Tag Archives: Viva Las Vegas

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.

ALBUM OF WEEK 27 – DEATH OF A DECADE

Tonka always reminds me of my dad and the tonka bean he uses for preparing his amazing and luxurious gin tonics. There’s also this Tonka toy company featuring trucks and construction equipment. The sound of this exotic name also brings me to a tiki world.  No, none of these options can be applied to the named of this band from Springfield, Ha Ha Tonka are named after a skate park in Camdentown, Missouri. Isn’t it weeeeird? Ha ha…Tonka! 😉 Sorry guys, it’s Monday, my sense of humor is at its lowest and cheapest.

Again, I got to know this band through Viva Las Vegas podcast. I heard their first single, Usual Suspects, which also opens their last album Death of a Decade, and loved it immediately. It’s very catchy, with the mandolin arrangements. A very good starter, what do you think?

The album really made an impression on me as to include it in my top 10 2011 albums. I must admit I was not much updated on album releases last year, and didn’t include it in order to fill a list though. I still reckon it was one of the best.

The announcement of their upcoming European tour dates in Spain, specifically in Barcelona, and the happiness brought out, made me pick up this beautiful album from the shelves, and start listening to it nonstop. If I had some doubts about it, they were all finally erased once and for all.

Death of a Decade is one of these 11-track treasures, full of folk and deep America roots, very melodic and spiritual. It’s been said their music is inspired by the wisdom of the Ozarks, the American pioneers who first settled in this highlands area. Listening to Jesusita inspires me some kind of wonderful peaceful state.

The Missouri quartet are endorsed by the emblematic Bloodshot Records label, which have been working with  with relevant artists and bands such as Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle, Alejandro Escovedo, Scott H. Biram, and The Bottle Rockets, among others, which for me it means  a guarantee proof.

I was glad to read on Twitter a couple of days ago that they’re currently working on new songs, which hopefully we’ll be able to hear during these tour performances. These guys seem to be very excited for coming over, so am I, of course, and really can’t wait to see them. They’re scheduled to play at Rocksound, a very small but warm and friendly venue, in October. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be a blast, and I insist, they’re really worth giving them a try.

A FIX OF VIVA LAS VEGAS CAN DO NO HARM

Today I feel like shit, really. I’ve got these typical flu symptoms, so disgusting! My whole body aches, got sore throat, I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything which requires a minimum effort, I cannot stay focused (writing right now is a terrible experience), and my head is very dizzy. Reckon I have a bit fever, enough to make me feel miserable.

I’m a very talkative person, and usually jokes at work do not bother me at all, but today. Even my colleagues were flipping I wasn’t much in the mood for anything. I’ve even slept siesta laid on my desk because I’m so tired… eventually  got back home earlier because I was completely numb, and this evening has been quite boring.

The reason why I’m telling all this is because whenever I am in such state, I cannot even listen to a whole album, but today Salvation has knocked at my door, in the shape and sound of a podcast.

You know I don’t really like listening to radio, most of stations are crap in this country, and it’s a shame because, I’d love to discover and enjoy new stuff on the go.

Viva Las Vegas is a program broadcasted by a minor radio station, but thanks to new technologies and glorious internet, I can listen to it every week.

My friend Artemio is  passionate about music, much more than I am, and all the stuff he’s recommended me, has been worth listening, so he’s one of the people I trust and respect most in such matter.

The one hour program is time enough to discover new stuff and being entertained whenever I’m surfing the net or writing. Believe me, there are always a couple of songs at least which kick me in the head.

Viva Las Vegas contents are based on rock style, but the offer is wide. From classics like the Stones, to latest releases, including stuff of bands about to tour our country.

The program of this week has managed to give me the most pleasant moments today, I’m positive, and for that reason I wanted to share it with you, hoping you get the chance to listen to it on a weekly basis, and enjoy.

Welcome to my weekly oasis, Viva Las Vegas

Artie, once again, you’ve made my day. I only expect with this little tribute, you start getting some more fans.

TURN THE (DAMN) RADIO DOWN

For the first 4 years I was working in the fascinating world of the container business, never had music of any sort accompanying me during those times of both extreme stress or massive boredom, and to be honest, I didn’t miss it either.

I guess Danish companies have these strict rules never to be trespassed in order you don’t get too much distracted and become a Terminator productive machine of making money. We never had a radio switched on, and remember most people were complaining accordingly…but me. I used to complain about other stuff, such as the ridiculous dress code we had to suffer, especially the guys, just for working in front of a computer for 8 hours, that, I found ridiculous!

Probably because of my classy and selective taste in good music, I always knew having something at everybody’s hand would cause much trouble, plus most people have a very disgusting taste in music. Don’t mean to offend anyone, yet I positive mean it.

Typical war between mates deciding what to play, my music, with all the prejudice on Earth, is considered freak, noisy and heavy metal. I didn’t know many people are able to put the same label to Neil Young or Ryan Adams as to Iron Maiden and The Dead Boys…but yeah, such is life! I’ve been listening I’m musically intolerant for many years, and the I despise music I don’t like.

Ok, that’s true in many occasions, the fact is that I cannot stand certain commercial shit with the business standing behind them, who only perform others’ compositions, of the worst kind.

I was living very happy before I ended up working at offices where radio was the driving force of the daily workflow, and let me tell you, I hate it!

First, quality of most radio stations is more than questionable. Second, as we already know, musical culture in this country, S-pain, is absolutely  pathetic. The few decent broadcasts are immediately rejected for being too experimental or whatever the adjective you wanna put here, and finally, to avoid arguments, the fuckin’ two most mainstream stations are selected, so at the end of the day, I’m sick of Rihanna, Shakira, stressing and disgusting dance music, and worst of all, our marvelous defended and supported outrageous Spanish bands.

As some of you, dear readers, already know me well, it’s easy to imagine me exploding from time to time when I can’t swallow more shit and start swearing their mothers and the rest of their families.

You can call me Nazi, Taliban or whatever you want, I’d smash the shitty radio set hour after hour, day after day, I’m tired of listening same songs repeated nonstop, same artists considered kings…what the fuck!! Have you ever listened to The Black Crowes? Do you know who Tom Petty is? No? Then go fuck yourself…and better you to be dead!

My apologies for my bad language and my roughness, today hasn’t been my day at all, and I’m in Get In The Ring mood…ah, you don’t know where this come from? Good you’re not close to me right now or I’d kick you ass!! 😉

**** My advise for today: listen to this podcast, this is real high class!!  Viva Las Vegas ****