Saturday, July 4, 2009

Then & Now - Green Day

Green Day

Then ...

The first (and only ... to this very day, I believe) post I made on this site about Green Day was a review for their single, Holiday, off their 2004 rock epic, American Idiot. At the time, that was basically all I knew of Green Day; their singles. I remember the year American Idiot came out - around my sixth grade year in school -, everyone in the school hallways had heart grenades ... everywhere. Their backpacks, clothing, notebooks ... I didn't get it. I didn't try to. That wasn't my music scene. The time I posted my review for Holiday was about the same time I really started listening to Green Day.

... & Now.

And I'm so glad I did. I have discovered in Green Day a band I'm most respectful of; a group of men who aren't afraid to speak up about what matters to them, regardless of what popular culture may have to say about it. And, while many people are either fans of the "old" Green Day or the "new" Green Day - pre- and post-American Idiot era, receptively -, I have found something to appreciate about all the work this band has done. I truly and honestly respect Green Day as musicians, and am proud to call myself a fan; not of an album, not of an era; but of a group of men who have worked all their lives for what they love.

Green Day just released their much-anticipated follow-up to American Idiot, after a long and very discrete hiatus. It could be debated about whether anything could top 2004's rock opera phenomenon, and whether 21st Century Breakdown (their newly released album) comes even close. However, if you ask me, Green Day's latest is a success in every way. Did Green Day manage to raise their own bar - again! - after the high standard set by American Idiot? Well, I'm not sure it's even fair to even try and compare these two albums. Without a doubt, both are spectacular and speak true to the mission Green Day has as a band.

This following music video is for the single 21 Guns, from 21st Century Breakdown.
This song really means a lot to me. The first time I ever heard it, I was listening to the album in the car, driving around town. As soon as the acoustic guitar opened out the track, I was hooked ... and my attention never wavered. Billie Joe asked me the question, "Do you know what's worth fighting for, when it's not worth dying for?" And, long story short ... I became really emotional about this entire track. I have loved this song from the moment I heard it for the first time, and the appeal just never dies off. The music video is equally stunning, and I think really showcases Green Day at ... possibly one of their finest, strongest, most vulnerable and yet, most defiant moments.
Please, take a good, honest listen to this remarkable song. Every time I listen to it ... 21 Guns reminds me why I love Green Day so much; then & now.

Green Day - 21 Guns Official Music Video

Friday, July 3, 2009

100 in a 55

As frequent followers of this blog probably know, I tend to discover a lot of new music via music television, especially Fuse. These days, it seems the channel doesn't play ... as much music at they used to. But this song is the official first song I fell in love with in Summer '09, courtesy my favorite television station.

100 in a 55, to some people, may not seem like a song that has a lot going for it. Pop Evil may sound like just another rock band, and this single may seem to be lacking a lot of creativity. And, while I agree Pop Evil may not have taken many chances with this track ... as I often say, it's the simplicity of of this song that makes it so special.
There's a lot of true, honest emotion in the lyrics of the song and the way those lyrics are presented. The "sweet and simple" styling of the instrumentals bring to mind the days of good, classic rock and roll ... but there's almost a sense of southern influence to this song as well.
As a whole, the first thing I thought when I heard this song was, " this is rock n' roll." And a lot of people will probably disagree with me on that, because this song isn't in-your-face, pedal-to-the-metal, all-or-nothing out there like a lot of rock music is today. But, when you think about rock n' roll ... it's more than a genre to so many people. Rock n' roll is a lifestyle for the people who appreciate it, and I think this song portrays that imagery, that persona, perfectly.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions about this track. An overdone concept or a classic style? You decide. But I, personally, feel it's the tried-and-true methods exemplified in this track that were the foundation for what rock has become.

This is 100 in a 55, by Pop Evil.

Pop Evil - 100 in a 55 Official Music Video

100 in a 55
Pop Evil

Turn back on the broken heartache
Some things are just meant to be
I still believe that we got a chance
Still believe that we got a chance to be
Too much is never enough
Andd too little is never enough
Full speed got me looking out my rear view; I can’t go back

Goin’ 100 in a 55 and I don’t know why I’m still alive
But I do what I can but I know I can’t take anymore
I still believe in this rock and roll, and I pray the music gonna save my soul
But 'till then I still believe, some things are just meant to be

It's messed up but I got this mission
Drunk again, won't remember anyway
She said it’s just a game, boy
Don’t be gone, don’t be gone for long
Ten years I’ve been doing this forever
It's all I know, baby please don’t turn away
I know you don’t believe in me
But I do believe in you

I’m still falling away from here
I’m still falling; the wings are falling off
I can’t go back, I’m in too deep

I still believe some things are just meant to be


Ok, first off let me say that I know I haven't been posting very in depth posts, but that's going to change! *woot* Also, it's been quite awhile since I've posted about any of my more hardcore music faves, that will also change! I'm glad to be back and posting!


