So, let's see what last.fm considers similar. I have filtered out the first 50 bands/artists that showed up as similar on 6/1/2014. And I made comments under each of the bands/artists based on what I know.
SUPER John Frusciante --Well, he's the guitarist of RHCP...but I don't think his music is similar to RHCP.
So...yeah..last.fm feels like they fails. But what do you guys think? Can a strong case be made for one of these 50 band being similar to RHCP? Are there other bands not listed that would be considered similar to RHCP that should be mentioned? Shout down below, just note the following
*Bands are not similar if both rock or both suck, otherwise I would think RHCP and SOAD are similar because I like both bands. *One song by a band being similar to one song by another band doesn't mean both bands are similar. We're going with the band's overall sound compared to another band's.
You really think so? Then take a look at these so-called similar artists found on each of the following artists among the first 50 artists listed:
Metallica - System of a Down, Slipknot, Godsmack, KoRn, Disturbed, Rammstein, The Offspring, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Children of Bodom, In Flames, Apocalyptica, Alice in Chains, Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb of God, Stone Sour, Nirvana, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, Deep Purple, Nightwish
--You really think nu metal like KoRn and Slipknot sound the same? When was Pink Floyd known for making headbashing tunes? I never knew Offspring was a metal band. I didn't know Metallica had harsh vocals like Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, and In Flames! I didn't know Metallica had rap vocals like Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine. And I most certainly think Led Zeppelin is a true metal band since thrash and heavy metal is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Led Zeppelin
The Offspring - Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Metallica, System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Nickelback, Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC, KoRn, Bullet For My Valentine, 3 Doors Down, Disturbed, Hollywood Undead, Slipknot, Guano Apes, P.O.D., In Flames, Serj Tankian, Dope, Breaking Benjamin, Static-X, NIrvana, DragonForce, Puddle of Mudd, Iron Maiden, Linkin Park, Rammstein
--So wait, I'm supposed to believe that the nu metal craze of the 90s featured The Offspring? I'm supposed to believe Offspring played funk rock music like RHCP. I'm supposed to believe Offspring is a rap-oriented group like RATM, LP, and Hollywood Undead? A post-grunge outfit LIKE FUCKING NICKELBACK? In Flames did punk rock or pop punk? This is news to me!!!
Nirvana - Sex Pistols, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Guns N' Roses, The White Stripes, Ramones, System of a Down, Joy Division, Korn, The Beatles, Queens of the Stone Age, Pink Floyd, Green Day, Marilyn Manson
Gee, Nirvana is hard rock like Led Zeppelin. And they play psychedelic music like Pink Floyd and The Doors...obviously the Beatles and their happy pop and rock and roll is similar to Nirvana and their negative creep grunge sounds. And obviously it's nu metal since it's similar to KoRn and SOAD (I consider SOAD part of the nu metal scene but not as a nu metal band).
And there's more out there. This is all thanks to the brilliant formula for finding similar artists. Congratulations, if you love Guns N' Roses, you will love Nirvana (and vice versa).
from full review by the brainless horde: "The music just isn’t written like I, someone who likes to describe in text, would like it to be. I’d call it “post-rock”, but unless it’s the soundtrack to your yearly haunted house run, it won’t get your blood pumping. You could call it “ambient”, but it doesn’t wash over you as much as it pulls you in. You could try calling it “noise”, but it has too much structure and melody to be simplified like that. You could try and pawn it off as a film score, but, aside from David Lynch, I don’t think any director would be able to come up with the random imagery needed to describe the sound palette. While the music itself isn’t something that’s never been done before, it is definitely a breed of its own."
recorded over a few months, after demoing ideas to myself and as well as developing these songs to be performed solo-instrumental in a live setting; bars, clubs, cafes, basements, garden parties, galleries, festivals, restaurants, etc..
download at bandcamp includes wonderful photographs with liner notes and a download poster released 07 June 2013 all sounds, instruments, manipulations, design & layout by mobdividual photographs by noelle hollister mastered by josh aldrich
dtcm 002 2013
anecdote taken from Om Mani Padme Hum: The Sound of Silence, the Diamond in the Lotus by Osho --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
A month has passed since my last entry. Still working on the similar artists formula, but the program I'm running to test the formula has slowed down, so I'm gonna make some changes to the code and re-look at the formula. That will be discussed later. But let me discuss what is on my mind.
SUPER BOWL DEJA VU Yeah, last week, was the Super Bowl...and another halftime guest that basically combined the flaws from the last 2 Super Bowls together (outdated The Who and the top 40-friendly Black Eyed Peas). It was Madonna, but to be honest, it wasn't really a disaster like last year. Not bad, but we need to start getting Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Muse and other 90s-2000s rock bands now.
But the main think I want to vent about were...the commercials. Usually the best part of the Super Bowl...this year, they all came out flat. Sad TBH. The beer commercials are usually the funniest ads...none of them were funny. And some ad campaigns just need to stop...godaddy, Etrade, you get the point.
LAMB OF GOD > YOU
That's right, Lamb of God just release a badass album to start 2012 up with some quality groove metal (ignore the naysayers/neckbeard). First album in a longtime that I cranked up non-stop. To be quick to the point, Resolution sees a return back to the metalcore-influenced (but not 100% metalcore) sound seen on Ashes Of The Wake and Sacrament. A lot of standouts and unique songs...the one that grabbed my attention was new territory for LoG...known as Insurrection, where Randy Blythe actually utilize clean singing vocals on the first verse...pretty cool sound.
