Do you like "Exile On Main Street"?
Sure, "Tumbling Dice" was the single. A disappointing one at that. Indecipherable. But the double album was WORSE! It was like you were listening through steel wool earmuffs. One play through and you went HUH?
But, if you were going to see the Stones, the first victory lap, most people weren’t clued in in ’69, you had to buy and digest the album. And staying up all night listening on headphones in preparation for the gig, "Exile On Main Street" revealed itself to me. Starting with "Soul Survivor", then "Let It Loose" and "Casino Boogie". This was when Bill was still in the band, before the cheerful but better with Rod Stewart Ronnie Wood replaced the exquisite Mick Taylor. Back when the drugs were just as important as the money. Listening was entering a room completely unlike today’s hipster joints populated by airheads like Paris and Britney. This wasn’t back stage, this was OFF THE BEATEN PATH! A den of drugs and destruction. THIS was the rock and roll lifestyle. Purveyed not only by the Stones but Zeppelin, Sabbath and a million other rock bands. They didn’t give a shit about TV, they weren’t preening for magazines, they were giving the world the MIDDLE FINGER! And we LOVED them for it!
That ersatz band of aging Britons, that’s not the Stones. Somebody else is the Stones now. Someone who’s in it for the music first and foremost, someone who believes that one note can save us all.
If I was lucky, I could live in my car. Because the stereo there is the best one I own. Purely state of the art. And I’m driving to Brentwood the other day, listening to XM’s X Country, and this song I’m just about to turn off hooks me. It’s Mary Gauthier’s "Camelot Motel". And then, just by the country club a guitar explodes out of the speakers. A la "Exile On Main Street". You know when the Marshalls are finally fired up and the guitarist strums and the whole space fills with sound. And then the drummer is banging so hard it sounds like the report of a gun and a girl sounding like she’s had too many whiskeys starts to slur over the track, just like Mick. This is Buddy & Julie Miller.
I saw them on the Down From The Mountain tour. But that was safe. This ain’t safe. This is DANGEROUS! Remember when rock was dangerous? BEFORE BON JOVI?
It’s not about image. It’s what comes out of the speakers. And "You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast" is pure rock and roll.
But you’ll never hear it.
You don’t subscribe to XM. Satellite radio is a rip-off, right? Who gives a fuck about Howard Stern? It’s the same cats who ruined terrestrial. But it’s not. But the marketing message was so fucked up that the companies are gonna have to merge to survive, as a meager alternative to their terrestrial brethren.
And Buddy & Julie are players, not businessmen. For some fucked up reason, they believe they’ve got to charge for each and every copy of their tunes. That’s how you make it, right? By selling your music!
But you can’t sell it if no one’s got a fucking clue who you are!
It’s not like they’re household names. It’s not like they’re gonna get Top Forty airplay. "Vanity Fair" ain’t about to feature them in a fashion spread. And a photo doesn’t capture the essence ANYWAY!
"You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast" is over half a decade old. And I hadn’t heard it. Satellite radio got me there. Satellite radio got me into country. I wouldn’t even CATEGORIZE "You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast" as country. But that’s where you’ll find it. IF YOU’RE AN XM SUBSCRIBER!
But you’re not. Statistics tell us that. So you read this and you want to hear the track. But you can’t. It’s not on MySpace. It’s not anywhere on the Web. And if you pay first, YOU’RE A FUCKING IDIOT! I bet in excess of fifty percent of my audience will shrug their shoulders upon hearing "You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast". But those who like it will be ENRAPTURED!
We need to lower the threshold of exposure. We’ve got to lower the price of admission. EVERYBODY SHOULD BE ABLE TO HEAR EVERY TRACK! They should pay for this privilege, BUT VERY LITTLE! To encourage them to sample and listen MORE!
And it’s not like "You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast" is easy to find P2P. Took me two days. You see P2P doesn’t hurt small artists, THEY WISH THEY WERE BEING TRADED!
There is great music out there. You just can’t hear it. And this is exactly how the major labels and their associated publishing companies want it. They want to preserve the old CD model, even if it’s now called iTunes and they’re only selling individual tracks as opposed to albums. They don’t want to let the indies in. They want it to be the same as it ever was. But even the cat who sang about that hasn’t impacted the culture much since. Then again, who’s even HEARD David Byrne’s recent material?
Buddy Miller wrings something exciting, something SENSUAL from his axe. I’m now a fan. I won’t miss him and his wife the next time they come through L.A. Isn’t this the way we want it to be? Don’t we want to make fans of MUSIC? Who want EVERY track and the t-shirt? Who wouldn’t DREAM of missing the gig?