When I was a wee-one, my dad would play records on his stereo every Saturday morning. The Cure, The Cars, The Angels, Nirvana. Now, I distinctly remember thinking how weird it was for there to be a naked baby on the cover of a CD, or how cool the blonde-haired, scruffy-looking guy giving the finger to the camera was. I remember holding a cricket bat and pretending to play the guitar to In Between Days by the Cure. I remember having a broken foot and slipping over in my cast while jumping around to My Best Friend’s Girl by The Cars, or wondering what the person singing A Man Needs a Maid looked like. Every time I hear the opening strums of Wonderwall, it brings me back to a 40 degree day, out in the sun helping wash my dad’s car. All of these moments are unforgettable for me and every time I listen to these songs or artists, I’m taken back to that huge lounge room in the outer-Melbourne home in the suburb of Lara. The same goes for the rest of my life.
What is it about music that provokes this sort of thinking in a person? No matter what way I think about it I just can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the mystery…All I know is it’s fucking beautiful. It probably explains why I refuse to leave the house without my iPod, or why I deliberately miss buses at midnight, so I can walk home and listen to music. I’m positively obsessed, I’m addicted. Immersing myself in music is all I want to do, especially when I’m all out of answers.
I can put an age, time and place on when I was affected by listening to specific albums. Here’s a little chart. I like charts.
Nirvana Nevermind/Unplugged at MTV – 5-6 years old in the passenger seat with my dad driving home from the football.
Green Day Nimrod – 12 years old, attempting to skateboard on our drive way. Christmas Holidays 2001.
Jeff Buckley Grace – 15 years old living at home with my brothers, getting drunk, ditching school.
The Bronx White Drugs – 17 years old, angry at something…probably the heat in Gladstone.
Weezer Pinkerton – I got dumped 2 years ago, fucking sucked.
No matter what I do, as soon as the first notes of any of these albums start playing, I’m brought back, if only for a moment, to these days, these places, these memories.
I would say that I am one to romanticise things, it’s one of my greatest flaws and, perhaps, music helps me do this on a much grander scale. It’s almost like I use it as background themes for moments in my life. Bands I’m listening to at certain points of my life will be immortalised like hand prints in cement, concrete in my mind as reminders of that time, whether I like it or not. It always amazes me how you can take timeless music and put into perspective just by remembering moments of your life. All of these songs that I’ll never forget seem to live on, with these memories pinned to them. Long live music.
What are some albums y’all love? What kind of memories do they bring back for you? Comments below.
What you see here is a fan-made video for the opening two tracks (First Light and Last Light) of Converge’s album You Fail Me. The video was shared by the band itself not long ago on their Facebook after they stumbled across it.
It’s a haunting 5 minutes of footage set to equally haunting music. This band are not for the faint of heart. They’re brutal as fuck and that outtro riff gets me every fucking time.
This stuff scares the crap out of me…and I love it.
Now I don’t want to clog up this page but I’ve finally had it. Dave Grohl is fucking pissing me off. He pays out on other bands like Coldplay for killing rock when, really, he’s the fucking problem. Coldplay aren’t under any illusions as to what they are…Pop. Dave Grohl thinks he’s part of some punk rock lone-warrior saving rock music, he used to be…their name was Nirvana, they died in ’94. Foo Fighters have become the most stale band I’ve ever heard. Album 1 & 2 are great (especially 2), they have urgency, punk rock intensity, emotion, anger, confusion..everything, but since then he’s obviously found the formula to what makes a successful rock album and he’s riding it for all it’s worth. He thinks we’re all suckers, too. I ain’t.
Where does that leave us? It leaves us with album after album of safe, Bon Jovi-sounding garbage. “Rock and roll is dead”, “punk rock is dead”, “we’re making a record in our garage”…this is the shit coming from this millionaire rock-star’s mouth. HAVE YOU HEARD THAT NEW ALBUM!? If I didn’t read the Foo Fighters label, I could swear I’m listening to the retarded fucking love-child of AC DC and Aerosmith. It’s an arena rock album! It’s easy to say you’re making an album in your garage when your garage is the size of anyone else’s whole fucking house and contains tens of thousands of dollars worth of high end recording equipment.
This is what we’re left with:
The best album I’ve heard since Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago. There you go, that’s my personal opinion.
