The Daily Stone Cold Jam

A Stone Cold Jam is a song of violent eye-socket imploding brilliance. It is likely to be a loud song, fairly mindless, with lots of grunting. Fountains of Wayne? Not so much. AC/DC? Wire? Boredoms? Fela Kuti? Well, yes. These bands can rock THE STONE COLD JAM. This is my diary of Stone Cold Jams I have known.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Stone Cold Jam #11: Track #1 (Vision Creation Newsun) (The Boredoms)

The Band: The Boredoms

The Album: Vision Creation Newsun (2001)

Yer pretty slick, ain't you chief? Riding around with your ironical haircut, referencing New Order lyrics in your Powerpoint slides. I say stop. Because the Japanese have us beat. Don't believe me? Vidi this.

While we are saying "no" to each other and skulking around like deacons, our friends the JAPANESE are birthing a brave new epoch. The Japanese don't care! They just make up weird stuff all day long! What have we done? What happened to all our weirdos? WHERE'S OUR GUMPTION, PEOPLE?

Even their JAM bands rock with their tits out much, much more than our most mongoloid Grindcore bands. Case in point: the Boredoms.

Of course, they aren't a jam band, which is yet another heinous island of poopoo that the Japanese have had the wisdom to navigate past. They are noise punk band that evolved into a full fledge cult of THE ROCK, dedicated to achieving harmonic convergence through heavily flanged guitars. Mainly because the alternative, prayer, is boring and gay.

Track #1 from Vision Creation Newsun (the tracks are untitled) is what you listen to before any thorny task. It vibrates your flaccid mind into full gleaming steel. It's joyous, but scary Apollonian joy, the kind where you enter a trance and rip a goat appart with your bare hands, then come down to mundane domains of conscience only to find yourself standing in line at Safeway with a tub of Redvines at 2:00 am, covered in goat offal. So, if your uncomfortable with Altered States-like evolutionary transformation, stick with your Mudvayne, dick.

Feh! Feh to it all! I'm going back to ironing my khakis. I have a presentation in the morning.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stone Cold Jam #10: The Animal Speaks (The Numbers Band)

The Band: The Numbers Band

The Album: Jimmy Bell is back in town (1976)

Chrisse Hynde's older brother Terry Hynde played sax in an Akron bar band called "15 60 75" or simply, The Numbers Band.

This was a weird time in American music, a good time actually. No one really knew what punk was. So there were all these band that popped that sounded like they had attempted to reverse engineer punk from a few photographs and smuggled magazines. It usually failed, but sometimes great weirdness happened when a big theatrical band, like the Tubes, or J.Geils, got the wild hair.

The Numbers Band is one of those bands. They were a really tight bar band, with R'n'B licks played by white men from Ohio on trucker pills, with lyrics by Tom Verlaine-ish lyrics. Nice!

Tell me this doesn't read like a Television song:

Out across these night skylights,
Down to the doorway, wide eyed blues alive
Loveless, obsessed, immersed in the lewd perfume
Feel... is some woman in the room?
Maybe somewhere in the room

Scene, watching where you feel the way you walk that down
Knowing about turning heads
But, pretending not to know what it's all about.

But it's about how you move me,
And how I'd like to make you feel,
(But in your mind charades)

Know what I am, know what I am
Alone, afraid, and living as fast as I can
And no one will save me if cannot save myself
It's in my mind sometimes at night
And I wait, for daylight, for you

Eye to eye, the feeling rushes inside
My eyes go wide then look away,
They already feel whats left to say
Is straight to you

Does the desperation show?
Up in my mind sometimes at night
when I wait for the daylight
But nothing is said.
My mind is wound to0 tight
Strangers been talking, pretending to know me.
Do you believe every lie they say?

Like I think all these women really want me
And all these people, they're running around
Ripping it up and tearing it down.

It's all about how you move me
And how I'd like to make you feel
It's in my mind sometimes at night, while I wait for daylight
And I'm waiting eye to eye.

Gets you right in the keeshkies, doesn't it? Remember The Numbers Band. Good music for speed freak white people from Ohio who like their horns clean.

Stone Cold Jam? Achieved.

Stone Cold Jam #9: Precious (Pretenders)

The Band: Pretenders

The Album: The Pretenders (1980)

History tells us that T.S. Eliot was a poseur and a twat. He fled Missouri to live in London, where he became an Englishman, one about as believable as Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. His English friends were creeped out entirely by his abuse of bowlers and kippers. What an asshole.

What is this worship of all things English? PBS would run an snuff film if it were English. My niece spent three months in London and came back with the shittiest Maggie Smith accent and a guy I went to high school with lived there for two years and picked up the habit of appending the word "then" to every question. I guess that's better than "innit".

I'm worse, though. I try to pass as Manitoban.

Chrissie Hynde fled the Midwest(Akron) to become a music journalist in London, which is only slightly better than being a poet. Slightly. Fortunately for the canon of Stone Cold Jams, She maybe a poseur, but who cares, cause she doesn't sing songs about the decline of the West or emotionally constipated assholes like J. Alfred Prufrock. Nope, Chrissie sings about people from Cleveland wearing leather and having sex. London and Cleveland. The product of that dialectical mindfuck is the Pretenders.

"Precious" is the template by which all songs about leather-wearing Ohioans forming the two backed beast MUST be judged. It is Chrissie castignating her whimp-a-thing hometown being home to a bunch of J.Alfred Prufrock jag-offs. Then she tells Akron to fuck off, en masse. She literally barks a neat subdued scary bar slut "fuck off" right at the end of the song, and that is when you fall desperately in love with her (I am not assuming you are male or a lesbian. We all fall in love with Chrissie. It aint no thing. It is a genetic stamp of humanity.)

To be honest chosing "Precious" was completely arbitrary. The whole album is a tight as a diamond. James Honeyman Scott riffs like a tommy gun, without flash or wankery, on every goddamn song. If you don't own the album, you might be an asshole. Chances are pretty good you are. So, buy it. You can't afford not to.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Stone Cold Jam #8: A Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC)

The Band: AC/DC

The Album: Let There Be Rock (1977)

In the 1970s, Australia was a blessed nation. And it was for no other reason than they sidestepped the Summer of Love completely, and went to straight from Ozzie and Harriet to Altamont, the bootleg-horse-tranquilizers-and-zip-gun-duels-over-kilo-bags-of-stems-and-seeds-
up-against-the-wall-motherfucka-hippy appeared sui generis from the red clay, without the leavening of love beads and Nehru jackets. Fucking right on!

There was also in the 1970s a brief window when everybody at a rock show – performers, the audience, the management, the security – dressed like roadies. Everybody looked like roadies. And everybody had sex like roadies.

And this Stone Cold Jam is a celebration of dirty roadie sex, only the roadie is actually the weasel faced dead lead singer of AC/DC, Bonn Scott. (He of the Voice, the Voice of a man whose daytime occupation is fapping to the lingere section of an old Sears catalogues, while his nights are given over to the loving arms of a couple bottles of Robistussen.)

Dirty Roadie Sex is about availability, with quantity and quality being the same thing. Everybody had roadie sex. Jenna Jameson speculum acrobatics would just lead to giggling and Tantric Sting sex was the province of poofters and eggheads. No, roadie sex is doing what comes naturally. If you have to think about it, it ain’t worth doing. Sure there is a certain enthusiasm for baroque improvisation (introducing mud sharks into the festivities for example) but that the fries that come with the shake, so to speak.

Everybody got in the act, gimps, lepers, tardos. It didn’t matter. Beauty was what you offered, not what you looked like. Rosie herself is an uproariously upholstered gal, “42-39-56/You could say she got a lot.”Aye, you could say that, Bonn. And you can be sure those are imperial measurements, chappie. Fiona Apple, get thee behind me! And eat sammich for once!

