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Favorite Musicians

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Warning: THIS POST IS INCREDIBLY LONG BECAUSE I AM A HUGE FAN.
 
Once upon a time in Mississauga Ontario there were four dudes who decided to get together and make one hell of a band. Fast forward 20 years later and you still have those same four guys still churning out incredible rock tunes. Armed with a strange sounding vocalist, an insanely good guitarist with Guile's hair, a bassist who comes up with superb basslines, and an incredible drummer who deals with MS and still keeps at it - this is my favourite band:

Billy_Talent_Promo_Photo_Oct_2012_by_Dus
From left to right: Aaron Solowoniuk (Drums), Ian D'sa (guitar), Benjamin Kowalewicz (Vocals) and Jonathan Gallant (Bass)
 
This should be of very little surprise to anyone who knows me. Yes, they are pretty mainstream but that fact doesn't bother me - I listen to a lot of quirky little bands here and there but none of them ever stick with me for very long. However... I have been on board with this band now for at least 10 of the 20 years they have been together. These guys are quality stuff. It all started for me when I heard a fantastic little song on the radio called Try Honesty. Basically they were unlike anything else I had listened to up to that moment, though admittedly I wasn't much of a music guy - but this band got my blood boiling as a teen and it was precisely what I needed to help me cope with life at the time. The true test of time for these guys is that their music I find was crafted in such a fine way that it still holds up incredibly well and I feel a good majority of their work since becoming Billy Talent is not juvenile in the least, though that might be attributed to the fact that the band was already halfway into its lifespan by the time they switched the name. 
 
The band was previously known as Pezz when they were first formed but due to a naming dispute with an American band that held the same name they needed to change it. Pezz is interesting in that very little of it has relevance to what the band for the most part. The very first incarnation had a lot of rap/rock elements back in and around the 93-95 period. They ended up releasing their very first album though back in 1998 which was called "Watoosh" and it was for the most part an album that contained very little aggression. It was almost more funk rock than anything else, aside from the track "When I Was A Little Girl" for example which was more along the lines of where the band would eventually be headed with their first release (and subsequently would re-record the song alongside the first album). It really is an incredible album though, it's so...different. I'll mainly focus on the first album under the Billy Talent moniker though and then the latest album just to keep things from getting too long.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0JdnWRQXCI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0JdnWRQXCI
(Billy Talent - 2003)
 
Already at track one off this record, and already it's a pretty aggressive. The first track, This Is How It Goes, was said to be about a friend with Multiple Sclerosis. It wasn't revealed until 2006 about what the song was actually about until the drummer, Aaron Solowoniuk who revealed that fact to fans. Pretty heavy stuff. The guy also had a heart issue during the recording of their latest album, Dead Silence, yet he recovered and he is still out there hitting those drums harder than ever. Massive props to the guy.

Anyway the first album has a lot more of a punk rock/alternative sort of edge to it but at the same time I think the band kind of bucks the standard conventions of the pop punk sort of scene by all accounts. The riffs are incredibly good on a lot of the other tracks on the album, showcasing Ian's creative style of playing. He isn't much of a shredding type but he often plays in such a way that sounds like there is two of him and that's pretty cool. This album got set off huge here in Canada when Try Honesty hit, as well as the other singles Nothing To Lose, The Ex, and River Below. Nothing To Lose is a good one as it's about bullying in school and the band donated a dollar to the Kids Help Phone every time it got played. I even noticed at their latest concert I went to they still had the Kids Help Phone being advertised on the huge screens on either side of the stage during the intermissions between bands. These guys are pretty awesome like that and it makes me respect them a lot more. They have also done a lot of things related to MS as well, doing concert benefits called F.U.M.S.
 
Anyway in 2006 they released their second album "II" and its incredible as well, continuing much of the same sound off the self titled but losing a bit of that anger in the process. It's a lot more mellow at times compared to the first - even boasting a sappy love song this time around - which is an amazing song called Surrender btw! Still though the instrumentation and the writing really holds the album up and its a favourite among fans. I'd highly recommend checking out the song Devil In A Midnight Mass which was written about a story Ben saw in the paper about John Geoghan, a priest accused of molesting many kids. It's such an evil sounding, heavy subject song and it is one of the best they have ever made.
 
