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Memories Made In The Coldest Winter
What makes an album great?
04/05/09 at 12:27 PM by hockeyguitar99
This is a question that I have long been searching for the answer to. The first, most obvious answer is that it is of a higher quality then almost every other album. While that fact is almost a given, it's most certainly not the actual answer. In fact, I think that while being an integral part of greatness, it amounts to only a small part of the reasoning in the long run. The other answers that seem to be obvious are legacy and influence. Both of these things seem to make a lot of sense in consideration. In fact, they are probably the key to unlock greatness. But the one thing that has a huge baring on both of those things? Time. Merriweather Post Pavilion may or may not be one of the highest quality albums of all time, that's a far more subjective and opinionated topic, but nobody in the right mind could say that it is one of the greatest albums of all time, it's just not right.

Therein lies the difference between "best" and "greatest". The way I look at it, best is completely subjective, but greatness isn't. I think greatness can be measured in influence and importance. How did affect the music scene? Did it start a genre? Did it drastically change a style of music? This is what makes an album great.

Like my "Musical genius" blogs, I'll expand more on this later with specific bands and albums.

Look for:

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
The Beatles
Why I believe OK Computer is one of the best, but not one of the greatest albums of all time
Tags: Greatness, albums, music
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First Impressions: mewithoutYou - it's all crazy! it's all false!...
04/04/09 at 09:24 AM by hockeyguitar99
It's fantastic. I would describe it as their natural progression from Brother, Sister. This continues their leaning towards more obscure and "indie" territories. People who wanted them to take a step back towards their older sound will be disappointed. It's a damn good record though.
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Attn Jason/Staff: Hire Klatzke
03/31/09 at 09:45 PM by hockeyguitar99
I understand that I'm just a non-prestigious user who's only been around for a year and half, but I think I know at least a little about the users and writers on the site. Klatzke is the best user reviewer on the site, no contest, and he has been for a while. He is superior both in quality and quantity, the guys a fucking machine. Plus, think about it, how much easier would it be if you didn't have to sit and approve all of his user reviews? His writing is top notch, so why waste time?
Tags: Klatzke, reviews, hire the man!
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It's Blitz!
03/31/09 at 08:50 PM by hockeyguitar99
I was a little nervous about my first listen to the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record. It had been getting very good reviews, but I was still a little worried that it wouldn't be as good as I had hoped. Fortunately, I my worries proved unnecessary. Their haunting new style is intriguing and very entertaining. Needlessly to say, they exceeded my expectations.
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Eclectic tastes are confusing
03/30/09 at 10:15 AM by hockeyguitar99
I've been listening to a pretty odd combination of albums lately. Here they are:


John Legend - Get Lifted/Evolver
Mastodon -Remission/Crack The Skye
Outkast - Speakerboxx/The Love Below
Brendan Canning - Something For All Of Us
Santigold - Santagold

A lot more than that, but that's the basic jist of it.
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Updated Top Ten
03/28/09 at 07:42 AM by hockeyguitar99
1. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
3. Pomegranates - Everybody, Come Outside!
4. Dan Deacon - Bromst
5. P.O.S. - Never Better
6. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!
7. Morrissey - Year Of Refusal
8. Mastodon Crack the Skye
9. Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health
10. Cursive - Mama. I'm Swollen

P.O.S. moved up, Mastodon moved in, Beirut moved out
Tags: lists
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Musical Genius - Given Talent
03/27/09 at 10:53 PM by hockeyguitar99
So, my Musical Genius blogs, which were initially meant to be just a space to explore ideas that would be useless in my reviews, but still interested me and were worth my time. But from this, I started to think about it with a different factor. How does god given talent play into it?

For example. one of the first examples I presented was Morrissey. I do believe that he is in fact a musical genius, but his talent is not something to be ignored. His voice is simply fabulous, and it's hard to believe that something that good can be taught. A next is Thom Yorke. Again, the man is a genius and I see no doubt in my mind about that. However, his haunting, beautiful, unique voice has really been the only consistent sound that Radiohead have had. His voice is distinct, and is part of what makes a Radiohead song so moving.

