Born Innocent

Absolutely.

Born Innocent will introduce a wider audience to two of the coolest people alive. The McDonald Brothers embody Southern California, rock and roll, and what it means to be an artist. They have influenced independent music in ways that beg to be acknowledged. From helping invent Beach Punk to influencing the Grunge and Glam Metal movements, Redd Kross have maintained the highest level of musical integrity, originality and quality for over forty years.

Hornsey Road?

A new stage show produced by Beatle expert Mark Lewisohn sheds some light on a story we thought we knew. From The Guardian

They’ve wrapped up the recording of Abbey Road, which would turn out to be their last studio album, and are awaiting its release in two weeks’ time. Ringo Starr is in hospital, undergoing tests for an intestinal complaint. In his absence, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison convene at Apple’s HQ in Savile Row. John has brought a portable tape recorder. He puts it on the table, switches it on and says: “Ringo – you can’t be here, but this is so you can hear what we’re discussing.”

What they talk about is the plan to make another album – and perhaps a single for release in time for Christmas, a commercial strategy going back to the earliest days of Beatlemania. “It’s a revelation,” Lewisohn says. “The books have always told us that they knew Abbey Road was their last album and they wanted to go out on an artistic high. But no – they’re discussing the next album. And you think that John is the one who wanted to break them up but, when you hear this, he isn’t. Doesn’t that rewrite pretty much everything we thought we knew?”

Full article here, including a link to tour dates for a show I would kill to see.

Born To Lose

Say what you want about Sid being a shit bassist, he would have made a fucking great front man. Just look at him! And give the RUGGED MAN SONG OF THE WEEK™ a play over there while you’re at it. Horrible live recording, but he had the goods as a rock vocalist.

According to ancient punk lore, he actually came very close to fronting a band. Twice. The Damned asked him to audition when they were first getting together. Sneaky Dave Vanian had other plans, and sabotaged the rehearsal so he could try out first. Seems Vanian (or an associate) told Sid the band had canceled at the last minute, while Captain Sensible and the boys just assumed Sid no-showed.

Then one day, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood were discussing who would make a good lead singer for this new band Malcolm was going to manage. Vivienne suggested one of the Johns who hung around the shop all the time, because he had a great look. Malcolm assumed she meant John Lydon; she really meant John Ritchie – AKA John Beverly, AKA Sid Vicious.

Would the Pistols have had the same impact without Lydon’s brilliant, confrontational lyrics? Arguably not. Still …

BONUS: Here’s an interview Judy Vermorel conducted with Sid for her book, Sex Pistols: The Inside Story. Like most 20-year-olds, Mr. Vicious is in turns insightful and moronic.

Project Magenta

Co-creating with AI. Fascinating stuff.

New technologies have fundamentally changed the way we make and experience music. In this session Claire Evans, artist, author and one half of the pop duo YACHT talks about deep learning as a tool in their creative process. Their new album explores Google AI’s research project, Magenta, an open-source music-making package using machine learning models.

The Song That Started It All

For The Replacements, I mean. This is the demo version of “Raised in the City,” which I hadn’t heard until Other Other Elvis hipped me to that song-ranking site. Far superior to the album version.

The band soon recorded a four-song demo tape in Mars’s basement and handed it to Peter Jesperson in May 1980. Westerberg originally handed in the tape to see if the band could perform at Jay’s Longhorn Bar, a local venue where Jesperson worked as a disc jockey. He eavesdropped as Jesperson put in the tape, only to run away as soon as the first song, “Raised in the City,” played. Jesperson played the song again and again. “If I’ve ever had a magic moment in my life, it was popping that tape in,” said Jesperson. “I didn’t even get through the first song before I thought my head was going to explode.”

Uh Oh!

As heard on Underground Garage this morning. Good stuff!

The Coolies are a new collaboration between Muffs frontwoman Kim Shattuck, former Friggs guitarist Palmyra Delran and Muffs / White Flag member Melanie Vammen. This supergroup of sorts has released their debut 6 song EP on Wicked Cool Records. Some amazing guest musicians are along for the ride.