For some reason I’m buying up Stooges and Ramones records like nobody’s business. I don’t know what happens when you’re a 42 year-old punk rock fan but I get the feeling that I’m about to find out.

Ironically, I’m writing this during an intermission in the Nutcracker ballet.

Albums of the Year – 2015 – Part 1

I haven’t done an album of the year post in a couple of years.  In fact, I’ve mostly given up blogging for the last couple of years.  However, a recent road trip to Germany compelled me to compile a list this year.  The fact is, it was an exceptionally good year for music.  Lots of my favorite bands and artists turned out some great albums.

It’s also worth noting that I’ve got most, if not all, of these on vinyl.  Yes, my record collecting fetish is alive and well.  It’s returned the fun to my music listening habits.  After a long day at the office, there’s simply no better way to unwind after putting the kids to be than setting down with a tumbler of something and a record on the headphones.  Bliss.

I’ll likely do this in three sections.  Here’s the bottom set of the list.  Good but just not as good as the great ones.  I’ve also thrown in some honorable mentions that have just come out on vinyl this year so they made the cut.

James McMurtry – Complicated Game71ed6bjsp4l-_sl1247_

“Honey, don’t you be yelling at me when I’m cleaning my gun
I’ll wash the blood off the tailgate when deer season’s done”

Pretty classic McMurtry lyrics open the album on “Copper Canteen”.  The same pattern flows through most all of the record making this a personal addition to his discography.  For me it’s kind of a return to form after a bitter, curmudgeon streak during the Bush/Cheney years.  This one seems warmer, more reflective and is full of sharp lyrical twists and turns. Complicated Game also is home to “How’m I Gonna Find You Now?”  The song was apparently written on the rhythm of a car motor rattle and traces the thoughts of a meth addict as he goes around town looking for someone or something.  Nobody writes about meth heads like McMurtry.  This one is no exception.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday


I’ve struggled to write this review.  A buddy of mine is such a huge Noel Gallagher/Oasis that he refers to the aforementioned singer just as “Noel”.  Funny thing is, I think I got him into that whole Oasis thing and he’s turned into a huge fan. I like Oasis but I don’t love Oasis most of the time.  But I’ll be danged if this isn’t one of the best post Morning Glory efforts by anyone that was ever in that band.

“Ballad of the Mighty I” in and of itself justifies this album being on this year end list.  Gallagher turns out pretty convincing grooves from top to bottom on this album, in fact.   Some of his balladry leaves the album flagging but they’re not fatal blows. A solid effort that keeps me coming back.

Beirut – No, No, No


This is supposed to be a post-divorce album.  I don’t hear that.  What I do hear is something akin to a hipsterish travel blog with a whole lot of instagram-type photos.  In those photos are people in exotic places with well-trimmed beards wearing those ironic straw summer hats.  The thing is, these people don’t come off as smug.  You don’t want to punch them.  The pictures are pretty nicely framed after all and why should you fault a bunch of people for capturing moments that are so evocative?

There, a review of No, No, No in the form of a blog critique.  Damning with faint praise?  [Insert album title here.]

Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?


I have a love/hate relationship with this album.  It’s so dancey and disco-biscuitish that I sometimes have to turn it off before it’s over.  It’s synth mania.  On the other hand, I put it on last weekend while driving home from Germany in dense fog at night and it sound-tracked the crap out of the drive.  So I feel like I owe it a debt of gratitude.  That and the beginning of “Huarache Lights” is a lot of fun.


The Replacements – The Twin Tone Years

This is a box set, reissue, of the ‘Mats first 4 albums and the “Stink” EP.  I already have original presses of each of those albums and a 2nd run of the “Stink” EP but this is just so obvious.  Of course I bought it.  In fact, I bought two of these.  Sort of by mistake.  I bought one (supposedly they’re limited) and then saw it at another place online for cheaper so I did that, too.  I tried to cancel the order on the first one but it had already shipped.  So, I now have two sealed box sets of the Replacements in my collection along with all of the originals on vinyl and CD.  That is so stupid but so right all at the same time.

The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

I bought this on vinyl a couple years ago and was really disappointed with the sound.  This reissue really brings the album up to the level it deserves.  It’s also pressed on yellow wax which is always cool.  Great, classic record by a band that paved the way for Blur and Oasis.

