It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Devo. In anticipation of their show at the Rialto on Friday night, I though't I'd share my 10 favorite Devo tracks.
10. Space Junk/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
A fragmented and paranoid tale of falling space debris and a particularly unlucky girl named Sally. Skylab fell out of the sky and landed over parts of Western Australia in 1979, a year after this album was released.
9. That's Good/Oh, No! It's Devo
Devo on full-on synthpop mode. An upbeat song about the joys of bland conformity. So upbeat in fact that the "Bad Boys" from San Francisco used it for their dance routine in the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. I don't think they were in on the joke.
8. Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
Probably the best intro of any Devo song. Imagine if the Autobahn was placed smack-dab in the middle of Ohio. People tend to forget that Devo is a damn good guitar band.
7. Come Back Jonee/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
Again, Devo being a great "rock" band is often forgotten. Devo takes the cars 'n' girls songs of rock and roll's past to its next logical step. What happens when you're having too much fun and you're driving a little too fast? Come back, indeed.
6. Red Eye Express/Duty Now for the Future
If I had to pick a favorite Devo album, it would have to be Duty Now for the Future. Their second album, this is when they struck the perfect balance between the guitar and synthesizer. Red Eye Express is the album's closer and includes some of my favorite off-the-the-wall lyrics. "Something's flattened my cola/something's wrong with my brew/something's rotten in Idaho/and I don't know what to do."
5. Booji Boy's Funeral/Hardcore Devo Volume 2
R.I.P. young man. Taken from the incomparable Hardcore Devo Volume 2, the second installation of Devo's raw and humble beginnings.
4. Mongoloid/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
The tale of a man who had one chromosome too many. He wore a hat, he had a job and he brought home the bacon, so no one knew. Years before David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Devo peels away the layers of suburban blandess and finds mutants running amok. The music is ominous, spooky and robotic, and like "Gut Feeling" it also has a stellar intro.
3. I Desire/Oh, No! It's Devo
In a career full of subversiveness and pulling media-savvy pranks, this might be the crown jewel in the Energy Dome. Lyrics are credited to "Casale/Hinckley/Mothersbaugh". Who's Hinckley? None other than John Hinkcley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster, living out some sort of sick Taxi Driver fantasy. Some of the lyrics are taken from the love poems Hinckley Jr. wrote to Ms. Foster. How they snuck this past Warner Bros. is beyond me. Does this mean Hinckley Jr. receives royalties?
2. Jocko Homo/Single
The Devo Manifesto. Planet of the Apes meets crazed religious sermons meets Revenge of the Nerds.
1. Beautiful World/New Traditionalists
The moment Devo realized devolution has caught up with modern society and there's no going back. It's a somber, almost melancholy track that's full of spite. "Beautiful people everywhere/they way they show they care/it's a beautiful world/for you/it's not for me."
I really don't know what else I need to put here: People love them some Daft Punk. I'm not sure if it's the music, or the fact that the two dudes wear the kinds of outfits that make San Diego Comic Con cosplayers look like low-budget Halloween costumes, but Daft Punk causes some severe reactions in music fans.
Anyway, if you want to listen to some sweet, sweet Daft Punk-ing, check out iTunes.
"I Appear Missing" is the first release off of Queens of the Stone Age's forthcoming release Like Clockwork, set to be released June 6 — and I'm pumped, if only because Dave Grohl returned to lay down the drums for this album, which is cool in its own right. Bigger to me, though, is that I'm of the opinion that everything Grohl and QOTSA frontman Josh Homme collaborate on (QOTSA album Songs for the Deaf, Them Crooked Vultures, "Centipede" off of the Sound City soundtrack) turns into gold.
Interestingly enough, this is a truncated version of the full song, as the video features about half of the six-minute-long album cut.
Following Jeff Mangum's Rialto show in March, Neutral Milk Hotel has announced that they're bringing the band back together for a reunion tour.
