John Grimley en The Oil Slick Review: The Goondas — 'Dog Show' <!--paging_filter--><p>The Goondas wear their garage rock aspirations on their sleeve and deliver one hell of a rocker with their latest album, <em>Dog Show. </em></p> <p>Starting with the title track, which opens with an uptempo drum beat and a guitar lick that sounds like it was written in the Delta, the album keeps building steam. Transitioning directly from its bluesy opening to the hard-charging “Autorotica," singer Brendan Green howls out his best Iggy impression (And it’s a good one) amid grungy but upbeat guitar and some inspired drumming.</p> <p><em>Dog Show</em> is a vicious and lean piece of garage rock, keeping everything under four minutes and never straying from the band's barebones sonic attack. Songs like “Be Gone” recall the straightforward frustrated aggression of bands like the Oblivians, while bluesier efforts — like the smoldering, depressed “Let It Rain” — feel lifted from a dive bar in Louisiana.</p> <p>The band sounds like a dog straining at the end of a leash, tight and barely contained at the same time. The guitars threaten to lose themselves in waves of fuzz but always manage to rein it in just at the brink. That same recklessness is felt in every word Green howls, spits and curses throughout the 11-track affair. </p> <p>While the couple of slower songs on <em>Dog Show</em> don’t resonate as much as the pedal-down approaches that are the mainstay, there aren’t really any duds here. If straightforward garage rock isn’t your thing, the album may sound a bit simplistic at times, but that’s part of the appeal.</p> <p>The Goondas have put out one of the most passionate odes to garage rock of the year with <em>Dog Show</em>, an album that is all sweat, energy and aggression. It’s raw without feeling unfinished, ragged in all the right places, and just plain fun. If you’re looking for no frills rock and roll, you can’t do much better. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe></p> <p><em>John Grimley writes the Oil Slick garage-rock blog for</em>.</p> Album Review John Grimley The Goondas The Oil Slick Blogs Wed, 26 Jun 2013 21:27:16 +0000 John Grimley 18651 at The Oil Slick: Remembering The Oblivians and The Gories <!--paging_filter--><p>If you surfed the garage-rock-revival wave starting in the early 2000s, you may not have gotten to experience some of the bands your favorite bands looked up to. </p> <p>If you want to trace garage back a bit further than the Strokes, start with these two albums by two of the seminal garage rock badasses. With the Oblivians coming out with a new album last week, it seems the perfect time to reminisce. </p> <p><strong>The Oblivians, <em>Soul Food</em></strong></p> <p>From the starting of "Viet Nam War Blues" through the cringe-worthy "N***** Rich," the Oblivians' first album puts its heavily fuzzed boot on your throat from the moment you hit play, and it only continues to push harder the longer you listen.</p> <p>Throughout the 35-minute blast, the deep bass (despite no bass player) and the alternating vocals combined with a furious drum attack deliver some flat-out punishing sonic abuse, but in a very good way. Although their later records have been equally celebrated, there's nothing quite like the initial burst of raw energy that <em>Soul Food</em> gives in spades. Turn it up.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="465" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>The Gories, <em>I Know You Fine, But How You Doin'?</em></strong></p> <p>This band had a knack for combining some killer riffs with some really juvenile humor, much to the delight of their fans.</p> <p>They recorded only three albums, but this one wins out because of its awesome name (and songs, of course). Tracks like the blues-tinged "Early in the Morning" and the destructive "Nitroglycerin" show how easily these guys shifted styles without letting up on the manic pace they hold throughout the album. </p> <p>Once again, volume is a key component, but where the Oblivians made due with sheer punishing blasts, the Gories have a little swing to back up their aggression, as shown by the the opener "Hey Hey, We're the Gories" and "Detroit Breakdown."</p> <p>If you're a fan of the garage rock wave from the 2000s, featuring the White Stripes, the Strokes, The Dirtbombs, the Vines and the Hives, you owe it to yourself to check out the Gories and the Oblivians. Not only did they come first, they may have played hardest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="465" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em>.</p> John Grimley The Gories The Oblivians The Oil Slick Blogs Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:44:51 +0000 John Grimley 18527 at The Oil Slick: Some Suggested Alternative Careers for Rock Stars <!--paging_filter--><p>Garage rock is known for its outrageous characters, from the raw power of Iggy Pop to the ferocious musical idealism behind Jack White. </p> <p>To say that most artists have passion would be an understatement. Fortunately for us, these individuals found their way into music, and not behind the desk of some giant firm. </p> <p>Just for fun, what would the perfect job (besides the one they've got, of course) be for some of the bigger names out there?</p> <p><strong>Dave Grohl: Kindergarten teacher</strong></p> <p>Grohl may be one of the coolest musicians you've ever wished to meet, but he has a certain wild-eyed goofiness to him that could only be tamed by 30 screaming toddlers. Dave would put the same focus and energy into putting rambunctious children down for naps as he does filling Wembley stadium. Just take a look at the photo above with his scooter and try to tell me you wouldn't want that man shaping your children's future.</p> <p><strong>Iggy Pop: Used-car salesman</strong></p> <p>Seriously, Mr. Pop would bring his swaggering style to the car lot and everyone would drive away happy, even those people who just came in to use the bathroom or sell some girl scout cookies. Iggy's confidence and bravado would make it unthinkable for anyone to turn down an offer. Plus, he's from Detroit, so he knows his wheels (and he's already branched out to insurance).</p> <p><strong>Jack White: Upholster</strong></p> <p>I kid, I kid. For real, though, Jack's quietly intense persona would fit right in as a CEO. Of course, he's doing this as it stands for his Third Man Record label, so this is also kind of cheating. But strip away the artistic bent, and Jack would be perfect for Wall Street; he's fearless, always searching for unexplored or forgotten trends, and he's proven to be an extremely hard worker. Maybe Apple should look him up ...</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em>.</p> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Tue, 28 May 2013 18:00:03 +0000 John Grimley 18462 at The Oil Slick: Rock Greats Who Briefly Sold Out <!--paging_filter--><p>Musicians and capitalism have a very unique relationship. Obviously, everybody needs money to live, but when an artist does anything besides play music for money, they're seen as "selling out" or suddenly losing all built-up credibility. </p> <p>As odd as it seems, most artists are willing to give up a few minutes of their time to shell a product for literally bags of money, much to their fans' chagrin. </p> <p>Here are three respected musicians who briefly went to the dark side:</p> <p><strong>01. Iggy Pop Will Sell You Car Insurance</strong></p> <p>A few years ago, Iggy lent his considerable fame to insurance company Swiftcover, much to die-hard fans' anguish. Iggy appeared in several commercials for the company, including one in which he's bothered by "mini Iggy," a creepy puppet-fied version of the Stooges frontman. You can watch it here: </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>02. Jack White Wants to Buy You a Coke</strong></p> <p>In 2006, Jack took a break from touring with his critically adored duo to do this little jingle for Coca Cola. Needless to say, hardcore fans instantly took umbrage with the fact that their idol was giving a big thumbs up to Coke, a decidedly un-cool corporation that uses polar bears as mascots. Seriously not rock and roll. Granted, the ad was only shown once in Great Britain and a couple times in Australia, but it didn't stop the outraged howls from coming anyways.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>03. The Black Keys Are in Every Commercial</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, writing catchy accessible songs can be seen as a bad thing when giant corporations want them as their product soundtracks. The Black Keys know this all too well, as their songs have been in everything from Zales commercials to Victoria Secret ads. They even had a sell-out-off with Vampire Weekend on <em>The Colbert Report</em>.</p> <p><embed style="display:block" src="" width="620" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="window" allowFullscreen="true" flashvars="autoPlay=false" allowscriptaccess="always" allownetworking="all" bgcolor="#000000"></embed></p> <p>Saying an artist has sold out just because they are able to make more money off their music is kind of silly. But that doesn't stop fans from shouting that every band who has a commercial is now "the man." No matter how many commercials it's in, "Lonely Boy" will still be damn catchy.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em></p> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Wed, 01 May 2013 18:18:49 +0000 John Grimley 18291 at The Oil Slick: Unique Ways Bands Have Called it Quits <!--paging_filter--><p>Punk/glam/rock band My Chemical Romance calling it quits this month. It served as a sad reminder that eventually the music will stop for every band.