rolling stones

HOW MANY OF THESE ICONIC BANDS SHIRTS ARE WORTH THEIR HYPE?
September 30, 2016 2:20 am

The culture surrounding band shirts is so fucking masturbatorial. I know this first hand, since I own roughly 20-30 of them. As someone who spends far too much time obsessing over both music and sports, I can’t help but notice the similar satisfaction each respective fan base takes in showing off how passionate with specific articles of clothing. For sports fans, it’s a jersey. For music fans, it’s a band shirt. I’ve seen 20 minute long interactions heavy on mutual admiration over both of these items at a game or a concert countless times. It’s like a secret handshake for these people.

Again, I am part of this very snobbish problem. I proudly trot out my Darko Milicic jersey as often as possible in public. People need to know that I know about the Human Victory Cigar. And as a teen, I found a rinky dink website that allowed me to slap a .jpg of a Simpsonized Sonic Youth onto a t-shirt that they then gladly pressed for me. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than when somebody jealously squees “where did you get that?!?!” at me. Might be why all my relationships never last over a month, who knows.

Because this is the type of monster I am, my standards for this subset of fashion is absurdly high. Specifically band tees, since they’re the more commonly worn item. Some are perfect. Others are probably more useful as food for fire. Others, however, reach a rare air of ubiquity that transcend music taste altogether. The design strikes such a cord that people who might not have ever heard a song by a band will proudly wear the shirt.

Whether or not that’s a bad thing is an entirely different discussion that really only means anything to the most annoying realms of my personality. What I want to try to figure out is how many of these iconic shirts are actually worth the hubbub from a design standpoint. Are these shirts worth their hype? Well, let me put my Hat of Objective Judgement on and discuss.

 

1) Johnny Cash’s Middle Finger Shirt

 

What a rebel! Boy, oh boy, Johnny Cash was sure a troublemaker back in his day, wasn’t he? A middle finger? My word, what a provocateur! The sheer amount of rebellion it takes to pose in front of a camera with all but Mr. Middle Finger (the most important of all fingers) folded down is unheard of. Not enough artists flip off photographers nowadays! That’s what’s wrong with today’s music. Man, we need more dirtbags like Johnny around, man. Ugh, I’m done pretending that this shirt is cool in any way or that Johnny Cash makes enjoyable music.

NOT WORTH THE HYPE.

 

2) Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures Shirt

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While there’ve been a myriad of spins on the original design recently, from Wu-Tang to Mickey Mouse, oddly enough, nothing can beat the original. It’s a beautifully simplistic design that’s gotten more and more popular over the years. I can never see myself getting tired of seeing it.

WORTH THE HYPE

 

3) Metallica’s Master of Puppets Shirt

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Considering that the breed of YouTube commenter most likely to post a homophobic slur on a Justin Bieber video tends to have a Heavy Metal album cover as their their picture, it tickled me beyond belief when the Beebz started incorporating those bands’ shirts into his daily fashion. Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, all of them Biebered. He even copied Iron Maiden’s font for his latest tour’s merch. The trend’s caught on like wildfire. These shirts are all over places like Urban Outfitters and H&M now. It’s kind of impossible to explain exactly how or why it happened, but I’m so over the moon with the fact that it did.

WORTH THE HYPE

 

4) Rolling Stones Tongue Shirt

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Look at this stupid fucking logo. This dumb, overly glossy piece of pop-art trash is going to wind up outliving each member of the Rolling Stones themselves. It remains a mystery to me why anyone would want to have some hornily panting tongue smack dab on the middle of their chest, but this is the America that we live in today.

NOT WORTH THE HYPE

 

5) Black Flag Logo Shirt

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Even more than the Unknown Pleasures tee, this one has had so many parodies to it. And it’s more minimal than Joy Division’s design, too! It’s just the band’s name with a bunch of skinny rectangles sloppily lined up. There’s no reason why this should be so exceptional, but it is. It’s basically the shirt every Punk band wishes they could call their own.

WORTH THE HYPE

 

6) Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon

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Listen, I don’t really want to spend too much time on this one. It’s fine, okay? I get it, rainbow on one end, no rainbow on the other. Very symbolic. Is symbolic the right word to use there? I really don’t care enough. For me, this shirt screams ‘Guy In His 40s Who Buys All His Graphic Tees At The Gap’.

IT’S FINE, WHO CARES.

 

7) RUN-DMC Shirt

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For some odd reason, Run-DMC is one of the few rap outfits that currently have a truly exception shirt to call their own. I’m not really sure why that’s been the case, but considering how awesome the merch from guys like Kanye, Drake and Tyler, The Creator have looked the past few years, that should be changing real soon. For now, though, this one remains the genre’s gold standard.

WORTH THE HYPE

 

8) Led Zeppelin’s Naked Angel Shirt

Something about a naked angel who appears to be writhing in agony just seems to resonate with a bunch of folks. Whenever I see this dumb angel, I just want to shout “GET OVER IT, STUPID ANGEL!!!” at it. Then I realize I’d be shouting this at someone’s chest and that isn’t really cool. The odd thing is, I do get it on some strange level. Like, when I see this angel being all histrionic, it does sort of epitomize the bombast of Led Zeppelin’s music. No part of me ever wants to wear this shirt, but I understand the appeal.

