1 Boris – Riot Sugar
2 Le Butcherettes – New York
3 RX Bandits – My Lonesome Only Friend
4 Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Teenage Tide
5 Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs – Along in this Together
6 Sleeping Vikings – Flashlight Tag
7 Tidelands – Holy Grail
8 Matt Bauer – Blacklight Horses
9 Bird Call – Lost Cause
10 Metal Mother – Shake
11 Big Pauper – Big Sick
12 Nils Frahm – Said and Done
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
1 Boris – Riot Sugar
Blog Rocking Beat Mix Vol. 1 is the first in a series of artist and songs features right here on Blog Rocking Beat. In this collection, we highlight an eclectic mix of elemtronic, ambient, indie and rock choons.
1ne. Train – Younger Brother
2wo. Roulette – Grand Pianoramax
3ree. New Year – FM Belfast
4our. Raw Spectacle (Pantha Remix) – Miracle Fortress
5ive. Horse Fury – Scarlet Season
6ix. Touching Down – Therapies Son
7ven. Birds of North America – Merdith Bragg
8ght. Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning – Marissa Nadler
9ine. Cassette 2012 – Delay Trees
10n. Heat Lightning – Moonlight Towers
11ven. Locomocion Capillar – Omar Rodriguez Lopez
It happens to every guitar player as they bond with their instrument; sooner or later they want to take that stock six-string and customize it to be a one of a kind. There are a number of guitar customization projects that can completely overhaul the way your guitar looks, sounds and plays. Some require a certain level of expertise, but others can be carried out by even the most novice guitarist.
If you have ever had your guitar strap come undone, you know the sinking feeling of watching your guitar head for the floor at terminal velocity. If you have never had your strap come undone, you can add strap locks to ensure it never does. Simply unscrew the screws that hold your current strap buttons to the guitar and screw the new strap lock buttons in their place. Then affix the locking mechanisms to the guitar strap. Different types of strap locks will vary slightly, but regardless of the brand, you should only need a screwdriver and a small wrench for this project.
Many guitars come in multiple price points that are dictated by, among other things, the quality of the hardware they come equipped with. Among the most changeable hardware components are knobs, jack plates, and pickup selector switches. You can opt to replace your current hardware with different colors, metals or even custom parts like dice or little skulls. With just a simple screwdriver, you can replace the jack plate. You can replace the knobs and pickups selector with just a little elbow grease and maybe some pliers in a pinch.
One of the most valuable things you can do when shopping for a new guitar is to play it without an amplifier. That’s because, you can’t change the feel of a guitar, but you can change the sound of the guitar by replacing the pickups. When getting new pickups, make sure you have the right size pickups to fit your guitar’s pickup cavity, such as single coil, humbucking or soap bar pickups. Some pickups manufacturers also offer sound samples of their pickups online so you can get an idea of the sound before you buy. It’s worth noting, though, that the size of the guitar and the wood it’s made from can influence a guitar’s tone, making it sound different from the manufacturer’s sound sample. Replacing the pickups requires a soldering iron and solder. A wiring diagram comes with the replacement pickups.
Most players know that slapping new strings on their guitar can bring a brighter sound to their guitar. What you may not know, however, is that the gauge of strings you use can also help accommodate your playing style. For instance, thicker gauge strings are a little harder to bend, but produce a thicker sound. That’s why so many blues and metal players used them. On the other hand, lighter gauge strings are way easier to bend and require less hand strength to fret, making them common fare with shred guitar players.
Bullet For My Valentine has commissioned celebrated indie comic book writer and illustrator, Tom Manning, to create a mini-comic book for every one of the 11 songs on the band’s new album, Scream Aim Fire, which drops on January 29, 2008.
Each book will be three-to-five pages in length and all are inspired by the lyrics of the songs on the new release. The first three (“Scream Aim Fire,” “Waking The Demon,” “Hearts Burst Into Fire”) will be available on January 29th in the PDF booklet of the iTunes deluxe version of the album. Ultimately, all 11 books will be available for viewing on a micro-site found at www.safthecomics.com. Fans can access a free PDF download of “Scream Aim Fire” now when they sign up for the band’s mailing list at www.safthecomics.com/freedownload.
In addition to the actual comic book for every song, 15-second animated trailers have been created for each comic and have just been posted on media partner websites. The first trailer for the CD’s title track can be viewed now on the band’s YouTube channel and MySpace profile.
Or you can see it right here at Blog Rockin’ Beat:
Back on December 6th, Blog Rockin’ Beat was the first site/blog the let you know that Journey found its new singer on YouTube. Well, we’ve got more Journey news for you. And this time, it involves not YouTube, but Second Life!
On February 1, Journey will release their new Virtual Island in Second Life. A grand opening party is planned inside Second Life at the “Journey Rock Band” sim and will feature a meet and greet with band members. Live DJs will be spinning many of Journey’s classic hits, recorded studio and live performances, as well as lots of other great music for fans to party to! The grand opening party is scheduled to start at 10:00am ET/PT. The Journey Island region in Second Life is named Journey Rock Band.
Journey has been one of the few classic rock bands that has made a continued effort to stay contemporary in the way the interact with fans. This has included innovative stage sets, website redesigns, um…hello…find their new singer half a world away via YouTube. Naturally, then, creating a Second Life Island for fans to enjoy seems like an easy decision. The Island features dedicated areas for each album along with audio and video presentations. There are also two venues on the island, the Escape Club and the Captured Amphitheater, where live SL events can be held.
The latest redesign of Journey’s website, is set to launch on or around January 29. It will feature band history, tour information, photos and a new forum for fans of Journey and rock music in general.
Journey is currently working on a new album with producer Kevin Shirley, which they hope to release by spring/summer 2008. Their 2008 world tour begins in Santiago, Chile mid-February. We’ll post the tour dates at Blog Rockin Beat when we get them.
In a word :: Powerful.
Play this cut first :: Take It Out On Me
Rewind to the early ’90s, considered by most to be the pinnacle of metal, with the heavyweights like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Pantera, Testament, and Sepultura all putting out career-defining CDs one after another. It was ridiculous. Just when you thought no one could ever equal one band’s release another would come along and do it.
There is a new batch of metal bands that have emerged during the last few years who are maturing nicely and putting out their best releases to date. After stoopid-good albums from Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine steps up to the plate with their sophomore effort Scream Aim Fire, and they hit it out of the park. Hell, they damn near hit it out of the stadium.
Yes, 2008 is shaping up to be The Year of The Bullet. With a main stage slot on the Taste of Chaos tour (as part of the best TOC lineup ever), their own comic books, a huge fan base, and some major label support, I’m guessing that you’ll be hearing a lot of Bullet For My Valentine this year. And that, friends, is a good thing.
Actually, it’s a great thing.
On Scream Aim Fire, Bullet For My Valentine makes a huge leap from 2006′s The Poison. It’s a leap that is reminiscent of the leap Metallica made between Kill ‘Em All and Ride The Lightening. Matt Tuck’s voice even sounds like a young James Hetfield’s. Often, when bands say they have matured, it usually means they have slowed down. In this case, however, Bullet For My Valentine has matured in all directions. The riffs are harder. The harmonies are smarter. The solos are more blazing. The vocal melodies are more memorable.
The common element across all of the songs on Scream Aim Fire, however, is a sense of urgency. It’s that urgency of drumsticks pounding drum skins, instead of just hitting them. It’s the sound of guitar picks digging into strings, instead of just plucking them. It’s the growl in a vocal that lets you know every word that is sung is the most important word in the world at that moment. It’s the ability to find the heart of the song and put it right in your face. And it’s this sense of urgency that separates the great from the good.
On cuts like “Scream Aim Fire” and “Eye of the Storm”, it’s made very clear that Bullet For My Valentine’s first priority for this record is to establish that, when it comes to metal, they are the sonic equivalent of a nail bomb, both explosive and razor sharp. The same spirit is reinforced across the majority of the album in cuts like “Waking the Demon” and “End of Days”.
The next goal for Scream Aim Fire seems to be establishing a true musical range, by slowing things down to ballad-like levels at times. Indeed, “Say Goodnight” seems to fit nicely with some of the more notable metal ballads of all time like Metallica’s “Fade to Black” or Testament’s “Return to Serenity”.
The effect of convincingly achieving these goals is the building of a set list that is primed for arenas. In fact, “Take It Out On Me” covers so much sonic territory that, in a live show, it’ll have fans banging their heads, clapping their hands, singing along, and banging their heads again. For that song alone, this CD is worth the investment.
In a musical landscape where major labels and iPods force emphasis on singles, it is becoming more and more rare to find an album that shines from top to bottom. Scream Aim Fire does that–so much so that when the last song finishes, your first instinct is to start it over from the beginning. When’s that last time a CD made you do that?
Yeah, it’s like that.
The Bottom Line :: Get ready to start pumping your fist again. Get ready to headbang in traffic. And get ready to sing along at the top of your lungs. The release of Scream Aim Fire rings in The Year of the Bullet. And it looks like it’s going to be a one hell of a year for the band.
Best Cuts :: Take it out on Me, Scream Aim Fire, Waking the Demon, Say Goodnight
“We don’t just bitch about Bush and global oligarchies. We’re still a rock band and Cover Up is THE Ministry party album,” said Ministry’s Al Jourgensen about Cover Up, recorded by Ministry & Co-Conspirators and set for an April Fools Day (April 1) release.
Cover Up sees Jourgensen and Co-Conspirators paying tribute to some of the most memorable PAR-TEE rock songs, mostly from the 8-track era, and to those artists who first laid them down – Deep Purple, T-Rex, ZZ Top, The Doors, Mountain, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and more.
Playing on the Cover Up title, Jourgensen has injected himself into various conspiracy theory photographs throughout the release’s artwork.
In addition to fellow Ministry guitarist Sin Quirin (Revolting Cocks), Jourgensen enlisted an impressive group of Co-Conspirators for Cover Up – Fear Factory front man Burton C. Bell (also Ascension of The Watchers) sings on the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” Revolting Cocks’ Josh Bradford provides vocals for Golden Earring’s “Radar Love,” and Prong vocalist Thomas Victor lends his pipes to Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’” and Ran Jam’s “Black Betty,” which also features the Hell Paso Mosh Choir. Additional Co-Conspirators include the late Paul Raven (Ministry/Killing Joke), Tony Campos and Wayne Static (Static X), Edu Mussi (Echoes and Shadows) and Plastilina Mosh.
Cover Up will also include Ministry’s cover of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” (the version can also be found on Ministry’s September 2007 release, The Last Sucker), and Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin,” all tracks culminating in Jourgensen’s personal punk rock rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World.”
“‘Under My Thumb,’ like The Doors’ cover ‘Roadhouse Blues,’ was about my not understanding the dichotomies involved,” says Jourgensen. “If you listen to the lyrics to ‘Under My Thumb,’ it’s the most misogynistic song ever made. I never understood that dichotomy so I always wanted to tackle it. Same with ‘Roadhouse,’ it’s a blues-based song, yet the lyrics are about driving your car into a wall at full speed, drunk, and not giving a fuck. It’s so much an Anarchist anthem, it should’ve been a Sex Pistols song. So, I wanted to approach both tracks with the spirit of the original lyrical intent.”
The April Fools Day release of Cover Up coincides with the launch of Ministry’s final world tour – C U LaTouR – which kicks off March 25 in Spokane, WA. The 36-plus market limited engagement C U LaTouR features Special Guests Meshuggah and opening act Hemlock, ending the North American leg mid-May with multiple-nights in Ministry front man Al Jourgensen’s home town of Chicago. Ministry then heads off to play the principal European festivals as well as choice club dates, kicking off in London at the end of May, stretching through to July to end the tour in Dublin, Ireland – that itinerary will be announced shortly.
The “C U LaTouR” touring line-up features Ministry’s founder Al Jourgensen (vocals, guitars) being joined onstage by guitarists Tommy Victor (Prong) and Sin Quirin (Revolting Cocks), keyboardist John Bechdel (Fear Factory, False Icons), and drummer AAron Rossi (Prong/John 5). Static X’s Tony Campos has recently stepped in to fulfill bass on behalf of the recently departed Ministry/Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven. Joining the Ministry clan as Special Featured Artist will be Fear Factory/Ascension of The Watchers vocalist Burton C. Bell.
After 10 albums and 28 years (including a 2006 Grammy nomination for “Lieslieslies” from the Rio Grande Blood album), and a Grammy nod in 2005 for “The Great Satan,” from Rantology, Jourgensen has decided that the Ministry garage is ready to close its doors, but the revolving 13th Planet Studio doors remain open for Jourgensen’s collaborations and also for upcoming 2008 releases on his 13th Planet imprint, including Ascension of The Watchers, False Icons, The Revolting Cocks, and the Wicked Lake soundtrack, as well as remixes of Ministry’s The Last Sucker and Prong’s Power of The Damager.
For its two-and-a-half-hour “C U LaTouR” set, Ministry will perform tracks from their provocative 28-year musical history. Archival Ministry videos plus other visual elements of alchemy, Christianity, politics and other topics aligned with Ministry will be incorporated into a special video presentation, produced by “Wicked Lake” director Zach Passero (with whom Jourgensen is collaborating on the soundtrack for the feature film) that will change night to night. And, as is expected from a Ministry show, you just never know what surprise guests will jump on stage for a song or two.
