Tag Archive | Morrissey

Video Clip of The Week: Roses, “Nude Beach”



A primary reason that I chose “Nude Beach,” by California-based pop trio Roses, for this week’s Video Clip, is specifically because the video contains no nudity! Yeah, they didn’t take the easy way out with a bunch of lazy nudity, that’s for sure. Instead, the first half of the video shows the guys  (their names Juan Velasquez, Victor, Herrera and Marc Steinberg) peeking out from behind leafy branches in a lush garden, or laying in beds of flowers, over music that fondly brings both The Smiths and Depeche Mode to mind. Marc’s sultry vocals address a figure who is addicted to sunbathing, but they also speak to a larger acknowledgment of our own mortality and within that realization urge us to take risks. Maybe that is why I felt like I was watch a commercial for reruns of Six Feet Under. Or maybe not.

I also love that the cover art for the group’s upcoming debut album, Camera Trouble (out October 28th, 2016 on Group Tightener Records) resembles a collection of cool stuff that you might see in Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum. If you know what the means, great; if you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Enjoy!

Roses Camera Trouble Cover Art

Video Clip of The Week: Johnny Marr, “Dynamo”



Do you love The Smiths? I sure do. But while I haven’t necessarily remained the hugest fan of Morrissey’s wildly uneven solo work, I have found much of guitarist Johnny Marr’s post-Smiths’ output to be nothing less than utterly mind blowing. This past fall, Marr released his second official solo album — unless you count Boomslang, his 2003  album with The Healers, which is a work of genius — which is called Playland. It is excellent, of course.

This weeks Video Clip is for the song “Dynamo,”  a song from the Playland album. It’s a “live” performance which fills me with happiness and joy. You can purchase Playland on Amazon.com and iTunes. Enjoy!

Johnny Effin Marr

Favorite Late Summer Playlist

Playlist Thursday Orange

Presented here without commentary.

“All The Young Dudes,”  Mott The Hoople

“Fade Into You,” Mazzy Star

“Suedehead,” Morrissey

“Kickstart My Heart,” Motley Crue

“Ceremony,” New Order

“Hair Of The Dog,” Nazreth

“Love Hurts,” Nazreth

“About A Girl,” Nirvana

“On a Plain,” Nirvana

“Drain You,” Nirvana

“Spirit in the Sky,” Norman Greenbaum

“I Can’t Wait,” Nu Shooz

“Roll With It,” Oasis

“She’s Electric,” Oasis

“Superman’s Dead,” Our Lady Peace

“Crazy,” Patsy Cline

“My Love,” Paul McCartney

“Kicks,” Paul Revere & The Raiders

“Black,” Pearl Jam

“Always On My Mind,” Pet Shop Boys

“Set Adrift On Memory Bliss,” PM Dawn

“Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand,” Primitive Radio Gods

“Go With The Flow,” Queens Of The Stone Age

“Radio Free Europe,”  R.E.M.

“Karma Police,”  Radiohead

“Everything In Its Right Place ,”  Radiohead

“Summer Breeze,”  Seals & Croft

“Stand!,”  Sly & The Family Stone

“Hot Fun In The Summertime,” Sly & The Family Stone

“1979,” Smashing Pumpkins

“Outshined,” Soundgarden

“The Day I Tried To Live,” Soundgarden

“In The Meantime,” Spacehog

“Connected,” Stereo MC’s

“I Wanna Be Adored,” Stone Roses

“Meant To Live,” Switchfoot

“Across The Universe,”  The Beatles

“Things We Said Today,”  The Beatles

“Do You Want To Know A Secret,” The Beatles

“Cry Baby Cry,” The Beatles

“How Deep Is Your Love,” Bee Gees

“Eight Miles High,” The Byrds

“Pictures Of You,” The Cure

“There She Goes,” The La’s

“Just Like Honey,” The Jesus and Mary Chain

* Playlist Originally Created by Mark Tortora and Edited by Gail

Rock Stars as Superheroes Mash Ups!

Rock Stars As Super Heroes
Image Source

Artist and social satirist, Butcher Billy, has created a spot on selection of posters featuring very hilarious mash ups of DC Comics Superheroes modeled after iconic 1980’s Pop Stars. Check This Out:

Super Morrissey

Robert Smith Plastic Man

See more squeal-inducing cleverness at This Link!

