If you have a few minutes to spare, could you do me a favor?
Go to this site (Ichthus.org), create an account, and vote for the band Under the Son.
So yeah, I know they would really appreciate your vote, and plus they promised to let me do my standup comedy to open for them if they win (not really).
Guitar World recently named their 100 favorite guitar solos….EVER. I don’t agree with some of them, but there are some real gems on there.
Another site, cityrag, dug up video links for each song.
Here are a couple standouts from the latter list.
97. Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock
Man, do I love Smashing Pumpkins, and it would be cool to see this song live during their upcoming reunion tour. Cherub Rock isn’t my favorite Pumpkins song, but it’s definitely a great track with great guitar.
26. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
This song is becoming the Citizen Kane of these types of list. I’m actually surprised that this song in particular made the list. That isn’t to say that the solo in this song isn’t really enjoyable (because it certainly is), it’s just not that complex or outrageous.
6. Guns ‘n’ Roses – November Rain
This one is probably my favorite. There’s two solos in this song. One is part of the slow buildup (which is kinda split into two parts) and one is at the beginning climax of the song. Both are fantastic, but you knew that already.
This is a pretty cool service. You create a playlist of 45 or more songs and you can then embed a Flash file on your blog or website of choice. YouTube for music, you see.
You can embed them in two different ways, iframe or embed. Here’s my Boxy Brown playlist, sucka!
They really don’t make musicals like they used to. While I’m not a fan of all musicals, or even most musicals, I can certainly appreciate the talent, skill, and effort that goes into making them.
Some musicals I’m not a fan of: The Sound of Music, Moulin Rouge, Cats. Some musicals that I am a fan of: The Producers, South Park movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
I was never much a fan of Fred Astaire, but it’s hard to not to appreciate his talent and showmanship after watching this classic piece:
By the way, in case you hadn’t figured it out, the cane flying up at him is a trick that was triggered from below the stage.
One of my favorite Weird Al songs: “Albuquerque”. If you aren’t familiar with “Weird” Al, he does comedy albums full of parodies, polka, and just plain crazy songs. “Albuquerque” is one of the latter.
“Albuquerque” is a long song (9 minutes or so if I recall correctly). He’s done other “ballads” like this too (“Trapped in the Drive-Thru” is the latest) which are just rambling songs about some ridiculous situation. They are really fun to listen to and are really quite well-written and nuanced in their own right.
Anyway, some guy made a Flash music video of Albuquerque. My favorite part is the one pictured here:
A great video to be sure, but I think the real issue is this: which Weird Al rap parody video is better? White & Nerdy or Amish Paradise?
My vote goes to Amish Paradise. The “backwards” scene at the end is especially impressive.
Adult Swim has been pimping this new compilation CD, Chrome Children. Some of the songs sounded pretty decent, so I thought I would give it a listen.
It’s a relatively eclectic mix of hip-hop & rap. There’s a lot of good beats and clever lyrics and it’s really fun to listen to. Of course, my favorite tracks are by Adult Swim favorites Madlib and Madvillian (“Take it Back” and “Monkey Suite” respectively). Check out the full track list here.
Adult Swim has also made a few music videos available for some of the tracks on the CD. Check out the video for “Take it Back”.
“Tower records has been bought out and will go through a liquidation.” (source)
The Daily Priapism has a theory to why Tower Records has basically failed, and I don’t think I could agree more.
A lot has been made of piracy and online music downloads. Certainly I don’t blame the RIAA for going after piracy and basically trying to reduce theft of music. However, many traditional record stores and record companies have almost completely ignored online music sales. Why? It could be arrogance, it could be ignorance, but most likely it’s due to not having any idea how to respond to online music sales. Sure you could create your own online music store, but how do you get people to come to it? What about DRM and piracy concerns? What about file formats, Windows/Mac, iPod and iRiver? There’s a lot to this issue and I think some traditional brick & mortar companies just don’t know how to respond.
So, if a failing company wants to complain about increased ease of piracy, that’s a legitimate complaint. However, they should realize that not all of the music online is being pirated: increasing amounts are being legitimately bought and sold. And not everyone is buying a full album, either. Piracy may be easier than ever before, but impulse purchases are easier than before too. If I hear a song I like on the radio, I’m just a few clicks away from buying it.
Hold onto your hats and let this marketing newbie name some relevant market trends:
- Tons of people are getting broadband, more and more every day.
- Tons of people are getting iPods and MP3 players, more and more every day.
- Online stores allow you to buy as much or as little music as you want, any time you want, anywhere you want.
With those trends occuring, a physical store with limited store hours, a large physical inventory (with less and less turnover), and expensive prices is going to get slaughtered. I think at this point, it’s even too late to compete on price. So if I’m a person who fits into the above three trends (and there are a lot of people who do), why on earth would I bother with a physical store anymore?
I think record stores will always have their place, but I think soon enough they will no longer exist primarily as outlets for generic media and new releases. If they want to survive, they will have to play the niches and specialize. Collectors, snobs, afficianados, people who value community or a physical product over convenience and price, whoever. These are the people to cater to.
As a parallel, if I want coffee, I can blaze through the nearest McDonald’s or BK any hour of the day and get it for dirt cheap. If I want coffee (skinny boy decaf latte no-foam), I go out of the way to Starbucks during business hours and get it for $5. I think brick-and-mortar record companies need to be Starbucks.
Watch some Louis Armstrong. He is probably the best jazz trumpeter and vocalist ever, and certainly one of my favorites. If you like Armstrong’s style of jazz, then check out Kermit Ruffins. He BBQ’s at his shows, for crying out loud!
Here are the worst songs in video games from Error Macro. I’m gonna get those fools; they want to play with my emeralds? They playin’ with the wrong guy. I didn’t see any mention of the absolute worst song in the history of gaming: Girl in the Tower, from the King’s Quest 6 soundtrack. They expected people to call top 40 stations and request this? I dare you to listen to the whole thing.
Anyway, I thought I would take this opportunity to point out some of my favorite video game music.
- Maniac Mansion for the NES. This is one of the best games of all time. It is the complete package. Storyline, gameplay, graphics (at the time), and of course, music. Check out Dave’s Theme and Bernard’s Theme.
- Mega Man 2 & 3 for the NES. As far as I’m concerned, Mega Man 2 is the pinnacle of gaming, and the music stands the test of time. Give a listen to Quickman’s stage from 2 and Gemini Man’s stage from 3. Also I emplore you to please check out the excellent OC Remixes for both games. Most of them are fantastic (check out Gemini Salsa).
- Final Fantasy 7 for the PSX/PC. One of my favorite RPGs. A frenetic storyline with corresponding music that sets the mood. Aeris’s Death is one of the most emotional moments in video game history, and the music is part of the reason. Also, the J-E-N-O-V-A boss music is always a sign that you are in for a real fight.
- Chrono Trigger for the SNES. Another classic Square RPG with equally classic soundtrack. Check out the OC Remix, The Incredible Singing Robot, complete with vocals! It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn a little something…about life.
- Secret of Mana for the SNES. Pretty laid back tunes that make leveling up more enjoyable. I could probably listen to Traveling Music all day. Also, check out the Fear of the Flava OC Remix for even more traveling music.
- StarFox for the SNES/n64. I’m always reminded of John Williams when I play through this game. Do a barrel roll! Press Z or R twice and listen to this Corneria Theme remix.
- Parappa the Rapper for the PSX. Yeah, it’s corny, but it’s so much fun. Yes, I know all the words to Kick! Punch!, and no I will not sing them for you.