Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Eminem

Remember when I said I liked the new, more passionate Eminem? Well his latest released track is pretty much the opposite, sounding like it was straight off Relapse.

The beat is really simple, nothing overly complicated. Same drum beat the entire time with I think I counted 6 total chords from the synthed orchestra. Again this leaves a lot of room for Eminem to fool around with his syllable emphasis.

The main thing I liked about this song is it's the first one I've ever heard with B.O.B where he wasn't completely annoying or terrible. Lets be frank, this guy in the past hasn't really shown that he is a good rapper. Yeah it's a style that is different from others (such as Drakes) however his overall popularity should be a reflection of how good it actually it, which is not very.

But yeah, in this track, he killed it. His best verse of his career imo, mainly because he didn't try his crappy random overemphasis of words and changing pitch like an excited 12 year old. Still nothing compared to Eminem, but amazing compared to his career.

All in all, decent track, but there are others I would much rather listen too, even off Relapse itself.

Thoughts and comments appreciated

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Browsing around youtube tonight, here is another track from EvoloutionOfTrance he put out a few weeks ago.
After a hectic weekend and a stressful few weeks to come, the serenity and calming effect of this one is really nice. Only complaint really is that it's so short.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hey guys, big night tonight.

I saw a couple pretty amazing bands the past couple nights that I want to get the word out about. The 2 main ones being the Sheep Dogs and Harlan Pepper. I know the Sheep Dogs already have a small following going and there was actually talk of them possibly getting on the cover of Rolling Stone sometime in the near future.
Harlan Pepper are a small group of teenagers but man these guys are talented, great voices and good songwriting ability.

So yeah, I'll be talking more about these guys and a couple more this week as well as what goes on tonight.

Also to the comment on the last post JunoFest is a 2 day music festival around the city of Toronto leading up to the Juno's which happen tonight. It was something like 105 total concerts over a 2 night period and you could get an all access wristband for $30 which is pretty decent when you consider that some really big acts were playing (such as Billy Talent on friday night at the Opera House).

Did anyone in Toronto see any good concerts the past couple nights?

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Morning guys,

Just want to ask you to please excuse my absence this weekend. I'm going to be working at a couple of different venues for the festivals leading up to the main Juno night. If I see anything awesome I'll try to snap a few photos to throw up. Hope you all have a good one and see you next week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I light of last nights review, I felt like cheering myself up

This is a unicorn, as you can see I am very artistic.

I know, I know what am I still doing in school when I can produce works that will go down in history with the likes of Michelangelo, Picasso and Botticelli.

You don't have to say anything, just sit back and bask in my greatness.


Rebecca Black

First of all 2 apologies are in order, the first for my absence. I've been fighting off a pretty tough cold and still had to deal with school and all of that fun stuff so I haven't really had too much time to type much up.
The second is for the topic today.

We've all at least heard about this video, if not then you probably only realized the internet existed yesterday. This thing has even found it's way on to select radio stations, if not the song itself then at least the topic of it's popularity.

I'm not really going to discuss the music too much, more so how it came into being. However here are a few quick thoughts on this piece of "music"

The first thing most people notice is that this thing has auto tune. In fact, this song alone has brought the idea of auto tune forward to many people who did not know existed. The effect itself hasn't been in existence for that long and it has only been in the past year or 2 that people even became aware of it.
This song gave it a great deal more attention then it previously had which I think is a good thing because people want artists to actually be able to sing without computer aids.

An interesting fact about auto tuners (this comes from a colleague who was actually at the show in a position to be setting up/tearing down effects) Britney Spears at one of her recent concerts was actually routed through 3, that's right 3, auto tuners (or pitch shift/correct as it is called in the industry). The reason for this is to get the correction on her notes without sounding like Rebecca Black. The other 2 pitch-shifters are there solely to smooth out the first ones effect.

So yeah, lots of auto tune, she sounds like a robot sometimes for gods sake.

Next up is the lyrics. What honestly is there to say other then some dumb ass at the Ark Music Factory (the hellhole this song came from) is sitting at a desk there pumping out as many songs as he possibly can just so these spoiled teens have something to sing. We'll address the company itself later, however the fact that these lyrics were obviously pumped out like any production line product really doesn't add to the song. It's mindless, enraging, annoying, pretty much everything negative, there is really nothing positive you can say about the lyrics.

