Green Day: Wrigley Field

Screenshot_20170901-121806.jpg

Once upon a time, around 2009, in a place not so far called the United Center I attended my first concert. I was familiar with the band, but still had a lot to learn and many songs to hear in their 14 album discography.

Where better to fall in love than at a concert? Not with any one person specifically, but with the music, the experience, the energy of not only the performers but the crowd, my fellow music lovers. I was 11 years old when I first saw Green Day. Although the seats my brother and I were in were the farthest section from the stage, the smell of weed hovered, the phone camera quality sucked in 2009, and the noise of Billie Joe Armstrong singing into the mic overwhelmed me, this first concert laid the foundation for my love of concerts.

At that age I knew, just like I know now at 20, concerts were where I’d always feel most at home, no matter how small or big an arena was, if it was outside in wet grass, mud, or inside with seats and AC. Whether this feeling has to do with the artist performing or actual environment at a concert, I’m not sure.

Fast forward 9 years later: Wrigley Field, my third Green Day concert, and I’m still overwhelmed by the connections, love, and rage. Although it has been 8 years since that first concert, I can always expect a couple of things: a great experience with the crowd, drunk bunny opening the show and Green Day playing something for every fan.

20170824_224134.jpg

The setlist changes a bit over the years, accommodating their newest released songs and jamming in classics from their most popular albums. Green Day’s setlist was filled with songs ranging from their second album, Kerplunk (1991) to their latest, Revolution Radio (2016). As a hardcore Green Day fan the almost 3 hour show wasn’t enough, songs I loved like Amy from their 2012 album, Dos! still would never make it onto the setlist. However, for their longtime fans they played songs like 2,000 light years away from their second album, Kerplunk. And of course the classics for every Green Day fan: She, Welcome to Paradise, When I come around and Basketcase from Dookie (1994); American Idiot, St. Jimmy, Jesus of Suburbia, Holiday, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams from American Idiot (2004). Some other songs touched on in the 2 and a half hour set were: Hitchin A Ride and King For A Day from Nimrod (1997); Minority from Warning (2000); Mass Hysteria, East Jesus Nowhere and 21 Guns from 21st Century Breakdown (2009). They also played songs from their newest album Revolution Radio (2016): Still Breathing and Forever Now were some of my favorites. Everyone in the stadium held up their phone flashlights as songs like 21 guns played, the sight was enough for even the security crews to stop, stare and smile.

In Green Day’s four part documentary, Green Day: The Early Years (2017), “The separation between audience and the band, we weren’t used to that in our scene” Drummer Tre Cool says in response to how it felt playing Woodstock and Lollapalooza in 1994. “They were so far away, I felt like we weren’t connecting in some way,” Billie Joe adds. 23 years later, these same guys that were nervous playing a festival, are now playing stadiums as if it were a small club.

Green Day has been playing stadiums since the American Idiot era, but never Wrigley Field. This also wasn’t their first time playing a sports field, at the beginning of August they played the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics.

“I never wanted to turn my back on the intimacy that you get from a crowd, I love playing arenas and I love playing stadiums, that shit is amazing but to this day we will always play venues where we can get as close as we can to the audience.” – Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day: The Early Years (2017).

Even when playing a stadium like Wrigley Field, Green Day managed to interact with the audience every chance they got: bringing someone on stage to stage dive, handing the mic to someone in the crowd to sing, having EVERYONE sing along to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, and “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.

They also kept up with their little tradition of having one lucky fan play the guitar onstage. During the cover of “Knowledge” originally by Operation Ivy, Green Day pulls one lucky audience member on stage, “who knows how to play 3 chords?” Billie Joe asks, the lucky fan then plays the three chorded song on a guitar handed to them, at the end of the song Billie Joe points and says, “you get to keep that guitar.” The first time Green Day ever brought someone on stage to play with them was during the Insomniac Tour (4th album, 1995).

In Green Day Wrigley Field Press Conference In The Sound Lounge when asked if they ever thought they’d be playing Wrigley Field, Billie Joe joked he thought it’d be more likely to be playing shortstop than performing. The band also reminisced about how many cities they had to play in Illinois before being able to play Chicago, “because we had to play so many other cities before playing Chicago, it’s very near and dear to our hearts,” says Billie Joe.

