Wilkes-Barre is a quaint little town filled with Pennsylvania wilderness, some picturesque lakes, and a converted 7-Eleven-turned-punk venue called the Redwood Art Space. The “art space” sat in the middle of a shopping mall, a green sheet hung in the front window; the only way you could tell it was a music venue was all the roadies in black hoodies smoking outside while we waited in the cold March air.
Peace and a sense of belonging belong to Get Lonely’s narrator in a future he can’t yet see. The character who “went down to the gas station, for no particular reason/heard the screams from the high school-it’s football season,” on “Moon Over Goldsboro” could very well be the same sick lover who shouts, “I hope I never get sober,” on “No Children.” His future, one where his footprints are alone in the sand, unburdened/unaided by his former accomplice, lies dark before him. He wanders around town for no particular reason, other than that it hurts to sit still.
White Lung channel galvanic and immensely unobstructable energy on Paradise. They take that feeling of being unspoken for, pump it up manifold and scream it to the skies. The music extends into your female consciousness. Lyrics evoke a superstratum. Your banal existence becomes suspect. You are felt, seen and heard when Mish sings about female hysteria, cruelty, pride, and the preservation of beauty.
Drought over, here are America’s tears.
Pill sound like Hall and Oates, if Hall were trying to sell you coke and Oates were trying to talk you into a threesome with them. They are sexy and cool and abrasive and danceable and dangerous. All at once. And when Brook saw them at Union Pool, a few weeks ago, he felt like his skin was coming off in sheets.
For an album about childlike innocence, it’s the opposite of kid-friendly, and that’s exactly what Manson intended. Smells Like Children is the sonic equivalent of a slasher flick in that destroys all things innocent with reckless abandon.
Everyone, including Ruby, loves a quirky love song about getting high in a tree. But Greys (even if they can’t be pegged down by a single nondescript descriptor like “indie”) are doing an obvious about-face with their new album Outer Heaven. It’s not so much a rejection of the typical indie rock fare (girls, lonely nights, etc.) as it is confronting difficult topics like, say, terrorism.
By June of 1995, the casual rock and roll listener was, indeed, stressed out. Worn out on the promise of the Alternative Nation, general ennui flowed in to fill the demigod-sized hole left by the death of Kurt Cobain. Grunge was over, a fad that had long since passed into parody. Like a bolt of neurotic, clingy light, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill stepped in to fill the gap between Generations X and Y.
What can you say about a twenty-three year old boy who walks out on the biggest boy band in the world? That he’s finally had enough? That he’s been pushed and shoved by the corporate machine to a place where all he yearns for is to make music that doesn’t “influence” anyone, anymore? That he is ready to be a man?