I’ve mentioned before that modern music use to divide the generations. Up until recently parent and kid culture would clash over music. Beginning with the moralistic disapproval of Elvis’s sexuality, followed by a general distain for the rebellious nature of rock n roll, followed further by parent’s disapproval for devil worshiping heavy metal, followed further but the abrasiveness of the underground hardcore punk scene going mainstream with Nirvana and grunge. I think the politically incorrect nature of hip hop is the last act of this play, the twilight of this protest.
Earlier we talked about how the press was treating Thrice singer Dustin Kensrue unfairly. Today we will be looking at the case of Joey Briggs, and his band The Briggs, who had a show cancelled by German promoters because he is a Scientologist. The promoters admit that Joey’s live tour is not about spreading the message of Scientology. I have been to a few Briggs shows in my life, they have never mentioned religion at any of them. None of their lyrics (that I know of) seem to be about religious topics. But still, the promoters feel that because Joey is a member of a religion that “directly exploit(s) the hopes and dispair of people”, they are justified in cancelling the show.
For me, Beggars Banquet is the greatest Rolling Stones album there is. A lot of record nerds will say that Exile on Main St. is better, or that Sticky Fingers produced better singles. These are just detached judgements build on party lines; Sticky Fingers for the radio people, Exile for the hipsters. Thematically all the songs on the album are about poverty and suffering (hence the title) but all of them offer some sort of glimmer of hope. To this day I’m still not sure if the Stones are singing about God or Socialism. Is ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ really about the devil or is it about historical materialism? Is prodigal son about Jesus or Lenin? It depends on my mood.
There’s been a lot of speculation about Thrice’s breakup in the message boards and news lately, specifically focusing on singer/writer Dustin Kensrue’s religious motivation for leaving. The Orange Country Register’s article paints the blame solely on Kensrue’s commitment to his faith, doing so in a highbrow condescending manner, taking shots at his church’s pastor. The article says something that I hold an 100% opposite opinion of:
Last year was probably the most creatively bankrupt year for the punk scene in my lifetime. It felt like their was nothing new to get excited about. Dead to Me released Moscow Penny Ante, which was good but not quite as good as Cuban Ballerina or their EPs. Joyce Manor was probably the most notable new band on the scene, with their infectious reinvigoration of pop-punk.
2012 so far feels even worse then 2011. The Sidekicks, Cheap girls, and the Brendan Kelly solo outing all disappointed me with their new albums. That being said, the Menzingers kinda surprised me and released their best album ever. And the Classics of Love debut was not too shabby either. The Sharks made a good record too. Here is what we think about the freshest batch of new releases from our favourite bands:
It’s been some time since I’ve been to a stadium rock and roll show (pre-American Idiot Greenday I think). I guess it’s just not my thing; with the high ticket prices, overhyped bands, fireworks, and smoke machines. Not that there’s anything wrong with all these theatrics, I think bringing some of this stuff back into the small club show would be cool (as Allie Hughes and the Revolts have done). Stadium shows just seem boring and predictable. They usually end with the band pretending the show is over, only to come back out and play a few more songs. Sometimes they to two or three encores. The Cure have been known to play up to five encores, which to me sounds like a recurring nightmare.
Album closers are a tricky business. This is the last song the listener will hear, you want it to be good. You probably don’t want it to be your heaviest or most energetic (I suppose there are some exceptions to this), it’s a good time to get epic and wordy. These are the album closers that we feel do a good job: