Kittie “Spit”


(11 January 2000, NG/Artemis)

The thing that constantly blows my mind about Kittie’s debut album is that it’s by far their most popular and the only one most people know.

Of course, after the last time I listened to it I knew why some wouldn’t have bothered with hearing anything else. It’s not nearly as good as I remembered. Don’t get me wrong, it’s much better than anything I’ve ever put out. But it’s still very juvenile and not at all indicative of what they would become.

I suppose that youthfulness and raw aggression was what attracted many to Kittie. I find it attractive too. Songs like “Do You Think I’m A Whore” and “Get Off (You Can Eat A Dick)” amuse me in ways that haven’t changed since I was a teenager. “Brackish” and “Spit” feature the kind of monster riffs and screamed growls that still tickle my fancy.

Of course, I always thought the secret weapon of this band was Morgan Lander’s great singing voice like what’s used on “Charlotte.” She still didn’t have the experience or practice to use it to full effect like she would by Funeral For Yesterday, but you can still tell there was something there.

 

The other thing apparent in “Charlotte” is that the riffs they were pumping out had a ton of groove. I’m not a huge fan of the deep, meaningful lyrics you get on tracks like this and “Paperdoll,” but I’m still a sucker for a Drop-D guitar riff with a great groove.

I feel a little sorry for those who only own this album and still point to it as such a milestone. Even by the time, Kittie released the follow-up Oracle in 2001 they’d grown by leaps and bounds. Sure, they probably rose to fame because they were the perfect nu-metal foil to teen-pop superstars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, but if this was the only album they ever released and there had been no In The Black I doubt I’d still have any interest in them 20 years later.

 

Are You Lost 25


I just checked and saw that I started this post a whole year ago! I’ve been nursing it along and updating it every couple of months hoping to get to ten ridiculous search terms that led internet users to my sight, but I think it’s time I bite the bullet and put this out there.

My stats took a big hit last year dues to my decrease in posting (I’m sure this has happened to a couple of us in the community as life sometimes gets in the way. I’ve noticed your absences.) I’m sure less traffic led to less time in the search bar and it became a negative feedback loop.

I’m sure the decision to cut out all terms related to Stevie Nick in the Nude also contributed to this, but I’m going to stand by that decision.


eeaxl

2010 juggalo gathering beauty pageant

donald trump did note about will suck dick the wall

www.dose trump suckcock .com

the gays and what the martians are doing to the soil

kill the wife jokes

death metal cat

0 anonymous/(mypornsnap.com)_e0fcb14848ec7551b5ac8c8640d46b251b8eaf74

“flash fiction” “his mother’s house”

 

 

Alice in Chains “Music Bank”


(26 October 1999, Columbia)

For someone who doesn’t own any other box sets, it’s strange that the one in my collection is this dismal affair. I’m not a completist and most bands I just get an album here or there. Hell, a lot of artists I’m perfectly happy to only own the greatest hits record and have no desire for anything deeper. But I made a decision a long time ago to collect the entire Alice in Chains discography so I had to find room for this behemoth.

Really, if you were new to the music of Alice in Chains and wanted to collect the complete discography that’s about what Music Bank does. The vast majority of this collection can be found on other albums. That’s precisely the reason I’m not a huge fan of it. I had to spend $50 to get rarities that would have comfortably fit on one disc.

Even some of the rarities aren’t that great. After starting off with the new “Get Born Again” (that was included on the Nothing Safe – Best of the Box collection) you get a few early demos. I’ve read some quotes saying that these guys were great and onto something new right from the beginning. Personally, I can’t tell from these demos. They’re good – don’t get me wrong – but they’re not extremely unlike demo albums I’ve heard from dozens of other bands. If they hadn’t gone on to develop their unique sound and have huge hits these tracks would just be collecting dust in an attic somewhere.

