Ween Breaks Up

Posted in Ween on May 31st, 2012 by Willie

One of the world’s most creative and innovate bands, Ween, has apparently ended.  The band’s lead singer Aaron Freeman, otherwise known as Gene Ween, has announced the end of Ween in Rolling Stone.  The breakup came as suprise to Mickey Melchiondo, Dean Ween, as he sent out this sad message on facebook.

Obviously it seems that the breakup is sudden and unplanned.  Aaron noted that there is no bad blood, but rather its just a time to just close that chapter in his life.  Is this really the end?  Maybe officially, but probably not forever.  I’m sure some reunion concert/reunion record will come down the road at some point.  Whether that’s gonna be in 2 years, or 20, nobody knows right now, but its truly a sad day in the history of rock and roll.  For Ween fans I have two videos.  The first is a short documentary on the guys from 2000, and the second is Aaron Freeman playing “It’s Gonna be Alright,” an appropriately crushing ballad for the occasion.  RIP Ween…


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The Ramones, Spider-Man Theme Song

Posted in The Ramones, Youtube Favs on December 7th, 2011 by Willie

Holy shit, did you know that the guy who co-wrote the original Spider-Man theme song with Bob Harris was 3 time Oscar winner Paul Francis Webster?  I know, WEBster, you can’t make that shit up!  The original theme song to the classic 1967 cartoon, and now classic internet meme, “Spider-Man,” was a work of genius.  The lyrics are phenomenal, the melody impossible to forget, and the driving bass line addictive as all can be.  Thank God the Ramones knew this too and made a secret music video to celebrate their secret hidden track found on 1995 Adios Amigos! vinyl.  This is a dynamic video of the Ramones in their later years and features Joey and the rocking out the tune on a NYC skyscraper.  Look out for the Twin Towers, no ones editing these babies out of this movie.  Amazing!

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The Rolling Stones, Some Girls

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on November 29th, 2011 by Willie

Some Girls is one of the best Rolling Stones records.  It’s sleazy, dirty, punky, and country.  It came out in 1978, and has just been reissued it a nice little collectors package.  You should get it; I know I will.  To celebrate its corporate repackaging, I present to you a thoroughly scandalous fan made music video of the title song from the record.  The video features classic films such as “Easy Rider,” “Backbeat,” “Quadrophenia,” “Death Proof,” “Goodfellas,” and “Dr. No.”  It also has great clips of the Sex Pistols, Blondie, and the Rolling Stones, all vamping it up for one of the Stones most booziest songs.

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Pink Floyd, Pigs on the Wing 1 and Dogs (Live)

Posted in Pink Floyd, Youtube Favs on November 24th, 2011 by Willie

Animals by Pink Floyd is my absolute favorite Floyd album and one of my favorite albums ever.  For me, this is the highlight of Pink Floyd week as I get to share a live performance of “Pigs on a Wing 1” as an intro to “Dogs,” my favorite Pink Floyd song.  Animals is Pink Floyd’s real masterpiece, with better songs then Dark Side of the Moon, and is way more thematically focused then The WallAnimals has 5 songs, with the intro “Pigs on a Wing 1,” being brought back at the end with slightly different lyrics, so its really 4 songs.  The record is mostly the work of Roger Waters, who at this point took full creative control of the band.  It’s a concept album loosely based on George Orwell’s book Animal Farm, mainly a railing against with the oppressive social-political of Great Britain.  The whole thing is a psychedelic progressive folk rock masterpiece.  It is also an angry finely manicured response to the emerging punk rock movement.  Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols famously wore an “I hate Pink Floyd,” t-shirt, and Roger Waters and company wanted to remind the punkers they too emerged from an underground movement determined to unmoor the uptight and conformist British hierarchy.  For “Dogs,” Waters wrote the lyrics, and Gilmour, in his only songwriting contribution to the record, wrote the music.  It was originally titled, “You’ve Got to Be Crazy,” and features some of Pink Floyd’s best lyrics and dynamic guitar solos.  It’s a piece of fantastic psychedelic dark funk, and demands worship.  So check out this live performance and go for the gold by sitting through the whole thing, its worth it.

