Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: Danzig Sings Elvis

Twice in my life I had been faced with 2 difficult questions from music enthusiasts. The first being "Which album do people generally stop listening to the Misfits?" and other, more difficult question, was "How could one man, Glenn Danzig, be at one time the coolest man alive and at another time be the uncoolest?"

The answer to the first question, for most Misfits fans, would be American Psycho, followed by Famous Monsters (with replacement singer Michale Graves). After all the fighting and lawsuits between Danzig and Jerry Only, Danzig still graced us with reissuing early Misfits recordings that are well worth having. When the lawsuits settled and Only and his brother Doyle were given the legal clearance to release new music under the Misfits moniker, Danzig was replaced by singer Michale Graves. Die hard fans would not recognize American Psycho and Famous Monsters as true Misfits albums. It's a hard pill to swallow; Danzig was the heart and soul of the Misfits, and yet Danzig's later offerings lacked the magic that was soaked into the bones of the Misfits.

Sure, the first two Danzig albums have stood the test of time, but later albums could be labeled "For Fans Only." And, as it were, history has also largely changed its mind about American Psycho and Famous Monsters. 'Saturday Night' from Famous Monsters and 'Dig Up Her Bones' from American Psycho are considered by some as Misfits classics.

Could history change its mind about Danzig, after decades public tantrums and an infamous video of Danzig being knocked out cold after schoolyard squabble? On April 24th Danzig released Danzig Sings Elvis. It's no secret Danzig has been a lifelong Elvis fan, garnering him the label "Evil Elvis" and this project is probably way overdue, but might have grabbed more media attention if it came out in the Danzig heyday rather than 30 years after he lost relevance.  It probably would have sounded different too. Danzig's voice is worn away some, and it shows on this album (which was recorded in 2016). No longer could his voice be heard as a mirror of the King himself, as evident on the Elvis-esque Misfits song 'American Nightmare.'

The 14 track, sparsely arranged, album is mostly cheeky, with a humorous tone. 'Baby Let's Play House' is straight up corny. But there is something to be said about Danzig allowing himself to be seen in a more playful light. And some songs on the album are solid and true representations, such as 'Love Me' and 'It Is So Strange.' 'Always On my Mind' 'Pocket Full Of Rainbows' and 'Fever' are surprisingly delightful, and risk bringing new fans to the Danzig catalog.

It is probably safe to say Danzig Sings Elvis should be labeled 'For Fans Only' but for the chance to see Danzig not take himself so seriously, and possibly having fun for the first time in a long time, this 'For Fans Only' album might just help bring back some fans that stopped listening a long time ago.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Quarantine Stay-Creative challenge: Record A Misfits Cover Song For Upcoming Compilation

In 1994 the Analog Distillery label released a compilation of Louisville artists covering the Misfits, In 2007, for the 13th anniversary, Louisville Is For Lovers released a follow up, Louisville Babylon II, and now, as it is at the 13th anniversary of Babylon II, Louisville Is For Lovers has issued a quarantine Stay-Creative challenge asking Louisville artists to record a Misfits cover at home for a third Louisville Babylon compilation that will release later this year. Details here.