Friday, May 27, 2005

Alkaline Trio's New Album And More Good Music

For those in need of new rockin music, now is the time to get some. On Tuesday, one of personal favorite bands, Alkaline Trio, put out their second album with Vagrant Records. Crimson is kick ass, packed with punching songs. They've gone on Fuse and Conan O'Brien to promote the album already. They also did an autograph signing in Fords, NJ, and my good friend brought me a signed copy. It has some odd songs but they all sound amazing. The track "Sadie" is about the Charles Manson ordeal filled with good harmonizing vocals and strings. It was about time something new came out from someone because I was going crazy.

Also, for more music to get you through the day, check out the song "Get Well Soon" by Reggie And The Full Effect. The video was pretty damn funny about the Loch Ness Monster going through a tough divorce and turning to alcohol. The Foo Fighters new album doesn't come out until June, leaving me to remain at the edge of my seat.

This summer is going to be an awesome one for concerts. The Warped Tour is great, Ozzfest is mindboggling, Alkaline Trio's jamming, and the F.F. should be starting their tour in the summer. I am about to explode just thinking about the greatness.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Foo F-ilosophy- A Tribute To A Decade Under The Influence

About a month ago I went to the Foo Fighters homepage looking up info and found out the new album is coming out in June. I got the first single "The Best Of You" from iTunes with a free credit of mine. The classic Foo sound on the albums The Colour and the Shape and There Is Nothing Left To Lose stick out in my mind as some of the best songs and best sounding tracks of mainstream modern rock. Their last album shyed away from that going to a more heavy, distorted sound, but they've gone back to their classic sound. I personally can't wait until the double album is released. In all this, frontman Dave Grohl put a message on their website. Here is just a small bit.

"It [the album In Your Honor] will surprise you. It surprises me. Almost a year in the making, from 5 hours of bedroom demos, to warehouses being built from the ground up, to months of rehearsals, to the construction of an 8,000 square foot classic recording studio, to the recording of 40 songs, to the final track list of 20 songs, it is by far the most ambitious project I have ever had anything to do with in my entire life.
There are subtleties. There are complexities. There are extremities. There are familiarities. There is orchistration. There is simplicity. There is a pile of blown speakers on the floor. Never before have we ever put so much effort into the making of an album. 1st record- 6 days. 2nd record- 2 months. 3rd record- 3 or 4 months (but mostly just drinking and BBQ) 4th record- 2 and a half weeks. 5th record- writing, rehearsing, recording = 9 months. You can decide for yourselves. There are a few guests. They may seem strange to you. They don't seem strange to me. I just love music. Music can be faceless. It can be nameless. After all, it's the sound that makes your hair stand on end, right? It will."
-- Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

These guys put a lot of effort into the album. What especially hit me was the last couple of sentences. I too love music, as long as it's rock or blues or jazz. Although I really hope that his guests are not rap artists; the world doesn't need another Run DMC/Aerosmith song or Jay-Z/Linkin Park. What we do need is a rebirth of classic blues, and uptempo jazz as well as better modern rock. I will admit I like the blues and jazz stuff, not only because the songs get you in a good mood but also because they are intricately written. Plus it was this stuff that really created rock-n-roll when mixed together.

Dave's philosophy is one that is ingenious, but only to an extent. I mean as long as the music can create that mood of out-of-this-world ness, then yeah, it can be whatever, whether you're into rock, jazz, etc.. I'm currently writing songs, most are a more alternative rock sound, some are a pop/punk/alternative, and some are harder. The sad thing is that now, if you are a band and release an album in one genre, people expect more of the same. That's probably why Dave started the band Probot which the singer from Motorhead was in. They are a hard rock band, while Foo Fighters are a more mainstream alternative. Grohl was also the drummer in Nirvana, probably the greatest grunge band of all time. He has music ambition and keeps putting out gold. The Foo Fighters music is timeless, and they are one of my top 10 bands.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Over $300 Later

Finally I got myself some recording software. Today I tried using one of those crappy, small tape-recorders to record my guitar, and then listen to it to get a drum beat. It was nearly impossible to hear with the speakers all the way up and the sound was so distorted that it hurt my hears. I eventually did get a beat. I'm pleased at the sound so far, and I'm trying to write lyrics based on the book 1984. Over the summer, I hope to get some people over and get recording. I've been shopping around for awhile and liked what I saw at and I placed my order. I can't wait to finally get to hear my songs on my computer. It's going to kick ass. Alright, I'm going to write some lyrics. If anybody's got good ideas for songs, let me know.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Not So Reunion Tour

One of the best metal bands of all time and one of my personal favorites, Anthrax is playing a New York area reunion show at the Starland ballroom. 3 of the 5 in the band now are staying for the show and 2 aren't, including John Bush on vocals and and Rob Caggiano on lead guitar. Why they decide to tour without these two guys I don't know. Maybe the two had personal business to attend to. The thing is, I love Anthrax now better than back in the day. They have better songs now in my opinion, although I will say I have only heard a few songs of theirs from the old Anthrax. Dimebags appearance on the album "W.C.F.Y.A." was great. In addition, If I was either John or Rob, and wasn't asked to go on tour, I would be a little pissed off about the whole thing and maybe think about starting a side project band.


