Archive for May, 2008
Dethklok is a virtual death metal band on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse. The show basically follows the part-American/part-Scandinavian band around as they go on tours, endorse products, perform charitable acts to avoid paying taxes and other related businesses in the music industry.
Their ability to command worldwide attention and effortlessly persuade masses of people usually lead to disasters, severe weather phenomena, paranormal anomalies, and injuries and fatalities to pretty much the whole crowd. Despite this, die hard fans are willing to sign “pain waivers” at the entrance, releasing the band from legal liability in case they are killed or crippled.
Dethklok had their first and only album, The Dethalbum, out late last year. It debuted at #21 on the Billboard 200 chart making it the highest chart positioned death metal album to date, according to StylusMagazine.com. The vocals on a lot of these tracks are all growls, some more clear than others. Some lyrics are well written while others are just the song name repeated over and over again. Overall they’re pretty funny and I don’t think they’re meant to be taken seriously. The guitar work, however, is simply amazing and I think that’s what made Dethklok a real band rather than just being a part of a cartoon show. If you’re a Guitar Hero fan or played Guitar Hero II, you have probably heard “Thunderhorse” before.
Dethklok will be touring with Chimaira and Soilent Green. I have heard of neither of these bands but here’s the tour schedule:
6/2/08 Roseland Theatre Portland, OR
6/3/08 Showbox SODO Seattle, WA
6/5/08 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
6/6/08 Wiltern Theatre Los Angeles, CA
6/7/08 House of Blues – Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
6/8/08 House of Blues – San Diego San Diego, CA
6/10/08 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ
6/11/08 Sunshine Theater Albuquerque, NM
6/12/08 Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO
6/14/08 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
6/15/08 Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
6/16/08 House of Blues – Chicago Chicago, IL
6/17/08 Clutch Cargos Pontiac, MI
6/19/08 House of Blues – Cleveland Cleveland, OH
6/20/08 Kool Haus Toronto, ONT
6/21/08 MTL Festival Montreal, QC
6/22/08 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
6/24/08 The Palladium Worcester, MA
6/25/08 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
6/26/08 Ram’s Head Live Baltimore, MD
6/27/08 Theater of Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
6/29/08 House of Blues – South Carolina N. Myrtle Beach, SC
6/30/08 Hard Rock Live Orlando, FL
7/1/08 Jannus Landing St. Petersburg, FL
7/2/08 Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
7/4/08 Meridian Houston, TX
7/5/08 House of Blues – Texas Dallas, TX
7/6/08 La Zona Rosa Austin, TX
If you’re wondering how they will be performing on stage, Dethklok will be set up Gorillaz-style with the actual musicians, Brendon Small (creator) and his ensemble, playing at the side, according to UltimateGuitar.com
I heard about The Dodos from a friend and a 8.5 Pitchfork review put them on the radar. Anyway The Dodos are from San Francisco California…playing what is referred to as psychedelic folk. I hate the term psychedelic as a genre because it could be anything, another form of pop or progressive rock.
Genre isn’t important but they do take elements of folk and add their own spin with complex arrangements while keeping the music generally relaxed. Their songs range from 1-2 minute pieces to 6 minute epic songs. There’s 4 tracks that are greater than 6 minutes. I think they have one mistake on this album and it comes with the track “The Season” being a 6 minute song hurts it as well. I think that the track doesn’t bring quite enough compared to the extra instrumentation and the use of vocals like the on the rest of the album, The Season comes off bland and really just takes way too long to build upon. The end is great but waiting 5 minutes into a 6 minute song…usually makes me want to press “skip”.
The rest of the album is top notch though. I definitely would say “Jodi” is my favorite for the amazing intro and with a frantic quality to. The next would be “God?” which comes off as a great ending to an album. I absolutely love the vocals…perfect vocals the relaxing type but with enough range to keep from being bored during the soft moments. There are a vast amount of instruments and a lot of random bits.
Musically it’s unique and if probably challenging if I attempted to try to play one of their songs but the way it’s done they’ve made challenging to make music easy to listen to and I love that shit.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Excellent album, with some downright amazing arrangements.
The Crystal Castles got into some trouble after stealing artwork claiming they didn’t know who the artists was and that they hoped he/she would come out of the woodwork. The image was of Madonna with a black eye and they sold that image on their EP and that the artist Trevor Brown was pissed. There has been a few war of words, with Trevor Brown saying he did not receive any payment as part of the agreement.
Anyway I am rehashing old news that nobody cares about, I think stealing music is much more sacred and a bigger news story. Apparently it’s been out there for about a little more then a month but has picked up ZERO media steam aside from Exclaim. Stealing music is like a pro-athlete taking steroids in my world…they are done for the same reasons. Anyway the big controversy was a song called “
IntersectionInsecticon” they listed as one of their own songs but then switched it to a remix AFTER hearing complaints. The original song was done by Lo-Bat who had an open Creative Commons license meaning it was free to use without commercial use provided you gave credit where credit is due.
I think the problem I have with a lot of the media outlets is that they are making it a Creative Commons issue…while I think that is one path to take…a boring one though why not bash the perpetrators like they deserve to be? Apparently there has been a lot more theft of songs and after listening to the evidence, it’s pretty damn arguable that Crystal Castles isn’t as original or cool as they are leading on. The songs are similar that you can say that some tracks are at least sampled.