Before I start sounding like Camille Paglia, let’s get down on the song, because this is why I called you all here this late, stormy night. Bonn Scott is of course in full priapiatic glory, roaring his devotion to the Venus of Walungurru. Meanwhile, Angus must have absorbed a lot of Phillip Glass, ‘cause he goes for a strident dirt bag minimalism. The entire song is one goddamn fierce call and response riff at a machine like groin thrusting cadence, perfect for a love song of sensitivity like this one.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Stone Cold Jam #7: The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath/Ronnie James Dio)

The Band: Black Sabbath w/Ronnie James Dio

The Album: The Mob Rules (1981)

I AM RONNIE JAMES DIO. I am a sawed-off guinea runt from New Hampshire with poodle hair and one buttock, and by rights I should installing car stereos in Perth Amboy.

But through some strange calculus, I have been made lead singer of Black bloody Sabbath. I have Geezer Butler and the mighty Tony Iommi at my call. I also somehow ended up with Carmen Appice from Vanilla Fudge's BROTHER on drums, but hey, you can't have everything.

I was Ritchie Blackmore's bitch in Rainbow, and I will be subjecting the world to middling synthesizer Dungeons and Dragons metal by mid-decade, so this is my Lawnmower Man moment. I AM GOD HERE. And for the next three minutes and fourteen seconds I am going to claw at the sunlight and gulp the sweet air like an escaped Man in an Iron Mask.

So sit back and share this fleeting moment when I totally give myself over to my moment of shrieking like Shiva over Iommi's detuned Panzer assault.

Be there when I claw my way to the top of the douchebag pyramid and catch a glimpse of the Sun.

Please like me.

(Seriously, this is about as good as early 80s metal gets. It is A STONE COLD JAM.)

Stone Cold Jam #6: Tokoloshe Man (John Kongos)

The Artist: John Kongos

The Album: Tokoloshe Man (1971)

Pay attention and you may learn something.

John Kongos was/is a white South African dude, who put some pretty good tracks in the early Seventies, kind of in a Thunder Clap Newman or Bad Fingerish sort of vibe. He never really made a dent in the US, although the Happy Mondays made the college charts in the early 90s covering Kongos' tune "He's Gonna Step On You Again" (their version was called "Step On" and they added the essential lines:"He's twisting my melon, man, cause he talks so hip man. Call the CCCCCCops!") In the UK, he made the Top of the Pops. (But really, doesn't everyone?)

The Mondays also covered this Stone Cold Jam for a Electra covers compilation called "The Rubiyat"

Now, about Tokoloshes. The Tokoloshe is a sort of wee zombie dwarf that has, according to my sources, one buttock. Could it be that Ronnie James Dio appeared to the Xhosa people sometime in early history?

Kongos' Tokoloshe appears in the middle of some kind crazy all out bell ringing hootenany with strings, and tribal drums, and stratocasters all going off at once, like Bollywood to the nth.

So, picture youself caught up in this crazy carnival weirdness at some rave out on the Veldt, when all of sudden this hairy wee brown dude with one buttock appear before you. I'm guessing he has bucked fangs and a mono-brow. *Poof* He's there, staring at you, and you look around at all the ritually crazed dancers, and no one else seems to notice him. He points a chicken bone at you and suddenly you are locked in place, staring into his milky, Ray Charles eyes.

The Tokoloshe merely assures you that "Tonight is the night is the night", and although it sounds like it wouldn't be assuring, it is. He then defiantly flexes his one buttock and wanders off unnoticed by the raving mass of humanity. Later you get laid. So he was right, tonight WAS the night. Right on, Tokolshe Man. Thanks for getting me laid.

