The 80s were terrible for any number of reasons, thank you very much Mr. President. But one of them really sticks out for me. Stephen Malkmus called ‘em “wet wet drums,” and they were a blight – a blight I say – on
(By the way, how awesome is 1) it that Dominic West was rhythm guitarist Kurt Cuddy of hair metalists Steel Dragon in the Marquee Mark starring vehicle Rockstar, 2) The scene in Rockstar where he’s talking to the bass player through the PA in the studio and he’s like, “Can we make it a bit raunchier?” and the bass player says “sounds pretty raunchy in here!” 3) The fact that Dom is now the sexiest Baltimore-dialect spewing cop on either side of the
Dominic West, please be less hot. No, don’t. I am a god of the Photoshop blur.
But the stadiums and arenas weren’t the only venues that suffered at the hands of the wet wet big rock drum. And sometimes big rock drums were actually a handicap that made the story more impressive, like a one-armed tennis player, or a sous chef with no sweat glands. Sonic Youth became the best band ever to have two of the least pleasant musical instruments ever: Kim Gordon’s voice, and Steve Shelley’s snare drum. The Kinks took a dip in the big rock pool on Word of Mouth, their 29th album, of all things, which featured "Do It Again," the best song nobody's ever bothered to care about. Boogie Down Productions’s Scott laRock juggled embarrassingly overblown tom toms on the ones and twos. Big Black cut the problem out at its knees by shooting it so far over the top with Rollie the drum machine that it’s not even funny. Actually, it’s hilarious. I’m convinced Steve Albini’s entire life has been a prank, a bait-and-switch, and that somewhere in there is a decent guy, if he could just drop the mega-elaborate joke upon which he has predicated his very existence.
So here is what would be one of my favorite-of-all-favorite songs (with apologies to Paul Simon’s “
Never For Ever has always been my favorite Kate Bush album. Call it what you will, slight and unassuming, lacking the philosophical and emotive weight of The Dreaming or Hounds of Love. But what it isn’t is ponderous. And I don’t mean pejoratively ponderous (who am I to accuse anything of being ponderous in a bad way). But man, is she good when she’s fresh-faced.
Incredible to think that, just a couple of years later, people were doing this with/to their kits.
Sometimes, no money is good money. I'm obsessed with this guy's fills.