I must admit that until I saw them up on the Grammys stage with classical pianist Lang Lang last Sunday night, I had completely forgotten about Metallica.
Or maybe I had just blocked them out since I find Lars Ulrich to be one of the most annoying people on earth. I think it was the whole Napster situation. I understand that it sucks for artists, who have worked really hard to put a product out there, when people are downloading their stuff for free. For the record, I would like to mention that I pay for all of my music. Not everyone does, and that’s cool — for me it’s just a matter of principle. Besides, I’m a fucking adult now. I don’t have the time to be dicking around with illegal downloads.
Having said all that, I do think Lars was just too serious about the whole thing. Dude needs to lighten up. It’s not that his argument didn’t make sense, it was just his way of going about it that rubbed me the wrong way. But then, I don’t like it when anyone is overly militant in their views. I’m a lover not a fighter, y’all. Why can’t we all just get along?
Anyway, music politics notwithstanding, Metallica is one of the hugest metal acts of all time, and in fact one of the most commercially successful bands in rock & roll history (they’ve sold over 110 million albums worldwide). They didn’t get to where they are by sucking. Sure, it’s metal for the masses, but it’s good stuff.
A couple of weeks ago I went to see a friend’s band play. Their name: More Cowbell.
I hadn’t seen a cover band in a long time and I had forgotten how good it feels to know song after song and be reminded of old favorites. There is a real pleasure in the experience of hearing the soundtrack of your life and sharing it with other people. The Cars, the Cult, Areosmith, Blondie, U2, No Doubt, the Foo Fighters, the Ramones… More Cowbell ripped things up for the duration of three satisfying sets. They didn’t play any Rush songs (it’s not often that you hear a band cover Rush), but my buddy on the kit was doing his best to sneak in fills when he could. I found myself singing along and grinning all night.
Weirdly, it felt like a vacation — a vacation from all the new stuff out there, and I don’t only mean new releases. I mean anything new to you – bands your friends suggest, albums that critics write about, music you hear on TV or in movies…There is so much out there and I really do want to give it all a try, but sometimes I just want to listen to the Cars’ first album for days and not feel like I’m missing out on something.
Seeing More Cowbell, and the happiness I experienced that night, made me realize that maybe I’m reaching my cut off point. I might be full, no more room for new stuff. I have assembled my musical cannon and I’m happy with it. I don’t like to believe this. I like to think that I will always be open to new music, but something inside me smirks and says stop foolin’ (immediately thought of Def Leppard) yourself. I remember when it began for me: in 1979, buying 45s at records stores with my allowance money…and now I’m buying my music on the internet with my credit card — innocence lost!
Am I really ready to end my search for new music? No, of course not…but I believe I have learned a valuable lesson: take a vacation, have fun, go out and see a cover band.
It’s December 24th. Christmas Eve. Let Them Eat Vinyl headquarters is a lively place tonight. We may or may not be getting drunk. And by that I mean we are. You know what else we are doing? Dancing around our living room, listening to our favourite Christmas song.
There are many great Christmas songs out there, but this one holds a special place in our hearts. The Finn was in high school when it was released, and tells me that everyone loved it — the punks, the headbangers, the new wavers, the rockers. It was a universal song, and those don’t come along too often. I was seven years old and actually living in Africa at the time, and although I was one of the lucky ones who never had to worry about food on my table, it’s important to remember that this is still an all-too-common problem in the world, almost 30 years after this song came out. So let’s continue Bob Geldof’s good works, and try to help out those less fortunate than ourselves, whenever and however we can.
This Christmas, we wish the best to you and your family. We love you, and we hope that you keep visiting our site, because it is our goal to entertain you and hopefully make you think about why you love music. Music is one of the greatest things in the world, and we are all lucky to have it.
So please enjoy our favorite Christmas song, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’:
p.s. How amazing is this song?? Paul Weller! Boy George! Simon Le Bon! Bono! Phil Collins on drums! And I am kind of crushing on a young Sting. Also, how beautiful is Jody Watley? Everyone looks so ’80s and awesome. We love it. Peace, love and joy to you all.
