Sunday, 30 June 2013

Song of the Day: Matthew Good Band - Everything is Automatic

     It's the last day before Canada Day, and before I head out to a friend's cottage for some fireworks this evening we're going to have a classic Canadian 90's alternative song that anybody my age should be able to along to without any problem at all.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Song of the Day: Rush - Red Barchetta

     I've been watching a lot of the show Archer lately, and one of the many reasons for my love of Krieger is his own love of Neil Peart and Rush.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Song of the Day: Protest the Hero - Blindfolds Aside

     It's the start of the Canada Day long weekend here in Canadia, so we're going to do a few days of Canadian songs. And we're going to kick it off with one of my favourites.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Song of the Day: letlive. - Banshee (Ghost Fame)

     Kyle Bishop and I (among others) agree, you should all be checking out the first single from the upcoming The Blackest Beautiful by letlive.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Twenty Questions: Kyle Bishop from Numbers

     Hey there everybody. It's been a little bit since the last installment of Twenty Questions, and I've decided it's time to rectify the situation.

Song of the Day: Numbers - Ice On Fire

     Dilemma: I don't know whether you should go read the latest Loud Noises Twenty Questions post first today, featuring Kyle Bishop of "electrometal-jazzcore" band Numbers (labels are fun, right?), or whether you should stay right here and listen to the accompanying Song of the Day first and then check out the Q&A afterwards. Hmmm...

Song of the Monday: The Safety Fire - Red Hatchet

     Yeah, I know. I owe you a song. And I was all ready to post it yesterday, along with a little something else, but then I fell asleep at like seven o'clock last evening and that plan went out the window. So we're going to do a little time-warping today (you'll see what I mean in just one second) and get right back on track.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Song of the Day: Plini - Cloudburst

     We've already established that it was my birthday yesterday (it's cool that you didn't get me anything), but I wasn't the only one symbolically aging a year yesterday while really only celebrating the passage of another day. No, I was in pretty good company.

Song of the Yesterday: The Beatles - Birthday

     You may have noticed that there was no Song of the Day yesterday. And you may subsequently be curious as to why that was the case.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Song of the Day: Last Chance to Reason - Escapist

     I've heard of Last Chance to Reason before, but after hearing the first song off their new record Level 3 today I think I might have to check out some more.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Song of the Day: Tesseract - Resist

     It hasn't been that long since I've done a Tesseract song (less than a month) but somebody's gone and done a lyric video for one of the songs from the new record Altered State, so it seems I've little choice but to put it in front of you this evening. And I'm completely cool with that.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Song of the Day: Revocation - The Hive

     I was late getting aboard the Revocation re-thrash bandwagon, but when I heard last year's EP Teratogenesis you can bet your sweet ass I jumped on that shit like a fat kid on some cake. Or whatever other simile you'd prefer.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Song of the Day: The Faceless - Planetary Duality II: A Prophecies Fruition

     California tech-death band The Faceless (aka The Michael Keene Show) no doubt picked up a lot of new fans with last year's stellar Autotheism, which was a perfect blend of Opethian beauty meets Arsis-up-to-11 beast.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Song of the Day: Mastodon - Blood and Thunder

     I've never read Moby Dick. I've tried, mind you, it's just a grueling slog of a read getting Ishmael aboard the Pequod and I've never finished Ahab's quest for vengeance. But thankfully I don't have to. I can instead rely on Mastodon's 2004 opus Leviathan to give me the gist.

     Or not. Either way, "Blood and Thunder" is badass, and the kind of song that might just be worth losing a leg over, provided of course that a health supply of sweet, sweet whale oil is included in the bargain. Artificial illumination for all!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Song of the Day: Machine Head - Darkness Within

     I'm not necessarily the hugest Machine Head fan, but I will say one thing about Rob Flynn and the boys: they love a good, slow burn.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Song of the Day: The Black Dahlia Murder - In Hell is Where She Waits for Me

     Unless you're completely cut off from the metal world, I'm sure you're aware that The Black Dahlia Murder's new album Everblack dropped on Tuesday. Reading reviews of the new disc, I have again (and more than once) come across the perennial opening to a Black Dahlia Murder piece, namely that the band had long been a bit of a pariah in the metal world, if you will, a band eschewed by metal "purists" for reasons unbeknownst to the reviewer/writer in question.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Song of the Day: Palms - Future Warrior

     If you're a fan of either Deftones or Isis, I'm sure you've no doubt heard about Palms by now. It's a little project featuring Chino from Deftones and three of the dudes from Isis (Jeff, Aaron and Bryant) and it's also conveniently enough the title of their forthcoming debut LP.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Song of the Day: The Contortionist - Flourish

