Archive for the 'Chicks With Guitars' Category

Go-Gos Still Go-Going

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

I recorded the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, for the sole purpose of watching the Go-Go’s — even though I’ve seen them do We’ve Got the Beat dozens of times over the years, and even though they never vary how they do it, even in length.

Kathy-nowFormer member Kathy Valentine, in a comment on Facebook the day after the performance, talked about the do-it-exactly-the-same mentality that she says is the reason she was booted from the group:

Well it’s old news now. better to comment with some distance. my opinion is that it sounded fine for a live tv performance. lead vocal a little pitchy and shaky but no biggie. No mistakes–how could there be though? The bass player played the song fine but looks wrong for the group vibe. doing those hard rock stances in a matron length dress doesn’t work for me. it didn’t look like they were having any fun, but I know it’s hard to do those big televised things. I felt bad for them kind of, because they got good placement and a great set, yet it still felt like they were the stepchild at the family reunion, and I bet they felt that way. It’s hard to be the irrelevant act on a roster of hit makers, no matter what your opinion of the song or the performance was, that was the circumstance. I never understood why the band wouldn’t work the WGTB breakdown better–I used to beg to make more of it. It’s the perfect chance for audience engagement, everyone at concert is on their feet having the best time–give them more than 8 bars to enjoy it. From afar, I give them this advice once again, for the farewell tour: change it! extend the breakdown! make it fun! stretch the song out to, oh I don’t know, maybe 3 and a half minutes. Oh wait, but that would be DIFFERENT, got forbid. When we played it with Beck sitting in and Jack Black singing, I was trying to make everyone play the song a little longer so we could have FUN. how often does that happen, where we have ****ing Beck and Jack Black on stage with us?! Keep it going! No way. They refused to make it longer. everything is exact. every fill, every strum, every length–unless it is decided on ahead of time and rehearsed extensively. exactly the same. drove me crazy. it’s all about giving the fans MORE, in my opinion. once they are there, having paid their ticket price, give them a show. While we’re on the topic, I also used to beg for this–check this out: I used to suggest, over and over, that Jane sing Rush Hour or some song of hers, while Belinda went off stage to change clothes. Presto!!! You have made Jane happy, given the audience another recognizable song, and added completely free production value with a simple outfit change. I really tried to implement simple easy things that would make a better show. They can say whatever they want about me, but that’s the truth, and I have the emails to back it up. ok, there’s my review and rant. enjoy. curse me out. whatever!

If it’s all true, it seems an odd habit for a band that broke so many of rock’s rules at the time.

J-Punk, Girl Edition

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Everybody who reads this blog knows how much I like chicks with guitars — I even have a whole category dedicated to them (although it’s a fairly new category, and I don’t have all relevant posts indexed as such right now).

ANYWAY: I recently ran across a Reddit thread from a year or so ago in which Japanese girl bands (rock, not pop) were being discussed, and I figured it was time to compile a few into a post. (Spoiler alert: There are several songs by Shonen Knife.)

So here we go:

The’s (the band featured in Kill Bill):

Princess Princess, mid-1980’s:

The same band, just ten years later:



Probably the most famous of all the Japanese girl punk band’s Shonen Knife, with a Ramones cover:

And while we’re at it — another Ramones cover by Shonen Knife!

And another!

And now for something completely different: Shonen Knife covering a Carpenters tune:

And the Monkees:

And at last, a Shonen Knife original:

Can you tell I like Shonen Knife? Does it show?

These girls are unclear on the concept: Thug Murder should be the name of an American rap act, not a Japanese punk band. Anyway, this is a cover of an old U.S. hit:

The best band name of the bunch, Red Bacteria Vacuum:

Watashi Wa Arashi:

Some of these bands are more heavy metal than punk, this one more than any of them. At least the sound is clean and crisp, and there sure aren’t any other metal bands that look like this. Bonus points: The band name, “Band Maid” is one of the great Engrish terms — it almost makes sense on some level, but mostly not.

And finally: A song that starts J-pop and quickly turns metal:

Okay, one more: Here’s a band that wasn’t mentioned in the Reddit thread, but I’ve known about them for years. I prefer their song “Soap and Cigarettes”, but I can’t find a video anywhere, so here’s Dirtruck with a different song that’s not as good:

Whew! I actually know about lots more girl J-Rock, but that is for another day. For now, go exploring for more by these bands on YouTube.

