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  • The [insert original band name here]s

    31 May 2009, 1:29

    The more music I listen to, the more I can work out how much I'll like a band based on their name. Occasionally I'll muck up horrendously (The Acacia Strain) but often I can work it out and get awesome results ( Týr, Diablo Swing Orchestra and so on).

    One set of names I tend to avoid is bands that begin with 'The' and end in 's', ie: The Somethings. Now there are exceptions but that's not what this is about. Generally, these names conjure up connotations of Indie/hipster/pop bands which isn't my kind of music. However, I realised today, that if I transformed my favourite artists names by changing it into "The [band names]s" I could completely change my opinion on the name and on what I think they'd sound like. So what I figured I'd do, is take some of my top 20 (and one or two choice selections) and see how different they would seem with the change in title.

    The Jonathan Coultons:
    I'm not sure this one works too well. I think if he were really famous or a cult icon it could easily be a really infuriating indie band. I think "The Susan Boyles" would be a band that's name turned me off instantly. Feel free to take that name.

    The Dream Theaters:
    This sounds more like a concept album than a band. I think I would actually buy it if it were an album. If it were a band? Probably not. Sounds like they wouldn't really know english.

    The Parliaments:
    I'm too connected to Parliament, plus I know this was their name in there earliest incarnation, but I reckon this could have been a London based pop-punk band from the late 80s, early 90s. Would have fans that really should try different music.

    The Ayreons:
    This would definetely be a really obscure indie band that would be brought up at the end of a game of 'No way, I like way less famous bands than you' (probably as the killing blow). It would be described with words like "Comtemporary revival soul pop" or "Smooth anti punk indie folk" leaving no-one with any clue what they sound like. Would never have more than 13 fans due to them being 'too mainstream' when they hit 14, so they lose one. Would have 4 albums out before anyone knows who they are.

    The Pain of Salvations:
    While the name doesn't make a lot of sense, this would either be a hopeless emo "what's the point?" band or infact, exactly the same band as it is now, but with worse grammar and pronounciation.

    The The Lonely Islands:
    This partly works, but I wouldn't listen to it. Would probably be some californian folk group or a bunch of surprisingly old bald americans in an R.E.M. style band. Would be popular, but nobodies favourite band.

    The Black Mages
    This is one of the exceptions. Due to the instant link to videogames/fantasy/nerdy things, this band could never be an indie band, no matter how 'ironic' they're trying to be.

    The Pagan Minds (Pagan's Mind):
    Edited this a bit, because I think "The Pagan Minds" could easily be a 70s progressive rock group from some quiet english county. Or an anti-anti-anti-folk supergroup.

    The Seventh Wonders:
    This would absolutely be a 70s English Progressive Rock group.

    The Shadow Galleries (Shadow Gallery:)
    This would probably sound just like one of the bands listed above, but the name sounds great, so I'd make myself like it. That seems like a flaw of mine, revealing a rather shallow personality, but I'll ignore that for now. Probably a side-project turned main project by someone who has already done that so many times, you'll struggle to remember why you know them in the first place.

    The Strapping Young Lads:

    This one is what made me think of this whole blog idea. That band is so quickly transformed into a run-of-the-mill "Why are these guys 'groundbreaking'? They sound like everyone else..." artist with just 4 characters. It's rather ridiculous. With a name like this, this band could last an indie music generation (about 2 years in some version of the public eye). Would continue to make music for 15 years after everyone has forgotten them. I'm actually shocked this is not already a band's name.

    That's as far as I'll go. If you got this far, you've probably tried it with your own most played lists. Post if you have any as mindblowing as The Strapping Young Lads.

    So what have you learned? Firstly, names are important (remind me why I listened to Fairyland in the first place). Secondly if you can't think of a band name, slightly edit a current one. Love Starsailor? Here comes The Starsailors! No-one will notice.

    I may think about trying this in reverse. The more I think about it, the more I like Libertine as a name.

    (also: wow, what a journal drought...)
  • Last.fm Beta and its insight into Total Plays since Sep 2004

    28 May 2008, 10:50

    This is quite interesting, it seems that the Beta of Last Fm has recording ALL my artist plays since I joined (I've reset my charts twice before) and the order doesn't surprise me really but I suppose it just cements the fact that Dream Theater must be my favourite band. It's a bit odd to see all those plays (for me at least) but quite amazing to have listened to that much more DT than other bands over 4 years.




    So if you're a subscriber and have recently reset your charts I suggest you take a look at your beta page. Maybe you'll be a little surprised by how much you used to listen to certain artists.

    Also, quite amazing that Jonathon Coulton has made it onto the second page on my all time plays (25th place) despite me only having any of his material for 3 weeks.

    Edit: FU Last.FM and your tiny width on journals.
  • Understanding Noise Music

    6 Ene 2008, 13:02

    I've recently come into contact with music a few times with various artists and sections of songs and this has always confused me.

    Now I'm open minded enough not to slag it off but I really don't understand what it is, and how people can listen to it.

    Case in point: Pat Metheny and his album Zero Tolerance for Silence. My Dad bought this for about £3 thinking it was a standard jazzy Pat album. We were, needless to say, very suprised. I listened to it for about 10 minutes expected it to break out into normal Jazzy Pat any second. I was disapointed.

    Another is sections of Behold... the Arctopus songs that are basically, just noise. Shockingly, these sections are my least favourite. I usually skip the last section of Sensory Amusia for this reason.

    After looking on wikipedia (for the Lolrus really) I found out about a japanese noise artist called Merzbow (the link being he recorded a double album about the lolrus).

    Merzbow has apparantly recorded over 300 cds/lps etc.
    I mean, do his "songs" require any writing at all? He's been active for almost 30 years (according to his page). I've listened to a few songs (which admittedly is like, 1/1000th of all of his music) and I just don't get it. What is the appeal here?

    I'm trying not to be rude in this but explain to me why people enjoy this stuff? Bonus points if you don't sound like an egotiscal arty-farty while you do.
  • Beautiful Songs

    29 Dic 2006, 2:09

    There are some songs that surpass all others. When it's late at night, you're listening to some music on headphones and a track comes on that merely puts a smile on your face or a tear in your eye. You just sit there, quietly taking in all the song has to give and you just think to yourself. May it be about things that have happened recently that conjure up emotions, or thing that happen a long time ago such as the passing of a relative. But these song don't make you cry, they may bring a tear to your eye but they only follow with a smile and happiness that merely knowing that person, or having that memory is enough to remind you how brilliant life can be, even in it's worst times. For myself, these times come few and far between but there are songs that simply surpass all others when in this mood.

    Sitting alone and listening to Pink Floyd - The Great Gig in the Sky always make me smile and just reflect on my life, however short it may be. It's same feeling you get from a brilliantly touching movie but in 5 minutes, for that much to be felt time after time, in such a short space of time is truly extraordinary.

    Songs such as Ed Harcourt's Metaphorically Yours reminds me of friends and girlfriends and makes me think what could've been and what was, and maybe puts a tear in my eye but I always feel better for it.

    Even loud guitar solos such as the first solo in Cacophony's Images make me shudder and shake and feel such anguish and emotion, truly a talent on Marty Friedman's behalf. A short solo of around 20 seconds on a screeching guitar becomes one of the most beautiful, emotional and thought provoking pieces of music I have ever heard.

    So my recomendation for you is to take a step back for one evening, and listen to the beautiful songs that mean something to you. When you're feeling blue, or even if you feel happy, embrace these songs that are more beautiful than any human and more thought-provoking than a book.

    For now, I will listen to Symbion Project's Lacrymosa, and drift away.
  • Joe Satriani Live At The Hammersmith Apollo 20th June 2006

    21 Jun 2006, 9:57

    I went to see Joe Satriani last night at the Hammersmith Apollo and it was excellent. I went with my dad who enjoyed it in the end despite being adamant he wouldn't.

    It started off with Favoured Nations artist Johnny A who played a number of country and blues style tracks before playing a brilliant medley with songs such as Voodoo Chile by Hendrix and Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. He was very good and fortunetely played for 45 minutes instead of his designated 30.

