Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rock Ain't Dead...But The Industry Is

Gene Simmons (from the band Kiss) has opened his mouth again and managed to stir the turd. One has to credit him with his amazing ability to do so.

This time round, it's less what he said or how he said it, that's the problem. The problem is with the average person's inability to read past the headline. People are banging their proverbial drums because they THINK he said Rock & Roll Is Dead. What he was talking about is the industry. The music industry in general. And guess what...he's correct.

The tone of the Esquire interview between Simmons and his son, was actually that of an old man looking back on what he tried to create and the current reality. It's actually somewhat sad. Simmons knows that he earned more than most. He's not stupid. He also knows that there are people who don't like his music...and he's OK with that too. He points out that back in the good ol' days the public voted with their money. If they liked a band, they bought the records. Not the case any more. As soon as a song is released, it's bootlegged. Good-bye money. While that may not be as much of an issue for a multimillionaire like Simmons, the exact same thing happens to every musician, all across the spectrum. The big names to the no names. And the no names can't exist on dreams for long.

Simmons makes some valid points, which I will happily share here:

"ROCK DID NOT DIE OF OLD AGE. IT WAS MURDERED."

And guess what? He's right. It was killed by it's so-called fans who feel that music should be free. Except...it costs money to record those songs. There's a big difference between something recorded at home on a computer and something recorded in a studio. I can always hear it. Sometimes I like the home-recorded stuff. Sometimes I like the studio stuff. But...I can always tell the difference. And besides...it's just one copy of one song, right? Wrong. It's the majority of copies of every song.

Simmons points out the difference between the old days when record labels could and would spend the time and money to groom an act with potential. Those days are looooooong gone.

"I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in Saint Paul, that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to ten, will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did. He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably. There is no industry for that anymore."

"Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed, and now it won't, because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."

Like I've publicly opined about for years...where's the next big thing? It's still out there...and still rocking and rolling...but most of us will NEVER get to hear it. And that's sad. Why won't we get to hear it? Because there's only so much these kids can do. There are millions and millions of songs online...millions more added every day. If you're lucky, you might know some whacko like me who believes so much in music, that he/she has dedicated their life to it. I'm lucky to have the occasional opportunity to do PR for a few labels, majors and indies alike. These folks come to me because they know I'm honest and will do what I can to get that ol' word of mouth going. It just keeps getting harder and harder.

Seriously...where is the next big thing? Simmons made yet another excellent point:

"Here's a frightening thought: from 1958 to 1983, name 100 musical anythings that are iconic, that seem to last beyond their time...Now from '84 until today, name some. Just give me a few — artists that, even after their passing, are or will be inescapable. Artists on the same level as the ones I just mentioned. Even if you don't like them, they will be impossible to avoid, or deny, even after they've stopped making music and maybe passed on. In fact, they become bigger when they stop."

The real giants are either gone or still making music. There aren't any new ones coming along. The one hit wonder is nothing new. The industry thrives on it. But...where are the new giants? They might be out there...somewhere...but they'll never become giants. Not like we're used to. They're too busy trying to find ways to not starve, to keep their phones, electric, water, and heat on. They're too busy making sure they have transportation. They're too busing being lost in the sea of others just like them.

I stated that the fans killed the music industry. That is partly true. The other part of the problem lies with the music industry itself. Like any large industry, it's a bunch of folks with MBAs, looking at the bottom line. They're busy making sure the money comes in so the company's expenses are met, plus a tidy profit margin. As long as there has been a music industry, it has tried to act like any other business. Give the people what they want, and if at all possible, pre-guess what they want and give them that. There is no room for creativity in the corporate world. Creativity involves risk. Business doesn't like risk. Risk costs money with no guarantee of return. This lack of risk has also killed the music industry.

Does this mean that rock and roll itself is dead? Yes and no. There will always be people making music, much of which will rock (some might even roll!). But will the average person ever hear it? No. People don't go out to experience live music like they used to. You can blame that on whatever your like...the fact remains, people aren't filling the bars to see bands. They want FREE. They want NO COVER CHARGE, cheap drinks, and a good time. Bands cannot tour for free. There are just too many expenses. Venues often cannot afford to pay bands. Each venue has it's own expenses. A lot of venues have gone to the showcase format, which is to say having 3-4 (and sometimes more) bands per night, in hopes that more bands will translate to more asses in seats drinking beer. This only works on rare occasions. There is too much down time between bands, one bands crowd (usually friends and family) will leave when the band they came to see is finished. Money isn't being made. After a while, the venue can no longer support having live music...because, again, the so-called fans no longer support it.