 In 2009 they released their third album simply titled "III" and it's probably considered by most to be their weakest album. It carries over a bit of the sound of the previous records but they worked with a different producer this time around - Brendan O'Brien, who produced bands like Pearl Jam and stuff. The album definitely has a bit of that 90s grunge feel while trying to capture their earlier sound and while I really like it, I do admit that for fans of the band it would really turn a lot of people off. It's got a bit of a slower grungier feel at certain points to the album. Anyway both of them are worth checking out...which brings us to their latest release.
 


(Dead Silence - 2012)
 
Again another 3 years in between albums they put out another one. This one is raw and is probably their best album in my opinion. It brings back a lot of the aggression and energy into their music that the second and third albums kind of lacked in comparison to the first. This album has energy exuding out of every note, even the love song Stand Up And Run is full of OOMPH, and the slower track Swallowed Up By The Ocean just builds up as the song goes along in a way they have never attempted before. This album is fantastic. As you can hear the album opens up with a song utilizing acoustic guitars and sounds way different than anything they have ever done, however it is merely an awesome little acoustic track to bring you right into Viking Death March and its pretty much balls to the wall from there. There is a lot of fantastic guitar work in this one as well and I believe it is pretty much the band at their finest. My fave tracks are Man Alive! and Runnin' Across The Tracks - though if I am honest that's not saying much as I fucking love this entire album to pieces. It's one of my all time favourite albums.

Anyway that is kinda a look at their music as a whole. To really bring out the reason why this band is my favourite though is that they have such a way with the rock genre that no other band I've ever listened to can personally match for me. There is just something about them, as in all the elements from each band member is there for me to really appreciate the music beyond a level of simply being a fan. Ian D'sa and Ben Kowalewicz are huge inspirations to me on the guitar and vocals respectively it's not even funny. The music just gets me amped and I can usually find a song to relate to on many situations. They also seem to be down to earth human beings who didn't let the fame and fortune get to their heads and that to me makes me respect them a thousand times more than a lot of other artists too. These guys worked incredibly hard to get their break as they came before the current internet age where it's really easy to get noticed. They slogged it out for 10 years and finally got their break and to me they are currently Canada's finest band out there today 'cause of it.

 

OH AND THEY ARE ALSO INCREDIBLE LIVE.

The albums may have energy but you haven't truly heard this band until you hear them play live. Soooo good and they're not tryhards on stage. They engage the audience nicely! Saw Billy Talent recently with Sum41 (they just happened to be on the bill :/) and man that band is a joke now, the frontman was trying so hard to be relevant and "punk" it wasn't even funny hahaha. They played okay but they need a bit of a reality check that they aren't relevant anymore.

 

I also swear there used to be a topic like this a long time ago where I made this exact same post I am sure of it. But any chance to gush about my favourite band ever I will do so. I can understand if people can't get past the vocals though but I think it lends a uniqueness to the band.
 
Honorable mentions:
- Machinae Supremacy
- Our Lady Peace (vastly prefer their 90s stuff though)
- Nirvana

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Favorite Musician? Oh boy, I can't quite choose a definite favorite, there's way too many. I'll probably start off with one of the most influential for me. Whose that? Why, ZUN of course!

 

I love this guy's music, he single handedly created the Touhou Project series and it's filled with great music all composed by him, not counting the terabytes worth of remixes found online (seriously, if you type in "Crowning Music of Awesome" into Google, Touhou is one of the very first pages to come up). His style of music seems to emphasizes piano a lot and seeing as to how that's my favorite instrument, I love every bit of it. All this while you're playing a really good Bullet Hell game too. smile.png

 

When the guy's not just emphasizing piano, his stuff also tends to have a lot of trumpet focus, which he tends to make rather awfully high pitched. Fans call 'em "ZUNpets" with the way he uses him and I think it's a pretty funny and fitting name, haha. They're also kinda iconic for the series, but they might annoy you depending on your preference. I always thought they sounded best in Nuclear Fusion, which is one of my favorite final boss themes.

 

Really, it's because of this guy that I've learned to get better at piano so I can play his stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wFRIWFraWQ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETTk83qis0w and

my first songs to push me to read sheet music and so I could play these songs, though to be fair, Koji Kondo deserves some credit too with his Stone Tower Temple and Zelda's Lullaby).

 

After learning to play his music, I can say I've learned how to get better at composing music too with the new different types of chord progression I learned. On top of that, half my remix library I created is Touhou stuff, or Sonic/Zelda remixes with Touhou crossover ideas. I can honestly say this guy's made me a better musician myself.

