Saturday, February 02, 2008

Manson


As y’all may know, I’m not afraid of music. I get on a kick every now and then. Years ago, some one played a joke on me by fusing my photo with one in a scene with Marilyn Manson. Yes Barbie, I still have it.

I’ve always had a curiosity about Manson since hearing some interviews with him on the radio. He is a very bright guy and some snippets of his music caught my ear as being very interesting. So I got a hold of a bunch of his music and I’ve been digesting each album until I get it.

OK, I’m 52 years old with thinning grey hair, and I’m driving around blasting Manson, which did get me to drive a little faster. It’s an unlikely sight, I’m sure.

Manson’s Lyrics (that can be understood) are very smart and well phrased. The sounds are often very interesting, but there are a lot of sounds that aren’t.

I’m not going to recommend any of you purchase any particular album. I would have to take a couple tunes from each to make one somewhat listenable album. Trust me there is a lot of head banging, screaming, references to suicide and self mutilation and foul language. Had I been a sixteen year old angst filled white boy, I’d probably love every bit of each collection, but I’m not and I don’t. However there are a lot of interesting moments in his music.

I would best describe Manson as an impressionist because listening to his music I am occasionally left with the impressions of other musicians such as: Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Nirvana, David Bowie, John Lennon, MC5 and any of a dozen head banging metal groups.

As I listened I looked for the element that bonds the music and makes it interesting to me. The group is very tight, well seasoned and very well produced. It appeals to my short attention span. Manson’s vocals aren’t actually all that interesting though his phrasing is quite good.

The bond that holds it all together for me has to be the drums. Drummer, Ginger Fish does some amazing things. He actually, on most occasions makes the sounds all come together with a breath of percussive meaning. Most drummers supply only metronomic accompaniment and neither add nor take away elements. Every once in a while a commanding drummer will come along and actually add a great deal to the texture of the music. It is the difference between using drums to knock out a beat and using the drums to make music. Ginger Fish makes music with his drums.

In summation, I don’t suggest you go out and buy any Marilyn Manson CDs, however if you have any kids living with you who might have one or two, borrow them and have a listen. You might be surprised.

9 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

I'm going to have to check out Marilyn Manson on YouTube. Even my kids don't own any of his CDs.

I like the visual of you driving and blasting those tunes.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Beth, glaciers move faster than Guy drives. When he mentioned that the Manson music made him drive a little faster, he was describing the elevation between his usual speed of 45 to 47 mph. LOL

8:42 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Good idea, Beth. I'd start with any tracks from Mechanical Animal. And yes, it is a sight to behold...

Auntie, I'll have you know I went from 35 to 45. 47 is only a highway speed and I do use cruise control for that one.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! You had better not have been doing that inside of Astoria! The Astorians for Livable Neighborhoods are taking down license plates of ANYONE enjoying music or smiling while they drive through "their" streets. You being happy makes their neighborhoods less livable! 700 cars an hour drive down sixteenth street going 35 miles an hour playing Marilyn Manson music & smiling, and the cops just look the other way (oh, the inhumanity of it). ACK! ACK! ACK! We are all descending into HELLLLL! And the fog rolls in ....

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

*snip* with thinning grey hair *snip*

Thinning? Guy, thinning stops at a shiny scalp.

I should know.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Crowbar said...

As for drummers that add texture... give a listen to the Trurtle's (Flo and Eddie) drummer. "She'd Rather Be With Me" is a good example.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Trouble said...

oddly enough, I have a sort of crush on him.

7:02 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Anon, All they need to do in those neighborhoods is insulate their homes and replace their windows with modern and efficient double glazed. They are so hung up on historic preservation that they will probably only want horses and carriages on their streets next. And as for the fog, be sure to visit on Wednesday.

Tom, I'll have you evaluate my present situation the next time I see you, but I think it's still thinning. As you know I do see what I want to see.

Crowbar, Thanks, I'll need to find a copy of that. I should do a post on drummers soon. I know anyone who worked for Frank Zappa has always earned their pay as well.

Trouble, If you want to keep that going you may not want to look at his mug shot from when he was arrested.

5:42 AM  
Blogger nootka said...

Gotta love Manson. I do!

12:24 PM  

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