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Music Mondays: The Spill Canvas

This weeks Music Mondays will be another band feature. I had recently discovered this band about a week or so ago when I was listening to music on my iheartradio app on my phone (which I’d recommend by the way, if you like finding new music). I listened to their song “Appreciation and the bomb”, and fell in love. I looked up some more songs from that album on youtube and they’re gaining appreciation by this music lover ❤

The Spill canvas is an emo acoustic band from South Dakota. Hm, never knew anything so awesome came from South Dakota. Seriously. 😛 They started off as a side project for Nick Thomas, the lead singer. As time passed, it was decided that The Spill Canvas would be a full time band.

I wasn’t aware at first that they were considered “emo acoustic”. I did enjoy their acoustic sound and they had pretty meaningful lyrics. Maybe I need to listen to their beginning albums to see where the emo portion is coming in. I normally don’t listen to emo music or …well emo anything. Regardless of where you want to put them, The Spill Canvas is a jumble of beautiful lyrics and sounds. Emo or not, I can call them an ‘honest’ band. You can easily relate to what’s being sung about and that’s sometimes hard to find. I adore them for it.

My Favorite: Appreciation and the Bomb. It speaks about appreciating life while you can, basically…since most people don’t and take it for granted. I LOVE this song. I hope that you do too. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, is that we never feel the hear until we get burned” ❤

All Over You. Another great song…more awesomeness to love.

Last one: more romantic, and whatnot. Not usually my speed, but it’s not cheesy.

Happy Listening! See you all next week~

 

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Music Mondays: Math Rock

For this weeks Music Mondays, I wanted to try a different genre. Something I hadn’t really heard of before. I did a bit of google searching and came across this genre: Math Rock. I had heard of it once and didn’t think it was an actual genre. But…it actually is! Believe it or not…Math rock is a rhythmically complex, often guitar-based, style of experimental rock that had  emerged in the late 1990s, influenced by progressive rock bands like King Crimson as well as 20th century minimalist composers such as Steve Reich. I will probably get into progressive and experimental rock at a later date, for the record.Now on to the main event~

Normal Rock music uses a basic 4/4 meter. Math rock, however, uses asymmetrical time signatures such a 7/8, 11/8 or 13/8. They might also use features that might constantly change the meters based on various groupings of 2 and 3. This is seen as “mathematical” and is what mostly gives the genre it’s name. The music of Math rock is mostly dominated by guitars and drums just like traditional rock. However, due to the complex rhythms, math rock groups tend to stick out more than groups of other genres. Also, it’s normal for guitarists in math rock groups to use the “tapping” method of guitar playing and loop pedals can also be used occasionally. Guitar playing is often played in clean tones more than other “upbeat” rock songs. Distortion is sometimes used, depending on the group.

Lyrics are generally not the main focus of math rock; the voice is treated as just another sound in the mix. Often, lyrics are not overdubbed, and are positioned low in the mix, as in the recording style of Steve Albini. Many of math rock’s most famous groups are entirely instrumental such as Don Caballero. Side note: The term math rock has often been passed off as a joke that has developed into what some believe is a musical style.

Influences across the country:

During the 1990s, the greatest concentration of math rock bands was in the urban centers of the Midwest ranging from Minneapolis to Buffalo, with Chicago being a central hub (naturally). The Chicago-based sound engineer Steve Albini is a key figure in the scene, and many math rock bands from around the country have enlisted him to record their albums, giving the genre’s recorded catalog a certain uniformity of sound, and lumping his bands past and present. Also, many math rock records were released by Chicago-based Touch and Go Records.

One of the few math rock bands from the Detroit area was Philo Beddow. The band originally leaned toward an aggressive and dissonant sound that would be more associated with mathcore. They went on to develop a warmer sound that often consisted of more traditionally melodic vocal lines laid over angular instrumentation in patterned mixed meters and triplet-time (sorry for those who don’t have a music background and might be confused). These compositions tended to emphasize the range   between bass lines that were influenced by progressive rock.

The city of Pittsburgh  is home to one of the most defining examples of the math rock genre: the four-piece instrumental band Don Cabellero. Formed in 1991 after the breakup of Sludgehammer, “Don Cab” as the group is affectionately known, blends heavy noise rock sounds with avant-garde jazzy influences. Like many other bands in the style, Don Caballero’s members despise the “math rock” label applied to them by critics. Even so, it should come as no surprise that a temporary bass player Matt Jencik, a member of another former Pittsburgh math rock band, Hurl, also spent time in Don Caballero.

