l don’t do a ton of music posts here so when I do you know it’s something special that’s worth checking out! I had to take a minute to mention that a little over a month ago I worked on the latest music video from Bob Mould. I was lucky enough to work on the styling and wardrobe for one of my musical idols, being a fan since his days in Husker Du this obviously meant a great deal to me not to mention this new song “I Don’t Know You Anymore” I consider to be one of the best songs he’s ever written. It calls back to some of his best work from Sugar, his band from the early 90’s.
If you don’t know who Bob is and you love loud punky guitar rock, you may have at least heard him on the last Foo Fighters album where he and Dave Grohl dueted on guitar, vox and songwriting for the albums best track “Dear Rosemary”. Otherwise I highly suggest checking out his his work starting with Husker Du. This latest video was filmed right here in Portland Oregon and directed by Alicia Rose, who we worked with on several other projects together including Corin Tucker’s video for “Neskowin”.
I can tell you the latest Mould video is pretty damn funny too as Bob and his band tries to “get with the times” after releasing a vinyl single for the bands latest track and being schooled by Colin Meloy from The Decemberists. I also got his new album “Beauty and Ruin” which was released on Merge Records yesterday and it’s rock solid with jam packed with amazing guitar driven power pop. This guy just gets better with age- if you have any doubt check out the video already!!!
I had to take a quick minute here to mention my favorite album of 2012, Researching the Blues by Redd Kross is on heavy rotation this summer for me and I don’t see it moving far from my turntable anytime soon. After a 15 year hiatus from the studio they finally return with a brand spanking new album that has trimmed the fat and delivers ten infectiously catchy tracks of power pop. Released earlier this month on Merge records, home to bands like The Magnetic Fields, Bob Mould, Superchunk and Portland’s own Wild Flag, these punk pioneers show the kids half their age how to rock once again.
If you’re new to Redd Kross then let me give you a quick tutorial. The name Redd Kross was inspired by the “cross masturbation scene” in The Exorcist & they even have a song dedicated to Linda Blair, the first track on their 1982 lp Born Innocent. The band formed back in 1978 by Jeff & Steven McDonald, the two bothers were only fifteen and eleven years old when they played their first gig opening for Black Flag. However by 1984 they were straying away from the hardcore sound and delving into harder edged pop, proclaiming themselves the Osmonds of punk rock covering songs by the likes of KISS, The Carpenters and The Partridge Family. Redd Kross later released Neurotica in 1987 a hard rock psych glam punk album that influenced the likes of Nirvana and Sonic Youth and is considered by most Kross fans their best work. This same line up went on to record the latest album which I personally believe is their best album to date.
Redd Kross were and still are obsessed with pop culture mainly of the 70’s and referenced it in their music and imagery any chance they could get. Whether it was Sigmund the Sea Monster, Gary Coleman or songs about Planet of the Apes, Linda Blair or the writer of tv’s ALF’s drug addiction they always knew how to incorporate these themes into their music in some way. They were always a step ahead of the game, but by being ahead of their time it also hindered their success. Redd Kross should have been superstars. I mean how many other bands do you know feature Sofia Coppola nude on their album cover? Their album Third Eye from 1990 did just that. However by 1998 they called it quits and it was unlikely we’d ever see the band play live again.
So today seeing them reuniting is a truly a treat, not only are they back but they released on of the best rock and roll albums of the last decade a feat most bands doing the reunion circuit can’t claim. So the record rules but do they deliver live? I just saw them in July here in Pdx and they deliver what you’d hope for, they’ve have the enthusiasm of a newly formed band. Live they’ll rock you like you’re at an arena show. So yeah these guys are back, do yourself a favor this summer get their new album and keep the sun shining all the way through winter, you won’t regret it.