Sunday, March 30, 2014

Johnny Cash - Out Among the Stars

 Johnny Cash wasn't the only veteran artist who had trouble with the transition into the 80s, but his case was one of the worst. Cash blamed Columbia, and infamously, his biggest hit of the decade was "Chicken in Black", an attempt to bite the hand that fed him. It's understandable that Cash would be inclined to shelve an entire album if he thought Columbia had no interest in promoting it.

I'm equally partial to the Tennessee Two/Three and American Recordings eras that bookend Cash's long career; Out Among the Stars was recorded just after the dissolution of the Tennessee Three. Cash might have had trouble selling albums in the 80s, but it wasn't as if he didn't try, and although three decades stand between the album's recording and release, it isn't a timeless album. I recently listened to Cash's last interview in which he made it clear that he embraced pragmatism over traditionalism when it came to recording (he even mentioned Pro Tools), and in light of that, it doesn't surprise me that he would have availed himself of the latest technology of the day and intentionally made an album steeped in the slick sound that immediately dates it in the early 80s.

Slick or not, it's not as if Out Among the Stars is Cash's "sellout" album. With his new band came a new sound that didn't owe a whole lot to his past and he took the opportunity to test out the band with various styles and tempos. It's a sound that Cash obsessives and country aficionados are likely to appreciate more than me. John Cash jr started going through his father's vaults shortly after his death and it took ten years to find Out Among the Stars, so it's likely we'll see more releases in the future. It's also likely that Cash's best music was released while he was alive. Out Among the Stars is a decent addition to Cash's catalogue without being a boost to his legacy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Extempore #14: Chad Channing

"Can you tell whoever looks after Chad Channing that he isn’t being inducted… It is just Dave, Krist and Kurt."

That cowardly text message says it all. Nirvana was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year after the minimum requisite period of 25 years after its first release, the "Love Buzz" single. Chad Channing played on that single and all of Bleach. Channing's contribution to the band is underrated by too many people who think of him as the guy who kept the drum stool warm for Dave Grohl, but the powers that be at the Hall of Fame should know better. Fuck those cunts. Fuck them right in the ear.



Friday, March 21, 2014

Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps, the following people are glad you're dead*

Pansy Division

Bob Mould


Frank Ocean

Owen Pallett

Elton John

* I don't actually presume to speak for any of those people, but I'm sure they're not heartbroken.


Sex, War & Robots