Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Music Blog for Taylor

Music Blogif

Okay then. So while this didn’t start with Taylor (known from now on as Kid) it goes to him anyway seeing as the music I listen to is one of those things that keeps coming up in conversation after conversation. I suppose it happens as a result of meeting new people or some other thoroughly horrifying thing that I am forced to do as being burdened with things like emtions, natural charm, and artificial desires. No matter though because now this along with many other questions will be answered. AND SO what sort of music do I listen to? All kinds. So there.

Yeah yeah lot of people give that answer. I am going to show you that I actually mean it.

I am going to start this with somewhere random. Japanese music. I love Japanese music.

The main reason for this is because it doesn’t put on any airs. When you watch anime or occationally track down lyrics to your favorite songs they will frequently not make sense. It isn’t that the lyrics are poorly translated it is just that Japanese song writters don’t put meaning at the forefront of their thought process when coming up with song lyrics. They will occationally throw around phrases in other langages, most frequently English and sometimes they belong and other times they don’t. As a result I will be cheerfully listening to a Japanese rap song that sounds like something like LFO. I don’t like LFO but I do like the Japanese song. This is because, first and foremost I like the way music sounds. That seems like an idiotic thing to say so let me explain myself abit. No matter why genra of music I am listning to I don’t like stuff that fades into the background. Music that you can just put on and then go do something else all the while only half hearing what you are listening to. It doesn’t work for me. I want to listen to what I am hearing. I want my music to be interesting enough so that if I were to sit with my hands at my side and just listen I would still be entertained. In fact the music I like the most is music that would actually distract me from my current task. So I couldn’t write something dense or play a demanding video game while listening to my music because I would be to busy listening to my music.

So why does the Japanese music work so well for me? While I like the way LFO’s songs sound for the most part the lyrics will occationally get in the way. By occationally I mean all the god damn time. I don’t need things to be brilliant when it comes to lyrics in fact most times I try not to pay to much atension to them so the vocal track becomes just another instrument and I let the song as a whole take me. This is why I tend to shy away from American Pop music for the most part. While I would certainly like to share in some of the emotions the music envokes the over emphasis on clear, easy to understand, simple lyrics doesn’t work for me. Japanese lyrics do, not only because the song doesn’t make sense to me, but I am safe in the knowledge that the song may not make sense to them either and it is best to just listen for the song as the song and let things go.

Unlike some of my contemporaries my Japanese music collection or knowledge there of isn’t very extensive. In fact it is sadly limited. I plan on expanding on this soonish but I will either need a bigger hard drive or a portable alternative (I am leaning twords portable.). So most of my music is cribbed from soundtracks and friends. Some of my favorites are:

The Pillows, not just their work on FLCL mind you, they have a ton of great songs scattered all throughout their discography

Yoko Kanno- Not just Cowboy Bebop. I actually first heard of Yoko when I bought the sound track to Macross Plus way back in middle school. What an incredible music career. I mean look at it, from working with the Isreali orchestra to the seatbelts such a wide range of musical compostions. It really is astounding.

Pizzicardo 5- My first non soundtrack offering coming from one Jessica Carter. She introduced me to them and other things via her face book postings and in car sound system. This is one of those things that makes you thankful you encounter other people I tell you what.
The Hellsing Sountrack- First project when I start rebuilding my mp3 collection will be to find out who preformed this and get everything else they’ve done. I’ve yet to encounter anything else that has so nearly combined sin, sex, and cool so neatly and not through boring direct lyrics but just through the raw sound of those songs. Just listening to the opening theme oozes a sweet slinky atmosphere that makes me want to do something I’ll regret years down the line.

Paranoia Agent’s Sountrack- Hirasawa is someone else who I plan on tracking down as soon as I resume the collection because the paranoia soundtrack is one of my favorite things ever.

Sigh- Sigh is the last of the Japanese I am going to list mostly because they will allow me to neatly switch gears from Japanese music to my next topic. Sigh I actually disovered in a book about black metal, I mean a Japanese black metal band? How fabulous! And they are. Oddly enough they’ve grown up with me which is really strange. While I was in high school and I was most into my METAL phase so was sigh. Then at one point in collage right about the time I was realizing that I was pretty much past the emitional void that black metal filled Sigh realized they were fucking Japanese and went insane. As a result you have a band who starts off heavily influced by Venom (aweful music I realized that even back in high school) to a band who is willing to make the sunset song. The Sunset song is something that needs to be heard rather than explained. Fortunatly Youtube provides.


