Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Evanescence: My Heart Is Broken (vs. My Immortal)

The Amy Lee Music Project AKA Evanescence AKA This Blogger’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure has released their second single off of their most recent album, Evanescence. It was a good choice as the album’s second single, and not just because it’s my favorite track off the album. “My Heart Is Broken” is the one song that Amy has released that is closest sonically and thematically to the sound of their first album Fallen. As I remarked in my review of the album itself, “My Heart Is Broken” is a classic example of the power of Amy’s voice to take rather melodramatic lyrics and sing them so convincingly that one can’t help but be caught up in the uplifting emotion that she is conveying (again, as melodramatic as it is). The video for the song is pretty good as well, even if it pales in comparison to the artistic value of “My Immortal’s” video.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

20 Years of 1991: The Reissues

I wonder how my parent’s generation felt in the 1980s when all of their favorite albums were hitting their 20 year release date anniversaries? Honestly, I don’t remember there being a special 20th anniversary re-release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. No, most members of my parents’ generation were far beyond their hippie days by the time the 1980s rolled around. Many of them probably wouldn’t have been particularly interested in a Beatles re-issue. They were too busy voting for Reagan, deregulating business, being the worst kind of greedy capitalist possible, and generally paving the way for Generation X’s own music revolution, as well as the Great Recession. There probably wasn’t a market for a 20th Anniversary Re-Issued, Re-Mastered, and Re-Packaged Meet The Beatles. There does appear to be a market for Re-Issued and Re-Mastered Re-Releases of Achtung Baby (actually this one isn’t re-mastered), Gish, Siamese Dream, Ten, Vs., Vitalogy, and Nevermind though. Hmmm…maybe my parents’ generation figured out how to repackage our own (musical) rebellion and sell it back to us as well, kinda’ like they have with theirs, a la the Volkswagen Beetle.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TOOL (on Tour)

Mystagogues unite! There is no new album on the way, or at least no official word that there is or isn't, but Maynard and the gang have decided that the inter-dimensionally based, but extra-terrestrial, gods of the Golden Ratio and the Jungian Dark Calculus have deemed this the proper time to hit the road, even though Maynard doesn’t like traveling. Seriously though folks, if you’re any type of hard rock/art-metal fan then you really have to see Tool live at least once in your lifetime. The shows I’ve seen have been the equivalent of a good acid trip, acid not needed, and a mind expanding stoner trip, with no marijuana necessary. Tool often requires (or at least encourages) their fans to “Think for Yourself,” and the imagery, music, and non-abrasive (nor invasive) message that they promote during their shows really does inspire that type of thinking. Put aside all of the junk you’ve heard about Adam Jones being into occultism and black magic, and Maynard’s fascination with his dick. The sum of a Tool show (like the band itself) is obviously greater than its parts. Keeping with the band’s interest in mystic math and Pythagorean Theorems, much of Tool’s concert light show is based around the projection of diagrams, symbols, mathematical constructs, Fibonacci sequences, etc. For an example of a Fibonacci sequence in a Tool song check out this classic fan made video from youtube.com:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pearl Jam Boring?

LA Weekly blogger Nicholas Pell recently posted an entry in the “West Coast Sound-Haterade” blog titled “Pearl Jam is The Most Boring Band in 20 Years.” In the blog-happy internet age, where everyone is a critic and self-published writer, one has to be either really good at what they do or really controversial in order to garner any attention. Blog entries that stoke the ire of a legion of one particular band or performer’s fans are a good way to drum up hits, and hits are what it’s all about. Dissing on one of the most popular rock bands of the past 20 years is definitely a way to make a name for ones’ self, especially if you’re writing for a big name site. Pell has done this at least twice now. Since declaring Lulu the Best Album of 2011 wasn’t enough, he went on to call Pearl Jam boring. The reasons Lulu is not the Best Album of 2011, if they’re not self-evident enough on their own, are fully explained here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion though, so please “allow me to retort.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Best Album of 2011: The Big Roar

Yep, I’m going to jump on the “best of” lists that permeate the internet this time of year. Mostly because they are quick, but fun, articles to write that come as a godsend when your self-imposed deadline comes at the end of a 10 day work week. Yeah, hope everyone else out there had a happy holiday.