Thursday, July 17, 2008

Raccoon Tours May 15, 2008

I like The White Stripes, but when I first heard The Raconteurs a few years ago, I was astounded.

"Broken Boy Soldiers", the first effort by The Raconteurs (or as they're known in Australia, The Saboteurs), was released in 2006. Even though it often reminds me of some undeserving ears that I once played it for, I still adore a good load of the songs on that disc. "Hands" is just gorgeous, and kickin it down the highway with "Intimate Secretary" bursting out the windows is the only way to travel.

That album almost sounded like Led Zeppelin took a Beatles pill, and then went into modern recording mode. Delicious.

At the end of March of this year, the follow up "Consolers of the Lonely" was released, and I couldn't wait to get my ears on it. I had heard the single, "Salute Your Solution" and was totally psyched. A track like that makes me want to bust out the roller skates and some sled dogs (they can pull my dehydrated corpse to the M.E.'s office when I drop dead from the Florida heat and HUMIDITY - I'm delicate).

A couple of days ago, I finally downloaded the rest of the album, and a marathon of car insurance commercials would be less painful than the disappointment that puked all over me when I listened to it.

I kept looking at my IPOD each time a new song began so I could see the name of my pain, and I swear about the 5th song in, the IPOD read "Who Fucking Cares? This SHIT BLOWS!" I was in a bit of shock, but I saw it through to the bitter end. Actually, having it end was the best part. OY VEY!

Sounds like Jack White and his pals drank some moonshine, and decided that Southern Rock was the direction most fitting for a good portion of their sophomore project. I'm not a huge fan of Southern Rock, at least not of the bearded variety; the more clean shaven ones like Tom Petty are cool by me, though. I don't know why, but something about the hair to skin ratio is relevant in this genre. Just listening to some of these songs made me fear that some unruly sideburns might attempt to grow on my face, if I was exposed much longer. That's certainly not a look I can pull off, and you can forget about me wearing a vest of any kind - I'm much too chesty and dare I say, tasteful, for such garments.

I can dig some Neil Young, but I've never been able to lock in on people that are heavily influenced by his sound. At least, not that I'm aware of.

The Raconteurs definitely have tripped over the Mason Dixon line in some areas of the recording, but in others it sounds like Paul McCartney (Wing's era Paul) joined Styx. Grapefruit covered with creamed corn sounds more palatable.

I think my brain hurt more when I realized that I had to hold two opposing thoughts in my head at once: They are trying WAY too hard, and they aren't trying hard ENOUGH.

The use of horns pretty much canceled me too. I'm not a fan of the horns in music, and believe it or not, I played trumpet as a kid. Here and there in Bowie's drugged years, or in some Reggae, horns may work. But in straight up rock, I would prefer their absence.

There seems to be a hint of a concept album that forked off into a dumping ground of scraps from other songs. Namely The Kinks "Living on a Thin Line", Bowie's "Rock N Roll Suicide", and The Rolling Stone's "Sister Morphine". I don't know. There's something sort of unforgivable when you taint such legendary pieces in that way.

It's sad, I feel like a really great relationship didn't work out - it's like the sex was good, but they could never pronounce my name correctly, and I found out they ate live animals on weekends. I'll never look at them the same.

Now, will my Ipod ever forgive me?

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