Skip to main content

That's What (Music-Related Write-Ups) Often Do

Despite reading books that aren't on music (ie, Stephen King's Cell) and watching DVDs that aren't centered around bands (Twin Peaks, The Fog), as well as beginning another full edit of the Post manuscript, I've been very active with reading articles and watching documentaries on bands. I might be wrong, but it's been a little more than usual. As a result, I've been going bonkers wanting to hear more music by these bands.

I have to give full credit to Decibel's cover story on the mighty Dillinger Escape Plan for this recent surge. Dissecting the last few years of the band into a coherent and non-tabloid-ish affair, I felt compelled to dig out my copy of their '04 barnburner, Miss Machine. With their next album Ire Works dropping next week, I'm pumped. But why get all excited about a band when I read about bands all the time? I say it's in the way the story is told.

In the case of the Dillinger article, how Kevin Stewart-Panko details the band's parting with original drummer Chris Pennie from the horses' mouths . . . and not in black-and-white, simple ways. Pennie and his ex-bandmates explain what all went down, as well as the making of Ire Works. All in all, it's not some write-up about a metal band where the struggles of making their "heaviest record to date" is whittled down into three paragraphs or less. For an exceptional band like Dillinger, nothing less would do them justice.

The same can be said with what I've seen from the forthcoming book, Burning Fight. From the chapters I've read, Brian's done a very thorough job of explaining many sides of hardcore in general. From the political debates, various scenes and band member relations, he really left no stone unturned. And it's really made me want to check out a lot of the highlighted bands' records.

Couple that with a recent viewing of the Thursday documentary, Kill the Houselights, re-reading AP's oral history of Botch and reading Ryan's exhaustive, un-edited oral history on Coalesce, and I'm realizing something. For me, chances are very good that if a) I've heard about a band a number of times over the years b) read a long, well-done article, and c) have heard a sampling, liked what I heard, but have not heard more, I will probably go nuts wanting to hear more from a band.

All along the way with writing Post, I've hoped some people would respond in similar ways to the bands I've featured. So far, I've encountered that response here and there. People who've never really heard Jawbreaker or Jawbox have a desire to hear Dear You or For Your Own Special Sweetheart after reading their chapters. The way I see it, if I can give back as a writer to the bands that inspired me, then I've done part of a good job. Of course, the other part is telling a truthful and honest portrayal. Maybe that's why it takes a long time to write stuff like this.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's a Long Way Down

There was a time when I listened to Ryan Adams' music practically all the time. Back in 2001, as I finished college and tried to navigate post-college life, the double dose of Whiskeytown’s Pneumonia and Adams’ Gold led me to everything else he had made before. It was countrified rock music that spoke to me in a deep way, mainly on the musical front. I don’t tend to really pay attention to lyrics, but I connected with Adams’ lyrics about being young and perpetually heartbroken. I thought some self-inflicted mental pain about awkward and failed attempts at relationships put me in the headspace to relate to songs by Adams, as well as Bright Eyes. There was so much time and energy spent on anger and sadness directed at myself for things not working out, so I found solace in songs like “Harder Now That It’s Over” and “The Rescue Blues.” As it turned out, there was a pattern in my life: if I had a little taste of a feeling of sadness or anger, I could relate to those who had it

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J