Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Best Riffs of All Time ... really.

Sooner or later, I would have to do this post. I've been compiling a mental list in my head after listening all week to Zane Lowe's "Masterpieces" show, where he unbelievably has been playing whole LPs (albums in other words) of some of the classic Popular music albums to ever grace this earth. The first; I was simply astonished that Radio 1 has such good tase (well, namely, Zane Lowe) with the White Stripes' classic Elephant. The next day was another enlightening experience for me- The Smiths' The Queen is Dead. Hearing both very established and beautiful pieces of work all the way through, no interruptions was a rite of passage. I recommend the programme, Radio 1 can be accessed all over the world, you have no excuse! Zane Lowe's cute. He's an indie snob, but aren't we all at times? If you're into that kind of thing. So, I'm in a mood for a list (I'm slighty OCD in certain things, that's why I'm a snob in certain things like riot grrrl and Pearl Jam- freaky)

Without further ado, here is a list of the best riffs of all time, that make us feel ecstatic, excited, tingle, sad or crazy. They should all have the impact to make us dance like idiots. Chosen by sheer musical power they were selected by my mum, Last.Fm, any thing I've heard of people's opinions. and I, pretty much off the top of my head. Prone to disagreement, but see how many you agree on, or what I've missed out that's 'disgraceful'. It's all a matter of fun :D

The Oldies (from the beginning of time, into our hearts forever)

Derek and the Dominoes- "Layla"

No disagreement? I thought not. One of the only singe-able riffs, melody lines in the history of music. Makes us all feel good and scream as high and loud as we possible can when at a wedding or so "LAAYLAA!!" It's so god damn beautiful, it's makes my spine tingle with anticipatement.

Cream- "Sunshine of Your Love
One that every dad in the room can go : " da da da da da da da da daaaa da" to. A song that has that power is a song worth listing.

Blue Oyster Cult- "(Don't Fear) The Reaper"

My mum's suggestion... very, very ascetically pleasing.

Iggy Pop- "Louie Louie"

Yes. YES, YES, YES. Covered by many a thousand for its simplicity and absolute element of KICK-ASS. Plus, everybody knows that 'ay, ay, ay, AY' bit at the end of the progression, much loveable. I realise this isn't the original original, but there's been so many, and in my opinion, this one is the best.

The Kinks- "All The Day and All Of The Night"
Every radio station can play it like the world is coming to the end... perfect use of this track has to be on the film The Boat That Rocked ... greatest intro to a film ever.

Guns'n'Roses- "Sweet Child O' Mine"

Did I even need to confirm this? I think that guitar stabs everyone in the heart everytime with its beauty.

Guns'n'Roses- "Paradise City"

To feature on the list twice in one list means almost royalty. I think this song should be America's national anthem.
Okay, well Axl Rose is an idiot, but the music's good, and they made it twice on this godly list, so hell, they must be good.

Jimi Hendrix Experience- "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"

Words shall express little for this epic line. For Megan, and all those merry gentlemen and gentleladies who have a thing for Jimi. All hail Seattle, city of Gods.

Boston- "More Than a Feeling"

This used to make me feel so happy. Now it just makes me feel happier. That chord sequence! AHhhh!

Eagles- "Hotel California"

Once you've heard it once in a day, you're stuck. Melancholy feeling, summer music, great lyrics: it's got it all.

Sex Pistols- "God Save The Queen"

It's mean, cause it's keen. The power of this riff nearly threw a monastry apart!
'Cause "We mean it maaaaaaaaan" I mean this is epic.

The Undertones- "Teenage Kicks"
I would like to thank John Peel, that guitar, those vocals, my mum, the autobiography of John Peel and my CD player to which I discovered this beauty.

The Newbies- ( mid-90's onwards)

Nirvana- "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Not the best Nirvana song arguably, but undoubtedly the the most recognized and iconic riff of the last generation. Rumoured to be taken from the Boston riff above. Kurt Cobain once said everything was recycled in Rock. He was right. To date, riffs are taken from 30 odd years ago, mixed and carefully hidden in a pop song. But the clever people of the public aren't fooled one bit.

Oasis- "Wonderwall"

Not just a riff. A wonder of humankind. We love you Noel!

Blur- "Song 2"

Obviously. Duhhh.

Hole- "Celebrity Skin"

Everybody's heard it. Not all actually know who it was by. One of the best, but most annoying simultaneously. Billy Corgan, thank you.

Muse- "Plug In Baby"

Painful. High. Slighty eccentric. All names for beauty.

Muse- "Supermassive Black Hole"

Not many have the oppurtunity to appear TWICE on the list, never mind once. Congratulations, Bellamy.

Arctic Monkeys- "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor"

You're an explosion, you're dynamite indeed, Alex Turner. Thank You, dude.

Foo Fighters- "The Pretender"

Nice arpeggio, Davey G.

The White Stripes- "Seven Nation Army"

Again, another of those rareties that you can actually hum along to (thank you, Lowe) . Albeit, with a low voice like a man. Jack White has made the once thought impossible, posssible.

