Monday, September 07, 2009

One Daydream Leads To Another...


After my post a few days ago of Elvis Costello singing with Jakob Dylan, Jenny Lewis and Zooey Dechanel singing "Peace Love and Understanding" my daughter e-mailed me this version by Audioslave. It's really lovely. It features Maynard James Keenan, singer from Tool and A Perfect Circle, really one of the great voices of rock. (here is my top male rock singers list It's only the top 13 but if it were top 20 it would include Layne Staley, Aaron Lewis, and Keenan). I saw Audioslave in October of 2005, and that concert has to be among my top 20 concert experiences. It was like seeing three bands in one. I love Tom Morello and of course, am madly in love with Chris Cornell. I saw Soundgarden back in 1989 on the west coast.

I was trying to find a video of a story Jakob Dylan told Costello...they were talking about influences and The Clash was one of Dylans' favourite bands. Costello asked if he had met Joe Strummer. Dylan says he had many times and the first time was when he went to their concert. The Clash were on tour opening for The Who. I also saw that tour and it was the first time I saw The Clash too. (I saw them five times overall). Dylan said he got backstage and was so excited and nervous to meet Joe Strummer. He was so nervous all he could say was "I like your vest". Joe Strummer then gave Dylan his vest. Years later Dylan said his mum was telling him he had to get the last of his stuff out of storage at her place. (oh typical family "challenge" huh?) So he finally went to pick up his stuff and he said to his mum, "I can't find this frame with a vest in it". She said, "I don't know what you're talking about we took half this stuff to the Salvation Army."

Last night I was lyng in bed listening to music. I'm still really involved in listening to It's Blitz by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I also laid in bed listening to Miles Davis Bitch's Brew and Prince's newest album Lotus. (brilliant wonderful perfect). And as I was lying there I was kind of hooking into all the times I've laid in bed and stared at the ceiling listening to albums. All the way back to the army base in Ottawa when I used to tape songs and djs on the radio (yes, I used to tape radio don't laugh I know lots of people who used to tape record their favourite djs and songs!). All the way back to grade 11 in Kitimat, B.C. How endless and infinite and ageless the sensation of listening to music in bed feels like...and like Jon Krakauer at the end of Into Thin Air I noticed my face was wet. And it was good.

Listening to the Audioslave version of "Peace Love & Understanding" I was taken by the connections and memories of listening to Tool and how great these two singer/songwriters are and how powerful their work is. Maynard James Keenan is a pretty interesting guy. He was in the military, (he says he was inspired by Bill Murray in Stripes!) and he wanted to study interior design and art in Michigan. Somehow someone heard him singing ona demotape and Tool was born. There are a number of intense poetic beautiful bands born in the 1990's and Tool is one them, along with System of A Down, Nirvana, Rage...but Tool is quite interesting because Keenan wanted to emerge his love of visual art with music and with a belief in self transformation. This goal manifested with a band that has lyrics that explore the nature of reality and existence and the band itself is a genre-breaking accomplishment. Bringing experimental and hardcore and art with profound layers of meaning. A good example of the kind of layers of genre-breaking and complexity is that the drummer Danny used to perform with Carole King. Go figure! Tool's band members all had a connection to comedy and film. Tool has some of the best album covers and best videos...probably because the band has members who began in film studies. Actually Keenan was performing stand-up comedy at one point and had made friends with a comic named Bill Hicks. A lot of people outside of committed comedy fans don't know Hicks. He died. He was a really cool comic and like the band Tool he had a fair bit of experience with being censored. Even David Letterman censored Bill Hicks. Letterman amended his censorship this year hosting the late comics mother and airing the censored routine.

For me, Tool has more in common with Miles Davis, than other metal rock bands. But one of the great things about music is that it opens one's facilities to daydreaming and following connections...which last night and this mrning led me to track donw and see if this Letterman episode was out there...yep...it is...







And thinking of great cover versions here is one from the movie The Time Traveller's Wife It is the Canadian band Broken Social Scene (U.S. visitors will know of Feist who used to be with them, they are a undefined band of people coming and going) doing the definitive song of the 80's Love Will Tear Us Apart. Sure, I know Joy Division wrote that song in the 1970's but this song was the anthem and blood vow of every music lover and dancer of the dark in the 1980's club scene. Love Will Tear Us Apart has been covered by dozens and dozens of bands but I was really impressed with this new version. It really has a apt pathos. NME Magazine placed this song #19 of "The 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever. I say, it's one hell of a daydreaming song...

11 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...
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The Bumbles said...
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The Bumbles said...
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Wandering Coyote said...
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* (asterisk) said...

What gives here? Great Hicks clip. Some bits a little less funny than others, but hard to see why Letterman felt it unsuitable for airing first time around.