Friday, May 15, 2015

'Blues Ain't Nothin' But A Good Man Feelin' Bad' - Goodbye, B.B. and Thanks

In January,1970, I was a typical hangdog, horny 16 year old with no girlfriends, no prospects and not much of a future beyond some boring retail job in my hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. Winter was already at its worst and my empty heart was just as cold and bitter as the brutal North wind that swept down from Canada via the Midwestern plains.
I had, at the time, not much hope and not much happiness... but I did have a car. It was a truly 'classy' 1964 Pontiac Starchief.  Sure, it was the size of a naval aircraft carrier and was just about as easy to navigate but it did have one redeeming feature - an AM radio with a big in-dash speaker. Music, in a car! What a cool invention!
Sure, I already knew that cars had radios but, thanks to my dad, I thought that there were only two types of music on radios: Country AND Western.
Just kidding.
I'd been listening to TOP 40 radio since I was a wee lad and had spent a huge chunk of my life listening to R&B, Pop, Beach Boys, Beatles, Motown, The Who, The Rolling Stones and every other band/genre of music that was popular, so it was nice to control the radio dial in my own ride. I loved all of those songs and I loved what was happening in the late 60's, as radio became more adventurous and included bands like the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix and Cream to their playlists.
Still, there was a moment in time that changed the way I listened to music, the way that I reacted to it and influenced my musical taste in ways that I could not have imagined.
It was around ten o'clock on a Friday evening as I drove around the backroads of Wichita County with the heater cranked and the driver's window down. I was knocking back the first of four illegally gotten bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill and listening to KNIN AM on the radio, feeling sorry for myself and wishing that life would change for the better. As I drove, I heard a sound that I had never before heard on radio... a slow 12-Bar  blues vamp in a minor key, with guitar fills that stung like hornets and soothed like honey.
The Man in 1970
I was mesmerized. I had heard the blues of course but had never heard anything as real, as authentic and as life changing as the voice that followed those guitar notes. The voice of Riley 'B.B.' King shook my soul down to its foundations as he wailed about how the thrill was gone. I parked on the side of the road and listened... and I wept... and I was overjoyed... and I drove to a convenience store, called the DJ (Lance Bailey) begging
After that experience, I went headfirst into the history of the blues, discovering Son House, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and so many more... including the father of them all, Robert Johnson.
him to play it again. (He did! Twice in the next hour!)
To this day, I love the blues more than any other style of music you might name. Sure, I love bluegrass, country, rock, folk and world music... but, for me, it all comes from the blues.

I love you, B.B. King. I'm gonna miss you awful for all that you represented to the world... but I will always be appreciative of the recorded legacy left behind and all of the memories you implanted in the minds of those who were lucky enough to see you giving 1000% of yourself to entertain an audience. You rest in peace, now... and when I get to heaven, I hope to have front row seats.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Burn Out Or Fade Away? How About Both!

Hey, kids!
It's been a mere 18 years since Faith No More released the extremely forgettable LP 'Album Of The Year' and 17 years since the band called it quits. Sure, they've done a few reunion shows since 2009 but none among us, who count FNM as an all-time-favorite band, believed that they would reconvene for songwriting/arranging/rehearsal/recording purposes with the objective of releasing new music. It just wasn't in the cards. Well, fuck me, running, it's here. The new Faith No More LP is called 'SOL INVICTUS' and - based on the two tracks I've heard - it sounds as if the band spent the last 17 years sharpening what they do best and using said weapon to create even better, more powerful post-punk hooks which hold together Mike Patton's psychotic lyric pastiches. You'll hear the song 'Superhero' and not understand the meaning of the lyrics even while you clench your fists and sing along to the chorus. It's THAT kind of music... the best kind.

So, I'm curious about your feelings on artists that were once a huge part of your life and are making a comeback or never went away. Are you glad that FNM is back? Do you wish that U2 would just go away? Is there a band you loved that needs to return... or a favorite that has overstayed their expiration date?

Feel free to comment! I like hearing from y'all, I really do.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Writer's Block and New Tunes

I want to write.
I need to write.
It's because I feel so hopelessly inept as a writer that this blog is slowly starving to death. I have no excuses for not writing... okay, I have a ton of lame excuses but none that can justify my absence, so I am doing something about it. I am going to sit here and write something/anything every damned day for the next week and discover whether or not it can help me overcome a severe case of writer's block. What I blurt may move you, it may bore you... I dunno... I just feel as though I owe it to myself and to the many, many people who have supported this blog over the years to put words on virtual paper and provide reason for you to visit the site.

