Category Music

The Axis of Awesome: 4 Chords

Heavy Metal Singers Reviewed by Classical Voice Teacher

A classically trained voice teacher reviews 5 classic metal singers (Bruce Dickinson, Dio, Ozzie, King Diamond, and Rob Halford).

Here is her review of Ozzie Osbourne:

This is a singer with decent diction and good musical instincts but no command of vocal technique. He is massively over-adducting his vocal folds while driving enough air through them to get them to speak, but his throat is so tight that there is no flow or resonance. His rhythmic punctuation of the lyrics is very distracting, in contrast with Singer #1 who delivered his text with rhythmic accents that served, rather than detracted from the flow of music and poetry. It hurt my throat so much to listen to him that I was tempted to ask Cosmo how long his career lasted before he either washed out or needed surgery. The entire range of his singing is contained within a single octave – with the exception of the moment when he yells “Oh Lord!” a little higher, in my opinion the only quasi-free vocal sound on the entire track.

Reflections on Contempory Music (and Why It Sucks)

From Retrospace:

This is when pop diva wannabes sing sixty notes for a single syllable – it’s octave showboating and a form of auditory abuse. It’s on display with basically every American Idol contestant and almost every pop/hip-hop/R&B song on the radio.

Message to young pop stars: Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have been there and done that. Move on. No more of this nonsense – not on American Idol, not while you’re singing the National Anthem, not ever! You are fracturing words into a soulless slur of syllables.

Your vocal gymnastics have become predictable and alienating. A steady note can be transcendent – try it sometime. Your amateur warbling is a trite, self-indulgent form of exhibitionism.

Playing The Beatles Backwards: The Ultimate Countdown

From JamsBio magazine:

To most Beatles fans, choosing between the songs of the Fab 4 is a bit like choosing between children. But, on the JamsBio exclusive, Playing The Beatles Backwards, one intrepid fan dares to rank the original songs of The Beatles and give his reasons why in a worst-to-first countdown. Prepare to hit the message boards to defend your favorites, and follow the countdown all the way to Number 1.

(via Kottke)

Update:

Blame this link if I don’t post anything else for the rest of the day.

The Spotnicks

From Wikipedia:

The Spotnicks are an instrumental rock group from Sweden, who were formed in 1961. They were famous for wearing “space suit” costumes on stage, and for their innovative electronic guitar sound. They have since released 42 albums, selling more than 18 million records, and still tour.

PCL Linkdump has a roundup of some of their album covers.

100 Worst Guitar Solos

From Guitar World:

In a rare moment of pure spite and malice, Guitar World asked several contributors to identify those instances when our greatest guitar heroes took their biggest pratfalls. And, boy, rarely have we seen our writers take to an assignment with greater gusto. It seems that nothing gets a journalist’s creative juices flowing like asking them to spill a big bucket of bile on a beloved icon. While our writers tended to save most of their venom for undeniably cruddy and inept solos, some had fun throwing darts at performances that were technically adept but which they deemed boring, self-indulgent or just plain absurd. Another favorite pastime was picking on anything remotely involving the talents of Poison’s C.C. DeVille.

Van Halen’s Legendary M&M’s Rider

From The Smoking Gun:

DECEMBER 11–Behold the Holy Grail. Since we began publishing backstage concert riders about 10 years ago, TSG has been searching for the most famous rider of them all, the one in which Van Halen famously stipulated that brown M&M’s were to be banished from the band’s dressing room. Well, as seen below, the hunt is over. TSG has finally obtained the 1982 Van Halen World Tour rider–typewritten and 53 pages long–containing the M&M prohibition (and a few other uniques demands). The document, which we’ve excerpted below, also stipulated that promoters provide the group with “herring in sour cream,” four cases of “Schlitz Malt Liquor beer (16 ounce cans),” and a total of eight bottles of wine and liquor. Oh, and the band also needed “One (1) large tube KY Jelly.” The rider’s “Munchies” section was where the group made its candy-with-a-caveat request: “M & M’s (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES).”

70′s Rock Musicians and Their Parent’s Homes

From ApartmentTherapy.com:

We found this fascinating series of photos from the archives of LIFE magazine, giving readers a peek inside the homes of the parents/grandparents of some of the most influential musical artists from the 1970′s, including the likes of Frank Zappa [above], Grace Slick, The Jackson Five, Elton John, Eric Clapton and many more previewed below…

Chuck Klosterman reviews Chinese Democracy

From the AV Club:

Reviewing Chinese Democracy is not like reviewing music. It’s more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? To a rhinoceros? Does its pre-existing mythology impact its actual value, or must it be examined inside a cultural vacuum, as if this creature is no more (or less) special than the remainder of the animal kingdom? I’ve been thinking about this record for 15 years; during that span, I’ve thought about this record more than I’ve thought about China, and maybe as much as I’ve thought about the principles of democracy. This is a little like when that grizzly bear finally ate Timothy Treadwell: Intellectually, he always knew it was coming. He had to. His very existence was built around that conclusion. But you still can’t psychologically prepare for the bear who eats you alive, particularly if the bear wears cornrows.

RIP Mitch Mitchell

From OregonLive:

Mitch Mitchell, the iconic drummer who provided the heartbeat of the Jimi Hendrix Experience on rock classics such as “Voodoo Child” and “Purple Haze,” was found dead early today in a Portland hotel room.

Mitchell, 61, who pioneered a fusion style that allowed him and one of history’s greatest guitar players to feed off each other, died of natural causes, the Multnomah County medical examiner said. He was found about 3 a.m. in his room at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland.


Creative Commons License