Areas such as San Diego, D.C., The South, and even Toronto/Windsor Ontario have math rock groups that have helped build up this lesser known genre.

As always, let me know what you think. It’s a genre that is new to ME…so It might be new to you. Happy listening!

 

Music Monday: Iron and Wine

I normally don’t listen to much Folk or Folk Rock BUT…I absolutely love Iron & Wine and yep… so worth blogging about. For those who don’t know, Iron & Wine is the stage name for the American Singer-songwriter, Samuel Beam. As for the reason behind his stage name, I had to “google that shit”, to find out. The name Iron & Wine is taken from a dietary supplement named “Beef Iron & Wine” that he found in a general store while shooting a film. Random, but it worked out. Now, onto his amazing career. I’ll be honest. I had never heard of Iron & Wine before until the Season 4 Finale of House where they played the song “Passing Afternoon” as the scenes to the episode flickered onward. I was, uncharacteristically, in tears. The combination of both the situation going on in the last moments of the finale along with such a beautiful song was too much for me and I’m not the “crying type”-ever.

Anyway.

Samuel Beam released his first album, The Creek Drank the Cradle, back in 2002. He did everything from in his home studio: performed, recorded and producing the album. As a Folk/Folk rock artist he used a variety of instruments in his songs: acoustic guitars, banjo, slide guitars and various others. After the album was released, he was compared to the ranks of more well known artists like Neil Young or Simon and Garfunkel. In the same year he recorded a cover of The Postal Service’s song “Such Great Heights”. The song ended up being included as  “b-side” of the original version by The Postal Service. It was later on included on the album “Around the Well”.

His second album (my favorite) was released in 2004, titled “Our Endless Numbered Days”. This time he actually recorded in a professional studio…in Chicago, no doubt! It was still heavy on the acoustic sound but incorporated other band members to increase the sound. Later that year he recoded the song “The Trapeze Swinger” for the film, In Good Company. Also, his version of “Such Great Heights” was featured in an ad for M&Ms and was in the soundtrack for the Garden State movie.

The following year he released a few EPs: “Woman King” and” In the Reins” (a collab album with the band Calexico). Beam later released another full-length album entitled “The Shepherd’s Dog”. It was released in 2007 and was voted one of the ten best of 2007 by Paste magazine. Contributors to this album included members of Calexico and some jazz musicians: Matt Lux and Rob Burger.

After that his music appeared in random places like Greys Anatomy, The L Word and House M.D. It was even in Twilight (even though I hate Twilight…)

Beam recently released his 4th album entitled “Kiss Each Other Clean” back in January 2011. It has a similar acoustic style but infuses more of a pop influence.

The biggest strength Beam has in his music is his lyrics. His songs are so beautifully written and so moving.

I think I’ll end things as I normally do…with some links to some songs ❤

Enjoy the eargasms and cya next week!

 

Music Mondays: Streetlight Manifesto

I decided instead of blogging about a genre this week, I thought I would blog about a band that I liked: Streetlight Manifesto. I hadn’t heard of these guys until within the last few months or so. My Boyfriend had linked me a youtube video of one of their songs and I was hooked since then. Streetlight Manifesto is a skapunk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Their sound is influenced by a mix of genres: ska, jazz, latin, punk, and traditional Eastern European music (among a few others).

Their first album, Everything goes Numb, was released August 26, 2003. They headlined and sold out on their first concert in New Jersey months later. Some of the band members were already famous and well known in the New Jersey ska community due to their roles in previous years…namely Catch 22, One Cool Guy, Reel Big Fish tour, and some others.  As of October 4, 2009, the lineup consists of songwriter Tomas Kalnoky on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Brown on alto and baritone sax, Jim Conti on alto and tenor sax, Pete McCullough on bass guitar, Matt Stewart on trumpet, Nadav Nirenberg on trombone, and Chris Thatcher on drums. I think that is what I like best about this band. They go beyond the typical instrumental makeup of bands; incorporating various instruments not typically used.

Streetlight Manifesto’s first recording consisted of a four-track demo EP, featuring the songs “Everything Went Numb”, “Point/Counterpoint”, “The Saddest Song” and “We Are the Few”, all of which were re-recorded for their debut album. The line-up that recorded the demo consisted almost entirely of musicians from Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution: Josh Ansley (bass guitar), Jamie Egan (trombone & trumpet), Tomas Kalnoky (guitar & vocals), Stuart Karmatz (drums), Dan Ross (alto & baritone saxophone) and Pete Sibilia (tenor saxophone). The band was signed to Victory Records, the same label as Catch 22.