Matthew Ryan – Boxers

This technically came out last year but the vinyl didn’t get released until early in 2015.  It’s classic Matthew Ryan in his more rocking persona.  There’s all the heartbreak and longing in his voice and the crunch of a solid backing band to add some heft and conviction to the proceedings.  I also bought this on vinyl and I’m absolutely stunned at the quality of this pressing.  With this, a set of headphones and a cold beer in your hand, you’re front row at this match.

Lightning Review: My Morning Jacket – “The Waterfall”

MMJ WaterfallI just put this on my turntable after listening to a particularly electronic album.  I can only stay up so late so I did record two of the double album and I can tell you that it’s incredible.  It sounds like it could have been recorded in 1977.  There’s something very AM about it.  It would have sounded equally good blasting out of the sawdust-caked radio in my parents’ basement as it does here, now, through my headphones.

Somewhere I saw this album described as a “listener’s album.”  Indeed it is.  Listen up.  Maybe even start with record two.

Spoon at Bi Nuu, Berlin 06-02-14

Spoon Bi Nuu 2014 1

Spoon Bi Nuu 2014 1

First off, the fact that I’m blogging after who-knows-how-long should tell you how incredible this show was.

Berlin? Check.
Tiny venue? Check.
Incredible band?  Check.
Reckless abandon?  Check. Check. Check.

Spoon Bi Nuu 2014 2Mrs. NH and I drove up to Berlin on a Monday morning to see this show.  A sitter stayed with the girls.  Reason being, Spoon has always been on our “bucket list” of bands to see.  Let’s just say it was worth the wait.

A career “hits” packed setlist in a tiny club full of 150 people, at most, was the ideal place to see a band this big.  As you can tell from the pictures, we were front row.  Britt Daniel graciously endured my “biggest fan ever” hooting an hollering throughout the set and even indulged my request:

“Play some new [stuff]!”
“Play some music?!?!” he answered.
“No, new [stuff]!”

A couple songs later he did.  It’s called “Rainy Taxi” and as far as I can tell, it’s the first time it was played.  (So, take that you Stereogum hipsters!)

The show was a fan’s dream.  They played all of the Spoon songs you would hope to hear, including my favorite, “The Fitted Shirt.”  They were equally gracious after the set, coming out to talk with the crowd and even entertained our requests to come to Prague.

These guys have the highest rating on MetaCritic for a reason.  If you ever get within a four hour drive of seeing them, go.

Remind them how to say “slide” in German, in case they forgot.

Here’s another great post from the night where you can see my [balding!?!!] head.

Spoon Bi Nuu 2014 3

Kurt Vile at Lucerna Music Bar, Prague 06-17-13

Kurt Vile Lucerna Prague

Kurt Vile Lucerna Prague

I have been to some pretty loud concerts in my day.  I remember Sugar at Deep Ellum Live during my freshman year in college.  Doves at the 9:30 club as a young professional just starting out in Washington, DC also left an indelible mark on my ear drums.  On Monday night, Kurt Vile and the Violators set out to prove that they could one-up even the loudest Bob Mould amp setup.  They made their point.

There’s something about Kurt Vile’s unlikely success that really draws me to his music.  This former Philly forklift driver turned dad of two daughters by day and rockstar by night is a pretty cool story.  The fact that he relays all of that in his lyrics in is laconic, wry drawl accent surrounded by some truly beautiful arrangements makes his work all the more compelling.  The other side of Kurt Vile is the side that is not afraid to rock.  From the first notes of “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day,” it was clear that the rockier, Dinosaur Jr. influenced side of Vile was going to tower over the folkie acoustic strummer on this Monday night.

Having lived through 30 years of concert going, there’s no doubt that this one was the loudest.  And though I felt bad about possibly showing up at my daughters’ weddings in some future year not being able to hear any of the vows being exchanged, on a selfish level, I loved the noise.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Vile’s more mellow outings on Smoke Ring for my Halo and the Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze but I also love the bombast and cathartic feedback on “Freak Train.”  There’s something about watching a dude with Brady Bunch-worthy hair fill a thousand(s) year old Prague cellar with enough feedback to make half of the crowd leave before the encore.  I’m not joking – half of the people there left.  Had I not been there, I’m sure my wife would have been one of them.

