Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ramble on: March 30

Hinder-- All America Nightmare

If you're looking  for an artsy, deep, soul-touching album that's going to change your life, then Hinder's latest "All American Nightmare" ain't it. If you are looking for something fun that's going to put a grin on your face and become the soundtrack to your next party or night out, then you are most definitely in luck. From start to stop, Hinder's most recent release will have you tapping your feet to the beat, smiling and thinking how awesome it would be to live life a like a rockstar.

There is seriously not a bad song on this album. That signature raspy but beautiful voice that is Austin Winkler, kicks it off with "2 Sides of Me," a rocking song that sets the mood for the rest of the cd. Its heavy, powerful, and so melodic that it ties all those things together. 

The two singles that have already been released from the album follow. First, the title track "All American Nightmare" gives you a "one way ticket to the darker side." It's typical Hinder in the best possible way. Dirty and scandalous, this first released single proves all the reasons that not one boy in this band is the one you're gonna bring to church with you on Sunday, but you're gonna have one hell of a good time until then.

"What Ya Gonna Do," the current single, brings things down a bit, showing that maybe the badass lifestyle has consequence and the wild ride might not last forever. It brings a bit of a softer side to the boys, and is the perfect precursor to the next song, "Hey Ho."

One of my favorite songs from "All American Nightmare," "Hey Ho" is about the end of a relationship that probably never should have been to begin with. (And boys of Hinder, just so you know, I like all the songs you write, and I do me some love Nirvana ;) Just sayin'... )  

Another notable from the album is "Put That Record On." In the most amazing way, this song tells of how a song is associated with a moment in your life, and eternally every time you hear it, it takes you right back there. It says, "the song remains the same as life goes on," -such true words, so perfectly captured in this song. Watch this video below, and listen to the way that Winkler introduces it. If you have ever really loved a song and all those things you probably shouldn't have been doing when you heard it the first time, you'll love this one too. The sound is a little weird in the video, but it's live recorded on a little camera and that's just how it goes. [Side note: This live video makes me so freakin' excited for Hinder to come to LEXINGTON! And Rock on the Range. Hinder has an amazing live show, I've seen them a ton of times before, and I can't wait to see them again. I recommend you do the same.] 


I decided to go with the deluxe edition of the album for one reason: the song "Bad Mutha F**ka." Not included on the regular edition, this song makes you feel like you're chillin' in the living room surrounded by the guys of Hinder, with an acoustic guitar and whatever else may be making its way around the room. The feeling is so relaxed, with guys yelling random obscenities in the background and cracking up uncontrollably at the hilarious lyrics, and even Winkler can't keep it together at times. The lyrics are just so fun, terribly inappropriate and at times just plain wrong, but delivered in such a familiar way that you can't help but love it. And ladies, I dare you to listen to Winkler just speak in his regular voice and not melt. Go ahead, I'll wait.   

I have been a Hinder fan from way back, and this album only solidifies how much I love this band. Great lyrics, great music, and just a great album that will continue to blow up on the radio as more singles are released. I have no doubt of this. Take some advice from me: Go buy this album, and spring for the deluxe edition. It's gonna become your new soundtrack. And maybe I lied in the beginning when I said this album wouldn't change your life. It just might make you live a little more on the rockstar side of life, and after you listen to all these songs, you'll know it's gonna be one wild ride :) 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

i'm on the way to you.

"You're too sweet for rock and roll," - Penny Lane
"Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark and mysterious, and pissed off! And I could be very dangerous to all of you! You should know that about me... I am the enemy!" - William

--Almost Famous

i sit here in the library, amidst the sounds of calamity coming from the hoards of hoodlums who apparently never learned the correlation between 'library' and 'quiet.' yet their noise isn't the loudest thing that i hear. that sound would be coming from the turned up loud music i am playing to help me block out all the other people's nonsensical ramblings. but still there is something more that keeps me from concentrating on the project that brought me to the library in the first place (which, just in case you're curious, is a very, very evil thing called a lit review, that may just be the death of me). that thing is my desire, my passion, my unrelenting urge for my life to be headed in a different direction, down a road toward music, someway, somehow.