    By the time 8:30pm rolled around Satch had started his super long introduction before he officially came on as soon as he started he played Flying in a Blue Dream. This went straight into The Extremist which left the crowd ready to rock. His first Super Colossal song was Redshift Riders which was met with a welcome reception. He then talked to the crowd, got another cheer for Johnny A. "Yeah, this guy called it. This is Cool#9". He played a brilliant bluesy introduction to this with a fantastic solo from Dave LaRue. It's a shame we didn't get another from Dave and we didn't (as usual) get a whole lot from Galen despite him joining in the solo of Super Colossal later in the show.

    Satch then went into a long rendition of a Cool New Way before playing crowd favourite: Satch Boogie.

    He went throughout playing brilliant songs and later into the evening the band would just go off track somewhere and just jam brilliantly. Most mentionable is Always With Me, Always With You which had the most fantastic added improv at the end. Brilliant.

    For the encore he played Crowd Chant (which actually worked with the crowd) and Summer Song to leave to a standing ovation.

    Awesome concert.

    ----Set-List----

    1) Flying In A Blue Dream
    2) The Extremist
    3) Redshift Riders
    4) Cool #9
    5) A Cool New Way
    6) Satch Boogie
    7) Super Colossal
    8) Just Like Lightnin'
    9) Ice 9
    10) One Robot's Dream
    11) Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing
    12) The Meaning of Love
    13) Circles
    14) Always With Me, Always With You
    15) Surfing With The Alien

    ----Encore----

    16) Crowd Chant
    17) Summer Song

    ----End----
  • Fav Artists beforte reset.

    17 Abr 2006, 13:42

    Note: This is for my reference, hence lack of connections.

    1
    Joe Satriani

    1274
    2
    Dream Theater

    804
    3
    Steve Vai

    482
    4
    The Mooney Suzuki

    473
    5
    Kanye West

    390
    6
    Steps Ahead

    323
    7
    "Weird Al" Yankovic

    321
    8
    Dragonforce

    294
    9
    The Black Mages

    279
    10
    Iron Maiden

    247
    11
    John 5

    228
    12
    Rhapsody

    218
    13
    Goldfrapp

    217
    14
    Lordi

    213
    15
    The Hellecasters

    202
    16
    Ed Harcourt

    185
    17
    Marty Friedman

    184
    18
    Frank Zappa

    174
    19
    Edguy

    153
    20
    Otis Redding

    150
    21
    Charlotte Hatherley

    145
    22
    The Zutons

    138
    23
    Quarashi

    135
    24
    Elvenking

    134
    25
    Queens of the Stone Age

    133
    25
    Scissor Sisters

    133
    27
    Boards of Canada

    124
    28
    Lee Ritenour

    122
    29
    Liquid Tension Experiment

    118
    30
    Eric Clapton

    116
    31
    Franz Ferdinand

    115
    32
    Hard-Fi

    114
    33
    symbion project

    107
    34
    Dan Castellaneta

    106
    35
    Stratovarius

    105
    35
    Rage Against the Machine

    105
    35
    My Chemical Romance

    105
    38
    Jordan Rudess

    100
    38
    Do Me Bad Things

    100
    40
    The Hamsters

    96
    40
    The Jelly Jam

    96
    42
    Floyd Cramer

    94
    43
    Gorillaz

    92
    44
    Luca Turilli

    91
    44
    Lemon Demon

    91
    46
    LCD Soundsystem

    89
    46
    James LaBrie

    89
    48
    John Petrucci

    86
    49
    Aretha Franklin

    84
    50
    Tailspin

    83
    Listen to music, see charts for Joe Satriani, Dream Theater, Steve Vai, The Mooney Suzuki, Kanye West

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    Top Tracks – Overall
    Generated: Monday Apr 17
    1
    John 5 - Zugg Island Convict

    37
    2
    Joe Satriani - Summer Song

    36
    2
    The Mooney Suzuki - Hot Sugar

    36
    4
    Joe Satriani - Ice 9

    33
    4
    Dragonforce - My Spirit Will Go On

    33
    4
    Tailspin - Juvenile

    33
    7
    Bowling for Soup - 1985

    32
    8
    Joe Satriani - War

    30
    9
    Joe Satriani - Friends

    29
    9
    The Mooney Suzuki - Alive & Amplified

    29
    11
    Joe Satriani - Surfing with the alien

    28
    11
    Steve Vai - Giant Balls of Gold

    28
    11
    Sonata Arctica - Ain't Your Fairytale

    28
    11
    The Mooney Suzuki - Sometimes Somethin'

