Archive for July, 2008

Unsigned/Indie: A California Band

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2008 by kc2

This will be my 3rd band “review”. I think I will try to get a band in each state, depending on my laziness and what’s out there…(I’ll take suggestions, its not like I know every rock band in the US…lol).

I used to live in the midwest, so I know there are a ton of good bands in that area. But, I think everyone has to admit that there is a ton of bands in California. This is where everyone comes to ‘make-it’ and be found. Bands don’t write songs about Montana (no offense), but they do write “From Oakland to Sacktown, the Bay area and back down” and “Cause I’m goin to Hollywood. I’m chasin my dreams again.” Look up “songs about california” on wikipedia…it’s pretty much the longest list I’ve ever seen. Then go on myspace and see how many bands claim CA as their home base. So, the question becomes, how do I choose a band to feature under my “unsigned/indie”? Well, I’m not going to declare a “best” that’s for sure. But I can show you a band that seemed to stick out to me. I mean, cmon, its got to count for something if a random LA band caught my (random person) eye.

That band is Trigger Point. Started in the early years of the new millenium, this metal band offers quite a few good tunes. They’ve got good heavy riffs, solid drumming, and vocals that dip into “hardcore” without being overbearing. Their music is definitly heavy and probably could get defined using some ‘core suffix. But, I also think it’s close to being radio friendly, with a few lyrical edits. I guess I would compare them to Atreyu, Otep, and Bloodsimple.

“A Silent Protest” is my favorite song from them, and it has a pretty cool video. The shaking effect is kinda cool and different. Check out this band on myspace. Another cool thing about this band: they went on an entire US tour that only fans booked. They may not be the best band in California, but they’re definitly better than a lot of the others.

Crahan: ‘I Can’t Wait To Leave Slipknot’

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

I found this story online, so rather than try to re-write it in my own words…here it is copied and pasted.

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Crahan: ‘I Can’t Wait To Leave Slipknot’

Slipknot rocker M. Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan desperately wants to leave the band to spend more time with his family.

The percussionist admits he has become disillusioned with life on the road with the heavy rock group and hopes he will be able to quit or take an extended hiatus.

Crahan’s wife Chantal was diagnosed with bowel condition Crohn’s disease in 2001, and the star insists he would love to be at home with her and their four children.

He says, “I’m in a really weird place in my life right now. I’m at a point where I wouldn’t say I’m having a mid-life crisis but… I’d love to be doing anything other than Slipknot right now.

“I’ve never wanted to be around my family as much as I want to be around them now. My wife is in the best health she’s been in for a long while and I’m enjoying watching my kids grow up.

“I guess I don’t know who I am any more and that’s pretty scary.”

Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network 2008Photo(s) Copyright Getty Images 2008

Songs I’m Addicted to This Week

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2008 by kc2

It’s been a really slow week, I’ve hardly been motivated to write or find anything new in music…but of course, there’s no way I could go a week without listening to something!

1. Shiny Toy Guns – Le Disko – I had heard of Shiny Toy Guns and I had heard this song, but I never actually realized this was by them until just recently. Take equal parts – techno and girl-rock – and you’ll have this song. The first line is really the lyric that everyone seems to know.

2. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah – I know this is a song that everyone seems to obsess over. Props to Cohen for doing the original, but really Buckley made this song amazing.

3. Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love – I’m not a big fan of Manson’s latest CD, the guitar parts were really lacking without John 5. So I’m still listening to classic Manson. His own music is pretty cool, but I love when he does covers. This is one of my favorite music videos too. Chyler Leigh makes out to be one of the hottest goth-chicks ever.

4. Flogging Molly – If I Ever Leave This World Alive – I’m not Irish, so I’m not totally obsessed with this band. But, I like their tunes and I think this one is very cool. It’s a sad, but fun song…in terms of lyrics about death.

5. Blink 182 – Not Now – The last ever song from Blink 182. Also one of their best and most mature. It’s a very fitting “goodbye” song.

