Do you like Science Fiction? Do you like good Metal music? Well, then let me introduce you to Olympia’s Gunslinger. They’re a three-person metal band. In their own words:
We are Gunslinger. A particularly lethal combination of beer, science fiction and METAL!
They’d like to record their first album, and like most indie bands nowadays they’ve turned to Kickstarter to help with the funding. Here is their pitch video:
Gunslinger only has 10 days to meet the goal, and they have quite a long ways to go, so kick in what you can! If you’re undecided, you can listen to some demos and watch some videos at their Reverbnation page and follow them on their Facebook Page. Plus, look at the art they’ve had made up for the album cover!
I, for one, staunchly believe that the world needs more sci-fi metal music, and I’ve put my money where my mouth is (as much money as I can spare seeing as how I currently am taking care of a wee beb) and have spread the word here. SO CAN YOU!
Open Mike Eagle has just released a new video for his song “Apologies.” It’s a short and sweet little song (not even two minutes long) and a cool, rotating-head video. Watch it!
“Apologies” is from the compilation album Dorner vs Tookie by the Hellfyre Club record label/collective. The Hellfyre Club is made up of some of the best rappers in existence right now, including Mike, Busdriver, VerBS, Nocando, and many more. It’s a pretty fantastic album:
As 2013 draws to a close, a lotta people and a lotta websites and a lotta publications are starting to put out their “best of” selections. I might do something similar myself at some point (though I did just get a new Zelda games, so we’ll see how much time I still have for ye olde blog). But for now I’m gonna post things that others have chosen that I just so happen to agree with.
For starters, Impose Magazine has chosen its rapper of the year. It just happens to be the best possible choice:
Rapper of the Year: Open Mike Eagle
As you probably know if you read this website, Open Mike Eagle is one of my favorite musicians. Just look at the “Open Mike Eagle” Tag and see how much I post about him. Honestly I don’t think I sing his praises enough.
There are a few things that I really appreciate about Mike:
He’s ferociously intelligent, but not obnoxiously so. In addition to be terrifically clever, his lyrics are full of allusions to things from video games to obscure, academic, scholarly texts.
He’s disarmingly humble. Far from being the braggart who can only write songs about how good a rapper he is, Mike does not fear to tread into the small and mundane. His kid likes Busdriver better than his music; he washes dishes; he changes diapers. It’s not all bitches and money.
(Most importantly) He isn’t afraid to be funny. I adore musicians who aren’t trying with every song to write The Greatest Song Ever™. Sometimes you just need some fun in your life, like if you’re rapping about poop overflow in your grandpa’s toilet. His (and my) favorite musical act is They Might Be Giants, and like them his songs aren’t “jokey” and “wacky;” they’re just funny. And instead of listing high-powered rappers as his aspirations, he lists Louis C.K. and Patton Oswalt as the people he’d like to be like.
Plus he’s just such a great guy to know!
Here, listen to his song “Qualifiers” off of the Hellfyre Club’s “Dorner vs Tookie” album, a song that exemplifies all I love about Open Mike Eagle:
So cheers to you, Mike. You’re certainly my choice as well. And with a new album coming out in 2014, you’ll likely top even more people’s lists.
Mary Lambert, the (now Grammy-nominated) chanteuse behind the chorus of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s smash hit song “Same Love,” was recently on Billboard’s Candid Covers internet show thing, where she covered the 2000 song “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. If you’re not familiar with that song, here are a couple of things you should know about it:
The original Wheatus version is a pretty rockin’ power-pop song.
It’s actually one of my favorite songs. It routinely makes it onto my mp3 player mixes.
I am a bit disappointed that Mary left out the “he brings a gun to school” line, but in fairness that line was omitted from most radio-broadcast versions of the song. But I do think it’s pretty awesome that Mary Lambert thought that the lead singer of Wheatus was a girl.
I really appreciate that she completely takes this kinda power-rock song and completely transforms it into her own plaintive, sad style. I’ve never seen the point of doing a cover of a song if it’s just going to sound like the exact same song. It also isn’t done in an ironic way, like all those folky covers of hip-hop songs that appeared after Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back” cover. It turns a kind of cheeky song into something really heartfelt.
This reminds me a lot of Tori Amos’s pretty durned amazing cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (listen to that here).
For the past couple of years, underground Seattle record label Green Monkey Records has put out compilation Christmas albums that have included original Christmas songs by Three Ninjas. Threeni did them in his old-school-country style, so, true to the genre, they aren’t exactly the happiest of yuletide tunes. So here’s the latest depressing Christmas song from Three Ninjas! It’s called “Joy & Goodwill” and is about lotsa killin’ yerself:
It goes pretty well with the song that he made last year for that year’s Christmas compilation with the help of Lee Rude, called “The Birth Of Our Savior (Is the Death of My Dream)”
Yes, that’s right: I’m in a music video! As I previously mentioned on this website, December 2nd would see the release of the official music video for The Jesus Rehab‘s song “Mind Readers” (informally known as “We’re All Slaves to the Lizard King”).
Well, yesterday was December 2nd, and sure enough the video appeared on the internets! It exclusively streamed on two websites, so go to one of these to watch it:
Live Eye TV actually helped in the production of the video; Jared of the Jesus Rehab wrote and directed the video, but the chaps from Live Eye TV did all the filming and making of the video and technical stuff.
Anyway, give it a watch, and you’ll see me in it several times! You’ll also see Julia Massey in the beginning and end, and Robb Benson is in there, and a whole bunch of other Seattle musicians. But the important thing is that I’M FAMOUS!
Honestly, I wouldn’t even know who Pharrell Williams was if it weren’t for the fact that he kinda became the voice of Daft Punk in 2013; he does the lead vocals on both “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance.” But he’s a musician and producer in his own right (just not in the styles of music to which I normally listen).
But Pharrell did something innovative and exciting and, well, pretty awexome. A week before Thanksgiving he released a video for his new single, “Happy” (for the soundtrack of Despicable Me 2). Thing is, this is a very unusual video: it lasts 24 full hours. For reals. Here’s how it works:
The song “Happy” is just a couple seconds short of 4 minutes long. The whole video consists of a series different “sections,” each of which lasts exactly 4 minutes, over which the song is played. So there are 360 sections total. Most of the sections consist of someone dancing towards a camera that is slowly backing away from them. There are of course variations in number of people and movement of camera (and there are several sections that are all about motor vehicles). Each section usually features a different person than the previous section. Each section is done in one continuous, unbroken take. For the most part each section is linked geographically to the previous section, meaning that it takes up in the same location where the previous section ended. Over the course of the 24 hours of the video, about an 8-mile stretch of Los Angeles is shown. Periodically the video will enter a specific location and linger there for several sections (like a supermarket and a bowling alley, for example).
Also, Pharrell Williams himself shows up in the first section of each hour, so he appears 24 times total for 4 minutes each.
And, yes, I watched all 360 sections of the video. Full disclosure: I didn’t always watch all 4 minutes of each section. If it failed to catch my interest I used the on-screen controls to just skip to the next section. But I have chosen my “Top 50 Sections” of this 24-hour video, and I present them here for you in chronological order. Click on any of the screenshots below to be taken directly to that section. At the bottom of this article I’ll have some more thoughts for you.