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Music for the day February 04, 2010, 05:22:11 PM

Videos.

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If I had a soul… February 24, 2011, 11:50:54 PM

This is a heavily modified and edited version of a message that I sent to someone on Last.fm that inquired about Arabic music.

I’ll list you some classical Egyptian artists and some places for metal from the Middle East and North Africa.   The oud, nay, qanun and tabla are played differently depending on the country you’re looking at.  Also should be noted that a downtuned violin and accordion are used in most post 1950’s modern Arab musical ensembles.

Quote from: Source

Oud
The Oud is a fretless short neck lute played with a long plectrum called “risha”. The Oud has 5 pairs of strings tuned in unison, and one bass string. The tuning of the Oud is in 4th’s (low to high: CFADGC). The Oud is the instrument of choice for singers and composers.

Nay
The Nay is an end-blown cane flute with six finger holes and one thumb hole. The technique of playing the nay requires partially covering the top end with the lips and directing a very soft stream of air against the inside wall of the tube. The sound of the Nay has been likened to weeping, but it can also be very exciting. A Nay player uses a set of 7 or more Nays, each in a different key.

Qanun
The Qanun is a lap-zither with 26 courses of triple strings that rest on a bridge of fish skin. The Qanun player wears a plectrum on the 1st finger of each hand which is heald in place by a wide metal ring. Along the left side of the Qanun a complex system of levers called “‘Uraab” allow the player to introduce accidentals during performance by adjusting the tuning in micro-intervals.

Riq
The Riq is a fish skin tamborine with 5 pairs of heavy brass cymbals. It is the main percussion instrument in Arabic Classical music, and uses a wide variety of sounds and techniques to create intricate rhythmic patterns. The riq has 2 styles of playing: the delicate classical technique and the louder folk / pop technique.

Daf
The Daf is a goat or calf skin frame drum which is used in folk, pop music and sacred music such as Zikr or Sufi ceremonies. The sound of the daf is very warm and resonant, and it’s light weight and small size allow it to be played while dancing or walking.

Darbuka
(a.k.a. Tabla, Derbaki, Doumbek) The Darbuka is a ceramic goblet shaped drum with a fish skin on one side. The darbuka is the essential instrument for dance music throughout the Middle East, loved for it’s powerful sound and energetic playing style. The darbuka is held sideways over one leg while playing.

For information on Arabic instruments in full here is a site that is very informative:
http://www.maqamworld.com/

I have memories of Egypt so I’m partial to music from that region. This site drops some of the great names of the past:

Quote from: Site

Egypt’s importance in Arabic music is shown by the fact that many of the great masters of Arabic music were Egyptian: Sayed Darwish, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Umm Kulthum, Mohamed Al-Qasabji, Zakariyya Ahmad, and Riad Al-Sunbati just to name a few. Egypt has also opened its doors to artists of other countries, some of them persecuted in their own lands. For example, when Abu Khalil Al-Qabani was accused in Syria of being a negative influence on the youth, he went to Cairo and there founded the first true orchestra for Arabic music. Egypt loves its musicians, and it is said that the funeral of Egypt’s greatest singer, Umm Kulthum, in 1975 was larger than that of President Nasser.

There is Farid Al-Atrach who was a famous actor, singer and wonderful oud player.

Quote from: Source

Farid al Atrash was born 1915 in syria to a druze family of princes which moved to egypt in the 1920’s. Farid’s Mother was playing the oud and was a singer as well and his sister Asmahan was a popular singer as well. Farid studied in a music school under the hands of the legendary Riyad al Sunbati.

Farid was an virtuoso oud player, a talented composer, a singer and an actor. He consider as one of the most important names of the arabic music in the 20th century. Farid al Atrash has left a great legacy to the music of the arab world. Farid’s career of 4 decades was long full of colours and inspirations. As a composer he composed songs in various styles. Farid maintained that although some of his music had Western musical influence, he always stayed true to Arab music principles.

The majority of Farid compositions were about feelings, romantics and love but he also composed several songs of patriotism and religous content.

Farid resume was including 31 movies where he was the star and he recorded an amazing number of about 350 songs. The Great Egyptian icon, oud virtuoso and composer contributed his work to the great artist of that time as Warda, Sabah and Wadih Al Safi.

Farid died in December 1974 at a lebanese hospital in of beirut a short time after arriving. he was buried alongside his brother and sister.

Then there is the legendary Mohamed Abdel Wahab.  More videos here.

Quote from: Source

Legendary Egyptian composer, Oud player, singer and actor Mohamed Abdelwahab, was born in 1907 in Cairo, Egypt.

Mohamed Abdelwahab made his first recording while he was 13. In 1924, it was the Prince of Poets, Ahmed Shawky who adopted him. A little later, Abdel Wahab played oud before Ahmed Shawqi and then began to write melodies to his texts by the late 1920s.
Inspired by Western melodies and French musical presentations, Mohamed Abdelwahab created a novel kind of romantic films dominated by urban sophistication. His music also turned to simplicity and innovation. The film “The White Flower” was a big success and achieved huge attendance records.
Many actresses found way to success thanks to this tendency such as Leila Mourad. Abdelwahab also introduced new musical instruments and styles leading that way to the most important musical revolution of the 20th century in Egypt and from to Arab countries.
In the 1950s, Mohamed Abdel Wahab switched to a singing career till the 1960s while he just devoted himself to composing for other singers. Thus, he composed 10 songs for Omm Kalthum, Abdelhalim Hafez, Ismahane… He was responsible for more than a thousand songs including one hundred he sang himself.
Mohamed Abdelwahab died in 1991.

There is also Abdel Halim Hafez who was a very influential actor, singer and conductor that died early.  His melodies and songs are still famous to this day.  More videos here.

 

Quote from: Source

Abdel Halim Ali Shabana commonly known as Abdel Halim Hafez (June 21, 1929 – March 30, 1977), is among the most popular and celebrated singers ever in Egypt and the Arab world. Halim was also an actor, conductor, music teacher and movie producer. He is widely considered one of the Great 4 of Arabic music along with Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, and Farid Al Attrach. His name is sometimes written as Abd el-Halim Hafez, and he is also widely known as el-Andaleeb el-Asmar (The Great Dark Skinned Nightingale). He is widely regarded as the greatest male musician ever in the Arab world.

Modern oud player that is amazing is Dr. Atef Abdel Hameed.

Hossam Ramzy and Said El Artist are the modern tabla geniuses of Egypt.

Hossam Ramzy an Egyptian professional percussionist, composer and music arranger.

Said Al Artist is also a professional Egyptian percussionist with an line of signature drums in by his name.  He prefers to make massive compositions, tabla concerts, versus tabla solos which Ramzy loves to do.

Quote from: Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Mohamed Naiem, a mainstay of the Egyptian nightclub virtuoso scene, is likely best-known internationally for his work behind Hossam Ramzy on a number of albums. Here, he’s accompanied by Ramzy on percussion, but he gets the chance to shine at the forefront on both the nay and the kawala. While the compositions are largely written by Naiem and Ramzy together, the tone is distinctly different from the majority of Ramzy’s work. There is no driving percussion, no synths or string arrangements here. The focus is very clearly on the nay, with only minimal accompaniment. The mood is somewhat pensive, as the flutes lend themselves well to such, and the content itself ranges from devotional hymns and prayers to Allah, to almost poetic love odes. This album is one of a very few on the market to show the nay in its own right, with some stunning lines here and there, but primarily in a state of contemplation, evoking a voice (which is the ultimate goal of the player). Naiem is truly the star of this album, and he makes the most of it with his formidable abilities.

Not much is known about Mr. Helmy.

Hossam Ramzy’s two disc set called “Rhythms of the Nile” explains the different Egyptian tablas and tabla beats . Here is a youtube series that is beats from many regions including the different Egyptian styles done by someone named Mansour:

Maged Serour (Turkish) does wonderful work on the Qanun.

 

Quote from: Source

Professor Maged Serour, Well known in the Middle East and internationally as one of the top players of Qanun. Professor Maged Serour is in constant demand, recording with the best artists from the region and leading the most acclaimed ensembles and orchestras in the Middle East. Up to eight years of practicing and following a conservatory program are needed to learn how to play this instrument… and Maged holds a doctorate! This is no simple instrument to play. Just try tuning the 72 strings. But when the Professor plucks this harp the sound is nothing short of heavenly. In our opinion, the Qanun is the most angelic of all the instruments… and Maged is the master. The Professor is one of the most amazing musicians we have ever encountered. [hybrid-records.com]

Little is know about the Egyptian qanun player, Amin Fahmi, but here is something from him so you can see the Egyptian style of qanun.

There is one specifically Egyptian instrument called the arghoul and it is mainly played in falahi (farmer) dance music and music from Upper Egypt (Saidi):

Quote from: Source

Arghoul (from Arabic “urgun” meaning organ), an ancient wind instrument dating from the 5th and 6th centuries played originally by peasants. Often called the Egyptian “oboe,” the Arghoul is made of 2 pipes held together by wax-coated strings from cloth or rope. The main pipe consists of 5 to 7 punctures, and segments of varying length can be added to the longer pipe to change the overall tonality and pitch of the instrument. There are 3 different sizes of Arghoul, the largest one posing the greatest challenge to the musician — the distance between the holes can be difficult to reach and the musician has to breath in constantly and blow in a circular fashion. It is one of the instruments that frequently accompanies traditional and folk performances. The oldest professional Arghoul musician, Mostafa Abdel Aziz, died in 2002.

Arghul – A double-reed pipe, also called an “Egyptian oboe”. It looks like an oboe but the Arghul, like the Kawala, can produce a soulful, wailing sound similar to that of a clarinet.

This album by Fathy Salama should give you a nice supplementary list of more modern players too:

 

Quote from: Source

Album Camel Road 1996

Credits:
Fathy Salama (ep, tara), Hossam Shaker (kanun), Ayman Sedky (perc), Gaafar Hargal (bongos), Ramadan Mansour (tabla, dof)

Special Guests:
Kamil Erdem (eb) – Asia minor, Ankara, Turkey, Fekry Sabry (hi-hat), Mohamed Mostafa (rababa). Mohamed Fouda (nai, kawala), Mostafa Abd El Nabi (viol), Mamdouh El Gebaly (oud), Moustafa Abd El Azyz (argoul), Husenien Hendy (mezmar), Ali Klay (sagat, toura), Nashat Yehya (rik), Gamalat Shiha (voc), Mamdouh Byrm (voc), Tarek El Zyn (tanboura), Somya Hassan, Khalda El Gnyd, Zynb El Horys, Abd El Hady Mohamed, Hamed Mousa (Sudanese – voc)

With “Camel Road”, the second “Sharkiat” recording produced by Face Music, it is even more clear how deeply Fathy Salama and his fellow musicians are committed to the back-to-the-roots concept. Fathy himself is continually proving this with other groups, such as the percussion ensemble “Gouzour”. The implementation of this particular concept cannot be equated with purely nostalgic and often also transfigured entertainment music emulating some other trend. Rather more, it is the case once again of asserting a claim to present current, contemporary music – although of course, with a much more accoustic effect in comparison to the first production “Camel Dance”.

Out of this arises a form of music which – in contrast to much of what appears as recordings under labels such as “world music” – does not form some unfounded conglomeration created in the minds of producers, ultimately shaped by a Euro centric body of thought, but on the contrary, adapts current trends of musical creation in an inspired way as well as traditions in actual existence in the sphere of the performers.

Encounters with outstanding instrumentalists, such as Kamil Erdem (“Asia minor”) are ultimately really ideal per-requisites for more than just a surprising and exciting sound.

Fathy Salama is one of the fathers of “jeel,” Arabic pop.

Quote from: Source

Fathy Salama was born by the Nile, when he was a child he swam there with his friends.

He grew up listening to the family radio, which played the music of Oum Kalthoum, Abdelwahab and Farid el Attrash.
Later, when he could tune the radio, he reached beyond the banks of the Nile to Jazz and to a huge variety of world traditional music.