No, rock and roll is not dead...but the industry is. The music will always be made...but YOU will probably never get the chance to hear it. There is no NEXT BIG THING on the horizon. All that's left is a rehash of yesterday's music. At my age, I already know what I like and I have a large (and ever-growing) music collection. But...I know I would like to hear something new and mind-blowing. Once in a blue moon I get to...because I actively look for it. Sadly, most of what I hear is the same old thing being played to a smaller and smaller audience.

NOTE: To those of you who don't know me, I'm a musician, a composer, a writer/reviewer/journalist, sometime PR guy, sometime door man, sometime session musician. I have been blessed in this life...but I too am starving. I get to see the side of the music industry that you don't. I get to see performers/venues/labels scrambling trying to figure out where the crowds and the money are. I'm also the guy who used to make a nice living...and now is keeping busy trying to keep the lights on. I've been doing this for so long that I don't know what else I can do. I also know how important music is...and that I'll keep on doing what I can to keep it going.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Reverend, Monsters, And A Case Of Vertigogo

Last night, I got to witness a band I've waited a few years to see: The Monsters.

If you're not hip to them, that's OK. You will be...eventually. You might not dig them...and I don't really care if you do. I do. These cats, especially their front man, have had a profound effect on me and my music.

A couple of years ago, I had become increasingly bored with music. I had spent a couple of years indulging my lifelong love of country blues. I had all but stopped playing electric music. I watched as the local music scene continued to crumble, and really wasn't hearing much from anywhere else that really moved me. My health and finances prevented me from touring (still the case), which is where I've long found new ideas and new music.

It's always out there...it's a matter of finding it.

Around that time, Dave Alvin had posted a video online of some great old RAW gospel blues. I mean it was primitive as anything...but extremely powerful. I found it invigorating! A few days later, like the music junkie I am, I went in search of my next fix. I went back to YouTube, looking for more raw, primitive, trashy blues.

What I found instead was Reverend Beat Man and The Monsters.

Long story short, I followed that YouTube rabbit hole and came across some stuff that I liked, and a lot more that just sat there. I eventually came across a trailer for a documentary on Voodoo Rhythm Records...owned and run by the Swiss madman, Reverend Beat Man.  This seriously piqued my interest. This cat sees music very much like I do. He gets what it's about. He understands that rock and roll is raw, primitive, loud, scary, beautifully ugly...and often "don't sell shit". Yet, he keeps pressing these records. He's an admitted rock & roll junkie.

When I first watched the video for "More You Talk Less I Hear" by his band The Monsters, I was hooked! I can liken it best to the first time I heard Link Wray (and that was a long, long time ago). It was loud, it was noisy, it was everything it should be and more. I checked out every video I could find (and spent what I could downloading songs). Each song was, at least to me, mind blowing. Even my girlfriend was digging it...and we rarely agree on music.



I saw a video by Reverend Beat Man, minus his Monsters, called "I See The Light". I was wondering if it was his take on Hank Sr. Um...no, I don't think so. This was closer to Hasil Adkins (who's music I love!). But it was nastier....trashier. "BLOOZ TRASH!" The lyrics were insane! This is notable as English is not the man's native language...yet he has a better grasp of it than most Americans. I'm always impressed when someone can write lyrics in a different language...especially good lyrics! And damn...dude has a sense of humor too! It's not always easy to convey humor through music...but the Reverend can.



This music moved me! It's raw and primitive intensity is what true rock and roll is about. It's more punk than punk, more real backwoods hillbilly than any rockabilly band, and trashier than any garage band would ever dare to be. I played it for my band mates in The Bessemers, and posted Beat Man and Monsters videos all over my Facebooger page. A few friends picked up on it...but surprisingly, nowhere near as many as I thought would. Oh well...no accounting for taste.

Like I said, this music had a profound effect on me. I plugged the guitar back in, turned up the volume, and stripped my sound down to the bare essentials. I was moved to write and record a song, "Voodoo Cockatoo", which I think contains some of my most inventive lyrics ever. A friend recently likened it to a twisted novel. I took it into the studio and recorded a great version...which remains unfinished. A friend was going to come in from LA to play on it...but his career has taken a wonderful upswing as of late, so the song waits....for now.

