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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why I Don't Like Miley Cyrus

When it comes to Miley Cyrus I think of her as annoying, obnoxious, and quite frankly becoming less and less talented as she does more music.  When it comes to her modern music I get two themes from it,  twerking and seeing how outrageous she can be, as shown by the video below

I'm not going to get on her case about her look because being a fan of visual kei I have seen some over the top looks myself.  However, what makes them different from her is that they are good musicians and their songs have meaning that goes deeper then their image.  For Example, The Gazette, Guren

As you can see, the band's look is different to say the least, but their music is good, it's deep sounding with a deep message.  Miley Cyrus at fist had that deepness with songs like the Climb.

While I don't think that the music was the best in the world it had depth and it had a good message about pursuing your goals even with all the obstacles that are in the way.  She has lost that now and is all about being over the top.  With her outrageous videos and outrageous behavior, it makes it hard to take her seriously. The song wrecking ball could have been a great breakup song with depth but with her sexual behavior in the video distracts from that and you have a hard time taking in the message that lyrics portray and that is not good.  Now with songs like Dooo it and BB Talk I just can't take her seriously at all anymore. Miley Cyrus is part of the reason that I wanted to look into more music abroad and see what the world had to offer. Because of her trying to just be more and more over the top she has lost substance in her music and even if there is substance her videos are so outrageous that you can't take it seriously.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Gazette Toxic Album

This is with out of a doubt one of my favorite Gazette albums ever. These guys are my favorite band and this album plays a big part in that.  With it having in your face songs like vortex.

To the all around  riffs of shiver

This is an album worth checking out.  If you love alternative metal you will like because of all the elements they throw in that you do not see a lot of metal bands using.  If you like in your face rock n' roll you will like it because of all the heavy driven songs in it.  It's very diverse but you still hear how unique the band is through Ruki's vocals and the melodic leads of guitarist Uruha. There are very few albums these days where you will want a physical copy but this is one that is worth the money.     It's available on Itunes, Amazon, and Ebay. Go get it now!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Local Heroes

We hear all the time about how musicians are inspired by certain bands, usually a very famous one.  However, sometimes people that you see locally can be just as and sometimes even more inspiring than a person's musical influences.  I am going to talk about my three local heroes and how they inspired me.

1.  Tiago D' Errico

Tiago is a man of many talents, he is a music director, guitarist, singer, bassist, keyboarder, and drummer.  I remember the first time I saw him playing guitar and was blown away by not only his skills, but his musical diversity. When I see him on stage he is very melodic with his guitar leads and usually does a combination of power chords and open chords.  However, off stage I would hear so many different styles ranging from metal to blues to classical.  When I first talked to him I was surprised to learn that one of his favorite bands was actually Sepultura, a heavy metal band from Brazil.  It was because of Tiago that I started my voyage to become more diverse in music myself.  Before I met Tiago I was a thick headed Rock n' Roll purist who only listened to rock and it had to be in the English language. After fantastic conversations with him I learned to venture out more and see what the rest of the world had to offer, even if it wasn't in English.

2. Tessa Ashton

    Tessa Ashton is with out a doubt one of the best singers I have ever heard, in my top 3 easily.  Having been going to church all my life I have heard many singers and none have ever sounded as great or  moved a crowd as well as this women does.  When she sings you can hear the soul, depth, and authenticity in her voice. Along with that she is a great communicator. Sometimes when I hear people talking in between songs I start to think "stop talking and get to the next song", but with Tessa I am able to take in what she says and think about it after she leaves the stage.  What I learned from Tessa was don't  be someone your not, because when do it hurts the music you make and it effectsthe message you are trying to portray. It's because of Tessa that I wanted to start writing lyrics and realized what my message is.

3.  Carolyn Kim

  Like Tessa, Carolyn is a great singer and communicator. When she sings you can get the emotion and realism in her voice.  She also a very positive person and you know that when you talk to her. No matter the situation she is in, she is always able to find light in it.  I remember talking to her once after my grand father passed and even in the midst of my own grieving she encouraged me to try to keep going and to use my lyrical writing as way to let it out through song.  Shortly after that I wrote lyrics for a song called Even Now, a tribute song to my grand father.  What I learned from that was how to take my own life situations and through song communicate it to an audience that feels the same way I do at that moment.  I never would of discovered my ability to do that if it wasn't for Carolyn.  

