Posts Tagged: "B.W.Childe"

Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz (Self-Released)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

HUGH Miley-Cyrus-and-her-dead-Petz-2015-AlternateIn 1992 pop country, potato-faced crooner Billy Ray Cyrus disseminated one of the most cringe-inducing chart-smashers of all time, Achy Breaky Heart. To merely call it a hit downplays both the song’s inescapable ubiquity and the appalling taste in art displayed by a populace that went gaga for the horrid thing. Not so much a song as a cultural happening, it was inescapable, and its influence spread like the disease that it was. It spawned an unnecessary yet fervent interest in line dancing, a formerly sacred communal dance held in high regard by true country fans which was now being co-opted by suburbanites in a desperate bid to draw closer to their mulleted, dead-eyed leader, Billy Ray Cyrus.

But Achy Breaky Heart wasn’t the only lamentable atrocity Cyrus spawned that year; he also sired a child, Destiny Hope Cyrus (barf). Over the years, Billy Ray failed to re-connect with the radio in any meaningful way, and without his sermon being played on the hour, people eventually broke free of his spell, shedding their Cyrus cult garb of K-Mart-bought Wranglers and Chinese-made, synthetic cowboy hats. While it was easy for most folks to clean their closet of any suggestion of Cyrus’ influence, what proved more difficult was trying to erase the shameful memories of participating in line dances with other deeply confused yuppies. You can’t just turn your back on your past and pretend it didn’t happen, and for most the difficulty of coming to terms with the horror head-on proved too much and they tried to bury it. Some fell back into old patterns a couple years later with Los Del Rio’s Macarena. All the while young Destiny Hope grew under her father’s strict tutelage, for he had a more sinister plan, and one that would prove to be more enduring than phase one of Cyrus’ world domination. Continue Reading

Van Halen: “Jump,” he said, to no avail

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

HUGH VAN HALEN 2“Where there would once have been topless women straddling the shoulders of beer-saturated men, there now sat older couples on their folding chairs, responsibly brought from home.”

Everybody wants some, though only 7,500 bought tickets. As one of only two Canadian stops on their current tour, Van Halen played the Western Fair District (WFD) for the venue’s inaugural show. I’d never heard a note by opening act Kenny Wayne Sheppard, however my finely-tuned journalistic instincts envisioned a guitar-centric blues rocker whose riffs would be as incendiary as his handsome face. Full points for me. Because I am wary of things I’ve never listened to, I made a point of missing Kenny’s set. As I approached the grounds, The Shep was rounding out his performance with a terminally goofy cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile, because, of course.

Surprisingly punctual, Van Halen promptly started as I was at the alcohol tent, debating between the beer offerings: Coors Light and Budweiser, which is a little like being given the choice between a sting from a hornet or a wasp. At $9 a pop it was tempting to forgo a drink altogether, but when you’re in a field on a warm summer night, watching one of the most influential rock bands of all time, you need to pander to the rock and roll paradigm of reckless abandon. So I bought three. This impulse buy coupled with the secondhand pot fumes could explain the quality of my notes to follow. Continue Reading

Refused, Freedom (Epitaph)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW Refused (1)With a mighty reputation to uphold, there was a lot at stake for Freedom. Breaking up as their 1997 The Shape of Punk to Come continued to roll on and inspire, challenge and awe countless punk rock fans, Refused have reformed, lost a guitarist and following a much-hyped reunion tour, issued their first album of new material in 18 years. Still angry, screamy and Swedish, the band ably picks up where they left off with Shape, fusing unorthodox elements into a progressive punk record maintaining the energy and bite that has made them such an enduring outfit. Freedom won’t disappoint fans who for years were convinced these guys would never return to a studio, and were rightfully skeptical when they heard they did. Continue Reading

Goblin Rebirth, Goblin Rebirth (Relapse)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW Goblin (1)Featuring the rhythm section of influential Italian progressive rock band Goblin, Goblin Rebirth does a capable job of farming out other musical duties to non-Goblins, and crafting a record meant to sound like a new Goblin album. (Apologies for the gratuitous use of the word Goblin.) With the seemingly never ending cultural obsession with zombies barreling along, fans of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead (or Zombi) hold a special place in their heart for Goblin’s pulsing score. Working largely within the horror genre, Goblin are responsible for soundtracks that often stand up and age better than the films themselves. Goblin Rebirth however has another quirk that may deter purists: the soundtrack in this instance is for a film that doesn’t exist. While this premise has been used to great effect by other artists (John Carpenter and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s latest come to mind) when you factor in the absence of key Goblins, the result unfortunately sounds like it reads: rhythm section of 70’s heroes appropriate musical style that made them famous, recruits hired guns to score a soundtrack that only exists in their collective imagination. Continue Reading

