One of my amazing colleagues at ROI DNA, Mark Chasse, recently introduced me to Red Fang by sending me a link to the video for “Wires.”
First, I really dig this band – I downloaded the album (yes, album) “Murder The Mountains” almost immediately and have been bobbing my head to it quite a bit during my walk to work. Red Fang sounds to me like (stealing a bit from Blaine Cartwright here) Fu Manchu making out with Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden while Black Sabbath watches. Maybe Helmet shows up later to get in on the fun.
OK, never mind the crazy-ridiculous attempts at describing Red Fang’s sound. I like it. A lot.
I gave up on music videos about the same time music videos started existing. It’s true that videos can occasionally add something that the song cant’ do on its own, but I think that videos are mostly just really bad marketing of really bad bands. I go out of my way to avoid them, as I do with most things that I find to be offensively stupid.
The gentlemen in Red Fang, however, make some awesome videos. Rockin’, fun, and hilarious – right up my alley. Check out “Wires” and “Prehistoric Dog” below.
It’s well known that I’m a big fan of stripped-down, old school rock ‘n’ roll. So when I heard Wanda Jackson was coming to the Great American Music Hall here in SF, I bought tickets immediately.
The show was last night. Wow. Seriously – wow. What an incredible show. Wanda kicked ass. Her voice was on. Red Meat did a great job of backing her up, too.
The awesomeness of this show is certainly a commentary on the simmering cauldron of weaksauce that is modern “rock ‘n’ roll” but that could de-emphasize how much she rocked. Let me say it again – Wanda Jackson rocks. I’ve seen a LOT of shows, and two things stood out for me:
- Wanda is in her mid-seventies now, and I believed her rockin’. She was totally into it – the real deal.
- The audience loves Wanda. The constant screaming and cheering reminded me of the old tapes of crowds going nuts for rock stars when rock ‘n’ roll was still new.
It turns out I’m not immune to a bit of nostalgia, either. I almost teared up when she talked about how Elvis inspired and encouraged her (a young country-western singer at the time) to try this new kind of music that they didn’t even have a name for yet.
So here are some crappy iPhone pictures from the show. I wish they were better, and I hope they convey at least a little of the awesomeness of Wanda. Angelica and I had a hell of a time.
Before I rock ‘n’ roll saved my soul – in the form of punk and metal – the only music I knew was old country. (Well, country and church hymns, but that’s another story for another time.) My parents listened to a lot of good old country music: Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Jones – lots of good stuff.
In my early teens, I rejected this music, but slowly returned to it as I overcame my knee-jerk, anti-“my parents’ music” mentality. It helped that some of my punk rock idols were clearly influenced by country music, from early honky tonk to later outlaw tunes. Later on, as my taste in music progressed beyond “louder, faster, more” I couldn’t get these old songs out of my head.
Anyway, I found this video on the YouTube tonight: Johnny Paycheck playing “The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” at Chillicothe Prison in Ohio in 1993, post prison time and “Johnny Bankrupt.” He’s introduced by none other than Merle Haggard. Paycheck and the band are really cookin’ – it’s magical.