Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It List: Wednesday

Today's lone list entry was written by a special anonymous contributor, whose brutally sarcastic rants about music and record store customers has been entertaining me for the past few months. (DL)

The Mars Volta (The Palladium): Do you remember the first time you put in a Pink Floyd album as a kid or teenager? Do you remember the sense of wonder that came over you as you heard men doing things with instruments that you’d never imagined? Do you remember listening to Meddle and wondering why other music wasn’t this imaginative, this inventive, this out-of-the-box? Are you frustrated that bands this creative no longer attain mainstream popularity and fill arenas as they once did, having been replaced by Nickelbacks, Drowning Pools, and Green Days?

Well, if you’ve heard the Mars Volta, take heart. This visionary band, oft-compared to the almighty and wondrous Tool, is an absolutely superb example of what six (and sometimes seven) men can accomplish when given more effects pedals than you can shake several sticks at. Don’t just take my word for it! In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine – yes, that Rolling Stone – named these fellows the best “Prog Rock Band” in all of music! These Grammy-winning musical machines have certainly come a long way from their earlier, equally great project At the Drive-In, which took the foundations laid by such mediocre bands as Drive Like Jehu and Fugazi and turns them on their collective ears.

I’ve had dreams where a man, submerged in a pool of water, was serenading me in Spanish, accompanied by a guitar looped through a dozen warbling, broken Danelectro pedals. I woke up, distraught that no one had thought to bring this idea to fruition in thirteen-minute bursts. I type before you a happy man, because my wildest dreams have been realized in a musical cavalcade of formless, not-at-all irritating solos, completely pleasant album structures, and intensely enjoyable, more straightforward parts that call to mind a tamer version of the pure rock fury that’s known as Rush. Omar Rodríguez-López certainly brings his best material to the table – if you listen to one of the twelve solo records he’s released in the past few years, you’ll see that he has enough musical ideas to fill twice this many records, and Mars Volta albums besides!

Look, here’s the bottom line – if you love Tool, and if you want to hear a band that’s so good that even members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (!) have collaborated, look no further – you’ve found the epitome of modern day prog. By extension, they’re the only rock band that matters today, if you think about it. It really doesn’t get any better than this. (Anonymous)

Soundclash Presents: Parson And Annalove are The Yellow Stripes/Royal Highnuss/Tomb (Zubar)

Nervous Curtains/Blixaboy/Davic Sunshine (The Cavern)

Macon Greyson/Dana Falconberry/Ha Ha Tonka (The Green Elephant)


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