Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Like the other books in the 33 1/3 series, a quick read. Also what is interesting is how the author looks at a record that he doesn't particularly like. This sounds like a disaster to read, but actually its an interesting way to walk through a work or record. The main interest in Eric Weisbard's study on "Use Your Illusion Parts 1 & 2 is not really the music itself but the concept of the big blockbuster album in the early 1990's. Especially when the young turks (Kurt Cobain) are literally around the corner.
Like a slow motion car wreck there is something absolutely fascinating about Axel Rose. One can say he's a villain of sorts, but he's more of an average joe with interesting traits or put in a very specific and strange situation - which is rock stardom. And Axel plays the rock star very very well. Its his performance that everyone finds intriguing - both off and on the stage. He has an unique voice and for me that what makes him stand out compared to the 'other' jerk rock n' roll guy.
The story has been told many many times. Elvis being one, of someone trapped in his culture. Axel wants to experiment, but he never lets himself free. The obsession of his records is that he takes so long to complete it - and that becomes the story itself. Which is fatal in rock n' roll terms. The fast, the speed of the music have to at least appear to be effortless and wild. When I hear a Guns n' Roses record, it seems to be an academic study on the making of "rock." And with respect to Axel and Co. it wasn't meant to be that way.
Weisbard's book is interesting when he writes about the business end of the last era of rock product, but its kind of a drag that he doesn't like "Use Your Illusion." I would have like to have him defend this work in that type of setting, but alas, his feelings for the album is not really blah, but more with a sense of strange passion on his part. Him going track-by-track at the end of the book was not necessary. In the back of this title it mentions that Weisbard is writing a book about crossover artists. That sounds fascinating and I will read that for sure
Monday, March 21, 2011
Serge Gainsbourg and Dalida
A beautiful song by Serge Gainsbourg. This maybe my favorite "era" for his music. But everything he did was great.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Wait till a minute or so and see something fantastic from Jet Harris
Without a doubt one of the unique bass players that came out of the U.K. In many ways he reminds me of Japan's late (and great) bass player Mick Karn and the always fascinating and of course great Jah Wobble. It's unusual for a musician to be a pop star of sorts via his bass playing in the early 60's. Of course the fact he was great looking in that moody pissed off way...well that's a plus, that's for sure.
The above cover is one of my favorite EP's. It is one of those perfect moments. Well to be exact a little bit under 9 minutes of perfection. Jett is most famous for being the bass player for The Shadows.
|Jet Harris on the far right.|
Saturday, March 19, 2011
|Alfred Jarry and his beloved bicycle|
|Ubu Roi program|
The inventor of "the play/puppet play Ubu Roi" and "pataphisics" the study and school of nonsense. Also a man who is fond of guns and racing bicycles. In fact that was his one mode of traveling around France. He was the heart of the fin de siécle, yet he died a very early death due to excess drinking.
Reading this 200 page bio makes me want to go back into the world of Jarry, who was one of the fathers of DADA and Surrealism. For sure a major influence on Boris Vian - and actually, Jarry was very much of a boho 1960's European figure. I can imagine him being involved with the Living Theater. But alas 60 years too early! Its a shame that he didn't live to see what he brought to the world
Who would have known outside of Switzerland that the hippest looking youth was in that country. Specifically in the very early 1960's. Photographer and full-time factory worker Karlheinz Weinberger knew. He photographed these kids in the parks and in the streets, and to add a certain voyeur quality - in his apartment. Erotic, with a tinge of danger, and a loyalty to Elvis, Cliff, Vince Taylor, and Little Richard, these cold war babies had a clothing style that was borrowed but then they added their own touches.
A combination of rocker with a Situationist/Letterist motif with a hairstyle that is based on the 1950's but looked forward to an unknown future. The kids are playful, but the photographer, who is much older, is not. And it is that tension between image-maker and its model that gives Weinberger an edge. The book also has a wonderful introduction by John Waters, who actually met the late great Karlheinz Weinberger.