Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The Go-Go’s’ Category

[POSTPONED: JULY 8, 2021] The Go-Go’s [rescheduled from July 9, 2020]

indexIt’s been strange that some bands are scheduling shows for the summer while others are cancelling them.  Here’s one that was cancelled and yet even more confusingly, new dates are to be forthcoming.  Why not just wait?  Now I have to buy tickets again?

From the artist: (April 16, 2021)

“The Go-Go’s take the safety and health of our fans, band members, staff and community very seriously. Due to uncertain timelines across the country for cities opening fully and getting more people vaccinated, the Summer 2021 tour will be cancelled. Ticket refunds are available at your point of purchase and we will be announcing new dates later this year.”

I’m not exactly sure when this show was postponed, but sometime in May this announcement went up:

Due to COVID-19The GO-GO’s upcoming summer dates have been postponed to Summer 2021. More information on the rescheduled dates coming soon, and in the meantime, we’re happy to announce that The GO-GO’s documentary will premiere on Showtime, Saturday, August 1 at 9pm ET/PT.

I thought that The Go-Go’s would be a fun band to see live.  I mean I know every single one of their big hits and I’m quite certain the whole room would be singing along to them.

I wouldn’t have thought about getting tickets for this tour, but it was going to be a brief tour and they were going to be playing at Parx Casino, which is an intimate venue with seats.

I also thought it would be fun to take S. who didn’t especially want to go, but who I’m sure would have had a good time.

I’m looking forward to them coming back next year.

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: GERMS-GI (1979).

In the middle of this graphic novel, the main character Bina says she is listening to the Germs.  Her friend Darcy says “classic.” 

Germs were a seminal LA punk band.  They released one album before their singer Darby Crash killed himself.  Their guitarist Pat Smear has since played with Niravana, Foo Fighters and many other bands.  Belinda Carlisle (yes of the Go-Gos) was briefly their drummer (she went by Dottie Danger).  She was replaced by Don Bolles.  And their bassist Lorna Doom, was one of the first women in the punk scene.

This album is 38 minutes long but that’s with a 9 minute live improvised song tacked on at the end.  Otherwise these songs are short and fast.

“What We Do Is Secret” opens the album with a statement of purpose.  It’s less than a minute of fast drumming roared vocals and the title repeated twice.  “Communist Eyes” plays a standard punk melody in the verses and an even faster chorus.  Pat Smear plays around with some scratchy noises but it’s mostly just fast fast fast.   “Land Of Treason” also has a simple catchy melody in the verses.  Even though Crash’s vocals aren’t always clear, they are mixed very well so if you listened, you could probably make out most of the words.

“Richie Dagger’s Crime” is the first song where Smear’s guitars really stand out.  He plays lead riff and then in the middle of the song, it’s only Lorna Doom’s bass holding the melody together while Smear plays some leads through the verses.

“Strange Notes” has some ringing guitars notes and quick little improv solos that keep this pummeling song nicely off kilter.  “American Leather” is just over a minute and Don Bolles’ galloping drums pretty much never stop.

“Lexicon Devil” was the name of their first EP.  The verses have a fun Ramonesy beat verse that feels especially punk.  “Manimal” is a slower more menacing song with a nasty lead guitar line.  This song even takes a breath before launching into the faster part full of Darby Crash’s snarls.

“Our Way” is another slower, more mancing song with a the bass sounding more prominent over smears chords.  “We Must Bleed” has a really fast descending guitar melody that introduces the song and serves as the chorus. It also hangs around at the end of the song. The song is 2 and a half minutes in total but the end is one minute of the band racing through that four note melody, sometimes falling  apart a little but plugging on.

“Media Blitz” starts side two abruptly has an abrupt opening with vocals and a brief pause before the song takes off nonstop for a minute and a half.  There’s some samples from TV in the song

“The Other Newest One” This chorus features a four notes and a pause as Darby’s voice rings out over the brief silence: “you’re not the first / you’re not the last”

“Let’s Pretend” is a bit more staccato in the bassline in and reminds me of a conga from the cartoons.  Five notes and a thump.  Once again darby stops singing early to let he band jam out the riffs for another 40 seconds to the end.

“Dragon Lady” has a short drum solo from Bolles as the intro.  It leads to one of the poppier melodies on the album. Then “The Slave” ends the disc (sort of) with a one-minute rumbling that’s all bass and jagged chords on top.  When Darby stops singing briefly, Smear’s guitar bursts forth as if Crash was in the way. Then it abruptly ends.

The disc ends properly with “Shut Down” a 9-minute live song that I have read was typical of how they ended their shows.  Lorna Doom plays a simple, slow bluesy riff on the bass. The drums follow along and Pat Smear makes all kinds of lead noises –solos, feedback, crashing chords while Darby mumbles, screams and rants about wanting your soul and wanting control and being an Annihilation Man.

Who knows what the Germs would have done next, but with one album, their legacy is secure..

[READ: October 21, 2020] All Together Now

This is a follow up to Larson’s book All Summer Long.  That book was a fun story about friendship, distance and guitar playing.

As this story opens, Bina and Darcy have been practicing with their band Fast Fashion [which is basically what Depeche Mode means], but they decide they need a drummer.  They meet up with a boy in their calls called Enzo.  He’s a drummer and very robotic.  He’s very good and he likes their songs, so they agree to be a band. But he hates the name Fast Fashion, so they change it to The Candids.