</p> <p>However, the means to that end can be something of a tricky place to pin down. A band is a continuously evolving organism, with tour dates on top of record deals on top of label promises to fulfill at all times. With such a busy schedule, it's amazing any of them find the time to quit properly.</p> <p>Here are three bands who found unique ways to ride into the sunset:</p> <p><strong>01. Rocket From The Crypt</strong></p> <p>A band known for their intense live shows threw themselves one heck of a farewell bash. When the band decided to go their separate ways in 2005, they decided to play one last show; on Halloween in their hometown of San Diego. The only thing they could have done better was film the whole thing and put it out as a DVD. So that's what they did.</p> <p>Happily, the band has announced a reunion. It still doesn't diminish party they threw for their first disbanding.</p> <p><strong>02. Kyuss</strong></p> <p>As a group with a rabid following and lots of indie credibility, Kyuss avoided breaking up and chose instead to evolve. After releasing several albums, the band used a split EP to transform into the seminal rock band Queens of the Stone Age. </p> <p>Although some former Kyuss members have dropped in and out of the band throughout the years, Josh Homme remains the driving force. Not so much a breakup as a break out.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>03. The White Stripes</strong></p> <p>Of course, the duo of Jack and Meg White hadn't recorded any new material since 2007, so when the group released a letter in 2011 telling fans that the end had come, the writing had been on the wall for some time. </p> <p>To soften the blow was a live DVD box set, a semi-documentary and a letter that swore to "preserve what is beautiful and special about the band" that only left people wanting more.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick,'s garage-rock blog.</em></p> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:16:30 +0000 John Grimley 18256 at The Oil Slick: Celebrating the Exploding Hearts' 'Guitar Romantic' 10 Years Later <!--paging_filter--><p>I had never heard of the Exploding Hearts until I stumbled onto <a href="">this article</a>, which contrasts (very favorably, I might add) their debut album with Jack and Meg's seminal <em>Elephant</em>.</p> <p>If you don't feel like clicking on the link, the Exploding Hearts were a punk/pop/garage rock band from Portland. They dressed weird, started fights and generally did everything respectable young punks typically do to raise hell. They also swaggered like the Ramones and had the chops to back it up. By all accounts, the group was one to watch.</p> <p>Why don't you know about them? On their way back from a show in San Francisco, their van rolled over and killed three band members.</p> <p>In the aftermath of this tragedy, people began to recognize the strengths of the band. Their only album, <em>Guitar Romantic</em>, has been recognized as a masterpiece, with Pitchfork naming it in their top 200 albums of the 2000s and AllMusic giving it 4.5/5 stars.</p> <p>But how does the album fare 10 years later?</p> <p>From the first notes of the opener, "Modern Kicks," you can tell the Exploding Hearts tapped into something special for this 28-minute buzz saw of pop/punk/garage fusion. <em>Guitar Romantic</em> is spectacular.</p> <p>A lean piece of instrumental mastery and jagged hooks, all wrapped up in heavily Ramones-influenced vocals, this is the sonic equivalent of a muscle car. The guitars are fuzzed-out like they're coming at you behind layers of insulation, and the short length leaves you wanting more.</p> <p>These guys weren't given the chance to record an encore, but they made one hell of an album before they left. <em>Guitar Romantic</em> is a fine piece of straight-edge pop that still sounds raw, hurt and rebellious 10 years later.</p> <p>It's an album that shouldn't be missed — one that has aged beautifully.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick garage rock blog for</em>.</p> Exploding Hearts John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:11:11 +0000 John Grimley 18178 at The Oil Slick: Three Golden Rules for Surviving and Enjoying SXSW <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="">South by Southwest (SXSW)</a> might just be one of the most eclectic (and insane) festivals in the world. It's become something of a brilliant disaster, with throngs of people and a band list that will soon need its own billboard just to fit everything.</p> <p>If you are lucky enough to get to see this spectacle, you may be a little daunted at how easy it is to get distracted, lost or both. The sensory overload provided by the throngs of people is enough to put anyone in a daze.