AlternativeNation.net’s Review Of Ed Kowalczyk’s “The Flood and The Mercy”

“I’m going to stand right here/Scream like a baby/Call me crazy” sings Ex-Live lead singer Ed Kowalczyk in “Seven,” one of the standout tracks off his second solo album The Flood and The Mercy. Depending on how you feel about Kowalczyk, his music, and his former band Live, the lines either speak volumes on Kowalczyk’s personality or are unabashedly heartfelt and totally devoid of satire or irony (like much of Live’s music was in the 1990s in stark contrast to the spirit of the time-I mean even U2 were knee deep in sarcasm and irony at the time). Like U2’s lead singer Bono though, Kowalczyk often plays the role of polarizer. Most people either love or hate him-or love to hate him. Regardless of how you feel about him though, Kowalczyk has one of the best rock singing voices of his era, and can (even still) write one heck of an arena rock song. He proves this once again in nearly every song on The Flood and The Mercy.

Kowalczyk’s solo songs don’t rock as hard as some of Live’s did though. The opening riff to “Lakini’s Juice” (from Secret Samahdi-one of Live’s best albums) still stands as one of the best (or at least memorable) hard rock/grunge riffs of the 1990s, but one listen through The Flood and The Mercy demonstrates how much of Live’s transcendent sound and uplifting feel came from Kowalczyk and managed to balance out Chad Taylor’s riffs. The dynamic between Taylor (Live’s lead guitarist-and resident hard rocker) and Kowalczyk is what made that band so great. That balance is gone here though, sadly. Instead it’s all arena rock in the the spiritual vein of pre-Actung Baby U2. No where is this more evident on the aforementioned “Seven.” Kowalczyk’s spiritualistic rapture (sans hard rock licks) is felt in full force on “Supernatural Fire,” another of the album’s standout tracks. This track rocks a little harder than the rest though, almost like a later day R.E.M. song did (perhaps that’s more guest artist Peter Buck’s fault than Kowalczyk’s though). When Kowalczyk lets his guest guitarists cut loose a little, like on “The Watchmen’s Lament,” the songs on The Flood and The Mercy really soar. When the songs are composed of rather stock riffs and Kowalczyk’s, at times heavy handed, lyrics they have the tendency to slog instead of soar.

The album’s opening track, “The One,” suffers from this slogginess. Rather uninspired guitar work barely buoys Kowalczyk’s almost palpable enthusiasm and earnestness. The song sounds like it would have been more at home on Live’s rather uninspiring album V. It’s a shame that “The One” is the track to open the album. It might turn the casual listener off and cause them to miss out on deeper tracks like “Take Me Back” with it’s excellent guitar work and vocals. It’s perhaps the most complete track on all of The Flood and The Mercy. The U2-ish shambling of “Bottle of Anything” is another deeper track that should not be overlooked. Like “Take Me Back” it manages to capture everything that is great about Kowalczyk’s songwriting abilities without repeating itself or drowning the listener in blandness.

Like many of the best leaders of the 1990s best rock groups (i.e. Bono, Billy Corgan, etc) Kowalczyk remains a polarizing figure. Also like many of the best leaders of the 1990s best rock groups though, Kowalczyk remains one of his generations best front men/song writers. The Flood and The Mercy is filled with moments that remind us of this fact.

Overall score: 8.5 out of 10

 

Exclusive: Major Update On Billy Corgan’s Rumored Purchase of TNA Wrestling

I have heard from a second hand source who is close to a key figure in the rumored TNA Wrestling sales discussions who has verified that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan is far along in his talks to purchase the company. This source went as far to say that he believes it is a “done deal” that Corgan will buy TNA, though the source didn’t know what percentage Corgan will be purchasing or the specifics of the deal. The source also says that Corgan has recently made a connection to somebody very wealthy, though it is not known if this party would have anything to do with the deal. Obviously with professional wrestling, you never know if a deal will actually go through until the ink is dry. Eric Bischoff and Fusient Media Ventures announced their purchase of WCW in early 2001 before TNT and TBS canceled WCW programming, leading to the deal falling apart and Vince McMahon purchasing WCW.

