Monday, February 28, 2011

Michel Camilo / Live at the Blue Note

Ah, Monday. Happy music day and for me, a day I finally get to relax again. Looking into some stuff, completing household chores as to not live in a total pig sty, and to keep myself content as this happens, I listened to Michel Camilo's Live at the Blue Note album.

Michel Camilo, for those of you who don't know, and don't feel bad if you don't, is a Latin Jazz pianist from the Dominican Republic. In my opinion he's one of the finest in instrumental Jazz currently, and his talents are well appreciated in this live album.


This is not the live at the blue note version of this song, titled Hello & Goodbye. At the Blue Note, Camilo extends his entering piano solo to nearly 2 minutes and a half. There's also less instruments used, making it sound a bit less Latin than above, but also using all their resources to come up with that excellent Jazzy feel that you'll manage to see in a minute. Who knows, maybe you prefer the sound all these instruments in synchronization make. I admit, it's nice.

Me however, I appreciate something simple seeming like much more. A decent example would be Muse. I love Muse, or loved, I wont debate this here. The point being that 3 people making an extraordinary sound deeply fascinates me, especially when sometimes a ridiculous number of people, such as Slipknots 8 members, can make something not quite as amazing.

No disrespect to Slipknot.

So on this live album, Camilo teams up with Charles Flores (bass) and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez (on drums) to present what I believe is his first (is it the only?) live album which his devoted fans have been waiting for. I present to you my favorite song on the track listing, and the last one:


On Fire. I urge you to watch this all the way if you appreciate Jazz at all. While I assure you the version on the album IS in fact similar to this one, they're not identical as far as composition. So if you happen  to notice, don't murder me. Sure the piano vs drum duel is less intense on the album, but the music is just as spicy, and that definitely matters.

If you're new to Michel Camilo, or if you simply don't have the Live at the Blue Note album, then you should check out the album here.

Download it, buy the physical CD, do something somehow to enjoy this fine piece of work.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My eyelashes have paint on them

I have a bit more time today. Yesterday was cutting things short so that post sounds less fair than it is.

I work the weekend, that includes today, but I enjoy it, I get to hear music all day as I interacted with the customers. Now music is great, but live music is better. Here's something similar to what I heard yesterday morning.


The actual band I saw has no CD's and I couldn't even find them on youtube. They were a bit more complex than the above, adding an extra percussionist and a pianist. Good vibes.

However come nightfall I would leave the jazzy ambient to go to this thing I got invited to called the Dayglow, a House-themed paint fest thing. It was well worth the $23. I saw Diplo and he made Dubstep wobs at one point. The lack of great speakers was a bit sad, but for cheap it was fair.


I also saw the above, Devil from Acapulco. I was about 20 feet away from him and at some points felt the fire from his torch. If you can admit you're immature enough to enjoy music that promises you sex and then doesn't give it to you, you'll enjoy it. It's basically a raver lip syncing to a track, painted in silver with a huge skull helmet and green lazers emitting from his knuckles and helmet. It was definitely amusing, to say the least. There was many a time where I just had to laugh, and even in electronic musics, I admire that.

They sprayed paint on me. On my hair, in my nose, in my armpits and on my eyes. I survived, I am happy.
Now I need to make breakfast or something. Guh.

This has been a different post. A post about an experience and I suppose I might do the same with future experiences as well.

Back to the average stuff tomorrow. I think. I hope?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oh sigh.

I go to work in just an hour and a half. Normally I could make a post quick enough to not have that be a problem, but there are a few issues.

1. I don't have any pre-set music ideas for today.
2. I haven't had breakfast, haven't showered or gotten dressed at all. Weekend work SUCKS.
3. I'm dead tired.

The fact that that the above took me 5 minutes to write says enough.

This means I'm going to celebrate my brand new 100 followers (which I hate to do)

Yay! Followers!

No really, thanks guys, it means a bunch.

But I still feel empty inside without posting something of musical value, so I shall. I'll post one of Bo Burnham's new songs. One that actually isn't funny and shows the maturity of this young entertainer titled Art is Dead.


I hope he doesn't grow out of it.

The song is found in his album Words Words Words which is motly witty and has lots and lots of puns and things. It's nice. Bye!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jarabe de Palo - La Flaca

It's funny how I've been managing this blog. One day I wake up and my head is already focused on a song, so I go hey, maybe they'd like this.

So hey, maybe you'll like this. It's the song and album of the same title La Flaca (or, The Skinny Girl) by Jarabe de Palo, a Spanish rock group from Spain (duh). The album as a whole could be considered Pop Rock I suppose, but it also has some smooth bass lines  and easy listening qualities that make it almost jazz-like.

Here is the JdP classic, La Flaca. Which is not the song I was thinking of when I woke up, but if you're gonna like Jarabe de Palo, you'll enjoy this.


Brings back memories of my childhood. This album was released in 1996 and is in my opinion their best work. The song is what I consider a 'just for fun' song. There's nothing complex going on and the lyrics to those who understand aren't heavy, anyone could listen to this simple song. And it really is simple, he describes a woman and states that he'd do anything for just one kiss.

I took 4 minutes and a half and summed it up in one sentence. I'm ashamed of myself.

