To Music Execs, MTV, Media Moguls :Rock and Roll Should Never Die

I say this with all bands I write about. If you find them on a streaming service or Youtube, and you like them, BUY THEIR RECORDS, CDS. Support rock and roll.

The 4 videos at the bottom could reignite rock video tv in a big way. Selling records. Isn’t that what its all about?

The major record companies want you to listen to and buy their garbage. And they push hard to try and make it so you only see and hear their “product”
Indie labels sign bands they love. They’re a business…the last of the mom and pop small businesses. So support them.
Call your local radio stations, the so-called “alternative rock” stations,who are still playing Smashing Pumpkins every hour,and demand “New Music”
Contact them on social media, the major labels, the big media companies, MTV , and tell them you want new fucking rock on there.
Buy music

Fight for what you love. The corporations that run the music business know a lot about business. They don’t know shit about music.

Wall street doesn’t make music. It makes money. They need to learn to balance profit and product with quality art. They lose nothing by hiring some people whose only jobs would be to love music, love the search for new and exciting stuff, and who want other people to hear it.

Rock just needs a better promotional team. Hip hop is getting old and repetative. I’d rather hear a great funky band ,real instruments, real soul singers. Let some people who have worked for CMJ or college radio and bring back smart, interesting music. Record and cd sales dipped when record companies chose to go with shock or pop (skimpy clothed girl with 20 dancers and boring pop dance tunes that say nothing)(Marilyn Manson.Gangsta rap). They’re using faulty algorithms.

The big days for record stores was when college and small radio stations (wlir,kexp)) picked the next big things. R.E.M. The Cure. Duran Duran. Motley Crew. Nirvana. U2. Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Idol.

The digital iTunes thing is losing ground. Why? It sucks. You pay money to listen to a song you could probably hear for free on youtube. You own nothing but a bunch of 1s and 0s. No lyric sheet. No album art. No tangible artifact.

I love feeling a new 180 gram vinyl record. It has heft. It feels like you bought something. The cover are 12×12 pieces of art ,designed by graphic artists. There’s credits.Maybe it has some cool pics of the band. Maybe there’s a booklet with lyrics …and more art. I bought a Babyshambles album recently that came with a cool 24×24 inch poster .

You open it up. There’s a smell…like a new car ..

But, its not a car. Its a rocket ship. Its a time machine. The music on that big old slab of wax is a world the musicians created for you…and people like you. Sometimes its beautiful. Sometimes its a party starter.

CDs were sold as indestructible in the beginning .Can you believe that? For me, I’ve never felt a connection to the cd package. I have bad eyesight. For years, I stopped reading lyrics…which was a huge part of the enjoyment of music. Bernie Taupin’s cinematic poetry. Patti Smith’s actual poetry. Rik Ocasik (the cars) short punchy visual style. Suddenly,it was gone

That wasn’t the only thing that was gone. For whatever reason, the communal thing that was part of shopping at your favorite little vinyl store (new and used) just ended. Purists actually closed shop. Vinyl was literally pulled from the racks. Cds replaced them.

I buy cds for the car. But,they almost always get ruined. Its just a weird impersonal format. The way they forced it on us was fucked up. The prices, around 17 bucks ,was outrageous at first.

So cds were forced on us. The previous thing was coldly abandoned . Remember when they just stopped making VHS tapes? That was ok. The picture and sound quality was an upgrade. Cds were NOT an upgrade. Want proof? Listen to the original vinyl of The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper. Then listen to the original cd release. Like a lot of cd reissues, they just recorded/digitized the albums. But,often,this wasn’t in any way a remaster. I think it was done by machine. What you got was muddy…very muddy

So, who says rock is dead? Record companies that put all their eggs in the hip hop and pop basket? Remember,these guys are businessmen. American Psychos that actually loved Huey Lewis.

I guarantee that if some real music people ran the big labels choices on who to sign and promote, we could have it all when were driving in our cars and forced to listen to radio.

#MTV could be done again,even as a different channel. There’s plenty of all hip hop video stations. There’s a country music station. There needs to be a rock video channel ….not just on youtube (although for finding bands to play , it would be a decent source.

I truly believe that NEW rock just needs an outlet that equals the country,and hip hop video channels.

