Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The Wisconsin based band Die Kreuzen will be inducted into the WAMI Hall of Fame this April. Starting in 1981, the band exploded onto the Midwest punk scene. They were armed with a sound that rose above the two-note, rapid fire music that was easily found in the Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford clubs. It was no surprise that they gained a strong following quite quickly. Putting aside their 1982 demo tape, the release of Cows and Beer set the bar high. When Touch and Go records put out their self titled LP, the reviews were quite complimentary. Milwaukee had one hell of a talented band in Die Kreuzen, but they had to hit the road. They spent the next few years turning people on to their sound. Here is a link to their song Hate Me.
The later works showed that they were certainly not going to ride along on their current sound. They continued to grow, even if some fans were hungry for what they played in 1984. When I listen to the sound that came out of the Seattle in 1990, I think back to what Die Kreuzen was doing five years prior. Their influence is well known, and it was an honor to be on the same bill as Die Kreuzen from time to time. Not only are were they a great band, they continue to be stand up guys to this day.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The New York Dolls play what some people call "protopunk." Protopunk precedes punk rock. Bands like MC5, The Stooges, and Richard Hell are usually grouped into the Protopunk basket. Motley Crue and Poison will have the New York Dolls open on their current tour. The Dolls will perform at the Bradley Center on June 25.
I guess it's protpunk meets L.A. 1980's metal. I apologize to those who don't consider Motley Crue to be metal. I'm with you there. Still, this is an odd mix. Will the New York Dolls be appreciated by Motley Crue fans? If you do a bit of research, you will see that the New York Dolls were ten years ahead of those make up wearing metal bands from L.A. (See picture above)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
As I finish reading Fahrenheit 451, I begin to wonder if there are dystopian songs just as meaningful as some of the more famous books on the same subject. Before I dive into what I consider to be four Dystopian songs for the ages, I feel that it's worth mentioning my favorite novels on that theme: The book mentioned above, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, 1984 by George Orwell, Lord of the Flies, Running Man, and A Clockwork Orange. Can we find four dystopian songs worth mentioning?
Dystopian Songs for the Ages
In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans has to be mentioned. Written in 1968, this song touches upon what the world is like in intervals of one thousand ten years. This song covers pharmaceuticals, sustainability, the dehumanization of man through the use of technology, and touches upon the second coming of Jesus Christ. This song hit number one in the summer of 1969.
Down In The Park, written by Gary Numan. This song came out ten years after the previous song hit number one. The lyrics talk of a futuristic park where humans are hunted down and destroyed by android robots. Spectators watch the carnage from a club.
Diamond Dogs by David Bowie came out in 1974, and is a nod to George Orwell's novel 1984. The song depicts a future where people live in chaos.
Radiohead first denied that the theme of the album OK Computer was based on dystopian themes, but later admitted that it was. Karma Police is a good example of that disk.
There are dozens of songs with the same theme, and I must admit that Pink Floyd certainly should be mentioned as a band that wrote songs like Animals, and The Wall. It's fairly easy to be inspired by what the future may look like.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Yes, there are probably more than five things I didn't know about Def Leppard, but I thought I would take some time to highlight what I found most interesting. First, let me say that Def Leppard is coming to Summerfest 2011. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. This is certainly a "classic rock" show. Heart will open the evening, and I find the Wilson sisters to be more of an attraction, from a rock standpoint.
Five Odd Things About Def Leppard
- The band released a pop album titled "X" which stands for the word "Ten." It tanked
- Phil Collen did the guitar work for Wild Thing, sung by Sam Kinison, but did not take credit
- Drummer Rick Allen was playing the Hammersmith Odeon on his 16th Birthday
- Allen's back up drummer missed a show, proving that the band could rely upon Rick alone, after he lost his arm
- Taylor Swift and Def Leppard recorded a DVD together
Def Leppard has sold well over 60 million albums world-wide. Their audience may skew towards middle age, but they do draw a younger rock loving crowd. They headline at the Marcus Amphitheater on July 5, during Summerfest 2011.