In my experience it’s easy to find the perfect back to back songs on records, but what’s more difficult and ultimately more awesome is when three compelling songs hit all in a row and much excitement is had by not skipping through songs. I’ve done a list like this before, but it’s a great idea so why not come up with five more fantastic multi song sequences. Some of these will be obvious, others will not, but they all rock. Enjoy!
the Chemical Brothers, Brotherhood: Galvanize, Hey Boy Hey Girl, Block Rockin’ Beats
From early on in their career this band was genuinely good, but by the time this record came out they were just showing off. These three songs exemplify how they’ve managed to not only stay very popular but also make consistently solid electronic dance music. “Galvanize” rises like hands in a dance club, while “Hey Boy Hey Girl” takes no time in building up the momentum of the insane ending of the previous song. That little beat slowly getting louder in “Hey Boy” is dark and grimy all at once, and exists in a world similar to that cave dancing scene in the second Matrix. But ultimately the trio of songs is put on the top of the mountain with the help of the classic dance track “Block Rockin’ Beats.” Like, on the reals, this might be one of the top three best known dance songs of the 90’s, and it’s not hard to see why. It surrounds you and wiggles itself into your body and causes nothing but joy from movement.
El-P, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead: Tasmanian Pain Coaster, Smithereens, Up All Night
You never know what you’ll get when Amanda Plummer is the first thing you hear on a record, but the interlude perfectly sets the stage for not just three great songs but overall just a potent record. El-P soon makes his presence known, and as the ever evolving beat cross over us, it’s on it’s way to total meltdown, and with song two “Smithereens,” it’s getting ever so closer to reaching the height of madness. The beats on the second track sizzles and whirls around a crowded party, but then out of nowhere the party anthem of the record is slamming the doors down. The song is of course “Up All Night” and it doesn’t ever let up. P’s call for action and his play on words here are articulate and energizing, but so is the beat, which makes the song a force to be reckoned with.
Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News: the World At Large, Float On, Ocean Breathes Salty
Modest Mouse is a tricky band to categorize. This isn’t their best album, but obviously it’s their best known. Even though this isn’t thought of as their perfect record, no other three songs compare to these in terms of capable instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics. They ebb and flow together in a gradual motion which helps tremendously. “The World at Large” reminds me of a man falling apart and trying to hold onto his emotions and also who he is as a person. Maybe he’s terrified to accept things as they are, but by the time “Float On” comes through perhaps the character(if even there is one) is able to let the weight go and realize that life is too short for trying to fix the unfixable, and that what happens will happen. The best song of the three though, “Ocean Breathes Salty” brings it full circle in a glorious wave of translucent playing and Brook’s voice swimming over the radiating chords that make the song so solid.
Muse, Origin of Symmetry: Hyper Music, Plug in Baby, Citizen Erased
This band has long since lost interest for me, but without a doubt this is a modern rock masterpiece and excuse me for saying but it belongs in this world for all to hear and witness. Muse and especially Bellamy have always been able to contrast lyrics about personal feeling while still drilling in aspects of conspiracy theories and what goes on in the shadows. When during “Hyper Music” Matt belts out “And I Don’t want you, and I never will,” he’s escaping from the clutches of a relationship long doomed, but during the beyond epic “Plug in Baby” the mood stiffens even more and as he goes on to say, he’s using his baby to “crucify his enemies” and expel all bad feelings from his existence. Having said that though, “Citizen Erased,” is a song full of Orwellian themes and attitudes about the questions asked of us, but how questions pointed at the power elite is are able to be tossed aside. One Of their most politically themed songs, but also one of their better ones.
Taylor Swift,1989: Blank Space, Style, Out of the Woods
Essentially these songs and this record have helped me belt it out during a difficult breakup, and i have no fucking shame whatsoever. Music is meant to be enjoyed, and I have no qualms liking things that might seem to be out of my scope. Anyway, what Swift does with 1989 is make a perfect, sophisticated pop record in a period where it’s glossy, no thrills approach is killing pop music itself. “Blank Space” is a word of warning to those who do you wrong, and how to retract such actions before they start. “Style” on the other hand is a song made for the evermoving nighttime glow of a big city, in which all hopes and dreams are possible. Her voice is silky smoothe here, and is more or less a timeless love song devoted to unseen glances from the person who wants you to notice them. “Out of Woods” though is T. Swift at her darkest, brooding best. The beat could only exist in this song, and in a weird ass way it reminds of the opening beat of Bjork’s “Bachelorette.” It’s a jarring beat and time signature, and is one of the many reason she’s currently controlling the entire world.