For the past two years I've been waiting for Reverend Beat Man, with or without The Monsters, to come somewhere close enough to get to. Finances have been non-existent, but I can usually find my way into a good show. I lucked out on this one! Get Hip Records brought them in for a small show...and did I mention it was a FREE show? There was a donation box for those who felt so-compelled. The suggestion donation? Five measly bucks. If these cats had only played for 15 minutes, it would have been worth it. I took my girlfriend as an early birthday present, and I happily stuffed a few fives into the donation box. Sadly, I noticed many who did not.

Also on the bill were my friends Vertigo Go...a great instrumental band. I hate to use the term "surf band"...because no, these ain't all surfing songs....and I doubt any of these guys are surfers. Not many crankin' waves on our three rivers. The gal and I got there early. Early enough, in fact, to spend some time hanging out with my buddy Gary (Vertigo Go's drummer) out front, and caught a smoke or two.

It always pays to be early, especially for a small show. You get your choice of the best spot in the house (I prefer to hear the stage sound, rather than the PA), you're usually treated to some excellent music by a local or lesser known band, and in this case, we got to meet Reverend Beat Man and The Monsters as they arrived back at the venue.

We spent about 20 minutes just hanging out, introducing ourselves, talking shop, etc. Beat Man is a truly nice guy and has a wickedly dark sense of humor. He joked about playing his song "Jesus", down south. He introduced the song as "about the love for a man". Down in the Bible belt...this can get you shot at. His introduction caught people's attention though, and when they realized what the song was about, there was a collective sigh of relief...Jethro and the good ol' boys didn't have to whoop some foreigner queermosexshul ass. Like I said, dude is hilarious.

I can safely announce that both bands kicked ass last night. Vertigo Go put on an amazing show, and The Monsters left the crowd begging for more. They even let one of The Knox Boys sit in, briefly, on a song, while the bass player danced.  If you've never been to Get Hip...to say the show was in 'an intimate setting' would be the most polite way to put it. The place should have been wall to wall people. But it wasn't. We've all heard the excuses: "I didn't know about it!", "I had to work!", and my fave, "I'm broke" (it was a FREE show!).  Pittsburghers just don't care that much about music anymore. I hate to say it, but this just proves it. If you don't hand deliver exactly what they think they want, when they want, and do it for free, you'll have a limited turnout. I hope this doesn't dissuade Beat Man and The Monsters from making a return trip. I'll happily do as much promo as I can. These cats are worth it!

A great big THANK YOU goes out to the folks at Get Hip for bringing this show to town. These guys are only doing 4-5 US shows this tour. If we're really lucky, they'll come back. If not...at least I can say I was there for this one! And seriously...this was one of the best shows I've experienced in a long, long time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Knowing The Difference...

I am a minister; not a preacher or reverend. Why?

To minister means to serve or help another. To preach is to make a proclamation, usually via a sermon. A reverend is one who is supposed to be revered or respected.  Which one do you think is more likely to be effective?

I CAN preach. I can do it well. I can preach in such a way that it'll make your head spin. But why should you listen to me? I'm just a man. Nothing more. The only words I can and will give you are the truth...not the truth as I see it, but the truth as it is. I know fire is hot and ice is cold. I know that stealing and killing are wrong. I know that loving and caring is right. If you can't understand those simple truths, no amount of preaching by me, or anyone else, will make you understand.

 I don't seek to be revered. I'll happily try to earn your respect, but I won't ask anyone, or even allow anyone, to automatically bestow it upon me. Don't call me "sir". I've never been knighted. I've worked my entire life. I have a name; feel free to use it.

I have done wrong. I freely admit it. When I make a mistake, I own up to it. I know that for every action there is a reaction or consequence. When I do wrong, I try as hard as I can to make it right.

I am a minister; not a preacher or reverend. Now you know why.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Owls

I've had some issues with owls. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike them, but, they have, on occasion, scared the crap out of me. In fact, I'll tell you a couple of owl stories...feel free to laugh and then remind me of it every time you see me...which happens. I'm glad y'all are still reading this silliness!