I remember really liking the demo version of “Rooster” toward the end of disc one, but upon relistening to it I don’t know what was so special. Maybe it’s just nice to have a different version of the song. It’s always burned my ass that the version of “Rooster” is the same on Live and Nothing Safe. I don’t expect them to have complete recordings of all their shows like the Grateful Dead, but it would be nice to have a few different versions.

 

The highlight of the second disc is “Fear the Voices.” This is a song from a demo they did for the Singles soundtrack and it completely rips. I remember it being pushed as a single for a little while but it never really caught on. I love how Layne and Jerry sing the chorus in a higher pitch and it makes the whole song different from anything else they’ve done. I guess it didn’t make it onto Dirt because it didn’t really fit and I can definitely agree with that. The only other rarity on disc two is “Lying Season” which was actually on the Singles album.

The highlight of disc three is “Again (Tattoo of Pain Remix).” I’ve always loved when rock songs were given to an electronic artist and turned into something completely different. Praga Kahn from Lords of Acid turns this into something do be twerked to on the dance floor. Or it would have been if people twerked back then.

The set closes with “Died.” This and the opening track were taken from the last recording with Layne Staley. It’s sad that this collection served as the end for him. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have liked to hear some more out of this incarnation of Alice in Chains.

As it stands, this is something that I pull off the shelf for long car trips but don’t listen to much other than that. If you’re a completist like me you probably already have this in your set. If not I’d advise you to steer clear.

(There’s also a bonus CD-ROM with the “Get Born Again” video and some other stuff, but I’m not sure my laptop would play the late nineties technology. It’s only a half-step up from a 3 1/2″ floppy disk.)

 

Alice in Chains: All the Everything

Facelift (1990)
Sap (1992)
Dirt (1992)
Jar of Flies (1994)
Mad Season Above (1995)
S/T ‘The Dog Album’ (1995)
MTV Unplugged (1996)
Jerry Cantrell ‘Leave Me Alone’ (1996)
Jerry Cantrell Boggy Depot (1998)
Music Bank (1999)
Music Bank: The Videos (1999)
Live (2000)
Jerry Cantrell Degradation Trip Vol. 1 & 2 (2002)
Comes With The Fall Live 2002
Black Gives Way To Blue (2009)
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013)
Alice in Chains: The Untold Story (2015)
Ranier Fog (2018)

 

Nine Inch Nails “The Fragile”


(21 September 1999, Nothing/Interscope)

When I pulled this off the shelf a few months ago to listen for this review I fully expected it to confirm my theory that most double albums can be cut to a single.

It was nice to be somewhat proven wrong.

Oh, I remembered a lot of great stuff from this album. “Somewhat Damaged” is one of the greatest opening tracks of all time. It’s amazing how much is done with a single guitar riff that goes from quiet and builds up to “Too Fucked Up To Care Anymore!” “The Day the World Went Away” is a bit mellower but continues the simplicity. “The Frail” serves as the perfect intro to “The Wretched” which isn’t the greatest song Reznor has ever written, but really seems to fit in that position.

I’ve always felt that the centerpiece of this album is the one-two punch of “We’re In This Together” and the title track. “Together” is one of the longest and most epic tracks I’ve ever heard from NIN. In some ways it almost doesn’t seem like a Nails song because the self-loathing and angst isn’t as upfront as most of their songs, but there’s still no one else who could have pulled off something like this.

 

One of the downsides to this album is that there are quite a few instrumental tracks. These can be easy for me to forget because they don’t have those vocal hooks that help to point out the title. I honestly forgot how awesome songs like “Just Like You Imagined” and “The Mark Has Been Made” were until I started listening. Of course, after the intros, I remembered them right away. There are enough musical hooks to these songs for them to get stuck in your head even if you can’t sing along.

The second disc is less gripping. About the only song on it that I truly love is “Into The Void.” It has one of those chanted, repeating choruses that are really hard not to sing along with. A lot of the other tracks are good (“Starfuckers, Inc.”, “Where Is Everybody?”, “The Big Come Down”, “No, You Don’t”), but not great.

