Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Music Review: Sebastian Bach: Kicking & Screaming

Music Review: Sebastian Bach: Kicking & Screaming

I'm going to start here by saying that Skid Row is one of my favorite bands of all time, and Sebastian Bach is also one of my favorite singers. I will still sit back and listen to In A Darkened Room or Skid Row's cover of the Jimi Hendrix song Little Wing for hours. Skid Row and Aerosmith were the first and only real live show I've ever been to. (Incidentally, I went into Richmond Coliseum a Skid Row fan and walked out in love with Steven Tyler.)

I've really been anticipating the release of this album and pre-ordered it from I had heard the lead single (Kicking & Screaming) and had also seen the video. I did not like the lyrics or the vocals on the song and the video seemed too cheesy to be believed. Sebastian is hanging out in front of a wall making these shy (for lack of a better word) faces that just didn't look authentic. I was also treated to shots of Sebastian's girlfriend, Minnie Gupta, trying to dance the sexy dance in front of the same wall yet only managing to look embarrassed and uncomfortable.

With all that said...

I tried to look at this album as being Sebastian Bach, and not Skid Row. Unfortunately Sebastian with Skid Row set the bar pretty damned high. While I cannot find fault with the music itself, the lyrics and vocals are just south of generic while also managing to border on cheesy. Though it is somewhat a genre specific trait with hair metal, I had some difficulty understanding what Sebastian was singing and that degraded the whole listening process (Lamb of God's singer Randy Blythe is two or three smidgens easier to understand than Sebastian on this album, and that's saying something). By the third song on the album, I found myself not caring what he was saying. I don't know if it's the fault of the songwriters or if Sebastian is just not as good as he used to be, but the vocals/lyrics were awful to the point of being distracting. The only redeemable song on the album, for me, is Tunnelvision. The rest is just unremarkable.

Regardless, Sebastian will always be one of my favorite singers. I will say that he does still have "the scream," and it's damned good to hear it.

Remember that opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and they usually stink. Look Sebastian up on You Tube and listen to some of the other songs on the CD, or listen to the samples on and make your own decision.

On a scale of zero to ten stars with zero being the worst, this album gets THREE STARS.

Buy Kicking & Screaming on cd from
Buy Kicking & Screaming on mp3 from

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nine Eleven

By the time I post this, it will probably be midnight. It will be ten years since Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

It's hard to believe it's been that long.

I've said more times than I'd care to count lately that I "wish I'd just stop hearing about 9/11." I thought about that last night as I was watching YouTube videos of the events of that day and as I researched the links I'm going to use in this blog post and I can't believe I said that. Why did I say that? It's not like I want to pretend it didn't happen. As if the media would let me. As if I could let myself.

Where was I?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Ten Favorite YouTube Videos

I spend an inordinate amount of time online, I guess it comes with the territory. As with most people who are internet addicts, I spend a lot of those minutes on YouTube, mostly hunting down music, but sometimes I find some really cool and/or funny shit. I figured I'd share the love. These are my top ten favorite amusing YouTube videos, in no particular order. All links go to YouTube, naturally.

Music Review: My Darkest Days ~ My Darkest Days

Music Review: My Darkest Days ~ My Darkest Days

I'd never heard of these guys before, but my cousin recently posted one of their videos on Face Book. I clicked the link and liked the song so I figured I'd give the rest of the record a listen.

Canadian band My Darkest Day's debut album, which is self titled, was released on September 21, 2010. It peaked on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at number 58.

Porn Star Dancing is a great rock song. What makes it even better are Zakk Wylde's guitar work and a rap from the king of the dirty south, Ludacris. My Darkest Days should consider itself lucky to have one of the premier guitarists in the world and Luda performing on this song. Kroeger's verse in the song seems rather generic. There is a "rock" version of this song on the CD without Luda. (I'm guessing that Kroeger appears on this song because he "discovered the band" and helped them get a record deal.) This song and the video both kind of remind me of Theory of a Deadman's Bad Girlfriend.

The only other really notable song on this album is a remake of Duran Duran's 1993 hit Come Undone, which sounds good with heavier guitar. The singer does not do Simon LeBon justice with his breathy, whiny voice, but sometimes the chorus sounds exactly like D2.

Nothing else on this album really stands out, I used the word generic a minute ago, and I think it fits the rest of the songs. The music isn't un-listenable, but the lyrics and vocals are just not memorable. It's like they're trying to create a hybrid by crossing Hinder, Nickelback and Fall Out Boy. I'm not saying it's a bad album, it's just not great. This and music like this makes me question if rock really is dead?

On a scale of zero to ten stars with zero being the worst, this album gets an average FIVE STARS.

Watch the video for Porn Star Dancing (extended cut featuring Zakk Wylde, Ludacris and Chad Kroeger) on YouTube.
Buy My Darkest Days from Amazon. (I did not see any reference to digital files being on sale at Amazon. I don't use iTunes, so I have no idea if the music is available there.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

On Books, Nooks, Kindles, iThings and Free Shit

Digital books. I don't know why they bother me as much as they do.

