Sunday, October 31, 2004

Air-Guitar Champion!

Now for the surprise I was previously mentioning - I'm going to have a contest here at Radio KRUD to round out ROCKTOBER and see how creative you can be. I want from you pictures, sounds, videos, whatever you have showing your prowess on the air-guitar! Best if it's humorous or artistic. Dress up in an 80s hair-metal outfit if you want!

You have one week (through November 7) to email your submission to radiokrud@gmail.com, and I'll be picking the best three submissions to get loot! What sort of loot? Whatever I can find - surprise me, and I'll surprise you!

Sound good? Phone the neighbors, wake the kids! Spread the word, dust off your air-guitar, and get rocking!

Happy Halloween

Come on. Don't tell me you weren't expecting a Halloween post. Well, I'll start off this cliched post with a cover of a cliched Halloween song. It's the Misfits doing a live version of the "Monster Mash"! Gotta love it, a punk version of a old-school novelty song from the 60's. And even if this is the more recent incarnation of the Misfits without Glenn Danzig at the mic, it's still a fun song. Give it a listen and enjoy!

Buy the Misfits' Cuts from the Crypt


Straying away from redone classics, let's take a look at Self, a very talented band fronted by musical prodigy Matt Mahaffey. They produced a tonge-in-cheek, Halloweenish song called "KiDdies". However, it was not meant to be an actual Halloween theme; the spooky musical structure was just supposed to create a mood to complement the subject matter. You can get an idea of what the song is about from these lines, "Everyone today is a drug-crazed maniac / Blah blah blah, blah, blah blah / Poppin' Sudafed to calm the effects of the Prozac / Blah blah, blah, blah blah," which are basically lyrics talking about how society is going downhill. But the song still makes for a fun listen, especially the chorus: "Let's go trick or treatin' dressed up like Marilyn Manson." Unfortunately, I can't find The Half-Baked Serenade, the album that featured "KiDdies", for sale anywhere, so I'll just have to advertise one of their other releases.

Buy Self's Subliminal Plastic Motives


And I have to end with a classic monster song that we all know and love... well, some of you may hate it. It's "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley! It's a classic. It's got a silly high-pitched voice. It's got a purple, man-eating monster that becomes a rock 'n roll star. What more could you want?

Buy Sheb Wooley's The Purple People Eater
[No Image]

149 to go!

C'mon, people, only 151 149 more people as of this writing to visit the site until we've broken 3000 people for the month of ROCKTOBER. You can do it - it's Daylight Savings Switch Day too, so that gives us an extra hour of ROCK! Just spread the word and cross your fingers. Today's going to bring some treats for you as well, and that's no trick!

A few months ago I went to the International Spy Museum in DC with my cousin - it was a neat place, but it didn't tell me anything I didn't already mostly know from my being a spy enthusiast. Anyway, the museum was a popular place, and to get in you needed timed tickets - as we waited outside for our turn to go in, this guy on the street was giving us people in line a little hand-flute performance... he turned out to be quite the cultured, sophisticated, man-about-town!

"FRANKENSTEIN", Edgar Winter [ buy They Only Come Out At Night ]

(I would have posted "Feed My Frankenstein" by Alice Cooper for the last day of ROCKTOBER, but that's too easy of a post to make considering the holiday. Speaking of Alice Cooper, I once saw an interview with him on tv and he complained that nobody ever comes to his house on halloween to trick or treat! Seems to me that would be a kickass place to trick or treat at. At least that gives him and me something in common, my house is at the top of a steep hill at a kind of dead-end street, so we don't get many people if any either.)

Stay tuned and spread the word! I'll see what else I can brew or maybe summon up for a special halloween series of ROCKTOBER posts!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Eclipse

So how about that lunar eclipse we had the other day?

I've been on a Pink Floyd kick recently, so here's a copy of "Dark Side Of The Moon" compiled from songs by four different groups - Easy Star All-Stars, Argentinian-based group UMMAGUMMA (which I'd say has the best site-design I've seen of all the Pink Floyd tribute bands I've found), previously-mentioned Carbon Leaf, and The Pink Floyd Experience from New Zealand. There were several others I found, but either they didn't seem to be performing anymore (at least their sites weren't updated anytime in recent history), or they didn't have mp3s for download for seeing what they sounded like (or if they did they'd be only 30-60 second poor quality clips or wma files which just don't jive with general musicblog distribution). Anyway, Easy Star All-Stars' version of "Dark Side Of The Moon" is a reggae'd-up version titled "Dub Side Of The Moon" and is definitely worth an investigation if you've never heard it (at the very least it's worth an investigation to listen and say "cool" to). UMMAGUMMA and The Pink Floyd Experience seem to just tour around doing Pink Floyd covers - I was actually surprised at how many bands I found that only do Pink Floyd covers, all with band names derived from lyrics or song titles. If I remember correctly about the Carbon Leaf song, though, I think I found it off of some site that hosted audience recordingsof band performances... or actually, now that I've checked it's really from their webpage's download section, so you can ignore the beginning of that sentence now.


