Elias Fulmer, based out of Orange County, CA, plays guitar for the alternative rock band Pappa Midnight. Favorite acts include the Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Morrissey, Nirvana, Placebo, Jane's Addiction and Nick Drake. You can reach him at eliasprofessionalmode(at)live.com.
According to true-to-you.net, Morrissey’s less-than-unofficial-but-not-quite-official’s mouthpiece, Morrissey turned down an offer from Britain’s Channel Four to present an alternate Christmas speech to counter HM Queen Elizabeth II’s traditional Christmas speech. Morrissey has been long since open about his opposition to the British royal family, seeing them as petty and irrelevant relics from Europe’s past of the “divine right of kings” and the centuries of avoidable oppression carried by the unstoppable ego inherit in the monarchical political complex.
Morrissey, often cast by his opponents as an intolerable, miserable person who has no time for opposing views, conceded that, “I don’t think Christmas Day is quite the time to be trading slaps. The Queen should be allowed the impassioned trance of her annual address to the British people, if only to once again prove that, in her frozen posture, she has nothing to offer and nothing to say, and she has no place in modern Britain except as a figure of repression; no independent thought required.”
The Christmas Speech is one of the most widely watched television events all over Britain and Morrissey was offered a rival slot in that contest of fame, turning it down took a shot of humility and humbleness that Morrissey has always possessed, but many choose to ignore because it is far easier to criticize someone who is brutally honest and contrarian about issues like emotional abuse via manipulation, because the people who refuse to recognize the points of Morrissey’s ideology are generally the same people who perpetuate things like emotional dishonesty, betrayal and deceit to the people in their own lives. It also doesn’t help that Morrissey, being an outspoken vegetarian, often is heckled by omnivores who feel incredibly justified and smug by continuing to eat meat and feel invalidated when the cruelty of the meat industry is addressed.
Besides all this turmoil, Morrissey continues the last European tour dates of his tour in support of his new album, World Peace is None of Your Business released in July of this year. Below featured his remaining tourdates:
December 10 Belgrade, Serbia
December 12 Zagreb, Croatia
December 15 Athens, Greece
December 17 Istanbul, Turkey
The postponed Dutch tour dates will occur in 2015.
Recently, Diffuser.fm recently conducted an interview with ex-Germs, ex-Nirvana and Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear touching on a number of subjects, including the Foo Fighters’ new album, joining Nirvana and the history of the Germs from past to future. When asked about the future of the Foo Fighters’ recording process and if they will return to conventional ways of recording, Smear remarked:
“I think at some point that’s going to be the weird quirk. Dave’s gonna go, “Hey, I got this weird idea. Let’s do the next album here in our own studio!” And we’ll all go, “Whoa! No way.” Somewhat conflicting with reports from Dave Grohl recently about a follow-up season to HBO’s Sonic Highways, Smear seemed a little hesitant to the idea because the Foo Fighters “tend not to do repeats, so we’ll just see.”
Smear assures us that the new Foo Fighters album will include more revolutionary concepts, but declined to drop details because “It’s more fun when it’s a surprise”.
As typical with numerous, numerous Foo Fighters members interviews over the years, came the obligatory Nirvana questions. Smear recalled Cobain’s first offer for him to join his band, “At first, I didn’t believe it was him. That was weird, and then he gave me his number, and I was like, ‘Oh shit, it is Kurt.’ And then he just asked if I wanted to be in his band. I was like, ‘Yeah!’ And that was it. [Laughs] That was it.”
Upon first joining, Smear was not required to audition, Kurt told him to “not worry about it”. Upon meeting Novoselic and Grohl for the first time, Smear said that “Krist and Dave were really personable guys. They were really welcoming and nice and they tried to make me feel comfortable. We hit it off immediately and we played well together.”
Interestingly enough, Smear revealed that during his days in the Germs, he never owned a guitar but rather “just borrowed from whoever we were playing with”. His first guitar was a Hagström which he purchased right before the Germs’ farewell performance.
Smear also revealed that there are no Germs reunions or shows in the works, mainly because of conflicting schedules between him and revivalist Germs vocalist, actor and musician Shane West. Smear closed the interview with, “We tried to do a gig last month and we just couldn’t work it out between my schedule and Shane’s schedule. He’s filming a TV show in Louisiana and we couldn’t make it happen. When we have a proper break or something, we’ll do it, though.”
Pat Smear, along with the rest of the Foo Fighters, are on tour supporting their new album Sonic Highways and just finished the finale episode of HBO’s Sonic Highways, a documentary style mini-series released conjunct with promotion of the new album.
In a recent interview with the Independent, Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan reflected on his experiences in the music industry, chronicling his twisted tales from the idealism of the alternative rock movement that the Smashing Pumpkins helped to propel, along with other bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.
Corgan, in the interview, marks his new album, Monuments to an Elegy, as his return to, for a lack of a better concept, relevance. Corgan notes, “I needed to find my way back to the center, and whether it’s David Bowie, John Lennon or Bob Dylan, if the public can only deal with certain personalities when they cross the line of pop and artifice, so be it.” Never losing his artistic vision, Monuments to an Elegy according to Corgan, is him “taking up the chef’s knives again”, though he admits that, “I had to give up some form of idealism. But this album doesn’t feel compromised. I don’t think it has the bitter taste of someone who’s finally had to grow up and do his homework.” Critics and fans alike have long criticized the experimental nature of the Pumpkins’ post-reunion work, namely albums Zeitgeist and Oceania, feeling that Corgan had lost the muse had created the well-established classics like Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Siamese Dream and Adore.
