Posts Tagged ‘wankiness


Endless Boogie “Focus Level”

Another double album, though there are only 11 long songs, some mostly instrumental, and some with singing that reminds me a little of the Chinese Electrical Band (my first band, not at all Chinese). I can’t make out a single lyric to save my life. The cover opens up to reveal, inside, a huge painting of a party consisting of a bunch of young people in an era several centuries past; it actually looks to me like a computer generated photo collage treated to look like a painting, but I don’t know, really, and honestly don’t care; I kind of like it, but then there was always something annoying to me about albums that opened to reveal more art—you’ve got the front and back cover! And then there is one of those annoying one sheet inserts for the credits, but it’s mostly more art and tells you very little, like who’s in this band and playing what?

Or who is even in the band. I heard one of these guys—or was it two?—or is there only one?—on the WTF podcast and it was pretty interesting, but I don’t remember any of the details. I’m not supposed to remember things, that’s what the internet is for! Anyway, some of these songs make me think of an annoying roommate who you want to take the guitar away from. But then some of them remind me of the first few times I went to see punk bands in Cleveland (at the Drome) and some of them sounded more like hard rock than punk, but that was okay because it was pretty severe, and heavy, and it was live. And then some of the other songs make me think of high school, going to see a local hard rock cover band at the marina or the county fair; one of those bands who has a cobbled together, homemade “light show” and is playing stuff like that “Slow ride, take it easy,” song (Foghat?) and that “Now you’re messin’ with a… sonofabitch,” song (Nazareth?)—not that any of this is a bad thing, it’s all about positive and visceral memories. In fact, those county fair bands made a much bigger impression on me than Blue Oyster Cult at a sports arena, capacity 12 billion. I thought BOC were pretty wanky, actually, though the bad pot didn’t help, nor the fact that they followed Bob Seger and ZZ Top. Anyway, I really like a lot of this stuff. There’s a fine line between wankiness and art, and if you take the chance to be wanky, sometimes, you might be able to make art you wouldn’t have been able to come up with if you didn’t venture into wankyville.


Alcatrazz “No Parole From Rock ‘n’ Roll”

The extra “z” is for HARD rock– and you can’t beat that album title. The cover lives up to it, too, with an almost abstract photo of Alcatraz Island and a huge ROCK floating above the water, and in the side of the rock is a barred prison cell window with a hand reaching out! I don’t really remember Alcatrazz, from 1983, but their timeless band logo sure looks familiar. What is weird is I had a really disturbing nightmare last night that we (the USA) were bombing Tokyo, of all places. One of the “hits” from this record is “Hiroshima Mon Amour” which isn’t about the Duras, or the Resnais, but the Bomb, at least as far as I can tell by listening to it. The sleeve in this record has lyrics, but it’s to a different record! (and I don’t have a clue to what, though I’m kind of intrigued).

The other thing about this record is there’s a big CHUNK out of the edge, so I’m only able to listen to the last three songs on each side. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is more than enough. The singer has an incredibly powerful voice, too powerful, if that’s possible. So powerful, in fact, that the guitar player, in order to compete, is playing WAY too much, by, like, a million. Too loud, too often, too many notes– really, everyone should listen to this– it’s like one of those driver’s ed accident horror films for guitar players. If any one of these guys was in an inescapable prison, it should be the guitar player, for crimes against humanity.

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