After about 2 and 1/2 hours of an amazing Green Day show, it ended even better than it started, the beginning middle and end was nothing short of amazing. Ending with a small firework show that had everyone in Wrigley Field in awe, the red and white Confetti stamped with “Green Day” soon followed.

20170824_224217.jpg

Advertisements

Is The Semester Over Yet?

Ahh the last month of the semester filled with either, pulling your hair out or the nice claiming feeling that it’s almost over. In just a few long dragged out weeks our summer will be here, and personally I’m excited.

I won’t be spending the summer travelling or on a real vacation in Paris or something. Besides going to work, the summer days I get off or request off are going to be hopefully spent at concerts or downtown Chicago. My favorite things about summer have always been the music festivals, events at Millennium park, etc.

Although I will sadly not be going to some of these festivals they’re still going to be awesome:

This summer, Warped Tour comes to Tinley Park on July 22nd. The line up consists of over 50 bands, some awesome bands that will be at the Chicago date are: Dance Gavin Dance, Hawthorne Heights, I Prevail, Memphis May Fire, and Silverstein.

warped-tour-2017-poster-2

Last summer to celebrate 25 years, Lollapalooza extended the festival to four days instead of three. This summer they’re keeping the four day set up, headliners include: Blink 182, The Killers, Cage The Elephant, Muse (basically my Playlist when I was 13). Some other headliners I’m excited about are, Chance the Rapper (personally I think Chance should do Lollapalooza every year) and Big Sean.

If you’re going to Lollapalooza and have some hours to kill until the real reason you’re there plays some awesome bands (besides the ones headlining) to checkout are:

The Frights, (playing Friday) awesome band very energetic their lyrics are awesome, I was hooked the first time I heard their album.

Vance Joy (playing Saturday)

Grouplove (playing Sunday)

As always the festival offers artist for every music taste like: Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 savage, Madeintyo, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Yachty, and Joey Badass.

lollapalooza

Spring Awakening will be June 9 – June 11

I have yet to attend spring awakening but it’s on my bucket list, from what I’ve heard it’s a must go to festival.

This year the line up consists of…

spring-awakening-admat-2017-billboard-embed

Chicago Open Air

In Bridgeview, IL from July 14 -16

Legendary bands like Kiss, Korn, Godsmack, Slayer, Megadeth will be playing this year.

openair2

I’m also very excited for the film series at Millennium park. They always screen great movies and always some of my favorites. Last year, they screened The Breakfast Club AND Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Can it get any better than that?! Although the movies that they will be screening have not been released yet I’m excited to find out what movies they will be. Last summer they also let fans choose the last movie that would be screened, some options were movies like home alone, the movie that ended up being the most popular was the Dark Knight. Awesome choice.

Gay Pride Parade

I’ve been going to pride parade for at least 4 years in a row and a couple times before that. Some people might hate the crowds, the hot sun following you, while you’re exhausted from walking and probably dehydrated I LIVE FOR THIS STUFF, IT’S FUN. No, being dehydrated isn’t fun, but screaming to support those on floats, dancing to the music coming from the various bars around the area and having fun and laughing with total strangers is pretty awesome. I’ve met some of the coolest people at shows or parades.

Although, summer for UIC students begins early May, our summer ends right around the time some of the coolest music festivals will begin. However, don’t let the first few weeks of school bring you down, say goodbye to summer the right way — at North Coast and Riot Fest.

North Coast: September 1st to September 3rd in Union Park.

Past performers have been: Logic, Mac Miller, Kid Cudi, Wu Tang, David Guetta, Steve Aoki.

Riot Fest: September 15th – September 17th

These lineups have yet to be announced.

Some other concerts I’m personally excited for is All Time Low in July. I have to admit I’m more excited about the bands who are opening for them: SWMRS, Waterparks and The Wrecks.

And, my birthday present to myself: a Green Day concert at Wrigley Field on August 24th.

Humanz: In-Progress Thoughts

The Gorillaz just released a new song called Let Me Out as I type this. My phone buzzed and everything. But more on that in a bit.

Image result for humanz gorillaz
I know they’ve been aging with us, but it’s still weird to see cartoon characters all grown up. Photo courtesy of RedBull.com.

It took me a few days of listening to collect my thoughts on the four songs off Humanz we’ve witnessed so far. I’ve got mixed feelings about all of them, but they’ve only made me want to hear more. We know how the Gorillaz operate; the album is a message, so getting bits of it at various intervals isn’t satisfying. It’s like eating a steak dinner over the course of a week. But they put enough thought into their art to make it worth a six-year wait. And that’s why I love the Gorillaz.

We know we haven’t got the full story yet. Let’s recap:

Hallelujah Money: 1/19/17

Ascension: 3/23/17

Saturnz Barz: 3/23/17

We got the Power: 3/23/17

Andromeda: 3/23/17

And now…

Let Me Out: 4/6/17

Image result for hallelujah money lyrics
Photo courtesy of the Gorillaz YouTube.

Hallelujah Money was released at an interesting time, all by itself. It drew tons of criticism for being “un-Gorillaz,” and its critics were further criticized for being critical. I have a few thoughts on this that you’ll likely want to hear, seeing as you’re reading my blog: The Gorillaz work hard to not have a typical style. In fact, their style is that they don’t have a style; they experiment outside of their genre. It adds mystique and rejects structured normativity and it’s what drives fans crazy with delight. All I can think is when fans listened to Hallelujah Money and thought, That doesn’t sound like the Gorillaz, they really meant was, That doesn’t sound like Plastic Beach.

Image result for hallelujah money lyrics
Photo courtesy of Metro

My other opinion on this matter is that you can be a fan of something without loving everything about it. Example: I think the US is pretty neat, but I also wish we didn’t have a Cheeto as president. If you’re one of the people worried you’re not a Gorillaz fan because you don’t like what you’ve heard of Humanz, or if you’re on the opposite end telling others they’re not Gorillaz fans because they don’t like what they’ve heard of Humanz, cut it out.

But back to its release date: January 19th, 2017. The day before the presidential inauguration. The Gorillaz’ music has always been attune to what’s going on in the world at the time, and though it was written several months before the election, the creators admit that afterwards, the album took on a new meaning. I won’t badger you with my analysis of the significance of its release date and it’s lyrics; I’ll provide a few of my favorite lyrics here and leave that to you (and if you can tell me what the Spongebob wail at the end of the song means, you get bonus points).

Scarecrows from the Far East/ Come to eat/ Its tender fruits/ And I thought the best way to perfect our tree/ Is by building walls/ Walls like unicorns/ In full glory/ And galore/ And even stronger/ Than the walls of Jericho

Until we say so, nothing will move/ Ah, don’t worry/ It’s not against our morals/ It’s legally tender/ Touch my friend/ While the whole world/ And whole beasts of nations desire/ Power

Image result for saturnz barz, gorillaz
Photo courtesy of Pitchfork.

Next up is Ascension. I’m not an EDM person, so I’m not a fan of this one, but it sure does have some killer lines. Albarn himself said in an interview that Humanz is a “party, club record,” but it has a “weird darkness about it.” Saturnz Barz is what really got me. The video was crammed with references to horror films, likely the work of Jamie Hewlett, who’s a huge fan of the classic thrillers. The main theme of the Clint Eastwood video and the ends of Rock the House‘s video are inspired by the horror genre. As it’s clear most of the visual budget was diverted to the Saturnz Barz video, I’d recommend watching it multiple times. There are tons of hidden gems in the details, the first being a creepy face in the basement window appearing only four seconds in!

Image result for saturnz barz, gorillaz
Photo courtesy of Something About Magazine.

We got the Power and Andromeda came next, judging by the corresponding music videos. Though similarly to Ascension‘s video, it’s clear the creatives didn’t invest as much as they did in Saturnz Barz. This is surprisingly common for the band. Tomorrow Comes Today‘s video was done in two weeks, as Jamie forgot he had a deadline for the project after animating other videos for their Gorillaz album.