However, in Greek mythology the Muses, the goddess of inspiration which “muse” is derived from, exist as “One and All”, that is, they represent different aspects of articulate human focus while simultaneously representing the same very thing: artistic inspiration. There is no greater or lesser muse, art exists as it is. Corgan never lost his muse or the ability to write hit songs, the lack of attention to albums like Zeitgeist and Oceania stems from the critical course of musical evolution, which moves faster and faster as time and technology moves on with the rest of hyperactive society. Art changes with the time and some is ignored and some is accepted. Monuments to an Elegy has led to much more favorable reviews than anything Corgan has released in the last ten years, for a number of reasons, which included the trial and error process of reformation which took several years to consolidate, in the same way the early Pumpkins went through various incarnations before they took off as Corgan, Iha, Wretzky and Chamberlain straight to the top of the pop charts with Siamese Dream. There would be no Monuments to an Elegy without Zeitgeist, Oceania or the rest of the material from the Teargarden by Kaleidoscope project and the subsequent criticism.
Corgan also commented on his relationship and legacy of Nirvana frontman and 90’s visionary Kurt Cobain. “He [Cobain] was quarterback of the football team, leading the aesthetic and integrity charge. He knew how to navigate those things”. Amongst the uplifting comments, Corgan admitted that he did not look up to Cobain during this time, “We were competitors. He [Cobain] and I were the top two scribes, and everybody else was a distant third.” Corgan in other recent interviews has always come to a critical defense of Cobain and a staunch attitude against Courtney Love, a feud which only recently has been reconciled.
As for who fits the case of the “distant third” of 90’s alternative rock, Corgan took a more abrasive stance against Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, in response to the “survivor guilt” Vedder experienced after Cobain’s death in 1994, “That would be Eddie Vedder…somehow he makes it about him even when it’s about somebody else!”
The Smashing Pumpkins release their new album Monuments to an Elegy on December 9th, available for pre-order on iTunes, Amazon and on their official website.
Ginger Wildheart, of the UK-based rock band the Wildhearts, recently released a video for his duet with Courtney Love. The single was released in August on Wildheart’s exclusive fanclub GASS (Ginger Associated Secret Society), but not publicly available until now.
Wildheart has spent the year as a member of Love’s live band, as well as several performances solo and with the Wildhearts. This isn’t the first time Love has collaborated with a male vocalist in a duet format – in fact she has quite the history. From her marriage to Kurt Cobain, there exists several recordings of the couple performing Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”, as well as “Pennyroyal Tea” (audio of both can be heard here). Additionally, it is speculated that much material written and recorded by the couple has been unreleased or lost to time. As we reported earlier last week, a new Kurt Cobain documentary will be released in 2015 with “unreleased material,” which could very well include material from collaborations with Love. In 2013, Love recorded a duet for Johnny Depp’s pirate themed album, “Sons of Rogue’s Gallery,” with former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe.
Love finished a tour of the UK, Australia and Hawaii earlier this year in late August, and also has hinted at collaborations with Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus, on Twitter. Both artists very much represent different aspects of Courtney Love’s aesthetics, and all three artists share a support for feminism.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun earlier today, Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell commented on several issues in his relationships with his bandmates, raising his sons and his next quasi-musical event phantasm coming in the next two years.
Regarding Jane’s Addiction, Farrell triumphantly stated, “We are never breaking up this band.It is just too important.” Jane’s Addiction has seen three major breakups in their career, but Farrell seems to guarantee a difference in the future. He admitted that while he sees his bandmates as brothers, “I have to be honest with you, I don’t hang out with the guys, We are all involved in different things. Dave Navarro is a full-grown man now. Stephen Perkins and I don’t really socialize. I do socialize with [bassist] Chris Chaney. We both got married a while ago and have kids around the same age.” True, Navarro is involved in several television and musical projects besides Jane’s Addiction, most notably Spike’s Inkmaster. Perkins also is involved in other musical groups and session work, as well as occasionally hosting drum clinics.
Farrell said that raising his sons, Hezron and Izzadore, gives him a chance to revisit his childhood, which lead him to speak greater on the subjects of staying and feeling young through performing music, despite being 55: “It’s a perfect occupation. You get to stay really, eternally young. Making music and dancing, those kinds of things, people should keep doing. When people get older, they stop singing and dancing, and they slow down.” Truly, the members of Jane’s Addiction look a lot more lively and energetic in performance than opposed to many of their contemporaries.
Lastly, Farrell spoke on his musical production based in Las Vegas that he has long spoke of in recent interviews, “…it’s something you’ve never seen before, I can promise you that. You’re going to freak out. You’re going to love it…It’s music-centric, and it’s everything that we are into these days: Technology, music, lifestyle, food, women, drinking, gambling.” This production is projected to debut in a year or two, and Jane’s Addiction is confirmed to be involved.
Jane’s Addiction plays their last complete set of Nothing’s Shocking later this weekend in Las Vegas at Brooklyn Bowl.
Posted to the Smashing Pumpkins’ Facebook today was a video of Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder, the only two permanent band members currently, joined Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order and his band The Light onstage at Chicago’s Metro Cabaret last night, closing the show with a cover of Joy Division’s famous “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. William Corgan has had a long and fruitful relationship with Peter Hook’s ex-band New Order, and toured with them shortly after the Smashing Pumpkins broke up for the first time, in support of their 2001 album Get Ready, on which Corgan got to play guitar and additional vocals to the track “Turn My Way”. Corgan as a teenager fell in love with the sounds of Joy Division and New Order in high school, and the earliest Smashing Pumpkins demos recorded by Corgan and Iha are very reminiscent of styles derivative of Joy Division/New Order, as well as bands like My Bloody Valentine. The newly recorded Smashing Pumpkins album, Monuments to an Elegy, is set for release on December 9th, 2014.
Peter Hook, longtime bassist of Joy Division and New Order, left the band’s circles as early as 2007, absent around the time of New Order’s most recent reunion of 2011, with Bad Lieutenant bassist Tom Chapman in replacement of Peter Hook. Since departing New Order, Peter Hook has enjoyed success with his band Peter Hook and the Light, and tour often playing joint Joy Division-New Order setlists. Peter Hook and the Light are continuing to tour the world with several American, Australian and New Zealand tour dates.
