-advised ones from Maroon 5 or Sum41 who just seem like jumping on the “Yeah we hate Bush too” bandwagon because it is in vogue. Although oddly enough the only administration aide Morello calls out by name is Colin Powell who is long gone but Morello never cared about letting the lesser of two evils off the hooks as Rage famously protested the Democratic National Convention. But as anti-war albums, Neil Young’s Living with War is still much better than One Man Revolution.

Song to Download - The Road I Must Travel

One Man Revolution gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We on Award Tour: 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


Yesterday when I was talking about all the great events that happen in the middle of March I left out one very important even, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. You may not agree with some of the inductees, but undeniably you will get some unforgettable, sometimes surreal, performances and this year was no exception. Well the biggest exception is that for the first time ever you could watch the ceremony live on either VH1 Classic, which re-airs the whole thing in its entirety this Friday at 8:00 or stream over at AOL.com where you can currently stream the event on demand. For those that don’t have the time to devote the four hours to the show can watch the usual VH1 butchered show this Saturday at 9:00, because who doesn’t want to spend St. Patrick’s Day in front of the television. Now onto my thoughts:

- Of course the show is emanating from New York City instead of the actual Hall, here in Northeast Ohio. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

- The show starts off with Jann Winner of Rolling Stone talking about one of the co-founders of the Hall who passed and get a proper tribute of the guy from two time inductee Stephen Stills as well as a performance by Aretha Franklin for some reason. We also get your token In Memoriam package which obviously goes beyond just those inducted as they included the dude from Molly Hatchet. But why was a roadie for the Grateful Dead included?

- The first inductees were The Ronettes. A little before my time as I mainly associate them for contributing a song to the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack and one of them did a song with Eddie Money, who got a shout out. One person that didn’t get a shout out was their producer Phil Spector who they went out of their way to not mention. Making that even odder was after they performed Paul Shaffer read a note from Spector, who is rumored to be the reason the group hadn’t been inducted yet, congratulating them. Only at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Well maybe until Big Head Barry gets inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

- One thing we don’t get to see is on the edited telecasts is the intermissions in between induction. The first is a montage of memorable moments from past induction, the best part are the estranged moments of band members that probably haven’t spoke to each other since they broke up. Other intermissions are filled with individual performances which one being one of my personal favorite from 2004 with the all-star jam for While My Guitar Gently Weeps featuring a rancorous solo by Prince who ended it with throwing his guitar behind him then just walks off stage. Can we induct Prince every year? C’mon, you can at least put him in with The Revolution and The New Power Generation.

- Holy Zach del la Rocha sighting! Dude been in an Axl Rose type hibernation since breaking up Rage Against the Machine. And it looks like during the interim he has been growing one silly afro. He’s there to induct Patti Smith, another artist I never really got into. The only Smith story I have was I once gave a presentation on racism in popular culture and played her song Rock and Roll (Expletive Deleted) during it. And wouldn’t you know she played that very song saying it was her mom’s favorite song to vacuum to. If only there were a camera on the Rev. Al Sharpton when the chorus kicked in as I would have liked to see his reaction.

- Speaking of Sharpton he was there to once again to eulogized inaugural Hall of Fame inductee, James Brown. Luckily a Christina Aguilera tribute didn’t follow. I would have liked an actual musician to have done thins instead of Sharpton milking his friendship of Brown yet again. But anyways.

Van Hagar in the house- The moment that everyone has been waiting for of course failed to live up to the hype. I’m speaking of the Van Halen induction that didn’t actually feature either of the band’s namesakes and more surprisingly absent was David Lee Roth who is never one to turn down a public appearance. According to Scott Weiland, whose Velvet Revolver inducted the band as well as handled the performance, invited Roth to sing one of their earlier songs, but balked when the band wouldn’t agree to perform Jump because of that whole, they don’t have a keyboard player thing. Almost as surprising is they actually let Sammy Hagar perform backed by booted bassist Michael Anthony, who actually gave a shout out to Gary Cherone during his acceptance speech, and Paul Shaffer and the CBS Hall of Fame Orchestra. Nice to have the two members currently not in the band are the only ones to actually show up.

