Ah, the facade. What a pleasure it is to become a different person even for a second. For that second, you’re looking at the world through eyes that are not yours. Colors begin to glow differently. You hear things through another’s ears also. One can wonder whether the same frequencies will still resonate as they have before under different observation. Is one song heard by one person the same song when heard by another person? To don a persona is to momentarily allow yourself to cease to exist. That being said, this band is called Personal and The Pizzas.
They’re a band from Hoboken, New Jersey that I was lucky enough to be able to catch at the same Burger Records party I mentioned in my Summer Twins post. I had heard a lot about them from various blogs that I kept in touch with during my ‘hiatus’ and put them on my list of bands I absolutely HAD to see that week. Luckily, I did. The band is fronted by the wild ball of brawn and bravado known as Personal. He introduced his band, The Pizzas, and they launched into a strong set that brought the Ramones to mind almost instantly. Their no-nonsense rock and roll combined with Personal’s greaser shtick made for quite the show.
As I mentioned before, the party was shut down a few bands too early and I picked up several tapes before taking my leave. Personal and The Pizzas’ Raw Pie was one of those tapes. The first thing that caught my attention was the album art–a classic photo of Iggy Pop with a large pizza slice cut in–which showcases a bit of the band’s divine rock and roll influence right off the bat. Then came the various interludes and intermissions on the album; humorous banter regarding the upcoming tunes mostly. Altogether, it’s a fun release that I’m probably going to keep in my truck’s tape circulation for a while. I highly recommend it. And if you can, see these guys live. You’ll find a slice of what to expect below.
Personal and The Pizzas – Brass Knuckles
This track is my personal favorite. It’s called “I Can Read”.
Popular music, more commonly regarded as ‘pop’ music has come so far both as a concept and by definition. The term originally existed in a literal context; it would refer to music that was actually popular.
Let’s go back to the United States in the early 1950s. The birth of rock and roll. The Blues was in it’s mutation phases, Big-Band was turning into a massive Jazz bug biting anyone and everyone. A lot of people played. If you couldn’t play, you danced. If you couldn’t dance, you listened. By this point, pop music had transcended it’s literal origins and while still including music that appealed greatly to young people, it encompassed it’s own genre. It had grown into a beast of it’s own and everyone was loving it. As time went on, pop music grew into new and interesting directions. People had managed to harness pop music for the powerful titan it was and managed to forge it into an outlet for their new and ‘alternatively-charged’ creative exploits. This led to new styles and genres that appealed to then-minuscule niche communities which would eventually evolve into movements and ways of life that would go on to change the world.
Now, with the exposition complete, we can discuss the subject at hand.
Pop music is the easiest way to a music-lover’s heart. But why?
I have pondered the subject at length on many a dazed day of mine. Genre’s have come and gone but absolutely every single one has made a return at some point. This is a call and response scenario on par with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Only the three day period is stretched into years, possibly decades.
Say the final fan of rock and roll dies. He leaves no appreciation for the music in his descendants. No seeds were planted. He was either too busy with his own life to pass the torch or spent too much of his time pushing the music on those surrounding him that, in turn, resulted in their growing disgust for the music that evolves into outspoken dissent as they grow older. If the spirit of music lies in appreciation, then rock and roll will truly be dead…for a time, anyway.
If there is one unwritten law about life that you can always depend on, it is that history will always, without fail, repeat itself. Arguments are revisited as wars, infatuation is revisited as love, and curiosity is revisited as investigation which inevitably leads to action. Here’s the kicker: you can be on either side at any given time. One moment, you’re on the ass end of a revolution gone sour and the next, you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of the advent of ‘the greatest thing that has ever happened to anybody anywhere’.
For those of you who can’t read between the lines, I am simply stating that someone, anyone, will find an interest in rock and roll again. A time will come when they will feel neglected and isolated from their musical surroundings. They’ll feel things that they cannot relate to nor accurately express through the words and sounds of the time and place in which they live. So instead of looking to the future, they will rummage through the past for something that matches the rhythm of their heart beat and when they find it, neurons will fire, hormones will rage, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride with the four freed winds into Armageddon, and one angst-ridden, downtrodden, recently-enlightened hand will strike down upon six innocent, steel strings with so much power that the Universe will resonate in A Major for a whole minute.
This will probably happen more than once in our lifetime and each time will more than likely go unnoticed. Here’s a thought though: we might be the ones making it happen.