 

I just love ZUN's style and music so much though, every song he makes feels so sophisticated and unique, while still staying to ZUN's traditional style fans know him for now. I really find it quite fascinating how every song he makes follows a completely different chord progression (save Touhou 4, which uses a motif for several tracks), yet they still have a very familiar and identifiable style. I really look up to the guy and I hope I can match him at composing such good music someday...

 

"What? No mention of UN Owen Was Her or Necrofantasia? GoldenLink64 you idiot you've doomed us all!!!"

Shuddap I like these songs are better! >:/

 

Oh, definitely piggybacking on this one. ZUN's stuff is brilliant; I used to have all of the soundtracks on my phone a few years back before I got tired of listening to them all the time, haha. I should probably get them back soon. 

 

is by far the most popular song, and while it's not my favorite, it holds a special place in my heart for introducing me to the entire Touhou series. ... Well, sort of. It was more so
that did it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDz9X2X3MTc.

 

 

 

Anyhow, I have another addition to my growing list of Korean indie musicians. Again, Pastel Music. She's a solo artist named Han Hee Jeong and she's fantastic. ;)

 

450px-Han_Hee_Jeong.jpg

she's quite pretty too c:

 

I found out about her because Casker had actually done a remix of one of her songs for the Pastel Music Tenth Anniversary Collab Collection. Absolutely fantastic, but I've come to expect that from them. I'd embed it because I want to give it some attention as well, but I also want to link two of Han Hee's songs as well. Curse you, two video limit! In any case, here's the song. Brutal Travel, the lead song for her EP of the same name: 

 

 

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T-MAN HAS AWFUL TASTE IN MUSIC: THE MOVIE: THE GAME - HD1.5ReMIX

MAI TWO WAIFUS AND VARIOUS OTHER EMBARRASSING CRAP

(again, no order)

DEEESTUUURRRBED (aka DDDDIE DDDDIE, SOAAAAAP)

 

WAKUP AHYOU ALIVE WILLYA LISSENTA MEH

 

AHMGONNA TALKABOUT SUM FREEKY SH)*&Q#@$@#U NAO

 

SOMEWAN IZGUNNA DAI WHEN YA LISSENTA MEH

 

DDDDDIE

 

DDDDDDIE

 

....................

 

dove-soap-119%255B1%255D.jpg

 

 

Yes, Disturbed. Don't act like you don't know of them. We all do. They are - well, were - one of the most popular bands evar. And, at first glance, one might ask WHY. 

 

 

 

 

dial_soap.jpg

 

DDDDDDIE

 

 

DDDDDDDIE

 

AAAAAAAHHHHHH i love it so much

 

See, here's the thing about Disturbed. Honestly? Taken objectively, everything about them (except for the guitar work) is pretty despicable. Their needlessly vulgar, immature, and generally pretentious lyrics; David Draiman's (yes, that is his name) freaking Cookie Monster growl or whatever it is, and the general obnoxiousness of it all makes the musical snob in me want to die. My brain tells me I should hate this...and yet...whenever I listen to Disturbed, my brain just completely shuts off and all I can do is-SSSOOOOAAAAP

 

1044753.large.jpg

okay I'm done

 

But yeah. Disturbed is basically a band that is so bad that it actually becomes incredibly awesome - it's like a really fun and charmingly cheesy action movie in audio form. There's some stuff in their discography that's downright embarrassing, of course, but overall, I just can't get enough of them. They're amazing.

 

But let's take a break from this metal crap for a moment, why don't we? Now for something completely different:

 

MAI WAIFU

 

SHIKITAHSHIKITIAH

 

SHIKITAHSHIKITAH

 

OWAAHHHH

 

SHIKITAHSHIKITAH

 

SHIKITAHSHIKITAH

 

OAAAHHH

 

AND ISS'HARD TO DEEANS

 

WITHADEVIL ON YUR BECK SO SHIKIMAWF

 

OAAAHH

 

Eh, no. Florence isn't worthy of having her lyrical delivery mocked.

 

But yeah, I dunno. This...falls quite a bit out of line with the vast majority of the stuff I like. I think it's her voice. Her voice is like...it's a voice, you know? It's just SHE HAS A VOICE I DON'T KNOW

 

THINK

 

 

ALL I KNOW IS SHE

 

IS

 

MAI

 

WAIFU

 

SHIKITAHSHIKITAH

 

SHIKITAHSHIKITAH

 

OAAAHHHH~

 

BLUE_Evanescence_wallpaper_by_LawlietJUS

MAI OTHER WAIFU

 

im sorry i cheated

 

that's more like it

 

Yeah, I know. EVANESCENCE SUCKS AND IS TERRIBLE AND BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD AND BLAH BLAH BLAH

 

Yeah, see the title up there? THERE'S A REASON FOR IT

 

But uh, hm

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw2Ic_2XdVQ

 

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

 

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

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rnxlW5TrBs

 

...

