Music Zen!

Your argument is sound, nothing but sound

Posts Tagged ‘Korn

Shuffle Post.

with 2 comments

I want to write more for this blog, I really do. Like right now, I have a number of good articles in mind (“What makes a good lyricist?,” a write-up on the new Okkervil River record leak, baroque pop profiles, etc) but I’m just so very tired. But I do want to write something, so for tonight, I’m taking the lazy way out and doing a “Shuffle Post.” Herein shall we enter the weird and wild world of my iTunes library for ten songs, yet unknown to you or I. And for each, I shall mention something about it worth noting. Okay? Okay.

1. “Who Says?” by Richard Hell & The Voidoids ( from Blank Generation, 1977 )
I love Richard Hell. This isn’t my favorite track on this album (that would be the epic “Another World”) but it IS a fine example of the fact that one didn’t have to play loud/simple to make it in the “punk” scene (in quotes because of the vague definition of such). There’s a thoughtful, shaky tension to this song (and album)–as much (or more) in common with Television (which Hell was briefly in) as The Ramones or any of that ilk.

2. “4U” by KoRn ( from Issues, 1999 )
In my defense, I went to high school from 1998-2002. Actually though, this isn’t that bad. It’s not great or anything, but it has a kind of interesting atmospheric thing going on, and it’s short so it’s over before it gets too old. I remember when this album came out… I still want to learn to play the bagpipes.

3. “Creeper” by Islands ( from Arm’s Way, 2008 )
I dunno, this album didn’t quite get to me as much as their first (or The Unicorns album) did. But there is a certain pleasant groove going on here, even if it is a little… conventional, for lack of a better word, in that it hits exactly the notes a dancy “indie-pop” song should hit . Hm. It is catchy, though–well executed if not as daring as one might hope.

4. “I Fell in Love Today” by Ween ( from Shinola, Vol 1, 2005 )
This collection was pretty lackluster compared to the group’s regular studio albums, but this song is great. You never know what you’re going to get with Ween, but this one’s anchored by a low, head-nodding groove an it never builds too far beyond that because it never needs to. It’s the kind of song you listen to and it sort of automatically makes you strut, which fits well with the theme (“You people can’t touch me / I fell in love today”). The guitar tone on the chilled-out solo is great, too.

5. “Triangle” by Tripping Daisy ( from Bill, 1993 )
I just got this today, actually, so I don’t have much to say about it. It IS hard to believe this is the same guy who fronts The Polyphonic Spree–he’s singing about a preacher jacking off on TV over a very consciously “slightly-post-grunge” guitar riff. As I understand it, this album was largely dismissed because of exactly that sort of self-consciousness, which I guess I can see. There’s nothing bad about this so far, but it’s not especially grabbing either. Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb is a pretty fine album, though.

6. “Casimir Pulaski Day” by Sufjan Stevens ( from Come On Feel the Illinoise!, 2005 )
I have a sort of a love/hate thing with Sufjan. On the one hand, he can be a little… much at times–overly precious, I guess would be a way of putting it. And this album did not need to be 22 damn songs long. However, for all his coyness, when he gets it right, he gets it right and this (along with “Romulus”) is one of his two finest moments. One could write a novel from these lyrics–there’s enough pathos and detail to back it up without being overly wordy or coming off as melodramatic as the subject matter (falling in love with a dying girl) could easily have been. It’s beautiful and the banjo/horn thing he tends to work has the perfect air of slight melancholy without being histrionic.

7. “Ice” by The Microphones ( from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, 2000 )
Phil writes such weird pop songs. Because this is a pop song, despite the fuzzed-out atonality, the rapidly shifting structure (no verse/chorus/verse here), the odd tinkly bells or static sounds or whatever else. It’s catchy despite itself. That’s why this was such a great band. I think his new band (Mount Eerie) is finally going to put out another one this year. I hope.

8. “Straight Freak Show” by Love Battery ( from Straight Freak Ticket, 1995 )
Sigh. My ex bought me this album so it reminds me of some weird things. But it’s still good–definitely an unrecognized grunge/alternative/whatever band with a little bit of a psychedelic edge to them. It’s definitely of its era, but there’s a charm here–summer, soda, skateboards, that sort of thing.

9. “Snagglepuss” by John Zorn ( from Naked City, 1989 )
Somewhere in the ether, jazz had a hot, steamy threesome with metal and new wave. This album (all 26 demented tracks of it) was born from that perverse union. This song bounces around between “normal” lite-jazz passages and the sound of Zorn herniating himself on his sax over other freakishly tortured instruments–like a really freaky musical game of “Red Light, Green Light.” It’s awesome.