"Speak To Me/Breathe"
"On The Run"
"Time"
"The Great Gig In The Sky"
"Money"
"Us And Them"
"Any Color You Like"
"Brain Damage"
"Eclipse"


"Dark Side Of The Moon" is defnitely The Greatest Rock Album Ever, and you can quote me on that. You know how you can synchronize the album with "The Wizard of Oz"? Well, I myself used to make anime music videos on the side occasionally, and I once noticed musical similarities with scenes in "Akira" - ever since then I've been working on, getting frustrated by, deleting, and recreating a non-stop music video mixing footage from "Akira" with "Dark Side Of The Moon". It's like a mistress who I have a love-hate relationship with... I know I can get it to work, but sometimes it seems like it'd need a miracle to work out well at all. Ah well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Desert Fathers



Into crazy, heavy-hitting experimental rock? Then you'll dig The Desert Fathers. From that link, just click on the "Adolf Hipster" picture to continue onto the main site. The Desert Fathers are definitely an odd band. When you hear their music, you'll agree with their lyrics, "I feel like I've fallen out of a plane." Their lead guitarist, Acquaman, produces some weird sounds from his guitars like I've never heard before. In "A Practical Joke" he creates this harsh, twangy, metallic sound that stands out above the other instruments and continuously hammers it out like he's running a chainsaw across the guitar strings. And the vocals have this crazy dissonant quality to them, which is somewhat aided by the fact that the lead vocalist can't really sing. That's not necessarily a bad thing; sometimes the inability to sing adds a certain touch to these wild songs. You'll understand what I mean when you hear them.

I will admit that "A Practical Joke" is not their weirdest song. If you want one of those then check out "Pitbulls", which you can download off of their website. It includes someone barking like a pitbull overtop some messed up instrumentation. I can't begin to describe the song. In fact, it's really hard to describe The Desert Fathers at all. They're fucking nuts and really hard to classify. That's why you have to listen to them for yourself.

Buy The Desert Father's Spirituality

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Guess who's back?

Guess who's back / Back again / Glenn is back / with 2 "n"s!

Yes, I've returned, and yes, I happen to spell my name with two "n"s, thankyewverymuch (no thanks to the rest of the world - you become my arch-enemy if you insist on spelling it with only one! :P But I digress...). Know what's been keeping me occupied for the past week or so when I haven't been very busy?


Recently purchased hi-def tv + the World Series + surround sound = drool


Whaddya know, that TV set is showing a picture of a baseball game as well. How apropos! That helps me to lead in to the first song of this humongous return to posting:

"Talkin' Baseball", Terry Cashman [ buy Talkin' Baseball ]

I originally heard this song at a Baltimore Orioles game during a montage of clips shown up on the jumbotron screen before the game started, and it was themed about the Orioles' history. I thought that it was just something done just for the montage until I was browsing the iTunes music store for songs and saw a mix of baseball-themed songs just in time for the World Series, and this was one of them. Not the Orioles version, though. I've checked all over and can't find that particular one even though I can find some for different teams. Ah well...

Now, on to our regularly scheduled ROCKTOBER!

Another particular reason why my posting of tracks has been on the back-burner has been the usual schooling that has been going on, and speaking of school, I recommend checking out the movie associated with this next song if you haven't seen it...

"SCHOOL OF ROCK", Jack Black & School of Rock [ buy School of Rock ]

"School of Rock" was a pleasant surprise for me - I wasn't sure if it was going to be good or not, and it wasn't a bad rental at all. I myself was a little bit worried that the movie would be a sort of feel-good sugar-coated funny-only-to-the-kiddies movie, but it seems that Jack "Mr. 'I'm hungry for rock 24/7.'" Black wanted to avoid that as well:

"I was a little worried about working with kids. I wanted to make sure we didn't approach it tip-toeing around the stuff that would normally be funny, or make it gentle, rock-a-bye-baby bullshit."

So anyway, basic premise of the movie is he sneaks into the job of a schoolteacher when all he knows is music, music, and more music. So what does he do? He teaches the kids about music! It ends up being a kind of modern version of "The Music Man" in the end.