MEDIOCRE ENOUGH TO BE WORTHY OF SOME HYPE

 

9) Misfits Logo Shirt

 

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Years before I heard a single note come out of Glenn Danzig’s mouth, I was introduced to this shirt. I had no idea if Misfits was a band, a clothing brand, or some horror movie I’ve never seen before. The imagery always stuck with me, though. Once I finally started listening to this legendary band, I was obviously more than pleased, but I still think what Misfits is most known for is this fucking shirt. It’s amazing. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this shirt’s outsold their entire catalogue 10 times over. Everybody has this shirt. And with good reason, too.

WORTH THE HYPE.

 

Aaaaand that’ll be it for this installment of ‘Is This Band Shirt Worth The Hype?’ As you can see, the color black reigns supreme in the iconic band shirt world. Or maybe it doesn’t, and that’s simply a byproduct of my darkness bias coming through. There were a few other shirts I was considering adding to this list, but no other seemed as much of a no-brainer as these did. Perhaps a sequel is in order. 

Record On The Go With Track’d
September 30, 2015 3:24 pm

We here at ATYPICALSOUNDS know musicians. Most of us are musicians. We’ve all been there; sitting in your buddy’s (insert- garage, bedroom, fire escape, etc) and just free-styling music; strumming your grandpa’s acoustic while scribbling poetic lyrics about that asshole..I mean… the one that got away. Well, now you can capture these impromptu moments of musical glory.

Trackd is an iOS App that is a simple and easy-to-use tool for artists to record, view, listen, share, and collaborate with other musicians around the world (or just the ones you played in your high school band with).  Trackd creates a simple platform with the basic recording tools musicians need and combines it with the ability to collaborate on those recordings with others. It provides an easy way to capture inspiration on the go with the ability to find and work with other musicians.  Since all of this can be done through your phone, it can be done almost anywhere, anytime.

It can be difficult to find artists who share similar musical styles and ideas, especially if you live in an area that lacks a substantial music scene (#BrooklynAllDay). This app aims to solve those problems and has a credible team of musicians, creatives, and technologists behind it. The Trackd team is made up of Russel Sheffield, James Easton, Daniel James Diggle, and Aaron Ray. Sheffield’s father is a founder of Trident Studios in the UK where acts such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, and David Bowie have recorded some of their biggest hits. Diggle is a freelance designer, illustrator, and animator who has worked for some fairly large clients. You might’ve heard of them in passing…Google and Coca-Cola? No? Nevermind, then. Ray is a successful NYC-based app developer.

Trackd

So why am I giving you this much information on them and not the app itself?  Unlike a lot of other apps Trackd is clearly a creation by people who know what they are doing.  

As for myself, I have minimal experience recording music, although I’ve done my fair share dabbling in Garageband few times. As an amateur, I was so surprised at how extremely easy Trackd was to use.  There is a short tutorial video in the beginning that guides you through the basics. It was so easy to record, delete, edit, discover other artists, collaborate, and share music.  There are mixing tools that easily allow you to adjust volume levels while your track is playing and it even has pan controls.

Released in August, it already had 18,000 users after only two weeks of being active and feedback has been very positive

The app is still new so there are limits to its capabilities but on Trackd’s Facebook they promise cool updates and expansions are on the way. For $1.99 you can upgrade the app to allow 8 tracks instead of 4 but besides that everything is free! 

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Artist of the Month: Lena Fayre
September 4, 2015 2:02 pm

Lena Fayre isn’t some ordinary teenager out there. This 19 year old singer-songwriter from LA has already established herself as a talented pop musician among the indie music scene, West coast to East coast. She’s already caught Rolling Stone’s attention who described her music as “an angst-filled afternoon spent lip-syncing into a hairbrush.” People have been raving over her ‘darkwave’ Lorde-esque voice, which explain her millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify.

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Her latest EP ‘Is There Only One?’ captures her emotional journey through her romantic loss. It’s a full compilation of songs showing “sadness, regret, bitterness and, finally, a shaky truce.” According to Lena, Instagram had played a big role in her past relationship, hence the cover art is basically a photo of her on Instagram showing a photo of her ex’s current girlfriend, who apparently gave an ‘ok’ to be on the cover. Talk about awkwardness! At least she was able to get inspiration and deliver some great tunes to the world, right? “I don’t want to lessen the meaning that this music has for me by like putting a pretty picture on my face on the EP.” Looks like she wants to lay everything out in the open by keeping things real. You go girl!

She describes her sound as “deconstructed pop”, pulling elements from a variety of pop singers who inspired her throughout childhood. In an interview with Austin Underground, she says “Pop has certain elements and I like to use those elements but in a different way and not feel that I have to fit in a certain genre, but I can use a pop aesthetic and pop sounds and kind of use it to my advantage in whatever way I want. Deconstructed pop just means I have a minimalist sound, but I can [still] use those elements.”
As someone who grew up in the same generation as her, I can relate to her pop music influences from the 90’s and early 00’s including Gwen Stefani, The Veronicas, and Evanescence. “Vocally, I got a lot of my style from Evanescence. The lead singer Amy Lee – I listened to her a lot growing up, and that genre of music so, kind of how she uses her voice as an instrument. I had never realized that that was a thing, that you can manipulate your voice and train it to do whatever you want. So [I] kind of listening to her at an early age [and] set the tone for how I’d use my voice now.” 

There is no mystery as to why Lena Fayre is our Artist Of The Month.  Now we get bragging rights that we were rocking with her before she was hugely famous.  Hey Lena, we see you.