Archive for June, 2008

10 mash ups

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2008 by kc2

This is off request from a friend interested in my “10 lists”. A “mash-up” is nothing new, they’ve been circling around the internet and clubs for years now. They are ultimately one of the coolest things ever. Take equal parts from 2 or more songs, combine…and enjoy the listening aura. While there are combinations that work suprisingly well…there are quite a few that are not good. Sometimes its not the songs’ fault as it is the “dj” mixing them. These 10 are my favorite examples of Mash-ups. They work, they sound good, they almost sound like they were supposed to mixed together.

10. NIN (The Hand That Feeds) vs Ludacris (Fantasy) – Trent Reznor basically makes all of his music like its accessable to be mixed. Also check out NIN vs 50 Cent “Closer In Da Club”.

9. Trust Co. (Downfall) vs 50 cent (If I can’t) – Angry, black, cocky rap lyrics combined with angry, white, cocky rock guitars. A mix Kidrock could only dream of. It gets a little muddy at some points, but its a heavy hitting song.

8. Blur (song 2) vs  Gwen Stefani (crash) – Take one bad Gwen song, mix it with one of the most fun songs in rock music. “Woo Hooo” just got sexier.

7. Black Sabbath (Paranoid) vs Electric 6 (Gay Bar) – This one is for hilarities sake. I mean cmon, the Electric 6 song is funny enough on its own…now add the “lords of darkness” – classic.

6. No Doubt (Keep Dancing) vs Eminem (Without Me) – This is one of those suprising mixes. But, on the other hand, both songs have a fairly simple beat. So its easy to see how that part fits together…but anytime you mix Eminem with fun and poppy, it seems awkward.

5. Foo Fighters (Times Like These) vs Guns-n-Roses (Sweet Child o’ Mine) – A rare, non-rap mix. These are just 2 cool, mellow songs that mix into yet another calm melody.

4. Sevendust (Angel’s Son) vs Bubba Sparxxx (Deliverence) – Bubba Sparxxx is more known for repetative booty and having it be everywhere, rock-n. I love the original Sevendust song, and Bubba doesn’t ruin it in this mix.

3. NIN (Closer) vs StaticX (Trance is the Motion) – Didn’t I tell you that Nine Inch Nails mixes well? This is no different. There’s just something that is eerie and badass about this combination.  

2. Linkin Park (One Step Closer) vs Jay-Z (99 Problems) – I named those 2 songs for aesthetic reasons only. You can pretty much take any song and mix it with Jay-Z, and it will work. There’s that entire Jay-Z/Linkin Park collaboration thing. Then the “Grey Album” that mixes his Black Album with the Beatles White Album. Then the Double-Black album that mixes with Metallica’s Black album (although I think only a couple of those songs actually work well). There’s Jay-Z and J.Dupri mixed with Korn – Freak on a Leash. Oh, and as if his mixes weren’t enough…his girl gets in on the mixed action. Beyonce vs Saliva – “Crazy Baby Boom”.

1. Nivana (Teen Spirit) vs Michael Jackson (Billie Jean) – This was actually the very first mash-up I came across. It’s very well mixed. There’s a point where the guitars pick up and Michael’s vocals get harsher all at the same time. I almost thought they must have actually had Michael re-do the tracks. And, I gotta think Kurt is rolling in his grave over this one. He’d hate for his stuff to be mixed with pop, I think. But, hey don’t worry Kurt…I illegally downloaded it off the internet – damn the man.

Songs I’m Addicted to This Week

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2008 by kc2

I think it’s been a week since the last time I did this. Let me know what you think. Should be a couple at least in here that will be new for you.

+44

1. Plus 44 – No it Isn’t – This was the first song the world heard from this Blink-182 spin off. It was “leaked” right on Tom Delonge’s (Angels & Airwaves) birthday. I think the entire Plus 44 album is great, but this one really hits hard in the songwriting. The lyrics are a definite “F*** You Tom”.

2. Adema – Planets – Adema is on like their 3rd lead singer now. I actually bought their latest CD, cause it was cheap. It was a pretty good buy, not like it was amazing, but it was worth the $8. The title track was also on that dreadful movie “Cry Wolf”, but don’t hold that against it.

3. City Sleeps – Prototype – This is a relatively new band from Atlanta, Ga. Prototype is my favorite song of theirs. Its got a great feel to it and the lyrics are great.

4. Dropping Daylight – Tell Me – Its great when a band can incorporate piano as a main portion of their rock sound. These guys from Minnesota really impressed me with this single from their “Brace Yourself” album. He’s a pretty good singer, he jams out on those keys, and his little brother rocks the guitar tracks.

5. Dry Cell – Brave – I love the guitar riff for this song. The chorus is really catchy. I first got intoduced to this band from the “Queen of the Damned” soundtrack.

