Weirdos: Destroy All Music

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Weirdos: Destroy All Music
music report
BY
KEVIN
WIERZBICKI
frequency I essential concerts
BY
BRIEN
SOCIAL DISTORTION
HALL OF FAME '08
INDUCTEES
ANNOUNCED
The Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame Foundation has announced
the performers
who will be
ind ucted this year. They are:
Leonard Cohen, the Dave Clark
Five, Madonna, John Mellencamp
and instrumental
group
the
Ventures.
Each artist will be honored at a
ceremony to take place March 10
at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in
New York City and with an
installation at the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame and Museum in
Cleveland. Foundation president
Joel Peresman says, "The 2008
inductees are trailblazers - all
unique and influential in their
genres and we're proud to honor
these artists and celebrate their
contribution to rock and roll's
place in our culture:'
Cohen became a critic's
darling immediately upon the
release of his 1967 albunl Songs of
Leonard Cohen, while the Dave
Clark Five were part of the famed
British Invasion with 17 Top-40
hits over a three-year period in the
mid- '60s. The Ventures were a
Tacoma, Wash. based group that
specialized in twangy instrumentals done in various styles,
most popularly surf and spy.
John Mellencamp
had an
endless string of hits with his
rootsy heartland rock, much of
which was released under his alias
John Cougar. Madonna, of course,
is Madonna.
Bluesman Little Walter will be
inducted as a "sideman." and
legendary soul producers Kenny
Gamble and Leon Huff will receive
the first Ahmet Ertegun Award.
The induction ceremony will be
carried live on VH I Classic.
FROM RAGS TO
SWITCHES
Get ready for the latest British
buzz band as Switches sashay onto
the scene with their Interscope
debut, Lay Down the Law. The
band members
are now all
Londoners, but their attitude
comes out of the low-rent seaside
town of Southend where singer
Matt Bishop grew up.
They're not full of themselves;
they're just rocking out and
singing what they know. There's a
little glam in their soulm though;
there's a lot of glam in their single
"Drama Queen:' The tune struts
and preeus with a mash-up of T.
Rex hluster and Electric Light
Orchestra polish, and is a perfect
send-up
of the self-ahsorbed
hottie.
The guys stepped into the big
time in England after they won a
Battle of the Bands and got to open
for the Darkness; now they're on
tour with the Bravery and coming
to the Analleim House of Blues on
Jan. 29. Lay Down tire Law hits the
streets on Feb. 12.
bank accounts
into
Ticketmaster's pockets in modernday Deadhead fashion. It's like what
Dave Matthews Band and Phish
shows would be like if either band
played real music.
THE STARTI
THE DOLLYROTS
Jan. 11 @TheTroubadour
The Start has heen around
forever, and even though they never
really got the mainstream attention
they deserved early on in their career,
they still hold a special place in my
heart as part of my early ventures into
all things Warped-related.
Frontwoman Aimee Echo is as much gritty
BESTSELLERS
6400 SUNSET BLVO. (323)
OVERLY
Jan. 11- I3 @ House of Blues Sunset
Strip
Doing another one of their
e1eventy billion "greater Los Angeles
area tours." Social D
continues to be that
band that never quits.
though in a good way.
Frontman
Mike Ness
will likely continue
playing and selling out
shows here until the
flesh starts falling off his
decomposing carcass.
His fans will continue to empty their
_lu_pe_Fi_"_sc_o
AMOEBA
punk as she is glam queen, and her
band balances that same dichotomy
just as effortlessly.
The Dollyrots were a more recent
discovery, also made on Warped Tour,
as it happens, but they're
just as fun and infectious,
and are ever so slightly
biting with their lyrics.
LUPE FIASCO
Jan. 14 @HouseofBlues
Anallelm
I've made it very e1ear
over the last many months
just how much disdain I
_
hold for the vast majority
of mainstream hip-hop
and rap, and likewise) many have
made it very e1ear how much they
disagree with my sentiments. Be that
as it may, however. I'm confident we
can come together in the lingering
staff pick
CONSTANTINES
Hard FeelingsJEasy Money
(Arts & Crafts)
Transitioning frnm Sub Pop
to Arts & Crafts, Toronto's
Constantines are offering up a
seven-inch. limited edition teaser
245-6400
I) Gram Parsoll.'i-Gram Parsons Atchn..:-. Vol. 1
2)MJ.A.-IVIla
3) MaryJ.Blige-GrowingPilins
4) lupE Fiuco- The Cool
5) Fcist-TheRar.indcr
6) Robtrt Plantl
Allison
KraU$$Raising Sand
7) \\'u.Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
8) Sharon Jones & the Dap J(inp-IOODays.
