With Lynsey de Paul having passed away and Noosha Fox now running a restaurant, we only have Suzi Quatro to keep the flame of female Anglo glamrock alive, and I can think of no one who deserves to be its queen more than her. For all the acknowledgement that mainstream music criticism has given her, acknowledgement which is so often denied to female artists, she barely seems to care that she has it. In Performing Glam Rock, Philip Auslander’s analysis of her subversion of the authenticity and masculinity of rock in both her gender performance and musical performance seemed almost too good to be true to me the first time I read it, and difficult to parse based on the German TV performances I knew of her. Only now, after hearing The Girl From Detroit City, do I realize that she’s really even beyond what he describes.
By Tyler Hodg
Not only is school out, but so is the latest offering from director and massive metal head Sam Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Global Metal). His new film, Super Duper Alice Cooper documents the rise to fame of Vincent Furnier—better known as Alice Cooper—and the fall from grace that saw him hitting absolute rock bottom. Unapologetic and honest, Super Duper Alice Cooper painfully recollects the trials and tribulations of one of the most notorious bad boys in rock’n’roll, as well as the band that helped transform him into the character that everyone came to know.
By Tyler Hodg
Unless you’ve lived under a rock your entire life, you know that Alice Cooper makes a living out of shocking and scaring audiences. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the King of Hallowe’en’s spooktacular single “Keepin’ Halloween Alive,” and it’s only fitting that the song sees a revision. Released digitally and on glow in the dark vinyl, “Keepin’ Halloween Alive” is definitely not a trick, but a high energy, extremely fun treat. You know, brand name, none of that generic crap.
I can’t fathom the fact that it took Alice Cooper 40 years to make an official Halloween song. Nonetheless, “Keepin’ Halloween Alive” not only rocks, it’s scary good. It’s up-tempo and is the perfect way to get into the spirit for the day of the dead.
Buying the digital version of the song is great and all, but the seven-inch glow in the dark vinyl is definitely the way to go. Side A features the song “Keepin’ Halloween Alive” and if you flip the vinyl over, side C (very clever, Alice!) is a live version of the fan favorite “I Love the Dead.”
I don’t know where Alice Cooper has been hiding, but Halloween is alive and well. His song hasn’t exactly become a mainstream Halloween hit, which is a shame seeing as it’s the perfect song for the occasion. Just as we’re keeping Halloween alive, we should be keeping this song alive as well. Long live Alice Cooper and may everyone’s Halloween be a thriller of a night.
Former Gomez singer and guitarist Ben Ottewell has the kind of voice that one struggles to find descriptors of. It’s like an old blues singer sitting on a front porch, like a drunken businessman wearing a suit made of sandpaper, like the honk of a deranged goose (but in a good way). His voice is distinctive and unusual and quite fantastic. As a guitarist, he is solid and makes interesting choices. He’s got a way with melody, too.
October 15, 2014
Two of my favorite albums of this year are Merchandises’s After The End and Lower’s Seek Warmer Climes, so my attendance at this concert was guaranteed. Not only did both bands exceed my expectations, I discovered two more bands that are also compelling.
I don’t care whose house is on fire
As long as I can warm myself at the blaze.
—Iceage, “On My Fingers”
Anyone who is surprised by the evolution of Iceage on their new album Plowing Into The Field Of Love hasn’t been paying attention. The seeds of the band’s sound were sowed early on, in songs like “New Brigade” and “You’re Blessed,” a seemingly haphazard collision of styles and sounds hinting that something far greater was in their future. That something has arrived and it’s one of the best things you’ll hear this year, if not for a long while, or at least until Iceage makes another album.
The first Electric Six album I heard was I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master. As if that title wasn’t strange and unwieldy enough, I literally could not process what I was hearing. What the fuck was I listening to exactly?
After seven years and several albums, I’ve figured out more about Electric Six. But it doesn’t mean that every new album from the band doesn’t make me ask that same question again. Human Zoo, their tenth (!!), is perhaps weirder than most E6 albums, but is also possibly their most cohesive since Heartbeats and Brainwaves, which was itself a bit of an anomaly in the canon.
By Tyler Hodg
This past August, Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven released their fourth album, Time Is Over One Day Old. Their signature electro-pop sound is prevalent, but it’s clear a natural growth has occurred since their last record. Although Bear in Heaven’s sound might be “in” right now, their creative songwriting has placed them in a genre of their own.
I have long contended that one of the greatest singers in pop history is The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz. He’s not only amazingly versatile, with a distinctive voice that is equally at home singing rock, jazz (the man can scat like he was born to it), or ballads, but even when singing backup, he rises above, imbuing each note with personality. His harmonies are tight. Always.
The psychedelic era, short-lived as it was, produced some of the most memorable tunes of the late Sixties and early Seventies. It also spewed forth a lot of crap. Basically, if you had a flange or wah-wah pedal on your cheap electric guitar, and some decent harmonies from the bassist and keyboard player, you could churn out a great psychedelic song in about half an hour. The lyrics didn’t have to make sense. As long as you were blowing someone’s mind, or singing about blowing someone’s mind, you were set.