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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Awesome Free Stuff! Yay!

July 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I went to Gateway today, and, after buying some new shirts and stuff, the guilt of listening to aKing’s Dutch Courage as much as I do without actually owning the album caught up to me, and I bought it.. Stoked!

It was kinda reduced too, which was great, but as I was standing at the counter, handing over the cash, the guy reaches behind the counter and slips this little paper bag or something into my packet, and he says “Yeah, you get a free magazine with that!”

Sweet! So I’m stoked.. I open up the bag that looks like this..

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Yeah, thats Francois Van Coke, Age 7..

..and its not a magazine at all.. Its full of a whole lot of random (and AWESOME) stuff, like postcards..

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..and stickers..

SC1 007

SC1 006..and this rad little book all about how to start a band, in afrikaans..

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..with these great little illustrations..

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..and the most insane posters I’ve ever seen..

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That’s Wynand from Van Coke Kartel

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And Jax Panic

..Yeah. and it all came in this super sick packaging, like little envelopes and stuff.. With cool stuff like this..

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..printed on.

So basically I’m super stoked right now! So much awesome in one little A5 bag!!

Now I must return to my guilt free, aKing listening pleasure. Damn I love this album! Easily the best local recording I’ve ever heard as far as I’m concerned. Can’t wait to hear the new one!

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Just a thought. (With accompanying ramblings)

June 30, 2009 4 comments

So that CD I wrote about yesterday came with a DVD of the making of the album, which I watched today. Its basically just 40 minutes of interviews with the band, and some footage of them recording.. Oh and the first half is really about the new drummer, Steve Forrest, who’s really great btw! Good move Placebo!

But what stuck out to me most were the interviews with Brian Molko. I’d never actually seen or heard the guy speak before so it was quite a surprise. Something about him really creeps me out. I’ve never thought of myself as a homophobe, I don’t agree with homosexuality for biblical reasons, but I’ve always respected them. I’ve even got some friends at varsity who are gay, but he really scared me. And he’s bisexual. Its just his manner, he’s very effeminate, but has a kind of aggressive undertone. Very dark. But somehow at the same time I’d be fascinated to meet him. Maybe its just the human condition car-crash-syndrome thing. (You know the feeling:when you drive past an accident, and can’t help but look..)

All this left me wondering about prejudice.. I’ve always felt like someone’s actual sexual preferences don’t really matter when it comes to forming prejudices, ‘cos the way I see it, its just sin like anything else, like any kind of lust, that can, and should be overcome. My God is bigger than that stuff! Its more about the way someone carries them self. The glaringly obvious ways in which they differ from you or me. In which case the fault would seem to lie with me..

This doesn’t quite seem to cover it though, and the alternative is a little harder to accept.. The thing is, the outward expression has to come from some inner something. This is a much scarier though, that if my outward reaction is based on that person’s outward persona.. Then perhaps it really is a reaction of something inside me to the devil staring out of him..

I don’t know if I explained that quite right, like it was in my head.. But its a start. I’m also not sure how I would react to meeting someone like that in my life.. Certainly interesting to thing about though.

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Battle for the Sun

June 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I got the new Placebo album this weekend..
I don’t really know what to say about it, which means I probably have a LOT to say about it.. Lets see where this goes…
On first listen I was VERY disappointing. I Don’t know why. Maybe it was just how I was feeling at the time, but I was just really unimpressed by the album. I’ve since listened to it three more times, and my mind seams to have changed COMPLETELY! I’m really loving it now.. There’re some great songs on here..

There are a few issues I have with it though, that I picked up on the first listen and kinda distorted my opinion of it.

Firstly:
I don’t like how it starts! This may sound stupid, but I suppose that’s probably why I hated it when I first heard it, which says a lot for first impressions. It opens with a song called Kitty Litter. Its an odd song to me, because I love aspects of it (Especially that little a cappella bit: “I need a change, I need a change, I need a change of skin!”, which is one of my favorite moments on the album) but something about the opening riff doesn’t sit quite right with me.. It could just be the guitar tone, which is otherwise great on the rest of the album, but just sounds too compressed here. The song kind of comes in all at once, but it seems to trip over itself in a toe-stubbing move that as I said earlier creates a bad first impression of the whole album for me..