Friday, May 06, 2005

Metallica, Don't Read This

The issue of the legality of downloading music has been in question for a few years ever since Metallica sued Napster. This was when I really hadn't done much downloading. It was about the time when I realized that I didn't have the $14 to buy a CD that I became good friends with my computer and when I got my cable modem installed- I was in heaven. And so for a few months I was in music bliss; until the govenment stepped in and now is prosecuting people for downloading illegally. I think the government has better things to worry about: who's paying their taxes, the war in Iraq, the economy, but that's just me.

In a previous article (I don't know why people haven't commented), I mentioned all the safeguards put on CDs now to protect the content. I wouldn't be surprised if tapes came back. Overall, they have shittier quality than CDs, but no safeguards and and as a bonus, they are much more affordable. The industry needs to change. If I went out to Sams Club and bought a pack of 100 blank discs it costs me approx. $10, slightly more if I go for cases. Add on a little ($1 for record company, $1 for packaging, $1.50 for band) and you have a CD that costs roughly $4.50-$5.00. I would pay $5 for a CD, but $14 is rediculous, and anything higher is rape.

Let's take a minute and weigh the pros and the cons of buying CDs and downloading music for free for consumers and the bands.
CD purchase Pros: 1) get the actual studio quality of the CD; 2) you get the artwork {some albums actually have it}; 3) you get the lyrics; **4) you support the band**
Downloading Cons: 1) you need to wait at least 1-2 months before a good version of the song is up for downloading; 2) you don't get the artwork and the other stuff; 3) you might miss out on a bonus DVD and internet stuff
CD purchase Pros: 1) they make money / download pros: 1) if you are an upcoming band, you can spread the word and get out there {ex: I saw the local band Echo Screen at Starland Ballroom and they gave out demos for free. They also put themselves on purevolume, and now have an EP out on a record label and played The Bamboozle and upcoming Warped Tour (NJ only).}
Download Cons: 1) bands lose money

Only you, the viewer, can decide if you want to download music for free or buy the album. As for me, when tapes make a comeback, don't say I didn't tell you first.


Politics In Music

Over the span of months in 2004, when the election was coming up, a slew of musicians put out partisan political messages either in songs, albums, or campaign tours. To be fair I will say that the overwhelming majority were liberal and favored Kerry and encorporated major acts/bands such as the Dave Matthews Band and Bruce Springstein. Others like P. Diddy pariticipated in the "Vote or Die" campaign to get more young people at the polls- a bipartisan effort. However, the question is does politics belong in music?

Yes I feel that music is a means of expressing oneself. But the answer is simply-NO! Politics should not be in music. Especially when the issue is taking such an extreme that it becomes offensive.
Incubus is a kick ass band. I loved the songs "Drive", "Wish You Were Here", "Nice To Know You", and others. In 2004, they put out an extremely liberal biased song to which a disturbing video was shown. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, the song "Megalomaniac" was released in on A Crow Left of the Murder. What disturbed me was that the band, in the video, implied that President Bush was Hitler. In my mind there is no comparison between the two. The evils of the Nazi regime were gross violation on human rights. In the WWII era, Hitler had persecuted and murdered by mass genocide 6,000,000+ Jews as well as countless Gypsies, and the physically and mentally handicapped. The Nazis led by fear; the SS patroled the streets; people who broke laws were killed. Bush has not set up Concentration Camps anywhere, nor has he degraded certain peoples by forcing them to differ themselves (as proof, in the election he got more hispanic and African American votes than in 2000). He does not lead the US by military force like Hitler, nor does he have a "Final Solution". It is from this that we can logically conclude that such claims are libel.
There are also others- Rise Against released their track "Give It All", which the song itself was not biased, but the video was hinting at reform to get Bush ousted from office.
I'm not going to go into detail about every single band that does this, but if bands want to discuss politics, do it on C-SPAN, go on the news channels. Don't put out libel because who knows, you might get sued. As for nonpartisan efforts to get people to vote and tours supporting a candidate, I don't see anything wrong with that.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Day Is Here-Tonight!

The best TV show ever created is finally returning with all new episodes. That is right, Family Guy is back. Apparently when Adult Swim first put the show on the air, the viewers came and the show's popularity skyrocketed. Obviously FOX noticed and decided to put out brand new episodes. I am proud to say that I started watching when it originally aired on FOX, and continue to watch it. The writing is hilarious and the characters are genius for making the perfect animated sitcom. Especially my man, Stewie.

Also airing is American Dad, brought to you by the creators of Family Guy. This show is also funny as hell, but is not in my opinion Family Guy is better. The pilot episode aired some months ago. It is actually highly political in a joking sort of way.

Family Guy airs at 9 PM on FOX 5/1 & American Dad airs at 9:30 PM on FOX 5/1. And by the way- don't forget about King of the Hill (7 PM) and the Simpsons (8 PM)
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