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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Oh, The Grammy Awards.


Randy Blythe auctioned off his Grammy medallion on eBay and gave 100% of the proceeds to the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. Randy stated,

“I’m auctioning my Grammy medallion they give to nominees for charity. A friend of mine - Todd - has two sons with myotonic muscular dystrophy which is a fatal disease. He started a foundation called the Stone Circle Of Friends and I’m auctioning it off to raise money to go toward that."

As Todd says of Randy’s roll as one of the best frontmen of a very brutal scene and what he’s doing for the charity: “It’s nice to see a bright light shining from dark spaces.  I think that’s what the light looks like at the end of the tunnel.”

So while everyone is is fucking rolling around worshiping themselves, their money, and their goddamn Grammy awards, others are doing something to actually make a difference. The Grammy Awards are nothing more than pop culture promoting and worshiping itself. Fuck the Grammys.
8:41 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Must Have Album: Whoracle. Buy It Noob Bitches.

Whoracle. How do you define an album that defines an entire genre? The Jester Race may have created melodic death metal but Whoracle is the defining album of the genre. The songs are catchy and easy to hum along too, yet it still manages to be one of the most brutal albums ever recorded.

Whoracle is a concept album which describes the past, present, and a hypothetical future of the earh. "Jotun" is a foreshadowing of the main concepts where a society is crushed and broken after an apocalyptic event. "Episode 666" seems to be the narration of this apocalyptic event which is, perversely, televised. The songs leading up to this tell a story of the rise and fall of a global society. "The Hive" and "Jester Script Transfigured" describe this technologically advanced society and a utopian new world order which is demolished by human nature in the next two songs. The inclusion of the Depeche Mode cover, "Everything Counts", is a poignant way to imply that the people who built then destroyed their society realized their folly after it was too late. Seem relevant to whats going on today? Its almost so relevant it can almost be uncomfortable to think about and listen to at times.

The album is impossible to summarize sound wise, as any summary would be an understatement to the brilliance that lies in the music. The entire album was meticulously planned and composed, and perfectly executed in the studio. The brutal riffs are laced with melodies and harmonies sure to keep you humming for weeks to come. Unpredictability is one of the greatest aspects of In Flames, and Whoracle showcases their diversity musically. Beautiful acoustic intros and interludes are scattered throughout the album, and clean vocals and instrumentals turn up in places where nobody would ever expect. Whoracle is full of surprises from beginning to end.

I know few of you will listen to the album, and i understand the apprehension toward this album because its such a pure breed of metal. "The screaming is annoying and impossible to understand. The de-tuned guitars are beyond heavy and can sound like armageddon at times." New ears to metal hear a loud tangled web of noises where beauty, clarity, and depth truly lie. I know, i heard nothing but noise once. It has taken me years of liking metal and In Flames to really begin to appreciate this album for the masterpiece it really is. In the end I'm not trying to persuade anyone to love this album as much as I do, or even like metal, but maybe someone will gain a new appreciation for how complex and beautiful this music really can be.



Recomended Quick Listening Links:
Gyroscope - A track than stylistically represents the majority of the album.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wNv7R6fNBw

Jotun - A heavier track with a cheerful sounding lead guitar melody throughout.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqRfBnauLE0&feature=PlayList&p=2FBB9D6CFBBA78B8&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=15

Whoracle - Acoustic instrumental with distant female vocals
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cORCzYJSg0&feature=PlayList&p=5D2DAA7BDF1ABB08&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=9
1:36 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

To My Dearest Elliott Smith.

It has been far too long since i have written any music recommendations. Life happens and i been increasingly busy, yet i decided it was long overdue for me to find time to write this. I am not throwing together a collection of songs this time, i decided to spotlight a single artist i think everyone tagged in this note will greatly enjoy discovering (if you have not already been exposed to him). Folks, Elliott Smith.

Elliott Smith never wanted or tried to become the musical phenomenon that he became. His ambitions, or lack thereof, are easily displayed by a simple listen to his first album, Roman Candle. It was recorded entirely in a basement with a tape 4-track, a $100 guitar, and a Radio Shack microphone, yet may possibly be the most intimate and revealing work of Elliott's career. Elliott's soft, whisper-like vocals and tender finger picked guitar passages suggest that he wasn't even comfortable with his own talent, instead he opted isolate himself in his basement and be discreet and withdrawn about what he was creating. Brilliance.