Thanks for reading, see you Monday.
Once upon a time I was going to see Nine Inch Nails three times in a span of a few weeks. For hardcore nin fans, sometimes you couldn’t care less about the opening act. One of those happened to be Saul Williams. I went in knowing next to nothing but also aware that I had never heard anything good nor bad about him. I knew he was somewhat experimental hip hop. That was it.
Needless to say, that first opening slot completely blew me and my friends away, and from that day forward I was a fan. His newer music hasn’t really had the bite of his earlier works, but his self titled, 2004 release is still one of the most intensely dope records I’ve ever heard, and becuase of that today I add it to the list of “Albums of My Life.” Enjoy
The first thing you hear on this record is Serj Tankian, yes that Serj, slowly beating piano keys. As the song flows though, Williams’ calm and measured vocals come over the speakers, and pretty quickly you realize this isn’t typical MTV rap(he even acknowledges it). The lyrics are also subversive and poignant, and they don’t rail against the typical themes prominent in hip hop. That’s what sets him apart. From the creepy opening of the record though, we dive right on into “Grippo,” which properly get’s the bass going. Saul’s vocals are grimy and dirty, but the mix is done in a way that makes it tolerable, even enjoyable.
Much of the album has that thought provoking emotional tone to it, but it only works well because how well the instrumentation is produced and mixed. “Telegram” features “dissonant chords around necks like nooses, and as Saul expounds about the death of hip hop, you can’t help but raise your hands in the air. Even the “Stop” playback is brilliant. Seriously though, this album is over ten years old and aside from maybe Kanye I’ve never heard anyone make hip hop this angry and full of brilliant rhymes.
When writing these segments, I try not to go to in depth on every single track, but the variety and also guest stars demonstrated here make it a little difficult. Track four, “Act III Scene 2(Shakespeare)” features legendary vocalist Zack de la Rocha, from a little band you might have heard of called Rage Against the Machine. He adds his normal venom to the song, and over a whirling beat the song dominates as the two vocalists bounce around each other.
The fifth song on the record though, is the big break he got from this album. “List of Demands(Reparations)” comes flooding over the ending of the previous track, and from the offset you can tell it’s gonna be a thumper that you can go crazy. The song is so passionate that I feel like anyone who has ever been disrespected can find solace in. Saul’s demanding to be heard, and to get what is owed him, and as an artist you can’t deny or disrespect his passion. Also refreshing is his vocal nature when it comes to God or a high power. I’m not sure of his religious beliefs, but it’s so refreshing to see someone actually speaking out about the bullshit hypocrisy in all religion, and also throwing out choice lines like “God is just a baby, and his diaper is wet.” It’s simply wonderful.
The next moderately well known song, “Black Stacey,” comes to us at number seven. This song is the epitome of young boy love that many of us have had. When he talks about his affections for various girls who scored high points in his bedroom fantasies you can relate to him. I surely can. Even now I’m a wonderful lover of the female form, and have admired many amazing creatures in my life. Thats what this song is to me.
As we approach the end of the record though, its important to keep the energy up, or at least interesting, and in both he largely succeeds. Track nine, “Surrender” has a killer drum and cymbal beat throughout, and once you get to the chorus it’s a song that very much feels like it would fit in a bar in a morbidly dark movie, where you have no idea what could happen. “Control Freak” sputters off to a start, but quickly finds its energy as Williams croons slightly over jagged beats and intricate details. It’s not an overtly in your face song, but the one two punch of the vocals surrounded by the beats behind him make it a potent track nonetheless.
Now this might strike you as weird, but the last song, “Notice of Eviction” has always reminded me of a hip hop song that was inspired by some of the darker works of Peter Gabriel or Depeche Mode. It’s a slow burn of a track, and as the record burns out in the darkness, it’s a song like this that makes the journey worth the arrival. Many records and the artists who make them don’t have the balls to put such a strikingly opposite song as the last track on a record, but Saul isn’t some typical artists, and while in my opinion he only made one more amazing record after this, his self titled album will always hold a special spot for me. Thanks for reading, see you Friday.