I used to live in a small town in Ohio called New Philadelphia. It was about a 30 or so minute drive from where my dad had a "vacation" home at Tappan Lake. His 2nd wife never really liked the place, so dad had stopped going there. I'd stop out once a month or so to check on the place for him, and if something needed repaired, I'd take care of that too.

It was a nice little place with 2 bedrooms, front and back porches, fireplace, and a number of black walnut trees on the property. I learned to loathe black walnuts. If you've ever hit one with a lawnmower and had it come flying back at you, you'll understand why. They're kinda like nature's golf balls.

One day, I decided I'd better check on the place, as a pretty bad storm had blown through the area. Good thing I did! The window in the one bedroom had been broken, presumably by a black walnut blown off one of the trees. It was nearing dusk, so I figured I'd grab some wood out of the shed, and board up the window.

Once I had that finished, I decided I'd go clean up any broken glass in the room. The room itself was a decent size, with 2 sets of bunk beds, 2 old 1940's dressers, a closet, and a big round mirror. There were only 2 lights in the room; one on the nightstand between the beds (it had been knocked over) and the other on the wall opposite the door, right near the foot of one of the top bunks.

As I entered the room, I heard something definitely critter-like. This wasn't going to be good. I knew it. But, whatever it was, quickly made it's way out through the space between the window and the board, so I didn't have to confront it. However, this did get me to thinking that as well as broken glass, I might have some sort of critter poo to clean up. I made my way across the darkened room to where I knew the light was. As I flicked on the light, a big-ass barn owl started flapping it's massive wings at me! Apparently, it had been perched right at the foot of the top bunk...probably in wait to devour whatever critter I had previously heard!

Needless to say, this scared this crap out of me. I would say that I merely jumped back, and then grabbed the owl and put him outside...but that would be a lie. The reality is more like this: I screamed like a bitch and ran out of the room. Once out of the room, I turned back around to see what the hell was in that room...and it was just an owl. Now the only question was HOW THE HELL DO I GET AN OWL OUT OF THE HOUSE????

If you've ever had a bird in the house, then you know how fun it is to get them OUT of the house. Now, make that bird an owl...a large, terrified (by me) owl. Mr. Owl wanted away from me and I wanted Mr. Owl out of the house. This should be easy, right? Guess again.

I opened both the front and back doors, so Mr. Owl would have a choice of escape routes. I grabbed a broom and started trying to shoo the owl out. Of course...this didn't work. Mr. Owl flew out of the room and into the kitchen and main living area. He should have just flown right out the front door, but in his obviously agitated state, was thinking less clearly than he should have been. Owls make a lot of noise when they're scared. I was mostly just muttering, "Shit", "Fuck" and "Dammit". A lot. This owl wasn't going to leave on his own. The broom was nowhere near as effective as I'd hoped. It was time for Plan B. Only problem...I didn't have a Plan B. (Note to reader and self: ALWAYS have a Plan B!)

I sat down at the kitchen table, lit a cigarette, and tried to figure out just what the hell to do about this owl. I could have just said "Screw this", locked him in there for a week, and just come back later and scooped up the corpse, but that would mean a 2nd trip to Tappan Lake, and I just didn't want to. Also, I'm not that cruel. I also couldn't allow myself to be bested by an owl...although, it was looking more and more likely that I would be.

Having only one idea left, which should tell you everything you need to know about how much I cared about this situation, I went into the master bedroom, and grabbed a sheet from the cupboard. I figured, if I could throw this over the owl, I'd be able to bunch it up and put him outside, so he could go back to his owl world and regale his owl friends with his own version of this story (which would probably go something like, "So, I'm just sitting there, minding my own business, waiting to eat a critter, and this deranged human comes along, tries to blind me with a bright light and then starts screaming and trying to kill me with a broom! Seriously Frank, I was terrified!").

If you've never tried to throw a sheet over a moving owl, let me tell you...it's not fun. It also takes numerous tries. I literally spent at least an hour trying to do this. I was close to giving up, when Mr. Owl decided to perch on the back of the couch. He looked as worn out as I was. We just looked at each other, with sort of a "What the hell are we doing?" look...but like I said, I was NOT going to be bested by an owl. We continued our staring contest for a few minutes, while I slowly inched towards the couch. Mr. Owl wasn't moving. He did, however, poop on the couch. Owl poop stinks. I finally got the sheet over him, and got him outside. Mr. Owl seemed resigned to conquest, and didn't move much. It might have been shock...who knows...but once out on the porch, I carefully pulled the sheet off of him so he could fly away. Instead, he popped up onto the porch rail, and just looked at me. I turned around and closed the screen door, and Mr. Owl finally flew away.

