Category Archives: Editorial

My Take on Brad Paisley’s “Accidentally Racist”

First of all I’d like to state that I feel music should have a message. I would also like to state that I like music that has a political message, but to me Brad Paisley’s “Accidentally Racist” ft. L.L. Cool J. makes a very akward statement. At first I thought this was comedy, but then I thought that it was probably a publicity stunt to promote Paisley’s new album, Wheelhouse which came out yesterday.

Here’s an honest review of the song. It’s a flop. It’s a terrible attempt at a political song based on history. The lyrics of the song are tacky.  “To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand / When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I’m a Skynyrd fan.”  Come on Paisley. What is that? Pure shit. LL Cool J’s lyrics aren’t any better like when he says  “RIP Robert E. Lee but I’ve gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, know what I mean.” Another verse that is all together strange.

All in all a weird song.

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Where Did Wolfmother Go? An Update on Andrew Stockdale’s Latest Project!

When I first heard Wolfmother I knew that they were going to be big, and they were. In fact many of their songs ended up in movies and other strange places. But since the band finish recording and touring behind their record, Cosmic Egg not much has been heard from the band besides that they were working on a new record, but things were not as great as they use to be in the Wolfmother camp, as there was a new line up.

On 6 March 2013, Wolfmother’s front-man Andrew Stockdale announced that he would be releasing the album the new band was working on under his own name.  He then went on and described the album as “a different trip now.” Stockdale later announced via Facebook that Wolfmother was on hiatus, and that the band would now become his solo project.

We now know that the EP will be released April 26th and will be titled Keep Moving. We’ve also heard some of the new music, and it grooves. It has a solid beat and has this unexplainable swagger that hasn’t really been prevalent in the music world since the Stones and Zeppelin. In fact one of the tracks, “Long Way To Go” sounds like  The Black Keys, The Stones, Wolfmother, and The Jackson 5 had a mysterious love child.

I’m excited to hear this release and you should be too!

-B. Harlow

Andrew stockdale

Adrew Stockdale solo

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Progressive Music’s Past and Future

What is it about progressive music that makes me tick? Is it the musicianship? Is it the songs? Is it the respect I have for the bands? All these factors add up into a love of progressive music. Since my childhood I’ve been listening to bands like Genesis, Yes, and Pink Floyd. But it wasn’t till my late teenage years that I really developed a love for the music after I discovered Coheed & Cambria, Mastodon, and Tool. All of these bands were influence by the great prog masters, but what they did was meld it into their own style. I enjoyed this music more and more, and eventually start digging back further to bands like Rush, King Crimson, and Emerson Lake & Palmer.  I love progressive music, but I wonder what its current state is? Will it last? Will it survive into the next generation? All valid questions if you ask me.

When listening to music that came out in the early 60’s you get this real feeling of simplicity. Then by the late 60’s the music started to get more complex. It was at this time you could tell people were fed up with the same old pop bands, thus bands like Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd and King Crimson started to emerge. Listeners wanted something more complex, something they could sink their teeth into. Bands also started writing more concept records.

Bands also were starting to use more complicated arrangements thus adding to the listener’s experience. Musicians like Genesis’ Steve Hackett were digging into odd time signatures and classical influences. Hackett also made many innovations such as inventing finger tapping.  Genesis added so many new things to progressive music like dynamics, light and shade, which made their music stand out from the other music of the time. Also making them stand out was front-man, Peter Gabriel. Its Gabriel’s odd mannerisms and terrific voice that made them stand out.

Then there was Yes.  The musicians in Yes were pretty much an orchestra composed of five people. Whether it was Howe’s nimble fretwork, or Rick Wakeman’s keyboards, Yes took the required musicianship in progressive music up a whole notch.

Then you have King Crimson. King Crimson was one of the first bands that really went overboard with experimentation. You didn’t know whether King Crimson’s music was mush or plain musical brilliance. You can listen now and see how overwhelming and innovative they must have sounded. They were one of the first bands that really experimented, and for this we can thank them.

 

One of the key things in progressive music was the album, and more importantly the concept album. The undisputed kings of the concept album are Pink Floyd and their album, The Wall. It was within that double album that musicians got to hear what a true concept was. They even followed it up with a movie of the same name. It also showed the importance of writing great songs, that even though were still progressive in nature were understandable and listenable by the general public. Songs like “Hey You,” “Mother,” and “Comfortably Numb” do just that.

One of the most important bands that needs to be mentioned when talking about progressive rock is Canadian power trio, Rush. Rush took the influences of British progressive music melded it with their other favorite hard rock bands. By doing this, Rush made a new sound that was a little heavier and more majestic than bands that came before them. Rush took musicianship and songwriting to another level that not many have reached.

In the 80’s as music was getting heavier, so did prog. Bands like Queensrÿche which was a very straight ahead metal band who eventually moved into progressive music with the release of their pivotal album, Operation Mindcrime.