TNA Wrestling’s weekly show ‘Impact Wrestling’ airs on Thursday nights on SpikeTV and features stars like Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Hardy, and AJ Styles.

Billy Corgan Rumored To Be In Negotiations To Purchase TNA Wrestling

WrestleZone.com is reporting that Smashing Pumpkins frontman and Resistance Pro Wrestling promoter/creative director Billy Corgan is rumored to be seriously interested in purchasing TNA Wrestling, the second biggest professional wrestling promotion in the United States. WrestleChat’s podcast is reporting that Corgan’s deal to buy TNA is “80% done.” There have been rumors recently that TNA’s parent company Panda Energy (owned by the Carter family) is considering offers with TNA bleeding money this year. TNA’s weekly show ‘Impact Wrestling’ airs on Thursdays at 9PM on SpikeTV. TNA was founded in 2002 by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett. The Jarretts sold majority interest to Panda Energy later that same year. TNA’s roster includes stars like Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Hardy, and AJ Styles.

In 2010 I spoke to TNA co-founder Jerry Jarrett who wondered allowed if Panda Energy would ‘let the money drain hit $200 million.’ Corgan is friendly with TNA President Dixie Carter, and has allowed TNA to use Smashing Pumpkins songs for TNA PPV events. TNA even filmed a promotional video of Corgan singing an acapella version of “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” inside a steel cage for their 2009 Lockdown PPV. In 2001, Corgan almost purchased ECW to save the company before it filed for bankruptcy and WWE purchased its video library.

According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Corgan is worth $50 million. The last time TNA talked to buyers in 2006, the rumored price being thrown around was $20 million. This is just speculation on my part, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see former WWE announcer Jim Ross (a friend of Corgan’s) brought in by Corgan.

Perry Farrell On Jane’s Addiction’s Recent Tour: ‘We Were Killing Each Other’

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Perry Farrell discussed Jane’s Addiction’s latest leg of their 2013 tour.

“We’re fresh off a tour where we were fucking killing each other, it was just terrible. [But] along the way I was hanging out with Steven [Tyler] and Joe [Perry], we were down in South America together, and then I ran into Richie Sambora and I’m thinking to myself, “There’s an art to being able to keep this shit together.” A lot of people cannot do it, under the best of all circumstances and still they can’t fucking do it. So, it’s crazy, people they devolve back into grade school if you’re around them too long.”

Farrell also discussed dance music, “I want to work with Deadmau5, I admire him, I want to work with Guy Gerber, Sasha, Richie Hawtin, I want to get fucking serious in that world.”

Incubus’ Mike Einziger Composing ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ Score

“Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger is one of several well-known musicians who are working with film composer Hans Zimmer on the score for the upcoming film The Amazing Spider-Man 2. According to Slashfilm, Einziger is joining Pharrell Williams, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart in a “supergroup” that Zimmer has created to write and record the score together.

Einziger also worked with Zimmer on the score for The Lone Ranger.

With Incubus currently on its second lengthy hiatus in seven years, Einziger has been very active on outside projects. He told us not long ago that side ventures are good for everyone in the band: “I think those kind of things are necessary to keep it feeling new. You know, every time we write music together, I think all of us want it to be something new and something exciting for all of us. And I think that’s one way to keep it that way, is to do some other things in the periods in between. You know, just kind of little projects that are fun, that just kind of take us out of the realm of what we’re used to doing.”

Incubus’ last album was 2011’s If Not Now, When?. There was a five-year break between that disc and its predecessor, 2006’s Light Grenades.

Incubus singer Brandon Boyd said recently that the band is not “finished,” adding, “!hen we come back around to do another Incubus record it’ll be a lot more lovingly informed.””

Lollapalooza Chile 2014 Lineup Rumors Include Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers & Other Major Acts

Rumors regarding the 2014 Lollapalooza Chile have revealed some potential big acts for the lineup. Headliners include Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Soundgarden. Other notable bands rumored are Pixies, Cage the Elephant, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, New Order, Lorde, Kid Cudi, Johnny Marr, Savages, Flume, Portugal. the Man, The Wailers, Jake Bugg, Ellie Goulding, Baauer, and AFI.

