Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Failed Coheed & Cambria song names

Okay, so earlier today I posted my take on Coheed & Cambria. I feel good about it, but I think I failed to really drive home one thing about the band I find extremely interesting.

The song titles.

Take a look at some of these song titles from Coheed & Cambria's various albums:
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Cuts Marked in the March of Men
The Camper Velourium III: Al the Killer
Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial)
The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court
Justice in Murder

Sheesh. Am I right?

Anyway, since I fancy myself quick on the ol' keyboard, I figured I could do just as well at naming songs. Now I'm thinking C&C should hire me to be their full-time title guy.

What do you think? Here are my titles:
The infinite sadness divided by the coursing winds of love and pain

Darkness encompasses the fragile body of lies and deception

Wreaking endless torment: The foul earth divides into shades of black

I cower (at the dawn of death and impassable light)

The awakening of glory and the madness of peril

Escaping lust volume 3

Shadow conquers the holy magistrate

I could go on and on. So whattaya say, C&C? Do I have a job?

Coheed and Cambria

I have a message for Coheed & Cambria: Relax. It’s just music.

A good friend of mine sent me some C&C songs yesterday and I promptly loaded them into the library, promising him I’d give Coheed & Cambria the old college try. I’ve been listening to the songs since, and I’ve developed some mixed feelings.

First off, I like the music. I enjoy listening to it. It’s emotional, it’s raw and you can easily get lost in it.

I’m a big fan of Welcome Home and Everything Evil, and others such as Delirium Trigger and Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow) are close behind.

But after you listen for a while you start to notice something about C&C: This music is not your typical superficial stuff. It’s heavy—meaty. If this music were food it would be The Bacon Explosion. It sits with you for days and days.

And for that reason, C&C makes me a little nervous. I mean, go back and take a look at some of those song titles. These are deep, dark songs and when you listen to them you almost have to do so in a cave to get the full effect. It’s not exactly background music. It takes center stage, and you have to invest yourself in it.

Fitting, I suppose, since Coheed & Cambria’s music tells one long, epic story. All the songs and albums are intertwined. They even have comic books dedicated to the band’s music.

Yes, comic books. Another red flag.

I don’t know… Like I said, I like the music. I enjoy banging my head and losing myself in the story, but deep down I get the impression that by listening to this music I am getting one step closer to buying Japanese Anime, locking myself in my room and cutting my arms when I get bored.

So to sum up, C&C is good, but if you're just a casual listener you might want to steer your boat in another direction. I can see why they have such a devoted following, but in the end they just need to take a deep breath and lighten up.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Give Up: An essential for your collection

There are a handful of albums everyone needs to have in their collection: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, Metallica's Black Album, Under The Table And Dreaming by DMB and others.

This recommendation might surprise you, though.

I submit to you that Give Up, and album by The Postal Service, is one of those essentials. It's just that good, and it's the best intro to the Indie genre you'll find.

The Postal Service is a collaboration between Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie, and producer Jimmy Tambello, who works mostly with electronic beat bands. They laid down beats and vocals independently and sent tracks back and forth between each other using the United States Postal Service (hence the name).

The result was the groundbreaking album "Give Up" which combines Gibbard's powerful voice with Tambello's talent of taking any noise, even sound effects from classic video games, and turning it into a strong rhythm. Give Up is electronic and soulful.

The album starts strong with "District Sleeps Alone Tonight," "Such Great Heights," "Sleeping In," and "Nothing Better." The first four songs really pull you in.

Give Up loses a little steam with "Recycled Air," but then delivers another great song in "We Will Become Silhouettes." The final song, Natural Anthem, teases the listener with an extra long introduction and then closes the album with another strong vocal.

The sound is fantastic. I love this album, and I highly recommend adding Give Up to your library as soon as is humanly possible.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Review: A Decade of Steely Dan

Have you ever bought an album not because you like the artist but because you should like them?

I don't know much about Steely Dan. I only knew one of their songs prior to this purchase, yet I felt strangely compelled to buy "A Decade of Steely Dan." I didn't ask questions, I just followed my instincts and closed the deal.

They seem like a solid band, right?

Now, two weeks later I've concluded that I made one of the best decisions of the month.

