parodies by nacrowe
been a crazy week with DONALD TRUMP getting his tacky FLORIDA pleasure palace raided by the feds on monday. dont know if anything will come of it but i see no reason not to celebrate it nonetheless.
back in november 2019 i did a show on one of my favorite bands growing up RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. not only are they one of the best live bands ive ever seen, but they are one of the few political bands whose sonic onslaught and INNOVATION matches and maybe even exceeds that of their relentlessly strident PROGRESSIVE POLITICS. my big gripe with bands like the MC5 or THE CLASH was always that they would talk a big game, but then aurally it left more than a little be desired in terms of stepping away from traditional song structures and being EXPERIMENTAL. guitarist TOM MORELLO is renowned not only for his flawless technique but also his disregard for the instrument itself, often utilizing various IDIOSYNCRATIC, self-directed techniques meant to render his instrument as DJ turntables. for MORELLO, everything is fair game including tapping, plucking bending, pulling, unplugging and feed-backing sometimes al at the same time. ironically he has a spartan gear setup which makes his sonic landscapes that much more impressive. he is very much the embodiment of INTENT TRUMPING TECHNIQUE.
for me personally listening to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE has always been a godsend, especially in the years since i returned from working and living extensively abroad. coming back home during the TRUMP years was tough and i felt utterly gutted and isolated by what i saw my country devolving into. i had spent time in developing countries, military dictatorships and more than one failed/struggling democracy. to see members of my extended family fall under the spell of TRUMP was demoralizing. listening to RAGE helped me cope with that aggression and attempt to do my part in fighting the guy. in that regard i am still immensely proud of the music video DEER GOD did in collaboration with DOLLTITS half a decade ago for their clever anti-TRUMP song "LOCKER ROOM TALK." definitely check it out.
for me the legacy of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, irregardless of whether they ever decided to record a new album, is their authenticity and ability to fully realize their intention. they are a singular force of nature and have inspired people to persevere even when your country is turning to shit. same goes for all their solo and side projects over the years such as PROPHETS OF RAGE, AUDIOSLAVE, ON DAY AS A LION, WAKRAT, STREET SWEEPER SOCIAL CLUB and THE NIGHTWATCHMAN.
its all good.
oh and by the way, that is not a MAGA hat im wearing in the embedded video below. my brother got it at a PROPHETS OF RAGE show and it says "MAKE AMERICA RAGE AGAIN." just wanted to be extra clear on that point. dont want to be confused for a MAGA loser.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
i discovered this ongoing series on the PREMIER GUITAR youtube channel a few years ago and have long been obsessed with it. as a failed guitar player myself, it is fun to hear from the players and their techs about all sorts of details regarding their sound and setup. the format is basically a run through of their guitars and amps as well as pedal configurations and individual opinions/philosophy regarding reliability/fidelity tradeoff between analog vs digital, cords vs wireless, in-ear vs speaker monitors, etc.
its really cool to to witness the minutiae of their sound, even diving into things like string gauges, pick thickness, pickup configurations, bridges, tuners and the list goes on. it is definitely a niche audience that gets off on this sort of thing, but i am squarely in that demographic.
for me their is never enough times to witness people talk about their prized LES PAUL JR, JAZZMASTER, D-28, COUNTRY GENTLEMAN, P-BASS, 370 12-string, JAZZ BASS, DOBRO TRICONE, 4003 BASS, WHITE FALCON or TELECASTER. or for that matter any variety of high-gain amplifier models like the DUAL RECTIFIER (BLINK 182, PENNYWISE), JCM 800 (SLAYER, JUDAS PRIEST), ROCKERVERB 100 (MASTODON), HIWATT CP103 (THE WHO), 5150 (VAN HALEN), JMP 2204 (AC/DC), SHIVA (ALICE IN CHAINS, TOOL), BE100 (ALICE IN CHAINS), VH4 (TOOL), CENTURY 200 (PANTERA, WHITE ZOMBIE), UBERSCHALL (TOOL) or a MARK IIC+ (early METALLICA)
whats also interesting over time is witnessing firsthand the trend towards digital amp profilers and modelers like the HELIX, KEMPER and especially the AXE FX which allows their setup to be easily transportable (like hand carry-on in a plane easy) as well as more consistent given that traditional tube amplifiers require maintenance from time to time depending on weather, humidity conditions.
you really get a sense of how and why guitar and bass musicians and those that support them utilize the gear they do on tour. you also get a clear "inside baseball" perspective on how they view these numerous tradeoff decisions every musician has to make, and they all have differing opinions. its basically required viewing for anyone interested in gear used by rock bands.
anyway, if you're interested definitely check out the examples i embedded below (these don't even scratch the surface of the total playlist linked HERE).
parody by nacrowe
in honor of their forthcoming reunion, please check out HERE this recent streaming video episode of DEER GOD RADIO on legendary HIP HOP/ALTERNATIVE band RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO as well as other MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC shows like MAKE HER SPACE, NOWHERE FAST, THE SYNTHESIZER SHOW and CLASSICAL-ISH WITH NUTMEG are available here at the DEER GOD website.
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