Music and Stuff

Hello, and welcome to this blog , the perfect place to find reviews of all types of music; rock, electronic, hip hop, and others, reviewed by a teenager completely immersed in all music. Here I will review classic albums, both famous and obscure. So, enjoy my opinions.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mixcraft (With some Brian Eno)

As you have probably have guessed by now, my idol in the production world is and always will be Brian Eno. For a year I've studied his techniques. I've looked at colleges with the best programs for music production and engineering, I've worked with Garageband and other D.I.Y. (Do-it-yourself) music programs; I even mixed my band's only recording (It didn't do much good; my overdubs failed horribly [I couldn't actually play the song], and all I could do that was really noticeable was make it a clearly divided stereo recording). The one thing standing in my way was a program for my Windows. I have, after months of searching (Albeit very casual searching), found a program. It's called Mixcraft: It's basically the PC equivalent of Garageband. It even looks the same. So if you want to be like Brian Eno, and you are Mac-less, get this! It will be awesome (I hope; I haven't actually gotten it yet.)

Low: David Bowie, 1977

The first time I heard this I almost threw it out the window. It creeped me out. But I'm not saying this is a bad album. It's amazing. It just...it's weird. You will have to keep in mind that when I heard this, I had about five songs by him: Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, The Man Who Sold the World, Changes, and Life on Mars? . This sound was new to me. For those of you who don't know what this sounds like (Or don't really care enough to look the songs up), then I'll do the best I can. This the first Bowie album to have an instrumental (6 of 11 are instrumental), and the first to feature the greatest producer ever, Brian Eno (Agree with me on that or I'll hunt you down and...Actually, I don't know exactly what I would do, but you wouldn't like it at all), who turned Bowie on to bands like Kraftwerk, Harmonia, Cluster, and Can. This enabled them to get a new sound; Bowie goes to Germany. Electronics are used frequently, and vocals are short and usually heavily treated. This album was Bowie's second step towards cementing himself in the outer regions of rock music, but he stayed there, and the world loved it.
Four and a half stars of five.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome Wilco!

I have added the band Wilco to my "Like" list. I highly reccomend them, especially for fans of poetry and acoustic music.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

So: Peter Gabriel, 1986

Yes, I've been doing too many Peter Gabriel related albums. But I couldn't wait to do this one. At first I thought this would be extremely cheesy because it was a mid-80's album, and it has a mid-80's sound. Not a cheesy sound though; an amazing sound. It's as good as any of his other classics. It still has cosmic dream imagery (Red Rain), and rockin' classics (Sledgehammer). In fact, every song here is classic. Not only does it retain the feel of his earlier albums, as if it was a mixture of the african rythms of Peter Gabriel (Third album, AKA Melt) and the nervous synths of Peter Gabriel (Fourth album, AKA Security), it also brings in a new, more ambient, spacey sound (Thanks to noted ambient producer Daniel Lanois, who is best known for being producing buddy with none other than ambient music's most legendary legend, Mr. Brian Eno). It makes this album have a special sense about it that none of the other albums ever had. Five stars

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway: Genesis, 1974


Although often called Genesis's best effort, I don't agree. It is their second best. But that still makes it an amazing concept album. It tells the horribly confusing story of Rael, a half puerto rican, who becomes a victim of Peter Gabriel's mind in times square. Well, not exactly. You'd have to read the story for yourself (It's in the CD booklet, but I'm sure you could find it online). The whole reason for the story is that he's trying to find and save his brother John from the strange world they've been sucked into. The songs tell the story with incredible detail, and the original title track theme is repeated constantly through the album. Although confusing, it's a great listen. Peter Gabriel's lyrics and vocals are at their peak, and the rest of the band is phenomenal, except for lead guitarist Steve Hackett, whose role seems horribly diminished. My favorite concept album (Barely overtaking "Tommy" by The Who, because of sheer lyrical ability. Sorry Mr. Townshend. Your lyrics are good too, though.) Five stars.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Best bassists

Here's a review of someone's best bass players list. I'm only reviewing those I have opinions on. If you want to see this site, go to: http://www.musicbanter.com/rock-metal/41960-100-greatest-bass-players-rock-pop.html
The information here is the property of that person. I think. Please go to that site and rate his or her list. It is very good.
2. John Entwhistle (The Who): Yes. He was an absolutely amazing player. Very, very underrated.
4. Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, session work): Great player. Also very skillful with the Chapman Stick (His instrument of choice with King Crimson; check out "Sleepless" by them)
5. Paul McCartney (Beatles, Wings, solo): Although I am a little biased (My favorite member of my favorite band), he has a lot of skill. Very intricate lines, and quick playing.
8. Jack Bruce (Cream): No. I don't think he's that great.
17. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin, Them Crooked Vultures, session work): Yes. One of my favorite musicians ever. Also very good at the keyboard.
34. Mike Rutherford (Genesis, solo): Higher. Fast, skillful, good writer. Everything you might want in a bassist.
35. Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order): Yes. He started the idea that the bass is as important as the guitar. A bass revolutionary. Let's have a moment of silence please...okay that's enough.
39. Sting (The Police, solo): Yes. Really good at reggae.
40. Paul Simonon (The Clash): Yes. He has more skill at bass than most punks.
43. Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club): Higher. My favorite female bassist (Okay, I don't know of any more, but even if I did, I would still like her the best).
50. Jah Wobble (Public Image Ltd.): Yes. Very hypnotic.
51. Colin Moulding (XTC, Dukes of Stratosphear): Yes. Another revolutionary with Peter Hook at giving the bass a better role in rock.
52. Holger Czukay (Can): Higher. He influenced at least two other people on here.
64. Nick Lowe (Solo, Brinzley Shwartz, Rockpile): Faster. Mile-a-minute lines coupled with occasional key changes: all while singing.
73. Trevor Bolder (David Bowie): Higher. Fast as lightning.
Here's who I think should be on also:
Andrew Bodnar, Bruce Thomas, Glen Matlock, Herbie Flowers, Michael Ivins, and Cris Kurtwood.