I read Reznor say in an interview that a lot of effort went into this album in a really unfocused way. I can see that. There are a few really great songs, some that are OK and a few that are completely forgettable. The thing missing is a common theme through all of them. If there had been a great hook running through both discs it would have been another masterpiece… as it is, it’s about 6/10.

You could probably cut it down to one disc, but you’d get rid of some good stuff in doing it.

Merry Christmas


I’ve been debating whether or not to do a Christmas post for a few weeks. I haven’t been doing as many holiday posts (or as many posts period) as I used to so I was up in the air about it.

Then I heard this track on the radio and I thought it was some sort of sign. It’s really been Sir Elton’s year. His farewell tour is still going on after I saw it last November and 2019 saw the release of the film Rocketman and his autobiography. It was even the liner notes of one of his albums that led me to do a last-minute Thanksgiving post.

Not bad for a septuagenarian!

I Guess You Can Go Home Sometimes…


Do you remember the movie with John Cusack as a hitman called Gross Pointe Blank? I can’t remember if it was a big hit or anything. I recall enjoying it and it being funny, though not hilarious. The thing I really remember is when Cusack’s character visits the spot of his childhood home; only to learn it had been turned into a convenience store.

“You can’t go home anymore,” he tell his therapist (Alan Arkin). “But you can shop there.”

 

I’ve been noticing a ton of change in my moderately-sized ]town (pop ~17,424). It seems like the whole county is in the midst of a construction boom. Our mayor made sure to mail adverts reminding us of this in early November, even though he ran unopposed. I can’t turn around without seeing a new factory or big-box store rising. Facades are being redone and the city is modernizing faster than I’ve ever seen.

But a few weeks ago I drove through some of my old stomping grounds and I was astonished by how this development isn’t nearly as widespread as I thought. The town of my elementary school (pop 795) looks like a ghost town. The hardware store building is gone and the gas station where I got my earliest tire patches looks like something from a post-apocalyptic videogame.

The town I moved to after high school (pop 2304) was eerily similar. The hardware store, Dari Hut, NAPA auto parts store and karate classes were all still there. I couldn’t tell if the buildings were occupied or if the city just didn’t have the money to demolish them.

I’ve purposely driven past old areas just to see what has happened since I last visited. These places aren’t extremely far out of my way, but usually I take the highway. It’s much faster and I can see where they’re putting up a new Taco Bell. It’s a lot different from the town I haven’t driven through for the past 15 years that looks like it was stuck in a time capsule. I hadn’t seen an IGA in at least a decade. I think there was an extra bar in that town, but I can’t be certain.

It didn’t take long for me to notice how this perfectly illustrated some of the talking points of the American political parties. The Right is always touting how much the economy is growing and that we’re adding more jobs than we can fill. The Left is always quick to point out how unevenly distributed these gains are. The strange thing about it is that those who support the Right tend to live in those podunk towns that could be the backdrop for a production of Brigadoon. I’d think they would want people standing up for the little guy, bringing in jobs, eliminating the eyesores and opening others.

But what the hell do I know? I’m a strange blue square surrounded in a sea of red dots.

In a way, I think I’ll always be able to go back home. But I doubt I’ll ever fit in any better than I did when I left.

Rest in Peace Odo


It was disappointing to hear that René Auberjonois passed away last week. He played my favorite character in the Star Wars Universe. Odo is the furthest character from human I think I’ve ever seen in a sci-fi TV show. Hell, he’s not even humanoid. He’s really just a puddle trying to look human and doing a somewhat poor job of it.

I actually only recently found out that he’s done more acting, directing and voice acting work.

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite a while, but now that he’s gone I guess I’ll just have to post it in tribute.

I hope you enjoy the great water bucket in the sky.

Who’s Coming to Cincinnati?


I heard on the radio today that the Who are going to play their first show in Cincinnati, OH in 40 years.