10. “Simple Song” by Lyle Lovett ( from Pontiac, 1987 )
It’s easy for me to focus on Lyle songs like “If I Had a Boat” or “Penguins,” which are so… charmingly odd, I forget he can be this damn pretty. Incidentally, Pontiac is a milestone of alt-country music and something everybody needs to hear at least once.

Actually, on that note:


Written by Sarah K

July 29, 2008 at 3:20 am

Shaq wants Kobe to tell him how his ass tastes. And other news!

with 6 comments

Shaquille O’Neal is pretty into the idea of a homosexual encounter with Kobe Bryant. Clearly Kobe needed Shaq to beat the Celtics because Miami did so well last season.

The feds aren’t into people leaking washed up musician’s albums. The quizzically titled and oft delayed Guns and Roses’ CD Chinese Democracy was leaked a few days back. The leaker took down the songs after a request from Axl’s attorneys, but the narcs paid a visit to the leaker anyway. Thank goodness they didn’t trash his pad like in the movies!

The death of the major label has seemed imminent for awhile. Yesterday, EMI laid off many employees. Perhaps the major labels will survive, but they can’t make it in their present form, I don’t think. And plz don’t give me all that talk about files sharing ruining the major labels. While I don’t condone the file sharing necessarily, if the labels aren’t going to release things people want to buy, it’s their own damn faults. Then again, how can they compete with free? Corporations fuck stuff up. It’s the nature of the beast. Of course, the labels don’t seem to be making much of an effort to change. They’re interested in harassing music listeners with lawsuits instead of providing innovation that might help them both save face and bring in more money. They have yet to embrace new technology. They are also wildly financially irresponsible. They spend more money than they can afford on bogus things like excessive music videos and promotion. How can a small band like the Minutemen be financially solvent while touring and selling records and the labels can’t seem to make the same thing work for themselves?


Former Korn member turned religious zealot, Brian “Head” Welch, is releasing a new album. Nothing implies Jesus lovin’ like a nickname that’s slang for oral sex. Then again…

Be Your Own Pet is abandoning Warped Tour. They’re saying they’re worn out, but I think a big part of it is that they’re annoyed they got forced into something they didn’t want to do because of their label. Good thing the major labels have the band’s interests at heart! It’s awesome how they’re so about artist creativity. Hm… but then why did Universal refuse to let Be Your Own Pet release three tracks on their CD Get Awkward? Apparently they were “too graphic.” It’s not like UMG has guys like 50 Cent, The Game, and Papa Roach, right? Right?

Toby Keith is going to release a movie with Ted Nugent in one of the starring roles! Having seen him live, I have no doubt that he is a brilliant actor.

Also, says Keith:

“Ted has just shot a guy with a bow and arrow,” explained Keith. “And he’s leaving the set to go back to his trailer, and all of Hollywood is standing around and a cotton tail jumps up—rabbit—and crosses the set. POW! And he guts him a rabbit right in front of everybody.”


Music piracy is contributing to even more bandwith usage than before. But who’s surprised, really?

The Verve are going to release a new album. It’s due out later this summer. It’d be awesome if they returned to their A Storm In Heaven Sound, but that’ll probably never happen.

Speaking of A Storm in Heaven, here’s a song off of it:

The Verve – Slide Away

Written by M

June 25, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Ten Years Gone

with 3 comments

Back in 1998, I was in the unfortunate state of being 14.

There isn’t really much of an upside to that. But it was around that time that I started paying attention to what was going on in the world musically beyond my mom’s record collection (which, in relevant part, was Joni Mitchell, The Carpenters, Bread, Cat Stevens, that sort of thing). Looking back on it now, I listened to a lot of ridiculous stuff. But there were some gems in there also. I will attempt to represent both sides of that, as painful as some of it may be to acknowledge. No organized thoughts here, just memories/comments.

Thus, 10 assorted songs in a 1998 playlist:

1. Back of Your Head by Cat Power, from Moon Pix
I dunno where I even found this–I just stumbled across it. It might’ve been a random purchase from the local indie record shop where I grew up (the album does have a pretty cover, which would’ve been my standard). Whatever I was expecting, this probably wasn’t it, cos I remember my mind was blown–I stayed up all night listening to the whole album on repeat, this song in particular. The simplicity and starkness of it made it accessible; music was no longer this big thing that these glossy bands from some faraway land made. Instead it was something somebody like me could make and inhabit. That’s why hearing her in Starbucks when The Greatest came out was a weird experience for me–I’m not hating on her because she got big, but the feeling is different now. We’ve all changed, I guess.