My wife and I retreated back from the front of the show and I sheepishly plugged my ears as “Freak Train” exploded to its hairy close.  After a short encore break, Vile and Co. returned to play a beautiful, disjointed rendition of “Baby’s Arms.”  It was as if I had just witnessed a row in the preceding set and “Baby’s Arms” was Vile’s way of offering his apology.  Whatever it was, it was a fitting comedown to the most bombastic event I’ve ever witnessed in Prague.

Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on who you ask.

Note: Click on the photos in this post for moving GIFs!

Kurt Vile at Lucerna Music Bar, Prague 06-17-13

Ryan Adams at The Royal Albert Hall, London 03-19-13

Sometimes you just get really lucky.  I mean really lucky.  Tuesday night was one of those nights for me.  I had planned to be in London for a work conference and had to make it a quick trip.  London is a great place to travel for work and to stay longer than the absolute minimum amount of time required raises eyebrows at the home office.  So, I flew into London late Monday night, did a full day of said conference on Tuesday and a half day on Wednesday and flew out that night.  In between I saw Ryan Adams play one of the best concerts of his career.

I’ve seen Adams play concerts several times over the years.  I’ve seen the troubadour, the drunkard, they jerk and the charmer – sometimes all in the same set.  Tuesday night I just saw a guy who has written an incredible treasury of songs that was backed by a band that delivered them in spades.  Backed by among others, Benmont Tench (keys), Don Was (bass) and Ethan Johns (guitar), Adams plowed through nearly two hours of highlights of his catalog.  From Heartbreaker through to Ashes and Fire he played his best slow and mid-tempo of his songs.  While the rocker in me would have loved to see him throw in a few more fuzzed-out jams from his albums, the setting of the astoundingly beautiful Royal Albert Hall lent itself beautifully to the music.

Adams and his band were in great form; however, the most striking part of the whole experience was the sound in the hall.  From my seat in “the stalls,” the sound was immaculate.  Absolutely crystal clear and warm.  I’ll admit that due to a long day on my feet at a trade show, a huge fish ‘n chips dinner prior show and a few cask pulled lagers, the show exists in my memory more as a feeling.  Sure, I remember details including the funny between song banter but the show itself was start to finish enjoyable.  It was like settling in for a long ride through beautiful countryside while not having the slightest clue where you were headed.  In fact, now that I mention it, at the beginning Adams said, “I know most of you aren’t used to hearing music this fast, so put on your racing helmets.”  Maybe it wasn’t so much about the speed as the journey.  All I know is I saw a man and his band on the top of their game.  Let it ride, indeed.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra at Obecní dům, Prague 01-12-13

Glenn Miller Orchestra Prague

Glenn Miller’s iconic “In the Mood” is not normally thought of as a song that would make you get choked up.  However, on Saturday night, it did just that.

After flailing around for a Christmas gift for Little NH, I happened on tickets to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Prague.  The show was Little NH’s first concert ever and she reminded me of that fact during the entire week that lead up to the show.  She also recounted in great detail how she had opened my gift on Christmas Eve and was confused.  She reminded me how I started up my turntable and the first notes of the aforementioned song crackled out of the speakers.  She said she was excited when I explained to her that we’d be going to see this show and that this music was popular before rock and roll was even invented.  “Before rock and roll?” she intoned.  “Wow.”

The Glenn Miller Orchestra occupies a pretty large place in my heart and my family history.  Before I was born, my grandparents Reon and Helen owned the Turnpike Ballroom in Lincoln, Nebraska.  As a kid, I used to love to venture into the musty corners of the attic and pull out the boxes of autographed pictures, business correspondence and mementos of the fabled ballroom.  I first discovered Miller’s music when I played trombone in the 7th grade band.  I remember my teacher telling my row of pubescent trombone players to play the “Bah Bah’s!” with much more feeling.  In fact, I think of that every time I hear the song.  So imagine how excited I was when I found an autographed shot of Glenn Miller among the pictures in my attic.

In the years that followed I asked my grandma about the Turnpike and Glenn Miller’s visits there every chance I got.  The result of those conversations became the basis for my high school “term paper” and my enthusiasm and fascination for the subject matter garnered me my one-and-only A+ of my academic career.  Do what you love, they say.