The video can be viewed below:
Starting approximately 11:30 PDT today, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Atticus Ross, English producer and composer known for his work with the band, are to answer a Q & A session for the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference in Universal City, CA. The session is said to be moderated by Hollywood reporter Shirley Halperin. They are scheduled to primarily discuss their new collaboration on the soundtrack and score for 2014’s Gone Girl.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have collaborated on all of Nine Inch Nails’ album since 2005’s With Teeth, acting as producer and programmer. Ross also contributed songwriting to 2008’s Ghosts I-IV album. The duo composed the music for 2011’s American adaptation of Swedish novel and subsequent film series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the soundtrack for The Social Network, which got Reznor an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Soundtrack, which admittedly he doesn’t care too much about.
The 12th Billboard Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference, in Universal City, is a conference designed around the panel discussions of the contemporary television and film industries, as well as music’s role in the two worlds.
Nine Inch Nails received a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Trent Reznor has a personal history of disregard towards award institutions, an attitude shared by many members of the musical generation that brought us alternative rock from 1989 to 1994.
Atticus Ross also has completed the score for the currently unreleased biopic on Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson, Love and Mercy.
In a recent interview with NME discussing the integrity of bands playing their older, more commercially successful albums in full, Dave Grohl revealed that for the 20th anniversary of the Foo Fighters’ eponymous 1995 first album, the band almost re-recorded the entirety of the album, just to “piss people off”.
Ultimately, the idea was scrapped by the band. Upon receiving the proposal, drummer Taylor Hawkins, according to Grohl, exclaimed ‘Are you out of your fucking mind?! That’s the worst idea ever! People would fucking hate it!’, to which guitarist Pat Smear smartly replied, “That’s exactly why we should do it!”.
Dave, speaking in opposition to gallantly celebrated album anniversaries, said: “”Fuck, man! I don’t like it when a band’s tour is just to play one past record. I fucking hate that. I don’t like it when bands do that. It’s presumptuous. It’s lazy”. One cannot count how many alternative albums have been given the “20th Anniversary” treatment over the last 3 years.
The Foo Fighters’ self-titled album was released in 1995, with all instrumentation and vocals supplied by Dave Grohl before he assembled the live band which became the Foo Fighters.
The Foo Fighters since September 2013 have been working on their newest album, Sonic Highways, which is scheduled for release next week on November 10th. The lead single, “Something from Nothing”, was released on October 16th, 2014 featuring Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen.
In promotion of the new album, frontman Dave Grohl directed a documentary series entitled Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways to coincide with the album’s release, emulating some of the same artistic muse that inspired Sound City, Grohl’s documentary that covered the history of the Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where Grohl with Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain recorded the sophomore album Nevermind in 1991 (for the second time).
Johnny Marr’s show at London’s famous O2 Academy tomorrow will feature Noel Gallagher onstage. Both Marr and Gallagher recently have been working on new solo releases, with Marr’s Playland (released on October 6th) and Gallagher’s Chasing Yesterday set for release next year on March 2, 2015. The album’s planned second single, “Ballad of the Mighty I,” also features Johnny Marr on guitar.
Noel Gallagher, founding member of Oasis along with his brother Liam, incorporated the influence of the Smiths’ music, particularly of Johnny Marr’s guitar playing, into their own music while Oasis was still active and wrote music together. Oasis split in 2009 because of irreconcilable differences between Liam and Noel. Liam Gallagher now fronts the band Beady Eye, with ex-Oasis members Andy Bell and Gem Archer.
Since Oasis’ demise, Noel Gallagher has worked on three solo releases, including a live charity album, The Dreams We Have as Children, featuring his own music along with “All You Need is Love” (Lennon/McCartney) and “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” (Morrissey/Marr), performing alongside the Jam’s guitarist, Paul Weller. Other releases include 2011’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and the 2012 EP Songs from the Great White North…
Since the Smiths’ break-up, Johnny Marr has contributed guitar work in small amounts to various bands and artists, ranging from Modest Mouse to John Frusciante, and only recently with 2013’s The Messenger, did Johnny Marr begin to tour regularly as a solo artist. Much to the digress of Smiths and Oasis fans, neither of these bands have plans to reform anytime soon.
Flea recently revealed in a new Rolling Stone interview some new details about the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ follow-up to 2011’s I’m With You, their first album with current guitarist and long-time collaborator of John Frusciante, Josh Klinghoffer.
Flea stated, “We are nearly finished writing. We’ll go in the studio sometime in the next couple of months,” in regards to the album’s overall progress. It has been that the Chili Peppers have been writing and rehearsing for the last few months, with several posts on Flea’s Instagram showing the band at work.
Flea also stated regarding the musical content, “It’s cool. It’s super danceable, funky shit and some real introspective, pretty stuff. It feels good, man, and it’s fun to play it.”
The description of the musical progress is supplemented by Flea’s commentary on the band’s growth with Josh Klinghoffer, “We had a new guitar player [on I’m With You] and it was a real feeling-out process with each other…This time, it feels a lot better than the last one”.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have had to deal with the repercussions of semi-regular line-up changes for the past 30 years. Gauging by the experiences of the Chili Peppers from their last 5 years, Klinghoffer has found a place in the band that took some conditioning in order to prepare for, I’m With You was part of that process, regardless of how music critics feel about the album.
Regarding the album’s release and subsequent touring, Flea said, “I don’t want to say something and be off…I would hope that in a year from now, we have a record out and we’re on a world tour”.
So far, no album title or song titles have been revealed – but Flea does say that RHCP have written a lot of new material.
