Going Through The Motions? or The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily

arcs yours

It’s interesting that two guys who appear to hate each other as much as Jack White and Dan Auerbach should have careers that seem to parallel each other so closely. For whatever reason, they both have tried stepping outside the bands they are known for to create something new and different. However, White wisely chose to bring in other vocalists and songwriters (Brendan Benson with the Raconteurs and Allison Mosshart with Dead Weather) to help change the direction of his sound. The result is a distinct difference between each band.

Auebach hasn’t chosen this route. While the writing credits have been distributed throughout the band, The Arcs debut Yours, Dreamily may as well be a new Black Keys record. His guitar – vocal combo doesn’t explore any new territory that differentiates one band from another.

Of course, that doesn’t mean this is a bad record, on the contrary, it does exactly what you might expect from Auerbach by giving you a collection of songs that work his strengths. You have that blues/soul influence played with his vintage Supro and a couple songs that work as ‘rockin’ singles.’ “Outta My Mind” is a familiar anchor song that serves as a statement of arrival, a wave if you wish, that pushes the album towards the deeper cuts. Auerbach laments “working just to beat the clock / all I need is one more shot” on “The Arc” and while his voice seems rather sleepy in the sentiment, the guitar work is ferocious giving the song an image of someone rising up after a beating down.

The problem with Yours, Dreamily is that familiarity with the Black Keys library has begun to breed the perception of complacency with new band the Arcs. There isn’t anything new to offer, but still, if Auerbach is only going through the motions, he does it far better than most.

Sometimes Rare “Means” Rare or The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan

GBMSlenticular2

With all The White Stripes catalogue being released through Third Man Records you would have thought that Get Behind Me Satan would have been in the mix… but noooooooo, sometimes rare stays rare. This explains a good amount about why Jack White went through great lengths to put out a cool vinyl product for Record Store Day. It also explains the hefty price tag if you were lucky enough to get your hands on it. Near $50.00 is expensive even for 180 gram coloured vinyl.

gbms2

Thing is, the alternative is way more expensive due to the exclusive nature of its original pressings.

Only 600 were made and split for distribution between V2 and XL recordings in North America and Europe. These vinyl editions were given to music journalists for review. The original North American V2 record sells for over $630.00 on discogs and I found a copy on e-bay that someone had priced at over $1200.00.

gbmsxl

The European XL edition is selling on discogs for over $426.00 and e-bay for more $970.00.

Then a German company tried to make a convincing bootleg edition to pass off as the those 600 originals by printing 600 numbered fakes in red coloured vinyl and another 600 in white. Funny thing is, even the counterfeit vinyl sells for over $200.00 a piece.

gbmsoriginal gbmsside1

So now you have your Record Store Day copy Get Behind Me Satan and already the least expensive asking price is just under $100.00.

BUT…..

You couldn’t get out for RSD 2015 and you really want a copy, well…

WAIT!!!!!!

Third Man Records is putting out a regular black vinyl edition later this year. You don’t need to mortgage your house or sell your car to own this record, you just need a little patience. It won’t be ‘rare’ much longer.

 

Please Billy … or William… Whatever, Just Shut the ^%$& Up! Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream

simesedream

A very long time ago I learned that you had to separate the artist from the art. Let’s face it, some of today’s biggest talents are, um, ah… well, afflicted with acute asshole disease. ‘Smack talk’ amongst themselves (other celebrities) is generally the first sign that they need help, but it just doesn’t stop there. Take Jack White; first he starts dissing Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys for “stealing his sound” and then he publically goes after Meg White who is soft spoken, shy, and knows will never say anything back. (He would later apologize for both.) Of course there are dozens of other instances, let’s not forget “rider-gate” a few weeks ago, but let’s get to Billy.

A couple months back mister Corgan was quoted as saying that Kurt Cobain was his only peer, and that everyone else just basically sucked in comparison. Then he anointed himself king by pointing out that his he had a more ‘enduring body of work’ than Pearl Jam. As if that wasn’t enough, he went on a tirade about how much better he was than Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, this despite the fact that the Pumpkins haven’t released a relevant album since the 1990’s. Then only a week or two ago, an audience broke out into “Happy Birthday” during his show. Instead of simply taking the compliment, he chastised them because he wants to be called “William” now.

Now first off, over the long history of the Pumpkins, I’ve got to give Corgan props. He has always tried to give his fans something to cheer about in terms of releasing B-Sides and collectibles across various formats over the years. Hell, seven years before Radiohead dropped In Rainbows to fans in a “pay what you want” initial campaign, Corgan put out Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music over the internet for free. So in terms of fan treatment as a business decision, he mostly gets it. But in actual live situations… where a microphone sits in front of him for the purpose of talking…

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Well, William – Dude… of all the 90’s era rock acts I have ever seen, I only walked out on 1 – The Smashing Pumpkins at Lollapalooza. I went expecting a great show by your band. Believe me, L7, The Breeders, George Clinton, and the Beastie Boys brought it that day. However, Billy, you just had to open your mouth to talk. You rambled some shit about the country you were visiting (Canada), and then kept at it. Instead of playing, you kept speaking in a condescending tone to your audience. I knew that day I wouldn’t go to another Pumpkins show, because you just can’t put your ego aside when your outside the studio.

Still, there is no denying the power of the music. You rock… you put out some great records. Furthermore, as artists go, I like what you have done. I may not have followed you on the musical journey past the Machina albums, as it wasn’t really to my taste, but I appreciate your statements about the growth of artists… it’s just that I have a problem with people whose arrogance leads to self proclamation.  “I’m better than – fill in the blank”, just makes you sound like a dink. There is no need to raise yourself on the backs of your peers. You can certainly have an opinion, but remember that sometimes it makes you sound both petty and idiotic.

The result is, now when I put on your records around friends, we don’t discuss how fantastic the music is, we start by rolling our eyes about what obnoxious crap you did recently.

Siamese Dream is a fantastic work, and when it came to a special edition vinyl, I had to grab it. I have no regrets about what music sits in my collection, and I’ll continue to buy your music if I find it interesting. I’m still a fan, but please Bil… William, I’m begging you man – SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Remember that time Bart crashed into Meg or The White Stripes – Elephant

With Record Store Day 2015 fast approaching I thought I’d go back to one of my favourite RSD releases, The White Stripes – Elephant.

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While the White Stripes put out a lot of great material during their career, nothing opened up quite the way Elephant did with “Seven Nation Army.” It thundered to the point of making you rock whether you wanted to or not. It was a hair swinging, face slappin’ opening statement. Things only got cooler when you saw them chasing The Simpsons around to the driving fury that was “Hardest Button to Button”, and yet like Led Zeppelin before them, they could slow it down on a dime with a slow blues or acoustic number that had you grab for your headphones to hear the nuances and emotional depth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs5vHRn1zDU

This limited edition version was released for RSD 2013, as a tenth anniversary celebration and to draw attention to the fact that Jack White was the ambassador for Record Store Day that year.

Album one was a black and red split piece of vinyl while record two was white.

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Another little weird thing was that sides were given letter designations except for the front of the white vinyl which was marked “Side 3”, rather than “C”.

The album was re-mastered directly from the original analog tapes making the vinyl a true representation of what White wanted people to hear.

Discogs now has this album listed for $75.28 while e-bay stores are asking in the $50.00 range.

Of course the only thing that really matters is, that this album is awesome and that it is gives you the urge to keep turning the volume up. If you can find a vinyl copy – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

 

Playlist March 22/15

Here is this weeks playlist. I will update the song stuff as I go.

March 22/15 Playlist

1. “Bottle Of Fur” – Urge Overkill

Saturation is one of my all time favorite records, which I am really wanting to find on vinyl, at a reasonable price…

2. “Three Women” – Jack White

Yeah yeah, Lazaretto, great record… not much more you can say.

