Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Night's Alright For Blogging

"ROME IS BURNING"
So said Pete Townshend, a keynote speaker at this week's 21st annual South By Southwest Music conference in Austin, TX (aka, "SxSW"), accurately summing up the current state of the music industry.  Music moguls are bemoaning the worst month on record in January, with a sales drop of 40% compared to ten years ago.  All the record companies are pissing their pants over this and don't have a clue what to do about it.

May I make a little suggestion?  TRY PUTTING OUT A BETTER PRODUCT!  Look at the new music we have to pick from these days—crappy lip-synchers, boy bands, Hip-Hop/Rap crap, "American Idol" castoffs and people like Rod Stewart warbling cover versions of Geritol-generation songs (this is the same guy that did "Hot Legs"?).  I'd really like to see the record company suits encourage classic Rock bands to put out NEW material again.  Apart from that new (underwhelming) Who CD, I can't remember when I bought a CD of new material from any of my favorite bands in the last five years—all the product out there now is nothing but greatest hits and re-issues!  Take Kiss for example:  Since their last album of new material—Psycho Circus in 1998—there have been four best-of releases, a box set, and a live CD.  Hell, the Moody Blues have more greatest hits albums now than they have original studio albums!

I'd also like to see the music industry do a better job of finding talented bands and nurturing them.  I'm fucking desperate for a good young Rock band—a 21st Century equivalent to Van Halen, let's say—because I'm so sick of this White Trash noise that passes for Rock today like Korn, Limp Biskit and Godsmack.  Surely, the music industry can at least come up with something better than Kid Rock!

SPEAKING OF CDs...
One greatest hits CD I did buy this week was by a Kansas City band named Shooting Star.  For the uninitiated out there, Shooting Star was sort of a poor man's Kansas, only a little edgier, who kinda sorta hit it big around these parts in the early '80s.  It was great to hear some stuff again that I hadn't heard in ages like "Hang On For Your Life" and "Hollywood", and my favorite of theirs, "Bring It On".

Shooting Star was a bit of a missing link in my oversized CD collection, but given the dearth of good new material from my favorite bands, and given the same old shit ad nauseam on the radio, revisiting the past is about my only option for finding good stuff to listen to.  Toward that end, I also recently set about to play every CD I own back-to-back alphabetically by artist.  I started with AC/DC about a month ago, and I'm only up to Deep Purple so far, which gives you an idea how ridiculously large my collection is.  I could literally start my own radio station, if I wanted to...

SPEAKING OF CDs..., PART II
You want to know who the most evil bastard in the world is.  No, it's NOT Osama bin Laden or Dick Cheney or even Dubya.  No, it's the horse's patoot who invented those damn label things they seal CDs and DVDs with!  I've spent countless hours fighting with those modern inconveniences just to get to my new CDs/DVDs.  String the fucker up by his nut sack, I say!

CLASSIC MISHEARD LYRIC #17
Special guest contributor time for this one:  Billy Joe Jim-Bob, a redneck from Belton, MO, who called up Skid Roadie (my #2 favorite DJ of all-time, behind Randy Raley) on 101, The Fox one day, and said, "Could you play that song—I think it's by one of them guys in The Who—all about livin' in the Bronx?"  Well, it took Skid a few minutes to decipher which song that was, which of course, is "Eminence Front" (1982)!  Simply replace the chorus with "Livin' in the Bronx/Livin' in the Bronx..."  It's a put-on, alright!  And Billy Joe's day was made...

YOU TUBE RULES!
Unless you’ve been in a cave with the current Geico spokespeople for the last year or so, you’ve no doubt paid a visit or two to YouTube on the ‘net.  As time goes on, it gets better and better as more stuff gets added to the site. I initially only thought of it as merely a place where people post their amateur webcam videos—it didn’t occur to me until just recently what a treasure trove of stuff from TV and movies can be found on it. 

I spent several blissful hours the other night watching old videos from the early MTV days that I hadn’t seen in years—Bow Wow Wow, for instance—as well as some long lost video clips of Paul Revere & The Raiders from the ‘60s that I haven’t seen since I was like five years old, if I ever saw them at all.  I also enjoyed some Van Halen videos from back in the day, too, like "Hear About It Later" and "Unchained", et al, the likes of which they SHOULD have used at the Hall of Fame thing the other night, as well as several professionally-shot bootleg vids.  Most boffo...

We'd best enjoy YouTube while we can, though—it's only a matter of time before they Napster-ize it and make it a pay-per-view site…

2 comments:

Dave said...

Wow, somebody other than me and my first landlord knows about Shooting Star! I first found them in 1980 while living in Van Nuys, CA (having just moved there from Omaha). I was a big Kansas fan and they fit that mold. I've got their first LP in a box in the garage. I forgot Gus Dudgeon (of Elton John fame) produced that album. And I see they're still recording and touring. Now if I could just find some Head East CDs...

Brian Holland said...

Ironically, I didn't really like SS all that much back in the day--KY-102 kept hyping them to death like they were the new Beatles or something. My narrow-minded attitude then was "just because they're from Kansas City doesn't mean they're good!" I was the same way when the Rainmakers came along, and boy, did I whiff on that one, too! I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong--in retrospect, Shooting Star was a very good band, indeed. I was also unaware they were produced by the late Gus Dudgeon early on--they didn't get much better than him!

Thanks for the commentary, too!