6. Eve 6 – Think Twice – eve 6 is always good for a catchy song. This one has an especially hard hitting chorus. Its a great song for the “over-protective boyfriend” types.

7. Hurt – Rapture – I really got into this band when this single was released. Its a cool hard rock song. And, the lyrics are nuts. But what I’m really addicted to now is the acoustic version. I really like when bands do acoustic covers of thier songs. Rapture is just another positive addition to the acoustic works.

8. Neurosonic – So Many People – A heavy hitting song that has a lot of humor in it. This band just rips into Ashlee Simpson and artists like her. “Everything under the Sun going to hell in an episode of SNL” and “So what would you know about how your song goes?”  – are just a couple examples of the lyrical stabs.

9. Seether – No Jesus Christ – It starts out with this cool mellow repetative bassline. And my friend who’s majoring in economics loved that he uses the lyric “before you hedge those bets”. Then it builds up to 1:44, when Shaun Morgan screams the lyrics and the guitars break loose.

10. Soulidium – The Light – This is one of my favorite riffs, its simple and just makes you bang your head. I find myself just singing the chorus as I go about my day. Its just a good, simple hard rocking song.

Click for music video

Best part of a song 1.2

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2008 by kc2

Continuing off yesterday’s topic, there’s also another thing that is really important when it comes to making or breaking a song. The intro and conversly the ending. This isn’t really a post on why intros/outros are good – more like why they need to be handled cautiously.

Some songs have great intros, they really get you ready for the song. Some songs just jump into the meat without much before hand (which is also fine). But, if you start off a song with a terrible intro…you’re looking at problems. This is especially true in the present where our ADD music listeners have easy access to a “skip” button. Intro not catching your ear, skip to the next song and enjoy! Listeners of the past had only the archaic “fast forward” button. Intro not catching your ear, fast forward to the next song…oh you didn’t hold it long enough, wait this is a good song. As a radio person, the intro is especially important, as it either needs to grab the music director’s attention or get out of the way. If they don’t like what they’re hearing, it wont get added to a station’s playlist. Here’s some intros that I like…

Five Finger Death Punch (The Bleeding) – You get the theme of the song with some nice notes to start off, then the rest of the band comes in…and then, a pretty cool guitar solo.

Tool (Ticks & Leeches) – Tool is always good for a lengthy intro. This one gets some drums going, then a build-up with the guitars, hour later…a little screaming to lead you into the song.

Beethoven’s Fifth – Ok, its kind of cheap for me to throw in Beethoven into this list, but really…EVERYONE knows this intro…Da da da DAAAA…now try to think of the rest of the song.

A couple bad intros – She Wants Revenge (Tear You Apart) :30+ of nothing but a drum track…not even a buildup. Buckcherry (Broken Glass) If you aren’t a good screamer…dont start a song with you trying to. 

Then just real quick on outros. Do NOT do the fade. Worst ending for a song ever. It basically makes me feel like you weren’t creative enough to figure out how to end your own damn song. 80’s music – you are especially bad about this. But more recently…Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – had a perfectly good song in Guardian Angel…but then you did the fade out…BAD.

 

Best part of a song 1.0

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2008 by kc2

Driving home today, listening to loud music in my car, I came across a realization. I LOVE a good bridge. Now, the chorus is supposed to be the cool, catchy part of the song, but what makes a song for me is the bridge. That’s the part that really gets me going. There’s so many things that artists do with a bridge too. It’s the place to have a key change, a guitar solo, a buildup, alternate lyrics, etc. I thought I would share just a few of my favorites, so you can check them out for yourself.

Avenged Sevenfold – Beast and the Harlot (3:26-4:19) Starts with a little build-up, then gets right into it. Basically my favorite thing to play in guitar hero.

Disturbed – Down with the Sickness (3:07-4:05) This breakdown has one of the most riduculously angry rants in all of music.

Enter Shikari – Ok, Time for Plan B (3:06-End) This bridge has basically all the elements of a bridge in one, it starts with a build up, its got alternate lyrics, more angst, a break down, a heavier riff and it also makes for a great time to mention the name of the song.

Flyleaf – Breathe Today(2:01-2:17) This one is short and sweet. My favorite Flyleaf song, and that’s because of her scream that takes place within those 16 seconds.

Future Leaders of the World – Kill Pop(2:40-end) This one has a great little speed part that gets faster and faster…until a triplet breaks it down to half time.

Inbubus – Nebula(2:09-3:00) Its all psycadelic for a while, then has one of the most aggressive riffs I’ve heard Incubus do.

Korn – Freak on a Leash (2:33-3:29) Classic Korn, Jonathan Davis at his best. Screaming god knows what, but everyone seemed to love that part.

