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.
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!
So I guess this is the week of epic music video releases…
RedHotChiliPeppers.com and RollingStone.com have debuted the official video for the Chili Pepper’s “Brendan’s Death Song” from their 2011 I’m With You album. This song was written for their long-time friend, Brendan Mullen, who passed away on the first day of production on the recent album. Mullen, a well-known and respected Hollywood nightclub owner, met Anthony and Flea in the early 80’s, giving them one of their very first gigs at his Club Lingerie. He was immediately supportive of the band, and they remained good friends until his death in 2009. He had also been co-authoring a biography on the Chili Peppers when he died. In the interview below, Anthony describes Brendan as, “[having] a love for music and art and life and freaks.”
I actually really love the music video. It’s simple, it’s respectful – while still clinging, somewhat, to the band’s bad ass roots- and, according to what information I know about Mullen, a traditional New Orleans funeral seems fitting. When announcing the video release yesterday on Twitter, Flea even proclaimed it to be his favorite video thus far from the I’m With You era. I concur.
It’s actually a little embarrassing that I never made this connection before. Maybe I just assumed that the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in all their glory, could also see the future. I wouldn’t put it past them, honestly. But today I was listening to some old school (I mean OLD school) RHCP songs, and I came across the Frusciante/Flea collab jam, “Pretty Little Ditty” from 1990. They were kids. I was 3. That’s crazy town! (Pun intended.) When it suddenly dawned on me that a riff about halfway through sounded so hauntingly familiar to me. Well duh, Baskin..
Check out the two videos below:
(Note the 0:37 mark of the video above)
Now I’m not going to hate on Crazy Town. (Trust me, one hit wonders have it hard enough.) And, to be frank, I always liked their song “Butterfly”. But now it makes even more sense as to why I liked it so much.
I hate to bore you, but there actually wasn’t any drama revolving their sampling of “Pretty Little Ditty”. It was totally legal, and in fact, they even toured with the Chili Peppers after the release of their album The Gift of Game in 2001. I guess it just proves, even further, how respected my boys are. And that Flea looks great in a pleated skirt.