Friday, June 10, 2016

Music Friday: The blood-dimmed tide is loosed

 Why do I hate Train so much?  Is it their blandly calculated Mom-rock, which sounds engineered in a lab and specifically designed by a team of specialists to appeal to suburban white women, 29-54, who still think of themselves as edgy because they have half a joint left over from a party a few years ago and enjoy the occasional shot of Mezcal and softcore porn?  It should come as no surprise, on that front, that some of their biggest "hits," like "Hey, Soul Sister" and "Drive By" were cowritten with Norwegian production team Espionage, who generally make their scratch writing for American Idol lower-tier finishers, which are about comparable to Train's level of competence and/or enjoyability.

Or is it the utterly insipid and often laughably inane lyrics, which sometimes, for example, feature singer Pat Monahan portraying himself as a "shy guy looking for a two ply / Hefty bag to hold my love," which would make him eligible for sex offender registration in several states?  Or their continued and desperate-seeming need to connect themselves to San Francisco, where they got their start, despite the fact that they have long since decamped to Seattle or whatever?

I don't know.  All of it, I guess.  But just in case you need a little more, Train has gone and released a song-by-song cover of Led Zeppelin II.  Even if you're not a huge Led Zeppelin fan - and I'm not really, although of course I was once a 16-year-old pot smoking youth and thus have done more than enough Led Zeppelin listening - this news should frighten and confuse you.  Why?, you might ask.  Why would you do such a thing?  Led Zeppelin never did anything to you.

Because I love and respect you and would never want you to be hurt, I went and listened to some of it.  It's not terrible.  It's extraordinarily faithful to the original.  Which means, what was the fucking point?  Last year, Ryan Adams released a song by song cover of Taylor Swift's 1989, which I enjoyed quite a bit, largely because he Ryan Adams-ized the songs so completely that it sounded like a decent new Ryan Adams album.  This sounds like when a TV show can't get the rights to the original recording of something and hire studio musicians to cover it as closely as possible.

They're playing it at the Great American Music Hall on Tuesday.  It's sold out, of course.

If you wanna go, here's a guy on Craigslist selling tix for $250 each.  Your funeral.  Here's a great article in the New York papers about the pointlessness and ennui of the whole project.

Speaking of existing in a hellscape of heat and pain, Bonnaroo is this weekend! I was just in Middle Tennessee and I could only be outside for 25 minutes at a time under the blinding sun and searing 90 degree heat and 50 percent humidity but if you want to stand in that to watch Jason Mraz, go for it.  Actually, there are some bright spots in the lineup - Waxahatchee, Tame Impala (playing from 1 am to 3 am! They don't make enough cocaine), the always fun LCD Soundsystem, Vince Staples, Father John Misty - but what with the heat and the hippies and the camping, I can't even.  I'm stuck with urban festivals only from here on out.

Finally, have you ever discovered a band that you've never heard mentioned by anyone before and you can't figure out why they're a big secret and man, this album is pretty good!  That just happened with me and the band is Ultimate Painting and the album is Ultimate Painting.  Predictably, there's also a song on the album called Ultimate Painting, but here's a different song.

The Velvet Underground is strong in this one. I like it. It says on their Internet web site that they're playing the Chapel on July 25, but nobody told the Chapel apparently.  Hopefully they sort that out.

And with that, go blessedly into your weekend.


KBN said...

And sadly, Mac Sabbath has not sold out at Slim's yet...

Stoney said...

The police arrested 100 people in one day at Bonnaroo yesterday. Fish, meet barrel.

TK said...

KBN - I must confess that, until this very moment (well, a few moments ago, followed by some Googling), I had no idea there existed a fast food-themed Black Sabbath parody cover band, but it all makes sense to me now.

Stoney - Well, at least if you're in jail you don't have to listen to Jason Mraz.

Michelle said...

Offended by the term 'mom-rock'.
Take it back.

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