Tia Carrera – Visitors / Early Purple (Small Stone Records, 22 March 2019)
Many of you may already be familiar with this group, who rose to superstardom when they appeared in the 1992 film Wayne’s World as the fictional band Crucial Taunt, as well as having a few of their songs appear on the soundtrack. But perhaps you soon lost track of these guys, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if you hadn’t heard that several years later they decided to move to Texas, fire the lead singer, fire the rest of the band, bring in a completely new set of musicians, not bring in a new singer, and adopt more of an improvisational psychedelic style.
To cap it all off, they went on to alter the spelling of their name just barely enough to avoid any potential lawsuits. See, in a situation similar to Alice Cooper, who had been the vocalist of the Alice Cooper Band prior to his appearance in Wayne’s World, the original singer of Tia Carrere legally changed her name to the band’s name — using it in her acting career when she, too, played roles in Wayne’s World and its sequel. This left the rest of the band — which, to reiterate, by this time consisted of entirely different members anyway — in an awkward position, and they had little choice other than to change the name to Tia Carrera.
Or to put it another way, virtually nothing I’ve said thus far has been even remotely true, aside from “Texas” and “improvisational psychedelic style.” Austin-based trio Tia Carrera, who (as far as I can tell) are completely unrelated to the similarly-named actress or her fake glam rock cover band, put out an album with two new lengthy songs (their first new material since 2011!) via Small Stone earlier this year, and if you haven’t heard it yet, I’m going to tell you why you should.
I can still vividly remember the first time I heard Graveyard: it was “Ain’t Fit to Live Here,” the opening song from their 2011 album Hisingen Blues. High-energy electric country-blues with great wailing vocals, that could have fit seamlessly on side A of Led Zeppelin III (an album which, front to back, was unquestionably and irrefutably the finest output of Zeppelin‘s repertoire — please feel free to comment below if you disagree and I’ll gladly tell you how wrong you are), the song instantly hooked me and still hasn’t let go to this day.
After buying that CD shortly afterwards, the rest of the songs (like the title track and Uncomfortably Numb) pushed the Swedish retro-rock troupe onto my list of my favorite 2011 releases. And the following year, the promise of a Graveyard material was so appealing that we had pre-ordered Lights Out as soon as it was released.
Now, that one (the band’s third overall) came out to somewhat mixed reviews, and although the basic style and quality of performance were very similar to what had come before, I have to admit that there really didn’t seem to be the same “wow” factor, standout tracks that would stick in your head for days or weeks after hearing them. While it wasn’t a bad album by any measure, it didn’t quite pull me in for repeated listens nearly as many times as its predecessor had done. And the next thing I knew, the band had split up or gone on indefinite hiatus or something — which I remember feeling disappointment after learning, because it seemed like they had so much unrealized potential.
As an aside, I never even realized until just recently when this new record was announced, that they had actually put out a fourth one prior to disbanding. Somehow that news had completely escaped my attention and I’ll want to be sure to go check that out soon — but first, their big comeback album will be out tomorrow, so let’s talk about Peace!
Guns N’ Roses‘ Incredible Comeback Shows No Signs of Stopping
a guest article contributed by Dan Spiegel
If you told someone ten years ago that one of the most popular tours of 2016 and 2017 would be a Guns N’ Roses reunion, they probably would have laughed in your face. At that time, the band’s long-awaited comeback album, Chinese Democracy, had been delayed yet again, and lead singer Axl Rose was more of a punchline than the electric frontman he once was. Fast forward to today and the band is churning its way through an epic world tour while looking like they haven’t missed a beat.
Those answers can be found below, so go check them out. The tour continues TONIGHT (25 July) in Brooklyn, hitting stops in Connecticut, Maryland, and New York before closing out the week in Pittsburgh (Howlers in Bloomfield) on Saturday. Then starting next month, Mosley will be reintroducing himself all over the country — see the updated post for the latest dates (now running through November); at least a dozen more shows have been added since it was first published!
If you’ve come here expecting a discussion of classic literature or descriptions of Chinese peasant life, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. But that’s somewhat appropriate because disappointment is one of the major themes of the story I’m about to tell you.
However, the title of this article (which I’ve stolen from the book pictured here) is intended to illustrate a comparative concept: that to the extent that there is a “Good Earth,” it logically follows that there would exist a “Not-So-Good Earth.” Bear with me, it’ll all make sense soon enough. Probably.