Guess Who’s Made My Headlines Again?

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I love the artists that can give me stuff to talk about on this blog, I just love it.

The pop star Bieber is at it again. This is rare for a simple 19 year old to conjure up such a series of unfortunate events, in such a short period of time. This occurrence, Justin was booed while receiving an award at the billboard award ceremony, and the reasons for all the “hate” can be numerous. Maybe it was the way he was dressed in all his “swag” and stood in a pretentious manner? Or perhaps, it was the award he actually won.

The Milestone Award for Music Ingenuity and Innovation

Forgive me, but I don’t think anyone out there right now deserves an award like that; you need to be original, and not a cookie cutter pop star. Pop is undeniably the most repetitive and copied genre in music, and while I like some of it, I can’t say any of it is full of “ingenuity and innovation.”

But I digress.

So Justin peruses up the stage to accept the award amongst cheers in the front of the arena. The problem is that these cheers are overshadowed by the overwhelming boos from the rest of the crowd. Bieber is somewhat shocked, and just stands at the mic for 30 seconds, allowing the crowd to die down.

Then he gives his speech; Oh lord, that speech. Justin tries to fight back the booing as he thanks his fans for the award, and how he’s “19 years old and doing pretty good.” He goes on about how it ( whatever “it” is) should be about the “craft and art that I create for you.” He makes his thank yous to his mom, dad, and finally, Jesus Christ, then walks off stage with the crowd sill going frantic.

Maybe it was the booing, but I haven’t seen a speech as fake as this in a king time. It had all the generic points made in an acceptance speech, and it would have been decent if JB put at least a little emotion into it. He delivers the speech in a way that comes across as arrogant and cocky, with no genuine appreciation for the award. It makes me wonder why he seemed shocked that he was booed at.

The arrogance of this kid annoys me, but hey, if I were 19 and had 5 number one hits, maybe a small award wouldn’t matter to me. That said, I’d at least act appreciative and would not have the bland attitude of a spoiled child. Oh Justin, when will you learn? Keep this attitude up and you’ll surely fade out of the spotlight.

look at Biebs go

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Return of the Eighties?

Trends and fashions always seem to return to society after they seem to I into a coma with little odds I coming out. In the 70’s, punk music was very popular and died down around the 80’s, only to make a tremendous return in the nineties after the disbandment of Nirvana. Decades always seem to make a return, and if I were a betting man, I would say that the 2010’s are bringing a return of the “me” generation, or a others may know it, the 80’s.

If anything gives it away, it’s the fact that the society of teenagers are obsessed with ourselves all over again. They focus on what they want to do, going off of what the majority of parents did as children. There are outrageous styles again, with the baggy pants and the flat bill hats, stuff that when we are adults, kids will see out photos and go “what were you thinking??”

But if there’s anything that I think signals a return of the 80’s, it’s the music. In the last few months alone, I have found oh so many albums with that synthy, poppy sound that a lot of eighties music had back in the day. These bands are straying from what they’ve been doing for the longest time and while I like the music and find I interesting, I wonder if it will take over society.

Some good examples I found were Paramore’s self titled release, the new Daft Punk album, and I also heard a single called “Sick of It,” off of Christian hard rock band Skillet’s upcoming release. Paramore has a new electronic influence reminiscent of a new wave album, and Daft Punk has a lot of old school house and electronic music in it. Skillet’s single even has a synthesizer solo in it. These are just some theories but I don’t think I’m in the wrong here, making suggestions like these.

Let me know what you think of a possible 80’s return; for me I hope it means better rap music than what we have now.

Covers: better, worse, or equal?

If you are well versed in the music industry, then you should know what a cover is, and how they are a big part of the culture. For those who truly don’t know (but how could you not…) a cover is when a band does a song by another band, usually throwing their own spin on it. I do many covers all the time; they are a very enjoyable experience and help me get better at my own work. One thing I always find surprising is when I go on YouTube to watch a video of a cover and I find the comments file with bitter arguments, all around the same question: who did it better?

