Posts Tagged ‘Nine Inch Nails’

DEVO TOIL THROUGH SADNESS AND ADVERSITY TO BRING THE SPUDS SOMETHING ELSE FOR EVERYBODY

December 30, 2017
Bastardizing the cover for Something For Everybody, Devo once again poke fun at themselves while delivering cutting room floor songs. Cover photo courtesy of Devo Obsesso

Bastardizing the cover for Something For Everybody, Devo once again poke fun at themselves while delivering cutting room floor songs. Cover photo courtesy of Devo Obsesso

This may be one of the saddest reviews I’ve ever written about Devo. This upcoming February will be the four-year anniversary of the death of Robert Casale, better-known to Devotees as Bob 2. Devo have named his live performance replacement as Josh Hager. While Hager may possess certain self-destructive tendencies, and feels free to use them onstage with the band, no amount of broken limbs will replace the every day contributions Robert Casale made to Devo. He was more than just the fourth member of Devo. He was instrumental with instrument sounds. Programming patches (voices) on keyboards, being of service not only to Devo, but also Musika Mutato, Mark Mothersbaugh’s commercial music production company.

But even more disheartening, Devo, at its core, is formed by the combining of two sets of brothers and a drummer. Robert Casale’s brother is bassist, vocalist and co-pioneer, Jerry Casale. The other brother duo is lead guitarist extraordinaire Bob Mothersbaugh, and keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist/visual artist/film maker/eye glass designer/painter/cultural wunderkind Mark Mothersbaugh.

The add-a-drummer position is alternately filled by former Nine Inch Nails and current Vandals drummer Josh Freese. When Freese is unavailable (we can most likely presume from prior commitments), Devo call on Jeff Friedl of Ashes Divide, Filter and two Maynard Keenan groups, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle. (Is it me or does that band have a revolving door in its rehearsal studio? Friedl, Freese, Troy Van Leeuwin of Queens Of The Stone Age, James Iha formerly of Peter Pumpkinhead’s band Smashing Pumpkins, Danny Lohner ex of Nine Inch Nails and Tim “Herb” Alexander of Primus. Makes me think Maynard J Krebs is as big a douche with Billy Howerdel’s Perfect Circle as he is with his other  band, Tool. Grow yer grapes Maynard, stick with your vineyard and let all the musicians you suck into your quagmiric vortex do meaningful things with their lives… Like play in Devo!!!)

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OH THE HUMANITY! POSSIBLY THE LAST CHRIS ARDUSER SOLO ALBUM EVER!

January 14, 2015
The new and possibly last solo album from BouleBlog favorite Chris Arduser. Cover photo courtesy Crooked Mile Records.

The new and possibly last solo album from BouleBlog favorite Chris Arduser. Cover photo courtesy Crooked Mile Records.

Long since the inception of this blog, which started through Princeton Record Exchange, I have enjoyed reviewing Chris Arduser’s work in order to put him in front of the popular view. Since discovering him with the Bears (featuring Adrian Belew) I have really enjoyed Arduser’s contribution to the Bears work as well as with the psychodots, including long-time bandmates Bob Nyswonger and Rob Fetters. But not only his work in bands such as the Bears and psychodots, Arduser on his own has quite a collection of solo albums, the last of which Hapless, was reviewed by this intrepid blogger for the Princeton Record Exchange (it may also appear as a Friday Flashback on this very blog).

There does appear with one overshadowing rumor with this release, that rumor being that this will be the last Chris Arduser solo album. If this does prove true I can only put this in the category of tremendous tragedy. Arduser’s solo albums have brought me many joyful hours, and I feel if they had gotten greater circulation throughout the music community nationwide, hell, worldwide, he would be a much bigger act then he is now. Not that he’s a nobody. Arduser is one of the biggest names in the Cincinnati music area especially when it comes to percussion. Basically if you’re in the Midwest he’s your go-to guy if you want a session drummer with killer chops. But he’s not just a drummer. I have personally witnessed Arduser play mandolin live with the Bears, and on his solo albums often times he’ll play each and every instrument you would hear; mandolin, keyboards, bass, guitar, drums and some instruments one might not expect from a “pop” musician.

Yet Arduser, always ready to throw a monkey wrench into the sound has come up with some very intriguing noises on the new release called Flibbertigibbet. How’s that for a monkey wrench of a title? I think it’s time we dug into Chris Arduser’s latest offering and sit back and enjoy the strangeness!

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PHOTOBLOG: DEAR MARK J. MULCAHY, WORLD CAFE LIVE LOVES YOU – 3-10-14

April 11, 2014
Mark Mulcahy wails on his trusty Epiphone.  Settle in for some amazing songs, stories and smiles.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Mark Mulcahy wails on his trusty Epiphone. Settle in for some amazing songs, stories and smiles. Photo by Lynn Vala

For all intents and purposes, I had retired from covering live shows.  My body is old and beaten, your average concert attendant is more concerned with getting drunk and being obnoxious as opposed to sitting and listening to the performer du jour.  After all, you are talking to someone who was actually kicked in the head during a Nine Inch Nails show!  Some inconsiderate booby was running in the row behind my seat and clocked me in the head with his leg!

This was many years ago, before NIN had become the joke that it is today.

But when I got word through Facebook that Mark Mulcahy was coming to one of my all-time favorite venues, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, the prospect of seeing Mulcahy live was too overwhelming to pass up.  Retirement be damned!

My first course of action was to reach out to the accommodating folks at WCL, specifically one Danielle F.  For those who have a history with the club, I used to have a relationship with Lauren Squazzo who moved on to greener pastures (as if there are any greener pastures than working at a killer club that has an upstairs bar with a stage for local and up and coming performers as well as hosting children’s shows, but is also affiliated with and houses Drexel University’s WXPN radio and has a killer theater/restaurant/bar in the lower level that has hosted acts from John Wetton, Laurie Anderson, Todd Rundgren, Robert Fripp’s words and music tour, to date his last solo US tour, Adrian Belew, Adrian Belew’s Power Trio and Power Trio bassist Julie Slick, a Philly native, as well as more that I am forgetting).

Every good wish to Lauren, but Danielle is equally a joy to work with.

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OTTO AND THE EVEVATORS LIFT US UP AFTER THE DEATH OF AN ART-ROCK-PUNK PIONEER

December 15, 2013
Today's version of Otto and the Elevators has a unique feature; a compact disc in a sleeve on the cover.  For those of us without turntables.  It sits as an add-on to the shrink wrap, so you don't have to open up the package with the valuable cargo inside.  Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

Today’s version of Otto and the Elevators has a unique feature; a compact disc in a sleeve on the cover. For those of us without turntables. It sits as an add-on to the shrink wrap, so you don’t have to open up the package with the valuable cargo inside. Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

It has been a long time since this blog has been active.  We took some time off after the passing of grunge god Lou Reed.  We were given time to pause to think about our allotment on this mortal coil.  Life is too short.  Life is too short to dwell on things that affect us negatively.  Things that present themselves or force themselves on us.  Things that, plain old speaking, we just don’t want to deal with.

For me, that was the new Nine Inch Nails album, Hesitation Marks.

I had begun the review when Reed passed.  My thoughts were not about what Reznor had done on this new album, or how it was more or less a rehash of what he had done before he shuttered Nine Inch Nails around 2009.  I was even slated to see Nine Inch Nails, but most of the parties involved were pretty much ambivalent about the event, so we chose to bypass it.  From what we heard about the show afterward, it was mostly material we had seen live with a FEW new songs inserted into a tired, and over-used set list.

I now regret not catching a Reed show.  It must have been something to see this stalwart musician ply his art onstage.  I had seen his widow, Laurie Anderson a number of times, including the shows Anderson played in New York City nine days after 9/11 at the Town Hall (which yielded a phenomenal double CD live disc).  Her shows were always entertaining, amusing and sometimes haunting.

So when faced with the arduous task of trying to analyze Reznor’s Nine Inch Noise album, it just seemed futile and defeatist.   My heart wasn’t in it.

With Reed (and a few days later, his mother) now passed, and Anderson grieving the loss of Reed, Reed’s mother and her dog Lolabelle, Anderson is gearing up her tour/performance schedule.  It would be grand to see her again, and hopefully get the opportunity to tell her how much she means to us, and how much her late husband meant to all us musicians and music fans.

Before it’s too late.

In the spirit of not being too late, let’s make sure we cover a different act out of the Milwaukee Wisconsin area.  Led by long time BouleBlog associate Gary Tanin, Otto and the Elevators is an album that was recorded in 1973, released in 1975.  The release in 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the recording.  Not sure how the 40th anniversary of the release will be handled…

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THE LONG AWAITED SHOWDOWN IS NOW!!! TODD RUNDGREN’S STATE HAS A LOT RIDING ON IT…

June 10, 2013
DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia.  Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia. Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

Ok, here’s the back story.  I was pissed as hell when, after the brilliant Todd Rundgren release of 2004’s Liars, and then the ‘ok’ release of Arena, I was ok with his concept of bringing albums like A Wizard A True Star, Todd, and Healing to the live stage.  What pissed me off was his insistence on releasing two discs (one E.P. and one L.P.) of Robert Johnson material (hey, cheap, no royalty payments, that crap is so old it’s out of public domain by now) then, further pissing me off was having ‘fans’ (read: well-to-do sycophants with $5,000 to burn) pay him to appear on his re[Productions] album where he would secure the rights to record songs from acts he had produced in the past (horrific versions of Bourgeois Tagg’s “Out Of My Mind” and XTC’s “Dear God”) but then what bitchfest about Todd Rundgren from this reviewer would be complete without my reflecting back to the “event” at the Keswick Theater.  You want the deets on that, you can search for the review on this page.  I’ve spent enough column space and bandwidth on that issue.

So I sorta feel like the gunslinger in the center of town in the Wild West ready to draw pistols.   Me, the nearly lifelong Todd fan (let’s face it, I have been into him since 1974, I was 11/12, I am 50 now, been listening/buying/attending all these years and for you ‘Todd was better without Utopia’ types, piss off!  I LOVED UTOPIA!!!) and Rundgren, the now 65 year old ‘aging rocker’ with a voice in a lower register so he has to effect, process and lower his keys for older songs (I’ve seen live clips on YouTube for this current tour where he suspends the microphone over his head like at a prize fight, that’s not a clever visual gimmick for his techno ‘D.J. Odd’ (Techno Todd?) persona, that is to assist his aging vocal chords have projection and hit some of the notes he couldn’t with his head down).  Although, it is not unusual for Rundgren to assign himself monikers to reflect the new style of music he is brandishing.  Reference the No World Order and Individualist era, when he billed himself as TR-i (Todd Rundgren interactive).

So in my Wild West daydream, Rundgren dressed in white as he will no doubt be the people’s favorite, and I, opposite Rundgren, dressed in black as I have already proven to be the people’s favorite… to HATE (ask any King Crimson fan).  He has his Mac and Foamy (his favorite sea foam green P-Project Stratocaster copy guitar) ready to draw, I have my pencils, pad and angry disposition ready to pull.

Three, two, one, DRAW!

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