Helen Burns

Michael Balzary, or who we music folk know as “Flea”, released his first solo album yesterday.  I just had my first listen, and I’m still processing it, but it is purely phenomenal, and unlike anything you’d expect.  You can really hear his jazz-influenced background (and, in my opinion, some definite John Frusciante influence) shining throughout.  He tweeted a few days ago, “Helen Burns is not RHCP music, it is not funky, it is not normal songs… It is soundscapes I made on my own at home, it is mostly instrumental.”  It’s also fucking brilliant.

I’ve already tweeted the link, but in case you don’t follow me (which you should…) the album is available for download here, at numerous available prices – including the $0.00 option.  However, all proceeds go to funding for his Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-for-profit which facilitates music education to local youths.  For more information on the organization, click here.

Just a Little Flea-Bee…

Yep. That just happened.  That crazy, little, genius nut of a man just announced via Twitter that he will be releasing some solo work sometime in the near future. According to consequenceofsound.net, he had first mentioned the creation of the solo album, Helen Burns, in a Los Angeles Times interview back in 2008, around the conclusion of their Stadium Arcadium tour.  Whelp!… this is news to me, anyway.  I’ll be sure to supply more information once more information is known. Stay tuned, Flea-Heads!

More than Music

I found this video, which was created by a Portuguese student as a project for her English class, on YouTube today, and I thought it would be a perfect introduction to this post…

To Maria Carolina,

Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing this.

For the first time is a very long time, I’m finding that I’m at a loss for words about something I’ve listened to.  As you all know, I am a huge John Frusciante fan. I always have been and I always will be.  He has taken a lot of risks in his life, including leaving one of the greatest bands of our time. But the creation of Letur Lefr might exceed them all.  It is unlike anything I’ve ever heard.  I’ve just started listening to the album in it’s entirety, so I’m going to have to get back to you all about my thoughts on it, but I wanted to post this one song, “In My Light”, on Bask in the Music as soon as possible.  Take a listen.

This is truly more than music.  I’m not sure what it is, but it’s beautiful.

Settle Down, Jack White.

No Doubt. The epitome of 90s ska punk alternative pop rock. I was so in love with this band, in 4th grade I literally wanted to be Gwen Stefani.  I wanted her retro, bleach blonde hair-do, all of her baggy pant/crop top ensembles, and even her braces.  In fact, their album Tragic Kingdom was one of the very first CDs I owned.  With my Walkman constantly in hand, long car rides were filled with the likes of  “Spiderwebs”, “Just a Girl”, and, “Don’t Speak”.  This band freakin’ rocked, as I’m sure all young women of my generation would concur.

Now, after their long-awaited, reunited return, the band has released their first single in over a decade – the song, “Settle Down”.  Sadly for me, it fell incredibly short.  I understand that they’re trying to maintain their roots and stay true to their original sound, but this is just plain boring.  Okay, maybe “boring” is a little harsh.  Let’s try “easy”.  Check it out the new single below and see what you think for yourself.

If you know anything about me and my taste in music, I have no doubt that certain genres and sounds have the ability to exceeded these invisible obstacles we call “time” and “generation”.  I love plenty of music from the 1960s, 70s, 80s (well, with the 80s I’m a little bit more selective), and 90s.  I still love their old music, and plenty of similar bands of that time and sound (Garbage, 311, Sublime, in addition to 50% of the music featured on the Clueless soundtrack.) So what is it about this song that just sort of irks me?  It’s like, they’re trying too hard… or not hard enough.  In which case, I find the title of the song kind of ironic… or obvious.  Whatever. I’m choosing to stay optimistic, and hope the rest of the upcoming album will pleasantly surprise me.

In other news today, Jack White just debuted his video for the song “Freedom at 21”, from his first solo album Blunderbuss, which was released this past April.  I really liked the album, and despite his general creepiness, I actually find him incredibly talented.  It was nice revisiting this song today, but the video… my goodness. With it’s borderline pornographic and misogynistic undertones, it is a true testament to the fact that male musicians, especially guitar players, really can get any girl, and have all of their sexual fantasies met… even when they permanently resemble a less attractive Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie.  So fellas, listen up. Learn to play the guitar, and learn it good. Just ask Jack.