So the happiness I felt by being able to share a bit of this family history with my oldest daughter was enough to make “In the Mood” a tearjerker.  As we sat in our seats at the show, Little NH bounced in her seat along with the music.  I half expected her to stand up and dance in place.  The music was a mixture of Miller’s hits and other staples from the Big Band era.  At one point in the show, Little NH leaned back and whispered in my ear, “Boy, Daddy.  I hope they are going to play Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anybody Else But Me soon! It’s her “second favorite” song.  This is from a kid that has been listening to Miller for about two weeks.  I guess the affinity runs in the family.  She also knows my second favorite Miller staple is “Little Brown Jug”.

Of course, my favorite is the one that brings back all of these memories.

As we walked home from the show I told Little NH, “You know, for the rest of my life I’ll think of you whenever I hear a Glenn Miller tune.”  “Even when I get old?” she asked?  Blinking hard in the cold winter air I replied, “Especially then, sweetie.  Especially then.”

Album of My Year: The Walkmen – “Heaven”

Walkmen HeavenIt’s pretty obvious that I’m getting old and lazy.  I used to post immense lists of albums at the end of the year.  In fact, in years past on another blog, I posted one review a day in the lead up to New Year’s Day.  This year, I’m only posting about one album as my album of the year with brief mention of another album that after weeks of going back and forth about, took second place.  Yes, the album of my year is The Walkmen’s Heaven.

This is an album made by dads and for dads, it seems.  The band just capped its 10th year of existence and this release is the first to see all of the members as married fathers.  There’s a sort of resignation on this album – almost a sense of surrender.  While previous releases saw them raging against old lovers and musing about traveling to far-flung destinations, Heaven finds them taking stock of family and themselves ten years into the game.

There’s a portion of fatherhood and married life that they explore in-depth on this record.  It’s the portion that realizes and accepts the imperfections of family life and actually embraces them as part of the intrinsic beauty of the institution.  Expectations and hopes are dashed by real life but the band celebrates this disappointment with pride in having actually set up the opportunities in the first place.  It’s an incredibly complex sentiment to capture in words in a blog post which makes it all the more impressive that The Walkmen managed to do it over two sides of a record.  Throw in the fact that the albums sounds like it might have been made in 1950’s Sun Studios and you’ve got a real winner.

If you’re a dad or a mom or anyone with a family give it a spin.  If you’re a dad, pour yourself a nice glass of brown liquor and give it a listen after everyone else has gone to bed.  You’ll see what I mean.

Honorable Mention:  It was a tough to choose between Heaven and Bob Mould’s Silver Age.   20 years after forming Sugar, this album captures Mould at arguably the best of his career.  It’s distorted and melodic with lyrics as biting as ever.  During the tail end of 2012, this has been the album to start my mornings on the trip to work.  By the time I get there I’ve been fully amped.

Thunder Review: Elbow – Vinyl Box Set

Elbow Vinyl Box SetI guess I was a good boy this year.  Mrs. NH got me the Elbow vinyl box set for Christmas.  She did so after I refused to stop talking about it.  I actually made the order.  But with her express consent.  So that’s a gift, right?

Last night I got time to sit down and inspect the set and give a few platters a listen.  First, the set itself.  It comes in a sturdy box with the Elbow logo.  The albums are all 180 gram double vinyl and the artwork is minimalist and familiar to all of the regular releases.  What is different on the vinyl is that one record of each album has a lyric scratched into the runout groove area.  A cool little touch.

As for the sound, I came away impressed.  Having listened through the first four albums (Asleep in the Back, A Cast of Thousands, Leaders of the Free World and The Seldom Seen Kid), all sound great.  Leaders is a little compressed sounding but as I recall, so is the original CD version.  Still, it sounds great.  But the real show-stopper was Kid.  The depth in my headphones and intricacies of the recording really shine through.  I heard instrumental flourishes that I’ve never heard.  The vinyl itself is quiet and this makes the listening experience a real pleasure.

With only 2000 of these in existence, I’m glad to have one in my possession.  This is one of the best bands on the planet at this time and the fact that the set leaves room for a “Coming Soon” release makes me think it’s going to be a pretty good 2013.