So here’s the thing about concerts and timing. If you advertise your show as Gates opening at five and show at 6, it’s solid logical planning to start the show at six. In typical New Orleans fashion though, this didn’t happen, which is why upon walking up at around 5:15 my group and I were greeted by the sounds of the first opening band, “The Bots.” I had never heard them before, but as far as opening acts go, they were good and fit in with the other bands well.
Now, they were quite good, but their placement on the bill is surprising. You see, “The Bots” are a two man, bass and drummer who sing band, which is exactly the same as the next band that played, Death From Above 1979 1979, who we’ll talk about in a few lines. Anyway, it just struck me as odd, but whatever, they were enjoyable, but honestly my day was all about the last three bands, and the first of those three was about to begin.
At Shaky Knees in May, i attempted to see DFA1979 for the third time, and while i technically accomplished my goal, the set was very bad. I won’t go into it again but it left me wanting a much better show, I hoped this wouldn’t be the same, and thankfully, they showed up and delivered. I guess when you’re opening for the Deftones & Incubus you can’t afford to suck, and they certainly didn’t. Over the course of a quick ten song set, they brought out all the intensity and fist bumping you would expect, and they quickly alleviated any concerns I had about their status as a live band.
Next though, is when things get much much better. The Deftones are easily one of the most consistent good bands I’ve ever seen live. They put out so much energy into every song that it’s difficult not to get excited and share in the moment. These are five guys that just love playing music for people, and even if i wasn’t a big than I think it would be difficult not to enjoy it. For seventy-five minutes they tore the stage apart, and got the crowd moving to nearly every track. Songs like opener “Be Quiet and Drive” killed it and by the time “Passenger” came upon us,the rain was starting to say hi. Seriously that was one of the best concert experiences ever. Just amazing.
Then though, the second headliner was due to arrive. Now I used to be a big Incubus fan, but their recent output has left much to be desired. Having said that though, they did deliver on stage, even if they were slightly overshadowed by Deftones. The major gripe is that they quite simply don’t have the energy of the previous bands. It didn’t matter though. The hits killed it, and much of the set was structured towards surefire hits and newer less known stuff. All in all it was enjoyable and it turned out to be one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a long time.
This Sunday, after seven years of not seeing one of my favorite bands, the wait is over. I’m beyond excited, and to celebrate today I present the Top Ten Deftones songs. Enjoy!
10. Hexagram, Deftones
After the colossal success that was “White Pony” no one quite knew what to expect. What we got, though, was a thoughtful, aggressive yet sincere album. The self titled album isn’t the masterstroke that WP was, but it has some of my favorite moments ever from the Sacto group. Album opener “Hexagram,” which start our countdown of the Top Ten Best Deftones songs, has everything you love about the band, albeit with a little more polish. It’s thrashing musically, and with Moreno screeching his ways through the chorus, it’s the perfect way to start the record, and the countdown for that matter.
9. Rickets, Around the Fur
Angry Deftones song, or Angriest Deftones song? It's not really that important. What is it important is the placement of this song on the album. It comes at a point where most heavy album take a little break, but this song just keeps it coming. On an album that seems defiant on being even remotely mellow, even this song bristles with fury and meticulous heaviness. For all intents and purposes, Around the Fur doesn't let you get comfortable for the forty-five minutes it's occurring. You can feel the resentment and rancor in his voice, particularly when screaming " You're probably right, but I'm stubborn and don't wanna listen."
8. Leathers, Koi No Yokan
The opening forebodes something dark is on the way, but until it hits you can't be sure. Then it begins. The vocals sweeping in and out are just awesome and balls out, all the way to the mountain. I'm not even sure what the song is about, but it might as well be about showing the vocal range of Chino Moreno. That's what makes him such an amazing singer. He can do it all. There are a few people who come to mind when I think of vocalists using their voices as instruments: Mike Patton, and Maynard come to mind, and Chino. It's a small list for sure. It is a sad song though. Maybe the person in the song is leaving his world behind? " Cutting your ties, now and forever " seems to indicate this. Number eight on the top ten Deftones songs, “Leathers.”
