Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Digging the Graves

So, in the past month or so, I have become aware of several unsigned artists, but the three that really stand out are the Graves, Sam Tsui, and Katie Mahree. All of which, surprisingly, I discovered through Facebook.

When you hear about a band consisting of three brothers, everyone's automatic response is "dear God, please don't let them be like the Jonas Brothers," and I would be lying if I said that that's not what I thought. But these boys are not only a thousand times better than the Disney owned tween dream band, but they have restored my faith in family based bands. With only 842 YouTube subscribers, and just over a thousand followers on Twitter, Sean, Chris and Kevin Graves are one of the best unsigned bands I have heard in a long time. Their song "So Soon" was made into an independent music video on YouTube and is by far on of the top three most adorable songs I heard in 2010,  only being beaten out by "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes, and "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. You can follow the on Twitter (@TheGraves), Facebook, and YouTube (digginthegraves), and I definitely encourage everyone to head over to iTunes and download their song "So Soon." You won't regret it.

As far as cover artists go, Sam Tsui can make even a Britney Spears song into a song that will make you swoon. But don't judge him only on how well he sings music written by others, because a cover artist is not the only thing he does. His music video for "Don't Want an Ending" has had over 4 million views on YouTube, and has made me rethink the way that I have always viewed pop music. His voice stands out in the same way that Adam Lambert's did when he auditioned for American Idol. It wouldn't take to much more for this guy to hit the big time.You can find him on YouTube under KurtHugoSchnieder. Sam Tsui auditioned for Glee, and obviously, though highly unfortunately, did not get the part. Despite this fact, my personal belief is that he doesn't need a TV show to get the fame that he so rightly deserves for all of his hard work. All he needs is the YouTube channel, and all of those 4 million viewers. He is also on iTunes. Definitely check him out.

And now last, but most definitely not least, Katie Mahree. There are hundreds of thousands of girls who think that just because they can play three chords on a guitar, that they are musicians, and lets be honest, a good majority of them aren't. But if you sift through all of the dirt and trash in the music industry, every once in a while, up comes a diamond. Katie Mahree is that diamond. I have known her since seventh grade, so I may be a bit biased, but she has more raw, musical talent than anyone else I know. She writes all of her own songs, records them, and posts them on her Facebook page, including one of my favorites by her, "Baby Blues," a song she wrote for one of her best friends. Again, I may be a tad bit biased because she is a friend of mine, but don't take my word, go check her out yourself on Facebook. Just search Katie Mahree, and like the page. It's pretty simple. Then scroll through her wall and listen to all of her incredible songs. Don't miss out on the opportunity to say that you were one of the first people to listen to her music, because I guarantee you, in the next five years tops, Katie Mahree will be all over MTV, VH1 and Fuse. So go check her out now.

And now to wrap up the last month worth of music epic-ness. 1) I went and listened to Black Cards (big mistake), and to put it nicely, and to save you all from that horrible experience, let me give you a bit of advice; don't listen to them. Pete Wentz has officially secured his spot in the fail abyss with this band. 2) We The Kings is recording again, and I for one, cannot wait to hear their new stuff. 3) "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" is the new single by Panic! at the Disco, and I have to admit, I'm quite impressed. If the rest of Vices and Virtues is even half as good, the CD is going to be incredible. 4) P!nk's new single "F*ckin' Perfect" has to be the most inspirational, heart wrenching/warming song I have ever heard in my entire life. 5) Craig Mabbit needs to stop insulting Ronnie Radke and admit that he is the reason Escape the Fate is chilling with Pete Wentz in the fail abyss. 6) The Summer Set is one of the best bands I have ever had the pleasure of listening to in my entire life. And 7) The Ready Set is in the same boat as The Summer Set. 

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @RuthlessRae, and if you copy an paste my BlogSpot address into the Facebook search engine, you'll be greeted with a page made by a friend, go ahead and like that page as well.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Probably My Longest Post Ever...Yay!!!

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. Basically, I've been so absorbed in school and freaking out over all the good bands that are releasing albums next year, that I just haven't thought about it all that much. For that, I apologize.

There is so much I need to cover.