Now what I did wake up thinking of,  was their song from the same album, El Lado Oscuro, or, The Dark Side, which contrary to it's title, doesn't sound all that depressing. It also does not sound like something from Star Wars. I hope that doesn't disappoint you.


I love the sweet sound of that strong bass. The easy going Reggae-like guitar rifs complimenting the sound and the beautiful percussions. Mmm. It's the type of song I love to wake up to, which means I'm in a good mood today.

In my opinion these are some of the greater songs on the album. The rest of the album, I find pretty decent to just sit back and relax to. But that's me. I also find the rest of it a bit more on the Pop side, not that that bothers me, though.

If you wanted, you could check it out here.

Hope you're all having a good day too!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group: Live in LA and Dōitashimashite

I'm a pretty big fan of The Mars Volta, especially of their guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. I've written one post previously about him and Cedric Bixler-Zavala on their old group De-Facto, a dub band that you could say they started off with.

Today I'll talk about the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group and some recent live stuff they've done. It can be called Jazz-Fusion, Progressive Rock, Psychadelic Rock, or even Art Rock. Whatever label people put it, I call it perfect.

To give you a feel of their latest work, I'll show you a deeply progressive "Untitled" song from a set of 7 live videos that were posted on youtube via the refusedtv channel. Which you could check out.


This was one of the better videos to immediately show. It uses all of the artists talents deeply throughout the song. A lot of their work live, and on most of their albums, is purely instrumental, so the beautiful voice of Ximena Sariñana Rivera is also displayed above.

Now when I was first introduced to this group last year, the set of the Los Angeles live videos were the ones I saw and were the ones that captivated me the most. I've heard other songs from other albums and the sound is very different from every other album. Just because this particular sound was my personal favorite doesn't necessarily mean it will be yours too.

This means you should check out the Omar Rodriguez Lopez albums available on his site, here.
They have song samples and things. It's nice. Trust me.

And if you like the sounds I showed, you should check out the Dōitashimashite album, or the one in Asian lettering on that same link.

Something I absolutely love about this group and RodriguezLopezProductions, is how cheap their music really is. That one album is up for digital download for $5 or higher donation and will soon be the best $5 I've spent this year. In all honesty, most likely tonight when I'm back from work. This is quite unlike a previous Dir en Grey related post, where the album was worth something like $50. Ridiculous.

Do you feel like more of that funky live stuff? You could just follow the video I posted above and look for it yourself. OR, you could thank me for putting the links up for you myself. I'm that nice.

Link to video I

You could just click that and let the others follow automatically. Or you could skip ahead to any other video, the links are:

Video II
Video III (again)
Video IV
Video V
Video VI
Video VII

The best part of linking is I get to hear it all over again :)

Oh also, the link to Dōitashimashite, here. Just in case and stuff.

I'm pleased today. Oh yeah.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Facebook is interesting. I'm not the biggest fan and I'm not sure I'd be considered an addict. I'm all too aware that every post I make on there could affect my future, for better or  worse. Because of this, I keep to myself and only occasionally post something of generic nature. However, I do enjoy seeing what others post. I can't say I like all of it, but sometimes, someone might post music, and this is where I give a little thank you to Facebook for existing.

Yesterday someone posted a video of an acoustic guitar duo called Rodrigo y Gabriela. Born in Mexico and claiming their fame in Ireland, they have a short but interesting story of how they got to where they are. In my eyes, it's not very far compared to where they should be.



The excellent use at the beginning of the guitar as a percussive instrument lured me in. Tamacun was the song I heard on Facebook and it was what ultimately made me look more of them up.

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of guitars, I like the sound, but I tend to think they get a little too much praise, especially in bands. This is nothing I wont make an exception for if a guitarist is obviously trained in playing classical guitar or some other fancy show off-y skills much like I find Rodrigo y Gabriela to be. So for them and their fine talents, an exception is made.

I decided to look more of them up. It was harder than I expected. When I hear someone make an indie music joke, I think of groups like RyG. Their myspace currently has 15 friends and they made two live performances last year on late night shows. You would think that after being shown on a late night you'd get a bigger fan base on myspace. I don't know what's going on in this world.


I often enjoy listening to covers of Stairway to Heaven. I also often wish people would stop touching beautiful music and defiling it until there's nothing left but fecal matter. In this case I was very pleased. They switched things up a bit, Rodrigo showing off what I assume is some of his finer playing, making it seem effortless and easy. Gabriela joining his sound perfectly, livening things up and balancing the sound. Ultimately leaving us with very pleased ears.

Or maybe it's just me.

I was pleased to hear that this duo has 4 albums and 2 live albums out. Their latest album, 11:11 can be found on their site, along with a free download of their song Triveni in case you're not sure you want to spend your money on them yet.

Their site can be found here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Berry

I've always been fascinated with other languages, especially in music and even more so when incorporated with a language I can understand. This has exposed me to genres of music I can safely say I might have never experienced had it not been for my curiosity of the way languages sound in music.

It's because of this language barrier, and the occasional use of English, that some time ago I met a band called Dir En Grey through a friend who absolutely loved the Japanese culture. Dir En Grey is one of my favorite Rock bands, experimenting with many different styles in the time they've been around, they almost instantly amazed me in their diversity. This doesn't mean they don't have things I simply can't listen to. Enough of that, I'll get way more into them in some other post.