7. Teenager, White Pony
This song always felt like it should be in Blade Runner to me. One of their most beautiful songs, I can picture Rachel( Sean Young in the film) looking out of a window into the dystopian world, rain running down the windows. It all just makes sense to me. Particularly interesting is the contrast you see among this song when put up against their earlier albums. The growth and measure they use is phenomenal. Seeing them on the White Pony tour, and choosing this as the closing song, was breathe taking; Chino and Frank Delgado, the only two people on stage, wrapping up their performance. Even the line " I'm through with the new you" sounds like a Blade Runner reference. Also, I’ve met people who hate the band but loves this song. That's saying something.
6. Bored, Adrenaline
For many, the first taste we ever got of the band, and what a taste it was. This song is still so good so many years after because at least for me, it’s a reminder of how far they’ve come as a band, and how far I’ve come. I love the song so much because of how much not only I have changed, but the band also. “Bored” opens with an agro chord of midtempo guitar, while Chino whispers and occasionally crescendos in glorious fashion. It’s no wonder people took notice of them. The song is a wonderful reminder of their beginnings, and also of how far they’ve come.
Another video that perfectly fits with the song. Playing in the desert, as the sun comes up in the horizon. One of their more romantic songs, but it's able to be beautiful and thoughtful while still being on the heavier side. The track has a nice middle groove to it, and thanks to Chi Cheng, it really makes the song what it is. It's a song of strong contemplation, and also celebrating the loves in life. They aren't always easy, but nothing important is. Ultimately, it's a song about celebrating life and living every day as a positive. It's a shame this song doesn't get more acknowledgement, because it deserves it.
4. Swerve City, Koi No Yokan
A song that bounces and makes you want to rock will nearly always get my attention, especially if done correctly. This track is no exception. The opening immediately sets the pace for the remainder of the track, and the overall technique used by the band plays out brilliantly. The guitars shimmer in the way only Carpenter can pull off, while Abe’s drumming is secretly killing it. The real secret recipe though is Chino’s voice and how he wails and lifts himself over the music countless times and makes the song even more gorgeously heavy and epic. .
3. 7 Words, Adrenaline
A long time fan favorite, and a staple at most concerts. “7 Words” hums electrically over the first verse, and with Chino spitting lyrics out just under the mix, you can feel something bubbling with anticipation. Then the chorus comes and it’s an all out blast of energy, from both Moreno and Carpenter on guitars. Much of the power of the song comes from Stephen’s guitar, and it’s clear even from the debut record this band wasn’t just a fad. This album is nestled in the aftermath and happy death of the “Nu Metal” movement, but this and the follow up album prove just how much better they always were then all of the other bands.
2. Be Quiet and Drive(Far Away), Around the Fur
Best opening of any song they've made. To say it set’s the audience and/or listener to rock out is an understatement.The groove of the song just makes you bounce. This is always a favorite when played live. The video is great too. Performance video's can be tricky. The song has to be right, and the location has to be right. This pulls it off. The choice of the warehouse was spot on. After all these years I'm still not sure if the song if from any one viewpoint, but I tend to think it is. This dude wants this person to get him far away, from something. He's clearly done with whatever life he's attempting to leave. The pain in his voice as the song concludes proves that time and time again. One of the best songs they ever produced, BQAD finds our list at number two.
1. Passenger, White Pony
This really should come as no surprise. Obviously the song featuring someone from another band in my top five all time bands would be number one. I'm surprised how many people don't pick up on the connection between this song and Be Quiet and Drive to be honest. To me it seems obvious. I can't help but think it's a companion piece. Maybe this song is from the point of view of the other person in the car, the Passenger if you will. I'm sure it's not meant to be a storyline, but two songs on back to back albums about the explorations of driving, even if figuratively? Seems a little bit too obvious to ignore. Anyway, the imagery in use here is amazing. They perfectly capture what's happening in the song. From beginning to end, it's just an incredible ride. I wish the Deftones were more of the band to try frequent collaborations, but this set the bar pretty damn high. Best Deftones song. Period. Thanks for reading, see you Monday
Let’s just get this out of the way: Death Grips is a dangerous fucking band. They’re bad for business, for the status quo, and when they ignite its monstrous and felt by the heavens. Another thing though quickly, which is that this isn’t going to be something long and in depth, because frankly I don’t know much about them. This is more in terms of just writing about how they manage to provoke and challenge the music industry as a whole.
