Today's article is courtesy of our friend HIM.
No one reads the interwebs looking for homework. No one. Some might read it for help with homework. But not even the most diligent student sits down and says: okay, technology, make me do the heavy-lifting. And this isn’t even school. This is a glam website!
But I ask you to humor me. Listen to and watch this:
Now do the same with this:
By any reasonable standard, several things become apparent. First, the people in the first video look smelly. But I digress before I even start. The first video captures a mood and vibe that sounds utterly authentic. The second video capture a sound and a feeling that seems . . . well, artificial. When I first heard this I had the strangest sensation. Then I had the oddest thought: this is classic rock if Cher and a robot made it.
I have no problem with crisp production. I can deal with brickwalling. I can forgive a host of sins and miss a lot more. Case in point: Sabbath’s 13 sounded just fine to me (even if I kept imagining what it might sound like if Dio sang those songs). Slayer’s albums have gotten louder and louder, even as they have begun to seem similar, and I still buy the product. I am a fan of metal. I ride the rails. I know the routes.
I also have no issue with old masters being updated with new maestros. Blackmore operates in a realm that is by turns understandable and ridiculous. He graced us with more sweet licks than a child hunkering down on a Tootsie-Pop. But he also helped reaffirm the image of the self-indulgent, bigger than thou, guitarist. Dee Snider, a man I respect, bashed former Whitesnake guitarist Aldrich. But Aldrich has achieved more in his niche than Snider is willing to admit. At some level, Snider’s rant is envy coupled with promotion; at another, it is promotion coupled with regret.
Here’s the thing: Whitesnake has not been, for a long time, anything other than a conveyance for Coverdale’s slightly new-agey/clearly old-agey ego. He is at peace. He is blissful. Every press release from his mountain non-redoubt is affirmative, forward-thinking, and upbeat. He probably skips rocks across Lake Tahoe after Tantric sex and before making an egg-white omelet. But Coverdale is also an old man, with new teeth, and a penchant for taking his shirt off. It is off-putting in a way that makes Phil Collen seem polite. Picture your grandma/pa taking her/his shirt off at the slightest provocation, then thrusting towards you, then singing to you, and then you think:
What the hell was that? It sounds like a cat coughed up Vince Neil’s voice and then slapped David Lee Roth’s bald head with the scraps.
But the second clip is so processed, so stripped of any semblance of a real voice, that you wouldn’t know that Coverdale is a spent force holding on to a glimmer of a career as an elder statesman of rock. Watch that video again. Hear those soaring notes in the chorus of "Stormbringer"? Notice they don’t even try to suggest—as autotuned as they are—that the majority of them are coming from his yamhole? Now listen to the first clip. There is some studio finesse afoot. But it is Coverdale and it is a Coverdale that many—men and women alike—would mind seeing smiling and undressing on stage as he pokes the microphone stand up in the air and into the audience like a metal phallus. The Coverdale of old could Download all over Donington. Today's Coverdale would be lucky to belt out the first (and only) verse of "Viva Viagra."
The point? This is what time and age have wrought. This is what we are left with and what we have to look forward to as time passes. It is the metal version of Pink Floyd’s meat grinder: a legendary band’s song, shoved through a fading band’s newest release (The Purple Album if you were wondering), replete with great musicians (Reb Beach and former Night Ranger Joel Hoekstra on guitars, Michael Devin on bass, and Tommy “Is that man really still alive?” Aldridge on drums), and a singer that has nothing left to prove . . . and proves it. In spades. With the help of HAL.
Oh, the tour. The tour. It will happen. And now, instead of fairly glossy studio fare that only occasionally lives up to its promise live, we will get a Whitesnake (version 17.66) take on a lesser, though still wonderful, version of Deep Purple. With grandpa/ma milking it for all it is worth. Still, fans will clamor for it. They will say (as we all do when we are fanboys who look the other way): “the ‘Snake is back!!” Sure. It is. But it is a flaccid snake that can barely slide it in to the entrance.
So what is it worth? This is that tipping point in a band’s existence that finds them and their fans facing down a choice: is the music worth the memories or are the memories worth the music? To my mind, the answer is simple. It is the music that comes first. And The Purple Album suggests that, regrettably, for Coverdale, the memories are all that matter. Sadly, fans are now forced to stand or fall, with Whitesnake and increasingly other bands of our youth, on the merits of that question.
This is getting ridiculous. Crashdiet is by far my favorite modern Glam band, but they've been rocked by tragedy and just plain bad luck since basically the beginning. Original singer Dave Lepard killed himself. Then H. Olliver Twisted came on and the band released an album with him, but Twisted left to front Reckless Love. Next up was Simon Cruz and the album Generation Wild. That was released back in 2010, but since then band hasn't done much... and now we know why: Cruz is out of the band. So, Crashdiet are on the lookout for another singer. I wish them luck.
From Facebook and Twitter:
Dear Crashdiet fans:
There is a reason for our lack of news lateley. The reason for that is that Simon Cruz has left CRASHDÏET. Well, actually he decided to leave in the midst of our mini tour in Japan... With no notice what so ever. The last few months have been confusing to say the least and we haven't been sure of what to make of this... other than that our collaboration with Simon is over. However... The recording of the new album will proceed as planned and you can expect hear more from us soon!
Martin, Peter and Eric
Dear crashdiet fans There is a reason for our lack of news lateley. The reason for that is that Simon Cruz has... http://t.co/MAQszdfuNO— CRASHDÏET OFFICIAL (@crashdiet_org) February 26, 2015
I'm working my way through YouTube, searching for the strangest clips that feature our favorite 80s rockers. Today's clip is a real winner. A young Mark Slaughter, reflective - nearly pensive - looking back at the days gone by. This video is so weird it rivals those dumb Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercials.
Ok, ok. To be fair I'm pretty sure that montage is the long-form intro to the video "Days Gone By" but still. Awkward.
How come we never get awesome commercials like this any more? Check out this vintage ad form Australia - time period is around 1990 or so. I'd love to see a commercial like this just once. I can't take many more Toyota Camry or Verizon ads!
I still say Carolina Rebellion has the best festival lineup this summer. Now, details for the official kick-off party are here and it looks like a really fun time.
Camping, VIP and Hotel Packages are now sold out for the fifth annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, held May 2 & 3, 2015 at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway just outside Charlotte, NC.
However, the mid-Atlantic’s biggest rock festival is offering an additional option for those that haven’t purchased tickets yet. With the Kangaroo & Monster Energy 2-Pack Special, Kangaroo Express and Monster Energy are giving fans the chance to save $60 with the Kangaroo 2-Pack. Starting March 2, fans are invited to stop by participating Kangaroo Express stores to get a ticket code that allows them to take advantage of these specially priced ticket packages. Purchasers will automatically be registered to win the Kangaroo Ultimate Fan Package, which includes Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion VIP passes, a meet & greet with Halestorm, a $100 Kangaroo Express gift card, a Kangaroo 2-Pack gift pack, and assorted Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion gear. For the Kangaroo 2-Pack ticket option, Single General Admission 2-Packs are just $119 and Weekend General Admission 2-Packs are just $218. For a complete list of participating Kangaroo Express stores, visit www.CarolinaRebellion.com.
Concertgoers can also save by purchasing tickets now at www.CarolinaRebellion.com. As of March 2, tickets will increase as follows:
- Single Day General Admission Ticket: increases from $74.50 to $89.50
- Weekend General Admission Ticket: increases from $119 to $139
- Weekend General Admission Ticket 4-Pack: increases from $349 to $399
For full festival details and to purchase tickets, visit www.CarolinaRebellion.com.
Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion features a spectacular lineup with some of the biggest names in rock including Slipknot, Korn (marking a highly-anticipated return to Carolina Rebellion after their on-stage reunion with band-member Head in 2012), Godsmack, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Rise Against, Sammy Hagar & The Circle (Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham & Vic Johnson), Breaking Benjamin, Bush, and many more top rock bands.
Those that have purchased Camping or Hotel Packages will be able to attend the Friday night Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion Bud Light Kick-Off Party with performances by 21st Century Goliath, Failure Anthem and Brownout presents Brown Sabbath on the Jägermeister Campground Stage in Rock City Campgrounds. The party starts at 7:30pm on Friday, May 1.