Tag Archive | Bloodlights

JG2’s Top Ten Albums & Singles Of 2013 (Annotated Edition)

Here they be, the same exact lists I submitted to Village Voice for their 2013 Pazz & Jop poll, expanded with my useless piddling thoughts on each entry. You should still wade through Pazz & Jop when The Voice posts it, though, for my point breakdown (yes, they force us to assign our album selections a specific point grade, because life is one big knuckle-chewing exam).

I hereby dedicate this year’s best of balderdash to the late Bonnie Franklin (pictured above). We lost this small screen pioneer way too soon. Bonnie was Iggy to Roseanne’s J. Rotten; on top of that, she seemed like a real together person offscreen. Respect and rest in peace, Bon.

JG2’s TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2013

1. Ghostface Killah / Adrian Younge – Twelve Reasons To Die

I’m sure Robert Rodriguez is going to waste the next year of his life working on Machete Kills One More Time With Feeling but he really should be trying to adapt this taught, soulful comic book concept album for the silver screen. Not that he could actually improve upon Ghostface / Adrian’s grit-streaked narrative—I just want to see the phrase “BASED ON THE GHOSTFACE KILLAH ALBUM” blown up for IMAX 3-D.

2. Superchunk – I Hate Music

Speaking of movie trailer talk, James Greene, Jr. of Orlando Weekly gives Superchunk’s I Hate Music four stars, calling it “gorgeous [and] liberating…indie rock candy” and the “perfect soundtrack for any spontaneous new adventure.” Hope to see that printed on future editions of IHM.

3. Kanye West – Yeezus

In the words of R. Nixon, “Do you want to make a point or do you want to make a change? Do you want to get something off your chest or do you want to get something done?” Kanye’s never had an answer for these questions, which is why his music is so consistently electrifying. Is it also overblown and self-indulgent? Totes, but no more so than anything U2’s ever done—and Kanye cracks wise way better than Bono.

4. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels

This album pretends to hit you and then gives you two for flinching. Dirty, loose, threatening, thrilling…Run The Jewels is the playground bully you secretly want as your BFF. Sure as Pepperidge Farm remembers a bunch of corny Norman Rockwell shit, RTJ remembers when rap was a distilled menace, a simpler time when being from “the streets” carried no irony.

5. Bloodlights – Stand or Die

It’s hard rock, it’s pop, it’s a bruised apple of both genres boasting no worms but plenty of heaving hooks. Bloodlights are more cohesive here than the band we saw on 2010’s Simple Pleasures; the new muscle is appreciated, especially when that middle eight kicks in on the sour “Time to Kill.”

6. The Stooges – Ready to Die

James Williamson returns to the fold after dog knows how long to produce, co-write, and play killer guitar on the most exciting thing Iggy Pop’s put his name on since 2001’s Beat ‘Em Up. Is it really the Stooges? Look, I know people who think Raw Power isn’t really the Stooges. All I know is Ready to Die is more crisp, sexy, and fun than it has any right to be, and I sure ain’t mad this fucker is now in the same lineage as Fun House.

7. GWAR – Battle Maximus

Never mind all the foam rubber, these guys can groove. Shades of classic era White Zombie color GWAR’s lucky thirteen studio release and I’ll be a maggot-sucking space zombie if “Madness At The Core Of Time” isn’t the best rock album opener of the year. My teeth are still clenched.

8. Future of the Left – How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident

Feels like a band-aid slowly peeled from a very hair patch of flesh, or “How To Orgasm Through Rug Burn” starring your favorite sulphuric post punk misanthropes. Nobody puts a musical button on cynicism quite like Future of the Left. A pox on any who previously called for their disbandment.

9. Melt-Banana – Fetch

This furious and spastic platter is what people mean when they say “taste the colors.” And yet, Melt-Banana’s been at their brain-bending game of rock disintegration for so long it felt comforting when Fetch dropped. What a treat for us to get this synapse pounding!

10. The Lonely Island – The Wack Album

The Wack Album deflates the tag of “joke rap” by cushioning its yuks with some of the most invigorating, inventive beats of 2013. If I said “‘Saturday Night Live’ rap album” to you in 1991 you would have laughed for very different reasons. Be glad someone can bankroll this reality.

JG2’s TOP TEN SINGLES OF 2013

1. Babymetal – “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”

Metal grinding swirled with J-pop continues to be ultramodern chocolate and peanut butter. May these sweet children never stop.

2. Kanye West – “Bound 2”

Profane and anti-romance, yet still romantic. Honesty is the best policy (at least for Kanye).

3. Britney Spears – “Work Bitch”

No one parodies Britney more deftly than herself. I don’t want to spend any time debating whether that’s intentional or not, I just want to bathe in this glorious stupidity and let its subliminal messages amuse me.

4. The Adolescents – “Forever Summer”

It can be July in Orange County whenever / where ever you are, brah.