6. Guano Apes – Open Your Eyes – You might recognize this from the late 90’s. I “re-found” this song a couple years ago while working at my college radio station. I had never known the song name nor who it was by until then. It’s a pretty cool tune and really catchy.

7. Monster in the Machine – Savior – I got this CD for free. Its pretty cool, nothing amazing to rave about. But, I really like this song, with its flow and baritone vocals.

8. Deftones – Passenger – It’s an underrated song off the Deftones’ White Pony album. Chino and Maynard James Keenan combine for a very eerie but great song. And, this also falls under the songs-with-cool-bridges catagory.

9. Seether – Six Gun Quota – One of the songs that are not a single from Seether’s newest album, 6GQ is really cool. Its just Seether doing their angst-filled alt.rock, with a real catchy chorus.

10. Strata – Cocaine – It has a very cool hand-drawn music video. Its a haunting song that anyone with a daughter or anyone who’s ever tried to pick up a girl from a club would fear. Plus, you’ve gotta love the lyric “she don’t like cocaine baby, just likes how it smells”

The machines will make us dance…

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

So, I’m combining two different articles I read about in the last couple days. The first one being a top 10 list for movies that are very unfaithful to science. One of them being the Matrix, because the human body does NOT actually produce much energy in a very efficient way. The second article being about a “power-generating dance floor”.

This sounds completely badass. People waste a ton of potential energy, and no I’m not talking about me sitting on a couch all day playing with my laptop. I mean when I go to the gym, and jump on the treadmill for a mile or so. Not only is the force I’m exerting being unused, but the machine takes power just to run the belt, displays, and tiny fans. Imagine if our resistance training would not include weights, but actually some kind of generator for electricity. I’m not exactly sure how the machines would look for actual strength training, but harnessing the energy of running/biking people should be fairly easy.

Well, the first step has been made, maybe not with gym-type exercise, but with dance. A few clubs around the globe have been putting in “power-generating dance floors”. I was reading an article about UK’s first club to try it out, and how it works…here.

This is pretty amazing, I don’t know how efficient it is, but I gotta think it’s a good thing. Rather than just having people come in and pretend to dance, jump around, and use up all their energy, they can harness that to power up all the lights and equipment to cut down on energy costs. Now, if they could only do something about the heat too…

But, this article proves the Matrix was wrong, we’re not going to just lie there bald and dreaming. The machines will make us dance. Think about it…what is the music played at most clubs lately? Techno! AKA…made mostly by computers and not instruments. So really, the scene where all of Zion is dancing after an uplifting Morpheus speech…that’s where they really harness the energy. Paul Oakenfold and Moby will be the death of us all…

Best use of songs in soundtracks.

Posted in Movies, music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2008 by kc2

I’m diving back into the movie side of the entertainment industry again. I was just watching a couple movies this weekend, and thought, “that was a badass use of that song for this scene”. See as follows:

Mudvayne – Forget to Remember (SAW II) – I love the SAW movies. They bring a new twist to the gore genre. After this movie goes haywire, the credits roll and this song starts – awesome. The music video is one of the best, I think, in terms of really working with the movie. Some music videos just make random cuts to movie scenes, but this one really integrates the concept.

Rage Against the Machine – Wake Up & Calm Like a Bomb (Matrix) – They used Rage to end both the Matrix and Matrix Reloaded. C’mon, I think that’s perfect. Rage…against the MACHINE….get it? 😉 But also, those were cool songs to walk out of the theater with after the movies were done.

The Used – Pretty Handsome Awkward (Transformers) – Here’s one that I’m not just talking about the credits. This is seriously a cool guitar riff, and it works perfectly with a car chase. Heck, I even push a little harder on the gas pedal when this song is on in my own car.