</p> <p>There are some (previously) unwritten rules you can follow in order to have the best possible time at SXSW. Rules like:</p> <p><Strong>01. Don't be afraid of new music</strong>.</p> <p>This may sound like some sort of new-age fortune cookie, but it's true. You cannot dismiss an act just because "you're not into jazz-country fusion" or, heaven forbid, you've never heard of them. Going into SXSW with an open mind and a curious attitude is paramount to how much you enjoy yourself. It's the perfect excuse to expand your musical palette or at least get some good stories.</p> <p><strong>02. Watch for free beer events.</strong></p> <p>Some time ago, companies figured out that people will be much more receptive to whatever new sales pitch they have if they provided compensation. More specifically, liquid compensation in the form of bubbling, cold goodness. Biting the bullet to get free beer (usually found at events where normally you wouldn't want to show your face) is a sacrifice you should gladly make.</p> <p><strong>03. Have a plan. A really, really flexible one.</strong></p> <p>It's good to map out where you want to be and what things you want to see, because trying to take in everything SXSW has to offer is like trying to drink an ocean. However, don't let your carefully scripted tour force you to miss out on some of the sheer randomness that will be on display. Having a plan that is easily disposable will make sure you have enough direction not to wander aimlessly while still being able to enjoy things you had no idea were going on. Just remember how to find your way back to the hotel.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> John Grimley SXSW The Oil Slick Blogs News Thu, 14 Mar 2013 11:40:19 +0000 John Grimley 17998 at The Oil Slick: Sounds Jack White Should Ignore on His New Album <!--paging_filter--><p>Jack White, who is full steam ahead on his next album, has already said it's “all over the place” in terms of sounds. </p> <p>That means one of the most prolific musicians out there will be adding a few new sounds to his repertoire. While I'm sure whatever he goes after will be up to White's demanding standards, there are some genres he should just forget. Here are three he shouldn't touch with a 10-foot guitar.</p> <p><strong>Dubstep</strong></p> <p>Yes, it's everywhere. Yes, it can be downright awesome. No, Jack should not be tempted to mix the sounds of a computer dying within his intricately crafted songs. It would stray way too close to Nu-Metal (aka Limp Bizkit) territory. That's something that's best left in the '90s. </p> <p><strong>Country</strong></p> <p>White has a keen fascination with country; he even produced Loretta Lynn's Grammy-winning <em>Van Lear Rose</em>. But his high-pitched falsetto will not match up well with a Southern twang. There's just something intrinsically off about a pale guy from Michigan lamenting the girl who got away. Even if he now lives in Nashville and has a Grammy for producing a country album. Out of the three, this is by far the most realistic possibility. And perhaps the scariest.</p> <p><strong>Classical/Mashups</strong></p> <p>I'm lumping these together just because of White and Insane Clowne Posse's incredibly bad/hilarious "Leck Mich Im Arsch," a fusion single combining Mozart and I.C.P, released in 2011. White has made it a hobby to continually subvert music expectations, so it's not inconceivable that his next album comes out of left field. No, I don't think White will be putting out a remix album of washed-up rappers mixed with Beethoven and Bach songs. But I don't know that he won't, so it makes the list.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick for</em></p> Jack White John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Tue, 19 Feb 2013 11:36:03 +0000 John Grimley 17817 at The Oil Slick: Three Awesome (and Free) Apps for Discovering New Music <!--paging_filter--><p>With the sheer amount of music out there, it can be a little intimidating to venture past trusted favorite artists and into new territory. </p> <p>Luckily, most of us have something in our pockets that make finding new music a breeze. Your smart phone has a wide variety of apps to help you find your next major band crush. </p> <p>These three apps are incredibly helpful, and even better, they're all free!</p> <p><strong><a href="">Songza</a></strong></p> <p>One of the best applications not named Pandora, this beauty not only lets you pick music by genre but from playlists based on the time of day and different activities. For example, Songs to Drink Whiskey To on a Friday Night. Yes, seriously. The stations have no commercials, and you can skip as many tracks as you want. It's a really great (and free) way to dip your toes in a lot of different genres. Just remember to write down the songs you like.