Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It's kind of sad when you lose that big a piece of yourself. That's what you get when you find identity through music though. Tastes change. I never thought that mine would change so much.
Given that the music, voice and theatricality of Tori Amos were what drew me in, it's surprising that I never got into similar artists. Kate Bush was essentially the blueprint for everything that Tori did, yet I never particularly enjoyed anything aside from "Running Up That Hill." That one is one of my favorite songs of all time.
It's rare that I like a cover version of a song that I love as much as the original, but Placebo's cover is brilliant.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
That isn't to say that I would turn it off if it came up on random. Lately I've been on a kick of listening to Blaqk Audio, Davey Havok and Jade Puget's electro side project. The album CexCells was released in 2007 to dismal reviews, if I remember correctly. I heard a whole lot of negative comparisons to Depeche Mode, but I didn't care. Their stuff It's a near-perfect tribute to the darkwave and synthpop music that I love so much and gains absolutely no new ground.
While I love the whole album, a few songs stand out to me in particular. "Snuff on Digital" is one of them, and has been pounding through my head since yesterday afternoon. I listened to it four times in a row. No wonder it's today's earworm. I want to go drive around in the rain at night. Unfortunately, that would involve two things at this point: Rain and dark. I'll have to stick to the oom-chh-oom-chh-oom-chh from the confines of my headphones today.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Like I said before, I wasn't familiar with a lot of the songs that Al parodied when I was a child, but I knew that they were parodies. As I got older and started searching out the originals, I was confused by his style parodies, which were original songs inspired by a specific artist or genre of music. I never really liked "Buy Me a Condo" when I was a kid. The music was fine, but I didn't understand the lyrics at all. I'm sure I asked my mother what ganja was a time or two after hearing the word in song.
I have now listened to "Buy Me a Condo" again for the first time in years, and it's far better than I remember, since I actually know what he is singing about now. The generic reggae music and lyrics are actually fairly cutting into the suburban-yuppie lifestyle, even if children make up the main demographic for the music. You've got to start somewhere, right?
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
A couple years ago I was surprised at a bar when "Anyway," my other favorite song from Superfast came on the jukebox. Even more shocked were the guys who picked it when I sang every word along with them. They bought me a beer. Music is truly the universal language. Raise your glasses.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Nothing is ever going to be new again. When Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" was released, I couldn't put my finger on why it seemed so familiar. It's "Don't Turn Around" mixed with Madonna's "La Isla Bonita," and is actually the first one of Gaga's singles that I turn off when I hear it. Thanks for the memories.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
At some point, I began investigating, trying to become familiar with the original artists of his work. Given that I didn't have cable and was subject to pretty much whatever was on the radio, it was a slow process. I still didn't know many of the songs or bands that were being parodied.
When Yankovic's 1989 film UHF was released, I immediately saw it in the theater. It was the greatest thing ever, and featured a video of a modern recreation of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. I had no idea that it was a parody of "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits until years later.
As I got older and began expanding my musical experience, I did become familiar with "Money for Nothing" as well as several other Dire Straits songs. In the late 1990s, my roommate at the time cam back from a trip to Thailand with some bootleg CDs. One of them was a Dire Straits greatest hits album. At this point I did know the original "Money for Nothing" and its accompanying animated video, but still hadn't heard much more. That compilation didn't make me a big fan, but it did introduce me to some great songs like "Sultans of Swing," which was running through my head when I woke up this morning.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I didn't like the Shins at all, and made an effort to get far, far away from the new hipster crowd that emerged from bringing the scene into the mainstream. I didn't give the Shins a chance at all.
Lately, however, Pandora has been playing "Gone for Good" from Chutes too Narrow a lot. I'm realizing that the hype, now that it has had several years to cool down, is actually warranted. It's a really good album, one that I would have loved had I found it on my own. I'm man enough to admit that my music snobbery made me miss out on some great stuff.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
I listened to the new Stars album today. It's pretty good, although I wish that they would make something a whole lot darker.
Now I just want to go home and watch A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. It just seems like a perfect night for good horror sequels.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
"Give It All U Got" isn't on Crunk Rock, Lil Jon's latest album of songs that make 2 Live Crew seem tame and talented, and I can't get enough in small doses.
The most incredible part comes at 00:12 when Lil Jon declares that not only is he going to give it all he's got, but that he is too.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Right after that rumor hit, I got it in my head that I was going to discover the next big thing during a family vacation to Australia. That band was a hair-metal group called Roxus. If I remember correctly, they were terrible, making the kind of music that would have fit into a cheesy 1980s-montage video, and/or the animated Transformers movie. Thankfully grunge came along and swept that one under the rug.
