Tag Archives: rock

My apologies to Lady Gaga…

Dear Lady Gaga,

I know that in the past I have disparaged you to no end in both my blog and in conversations with my friends and family, but after watching your totally bizarre, insanely awesome performance at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, all I can say is…please forgive me. You seriously rock!

Lady Gaga at the 2009 VMA's

I don’t know if I understand everything you did last night onstage — the “Phantom of the Opera” stuff was cool, but you lost me with the crutches and wheelchair bit, and the blood-soaked ending was just plain crazy! — but anyone who can pull off totally bizarre, performance-arty shit like that with a straight face is cool in my book.

And though it was obscured by fur, feathers, a golden mask and bright red lace for most of the night, the earnest look on your face tells me that you are not just toying with us, but are, in fact, totally batshit crazy.

Lady Gaga @ the 2009 VMA's #2

Lady Gaga @ the 2009 VMA's #3

And for that, and so much more, I gotta tell ya, I kind of love you. So, please forgive me for anything bad I might have said or thought about you in the past. You truly are one fearlessly freaky lady and the music world is a better place because of it. Yep, I even like your music now too…crazy, huh?

Rock on Lady Gaga!

Your newest fan-

Yeti9000

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Free live album from Coldplay!

I know it seems like all I’ve been blogging about these days is “Not Forgotten”, but there have been several other cool things going on in the past couple of weeks. And the free live album download from Coldplay is totally one of them!

Released as a “thank you gift” to their fans, the album is entitled “Left Right Left Right Left”, and features live versions of some of Chris Martin and company’s rockingest tunes from their last few albums. I’m not usually a fan of live albums, but, I gotta tell ya, this one soars. Their live version of “Viva La Vida” is so awesome, it gives me goosebumps. Every. Single. Time. Seriously, it’s amazing!

Free Coldplay album cover!

And at this price — that would be, I repeat, zero dollars! — how can you lose? I mean, the worst thing that could happen is you download the album, hate it and delete it. Easy peasy. But, trust me, you will not hate this Coldplay freebie, amigos. So, download a copy for yourself here and enjoy!

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Radiohead rocks the Grammy nods!

OK, I know what you’re thinking, the Grammy’s haven’t been cool or relevant since, well…never. But that said, I was still very excited to hear that Radiohead scored a whopping five Grammy nominations for their lush, rocking “In Rainbows” album yesterday.

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Also glad to see Coldplay in the running for so many awards and Eddie Vedder scoring a surprise Best Solo Rock Vocal nomination for his soaring song “Rise” from the “Into The Wild” soundtrack. Right on, Eddie!

But still, my boys from Radiohead cracking the Album of Year category is still the highlight of my day. There’s no way in hell that they’ll actually win that award, but just the fact that they got in there with a “pay what you want” album initially released solely on the internet is pretty damn cool. And who knows, maybe they’ll even get to play at the actual award show, which would kick ass!!

Wow…seriously, I’m so freaking happy right now that even the total Grammy-tastic nomination of the Jonas Brothers for Best New Artist can’t dampen my joy today. Go, Radiohead!

To see a full list of this year’s nominees, click here.

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Nine Inch Nails: “The Slip”

Let me start by saying that I am, at best, a casual fan of Nine Inch Nails. I mean, sure, I bought “The Downward Spiral” just like every other grubby, unwashed, flannel-shirt-wearing film student in 1994. But since then, I just haven’t really bought much of Trent Reznor’s music.

It’s not that I don’t dig his work, because I totally do — his songs on David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” soundtrack are so awesomely scary, you’ll never sleep again! — but for whatever reason, he’s just not one of those people that I follow religiously. But after checking out the band’s latest album, “The Slip”, I might just have to change my tune!

Not only does “The Slip” recall the raw, grungy, feedback-heavy NIN of yore, but it is also infused with a really mellow vibe that is kind of dreamy. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the album is available to download online for FREE?

