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2012….MUSIC….A Year in Review Before the Grammy’s Ruin It

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A lot of great music was released this year and I got exposed to a bunch of new bands, cool new songs, albums and reunions. The end of the world is coming soon, so I better post my favorite songs, artists and records right now before we meet our demise.

The Grammy nominations are in. I can’t say I agree with any of them honestly. Sorry. I have my own personal tastes. I have picked my own list of artists/songs/records that are most definitely NOT on the Grammy list. Why oh why does this award show annoy me practically every year? Thank God I am entitled to like whatever I want to listen to. I need this soap box and it’s where I will voice my opinion.

Grammy Award Shows only care about the Top 40 artists. The lesser known ones deserve more attention too. Mainstream music is fine and all but I get frustrated with artists like Taylor Swift, Miley Cirus and Kanye West. People adore them and I don’t know why. They’re a bunch of phonies and drama queens.

Talent is important. Song writing skills are important. Being able to play an instrument of some sort would also be of help. What about singing talent? Singing from your heart man! Seems like a lot of the songs coming out nowadays have singers employing voice synthesizers. What is with those stupid things? I hate those! Sing like you have a pair or just stop!

Anyway, I want to focus on the artists this year that made a difference for me. Those catchy songs that really made me pay attention (NO it was NOT that song, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jespen? Whatever…..bubble gum pop music that’s only purpose is to “sell out” and just sound hip, fun and catchy. That’s just not what I am into.

So…..I have it kind of split into 2 categories here:

One are my favorite songs and the other are my favorite records to come out this year.

Let me begin with the tunes!

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So here are my 5 favorite tunes from 2012 (and why)

Gotye…..Easy Way Out
(This Australian artist was new to my ears this year and I found myself really digging this tune. It reminds me of a Beck-style tune that packs a punch in like 2 minutes)
Now, Now…..Prehistoric
(grungy, pretty and rocking like I haven’t heard from a band in awhile. Also they’re a great trio from Minneapolis. I like it when girls play lead guitar and vocals and actually have a strong presence)
Yuck…..Chew
(They’re a British band and they’re pretty unique. This track is a single that’s not a part of an album. It packs quite a punch! 90’s style garage punk in a Smashing Pumpkins meets Dinosaur Jr fashion)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse…..Walk Like A Giant
(When these veteran musicians jam together, amazing guitar riffs and magic noise happens, and this is quite an earthquake of a song from Psychedelic Pill and I think that it can stand the test of time. Go Neil!
Dinosaur Jr…..Watch The Corners (This is an amazing song. A chugging metal crunch. J Mascis comes up with massive guitar riffs that rattle your teeth but can still fill it in with a great melody and an almost folk kinda feeling despite your throbbing eardrums. Always unique. Love it)

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NOW IT’S TIME FOR MY FIVE FAVORITE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2012

5…..Twins by Ty Segall
(Great melodies, grungy, edgy, 60’s elements, excellent with headphones. I happened to stumble upon this a few months ago and was just blown away)

4…..Synthetica by Metric
(An Indie, electro, pop band. Great lead singer named Emily and a fun kind of 70’s and new wave sound. It’s pretty original, experimental and all the songs are catchy and don’t all sound the same like some bands (Muse….ahem!) Plus as a bonus, Lou Reed appears on one of the tracks called Wanderlust! Explosive fun for sure!

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3…..Koi No Yokan by Deftones
( I first heard these guys about 7 years ago with a record called White Pony. It was good and had a Tool kind of sound but faster and more of an Alice in Chains sound. But this new one is wonderful. Type O Negative has an album called October Rust that has this eternal Autumn sound to it. The Deftones make this album a “mixed trip hop with thrash, melodic vocals with crushing reverb, and yes, pretty with ugly.” But for them it evokes a sense of eternal darkness.)

2…..End of Daze by Dum Dum Girls
(I am so addicted to this EP. Soooo much happens in this awesome 18 minutes. Pure joy. Almost makes me cry. These ladies just rock it out. However, it’s so soft and pretty. I keep listening to this one over and over and over again. It’s so dreamy and it shines like a dirty penny held up to the sun)

1…..Celebration Rock by Japandroids
(My favorite record of the year 2012. I don’t care what anyone says about this but it friggin rules! 2 guys only. A drummer and a guitarist. They just kill it! Drinking anthems mixed with the Husker Du type of melodies and patterns. The album begins and ends with the sound of fireworks. I listen to them when I go for a jog in the morning. It makes me feel alive. It’s a garage band that sounds BIG and proof that 2 twenty something guys from Canada can perform shock therapy on your mood!)

Well that’s it….have a nice day!
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Categories
Concerts

THE WHO at Chicago’s Allstate Arena

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“Who are you?”
The reader, I would imagine….

So who are The Who? Well let me tell you……..they’re a classic rock band from Great Britain and are one of the major contributors of the notorious and revolutionary “British Invasion” of the 1960’s.

Insane drum solos
Near impossible bass riffs
Smashing guitars and breaking amplifiers
Fierce aggression
A strong rhythm and blues influence
with operatic, stuttering and screaming vocals
All of these elements make up this band.

Today…..

THE WHO…

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…performed the album “Quadrophenia” to its full majesty! What’s this album about?

Pete Townshend basically said: “The whole conception of Quadrophenia was geared to quadraphonic, but in a creative sort of way. I mean I wanted themes to sort of emerge from corners. So you start to get the sense of the fourness being literally speaker for speaker.”

It’s a rock opera concept album that is different from Tommy. It’s about a guy named Jimmy who has multiple personalities, rides a motorcycle and goes through emotional torture. It’s actually quite an accomplished double LP.

“Hope I die before I get old?” Really Roger?

Escaping old age is not an option for these guys on stage. Let’s be honest here, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are old. But their energy was so alive with a powerful swagger. The roots of this band goes back nearly fifty years. However, this “old” group and their “old” songs are quite timeless, in my opinion. Their rock music commanded the attention from everyone inside the Arena. Geezers, like Pete and Roger, can inject lots of life into material frozen in carbonite like Han Solo deep into the minds and hearts of millions of folks around the world in the year 2012.

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Practically throughout the entire evening, the crowd was on its feet applauding enthusiastically. This “reigning” achievement of Pete Townshend’s masterpiece albums was blasting through large speakers by way of his arm windmilling guitar maneuvers.

Tragically, drummer Keith Moon and amazing bassist John Entwistle had met their demise way too early in life. However, Daltrey (at 68 years old) still could belt his heart out while doing the splits and swinging around his microphone while Townshend (67) ferociously kept thrashing away at his strat through plenty of spectacular numbers. The horns, drums and keyboards, provided by a really tight supporting group of musicians, were pretty loud and exciting!

Teenage Wasteland (Baba O’Riley), Pinball Wizard, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Who Are You, Love Reign Over Me and Behind Blue Eyes were among several highlights that were wonderfully executed at the Allstate Arena last Friday night!

The night concluded with a touching acoustic number with only Roger and Pete onstage performing the song “Tea and Theater.” It was from their last album and it deals with memories and changes. Since they’re ending every show on this Quadrophenia tour with this nice little number kinda makes it feel like it is a farewell tour.

GO SEE THEM NOW!!!

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