For today, I'll talk a little about one particular song that caught my ear. The actual song, the Japanese bits, sound very, well, average. Nothing too special. No amazing musical composition, though I've been told that lyrically, they exceed expectations. Not that this matters much when I can't make out a single thing they sing, but that's okay, because what really captivates is the sound of... someone.


I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I'll be good. 

I'm gonna...

When I first heard this, I freaked out. I was listening to a playlist of Dir En Grey songs, some upbeat Punk-related Rock stuff, and all of a sudden I have what I imagined to be a young girl threaten me. I couldn't say I soiled my pants, nothing that bad, but a bit of an unexpected twist that made me question whether or not I was still listening to the same playlist. It quickly transitioned and... Well it didn't fit quite right. Then again before the halfway point of the song, it switches to an Arabic sound with dialog. The song then confused me and lead me to imagine different scenarios where the pieces might fit better. The song has been my own little game since then. I enjoy occasionally listening and making up different scenarios as to where this little girl and her life fit in with the rest of the song. 

In my eyes, it's the musical version of a horror flick.. Which is nice because it's kept short and doesn't end up boring me.

The song is found in their Macabre album which is extremely cheap and can be found here.

I love sarcasm.

But honestly, the reviews there are pretty honest. Maybe the album or song can be found for cheaper download on itunes or something. You should look it up if you enjoyed Berry or stuff. Yep.


Monday, February 21, 2011

In Search of Sunrise 7: Asia

As some of you may have noticed, it's Monday. Hurray! Happy Monday! Monday should also be happy music day, and to enforce that, I'll be talking about happy music.

The 7th and final compilation by DJ Tiësto in the In Search of Sunrise series, 'Asia' gives a relaxed and mellowed out feel. If you're just gonna sit down and listen to it all, it IS possible to get bored, though I'll say that I enjoy the album any which way. Be it taking a stroll or leaving it on as background music.




The first two songs on disc 1 of the 2 disc set. Feel the Sunrise and Wasted. If you feel like listening to it through, you'll realize it transitions from slow and relaxed to a club/house feel. You can expect similar transitions throughout the disc. The second disc in my opinion is a bit more pumped and hyper, as if the first was the warm up and the second is the main attraction. I like the first disc more, personally, but that may just be as I use it primarily to relax and lower the heart rate. Feels nice. Anyway, a  song from the second disc.




This one is titled Crossroads and as stated, can be found in the second disc of Asia.


At 2 hours and 20 minutes in length, not many people actually like all the songs on the album, and it's completely understandable as this is one DJ's ideal mix. He's pleasing his ears before ours, and in my eyes thats admirable. I really think when you try and please as many people as possible, you ruin the idea. So when I dislike a song or two from an album, I figure it to be a good thing. Maybe one day my tastes will change and 'll enjoy it all. 


Buy it if you love it.


I refuse to go off subject on and on and on. I stop now. Have a happy Monday people.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two Spot Gobi

Another rushed post! But that's okay because I'm going to introduce a few of you to a band called Two Spot Gobi who have a bit of a twisty Jason Mraz-ish sound.

They've been around since 2005 and judging by their first single, I can't imagine why they're still in an indie label. Talented, refreshing and smooth, it's surprising to me and their fans alike. I shall post their first single titled: Sunshine Lady.


I can imagine myself in a beach, on a hammock, playing this on some cheap speakers as I sip some passion fruit juice. I really can.

I don't often approve of Pop-Rock sounds. There's the occasional gem, but too many people think that just because it's an easier sound to make, that they don't need to actually have talent. This is very wrong and because of this I often think negatively of Pop related artists.

However in the case of Two Spot Gobi, they bring something different to the table. The use of the cello and trumpet along with well sung and fairly written lyrics make this one of the better Pop bands, giving the genre some hope for more future talents.

I'll honestly say that the best song I've heard from them was the one posted above. This does not mean they can't make more wonderful songs. They can, and I'll post another one I like just because I have to leave soon and can't rant. Woop.

It's titled Borrowed Time.


Simple. Talented.

If you like the humble Two Spot Gobi you should check their site out here.

I'm sure if you supported them in some way they'd be grateful. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Bloody Beetroots

You may start skimming this post.... Now.

Normally I wouldn't consider doing a post about the Beetroots, but since I can't seem to fit my mind around anything else at the moment, I'm going to have to. The reason for my intense focus is that I've recently found out I'm going to have the privilege of seeing them again, alongside Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi and others.

I may not be typing in caps, or excessively using odd words like 'OMAGAWSH' but I assure you, excitement is an understatement right now. But why? They sound nice, but it's not like arena tickets to Daft Punk, or getting shot to the past to watch the Beetles live...

However, my first live Electronica experience was with The Bloody Beetroots. I didn't know who they were, all I knew was I wanted to see The Prodigy and that was all my $31 tickets were for.

Once inside this beautiful place, I heard some cheap rock bands and a few hip hop groups before finally this duo came to the stage, wearing their Venom masks and drinking beer while they pumped the crowd up. I will never forget how the best act of the night was them, and every year since, I've hoped to see them again, to better appreciate them, and this year that wish comes true.

YOU CAN STOP SKIMMING NOW.


