I’m coming up on 50 years old. Well, it’s a couple of years off still, but the corner is definitely in sight. Music remains something that makes my life better, and somehow, even though I still love to revisit a lot of the stuff I listened to during my formative rock and roll years, I still take great pleasure in finding new things to love. Music is the fuel for some chamber of my heart, some mutant ventricle that only pumps when it gets that fuel.
Rock and/or roll has lost its cultural heft and sweaty eldritch power to fire up much of the deranged, half-human youth of today, sadly (a situation ably traced in this recent, many-part opus on Grantland called the Winner’s History of Rock and Roll, which I highly recommend [Part 1: Led Zeppelin, Part 2: Kiss, Part 3: Bon Jovi, Part 4: Aerosmith, Part 5: Metallica, Part 6: Linkin Park, Part 7: The Black Keys]), but it’s far from dead, and there is still a lot of rock music coming out — little to none of which gets heard by the Greater PopCulturaltariat these days — which just fills me to the brim with feels.
One of the bands I’ve discovered in relatively recent times is The Rural Alberta Advantage. I have no idea how well-known they are, but they are Canadian (hooray!), so my guess is: maybe not so much, outside of Canada at least.
Back in the old days, when I wanted to share some music with people here on the ‘bottle, usually after too many Friday beers and some spastic chair dancing in front of my computer, I’d upload an mp3 and then take it down after a week or so. I have no idea if doing so was insulation from the baleful glare of the RIAA (note: not the RAA — that’s the band) gangsters, but that was the thinking. Back then, there were vanishingly few music videos on YouTube — now, of course, damn near everything is up there.
I’m going to show you some videos from The RAA, in hopes that if you haven’t heard the songs before, you’ll love them as much as I do.
The one problem with this band, though, is that although the songs are driving, windswept, powerful but at the same time utterly stripped-down blasts of gorgeousness and gorgosity, the videos are almost entirely terrible. Not terrible technically — they’re well-made and competent. But to me — especially after having listened to the songs dozens if not hundreds of times over the past few years before seeing them — they damn near ruin the songs themselves. They distract and diminish, and subvert the beauty of the songs, but not in any useful way, I don’t think.
So I’m going to try, where I figure the official video is just too painful to watch (Stamp being the worst offender — utterly magnificent song, horrifying, pandering, please-love-us-teenagers video), to show you the static-image album-cover videos that are all over Youtube, created I guess for situations were there was no officially released video, or, as in these cases, fans just hated the video a lot. If you’re curious about the official videos, they’re on YouTube as well. But I really don’t recommend them.
Here are a few of my favorite songs from their first two albums — there are many more that I love, though. I hope you like this stuff as much as I do. And stay tuned, if you’re an old EmptyBottle regular. The redesign I just pushed live a couple of days ago (which I hope you like) is prelude to me reviving the site, and WRITING! WORDS! AND! STUFF! I hope. No promises. I’ve made no promises before, and look where that got us.
Share and enjoy.