Rage vs Rage: Killing In The Name of

The Prophets of Rage (Tom Morello, Chuck D, B-Real, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford, & DJ Lord), performed a new song on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night while also playing “Killing in the Name of”. This is a very cool pairing of talent, and brings back memories of rap/rock bands from the 90’s. Great to see the crowd getting in to it and moshing, I didn’t know moshing was still legal!  Here’s a look at Prophets of Rage vs Rage Against the Machine playing Killing in the Name of. Which Rage played it better??

Prophets of Rage

vs.

Rage Against The Machine

Verdict: Impossible to top Zack de la Rocha’s Rage. Original Rage wins

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Happy Birthday Woody Guthrie 

As always Bob Dylan said it best:

Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb

When you think you’re too old, too young, too smart or too dumb

When yer laggin’ behind an’ losin’ yer pace

In a slow-motion crawl of life’s busy race

No matter what yer doing if you start givin’ up

If the wine don’t come to the top of yer cup

If the wind’s got you sideways with with one hand holdin’ on

And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone

And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it

And the wood’s easy findin’ but yer lazy to fetch it

And yer sidewalk starts curlin’ and the street gets too long

And you start walkin’ backwards though you know its wrong

And lonesome comes up as down goes the day

And tomorrow’s mornin’ seems so far away

And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin’

And yer rope is a-slidin’ ’cause yer hands are a-drippin’

And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys

Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys

And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe’s a-pourin’

And the lightnin’s a-flashing and the thunder’s a-crashin’

And the windows are rattlin’ and breakin’ and the roof tops a-shakin’

And yer whole world’s a-slammin’ and bangin’

And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm

And to yourself you sometimes say

“I never knew it was gonna be this way

Why didn’t they tell me the day I was born”

And you start gettin’ chills and yer jumping from sweat

And you’re lookin’ for somethin’ you ain’t quite found yet

And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air

And the whole world’s a-watchin’ with a window peek stare

And yer good gal leaves and she’s long gone a-flying

And yer heart feels sick like fish when they’re fryin’

And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet

And you need it badly but it lays on the street

And yer bell’s bangin’ loudly but you can’t hear its beat

And you think yer ears might a been hurt

Or yer eyes’ve turned filthy from the sight-blindin’ dirt

And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush

When you were faked out an’ fooled white facing a four flush

And all the time you were holdin’ three queens

And it’s makin you mad, it’s makin’ you mean

Like in the middle of Life magazine

Bouncin’ around a pinball machine

And there’s something on yer mind you wanna be saying

That somebody someplace oughta be hearin’

But it’s trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head

And it bothers you badly when your layin’ in bed

And no matter how you try you just can’t say it

And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it

And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head

And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead

And the lion’s mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth

And his jaws start closin with you underneath

And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind

And you wish you’d never taken that last detour sign

And you say to yourself just what am I doin’

On this road I’m walkin’, on this trail I’m turnin’

On this curve I’m hanging

On this pathway I’m strolling, in the space I’m taking

In this air I’m inhaling

Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard

Why am I walking, where am I running

What am I saying, what am I knowing

On this guitar I’m playing, on this banjo I’m frailin’

On this mandolin I’m strummin’, in the song I’m singin’

In the tune I’m hummin’, in the words I’m writin’

In the words that I’m thinkin’

In this ocean of hours I’m all the time drinkin’

Who am I helping, what am I breaking

What am I giving, what am I taking

But you try with your whole soul best

Never to think these thoughts and never to let

Them kind of thoughts gain ground

Or make yer heart pound

But then again you know why they’re around

Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down

“Cause sometimes you hear’em when the night times comes creeping

And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping

And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin’

And you can’t remember for the best of yer thinking

If that was you in the dream that was screaming

And you know that it’s something special you’re needin’

And you know that there’s no drug that’ll do for the healin’