I was intending to weigh in on Let me Out, but I’ve only listened to it three times. As any Gorillaz fan knows, that’s not nearly enough if you want to understand the song. Their music is so intricate and thought out, enjoyment comes with familiarization of each album.

Image result for saturnz barz, gorillaz
Photo courtesy of HotNewHipHop.

This is why I’m excited for the end of the month. Three weeks doesn’t sound like too short, but stand by! Humanz will be released on April 28th.

Have a Scien-tastic Day!

15 Years Later…

I was the biggest Simple Plan fan back when I was around 10, 11 years old but then getting into high school I got into rap like Kid Cudi, Kanye West, J.Cole etc. Around that time Simple Plan released their album, Get Your Heart On! (2011). I listened to it, but didn’t add it to my daily playlist. After Get Your Heart On! (2011) they released an EP 2 years later, which I didn’t hear of. Fast forward three years later, I heard they released a new album in February 2016, I went to check it out and was reminded of why I was obsessed with their music. In September 2016, a friend told me they’d be coming to House Of Blues in October, I immediately saw this opportunity to see a band that was huge for me growing up so I bought tickets. Unfortunately VIP, which gives you the chance to meet them after the show accompanied by pizza, was sold out in Chicago. I considered buying a ticket to their Cleveland show a couple days before because VIP was still available, all just to meet this band that had a big influence on the music I listened to. When I was young Simple Plan influenced me to listen to bands like, Blink 182 and Green Day (my absolute FAVORITE BAND) Anyways, the Cleveland VIP tickets didn’t happen because the way my bank account was set up…

However, I went to their October show for the Taking One For The Team Tour, which was filled with throwbacks like “Addicted,” “I’d Do Anything” (which they open with), “Jump,” “Welcome To My Life,” but also awesome songs from their newest record, songs like “Singing In The Rain,” “Opinion Overload,” and “Boom”. The concert was amazing, even if I didn’t get to meet the guys. But after the concert I did promise myself I’d begin following their tour info again and next time they were in Chicago I’d get VIP and finally meet my preteen crushes!

Around Janurary, Simple Plan began posting throwbacks from their No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls (2002) era like this one,

20170406_095605.png

They mentioned that the 2002 album would be turning 15 years old on March 19, 2017.

Throwback after throwback on Instagram I thought, these guys are gonna do an anniversary tour, I know it. They wouldn’t be dropping so many hints if they weren’t planning something! Another tour? Another movie, like “A Big Package For You”? Another album?

I woke up one morning to a Twitter notification displaying a concert poster “SIMPLE PLAN NO PADS, NO HELMETS… JUST BALLS 15th year anniversary tour” and dates below it. I skimmed the picture looking through the dates to find Chicago, IL 3/31 “I KNEW IT!” I tweeted in reply to the announcement.

That same day I bought a $25 membership to the official SPcrew to be able to buy tickets early and a chance to see them during soundcheck. I was committed this time, this was my chance, I had to meet them. I ended up buying not only the concert ticket, but VIP, and was chosen to attend their soundcheck.

The day came sooner than I expected, the day before I still didn’t think it was real, I was going to meet Simple plan?! Talk to them?! 11 year old me would be crying if she knew this. Okay so maybe 19 year old me is crying too. I was at House Of Blues by 12:30 p.m. probably the 7th person in line, we were part of the 15 people who would be able to see Simple Plan during soundcheck. Around 1:10 p.m. we got to go inside where the band had already been playing a few songs, we screamed out song names after Pierre asked what we wanted to hear, but David insisted on playing farewell for us.

20170406_110804

They came down off the stage to take pictures with everyone, holding back happy tears, I hugged them tight, (David the tightest) & smiled way too cheesy in the pictures. Soundcheck was about 30 minutes long, the guys told us they’d see us later and they hoped we were excited for the concert.

Snapchat-1823976019

Now back out to the line we went, after about 10 minutes we realized we’d be waiting quite a while so we all sat down to wait the long four hours before doors opened.

Continue reading “15 Years Later…”

Forget It Dog, Life’s A Risk

Forget It Dog, Life’s A Risk.

