Posts from 7th August 2003

7
Aug 03

On First Looking Into an Iron Maiden Compilation While Looking Ahead to Their Show In A Few Weeks

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Look, don’t give me that. For one thing, if they can still fill arenas over here in the States, somebody likes ’em, and more to the point, scratch just about half of the bands who currently make up the power-pop-punk-nu-metal mob here or there or wherever and you know they’re all Maiden fans — hell, they even say so in a few cases like that Sum-41 bunch — it was them, wasn’t it? — that covered “The Number of the Beast” on MTV. And then there’s the whole supposed emo fascination for them but please, they were ALWAYS emo, it wasn’t like emo reclaimed them, no matter what those designers of Weezer metal logos think. You think I kid? Mr. Morley from Ask talking about a clutch of fans in Germany circa 1982 or so: “stringy hair covers their ears, their pale faces are streaked with light fluff and red blotches, blue denim is saturated with patches and badges, each single one of them assumes a plaintive toughness.” Goddamn, THERE are your All-American Rejects and Good Charlottes and Dashboard Confessionals or at least a good amount of the fans of same, and this clutch of people were from Deutschland and are in their late thirties by now!

And listening to Maiden, a top touring act in America — once more! — you could be all dusty and dry and suck on a pipe and scratch your tweed and conclude, “Hrm, yes, a modern Deep Purple with a bent for the literary image and currently obviously very dated — *cough* — can I have tenure plz?” It’s more like all wailing vocals and RRRRRRRIFFS and having good times partying down the road — even if it is partying down to your Del Taco at 2 am because everywhere else is closed and they also closed the Denny’s the other day the FUCKERS — and when you take it in the ‘aw MAN all the fucking jocks at school are all beating my ass again’ sense then these bastards are heroes now to the eternally cheesed off, except for some the jocks are all hiding in an office somewhere and you’re wondering if they actually read the resumé. To heck with all the stuff about Icarus and seven sons and all that, that was for people who actually read the lyric sheet. I only knew some of the singles that turned up on this new Edward the Great (ho-ho) compilation but that was enough to demonstrate that you don’t need mock metal heroics to justify your angst, you can go for THE REAL THING.

SCREAM FOR ME, NYPLM!

LIZ PHAIR — ‘Rock Me’

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If you’re already down with the new album, regardless of your reasons (though I really hope they’re better than Gina’s), then you already know where I’m going. However, if you’re a whip-smart Guyville fan up in a tizzy about her ‘new direction’ (if 4 songs can actually qualify as a ‘direction’), then you need to pay attention. Dismount that indignant little high horse, disregard all the spurious name-calling and wheedling, and just go buy or download the album. Give a listen to ‘Bionic Eyes’ and ‘Little Digger’ and ‘It’s Sweet’, and get your mouse on the comeandgetit EP as soon as possible. See? The old idiosyncratic Liz is still kicking around. Motherhood doesn’t necessarily mean mental freeze. Don’t let a few supposedly duff tracks besmirch the rest of the album for you.

Now, for those of you feeling a bit more adventurous, I’d also like to recommend you give a second or third listen to this track, too — it’s the best of the 4 Matrix productions available here, and that’s saying something, since the work they performed on Liz Phair might be the best post-Avril music the Matrix has birthed. (Yeah, so what if it’s some of the ONLY post-Avril Matrix stuff? Stop bothering me & see for yourself.) The Matrix treat Liz in much the same way that Liz seems to treat the boy toy in this song — bend, shape, tease, please. The guitars shift from 11 to 0 without hesitation, the song switches from pensive and halting to gaudy noo-wave yea-yea, and Liz herself is transformed into a multi-tracked fem-bot. Everything’s gloriously over the top, including Ms. Fuck-and-Run’s pursuit of Joe X-Box, and no more so than when one realizes all the orgiastic revelry centers around an apologetic request to be rocked – ‘you know, Joe, if you’re done playing DOA Volleyball, maybe we can…?’ Yes, this song is totally ridiculous. So is sex. The honesty in this track is no different than the confession Liz made in ‘Flower’ 10 years ago — ‘I want to fuck you like a dog / I’ll take you home and make you like it.’ Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose, n’est pas?