Their most well known hit is Warp 1977. A mix of versions 1.9 and 7.7, all made with the help of Steve Aoki's scream.


The memories. It was amazing how much control they had over the crowd. A flick of a finger and we all jumped in synchronization. You know, the way the good ones do it. At least for this genre anyway. I remember following through with the night, enjoying The Prodigy, and thinking to myself still that the Beetroots were the stars of the night. I wished I had stayed there the whole way through instead of leaving to see what other artists might have been on. For some odd reason, it was  as if I expected someone better to play. What the hell?


If possible, this one is even angrier than the previous Warp.

I remember hearing this one for the first time, the feel of other sticky sweaty bodies jumping and landing... angrily? Before the song finished, one of the two, who knows which they were masked, picked up one of the turntables and started playing it something like a guitar, revving it up and pumping the crowd. I was maybe 20 feet away and at that point, the surrounding bodies crushed me. I was at the mercy of everyone else, all I could do was jump, kind of.

Some memories. Mmmf.

They have two albums you guys might be interested in.

Romborama, their first album, which you should accompany with their Christmas Vendetta. Just because it's beautiful.

And the more recent Best of... Remixes. Which is slightly less angry


This is from the remixes and it's pretty ish. :)

I'm a happy person!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mima

I'm feeling like some smoother more relaxing music today. I've decided to talk about Mima, a Puerto Rican Jazz singer. Her beautiful voice, accompanied by some simple music, really ties her act together. Leaving an air of peace and tranquility. Enjoy Gota Dura.


I find it just a bit easy to confuse her accent with Portuguese. I believe I once read that she had lived some time in Brazil and that that ultimately inspired her style. But I can't say this for certain since I couldn't look it up properly.

It upsets me a little that it was so hard to look up her info before writing this post. It shows just how well known she is, which apparently isn't much at all. Popular amongst a small group of people in her motherland of Puerto Rico, this talented woman deserves just a bit more recognition. In my eyes, anyway.

You'll notice that in my eyes, all the artists I talk about deserve more recognition. I know how it seems, and honestly, I'm just always right. (I kid, I kid)


You might like this next one a little more, it's titled Cae.



More upbeat and friendly, yet still as smooth and charismatic. You don't have to know Spanish to appreciate these sounds, and thats why it baffles me that so little know of her.

It was 6 years ago when I first heard her, it didn't captivate me too much at the time. Slowly but surely, I grew into it and I'm quite glad I did. Sadly, I've heard she's been experimenting with a pop rock sound. I can understand I suppose, but I don't believe its where her best bet is. She can deliver a very mature sound. That's not something you should just wash away with some simple pop rock.

Sigh.

Her only album is self titled and you should probably check it out.

There's samples and things, in case my post didn't entirely convince you.

Smiles.

Yet again, I should not be expected to post too in depth this weekend. I'll probably make a couple of shorter less thought out posts justs because yes. Time and things. Tsk.

Have a nice weekend yourself too yes? Yes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cannibal Ox

I'm going to make it clear just how difficult it is to find genuine rap artists by stating that the following rap duo hasn't made an album since 2005 and it doesn't look like they will any time soon. They have gone their own ways and continued making music, but the feel that they gave as  a group really brought me in.

I first heard them many years ago, before I really got into analyzing music, while playing Tony Hawk's Underground, or T.H.U.G. ... And thinking about it, T.H.U.G. and the previous Tony Hawk games had a nice variety of good Hip-Hop.

The song I heard was Iron Galaxy, I can only assume the subject is what they know best, New York City. With a spacious feel, the title really fit. The lyrics were strong and complex. The way it should be.


Not many people would pay attention to a single rap song for longer than 3 minutes. This song lasts 6. Needless to say, the song, or the duo, aren't the most popular subjects out there. But I'm sure if the average Joe tried to rap, it wouldn't last longer than 2 minutes. Sure it's two people, but that doesn't make it any less impressive.

Well anyway, one day some years ago I remembered that song, I looked it up, found Cannibal Ox, told myself:
'Damn... I need to get me some more of this'.
And so I did and I was not disappointed. I got myself their first album, The Cold Vein. The first time I heard it all the way through, though, I'll admit to you upfront that while their lyrics are of extreme quality, the music... is not. It gets boring, and if you are to enjoy them you simply must place all your focus on the lyrics.

Tasty lyrics though. I mean damn. With meaning, it's not like your average every day rapper on MTV that has a boat or has  all the bling. Real, meaningful lyrics.


Again, long song. But you can't blame them for bringing such talent by default.

The Harlem based duo is made up of Vordul Mega and Vast Aire, who I've grown quite fond of since finding out he was featured in a Spanish rap song from one of my favorite Spanish rappers, Tote King. Just the fact that it was rap, purely lyrical, and it was in two separate languages, intrigued my ear.

For those of you who might be interested in the bi-lingual song:


Definitely easier to listen to than Cannibal Ox, shorter, and yet the lyrics, ehhhhhhhh. The track is called Jugar Duro which translates to playing dirty. Subject to interpretation.

I think tomorrow I'm going to talk about another soothing female voice, yeah? We'll see.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Focus

I don't know about you guys, but I like many different kinds of Rock, and by far one of my favorite kinds is Progressive Rock. That brings us to a band called Focus which I will be focusing on today. Look Ma'! A pun!