F.I.D.L.A.R.

FIDLAR.

The California band consists of (from left to right): Max Kuehn (drums), Brandon Schwartzel (back vocals and bass), Elvis Kuehn (vocals and guitar), and Zac Carper (lead vocals and guitar).

fidlarone

I first heard of this band a couple months ago when I got into SWMRS. I found out SWMRS was opening for Fidlar in Chicago. I rushed to buy tickets only a week before the concert and to my disappointment they were sold out. I was only interested in the concert because of SWMRS, what the…. Is Fidlar? I thought. But soon, thanks to YouTube’s suggestions, I watched the music video for “Leave Me Alone” by Fidlar.

I had never seen lyrics written out on toilet paper so nicely and appealing before that described me oh so perfectly, so I thought I NEED to hear more of this band’s music. Who’s Fidlar and why are they describing me so perfectly? YouTube went on to suggest songs like “I Just Wanna Die”, “40oz On Repeat” which is an awesome song but even cooler music video. The video’s basically a parody of other artists’ music videos. Including Eminem, Britney Spears, Green Day, the Beastie Boys. I’ll let you see what I’m talking about though…

I’d like to mention that I was letting myself fall in love with this band while I was supposed to be studying for midterms, mainly because I wanted anything to distract me from how much homework and studying I had. But I’m not even mad that I spent my time media stalking this band, I don’t regret it because forget it dog, life’s a risk. Little Fidlar joke there.

Fidlar sounds like what my body feels like on coffee and redbull, that’s the best way I can describe it. After listening to their albums on repeat for a good three times, that feeling kicked in and I finished my homework (and passed my midterms – yay).

Also, if you’ve been following this band longer than I have, which is only a couple months, and you’re reading this like, “dude I’ve known this band was awesome for a while” WELL LUCKY YOU. I tend to discover awesome bands super late.

ANYWAYS, I just wanted to share my small obsession with this band because I feel like they deserve some recognition.

Their first album, Fidlar (2013) was produced by the lead singer, Zac Carper.

The album is nothing but loud, catchy three chord and three minute songs like “Wait For The Man” there’s also a 90’s punk feel to this band. SWMRS has the same feel to me but yet both bands have their own sound and manage to sound like music from this century (but better).

Lead singer Zac mainly sings about doing nothing but getting high, drinking beer, being broke and hanging out with his friends, you’d think every song would sound the same and you’d get tired real fast but holy sh… each song is better than the last.

Here’s the video to one of my favorite songs on the album, “Max can’t surf” which features drummer, Max Kuehn, acting as his band mates right down to the outfits and tattoos.

Some of my favorite songs on the album: No Waves, Max Can’t Surf, Wake Bake Skate, and Wait For The Man.

Their second album titled, Too, was released in 2015.

fidlartoo

The second album was a bit more mature, with songs focusing more on dealing with staying sober and Zach’s struggle with addiction to drugs. Also featuring more songs written and sung by guitarist, Elvis. There are more serious, soft songs like “Overdose”, “Bad Habits,” and “Stupid Decisions”.

Favorite songs on the album: West Coast, Bad Habits, Sober, and Stupid Decisions.

Apart from these two amazing albums, you can find Fidlar songs that never made it on an album including “No Money No Honey,” which is sadder than it sounds.

Lead singer Zac also went on to produce SWMRS’ debut album, Drive North (2016) and The Frights’ second album, You Are Going To Hate This (2016).

Here I am months later from when I saw that toilet paper music video, still upset that I missed what was probably the coolest concert ever last year – FIDLAR AND SWMRS AND THE FRIGHTS?!

I’m also completely disappointed in myself for being at lollapalooza last summer waiting around for J.Cole when I COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING FIDLAR. DAMMIITTTTT.

UIC Radio’s Fourth Annual Battle Of The Bands!

This past Friday, UIC Radio held its fourth annual Battle of the Bands at The Bar 10 Doors on Taylor Street. The lineup included UIC bands August Hotel, Lettucehead, Brian Sees Stars, The Red Flag Boys, Turbulence, and The Land Lines.

