Sunday, May 1, 2011

Soul On Fire

Three things you should know if you've stopped by here before:

1. I believe that Glenn Danzig is a terribly under-appreciated talent.

2. I believe that hipster douchebag music snobs ruin everything fun about enjoying music.

3. I believe that I'm kind of a hypocrite, because I know what a detestable snob I can be about music, and how much fun I've had at Mr. Danzig's expense over the years -- despite my personal crusade on and off of this blog to have the guy properly recognized for his skills.

All of that said, I'm happy to point your attention to a recent post on hipster douchebag music snob emporium,, which previews droner-rock princess, EMA's, cover of "Soul on Fire". This track from the first Danzig album has always been one of my favorites: his vocals were uncommonly subtle, the arrangements are fairly dynamic, and the production is a real prizewinner (name me one other hard rock/metal song featuring a baritone sax).

EMA's take on the track is excellent. It sounds fairly mechanical in contrast to the very patiently live feel of that entire first Danzig album (thank you, Mr. Chuck Biscuits), but vocalist Erika M. Anderson makes it work with the same kind of brooding tension - albeit from a feminine voice that makes it seem less threatening and far more sexual ( me, at least). Sorta like that awesome Melissa Auf Der Maur cover of Devil's Plaything, except more so......way more so.

Pitchfork's interview with Anderson, on the other hand, is unsurprisingly disappointing. While there are a few good insights about EMA's musical influences, the questions about Danzig tend to rotate around his height, his fashion sense, and the ass whooping he received a few years ago at the hands of Northside Kings vocalist Danny Marianinho. (Believe it or not, this seven year old story actually generated yet another headline this weekend. And, no I'm not defending Glenn on this one. Dude really needs to move past it if he ever wants the skinny pants kids to stop dissing him). Anderson actually pays him a really nice compliment in the interview on his ability to write vocals, and also indicates she's listened to some even deeper cuts by the band, but it's generally buried in the piece, and that's too bad.

It's just kind of a bummer. Glenn's been covered by everyone from Metallica to Guns N'Roses to My Morning Jacket. Even Johnny Fucking Cash recorded one of his songs. And yet, its easier for the smart kids to keep him as a punchline.

Dude makes it easy for him, though doesn't he?

Anyway, check out the tune if you can. In the face of some of the general mean-spiritedness of the piece, its hard not to see it as a validation.

No comments: