Monthly Archives: June 2018

Opening Night of Pride for the Masses

As most people are aware in the US June is Pride Month, a month where people of the LGBT+ community celebrate who they are. There are a lot of politics involved with both pride month and various LGBT+ issues, of which I won’t delve into much. What I delve into is the opening night of Pride for the Masses, a Pride event hosted by I Heart Local Music. Everyone hosting the event was a member of the LGBT+ community and brought an incredible performance.

The night started off with Cuee, a local rapper and hip hop artist who brought finesse and aggressive lyrics that attack each song. The combination of at times smooth beats with strong drill elements brings a down to earth reality often ignored or, at best, overlooked in the music scene. The music brought an incredible vibe that welcomed everyone to join.

Gritty reality was certainly not ignored this night, however, Wick and the Tricks brought their high-octane performance of glam punk that covered many political issues while being risque and off the wall.

The last musical act of the night was DJ Candyass, who brought a plethora of music guaranteed to please everyone. The music playlist ranged from hip hop to EDM and even more obscure genres. Everyone had a reason to dance.

Of course, this was all tied together by the wonderful hostess Miss Amanda Love. Her comical stylings and lip syncing had the audience roaring with laughter while applauding her ability the match the energy to the song, be it a moving ballad or fast tempos. She also showed the audience as much love as she was given.

This is certainly a great event, one which I hope is repeated in the future with the same fervor and tenacity. I also hope that it continues to be fully run by members of the LGBT+ community with all profits going back into the same community that put it together. That is something I’m glad I Heart Local Music seemed to care about and hope other places wanting to participate in Pride month will consider as well.

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Album Review: “Prequelle” by Ghost

prequelleLots of attention focused on Ghost this year with their theatrics of introducing new characters, such as the newest frontman Cardinal Copia, to the legal theatrics surrounding the band. The drama proved to be a winning combination with climbing sales. Add a creative deviation from previous works and “Prequelle” will hit the spot for many listeners.

Ghost fans have nothing to fear with the drastic changes. The familiar combination of macabre, tongue-in-cheek humor, elements of psychedelic and progressive music tempered with gothic tones still remain strong. Great examples include “Witch Image”, “See the Light”, and especially “Life Eternal” ending the Ghost album in typical Ghost fashion: strong ballad movements with dark tones paired with an eerie choir. Satanic lyricism and gothic elements along with bits of psychedelic music still remain at the core of the music while providing something new.

The creative direction taken this album not only provides something familiar for old fans as not to isolate them, but provides something to lure in fans of various genres. As promised there is a grittier tone with songs like “Rats” and “Faith” which will bring in more heavy metal fans and are guaranteed to be hits. Listeners who enjoy more progressive elements of the band will appreciate certain themes repeated throughout the album, namely the rat theme, most notably found in “See the Light” as well as complex instrumental like “Miasma” and almost Gershwin-like rhapsodies of “Helvetesfönster” that play with influences of folk metal. There is something for everyone this album and it’s pulled off magnificently.

Despite the remarkable endeavor pulled off there were some problematic things. Not all of the transitions were smooth and felt a bit clunky, as seen in the interlude of “Rats” or the introduction of the saxophone solo in “Miasma” doesn’t seem to fit into the whole of the song. There is also the song “Witch Image”, where the word play was welcome but the lyrics felt a bit phoned in. I’ll chock it up to my disdain for heavy-handed end rhyming, and what the song lacks in lyrical composition it’s certainly made up with power chords and psychedelic musical composition. I also found myself questioning the artistic intention of some of the things which were off, as sometimes it was hard to determine if stuff like off-key singing was intended in “See the Light” or having an overload of low ends and synthesizer were meant to convey something deeper in “ Helvetesfönster”, or perhaps this was the best take. Regardless everything else was put into consideration, including songs bleeding into one another and a continuation of elements.

Ghost’s latest album delivers everything and more, and is one of the rare moments where an album lives up to the hype that I can recall. As promised it is a grittier, more arena-type direction as opposed to other albums, but it combines enticing music for everyone without leaving longtime fans behind. If this is a transition into a more theatrical one for Ghost it will certainly be an interesting ride.

3.5/4

The Soundtrack: May 2018

It’s that time again where I pick 4 songs that best describe this month. Those who are new to this I pick 4 songs from music released in the particular time, in this case May of this year. These 4 songs I feel capture the emotion of the month. I don’t look at which songs I like, or genre, or anything of the sort. It’s all about the music and capturing the mood.

Admittedly I had quite the time picking out the songs. It seems what was being released was completely at odds with what was going on around me. I made due and made it work.

Frank Turner “1933”

This was a song that, with its face paced timing paired with violent lyrics, captured much of the ongoing violence and frantic energy of the month. It also captured the nature of how history keeps repeating itself.

John Hopkins “Luminous Beings”

Many of the songs I encountered this month had a chill tone. I decided to pick one of them for those warm evenings, and John Hopkins fit the bill.

Beach House “Dive”

This was the best compromise I had between the chill mood of the songs coming out this month juxtaposed to a somewhat volatile mood. It works for what I need it to do…

Five Finger Death Punch “Fake”

This song probably encapsulates the mood for this month best, namely everyone out to uncover the truth and the tension and violence. It was a tough decision between thus and a few other songs from the album.

If you want to check out what I picked in previous months you can check out my other posts or go to my YouTube playlist.