Secondly:
Molko’s lyrics just don’t seem to stand up to his previous work. A lot of the songs just seem really amateurish, which sucks, because usually I love his lyrics. For example, track 5, Devil in the Details starts off:

I’ve been wasting all my time,
With the devil in the details.
I’ve got no energy to fight,
He’s a f***ing pal o’mine.
The devil in the details.
And he’s fixing up to take a bite,
I don’t see the point in trying,
I’ve got the devil in the details.
He’s gonna teach me wrong from right,
That f***ing pal o’mine.
The devil in the details.
I’m gonna dance with him tonight.

Its not even the swearing I’m opposed to (although I probably should be), it just feels really disjointed, and a lot of the songs on the album have a similar feel.

Thirdly:
Some of the arrangements just feel uncomfortable. Its not something I can explain in words, its more of a feeling thing, and some of the verses especially feel a bit forced.

These sound like small things, but one the first listen to any CD I’m usually very judgmental. I generally pick up on all the little technical details, sometimes for better sometimes for worse.

There are however a whole lot of really great things about Battle for the Sun. The recording is excellent (although a little clinical at times, which doesn’t compliment the raw character of the music.. That’s another problem I had with the album actually come to think of it..), the new drummer is AWESOME, the string and brass sections make for a very interesting sound-scape, along with a lot of great synth! (Yay synth!!), and in contrast to the lyrics, Brian Molko’s voice is possibly even more genuine and real than the last album, and some of his melodies are just genius! Songs like Battle for the Sun, Speak in Tongues and Kings of Medicine really stood out to me..

The packaging of the CD is also absolutely amazing! It comes in a little hardcover, bound book, with 20 pages of great artwork, photography, pictures of the band and lyrics, with the CD and a DVD of the making of the album slipped into the inside sleeves of the cover. Definitely one to make you buy the album rather than pirating it off the net. (Which is what good album art should do!)

I’m still not entirely convinced by it, but its definately a good album, by a great band! The problem is though, that great bands should be producing great albums.

Hell that was a long post!!

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Fire Escapes

June 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Been messing around with Fruity Loops, trying my hand at arranging some oldish songs I wrote maybe six months to a year ago..

Its really fun.. Composing piano pieces, drum beats, guitar parts to spice them up a bit..

Well here’s one I’ve been working on since about Thursday last week (when I wasn’t playing Sims 3!!), Super stoked with how it came out! There are a couple little problems, like the third verse fading out completely! Dunno what happened there! Oh well..

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2288469&dest=-1]

Sweet!

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Left Right Left Right Left

June 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Everyone loves free stuff right?
There’s just this kind of thrill I get when I get anything for free.. Open source software gets me particularly amped, not having to pay for software that does the same thing as something I WOULD otherwise have to pay for. Great! Yeah.. But anything really. I’m talking about ligit free stuff.. Not stolen stuff/piracy. (Which is a different thrill altogether! =P)

What am I talking about?

Coldplay have just (well maybe not just) released a live album called Left Right Left Right Left.. And its totally free.. No, not Bittorrent free, but Coldplay official website free!

Leftright

To be honest I was never really a HUGE fan of Coldplay.. But their new album blew my mind.. I bought that Prospekt’s March Ep Edition, which was basically Viva la Vida with a whole extra CD with like 6 new songs and a couple remixes.. For the same price as the normal CD!

Such great guys!

But something about their new sound is just so fresh, so exciting.. They sound like some little indie band that no one else should know about.. And yet they’re winning MTV music awards and stuff. Sweet!

But onto the live thing…

The album sounds amazing! You’d expect them to release some crappy little old club set with awful quality recordings and awkward crowd interaction.. But its not! The sound is crisp and full, and its really well mixed, which is usually the biggest problem with live recordings: The sound man generally thinks that, to get the best feel of the live performance, the recording should get pretty much the same mix as the show.. Which is ridiculous.
But this sounds fantastic! And they do some really great songs, some new stuff, and some of their absolute anthems, like clocks and fix you, not to mention Chris Martin is a great front man: Not too talkative, but just enough to be entertaining.

