Tag Archives: Rock

The Cool Ship Has a Music Lounge?!

I haven’t written about anything music related in a while, and I’ve been in a musical mood lately (not “musical” as in musicals but “musical” as in music, if that makes sense), so I thought I’d write something music oriented.

First off, I wanna talk about Queens of the Stone Age. Seriously, one of my favorite bands of all time. They are the quintessential rock band, no doubt about it. Each member oozes rock ‘n roll swagger and musical excellence with every note they play or lyric they sing. And their appearance on Austin City Limits is a prime example of that. If you haven’t seen in yet, you’re missing out. Take a gander and find out why they’re so amazing.

Are you hooked?

Yeah, you’re hooked. (If not, get out)

And if you’re digging them, check out Josh Homme’s (the frontman) other projects: Kyuss, The Desert Sessions, Eagles of Death Metal, and Them Crooked Vultures. Oh, and there’s this:

Next, I was trying to think of a top five list of mainstream bands that would make incredibly kick-ass wedding bands, but the my thought process in stuck on one band, Powerman 5000. How freaking sweet would that be?! You sit through the wedding, head to the reception, if you’re lucky there’s an open bar, the music kicks in, and BAM…PM5K starts rockin’ the stage! It would be the only time I would enjoy listening to the Chicken Dance.

Or at least, their cover of Devo’s “Whip It”

Finally, any music project Phil Anselmo is a part of is beyond badass and will definitely have my approval. His newest project is no exception. Philip Anselmo & the Illegals’ Walk Through Exits Only is a heavy metal masterpiece. Raw, brutal, and unabashedly blunt, it’s one of the best metal albums of 2013. I hope he plans to continue with this solo project because I foresee even greater things coming from it in the future. It feels like an invigoratingly new Anselmo. Not that his recent work with Down is lacking anything, it’s just a different vibe, a different energy.

I miss Pantera as much as the next metal head, but Dimebag is gone and it doesn’t look like Phil and Vinnie are ever gonna reconcile, so any new music that Phil makes is gonna have to fill that void. And he’s doing a damn fine job of it, a much better job than Vinnie Paul’s band, Hellyeah.

What music is tickling your fancy lately? Leave your comments in the comment section.

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Who’s Coming Back to Music in 2013?

I’m not downplaying last year’s comeback albums (Soundgarden, No Doubt) but this year is shaping up to be a great year for them.

First off, we have the legendary David Bowie making a return to the music scene after a 10-year break with The Next Day. I’ve been waiting for Bowie to come back for a  while now, and I was starting to worry that it might not happen. Thankfully, it is, and judging by the first single, “Where Are We Now?”, the wait has been well worth it. But we all have to wait until March 12th to find out if that’s true.

Next, we have the triumphant return of the multi-talented Mr. Justin Timberlake. After doing some heavy duty touring to support his last album, 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, and taking a few years to focus on his acting career (which included some hilarious appearances on SNL), JT is returning to music with a new album, The 20/20 Experience. The new album drops March 15th and is, of course, produced again by Timbaland. Seems like JT believes in “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Here’s to hoping he brings sexy back…again.

Third, pop-punk all-stars Fall Out Boy have reunited and are releasing a new album, Save Rock and Roll. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was saddened by their breakup in 2009 and wasn’t too overwhelmed by their music projects that followed. Pete Wentz really did nothing that impressed, Patrick Stump’s Soul Punk was good but not FOB good, and The Damned Things was enjoyable but didn’t quite equal up to the sum of its parts (it featured members of Anthrax, Fall Out Boy, and Every Time I Die). A return from Fall Out Boy to the music scene is more than welcome.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. It’s been five years since Dig, Lazarus, Dig was released and even though we’ve been somewhat satiated with Nick’s other works (Grinderman and soundtrack work), it just wasn’t enough. We needed some Bad Seeds to go along with our Nick Cave. And on February 18th, we’ll have it with Push the Sky Away.

But with all good things, we will almost unfortunately have to deal with some less than favorable things (to be nice). Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Cher, and possibly Britney Spears  are all making comebacks this year. Don’t waste your money, folks. Save it for a rainy day when better music is released, like the new Slayer album which is set to release this year.

