Friday, February 13, 2009

The Power of 'Dylanism' Today

During the Civil Rights Movement's in the United States during the 1960's to the 70's one of many artist but the one who made a significance in the musical scene at that time. Bob Dylan wasn't the most brilliant singer or musician but rather than that implied a fantastic participation to the political movements in his way of constructing fantastic songs. His musical talent and composing skills together with his advances political screenwriting has given the folk/rock singer/songwriter a status that have recalled him one of the best musicians of our time. Yet so few of Dylan's original recordings such as 'All Along The Watchtower' and the folk tune 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' have gained as much recognition from Hendrix and Guns N' Roses' versions of the songs. What Dylan created as a political activist during the 60's with records like 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan', 'Times They Are A-Changin' and 'Blonde on Blonde' is what came to signify the political folk. With him was for example singer/songwriter Joan Baez but what I would like to signify the style of Dylan's music would be the term 'Dylanism'.

During the 1990's the popularity of Dylan slowly died and with an uprise during the end of 90's and in the beginning of the new century with Greatest Hits Compaliations and tributes in forms of Martin Scorsese's 'No Direction Home' and the very artistic 'Not There' his popularity is yet at the status mark he once left it with. Last year Dylan released his album 'Tell Tale Signs' which is a collection of b-sides and demo's that have never been released by Dylan. When looking through the 1990's and looking back on the 60's we don't see the same categorizing as then but a much more severe political landscape with a new economical crisis and war in which the Dylanism have payed a visit to in new ways and through new voices. We have never reached the same theme but as the 90's has passed we have heard Bono U2 mantle the role as a political singer with 'How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' and Springsteen through his political envolvement in the John Kerry campaign 2004 and now in new elected president Barrack Obama's campaign. The releasing of 'Working on A Dream' with the track 'Working on A Dream' as a political song we can clearly see the dylanism.

Through modern acts and against the last president of the United States we have seen artists like Pink perform 'Dear Mr. President' and really been involved in a political side of the former teen age punk/rock band Green Day with their 'American Idiot' featuring 'American Idiot', 'Jesus of Suburbia' and 'We Are the Waiting' with great political impact. These are just few of many who have involved in the better political approach people hope to see with President Obama and this signifies the power of dylanism into the main goal of achievement in our late 00's which Obama struggles for and encourage people to do; Social Change and Social Transformation into a better and safer society.

U2 - One, Greenday - American Idiot and Jesus of Suburbia, Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream, Pink - Dear Mr. President.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Truth about 'The Crying Light' by Anthony & The Johnson's

Truth spoken, 'The Crying Light' by the New York group Anthony & The Johnsons is a melodic tension settler. As I would like to call it, after two mellow, low density albums third time becomes a charm. 'The Crying Night' contain a tension of melodic calm and soft melodies mixed with thoughts and carefulness. It brings out a tension in ways of how you reflect over your personal thinking process and as the second week of February comes to its end I find this golden egg hidden by all what's bad.

Anthony & The Johnsons have yet again proved that they gain something to the musical industry in an independent universe that has outgrown itself. Lead singer Anthony delivers his emotional downward voice and uses his bands in this fantastic way of reading what I would call 'extreminism' poetry of high standards that deals with tensions of peoples regular lives. It gives the proportions of greateness and with this album more than ever, a terrific chamber pop experience as I would like to describe it.

In comparision to personal legends and musical geniuses like Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley, Anthony creates an undertone and with songs like 'Epilepsy is Dancing' and 'Dust and Water' a great melodic tension is created that upholds the greatness of an album. Opening the album as soft as possible with a story sadness I think that Anthony & The Johnson's has created one of the year 2009's best albums, if not in the end definetly so far.

Other albums worth its attention, processesed over night: 'The Empyrian' by John Fruciante, 'Hold Time' by M.Ward and 'Merriweather Post Pavillon' by Animal Collective

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is Ryan Adams Sad Dracula? He Has to Be!

The rumors around the rather unknown band Sad Dracula have been circulating for quite a while now. People are sure and say that Sad Dracula is an underground project from the alternative country/rock singer Ryan Adams. Two unreleased albums 'Fasterpiece' and 'Let It B-Minus' is circulating the internet and on Adams Fan Archives people discuss the unknown artist and not only his connection with Ryan Adams but the fact that Sad Dracula is Ryan Adams.

The genre of Sad Dracula reminds of Adams a lot, in fact in many songs you can tell that this is Ryan Adams singing. By vistiting the artists myspace ( you don't get much more knowledgeable than you were before you entered more than this is something in the association to Adams and his band the Cardinals when sneaking through the images. No photos exist posted of the band together and no one know who either Sad Dracula or Warren Peace really is but we all take for granted when listening to the music that this is Ryan Adams.