I am not a Grammy-winning producer. Roxus was supposed to be my ticket to the big time. Some things just aren't meant to be.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Unfortunately the only other station that was programmed in was of the top-40 variety. They were playing "Replay" by Iyaz. It's a very slick pop song that will get stuck in my head for days if I hear just a little bit of it, and I listened to the whole thing in a preemptive strike to keep "Arms Wide Open" by Creed from taking up residence. If that were to happen, bands like Puddle of Mudd and Unkle Kracker would move in and trash the neighborhood. I just can't afford for that to happen, so "Replay" it is. I can live with that.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
So yeah. Yes, I was one of the many sheep who fell into the trap of listening to Dave Matthews. Mostly it was for the sake of appearances, but I never really listened to his stuff outside of being around other people, so at least I can keep telling myself that. It actually took Alanis Morissette singing on 1998's "Don't Drink the Water" to make me realize that I never wanted anything to do with his music again. It was just a phase. That's all it is. Much like those poor, misguided children who follow the Insane Clown Posse, I just went through a phase of listening to jammy bands. I grew out of it, and learned a valuable lesson. It taught me that groupthink can be a very, very dangerous thing. So no more being a sheep for me. I'll quietly rebel from the sidelines from now on.
Then last night happened. I get into my car after work and "Why I Am" the Dave Matthews Band's 2009 album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King was playing on the radio. Normally I quickly change the station or turn on my iPod whenever a song of theirs comes on, but not this time. I let it play through. My head didn't explode, but I'm scared. My tolerance level has gotten too high. I'll just tell myself it happened because Bonnaroo is this weekend and I won't be there, so my mind was coping by giving me a taste of what I would be missing. Sure. Just keep telling yourself that. Everything will be fine.
Still, Boyd Tinsley is a fantastic performer. I could watch him play the violin all day.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
That said, "Hips Don't Lie" has bugged me since the first time I heard it. Not only is it a terrible pop song, but it became a hit and was tacked onto a reissue of her 2006 album, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 in an attempt to elevate sagging record sales. It worked, and whether I listened to the radio or not, I couldn't escape the terrible-duet stylings of Shakira and Wyclef Jean. I used to be a big Wyclef fan, too. The Carnival was one of the best albums of 1997, and I will always love his work with the Fugees. Everything afterwards? Not so much.
Lo and behold, four years later I stumble upon this amazing parody of "Hips Don't Lie" and I actually like it. The pairing of Shakira and the fake Danzig make the song not just tolerable, but actually catchy. Now it's an earworm that I don't mind having stuck in my head.
My favorite part is at 00:21. Danzig and the wolf. Go!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I still think he would have been a perfect casting choice for Captain America, even if he isn't, you know, American.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
What does his untrimmed chest have to do with anything?
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I really dislike mainstream radio. Turn to any pop station an you hear the same ten songs over and over again. Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" is one of those songs. When this song would get stuck in my head a few years ago, I would go out of my way to listen to mainstream radio in an effort to find something to replace it. The lyrics were inane and the interpolation of "Stand By Me" was worse than a straight, autotuned cover would have been.
The Bayside cover is a completely different animal. Doing away with all but the basic hints of "Stand By Me," their version still shares the same nonsensical message, but they turn it from a vintage-inspired, modern-pop mess into a '50s do-rock dance number. As an added bonus, somehow the tongue-in-cheek take on the lyrics seems a lot more realistic, as if they actually went through the heartbreak about which they play. It's just about a perfect match-up and succeeds in doing something that I didn't think was possible. It made me love that song.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I had to work hard on this one. The lingering effects of the AFI concert have remained for three days now, so I tried as hard as I could to get something new stuck in my head.
When I first left Minneapolis due to a forced family move in the late 1980s, I joined my new school's choir. They made us sing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison and "One Tin Soldier" by Coven. None of the other kids were familiar with it, but I knew the 45 that my parents had. I grew up in a very diverse area of the city and always loved that song due to its passive-aggressive nature.
The song has made a comeback of sorts in recent years, although more than ten years isn't so recent, I suppose. Punk-based supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered "One Tin Soldier" on their first album, Have a Ball. I love each one of their albums of sped-up versions of songs that I know, even if I don't care for the source material. I'll take "One Tin Soldier" in any form though.