And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding

And you need something special

Yeah, you need something special all right

You need a fast flyin’ train on a tornado track

To shoot you someplace and shoot you back

You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler

That’s been banging and booming and blowing forever

That knows yer troubles a hundred times over

You need a Greyhound bus that don’t bar no race

That won’t laugh at yer looks

Your voice or your face

And by any number of bets in the book

Will be rollin’ long after the bubblegum craze

You need something to open up a new door

To show you something you seen before

But overlooked a hundred times or more

You need something to open your eyes

You need something to make it known

That it’s you and no one else that owns

That spot that yer standing, that space that you’re sitting

That the world ain’t got you beat

That it ain’t got you licked

It can’t get you crazy no matter how many

Times you might get kicked

You need something special all right

You need something special to give you hope

But hope’s just a word

That maybe you said or maybe you heard

On some windy corner ’round a wide-angled curve

 

But that’s what you need man, and you need it bad

And yer trouble is you know it too good

“Cause you look an’ you start getting the chills

 

“Cause you can’t find it on a dollar bill

And it ain’t on Macy’s window sill

And it ain’t on no rich kid’s road map

And it ain’t in no fat kid’s fraternity house

And it ain’t made in no Hollywood wheat germ

And it ain’t on that dimlit stage

With that half-wit comedian on it

Ranting and raving and taking yer money

And you thinks it’s funny

No you can’t find it in no night club or no yacht club

And it ain’t in the seats of a supper club

And sure as hell you’re bound to tell

That no matter how hard you rub

You just ain’t a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub

No, and it ain’t in the rumors people’re tellin’ you

And it ain’t in the pimple-lotion people are sellin’ you

And it ain’t in no cardboard-box house

Or down any movie star’s blouse

And you can’t find it on the golf course

And Uncle Remus can’t tell you and neither can Santa Claus

And it ain’t in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes

And it ain’t in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons

And it ain’t in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices

That come knockin’ and tappin’ in Christmas wrappin’

Sayin’ ain’t I pretty and ain’t I cute and look at my skin

Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow

Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry

When you can’t even sense if they got any insides

These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows

No you’ll not now or no other day

Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache¥

And inside it the people made of molasses

That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses

And it ain’t in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies

Who’d turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny

Who breathe and burp and bend and crack

And before you can count from one to ten

Do it all over again but this time behind yer back

My friend

The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl

And play games with each other in their sand-box world

And you can’t find it either in the no-talent fools

That run around gallant

And make all rules for the ones that got talent

And it ain’t in the ones that ain’t got any talent but think they do

And think they’re foolin’ you

The ones who jump on the wagon

Just for a while ’cause they know it’s in style

To get their kicks, get out of it quick

And make all kinds of money and chicks

And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat

Sayin’, “Christ do I gotta be like that

Ain’t there no one here that knows where I’m at

Ain’t there no one here that knows how I feel

Good God Almighty

THAT STUFF AIN’T REAL”

 

No but that ain’t yer game, it ain’t even yer race

You can’t hear yer name, you can’t see yer face

You gotta look some other place

And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin’

Where do you look for this lamp that’s a-burnin’

Where do you look for this oil well gushin’

Where do you look for this candle that’s glowin’

Where do you look for this hope that you know is there

And out there somewhere

And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads

Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows

Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways

You can touch and twist

And turn two kinds of doorknobs

You can either go to the church of your choice

Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital

You’ll find God in the church of your choice

You’ll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it’s only my opinion

I may be right or wrong

You’ll find them both

In the Grand Canyon

At sundown

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#Throwback Thursday – Coldplay – Yellow

I get it, people either love or hate Coldplay. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who said “Coldplay are okay” (Except a certain gentleman from Across the Pond, although I highly suspect he hates them). For whatever reason they are a polarizing band. I’ve always loved Coldplay and from the initial time I heard them on a couch on the outskirts of London, I knew they were a band for me.

There are moments in everyone’s life when a certain song acts as the soundtrack of that particular moment in time. Music has the ability to enhance the feeling of love, give comfort in a time of need, or act as a catalyst for inspiration. Music, for some unknown reason, possesses mystical and magical powers. I can think of no other medium that also acts as a real life time machine, transporting you back in your mind and soul to the precise time of your life when that song meant something much more meaningful.

