Lozeraptor 32: Praise for Frankie & Jake and a blistering review of The Offspring’s Americana

Frankie Rose is one of those musical artists who is a bit of an enigma. I have three of her songs from her Herein Wild album; You For Me, Sorrow and Street Of Dreams, each of these songs is different and it draws me in. I have called her an enigma because I fear that if I was to listen to any more of her music, I wouldn’t like it and my opinion of these songs would be diluted. The music is kind of dreamy and is imagined with dark reds and dark pinks with light purples pushing through. I thoroughly recommend these three songs and probably the Herein Wild album.

Kind of like Jake Bugg in a weird way.

Jake Bugg is one of those unique talents. The way he can tell a story in two minutes is a rare gift. His musical style has developed over the past ten years and If I could pick one song from his first three albums I’d recommend these: Two Fingers, Slumville Sunrise, Bitter Salt. Each song is different. That said, each album is different. On My One was a welcome break from the first 2 offerings but, a natural progression.

There are very few times that I’ve been able to make the perfect playlist. Those few times that I have, have been a rather pleasant experience. The below is not perfect, but it’s an idea:

Turin Brakes — Feeling Oblivion

Sleeper — inbetweener

Echobelly — Father Ruler King Computer

Frankie Rose — Street Of Dreams

Jake Bugg — Messed Up Kids

After talking casually with someone the other day, I got to thinking about growing up and living life in stages. Think I’ve mentioned before how it wasn’t until perhaps, the age of 27/28 that I started to actually feel comfortable with myself. That feeling has progressed to advanced stages whereas now, I’d happily make up my own words, to the tune of New York, New York whilst waiting to cross a busy road to try and entertain my grumpy daughter — don’t care who’s watching me make a fool of myself.

There feels like such an emphasis on status and image and, although this is not a new concept, it seems to be getting worse. Hell, I was a victim of this wannabe lifestyle 20+ years ago — a lot of people were, stupid really because one does not truly understand being comfortable or happiness until it has either passed by or they are slap bang in the middle of it.

Some more song ideas to listen to are below:

The Teardrop Explodes — Bent Out Of Shape

Elton John & Taron Egerton — Love Me Again

Stornoway — Clockwatching

Booze & Glory — Blood From A Stone

Garbage — Vow

Each year I reflect and each year I confirm to myself that I have grown. This year will be better than last year, at least from a personal development perspective. If I cannot look after myself, how the hell can I look after my daughters and my wife?

Turin Brakes. Turin Brakes are a band who make beautiful music. Imaginative lyrics with hazy music — ideal for Spring and Summer. I had never really heard that much from them, apart from Underdog which is, of course, an excellent song to hear. It was my wife that encouraged me to listen to more of their music. With the help of a paid subscription service I was able to discover their, rather extensive but not exhaustive catalogue. Some recommendations are:

Last Chance, Pain Killer, Tomorrow, Fishing For A Dream, We Were Here, Slack, Save You.

The above songs really are quite beautiful.

The Offspring — Americana

I had heard of The Offspring, but I had never heard The Offspring until Pretty Fly was released. A song I loved at the age of 14. At the age of 36 I detest it. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th singles released from the same album — Americana — Why Don’t You Get A Job, The Kids Aren’t Alright and She’s Got Issues inspired me to make a purchase of the album. Well, I have never regretted it. To this day, 23 years later since the album was released, I can listen to it (almost) non-stop and still enjoy 8 out of the 13 tracks.

Have You Ever and Staring At The Sun take you on a ferocious journey of anger, nervous energy and frustration aimed at the world. The Kids Aren’t Alright is a masterpiece; a 3 minute documentary in which you hear about a neighbourhood that promised it’s children of rainbows and unicorns but delivered a fractured vision of shattered dreams and regrettable losses. Feelings is a standard punk cover song played at speed and amped up to the nth degree. She’s Got Issues takes a comedic shot at relationships and people with emotional baggage, it is just unadulterated decent music. Walla Walla, a reference to a prison, is a tale of the perils of petty criminal life. The End of the Line a song about death and living without a close friend, moving on and dealing with the memory. No Brakes is a brilliant energetic buzz. Americana, possibly my favourite song on the album; a narrative of a crazy dream that turns out to be true. The highlight is when Dexter exclaims “I’m a product, of my environment, don’t blame me I just work here” which, kinda sums up a lot of the modern day attitude. Finally Pay The Man is an 8 minute ditty that builds and builds and concludes the album’s audio experience.

If you have never heard Americana, I suggest you listen to it, it truly is one of the best albums ever recorded. It was the album that introduced me to Offspring’s music and the album that made me want to discover more Offspring. To me, it is a perfect punk album: full of attitude, venom, anger, highlighting societal and political issues along with some ironic humour and life narrative.

Some tracks to finish off this piece of writing…

Bob Dylan — Hurricane

Neil Young — Harvest Moon

Big Brother and the Holding Company — Piece Of My Heart

Bonnie Raitt — Unintended Consequence of Love

Dámaso Pérez Prado — Mambo n. 5

I hope you enjoyed this and that I have given you some musical suggestions to try out.

See you next time.