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Kanye west [Feat Nicki Minaj, Rick ross, Jay-Z and Bon Iver] - Monster

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCVCQmxb7YQ

 

I will have to admit it, while it's not my favorite genre, this maybe one of my favorite mash-ups in a long, long, time. The verses all have a different feel to them. Kenye's verse is on the more narcissistic side, obviously, but it is also the longest verse in the song and it has great transitions. The verse starts on one topic and heads down a road of other ideas while still maintaining the main topic. Jay-Z's verse is the most dark of all verses. This verse contains a bit of history of Jay-Z's past, and if you listen to the lyrics, you can vividly create the scene in your head... and its not a pretty one, I might add. The final verse before we get swayed into Bon Iver's calm verse is Nicki Minaj's verse, which to me and many others, is the best verse of the song. To me, its a tough choice, but Nicki's verse is arguably the catchiest. Its an argument between her "alters" Nicki and Barbie. The song has a catchy tune, but unfortunately the music video was very controversial in the feminism category as it Kanye, rick ross and jay-z surrounded by hanging dead women corpses... what a shame... it was a cool music video aside from the parts that were to racy...

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Just bought a ticket to see SBTRKT and Machinedrum in March! I'm so excited; these are my two favorite electronic artists as of recently. Strangely enough, I think I might be a little more excited for Machinedrum, but SBTRKT is sure to amaze as well.

 

Ugh...I am so jealous of you. Been waiting for Machinedrum to make a non 18+ stop in LA for ages. That SBTRKT w/ Machinedrum tour is passing through San Diego, which I would totally drive there for, but I will be at the first day of Coachella that night. SBTRKT is playing a live set the Saturday of Coachella so I can only hope for a late Machinedrum add or a small club gig around that time. I've seen SBTRKT throw down a DJ set and it was ace, can't wait to see what a live set entails. Oh and New York gets Sepalcure as an opener, too unfair.

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Ugh...I am so jealous of you. Been waiting for Machinedrum to make a non 18+ stop in LA for ages. That SBTRKT w/ Machinedrum tour is passing through San Diego, which I would totally drive there for, but I will be at the first day of Coachella that night. SBTRKT is playing a live set the Saturday of Coachella so I can only hope for a late Machinedrum add or a small club gig around that time. I've seen SBTRKT throw down a DJ set and it was ace, can't wait to see what a live set entails. Oh and New York gets Sepalcure as an opener, too unfair.

 

Agreed about Sepalcure. That would be so amazing. I swear, any time Travis Stewart starts a new project, I obsess over it.

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Since it's Grammy season (an award show I do not understand), might as well post my top ten albums of 2011:

 

 

#10. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

 

 

Either new wave is back or I'm just going crazy. The French shoegazing electronic act went with an ambitious concept with this one...having two disks that mirrored each other like twin siblings for one cohesive experience. For a band trying to evolve their sound by trapping themselves in the 80's, their stylish cosmopolitan, grandiose, and sprawling interpretation of the style is distinct and unique working in an accessible yet symphonically provocative splendor.

 

Highlights: Midnight City, Wait, New Map, Steve McQueen

 

 

#9. The Black Keys - El Camino

 

 

I may be spilling a Patrick Bateman here, but I'm one of those people who think this band has improved with Danger Mouse. Since then, they have fined tuned their raw garage rock sound to a tasty blend of bluesy riffs and Detroit soul influences. Although personally I prefer the more richly nuanced sound of Brothers to this effort by a hair, this album is a real kick in the balls, going in full force with Dan Auerback's dirty fuzz guitar, Patrick Carney's groove anchoring drumming, and Danger Mouse's tasty thick bass lines and lush keyboard work. As for the songwriting...it's almost as if someone plopped eleven 45rpm singles on one album.