I want to run programming. And I’d want to be deeply involved in the promotional campaign.

ILRR tv

I love rock n roll tv

I know exactly how to sell it….and exactly which bands will set it off.

So bigtime media ceos, owners,influencers…

We want our Roktv

I guarantee it’ll be the biggest channel debut in decades.

#musicbusiness

Shame – Concrete

Dead Pretties – Confidence

The Wytches – Digsaw

Weaves – Tick

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Vol 1 :review

by Damian Mann

The #BlackSabbath influence on this band is undeniable. There are a lot of bands out there rocking the low end in a slow slog of simple guitar with a dollop of extra heavy on the side. It’s called #Stonerrock. It’s psychedelic. It’s cartoonishly evil. Some of it gets a little boring after a while.
In my opinion,which is what its about(right,folks?) the kings of the sons of Sabbath stoner rock is this band, Kevin Starrs'(singer and songwriter) Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. But,maybe not this album.

It was released, to zero fanfare, exactly 40 years to the day when the aforementioned Sabbath released its debut album. He had 30 copies on cdr. Basically, it was a homemade thing . You can tell on certain cuts, like Vampire Circus. It can often sound like it was recorded with a basic tape recorder.
Its been remastered. And even with the issues Ill talk about, this is a special band.

Somehow, (the internet,I suspect) the original recordings of this set of songs became a cult thing. If you knew somebody that knew, you were in. The fanbase grew out of word of mouth . Its ready to explode after new, professional
sounding records, like Bloodlust, The Night Crawler, and Mind Control were released .

My first exposure was their doom masterwork, Mind Control…which deals in the dark side of psychedelia via the late 60s, early 70s….Manson, Hells Angels, bizarre hippie death cults, serial killers..all that fun stuff.

So, I went ahead and actually purchased Vol.1 after hearing one cut, the excellent ,almost punk, “Dead Eyes of London” . There’s something about the sound that brings out the 15 year old, Alice Cooper-lovin, Sabbath loving, side of me. A band that focuses on evil and dark horror themes? Im in.

The album starts with the helium high vocals of Crystal Spiders, a kind of Alladin Sane Bowie era rocker.As always, spiced up with a bit of early 70s Sabbath riffery

Its followed by a lo fi slow burn, Witches Garden. There’s nothing particularly exceptional here,on this cut….except…
Maaan, his voice is odd. Its alien-level odd. Im wondering if he uses a pitch shifting effect, like Bowie used on Ziggy Stardust. Doesn’t matter. It works with the overall sound to create something creepy and kind of beautiful at the same time.
The Uncle Acid formula is born. .. Murdered. Risen from the grave …for all eternity ….Vincent Price-ified. You’ll discover, if you explore the rest of their catalog (this truly comes to fruition on Mind Control), that they rarely stray far from this formula. What they do later on is ,they perfect it. Actors,comedians talk about “finding your voice”. Bands,musicians, do that too!

Dead Eyes of London would be a hit if this was the era of big hype, the 70s. Its definitely the stand out track. The lyrics are mostly always about murder, B- movie horror.Theyre the one thing I try to ignore. They’re definitely not as deep or disturbing as Marilyn Manson. Like I said earlier, it can be a bit cartoonish. I was mostly referring to the lyrical content.

I guess if you’re into corny poetry about Jack the Ripper, than it might work for you. Alice Cooper ,in the early incarnation (Ballad of Dwight Frye) pulled it off mostly. Maybe because I was just becoming a teenager when I heard it. To be honest, horror rock, as I tend to call it, is always walking a fine line in that regard. When you’re a teenager, its just plain cool. …Hanging out in your friend’s basement,smoking bong swats, tripping on the evil album art… But,then you grow up. That’s when you start saying ,” I appreciate the musicianship. Kids who wear all black would love this”

Im telling you, that’s the appeal in a nutshell. 15 year old guitar rock loving boys would have …and probably still would…love this stuff.

The album art/ packaging ,for all of their albums, is awesome. It comes on 180 gram white vinyl ,includes a well- designed booklet with lyrics,credits, and a look at pages from Mr. Starrs’ notebook. Nobody ever mentions packaging. Rise Above records did a great job.