Thanks to Geoffrey for the Tip!

Recommended Listening: Johnny Marr, The Messenger

Johnny Marr The Messenger CD Cover

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, starring comedian David Cross, ran for two seasons on the IFC cable channel. An absurdist dark comedy centering on the cringe-inducing adventures of the hapless title character – a criminally clueless American “businessman” living in London – Todd Margaret was portrayed as a blundering child-man, the consequences of whose utterly havoc-wreaking decisions progress from comic inconveniences to bringing about full-on global annihilation. It was a great show. One of the best parts of tuning in each week was getting to hear the Todd Margaret theme song, “Life Is Sweet,” written and performed by former Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr. Featuring cascading waves of Marr’s signature, chiming guitars and an adhesive refrain whose Morrissey-esque, fatalist lyrics promised “Things are gonna get worse,” the song is two minutes of pure aural bliss. For ninety-nine cents, “Life Is Sweet” is the most-valued purchase I made from iTunes last year.

Other than “Life is Sweet” and his brief, cameo appearance on the most recent season of Portlandia, I haven’t been paying much attention to what Johnny Marr has been up to, because Modest Mouse is not my thing. So, I am currently all over Marr’s new album, The Messenger, which is just insanely great. For those seeking comfort in the familiar, The Messenger sounds infinitely more akin to Marr’s definitive work in The Smiths than his previous solo outing, 2003’s Boomslang (with his band The Healers, whose rhythm section was comprised of Zak Starkey and Alonza Bevan). A brilliant collection of diverse tunes that came off like a Mancunian version of Sly & The Family Stone, Boomslang, puzzlingly, found itself on the receiving end of almost universal critical backlash, and fans didn’t seem to know what to do with it either. That said, if Marr’s guitar playing in The Smiths is what drew you in and hooked you, you won’t be able to stop listening to The Messenger.

Showcasing as much as it does Marr’s “Class of One” resonant guitar tone, this is not to suggest that the guitarist doesn’t adequately stretch on The Messenger. More here than on any previous recording I’ve heard, Marr sneakily incorporates some of his widely varied influences. The intro to the album’s lead track, “The Right Thing” sounds like it could have been lifted off The Who’s Quadrophenia before it shifts into an exuberant, sixities-esque call-and-response anthem. People are always saying that such and such a song is “like a drug,” but in the case of “The Right Thing,” it’s like an aural shot of your favorite upper. If you can’t find your groove to this song, you’re probably dead from the neck up.

The super-adrenalized “I Want the Heart Beat” dabbles in a minor chord, almost industrial feel without ever loosening its roots in pure ‘80s dance pop. “Upstarts,” the album’s first single, reminds me of those classic, early singles by The Undertones, which is probably not an accident, because those guys were sort of the Kings of Post Punk/New Wave Protest Songs, and I’m sure Marr was /is a fan. “Lockdown” is a rich, sonic blast of classic British rock, with Marr experimenting with a bit of a Big Country meets Def Leppard-esque chord progression – very nice!

Both “European Me” and the somewhat mournful, Bryan Ferry-tinged title track harkens back to the best of The Smiths (“William It Was Really Nothing,” “Panic”) with Marr’s vocals, as drenched as they likely are in reverb, as appealing and charismatic as Bono’s most earnest, pre-Messiah complex work with U2. Later on, the way Marr builds a creeping mood of foreboding on “Say Demesne” makes me think he should be (his contribution to Inception notwithstanding) writing soundtracks for James Bond films. Geesuz god, what a versatile player!

What I really love about The Messenger, as a complete work, is that it takes no initial “breaking in” period before each song claims its own identity. There are twelve tracks on the CD and each one is amazing in its own way. Unless Tame Impala release an album this year, I am pretty sure The Messenger will top my list of favorites for 2013. Johnny Marr FTW!

Grade: A+

The Smiths Release Strangeways, Here We Come

Strangeways CD Cover

On this date, September 28th in 1987, The Smiths released their 4th and final studio album, Strangeways, Here We Come. The record includes two of my favorite Smiths tracks, “Death of a Disco Dancer” — on which Morrissey plays the piano, making it the only Smiths album to feature Morrissey playing a musical instrument — and “Paint a Vulgar Picture,” both of which are just brilliance distilled.