Let’s keep on talking about the hottest albums I listened to last week. Again, two share my love, quite different from each other, both in style, country or origin and timeline. My mood is awkward and constantly swinging lately. I’ve very cheerful sometimes and other I’m a bit down. Not that I’m bored, by all means, I’m that kind of person with amusing entertainments at hand enough to waste time, but I haven’t assimilated my current status yet and feel confused and out of place.
Do you believe in coincidences or in written fate? I really don’t know what to think after last events happening lately. Not only the day MCA passed away I had thought of Beastie Boys and their Intergalactic song, but also similar stories, not as sad, have happened.
I bought Loteria in vinyl, on the Record Store Day. I had barely listened to The Hangmen since my widowerhood. Had a dirty copy of Metallic I.O.U, but I’ve realized I don’t like shitty copies and therefore seldom listen to the few I still own. That day, at Revolver record store, I was more into purchasing some Ryan Adams’ or more folkie style stuff, but in the very last moment I thought of checking the punk rock area. As soon as I had Loteria in my hands, all the doubts were vanished, that album had to be mine.
Easy to imagine what came next, listening to Loteria awoke the need of having Metallic I.O.U, my favorite Hangmen album, and admitting I’m close to be a serious addict to Amazon, checked out with my copy coming.
Bryan Small started his Hangmen project more that 30 years ago, and despite the efforts and the release of the self-titled debut album with Capitol, The Hangmen’s starting point as we know them nowadays, was with this album, released in 2000 by Acetate Records.
This album is just a pile of pure and straight rock, with songs portraying the filthiest and most decadent side of LA, telling about drugs, booze, cigarettes and broken hearts, stories coming through the wretched and hardened voice of Smalls.
The nastiness of Downtown, Bliss, Broke, Down & Stoned, or Russian Roulette, mixed with the evoking and decadent Bent or the closing Blue Light, and the glorious Is That All There Is? Which I find completely influenced by The Rolling Stones, makes you wonder why The Hangmen are such an underground and unknown band. Metallic I.O.U is fresh, timeless and wild, rough as a warm shot of whiskey early in the morning, with certain amount of bitterness constantly present. Just love it!
Ah! Haven’t explained what all the coincidence story was about. Well, as soon as I was in The Hangmen mood, posting several videos and songs on FB, some of their fans reminded me of the upcoming album Eastern of Western, after their last work, In the City, released in 2007.
Just when I was ready to start writing this post, The Hangmen made public their new single and video, Homesick Blues, which sounds like this:
Great expectations of what’s coming next, this new single, damn, kicks ass!
Wish they come back to Barcelona soon, as the last showthey offered at Rocksound in 2009, with the guest appearance of Sammi Jaffa, was really intense.
Hearts & Arrows is the third album by Danny And the Champions of the World.
It was my friend Kiko who discovered me this band, with the song You don’t Know (My Heart is in the Right Place), I really liked right away.
Few weeks later, tour dates were announced and sure I was attending the show with my friend Jaume.
One of the things I’m enjoying most of attending performances of bands recommended by friends that I’m not particularly familiarized with their stuff, is that I face them on stage, this is, I don’t do homework at all, don’t need to know about their songs nor discography, don’t care about set lists and lyrics, I’m conscious of my ignorance and I become a blank book, waiting to be fulfilled.
Thus the night of the show, I had listened to this Hearts & Arrows 2-3 times in the previous months, having an idea of this band which reminded me of Bruce Springsteen a lot, and had resemblances to The Gaslight Anthem, a bit of The Replacements, and some of the classic powerpop figures, such as Nick Lowe.
Not only it was shocking to see 6 people on the stage of Rocksound, which is pretty small, but also the sound quality of the band, featuring both acoustic and electric guitars, and keyboards.
Some fans of The Boss were also there, something a bit scary, considering I don’t dig Springsteen that much, but the result was very pleasant, and that turned out to be a very enjoyable show, revisiting most of the tracks of Hearts & Arrows.
I think something we’re not used to is that bands extend songs much on stage, or perhaps we are, when dealing with certain bands after many years you expect them to, as for instance The Black Crowes, but in this case some people got a bit absent during the show. Curiously it wasn’t my case, I was fascinated by all the solos, the jam and everything related, in fact, the most remarkable song that night, and a personal favorite of the album was Colonel and The King. It was beautifully performed, super intense.
In general, this album is one of the uppers, whenever I listen to it I feel fine, tunes such as Heart & Arrow, Soul in the City or Can’t Hold Back, really cheer me up.
To add good vibes, I got the chance to have a very long chat with the leader, Danny Wilson, not the usual one. We talked about tattoos, what is living in London, and how tough is being a musicial there, remembering my London years, life in general. An adorable and interesting guy, definitely worth meeting and getting acquainted with. He made a promise to me and delivered, and we are more or less in touch.
Isn’t it great meeting people thanks to music?