This is always puzzling, and I come across it all the time, the world seems to split into the “it’s better than the original” group or “this is terrible” group. You have the occasional people who like both versions, and if you’re one of those people more than half the time, good on you, you’ve got common sense. What people never realize is that a cover is usually just for the bands pleasure; something they wanted to do. Sometimes a record company tells a band to make a cover for a compilation cd (punk goes pop by fearless records is a great example) and that’s where lines blur for me; I love some of those covers but others I can’t stand.

And so today, I’m going to list some covers that are worth listening to; prepare yourselves.

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Are my followers tired of me talking about We Are The In Crowd? If you answered yes, we’ll tough. They’ve technically done two covers over the past few months to hold people over until their second full album drops. The first was a cover with artist Alex Goot, where they covered Pink’s song (with the singer of Fun.,) “Just Give Me a Reason.” The cover stands fairly true I the original, with Alex singing Pinks part and Tay singing Nathan’s part. I really like the cover, there’s a good connection between the two vocalists and the music stays the same as the original, maybe just a little more “rockier.”

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Second song they’ve covered is of Brand New’s “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades.” The song surprised me at first, with Brand New being a rather unknown band to cover, but I can see the influence BN had on WATIC, and so the cover makes sense. The song is very good, the bassline is kicking just like in the original, and the addition of a female to the trade off vocals is astounding. The only real difference between the two songs is a lack of screaming (though Jordan’s yelling of the last line “die young and save yourself” gives me more chills than BN’s) and the female vocal addition; overall it’s a great cover.

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The last mention I will give is an older cover by Green Day. On the deluxe edition of their 2009 effort “21st Century Breakdown,” is the second cover of The Who that the band has done in their career. The cover is of The Who’s first rock opera, “A Quick One While He’s Away,” which clocks in at over 8 minutes long.

A quick one? I think not.

Although, the song is almost a perfect replica of the original, only sounding more produced than the other. I say almost because they add their own little lines here and there that were not in the original. I may like the cover cause of the fact that the School of Rock I’m enrolled in did the song this past weekend, but it’s still a good cover.

Any covers you like? Feel free to leave a comment below, but take away this from what I write: a cover is usually done cause the band wants to, so the changes are not for you, there’s no need to argue how good or bad a cover is.

The Customer is Wrong: Kitchen Nightmares

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I personally have never been a fan of cooking shows or reality shows. Reality shows usually are always scripted in some way and cooking makes me hungry. But the other day my friend showed me an episode of a tv show called “Kitchen Nightmares,” a show where famous chef Gordon Ramsay goes to help restaurants that need improvement. My friend told me this episode he linked was gaining popularity and sparking conversation on sites such as reddit, so I decided to take a look. The episode, about a restaurant called “Amy’s Baking Company,” seemed pretty normal at first.

That’s when I watched the people who ran the restaurant. Oh my word.

You have Amy, a young woman who “Always had a calling for the culinary arts,” and married a “playboy gangsta” named Samy, who invested a million dollars into a restaurant for Amy to pursue her “calling.” And thus, Amy’s Baking Company was born.

Now it sounds like a great story right? Well it would be if it weren’t for a few problems: Amy can’t cook anything other than cake, and she can’t take an ounce of criticism.

So the restaurant is owned by the couple and run by them, alongside the staff they seem to shuffle out every month due to their employees being “out of control.” Ramsay shows up to find out what the problem is and finds that the issue isn’t a dirty restaurant of bad staff; it’s bad owners. Amy and Samy don’t believe the customer is always right; if they’re food is criticized or people complain about the long wait (this happens all the time Apparently,) Samy flips out on the customer, tells them they’re wrong, and kicks them out, sometimes in a violent fashion.

You have to watch for yourself, but I can tell you I’ve never seen a group of business owners quite like them, and I believe mot of this isn’t scripted…I don’t know anyone who could write a story like this. Ramsay does his best to fix the company, but to see the outcome you should watch the episode. Amy and Samy complained about how bloggers criticized them, so I guess I’ll make a shout out to them; here’s another “hater” that doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Watch their episode and let me know what you think about the restaurant!

