Tag Archives: Roger Waters

Song(s) of the Day: Desert Trip Edition

There have been plenty of jokes about Desert Trip being called “Oldchella”. And while all the acts are certainly older, let’s not forget that they are rock royalty and all of them in some way or another have contributed to some of the greatest albums and songs ever made. So, today’s Song of the Day is a six-pack of awesomeness in honor of Desert Trip.

“I’ve Just Seen a Face” – The Beatles 

I’m not particularly fond of McCartney’s solo works, so I’m cheating a bit here and going with The Beatles. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” is probably one of my favorite Beatles’ songs and in my opinion it’s severely under-rated. It’s got one of McCartney’s best melodies and chord progressions.

“One of These Days” – Pink Floyd

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note I wrote about this song several months ago. “One of These Days” is Pink Floyd at their best: dark, mysterious and menacing all at once. As with most classic Floyd, David Gilmour conjures up some wild sounds with his guitar, but the real highlight is the double-tracked bass played both Gilmour and Roger Waters.

“Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” – Neil Young

For me, Neil Young is the weakest link in Desert Trip’s line up. He’s an old curmudgeon like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison but without the catalogue to really back it up. That said, he does have some great songs and the country-rock of  “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” would have been the best song he ever wrote, if he hadn’t recorded “Rocking in the Free World”.

“Long Live Rock” – The Who

One of the things that a lot of people often forget about The Who’s music is that they actually have a lot of funny songs. That side of them went to the wayside, when Pete Townshend decided to write “important” musical pieces. “Long Live Rock” is one of the few examples where The Who marry the muscular rock they forged in the ’70s, with the witticism of their early days. Best line: “We were the first band to vomit in the bar.”

“19th Nervous Breakdown” – The Rolling Stones

One of Keith Richards’ classic riffs – and lord know he’s got a shitload of them. But there’s something about the intro that just pulls you in and pummels you over the head. And Jagger is at his frantic best, barely able to keep up with Richards and Charlie Watts’ steady drumming. “19th Nervous Breakdown” is also somewhat famous for inspiring Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore to pick up the guitar and for that we should all be thankful.

“It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” – Bob Dylan

I get chills every time I listen to this song. On this monumental track, Dylan takes on society as a whole and takes down everyone within earshot. The most disturbing part about it, is that it seems to grow more pertinent with each passing year. There are tons of memorable lines, but for me the best is, “it is not he or she or them or it that you belong to.”

 

Pink Floyd: The Nile Song

Like Nirvana, Pink Floyd seems to be gracing rock magazines all over the place in the past few weeks due to their massive reissuing of their classic albums. If you’re a fan of Pink Floyd, it definitely seems worth checking out.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Pink Floyd though I do appreciate the atmospheric qualities of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.  Piper at the Gates of Dawn for its sheer outlandishness, is probably the album by them I listen to the most.

But my favorite Pink Floyd song is “The Nile Song” from the Soundtrack for the Film More from which is probably the closest thing to a deep-cut as you can get it.  If you’ve never listened to this song, you’ll be in for a shock – it sounds more like The Stooges or The MC5 than Pink Floyd. Dave Gilmour trades in his ethereal guitar lines for a punk-rock style crunch, while Roger Waters and Nick Mason crash around like rhythm section of The Who.

For a band like Pink Floyd (who can easily spend 8 minutes building up to a single guitar note) to let loose is not only worth mentioning, but in a way a revelation.  For some bands getting out of their comfort zones is to explore “longer songs” (see Death Cab For Cutie’s “I Will Possess Your Heart”).  For Pink Floyd, it’s simply  rocking out.

Roger Waters Accidentally Defaces Elliot Smith Memorial Wall

Speaking of Elliot Smith, Roger Waters has inadvertently defaced an unofficial memorial wall dedicated to Smith.  Waters apparently kick-started a viral campaign to wheat paste an anti-war quote from President Eisenhower on walls across US cities to promote his up-coming tour of The Wall. Water’s employees wheat-pasted the quote on a wall in LA that had been a memorial of Smith to fans.  Waters has since apologized, and I’m sure it was an accident, but his hubris comes off clear with this quote:

I admit I didn’t know his music, but I’ve talked to people who do and it’s clear he was a young man who felt deeply, and any empathetic person wouldn’t have an issue with publicizing that quote.

Somehow, I doubt Elliot Smith would have liked defacing what was a special place to fans of music with what appears to be a social message disguised as advertising.  Roger Waters is officially a jack-ass in my book now.