2. At the Stars by Better Than Ezra, from How Does Your Garden Grow?
This song was always on the radio when I was getting ready for school and it grew on me so I bought the album. It’s… okay, but I still like this track a lot. There’s a certain innocent quality to the lyrics, which I think is part intentional, part the actual naivete of a pop band (if that makes any sense–it does in my head). Plus, listen to that wonderful piano part drifting in and out of the mix and the not-quite-overused string section… it’s sublime (unlike Sublime, but that’s for another day).

3. Freak on a Leash by Korn, from Follow the Leader
I haven’t listened to this song in at least 3 or 4 years, but hearing it now is strange. This thing was the shit when it came out–it and its fairly memorable music video were EVERYWHERE at the time. Hearing it now, the vocals and lyrics are so “OMGZ I’m so dizturbed guyz!!,” which might’ve been the appeal at the time, who knows, but it’s still kinda catchy musically (well, not the breakdown/bridge, but the verse/chorus part). That’s a neat guitar tone, I’ll give it that.

4. Do the Evolution by Pearl Jam, from Yield
Another song I remember more for the crazy video, and although the lyrics are a little… overt for Eddie, time has definitely been kinder to this one. The chugging riff is great and that choir breakdown, just jammed in there–that’s a brilliant touch. Skulls and spooky faces aside, I remember kinda wanting to be able to dance like the chick in the video (see 1:07 or so)… and I still kinda do.

5. Temptation Waits by Garbage, from Version 2.0
Another band that was everywhere that year (towards the end, if memory serves)–this is the song that sticks out the most on that album for me. I remember listening to this in the car a lot when I got the CD and being too sullen to groove to it outside my bedroom. Hah. Now, it has its charm, though I think I prefer their first album and it’s mood music either way. But I am kinda dancing a little, I’ll admit.

6. Rock is Dead by Marilyn Manson, from Mechanical Animals
Oh man. I bought this and Antichrist Superstar on the same day and I remember having to have a loooooong discussion with my mother about that (she insisted on going through both lyric booklets and reviewing the content herself, which I will give her credit for). This track was just kind of a sidenote on the album, but I remember liking and being excited when it was used on The Matrix soundtrack the next summer and got a video. At this point, I am conscious of how cartoonish the whole thing actually is, but I’ll give him (them, really) credit for pulling it off.

7. Sad Professor by R.E.M., from Up
I got Up from the library, in retrospect, what must’ve been shortly after it came out. It was the first R.E.M. CD I actually listened to and I remember liking it quite a lot, which I still do. There’s something really triumphant about this, even in its melancholy. Listen to when Michael Stipe kinda-yells “I started, I jumped up.” My appreciation for this track in particular has probably increased a good deal over time, but this was my introduction to one of my favorite bands.

8. The Couch by Alanis Morissette, from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
I was one of the 6 people in America who didn’t own a copy of Jagged Little Pill already when this album came out, so this was actually the one I got first after having my attention attracted by the video for Thank U. I liked this song in particular because of its perspective–I think this was the first time I was really aware of someone singing from a point of view that wasn’t their own and that was such a neat idea to me. Plus I’ve always loved words, so her tendency to cram every syllable she can into a song as opposed to following verse/chorus/verse structure was something I liked. Listening to this now, there’s something about it that kind of makes me cringe, but I can’t figure out what, since I still kind of like it. Maybe it’s just the memories attached to it, but then that’s actually something to be said for the music itself.

9. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) by The Offspring, from Americana
I can’t not mention this, again because it was EVERYWHERE. This was such a weird album, cos it had really ridiculous songs like this, balanced out with (at least attempts at) more serious stuff on the non-single tracks. I’m not exactly an Offspring fan these days (though Smash has its moments) but the verse lyrics to this still make me laugh.

10. Teardrop by Massive Attack, from Mezzanine
An older friend was raving about this album so I bought a copy, despite the fact that it had a big bug on the cover. I don’t think I “got” it right away–most of it I was fairly indifferent to for a couple years, but I’ve always liked this song, partially just because I love Liz Fraser’s voice (it was a time before I learned who that actually was). The more I listened to it and the older I got, the more I started to figure out “You know, most of what I listen to isn’t this good.” And now I go back and listen to Mezzanine and think “How could I not have realized how note perfect this is?” It’s just interesting to think about how my taste has changed over time.

So, in the interest of spurring a discussion, what are some songs y’all remember from back in “the day,” whenever that might’ve been for you?