That said, I am amazed that I haven't posted about Chiodos until now! How could I have forgotten this band?!?

Chiodos, I think I first discovered them while listening to my local Alt Rock radio station. The song playing was "Lexington (Joey Pea-pot With A Monkey Face)", and I loved it! I'm a sucker for classically based rock of all forms. In this case, a screamo/emo/post hardcore/symphonic metal mix. Yeah, it's awesome.

+Band Overview+

Craig Owens (vocals)
Bradley Bell (keyboards)
Pat McManaman (guitar)
Matt Goddard (bass)
Jason Hale (guitar)
Derrick Frost (drums)

Couple that classic "emo guy" voice, and music that's actually good, and you've got Chiodos. Craig Owens has got some pipes on him. This guy can go from that semi-sweet emo voice, to hardcore screamo in a split second.
I don't want to compare them (for Chester Bennington's voice can't be beat), but you do think Chester Bennington when you hear Craig's voice just because of the versatility, and the power, the duality between sweet, and hardcore.

There songs are just about as versatile as Craig's voice, you can go from a beautiful classical piano solo to machine gun bass guitar, and then to a full bodied orchestra. It's all melodic too! Which is a must on my list. It fits together so well, seamless, like it was meant to be. In my opinion symphonicly based rock groups (actually any genre with a symphonic base), are the true evolution of classical music, this is what it was meant to form into at some point, bands like this expand upon the classic, and make it extraordinary. Of course I don't want to turn anyone off by using the words "classical" and "symphonic", this is definitely Rock music, metal almost, and it doesn't sound like classical music.

The lyrics are as good as the music, and yeah it's good.

+(* By Favorite Tracks)+

All's Well That Ends Well [2005]

(Hear The Full Album HERE)

Prelude (Instrumental)*
All Nereids Beware*
One Day Women Will All Become Monsters
Expired In Goreville
Baby, You Wouldn't Last A Minute On The Creek*
The Words "Best Friend" Become Redefined
Interlude pt. 1 (Instrumental)
There's No Penguins In Alaska
Interlude pt. 2 (Instrumental)
We're Gonna Have Us A Champagne Jam
No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room*
Who's Sandie Jenkins
To Trixie And Reptile, Thanks For Everything

Bone Palace Ballet [2007]

(Hear The Full Album HERE)

Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork?*
Lexington (Joey Pea-Pot With A Monkey Face)*
Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered
A Letter From Janelle
I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was A Wizard*
Teeth The Size Of Piano Keys*
Life Is A Perception Of Your Own Reality
If I Cut My Hair, Hawaii Will Sink*
Intensity In Ten Cities
The Undertaker's Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable (The Final Battle)

Bone Palace Ballet Grand Coda [2008]

(Only The Bonus Tracks From This Disc And Their Track Number Are Listed. This Album Also Has All The Songs That Were Released On "Bone Palace Ballet")

1. Two Birds Stoned At Once*
7. ....And Then The Liver Screamed 'HELP!*
8. We Swam From Albatross, The Day We Lost Kailey Cost
11. Smitten For the Mitten
14. I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was A Wizard (Acoustic)
15. A Letter from Janelle (Acoustic)

+No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room+

When going through all of the songs Chiodos has to offer it's hard for me to pick just one to leave you guys with, but I decided on leaving you with my favorite, No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room.

Out of all the songs of theirs that I've heard this is by far my favorite, everything about it makes me like it, the music, the lyrics, all of it.
It starts out with the best instrumental beginning I've heard in a song in a long time, like best instrumental beginning since Queen's Death On Two Legs (be sure to google that when you're through visiting this blog :D). It has just enough screamo, and just enough melody, and I can listen to it over and over, and the lyrics "Don't let this die, we may never fall in love again
It's hard but worth the wait when it's over
...this die, we may never fall in love again
It's hard but worth the wait when it's over"
just ring over and over in my head.

A song well worth the listen :D


[Chiodos: No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room]
[All's Well That Ends Well][2005]


I've resolved upon this course, which has no need of you
Denying this day, didn't stop it from coming
Promise me, that you won't be consumed when you realize
We're screaming at the same moon

Shredded by state lines
Press my face up against the glass
With both eyelids shut and
baby, this won't get any easier
baby, this won't get any easier
baby, this won't get any easier

Don't let this die, we may never fall in love again
It's hard but worth the wait when it's over
...this die, we may never fall in love again
It's hard but worth the wait when it's over

Now open up wide, fist first down your throat
Where no beauty lies, and rip out what should've been mine

Comfort always made the rescue, we always hoped 'for the best'
I'll burn this with torches, and drown in my consideration

I'll burn this with torches, and drown in my consideration

p.s. be sure to keep checking back for cowgirl4christ's "Then & Now" posts! They rock!