The other side, is also true. There are certainly people who are born more talented in certain fields and will be more successful in them than the general population because of it. The first thing, musically, that came to thought, were soul singers. More modern examples like John Legend and Raphael Saadiq have voices that are disctinct and simply breathtaking. However, I wouldn't consider either of these men a genius. They have an amazing talent and utilize that in the best way possible, but when it comes down to it, the only thing that is really, really, special about them is their talent.

So, does talent have an affect on the way musicians create quality music? Of course it does, but that's not all that's necessary. Morrissey is truly special because of his ability to change, and Thom Yorke falls into the same category. They make their talent work for them in ways that most men couldn't fathom.
Tags: Musical Genius
6 Comments | Add a CommentPermalink | Share | Mood | Music
Musical Geniuses - Thom Yorke
03/25/09 at 09:30 PM by hockeyguitar99
Early today I posted a blog abut what I thought musical genius entailed, and some people who fell into that category. There was one glaring omission (purposefully), so kindly pointed out by Edgar (liar23), Thom Yorke. The man is, the essence of a musical genius and more. To put into words what I believe he does is almost unfathomable, but here it goes:

Thom Yorke has somehow found a way to exist in two opposite worlds. The obscure and the mainstream. Two things that generally only meet if hipsters invade radio stations, is something that Thom Yorke (and co) seem to be able to do so easily, despite a seemingly conscious effort not to. His genius, is, and likely always will be, on another level. The ability to make something so interesting and creative, yet accessible enough to hit it huge with the masses is inconceivable.

Quickly, I'd like to mention his solo album. A quieter, more expected follow up to their electronic styling was captivating in its almost bare sound. He created the album so that no little nuance go unnoticed, they are all important, each aspect, most of which are executed miraculously well, and there are few albums that work like this.

His lyrics have always been a bit of a mystery to me, and I love that. Few to none of them make immediate sense, especially when placed in between his other abstract musings. Each line opens up a possibility of exploration and examination.

For now that's it on Thom Yorke, even though this isn't anywhere near close to sufficient.
Tags: Musical Genius
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Musical Genius
03/25/09 at 03:18 PM by hockeyguitar99
I started pondering this concept for my Manchester Orchestra review, and I am going to try to use this blog to get my useless musings about other artists out as well as smooth out some of the kinks in the concept. Constructive criticism is appreciated.

What makes a musical genius? Is it the ability to be consistently good at a certain style of music? or is it the ability to change styles seamlessly? The ability to do both of these things at the same time is at least the basis of one. But something has to be added right? How about the ability to work as creatively with others a by themselves? Again, the ability to do both is essential. What about the ability to flow the vocals with the instrumentation? Of course, again essential. Andy Hull has all of these things.

Anyway, other artists that fit with this, are not plentiful, but certainly there.

Morrissey - During his time with The Smiths, he released some of the best records of all time. His lyrical style was dark but not always serious and there was never an awkward moment on those albums. When he went solo, things were a lot different. The style that he chose was not really what would have been expected from the head of one of the most important bands of all time. However, he made truley stellar alternative rock, and that was better than expected.

Colin Meloy - Head honcho in The Decemberists is irresitably quirky and interesting. His solo work, while less interesting is far, far, from bad, and his work with The Decemberists, is well, The Decemberists. Diverse and wholly captivating, each one of their albums is truly an adventure. His lyrics while at times cheesy, always tell haunting stories.

Feist/Jason Tait/Brendan Canning/Kevin Drew/Charles Spearin - So, yeah, I just highlighted 5 members of my favorite band, who have also released stellar solo material. Feist's underated solo work is actually very impressive. Jason Tait's work with The Weakerthans, while infrequent in releasing albums, are consistent in very high quality. Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew both released very good solo albums through the Broken Social Scene Presents... series, and Charles Spearin recently released The Happiness Project, which is an original album that's very intriguing. Of course, their work together is insanely good, and Spearin's work with Do Make Say Think is also very good.