---

Next up, songs from a recent musicbuying splurge:

"GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS", Mötley Crüe [ buy Girls, Girls, Girls ]

I don't know what made me think of this song and buy the album, but recently I've been on an old-school metal kick and have been listening to a bunch of Van Halen, Motörhead, Twisted Sister, and others like that. I could have sworn that I've seen some movie once ages and ages ago that had the music video featured at some part, like some kids were watching it during a sleepover or something? I can't remember for the life of me what movie that was, but after racking my brain and google searching all over I can't turn up anything. It's been driving me crazy trying to remember.

I always wondered what they do for those motorcycle effects in a song like this. I just think of a big ol' Harley being wheeled into a recording studio just to have a mic hooked to it. Anyway, what makes this a Rocktober post is right after the motorcycle effect at the beginning, that first guitar BLAM at the beginning of the song is what gets me up and rocking.

The next two cds these songs come from I bought just because the album cover was interesting:


"SUPERPILL", The Forty-Fives [ buy High Life High Volume ]


Man, is that a sexy looking album cover or what? O:-D Gratituous emoticon use aside, I can't seem to classify this band under one particular genre. It's definitely rocking though. It makes me think a little bit like The Hives but a bit more mellow and not as edgy/crazed.


"THAT'S RIGHT"
"FUNKY JUNKYARD"
"DREAM GIRL"
"LAVA LAMP"
The Baldwin Brothers
[ buy Cooking With Lasers ]


There's a little bit of backstory to this album - the night I was going out musicshopping I was asking my other friend Dave (not our own Rival Dave) whether or not he'd like to go out searching for music... he was busy that night and couldn't go. While I was out I saw this album and the guy on the front looked exactly like him so of course I had to buy the album to show to him later. I ended up photoshopping it to have it appear as if he's saying one of his favorite lines, and the phrase even kind of suits the scene:



Anyway, I'd say that this album is a very good jazzy/loungey album with just enough mixing of tracks in them to keep things interesting. If you've heard "The Antidote" by The Wiseguys I'd say that this album is similar in style, but not as sterile-sounding - it's a bit more earthy and rich in tone, especially with the organ thrown in there. I couldn't pick out one particular song that really carries the mood of the album, everything seems based from a different genre. I'd call this good man-about-town music to listen to while out driving from errand to errand... at least, that's what I did when listening to the album, and it worked out well for me!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Pinback



Pinback is the brainchild of the band's key members, Armistead "Zach" Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, who have developed some of the best composed indie rock to date. All you need to hear for proof is "Offline P.K.", the first track off of their album Blue Screen Life. The song sounds like a beautiful chaos, which is appropriate for the subject matter. "Offline P.K." is about the craziness revolving around our reliance on computers, especially when they cease to function. The title of the song, "Offline P.K.", stands for "Offline Primary Key". A primary key, for those who don't know, is some attribute that is used to identify a body of information. So if it's offline then you're kinda left in the dark. Now I am definitely not up to snuff on my computer terminology, so when I looked up the lyrics for this song I did some research and found there were tons of little pieces of jargon used for computers. Like a "silver bullet", which refers to a quick and easy solution for a problem. A silver bullet is usually referred to as something that doesn't exist (i.e. "There's no silver bullet for this.").

But I'm not here to teach you about computer terms, however I will note that the terms are used emphasize the chaos inherent in our computer reliant society (well, that's the point Pinback is trying to get across). And the way the lyrics are arranged in the song creates a subtle feeling of chaos. While one of the vocalists erratically sings the lines, "The shock was fast / Shock, fast / The shock was fast," the other sings the lines, "Blown cover / Break, fix / Dead computer," in an erratic way as well. The result of which is that even though the vocalists are singing at the same time, each word is heard indivdually and the listener is also left with an almost robotic rhythm in their head.

There's definitely a lot more I could say about the song, but I think you should just experience it yourself as opposed to letting me do it for you.

Buy Pinback's Blue Screen Life

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Gothic Metal

In keeping with this blog's Rocktober theme, I've chosen a song that's gonna blow you away. Prepare your ears for "Liberty Bell" by The Gathering, a gothic metal band from Holland that have been together since about 1990. "Liberty Bell" is a track from How to Measure a Planet?, their fifth major release. It's a very powerful song laden with some heavy guitars that will really make you want to crank up the volume to get the full experience. The percussion keeps a fierce rhythm pulsing throughout the song that will definitely get your head nodding and/or your foot tapping. The lead singer, Anneke Van Giersbergen, has a very beautiful voice that complements the power of the raging instruments. Once you start listening to this song then I predict there will be some fierce air instrumentation going on, so make sure your air guitar is plugged in or your air drum set is ready for a heavy beating.

