Where It's At...Part I
The Inaugural Article

A living document that changes...
A document dedicated to "ROCK" spirit and attitude!

And ROCK!

This is where the epicenter of the worldwide movement is friends, it looks small now, but you're all being cool and signing on...and we see you showing up on our http server with your IP's and you wouldn't believe how many more of you are all comin' through our portal. Cool grooves and way cool enough. And we know that what you're about to read is a little strong, but with a war going on, now is not the time to just sit there. We'll see ya at the finish line and bring your friends, then we're gonna have a party and that's gonna be a lot of fun...for all of us! Just dig what Brian's got to say, that's all.
L. Lewis/CEO Worldwide TMA

 

By Brian Sidler - Former Music Writer For Chicago Music Magazine

(Chicago, IL 31 AUG 2006) Here's the question I want you to ponder, my babies...while you read what we've got to say: Where would your world be without great Rock?! And just as importantly, ROCK ATTITUDE!.

PEOPLE: Where did we lose our way? Before Rock & Roll, Soul, Funk, R&B, Folk, Country-Western, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel and we cant forget the Papa of them all...THE BLUES...became commercial maidens for a bunch of fat cats in the media centers of the world. Before it started to get stuffed down everybodys throats with a hydraulic plunger in any manner and any fashion they chose by their other bitch called the radio; ROCK meant something! Despite all of its lurid connotations and perceived sensualism, what it meant was something for the good. ROCK stood for change. What we sought with it was a search for truth and beauty.

It had an attitude and a sound that was unlike anything that had come before it or since. Then somewhere in the seventies, some cats started dressing up in clown-like suits and playing a lot of fuzzed out guitar tunes with lyrical "hooks" and where the songs were completely programmed to a 3 minute 15 second radio format. At that point it became a characature of itself...a damn cliche'...and like the tune from the Tower Of Power, led by Greg Adams (a jazz cat who by the way, has a new album out) a tune called 'What Is Hip', said, ...what's hip today, might become passe'.

Well, you can't reinvent guys like Jimmy Page or Elvis! You can't recreate or duplicate Jimmy Morrison or The Righteous Brothers. The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Clapton, The Band, Emerson Lake and Palmer, The Rolling Stones, Iron Butterfly, Jethro Tull, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, CCR, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago, Sly and The Family Stone, The Chambers Brothers, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Iron Butterfly, The Grateful Dead, James Taylor, America, Spirit, Steeley Dan, The Who, The Guess Who, The Buckinghams, The Fifth Dimension, Jerry "The Iceman" Butler, Jan & Dean, The Four Seasons, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Bobby Seeger, The Classics Four, Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes, The Cryin Shames, The Ides Of March, The Buckinghams, ZZ Top.

Pink Floyd, Santana, Yes, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Quicksilver Messenger Service, BB King, Freddy King, Bob Dylan, The Doobie Brothers, Miles Davis, Tower Of Power, Robin Trower, Ten Years After, Genesis, Joe Cocker and Madd Dogs and Englishmen, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, George Clinton and Parliament, Bootsy Collins, Earth Wind and Fire, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Eagles, Elton John, Traffic, The Beach Boys, Little Richard, Richie Havens, Curtiss Mayfield (And God bless ya Curtiss we hope you're doin' well) Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Staple Singers, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, The Band, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen. Shit, the fuckin list is too damn long. For the sake of this article though honorable mentions go to U2, The Police, Janes Addiction, Aerosmith (because they finally hit their groove in the mid eighties) Metallica, Dave Matthews and John Mayer. Theres many others we know we're missing, but as we think of them well add em to the list, so dont get your undies in a bunch because this .. will be getting updated all the time...that's why we call it a living document!

Yeah, a living, breathing manifesto, ya know?...like the Constitutions or Government charters like the Magna Carta and others, of the countries of the free-world! Welcome to the United States of MIND, people! The European Union of MIND, people! That's all of US! Every damn place on the globe that's got a free thinker in the woodwork! This is called ad hoc activism my friends. In other words, DO unto others as you would have them DO unto you. Say hello to a stranger. And when you see an elderly woman...don't forget to say...Hi Mom, how are you today? And then watch her face light up like a Christmas tree. You'll feel better about yourself too!

But!...anyway...

Yea right...so, there was a war goin on...uh huh. Well, what the hell has changed? Did the war ever stop?! FUCK NO!!!!

We've all been led down a path of complacency and sublimation people. And Rock?...she almost lost her teeth.

Speed Metal, Industrial, Death Metal, Hard Core, Emo, Alternative, Indie, Punk, Pop Punk, Electro, Techno, Experimental, Electronica, Garage Bands, Jam Bands, Rap, Hip Hop, yada yada yada - ad nauseum...Well what the heck are all these music writers, for all these years, talking about, except a new generation of teenagers, every few years, talking about reinventing the wheel. When in fact...the first wheel was just fine and still spinning. In truth, it still spins today!