Now, I’ve listened to most of their records, even trying unsuccessfully to see them three times. For the uninitiated, this isn’t happenstance. They flail and go at their own pace more stubbornly than any other act I’ve ever come across. My first brush with them came with their inclusion on the Fun Fun Fun fest lineup in 2011(which they bailed on). After that, Coachella and Bonnaroo both eventually booked them, and while I was in attendance at Roo, I could only hear them(I was at Swans). Then they “disbanded,” probably to get out of their record contract, which meant I wouldn’t be seeing them yet again at the Nine Inch Nails/ Soundgarden tour they were supposed to open.
Even after only a few albums in a relatively short number of years, the band has risen to legendary status in indie circles. This is due to chaotic force of nature that they are as a unit. Some of the songs are tracks I absolutely love. Mixing noise with rap and electronic beats, while other songs are things I couldn’t get farther away from. The stunts, if you want to call them that, have become well known, and in my eyes, it’s almost as if they are the Kanye for underground audiences. No One is surprised anymore when West does something wild, because that’s a signature thing that sometimes occurs in the world of KW. Death Grips are the same way. You’re not surprised when they blow off huge shows, or when they hijack their own album and put it online. You’re simply not. You’re even less surprised when they hit you with polarizing music. It appears to be all in a days work for the Sacramento outfit
To put it mildly, Death Grips is good for the business of originality, even if they aren’t good for themselves. Either way, hopefully they’ll keep putting out crazy music and keeping fans and cynics alike entertained. I know I’ll be waiting. See you Friday
Opening acts are tricky. Sometimes you see a set that absolutely blows you away and converts you for live. Other times a thirty minute period of time feels like an eternity. It’s also always worse if the headliner is eagerly anticipated. Today we’re going to discuss five stand outs I’ve seen, and what made them so wonderful.
Death from Above 1979
OPENED FOR: Nine Inch Nails & Queens of the Stone Age
Easily one of the best shows I’ve ever been too. Definitely one of the best packaged shows I've ever seen. DFA is more in line with Queens musically, but the contrast among all three proved to be a surreal night. I had only heard a few tracks from tem before, that night, but after that I was completely hooked and still am.
OPENED FOR: Deftones
You might not understand why this works at first glance, but for fans of both bands it makes perfect sense. Dredg to me is able to pull of an intricate balance of uptempo and moody and slow in the same way the deftones do, but just to a lesser degree. Much f of the crowd was feverishly waiting for the main event, but for those with an open mind, Dredg really delivered.
OPENED FOR: Interpol
I’ve heard people who loved this band, and those who thought it was the worst thing ever. For me, they were amazing and fun and totally weirded the crowd out with their multitude of sounds. One thing that's great about Liars is every albums sounds completely different, so they can tailor their set to a specific audience if so inclined.
OPENED FOR: Tool
I don’t think I’ve ever seen two bands together who compliment the other more precisely than Tool and Swedish juggernauts Meshuggah. Both can be very introspective and deep, but they also both are masters of their instruments, which is the most important thing. I got to see this pair three times together and all of them were incredible and heavy.
OPENED FOR: Yeasayer
One instance of a band opening and being much better than the headlining act. When I saw Washed Out they blew away Yeasayer, which in the years since has made me wane on YS and gradually fall in love with Washed Out’s super chill and textured sound. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s certainly interesting.
Thanks for reading, see you Wednesday!
So Bon Jovi was without a doubt one of the biggest bands of the 80’s. They were nearly untouchable, and hit after hit was sung by many a blue jean clad lady from the United States to the impoverished Ukraine. Today we’re going to discuss their music video for “ Always.” I’ve always liked the song, but I purposely haven’t watched to video before writing this so I’ll be surprised. Hopefully it’s not too bad, but this should be fun either way.
For some reason they open this one with a street fair on a little back yard that appears to be in South America, and while it has nothing to do with the song, now I want mexican food. Anyway the camera pans up and inward to an apartment with a very nice looking man with no shirt on laying in bed and he’s holding a picture. Now you don’t see the picture, but you know that’s some forlorn foreshadowing. The video has this weird thing going where it cuts back and forth to the band playing in a proper live setting, than to the band playing in a vacant warehouse, then back to the overall plot of the video. It’s really dumb.