I’ve been listening through it now as I write this, and I’m on the last song now, so I think its about time to stop writing. The album ends on “Death and all his Friends” off Viva la Vida, with that really great little piano bit.. But they’ve swapped it around and now play it on guitar.. I really love it when bands do that, mix their songs up for a live recording, they do quite a bit of it on this album, which is great because you just get slightly different songs to listen to..

Super stoked! Well worth the 54 megs of capp! =P

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Time off..

June 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Wow it feels good to be on holiday!!

Now I finally have some time off to do all the things I wish I could do during the term.. Like write music!!

I’ve been doing some little home recordings lately. Its a really cool feeling to commit something to tape (well, hard drive), I dunno, I can’t really explain it unless you know it. Its kinda like the feeling you get in primary school when the teacher pins your little crayon drawing up with everyone else’s from the class, and you just think: Hey! That’s me up there!

Crayon

Its just kinda cool when you’re listening to your ipod on shuffle and every now and then one of your songs (no matter how bad the quality), comes on..

I write quite a lot.. Not for a while, because of Varsity stuff, but usually I do. I write mostly for my band, which I just restarted after a bit of a break (We’re STILL thinking of a name), but I also write a lot of folky acoustic songs, and sometime last year I started messing around with loop software, producing some electro kind of stuff, which is pretty fun too actually!

The acoustic stuff tends to sound like this:

Hiroshima Sunrise – Myspace

Sorry.. I tried to upload it straight onto WordPress, But you have to buy an upgrade to host music. Sigh. So I made a quick Myspace profile.. There some more songs here:

Hiroshima Sunrise – Facebook

Demo

If you enjoy them please let me know..

UPDATE: Click Here to find out how to embed music directly into WordPress.

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Random Spirit Lover

June 11, 2009 2 comments

I’ve been listening to the new Sunset Rubdown album for the past week or so..

Hell this band is weird.

Wait. Before I go on, I have to say: I’m a huge fan of Spencer Krug, the guy’s super creative.. And I love Wolf Parade. That said however, Sunset Rubdown just takes a whole lot longer to get used to..

Its weird.. They’re essentially the same band.. Same singer, same songwriter, same music style, and mostly the same instruments.. But totally different. I suppose in a way Wolf Parade kinda swings towards the pop side, catchy hooks and such, but SR songs seem to have equally as many hooks.. Just weird hooks.

It makes you wonder, if perhaps some bands just set out to create strange music.. If some kids get together and decide: Hey! Lets start an indie rock band! But lets make it bat-*cough* insane weird.. And call it Experimental! Cos people LOVE that crap!

Ok so these kids have their first band practice (Well first they have to decide if they want to have a drum-machine or just a regular drum-person and just how many guitarists and keyboardists they can actually fit in the garage) and the guy who’s got them together starts playing them the songs he’s been writing on his acoustic guitar for the past couple months.. They sound great! Everyone’s really impressed.. But they sound a little too good.. Too accessible.. No one wants to hear that kind of simple beauty any more..

So phase two.. They beat the crap out all the new songs.

The guitarist comes up with a nice little lick.. Really good stuff.. But it sounds a little like U2 or Coldplay. No problem. Just play it twice as fast, in a different time signature to the rest of the song, looped throughout, and with as MUCH reverb, delay, flanger and tasteful over drive as possible.. Now you’ve got it!

Then add some really dark and atmospheric strings; ambient guitar swell; slow, steady bass lines; and some of those effects on the keyboard that are supposed to emulate instruments that no-one’s even heard of before.

Ok sweet! Now for the lyrics.. I recon they start off pretty normal, but then any thing about girls has to go, so we replace that with: I love you tiger/stallion/spirit dragon.. And add some medieval kind of stuff you find in battle-metal songs, and then some really deep philosophical stuff! Now we’re talking!

At least it makes for interesting music.. And I must say, after about the third listen, Random Spirit Lover (Um yeah..) is really growing on me. Its quite genius actually! There’s just MORE music in there than most bands can fit into 12 songs.. Its well worth the effort. Maybe better than an album that grabs you on the first listen.

But then again. That’s just what they want you to think..

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