Foo Fighters – My Hero (Varsity Blues) – Ok, if I remember right, they use this song twice. Which you really shouldn’t do, one use per movie only. I don’t remember the 2nd time, but when the song intro starts while they are dramatically lining up for a play…that’s a great usage.

Black Sabbath – Ironman (Iron Man) – Seriously, if you didn’t see this coming… 😛 What other song would fit this movie this absolutely perfect, if cliche’. Pretty much one of the oldest songs in heavy metal and still pretty cool.

Static-X – Cold (Queen of the Damned) – I would have used any of the songs Jonathan Davis did for the movie, but I wanted to stick to songs done originally before the movie. This is one of Static-X’s coolest songs. And, it fits with the whole “cold” and cold-blooded vampires. I chose not to use Deftones – Change, because they use that song in a ton of soundtracks.

Disturbed – Down With the Sickness (Dawn of the Dead, 2004) – The remake for Dawn of the Dead is pretty cool in itself. But this song fits perfectly. Sickness = Zombie Virus, wink-wink. But what really makes the song fit for me, is the use of Richard Cheese’s version during the movie, its hilarious. Side note – this song is ALSO in the Queen of the Dammed.

Foo Fighters – Tired of You (I Think I Love My Wife) – Not a terribly good movie, but it does have one saving grace. This Foo Fighters song is used as a sort of theme through a couple scenes in the movie. I think those were the two times that I looked up from my computer screen to the TV screen while it was on.

System of a Down – Lonely Day (Disturbia) – Shia Labeouf is being groomed as Hollywood’s future. He plays a much better nervous insecure guy than Jason Biggs. This System’ song just helps to prove how bored Shia is after being put under house arrest.

Metallica – I Disappear (Mission Impossible II) – Rumor has it that Metallica was not expecting to write this song. They were under the belief that a song was done to match the movie, and that the producers just wanted Metallica’s “sound” for it. The guys were on the way to the studio to record it when they learned that it was not already written for them. So in a half hour drive, they came up with a cooler song than anything in their Load, Reload, and St. Anger albums. It would also be the last song Jason Newstead would ever be a part of. I really like the video for it too. Oh, honorable mention…I loved the Limp Bizkit version of the MI theme song.

Songs I’m Addicted to This Week

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by kc2

I went with a little older tastes this week. Couple newer songs though…

1. Bullet For My Valentine – Scream Aim Fire – I think Bullet’ is a pretty cool band. I really liked some of the songs off their debut album, and their follow up isn’t so bad either. It kind of reminds me of old Metallica. This song is cool, then it has a heavy hitting bridge with a sweet guitar solo.

2. Pearl Jam – Love Reign o’er Me – I was watching the VH1 Rock Honor’s The Who, and Pearl Jam did this one live. I think they do a good job with it. I think its funny, ’cause now its another Pearl Jam cover (Last Kiss) that I prefer over their original stuff.

3. Buckcherry – Too Drunk – Well, lets face it, this is going to be another song that gets played constantly at parties. I’m just latching on before it gets tiring. Its really just Buckcherry doing what they do best – raunchy drug and sex filled rock.

4. Demon Hunter – Annihilate the Corrupt – I found this on a CD full of “hardcore-screamo-metal” bands. I thought this was misplaced, because it’s actually pretty cool. Aggressive and heavy.

5. Flobots – Handlebars – This is a newer band that does weird altern-rap. It’s not something I would normally listen to, but damn, its catchy and gets stuck in my head!

6. Iron Maiden – Wrathchild – We’ll just call this my “classic” track for the week. I was playing Guitar Hero: 80’s, and got hooked for a while. This is my favorite song to play off that game. (I’m really not THAT obsessed with GH)

7. Skindred – Bruises – If I was a boxer/wrestler/UFC fighter…this would be my entrance song. It’s like if I got in a fight, I would hope someone has their car close enough, so we could blast this song for me. Skindred is cool and unique…what other bands out there today really mix metal with reggae this well?