If you're a fan of the David Lee Roth era of Van Halen, be sure to check out VH's new album A Different Kind Of Truth, which feels like stuff straight from the DLR era in the early 80s. Many of the songs on ADKoT were taken from some early VH work before the Ran with the Devil and hit it big. Eddie Van Halen provides a ton of awesome guitar riffs and solo'ing too. I'm probably gonna give several more listens of this album though. Even if it's not another Van Halen or 1984 or Fair Warning, fans of VH will enjoy it.
WAIT, why did I watch the grammies again
Yeah, I was trying to boycott these grammies, but unfortunately, everyone at home wanted to watch it...with nothing else to do Sunday night, I had no choice but to watch a show that didn't really care about music.
There were only two things I cared about and both did their jobs...Foo Fighters swept the rock awards as expected, in the process winning for best hard rock / metal performance...pissing off the snobby prog-head fanbase known as Dream Theater. The award said Hard Rock / Metal...not Metal only. And the song that won that award...none other than White Limo. Sorry DT fans, but even if the award was split as metal and hard rock separately, you still wouldn't win...the Grammies love to choose the old geezer established act...Megadeth would have taken best metal performance...and forget 2013 as long as Metallica releases an album. BTW, the cheapo/silly music video for White Limo features Lemmy of Motorhead driving a white limo with the band members hopping on for some cheesy and hillarious shit.
But I'll be honest, Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters had so much things going. To me, it was a celebration of rock music...recorded in a garage in analog. No computers. The recording process lasted several weeks with a song focused one at a time. While Nickelback relied on pro tools and FL studio for the infamous Dark Horse, the Foos recorded their album old fashion. This is what separates them from every single modern post-grunge band out there today.
And how bout Dave Grohl wearing that Slayer t-shirt...he's really a metalhead, you know that...right? I was hoping for the Foos to topple Adele...but they didn't come any close.
The other album was Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy...the album that pretty much signals a turning point for Kanye after interupting our buddy Taylor Swift and promoting Beyonce's NWO illuminati..ahem...music video. Sorry bout that. It was a great album (though I still like Late Registration better...now barely by a hair though). What more do you want, great sampling, some awesome guests (Raekwon's verse rocked), and the perfect choice of a single to get this album platinum. And critics loved it...the hipster gathering site known as pitchfork gave this a 10/10...but I already dug Kanye West before those guys gave a 10/10.
Mass critical praise, great sales, took home 3 Grammies in the hip-hop category, shutting down the Young Money express. In addition, Kanye West and Jay-Z also won for best hip-hop performance with Otis. Great night for Kanye overall...4 awards. And possibly AOTY right?
If you read my entry on the Grammies...you know the rest.
Snubbed....what many believe could be an influential album to music in the future...snubbed. In it's place were two albums by Bruno Mars and Rihanna that had no reason occupying those slots. Two pop albums that weren't fully well recieved...at least not compared to Kanye. How could anyone snub Kanye like this? And guess what...both Hova and Yeezy didn't show up for the grammies. Hova's got to be with Beyonce and their new satani...I mean, baby. Fatherhood's here for Jigga. Gotta care about him.
But Kanye...I think it's obvious why he didn't show up. He'll probably deny it, but...yeah...why even show respect to a show that fails to respect your art...and hip-hop as a whole. Hip-hop has never been recognized by the show...only two hip-hop albums won album of the year...and both aren't pure hip-hop albums (Lauryn Hill's is more R&B alligned while Outkast's second half of their AOTY was more funk/R&B based.
But, one of the reasons that people watched the grammies was not about the award, but another music icon passing away. whiteny houston died on Friday with news becoming official the next day. It's a tragic story of how someone with a magnificient voice could sucummb to drug use and have her career ruined later. Now, I never listened to her...though my mother did back in the 80s, so she wanted to watch the Grammies to see what tribute they would do. Whitney sang the national anthem in Super Bowl 25...which is widely considered to be one of the best renditions of the anthem...probably the only thing from that Super Bowl I want to remember (Bills fan here :( ). It's tough though. A lot of artists I listen to have suffered band members dying of drug overdose/addiction. The Rev from Avenged Sevenfold, Mike Starr from Alice in Chains. It's tough to get sober from drug addiction, and sometimes the drugs take you right back in.
Even though I wasn't a big listener of her, R.I.P. Whitey Houston.
Final words, lot of new albums coming out this year, and I'm hoping they'll be awesome. Jesse Leach is back with Killswitch Engage now...hoping their new album makes up for the flawed s/t album in 2009. Soundgarden should be finally ready to release some awesome shit. Perhaps Tool will release their long overdue record.
Last Saturday, I discussed the issues with the current similar artist formula...especially Metallica being top 10 in similarity with The Offspring (like what?).
Well, since then, I put my programming skills to work and well, I built a little program to test to see it would work with other artists. Results were noticed on several bands/artists as their similar artists over went a make over. However, it did lead to new problems as I tried testing it out super-mainstream acts including our favorite band...Radiohead.
...well, apparently. Radiohead's top 250 similar artists currently are all over the place in random genres. A bigger batch of similar artists would be needed to get the best results, but the question is...is my new formula better. I'm going to show you some examples of artists top 25 similar artists...before, and after. You guys make the decision.
Oh, you don't remember the formula? Very well...time for a quick summary *First, grab all 250 similar artists for Artist A. Obtain them in the given order. *Next, for each similar artist starting with the one with the highest original rank, look at the first 3 tag and count how many of the tags are similar to the tags in Artist A. Resort based on this. You should end up with 4 groups starting from top (matches all 3 tags, matches 2 tags, matches 1 tag, matches no tags) *Next, break the ties by resorting each group based on matches among the first 4 tags (which will spawn even more groups) *Then finally, re-sort again, this time on the top 5 tags. If there are still ties, break the ties based on their original rank.
It's a lot of technical and algorithm stuff that is complicated for the average user, so I won't go that deep. See my example in the first journal entry here for an example with The Offspring (though I work a little backwards here).
Also, I have banned several tags...here are some of them *Tags that are the same as the artist - not all have been banned, but the common ones have been (ex: red hot chili peppers for Red Hot Chili Peppers). These tags simply group together projects involving members of a band...but really, they may not have the same style. *Tags referring to geographical locations...american, british, swedish, german. The geographical location doesn't make sense at all. I haven't gotten into geo-genre tags much yet as they may require research before banning (some countries may have a genre as a specific style). *Decade tags. Similar artists do not have to reside in the same decade. If there's a Led Zeppelin clone playing the exact same style of music today that Zep played in the 60s and 70s, then perhaps they should be similar. *Nonsense tags...you pretty much know them...crap, awesome, heard on pandora, sexy, legend....they don't reflect a genre or style *The alternative tag. To be honest, this tag was holding a lot of stuff back, especially those that are also alternative rock. This tag is incredibly abused as well to hell, so I dropped that tag. Still no decision on the indie tag...I'll have to run a few more tests through different artists to make that decision.
So there you go...the banned tags. I'll go through several examples...these are the top 20 artists, before and after.
Not only has every single non-punk rock band has been removed from the current list, but even mainstream punk rock bands like Sum 41 and The Offspring are also gone. The result? More melodic hardcore bands in the top 20. Strung Out is now the most similar. Sum 41 and The Offspring show up between #21-30. And Nickelback? A long way down...at 139. This is probably the main reason why the punk tag was not removed.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THE OFFSPRING DOING HERE? Literally. Well, for the most part, it looks OK with Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax on top first but...AC/DC, GNR...they sure may have been influenced by them, but would you really call them similar to Metallica? Would anyone even consider Slipknot or SOAD similar to Metallica either? Avenged Sevenfold?
Hmm...kind of strange here. Slayer actually dropped while Testament on the other hand arised. Now...MD.45 comes up #1...I dunno, many claim it's punk rock, but their top tags are thrash. But what the fuck are Acid Drinkers, Kat and Turbo? They're thrash metal bands from Poland. Both shared thrash metal and heavy metal tags with Metallica, thus the high ranking since thrash metal and heavy metal are also among Metallica's top tags too.
Slayer only shared two tags (thrash metal, heavy metal) while the Polish metal bands shared all 3 (since polish was banned due to location). It's quite interesting to be honest. Similar artists are supposed to get us into new artists. Not sure if they're good or not, but perhaps you might wanna give a spin to those artists.
What bout hip-hop? Let's take a random hip-hop artist....ok, Kanye West (I had to ban the gay fish tag in order to get similar artists).
Umm...is it just me or did this get a little more on the poppy/rnb side (well Kanye did do more poppy stuff on the last 2 record). LOL at the different version of the guy known as Diddy on there (hip-hop, rap rnb, pop, soul were the top tags for Kanye West after other tags were dumped...including hip hop (duplicate tag for hip-hop), kanye west (for obvious reasons) and...GAY FISH. TBH, most people tend to consider Kanye as a good musician rather than an MC.
One more example. I have also banned the classic rock because it referred to a radio format rather than a genre. One band I tested was Queen:
Well...most of the top 10 consists of random Queen side projects. But do they play the same exact style...or even have a good discography to choose from? Queen & David Bowie only has one song of existence! And the next 10 artists...hmm...feels like Queen takes in a bit of those bands, but they aren't even similar to each other. What bout this new formula?
Well, most of the original British Invasion is gone...some of those arena rock bands though are now in (Styx, Foreigner, and Journey to be specific)...Alice Cooper is in, and he's considered glam rock which Queen sometimes goes into...not bad. Most of the Queen side projects are gone, and AC/DC and Aerosmith seems to belong somewhere else (got to go outside the top 30 to find them). The top band is Slade...based on their last.fm page, they seem to also incorporate glam rock and hard rock together. Same with Sweet as well. Remember Queen still has hard rock influences to their sound as well, which is why not all hard rock band on the original list are gone. Seems to feel like a better list IMO, but what about you?
Well, I'm prolly going to go through more artists and search for more tags. Perhaps I could show you some more examples as well from other genres. It should be known that not all similar artists formulas are perfect. And there will always be artists that aren't similar at all.
Remember, I'm only able to resort the original top 250 similar artists. If there are some that are clearly similar to the given artist, but not in that artist's top 250 similar artists, it may not be caught. IMO, this formula is better applied over a similar artist pool of more than 250...probably a lot more artists.
So take a look and pass me some feedback...whether it be on a formula, tags to include, and perhaps ask me for a few examples.
As you've noticed the last several years, similar artists for bands/artists have gotten worse and more unreasonable. Especially if you keep reading on and on through the top similar artists for each artist. The one that has been baffling me for a while is The Offspring, a punk rock band that's not extreme metal or hard rock (though they do have alternative influences and sounds at times). In fact, as of 12/25/2011, these are their top 50 similar artists in order:
You guys can puke now. The current formula is based on what people of Offspring listen to more often. But seriously...we know this. If one person listens to two bands, those two bands aren't necessarily similar...especially The Offspring to Metallica. The Offspring to Nickelback. The Offspring to AC/DC (seriously...). The Offspring to System of a Down...The Offspring to Disturbed and Godsmack (seriously...?) The Offspring to Slipknot, KoRn, and Limp Bizkit (when has The Offspring ever been nu metal?). And worse yet, The Offspring to Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Bullet For My Valentine, DragonForce, Rob Zombie...are we supposed to believe that The Offspring is a heavy metal band?
