Who the hell is Kathleen Hanna ... other than a feminist punk poet with an affinity for zine writing workmanship? Who is this woman who dwells in the netherworld of alternative culture, plotting and demonstrating? Who is this transformative post-whatever icon who keeps pushing the waistband on the pants of pop-rock aesthetics to fit her angry, rabble-rousing agendas? Well, she's just a writer. At least that's how I've pegged her since I first started listening to Bikini Kill and Le Tigre during my formative years as a gay outcast in high school. Granted, her music scorched the silly side of a grounded movement at times. I never took her stances too seriously—at least not as seriously as those who deem themselves riot grrrls—but I always appreciated her mediums. On hearing that she’s resurrected the Julie Ruin moniker to release new material, I was psyched, and I still am.
Putting the word “The” in front of the name—thus making it The Julie Ruin, y'all—Hanna has resurrected not only a name, but an idea and a good one at that. If you haven't heard her post-Bikini Kill bedroom recordings, you should take a listen. They're not groundbreaking, but they were a solid precursor to the “Deceptacon”-era Hanna who would make her mark on the music industry. Maybe she wasn't a chart-topper, but she maintains a loyal fanbase that is keen on hearing her wild vocals inundate them with a little radical mystique—Feminist Sweepstakes, anyone? I digress … Hanna has announced that The Julie Ruin's debut album, titled Run Fast, is set to hit the streets on the 3rd of September (you know ... the day we’ll always remember). So be on the lookout for that, and while you're waiting for that illustrious morn to approach, you still have the old basement recordings of the original incarnation to tide you over. And if Le Tigre's This Island and The Julie Ruin’s first single, “Oh Come On,” are anything to go by, then you know Hanna delivers the goods when she has the proper studio treatment to rely on. Just sayin'.
Out of my gloom I rise up from my tomb into impending gloom
Original drummer Bill Ward couldn't make it and Tony Iommi's lymphoma diagnosis caused Ozzy to go on an 18 month bender, but all in all "God is Dead?" Black Sabbath's first single from their new album13, seems to cut the mustard. Experts agree that Tony Iommi's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath guitar sound broke barriers of distortion-physics and ultimately gave many stoners reason to live another day. I'm happy to report that Iommi's metal on metal guitar sound—complete with those constant pick squeaks—is present and accounted for. Also, Ozzy can still rhyme. We're good.
Yeah, you know ‘em. John Fogerty and company. The men that shaped the southern bayou swamp sound for mass consumption, but not in a contrived, overdone fashion. Seeing as how I’ve been replaying their “Greatest Hits” record nonstop for the past few days, it was only appropriate to share my musical forays with Alibi Music and Managing Editor Samantha Anne Carrillo, who informed me that this is the Second Annual Year of CCR. Is this made up? Probably, but who cares?! It’s Creedence, man! (Editor’s note: I made this up, but it’s a damn fine idea, right?) This is a band that came to prominence in the late-’60s, when rock and roll was taking multiple turns toward the psychedelic—leaving little in the way of rootsy rhythms—but CCR was there to deliver it, and they did so with a gusto and magic that is rarely seen in bands playing today.
Listening to “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” or “Bad Moon Rising” still evokes feelings of nostalgia—the kind that exists from knowing music that once made a mark still has the ability to break on through, so to speak. “Up Around the Bend” is still one of my favorite road trip songs. Have you heard that opening guitar riff? If you’re not a fan or (God forbid!) you’ve never heard of Creedence Clearwater Revival, do yourself a favor and pick up a cassette/LP/CD or head over to YouTube for some good ol’ concert footage and get crackin’. At least this way you’ll be ready for the Third Annual Year of CCR ... and yes, it’s coming.