JOONighrs
9)Alkia Kc}-s-Asf Am
10) Daft Punk
-
Aliw
2007
Rhus Cuomo-AJom- - The Home Rm>rdings
12) Amy WloehouseBad rD Blad:
13) Iron 8l:W-'ne-Shephrnfs Dog
14) Sigur R6s-Hl'Drfflfrim
IS) The KillCl's-Solwd~
16) Spoon-CD
Ga CD Ga (]a
17) Band of Horses-Qase
roBegin
18) Beirut The Flying QlIb Cup
19) Amy W-'nehouse- Frank
20) Soundtrad-rm Nat There
II)
post-holiday
spirit to agree unanimously that Lupe Fiasco is 100
percent awesome.
Approaching his music as an art
form, the Chicago native writes some
of the catchiest rhymes around while
having something legitimate and real
to say, all while being musically
progressive to boot. •
of their fourth record, due in
April. A-side "Hard Feelings" is
trademarked Constantines, hluecollar rock with a riff that rolls
like a train over its track, at once
rough and fluid. A real beauty.
-china
Bialos
Hard Feelings/Easy Money will be
available Jon. }5.
BULLET FOR MY
VALENTINE!
Well there's
a pleasant
thought! We're talJking about the
Welsh metal-core band, of course,
and the fact that they're heading
back to the States for a tour.
The group has taken a slot on
the Taste of Chaos tour, where
they'll be sharing the main stage
with Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold for a run of 40 shows.
B4MV has been selling out
every show lately and Kerrang!
magazine pegged their recent
Brixton
Academy
show
in
London as one of the "100
Greatest Gigs Ever."
If you want to catch them
while they're hot, you might want
to taste the chaos when the tour
rolls intn Long Beach on Apr. 10.
The band's new record, Scream
Aim Fire, will be available Jan. 29.
HIDALGO AND PEREZ TO
HIGHLIGHT LOS LOBOS
David Hidalgo and Louie
Perez, the frontmen for 10ngrunning East L.A. group Los
Lobos, will playa special acoustic
show at the Irvine Barelay Theatre
on Jan. 19. The pair will perform
Los Lobos songs, tell stories and
then answer questions from the
audience. www.thebarelay.org Ii
While Bemis invites a bevy of
friends to jump on the Defense
bandwagon, there's never any doubt
who's steering this buggy. Big name
guests include Gerard Way (My
Chemical Romance), Chris Carrabba
(Dashboard Confessional) and Adam
Lazarra (Taking Back Sunday).
With aJ!the star power, it would be
easy for Bemis to get lost in the shuffle,
but his star and vocals shine bright. The
guests only stand to amplify the lead
man's howls.
Grade:B+
-Lori Bartlett
In Defense of the Genre is OIrrently
available.
TRIOM
Big Picture
(Cryptogramophone)
Trin M plays edgy acoustic jazz
appreciated
by anyone with an
unrestricted imagination. This is not
the commercialized jazz supplied by
Chris Botti and likeminded artists. If
you know Cecil Taylor or Bohby
Bradford,
then
you
need
to
delve into the heart-and-brains,
modern creative music devised by
pianist/composer
Myra Me/ford,
bassist Mark Dresser and drummer
Matt Wilson.
The Big Picture's seven tracks are
THE WEIRDOS.
Destroy AU Music (30th Anniversary
Edition)
(Bomp)
"Iwanna kick in the radio. [ wanna
bomh the record store. I said ... destroy
all music. I say ... you just can't use it."
You might think these lyrics from
the Weirdos' 1977 single "Destroy All
Music" are not the best words of
promotion to seud people out to the
record store, but for a punk disciple in
the late '70s nothing could be more
often percussive and assertive. due to
Me/ford's rhythmic keyboard playing,
which subtly shifts the tempo, her
fingers cascading across the keys. The
material is frequently grounded in the
avant-garde, which gives Trio M a
spontaneous nature suited to the
player's keen skills.
