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Ryan Adams, alt-country songwriting machine and Bryan Adams-hater grew up under the influence of legendary Minneapolis band – the Replacements. He probably calls them “The Mats” and everything. Real high level stuff. So he must have been mighty bummed when Replacements lead singer Paul Westerberg said Ryan Adams “needs to have his teeth kicked in.”

That’s apt to put anyone in a cranky mood, and sure enough, when Ryan Adams took the stage that night, things almost immediately seemed kooky. The normally chuckle-worthy singer barely spoke for the first hour of the set. When he finally did, it was only to do one of three things: complain about Paul Westerberg wanting to kick his teeth in, complain about the shitty reviews his opening act received in the local press, or complain about the sound of the guitar amps. It was the latter of those three issues that finally made the fussy troubadour flee the stage.

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See, instead of calling it a night at that obvious stopping point, Ryan Adams returned to the stage with an acoustic guitar in tow, and he stayed there a long fucking time. The final song count was a whopping 28, which makes for a long night even under normal circumstances.

When you add in even more chatter about Paul Westerberg and a really sad monologue about wanting to go home for Christmas, everyone but the most die-hard fans of Ryan Adams or train wrecks stayed for it all. I left almost as soon as the acoustic guitars came out.

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Something about Ryan Adams and soul-crushing boredom must not mix, because his return trip to Minnesota didn’t go a whole lot better. Once again, the show was plagued with sound problems. After just 70 minutes, the cranky songbird announced he was playing one final song and then bolted. His exit was so swift that many in attendance refused to believe the show was over until the house lights came up and everyone started booing.

Legend says Ryan Adams is still haunted by the Phantom of Technical Problems to this date and is shooting a drunk kid for requesting him to play “Summer of 69” somewhere around the world.

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It’s time to talk about 50 Cent, I bet most of you didn’t see this coming since I’m a fan of him, be prepared I’ve got lots to say about him.

50 Cent is one of the many Grammy-nominated artists who underwent the “Daaaamn homie, in 03 you was the mannn homie, what the f**k happened to you?”syndrome. In these recent years, 50 Cent is to hit records what Jar Jar Binks is to the Star Wars franchise. Morbidly out of place. He can’t seem to make a hit reality TV show work either.

 

Let’s start at the beginning of 50′s fall, In 2007 is when he just seemed to start losing with the preparation of his 3rd studio album “Curtis”, he first made the mistake of choosing 2 Bad singles (Amusement Park & Straight To The Bank) to start out with, which caused his sales to go down, if it wasn’t for I Get Money & Ayo Technology, the album wouldn’t have cracked 500,000 and then the publicity of Kanye’s album Vs 50′s Album.

That also caused 50 Cent to lose badly, taking a loss in America but winning World Wide, after losing in America it seemed like America wasn’t feeling 50 like they did in 2003. The album also got criticized a lot because of how many features the album had, with mostly pop joints instead of that grimy stuff that we are use to from 50.

Not to mention the beef with Rick Ross, that he did not start but certainly did not finish. Rick Ross’s career has not been finished and he is by far one of most relevant rappers out right now. Fast forwarding to the mid summer of 2009, 50 decides to release “Ok, You’re Right” that was his attempt of getting another street single like he did with ‘I Get Money’ but the single wasn’t received so well as ‘I Get Money’.

After the sales, 50 Cent decided to get away from the spotlight and not release that much new material. Fast forwarding to 2011, 50 decides to release 14 freestyles for promotion of his former ‘Sleek By 50′ headphones. He received positive responses for most of the freestyles it seems like 50 got his old self back but, until he release’s the 1st single from his new album you can’t really tell if he’s got it back. If the 1st single does well, 50 will get out of Flop City and join the Winners Circle. Still he’s a good business man, and he should stop focusing so much on movies when in the process of making an album, I think that messes him up as well.

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From out-of-control drug habits and heated clashes of inflated egos to control freak girlfriends and pop culture irrelevance, change is something that is inevitable in the life of every band that hits hard without warning. But sometimes, artists try to beat change at its own game by confronting it and taming it by mixing up things and refreshing their tunes to be a progressive band rather than end up in Creed or Nickelback purgatory.

Unfortunately, more often than not, drastic fuckery with the band’s signature sound or lineup can often rustle the jimmies of loyal fans who prefer the original works of their now ex-favorite artist. Music snobbery is not atypical of the hipster generation, but sometimes it is better to look in the mirror and realize you’re no Radiohead or Incubus and stick to whatever the fuck got you famous in the first place.

METALLICA

There is a strict set of rules and regulations to which all metal bands must adhere, and falling afoul of those rules is tantamount to treason.