First of all, I will admit that in the last year, I have only listened to a few songs off of We The Kings' second album, and only recently finished listening to it all the way through, including deciding to swallow my distaste for Demi Lovato and listen to "We'll Be a Dream." Since that moment, I have a new found respect for her and no longer plan to make fun of her for being a Disney star. Miley Cyrus is still fair game, however, as are the Jonas Brothers. Anyway, the song is by far my favorite off of the CD and is just absolutely incredible.

Second of all, All Time Low's Christmas song, "Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass," is probably the single greatest Christmas song ever written. If you've just gone through a bad break up with someone who still treats you like the gum on the bottom of their shoe, listen to this song, it will brighten up your day, guaranteed. Also, I have to admit that I am beyond stoked for the release of their fourth full length album, Dirty Work, said to be released in March of 2011. If you haven't heard the demo for the song, "Actors," look it up. Even though it won't be on Dirty Work, it is still one of the best songs they have ever written.

Third of all, Patrick Stump has failed to come back from the endless fail abyss that was created by Fall Out Boy's Infinity on High. The former lead singer recently released two different versions of the same song, "Spotlight," looking for feedback from fans. Needless to say, the majority of the fans that commented were disappointed. I think everyone was hoping for the same thing that I was hoping for; a return of the music that we all knew and loved. However, "Spotlight" is nothing but a reminder of what one of the most incredible bands from my middle school days became: The definition of epic fail. Sorry, Patrick Stump. You haven't escaped Pete Wentz's fail shadow yet.

Fourth on the list, Pete Wentz has a new band?! What?! This of course, is after he released a statement on the subject of Fall Out Boy's breakup, saying, "I think the world needs a little less Pete Wentz." Which is the reason I'm confused as to why he would start another band. Maybe it's just to spit in the faces of everyone who hates him (coughcoughTHEWORLDcoughcough). Maybe he's just stupid. Either way, if someone eggs his house and tells me about it, I will give them a high five, a hug, and maybe a hundred dollars. Also, this Bebe Rexha must be pretty stupid as well if she really thinks it's a good idea to start a band with him. I'll have to listen to Black Cards to be able to give a proper review, but I'm really afraid of losing brain cells and the possibility of my ears bleeding.

Fifth up, is Panic! at the Disco is back!!! :D They even returned the exclamation point to their name, which earns them a handful of brownie points in my book. Despite the departure of guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker, the two remaining members (lead singer Brendon Urie, and drummer Spencer Smith) have pulled through and announced that they will be releasing their third album sometime early next year. The Young Veins (the two former members' new band), on the other hand, has taken an indefinite break, announced by Jon Walker on Twitter a few days ago. Maybe we'll see a return of the whole band. We can only hope, I suppose.

Sixth (Holy Jesus, the list just keeps going), MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE!!!! Hahaha. I'm sure everyone else was just as excited as my friends and I were, but at the same time, it's possible I'm wrong. The release of Danger Days has officially restored the faith that I had in this incredible band before The Black Parade, which would have been a good CD, if it hadn't been a My Chem CD. But the boys are back, older, more mature, and more like comic book characters than ever before. I do have to say that their recent music videos for "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na)" and "Sing" have both been artistic, entertaining, and incredibly depressing, though. Hopefully the Kill Joys are brought back to life in the next music video.

And last, but most definitely not least, Cherri Bomb. After reading about these girls in AP, I felt compelled to go listen to them. To say the least, they're amazing. Colorful hair, outrageous clothing, heavy bass lines,  fantastic drum beats and intense guitar solos matched with four girls' incredible voices and inspiring lyrics makes them top of my list for Most Amazing Chick Band of the Year. I encourage everyone to go listen to their song "Spin."

Well, that's all for today. I'll post more in the next few weeks. I know that I left out quite a few things I wanted to talk about, including the most adorable song on the planet (which I will be reviewing in my next post...hopefully), and my opinion on Jeffree Star's song "I'm in Love (With a Killer)." But I will cover those soon. Hopefully I figure out a good schedule for posting. Well, ta ta for now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Either Stand Up or Shut Up

In today's world it is common for the majority of the population to do nothing. Ever. Everyone has opinions (it's just one of those things that happens) and yet instead of creating powerful, opinionated, passionate people, the world is creating nothing but yet another generation of doormats. Every now and then someone comes out of no where and says what they believe, and backs that belief with a strong, valid argument. But as soon as the last word has left their mouth, they are pushed back, shunned, and ignored by the conformist blob that is today's society.