Stone Cold Jam #5: Gris-Gris Gumbo Yaya (Dr. John)

The Artist: Dr. John

The Album: Gris-gris (1968)

The New York sewer is the home to the GIANT ALBINO ALLIGATOR, a moonlight pale monstro that competes with the C.H.U.D.s for the choicest pieces of offal that tumble down like manna from the constant flushing of the Five Boroughs. A good day might shake out a couple of dozen fingers, detached accidently or not, along with gerbils, parakeets and the more protein rich HUMAN EFFLUVIA.

In napoleonic sewers of New Orleans, there are no alligators. There is, however, Le Grand Zombie himself, Dr. John the Gris-gris Man, riding around in a jewel encrusted Gondola, looking like a goddamn zombie dope peddlar in three inch cuban heels.

This song is Dr. John's CV. It busts a funky mandolin and moves at the speed of a summertime sewer. It is slow, and it gives you the junkie fear. Goddamn, this is a good song. It is a STONE COLD JAM.

Stone Cold Jam #4: Lux Aeterna (Gyorgi Lygeti)

The Band (or composer in this case): Gyorgi Lygeti

The Album: "2001: A Space Odyssey" OST (1970)

So you really think you are a whole lot of something, what with your camera watches and your High Def pants. You're out there, making PowerPoints, using "vis-a-vis" incorrectly. Well, it's time to knock that shit off, sunshine and blow some of the cobwebs out yo' thick skull.

Vidi this, my droogies. A song that goes like this:

FOR TWELVE GODDAMN MINUTES. This isn't some half assed goddamn Death Cab for Cutie horseshit. This is Stanley Fucking Kubrick joining forces with Mad Scientist Composer Gyorgi Lygeti, telling you that life is brutal and mysterious and while you're watching Hill Street Blues on Lifetime, Monoliths and Star Babies are deciding the fate of fucking everything and reality will bend your bones with its sublime weirdness.

You asshole.

And upon listening to this, there are only two sane possible responses, which are:

A) You realise that nothing means anything, and you find yourself feeling a Derrida-ish sense of release from culture, morality, ethics, anything. You take all your clothes off and go shoplifting.

B) The tiny hairs on the nape of your neck spring out like planks, and you start running around in circles, screaming "Woo-woo! Woo-woo!" like Daffy Duck. You realise we are merely gerbil pellets to the Great and Horrid Cthulhu. You take all your clothes off and go shoplifting.

So I'll see you at the 7-11. I'll be the nude one over by the panty hose.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Stone Cold Jam #3: 54-46 That's My Number (Toots and The Maytals)

The Band: Toots and the Maytals

The Album: 54-46 Was My Number: Anthology, 1964-2000

Is Toots a Maytal? Do the Maytals do their own thing? Toots calls up a Maytal: "Hey, heard you're having people tonight. Why didn't you call I and I?"

To which the Maytal responds: "Dude. It's a Maytals thing, man. We're attending to business. Maytals business, dig?"

So Toots spends a night alone in his room, listening to the carrying on of the Maytals across the compound. Maybe the Wailers are there. And the I-Threes. He tries reading "Valley of the Dolls", but ends up just watching the group scene outside by the swimming pool from in between the louvres of the jalousie window in his bathroom. He goes into the kitchen and finds an old sugar bowl. He puts on a clean shirt, grabs the sugar bowl and heads across the Toots (northside of the pool) and the Maytals (southside of the pool) compound.

He approaches Nathaniel "Jerry" Mathias, background singer and least rigidly doctrinaire of the Maytals.

Toots: "Hey Jerry. Sport me some sugar, would you? I'm making some snickerdoodles."

Mathias: "Toots, man. I would but, uh, we're kind of in the middle of a party, yo."

Toots: "Oh gosh. I, uh, guess I could go to the store later." His eyes brighten...
"Hey, did I tell you I got an NHL table hockey game? You want to come back to my bungalow and play? It's got Gordy Howe!"

Mathias: "Hey, man. Maybe tomorrow, Toots. You know, I've got all this, uh, Maytals stuff to do."

Toots: "Yeah. Whatever."