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I’m Not Ashamed to Admit That I Enjoy “The Voice”

I LOVE The Voice! And if you would’ve asked me a couple of years ago, I don’t think I would’ve said the same thing. I didn’t really think anything of this show until last season when my girlfriend convinced me to watch it. Despite what some might think of it, maybe writing it off as just another lame competition show, it’s not. The Voice is much better than all the others. I’ll explain why:

  1. It’s called The Voice because that’s what they focus on, the voice. It’s not about image, it’s about how well you can actually sing. The show starts off with a few weeks of what are called “Blind Auditions,” where the show hopefuls will perform onstage while the judges sit in their chairs with their backs turned, unable to see each singer. The singer has an allotted amount of time to sing a song of their choosing and convince the judges to turn around. If the judges like what they hear, they press a big red button and their chair turns around.
  2. Once a judge presses their button, they are able to see the performer. Judges who don’t press their button will turn around once the performance is done. The judge or judges who pressed their button(s) will then praise the singer for what they liked about their singing ability.
  3. It is then up to the singer to decide which judge they want to go with during the “Battle Rounds.” (I’ll explain those in a bit) If only one judge picked them, they are defaulted to that judge. But most of the time, there are multiple judges.
  4. Now if no judge presses their button, the singer is of course not selected. But unlike The X-Factor and American Idol, the performers aren’t beaten down with comments like “You were completely dreadful” and “You suck,” they’re actually given constructive criticism to use towards bettering their ability. Yes, they might leave saddened because they weren’t picked, but they’re also more motivated to become a better singer thanks to the judges’ advice.
  5. Each judge has a team and once each team has twelve members, they move on to the “Battle Rounds.” During this time, the judges become coaches as well and teach the singers how to become even better performers. The judges/coaches will then have two of their team members vocally battle against each other by singing the same song together, then the coach chooses which team member to advance to the final round. Eventually, through multiple battles and the judges and viewers voting (Yes, viewers get a say in this show), the performers are eliminated down to “the final six.”
  6. The singers compete again, eventually becoming “the final four,” one singer for each team. Once they get to the final four, they will perform for one last time and it becomes solely up to the public to decide who wins the competition. The winner is then given a record deal with Universal Music.

The “Battle Rounds” are in interesting take and typically fun to watch. That’s when the really good singers generally shine through.

Cee-Lo, Adam, Christina, and Blake

The best part about this show are the judges. You don’t have some smarmy British douchebag, with no musical talent at all, telling contestants they suck. There’s no Randy Jackson saying “Yo dawg, that wasn’t good.” No Britney Spears or Demi Lovato. You have judges on this show with actual talent, each from a popular genre, offering sage advice and wisdom with a little bit of humor. For rock, they have Adam Levine (Maroon Five). For pop, there’s Christina Aguilera. For rap/hip-hop/R&B, there’s Cee-Lo Green (Goodie Mob/Gnarls Barkley). And for country, they have Blake Shelton. All highly acclaimed, highly accredited artists; not producers or record executives or talentless, former Disney Channel stars. Unlike with other shows where the judges just seem to be there for the paycheck, these judges are here to find new talent, bring attention to this talent, teach and nurture this talent to help it grow, and then send it out into the world in order to better the music business. They also give off a great sense of camaraderie, like they enjoy being their with each other. They bicker, joke, poke fun at each other, compete for singers to join their teams; and they it’s all in good fun.

Carson “Crazy-Eyes” Daly. (source: stuffandsuch.wordpress.com)

Also, I want to point out that this show has convinced me that Carson Daly is actually pretty cool. He hosts the show and does a “Meet & Greet” with the contestants. He gets a bit of their backstory, why they came to the show, hangs out with their family and friends backstage while they view the performances, and then chats with them afterwards to wrap things up. And there’s just something about the way he does all of that that makes you really like him and care about the contestants even more. Good job, Carson Daly.

I’ve never really been a fan of reality tv. Ninety-nine percent of it is garbage. And the more that networks air the stuff, the more I think they’re running out of ideas for good television. There have only been a few that I actually like: Battle for Ozzfest, Kitchen Nightmares, Hardcore Pawn, and The Voice. So if this show is good enough to make me watch on a regular basis, not to mention give me hope for the music industry, then I think it’s worth a view from you.

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