Metallica fell way out of line with those rules in 1996 when they released an album called Load.

It marked the beginning of the end for Metallica and their “core” fans, though. They also violated Headbanger Bro Code 101 by cutting their hair and wearing suits.

The thrash metal aesthetics that were already waning on their previous album were completely gone on Load. This was riff rock. Alternative music, maybe. It was bluesy, or some shit. Whatever it was, it wasn’t metal Metallica released a sequel to Load, which was called Reload with more of the same shit.

 

You’re still fine to hate them for killing Napster, having the most pretentious drummer in the history of music and the awful Some Kind of Monster documentary.

VAN HALEN

The Sammy Hagar-led version of Van Halen, or “Van Hagar,” is probably the most hated version of a popular band ever known. if you’re so inclined.

Replacing David Lee Roth, Hagar didn’t just bring increased record sales to the Van Halen fold; he brought a completely different style.

Van Halen 2.0 progressed from being a rock band to a Coca Cola commercial rock band (codeword for a closet pop band).

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SKATERS

If the rest of SKATERS’ forthcoming debut album Manhattanis anything resembling “Deadbolt”, these guys are going to be someone to watch this year. Incessantly catchy and delightfully brash, “Deadbolt” restrains itself to a low simmer during the verses before all noisy hell breaks loose on the chorus. Underneath the guitar fuzz and dead-eyed vocals, there’s a pop song hiding here, but isn’t it so much more fun to hear something fucked up like this? 

https://soundcloud.com/skaters/skaters-deadbolt

GREY GORDON

Grey Gordon, offering up “500 Miles” from his Still At Home Here EP. “500 Miles” (no, he’s not walking them) is a wintery emo track that’s as comforting as your favorite black hoodie on a cold day, complete with lyrics to match. Every note of Gordon’s fingerpicked guitar resonates in the song’s crisp productions, and his subtly double-tracked vocals bring Ben Gibbard of Death Cab to mind. The strummed interlude provides a smart bit of structure, making the final chorus feel like coming home.

https://soundcloud.com/nosleeprecords/grey-gordon-500-miles-1

ESCAPISTS

Never underestimate a kickass bassline. Breaking It Up’s high-swinging arena rock wouldn’t have the same punch without the overdriven bassline that snakes through guitar histrionics and anguished vocals. That’s not to discredit the rest of the song, though; throughout “Breaking It Up”, Escapists stick the landing on a sound that hits hard emotionally and sonically while sounding effortlessly huge. It’s a refreshing modern rock track that’s definitely worth a listen.

https://soundcloud.com/escapistsmusic/breaking-it-up-1

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Ever heard a song and wondered how a lead vocalist would essentially sound like a cheese grater scraping against Gilbert Gottfried’s voice box if he wasn’t supported by a great band? Now imagine listening to the isolated vocal track on loop with the cast of Glee whistling and snapping their fingers to it. Too sadistic? Well, let’s just keep it limited to the vocal track then.

Now there are tons of incredible vocal tracks by Freddie Mercury, Outkast and Damien Rice I could enlighten you with, but I’d rather disorient you with some shitty vocals instead.

Julian Casablancas - “Reptilia”

If you’ve ever wondered what the guy from the Strokes would sound like if he were performing while something in his body was rupturing, well, here’s the isolated vocal track from “Reptilia”:

If that’s Julian Casablancas without the “man shouting while trapped in a treasure chest” effect they put on his voice in the original track, even he wouldn’t have received a passing score singing his own song in Rock Band.

The producers took some fairly ear-grating vocals, then added some distortion effects to make them sound worse, thus tricking us into thinking the purposefully bad vocals were a stylistic choice. They raised the bar by lowering it. Clever.

Steve Harwell - “Days Like These”

Once upon a time in the early 2000s, we were all Smash Mouth fans. But then the Armageddon never came by. So we sobered up and went back to some better music instead. There are probably a bunch of fully released Smash Mouth songs you’ve never heard, but there’s one you’ve never heard because the band never released it, and it didn’t become public until it was leaked onto YouTube.

It was called “Days Like These,” and in it, lead singer Steve Harwell recorded the vocal track and, well, that’s pretty much as far as they got, I guess.

The song is all about being a regular dude who likes his friends and the sun and whatever else was in Mr. Riptide’s eye line as he soaked in a Jacuzzi filled with Corona. If spiky hair with frosted tips could sing, it would sound like this:

On second thoughts, forget I ever said that. Without the music, it’s just a cartoon dog with a backward baseball cap yelling at you about contentment.. All we have is what appears to be the result of someone secretly recording the idly sung tune of a SoCal surfer bro as he shat in a public toilet along Venice Beach.