Sunday, January 30, 2005

DJ Potatoe: Fact or Fiction?

I mentioned DJ Potatoe in a previous post and provided a quick look at his music. Now I'm giving everyone a more in-depth look into the genius/insanity that is DJ Potatoe/Eric Ruth. And since we're talking about him, I may be especially silly in this post. Like when Behind the Music did Weird Al Yankovic. Yeah, you know what I mean.

Additionally, the sequence of events portrayed in the following paragraphs may not be completely accurate because the story of DJ Potatoe is one of chaos and mystery. It involves a whirlwind of passion that has left emotional scars on everyone involved... with lots of jiggying too.

I remember first hearing his stuff at a party and Eric was there showing off the first song created under the alias DJ Potatoe. The song was appropriately titled "I'm DJ Potatoe" and was really funny while still catchy and fun to listen to despite the wacky lyrics. It also introduced a poor, unsuspecting audience the oft repeated line, "Ha ha ha, 1-2-3, heh heh heh, that's funny to me." Some would say it's gotten old. Yes. It has.

After winning a Grammy for "Most References to One's Self in a Song," beating out every rapper in existence, DJ Potatoe stunned the nation with his politically charged second song called "I'm Still DJ Potatoe." With this title, Eric Ruth boldly spoke out to those critics who thought his career had run it's course after one song. "I'm Still DJ Potatoe" was funnier and catchier than it's predecessor and it featured internationally renowned assassin Pop'n Deth, now known as Pop'nKO, formerly known as Eric "Kill 'Em While They're Down" Yockey. Now Pop'nKO runs Pop'nKO Music & Entertainment, LLC, which takes care of the business end of DJ Potatoe's current projects. More on that later in the post.

In last year or two, DJ Potatoe has been at his busiest as far as I can tell. First he released a self-produced, computer made album called DJ Potatoe Ownz Your Soul. It contained such classics as "Digital Gay," "Disco Train (Hop Aboard)," "Oh C'Mon," "Era of Nintendo," "This Is My Super Eurobeat Song," and "Women Are Hell." "Digital Gay" made it to #12 on the eurobeat charts on Soundclick.com, which was minor compared to the Nobel Prize for Eurobeat that DJ Potatoe received. "Era of Nintendo" became a big hit with his fanbase and anyone that was a kid during the 80's. Although, I don't think it was ever sold for money. From what I know, he just gave CD-R's of the music to people he knew and made MP3's available online.

This is where I really lose track of what happened when. I know DJ Potatoe kept producing music in 2004. He also got the help from musicians such as vocalists Thomas Howard Lichtenstein, who did "Silent Hill" and "La Senorita" from Dance Dance Revolution, and Freda (last name unknown), who was a fan of Eric's who also happened to be an excellent singer. You can do the math on that one. He also got a guitarist named Oscar (last name unknown) and a saxophonist named Tony Miller. I know he's signed other musicians on board, but those are the big ones.

He released a self-produced greatest hits album called Evolution, which featured some of the better songs from DJ Potatoe Ownz Your Soul and a lot of his new material. As far as I know, it was released in the same way as Ownz Your Soul (i.e. no money made, all his buddies got a free CD-R). But now DJ Potatoe's money-making abilities have increased ever since he gained a level. He has just released an album called The DJ Potatoe Super Collection in nonstop format (i.e. the tracks flow into one another) with Shael Riley acting as an MC. I hope that link leads to the right Shael Riley, but really, how many people have a name that uniquely awesome? Anyway, The Super Collection features redone versions of DJ Potatoe classics as well as all new material, which adds up to a total of 28 tracks. It's a fun album and if you like the samples I have provided, you should check it out. And not all of the songs are credited to DJ Potatoe, which makes things semi-confusing but I'm sure he was involved in the creation of all the material.

Besides The Super Collection DJ Potatoe sent a song called "Hey Mr. Neko" to Konami. If they use it in one of their games, he gets cash. Good deal. A redone version of the song is featured in the new album. He and Pop'nKO have also been working on creating a dancing game called Neon FM. And remember Freezepop? Their music will be featured in the game. A test version of Neon FM should be featured in the game room of Katsucon this year. Check out Pop'nKO's site for more information if you're interested.

The only thing left to say about DJ Potatoe's music is that it's really fun to listen to. Enjoyment galore. Lots of white boy rap, eurobeat, and disco all thrown together in one jiggy-licious collage. And I can definitely claim to be a DJ Potatoe fan. I guess that's all there is to say about that. Oh, one more thing: if you happen to be Quentin Tarantino, don't make contact with DJ Potatoe. The man's an ex-wrestler and he hates your guts. Bad combination, especially if a folding chair is present.

You can buy The DJ Potatoe Super Collection from Pop'nKO's website.

DJ Potatoe feat. Pop'nKO - I'm Still DJ Potatoe
DJ Potatoe - Era of Nintendo
DJ Potatoe & Friends - Hey Mr. Neko
Phat Bros. - Save The Floor (From the Super Collection)

Update: DJ Potatoe read this post and had this to say, "It was odd..and full of false information..I loved it." The post will not be edited.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Shizit

No, the title of this post doesn't refer to the awesomeness that is Radio KRUD. There's actually a band called the Shizit. Well, there was a band called the Shizit. They've broken up, so their main site is down, which is why I linked to a fan site.

I've heard the Shizit's style of music referred to as "digital hardcore." And they basically sound like hardcore punk mixed with synth metal, which makes that term pretty accurate. Based on their sound, you can also tell that they're pissed off in that Rage Against the Machine kind of way. Their music lashes out at modern society with furious anger. Take the first verse from "Herdcore" for example:

Thinking for yourself is their worst fuckin' nightmare
De-socialized youth is too much for them to bear
Not another party slogan or thirty second soundbite
Just a bunch of kids with the will to fucking fight!


Then later in the song guitarist Brian Shrader asks vocalist/programmer JP Anderson, "Hey yo, JP, check this out: if you could fight anybody in the world, who would it be?"

"Fred fuckin' Durst, man. No question about it. And I want MTV to get a 30-second sound bite of me kicking the shit outta the little fucker," replies the irate JP. I guess they've got something against pop culture. Understandable. And sometimes I want to beat the snot of Fred Durst myself. Maybe with Wes Borland's guitar for some added irony.

Anyway, Shrader and Anderson were the only two band members, except for Jason Alberts who joined up late in the band's existence to take over JP's DJing duties during the live shows. Before Alberts showed up, Anderson would just be screaming at the front of the stage then go over to the turntables and start up a new loop. Either way, Anderson and Shrader were the creative forces in the band and did all the studio work. As a sidenote, I've only heard this stuff through secondary sources. Never actually got to see them live or anything. These guys live all the way in Washington state, the opposite end of the country. Too bad. I would have loved to see one of their shows. Their music is intense and I've heard that their concerts were incredible. I've seen pictures from their live shows and wished I had been there. But no Shizit for me.

Oh, and the "Buy this CD!" link below is just for tradition. You'll have a hard time finding their albums for sale anywhere. Just click on the link below and it will tell you about the only location I know of where one could possibly get an album by the Shizit.

Buy the Shizit's Soundtrack for the Revolution

The Shizit - 1985
The Shizit - Herdcore
The Shizit - Gak Bitch

Friday, January 28, 2005

Second Post to Celebrate Glenn's Stateside Return

Glenn's back from Europe, so we can go back to running Radio KRUD normally. And to celebrate his return (and to make up for the lack of posts while he was away) I give you a second post featuring Freezepop...



...a band that claims to be "hip enough for hipsters but nerdy enough for nerds," which is a very accurate statement. Their catchy brand of synthpop mixes the clever musical structuring of any "serious" synth-based band with the quirky personality of any self-respecting nerd or geek.

Their music harkens back to the synthpop of the 80's, but it doesn't sound outdated or cheesy. Instead, Freezepop approaches the genre from a fresh perspective that can be respected by any fan of the genre and probably many people who don't normally listen to synthpop. In other words, Freezepop is cool (get it?!) and they've got style. The only thing that might drive some people away is the absence of any non-synth instruments. Well, the lead vocalist, Liz Enthusiasm, is non-synth but that's a given.

Speaking of Ms. Enthusiasm, her delivery is very enjoyable and fits the tone of the music very well. It tends to be sweet and robotic at the same time, which just adds to the quirkiness factor. Especially for songs like "Science Genius Girl," which has the fantastic chorus, "When I clone a human being it will want to hold my hand. When I clone a human being it will be a member of my band." It gets even better later in the song.

So, yeah... Freezepop = fantastic.

Buy Freezepop's new album Fancy Ultra-Fresh

Freezepop - Lazy
Freezepop - Science Genius Girl (Remix Version Live on WMBR)


***REVISITED KRUD***


Corkscrew sent me a demo track from the solo album he's currently working on. It's good stuff. The guitar work is interesting and sounds a bit cleaner than his previous work. Take a listen and enjoy.

Corkscrew - Gentrification

Rage Goes Gangsta



I'm sure you've all heard at least one Rage Against the Machine song. They're one of the biggest alternative rock bands of all time and definitely one of the biggest bands of the 90's. And don't everyone get excited, I'm not trying to dethrone Nirvana or anything. I'm just hyping things up for today's song post.

Anyway, a few years ago I came across an MP3 from one of Rage Against the Machine's live shows where they did a cover of N.W.A's classic "Fuck Tha Police." RATM's version is done in their typical aggressive, confrontational style with Tom Morello's buzzing guitars backing up Zack De La Rocha's furious screams. It's just interesting to hear RATM do tribute to their hip-hop roots. Oh yeah, and the recording actually comes from an import called Live & Rare. A friend had it, he got it on his computer, and I swiped it. Good times.

Buy Rage Against the Machine's Live & Rare

Rage Against The Machine - Fuck Tha Police (Live)


***TANGENTAL KRUD***


I have nothing against police. Unless I get fined. Then it's personal.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Plain White T's



I know I've been posting about a lot of emo artists recently, but I've just been in the mood recently. And contrary to anti-popular belief, there are some good emo bands out there. Take today's band, for instance. I ran into the Plain White T's when I was following a link to my friend's brother's band. I kept seeing ads for the Plain White T's plastered all over the site, Pure Volume, since they were the featured artist. I eventually gave in to repetitive advertising and checked out their music. I downloaded their song "Take Me Away" and was very impressed. It's radio-worthy in my opinion. Their other stuff isn't as good, but it's decent. For example, "Hey There Delilah" is a simple, sweet song that makes for a pleasant listen. "Revenge" is a percussively heavy and aggressive song, which is an interesting change of sound compared to the previous two songs.

Plain White T's actually has an interesting and engaging sound. If you're into emo, they're probably worth checking out.

Buy Plain White T's All That We Needed

Plain White T's - Take Me Away


***UPDATED KRUD***


Alright, I tried using Yahoo for, like... 10 minutes. But it just failed on me too quickly. So forget it. Back to using alternate methods of linking until Glenn gets back from touring Europe with the sexy ladies. And you're still going to have to right-click this song link and "Save Target As" just like under the short-lived Yahoo system. In fact, you should do that no matter what. You're this close to being thrown to the mail-order lions. Don't test my patience any further.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Promotional KRUD

Last night I didn't have anything better to do, so I threw together a quick little sign for Radio KRUD. It's not much, but it's something. Feel free to advertise this elsewhere. We're always happy to have new readers.



Every artist in that sign has had a song or two posted by either Glenn or I. See if you can recognize who everybody is. Brownie points to whoever succeeds. One of the artists featured in that little collage wasn't in a post but they did show up in a one-time only, half-hour radio show that Glenn and I did. What an honor. I'm sure their careers skyrocketed after that. I'm not even sure we had any listeners for that show. I do have a recorded copy. If you want it then give me an e-mail or an IM (both forms of contact available in my profile) and I can send it on over.

I would really like to do more webradio shows to complement our posts, but I don't think that's something Glenn and I will be able to do in the near future. We are busy, unfeeling monsters who do not care about the wants of the multitudes. Not even their pitiful, pleading cries could shift our stone cold hearts.

Now here's some music by my friend Eric Ruth (a.k.a. DJ Potatoe). More on him in a future post. This is basically Dance Dance Revolution influenced eurobeat made by a really talented fanboy.

DJ Potatoe feat. Freda - 1981

While the Glenn's Away

Well, Glenn's off in Europe on a two-week vacation, which leaves me to hold down the fort. However, I'm left with a problem: before I post any songs I have to send them to Glenn so he can store them on his computer. He ain't around, so I'll have to do a dumbed down post.

