Posts Tagged ‘music’
Cheri and I went to Baltimore, MD yesterday to see Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Thrice and Gaslight Anthem at Rams Head Live. The show was completely sold out and it was the most crowded indoor concert I’ve ever attended.
Gaslight Anthem opened up the night with an acoustic set since they were down two band members who were attending a funeral. It was gutsy for them to still do a complete set missing their drummer and bass player, but they still gave a great performance. They’re officially on my “to check out further” list.
Thrice followed Gaslight Anthem with a set that was energetic at the beginning but slowly dwindled to what felt like scream-o noodling. Among their song list was a cover of Helter Skelter that didn’t sound any different from the original (which is a bad thing when doing a cover, in my opinion). Once their set was finished, just about all the Thrice fans made a quick exit. I think a lot of people came just to see them.
After Thrice, Alkaline Trio took the stage with a great set featuring some of my favorite songs of theirs — Private Eye, I Lied My Face Off, Crawl, Calling All Skeletons, and This Could Be Love, among others. Out of all the bands there, Alkaline Trio seemed to stick out. Their macabre image just seemed to separate them, but not in a good way. There were so many people around Cheri and I talking about how they’d never heard of them and were just waiting for them to finish so they could hear Rise Against. They played a great set, but the crowd not being familiar with them was a turn off for me.
Then finally, Rise Against came out with the best set of the night. They opened up with Drones and continued the set with great energetic songs (old and new alike) such as Like the Angel, Give It All, Ready to Fall, Life Less Frightening, Collapse, The Good Left Undone, Re-Education (Through Labor) and many others. After their set finished, they came back for an encore that included two acoustic songs — the new Hero of War and Swing Life Away. The show closed with great renditions of Survive and Prayer of the Refugee.
Overall, it was a great show, with some great bands, but the crowd’s attitude towards the different bands made for a crappy environment.
I just found out this morning that 2 Skinnee J’s will be playing a reunion show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday, August 6th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (6/19) at 10 am online at the 9:30 Club’s website. Cheri and I will definitely be in attendance. If you never witnessed the phenomenal awesomeness of 2 Skinnee J’s then I suggest you seek out some of their videos on YouTube.
If you are on Facebook (groan), then you can get five (yes, count ’em, five) free songs from iTunes. Here’s how you do it:
- Log in (duh).
- Go to the group for Ticketmaster Live.
- Join the group.
When you join, you will be given a redeem code good for five free songs from the iTunes music store (as long as the song costs between $0.99 and $1.29). The redeem code must be used by December 31st, 2007 for it to work.
I learned this from Neatorama, so I give them all the credit!
Everyone knows that 80’s music is great. Everyone loves 80’s music — from Madonna to Duran Duran, from Flock of Seagulls to Devo. No one doubts how great 80’s music is. But what about 90’s music?
Even though I was born in 1982, I really didn’t grow up in the 80’s. Yeah, I physically did, but most of my memories regarding pop culture formed in the 90’s. From watching Batman the Animated Series after school, to staying up late Sunday nights to watch Matt Pinfield hosting 120 Minutes on MTV.
Music in the 90’s was very strange to me. I never really followed music much until I got into middle school (1994). From my perception, early 90’s music tended to sound just like 80’s music to me. It wasn’t really until (and I hate to admit this) Nirvana came on the scene that it seemed that 90’s music really began to separate itself from 80’s music.
So until I started to immerse myself in the world of Green Day in middle school, I tended to pretend that I like bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and the Smashing Pumpkins. Once I got to high school, I pretty much set myself to liking rap-rock (311, Phunk Junkeez, Shootyz Groove, 2 Skinnee J’s), punk rock (ALL, Descendents, Bad Religion, Strung Out, etc.), ska (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, The Slackers, Voodoo Glow Skulls, etc.), and some electronica (Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim). I never would have admitted to liking anything that was popular or on the radio.
But that’s a lie. Even though I was a snob when I was younger, there were a lot of cheap pop songs that I enjoyed in the 90’s. Looking back on things, I especially enjoyed a lot of the 90’s one hit wonders. Here’s a list of some of my favorites from the 90’s:
The Freshmen — The Verve Pipe
This song came out when I was in high school. For some reason the somber tone of the song really spoke to me — despite the fact that the song is about getting an abortion. But I loved this song then and I still rock out to it when I hear it played on the radio.
Three Little Pigs — Green Jelly (formerly Green Jello)
I was still in my “metal stage” when this song came out, so of course I loved it. I particularly loved the video. And I loved the fact that they were called Green Jello (way to stick it to the man!). Looking back on it, its a very strange song.
