A wave of reverence for the almighty mix tape seems to have swept through my friends lately, as the topic has come up in conversation a lot. I have a habit that gives my age away of calling any CD or digital compilation a “mix tape”, but what I’m talking about here is really the mix TAPE. You know, the one that took hours to put together as you had to listen to the whole thing as it was created. The ease of iTunes mixes and burning CDs – or just creating a Spotify list or something – takes a lot of the magic of playing amateur DJ away. (Now git off my lawn, you meddlin’ kids!) Continue reading
The only common thread among my recent live music excursions is that the artists all performed at least one cover song that I deemed awesome. Weezer taking on Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”? Yes, please. Local grrl rockers EZ Tiger tearing into “Jeepster” by T. Rex? I think I’m in love. Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek killing “Different Drum” with an assist (and new lyrics!) by its author, Mike Nesmith? Well, now I just sound like I’m bragging.
I can’t help it; I love a good cover. Continue reading
I have recently – and finally – started digging into music writer Chuck Klosterman’s heavy metal manifesto/defense/apology Fargo Rock City. I’m a huge fan of Klosterman, and quite often feel that my musings are a petty, unpolished turd of an enterprise compared to this dude’s. That said, I came across a passage in Fargo Rock City that nails sentiments that power my most monumental music fandoms.
Comparing the guitar skills of Eddie Van Halen to those of Eric Clapton, Klosterman writes:
“Eddie and Eric are certainly among the greatest rock guitarists who ever lived, but for totally different reasons. Listening to Clapton is like getting a sensual massage from a woman you’ve loved for the past ten years; listening to Van Halen is like having the best sex of your life with three foxy nursing students you met at a Tastee Freez.”
Those who know me even marginally well know my two favorite artists in the world are R.E.M. and Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame. And I realize that I love them in completely different ways. To borrow Klosterman’s analogy and warp it. R.E.M. in my world is like that great, passionate love affair that burns brightly – but, inevitably, burns out. Neil Finn in my world is like that shy guy who would always hold the door and offer words of support when that other asshole dumps you – and then one day, you realize: shit, happiness was standing in front of you all along.
Let me explain. Continue reading