IDLES, Lemmy, and my new friend, Chico
The Josh Wells Weekly, Episode 114
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Over the weekend, my town had a car show where they closed down a bunch of streets and it was cool. This flamenco group stole the show though. I love my town (North Bergen, NJ, yo).
I love live music. I got to see IDLES for the first time this past weekend and it was sorta a mind blowing experience. Every few years it seems I find a new band to get obsessed on and listen to a whole bunch, and right now that phase belongs to IDLES. I had never seen them live before. I kinda just got into them right before the pandemic stuff and got even way more into them over the past couple years. So getting to see them now felt something akin to victory. I’m not saying the pandemic is over but I’d been waiting for this one and there were moments during the pandemic where I had my doubts live music would ever be the same. Seeing them live felt like a finish line of sorts or at least a confirmation that the race is still on so we can keep running.
IDLES are fucking intense. Their music is loud and brutish. But the lyrics at times sing a different song. There’s a lot of thoughtfulness and positivity and purpose to it. There’s also a lot of that anti-authority punk vibe. It’s not punk but it’s adjacent in a way. The band is also super fucking tight. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a band live and it looked like each member of the band was completely locked in, not letting any second on stage go by unnoticed. They fucking cared and you felt it and also heard it in their words between songs. They were happy to be playing New York City and we were happy to be there. There was a lot of joy… loud, aggressive, magical joy.
I even moshed for like a song and a half. I thought my moshing days were done. It felt good! I don’t know if I got more than a song and a half of bumping bodies with strangers in me anymore. But I’m glad I got out there for some of it.
Also, no encore. That’s one of my favorite flexes. If you fucking killed it and everyone knows and you finish with something super strong like IDLES did that night, what’s the point of an encore? They left it all out there on the stage for us. Have a good night, we won’t make you sit around and beg for more (I’m not totally anti-encore and I get it, but there’s something sincere and honest about not making us wait and clap for you to come back on stage).
Before the show, I had an extra ticket I needed to get rid of. I ended up giving it to this dude Chico for a tall can of Rolling Rock. He was pretty cool. I hope wherever he is right now, that he enjoyed the show as much as I did.
Thanks for the beer, Chico!
Movie I Watched Recently
Honestly, at first I didn’t like this movie. When it ended, I thought it was one of the more boring movies I’ve seen in a while. There were even a few times in the middle of the movie that I had serious thoughts of turning it off altogether, which is something I almost never do or even think about. And maybe it’s because the movie was kinda boring but also maybe it was a little too emo for me. The main character’s dad is dying and wants to go on a cross country trip with his son he doesn’t have a good relationship with. It’s just not my thing. I can do sad, but there’s something about that, ‘Cat in the Cradle,’ kinda sadness that really drags me down.
So maybe I didn’t enjoy this movie a lot. But I have been thinking about it a lot since. The dad is dying of cancer. He’s also a famous photographer and the trip is to go get some film of his developed. It’s Kodachrome film and the last place in existence that develops that kind of film is shutting its doors for good (the part about the last place left closing down is based on a true thing). And there’s a whole lot of deep stuff to think about in terms of permanence and the temporariness of life and all that. I don’t know what I wanted out of this movie. I don’t know what could’ve been different that would’ve made me say it’s must-see. But no matter my thoughts on the plot, these are heavy ideas we all have to contend with.
Anyways, what I’m trying to say is this movie might leave you with something to think about.
TV show I’m currently watching
I just finished the first season and that’s all there is so far (according to Google, a second season is on the way). The ending is really good. A tornado threatens to hit the town and the gang make some pretty serious decisions about whether or not they still want to go to California (they committed a string of lesser crimes to save up money to make the trip happen). Some have cold feet. Some don’t. There’s even a surprise or two before it’s all over.
Overall, I enjoyed this show very much. I think no matter how much we age, we all have some kind of inner child that wants to do bad things and run away to California. But they’re not completely bad seeds. They’re not out to hurt anyone and they all seem to love their parents and share a deep bond with one another. I’ve never really lived in a small town but it must cause conflicting feelings. There’s a whole big world out there and, especially at a young age, it has to be calling. But then there’s the coziness of a small town. And maybe I’m only saying this because I’ve never experienced it, but I’m sure there’s something nice and comforting about it. There’s a definite undertone in this show about having a pride and connection to your heritage. The roots are strong in this town. That’s a lot to leave behind.
Anyways, looking forward to what a new season might bring their way.
Just hanging out.
Album of the Week
Sticky / Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
So I didn’t really know anything about this band. The draw was their name which I thought was kinda cool and that it was classified as rock music and I was in the mood for some rock. They also have one track that features Joe Talbot, who’s the vocalist for IDLES, the band I talked about in the opening of this here newsletter.