I made the transition from eight track to vinyl to cassette to CD to mp3 fairly seamlessly. Having about forty million... er, a few thousand mp3's (15.5 gigs, actually) at my fingertips to listen to whenever I get the urge without having to drag out a dusty box of CD's that I haven't touched in months to find that one goddamned Sophie B. Hawkins CD that I just HAD TO LISTEN TO... well, I'm sure you see my point. The only suckage is that my laptop speakers suck donkey dick and if I want to listen to music without my demonically possessed, soul sucking Dell piece of shit precious pink laptop, I'm basically fucked. So for the last couple of months I've been on the hunt for an mp3 player.

Music Review: Tech N9ne ~ All 6's and 7's

Music Review: Tech N9ne ~ All 6's and 7's

I heard about Tech N9ne (pronounced Tech NINE) via word of mouth, or word of message board. I have been on a BIG hip-hop kick lately, listening to Royce Da 5'9"'s new CD Success Is Certain, Yelawolf's Trunk Muzik 0-60, Bad Meets Evil's Hell: the Sequel and Jay Z and Kanye West's new collaboration album Watch The Throne. I'm not going to review that particular CD here because I'm afraid my review might be tainted by the fact that I think Kanye West is a giant talent-less douche bag. (To make a long story shorter than it should be, Jay-Z makes it worth the $16.15 for the deluxe edition.)

But Tech N9ne. Holy SHIT. Where do I start? With the mohawk, maybe? AWESOME!

Anyway, a little investigating told me that he is an independent artist, and this album bounced onto the Billboard Top 200 chart at number four on it's debut in June of this year. I went to YouTube and watched the video for He's A Mental Giant, and at first I thought the title suggested that somebody was too big for his britches, but I was quickly proven wrong. He was just being honest. And I had to have the rest of the CD.

He is a lyricist of the highest order with a flow that made me want to continue to put each song on repeat until I'd wrung out every possible drop of poetic insanity that Tech N9ne has to offer. He is an intelligent rapper, clever with words, rhyme schemes and subject matter. Often his message is dark, but this in no way overshadows his talent or comes off as gimmicky. His flow is FAST and the beats that he uses to transport his inner most thoughts and feelings into that extending axon-less grey matter that we call our noodles makes each and every one of our lobes vibrate. Fuck Food is a sick song, and has guest appearances from Lil' Wayne and T-Pain who both have become seemingly ubiquitous presences in hip-hop these days. He's A Mental Giant is a standout here, as is Mama Nem. These are just my favorites from the cd. I'd have to say that the entire fucking thing is good and has an amazing replay-ability factor, judging by the amount of times I've replayed it in the last day or so since I've had it. I will say DO NOT BUY AN EDITED VERSION OF THIS CD. You'll be completely confused as I'm sure half of it will be bleeped or whatever the fuck they do to edit music these days. If you're offended by strong language, you probably need to remove the two-by-four from your donkey-donk anyway.

I've read some really scathing posts about Tech N9ne and his willingness to collaborate with "pop rap" or mainstream rappers to get his album sold. (He fucking collaborated with the Deftones on If I Could from this CD. He gets massive, MASSIVE brownie points from me for even knowing who they are.) I bet anyone who gets this CD is going to be 90% likely to look up his other albums, and I doubt we'll be disappointed. Did he sell out? Probably... every fucking copy of this CD that they pressed. And he deserves it.

On a scale of zero to ten stars with zero being the worst, this cd gets TEN STARS.
See the video for He's A Mental Giant on YouTube
Buy Tech N9ne - All 6's and 7's from Album also available in mp3 format. I don't know jack or shit about iTunes, so I couldn't tell you if it's available there or not.

Upcoming Music Reviews

I'm one of those rare anomalies among music fans who will literally listen to any genre. I am not limited to top forty radio or MTV for new music discoveries, or I'd be completely fucked. I'm sorry, but with Beiber's gender ambiguity (does he even have testicles yet?), Gaga's flat out psychotic/schizophrenic bullshit (split personalities - Jo Calderone, anyone? Though I have to grudgingly admit I like the song YoĆ¼ And I, though the video may be her freakiest one yet. Somehow she pretty much ends up fucking herself, as herself and Jo Calderone...) and Nicki Minaj's fashion challenged attention-whoring weirdness (and possibly fake bumpers and also her split personalities - apparently Sybil syndrome is hip now)? I'd probably be better off with a full frontal lobotomy than trying to keep up with whatever the tweens are listening to. It's like Eminem said in the song Syllables: "How do we adapt and get TRL votes when thirteen year old's control the remotes?" Is it bad when all pop music really has to redeem itself is Katy Perry's Last Friday Night and LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem? You've got to check out that LMFAO link if you haven't. The song is awesome and the video is clever as hell.

Side note: WTF was Nicki wearing at the 2011 VMA's for fuck's sake? Was that thing she had a chew toy for a giant fucking guinea hog, or what? The Huff Post published an article about her ensemble titled Girlfriend Wears An Entire Toys-R-Us.

Anyway, word of mouth has gotten me some seriously killer music lately, and I thought I'd pay it forward by telling you a little bit about these musicians that you may not have heard of (especially if you're tragically un-hip like me). Some of this music is not new, but it's new to me. Maybe it'll be new to you, too.
Free Blogger Templates