 Focus is a beautiful progressive rock band from the Netherlands. They've got a decent sized fan base, but I don't believe it's quite large enough for their talents. Then again, I'm silly...

 They've been around since the late 60's but I only just found out about them during the latest Fifa World Cup because of a series of Nike commercials, 'Write The Future', that featured one of my favorite songs by them, Hocus Pocus.


Again, a live performance worth watching. Harder and harder to spot as the years go by, but always impressive.

Now as I previously mentioned, I had heard THAT song on some commercials, but upon seeing that performance, I couldn't stop. Thijs van Leer, the one responsible for piecing the band together, can be seen to be in some odd kind of tantrum, some weird Opera-like singing, his widening eyes. I laughed and I knew I needed more. I can't say I love all their music, I can however say, that I enjoy most of their music, and recognize the talent in all of it. Which is to say a lot, since it's not common for me to like most of the music of any artist.

Now I'll show you my other favorite titled Anonymous.


When I first heard this, my initial thought was something along the lines of 'ehhhhhhhh'. That however, only lasted 22 seconds. As soon as the flute comes into play, a more lively music takes over. As opposed to that... odd march thing.. Dunno.

I felt that the flute in this one really gave it a bit of a Jethro Tull feel, which I enjoyed very, very much. The sound seems balanced and different which is something of a necessity for me, it wont bore me now or for a long time, and I value that highly.

So these are my favorites. As not to mislead you on what this band is about, I'll show you one of their most known songs, titled Sylvia.


Now, to be honest with you, the first few times I heard this song, I liked it. Ish. But I wasn't really into it. There wasn't an extra UMPH or anything. However upon re-listening today, I've grown quite fond of it. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's the fact that I remembered it that lead me to hum along. Maybe my ears have simply matured. For whatever reason, I enjoyed this more so now than I did some months ago.

If you've already heard of Focus, why did you read this whole post?!

If you didn't, I hope you enjoyed, and if you'd like to get into them, I recommend their album: Hocus Pocus: The Best of Focus, for a quick introduction to Focus as a band.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One - Swedish House Mafia (Short on timeeee)

I hate running low on time. I love being able to relax and enjoy my day with some music in the background and lots of focus. Today is not one of those days. So I'll leave you with one song that occasionally rings over and over in my head ever since I heard it live.

It's called One by Swedish House Mafia and it's considered to be of the House genre. You could say it's somewhat monotonous or boring and you could say that the version with Pharrell is better (just add 'your name' to the song title or something), but I find it to be ridiculously catchy.


I jumped up and down to this song in a pathetic attempt at drunken dance for what seemed like 10 minutes and was probably longer. Granted, it was a bit more varied than this official version, but it was the same sound. Needless to say if you like this you should see Swedish House Mafia live. Not disappointing.

Finishing the post off with the Pharrell version. I like him, he's cool. But I don't really think he was necessary. Dunno. I am sure others will disagree as he does add some charisma.

RANTING.

 Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I've been really trying baby

Tryina hold back this feelin'

For so long...

It's valentines day guys, and I don't care if you're single, taken, married, or in some complicated mix of all the stated, it's time for some classic slow jams, dammit.


You click that mofo as you read the rest of this.

So you grab some roses for that woman. You affectionize the hell out of that boy. You buy that fancy hand lotion you like to use on yourself (NO SHAME HERE). Find that childhood album. Look at that movie that makes you cry every time. Find someone or something you love and express that love even if only you get to know it. It's personal. It's yours. Too much depression over the fact that we only look at one specific type of love. Pfsh.

Me? I'm gonna listen to all the music I haven't heard for over a year. It's time to caress my ears with sweet bliss. I'm not ashamed to say Petrucci's rifs excite me, or that Marvin Gaye's voice puts me in the mood, pfft. No shame.

None.

Side note: Marvin Proves that if you're near perfection,the universe will rid you. Nothing left to do here if you exceed perfect is there? :(

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The 3 Mims/ RealityFusion

Quite some time ago, when Merton was in his rise to fame on youtube and chatroulette wasn't flooded with increasing amounts of male masturbation, RealityFusion came imitating the idea of interacting with chatters via webcam to make some generally funny videos... Which seem to have gotten deleted? Oh my. Just take my word for it. They were decent. However that took a quick turn for the worst, and didn't last long.

You can only improvise so much on 'Penis'.

He followed that with original works of music and some covers too. An impressive one in my eyes, is a cover of Ke$ha's horrib-- er, decent.. song, Tik Tok.


Seriously. How does she sell shows out without this guy? I can understand it's popular but sold out... WITHOUT 3 MIMS? It disturbs me.

Moving on.

As you may have seen, he's not the prettiest guy out there, according to common day society's norms. But his talent surpasses. Look at Prince! I mean sure, Prince is definitely a bit more advanced in his music, but the point is music is for the ears, not for the eyes. If more people grew to understand that, this guy would be on VH1 right now with much less struggle than he's going through now, even though well, he seems to be doing pretty decently on youtube. I want to share a song where he's honest with himself and with the people watching. In my eyes it was truly beautiful, and within all the videos he's posted, I think it's one of the most under appreciated.

Naturally that means I want to post it. It's titled I Just Don't Care.


