Yes We Can

Bob Stinson was a HUGE Yes fan. Here’s why.

Best YouTube comment?

“They didn’t need Pro Tools. They had pros.”

Replacements At A Turning Point

Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!

“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”

Full article here.

Sweet Jebus

8-year-old Japanese girl KILLS IT. Watch her footwork closely – those triplets are a motherfucker.

Favorite YouTube comment: No matter how good you are on your instrument of choice there’s always going to be an Asian child somewhere who’s better than you.

Sad News

Farewell To A Legend: Milo Ramone, The Conductor Of The Ramones, Has Passed Away At 83

Born Milo Sebastian Altenhöfen in 1936 in Forest Hills, Queens, Milo Ramone first made a name for himself in the flourishing 1970s NYC punk scene. He was known by musicians all over the city for his signature upbeat conducting tempo and DIY aesthetic, the broken piece of pool stick he used as a baton, the beat up barstool he turned into a music stand, and the wild, unkempt gray hair exploding out from the sides of his balding head. After bouncing from band to band, the middle-aged conductor crossed paths with the Ramones for the first time in 1974—and after seamlessly clicking with the group while filling in for their usual conductor during a legendary show at CBGB, he was officially asked to join the outfit. With the five original Ramones in place, the band was born, ready to set the world ablaze with hit after lightning-fast hit.

Full story here.

I Thought I’d Seen It All

Check out “Twink” miming with The Pretty Things for a bewildered French TV audience.  Ever heard of Twink?  I hadn’t, so I poked around on Google.  Nicknamed after a British hair product, Twink was a mime, drummer, close friend of Syd Barrett, and general scenester of the London psychedelic underground.  He played drums with an early version of T. Rex, with Syd Barret occasionally, on one Pretty Things album, and with the Pink Fairies.  In the early 70’s, he was in Hawkwind with Lemmy.  His band The Rings were on the ground floor of the London punk scene in ’77.  Some refer to their lone single, “I Wanna be Free” as England’s first punk record.  It’s not very good compared to what was about to come from the Damned, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Clash, and Jam.

What led me to this video was my fondness for The Pretty Things,  a very good British r&b band who never made any headway in the U.S.  Their guitarist, Dick Taylor, had been in an early version of the Stones.  Like the Stones, their forays into psychedelia were not always memorable, as you can hear above.   You can hear them at their best here and here.  Their raucous version of Roadrunner is my favorite cover of that song.

For Local Bastards

This evening Jody Stephens will be chatting about his favorite topic, nachos.  Just kidding!  Big Star, of course.  I  won’t be attending, but passing along in case any of you local bastards are interested.

Fest 18

The first batch of Fest 18 (that’s the number, not the year) bands has been announced and it’s a doozey. Jawbreaker is headlining, which blows my mind, but the rest of the line-up looks pretty great as well (Mariachi El Bronx, Dag Nasty, Lee Bains III, etc. etc.). Almost makes living in Pigville worthwhile. Almost.

More at thefestfl.com

I Had A Vision When I Was Young

This is such a great song.

Guitar riffs don’t come any simpler than this one, but the keyboard squiggles, horny lyrics and head-bobbing rhythms on this one are undeniably fun.

John M. Borack, Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide

Somehow, I’ve never seen Cheap Trick live. SO MANY MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. Next time they’re anywhere close, I’m going. Sucks that I missed the Bun E. Carlos years, though.