These three people may not have been the biggest influence on me musically, but where they did influence me was my philosophy.  If it wasn't for these people I might still be the thick headed rocker I was years ago. I wouldn't know my message and I would've ultimately ended up playing for bands that I wouldn't be happy in. It's because of these people that I know what my direction is and that is one of the most important things in music. I hear people all the time say how they enjoy playing with the big time acts of the world and while that is great, for me there is no one I want to play on stage with more then these people.         

Friday, February 19, 2016

Gackt Jesus Review

Gackt is one of the most popular singers in Japan with a wide range of music.  Even though you can tell that rock is the center of his music he throws in a lot of elements ranging from pop to metal.  This is one of his more songs that is closer to metal.  Now with the song title when you hear or see a song titled Jesus you think it is either going to be about embracing God or rejecting God.  This song is actually neither of those topics.  At first you might think it is an anti God song but it is actually a song about suicide.  The video shows what appears to be a Nazi soldier soldier from world war 2 contemplating on taking his life.  Now I love this music video, it is almost like a short movie with the video focusing on this guy questioning weather he should live or die and not knowing how it will end. Not only the story but the atmosphere fits the music perfectly.  The song is very dark and this dark room matches that perfectly. I love it when a music video not only matches a songs mood but matches a songs message and this music video does both.  Now the music, I love the music a lot, it is not super technical but for a song like this where you are supposed to be focused on the messaged it doesn't need to be.  As for Gackt's voice and singing, I think he is a good singer, he knows his range and limits and he is able to perform well with what he can bring to the song.   The guitar solo is a little repetitive but it isn't long enough to get annoying and boring so I think it works.  I'm not a big fan of the bands look in this video but the video and music makes up for it.  This video and music are really good and you can tell that Gackt is trying to send a message about suicide awareness and not just simply trying to make a hit with this song and that for me is a big plus. I love songs that make you think and have authenticity to them and don't just focus on having a good time.  As for people who think that this is an attack on Christianity or an attack on God I say relax.  I am a Christian and I did not get any such message from this song. In fact, I would say you could actually that it is for Jesus.  My verdict on this song is a 4 out of 5. This song is on Itunes I recommend you get it now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Marshall Tucker Band An Underrated Band

 "Can't You See"

"Take The Highway"

When it comes to Southern Rock there are many underrated bands, but these guys, The Marshall Tucker Band, I feel  should be up there with Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers band on the top tier of Souther Rock bands. Most people who know of this band at all know them for their one hit,"Can't You See", but these guys have so many more songs than that. When you look into their catalog and listen to songs like "Take The Highway"and "This Ol' Cowboy" you will learn that their actual lead singer was Doug Gray, not Toy Caldwell. Caldwell's main role was as lead guitarist. They played a nice combination of Country, Blues, and Jazz and of course Rock.  Unlike  most bands that consist of only vocals, guitar, bass drums, and piano/keyboards, these guys threw flute and sax into the mix with Jerry Eubanks. His flute playing along with his occasional sax work added a distinct jazz feel. To my surprise when I discovered them I actually thought these instruments were a nice addition and didn't hurt them like other band's sound. Toy Caldwell also had an interesting method of playing guitar. Instead of using a pick he would pluck the strings using his thumb, and instead of a tremolo bar he would bend the string behind the bridge in order to acieve that whammy bar effect, something that you don't see too often in electric guitar players  (with the exception of Jeff Beck!),  From 1975-1981, like most southern rock bands they were successful and had a great career, but sadly when 80's disco, pop, rock, and techno grew in popularity they became a cult band at best.  It is unfortunate because not only were they all talented musicians, but they really were a band with a unique sound even for their time. While they still have one song that has stood the test of time they have so much more to offer if you look into their extensive catalog.  "Carolina Dreams","Searchin' For A Rainbow" and "Where We All Belong"as well as their self titled album are all great, and worth checking out, I highly recommend checking them out.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Attitude Towards KPop Group "Girls Generation"