Das Band

Friday, May 13th, 2016

It’s really too bad that we didn’t have the Internet in the early 80s, or more postpunk/New Wave bands might have taken off. For instance, I’m just recently finding out about this all-girl German band named Kleenex:

No Shazam, no Facebook, no Google Translate — how did we ever listen to music back then???

Back to the Bjork

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It was about four years ago that I started becoming fascinated with Iceland in general, and that bizarre crazycakes entity known as Bjork in particular.

Today I remembered that SNL recently did a news segment with Her Wackness (played by Kristen Wiig) explaining Iceland’s economic crisis, and I realized I haven’t checked out Hulu in a long time, so hey: Two birds, one stone, no waiting:

The absolute bestest part: “Right now, Iceland gets all of its revenue from three sources: Fishing, dragons, and screaming.”

Ha ha ha haaaa! That’s pure comedy genius!

Because it’s Bjork all over.

Don’t believe me? here’s her “Bachelorette” video; discruminating film enthusiasts will detect Michel Gondry’s fingerprints all over it:

Pony Up!

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I’ve newly discovered this great girl band out of Montreal (hey, you know me and girl bands!): They’re called Pony Up, and they’ve got a really great sound. Check out this cool song of theirs (but warning, the video’s kinda twisted, although the beginning with the ambulance reminds me of the classic Bjork videos by Michel Gondry):

GREAT band name, btw … Check out more of their songs on MySpace

Music Blogs

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

A couple of music blogs I just discovered on Twitter: Blalock’s Indie Rock Playlist, and Whisper All the Notes in My Ears.

Over the past year, DJing in Second Life, I’ve been exposed to a lot of Indie & Alternative music, and I’m liking a lot of it (especially the girl bands) every bit as much as my native classic rock. And blogs like these are a great place to dive into the subject, especially Blalock’s, since he has huge lists of recommended music.

So check ’em out.

Get a (Second) Life

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Aside from the usual jobhunting, I’ve mostly just been DJing in Second Life (hey, it’s free, plus I’ve been earning some miniscule tips), which is not only teaching me new skills, but also serves an informal networking functionality.

I’m currently DJing four regular shifts at three clubs right now: Rockers, Club Siren and Belar Inshan Social Club, with the Orion available any time I want to open it up, and an offer pending for the club I previously managed, Midnight at the Forum. (The reason I quit managing was because I was trying to fill 2 clubs — and they just gave me a third — in exchange for a small (virtual) house. Now I just DJ for tips, and I takes me just two shows to pay rent on a house that’s twice as big!)

As I’ve mentioned, I used to DJ in college, and never imagined I’d be doing it again, but thanks to the miracle of internet, I can inflict my musical tastes on the musical public! I’m also meeting a lot of interesting folks from all over.

One of the coolest new people I’ve met is Tamra Hayden, the real-life Broadway actress/singer/songwriter. She performs live concerts in Second Life, reaching a worldwide audience thanks to, you guessed it, the miracle of the internet.

Here’s a video of her singing in REAL life, performing “Eden Will Bloom”:

And Tamra’s not the only musician I’ve met in the virtual realm: At my DJ gig Monday night, several of us noticed a young lady hanging around on the fringes of the dance floor, unsure what to make of everything, and it turned out that it was her first night in Second Life. A few of us at the club began talking to her and giving her things we had previously gotten for free, and letting her know some good places to get more.

We also found out that she is the lead singer of the North Carolina band, The Situationals. They’ve got some really great music, and she’s got a good powerful voice, reminiscent of The Motels and Pat Benatar — but the songs (and the band) are much better than those too. Here’s a sample of their work:

And finally, I’ve previously mentioned Mazzie, the young lady from Australia whom I met on my first day in Second Life.

The reason I’m mentioning her today is that she recently sent me this joke:

St. Peter is at the Pearly Gates checking up on the people waiting to enter Heaven. He asks the next one in line, ‘So, who are you, and what did you do on Earth?’ The fellow says, ‘I’m Barack Obama, and I was the first black to be elected President of the United States ‘ St. Peter says, ‘The U.S.? A black President? You gotta be kidding me! When did this happen?’ Obama says, ‘About twenty minutes ago.’

She also added that McCain “is a right cock”, and that Hilary “needs a good beating”.

It’s good to know that the people in other countries take an interest in our democracy …

Second Life?? I barely have a First!

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

(Click the picture to view the large size for full effect.)

