What’s been picking at my brain this week? Figuring what AFI is up to, the latest Blink-182 video, and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Read that and more on this week’s On the Radar.
AFI’s been quiet since the release of their 2013 Burials. Members Davey Havok and Jade Puget went on to release another Blaqk Audio album, Material, this year. Otherwise, there’s been no word from the band. That is until last week when they blacked out their social media pages. Static black images replaced their profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook . Their Instagram page has been wiped completely with all their photos disappearing. The images have since been replaced with a red background and three red drops. To make things more mysterious, the band posted three cryptic teasers this week.
The 30-second clips have ominous music playing while three black drops slowly fall to the ground. Nothing else. What does this mean? A new album perhaps? Chances are pretty high. Puget even told Aggressive Tendencies he and Havok were working on new AFI material. Last time Blaqk Audio dropped an album in 2012, an AFI album followed the next year. Going off this logic, a new AFI album should come next year. With all the weirdness going on with the AFI camp, we can expect some sort of announcement soon. And speaking of new music, what’s going on with Havok working with former members of No Doubt? Am I the only one that’s really curious to hear what that sounds like?
A few weeks ago I wondered when Eminem was going to break his silence and speak his mind about the upcoming election. The wait is over. On Wednesday, the rapper dropped a new track titled “Campaign Speech,” directed right at Donald Trump and his supporters. Done in spoken word style, Em makes references to Robin Thicke, Trayvon Martin, and David Hasselhoff. He goes on for eight minutes spitting venom all over the orange presidential candidate. Some of the most damning lines are Consider me a dangerous man/ But you should be afraid of this dang candidate/ You say Trump don’t kiss ass like a puppet?/ ‘Cause he runs his campaign with his own cash for the funding?/ And that’s what you wanted?/ A fuckin’ loose cannon who’s blunt with his hand on the button/ Who doesn’t have to answer to no one?/ Great idea!”
Em’s doesn’t back down from Trump supporters either as he says “Run the faucet / I’m a dunk a bunch of Trump supporters underwater/Snuck up on ’em in Ray-Bans in a gray van with a spray tan.” Elsewhere, he throws out one-liners like “stegosaurus, Chuck Norris with a thesaurus” and “Robin Thicke with a throbbin’ dick.”
He ends the track on a humorous note saying “Why am I such a dick?” It’s a brutal track that reminds you, Eminem is angry and you’re gonna hear about it. Just like his best tracks, Em doesn’t shy away from touchy subjects and isn’t afraid to call out his enemies. This song makes you think of his other politically charged track “Mosh” directed straight at George W. Bush. And what’s a good Eminem track without a little controversy? Former head of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke commented on the track saying Eminem is “Poisoning the minds of our youth.” And the new album? Eminem promised fans he is working on it. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for the new album.
I love Blink-182. I religiously watched their videos at a young age and dutifully bought everything with their name on it. Of course, I was crushed when they originally broke up in 2005 and annoyed when the same incident happened again in 2014. The band decided to continue without founding member Tom DeLonge and released California this year. This album still conflicts me. It’s not their best, but there are some good songs here. And yes, I do feel DeLonge’s absence in the band. It’s a very nostalgic album with the band shying away from the darker sound and going back to upbeat, fun vibe. So why have they’ve been on my mind lately?
The band decided to get nostalgic and release a new video for their latest single “She’s Out of Her Mind.” The clip features three women running around the streets naked in a remake of Blink’s “What My Age Again?” clip. Cool, right? Not really. Even before I watched this video I cringed. They not only did this idea already in their “Man Overboard” video, it’s a little unfitting for Blink. Suddenly, they seem like creepy and a little sleazy. It also feels cheap. Rather than coming up with some cool and different, they went for the sex factor. Even if you don’t care for the song, chances are you want to watch it because “Hey! Naked ladies!” Aside from that, the clip is just a boring remake of the original, something we didn’t need.
It just doesn’t have the same feel or intent as the original. Three naked guys running around was hilarious. No matter if it’s intentional, three attractive women running naked is automatically sexualized. Then again, this is only way they could get people to listen to this lackluster single. Seems like Blink-182 are running out of ideas.
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Nominations
Nominations for 2017’s Rock n Rock Hall of Fame came out this week and there are some heavy contenders. Chaka Kahn, Yes, Kraftwerk and Tupac are among the nominees. The one I’m most excited for is Depeche Mode. It’s seems fitting the band is nominated a week after their new album announcement. Depeche Mode is well respected in music, but it’s great to see them get such high praise with this nomination. You know they got my vote.
Many don’t take stock in the RNRHOF. Some people feel it’s useless and doesn’t denote what good music is. Regardless, it’s still exciting when your favorite artists are up for nomination. That feeling of recognition among your peers is something we all crave, artists included. Even if it doesn’t mean much anymore, it’s still pretty cool to have some great, and in some cases, iconic artists get recognition.
Of course, this brings up who RNRHOF have snubbed over the years. The list is endless; a quick Google search will show you some of the committee’s most heinous oversights. But the one I’m most baffled at is The Cure. Nominated in 2012, the band didn’t get picked. They haven’t been nominated since then. Considering the countless bands The Cure have inspired, their impact on music, and their longevity this was a huge mistake on their part. The Cure has reached legendary status at this point, but the only people that seem to know this are their fans. Though they’ve had a highly successful and long career, they don’t seem to get as much respect as other acts like The Smiths. It makes you wonder who the hell is picking out these nominations.
Chicago celebrates the punk scene
With some of the biggest artists hailing from Chicago being rappers, it can be easy to forget about the city’s prominent punk scene. There are still plenty of punks in Chicago, but the scene isn’t as big as it once was. Now, a new event is making sure to celebrate the city’s punk era with a new exhibit. Flyerside:A Chicago Punk Scene Retrospective features flyers, memorabilia, and photos from the punk scene. Opening Friday, November 4 at CHIPRC, the event looks back at what the punk scene looked like in the city and celebrate the DIY nature of the scene.
The event will also host a screening of the documentary No Delusions, which features interviews from members of Chicago’s Hardcore scene. There will also be a pop-up record fair from label Hewhocorrupts Inc. Other events range from movies nights to zine workshops. The exhibit may be a look back at the scene, but it’s also a way to keep it alive in the city. All it takes to get in is a $5 donation. You can’t beat that price to see some history.