Category: Random

Poor Twisted Me

Well, I figured it was time to give my poor old neglected blog some attention.  The past month of so has been pretty busy.  All I can say is school, work and my little ones have taken up all my time.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I know that’s a country song but I really have no idea by who.

So I have started back to school and my first class is an Intro to Literature class.  It has been really awesome actually, along with reading some cool stuff, I have also been writing.  Not just analytical stuff either, some creative writings!  A relatively dormant part of my soul has been awakened!  Unfortunately this week my prof. made me realize the Zombie state I have fallen into.  I’ll have to write more about that tragedy later.  Until then I suggest reading Malthusian’s Zombie by Jeffrey Ford.  Amazing story!  I have a big writing prompt due on Monday, so I’ll be having some fun this weekend for sure!

I have heard in the past one should write and/or study in quiet controlled environments.  For me, I find that to just suck.  I always have to have music going when I write.  It’s like lubrication for my brain.  I really have a hard time getting going if I don’t have something that eases my soul playing in the background.

Lately that has been Radiohead.  I know big surprise there.  I had kind of neglected them for a while, but since the Mansfield show I attended, I have been pretty full throttle with them.  Of coarse anytime Radiohead tours I tend to listen to them more since I feel the need to download and listen to every single show I can get.  (which is usually all of them!)

I’ve been on a really big live music kick too.  I have for quite sometime been big into the live lossless music community.  I however tend to ride it in waves.  Right now I’m at the peak of one of these waves.  Summer is always the best time for concerts anyway, all the festivals and such.  It’s been awesome attending these show live from home this year too!  It seems everyone is streaming there festivals this year.  If you get a chance, I recomend Bon Iver’s Coachella set as well as Radiohead’s and the Civil War’s Bonnaroo sets.

Well, I always say I’m going to do stuff and only do about a tenth of them, but I’ll try to get on and do one post every Thursday or Friday to keep my monster alive.  I have loved writing here and really don’t want this thing to die!  Wish me luck and encouragement!

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358 days until Record Store Day 2013!

Yes, the count is already on!  I can’t wait.  I guess I could count down until RSD’s Black Friday event, but I hate Black Friday!

That being said we all should remember that although Record Store Day is a great reason to head out to your local record store, we need to keep it up the rest of there year also!  Record store cannot survive with one day a year!  I know that I am a big promoter of services such as spotify, but I also go out and buy records and CD’s.  This doesn’t mean you have to start a vinyl collection though or that you have to buy absolutely everything on CD.   It would be nice to support a local business while helping support something many of us hold near and dear!

There is nothing like the experience of hanging out in a music store.  Interacting with others who love music is one of my favorite part of it.  It never fails what someone will suggest to you on any given day.

So I mentioned previously what I took home from RSD this year.  I am not going to get a little more detailed about what I got and what I thought about them now that I’ve had a little bit of time to adsorb them.   I will only include the first item in this post, and will try to post at least one item I either bought or got free each day for the next however many days.  I might take a day off here and there or interject other post of coarse.

So this first thing I actually listened to was the new RSD Coachella sampler.  When I left Bull Moose it was the easiest to access (being already open) and one I was interested in because I had watched so much of the festival the week before.   This sampler features artists on this years Coachella Festival in Indio, CA.   This is one of the many free item I picked up.  It contains a 17 track CD as well as 32 page book (cover pictured above).  The book has interviews with the 17 artist featured on the sampler.  To listen this sampler go to my Tumblr playlist page.

Check out the track listing above.  Over all this compilation was pretty solid.  I really only knew three of the bands really well. (The Black Keys, The Shins and Florence + the Machine)  After that I really knew very little about the rest of the musicians on this disc.  That’s not saying I hadn’t heard of them, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to recognize them with you the linear notes.   With the exception of the Kaiser Chiefs and Swedish House Mafia I really enjoyed this disc.  I will definitely be looking more into Justice, We are Augustines and Band of Skulls.  (I already have Andrew Bird in my Spotify playlist queue).  One thing I do think is a bit silly about this compilation is that it comes during or (in the case last year) after the event actually happens.  So if you like the a bunch of the artist and want to go to the festival it’s already to late.

One other little tidbit for you, Record Store Day is actually celebrated at Coachella.  At the Zia Tent on the 21st they had many of the same RSD exclusives and actually even a few Coachella exclusives.  At The Drive-In’s Vaya EP was available on colored vinyl  and Ximena Sarinana also released a Coachella only 7 inch vinyl.  More exclusives were mentioned but upon searching the web I have yet to determine what they were.