After an energetic set from all the bands, the top 3 winners included: 1. LETTUCEHEAD, 2. Turbulence, and 3. August Hotel.

UIC Radio sincerely thanks all the bands for their hard work and dedication to performing, and helping create a night full of music and fun for all who attended!

photos by Pearl Shin

Music Ratings are Nothing More than Opinion: Artists Done Dirty by Pitchfork

 

IMG_1433Judging music is merely an illusion. No one can actually quantify what the people like because the people, after all, are all unique. What one person thinks is crap, another will consider a masterpiece, and a small group of people can’t decide for the masses what is good and what is not in such a subjective field. Music is purely preference. My prime example has to be Pitchfork. I appreciate Pitchfork news and updates and being exposed to new music, along with the music festival they host in Chicago, but many of the ratings are far from what the populace would consider correct. Unless you’re Radiohead or someone who follows the “uncommercial” pitchfork aesthetic, don’t expect to find an album someone makes in the pitchfork perfect tens category. In fact, there are more than a handful of albums that I don’t believe deserved a perfect 10 in general or by genre. I implore you, the reader, to take any review with a grain of salt and listen to an album before you write it off. You might end up missing a diamond in the rough and hate yourself when you finally get into an artist and find out their concert was 3 weeks ago in your hometown.

1.  The Airborne Toxic Event  (1.6/10)
An old rating but a good album, the self-titled The Airborne Toxic Event is a popular indie band from the mid-2000s. While this band received praise on this album, pitchfork decided the album was not worth their time. It didn’t phase this band much, they even wrote an open letter sarcastically inviting pitchfork to watch one of their “moody and dramatic” concerts.

2.  Mumford & Sons- 1st and 3rd albums. (2.1/10-2.0/10)
This is an example band that doesn’t fit the mold the raters are looking for. I’ll admit, you either love them or you hate them, but in the end, Mumford and his band didn’t deserve the low ratings. The reasoning for the low rating was due to Pitchfork thinking that they are a Fleet Foxes knock off (Every rated Fleet Foxes album has received an 8.7 or higher), along with alluding to them being phony or fake artists ([They] are in the costume business.They’re playing dress-up in threadbare clothes.). Either way, after 2+ World tours, 3 albums, and 2 EPs, I don’t think M&S cares much for their ratings in the first place.

3. Hamilton The Mixtape (4.8/10)
Hamilton, the Tony Award-winning musical, received less than a 5 on the mixtape version, which consisted of many well-known artists collaborating on the rap tracks that the world has been learning history through all of 2016. The reason for the low rating? Basically, It wasn’t the same as the original and it lacks the narrative of a musical. Crazy. I invite pitchfork to find any musical soundtrack that has the same narrative as the onstage production, excluding operas and operettas, which tend to have no dialogue outside of their songs.

4. Nine Inch Nails- The Fragile (2/10-10)
Nine Inch Nails in 2017 received a 8.7 on their reissued album The Fragile, but in 1999 NIN received a 2/10 on the same album. After some digging, I found the original review. It still exists, but any linking to the page does not. Almost 20 years later after their review was deemed futile, and NIN popular, and the original deleted. The lead singer Trent Reznor had no nice words for pitchfork, which a lot of artists seem to agree with these days.

5. Childish Gambino- Camp (1.6/10)
Pitchfork basically said Gambino was too conceited for rap and should stick to comedy. Camp definitely isn’t Because the Internet or any of his other works, but it is a quality album that Pitchfork didn’t give the time of day. Find Gambino on any “Certified Bangers” playlist at your local college campus. Email me if you genuinely honestly believe this album didn’t deserve better.

6. The Killers- Any of their albums (5.2-6.4)
The Killers are known for their amazing songs. To this day I know every word off of Sam’s Town and any of their singles including Mr. Brightside and Somebody Told Me, which were both on Hot Fuss, The Killers’ first album. Pitchfork has never liked The Killers and basically say their sound is too generic or their albums aren’t cohesive enough, wanting every track to be the screaming your head off in the car with your friends while people stare at you masterpiece that Mr. Brightside ended up being (Hot Fuss deserves at least an 8.5 in my opinion). Even the greatest hits album received a low score, which means that Pitchfork just really does not like this band.