I went back in and still had broken glass, critter poo, owl poo, and what I can only guess was the remnants of Mr. Owl's dinner, to clean up. My routine, 20 minute inspection took hours to complete. I was tired, sweaty, and chuckling to myself about the situation. I finished up, locked up the house, and drove back home to New Philly. I called dad when I got home to tell him the story. I told him I should charge him for this...and most dads probably would have agreed. Not Clyde. He was more concerned with whether or not I boarded up the window correctly and if I could go back and air the place out to get rid of the stench of critter poo stains.  I love my dad...but he's one of the reasons I drink.

If this isn't enough of a tale...I have another. Not quite as lengthy but every bit as entertaining.

If you've ever been to my house, you know what it's like. For those that haven't, it's an old Cape Code style house, lots of trees, and a mess of woods out back. We get a lot of critters through the yard. I've seen more than my share of deer, ground hogs, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, birds galore...and even the odd duck and Canadian goose. My upstairs bathroom window looks out over the back yard, and there's an evergreen right near the window...which gives a nice bit of privacy, should anyone for some odd reason want to try to look up into my bathroom. We occasionally get critters on the roof too. So far this summer, it's been a busy season for the raccoons. I'm starting to believe that my roof has become a popular mating spot for them.

But, this story is about owls...or, one owl in particular.

Some years back, I recall waking at around 2am to use the toilet. This is unusual only in the fact that it was 2am and I was already asleep...so I must have still been working down in the Strip District, as that was one of the few times in my life that I worked "normal people" hours.

As I said, the upstairs bathroom window looks out on the back yard. The toilet is right near the window (ventilation!). Beneath the window dormer is a small bit of roofing, and a gutter. (I tell you this, just to set the scene) When this was my grandmother's house, she would keep a small nightlight in the bathroom, for those late night visits. I used to as well...but often when the bulb would burn out, I'd leave it for months. I have no problem with just flicking on the light. Probably better that I do because, as we all know, us guys need all the help we can get when it comes to "aiming".

So, as I said, it's around 2am, I've just woke from a deep sleep, and am standing by the window, relieving myself. "HOO! HOO!" Scared the hell out of me! A damned owl was peeking right in the window and started making noise at me! Seeing what I was doing, he was probably thinking I was strangling a snake. Startled, I yelled at Mr. Owl, he flapped his big ass wings at me and took off. Yes...I made a mess. Damned owl scared the piss outta me.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ALS

OK, so everyone is making cute little videos, dumping buckets of ice water on themselves, to raise awareness of ALS. Personally, I'd rather these people just make a donation to a worthy cause and ask their friends to do the same...but hey, I guess whatever works.

But just what the hell is ALS (some of you may be asking)? First off, "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease (motor neuron disease to my friends overseas) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed." That is a direct quote from the ALS Association's web site (www.alsa.org). Secondly, ALS is one of the few things on this planet that terrifies me. 

I've long joked that my only fear is quicksand (it was when I was a kid, not so much now) but the reality is this: I am scared shitless of ever being diagnosed with ALS.

We had a distant cousin who had it. Sharon was a gorgeous gal, with a loving husband, 3 kids, and everything to look forward to. One day, while changing her youngest's diaper, she couldn't get her fingers to work the safety pin (yep, we're going back a ways). She felt FINE, but just couldn't get it to work. Over the next few weeks, things like this kept happening, so she went to see her doctor. Tests were done, and finally a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig's) was made. This was the 1970s and essentially, this young, beautiful, vibrant woman had been given a slow death sentence.

As one can imagine, a disorder like this doesn't only affect the patient. It affects the entire family. Sharon's oldest, Kimmy, was about 10 or 11 at the time. Over the next couple of years, she had to take on more of her mother's duties at home because Sharon could just no longer do them. That meant raising her younger siblings, as well as helping to take care of her wheelchair-bound, and later bedridden, mother. It was too much for Kimmy. She became distant with the family and seemed, rightly, pissed off. I haven't heard from her since her mother passed, and that was a long time ago. I hope she's OK.