On a blog called blowinthecoug.blogspot here on the blogger writes in an article 'Ryan Adams is Sad Dracula' that Ryan Adams have posted songs under different new artist names on his website and this clearly backs up the fact that Sad Dracula is Ryan Adams and the blogger Barton Kensaw also writes that this might be released sessions that became one of Adams earlier albums 'Rock N' Roll'. 

The music on the albums 'Fasterpiece' and 'Let It B-Minus' is well produced and very good, it has the influences of country that Ryan Adams has evolved more during the past years and the records are very available and unfortunetly illegal downloading seems to be the only way to really get a hold of these albums. If you do I can tell you that it is good Adams rock of great caliber and that it is like adding two more Adams albums into your collection, but who knows maybe it isn't him after all. But I wouldn't bet a lot that he isn't.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Killers Reaches the Main Stream Universe

It has become a well known phenomenon, that good music reaches through to the main stream music industry. This time it is the US Rock Group The Killers that reaches the international main room of music. I still remember my first experiences with the Las Vegas band that was one of the main songs on my graduation parties soon two years ago. Then it was songs like 'Smile Like You Mean It' and 'Mr. Brightside' from their 2003 Album 'Hot Fuss'. Since then the band have released three more albums. The genre is unique in many ways, as placed in a original style the Alt./New Wave/Punk/Rock band creates an energic atmosphere and their music has been a main structure in every party mix that I have composed since the first day they reached my ears. 

Through their new album 'Day & Age' (2008), The Killers reached a mass appeal and this through help with former Gwen Stefani and Madonna producer Stuart Price. With hits like 'Human' and 'Neon Tiger' critics called 'Day & Age' one of the best albums of 2008. With songs like 'When You Were Young' their second album 'Sam's Town' sold 700,000 copies and the future seems to promise more than that. 

With influences like The Cure and The Smiths the sound composed among the four members is new, it's original and the vocals of Brandon Flowers are clean and lean but yet powerful to the melodic, electronic/instrumental compositions of their songs. We should all be aware and enjoy the time of a great act in the main room of music main stream culture as it raises the quality of our main stream music industry. 

Highlights: 'Jenny Was a Friend of Mine', 'Mr. Brightside',  'Smile Like You Mean It' (Hot Fuss),  'When You Were Young', 'Read My Mind',  'Bones' (Sam's Town), 'Sweet Talk', 'Romeo & Juliet', 'Change Your Mind' (Sawdust), 'Human', 'Losing Touch', 'Neon Tiger' and 'Spaceman' (Day & Age)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chris Cornell's Scream, A Terrible or Terrific One?

'An Awful Piece of Work' or 'The Biggest Disappointment of 2009', the comments depends on who you're asking. When speaking of Chris Cornell's new album 'Scream' people have shown furious emotions on the 45 year old Seattle grunge rocker. The legend of Soundgarden and later Audioslave has gained great respect and has a strong fan base but according to many fans this might be his defeat. As I said it depends on who you're asking. 

After listening through 'Scream' I don't hear what I should expect but rather something different that seriously if you listening carefully isn't terrible either. You can easily sense the participation of producer/artist Timbaland's evolvement in the production and the record is well produced but far, far away from anything that reminds his old fans of grunge. Already early in his solo career we haven't really seen anything of the past and the need for Chris to reinvent himself might bring him to a new audience that will enjoy his new work. Talking about the album itself it is nothing like his earlier mellow, cooled of ballads (listen to 'Euphoria Morning'  and 'Carry On').  

Scream opens up terrible and I can imagine the tensed level decreasing each second as the record plays along but when reaching the second track which is a great produced and well-done song 'Scream'. The following tracks of the album is an experimental pop record with some rocker singing and it is not an 'awful piece of work' it is a well done piece of work that got rythm and missing just the touches. Both 'Sweet Revenge' and 'Get Up' is perfect night clubs songs but they don't belong among grunge fans or Cornell fans it belongs at a new audience. 

This is sad since people have served their positive spirit for Cornell since his start or they have fallen in love with his art much more earlier than he found a relation to the general pop genre. This is another Chris Cornell with a new idea, new vision. Just like 'Chinese Democracy' never will become Guns N' Roses, 'Scream' will never become a Cornell album but for his career he has made a smart choice and actually a working concept that I dig, I just don't like the idea of musicians abandoning their love for money but I encourage the idea for experiments and if thats the case, then go on Chris because this Pop Album is far more better than any pop album in the main stream universe today. So the answer to question 'A Terrible or Terrific Scream?' it depends on who you're asking and if you're asking me, both yes and no.

Songs to listen to if you do find it pretty OK under the circumstances: 'Scream', 'Sweet Revenge', 'Get Up', 'Never Far Away' and 'Long Gone'.