Thursday, May 21, 2015

bus vibes #17 - angels & airwaves and (for a change) u2 (not together)

hi there

as previously threateningly promised, the remainder of this week will be strictly vibes on the bus. that is, look you see, so long as the ipod survives. 11 years and one battery change just might have finally caught up with this Apple product; one that has in fairness survived for 1,000% longer than Apple build their products to last.

only 50% of the vibes i listened to today were my choice, and i would wager that the more regular reader here can guess which 50%. the other, that peculiar name you see in the title, came my way by the 21st century equivalent of a mate at school making you a tape off of an album they got and thought you might quite like to listen to.

the album that my mate threw my way was one i just assumed was a new one from an up and coming band. a bit of research suggests that We Don't Need To Whisper is about 9 years old, and is off of a band called Angels & Airwaves. i am reliably informed that they are some sort of collective remnants of some band called Blink 182, that i think i had heard of in passing but never paid any attention to.

they are some sort of American concern. that's kind of interesting, as when i heard it in ignorance of who it was i kind of assumed it was an Irish band with the singer attempting to project one of those celebrated "I'm Irish American, look at my leprechaun tattoo forchrissakes" accents. as it turns out, then, it's an American lad trying to do pretty much what i said there. ah.

what do i think about the album? hmn. i was led to believe that the sound of it was to be all stadium rock, grandiose sweeping stuff, destined to drive the crowds wild. in actual fact, it turns out that it has, to my ears, a somewhat different audience all together in mind. not necessarily a  bad target audience in mind, so long as you keep it secret as if the kids find out they accuse you of being sell outs - for musicians making money is apparently terrible, in particular in the eyes of the "we are here for the experience but we will complain in no uncertain terms if you put a nasty, potty mouthed black American in front of us" type that apparently "owns" Glastonbury and the like.

it has a cinematic feel to the sound. this is good. except that it goes to the extent of the whole thing sounding like it's one giant licensing pitch. as i listened, i felt i was a reasonably place television executive, complete with impossibly black hair, shiny teeth, a suit that cost more than my car and the obligatory access to cocaine and aspiring actresses prone to sleeping with anyone who might get them on the tele and that. the sense each and every song had was "here, you could use this in one of them wine bar or restaurant scenes in a classy New York cop show, with a small crowd of extras swaying to an entirely different song during production".

a snippet of something? surely. here's a little bit of Distraction for you.

if this album was as it was but instrumental, right, it would be getting frequent plays off of me. the weakness in the band, however, is quite frankly the vocalist. the band, indeed the producer, seem all to aware of this; hence the vocals being for the most part as buried and as hidden as they could get away with without bruising any egos.

still, overall win, as it is always nice when a friend advises me to try some vibes. i have such little contact with the few friends i have remaining; a situation entirely of all my own making. so when one reaches out and says "this will make your life better" then that's nice.

on the way home, then, after listening to the end of that album, i returned to the band that has quite bizarrely become my safety zone over the last two or so years, U2. i mean, i remember liking them, but not this much. perhaps it is an age thing or something.

it's probably the case that Rattle & Hum is an album that many in retrospect recall as being a hastily cobbled together cash in to ride on the phenomenal success of The Joshua Tree. at the time it felt like a quasi-rehash of that celebrated album. now, however, it's all the original songs on it which shine through.

for the most part i skipped through the live stuff on the way home (yes, even the Beatles and Dylan / Hendrix covers) and listened to the original songs recorded for the album. to a variety of degrees, i think the people have forgotten about such gems of songs as Desire, Hawkmoon 269 (or whatever moon and whatever number), Angel Of Harlem and indeed All I Want Is You. there's also God Part II, a rather sharp reminder that once upon a time these plucky three irish, one cockney lads were a rather ferocious and somewhat angry punk band. somewhat angry indeed, far be it for me to make any generalisations or comment on any sort of irish temperament, thank you.

instead of a crappy quality video of a song off of the album playing on the ipod, how about a crappy quality video off of a screen of a bit of the Rattle & Hum film? yeah? cool, here's a bit of Bad.

the nine original songs on the album probably wouldn't have stood up ever so well as an album on their own, and it was wise to bung in all the live covers and live classics off of the Joshua Tree tour. this is particularly the case as one of the songs features Edge singing. oh.

i am somewhat curious if Bono ever got the batteries i sent him. he never wrote back, i know that much.  well, if he got them and they were of some use, that's just splendid.

tomorrow's vibes? weirdly, another friend out of the blue has forwarded me some vibes, and vibes of their own creation. should i be able to convert the .wav files of it into a format that Apple consider satisfactory and agreeable, i will be giving them a listen, then something else. so let me head off and try to convert.

thanks for reading, and i am indeed very much open to suggestions for other vibes to play, very much like the funky white boy that i imagine i am. actually, let me see if Val Kilmer ever did any music, except for all them Doors songs.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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