Buy The Gathering's How to Measure a Planet?


Another gothic metal band that's often compared to The Gathering, and has played with them live on stage, is an Italian band called Lacuna Coil. They're a relatively new band that released their debut album, In a Reverie, in 1999. The song that really got me interested in them, "To Myself I Turned", comes from that album. It's a relatively mid-tempo number that has a very orchestral feel to it. I suppose the symphonic strings (probably produced electronically) that back up the band is the main reason for that. The band's lead vocalist, Cristina Scabbia, also has a voice that borders on being operatic, which adds a lot of strength to the music. In my opinion, Lacuna Coil is what Evanescence could be but can't quite obtain. However, that may be unfair seeing as Evanescence seems to be more influenced by the Linkin Park school of music whereas Lacuna Coil is more influenced by European heavy metal trends, so their musical goals aren't exactly the same. And let me add as a saving grace for myself that I do like Evanescence; I just like Lacuna Coil more.

Buy Lacuna Coil's In a Reverie

Friday, October 22, 2004

Rock Covers

The first item up today is very strange indeed, but very funny and worth a listen. It's from Six Feet Under's album Graveyard Classics, which is filled with death metal covers of songs that were influential to the heavy metal genre. Included is a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze". Yes, a death metal cover of "Purple Haze". When you first hear the song you'll either look like a stunned fish or just be laughing uproariously. And the cover remains faithful to the original in one very important way: the lead vocalist still sounds like he's saying, "Excuse me while I kiss this guy."

Buy Six Feet Under's Graveyard Classics


Straying away from the outright disturbing, let's move right along to another cover done by a rap-rock band called Zebrahead. They released a promo for their 2000 release Playmate of the Year in which they included a cover of the Spice Girls hit "Wannabe". Zebrahead's version converts the original Spice Girls tune to blazing guitars and fast percussion while upping the tempo by a considerable degree. What do you get in the end? A rockin' party song.

Buy Zebrahead's Waste of Mind

Yeah, I know the cover of "Wannabe" was promoting Playmate of the Year, but Waste of Mind is a MUCH better album and is definitely a better buy. Whatcha think about that? Now you know how I feel.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Celldweller (Updated)


Klayton (a.k.a. Klay Scott)

I was introduced to Celldweller (a.k.a. Klayton) by a friend of mine who idolizes the man. The first song I ever heard by him was "Stay With Me (Unlikely)" and I was completely blown away. It was like nothing I had ever heard before. The song is very complex with many layers of affected instrumentation, catchy hooks, and Klayton's engagingly powerful vocals.

I went to a Celldweller concert in Baltimore recently and was impressed at how organized and professional Klayton was compared to the other bands there. I wasn't surprised; he's been doing this since the early nineties with many different bands like Circle of Dust, Argyle Park, and Chatterbox. So basically, Klayton knows what he's doing, he's an awesome musician, and you need to go check out his music. Oh yeah, and he's also one sexy piece of man. He's made my list of "Man Crushes".

Buy Celldweller's self-titled debut


***UPDATE***
Even though the link to the MP3 is down, I can still send you to another source for Celldweller music.

A Quickie Rock Post

I'm making up for my lengthy absence with another quickie post. For this one, I'll provide everyone with three songs from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III Soundtrack



Yeah, I know, it was a pretty crappy movie, but it did have some nice songs that you really don't see much of anymore. And they're rockin'. Two of them even have "rockin' " right in their titles! Like "Can't Stop Rockin'" by ZZ Top and "Rockin' Over The Beat (Remix)" by Technotronic and Ya Kid K. "Can't Stop Rockin' " is really a kickass piece of blues-rock from ZZ Top's 1985 album Afterburner that DOESN'T stop rockin'... even when it's over because it gets stuck in your head. "Rockin' Over The Beat" is a great, early 90's dance number that I think may have been done especially for the movie. The original version of this song can be found on their album Pump Up The Jam but I have yet to find this remix anywhere else.

Along with these two "rockin' " songs is a semi-obscure classic synth pop song that has been lost to the ages. The TMNT III Soundtrack also features "Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora. I believe it became most popular in a Crest commercial back in the 80's. It's a great song and very catchy, especially with the Tarzan-like vocals in the background. And it has really weird lyrics that can be interpreted multiple ways. One part of the song is sometimes interpreted as saying, "Night to night / Give me the other, give me the other" and sometimes it's interpreted as saying "Not tonight / Give me the honor, give me the honor" and then there are other variations of those lines. The song is originally from Baltimora's album Living In The Background, but I don't think there are any more copies in print. I sure can't find any albums for sale online. I sure have to wonder how many people remember the song.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I'm Back Again With A Little Rock History


Elvis Presley

VS.


Chuck Berry

Been gone for a while, but now I'm back with a post about Elvis Presley, the King of Rock & Roll, and Chuck Berry, the rocker who probably deserves the title more than Elvis. What Elvis Presley did for rock & roll was create a new image with his incredible stage presence, his swinging hips, his eccentric outfits, his handsome looks, and his melodramatic voice. This is not to say that Elvis was all about image and his songs were bad. Quite the contrary. His image just spread his popularity and therefore spread his quality music. His first national hit "Heartbreak Hotel" has become a rock & roll standard with his rockabilly guitar playing and a bluesy piano accompanying him in the background. The subject matter is also rather gloomy, being based on a suicide that was reported in the news. The report included a suicide letter that said, "I walk a lonely street." And so the song's lyricists envisioned a hotel for the lonely and the broken hearted, and thus "Heartbreak Hotel" was written.

Whereas Elvis Presley established an image for rock, Chuck Berry established the sound with his revolutionary guitar playing and his simplistic yet catchy song-writing. He created new standards for the genre that caught on in both the U.S. and England. It could be said that if there were no Chuck Berry, there would be no Beach Boys, Beatles, or Rolling Stones. Heck, the Beach Boys even used the intro riff from Berry's smash "Johnny B. Goode" for their own song "Fun, Fun, Fun". Listen to the beginning of each song to just hear the similarities. Brian Wilson, the creative brains behind the Beach Boys, once said, "[Chuck Berry] wrote all of the great songs and came up with all the rock 'n roll beats." You can tell Chuck Berry also had a great influence on the Rolling Stones seeing "Johnny B. Goode" was the first rock & roll song that Keith Richards, their guitarist, ever heard. And the Beatles covered a couple of Chuck Berry's songs over their career, such as "Rock And Roll Music" and "Roll Over Beethoven". Even their famous song "Back in the U.S.S.R." from The White Album was based on a Chuck Berry song called "Back in the U.S.A."

Some wonder why Elvis Presley is considered the King of Rock & Roll and Chuck Berry is not since Berry obviously had a bigger influence on the genre. Part of it was due to the racism of the time. Before rock & roll had really been established as a genre, kids would go out and buy rhythm & blues albums, which were primarily made by black artists. For the most part, white kids had to buy these without their parents' knowledge because a lot white parents didn't want their kids listening to that dirty, black R&B. Once old-school R&B branched off into rock & roll and grew in popularity, Sun Records started looking for a white guy with a black voice and bodily rhythm: the ultimate moneymaker. They found what they were looking for in Elvis Presley. He was everything that the public liked about black music in a white man. Now I don't mean to sound like I'm demonizing Elvis. He was a quality rocker, no doubt. But there were definitely some racial issues involved in his signing to Sun Records, his first label. If Chuck Berry were white then he may have been more popular and might be proclaimed the King of Rock instead of Elivs, but he was black and was therefore the subject of the racial profiling of the day. I don't think Berry will be given the title anytime soon because of Elvis's well-established popularity that is still embedded in our society. I don't even think it's that big a deal; it's just semantics. And most people know about Berry's contributions to rock & roll, so it all works out.

Buy Elvis Presley's Elv1s 30 #1 Hits


Buy Chuck Berry's Anthology 2

Argh

Been busy the past week (yikes! has it really been that long since I last updated?) and haven't been feeling like rocking out recently, so no update yet. :( I've been so preoccupied that I haven't even been able to check out my regular list of musicblogs for their new tunes - it's been many a sleepless night here at Radio KRUD... I think in the past 3 days I've had a total of 12 hours of good sleep! In the past week though I have found some new albums I need to post about when I get around to posting, though. Just decided to toss in that Action Figure Party song to keep you jamming in the meantime, so now I don't feel too guilty.

I've got several emails I've recieved and sent out responses to, I just need to get around to following up on them - don't worry, I haven't forgotten you!

