I thought I would wrap up the month with this one. There is plenty of spandex and hairspray here to go around. Along with the Scorpions, Michael Schenker and a few others, April Wine set the dress code for the hair bands that would flood the airwaves in the mid and late 80’s.
Everyone who saw April Wine live in concert raise you hands. Why am I the only one with a hand up? I’ll tell you what though, after today’s run, kick back and have a glass to this out on the front porch. I won’t be mad if you only make it through the first couple of songs. Sure, “I like to Rock”, but you will probably want to say goodbye after the second tune “Say Hello”. If you do stick it out though, you won’t miss the closer, 21st Century… Schizoid Man.
Enjoy a little April Wine!
Today’s Runner is a set of hard bop from the second generation of Cannonball Adderley’s quintet. Along with the legendary alto sax player, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley is joined by his brother Nat on cornet, pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes. Highlights here are Sack O’ Woe, Jimmy Heath’s Big P and Victor Feldman’s Azule Serape and Exodus.
If you want to step back, and experience an exciting jazz set from the early 60’s visit The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach California, and have a listen to The Cannonball Adderley Quintet.
How young are you? How old am I?
Let’s count the rings, around my eyes.
The Seattle sound and style known as Grunge was forged from a drunken stew cooked up 1,650 miles east in the back rooms, bars and clubs of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the early 1980’s. In 1984, at the height of Post Punk and Collage Rock, The Replacements released their watershed album Let it Be, 11 songs exploring vanity, sexuality, and the never ending search for love by midwest, twenty something youth. Its Iconic cover photo, taken by Daniel Corrigan, shows the Mats looking like they just climbed out of bed after a heavy night of drinking and playing. They sit on the roof of the Stinson family home on Bryant Avenue decked out in T-shirts, flannel, jeans, and Converse All-Stars ready to conquer the world, and maybe throw-up over the side.
Paul Westerberg is at full throttle here cranking out 3 and 4 minute diamonds like I Will Dare, Androgynous and the highly satisfying Unsatisfied. Bob Stinson’s guitar is like a misfiring rocket, out of control, spiraling around on the ground while brother Tommy on bass and Chris Mars on drums rein it back in. We’re Coming Out, Gary’s Got a Boner and Answering Machine shine bright.
Let It Be is arguably the blueprint by which a few years later the Grunge Movement would be built on. The sound, the cloths and the ‘tude are all there. You would think before Nirvana got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, they would recognize the band that truly created that sound. But I guess it’s like politics and the big bang theory. If you get to close to this kind of lifestyle and energy, without some support, as Bob Stinson (and later Kurt Cobain) did, you’re going to get burned. For the rest of us though, throw on some headphones, lace up your Converses and let it be.
Enjoy the fireworks!
The death of Kurt Cobain 20th anniversary is April 5th and Nirvana is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10, 2014 as these dates looms near. I thought it would be fitting to talk about Nirvanas’ most commercially successful album “Nevermind”. The albums’ name is a misspelled word, and it became the vernacular for the entire generation, along with defining an entire music genre started in Seattle Washington better known as “Grunge”.
Let me set the stage of the seminal song “Smells like teen spirit” first line is “load up on guns and bring your friends”. Huston I think we have a problem. Now let’s flip to the video of the same name. You are in high school attending a pep rally. The local high school rock band “CHAKA” named for one of the most prolific graffiti taggers ever is playing for the school. The cheerleaders are all dressed up in their usual outfits with the only exception are the anarchy sign emblazoned on their tops. The pep rally reaches a crescendo as the student body mosh pit gets out of control as Kurt smashes his guitar. All the while the school janitor keeps perfect beat with a floor mop. I guess the school is home of the “anarchists”, way cooler than my high school home of the “Chargers”.
Nevermind, a record with so much more pop and punk punch than any music it inspired. Of course, no diamond-certified, canonical treasure hitting the two-decade plus mark can be left well enough alone — especially one that changed the lives of a lot people now approaching middle age, with the discretionary income to prove it.
My friend Tom who started soundtrax.mobi, just finished a book called “Glacier” some twenty odd years in the making. It’s a story set in the early nineties that weaves a final road trip of childhood best friends, the music of Nirvana and the art of the time, through the twists and turns of having to grow up and move down a grungy path to an unknown future of adulthood. It is now available on Amazon.com as a digital download just click the book cover.
Enjoy the grunge and check out the book!– David
Smells like teen Spirit