Learning the piano from the age of six was a good beginning and was followed by gigging in Cairo clubs from the age of thirteen. Soon the kid of Shobra, Harlem of Cairo, made it to Europe and to NewYork to learn Jazz with such great artists as Sun Râ or Ossman Kareem.

Progressing to creating many hits in Cairo during 80’s, touring the world, and winning two prizes for his film sound tracks, it is with Sharkiat (is own group) that Fathy is making his dreams come true of merging modern and traditional music together, thus expressing both a message from his home country and his love of music. His music reflects his experience from the Orient and from Europe. His “success” on the music market plays a secondary role ; first and foremost he wants to be understood, and so he works tirelessly on this bridge linking traditional and modern music from the Orient.

Here is a list of Egyptian artists from Wiki to supplement all that:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Egyptian_musicians

Finally I leave you with a song that highlights how the violin is used in Arabic music.  The lead violinist is the talented Abboud Abdel Aal (from Lebanon born 1925).  It also shows how well integrated Western instruments became in Egyptian music which spread all over the region.

In this video, he plays the violin like a qanun in some parts. Absolutely impressive and beautiful.

 

I think that’s enough of a start for you for traditional styles and history. ON TO METAL (and punk?)! Surprisingly, metal is alive and struggling in the Middle East and North Africa. Hardcore punk too it seems. Here are some links for you to read regarding the history and status of metal in the region:
http://www.chroniclesofchaos.com/articles/rants/6-988_desert_demons_-_part_i.aspx
http://www.chroniclesofchaos.com/articles/rants/6-998_desert_demons_-_part_ii.aspx
http://www.chroniclesofchaos.com/articles/rants/6-1005_desert_demons_-_part_iii.aspx

This right here is an article list by Chuck Foster who highlights black metal bands from that region. You have to scroll down past his recent articles for the one on this topic.
http://www.bigtakeover.com/author/Chuck+Foster/

Webzine that keeps track of metal from that region of the world and hosts downloads, etc:
http://www.jorzine.com/

My personal favorites are:
Odious (Egypt)

Al-Namrood (Saudi Arabia)

Narjahanam (Bahrain)

Thamud (United Arab Emirates)

Dhul-Qarnayn (Bahrain) – Get herehere, and here.

Qafas (Bahrain)

Damaar (Lebanon)


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We Will Conquer The World June 14, 2011, 05:28:31 PM

Shit with [redacted] really kicked off and so did my writing.  I got C[redacted] of [redacted] and Middle-Eastern bands [redacted] and [redacted] (before I made contact with any of the members) to thank for killing my writing hiatus last year.  Their dedication and passion to their music revived something in me.  Getting to know people from the latter group only helped to fuel me onward and so those two bands will forever have my unyielding support no matter what (including personal issues yes).  Similarly, K[redacted] of [redacted] and [redacted] (they know who they are, I’ve run out of creative nicknames at the moment) have been great motivators in my personal and impersonal writing endeavors.  Two of the first people to feel something from my writing without any background story and give emphatic support in every way.  I never knew what that felt like until then.  It’s a feeling that makes your insecurities die off for a moment or two as they rave about lines that you thought were the most unimaginative and meaningless drivel a human could write.  Those two people also have my support till I either keel over or go clinically insane.  Whichever comes first.

[Redacted] though has fed me in ways that surpasses what I can do in the writing world.  The feeling that I can do whatever the hell I want if I’m dedicated enough has been renewed by ten-fold.  It’s not so much the verbal affirmations (though they do spoil the shit out of me), but their actions.  Asking me to help with concept art literally had me drawing and doing visual art outside of web-design for the first time in nearly five to six years.  Me being around them in their struggle to produce their art inspired and motivated me on the deepest level.  Helps that they’re an amazing individual as well.

Two other pertinent supports have been present through the ride via Facebook and this, along with K[redacted] and N[redacted], makes me glad I gave the stupid social networking crap a chance.  One is a wonderfully intelligent and strong woman named M[redacted] and the other is a fellow awesome New Yorker named D[redacted].  Most people on this growing list surpass me in age and experience so much so that it amazes me sometimes how I have room to even teach them anything newand worthwhile.

A mention should go out to: M[redacted] who has amazing music taste and helped connect me to the stoner, sludge, and doom underground on a more personal level.  The band [redacted] from Singapore with awesome members that support my zine and writing.  Truly good and kind people.

[Redacted] is my new writer for [redacted].  His passion has brought life to the zine at a time where I was losing some faith in the project.  Wasn’t going to stop writing reviews, was just going to end the site.  Didn’t see any purpose in having it up if it was just me.  May as well post shit on my blog like I was before.  His writing style is a little rocky but I plan on taking him under my wing and teaching him what I’ve gained and learned this past year.

I’ve grown a lot and now it’s my turn to inspire change.  It’s more than a pleasure to help those that are willing and having the same fire grow into their full potential.


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Busy Bee June 13, 2011, 06:37:02 PM

Well, seems like lately I really got stuff on my plate.  Gonna be seeing Sleep and Winter on the 22nd in NY.  A little nervous about going to my first real gig alone in the city no less, but I’ll conquer that feeling.

I’ll be going to gigs a lot more in the next few months.

In the meantime, I ripped some bass lessons from youtube and I’ll be perfecting my playing as best I can.

I’ve been having the urge to express myself creatively somehow.  Feel like I have something within that needs to be expressed or tapped into that goes outside the realm of poetry/writing.  Maybe art or something vocal?  I’ll figure it out.

Also…..family re-instated.  I am more at peace.


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New Mission September 03, 2010, 12:33:44 AM

So I figure that I am going to promote music these days and do things related to that.  Radio has always interested me so I’ll try doing that online first.  Caster.fm seems like an ok start for me.

I’ll see about other things as time goes by.


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Reviews August 30, 2010, 07:50:57 PM

Not a film about no-wave; an actual no-wave film., 18 June 2007

From: Tony Aron

Reading some of these reviews, a lot of people seem to miss the point that no-wave was an idea, not a ‘scene’ or a genre. It was about negating the past, not heralding it. I’ve read a few comments damning the film for not staying anchored in the past which is perhaps to miss the entire point of what no-wave is and stands for. Likewise, to claim the doc’s point is to prove that it was “so much better in the past” is also silly and proof that the film wasn’t viewed closely enough. On the contrary, this small film seems to suggest something much more complex and does so without any didacticism. It states, through subtle contradictions and especially with its genius closing montage (dont want to spoil it by explaining it), a very important point about the post-modern wall: that it’s impossible to criticize an entire generation for being too nostalgic (as the older bands in the film do) without being nostalgic yourself and admitting that, yes, it was so much better back then. This impedes creativity as does the general culture of nostalgia currently. It leaves us and the culture stranded. The film really uses no-wave and its ideals as a way to prove the dangers of nostalgia, even if the nostalgia is for no-wave itself.

As for the comments above, about the newer bands not being directly related or being interconnected…WHAT??? That’s completely false. Anyone in NY during that year the film presents them (2002) knows those bands were all playing together constantly. They all played the same clubs, hung out at the same bars and frequented the same magazine spreads. And I think the film is less trying to group them together than it is obviously trying comment on how the media was attempting to do so (remember those ‘brooklyn scene’ family trees in Rolling Stone, NME, NY mag, etc.?). I could be wrong, but the film seems to MOCK the whole idea of grouping so many individuals together as representative of one thing or of being of one voice. I think it’s commenting, and not so quietly, on the manipulations of media and the music industry to do so. Mass production = mass consumption, after all. It attacks the idea of “scene” and the industry’s invention of them. I think that’s the not-so-subtle point of the jump-cut edits as well. That’s a standard cutting practice in any documentary (to clean up the um’s and ah’s that retard speech)–usually it’s just masked in b-roll and stills, etc. In the case of KILL YOUR IDOLS, the manipulations are just exposed. By exposing the lie, it’s more honest in a way. Anyway, I wouldn’t say the cuts really pervert what the people say. It’s clear the editor/director is cutting out silences or blatantly juxtaposing comments to make two points into a third point (which is the art of film–creating new meanings by juxtaposing one image/sound next to another). The editing is one of the most clever aspects to me. I’d even say it mimics the herky-jerky rhythms of no- wave, as well, but that might be a stretch*. It’s definitely of an unorthodox style. Some will get it; some won’t. If you want “Behind-The-Music” and spoon-fed, pre-scripted sound-bites, you won’t. If you like video art, you will.

I saw another comment that the new bands aren’t directly related to No-Wave which is also wrong. The film maybe falters in not making the connections explicit and you may need to do your homework to find how they are…but they are actually quite connected. YYY’s have often referenced no-wave in interviews (whether or not they actually succeed in their interpretation is another matter and, i think, the point of the film– not that they are direct heirs). Liars are of an obvious ilk, particularly as their career went on. ARE Weapons are proudly waving the Suicide flag. Gogol Bordello may seem like a wild card, but as a fan, I can tell you that their first albums were produced by none other than Teenage Jesus & The Jerks’ Jim Sclavunous (who’s in the movie). Also, Eugene Hutz said himself the very reason he moved to NY was to audition to be in one of James Chance’s later bands. Flux was produced and heralded by Mike Gira from Swans. And Black Dice have an obvious disinterest in past connections, like the no-wave bands. Anyway, they all had some connection to Sonic Youth, the original children of no-wave, which IS explicitly stated by all in the film. They were all being grouped under the no-wave umbrella by the press a few years ago (correctly or incorrectly is no matter). And, besides, a truly new no-wave band wouldn’t sound anything like an imitation of no-wave, would it? It would only try to disavow itself from influence–even that of the no-wave bands, themselves. The new bands do have in common that intent to do something “new”. I think the film is trying to expose whether they succeed and how they might be able to do so or what might prevent that ability. And the target doesn’t seem to be the artists. It seems to be a culture and industry that commodifies the past.

Brilliant documentary. Watch it more than once. You’ll need to.

*(I just read on Pitchfork that the film supposedly made for $300?? If so, that might explain it’s rough and tumble feel. And considering that, the film seems impossibly epic and polished).

**(Seeing the accumulation of other posts now, it seems a lot of people confused by the film aren’t from New York or hadn’t heard of No Wave before. I doubt either are pre-requisites, but I thought it fair to point that I am from NYC and had heard of No Wave and most of the bands before. I’d imagine the deeper issues communicate across place or knowledge of the scenes though).


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Origins of Music August 04, 2010, 03:29:30 AM

Quote from: Hyperion

what songs you may not necessarily listen to every day, but “that never fails to amaze you and take you to a different place every time you listen to them.”

[…]

Maybe it would suffice to borrow from Wooldridge, who described music as being “sometimes the closest thing to a spiritual event that I have”. In this case, I’m referring to the few songs I included in this topic.

For me, I can’t really describe it as a spiritual feeling. I am just touched all around when someone shows any sign of emotion that they normally do not display. I usually end up reflecting whatever it is I am feeling from this person. Normally you can tell when something is sincere more easily if you are actually experienced with using whatever medium that the person is expressing themselves with. I can feel touched by art so it’s something that is not exclusive to art for me.

The heart of me lies within the sugarcane flute and tablas of Egypt. The melancholic flute especially reminds me of the Egypt that I will never see again. It’s not because I can’t or won’t travel there again in the future. It’s just that when you move around a lot when you’re growing up, the changed atmosphere becomes more apparent for you when you go back. The people that have stayed there all their lives don’t realize it so much due to not really changing their environment. And sure, I have moved around a lot even in the US so why is Egypt so special? I have realized that it is mainly due to how critical it was to my development. When I was in the states, I was the outcast to such an extreme extent that I remember it clearly till this day. I found an odd detached fascination when people displayed feelings of pain. I felt that it was a way of establishing a working relationship so I used to “discipline” my pet rabbit and playmates on an occasion. That all changed when I moved to Egypt though. I had actual friends for once and I actually shifted into the leadership role rather easily. The point is that, Egypt is where I developed natural relationships with people and animals. I learned empathy and compassion.

