Category Archives: music

only assholes don’t listen to lcd soundsystem

A much belated part 2 of my amateurish critique of the music industry is as follows:

1. Air horns in rap songs

There is no quicker way to denigrate a rap song than to add unnecessary bells and whistles. Usually it’s called “overproduction”. But there is a disturbing trend I’ve noticed in a lot of popular rap songs: the inclusion of a blaring air horn in the background. Air horns are never not annoying, so it seems pretty odd that you’d want to include one in a song that you want to get played on the radio. Whenever you hear one, isn’t your first thought “who is the asshole with the air horn”? It opens up a world of criticism, particularly those hip-hop detractors who think rap artists are stupid and obnoxious. Obnoxious, maybe. But the stupid you can blame on producers. I’m looking at you, Drake.

While I’m at it, rap station DJs need to shut the fuck up. I don’t care who you are and I already know what station I’m listening to. Stop interrupting and play some damn De La Soul.

2. Ke$ha

This whore has had a bulls eye on her head for months now, but I can’t get over the fact that she’s still relevant. She literally has no redeeming qualities in both the musical and looks departments. All the money grubbing, fad-grabbing pop music before her seems tolerable compared to her “singing”, if you can even call it that. To call her an artist would be a gross hyperbole. I know this because I’m using lots of big words in order to sound smart. She is what happens when record executives listen to good electronica, then water down the lyrics and the quality of the arrangements in order to make it more appealing to young, shallow people who have yet to acquire a taste in music. This is a practice that’s been ongoing for decades but is nevertheless completely retarded. Please fade into obscurity, you epitome of everything that is wrong with our youth culture.

3. Weezer’s undying crusade to make everyone forget that they used to be awesome

It’s not unusual for Pitchfork to stop reviewing or reporting about bands once they’ve become unbearable (i.e. Kings of Leon), but one mainstay has been Weezer. Despite the fact that they haven’t given any of the Weezer albums since 2001 a higher score than 5.4 (out of 10), there’s still that air of nostalgia and hope that one day, Rivers Cuomo will snap out of his power pop psychosis and record something compelling again. But alas, the older he gets, the more ridiculous he becomes. On paper, he is a smart guy. He’s Harvard educated and he clearly knows what sound is popular with the kiddies and exploits is for vast monetary gain. But in reality he merely sinks to new lows in order to stay relevant. I doubt the rest of the band is complaining, considering they would have nothing if it weren’t for Weezer. But like my online indie rock overlords, I can’t help but harbor some love for the days when he was an insecure weirdo who made honest-to-goodness rock music… because maybe this is just some wacky mid life crisis.

4. Mash up artists who aren’t Greg Gillis

Just stop it already! You’re all missing the point.

5. “Bulletproof” by La Roux

GET. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD

Well that’s all I can come up with for now. In conclusion, I will leave you with the most pivotal song from your childhood.

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rock and roll part 3

I put my iPod on random earlier today, and the personification of my high school days came on:

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i am predictable

It didn’t dawn on me until today to see what songs I listen to the most. The following are the top 20 most played songs on my iPod (since 2006, and out of 5200+ songs):

1. Obstacle 1 – Interpol

2. Satan Rejected My Soul – Morrissey

3. This Charming Man – The Smiths

4. Play for Today – The Cure

5. Dead Disco – Metric

6. There is a Light that Never Goes Out – The Smiths

7. Cut Your Ribbon – Sparta

8. Into the Light – Siouxsie and the Banshees

9. Cemetry Gates (sic) – The Smiths

10. Myxomatosis – Radiohead

11. Arabian Nights – Siouxsie and the Banshees

12. Mirage – Siouxsie and the Banshees

13. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths

14. The Witch – Clinic

15. Evil – Interpol

16. You Have Killed Me – Morrissey

17. Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie and the Banshees

18. Still Ill – The Smiths

19. The Staircase (Mystery) – Siouxsie and the Banshees

20. Heart of Chambers – Beach House

Excuse me while I download “Walking on Sunshine”.

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it’s that time of the year again

best of 2009 flyer2

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do not fuck with the mozfather

morrissey

Morrissey is probably one of the few musicians who looks cooler the older he gets.

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disclaimer

Yeah, just ignore these last few entries. Chalk it up to extreme boredom and overthinking dumb shit.

In lighter news, I’ve picked this song as the 2009 summer anthem:

on-a-boat

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the bleeding heart show

Some people have pretty lofty goals. Whether it be President of the United States, a successful entrepreneur, or a whale sperm collector, everyone wants to fulfill their fantasies. I, on the other hand, want to create the perfect mix tape.

When you think about it, mix tapes are a form of currency. They can make or break your chances with the object of your affection, so the better the quality, the better chance you have of getting that sweet, sweet lovin’. I now give you some handy tips for making a great mix tape.

1. Stay away from commercial radio songs

Sure, you may play it safe pick a popular love song that everyone knows, but it’s not a very original choice. Dig into your music catalogue and find something that reminds you of the guy/girl you like. The more unknown the song, the better. But at the same time, don’t pick something too avant guarde (you’re testing the waters here, so don’t put on any Animal Collective songs unless you know they’re into them). Remember, the amount of effort you put into finding good music is proportionate to the amount the recipient thinks you like them.

2. It should be no longer than 12 songs

I’m sure you can think of more than a dozen songs to put on a mix, but it’s best not to over exert yourself. Too many songs could make it seem like you’re trying too hard, so 12 is a conservative number. If you want, pick about 20 or so songs and then whittle it down to the best of the best. You want it to be directly to the point, yet long enough to play multiple times without getting redundant.

3. Don’t include on “Love Song” or “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure

Don’t get me wrong, these songs are fantastic. But including these on a mix is a classic mistake, because everyone knows them. And while The Cure are one of those bands that straddle the line between commercial rock radio and indie-dorm room introspection, including these songs is just laaaaaazy. Might I suggest “Close to Me” or “Doing the Unstuck” instead?

4. Make it upbeat

Meaningful, delicate love songs are integral part of the mix tape canon, but you don’t want it to turn into a  snooze fest. Throw a curve ball or two! Add a few upbeat songs that you like, and think the recipient will like as well. You have to make it fun to listen to, because you want to come across as fun, don’t you?

5. 1,000,000 bonus points if you actually put it on cassette

If you know the recipient owns a cassette player, then you know what to do. Everyone has a soft spot for analog, and they take much more time and effort to make. Trust me, it’s worth it.

6. Decorate the case!

Made a great mix? Cool, but your work is not done. You can’t just hand in a tape/CD with just a track list, you need to give it some flavor. Even if you can’t draw for your life (i.e. ME), stick figures telling inside jokes is good enough. Just make it personal.

In conclusion…

Once you’ve completed your masterpiece, turn it over to your crush and pray to whatever deity that’s convenient that you’ll score a date. There’s nothing like that anxious feeling you get when you’re waiting to hear back from the person you like once you’ve put your feeling out there in a 45 minute playlist.

And what if your crush doesn’t like your mix? Fuck ’em, that’s what.

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