 

Highlights: Little Black Submarines, Run Right Back, Sister, Hell Of A Season

 

 

#8. Pain Of Salvation - Road Salt Two

 

 

As countless other bands in the prog metal realm are notorious for being clones of a certain "thinking man's metal" band who shall not be named until further down into the list, this band has a unique trademark of being "emotional man's metal," prog metal with soul; each of their albums containing a deeply human concept backed by a soaring yet schizophrenic sense of melody. Undoubtedly their best album since 2004's BE, this album expands on the more Celtic and classically influenced sounds of that album with the retro 70's hard rock stylings they've been experimenting with as of late, yet bringing back the complex, dark songwriting that makes the whole package feel like a true Pain Of Salvation classic.

 

Highlights: To The Shoreline, 1979, The Deeper Cut, The Physics Of Gridlock

 

 

#7. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

 

 

To be honest, I've never heard of PJ Harvey before a month ago. This album has made me a fan. This is a dark album, dealing with themes mostly related to death and war while accompanied by the sparce instrumentation of jangly guitars, distant drums, fading mellotrons, and any type of horns able to be played while keeping the dark atmosphere; Harvey's voice sounding as if they were recorded underwater advancing the tone with her high register while creating both challenging yet enchanting melodies. It's not music that's immediately easy on the ear, but damn catchy in its own right. If anything, this album has convinced me that she deserves a place next to art pop greats of the like of Kate Bush, Bjork, and Peter Gabriel.

 

Highlights: The Glorious Land, The Words That Maketh Murder, On Battleship Hill, Bitter Branches

 

 

#6. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

 

 

Want a good album to curl up by the fire enjoying a nice cup of Joe while a ray of winter sun falls on the sofa from the window on a Sunday afternoon and float away in its pastoral imagery, this is it. Influenced by 60's and 70's folk-pop from the likes of Van Morrison, Simon & Garfunkel, and Neil Young, this is a completely acoustic affair with an almost hymnal atmosphere. That isn't to say this is a Bon Iver like showcase where it's completely stripped bare, the music gets blown to such huge soundscapes that range from simple to flat out psychedelic. As spectacular as the band's debut was, this release provides a fresh rush of folk rock revealing something new each listen in its massive yet soft intricate sound, firmly placing them as one of today's best baroque pop bands.

 

Highlights: The Plains / Bitter Dancer, Helplessness Blues, The Shrine / An Argument, Grown Ocean

 

 

#5. Mastodon - The Hunter

 

 

This is where things get heavy. Coming from a band who has improved upon each release and making their songs more complex (eventually going over the ten minute mark on some), they somehow managed to one-up themselves again by accomplishing musical satisfaction in only half the time it took on, say, Crack The Skye. Even with the shorter, more accessible song lengths and emo-esque track titles that almost beat "Sexual Man Chocolate" for most ridiculous title ever, there is no selling out here; the music is both as unpredictable and potent as ever with Brann Dailer's jazzy Phil Collins-esque drum patterns interplaying with savvy guitar arpeggios noodling about in music that can go from spacy and ethereal in one second to downright heavy sludge metal the next. The fact that they got a Grammy nomination out of this is both surprising yet very understandable.

 

Highlights: Black Tongue, Curl Of The Burl, Octopus Has No Friends, The Sparrow

 

 

#4. Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning

 

 

After remastering the entire King Crimson catalogue, it's understandable why the Porcupine Tree frontman would want to make a record giving homage to the classic progressive acts of yesteryear. Musically, it accomplishes this task with a fresh modern tick that's just sublime; the more organic proggy aspects being accented by washed and seeping electronics similar to a chilled out Trent Reznor. Guests such as King Crimson / Peter Gabriel bassist Tony Levin, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, and ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett also help Wilson move the album along its deep aural spectrum ranging from quiet piano oriented pieces to loud and powerful walls of sound. It's not a "happy happy joy joy" record at all; it's quite melancholy, but it's one of those albums one just needs to sit back and take numerous listens just to begin to capture its depth. It might just be the man's finest work.

