Tag Archives: Ginger

When you realize THAT is the band of your life

Hi guys! How you doing?

Very busy lately and with too much stuff in my head which prevents me from focusing on writing something readable and interesting. Been travelling, finishing summer in the best way possible, and enjoying my Panama way of life…till now.

Finishing October at the moment, here in Barcelona good weather is still struggling to remain against cold, but with the time change, you can almost feel the terrible winter whispering in your ear: “Fuck you. Now it’s my time.”

But I’m not in the mood of explaining how this midseason is getting me crazy and how confused makes me feel, unable to settle a daily routine. Well, the fact that I’ve been travelling a bit does not help either. I’m a bit messy now, trying to catch the train of sanity? Whatever you want to call it. Fuggedaboudit!

Even though it’s just been a month since I attended the Wildhearts show in London, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their second album P.H.U.Q, it’s been impossible to write about it earlier. It’s not fair, considering it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, thus I’m in the mood of writing about The Wildhearts once again, as it’s been too long since I don’t bother you with probably my favorite active band on earth. Well, since last year, telling about their show. This could be kinda déjà vu, but it’s not going to be.

Wildhearts-PHUQ-Tour

Ginger Wildheart is become my curse. The damn bastard is so creative, he’s all the time involved in projects to take our money. For good or for bad, work delivered is outstanding, so as far as I’m concerned, he can suck me dry. Lucky I’m not a collector, otherwise I’d be fucked up. I’m waiting for a book he’s written which should have been finished by March, but apparently is being shipped at the end of the year. I’m patient, because I feel curious about the content, but maaaan! C’mooon!

He’s currently recording a new album with Hey! Hello! Which will be released in April 2016, meant to do more Mutation stuff, and in September, as advanced, due to the 25th anniversary of PHUQ, he brought the band together, except for the bass player, put them to rehearse, and announced a UK tour.

After our experience last year, Jaume and I couldn’t miss the event, and as kind of silent agreement, we decided that whenever the band reunited for several shows, we’d move our asses to Shitsville, London, to see them. So that was it. We saw the shows announced and didn’t have to discuss anything, just apply for a couple of days of vacation at work, and the rest would be done.

Whenever a band play an album at its entirety, there’s no doubt on the set list. From the beginning to the end, song after song, will be played, but the surprise comes with the encore, and once again, it drove us nuts: ‘Suckerpunch’, ‘Red Light Green Light’, ‘Sick of Drugs’, ‘29X the Pain’… What a blast!

Wildhearts-5854

Emotion is the key. A band can be a piece of crap but if you feel moved, excited, passionate and crazy, then for you it can be as good as The fuckin’ Rolling Stones, or even better. During the show, there were several moments and songs which made me stop and think to myself “this is it. This is the reason why I love rock.” Moreover, I realized there’s no band currently in active which moves me in the way The Wildhearts do.

During many years you know I’ve reckoned by fave band is Guns N’ Roses. I grew up with them, and they’ve been in my life since I was 15 or so. I still blush when I hear ‘Rocket Queen’, ‘Coma’ or ‘Estranged’ at a bar, and due to so many experiences and years we’ve shared, they’ll be the band of my life, and Appetite For Destruction the best album in my record collection.

Nevertheless, once this been stated, I gotta confess that it’s The Wildhearts the band of my life, and Earth Vs The Wildhearts my favorite album. The process was slow as first, it took me years to realize they were a great band, and second, I had to develop my own status of fan on my own, because I was highly influenced by diehard fans. And I love that all the way I’ve been doing it alone, enjoying the pleasure of discovering and falling in love with a band little by little.

Can you imagine my tears dropping while yelling ‘Everlone’, or ‘Sick of Drugs’? It happens to me every time I listen to those songs being played on stage. Same as whenever I watch the Death Star trench battle of Star Wars I start crying. And I’m glad such thing happens from time time, because it means I feel alive.

God bless The Wildhearts!

MY TOTAL 13

Happy holidays to y’all!

Once the few family Xmas commitments successfully finished, it’s time I start focusing on closing this 2013. I’m gonna start with the easiest part, which is the list of my 13 favorite album releases.

I reckon this year has been marked by harder sounds and styles compared to the last years. Somehow it seems that my current mood is also looking for more energy in music. Truth is that, as usual, there are many albums I haven’t listened to yet and perhaps with the passing of time the list would change, but right now these are the albums I’ve been enjoying most this strange 2013.

13. VALIENT THORR: OUR OWN MASTERS

vt

Rage and pure energy, Valient Himself and his guys nailed it once again with this album. Lyrics with message, so to speak, wrapped in exploding riffs and superfast speed. Very happy I could attend another of their burning shows last month.