The festival itself takes place on March 29th & 30th at Parque O’Higgins in Santiago. An official lineup announcement is expected November 4th.

Beck Plans To Play Entire ‘Song Reader’ Album Live In Hollywood

Beck’s “Song Reader,” his 2012 LP consisting of 20 songs of sheet music, will be performed on November 24th at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Beck will be accompanied by special guests, including Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Jenny Lewis, Childish Gambino, Jack Black, Van Dyke Parks, and John C. Reilly. Also, David Campbell, Beck’s father, will conduct the concert.

The Killers Rip ‘Retarded’ U.S. Pop Music As Being ‘Bullshit’

The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vanucci have ripped mainstream U.S. pop music in a new interview with The Sun.

Ronnie Vanucci: “Breaking in the UK first was great because America is retarded musically,” Vanucci said.

“And you can fucking quote me on that. It’s upside down. There’s so much great music that doesn’t get the attention. There’s a lot of bullshit on US radio.”

Brandon Flowers: “I start to wonder, what do adults listen to? Do they listen to what’s being played on the radio?” he added. “You should listen to something that’s for you — not about giving your virginity to your boyfriend on Saturday night.”

“It is retarded,” he said. “Every song is that song. And if 40-year-olds are listening to that rubbish, they’re going to raise kids on it. It’s not even music.”

Alex Jones’ Infowars Attacks Eddie Vedder For Gun Control Speech

Alex Jones’ Infowars.com has ripped Eddie Vedder for his gun control speech at Pearl Jam’s show in Hartford:

Vedder said that gun control efforts are stalled because voices on the gun rights side have been consistently louder than those of anti-gunners, but that the volume of their outcry is tempered by their actual numbers. “The amount of people – it’s just in the millions,” said Vedder dismissively.

“If we were louder, it can happen, we just have to be louder and we have to let the politicians know that they will be reelected if they do what we ask, and we are asking for them to do it now. Cause what we don’t want is for any of those children’s lives to be wasted.”

In focusing only on the indisputably tragic deaths of these few children, which he insists could have been prevented with stricter gun laws, Vedder simultaneously turned a blind eye to the deaths of innocents caused by the U.S.’s own covert drone program, started under the Bush administration, but continued and widened under Obama. The drone war has been responsible for the deaths of anywhere between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan alone, according to a report by Stanford and New York universities.

Watch Nine Inch Nails Perform “Reptile” Live With Gary Numan

Nine Inch Nails have previously collaborated live with Gary Numan during the Wave Goodbye tour performing tracks such as “Cars,” “Metal,” Down in the Park,” and “I Die: You Die.” Last night, the band met back with Numan to perform “Reptile” and “We Take Mystery (To Bed).” You can view the live performance of “Reptile” below:

Setlist:
Copy of A
1,000,000
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
Piggy
All Time Low
Disappointed
Came Back Haunted
Find My Way
Sanctified
I Would for You
The Frail
The Wretched
In Two
The Big Come Down
Running
A Warm Place
Somewhat Damaged
Wish
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole

Encore:
Reptile (with Gary Numan)
We Take Mystery (To Bed) (Gary Numan cover) (with Gary Numan)
Even Deeper
While I’m Still Here
Black Noise
Hurt

Setlist From Pearl Jam’s Show In Charlotte, North Carolina

Time Warner Cable Arena
Charlotte, NC, USA
October 30, 2013

Setlist:
Pendulum
Low Light
Present Tense
Last Exit
Do the Evolution
Lightning Bolt
Mind Your Manners
Severed Hand
Even Flow
Daughter
Getaway (live debut)
Sirens
Setting Forth (Eddie Vedder song)
Not for You
Immortality
Infallible
Unthought Known
Rearviewmirror

Encore:
Bee Girl
Yellow Moon
Off He Goes
Just Breathe
Given to Fly
Better Man
Porch

Encore 2:
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
The Real Me (The Who cover)
Black
Alive
All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover)