Shut up and play your music…

Alicia Keys is the latest artist to ban smartphone use at her concerts. Here’s how it works:

You walk in to a Keys concert and security makes you put your smartphone in a pouch. They then lock that pouch and hand it back to you. You can’t remove your phone from that pouch until the end of the concert when security unlocks you on the way out.

So what will this do?

“We think smartphones have incredible utility, but not in every setting. In some situations, they have become a distraction and a crutch — cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings.”

So yeah that’s their official reasoning. But let’s be honest, its about ego. Artists like Alicia want the world to revolve around them. They don’t perform your you, you pay to experience their genius.

Additionally, in the wake of the Pulse terror attack, do we really want to limit communication in a large social setting?

I agree that people need to use their phones less and experience the moment more, but it’s not an artist’s right or responsibility to decide that for us. Remember, you’re famous because of us, not in spite of. So shut up and play your damn song.

The Most Important Band In The World…?

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Radiohead is one of those bands.

Yes, they’ve had massive success, even your grandmother probably knows the band exists and maybe even heard “Creep” on Muzak (yes, it happens).

But in reality they’re a band for critics and music geeks. They’re the musical equivalent of Forrest Whittaker.

A few days ago, Radiohead got a cryptic. They erased their FB & Twitter, blanked out their website and sent weird postcards to members of their fan club and people who had recently purchased from their website.

“Something has to be coming!!!!”, the masses screamed.

And today, lo and behold, they pulled a Beyoncé (who has been pulling a Radiohead/Nine inch Nails for her last few releases). Here, ladies & gents, is “Burn The Witch”.

Now I’ll admit I like Radiohead. I don’t love them, but i do see a certain genius in a lot of their work. This, though?

For years Coldplay wanted to be a more mainstream Radiohead. Listen to any song off 2008’s  Viva La Vida and you’ll hear a band desperate to be taken seriously. Of course then they did a duet with Rihanna and went shitty pop. I blame Gwyneth. But I digress….

Listen to “Burn the Witch” again. Then listen to the title track from “Viva La Vida” and try not to laugh. Yes, after 23 years of pushing boundaries and “blowing minds”, Radiohead have put out a single that is essentially a super mopey  retread version of a song released by a band that was trying to sound more like Radiohead 8 years ago. Need a flow Chart? I have a headache.

 

Let’s be honest. Radiohead have been believing their own hype for years. The BendsOK Computer were fantastic, Kid A was claustrophobic and engrossing, Amnesiac was slightly more filler than killer, Hail to the thief was mostly misses, In Rainbows regained some glory, but King Of limbs was really listenable to critics and diehards only. What we have is a band determined to seal their legacy by  becoming a bit more self-indulgent every single album. They might as well become a prog rock band. And not a good one like Yes or Dream Theater. no, they’re becoming The Mars Volta bad (another self-indulgent hype loving crap fest).

Radiohead is one of those bands that people feel important for loving. So I wonder what those people will do now that Radiohead is a step away from releasing The Scientist?

 

The Post where i rant about the Rock-N-Roll Hall Of Fame.

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The Rock-N-Roll hall of Fame ceremony was last night. Don’t worry, the show runners will whittle the ceremony down to the most bland, predictable moments for mass consumption very soon.
Gene Simmons of kiss recently spoke out against NWA getting into the Hall of Fame, saying that  rap is killing rock-n-roll and “I am looking forward to the death of rap,” he stated. He’s actually been bitching about rappers getting in for several years.

But Gene seems to forget that the spirit of rock-n-roll doesn’t die when you let rappers (or Chicago) into the hall of fame. It dies every time every one of these bands (of any type) agrees to be part of a bloated, political, mainstream mess that actually doesn’t give a shit about artists. My problems with the Hall of Shame echo my issues with the Grammys. The people voting and running these organizations are the same vastly out of touch members of the old guard that left blues, doo-wop and Motown artists penniless and destitute later in life, then “honor” them long after they’re mostly dead and profit off their inductions.
Ice cube said in a recent interview “…but I think he’s (Gene) wrong on this, because rock ’n’ roll is not an instrument and it’s not singing. Rock ’n’ roll is a spirit. N.W.A is probably more rock ’n’ roll than a lot of the people that he thinks belong there over hip-hop. We had the same spirit as punk rock, the same as the blues.”
 The flaw in Ice Cube’s statement is that this is an oganization that doesn’t care about the spirit, it lets personal tastes, back room deals and whatever way the (usually minority) public opinion is blowing decide who gets in. The fact is if any of these 20, 30 & 40 year old bands still had any rock essence left in them, most of them would stop touring as a nostalgia act & break up (good move Motley Crue).
 In fact, let’s be completely honest, if the 18 yr old versions of Gene Simmons, Ice Cube, Billy Joe Armstrong, James Hetfield, Iggy Pop, The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, among others, were to see that most of these people actually cared about an induction into this Hall Of Shame, their younger versions would kick their asses. If rock is dead, it isn’t because Chuck D got in, it’s because he allowed it to happen at all.
Lastly:
I don’t really like Steve Millers music, never have. But he gets it pretty right with this statement. Nice to see someone say something.

March 2015 Mixtape

March 2015 Mixtape

so it’s winter, and cabin fever is killing me. To both fight boredom & keep up my goal of actually using this blog, here’s my favorite songs right now. It might change 10 times before the end of the month, but here goes. No real oirder, just as i think of them.

1. Awolnation – Hollow Man (bad Wolf)

2. Florence + The Machine – What Kind Of Man

3. Incubus – Absolution Calling

4. Joywave – Somebody New

5. Faith No More – Superhero

6. K. Flay – Make Me Fade

7. Milo Greene – Lie To Me

8. Sleigh Bells Feat.Tink – That did it

9. Milky Chance – Flashed Junk Mind

10. Torche – Loose Men

11. Badflower – Animal

12. Passion Pit – Lifted Up

13. Imagine Dragons – Shots

14. Jack U  – Beats Knockin’

15. The Prodigy – Nasty

16. Kanye – All Day

17. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Cecilia and the Satellite

18. Mike Doughty – Love Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future

19. London Grammer -Strong

20. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance

Have a band you think i should check out? post it in the comments

Nerding out, Mixed tape Style…..

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Last night i started reading “Cassette Tapes From My Ex” a collection of short stories about people’s failed relationships and the tapes left behind. There are some cool stories and they even show the original tape covers with song listings. it kinda made me a little nostalgic. I miss making mix tapes. mix Cd’s, just making…. Digging through your collection, finding the perfect songs for each individual person then figuring out the order & flow. It’d a DJ’s (& nerds) dream….and i think it’s a (minor) lost art. So with that in mind i decided to make myself a playlist. I put it together in my Google Play Music and i’ll listen to it over and over till i’m sick of every song.

Fair warning, this list isn’t meant to be edgy or cool, i’m way too nerdy for that. I just wanted a fall mix that summed up where i am in the fall of 2013. So here it is:

1 Leave R.E.M.
2 6AM My Hotel Year
3 Great Expectations The Gaslight Anthem
4 from the Bottom of a Well Mike Doughty
5 Deperately Wanting Better Than Ezra
6 Come Back Down Toad The Wet Sprocket
7 The Only Living Boy In New York Simon & Garfunkel
8 32 Flavors Ani DiFranco
9 Everything Falls Apart Dog’s Eye View
10 Goodnight, Good Guy Collective Soul
11 Just Like Heaven Cure, The
12 Sweater Weather The Neighbourhood
13 6th Avenue Heartache The Wallflowers
14 Dreams (Fleetwood Mac Cover) Bastille Feat. Gabrielle Aplin
15 City of Blinding Light U2
16 No Story Time Smallpools
17 Backwater Meat Puppets
18 Somebody To Shove Soul Asylum
19 Screamager Therapy
20 My Own Worst Enemy Stereophonics
21 High & Dry Radiohead
22 Games Without Frontiers Peter Gabriel
23 Skip The Charades Cold War Kids
24 What’s A Girl To Do Bat For Lashes
25 Too Dramatic Ra Ra Riot
26 Set Adrift On Memory Bliss P.M. Dawn
27 Dry The Rain The Beta Band
28 Bloodbuzz Ohio The National
29 Ride Cary Brothers
30 Under the Milky way The Church

Just Shut Up & Play A Song Zooey…..