So back to the main plot. The main guy character is played by the same guy who played Justin in another 90’s gem, the horror film Event Horizon. He’s in a room that very much resembles a space that a girl who likes Aerosmith would live in. The female in the video is Carla Gugino, who we all know from Spy Kids, Sin City, and Entourage. She’s dancing around in some sexy clothes, and he’s filming her, but the way it’s happening is so creepy it’s not even nice to watch. He has this disgusting porn star smirk on his face, and I think after I get my mexican food, I’ll need a shower. Also the camera is the size of my laptop. That’s how you know it’s dated.
Next is when it gets complicated. Kerry Russell, of all people, is sleeping on the couch when those two “adults” come barging in all hopped up or whatever, and Carla is wearing a overgrown Dr. Seuss hat. Seriously the good ole’ Seuss would be rolling in his grave if he saw that. How is it that they can manage to a get a cat in the hat hat in this tar pit of a video but we can’t get another live action Seuss movie? Thanks again Mike Myers for ruining it for everyone. So this bitch is sleeping, but she wakes up and puts the Tv on to find the video you saw the couple making earlier, even though there’s no VCR anywhere in sight. Apparently Bon Jovi discovered the cloud 20 years before everyone else.
So Justin from Event Horizon and Felicity are on the couch, and he turns and looks at her, and it’s the goddamn creepiest look I’ve ever seen anyone give another human being in my life. It’s almost as if he’s marking his territory and telling her with his eyes “Where do you want me?” Ugh. Then we go back to another video of Jon Bon Jovi singing. Also what’s annoying is how in ever live playing segment, Jon’s hair is completely different. Like I know it’s a music video, but c’mon guys, you couldn’t have planned this a little better? This video has a more shake my head moments than fucking Norbit did.
After all of this Carla comes home and is struck by the future when she sees Justin and Felicity doing the sexy, yet again on the fucking video tape. What is this guy thinking? And why is there always a video playing in his house. How can you rewind this fast?! SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME! How can you rewind this fast!!!? After the discovery ( Shall we say, an Event on the horizon?) Carla leaves the house and decides she wants to walk down the street with no shoes on. That road looks rough though, so hopefully she has some hobbit feet going so she’s not in agonizing pain as she walks away.
Naturally she finds a new guy, and goes to his apartment, and the place is the epitome of 90’s cool. He has a bed that's on risers, and sitting under a steel pyramid, so you know he’s awesome. They end up hooking up, and he paints her like Jack painting Kate in the Titanic. After that awesome night though Carla reconsiders after seeing the painting he drew of her and calls Justin to come to her, and in this stranger's apartment they reconnect and make up. It’s short lived however, when Justin finds the painting and goes all ape shit crazy and starts trashing this dude’s place. Seriously though, how is it ok for him to do the sexy with Felicity but his hurt girlfriend isn’t allowed some guilt free fun?
After that Justin sets this poor guys loft on fire and leaves. The last thing you see is Justin sitting holding the picture, feeling like a douche, and he thinks he sees Carla, but it’s just a mirage. For some reason I thought she died in some tragic way, but no, that’s how this crapfest ends. Justin with no shirt on, and he’s crying to a Bon Jovi song. That was terrible, but that’s why the 90’s had to exist. So everyone would never forget.
Never Forget. This video exists. And also Mexican food.
So the title should just about explain what this post will entail. If you don’t follow, I’m not sure I can help you to understand. Anyway, every now and then, you’ll hear that two moderately well known bands or two giant acts are going on the road together, but honestly, even those are few and far between. Why is that though? A few reasons come to mind, some of which make perfect sense for an artist or band, and some that defy logic.
1. Scaled down production: This is one of the big ones. A large number of bands these days bring out giant lighting rigs and elaborate stage shows. Some don’t require it, but honestly, if I’m paying fifty dollars for a show I don’t want to just watch a band standing up there with no cool show. Now, say you go on tour with another big name, and as luck would have it, you play first in the day. Even though you likely get similar timed sets, you must scale down the production to make way for the closer. Soundgarden had to do something similar on the tour with Nine Inch Nails, but in Sg’s favor, they aren’t really known for a giant stage show.