 

I'm sorry.

 

So, so sorry you had to see that.

 

Truly, I'm embarrassed, truly.

 

Truly.

 

*ahem*

 

Let's move onto something a bit more...uh... sophisticated.

 

new_about_pic.jpg

AWFSPRENG

 

...well, that works, too, I guess.

 

So yeah. The Offspring.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_LxyhCJpsM

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us8OhI-OTHg

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrZ4sMRYimw

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKDDu_0NsEk

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWH85xlhZbI

 

These guys are just

 

yes

 

All I can say really. Yes, Offspring. Yes. 

 

But like I really need to save face right now so how about something just a BIIIT more-

 

weezer-group-blue-album.jpg

 

...completely embarrassing.

 

i'm such a terrible person

 

But um, yeah, let's talk about Weezer.

 

Weezer is one of the most infamous "fallen angels" in music. You know, you had the Blue Album and then you had Pinkerton and then...yeah, after that it was all kinda like...dumb and stuff.

 

But honestly, I kinda like some of their post-1996 efforts, ya know? It's really silly, yeah, but it's also a lot of fun...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSl6ZljvJk&playnext=1&list=PLB0C9F9F541E4431B&feature=results_video...

 

But then I also thought their latest one, Hurley, was pretty great and almost on par with the old stuff. Kinda their Sonic Colors, maybe.

 

...

 

hey

 

read the title

 

srs

 

Anyway, that's all for tonight. I'll post more vapid garbage I typically listen to some other tiem.

 

YAAAAYYYYYY~

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Right now, I'm obsessed with FreQuency, the in-house band of FromSoftware, and Kota Hoshino, the lead vocalist of the band and composer for the Armored Core games.

 

 

I just love the style.  It borrows enough from other genres that I can't really pin a true genre to it.  I like to call it "Horizon Rock" because it feels intense yet distant like a sunset.  It's exciting yet enigmatic.

 

My favorite part of their music is the vocals.  I've listened to pretty much every track in the Armored Core library and god help me if I can name the lyrics to any of them with absolute certainty.  But odd as it sounds, I absolutely adore songs that I can't understand the lyrics to.  When you sing a song with words, it's like there's one true way to sing the song.  But with music like this, I find it liberating because I can sing along however I feel like.  Like I can sing with abstract feelings instead of words.

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Ladies and gentleman, THE BEATLES:

 

Beside them I love their solo career, Oasis, Nirvana, Jake Bugg, Pink Floyd, Arctic Monkeys... 

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John Williams.

UbBe9N4.jpg

The name of undoubtedly one of the most influential and successful composers of all-time. This man is nothing short of amazing, and with his career spanning over six decades, he has never failed to please the millions of ears that were treated to his music. He's come to make some of the most recognizable film scores in history, with the Star Wars saga, Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, Jurassic Park, Superman, the first three Harry Potter films, and E.T. only being a select few in his venerable library. His long-time association with Steven Spielberg since 1974 is a great one, and each of Spielberg's films wouldn't feel complete without John Williams' great scores (same could be said for the others films I mentioned, really.) What I love about Williams' music so much is that he perfectly captures the soul, meaning, or emotions of a film, making a highly varied range of melodies to fit each situation. There's literally not one piece of music by John Williams that I dislike, each track by him shows that he cares about what music he's making, and he damn well does a good job at it. I'd list some of my favorite music by him here, but it'd be his entire discrography, haha.

Edited by Felix

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This is going to sound like a joke, but one of the musicians I admire the most is a guy called Shuki Levy, who wrote billions of theme-songs for kids shows back during the 80's and 90's. It's just amazing to me that one and the same person could wrote so many instantly catchy songs. Some of his most famous theme songs include those for Inspector Gadget, He-man, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Heathcliff and the first Digimon series. His wiki page offers a full list:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuki_Levy

 

In my opinion, the best thing he ever wrote was either the instrumental version of the theme to Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors...

 

 

Or the theme to MASK

 

 

Good God the 80's kicked so much ass.

Edited by batson

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