Tag Archives: band

The Devil Wears Prada – Zombie (EP)

Well, I listened to some metal today — Zombie (EP), the 2010 release by The Devil Wears Prada.  Frankly … not my thing. I’m cool with metal but I think Sesame Street is a much better gig for Cookie Monster.  Something a guitarist pointed out to me years ago – he said “I love distortion, but it also hides the poor playing of a lot of musicians.”

This album did feature a few things that I enjoyed – things that switched it up and gave it any redeeming depth and texture …

  • Escape – Thunder at the beginning of track one … some speaking mid-track of a guy on communicating what he’s seeing over a walkie-talkie or a phone … a car (or some such) alarm being used musically … groaning zombies.
  • Anatomy – Starts out with the sound of a nearby chainsaw.  It’s also really sweet when they kick into sound like they’re backed by a late-80s/early-90s boy band.  Way to bring it back guys, right on!
  • Outnumbered – Starts with a report warning of danger (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news agency, etc).  Yeah, that’s about the only good thing I have to say about this track.
  • Revive – There was a little bit of music and singing in here that wasn’t speed guitars and Cookie Monster.  I’m good with metal speed guitars, drums, etc …. but the Cookie Monster thing …. bleh!  Really there is very little good I can say about this track.  Suffice to say, not everything is for everyone.
  • Survivor – I listened to this track three times before typing here.  I can’t tell anything special about this track.  It’s all the noise of the first four tracks and nothing terribly interesting.

In Conclusion… I may listen to this album again for a few of the ‘texture’ ideas, but I don’t see myself listening to it out of interest, inspiration, or especially to feel anything other than frazzled out of my mind.  To each their own, not my thing.

Cookie Monster at Wikipedia and his character profile at IMDB

Cookie Monster Metal at Wikipedia

The Devil Wears Prada and their 23Aug2010 album Zombie (EP) at Wikipedia

Lyrics to Zombie (EP) because I can’t tell what the heck they’re singing … maybe I’m showing my age.

Tom Petty (RIP)

The first time I heard Tom Petty – and I mean REALLY heard Tom Petty – was at a ski condo where I spent many winter weekends during high school.  If you consider a lot of his songs being in high school could not have been a more fitting time.

My family had a time-share with another family on an area condo.  Every other weekend we would pack up the van and trek to Snoqualmie Pass.  As I passed from Freshmen through my Senior years I had to spend less time skiing and snowboarding and more time studying, all while looking out the condo windows at the frozen hill I’d rather be sliding down.

One night during the winter of ‘89/90 some folks down the hall at the condo building had a party.  They put on Full Moon Fever (1989) and blared it.  The album was crisp and clear, you couldn’t miss it from anything else going on in the building.  The distinct sound of Tom Petty’s voice, the memorable tracks from this solo album …  The folks down the hall played this album all night.  It was the only album they played … all night.  Everyone else in the building, myself included, were trying to sleep, and apparently no one had the nerve to go down the hall to bang on the damn door and demand they shut it off!  My suspicion remains that the folks started playing a CD* copy of the album on repeat, partied and then passed out.
(* Here’s where I show my age – people were just starting to get CD players then – and the copy of the album I heard couldn’t have been a tape cassette because there wasn’t a long enough pause anywhere for the tape to run out … which is kind of funny & coincidental when considering what the listener hears at the middle of the album.)

Yep, the first time I really heard Tom Petty I REALLY didn’t like his work – not because of anything having to do with his music but because of the lack of sleep I got that fateful night coupled with the inundation of the singular album.

Some years later (still in high school) I had gotten that sleepless condo night and that repeating album out of my system.  On weekend evenings I caught a late at night music show on PBS – I have no idea what the show was.  For weeks I tuned in because this show was cool and I didn’t have a social life then (either).  I would watch whatever band was being featured and then the show would close out with playing a number from a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers concert.

Every week the concert would pick up where it left off, and over a number of weeks I caught most of the performance.  Something about the music and the presence the musicians had caught me.  To this day I don’t know what the specific concert was or much reference to make for the footage – and I would love to see it again.  All I recall was that there was this HUGE tree prop behind the band on stage, and I think chandeliers hung from the branches.  Their performance was engaging, electrifying, authentic, and the roots of rock’n’roll were palpable.

It was after that I started paying attention, learning about where Tom Petty came from, observing his accomplishments, hearing the arc of his music as he continued to mature ….  and yet that authentic, palpable thing always remained.

I get the impression that some folks think that because I play bagpipes that I’m not a musician, that I don’t tie in with the rest of musicians the same.  While I hold the opinion that there is a vibe every musician experiences that comes with their genre of instrument, there is a vibe that all musicians share.  I didn’t start out as a bagpiper, I’m not now only a bagpiper, and with that I’ve always viewed myself as a musician first.  When you appreciate the work of another musician both from an audience standpoint and from musician standpoint …. when someone who’s work was incredible and they move on …  it hurts in two ways.  You lose a star in the night who was a point of great creation, and you lose someone you understand because of the vibe you shared with them.

In some of the themes that Tom wrote and sang about – love, hate, and loss – my relationship with his work has been that.  First I hated his work, then I came to love it.  Lately we lost the man, and yet we can remain grateful for the gifts he gave through his art and dreams.

Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017)

Tom Petty – YouTubeWikipedia – IMDB

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers  – YouTubeWikipedia – IMDB