Jul 182011

I’m pretty pumped up about Machine Head’s new album, Unto the Locust (due in September on Roadrunner). The first single, “Locust”, sounds good, and — well — it’s fuckin’ Machine Head. But in addition to being excited, now I’m also curious.

Thanks to Blabbermouth, I watched an interview that Machine Head vocalist/guitarist Rob Flynn gave to Nikki Blakk of the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 “The Bone” at the second show of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival on July 10 in Mountain View, California. At one point, Blakk asks Flynn what song on the new album is his favorite. There’s a pause, and then he tells a story about the creation of a song called “The Darkness Within”.

He calls the song “pretty left-field for us” and says “it’s gonna be a song that just flips people on their heads.” Flynn continues: “it’s a very dark song, and it’s a really good song. I think it’s maybe one of the best songs we’ve ever written, and I’m really proud of it.” There’s also a hint that it may have some “mainstream” appeal.

Okay, so I was intrigued by that.  I got more intrigued when he explained how the song came to life. Each song has its own story, no doubt. Each songs comes from someplace in the mind and experiences of a musician and a lyricist. This song seems to have had part of its genesis in a Jeff Bridges performance in the movie Crazy Heart.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 022010

A couple of your NCS Co-Authors saw the movie Crazy Heart this weekend, to find out what the hubbub was all about, and we thought it was amazingly good. The story and the acting are compelling, and the music is stunning. So although it’s got nothing (much) to do with metal, we need to write about it.

In a widely (and rightly) praised performance, Jeff Bridges plays a legendary country music performer named Bad Blake who has slid far down the back side of his career. He tours the Southwest out of the back of a rusting SUV, playing bowling alleys and bars with pickup bands, suffusing himself on a daily basis with clouds of cigarette smoke and a flood of whiskey, and satisfying his meager need for companionship with the occasional, pointless one-night stand.

Broke, alcoholic, overweight, nearing 60, with four failed marriages behind him and a grown son with whom he’s had no contact in 20 years, Bad Blake has nearly succeeded in flushing his career and his life down the toilet. He’s not very likable and seems stuck on a dead-end road to oblivion that he has mapped for himself.

On the other hand, though resentments and frustrations surface, Blake doesn’t wallow in self-pity, nor do we see much of the narcissism that seems to survive in many celebrities when all legitimate reason for self-regard has long since left the house. For Blake, this is simply his life, as it has become. It is what it is, and he simply wants to get on with it.

Beyond those meager saving graces of his personality, we see something else admirable: Even when stumbling in an alcoholic haze, he can still bring it on stage — with allowances for the occasional mid-set rush into an alleyway to puke his guts out in the nearest garbage can.  (more after the jump, including some music to stream . . .) Continue reading »