Music Post

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about music. A few years ago, I used to do one once a week. They were called My Weekly Soundtrack, and in them I’d put the links to YouTube videos of songs that had been stuck in my head at some point during that week. A few of you were fans of this series of posts, but after taking a break from blogging a while back, I never revived the idea.

For those of you who are hoping that this post will be that revival, it’s not.

It might be fun to start up that series again, but I doubt that I’d keep up with it for very long. There’s no point in going on with it if I’m just going to drop it again soon.

So, what I’m going to do instead is review a few albums, that have released within the last year or so, by bands that I have followed for a while. Up first is the one I liked the least.

Ember by Breaking Benjamin was a big disappointment to me. Up until this album, I’ve pretty much liked everything they’ve ever done. On this one, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a couple of good songs on it. Red Cold River isn’t bad. But, overall, it just really wasn’t that good to me. Listening to it, I felt like they were going out of their way to not sound like Breaking Benjamin anymore.

The next CD is the newest on, Evolution by Disturbed. I haven’t listened to this one as much as the others. I try to give an album a few listens before I render judgment and I might need to listen to this one at least one more time before coming to a final conclusion. I’m kinda on the fence about it.

On one hand, there are a number of regular Disturbed-type songs, and they’re good. On the other, there are a couple of songs in the same style as Sound of Silence. I mean, the melodies were different. The lyrics were different, but all I kept hearing was, “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” I’m not sure what to do with that.

The last of the albums is the one that I thought I’d like the least, but, in my mind anyway, ended up being the best of the bunch: When Legends Rise by Godsmack.

Godsmack’s previous album, 1000hp, was not very good in my opinion. So, when this one released, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. Most of the songs are very catchy and infectious, but still have a good dose of kickass to them. Their first single, Bulletproof, is a good example of that.

There’s not really a bad song on this album. Sure, there’s a couple teetering on the border between decent and good, but there aren’t any that are bad. I can’t think of many albums that have no bad songs on them and this is one of them.

That’s all for now, folks. May all your music be good.

Bleed for Me

I was randomly going through my music the other night and I came across this song. I had totally forgotten all about it. After listening to it, I was very disappointed in myself. It is too awesome of a song for me to have forgotten it.

I wonder how many other songs have fallen through the cracks on me…

Either/Or

I titled the post that because I wasn’t sure what I should call it. I was torn between two options. It was either going to be called “A Conversation That Shows How Our Minds Work”, or “Proof That Our Minds Don’t Work”. I’ll let you decide.

(Actual lines of email from between Matticus and myself)

Matticus: Flog some Molly, my friend!  They are a lot of fun.  Catching tunes.  Upbeat… in the same vein as The Offspring in some aspects… Kind of punk, kind of pop, … good strong guitar riffs, with the added bonus of an Irish vocalist.  Anyway, I think you’d like them.  Some of their stuff is available on Prime Music if you have that… 

Revis: Who’s Molly and why are they flogging her? And why are they breaking Benjamin too?

M: And what did Ben fold five of?

R: Why are they dropkicking Murphys?

M: I really don’t know. I don’t know why those Lips are Flaming either… 

R: It is a mystery. Just like who exactly it was that God smacked.

M: I will admit, I have always wanted to know the answer to that. Also, I wish I knew what Foo was, and if they had their own Fighters or there were Fighters going after the Foo…

R: According to Robot Chicken ‘Foo’ is anyone that Mr. T called a fool. As in, ,’I pity the foo!” So Grohl and Co. went around beating up anyone who Mr. T said that to. It ended with Mr. T calling himself a fool and the Foo fighters kicking his ass.

I’m still wondering how the Leppard became Def.

M:I hadn’t heard that before!  It’s brilliant!!

And, that poor Leppard.  These things happen sometimes…  Life can be cruel… 

Like… why did all those kids going around Smashing Pumpkins?

R: Damn kids…

And how does one Pilot a Stone Temple?

M: That is a fine question… I … I don’t know the answer to that either.

And, you know what else I’ve been wondering? 

Why are we supposed to be Counting Crows?  What’s with that?

R: A favor for Alex Proyas?

And why do they keep poor Alice in Chains?

M: Honestly, Alice knows why she is in chains, and that’s good enough for me.

I’m not sure why they switched their head out with a radio, though…  I mean, I love music, but I don’t think I’d swap my head for a radio…

R: Doesn’t seem worth the effort.

And how does a deadman have a theory? And what would it be if he has one?

M: Maybe it would have something to do with The Killers? I don’t know.

You know what else I don’t know? What’s a Volta?  And what does it have to do with Mars?

R: I don’t know, but do you think the killers used a Velvet Revolver?

M: Velvet Revolver is my favorite weapon of choice…  it’s sexy and classic… It’s a good combination.

You know what else is a good combo? Guns and Roses. I believe Stephen King would agree with me on that.

R: Sorry to change the subject, but I need some help with something I’m going to put in my yard. Do you know how to make a Soundgarden?

M: Hmmm, you know, I’ve heard of those but I’ve never installed one myself.  Should be awesome once it’s done, though.  I’m jealous.

Oh! That reminds me.  I went to the ocean the other day and heard this Pearl Jam!

R: I heard that there’s this group called Audio that kidnaps people and sells them off. I don’t know about you, but I would hate to be an Audioslave.

M: Definitely.  I’d hate being an Audioslave, too.  Too many spoons and black holes for me.

I wouldn’t mind living on E Street though, they’ve got one heck of a Band.

R: I’d stay away from Tom Petty if I were you. I heard he’s got quite the crew of Heartbreakers.

M: I’d heard that too. I’ll do my best to avoid them on my path to Nirvana.