5. The Oath – “Black Rainbow”

The voice of Johanna Sadonis floats like a benevolent angel over the most turgid and spine-tingling of Sabbathy reinterpretations. Trad metal lives thanks to this Euro quartet. What are you wearing to the black mass?

6. GWAR – “Madness At The Core Of Time”

Sure, it’s cheese metal, but a fine gruyere. Listen to how that chorus bounces around like a tennis ball between two excited golden retrievers!

7. Sleigh Bells – “Bitter Rivals”

The frenemies anthem that needs to be in the next direct-to-vid Mean Girls sequel / reboot.

8. The Lonely Island – “Diaper Money”

Everything you could want in a club banger—throbbing bass, throbbing exuberance, and coffin jokes. “Wobblty wobblty drop / into my grave plot” gets my vote for lyrical couplet of the year.

9. Kid Cudi – “Unfuckwittable”

Denser than dark matter, a blurry bleary drug trip that doubles as an empowerment anthem. Kanye would have created this if he had more confidence.

10. Run The Jewels – “Banana Clipper”

“Surprise, bitch,” Ice Cube’s 1993 attitude said as it walked through the door. “I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me.”

Kanye = Nixon (Richard, Not Cynthia, Mojo, Or Trot)

Perhaps you read my Top Ten Albumz Of Twenty-Ten post for Crawdaddy.com (or, perhaps, you loathe end-of-the-year list-based nostalgia, and you didn’t). I was looking over this piece last night and, apropos of nothing, suddenly began wondering to which U.S. president each selection most closely corresponds. After an hour of furious pencil scribbling and equally frenzied naugahyde chewing, I had the answers below.

1. Kvelertak – Kvelertak

Teddy Roosevelt. Blustery, forceful, hearty. Doesn’t give up until its final breath.

2. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty

Bill Clinton. Charismatic and focused with a layer of devious sexuality bubbling just below the surface.

3. OFF! – First Four Eps

Harry Truman. Short, cranky, but not without an indelible charm.

4. Bloodlights – Simple Pleasures

Dwight Eisenhower. Not breaking any new ground, but strangely comforting in its self-assured rule.

5. Devo – Something For Everybody

Calvin Coolidge. Keeping cool and using aloof as a weapon.

6. Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude

John F. Kennedy. Coasting on wit and intelligence just as much as image.

7. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Richard Nixon. Unexpected accomplishment overshadowed by comically awful persona.

8. GBH – Perfume & Piss

Andrew Jackson. Charging in, causing a ruckus, refusing to apologize for boorish behavior.

9. The Sword – Warp Riders

Jimmy Carter. Laid back, on message, maybe a little too soft at times.

10. Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime

Barack Obama. Thin, somewhat tropical, will probably make you smile despite fifteen minutes of saying nothing.

Cheez It Price (Deny The Markup)

Sleeveless shirts totally improve my guitar playing. Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen can shove their ugly fucking scalloped guitars up their expanded assholes. Sleeveless shirts have way more impact. These guys are just too fucking lame to get it.”

The above quote comes from Bloodlights front man Captain Poon, whom I recently interviewed for Crawdaddy! Check it out if you’re into the Scandinavian rock scene. If you’re not, you could always read this shit I wrote about Devo.

Speaking of hard labor, an article I wrote about rock star day jobs is slated to be published in the next Canadian edition of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. That junk just went to press, so it should be hitting book store shelves soon (end of the month?). I invite all the toque-wearing hose-heads trapped in America’s hat to get down on JG2’s first international funky book joint.

Hey, does anyone else remember when Zakk Wylde didn’t look like Captain Caveman? Way back in the early nineties, I mean. Back then, Zakk was just some normal-ass blonde guitar guy. At what point exactly did he transform into Beardo, the Beer-Swilling Rock Grizzly? Lately I’ve been walking by the Guitar Center near Union Square in the city a lot, and they have this big poster in the window of Zakk pre-Grizzly days. It’s very weird. Without his signature hypno-guitar, you’d never be able to identify him.

Meanwhile, next to dashing young Zakk, they have this photo of the Ramones from around the time they broke up. Joey and the gang look like the saddest, oldest sacks you’ve ever seen (Joey is totally rockin’ his purple XXL “I don’t give a fuck anymore” shirt in this pic). It’s sort of criminal that a business in NYC is allowed to display such a haggard photo of the Ramones. I’d complain, but that would require walking in to Guitar Center and talking to some jagoff who looks like every guy in Crazy Town.

CrazyTown
“What’s up, bro? Can I help you with anything? You need some light gauge strings or something?”

In case you were wondering, the title of this post is a reference to a hilarious food-based parody I wrote of that old Alice In Chains chestnut “Man In The Box.” Hopefully I’ll finish my time machine soon so I can go back to 1992 and force “Weird Al” to record it. Then I’ll be rich as shit and I’ll never have any problems again.

You know what I’m really dreading? That Runaways movie with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. I bet that’s just gonna be melted dog shit.