"A Decade of Steely Dan" is just dynamite. It's smooth, it's catchy and it's just a pleasure to listen to.

My favorites are: My Old School, Reelin' in the Years, Deacon Blues, FM...

Actually, every single song is awesome.

I say this, however, knowing full well that some people will buy this album and absolutely hate it. It's not your typical sound. Steely Dan has a smooth, jazz-like feel. It's finger-snapping music to be sure, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Personally, I loved it. I knew I would.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Summer songs

As the weather gets warmer, you're going to get the urge to listen to music with the windows rolled down.

For all of our sakes, please practice safe listening and make sure the songs are cool enough to be heard by a large audience.

Here are three suggestions:

1. Just What I Needed - The Cars
2. Rapunzel - Dave Matthews Band
3. Ball and Chain - Social Distortion
*Bonus suggestion* Gimme Three Steps - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Friday, May 8, 2009

Going Backwards

Let me preface this post by saying I am, in fact, 25 years old.

So I'm here sitting at my desk listening to music, and the next song on the playlist is "Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Johnny Cash. I start tapping my foot and nodding my head and I think to myself, "Man, Johnny Cash is so awesome..."

Then it hits me.

While my friends and the rest of the world blaze forward in their music tastes, I am driving in reverse.

I am constantly discovering bands today that most people discovered 30 years ago (The Who, for example). I love Johnny Cash, I love Lynyrd Skynyrd, I love Jethro Tull... what am I, my dad?

And remember how grunge spread like wildfire in the early '90s and was extinguished just as fast? Apparently I didn't get the memo, because Pearl Jam is one of the fastest rising stars in my music galaxy. I am just now buying "Ten."

'80s New Wave, '70s Southern Rock, '60s progressive rock, I love it all. That's what I buy when I go shopping for "new" music. I don't even know what kind of music the kids are putting out these days.

Thank goodness for bands like Muse, The Shins and The Killers. These bands keep me at least somewhat current.

Oh yeah... I'm also just now starting to like Rush. I'm such an old soul.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another summer of concerts

Every March/April/May I think to myself "I'm going to a billion concerts this summer," and then I go on a rampage. I buy tickets, I mortgage my future, I incur massive credit debt... but I see some pretty dang good shows.

Here's this year's list.

Tickets in hand:
Dave Matthews Band - 9/1
The Killers (practically) - 9/26

Styx/REO Speedwagon - 5/30
Death Cab for Cutie - 7/13
Robert Randolph and the Family Band - 8/27

Long Shot:
No Doubt - 5/25
Incubus - 7/16
The Fray/Jack's Mannequin - 7/18
Depeche Mode - 8/25

Wish I Could:
David Byrne - 6/21
Flight of the Conchords - 5/17

Not This Year:
Slightly Stoopid/Snoop Dogg - 7/20

Anyone interested? We can even hit up Training Table on the way up. My treat.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Who

I can't get enough of The Who these days.

The first song I ever liked by The Who was Pinball Wizard. I heard it as a kid, and it's always been one of my favorite songs.

More recently it was "The Seeker" and "Won't Get Fooled Again"

I finally bought The Who: The Ultimate Collection and it was probably one of the best purchases I've ever made in the world of music. I can't stop listening to it. I wake up with the songs in my head, and the nagging feeling simply will not go away until I blast it in my ears.

Here are some songs I'm particularly fond of:
Behind Blue Eyes
A Legal Matter
Pictures of Lily
Pure and Easy

If you take my advice and give The Who a shot, pay special attention to drummer Keith Moon. Guy will blow your brains out.

Here's my recommendation: Get on iTunes (or your favorite Russian equivalent) and buy "Won't Get Fooled Again." Crank it up loud, lock the door, scream your guts out and think about rebelling against authority. It'll change your life.

And while your at it check out The Who's appearance on The Simpsons. Classic.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Put it in your ears: 3/23

I was sitting in my room listening to Peter Gabriel's album "Hit" last night and a question popped into my mind.

"How many good songs I can find in my library by guys named Peter?"

The emphasis being placed on the word good. I have a lot of songs by Peter Gabriel, but I wouldn't call all of them good by any stretch of the imagination.

