A Life of Illusion – Joe Walsh

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 36

I’ve heard this song for decades. It was released when I was 11. At the time and for many years after, I felt it was nothing special. It was just a song. As a kid, this track couldn’t compete “Rocky Mountain Way” or “Life’s Been Good.” I mean, come on! Where’s the appeal?

Years later, more like decades later, I have learned to love this song. What changed? Turns out the missing ingredient was perspective. I was too young to appreciate a song like this. I need some perspective of my own to realize it is a song ABOUT perspective. A damn, good one too.

The final verse is the one that hits me hardest:

Hey, don’t you know it’s a waste of your day
Caught up in endless solutions
That have no meaning, just another hunch
Based upon jumping conclusions
Caught up in endless solutions

Since, I couldn’t find videos worth posting from YouTube that weren’t blocked, I’ve included homemade videos to give you a taste of the audio, so to speak, see and hear.

The mariachi-like horns are a nice touch, don’t you think?

Revolve – Melvins

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 34

Just a quick post about the Melvins, one of my favorite bands. Certainly, one of my favorite bands to see in concert.

Tonight, I am seeing the in concert. First time in a while. However, it’ll be my sixth or seventh time seeing them overall. They’ve been around forever. Here are a couple of clips of “Revolve,” my favorite Melvins song (but only if you forced me to choose one). It’s still a concert stable. I look forward to hearing it in person tonight. Check out how old these videos are!

I’ll add to this post later. Gotta hit the road. Concert is in Knoxville.

Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 33

Today is the peak, the pinnacle. The summer solstice. The longest day of the year. Also, the first day of summer which I why I am posting about this song from the Beach Boys. In my opinion, “Good Vibrations” encapsulates the sound of summer better than any other song. It is the Most Summer Song of all time.

Let’s get one thing straight. I do not like the Beach Boys, but I love “Good Vibrations.” As a piece of music, it is an absolute masterpiece. It’s a magical, three and a half minute, symphonic journey. It is far superior to anything else they’ve recorded.

I tried to link the song (in any form, by any artist) without success. Therefore, I present 20 seconds, with a view outside my art studio window. No big deal. Y’all know what this one sounds like anyhow.

Ever Lovin’ Man – The Dirtbombs

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 32

The Dirtbombs are a garage rock band based in Detroit. Vocalist and guitarist Mick Collins formed the Dirtbombs in 1992. They’re still around, even though they haven’t released new music in almost a decade. Their sound blends diverse influences such as punk rock and soul¬†while featuring an unusual but awesome lineup of dual bass guitar, dual drums, and one guitar.

Over the years, the Dirtbombs have gained a reputation as being one of the best live acts around. I can vouch for this, having seen them twice. Once as an opening act and once as a headliner. Both concerts were in very small venues in Chicago.

The Dirtbombs sound varies from album to album. They’ve even released an album of their version of house music and an another of bubblegum pop. They’ve got albums full of original songs and a couple filled with covers. Their cover versions are typically stellar. This song is an original, it comes from their 2009 album, We Have You Surrounded. I love this song. It’s a short, simple, scorcher. A guy’s proclamation to be the best man he can for his woman.

Anecdotal notes involving the Dirtbombs:

I really like the Dirtbombs. Still have an old Dirtbombs t-shirt. It’s a great shirt too, I still wear it. It has a picture of Blacula on it.

When I saw them in concert, Mick Collins was wearing a shirt that said “Who the Fuck is Mick Collins?” Still, one of my favorite front man moments. He was making reference to the infamous Mick Jagger version of the shirt that Keith Richards wore (see image below), and he was also poking fun at himself and anyone that might not know that he is in fact, Mick Collins. What a magnificent move!

About 15 years ago, I was told by someone that actually knows the band (now an ex-friend of my ex-wife) that they’d be open to playing a backyard concert. Specifically, my backyard, and it wouldn’t cost much more than providing lodging and gas money. Unfortuantely, I didn’t have a backyard at the time. Now I do, so I may have to see if this is still an option. Hmmmm…

Never Lose That Feeling/Never Learn – Swervedriver

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 31

Whoa. This one is massive. That’s the best word to describe this Swervedriver song. Massive in length and massive in sound. In my opinion it’s a sonic masterpiece.

“Never Lose That Feeling/Never Learn” close out Mezcal Head, their second full length album. Mezcal Head is definitely one of my Top 20 albums of all time. Might be in the Top 10!. Check it out if you’ve never heard it. The entire album is stellar. THREE songs from this album, including this one, made my list of 500 favorite songs.

This song (or songs) is probably my favorite of the collection. “Never Lose That Feeling” charges out of the gate and never stops. At the 4:11 mark, without interruption, the song plunges into a deep, dramatic instrumental coda for the final 7:39 of the song. The song is almost twelve minutes long, yet the groove could go on forever. That’s how good the ride is.

