Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"What do you want to do with your life!??" I WANNA ROCK!!

Even though a great deal of my posts are about Hip Hop, the declining state of Hip Hop, and how my Hip Hop tastes are better than yours, I have a strong love for rock music that I feel I hardly touch upon here. I guess my love for the art-form stemmed from my parents playing Jimi Hendrix records when I was a kid, or my sister playing her "Beatles" vinyl so much that I surprise Karaoke goers when I can sing "Penny Lane" or "Eleanor Rigby" like its "Rappers Delight" and shit, or possibly my love for rock stems from the "Pre-black folks" MTV years where Billy Idol and Van Halen found their way in my life more than a "Whats Happening?" rerun. It's weird, I can talk about my favorite Hip Hop groups with confidence because I am an all out Rap snob who thinks my opinion should be a new fucking commandment, but I really wonder how a rock purist who has the same snob tendencies feels about my rock choices. I guess we'll see, here a few of my favorite rock bands.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: This group holds a special place in my heart because one of their songs saved my life. As someone who contemplated taking my own life in the midst of a parents passing, my mother's cancer, and being dropped like a bad habit after a five year relationship, "Under the Bridge" was like a best friend telling me that life won't always look so bleak. These guys, regardless of some of the harder rock fans who think that they are too mainstream, can kick ass with the best of them. With a sound influenced by funk, punk, and traces of Hip Hop, it seems that it is virtually impossible for these guys to make a bad song. Anthony Kiedis, while not blessed with the best voice heard by man, truly makes up for it in his song writing, passion, and energy. John Frusciante is one of the best guitarists out there, while Flea is the one bass player that I always put in my dream "super-group".(Along with Questlove on the drums, Prince on the guitar, and Stevie Wonder on the piano/vocals) Besides that I occasional sing "Give it away" while dancing in front of my mirror naked watching my flab shake like gelatin as I tell myself that I'm one "sexy black bastard", other personal favorites include "My Friends", "Scar Tissue", "Suck my Kiss", "Breaking the Girl", and about a thousand other songs I could take up this post citing. By the way, as a Stevie Wonder fan who hates most people who dare to remake his material, the Red Hot Chilli Pepper's version of "Higher Ground" is the best Stevie Wonder cover ever.(Name an artist who has covered Stevie, it won't fucking compare) A few years ago, when I was backstage at one of their concerts, I had a joint in my ear as I approached Anthony Kiedis to talk about music. As I got closer, realizing his lifelong battle with heroin addiction, I quickly put the marijuana cigarette in my pocket out of respect. He caught on to what I had done and gave me a huge smile, and hugged me for like an entire minute and said that he appreciated the gesture.(It's probably the only man on man hug I have ever been comfortable with) He gave me the "OK" to smoke in his presence as we spoke for minutes about a plethora of topics, he truly is a great guy. Even though we had a lengthy talk, I forgot to tell him that he saved my life. I guess I'll tell him the next time I see him.

Rage Against the Machine: Some groups inspire you to do things just by the power of their message. Run DMC inspires me to represent Hip Hop to the fullest while rocking my shell-toe Adidas, M.O.P would be the group that I would play if I planned on going on an impromptu killing spree, Barry White is the artist I would play if some porn stars randomly showed up at my residence to show me how much they enjoyed my blog, and Rage Against the Machine is the band I would play if I planned on crashing a George W. Bush town-hall meeting in hopes of cursing his ass out before getting shot by Dick Cheney. Besides Public Enemy, no other group that I could name at the moment exemplifies defiance, and a anti-establishment stance. After hearing songs like "Bulls on Parade", "Testify", and "Killing in the Name of", you suddenly get the urge to kidnap your local elected official and make him do right by the people of your particular state. The driving beats, Zack De La Rocha's lyrics and anger, and Tom Morello's innovative guitar licks that rival nobody who ever picked up a six string.

The White Stripes: I should have every reason to despise this group, from their pasty "I really need some beef in my life" complexions, them only being a two piece band, and a drummer who plays like she just picked up a pair of drumsticks yesterday, I really should have no reason to like them. But like a significant other that you love so much that you find their "snoring" and "burping" adorable, the reasons that I should hate them is the exact same reason that I love them. Jack White, belting out awkward tunes that exposes that his influences probably range from Muddy Waters to Johnny Cash, performs each set like its his last performance. Not only does their two piece band make you focus more on the overall performance, Meg Whites lack of drumming ability actually works when you get used to their sound. "Fell in Love with a girl", "Seven Nation Army", "Dead Leaves on a Dirty Ground", and the playful adolescent themed love song at the beginning of Napoleon Dynamite entitled "We're going to be friends" is a truly great listen.

System of a Down: Based on my potty mouth, many of you will probably think that I love this group simply for the song "Cigaro" where they defiantly belt out "My cock is much bigger than yours!!" Even though that line makes me chuckle, hell it even makes me belly laugh when I sing it mid coitus to a woman just see the puzzled look on her face, this is a wildly talented group that I have enjoyed from day one. This Armenian quartet out of southern California has a very broad subject range, from political to introspective lyrics, having something for everybody who is a stickler for the written word like I am. Hard driving guitar riffs, wild vocal arrangement, and a adrenaline fueled pace to make your ardent Hip Hop head nodder bang their head and throw up the bull horns hand sign like your favorite show was "Head Bangers Ball". "Chop Suey"(The song that was put in the "Do not play list" for a while after 9/11), "Aerials", "BYOB", "Toxicity", "Fuck the System", "Violent Pornography", are just a few songs that will make you put down that vomit inducing Young Jeezy album and pray to the rock gods ad nauseum.


