Despite my last post expressing my preference for British rock mags, there is one magazine from America that I consider indispensable. Ugly Things, a magazine billed as “the ultimate rock’n’roll read, bringing you wild sounds from past dimensions, from times when rock’n’roll was young, daring, dangerous and vital”. This is a great Rock and Roll magazine chock a block with interesting features and cool reviews focusing on the obscure and not so obscure rock bands and labels from the sixties to now. The current issue (which is sold out) has an incredible feature on the Jimmy Page era Yardbirds. Essential reading for any rock and roll fan. Like you.
Despite the abundance of music related web sites on the internet these days, there is something to be said about plopping yourself down in a deck chair by the pool and reading a good old fashioned rock and roll magazine. I always try to make some time for this necessary life affirming function and increasingly the rock mags I tend to read regularly are British. Why? I like big and glossy. I like a mixture of old and new. I like features on esoteric bands and record labels and it seems more and more that British mags like Mojo, Q and Uncut give me what I want.
This weekend, I finally got a chance to catch up on some reading with the June (Led Zeppelin on the cover) and July (R.E.M. on the cover) issues of Mojo. While I enjoyed the cover stories, it’s always the little snippets and news items that catch my eye and are the main reason why I continue to buy Mojo (despite the steep cover price here in Canada). The June issue features an excellent CD of American garage bands (“Sometimes You Just Can’t Win” by Mouse & the Traps is wild and it also features the most excellent “Psychotic Reaction” by the Count Five). I also enjoyed the feature on the Beatles obsessed sixties band The Aerovons who’s long lost album “Resurrection” has been released by RPM Records.
The July issue has a feature on the very cool Toe Rag Studio where the White Stripes recorded “Elephant” as well as a host of other bands. There is also a great story on Trunk Records , features on Neil Young , “Double Nickels” by the Minutemen (check out Mike Watt’s home page at http://www.hootpage.com/ ) and the Godfather of Soul James Brown performing in Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War.
Both issues were great reads. Next!
I haven’t had a chance to check this out yet but it looks kinda cool!Audioscrobbler.com :: Discover new music based on your listening habits
“A Journey Through America with the Rolling Stones” (also referred to as STP) is a great book. This is hand’s down one of the best books about rock and roll in general and a band on tour in particular ever written. Greenfield tracks the Rolling Stones as they barrel through America on their 1972 tour with razor sharp focus, veering from glimpses of the band in concert to the gaggle of hangers on that manage to lurch through the proceedings just outside the spotlights. Every stereotype and cliché is there for the viewing: drugged out rocker, underage groupie, stoned but efficient roadie as well as a group of jet set “guests” that make the whole scene bizarre in the extreme. Keith Richard’s take on Hugh Hefner and the Playboy mansion and Hugh Hefner’s take on Keith Richard’s take on the Playboy Mansion is a scream. Perfect reading for the summer.
Highly recommended. Get it at Helter Skelter books, the premier music oriented bookstore.
The Stooges have reunited. Why? Check out No Rock and Roll Fun for this and more dirt from Simon B.
Happy birthday America! If you’re looking for some ideas for your big BBQ this long weekend, look no further than the backstage riders of Rock and Roll bands for hints and tips on how to keep your guests happy. No brown M & M’s please.
Do you ever wish that you could wake up in the morning, flip on the radio (or however else you turn a radio on) and instantly be listening to a wide range of cool, possibly slightly esoteric but otherwise real fun rock and roll that actually compels you to give up all daily sustenance while sitting there with a stupid grin on your face turning up the volume every 2 minutes. Well, the Internet might just save the day, or not.
Internet radio has had more fits and starts than my buddy’s 1982 Honda Civic but when it’s good, and it works, and the streams don’t drop out, and you can afford it, it’s great! I’ve already mentioned “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” and I have another great show for you: “The Wayback Machine.” Now granted, it only streams on Tuesday nights 10:00pm – Midnight CST on KDHX-FM 88.1 from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA but people it’s worth it to tune in. It’s mission as quoted on their site is thus “Each and every week the program showcases a truly unruly spectrum of trash that is best described as rock ‘n’ roll in its purest, wildest, most primal form, born from garages and basements all over the world and played with a passion and frenzy often not found in other forms of “rock” music.” Very cool and lot’s of fun.
And that’s not all there is out there. There are more great shows on great stations broadcasting all over the net. I will make it my lot in life to try and illuminate at least 1 show or station every week so that you can wash out that bland, stale, Clear Channel programmed drivel out of your greasy locks and replace it with the refreshing, always interesting, never boring sounds of real rock and roll. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Let’s go.
Interested in the latest in “thin media” or “nanopublishing?” You want to read about music, no muss, no fuss? Check out Flaskaland, another cool blog making it’s way through the “blogosphere.” Great stuff.
In honour of America’s birthday, we should look both to the past and the future. For the past, look no further than www.60sgaragebands.com and revel in the fuzz, the flashbacks, and the dent on the sidepanel of your dad’s Buick where you dropped your brand new Silvertone amp in the garage!
As for the future, check out the original indie site on the net: www.iuma.com. After that, head over to one of America’s coolest record labels (yah, yah, they sell CDs to) www.bomp.com. Buy something, anything. Then go to www.notlame.com and www.fasthorserecordings.com for some primo American rock and roll. Happy Birthday Yanks. Thanks for the great tunes.
To be continued…
KickInTheHead.com 2.0: The Ultimate Guide to Canadian Music
OK, I will move on from Canada to The U.S. of A. in honour of July 4 but before I do, check out this site. Great guide to Canadian music and they’re looking for suggestions to improve their site. Check it out.