Through out my life I had heard many styles of music and ultimately I chose to be a rocker.  I came to love rock n roll because of the variety with genres like Heavy Metal, Classic, and Prog Rock. Rock N Roll is and always will be my main music style.  While I have come to appreciate other genres of music, one that I still have trouble embracing in pop. while there are some exceptions, with a few artists, over all I could not stand pop. Lyrically it was all the same, songs about sex, partying, love ballads, and look how sexy I look.  Artists like Nicki Minaj, Kesha, Justin Bieber, and worst of all, Miley Cyrus drove me nuts and are what made me start looking abroad musically, Japan is still my favorite country musically with all the diversity, and then the big YouTube video Gangnam Style by PSY came out.  That video was my first introduction to Kpop and while I found the video entertaining it did not distract me from how repetitive and lack of substance the music was.  With that I did not have much confidence in what Kpop had to offer, then I discovered Girls Generation.  At first I thought it would just be like American Pop, but I was wrong. First of all, while they have some sex appeal it was not the biggest factor in their music.  They don't wear outfits supper revealing like in the U.S. and for me that is great because it is sending a message to focus on what we are singing and not how we look.  the second thing is that they are all good singers, they have good voices and  even though their is 8 (used to be 9) members they are able to make the songs flow well with no one being too dominant.  Another thing I like about them is how well they work together.  No one in this group has a huge ego and no one thinks it is all about them, they constantly support each other and are good friends.  Lastly I like that songs are over all more positive and more depth then a lot of American pop.  Instead of singing about wanting to have sex with the guy, with the exception of 1 song, they sing about wanting to have a good relation ship with the guy. This was refreshing for me after seeing and hearing all the pop in America, Girls Generation is a group I openly support.  When I discovered that they beat out all the American Pop stars and won video of the year at the 2013 YouTube Awards I was really happy, even though some people think it's wrong that they won I say it's about time. Girls Generation is more then having a great body and sex appeal, they are very uplifting, they are talented, they are worth checking out.  This doesn't mean that I have embraced the Kpop genre as a whole but this group is one that deserves to be right up there with some of the biggest pop stars in America and I hope they achieve that someday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shinedown Sound of Madness

The Sound of Madness

When it comes liking a full CD, record, or album these days it is difficult to say the least. With our IPhones allowing us to pick and choose what songs we like it is easy not to listen and take in a good album for all it has to offer. however, if there is one album I can enjoy listening to from beginning to end it is Sound Of Madness by the band Shinedown.  From the build up in the beginning with Devour to the soft ending with Call Me every song is great.  It's a nice mixture of in your face heavy rock n roll and nice easy listening power ballads. Most people who have heard of this album but are not a big fan of Shinedown know it only for the song, Second Chance.  While I do think that it is a good song there is so much more on it then that.  Songs like If You Only Knew and Crow And The Butterfly are all very good and in my opinion better then Second Chance.  Even the songs that are not hits like Sin With A Grin and Breaking Inside are great songs, very well written and very well composed. With the deep voice of singer Brent Smith, the combination of soft acoustic, heavy melodic guitar playing of Zach Myers, and the producing aid of their bass player Eric Bass makes Sound Of Madness a great album to listen to from beginning to end.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Unite: Meaning Review

I remember when I first discovered this band last year while browsing YouTube.  The first song I heard from them was a song called (REV), and that caught my attention and made me investigate the band more. That is when I discovered this song, Meaning.  The first thing I will point out is the bands look.  While they are not the worst looking band in the Visual Kei genre, in my opinion, their look is still not something I would be quick to embrace.  I have never been a big fan of guys painting their nails or the amount of make up they have on, although I will admit they actually are wearing cloths meant for guys unlike some bands. As for video, I like it, simple, not over the top, and I can still take in the song.  The music is in the middle in terms of heaviness and style. Unlike in the US where in order to be Metal you have to be angry and loud Japan allows a lot more diversity and this song shows it. The 2 guitars players Lin and Shiina Mio with their combination of heavy deep rhythm and Thin Lizzy dual lead style show cases this.  Even though they are playing distinct different styles they don't over power each other and they have figured out a way to make the styles work together which is something I love a lot.  The singer in this band, Yui, show cases a higher vocal range. While I don't think he is the greatest singer in the world his voice works very well for this band. I think of him like Geddy Lee of Rush, he has a style that fits his band and his band alone, same thing for Yui.  I think this song is good, it is well put together, I love the different styles of metal and soft rock I hear through out the song and the simplicity of the video allows me to still take in the song and enjoy the music. My verdict is 4 out of 5.


What's up everybody, if there is one thing I love more then anything in the world is music. For me, music  is more then just entertainment, it is a way of communication, therapy, and a good way to get through the day.  In this blog I will review and talk about things happening in music, that doesn't only include the U.S.  I listen to music from all over the world, Japan, Europe, South America, Korea, and much more. Check it out and see what is happening in the Awesome world of music