When I visited Egypt in recent years, I feel like an outsider all over again. It has changed a lot and I feel like it’s a different place than in my memories. I’m always chasing the nostalgic memories whether in dance or music. As a result, I can’t really stand the high pitched Western flutes. It is also the same reason why I like Japanese country music since they have the bamboo flute which sounds identical to the sugarcane ones. Then the hand drums remind me of the tabla.

Drums and bass is the bridge where my two musical worlds meet. That and guitar that I can related with from being exposed to the Oud and Quanun.

So in short what truly moves me the most is something like this:


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Music Theory and U July 24, 2010, 12:25:00 PM

So this is the opener to another interesting thread that I would like to share on here.

From: Dracvs

Yesterday, I entered a debate in Spanish about the current state of the music, and I think I will open it here.

So the thing is, most stars that created the music we love and adore today are passing away. The main point of this debate is that here has been some time now (I say almost 10 years) without any of those revolutionizing bands that change the way of music forever.

Let me give you a couple examples so I can explain this much better:
Back in the day, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd made such big statements musically speaking, the created genres, they marked a generation, they made progress, became innovators and vanguard musicians. Each one left their footprint in this world.

Then, in the 90’s the last sparks of universal way of communicating with music came to an end. Korn relased Follow the Leader, and Linkin Park Hybrid Theory, which, had the common attribute to be liked by everyone. Same with Oasis and the What’s the Story (Morning Glory) album. Everybody loved Wonderwall and maybe the songs and albums are not that great, but they had that way of catering to everyone without caring their social, racial or musical taste. They were universal music.

Now a days, we don’t have that kind of movement. Those songs that are so well made everybody likes them are not made anymore. I don’t know if it’s the generation but I have so many theories about this.
Stars die and keep disappearing without any other stars to replace them. Before you would have one band like Linkin Park, and 10 or more were born in the same vein. Nowadays you have isolated success in rock, like for instance, you get one Album by In Flames (let’s go with the one example everybody knows) but it’s only for In Flames Fans or for rock people. The rest of the world could care less. Before this time, when Smells like teen spirit was released everybody liked it and it was public domain music was in a very different note.

Nowadays rock music lives in its own isolation just for the fans, without those shining stars making the world move. There has been very little of those in the past years.

I wonder what you think of this.

From: Starmountainkid

Currently and for the past 20 or 30 years there is no music. I grew up in the ’60’s and ’70’s, so I can say that. You see, music used to be produced by record company exectutives who loved the music and nurtured bands and artists. Those are bygone days. Now there are only about four international corporations that control almost all the music you hear. Their bottom line is profit, and therefore music quality and creativity is unimportant.

In any music genre all the bands or performers sound the same. I an artist does not sound like all the other artists in a particular genre, he’ll never get a recording contract. It’s as if today’s music is created by a music making machine, which it in essence is.

So, the future of music? As long as the Corporate Music Industry controls the music, there is no future for music.

From: Hyperion
Quote from: Stormountainkid

Currently and for the past 20 or 30 years there is no music. I grew up in the ’60’s and ’70’s, so I can say that. You see, music used to be produced by record company exectutives who loved the music and nurtured bands and artists. Those are bygone days. Now there are only about four international corporations that control almost all the music you hear. Their bottom line is profit, and therefore music quality and creativity is unimportant.

That sounds similar to the movie industry. I own the movie The Seven Samurai, which I mention because, in the special features disk, there was an interview with Akira Kurosawa, the Japanese film director who made said movie. During that interview, Mr. Kurosawa talked about his time as an assistant director for a growing company that nurtured and trained all recruits. Eventually, all the guys would go on to become directors, including Mr. Kurosawa.

Mr. Kurosawa, though, would go on to lament how times have changed: they no longer use that system any more. Instead, it’s about maximizing the profit margin. Furthermore, assistant directors having the kind of freedom there was during his time would be unthinkable. Now, they’re made to do whatever they’re told, and creativity is stifled.

From: Me

I would like to say that during their time, most of the mentioned musicians weren’t loved by the majority. They had their own cult followings. Their origins were the Blues which wasn’t accepted by the majority during their time either.

As for music being shit now? Maybe. But I disagree that it was shit after the 70’s. During the 90’s we had some new genre’s start up even if they were still largely an underground movement. Riot Grrrl is one example. Largely sociopolitical and took influences from Punk and Grunge. It was needed since a good deal of the hard hitting rock female bands dissolved or went soft, there was mostly that pop bullshit for girls.

But yeah, I digress. It’s not only in music where the influential ones are dieing. It happened in comedy too. George Carline and Bill Hicks, for example.

From: Dhampir Boy
Quote from: Starmountainkid

You see, music used to be produced by record company exectutives who loved the music and nurtured bands and artists. Those are bygone days. Now there are only about four international corporations that control almost all the music you hear. Their bottom line is profit, and therefore music quality and creativity is unimportant.

In any music genre all the bands or performers sound the same. I an artist does not sound like all the other artists in a particular genre, he’ll never get a recording contract. It’s as if today’s music is created by a music making machine, which it in essence is.

So, the future of music? As long as the Corporate Music Industry controls the music, there is no future for music.

What you wrote reminds me of this quote I came across:

Quote

“I’ve got this idea of starting a record company. I get so tired of listening to the way everyone treats music. I keep feeling they’re selling out. And I don’t like the way artists are treated either. Bing Crosby isn’t the only one who can make records. I don’t know, I think it would be fun.”

That was Johnny Mercer back in 1942 talking about starting what would become Capitol Records. Before World War II wrapped up, there were only three major record labels (Decca, RCA Victor, and Columbia). By the time the war was over, Capitol Records became the fourth. The Big Four have switched up over the years with EMI, Sony, Warner-Chapel, and Universal emerging as the victors. The industry has just been maintaining equilibrium within that power play. Until labels become financially infeasible, it is going to continue on this way.

Also, it would appear to me that the music business has always been about business. They have to be concerned about a sustainable business model, and promoting music that doesn’t have a market is a rather poor way of meeting that basic and essential goal. A business doesn’t do anyone any good when it goes bankrupt.

With that in mind, however, there is a lot of crazy and interesting music out there, it just tends to get released on labels started up by the artists themselves.

From: Dracvs

You know, when you mentioned that, I went down and tried to remember where I read it, and today I found the DVD

Dream Theater DVD Score, a commercial success capable of kicking out of the charts some other popsie someone and staying at first place for I don’t remember how many weeks. Is one of those gems that manage to overcome the whole “is not commercial it doesn’t sell” and the “if it’s good, then it’s in a band created label” label.

Then you have story repeating itself in The Dark Side of the Moon one of the most acclaimed albums of our history. With Abbey Road…

Now, the state of the actual music as a whole, is has never been more of a show than before.

In the 60’s, the beatles, stormed the world. They sent it head over feet.

Black sabbath and led zeppelin created Heavy music. We love and loathe today.

but in the 2000, specially in this decade that starts this year, it has been: “who can make the biggest ridicule in TV and live to tell the tale”

We get Kanye West pissing with stupidity over someone actually talented (Taylor Swift), We get Lady Gaga’s Shenanigans and aluminum cans in her hair, with get Pink’s irreverence and disrespect, we get sex tapes from many places, Drug problems that are just terrible (Lindsay Lohan, Amy “BeeHive Head” Winehouse, Brittney Spears), we get stupid teens trying to become mature sex symbols (Miley Cyrus) we get androgynous… dudes (Tokio Hotel, justin bieber) and then we get empty music with nothing but chaka chaka in the rythm just to play on discoteques and bars (almost everything MTV these days)

But somehow, there are so many small stars shining out that I still have hope, so many musicians trying to make an actual difference in the world.

Take for instance muse, a no name band, that with a very strange music has taken the world by storm. So many other good bands that are just genius are getting radio time. I guess finally the world is changing once again, people probably will still love their Celebrity Realities Soap Operas of the real life, because what better than to mock others misfortune?

But there is something very important:

Very few good musicians get to the World Spotlight. And even few, manage to make a stand for what they believe.

I wish, you guys spoke spanish, because Juanes, the Colombian composer and guitarist / singer has quite the message for everyone. In a country ravaged by the guerrilla, in tatters with one of the biggest mortality rates, he still goes around the whole trying to get everyone to stop fighting. Now that’s something not everyone does. I will try and translate my favorite songs so you know what they say. and post them somehow so you can listen to them. Probably is not your style but it’s worth trying it out.

I guess people from this side of the pond think different because of the different circumstances we live in.

During the World Cup opening the Black Eyed Peas went on stage. And they, of course, were stupid, dull and without a message. Unlike the rest of the african singers and most of the latin ones. They are not even musicians!!

Now Alicia Keys has the voice, she is sucesful so….

Man I don’t know. The balance is never alright, there is always someone somewhere that is such a prodigy of the music that no matter where they stand, the label, anything. They are sure to be a success. I guess music works this way and there is no way to say this will be or will not be

I still think the music of this decade sucks and it’s horrible to no end.

From: Me

Alicia Keys is crap too. Again, you’re listening to mainstream shit with poppy stereotypical lyrics. What? You don’t think stereotypical bullshit lyric writing existed back in the day? Seriously?

Look at fucking glam and hair bands. They did it all just to get laid meaning that they only learned to play enough to be able to get women. Sadly, that doesn’t require much. Most of the stereotypical “greats” that people swoon over were great because most people don’t know to play instruments or sing on key.

From: Dracvs

Hair metal is a horrible thing that happened in the 80s and vaccined the music industry so things like Metallica could master the thrash and make it the default angry sound of the world (in a way…)

Yes, maybe alicia keys is crappy popsie, but she has an incredible voice with such a range go to waste. Still the overwhelming amount of shit we get is big enough to block the little gems of real music

Take for instance Elbow. Now That’s a really slow band that comes from the UK they are amazing, are great musicians and the lyrics are magical.

But.. coldplay gets the radio time (and their songs and music is mediocre at best, a vulgar copy of Oasis with radiohead whom are a vulgar copy of the beatles and…. well radiohead is weird I don’t understand them)

Then you have dredg another band with amazing lyrics and even better musicians, and who gets the spotlight? COLDPLAY! … sometimes I think the world is unfair in the music business. It’s a business after all.

From: Dhampir Boy

I don’t know about Alicia Keys. Her debut album was called “Songs in A Minor”, which just sounds damned lazy.

From: Me

Raidohead is a great band. Metallica, I’ve come to realize, is the pop of Thrash. Ac/DC is the pop of Heavy Metal.

Either way, Metallica had a good influence on Thrash, but many other bands contributed to it as well. I’ve come to realize that most of a genre’s sound is usually created from multiple sources during a certain time period.

Alicia Key’s voice is not that great. I’ve heard classmates sing that have the same voice range. Christina Aguilera’s voice is the one that is put to waste the most.

Either way, like I’ve been saying. Don’t look at the mainstream shit that is thrown at you. Every generation has had it’s fair share of bullshit mainstream hurled at them. It’s your choice whether to ignore it or not.

From: Dracvs

But that is not the point Sarah, the thing is:

I ignore it all. Imagine the the first time I head poker face was by Cartman in South Park. And I didn’t know what the hell was it all about!

So basically, what I am trying to say is:

In comparison with years past, the quantity (And their quality) of actual musicians that are worth a dime, is diminishing every single year. Whether they make it to the mainstream or not.

BUT, I saw something this weekend that I wanted to say here in this one topic:

Do you know who is the one leading the world charts? Is no longer MTV, is Rockband and Guitar Hero

These two games have had such a great impact in how people of young age perceive music! now you see them going broad listening to things they shouldn’t care because of their age, but somehow playing a song (even tho is plastic 4 button fake guitars and drums) connects you to the music somehow.

