I’m sure we all have certain songs that are forever in your head. Doesn’t matter the genre or anything, they just pop up from time to time. This morning while getting ready for work I heard a strange beat in my house and then the next thing I knew, The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” started playing in my head and there I was singing along. Since the songs release in 1997, it’s been stuck in my head. The more you listen to the song too, you really start to realize how great of a song it is as well as the lasting impact it’s had. It’s also a very quintessential song of the 90’s and should be celebrated as such. One of the coolest things involving the publishing of this song actually happened recently too. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, signed over all their publishing for Bittersweet Symphony. Finally giving songwriter Richard Ashcroft the credit he deserves. Even as far back as 1999, Keith Richards was quoted as saying “I’m out of whack here, this is serious lawyer shit. If the Verve can write a better song, they can keep the money.”
No matter what though, we can all agree this is a great song and very 90’s!
Clint Lowery of Sevendust is gearing up to release his debut solo album God Bless The Renegades next year (January 31st to be exact). This is the first release he’s put out under his own name. His other solo related projects all had names attached to them be it Hello Demons, Meet Skeletons (which is pretty damn awesome) as well as Call Me No One (the band he started with Morgan Rose of Sevendust). On this album though, it’s all Clint, with the exception of the drums, which were played by Wolfgang Van Halen. So far, two songs have been released from the album, “Kings” and the title track “God Bless The Renegades.” These songs share a bit of the similarities you’d find in Sevendust but, it’s a bit of a departure from that style. Instead, it’s more rock driven but, full of melody. Clint to me has always been the secret weapon in Sevendust, and on this release, he gets to spread his wings a bit more and experiment with things that normally you wouldn’t find on a Sevendust album.
When you think of Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is “Free Bird.” That’s the same for me too. Over the years though, I’ve really come to the realization that “Tuesday’s Gone” is a better song than “Free Bird.” That’s just my opinion, and we can talk about that later if you’d like. Anyways, the other night while looking for something mindless to watch, I noticed Happy Gilmore was about to start and so I settled in and watched. As it began I couldn’t help but remember that “Tuesday’s Gone” opens and closes the movie and its the perfect song to do both. So with that in mind, check out this great use of the song in one of the funniest movies ever!
The Doors are one of the first bands I ever fell in love with. Ever since my parents put them on for me as an infant, I’ve been sold on them. Over the years, I’ve moved more away from their studio versions of their song to the live versions due to the spontaneous nature of the performances. One such song that was among the first I did that with was “Light My Fire.” The studio version is fine but, live, this song takes on a whole new vibe. One of my all time favorite versions of this song is from their 1970 performance at the Isle of Wight Festival. Part of what makes this one special is the history behind it. The Isle of Wight Festival had some 600,000 attendees and the Doors hit the stage at two o’clock in the morning on August 30, 1970. Their set was particularly dark due to Jim Morrison’s not wanting bright spotlights for the film recording on the band. Much of the recording sees the group bathed in a single red spotlight. Morrison was also very subdued in his movements but, he sang his heart out as you can tell.
The Doors- Light My Fire (Live at The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970):
Part of the fun of putting your iPod on random is just letting it play. This morning while on my way to work, a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while. That song was “Anything” by Danzig from his unsung masterpiece that is Danzig III: How The Gods Kill. That song is truly one of the best songs in Danzig’s catalog. It’s a really well written song with great melody and riffs. Vocally it’s got a Jim Morrison vibe to it, something I really love (especially being a huge fan of The Doors). This is exactly the type of deep cut that every album needs and should be played live too. “Anything” is a very poetic song that at first comes across almost like a ballad but that is quickly tossed aside by one of the best guitar solos in a Danzig song ever, courtesy of John Christ. It’s also an interesting choice to place this song as track 2 on the album but, it’s perfectly placed to balance the ripping opener that is “Godless” and the follow up song “Bodies.” So, with all that in mind, take 5 minutes out of your day and let this song soak in!
Danzig- Anything (from Danzig III: How The Gods Kill):
Back in 2002, following the demise of At The Drive In, Sparta (made up of 3 of the members of ATDI) released their debut album, Wiretap Scars, and it left a lasting impact on me. From the moment I heard the first single, “Cut Your Ribbon,” I knew that this band was on to something and it was pretty great. When the album came out, I remember blasting “Cut Your Ribbon” on repeat quite a few times before I let the album play, and then that’s when it all changed. The second song on the album “Air,” was it for me. I couldn’t get past how truly great of a song it was and from that point, it never left my mind. It’s one of those songs that makes it to every long playlist I make as well as when I used to make mixes for people. When you listen to “Air” you get all sorts of feels pumping through your blood. So, take 4 minutes out of your day and let this one take you away.
Ever since my musical journey began at a very young age, I’ve been intrigued by bands that are very experimental and artsy. Perhaps it’s because I fell in love with The Velvet Underground at a very, very young age (I have my mom to thank for that one). So, these days when I hear something that is a bit off kilter or out there, I am drawn to it in some strange way. Which brings me to Bent Knee. This band is pretty damn cool and full of things you wouldn’t expect. Drawing inspiration from multiple places like pop music, prog rock, jazz and the more avant garde, Bent Knee have really made their place among the best bands you’ve probably never heard but should be listening to. Their new album, You Know What They Mean, is an album that could be described as being ahead of its time but, I prefer to think of it as an album that is innovative, full of great vocals, wicked arrangements, and killer songs. Bent Knee is the type of band too that provides the listener with a real sense of not playing it safe. Instead the more you listen to them, the more you start to get drawn into everything in a sort of trance that expands your mind in a very awesome psychedelic way. I personally can’t wait to see and hear what this bands continues to do for many albums to come. They are definitely a band to watch out for.