Monday, July 21, 2014

Beastie Boys: End Of An Era.

Last month The Beastie Boys announced that there would not be anymore albums with them as a trio following the death of member Adam Yauch. They really went back to basics with their last album "Hot Sauce Committee. It was very reminiscent of earlier albums like "Ill Communication" and "Check Your Head".  Keep reading to learn a little more about the final album by the Beastie Boys. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review of Hollywood Undead's Notes From the Underground

Under the ‘Genre’ column of my iTunes library, the songs that I have by the band Hollywood Undead are categorized as a bunch of different things, including ‘rap metal’, ‘alternative rock’, ‘nu metal’, ‘hard rock’, ‘hip-hop’, and ‘rapcore’, among others.

I don’t know about most people, but I don’t sort by genre. It’s way too unreliable, because what in the world is the difference between, say, metal/hardcore and metalcore? Then there’s melodic hardcore and melodic metalcore and nope, I’m not doing that.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

There Goes Gravity

Lisa Robinson has been on Led Zeppelin's private plane, in Mick Jagger's hotel room, had Lou Reed hanging out in her apartment and had Lady Gaga cook pasta. She went to CBGB's and Max's Kansas City nearly every night. She's interviewed John Lennon, Michael Jackson, and Bono. She currently writes a column for Vanity Fair and oversees the photo shoot for Vanity Fair's annual music issue. She's written about music for over 40 years and has just written There Goes Gravity:  A Life In Rock and Roll. I read good reviews of it and decided to give it a try and wasn't disappointed.  

Robinson starts off in 1975 with her joining the Rolling Stones' tour of the U.S and ends with her getting to know Eminem. Reading the book is like taking a historical tour of popular music. I'll be honest here and admit I skipped ahead a bit (although I went back and read the whole book) to the chapter on U2, my favorite band. As she does in the rest of the book, she pulls no punches and offers up what I think are valid criticisms of my "boys". (So, yeah, WHEN is that new album coming out again? Or as she says, "The more successful bands become the longer it takes between albums.") She also offers some very pointed criticism of Madonna (no real talent, only ambition.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

MS MR (a guy, a girl, and electronica)

It's been just over a year since MS MR (pronounced Mis Mister) released their debut album, Secondhand Rapture. Just think: a full year I could have been listening to this wonderful electronic album! I first came across MS MR on a flyer for the Rialto Theatre back in April. The group opened for Grouplove in a show that I probably should have attended (alas, 20/20 hindsight and all that...)

A few days later, I was browsing Freegal and noticed MS MR as one of the featured artists. Not wanting to ignore the signs of the universe, I decided to give this group a listen...and now here I am writing a blog post inviting you to do the same.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Donna's Crayons

I've been hopelessly in love with the Queen of Disco since I first discovered Donna Summer's music back in the '70s.  Her disco-era releases remain fundamental to the genre, from the 16 minute "Love To Love You Baby" (which helped popularize the extended mix), the synthesizer-driven "I Feel Love" (which birthed Eurodisco--and still sounds cutting-edge today), to the best of her dance music "concept" albums (Once Upon A Time, a modern retelling of the Cinderella tale, and Bad Girls, which tackles prostitution from the perspective of a streetwalker).  While her releases following the "death of disco" became infrequent and disappointing, her last album, Crayons, made a good case for the immortality of the Queen.  Thanks to PCPL's partnership with Freegal, one can get free and legal downloads of not only the entire album, but also remixed versions and a "bonus" track originally released only on iTunes and the European edition of Crayons.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Browsing the Wealth of Freegal Offerings

Hello music blog readers!  Just a short dispatch this week to let y'all know about the Freegal browse feature if you are not already aware.  I was poking around Freegal, and as opposed to searching directly for an artist as I normally do, I hit the "Browse A-Z" button so as I could peruse the catalog.  Lo and behold, it was a wealth of information!  Please read on to learn about the browse feature.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Day the Music Died

                   A blog about Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper

I love Netflix- I've been catching up on all kinds of movies I haven't seen in, well, ever. Or in some cases seeing ones I watched during childhood. Recently two music biopics I watched got me thinking about "The Day the Music Died" which was February 3, 1959- when a plane crash claimed the lives of musicians Buddy Holly, Richard Valenzuela "Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.

The first of two movies I saw is "La Bamba" (click the link to order the movie) which is about the very short life of high schooler Ritchie Valens, who grew up in California. The film stars Lou Diamond Phillips and portrays the young musician's influence on the Chicano rock movement. When Ritchie died at the mere age of 17...  (17!) he already had songs like 'Donna' and 'Come on Let's Go' and 'La Bamba' as huge hits on the radio.