Peter Gabriel (First album, AKA Car): Peter Gabriel, 1977


This is my favorite Peter Gabriel album. It still retains the magic of Genesis (It sounds quite a bit like "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway"), yet moves on to a more mature, worldly feel. It contains two of Gabriel's most popular songs (Solsbury Hill, Here Comes the Flood) that have become international classics, and other classics known only to us Peter Gabriel fans (Modern Love, Moribund the Burgermeister, Humdrum, Slowburn). There is still lots of Genesis influence in some of these songs, most noticeable on Moribund the Burgermeister and the second half of Humdrum, but he had moved on in style. The first half of Humdrum has many spanish influences, Excuse Me is a barbershop quartet song, Waiting For the Big One sounds like something Tom Waits might do, and Down the Dolce Vita has an operatic style beginning. Although not quite as avant-garde as Peter Gabriel (Second album, AKA Scratch), or as more focused on african rythms and other types of world music as Peter Gabriel (Third album, AKA Melt), but this one proves that Peter didn't need Genesis to be amazing. Five stars. Definitely one of the best of all time. Cool album cover too.

Yes!!! A follower!

Dear follower guy "Bret",
You are awesome! My first follower! Yes!!!!! It took my mom three years to get one! I will not disappoint you, "Bret"! Also, please write a comment if you want to request anything.
Sincerely, the writer of this blog.

Embryonic: The Flaming Lips, 2009

This time I'm going to do a simple, short and sweet review. Like the professionals do.
The Flaming Lips released their highly anticipated twelfth album in late 2009. I've listened to it, but not much really stands out to me. There are many good things about it though; It is very original, and it has some very good songs on it. People have said that it compares to the style of Miles Davis, John Lennon, and Joy Division. Yeah...um...no. Miles Davis is jazzy, John Lennon is cheery, and Joy Division are suicidally deppressed. This is...there is no word for what this is. I'm not saying it's bad, but really, The Sex Pistols sound more like Miles Davis than this does. Maybe I could understand if it wasn't so strangely mixed. It sounds like they just threw some random effects down on it. But at least their "Dark Side of the Moon" cover album sounds better. I expect the next one to be better produced, guys.
Two and a half out of five. You let us down, Wayne, Michael, Steven, and Kliph. Way down man.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Song Comparison: "Behind the Lines" by Genesis and "Behind the Lines" by Phil Collins

These are two classic versions of the same classic song. The Genesis version is from their 1980 album "Duke", while the version by their frontman/drummer Phil Collins is from his 1981 debut solo album "Face Value". The Genesis is a dramatic art rock piece, with a fast, upbeat intro, which progresses into the slower singing part. The Phil Collins version faster and funkier. Of the two, I prefer the version by Genesis. The intro on the Genesis version is great, and (Despite not really having the same melody as the verses) it kind of leads into the verses. The Phil Collins version is a bit faster, but a little disapointing when compared to the version he did on his "No Ticket Required" tour (Video is on Youtube). Both are awesome. Genesis version: 5 stars. Phil's version: 4 stars.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Aim Is True: Elvis Costello, 1977

This is a classic album. Featuring a lot of my favorite Costello songs, this is probably my favorite Elvis Costello album. Not quite punk, not quite new wave, I'm not sure any genre. It does include punk and new wave, but also rockabilly and blues. It features some great bassists (Andrew Bodnar, Nick Lowe). Anyway, here's the track by track review.
1. Welcome To the Working Week: 10/10. One of my favorite songs. Sadly, it's horribly short.
2. Miracle Man: 10/10. Another classic that focus on the country and rockabilly influences.
3. No Dancing: 10/10. This one focuses on the style of music that Costello would be making in the early 80's.
4. Blame It On Cain: 10/10. Another rockabilly type number featuring top notch guitar, and one of Costello's fisrt to have effects not created by guitars, vocals, keyboards, or drums.
5. Alison: 8/10. A slower one, and not one of my favorites.
6. Sneaky Feelings: 9/10. Another good uptempo numbers that draws on the music played by the generations before him.
7. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes: 10/10. One of my favorites, this one is a good example of the music Costello was playing at this point.
8. Less Than Zero: 10/10. A nicely controversial song (Most every record has one). Not about Lee Harvey Oswald, but some british politician.
9. Mystery Dance: 10/10. A nice fast-paced number that has a lot of rockabilly in it.
10. Pay It Back: 8/10. Another song that kind of reminds me of the more famous Elvis.
11. I'm Not Angry: 9/10. The only truly angry sounding song on here.
12. Waiting For the End of the World: 10/10. Another of my favorites, this has one of the best guitar riffs on the album.
13. Watching the Detectives (US Release Only): 10/10. My first Costello song. The best bassline ever on a Costello album.
Five stars. Great!!

Song: Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, Genesis, 1973

This is a classic Genesis song. Another of their early epics, it begins with lead singer Peter Gabriel singing A Capella, with drums, mellotron, and guitar slowly being added in. It soon evolves into a harder, more charging rock song. It eventually begins to slow down, and ends with a quiet instrumental part.