For example:

If you were born in a certain era, you came of age listening to some incredible music from a huge variety of artists and performers. Me? I still have a good time listening to Zep, the Stones, the Who, Hendrix, Yes, Foreigner, Bad Company, BTO, Journey, Kansas, Loverboy, Cheap Trick and hundreds more. It's fun to reminisce about the old days when a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill was seventy-nine cents a bottle and I could fill the tank of my 1971 VW Beetle with gas for 2.85. It was great to argue the merits of Beatles vs. Stones, Clapton vs. Hendrix and weed over speed. (We ALL agreed that acid was the best.)

Times change. People change.
Unless they don't.
If they lock themselves in a time period and declare that 'Nothing Good Ever Happened After 19XX', then it is their right and privilege to do so... it is also my right and privilege to move on with my life and explore all that is new, different and exciting in this world. Because I feel this way, I have had friends come to my home and criticize modern music or leave comments on social media which all boil down to 'How Can You Listen To That Shit?' or 'That's Not Music, That's Just NOISE!' My response is always the same: 'When did you turn into your dad?'

I love new music. I will always love it because I love charting the course being taken by new artists who are not afraid to expand the range and scope of rock and roll. No, the music they make is not always easily accessible and easily digested. It is extremely slick and it is extremely coarse; danceable and incredibly complex, simple and staggeringly difficult to understand... but it is what it is and that is rock and roll music. It is no more than an extension of tradition that began with Robert Johnson and will end when the Sun expands into a Red Giant and devours what is left of civilisation.

I have added several hundred songs since last I wrote: Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Babes, Broncho, Cold War Kids, Courtney Barnett, new Faith No More music, new JD McPherson, new Modest Mouse, Screaming Females, Pailhead, the reunited Veruca Salt, Bikini Kill and hundreds more. It is ALL rock and roll and it WILL kick your ass.

Finally, to those who have remained faithful and helped keep the page view count up, my love, thanks and tremendous appreciation for caring enough to stick around. You?
You Rock.

(Click a player icon on the top right of this page and listen to Egg Radio)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Egg Radio - The Music Has NEVER Stopped

Yep... been away for a very long while, allowing my spiritual, emotional and physical beings to
recover from near death experiences and more than one Crisis of Faith.
I seem to have come through it unscathed for the most part.
I'm three years into my real world job, almost five months into an amazing relationship with a beautiful, smart, very funny woman (who loves music as much as we do) and my Squiddo starts college VERY soon.
It's been a great recovery and, now that I'm back, it's time to start blogging again.

The first thing you should know is that, even during the darkest of times, I never neglected Egg Radio. I was still scouring the internet for news and music from the artists that fit our musical criteria and never added fewer than one-hundred songs per month to the rotation. I just did it quietly.
And so MUCH great music is out here waiting for you to embrace it! Priests, Tweens, Annabelle Chairlegs, Courtney Barnett, Babes, new albums from Death From Above 1979 and Faith No More... it is an amazing time for music if you are just adventurous enough to go in search of it, find it, open your ears and embrace it.
I am excited and utterly engaged with the current crop of artists that are expanding the boundaries of Indie Rock and proving (as younger generations always do) that Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay.
The best way to prove this is to have you listen to Egg Radio. We have been, for 10 years, the most consistent and best prognosticators of what will succeed mightily and what will fail... sure, we miss on occasion but those bands that never get real recognition are worth listening to and Egg Radio is their home.

Just for the record, today has been proclaimed 'Riot Grrrl Day' in Boston, primarily in honor of the brilliant Kathleen Hanna, who led the charge and busted the barriers for women who were more than ready to go toe-to-toe with the boys when it came to punk. She has been through a lot and come back
strong, so spend a little time and watch the documentary 'The Punk Singer'. I promise... you will want to start a band right away.

What? NO, I didn't forget Marilyn Manson, Parquet Courts, the rejuvenated (and fucking AMAZING) Sleater-Kinney, The New Pornographers brilliant 'Brill Bruisers' or Young Tongue's latest... there is just a whole LOT to write about and I'm getting back into the business of telling you about it.

The weather is warming, releases are heating up and it is time to do what we do best: Tell The World What They Are Missing.

(First time here? Click a player link in the upper right hand corner and listen live to Egg Radio.)