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From The Desk Of The Jesus Lizard: Captain Beyond

In the early ’90s, the Jesus Lizard—vocalist David Yow, guitarist Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims and drummer Mac McNeilly—was untouchable. Not literally, of course—if you were at one of its hundreds of shows in that era, you could very easily touch ’em. And given the amount of time Yow spent slithering on top of the audience, you probably didn’t have a choice in the matter. Denison and McNeilly will be guest editing. Read our new MAGNET Classics feature on the band’s Liar album, one of the most important LPs of the ’90s.

CaptainBeyond

McNeilly: This band‘s self-titled first album is near-perfect. There was no fluff, no filler—just hard rock played by guys who felt it. Every once in a while an album comes along like this, where you hear it, you are hooked, and then you can’t imagine that it hasn’t been here for all time. I wish I could have been there when they were recording this monster. One of my favorite drummers, Bobby Caldwell, is electric here; poor old snare drum, I feel sorry for ya. Also, odd time-signatures that flat-out rock like a moving mountain. Rhino plays guitar, and throughout this record, he shows his sense of restrained muscle. Creative riffs, and energy to burn, this train doesn’t slow down. Rod Evans, the original Deep Purple vocalist, is in perfect form here, sounding like he grew up in the deep south with the snakes and alligators. If you’ve heard this, you already know what I’m going on about. If you haven’t, just find this and use it to lift off when you need a boost.

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From The Desk Of The Jesus Lizard: Satellite Radio

In the early ’90s, the Jesus Lizard—vocalist David Yow, guitarist Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims and drummer Mac McNeilly—was untouchable. Not literally, of course—if you were at one of its hundreds of shows in that era, you could very easily touch ’em. And given the amount of time Yow spent slithering on top of the audience, you probably didn’t have a choice in the matter. Denison and McNeilly will be guest editing. Read our new MAGNET Classics feature on the band’s Liar album, one of the most important LPs of the ’90s.

Radio

Denison: A good thing, indeed. OK, now that I’ve asserted myself about new cars, here’s an offshoot: satellite radio! I didn’t think I’d really like it all that much, but, hey, we all have to grow up sooner or later. I got a new car about a year ago (I’m not gonna tell you what because I don’t want to advertise anything), and it was my first in 10 years. It came with a free trial period of satellite radio. I’ve always been a fan of terrestrial-based car radio and really didn’t see the need to change anything. There’s something inherently timeless about driving around with the radio playing. It’s the voice of the people. The thought of being forced to change my car listening habits was one I wasn’t in any hurry to embrace. But embrace I did, and there’s no turning back now. Hundreds of channels, consistently great sound quality. Reception that doesn’t fade out after 40 miles. Channels devoted to specific styles, eras or even individual artists. DJs who are excited about what they’re playing, and will tell you all about it. I can go from opera to outlaw all day long, and then cool out in the garage for a while. Or jump from the ’50s to the current era so my daughter can sing along on her way to school. I can still play CDs or hook up an iPhone, but I hardly ever do. I listen to the more esoteric stuff at home, in privacy and safety. The car is where populism reigns supreme, and satellite messages unite us! The space race of the ’60s has paid off: Let us now pledge allegiance, comrades!

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From The Desk Of The Jesus Lizard: Grand Funk’s “Live Album”

In the early ’90s, the Jesus Lizard—vocalist David Yow, guitarist Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims and drummer Mac McNeilly—was untouchable. Not literally, of course—if you were at one of its hundreds of shows in that era, you could very easily touch ’em. And given the amount of time Yow spent slithering on top of the audience, you probably didn’t have a choice in the matter. Denison and McNeilly will be guest editing. Read our new MAGNET Classics feature on the band’s Liar album, one of the most important LPs of the ’90s.

GrandFunk

McNeilly: Raw, primal, driving, heavy and more … This double live album from 1970 is why you might want or need to play music like this. When I first heard this record, it just made sense. Not just the songs, but each player’s parts. Them being a three-piece, it was stripped down, and there was space to hear what was going on. Don Brewer’s drumming is full-on, and fearless. Mel Schacher’s bass lines are so nasty and gooey I tend to make strange faces whenever I listen to him. And, of course, there’s Mark Farner: guitar just about to fry out in the pan, amps shrieking and moaning—his voice a desperate fucking howl that will convince you he believed in this band and where they were going. Never mind the later versions of Grand Funk … This and 1971’s E Pluribus Funk deserve to be played loud—as loud as you can get away with.

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From The Desk Of The Jesus Lizard: New Cars

In the early ’90s, the Jesus Lizard—vocalist David Yow, guitarist Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims and drummer Mac McNeilly—was untouchable. Not literally, of course—if you were at one of its hundreds of shows in that era, you could very easily touch ’em. And given the amount of time Yow spent slithering on top of the audience, you probably didn’t have a choice in the matter. Denison and McNeilly will be guest editing. Read our new MAGNET Classics feature on the band’s Liar album, one of the most important LPs of the ’90s.

CarsDenison: I like new cars. Not all of them, but a fair number of them. Econo, luxury, foreign, domestic, whatever. I like the trends in engineering and design that have evolved over the last decade or so. Today’s cars are lighter, faster, more fuel efficient and less toxic to the environment than ever before. They’re also safer, more comfortable, and more reliable than the previous generations of motor vehicles. They’re a bit more complicated now, but, hey, that’s what mechanics are for, right? Don’t get me wrong. I love classic and vintage cars as well. I grew up in Michigan in the ’60s and ’70s—the golden age of Motor City muscle. My friends and I spent hours drawing pictures of cars, reading car mags, going to car shows, even building real cars in the factories (or making parts for them, as I did at Stahl Manufacturing for part of a year). The first word I ever spelled all by myself was “Ford,” where my grandpa worked. And I’ll never forget the day when, in the middle of summer, my dad came home with a grocery bag full of model car kits. They were a gift to him of some sort, back in the days when salesmen and their clients routinely sent each other booze, cigars, neckties and the like. My brother and I were in heaven for days. But the problem with the vintage rods is that, just like vintage musical equipment, the repairs and maintenance are costly and time consuming. Unless you’ve got a bottomless credit card (or have hands-on skills that take time to acquire), it’s just not practical. As far as every day, low maintenance reliability, the newbies beat the old gas-guzzling heavyweights in all categories. Fins and chrome are nice, and I love tooling around in an oldie and getting the thumbs up from folks as you pass them by (or as they pass you by, more likely). But speaking as someone who can only have one car at a time, I’m not gonna blow my hard-earned cash on something that was designed before we put people on the moon. I think most gearheads secretly feel this way, too. There’s tons of car shows on TV now, most of which deal with guys who take old beaters and rebuild them, usually within a brief span of time. They’ll keep the bodies and frames “old school” but almost always trick out the engines and electronics with modern appointments. Then they take them to car shows and auction them off for big bucks, which to me shows that most people out there don’t mind being up to date with their rides.

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