Strangers in a Strange Land: When I Mother Earth Came Back From Mars

It’s official: I Mother Earth are reuniting for a one-off show at The Sound Academy in Toronto on February March 23rd. This will be the first time IME have performed together live in  8 years. Tickets went on sale this Saturday past and were sold out within 5 hours. To fans like myself the possibilities are tantalizing: Jag has mentioned on the band’s blog that the response was surprising, as he hardly expected them to sell out so quickly. To fans like myself there’s no surprise at all, just a sense of, “Finally!” This has no doubt spurred speculation as to whether IME will reunite for another album and Jag has even gone so far as to mention that they have been working on tracks, but without serious intent.  Perhaps that will change after this show. Continue reading

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In Honor of Black Friday, Here’s Some Martin Luther King Jr., Some Eddie Murphy and Some Nina Simone

I know what you’re going to say, even before you say it.

Black Friday is not about black culture in North America. It is an annual orgiastic greed ritual which is the symbolic firing the starting pistol for the Great American Christmas Shopping Season Race, or as I like to call it, “How Will Your Loved Ones Know You Love Them If You’re Not Bankrupt?” Day. It’s so named because it is a day that retailers are “in the black”, or making a profit.

I won’t go into the gritty details of fights, injuries, fatalities and other tales of human ridiculousness regarding this event, which is revered nearly to the point of religiousness. Have some black culture instead.

Martin Luther King Jr. – ‘I’ve Been To The Mountaintop’

Eddie Murphy – Delirious

Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No… Ain’t Got No Life

Cover Up! (This Is Not About Conspiracy Theories)

Whether you love or hate them, covers of popular songs are part of the lifeblood of the record industry. It’s a means of  keeping relevant music alive through the generations, updating the sound of classic compositions (which sometimes goes horribly wrong – ever heard Nothing Else Matters covered by Biff Naked? Terrible.) and they serve as a means of introducing older hits to new audiences. It’s also a way for record companies to keep making money off of crap that should’ve met the same fate as bio-hazardous waste from liposuction clinics and spoon-feeding the masses pablum – ‘musical product’ that neither contributes to the cultural makeup nor advances music as an art form.

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Don’t Listen To The Radio, Listen To This! Pt. 2

Hi there and welcome to Part 2 of my ongoing series on The Music You Want to Hear But Can’t Find Because Radio Sucks.

This video, while on the longish side, hits the nail square on the head as to why what you hear on the radio and what you see on TV is nothing short of terrible. Frank Zappa, Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, Ken Lopez, Dave Marsh, Chuck D and Dick Dale all weigh in to give the real reasons for the decline of the music industry, and it’s not the internet. The internet is the merely a bell, tolling the death of an outdated, dilapidated, greed-oriented and top-heavy business model.

Pearl Jam are the prototype of the post-music industry rock band: anyone who wants to make it big should take a good look at what they’ve done, how they did it and emulate it. They’re the most successful rock band ever for the sole fact that they became as big as they are completely on their own merits and as a result of their own actions and hard work. They really are ‘professional’ rock stars.

Now, without further ado, I bring to you…. Marshall!

Just kidding.

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Don’t Listen to the Radio, Listen to This! Part 1.

Anyone who has spent any time listening to the radio in the past 10 years can attest to it being filled with some of the worst examples of so-called musical product that’s ever been heard.

Where to start? It’s fair to say that almost anything that’s been in the Top 40 in the past decade qualifies: Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers, Limp Bizkit, Creed, Hoobastank, Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, James Blunt, Kelis, 50 Cent, Tila Tequila, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, Rat-a-tat, Chromeo, Jessica Simpson, Soulja Boy, Fall Out Boy, Sum 41, Blink 182, Kings of Leon, Avril Lavigne, Good Charlotte, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Pussycat Dolls, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Kelly Clarkson, Ashlee Simpson, Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Timbaland, Shania Twain, Rascal Flatts… these “musicians” are the representative cohort of what is bleakly referred to as  “The Worst Decade In Music“, with the Grand Poobahs of Suck themselves, Nickelback and their Nickelbands (except for these guys; they fucking rock) as valedictorians of Class of ’00.

To truly grasp the scope of Nickelback’s sucktasticnesshere is a direct side-by-side comparison of two songs from two different albums, released two years apart (props to whomever originally created this mashup): How You Remind Me (2001) and Someday (2004). Same tempo, same chords, same chord progression, same breaks and even the same melody: Nickelback are without a doubt the Worst Band Ever. Chad, the infinite monkeys principle isn’t valid with only one monkey banging out the same thing repeatedly, forever: you’re doing it wrong.

For everyone who was looking for but couldn’t find the great music of the ’00’s, belly up to a buffet of the best music you never heard, but really should have been mowing down, all this time. Bon apetit!

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