7. Ed Sheeran- Divide (2.8/10)
The initial Artist that inspired this article. Sheeran probably doesn’t care what an American music rating website has to say about his new album when it has no effect on whether or not he’s going to sell out his next stadium (to be clear; the stadium is going to sell out even if he released 50 minutes of straight fart noises). A short summary of this album review is that Ed’s music is that Ed shouldn’t rap and the shallow album has no real worth.

8. Travis Morrison- Travistan (0/10)
Fans of Travis Morrison will proudly say that Travistan is worth a listen. Lead singer of the indie band The Dismemberment Plan decided to come out with an album and got a crushing review from Pitchfork in 2004. If you are able to write, produce, and sell an album, anything written definitely does not deserve a 0/10 even if the content is poor. Not saying this album is poor, many people enjoy this album. The review mildly hurt Morrison’s career but he still made more music after this review came and out and for that, we thank him for proving his naysayers wrong.

 

Say what you must about these albums, but I can assure you that they are all pretty decent listens, even if they aren’t my musical preference. Take a second to listen to an album, even if you’re weary of what everyone says about it. It might end up being your favorite. If you have any artists you think were done dirty, comment below and I’ll add them to the list.

Icelandic Rock Band Kaleo Has More To Offer Than Hit Single “Way Down We Go”

As of late, I’ve been fangirl-ing pretty hard about the Icelandic rock band Kaleo. It all started with the songs “No Good” and “Broken Bones” off their most recent album A/B. Most radio listeners probably know this band because of their song “Way Down We Go”, but since I very rarely drive my car anymore, I also don’t listen to the radio and had no idea this song was so popular.

Regardless, “No Good” and “Broken Bones” are much better songs than “Way Down We Go”, and their album as a collective whole is even better than any of these songs on their own. This is important because A/B is an amazing album, and that is often very hard to come by. It has everything you could possibly want: a song that everyone knows and is played on the radio, so you skip over it unless you’re play through the album in its entirety; songs that are powerful and I dare even say, “headbangers”, or at the very least capable of raising body temperature; songs of the balladic type, and there’s even a song with lyrics in a different language.

kaleo_ab_finalcover-copy-2

The fact that Kaleo has a song in Icelandic on the same album as the hit single “Way Down We Go” is super exciting to me because there’s a greater chance that more people will pick it up. I think it’s important to be exposed to all kinds of music, and not understanding the lyrics shouldn’t deter anyone from doing so. Also, I just think it’s very cool they included the track on the album. It shows their culture and language is important to them and that they want their audience to know where they’re coming from. I also think it brings pride and joy to Icelandians having a band from they’re country see success.

This past weekend I’ve given A/B a deeper listen, and after air drumming to “No Good” and “Broken Bones” the past couple of weeks, I’ve been paying more attention to the slower songs like “All The Pretty Girls”, “Automobile”, and “Save Yourself”, which have become my new favorites. All in all, A/B is a great listen and I’m super excited for finding an album I can listen to all the way through as a work of art. Hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.

Albums Changing My Life Right Now

Last week I wrote about albums that helped shaped me when I was younger, but the less talked about topic is the albums that are important to me right now.

SWMRS – Drive North (2016)

Not only this album but this band has such an old school rock and roll vibe while still being new and unique. The lead singer and guitarist, Cole, reminds me of Kurt Cobain sometimes by the way he dresses or sings in a certain song. However, don’t be fooled, his voice is completely his own. His brother, Max who plays guitar, seems almost the opposite. His voice is unique as well, he serenades us in songs like “lose it” and “turn up” The bassist, Seb, and drummer, Joey, are just as awesome, (if not more – they’re my favorite). There isn’t a time I listen to their songs and I don’t bop my head, sing along and want to dance. I haven’t experienced this band live yet sadly, but I’m sure when I do they will be ten times better live. Their energy is already clear through my headphones. I also can’t think of any other band that has covered Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure so amazingly.

