Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Luke Messimer likes music, that's one thing you need to know about the singer/songwriter before anything else, he likes his music. The man has been a fan since he was born and it was a first listen to the blue album by Weezer that hooked him on songwriting and years later it was Luke's love of the White Stripes that would cause him to fall in love with the guitar. And when you hear Luke talk about music, you can tell he cares.
Asking about the state of modern music, where it's going, where it's been, and what is right and wrong with it Luke emediatly knows his answer, cause these are the things that keep him up at night.
"I honestly think music is getting better lately. Maybe not mainstream music. Maybe not what you hear on the radio, but there are some absolutely incredible new bands out there today." Bands like the Band Luke Messimer has been threatening to put together for three years now. Before he joined his last band, Mississippi Man, Luke was at an in between stage, having just broke up The American Gypsy's. His first reaction was to put together a folk rock group that would be more suited to play the songs he heard in his head. Big drums, big harmonies, something different. Instead he joined Mississippi Man and for the last three years it was working. but There was always that sound.
So, about a year ago Luke started Writing and recording demo's of songs that were in no way Mississippi Man songs. the result was originally going to be simply a recording project on the side, but when Mississippi Man decided to part ways Luke knew immediately what was happening next for him.
Luke's plan is it record an album of songs that sound like nothing else. I've heard him compare it to the Gorillaz playing really big versions of Bob Dylan songs, and when asked what the future of music is and who's doing it right Luke always points to "The Arcade Fire", Modern music is a good thing in Luke's eye's "It seems that we're no longer repeating the past. A lot of musicians have finally figured out what music from the "two-thousands" really is." and Luke is one of them.
Luke hits the studio this month, with 12 songs in tow. Plan's are to record a 6 song EP, with Luke playing all the instruments him self, then move to Seattle, put together a backing band and fully integrating him self into the rich musical history of the great north west. Good luck Luke, can't wait to hear the album.
Head on over to http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/lukemessimermusic to check out more.
Photo by Benjamin Walter Milczewsky
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
After the initial release of punk on the world, punk would go back under ground, in the 80's punk got harder and harder, starting with bands like Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, and the Dead Kennedys. The Harder it got the further it seemed to stray from the original mainstream boom that had happened in the late 70's. Things got serious. Issues were being talked about, Politics, race, religion, these things were happening and punk didn't take any of it lightly. Punk was getting real.
And out of this realism punk's started listening to other real music, things like Bob Dylan, the Beatles, even Jazz, they started reading books, they started to care about what it was they werer singing about and out of this new education punk began to see a change, bands like social distortion started to sound more folky, X started play country songs sped up by a billion, Henry Rollins and Black Flag started doing spoken word and punk began to get artsy again. All of a sudden punk was back to a loose definition, was punk a sound, a look, or was punk simply an evolution of free thought, the child of Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsburg, and Lou Reed.
Coming into the 90's with out a strict definition of punk, save for the fact that punk was a rebellion. bands like nirvana, who were labeled grunge but came out of the same punk clubs as the Melvins, and Mudhoney led the way for a second and bigger coming punk in the mainstream. Greenday, the Offspring, and Bad Religion, all bands that had once been the pride and joy of their own local, dirty, punk clubs began to explode with a sound that, similar to that of the ramones and the buzzcocks, was at once catchy and incredibly hard to resist. the sound was infectious. the care free attitude, the dingy clothes and hair, and the complete recklessness was the perfect example of how punk could work in the mainstream.
but with the success of these bands, came an onslaught of copy cat, fakes with no identity in the punk rock heritage. knowing only what MTV told them was punk, Hot Topic and other like minded stores and media fixations would give way to the rise to the sub cultures of Emo and Pop Punk. wearing pre ripped jeans and make up to appear deathly and street tough, these "Fakes" or "Posers" would eventually lead to what some have called the finally death of punk, a sad, slow and disgusting fade into oblivian.