</p> <p><strong><a href="">SoundCloud</a></strong> </p> <p>One of the best platforms for artists to upload tracks, SoundCloud is an amazing tool for finding bands that fly under the radar. You can sort music by how popular it is or by how new it is, and there's even the option to download most of the tracks. It's a great service and an amazing way to find some great up-and-coming bands to show off to your friends.</p> <p><strong><a href="">TuneIn</a></strong></p> <p>Offering radio stations from your local area as well as across the globe, TuneIn is better than most Internet radio apps because most of the time, its shows exactly what song by which artist is being played at that moment, helping you find the song and station that fits your mood almost effortlessly. The stations are incredibly varied, ranging from Internet techno stations to reggae from Ghana.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick for</em></p> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Mon, 21 Jan 2013 16:38:23 +0000 John Grimley 17615 at The Oil Slick: Honoring the Women of Garage Rock <!--paging_filter--><p>Everyone knows about Jack White and Iggy Pop, but sadly, musicians of the other gender are often overlooked. </p> <p>Regardless of the reason, it seems girls don't get the same recognition as their male counterparts in a genre that respects how hard you play the guitar as much as how well. </p> <p>These three women, however, have created some great garage rock and deserve your attention.</p> <p><strong>Alison Mosshart</strong></p> <p>A garage rock maestro way before she met up with Jack White and got mired in the Delta blues of the Dead Weather, Mosshart showed her writing and vocal talents as half of the Kills. </p> <p>Earning cred for their catchy take on lo-fi garage rock and bringing back the drum machine, the band continually embraces minimalism like a religion, using photographs taken from photo booths for album covers and refusing to pay a live drummer.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Meg White</strong></p> <p>Also known as one half of the White Stripes, Jack himself credited Meg as the reason the band was created in the first place, and it was on Meg's behest that the duo called it a career 14 years later. </p> <p>Most people would have probably put Jack's head through a kick drum long before then. Without Meg, Jack White would still be Jack Gillis.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Brittany Howard</strong></p> <p>Howard, a gifted singer whose voice could be the definition of “soulful," and the Alabama Shakes burst on the music scene with panache, earning a Grammy nomination for their first album and landing a spot on several year-end lists. <em>The New York Times</em> compared Howard to Janis Joplin. </p> <p>The Alabama Shakes grew out of high school jam sessions between Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell. As far as after-school projects go, this one will be tough to top.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em>.</p> Alison Mosshart Brittany Howard John Grimley Meg White The Oil Slick White Stripes Blogs Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:17:13 +0000 John Grimley 17577 at The Oil Slick: Three Bands to Watch Out for in 2013 <!--paging_filter--><p>This year saw the resurgence of several older garage rock denizens, like the Foo Fighters and the (car) commercially reliable Black Keys, but it also saw some lesser-known groups take steps toward becoming ubiquitous. </p> <p>Don't be surprised if these guys are everywhere in 2013 ... provided there is a 2013.</p> <p><strong>Alabama Shakes</strong></p> <p>The group's first album, <em>Boys &amp; Girls</em>, has earned three Grammy nominations, they were tapped to open for Jack White's recent national tour and the group was picked to close the first night of Bonnaroo. Not too bad for a first album. With their throwback sound and the lovelorn vocals of Brittany Howard (whose soulful approach was compared to Janis Joplin), it looks like the group's renown will only grow in '13.</p> <p><strong>Ty Segall</strong></p> <p>Segall must write songs in his sleep. How else can you explain the fact that the prodigious guitarist/drummer/singer released three albums this year? Unlike some trifectas (Green Day), all three albums have been received warmly by critics as well as fans. Blending bare-bones rock with whatever the hell he feels like at the time, Segall is forcing people to pay attention to him both with his quantity and quality of work, although for his health, a quick break should be in his near future.</p> <p><strong>JEFF the Brotherhood</strong></p> <p>A veteran garage rock duo, JEFF have seven full-length albums under their belt and have been a staple of the Nashville circuit for years. This year, however, their exposure went supernova, as the group hooked up with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach to produce their <em>Hypnotic Nights</em>. The group went on to play Letterman the night of the album's release, and NPR began streaming the entire album in July. It's probably safe to say JEFF is done with basement shows.