Neil Young + Promise of the Real, The Monsanto Years (Reprise)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW Neil Young (1)Unkempt sideburns wearing a plaid shirt, Neil Young, returns with his 36th studio album, The Monsanto Years. Backed by the Promise of the Real (featuring a couple of Willie Nelson’s sons) Monsanto is a protest album taking aim at genetically modified food titans Monsanto, though the barbs extend to consumerist culture as a whole. Without any sort of artistic phrasing or masking, there’s no second-guessing the targets of Young’s criticisms, including the whistle hooked A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop. While the message is certainly worthy of disseminating, at times Monsanto is so on the nose, the resulting protest can be distracting, as a slightly embarrassed chill crawls up your spine. Continue Reading

High on Fire, Luminiferous (eOne Music)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW HighWhat happens when a band whose whole reason for living and making music is the celebration of weed smoke and liquor consults their health (and possibly their P.R. agent) and gives up the dope ghost? Matt Pike singer, guitarist and long the embodiment of stoner metal has stubbed out his last jazz cigarette and the decanter on the mantel is empty and strictly ornamental. With a new found sobriety, how does a former addict pass the time, and what sorts of influences and mind-expanding hobbies can he employ? By the sounds of it, unfortunately, Matt has taken up reading the essays of David Icke. Don’t get me wrong, this is still High on Fire’s trademark pummeling metal, it’s just that I never thought I’d hear the word “chemtrails” anywhere in their discography. But I suppose everyone needs hobbies apart from drinking for sport and smoking their weight in grass. Continue Reading

Muse, Drones (Warner Bros.)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW MuseIt’s hard to not judge an album by its cover when the artwork is as ham-fistedly angst-riddled as this. A lazy knockoff of Storm Thorgerson’s least inspired work depicts an unseen figure controlling their pawn employee who is dictating the actions of the masses. The concept is so deliriously on-the-nose and endearingly juvenile I’m sure at any given moment a pimply faced teen somewhere is exploring this deep-yet-shallow idea in their creative writing homework. But I would say that, as I am nothing but a hapless joystick-headed agent of the big-media enemy. In any case, Muse is back for their seventh album, and their self-professed return to their roots, with music just about as subversive and subtle as that atrocious cover art. Take another look at it, I’ll wait. It’s a concept album to boot, exploring humankind’s non-existent empathy and the state of modern warfare told through the journey of a protagonist, a disillusioned drone who eventually breaks free from the shackles of his oppressors. It’s a multilayered discourse you see, and a double entendre: during our day-to-day existence the government is playing us all as hapless drones, as the military fights wars using drones. Muse is here to open our eyes to the great deceit in a dramatic package of falsetto vocals and bombastic guitars and diabolically awful artwork. This is progressive glam rock that takes itself so seriously it borders on oppressive. War is bad, think for yourself; that’s an order. Continue Reading

Barenaked Ladies, Silverball (Vanguard Records)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

The Canadian Beatles return for their 12th album of poppy, playful tunes that illustrate just how delightfully bonkers life can be. BW Childe BarnakedAfter co-founder Steven Page (he was the Lennon) left the band in 2009 following a blizzard of cocaine-fuelled tabloid fodder that found even the most ardent BNL fans in disbelief (the scandal broke right around the release of their children’s record Snack Time) the band forged ahead. Given a golden opportunity to disband and rebrand under a moniker more suited to the members, BNL, then pushing 40, stuck to their guns and here we are with Silverball, a tribute to pinball and romance. BNL are an oddity insofar as the music is placid and genial and should be guilt-free. However admitting to people that you like this music carries the guilt of a thousand hangovers. Continue Reading

Sun Kil Moon, Universal Themes (Caldo Verde)

B.W. Childe - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

BW Childe Sun_Kil_MoonMark Kozelek returns with another album of hauntingly depressing acoustic guitar-accompanied observations. Rhyming schemes be damned, Kozelek’s tracks shirk the rules of traditional song construction in just about every respect. With each track hovering around the nine-minute mark, the lyrical content resemble entries of a diary, torn out and recited with no minutiae too banal for inclusion. The final two minutes of album closer, ‘This Is My First Day and I’m Indian and I Work At a Gas Station finds a decided musical shift as Kozelek recalls a post-show meet up with a physicist, the social faux pas of flip cell phones, and retreating at the end of the night to watch some HBO. His lethargic tone resembles someone under hypnosis, or deep in session with a psychiatrist. Like nothing else you’ve heard since Sun Kil Moon’s last album, and well worth a listen. Continue Reading

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