Or has it been... in 1998 swedish hard core group The Refused released their final album, the prophetic "Shape of Punk to Come" the albums sound was a new blast of energy and its title brought to mind the idea that punk was a constantly changing form, much like jazz that's only roots were that of individualism and honesty. following the release of the album he band would break up but the album has gone on to be called "One of the best examples of rebirth." by one rock critic. Bands that had at one time been more of the sound of "Emo" or "Pop Punk" like My Chemical Romance have recently shown a dynamic change as well, shifting away from the weak and angsty sound of their past towards more stripped and bare, dare I say Iggy Pop sound and other bands who it seemed found too much of their own identity in terms like "Anarchy" and "Chaos" like against me have found away to traverse the ledge between traditional rock n roll and modern punk and then their are the artists, the unique and new blend of world punk, Gogol Bordello and Flogging Molly leading the charge. the sound of modern punk is new, just as The Ramones sounded vastly different from their proto punk for fathers, and the hard core punk of the 80's fled the poppy undertones that had been heard before, the modern punk must find his own way. And perhaps that way will come with a change in names, much like punk becoming grunge or hard core. The Idea and feel of punk can and will never die, cause if you think you've seen the death of it, it wasn't really punk to begin with. so is there still a Blank Generation as Richard Hell described it, who's to say. Blank is blank, unobservable and with out shape, impossible to define and endlessly moving in and out of genres and contexts. Blank.... is blank.... is....
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Gaslight Anthem play music from an other time. That 70's grit and grim that made Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty the men they are today is the coming back around as professed in any given song by the young Brian Fallon, Lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem. Here with an acoustic take on his band's new single "American Slang" you can hear the heart beat of America and it's an arduous journey but one that needs to be taken every five or ten years.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Don Van Vliet, born Donald Glen Vliet, January 15, 1941 who would go onto be known as the singer, painter, and general Visionary Captain beefheart was declared dead december 17th, 2010.
Beefheart and his "Magic Band" were known for their
unique and bizarre way of tackling
music, going at it with everything they could, Critically acclaimed as Beefheart magnum opus, Trout Mask Replica was released in June 1969 by His good friend and fellow artist Frank Zappa's new Straight Records label. During these recordings Beefheart was said to have spent much time studying texts on brainwashing and hypnosis at the local public library, the knowladge of this has led many to believe that Beefheart, in just one of his many new and out side of the box ways of thinking of music, attempted some of these tactics, such as sleep deprivation, food deprivation, constant negative reinforcement, and rewarding band members when they attacked each other or competed with each other to help int he artistic process. This is just one of many examples of The Beefheart way of making art.
According to Van Vliet, the 28 songs on the album were written in a single 8 1/2 hour session at the piano, an instrument in which he had no skill in playing, in order to help stretch his creative possibility's. after completing the writing of the record, The band rehearsed the songs so thoroughly that the instrumental tracks for 21 of the songs were recorded in a four and a half-hour recording session. Letting the vocals would be recorded over the last 4 days of recording. In 2003, the album was ranked fifty-eighth by Rolling Stone in their list ofThe 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Lungs by Florence and the machine
Le Noise by Neil Young
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Gasoline heart is a band that I came across a few years ago. Lead singer Louis DeFabrizio writes songs that sound out side of what is happening today. Gasoline heart is to Pearl Jam what they were to the who, an amazing offspring and carrier of the great legacy that is Rock n roll. if you have never heard of this band before please, do your self a favor and go check them out, buy an album, see them live, do something, cause something should be done.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Agreement by Lakes
Soaring dream like tunes of love, loss, and life. This seams to be Seth Roberts forte and with his band, Lakes first full length, the independent release, The Agreement he has continued to write some of the best songs about these topics. The album, which moves like one big 14 song love story transitions from one song to the next seamlessly but with out feeling like one never ending song. Instrumentally the album is beautiful and perhaps one of the best indie releases of the year. With lines like “run away, run where you can, Ill get back in your head.” You feel the fight. Feel the pain. But life is like a song and lakes make sure you know that. Seth makes you fall back in love with life, even through the trials and pains of it all. Key Tracks: The Feeling, Oh lovely, The Agreement Song
Wake Up! by John Legend and The Roots
Modern music has become a very shiny thing. Auto tune and computers have made it hard to not sound perfect. What has been missing from music as of late has been thrown back in the mix with the release of "Wake Up!". Something The Roots and John Legend have both been known for in both of their respective careers is the timeless nature of the song writing. glimpsing back to the great soul singers of yesteryear, this album takes these classic songs to a new place, making them sounding modern but still as soulful and timless as ever. it would be a great thing if more bands made albums this important and interesting like this in the coming years. Real and uninhibited. Key traks: Wake Up Everybody, I Can't Write Left Handed, Compared to What
White Crosses by Against Me!
