Giving the new Say Anything album a first listen ... might as well put a bunch of thoughts together as I listen, haven't done that in a while. Umm, yeah, so here we go...
1) Fed to Death is a great little intro - interesting lyrics, cool piano outro.
2) You've heard it ... I fought the law and the insane catchyness won.
3) The kinda song I've been waiting and expecting Say Anything to write since "Wow, I Can Get Sexual" - infectious, clever, and witty.
4) One of Max's best lyrical outings since IARB in my opinion. Avron's production really stands out here.
5) I see this one being a new fan favorite.
6) Hahaha. Unique. Not sure who the other vocals are ... and holy balls the song changes tempos and time a bunch.
7) Not how I expected this one to sound ... a lot going on. Will need more listens to let it settle.
8) Good start ... hoping this picks up. Hmmm, middle is ok. Kinda zoning this one out. My least favorite so far.
9) Slower song, but reminds me of what first drew me to Max.
10) Definitely not how I expected this one to sound either. Hahah, reminds me of something from the 50's and then it moves into a more rock song ... then changes again for the chorus. Very musically disarming, always like when bands do that. Hahah, love the spoken word part.
11) I'd say this should be the second (actually, shoulda been the first) single. My favorite track on the first listen. Of course the lyrics probably wouldn't go over so well with the mainstream - but the song rules anyway. I love when Max says something that makes me go, "what the fuck did he just say?"
12) Enjoying the last tracks more than the middle ones.
13) The first line is the kind of stuff that you wish your band had the balls to write. Great closer.
In closing - I don't think the single is very indicative of what the album sounds like. And it comes across on first listen as more experimental than I was expecting, in a good way - means it's going to take a few more listens before I really know how I feel about it. That usually means it's an album I'll end up really spending some time with and seeing if it connects. What a great year for music.
Checkin - for me to see,
if the children still think about me.
What do they think of my CD?
Am I too old to run around like I'm 19?
First sign of trouble's here,
Jeff's Tweety avatar says we're so queer.
But the rest, support my front.
Guess it's worth it to express your opinion.
And I absolutely care to know.
Yes, I absolutely care to know. Oh oh.
The power is in your hands.
You can kill the sales pitch and break up the band,
if you want to, but have some mercy,
we've been sweating, bleeding, and rehearsing.
Thank you children for the support.
Risking mailbombs and jihad just to report,
that my dumb band is worth the fight.
I'll keep checking at least once every single night.
And I absolutely care to know.
Yes, I absolutely care to know.
Thank you children
Thank you children
Thank you children
Thank you children
I'm guessing on a few lines ... but it's close. I'll edit it if I figure out exactly what's said. I've always been a big fan of the satirical and honest brand of lyrics Max writes. I like the different meanings one can draw from the song ... be it staff, user, fan, or band member.
So, today Max (Say Anything) sent me our song. It's titled "I Absolutely Care" and after spending a few hours listening to it - I am extremely happy how it turned out. The lyrics deal with an interesting trifecta of the website: the staff and the jihad they have to put up with from users, the bands and how they view us/need us/worry about us, and then the users and their opinions and how they, in the end, love the music. It's really well done - it's an acoustic song - and although I know he's not for everyone, I really like Max's vocals.
I sent the song to staff and family - and everyone's that heard it is really pleased with how it turned out. I think everyone knows the feelings expressed. And I think it's a great little anthem for AP.net and the love/hate relationship I myself have with the website.
Watching some of the threads (and bitching) over this entire ordeal has been bothering me. Bothering me to the point where it actually annoys me to see some of the posts in quite a few of the threads on this topic. It bothers me to see how quickly people will try and destroy something they don't like. Where they'd most likely give a favorite of theirs a pass -- they will make sure to judge critically something they don't like. I know this is the nature of how we handle things ... yet, it doesn't have to be.
One of the most disheartening things has been the massive amounts of negativity thrown the way of those wanting to make a living. Hell, if you read the most recent thread people are even talking shit about me for wanting to make money. I have no idea how this became the norm for the music scene - but it's still something I don't understand. I think it's pretty obvious to tell when money begins to influence people and when it doesn't. Music can be paid for, made, created and still be extremely good. Lydia would have made the same (brilliantly gorgeous) album no matter how much money they had in their bank accounts. AP.net would be exactly how it is right now regardless of how much money I make. I can understand having an issue when money begins to change someone. This is the same for the lawyer, cook, or basketball star. Yet we hold musicians to a completely different standard. It's as though we want those around us to struggle. Does it come from jealousy? Maybe. More so I think the motives are more pure than we want to give them credit for. I do believe people have the right intentions in mind when they worry about the music they love (or I guess hate) being tainted by an influx of income. However, I think these mindsets are outdated. I don't think one could ever argue that the quality of music deteriorates the more money the artist has -- The Beatles would put a pretty big kink in that argument. It depends on the artist. It depends on the person. Always has. And I think this is what is bothering me. No one is willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt these days. The more money an artist makes does not necessarily mean they make worse music. Idiots haven't realized how fucked the music industry is -- and I'd love for someone to explain to me how they expect to have music at the end of the day without the musician being compensated. Please. Explain that to me. Make the argument that you'll have better music by forcing all musicians to have less time to record/write, less resources to do so, and more financial worries than a Countrywide Employee.
