Archive for the Music Category

…on Piracy

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Music, Politics with tags , , on March 12, 2012 by journeymantojo

Me and a friend were talking about the old days of anime. How it was all handled by video swaps and trades. Because back then, there were no specialty mall stores handling all things anime. It was anime fans trading VHS cassettes with two or three different recorded animes. And we would take these tapes and retape them and put them into our collection and then trade out that tape for another collection of anime. Potlabor, Tank Police, Akira, Riding Bean, Ninja Scroll…..all of those I saw on bootleg tapes.

Of course I only bring this up because not even a full month before this discussion I was watching Metal Evolution. Good show dealing with the history of the metal scene. And in the thrash episode, there is Lars Ulrich talking about how in the past (the ’80’s) the only way to get music from the thrash metal scene was through tape trading. It wasn’t just limited to metal. A lot of underground scenes relied on it. Hip-hop, indie rock, alternative, DIY punk…all of them. But my point is, here was Lars Ulrich saying that tape swapping was awesome. Wait, isn’t this th guy who attacked NAPSTER? Tape swapping is file sharing people. When I was looking for the clip of him admitting to ’80’s era piracy, I stumbled on to this:

Because i only thought of tape swapping as a localized thing. But apparently, with the internet, tape swapping has become so much more. These guys are live in countries where this kind of music isn’t exactly smiled upon.

Now this isn’t me justifying it by tacking some bigger, nobler it’s-about-freedom-and-bringing-music-to-the-oppressed type cause line to this whole debate. But I am saying that it does feel that way when an Arab and an Egyptian are saying that it’s the ONLY WAY THEY CAN GET THAT MUSIC.

I’ve been in two bands. And I’ve always let it be known by my bandmates that I don’t give a shit if my music gets pirated. As long as some kid is hearing my music and getting off, getting inspired, wanting to create something himself, then I don’t care. Let them download my shit.

“What about the money dude?” That was always the counterpoint. To which I would simply say, “So the kid got my album for free. I hope he likes it. I hope he loves my music. I hope he loves it so much that he wants to see us live. That’s when he’ll fork over the cash.” We would all laugh, but the reality is…..as long as that kid gets that there is someone out there who feels, thinks, lives, understands what he is going through the way music has done for all of us, who cares if he stole it? Just means the executive who signed us won’t make money.

But that’s just the opinion of some struggling musician. “I’m sure your opinion would change once you get signed.” Well, let’s ask Dave Grohl.

He's a friend. He let me use his image. We're tight like that

Just a thought.

…on “Please Take Off My Van Halen Shirt Before You Jinx The Band And They Break Up”

Posted in Brain Droppings, Chick, Dating, Music, Romance, Sex with tags , , on January 31, 2012 by journeymantojo

Sitting here going through some YouTube videos listening to some old faves when the thought popped into my head “Man, even though there is still an emotional twinge I feel when I listen to the song, I’m glad she didn’t ruin this band for me.”

You see, I hate the concept of “This is our song!” I mean, I get the notion and it’s inevitable because music speaks to us on a primal level. It helps trigger the memory. So sometimes it can be an awesome mnemonic device for remembering the better memories. But the part I hate is when you go through the hairy ass break-up. It always means that when you listen to a song, the emotional connection reemerges.

Now in some cases it’s okay. She was a huge John Mayer fan. So when ever I hear Mr. Mayer, I think of her and my blood boils up a bit. It was a seriously hairy ass break-up. So the “hate” springs back up. So naturally I’m gonna hate the artist because he is inadvertently bringing up the memory. But I can say that I’ve never liked John. So….no loss. Don’t like John Mayer, so I don’t have a hard time changing the station. It actually gives me more reasons to not like his music haha! (Like you needed more reasons?!)

It does suck when you are into a band though. Now you have to either dwell on the good moments in a fit of emotional suffering because the connection is there with the song or change the station. Which you don’t want to do because you liked that song before you even met that bitch.

Yeah, those are the “This is our song!” moments. The ones that make you hate a band because every time you hear Use Somebody, you get down.

“She reached across the console and took my hand. Looks into my eyes and said ‘I feel like this because no one ever got me the way you do’. It’s our anthem.”

So when I hear it, I remember those words and have to change the station. Which sucks. It’s a great song. I’ve gotten over her and have moved on. And now I hear the song and hear a good song. But every now and again, the connection creeps back.

