This song is everything I love about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A slow, clean, yet effective guitar melody seamlessly blended with a slap-bass riff that would sound at home in a jazz or funk song, yet fits in this slow jazz/rock ballad as well. The Chili Peppers are the best of both worlds of funk rock- The fast paced songs that make you want to go do something important (Can’t Stop, Suck My Kiss, Higher Ground) and the ones that sit you down, chill you out, and bring you back down to earth (Scar Tissue, Under the Bridge, Snow). The song opens with a discorded, catchy-in-that-mellow-way guitar track, soon joined by the backgrounded drums, the up-front bass line, and the truly unique voice of Anthony Keidis. I particularly enjoy the enunciation and the drawl of his voice in the verse, and the backing vocals of the chorus help to enhance the transcendent sound of the song. In all honesty, I have no idea what this song is about. But sometimes that’s the best kind of song- one that you can construct your own meaning to. When I hear this song, it brings to mind slow dances, tender kisses, and nights spend with close friends, watching the stars. I think of love. I think of loss. I think of my girlfriend especially-but then again most slow songs bring her to mind. You’ll definitely hear me talking about these guys in the future.
One of my favorite songs of all time, Lazy Bones by Green Day. It’s off of the album ¡DOS!, one of the trifecta of new Green Day albums (¡UNO! ¡DOS! ¡TRE!). In these, the band largely digresses to their original punk-rock roots, playing songs reminiscent of Dookie and Nimrod, with simple yet effective chord changes, pounding, driving drums, and ska/surf, pop-punk, and jazz influences. The song begins with a simple drum beat, quickly followed by a fuzzy guitar riff that seems to merge grunge and ska/surf at the same time. The first verse contains a pair of Green Day-style contradictions, “I’m too tired to be bored/I’m too bored to be tired” and “The silence here is deafening, It’s like picking at a sore.” One of the things I love about this band is their love for twangy, discorded bass riffs (which I share). The bass picks up in the second half of the verse, adding a bit of a jazz feel to the medley, before exploding into a chorus of original pop-punk sound, supplemented by a driving open hi-hat and harmonic shouts by Billie Joe. The second verse further expands the song by adding a baja-style guitar strum on each upbeat and a clear studio solo in the second half. The song speaks of insanity and peace of mind, contemplation and resignation. A brief instrumental verse gives way to a complete stop, followed by an explosive solo of bent guitar strings, before coming to a final chorus and. The song in itself is a contradiction in that it’s extremely energetic but is entirely about being tired. Tired of other people, tired of a repeated situation, an ongoing problem. It’s truly a song that the common person can relate to. We all get tired sometimes. Of everything. We can all be lazy bones sometimes.
I love movies almost as much as music, lol. I’d say V for Vendetta. you?
These guys are one of the greats. Their eponymous debut album, released in 1992, changed the genre of rap-rock. Subsequent albums Evil Empire and Renegades were good, but can’t stand up to the revolutionary first album that shattered preconceptions about mixing two vastly different genres like rap and rock. The album reached triple platinum status, driven largely by the album’s single Killing in the Name, despite it only containing eight lines of lyrics. The band has always been known for their strong, left-winged political messages, and even helped to coin the term “political rock.” My favorite song off of the album is “Take the Power Back,” an angry, political bombtrack about the U.S government’s attempt to conform citizens to their ideal of the american dream, backed by a furious, dropped D powerhouse metal riff. The bass line begins four bars into the song, starting slowly. Then Zach de la Rocha (vocalist) launches it into the first, with a shout of “Bring that shit in!” The song is a perfect example of how a simple guitar riff can really fuel a song, not that the lyrics don’t help. Lines such as “Raise you ear, I’ll drop the style and clear/it’s the lyrics they fear” and my personal favorite, “See right through the red, white, and blue disguise/with lecture I puncture the structure of lies.” A lot of emphasis is placed on the bridge, which serves as a bit of a story that seems to say “The classroom is the last place to find the truth.” The great thing about Rage is that even you don’t agree with the message, the insanely catchy hooks and syncopated drums will almost always leave you wanting more.
That’s a tough one. Everyone who listens to music has to realize that sometimes, most of us have turned to it for inspiration when the bad times are abundant and the good ones are few and far between. That being said, I’ve found My Chemical Romance to be a very inspiring band, and one of their best is “Famous Last Words”, the last track off of The Black Parade.
For those of you who don’t know, The Raconteurs were what Jack White put together after the White Stripes split up. In many respects, they’re reminiscent of the White Stripes, with catchy hooks and fuzzy guitar tones. But at the same time, it’s an amalgamation of the elements of all of the members’ previous bands. One of the things I love so much about these guys is their refusal to be shunted into a single genre- they mix alternative rock, jazz, contemporary, and in some cases, country/western. Many Shades of Black utilizes a bit of every genre The Raconteurs represent: An armada of brass horns for that country/spanish feel, while at the same time playing a slow, jazz-blues bass line, with a clean guitar helping to sail through the upbeats. You really start to get the “rock” feel during the bridge, with a fuzzy, distorted guitar solo only Jack White can deliver, backed by a piano pounding in the background. The song is really an excellent example of what a talented group of musicians who aren’t defined by genre preconceptions can really do.
hmm, that’s a good question. It really changes, but I’d say the top five are My Chemical Romance, The Foo Fighters, Green Day, The White Stripes, and Avenged Sevenfold. You?
Ahh Avenged Sevenfold. One of the only metal bands I listen to, actually. Sure, City of Evil was pretty good, but what I love about their more recent songs is that they’re branching out into other sub-genres and using more diverse instrumentation. Like in this song, Afterlife: the beautiful, orchestral introduction, heavy with cello and double bass. And then, the explosion into the verse with a brief, but powerful, parallel string solo to really launch it off. In the chorus, the echoed choir vocals give it a sense of grandiose, and for lack of a better word, transcendence. I feel like the band breaks away from the typical perception of metal- so much of their work is so much more intricate and diverse than what most people conceive to be metal music. Listen for the drums as well; the drummer is Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, one of the best of his time, which unfortunately, has passed. The drumline, I think, really hammers and forges it into such a powerful song. The lyrics are about looking into a reflection of yourself. The song uses the analogy of an afterlife ad seemingly arguing with the gods to realize that you have to do the things you need to do as soon as you can, because who knows how much time you really have left?
One of the more emotional songs by the Foo Fighters. It’s a song about self redemption, and reaching your true potential in whatever you do. It opens slowly, almost seeming to be a message to someone. A friend? A past lover? Or maybe, as I believe, it’s to anyone who hears it. It explodes into the verse into a testament of redundancy, with lyrics such as “I was too weak to give in/to strong to lose,” the drums puncturing the melody with a vicious snare and cymbals to drive it through. The chorus is a repeated message to always try your hardest in whatever you do: “Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?” The song speaks of “The life, the love you die to heal” and “The hope that starts the broken hearts.” It almost seems like a message to never give up, that anything, even pain, is better than nothing at all. The song overflows with a sad, yet hopeful, energy that only true pain can generate. The lyrics are what make the song what it truly is-lyrics that make any songwriter jealous. All in all, one of the best songs from one of the best Alt/Hard Rock bands out there.
I’ve always loved mood music- music that you can only listen to when your in a certain mood. For example, when I’m mad, I’ll blast Rage Against the Machine. When I’m particularly calm, I’ll play the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I miss my girlfriend (happens a lot) it’s Blink 182. I love music in general, but I find it amazing when it can influence your mood. So I ask you: what is your mood music?