8. Plus 44 – I Am One – Another cover for this week. Originally done by Smashing Pumpkins, I can only find this song on +44’s myspace. It’s just cool and different, not like amazing or anything.

9. Velvet Revolver – Slither – This song is the whole reason I bought VR’s debut album. It’s the only song, for me, that comes close to the gold that Slash & co created in Guns-n-Roses. I also think Weiland is at his best here.

10. Anthrax – Random Acts of Senseless – I happend to stick this in my CD player while driving a couple days ago, and I ended up pumping up the volume, remembering how cool this song is. Consequently, I realized my foot seemed to be getting heavy, so I had to tone back the testosterone driving.

Top “lone” guitarists

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2008 by kc2

Ok, so I figured out how I want to go at listing my top guitarists. I have 3 lists. Top Guitarist-Frontmen (they sing lead and play), Top Guitar Duos (neither sing) and Top Solo Guitarists (the only melody maker and doesn’t really sing). So, 7/17/08 was Frontmen, 7/18/08 was Duos, and 7/19/08 will be alone-s. And, maybe I will do a ”best of” compilation after that…I don’t know yet. So for today enjoy my top 10 lone guitarists. Oh, honorable mention goes to System of a Down’s Daron Malakian. I love him as a guitarist, but because he keeps insisting on singing, he loses my favoritism.  

 

10. Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) – Deftones are another of my favorite bands from high school. Carpenter has some pretty badass riffs. [favorite work – My Own Summer]

9.  Mikko “Linde” Lindström (HIM) – He’s an underrated guitarist in this Finnish band. All the attention goes to Ville, but this dude can play. [favorite work – Wings of a Butterfly]

8. John Fruchiante (Red Hot Chili Peppers, solo) – Everyone’s favorite former junkie guitarist. Now that he’s done with heroin, he’s back with the ‘peppers. You know you’re good, if you skip classes at the Guitar Institute in Hollywood and the reps still drop your name as an alumni. [favorite work – Blood Sugar Sex Magik]

7.  Adam Jones (Tool) – The main artistic-creative force in Tool. Maynord seems like the wacko, but Jones is the one that thought up the imagery. Oh yeah, his guitar playing rules. [favorite work – Parabola]

6. Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit, Black Light Burns) – Hate Fred Durst all you want. Wes Borland kicks ass. Limp Bizkit’s sound seriously lacked when he wasn’t on their “Results May Vary”. But when he came back for one more album “The Unquestionable Truth”, he played some awesome guitar parts. His new band “Black Light Burns” isn’t too bad either. [favorite work – the Truth]

5. Greg Tribbett (Mudvayne, Hellyeah) – I’m not counting the stuff he’s done in Hellyeah, because that’s just “fun rock” with simple riffs. All the guys in Mudvayne are great musicians, and Greg is no slacker in that department either. [favorite work – Happy?]

4. Dan Donegan (Distrubed) – He uses one of the coolest guitar tones in today’s metal. His guitar playing is brutal to go with it. And from what I’ve heard of the new album, Disturbed is only getting better. [favorite work – Inside the Fire]

3. Mike Einziger (Incubus) – Incubus may have gotten softer as they’ve matured, but Mike’s guitar playing is still amazing. If I was grading just on hair, he’d probably raise a couple spots. [favorite work – Certain Shade of Green]

2. Mark Tremonti (Creed, Alter Bridge) – Hell yes I rated Tremoni this high, he’s an amazing guitar player. There’s videos of him shredding on YouTube and they are awesome. His work in both bands is great. Check out his solo in Alter Bridge’s – Open Your Eyes. [favorite work – Stand Here With Me]

1. Tom Morello (Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Nightwatchman) – The master of guitar effects. I remember I used to think Rage had a DJ in the band because of some of the effects he’d do. He’s not terrible on his own, doing the singing, as Nightwatchman. Audioslave is probably the best “supergroup” of recent music. [favorite work – Gasoline]