Thankfully she never ruined Jack Johnson. That would have sucked. Flake is an awesome tune to hear when you are trying to pull yourself out of that pit. Or The Bravery.

And I would have been livid if she had ruined Marvin Gaye. But then again, Let’s Get It On is a love making song…..so there’s no emotional attachment associated with that song for us guys haha!

Now I get to leave you with a song that just makes me smile.

You guys have fun. And if she says “This is our song!” Respond with “Oh hell no. I don’t want to have to go through the hell of hating good music if we break up. Let’s make a song I hate our song!” 😛

…on Why I Should Be In The Band

Posted in Brain Droppings, Music, Poetry with tags , , on January 14, 2012 by journeymantojo

I’ve had a few runs at joining bands. And I’ve written some poems. And at the urging of some friends, I’ve decided to share some. Hope you enjoy.

A SOLID STATE

Things I think
Thoughts are through

Felt these feelings
Filed as fool

Fill me
Thoroughly

Caramel champagne ghost she
Delightfully
Morning wakeness evergreen she
Embraces

Lingering expectation that ferocious
Perfume
Dances wild laughing she feline
Naked

Marble
Wonderland daughter
Poison
Sleeping heartless

A draught of loss
A drought of hope
Drinking in every moment

 

And as a lark, I’ve decided to include a battle rap I wrote a while back. You know, to show I can sometimes emcee if need be.

BATTLE RAP

I’m mystic
Cryptic
Solar ecliptic
You missed it
As I launch verbal ballistics

An efficient murder seems a lost cause
If I wanted your opinion, I’d work your jaw
Sometimes a thought is wasted on some
This verbal jism, my words are waiting to come
Sonnets and poetry just fall from my lips
Words and verbs like milk from a tit
Landing in your ear, make your brain all sticky
A bag of dildos, you know, a little bit dicky
If you think my words are nuts, then try on deez
My thoughts get busier than your mom on her knees
Now there’s an image that’s kinda revolting
Look at me, I’m so angry, I’m molting
Yeah, I just quoted Aladdin in my rhyme
But you’re fat and you’ll be it all the time

 

Thank you!

…on Gaming Soundtracks: Cyberpunk Edition

Posted in Brain Droppings, Cyberpunk, Lists, Music, Roleplaying Games with tags , , , , on January 12, 2012 by journeymantojo

Warning: This one is for my gaming friends. My usual followers will find my talk of “cybers” and “runners” a bit weird. But I’m a nerd. So I’m gonna nerd out for a bit and just talk to the gamers.

2nd Warning: Some of this music is for adults only. Though I do still snicker when I hear ‘dick’ in the lyrics. And some of these lyrics are…well, they’re not for the timid.

Now I’m not referring to video games. I’m talking the table top stuff. It’s something I always hear when I’m listening to a record or soundtrack or music in general. “Man, this is giving me some awesome imagery. Let’s use this.”

Now when it’s a future setting I prefer something electronic or mind blow-y. Like:

Yeah, that’s the major from Ghost in the Shell. One of the greatest cyberpunk anime to date…in my less than humble opinion. The song is from Stand Alone Complex. Phenomenal show and one of the best sources for cyberpunk imagery and stories. Pop this one in to prep myself for the game. Lots of synth. And awesome vocals.It just makes me think of fast paced, somber moments. And drop ships. Don’t know why it does the last.

Got combat? Need the dice to roll? Shit hit the fan and you got guys dicking around? I throw this one in. Fast paced and keeps the bullets flying. There is a reason this shit works in movies. Because it gets blood going. And it will keep the dice hot so you don’t have anybody “strategizing”. Other really good bullet throwers:

Anything to keep the action going. I always like the feel to be anything that just keeps the action going. Stay in character and fight. Noise = chaos. So thrash never hurts.

High speed and full of noise. And for those who like to make an entrance. Fully cybered and owns the room.

And come on. Slow waltz into a club only to have shit go down. Yeah. Oldie but a goodie. And while we’re on the subject of shit breaking down.

A runner’s worst nightmare. A hack that goes scary….fast.

Hand-to-hand always seems to break down game flow. But if you keep the players heads in the game, it becomes an epic experience. I always like this one for when your cybers decide to handle it old skool.

And yeah, even your cybers will need to go lo-fi on some runs. Other lo-fi guerrilla warfare aka the house to house shit type music below.

Yeah, like that. And….