The revived Blind Melon, now fronted by vocalist Travis Warren, recently has announced a series of tour dates on their Facebook page, with details posted to their website. More are to be announced. Four North American tour dates have been announced and one festival appearance in Paraguay.
Blind Melon reunited in 2006 with vocalist Travis Warren and recorded their 2008 album For My Friends with him, Warren also contributing additional guitar. In 2008, they went on hiatus but resurfaced in 2010 with one off shows and appearances throughout the United States. Their slot at Kilkfest 2014 also marks their first show in Paraguay. The band has stated they have no plans to record a full-length record, but will continue to play shows sometimes.
Next year marks the twentieth anniversary of their 1995 album Soup, their last studio album with original vocalist and founding member Shannon Hoon. Tragically, shortly after the album’s release, Hoon passed away from a cocaine overdose while on tour in support of Soup.
Hoon was survived by his fiancée and their daughter, Nico, whose name was used for a 1996 Blind Melon compilation of b-sides and rare/live tracks. On his birthday each year, family, friends and fans gather in Lafeyette, Indiana at his gravesite to remember his life.
The tour dates announced so far are as followed:
November 15th – Calgary, AB Canada @ Deerfoot Inn
November 30th – Rakiura, Paraguay @ Kilkfest 2014
December 26th – Los Angeles @ El Rey Theatre
December 27th – San Francisco @ Great American Music Hall
December 28th – Napa @ City Winery
More tour dates, according to their Facebook, are to be announced soon.
Both ex-Smiths vocalist Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr currently tour the same continent, and while Morrissey’s European tour ends at London’s O2 Arena on November 29th, Johnny Marr just announced today an array of new American and Canadian tour dates starting November 9th in Washington D.C. at the 9:30 Club. Supporting acts on this tour flip between previous opener on his last American tour, Meredith Sheldon and Hooded Fang. Johnny Marr is touring in support of his new album, Playland, his second solo album, the second album in two years.
9th – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC – For Tickets Click Here
10th – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA – For Tickets Click Here
12th – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY – SOLD OUT
14th – Stone Pony – Asbury Park, NJ – For Tickets Click Here
15th – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY – SOLD OUT
Despite spawning dozens of hit singles during their illustrious thirty years, there is a great deal of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ discography that goes ignored, particularly their work without iconic guitarist John Frusciante. With ten albums worth of material and a worthwhile of miscellaneous formally unreleased material (not to mention a distinct live catalogue of good feel covers ranging from the Sex Pistols to P-Funk), it is easy to imagine how some material might be overlooked, but it is by no means inferior to other more well known hits by the band. Here is a list of 10 of the band’s underrated work, with an emphasis on the band’s sexier material.
10. Hard to Concentrate – Stadium Arcadium (2006)
Frusciante’s swan song for the Chili Peppers, 2006’s Stadium Arcadium, included a White Album
amount worth of material and a number of singles like “Dani California” and “Snow.” “Hard to Concentrate” is a very particular song in their catalogue because of its admission of romantic feelings, which in Kiedis’ lyricism is usually ignored by his large focus on lust and hedonism. Like many of the songs on Stadium Arcadium, Kiedis spoke from numerous points of views that previously went unheard in the Chili Peppers’ music.
“And, estuary is, blessed but scary
Heart’s about to palpitate
Now, I’m not about to hesitate
And, want to treasure the rest of your days here
And, give you pleasure in so many ways dear”
The Frusciante ballad can be very unconventional, and in this example the guitar work is murmured over exotic drums and a jungle-y bassline. Given the current content and structure of John Frusciante’s post-Stadium Arcadium solo work, for which some influences on the album acted as catalysts towards, one can only sit and wonder what the next Frusciante ballads would sound like with if he had continued his career with the Chili Peppers.
9. Funky Crime – The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)
During the tenure of founding guitarist Hillel Slovak, the band’s guitar tones were dominated by a funk influence with KISS inspired solos, a staple example that provides the case for the lyrical content of “Funky Crime,” the second track on their third album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, the last to feature guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. The Uplift Mofo Party Plan is an album primarily about bonds and especially friendship, and “Funky Crime” promotes the Chili Peppers’ union between historically white leaning music and African American leaning music, the essential fusion of what drives their music. The long traditions following White and African American music trends, funk, rap, punk and all strains of rock (to name a few), which are included at the basis of the Chili Peppers’ music, but most prominently with Slovak’s work with the band, and while subsequent Chili Peppers’ guitarists would bring more eclecticism to the band’s musical chemistry, no one dished out the funk like Slim Bob Billy could. As the manifesto for the Chili Peppers’ pan-racial attitude towards music, this blend of funk and psychedelica in “Funky Crime” is a prime representation of the perfect dualism in the Chili Peppers’ music.
“Funky crime, funky crime
Don’t you know funk’s colors blind
Well, I’ve committed a funky crime
Against a state of mind”
A sneakaway b-side from the One Hot Minute album, the only album to feature Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, “Stretch You Out” is a heavy, sexy funk metal call out to a girl, not just with the offer of sex, but an experience so mind-blowing, Anthony’s sexual prowess over her will be “moving to approve the groove of mental transformation”. An obscure b-side to an obscure album, it only existed in print as a B-side to “My Friends” single and eventually achieved the status as an iTunes bonus track included with purchases of the album online. The song should be especially noted for lyrics, not only poetic, but jointly metaphysical, a motif on the One Hot Minute album, in contrast to Kiedis’ usual blend of narrative and rap. The song is also especially long for a Chili Peppers, over six minutes, as a number of songs on One Hot Minute were.