Part 2 cannot be embedded, so just click this link to be taken to it on youtube.

Here is a clean recording of “Dogs,” but with no live footage.

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The Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen

Posted in The Sex Pistols, Youtube Favs on November 17th, 2011 by Willie

At last we get to see Sid Vicious performing with the band.  In my last Sex Pistols post, it was Glen Matlock in the promo vid for “Anarchy in the UK.”  It’s probably not Sid playing bass on the actual track, but its cool to see the icon of the group thrashing about in this historic clip.  I’ve been staying in Australia for the last few weeks, and I recently got a coin in my change honoring the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  It was kind of horrifying that such a thing is stamped on the official currency, so I had to put up “God Save the Queen,” in honor of such a revolting display of unearned honor.  The song itself is fairly revolutionary, released in 1977, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee.  Johnny Rotten claimed the song was written out of love for the English people’s working class, deriding the monarchy as fascist, and proclaiming that England has no future.  It’s actually a complex idea about class warfare presented in the awesome straightforward punk rock format.  The song is filled with delicious riffs, and a perfect acid tipped vocal delivery from Rotten.  A true classic, enjoy.

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The Kinks, Brainwashed

Posted in The Kinks, Youtube Favs on September 2nd, 2011 by Willie

I promised more Kinks, and by God I’m delivering more Kinks.  For who?  I have no idea.  Who are you people?  Are you even out there?  Is this just a daily exercise in attempting to augment my already distorted sense of self and importance?  If it is, it’s not working, as those last two things are at all time lows.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the theme of this website, and I realized that theme is reflected 100% accurately in its title.  This website is for me.  It’s not about me, rather, it’s for me.  This is the exact website I would read, with music I’d like to hear on a daily basis.  Some of the posts bore me, but I put them up because some version of me in the past was interested in it.  In other words, it’s a chance to exclaim a notion or some admiration I had five years ago.  Exclaim is a stretch, as I’m probably communicating these long dead sentiments to myself again, exclusively.  Well, here’s a new notion that just came to me.  I have a problem with this song, “Brainwashed” by the Kinks.  The crux of the problem rests in how I can’t get over what a perfect rock and roll song this is.  It’s got everything you could ever want out a 2:32 long pop song, and here’s why.  It was released in the 60s yet its still fresh because no one really knows about it.  It laid the groundwork for punk rock while also managing to be perhaps the greatest punk rock song ever created.  Lastly, the lyrics are unassailably inspired.   My spell check is telling me that unassailably is not a real word, driving me nuts as that squiggly red line underneath refuses to disappear lest I add it to the dictionary myself.  Fuck it, its going in the dictionary.  Vote for me.

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The Kinks, Australia

Posted in The Kinks, Youtube Favs on September 1st, 2011 by Willie

I’m moving to Australia!  That’s right, come October, I’m packing my life up, grabbing a friend, and taking a 21 hour flight overseas to the land down under.  Actually, I’m headed to South Korea for a week first, and then off to the land of kangaroos.  Don’t worry, it’s only for a year at most, and the website won’t change one bit, except for what time in the day I update it.  Anyway, in honor of this historic event in the life of Willie Simpson, I present you “Australia,” a track from one of my favorite albums of all time Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire.)  This song, from the Kinks’ best album, was the longest cut, and is like some hilarious sardonic commercial for moving to the continent.  Thematically, the song is part of the album’s concept about an idealistic British man named Arthur who is a World War I vet who tries to live the British dream, but can’t find real satisfaction because of the hollowness of such pursuits.  It’s a great groovy 60s song that blends satire, psychedelia, hard rock, and piano pop.  In honor of the this occasion, I’m gonna post as much as I can from Arthur for the rest of the week, assuming youtube is chalk full of videos.  In the meantime, you can vote me as CBS’s Best NYC Local Blogger by clicking here!