After a few practices, Darcy and Enzo start dating.  Then Enzo starts making some suggestions for changing Bina’s songs.  And Darcy agrees with him.  Now Bina’s losing her best friend to a boy, just like she lost her previous best friend Austin to a girl.

Then Darcy texts her that the band is moving on without her (even though it was her band!).  This new band gets the best band name yet: AC/Darcy.  But that means that Darcy and Bina have basically broken up and are not speaking to each other. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: JULY 9, 2020] The Go-Go’s [moved to July 8, 2021]

indexI’m not exactly sure when this show was postponed, but sometime in May this announcement went up:

Due to COVID-19The GO-GO’s upcoming summer dates have been postponed to Summer 2021. More information on the rescheduled dates coming soon, and in the meantime, we’re happy to announce that The GO-GO’s documentary will premiere on Showtime, Saturday, August 1 at 9pm ET/PT.

I thought that The Go-Go’s would be a fun band to see live.  I mean I know every single one of their big hits and I’m quite certain the whole room would be singing along to them.

I wouldn’t have thought about getting tickets for this tour, but it was going to be a brief tour and they were going to be playing at Parx Casino, which is an intimate venue with seats.

I also thought it would be fun to take S. who didn’t especially want to go, but who I’m sure would have had a good time.

I’m looking forward to them coming back next year.

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: Retro songs for teen audiences (ie. Glee) (2012).

I’m not really going to talk about Glee here.  I’m using it as a springboard for a question that the show has raised for me.  And this question pops up a little in Queen Bee as well.  I know that retro things are always cool.  Full stop.  And I know that the retro coolness shifts accordingly to be always 20/25 years in the past.  But in my experience, the retro craze pretty much applies to fashion, not necessarily to music.

So given that, it makes me wonder about the premise of some of the music on Glee.  Now, I know, Glee is about as far from reality as anything on the Syfy Channel.  I accept that.  I accept that the universe in which the show is set is more or less not even our own.  But when they have nods to actual history, I’m curious.  And this leads me to ask:  Do kids in high school really care about Michael Jackson?  Or, more to the point, about Whitney Houston?  I mean, sure if you’re in glee club, you’ve probably had to sing “I Will Always Love You” a million times.  But were high school kids really upset when she died?  I mean, sure she released an album in 2009 (that I didn’t even know about) and it went to #1 (really?), but in terms of actual pop relevance, she’s been on the down low since the 90s.

I don’t know any high school kids well enough to ask them about this, but I knew some middle school kids when I worked at the library, and they were all about whoever the flavor of the minute was.  Again, musically talented kids may be different, but it seems really odd to me that even on Glee, the kids seemed to love some retro songs and then of course were arbitrarily against some other ones.  [That’s a good subtitle for the writing of the show: “Glee:  It’s All Arbitrary”].  I think back to my high school years, and I didn’t like anything retro, in fact I thought all old music sucked.  (Of course I listened pretty much only to heavy metal, so I’m not a good sample audience).  But aside from some Simon & Garfunkel, I don’t recall there being a lot of folkie kids in my high school.  The cool kids listened to 80s pop and the alt-kids listened to college music.

This brings to Queen Bee.  The song that she chooses to sing (see below) is The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat.”  A classic of 80s pop music, undoubtedly.  And yet, I have to wonder how many kids in her middle school class even knew the song.  A bit of research shows that it has been used in films and such, but would that have garnered any real recognition/excitement?  Aside from the fact that it’s catchy as anything and the drumming is awesome, of course.  [I also realize that that isn’t the point of her using the song in the story, I’m moving beyond the text here].

I know this is all fiction and I just need to relax.  But I’m mostly curious.  Aside from getting stuck listening to their parents iPods, do kids actually listen to older music?  When I was little my parents listened only to big band music.  And I hated it.  Until I got to college and realized it was pretty cool.  But still, in my teen years, I was all about the present.  Isn’t that the point?

[READ: June 5, 2012] Queen Bee

I have enjoyed most of Chynna Clugston’s books (Blue Monday and Scooter Girl in particular).  I love her style of drawing (anime, but with a twist) and her pop culture sensibilities.  I had no idea that this book existed until I saw it in the children’s comics section at the library!

I also assumed that this was an earlier work by her (what’s she doing writing for Scholastic?).  But no, this book came out many years after the books I love so well.  It’s kind of funny that she went from alt rock hipness to middle school (and then moved to Legion of Super Heroes).  But wait, she hasn’t done anything in five years?  Gasp.  Actually I see she has a new blog and a new husband–so she’s clearly busy.

Anyhow, back to the book.

This book is set in middle school.  It features a young woman named Haley Madison (that must be a joke about over-common names).  She is a geek and a loser.   But when her mom gets a new job at the hippest and coolest teen magazine, Haley gets to move to a new school.  Which means fresh start!  And she plans on becoming the queen bee at JFK intermediate.  She is introduced to a nice girl named Trini.  Trini shows her around and introduces her to her cool friends (who are super nice to her).  But when Trini shows her the Hive–five girls who are super duper popular, Haley has a goal in front of her. (more…)

Read Full Post »