2. Playing first: Many bands have ego’s. This is nothing new. You worked your ass off your whole career and now you’re playing the 7:45 slot before someone else. It’s even worse if it’s an amphitheater tour and you’re playing during sunlight hours. But, in my opinion, the opening band in a co headlining band has everything to win and nothing to lose. Say you come out and absolutely blow the band following you away(I’ve heard this in regards to the ongoing Deftones/ Incubus tour where Incubus closes). You have all the chances in the world to kill your set, and if the closer doesn’t bring it, everyone is walking away wishing the night had went out on a high note. On the other hand though, if you have an off night(as everyone does from time to time) and you’re the first co headliner, everyone has forgotten about you, so almost no harm no foul
3. Fans missing you: This is probably the biggest reason I can think of. If someone can’t show up until 8 or 8:30, they may very well miss the first of the main attractions, which is horrible, especially if you’re more of a fan of the opener. I’m sure this happens, but as a band you want everyone to be able to see you if they want to. But as we all know, life happens and sometimes you can’t help it
1. Double the audience: Referencing the NIN/ Soundgarden tour again, Sg is a very well known band, but I’m not sure how if they could have played a bigger size amphitheatre on their own. Thus, a co headlining tour with an even bigger band helps in a multitude of ways. For one, every date on that tour sold out, giving both bands the chance to play to full houses. Secondly, it’s a good beat to think that some Nin fans found themselves really digging SG(Which is good for everyone), just in case they weren’t super keen on them before then. Lastly, if band plays a venue and it doesn’t sell out, you lose money, which no one wants. Touring with another large act ensures that more people will come, which again works for everyone
2. Future collaborations: When bands tour together, you find out things about the other act. This helps the creative process in more ways than one. First, you might find new people to explore music with and create new music. Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age have both became frequent collaborators after their first of two co headlining tours. Secondly, playing with an equally good band forces you to get your show to be perfect, which again, is a plus for both.
3. NEW AUDIENCES: Artists want new audiences, but let’s be honest, a lot of people who love the Smashing Pumpkins probably wouldn’t go see Marilyn Manson on their own, and vice versa. I know tons of people who love the Pumpkins but hate Manson. This gives you the chance to wow a whole new audience you normally might not reach.
Anyway, yes band’s should take the chance more often, because as you can see, it helps everyone, and it’s great to see two awesome bands for a little more than you’d pay to see one of those same bands. Have a great day, see you Friday!
What can you say about Radiohead that is as original as they are? For as long as I can remember they’ve been heralded as one of the best bands of all time, and it’s not hard to see why. Some people aren’t super impressed by that, and I know everyone has their own opinions, but people who don’t enjoy them have wrong opinions. It’s just the way it is. Anyway, today we’re going to run through the band's best songs. Some of these might be expected, others not so much, but I tried to not only pick my top ten but also some of their most varied tracks. Hopefully I succeeded in both. Enjoy!
10. There There(The Boney King of Nowhere), Hail to the Thief
This album usually ends up on the bottom end of fans’ favorite albums, but while it’s not a masterstroke like some of the others, “Hail to the Thief” still has plenty of solid moments. One of these is first single “There There.” The multiple drums that encapsulate the song are important to the track, not only because of how cool they sound, but of how seamlessly the bring everything else full circle. Yorke’s voice, and the playing by the Greenwood's also make the song valuable and worth listening to. The tail end of the Top Ten Radiohead songs, “There There” starts us off at number ten.
9. Knives Out, Amnesiac
The operation game themed music video has always been one of their best and most imaginative videos, which says a lot considering the band. The song though would be a classic whether or not the video helped it along its way. The guitar glistens while Thom’s wary voice meanders into dark recesses. There’s a certain skill among the band where it’s difficult to hear exactly what part belongs to what person, but it works brilliantly here. The end goal of any band is to make the best music possible, and for Radiohead, they continue to have the ability to make great tracks like this with relative ease, at least from the outside looking in.
8. You and Whose Army, Amnesiac
The first time I saw this band, “You and Whose Army” approached near the end of the main set, and the execution was amazing, cold and haunting. Thom Yorke, positioned with his back to the crowd, singing slowly into a camera attached to his piano, and antagonizing the crowd to come at him with everything we had. It was a wonderful rendition of a mysterious ballad, and had the whole crowd enraptured for it’s duration. The song builds tension throughout, and ultimately ends with the howls of the singing fighting to stay above the thickness of the orchestration from the other members of the band.