Ladynay said...

Hello critic,

Even though you were always one of my favorite bloggers, you are now even more so. A lot of folks limit themselves to only listening to one genre of music and that is sad.

Your soul is hip hop you can't miss that from reading your blog, lol, but I am glad to know there is a lil' rocker in there somewhere too.

As soon as I read that a RHCP song helped your life, I knew automatically you were referring to Under the Bridge. It's one of my favorites from them.

Amadeo said...

Ditto on the RHCP and RATM. I'm just recently getting on to White Stripes and System of a Down. Now I'd like to test your Beatle knowledge...what do you know about Mary Hopkin? She has at least one song that I love.

Inside Man said...

It's funny because my story is quite similar, my older brother was a huge rock aficionado and my Uncle who lived with me in my grandparent’s house played percussion in a rock band. My first love was always hip hop (did you cop the Judgment Night soundtrack?) but the influence of great rock music was always there. I was a huge Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and RHCP fan. My older brother was knee deep in with groups like Danzig, Nine in Nails, and Body Count. We actually sang "Under the Bridge" in my 7th grade music class for a Junior High performance.

The only reason I didn't like Rage was because I don't like Zack De La Rocha's voice. It annoyed me, but I was more into their music then the frontman.

Me and some friends caught the System of A Down concert here in VA when they played last year. Shit was all that.

Miss Ahmad said...

Blood Sugar Sex the hottest all time albums in my Ipod! that song is soo LA for me which, a place that I wouldn't call home for another decade..but driving down Sunset Blvd screaming Breaking the Girl at break neck speed will always make me smile!

White Stripes are also superbly awesome!

Rock on brother man!

Dynamite Soul said...


Do we all learn defeat from the rappers with bad speech?

Dude, is it just me, or is the crappy music being played now providing the more mature Hip-Hop audience a chance to discover music they sorta liked, but didn't really know they did?

Some of the most die-hard hip-hop addicts I know hold the above groups as some of their favorites.

The White Stripes are so damned dope, RHCP have always been outta control, and SOAD...what can I say? One of the most frequently played groups on the pod.

Dope post.
That was all that I needed. ;D

Dynamite Soul said...

By the way...

TWS's, Fell in love with a Girl, was redone by Joss Stone(Fell in Love with a Boy).

SOAD has performed a song with the WU.

RHCP asked George Clinton to produce for them and he accepted.

RATM's band is now Audioslave w/ lead vocals by Soundgardens Chris Cornell. Tom Morello who plays guitar is one of Serj Tankian's(SOAD) best friends. They got together and formed the Axis of Justice(non-profit activist organization).

kristen said...

damn i didn'y know you had it like that. but i guess it's up to me to put you on some Tool or maybe Mettalica. we need to talk

Alexander said...

It's preachin' to the choir, but damn, SoaD is really brilliant. Really, one of my absolute favorite groups that are still around. Not that the White Stripes, RatM and RHCP (sorry about the acronyms, I'm lazy) are slouches. I own pretty much every album by all of those acts. (except By the Way, I just couldn't get in to that one) I You should definately check out Zeppelin if you haven't already.

Saniyya said...

I listen to RHCP practically everyday at the gym... "Give it Away" & "Suck My Kiss" help me get through my cardio. I was introduced to RATM's music while they were touring with Wu back in '97 (I believe) so I enjoy them too.
Sadly, I don't recall hearing White Stripes or SOAD.

Eli Bedlam said...

Hey there Critic, Love your Blog.

I've got to say, for someone who says they're not too versed in Rock, you've got good bloody taste.

The White Stripes aren't my thing (but if you like them, check out the Dresden Dolls), but other than that, we're on the same page.

Other bands you should have a look at are Led Zeppelin, Guns'n'Roses, Black Sabbath, Tool and Queen.

Thanks for entertaining me mate, cya round.

poop one said...

i feel that exact same way about "under the bridge." its just a beautiful peice of music. the peppers are just good music, but that song changed my life.

Jerry MaDick said...

Not a bad bit to start off with. I got to say that De La Rocha of Rage fame not only is the best part of the band, but the most important. It is literally his angst spewn throughout that makes that band ROCK.

Keep an eye out for the new Pearl Jam coming soon. "The Worldwide Suicide" is the first single and will rock your balls off.

Jerry MaDick said...

Oh, and it makes the ladies vagina's clap.

justacoolcat said...

Great list, I listen to them all.
I sang a system song at a redneck bar a few months back and thought they were going to shit their boots.

Sterfish said...

I have liked at least a couple of songs from every single one of these bands. I've liked RHCP since they first came out and The White Stripes is probably my favorite rock band at the moment.

If you get a chance, check out Secret Machines. Their album Now Here Is Nowhere is great.