Posts Tagged With: Vampires

Ryan Adams burns (joints) in the night

RABITNBy now, everybody who takes a chance on one of Ryan Adams’ limited-edition seven-inch singles should know that they’re pretty much of a crapshoot. The series has offered up the occasional gem like last fall’s heartbreaking “Jacksonville,” as well as odious turkeys like the thoroughly useless “Vampires.” But his latest effort, “Burn in the Night,” lands closer to the good end of that gem-to-turkey spectrum. The opening title track is a chiming rocker with a rough edge; it would have perked up last year’s Ryan Adams album a good bit had he found a way to make it fit. And the closing “Look in the Mirror,” an outtake from Ryan’s Husker Du tribute EP 1984, is by far the best third cut of this seven-inch series — it feels like an actual song rather than a self-indulgent goof. But of course, this wouldn’t be Ryan if it didn’t have at least one missed opportunity, and that would be the middle track. “Cop City” starts out more than promisingly enough with an arrangement reminiscent of The Who, pairing a Pete Townshend-style clarion-call guitar riff with nicely overplayed drums. But that good first impression starts to fade once you pay attention to the words Ryan is singing, and the realization sets in that they’re probably something he came up with on the spot while under the influence of a great deal of pot:

Eddie & the Cruisers But they were from Mars And they all survived on chocolate bars…

LoseringOh, Ryan…Anyway, take a listen here, and peep his online description (which I’m including below just in case it disappears from his website, as tends to happen). Regarding the part that I’ve boldfaced, I’d like to think it means that “Burn in the Night” was written about Amy Lombardi; and if that’s the case, it’s so cool that he’s still writing the occasional song about his long-ago “New York, New York” muse all these years later. See chapter eight of “Losering” for more about that.

Los Angeles… ugh…WHAT ARE YOU?!? That is how this single feels to me. Three tracks from the hot summer nights — greenish smoke billowing out from the upstairs office door of the PaxAm office, just next to the live room. Burn In The Night is me ruminating on an old NYC love lost- and how funny it is to get older and sort of put some of that behind you- but never really getting as far behind you as you’d like. I always felt like that song was really special but it never fit anywhere. Thank goodness we make these singles. Marshall on the drums, me on the guitar and everything else. COP CITY- another song about the last weekend of every month in LA when all the police are out giving tickets and ALL I WANNA DO IS GET TO MY PINBALL SPOT. This was one of the jams me and Mike V made on the never-to be-released ALIEN USA album experiment with Jeremy Stacey on drums and us going for the “big sound.” We found it later but here and there a few really cool tracks stood out. This one especially feels so good. Its traffic and being at the end of your rope. LOOK IN THE MIRROR is me on everything and a song that I recorded too late to go on the 1984 record. Hey but NOT TO WORRY… soon you’ll have 1985 and 1986…. and who knows what else. With Love, From the early summer tour 2015 DRA The Windsor Hotel

ADDENDUM (7/31/2015): Next up in the seven-inch series is “Willow Lane.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t even sound half-baked — more like quarter-baked. It does, however, have some first-rate accompanying verbiage.

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Chart me up

Well, it appears that Ryan Adams’ time on the U.S. charts with his current eponymously titled album was short despite the career-high debut. Ryan Adams (Pax Am/Blue Note Records) entered the Billboard 200 on Sept. 27 at a lofty No. 4, three notches higher than his previous personal best; but the album’s position has dropped every week since then. And on the Nov. 15 chart (the one topped by queen-of-the-universe Taylor Swift’s 1989), it’s all the way out of Billboard’s Top 200 after just seven weeks.

Ryan Adams has sold 82,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, so it hasn’t really reached beyond Ryan’s previously converted hardcore following. If the album is to see any further chart action, one of its songs will have to catch on at radio. But like Tom Petty’s A&R man from “Into the Great Wide Open,” I don’t hear a single.

VampiresBB156Meantime, the chart gods taketh away, but they also giveth. Even though Ryan Adams is gone from the Billboard 200, Ryan still gets one more week there thanks to his latest seven-inch EP “Vampires” — which debuts at a modest No. 156 on the Nov. 15 chart. Since “Vampires” is a limited-edition release, this will most likely be its only chart week. And given that “Vampires” also ain’t that good, I wish “Jacksonville” had been the indie seven-inch to make the chart instead.

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Halloweenhead: Ryan Adams embraces the suck with “Vampires”

DRAVampiresWell, it’s one step forward and two steps back on Planet DRA, same as it ever was. I’ve been trying and failing to warm up to the Ryan Adams album for a couple of months, but things were looking up with “Jacksonville” — a lovely little non-album seven-inch that followed the album, and the best thing I’d heard out of Ryan in eons.

“Jacksonville” was good enough to make me hold out some hopes for its followup seven-inch, “Vampires,” which is out just in time for Halloween and yay for that. But seasonally appropriate release-date timing is about all “Vampires” has going for it, because all four of these songs pretty much fully suck. The beyond-grating “Clown Asylum” is the worst offender, but they’re all so lazily executed that I can’t figure out why he even bothered unless this is an experiment in finding out just how blindly devoted his fanbase really is.

Kind of a cool cover, though. I guess.

ADDENDUM (12/10/2014): Next up in Ryan’s seven-inch series is “Do You Laugh When You Lie,” which is marginally better than “Vampires” but not by much (or at least not enough).

FURTHERMORE (1/14/2015): The “No Shadow” seven-inch is, despite Johnny Depp’s much-hyped presence, also nothing special (although the “It’s In My Head” B-side ain’t bad).

AND SO ON (6/23/2015): “Burn in the Night” is decent, but the “Cop City” B-side wastes a pretty cool Pete Townshend-style riff on super-stupid lyrics (“Eddie & the Cruisers/They were from Mars/And they all survived on chocolate bars”). At least the third track, the “1984” outtake “Look in the Mirror,” is an actual song and not a wanky goof.

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