Category Archives: Alternative

The Black Keys, a concert, and house-hunting

Just bought tickets to see The Black Keys in Chicago!

Okay, I couldn’t hold it in. I needed to shout that out. Although I am not going to see them for another month, I am so excited. Like always, I am going to the concert with my dad. This will be the third concert I have gone to with him and it is sort of our special thing.

I don't have a good picture of just my father but I do love this photo of my parents.

However, this trip is going to be more amazing than just a concert. We are also going to go house-hunting in Iowa City for a place for me to live when I go to grad school starting this summer! I have already been looking at houses on-line and I have found a few that are nice, close to campus, and reasonably priced. I have also found one that is $1.5 million, huge, beautiful, amazingly decorated, and has a children’s playroom in the attic complete with a built-in massive dollhouse (I mean, what more could you ask for than a kick-ass dollhouse). I feel though that it is a bit out of my price range.

Because of this momentous, happy occasion, I am including not one but TWO songs in today’s post. Okay, the real reason is that I couldn’t pick my favorite The Black Key’s song so I just had to include two. 🙂 And my favorite songs pretty much change daily for this band. I have yet to find a song I dislike.

“Gold on the Ceiling”

“Money Maker”

Favorite Concert you have been to?

Right now, my favorite is definitely the U2 concert I saw almost 7 years ago.

ll

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Filed under Alternative, Rock, The Black Keys

“Morning Glory”- Oasis

THROW BACK TO THE 90’s!

Okay, okay. So I love 90s music. Well, not all 90’s music. I really wasn’t all that into the boy bands, Britney, or really any of the ‘pop” groups. But I love the alternative scene. Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Marcy Playground, Sheryl Crow, Deftones, R.E.M. One band that was really popular but I have never really gotten into is Oasis. Now, I will probably have a lot of people disagreeing with me, but I just don’t understand the why they were SO very popular. Sure, they have a few songs that I like. But not one that I have to play over and over again because I cannot get enough.

That being said, I really like their song “Morning Glory.”

It basically sums up how I feel every morning–leave me alone until I am ready to talk to you. But, I am a college student so that is pretty much impossible. Discussion-based classes at 9? Why yes, I love talking about complicated musical theory and harmonic pitches before my coffee has kicked in.

Plus, the music video to this song is great. Again, I would love to be able to do what they do–play their music very loud and not care what others think. I mean, there are songs (like this one) that beg to be listened to at high volumes. Maybe some day I will. Right now I have to worry about neighbors hearing EVERYTHING through the paper thin walls of the dorm rooms. Three more months to graduation and my own house.

What is your favorite 90s group?

ll

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Filed under 90s, Alternative, Oasis, Pop

“Tighten Up”- The Black Keys and an life update

I AM BACK!!!

Sorry for the break from posts (and basically from all things related to blogging). Lets just say the last weeks of the semester were stressful. But finals are done and I ended up passing all my classes, including Physical Chemistry. But the most amazing news is that I got into graduate school!!! For you that follow my blog regularly or actually know me in real life, I finally got word today that I am accepted into a great MD/PhD program. Basically this means that next year, I will be embarking on a 8 year journey to obtain a doctor of medicine and biochemistry. Crazy? Well yes. But I am so excited!!

Okay, so enough with the update about my life. Back to the music!! And boy do I have some music I want to share. My parents decided to put in a surround sound stereo system in the basement right after my brother and I left for college. How nice of them. Though, it does mean that I have basically been living downstairs listening to music very loudly.

I thought I would start out with a group that I have just recently “discovered.” The Black Keys have been around for a while (since 2001), but really became mainstream after their 2010 Brothers Album was considered one of the best albums of the year. “Tighten Up” is from Brothers and it is amazing. Dan Auerbach’s voice coupled with Patrick Carney’s percussion and both on the guitar produces this sound that is uniquely The Black Keys.

Not the most visual exciting album cover, but one of the best I have seen. The tongue-in-cheek-ness of this cover just highlights the quirkiness of the groups music.

Although the song is addicting by itself, the music video makes it even better. The actors that they got to play Dan and Patrick’s sons were great. And the parallel actions of the grow adults and the children almost had me crying in laughter. From Patrick and his son giving the bird, Dan and his son swearing in disbelieve, and the girl and her mother coquettishly playing with their hair, it was a great visual for the lyrics of the song.

And maybe it is just me and my love of nerdy guys talking, but does anyone think Dan and Patrick are sort of geekily hot?

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's poster for their SNL performance

 

ll

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Filed under Alternative, Rock, The Black Keys

Movie Series #5: “Holding Out for a Hero”- Frou Frou

I lied. I told you I would feature another song from the Shrek soundtracks a few days ago but I didn’t. So I will do it now. I promise.