The first time I ever felt the need to learn to stand up for something was when I was in elementary school. Avril Lavigne had just arrived on the scene and was demanding that girls break out of the mold that society had placed in front of them. Through her songs she told stories of how she'd never been the type of girl to play dress up or wear make up, but instead hung out with boys and learned how to fight for herself and stand out. She also did something that few people have ever done; she encouraged other girls to do the same. She stood for something.

If I counted all of the bands on my iPod, I'm pretty sure that even I would be amazed at the number. And yet, out of all of them, there are so few songs that demand the listener stand for something. Which is where the lyrics of the day come in.

Cartel, one of my personal favorite bands, starts off their new CD, Cycles, with the song "Lets Go." This song struck a chord with me almost immediately because of the plea in the bridge;

"So if you've got a torch to carry,
Hold it high,
Come take the world with me,
Let it burn, let it burn,
Let it light up the sky!

Stand up,
Get up lets go,
Stand up,
We gotta make them know,
Stand up,
You gotta make them see,
Get up, people, stand up with me!"

It doesn't take much to figure out why I fell in love with the lyrics. I've always been kind of disgusted with how pathetic the generation of today can appear from time to time. It saddens me to know that more doormats are being created everyday for corporate monkeys and political pawns to wipe there feet off on. It's awful and depressing.

I am proud to know that no matter where life takes me, I will always stand up for what I believe. I will never back down from a fight, especially when I know for a fact that I have the knowledge to win. If someone knocks me down, I can and will stand back up, dust off my jeans, and hold my ground.

Earlier this week, one of the best friends I have ever, and will ever have posted a poem on Facebook and tagged me in it, knowing full well that I would appreciate it's power. This poem is written in completely fluent "teen speak" so that anyone under the age of thirty-five can understand it without having to look up words in a dictionary, or ask what the author is talking about. And so, accordingly, I will leave you with Taylor Mali's, Totally Like Whatever, You Know? 

In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?
Declarative sentences - so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not -
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It's like what I've heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?
What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally . . .I mean absolutely . . . You know?
That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like . . .
And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness
is just a clever sort of . . . thing
to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since . . .you know, a long, long time ago!
I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.

And there you have it: either learn how to stand up for your beliefs and do something about the terrible things you see happening in your life, and/or other's lives, or learn to shut up, because if you don't stand for anything, and you don't speak with authority, you don't deserve the opinions you harbor.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Escape the Fail

Escape the Fate was one of the most amazing bands I had ever heard when I was a sophomore in high school. I had most of their CD, Dying is Your Latest Fashion, memorized. It was eveything a depressed fifteen year old could ever ask for. The songs were loud, rebellious, romantic, and angry. It was as though the words new me inside and out. It was perfect.

Unfortunately for this amazing band and all of their origional fans, their lead singer, one Ronnie Radke, was an idiot, a junkie, and now, a convict. He was arrested and sent to jail for armed assault and possession, and therefore, asked to leave the band.

Wait, asked to leave? I don't think they really had to ask him, it wasn't a choice. It would be a little hard for him to do anything for the band behind bars.

However, he was the band. He was the voice, the heart, and the soul of everything Escape the Fate had been. So you'd think that the band would have just ended right then and there. There's no where that they could possibly go.

Nope. They hired Craig Mabbitt as their new lead singer.

First of all, Craig Mabbit is the former lead singer of Blessthefall. Second of all, he has admitted to being an alcoholic. And last, but not least, the band is now one of the worst bands I have ever heard.

If I walk into Hot Topic, and "The Flood" is playing, I leave. That is how terrible they have become. I can tolerate listening to rap for hours, because I know that the second I get the chance, I can listen to what I want to listen to. There are few bands that disgust me to the point the Escape the Fate has disgusted me,

I'm not saying that Craig Mabbitt is a terrible vocalist, because he's not. I am, however, saying that the band he is currently playing for, should have at least changed their name. They are not Escape the Fate without Ronnie Radke. Even though he's one of the biggest idiot/jerks on the planet.