Favorite songs: “Miss Yer Kiss”, “Figuring It Out”, “Ruining My Pretending”, “Silver Bullet”, okay so maybe all of them are my favorite.

Simple Plan – Taking One For The Team (2016)

I’ve talked about this band and this album before, it may seem repetitive, but this album is as significant for me as the rest of Simple Plan’s albums. The last time they released an album I was 14 years old. I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say I’m not the same person I was when I was 14, so this album reminded me of why I fell in love with them. After 5 years since the last studio album, the five members of Simple Plan still know how to perfectly describe why I shouldn’t let anyone tell me what to do, and their love songs will always be epic.

Favorite songs: “I Refuse”, “I Don’t Wanna Be Sad”, “Everything Sucks”, “P.S. I Hate You”

Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface (2015)

The only artist I don’t mind listening to on B96 while at work is Twenty One Pilots. I’ll admit at first I was like TOP? More annoying songs on B96 that will get overplayed but I don’t think I can ever overplay their songs. I fell in love with this album as quickly as I fell in love with lead singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun. I love the truthfulness in not only the lyrics but Tyler’s voice. I also like that each song is its own. I found myself wondering if I was still listening to TOP because even Tyler’s voice can sound different, but maybe that’s the awesomeness of them. They have the ability to have a different sound while still remaining TOP. For example songs like, “Tear In My Heart” or “Car Radio”. I’m very disappointed in myself that I’ve missed the opportunity to see them live twice already.

Favorite songs: “Fairly Local, “Tear In My Heart”, “Message Man”

This video inspired me and my 10 year old sister to create an elaborate handshake of our own.

Continue reading “Albums Changing My Life Right Now”

Albums That Changed My Life As A Kid

Every time I went wandering around Target in the CD aisles I had a rule for myself: “only buy a CD that’s in the $5 section.” I still follow the rule because if I didn’t, I know I’d put half the CD’s in my shopping basket. Although I was limited in the CD’S I would allow myself to buy, I built up a pretty nice CD collection. I’ve spent countless hours listening to music as a teenager, it’s inevitable that some of these CD’s helped shape who I am. Some of the songs will stay with me as I get older, some changed my life. Whether I discovered the album when I was 9, 12, or 16, the impact is still present.

I’ve tried to limit myself with the number of albums I included here, which was very difficult, but otherwise this would have been a book and not a blog entry.

Also, I know I was only 5 years old, younger or not even born when some of these albums were released but I discovered them wandering in the CD aisles of Target or listening to the radio. They might have been throwbacks for some people but they were new to me.

Linkin Park – Meteora (2003)

linkinpark

This was one of the first rock/metal CD’s I listened to, besides Slipknot. I’ll admit, I didn’t exactly own or buy this CD, I discovered it in my brothers room and it has been in its rightful place (my room) ever since. It opened my mind to more rock music, before this I had been listening to mostly rap and R&B. So when I heard these rock songs like “Lying from you” incorporate a bit of a rap sound and rhythm from Chester and Mike was amazing to me. I didn’t know what to classify this music as. The sound was new, Chester’s voice was something different. It wasn’t the familiar sounds I knew, it wasn’t Slipknot, Green Day, or Simple Plan, it wasn’t any of the bands I was familiar with. It amazed me every time he went from singing to screaming, and the lyrics were always clear, always deeper than they seemed. Songs like “Somewhere I Belong” and “Numb”, I can relate to and appreciate more now that I can truly understand their meanings. We always want to find somewhere we belong and I think this album showed me how others feel and how they express themselves through these lyrics, instruments and music. It was like so these feelings are normal? They weren’t love songs, they were about having something to say, and saying it, something everyone could relate to. The best word to describe this album: timeless. I remember playing the song “Faint” for my class once in fifth grade. We were supposed to bring in our favorite song and play it for the class. I still remember how much I wanted to laugh when my classmates and teacher looked at me while the song took over the room and were like who’s classmate is this?

P.S.”Breaking The Habit” scared me when I was little, and it still does.

Green Day – Dookie (1994)

green-day-dookie-large

Continue reading “Albums That Changed My Life As A Kid”