Record Store Day

Record Store Day
Record Store Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow is most important day on my religious calendar. It is a celebration of the holy grail and a celebration of mecca. People of my ilk wait all year for this day.  (well for the last 5 years we have)  I am speaking of Record Store Day of coarse!

For those who do not know, Record Store Day was created by Bull Moose’s Chris Brown.   Yes, Record Store Day was created here in Maine and is now celebrated in independent record stores all over the world.   Chris thought it would be a great way for us music lovers to celebrate music.  At the same time it was a way of to support our local independent record stores.

The best part of RSD is all the releases.  On record store day artist release limited edition vinyl and CD’s.    This year I would guess about 200 or more artist are releasing some sort of material.  Most release are not free, but there is always a ton of free posters, sticker, buttons, and samplers exclusive to record store day.  You can find a fairly complete list of on Record Store Days website.

Another perk of Record Store Day is live music.  Many record store will have special in-store performances, mainly of local and independent artist.  I’ll try hitting up a few record stores for performances by Joe Gallant (Bull Moose Portland), The Mallet Brothers (Newbury Comics Portland), Dilly Dilly (Newbury Comics Portland) and maybe even Steiner Street (Bull Moose Scarborough).

I have been pouring over the releases and although I would like to buy a lot more, I have created a small list of swag I want to target.  It is as follows:

The White Stripes – Hand Springs / Red Death at 6:14 7″
Joey Ramone – Rock N’ Roll is the Answer 7″
The Civil Wars – Billie Jean 7″
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines 7″
Mastodon/The Flaming Lips – A Spoonful Weighs A Ton 7″
Mastodon/Feist – Commotion/Black Tongue 7″
Eddie Veder – Love Boat Captain/Wishlist 7″
Deefhoof/of Montreal – Stygian x} Bisection 7″
Of Monsters And Men – Into The Woods EP 10″
Xiu Xiu / Dirty Beaches split 7″
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II LP
Sigur Ros – Hvarf-Heim LP
The Civil Wars – Live at Amoeba CD

I certainly wish I could pick them all up, but I’ll be on a budget.   I will post something about the days events in the next day or so!  If you love music I suggest you get out and support the bands and record store you dearly love.  If you are in any of the above locations you can look for me, I’ll be wearing a torn up pair of jeans and a Juliette Lewis t-shirt.  Come say hello!  Get out and have some fun!!

 

Musical Interpretation

It’s kind of funny how we all perceive music differently.   One person hears a song one way, while another person hears the exact same song completely differently.  I sometime wonder if I’m weird.  I sometime wonder what is it in me that hears beauty in music when so many others find no pleasure at all. (or vice versa)

There are really two reason I bring this subject up.  One of which just happened Saturday night while the other that has happened about 5-10 times over the past few years.

On Saturday Night Live this week, the band Sleigh Bells was the musical guest.  I was super excited to watch them perform.  I’m not really big into twitter, but once and a while I log in to see what is trending, or to post a random comment.  (my blog always post updates there)  I was surprised to see that 95% of the comments were bad mouthing the performance.  I was actually hard to find comments that were good.  I went back today to watch the performance and I still think they did a great job.  I guess I can see with these guys how they wouldn’t really get to many mainstream followers.  They are what best be described as over powered pop rock.  The guitars are turned up to 11 (haha) and the locals are only at about 6.  Certainly one of the biggest complaints I heard was about the vocal mix, although I’m sure these same people weren’t aware that it was mixed that way on purpose.  In any case most people didn’t consider it music, or said it was just noise, while I was thinking man that FN rocked.

The other more long term example of this comes from my favorite band Radiohead.  I play music when ever and where ever I can.  My life doesn’t like to go long intervals with out music.  I have had the opportunity to play music while working at various jobs along the way.  I know I drive people with some of the stuff I listen to, since I do listen to such a varied style of music.  Well, of coarse Radiohead get played in one of these public forums from time to time, and it never fails that someone will come up and ask “How can you listen to that?  It sounds so sad.”  This comment is so absurd to me! Radiohead sad?  Really?  When I hear Radiohead I hear nothing but uplifting joy.  I have actually envisioned a beautiful sunrise rising above the ocean waves while listening to them.  I hear nothing but beauty.  Sadness? I still don’t get it, but there must be some sadness in the music, for at least 4 different people (some in different states even) have said these exact words.

So all it come down to is personal interpretation.  How one hears a song obviously varies from person to person.  I guess that what make the world interesting.  If we all heard the same thing there would be no need for art (or this blog).

What do you think about these above songs?

Happy Birthday!

