Tweet Tracks

Now I know why I love satellite radio and hate Pandora and Last.FM.

You can’t trust the public.

I just tweeted, asking people to tell me about an INCREDIBLE track, something as good as Gnarls Barkley’s "Crazy". And what came back wasn’t shite, but stuff so far off the radar screen that it could never become mainstream.

You want a heads-up?  Dive into people’s hard drives.  Because people are listening to a vast cornucopia of stuff. Freed from the constraints of radio and MTV, they’ve found what appeals to them.  And what appeals to them won’t appeal to you, no matter how much they try to convince you their stuff is great.

Kind of like TV On The Radio.  I was told about a track that wouldn’t close a parched man in the desert, even if he was guaranteed a glass of water if he made it all the way through.

On one hand I love this era.  All the gatekeepers, all the holier-than-thou arbiters, their opinion means NOTHING!  I’m not saying YOU can’t like TV On The Radio, just that most people don’t, most people want something closer to reality. Like Shinedown.

Just got a call from Lyor Cohen.  He reminded me of this track he played me at the Beverly Hills Hotel a year ago. One I made him turn off because the sound system was so shitty.  I dialed up Shinedown’s "Second Chance" on YouTube, even though Warner’s banned their videos from the service.  And instantly I got it.  This is akin to Nickelback.  Slick, professional, with hooks large enough to catch every fish in the ocean.  I knew INSTANTLY why it was a hit.

And I’m sure all those people tweeting me are going to hate it.  They hate what it STANDS for!  It’s too mainstream, sans the edges that insure that not everybody can like it.

Fifteen years ago, the album containing "Second Chance" would have gone multi-platinum, the label could probably break another single and get it to FIVE TIMES PLATINUM!  But now the hipsters can listen to their own tunes, and Joe Average just doesn’t hear this stuff.

In other words, there’s room for a real Top Forty station.  An outlet that plays the best of the best.  The REVERSE of the balkanization we’ve experienced in the radio world.  People know quality, they can love a great hip-hop track even if they’re a hard rocker, a great pop cut can cut through.  As long as the cuts are truly great.

But there are too many commercials on radio.  The new outlet’s got to be online.  A trusted place where people can go and hear the great new stuff.  A promise MTV delivered on for years, but then abandoned.

Truly, you’d be stunned how far from the mark the tunes the dedicated music fan is tuned into are.  Makes me want to invite them all to the desert, to their vaunted Coachella festival, and have that otherworldly man from the "Twilight Zone" come down with his cookbook, "To Serve Man", and get all these prognosticators to walk the gangplank and DISAPPEAR!

Tell me a band that’s broken from Coachella?

I can’t think of one.  But I’ve got an earful of drivel from the hipsters who attended.

Not that I care, but it’s an interesting paradigm.  The newspapers, they’re losing their power.  All top-down voices are losing their power because it’s more about MAINTAINING power than servicing the public.  Do they really think the average American wants to HEAR THIS SHIT?

Speaking of what you want to hear, I’m gonna list a few cuts you might find interesting.


"I Never Made To Make You Cry"
Peter Klimes

Haunting.  What Americana music should deliver.  Your soul should be touched, you should not be embraced by steel wool guitars that scratch you, but don’t penetrate you.


20 Minute Loop

You’ve got to give this stuff a chance.  Not that big a chance, about thirty seconds.  And then you’ll hear the airy voices, the harmonies…  It’s like Brian Wilson and Todd Rundgren had a baby.  Not quite as talented, but if he worked with his parents, he could probably come up to snuff.

This is early-seventies, and if you remember this era, you’ll hear the promise.

The track that was recommended is #2, "Dr. Vitus Werdegast".  But everything I played contained magic.


"Love, Love, Love"
As Tall As Lions

PLEASE hang in here.  You’ll think you’ve heard this before, it’s plodding and mediocre and then about a minute in, you’ll hear the MOST exquisite chorus.  If only there was a verse that matched it.


"Cable TV"
Fol Chen

You’ll HATE this!  It seems like something an art student cooked up in his bedroom.  The canned percussion, it’s almost offensive.  Then, you suddenly get hooked.  This could have very easily been a hit in the eighties.  (Does sound a bit too reminiscent of "Raspberry Beret" though…)


Joe Bonamassa

If this guy sang better, he’d already be a star.  Still, there’s definitely something here.


I could find each and every cut the tweeters recommended.  Usually on the Web, but I also had Rhapsody, Napster and Spotify as a backup.  Instead of a narrow filter deciding what got to me, I could hear EVERYTHING and decide for myself.

Not that everything sounded so good.  The tracks on sounded positively AWFUL!

Which brings me back to that Shinedown cut…

Listen here:

In the old days, this would be massive and the niches almost nonexistent.  Now mainstream is a niche itself…  The big boys want to bang this stuff forever, everywhere, trying to get everybody to pay attention, but the hipsters want nothing to do with it, and those paying attention just get burned out.  Sure, there is an underlying act, probably been together for years, but it’s just another one hit wonder, grist for the mill.

I AM NOT ENDORSING the tracks above other than the Shinedown cut, I’m just saying the others listed contained SOME magic and were the best of what was tweeted to me…

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