I was listening Sunday night to The National’s most recent album, Trouble Will Find Me. As I lay there with headphones on and the first song playing, I thought, “I don’t know why I don’t listen to these guys more often.” Minutes later, I remembered: Regret, sadness, and a failure to connect with people permeate The National’s songs. Sometimes we need to be reminded we’re not the only people in the world whom trouble has found. Other times, we don’t need to be reminded. The National often belongs in the “other times” category. Continue reading
And now for something slightly different
Kevin Gosztola, a Firedoglake alumnus, raises a cultural dilemma and proposes his own solution.
There is a recurring story media organizations like to publish. The story typically asks where all the protest music has gone or something like that. Or, the writers ask, who is this generation’s Bob Dylan?
This perspective has seeped into the consciousness of Americans. One thread on Reddit asked:
With all the racial and class tension in the past year or two, I’m really surprised that there hasn’t been much in the way of protest songs. At least not that I’ve heard. My generation had Rage Against the Machine (whose lyrics seem even more relevant today). What artist is carrying their torch today?
Haven’t done these in awhile. Ah, the perverse creative juices pumping through the intertubes….
Hey, remember that time The Beatles and Metallica did that collaboration?
Here’s fellow scrogue Frank B’s favorite. Continue reading
Sometimes bands we love break up. Or someone dies. Or … maybe they just slide from relevance. If you’re like me, there are a lot of acts who fit this description. I miss Space Team Electra so bad it hurts, for instance. REM faded away more or less gracefully, but still I long for 1984.
Here are some bands and solo artists I miss. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments.
Oh look, Till Lindemann from Rammstein has a new side project with Peter Tägtgren of Hypocrisy and Pain. What are the critics saying?
Pigs, blood, phlegm and characters right out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting alternatively play in morbid grime or on a virginal white stage. Heavy guitar sounds, dark choirs and driving drum beats surge in the background. The lyrics are laced with hatred: “I hate my life, and I hate you / … / I hate my kids, never thought / That I’d praise abort.”
Yeah, that sounds about right. So for SVR let’s watch the first video, and then celebrate Till’s genius with a couple of the high spots from his work with Rammstein. Strap in, bitches.
I hope you’re enjoying a gorgeous spring day wherever you are, but i’s been raining here in the 5280 for a week now, and the weather report promises more for the weekend, except for the period when the rain stops and the snow starts. But we need the moisture. And some music to celebrate it.
Let’s start with the definitive rainy day song.
Good night, Ben.
Our friend Anda Volley is back, and her latest music exploration leans into the sort of ambient I have always been intrigued by. Also, great video. Tune in, turn on, happy Saturday.
It was a big week for Japanese Pop. Turns out SONY has signed Metal/GirlPop fusioneers BabyMetal, with designs on taking over America. And earlier in the week I discovered Band-Maid. It only seemed right that I’d share all this, plus a little bonus, with our readers.
Let’s start here.
It’s a beautiful spring day out there. Let’s get it started with Jeff Shelton and The Well Wishers, shall we?
We’ve written about this song before. Time to add one to the list.
Aesop Rock – Zero Dark Thirty
They did not know how long they had been there (x7) Continue reading
Greetings from the Pop Underground – here’s a track from one of my best CDs of the year…
Those who follow along know that I have a weakness for “Power Pop” – that retro, guitar-driven genre originally practiced by the likes of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Badfinger, Big Star, The Who, The Raspberries, and others of that ilk. You don’t hear it much on the radio, sadly (although Foo Fighters have been on a roll of late) – we’re talking about a largely underground movement here – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as dynamic as ever.
One of my favorite practitioners of the craft, The Well Wishers, released a new CD this year. It’s called A Shattering Sky, and like everything else Jeff Shelton has done in his various incarnations (WW, The Spinning Jennies, Hot Nun), it’s packed to the rafters with ringing guitars and melodic hooks and positively viral earworms – if you’re like me this disc will be buzzing around in your head for days. Continue reading
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake had the release show for their new CD, Totem, last night at the Gothic in Denver. Jeez, I wish I could have been there. I think the disc officially drops this week, and thanks to a free preview the other day, I can say without reservation that this is one of the top releases of the year – and it’s been a hellacious good year.
Here’s the first video.
Happy Saturday, yo.
I’m getting my weekend off to a soulful start. You should, too.
Many of us quest for the perfect pop song. There are any number of candidates for the title, too – I could probably spend the day rummaging through my iTunes and come up with dozens of worthies.
What’s amazing is that I have discovered two more, and they’re back to back – tracks #2 and 3 on the new Veronica Falls CD, Waiting for Something to Happen. Check out “Teenage.”
Mos Def – Fear Not Of Man
If you can hear me ladies and gentlemen
Then I’m very happy that you came here
Godzilla ain’t the only hardcore badass from Japan.
I’m not the Japan expert around here – that distinction falls to blogger, poet, photographer and Japanophile extraordinare Dan Ryan – so I won’t pretend that I know anything about J-Pop. It just felt like a nice day to do something a little different for SVR, and I’ve been thinking about Dir En Grey for the past couple of days.
They’ve been around for a number of years and seem to have evolved through some changes (both musical and visual), so you can surf YouTube and find a range of styles – everything from a sort of melodic Metal that we might associate with, say, Queensryche, to moments that, more than anything, remind me of Tool, to hell on Earth horror Metal that would scare the piss out of Lordi, to straight-up Nu Metal. I’m not so much into the weasels-ripped-my-throat-out brand of singing, but hey, you might like it.
So let’s get our J-Metal on, shall we? We’ll start with “The Final.”