Anyone should know that this method isn't the best way to find a similar artist. It's not. Simple as follows. A topic on the forums discussed that and some people suggested that the bands/artists be determined by tag clouds. That could work, but a few believe that there could be problems, especially when taking the whole tag cloud as a whole and seeing a ton of hard rock and alternative bands become similar to the one artist (The Offspring in this case).
Actually, there is another way I've been looking at, and it was a waste of several hours.
What if we took the current list and re-sorted it based on just the top 5 tags, taking into account the order of the tags. Of course there are questionable tags like classic rock, 70s, and for some reason, very frequently polish and polish rock (appears that The Offspring has a huge following in Poland), but for now, let's leave them here (already, the infamous seen live tag was banned from the tag cloud).
This is what I did...I grabbed the top 5 tags for every single band and resorted the list based on how many tags a band/artist shared those tags. Those that shared all 5 tags (in this case, punk rock, punk, rock, alternative rock, alternative) came on the top followed by those that shared 4, then 3, and then 0. Here's how the top 20 now looked like:
SHARED ALL 5 TAGS Billy Talent Hoobastank Pezz Killradio Alien Ant Farm Unwritten Law
SHARED ONLY 4 TAGS (missing tag in paranthesis) Sum 41 (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) Bad Religion (had political, missing alternative rock) Green Day (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) blink-182 (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) Bloodhound Gang (had comedy, missing punk rock) Pidżama Porno (had polish, missing alternative rock) Bowling For Soup (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) Good Charlotte (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) AFI (had emo, missing alternative rock) SR-71 (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) Social Distortion (had rockabilly, missing alternative rock) No Use For a Name (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) +44 (had pop punk, missing alternative rock) Strachy Na Lachy (had polish, missing punk)
As you can notice now, all of those metal and hard rock bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Nickelback, System of a Down, Disturbed and Godsmack....GONE from the top 20...actually they didn't even break the top 30 as well. What was more disturbing though was the high number of bands that didn't even share a single tag with The Offspring. These are some of the bands that you could hear when listening to The Offspring similar artists radio, and grab a bucket, you're about to puke hard...no, Justin Bieber is not there, but still...
Take a look guys...enjoy listening to all that metalcore, symphonic metal, power metal, heavy metal, electronica, nu metal, thrash metal, melodic death metal, and hip-hop stuff. According to last.fm right now, they are really similar artists to The Offspring (actually, all of them except for DF and BFMV come up as medium to low similarity to The Offspring). But seriously, a band that doesn't even share any of the top 5 tags with another band/artist has no reason even being on a list with that band. And there's literally a common thread with the bands/artists listed above. Most of them are pure metal to the point they don't even have a rock tag (I suspect Priest would get one if classic rock was barred though). Others like The Prodigy or Eminem are from electronica and hip-hop genres...and..really...I can't see a similarity with those bands to begin with.
So there...we managed to filter in bands that are similar...but it's not over yet. Let's now resort the list again, but this time, only compare the top 4 tags for all artists/bands. Tiebreakers for this sort will be
1). Number of tags shared when maximum 5 tags are used... 2). Their original ranking on the old formula, higher goes first
After the sort, the top 20 looks even more different:
Pezz Killradio Billy Talent Hoobastank Alien Ant Farm
Unwritten Law Sum 41 Bad Religion Green Day blink-182
Bloodhound Gang Bowling For Soup Good Charlotte AFI Social Distortion
No Use For a Name +44 Sugarcult The Distillers Autopilot Off
Well for the most part, the ordering has changed here. Some other bands now moved into the top 20 as there's more of a focus on the top 4 tags.
Last but not least, I repeated the resort again, but only comparing the top 3 tags for all artists/bands using the same tiebreakers as before while adding another tiebreaker that takes greater precedence (basically the number of tags shared when the maximum tags is used at 3...followed by the 2 tiebreaker rules listed above). And here is the final product:
#1 Killradio #2 Billy Talent #3 Unwritten Law #4 Sum 41 #5 Green Day #6 AFI #7 Social Distortion #8 Ramones #9 Pezz #10 Bad Religion #11 blink-182 #12 Bowling For Soup #13 Good Charlotte #14 No Use For a Name #15 +44 #16 Sugarcult #17 The Distillers #18 Autopilot Off #19 Transplants #20 Pennywise
Now where did Hoobastank and Alien Ant Farm go? Even though they shard all 5 tags as The Offspring, the ordering on both bands was different (rock, alternative rock, alternative, punk rock, punk), while with The Offspring, the ordering was (punk rock, punk, rock, alternative rock, alternative). As a result, the bands only shared 1 tag among the top 3 tags and ended up going below those that had at least 2 of The Offspring's top tags (punk rock, punk, rock).
As for some of those disputed bands, Nickelback ended up coming in at #69. Much lower on the list, but still quite high as they did share 1 tag among the top 3 (rock). Also, remember we are re-ranking the top 250 bands artists and remember we are already dealing with a good 45 bands that have nothing in common with The Offspring. I do not know whether they strive to get the top 250 bands and cut off from there, or work out some weird formula there, but perhaps maybe they should apply the current formula to get a batch of even more artists, apply the above formula, and then just take the top 250 artists...honestly 250 might be too much...top 200 perhaps? You could see a real shake up on many similar artists lists.
