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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

December 09, 2005

Car noise this week

You need this definition of the word "widdle" to follow the rest of this post...

widdle: (noun) that style of guitar playing made popular by poodle-haired spandex-gusseted 80s rock bands, whereby proponents spend the first 14 years of their lives dark-holed in their bedrooms learning how to play guitar so fast that it lacks any melody or tune, and becomes a blurry "woodle-woodle-woodle" sort of sound interspersed with the occasional prolonged farting or screaming sound.

Kinks - You really got me (hits compilation) - I never got into the kinks. Back in the 70s and 80s they seemed old fashioned. I didn't even catch on in the wake of Britpop: I just thought "yeah yeah yeah". This is excellent now though. Too many great songs.

Hellecasters - Essential Listening vol.1 - Guitar music. But not widdle. Just people who can play guitars really well. Not that boring either. Still, unescapably geeky.

Bill Frisell - Have a little faith - somewhere between modern jazz, modern classical composition and muzak. Some very chorusy, watery, takes on Madonna and Dylan that wouldn't be amiss in the local Co-op while all the zombies are shuffling around. Otherwise quite chromatic sounding (i.e. out-of-tune) and thusly hard work on the ear and mind for the likes of us musical mortals.

John 5 - Songs for Sanity - John 5 played in Marilyn Manson's band until recently. He's regarded as a very versatile musician, but this is modern widdle if you ask me. Not that I've got anything against John 5 - I really like some of his earlier stuff, which reminds me of Scooby Doo for some reason. This has probably the fastest guitar playing I've ever heard on it, but so what? **

Dokken - Back for the attack - 80s poodles and spandex. I never dug the whole 80s rock thing. There is something deeply offensive to my sensibility about hairy legs, a pork sausage, and some fluffy pickled onions bound up in a pair of tights, even on a lady. I was listening to this CD, just thinking. Slick production, note-perfect, some undeniably gymnastic musicianship. And you have to wonder how something can be so clever and technically jaw-dropping, but still sound thoroughly average? How does that happen? Years of practise?

Greg Koch - Radio free gristle - I'd never heard any music by Greg Koch before. This is geek music again. Greg Koch is, I think, a fat middle-aged guitar player. My sorta thing. This CD has some of the best guitaring I've ever heard. It's the sort of thing that, as a guitar player, knocks you back a peg or two. Genuine virtuosity without constantly resorting to "smoke and mirrors". He introduces each song too, and his comments are actually quite funny: on one he talks about "a time before children manipulated their parents as comprehensively as castanets". Well, I thought it was funny.

I'll be giving this one another spin.

** a tip for the Cogniscenti: John 5 is starting to smell like Buckethead spirit.


  • I never get tired of Bill F,'s cover of "Live to Tell." I used to play it for people all the time and simply say, "It's a pop song cover without lyrics. Can you guess it?" Only one person ever did.

    The man's got an eclectic repertoire of covers to be sure.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 10:47 am  

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