Aug 16 2012

Watch: Rage Against the Machine’s “First Public Performance Ever”

Apparently this was uploaded to YouTube a year ago, so why am I just now seeing it? According to the description, which I’m not 100% sure is correct, this is Rage Against the Machine’s first ever public concert, which took place October 23, 1991 at the Quad on the Cal State Northridge campus. If it’s not accurate, it’s certainly close: Zach de la Rocha’s former band Inside Out broke up around this time. Rage formed shortly thereafter; according to Wikipedia, their first show was actually at a friend’s house party, but whether that’s even true, I’m not really sure.

This is the entire concert in full, minus about ten seconds of the beginning of “Township Rebellion.” Though it seems there were no lyrics yet written for “Killing In the Name,” and some of Zach’s raps weren’t fully-formed, I’m surprised at how little the group’s onstage demeanor and their sound changed between this time and the release of their major label debut just one year later. It seems from the onset, the band’s ultimate musical and political mission was put in place. Zach is more enthusiastic with the crowd, though just as political, and Tom Morello sounds like…..well, Tom Morello, a legendary beast on the guitar that forever changed the face of rap and metal.

There are some rare gems here, including “Autologic,” “Hit the Deck,” and a cover of The Clash’s “Clampdown.” And of course there are the classics: “Take the Power Back,” “Freedom,” and “Bullet In the Head,” the latter of which the small crowd appears to enjoy quite a bit. About 3/4 of the way through, in between songs, you can hear one guy ask his friend, “So are these guys any good?” Now it seems like a hilarious question, but truly we can only imagine sitting in on the first ever Rage show, hearing what was to be a catalyst for the entire genres of rock and rap. If you are a Rage fan at all, especially of the first album, I think you’ll really enjoy watching this forty-minute, history-making set.

May 13 2011

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 20-11

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

20. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights

My favorite Ben Gibbard album is Give Up, even amongst all those great early Death Cab masterpieces. Before the twee synth became commonplace, Gibbard took it to every first-generation iPod, car commercial, and teen soap montage (I’m looking at you, The O.C.). And of course, he did so with this song, still as beautiful as I remember it back on WOXY-FM my sophomore year of high school.

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Apr 8 2011

Government Shutdown Mixtape!

Happy Friday! Tonight at midnight, the government may very well shut down because the GOP wishes to throw women’s rights under the bus. Surprise!  Here’s a mix I’ve compiled in celebration of our country’s (and our economy’s) impending doom.

REM – It’s the End of the World As We Know It

OFF! – Panic Attack

Green Day – American Idiot

Public Enemy – Fight the Power

Rage Against the Machine – Guerilla Radio (live)

Nov 8 2010

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 120-111

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

120. Prodigy – Girls

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned fared better across the Atlantic in Prodigy’s native England, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t blaring in my dingy yellow car during high school.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  “Girls” is a standout from a banging comeback from one of the 90’s most successful, riveting, and interesting electronic groups.  And while nothing on the disc comes close to their previous work’s brilliance, and the crew would later shell out typical guitar-driven bore for shillings, this track gives us a glimpse into the progression that could have been.

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Jun 7 2010

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 250-241

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

250. Rage Against the Machine – How I Could Just Kill a Man

For most of the decade, 3/4 of Rage were in shitty solo projects or the inevitably dreadful Audioslave.  The other 1/4 released a new song every once in a while and lived off his earnings from the 90’s (that one is Zach).  There were a few reunion shows – most of which sent people to the hospital – but overall the boys weren’t really raging much in the 2000’s.  But at the turn of the century, before the nasty breakup, Rage put out their final studio album Renegades, a pretty kickass covers album.  And although this Cypress Hill remake is a pretty straightforward take on the original, it still hits hard, the way these guys always knew how to.

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Mar 1 2010

Deftones Discography Part 1: Adrenaline

One of my favorite bands, the Sacramento-based Deftones, are preparing the release of their sixth full-length album, Diamond Eyes, on May 18.  In light of this, I am going back, re-listening to, and analyzing their previous albums to gain a perspective of the band’s past while waiting in anticipation of the band’s future.

Adrenaline by Deftones (Warner Bros., 1995)

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