We covered a Kiss song recently, in prepping for it I fell into a dark hole that involved me listening to all 20 (+ EPs, live, solo, etc) of their albums and reading each of their biographies. Between the drunken car crashes, police raids, and trashed hotels, I found some hidden gems and a story of flawed people who faked it until they became the biggest band in the world. Here’s some of the songs I didn’t know about until I dug a little deeper:
It’s been a pretty good year for music. A couple of sleeping giants woke up a dropped their best albums yet; but also some newer bands came out of left field to surprise us.
I’m having anxious feelings with another new Rancid album release looming. I just don’t want be hurt again. I’ve ranked their albums from worst to best to reflect on what makes for a good Rancid album. I only counted studio full-lengths on this list; no EPs, splits, side projects, etc.
There’s a lot of bad pop-punk out there. Listening to the radio, you might get the impression that there’s no depth to it. I decided to make a list of personal favourites, rather than the consensus favourites (Descendents, Ramones) all the other listicles copy and paste. Hopefully this can prove to you that there’s more to the genre the skinny jeans and teenage angst.
Power-violence can be a tough jar of pickles to open. With it’s impenetrable song structures, dissonant melodies, and broken telephone production; the genre feels almost set up loose the audience. Blank Side’s EP ‘Etheric’ does a pretty good job making the more challenging elements of the music accessible.
2016 has been weird, Bowie’s dead and Trump’s president. A lot of my favourite bands disappointed me, other bands I thought were just ok, surprised me. Here’s this year’s picks for best music:
‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ was the first Dead Kennedys song I ever heard. In it’s one minute run time, it had more ideas than most other songs:
“You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
Unless you think”
Bass players are the puppet masters of the band. Like some kind of wizard behind the curtain, they control everything (tempo, drops, root notes, goatees), but non-musical types can’t even hear them. That’s the trick to being a good bassist; not being noticed for ruining a song. Let’s see who did well:
How many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but he has to wait for the whole world to revolve around him.
Ready to shave off that ironic mustache and trade it in for bedraggled (yet calculated) faux thrift? Everything has a context; the cheap analog basement recording methods that were once a material necessity, are now just a form of status signalling. The DIY art/packaging/distribution of yesteryear, has been eclipsed by bandcamp and photoshop (which everyone can afford/steal). What was once an uncoerced form of self-expression has been reduced to reified consumerist posturing.