Grant Hart: 1961 – 2017

The drummer for seminal Minneapolis punk band Husker Du, Grant Hart died a couple days ago of liver cancer.

He was the driving force behind some of the bands most well known songs, such as the below:

Fuck cancer y’all…

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Cover song: Gas Chamber

It’s been a while since I wrote a piece about a cover song.  The subject of this composition is punk band Angry Samoans and their song “Gas Chamber”.

Originally recorded in 1982, the song (I think) compares being trapped in one’s own thoughts to the feeling of being locked in a gas chamber.  For some perspective, Angry Samoans also had songs with titles such as “Homo-Sexual” and “They Saved Hitler’s Cock” on the same album.

Fast forward to 1995.  Nirvana had disbanded with the death of Kurt Cobain and the alternative rock world was waiting to see what Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl were going to do with their notoriety and influence.  Enter the Foo Fighters (which, when I first heard the name, I thought it was the Food Fighters, because I didn’t understand the Foo reference) with a song that was a crisp 60 seconds and rocked my teenage ears.  It wasn’t for quite some time, several years in fact, that I realized that it wasn’t an original song.

The song saw it’s official release on as the b-side to “Big Me” in 1996, before being included on the 2004 compilation Rock Against Bush vol. 2, and later saw a vinyl released on the Foo Fighters cover set Medium Rare which was released as part of Record Store Day in 2011.

Over 20 years after first hearing it, I’m still waiting for the Foo Fighters to rock this hard again.  That’s not to say they haven’t put out some good singles through the years, but damn if nothing has met my expectations for what I was hoping a Dave Grohl fronted project would sound like.

Drowning in the Sound

Amanda Palmer just released a track to benefit those victims of the flooding in Houston.

Available here the track is about the multi-faceted response to disasters.  I ❤ Amanda Palmer and have since her Dresden Dolls days, so I was very eager to donate $5.00 to the Texas Diaper Bank in order to make this song my own.

100% of the proceeds through September 2017 will benefit the Diaper Bank.  Please show your support!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, for your aural pleasure, The Dresden Dolls:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen…Edward Louis Severson III

I didn’t know this before he was introduced this way, but before his parents divorced in 1965, Eddie Vedder was born Edward Louis Severson III.

This week’s episode of Twin Peaks saw Mr Severson being introduced at the Roadhouse before performing his vinyl only fan club single “Out of Sand”.

 

Only one more episode of the revival of Twin Peaks.   I’ll be sad to see it go.  If there were any justice in the world, Twin Peaks would be doing Game of Thrones-esque numbers, rather than having a hardcore loyal following.

It was 20 years ago today…August 1997

Rammstein:  Sehnchuct

I’m a few days late on this one, but here we go.

Rammstein are a German industrial band who burst onto the American alternative music scene with their track “Du Hast”.  Quite topically, their music was assumed to be socially conservative (read neo-Nazi), when in fact, their music, while provocative, is nothing of the sort.

The band enjoys word play.  Rammstein is Ramming Stone in German.  Ramstein was a US Air Force base in Germany.  Similarly, Du Hasst means “you hate” and Du Hast means “You have”.  Got it, great?  Everybody ready, because we’re going to deep dive into Du Hast.

Sonically, Du Hast sounds incredibly angry, but lyrically it’s more of a song about a relationship gone awry.  Below is a translation in full of the lyrics, taken from this website:

You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You have asked
You have asked me
You have asked me
You have asked me and I have said nothing
Do you want to be faithful for eternity
Until death parts you?
No!
No!
Do you want to be faithful for eternity
Until death parts you?
No!
No!
You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You
You have
You have asked
You have asked
You have asked me
You have asked me
You have asked me and I have said nothing
Do you want to be faithful for eternity
Until death parts you?
No!
No!
Do you want to love her even in bad days
Unto the death of the vagina?
No!
No!
So…basically, it’s one person in the relationship where one wants to get married and the other can’t bring themselves to respond.  Far from the angry supposition as assumed by many non-German speakers, from how the lyrics sound to our ears.
However, that’s not to say the band doesn’t have lyrics meant to provoke.  “Buck Dich” and “Spiel Mit Mir” are translated as “Bend Over” and “Play With Me” respectively.
(Sorry, for some reason that song won’t post the youtube video as a video).  During live performances, “Buch Dich” frequently sees simulated anal sex between the singer and the keyboard payer.  You’ve been warned.
“Spiel mit Mir” has met more resistance than any other song from this album.  Lyrically, it is about two brothers sharing the same bed at night, and performing sex acts on each other…so, there’s that…
Sehnchuct is, to date, the only entirely German album to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.  As of 2017, Rammstein were in the studio and hard at work on their 7th studio album.  May 19, 2017 also saw the release of their live DVD/Blu-ray titled Paris.

Portland!

Yesterday, as we were walking from the Max station (think light rail, Seattle-ites) to Powell’s (forget you if you don’t know Powell’s), we came across a store front for the record label Tender Loving Empire.  We didn’t go in, though I had heard of the label before, and couldn’t remember why.

What I discovered when doing my research today was that the band Typhoon are one of the current standouts of the label and apparently the store front used to sell a poster that featured some of their best lyrics from “The Honest Truth”.

36,000 songs!

I discovered last night that my itunes library had surpassed 36k songs.  I made a playlist back at 25,000, but have now made another one, choosing 100 songs per 2000 chronologically, for an 1800 song playlist.  Below are the 10 best songs added to my itunes since i surpassed 25,000 in June of 2014.

10. I encapsulated the human experience in a 10 second song-  self defense family

9.  I wanna get better-  Bleachers

8.  A new wave-  Sleater-Kinney

7.  Baby blue sedan-  Modest Mouse

6.  Witness (f. Mavis Staples)-  Benjamin Booker

5.  At the seams (#blacklivesmatter)-  Kimya Dawson

4.  Close your eyes (and count to fuck) (f. Zack de la Rocha)-  Run the Jewels

3.  Perfect day-  Lou Reed

2.  Short Movie-  Laura Marling

  1.  Longer than you’ve been alive-  Old 97s

What if John Lennon left The Beatles in 1962?

This isn’t exactly a new/recent short film on youtube, but it was just given to me about a week ago and I thought I’d share.

The film is set in 1992 and has a 52 year old John Lennon trying to make it as a temp in an office environment.  While on his way to work, he sees an advertisement for The Beatles Live at the Manchester Apollo.  I wanted to take the time to list their “hits” listed on the poster, most of which The Beatles never actually recorded.

Ding Dong

Mull of Kintyre

Yellow Submarine

C Moon

You’re Sixteen

Mary Had a Little Lamb

How Do You Do What You Do To Me

 

Mull of Kintyre was eventually recorded by Wings in 1977:

As was C Moon

As for the others, I can’t imagine The Beatles recording “Ding Dong” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.  Maybe from a fictional children’s album (which would also kind of make sense for “Yellow Submarine”.

Anyway, alternate history is usually reserved for “what if the South won the Civil War” or ‘what if Germany and Japan won World War II”, so it was refreshing to see the genre used in a less war-centric story.