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Mar 282011

davila-666_video-of the-week-this-week_kisses-and-noiseI usually tell non-English rock music to fuck off unless, of course, it is Norwegian Black Metal, but Davila 666 has got a pretty cool tune here. It’s got a retro garage twist that makes it suitable for the climax of a Robert Rodriguez film. I like the singer too. He looks crazy. The gist of the video is this guy smacks the shit out of brunette chicks, then revives them as blonds in his super-cool rock cult. These guys apparently are getting a reputation as the ‘world’s greatest party band” according to Forcefield PR and will be in Gainesville sometime this summer. Anywho, this song is stuck in my head and I pass this earworm on to you.

More info on Davila 666

Mar 232011
Queens Incinerate Center Stage in Hotlanta

Queens Incinerate Center Stage in Hotlanta

Queens of the Stone Age unleashed a precise and brutal attack on Atlanta’s Center Stage Theater (formerly Earthlink Live) Monday night. QOTSA kicked off this mini tour in support of the re-release of their eponymous debut album at SXSW a few days ago. Usually I’m not big on re-releases, especially when the original release was digital, but any excuse to catch a Queens show is good enough for me.

They blasted through their first album in its entirety with just a few shuffles of song placement for better live presence. Songs like “Regular John” and “Avon” are usually delivered in extendo-jam versions at shows, but Queens played the majority of the Queens of the Stone Age as it is heard on the album. Jams were reserved for “Solid Gold” and “The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died.”

Although the songs were kept to their album presentation they were tightly wound and precisely executed with josh Homme’s patented buzzsaw assault. The band was seamless and effortlessly peeled off song after song with a blend of well-oiled ease and brute force. The small-ish venue was enraptured from the first note and whipped into a frenzy by songs like “Mexicola” and post-Queens of the Stone Age releases in “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” “Little Sister, “Something in the Wolf” and by the crushing fury of the uber face-smasher “Song for the Dead.”

The guys are lean, mean, and sounding like a fucking flaming freight train of rock. I imagine this is a tour to breach new ears with and rally support for the re-release, but also to tune-up the rock chops for final recording and touring behind a new album which better be out soon.

Mar 182011

bass_players_kisses-and-noiseBass players always get shit and it is generally because the average music listener isn’t enthralled with the thudding hum of the bass line. Musicians and music nerds know that the bass locks with the drums to lay the foundation for everything on top of it, but this isn’t a crusade to bring respect to least popular part of the band (unless you’re Gene Simmons or Les Claypool or something).

This is to bring attention to bass players that elevate their band to epic levels with their voice. The backing vocal that creates a sound that is partly what defines the band and most people hear it, but don’t realize how much they love it. My examples: Michael Anthony, Mike Mills, and Kim Deal.

We all love Van Halen (Yes we do) for Eddie’s shredding guitar, Roth’s howling and genre-defining swagger, and to a lesser extent, Alex’s super tight tom’s, but what is that sound in the background? Can you hear it? Sing the chorus to “Panama” in your head right now. Do it! David Lee’s vocals are bolstered by that high pitched choral voice. It’s Michael Anthony’s unmistakable cries in the background.

Check out the background vocals on Diver Down’s “Dancing in the Streets” Once you hone in on Anthony’s voice I would argue that it is as integral to Van Halen’s sound as Roth or Eddie.

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Kim Deal added that je ne sais quoi to The Pixies. Hear that ‘oooo-oooo” in the background of “Where is my Mind?” It’s haunting and adds a great contrast to Frank Black’s male, rock vocals. She was so good as a background singer that her style worked perfect for the lead in the indie-alt outfits of The Breeders and The Amps.

“Debaser” from Doolittle is as good example as any because it highlights her interesting voice in the spoken part – the early chorus – then her ethereal singing voice in the latter chorus.

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Michael Stipe gets all the credit and definitely possesses one of the most unique vocal sounds in rock, but it is Mike Mills, looking like a 4th grade teacher, that adds something sublime. He plays bass, wears 80′s eyeglasses with thick lenses and is easy to overlook. Now listen closely. “The One I Love” comes alive, like most of their songs because Mills’ voice comes pre-packaged like a full chorus of fat women. It’s crazy.

“Orange Crush” is a pretty good example of Mills’ vocal contribution.

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Am I crazy or do I have a point here? Who am I overlooking? Did I take this job just to earn a quick buck? Thoughts?