Limp Bizkit – Sanatarium (2:33-end) Sure, in this cover of metallica’s Welcome Home, you have to deal with a little Durst speak, but it’s well worth it. DJ Lethal does an impressive job of scratching his way though the solo.

Rage Against the Machine – Ghost of Tom Joad(3:26-4:54) Basically Tom Morrello is the god of bridges, listen to any RATM or Audioslave and you’ll hear awesome bridges.

There’s so many more that I want to include, but I was going to try to stay away from doing a list today, and yet…

I wanted to also mention Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody…but I couldn’t really label a bridge…the whole damn song is a bridge, and it all rocks. So, remember there’s nothing like a good bridge. I’d also be interested to check out any of your suggestions.

10 Drummers

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by kc2

Well…keeping with my latest theme, I’m going to go ahead and name 10 drummers. Again, this is favorites, not neccessarily “the best”. Some may question why I don’t have one name on here…Joey Jordison, from Slipknot. I like and respect his music and playing ability, but I don’t think of him as one of my favorite musicians. If you’ve ever seen the Slipknot DVD where they are interviewed unmasked, you might know what I’m talking about. He comes off as very pretentious. But, that’s a different story. Anyway, hope you enjoy this list…

Tommy Lee

10. Nick Oshiro (Static-X/Seether) – Gotta love drummer with sweet dreadlocks. I liked Nick’s work with Seether’s first album. Then he moved onto Static-X, which was already one of my favorite bands. He doesn’t really play anything ungodly amazing, but he’s very solid and I enjoyed watching him play and meeting him at Ozzfest. [favorite work – Cannibal]

9. Josh Freese (the Vandals/a perfect circle/guns-n-roses/ashes divide/offspring/lost prophets/Nine Inch Nails/Black Light Burns/seether/Rob Zombie) Ok, in all honesty…I could have listed more, a lot more. This guy has contributed drum tracks to a ton of albums. He’s been a part of some of my favorite bands. Besides, look at all the front-men he’s had to put up with (mainly axl). [favorite work – APC – Passive]

8. Jeff Fabb (In This Moment) – I love the female-fronted band In This Monent. Jeff is a big reason why, he lays down some sweet metal beats, and he’s got pretty quick feet. He also was a pretty nice guy when I met him at a show. [favorite work – Daddy’s Falling Angel]

7. Tre Cool (Green Day) -This guy is just fun. He plays these big beats and he’s always fun to watch play. He can also be credited for playing in Green Day’s “Spinoff” bands. [favorite work – Holiday]

6. Tommy Lee (Motley Crue/Methods of Meyhem/solo) – One word: Rockstar. The resident “old guy” on my list fits the mold of rockstar in everyway. Enormously successful band, lots of tattoos, a criminal record, a drug problem, and oh yeah…married Pamela Anderson and Heather Locklear. He was also one of the first drummers to do the whole rotating drumset thing. [favorite work – Home Sweet Home] 

5. Alex Rodriguez (Saosin) – One listen to any Saosin song and you’ll realize that this guy’s hands fly. I imagine he must just destroy high-hats. He does some very subtle fills that are very cool. And, although his playing is busy, it never seems like he’s over doing it. [favorite work – Voices]

4. Matthew McDonough (Mudvayne) – Mudvayne has arguably the best rhythem section in metal today. Matt and Ryan Martinie are just nuts. They play brutal and do it with unusual time signatures on top of it all. I’m glad they ditched the make-up for now though. [favorite work – Forget to Remember]

3. Chris Adler (Lamb of God) – Yeah, I’ll probably include everyone from Lamb of God on my lists. I think they are great musicians. He’s so good, he’s almost not fun to watch. He doesn’t even look like he’s moving sometimes. But, I still love listening to his rhythms. [favorite work – Hourglass]

2. The Rev (Avenged Sevenfold) – This guy combines fun with skill. He does the whole spinning sticks thing – who doesn’t love that. Definitly another guy you wanna watch play. He also handles the backing vocals for the band. [favorite word – Almost Easy]

1. Travis Barker (Blink 182, Boxcar Racer, Transplants, +44) – Travis rules. When he was added to the line-up, Blink 182 became 1000 times better. Everything he does is gold to me. It’s not just that I like his rhythems and beats, but also his playing style. He is easily one of the most fun drummers to watch play. After having his leg put in a cast, he proclaims…”Well, for the up coming tour, I’ll just have to play everything with my left foot” and he did! Then he broke his hand during the shooting of “When Your Heart Stops Beating” – no problem, he just played the tour one handed! For more fun, check out these videos of his “remixes” to popular rap tunes.

 

 

10 Vocalists

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by kc2

Top 10 lists seem to be fun. This is one for my favorite lead singers, I repeat, favorite – not best ever! Besides the best ever should get listed, not ranked…cause nobody will agree. I choose this list based on who I listen to on a regular basis. I excluded any guys from older/classic bands. And, this one is all male, I will probably do an all female one later.