(You Gabriel fans know what I'm talking about).

Anyway, here's what I came up with.

Put it in your ears:
Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
Let My Love Open The Door - Pete Townshend
Major Tom - Peter Schilling
Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who (It counts, because Pete Townshend is the guitarist)
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel

Friday, March 20, 2009

Get This Song: Carry On Wayward Son

Song: Carry On Wayward Son

Artist: Kansas

Album: Leftoverture

Genre: Progressive Rock

What makes it good: The opening vocals, the picking guitar solos and the fact that it's on the soundtrack to the very best movies ever made.

Thoughts: If my life were a movie, this song would be among the first I'd pick for the soundtrack. It's just such a cool song. It's perfect for the air guitar sessions when you think no one is watching, cruising with the window rolled down, or your once-a-month workout session. Everyone needs this song in their personal collections.

From the same artist:
Dust in the Wind
Point of Know Return
Devil Game

Monday, March 16, 2009

Put it in your ears: 3/16

Maybe it's because I'm just excited for Guitar Hero: Metallica, or maybe it's because I have some pent-up aggression issues I need to work out.

Whatever the reason, I've been listening to the Metal all week. And I love it.

Therefore, my five picks this week are all favorites from Metallica. Enjoy!

Put it in your ears:
...And Justice For All
No Leaf Clover
For Whom the Bell Tolls
The Unforgiven III
Memory Remains

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Put it in your ears: 3/9

I'm back, everybody. I didn't think people would mind if I took a little vacation from IYE, but after hearing several "What's the deal?"s, I decided to get back on the trolley.

I hope you'll all forgive my lack of musical post-osity.

To kick off my rebirth, I've decided to put my playlist on random and give you five classics from my archives.

Put this in your ears:
Mulling it Over - Blues Traveler
Wherever I May Roam - Metallica
Either Way - Guster
Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden (GREAT song to sing on Rock Band, by the way, if you ever get the chance)
The Heart of Rock & Roll - Huey Lewis and the News

Expect more posts soon, as the music juices are once again flowing through my veins. Thanks for sticking with me through these troubling times.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Put it in your ears: week of 2/9

Raise your hand if you still like Hootie and the Blowfish.

Seriously? Just me?

I freely admit it: I have been a faithful H. and the B. fan since 1995. They hooked me with songs like "Hold My Hand," and after that I just couldn't resist the sweet folk-ey sound.

To this day I still find comfort listening to the Blowfish after a hard day of Nirvana- and Pearl Jam-grunge.

This weeks picks are a selection of the forgotten carols of Hootie and the Blowfish.

Put this in your ears:
Running From an Angel
I Go Blind
Hold My Hand
The Christmas Song

Monday, February 2, 2009

Put it in your ears: 2/2

It's my buddy Cade's birthday today... or yesterday... or tomorrow, so this week's picks are dedicated to him.

Cade is one of my bigger musical influences, as strange as that may seem. He's the reason I love Weezer so much, he has turned me on to the world of indie/crazy music, and he even inspired me to learn guitar. When it comes to musical influence, I'd put him right up there with my oldest brother and MTV's Real World.

So Cade, I hope these picks make you proud.

Put this in your ears:
Wave of Mutilation - Pixies
Renegades of Funk - Rage Against The Machine
Red Rabbits - The Shins
White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes
Across the Sea - Weezer

Friday, January 30, 2009


You guys have all heard of Pandora, right? The online "radio" site where you can type in a favorite artist or song and the site will generate an entire radio station based on that entry?

Yeah, I'm sure you have.

You may not have heard of Last.fm, though, which is very similar to Pandora. You build channels based on your favorite artists or songs, but you also have the ability to add songs and artists to playlists and write reviews and such.

It also has a better search feature than Pandora, and it's more of a "community," if will.

The best feature about Last.fm, though, is the Last.fm Firefox Add-on. You download this puppy, you put it right up on your Firefox Toolbar and before you know it you're ripping your hair out to crazy crap like Slayer and Pantera (that was my day yesterday... surprisingly it was one of my most productive days ever).

The toolbar feature is great--you don't have to open an entire tab or window to listen to your tunes.

You should give it a try. And let me know if you find any cool stations.