Recently, Bands like The Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s, She & Him & Savages have been banning camera’s, including cell phones at their concerts. Other musicians like The Smith’s Johnny Marr have called concert goers “Dicks” for using their cell phone camera during concerts.

Bands that aren’t banning camera’s or even directly ranting against them on stage are still weighing in. The common argument on their part? “Why bother taking pictures? they’re gonna look like shit anyway”

Here’s my response to that argument:

Ok, yeah, i see what you mean, spoiled rock stars. that picture i posted below, taken with a Motorola Droid smartphone with a mid-level 8 megapixel camera from 20 feet away, is so dark and grainy and blurry and distorted, i don’t know why i bothered taking it…..

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Their next argument is that if you spend your night taking pictures, you miss that experience of the live show. Now i can’t speak for everyone, i know there are some idiots in this world, but in the course of a concert i probably spend 10 minutes taking pictures. That means i’m a captive audience for the other 50 minutes (or more) that the headline act is playing. Does that 10 minutes, scattered across an hour really hurt how i see the show?

I look at groups like In Flames, who pull fans on stage to record songs with their smartphones, steal phones from the audience and take “selfies” and make attendees promise they’ll post any videos that come out well on You Tube.

Then i look at bands like Cake, that chastise the audience and refuse to start another song until fans put their phones away.

Which band actually gives a fuck about the concertgoer?

Here’s a suggestion: Shut up. You play music for a living. Yes, i know it’s not always as glamorous or easy as people think, but you’re still famous for a living. Trade places with a construction worker for a month or a fast food worker for a week, or a cell phone salesperson for a day, and you’ll go running back to your air conditioned tour bus you whiny little pansy.

Maybe, just maybe, if you cut Ticketmaster & Live Nation out of the ticket process, lower your ticket prices, lower your t-shirt prices, stop blocking your music from streaming services and give your fans 100% every time you walk out on stage, maybe you can dictate how we attend your concerts. Until then just play your one fucking hit and let us document & experience the concert how we see fit.

Web Surfing that won’t waste your time…..

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if you’re reading my blog, you probably spend quite a bit f time on the web. Seriously, how else would you have found this thing? You can surf, you can Stumble, you can Pintrest, you can Wiki or you can just check out my top 5 favorite websites that are a great way to spend your time on the net.

1. Short Of The Week ( http://www.shortoftheweek.com/ )

From the site: “We believe short films are at the center of innovative storytelling. New ideas, new techniques and new directors first make their mark in the filmmaker’s playground that is short form cinema.”

The short and simple of it? short films anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 minutes. Comedy, romance, drama, action, horror, animation, sci-fi. Just spend a few minutes browsing and you’ll find yourself constantly revisiting the site for new videos. In the last 4 months i’ve found some of the most charming, inspiring movies i’ve seen in a long time. this is where filmmaking is art & entertainment. Skip the multiplex, go here….

2. TED. ( http://www.ted.com/ )

 I’m sure a lot of you know this one. TED is a site filled with lectures. Sounds boring right? yeah, it can be. but doing a bit of digging, searching for talks that you’re interested in will yeild some amazing results. Give it a shot, but beware, this is a site where you may learn something.

3. Babel Music ( http://www.baeblemusic.com/ )

Like your music of the Indie persuasion? then this is your site. Catch up on music news, watch concerts, interviews and exclusive studio sessions by some of today’s biggest and fastest rising indie bands

4.Geeks Are Sexy ( http://www.geeksaresexy.net/ )

While i WOULD categorize myself as a geek, i wouldn’t ever call myself sexy. however to do appreciate the sentiment and this site. filled with the latest in geek news, gadgets and videos, this site is  a nerds paradise. i’ll meet you there.

5. Oneword ( http://oneword.com/ )

This one is simple. If you are a writer this site is for you. Every day you go to the page and hit “Go” it takes you to another page where there is a word. Below that word is a blank box. From the moment you get to the page you have exactly 60 seconds to write about the word on the page. their tag is “Don’t think. Just write.”

 

So there thy are. 5 websites that make me feel a little less guilty about the time i spend on the web. And i think every now and then something thats fun AND doesn’t cost you IQ points (yeah i’m talking to you Facebook) is a good thing.

 

 

Enjoy!