“There’s a glowing up around the moon it’s showing
We want to play in the water that is flowing
She’s making just for you
Yes, i have always wanted to
Give something to this stranger
M-m-m-moving to approve the groove
of mental transformation
I’ll stretch you out”
7. Millionaires Against Hunger – Freaky Styley sessions (1985)
Written amidst the age of movements like Band Aid and other ill-advised charity gimmicks by popular 1980’s artists, the Red Hot Chili Peppers stand in opposition to the celebrity charity of their day, proposing their own revolutionary call to mutual aid from and for each and every race. “Millionaires Against Hunger” was recorded during the Freaky Styley produced by Parliament-Funkadelic pioneer George Clinton, but released as a b-side for the three singles off of Mother’s Milk, “Higher Ground”, “Knock Me Down” and “Taste the Pain”. The song is a strong rabble-rousing song and it’s a damn shame it wasn’t released as a single, because it had the potential to cause a lot of ruckus in the media with its condemnation of the decadence of the American upper class. Every single track in the song really propels the soul to get up and jive.
“Well I’m a millionaire too
All I know that is true is that I’ve got more cash than I can use
I want anything that I can have,
But I don’t need nothin’ and I never have
Each damn day my heart’s set far,
But I’ll be okay, ’cause I don’t starve
Kids from the street the losing their emotion so damn snobby so out of touch
With two hungry people who die as they stare at the city at night,
You know it gives to share
So listen up, you millionaires,
Every woman, every man, help all you can
All races unite, and I will now concern to the type of problem that helps us learn”
The first track off of Frusciante’s debut album with the Chili Peppers, “Good Time Boys” is a rockin’, rompin’ and a-stompin’ funk march, with Frusciante emulating Slovak’s signature funk metal tone found on the previous album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Kiedis in “Good Time Boys” espouses the Chili Pepper’s feel good ideology in the lyrics, even though Kiedis had just entered his first period of sobriety, which displays the strength and integrity of their ideology, through the capability of transcending traditional rock and roll ideals of partying as “liberation through drugs”, though Flea and Frusciante still smoked a lot of cannabis during the Mother’s Milk sessions and subsequent tours. In the same way “Fight Like a Brave” opens up The Uplift Mofo Party Plan with a crusade against drug-induced slavery, “Good Time Boys” is the fruition and living up to of that ideal and opens up Mother’s Milk in a positive tone, even just a few months after their founding guitarist died. Somber songs about Hillel would be saved for other albums. For Mother’s Milk, it was just about the good times rolling.
“Funky young kings we sing of truth and soul
We’re the modern day braves with one strong hold
Through the world of song our boldness is exposed
Talkin’ ’bout my buddy’s funk it up fish bone”
5. Naked in the Rain – Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
Anthony Kiedis has always displayed an affinity for nature and animals in his lyricism, as well as Flea. “Naked in the Rain” disparages human civilization for maintaining “societal norms,” conditions that create personal restriction. In the spirit of contempt, Kiedis promotes the values of nature – freedom, individuality and nakedness, as a more sustainable goal and enriching lifestyle than what the contemporary culture of post-Victorian morality and decadence has to offer to anyone. On the album, the song fades in through the end of Chili Peppers’ classic “Under the Bridge”, allowing a brief moment of intermission before the funk crescendo led triumphantly by Flea’s riveting bassline, one of the only prominent examples of the slap bass technique on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, because for a greater part of the album Flea used a pick to play bass, the first noted time in the Chili Peppers history. “Naked in the Rain” is a reminder of the call from the nature to be wild and free – without restriction and only with the freedom to do what you want.
“Listen to the talking heart in my chest
With this gift good Lord I am blessed
There’s a lump and it’s in my throat
I’m in love with the wilderness
Naked in the river skinny dippin’ my way In the waterfall I just wanna play”
4. Out in L.A. – Original Chili Peppers Demo (1983)
In the days of Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem, the original moniker of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the first song the band wrote together was “Out in L.A.”, a flaming red hot rap ode to the City of Angels, and the miraculous mayhem witnessed there by Kiedis and his friends. Unapologetically littered with self-adoration, the song celebrates the lifestyle practiced at the time of their younger days, where drugs, sex, loitering and always the overlying spirit of friendship and camaraderie. Even in 1983, Flea’s bass in “Out in L.A.” establishes his jaw-dropping, out of this world impression on the vocabulary of bass guitar, with slapping and popping only to be rivaled by the likes of Les Claypool. Two distinct versions of the song exist – the demo version with the original lineup of Slovak, Kiedis, Flea and Irons, and with the Red Hot Chili Peppers lineup of 1984, Sherman, Kiedis, Flea and Martinez, released on their 1984 eponymous album. The original demo version sounds sexier – Jack Sherman’s guitar work is notoriously stale in comparison to Hillel Slovak’s palette of guitar playing. The Chili Peppers were hardly the band they are today when “Out in L.A.” was written and recorded, but it’s the song’s vein and spirit that propels the Chili Peppers’ existence.
“We’re all a bunch of brothers livin’ in a cool way
Along with six million others in this place called L.A.”
The Chili Peppers are known for their covers, and there are many, many of them, and their first recorded cover, at the urging of Freaky Styley producer George Clinton, became “If You Want Me to Stay”, originally written and performed by Sly and the Family Stone from their 1973 album, Fresh. As the song opens, a whispering riff is heard from Hillel’s guitar and then the booming melodic bass brings the haunting backing vocals and drumbeat with it, the production style is near Leviathan in the sense of being absolutely authoritative in the emotional disarray of funk. Funk can be sad – a fact many people put aside about funk music. “If You Want Me to Stay” exhibits that rare kind of heartbreaking funk, with harmonies so serene and melancholy, it’s hard to not stop and think about something grave when listening to this song. A love letter of self-defense, the lyrical content reckons with sensitive spirits and souls, trying to accept themselves while trying to have other accept them at the same time, a nearly impossible task.
