Friday, October 15, 2010

Music You've Probably Never Heard -- Grab Bag

Hey y'all, it's time for more music you've probably never heard! This week I'll be doing a grab bag mix of different songs I listen to from various artists, but I don't listen to much of the artists themselves. There's lots of reasons for this, depending on each artist, but these songs are still well worth listening to. Mostly I tend to be listening to harder things (either that or foreign pop), but this should include other genres I listen to as well. But like all of my posts, this too is about expanding what you listen to and learning that there's a lot more out there than the boring trash they play on the radio.

Let's start with a song I can guarantee you likely haven't heard, because this is done by a rising artist in California. This is pop, and I guess I'll call it garage pop because the band isn't professional. He's called Pitch Michael, and the song I listen to of his is called "The Happy Song". I love this song because it's just completely silly, and you have to listen to it. Michael is the main singer, and his brother Levi is also in the video, along with their friend Jamal. The main reason I don't listen to more of their songs is because they don't have that much up there on youtube. I met Levi a couple of years ago, and he's a pretty cool guy, and he showed me the video. Really, this is just too cute to miss.

The Happy Song:

The next artist I is also a youtube group, and they're called the Klein Four Group. I don't know much about them, only that I found them one day when I was looking for nerdy parodies of popular songs. Honestly, this occapella group is magnificently skilled, though I suspect that they no longer exist because not only do they have little up on youtube, but they also sing in a college, meaning at some point they're going to graduate. That doesn't mean that this song doesn't deserve a listen. Despite the "Four" in their name, there's actually five guys in this video, and they're singing a love song about complex math. Seriously, you practically need a degree to understand it. That however, does not stop the absolute adorableness of this song from showing through. It's nerdy, but very skillful.

Finite Simple Group of Order Two:

Let's go back to a professional band, shall we? This next song is something from Gabba Front Berlin. It is in the speedcore subgenre, and speedcore is questionably not music. Seriously, it's known for being around 1000 beats per minute. It will give you a serious headache if you listen to it too long. That said, I have found one speedcore song that is actually good and poetic, artistic, even. This song is called Lacrima Mosa Est, also known as Speedcore Lacrima. You can find it by both names on Youtube. Honestly, this song is beautiful: hardcore and pulsing and yet soothingly smooth. I don't listen to other GFB songs, mostly because I don't care for songs that dwell on darkness, and heck, speedcore will make your brain blow up. Warning: this song is for the hardcore only. If you are not hardcore, do not click the link.

Lacrima Mosa Est:

The next song is from Doctor Who. Now, everyone has heard the Doctor Who theme at one point or another, even if they don't know where it's from. That's not the song I'm talking about. Those of you who are not nerds will not know this, but Doctor Who is going through its second reboot after several years of not being on the air. For this reboot, the British National Orchestra has gotten involved because this is a show Britain really cares about. It's classic for them. Normally I'm not huge into orchestras, but one song in particular written for the character Rose Tyler is gorgeous, and I just had to buy it off of iTunes. It really stands out as something gorgeous and dramatic. You just have to listen to this song. Don't worry about not being familiar with the show, just let whatever images come to mind what will as you listen to this song.


Let's get more into the electronic arts, as if I don't put up enough electronica as it is. This trance piece, however, deserves mention. Trance is not a popular genre, and the divided halves of trance hate each other, making it even harder to get into. This track by The Traveler and In Motion is absolutely perfect, despite the genre's history. It's meditative, passionate, determined, and absolutely wonderful. This song is called Believe, and the few lyrics it has are very meaningful. Give it a listen. The main reason I don't listen to more of this band is because very few bands in the electronic realm manage to aspire to popularity in any circuit, simply because there are so many of them. They tend to have one song that really pops, and the rest sink into whatever fanbase they have that already exists.


Like I said earlier, I love foreign pop. Korean pop in particular is a favorite of mine, and even if you don't understand a word of it you can't help but try and sing along in whatever broken korean you're familiar with (or think you're familiar with). SNSD is a band of nine girls, and one day as I was puttering around youtube I came across Gee. I looked up the lyrics, and this is a silly love song about melting for a man that doesn't know she exists. It's a really sweet, fun song that really digs itself into your brain without letting go. I don't listen to this band, mostly because it's generally too sugary for me, but this one song reminds me of my man, and how he makes me feel.


Now, I'm an Irish person, and I love my ancestors. They are crazy people and I love them for it. Now, there are two types of Irish styles that are distinctly of the culture: one is to have a really depressing and/or violent song with an amazingly upbeat tune (their national anthem, for example), and the other is to write a very depressing tune about a personal tragedy. This song falls into the latter category, and it about an Irish battle against the British invaders. Britain and Ireland have had a very bad history, and for over 700 years Ireland has had to deal with some sort of oppression from their neighbors. I will get into this in a later post, but for now suffice to say that the two haven't always been best friends.

This particular song is beautiful and very poetic. Few songs can describe war in such a poetic and yet accurate way. It's lovely, a work by Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftains. I don't really listen to the Chieftans because they're just not what I'm into, and even though Sinead has a great voice, her weird and often contradictory life kinda throws me off. You can really tell that she's the person so desperate to be accepted that she's too willing to be malleable.

The Foggy Dew:

Now, Tricky Disco is a band I like very much. I do want to give them their own entry in this blog, but I really can't. Not a lot of their songs are available on youtube, or even iTunes. Plus, this band has changed their names time and time again, so as Tricky Disco they only have so much out. However, I do want to present to you two of their self-titled songs (pretentious, no?) which I like very much. The original is very plunky and wonky, and the music video is even more trippy. It's fun stuff, and it doesn't take itself seriously. The second mix is my absolute favorite, and I just love how story-esque it is. It's fun and beautiful, and very contented.

Tricky Disco:

Tricky Disco (Plone Mix):

Okay, one more song. This one is by Trip Lee, a rapper. Normally I'm not into rap, but this track really got to me. Like I said in my last post, I am a Christian, so I do listen to Christian tracks. I really love this one, as it's a song about not being stuck on yourself, because life is not about yourself. In fact, it's about everyone besides yourself, God and people. A lot of people don't get the whole "to live is Christ and to die is gain" sort of thing. It's like this: if you're saved, you can just die and go to heaven, right? Good for you, but only you. The whole "to live is Christ" concept simply means you're being like Christ. You're giving up on your life and your happiness to give to others what they could never discover on their own.

This song is very well written, and I just love the background music. In a lot of raps the background music is so ridiculously boring that you couldn't possibly listen to the song without the words. That, I think, is a failure of the genre. Some artists are better than others about the background, but I think too much these days gets put out there without being artistic enough. And then there are those that just rip off some classical piece. Lame. Honestly, rap is in the electronica family, it can afford to be more original. There are some artists out there that understand this, but there are also a lot that don't. I dunno, popular music is going through a really bad period right now, and I feel that a lot of genres are being churned out while being only slightly more distinctive than pop. Country music is the biggest victim of this. Rap sort of evades this, but not entirely.

Gah, I need to post the link before I go all ranty.

To Live is Christ:

1 comment:

  1. Oh, man, I LOVE Sinead O'Connor! I don't think your assessment of her is very accurate, but yeah, she can be a little kooky.