Observations From The Forefront:
Bob Lefsetz continues to blow hot air on his new found love of Munford & Sons who almost sold 600 thousand copies of their latest albums and most of the time, Hot Air Bob continues to chastise the struggling new musician who will never make it, since he will not like your music and will continue to think that it will suck despite your efforts to get it out to the masses. The voice of senility from somebody whose becoming outdated and irrelevant like my blogs. Point is, if your a new and struggling musician, there's not much out there for you to break your music outside of social internet outlets and don't expect your Cumulus and Clear Channel owned stations to cut you anything either. I have nothing against Munford & Sons and basically I'm not into their music but that doesn't mean that I enjoy seeing them go against the odds and make an album that people actually buy. Word of mouth does still work and maybe a Cumulus owned station may pick up a Munford & Sons song to run it in the ground just like they did with Norah Jones Don't Know Why and avoid the rest. Granted most new music isn't all that great but that's up to mind and ears of the listener and not some pompous old dude trying to stay current. Problem is nowadays we are over-saturated with so much music and on demand but the tradeoff is not enough time to take it all in. Time poverty indeed. I still have enough cds from the Arizona trip yet to be listened to. Nevertheless, Lefsetz continues to bad mouth the nostalgia acts that have new albums out (Green Day, No Doubt, Matchbox 20 included) while triumphing up and comers like Adele or Munford & Sons. If you don't like either new Green Day or No Doubt so be it, but there's folks out there that still do or the new Dylan album which is now passe since the two week expiration has expired and now making the south way down the charts. Some people out there (like me) think there's some melody on Uno! http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2012/10/06/sales-week-ending-93012/ You can read more about Bob's love affair with Munford at the link and draw your own conclusions although he does speak some truth towards the end. But that doesn't mean you should just give up, not everybody is closed minded and have time poverty of their own. If there's a fan base and enough of it you still just might make it, against all odds.
Speaking of Green Day, Uno! (Reprise) is a punk return to their roots and three chord punk and roll which made albums like Dookie or Insomniac classic albums in their own right. I like American Idiot but thought 21st Century Breakdown was way overwhelming and too over the top for me to play it and called it their worst since Nimrod. Even Billie Joe Armstrong may have thought that too so he simplified things. The big push of the single Oh Love and hearing 5 times per 8 hour working day via Cumulus owned KRNA made me just about boycott the album but Armstrong actually incorporates a bit of Free' All Right Now in the chords. Uno is part of a three album set of Green Day albums that will come out every other month, next album in November and the last in January and perhaps that may backfire on them but for me Uno is the Green Day that I used to know and love in my late punk rock mood although it doesn't sound all that much different than the last two Len Price 3 albums (which were better BTW). Armstrong while pushing 40 now throws plenty of F bombs along the way and they do throw a bit of Clash in there on Kill The MF DJ but they also wave their Who flag quite well on Stay The Night and lead track Nuclear Family. The nadir is that Billie Joe tends to use the F bomb way too much, so kids may want to head to Wally World for the clean version to which you get the special version that lets you unlock certain things on the Green Day/Angry Birds website. But Uno! remains good punk rock fun from an aging band that certain old fucks want nothing to do but this fan thinks that it's alright with him.
Heart Fanatic (Legacy) is perhaps their hardest rocking album since Bebe Le Strange as Nancy Wilson adds a bit more guitar dirt and grunge and roll but they haven't given up their love of Led Zeppelin as it shows on the title track, the oddball Mashallah! and Corduroy Road but Ben Mink, their producer adds a bit more electronic noise on A Million Miles and although critics have a hard time trying to figure out Walkin Good, which Sarah McLaughlin adds vocals as well, I find it more interesting than A Million Miles which goes on too long. But Heart does give a nod to Pearl Jam and the Seattle scene with the PJ sounding 59 Crunch or bonus track Two Silver Wings which goes nowhere. Ann Wilson can still sing them and Nancy can bring the guitar, this album makes you want to forget the plastic sounding Ron Nevison years which they got hits on Capitol but lost their soul in the process, Fanatic and the previous album Red Dirt Car restores my faith in them.
Speaking of old farts, Ian Hunter is back with When I'm President (Slimstyle) and although I haven't paid much attention to him in years since All The Good Ones Are Taken thirty years ago, he's never really stop making good music, Shrunken Heads notwithstanding. He has put together a very good band featuring Heath And Happiness' James Mastro and Steve Holley on drums, the album is co produced with Andy York (John Mellencamp, Hearts & Minds, Jason And The Scorchers). Hunter touches on his own glam roots on Comfortable (Flying Scotsman), shouts out Jerry Lee Lewis on What For, and will lean heavily on the 1 percent on When I'm President to which he would get my vote. Like Dylan, Hunter's vocals were not what they used to be but they still have a bit of melody and plenty of humorous sass to them, including sing along Saint and tells the listener that's it's only Life at the end. And he's not dead yet either. A top ten best of 2012 candidate.
And then there's Texas Hippie Coalition. They been around for a few years but didn't hear anything about them till I saw their latest album Peacemaker (Carved Records) and MA video Turn It Up. Think of them as Circus Of Power with Phillip Anselmo on vocals and you get the idea how they sound. Led by Big Dad Ritch, he and his band of outlaws tear it up on ten red dirt metal rock too intense for your Cumulus owned station and all he sells is Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll and telling where the devil where to go too. It might be too intense for you too. Produced by Bob Marlette (Saliva, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nickleback). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N0cQJ2BPS0
Green Day-Uno! A-
Ian Hunter & The Rant Band-When I'm President A-
Texas Hippie Coalition-Peacemaker B+
Band Of Horses-Mirage Rock B+