I'll proably expand this later, but this is what I have on my mind so far.
Tags: Musical Genius
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I'm Over Getting Older
03/25/09 at 01:16 PM by hockeyguitar99
All Time Low - "Weightless"

I don't really know what to say. I approached my first listen with the sentiment that I would find it to be generic and boring, as most pop punk is, especially after having an extremely successful debut, most bands would record a more generic and more successful album. Much to my surprise it was not crappy, generic drivel.

To me, the song, on it's own merits, isn't really anything special. In fact, it isn't much of a progression from anything they've previously done. However, the production is stellar. Squire did an amazing job. To avoid going through paragraphs of incoherent rambling, I'll just say that I think Squire saved all of the musical credibility I thought All Time Low were about to lose.
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Little Weapon
03/23/09 at 02:50 PM by hockeyguitar99
"Little Terry got a gun, he got from the store,
He bought it with the money he got from his chores,
He robbed candy shop told her lay down on the floor,
Put the cookies in his bag took the pennies out the drawer.

Little Kalil got a gun he got from the rebels,
To kill the infidels and American devils,
A bomb on his waist,
A mask on his face,
Prays five times a day,
And listens to Heavy Metal.

Little Alex got a gun he took from his dad,
That he snuck into school in his black book bag,
His black nail polish, black boots and black hair,
He's gonna blow away the bully that just pushed his ass..
"

I wish every rapper could write lyrics like this. It's terrible for the hip-hop world that The Greatest American Rap Album will be his last.

Tags: Rap, Lupe Fiasco
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Updated top ten
03/23/09 at 10:13 AM by hockeyguitar99
1. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
3. Pomegranates - Everybody, Come Outside!
4. Dan Deacon - Bromst
5. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!
6. Morrissey - Year Of Refusal
7. Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health
8. P.O.S. - Never Better
9. Beirut - March Of The Zapotec/Realpeople Holland
10. Cursive - Mama. I'm Swollen

Again, leave the hate in the comments.
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Old Records!
03/20/09 at 09:59 AM by hockeyguitar99
In the past few weeks, I've started to really get into older bands, or at least albums released a while ago by bands who are still active. Here's what I've been into:

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Sonic Youth - Sisteri
Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Nation
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
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Why aren't people interested?
03/15/09 at 12:03 AM by hockeyguitar99
Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, and A Tribe Called Quest are all interesting, important, creative, and influential acts in hip-hop. All three of these groups affected the genre in their own ways. I decided I'd take a look at their last.fm plays to see if they held up against the popular acts currently. I compared each groups listener count to Lil' Wayne's, and then their play counts. I found something peculiar in this. Wu-Tang comes in with 10,000 more listeners then Wayne does, but Wayne still has roughly 6 million more plays then Wu-Tang do. The second place group was A Tribe Called Quest. Their listenership was around the same as Wayne's, but again, Wayne has a good 6 million plays on them. The last place finisher was Public Enemy. Coming in with roughly 60,000 listeners less then Wayne, and around 11 million plays short of him. But what does this say? Shouldn't I be happy that they are for the most part equal in listeners? Maybe, except for the fact that there seems to be a fundemental problem with it. Their listeners don't stick around.

Numbers:

A Tribe Called Quest:
Listeners: 360.707
Plays: 9.007,847

Wu-Tang Clan
Listeners: 371,413
Plays: 9,668,997

Public Enemy
Listeners: 296,389
Plays: 4.160,602

Lil' Wayne
Listeners: 365,604 (Rounded Combination of various mistags)
Plays: 15,107,637
Tags: Hip-hop. last.fm
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Copying Klatzke (updated top ten.
03/11/09 at 02:11 PM by hockeyguitar99
1. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
3. Pomegranates - Everybody, Come Outside!
4. Dan Deacon - Bromst
5. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!
6. Morrissey - Year Of Refusal
7. P.O.S. - Never Better
8. Beirut - March Of The Zapotec/Realpeople Holland
9. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
10. Telefon Tel Aviv - Immolate Yourself

Bring the hate.
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