nirvana

TEN SECOND SONGS: 20 DIFFERENT STYLES IN 1 DIZZYING BURST
July 6, 2016 11:44 am

Cover songs can be both a wonderful and cringe-worthy affair. They allow contemporary artists to dust off forgotten gems and repackage them for a new generation. Occasionally, a cover will manage to even improve on the original, though often they fall short. The Carpenters or Sonic Youth; Otis Redding or The Rolling Stones or Devo; The Postal Service or The Shins? Al Green or Talking Heads?—this go-to conversation fodder can quickly escalate into heated debates.  Youtuber Anthony Vincent gives covers to you 20 different ways in one dizzying burst.

Ten Second Songs doesn’t particularly befit a YouTube channel dedicated to the Jim Carey of pop music impersonators—for whatever reason, the title automatically reminded me of this classic AskReddit thread instead. Nonetheless, Anthony Vincent’s goofball concoctions are a total gas. If you you’re in need of a quick and hardy laugh, he’s got you covered.

Vincent’s main attraction is the 20 Style Cover Series, in which he sings through a selected track—often voted for anonymously by his loyal subscribers—and redubs the song in the style of a random interchanging array of musical guises, from Frank Sinatra to Nirvana and RunDMC to Daddy Yankee. Sure, it’s a touch on the gimmicky side, but that’s totally the point–the pure belly-laugh value is undeniable as Vincent mashes up some often hysterical combinations. Make sure to check out his HUGE variety of covers here. This is one of our favorites, enjoy!

WOLFMOTHER REIGNS VICTORIOUS
February 24, 2016 12:05 am

I have a playlist of songs that I’d listen to if I were ever on the front lines of a war. I’m pretty sure most of today’s soldiers blast music under their helmets, and I always wonder what I would want pumping through my ears in the heat of battle. What would push me to succeed? To fight harder or smarter or better. What if it was the last thing I ever heard?

So I made a war playlist, and Wolfmother was the first thing on it. Sprinkle in some MuseRATM, and the like and you got yourself something real, something awesome. I listen to it on the highway or while doing a particularly aggressive load of laundry. Every so often I add a song here and there, but not until Wolfmother’s new album, Victorious, did I consider adding all 10 songs from the album at once, but I seriously might.

Just check out the title track, a screaming headbanger, a triumphant, anthemic force of energy. Creative genius Andrew Stockdale (and whoever is playing around him these days) is back to the “rollicking, galloping beats and big riffs” that Wolfmother is known for. Many of these tracks could be your new favorite pump-up song. The notable exception is called Pretty Peggy, an acoustic ballad reminiscent of their previous “love-song,” Vagabond.

It’s as if Stockdale took all his most popular songs and rewrote them with different words and music, but the same look and feel. Like when you go to the west coast and realize their mayonnaise has a different name. Sure it feels a little off, but you still slather it around your sandwiches and whip it into your deviled eggs. New look, same great taste!

The most amazing thing about Wolfmother through the years is how they consistently sound like fifteen different bands all at once. Everyone from Black Sabbath to The White Stripes, Zeppelin to Jet, Kings Of Leon to Queens of the Stone Age. And somehow–despite numerous lineup changes and artistic bullshit–they maintain the same generic timelessness we’ve come to expect, even after a decade or so of aggressive, high-octane awesomeness. Impressive.

Wolfmother is currently on tour to support the album, stopping by NYC’s Webster Hall on March 4th. They’ll continue throughout the US and Canada until April 1st, play in Europe for 6 weeks, and then finish the tour in NJ at the end of May. See them before they go back down under!

ELLIOTT SMITH HEAVEN ADORES YOU SOUNDTRACK RELEASED
February 5, 2016 11:53 am

I was a youthful thirteen years old when I first heard Elliott Smith for the first time in August of 2002. I had just left the Alaska State Fair with a mix of friends and strangers. We all laid around a room listening to a mix CD, and the first track happened to be Smith’s “Say Yes.”

Though it seems it’s one of his more simple songs, it hit me like a brick to the gut and psyche. Music was forever changed for me that day. I couldn’t get enough of him from “Miss Misery” to “Christian Brothers” and then I stumbled on the whole Figure 8 album which figuratively brought me to my knees in amazement. This man was a fucking genius. At that time little did I know his life was riddled with addiction, mental illness and that this creative genius was a cathartic spew of his deepest pain. So, as nostalgic and beautiful as those memories are it’s also melancholic because a year after I discovered his light at the end of his tunnel, he took his own life.

