March 11, 2007

Boss & REM : Killer Combo

Man on The moon

Born to Run

Because the night

John Mellencamp's : Our Country - Chevy Ad

The Original

The Funny One

John Mellencamp's tune: 'Forgiveness, understanding'

John Mellencamp's philosophy: "I'm optimistic, but I always expect the worst."

Freedom's Road, his 21st album in 31 years, surveys the worst in human nature from the Midwest to the Middle East, yet the singer's optimism trumps cynicism in songs that encourage compassion.

"I wanted to make a record of hope," he says. "There has to be forgiveness and understanding. I'm proud to say I'm one of those bleeding-heart liberals."

His appraisal of contemporary America finds heartache in the heartland as Mellencamp jumps from political defiance in the title track to confronting racism in Jim Crow (with a guest vocal by Joan Baez) and a faulty justice system in Rural Route's chilling tale of a deranged killer, which ends with a plea for tolerance.

"It always seemed crazy to punish people in need, whether they're homeless or mentally ill," he says. "I live in a place where you see these misguided, desperate folks on crystal meth, and all we can figure out to do is throw them in jail."

In a throwback to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA, one song has been misconstrued as red-state red meat. Rather than a flag-waving anthem, The Americans "talks about my personal disappointment in who we pretend to be and who we really are," Mellencamp says. "The line 'I try to understand all the cultures of the world' applies to some, but there are more who don't know where Iraq or Iran or Syria are and don't care. Another part addresses the Hollywood idea of turning dreams into a way of life, but when you pull down the pants of the West Coast, it's sad. Can't we do better than this?"

At 55, this lifelong Hoosier has no fear of speaking out, despite the sharp attacks and death threats sparked by the anti-war To Washington, his 2003 reworking of Woody Guthrie's Baltimore to Washington.

"I didn't anticipate the problems, but it wasn't as bad as what the Dixie Chicks got," he says. "I had made 20 albums. They had made two. It's hard to chastise someone who's been around as long as me. They were a little animal being aggressive."

A scrappy rebel not known to back away from a fight, Mellencamp exhibits dovelike contempt for U.S. war policies and leadership, underscored in the Bush-bashing Rodeo Clown.

"I'm a peacenik, which is not to be confused with a pacifist," he says. "I was doing radio interviews right after 9/11, and when I said we need to go over there and find out why (the terrorists) thought this was a plausible solution, the guy went berserk. He said, 'You gotta be crazy. We gotta nuke these guys.' That was the first time I got a sense of the mob mentality out there.

"People were eaten up with fear and revenge, but they didn't even know who to get even with. 'We're America, and we'll come over and kick your (butt).' We barely pulled that out in World War II. That doesn't even work in a bar. Why would you run the world that way?"

Our Country, a rousing anthem akin to This Land Is Your Land, may prove to be the album's most controversial track, owing to its use in a Chevy truck ad campaign. It's a corporate dance Mellencamp long opposed, but changes in the music industry changed his mind.

"I agonized," he says. "I still don't think we should have to do it, but record companies can't spend money to promote records anymore, unless you're U2 or Madonna. I'm taking heat because no one's ever done this before. People have licensed songs that have already been hits, but nobody's licensed a brand-new song to a major company, and people don't know how to react."

Chevrolet made the deal attractive, offering priceless exposure and creative input: Mellencamp chose images for the TV spots, including clips of Rosa Parks, Nixon's resignation and Katrina flooding.

"In 10 years, this will probably be the way it's done," he says. "I'll have taken crap for it, and people will forget I was the first guy."

Despite the reach of Our Country (which just re-entered the country singles chart at No. 56), Mellencamp is not expecting the platinum heights he scaled with 1982's American Fool, 1985's Scarecrow and 1987's Lonesome Jubilee. Freedom's Road made its debut at No. 5 in Billboard, his first top 10 in 10 years, but with a modest take of 56,000 copies. It has sold 131,000 copies in five weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan. He's just happy to be happy making music again.

An organic acoustic/electric confluence topped by raw twangy vocals, Road "is the first record I've made in a decade that I really enjoyed," Mellencamp says. "I didn't feel I had to do anything for anybody other than myself. Universal said, 'Do what you want,' and they didn't interfere."

During the '90s, "the fun had gone out of making records. It had turned into hard work with no cooperation from the record company. I made a huge mistake in the early '90s when I left PolyGram (absorbed by Universal) and went to Columbia. I thought the grass was greener. But they would tell me, 'Can you make a record like Hurts So Good?' That was 20 years old. Why would I do that? It was insulting and non-productive."

For Road, Mellencamp sought '60s sonics that had been lost to the digital age. He used vintage gear, an echo unit and old guitars, mastering the album to vinyl and then to compact disc.

"And that's why the finished version sounds so warm and inviting," he says. "It's a math problem. X's and O's don't merge. With analog, all these echoes and drum sounds get squooshed together in a magical way.

"The Rolling Stones were going to engineer their album this way and chickened out. Not me. I'm old-school, baby."

March 09, 2007

Pink Floyd: Set the controls for the heart of the sun

1968 pink floyd performs 'set the controls for the heart of the sun', short introduction by frank zappa... hope you enjoy the vid.

Waters Interview

March 08, 2007

Bread - If (1971)

If a picture paints a thousand words,
Then why can't I paint you?
The words will never show the you I've come to know.
If a face could launch a thousand ships,
Then where am I to go?
There's no one home but you,
You're all that's left me too.
And when my love for life is running dry,
You come and pour yourself on me.

If a man could be two places at one time,
I'd be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to die,
I'd spend the end with you.
And when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out,
Then you and I would simply fly away


U2 - Window in The SKies

MY FAVS # DCFC - What Sarah Said

and it came to me then
that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time
as i stared at my shoes in the ICU
that reeked of piss and 409
and i rationed my breaths as i said to myself
that i'd already taken too much today
as each descending peak on the LCD
took you a little farther away from me
away from me

amongst the vending machines and year old magazines
in a place where we only say goodbye
it's done like a violent wind that our memories depend
on a faulty camera in our minds
and i knew that you were a truth
i would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all
and i looked around at all the eyes on the ground
as the tv entertained itself
cos there's no comfort in the waiting room
just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
then the nurse comes round and everyone lifts their head
but i'm thinking of what sarah said,
that love is watching someone die

so who's gonna watch you die
so who's gonna watch you die
so who's gonna watch you die