I mean, my Godson, it’s only 14. And he told me this weekend if I had anything King Crimson. Of course my surprise was such I almost fell from my chair. I was like

“King.. Crimson? Are you on drugs? If You are we are going to have such a fucking problem Kid” And he told me:

“No no! i heard them in Rock Band and liked it! : D ” Yes he smiles that big

Even tho he still believes he is some kind of rapper, and what not, his mind is wrapping around the concept of progressivism, and whatever lyrics he raps, has… has actual meaning! Also he got some Opeth from the same source and I am just maybe going crazy here, but I think these two games had have disbalanced our Music Society.

From: Me

I know what your point is Drac-man. I just don’t agree with it. It only seems that way to you because we tend to appreciate artists more when they are dead or when their time has already passed. The become the hype and people are always rediscovering and being inspired by the past so the trend continues.

From: Dracvs

Yeah I suppose that’s true. Influences keep being drawn from the Beatles (to me, the best band ever to grace the earth) But then again from the great masters. I wonder what will music will be in 10 years when things are not so broken (or are broken beyond repair)

From: Me

People would probably have forgotten about the Beatles and the like by then. Kids these days already refer to the 90’s music as old stuff and think music then had more meaning than today’s stuff. Ironic, no?

From: Howard

The way I see it is that music is purely subjective, always has been and always will be. I try never to knock anyone’s musical taste, just because I’m don’t like a particular genre.

As one grows older, ones taste in music tends to change or broaden somewhat. I remember the music my parents used to like and as a teenager I absolutely hated the stuff. All I was interested in was Black Sabbath and Deep Purple etc. Now I can appreciate some of the stuff my parents used to listen to as my musical horizons have broadened.

What we see as rubbish now, may well go on to be regarded as classic in years to come.

I seem to remember Black Sabbath and Deep Purple were once regarded as just guitar clanking noise by all but the youth at the time, only now do we realise that actually they were and are very talented indeed.

Music doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it require virtuoso performances on an instrumental or vocal level. All it requires is the ears of those that enjoy it.

From: Dracvs

Howard, I don’t think we can remember Simple Plan and Lady gaga as transcendental music….. hahaha

Maybe some metal act will live forever as metal never dies and the rest of the things keep dying and reviving.

From: Wooldridge
Quote from: Dracvs

Howard, I don’t think we can remember Simple Plan and Lady gaga as transcendental music….. hahaha

Maybe some metal act will live forever as metal never dies and the rest of the things keep dying and reviving.

Before I actually shove my full opinion into this thread:

Simple Plan is crap. I won’t argue that one. Lady Gaga isn’t really transcendental music, but at the same time people tend to just listen to something like “Poker Face” and immediately disregard everything she does immediately after that. I’m not saying she doesn’t produce commercial pop that serves to feed her own musical identity (all of the stuff she writes is very self-indulgent.)

What I’m saying here is that Lady Gaga is significantly better than Simple Plan, and can actually sing. Something that seems to be disregarded by people when just bashing her for bringing nothing new to the table and yet not realizing that the number of new things brought to the table has stagnated in terms of modern music for the past several years.

There is a song of Lady Gaga’s called “Speechless” that made me realize, in a live performance, that she can actually sing, and that she is, while generic, bringing an interesting perspective to the table. A great majority of Gaga’s music can have the electronic pop crap replaced with something of an old jazz sound, and it works wonderfully.

This was made infinitely accurate in my eyes when I heard her perform, on “Today”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”.

That all being said, I think “LoveGame” is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard, and she’s really trying too hard to work the whole “lol I’m eccentric” angle.

From: Wooldridge

Alright, lengthy opinion post. I like music. Anyone who pays attention to when I seriously post YouTube videos, or mention the things I like (Or checks out my Last.FM page) sees that I listen to music from just about everything short of modern country and contemporary christian music. My iTunes playlist has video game soundtracks, opera, broadway plays, metal, alternative, rap, jazz, blues, and so on. I will listen to whatever I can, if it appeals to me.

I’m not of the idea that there is one set decade where music was at its finest. I don’t think it really gives credit to bands that emerge from later decades and so on. However, I have to agree that there seems to be a decidedly… less welcoming sound, so to speak, regarding the modern music market. I’ve actually stopped actively seeking new (chronologically) music instead going to share-threads and similar things just to experience new (unfamiliar) music regardless of the time period.

Because it would make this post even longer than it really is, I can’t properly just quote the pieces I’m responding to and do the typical “bit-by-bit” post that tends to be done here, so instead I’m going to just half-generalize the things I’ve read while attempt to be as respectful to everyone’s already declared statements. There may end up being some redundancy, and for that I apologize, but people sometimes share opinions on matters. Ultimately, I’m probably going to add nothing new to the topic, but I wanted to post.

Popular bands have always been in it for money. I remember seeing an interview with Kid Rock (when he was still relevant to some degree) saying, (paraphrased) “Well, yes, we are all in it for the music. If you didn’t love making music, you’d do something else. But we’re also in this for the money, because this is good money.” Bands like The Beatles, before they found drugs and made better music, only really crapped out generic love songs to girls that screamed and peed themselves. There are bands that do things for the sake of revolutionizing the music industry, but at the same time, there are barriers they have to maintain if they want mainstream success and an attempt to have this as a career.

The most important thing with a band, or a singer, regardless of unique the sound is, is to feel connected to them on some level. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin (even though I don’t really like them), Sabbath, and so on, connected with the audience on levels that a lot of bands are still desperately trying to reach. It’s almost certainly part of why some bands are always wanting to be considered “the new Beatles”.

But it’s always been commercialized, even in the old times, when people now think music back then was somehow more “pure”– to use that euphemistically– in terms of commercialism. But people who think that tend to completely disregard something like Motown. The entire concept of Motown is “get as many singles out as you possible can.” “Hitsville, USA”. If you look at a Motown library of music, you’ll see that there are at least three copies of the same song performed by different people, and even among the same groups, there are alternative takes of a song. “Ain’t No Mountain High” was performed at least three different times. That Marvin Gaye’s performance of it was one of the most memorable is just a sign that Marvin, though being part of the commercialism that is Motown, can find a way to connect with the audience.

But as mentioned by [Me], bands weren’t always given the recognition they “deserved” until after their deaths. Both in terms of the death of the members of the band, or the simple act of dissolving it. These things happen.

Punk, grunge, and the other more vaguely rebellious and angry genres of the 80s and 90s decidedly help my point. Punk is, at its best, social awareness that brings people together on that light. People who listen to it feel the music through them, and they feel the words. If they can make it out sometimes. They could be listening to The Clash, or anything, and they’re going to feel what is being said. Or they’re listening to Alice in Chains, or Perl Jam, or Nirvana, and feeling that this music is reaching out to them in a way that nothing else has before.

Quote from: Dracvs

We get Kanye West pissing with stupidity over someone actually talented (Taylor Swift), We get Lady Gaga’s Shenanigans and aluminum cans in her hair, with get Pink’s irreverence and disrespect, we get sex tapes from many places, Drug problems that are just terrible (Lindsay Lohan, Amy “BeeHive Head” Winehouse, Brittney Spears), we get stupid teens trying to become mature sex symbols (Miley Cyrus) we get androgynous… dudes (Tokio Hotel, justin bieber) and then we get empty music with nothing but chaka chaka in the rythm just to play on discoteques and bars (almost everything MTV these days)
Taylor Swift’s music, that I’ve heard, has just come across to me as “I’m a teenager and life is hard ” on a number of levels. Kayne is a half-decent rapper, but someone like MF DOOM– or to be more mainstream, Lupe Fiasco (or, hell, Eminem)– is significantly more talented.

Gaga I’ve already touched on, and Pink is pop music. Miley, though I refuse to listen to her music because what I’ve heard sucks, I think is attempt to maintain relevance as her old career slowly becomes obsolete. She started as a child, and if she wants to maintain relevance as an ‘artist’ (using that term loosely to indicate ‘someone who is involved in the industry’) then she has to shift her appearance and other things. She can’t maintain the innocent 13 year old girl act forever.

Christina Aguilera did the same thing whenever one of her albums came out. She shifted from being all pure and teen, to basically dressing as ridiculously as she could before she went to the “Back to Basics” album and dressed like she was Monroe.

Comparably, though, Christina can actually sing, and is absurdly talented vocally.

Alicia Keys I don’t think is too bad. She doesn’t really bring anything, and I feel nothing when I listen to the music, but I like vaguely soul piano sounds.

Hair Metal, as I’ve said before, is probably one of the worst things to happen to rock music short of the over-genre-fication recently.

Quote from: Dracvs

But.. coldplay gets the radio time (and their songs and music is mediocre at best, a vulgar copy of Oasis with radiohead whom are a vulgar copy of the beatles and…. well radiohead is weird I don’t understand them)

Then you have dredg another band with amazing lyrics and even better musicians, and who gets the spotlight? COLDPLAY! … sometimes I think the world is unfair in the music business. It’s a business after all.

Coldplay is actually a bunch of plagiarists, but at the same time their Radiohead-Lite sound is something that works if I’m not really wanting to listen to Jonny Greenwood throw a radio down a flight of stairs and make computer noises while Thom sings a bunch of nonsense sentences about a dog and a fish or whatever.

That said, Radiohead is one of my favorite bands, and even if they are absurdly pretentious, I could listen to them forever.

Dredg is also really good, but I never really listen to them because I keep forgetting they exist.

Most bands, in time, will be forgotten. What keeps a lot of these people going is the knowledge that, if they leave a good memory– a good collection of music– it will remain timeless. No band wants to be obscured by time, until they’re performing at casinos for $5 a ticket as they try to get their last attempt at relevance to the airwaves. Pop Punk, as a genre, is something that I feel cannot maintain relevance.

Lady Gaga will not maintain relevance. If she tries, she’ll end up like Madonna, and not in a good way, since I don’t like Madonna.

Even, eventually, bands like The Beatles may not feel relevant anymore. A few more generation and people may think a song like “Eleanor Rigby” means as much as “My Baby Takes The Morning Train” or “Don’t You Want Me?”– songs that have become commercials, or just a reminder of how music was, but what connection people had is lost.

Pink Floyd and Bob Marley will probably hang around longer, until people stop doing drugs. (herp)

But as I said in the beginning, music is, at it’s absolute best, giving the audience something to connect to during the performance. Either the lyrics, or the music. Or the combination.

“Pyramid Song”, by Radiohead, is one of my favorites of theirs. The music starts off with nothing by Thom on a piano, but it hits me in a way that leaves me feeling utterly insignificant in the scheme of the universe. Tom Waits has some of the best lyrics I’ve heard. Nine Inch Nails, though lacking in subtlety sometimes, finds a way to conjure up fantastic concepts and stories through the whole of the album.

From: Me
Though I agree with your statement in regards to most of what you said, I still don’t agree on some key points.

You still seem to think that “artists” aren’t connected with their audiences as they used to be. That’s not true.

It really has to do with what touches or affects each generation personally. Genre not withstanding, those from older generations have a hard time relation with newer stuff. Always been that way. We’re just getting old is all.

“However, I have to agree that there seems to be a decidedly… less welcoming sound, so to speak, regarding the modern music market.”

As have been said before, it’s because we’re not looking. People just expect the good stuff to magically appear to them. That’s not how it is and it’s never how it ever was. Never mind the fact that what’s good varies from person to person.

As for Gaga, no need to even look at the performance, you can look up some performances by her on youtube under real name. She can play the piano quite well. She never got recognition that way though. People bitch about her not being talented based on what is popular and fail to realize that that’s the only reason that she IS popular.

You don’t get famous for being talented. You get famous for catering to what people want or expect.

From: Wooldridge

Welcome to “I don’t even remember what I wrote.”

Quote from: [Me]

Though I agree with your statement in regards to most of what you said, I still don’t agree on some key points.

You still seem to think that “artists” aren’t connected with their audiences as they used to be. That’s not true.

It really has to do with what touches or affects each generation personally. Genre not withstanding, those from older generations have a hard time relation with newer stuff. Always been that way. We’re just getting old is all.