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The throes of addiction, mental illness coupled with the deep claws of a major label seemed to have thrown Smith over the edge. Fast forward to today, there was a documentary released about his life’s work in his music and genius titled Heaven Adores You. From the Heatmiser days to the latest and greatest album that served almost as his suicide note to the world From a Basement on a Hill. There were some songs on the film that had not been previously released, and also some good oldies that everyone can relate to such as “LA” and “Going Nowhere” from his previously released albums. Today, they released the soundtrack to said documentary and it is fire for anyone deeply involved and even mildly obsessed with his craft – like me.

It is a montage of his work from unreleased songs to rarities and live versions of songs we all know as well as earlier or altered versions.  I think my favorite song off the album is “True Love,” though his version of “Plain Clothes Man,” a song he did with  in his earlier days is a masterpiece as well. Smith has a way of roping you in with his humming melodies, overlapping paper thin vocals and completely enthralling guitar and piano. His guitar style hardly needs any back up, he’s the type of player who has
his own rhythm section within his guitar playing style which makes it more dynamic and full. The kicker is that this man is fully capable and very talented at playing just about any instrument you could imagine and recorded a majority of his work by himself. There are some songs on this album that are strictly instrumental.. which to me is almost a travesty because his vocals make him such an icon, though his distinction lies everywhere.

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There are a few rare songs, like “Don’t Call me Billy”and “I love my room” that are borderline hilarious and not his usual cynical and melancholic style. (Think Sliver by Nirvana.) There are 20 tracks that are rare or pivotal to his life in this soundtrack and you absolutely need to take a listen, even if you have never heard Smith it’s important that you do. The last song I want to talk about on the album is called “True Love.” It has to be the song that blew me away the most. The lyrics ‘I just need a safe place to bleed is this where it’s at?’ in which it seems he’s pleading for the world to leave him to revel in his vices, which in the end took him far too soon. His memory lives on in his heavy hearted musical genius. Take an hour to rip your heart out with the Heaven Adores You soundtrack by the late, great Elliott Smith.

Heyrocco Smells Like Teenage Movie Soundtrack
October 9, 2015 1:31 pm

In Charleston, where there is nothing to do but skateboard, drink “shitty box wine”, and hangout, three dudes in high school formed a band called Heyrocco that personifies the teen angst of growing up in the suburbs.

Nathan Merli sings lead vocals and plays guitar, the guy with the real cool name Chris Cool plays bass, and then there’s Tanner Cooper or “Taco” on drums. Together they make melodic grungy tunes about the awkward, vulnerable, and rebellious feels of being a hormonal teenager.

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I first saw Heyrocco back in June at Shea Stadium.  Their debut album Teenage Movie Soundtrack had just come out on Old Flame Records and they were about to play their first show back in the US after a super successful tour in the UK.

They opened to a scattered crowd and played songs from the album which covers pretty much every topic that teen-dom entails.  Let’s see, there’s girls, peer pressure, horny teens, virginity, clumsy sex, hookups, heartbreak, house parties, hating everyone and everything around you…yup, I’m pretty sure that covers everything.

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Heyrocco describe their sound as “disney grunge” and it gives a very 90s feel to them that sometimes (bear with me as I try to compare them to other bands) reminds me of a grungier Motion City Soundtrack but if Conor Oberst was the vocalist.

I wonder if they would hate it if I compared them to Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” or Simple Plan’s “I’m Just a Kid”I’m going to do it anyways, because their music reminds me of a time where I would play songs like that on repeat with my bedroom door shutting out the world so I could wallow in my teen angst to the band (the only people who understood me). Dramatic, I know.

It was funny talking about some of the verses with Merli.  He stopped mid-sentence at one point and was like, “Oh my god, I sound emo.” Because it’s true adolescent feelings and behaviors can sound pretty ridiculous, especially from an outside perspective. But Heyrocco embraces the humor in it, for example by holding up a t-shirt that says “daddy issues” at the end of the music video for “Loser Denial”.

Other times, especially when they played their song “Virgin”, Heyrocco really sounds like Nirvana.

“Virgin” makes fun of stereotypical macho males bragging about sexual conquests and pressuring others to do the same.  They approach many similar themes in the same deadpan style of Kurt Cobain, and to complete my mental comparison for the night, Cooper was wearing the same “Hi, How Are You” Daniel Johnston t-shirt Cobain often wore.  

Although Heyrocco claim to be “packing more bowls than venues” I would say they’re doing pretty well.  They are currently back touring in the UK, where they have been selling out shows, and are playing in Manchester the 13th before coming straight here to play CMJ on the 14th at Webster Hall.  So what’s next? Some touring around the US then on to Canada eh. I also vaguely remember Merli saying something about going in a different direction with their music…but anyways still can’t wait to see what they do next. So cheers Heyrocco, thanks for reawakening the nostalgic angsty teen in me!