Friday, July 30, 2010

Rage Against the Machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqWP1rsAMrw

This video clip is not from a show that I saw, but it is a live performance from the same place I first saw Rage Against the Machine. My life changed forever. FOREVER!

It was actually a few years before this, when the band first started becoming popular, that I got into the loud bad-ass rocking motherfuckers that they were. At the time, I was really a number of different types of music, migrating a little bit from the hardcore rap and heavy metal/rock that I had been listening to, moving closer towards a hybrid of the similar proportions. I was really into the Chili Pepper's Blood Sugar Sex Majic, which came out in 1991, and then the first major label release for Rage was in 92. While Rage was probably still a little on the heavy side, these guys could totally ROCK! Every song on that first album was just filled with so much energy that you couldn't help turn down the windows and turn up the radio! Hell ,even the album cover was bad-ass! These guys were no joke. Played that CD so much I had to buy another copy.

One of my most vivid memories that involved Rage, besides being totally blown away seeing them live in the earlier days (if you haven't watched the video at the top of this post, please do yourself a favor and watch it.), was when I attended NFTY Convetion in East Brunswick, NJ. I roomed with my buddy Jason, whose agenda for the majority of the weekend consisted of two things: 1) Plage Rage Against the Machine Really Fucking Loud!; 2) Street Fighter II on SNES. Yes, we were uber-cool.

Anyway, thus began my lifelong love of the RATM. To this day, I'm looking for good recordings of their stuff. Was sad when Zak left the band because once that happened, they were no longer Rage. Chris Cornell did a good job with Tom Morello to form Audioslave but it just wasn't the same. And I've been enjoying Street Sweeper Social Club as well, but it still just falls a little short.

I was excited to hear just recently that the guys would be getting back together to play, but disappointed that it had to be for a reason such as it was, to protest the crazy Arizona immigration law. But it's true to RATM form, for sure. These guys were serious about the message they were laying down. It wasn't just a "let's get rowdy" anthem for them. They were serious, and they wanted you to know about it. While I didn't believe with all the extreme views they had, I did agree with their killer beats and solos with sick rhymes over it.

Some Rage highlights for ya:

- Bomb Track - off the first album (self-titled). This is the one that started it all. hard not to love it.
- Killing in the Name - also off the first album. My band in high school played Voodoo Child > Killing in the Name for the talent show on the last day of school. We got in trouble for our lead singing screaming the chorus over and over "FUCK YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!"
- Know your Enemy - first album. This is and was my alltime favorite Rage song. just love it.
-Bulls on Parade (Evil Empire). Showing that the 2nd album picked up where the 1st left off. Heavy duty.
- Sleep now in the Fire (Battle of Los Angeles): Great tune with a lot of energy.
- Testify (Battle of Los Angeles): Get a feel for the hip-hop meets heavy metal that made these guys so much fun to listen to.
- Renegades of Funk (Renegades EP): Best. Cover. Ever. This whole album is great. it also includes a sick version of the guys doing Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm".

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