Oh geeze, I'm such a sap. The first time I heard this song, I'm sure I shed a tear. And dammit that's not cool. But if I can feel for the guy and his wonderful music, I certainly hope some of you do too.

Switching this up to something a bit more fun on the last video of his I expect to post, just to show that he is a varied artist and deserves some respect. I present a rap medley.


It sounds a bit funny, what with the type of swearing and some odd transitions here and there. But give the guy what he deserves, how often do you hear about someone singing not just a rap cover, but various, and somehow making it work? I'll answer that for you. Not very often at all. There is talent here and it begs to be discovered by bigger audiences!

If you like this man, check out his channel here. He's amazing and won't disappoint you.

And if you do check his channel out, and you do enjoy his videos, consider a donation. Even a small one. I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you really got something out of his talents.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Posting a Quickun'!

I've got  too much to do and too much to look forward to, so today I'm going to present a song I've played over and over this week. Just because I felt like it. It's called Garden Grove by Sublime and it can be found on any version of their self titled album. If you haven't heard of Sublime, uhm... How? They're fairly well known, more so after the lead singer, Bradley Nowell, died. But I guess its possible. Check them out if you don't. Even if you don't like them. It's classics, you should at least know them. But you don't have to pay attention to me, it's ok. I won't get offended.

Personally, I'm glad they disbanded after Bradley's death. Anything besides him would've been a different band, and I stand to think the same with other bands, despite them doing otherwise, such as Drowning Pool.

Back to the original subject. This song starts off modestly, nothing amazing, but some nice vocals, some smooth sounds, and a subject open to interpretation. There's a point in the song where the song really picks up, that'd be the understandable bit where he says: 'Pull over there's a reason why my soul's unsound'. 

He proceeds to state a number of reasons which end up being pretty catchy. At least I like it a bit much. But eh it could just be me.

Haven't heard it? (sigh) Have heard the album but don't remember the song? Wanna re listen to that amazing sound but too lazy to just look it up? I'm posting it. I understand being lazy, trust me, and I like things being done for me too. For those of you who enjoy decent Ska sounds, enjoy. For those of you who don't, oh well!





This post took me less than 15 minutes to write and I am damn proud.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ankla

It's Friday, Egypt is happy, and the rest of us are (hopefully) lowering the stress levels. There's a nice weekend ahead of us and as soon as that's over with, it's valentines day. Not sure what I'll do Monday, but tomorrow and Sunday I'll actually have a weekend, so my posts will most likely focus on individual songs instead of artists or albums. Meaning it might be mainstream stuff that hasn't been properly appreciated.

For those of you who don't have a valentine, who are mad, stressed, or who are just up to hearing some downright angry music, today's post is for you.

Ankla is a Heavy Metal band, put together by some of the members of the Puerto Rican Nu Metal band, Puya. (I'll get into Puya another day, I'm sure.)  

For those of you who haven't heard of Ankla, they're a sweet blend of Latin and Metal flavors, similar to Puya, but quite a bit stronger as well.


The song 'Persistence', which is found above and in the EP of the same name, they demonstrate that whilst having the talent to be beautiful, they refuse to be so for a full minute. With only a few seconds left for the 60 second countdown to finish, Ankla quickly switches things up to their normal, heavier sound.

Now, I've had the wonderful opportunity to see them live, and I was pleased. They provided a basic show, nothing fancy, but the sound and ambiance tied everything together nicely. It was definitely worth being deaf for two days, getting drenched in beer, and accidentally elbowed in the head by a mosher who seemed to have flown a few feet to reach me.

It was that good.

But alas, I enjoy my Metal quite a bit, and I don't think everyone would agree to their talents.

Warning: I found the next clip to be fairly louder than the first. Might just be me, who knows.


The Latin roots can be better appreciated on this song, found in the album http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LK0BOU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=d4andmus-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004LK0BOU

If you like them in digital/CD formats, you're bound to love them live. But to the best of my knowledge they're no longer touring. Problems with band mates and what not.

I'M NOT SURE.

But if you do see them, buy a shirt. They make pretty shirts.

If you like Ankla, they have this myspace with a buncha more songs and stuff if you like. Iunno.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gotan Project

Do you happen to like some casual Tango? Don't mind the occasional dabble in electronic music to keep things youthful? Love that classic Argentine feel, and maybe don't know how to start or who to look for?

Let's get talking about the Gotan Project.

With members well grounded with Argentine roots, we find our band in Paris, France. Odd, considering most of the vocals I have heard have been in the Spanish language. Beautiful, mature delivery, as heard in the song 'Época' below.






That song can be found in an album I recommend called La Revancha del Tango, or, The Tango's Rematch. The translated lyrics tend to be fairly powerful, the emotion can be heard in her voice as she sings. But if you happen not to like her singing, you're still in luck. Half of the album is instrumental and just as pretty to listen to. And that's just THAT album. They've been around since 2000 and have 8 juicy albums to get your hands on.






Above, La Gloria By the Gotan Project on their album, Tango 3.0




On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, Merton, The youtube piano improv guy, totally posted a video a couple weeks ago. I just saw it now and ee'd like a little girl.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DJ LK

I'm gonna start off saying this is gonna be rushed tonight. I'm not gonna be proud of this, I enjoy taking my time and making sure everything is as close to what I imagined before actually posting. Today, f*** that. Overload of work combined with previously scheduled plans totally threw my timing off. I suppose I could leave this for tomorrow, but instead I'll switch this up a bit.

