Sunday, April 25, 2010

Concert Spotlight: Coheed & Cambria (Atlanta, Ga April 23, 2010)

Coheed and Cambria walked out on stage. That was all the crowd needing. A deafening roar of cheers, screams, whistles, and enthusiasm exploded from the masses. 4 Generals of war, standing proud, excited, and immaculate with their instruments. An army of people stood before them. Hundreds of people whose lives have been changed by a single band. The words of 4 men who were successfully able to blend the passion and creativity the world had been missing from music for so long. The lights dimmed, and the echo of One screamed through the renovated opera hall. Then, in a split second, the lights exploded and the band began playing The Broken. The crowd raised their hands to the roof, and all hell broke loose. For the next hour or two there was nothing to be remembered but deafening chants, raised fists, blaring choruses, and a seven and a half minute drum solo that only Chris Pennie could muster up on the spot. That's right. The band rocked the auditorium so hard, so loud, that they actually exploded their sound board, and Chris Pennie was told to improvise, and improvise he did. To sum it up, the performance was amazing. Masters of their craft on stage singing their parables to a crowd of people that have given up so much to be a part of their music. Music that has had such a spark, such inspiration, such magnitude in so many lives has given people a new hope. New faith in music. Mortal human beings forever changed from people to something much greatest. We are Children of the Fence, and we are the luckiest fans in the world. I cannot wait to see Coheed again at any venue in my area, because I have never been so jaw dropped and awe-inspired before. Good work, guys. I hope every show is purely as magical as the one I seen.

Time Consumer
Everything Evil
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3
Three Evils (Embodied In Love & Shadow)
The Velourium Camper III: Al The Killer
A Favor House Atlantic
21:13 (w/ Iro-Bot)
Welcome Home
No World For Tomorrow
The Broken
Guns of Summer
Here We Are Juggernaut
World of Lines
Made Out of Nothing (All That I Am)
Pearl of the Stars

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Format Spotlight: Vinyl

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Vinyl records are coming back. In some form or another, anyway. A lot of people wanna wonder why the music industry is going to shit. Some blame poor CD sales, some people wanna say pop music is ruining everything. Justin Bieber this. Lady Gaga that. No, the answer is actually quite simple. It's lack of passion. Not to say that musical artists are not passionate about the music they create, it's about the listeners lack of passion in wanting to hear it. The solution: A vinyl record. Now days if you want a new song, all you have to do is hit up your favorite music provider, or get one of your friends to rip you a copy of an album. The greatest downfall we were ever given was the ability to choose. I think options ruined everything. When an artist releases an album, he creates a full dynamic of sounds and melodies they want you to enjoy beginning to end. A product musicians are usually very proud of, but that's not the case anymore. There have always been songs fans have preferred over others on albums, but because of this artists know they only have to work really hard on 1 or 2 songs, because that's about how many hits they're gonna have off an album. When Rush released 2112 on vinyl on it's original release date, people didn't get to fast forward or skip songs they didn't like, or at least didn't usually do it. The simplicity in just being able to press a button, and skip to the next had ruined a lot of things for people. They don't enjoy albums anymore, they just wanna hear their favorite tracks, and then jump to a new CD. I know music will never be what it used to, because times do in fact change, but try listening to a vinyl copy of your favorite album, and I promise you'll hear a pure, raw passion that you never felt before. If you want to at least give respect back to the music industry, try giving passion back to the listeners.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Artist Spotlight: LIGHTS

Yes, LIGHTS. A lot of people over the last 2 years have insulted me in many different ways, and not once have I faltered or changed my mind. I figured I would now take a second to explain how this woman heroically saved a genre of music for me. Let's start with her as a person. I have never personally met her, but from stories of others, and the postings of her twitter, video blog, and various other ways she stays in touch with her fans, she bears a very important quality. She's real. She seems as though she not only cares about her fans, and the experience they receive from her performances and albums, but she also cares about keeping her fan base loyal and strong. She's in touch with reality, and she actually appreciates the hand she's been dealt in life. Now onward to the point more important in this entry, her music. At first her music, admittedly, was nothing unique or standout to me. Auto-Tune vocals, electronic noise, and basic eletro-pop nonsense. Later down the road I was happily proven wrong. An ex girlfriend of mine popped in her debut EP, and informed me that I HAD to check out "this chick's CD I found the other day." The EP was poppy, fun, enjoyable, colorful, emotional, and just an all around delight to listen to. The album cover was bright and fun, and I had to ask. Who is this that I have been enjoying. The answer actually stunned me. LIGHTS. From that moment on I began going to any show she was playing in my area, and following her music as best I could. Eventually I finally read the news I wanted to read. LIGHTS would be releasing her debut full length, The Listening, and I couldn't have been happier. Electronic based music died for me a long time ago, I couldn't get into it. Everything just got stale, but then I picked up The Listening. I remember thinking that my first listen was actually disappointing, but then I went ahead and gave it a second go, and just like I hoped I felt everything I needed to. The joy, the emotion, the funtastic sounds. This album actually reminded me why Electro-Pop was not some mainstream forgettable sound, but actual music too. The artists did sometimes put their creative force behind an actually impressive piece of work. LIGHTS did that with The Listening, and I couldn't be happier, and more excited, to hear more from her in the future.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Secret & Whisper: Teenage Fantasy


“This album is more united than our previous work. We have different moods throughout but it works better as a whole. Of course we’re outdated because we still have the mentality of making an album when most kids now just care about a song.”

Secret & Whisper's follow up to 2008's Great White Whale could not be summed up better. Take 1 part technical guitar work, 1 part high pitched vocals, and 2 parts Lord of the Rings inspired wonder, and you get the bands vision of Teenage Fantasy. The lyrics are meant to tell the story of vocalist Charles Furney's teen years, but in a more fantasy fictional world. The album doesn't move to much from the debut's sound, but the songs like the instrumental "Pretty Snarl" and softer "Tiny Sparkle" find the band experimenting outside their bubble a little more. Opening very quickly with the track "Youth Cats" the songs stay consistently fast paced, and in your face. The harmonic dual guitar riffs and chords create a very beautiful atmosphere, and the heavy to soft then heavy drumming keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the album. In whole, Secret and Whisper is everything Saosin wanted to be, but couldn't achieve.

Vocals: 7/10
Lyrics: 5/10
Music: 8/10
Overall: 8/10