The first one since… well you know?

I won’t be there. Not just because it’s 3 and a half hours away but because who wants to see two old guys sing the line “I hope I die before I get old”?

The correct answer is: Enough people that they are touring in 2020.

I feel kinda bad for Cincinnati. The Bengals haven’t won a single game all season and now this… And I thought Cleveland had it bad.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving (Buyer’s Remorselessness)


Elton John Here and There (30 April 1976, MCA (US) DJM (UK))

I forget when or why I added Elton John’s 1976 live album Here and There to my Amazon wishlist. It was probably around the time I went to see him live last year. I have 17-11-70, but it’s never been one of my favorites. I think that one was recorded too early in his career to be a great album. When I saw the tracklist for Here and There; however, I knew it would be a valuable addition to my collection.

There’s not a lot I’m not familiar with. Here was recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in London as part of a benefit and featured some princess or another in the audience. It’s definitely the quieter of the discs and features a large selection from his early albums. “Skyline Pigeon,” “Border Song” and “Take Me To The Pilot” begin the festivities as he adds band members. By the time they get to Tumbleweed Connection for “Country Comfort” and a duet with Leslie Duncan, who wrote “Love Song,” the whole band has joined him. He ends with a stripped-down “Your Song” and “Saturday Nights Alright” It’s hard to imagine how anyone with the honorific Her Royal Highness would respond to that tune. I wish there was a video.

There is a much more upbeat affair as it was recorded at Madison Square Garden on 28 November 1974. (Which also was a late Thanksgiving holiday for us yanks.)

The truly special thing about this disc actually has nothing to do with Elton John. While reading the liner notes I discovered this was the final concert performance for his special guest John Lennon. Apparently, after Elton helped Lennon finish recording his single “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” Elton told him it would be a number one hit. Lennon, who didn’t have as much success as a solo artist as a Beatle told him that if that were to happen he would join him on stage. This is Lennon making good on that promise and sounding damn fine doing it. They also rock “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “When I Saw Her Standing There.”

Sometimes when you buy an album you’ve been slobbering over for a time it ends up being a dud and not living up to expectations. This is not one of those times. I would highly recommend this album. Even if you’re not a huge fan of Elton John this is worth getting simply for the Lennon cameo; and who knows, it might make a fan of you.

 

*Sorry I didn’t get this out yesterday when it was not only actually Thanksgiving but also the 45th anniversary of the There disc. I still think I did a pretty good job considering I only bought this on Tuesday.

Buyer’s Remorse “Army of Anyone”


There’s a cool music store chain in Northeast, OH called the Exchange. I stop in whenever I make the trip to Canton and pick up a few items. It’s become my go-to CD/Vinyl store since our local FYE was overtaken by Funko figures and other pop culture paraphernalia designed to sell MTV merch to millennials too young to remember MTV playing music videos.

My favorite thing about the Exchange is their dollar CD selection. Being a store that does a lot of buying and selling they go through inventory fast and if a disc doesn’t move fast enough it’s marked down to get it out the door. Being someone with an irregular taste in music I find this is a great spot for me to look for stuff I might enjoy having in my collection and I have found a few gems there.

Army of Anyone’s 2006 self-titled debut is not one of these gems.

I thought it would be a no-brainer. I enjoy Filter, I love Stone Temple Pilots and I fucking idolize Bob Ezrin. I figure with a line-up like that there’s no way this album can suck.

And to be fair to all parties involved it doesn’t suck. It’s just that it’s very… forgettable. Do you remember the single from the album, “Goodbye”? Once you hear it again you may, but it doesn’t take long to fade away. And that’s about the only standout. But I think it’s just a standout because I’ve heard it a few times before.

Honestly, if anyone wants my copy I’ll just charge you shipping and you can have it. Otherwise, it’s probably going to go to Goodwill. After all, I can’t sell it back to the Exchange.