It was the end of August 2000, when I arrived in London for a week of travel and to spend time with extended family before I would start my semester abroad in Edinburgh. After surviving Y2K, I began counting down the time when this journey would begin. I was going out on my own, truly independent, traveling to my Father’s birthplace (more or less) to experience a similar but vastly different culture. In my mind, this would be much different than getting dropped off for my Freshman year of College. I looked at this trip as a journey of my own choosing. I had to go to college after high school, but I was not required to study abroad. In my mind this was my “one shot” to learn who I was and to be completely on my own.

In London, I went out to explore areas that were known to me mostly from The Clash and NME magazine. No Buckingham Palace, No Tower of London, No Double Decker bus tours, I was looking for The Guns of Brixton and my very own Rainy Night in Soho. In my mind I was seeing and experiencing the “real London”, whatever that meant. I searched these London neighborhoods for something, although I am still not exactly sure what it was, but I think that was the point. I was determined to go off the beaten path and lean over the ditch, to see how real people lived in London. Days would be spent searching CD and record shops, followed by nights at dingy pubs and questionable establishments. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, no schedule, no one to tell me where or what to do or see, it was amazing. After a few nights of traveling in the shadows of London, I wanted to experience something different with more life and youth, the nightclub scene of London.

September 5, would be my last night out and I would spend the night seeing Lou Reed live at Shepherd’s Bush followed by a few “trendy” clubs in Camden. A week in and I still had no fucking clue what I was doing, but it was exciting and exhilarating. The entire summer leading up to my trip, I had envisioned Londoners (women) being impressed with my NY accent and finding me irresistible, as I quickly learned, nothing could be further from this expectation. My killer pickup line which I practiced time and time again of “Hi I’m Peter, from NYC” would be like kryptonite to the women of London. This line would have been perfect if my goal was to achieve complete silence from the opposite sex or the response “Right…Good for you Peter from NYC! hehehe” My summer expectations of London heartthrob were quickly and completely smashed that night in Camden. I also began to realize that my time was literally hours from coming to an end in London, and my prediction of finding something unique and exhilarating had not been met. Although I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, I didn’t feel gratified at the end for some reason. Instead I wondered, “Why the hell didn’t I go to the Tate, or do something more cultured?” My dreams from the previous 9 months of meeting amazing, hip people and the adventures we would have in London quickly vanished. I had spent a week in London, really doing, seeing and meeting no one of consequence. I ordered a Redbull and vodka (maybe 5 or so), and completely checked out for my last night as the bass pounded away in Camden.

The next morning I woke up and began recovering from my over indulgences, and slowly pieced together my broken ego and sense of regret from my time in London. I was completely defeated, and I was questioning what the hell I was doing in Britain. My short time in London didn’t boost my sense of independence and confidence in who I was, but conversely revealed the true cracks in my confidence and left me kind of home sick, the 5 Redbull and vodka’s from the night before definitely were not helping. Looking back, I guess no one really knows what to expect at 20yrs old traveling on your own in a different country, but I had all these ridiculous fantasizes that had been playing out in my head for months about what my time in Britain would be like. It only took a short week in London, which slapped me with a dose of reality like an ice bucket of water being thrown in my face, to realize my great expectations were only that, reality would be different. I quickly surmised that after a night of being rejected, alone and now hung over to holly hell, this was no time for any further self-reflection and introspection. I quietly accepted the past week, and started to quietly dread the semester abroad….this was starting to feel like a big mistake.