Many mainstream bands like Metallica, Radiohead, Linkin Park and other bands could see a lot of shake-up too. There are still a few other unresolved issues, like will it actually pick up 100% similar artists? Red Hot Chili Peppers for example has their top tags as rock, alternative, and alternative rock. Didn't some of the bands listed above have those 3 tags as well? Are they really similar? But perhaps it could cut bands that aren't alternative to begin with, like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, etc...
Another issue is potential abuse of tags. I'm talking about a bunch of wackos attempting to give something like Justin Bieber the now infamous brutal death metal tag (honestly though, 1 tag isn't really going to be enough and even identifying a brutal death metal band that a Justin Bieber fan listens too is going to be real difficult...especially if it doesn't share a pop or something. Moderators can assist with issues like that.
Also, the removal of tags could have an effect on similar artists. If we remove something like 70s, 80s, swedish, female vocalists, and all those other tags, can we guarantee that the new tags will make things better, or make things worse? What about tags regarding the same thing (alternative is not the same as alternative rock, but hip-hop/hip hop/hiphop? Nu metal/nu-metal? alt-rock/alternative rock?)? Do we merge these tags into one? Or do these duplicates exist because there's no other major tag to classify them as? What about vague tags like "classic rock"? And abused tags like "alternative", "indie"? And bogus tags like "crap", "awesome", "better than radiohead"? With cases like this, it's all trial and error then, but it's really something that can be done on the go and with the assistance of user feedback.
There is one more thing I thought of regarding my suggested? Perhaps we could start sorting based on top tag for each artist, then by top 2 tags, then by top 3 tags, and all the way until the top 50th tag or something (and if an artist doesn't have a certain number of tags, TOO BAD :P). But that's something that would take a while to look at.
Who knows, perhaps someone might create a last.fm widget tool based on this suggestion. But it is clearly a possibility to use instead of the current formula, which guarantees a ton of similar artists that have nothing to do with each other.
If you have been watching the Grammies for the last few years, do whatever you can to end that tradition now. Seriously...even if you don't take it seriously, don't bother giving CBS (aka we love only crime shows and laugh track comedies network) any ratings...and profits.
The last several years have led to some of the worst crap we've seen. And things just went from bad to rock bottom. There are 2 things of interest here.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? IS POP THE ONLY FUCKING MUSIC ON PLANET EARTH!!!.
Look at poor Kanye West...his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was highly praised and successful. Since it missed last year's cutoff, it made it for this award show and hip-hop is snubbed off for what? 2 unnecessary pop albums (Loud and Doo Wops)???
This is a total absolute disgrace. Usually, no more than 2 per each genre make it into the final category, but the Grammies officially made it clear that they are out of sync when it comes for music. Four pop albums? At a time when pop is not well-received...especially those 2 in question (it's not like hipsters are better as their version of pop is nothing but art pop to the point that...it's more alternative than pop). This is the first time I've seen the field totally devoted towards one genre. Nevermind Wasting Light (which IMO was the best album of the year for me...shut up Mr. Snobquesite about your random avant-garde stuff to be cool), who literally got their Best Rock album slot wrapped up, especially when you got random weak competitors.
Well, at least the Grammies do support hard rock and metal still with their separate awards...NOT ANYMORE
THE RETURN OF THE WORST AWARD EVER 1989...the year many people first ditched the awards show. It was the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental"...a disorganized award where songs and albums competed together...metal fans of that time were screaming at their TV when Jethro Tull's Crest Of A Knave stunned Metallica's ...and Justice for All, leading to a wave of boos and outrage. Jethro Tull...most didn't consider them metal to begin with. The aftermath of the incident led to the award split into two categories...Best Hard Rock Performance, and Best Metal Performance.
Well, get ready folks, because the worst mistake ever by the Grammies is coming back. This was honestly one of the only things I looked at regarding the Grammies...that and the best Hip-Hop album award. The Grammies are merging metal and hard rock as one again...that's right...a heavy metal Metallica and a hard rock Jethro Tull MAY MEET AGAIN...
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? ARE YOU TRYING TO SNOB METAL'S ONLY SHOT OUT!!! ARE YOU TRYING TO WEAKEN HARD ROCK AS WELL???
This was all about reducing redundant awards...like best male solo/female solo awards. Best solo/group awards for each genre are now combined...you have a pop band? Great, you might compete against Justin Bieber! You made a rock instrumental? Great, now compete with all rock performances, instrumental or not. This is honestly ridicolous and reduces the chance at hitting the big one. Instrumentals rarely win a big award, and their only chance at grabbing it...GONE.
So anyways, would you like to see what this compressed award has led to?
With Foo Fighters being listed and expected to win Best Rock album, the award is literally a gimme for the award. But really, look at the field. Only 2 metal songs (I heard Curl of the Burl and it feels like hard rock, not metal), 2 hard rock songs and...Sum 41?
There may not be a backlash as big as the Metallica/Jethro Tull incident, but an award like this will cause another. Well, if Sum 41 wins (unlikely to happen though), maybe. But metal is now officially snobbed for good (not like it has been good as of recently since the last few years, they've leaned to OLD bands...especially the year they gave the award to Slayer over Machine Head with the Slayer track being a track added as a re-release to an album...whilst Machine Head was heating up the metal world around that time).
I'm not even gonna bother with the Grammies anymore...and rateyourmusic ain't good either with their hipster attitude. I'll just wait 20 years to see which albums have stood the test of time. Which bands/artists are still awake.