When we're young, so often we think that we know whats up. With White crosses, Tom Gabel, lead singer and founder of the band seems to have discovered his place in the story that is, American music. Following in the
foot steps of Bruce Springsteen and Mike Ness, he has found a way to
balance between punk attitude and rock n roll sensibility. With "I Was A Teenage anarchist", the first single from the album, he acknowledges that he has grown up and changes. The Story here is that once you stop caring about knowing whats up, the songs start to speak volumes. a truly great American rock n roll album. Key Tracks: Because of the Shame, Bamboo Bones, Because of the Shame
Sea of Cowards by The Dead Weather
Flamingo by Brandon Flowers
Plastic Beach by the Gorillaz
The Gorillaz have always had great cameos on their albums but with the release of Plastic Beach they have taken it to a new level, Snoop Dog, Lou Reed, Half of the Clash(Mic Jones and Paul Simonon), Mos def and a slew of others stopped by to help Damian Albarn in creating his newest album of cartoon hip hop. The album, which sort of reads like a story, is the most straight up pop oriented albums to be released by the band but should nto be taken lightly. The Eco conscientious album boasts some of Albarn's best writing in a very well written career. Key Tracks: Melancholy Hill, Some Kind Of Nature, Stylo,
Distant Relatives by Nas and Damian Marley
Nas and Damian Marley, two of the most politically charged musicians have teamed up to talk about war, poverty, and Africa. the title is a reference to the two's shared African ancestry and it is that Ancestry that becomes the foundation of all other topics ont he album. with some great guest spots from Lil' Wayne, K'naan, and Joss Stone the album has nearly no slow points and every song speaks on so many levels. And while the album seeks to do good by getting people thinking the proceeds of the album have been doing equally as much good going to fund a school program in the Congo hat the two have created. This is an album of 13 heavy songs of education and great music.
Key tracks: As We Enter, Nah Mean, My Generation
Brothers by Black Keys
The black Keys may be the biggest blues band since the Jimmy Hendrix Experience. What the black keys do is make music that is so hard to not listen to that you forget that you hearing one of the greatest guitarist around today and some of the most innovative music of the last 20 years. with equal parts soul and rock n roll, the black keys take music seriously and Brothers shows that off. Great song writing and great chemistry, this is an album for the ages, an album people should keep listening to for years to come.
Key tracks: Tighten Up, Everlasting Light, Howlin For You, Black Mud
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
The Arcade Fire have done something with this album that they have been threatening to do since Funeral, they've taken over everything and have shown that they can play what ever kind of music they want better than any one else. whether they are pounding out punky sounding songs like Month of May or the smooth and somber balled Wasted Hours or just playing good pop tunes such as Ready to Start or The Modern Man this album is solid. 16 songs of modern brilliance and great song writing. Key Tracks: Modern Man, City With No Children in it, Month of May
American Slang by Gaslight Anthem
Brian Fallon has for a few years now been stuck with the "next Bruce Springsteen" title due to the two's common stomping ground in New Jersey, But with American Slang Fallon and his band have stepped out side of what was expected of them and have succeed in creating an album that reeks of a great American band. what separates The Gaslight Anthem from the rest of the modern punk scene is their outspoken love of the rhythm and blues, not shying away from wearing these influences on their sleeves they ahve crafted a group of songs that are at once clean and simple yet still sound as gritty as any band playing music today. Key Tracks: American Slang, Bring It On, The Queen of Lower Chelsea