The Wild Hunt is a personal, raw and emotional folk album made up of not much more than an acoustic guitar and the voice of a short-statured, Swedish singer-songwriter by the name of Kristian Matsson. A follow up to his debut album Shallow Grave, Kristian has exceeded his exceptional songwriting abilities to produce an amazingly consistent, catchy and beautiful 10 songs in The Wild Hunt. Pesky comparisons to Bob Dylan can be brushed aside, this is an artist fully aware of his influences and exceeding them. The Wild Hunt, the second Tallest Man on Earth album and first for Dead Oceans, makes a few specific nods to Dylan at his most earnest and bare– including a reference to “boots of Spanish leather” on King of Spain. Ultimately, though, Matsson interprets Dylan, just as Dylan himself interpreted Guthrie. More to the point, Matsson translates him into the Scandinavian countryside, where he sings about changing seasons and quiet, lonely places far from cities. His lyrics both raw and emotive leave enough space for you to make your own interpretation of their meaning, giving one the sense that he himself cannot put his feelings into words. The lo-fi production of the album does nothing but improve the personal quality of the album. The feeling that The Tallest Man on Earth is sitting there playing the songs just for you is almost uncanny. This is not to say that this album can’t be listened to in large groups. Songs like The Burden of Tomorrow or King of Spain are anthems in their own respect.
On the limited palette of guitar and voice, Matsson is able to coax a huge range of diverse colours, making the brief appearances of banjo and piano seem like an over-indulgence. The final song Kids on the Run is a Bruce Springsteen-esque teen anthem where Matsson sits his guitar down to take a seat behind piano in an epic conclusion. The piano reverberates uneasily but still keeps the momentum of his heraldic guitar-playing that generates a certain major-key hopefullness that softly shades the songs. It’s an unexpected moment that colors everything that came before it and paints Matsson as a distinctive and singular artist. His playing is sophisticated but never showy, alternating between spry picking and forceful strumming. Whether due to his tunings or his crisp production, there’s something bright and expectant about his songs.
As a singer, he has become much more confident and capable, using that wily, deceptively limited croak with greater nuance and subtlety. The hiccup hook on Love Is All sounds like a joyful noise despite the song’s tentative tone, and the rawness of his vocals lends gravity to the accusations of You’re Going Back. On the other hand, Matsson sounds warmly generous on Troubles Will Be Gone when he sings, “The day is never done, still there’s a light on where you sleep, so I hope someday your troubles will be gone.” Matsson is both a romantic and a realist, and on The Wild Hunt, he uses the barest of pop-folk settings to give mundane moments– another break-up, another tour, another change of season, another Dylan comparison– a grandeur so disproportional that it’s difficult not to identify and sympathize with him.
Love is All
The Wild Hunt
You’re Going Back
Why do they gotta front?
I hear so many people out there who say, “Weezer sold out! They’re just shitty, pop-music now!” You know what I say to that? THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN A POP BAND. Rivers Cuomo has always strived to be the best pop-rock artist in the world. He even took it upon himself to become a student of pop-rock in the 90’s when he created “The Encyclopedia of Pop” for himself, a three-ring binder which broke down the mechanics of pop and rock, featuring songs by Nirvana, Green Day and Oasis. In it, he dissected the songs in as mathematical a manner as he could. “He figured if he could home in on Kurt’s formula, he’d figure out his own formula,” says Todd Sullivan, Weezer’s A&R man. “That way, he would be a never-ending supply of songs.”
My question to these haters is simple: Are you even listening to Blue Album? Even some of the songs on Pinkerton are pop songs. My Name is Jonas from Blue Album was even chosen for Guitar Hero, for god’s sake. I don’t see Angel & the One from Red Album (2008) on Rock Band. You simply just have to listen to realise.
Buddy Holly from Blue Album is one of the most recognised pop songs of the modern era and this was written at the start of their career!
Skip ahead some 14 years and what have we got…another pop song in Troublemaker. It’s the same catchy, quirky and riff-tastic Weezer sound as always.
My point is simple: Weezer are a band that should have been the biggest Pop-Rock group in the world. But for one reason or another, whether it be Rivers’ decision to go back to College following the success of their Debut-Platinum selling album, or Rivers’ outburst towards the fans in which he called them “little bitches”. Weezer have been able to keep up a sturdy catalogue of pop songs, even if you only count the singles. This is not to say I like most of the new music, it is obvious that post-Pinkerton, the quality of Weezer albums has gone down hill. My quarrel is with the common belief that they’ve sold out and become something they’re not.
Wrong, I say. Wrong. Weezer have been and always will be a Pop-Rock band writing Pop songs. =w= forever.