Well alrighty then. I feel better.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm Bored, It's Late, and I Can't Get These Words Out Of My Head

The first thing you need to understand about me is that I have this obsession with what I consider to be "honest" songs. Honest songs are the ones that explain exactly how the writer is feeling when he or she pens the words onto paper. My obsession with them stems from the more obscure confessions that songs make.

For example, in the song "The Party Scene" by All Time Low, the third verse says;

"I know she hopes I choke on,
This last drink,
Drop dead,
Before my influence get's to her head

She said, "I'll love you forever,
Or find something better,
It's all just the same as when we sleep together,
We wake up with headaches,
And trouble remembering,
What went wrong....""

I consider this to be the first honest song I ever heard, because the words that everyone else hears, have never been what I hear. Looking at the words, it appears that he's speaking of a one night stand, possibly with someone he's relatively close too. That's not what I see. I see that he wants her, but knows that she doesn't really want him. And that while, yes, she cares about him, she's settling, and he knows it. She knows that he'll always come back to her because she owns him, but he know's that one day, she won't be going home with him. I hear his regret throughout that entire third verse, and third chorus. For the first two-thirds of the song he's telling the young version of himself to stay seventeen for as long as possible, and to live it up while he's still that young. For the last third of the son he stops focusing on the fun aspect of his younger years and starts, in a way, begging his younger self to stay young in order to keep that girl around. He didn't want to lose her, but she found something better, and he always knew she would. She blames those nights with him on the contents of the bottle she emptied without any help, he blames those nights on the crush he couldn't let go. He get's to her everytime she's weak from the booze she drank because wants what's easy. She's always hoping for the day that she goes after what she really wants, instead of caving to what he wants. But at the end of the night she's crawling into his bed once again. And in the morning, she leaves with regret on her lips, and he's left sitting there, regretting that he's hoping she'll be back.

It's also quite possible that I have completely and utterly over analyzed that song simply because it's one of my favorites. =]

The most recent "honest" song that I've fallen in love with, is the ever popular "Billionare" by Travie McCoy. I was told by a friend from work a couple months ago, that the song was not very good because it was quote-unquote "unbelievable."

He was right.

But he missed the aspect of the song that explains why that's okay.

It's a daydream.

Everyone has dreamed of being able to throw money in the air and spin in circles as it slowly drifts to the floor, or of owning a Lambourghini, or taking a dive into a gold plated, indoor swimming pool. There is not a single person on this planet who at some point in their lives, has not thought the words, "if only I had enough money..."

It's a daydream. Travie McCoy explains in detail what he would do with that money if he had it. He, of course, would treat himself to the finer points in life, but he would also make sure that everyone he loved was set for life, he would go down to where hurricane Katrina hit and help rebuild, he would hand out money to anyone he thought needed it, and he would adopt children who've never had anything. These are honorable intentions.

But it's only a daydream.

I love "Billionare," because it speaks the words that every teenager thinks when something bad happens in the world, and it appears that nothing is being done to fix it, or when that really obnoxious, rich bitch, chearleader shows up at school in the Mercedes Benz her daddy just bought her.

"Honest" songs are everywhere, some more obvious than others. If you can think of a really good one, feel free to leave the name in a comment and I'll try to figure out what you see in it. =]


Monday, September 6, 2010

Dear Fall Out Boy,

I chose to start with you because you were my all time favorite band when I was fourteen. I still remember the day that I bought From Under the Cork Tree. I brought it home from Target, ripped open the packaging, put the CD in my stereo and let the words of "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued." It was a great song. About not being sellouts and laughing at the people who tried to make you all turn into sellouts.

So I'm pretty sure you get where I'm going with this.

There has never, ever been a band that has been more willing to sellout than you. It started with your bassist/frontman, but the rest of you quickly caught up. It became official when it was announced that Jay-Z would be the producer for Infinity on High.

The band that every fan invisioned as always being a little punk, and a lot of rock is gone. It has been replaced with a giant, rotting, disgusting pile of fail. There are few bands that have ever reached that point. You'll be happy to hear that you are at the top of the list.

I am one of the fans who honestly couldn't care less that you broke up and no longer exist. It's for the best as there was no way you could ever recover from what you had become. The world will be a better place without you. Though your older stuff was amazing, your new stuff was your downfall.

Oh, and PS: Pete Wentz is not the only reason Cobra Starship is famous.