Justin from Blue October

10. Justin Warfield (She Wants Revenge) – This guy makes ‘creepy’ cool. This is what you’d want your stalker to sound like…if your stalker wrote you songs about illicit things in a bathroom and tearing you apart. [favorite work – Tear You Apart]

9. Corey Taylor (Stone Sour/Slipknot) – He’s probably on my list simply because I’m part Iowan. But really, I love his singing voice, because it’s down in my range and he can hold out a quality note. Before he shredded his vocal chords, he also had one of the coolest screams in today’s metal. [favorite work – Before I Forget]

8. Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) – I think he has one of the best screams in all of music. And, nobody really does like him either. While I like the harder linkin park sound better than their mellow tracks, I really prefer when Chester handles the vocals alone without Shinoda. Check out his lengthy scream in “Given Up” [favorite work – Don’t Stay]

7. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) – Although I’m a big metal fan, I don’t particularly like the constant screaming. Blythe however – makes it work. You can actually understand what he’s saying, unlike many similar vocalists. His vocals combined with blazing guitar riffs, makes for some brutal music. [favorite work – Redneck]

6. Serj Tankian (System of a Down/solo) – If I could have 2 wishes regarding this guy, the first would be that he was still making music with System, the second – that Daron (the guitarist) never sang again. Daron’s vocals ruin SOAD songs. “Lonely Day” would have been one of the greatest songs ever, if Serj had sang it. Listen to one of their first songs – “Spiders” – hear that at the end of the bridge? Yeah, he’s singing in quarter tones…you can’t really teach that. [favorite work – Spiders]

5. M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) – I really like this band. They are over the top, but not too much. This is another very unique voice in today’s metal. His clean vocals still have an edge that I think fits perfectly with the music. [favorite work – Seize the Day]

4. Brandon Boyd (Incubus) – Incubus is a lot calmer than they used to be, but Boyd’s vocals are always quality. Once this guy cut his dreds, his sex appeal shot through the roof. If you got introduced to Incubus through “Drive”, “Anna-Molly”, or “Megalomaniac” – then go check out SCIENCE. It’s still my favorite of theirs. [Favorite work – Nice to Know You] 

3. Chris Cornell (Soundgarden/Audioslave/solo) – In all honesty, I was never a huge Soundgarden fan. They are cool and all, but I didn’t really start paying attention to Cornell until Audioslave. Then I realized how powerful and unique his voice is. On a side note, the guy from Operator sounds very similar. [favorite work – Show Me How To Live]

2. Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October) – This guys is just great all around, I love his voice and I love his songwriting. It’s unfortunate that “Hate Me” got so overplayed, but people should really check out their earlier work. It’s hard to choose just one track to label best. [favorite work – For My Brother]

1. Ville ValVille Valoo (H.I.M.) – I got introduced to this band by my roommate 4 years ago, and have been hooked ever since. As I said in a previous entry, Valo has an amazing range. He hits all kinds of high notes in songs like “Wicked Game” and then gets crazy low in “Venus Doom”. This band has done quite a few covers, one of their more rare ones you can only find on youtube – “Larger than Life”. [favorite work – And Love Said No]

Is it really that bad?

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2008 by kc2

Congratulations Lil’ Wayne on your recent album sales. Now you should thank Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and Korn. Sound weird to say? Well, I think its true. They opened a lot of people’s eyes to rap. But I look around now, and everyone talks badly about nu-metal and rap-metal bands. If you think about it, that genre didn’t just tie different genres – it tied races. “Walk This Way” and “Bring the Noise” were the first of their kind to take rap “Black Music” and put it on top of rock music “White Music”. Before these, white kids weren’t really listening to rap and hip-hop. Although, I do credit Eminem with doing the bulk work on getting people to listen to rap.

Rage Against the MachineA little after the millenium switched over…music listeners began looking at Nu-metal negatively. And yet, I notice that Linkin Park’s album sales are still up, they were still heavily requested. Korn still has very successful tours. Now I’m wondering if instead of not liking the music, people are just afraid to admit they like it? Kind of like what happened at the end of the 80’s, people didn’t want to admit they liked glam-metal because Nirvana came out against them.

I think I will have to say that is my one big pet-peeve about the internet and all its wonders. Once a few people come out against something and start flaming others that don’t support them, individuals stop voicing their opinions because they are afraid of being called out. Well I for one support you for what ever you like, don’t be afraid to voice it. Look at Nickelback. Its pretty easy to say they are one of the most hated bands on a lot of discussion boards…but look at their success. You shouldn’t care about what “I_hatethat_05” has to say against you.

But really, am I wrong? Is rap-metal really that bad?