Hey! It’s a song about robbing and living criminal….you know, like all the illegitimate actions your runners and cybers will be doing. Ante Up.

This one has actually led to some very good situations. Cybers and runners suddenly becoming the most dangerous element in the game….men with no more shits to give. Even the gamers who didn’t even like hip-hop went insane in the game. Lit cigarettes, action, bullets, broken arms, and just general mayhem. Ordered chaos…with lyrics.

That should be enough to get it going. But let’s close with a good finale. The summation. The cool down. The what-the-hell-went-down part. ExP and awards. Divvy the loot and vanish into the shadows until your tapped for the next run.

Good run. See you guys at the next game.

…on Growing Up, Not Growing Old

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Happy News, Music with tags , , , on December 29, 2011 by journeymantojo

Stop microwave at 0:01……bomb defused!

When I walk up to automatic doors, I wave my hands before they open. Because I’m a sorcerer!

I sneak up on someone and say their name. Scared them? If yes, then I’m a NINJA!

Hiding in the clothes rack at a department store whispering “Pick me!” when someone is shopping. I’m the Phantom of the Kohl’s!

Drop cookie and successfully juggling, then catching said cookie. Raise hand in victory because there is no sweeter awesome than the accidental awesome!

Saying “Hey, did you see the new upsexy?” and having the person ask “What’s upsexy?” setting me up for the funniest lame ass response ever (“Not much gorgeous, what’s up with you?!”). I am a master comic!

Having a fragile item fall off a shelf and catching it before it hits the ground AND making it look effortless. I’m an ASSASSIN!

That’s what I feel like. Like I just got one over on the world. Do a little victory dance and celebrate the win.

You see, I have trouble hearing people judge me over the sound of my own AWESOMENESS! To all my friends past, present and future, thank you. It’s your little chuckles and giggles as I celebrate my awesomeness (and yours when you pull similar stunts) that make us who we are. The League Of Extraordinary Awesomers Of Epic Winitude! The LOEAOEW! (I’m admittedly still working on what we should call our superhero group!)

And to the people who worry about what strangers think. Fuck ’em! The greatest bit of wisdom I’ve ever received from an old person was “I stay this energetic because I keep this thought with me ‘Grow up, but never grow old.'”

Rock on old dude! Rock on!

Because growing old means all this shit!

And who wants that? So here’s to growing up but never growing old! If you stop having fun then you end up as….well, boring. Because one day we will get the girl who is this one.

Which means you’ll get sex!

Yeah! Enjoy this random ass post! Here’s to laughter and smiling and shit! And if you don’t? Well, throw it on the ground!

😛

…on Iron Armor: Kick Ass Metal Covers And some Songs That Need Metal Covers

Posted in Lists, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 13, 2011 by journeymantojo

Sitting here on the old PC falling slowly into YouTube hell and I got to thinking.

Today I’m going to indulge a little of my listing urge and my “fantasy-music-scenarios” yearning. So now I present……..(wait for it)……..(hang in there)……..(stay with me now)……….(I could so do a legen-dary joke here)………..MY FAVORITE METAL COVERS! And after words, my list of SONGS I WISH METAL BANDS WOULD COVER!

So let’s get started. In an order that in no way signifies favorites but just as they pop into my head.

1> “ARMY OF ME”
ORIGINAL:
Bjork is a lot of things off the top of my head. She’s short. She’s from one of those really cold countries. She can be strangely cute. And occasionally, just occasionally, she makes a song that just rocks. Army Of Me is one of those songs. Written about a brother fighting an addiction (Or something to that fact. I can’t remember and can’t be bothered to look it up right now.) But it’s an awesome song is my point. Dark. Crunchy. Song about addiction. What more could it need?
Bjork’s original:
COVER: Oh yeah! That’s what it needs! Some damn serious drop tuning, prog-metal synth hooks, and a throaty dude whose broken ass pronunciations of the English language just seem to add to the severity of the song. I know absolutely nothing about Klone but they do an awesome job of making an awesome song AWESOMER!
Klone’s cover:

