A few years ago I read Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume One, and I found the chapter on Dylan’s approach to live performances to be pretty polarizing stuff. Dylan discusses the boredom and monotony that comes with performing the same songs every night. On his 1987 tour, Dylan opted to change his live shows to a more organic experience, and he’s hasn’t altered his live show methodology since. Instead of giving the fans what they what, Bob and his ever-changing band take Dylan standards and flip them on their head. Some tours have interpreted his songs within the style of blues while other times his touring band can resemble a bluegrass outfit. I’ve seen Dylan perform twice, and during both shows I had the same guessing game experience where half the time I wasn’t quite sure what song he was performing. It doesn’t help that his voice is almost unintelligible these days.
Technological innovations over the past 10 years have changed the entire concert experience. There was a time where filming or tape recording a concert were frowned upon. In fact, there was an entire episode of What’s Happening? in the mid-70s that focused on the perils of bootlegging concerts (featuring The Doobie Brothers!). But in today’s concert setting, people pull out their phones to live tweet, take pictures, and film with nary a glance from security or venue staff. I myself get annoyed by the iPhone Army present at most shows, many patrons spending more time checking their Facebook status update about seeing the band than actually watching them. I don’t mind patrons taking a moment to snap a picture, but when it turns into a photo shoot, I have a problem.
Several years ago I saw Broken Social Scene at SXSW and before even playing a song, front man Kevin Drew gave a speech along the lines of “Instead of trying to capture this concert through videos and photos, let’s just enjoy the moment and let our memories encapsulate it.” This was a big moment for me since I’d spent the past year filming a lot of shows for this blog (one look at my YouTube page and you’ll see there’s been a major falloff in video posts since that show). Up-and-coming British post-punk band Savages have taken it a step further, requiring all patrons to turn off their phones or the band won’t play.
I’m currently sitting in a Jiffy Lube somewhere south of Omaha, Nebraska, prepping my car for a two week road trip through the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah. Not wanting BDWPS.com to go stagnant during this trip, I decided to make a quick post before hitting the road. This post is being composed via my phone (a first for BDWPS) so please excuse any grammatical, format issues.
There was once a time where I posted a video clip once a week, but once it became a chore, I ditched the Video Clip of the Week concept. For this special, last minute post, I couldn’t think of a quicker, easier way to kick off my hiatus than with the latest METZ video for the song “Get Off.”
For this video, METZ brought in fellow Sub Pop label artist Chad VanGaalen, who might be more well known for his artwork than his music. A few years ago I obsessed on here about his video for his song “Peace On the Rise” and once again he’s brought the goods for METZ. Enjoy this trip through the mind of VanGaalen…and the song is not too bad either.
Web-based video sites like YouTube and Vimeo are a god-send for audiophiles like myself. Whether it be revisiting some of your favorite music videos from childhood, checking out classic interviews from the past, or watching bands perform live that were around before your time - these sites have it all. Despite all these unearthed, invaluable treasures, my favorite online music related video has remained the same the past few years, and it has nothing to do with Bob Dylan, Husker Du, or Archers of Loaf. In fact, the video is not even in the same vein of entertainment.
I didn’t have time to write a formal blog this week (my excuse: four Spurs games in five days), so I thought I’d post a video I took during my week at SXSW in Austin, Texas. I only took two videos (check out the insanity of the Supreme Dicks here), and I was fortunate enough to capture a song during Dope Body’s set at The Whiskey Bar. Although the audience left much to be desired in the form of energy, the band made up for it with spastic-bombast that demanded your attention. I took a spot next to the stage and became quickly mezmerized by guitarist Zach Utz’s pedal work, tweaking and fiddling with his pedals throughout the show. Now I just need to see them in an audience of real fans (and less pretension).
Not since the birth of Christ himself has a miracle of this magnitude blessed the human race. Yes folks, that dream we’ve had since the first time our ears were graced with the sounds of “Plush” has finally come true: Scott Weiland has released a Christmas album. Oh, and it’s just as grand as we all hoped. No, this isn’t the swarthy, brooding drug-addled asshole we grew up both loving and hating at the same time; this is a gentleman’s Scott Weiland. Imagine if Bing Crosby opted to take heroin over beating his children – yes, you’ve just reached the pinnacle of Weiland’s croon-tacular Christmas spectacular. And the video for “Winter Wonderland” offers even more hopes and dreams for all of us “Mad Men” fans. Don’t be surprised if a smooth talking Scott Weiland makes an appearance next season, upstaging Don Draper with his pure sex appeal and respectful demeanor. Weiland is a man about town on a one horse sleigh (let’s just hope it’s not a “white horse”).