Life is a Highway — Tom Cochrane
I never really liked this song very much. I still don’t really care for it, but it is catchy as hell. And I somehow know the lyrics to it as well. He kind of reminds me of Bob Seger — but he’s not as good.
Bittersweet Symphony — The Verve
Hey I’ve got an idea! Let’s make a song that takes a sample from a Rolling Stones song, and not get their permission! They won’t mind right? Unfortunately, they did. Too bad this turned out to be the Verve’s only hit in the US — making them forgo most (if not all, I think) of the royalties from this song to the Stones. Its a great song though — my Dad loves this band for some weird reason.
Cotton Eye Joe — Rednex
What the fuck went on here? A strange manufactured Swedish band playing country-techno. Despite how weird and disturbing the video is, the song is strangely catchy and makes me want to attend a hoe-down and eat some Swedish meatballs.
Slam — Onyx
A great hardcore rap song from gangsta-rap’s peak. The one cool thing that I liked about this song, and this band, was that they recorded an alternate version of this song with the metal band Biohazard. I was, as you can tell, in my metal stage again with this one.
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm — Crash Test Dummies
Once again, what the fuck? Another weird, weird song. But yet again, strangely catchy. I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Lump – The Presidents of the United States of America
Holy freakin’ crap. Whoever doesn’t love this song hates America! This band was so weird, I have no idea how they got so popular. I guess it was the catchy hook. But this song brings back memories of me dancing around in my room singing this song with the video. And now, I’m sure this song will be in my head for days to come.
You Get What You Give — The New Radicals
The main thing that I remember about this song was the fuss that it brought because of a line stating that they will kick Marylin Manson’s ass. And I remember him getting on MTV and stating that he hopes that he doesn’t run into the lead singer of the New Radicals, otherwise he might sodomize him. But I also remember thinking — who gives a crap!? Its just a stupid pop song by a stupid band that wasn’t going anywhere. Let it go. Who knew that Manson was so sensitive.
Tubthumping — Chumbawamba
Holy mother of God. What strange concoction did Europe spit out this time? A group of anarchists that decided to write a song about drinking. Despite the large number of members in this band (what like 30?), it seems only a few actually play any instruments. Weird, yet fun to sing along to! I’m sure its even better if you’re trashed.
Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger
Cheri says she had this album as a teenager. I think that is hilarious. Anyway, this is a fun little pop rock song that still gets played on DC101 all the time. I think that is hilarious as well. Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me!
Here Comes the Hotstepper — Ini Kamoze
This was a funky little reggae song that was on the soundtrack to some movie about fashion. I think this song was more popular than that movie. But I definitely would sing along to this song when no one was looking.
That’s it for now. What are your favorite 90’s one hit wonders?
Ever since I was in 5th grade, I played the violin. I always hated practicing and playing in front of others. But it wasn’t until around 11th grade that I started to actually enjoy it. It was probably because I was finally (after only 5 years) good at playing. So for those last two years of high school, orchestra was my favorite class.
Once I went to college, I knew that balancing being in an orchestra and trying to be a physics major weren’t going to be easy. So I chose to give up the violin. I told myself that it would only be temporary and that one day, after I graduated, I would pick it up again. And I did, a few times. I would download some sheet music from the internet, dust off my violin, and try it out again–but it never felt quite the same.
During the times I played violin, I also was secretly jealous of my friends Cameron and Matt, who both played guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar. And finally, last November my father-in-law gave me one of his. I was really excited and grateful, but I also felt like a n00b. I barely knew anything about guitars and I was in constant fear of breaking it or scratching it.
I really like the guitar he gave me and I also love the amp that my brother-in-law got me for Christmas this past year. But because of the ass surgery I had back in January, I haven’t had a lot of chances to practice. This is because it isn’t always wonderful to sit, so I’ve always put practicing on the back burner. But I’ve finally began to heal and sitting is something that I can do now without too much discomfort. Thus, I’ve gotten the itch to begin practicing again.
So yesterday, Cheri and I went out to Guitar Center and bought me a music stand. I really needed one since I couldn’t stand trying to read my music while it was lying on the couch or something next to me. Perhaps that was just a pet peeve of mine leftover from my violin days. But now that I have a music stand, I think I’ll be more encouraged to practice. Maybe I’ll break out my violin one of these days too.