Well, while I agree, I also think it bears mentioning that I have difficulty with some of the newer things by one of my favorite bands. Like I mentioned of Korn in the Metal topic, the same holds true for The Cure. I said before that their more recent album “4:13 Dream”, is depressingly shallow. Mudvayne, Korn, and other bands have the same issue.

I am getting older, and my tastes are shifting. Five years ago I wouldn’t even listen to blues, or consider rap.

Basically I’m whining that I don’t feel connected. And that bugs me because music is sometimes the closest thing to a spiritual event that I have short of getting a good story going. I have the music I like, and that I listen to, but when even bands I used to adore just make me go “Really?” I feel like I’ve lost part of myself and I don’t really know how to react.

Quote from: [Me]

Wooldridge: “However, I have to agree that there seems to be a decidedly… less welcoming sound, so to speak, regarding the modern music market.”

As have been said before, it’s because we’re not looking. People just expect the good stuff to magically appear to them. That’s not how it is and it’s never how it ever was. Never mind the fact that what’s good varies from person to person.

I get almost all of my music from recommendations from other people. So I kind of do have the good stuff magically appear me. It’s how I found bands like Man Man, Jack of Jill, or Tom Waits. I know that things actually exist and I just have to find it, but “finding” it for me consists of going to /mu/’s archives, or Pandora, and seeing what they tell me to listen to. Otherwise I just hang out on my iTunes and look for songs I haven’t heard often enough.

Quote from:[Me]

As for Gaga, no need to even look at the performance, you can look up some performances by her on youtube under real name. She can play the piano quite well. She never got recognition that way though. People bitch about her not being talented based on what is popular and fail to realize that that’s the only reason that she IS popular.

You don’t get famous for being talented. You get famous for catering to what people want or expect.

Any performance of her with a piano, even if it’s a standard single from her album, is pretty great and fits the general jazzy feel that I mentioned in the first of my entirely too lengthy posts. Gaga knows exactly what she’s doing in terms of getting famous, holding onto it, and becoming absurdly rich in the process. That she writes the stuff herself is something that I hold highly, even if I don’t like all of the music.

From: Me
Quote from: Wooldridge

“Basically I’m whining that I don’t feel connected. And that bugs me because music is sometimes the closest thing to a spiritual event that I have short of getting a good story going. I have the music I like, and that I listen to, but when even bands I used to adore just make me go “Really?” I feel like I’ve lost part of myself and I don’t really know how to react.”

Ah. I took it as a general statement. I tend to feel the same way about any band that I’ve followed for a long time as well. But a lot of the bands that I truly care for are no longer together. Music connects me to people and makes me feel closer to them…as does art. It’s one of my main connections to the outside world.How you find music is different how I have found it. Like I said, music is my bond with other people. Jack Off Jill came to me when I was 17 and I was in my second year of college. I used to spend as much time out of the house as possible and befriended during the same time a girl in the neighborhood. Apparently, we met before when we were both six years old in Queens, New York. Her father did some construction work at my house there. Either way, as part of my desire to not face home life, I skipped classes and took long rides with her in her car. The soundtrack that she played a lot was Jack Off Jill’s latets album and the song that grabbed me was Vivica…so much so that I would skip all the other tracks to listen to it. It became our song and it’s the song that I associate with her.The point of the story is that that is how music is for me. After that connection is established I usually end up looking for all the musician’s works. Then I look at all their connections in the music world (either via collaborations or genre similarities)…and that cycle continues until I hit a dead end or a musician that I am not fond of after hearing their stuff.As for Gaga, I have not listened to all her latest things because I dislike Pop for the most part. I will take your word on it though. The fact that she writes her own lyrics is indeed admirable for one in the pop business. I’m not too surprised though. She’s a smart woman if nothing else.P.S. I have last.fm and Pandora as well so I’ll check out yours out of interest.

From: Dhampir Boy
Quote from: Wooldridge

Well, while I agree, I also think it bears mentioning that I have difficulty with some of the newer things by one of my favorite bands. Like I mentioned of Korn in the Metal topic, the same holds true for The Cure. I said before that their more recent album “4:13 Dream”, is depressingly shallow. Mudvayne, Korn, and other bands have the same issue.

Which would be artists struggling to maintain a presence as contemporaries. Most artists simply cannot manage, especially in the mainstream. David Bowie was one of the few mainstream artists who could anticipate the trends and adapt well to them. Tom Waits remains relevant, and even popular, yet still isn’t mainstream (probably because he won’t let his music play on commercials). Most artists, however, try to hold onto a seat on the bandwagon and appease the fickle, attention-deficit masses only to end up with something superficial and disastrously contrived. Like Mudvayne. Only some flourish over time. Most fall into a scale somewhere between fading away into mediocrity and losing touch with reality altogether.

From: Dracvs

@Woolridge and @[Me] : I use both your methods to find new music and one more, I go to the main record labels (RoadRunner, Epic, Interscope, EMI and so forth (metal blade, soundscape and most of small european raw metal labels) and check the latest releases every so often. That way I can keep check on what’s new, undiscovered or just in plain sight. It’s not easy because you have to go through a lot of shit. Also BlabberMouth who keep track of almost all metal releases in the planet.

As for the part to stay relevant, let’s go back to the 70’s and 60’s

People say they both were the best times, is because the quantity of the bands that were born there, and created trends and rhythms is higher than in any other time except for the baroque and classical times of course.

Pink Floyd, Queen, for instance, were famous during their times not after they disbanded. heck! the dark side of the moon was not commercial and I think is one of the most successful albums ever. The dark side of the moon is dark (obviously) heavy, depressing but is also genius and it’s just amazing. And it managed to be revolutionary and top of the charts. Same with queen. yet this bands were not famous for their albums but for their Theatrics, for the scenery, for the connection with the crowd while live. Specially Freddy Mercury. that guy was the front man.

led zeppelin is one of the most raw metals that exist, and they played a lot of blues actually. Much more than metal. I saw the other day the song remains the same in blu ray and seriously, the power they sweat on-stage….. it’s incredible.

There is one other factor. Back then there was no internet, no memes, no youtube, no nothing. You had a neighbor and a tape. or a Vinyl long play in mono. And friends. The radio actually had to play some tunes. today, we have the internet and a whole bunch of bands that make no sense (most indies. they are just there. and most of pop that’s just crap anyways with the exception that exists only in Japan just to put an example)

Then again everything is subjective and music is there.

Down here in the south we have a curse, an Egyptian plague of biblical proportions and epic magnitude, it is called:

Regueton

And it’s leaving brain dead teens and adults left and right in latin america. They have the same musical beat track for every song for the past 14 – 18 years, the same lyrics (life is hard in the slums I am the king of the street, im a thug, I kill the other reguetoneros blah blah blah) also is slowly crawling to America (thing that seriously terrifies me to no end) and the worse part is, people doesn’t care about anything else but that noise!

@all of you guys:
Sometimes, I wonder, how there are bands that keep reinventing themselves and being successful and others that try and fail in such horrible way.

Take for instance Metallica. Is an old band, with an old dying genre, and still, they get to fill Stadiums and sold outs every where they go in the whole planet. How do 4 50-something men do that with such noiseful music? well for one they are the biggest most energetic act on the face of earth as of 2010. james hettfield is the frontman. And now that they returned to play the classics mixed with the new songs? hah and the sound. BROTHER THE SOUND!! the sound that comes from every speaker is perfect. I don’t know how the hell they do it but it sounds so good live in a stadium that is almost a trick to the mind but you know its live. like an animal.

yet you have korn trying to “go back to roots” i heard one song and… well not too happy about it.

You have Dream Theater churning amazing album after amazing album and giving everything on stage.

Green day did the flight of the phoenix, they were kinda forgotten and made themselves relevant again to the point that they got a rock band game with american idiot.

Same with red hot chilli peppers and their stadium arcadium (quite the amazing album by the way).

I agree, music is all about the age, the time, and situation in which it is created. and I think that’s the most beautiful thing about it.

But I don’t agree with Saturn in the thing that the music is not there and you have to go the extra mile to find it in the hidden rat holes. There are bands that are so good, they go up and get radio time (like Muse, is the most fresh example I have) and muse is anything but commercial. specially their last album is….. strange. really.

And yes! it magically appears to you hahaha. let me explain

I have seen people playing one video game, and then changing their music habit just because a couple of songs (most of what Code Masters do have unknown artists, same with some of the EA Studios).

So it has some ways to get to you. Of course, you always have to go and find more, but that doesn’t mean you can get a good start just looking around you and not seeing the commercial stuff. Remember: Internet, radio, tv, sattelite, commercials we have an invasion in all senses.

Still. Music is in a deplorable state in 2010, and I don’t see it picking up for the time being. Also a lot of people is using the autotune, doing their tracks digitally, and … well. There is a lot of talent wasted every where in the planet.

From: Wooldridge
Quote from: Dhampir Boy

Which would be artists struggling to maintain a presence as contemporaries. Most artists simply cannot manage, especially in the mainstream. David Bowie was one of the few mainstream artists who could anticipate the trends and adapt well to them. Tom Waits remains relevant, and even popular, yet still isn’t mainstream (probably because he won’t let his music play on commercials). Most artists, however, try to hold onto a seat on the bandwagon and appease the fickle, attention-deficit masses only to end up with something superficial and disastrously contrived. Like Mudvayne. Only some flourish over time. Most fall into a scale somewhere between fading away into mediocrity and losing touch with reality altogether.

It’s the desperation to maintain relevance well after they’ve reached their prime that bothers me. Sometimes a band can properly shift how they appear, and maintain a level of relevance. The Goo-Goo dolls have slowly during into generic romance-pop music since “A Boy Named Goo”, but at the same time, their attempts to present themselves like that have also worked in their favor for the most part– I think “Dizzy Up The Girl” is significantly deeper than “Gutterflowers”, and exponentially better than “Let Love In”, but they are all immediately more accessible.– However, bands like The Cure, Mudvayne, and others, have distinctions about them than, when removed, make the band just not work properly in that pseudo-connection thing I mentioned.

Depeche Mode, contradicting the idea, had one of their best albums ever with “Playing The Angel” back in 2005 or so. And then you have Bowie, Waits, and Reznor, who seem to more or less be doing their own thing and don’t seem to particularly care. Bowie more in a kind of musical futurist way than Waits and Reznor. Waits clearly is doing his own thing, and Reznor, like Gaga, I think, goes into music with an idea of what he wants to do, and will set out to achieve that no matter really what gets in his way.

It’s just disheartening to me, really, to see a band I’ve grown up with (In this instance, The Cure) struggle so desperately to maintain some sense of relevance whenever the their last two albums just kind of are lackluster compared to the previous album (“Bloodflowers”).

Mudvayne, as someone who now appreciates music infinitely more than I did whenever they first came out, upsets me on a few levels. “LD 50” was a fantastic album. And “Lost and Found” just sounds so empty.

Quote from: [Me]

Ah. I took it as a general statement. I tend to feel the same way about any band that I’ve followed for a long time as well. But a lot of the bands that I truly care for are no longer together. Music connects me to people and makes me feel closer to them…as does art. It’s one of my main connections to the outside world.

Music, for me, just connects me to everything. Sometimes intimately, sometimes not. Feeling a band fall apart, musically, as I more or less said in response to D-Man is incredibly disheartening and whenever “4:13 Dream” came out, I couldn’t listen to The Cure after that for a bit. It just disappointed me so utterly. I didn’t feel betrayed or anything, but just with the feeling that “This is the best you can do?”

Music actually helped form some pretty interesting friendships with me in high school. Even though my own tastes have shifted more from theirs, artists (such as MF DOOM) are helping new friendships.