     I jumped on the The Contortionist bandwagon with last year's Intrinsic, but I recently picked up a copy of their debut disc Exoplanet, and I can see now that these guys are an example of a band that really has evolved and expanded their sound.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Song of the Day: Darkest Hour - The Misinformation Age

     In Monday's Song of the Day post I likened the vocal style of Northlane's Adrian Fitipaldes to that of Darkest Hour's John Henry. It was more "vaguely reminiscent of" than "dead ringer for", and maybe you think even that kind of broad comparison is unwarranted, but either way I got to thinking that It's been a bit since we've done a Darkest Hour song.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Monday, 10 June 2013

Song of the Day: Northlane - Dream Awake

     I've been rocking Northlane's new album Singularity all day and I'm finding it pretty tasty. It's pretty djenty, and as such it's not exacly the most unique album out there, but there's something about it that I'm diggin' on that I can't quite put my finger on.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Song of the Day: Baroness - Eula

     Whether or not you're a fan of the band's work, I think we can all agree that Baroness has been through some shit in the last year. A tour bus crash (last summer in England) and the subsequent departure of the rhythm section (drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni left earlier this year) are both things that could spell the end of a band, and I for one hope that the new line-up finds its groove and its fans right where it left them.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Song of the Day: Meshuggah - Dancers to a Discordant System

     I've heard Meshuggah categorized a lot of ways. Hell, music people were so at a loss for what to call whatever it is that Meshuggah has spawned that they coined a whole new term for it, the now-infamous "djent". They're a band that can be all over the map over the course of a single album, let alone a single song. But what about -- stay with me here -- industrial?

Friday, 7 June 2013

Song of the Day: Nine Inch Nails - Came Back Haunted

     OK, before I get to today's song, there's one thing I want to mention first. I've said before (more than once) that I'm not interested in being a music news blog per se, but just in case you haven't heard, Protest the Hero drummer Moe Carlson is leaving the band to go back to school. No permanent replacement has been announced yet, but the indiegogo-funded album the boys are working on will have none other than Lamb of God's Chris "I am a drumming robot" Adler behind the kit as their studio drummer. Colour me even more stoked for this album's apparent fall-ish release.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Song of the Day: System of a Down - Know

     Sometimes shuffle is my enemy. I'm sure you know the feeling: you don't know what you want to hear right now, but it's sure as shit not that. Or that. Or that. Or that... Every song is your least favourite in that moment, every band just not what you're in the mood for. But sometimes, oh sometimes, shuffle has my back.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Song of the Day: The Beatles - Hard Day's Night

     Goddamn, last night was long. Round two is tonight, but at least it's not another twelve hours...

Monday, 3 June 2013

Song of the Day: I, Of Helix - XXIX

Well, the inevitability of Monday has once again caught up with us and it's off to work we go. This week brings me the additional unpleasantness of some overnight shifts, including a twelve hour whopper this evening, which means that today more than on your average Monday I require some heavy sustinence.

Thankfully Heavblogisheavy has provided just the ticket. California's I, Of Helix brew up some techy proggy metalcore that'll kick my lamentably shitty evening off right. Check out your song for today, "XXIX" from their 2012 EP Isolations, and wish me luck.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Song of the Day: Plini - Selenium Forest

     As you may or may not have noticed, the second installment in what will hopefully become a long running series of Twenty Questions Q & A posts went up this afternoon. In it I asked a few (twenty, actually) questions of none other than Australia's Plini, a very talented guitarist/songwriter I've featured before here in the Song of the Day.

Twenty Questions - Plini

I feel like I should open this post with something about striking while the iron is hot, but that saying has always bothered me a little. Sure, I get what it's getting at and everything, but even without being a blacksmith I can tell you that if you're striking the iron while it's cold you don't quite grasp how the process works. (And yes, smithing enthusiasts, I do know about cold working.)

Anyways, my point, if you'll allow me to mix metaphors here, is that I'm going to strike while the iron is hot and keep the ball rolling along here in the land of the newest Loud Noises feature, Twenty Questions.

Today we're doing some traveling, from Canada to Australia, from rockin' prog to smooth instrumental guitar work, and from Mandroid Echostar to Plini.

 LN: For any of my readers who aren’t familiar with you, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

P: Hello. I’m a 20 year old architecture student from Sydney. But I spend a lot of my free time sitting in front of a computer writing geeky guitar music pretending I’m a rock star 

LN: Plini is an interesting sobriquet. As a student of ancient history I have to ask: is Plini a reference to either of the ancient scholars named Pliny? What’s the story behind your nom de guerre?