But Sharon, she was a trouper. She fought hard til the end. It was heartbreaking to see this disorder tear her down, bit by bit. She just got weaker and weaker with each passing day. She had no muscle tone or control left at all. She eventually couldn't even breathe on her own, and shortly after that, she died.

The worst part? Her mind was still fully intact. She had become a prisoner in her own body. That's what terrifies me so much about ALS.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no known cause of ALS, and it's only hereditary in a very small percentage of cases. But it's still an awful way to go...and we all know that the only way to end it is through research. That costs money. Sure, the ice water challenge makes for a cute little video, good for a laugh I suppose, but I would, personally, rather see the folks making these videos just send a donation instead. Hey, times are tough. I get it. I'm so broke people should be writing country and blues songs about me! But if you have the money for a video camera or a really nice cell phone, you can probably afford to send a buck or two. There's a link on the www.alsa.org site where you can make a donation.

I won't challenge you to. I'll just ask.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Rare Music Video Review

I've written hundreds of music reviews in my career as a writer. Maybe thousands, I don't know...I've never counted. But, as the music industry continues to change, I guess I should too.

Let's face it. No one buys music anymore. There's a good reason for this...most of it sucks. Case in point, anything The Black Keys have done since their "Brothers" disc.

Before you go pointing fingers and crying foul, I've worked with Dan Auerbach. He was still a kid in his late teens, early 20s, and playing with his old band The Barn Burners. They used to open for me from time to time. The kid had amazing talent then, and I'm sure still does. He has, however, fallen into the trap that is the industry.

Their earlier releases were pure fun! Grungy, bluesy, garage-y...I didn't like everything they did but I enjoyed most of it. Then came "Brothers". Damn. That was the record every artist dreams of. Not a bad song on it. I listened to that release repeatedly, start to finish, for hours at a time...until Dan started leasing his songs out to every possible commercial venture possible. And hey, why shouldn't he? He has to make a living. He and Patrick Carney always made good money touring, but they were in a position to make more. Selling out? Hardly. It was a smart business choice.

That disc was going to be impossible to follow up. They should have waited years to even try. But in today's market, that's not possible. Gotta keep on selling! The follow up disc, "El Camino" sucked balls. It had one decent song and the whole project just sounded rushed. I can guarantee it didn't generate the revenue that "Brothers" did...but the momentum carried them into the arena circuit. More money! Good for them!

I just watched the video for "Weight of Love", from their latest release. Oh Lord...it was, for lack of a better word, pretentious. This is what happens when 2 kids from Ohio get money. Gone is their usual wit. It's been replaced by super models, tits, and absurdity. The song is really pretty boring. Hardcore Keys fans will dig it...but it's totally unmemorable. The video, which Rolling Stone describes as "clever" and summarizes as "Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney play sweaty televangelists slowly whipping an audience into a flat-out frenzy" just tells me that their reviewer and I must have been watching different videos.

Sure, in the background, you can occasionally see the boys playing televangelists on TV...but the bulk of the video is T&A, in see-through white robes. Need to sell merchandise? T&A works every time, and probably will again this time.

But the reality is, this so-called "clever" short is anything but. To my eyes, it looks like a talented film student with the potential for a great career as a cinematographer has tried his hand at directing...and came up with the most cliche thing he could. The lighting and movement reminds me of Jesus Christ Superstar...but without the originality. It's just a bunch of models, with no sort of story line, just flailing about. There's a beach. Sand. Water. Sunshine. The indoor scenes are dimly lit...wooooo so intense and sensitive...not. Lots of slowed down footage...another sad attempt at giving it some sort of emotion. It just fails on every level. I'm sure teenage boys all over will find a spank-worthy moment or two...but for serious music fans, this is a waste of time. The song itself is "ok" but it's not a single. Danny can write a good hook. He can write some great songs...but he's apparently still lost in the shadow of "Brothers" and having a tough time finding his muse again. Coupled with his recent divorce and new-found single parenthood, I'm sure he's got a lot on his mind. He should just take more time off, get his life in order, and wait a while before releasing anything new. The Black Keys should be setting themselves up for a big comeback in a few years....not just babbling on about nothing like the rest of us do.