Gail Worley is a maverick, but she's an accessible maverick. Her taste is hard to predict and to pin down, and that is one of the things that make her such a great read. She delivers her material like a skilled conversationalist; one that informs and commiserates about the serious stuff, but also shares juicy, guilty pleasures all while giving the impression that she's open to response and debate about music (and other things), as long as it comes from a passionate place. Although Gail knows more than most, she's not a know-it-all, and not limited by worrying about whether or not she'll find folks that think just like she does. Although experienced enough to be wise to the ways of hype, she's not jaded or cynical; Gail is genuinely inspired by music of all stripes – regardless of whether it's hip, new, old, independent, mega, if mullet-heads like it or if indie geeks like it. And on top of it all, she's got chops as a writer. You know your reading a bona fide writer, not just a besotted fan or some computer geek on a screed. Her subjectivity is a pleasurable aspect of her stuff a rarity. She's perverse, twisted and funny – a guilty pleasure herself.
GailWorley.com, that’s what I call her. Sometimes I just think “Mmmm, Gail.” It’s plain and simple: Gail Worley is fucking hot! She rocks! Gail has her finger on the pulse of what’s going on in rock. That’s why she wrote my website bio, (a bunch of blah blah blah stuff about me). Why not just Enjoy Me ™ via Gail on the bio section of http://www.totalposer.com; The Official web site of Mike Fasano. Who? Exactly!
It’s an amazing thing when an interview becomes a conversation, especially one where ideas are exchanged and the subject opens up to reveal aspects of the music that were either unintended or unconscious. In my Modern Drummer interview with Gail Worley, I discovered a new appreciation for my own work, and also that maybe all the subtleties I thought would probably go unnoticed actually had an impact on the listener. Her interview was like a getting a much needed second wind in the middle of a long set.
If you want to know what is really up with your favorite band, Gail can pull the info that matters from those who make the music that we all love. Believe me when I say artists have a hard time expressing themselves to the press, but Gail made it easy for me to be open and honest. I think that’s because she cares about and loves music as much as the artist she interviews.
Gail Worley has a way of "relating with" the artists she interviews. That makes for great readingregardless of one's penchant for the music at hand because she brings their fascinating personalities to the fore while showing her own unique colors as well. She does all this with a wonderful mix of good humor, passion, sensitivity and refreshing nerve that makes me feel like I'm looking through a window into someone's living room, observing two interesting people hang out. There's a comfort in her realness that's hard to find these days, and she reminds us that music is (or should be) all about sharing and connecting.
For about four years, I wrote a monthly column (and the ocassional short feature or cover story) for this national Indie-rock slanted music magazine that paid shit, when they even paid me, and had weird editorial guidelines like not letting writers use the word “THAT” in any reviews or articles unless it was a quote. WTF?
I put up with it for a long time because, even though the pay was next-to-nada, I could use my column to write about almost any CDs I liked and I figured the national exposure couldn’t hurt my profile. With discipline (and rigid use of the “find/replace” feature in Word) I eventually learned to write without using the word “THAT” even when it made no sense, knowing the magazine would just take the word out anyway, indiscriminately, for their own twisted reasons. The thing is, after four years of this bullshit, I just got sick and tired of having my work ruined. Not to yank my own chain here, but I’m a pretty decent writer. I’ve got nothing against an editor tightening up a feature article or fact checking any of my investigative reporting, but — jesus god! — leave a 250 word CD review the fuck alone, will ya?
I resigned from that magazine last month and, along with the day I bailed on AOL, it was one of the happiest recent days of my life. Since they ruined the last column I wrote (and my friend Frank is all over my ass to add some new stuff to this blog) I decided to reprint two of that column’s reviews here. So they could run free…although I think the word “THAT” is still missing.
Mondo Generator, A Drug Problem That Never Existed
The many and varied side-projects perpetuated by members of Queens of The Stoneage progress along their merry madcap way with the release of the sophomore CD from Mondo Generator. As the three-steps -to-the-right-of-Mr-Bungle spawn of Queens’ guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri, A Drug Problem That Never Existed (on Mike Patton’s Ipecac records), provides a bit more of a challenging listen than the latest release from label mates, Tomahawk. Nevertheless, the album is not without its unique and special charm. A Drug Problem That Never Existed reunites Nick and Josh with former Kyuss bandmate, drummer Brant Bjork and QOTSA guitarist Dave Catching, adding a little yin energy from chick bassist, Molly Maguire (earthlings?, Yellow #5). Everyone does his or her best to make this aural trip to the loony bin one you won’t soon be forgetting.