Quote from: [Me]

How you find music is different how I have found it. Like I said, music is my bond with other people. Jack Off Jill came to me when I was 17 and I was in my second year of college. I used to spend as much time out of the house as possible and befriended during the same time a girl in the neighborhood. Apparently, we met before when we were both six years old in Queens, New York. Her father did some construction work at my house there. Either way, as part of my desire to not face home life, I skipped classes and took long rides with her in her car. The soundtrack that she played a lot was Jack Off Jill’s latets album and the song that grabbed me was Vivica…so much so that I would skip all the other tracks to listen to it. It became our song and it’s the song that I associate with her.

To analogue: Whenever Mudvayne first showed up with “LD 50” I didn’t really care for it. The screaming, and everything else, just struck me as harsh. However, my junior and senior years, I spent a lot of time with a friend of mine who loved Mudvayne, and other instances of hard angry music– I was, at this time, absorbed in New Wave, Post-Punk, etc. Rarely did I listen to anything outside of the 80s– however it quickly grew on me and I started asking my friend for similar music.

I actually really got into a bunch of bands and artists through my friends during that time.
Radiohead, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Tom Waits, Mudvayne, Every Time I Die, 36 Crazyfists, As I Lay Dying, Mindless Self Indulgence, Air, Boards of Canada, Brad Melhdau, Bowie, Deftones, Meshuggah (They had wished, endlessly, that I listen to “Catch 33”), Mr. Bungle, Neuorsis, The Postal Service, Rage Against the Machine, Team Sleep. All of these people were groups I hadn’t really been familiar with, and more or less told to listen to because I’d love them. I have memories of my friends with some of these songs. Radiohead was my friend Drew’s favorite band for a while. Mudvayne my friend Bo’s.

“I Been Gone A Long Time” by Every Time I Die will always be cemented in my memories with Bo giving me a ride home from school, cackling ridiculously at the lyrics.

I grew up, quite simple, with groups like R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails, and The Cure. My mom is a fan of the three, and so I was exposed to them a lot. She also like the alt/grunge movement from Seattle, so I knew Pearl Jam, and the like.

My girlfriend got me into people like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Placebo, Rise Against, Rancid, The Clash, and so on.

From there it kind of ranges. Some bands I found while looking at threads on places where they describe it in ways that sound interesting– Man Man, World’s End Girlfriend, and others– while people like Natalie Merchant, Amanda Palmer/The Dresden Dolls, Tech N9ne, DOOM and his aliases, were recommended to me by other friends.

Other times I just stumble onto it– like with Billie Holiday and the other people in Fallout 3. And part of me has always been a sucker for opera.

Quote from: [Me]

The point of the story is that that is how music is for me. After that connection is established I usually end up looking for all the musician’s works. Then I look at all their connections in the music world (either via collaborations or genre similarities)…and that cycle continues until I hit a dead end or a musician that I am not fond of after hearing their stuff.

As for Gaga, I have not listened to all her latest things because I dislike Pop for the most part. I will take your word on it though. The fact that she writes her own lyrics is indeed admirable for one in the pop business. I’m not too surprised though. She’s a smart woman if nothing else.

P.S. I have last.fm and Pandora as well so I’ll check out yours out of interest.

The bands I usually find in sharing threads, I usually end up looking for music that is similar in nature to stuff I’m familiar with unless I’m feeling experimental. Like when I looked at the “slowcore” and “shoe gaze” genres only to find I can’t stand most of the stuff I listened to. But at the same time I do look forward to finding new music, and it sounding like something I can’t immediately determine.

Tom Waits will probably always stay one of my favorites because it’s incredibly difficult to find things that sound like his newer pieces. Man Man comes close, but they’re too energetic, and don’t have the same hard-living sound of his things.

last.fm suggests we have a very high musical compatibility.

From: Dhampir Boy
Quote from: Dracvs

As for the part to stay relevant, let’s go back to the 70’s and 60’s

[…]

Pink Floyd, Queen, for instance, were famous during their times not after they disbanded. heck! the dark side of the moon was not commercial and I think is one of the most successful albums ever. The dark side of the moon is dark (obviously) heavy, depressing but is also genius and it’s just amazing. And it managed to be revolutionary and top of the charts. Same with queen. yet this bands were not famous for their albums but for their Theatrics, for the scenery, for the connection with the crowd while live. Specially Freddy Mercury. that guy was the front man.

Dark Side of the Moon was very much commercial. Every band signed to a major label was geared to be a commercial success because of how expensive pushing a band was. Just going by the cost of a studio. Studios used to cost half a million dollars just to build. Tape was ridiculously expensive (even more so now). Then there were practices such as payola to ensure that signed artists would get a good amount of radio play. It is only now, in the digital age of recording, that someone can just start up a band, record, and promote themselves for just a couple thousand dollars. In fact, labels expect artists to pull this off on their own first before they can be signed.

Thus, Pink Floyd and Queen were highly commercial. They had to have that kind of promise to get signed. But that promise was in rock music — and, in Pink Floyd’s case, stoners. They still were not “pop”, especially not in the United States. They were not winning Grammy’s. The Grammy’s were going to disco and folk music in the 70s. So if you want to compare them to modern music, Lady Gaga wouldn’t be the apt comparison. Compare them to Muse, who have had a song holding up on the Billboard rock charts for the past 50 weeks, and peaking at number 2.

Quote from: Dracvs

today, we have the internet and a whole bunch of bands that make no sense

Quote from: Dracvs

Down here in the south we have a curse, an Egyptian plague of biblical proportions and epic magnitude, it is called:

Regueton

And it’s leaving brain dead teens and adults left and right in latin america. They have the same musical beat track for every song for the past 14 – 18 years, the same lyrics (life is hard in the slums I am the king of the street, im a thug, I kill the other reguetoneros blah blah blah) also is slowly crawling to America (thing that seriously terrifies me to no end) and the worse part is, people doesn’t care about anything else but that noise!

I know all about reggaeton. My sister loves it. She is a professional Latin ballroom dancer and loves hip hop, so reggaeton is the perfect merger for her. Then again, she feels like the only purpose of music is to have something to dance to.

Quote from: Dracvs

But I don’t agree with Saturn in the thing that the music is not there and you have to go the extra mile to find it in the hidden rat holes. There are bands that are so good, they go up and get radio time (like Muse, is the most fresh example I have) and muse is anything but commercial. specially their last album is….. strange. really.

Muse is highly commercial. They have two songs from their last album on the Billboard rock charts. [Me] is telling me she first heard of Muse from a music video of theirs playing on MTV. I say that Muse is like Coldplay: A ripoff of Radiohead. The difference is that Coldplay is trying to rip off the mellower Radiohead that wrote songs like “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” while Muse is ripping off the more energetic Radiohead that wrote “Just”. Despite the similarity, I cannot like Coldplay and can enjoy Muse. It is easier to rip off something energetic and not come out sounding like a pompous ass.

The kinds of things I find hidden in rat holes, by the way, would include Brujeria. I found out about them around five years ago. The only other person I have met who had heard of them is this Puerto Rican kid I know from the school I am going to now (and he doesn’t like them). There is no way I could have stumbled upon Brujeria by chance, or by having them introduced to me.

By the way, you said you find out about new bands by following the web sites for record labels. How did you not hear of Necrophagist? [Me] has been wondering. Don’t keep tabs on Relapse Records?


Leave a reply

Fuckadi Fuckada June 28, 2010, 04:01:28 AM

Decided to add all of Kabuki onto the site.  Gonna be adding more links and etc over the past few days.

That aside, I’ve been immersed in Indie documentaries about music.  Punk and Grunge in particular.  Then there are the ones about metal and other things unrelated to music.

Hype!

Quote from: Amazon

This hip look at the Seattle music scene of the past decade treats the hype with bemused humor but treats the music with respect. Packed with witty interviews with band members, record execs, and Seattle music aficionados, much of the film places a welcome spotlight on the bands that didn’t become part of the national “grunge” phenomenon and scores of live clips and rare recordings show that “the Seattle Sound” didn’t begin with Nirvana or end with Soundgarden. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy this ebullient rockumentary, and if you’re not careful, director Doug Pray’s infectious love of the music may even make you one. This video features performances by Blood Circus, Coffin Break, Crackerbash, Dead Moon, Fastbacks, Flop, Gas Huffer, The Gits, Hammerbox, Love Battery, The Melvins, The Mono Men, Mudhoney, Nirvana, The Posies, Seaweed, 7 Year Bitch, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Soundgarden, Supersuckers, Young Fresh Fellows, and Zipgun, and includes Nirvana’s first live performance of the grunge anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” –Sean Axmaker

Afro-Punk

Quote from: Amazon Buyer

This is a very good movie dealing with black identity in the world of hardcore punk. The movie is made up of testimonials from several black punks talking about subjects such as the relationship of traditional African culture to body modification in punk fashion, interracial dating, being a “safe black”, and having mostly white friends. What I like about the movie is the way it doesn’t distinguish between the experiences of black suburban high school kids and famous black punks such as D.H. Peligro (of DEAD KENNEDYS). The interviewees are all ages and from all over the country. The movie is edited in a way that emphasizes common thoughts and experiences (such as the importance of BAD BRAINS). They correct misconceptions that people may have about them and their background. Some of the punks do get a little more camera time, such as the zine author from California and the black nationalist singer of the band CIPHER. The more “in-depth” segments show some of the ways black punks set themselves apart and how central identity politics are in their projects.

This movie is NOT a collection of archival footage that aims to deliver a history of black punks. At the end of the movie, some of the interview subjects are asked to name as many punk bands with black members as they can. If you’d like a thorough directory of black involvement in punk rock, look up ROCTOBER magazine’s website for an extensive list.

This movie is a welcome addition to the recent crop of punk movies since it examines an area of the music scene which often goes undocumented. I look forward to seeing more movies from the director James Spooner. You do not have to like punk music (or be black) to enjoy this movie.

American Hardcore – The History of Punk Rock 1980 – 1986

Quote from: Amazon

The history of hardcore punk–the tougher, faster, and more politically minded stepchild of the ’70s punk movement that arose in the ’80s–is examined in exuberant detail in Paul Rachman’s documentary American Hardcore. Rachman’s cameras careen across the landscape of the U.S. to trace the movement’s beginnings in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York, and cherrypicks interviews with the musicians that helped shape its sound and impact, including Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn of Black Flag, H.R. (frontman for the highly influential, all-African American outfit Bad Brains), Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and now Fugazi), and many others. Hardcore’s violent reaction against the Reagan administration and the complacent mindset of middle-class America is also detailed in countless performance footage clips and poster-art reproductions, which do much to dismiss the popular opinion of hardcore as nothing more than mindless hooliganism. Some fans may find the omission of certain bands a considerable oversight (San Francisco’s lethally satirical Dead Kennedys are not mentioned only in passing), but for most punk devotees, American Hardcore will be vital and essential viewing. The DVD includes several deleted scenes and bonus performances, commentary by Rachman and writer Steven Blush (whose book of the same name provided the inspiration for the film), and a gallery of photos from photographer Edward Colver, who covered the hardcore scene in detail during its heyday. — Paul Gaita

Don’t Need You: The Herstory of Riot GRRRL

Quote from: Amazon

Featuring:

* KATHLEEN HANNA
* ALLISON WOLFE
* CORIN TUCKER
* SHARON CHESLOW
* MADIGAN SHIVE
* JULIE LARY
* RAMDASHA BIKCEEM
* NATALIE COX
* MARK ANDERSEN
* IAN MACKAYE

“don’t need you” is a documentary film that tells the story of the origins of Riot Grrrl in the American independent music scene of the 1990s, and how this feminist movement evolved into a revolutionary underground network of education and self-awareness through music, writing, activism, and women-friendly community. The film gives audiences a chance to meet key figures in the development of Riot Grrrl and see for themselves how these women have changed the history of music and feminism forever. The film features one-on-one interviews interspersed with rare, archival materials, including original Riot Grrrl fanzines, flyers, and photographs, as well as seldom seen footage from pioneering Riot Grrrl bands like Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, and Bratmobile.