In my last post, I talked about the band A Throwaway Society and mentioned their ex-guitarist Dave Maddux (a.k.a. Emo Dave). Well, seeing as he's no longer a member of the band and is now working on solo material under the name Corkscrew, I thought I'd make a follow-up post about his music. The only work he has out right now is an online album of instrumental tracks called The Tree Behind the Creek available through iCompositions. I was actually afraid that I wouldn't like it and I would have to say something bad about it. Not the case. It was a very impressive collection of songs. I would say that the only problem with that music is that you can tell that is was just made by some college guy messing around with his guitar in his garage. It was rough around the edges. But in a way, that gives it some of its charm.

But on to the review. Dave actually got a friend of his to play drums on several tracks, but on others it's just drum effects produced by an electric keyboard. Don't let that reflect on the quality of the music. There are some pretty rockin' tracks in this collection that will get your head a-banging. For example, "Anti-Grouch Pills" is probably the strongest track with it's crunchy sonic assault that must be listened to at high volumes to be truly appreciated. I really enjoy the darkly-tinged guitar work. "Risen" is also an interesting track that is very catchy despite the occasional technical slip-ups.

Despite strong tracks such as these, the use of the electric keyboards is kind of annoying sometimes. I would say that they only work in "Drop" and "Knowledge" because they aren't the most prominent feature. In my opinion, cheap electric keyboards sounds silly if they're the only instrument used in a song. But I'm forgiving when they're used by up-and-coming artists without much in the way of resources. And Dave uses the keyboards well to support his guitar-playing. It shows how he can use limited resources to produce enjoyable music. I have no doubt that if he keeps at it, he will become a great musician.

At the moment, Dave is currently working on a solo album that is coming along slowly but surely. As far as I know it's just him recording the album. He sent me the first completed track, "Gentrification," but without Glenn around I can't post it. So I'll make it an "Extra KRUD" post at a future date. For now, enjoy Corkscrew's older recordings from his iCompositions account. I linked to the best of Corkscrew's available songs. Feel free to download all of them, I'm just directly linking to the best of them. Oh yeah, and avoid "Star Fissure." I'm sorry, but that song just sucks. Everything else is fair game.

And this is the only picture of Dave I could find. It's him being cut by Glenn (that's Glenn's hand in the foreground).


Corkscrew - Anti-Grouch Pills
Corkscrew - Risen
Corkscrew - Drop
Corkscrew - In Search Of

Yeah, I want Glenn to get back too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Some Quality Emo (Double Post)

It seems that a lot of people tend to look down on emo as a genre. Maybe it's cause it's one of those love it or hate it things. But then there are bands that come out of those types of genres that are just so damn good that it doesn't matter what genre they represent. Rainer Maria is one of those bands. They sound so good that one would be willing to throw away their musical inhibitions about emo if they exist.

I think a lot of Rainer Maria's likeability comes from their lead vocalist/bassist, Caithlin De Marrais. She doesn't have that angsty, nasal whine or even the over-the-top screaming (even if the band does go in that direction occasionally) that a lot of emo vocalists seem to have. Instead she finds a comfortable middleground that sounds more like traditional alternative rock singing without losing that emo flavor.

This is not to say that Caithlin De Marrais carries the band. Lead guitarist/background vocalist Kyle Fischer and percussionist William Kuehn work together perfectly with Caithlin De Marrais's voice to create an incredible musical ensemble that does not lack in emotional power (much to the liking of emo lovers) and does not go over the top (much to the liking of emo haters).

Buy Rainer Maria's A Better Version of Me

Rainer Maria - Artificial Light

Buy Rainer Maria's Past Worn Searching

Rainer Maria - Tinfoil


***EXTRA KRUD***


Usually I'd end the post there, but I have another group I want to post about. It's actually a band from the Baltimore area. I'm an acquaintance of their ex-guitarist, appropriately dubbed "Emo Dave," so I've got the inside scoop on the band. Actually, as a short tangent (you can skip this and move to the next paragraph you want since this is not related to music), back when the other Dave and I were hanging out on a semi-regular basis, our clique needed a way to refer to one Dave differently than the other. So he became Emo Dave and I became Rival Dave, which is why I have the on-line nickname that I do.

Anyway, Emo Dave is formerly of A Throwaway Society, a very good emo band that is still in their formative years but is progressing along very well, musically speaking. I would occasionally hang out with their lead vocalist Brandon when hanging out with my fellow Radio KRUD cohort, Glenn. The two of them were roommates. And Emo Dave was their suitemate. Dave played guitar, Brandon needed one for his band, and thus A Throwaway Society was formed. Glenn was there from the formation and since I'm good friends with him, I've pretty much been witness to the whole spectacle myself, either directly or vicariously.