Moods and tones are diverse.
Dresser's "Modern Pine" swings softly,
an amiable and sensitive waltz-like
piece. "Secrets to Tell You" is a
seductive noir-ish performance. A
highlight is the expansive title track,
which draws on free jazz, blues and
new classical elements where the three
musicians reveal the capacity of their
wide- ranging capabilities.
Grade: A
-Doug Simpson
Big Picture is currently available.
enticing. Just like Primus embraced the
'90s statements of irony zeitgeist by
encouraging their true fans to yell
"Primus sucks!" the Weirdos embraced
the nihilistic subversive zeitgeist of the
pages I book excerpt
DUCK DUCK WALLY
The author details the
adventures of a rap ghostwriter.
LIKE MOST OF THE GREAT ART
and literature of our time, my
inspiration came from a line in a song
by P. Diddy. He may have been Puff
Daddy at the time, or maybe just
Puffy. Or maybe just Diddy. I don't
remember. Point being, Sean Combs
inspired my very flrst novel.
In the song, Diddy raps, "don't
worry if 1 write rhymes - 1 write
checks." This got me thinking: if these
guys (rappers) aren't writing their
own lyrics, then who is?
And wouldn't it be funny if it was,
well, me? Much like my main
character, Wally Moscowitz, I, Gabe
Rotter, am a short Jew from New York,
living in Los Angeles. I am 29 years
old, and only slightly younger, slightly
less chubby and slightly less balding
than Wally, though I seem to be
catching up to him by the day in all
categories.
The only thing I truly envy about
him is that he's got a bulldog by the
name of Dr. Barry Schwartzman,
a.k.a. the Doctor, and I want one. I've
always been a big rap/hip-hop fun, and
I've always been fascinated by the idea
that the so-called gangstas who recite
the hardcore lyrics we love are nothing
more than actors. Modern day Marlon
Brandos playing modern day God-
fathers. Or are they?
I remember listening to certain
rappers as a kid - Wu- Tang Clan, for
instance - who you just KNEW were
writing lyrics themselves. You could
tell that they were kids from the
streets, rapping about their way oflife,
the stuff they saw everyday.
These days, it's hard to tell. The
lyrics seem a little bit too slick. The
beats a little bit too produced.
Enter Wally Moscowitz. Wally is
the secret ghostwriter to the most
famous gangsta rapper in the world,
Oral B. Oral B is a hip-hop legend. A
thug scholar. A poet of the people.
Feared and respected.
If the world found out that it was
actually a chubby, white Jewboy
penning all of his hardcore words,
Oral B would be a laughing stock, and
Wally would be dead meat.
What the hell happened tOnight?
The day had been going flne. Just that
morning I had been sitting on the
beach. Then Brandunn called around
2 p.m. to invite me to the concert. I
didn't really want to go, but when
Brandunn Bell aka Oral B asks you to
do something, you do it. Simple as
that. He's a scary dude. In his twentyflve years he's supposedly been shot 3
times, stabbed 4 times, incarcerated
for a total of 3 years and kicked more
peoples' asses than you can
count on your whole family's ftngers, toes, and all
other protruding
body
parts. He's no joke. That's
what they say, anyway. It
could all be an act - just
as fake as his lyrics, but
I'd never test him. He's
unpredictable, like a pit
bull. Likely to complement you on your nice
shoes one minute, and punch you in
the gut a minute later for wearing nice
shoes around him.
Brandunn is called Oral B because
'Everything that comes outta my
mouth is fresh and clean and oh-sosmoooooove.' In theory. he's an
excellent rapper. Hardcore as hell.
Great face-man. One of the bestselling rappers of all time, in fact.
Trouble is, he's dumb as a bag of
Cheetos. He's kinda like 50 Cent,
except mildly retarded. B can't write a
rhyme to save his life. It's actually a
small miracle that he can even read the
lines that I write for him, let alone
memorize and recite them. It's like
some weird ghetto autism. Every
single line he's ever said on an album
has come from my brain, my pen. For
example: "I fuck yo bitch till she can't
breave, I'll break her legs so she can't
leave. I love da beaver more than Wally
Cleaver. I keep com in' on back like a
Golden Retreiver. My dick's as long as
your fuckin arm, you don't believe me,
just ask your fuckin mom." Horrible,
huh? I know. I can't even write halfway
intelligent songs for him. I have to
dumb it down to flt his very limited
vernacular. I know that (arm' and
'mom' don't rhyme, but they do when
Oral B says it. Trust me. That brilliant
little gem is from the song «Eatin'
Pussy Like Some Ribs:' I can't take
credit for the titles, unfortunately.
