Saturday, January 2, 2010

Greatest dead people of all time (entry #1)-Rowland S. Howard

Well, I have to start somewhere. And Rowland's death at 50 really hits me. I mean this Aussie bloke is pretty much one of the greatest guitarist and musicians ever. Period.

I reacted here first:

And here is his myspace page:

Damn. I mean this guy is one of the best ever and his singular voice will be missed forever.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Great Albums of All Time in No Particular Order (entry #7)

Bauhaus-Burning From the Inside (Beggars Banquet-1983)

Perhaps the title refers to the status of the band during the recording sessions-after all, they broke up after this release and didn't get back together until 1998 for two shows after numerous side and solo projects and didn't release another studio album for another 10 years. Some critics contend that the friction that was reported impacted the quality of this album. I argue that it lent it much gravity and diversity showing that great art can arise from great strife and adversity and this easily remains their recording hallmark.

“She's in Parties” was the first single and leads off the album. It's has a loopy, languid tempo that is reinforced by the dub rhythmic underpinnings which had been evident prior to this track, particularly on some of the more experimental EPs they had released. I was always impressed with how they seamlessly integrated this somewhat alien music style into their supposedly “goth” approach . In a way, this was their update to “Bela Lugosi's Dead”-all creepy and totally swingingly sexy. “Antonin Artaud” is all proto-punk with a propulsive beat and scratchy guitars with Peter Murphy wailing about the pre-post modern French provocateur who lead “The Theatre of the Absurd” telling us that those “Indians wank on his bones”.

The 20 second track “Wasp” segues into “King Volcano” an almost indescribable beautiful borderline sea shanty, pub chant that harkens back to an England prior to the Industrial Revolution when men were animals and all smashed. Side one closes out with the seemingly solo David J track “Who Killed Mr. Moonlight?”-a somber piece of mostly piano and effects that could certainly be the anchoring track to some noir movie of the same name that was never made. This is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Side two opens with “Slice of Life” clearly driven by guitarist Daniel Ash with it's emphasis on 12 string acoustic guitar and a complicated arrangement that shifts all over a dark musical landscape and even brings to mind the acoustic tracks of Zeppelin, though it is never derivative. “Honeymoon Croon” is all hardass glam and definitely Peter working out some more of his Ziggy stylings in a way that is catchy as get all. “Kingdom's Coming” is almost a juxtaposition to “Mr. Moonlight” as realized by Peter, though it doesn't possess the majesty of the latter.

The album closes out with the almost 10 minute title track-all meandering acid metal guitar licks and a strangely herky-jerky chorus that rolls on and on at the end. Definitely an opus to dirty carnal action. “Hope” closes things out with, perhaps some hindsight sarcasm, as this is a completely sunny acoustic ditty that “hopes” your mornings will be brighter from a band known for their general darkness up to this point.

In the end, they went out on top unlike almost everyone else. It took them 25 years to make another studio album (Go Away White, 2008) and while it does not measure up to their original prime years of work, they do acquit themselves well with an all original line up and who else can say that? They are alleged to be the fathers of “Goth” but they were and are always much more than that.