Rebecca Black is 13. Anyone else find it odd that there was a 20+ gangster not only in her video, but also "rapping" about following the bus? Who in their right mind thought that this would play at all into the videos original concept. Also last time I checked, 13 year olds can't drive, so as to which seat you should take Rebecca, try the short bus where you belong.

It is being argued all over how much Ark Music Factory is actually making off of this video. I've heard people saying that Black herself is making ~$25k a week from it which would lead me to believe (if that number is accurate) that the company is making $80k-$100k a week from it. Going straight through this company, she will only be receiving artist royalties along with the performance and (but hopefully not) mechanical royalties from any radio play. However looking through the info I can find on this company, they seem like the types that will bleed you dry, no matter the age. I can almost promise that they are making at the very least 75% on any income she receives by acting as everything from manager to promoter to distributor. This figure is probably much higher because of the low cost on their end to fully produce a music video and put it into the market so I'm really leaning more toward 85% or higher.

So yeah, the "company" or whatever they choose to classify themselves as are dirtbags.

Now all of this is fine an dandy because truly, the worst thing about this whole situation is the public reaction. There is no reason on the face of this earth, or any other planet in Charlie Sheen's case, this video got the coverage it did. The blame mainly lies on the internet, taking it's turn to troll the hell out of the girl and do all they can to make sure this video goes where it belongs, down the toilet. The issue with this is because the video suddenly was flooded with views (even though they were for negative reasons) it spiked up the trending spots on youtube and quickly became the top video. Thankfully, for my own sanity, youtube doesn't pay out like it used to so she is gaining very little income from them. This is when the entire worlds population of tweens with access to the internet discovered their next superhero.

Hate me all you want for saying this; Justin Beiber can actually sing. I've seen multiple live performances on TV as well as know some of the tech staff that put on his show in Toronto. This kid, while 50% of the world hates him, actually has talent. Rebecca Black does not. With years of practice and coaching, she might one day have a somewhat respectable voice, but if you've watched that video of her singing acoustically, it's fucking awful. She sings like you would expect any average 13 year old girl to sing, like a little girl with no training. It really makes you understand why they auto tuned the shit out of her on the video. People are praising her, calling her the next Beiber, but as soon as the world (not just the youtube lurkers) hear her sing live her "career" is over. This girl has absolutely no talent when it comes to singing, I'm sure she's probably nice and a good student and all of that, but singing currently is one of her major weak points.

All in all this post is sort of hypocritical because of what I am going to ask of all of you. Ignore this girl, ignore any media attention about this girl, call in and complain if you hear it on the radio and most importantly, tell your friends and family to do so as well. This is a media driven society, her fame will last only as long as people pay attention to her. We stop listening, they stop covering it.

Bon Jovi was recently cited as saying Steve Jobs ruined music. Places like the Ark Music Factory ruined music, I mean come on, it even has fucking factory in the name. Are production line songs really what we want to be listening to in 5 years? because if we keep giving videos like this attention, the industry will shift towards producing them because it is what is making money. Do your future selves a favor, ignore this abomination and let it settle back into the bottom of the toilet before it causes an even greater shitstorm.

Please excuse the language in this post, it is a bit more then normal. I'm sure you can all understand where it is coming from in regards to this video, however I am honestly shocked and appalled at how much attention this thing has received. And more so ashamed that it was my generation that made it possible.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

ps - here is the death metal version
you know you want to watch it

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Movie Soundtracks

Hello everyone,
Sorry these have been less common then I intended so far, been fighting off a nasty cold and trying to catch all the rest I can.

Movie soundtracks are just amazing lets face it, they were written to make us feel really whatever the composer wanted us to feel whether it is inspired, scared, anxious or tranquil. Personally my favorite movie composer of all time is Hans Zimmer (who I'll post some examples of) but all in all, those writing music for movies are doing a dam fine job. Being a Hans Zimmer fan I was sort of disappointed when he got robbed at the Oscars for best score but even the Social Network had a decent score so I guess I'll live.