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em></p> Alabama Shakes JEFF the Brotherhood John Grimley The Oil Slick Ty Segall Blogs Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:55:06 +0000 John Grimley 17390 at The Oil Slick: Great Garage Rock Gifts <!--paging_filter--><p>The best thing about the holiday time of year is it grants you permission to shamelessly beg relatives for things you are too poor to afford yourself. </p> <p>Thanks to that, it's an amazing time to expand your music collection to include those box sets or DVDs you might not have had the cash to buy at first. </p> <p>Here are three items no serious garage rock fan should be without:</p> <p><strong>The White Stripes: <em>Under Blackpool Lights</em></strong></p> <p><em>Blackpool Lights</em> was filmed in 2004 in Blackpool's Empress Ballroom and catches the band almost a year after their incredibly popular <em>Elephant</em> release. The twosome bring their renowned passion and intensity to the set, and their instrumental muscles are on full display. The DVD features well-known songs ("Ball and Biscuit") and covers that would eventually become set-list staples (Dolly Parton's “Jolene”). Unfortunately, the sticker price is a little ... extreme, with prices starting at $45 on eBay. Hopefully you've kept in contact with Grandma this year.</p> <p><strong><em>It Came From Detroit</em></strong></p> <p>Showing how Detroit became synonymous with garage rock, this 2009 rockumentary features many of the groups who gave Detroit its gritty reputation, including The Gories, The Detroit Cobras, The Von Bondies and The Dirtbombs. Featuring band-member interviews and some great insider recounting of the garage rock heydays, it's as close as you can get to reliving the period. Although right now it is only available in theater screenings, watch for this DVD to come soon. In the meantime, invest in some speakers.</p> <p><strong><em>Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Rock</em></strong></p> <p>Garage rock took a lot of cues from the British punk rock explosion of the '70s. <em>Please Kill Me</em> documents the bands and the clubs that made it all happen, giving us unheard of access to the people who started it and how it changed the scene forever. Featuring Iggy Pop, Joey Ramone and Danny Fields (to name a few), this book is a hell of a read for any music fan. </p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/white-stripes">White Stripes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Fri, 30 Nov 2012 10:54:57 +0000 John Grimley 17264 at The Oil Slick: The Worst Parts of Going to a Concert (It's Not the Band) <!--paging_filter--><p>Everyone loves a good concert. </p> <p>You know, those rare times the artists on stage are having as much fun as people out in the crowd, and it changes from an event to an experience. It's something Facebook photos don't get close to describing. </p> <p>Concerts are the ultimate music-appreciation service, but as music is evolving so that even your grandma can effortlessly get her Bieber fix from iTunes, sometimes concerts seem a little less inviting.</p> <p>While in line to go to a concert, the first thing you notice is that there's a lot of waiting going on. It's hours of standing around, holding a stale beer and hoping to catch a glimpse of the curtain opening or maybe a guitarist coming on stage. </p> <p>At most concerts, the time between sets is way too long. I get that music is a complex thing and some bands have complicated setups, but milling around an over-priced bar for an hour between artists sucks.</p> <p>When the music finally arrives, sometimes the opening act seems just wrong, somehow. Some openers are amazing, CSS going in front of Sleigh Bells was one of the best one-two punches I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. However, sometimes the opener is so blatantly a newly signed group for the record label that the pairing doesn't seem to make a lick of sense. Watching a slow and melodic band open for the tempest that is a Wolfmother show feels wrong on all levels.</p> <p>Even when all the bands on the list are amazing and your face is being appreciably rocked, fellow concert-goers can be perplexing. Fans are normally great, supportive people who have payed a lot of pretty pennies to see some guitar solos. Then there are the amateur cinematographers, who feel it's their god-sworn duty to capture the whole spectacle on phone, and proudly hold that damn thing in the air the entire show. </p> <p>If you haven't seen one of those, you probably get to see the moshers. Moshing is well and good at a Killswitch Engage concert, but watching people try to form a mosh pit to Broken Bells makes it seem like they're only there to throw a sweaty body into other sweaty bodies. If that's the case, Craigslist has way cheaper options. </p> <p>Now, if you'll excuse me, Kings of Leon just announced some new shows, and those suckers always sell out.