It a joke show...but if people watch it, the show gets rating...no, don't watch it just to jerk of to Katy Perry and [aritst]Rihanna. I'm serious...DON'T WATCH IT AT ALL...especially if it's just those 2...and if you know anyone that watches it that does not listen to pop music, please tell them to stop. It's time to send a message to the Grammies and do what The Beatles said long time ago...
"Get back to where you once belonged"
Maybe it's time for someone else to start their own annual awards to compete with the Grammies.
Things came together pretty well. a little rough at the end but hardly noticeable (& i think it's okay...) i wanted to reduce the amount of redundancy amongst the three albums and get down to some new ideas, which i think i did - tho some echoes of the others are certainly there (still moves in circles), and honestly a good half of this EP was written for/during the last...
The third and probably final in the 'Ideas' Series: the main idea with these three EP's (and they should be seen as a single expression) was to record main musical passages that are scaleable; ideas that can be developed; i also wanted to explore my composition abilities/concepts, experiment with incidental textures (delay's as a violin section), dynamic shifts (timbrel dynamics rather than texture/distortion or a simple quiet/loud), rhythms and poly-rhythms and push all that together-further than i ever have; while extending the limits of my production skills... i also wanted to let some of my process 'show', hence you can hear the breath of focus... adjusting the guitar & sometimes bumping into the microphone... you can hear extra strums as i wait for my overdub cue (nothing on any of the ep's is 'cut & paste')... my daughter playing upstairs... even the train passing by...
by coincidence (sort-of), they also match John Cage-A Year From Monday excerpts with a quote from an architect...
Lot of stuff since the last entry, where Kanye West's music video for All of the Lights featured Porygon while Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters got too drunk with Lemmy.
First, let's talk about something I heard about Motorhead's Lemmy.
OH NO YOU DIDN'T LEMMY!!
The hip-hop war has heated up yet again, and we have a new hater of the genre. In a recent interview, Lemmy of Motorhead was asked about his opinions on modern music. As you can expect, it was a trashing. Lemmy fired at modern pop music for the obvious reasons and singled out pop singers Justin Bieber and John Mayer...wait, of all the pop singers, John Mayer? He's not even the posterboy of modern pop music right now.
But he then lunged at hip-hop for pretty much the same ignorant reasons that have been thrown out for years. His thoughts: "How is it music? It's just a guy rapping over John Bonham's drum beats. It's talentless and ridicoulous". That wasn't exactly the words used, but that was pretty much what he said. Wait...what songs have used John Bonham's drumming. I was trying to figure out which modern hip-hop song used the drumming. In fact, so far, I've only come up with one song that sampled Bonham's drumming:
Beastie Boys - Rhymin' and Stealin. An old song back in the late 80s during the golden age of hip-hop. And the sample was 100% authorized. In fact, the Beasties took samples from 2 other songs (I Fought the Law by The Clash, and Sweet Leaf by Black Sabbath) and fused it into a new creation. And the Beastie Boys themselves often play around with instruments as well. Are you going to take a jab at these three guys, who did the genre of hip-hop right?
Lemmy, wake up man. You could just have said that I'm not a fan of hip-hop and moved away. Well, we still love you though!
The resulting turmoil led to a breakdown from Lupe for most of 2010, at times coming close to contemplating suicide. It took a massive fan rally at Atlantic Records to finally set the release date for March 8th in the U.S (March 4 for Australia). Next thing you know, the label forced Lupe to "Dumb it Down" due to the lack of success on his first 2 singles (both now bonus tracks on ITunes for the album). Worst, Lupe Fiasco was forced to become another B.o.B.. Utilize electrodance sounds, autotune choruses, and attempt to do songs about relationships and shit. Lupe himself seemed uninterested on tracks. The lead-off single The Show Goes On felt like a radio-friendly single that Lupe just wasn't interested in. The resulting decisions made by Atlantic records led to the eventual aftermath of the leak last week.
But was this release needed? Was it the only way for Lupe to release the stuff he really wants (Food & Liquor II)? Is this comparable to Nas's Nastradamus? Time will tell, and I will give several more listens to this album though before making a full decision. And I know Lupe will bounce back...maybe even this year?
AND WHERE THE FUCK IS THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR "Help is On the Way"????
OLD EMINEM VS. NEW EMINEM
The last few weeks, I've noticed a war on the Eminem shoutbox between old Eminem fans, new Eminem fans, and then, neo-Lil B cock-sucking hipsters trolling on the Eminem shoutbox. It's all because of last year's Recovery album, which many noted to be more poppy than previous releases...also having no joke songs like in the past...no political songs as well. Not much input from Dr. Dre himself (just on the track So Bad). After Not Afraid, everything looked good.
And then...came the crusade of shouts "<heart symbol here> Love the Way You Lie", coming from fans of primarily pop music. And then...a backlash. Criticism on a man who once went on a renegade against pop in the early 2000s, targeting boy band *NSYNC, mocking Britney Spears...now deciding to collaborate with a modern pop star...wait, 2 modern pop stars (P!nk as well, though that song is probably one of Eminem's best to date because I feel like punching assholes to that song). And technically, it's not even Em's first time collaborating with one.
The new fans don't know anything about Eminem...they just heard THAT song on the radio and jumped in.
The old fans want Eminem to return back to rapping about drugs, sillyness, and trailer parks like in the old days, even if it is not relevant today to Em.