OH YEAH

Today I'm gonna give my opinions on a Brazilian Mashup DJ, DJ LK.

He's not perfect, which only makes his music more exciting, to me, anyway. His mashups often have a Brazilian air to them, but more so often just takes two completely different sounds and mixes them in such a way that just.. works. Or not. Some of the tracks are painful for me to hear, Like his Metallica VS Bob Marley track. But it takes guts to try something so varied, and it definitely could've been worse.

Let's stop focusing on some negative and present some positive vibes!

You should click here to hear an amazing Beatles Vs Amy Winehouse mashup that I'd love to make prettier, but fear my dinner might be on the verge of burning. You're all wonderful.

Le sigh! If I was less OCD, I'd just stop right now, tell myself: Hey, the world wont end.

BUT IT WILL.

So I'm going to feed you another link to a B52's/Britney Spears track,

Before I link you to his Soundcloud so you can check the rest of his stuff yourself.

Seriously, I can't promote this guy without feeding you guys at least a COUPLE decent songs. With that I leave, my chicken is burning.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Liquid Tension

A few days ago I was checking out a blog that posted about Dream Theater, a band I enjoy very much. But Dream Theater, while having the capacity of making beautiful music, can go a bit overboard. No disrespect to the band, I'm a supporter, but there's a point where you go from 'EFF YES' to 'Meh'.

I'll still most likely go to their next gig, but only because I've never had the possibility of seeing Liquid Tension.

A Jazz/Rock fusion created by DT's ex drummer Mike Portnoy


Their albums usually varying from a light upbeat sound like above, to a bit darker, essence of Dream Theater feel.

My favorite album, though, has a more improvised feel. That's because, well, it is.
One fine summers day on 2008, Liquid Tension Experiment, a group of four, were about to play a gig in Chicago. Little did they know they were actually an instrument short!


I know, I know, it's worse than hearing your in-laws ask for babies. And if you don't know what that sounds like, just slightly better than the clip above. It's the beginning of the show and the keyboard simply wouldn't work properly! The rest of the hour was spent in one huge elaborate jam session, making for a spontaneous album and  showing us just how easy professionals can improvise given the right mindset.

Any DT fan should know about Liquid Tension, but if you're not, or if you haven't heard of this album, it's called When the Keyboard Breaks: Live in Chicago, and it's really excellent.

I'll end this post with an ACTUAL song from said album, to give you a feel of what it's really like, if you're interested.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Céu

Happy Monday, whoever you may be! And if it isn't happy, we're gonna try and change that with some wonderful ear candy. Sounds good? Sure does.

Today I'll focus on a beautiful woman, with a smooth, defined voice from Brazil. They call her Céu, you might have heard her in Starbucks, and she likes a simple, jazzy sound with a dash of African percussion, which compliment her soulful voice perfectly. And if you happen to admire the Portuguese language, it'll only get better.

What really impressed me at first, was the fact that she didn't only sound as good live as in her albums, but better.


If that's not baby making music to you, we shouldn't get married.

There's a classy aura to it, in my eyes. A beauty of seeing she doesn't have to try too hard, while delivering something pretty. And the fact that I don't understand Portuguese too well makes it a bit more exotic. Like acknowledging what she's trying to say off the tone of her voice alone.

Now to be fair, without her band, if she were to play to an electronic beat or to a pop/rock sound, it'd be much less magical. The combination of her skilled yet simplistic band along with her gentle voice is something that shouldn't be taken back. Sometimes, things are just too right to change.

Above, her music video for 'Roda'. Enjoy.


Loving the sound of Céu?
Maybe you can't see the videos posted?
You should probably check her site out.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Orange Sky - Dat Iz Voodoo

In Trinidad & Tobago, a tiny set of islands off in the Caribbean, a band called Orange Sky is known and respected.


You see a few of guys in dreads. The front man has a biker feel to him. Bit of a scary thing going on...
Hm.
They may look like the Caribbean/rustic imitation of Korn


But don't let that throw you off. The sound is pretty different. On their album Dat Iz Voodoo, my personal favorite and to the best of my knowledge their most recent release, they find a perfect balance of Ska, Hard rock, and softer rock tones. A round of applause for their rise to local fame on an island where the "normal" music scenes are Dancehall, Hip-hop and Soca, (which is a metallic percussive sound, to those who may not know.) Amongst other similar genres.




Above, Orange Sky covers Is There Anybody There, originally by The Scorpions. Showing their softer side early on in the album before eventually throwing you off with something a bit faster, which makes up about 70% of the album. Not to say these songs are just the type to listen to for a short adrenaline rush. But if they were to have a mainstream hit, it would be a stronger song, and it would sound like


The general sound isn't really new, and the levels of experimentation they go through are minimal, showing nice progressions to keep from getting boring. The real smack to the face, if there is one to you, should be the interesting accent you'll hear in the singing/rapping. I think we're all accustomed to hearing people sing and  finding that the accent in song is generally universal, where as in Orange Sky, you hear a thick accent, making it seem as if a Reggae artist decided he preferred Hard rock all of a sudden.

