With Brother D so efficiently blogging on RHCP’s 90’s track ‘Give it Away’ whilst we sat on a beach in HK, I feel that it is my duty, as the new age of blogger in this family, to keep up to date with the ins and outs of the music world. Hence, today, I bring you the new single by the regrouped funk rockers, ‘The Adventures of Raindance Maggie’ back from their short-lived hiatus. Sadly along the way, John Frusciante, the music making, collaborating, solo taking, mind-breaking guitarist was lost to an unstoppable solo career, and now, in his place, stands Josh Klinghoffer, one of Frusciante’s closest friends.
Since the release of their epic double album, Stadium Arcadium, there has been a sharp decline in the treatment and respect of RHCP’s music, and I believe this to be largely underserved. Yes, Stadium Arcadium was no ‘Mother’s Milk’ or ‘Californication’. Yes, Kiedis’ lyrics somehow spiraled into a whole new stratosphere of unintelligibility generally frequented by Chris Martin. Yes, Flea’s famous slap bass was harder to find amidst the poppy tracks like ‘Snow‘ and ‘Dani California‘. Nonethless, what people have to appreciate is that songs like ‘Charlie‘ and ‘Hump De Bump‘. Despite not being RHCP’s best, they are still fucking good tunes in comparison to the rest of the world’s sewerage cluttering our airways and the web (ed: Harsh Z, harsh). The fact is, the band made it especially hard for themselves when they took a break after their lightning hot streak of ripper albums, so that, in truth, nothing would ever live up to our expectations.
Once again, in July 2011, we find ourselves on the verge of a new era of Chili Peppers. With a new formation and a new musical context in which they must slot their eclectic style, it’s a mighty brick wall which they face and inevitably destroy before really reaching their millions of fans once more. The first time I heard ‘The Adventures of Raindance Maggie’ it sounded flat, badly mixed and strangely controlled for a group of 40 year olds who have nothing to live for. Yet, as with ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II’ the more you experience it, the better it gets. After my fifth playing, I was hooked. So all you haters out there, all you trolls, jumping on the web to damn this track after hearing the first 10 seconds without a drum solo or yelp from Kiedis… get back in your box.
It is undeniably funky thanks to Chad Smith’s undeniably funky drumming. The lyrics make no sense, but the rhythmic phrasing screams RHCP and with lines like “cock blocking isn’t allowed” you can’t help but smile at nostalgic memories of singing ‘Suck My Kiss‘ at the age of 8. The intermittent temple block that is introduced in the second verse represents another rhythmic layer that adds to the song’s complexity and overall interest. The sharp contrast between the verse and the chorus shows the musical friction inherent in the band’s workings, with the past and present struggling to stay sane in each other’s company. The verse is funky and staccato, reminiscent of 90’s tracks, while the chorus, with its sweeping chords and pop-infused melody, is an effort by the band to call this track a ‘single’ worthy of airplay in this day and age. Despite this conflict, it somehow works, as if all listeners’ competing appetites are sated at once.
I personally can’t wait to hear the rest of the album on August 26th because this band is a force to be reckoned with. My whole drumming technique was derived from monster Chad Smith’s playing, the energy of ‘Can’t Stop’ still manages to lift me when I’m down and most importantly, my first kiss was while watching them play live in LA on TV.
Blood Sugar Sex Magic(/k)… they’ve got it all.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie