It’s a shame INXS has stooped as low as reality television to find a singer to replace Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997. Presumably, Rock Star: INXS, which premiered Monday on CBS, is an American Idol/Survivor-like contest in which 15 contestants are vying to, ahem, make the band. I say “presumably” because I did not nor will I watch; I only know what I’ve read. And I read that Dave Navarro is one of the hosts of this show. Didn’t his 15 minutes expire on that god-awful MTV show where he and Carmen Electra pranced around in fits of self-aggrandizement?
I so much like INXS and its catalog — is there a more compact and concise piece of pop-rock than Kick? — that this whoring out to CBS makes me sad; then again, I’m kind of surprised Fox didn’t think of it first. But what guitarist Tim Farriss had to say to Associated Press makes me downright depressed: ” … It’s really an organic way to find a new singer. It’s the best way we could think of.” I’m sorry. What is so “organic” about selling out your respectable legacy in music to dive into the perverse orgy of reality TV?
Let’s remember the better times, shall we?
INXS — Heaven Sent
INXS — Need You Tonight
INXS — Not Enough Time
INXS — Beautiful Girl
INXS — Kick
Walter Schreifels appears to be mellowing with age, and that’s not particularly a bad thing. Schreifels is probably best known for fronting Quicksand, a post-hardcore (whatever that means) outfit out of New York in the early ’90s. Quicksand’s influence is huge, even if its shelf life lasted two (very good) albums: Slip and Manic Compression.
Rival Schools was Schreifels’ next project, and that died off even quicker than Quicksand: One album (United by Fate circa 2002) and an EP (Rival Schools United by Onelinedrawing) with Far/Onelinedrawing mastermind Jonah Matranga. Rival Schools (love the name) borrowed Quicksand’s aggressive approach, but downshifted from time to time with excellent results.
Schreifels’ newest project is Walking Concert (Some Records), which is really nothing at all like Quicksand or Rival. It’s all pop and shimmery guitars. And the name, according to the band’s bio, derives from the movie Crossroads (the Ralph Macchio Crossroads, not the Britney Spears Crossroads) in which Macchio is a blues-obsessed guitar prodigy; when he gets hold of a pignosed amp, the clerk tells him he’ll be a walking concert. (Coincidentally, my guitar-playing brother Brendan loves Crossroads; again NOT the Britney Spears Crossroads, at least I don’t think.)
Listen to the links to hear the evolution of Schreifels. Rival Schools’ Sweet is a vinyl-only track, which I snagged on the cheap at Amoeba Records in LA. (Forgive any hissing and such in the sound as I’m still mastering the vinyl-to-digital process).
“Thorn in My Side”
“How Soon is Now?” — Smiths cover
“Sweet” (vinyl only)
“What’s Your New Thing?”