The Decline of Western Civilization

Quote from: Amazon

Centered on the early ’80s punk movement, this remains the best of Penelope Spheeris’s three attempts to chronicle the musical and angst-ridden subculture of urban Los Angeles. The film’s style, like the music, is abrasive, frank, and packed with energy, as it moves swiftly from hilarious band and fan interviews to the loud, raucous shows inside seedy L.A. nightclubs. Despite its tongue-in-cheek title, Spheeris neither condemns, nor glamorizes, the movement, though she definitely has an eye for talent and thankfully plays favorites. Lesser acts like Alice Bag Band and Catholic Discipline are given minimal screen time (enough so we understand why they’ve been forgotten) in favor of bands that either possess off- stage charisma (Circle Jerks) or onstage potency (Fear’s finale, winding their audience up with insults, is punk in its purest form). And, then there are X and Germs lead singer, Darby Crash. These two subjects comprise the majority of the film, as Spheeris hangs around their houses, captures numerous performances, and presents the movement’s peak performers. While X does it mostly onstage–their mix of thrash and rockabilly are the most enjoyable of the live performances–Crash’s stage is everywhere. A walking disaster, the singer candidly details–with simultaneously self-mocking humor and sadness–his drug abuse, miserable life, and the places that no longer let him play. The fact that he died shortly after production stamps Spheeris’s brazen time capsule with a morbid, though appropriate, epitaph. –Dave McCoy

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II-The Metal Years

Quote from: Amazon Buyers

The 80’s LA metal scene. Where the winners rose to the top and the losers died in obscurity. This vid has it all for those who love the hair rock, brain dead, heavy metal 80’s.

Highlights include-

1. Ozzy Osbourne interview in his kitchen as he’s attempting to make his own breakfast.

2. A drunken Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.) lounging in his pool slamming straight vodka and tries to conduct an interview while his obviously embarrassed mother looks on.

3. Odin. A band that was going to be the ‘next big thing’. Never heard of them? This video is the only place you’ll ever hear of them.

4. Lemmy Kilmister, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Steven Tyler, and Joe Perry inputting their own little snips and two cents randomly through out the film.

5. First hand knowledge of what it’s like to be in the band ‘London’.

6. AN early version of Megadeth and Dave’s unique insight.

7. All the bands like ‘Seduce’ who came to LA to make it big.

And of course the everyday slobs who had to voice their views on everything that is metal. SOme have a brain cell or two while most of them are straight up losers. Also who can forget the ‘de-metalizing institute’? A place where parents sent their rocker kids to ‘get out of metal’. …

Great look back at a great time for music.

Quote from: Amazon Buyer

This is about Eighties HEAVY METAL. .
This flick interviews up and coming glam bands who made their home in the L.A. scene. Also interviewed are some of the genre’s idols including Kiss, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Poison, Megadeth, Lemmy from Motorhead and of course, Ozzy.
Also, spotlighted performances from bands such as Faster Pussycat, Odin, London (Nikki Sixx’s old band), Seduce and Megadeth.
The movie’s range of topics include groupies, alcoholism, drugs, the glam image and why it attracted so many people from many walks of life.
The movie’s funniest (and saddest) segment includes filmmaker Penelope Spheeris’s attempt to interview a W.A.S.P. guitarist in his pool, drunk as a skunk and with his MOM sitting right there!
This was what I grew up on and I still prefer it to grunge or rap-metal. It was feel good music that was more interesting than the current crop of sullen/politcal rock groups that all seem to sound alike.
For those of you who looked down on this stuff, you might want to check out this documentary with open minds.(Remember those?)C’mon, you know you want to.

Metal – A Headbanger’s Journey

Quote from: Amazon

An anthropological study of Heavy Metal? Is this for real? Believe it man, it’s true, and it’s pretty darn good at that. Metal – A Headbanger’s Journey is a labor of love for director/ producer Sam Dunn; anthropologist, academia, metalhead. Like a good anthropologist Dunn has often wondered about cultures, societies, and the key elements that makes them thrive. Being a life-long headbanger, Sam Dunn decided to turn his academic skills onto himself to study and attempt to explain the often misunderstood culture that shaped his existence and millions of others around the world. Structured like a traditional anthropological journal, Metal – A Headbanger’s Journey is broken into sections such as “Origins,” “Roots,” “Environments,” “Culture,” “Sexuality,” “Religion,” and “Death.” Many topics are addressed such as identifying the first heavy metal band, what in the music defines the heavy metal sound, why heavy metal unites fans from around the world, why the music has been a target for so many watchdog groups, and who really popularized the heavy metal horn salute. For non-metalheads, the structured approach keeps the documentary on track and prevents it from getting cartoonish and too fan-based and self congratulatory. Metalheads that don’t care about film’s structure, will thoroughly enjoy the interviews of metal’s elite (including originators Tony Iommi, Alice Cooper, Dio, and Bruce Dickinson to modern day heroes Tom Morello, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God) the music, fan commentaries and the concert footage. So raise your horns up high, turn it up loud and check out the best Heavy Metal film ever made. Metal – A Headbanger’s Journey will not disappoint. –Rob Bracco

Global Metal

Quote from: Amazon

Global Metal is the second documentary by Sam Dunn, and serves as the perfect companion piece to his documentary about/love letter to heavy metal Metal – A Headbanger’s Journey. In Global Metal, Dunn travels the globe to take a closer look at metal outside of the traditional American and European settings. Along with members of metal bands in each country he visits, Dunn gets some perspective from members of Slayer, Metallica and Iron Maiden, among others.

Some of his destinations are obvious. He starts in Brazil, home of the massive Rock in Rio festivals, where he speaks to members of Sepultura and Angra. Japan is another obvious choice, as their love for metal has been rock solid for decades (hence all those elusive Japanese-only bonus tracks). In Japan he profiles Sigh and X-Japan, but sadly not Loudness or Anthem.

After that, Dunn’s travels lead him to some surprising countries. Who knew China and India had emerging metal scenes, or that there were enough metal fans in Arab countries to warrant a festival in Dubai? His stop in Israel, where he spoke to the singer of the brilliant Orphaned Land, was illuminating, especially when the topic of Slayer’s controversial “Angel of Death” came up. It’s unfortunate that the members of Slayer weren’t called upon to address this directly. I did, however, find it admirable that Dunn pressed the member of an Indonesian metal band (whose name escapes me) about the contradiction of wearing an anti-swastika patch while actively calling for the destruction of Israel.

The film closes in India, where the first-ever concert by a major metal band – Iron Maiden, no less – is finally taking place. Dunn attend the show with a huge crowd of eager fans, and taking the scene in you can’t help but agree with Dunn’s assertion that as metal fans we really are part of a larger global community, a brotherhood even, with something important in common.

I ended up enjoying Global Metal even more than I did Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, and would absolutely recommend it to any serious metal fan.

Dangerous Living – Coming Out in the Developing World

Quote from: Amazon

Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Developing World, directed by John Scagliotti and produced by Dan Hunt and Janet Baus, is the first documentary to deeply explore the lives of gay and lesbian people in non-western cultures. Traveling to five different continents, we hear the heartbreaking and triumphant stories of gays and lesbians from Egypt, Honduras, Kenya, Thailand and elsewhere, where most occurrences of oppression receive no media coverage at all.

Dangerous Living is the winner of the Audience Award (Best Feature) in the Barcelona GLBT Int. Festival, Audience Award (Best Documentary) in the Hartford Alternatives Festival, and officially selected in the International Film Festival on Human Rights, Geneva. By sharing the personal stories coming out of developing nations, Dangerous Living sheds light on an emerging global movement striving to end discrimination and violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Dangerous Living is part of the HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SERIES. Human Rights Watch, widely regarded as one of the most influential and important human rights organizations in the world, and First Run Features, which for 25 years has distributed films that confront human rights issues, recently formed a collaboration to bring awareness to films that shed light on human rights abuses throughout the world. Through its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Project, Human Rights Watch fights to end abuses based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Dark Days

Quote from: Amazon

For two years Marc Singer lived with the people who make their home in the tunnels beneath Penn Station in New York, creating an unflinching portrait of a part of society that is literally and figuratively beneath our notice.

“You’d be surprised what the human mind and body can adjust to,” says Tito, one of the tunnel dwellers. He and his neighbors are homeless, but the tunnels offer them a degree of safety that doesn’t exist on the streets above. In this strange place they manage to achieve a remarkable degree of domesticity, building shelters, keeping pets, and cooking meals.

Singer has an eye for telling images, such as Dee dragging a sofa along the train tracks like Sisyphus rolling his stone in Hell. With its grainy black-and-white photography and haunting soundtrack, this is a surprisingly beautiful film, but it is never sentimental, nor does it try to impose a false nobility on its subjects. Dark Days simply shows us a world that we never knew existed, and in this simplicity lies its power. –Simon Leake

JONATHAN MILLER’S BRIEF HISTORY OF DISBELIEF

Quote from: Mixed Sources

In this first ever television history of disbelief, Jonathan Miller goes on a journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism.

The series includes extracts from interviews with various academic luminaries including Arthur Miller, Richard Dawkins, Steve Weinberg, Colin McGinn, Denys Turner, Pascal Boyer and Daniel Dennett. The series also includes many quotations from the works of atheists, agnostics and deists, all read by Bernard Hill. The program features a percussion score by Evelyn Glennie, wherein the main themes are Paul Smadbeck’s “Rhythm Song” and Keiko Abe’s “Mi-Chi” (from Rhythm Song, 1990). Other tracks are “Shadow Behind the Iron Sun”, “The Council”, “First Contact”, “Warrior’s Chant” and “Wind Horse” (from Shadow Behind the Iron Sun, 1999).

The series consists of three 60-minute episodes:

* “Shadows of Doubt”
* “Noughts and Crosses”
* “The Final Hour”

A series of six supplementary programs was made from material that did not fit into the program; this was dubbed The Atheism Tapes.

Shadows of Doubt
BBC Two Monday 31 October 2005 7pm-8pm
Jonathan Miller visits the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and meets Arthur Miller and the philosopher Colin McGinn. He searches for evidence of the first ‘unbelievers’ in Ancient Greece and examines some of the modern theories around why people have always tended to believe in mythology and magic.

Noughts and Crosses
BBC Two Monday 7 November 7pm-8pm
With the domination of Christianity from 500 AD, Jonathan Miller wonders how disbelief began to re-emerge in the 15th and 16th centuries. He discovers that division within the Church played a more powerful role than the scientific discoveries of the period. He also visits Paris, the home of the 18th century atheist, Baron D’Holbach, and shows how politically dangerous it was to undermine the religious faith of the masses.

The Final Hour
BBC Two Monday 14 November 7pm-8pm TBC
The history of disbelief continues with the ideas of self-taught philosopher Thomas Paine, the revolutionary studies of geology and the evolutionary theories of Darwin. Jonathan Miller looks at the Freudian view that religion is a ‘thought disorder’. He also examines his motivation behind making the series touching on the issues of death and the religious fanaticism of the 21st century.

Kill Your Idols

Quote from: Amazon

Featuring: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sonic Youth, Theoretical Girls, DNA, LIARS, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Gogol Bordello, flux information sciences, Lydia Lunch, Black Dice, Swans, A.R.E. Weapons, foetus and Glenn Branca.

Plot Outline: First-time filmmaker S.A. Crary shares a complex history of New York’s art-punk scene. This compelling documentary weaves together a timeline for an aggressive movement allowing the players to reflect in the moment. With interviews from such punk rock icons as Teenage Jesus & the Jerks bassist Jim Sclavunos, bandmate Lydia Lunch, DNA’s Arto Lindsay, Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth and others from the late ’70s/early ’80s art-punk explosion. Exclusive interviews with these originators and a new generation of practitioners — from the Grammy-nominated Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Black Dice to Liars to Gogol Bordello — reveals a consistent hunger for invention through subversion, motivations that come into cacophonous focus in the new and archival concert footage bridging the interviews. What also comes out is a depth of retrospection amongst the older generation that puts the younger generation’s musings in a context that will surprise even the most plugged-in of scenesters. By documenting art-punk in the same spirit as the movement itself has played out, Crary has created a compelling reference for a movement that defies them and managed to stay true to its spirit in the process.