From the acoustic, pseudo-folk ballads (“All I Can Do,” “Day I Die”) to Tazmanian Devil-inspired art punk (“F.Y. I’m Free”) listening to this album made me wonder what the hell was going through the mind of whoever wrote “Girl’s Like Christ,” and just what do the lyrics, “Do the headright, baby” even mean? Stick around after Mark Lanegan’s sublime appearance as guest vocalist on “Four Corners,” for a hilariously deadpan commercial promotion of upcoming Ipecac label releases — which may or may not be a joke. Mondo Generator is mainly a studio project, but the group has been known to play random live dates, including a recent NYC slot opening for Tomahawk. Should the band schedule a live performance anywhere near your vicinity, it is recommended you do whatever it takes to make the show. Co-produced by infamous nut job/instigator of the controversial, Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves, A Drug Problem that Never Existed delivers fourteen more reasons why Rehab is for quitters.
Mensen, Oslo City
Since the apparent disappearance of The Lunachicks and L7, the premature demise of the truly brilliant Betty Blowtorch, and realizing Kittie just plain suck, The Donnas have done an admirable job of spearheading the Chicks Who Rock Like Guys movement. But let’s face the music and dance here: one spin of Oslo City, the sophomore LP from Norwegian garage rockers, Mensen, will quickly separate the girls from the grrrls. Okay, so the band is technically three chicks and a guy –- just like late great British upstarts, Kenickie –- with the inclusion of bassist Rambling Roy. But from the first few seconds of Mary Currie’s bratty vocals and Christine Sixteen (awesome name)’s fierce guitar attack on “Keep Up!,” it’s clear the ladies are running the show. Not to slight the guys at all: Roy’s solid bass backbone and Oslo City’s co-production courtesy of Nicke Anderssen — of Mensen’s GearHead Records label mates, The Hellacopters — add to the band’s serious balls factor. And it’s all good in Oslo City, where the rock slows down once or twice but never, ever stops as Mensen mix and match rock styles with equal finesse. “Bosnia” is as heartfelt and sentimental as a Shangri-La’s tune from the 50’s, while “Piece of My Heart” captures a 70’s punk energy to rival Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown.” With the relentlessly tuneful yet ass-kicking ferocity of “Start Over Again” and “One Way Street,” Mensen revs up the hotrod rock, leaving Sahara Hot Nights to eat its dust.
After enduring eight years of “two cans and a string” internet connections via AOL (AOHELL is more like it), I recently became an adult, got a High Speed cable modem and went totally pro with the email. It’s been a total bitch weaning myself off AOL (like a dysfunctional relationship you just can’t bear to leave) and spending hours and hours reconfiguring my new internet set up, replacing email preferences and getting all of my email accounts to go into Outlook, but I can already see it’s so worth the small hassle, if only to reap the HUGE rewards of email that actually arrives and the ability to filter hordes of viagra spam.
Here are some reasons why AOL SUCKS
1. NO support for the Mac (i.e. no software upgrades past 5.0, no AOL for broadband unless you have OSX).
2. Dial up service fastest connection speed: 38.8
3. Three minutes to download email
4. Three minutes to send an email, only to get an error message “Our host computer cannot process your request.”
5. Inability of the AOL web-browser-from-hell to recognize the Flash plug-in.
6. Getting booted offline every 15 minutes.
7. Having your account frozen for sending an email to multiple recipients (they can’t stop real Spammers, but they tie the hands of their own subscribers. Smart).
8. More SPAM in my mailbox than at a Hormel meat packing plant.
9. Did I mention their shitty browser?
10. IT SUCKS!
Don’t be afraid to leave AOL just because you’re used to its lameness and ineptitude. If I can make the break, anyone can. You can easily find yourself a Coupon code and get a discount at almost ANY ISP, it’s your turn, take it.