The honest tenderness of Elliott's voice manages to convey more than just simple emotions to the listener, it can transmit feelings so acutely and genuinely that listening to an Elliott Smith song often feels more like a first person human experience than a passive listening ordeal.

Elliott never was one too blame others for his infinite sadness, instead he chose to look internally for the causes and solutions to his problems. The extreme scrutiny of the human spirit displayed in his songs make for some of the most poignant poetry ever put over music. His tragic suicide put an end to what could only have been a stellar musical career and precious life, yet his music has not failed to affect lives and live on long past its creator.

Recommended Viewings (This is what makes this whole note worth while, you can make time to watch a few simple videos =D

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pyBB7y8fDU&feature=related
Needle In The Hay (Roman Candle, first album)
*the video is from the royal tenenbaums, a movie definitely worth watching. not just because elliott is in the soundtrack either.

2.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbQ4sFGmANk
Miss Misery
*the producers of the oscars made elliott play this song he wrote for good will hunting, saying if he didnt play it someone else would. poor guy, you can tell he is way out of his comfort zone and doesnt want to be there, but it is a brilliant song a performance.

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd-zwe1fWB0
The Bigest Lie
This video was made the day after his death. One of my favorite songs of his.
1:36 am - 0 comments - 2 Kudos
Monday, November 09, 2009

Album Review: The Great Misdirect

Between The Buried And Me are easily one of the most instrumentally accomplished groups of musicians ever assembled. Virtuosity flows throughout their music like blood from a freshly severed vein. I am not just talking about sheer speed or the near impossibility of mastering one of their songs on any given instrument, i am talking about their brilliant ability to intertwine any and every genre of music imaginable to create a cohesive work of art. Their newest album "The Great Misdirect" is a prime example of their unusual style and ability to combine utterly different flavors of music to create something far more beautiful and unique than the vast majority of today's music.

The meticulously composed album has more depth than the average listener can probably handle. I can understand why it may be hard at first to enjoy a BTBAM album, the long song lengths (up to 17 mins on this album) and seemingly random arrangement of the songs are anything but a normal listening experience for most ears. But once you get past the original shock BTBAM manages to age like fine wine; i cant name an album that gets better with every listen than this one does. It's the accumulation of small details and subtle articulations that really make this album a diamond in the rough.

I wont run through the songs, because that will spoil all of the fun of the BTBAM experience. Once you start listening to the album you should be nailed to your seat wondering what will happen next. Metal? Polka? Soft Rock? Screaming? Tender Singing? Piano Solo? Bass Solo? Guitar Solo? This is by far the best album Ive heard all year and i cant possibly put a numerical value, fraction, percentage, or rating on how fantastic this album really is. Some albums are simple music, which is fine, but this album is nothing short of a masterfully created work of art.

Support these Raleigh natives and go buy an album, yes?
1:36 am - 1 comments - 0 Kudos
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Inspiration from Very Odd Places

Do you ever get inspiration from what seems like the most unlikely source sometimes? Sometimes it may just be a little teaser or idea and others you could get drenched in so much inspiration and creativity you couldn't capture all the music if you tried. Well this time i got a torrential amount of inspiration from this lovely Scottish artist KT Tunstall.

The significance of this is that in the general sense of things i would be considered a metal head by most people (minus the faggish and ignorant qualities possesed by some metal heads). On a normal day i drink my fill of bands such as Metallica, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, etc. The catch is that i really do love all types of music besides rap, i just don't think to listen to them always.

To get on with the point of this stupid blog i heard KT's debut album and loved it. I immediately got all 3 of her studio albums. The more i listened the more i loved her stuff. Its not the most complex music by any means, but it has a feel and emotion to it void in most of the other music i listen to. The song "Suddenly I See" became the most listened to song on my itunes. Why? Shit if i know, i didnt even know i listened to it that much haha. Sometimes you just hear a progression and its just addicting. You've had a song like that before right?