Yep, like my boys Radiohead and Coldplay before him, the creepy cool Mr. Reznor has hopped on the free music bandwagon in a big way, and I’m happy to report that he does not disappoint.

“The Slip” kicks some industrial-strength ass, and aside from making for some rocking, mood-tastic music — I’ve had it on in the background all day and I’m still loving it — this might just be the NIN album that brings you back into the Reznor fold. I mean, hell, it worked for me…

While the entire album rocks, my favorite is the second track “1,000,000″, which is so cool and so gritty, you’d swear you were hearing it live. And with several format choices available for download at NIN.com — I opted for the high-quality MP3 version, but true audiophiles will probably be more inclined to download the higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE version — you practically are.

Interestingly enough, while enjoying my free NIN tunes today, I came across another free online album the band released in March called “Ghosts I-IV”.

Almost entirely instrumental, Reznor said at the time that “Ghosts” is the kind of music he always wanted to make and give away for free, but never could till now. Awesome! I have only downloaded the first nine songs so far — the entire 36-track album ranges in price from $5 for the basic MP3 tracks to $300 for a super deluxe edition — and they are gorgeous. Haunting, melodic, the tracks practically shimmer…really, it’s beautiful.

So, while I go unearth my flannel shirts and buy the rest of the tracks from “Ghosts I-IV”, I urge you to check out both of the free NIN downloads for yourself. As Reznor writes on the download page for “The Slip”: “We encourage you to remix it, share it with your friends, post it on your blog, play it on your podcast, give it to strangers, etc.”

And while I haven’t gotten around to remixing it yet, I am telling you guys about these two rocking free downloads, so I guess that counts.

Que viva la free music revolutíon!

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Coldplay: “Violet Hill”

On Tuesday, mood-meisters extraordinaire Coldplay released the first rocking single, “Violet Hill”, from their upcoming album “Viva La Vida”. But the big news isn’t the song itself — which is awesome! — but the fact that it is available for one week only for FREE on the band’s website! Yeah, you heard me…free.

Even non-fans of the band will have a hard time resisting the simple beauty that is “Violet Hill”. Perhaps as a reaction to criticism that their sound was becoming stale — especially in light of the flood of like-sounding imitators they have spawned over the years — the band has really changed up their sound this time.

Not only is Chris Martin’s usually smooth, melodic voice a bit raspier than usual, but the song itself is infused with a lush, orchestral vibe that will leave you a little bit breathless. Seriously, it’s kind of hypnotic…

And did I mention it’s totally free? Apparently borrowing a page from fellow UK mood-meisters, Radiohead, Coldplay is offering the single as a free download for one week only. And whether the free song is a callous marketing gimmick, or a heartfelt thank-you to their die hard fans hardly seems to matter as the single was downloaded a whopping 600,000 times in the first day alone.

And the free download is just the beginning as Coldplay has also announced plans to stage two free shows for fans in New York and London in June. Cool, huh?

So, until Chris Martin and company announce plans to put on a free show in Los Angeles, I guess I’ll have to take solace in my free MP3. To download the song for yourself, check out the band’s website at: coldplay.com, and remember to act now as the song is only free until May 6th.

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I hate Ticketmaster!

Just spent more than half an hour trying to score Radiohead tickets on Ticketmaster.com and, man alive, what a nightmare!

Aside from the ticking clock at the top of every new window: “You have two minutes to complete this page before your tickets are released”, I guess I took too long on the last window — yes, the LAST WINDOW — and just as I was hitting the “Order Tickets Now” button, my time expired and I had to start all over again from the beginning. Ahh!

Then, after speedily completing each window on my new order, I was informed that all the tickets in my price range were sold out. Oh, no you didn’t, Ticketmaster! So, after changing up my order and opting for the $49 tickets instead — I was hoping to get the cheaper $39 tickets — I found out that those too were all snapped up for Sunday, August 24th at the Hollywood Bowl.