Don’t worry, though. The way I see it, as of right now, Pop music is a Hydra that is losing a head a week.
This is only the beginning.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would rock as hard.
The Soft Pack is a goddamn fantastic band of youths from San Diego, California that won’t get the fuck out of my head. But don’t fret, my dear readers, for this is a good thing; a fucking wonderful thing. I love their music. It’s raw and catchy as hell. The band was originally named The Muslims but, like normal human beings, they don’t like being called racist things and thus, changed their name to The Soft Pack.
Come Febraury 2nd, Kemado Records will be releasing the band’s first full-length under their new name. Possibly as a form of symbolism, the album will be self-titled. Now, as the clever Romeo & Juliet quote implies, the name of the band may change, but the sound is no different. As The Muslims, they played bare-bones rock and roll with post-punk attitude and ferocity. As The Soft Pack, they play bare-bones rock and roll with post-punk attitude and ferocity…and their name isn’t bothering anyone. If these guys hit your neck of the woods, don’t hesitate in buying a ticket. Your ears and your spirit are in for a treat.
Take heed, good readers! This music is that of greatness! Take a listen to a track from the album called “C’mon” below.The Soft Pack – C’mon
This extremely excited group of people has been mentioned on this blog before. I made a small entry about them in my ‘catching up’ post.
They’re called Citay and come from the hills of San Fransisco. For the past few months, the band has been working towards putting out their third full-length album.
The album will be called Dream Get Together and will be released via the wonderful people at Dead Oceans on January 25th.
This song off of the album, “Careful With Your Hat”, is energetic to say the least. A offering of slightly-psychedelic good ol’ rock and roll played by a band that sounds tighter than an Levi’s in a vacuum. I’m glad there are still bands that play like this.
Citay – Careful With That Hat
With all of this lo-fi craziness about, I’m quite surprised to find that I have yet to find it annoying.
This band gives off a certain ‘Bill Haley & His Comets meets a gospel choir in a broken church’ kind of attitude with their music.
They’re called The Almighty Defenders and I find them absolutely refreshing.
Some of you more perceptive folk might have recognized a few faces in the photo above. Allow me to confirm your suspicions: yes, it’s comprised of The King Khan & BBQ Show and Black Lips.
Their self-titled debut was released yesterday(along with everyone else’s LP).
The album is a fucking rocking release. That’s the only way I feel I should refer to this LP.
Now, I’m going to quote something from the band’s Wikipedia page so don’t take it as absolute fact. However, if this is true, I can’t think of a better band origin story.
“On the Black Lips’ 2009 tour of India, following an incident at a rowdy show in which Cole Alexander kissed fellow bandmember Ian St. Pe and exposed his private parts on-stage, the Lips fled the country while rumors of their arrests circulated the internet. The tour was canceled and the group members fled to the residence of King Khan (musician), who was living in Berlin at the time. Over the course of eight days, in a typically booze-sloppy Black Lips fashion, they laid down 11 tracks with Khan and his King Khan & BBQ Show bandmate Mark Sultan. On June 17, the full group made its live debut, performing a set in choir robes at the North by Northeast festival, and Vice Records made plans to release the Almighty Defenders’ self-titled debut on September 22, 2009”
The Almighty Defenders – Cone of Light
Monotonix are a fucking rock band from Tel Aviv, Israel formed in 2005 out of dissatisfaction with the local music scene.
Does that not just get your blood pumping alone?
Now, not only are they a rock band, they’re a damn good one. That’s a rare find nowadays. Most ‘rock’ bands are playing some brand of bullshit under names like Hinder or Shinedown.
These guys have been kicked out of almost every venue in Tel Aviv and due to that, they decided to play the rest of the world.
And they did. They played 300 shows from 2006-2007. All. Over. The Planet.
Their shows are almost legendary for not so much resembling shows but experiences.
Drummer Haggai Fershtman is known to crowd surf…with his drumset.
The band has been known to set their instruments and sometimes themselves…on fire.
If you haven’t figured out a way to see these guys play live by now, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
They’re currently on tour in the Netherlands but will be making their way to the United States in early September and will remain here to play shows almost daily until mid-October in support of their upcoming and first full-length release, Where Were You When It Happened?
Methinks the album title is a direct query to you, the potential audience members; calling you out for not becoming actual audience members in the past but maybe that’s just me. :}
A song off of the album has begun making it’s way around the internets. It’s called Set Me Free.
Monotonix – Set Me Free
Download, listen, & enjoy.