“A Ministry tour is a traveling circus,” states Jourgensen. “When we roll into town, everyone hides their daughters, but the freaks roll out the red carpet and a friend or two pops up on stage to add some spice and mayhem to the show. We never know who’s gonna walk through the dressing room door at sound check. We rehearse a bunch of ‘extra’ songs just in case so-and-so shows up…”
Fresh off the heels of the enormously successful inaugural Adelaide Guitar Festival in Adelaide, Australia, which drew more than 30,000 attendees, organizers for the New York Guitar Festival (the original in a series of sister festivals, which also includes Wall to Wall Guitar Festival) proudly announce its 7th season of concerts, January 12 – February 6, 2008.
With more than 25 performances by some 60 exceptional guitarists – whose styles vary from jazz and classical to rock/pop, traditional and avant-garde – the festival will explore the universal significance of the guitar. Audiences will be treated to concerts ranging from an all-day Guitar Marathon that focuses on the guitar’s history in Brazil to eclectic tributes to country music’s biggest legends. A sure highlight at this year’s event, The “Royal Albert Hall” Project honors the music of Bob Dylan, the most covered songwriter in history, by reinventing his famed 1966 concert. In 2006, the Bruce Springsteen tribute drew rave reviews and The Boss himself showed up to sit in. This year’s performances will be held at Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Jazz Standard, the Apple SoHo Store, and The Monkey. Featured artists include Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), The Assad Brothers, Larry Coryell, GE Smith (former music director of SNL), Teddy Thompson, Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Laura Cantrell, Marshall Crenshaw, Toshi Reagon, and Jason Isbell, among many others.
The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as the festival’s Artistic Director. By fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists and commissioning new works, the festival endeavors to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar. The festival is presented with support from Apple, The D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts, Avalon Guitars, WNYC Radio, WFUV Radio, WBJB-90.5 The NIGHT, Guitar Player Magazine/Music Player Network, flavorpill.net , and Brooklyn Brewery.
In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools. Spelman says “In raising scholarship funding, the New York Guitar Festival, in partnership with the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center, is able to provide guitars and musical training free of charge. At a time when arts education is the first to go in budgetary cutbacks, encouraging hope and inspiration through music making is invaluable.” The beneficiaries of the New York Guitar Festival’s scholarship programs are young students enrolled at an innovative elementary school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Stay tuned to www.newyorkguitarfestival.org for current show schedules and information.
In a word :: un-genre-bound
Play this cut first :: One Foot on the Gas, One Foot in the Grave
Man, it’s so hard for me to review ska. I mean, it’s not that I have anything against it, in general; it just seems to be like the equivalent of genre fiction – you know, so caught up in the things that make it its own genre that it loses sight of the big picture.
So it is with my impression of ska, so caught up with horn lines and upstrokes on upbeats, that it loses sight of the song. One wonderfully notable exception in ska history is Catch 22′s Keasbey Nights. That’s one album that come s about as close to seminal as a ska record can get. Tomas Kalnoky, mastermind behind that album, has been putting out solid album as the founding member of Streetlight Manifesto, but this time, he hit the mark again on the remarkable Somewhere in the Between.
Kalnoky is cementing his reputation as the Elvis Costello of the genre. A master songwriter whose compositions could easily be played alone on an acoustic guitar and retain the same power.
Alongside great arrangements are lyrics that remind one of dorm-room chatter as a bunch of on-their-own young adults get together and collectively figure out life. The conversations are brilliant in their simplicity. Listening to cuts like “Somewhere in the Between” and “The Receiving End of it All” are like reaching personal resolve. The news may not be new, baby, but it’s always late-breaking.
The other truly spectacular element of Somewhere in the Between is the performance of the band. Recorded in different places at different times, there is so much energy that it seems impossible that they weren’t all in the same room together. To muster that level of performance says as much about the performers as it does the material.
It’s bands like Streetlight Manifesto that genres like ska, which don’t get time in the spotlight but once every couple of decades or so, owe a great debt to. They keep the spirit alive by turning out great discs when (seemingly) no one is listening. Somewhere in the Between gives people a reason to listen.
Now Playing :: Down, Down, Down To Mephisto’s Cafe
The Bottom Line :: Somewhere in the Between is the rare disc that shines in small doses of a few songs at a time or in a straight-through listen. And quite simply, it’s the ska album that people who don’t listen to ska will love, because greatness is never bound by genres.
Best Cuts :: We Will Fall Together; One Foot on the Gas, One Foot in the Grave; Down, Down, Down to Mephisto’s Cafe; Somewhere in the Between, Forty Days
It’s December 8th again. On this date in history both John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell Abbot were slain by gunmen. As they are two of the most identifiable and influential musicians in rock history, we at BRB are making a little space here on December 8th to honor their memories with this simple tribute.
If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.
- John Lennon
When I tried to play something and screwed up, I’d hear some other note that would come into play. Then I started trying different things to find the beauty in it.