When Queensrÿche started to lighten their sound they left a void in the progressive world. Thus the proverbial torch was passed again. This time it was picked up by the Berklee schooled musicians, Dream Theater. It was this combination of early prog influences like Yes mixed with the thrash metal of Metallica that made Dream Theater amazing. They opened a whole new realm and legitimized progressive music so that bands like Tool could come to the forefront.

In the early 2000’s two of the most important bands that came out were Atlanta’s, Mastodon and New York’s, Coheed & Cambria. These two bands are now holding the proverbial torch. Both of these bands took the influences of Genesis, King Crimson, and Rush and added more heavy influences. Both of these bands also started embracing the concept album that had been neglected since the late 80’s. Coheed even embraced a concept saga consisting of six albums so far.

But who will hold torch for progressive music in the future? Could it be Periphery the Bethesda, Maryland based prog-metal band? Could it be Georgia’s, Baroness? It remains to be seen, but I do know progressive music will continue on, as a very important part of our musical landscape.

-B. Harlow

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#FREERANDYBLYTHE

Sometimes I get extremely mad at certain situations. This was the case when I heard about the detainment of Lamb of God front-man, Randy Blythe. It infuriated me so much that this man was falsely accused of manslaughter, and to add to that paid his bail, but was not released. Apparently the Czech bail system isn’t as smooth as ours is in the U.S.  Thus Blythe has been sitting in a Czech jail cell, and been learning mandarin.

My tenure as a Lamb of God fan started around 2006 with the release of their album, Sacrament. By the time their 2009 album, Wrath came out I was a huge fan with all of their albums and both DVD releases. Around that time I also got to meet Blythe and the other members of the band. They all were extremely nice and talkative except Randy whom was very soft spoken until he felt he needed to interject into the conversation. I also had a long talk with Lamb of God’s bassist, John Campbell. After that meeting I was so thrilled I had a bunch of signed merch, a couple of stage used picks, and pictures with all of the members of the band. I was thrilled.

On that same tour supporting Wrath Lamb of God also played a gig in Prague, Czech Republic. During this show a fan came up onstage three times, and was thrown off the stage by a security guard. The fan in questions name was Daniel. About a month later said fan died of injuries.

Jump ahead to two weeks ago, Lamb of God is set to play a show in Prague, and then the police show up and take Blythe into custody and proceed to charge him with manslaughter. They set a bail hearing for Saturday, June 30th. Bail is set at $200,000 and Blythe’s management post bail. Yet Blythe is still not released even though there is clear video showing that Blythe was innocent.  Was this a tragedy, Yes. Is it a crime? In my opinion, it is definitely not.

I hope Blythe gets out soon. It’s not fair that he is imprisoned for something that he did not do. I feel bad for Blythe, his family, and his band who never saw this coming. I also feel bad for the Czech metal fans as I believe that many bands will re-route tours around the Czech Republic to avoid heinous charges like those pressed against Blythe.

But what can we do?

  1. Sign this official petition HERE
  2. Help Randy with his legal expenses HERE
  3. Keep spreading awareness of the situation by using #FreeRandyblythe

Keep Randy in your thoughts and hope for a speedy resolution! #FREERANDYBLYTHE

-B. Harlow

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Why Adele’s Huge Success Should be a Wake Up Call For The Record Industry

In an Industry which is suffering it is refreshing to see an artist do as well as Adele has. It is obvious when you turn on the radio that this English songstress is the most popular artist that we’ve seen in a long time. But what is the reason? My thoughts on Adele’s success are that, she’s an Artist. In these times many people claim to be artist but in all honesty they’re nothing but manufactured pop. Adele on the other hand honed her craft and perfected it. And thus when the listener gets her record, they feel the realness behind the music. This is why I believe the music industry should start taking notes. The major labels should cease to sign flavors of the month but go after artist.

These are not just thoughts but we can look at Adele’s stats. In the year since her album ‘21’ (Columbia) Adele’s managed to sell 7.3 million records (In the U.S. alone), three number one singles, and at last month’s Grammy awards she walked away with six Grammy awards. These are just unprecedented stats in an industry that is considered dead by many. But to me these stats show something, that with proper promotion, road work, and talent the record companies can be resurrected from the grave from which they dug themselves. I mean after the Grammy awards Adele’s album sold 700,000 copies. Most records can’t even do that in their first week of release.

Adele is a real crowned jewel in the industry, but I have two concerns. My first concern is that the radio stations are burning listeners out by putting her songs on constant rotation. My other concern is that, when Adele records her next album she’ll either release something influenced by record label heads. But there is no point in trying to predict how her next album will sound because as I said, she’s a true artist.

Check out her live performance of ‘Set Fire to The Rain’ below:

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