Born In Flames

Quote from: Amazon

Set in America ten years after the Second American Revolution, Born In Flames is a comic fantasy of female rebellion. When Adelaide Norris, the founder of the Woman’s Army, is mysteriously killed, a seemingly impossible coalition of women- crossing all lines of race, class, and sexual preference- emerges to blow the System apart. In a series of thrilling and often humorous encounters between groups of women ranging from militant black lesbians to white punk feminist musicians, Born in Flames covers a wide range of radical feminist ideas.


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O- April 16, 2010, 04:40:19 AM

Rest in peace, Peter Steele.

Sexy man.  Very down to earth.  Going to be watching interviews with him on youtube.

I can’t pretend I really knew Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele, who died Wednesday, reportedly of heart failure, although I’d met and interviewed him several times.

I knew his music, from the early days of his lurid mid-’80s thrash band Carnivore to the sophisticated melange of Black Sabbath, Sisters of Mercy, Pink Floyd and the Beatles that he and his bandmates conjured with Type O Negative. I knew that he was an amazing performer, haunting and charismatic, commanding yet never pompous.

I knew that every time I interviewed him we’d end up talking about how dismal the music industry — and life itself — can be, how our greatest weaknesses can obliterate our most powerful strengths. And I knew that whenever we talked, whether it was casual conversation at an industry event or at a confessional sit-down interview about the personal and professional struggles he experienced during the creation of whatever album he was working on, that the conversation would be filled with laughter and I would leave feeling more positive about life.

There were probably only a few people who really knew Steele. Devout Type O Negative fans surely empathized with his pain and appreciated his knack for writing songs that were dark as night, heavy as a pile of bricks and — in their way — as catchy as anything by Justin Timberlake. And Steele’s deep, baritone vocals were one of a kind in metal. But as for what was really going on inside Steele’s head, that’s something he took to his grave. His personal life is largely a mystery.

Whenever people in music die prematurely, critics ponder who they really were and whether their art was a true reflection of their inner selves. Inevitably, if they wrote angry or heavy songs, they’re described as “complex.” It’s practically a cliché, yet it probably best sums up Steele — complex and contradictory. Steele wasn’t a simple guy. He was articulate, well read and intelligent. But it sometimes seemed like that’s not the side he wanted his fans to see. He’d mention his admiration for the historical figure Rasputin and then make poop jokes in the same breath. He often talked about how he was just an average Joe from Brooklyn whose happiest days were back when he worked picking up garbage for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

On more than one occasion, he emphasized to me that he’d have been a much happier guy if he never picked up a bass or sang a note. He compared his relationship with music to an affliction he had to endure and pulled no punches when discussing his distaste for record labels and mainstream goth culture. He was a contrarian to the end and wrote lyrics that were perceived as anti-Semitic (even though his keyboardist, Josh Silver, was Jewish) and homophobic (which he may have been). In 2007, the last time we talked, Steele told me, “That which does not destroy me just makes me more irritable, which I plan to take out on the band the next tour.”

Such descriptions make Steele seem like a sour, bitter man. He wasn’t. He was friendly, funny and had a reputation for being generous to his longtime bandmates — Silver, guitarist Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly — and kind to the bands he toured with. In 2003, Type O Negative released what turned out to be their penultimate album, Life Is Killing Me. Although the title track is about the God complex that plagues much of the medical profession, the name says a lot about Steele. Obviously, the man was obsessed with mortality and prone to depression. On several occasions, he was very forthright to me about his battles with alcohol and cocaine and chastised himself about his lack of self-discipline. But like the leering, satiric wink of the album title, Steele made a joke out of his misery. He may have been filled with self-loathing, but he loved to make people laugh and he masked his pain with his morbid sense of humor.

Peter Steele held little sacred and took even less seriously. In 2005, following a bust for narcotics possession and a short jail sentence for assault and battery, Steele posted a picture of a gravestone inscribed with “Peter Steele: 1962 — 2005” on the official Type O Negative Web site. It was a strange move that wasn’t particularly funny to the thousands of fans who feared he had died. For Steele, however, it was probably hysterical and the best way to deal with his turmoil. The band’s last album was 2007’s Dead Again, and is likely a reflection of how he felt at the time. His mother had recently died, he had gone through rehab for substance abuse and his personal life was in shambles. It didn’t help that Type O Negative’s record label, SPV, suffered financial hardships after Dead Again was released and its U.S. operation went under in 2009.

And yet, despite all the adversity Steele seemed to be turning a corner. He had re-formed Carnivore and hoped to release a new album with them, as well as another Type O record. In October 2009, Type O Negative toured with Hickey and Kelly’s side project Seventh Void and Destrophy, and Steele was as charismatic, funny and exciting to watch as ever. He also had a new motivation, which he discovered after his mother’s death and it’s something appropriately at odds with his image: Steele had become religious.

“I’ve always considered myself to be a Roman Catholic, but I’ve kind of gotten close to my faith because, as they say, there are no atheists in foxholes,” he joked in our last interview. “As I’ve reached and gotten over my little midlife crisis, I realized my mortality. And if the day comes when it’s like, ‘Uh-oh, what if I really have to pay for all these f—ing sh–ty things I’ve done?’ That started making me think differently.”

No, I’m not gonna act like I really knew Peter Steele. But I’m sure gonna miss him.

From: Interview

I wasn’t in the least surprised when the sky turned gray as I put Type O Negative’s CD, World Coming Down, on the changer, the denizens of doom and gloom that they are. I was pleasantly surprised, however, upon meeting vocalist Pete Steele, to learn that he has an excellent sense of humor – a touch on the dark side, but that’s to be expected. Among all his varying shades of black he seems to have a fondness for a good drop of red – wine, that is, not blood….

NYROCK:
Well, you’re sound has changed quite a lot since October Rust [1996].

PETE:
We stripped it down. You could say October Rust was a bit… lush. We didn’t want to repeat the mistake we made with it so World Coming Down is more, yeah, stripped.

NYROCK:
It sounds as if you’re almost embarrassed….

PETE:
Embarrassed is wrong. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of October Rust. I made the mistake of listening to the damned record label and tried to make it sound a bit more radio compatible. I don’t know why I listened to them, but I did. My own mistake. But I like October Rust; it’s my favorite album. I’m proud of my song writing. But the label probably thought we’d sell a couple of million albums. I don’t know what drugs they were on. I guess they wanted to make another remake of Bloody Kisses, Bloody Kisses II or something like that. They didn’t get it.

NYROCK:
Bloody Kisses [1993] was your big success….

PETE:
I don’t think it was. Look at it; it’s out a good deal longer than October Rust. It had a lot more time to sell copies. Considering that October Rust hasn’t had as much time as Bloody Kisses it does really well, even better than Bloody Kisses, but they just don’t get it. It didn’t flop. Maybe in their book, but not in mine.

NYROCK:
It doesn’t sound like you’re happy with your label….

PETE:
Tell me one band that’s happy with their label. OK, bands need labels, but labels need bands just as much. The thing is I’m not happy that I’m stuck with a label, tied to it. 13 years ago I signed a contract and I’m still stuck with the contract. I’m still paying for my mistake.

NYROCK:
Is that the contract you signed with Carnivore?

PETE:
It is, and it’s a millstone around my neck, believe me. I’m paying dearly for it. I’m not saying that I’m starving. And I’m not greedy. I don’t want to be rich, but I don’t think we have a fair deal. With a bit more money we could do a lot of things, not for ourselves, but musically. I’m quite happy to be healthy, to have friends. I think that’s being rich. But we’re financially dependent and it sucks. Come on, I’m 37 and 13 years ago I made a mistake and it’s a bit long to pay for a mistake.

What really pisses me off is the fact that Roadrunner let a couple of bands change the label if they got a deal with a major, but they won’t let us go. On the other hand, we have complete artistic freedom. We owe them another studio album and then we’re free, but that might take years. Of course, we could just record any album, but we’re musicians and I wouldn’t want to release some junk just to fulfill a contract.

NYROCK:
How would you describe your sound? It’s rock but you guys do look a bit Gothic.

PETE:
And I thought I just looked frightening. A big, pale slab of meat.

NYROCK:
Playgirl didn’t seem to think so….

PETE:
Oh, shit. That’s going to haunt me. I created a monster. Ha, ha, ha! No, I showed the monster!

NYROCK:
I remember some wild rumors that the picture was tampered with….

PETE:
You’re trying to phrase it delicately. Ha, ha, ha! Well, my dick is real! Come on, I’m 6′ 6″ and in proportion. What do you expect?

NYROCK:    I didn’t even see it. I just heard about it.    Pete Steele
Playgirl August 1995 Edition

PETE:
And I thought everybody saw it. After I did it, I thought, “Oh my God, what did I do?” It was more than upsetting that so many guys had it. Girls, OK, but there just seemed to be at least as many guys. Not that I’m homophobic, but it was certainly irritating. I can’t believe that you haven’t seen it. Go check it out. It’s the August 1995 edition.

NYROCK:
Well, it’s not quite my kind of thing.

PETE:    I understand that, but I thought about it a bit too late. When I had to sign the first few posters with suspicious stains on them, I realized what was going on. It’s true, women just don’t buy Playgirl; it’s all the gays who buy it. I have no problem with homosexuals, but I’m fucking straight and it is irritating to think what they want to do with me.

NYROCK:
Oh, come on. Women have to deal with it daily, and we don’t have the benefit of being 6′ 6″.

PETE:
I never thought about it, but I guess you’re right.

NYROCK:
You seem rather pleasant. Some journalists claim that you’re difficult….

PETE:
We all behave like idiots from time to time. Somehow I just seem to have the divine luck that every time I’m a complete asshole somebody with a camera is around. Another thing is that a lot of people don’t seem to get my humor and in Europe there is the additional language barrier. I say something that’s completely over the top and the journalists just give me a blank stare. They take it seriously and I get the reputation of being a complete dick.

NYROCK:
One thing I noticed on World Coming Down is the absence of women in the lyrics.

PETE:
There’s more to life than just sex. I mean there’s also food, sleep and music. OK, it isn’t all that much, but at least it’s something!

NYROCK:
Sounds like you’re not exactly happy with women….

PETE:
There we go again. Whatever I do, I just seem to do it wrong. If I write about women and sex, people claim I exploit women. If I don’t write songs about women, people claim I hate them. What can I do?

NYROCK:
Your previous albums seem to be rather inspired by women….

PETE:
Bloody Kisses, definitely. Then the groupie shit started. Girls saw me as a sex symbol. I’m sick of that. I mean, come on. I don’t want to be some sex symbol. If somebody thinks I’m sexy, I’m flattered, but the whole image thing just sucks.

NYROCK:
So what’s up with the song “Pyretta Blaze”? It sounds a bit masochistic….

PETE:
It does, doesn’t it? Well, but it’s only a weird fantasy. Don’t worry. I might be pretty sick, but I’m nowhere near sick enough to fancy getting serious burns while having sex.

NYROCK:
You have a steady fan base in Europe and have toured there often enough. How do you adjust to Europe? After all, it is somewhat different….

PETE:
It’s weird; I hate being on a tour bus there. The busses are definitely better in the States, but I like the different cultures, the fact that there is a culture. It makes you realize that [the States] seem to have a lot of different cultures, but no real culture. Look at what we consider old here in America; most Europeans only laugh about it. You guys are sitting on some ancient history. And the wine! I pay at least 18 bucks for a bottle of Californian red that’s drinkable. In Europe, I could get a crate of wine for the same money! But I do get homesick. After a while I miss Brooklyn. I can get so homesick that I wish I was stuck in a traffic jam right on the Brooklyn Bridge.

November 1999

Video of a recent interview with him. Embedding not allowed.