Stereomood: Jazzy

So there I was at work, sharing the room with nearly a hundred colleagues, when I visited my favorite random music website:

You just have to pick your mood and enjoy. I was feeling kind of jazzy yesterday when, after 11 jazz songs, I got stuck with this simple melody

La Lune Est Morte

For a moment there, time froze still and it was nothing but me and the bass solo.


Just kept loopin’ it the whole afternoon.

How you feelin’ today? =)

Musical enigmas

Hello yet again!

It’s hard to compete with the last two posts: sex and boobs are pretty much the most searched things in the internet (and rightfully so, I’m not contesting that :P). However I’ll try to bring something interesting today and no, this time I have a shorter post (I promise I won’t post 2 hours of music again haha).

Probably most of you have heard about subliminal messages in music, hidden meanings, unraveled when played backwards – mostly satanic stuff and whatever. I must tell you I’m pretty skeptical with those things, most of the times people extract meanings they want to hear, or that vaguely sound like reality (in the vein of misheard lyrics). Who hasn’t heard the backwards version of Stairway to Heaven and all that stuff about loving Satan?

If you really believe in subliminal messages here’s a real one (taken from the movie Little Nicky with the great Adam Sandler posing as one of Beelzebub’s sons):

(If you like hard rock/metal and you love to laugh, I definitely recommend watching this movie – even Ozzy appears! :P)

Ok, that one’s a spoof, I know.. In the early 80’s, Iron Maiden were also accused of satanism (with songs like The Number Of The Beast, I wonder why…). To show people that it was all a lie, they intentionally recorded a phrase backwards on their album Piece of Mind. When you hear the song properly, it doesn’t mean anything (except for the burp, that’s recognizable even backwards), but try playing it backwards! You’ll hear Nicko McBrain imitating the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin saying “What ho said the t’ing with the three ‘bonce’, do not meddle with things you don’t understand…

I think you get my point: most of the times there’s nothing there to extract, when there is, it’s a joke!

Unless you’re Tool! Tool is a alternative/progressive metal band who use odd tempos, complex sounds and also incorporates visual experimentation on their videos (see Parabola and you’ll get what I mean). Someone once said that they’re “the thinking person’s metal band. Cerebral and visceral, soft and heavy, melodic and abrasive, tender and brutal, familiar and strange, western and eastern, beautiful and ugly, taut yet sprawling and epic, they are a tangle of contradictions.”

Their connection with this topic is because they do leave enigmas for the fans! Their song Lateralus is based on the Fibonacci sequence, both rhythmically and in the verses length. The first time Maynard sings is also at 1.618 minutes, which is the golden ratio, also related to the Fibonacci sequence. Do watch this video if you doubt me:

But that’s not the only thing. You probably have heard about hidden tracks in cds, no? Usually the album is advertised as having X songs and when you play it you notice there’s X+1 instead. Big deal! Tool also have a hidden track in their 10,000 days album, but it’s not a regular hidden track. You have to build it! If you take the song Wings For Marie (Part 1) and put it in front of Viginti Tres, you’ll see that together they have 11:17 minutes, which is exactly the duration of the song 10,000 days (Wings Part 2)! Furthermore, overlap them and they sync together! Isn’t that amazing? Here’s the total overlapped version of the 3 songs (notice the doubled riff at 9:14 – 9+14=23 – viginti tres in latin):

I’ll leave you appreciating the awesomeness that is Tool with this playlist (for the playlist of the post click here).

Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons

My new favorite alternative/indie rock/indie pop band: Imagine Dragons!

They’ve made some pretty energetic and happy songs in their short 4-year career and I’m looking forward to discover what they’ll do next.

Here’s a playlist on youtube with a selection of 7 songs.

Starting with the “The River”

Hope you like ’em. Tell me what you think 🙂

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: a psychedelic journey

Hi again!

You might have recognized the initials of this post’s title. If you didn’t, look again. Yes, LSD! Now it has almost completely vanished, but in the mid-60’s and 70’s it was a very popular drug, which helped create the whole psychedelic movement. This, as most influential cultures, led to the rise of new art styles, specifically new music genres. Today, I’m going to lead you in a journey through psychedelic rock, a genre which intended to replicate the hallucinogenic, mind-altering effects of the drugs, and most times succeeded! All on board? Let’s set sail to the 60’s, where bands like The Byrds, the Yardbirds or Cream were striving to success with songs like Eight Miles High, The train kept a-rollin’ / Still I’m sad or Sunshine of Your Love.

Most of these bands played extended jams live. A good example is the song on the left, eight miles high, completely transfigurated into this. These 3 bands were of paramount importance to the development of rock music, with three of the best guitarists ever playing there: Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on the Yardbirds and Eric Clapton on both the Yardbirds and Cream. David Crosby, later of Crosby, Stills and Nash fame, came out of the Byrds.

The Beatles and Pink Floyd also had their psychedelic era, with songs like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Astronomy Domine (with Syd Barret) or Echoes (with David Gilmour). Floyd were also one of the first Space Rock bands, as psychedelia is very connected with that genre.

(Note to fellow high-schoolers: remember being on the Colosseum on the second song?)
As you probably understood by now, psychedelic rock was all about noisy guitars, full of feedback, wahwahs and fuzzboxes, prominent organs and sometimes strange instrumentation or sounds. Sometimes repeating, even mono-manic sounding riffs were spread throughout whole albums, or very big songs, such as Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, allegedly written while drunk and high – yes, they meant In the garden of eden, but were too high to pronounce it right 😛 – I’ll leave you here a shortened version of the 18min song:

Other good examples of psychedelia are Atomic Rooster (who were very much related to progressive music, as did Pink Floyd), Vanilla Fudge, Jefferson Airplane, Robert Calvert, Hawkwind (these guys completely embraced the space/psychedelia label till today – their live shows included a tripping girl dancing naked). In Germany, a genre of repetitive, unusual music borrowed much from the psychedelic culture, the so called Krautrock or Kosmische Musik, with bands like Can, Amon Düül II, Guru Guru, Neu!, Gila, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh or the better known Kraftwerk (who later moved on to electronic music) but that could be subject of a future post, with the great musical output that it provided…

As LSD was prohibited on 1966, the genre started to decline, giving way to progressive, hard and heavy rock music. However, there’s been a revivalism in the 60’s/70’s music, and psychedelia is no different. A few great up-and-coming bands are Astra, Hypnos 69, The Flying Eyes (listen to them and you’ll find out that Jim Morrison didn’t die at 27 after all), The Future Kings Of England. Other established artists have wandered through psychedelia too: Lenny Kravitz, Prince

Ok, and that is all for today. I’ve been told by some more loyal followers that so big a post is difficult to follow, so I made this youtube playlist, so that you can listen to all the songs comfortably.

Hope you’ve enjoyed another of my verbiages 😛