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Harvey Danger, Flagpole Sitta, Sad Sweetheart of the Radio, Cream and Bastards Rise

Posted in Harvey Danger, Youtube Favs on August 8th, 2011 by Willie

I remember being in marching band in high school hearing “Flagpole Sitta” on the cheerleaders mix tape across the field.  The days were hot and long and the girls had at least a 15 song mix, and I got to hear this song blast out at least 3 times, a respite of cool indie pop in the midst of the nightmare of band camp.  When I was a kid, I used to think “Flagpole Sitta” was called “Paranoia,” which made the song slightly inaccessible based on the fact that in the pre-internet ubiquity days, you needed to really have your information and research down on stuff you liked to track it down.  “Flagpole Sitta,” as its known, was a fantastic one hit wonder from the band “Harvey Danger,” a thrashingly nerdy Seattle rock outfit that rose to prominence in the 90s alternative rock movement.  The song is an anthem of catchy angst and rebellion directed towards the all invasive commercial culture that clearly won in the end.  The other song, “Sad Sweetheart of the Radio,” was their second single from their next record, King James Version, and was a pretty big flop, dooming them to one hit status.  It’s still a great song, with crystal clear production and an exciting  melody and vocal performance, but the subject matter was so bizarre that it’s clear to see why it didn’t catch on.  It’s a shame because it’s funny and it rocks.  They made a small comeback in 2006 with Little By Little…, a free internet release.  It had some awesome songs, including the fantastic rock rave, “Cream and Bastards Rise.”  The video for that one is made by some guy testing out his animation tech, and is no way official, but its still cool and worth checking out.  So, here you go, the three big songs from Harvey Danger’s three albums.


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The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Do You Wanna Dance?

Posted in The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Youtube Favs on June 20th, 2011 by Willie

Part 95 is a double dose of glorious rock and roll.  I’ve got the Beach Boys and the Ramones rocking the Bobby Freeman classic, “Do You Wanna Dance?.”  In the Beach Boys version, drummer Dennis Wilson takes the lead vocals, and man is he good.  Dennis was the only Beach Boy that actually surfed, and like his brothers and cousins, was a fantastic singer.  I love the Beach Boys version for their gorgeous harmonies and almost indie rock slacker like take on the song.  This video is also hilarious to see Mike Love just dance off on the side not contributing nothing to the song but Beach Boys vibe and attitude.  The Ramones version is just as good, if not better.  Recorded for Rocket to Russia, the Ramones are shown ripping their version of the song through the halls of Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, the 1979 Roger Corman cult classic.  The Beach Boys were always a favorite of the Ramones, and they bring all the high octane distorted punk joy they can to this number, making it one of the greatest covers of all time in my opinion.  So, in conclusion, the answer to the question is, yes, I wanna dance…RIGHT NOW!

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The Ramones, Howard Stern On-Air Fight, I Wanna Be Sedated

Posted in Howard Stern, The Ramones, Youtube Favs on May 29th, 2011 by Willie

Part 76 of my youtube countdown closes down punk week in a hilarious fashion.  It’s an old interview from the Howard Stern show featuring Joey Ramone and Marky Ramone going at each others throats with juvenile comic viciousness.  Marky calls up Howard complaining that Joey called Marky a drunk the other day.  Joey gets on the line and accuses Marky of having spread rumors about him on the internet.  The fight intensifies and devolves from there into petty name calling, a question into who is sober and who is not, and a cutting accusation of wig wearing.  It’s so funny because its a real fight and gives you an idea as to what band fights are like, the insecurity amongst members, and the fragility of their massive egos.  Happily, the fight does resolve fairly amicably, but probably because both Joey and Marky started to get embarrassed.  This is a great moment in punk rock history and a must listen.  Oh, yea, I included, “I Wanna Be Sedated” as a bonus video to serve as a nice chaser to the hilarious antics.  Enjoy.


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