I don't know who to side with, but I need to specify one thing right now. EVERY ARTIST CHANGES! THEY WILL CHANGE THROUGHOUT TIME. If you're releasing the same thing again and again and again without making minor changes, eventually at one point you'll be irrelevant. You will receive criticism for not trying something else with the style...not adding in new elements to your already built style.
And as Jay-Z said, "****** want my old shit, buy my old album". That simple. And to the newcomers to Em, you aren't a true fan UNLESS you've listened to Eminem's past work. This not only goes to the pop fans who jumped on his bandwagon after Love the Way you Lie, it's also to those Call of Duty junkies who heard of Em after Till I Collapse (feat. Nate Dogg) was featured in the Modern Warfare 2 launch trailer.
Going to discuss a lot of stuff in this entry. First, it's been several weeks since the Grammies
AND THE GRAMMY GOES TO...
Yes, the grammies, the show that determined that Jethro Tull was more metaler and hard rocker than Metallica. Yeah, but there was a...paradox created when the album of the year award was announced.
As you know, the award for best album of the year was between Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster, some country album by Lady Antebellum, Recovery by Eminem (sorry purists, but the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it...and I've listened to him for almost a decade now). All 3 won their respective genre award for best album (pop, country, and rap respectively). There was also Teenage Dream by Katy Perry, but I'm pretty sure it was only nominated to "boost" ratings by having the most popular thing at the award show to drive in listeners.
Now, the 5th nomination went to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. That album as up for Best Alternative Album, but lost to Brothers by The Black Keys. The Black Keys also took the best rock song over Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire was shut out going into the final category. It looked like it was going to be Lady Gaga claiming the prize...or was it.
Yes, in a matter of minutes, the world got stunned as The Suburbs stole the top prize. AF's only award of the night. And backed it up with an encore performance.
So, the night ends with Arcade Fire winning the top prize, yet losing Best Alternative album. Does this mean, the real album of the year was Brothers? Several things could have happened. Maybe the people who voted on Best Alternative Album were into alternative music while the AOTY award was voted among all voters. Maybe they expected AF to be the top contender for album of the year and not Black Keys. What would happen if we swapped The Suburbs with Brothers? I'd say Brothers would win hands down and cause a similar shockwave, despite bringing in 2 grammies going into the final category. Or perhaps we drop Teenage Dream and bring in Brothers to compete with The Suburbs? Actually, that might split the vote on SFF and cause Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum to win.
Anyways, I actually haven't listened to either band yet...ok, a browse through my library will indicate that I dig the track Howlin' for You by the Black Keys, and I'm quite interested in hearing more from them. Same with Arcade Fire too. But that may not be right now.
Last thing before we leave, it's sad to see the response after Arcade Fire winning. There's a website "Who is Arcade Fire" that went up right after the show, and...the ignorance is just bad. Some claim that it was the number of #1/top 10 hits that's important in winning the award. Others claimed that only 5 people know or heard Arcade Fire (*looks as past last.fm weekly charts*...um yeah, 5 people...). This is the problem with the pop music crowd. I've said this several times, it's not the number of records you sell that matters, it is the lasting appeal of an album. SALES /= ACCLAIM!
Of course, the only person that should decide whether an album is good or not, is you...and only way to do that, is to listen to it in it's fucking entirety. Yeah, I listen to a lot of bands myself with a lot of sales, but that's not a reason to justify a reason for the band/artist to be good.
Let's start with Rise Against and their Endgame. We already know about the single Help Is on the Way, but now they have a second single titled Architects. That's ok, but I still think the album will be good. A lot of people are already dismissing the album for sounding like Appeal to Reason (lol, that's actually when I jumped on the R.A. bandwagon, but I went through their whole discography at once rather than starting with ATR). Wait for the album to release, then make a decision (damn deja vu from A Thousand Suns.
Next, our man Lupe. Lasers is coming in less than 2 weeks, and I'm learning more about the debuckle between and the music label. Apparently, Lupe contemplated suicide during this time after Lasers was rejected by Atlantic Records. He may have fallen into depression for some time. Atlantic records suggesting him to be like Kanye West. They wanted...a hit single...a single that would give them cash. Lupe wanted to rhyme whatever he wants. This stretch for Lupe led to what is said to be his darkest track on the album Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) (feat. MDMA).
Lupe did have two more songs come out recently. The first one is clearly the work of Atlantic, forcing him to a dance-styled song called I Don't Wanna Care Right Now (feat. MDMA), not really good, and you can tell clearly that this was Atlantic's idea. The second single All Black Everything is vintage Lupe, dealing with racism and a alternate timeline in history where slavery never existed. Great listen. With that said and done, I patiently await Lasers.
Last but not least, the front runner for album of the year IMO is Foo Fighters. The name of their new album coming out is Wasting Light, and it's hard. They meant it. The first song released White Limo is...hardcore. Maybe even one of their best songs to date. A straight out hardcore-influenced rocker reminiscent of Weenie Beenie and Wattershed from their old Foo Fighters days. Their second single is also pretty good, Rope, many say it's influenced by Rush. Once again, another great single, and like with The Pretender in 2006, I'm fucking stoked for Wasting Light. There's also a music video released for White Limo, which I will discuss later.
QUICK NOTE: Radiohead released their latest album The King of Limbs, being open-minded, I listened to a few songs. They're decent, but none really got my attention, so I'll backlog this for awhile until I'm ready to listen to it.
And now, I'm going to review three music videos that came out in the last few weeks. They range from supposedly artsy, to blending to an album's concept, to...well, an analog RIOT.