As such, I can safely say that the band, with or without Dave's guitar prowess, has great potential. Bands go through personnel fluctuations all the time, it's no big deal. Like the Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters is basically Dave Grohl and whoever happens to be with him at the time, but it's always the Foo Fighters. In A Throwaway Society's case, I would say that Brandon has great potential as a band leader. He has the presence, the attitude, and he definitely has the talent that would allow him to make it in the biz. As long as he's surrounded by talented musicians, which is currently the case unless the band roster has changed more than I thought, then the music will always be good.

At the moment, however, the band's sound is still a little bit raw, so there is some work that needs to be done. But there is definite potential for something even more awesome. The first two songs I'm providing are a couple of their older releases. "Of the People" is a personal favorite and "Julee Unlikely" is a fan favorite. The third song, "We Were a New Breed," is one of two new demos available for download at their website. These new demos show how the band has evolved musically. The only problem with "We Were a New Breed" is that Brandon's vocals are drowned out by the instruments. I'll admit that these recordings are a tad lo-fi.

Buy both of A Throwaway Society's EP's
[NO IMAGE AVAILABLE]
A Throwaway Society - Of The People
A Throwaway Society - Julee Unlikely
A Throwaway Society - We Were a New Breed


***TANGENTAL KRUD***


I just wanted to say that I really like the name "A Throwaway Society." Awesome name for a band.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Paris Combo

I've been wanting to update for the past month or two, but haven't been able to think of anything I wanted to say, and when you're writing in a blog about music you'd better know what it is you want to say about the music. At least, that's what I say. Anyway... I've finished my fall semester, finished the crazy retail work hours just before the holidays, and now I've got a little bit of breather room before I go on an expedition - I'm going to be going on a two-week tour of Europe, leaving one week from today... feel free to check the travel journal if you want to learn more (I have to admit, my dream job would be to travel around and talk about what it is that I see and where to go, so I'm going to be updating as resources permit as I travel). So, in this upcoming week, I'm going to try to bring to you some bands from a few of the different countries I'm going to be visiting.



Paris Combo - I stopped in the local used cd store in town a few days ago and this band caught my eye... I could have sworn that I found some song of theirs from another particular musicblog, but when I got home I checked my library and found one Paris Combo song, and it wasn't even from a musicblog. Huh. Anyway, Paris Combo is from (where else) Paris, and their music is a great blend of jazz and loungey-around music. I don't know what they're saying, but their tunes are catchy.

"Living Room"
"Homeron" [ buy Living Room ]

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Epsilon-Zero

Ok, so I'm posting this a few days later than I said I would. Bear with me here and let's move on.

I ran into today's band, Epsilon-Zero, almost by accident. A friend of mine was searching for artists similar to Celldweller during the good ol' days of MP3.com and Epsilon-Zero was one of the results. In fact, it was the only band that came up that was any good. My friend fell instantly in love with them and told me to go listen to their stuff. This must have been about two years ago. I've still been listening to the band's music a good deal, but I haven't really kept tabs on their activities since they seem to be as underground as a band can possibly be. It's a problem.

One thing that I discovered when I went to their fan site, which I linked to up above, is that their lead vocalist, Jamison Boaz, has left the band to go off to college. This makes me wonder if the band members are in high school. It doesn't surprise me since they do look a bit youngish in some of the pictures. However, they have such incredible talent for such a young band and Jamison Boaz has a surprisingly powerful and mature voice.

Back during the days when I could download their music from MP3.com for free, they had 11 songs available. 7 of those songs are on their self-titled album, with 4 new tracks. This is a recent development, because they had no CDs out back when MP3.com was free. Maybe if they had more new material on this album then I would buy it. They've provided me with more than half of its contents already.

All I can say about the music itself is that it's very well done synth metal. The sound quality of these MP3s is a bit low, but you work with what you get, eh? And you especially can't complain since I'm providing four songs this time.

Buy Epsilon-Zero's self-titled debut
[NO IMAGE AVAILABLE]
Epsilon-Zero - Hollow
Epsilon-Zero - Raw
Epsilon-Zero - A Drug Not Meant for You
Epsilon-Zero - Wake Up