Here we are, halfway through WeSeWriMo (WebSerial Writing Month) and here’s the first of the two promised Liner Notes for the month!
First off, Kickstarter news. Stickers have been ordered. Backer surveys have gone out to about all the levels up to $25. I’ll be getting to the levels that include T-shirts next after I just confirm one more thing with the T-Shirt Guys at Hemlock Ink. The most important thing in the surveys is that people tell me if and what name they want on the thank you page as that will be the last thing finished before the paperback goes to press! As soon as we get all the responses in!
Secondly, you guys have been sending me & Daron a lot of fun links and things lately, so I compiled them together into this liner note.
Recent use of a Guns & Roses song prompted someone to send me this:
Notes on “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” as Delivered to Axl Rose by His Editor.
For those of you who have never gotten a “rewrite letter” from an editor, this may not be that funny. But I was in stitches. :-) Sample:
She’s got a smile that, it seems to me—Why equivocate? You weaken your point by framing this as a mere personal observation instead of a fact.
Reminds me of childhood memories—Redundant. You either have a memory or you’re reminded of something. You’re not reminded of a memory. Heavy-metal fans won’t stand for such writing, my friend.
OUT magazine recently had an “oral history” piece (i.e. lots of minimally edited quotes strung together) on Queercore–gay punk from the late 80s and early 90s–that I thought some of you might be interested in. There’ll be some mention of Pansy Division in a future chapter.
“You’re talking about something that started around 1985, but didn’t seem to be hugely healthy until the end of the ’80s. Queer punk came out of the energy of punk rock. It brought lesbians and gays together on a more even footing than they had been and was even inviting to straight people, saying that you don’t need to fuck people of your own gender to be queer.” –DENNIS COOPER
Like all blogs, we get a lot of spam comments, and we have software that filters it out. The software caches it until I kill it, so I can check for legitimate comments that might have been snared wrongly. Some of the spam is almost related, with things like links to “learn to play the guitar” websites. Most of it, though, is really random. To try to keep from getting caught, spam robots grab text from all over to make each comment “unique.” Amusingly, some of them must also translate from other languages, or they are grabbing bad translations. Here’s one we just got:
“For an extended time midsection individuals are related situations the opposite as compared to the smaller waisted players. Boys your individual good fashion kind will be less washboard tummy jean material making use of a contributory coloration T-shirt fallen located in. Increase areola coat can be best for individuals with a view to put a stop to householder’s view from tipping most definitely from the your butt. That being said children are rough right now think you are working out how to repulse friends concentration?”
If I had to guess, I would say it’s telling you that an untucked shirt or a topcoat can help hide your belly by diverting attention? Any guesses?
That same comment goes on to say:
“Searching dressed up in racial styles there are a number possibilities against you but again as mentioned previously every kind are considered unsuitable for yourself. Lesser adult men also fleshy lads should dress yourself in knee big kurtas. In height players have the ability to decide calf measurements kurta always.”
A kurta is a kind of long tunic worn by men in India. So I’m guessing it’s one of the languages from the Indian subcontinent being translated here. This one also seems to be about hiding how chubby you are by wearing big ethnic shirts?
And now, a few words from Daron:
OK, basically, first of all, listen to the first song on this podcast please (song starts about 2:23 and goes for 6 minutes…):
And second of all, holy crap I wish I had the balls to make music like that. Well, maybe I will soon. (It’s German jazz singer named Theo Bleckmann covering Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” live in WNYC’s studios.)
Over on Twitter and Facebook I’ve been chatting with people about favorite guitar riffs of all time, and I’ve been promising to make my list of favorites. Thing is, when most people make list of top guitar riffs, there’s always a lot of classic rock and metal in there if not exclusively so. Now, you know I have nothing against Hendrix, Clapton, Jimmy Page, nor Eddie Van Halen, Yngwe Malmsteen, Richie Sambora (and no ragging on Sambora, please, he’s underrated and from New Jersey, nuf said.)
it drives me nuts when people say the eighties were all about synthesizers and that the guitar was somehow not as central to “alternative rock” as it was to metal or mainstream. That is… such bullshit. There is no punk without the guitar, first of all, and second of all, here are my top five favorite guitar riffs of the alt-rock eighties, the era before Nirvana, before Green Day, and before Sublime.
Love & Rockets “No New Tale to Tell”
I play this sometimes to warm up and it sounds fucking great on the Ovation.
Jane’s Addiction “Mountain Song”
Not only a great riff, but a fabulous guitar solo that starts around 3:00 on the video. Fuck, that’s good. There are a lot of similarities between what Dave Navarro does and what I do. I hate the song “Been Caught Stealing” but the guitar solo in that one is great, too.
And I’ve never known the answer to this question. Is that Navarro kissing Perry Farrell at 1:03 on the video? It sure as hell looks like it. If it is, it was the first time I saw a man kiss a man ever. Wikipedia says that MTV banned the song, but I am 100% sure it was MTV in 1988 where I saw it. Gave me a heart attack. Among other things.
(EDIT: Someone just told me Navarro also tongue-kisses Anthony Kiedis in a Red Hot Chili Peppers video, but that he has said his “experimentation” with guys has led him to conclude he’s not gay or bisexual. To which Ziggy replies, he obviously slept with the wrong guys. To which I say, hey, the guy married Carmen Electra, for fuck’s sake, maybe there are few people of any gender who can top that.)
You probably know already I think Robert Smith is a highly under-rated guitarist. Before him, nobody played like this. And very few people started to, actually. (Besides me, though I use my Smith-ish stuff very sparingly.) It’s Porl Thomson playing the lead here, but in the studio almost all Cure tracks are Smith playing with Smith from what I hear.
I put the live version here because it’s so faithful to the original. This song is just… I could listen to it on repeat for an hour. Bart and I did some jams on it when we were in school that probably lasted that long, too. (Listen to the fantastic bass part, as well.)
Adam Ant “Beat My Guest”
This is a highly underappreciated song from the 80s as well as a highly underrated guitar riff. There’s a good solo in there, too.
The Church “Under the Milky Way”
Steve Kilbey has a great solo in this song also. I don’t understand this belief people have nowadays that guitar solos disappeared in the eighties. No, crappy cliched obligatory guitar solos disappeared, maybe.
U2 “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Actually, I really had trouble narrowing it down to one U2 song. The Edge has tremendous range in how he plays. I can’t even put it in words. Just listen:
What the hell, one more. “Bullet the Blue Sky.”
I admit I stole a little of this sound for “Grenadier,” the riff down the neck in the opening that sounds like something dropping from the sky.
There are more, of course. But there’s five. No, six. Wait, seven. Okay, I can’t count. Whatever.