After the demo was recorded Karmatz left and was replaced by Paul Lowndes and Jim Conti took the place of Pete Sibilia. This line-up then recorded Everything goes Numb, but changed again before the band could perform any live shows, Jamie Egan played both trumpet and trombone, but as he would not be able to do this live Mike Soprano joined on trombone. Paul Lowndes had no intention to tour and was replaced later by Chris Thatcher.

Streetlight Manifesto’s second album, Somewhere in the Between, was released in November 2007.  It is my favorite album, side note, that they released. Their next album, 99 Songs of Revolution, is a collaborative project that consists of two full-length CDs by Streetlight Manifesto, two full-length CDs by the Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution; as well as four other albums, two each by two other Streetlight-related artists. The project consists entirely of cover songs. Volume No. 1 of the project was released by Streetlight Manifesto on March 16, 2010.

Kalnoky writes the band’s songs on an acoustic guitar and then fleshes out the song structure on the computer and hums basic hornlines, after which the rest of the band comes in and adds their parts (and it shows in the perfection of some of their songs). He has cited the soundtrack of the film Stand by Me as his biggest musical influence, and stated that he looks to the 1950s and 1960s for inspiration when writing. He has specifically cited Louis Jordan, Nirvana, The Drifters, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and The Martino Latino Experience as influences.For Somewhere in the Between he sought to “branch out in different directions”, adding “eastern European and gypsy sounds” to give the album “a world experience”. I think he successfully managed to do so.

So, on for some samples!

Everything goes Numb

Would You Be Impressed (the video and lyrics are very meaningful…)

Me and Julio Down

Side note: Streetlight is going to be at Warped tour this year…and of COURSE I’ll be out of town when Warped Tour hits Chicago…July 7th, I believe. So pissed. Grrrr. Maybe another time I’ll see them live. Hope you guys enjoyed this 🙂 Happy Listening.


Music of the Week

So. Because I love music so much…and need an excuse to get back into being on wordpress…I will have a song/album/band/artist of the week. Basically anything that has stuck out to me or…just something I think is worth mentioning music wise.

So for this week…even though it’s Saturday ( I jumped the gun, I got excited)…I think I will start with what I have been listening to a lot lately for whatever reason. I will actually give two songs.

1) Arms by Christina Perri. I had never heard of this girl before…and I had only heard of her because a) her song Arms is used in the commercial for the show “Disappeared” b) She sang on Dancing with the Stars. The ONE time I watched it. Her style of music is a minority in my massive music library BUT I know what sounds good. She has a beautiful voice and I feel like her music is honest (which is rare often times). Arms is a nicely written song, and I feel somewhat connected to it. I also respect her as an artist. She kind of looks like Rogue from X-men…and I like her tattoos. Maybe she just appeals to ME. Who knows. Either way, I think it’s worth listening to. It’s kind of “soft”-ish but it’s a nice alternative to the crappy pop artists out there. As far as I see it.

Link: In case you were curious 😉

Now…a song that is more along the lines of what I typically listen to. Another song I have been listening to a lot lately.

2. Cancer by Sick Puppies. It’s not a new song or anything, but still a great one. I don’t know if a lot of people have heard of Sick Puppies…which is sad, because they need to. I think they’re a good quality band in their own right. Their album “Dressed Up As Life” is a good album to listen to. I think its the best album to sum up what they’re capable of. The song itself reminds me a lot of how people can be today…as a side note.

That’s my Music recommendations of the week!

Music Day Challenge Day 10

  • Day 01 – Your favorite song
  • Day 02 – Your least favorite song
  • Day 03 – A song that makes you happy
  • Day 04 – A song that makes you sad
  • Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone
  • Day 06 – A song that reminds you of somewhere
  • Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event
  • Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to
  • Day 09 – A song that you can dance to
  • Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep

There’s a handful of songs that can make me fall asleep…because it’s so soothing. I suppose I’ll go with ‘Keeping the Blade’ from Coheed and Cambria. It’s a beautifully soft instrumental…I love string instruments. It’s a short and lyric-less song but it’s very sad and makes me feel peaceful (somehow)…and I can go right to sleep afterwards…maybe.