7. Paranoid Android, OK Computer
This could very easily be their best known song, and if you’ve been living under a rock for nearly twenty years, please do yourself a favor and seek out the animated video. I had of course heard of the band before, but this was when they knocked the wind out me. The craziness of the song and the places it goes, as well as the sheer genius of the musicianship set it apart from every other band out there at that moment, and for the most part, it still does. When the song takes a cray turn, you the listener are right there prepared to hold on for dear life, and for me, thats where the realness and amazing qualities of the song truly burst out.
6. How to Disappear Completely, Kid A
The opening line "That there, that's not me," has always struck me as a pretty funny line, but the underlying tone of the song is anything but humorous. This person appears as though he's thrilled that no one notices him, but is that the case? He could potentially be faking it. Maybe the years of isolation have turned him into a person who loves not being recognized, or even acknowledged. Who could live this way though? That's why the song is so upsetting to me. In the end though, the instruments do as much for the overall dreadful, upsetting vibe as the lyrics do. Iit just seems like this person has no hold over his own life, and that might be the saddest thing of all. A haunting song that sees Radiohead at their most somber best.
5. Where I End & You Begin( The Sky is Falling In)
Number five on the list of the Top Ten Radiohead songs might come as a surprise. Among the best moments I’ve encountered on this record, “Where I End & You Begin” stays in the forefront of my memories. It’s a well paced track that finds the band utilizing vocals, exacting drums, and soundscapes to flawless effects. The vocals, which are mixed in a kind of surreal peaking through way, especially are memorable. Radiohead isn’t always known for their choruses also, but here it shines through as some of the song’s best moments. A lot of people I know don’t give this sound the cred it deserves, but it’s indoubedly bad ass to me.
4. Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi, In Rainbows
The drum sets the groove, sexy tone right away, but this song isn't sexy at all. Perhaps the feel and vibe of the song are, but the lyrics are pretty fucking sad and thought provoking. Thom Yorke is one of those singers who can make you feel anything he wants when he wants. The background vocals as the music picks up get to me everytime. These dudes know how to perfectly mix a song. " Everybody leaves if they get the chance," is a punch to the stomach that struggles with the realization that life isn't always going to be good, but somehow you have to keep going, keep trying to figure out the puzzle.
3. Idioteque, Kid A
This song, but the whole album especially was the first time I think most people realized that not only could Electronic music make it in the mainstream, but it could also be intelligent and thought provoking. Sure, people have always loved Electronic music, but obviously Aphex Twin and the Chemical Brothers weren't selling out stadiums left and right, at least not in the States. This song also proved that as a band, Radiohead could do anything and pull it off. If OK Computer is the best album of the 1990's, then surely this album, which is better, and probably the best they've done, is the best album of the 2000's.
2. Fake Plastic Trees, the Bends
Always a favorite of mine. Its tenderness and compassion always had a lasting effect on me. Everything for me changed though when I saw them at Lollapalooza. The end of the set was nearing, and the song started. Behind them however, very light, soft fireworks built up (We found out later the fireworks were from a Cubs game). As the song progressed, the explosions got more intense and by the time the big ending hit, we were singing, and marveling at the unprepared perfection of the situation. There's not a lot in the world that beats crying in a field, singing a song you've loved for years and being surrounded by 100,00 people who feel the same.
1.Pyramid Song, Amnesiac
Never have i been so captivated by a music video before, or since. It's calming, majestic and haunting. Everything the song ultimately is. It’s a rare thing for something in space and time to sync up so vividly and ambiently wonderful, but this song does so with ease. I mean, when you watch this clip, and you see the lone diver visiting subterranean worlds enveloped by liquid, you can’t take your eyes off it. But, let’s also mention this otherworldly track. When the album first came out, this song instantly struck a chord with me. For years upbeat was the name of the game for me, but this song did, and still does fill me with joy, and a sense of knowledge that human beings are capable of amazing things. The textural components work well with Selway’s casually precise drumming, and Yorke’s wandering, unsure voice provide even more depth to this new world. It’s eye catching, in every sort of way, and that’s why I love it.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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