Monthly Archives: March 2005

Rocking the Soul train

Oh yes on holiday I’ve had much opportunity to consider things… Like what music do I like, and why do I like it?

I can safely say that I like:
and numerous other groups whose music is similar to these artists.

I can’t really find any reason why I like these bands and not others. I would like to claim it’s to do with SOUL, like oh they don’t sell themselves to ad merhants, but they do (Bowie and the Stones do anyway). Or being genuine, but the Trux are a curious blend of the genuine and the not-so, and Bowie ripped off everyone. And what does genuine mean?

So now I’ve decided it’s just attitude and cool. I can’t deny it, it’s utterly superficial, but I like all of these artists because of something to do with their attitude. The whiney or groany vocals, the sweet instrumentation, the rhythm section, the endless addictions! The not giving a fuck but really giving a fuck at the same time.

I can never dig U2 or the Coldplay clones because they’re so relentlessly dull. Say what you like, and maybe Witch’s Tit ain’t the most meaningful song in the world, but the truth lies in The Spectre, Second Skin, Pol Pot Pie, Needle in the Hay, Independence Day, Brainville, Heroes, C.R.E.E.P, Judy is a Punk. Not in ELEfuckingVATION.

/rant paused (will no doubt continue)…

R’n’B, Exile, Pirates and the Trux

My iPod has been playing Exile on Main Street pretty much on repeat for the last week… this is my third phase of Exile in the last year; each wave more powerful than the last.

There is something purely life affirming and heavenly about this record. The songs are wonderful (especially Rocks Off, Rip This Joint, Loving Cup, Soul Survivor), the lyrics cool (“I’m drifting through the days at lightning speed”), the music eclectic (gospel, R’n’B, soul, rock’n’roll, boogie woogie, country) … all make this album a work of real mastery.

But above all, the instrumentation and Keith’s voice in the background – except in Happy where he leads – lend this album something unexpressably great. The sheer work that went in to producing the laziest, easiest sound you’ll ever hear is evident when you listen to Sweet Black Angel. On first listen, the song sounds like a messy pile of old blues and dischordant voices, complete with percussion. As you listen and listen, the complexity of the sound comes out – the layers, the tones, the rhythm. This might be the best non electric song ever recorded by a rock and roll band, whatever that means. And then the shudder as the harmonica shakes off a chord.

The key to why I like Exile above all else must be the Trux connection. I can hear Neil singing but it’s Keith. I can see Jennifer arranging and perfecting, but it’s Keith again. It’s widely recognised (well, as widely as anything like this could be) that Neil Hagerty was the driving force behind Pussy Galore‘s cover of the Exile album (something I’m still trying to lay my hands on). You can feel the influence in Trux records – and there’s nothing wrong with being influenced by the best. It’s rhythm and blues – the real thing. Let’s reclaim that genre for decent music. I hate this utter trash that masquerades as RnB.

Oh you can see Cocksucker Blues while you listen to this – the band standing, their entourage consumed by addiction and decadence. The core stable. This is the best album ever recorded by anyone. It’s that simple. And I swear an oath that I’ve never said that about any other album, whatever Gemma might have you think. And it beats Sticky Fingers hands down. Over produced those fingers, and all structured.

Keith will next be seen playing Capt. Jack Sparrow’s father in Pirates of the Caribbean… out next year (I think).