Tag Archive for clutch

You Should Be Listening to Clutch

Whether we’re talking writing, art, music or filmmaking, word of mouth is key to a creator’s survival. Someone could write the most amazing piece of literature ever put to paper, but it won’t make a lick of difference if only three people read it.

Sure, advertising and marketing help, but they can only go so far. How many over-hyped blockbuster flops have we seen the past several years? Once word gets out the plot sucks, the acting is terrible, and the flick is just plain boring, it doesn’t matter how much money the studio threw at the advertising department.

What needs to happen is those first three people need to tell everyone they know how incredible the creation they just experienced is. Sure, I’ll settle for them telling three more people each, but if you finish the last track on an album and say, “Wow, that was awesome,” then you need to tell everyone. Remember the true meaning of awesome? Something that fills you with awe. Something awe-inspiring, not just, “Yeah, that was pretty good.”

Which brings me to Clutch. They’re not exactly a small band, but it surprises me how few people have heard of them. They have their own label, they tour like crazy, and they get some play on satellite radio, but I have yet to hear them on any terrestrial radio stations. They first came close to mainstream with their “Electric Worry” playing in the background of commercials for the Left 4 Dead game series.

They deserve more exposure. Their songwriting and studio work is damn good, but the awesome part comes during their live shows. These guys kill it on stage. No spectacle or flashy lights and pyro, just some damn fine playing, and most of the time in small, intimate clubs where you can get up close, like so:

BOW TO THE ALMIGHTY CLUTCH!

Suddenly I feel like a stalker

I first discovered them when they opened for Pantera fifteen or so years back at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. They performed most of their first full-length album, and I distinctly remember “Rock & Roll Outlaw”. Even today it’s one of my favorite tracks, and it’s not unusual to catch my kids singing it. (For a while it was my middle son’s most-requested song in the car.)

I mention Clutch now because they just released a new album, Earth Rocker, last month. You need it. Their work is primarily rock, with their earlier work leaning toward hard rock, but they also have a strong blues influence that comes to the surface from time to time. Take, for example, “Gone Cold” off Earth Rocker:

Love it. Yet you still get their songs influenced by cars and science fiction, like “Crucial Velocity”:

I’m looking forward to hearing these tracks live. They’re going to be playing the House of Blues in Chicago on Friday, April 12th, but it’s not looking like I’ll be able to make it. Fortunately I caught them at a small club in Joliet back in November, so I at least got my fix.

Even if these particular tracks don’t catch your ear, check out some of their other albums. They have a real range to their music, and there’s sure to be something for everyone. In fact, I’ll leave you with another of my favorites, “The Regulator” off of Blast Tyrant.

That may actually sound familiar to some of you. Remember when I said their first flirting with the mainstream was “Electric Worry”? Well, “The Regulator” saw airtime during an episode of The Walking Dead.

Boom. Now it’s clicking.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Your Top 10 Songs

Ever checked out your top ten songs? I don’t mean the ones you sit back and think up a list of, but I mean the ten songs that get the most play in your collection.

I just sorted my iTunes collection by Plays, giving me a listing of my music sorted by the number of times they’ve been played. Granted this is just going to be over the time I’ve had my iPod, but it still spans almost four years. I’d say that’s a good enough sample for my purposes.

Here, then, are my actual top 10 songs, counting down to #1 in true Billboard fashion:

10) “California Über Alles”, The Dead Kennedys
Old school punk for the win.

9) “Astronomy”, Metallica
Love this Blue Öyster Cult cover. These days I think Garage, Inc. is one of the best Metallica albums, despite it being a collection of covers.

8) “Caress Me Down”, Sublime
Mucho gusto, me llamo Mikey…

7) “Mother”, Danzig
So many reasons I dig this song. I also remember it really hitting its stride on the radio several years after its first release.

6) “Cowboys from Hell”, Pantera
This is my get-pumped-and-break-shit track. It was my Power Song on Nike+ when running, the song I’d play on the last lap to get me back home. It almost killed me twice.

5) “Wake Up”, Pepper
This, on the other hand, is my chill song. I first heard it on Sirius and was hooked.

4) “Smooth Criminal”, Alien Ant Farm
I dig this cover more than the original. While I do list it without shame, it appears high on the list because Little Bird loves this song and requests it in the car all the time. She calls it “Smooth Criminals” no matter how many times her big brothers correct her.

Yeah. I just watched the video all the way through before finishing this post.

3) “Electric Worry”, Clutch
“You can have your riches, all the gold you save, ain’t room for one thing in everybody’s grave.” Word. I was thrilled to see this song take off when it got used in the Left 4 Dead commercials. Selling out? Hell no. That’s called spreading the gospel, son.

2) “Waiting Room”, Fugazi
I was hooked on the bassline for a while. I’m kind of surprised I got it cranked to the top this way, but at the same time, when it shows up on shuffle, I don’t think I’ve ever skipped it. It was also part of my running playlist.

1) “Rock & Roll Outlaw”, Clutch
Clutch brings home two of the top three? Hells yes they do! One of the best live acts I’ve ever seen. Nonsense lyrics and a killer jam for the win. The Squirt picks this one a lot, and I’m always happy to play it with him. We sing it together. Hell, I’ve even caught him sitting alone in his room singing “Ee-aw, ee-aw, ee-aw, I’m a rock & roll outlaw!” Crank up your speakers and throw up the horns for the almighty Clutch:

So how ’bout it? What does your top 10 look like? Post in the comments, or post to your own blog and link back in the comments. No cheating!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Almighty Clutch

Been up since 3:30. Going to be a swell day.

In better news, tomorrow night I get to see Clutch live for the third time. \m/

Hells yes.

Corrosion of Conformity opens. Should be a good show.

What’s that you say? I should be writing Lie with the Dead? No worries, that will be happening, too. I’m riding to a VA hospital with a buddy before we go to the concert. I’ll have several hours to kill. The iPad and keyboard will be at hand, and I’ll either bang out a few chapters or work on the outline for The Pack Book 3.

Don’t look at me like that. Of course there will be a Book 3.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

More Metal Than You

I call my daughter Little Bird, but don’t let the name fool you: she’s a tough little chick.

I tell her older brothers it’s their job to keep an eye on her, and in the future it will be their job to watch out for her in school. The way things are going, though, she’s not going to need them.

Future Rock & Roll Outlaw

She's more metal than you.

Yeah, she likes her girly stuff. She wears pink, she likes shoes & dresses, has her fair share of dolls. But she can identify Social Distortion when she hears them. I took her for a ride the other day and she requested Clutch’s “Rock & Roll Outlaw”, then sang along with the chorus. I’m thinking it may be time to introduce her to some Joan Jett.

Rock hard, play hard. Big trouble in a small package.

\m/

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Domo Arigato if I Want To

We having solar flares today? Sudden huge rush of computer complaints from all around the district. Doesn’t appear to be network related, it’s either communal symathetic stupidity or energy flux from outer space.

I’m guessing it’s the former.

Let’s rock.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

3500th Post

I’ve written 3500 posts since starting this blog many years ago.

Rock on. \m/

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.