So Hans Zimmer, what else can I say. It's actually quite difficult for me to pick only a few songs to share because everything he writes is so amazing. I'll try to keep it to things people may not have heard before, because we've all heard Pirates of the Caribbean too many times to count.

First up a bouncy little melody from Madagascar. I'm hoping not many people will have heard this before as I only discovered it a few months ago browsing around on YouTube. I never saw the movie so I can't really speak for how well it fits in but from what I've seen through commercials and such, it seems like it would have perfectly. 

We've all seen Armageddon, most of us probably even cried when the mighty Bruce Willis sacrificed himself, and we've defiantly all been exposed to Don't Wana Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. However, Hans Zimmer composed the rest of the music for this movie and among it are some of the most moving melodies you will ever come across. 

Finally for Zimmer I wanted to share the soundtrack from Crimson Tide, a wartime movie focused around a submarine. This is the classic Zimmer epic soundtrack, lots of thumping bass that makes for a quite powerful theme. I've only seen bits and pieces of this movie but again, the music fits it quite well and adds that much more to the overall product.

Moving away from Hans Zimmer to a lesser known composer, Steve Jablonsky. This gem gave us the soundtrack for Transformers. Now I know the movie itself really wasn't that great and I stand by the fact that people only really enjoyed it because of the soundtrack. Again, it may be your classic epic french horn theme and whatnot but I still think it's great to just sit back and listen too.

Anyways, there is a lot more out there. I've spent countless hours just browsing around YouTube for different soundtracks and there are so many more that I want to share, and I probably will in a future post. What is your favorite movie soundtrack? and doesn't even have to be a full soundtrack, maybe just a single song from any movie?

And if I haven't won you over to team Zimmer yet, he composed the music for Gladiator, nuff said.

As always your comments are appreciated

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Video Game Music

For the most part, music in video games is just there to help provide a certain mood and is not really thought to be a headlining aspect of it. But throughout the rise in popularity of video games over the past decade, a few games and even series' have shown us some that video game music can be more then just a pathetic fallacy.

Now, we are all familiar with the Super Mario Bros. theme song and I'm sure if I started to hum Tetris many would join in but because gaming remains such a closed culture, there are many many pieces that remain completely unknown to the greater public.

There are arguments all over the place concerning the "Best" music in a video game but as with pretty much anything in life, this is quite a subjective position to take and I'd like to remind you that these are my personal favourites and if I've left anything out that you feel are worth a mention, feel free to leave a comment.

Personally my favourite soundtrack (and game actually) comes from Golden Sun for the gameboy advance.
The first video is the soundtrack from your hometown which is a complete rip off of fly me to the moon. This is one of the more simple and relaxed soundtracks in the entire game but highlights the main instruments that are present in the rest of the games music.

One thing to keep in mind, while the "instruments" sound like bad electronic versions, this was made quite a while ago and on a cartridge that is pretty small. The company that made this game, Camelot, uses close to the same instruments in all of it's games and the sound is one I've grown to love.

This second video is probably my favourite song in the entire game. It happens on the last main level of the story and really makes you feel like everything you've worked for is coming to an end and that you will be victorious.

Last from this game actually comes from the first "dungeon" located inside your hometown. One thing to keep in mind when listening to all of these is that as with all video game music, it would be looping in the background constantly. I felt this was a good example because of how well it reflects something able to be looped without getting too old and annoying.  The first half is significantly more interesting, sort of drawing your attention to it, while the second half is more like background music allowing you to sort of ignore it. This is why I feel it works so well, it is not constantly demanding your attention but when it does, it delivers something that sounds great.

Anyways, there is much more out there in terms of great video game music, I just wanted to share some from my favourite game. At some point I'll probably continue the topic and go through some other games but I wasn't feeling too hot today and just wanted to get some content done. What is your favourite video game music? I know a lot of people like the music from Square Enix games, but I'm curious if there are any great soundtracks to some not as well known games.

As always, your thoughts, opinions, and comments of great praise are appreciated.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Moving in a slightly different direction today, this is also not so much about any specific song however I will put in a few links.

I'm curious about how many people actually listen to trance music, by choice, and not only when at clubs/raves/what have you. I was introduced to it a little late in my listening career which was quite unfortunate because some of the things people manage to put together are just astounding.