“If you want me to stay
I’ll be around today
To be available for you to see
I’m about to go there
Then you’ll know
For me to stay here
I’ve got to be me
You’ll never be in doubt That’s what it’s all about You can’t take me for granted and smile Count the days I’m gone Forget reachin’ me by phone Cause I promise I’ll be gone for a while”
2. Special Secret Song Inside (Party on Your Pussy) – The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)
A song so psycho and so sexy, EMI originally refused to release the album on the grounds of this song’s title, “Party on Your Pussy.” The Chili Peppers, for the track listing’s sake, re-titled the song as the “Special Secret Song Inside,” though the entire song intact besides that. If there is one song that best defines the crazy, erotic, funky drive that simply makes their music truly unique, it is “Party on Your Pussy.” Kiedis, in an interview preceding an impromptu performance of their forgotten classic “Sex Rap,” explains the relationship between funk music and sex:
Anthony Kiedis (Mother’s Milk era): “Music, to me, is heavily related to sex. Not always but in many different fashions, especially in funk. When you create rhythm with the bass and the drums, it sounds like your heart pounding when you’re having sex, or the skin slapping or all kinds of different things.”
With that context, “Party on Your Pussy” quite literally sounds like sex to the ear. The tone of the guitar, the cardinal pounding of drums and the drifting, intoxicating bassline all piston together like the rhythmic elements of sex. Sex rock, if anything, is the most appropriately label of the Chili Peppers’ music. The Chili Peppers will give you a long, elaborate list of influences if you ask them, but Kiedis, overcome by sexual passion, actually began to incorporate the ritual of sex into music’s inter-workings. How groundbreaking is that as an artist?
“Well, my young lady, she lives
Three houses away
She claims that she can hear moaning and screaming
To me fuckin’ you every night
Well, let me say “hey”
I want to party on your pussy, baby
I want to party on, party on your pussy
I want to party on your pussy, baby
I want to party on your pussy, yeah, yeah, yeah”
In the grand scheme of things, most Chili Peppers songs are sexy. That being said, for a song that is so sexy because of the integrity of its lyrical convictions and with such an explicit explosion of music, it is just very frustrating that songs like “Aeroplane” get overlooked by people. Dave Navarro’s tenure in the Chili Peppers in general is overlooked, but “Aeroplane” is criminally overlooked because the inherent melodies in the song are the closest the band ever achieved in re-creating what Kiedis once dubbed ‘pure Hillel inspiration,’ that extra creative and innovative tinge that separated the Chili Peppers from funk, metal, psychedelia, soul and every other genre, because of that simple whimsical nature exemplified in songs like “Behind the Sun.” “Aeroplane” is a hollowed, sacred song. It deals with a plethora of themes that aren’t easy to deal with – relapsing into drugs, the shortcomings of love, the literal transcendence of being high and the salvation of music. “Aeroplane” reflects on the tragedy on life, in the fact that people can’t help themselves from seeking pleasure – but in that act of pleasure, it creates pain, that sometimes doesn’t surface immediately, but inevitably will. But the Chili Peppers dealt with that through music – an amazing life-inducing force that drove them to create over ten albums worth of material, and still does today. Life with addiction becomes the wavering between pleasure and pain, and especially for Kiedis, who at the time of recording One Hot Minute found himself doing the drugs he vowed never to do again. The only salvation for people like Kiedis, Flea, Navarro and Smith becomes music. Because “music IS my aeroplane”, as in that it transcends all of the despair brought on by other internal and external forces in life that spike pleasure with pain. For this profound statement of human thought, “Aeroplane” becomes the sexiest Chili Peppers song.
“I like pleasure spiked with pain and music is my aeroplane,
It’s my aeroplane,
Songbird sweet and sour Jane,
And music is my aeroplane,
It’s my aeroplane,
Pleasure spiked with pain…,
Just one note could make me float, Could make me float away, One note from, The song she wrote, Could fuck me where I lay, Just one note, Could make me choke, One note that’s, Not a lie, Just one note, Could cut my throat, One note could make Me die.”
Early in their career, Kiedis presented more avant garde but straightforward rap vocal stylings in the Chili Peppers’ music and the aptly named “Sex Rap”, combines both of Anthony’s biggest creative divisions at the time. Hard to write an article like this without mentioning “Sex Rap”.
The Sunset Strip Music Festival’s social media representatives had us hold a contest for VIP tickets, and the publicist duly awarded us regular tickets (after initially denying us) and no other distinctions for the press. We gave away VIP tickets, and didn’t get them ourselves or a photo pass. Very disrespectful of our site, Alternative Nation basically got used. It was disappointing after how friendly the social media department had been. Anyways, there was a lot of unnecessary and untimely waits in queues to nowhere, at times it felt like a zoo, with the people ‘working’ there not giving much guidance.
The MURS stage cycled through DJ’s switching back and forth between play and pause buttons. My friend Edgar, also in attendance, and I were disillusioned with many of the bands. However, as the sun set on the Sunset Strip, things started to look up.
The Last Internationale, featuring Rage Against the Machine’s drummer Brad Wilk, nearly blew off the roof off of the Roxy, one of the venues enclosed in the venue encampment. With an outstanding barrage of anarchist blues blended with Wilk’s iron rhythmic poundings, their performance was a real highlight. Their guitarist Edgey Pires, adorned with Libyan Republican and Industrial Workers of the World patches, swept away with precious blues solos the whole way through their set. Their beautiful vocalist and bassist (though a male bass player was present for the first two songs) Delila Paz provides a versatile range of singing and a stage presence that really got the crowd excited, especially for a band I would imagine the majority of the crowd had little idea of, as it comprised of older people watching a band just formed last year. In November, they are opening for Robert Plant’s UK tour dates and they will no doubt give the crowd just as a great of a time as they gave me.