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em></p> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Wed, 14 Nov 2012 12:25:14 +0000 John Grimley 17155 at The Oil Slick: Garage Musicians Make Great Halloween Costumes <!--paging_filter--><p>Halloween is here, and with it comes the timeless dilemma: Who are you going to be this year?</p> <p>With the economy not doing so hot and that Harry Potter costume from last year still sporting the aftermath of a cheese dip incident, it's time to come up with a cheap plan B. </p> <p>Luckily for fans of garage rock, cheap is well respected in the genre, and some of its biggest figures dress like an auto mechanic or a 19th-century vampire on a daily basis. Strange for them, great for you.</p> <p><strong><a href="">The Iggy Pop</a></strong></p> <p>To pull off this look, which says you can play the guitar but would rather smash it over someone's head, all you need is a pair of uncomfortably tight jeans and a blonde wig. Having a perfect figure helps, but if that isn't happening, just tell people you're going as old Iggy instead of young Iggy. Of course, this isn't ideal for colder climates, but if you ever wanted to use the line, “I wanna be your dog," you'll never get a better opportunity. </p> <p><strong><a href="">The Jack White</a></strong></p> <p>Get the black hair and pale skin down, and basically anything else goes with a Jack White costume. In fact, while going as Jack White, you also can look like <a href="">an out-of-work poet from the 1800s</a>, a cross between <a href="">Elvis and a vampire</a> or some sort of <a href="">skeleton ... cowboy ... thing</a>. Just don't smile, look vaguely threatening and carry around a Coke.</p> <p><strong><a href="">The Mummy</a></strong></p> <p>This is the same as a basic mummy but instead shuffling around aimlessly, you play punk rock and travel through time. Yeah ... actually, this list needed only one entry.</p> John Grimley The Oil Slick Blogs Wed, 31 Oct 2012 14:11:59 +0000 John Grimley 13371 at The Oil Slick: The Cons of Being a Pro <!--paging_filter--><p>We've all done it. We've watched Jack White on TV jumping around with a peppermint guitar among thousands of adoring fans — and we've felt a flash of envy. </p> <p>Being a professional musician looks like one of the coolest things a person is paid to do, and I'm sure it usually is. There's the road tripping, the stalker-like enthusiasm of fans and the freedom to pursue almost any twisted vice you can come up with.</p> <p>However, before you go making any pacts with the devil, consider the dream a little more carefully. Being a rock star isn't all <em>Rolling Stone</em> photo shoots and hanging out with Dave Grohl.</p> <p>For instance, you have to practice until you have every song you've got down pat. Then you get to practice some more. Hours spent plucking, singing or drumming the same song; day after day, month after month. And if you're lucky enough to score a hit? I hope you really like the tune, because even after playing it a thousand times and releasing three more albums, fans will still be yelling for it come encore time. </p> <p>After mastering some chords, going out onto the road is the next step, and taking a road trip with four people in a VW van is only cool for the first three days. Settle in for long nights on the road and early morning snack runs on Coke and Cheetos. Next time you see a show featuring artists who don't get their own line of bourbon, appreciate the fact they have enough energy to get on stage — much less perform — after driving across Montana.</p> <p>So you've got the band and people are starting to flock to shows, next up is an album. This is the time to meet the people who are paid to sum up all your time, effort and emotions you've poured into the album in under four hundred words: the critics. Be prepared to have something you've put your heart and soul into scientifically dissected and publicly judged. And these guys can be incredibly cruel, just ask Nickelback.</p> <p>If you still want to be a rock star, just remember you need a thick (tattooed) skin, gastrointestinal fortitude and a strong acceptance of repetition—and that's not even talking about dealing with record labels or numerous band tiffs. I might stick to Rock Band.</p> <p><em>John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/white-stripes">White Stripes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Jack White John Grimley The Oil Slick White Stripes Blogs Thu, 11 Oct 2012 15:11:16 +0000 John Grimley 16937 at