by John M. Ellison IV
In this era of “controversy creates cash” and in the era of video channels becoming almost irrelevant, it’s kind of a dumb idea to ban a fairly tame video but suggestive video that’s marketed to a demographic of over reactive, suppressed people. I mean, to be honest, this might have been a big deal 10 years ago. I mean, 10 years ago, broadband technology was still limited and quite slow in comparison to todays standards. But, now with the advents of Broadband technology and video sharing sites and internet V networks, such as Youtube, VladTV, Worldstarhiphop and many others. The whole idea of BET banning a relatively tame video shows how antiquated their S&P department is.
On the other hand, I shouldn’t be surprised that BET wouldn’t show this, I mean this is the network that airs a bowdlerized “In Living Color” in fear of offending people.
Ironically, In Living Color was aired on Fox which has to adhere to standards and practices and FCC regulations and they got away with more questionable sketches than BET. BET doesn’t have to adhere to any FCC regulations because it’s on cable. So, it doesn’t make any sense that BET would air an edited version of am over the air network show. To me it’s kind of like wiping before you shit, or in other words, pointless.
The Immortal Lee County Killers
The Black Keys
The White Stripes
A quick primer on the fusion of Rockabilly and Punk Rock, Psychobilly.
Reverend Horton Heat
I was skimming through Rolling Stone earlier and I found this article by Steve Knopper on how Universal and Amazon are slashing prices on albums and can this move save the record industry. He made an interesting argument on how albums by bands such as Vampire Weekend, Them Crooked Vultures are going for 3.99 and 2.99 respectively. When it comes to it; this decision could help a lot. I’ve had this theory for awhile.
“Okay, how can selling albums at a cheaper price save an almost bankrupt industry?” Let me give you an example, I kind of have a weight problem. So, I try to use low calorie alternatives for some snack cravings. In my case, if something is lower in calories I’ll use that as justification to eat more of said snacks because I feel that I have a license to eat more of it.
Now, you’re probably thinking “what does your penchant for low-cal junk food alternatives have to do with record buying?” Well, actually everything… here’s the point I’m trying to make.
If you have an album that’s 2.99 and 3.99 to 7.99, it’s more affordable to a short of money audience that will buy more of it whereas a 12.99 album would sell fewer copies to a cash strapped audience. In the words of Frank Zappa, “If We can’t be free, we can at least be cheap.”
As a part of Afro-Punk and UrbAlt, I’ve been acquainted with Earl Greyhound. I’ve listened to their music only in passing, but I’ve been given the opportunity to listen to Earl Greyhound’s new album Suspicious Package. For those who aren’t familiar with Earl Greyhound, Earl Greyhound was originally started by songwriters Matt Whyte and Kamara Thomas in the spring of 2002 in New York City. The pair began performing regularly as a duo on piano and guitar on the East and West coast. They crafted their sound that would become the essence of Earl Greyhound. Later on, they expanded the act into a far louder guitar based trio with drummer Ricc Sheridan. Now the line up focused on Matt on lead vocals and guitar and Kamara on Bass and backing vocals. Their sound started to change and was reminiscent of English rock bands such as Queen, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin to even T.Rex. The trio’s live performances showed a versatility of the band being able to pull off melodic touching soul to an explosion of Zeppelin styled Hard Rock.
I’m not going to bore you with more back story. Let’s get to this album!
Suspicious Package is a very progressive rock sounding album that swings like a pendulum from the more advanced sounds of jazz fusion to more balls to the wall rockers. I’m going to focus on the three tracks that I really enjoyed.
The opening track Eyes of Cassandra is a mellow track that starts with some Fender Rhodes noodling then builds into a Latin disco sound. But, the second track, “Eyes of Cassandra pt. 2” builds from the mellow ambience of the opening track…like a thunderstorm off in the distance.
Oye Vaya is a guitar driven rocker that you can either head bang to or isolate the break to dance to. Really, thinking about it, Oye Vaya is kind of reminiscent of “The Mars Volta.”
“Ghost and the Witness” is another great example of Matt Whyte’s guitar playing. It’s a great mix of hook-y riffage and a solo has some actual “soul” to it.
“Suspicious Package” is a good album for someone looking for some more blues and soul driven rock music. I would recommend this album for anyone trying to transfer from neo-soul to something heavier or just anyone that misses that Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin type of Hard Rock.
The only criticism that I have with “Suspicious Package” is that the rawness of the band doesn’t match with the hi-fi recording techniques. Personally, more lo-fi recording techniques would’ve complimented the album.
“Suspicious Package”is available now at http://www.earlgreyhound.com/looklisten/ .
My condolences to the Steele family and Type O Negative fans