Lets start out with Linkin Park and single #3 from A Thousand Suns, Burning in the Skies. The song became a favorite of mine recently. The music video for the slowpokes:
Really fits in well to the concept of ATS...the aftermath of a nuclear blast. This video shows the activities of various people moments before what appears to be a nuclear explosion in Los Angeles. Some are partying, one is studying, another is with the family, a kid is running near a camp site, a Japanese elder is reminiscing at what may be a lost person (perhaps from the nuclear attacks in WWII). The band themselves do not show up until after the second verse, possibly at the epicenter of the blast, moving slowly. I felt this video was really good and my favorite among the ATS vids.
I really hope though that they release a vid for When They Come for Me. Possibly a pro-hip-hop video since that's the theme of the song. No ketchup though :)
Next, Kanye West had previously debuted the song All of the Lights in his short film for Runaway. Maybe he should have built on that concept rather than make a new one, as only 2 of the gazillion guests were in the video (those being Kid Cudi, and...yes, Rihanna).
Well, the first thing is, lights...too many light...way too many flashing lights. Remember that episode of Pokemon with Porygon...well, that incident in Japan is probably why you never saw Porygon at all in the cartoon. Anyways, yes, too many seizures inducing lights. I survived it though. But perhaps, it should have been toned down quite a bit. They even removed it down for a few minutes and added in a warning regarding the lights.
Now the music video, first few minutes, we see a girl leaving an apartment. That's supposed to be the central story of the song...spousal abuse and the effect on a child. Taken from the eyes of the abuser who realizes his mistake and vows to change quickly before his child takes the same path as him. This storyline was not well done in the video, and probably should have had more focus instead of each of the 3 performers doing their thing. Kanye rapping, Kid Cudi doing the bridge, and....um...yeah, RIhanna doing the vocals (while the others on the track are missing...) Fergie's part....is GONE!!! Why? Perhaps if she didn't decide to cover Sweet Child o' Mine with Slash playing the guitar...um, yeah, that part was actually weak and could have been removed from one of my favorite songs on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Also, note that the video draws influence from the recent French movie Enter the Void...not rip off, but paying tribute (though are mixed about the film).
One other thing that from the video was...I became a hypocrite. I don't like to admit it, but...I jacked off to Rihanna. Yes, that's right. I did...never cared about it until that video, that changes the meaning of when she says "I want y'all to see this". Now, you may be wondering why this is a big thing. Well, I have been a super-harsh critic of previously mentioned Katy Perry being whorelike, and attempting to be hot (and I still don't think she is that hot). Yeah, I criticized her for being a woman using sexual features to impress the boys...that Firework song being the main issue...when the fireworks come out of her...they do come out of her...you know, right...that's what I thought, same with my friends.
But yeah, I admit it. I am a hypocrite for getting drawn to a woman that has the same features of another that I criticized, maybe to the limit. I have nothing to say about it, but for now on, I'm leaving Katy Perry (or to some, K.P.) alone.
Now that I got that out of my system, time for the cream de la coup of the three music videos. Remember I mentioned something about A Foo Fighters music video...well...here it is:
Ahem, sorry. Those passing my profile are wondering why I have been obsessed with this song...well, blame it on the music video. The Foo Fighters have been known for silly videos:
*The classic Everlong paying homage to Evil Dead in the strangest and craziest ways ever, cross dressing involved. *Learn to Fly, a Airplane! Styled video with more crossdressing, and Tenacious D playing the role of the "villain". *Breakout, a movie cinema date gone wrong...oh, and Dave Grohl fights a midget stealing his girl *The raunchy Low featuring Jack Black and Dave Grohl destroying a hotel room. *Long Road to Ruin, mocking the soap opera.
But nothing could prepare me for this. A music video of intense proportions. Shot with an old analog camera. It's a white limo being driven by the great Lemmy!!! (He's colaborated with Dave Grohl on his metal side-project Probot). The video...gets crazier and crazier as it goes around. The 5 members of the Foos are slowly picked up by a limo. Yes, 5 members, if you were living under a rock, former member Pat Smear, is not a former member anymore...he's returned, so there's 5 of them.
Well, acquiring all 5 is...well. The first guy (Nate Mendel) is roller blading, not looking, Lemmy can't stop the Limo and...BOOM, he's flying. Lemmy shakes his head, checks to see if Mendel is ok, and invites him into the white limo, which he quickly enjoys. Next is Dave Grohl and two buddies, probably into...yardwork as they play with rakes...and their outfits! YIKES. Dave Grohl weaing a COPS shirts (as in the tv show) and shorts. As the limo pulls, steam is coming out of the passenger seats. To them, it's a party...and the three join in the back seat for the partay. The facial expressions, vintage Foo Fighters, but now on drugs. Popping the champaigne.
Last but not least is...some guy smoking, looking gangsta, asked by Lemmy to hop in. What happens next is...a silly scene of the band performing, strange wacko facial expressions by the band including one reminiscent of that infamous Separate Ways video. Oh, and a hot chick coming by..
...wait...it's Dave Grohls' wife? Yes it is. They keep playing, even in the limo, and eventually wasted. And then just 3 minutes into the clip, Dave Grohl's facial expression takes a turn for the insane as the music stops for a few moments.
Psst: Also notice the date of the recording on the camera...January 3rd, 2012...at 3:40 AM...
Was this on purpose?
And the ending of the video...cheap editing, as Lemmy supposedly drives the limo off a cliff...actually, it's just footage re-used from Long Road to Ruin. And the video ends with Grohl's wife silently mouthing "White Limo".
I don't know, but never in my life has a music video driven me this insane to the point that...I would go outside and yell...