- Jay-Z is up next to induct Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Oddly for a guy who is highly touted for never writing down his lyrics, Jay never looked up while reading his speech, from his Blackberry. I like how Mele Mel called out the younger generation during his speech, although it will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears as the new generation can’t hear anything with their massive diamond earrings in their ears. Great performance too adding some theater to the program but I wish they would have spent longer on each song instead of jumping around.

R.E.M.- Last in this year are R.E.M. who get the induction treatment from Eddie Vedder who correctly calls out Mike Mills for hid Elvis type suits in the mid-nineties. I’m sure many of the longtime readers may wonder what my favorite song of all-time in, and you are likely to get a different answer at different times you ask, but one song that comes up quite frequently is the band’s Nightswimming. R.E.M. is also one of the few bands that I’ve created a personal Best of CD for my collection, which I will certainly share the track with everyone one of these days. I was a little disappointed with the band’s song selection as I would have like them to focus on their nineties work aside from Vedder joining them for Man on the Moon.

Eddie Vedder and Keith Richards- The show ends with a couple of collaborations with Smith joining R.E.M. for I Wanna Be Your Dog, a jab at the Hall for not letting The Stooges in yet. That was followed by most of the inductees and inductor (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 were conspicuously absent although one of the guys who was in their performance was bouncing around) closing the show with Smith’s People Have the Power.

- Tune in late this year to see if acts like Beatie Boys, Metallica, Sting, Madonna, or Janet Jackson can get in with their first year of eligibility or if multiple finalist like The Stooges or the Dave Clark Five finally get in.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Original Fire has Died and Gone but the Riot Inside Moves On


Revelations - Audioslave

was always a band that I was hesitant about. I was a huge fan of fan and the only rap/metal band worth listening to with Zach de la Rocha’s great delivery and Tom Morello’s eccentric guitar as a backdrop. But things reportedly fell apart when bassist Tim Commerford bum rushed the stage at the 2001 Video Music Awards after the band lost out the best rock video to embarrassing de la Rocha to the point that he quit the band to work on a yet to be released solo album. The other three members, including drummer Brad Wilk did not rest on the laurels, instead recruited Chris Cornell of to form an entirely new band that luckily didn’t involve Cornell rapping. Instead it sounded exactly what people expected, Soundgarden’s melodies mixed with Rage’s raucous guitars. But I was still hesitant as I still wanted more Rage.

Much of the same can be heard on Audioslave's third album Revelations, that you heard on the first two. But as the band progresses, the more it sounds like dark seventies rock with Morello’s signature guitar licks only coming out during his solos as Cornell channels his inner . This is prevalent right off the bat with the opening title track. Until We Fail plays very similar to I Am the Highway off their self titled debuted but loses its momentum unlike the previous song. Original Fire is an upbeat romp that can be the first song in either band member’s history that calls for you to hand-clap thought the song and has a soul music through a rock filter to it. Broken City is a bluesy song highlighted where Cummerford shines with the bass groove. When the band it at full throttle on Shape of Things to Come, it’s one of the greatest rock sounds in recent times. The album closes with Moth, a haunting song that is the closest the band has gotten to sounding like Soundgarden.

Each of the songs on the album could become a rock radio staple like previous songs but as David Fricke of put it best calling the band, “a supergroup that keeps making good records that fall shy of great” and Revelations is no exception. And Revelations is the most average of their outings. But then again I’m still holding out for a Rage Against the Machine reunion.

Song to Download - Shape of Things to Come

Revelations gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.


Monday, December 05, 2005

We on Award Tour - VH1 Big in 05 Awards


Vh1’s Big in (insert year) Awards have quickly become the most solid award shows even though it brings in less star power than the America Music Awards. And that could be the reason why, where other award shows have just become a vehicle for artists to promote their latest projects (I’m talking to you Video Music Awards), VH1 cares more about putting on a good show rather to pander to get stars. This year’s host, DL Hughley was entertaining enough to make anyone wonder why CBS picked the dude from Drew Carey to replace Craig Kilborn on the Late Late Show and why MTV still invites Jimmy Fallon back to host after bombing every time. Here are some other observations:

- The festivities starts off with a lame pre-show hosted by an extremely gay Ant and the not all that attractive chick from My Fair Brady. She actually won a modeling competition?