P: It’s my first name on my birth certificate! Named after a character (not either of the Roman dudes) in a book my mum was reading. Apparently Pliny the Elder is also the best beer in the world but I haven’t tried it :( 

LN: Your musical style has a variety of facets to it – melodic, heavy, jazzy, not-so-heavy... What or who would you say are some of your influences?

P: So much stuff, way too much to list but the stuff that probably comes out in my playing the most obviously would be all my guitar heroes - John Petrucci and Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Opeth, Guthrie Govan, Tosin Abasi... and more recently Jakub Zytecki and the dudes from CHON and Corelia. On the lighter side, Little Tybee, Django Reinhardt, Jon Gomm... it’s pretty much an endless list haha. 

LN: How does the fact that Plini is basically just you impact on your ability (or even desire) to tour?

P: I would love to play live and eventually tour, I know a bunch of really talented players who I could probably convince to learn my stuff, but with studying full time I don’t have the time or drive to really do it... yet. But some day I’d love to for sure. 

LN: On that note, just how solo a project is Plini? How solo would you like to keep it/do you intend to keep it?

P: I might eventually have session players for all the other instruments, but at the moment I like doing everything myself (other than guest parts, which are super fun to get cos there are so many people around the world whose playing I love). 

LN: What about vocals? What influenced your decision to have Plini be an instrumental project?

P: When I sing I sound like a dying animal, so it was a pretty easy decision to keep my voice away from everything. I do love vocals though so I’m gonna work with some awesome singers on some things and plan to do a lot more of that! Might eventually put some time into my own voice but not for a while... 

LN: What’s the Australian music scene (or the scene in your part of the country) like right now? Anything you’re really into, or that you think the rest of us should know about?

P: The other day my good friend Jake (who plays in 2 of my favourite metal bands, The Helix Nebula and Point Below Zero) showed me Maze, a local band who broke up a while ago but their EP “Empires & Endings” is one of my favourite things at the moment. Their singer Tobias (who I’m definitely gonna work with soon) started a new band with Northlane’s drummer called Glass Ocean, who sound realllllly promising. Other Aussies I love at the moment - Absent Hearts (a great Australian dude named Scott’s collaboration with Dan Tompkins who used to sing for Tesseract), and of course Karnivool, one of my fave bands of all time for sure. Karnivool’s singer’s other band Birds of Tokyo is also amazing. I don’t really know about the Australian music scene in terms of what’s ACTUALLY popular but I love all these dudes and there seems to be quite a lot of talent coming out. 

LN: I really like the cover art for Other Things. It says on the back of the EP that the art was done by Alex Pryle at Dead Crown Design, but perhaps you can talk a little more about the design itself. Was it all Alex, or did you have some input? Is it connected thematically/emotionally/conceptually somehow with the content of the EP?

P: It was pretty much all Alex, I said I wanted a handwritten font, I can’t remember who suggested having the heart and moon and trees and cogs... feels like we both came up with the same ideas at the same time and he just made it happen. I had some very minor changes to suggest like the colour tone of the front cover (“make it more like sunset... now make it less like sunset...”) and I told him to put the guy and girl from the front cover together on the disc... but I feel like he basically inserted himself into my brain and made exactly what I wanted before I really knew. As for connections, the objects refer to the song titles, I feel like the overall atmosphere is a pretty good representation of the music too. Can’t say enough good things about Alex, really great dude! 

LN: Other Things is a pretty solid debut EP if you ask me. What’s next for Plini?

P: It’s the first part of a trilogy of connected EPs that I’d like to release this year, whether the third part comes out at the end of this year or the beginning of next year I don't know but the second part will be out within the next couple of months. I’ve also got another EP, a split EP/collaboration with a good buddy of mine coming out probably before the sequel to Other Things. Then after that I have so much shit planned/sketched out that I want to do... Eventually I want to do a full length album but I don’t want it to just be a collection of 10 songs so it’d be something huge I spend a lot of time on... 

LN: Have you had any interest from any labels? Is that something you’re interested in/looking for, or are you content to stay indie and continue distributing your stuff online via means like Bandcamp?

P: A few have contacted me, small indie labels, but what they can offer isn’t that much of a step up from what I can do myself with the help of all the lovely dudes in bands far more popular than me that help spread the word and share my music. Plus I’m all over the place with the ideas I have for releases and release strategies so I like having it all in my own hands. Hand addressing CD envelopes isn’t the most fun thing I’ve ever done in my life, but the fact that there are people around the world who are buying my music is so ridiculously astonishing, that makes it fun :) 

LN: Speaking of labels and the ‘industry’ part of the music industry, what is your take on the success of indiegogo campaigns to crowdfund albums by bands like Protest the Hero and Misery Signals? Does it give you any ideas?