The Lonely Island: Wack Wednesdays

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Recently the parody rap group, The Lonely Crew, came out with news that they were releasing a new album on June 7th entitled “The Wack Album.” In light of the recent news from the group made famous by Saturday Night Live, they also have given fans more stuff to be excited about, with the promise of a YouTube weekly update that showcases songs from the album, known as “Wack Wednesdays.”

This series has been going on for two weeks now, and with that means two singles that have been released to the public. The first track, entitled “Spring Break Anthem,” has already been released to iTunes and features many stars in the video; celebrities such as James Franco, Zack Galifianakis, and Edward Norton. The video is also filled with the typical antics of TLI and the song certainly has a “wacky” feel to it.

Yesterday the second installment of Wack Wednesdays was released and (in my own opinion) does not meet the standards of a typical Lonely Island song. The song is entitled “I ****** my aunt,” and the lyrics are just what you’d expect them to be about. While the song is outrageous in lyrics and includes T-Pain, the song just doesn’t seem to carry the comedy factor the last song had; this song of incest just comes out as plain stupid.

But hey, that’s just my own opinion.

You can follow the bands YouTube channel to keep up to date, and let me know what you think of the two latest songs in the comments below. I’ve been a fan of TLI for a while now, and with that comes a certain set of expectations. But then again, they’re a parody group; there’s no way of treating this album like it’ll win a Grammy.

Review: The Greatest Generation by The Wonder Years

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Bottom line: 4.5 out of 5

The Wonder Years have been around since 2007 and I only found them a few months ago. There first release was an effort entitled “Get Stoked On It!” And to the band and lead singer Dan “soupy” Campbell, the album was considered a joke. This album made the band a laughing stock in the beginning of their career, and they’ve been growing and maturing ever since.

6 years and 3 releases later, the band has release their 4th and most mature album to date. The album runs 13 tracks (including a 7:35 closer) and contains strong lyrics and vocals, as well as top performances from the rest of the band. Opening up with “There, There” the record starts off with a kicking opener with Dan singing “I’m sorry I don’t laugh at the right times.”

Memorable lyrics are all over TGG, taking references of world war 2 to help symbolize and establish metaphors about growing up an out of the teen years. One of the my favorite lines comes from “Passing Through a Screen Door,” where a conflicted Dan yells “I’m 26, all the people I graduated with, all have kids, all have wives, all have people that care if they come home at night.” The lines of the album all have this theme to it, of becoming to old to stay a kid, and seeing everyone you know move on with life.

The album closes in a way that I only wish happened more often. The final track is “I Just Wanna Sell Out my Funeral” and considering the song is over 7 minutes long (very long for pop punk,) and is a great track, is amazing. Halfway through the track, the band allures back to the hooks and lines of the other songs of the record, meshing together everything that made the album what it is. The lines, when put all together at once, is one of the best moments I’ve ever heard in music; some listeners have stated they had shed tears, and I have to admit I came close at points.

This record is a gem in the genre of pop punk, simply put. The only song I found myself not liking was “Madelyn,” and that’s solely due to me not liking the recording style of it. If you like punk music, this is a must have album. If you’re not a fan it still is worth having a listen, though I can’t guarantee your reactions will be the same as mine. But hey, some music isn’t for everyone, and while this is not the greatest generation, this is most certainly the greatest Wonder Years album.

An Incredible Weekend for Me

If no one knows, I am involved in masons school of rock. This weekend we are putting on our show where we cover the who, and am writing after the first of two shows, and I am very exhausted. It was such a great night! I anyone’s reading this before Saturday night, please come to our show tomorrow! We will be down Cincinnati at a place called The Redmoor, which is located on mount lookout. Tickets are only 8 dollars and its all ages, starts at 7:30. Please come down if you’re in the area, I can guarantee an incredible show!

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