 

Highlights: Deform To Form A Star, No Part Of Me, Remainder Of The Black Dog, Raider II

 

 

#3. The Roots - Undun

 

 

For those who don't know, The Roots have been a driving force in hip-hop for the past twenty years. Now, for those who've been living under a rock for the past three, they are the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The position of being a late night talk show's backing band has not gotten into their heads however, and only a little more than a year after the fine release that was How I Got Over, it only proves the group's vision and songwriting is better than ever. Even more-so, this is the band's first concept album, a backwards story of a man's life from death to birth. Overall it's some of the strongest slabs of rap my ears have ever graced; concise and tasty beats getting the point across with bursts of brittle funk, hard rhythms, and slow-burning soul backing the powerful lyrical flow of Black Thought (possibly one of the best rappers around) and guests. Thanks in part to Sufjan Stevens, this is also probably the only rap album in existence that ends in a symphony (literally).

 

Highlights: Make My, One Time, The OtherSide, Lighthouse

 

 

#2. Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events

 

 

Can't believe I'm saying this, but Mike Portnoy leaving was probably the best thing that ever happened to the band. Spiritually, this album is reminiscent of Octavarium...except this is the album Octavarium failed to be. It's not to say that was a bad album, it was a very good album and the best of a chain of four "writer's block" albums that came before this, yet it was still a bit inconsistent. This however is a masterpiece. Sonically this album takes the airier and calmer overtones of Falling Into Infinity and Octavarium yet delivers some of the wildest, most complex, and technically demanding "thinking man's metal" they've ever released. There seems to be a new energy to the band; everyone in the band had a shot at the songwriting and overall album construction, leading to some of the most well balanced musical performances and finest lyrics (considering some blunders in the past couple of releases) in a long time. This is by far their best album in a decade, and very close to being the best album of the year.

 

Highlights: On The Backs Of Angels, Lost Not Forgotten, Outcry, Breaking All Illusions

 

 

#1. Nightwish - Imaginaerum

 

 

This album has not been released in the States yet. However, I am lucky enough to have a copy already imported from Europe and...oh my God. I'm one of those people who originally thought the band died with Tarja's firing, Nightwish is a band that pretty much evolved their own niche in power metal around her operatic voice. Being the new recruit Anette has a more "normal" sounding voice, the band decided to incorporate more live orchestras and down tune the guitars a little to still keep themselves in the symphonic realm. Dark Passion Play was a bit of an inconsistent beast; the band sounded heavier than ever and the Celtic-flavored orchestration was wonderful, yet half of it sounded off. Yes, Anette's voice was "meh" on that one, but in reality keyboardist and lead force of the band Tuomas Holopainen was just experimenting with new sounds while getting used to working around her voice. This is different though. This is where Tuomas and the guys mastered this sound into one complete, consistent, dark, gothic, heavy, light (oxymoron), symphonic package delivered like a sweet masterpiece of a 19th century play and sweep the listener into its cold, frosty wonderland; Anette's vocals mastered to envelope the music and the band creatively integrated around her vocals. It's an album where you almost think of the liner notes as a Playbill, your headphones as a theater, and enjoy the show brought forth from these deranged yet brilliant bastards. Tim Burton must be proud.

 

Highlights: Storytime, I Want My Tears Back, Scaretale, The Crow, The Owl, And The Dove, Last Ride Of The Day

 

 

Hell of a lot better than 2010 imo. Had to actually struggle to keep things off the list in favor of others.

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My girlfriend left me because of my obsession with Linkin Park. But in the end, it doesn't even matter.

In that vein....

 

"My wife told me she thought I was too obsessed with the Monkees. I thought she was joking, and then I saw her face..."

 

I've been waiting for this song to come out for MONTHS!!!

 

Best song I have ever heard from Thousand Foot Krutch! The album comes out next month and I am SO pumped!

 

War of Change is such a good song! I agree, I think this new album is going to be their best yet! Can't wait!! I really like Courtesy Call too (it was one of the early-release songs for their kickstarter supporters... aka ME!). I've forgotten how soon the new album will be coming out!

 

Also have just been getting into Nine Lashes, since Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch sang with them. They have a new album coming out soon and I'm super pumped about that too!

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^ Courtesy Call is also a great song. Right now though my obsession is Red. I got Until We Have Faces for Christmas and I honestly think it is the most complete album I have ever heard. What I mean by complete is that it has the perfect balance of really heavy songs and soft ballads. My favorite on that album is Buried Beneath. Right now I have been listening to some songs on their other albums, and I'm looking to get both End of Silence and Innocence and Instinct sometime soon.

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^Ooh that's a good one too. I love RED, they're really talented. What I like most about them is their mixture of hard rock, screamed vocals, sung vocals, and orchestral instrumentation. I don't like Innocence & Instinct as much as the other two, but End of Silence is so good. "Already Over" I think is still their most known song.

 

I can't remember if you said you already listened to them, but do you know Disciple? I don't like their older stuff as much (from what I've heard) but Horsehoes & Handgrenades is a really great album!

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^ Disciple is another one of my favorites. I don't know what albums a lot of their songs are on because I heard of the band from a friend of my dad who made a mix CD with songs from 3 or 4 of their albums. My favorites from them are Deafening, Scars Remain, and Phoenix Rising. One thing I love about Disciple is that a lot of their lyrics, especially on Horseshoes and Handgrenades, are directly from scripture. If Disciple and TFK and Red went on a tour together that would be my dream.

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I'm struggling with this new dubstep trend. All the songs sound the same to me, and frankly I don't find the genre appealing. Any dubstep fans? What is it that you like about this new genre and how do you tell the songs apart?

 

Dubstep is not a new genre, it has been thriving (at least in the UK) since 2006. If anyone recommends you Skrillex or any other disposable act along those lines, it is understandable that you do not find it appealing as that is among the worst the genre has to offer. I suggest starting out with Mala or even Coki.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky5Mt2PLf9E

 

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I personally find dubstep intolerable. I don't even consider it music. There are no instruments, no singing, no talent in making it. It is 100% computer and I just don't like that. I don't understand why people like it, because I find it extremely annoying. This is my opinion, and I know it's different than a lot of people's opinion, so don't bash me for it.

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Talentless? No. Annoying? At times, yes. I've attempted to make 'electronic' music. It turns out terrible. But learn the software and pretty much anyone can write dubstep... Which is why there's an endless amount of terrible artists. The ones with the money end up making it, not the talented ones. Though there is scores of terrible dubstep, there's also some fantastic bands out there for electronic music. Pendulum may perhaps be the best example.. Not using a dried up formula of 'dropping the bass.'

 

 

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I personally find dubstep intolerable. I don't even consider it music. There are no instruments, no singing, no talent in making it. It is 100% computer and I just don't like that. I don't understand why people like it, because I find it extremely annoying. This is my opinion, and I know it's different than a lot of people's opinion, so don't bash me for it.

 

There definitely is a talent in dubstep or any electronic music (I can't make dubstep on my computer, so obviously these people have more skill at music editing programs than me), but I agree that if there are no instruments or singing these artists are not musically talented. I would call them masters of computer-generated sounds There is something to be said for playing the guitar, drum set or piano live versus "live dubstep" which is an anomaly.

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I would also like to add Daft Punk to the list for electronic music with talent. Pioneers of a sound which has been stolen by soo many musicians over the years. They actually do use real instruments (heck, they scored an entire movie soundtrack, orchestra and all!) They say that all metal riffs come from Black Sabbath, well pretty much every pop riff comes from Daft Punk!

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdLhbuqEfD0&feature=related

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I personally find dubstep intolerable. I don't even consider it music. There are no instruments, no singing, no talent in making it. It is 100% computer and I just don't like that. I don't understand why people like it, because I find it extremely annoying. This is my opinion, and I know it's different than a lot of people's opinion, so don't bash me for it.

 

There definitely is a talent in dubstep or any electronic music (I can't make dubstep on my computer, so obviously these people have more skill at music editing programs than me), but I agree that if there are no instruments or singing these artists are not musically talented. I would call them masters of computer-generated sounds There is something to be said for playing the guitar, drum set or piano live versus "live dubstep" which is an anomaly.