Why not send me emails in the meantime to help encourage me to get back on the ball and make me feel like I'm at least appreciated, hm? ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Blue Man Group

I remember the first time I ever heard any of Blue Man Group's music - rhythmic, electronic, percussive, simple, and catchy. Beforehand I had only heard about them (for example, an article in one of my computing magazines I read ages ago said that they used Macs for the effects in their shows), but never their music. Even what I had heard about them was kind of mysterious. After I heard them for the first time, though, I just had to get some of their songs - listened to a copy of "The Complex" I had borrowed, and later purchased for myself both their "Audio" and "The Complex" albums. I tend to prefer listening to "The Complex" more just because it's more rocking than "Audio" (with the exception of "Rods and Cones", which is what turned me on to them in the first place) and has contributions by other musicians that have made it even more fun for me to enjoy (I'm not a Dave Matthews fan AT. ALL. - I have to say that I personally find that his voice just grates on my nerves - but him singing on "Sing Along" is one of the songs and contributions I enjoy most on the album), but they're both good overall.

I recently came into a considerable sum of money (~2 paychecks' worth, with a regular paycheck coming in the next few days) and was trying to figure out how to go about treating myself to something nice with it. One of the things I was considering was doing something like going to Vegas and catching a BMG performance at the Luxor, heh... Not sure what I'm going to end up doing, but seeing a live performance of theirs is definitely on my things-to-do list. Especially when in the listings for job applicants they have as a requirement "the ability to rock"! I wonder if they give you real ponchos or Sears ponchos in the poncho section?

Check out the music video for "I Feel Love" (after seeing that I think I'm in love with Annette Strean... maybe I ought to investigate Venus Hum next, hm? :D), or "Your Attention" for a look at how things go down in a live show... what I want to know is, who gets to design those twists and turns of PVC tubing and create instruments out of them??

"RODS AND CONES"
"TIME TO START"
"WHAT IS ROCK"
"I FEEL LOVE" [ buy Blue Man Group stuff ]

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Motorola Rocketship

Don't remember where I heard this next song, but it reminds me a little bit like The Eels. Other than this song, I haven't heard anything at all about Sugarplastic (and while I've seen them compared to XTC I haven't heard much if any XTC at all, so talking about them with regards to that connection is out), so as much as I'd hate to appear to be riding on the coattails of another artist writeup I have to recommend you check out the link below by the link for the song - it says a lot more about the band than I can really say myself.

What I do know that I can talk about is - what exactly is a Motorola rocketship?? I happen to work in the cell phone industry, and can safely say I have not seen a single one pass through the inventory of my store...

"MOTOROLA ROCKETSHIP", Sugarplastic [ oh, this explains why I can't find the song to buy... ]

Monday, October 11, 2004

Argh

Finally got most of my files back where they belong, but since I've got an exam tomorrow to study for, no big post today. Check this out instead - don't worry, there's still rocking involved! (and a gibson flying v guitar too! *koff* ;D)

Hopefully should be back to normal tomorrow! I still feel a little guilty just leaving you here with these filler posts though...

Backing up

Been working on my computer today, it's got an 80 gigabyte hard drive, and half of that was all my music collection, so I've been backing up things and erasing things and reinstalling on my laptop and external hard drive from scratch, so post won't be up until I've got that taken care of.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Michael Schenker Group / "Black Heaven"

Got a headache and am pretty tired after a long day - went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival and afterward hung out with some coworkers and friends for a small cookout, so not much of a post again today.

This one is from the soundtrack to "Black Heaven", a Japanese anime that's one of my most absolute favorites. Read the link to find out more - if you're a fan of rock (especially old metal / hair bands), this is a great series to watch. I hadn't heard any of Michael Schenker Group beforehand, but after hearing this one song I've been trying to track down an album with "Into The Arena" on it. No luck so far, so I bought a different MSG (I just thought of bad Chinese food when i typed that, har har har) album.

Now I want to get a Gibson Flying V guitar. Who cares that I don't know how to play guitar (it goes to say then that I wouldn't even care that it even WORKS or not), I just want one! That would be so awesome to just pretend to rock out on instead of resorting to my air gutiar.

"INTO THE ARENA", Michael Schenker Group / Black Heaven OST [ buy Black Heaven OST ]

Please leave comments (and offers for Gibson Flying V guitars) for me, I enjoy reading them! :D

Friday, October 08, 2004

A quickie post: Falco

Been busy with a few other things tonight and don't have time for much of a post, so here's an infamous song that needs no introduction:

"ROCK ME AMADEUS" / "ROCK ME AMADEUS (THE GOLD MIX)" [ buy Greatest Hits ]

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Traffic / Muddy Waters

Didn't make a ROCKTOBER post yesterday :( I guess the only thing that really can stop the rock are beers and a slight hangover, heh! I've got three songs for you today to make up for it, though...

