Month: June 2013

But the Thing About Yeezus Is…

yeezus-new-coverKanye West’s latest album Yeezus was released on Tuesday, June 18. I predicted that this album would fail to impress me due to recent installments from Mr. West alongside Jay-Z on Watch the Throne and many other G.O.O.D. Music artists on Cruel Summer. I was under the impression that Kanye had gone off the deep end into opulence and materialism instead of the mixture that we saw on his previous album, My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy. Well, it turns out he has gone off the deep end, but not in the way I suspected.

But before we talk about Kanye West’s Yeezus, we need to go back, way back, and look at where the West’s previous material so that we can better understand and discuss his new album. All of this is very important to understand my opinion of Yeezus, but I’ll give you a spoiler alert right now, I love it. (more…)

Music Video of the Day: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “The Impression That I Get”

Music videos? Yeah, awesome. Anyway, so early this past Saturday morning, I went to go get my haircut, and they ended up playing several ska songs while I was there. It put me in such a great mood, that I really wanted to start listening to ska bands a lot more recently. So, I just made a Pandora station for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, because they were my gateway into ska as a teenager. I loved the way the band sounded, the vocals, the horn section, I just loved them. “The Impression That I Get” just came on the station, and it got me remembering seeing the video when I was a kid, and how much I loved it. However, what got me this time, is that I’ve now lived a full life. I’ve lived a life in which I’ve very much had to “knock on wood,” and you know what? It wasn’t good, but I got through it, and I will continue to get through the trials and tribulations of life. So, hearing this song right now at this very moment, gave me a new perspective and confidence about life. I’m in an even better mood than I was on Saturday morning, and I hope this video helps put you in a better mood, as well. Whether it’s a superficial, fleeting happiness that lives for a mere 4 minutes, or if it’s deeper, more profound happiness, I hope you enjoy “The Impression That I Get” off The Mighty Might Bosstones’ 1997 breakout album Let’s Face It.

Why I Love Vinyl Records

Misfits - Collection

Vinyl records are making a bit of a come back in the music world, and it has been for the past few years. Lots of older folks that grew up with the medium are getting involved in things like Record Store Day alongside music aficionados, hipsters, and a lot extremely pretentious people. Before I really started getting into listening to records, I would ask my friends and others who were like, “Vinyl, OMG!” why exactly they chose to listen to music this way. Normally, the responses I would get would be along the lines of, “it just sounds better, man,” or they would talk about the ambient sounds and warmth of the pops that are associated with a needle hitting a grove and playing music. Some would approach it in a way to suggest that they liked it because of the classic, vintage feeling they would get when listening. Most of those people were the types that didn’t think any good music came out after 1978, though. Some would even only listen to vinyl records if they were recording on an analog tape, and refused to buy new music on vinyl. While I find bits and pieces of each these arguments to be true when I listen to music, they don’t hold the truth to why I choose to listen this way. New records, old records, if an album I want is available on vinyl, I will be purchasing it that way. No questions asked. But why do I choose to do it this way? (more…)

Music Video of the Day: Snoop Doggy Dogg – “Gin and Juice”

MTV, for all its criticisms, and for all its problems as an idea and concept, had a huge influence on my life as a fan of music, and that lies squarely on the shoulders of the channel in the 1990s. Countdown shows, Yo! MTV Raps, Alternative Nation, 120 Minutes and 12 Angry Viewers exposed me to countless amazing music videos and artists of which I would become a lifelong fan. One of those moments was when I first saw “Gin and Juice” and was shown the wonderful world of west coast gangsta rap. Tupac, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg were a group of artists that did things that could never be replicated. Albums like The Chronic, Doggstyle, and All Eyez on Me were of perfect snapshots of the era. The pinnacle of this era of music and videos, for me, is “Gin and Juice.” So, enjoy the music video of the day from Snoop Doggy Dogg’s 1993 album Doggystyle. By the way, this is a taste of what’s to come later today when I over analyze Snoop Lion’s new song and video “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” with Miley Cyrus. Watch this video, then watch that video and be very, very sad.

Music Video of the Day: Descendents – “I’m The One”

Remember being a teenager and discovering new music from the wonderful world of music videos? The Descendents were a band that I never truly got to fall in love with until later in life, but when I first heard “Coffee Mug” on an MTV Extreme Sports show that I can’t remember the name of, I was instantly interested. I saw this video later on 120 Minutes, but this still lives up to a fun 90s punk revival video, and I hope you get as much joy out of this band, song, and video that I do. Spoiler alert: It’s ridiculous. Here’s the Descendents with “I’m the One” off of the fantastic 1996 album Everything Sucks, which we’ll talk about in the future.

Albums That Shaped My Life: Dazed and Confused Soundtrack

Dazed and Confused

When I was a kid, my parents raised me on music. Neither was truly a musician, although my dad played around on the guitar and sang to me, but both truly appreciated the art form. My father blessed me with the appreciation of popular artists like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, girl groups, 60s pop, and 60s folk artists. My mother, on the other hand, appreciated classical music from the likes of Bach, Chopin, and many others. These were the genres I was raised on, so hearing artists like Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Simon and Garfunkel was commonplace, but what I began to notice is that in my age bracket not many others knew the groups that I grew up with.

I was born in 1983, and if you do the math, a lot of people born around the same time frame had parents who were awakening to music during the late 60s and early 70s. So, barring the occasional oddball Frank Zappa fans, most were more in tune with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, The Allman Brothers, Led Zepplin, etc. Oh, I should also mention that I was born in Mississippi, so the southern rock thing amongst my peers should make more sense. While all of these groups were certainly known to me, even at a young age, I didn’t grow up on them, so I didn’t have a strong appreciation for them. Enter Parker Camp. (more…)