May 10, 2010

Recovery is a bitch. While various factions of PoW recover from the promotion (or in my case, attendance) of various shows, here’s an oldie but a goodie. I suppose that like the Beatles, The Stones are relegated to a state of perpetual uncool on account of a generation of geriatrics deifying them; that and the ridiculous prospect of Mick Jagger in sequined pants and Depends. Still, it’s important to keep things in perspective: in their prime, The Stones’ albums mop the floor with nearly anything by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Primal Scream, The White Stripes, The Strokes and every other subsequent disheveled, druggy, white-boy blues band.* Did their heirs follow them into ridiculoid self-parody? Nah, but Mick did that so they didn’t have to go through that.

In any case, Ventilator Blues is epic. The sound of a band at its breaking point, consumed by drugs, discontent, personal differences and plain ol’ aggression using those elements as fuel to work out their demons in blues form. The legend of Exile on Mainstreet’s heroin-fueled recording sessions has been well-documented but its alchemy on wax never gets old: the opening riff, the gunshot drumming, the voodoo boogie-woogie piano rolls, the horns, the screaming, the segue into the equally possessed “Just want to see his face.” I’d go on, but suffice to say it’s perfect music for a comed-… hangover. Yeah.

*I’ll make an exception for Television’s Marquee Moon. And that ain’t exactly blues.

Download
MP3: Generator Blues (left click. They’ve got good lawyers those geezers.)

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