I remember first hearing about Traffic through Meaghan when she mentioned once how her mom was borrowing her Traffic cds. I hadn't heard of them before, and when I asked about them she sent me an mp3 of the song "Tragic Magic". It had a sort of mystical quality to it in that it was a low-quality mp3 version of it (possibly recorded from vinyl, maybe?). I accidentally erased it off the computer once ages later and took forever trying to track it back down until I found out the album it was from. What makes it even nicer is it's almost a full 8 minutes 40 seconds of non-stop instrumental rocking. Traffic's other stuff is good (my guess is that their most popular song overall would probably be "Feelin' Alright"), and maybe I'm just biased because this was the first song of theirs that I ever heard, but this cut of "Tragic Magic" is my most favorite song of their whole repertoire.

That being said, their version of "Rock 'n Roll Stew" is good music too and it's got a very distinctive intro. I remember listening to WRNR radio one day where their station identification had the beginning strains of the song play in the background, and it's distinctive enough that you immediately know the band and the song all at once. The lyrics in the song are a bit muddied, but at least they're not as bad as a few other bands I know of (*cough*Creedence Clearwater Revival*cough*)!

"ROCK 'N ROLL STEW" [ buy Feelin' Alright: The Very Best of Traffic ]
"TRAGIC MAGIC" [ buy On The Road ]


Last up for today is a bluesy song by Muddy Waters - found this one via my local public library's blues cd collection. It's got that familiar (maybe even requisite) "bah-dum-bah-ba-dum" blues repetition in there, and is good sitting back and relaxing music. Makes me think of smoky dives that look like, well, like the cover art of the album! Muddy Waters takes this one nice and slow...

"ROCK ME", Muddy Waters [ buy Chess Blues Classics: 1947 - 1956 ]

Honey, Where You Been So Long is an oft-overlooked musicblog specializing in old-timey blues - it's worth checking out if that's your type of music!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Help I'm A Rock

Bringing more rock to your ROCKTOBER, got two songs for you today - a Frank Zappa song, and a Frank Zappa cover! First, the Frank Zappa song...

"HELP I'M A ROCK", Frank Zappa [ buy Freak Out! ]

This particular song isn't one of my favorite Zappa tunes. Actually, I don't really care for it that much at all - it's a bit too repetitive and dadaesque to appeal to me. I can only take so much of Frank saying "Help, I'm a rock!" before it loses it's novelty.

That said, the other songs on the album Freak Out! are MUCH MUCH better! "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder" is done in the style of old 50's doo-wop tunes, and the other few favorites of mine on this album are "Motherly Love", "Wowie Zowie", and "Trouble Every Day"... they make up for the 8-minute something-seconds worth of "help, I'm a rock" chants!

I found this next song one day when I was on a Zappa downloading kick, trying to find some more of his instrumental songs (the album "Shut Up And Play Your Guitar" was good, but I prefer instrumentals in the style of "Peaches En Regalia", for example) - I came across this next song and for about a year or so I really thought that it was a live version performed by Frank and the Mothers... that is until I ran it through the program I Eat Brainz which scanned songs and compared them with the MusicBrainz database to correct the ID3 tags of the files. It was only then that I found out who really performed the song. I was close, though - it wasn't the Mothers, but instead it was former Mother Steve Vai along with Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson ripping into this cover. Really good, and yet another song that makes me want to bust out the ol' air guitar! Heck, forget about the air guitar, I've been known to say that thanks to this song, I want to try to learn to play guitar JUST to play this - and ONLY this - song!

"MY GUITAR WANTS TO KILL YOUR MAMA", G3: Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai [ buy G3: Live In Concert ]

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Moog Cookbook / Gene Simmons

Remember how yesterday I mentioned that so far I'm 2 for 2 in picking out good interesting albums just based on their album cover? First one was "No Sound Is Too Taboo" by United Future Organization, the second one is this:


"ROCK & ROLL ALL NIGHT", The Moog Cookbook [ buy The Moog Cookbook Plays The Classic Rock Hits ]


I saw this album sitting there in the avant-garde/electronica/noise section of the store and cracked up when I saw the cover - photographs of moon-men in space suits in all sorts of old-timey settings?? This HAD to be good. Dave said that he had heard them play on Conan O'Brien ages ago and that they were hilarious, so I picked it up to see what they were like. We listened to it when we got back to his place, and I just about died laughing as I tried to guess each synthesized song as it came up. It's very very very off the wall! Needless to say, they don't really take themselves very seriously (you'll see about 3:15 into the song). There's really no other way I can describe it.