12. SUN & SAIL CLUB: MANNEQUIN

ssc

This is the project of Scott Thomas Reeder, Kyuss former bass player, Bob Balch and Scott Reeder (the drummer) of Fu Manchu. Vocoder robotic voice melodies can prevent some people from loving this album which is a masterpiece of powerful riffs, intense bass lines and kickin’ ass drums. Respect for the veterans!

11. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ: IS SURVIVED BY

touche amore

Post-hardcore bands are not within my usual range of music, however some of them manage to step into my universe from time to time. This time was Touché Amoré, recommended by my dear friend (and mentor) Jordi, personally and through the magazine. Confessional lyrics, lots of yelling, weird writing, but with an overwhelming intensity.

10. MONSTER MAGNET: LAST PATROL

last patrol

The return of Dave Wyndorf and his gang to the fields of psicodelia. I had the chance to interview the leader for Rockzone magazine and thanks to his explanations and remarks I could enjoy the album even more. As a whole, as a journey, some sort of confession of experience and release of emotions. There are great songs such as ‘Paradise’ or ‘The Duke (of Supernature)’ of ‘I Live Behind The Clouds’. A great comeback superior to their previous releases. Can’t wait to see their show in February.

9. NEKO CASE: THE WORSE THINGS GET, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE HARDER I FIGHT , THE MORE I LOVE YOU

neko case

This is the hardest album of the artist and the most confessional. She leaves the story telling aside and focuses on expressing what’s she’s going through, marked by the loss of important members of her family, and a state of depression she eventually underwent to for some time. it is Neko, the woman, the human being here, you can feel closer to her, identified with some of her songs. ‘Man’, ‘Nearly Midnight, Honolulu’, ‘Calling Cards’ are thrilling.

8. ORANGE GOBLIN: A EULOGY FOR THE FANS

eulogy

This live album is the celebration of the success achieved with their last and most solid up to date studio album A Eulogy For The Damned. The only BUT I find here is that sound doesn’t capture their performance 100%, but still it’s a good document to confirm that not only their at their best moment but also that the Brits are a live band.

7. AMERICAN SHARKS

american sharks

This crazy trio from Texas blew my mind with their single ‘Overdrive’ and reached my thrashy side with their debut album. Every time I have a dj session I play one of their songs. Energy and fun, sometimes they remind me of Gluecifer for some reason. Wish I can see them playing in Spain in 2014.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/09/19/the-power-of-a-single/

6. DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD: STAY TRUE

danny

I feel ashamed for not having written about this wonderful album already, because it deserves a special attention and I don’t think many people are aware of this wonderful work. I couldn’t find the proper time or the mood to write about it as a week album, however I’ve been constantly listening to them when looking for a realm of peace and relax. Danny and the Champs leave the Bruce Springsteen formula so present in Hearts & Arrows and focus on more rooted sounds.

5. MICHAEL MONROE: HORNS & HALOS

hh

The blonde Finnish is a God of some kind. every time he releases a new album everybody’s expections end up completely fulfilled. This time I was a bit afraid of the change from Ginger Wildheart to Dregen of Backyard Babies as the main guitar and writer, but the result has been very positive, in fact Horns & Halos is superior to Dregen’s first solo album which has left me completely indifferent and not interested at all. Listening to any Monroe’s album means feeling  something inside you unsettled, which at the end of the day you realize it’s the need for partying crying for good times. I don’t understand the reckless energy of the singer, and I don’t care. I just take it as it comes and enjoy the most of it.

4. RED FANG: WHALES AND LEECHES

whales and leeches

No need to comment much about this album after what I wrote. It’s brutal and can’t stop listening to it. I really needed this badass music in my life. Exactly one month remaining for their show in Barcelona. I know it’s gonna be insane.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/11/10/album-of-week-45-whales-and-leeches/

3. HEY! HELLO!

heyhello

Ginger is a sort of Kind midas in music, but fortunately every project he starts is worth listening and the results are usually great. This time teaming up with Victoria Liedtke, he’s surprised the fans with more partying and very fresh tunes, and perhaps it’s been the key to retake and resuscitate his main son, The Wildhearts.

