Saturday, November 04, 2006

Can Joann's Weekend Mutiny: Michel

Editor's Note: This post was written by Michel Inserny, drummer for Chapel Hill, NC band can joann. It is part of a series of posts that you can link to below.

I was born and raised in Venezuela, until life and politics made me kick myself out of there. I have been living and dying in Raleigh for the last 3 years. Although I grew up surrounded by thousands of records of all musical styles, I only started playing music at the age of 11. I was influenced by my brother who had been playing the guitar for several years but more importantly, I was influenced by the facts I’m getting ready to describe.

Mötley Crüe - Kickstart My Heart
It was sometime in 1990, a year when all I cared about was the 1990 Italian World Cup and when my only idol was Diego Maradona. One day a friend of mine played me a tape of Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood. I remember that I first wanted to play the drums after I listened to Tommy Lee playing Kickstart My Heart. More than 15 years later, I still consider Tommy Lee’s hard-hitting style a major source of drumming inspiration. This video, taken back in 1987, shows some classic footage of Tommy Lee’s spinning drum solos, back in the days when rock shows were still fun.

The Raveonettes - Attack of the Ghost Riders
I love to spend hours checking CDs in music stores, especially those with listening booths and featured artists. It was about five years ago when I was hanging out in a music store in Miami, FL, and I saw one of those listening booths featuring Whip It On from a band called The Raveonettes, with two attractive people on the cover and a $5 price tag that made them look even more attractive. I remember that I had only listened to a couple songs when I grabbed a copy and paid my 5 bucks. A perfect mix of Psycho Candy guitar and Velvet Underground sexiness, the Raveonettes immediately saved my life from the intellectual boredom of today’s indie rock, becoming my favorite band of the 21st century.

Los Rodriguez - Para No Olvidar
It was one of my best friends back home who gave me a best of CD from this band called Los Rodriguez. I thought that was a silly name for a rock band, but she insisted that I had to give them a listen. It didn’t take that long for me to understand their crazy mixture of classic Rock, Bolero, Milonga, Flamenco, etc., mostly due to Andres Calamaro’s lyrics of love and pain, Argentinean style. But it is track number 15, Para no Olvidar, that has made the biggest impact in me of all songs I’ve ever listened to. It's a song about dreams, memories, life and love. A song that has been with me ever since, and no matter where I am, it always brings me back to that Venezuelan sunny and breezy afternoon that I was driving to the beach, windows rolled down and a beer in my hand singing:

“¿Para que contar el tiempo que nos queda?
¿Para que contar el tiempo que se ha ido?
Si vivir es un regalo y un presente
mitad despierto, mitad dormido”

I didn’t know this back then, but now I think this is also a perfect song for the exiled.

New Town Drunks - Best Buddy Song
I have to be honest, I don’t like the Triangle music scene. I believe it’s overpopulated with musicians that take themselves too seriously and an audience of “cool” people that never go to shows. I realized that during a time when I went out every weekend to a random show to see if I could discover any exciting band in this town, but more importantly, to have a good time. That finally happened one night at King’s, after I read in the local newspaper that a band called the New Town Drunks were playing. It was the first time here that I saw a band that not only was having fun onstage, but also wanted the audience (of about 15 people) to have fun as well. We danced and we laughed and we drank and we had the most fun I’d ever had since I got here. Then we got a copy of their EP, went back home and drank a whole bottle of Rum while listening over and over to the 6 songs on that cd. And I promise you, the next morning we couldn’t feel the hangover.

I would like to credit Mutual Rejection for the great picture of me.

Can Joann's Weekend Mutiny:
Band's Intro


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