    28
    11
    Lordi - The Devil Is a Loser

    28
    16
    Dream Theater - Another Day

    27
    16
    Steve Vai - Whispering a Prayer

    27
    16
    The Mooney Suzuki - Shake That Bush Again

    27
    16
    Steps Ahead - Trains

    27
    20
    Whitesnake - Kittens Got Claws

    26
    20
    Lordi - Blood Red Sandman

    26
    20
    The Mooney Suzuki - Messin' In The Dressin' Room

    26
    23
    Kanye West - Family Business

    25
    23
    Dragonforce - Above the Winter Moonlight

    25
    23
    Mousse T. - Is it 'Cos I'm Cool

    25
    26
    Dream Theater - Endless Sacrifice

    24
    26
    Dragonforce - Fury of the Storm

    24
    26
    The Mooney Suzuki - Legal High

    24
    26
    Sub Pop Sunday - When She's Gone

    24
    30
    Joe Satriani - Crushing Day

    23
    30
    Rhapsody - The March of the Swordmaster

    23
    30
    Rhapsody - Knightrider of Doom

    23
    30
    Joe Satriani - Always With Me, Always With You

    23
    30
    Dream Theater - Overture 1928

    23
    30
    Daymo - Three

    23
    36
    Joe Satriani - Cryin'

    22
    36
    Frank Zappa - Bobby Brown Goes Down

    22
    36
    Iron Maiden - Aces High

    22
    36
    Caesars Palace - jerk it out

    22
    36
    The Mooney Suzuki - Loose 'n' Juicy

    22
    41
    Joe Satriani - Midnight

    21
    41
    Joe Satriani - Love Thing

    21
    41
    Joe Satriani - Trundrumbalind

    21
    41
    Goldfrapp - Twist

    21
    41
    Marty Friedman - Cheer girl rampage

    21
    41
    Dragonforce - Dawn Over a New World

    21
    41
    Joe Satriani - Up in Flames

    21
    41
    Witches - There She Is !!!

    21
    49
    Joe Satriani - Why

    20
    49
    Joe Satriani - Raspberry Jam Delta-V
  • Band to Explore #7: Pain of Salvation

    12 Mar 2006, 16:39

    Huh, number 7 and another Progressive band. I'm pretty sure it's Prog Metal but I've not had much luck with calling bands that but anyway...

    Pain of Salvation are Swedish I think. Apparantly very good. They're pretty decent from what I've heard of downloaded tracks (from their site) so I'm not so much wanting songs but albums to try out..

    Oh, while I'm here, why does everyone love Daniel Gildenlow's voice?

    It's not that great...
  • Band to Explore #6: Grave Digger

    12 Mar 2006, 16:34

    Okee doke. Here once again, in my band's to explore series. We've reached number 6. I've heard some great bands along the way and have a pretty decent list of albums to get but I can't stop right here...

    Grave Digger is a Power Metal band. Not a clue where from but apparantly they're good. Geez... what else to say except thanks for any help with albums and songs.
  • Band to Explore #5: Porcupine Tree

    8 Mar 2006, 21:00

    I've had a break, but now it's back to more new artists.

    Porcupine Tree are a Prog Rock band. They might be English. I'm not sure.

    I've heard Shesmovedon and Blackest Eyes. Both are pretty good (Blackest Eyes being better in my opinion) so I don't know where to turn next. I've seen Deadwing for sale in HMV for the hefty sum of £16.99 but is it worth it?

    I'd prefer it to be heavier if possible, more like Blackest Eyes but I'm not too fussed.

    Thanks a lot.
  • The Path To Metal...

    26 Feb 2006, 16:52

    Just recently I thought to myself: "Hang on, how come I like metal? Where did that come from?" It's taken a while but I've got it. I will relay this to you in a Legendary Tale (of enchanted lands).