i admit that i am clueless as to what i want to do 'when i grow up.' all i know for sure is that it must involve music. i must have a job where my main responsibilities involve listening to/going to see/writing about music. it can't be like now where it is just a side project that i keep to myself, or a tiny little blog that no one really reads. i will give myself the credit that those few people who do read my blog say it's really good and that they think i should do that for a living (and I am so thankful to all those people who have given me words of encouragement!). i just wish they were willing to pay me or point me in the direction of who will do so. 

i have developed such a fear, though, that was only intensified by that dang movie "almost famous." (just to clarify, "almost famous" might actually be my favorite movie ever, but i have to be angry with it right now to prove my point.) you see, writing about music is the one thing that i have really, really wanted, with all my being, to do for so long. i never told anyone about it, or came anywhere near attempting it because it terrifies me. yeah, yeah, i know, i have written for newspapers before (oh yes, i am published journalist. you may have heard of me, i'm kind of a big deal. but i must digress). it is immensely different for me to write about an issue that i do not care about, i.e. student government elections or the firefighter toy drive. i have no fear of offending those s.g. jokers. i would prefer not to offend the firefighters, as they could potentially save my life and all, but basically writing a pr piece about their community service event isn't likely to offend. when it comes to music, though, i get involved with the songs i hear and the people in the band (not involved like that, silly!) but involved in a friend kinda way. band guys are generally really cool people who i relate to better than any others because of a shared love for the music. 

my dilemma, much like sweet little william in 'almost famous,' is that i don't know that i want to offend a band that i may love by writing negative things about their music. i mean, what am i supposed to do if i go to see a band play that i have loved in the past and it turns out their new album sucks big ones? yeah, they may not even read what i write about them. but what if they do? and i lose that friendship with them? yes, i do realize how ludicrous this sounds as i write it. i probably will not have to worry about any rockstar friendships because i write the truth. and my journalistic integrity should elevate me above the petty little worries that i have illustrated. but still, it could happen! i don't want to be the enemy :( 

i know that writing is not the only job that goes along with the music industry, but quite honestly, its the only one that i know anything about. i didn't have the prescience to think to major in pr or marketing. i thought i was on a different path (obviously, with a major like freakin' agricultural communications). so i don't have the qualifications to be a publicist, a manager, or anyone else not on the wrong side of enemy lines. then i think , i'd like to be a booking agent, or promoter or something like that, until i quickly realize that i actually haven't got a damn clue what those people actually do. so then, i get to the point to where i will settle for even being the merch girl. and that could seriously have some positives related to it- example: brent smith's girlfriend was/is shinedown's merch girl. sell a few cds and shirts, pack up the boxes, make out with brent smith- i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that ain't a bad day. then, i realize, i can't count money in my head without going into panic attacks. que sad music in the background. 

so unless some rockstar struts his tight pants, long hair, and tattooed butt (well, they don't have to be on his butt, actually) into the library right now and whisks me off my laptop, i have to figure something out about my future. (pauses for just a few moments, looking around to make sure said rockstar didn't actually walk into the library but go to the wrong table. disappointedly turns back and resumes typing.) i must come up with a plan, and stick to it if i ever want to be happy. the thought of waking up 10 years from now and realizing that i never tried, never went after it, and just settled for normal, boring, and easy, makes my chest hurt and my breathing speed up. i will not let that happen. i wont be that girl. so this girl is writing out the steps to prevent that.

1. finish what i've started. 

as much as i would love to say screw it to my lease, job, and search for thesisdom, i know that i can't. so i will finish this semester (lord willing). i'll do the remaining work for these horrible classes, i will submit my proposal to my committee, they will unanimously approve (they better!) and i will be done with that part. i will take my summer class, and then be done with classes. i will do my interviews for my project this summer. this fall, i will write my thesis in lex while i finish my job. i will defend my thesis. my committee will approve my thesis. in december, i will graduate and walk that line proudly. and all that i've began will be done.

2. begin again. 

come january, i will move to nashville. i will find a job, doing whatever at first, if necessary. (i can secretary like nobody's business, let me just tell ya.) i will find a job writing if i can. or, i will find another job, preferably my currently undiscovered dream job. i will then be living the dream, going out to listen to bands, writing about music, and not hating every second i'm forced to do other crap (aka thesis!) that i am forced to do now. 