2> “SHOUT”
ORIGINAL:
Fact! Every eighties band that was worth a damn made great songs about people in power being dicks and nuclear fallout and all that shit. Modern English did Melt With You. Nena did 99 Luftballoons. Men With Hats did Safety Dance (Well, maybe not every band worth a damn, but it’s still a good song!) Tears for Fears did that with Shout. They actually did it with a lot of songs but this one was great. The music had the kind of pop energy to get mainstream play and the lyrics mattered. Add in the vocals that seemed to border on anger and frustration and you couldn’t possibly improve on that.
Tears For Fears original:
COVER: Hey guys, I know what would make this song angrier! What if we sang it like we are actually pissed off. All they did was add some distortion and (this will probably be a trend) some synth with some very pissed off vocalization. And voila! You have a metal cover that’s definitely in my rotation. (Note: I chose this one over Land Of Confusion because it’s the underdog of Disturbed covers.)
Disturbed’s cover:

3> “FAITH”
ORIGINAL:
George Michael is…..pop. There really is no other way to put it. During the 80’s and early 90’s he could sing about a phone book and I’m pretty sure he would get the one thing he isn’t very interested in. Girl’s panties. Unless he likes to dress up in them. Which I’m not saying he does. This is all speculation. I don’t know the guy. He’s probably cool as hell to hang with and it would be in your favor to hang in public with him because you could get all that throw-away cougar trim that he isn’t really into. Faith was his liberation song. Good hooks, poppy, and shit, easy to dance to. What could you do to improve that?
George Michael’s original:
COVER: Say what you want about the guy (Okay, I will. He’s a douche. He’s a tool. He really grates on my nerves whenever he does things like talk, or think, or breathe, or live.) Fred Durst had some credibility in the late 90’s and early 00’s. And he had a good pop sensibility. And if it wasn’t for his constant whoredom we wouldn’t really be debating over whether nu-metal is really metal or not. But his frat approach to pop gold as well as angsting up the vocals helped make this cover cool. Not to mention the actual talents contributions. DJ Lethal on the turntables and Wes Borland on a dropped D seven string Ibanez. Yeah, good cover.
Limp Bizkit’s cover:

4> “IMAGINE”
ORIGINAL:
If I have to explain any of this you need your head examined. If I even have to tell you who sang it, congratulations on finally moving from under that rock.
THE original:
COVER: I’m not gonna say it. Because to say this epic song for peace could be improved upon then I would be a liar. Well, I wonder?! What if you made it more wrist slitty? What if you decided to appeal to people’s depression driven anger instead of their pop driven hopes? Well, you could do that. In which case you’d end up with this (Not better) but equally as impressive cover.
A Perfect Circle’s cover:

5> “THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
ORIGINAL: The Boss. The man who told Reagan no when he asked to use Born In The U.S.A. That dude is already metal! And The Ghost Of Tom Joad is just a great song about the depression. Yeah, it’s the Tom Joad from The Grapes of Wrath. Don’t know the guy, read a book. He’s the man. And The Boss wrote a song about him. Don’t get any more metal than a blue collar rocker writing a song about a man trying to make sure his family survives during the dust bowl era depression. Try to improve on that.
The Boss’ original:
COVER: Rage Against The Machine says “Challenge Accepted”. One of the greatest political bands decided to do a cover. Tom Morello said “I wonder if I can fuck with that hook.” Zach said “I wonder if those lyrics could be angrier?” And they did. I don’t want to say it but this song is more real, visceral and channels the feeling of that era (As well as channeling the frustration of this era) than Rage’s cover of Tom Joad. Challenge succeeded.
Rage’s cover:

Well, that about does it for my rant on music. But before I leave I would like to take the time to inspire some bands.

TEN YEARS AFTER – “I’D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD”: Haunting vocals, great hooks and a great little rift that is begging to be shredded. Or at least tooled with. Some drop D tuning and some double bass with a little more aggression during the verse (Keep the chorus melodic.) Suggestions: Tom Morello with Maynard James Keenan on vocals. Yeah.
BLUE OYSTER CULT – “GODZILLA”: Holy shit! No one has covered this? Are you kidding me? Blue Oyster Cult has some awesome songs but imagine this one with double bass drums and some cool prog synth to help with the guitars little “Godzilla-esque roar”. Suggestions: Well, Wes could probably throw some of that stuff in there with his seven string. Vocals could be anyone willing to have a little fun. Oh, and some Flea on that bass. Wonder if Portnoy would like to kill some drums for this one.
PETER SCHILLING – “MAJOR TOM (I’M COMING HOME): Yeah, let’s take a song made to follow up the Bowie classic Space Oddity. Change the synth tuning. Do some heavy prog progressions with a serious pitch shift. Yeah, this one screams to be played with. Suggestions: Hell, this one is open. Just get to work!