I have already featured a song by Frou Frou a few months ago but “Holding Out for a Hero” was the song that led me to discover Frou Frou and eventually Imogen Heap (solo act of the lead singer in Frou Frou). This song actually comes from the credits of Shrek 2, but is so much better than any song on the soundtrack. Imogen Heap’s range in this song is amazing. She brings an ethereal quality to the song that the original lacks. And I really like how the imagery in this video really fits the song…

Yes, I know that the song is basically a whole sexual innuendo but I think that’s what makes it good. Well, that and Imogen’s voice.

Frou Frou: Guy Sigsworth and Imogen Heap

Other songs you like on the Shrek soundtracks? (If you know any other songs but if you don’t, you should also listen to “I Need Some Sleep,” also by the band Eels)

ll

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Filed under Alternative, Frou Frou, Imogen Heap/Frou Frou, Movie

“Paper Planes”- M.I.A and the Illusive “Deep” Pop Artists

Sometimes pop artists surprise you. At first glance, they seem like ditzy performers who produces songs filled with sex, drugs, alcohol, and a catchy beat. Yes, these things sell, but it takes a smart pop artist to actually insert meaning into their lyrics. When I first heard Paper Planes by M.I.A, I thought it was just another song about drug use. With the lyrics “high like a plane” and “sticks and stones and weed,” my prediction didn’t seem too far off. But then I analysed the lyrics a bit more and discovered a whole different meaning. So here are a few key lines that really stood out to me and my (perhaps wrong) interpretation.

“If you catch me at the border, I got visas in my name./If you come around here, I make em all day/I get one done in a second if you wait”- Immigration policy anyone? Fake visas  being sold all day long?

“All I wanna do is/And a, and take your money”- It sounds like the stereotype some people have about immigrants–that they are just here to take “American’s” jobs.

“Sticks and stones and weed and bombs”-Yes, they can all be names for drugs but they can also be illegal trade items aka weapons and drugs.

I don’t know about you, but these topics seem vastly different from the pop songs about meeting a hot girl at the club. Yes, “Paper Planes” has a catchy beat, but in my opinion it rises above other conventional pop songs by including controversial topics that make the listener think about today’s society.

The video just highlights the dual nature of the song. Yes, she is passing out joint shaped sandwiches but they can also be interpreted as weapons (ie bombs). And the fragile black paper planes can easily be seen as a metaphor for an actual air battle. So much meaning in such a great pop song. I wish more pop artists would attempt this level of meaning and symbolism in more of their songs.

And no Rebecca Black, you do not count as a “deep” pop artist no matter if you say your songs are about consumerism or the “broken promises to a generation in the current economic climate.” At least you can make fun of yourself.

Friday Lyrics Analyzed with Rebecca Black

Have you found a song that has a deeper meaning the more you listen to and analysis the song?

ll

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Filed under Alternative, Hip-Hop, M.I.A

“White Knuckles”-OK GO

Done Done Done! So happy! And after watching the “White Knuckles” video by OK GO I am even happier.

I mean, joyful song+dogs+ unbelievable video+great lyrics+ cute lead singer has to equal happiness.

Damian Kulash

Okay, this was short but I promise I will post another song later tonight. Right now I have to walk my dog and revel in the start of my one week summer of nothing to do. Bliss.

Not my dog, but adorable anyways. Maybe I need to introduce my dog Zorra to the amazingness of music.

Anyone bored of summer already?
I know I will probably be bored by tomorrow but the concept of having nothing to do is still great right now.

ll

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Filed under Alternative, OK GO, Rock

“Feel Good Inc.”- Gorillaz

Gorrillaz is one of the weirdest bands I have come across. Billed as the most successful “virtual band,” four virtual members were created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The members have intricate back stories and do “interviews” talking about the different songs. Yes, it is unique and nothing I have ever seen before but who am I to judge. If their music is good, I will like them. Fortunately, their music is good. Probably their most famous song is “Feel Good Inc.

The video features 2-D, the lead singer of the virtual band. And yes, it is as unique as the band. Apparently, the song and video is about how mindless entertainment, the media, drugs, alcohol, and sex are used to feel good but end up actually leaving you alone, on a flying island. The media tries to sell you these things, marketing them as ways to make your life happier, almost like how a company would market a product (hence Feel Good INC). It is an interesting concept and one I will explore in more detail next week during The Downward Spiral series, but the imagery to this video really drives the point home. 2-D ends up on a isolated flying island with a windmill (Holland=drugs?) being chased by helicopters (insistent in bring news about mindless events?). I dont’ know, this is my interpretation of it. Maybe I have no idea what I am talking about.

Gorillaz' Band Members

Other interpretations on the song?

And one other thing, has anyone seen Laputa: Castle in the Sky?  It is one of my favorite Japanese films and the castle reminds me of the floating island in the Gorillaz video.

ll

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Filed under Alternative, Gorillaz, Hip-Hop, Rock