Saturday, December 10, 2011

Response to the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions

I have to stay, I had an increasing interest in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in that in recent years. That's because they pulled in Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Iggy and the Stooges, Metallica- a few very decent artists. They try to juggle substance with record sales, but they end up coming up with questionable results. This year, they did exactly what I did not want them to do. They are set to induct the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beastie Boys, and Guns N'Roses, Laura Nyro, Donovan, and The Small Faces/Faces. Those acts were finalists chosen over nominees The Cure, Heart and a few others. The Cure I think were very good, if not the equal of other early goth bands like Bauhaus or Joy Division. Heart were sexy women that arose out of the male dominated 70's music now called "classic rock", that I can respect. Laura Nyro , Donavan and The Small Faces are the dregs of 60's hippy garbage. I can count the number of times I've heard Laura Nyro on the radio on one finger. I don't need to hear some sixties band that Rod Stewart ended up joining that's exactly what The Small Faces are. I am neither a leftist nor a user of illegal drugs, so I do not deify these people. The bands that weren't fecal matter fossilized from the 60's that they picked are bands that were overplayed on 80's to early 90's MTV. I recall it all well, but I feel no need to revisit Mother's Milk or Check Your Head. Guns N'Roses I suppose are alright. The Beastie Boys had their moments in a way. The Red Hot Chili Peppers annoy me at the mall. People bitch about this Lou Reed and Metallica album that was sparked by a performance at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event, but if the members of the bands listed above start jamming at the induction ceremony that will be the worst music ever made. You want to hear Axel and Slash join on "Fight for Your Right to Party" with Flea slapping the bass? It could happen at the induction ceremony. Two bands that emerged in the same time era that annihilate the ones in the rock and roll hall of fame this year- one is the Cult and the other is Voivod. Guns N' Roses actually opened for the Cult at one point. . Voivod and the Cult in slightly different ways captured the correct way to go about creating rock, which is not so much to adhere too rigidly to a genre, but to synthesize a sound using something here from metal,here from punk, here from 60's bands, whatever works. That's where we get nice little genres like gothic metal from. The explication I've read of the Cult's sound is that they started as a goth band and then made the risky, then unfashionable move of looking back into late 60's/early 70's bands like Led Zeppelin and Free that we today hear on classic rock radio. Voivod integrated influences from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands like Venom and Motorhead with bits of things that were going on in punk, but their big hit was actually a cover of an early Pink Floyd song written by Syd Barrett. I'm thankful to say, I've recently run into early Cult and early Voivod that has been re-released or released in the last few years. I didn't know about it at the time, but in 2009 the Cult issued a box set edition of their album Love with three disks of demos, b-sides and live takes. This fall, Voivod released their original demo from their early days in Quebec, To The Death 84. The Cult's Love Omnibus Edition from 2009 is a must have. That has been one of my favorite albums since I was a child but listening to the collected b-sides and such, the better material they were working on may not have even been what made it onto the original LP. Lead vocalist Ian Astbury was obsessed both with the 60's counter-culture generation and with Native American culture, neither of which he belonged to, they had the strange ability to get away with it. I much prefer Cult to any of the hippy era bands like Led Zeppelin that they drew inspiration from. The Love Omnibus Edition has a little booklet that it comes with that has some details that I didn't know before. I wasn't aware that the Cult's drummer from their first album, Nigel Preston, was thrown out of the band because of mental illness or that the working title for "Phoenix" was "Stooges" because it sounded like a Stooges track. The track that really gets me is "Hollow Man". In the lyrics, the man who follows him each and every day with a gun in hand- is that himself? Is it the grim reaper? After Love they went into the studio working on a lengthy psychedelic album that was taking too long to make, the band being very into drugs at this point. The Cult used Rick Rubin as a producer immediately after he did the Beastie Boys' License to Ill album, and went for the very straight sounding electric guitar sound Rubin was using at the time. Their next album Electric I think only uses any guitar effect whatsoever on one track. I'd still listen to Electric, it doesn't have the nice lairs of sound that Love has. They started turning into hair metal, essentially. Love is really the album to get. To the Death 84 is a little bit of a different organism. This material is a very early demo material by Voivod, the science-fiction the meed speed-metal band from Quebec. It is recording of an early live performance, and includes many of the tracks that ended up on Voivod's first album, War and Pain as well as a few covers, two of them Venom songs. The recording quality is very lo-fi. You get a sense from this track what an aggressive beast early Voivod really was live. At this point the drummer wore a gas mask on stage, in keeping with the band's pre-occupation with life after a nuclear war. They moved way from there very early wall-of-noise approach in pursuit of something more technically sophisticated and futuristic. If someone come across a young band that know the Cult, Voivod and some of the other music I've referenced here well,I'd be sort of curious to know about it. I started being sick of people and their stupid bands when I was in my late 20's. That's when I would cross paths with a lot of utterly failed and pointless bands and musicians, especially in New York. The hipster music press is full of it, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction committee is full of it. There are a couple good goth albums, a couple good metal albums, that's about it. Even that I get sick of periodically.

1 comment:

  1. The Cult not being in the R&R HOF is a tragedy. I wish I knew how to fix it.