Deeper Water Live

Yesterday I reviewed the newest Public Image Ltd. album, This is Pil (2012).  This is Public Image Ltd. performing Deeper Water, from that album, live.  Other than that little sequenced part in the background, which is on record as well, the four of them are able to duplicate their studio recording completely live.  I have read that they will be working on a brand new album starting this year.  Lets hope that the rumor holds true.  I love Lu Edmonds guitar playing.  John Lydon is still in fine voice at almost 60.  Public Image Ltd. isn’t for everyone, but for those of you willing to take the journey, they are one of the true originals.

If you scroll down you will see the very first PIL single, Public Image, down below.  It came out a little over 36 years ago!  

This is Pil Review

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If you want a recent album that dances to its own strange logic, check out the Public Image Ltd. album This is Pil.  It came out in 2012 and I shamefully admit that I am only grasping it in its full glory now.  John Lydon’s PIL collective has issued its fair share of ground breaking moments, from Metal Box to The Flowers of Romance.  It isn’t as easy to break ground in today’s music business, but this album creates its own aura.  

First of all Lydon (Johnny Rotten) is fine form.  His lyrics range from direct political attacks to the completely surreal.  “England has died”, he sings on one song, while on another he sings, “You wanna see me mushroom.”  In a song called Lollipop Opera you have a good idea what kind of mushrooms he is singing.  This is festival music.  It is meant to challenge and be enjoyed by large groups of people.  If Terry Gilliam made a record, well you get the idea.  It is subversive and fantastic.  David Lynch inspired dread also comes to mind on a few songs. This is the most dread infused PIL album since This is What You Want…This is What You Get.

For the first time in a long time PIL sounds like a band.  The rhythm section plays giant dubby parts like early Pil.  Lu Edmonds,  formerly of The Damned, as well as an earlier incarnation of PIL, plays guitar and a multitude of instruments in the higher frequencies.   His playing is truly something to behold.  Listen to Deeper Water, maybe the best track on the album, as his playing on that song is magisterial.  

This album is not an older band cashing in.  It is as vibrant and hungry as any new band out there, pushing the boundaries of what music can do. 

If I have any criticism of this album it is only that the first track, which is the weakest, goes on too long.  But overall this is a true return to form, that not only doesn’t tarnish the band’s legacy, but expands upon it. 

The album sounds mostly live, with a minimum amount of overdubs and studio effects.  There is just enough added to each track to add some interesting textures, without taking the focus off of the four piece unit. 

This album is not for everyone.  Lydon and his cohorts are not afraid to create sounds and dabble in ideas that are uncomfortable at times.  However, those that are brave enough to take the journey will find a small piece of uncharted territory to visit. 

Favorite Tracks:
One Drop
Deeper Water
Human
Out of the Woods

What’s the Matter With Kansas?

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-kansas-tea-party-disaster-20141023?page=4

Out on the road.  Posting may be a little slow. However, this is a really great Rolling Stone article about the failings of total adherence to free market ideology in Kansas. 

Pet Cemetery Video

I’ve got to jet out to a rehearsal.  In the meantime, in honor of Halloween approaching, here is the Ramones video for Pet Cemetery.  I learned how to play guitar by playing along to Ramones records.  This movie used to also scare the bejesus out of me as a kid.  Alas, now I would gladly dance with the awoken dead of Pet Cemetery if it came between that and seeing Ted Cruz’s face one more time.

Invest In What You Value

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I just read that record sales are down 14% this year.  It is a shame, because this has actually been a year when a fair amount of good to great records have been released.  I don’t understand, especially in a capitalist system, why people don’t understand the idea that artists near to be paid for their work.  I mean I think creative people will create no matter how much money they are making.  However, if people are investing in their work they will create more and possibly do more groundbreaking work, as making records takes money.  Making records that really push the boundaries of what recorded sound can do really takes money!  The more you stream or steal, the more you are just going to end up with pop being just elevator music.  Music that sounds good in car commercials.  Those that make car commercial music are rewarded more than those that make great albums.  How sad is that?!!!  So if you want there to be a large amount of decent music being made, invest in artists.  That is the deal, someone makes something you like that inspires you, spend ten dollars investing in their work.  Then there is the possibility that they will make something else that inspires you.  That might not always be the case, but anything you invest in has a slight amount of risk involved.  In Canada artists often get grants from the government when they start out.  That is not going to happen here, not for a long time if ever, in the world of pop music anyway.  We need individuals to step up to the plate.  Stealing is stealing anyway you cut it, and streaming isn’t paying out like selling records is yet.  So there you go, you know who you are?  If you value something make a small investment in something.  It will lead to more things that you value.

A Few Thoughts From the Exhausted and Insane

I have a ridiculous amount of work to do, with this blog, with my music career, around the house, etc.  I also have to proofread a book for my Dad and I have a friend’s book that I really want to write about, but I don’t want to do a half assed job, so I am waiting till my brain is somewhere close to normal.  Between being on the road and canvassing for a political group on my days off, I am reaching a point of exhaustion close to insanity.  I’m not complaining.  I am just stating cold hard facts.  I would much rather have things to work on than not.  However, I told my brother that you know you are busy when you are excited about going on a long van ride, because you will finally get a chance to catch up on the reading that you need to.  You can’t keep a blog going or write songs unless you are taking in a constant stream of information.  Lately I get home and have just been watching The Walking Dead with one eye open.

1.  I have noticed that the older, the whiter, the richer, and the more masculine you are, the more unlikely you are to be open to new ideas.  Some guy told me today that he votes down every proposition on a ballot that no matter what it pertains to!  Another guy told me that public transportation was a scheme of the international elite!  WTF?!!!

2.  If you are insanely exhausted Public Image Ltd., Rollins Band, and Black Flag are a great soundtrack.  All three bands are perfect soundtracks to insanity and are energized enough to keep you going.

3.  Way more kids than you would think open the door to a stranger.  Luckily I am just trying to inform people, but how do they know I’m not Charles Manson crossed with Dracula?  I remember I was always told to not open the door for strangers.  With the way I look right now, with a full beard, in serious need of a haircut, and with dark circles under my eyes, I would be a little wary of opening the door to me.

4.  When you are tired why do you find yourself staring at the wall, waiting for the last minute to do everything, only to end up running around like your hair is on fire to finally get whatever it was that you needed done?  You only end up burning yourself out even further.

5.  Why is it that when you are tired that even a simple question, like what is the weather like, makes you want to make a flute out of someone’s femur bone?

As Andy Reid used to say at Philadelphia Eagles’ press conferences, “Time’s yours.”

The Concise Untold History of the United States

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I read the Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick book The Untold History of the United States.  They have now released a companion book, that is shorter and more closely follows the TV series.  It is called The Concise Untold History of the United States.  The difference between the two books as Oliver Stone explained on his Facebook page:

“Concise Untold History” was released last week. At 306 pages, it faithfully renders the text of the 12-hour series. The original 618-page edition, with 90 pages of footnotes, is really closer to a primer that substantiates the details presented in the film. 

I am particularly passionate over this ‘Concise History,’ and find it poetic in keeping with the spirit of the series. It’s a light-weight paperback that can easily be carried around.  

I was really impressed with the first book.  I was a History Major and eventually graduated with a degree in American Studies.  I have seen at least some of the information that Stone and Kuznick wrote about corroborated in other sources.  I  don’t normally like to recommend a book I haven’t read, but if you are at all interested in what they have to say, but feel a little daunted in a 600 plus page book, this seems like a good place to start.  From what I saw of it the series was excellent as well.  After reading the first book and seeing about half of the series, I feel pretty safe saying this would be a very interesting read.