Hey! Hello! will open for The Wildhearts in April and I’ll be at The Electric Ballroom to tell you about it. it’s gonna be awesome, probably one of the best 2014 shows.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/08/29/album-of-week-32-hey-hello/

2. CLUTCH: EARTH ROCKER

earth rocker

Clutch has been the greatest discovery of this year. They’ve become a complete reference and have also awaken the spirit of the fan which was a bit in stagnation. Earth Rocker came demolishing and I devoured it with devoted passion. The impact of the self titled single on my was one of the most intense I remember in the last years. It left me breathless, and when I recovered I had the full album which was an injection of energy I really needed. I also relate the album to many personal highlights this year, among others writing for Rockzone magazine and coming back to the company I had been fired from last year.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/03/19/album-of-weeks-10-11-earth-rocker/

1. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: …LIKE A CLOCKWORK

Well, after not so much thinking I’ve finally reached the conclusion that Like a Clockwork is my favorite album of the year.

like

It was an instant crush since the very beginning and has been settling throughout these months. When I first listened to the album I compared the experience as dating someone you idolize, therefore now I could regard my relationship with the album as a consolidated. Yeah, we’re a couple, we can flirt with others but at the end of the day it will be Like a Clockwork the one I’ll always choose.

Josh Homme has improved not only his singing but also his writing, and his evolution, very criticized by many of his fans in Kyuss, is fascinating from my point of view. Probably ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’ is my favorite song of the year, but I love the whole album and regard it as an indivisible unit.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/05/17/like-a-clockwork/

THE WILDHEARTS STRIKE BACK!

Not many things can turn me on in the way I am right now, but the announcement of a UK tour of The Wildhearts with Hey! Hello! as the supporting band has just turn me temporally demented. The news has been a pure Caffeine Bomb. I’m totally excited.

twitter ginger

There were late rumors coming from the band members themselves about a possible new album next year. Ginger declared he was a bit tired of solo projects and wanted The Wildhearts to work together again, and CJ also expressed his wish of recording a new album soon. I’ve always knows this was gonna happen eventually, as after near 10 years following the British band, one can read between lines and realize that Ginger is not only a mood swinging guy but also so intense and active that he needs to change things from time to time to avoid frustration and boredom. It he was a decorator, probably he’d be involved in projects all the time, would enjoy all the pre-project and the execution, but once finished, he’d feel the need to change everything again. This is Ginger. He’s been working on several albums, crowdfunding supported by the fans, Hey! Hello! has been a blast, and it was closer to a band as Victoria Liedtke was his other half, but at the end of the day this guy loves his band, and needs his mates by his side.

the wildhearts

Needless to say my mind is working like a rocket thinking about where to go. My travelling mate is out of question: Jaume must come with me or I’ll kick his balls. He was the one who recorded me that Best Of CD 10 years ago, and he’s the one to blame for me thinking of another flash trip.

In case you’re interested in living a Wildhearts experience here are the tour dates:

Tue 8th April Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
Wed 9th April Bristol, Academy 1
Thu 10th April Manchester, Academy 1
Sat 12th April Nottingham Rock City
Sun 13th April Newcastle, Academy 1
Mon 14th April Glasgow, ABC
Wed 16th April Cambridge, Junction
Thu 17th April London, Electric Ballroom

Drop me a line if you wanna meet me somewhere. Tickets will be available on Friday (and I’m sure shows will be sold out that very same day).

LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH! LONG LIVE THE WILDHEARTS!

ALBUM OF WEEK 32: HEY! HELLO!

I’m not a musical guru. Never been and never will. In fact, I regard myself as a complete ignorant in some styles, and don’t like posting proper reviews here, because I’m only interested in showing what pleases me the most.

This been said, the album of this week will surely be repeated when I post the list of my favorite albums of 2013 at the end of the year, because I’m totally devoted to it.

heyhellofrontcover

Not sure whether I finally expressed my opinion regarding this fashion of raising funds from your supporting fans to release albums without being submitted to the tyranny of the major record labels. While I still have opposing thoughts, finding this crowdfunding abusive in most cases, truth is that I have to feel grateful to Ginger Wildheart and his fans for making of this project a reality, being Hey! Hello! A really nice surprise, and the fresh fix I needed this summer.

This time Ginger, the do-it-yourself kindma man, who’s recorded all the instrumental parts, is  not alone. He’s enrolled New Yorker Victoria Liedtke into his project to share vocals, helping to create catchy melodies for the 9 tracks of the album. The redhair and the blonde really form a very solid and attractive couple, and everything seems  works fluid and easy between them.

Somehow Liedtke heps soothing the wildhearted riffs thanks to the power pop melodies, building up a very easy listening album, full of riffs and energy, yet keeping freshness at the highest level.

With every listening Hey! Hello! gets deeper into your skin, every song has something addictive, and you listen once and once again until you finally get hooked, and can’t get the chorus of Swimwear out of your head no matter how hard you try. Hell of a summer song! It’s terrific!

Black Valentine, which always makes me think of Cheap Trick, Feral Days,  or Lock For Rock (And Other Cliches) are simply irresistible.