That was honestly one of the most enjoyable blog posts ever. And the longest. I just love the classics, the authencitity (which, on the day of my pop exam, I have written this term too much) and completely pure.
Comment if you've got any more to add. This is probably my last post until christmas, where my time is now consumed with Mock Exams. Maybe I should have an exam on this? Wait, oh yeah, I've already done one of those today.

Thank you.

Peace, Empathy, Love and phenomenal guitar riffs.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Gigging it up.

I'm going to Australia next year. Yes, seriously. I may be 15 years old, but fortunately by practically living in an arts school and maximizing the Music/Drama/Art output, I am one of 27 touring Australia next year with my school. We are setting off in 8 months for the experience for our lives.

We're very fortunate to have such an oppurtunity, I know, and also fortunately, we have some amazing musical talents in our tour party. Guys and Girls: Guitarists, Drummers, Singers, Bassists, Flutists, you name it, we've got it.

But as any band knows anyway, this doesn't come easy, or cheap, and for that fact, money doesn't grow on trees!

But that is something we our overcoming. This is the biggest team-building work we can do at such a tender age, and a gig on Friday concreted the fact that we can do this!!

The band that is made up of all team members are a band called King of the Desert. There's Linny, the rapper; Danny, the singer; Adam, the guitarist and occasional backing vocals and a marvelous Ginge (James) on drums.

I didn't need to hear much more than the stonking intro on Kanye West's "Goldigger". Danny launched into the "She take my money, when I'm in need..." and we were off. Some snare drum, and then everyone started seriously swaggering."Bonkers" by Dizzee Rascal was also up there with my favourites (every soul in the room sang along with no problem and 'bopped' to Linny's impeccable rapping skills, along with some nicely written material from the band "24 kisses"- an anthem for our generation in lurrrve. The power chord runs were simply awesome and made the crowd went wild several occasions. They sure know how to do the crowd pleasers. You can access some information here, on their myspace...

Another band incredibly worthy of a mention on the night was Jimmy Rockit. A local special, everyone knows them, and everyone is so impressed with their technicality and control of teir instruments at such a young age. Best ones of the night were undoubtedly : "Twist and Shout" (The Beatles)", "Radioactive" (Kings Of Leon), "Fake Tales of San Francisco" (Arctic Monkeys), "Mr Brightside" (The Killers), and another stonker of a classic, like the others: "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor", perfect for the night.

The Best Night I've had in a long time...
And after this, whadda say, maybe a trip to Portland, Oregon?

Visit both websites for more information on our trip of a lifetime, all through very very hard work. 8 months and counting!

P.S I got a CD of the finest acts in the area, and am satisfied with my purchase. If you are local and know what I am talking about, don't be afraid to ask for one- they're £5- good value for the quality on there :D

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Brody is Beautiful.

It's been a long 2 months. I apologize for my shocking lack of any good writing in these 8 weeks. I would tell you the whole sheer ridiculousness of my so-called life, but this is a music blog, so I shall write for purely musical purposes.

Apart from anything else, I have found many new musical loves that are not quite a decade old. Success! Something, well, perhaps seemingly recent. I have my Grade 6 Pop Theory exam in a week or so, and although I have been working hard on my series of never-ending essays on Elvis Costello and the Velvet Underground, all this punk talk really has got me thinking.

Ever heard of The Distillers? Of course you have. You must have. Frontwoman Brody Dalle is more known for her stunning looks, gneuine Punk Rock ethos and her mohicans back in the era of 2002, the millenium was there and we had all that post-punk boy band crap, but the Distillers were where it was at! Yes, Blink were good and stuff, but Brody Dalle is like the female equivalent and another Heroine to all those chicks that are stuck in America waiting a new music revolution. I'd never heard of her before, and now I feel all the wiser for knowing. The Distillers always come up in the recommendations and on Hole Radio on, but they're different. She has the ability to be Courtney Love's daughter, but in reality she's like Joan Jett mixed with Patti Smith with bee stung lips and a truck load of tattoes. Maybe not the best influence, but at least she doesn't do drugs knowingly, only a nicotine and alcohol addict. How else would she gain a voice like that? My blog does not condone use of these social drugs to sound like Brody Dalle.

The voice, her voice. Take a listen... This is probably my favourite Distillers song of the moment, and it will definitely remind anyone of that late-90's Los Angeles obsession. Many good Punk bands come from that era, but at the moment, California acts as a great place to start a band! Brody's voice is one of the best things I have ever heard come from a person with the X chromosomes. She's as tough as steel...

Unfortunately, she's not like this anymore. She's lost this completely unique voice, The Distillers split up 4 years ago, obviously not built for the modern century with all the shit that comes with it. Yeah, sure she should have stuck with it, but she grew up, I guess. Courtney Love did, and those who didn't died with their rock and roll ethos still placed in their hearts. She married Josh Homme of Queens of The Stone Age, and they had a baby girl. She formed Spinerette, and completely changed her image. She is now a mother, after all.

People change, of course they do. Musically, and in other ways. They change. Full stop.
cally. That's the moral for this month, guys!
And I'll leave you with a quote from the lady herself:
"Boys don't like it when you play with their toys. Especially when you do it better"
Peace, Love & Empathy
(it lives indeed)