However, the highlight of the whole evening was Jane’s Addiction. There was so much feeling and ecstasy in their performance it’s hard to write about. What can be said is that they played their first album, Nothing’s Shocking, in full and a handful of other songs (“Been Caught Stealing”, “Just Because” and “Stop!”), and that it was everything I expected to be and more. Dave Navarro, standing there on stage so stoically, with his cigarette and guitar the whole night, as menacing as a lion and as still as a statue occasionally singing along while Perry Farrell, dancing in a dapper gray suit, looked like the lovechild of the Mad Hatter and Frank Sinatra.
Nothing’s Shocking sounded as clear as it did on the original recording and the several subsequent live renditions I’ve studied of their songs. Jane’s Addiction has managed to capture their same mystical energy throughout their career and last night at SSMF, it was shining at its peak. The crowd was hectic and rowdy, and Perry loved it. In return, the audience really loved Perry and fed off his energy. Jane’s rhythm section, with Stephen Perkins on drums and Chris Chaney on bass, brought on the headbanging and the moshing with their tightly knit rhythmic intuitions. Jane’s Addiction is consistently one of the best live acts in the world, complete with dancers and now, suspended trapeze artists, with Perry acting as the ringleader of the Big Top Jane’s Addiction circus. Jane’s Addiction, despite all the inconveniences, made my night, but by no means was the press treated fairly or justly, but just as Jane says: “Ain’t no right.”
We have just passed the 30th anniversary of the Chili Peppers’ eponymous 1984 album, and now wait in anticipation for their next record, which is being concocted in the studio by four, flippin’, floppin’, funkin’, albeit slightly aged masters of the Groove: Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer back on guitar for his second album with the band. Some fans have ripped Klinghoffer, say he’s not the band’s ‘real’ guitarist like John Frusciante was, much like they did with Dave Navarro in the 90’s.
The reality is that these haters are wrong. Klinghoffer and Frusciante have been frequent music collaborators for years, and there is no one else on Earth who is better fit for that throne than Klinghoffer himself. Navarro also came up side by side with the Chili Peppers, and was part of a great period in the band’s history. In order to understand why Klinghoffer and Navarro’s key roles in the band, let’s first rewind back to the 1980’s.
What is This? circa 1985, Hillel Slovak second to left, Jack Irons first on the right.
Groups like RHCP and their contemporaries from the mid 80’s Los Angeles club circuits, like Jane’s Addiction and Fishbone, sent the world of music on a crazy whirlwind spiral down a slipp’n’slide called alternative rock, full of hedonism, drugs, sex, art and just about any worthwhile value or ideal that the pop and hair metal of the ’80s just could not supply. Energetic shows, heightened by a psychedelic trance caught in visions of punk, hip hop, metal and funk, captured the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ spirit. The Peppers have found themselves new criticism today for continuing without John Frusciante on guitar, who by the music press will always be the “real” Chili Peppers guitarist.
The problem starts with what line of thinking concepts that a “real Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist” (as opposed to a fake one?), exists. The scramble for a guitarist has always been a part of the Chili Peppers’ history. From Hillel Slovak’s initial treatment of the Chili Peppers as a side project to his band What Is This? with two-time Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons. This decision was the start of an imbalance in the Chili Peppers’ musical chemistry that still isn’t quite fixed today.
When Slovak and Irons declined to record their parts on the Chili Peppers’ self-titled 1984 first album, Jack Sherman was hired for the guitarist position but was told to leave almost as soon as he was brought in, when Hillel made his triumphant return in 1985, and then subsequently recorded the mythical Freaky Styley record with funk legend George Clinton as producer. Hillel Slovak’s elite smorgasbord of guitar playing styles – ranging from funk to punk to KISS to reggae to the grittiest of speed metal riffs, brought a lot to the Chili Peppers’ music and beyond.
If we are to be technical about who is a “real” Chili Peppers guitarist, it would be Hillel Slovak, but this dichotomy between real and fake Chili Peppers guitarists actually doesn’t exist, not to mention he also taught Flea bass, though obviously Flea’s bass playing has evolved much into a beast of its own over the years. Still, knowing that Flea didn’t even listen to rock before Hillel convinced him to listen to the genre shows how much of an influence Hillel had on not just Flea, but on the history of rock music.
Frusciante also was influenced by Hillel Slovak’s guitar playing as a strapping young guitar student living in Los Angeles, and his idolizing of Slovak led him to pursue learning all the guitar and bass guitar parts to their first three RHCP albums, which was one of the biggest reasons why Frusciante was brought into the band, besides being an amazing, versatile guitarist. Even after Hillel’s tragic heroin overdose in 1988 shortly after the Uplift Mofo Party Tour, his influence and presence is still seen in the Chili Peppers’ music long after Hillel departed from this world. Most of the guitar work on Frusciante’s debut record with the Chili Peppers, Mother’s Milk, is very characteristic of Hillel’s craft, especially from the speed metal funk styles derived from the Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Frusciante’s unique melodies and more “alternative” side to his playing though set him apart from his predecessor. Hillel Slovak set the foundation for the Chili Peppers sound, but it was Frusciante who lived to build it.
Red Hot Chili Peppers circa 1987, from left to right: Slovak, Kiedis, Flea and Irons
Blood Sugar Sex Magik is when we begin to see a departure of the Chili Peppers into the world of more mainstream alternative rock, partially by Frusciante’s venturing into experimentation. Important to note is that is the album is the first to include acoustic guitar pieces, which had not been seen on the previous four albums. When the acoustic guitar appears in the Chili Peppers’ music, it always to be set in a somber tone, either by lyrical content, musical stylings, or both.
Some of Frusciante’s first recordings for his first album were also recorded in the same sessions at Rick Rubin’s The Mansion, which was mainly driven by acoustic guitar and presents the reverse acoustic talent of Frusciante, which in the Chili Peppers is overshadowed by his powerful stance on the electric guitar. You’d think that having a position in your favorite band might inspire you to stay, as with the opportunity Frusciante had with the Chili Peppers, but the pressures of fame, other musical ventures and drugs prompted Frusciante to leave the Chili Peppers high and dry in Japan during that leg of the Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour.