I reckon it’s compulsory to talk about How I Survived The Punk Wars separated from the rest of the album, as this is something different. This song is a declaration of principles, Ginger’s discourse defending the crowdfunding, talking about hard work, his effort to fight against big record labels in order to manage to control his own product away from being corrupted and manipulated, without becoming a slave. Not only the message is worth attending, because it’s crystal clear, but also is remarkable how he’s able to vomit all this into a song, which is powerful, hard, and really good.

kozik hey hello

Now that I’ve finally surrendered to the product of a crowdfunding, still questioning whether it’s good or not, and enjoying this freak Frank Kozik’s artwork, which in the beginning doesn’t convince that much but eventually you end loving it, Ginger has started this third pledge project campaign, named The Practical Musician,  with in less than 2 hours reached 100% of the target, which is insane.  What should I do? Should I support him from the beginning? Should I wait to assess whether the product is good of is the result of the insane proactivity of Ginger? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure and Ginger must be credited for that,  he’s a restless hard worker, an overwhelming prolific composer, and an inspiration for many of us. Well done!

ALBUMS OF WEEKS 30-31: EARTH VS THE WILDHEARTS / THE WILDHEARTS MUST BE DESTROYED

These past weeks have been nonstop with my agenda booked with many events regardless my current situation. Live shows, visits from friends staying at the Hellhouse, me spending some time with friends at a town by the sea, new album releases with Handwritten catching my attention on week 29…with so much movement I’ve listened to much music, but being the calendar so crazy, it’s also difficult to mark an album I’ve listened over the others lately.

For the past two weeks, and excited about the special program on Viva Las Vegas radio related to The Wildhearts, I’ve just realized I’ve been listening to this band like crazy. As I’m not sure which was first, I’ll tell you about their debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, and then my last purchase to complete the studio albums collection, The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed.

I’ve never hidden my passion for this band here in Since My Baby Left Me, telling different stories related to their show in Barcelona, the purchase of a single, naming a list of MUST have albums to start with this band, and following every movement performed by their leader, Ginger.

I will never stop thanking my friend Jaume for recording me their Best Of album 10 years ago, I didn’t pay much attention the first time I listened to it, because The Wildhearts are not easy at the first hearing, due to the extended length of their songs, including many different parts and rhythms, and also the melodies in vocals, completely influenced by The Beatles. I wasn’t ready for that, but, once I was in the right mood, I was converted into Wildheartism for good.

Nowadays I’d reckon The Wildhearts have a place in my personal Top 5. It is so unfortunate this band is cursed and have never reached the level of popularity and recognition they deserve, it makes me feel bad, so I’m trying to convince people to appreciate their talent all the time.

If you want to know what real pain is, try to collect all their items, vinyls, singles, LP and CD editions… it’s almost impossible, and quite frustrating, and the money investment would be insane. At this point I have all the studio albums and some of their compilations, and little by little I’m acquiring live CDs and DVDs, but it’ll take some time.

I’m super glad of finding their debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, in Japanese edition, precisely in the land of the rising sun, the only country, together with UK, where the band has an outstanding success, and consequently special editions of their stuff has been issued.

Perhaps the timing had to do with the starting of the curse on the band, as 1993, the year this first album was issued, was 1993, and looking back in the day, there was the dominance of Seattle sounds and all this grunge wave, thus, this mixture of metal with Beatles melodies was a cocktail only worth tasting for the Brits.

Most likely a diehard fan of the band will tell you this is their best album, full of singles, we consider hits, starting from Greetings from Shitsville, followed by TV Tan, Everlone, My Baby Is a Headfuck, Suckerpunch…Absolutely necessary in our existence. As my friend Artie said the other day, the energy of the songs deliver uppers regardless of the negative subjects certain songs might deal with. You listen to the album, and won’t be able to do it laid on the couch bored because your heart beats will accelerate their rhythm.

After many drugs, few studio albums, and lots of compilations, a dark period started with the absence of CJ from the band, to end in a long break (1997-2001). In 2001, the bassist Danny McCormack was fired from the band due to its alarming and un controllable heroin addiction, and CJ was back in.

The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed was released in 2003. Ginger was responsible for the recording of the bass lines, until a new replacement was found (Jon Poole and Scott Sorry would come later) and being the situation under control, the band recovered, so to speak, part of the classic sound that had become their trademark. Thus, milder and more easy listening tunes such as Someone that Won’t Let Me Go,  Top of the World, or Vanilla Radio were delivered.

This album is less complex regarding structures, timing of songs is shortened, melodies are predominant, and the harder parts are reduced, being this their pop album, and consequently becoming commercially more successful and popular than the previous ones.

One week ago, Artie, Javi, the leader of the punk rock band based in Madrid, The Diesel Dogs, which opened for The Wildhearts two nights in their last visit to Spain back in 2008, and I, packed with CD’s, some beers, and lots of anecdotes, pending conversations and great mood for it, went to Radio Enlace headquarters, for recording a special program for Viva Las Vegas revisiting the career and history of this band we love so much. The result was one hour mainly talking stories, and listening to some tunes. An hour wasn’t enough, as you can imagine, yet the experience was delightful, and the company high class.

Not many cult bands followed by minorities can count with so many passionate and dedicated fans. This could be labeled as a brotherhood. Once you are in, there’s no turning back and you’ll be devoted of the band for good. I’m proud of supporting and adoring The Wildhearts, and although there’s always a sense of frustration every time there’s a hiatus, or a tour which never calls off Spain, just playing any of their albums out loud, reminds me of their greatness, cheering me up to the max. This band is like a gift, a priceless treasure.

You should trust me, and give them a try…you won’t regret.

GINGER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, PLEASE WELCOME…

A couple of weeks ago, Ginger’s departure from Michael Monroe Band was officially announced. Such news didn’t surprise his fans that much, in fact, eventually we knew this was going to happen.

Ginger is an artist who needs to take the lead of every project he’s involved with ,and despite his active part in composing Sensory Overdrive, confirmations of his gigs with friends were more frequent. Personally I should add, comparing to the attitude he offered in Islington Academy last year, he looked tired, and somehow distracted, during  the shows I attended last month. When talking to him, his answer to the question about future plans ahead for The Wildhearts was short and conclusive “No future plans right now”.

This doesn’t mean the band over, I think he’s just taking a break, first by joining the Monroe Army, then to go on solo…eventually he’ll feel the need to rejoin with his band, and at that point, The Wildhearts will deliver another kicking-ass album, for sure.

Who was going to be Ginger’s substitute then? Everyone started wondering, and the band kind of created some suspense setting a date for confirming the new member of the band.

The date has arrived, the news funny spread, with the hands of the band members (remember the picture of the feet before the original lineup was confirmed?) including the mysterious guitar player.

And the winner is…

DREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!

Xavi, a friend, had suggested this possibility I initially rejected, without putting much thinking on this matter, but if you stop for a minute, it makes complete sense, bearing in mind Backyard Babies are in temporary, yet undefined period of hibernation (Nicke’s released his solo album, I haven’t heard a single tune of yet, by the way).

I’m really glad for the choice, Dregen has such energy, he’d fit in the band perfectly, and sure the shows will be even more explosive.

It’s true we’re gonna miss Ginger, and his departure means a great loss in terms of new songs compositions, but hey! Let’s see what Dregen can do, and please welcome him on board.

HAIL TO THE NEW CAESAR!

THE AFTERMATH

My apologies for not having updated this in so many days, but as predicted, after Monroe’s show on Thursday, accompanied with few (many, actually) beers and a state close to euphoria, I wasn’t able to write anything at all.

The gig was amazing, the bunch gathered for seeing the crazy Finnish enjoyed a lot, and we managed to see the band playing in first rows. And yes! I got the setlist 🙂

Monroe exudes energy and rock in high quantities, and the rest of the super band are not puppets either. Sammi Yaffa is pure attitude, and as a friend of mine said, one of the most stylish rock guys ever, his stagewear is really cool. Not being 100% regarding Ginger, the leader of The Wildhearts has really assumed his role and knows he’s not to be the main protagonist, yet his support is definite, same with Conte and Blomqvist.

Shouting Hammersmith Palais or Back to Mystery City while the crazy blonde is jumping and singing and leaving his balls on stage, is one of the greatest pleasures I can recall.

Shows like these two I’ve just enjoyed, really confirm my love for music is worth it, illusion still remains and I feel alive.

No entering into details, and considering I saw Monroe in Madrid again, you can imagine the weekend could be defined anything but quiet and relaxed. We were meant to take it easy on Friday, but already we had been invited to a birthday party and a friend of mine also joined…

I still don’t know how we had such energy for Saturday, which definitely was one of the funniest and craziest day/nights in my entire life. Recovery is being reaaaally hard, plus today we’ve driven back home. My body aches, I feel kinda weird in my head, but I’m still in a state of happiness that unfortunately tomorrow will be gone as I will get back to real life.

Once again, this has been one of these weekends which encourage you to feel Life is Great!

And finally, wanna thank all my friends I’ve been sharing these unforgettable moments with, for being so great, and staying by my side. I LOVE YOU ALL!