Wrapped in a blanket in the fetal position on my cousin’s couch, I was awoken and drawn to a sound coming from the television. From this low point I would first encounter Coldplay. The video for Yellow was playing on BBC, and I was mesmerized by this goofy guy running around a beach in rain gear, singing about the color Yellow. I wasn’t sure what the song meant, or what Yellow was in reference to but for some reason this song was speaking directly to me. The line “Look at the Stars, Look how they shine for you” kept repeating in my head. I felt as if I Coldplay were picking me up off that couch, brushing me off and putting me back on my journey. The soaring chorus and piercing guitars, made me feel as if I had been given a second chance. There was no reason to let the past week shape the next few months. The feeling of dread was dissipating and I jotted down the name of the band to make sure I bought the CD for my train trip to Edinburgh later that day. Feeling reborn, I went in to my cousin’s kitchen and poured a big glass of Ribena, not knowing it needed to be diluted with water. I took a huge gulp…. gagged, ran to the bathroom, and released £100 of drink from the night before. I was purged of my disappointing, rough start and was ready for the next step which would ultimately be one of the greatest times of my life.

Coldplay and the song Yellow will always have a special place in my heart. Although I know Yellow’s lyrics have nothing to do with what I was feeling at that moment, I don’t care….music means what you want it to mean to you. Although I am not crazy about some of their newer tunes, I still highly respect them as a Band. This Saturday I will be seeing them at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. I know from the initial opening notes when Coldplay begins playing Yellow where my mind will go, but I’ll probably be laughing out loud about how dumb I was then, and still am. I mean what idiot dreams of visiting and exploring Brixton!!! Thanks Coldplay for “Everything you do”, see you Saturday!

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Manic Street Preachers – Concert Review – SSE Hydro – May 21, 2016

First it was a self-aware and self-depreciating Bluetones. Then in was a resurgent and unapologetic Kula Shaker. For the final leg of our 20 years later Britpop tour it would be Manic Street Preachers performing Everything Must Go at the Hydro in Glasgow. This gig would give me a chance to right some personal wrongs.

In 1996 me and one of my school friends had planned to get tickets for the Manics,
Everything Must Go tour. It would have been my first gig in Glasgow, and at the Barrowlands to boot. Regretfully we didn’t get our arses in gear and it quickly sold out so instead the memories of my first gig are my mates heckling Semisonic for an hour to “Play Wonderwall!” at the Garage, but that’s a story for another time.

20 years on and the Manics wasn’t going to be a sell-out, illustrated by the fact my friend, upon finding out we were going on the Thursday night, managed to pick up a ticket for Saturday’s gig no bother. I was looking forward to the Hydro as despite it having being open for a couple of years now it was my first gig there. I’d been a few weeks previous to watch the darts and had been impressed by how wide and relatively shallow it was, certainly a big improvement on the old SECC venues. The fast food options are woeful though.

Editors were supporting but due to the FA cup final overrunning we managed to pitch up just as they were closing their encore with a couple of slow songs, which I didn’t recognise. I really enjoyed their first two albums (The Back Room (2005) and An End Has a Start (2007) and have had the pleasure of seeing them a few times before, notably headlining the Edinburgh corn exchange as well as supporting Razorlight at Meadowbank stadium back in the day when T at the fringe festival managed to attract big names. Now they seem to merge in with other Joy Division wannabe also-rans such as White Lies and She Wants Revenge.

After the usual debacle of decanting a couple of overpriced Desperados into plastic pint glasses we were back down the front again, ready for Manics to begin.

In an attempt to get closer to the action our group got a bit split up during the first song (Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier) mainly due to some rotund Hawaiian shirt clad oaf making a point of blocking our mate off.

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Despite it being billed as an Everything Must Go tour I wasn’t sure at this point if they were planning to play the album in its entirety but then the trademark guitar of A Design for Life kicked in and with the best part of a pint still left I knew I had a decision to make. Now I’m very much in the camp of never chucking your pint but this was as close a call as I’ve had, as I was desperate to start jumping around. Being the value merchant at heart though I managed to resist and stood for the additional few seconds carefully seeing away my pint before jumping into the mixer.

In a moment of respite, catching our breadth after the first chorus, one of the boys that was jumping about next to us produced the age old Glasgow pick-me-up: a bottle of Buckfast. He had a swig and offered me some. Well, rude not to! Given we were only a few rows from the front it wasn’t long before the bouncers clocked it at which point the guy had the ingenious idea of just “going low” trying to hide behind the mosh pit and hope the bouncers wouldn’t be able to see him. I think he managed to sneak off somewhere though as that was the last I saw of him, but that gave me a good chuckle.

