This week in Things You Can Buy we’ll have a gander at three music veterans still going strong and staying true to their guns (the proverbial ones) and bringing coolness to our ears. First a singer/songwriter/pop-star/person of faith/outspoken truth speaker who may be on the verge of a major comeback, then a real classic hepcat who’s always staying ahead of the game in retro righteousness and then a fella who couldn’t stop himself at two great albums in 2014 so he is going to release a third. Win.
So stop petting the kitten and straighten out those curls and let us begin to dig in to what we’re listening to this week and thoughts from around the web!
(For more infos, click the album title)
Sinéad O’Connor – ‘I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss’ (Netwerk)
I am ashamed to admit that I let Sinéad O’Connor’s career slip through my fingers over the years as well as you did. So much confusion with what she was up to, what she was trying to say and all the other excuses I can draw up. Not my fault, she hasn’t made it easy for anyone to follow her saga.
In the past few months I’ve been catching up on me some O’Conner and shocked to discover that is a person with struggles that needed to be heard and not necessarily understood… Sure, her outspoken opinions and beliefs aren’t exactly what mainstream anywhere wants to hear, she does speak some truths. Even if it comes across a bit WTF.
“Well, equally, I’m not interested in anything anyone else might like me to be.” – Sinéad O’Connor
Most notably the rocker has been very outspoken about the younger popstars and how they are sexualised by the media and their ‘teams’. Sinéad recently spoke to The Guardian’s dapper Tim Jonze and said this truth, “”You can’t take the sex out of rock’n’roll – that’s really important. What bothers me is that the artists that are most sexualised look like children and their audiences are children. I don’t think it’s appropriate to start sexualising an artist like Justin Bieber at 15-16 years of age – he’s too young to know the decision he’s making. They were selling fucking pole-dancing kits at Tesco, you can get g-strings for kids… you can’t be creating a society where little boys or girls are walking around with their arses hanging out. It’s very dangerous, it’s why we have trafficking.” Will anyone listen…
If O’Conner’s 2012 offering ‘How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?’ and subsequent tour showed signs of a resurgence in the Irish singers popularity then, this, her 10th album ‘I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss’ will solidify any doubts…
Take the single Take Me To Church for a few spins and try to not find it one of the best rock songs on the market today. It’s more of a statement than a challenge but go on. – Walter Price (The GTC)
Brian Setzer – ‘Rockabilly Riot: All Original’ (Surfdog)
The man with that swing and that blaster rockabilly sound Brian Setzer has just released the aptly named Rockabilly Riot: All Original and there aren’t enough Oh-Yeahs, Dig Its or Right On Daddy-Os to go around!
We all know that this Massapequa, NY Cat is a responsible sounds preservationist above anything else. Rockabilly and swing are his most notable if not bankable but he goes deeper, just check out any of the near 40 titles he’s graced. Not all winners but all good spinners…I still remember that day sitting in Setzer’s hotel room in NYC chatting about this and that and he winced at me and said, “That wasn’t me, it was Louis Prima that did that.” Silly me and oh the memories…
Rockabilly Riot serves up 12 straight forward rockabilly with no studio tricks with all the heyday honesty you used to get when you had a few bucks and one shot to get your sound down, pressed and in your trunk. Shazam!
In an awkward line of questions, Brian told Guitar World, “You know, when my guitar and my amp and my echo unit are playing perfectly and in tune the way they do there’s no reason to turn it off. I was on the road for two months. I had given the songs I’d written to all the band members and we hadn’t arranged them. So this record was different where we didn’t have to sit down and labor over arrangements, everything was learned, and my guitar sound sounded so good I just made the record. We didn’t need to change guitars, amps, microphones—we just cut a rockabilly record—there’s no overdubs there’s no splicing there’s no auto tuning; what you hear is what you get. It’s pretty much us making live music.” (To see the question that preceded this answer click HERE)
Let’s Shake… – Walter Price (The GTC)
Today my third album “Tell My Daring” is up on iTunes for the pre-sales. It will be officially out on the 9th of September. This will be my third album since March and 36 songs released this year so far. I know it sounds crazy and when I first had the idea of churning out a song a week, I’ll be honest it did sound quite overwhelming. Today it seems like the most natural thing for me to do. I love writing songs, but the songs are nothing if no one else hears them. So yes, there have been many people along the way saying I should take it easy and they have given me numerous reasons why I should not do this. But at the end of the day, my gut and my heart are screaming resounding “DO IT!”
There are so many preconceptions in the music business. There are ways you are expected to do things, some set by the industry, some we hold on to as that’s the way our heroes did it. But nothing works the way it used to, in fact many things in this world don’t work the way it used to. We have information at the tip of our fingers; we can get a product from the other side of the world sent to us cheaper, faster and better than anybody can make it locally. Most of us travel from country to country these days like we used to travel on a bus to the next town. So if I listen to the people who think they know what is right and wrong, my feeling is I’ll be stuck in the past. Instead I listen and observe the people who are doing it. And not just in music, but the arts in general, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs… It is ok to read a book about songwriting from ten years ago, the same rules apply. But if you read a book about the music business, by the time it hit’s the shops, it’s probably out of date, that’s how fast things change. Up to date blogs are probably some of the best info out there at the moment. So I observe, learn, adapt and execute.
But what if I am wrong? And what if “they” are right? Well, first of all I ask myself one question: What’s the worst that can happen? You see, often we fear for the worst, but in reality we don’t know what the worst is. I think as a musician my worst would be if no one would listen to my songs. So you guys have made sure my worst fear didn’t happen. You listened, you read my blogs, joined me on Twitter and Facebook, you signed up to my mailing list and that was all the proof I needed. But let’s just for a second imagine, I did fail, no one listened… Well obviously it would be a massive blow mentally, but at the end of the day I could stand with my head high and say, at least I did give it a go. That’s more than most people can say. – J.P. Kallio