Heres a real quick word to all the people of the Hip Hop/Rap crowd. Its cool my babies, we know why youre pissed! We can dig it...but lets not get lost in it cuz ya see, you didnt invent hip-speak. It was used by the underclass in the major populations of the urban environs a hundred years ago as a way to cop drugs on the street corners of Harlem, The Southside of Chicago, NOrleans and Watts out west, so that whitey, while in clear earshot couldnt understand what the heck they were talkin bout...K?. Rhyming couplet and iambic pentameter aint nothin new either, check my man Willy the Shake (Shakespeare.) You cats dont have nothin on that mutha. And using a sample track for a musical instrument may in itself help you accomplish somethin but its not the same as actually playing an instrument. Also, that hip backbeat you use?...well it was James Brown, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and Little Richard, which then was perfected by George Clinton and Parliament along with Bootsy Collins...and lets not forget about James Jamerson of the Motown music crew. For Real. The "House Sound" our buddies from Chicago Trax, now known as Studio Chicago! So jus chill people cuz you got a statement of sorts, but lots of it is pretty damn ugly. Like we say, we understand...and WE CAN dig it! Oh and Russ...our props to you too! And now for somethin else hip, well...ahem, you might want to listen to our lineup everyday for starters. And for you Youngers that are paying attention, we tip our hat to all of you. Good show!

Now, umm...one more thing you Rappers and Hip Hoppers, yes one more thing my babies, we're not up on y'all, the way we'd like to be so your names will go up too, just keep it real, and tell us wassup. Nuff said? Koo koo...Now!...

Well, it's all Rock; people. ROCK is an attitude people, not just a type of music, per se. Ya know? All of it fits under that one heading. We don't care how different generations tried to dress up their version of it. That's just a bunch of bunk!

It's still a great big back beat, scorching vocals at times - other times, smooth and melodic with harmonies, electric guitars, basses, drums, keyboards...though the Hammond B3 with a Leslie is our favorite along with the Moog Synthesizer...(honorable mention goes to Ensoniq). It's all this stuff, making any particular groove from any particular unit of creative minds.

The reason that tastes in music moved the way they did over the ensuing years after Rock became some fat cats whore, is because these cats had the radio waves locked up by making payments under the table by so called radio promoters (about 20 or 30 primarily in the USA) to the program directors of the worlds radio stations.

Yea that's right, all you people were told what to like by what was coming over the airwaves by these pigs, the major labels and their bitches the radio programmers, all started by Alan Freid. And let us not forget about televised music on the cable channels, which if some of you olders will remember was supposed to be free of commercials, remember? For years they laughed themselves sick, all the way to the bank. And in the television media you saw their lifestyles, driving around in fancy cars, with fast beautiful women, snorting cocaine and rolling in money...and many of yall thought it was so cool, right? And what about all the movies about sex, death, drugs and destruction using Rock as a backdrop, huh Hollywood?! You big bunch of putz's. What a bunch of stuffed-shirt, swelled ego's you are...HA!

After that with the advent of the internet along comes P2P file sharing and another generation was being taught by some idiot that it was cool to get all the music they wanted for free! We understand...the majors were charging us all (for all these years) up the ying yang for something that costs them a buck to package.

Well, were not all stupid right? So there was a backlash against it and them. Yeah right, we know.

All along though, who was suffering through all of it? Well it was the Musicians of the world. The poor son-of-a-bitches stuck in their basements and crawling to the door of the A&R staffs of all these, allegedly omnipotent tasteless dummies in their ivory towers from the cities of New York, Los Angeles, London, Nashville, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and several other lesser important media centers.

And how did they talk to us all in print? The music columns of the major newspaper chains, The Billboard Charts, Rolling Stone, Tiger Beat, Cash Box and many others. Well BULLSHIT!!!

Theeeeeennnn...

Along comes a computer company that brainwashes yet another generation that they need a little pancake-flat computer that fits in the palm of your hand with earphones attached, to buy their MP3 music downloads with AND THEY BOUGHT IT!!!...because they saw it on the television! HA! THEY BOUGHT IT! Holy Gods, they bought it...isnt that pathetic? And that fat cat is laughing himself all the way to the bank. Him and his other buddy who stole the point and click idea from a copier company when they saw it in that copier company's lab one day on a visit to this company. It was called the "Altos" people. Sure it's nice that we can use these devices. It makes us able to be here in the "Space." But the real thanks belongs to Tim Berners Lee and his colleagues.

Thanks be to whatever, the whole trend is now a shadow of its former self, and in it's own right has become a cliche. Yet the damage is well done by now. In the market? It's down to about ten to thirteen percent of the total pie, which, by the by, has been whittled down to about, oh say, ten billion bucks worldwide. The most shocking thing of all is that it's flooded with content that doesn't mean much and yet there's about 500 million participants trying to get a piece if it.

Shit, DRM (Digital Rights Management) just got cracked by the hackers, so what's the point! You tell us. Hit the email button.

And now some newer indies to the market are cooking up some clever things to try and get you to buy their new stuff. Like putting all of the tracs up individually so that the rap masters can use them as samples and licensing that as music! Or running contests for which pro-am's or amateur would-be studio freaks, can make the best mix and stuff like that...what a joke. Others still, are in the market of finding a way to give the music away for free, so that they and their fat cat buddies can make money from the advertising dollar instead, which yet is another way to insult all of us. "Here, you listen to this ad, and well give it to you after that." And the ads are just as insulting as the ones you see in the many banner spaces all over the internet, not just here. And what's gonna be the artists end...what?...a few cents on ten bucks?

The point is people...buy the music of an artist that you like and quit being complacent by thinking that these people are making a living while you sit there and enjoy their labor without even the faintest thought of supporting it, like you should, or letting the fat cats lull you into thinking that their way is the best way. Because you already know by now, they're producing mostly garbage, right? What about the exisiting and currently-competing musicians and their "Blood, Sweat and Tears." Their investment...just so you can get through the day with a bit of sunshine in your life that comes from over your speakers at that screen. Can y'all imagine how much better the music market would be if y'all actually voted with your buck for the right stuff, instead of the way things are going now? You don't need that stupid little flat thing. All you have to do is hit that add to cart button and give it straight to the artist (where it belongs) to get the stuff. It'll be in your email box within a few minutes. Then buy any ole MP3 player...(they're cheap) and there ya go. That's the way to walk around those pigs we've been tellin' you about! Or buy a CD, it's still a legit package medium and that's something that you control!

Well this is where we lost our way people. A bunch of oligarchs who have made themselves rich beyond your wildest dreams, by using their money to steer the market the way they wanted. Right into their bank accounts.

We're not "bitter" (sorry for the pun) about it back here at Bittersweet Records Co. We're just telling everybody the truth as best as we can see it from here.

But we digressed...let's get back to the music.

There have been some great acts throughout the nineties and early 2000's but so as not to slight anybody we're not going to try and list them. Yes, some of them actually did make it through the major label jungle. Then theres WIDESPREAD PANIC along with a couple others. They're a total anomaly.

The point is people, Rock is Rock! However now that we have said all of what you just read, were going to coin a phrase that we want you all to understand. That phrase is...BOOMER ROCK! And it was defined over thirty years ago by the acts that you see listed in the beginning of this article, who are all, by the way...still around. It's just that the majors are all scrambling and too busy marching thirty bands a week over the late night talk shows in America to pay attention to the fact that the boomers and basically all the rest of us, are waiting for something really worth buying. Well, there is KT Tunstall and that new generation...yes, we love you KT...and Sheryl Crow (we love the female rock chicks...and here's a shout out to Chrissy Hynes) too!

Well what the hell is Boomer Rock, huh? Well if it's okay with you it's a sound. Some of that sound is coming over your speakers as you read this. As a matter of fact, there are many young musicians today recording music that is very reminiscent of what this stuff is all about...they've just been brainwashed into thinking their part of an elite niche...which actually only exists in their imaginations because they've been told it does. Ha! And they bought into that!

The lineup of tunes, which we'll be changing from time to time while we cruise this label through MySpace asking for friends, is the way the FM radio used to sound before these cats screwed it up. Many of you from other countries and the youth in America are too young to know about that, even though you all are starting to discover the sounds we were making anyway. We must mention though, WXRT in Chicago. For the most part, they never sold out. Everybody in radio knows that. They are still a defining voice for everybody to watch and listen to.

So here's the gig all you jam-babies out there. No matter what the hell you call your generations style of using Guitars, Basses, Drums, Keyboards and vocals. And no matter what generation you're from or the color of your skin. You wouldn't have the music you have, if the musicians that are creating it, like Steve Arvey, Paul Bibbins and Scott Pollack along with the guys of Dr. 8 who you are listening to right now, didn't have something to model themselves after...and that's a fact. So go back and read this list again up there at the beginning of this article (and like we say, well be adding names as we think of them) and check out the all time Rock, Soul, Funk, R&B and THE BLUES lineup.

Because ya dig that's where it all came from. PERIOD!

It's BOOMER ROCK! And truthfully, it was the war babies that led US by the nose to it. (Be that as it may.)

It's still, the hippest stuff that's ever come down the pipe!

My name is Brian Sidler and I write about music, et al.

PS: In Memorium: Don't forget to throw up a Prayer for Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Lynard Skynard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mama Cass, Sonny Bono, Richie Valens, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Elvis, James Dean, Tupac Shakur along with the rest of the departed Rappers, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Leonard Bernstein and "Pops"...ummm...That's Louis Armstrong, people.

The Musical Artists of ROCK and THE WORLD?

Well How In God's Name Could We list The 7,000,000 Plus Bands On MySpace & Facebook!!!


Copyright 2006 - 2010 Worldwide TMA & Bittersweet Records