Today, on Sunday February 19th, 2012, this blog turns 100 posts old.  Yes, I know that it’s still just a baby, but it has started to grow and have a little direction.  So far I’ve started to uncover, my musical roots, as well as shown the music tastes that have developed from them.  I have just barely started to tell you about the large amount of concert I have seen, and the large girth music I really listen to.  What little you have seen from these are just “tips of the iceberg” territory.    I also have shared a small amount of good music coming out of the good old state on Maine, this is one I’d like to expand upon in the future!  We collectively have made a bunch of sweet mixtapes covering all sorts of themes exposing us both to new music.  You have seen me start to tackle the music challenge meme, however how embarrassing it has been for me.  You have even seen my opinions on a few topics such as religion, audio quality, and the future of music. (insert Spotify commendation here!)

What will the future bring?  That I do not know.   I know I will be making changes to the lay out to make it more user friendly.  I may even tackle creating my own layout as opposed to custom made ones.  I know I want to keep it personal, sharing my likes and hates and experiences.

Anyway, thank you to all who have visited me in this first 100 posts.  I hope to keep it going for many many more!

Exile in Comparison

So an interesting topic was brought up recently.  I had made comments in reference to my high school days and Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville on my blog post George W. Stearns High School.  In the comments Brian mentioned that this record was a song by song answer to the Rolling Stone Exile on Main St.  This was the first time I’d heard this and was very interested in looking into it more.

In a 1998 interview with NPR, Liz Phair says that she had this huge crush on this indie guy in the village she lived in.  His life in her eyes somewhat mirrored theme of Exile on Main St.  So she took those thoughts and loosely tried to recreate the mood of Main St. in writing Exile.   She also said she would often take the tempo and solo placement into considerations.

In doing my research I found a lot of those who think that I was not a song for song comparison.  They argue that a few of the tunes had been written (and even recorded) years earlier.  I guess we can only take her partially for her word.

So I took another step,  I combined the two records into one playlist on Spotify.  And then I listened.

Spotify playlist —>HERE

I have to start by saying that I really am not all that familiar with Exile on Main St. (Gasp!) I am a relatively new listener to the Stones.   I of coarse have heard their bigger hits, but never really dug any deeper than what was on the surface until recently.  Don’t worry Stones fans I am currently correcting that.  I am however pretty familiar with Exile in Guyville.

From what I hear, I see very little resemblance.  I can sometimes hear the tempo being similar but other than that, the songs don’t seem the same.  Lyrics seem to not be about the same things either.  Matter of fact listening to them together just make both albums seem very random.  Maybe I should listen to them separately?

I’ll be sure to give them both a few more listens, but from my determination this might just be a scheme by Liz Phair to drum up some publicity.  What do you think?

Yud-say boom da gasser, den crash Der Bosses heyblibber

I was watching Star Wars -The Phantom Menace (TPM for short) this morning and it got me thinking about music in movies again.  I say again because a while back my friend wanted me to write about this exact subject which I covered in Any of you fricking pricks move, and I’ll execute every motherfricking last one of ya!  As anyone close to me know I have always been a huge Star Wars fan and although TPM is probably the worst of all the Star Wars films, it does have some of my favorite music.  I actually bought this soundtrack before the movie came out and listened to it quite a bit around the original release of the film.

There is a some what funny story about me the day I purchased this soundtrack.  My friend, Olaf and I had gone to a midnight release party for the much anticipated follow up to Nine Inch Nail’s the Downward Spiral.   We had all waited 5 years for a new NIN album and I was very eager to hear it.   Well, as I always do I continued to shop for other music while picking up this new record, and decided I would pick up the soundtrack the TPM.  At some point during this process I started cursing out loud.  Olaf asked, dude What’s wrong?, to which I replied, I just fncking read the track listings and read a spoiler.  Qui-gon dies! Fncking Sh!t!  I was really mad.  I had spent all my time up to the release of TPM avoiding anything that might “spoil” any part of the film.  Olaf still laughs about that to this day!  The following is Duel of the Fates, which is played during the fight sequence at the end of the film.

Another film I watched recently was Alfred Hitchcock’s Pyscho.  All Hitchcock films rely heavily of the soundtrack.  Hitch was known as the master of suspense and lot of that suspense came from the score by Bernard Herrmann.  Throughout the first part of the film, the motif  stays the same never really fluctuating that much.  I learned today that is called ostinato. This helps build the suspense of the film during parts that are not that suspenseful.    Of coarse, the most famous music happens during the shower scene.  I won’t go into details, for it might be a spoiler to some.  The funny part is that originally Hitch wanted the shower scene to contain no music what so ever.  To that I just want to thank Mr. Herrmann for not listening! If you have not seen this film you owe it to yourself to check it out! (and anything Hitchcock for that matter!)  The track below is main theme to the film.