I will say that I believe theft in the music industry feels like it is going to get more common as the “indie” scene becomes even more massive then it already is. We have millions of bands across the world with tons of different styles and all that much more obscure bands…who probably can’t afford litigation and they just have to cause a “fuss”.
Crystals Castles stole, they changed their tune (switching the credits is not cool) and they are trying to brush it off as it’s okay. But it’s not. Their integrity is now compromised and even if you hear something new how would you know it’s not stolen? Other tracks are believed to be rip-offs as well but the least of what they did was steal one track.
Artists should have their ass handed to them if they are caught stealing, because athletes are ripped apart for doping but they only hurt themselves more then anything while artists who steal music from others hurts the fans even more (sport fans pay to watch the sport more then the individual athlete) and the artist(s) they steal from.
Thanks for Flight Test for bringing this up…totally missed it and I think ALL OF YOU music fans should be outraged. Fans or not. I think anyone accused of theft in the music world needs to be acted much more harshly upon as this can’t be tolerated!
I don’t know how I am going to approach the Crystal Castles anymore. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and it may affect my reviewing abilities of them but that’s their fault. They still have their millions of myspace fans so what do they care.
Death Cab for Cutie has already solidified themselves as a top band of this decade, especially with their back to back monster albums, Translanticism (2003) and Plans (2005). Recently there has been a lot of buzz around Narrow Stairs, Death Cab’s latest full length effort, and in some ways I agree with the critics. But the album has also given me reason to write my first critical review.
First and foremost, I’m a huge fan of Plans, songs like Marching Bands of Manhattan, Soul Meets Body, and I Will Follow You into the Dark, filled me with an unexplainable joy offered in a very surreal, sadist kind of way. These songs were memorable, and really epitomized the quality of music coming from Death Cab at the time. I can’t say that any song from Narrow Stairs remotely matches any of the three mentioned from Plans. Given that Death Cab seemingly chose a darker more musical route than the upbeat inspirational stuff I heard from previous albums, I felt Narrow Stairs was a tad of a letdown in that respect. That’s the problem with follow up albums, bands change, and fans are often left wanting more of the previous, but in this case I didn’t get my fill.
With that out of the way, the album was good, and if this was any other band besides Death Cab, it could have been very good. Bixby Canyon Bridge, the first track off Narrow Stairs was entertaining, but again, not memorable. I didn’t really feel a direction in terms of the mood, but musically everything was on par to classic Death Cab material. It’s a very grungy, laid back tune, with the inspiring vocals of Ben Gibbard, that’s enough to make a decent song, but I didn’t feel awe-inspired or any of that jazz.
Second on the track list, is a song that has been featured and praised across the interweb, I Will Possess Your Heart. I will get a lot of flack for this, but I wasn’t impressed, I found it excessively long. Some people have fallen in love with this track, but it wasn’t as if it was 8 minutes of constantly changing instrumentals. It was the same guitar riff over a span of 5-6 minutes, and a little too tedious for my taste. But then again, for me, the less Ben Gibbard I hear, the less I want to hear the song, let that be a testament of the appreciation I have for Ben.
After the first two tracks, I get to material that I begin to get a feel for. No Sunlight the third song and my favourite track is pleasantly upbeat, yet remaining true to the laid back nature of Death Cab. There’s a little more action as compared to the first 14 minutes of the album (that’s only two tracks!), and some may say it gets a little more mainstream from then on, but I like it. No Sunlight is followed up by Cath… and again, it’s the same faster paced, but only slightly inspiring material. Yet amidst all the pretty good songs on this album, I still wonder, where’s the next Soul Meets Body?
This album had a wealth of decent songs, it was a good listen, and an ok effort. But I may be one of the few out there who just loves the pop side of Death Cab. Plans wasn’t particularly fast paced or more action packed, but it provided that memorable optimistic track that steals my mind for the 3-4 minutes it’s on. I don’t think Death Cab needed to go the dark route, or the more mainstream route, they didn’t need the grungy guitars, or the overly depressed vocals. Translantacism was also an unbelievable album in my eyes, and it’s the soft pop that I crave not the indie melancholy they went for. If you’re a Death Cab fan, check for yourself, you may find a new side that you’ve always wanted, or if you’re like me, you may find an ok album from an unbelievable band.
I haven’t discussed enough hockey on this music blog…I’m Canadian AND from Toronto. This year has been sucky (for us Leaf fans) but whenever you can promote hockey to an American audience why the heck not?
Here’s a random playlist that I hope seems somehow related: ( I gotta go out)
1. The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance by Vampire Weekend
2. Flyin by Regina Spektor
3. Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk
4. Ballad of A Comeback Kid by The New Pornographers
5. Inaction by We Are Scientists
6. Attack of the 60 ft Lesbian Octopus by Does It Offend You Yeah?
7. In Search of the Youth Crew by Cadence Weapon
8. Passing the Hat by Cold War Kids
9. Heart and Soul by Joy Division
10. Lucky Ones by Kevin Drew
Filler so I can adjust the below alignment!!!