Toots goes back to his bungalow, fighting back tears. He slams the door behind him.

"I know, I'll start a NEW band, a new band called Toots and the Toots! Ahhhh, that's stupid!" He throws himself on his bed and cries into his pillow.

"54-46 That's My Number" was written soon after Toots had a stint in the pokey. But that's not why it's a Stone Cold Jam. No. Pokies inspired few Stone Cold Jams, unless you are Johnny Cash or Toots and the Maytals. (Johnny used to spend his Christmas holidays in Jamaica. So he is almost a Maytal). Of course, the subject of AVOIDING prison has produced some Stone Cold Jams -- "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross anyone? I think Toots and the Maytals manage to turn this prison tune into one COLD COLD FUNKY STONE COLD JAM by sounding so goddamn happy in spite of themselves.

The lyrics make it clear that the Jamaican pokey is no place to be if you are a sensitive type. Lots of regimentation and yelling. And rape. Lots and lots of tropical rape.

But Toots is all smiles and bouncy rock steadiness and soul shouting vocals. I guess he's happy to be out.

And that's a Stone Cold Jam.

Stone Cold Jam #2: Brighton Rock (Queen)

The Band: Queen

The Album: Sheer Heart Attack (1974)

This is what I know about Brian May:

1. Looks like Howard Stern
2. Actually holds a fucking honors degree in Physics. Fucking HONORS.
3. Built the guitar he plays, which may or may not be called Red Sonya, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Red Army Chorus or something else with RED in it. But red is the important thing, the name definately has "red" in it. Red's Java Hut? Simply Red? The Big Red One?

The reason I say this is that I get the sense that May might have been stoned on at least a couple of the overdubbed guitar parts on this song, of which there are six billion (This song is overdubbed like Dolly Parton has lower back pain), and I don't know for a fact that Brian May was stoned. Last thing I want is Brian May tapping his vaste fortune to have me killed in some cruel and vile way.

But still, was he stoned?

The reason I asked is there is a certain obsessive quality to the army of guitar solos in this song. Like "Holy shit, I am some kind of goddamned high and it feels so goddamn good to appergio on this red guitar that I built with my highly trained scientific hands, that I will continue appergio-ing until I am done, at which point I will merely start all over again, after I take another bongload. I will then layer these appergios until it sounds like the fluttering of a butterfly the size of RODAN." And of course, his playing is great. Brian May does not play in The Replacements.

So, stoned, he appergios for weeks: bidda, bidda. He shows up at rehearsal: "Here, Roger, put some drum tracks under this." Roger plays some crazy fills. Freddy sings some crap in falsetto and a STONE COLD JAM IS BORN.

Fan/consumer annoyance point with the album "Sheer Heart Attack": the song "Sheer Heart Attack" is not actually on this album. It's on "News of the World". What the hell?

Stone Cold Jam #1: Hallogallo (Neu!)

The Band: Neu!

Album: Neu!(1971)

But is it a Stone Cold Jam?: Yes! And this is despite the song is ONLY ONE GODDAMN CHORD FOR TEN MINUTES over a obsessive 4/4 pulse. But this chord, this chord is special. This chord is fwacka-fwacka-fwacka'd up and down like taffy. And not the cheap shitty grocery store taffy, but the good kind you buy from little shrunken apple Port-o-gee men down at the Shore. Only you're not an apple-cheeked New England tyke in Madras boardshorts, you are a haggard German speed freak in a beige linen suit, with pale blue saucer eyes and a TottenKopf bone structure.

Anyway, this is a funky Stone Cold Jam, with the emphasis on Cold. Cold as chrome. Cold as the Bavarian wind rushing in to the crumpled frame of the old Citreon you just abandoned wrapped around a birch, but you are so spun you've decided to walk to Dusseldorf, which is 35 KM away. That doesn't matter though, because Hallogallo is karoming through your frying skull, giving you the counterpoint to face down the asphalt until you reach the outer city ring.