Wednesday, April 06, 2005

G, III

Greg Ginn: Getting Even

Greg Ginn’s ‘Getting Even’ vs. J. Geils Band’s ‘You’re Getting Even While I’m Getting Odd’

I. History

GINN: First solo record after quitting Black Flag.
GEILS: First album after Peter Wolf left the band.

ADVANTAGE: Ginn. Quitting Black Flag was the punkest thing ever. Getting rid of Peter Wolf ensured that Mr. Wolf would spend the next twenty years trying to cadge free drinks off of people at chichi area restaurants and having underage women help him shop for ice cream at the all-nite grocery store.

II. Marketing

GINN: Print ads containing loosely veiled shots at Negativland that featured a gun pointed at the viewer accompanied by the text “You Know Who You Fucking Are.”
GEILS: A video for ‘Concealed Weapons,’ featuring well-endowed young ladies in tight sweaters ‘holding up’ members of the band.

ADVANTAGE: Geils.

III. Sound

GINN: Ministry-ish drum sounds interspersed with far too occasional vintage Flag guitar skronk. Much of the album sounds like the Descendents if they didn’t drink coffee.
GEILS: Shit, I don’t know- finding a copy of ‘Even’ became a quest unto itself several years back when I was telling Brendan about the inanity of ‘Concealed Weapons.’ I found the record for a buck, brought it home, and listened to the single once before filing it away. And this, mind you, coming from a kid who was obsessively all about J. Geils from 1982-5/6, until I discovered Duran Duran.

ADVANTAGE: Push

IV. Misc.

GINN: His record label ripped off such artists as Meat Puppets, Bad Brains, and Sonic Youth. Played allegedly dreadful reunion shows with ex-members of Black Flag, tarnishing the great name of Dale Nixon.
GEILS: Na na na na na na, angel in the centerfold!

WINNER: Geils

God Machine- Scenes From The Second Storey

I have friends that swear by this band. They never did a whole lot for me, but I never really gave them the time or space to grow in.

I tend to think that the God Machine are one of those bands that made people go out and buy guitars- a thorough examination of their methods and sounds reveals that a good quarter to a half of the stuff on ‘Storey’ has been borrowed, stolen, or paid homage to in some way since the album was released in 1993. Moody as hell with vague-ish lyrics that allow the listener to plug in their own situational drama/excess. Both heavy and soft, though not relying too heavily on the loud/soft dichotomy- never very predictable. Plenty of space and time for the songs to unfold and blossom into the occasional distortion-soaked epic.

Go! Team- Thunder, Lightning, Strike

The hipsters are right every now and again. Poppy, cheery, mostly instrumental stuff that sounds like an indie rock version of Vince Guaraldi- well executed and played, as engrossing as you let it be, total cocktail party music.

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