Oral B comes up with those himself.
I wish I could write for a more
intelligent rapper. God knows there
are plenty of brilliant ones out there.
Trouble is, the smart ones don't need
ghostwriters. so here I am writing
rhymes for the black Rain Man.
Like this is what I want to be
influences are Leonard Cohen,
Captain Beefbeart, Johnny Cash,
Iggy Pop, Radiohead, Jacques BreI
and Serge Gainsbourg.
These
influences are not present in an
overtly audio way, but in a more
subtle background way, like cilantro
ground into a raw steak the night
before you cook it. The steak makes
your mouth water when you take a
bite of it the next day, but you can't
quite put your flnger on why.
Grade:B+
-Bourbon
With BIendanJ
Situation is currently available.
Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall
(Geffen)
Only Rufus Wainwright could
recreate Judy Garland's famed 1961
Carnegie Hall show, a legendary
showbiz performance. and make it
work. While Wainwright
can't
match Garland's trained voice, his
exuberance. energy and panache
give this two-CD live release a
good-natured
impact, and his
interpretations of Tin Pan Alley pop
hits and Broadway show tunes are
enthusiastic and full of affection.
Wainwright is backed by an
orchestra as well as special guests,
including
sister Martha Wainwright, who sings "Stormy Weather" and Garland's daughter, Lorna
Luft. who duets on "After You've
Gone." Wainwright's theatrical pop
sensibility is closer to cabaret than
rock, so his mock-operatic voice
suits Great American Songbook
chestnuts like "Zing! Went the
Strings of My Heart" and "Puttin'
RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
1970s by telling fans to destroy all
music.
This 30th anniversary edition CD
compiles the Weirdos' unreleased
demos and their 1979 "Who, What,
When, Where, Why?" mini-LP. Although the native Los Angelean band
tried to set themselves apart from the
movement of the times by claiming
they were weirdos and not punks,
their sound is as punk as it gets.
Any fan of the genre who wants
to extend their collection beyond
the overplayed songs of the Sex
Pistols, the Clash or the Ramones
should consider giving the Weirdos
a place in their collection; file under
I'. for punk or W for weirdos - your
choice.
Grade:B
-Bourbon
With Brendan
Destroy All Music is currently
available.
BUCK 65
Situation
(Strange Famous)
From the ink-sketched
CD
jacket design to the fly beats to the
fact that Charlotte Gainsbourg is
one of his top friends on MySpace,
BUCK 65 (real name Ricardo
Terfry) is) in one word, "cool." He
sounds like Lyrics Born, looks like a
French Canadian Beck in a perpetually unpressed suit and creates
music that I would classify as lyrical
hip-hop. His lyrics flow like streamof-consciousness
poetry with the
insight of well-told stories from the
street.
Even his motivation seems
pure. He tells us, "I don't make
songs to make money or to become
famous. I do this because I can't
seem to help it."
Some of his strong musical
doing? Godz-Illa Records pays me
shit. You believe that? Well you
shouldn't, because it isn't exactly
true. That's the cover story. Truth is,
I get paid pretty well - but there's a
major stipulation. Officially, I'm an
"office
assistant."
That's
what
everyone at work (and everyone I
meet) thinks I do, and we have to
keep up certain appearances, of course,
because jf anyone (even at our
company) found out what I really do,
well, you know that story. li1
From DUCK DUCK WALLY by Gabe
Rotter. Copyright 2007 by Gabe Rotter.
Reprinted by permission of Simon &
Schuster, [nc. For more information,
visit lVWlv,amazoncom.
on the Ritz."
Wainwright's romantic longing
also propels tender ballads such as
Noel Coward's "If Love Were All"
and gender-bending
"The Man
That Got Away." Wainwright's
breezy banter, occasional vocal tics
and false starts enhance this
tribute's charm.
Grade: A
-Doug Simpson
Rllflls Does Jlldy at Carnegie Hall is
currently available