Jimi Hendrix

Catching Up On The Week (Aug. 21 Edition)

A handful of #longreads to help you pass the time this weekend…

This week marked the anniversary of several important albums, and there are of course tributes to these records for those who feel the need to revisit the past.   For instance, today marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Facelift, the debut album from Alice In Chains.  Loudwire has a recap of the history of one of grunge’s first big hits, an album that has held up surprisingly well after a quarter of a century.  There is a surprising amount of diversity on Facelift, especially on the second half of the record, and it is well worth revisiting if you have neglected listening to it in its entirety lately.

Another classic album that was released the same day was Jane’s Addiction smash hit Ritual de lo Habitual, and Rolling Stone has a track-by-track breakdown of the record with singer Perry Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro.  If you have never listened to the album because you have heard “Been Caught Stealing” enough times in your life, you are missing out.

Rolling Stone also has an interview with Shirley Manson of Garbage, as she reflects on the twenty years since the release of the band’s self-titled debut.  Stereogum also steps in to provide a twentieth anniversary essay of Garbage that features an opening paragraph that is so wrong that you will probably spend hours looking for videos of The Clash on YouTube to help cleanse yourself.

A better Stereogum piece is the essay commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Rancid’s breakthrough album ..And Out Come The Wolves.  I am sure the guys in Rancid would agree with my previous point about The Clash.

The AV Club has a great piece looking at the history of the making of Jimi Hendrix’s one-off record with Band of Gypsys.  As someone who much prefers the work of the ensemble that made up the Jimi Hendrix Experience, it gave me a new-found appreciation of what the group was attempting to accomplish.  Plus, I learned that Hendrix once played guitar on a Jayne Mansfield novelty song!

Finally, as Deerhunter prepares for the release of their next album, you can help prepare for the group’s sonic shift with this Pitchfork interview with frontman Bradford Cox.

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Over the Weekend (Mar. 17 Edition)

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, with interesting stories and cool videos to start off your week, though we should note that not one of these items is St. Patrick’s Day-related.  We hope it’s an enjoyable holiday regardless of this fact.

The biggest news of the weekend was the announcement of a joint Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails tour, a possibility that we mentioned previously.  That’s a fantastic double bill by itself, but the addition of Death Grips as the opener should definitely be an extra incentive to catch the show if it comes near you; unfortunately, with no Oregon show, I may have to make arrangements to head down the coast and see the spectacle somewhere in California.  I’m using the Pitchfork link just so I can point out that Pitchfork’s weekend writers apparently cannot spell “amphitheater” correctly.

Speaking of Soundgarden, many people are aware that drummer Matt Cameron had been splitting time between his old band and Pearl Jam.  With Pearl Jam still touring, Soundgarden needed a replacement and found…Matt Chamberlain, one-time drummer for none other than Pearl Jam.  Chamberlain’s stint with the band was very brief, basically just around the time the “Alive” video was shot, before he moved on to working with the Saturday Night Live band.  As Antiquiet reports, Matt is filling in on the early 2014 dates, and it is unknown who will be behind the kit for the tour with Nine Inch Nails.

Franz Ferdinand recently released the music video for their latest single from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, for their song “Fresh Strawberries”.  The album didn’t seem to make much of a dent here in the States, which is a shame because it was one of my favorites of 2013.  Then again, I have had a greater appreciation for their post-debut work than most people.  Also, don’t miss the video for the b-side, “Erdbeer Mund”.  It’s German, and it’s bizarre–a bit redundant, I know.

Another band that had a huge debut in the early part of the last decade, Interpol, is putting together material for a new album to be released soon.  Pitchfork has video of a couple of the new songs that debuted last night here, though don’t expect the highest possibly quality that bootleg video can offer.  It’s good to hear Sam rip it on the drums again, as he does on the track “Anywhere”.

A couple of other short articles worth checking out are a piece questioning the purpose of SXSW and an interview with bassist Billy Cox, who worked with Jimi Hendrix both in the Experience and with Band of Gypsys.  The SXSW article raises a lot of interesting questions regarding the conundrums facing the festival as it continues to expand, and how it conflicts with their initial mission.  Left unsaid is whether or not is the significance of the festival in the digital age we live in, where it’s easier than ever to hear new music or even hear about new bands.  I’m not sure if there are any bands that actually break through at SXSW without initial buzz to begin with or a significant push after the fest.  As for the interview, it is always worth reading what a great musician has to say, especially one that spent so much time with Hendrix.

For your ridiculous news item of the day, I present to you the NFL.  Yes, the NFL is apparently still angry at M.I.A. for her “gesture” at the Super Bowl.  Not only that, Deadspin says they’re making a ridiculous claim for restitution, to the tune of $15.1 million.  There’s no way in hell the NFL could ever prove such losses, and to ask M.I.A. to make that kind of payment is insane.  There’s your quality legal analysis of the day.

Finally, let’s all get to work on fulfilling our nation’s greatest need: more mind-blowing guitar solos.   That should keep us busy through the week.