I also picked up an album by KISS frontman Gene Simmons - my coworker Keith fixed me up with a mix cd with this next song on it, and I had been trying to find the same album this song was from with no luck until I saw this album yesterday and guessed correctly that this was it. So, though it doesn't have "rock" in the title, here's another rockingly good song for you today: "Firestarter" [ buy Asshole ]

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Rocktober DJ

ROCKTOBER is still going strong! Went to the Sound Garden again tonight and picked up about $90 of used cds - I think I might expand ROCKTOBER to include songs that rock out rather than just limit it to songs with "rock" in the title. Good news, too! Last time I picked up the copy of "No Sound Is Too Taboo" by United Future Organization and hoped that my good luck in picking up great albums based on their cover art hold up - so far, I am happy to declare, I am 2 for 2! RAWK!

In any case, on to the rock for the day! I don't remember if I heard this originally from Meaghan or her friend Evelyn, but it was on a mixtape that they created that I heard while visiting down at their college. Just showed off the track to my friend Dave (not our Rival Dave), and he declares that Robbie Williams is "good stuff!" There you go, an opinion about the songs from someone who isn't me, and that ought to be good enough for you!

"ROCK DJ", Robbie Williams [ buy Sing When You're Winning ]

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Apollo Four Forty

After a long day at work, I was able to get home just in time to post the second out of 31 songs with "rock" in the title (it's ROCKTOBER, after all!)! You probably thought I wasn't going to make it or be able to keep up... it's going to take a lot more than having to put in some overtime in order to...

"STOP THE ROCK", Apollo Four Forty [ buy Gettin' High on Your Own Supply ]

I can't help but air guitar to this song, especially right at the very beginning - it's a very catchy tune that makes you want to get up and dance and generally rock out! Apollo Four Forty's music alternates between really catchy electro-rock like this, and tunes that are a lot more subdued.

---

Apparently even black snot can't stop the rock! Eewwwww... :P

Friday, October 01, 2004

IT'S ROCKTOBER

I now declare ROCKTOBER officially begun! November is "National Novel Writing Month" (aka NaNoWriMo), but since I'm not the type to have patience to write out novels and prefer kicking back with some tunes, and since it's so much more fun to say "ROCKTOBER", October is going to be for me "National Post Songs With 'Rock' In The Title Every Day Month" (aka NaPoSoWiRoITTiEDaMo, or "na-po-so-wee-row-ee-tee-tie-eh-dah-mo" if you want to try to pronounce THAT mess, or just call it ROCKTOBER for short). Each will be by a different artist! And posts will be sprinkled liberally with exclamation points!!

So, to kick off the month, a reassurance!


"ROCK AND ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION", AC/DC [ buy Back In Black]


---

Don't forget to pick up your ROCKTOBER apparel from webcomic Diesel Sweeties by R. Stevens! (Which also reminds me, last post I mentioned "A Night At The Hip-Hopera", and the place that I found out about it from was in the Diesel Sweeties forums...)

Tune in tomorrow to see if I can keep up with this insane posting schedule!!

Bluesy Music

Recently I've been finding some interesting music with a heavy blues influence from a source that may surprise you: http://www.mtv.com/. On MTV's website, you can find some music that you would not expect MTV to advertise. Look under their "Music" section under the sub-category "Downloads." Under "Indie Downloads" and occasionally under "Rock Downloads" there will be something relatively obscure. At least obscure compared to MTV's normal musical fare. Unfortunately, you have to be registered with the site to download the songs and some of the songs have an expiration date. I think it's worth looking sometimes.

Anyway, a couple of the more interesting artists I've found have been Jolie Holland and The Black Keys. Jolie Holland is an up-and-coming musical prodigy who hails from Texas who can play the piano, the fiddle, and the guitar. In general, her style could be described as a jazzy fusion of folk and blues that is, in the words of O Brother, Where Art Thou, "old timey." Her powerful vocals harken back to the days of old, female jazz vocalists like Billie Holliday. One could also describe her music as being honestly raw in content. No punches pulled. But it isn't like heavy metal with a lot of screaming and profanity. You can feel the soul of a powerful songstress pouring through. Just listen to "Old Fashioned Morphine" with the light, breezy percussion, the gentle strum of her guitar, and the lazy drawl of the trumpets backing up her beautifully, provocative singing. This song comes from her album Escondida. Also worth checking out is her previous album Catalpa, which is essentially a demo that was rereleased as an actual album but is still high quality stuff.

Just as good as Jolie Holland is a blues-rock duo from Ohio called the Black Keys. Both college drop-outs, the two members of the Black Keys, vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, have created a very interesting sound that is capable of rocking hard and still remain faithful to the blues at the same time. Their sound is very engaging and their music is worth checking out. To convince you, check out their song "The Lengths" off of their album Rubber Factory. Their albumThickfreakness is worth checking out as well.