I read a book once by Jacob Slichter, the drummer for 90’s alt-power-pop band Semisonic, called “So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star”. It was an interesting peek into what it was like to try to make it as a rock band. The times are quite different now with the fracturing of the record company model and the emphasis on social networking etc – but the energy and passion of the musicians is still the same. This new band from LA, Greyface, reminds me of that story and the effort it takes to break out to a wider audience. Check it out!
Like many others there are certain bands, and songs that draw me back to very specific memories. I was 19 when Joe Jackson‘s first album, Look Sharp!, arrived in the spring of 1979. I was just finishing my freshman year at UCSB and music was undergoing an upheaval. I arrived at my dorm the previous fall listening to bands like Rush, Queen, UFO and Blue Oyster Cult. I was aware of punk rock and new wave but just hadn’t really been exposed to it. But as that first year in college went along there were a lot of different sounds blasting out of the dorm-room doorways. Blondie, The Boomtown Rats, Elvis Costello, The Records, The Beat (Paul Collins‘ version), The B-52’s were competing with the classic and hard-rock records I grew up with. And this record by Joe Jackson just seemed to cement it all together, sending me down a power-pop/new wave rabbit hole that I didn’t emerge from for a few years. Continue reading