Well now comes what happend when i got inspired. I went out and got one of my dream guitar....yes a Gretsch White Falcon. Played not only by KT but John Frusciante and James Hetfield this guitar makes me play like never before. The sound is absolutely out of this world. Im used to EMG pickups in my Les Paul sytled ESP Eclipse guitars. I easily wrote 20+ songs in my first week of having this guitar. The "new music" is so much different than my old metal stuff, it seems this guitar just fills me up with ideas every time i touch it. Playing the White Falcon is probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life, call me lame for saying that(fuck you =P) but its true.

So the moral of the story isnt that KT's album was the best thing ive ever heard in my life, or my new favorite album or song or w/e. Nope. It was just what i needed to spend the $3,000 to get my dream guitar. Hell i wanted to be like her, and James, and John some of my own heroes. Sorry for rambling so much, my fingers are so fucking torn up from playing so much i had to do something other than guitar for a few mins haha =)

have a great day all.
9:53 am - 0 comments - 2 Kudos
Thursday, February 21, 2008

..And this is why UG is so damn cool.

Current mood: artistic

its such a refreshment to get on UG and check my profile and not have anybody trying to just randomly hit on you or say they know you when they dont, or add you as a friend just because you go to the same school as them....and 30,000 other people, which makes you wonder why they added you. UG is just a bunch of freaking awesome people that are just generally nice, helpful, encouraging and all that other good stuff. PLUS there are very few "add me" whores and no profile comparisons to see who has the most fucking friend. what a concept. anyways i was just saying thanks to all you awesome musician types out there
11:40 am - 3 comments - 3 Kudos
Friday, January 18, 2008

The Office Theme Song...Yeah i have no life.

So i recorded the office theme song. It was a quick little recording to take up time between a few classes. This was the first song i recorded using the Line 6 gearbox software. I must say i was quite pleased with the guitar sounds. Garage Band worked amazing as always...

if you havent listened to it already...you should.
5:33 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Sunday, December 02, 2007

Betrayal of Sorts?

I think it is only beneficial to be able to play multiple styles of music, being a well rounded player is key to becoming the best player you can be. At the same time does anyone else feel like they are betraying themselves when they actually try to write a song outside of their usual genre for whatever reason? It may be trying to write a metal song to headbang to, or a soft lullaby to impress your girlfriend with, or an emo song to fit in with the crowd. For example, i love all types of music but when it comes to guitar i am a metal head. I play all sorts of stuff but i write metal music, i cant help it, metal music just flows out of me (not saying its any good) But i have tried to write soft songs a few times (My Ballerina, My Crazy Diamond) and they are huge failures. I think its great to be able to play many different styles of music, but i think you should let the music flow out of you, not try to force out something your not.
9:56 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Monday, November 19, 2007

DOWNLOADING MUSIC?

Current mood: busy

Im doing a college paper on the effects of internet on the music industry. Im a music industries/classical guitar major and i have my own ideas abouut downloading music. I just want to know what you think about it, any information would be great. Im just curious...
9:30 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Friday, November 16, 2007

Music Store Culture

Current mood: chipper

Every time i go to a guitar store there are certain rules most guitarist know to follow. Some of these "rules" include but are not limited to....
1. dont play stairway to heaven, eruption, smoke on the water, etc...
2. always tune the guitar first. nothing makes you look more like a noob than picking up a guitar and playing it when the tuning is out of whack
3. dont act like a badass or guitar hero, cause it makes you look like a fag.
4. Dont try to play metal on a fender(or similar) amp, it just shows how little you know about amps.
5. dont play the same little fancy riff that you just learned on every guitar and ever amp, all it proves is that you are an annoying little bugger.

Im still just ammused by guitar stores still because the funniest crap always happens in them. Ive seen people break strings, ive seen owners take guitars away from kids for playing gay songs(fall out boy etc.) ive seen the kid try to show off for his girlfriend by playing a greenday song only to have me come pull off some paul gilbert sweeps next to him. Idk i could write all day about all the funny things that happen in guitar stores and all the fun things you can do to embarass the noobs in them. Im not saying im a pro by any means, but i know what and what not to do in guitar stores. Guitar stores really do have their own culture.
7:47 am - 2 comments - 2 Kudos
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