Although he’s best known for his tenure in Slipknot, Jordison was a prolific musician who played in a bevy of other projects throughout his fruitful career. In 2001, he co-founded the horror-punk band the Murderdolls, which was technically a revival of a local band he played in years before dubbed The Rejects.
Jordison put down his sticks to play guitar in Murderdolls, and he recruited fellow horror-punk figure Wednesday 13 to be the band’s lead singer. They were only active for a sporadic handful of years due to Jordison’s priorities in Slipknot, but they released an album called Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls in 2002 and a follow-up called Women and Children Last in 2010 that earned their own cult following.
There’s a song on Hardware called Spanish Fly. The title refers to a hot rod – inevitable, given Gibbons’s love of fast and loud cars. “One of my buddies down the street has got a 1946 Ford two-door sedan, which he named Spanish Fly,” he says admiringly. “It’s quite dazzling, this piece of machinery. He wouldn’t sell it. He wouldn’t even give me a ride in it.” But there’s another meaning as well. Spanish Fly is an old, old herbal love potion that comes in many different forms and guises. “Of course, growing up in Texas and making the pilgrimage to the Mexican border, you gotta come back with Spanish Fly,” says Gibbons. “It was this aphrodisiac, supposedly.” And did it work? “That’s a good question.” He leans forward conspiratorially. “I’ve always been afraid to ask.”
Since 1997’s Time Out of Mind, an atmospheric return-to-form after a long period of wandering, death has been Dylan’s chief concern, to the extent that some have read it as a personal obsession. Which, of course, has only aggravated him.
Yes, his recent songs deal with mortality. “But I didn’t see any one critic say: ‘It deals with my mortality’—you know, his own,” Dylan observed. It seems that he has accepted this grievance as an artistic failure and has returned with songs whose subjects cannot be misinterpreted. The last two tracks on Tempest addressed the sinking of the Titanic and the murder of John Lennon—historical events that now exist through a greater cultural consciousness. He continues and improves upon this method throughout Rough and Rowdy Ways, using notes from history to reflect something universal about our own brief, ordinary legacies. “I hope that the gods go easy with me,” he sings in “I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You.” For a minute, you forget the status of the man singing; his prayer sounds as humble, as fragile as anyone’s.
IN a minute they will dazzle. Any second they could blow your mind.
The wealth of archival photography and footage of news and cultural events that shaped the era is extraordinary. Haynes’ use not just of clips from the work of Warhol, Mekas and Smith, but also Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren, Marie Menken, Barbara Rubin, Shirley Clarke and others — often playing in mind-bending juxtaposition on multiple screens within the screen — makes this an uncommonly cine-literate music doc and a rapturous homage to experimental art. Mekas says it all in one succinct interview snippet: “We are not part of the counterculture. We are the culture.”
One of my all time favourite albums and certainly favourite songwriters.
Having split the Velvet Underground, John Cale might easily have packed up his viola and avant garde bona fides and disappeared forever into the obscure realm of experimental music. Instead he’s had it both ways, interspersing LPs like 1997’s Eat/Kiss: Music for the Films by Andy Warhol with more traditional art rock (God I hate that term) albums like Vintage Violence. Lou Reed went on to join the greats, but by any standard Cale’s albums of the early to mid-1970’s stand up to those released by Reed during the same period. There’s much to be said for Reed’s aggression, but Cale’s emotional detachment also has its lure. In “Hanky Panky Nohow” Cale sings about “seducing down the door.” Which to my way of thinking is just as good as Reed’s approach, which was to kick it in.