When we enter the Chili Peppers’ “relapse”, we again see the scramble for a guitarist once Frusciante abdicates the throne. As quick and as high as he rose, Frusciante sank into the allure of his own desires and imagination for about six years. To understand this next chapter in Chili Peppers history, you have to know the story of another seminal hedonist band from the City of Angels – Jane’s Addiction.
Jane’s Addiction circa late 1980’s – note the authentic Unknown Pleasures shirt that Avery (bottom left) is wearing, long before Urban Outfitters
Jane’s Addiction is a very different animal from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Formed in 1985 by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Eric Avery and Dave Navarro – Jane’s Addiction is less of a jam band, and more of a traditional rock band in terms of structure, songwriting and band member tension, but with twice the amount of drugs during their heyday. Dave Navarro, legendary guitarist and co-songwriter of Jane’s Addiction, was initially approached by the Chili Peppers in 1992 for a position in the band, not too long after Jane’s Addiction had their first big break up in 1991. Dave declined and worked with former bandmate and bassist Eric Avery in their band Deconstruction, while Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins, the other half of Jane’s Addiction, went off to perform with Porno for Pyros.
Navarro later accepted a second offer to join the Chili Peppers. His tenure in the band brought forth one album, One Hot Minute, and a handful of other tracks, mostly covers (“Love Rollercoaster, “I Found Out”). Most people, even the band, try to distance the Chili Peppers from that album, but One Hot Minute holds a plethora of artistic credibility.
One Hot Minute gives a unique point of view as Anthony Kiedis looks at his problems and reflects on his and the band’s past, as someone who first quit drugs for a number of years and subsequently relapsed. Relapse as a point of view is rarely explored in music, let alone art, but that point of view presents a very humbling and humanist image: We have demons, and we cannot always control them. Whether it’s a needle back in your vein that you never thought would be there again, or if it’s hitting up an old lover out of desperation, relapsing is human. Despair is human, and it was an air of despair that carried with the Chili Peppers through their entire tenure with Navarro.
The cutest family portrait I’ve ever seen.
Many are quick to attack Dave Navarro for the lack of coordination in the band during the Navarro years (approximately 1994-1998), but the mid 90’s were a hard time for all the Peppers: Anthony struggling with his reoccurring demons of crippling addiction, Flea’s emotional crises, and Chad Smith being just a little indifferent, trying to hold what was left together best he could. Smith’s partnership with Navarro almost saw the pair record an album together, but Smith later left and it became a Dave Navarro solo album.
The band during this time took a lot longer to write music because Navarro came from a band with a different writing style that didn’t easily mesh with the jam stylings of the Chili Peppers, which inhibited them more than anything. Despite everything going on in their turbulent lives, they pulled through together all they could. Out of their struggles, they then subsequently gave us the most turbulent Chili Peppers album, with loving tributes both to Kurt Cobain (“Tearjerker”) and River Phoenix (“Transcending”), who passed away in the time between Navarro joining the band and the album being released.
The album includes some terrific and undermined hits from their discography. Songs from the album, especially “Aeroplane.” The song presents the beautifully haunting idea that music is sex, drugs, addiction, pain, pleasure, comfort, despair, death, all in one, and that to embrace pleasure is to embrace pain. Music is the perfect reflection of life experience simply because there is no other art form that can as quickly express feelings as music does. Music speaks quicker than a book can read. Music is a conversation, a dialogue between the music and the listener, and those conversations can carry on for an entire lifetime, all it takes is one song.
After Navarro’s 1998 firing, the band turned back to John Frusciante, and at Flea’s urging, Frusciante returned to the band and quit the drugs that he had been using consistently for six years. Frusciante’s return would bring the band the most critical and commercial success they had ever seen. One time in the middle of eating at McDonalds, some friends of mine got into an argument over the integrity of the Chili Peppers’ music, citing “Dani California”, “Give It Away” and “Snow” as horrible pop songs. Ironically, when shown “Aeroplane,” it was immediately embraced by them, and they’ve come to have an appreciation of the Chili Peppers once they realized that work by them existed beyond their radio singles.
(Funk) Geniuses at work (Flea and Josh)
Frusciante departed the band again in 2007, and Josh Klinghoffer found himself as the guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. During the 2007 leg of the Stadium Arcadium World Tour, Klinghoffer had joined the Chili Peppers as a touring guitarist to supplement Frusciante’s playing, as well as attending keyboard, backing vocal and occasional percussion duties. Frusciante and Klinghoffer have been musical collaborators since 2002, when they planned to form a band and release material under a band name separate from other musical endeavors. Some of the material was included on the 2004 release Shadows Collide with People. Klinghoffer has also been involved with long time Chili Peppers comrade Bob Forrest’s bands Thelonious Monster and The Bicycle Thief.
There is no one currently as well as versed and involved in the world and history of the spectrum of the Chili Peppers than Josh Klinghoffer. If you haven’t listened to the B-sides from the I’m With You sessions, you’re missing out on some of the best guitar work in the band since Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Nobody knows if Klinghoffer will remain the guitarist for the rest of the band’s career, but he has left a distinctive footprint in the great Chili Peppers saga, just like Dave did.
In anticipation for the magnus opus of all Smashing Pumpkins reissues, the Adore reissue, the band has released another track off the reissue, a previously unreleased remix of Ava Adore by none other than the artist former known as Puff Daddy, Diddy. It’s an extremely interesting and powerful remix, utilizing nearly every part of the orchestra to make Ava Adore sound less like the Smashing Pumpkins and more like Tupac, which turns out better than anyone might expect. This remix will be featured on the fourth disc of the reissue. Listen to it via Rolling Stone.
The Smashing Pumpkins will re-issue their seminal cult classic album Adore on September 23, 2014.