3. optional third step: star on season 5 of married to rock. 

who am i kidding, the only optional part of this one is being on the tv show. i am not made to be with a boy who isn't in a band. im not made for one city, one home, one boring yawn that's gonna drag on for the rest of my one life. i want to see the world. i want to watch a rock show at a different arena every night. yes, i know that this is not as glamorous of a life as one might imagine. i have twitter, i follow rockstar wives/girlfriends. i know it is hard when you have to be apart, and having a family is even harder. but it can be done, and i want to do it. i want music to be my life. it already is now, in a lot of ways. i want more, though, and i really, honestly, truly, madly, deeply (savage garden reference, anybody?) believe that it's gonna happen. but i guess we will just have to wait and see. will you follow me as i see what's at the end of this road?            

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ramble On - March 9

I've been a little absent from here lately (being an over-committed over-achiever can have that effect on you) but some huge musical things have been happening that I felt I must comment on. So here's to hoping that my absence has only made your heart grow fonder and your ears opener, or something like that :)

  Alice in Chains- Nutshell-- Most everyone has heard the news this week of the tragic passing of former Alice in Chains bassist, Mike Starr. So as my little homage to him and the entire band that was so influential to the music of the nineties (and still today in their new reincarnation) I give you my favorite AIC song, and quite possibly my most favorite song of all time, "Nutshell." (And before you get your panties in a wad, I do know that Starr is not playing bass in this video as he had already left the band at this point. But I feel like the words and the emotion of the song can relate really well to the situation.) This is seriously such a painfully beautiful song, and I adore everything about it, from the guitars to that undeniably beautiful and unmistakable voice of Layne Staley. Also, if you like this song, there are some really great covers of it, including one by Staind and, my favorite, by Brent Smith of Shinedown and Shaun Morgan of Seether. I'll plug that video in for you, too, because it is seriously glorious. Oh yes, it's that good. But, back to the point: RIP, Mike Starr, and Layne, too, while we're on the subject. You both did amazing things for music, and now can serve as lessons for young musicians of the path not to follow. Drugs are bad, m'kay?

 Foo Fighters- Rope-- It has been a while since the Foo Fighters have put out a new album (Four years, actually, not counting their 2009 greatest hits album). With the release of "Rope," the first single off the new record "Wasting Light" that is due out April 12, Dave Grohl and the boys have stirred up quite a bit of interest from fans old and new alike. The song is very reminiscent of old school Foo, while still being different and fresh. Really interestingly, the band recorded "Wasting Light" in Grohl's garage without using digital recording equipment. Maybe that's part of the reason it has that vintage vibe. No matter, this "atomic beast of a single," as so aptly Rolling Stone calls it, has that awesome Foo Fighters sound that you've been craving. (Also, as a side note, if you love that classic Foo-style video where the boys are dressing up and acting a fool (go watch "Learn to Fly RIGHT NOW if you haven't seen it), check out "White Limo." It's got some great cameos and is seriously funny. Oh, and the song's n0t bad either! Also, Taylor, if you're reading this, I love you and think you're beautiful and you play drums real pretty and we should get married. That is all.) Official site:     

Seether- Country Song--  Don't panic y'all, Seether hasn't pulled a Hootie or an Aaron Lewis and gone country. The title of the first single from "Holding on to Strings Better Left to Fray" definitely has a country groove to it, but is still very much rocking (and the lyrics don't even say a word about losing a wife or dog or a preferred color of transportation while plowing a field). Shaun Morgan, the man with the voice, says, "It's basically a feel good song, musically, with a lyrical contrast dealing with the realization that a relationship has reached it's conclusion." And, as for the southern-fried-flavor of it, he accredits that to the city I  (and it sounds like he) loves so much: "It's definitely not country, but we recorded the album in Nashville, and felt like it was a small homage to such a wonderful city. The release of this first single and their upcoming tour dates in a city near you (Who's gonna be at Busters?!) makes me and the hoards of other enthusiastic Seether fans very excited about what's to come from Seether. The new album is set to drop in May. It's gonna be a long couple of months waiting for this one.  Official site: