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Archive for June, 2009

Hilariously bad music

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

In theory I’m an aesthetic relativist and I don’t particularly believe in the idea of absolute standards for judging art. However, I occasionally encounter something that makes me think, “this is complete and utter shit and anyone who likes it is brainwashed, an idiot, or both.”

Case in point: Brokencyde, whose “screamo/crunk” garbage should really just be called “date-rape-core.” Their crap has been all over the internet lately, but if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid it thus far, here I am to burst your bubble.

Other awesomely terrible songs by this band: “Get Crunk,” “Bree Bree” (my favorite, and it’s even worse live if that’s possible). “Bree bree,” of course, is how folks refer derogatively to the metalcore vocal styling known as “pig squealing.” The hilarious thing is that the Brokencyde dudes can’t even do a proper pig squeal. They’re appropriating a derogatory term and then bungling the execution. Comedy gold! (Also, best Youtube comment ever: “ha, the world is a strange place & white people are funny.”)

Another case in point, pretty much anything on Rise Records, like this utterly hilarious Autotuned crap from Attack Attack! (be sure to make it to the 2:46 mark for maximum amusement). Worth noting that these guys are ridiculously, shamelessly awful even in their name, as they were founded a year after Welsh band Attack! Attack!

If I were the type to declare things as harbingers of the decline of Western civilization, the popularity of this kind of stuff would probably make the list.

Rediscovering an old favorite: Höyry-kone

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Huono Parturi: holy shit!

I love going back and listening to great albums I haven’t touched in years. “Laahustaja” makes me bang my head as much as any metal album has in recent memory. Alamaailman Vasarat has some great cello lines, but the one in “Laahustaja” is pretty much untouchable.

I still remember the performance that Höyry-kone put on at ProgDay 2000; definitely one of the best live sets I’ve ever seen. I have an image in my head of a bunch of solemn dudes in black suits onstage, except the cellist looked like he could have been in a punk band, and the singer had this huge beard and a tophat and sounded like he should have been fronting an opera. That image could be completely fabricated, but I like it.

eMusic about to get a lot less awesome

Monday, June 1st, 2009

eMusic recently announced that it is finally partnering with some major labels, first off all Sony, to bring some of their older back-catalogue releases to the download service. Sounds great, right? Except there’s a hitch: “minor price increases” which turn out to be not so minor at all, especially for folks who have old plans grandfathered in. Myself, for example: I currently pay $143.90 per year for 65 downloads each month. After my current plan expires, I’ll have to pay $171.99 per year for a measly 35 downloads each month. That’s something like a 220% price increase per track. Ouch. Ultimately, I will keep downloading almost exclusively stuff from indie labels, which means that the higher prices are effectively me subsidizing major labels even though I’m not benefitting from their new presence on eMusic.

So that kind of sucks (no: that totally sucks), but if it means that eMusic’s business model becomes more sustainable, I guess I can’t really complain too much. But Swindleeeee!!!!! thought of another interesting potential negative scenario:

I think the major downside other than the price increases is that people will be very mistrustful of having a repeat of the Rolling Stones fiasco. That apparently wasn’t eMusic’s fault, but if Bruce Stringsteen or whoever decides that they don’t like their music being cheapened by being sold at eMusic prices and is successful in getting it pulled, or if Sony upper management gets cold feet and decides to kill the entire deal, that’s going to leave a pretty sour taste in the mouths of eMusic subscribers, especially given that the new higher prices will likely remain in effect.

I would love it if eMusic introduced a price plan that restricted access to major label downloads but kept prices where they currently are (or with a much more modest increase). I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat.

So far I am seeing a pretty big backlash from diehard eMusic fans at places like 17 dots and, more locally, the 9:30 Club boards, with lots of folks saying they’ll cancel their subscriptions when the new pricing structure begins to affect their accounts. Wonder if it’ll be a big enough backlash to cause eMusic to reconsider?