R: You realize that anyone who read all of these would probably think we’re crazy for joking around like this. I’d hate for some psychiatrist to get ahold of these and use them as an excuse to force us into joining an insane clown posse.

M: Wait!  You mean you aren’t already part of an Insane Clown Posse? I thought you were. I thought we had that in common… I thought we were … Family

R: Nothing about anything I do is insane….

By the way, have I ever shown you my Alien Ant Farm?

M: No… but you did show me your Spacehog. It was disturbing.

R: I don’t have a Spacehog. I think you’ve taken one too many hits off of the Verve Pipe.

M: You have no proof of that.

I have never…

Well…

Okay…

Maybe that one time.  But that wasn’t my fault.  The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy put a spell on me!  I had no choice!

R: Just remember that in this life you will always be Better Than Ezra, but Less Than Jake

M: U2, my friend.  U2.

Song Stories: Gone Away

To anyone who has ever asked me, I have always said that my favorite song is Gone Away by The Offspring. Most people who know the song give me a weird look after I say that. Not because they think it’s a bad song, but because it’s a very sad song. I think the reason I connect with this song so well is because every time I hear it, it makes me think of someone.

Back when I was in high school, I lost my aunt (my father’s sister) to breast cancer. She had been fighting it for a while. She’d had a double mastectomy years before, but it wasn’t enough to keep it from coming back. The doctors did all they could, but it wasn’t enough. The last time I saw her, she was bed ridden. She was almost unrecognizable to me. There were a couple of times when I wanted to walk out of the room because I couldn’t stand seeing her that way.

Our visit ended and we drove the three or four hours back home. Two days later, we got the call. I was at work (a cashier at a local hardware store) at the time. I got called into the back to take a phone call. I remember thinking that it was odd because they were very strict about employees receiving phone calls. It was my Dad. He only had to speak the first word for me to know what happened. I could tell from his voice. To this day, I’m still not sure what he said. I immediately broke down into tears.

I was pretty much numb throughout the funeral process. Much like not remembering my father’s words, a lot of what happened during this time is a blur for me. My aunt was one of the most amazing women I had ever met. She was smart, funny, and kind to everyone. Not one person who ever met her had a bad thing to say about her. Especially after seeing her right before it happened, it hit me pretty hard.

About a year later, this song came out. I was instantly mesmerized by it. I listened to it over and over again. The more I heard it, the more I associated it with my aunt. When he sang the line “And if I could trade, I would” there were times back then that I actually felt that way.

I’d think, “Here was a woman who was a wife, mother, and grandmother. She was loved by so many people. I’m just a dumb kid. Maybe it would be better if it were me instead of her.”

As time went on, I felt less and less like I should trade places. However, my love for this song has never waivered. Not only is it the song that touches me the most, but it is a reminder of the brave woman who was taken from the world too soon.

I love you, my aunt. I know I’ll never live up to you, but I hope that you’re proud of who I’ve become.

Looking Back: Garth Brooks

I don’t know if I will call Looking Back a series. I really only have one other one I’m planning on doing, but it might be an idea that I use again later. So, for now, please enjoy the first Looking Back post I’m writing.

The basic premise of these Looking Back posts is me listing a movie, song, or TV show that meant one thing to me back when I was younger and means something different looking back on it now. This first one is about a few different songs by Garth Brooks.

Song 1: Friends in Low Places

Back Then: Garth finds some drinking buddies after his woman dumps him because he isn’t classy enough.

Now: Garth  is an asshole who just ruined the wedding of his ex.

The lyrics never actually come out and say it’s a wedding, but the signs point there. It’s a “black tie affair” where people are toasting with champagne. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being something else, but it honestly doesn’t matter. Either way, Garth is an asshole who crashes a party thrown by an ex and her new man.

Get over it, Garth. Get over it.

Song 2: That Summer

Back Then: Garth was reminiscing about his first time.

Now: Garth is creepily obsessed with the cougar he lost his virginity to.

After the first couple of verses, it was still ok. Then, when you get to the last one, it becomes creepy. He says things like “And I have rarely held another when I haven’t seen her face,” and “Every time I pass a wheat field and watch it dancing in the wind, although I know it isn’t real I just can’t help but feel her hungry arms again”

Ok, calm down Garth. Once again, I’m going to have to tell you to get over it. Even if she was the best lay in the world, this reaction is a little much. Keep her in your spank bank, but other than that, let it go. It’s not worth it.

Through the Never

I have a playlist in my car that hovers around 700 songs. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to or from work every day (if there’s no traffic….which there usually is), so having music in my car is a must. I also have to have a variety, hence the 700 songs. I’ll just start my car, hit the random button, and hit play. Most of the time, it’ll give me a good mix of songs.

A few days ago, however, it randomly picked 3 songs from Metallica’s Black Album to play back to back. It started with The Unforgiven, then Sad But True, and finished with Through the Never.

Once the final song began playing, a thought occurred to me, and that thought was “For the past 20-something years (25 to be exact as I just Googled it), this song has gotten the short end of the stick.”

When you think of Metallica songs, which one is the first one that pops into your head? If you’re anything like me, it’s Master of Puppets. Start thinking about other ones. Is Through the Never in the top 5? Top 10? Top 20? Hell, I’d be willing to bet that most people wouldn’t have it in their top 5 from the Black Album. Most people would probably name the other two I’ve already mentioned plus Enter Sandman, Wherever I May Roam, and Nothing Else Matters.

To me, that’s a shame.

Now, I will admit that The Unforgiven is my favorite song on that album, but Through the Never is easily the second. And, the more I think about it, it kind of bothers me that it doesn’t get the love it deserves.

I may not change anyone’s mind with this post, but I hope you all at least give it a listen. It’s an awesome song.