This album is an okay rock album. It’s not great and it’s not bad. It’s a little too glossy for my taste. I’d have preferred something that sounds a bit less put together and a little rougher around the edges. It’s a perfectly fine, put together, well produced rock album, but it’s missing something and I can’t exactly put my finger on it. I just kept waiting for something magical to happen to bring this album to the next level and it never happened.
But kudos for filling the world with more rock music. It’s still a lot better than the stuff I hear on the radio nowadays (I’m old, I still listen to the radio sometimes). It’s louder and more direct and not soft. So I commend the Rattlesnakes for all of that. It’s not the best, but it’s better than a whole lot of other stuff people try to pass off as rock.
Also, pretty cool album cover.
Book I’m Currently Reading
White Line Fever: The Autobiography / Lemmy Kilmister, Janiss Garza
So I just started this book and I don’t have a whole lot to say about it just yet. But from what I have read, it’s pretty good so far. They do a good job of capturing Lemmy’s voice in the text. It reads very conversational and if you’ve heard Lemmy interviews before, you can sorta hear his voice as you’re reading, his cigarette addled, whiskey soaked voice.
What’s interesting about guys like Lemmy (and other rockers of his age group) is what a historical period they got to live through and be part of for rock and roll music. Lemmy was alive when rock and roll didn’t exist which I know is a thing but is still kinda mind blowing to me. It’s fun to see a guy who’s reputation is heavy metal get such a kick out of the early rock and roll stuff and be such an ardent fan of stuff like the Beatles, Buddy Holly, and Little Richard. There’s a constant stream throughout rock and roll that connects all of it. So many metal musicians look up to Lemmy and here he is letting you know how much Buddy Holly fucking rocks. Kinda cool. Buddy Holly is metal.
This is the cover. Look forward to fun Lemmy photos in future newsletters for the remainder of this book. I’m at least gonna get that booty shorts pic in here next week. Lemmy rules.
Random sports thought of the week
This is a wild time to be a sports fan. We’re now deep enough into football season that I keep hearing convos about early picks for MVP (I do not hear enough talk about Derrick Henry though. Drop the QB obsession and give a great running back some love).
We got baseball playoffs and while I don’t really care about baseball, go Astros because they’re the heels of not just baseball, but American sports in general right now.
And now we got basketball! Beautiful, glorious basketball. It’s early but I am already on that Golden State Warriors bandwagon. They’re 2-0 and I watched the end of both games but passed out in the 4th quarter (because they’re west coast games and I’m tired y’all) but both times I woke up to a victory interview on the court and if taking 4th quarter naps is a new tradition I gotta keep up with so that the Warriors keep winning, I’m willing to do my part.
Also, there’s hockey. I don’t really know a lot about it but there’s a new team, the Seattle Kraken and just look at this cool logo:
Still not as cool as thig guy though:
Gritty is the best.
Random pro wrestling thought of the week
I have not seen WWE’s Crown Jewel yet. I don’t have time for a 4 hour ppv on a weekday. I have a job and other stuff. I hardly have time to get this newsletter out (remember when I used to send it out on Wednesdays?). If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll watch it in chunks over the weekend. We’ll see. But there’s still all the weekly wrestling shows to contend with (Smackdown, Rampage, and Dynamite on a Saturday) and I just don’t know. This one might get past me.
I’m also very conflicted on these Saudi Arabia shows. On the surface, they look like giant money grabs for WWE from a not so on-the-level “government.” The first show had a fair amount of gross propaganda about how liberal Saudi Arabia is getting. Just seemed unfitting for a pro wrestling show to beat us over the head with it.
But then I also have this other thought that there are true fans of WWE and pro wrestling in Saudi Arabia and I can’t just assume they’re all bad people who don’t deserve to be entertained. This is probably a great thing for fans and who am I to rain on anyone’s parade? Also, I find American entertainment to maybe be our best export to share with the rest of the world. Like, if people in other countries can enjoy the TV, movies, sports, etc that we crank out and also enjoy, maybe that helps build our reputation in the world and makes us more likable. Like, those Americans can’t be too bad what with the Marvel movies and such.
So anyways, here’s to having deep, conflicting thoughts because of dumb fake fighting. The world is strange.
You can even buy a Crown Jewel shirt! (YIKES)
Weekly Top 5 List: My Way Too Early Top 5 NBA Teams
1- Milwaukee Bucks
2- LA Lakers
3- Brooklyn Nets
4- Golden State Warriors
5- Utah Jazz
“I don't want to advise anyone to do anything, apart from try and stay alive. That's my advice - don't die.”
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