    It all started when I was about 8 with my Playstation and a game I borrowed off my friend. Wasn't a very popular game, Final Fantasy 7, you've probably not heard of it... Anyway I was playing through it when, about 30 minutes in I found a giant scorpion. It wasn't exactly imposing but anyway. The screen shattered then a new song played. The boss music which became synominous amongst my friends as: "DunnanaNADunnanaNADunnananononon". (it later became known as The Black Mages' track Those Who Fight Further). Little did I know, this track was the first song in the metal genre that I liked and would be the reason that I liked more metal when I tried it. Anyway, a few years on, continually listening to the Jazz and Blues my dad played me I finished Primary School and moved onto Secondary where names such as Metallica and Iron Maiden popped up over the place. That year was also the year I discovered Joe Satriani which helped my path with his music that, to me, was heavy. The following year when I was 12 I got more and more into Satriani and then...

    I was 13. A friend told me he had a track to play me. On the bus we sat down. He told me he had a CD of Jeff Campitelli's solo band. OK it wasn't his band but that doesn't matter. He played me a track called Acid Rain by Liquid Tension Experiment. I was stunned. It was one hell of ride. I listened to it a few times before he told me about Dream Theater, a then brand new band (after all, LTE were Jeff's band). I didn't listen to anything. I left it.

    I then went on heard some tracks that pretty much every metal fan listens to when starting out, (enter Sandman, Run to the Hills, you know the ones) and I liked them. They were quite good. About this age, 13, I played Final Fantasy 7 again. I got to the scorpion boss again and suddenly it all flowed back. I went on to meet a good friend of mine, Bryn, who was my connection to middle mainstream side of metal - in the UK anyway. He lent me all sorts of cds, Metallica's Black album, Justice for All, Maiden's Dance of Death. I thought this stuff was good. But not quite what I wanted, but then he dropped a bombshell. Ok, not literally, that would have been painful but a metaphorical one:


    Metallica - S & M (Disc I).

    I only thought of metal as crunchy guitar and so on and this changed that. It was then when I didn't have to pretend I loved metal music. I went on, looked about until when a friend and I were in HMV at a sale. He came up to me holding a disc priced at £6.99 with a tunnel on the front. It was a bit odd. Tunnel, eye, all in black and white with some writing at the bottom. Dream Theater - Train of Thought.

    "Remember them, I told you about them a while ago. Very Good Guitarist"
    "Oh yeah. The drummer is supposed to be good as well"

    So I bought it. My life wasn't changed. I listened. It was pretty good. I'd not heard Double Pedal drumming before. It was good but I got bored every so often. I was around on the internet when someone recommended me a band called Rhapsody. To be honest, I didn't listen (sorry Shieldsy). A week later in Early 2005 now, at the tender age of 14, I was on my way to a friend's house. I didn't like all the bands left behind after the 'Mosher' period, Slipknot and the like. I got to his house and he said, come upstairs a sec. We were on his PC when he said:

    "Oh, a cd I might get. Quite Cheesy but, oh well. Hang on"

    He got a disc out from Total guitar.

    "Hang on"

    He put it in his PC and selected a track.

    "My Spirit Will Go On by DragonForce. Ha-ha! Cheesy."

    I listened though. Wow... This stuff was something else. So brilliant that as soon as I got back home I ordered Sonic Firestorm. I was loving this. Keyboard in Metal? That's new, isn't it? It was then I fished out Dream Theater again. I was shocked. I had a mini star wars moment:

    "That's no guitar...

    It's a keyboard"

    I listened more and more. To me, DragonForce were the only artists that played this music. Although Audioscrobbler told me that Elvenking were similar. I heard. I bought. Good album this Wyrd.

    Soon after I downloaded a video off the internet; some guy pwning at some 2d fighter when, at the beginning I read the music credits. Rhapsody - Holy Thunderforce.

    A few minutes after I wondered why I didn't check them out before.

    From there it snowballed. I got Shieldsy to send me more Rhapsody. He discovered and sent me tracks by Stratovarius, Hammerfall. It went on and on...

    Sonata Arctica, Edguy, Nightwish, Blind Guardian.

    I was obsessed with Dream Theater. Got into heavier stuff; Moonsorrow and Symphony X most recently.

    To celebrate this, 7 years later, I bought both Black Mages albums. This is about the time I realised where this all came from. So what do I say?

    Thanks Nobuo.