3. “Freak Scene” – Dinosaur Jr.

From Bug, because Spotify doesn’t have Bug Live, “Freak Scene would kinda be considered the hit, if such a thing really existed for a cult classic. You can pick this up at some of the better record stores out and about, but the special purple splatter vinyl is sold out.

4. “In The Clear” – Foo Fighters

Great record that keeps finding its way onto my turntable.

5. “Born To Run (Live) – Bruce Springsteen

Did a write up on this a while back. Still think “Born to Run” is the perfect classic rock tune.

6. “20th Century Man” – The Kinks

7. “Everybody Makes A Mistake” – Otis Redding

8. “Little Wing” – Jimi Hendrix

This arrived from Newbury Comics last week. Sounds frickin great and is still available here.

9. “Witchy Woman” – Eagles

10. “Can’t Feel My Soul” – Teenage Fanclub

11. “Do You” – Spoon

12. “Crestfallen” – Pernice Brothers

13. “Neither Here Nor There” – Sloan

14. “A Very Sorry Christmas” – The New Medicants

15. “Things” – Paul Westerberg

16. “Crazy For You” – The Dirtbombs

Such an awesome sound on this band, just had to get a couple of their records. Listen and you might agree. If you do click here.

17. “Wild Eyes” – Vivian Girls

Couple years ago I was listening to these guys and thinking how great they were. Finally picked some up on vinyl.

18. “I’m Shy” – The Juliana Hatfield Three

What I said just a few days ago.

19. “Willow” – Said The Whale

20. “Kitsch Trick” – The Seasons

 

Top Three New Vinyl Releases of 2014 – #3 Lazaretto by Jack White

First off, of course I’m doing a best of the year. Every frickin’ critic in existence wants to tell you how much they love something and have you agree with it. I’m no different from anyone else in that regard. I’ll check out the rankings and see if I own the stuff they talk about and if I feel the same way.

Only problem for me is that I only started this blog a couple weeks ago, and haven’t reviewed enough records to give a big list. Then there is the fact that I’m focusing on vinyl and not just music, so I’m judging presentation as well as quality of work. So, for 2014, I’m only going to list three records in this category.

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for… dum dum DUUUUUUUM.

Number Three

Lazaretto

Jack White

Third Man Records

http://www.amazon.ca/Lazaretto-Vinyl-LP-Jack-White/dp/B00JXB9T3Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1421096525&sr=1-2&keywords=jack+white

 

Jack White does vinyl right.

Yeah that sounds like a horrible headline and a cliché to boot, but it’s true. For several years now he has not only been championing vinyl, but also making it special for those who buy it. This ‘record’ contains alternate cuts from the CD and downloads and also plays from the inside out on side one. In addition the centre of one side plays a song at 45 rpm and the other side plays a tune at 78 rpm. (Only problem with the 78 is finding a turntable to play at that speed and a turntable that allows the arm to play in the centre.) Which the jaded would call nothing more than a cool gimmick if the music didn’t hold up – but it does, and quite well I might add.

White doesn’t just play the blues, but explores it and turns it into something he owns. Sure Clapton could get you to weep, and Page could make you shake, but White flips it on its head and actually has fun.  By mining different forms of southern American roots music and then throwing out any semblance of a rule book, he puts out a record that is merely rooted in the blues but refuses to pray at the altar. He jumps styles, employs more than the standard guitar, bass, keys and drums rock method and writes songs that defy the cookie cutter approach of today’s top selling artists.

Sure, in terms of his ‘I’m better than anyone’ public image, I get annoyed with him, but damn, he puts out good records. Even his critics, those that are giving him mediocre reviews are not holding White up against his peers in music, but rather against his own body of work in the White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather and solo material.

While White has kinda made a career out of being one of the “last guitar heroes standing” he has also evolved into an outstanding overall artist who earns the best compliment I can give… I’ll buy a Jack White record before I even hear a song from it. Believe me, the list of artists who have earned that right is very short.