P: I was so happy to see how far over their goal Protest went, they’re a favourite of mine (Mis Sigs too) not only for their music but they seem like really friendly, honest people. I’d consider doing something like that at a way smaller scale, just pre-orders to fund the printing of CDs or merch really... but I’ve saved up and bought the gear that I think is enough to write and record and produce; I don’t think I’d do something like that to fund going into a studio to record because I don’t think for what I do, I need that level of equipment or budget. Maybe one day I can get an orchestra on a CD though... 

LN: What are your thoughts on Google Play?

P: Don’t know anything about it honestly, when I signed up to get my stuff on itunes and spotify, it was an option, but had an extra fee which I didn’t want to pay because my music is ultimately meant to be free anyway... I guess I should check it out if it’s gonna the next big thing in music sharing though 

LN: OK, a couple of quicker ones, some of which may also be sillier as well. Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?

P: Haven’t seen Star Trek, grew up with Star Wars and I love every single movie, including the prequel trilogy. And I’m sure I’ll love the new Disney trilogy too haha 

LN: Pat Metheny or Michael Hedges?

P: Not familiar with Michael Hedges but I’m a big fan of Pat Metheny! 

LN: Who’s your favourite classical historian, and why?

P: I don’t know my classical historians as well as my guitarists, but there is a lot of valuable stuff in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy that I think a lot of people today could (and should) learn from. 

LN: If you could make everyone stop what they’re doing and listen to one song right this minute, what song would it be?

P: Human Nature by Michael Jackson, if not the original then the Bad Rabbits cover. You can’t listen to that song and not be happy and I think people should stop what they’re doing and be more happy 

LN: If you could ask any member of any band any question, who would it be and what would you ask?

P: Either Guthrie Govan, can we jam and record together... or Hans Zimmer, can I come to your studio and have you write orchestral arrangements for me? :) 

LN: Dream Tour: who would you open for, or who would open for you?

P: I think I would die if I got to open for Dream Theater. More realistically though I think it would be super fun to go on tour supporting my boys in The Helix Nebula or Corelia or CHON. If I were touring and got to choose an opening act I would want either a ridiculously talented solo act like Jon Gomm, or a super fun/tight band like Dirty Loops. It would also be amazing to be part of a G3 type thing. So in answer to your previous question about touring, yes I really would LOVE tour someday haha. 

LN: Almost done. What have you been listening to lately?

P: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album “The Heist” is one of my favourite recent albums, alongside Little Tybee’s “For Distant Viewing” (cutest music ever), Tesseract’s “Altered State” (their new singer rules), Disperse’s “Living Mirrors” (for me Jakub Zytecki is the most exciting young guitarist alive right now), Letlive’s “Fake History” (catchy as fuck), The Dear Hunter’s “Migrant” (they are way too good at writing songs), Zedd’s “Clarity” (favourite producer at the moment), Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for “The Holiday” (I wish I could write romantic comedy soundtracks), The Dillinger Escape Plan’s “One of Us Is the Killer” (you can’t go wrong with TDEP) ... and these are just in the last week really... 

LN: Last one! What’s your favourite metal album of all time?

P: Way too fuckin hard to say! Got into metal with bands like Lamb of God and Trivium, then onto Meshuggah and Opeth and Dream Theater... I guess Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence by DT would be up there but this question is unfair, you can’t spring something like this on me at the end of an interview!

And there you have it. Just like last time, big thanks/shout out to Plini for taking the time to give me some great answers to what I hope were some halfway decent questions. If this is the first time you're ever hearing about this Plini fellow, make sure to check him out on Facebook, Bandcamp, Youtube, and SoundCloud (among other places) to find out what all the fuss is about. You'll be glad you did.

Like last time, I'll offer a few thoughts that occurred to me while reading Plini's answers before we go:
- Plini is a very cool first name.
- Neither Plini nor any of you out there should feel discouraged in the slightest if you're not up on your classical historians. Trust me, it's information that, much to my dismay, isn't exactly the most useful in everyday life.
- It's very interesting to me that both of the people I've interviewed so far have advocated Michael Jackson songs. Two data points does not a statistically viable study make, but that's still 100% of Twenty Questions respondents so far.

Until next time, stay frosty everyone.  

Song of the Day: Radiohead - Everything in Its Right Place

     When I was younger I used to listen to music to help me sleep. That and a lot of books on tape. But as I get older and my musical tastes drift further and further into metal territory, I don't find this as useful a sleep aid.