- During the pre-show they gave the Old School Triumph Award to who dedicated the award to Michael Hutchence. I’m sure he’s thrill that you guys are trampling his legacy by doing a reality show to replace him.

- The Big show starts off with a parody that was more entertaining than the show has been this season. Of course if the writer of Lost only had to fill five minutes, maybe it would be better.

- Ten years after becoming Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy is still hot as ever, granted she’s still as annoying too.

- for some reason wins the Big Stylin’ Awards. I have a feeling that VH1 stuffed the ballot box just so they could have her first post break up apperence. Then after she rambled threw her acceptance speech, including laughing at apparently at what she thought was a joke, I understood why Nick would let her go. I just hope he didn’t sign a pre-nup. Now I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger…

I'll take the one on the right, you can have the one on the left- The chicks from seemed to get lost as they walked right in front of INXS to present them. And after seeing INXS perform with their new lead singer, I can’t believe this guy actually won. I didn’t watch a second of the show, but did everyone else actually suck worse than him. It’s like the chick from My Fair Brady winning a modeling contest. Get that dude a chorographer quick.

- Jeremy Piven rightly wins the Big Breakthrough Award even though I’ve been a fan since the days.

- wins the Big Entertainer Award and he was so big he didn’t bother showing up.

- ’s performance was cool but where was Tom Morello? Is this band breaking up already? Hopefully there won’t be a Rock Star:Audioslave.

- wins Big Download. Funny, I wouldn’t bother stealing this song let along spend .99 cents.

- All I got to say about Dancing with the Star Wars – classic. Funny than anything MTV has produced for their award shows in years.

- Again with the Gotti Boys? They make Paris Hilton celebrity look well deserved.

- Bice Baby wins Big Reality Star. Not bad for being a loser. Say hello to Justin (what’s his name?) in relative obscurity at the Big in 06 Awards.

- stoops low to introduce the Reality All-Star. I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t recognize 90% of the singers. Unfortunately one I did recognize was Johnny Fairplay who is always unwatchable. Can he just overdose already and put us the viewer out of misery.

- Another person who just needs to go away – Kathy Griffin. Although her joke about ’s teeth sure got Lindsay Lohan laughing.

At least Lindsay Lohan has her hair back to red, now let's grow the breasts back- Lohan then picks up the Big It Girl Award and makes some lame joke about the paparazzi. So let’s recap, she can’t act, can’t sing, can’t make a joke, and no longer has breasts – why exactly is she an It girl?

- But this lead to the best shot of the night as they showed the chick from Laguna Beach looking pissed that she didn’t win. Where’s the dude from The Real World who called out his roommate for thinking he was Ben Affleck even though he was only on a reality show.

- Best line of the night, “UPN has better ratings than George Bush”

- Hulk Hogan comes out and say, “do you wanna see big?” and proceeds to take off his shirt only to show us he has bigger breast that Lindsay Lohan.

- You know you a low on stars when you recruit someone from Entertainment Tonight to present, not that I have a problem with Maria Menonous, I just think they should be a law that she must always wear the dress she wore at the Oscars a couple years back.

- That just isn’t entertain without an appearance by the antler boy from the video. But I must admit of all the pseudo-punk bands that have replaced boy bands on the walls of Middle School girls in the last couple years, they suck the least.

- The best part of the show was actually a commercial for the upcoming show, Flavor of Love where picks girls Bachelor style. This has to be good.

- The best dresriuption of during the Big Music Artist, “She’s accessible like the girl who works at Subway kind of way but you don’t have to wash the samwich smell off of her.” Needless to say, I’d totally hit that.

- Of course the Big in 05 Awards ends with a performance by a band that hasn’t been big since 88. Um, yeah.