Ah yes metal. My exploration of metal happened very quickly. I don’t even remember what cd I bought that prompted the whole thing I it was a Korn cd. Anyway that prompted my friend Lior to hand me a couple of things and I quickly didn’t look back. I became a pretty serious fan of black metal and phish pretty much at exactly the same time. This is just how I roll. We are focusing on the metal part of myself though. I am not going to go into details because I don’t undertand all of them myself but I am going to just leave it with the statement that, “I used to be a very angry young man”. Very very angry. I didn’t even understand the depths of my rage or where it came from. It was there though and Black Metal was the only thing that even came close to getting at it. A lot of people like to ask what is the difference between Black metal and Death metal. The truth of it is that I don’t’ know shit about music composition. What I do know is that Black Metal shakes me down to my very bones where as Death Metal makes me want sip some lemonade. It is the emotional resonance that matters most. As I said whatever it was went the way of my suicidal tendencies (not that the two were linked mind you) and as a result I simply can’t listen to it like I once used to. Which is a shame because I did like it and sometimes I will still turn on “Thus Spake the Night Spirit” because it really is quite an enjoyable little ditty.

My favorite black metal bands are:
Dimmu Borjir
Annnnnd that’s it really. It actually is a pretty small genra and I never did really learn to appreciate Burzum and lots of the other stuff gets lumped elsewhere. Emperor though, oh my there is something that deserves a little bit of a special mention. They pretty much defined that genra and holy fuck did they ever deserve to. Later on they split up into two band Peccatum and Zyklon. Peccatum carried on with some of the more symphonic stuff they were doing and Zyklon happened because some members of emperor didn’t think they were MEAL enough. The combination of the two though, that is what made emperor what it is, legendary. Zyklon and Peccatum are both very good, I mean holy fuck if you ever listen to Zyklon’s drummer he puts methodic to shame in terms of pure energy. But neither are the original.

However, you can’t do all black metal all the time. It will drive you insane. I know this cause it almost happened. So I branched out. One of my favorite wannabi bands is Cradle of Filth. Maybe calling them a wannabi black metal band is a bit harsh but I don’t care. They have given me two of my favorite all time Cds so it isn’t like I hate them, but they certainly aren’t Emperor. Also I would like to make it VERY clear that when I am talking about Cradel of Filth I am talking Midian and earlier. After Midian they got a little bit too…boring I think is the applicable word for them. However, both Cruelty and the Beast along with Midian make for two unusually glorious cds. One is because I have a Bathory fetish and because it is a damn fine cd I don’t care what you say. Okay wait if you want to claim that Danny Fith’s screaming is irritating I will allow you that. However, barring that it is a good cd. Midian isn’t as good but the cd itself is a great deal of fun and you can tell that some of the songs was just Danny taking the piss. I mean who can really take anything called Lord Abortion seriously?

Moving onto the stranger side of things I developed a massive love for Tristania. They are definitely one of those bands that started out strong and wandered away but it will become pretty clear after a bit that I am a huge bloody fan of strong female vocals. First cd had better lyrics and the second cd had better production and composition. The third cd just kinda was and I honestly don’t know if they made anything after that. Well I just checked because I couldn’t remember After Forever’s name and my haven’t they been busy little bees? Three new cds that I am now eager to check out, I did really do like them. While the genra is wide the only other two bands I took away from Symphic metal were Nightwish and After Forever. Nightwish has some TERRIBLE lyrics but they do have some mighty fierce drum tracks whereas After Forever has some nice string work and a wonderful vocalist. Also I like the band name which is something that will get its own heading.

I listen to a lot of metal. What can I say. Though I wouldn’t really say it is my genra of choice. It is just that unlike most other genras of music it seems to accept fustion with other genras unusually well. It doesn’t matter if it is the 1920’s style jazz interlude somewhere in the middle of Dream Theater’s Metropolis part 2, Type O Negative covering the beatles, oprera lyrics accompanying metal, or even an entire chorus in the case of Therion metal is an oddly freewheeling genera when it comes to introducing more parts into itself.

Haggard is my favorite example of this because they basically did what Metalica did with its S&M project only they did it much much better. They are a german combination metal band and 16 piece orchestra. They will never come to america and I hate them for it. Before the orchistra they were a forgetabble progressive rock group so lets just pretend that Awkakening the Centuries is their first cd and move on shall we. I could talk more about Haggard but really the song speaks for itself.

I think I will round out the metal conversation with mention of Opeth because Opeth is one of those semi unknown monolithic metallic figures that looms over the genra from the shadows. Opeth used to be a lot less well known than they are now and that pretty happened when they made their divinity and damnation cds. Opeth is a band that like to mix clean lyrics with an acoustic guitar with METAL and they do it incredibly well. They also like long songs. I am talking at least 10 minutes sometimes getting closer to 15 or 20. Amazingly enough I find that their compostional skills are enough so that they are able to keep my attension for that long with is pretty impressive all things considering. The aforementioned Divinity and Damnation cds stand out because one was all metal and one was all acoustic. I can never remember which one is which. I’ll look it up when I fill this thing with links on Wensday. What I do know is that their all acoustic cd caused quite a stir. Their reply to said stir was fuck you fans who don’t like it. You don’t like our acoustics then you don’t like us and that was that. Good on them I say.

Moving on.

Wait no this is the bottom of the third page. Okay them we will just be breaking this into multiple parts. Next time we will talk about bands with spectacular names, the one hit wonder series, my strange love of everclear and oh I don’t know whatever the hell else I want to talk about.

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