So far, no Tucson dates have been confirmed, though considering how vehement NMH fans are about defending their band's honor, they may want to consider playing here—if only because there appear to be people champing at the bit to see them in person, regardless of how poorly received Mangum's show was by Weekly writer Joshua Levine—or how poorly received his review was. A taste of that review [emphasis added]:
The recent announcement of Neutral Milk Hotel's upcoming fall reunion tour revealed Jeff Mangum to be a crass businessman, expanding his profit margin by selling out his fans. If he were Britney Spears doing a comeback tour, the scenario would be perfectly logical. But Mangum is not a pop singer; he is an artiste whose music changed and shaped many lives under the guise of honesty and integrity. He desecrated his own parables by turning his work into a 45-minute advertisement for his upcoming Neutral Milk Hotel tour. If he needed the money, he could have licensed his songs for Target or Volkswagen commercials. But he didn't. He disrespectfully pimped out his music to the people to whom it holds untold worth, belittling his audience and reducing them to common johns, impersonally serviced in place of the implicit promise of enlightenment.
That line drew a heated response from a number of people who were all-too-willing to jump down Levine's (and the Weekly's) throat, such as TucsonWeekly.com anonymous commenter george22:
This was the first article I've read in the Weekly in quite some time. I'm glad to say I haven't missed anything. Not only does this article structure its asinine opinion around completely false information, it paints one of the most gifted songwriters of the generation in an absoulutely unnecessarily negative light. God, to let such filth be published in your magazine is inexcusable. I don't even blame the writer; shame on you Tucson Weekly.
Levine was right. You were wrong. Deal with it, haters.
For more information and updates on Neutral Milk Hotel's reunion tour, check http://www.groundcontroltouring.com/artists/neutral-milk-hotel
The completely independent release of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' The Heist was one of the biggest surprises of last year, debuting near the top of the Billboard charts in its first week of release, topping the iTunes charts and recently went Gold — and it's honestly my favorite record of the last year or so, just edging out Murs & Fashawn's This Generation.
The video below, "Can't Hold Us," is the best tune on the album, in my opinion — and it's somehow been stretched into a seven-minute short film that includes skydiving, a pirate ship, a man getting a haircut on the beach, a huge party or two, and a giant damn flag that was actually flown atop Seattle's Space Needle.
It's kinda cool. Give it a look.
With Country Thunder 2013 wrapping up a mere few days ago, tickets have already gone on sale on Tuesday for next year's Country Thunder for $99.
Filled with cowboy boots, flannel shirts and a hefty supply of beer, Country Thunder 2014 is set in Florence, Ariz. from April 10 to 13.
I understand buying tickets far in advance when you know it is a concert you really want to attend, but the lineup isn't even up yet. I guess the country loving two-steppers have faith that their favorite musicians will be in attendance next year — or that they're counting on having the same good ol' time that they did at this year's edition.
The price of the four-day general admission pass that is now on sale will only continue to go up as the year goes on and the event gets closer. By Nov. 14, the pass will cost $120; at the gate, it will be up to $220.
This year's event reached its maximum capacity this year for the first time ever in its 20 year existence. There were 25,000 people and 5,100 occupied campsites, making the event a sellout.
For more information on Country Thunder 2014, including tickets and camping information, click here.
You can now pre-order the 12 song new CD, titled "Forever Halloween," to be released on June 4 on the 8123 website for $9.99. You can also order a CD bundle that includes a ticket to a show on the tour for $17.99, which is limited to 25 tickets per show.
Stream the band's new song, "Happy," on YouTube below. It is now available for purchase on iTunes.
Jimmy Eat World, the rock band from Mesa that formed in 1993, released a new single last week titled "I Will Steal You Back."
The song is off their seventh studio album, "Damage," which comes out June 11.
So excited to announce our new signing @jimmyeatworld will release their 7th album #Damage on 6/11! Details here — bit.ly/XYd1XE
— RCA Records (@RCARecords) April 3, 2013
Along with their new song and album, the band has also announced a "Home-State" tour throughout Arizona, beginning on May 3.