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Listening Party

ClaudioWhen most people (as in people who don’t play Dungeons and Dragons) first hear Coheed and Cambria, they think something along the lines of, “well, those dudes are pretty good at their instruments, but I hate that chick’s voice.” That “chick,” the androgynous, interstellar-creation-myth-spawning, graphic-novel and guitar wizard known as Claudio Sanchez has few vocal peers, the closest being Geddy Lee or Alvin of Chipmunks fame.

So when presented with a MASHUP (because this is the internet after all) of Tupac’s “Dear Mama” & Coheed and Cambria’s “Welcome Home,” we’d all expect Claudio’s falsetto to be replaced by sensitive Tupac verses. Instead, we, the listeners, are treated to Claudio soloing over soulful guitar licks and a chill beat. If I had to sum up my feelings about this MASHUP I’d have to cite both of these lyrical geniuses.

Tupac – “Changes”

“I made a G today” But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin’ crack to the kid. ” I gotta get paid,”
Well hey, well that’s the way it is

Coheed and Cambria – “The Crowing” and “2113″

Dear Ambellina, the Prise wishes you to watch over me
Dear Ambellina, the Prise wishes you to watch over me

But IRO-Bot will never die.
IRO-Bot will never die.
But IRO-Bot will never die.
But IRO-Bot will never die…

Tupac & Coheed and Cambria – “Welcome Home Mama”

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Deftones - Diamond Eyes album artDeftones have always had a sound that is broader than the metal tag they received thanks to their nu-metal roots and continued grip on the genre. Two genres in particular that have helped their music be both melodic and hypnotic are dream pop and shoegaze. It’s fitting then that M83 would decide to remix Deftones’ first single, “Rocket Skates,” from their new album Diamond Eyes. The remix does a great job of setting Chino’s vocals to buzzy synth lines, but this remix isn’t just a club banger. Somewhere along the way, the song takes off and becomes an intense, electronic march, employing an array of characteristic M83 organ tones and vocal samples. Though a bit ridiculous to be my Track of the Day I figured it’d be a nice way to commemorate the May 4 release of Diamond Eyes.

Deftones – “Rocket Skates (M83 Remix)”

Anacrusis were a technical thrash band that started around 1988. Over the course of four albums they continued to perfect their sound – a sound that based itself around multifaceted vocals, razor-sharp bass and guitar tones, introspective lyrics and an aggressive thrash foundation. Unfortunately they broke up in the early nineties, but they have started to show signs of life again. Hindsight: Vol.2 Reason Revisited is the complete re-recording of the band’s second album by the original members. Reason was their first album to really display the technical and progressive tendencies that they would eventually perfect on their subsequent album, Manic Impressions. For your listening pleasure, three tracks from Reason Revisited.

– Terrified

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– Misshapen Intent

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– Afraid to Feel

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I mean, seriously. Bask in it. Isn’t it glorious?

The music’s not shabby, either; dip into this blend of English folk and indie pop and see what you make of it.

I want to take the chance and present to you a young band from Germany – for several reasons. For one, they are among the best exports from my hometown of Aachen in terms of music, touring and the like. Also, they are a bunch of really nice and fun guys to hang out with, that’s always a plus. But last and cetainly not least: they are giving away their current album “Idee:Mensch” (Idea: Human) for free. So if you might like what you hear here, you can check out the whole package free of charge.

Longing For Tomorrow is a 3-piece Indie / Post-Hardcore/ Punk Rock outfit, that evolved out of a 4-piece Screamo/Post-Hardcore band. As one might guess from the name, early works were completely in English, the band has moved to German lyrics though. They constantly tour, and after a very successful tour through Brazil in late 2009, the band will depart to Russia soon and return to South America later this year.

Below you find some of my personal favorites from “Idee:Mensch”. Check out the bands MySpace for a free download of the album.

Longing For Tomorrow – Was uns bleibt

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Longing For Tomorrow – Gipfelstuermer

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Longing For Tomorrow – Blickes Fang

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Belfast’s finest vocal-averse rock troupe And So I Watch You From Afar stepped into the Music Maker in Dublin city centre a couple of weeks back to record the first “Intervention” in association with our friends at State magazine.

The concept of State Intervention is simple: impromptu gigs are arranged in diffuse spots around the city, from music shops and bars to parks and street corners. The featured act is announced on the morning of the gig via Facebook and Twitter, and the whole gig is professionally shot and plastered up all over the internet for the whole world to squeeze and poke and do all sorts of deranged shit to.

And So I Watch You From Afar – ‘S Is For Salamander / Set Guitars To Kill’

I’ve been a fan of most the music that Peter Steele has put out including Carnivore and Type O Negative. Based on that, I’m not going to jump to any conclusions based on all of the news that’s floating around right now – we’ll save that shit for a different day. I did want to take this time to highlight his band prior to Type O Negative, though, because they were always a bit underrated in my opinion. Their first album was kind of sloppy thrash but their second release, Retaliation, was straight up hardcore with a huge streak of sarcasm and a warped sense of humor. None of these songs were supposed to be taken seriously, they were just supposed to be so incredibly stupid that they were funny. Of course, when Peter became famous through Type O Negative critics returned to this album to accuse him of everything from racism to homophobia to just about everything else (prompting the song “We Hate Everyone” on Bloody Kisses).  Anyway, hopefully Peter is somewhere sleeping in New York (it is only 11am)…

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- Jesus Hitler

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- Angry Neurotic Catholics

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I have to admit that I’m a bit worried by these song samples. Despite everything I’ve read, this album just sounds like it’s going to be very dull. With the exception of “The Termination Proclamation” and the title track, every song felt like something from Dead Heart in a Dead World (an album that I’m not a huge fan of). Worse, it sounded more tame and generic than that album did. You’d have to go all the way back to their debut to find something as lifeless. I hope I’m wrong because 30 second samples definitely aren’t the whole story, but this has definitely dampened my enthusiasm for this release.

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Regular Ellen viewers can skip to the next paragraph – you’ll already know all about the latest sensation to break from the burgeoning Irish showband scene. Everybody else, allow me to introduce you to Crystal Swing, East Cork’s answer to the Carter Family and, as of  a few hours ago, the most successful singing group in Irish music history.

The mother-daughter-son group (Dad is the sound engineer) consists of mother Mary Murray-Burke, daughter Dervla and son Derek. The trio have been on a rapid incline since the release of their album The Best Years of Our Lives in 2009. A performance video of ‘He Drinks Tequila,’ an old American country tune from the ’70s, from a local TV broadcast was picked up by Irish drag queen Panti, and from there the local music media. Their story soon became the thing of internet legend, earning the group an appearance on Ireland’s equivalent of the Late Show, the, err, Late Late Show, as well as a number of other national talk shows. From there, they were discovered by the white people’s answer to Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and featured on her St. Paddy’s Day special.

Smitten, Ellen vowed to have the band appear live on the show, and on April 12 her wish became a reality. And aside from perhaps the most lengthy and shameless plug for a hard liquor company in US network TV history, Crystal Schwing’s appearance on Ellen was an unqualified…

Fucking magnets, how do they work?

The sun and the moon, and even Mars
The Milky Way and fucking shooting stars
UFOs, a river flows
Plant a little seed and nature grows
Niagara Falls and the pyramids
Everything you believed in as kids
Fucking rainbows after it rains
there’s enough miracles here to blow your brains
I fed a fish to a pelican at Frisco bay
It tried to eat my cell phone, he ran away
And music is magic, pure and clean
You can feel it and hear it but it can’t be seen

Magic everywhere in this bitch.

At a recent production (recent being circa 1995), permatanned paddywhacker Michael Flatley and his Riverdance crew performed an impromptu tap routine to the tune of Adebisi Shank’s 2008 smash ‘Snakehips.’

When asked to comment on the performance, Flatley was unresponsive, lending credence to rumours that his face may, in fact, be constructed entirely of wax.

Adebisi Shank – ‘Snakehips (Original, non-Riverdance mix)’

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So the sun finally came (and stayed) out today, meaning it is officially time for sick summer mix tapes. What’s that, it’s only April? This is England. Got sun? Got shorts? Got temperatures above 20 degrees celsius? Got summer. Besides, Buddy Peace deserves to be heard by everyone, at all times of the year – anyone who can make MF Doom seem right at home in Jose Gonzalez’ IKEA kitchen is clearly doing something right. So dig out that SPF factor 50, whack on them sunnies, and enjoy the scorchingly mild heat to the tune of one of the best mix tapes of the last decade in Wolf Diesel Mountain. The track below is a minimix of that album, with a few extra bits thrown in for good measure.

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Thera is a 5-piece band out of Alaska. Their core sound could most generically be described as alternative or emo, but there’s more to it than that. Thanks in large part to the vocals of Stephanie Plate, the band’s music takes on an epic feel despite the short duration of the songs. Her voice is very unique and capably conveys the raw emotion of her lyrics. Musically the band creates pieces that can move from uplifting highs to crushing lows within the span of a single song. I know it’s still early, but this may very well be one of my top 3 albums of 2010.

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– The Aftermath

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– The Downpour

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– Don’t Hesitate

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— [Thera Myspace] — [Physical Album] — [Digital Album] —

The Greatest Thing EVER: Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better” Music Video

A music video that makes you enjoy a song you’d otherwise hate is a rarity. It only occurs once in a great, great while (usually, once a month, but hey sometimes it can even be two months!), and it’s usually accompanied by either a pop-culture reference typhoon, or Lady Gaga. The new video for Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better” off of their newest One Life Stand breaks this convention by being an entirely serious, stylish affair replete with incredible production values and hypnotizing camera work and dance moves. Before you blow this off as hipster garbage, I implore you to take a look at the world Hot Chip create in “I Feel Better”.

By the time Angel Dust came out in 1992, Faith No More were already an established band. Their previous album, The Real Thing, had gone platinum but it wasn’t enough to make the band rehash the same sound again. Angel Dust almost seemed to be a reaction against the fame that the band were receiving. They took the metal and funk of the previous albums and combined them with some of the most off-the-wall elements — and it worked. Faith No More, and Angel Dust in particular, went on to influence a whole generation (or two) of new musicians and when you listen to this album you’ll understand why.

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