The sound can be kind of tinny. The original recordings had to be remixed or remastered. There’s a mention on the back cover blurb that mentions that it wasn’t recorded using traditional methods. There was only so much they could do. The bass is practically nonexistent on the final psychedelic jam of side one , Lonely and Strange. I’d like to hear this one completely re-recorded. The guitars probably roar when they play this one live. Funny thing though, there’s a section in the jam portion(s) of the song that,I swear, sounds like Neil Young and Crazy Horse . They even have a nice classical guitar closeout. They clearly love the early 70s.

Side 2 starts with a Syd Barret era Pink Floyd riff (check out “Lucifer Sam”) Vampire Circus. Again, the treble is turned way up….kind of antithetical to the doom-y horror lyrical content. This is very Alice Cooper band influenced stuff here. Most people go with the obvious Sabbath connection. Its there. No doubt. But, to me,on this particular record, I hear Alice all over it.

So,after the boogie rawness of that, its followed by the magick occult blast ” Do What Your Love Tells You”….even if its murder and mayhem. Its an homage to 70s evil wizard prog rock . He even throws in some Hammond b3 Deep Purple organ.I don’t particularly love this one. Its the kitchen sink song on the album. Its probably fun to play. But,it could easily be 3 separate songs. It just keeps going and going.
I have a personal affection for 3 minute punk blasts. Sometimes the never-ending jams get a bit annoying

My big complaint with this album,which must have been a fucking nightmare of a mess to remaster,so kudos for making it all listenable, is there’s no fucking bottom,bass, to speak of. I think its a prerequisite of all doom, devil worshipping, horror rock of the last 50 years….that its gotta have crushing bass.

****
Its Mono metal that occasionally sounds like its being played over a transistor radio from the 1960s. The songs are mostly good in spite of it.
If I were turning someone on to the band,suggesting where to start, I’d say Mind Control. Its an amazing double slab of their best version this dark psychedelic rock they’re into. The sound quality is what you’d want with a band like Uncle Acid. Its got bass.

There’s several songs I’d love to hear professionally rerecorded …..not remastered. Maybe they could do a live album ? That would be a pretty 70s move.

As Im listening to the final cut, Wind Up Toys ,Im thinking,if they come to my town, I intend to be at that show. Its suggestive of a great live act….even if the sound on Vol 1 belies the fact

So, the album is a bit of a conundrum when it comes to our readers wallet. On the one hand, the majority of the songs are good . The problem is the quality of the recordings. If I’d been advising Mr Starrs, I’d have suggested he re-record the album or do it as a live album.

If you’re a fan already,and you want to have everything Uncle Acid, you’ll appreciate it for what it is. The packaging, album art, white vinyl, ís really cool. If you’re a weirdo like me, you buy records that look cool too.
If you want to hear it before you buy it, supposedly its been on the internet for a decade or so.

Check out a cool interview with the band on Invisible Orangeswebsite

——–

Ian Hunter : still great. Never wasnt great. 

ihttps://open.spotify.com/track/0wxaQwtEbApq8LSgClekBu

,I still loved their records.. I

I decided to stream the freeway Ian Hunter tonight. I was a huge livery,his vpice was absentMott fsan’. They kind of imploded. But other bands came together and Ian went solo. 

Sure, I liked the 1st Bad Company record. But, I didn’t love it. Ian’s unique d

Lead singer of Mott the Hoople,solid solo career. He’s still doing it. This recorgreatd album is good classic English Rock Roll. He’s  still writng good songs. You’ll find good stuff on all his records. 

That’s the one cool thing about streaming services.  You can stream an entire catalogue …listen to the stuff he’s been putting out now in the golden years,or reexamine the hit years.  I think the new stuff holds up . He’s sings in a very melodic gravelly tone. There’s

 with that great gravel ,ala Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan voice that hasn’t changed over the years, maybe it’s more emotional, mature. He still had those 4 chord  rockers, I don’t always like them. But, they would work in the 70s.

His slow stuff is often fantastic, effective, sad, simple. 

It’s old school rock. Nothing fancy. No one is a virtuoso. The job gets done. 

He should write something for the Stones.They

I know guys in Texas,Scotland, that would love it. He had very loyal fans over in England.The real fans.