Kurt Vile and the Violators – July 31, 2012 – Meet Factory – Prague, Czech Republic

Kurt Vile - Prague - Meet Factory

I wanna write my whole life down
Burn it there to the ground
I wanna sing at, top of my lungs
For fun, screamin’ annoyingly
‘Cause that’s just me bein’ me, bein’ free

Kurt Vile – “On Tour”

John Hiatt introduced me to the idea of a musician as “a lifer” when I interviewed him many years ago.  The concept is pretty simple.  It just means that the musician in question is going to keep on writing, recording and touring until he drops.  I would imagine that Kurt Vile imagines himself a lifer as well.  Four albums into his career, it’s hard to see him doing anything else.

Tuesday night’s show was fairly well attended for the day of the week and the relative obscurity of a guy like Vile in the Czech Republic.  The crowd that did show up appeared to be full of pretty serious fans.  That said, never have I seen so many people in their mid-20’s make out one minute and then sing along to the words of the song the next.  That was some serious multi-tasking.  I’ve also never had that many shots spilled on my feet as the same demographic brought round after round up to the front of the stage for their friends.  I don’t begrudge them.  It was just sort of inexplicable.

But it was strangely fitting for a Kurt Vile concert.  His songs careen from romantic finger plucked acoustic ballads to feedback-drenched, drone fests.  Despite my impression from various YouTube clips and laconic singing on his albums that Vile is a classic stoner, he looked unbelievably lucid and technically solid at Tuesday’s show.  Stage banter was largely not-existent and his band struggled to keep up with him as one tune ended and another began.

The set list contained about 50% of the songs from “Smoke Ring for My Halo” and the rest from other releases.  His backing band, The Violators, lent some serious heft to the occasion.  On “Freak Train,” the whole band made some serious, ear-splitting noise.  Alternately, on songs like “Peeping Tomboy,” restraint and the folky side of Vile showed through.  It’s this space between loud and soft that Vile seems to travel with ease.  So much so that if he ever puts out a best of album, I’d recommend calling it “Songs to Make and Rock Out To.”

Foie Gras with Honey and Balsamic Reduction

The majority of Thursday night was spent writing lyrics and finishing (3!) songs.  What does a hungry, world-renowned recording artist do when the songs are done and the belly is growling its own tune?  Make foie gras, of course.

I cut a block of foie gras in three equal slices, fried it until brown in a hot pan, laid it on warm wheat toast and then spooned a reduction of Balsamic vinegar, honey and salt and pepper over the top.  A meal fit for a rock star.  Should have eaten it in my limo.

On Songwriting

The past two and a half weeks have given me more free time than I’ve had since Little NH was born.  As you can see, I’ve filled a lot of that time up with food preparation.  Thankfully, I have also gotten to indulge in another hobby of mine – making music.

I am an amateur musician, to be sure.  However, I have a sneaking suspicion that the arc of songwriting for the accomplished musician and the novice is similar.  For me, the process begins with marveling at other musicians doing their thing.  That either leads to me thinking, “I should try something like that” or, “I can’t do that, time to put on another record.”  Most of the time I default to the latter.

But when the right mood hits, the former can be a lot of fun.  As I sit in front of my computer multi-track recorder, with a mess of wires on the floor, some awesome plastic box technology for making music, and instruments I’ve crafted myself, the whole process can be pretty darn exciting – and frustrating.  There’s the initial buzz of capturing a riff, expanding it and then playing something to accompany it.  If it works in a small way and it melds together, it’s incredibly gratifying.  However, that’s the easy part.

Chunks of sound like that are the things real artists describe as “ideas” or as the great Brian Wilson called them, “feels”.  Turning those into something is where the hard work begins.  Sometimes a riff that sounds good in a small dose just doesn’t stretch into anything resembling a song.  Sometimes everything you try to add to it just makes it sound terrible.  So there it sits.  An idea with no real shape.

Sometimes you come back to those ideas.  I’m currently working with a set of stuff, some of which is at least four years old.  Last night, I struck on something that worked.  Something that turned a feel into more of a song.  That’s when you go to bed really happy.

