If you’ve been following Tales From the Hood for very long, you already know that I’m devoted fan of hard rock and heavy metal more or less in the mid- to late-1980s stylistic vein. The three (or is it four?) of you who have been following for a really long time may even remember when the tag line on this blog included “rock music”, along with “motorcycles” and “parenthood” in the list of things I might rant, rave and confess about.
Music is one of more colorful threads in the fabric of society. I really believe that. I also believe that most everything really worth saying has already been said in the lyrics of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s just a matter, now, of finding the right song. Which is why, even on a blog about humanitarian aid, I repeatedly look to rock ‘n’ roll music for inspiration (and frequently personal solace).
So, I’m sure you can understand why I was totally stoked a couple of weeks ago when for the first time ever, a real, live rock ‘n’ roll band started following me on twitter. And reading my blog.
Blackwater James is a Nashville-based hard rock band who described themselves to me on twitter as a mix of The Black Crowes and Guns ‘n’ Roses. Coming from most others such a claim would equal presumption, but their most recent full-length, self-titled release pretty much proves that they’re not just frontin’. Which, for me, is saying something, considering that I don’t care what soundscan has to say about The Beatles or Michael Jackson: AC/DC’s “Back in Black” is, hands down, the best album ever recorded. I’m digressing, but you get the point. Blackwater James is the real deal.
My personal favorite rock legend of recent memory is the one about The Offspring brutalizing inflatable punching balloons made to look like the members of N-Sync during performances. I’d love to see what these guys (and one chick) would do to an inflatable Justin Beiber…
And not to put too fine a point on it, but just so we’re clear, gentle readers, they’re not some pubescent existential angst indie band trying to pass off inability to tune a guitar or keep up with the click track as “creativity.” No, Blackwater James – the band and the album (available on iTunes) – is straight up badass electric guitars through large amplifiers, heavy drums, and wailing vocals about such erudite subject matter as being wasted, how awesome rock ‘n’ roll is, situations going from bad to worse, and women who look like trouble. The show will not be particularly child-friendly, so you might as well book the babysitter now and plan on riding your Harley.
I’ll be adding Blackwater James to my own “music to wage humanitarian aid by” iPod playlist as I head down to Haiti (again – dammit) in a couple of weeks. Especially “Scandalize” (there’s the ‘women who look like trouble’ theme), “Roses and Rain” (for my money this is the most GNR-esque track on the album), and my personal favorite so far, “Stand Up”, just because it’s put together so well.
You can check out the Blackwater James website: http://blackwaterjames.com/
“Like” them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlackwaterJames
Find out about concert dates, etc. on their Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/blackwaterjames
Or follow the band on Twitter: http://twitter.com/blackwaterjames
Each of the members has an individual twitter feed as well: Christopher, Deanna (chicks who rock on the guitar = HAWT), Josh, and Todd. Check ‘em out.
Whether you’re about to deploy for a few months of misery in some place that ends in “stan”, girding your loins for another week of life-saving meetings in an HQ somewhere, or just sick of Shakira, stop by iTunes and pick up your very own copy of Blackwater James. You won’t be disappointed (and no, you won’t find a pirated version in the market in Jakarta. At least not yet…).