I’m currently reading a book called “Oasis: The Truth” by the band’s first drummer, Tony McCarroll (to be reviewed shortly), and it’s putting me in a ‘90s frame of mind. I remember so clearly when ‘Definitely Maybe’ came out…it was the fall of 2004 and I had just started university. As I was a mere 17 years of age, I had to resort to using my roommate’s ID to get into bars. This would have worked perfectly (we actually bore a passable resemblance to one another) except for the fact that my roomie and I became instant BFFs, so we rarely went to bars separately. Not surprisingly, trying to get past the bouncer with an ID bearing the same name as the person who has just gone before you is rarely an effective tactic.
Fortunately, the floor we lived on in residence quickly gained notoriety as one that excelled in booze-fuelled shenanigans and drunken revelry and we threw some pretty kickass parties at home, which saved me from having to go through the whole ID rigamarole too often. Even though we were an all-girls floor, we definitely raged as hard (or harder) than some of the male-only residences. I remember the first time I heard this song because my friend Michelle always made amazing mixes and she put it onto the mixed tape for our first party of the year. Ever since then, this tune has reminded me of the excitement I felt being away from home, meeting new people, and feeling the freedom to be myself (“I can’t be no one else”). It also reminds me of standing in a dingy residence hallway drinking disgusting alcoholic concoctions (Purple Jesus, Blue Lagoon, etc) out of plastic cups. By ’94-’95, grunge fashion was slightly on the wane and we were all wearing miniskirts or little dresses with those awful thigh-high tights. In retrospect we looked like idiots but at the time I just remember it being such a period of optimism and new adventure, living in an unfamiliar city, staying out ‘til the early morning hours drinking coffee with boys in all-night diners, sleeping through morning classes, rolling into the dining hall at noon with a raging hangover — and loving every single minute of it. I still get a little thrill of excitement when I hear the opening bars of this song, and I miss those carefree days of being a student (let me clarify: I don’t miss the homework, but I do sometimes long for the days of total lack of responsibility).
Tomorrow is my birthday, and I will be over twice the age I was when I first heard this song. Yes, it’s been eighteen years since I stood in that hallway downing jello shots, blissing out on mid-’90s Britpop (Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Supergrass, Elastica, etc) and dancing all night. Unlike the bands we were listening to, we weren’t under the influence of any illicit substances (other than some underage alcohol consumption of course) but we didn’t need to to be. The music and the joyful folly of youth were enough of a trip on their own.
So my Song of the Day today is a ’90s classic, ‘Supersonic’ by Oasis. Happy Birthday to me!
christian’s top 10 list, no not a christian top 10…you get it.
well where on earth do i go for my very first top 10, hmmmm how about……drummers (surprise)!
let me quantify my choices by saying that these are the dudes (sorry no girls on this list) that impacted me the most. here’s 1 thru 10 with my reasons why:
1. john henry bonham
let me start by saying i love this guy so much i named my first born after him. bonzo’s feel, power and tone were just unmatched by anybody in the game. i have never heard another drummer (although many have tried) capture his extraordinary touch on the drums. an absolute natural in the truest sense of the word. zep would have been a completely different animal without their anchor, the man also known as “the beast” — but that’s a moniker referring to another aspect of john that i will address in another of my planned top 10’s. i recently saw a keef richards clip on youtube in which they asked him about led zeppelin, and he said “they were aptly named, they never quite got off the ground to me. bonham just too heavy handed, let me just say that led zeppelin was jimmy page” (more on this on yet another upcoming list). silly keef and i do love you, and everybody is entitled to their opinion, but to slag off — and i will go on the record here and say “the greatest rock drummer of all time” — is just ridiculous. to sum up bonzo: the quintessential rock drummer that oddly learned to play drums by listening to soul drummers.