If you liked 'Run', you can expect to like most of their work, at least for this album. 

Orange Sky are signed by an indie label, they're humble and I'm sure they appreciate any support they get. That includes spreading the word and helping them reach a broader audience.

De Facto

Let's just start this with a: This post sure as fuck isn't for everyone. But then, you'll never know unless you try.

The first dub band I heard, and admittedly the only one I'm fairly acquainted with, is the disbanded De Facto. This group existed before At the Drive-In and the better known,  The Mars Volta. Both some fairly excellent musical subjects, but I'll save them for later. Let's just mention however, that the key to all three is the amazing collaborative duo that is Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedrix Bixler Zavala.

Enough with the boring details.

The first time I heard De Facto, I thought: Reggae from space in America with Latino tendencies.
Wait what?




I won't hate you if you think different. But that's one of the many vibes  I get with these people. I find it to be well balanced, but I also see potential irritation to the untrained ear. I could never imagine a track quite like that going mainstream, and if it did, surely I'd be living in my own personal wonderland.

The lyrics in general are enough to say there are some, but still very instrumental. If you're looking for deep meaningful lyrics, don't listen to De Facto. However if the sound of a well played jam space reggae appeals to you, look further into them.



Above, what I consider to be creepy/trippy music. There's words in there. Sure. But the base of it is a mellow bass line and active percussion. Could be great for sitting back, chillaxing, and tuning yourself with, well, whatever you might feel the need to be tuned in to.

De Facto isn't for everyone. If you have signs of obsessed love for pop, pop rock, modern day r&b or anything shown on MTV, De Facto may not be suitable for you. Common side effects in long term enjoyment of De Facto include decreased stress, a general love for reggae and sub reggae genres, appreciation for bass and for associates of Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler.

Ask yourself if De Facto is right for you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Watsky

Previously I had mentioned good rap. Every day good rappers are harder and harder to find, leaving us to get used to mainstream SHIT. With the decline in good artists in a genre originally dominated African-Americans, there's been an impressive increase in good Caucasian artists, such as Atmosphere, Asher Roth, and the ever popular Eminem.

I think the word Caucasian is funny, particularly because it has the word 'Asian' in it and Caucasians rarely look like Asians. I'm sure there's a perfectly good grammatical explanation for this.

Anyway.

About a week ago, I stumbled upon some Caucasian talent. The video was titled something along the lines of "New Eminem" or something. I can't remember. In this video was George Watsky, rapping very well.



 I was impressed by this pale kids talent, and  searched for him on youtube to see if there was any more. There was. I spent the next couple of hours paying close attention to the lyrics in the mostly spoken word masterpieces in his channel. Only 15 videos currently, but taking less than a few extra minutes for each one to fully absorb his message would be under appreciating his time and effort. His work often demanding one to listen closely, replay the video and listen again, because surely you'll hear something the second time you didn't understand quite well the first.


You wont find a similar message on a Kanye West album. As he delivers lines that you may never memorize, he drops one or two to let your mind wander on. Contemplating his message as he wants you to. Create debate, think, learn, feel.


Wanna grab a pizza and go to war?


This young talent could go far, but they all need help. I've yet to listen to it, but one day soon I hope to own the Watsky Album which apparently is available for download on itunes. Even if you don't have the resources to support this talent, share his videos.

Let him be known.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Metal and Rap

A lot of people seem to think certain genres aren't really music. The most common understandable examples are with rap and metal. 

Metal has an interesting view with people who generally listen to softer music, be it pop or classical, metal to them isn't real music because it can often be too loud, noisy, seemingly unsynchronized and downright not what they're used to hearing. Does not liking it make it any less music than it is? No. You can not like it and say it's music, even if you don't like it, someone out there appreciates the fact that it makes sense to them.

To view it plainly, I might think your car is ugly. That doesn't mean it's not a car.


This is Dillinger Escape Plan, mathcore. Despite what some might say, it's music. It's not within my tastes quite yet, but I recognize that the talent suffices enough to be music.
Kind of..


Now, rap is different. It's a genre that doesn't quite resemble any other, except in recent years electronic music and "R&B". The most sensible argument to rap not being music is that the instrumentation is monotonous and that the verbal talent would be the same on books. This is usually truth, and can only be argued by accepting the fact. 

Accepted.

Now let's understand why it could be. Rapping, or at least, rapping well, is difficult. It is spoken word with a beat, so you can listen to a message and not get bored of hearing the same voice say, sometimes ridiculous or otherwise boring things. Basically, it's a somewhat difficult form of expression. This means that even if it weren't music, it's at least an art form. And if all music really is, is ear candy, and you enjoy hearing an art form, what's to stop it from being music?

Granted. Some people think Lil Wayne is actually rapping and that Soulja Boy is a lyrical genius. Sure. It's music. But it's bad music. You should be ashamed of  yourself if you like either. Seriously.

On a semi related note, I had a dream recently that Lil Wayne came out with a single and it was good. Funny dream. Getting back on subject though!



Shown above is Lupe Fiasco. Fair lyricist. Even though there's just a strip of song looped throughout the entirety of this work, his lyrics and form of expression are what make this real music. Even if many can't stand how it sounds.



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