Sunday, February 27, 2011

Song Of The Week: 2/27/11

Song: "The Dubious Glow Of Excess"

Artist: Good Riddance

Album: "Bound By Ties Of Blood And Affection"

Year: 2003

To me, this song appears to be about the trappings of success and fame. When you realize your dream and then you fullfill it, will you still remember where you came from and the people who were instrumental in helping you along the way? Or, will you leave everything and everyone behind. The song is kind of a cautionary tale in that, if you let the fame consume you, you may find yourself alone. At that point, all you can do is reflect on your achieved dream and ask yourself if it was worth it because essentially, you forgot where you came from. Good Riddance was a hardcore punk band from Santa Cruz, CA that formed back in 1986. Their music focused on various political and social issues as well as personal struggles and conflicts. I've heard them often labeled as Fat Wreck Chords' Pennywise as both bands would wear their political and social beliefs on their sleeves. Good Riddance is a band that deserves to stand on their own, however. Even though I see them as quite underrated as a band, that does not make them less respected in punk circles. Any kid that wanted to start a band as a vehicle to get his political or social viewpoints out there has to thank bands like Good Riddance, Pennywise and Bad Religion for clearing the path for him. In just over twenty years, Good Riddance would put out seven studio albums, various EP's and comp. tracks, a b-sides album and a live album, "Remain In Memory", which would be a recording of what would be their final concert together. In 2007, Good Riddance decided to call it quits as a band. Currently, all of the band members are involved in new music projects most notably being GR's lead singer Russ Rankin's new band, Only Crime.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Song Of The Week: 2/20/11

Song: "Before I Go"

Artist: Unwritten Law

Album: "Music In High Places"

Year: 2003

This is "Before I Go"'s second go round on my song of the week blog. Where the first time I used the studio version from Unwritten Law's 1998 self titled album, this time I chose an acoustic version that was taken from 2003's "Music In High Places". "Music In High Places" was a program on VH1 which featured artists performing acoustic songs in natural settings. Unwritten Law would perform their songs in Yellowstone National Park for the show. "Before I Go" is sung from the perspective of someone that is dying. Even though the vocalist is in pain and knows he doesn't have much time left on this Earth, he spends his final moments assuring the one he loves and trying to give her strength to move on. She should take comfort in that he is not afraid and he tells her that his memory will live on in her. Unwritten Law formed as a band back in 1990. In their early years, they were very much a part of the pop punk scene. As the years went by, however, they definitely began to altar their style until they found a sound that they were comfortable with. This more radio friendly style was most prominent on their 2002 album "Elva". This was the album that really opened things up for Unwritten Law. Behind the strength of their hit single "Seeing Red", U.L. would enjoy their highest success as a band. All in all, U.L. has released five studio albums, a few EP's, an acoustic album, a live album and a greatest hits compilation. Currently, Unwritten Law is set to release their sixth studio album in March of 2011. The album is titled "Swan". Unwritten Law has also committed to playing the 2011 Warped Tour.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Song Of The Week: 2/13/11

Song: "Wash"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "Lost Dogs"

Year: 2003

This song appears to be about how being true and pure can sometimes be overtaken by temptation and sin. To me, the vocalist is kind of living a double life. He struggles with the fact that he wants to be faithful and honest at home, but it's his lies and infidelities that, if they would ever come to the surface and see the light, would kill his relationship with the one he really loves. In the end, he just wishes his impurities would be washed away but you don't really get the impression that he can forgive himself for his sins let alone be forgiven by the one he's sinned. "Wash" is one of the first songs that Pearl Jam ever recorded as a band. The song was recorded during the "Ten" sessions and released as a b-side on 1991's "Alive" single. 2003's "Lost Dogs" contains a slightly different recording of "Wash" as well. Pearl Jam formed as a band in 1990 from the ashes of Mother Love Bone. When Mother Love Bone lead singer Andy Wood died of a heroin overdose, fellow bandmates Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament weren't quite sure if they would continue to make music together. Luckily, Stone would ask Jeff to help out on some demo's that he was working on. Throw Mike McCready in the mix and a demo tape that Stone gave to Jack Irons, who then gave the tape to Eddie Vedder and alas, Pearl Jam was born. Looking back as the band is celebrating it's 20th anniversary, you could argue that Pearl Jam is the greatest American band of all time. During their career, they have released nine studio albums, various singles and live albums, not to mention bootleg recordings which you can purchase through their fan club website. Pearl Jam has a fanbase that has not been seen since the Grateful Dead. Seeing them perform live, you definitely get why fans have so much passion for this band. It's quite the experience. Currently, Pearl Jam is working on re-issues of their "VS" and "Vitalogy" albums scheduled for release in early 2011. Director Cameron Crowe is also working on a documentary of the band celebrating their twenty years in the music industry. The band also has a 20th anniversary festival planned for some time in the summer of 2011.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Song Of The Week: 2/6/11

Song: "Only The Strong" (piano version)

Artist: Flaw

Album: "Through The Eyes"

Year: 2001

"Only The Strong" is a song about how dealing with life's adversities and the pain that goes along with them will only serve to make you stronger in the end. Those who endure will most likely survive. Those who cannot deal with the pain and the pressures probably will not. The vocalist in this song is really using pain and deceit that he's had during his life to strengthen who he is now. Flaw is a nu metal band that formed back in 1995. Their style is very similar to several bands that came out in the mid to late 90's such as Staind, Evanescence and Chevelle. From 1995 to 2000, Flaw would independently release two albums plus an EP. It wasn't until 2001 that they would release their first major label album, "Through The Eyes". Any success the band would have would be due to this album. They would release a follow-up in 2004, "Endangered Species", but this album really was not much of a success for the band. Inner turmoil would become a common occurrence for Flaw eventually leading to the band calling it quits in 2004. In 2006, Flaw would try to reunite and did to perform some live shows but the problems that became so prevalent in the past would arise once again. The band was a constant revolving door of band members, the one constant was normally lead singer Chris Volz. The band did get together in 2009 to record and independently release their third album, "Home Grown Studio Sessions". In 2010, however, once again the band had to cancel their entire tour due to internal conflicts. Currently, though the band says it is still intact, it's looking more and more like Flaw's days as a band are very much numbered.