I haven’t had a chance to get on here and explain how awesome a Christmas I had this year. Cheri and I got to travel down to Chesapeake to visit both Cheri’s and my parents. It was a great time. We were able to spend lots of quality time with both parents and eat good food and just enjoy the time off from our jobs. On top of that we were also able to visit with Cameron for a small bit–always a bonus! Along with Christmas comes the great gifts everyone was so generous to bestow upon us.
Cheri and I both got each other Nintendo DS Lites. Cheri got the white version, and I got the black onyx version. This is probably the most fun I’ve had with a game system in a long time. Cheri got me Mario Kart DS and I got her The New Super Mario Brothers. Both games are super duper fun. And the games don’t end there. Rob and Bobbi (my brother-in-law and his girlfriend) got me Trauma Center: Under the Knife (yes, that’s correct, a surgery game!) and I got Big Brain Academy from my mother-in-law. There will be plenty of work not getting done around here next semester!
The other present I’ve been excited about is the guitar amp that Rob got me (isn’t he a great brother-in-law?). Its my first ever guitar amp. Its a Behringer 15 Watt Vacuum Tube amp. It sounds so damn good yet it is so tiny, it is unbelievable. This is probably the perfect amp for apartment living. I also got a guitar method book from my parents. So soon enough I will be rocking with the best of them.
I also got a ton of new music for Christmas. I got American V: A Hundred Highways by Johnny Cash, Brushfire Fairytales by Jack Johnson, The White Album by The Beatles, The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance, How to Save a Life by The Fray, and Eyes Open by Snow Patrol (the last three were bought with gift cards). So I have lots to add to my iPod and enjoy on my way to and at work :).
Lately I’ve entered the world of podcasts. No, I’m not making a podcast, but merely just listening to some. When podcasts first came out I tried out a bunch but I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to listen to week-in and week-out. But recently I’ve dived back into it and have found some very entertaining podcasts. I would recommend any of the following podcasts. They are great and really do a good job of making the daily commute go by quicker.
I’ve seen the comedian Jimmy Pardo on sporadic television appearances and have always enjoyed his comedy. While perusing the comedy category of the podcast section in the iTunes music store, I found this lovely gem. Its a weekly, hour-long podcast featuring comedian Jimmy Pardo, comedian Mike Schmidt and producer Matt Belknap. The show has a simple format. The three of them sit around the kitchen table in Jimmy’s house and banter for an hour. They tell stories from their lives, make fun of people, and make humorous observations about everyday things. Its kind of like you and a group of your buddies sitting around shooting the breeze. And it happens that you and your buddies are really funny.
I’ve been a fan of Relevant Magazine for a few years now. I was introduced to it by my wife, Cheri, while she was working at a Christian bookstore. It is a great magazine that observes popular culture through the lens of christianity. The greatest thing about the magazine is that it doesn’t try to pander to the ultra right-wing conservative view of Christianity that, unfortunately, is what dominates much of the Christian culture. But instead takes an honest look at culture and the Christian faith.
In the same manner, the podcast accomplishes this as well. It has a very similar format to Never Not Funny. It is a roundtable discussion between four editors of the magazine and website. They discuss the week’s new releases in music and film. Then they proceed to “the weekly slices.” This is where the editors each pick an news story from the week and give their opinions on the subjects. Mostly the stories are strange, off-beat, and hilarious. The show typically then has either an interview or some other type of non-standard bit related to the magazine. Then the show ends with a discussion of listener feedback followed by the editorial question of the week (and yes, there is a little jingle that goes with that). This is a great podcast to listen to and it makes me feel like that there are people out there just like me.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I love the TV series Lost on ABC. It should be quite easy to understand that I would listen to a podcast about the show. The only reason I listen to a podcast about Lost rather than other TV shows I watch is because of the geekdom that is associated with the show. There are people that take notes while watching the show. They create theories and look for easter eggs that will help explain what the heck is going on. This podcast is dedicated to discussing these things.
The podcast typically has two episodes a week, each an hour long. One episode is recorded right after Lost airs on television. This episode recounts what happens in the show and then discusses it. Then the other episode looks forward to the next airing of Lost and discusses theories on what will happen, takes listener calls, and discusses other things Lost related. The podcast is full of great discussion and is very entertaining.
This podcast is NPR’s online music show. It is hosted by Bob Boilen (who has a very soothing voice) and usually runs between thirty and sixty minutes. The show features music from all genres–and I mean all genres. Boilen will introduce new music from around the country and the world. If you love good music and are willing to open your ears to something you typically wouldn’t listen to, then this is a great show for you. It has given me a lot of new artists to look for when it comes to finding new music. The show also allows you to submit your own music to be considered for the show. There are submission guidelines on the website.