 

I have to disagree with you here (respectfully, of course). Personally, I think it takes a great deal of talent to make good electronic music without "instruments or singing." Sure, anyone with FL Studio can throw together a dance or rap beat and auto-tune themselves to death, and (unfortunately) that has become the standard for Top 40 and most Dubstep tracks today. But! There are plenty of amazingly talented EDM artists out there that have more talent behind a drum machine than many people do behind an instrument. Take Machinedrum, for example. He doesn't actually play what we think of as an "instrument" to my knowledge, but what he can create is emotion, and he does so through his programming. The ability to put actual emotion into an electronic music track, including dubstep, is what separates Skrillex-esque "Brostep" from artists like Mala, Coki, or Skream.

 

Speaking of Skream, here's a fantastic track that demonstrates that dubstep doesn't have to have heavy saws and WUBWUBWUB bass.

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I have to disagree with you here (respectfully, of course). Personally, I think it takes a great deal of talent to make good electronic music without "instruments or singing." Sure, anyone with FL Studio can throw together a dance or rap beat and auto-tune themselves to death, and (unfortunately) that has become the standard for Top 40 and most Dubstep tracks today. But! There are plenty of amazingly talented EDM artists out there that have more talent behind a drum machine than many people do behind an instrument. Take Machinedrum, for example. He doesn't actually play what we think of as an "instrument" to my knowledge, but what he can create is emotion, and he does so through his programming. The ability to put actual emotion into an electronic music track, including dubstep, is what separates Skrillex-esque "Brostep" from artists like Mala, Coki, or Skream.

 

Speaking of Skream, here's a fantastic track that demonstrates that dubstep doesn't have to have heavy saws and WUBWUBWUB bass.

 

I think it all comes down to a matter of opinion at the end of the day, and I do like the Mala song that was posted in response to my original question. I think my image of dubstep was misguided by artists like Skrillex and I thought it was just the talentless mush of saws and "wubs." Everyone is entitled to their own opinions about music of course, and I thank the dubstep fans who have responded to me, as it is a refreshing change from the "Skrillex owns your face" attitude I get from most dubstep fans around my college campus. Thanks guys!

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I LOVE that Skream track you posted no_brain_er!

 

And if you hear somebody say they love Skrillex, they don't know dubstep... Skrillex killed dubstep essentially. Now all we have is really un-rhythmic noise that distorts sound to the point that it sounds cool in your ear for the fact you've never heard that sound before. But real dubstep is meant to be rhythmic, laid back, and an extension on techno that's less dance oriented and more listen oriented.

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Dubstep is something that I consider an "acquired taste". The first time you hear it, you may not get it and end up disliking it. After listening a little more, you start to notice things you didn't in the music before and listen to another variety. After a while, you'll end up loving it (like me). My friends agree; the first time they heard it, they thought "What the heck is this crap?" After listening again they started to notice things that they like. Now they are hooked. I think the key is the type you listen to; some dubstep is "lighter" and is a better start than something "heavier". My first dubstep song was Get Up by Korn and Skrillex. It's more rock focused with dubstep mixed in. A heavier song would be something like Machine Gun (16 Bit Remix) by Noisia. It might be too much for someone who is just experiencing it for the first time.

 

Also, chock up one Skrillex fan. I know *everyone* seems to hate his guts for how he does it, but the way I figure, it sounds awesome, so I don't really care what genre it is. (And I do listen to other artists as well, he's just my favorite) Everyone's entitled to their own taste in music, there is no 'right' or 'wrong'.

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To celebrate Valentines day, the band Garbage (Only Happy When it Rains, I Think I'm Paranoid, Special, When I Grow Up, ect)... have released a snippit song very appropriately named "I Hate Love", from their upcoming album to be releaced May 15. All the art work in the video were submited by fans with a special "Love/Hate" theme.

Enjoy:

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