Finally, there’s the issue of lyrics.  I used to fancy myself quite a poet in my formative years.  Looking back, teen angst is good for writing but the end product is just that – teen angst.  Putting thoughtful lyrics together as a middle-aged dad is a real challenge.  I haven’t even attempted to tackle lyric writing in my latest stint as a composer.  That’s a whole different mindset, one that involves a change of scenery.  I’m not sure the ricochet of the daily routine from apartment to metro to office and back again is conducive to good lyric writing.  Nevertheless, there are about four years of experiences that I can channel into words stuck in my gray matter.  It’ll be interesting to see if I can extract it and match it to song.

To be clear, I’m not writing this as a means to self-aggrandize, rather, it’s to show what I see when I listen to a record, or watch a concert.  I’m in awe of artists that can get through these stages and be able to interpret an idea in a finished way on stage.  It truly is a gift and one that I am glad to at least be able to witness and appreciate given the perspective of my meager success at the process and many failures.

If only blog posts were songs.  I’d at least be David Hasselhoff, right?

Sting – February 18, 2012 – Kongresové Centrum – Prague, Czech Republic

The first concert I ever paid my hard earned cash for was Sting.  To say I’ve been a fan of him for a long time is a big understatement.  So, when I give a review that is less than stellar, it means something.

I purposefully avoided his last “Symphonicity” Tour stop in Prague.  I couldn’t bear to hear the man that penned “Born in the 50’s” add an orchestral, candy-coated gloss to his work.  It all just felt so Yanni.  But when I saw he was coming this time for the “Back to Bass” tour, I was encouraged and snapped up a ticket shortly after they went on sale.

Last night’s show was not the same guy I saw playing with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers as the Police in Munich a few years back.  This was clearly “late period” Sting.  The good news is I like his later albums from “Mercury Falling” to his last non-symphonic album “Sacred Love”.  Interestingly enough, it appeared that the man himself seems to favor that material.  It’s as if those songs were written more in his present state of mind, therefore, he can really get deep into the performances.

Stylistic differences aside, Sting was, as always, a stellar musician surrounded by other stellar musicians and then some musical sideshow that just distracts from the whole performance.  In this case it was a skinny, blonde, shrill singer/violinist that seemed to extend the high notes for Sting, play some OK parts on her fiddle and then annoy the rest of the time.  This isn’t the first occasion of Sting having a clown on stage.  Those who follow him will remember names such as Vinx and Kipper.  You come to expect it, actually.  That’s why it was such a relief when he reformed with the Police – there you knew the only clown would be Steward Copeland and that he was only doing it to annoy Sting.

All gripes aside the show was good.  Not great but good.  It was solid with an interesting mix of deep album cuts (Love is Stronger than Justice, I Hung My Head) thrown in to avoid the hit barrage.  If you’re a fan, go see him.  He’s coming back to Prague this summer.  Just know that when you plunk down your cash, there’s a clown that comes with the package.

Peter Hook and the Light – February 12, 2012 – Lucerna Music Bar – Prague, Czech Republic

I may as well have taken a time machine to 1979 London last night.  On the Lucerna Music Bar stage were 1/4 of Joy Division and his backing band, The Light, playing note-for-note renditions of every Joy Division song worth playing.  To top it off, there was a guy with the biggest mo-hawk I have ever seen right in the middle of my line of sight.  Normally, something in front of me standing over seven feet tall at a concert would be cause for annoyance.  However, this big, stupid, pogoing hairdo just helped to make the whole experience all the more legitimate.

The musicianship didn’t hurt either.  For a little under two hours, Peter Hook and the Light tore through a setlist that included the punkish early Joy Division (Warsaw) material, a top to bottom run through of their landmark album “Unknown Pleasures”, nuggets from their second album “Closer” and all the non-album singles.  It was a feast for fans of this band.  There was also a sense that Hook’s love for this music has endured the 30-some years since the death of Ian Curtis.  As a matter of fact, the sheer vigor with which these Goth classics sprang from the PA made them even more powerful.

Because of the musicianship and intensity of the show, one was able to overlook the abysmal, YouTube quality introductory video that preceded it.  The audio sounded muddled and completely unintelligible on Lucerna’s sound system.  A note to Mr. Hook: people coming to your show don’t need an introduction – we’re already converted.

Awful intro aside, anybody with even a passing interest in Joy Division should go to see this show.  It’s a tribute to a very influential band that has inspired countless present-day imitators and, even though he probably wasn’t alive in 1979, some dude with a really tall mo-hawk.