Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Musical Roundup

And he yells
And he roars
Loves the Stones
Hates the Doors
Thinks the Beatles sing for girls
He’s a moonshine guy in a six-pack world.

— Moonshine Guy/Releasing Celtic Prisoners, Halcyon Times

Although Jason & The Scorchers have been clean and sober for years, they retain a lot of fondness for the “moonshine guys” among us, as Halcyon Times makes very clear. The band is still making a rambunctious, snorting racket that doesn’t sound like any of the rock ‘n’ roll or country currently being played, but sneers like a punk at the current crop of manicured Nashville bozos and lets ‘em know just where they can park their “sexy tractors.” The boys are older, and burdened with a depth of perception that comes with age. They don't hesitate to let a little of that slip in from time to time, but make sure to wheel back to the celebratory platform. We're all older, but that's more reason than ever to make sure we rip into the day for all it's worth.

Will Halcyon Times win any new converts? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. I love it because Jason and the boys put a lot of love into it, dressing up the entire album like a moonshine valentine to their fans, with just a few dregs of sober perspective. You can’t download it, and you shouldn’t download it: the package, fat with liner notes, rock ‘n’ roll pix and rumination, is meant to be enjoyed as a whole — you can get yours here. And if you’re lucky enough to have them perform in your town, grab your girl and go. You won’t regret it.

Correction: it looks like Americans can download it at Amazon, here. Again, not the recommended route, but the uninitiated and curious might try "Moonshine Guy," "Gettin' Nowhere Fast," "When Did It Get So Easy (To Lie To Me)" and "We've Got It Goin' On" for starters. Or go directly to my favorite JATS album, Thunder & Fire, which merits a post of its own (A, HMV).

Pavement had their moment in the spotlight, such as it was, pretty much when I temporarily lost all interest in rock music. But this recent bit by Chuck Klosterman piqued my interest, so I hit “download” and gave them a listen. What can I say, but, “Mikey likes it!” It’s infectious, with lashings of that unmistakable attitude that is a pre-requirement for memorable rock ‘n’ roll. For all the high-minded head-scratching that Klosterman does with Pavement frontman Steven Malkmus, the band still has an identifiable rock sound that nudges the id. If you’re new to these guys as well, this collection is almost certainly worth a spin.

It’s curious to read reactions to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I’ve only followed them from a distance, but I guess they’ve tested their listeners’ collective patience. I dunno: to me, no matter what musical direction they swung in, at the end of the day they always sounded like BRMC. On Beat The Devil's Tattoo (e) they still do, only more so. I like ‘em a lot, because they’re keenly aware of the guilt in the thrill, and vice versa. The music will get you on your feet, but when the dance (or workout) is over the echoes will haunt your brain cells. In this regard they have something in common with Jason & The Scorchers. Excelsior, dudes — and rock on!


DarkoV said...

How old is Jason Ringenberg now and he still has that 19 yr old wise-ass attitude that puts the fear of God in any father of a 17 yr old girl. Snarky, snarly, almost odiously Eddie Haskell-y. You're probably right about the "no converts to be coming" part...especially for middle-aged "pater familias" types, but for those with only a touch of Sat. night wickedness, it's good to crank this baby up.

As is your norm, WP, great reviews! Ever hear/listen to this jazz grouping's cover of Pavement? Interesting stuff; just say the word...... and Mr. Malkmus still has the juice as evidenced by his recordings with his nebbishy Jicks.

Whisky Prajer said...

Pretty funny, DV: I actually introduced Jason to my daughters a couple of years ago. He noted how close in age they were to his own daughters, so he was quite gentlemanly, to say the least. But I know what you're saying. And he is definitely a rascal on-stage.

I was not aware of this trio you link to, but you've got me curious. Considering how The Bad Plus breath new life into wheezy "classical rock" standards, I could definitely see potential in the project.