I’ve seen Swervedriver in concert a few times over the years. I’ve also seen Adam Franklin (founding member, lyricist, lead singer, guitarist) in concert too, with one of his other projects, Magnetic Morning. That time, I met him before the gig. Chatted for a minute as well. Turns out he was a friend of friend of my good friend in Atlanta. That’s right. Way less than six degrees of separation.

I wasn’t able to post this song from YouTube, therefore I produced my own clip, from the mantle in my art studio. It’s just a minute or so, but it covers the transition I describe in the previous paragraph.

Massive.

Kiss The Sun – The Atomic Bitchwax

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 30

Did I ever tell you the story of how I missed the concert and got to have a conversation about it with a guy in the band afterward? It’s a great story. One day maybe, I’ll tell you the whole thing. All the hilarious details. In the meantime, here’s the important stuff. It happened in July of 2017. In Philadelphia, at a place called Kung Fu Necktie. The band was the Atomic Bitchwax. The guy was Chris Kosnik, who founded the band in 1992. I was bummed! I was traveling and was excited to see a band I really enjoy. Fortunately, I’ve seen them before at the Masquerade in Atlanta. Turns out missing the show would end up being a much better story.

Inspired again by what came up on shuffle, here is Kiss the Sun, my favorite song from the New Jersey based band, the Atomic Bitchwax (yeah, I love that name too). First up is a super cool live version of the song, filmed on a beach in Sardinia, Italy. The second video is the first studio version, from their self-titled debut album. Wish I could find the second studio version, from the Boxriff EP. I think it’s superior version. Couldn’t find it on YouTube. It must be the only song not to make it to YouTube yet. Those super thick riffs and hooks are ear candy. This song also appears on my list of 500 favorite songs.¬†

Voices – Black Mountain

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 29

This song a definitive example of simple beauty. I love it. Basically, it’s a tribute to growing up listening to, loving, and being influenced by, rock and roll radio. This is a topic I can relate to. Growing up listening to rock and roll radio is something I remember fondly and have joyous memories of. It’s something I have often reflected upon.

Black Mountain is a Canadian psychedelic rock band based in Vancouver. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since their inception in 2004. I own pretty much everything they’ve ever recorded. I see them in concert every opportunity I get. This track is tough to get a hold of. You can find it as a B-side on the Stormy High EP.

I’m not kidding when I say I could listen to this song over and over. I truly could. I love a lot of songs, but I don’t say that about many of them. Listen to it now. See if you want to hit repeat. For the record, I did. It came up on shuffle but I’ve now played it three times in a row. So good.

Backstabbers – Jesse Malin

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 25

Today I was driving when I heard this song for the very first time. I was immediately taken with it. I had that feeling, the one you get when you discover a new favorite song. This is definitely a favorite feeling of mine. Perhaps my favorite feeling of all.

I’ve played this song at least 20 times today. I don’t know much about the artist other than he’s worked with other people I’ve heard of. Lucinda Williams sings backup on this song too. It’s alright because this post isn’t about the artist or the song itself. This post is all about the moment of discovery. The feeling you get during those first few listens.

That’s all for now, I’m not gonna ramble about the moment. I’m gonna continue to experience it by listening to my newest favorite song again.

Ventilator Blues – The Rolling Stones

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 12

The soundtrack of life continues. Rough and tumble blues from the Stones is my nomination for our post apocalyptic national anthem. Lyrically it relates to the news of the day of course. The sound of this tune is appropriately greasy and gritty for our present situation too. Not only that, it is a damn good song, one of my all-time favorites (https://brettcalleroartist.com/2019/09/11/my-500-favorite-songs-at-50/).

If a song could literally kick your ass, this would be one to watch yr back around.

When your spine is cracking and your hands, they shake,
Heart is bursting and you butt’s gonna break.
Your woman’s cussing, you can hear her scream,
You feel like murder in the first degree.
Ain’t nobody slowing down no way,
Ev’rybody’s stepping on their accelerator,
Don’t matter where you are,
Ev’rybody’s gonna need a ventilator.
When you’re trapped and circled with no second chances,
Your code of living is your gun in hand.
We can’t be browed by beating, we can’t be cowed by words,
Messed by cheating, ain’t gonna ever learn.
Ev’rybody walking ’round,
Ev’rybody trying to step on their Creator.
Don’t matter where you are, ev’rybody, ev’rybody gonna
Need some kind of ventilator, some kind of ventilator.
What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
What you gonna do about it, what you gonna do?
Gonna fight it, gonna fight it?

Touch Me, I’m Sick – Mudhoney

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 9

I’ll start the pandemic soundtrack in the perfect place. With this classic infectious mess.

Cult of Personality – Living Colour

Artist as Rock & Roll Enthusiast (aka ARE) Post: 2

I’m surprised at how many people have NOT heard this song. Kids! Give it a spin! Adults, revisit this song and its message. It’s sounds like 2020 doesn’t it? We’re living through the Cult Of Ugly Personality.