December 8th has been cemented forever in the history of popular culture as a BAD DAY. On that date in 1980, John Lennon was senselessly murdered by some loser whose name I don’t remember. Twenty-four years later – to the day – another nameless loser climbed onstage at the Alrosa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio and shot Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott to death. What the hell is wrong with people?
It’s that time of year again, kids! Gather round while we celebrate the commercial achievements of the usual suspects (many of whom are genuinely talented) and give token nominations to “arty” projects in order to preserve a veneer of credibility. It’s the 2016 Grammy® Awards!
In addition to wacky cat videos, pictures of food and annoying political posts, the internet is chock-full of amazing isolated tracks from some truly iconic music. The wealth of isolated Led Zeppelin material online is fairly staggering – especially since so much of it is focused on the genius of John Henry Bonham.
If there’s one thing music nerds love to do, it’s make lists and pontificate about the best and worst of the art form called rock ‘n’ roll. Whether it’s a music magazine compiling a ludicrous list of
Every month, Revolutions Per Minute presents “THIS BAND DOESN’T SUCK” – a look at a contemporary artist who is helping dispel the notion that music in the 21st century is a desolate wasteland of suckitude.
Adjusting to the California desert is a process for a swamp-dweller such as myself. It’s a bit like transforming into a vampire. You expel all life-giving moisture and replace it with the primordial dust from Gram Parsons’s funeral pyre that has blown over from Joshua Tree. So many Desert Trip (‘Oldchella’, if you prefer) attendees were sporting bandannas over their faces to combat the dust, it appeared that most of the festival was preparing to rob a stagecoach.
When a pop star announces that their new album is the most “personal” of their career, I steel myself for what will probably be a pulverizingly self-important exercise in showing the fans what a deep and tortured artist they are. It’s usually a recipe for unlistenability.
Lady Gaga’s newest album, Joanne, is the most personal of her career – and it’s actually pretty great.
If you followed online reports from Desert Trip, you’ve almost certainly seen a million cell phone photos of the gigantic harvest moon rising over the mountains behind the stage during the second weekend. This was one of those singular moments that was so freakin’ perfect that it seemed surreal.
And it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
By day three, the Desert Trip crowd were seasoned veterans. Those who overindulged early on in the festival were now pacing themselves a bit better – or switching from alcohol to other inebriants in anticipation of the lysergic immersion of Roger Waters. But first up – The Who.
PRINCE ROGER NELSON
1958 – 2016
While you’re sifting through all the “man, 2016 sucks” posts in your social media feeds, take a moment to put the shocking death of Prince in a larger context. We’re living in a transitional time. A time of real change. The old guard is gone. The template of rock ‘n’ roll that lasted for over 50 years is gone. Those of us whose souls are largely defined by that sound are in a panic.