The following link is for a song called Dark Angel which was put together by DJ Centaury & Wavetraxx

This is one I find myself frequently returning to mainly because of how it sends your mind on a journey. This piece is considered "Epic" or "Fantasy" trance which once you've listened to it you'll understand why. It has always fascinated me how these artists manage to build something so complex really out of nothing.

The classic trance scheme revolves around the beat which normally doesn't change through the entire piece. Some have a base line, others rely on a low synth pedal along with some sort of floating synth in the mids to dictate the chords. The magic of all of this is how simple the lines are, they almost effortlessly evoke any number of emotions ranging from tranquility to hope. 

Another example, though one I don't really listen to as much is Believe by Chris Da House vs. DJ Sledge Hammer

This one is more of a vocal song, with the main melody actually being sung (yes I know it's funny) as opposed to being all synth. I found many people I've discussed this with actually prefer this style because it's easier to discern a melody instead of having to pluck it out of multiple synth lines all moving at the same time. Personally, my favorite part of this piece is the little bridge at ~1:40 because unlike those who I've talked to, I prefer synth melodies and this is one I feel could be a song on it's own.

Finally I want to share a piece that is much more mellow, with no real driving bass or beat to it. It's from a guy I found on youtube named EvolutionOfTrance who has put out some really great music.

This is more of what I think of when I hear the word trance. Really laid back and yet just as powerful as the first one I linked. It doesn't quite grow as much as the others but still follows the pattern of slowly adding parts until the "climax" and then removing them. If I had to describe this one in a single word it would be Calming. There is really nothing meant to excite in the entire thing, just to relax and listen as the title says. 

With all posts I'm going to try and ask a couple questions at the end, if not to spark a discussion then to hopefully get you thinking about the music. I know this is a style that is associated with ravers and Eurodance clubs but as with all types of music, I hate that we place such restrictions on it and want to raise awareness on different styles or artists you would not normally listen to.
So my first question would have to be; Have you ever really listened to trance music? Just on it's own to listen to it as you would any other song. I'm not much of a club goer but I do really enjoy most trance.  
Also I tried providing 3 different styles, have you heard of any others that you think deserve mention? Which of the three do you prefer?

As always your opinions and thoughts are most welcome.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Dre+Eminem "I Need a Doctor"

First off if you haven't heard it yet here's the link
Contains explicit language so avoid if you're at work

On the video itself, I think it's quite well produced. The videos of the old crew together brings back memories. This is all happening in Dre's memories as he's driving around until he gets in a quite spectacular accident.

The new, more emotional Eminem then comes in, with a tribute to Dre who is lying on a futuristic operation table. I have to say I like the new Eminem, his words seem so much more powerful and emotional now then they were before (with a few exceptions). As always his method of moulding lyrics around the beat is masterful and is just as important to the underlying beat as the kick and snare.

Dre did better then I expected, I haven't been to fond of some of his more recent tracks but here he keeps it nice and simple which really compliments Eminem's more rhythmically complicated style.

The hook is provided by Skylar Grey which is really comparable to Rihanna's hook in Love the Way You Lie off Recovery. In fact, apart from the obvious lyrical differences, it sounds almost the same. Hopefully she'll preform it live better then Rihanna does.

Personally this is the style of rap I'm more drawn to. It's emotional, powerful and catchy, something that everyone can really get into (provided you don't mind a few profanities). If it was up to me, I would drop down the beeping phaser in the verse a bit and bring in a bit more piano but otherwise I think it sounds great and is something I would like to see more of in the future.

My only real criticism is I wish it went on longer so I didn't have to keep switching tabs to replay it


The Oscars

On a side note, I know on CTV when Melissa Leo dropped the F-Bomb we heard it loud and clear but I'm curious if people heard it on other stations. All I know for sure is that some idiot lost his job because he forgot to put on the 7 second delay we've all grown to know and love



I'm starting this up to get some discussion flowing on the current direction of all and any types of music, whether they be the general stuff you hear on the radio or the growingly popular home dubstep creations. Expect to see reviews of most major performances around Toronto as well as my thoughts on performances on TV.