930club:

METADATA: Neil Young - “This Note’s For You”

The history of popular music is rife with artist feuds (Iggy and Snoop, anyone?). One of the snarkier ones to ever come about is Neil Young’s minor chord rocker “This Note’s For You.” Its music video is a scathing satire of Eric Clapton’s infamous Michelob commercial, part of a broader ad campaign entitled “This Bud’s For You” (get it?), which was widely considered a sellout move. The video mocks other perceived “corporate rockers” like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. Jackson’s legal team threatened MTV, keeping Young’s video off the airwaves…for a while.

The song namechecks brands Young refuses to sing for: Pepsi, Coke, Miller, Bud. Even politicians and potatoes aren’t allowed to touch his tunes. And this was pre-Napster. These days, the “rules” about bands selling their songs to advertisers are a bit more nebulous. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, however, the recorded music bubble had yet to burst, so there was a much heavier stigma slapped on artists who played for The Man.

The video ends on a parody of RCA’s signature dog-and-gramophone logo, not coincidentally Eric Clapton’s label (poor Slowhand, he just couldn’t catch a break). This wasn’t the first time Young beefed with a label – he was infamously sued by his ’80s label Geffen for making “unrepresentative” albums during his experimental phase. The crazy thing is this is a common stipulation in big record contracts. The label can refuse to put out a record (or sue its own artists) if it doesn’t meet certain standards, the main one being that it’s “commercially satisfactory.” Young has always been a my-way-or-the-highway musician who refuses to compromise morally (see his recent projects Pono and “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?”), but righteous indignation aside, what a great song!

-Kelsey Butterworth

Your friendly Comedy Bang Bang evangelist here to remind you this is what you’ve been missing // season 4 starts tonight on @ifctv

Your friendly Comedy Bang Bang evangelist here to remind you this is what you’ve been missing // season 4 starts tonight on @ifctv

  1. Put iPod on shuffle
  2. Great song starts playing
  3. When when and how did this get in my library
  4. "Oh, I guess I actually do like this band"
  5. Feel compelled to investigate entire discography; shit
  6. Repeat 1-4 ad infinitum because you will never catch up and life is a cruel joke
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR

SEEIN THE CHUNK TONITE (at 40 Watt Club)

SEEIN THE CHUNK TONITE (at 40 Watt Club)

930club:

METADATA: Drive-By Truckers - “This F***ing Job”

Anyone who knows me knows it was only a matter of time until I included a DBT song on here. (I’m sure there will be more in the future, too.) This particular tune has Patterson Hood & co. lamenting the love-hate relationship that is being a working musician – not gigging on the side, but making a living out of it. The song came at a turning point in the band’s storied career. After the 2007 departure of key songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell (who had just divorced bassist Shonna Tucker), the band released the dark and misty Brighter Than Creation’s Dark in 2008. The album would be their last on New West Records.

“This F***king Job” was part of the gargantuan first wave of output for new label ATO, and it sounds like a shaken soda bottle. Over the band’s distinct guitar crunch and southern swing, Hood sounds tired and pissed off during the verses. He likens being a musician to all kinds of physical abuses. He shares the financial struggle of supporting a family paycheck-to-paycheck, when every show counts. He sings about feeling trapped. But then the chorus hits: “Nobody told me it’d be easy / Or for that matter it’d be so hard / But it’s the living and the learning that makes the difference / It makes it all worthwhile.” WHEW, Pat, you had us worried! In the end, he wonders what would have happened if he got a desk job and gave up on this crazy rock and roll dream. It’s complicated, but it’s love. If they weren’t making kick ass rock and roll, what would they be doing?

**Bonus: he makes reference to his dad, David Hood, a renowned Alabama bassist who was part of the absurdly influential Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (aka the Swampers), also referenced on DBT’s 2001 “Ronnie And Neil.” David played on records by Willie Nelson, Etta James, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, and Cher, JUST TO NAME A FEW.

-Kelsey Butterworth

Guys Cait is an airbender

Guys Cait is an airbender

I van’t believe what I’m seeing!

I van’t believe what I’m seeing!

930club:

METADATA: Old 97s - “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”

Master Texas cowpunkers Old 97’s released arguably their best album to date, Most Messed Up, earlier this year. It serves both as a culmination of everything the band has done over the past 20 years and a reflection on what it means to be an aging rock star. Its opening track is a rock and roll retrospective that tells the group’s approximate history in increasingly, gleefully, off-the-rails punkabilly fashion. Lead singer Rhett Miller muses about substances (“Alcohol / Oceans and oceans, but that isn’t all / Mountains of weed, a handful of pills / But none of the hard stuff, that shit kills”), one night stands (“We got our share of lovin’ in our past /Although we were all looking for someone who’d last”), and the general rowdiness of living on the open road. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their six-minute version of events glosses over some of the gorier details – after one particular show in Memphis, two band members passed out under the van. Don’t ask us how.

Yet even for a cheeky tell-all, the song gets surprisingly thoughtful. Miller admits to the interpersonal hardships involved in working with narcissistic and obsessive band mates, and professes surprise at the relative luck it’s taken to get this far. The real meat of the song is when he reveals the shocking reality of it all: “Well you should know the truth, it’s both a blast and a bore.” Old 97s definitely qualify as lifers at this point. They’re one of very few groups who have been around this long, can pack 2000-capacity venues, and still produce great music to boot. But it’s not all glamor and drugs and crazy road stories. In the end, the song is a piece of fatherly advice to young musicians: if you want to do this for real, you must commit to music, body and soul.

-Kelsey Butterworth

Mission control

Mission control

We were pretty stoked that @hosts came all the way from Nashville to play the Purple Porch last night (at House of Purp)

We were pretty stoked that @hosts came all the way from Nashville to play the Purple Porch last night (at House of Purp)

#YardJam action starts at 7, 510 Pulaski St, cover is $3. COME HERE. (at House of Purp)

#YardJam action starts at 7, 510 Pulaski St, cover is $3. COME HERE. (at House of Purp)

Tags: yardjam

Center ice puck drop 🐶🐾❄️ (at The Classic Center)

Center ice puck drop 🐶🐾❄️ (at The Classic Center)

Yo I really really love my street 
🏊🅰🎿

Yo I really really love my street
🏊🅰🎿

930club:

METADATA: Weezer - “Pork And Beans”

Hello, and welcome to Metadata! In this weekly column, I’ll be profiling songs that feature insider commentary about different aspects of the music industry.

In honor of their upcoming ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, our first column installment will be Weezer’s “Pork And Beans.” The track was the first single off the band’s self-titled album, and its inspiration lies with label execs who demanded a more commercial record from them during a meeting, and not for the first time in their career. After their ENORMOUSLY successful first record (yes, the blue one), their 1996 follow-up, Pinkerton, was a commercial and (initially) critical failure. The band recoiled and has since been polarizing audiences by trying to tow the line between pop hits and deeply written, deeply felt stories of love and loss.

“Pork And Beans” begins with lead singer Rivers Cuomo listing things “they” say he should do – get a thicker head of hair, lose weight, wear what’s in style. He even name-checks pop producer Timbaland, perhaps implying that some gatekeepers were playing matchmaker. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Cuomo admits that one of the group’s lowest points occurred five years ago in the midst of low album sales. “It was easy for a rock band to get depressed. We were at a label where the president, every time we’d go in for a meeting, would say, ‘Rock is dead.’” Though he doesn’t name names, RS surmises that the suit in question is then-Interscope head, Jimmy Iovine. Rock isn’t dead, but if someone at the helm of one of the biggest imprints says so, people sure might start to think it.

-Kelsey Butterworth