Man-About-MySpace: Black Gasoline

Black Gasoline is the ultimate MySpace band, summed up in one sentence from the band’s MySpace bio: “With its debut album She Gave Us Magic, Black Gasoline demonstrates exactly why it has long been hailed as one of the most promising bands in Kansas.”

They do have something of a Deep Purple/AC-DC/Grand Funk je ne sais quoi to ‘em–and let’s not forget that, despite those band’s shopworn licks and FM oversaturation, when they came out they were awesome. And some rock fans pine for the days when men were men, rock stars were rock stars, and guitars were loud.

I, for one, give these working boys two thumbs up, and hope you do, too. Here’s a video of their song “Lady Iron Wing” from She Gave Us Magic released last November….rock on!

Man-About-MySpace: Kasim Sulton

The ideas for M-A-MySp flow in from many directions. This week, cruising to 7:30 A.M. Easter Mass in the family road barge, the radio was getting scanned for March Madness knowledge and updates.

The radio locked on “Steppin’Out Radio,” a show that, if you haven’t listened to it, you should give it a try: For people who have ever found value in a 12-step meeting, it will be like chicken soup; for those who haven’t, well it’s a tragicomic object lesson about what can happen to you if you let your own bad habits get out of hand. It’s a good listen, because the host Drew and his interviewees follow no script, and they don’t take themselves too seriously–i.e. they don’t moralize to you, they just explain how and why they messed up and offer encouragement to listeners in the same boat. Man-About-MySpace has never been to a 12-stepper, but he will never diss “Steppin’ Out.”

Easter Sunday must be a big-time soul searching day for people with addictions, as they roll out celebrity guests willing to talk about their history. This week, it was former Utopia, Scandal, Meat Loaf and current New Cars bassist Kasim Sulton, a dude who’s toured with a lot of the “who’s who” of rock. He had one heck of a rock-n-roller-coaster ride, and we’ll leave it at that–listen to the archived broadcast that originally aired last January if you’re really curious.

He plugged his MySpace in the interview, natch. After checking it out, it gets high marks: Excellent tuneage polished to a high production sheen, free downloads, video and extensive international tour schedule. He seems to be the rock equivalent of an interior lineman on an NFL team or that field-general catcher who has stone feet and no pop in his bat on a pro baseball team: No glory or even name recognition among average fans, but he’s a superstar among his peers. That’s a perfect “discovery” for MySpace Music. Here’s a little video slice of his composition “One Sure Thing,” performed live:

Man-About-MySpace: Radioactive Sandwich

This one’s for the club freaks out there, who like their music mixed and remixed, uptempo and downtempo. Radioactive Sandwich, an NYC duo, does the breakbeat-psychedelic thing MySpace style, and even offer tips and tricks for getting their records free on eMusic, a pay site. They make in the Man-About-MySpace space solely on the strength of one of their three album titles, The Earls of Sandwich. How awesome is that?

Radioactive Sandwich—Slice One and Slice Two, their stage names—consider a ton of bands, rappers, and deejays among their influences. In fact, checking out that list on their MySpace profile, it’s easier to name who they don’t (Echo & the Bunnymen and Pat Boone, I think, aren’t on that list and that’s about it). Perhaps no two are startlingly contrasting as Black Sabbath and Crystal Method. Whatever. Check out a pre-prime time video experiment for “Svalbard Vault” (my first MySpace video embedded in the ESD blog…wish me luck):

Man-About-MySpace: Tres Bien

Want to get your head caved in with a serious dose of 1960s-style guitar fuzz and simple-yet-addictive pop cuts that evoke a pre-digital era when the Beatles were king, a group like The Monkees could actually land top-10 hits, and not only could every kid dream he/she could be president one day but also start a garage band and annoy the neighbors?

C’mon, we know you do.

Check out Clearwater, Fla.’s Tres Bien, whose MySpace is loaded with great sample cuts. Best listened to with crappy laptop speakers cranked to “11,” to recreate the effect of hearing this awesome guitar fire and brimstone (and dramatic harmonies/countermelodies) as if it were 1966 and you’re listening to the AM radio on Lover’s Lane in your dad’s ’58 Ford sedan…and bumped the tuning just off a bit while doing what Chuck Berry wanted to do in “No Particular Place To Go” if he hadn’t run into that blasted safety belt issue.

Check out Tres Bien on the Fox reality show “The Next Great American Band.”

Man-About-MySpace: Rockin’ Sista B

There are several ladies on MySpace who go by the moniker Sista B, but only one is a 56-year-old nun who releases records on CDBaby.

Sister Rebecca Shinas, as she’s known in the ‘hood, might not be your average MySpace single or would-be recording star/American Idol contestant trying to get noticed by the system.

But she’s also part of the MySpace culture, and could we possibly be good journalist-bloggers if we skipped over her and served up some hot band that’s being hyped everywhere else in the blogosphere? No way.

We’re not saying she’s the second coming of Posh Spice, Led Zeppelin, the Guess Who, Pavement, or even Soulja Boy. We are saying, however, that she’s definitely one of the more peculiar unsigned artists on MySpace, and deserves a mention. Now give us seven hail Marys and shut the freak up.

(Photo from her San Francisco Chronicle magazine cover shoot.)

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