Now reunited with our mates we spent the rest of the performance cruising about at the front bellowing out crowd favourites Kevin Carter Everything Must Go and Australia. I really respected the fact that they stayed true to actually playing the entire album in its entirety rather than some bands I know that would bill it the same but their gig would end up as a glorified paint by numbers greatest hits show.

Having said that the second hour of the show more than satisfied fans of their entire back catalogue. They started with a couple of solo acoustic covers: “Suicide is Painless” and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, before the rest of the band came on and ramped it up with Motorcycle Emptiness. With the mess that our country is currently in, the lyrics couldn’t have been any more poignant: “your joys are counterfeit, this happiness corrupt political shit.”

At one point a paper cannon of red white and green exploded from the heavens, allowing the crowd an impromptu Mumm-Ra costume, and I was half expecting a rendition of the Welsh football team euro 2016 song but alas but it never came.

They introduced “Show Me The Wonder” as their wedding song, from their 11th studio album, Rewind the Film, and I’m a fan of that albums chilled out vibe. They closed with part ballad “If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next” which I always saw as their comeback song (from their fifth album “This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours”) but it makes me feel especially old to find out this was released way back in 1998.

Cue a gentle power walk back into town, with my pal Chris feigning a minor heart attack along the way, to catch the train back to Edinburgh.

Setlist:

1. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier

2. A Design for Life

3. Kevin Carter

4. Enola/Alone

5. Everything Must Go

6. Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky

7. The Girl Who Wanted to Be God

8. Removables

9. Australia

10. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)

11. Further Away

12. No Surface All Feeling

 

1. Suicide Is Painless (Theme from MASH) (Johnny Mandel cover) (Acoustic)

2. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (Burt Bacharach cover) (Acoustic)

3. Motorcycle Emptiness

4. Walk Me to the Bridge

5. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

6. Nat West-Barclays-Midlands-Lloyds

7. You Stole the Sun From My Heart

8. Roses in the Hospital

9. (It’s Not War) Just the End of Love

10. Show Me the Wonder

11. (Feels Like) Heaven (Fiction Factory cover)

12. You Love Us

13. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

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#Throwback Thursday – John Lennon – Beautiful Boy

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

For most of my life, and especially when I first heard this song in my teens, Beautiful Boy was a song I would skip over to get to more popular John Lennon tunes like Instant Karma or Watching The Wheels.  Now as a father of 3 boys, this song has taken on a completely different meaning to me. I no longer skip over it since the words and emotions speak directly to me.  In Beautiful Boy, Lennon highlights the innocent, mundane moments of being a dad (which also tend to be the most enjoyable/memorable).  I recently had a few friends that gave birth to their first child, and it made me think back to this song, and what every dad’s ultimate purpose becomes in life when you have a child; to simply be a loving father to that child.  Lennon understood this and so eloquently highlighted all that is wonderful and terrifying about the experience in this amazing tune.

John Lennon’s ballad to his beautiful boy Sean, is one of the most touching and intimate songs ever written. Lennon highlights and harps on what every father should be focusing on, the little things in life.  There is no mention of living in The Dakota Building, riding in limos or planes, extravagant parties and gifts, instead Lennon focuses on the unseen joys of fatherhood; soothing your child before bedtime, assuring them everything is alright, and holding hands while crossing the street.

Lennon also expresses the fear, hope and excitement every father carries with them, not only about the job they have to do but also their aspirations and dreams for their child.

“I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes, it’s a long way to go”

He simply captures what every dad thinks of every day:

“I hope I’m doing this right'”

“I wonder what they will be like when they grow up”

“I hope I’m doing this right”

and

“I hope I’m doing this right”

Beautiful Boy can also be a hard song to listen to, since it was released a few weeks before his tragic death. It’s almost impossible to not get choked up when listening to the ending whispers of Beautiful Boy “Good night, Sean. See you in the morning. Bright and early.” Just beautiful and heartbreaking.

Here’s to all the fathers and their beautiful boys or girls!