New CD Day

It still blows my mind how fortunate I am when it comes to random CD purchases. I don’t think I’ve bought one CD that I have flat-out hated. Obviously, I’ve bought some that are better than others (Cranes immediately come to mind, as do Postal Service, Folk Implosion, Atherton, Absentstar)

So today is one of those days where I just had to get out for lunch. I found myself wandering up to the local used CD shop. For those in Salt Lake, you know what I mean when I say “Gray Whale.” Can anyone touch them?!

Here’s what I walked out with.

Sugarplum Fairies—Chinese Leftovers
The Swimmers—Fighting Trees
The Pale Pacific—Urgency
Phaser—Sway
Lisa Germano—Happiness
Lisa Germano—Lullaby for a Liquid Pig
Lisa Germano—Geek the Girl
The Fizzies—Contest Popularity
The Apes—Ghost Games
Audio Learning Center—Cope ark
Audio Learning Center—Friendships Often Fade Away
Firescape—Dancehall Apocalypse

How’s THAT for a list? The Sugarplum Fairies disc was far and away the most expensive at $8, followed by The Swimmers at $5. Most everything else was between $2-4. With some trade-ins, my total bill was $7.75. I can handle that.

Apparently, this Sugarplum Fairies band has been around for a while. I thought I had their first CD. Guess not. Ha ha! More to buy then!

I will also be picking up more Lisa Germano and Pale Pacific.

The Epic Battle Has Begun

I see that the newest edition of The Clone Wars started again tonight on Fox. You know the show: where thousands upon thousands of Americans brave the sardonic wit of one Simon. Lucky us … two hours of dreamers throwing themselves at the mercy of a bunch of judges who bravely search for those who sound exactly the same as every other top 40 pop artist.

My wife called me from her girls’ night out to ask me to record the auditions. Admittedly, some of those can be pretty funny. But ya know what? Those people are putting themselves on the line. Again, admittedly, some of them have no business doing so. Some, on the other hand, might not meet Simon’s or the other judges’ approval, but really … who NEEDS their approval? One girl in particular had had vocal training for years and years. 2 vocal coaches. There were times tonight where she was a bit off key. So what? Nerves. Stand in front of that acerbic waste of sperm and egg and try NOT to be nervous. Some can do it. Those who do and put the twinkle in Simon’s eye get the big ticket to Hollywood.

So.

Effing.

What.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that you may or may not have already thought about to some degree: Randy, Simon, Spice chick and Other chick are just opinions. Not fact. Not the end-all.

I will concede that there are times that I agree with their opinions. Sometimes, it just doesn’t take a lot of effort to see that someone isn’t going to make it musically. That does NOT mean they’re always right.

Let me ask you a question: do you think Adam Young (of Owl City fame) cares what Simon or anyone else thinks of him? No. He just went out and wrote 3 CDs of music. He did all his own music, sang every track on every CD, and he started in his parents’ basement. HE didn’t audition for anything. He just made some cool music, threw it out there for public consumption, and bam–he took off.

I’m sure that I’m over-simplifying the process he followed to get to where he is today, but you get my point. You DO NOT need Simon to give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down. 99.99999% of musicians did not get their start on American Idol. That’s a fact. Hell, even William Hung managed to get a recording contract, and God bless him for his tenacity.

American Idol makes me sick. It really is a clone war.

Foray into Death Metal

It’s rare that a death metal band catches my attention. And truthfully, I’m not sure that “death metal” is a fair label for these guys because they have a pretty unique sound. Can you name any other bands that use a piano or orchestra with their speed metal? Yah … neither can I. Vocally, they’re different too. Most death metal bands have that low, guttural muttering that’s virtually unintelligible beyond “GRRRRRRRRAAAAWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ……..” Truthfully, it’s not my cup of tea.

Arcturus, by way of comparison, have incorporated a rather interesting vocalist in Kristoffer Rygg (gotta remember … these guys are Norwegian). He performs the vocals on their first 3 full length studio offerings: Aspera Hiems Symfonia (1996), La Masquerade Infernale (1997), and The Sham Mirrors (2002). Simen Hestnæs took over on vocals for Sideshow Symphonies. Currently, I’m listening to The Sham Mirrors on my iPod because it’s the only Arcturus material that I have, but I plan on getting the rest of their CDs as soon as I can.

I fully admit that I’m not familiar with the genre of music at all, so I’m not really “qualified” to make comparisons or anything of the such. However, I can tell you that these guys are good. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of their catalog … especially in hearing how Sideshow Symphonies sounds when compared to the other 3 studio recordings.

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