Archive for the ‘Def Leppard’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: Y&T-“Mean Streak” (1983).

In the early 1980s Y&T had a couple of albums that made it onto my radar.   This one, Mean Streak, had this song which I liked enough. It’s got some cool riffs and Dave Meniketti’s raspy but distinctive voice.

I remember liking this song, even though I really had no idea what was going on in the lyrics.  The chorus where everyone sings “mean streak” behind his lyrics was certainly the catchy selling point.   But this is hard rock more than metal and is not really my thing.

I may have bought this album, but I know I have the follow up In Rock We Trust, which was more poppy (and they were more pretty).  I had forgotten all about “Lipstick and Leather” yet another cheesy pop metal song about, well, lipstick and leather.

People who were fans of Y&T (like Posehn) were die-hards, but even listening now I see why I never really got into them, even if I liked them for a bit.  Maybe it was a California thing.

[READ: January 2019] Forever Nerdy

S. got this for me for Christmas after we saw Posehn on a late night show and he talked about his nerdy obsessions, including Rush.  It seemed like an obvious fit.  And it totally was.

Posehn is a few years older than me, but if he had lived in my town we would have totally been friends (except I would have never talked to him because he was older).  Anyhow, we had more or less the same obsessions and the same nerdy outlook.  Although I was never really picked on like he was so perhaps I was a little cooler than he was.  Although I never smoked or drank when I was in high school so maybe he was cooler than me.

Things to know about before reading this–Posehn is a vulgar dude–there’s not much kid friendly is in this book.  Also this book isn’t really an autobiography exactly. I mean it is in that he wrote it and its about him, but if you were dying to find out fascinating stories about his crazy life, this book isn’t really it. I t’s more about the things he was obsessed with–in true nerdy fandom.

Although, Brian, what nerd doesn’t have an index in his own book? (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 9, 2014] Def Leppard

Two years ago, Kiss had Motley Crue open for them.  Crue was one of those bands that I liked when they first came out and then, as they made poppier/sleazier music, I liked them less.  This year, the opener was Def Leppard.  Def Leppard was even more egregious in terms of going from a heavy metal band to a massive pop band.  And, heck, it worked for them.  But as a young metal head, who enjoyed most of High and Dry and some of Pyromania, Hysteria was just too far.  And I actively disliked a lot of those songs (perhaps more than I needed to) at the time.

And what I learned is that even after all these years, while I could “forgive” some bands and actually enjoy their sets, I could not forgive Def Leppard for all of the songs that I really disliked.

But first…how ballsy is it to have your intro music be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and then after the big scream near the end, have your banner drop and you finish the song.  I was pretty surprised.  But they sounded quite good, loud and brash.  And then they opened with “Let It Go,” a pretty heavy (for them) track from High and Dry which I had forgotten about but which rocked really well.  And I thought, hey, any chance they’re just going to play the heavy songs?

But no.  They moved into “Animal,” one of 6 songs from Hysteria.  Of course, it wasn’t all Hysteria.  They did play “Foolin'” which really didn’t do it for me as much as I thought it would-perhaps I was bitter about the Hysteria.  (more…)

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thisoneSOUNDTRACK: JAPANDROIDS-Post Nothing (2009).

japan1Japndroids are two guys from Vancouver.  And man, they make a racket fit for a group double its size.  There’s a lo-fi quality to the recording but that’s mostly because the guitar is buzzy and noisy and distorted and the drums are miked very loud (and there’s cymbal splashes everywhere).  The vocals (which are mostly screamed/sung) are also pretty relentless (especially when the backing vocals come in).  And yet for their simple punk aesthetic  their songs aren’t short. “Young Hearts Spark Fire” which opens with some slower guitar (before crashing into a huge verse) runs over 5 minutes.  That’s five minutes of thumping drums and super fast guitars.  Well, they do take small breathers in the song, but they don’t last long.

But for the most part, the songs are simple, fast rockers and while there is a sameness to the album, there is diversity within their sound.  “Rockers East Vancouver” has a bit more treble in the guitar and a slow middle section.  It also has what sounds like a bass guitar break–but remember there’s no bass.  The thudding guitar and drums that open “Heart Sweats” also sound very different, as do the groovy Ooooohs that punctuates the verses–making it a very distinctive song.

“Crazy/Forever” opens with a nearly 2 minute instrumental before turning into a slow rocker that last for 6 minutes of catchiness.  The album closer, “I Quit Girls” has a cool feedbacky sound on the guitar that makes it sound rather different as well.  And the song itself is a slow almost ballad (bit not really a ballad, don’t worry) that really stands out on the disc.  So this debut is 8 songs in 36 minutes–a great length for a fun rocking album.

[READ:  February 19, 2013] This One is Mine

If you named a book Unlikable People Who Do Foolish Things it probably wouldn’t sell. Or maybe it would.  Regardless, it’s an apt subtitle for this novel.  Semple is extremely daring to write a story in which nobody is likable at all.  Luckily for her, though, is that she writes really well and the book itself is very likable, so much so that I stayed up way too late several nights in a row to finish it.

So this book is about a small group of people who run somewhat parallel lives.  David Parry is married to Violet.  His sister Sally is single.  Although David is the sort of fulcrum between the two women, the story is about the women far more than David.  But it’s important to start with David to set things up.  David Parry is a multimillionaire.   He works in the music industry–he’s the asshole that all the bands need on their side.  So, he has autographs with everyone (working on getting his daughter a photo op with Paul McCartney, had Def Leppard play his wedding, etc).  But he’s cold and distant to his wife.

Or at least he seems to be from Violet’s point of view.  Violet is a writer.  She wrote a very successful TV show but wanted out of that life.  When she met David, they had an amazing first date (and David still swoons when she looks at him that way, but it seems like she hasn’t been looking at him that way very much lately).  And when they settled in, she realized she didn’t have to work anymore.  But then she felt odd realizing that she wasn’t making any money herself.  So she threw her creativity into a new house.  Which took forever.  Then they finally managed to have a child (Dot), but Violet found being a mother overwhelming as well, so the nanny (called LadyGo) takes Dot much of the time (and yes, David is resentful of this too).

Violet is at loose ends with her life.  And then she meets Teddy.  Teddy is a loser–a former addict with Hepatitis C, he plays double bass in a Rolling Stones cover band.  When she first sees him, he is playing in the park for some kind of function (not as the Stones cover band, but in some other kind of band) and she is entranced by the music they make.  Teddy has a double bass and, when Violet runs into him after the show, because she parked near him, he is trying to fit it into his crappy car that breaks down all the time.  Indeed, it won’t start now.  He can;t afford to fix it which means he wont be able to get to gigs, which means he won’t have money for rent, etc.  He’s about as far from Violet’s one can get.  Yet, despite the fact that he is an asshole: verbally abusive, cocky and prone to make very bad choices, she falls for him.  She offers to pay to have his car fixed.  And then imagines when they can meet again. (more…)

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