Instead it's more fun to call someone a "sell out" or claim that they're taking advantage of their fan base. When it's bullshit. And I think those making the claims know it's bullshit. They love their anonymity - and they're damn sure going to use it to make sure others feel bad about themselves.
Yeah. That one bothers me. I have gotten letters from some of this "taken advantage of" fan base as they write through tears how happy they are for the song they got from their favorite artist - about their life. About their once in a lifetime purchase - for a very reasonable price. I have absolutely no idea who out there has the gall to judge that. Maybe someone that doesn't understand our economy. Maybe someone that doesn't understand supply and demand. Maybe someone that doesn't understand what it's like to be a die-hard fan. Someone that's never really had an emotional connection to music/an artist/a song.
Maybe in a perfect utopia money wouldn't be what dictates the majority of our time. However, that's not the society we currently live in - and if you don't accept that on some level, you end up homeless. The truth is: as you get older, more and more of your time will be spent working. You will put more time into your job then you ever did school. You will spend more of your time trying to make money then anything you've ever done in the past. It's just a fact of life. I want to know what the people throwing a tantrum at others making money do for a living. I want to know how they pay the bills.
I'll post some of the lyrics from the song in the next few days or something - maybe we'll end up streaming it on the website or something ... but I'm not sure. I'd rather it be something special for me, the staff, and my family at the moment.
PS: I saw Fearless signed another power-pop band today. They look and sound exactly how you'd expect. I really, really, really don't think this is a good trend. I would love to see some diversity out there. Labels should be looking at careers and not flash in the pan successes. I just don't think from a business standpoint you can sustain this business model.
Max Bemis is my hero. And yes, AbsolutePunk.net was the first buyer of this item. Seriously.
When we get our song I'll decide if you guys get to hear it or not. Neinerneinerneiner.
I wonder what fans will do knowing how much "unheard" Say Anything music is out there? Now this is a management company thinking outside of the box with their artists. Same guys that handle Underoath (who I just talked about in a previous blog). Seriously - if I was a band right now I'd want to sign up with these guys. I love the idea of personalization, the idea of doing something new, something unique. I love the simplicity and putting an already massively prolific songwriter right in his element. Imagine how much money they'd be bringing in if he was unsigned right now. I just love that there are bands willing to try things -- not worry about being "artsy" or worry about doing everything the same as Radiohead. I give the man massive props for that.
Go stream the new Thrice album on myspace -- seriously -- get going.
I'm about 2 paragraphs into my Say Anything review. This is one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. So much material and so much I want to say. Lots of pressure here. It's going to piss off a lot of people ... I'm trying to write it to mirror the album and my last review. So where the band stepped up everything to bigger proportions on the new album compared to the last, I want to step up my review in comparison to my last. It's fun, but challenging. I just really hope I can finish it before the album leaks -- I think I have a good shot at getting it done in the next few days. I just have to keep waiting for the right times of inspiration. I have a whole shit load of other stuff I'm working on (including a crazy new project that I have to keep mum about for now). Anyway ... keep your fingers crossed I have some time to spend on that tomorrow and I'll make sure I get it up as soon as it's done and ready.
I'm finding inspiration in these gravel roads, yet not one seems to lead me home ...
i wake up in a room and realize iím insane again
this is the fifth time straight in a year iíve ended up in here
eating p.b.jís and watching the church channel nightly
i didnít mind what i did
i fell behind on my nightly four-course meal of rainbow pills
and now iím wondering what is fake and what is real
but whoís that ghost who keeps walking by my door
iíve never seen a girl look so good in thick-rimmed glasses before
and i feel her watching me during sleeping hours
and when i shower
they let us play with markers but i keep trying to draw infinity
and i read the bible to pass the time
but one day out of nowhere, she sits down and looks over my shoulder
iím shaking harder then iíve ever shook before.
ďoh, donít you remember me? is your mind that worn?
we both were born to be one with that which the public scorned
though you were forlorn in despair with your drugs and your hardcore porn
trust me, those days wonít be mourned. so lay your head on me.Ē
lay your head onto me.
This album is massive. It's a fucking monument wrapped in a behemoth. Fans of their last album will find something to love here. People that don't like the band - I don't think you're going to get it this time around.
At this point, this is probably the best album I've heard all year. Probably due to the lyrical content - but it absolutely connects (I guess I'm just that messed up). There are so many layers here ... color me impressed ... again. I didn't think they could do it; I think they did.
For me ... it goes something like "we're going to get you a copy of the new Say Anything album today." That is how much I love music. Before any other material possession, pretty much any email from any girl, and really anything else I can think of in general ... this is what I breathe for.
I'm sure I'll be checking in later with my first thoughts.