Well, I finally did it: I finally broke down and checked into Second Life. I heard about it a couple of years ago, but never really got motivated to check it out, and lately I’ve been hearing that it’s over the hump, and was never really all it was cracked up to be.

Besides, I’ve done the Everquest thing, so I know how involving those virtual worlds can be, and I needed to put my time into other projects..

And I’ve done the thing, so I also know how UN-involving virtual worlds can be. So I blew it off.

But now, Second Life happens to be intersecting with one of my other projects — and it’s free, and I’m unemployed, and on Friday it was an alternative to driving an 80 mile round trip — so I finally took the plunge.

As it turns out, it was a great time, both Friday night and all day Saturday, with several RPMers and even a few civilians gathering their avatars in a virtual nightclub and having those avatars boogie down, as shown in the above picture, to music that WE wrote and recorded.

A great feeling it is, to see people (virtual in this case) dancing to your music.

The dancer in this case is not one of the fellow musicians, but rather a lady named Mazzie from Australia. (I’m posting this particular picture because she didn’t believe that her normally silver outfit was giving off a distinctly green hue for an hour or so.)

I also promised several people a shout-out, including Mazzie, Gwenette Writer (another non-RPMer, but something of a mover-and-shaker within Second Life), Fence Flatley (our DJ for the evening and an RPM musician in Omaha, whose artist name is One Inch From Midget), Ruby’s Cannon (who wrote me a very complimentary email about my music), Jigjaw from London, England, Sister Savage from Bristol, England (I told her, “We have a dog named Bristol!”)
and … well, I can’t remember the others right now, but there were lots of us, and lots of strangers getting exposed to our music.

Oh, and Domestic Science wasn’t there at the party, but she also gave me a nice compliment about my music in an email, so I’m giving her a mention and a link as well …

Go to the RPM Jukebox, click Library, and check out these artists and others. You’ll be glad you did.

(Note to old college buddy Terry: Find Ruby’s Cannon in the Jukebox and listen to their stuff, especially 442, and see if it reminds you to Pat Travers.)

Thursday Pinpoint, Vol. 1

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

I’m going to try something this week. It’s hard to explain, but it’s about how there can be lots of material on one tiny little pinpoint subject.

This week: Videos of people playing the Ventures’ 60s surf hit, “Walk Don’t Run”.

The power of Web 2.0: Anyone can have a global audience!

It’s great to see that the young folks are helping to preserve the classics:


An eight-year-old Japanese girl!

Acoustic trio!

From 80s German TV!

The way it was meant to be played: In a leisure suit at a wedding party!

Another youngster showing appreciation for the classics:

And finally, the real thing: The Ventures!

Music and Videos and One Other Thing

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Okay, we’re going with the “5” bullets because nothing else has struck me as being worthy. (You DO remember I’ve been blogging for 5 years, right? Just checking …)

Okay, let’s do it:

First off, for Yay Kim: I’m assuming you know about February Album Writing Month — but since you just did this kind of thing, I’m also assuming you’re going to take a pass this time around.

I’m tempted — really, really tempted — but I think for now I need to work on my other projects (there are at least three that need my attention, chief of which is job-hunting.

Not that I couldn’t take on another project, but the fact is that in the three weeks until the contest starts I would have to become much, much more musician-like than I am at this point in time in order to do the project in February without putting everything else on hold. That’s what I don’t have time for.

Speaking of Chicks with Guitars, I’ve run across some sites and tunes for Rocket, the all-girl semi-punk band that I remembered from The Next Great American Band on Fox a couple of months ago. The reason I bring it up is because they sound a lot better than they did on the show. I really should have looked them up earilier, because I already knew that TV networks don’t know how to make music sound good, especially when it’s musicians performing on reality shows, especially on Fox.

Anyway, check out their site, linked above, and their MySpace site, which has probably the coolest design I’ve seen of any pro musicians on MySpace.

Here’s their music video of “Cougar Rush”, the best of their videos on YouTube:

But if you really want to hear their music, go to their official site.

Speaking of music videos, Boing Boing had some links to lots of old videos today, including one song I had been thinking about for some reason, from the 8th grade year: Green Tambourine — and now here’s the music video that I’ve never seen before:

There was also this one from about 15 years later, the height of the MTV craze:

And now for something completely different, not music or video at all:

This just in: HILLARY IS DEAD!

No, not that one, the Mt. Everest guy.