Hearing the words referenced in the title of this blog from the legendary Alice Cooper may have done more for my self esteem than intensive psychotherapy ever could. See the Godfather of Shock Rock—along with some fellow named Marilyn Manson—in Burque this weekend, and read our uncut interview with the man, the myth, the “Cooper woman” in Infinitely More Mr. Nice Guy. Stream my favorite song from one of my favorite Alice Cooper albums, From the Inside, below. Isleta Amphitheater • Masters of Madness Tour • Alice Cooper • Marilyn Manson • Sat June 1 • 7 p.m. • $25-$112 • alicecooper.com
This week’s Music to Your Ears is an online exclusive. We even futzed around with the column layout and experimented with selectively embedding A/V elements. Please check it out, and let us know what you think.
And now, whether you’re craving modern alt.folk, house, experimental, noise, rap or rockabilly, there’s (at least) one show happening this week that will suit your fancy. Singer/songwriter Samantha Crain visits Santa Fe—the city for which her most popular tune is named—on Friday. The 21-and-over concert court-and-sparks at 9 p.m. at Santa Fe Sol (37 Fire Place). Check out the video for Crain’s hit track below. Santa Fe Sol • Samantha Crain • Friday May 31 • 9 pm • $12 • 21+ • solofsantafe.com
Well, you can’t find out from their ad in the Alibi this week because we (I) screwed up and lost the ad for Sister in the shuffle. But most notably at Sister, this week:
Friday, May 31, catch an ear-crunching, face-melting stoner-rock assault from Albuquerque’s super-heavy SuperGiant, teaming up with rockabilly favorite Cowboys and Indian. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $5.
Music writers Derek Caterwaul and M. Brianna Stallings checked out new releases from Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood and Resin Cum and an Adult Swim garage comp. Read all about it in this week’s Sonic Reducer. Peep related A/V below and experience Paseño noise-doom act Resin Cum live in Burque on Wednesday night. Synchro Studio • Resin Cum • Pepper Griswald • Roñoso • I CUM DRUMS • Wed May 29 • 8 pm • $5 • ALL-AGES!
Who doesn’t love free music? Now, like a lot of purists in the music-listening realm, I always prefer a physical copy—be it a CD, cassette and LP—but every so often, bands decide to share music by delivering free content to the masses via download. Who are we to say no? In keeping with the notion of giving, David Byrne and St. Vincent are bestowing a free download of the “Brass Tactics” EP online, which you can download simply by providing an email address and well ... clicking “download.”
You may know David Byrne from his name-making reputation as an innovative avant-pop specialist (known mostly for his work with Talking Heads), and you may know St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) by her hypnotic voice, righteous (or riotous?) guitar rhythms and interesting songwriting. But together, they released an album, Love This Giant, last year that touched on each of their strengths; the album showcased funkadelic pop arrangements with brass accompaniment and Clark’s signature guitar work. According to various news sources, the EP contains a track that didn’t make it on to Love This Giant, a couple of remixes and two live tracks (“Marrow” by St. Vincent and “Road to Nowhere” by David Byrne). So, what are you waiting for? It’s free, yo!
Upon reading that Jermaine Jackson was on a quest to find five Australian artists to turn into a modern-day Jackson 5, I was a little perplexed, maybe a little befuddled. Jackson 5 were one of my favorite groups as a youngster because they encapsulated the joy and freedom that many associate with childhood. In other words, they’ve always been a perfect soundtrack to anything resembling happiness (in my humble opinion). C’mon, who doesn’t love “I Want You Back”? Just take a listen to their greatest hits if you’re a skeptic. So, what exactly is Jackson trying to accomplish? Is he trying to revive the soul-group aesthetic of a past generation? Or is he simply trying to realign himself with pop culture to give his name some longevity and weight?
Your guess is as good as mine, but in an interview with UnderCover, Jackson states that “you just don’t see the kind of band or that kind of mania that the Jacksons created any more.” Jackson is even wrangling the kids online by using the Internet to give his endeavor an extra boost. Using online social media and a website, JJ5TV.com, where users and viewers can give their opinions and feedback, Jackson can pick the top five people to take JJ5 to the brink of stardom. (Oh yeah, JJ5 is the name of the group). So, keep your eyes peeled, your mouse in hand, and you could be one of the voices that decides who and what JJ5 will be—assuming you care, of course.