That left one other option…Monday night, August 25th. So, one nervous breakdown and two shit fits later, I finally managed to score tickets for that show. But then the real shit storm came my way in the form of service and handling fees totalling $24, almost half the price of the original tickets! Ahh!

At the end of the day, I guess it’s worth it, because Radiohead is totally on my list of bands I need to see live before I die, but wow, Ticketmaster, I kinda hate you right now, baby.

And best of all is that the tickets aren’t even that great…our seats are in section U1! That’s that tiny orange sliver way in the back on the seating chart above. If we’re lucky, with those new big-ass video screens, we might just be able to make out the band. But hey, as long as we can hear Thom York and company rocking down the Bowl, I’m cool…

But seriously, wow…I still totally hate you, Ticketmaster.

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“In Rainbows” Album Art!

With the upcoming release of the CD version of Radiohead’s previously download-only album — the staggeringly beautiful “In Rainbows” — I was thrilled to see that the band has finally released pictures of the actual album cover art. Yeah!

True to form, the bold cover art was designed by frequent Radiohead collaborator, Stanley Donwood. Wow…all those crazy cool colors on the outside kinda makes me wanna buy the album (again!) just to see the artwork inside.

Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” cover art! (Dec. 20, 2007)

Still no new pictures of the more expensive Radiohead Discbox version of “In Rainbows”, but I did find this rocking pic of the contents (and coolly futuristic container!) of the brand new, limited edition Radiohead Box Set.

Containing all seven of the band’s full-length EMI-era albums — Pablo Honey (1993), The Bends (1995), OK Computer (1997), Kid A (2000), Amnesiac (2001), I Might Be Wrong (Live/2001) and Hail To The Thief (2003) — the Box Set also features new packaging for the albums but retains the original album artwork and liner notes for each CD. Very cool.

Radiohead’s new Limited Edition BOX SET (Dec. 20, 2007)

Available on Amazon.com for a limited time at the super low price of $71.99 (that’s like, $10.28 per album!), the set is a must have for any new Radiohead fan. I say new, because any true fan has all those albums already (that’s right!) and probably doesn’t need the box set. Or do they?

I mean, seriously, that white “Star Wars” box they come in is pretty damn cool…

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Radiohead: “In Rainbows”

Avid Radiohead fans rejoice! For today, October 10th, marks the release of the band’s new package-free download-only album, “In Rainbows”.

Their first album — not including Thom Yorke’s 2006 solo outing “The Eraser” — since 2003′s incendiary “Hail To The Thief”, “Rainbows” marks a turning point in the band’s career and the music business in general, as it has no set retail price.

That’s right, go the album’s website: www.inrainbows.com create an account with an active e-mail address and then pay whatever price you like for the download. Could be $10.00, could be $0.00. Pay what you think is fair and the album is yours to download. Crazy, huh? Or brilliant?!

Radiohead Discbox!

Bypassing the major labels and the superstore chains altogether, the band is betting that their true fans will pay for the album, which judging by their hip, generally older-skewing demo is probably true. Christine and I ordered the album last weekend and paid somewhere around $11.00. The price is a little murky as it is listed on the website in pounds, but seems fair considering the price of CD’s these days.

After three sleepless nights of waiting, the link to the download page arrived in my inbox this morning and aside from a few technical difficulties (which they promptly addressed via email from London!) the album has been playing on my Macbook ever since. And all I can say is…wow. Totally worth the four year wait!

Hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly accessible, the album positively shimmers. So far my favorite track is a thumping, ethereal number called “Reckoner” but really, the whole album rocks. It is definitely worth 5.4o pounds or whatever other price you chose to pay for it.

And for die-hard fans with deep pockets there is a larger packaged version of the album (pictured above) due out in December. Called the Discbox, this version includes a hardback book, a couple of vinyl records, a slew of extra songs and a price tag of roughly $80.00. A bit steep for my blood at the moment, but hey, Christmas does fall in December, so you never know…

Anyway, check out the album, pay what you can and most importantly enjoy the supersonic splendor that is Radiohead!

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