Music Blues - Things Haven't Gone Well
Music Blues is Stephen Tanner of Harvey Milk. ‘Things Haven’t Gone Well’ is Tanner’s debut as a solo artist and the first album under the name Music Blues. The album was completely written and recorded by Tanner in both Georgia at Harvey Milk’s vocalist and guitarist Creston Spiers’ house and in his Brooklyn apartment.
Tanner continues on with the musical touchstones of Harvey Milk (Melvins, Gore, Earth, ZZ Top, Kiss and Judas Priest) while forging ahead into a strange and, at times, harrowing, unknown.
Tanner’s life, from birth until now, is the theme of the album. The first song, ‘91771’, is his birthdate and the second one, ‘Premature Caesarean Removal Delivery’ is about being cut out of his mother three weeks prematurely, an act he attributes to most of his problems. He takes to heart the words his father told him at a young age: “You think life sucks now, just wait.”
It’s a dirgey sludge with solid boogie moments and ‘Fade To Black’ melancholy. Tanner calls it depressing but the album hits far more notes than that. It’s slow and heavy but it moves, and there’s an expansiveness that picks up steam, a vastness akin to soundtracks. It has a cinematic quality that reveals the influences of John Carpenter and Ennio Morricone, albeit different in musicality.
‘Things Haven’t Gone Well’ features drumming from Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk, Kurt Vile band).
CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package. Deluxe double LP pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged in an uncoated stock gatefold jacket with free download coupon. Initial vinyl copies are pressed on ‘sh*t brown’ coloured vinyl, with the remaining copies on black.
“Stephen Tanner is a true Renaissance man” - The Village Voice
“It’s a bummed-out coherence: 40 minutes of slow, thick miasma, with recurring, descending melodic phrases tying it all together.” - New York Times (on Harvey Milk)
“It’s a grim journey, and often creepy as hell, but it’s by no means depressing. Mediocre music is depressing. This stuff is exhilarating.” - PopMatters (on Harvey Milk)