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  • What happened to dredg?

    Dez 26 2012, 17h45

    [The following are my personal opinions]

    Back when I discovered dredg and started exploring their sound, they quickly became one of my favourite bands. When I finished El Cielo I was sure I had top 5 band ever material at my hands. But that didn't happen, sadly. They went from being a band that released incredible albums to one that released something so bad that a lot of the fans believe it was a "troll album". What happened?

    Leitmotif and El Cielo are fantastic. As far as this kind of music goes (art rock or w/e it's called) it's difficult to get any better. El Cielo especially is a 10/10. Everything about it is top notch.

    Their 3rd album is Catch Without Arms, and I think it's the most important album to analyze as far as this topic goes. Catch without arms is very solid, and it contains what I personally believe to be THE best dredg song, Sang Real. But there is something very annoying about it, and it's that 30 second laughing sounds at the end of the track. What the fuck is even that supposed to do? Why is it there, dredg? It's so useless and annoying.

    And then there's Spitshine. It is probably my least favourite dredg song, ever. The chorus makes me want to kill something and it's so overproduced, it's only good for one listen, then it gets incredibly tedious. Kind of a shame cause the themes/lyrics are good. I VERY rarely skip tracks when listening to full albums, but I do it for Spitshine. I just can't bear listening to it.

    See, the problem is, Zebraskin is in the same album. It's very different than the typical dredg song, it's very catchy and has a hook that goes "A couple of drinks mid-day mid-day mid-day / Haven't felt this way this way since yesterday". But it's not a bad song! Zebraskin proves that dredg CAN do catchy, even if it won't be their best. Spitshine is just shit. The theme of Catch Without Arms is positives and negatives, contrast, opposites, etc. The song themselves reflect this. And I think it reflects how the band itself was feeling about their music at that point. They were glad of their accomplishments but craved recognition. They were frustrated that their extremely creative and evocative work was being ignored in favor of shallow music, they thought their music needed to change direction, but they didn't know where to go.

    Then there's the 4th album. I delayed listening it for a whole year, because I knew I wouldn't like it. I had read what it was based on and some of the lyrics, and I had realized it was not for me. But that's personal and doesn't mean I can't enjoy the music, right? Wrong. I've listened to Pariah a couple of times and it just... disappoints me every time. I am an absolute sucker for concept albums and albums with a message and narrative, but dredg went too far with The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion. Whenever I listen to it, I feel like Gavin first wrote the lyrics and then they tried to make some fitting music for it, it just sounds so artificial and disconnected. Whereas in their previous albums the music and words feel so intertwined and naturally complement each other. There are two songs I like a lot in the album though, Ireland and Quotes, and some decent ones, but as a whole, I felt Pariah was a huge failure. But it didn't bother me that much because I knew it was not for me.

    Then came Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy. Ummmm.. I don't know what to say, really. I am all for bands evolving their sound and exploring new musical ground, but chuckles is just shit. It's worthless musically. Listening to The Tent makes me cringe IRL, no kidding. It is a collaboration with Dan the Automator. With no actual drumming, and the band members recorded their pieces separately and sent them via email. It is abysmal. Have you seen the music video for Upon Returning? It is absurd, but not the good kind of absurd, the "what the fuck is this and why is it a thing" kind of absurd accompanied by shitty music.

    So sing about love
    Sing about lust
    So they will care
    It's the same difference
    That's what happens when you play catch without arms
    It's what sets, sets, sets us apart
    That's what happens when you compromise your art
    It's what sets, sets, sets us apart" - lyrics from Catch Without Arms.


    You know Gavin, I wish you sang about love. I wish you compromised your art. I actually wish you went back making the nu-metal you were making at the beginning of the band's conception. It would be far better than insulting your fanbase with Chuckles. Now they don't even take you seriously. I don't like Pariah but I respect it. But Chuckles is inexcusable.

    To re-cap, dredg got too self-conscious. Too scared too sell out or be "commercial", too pretentious for even art rock pretentiousness. Now they're a parody of themselves, still making music that doesn't sell, but now it isn't even good music anymore. I am not one to consider bands "done", but I don't see dredg coming out of this hole they've dug for themselves. Which is a shame because they used to make some of the best music I've ever listened to.

    And then there's this, which is from an interview they did in Turkey:
    "It took a long time for us to learn that people like our old records more that the new ones. If we had heard these kind of comments sooner, we would've paid attention. Nobody cares in the US. It took 7 seven years for them to tell us that they liked El Cielo. So it can be difficult to understand our change in music, but it's logical for us to try something new because we thought people didn't like our previous work. The only song that people in USA and Germany said they liked was Bug Eyes. We didn't know so we always tried something new."
    Really dredg, REALLY? Even if it was the 60's that would not be a good excuse, and in these days of social media and blazing fast information spread that is completely unacceptable. You're bullshitting and you know it. If you wanted to hear fan feedback, you could. Even something as simple as checking last.fm could work, people are discussing bands on their pages all the time. There is no shame in doing that, *shels have said they used last.fm to see what people think of the music, you could do it too (check *shels out if you're reading this by the way, amazing band!). Or even Facebook. I'm curious to see what you will do now that you know people liked your old stuff better, but I am not hopeful at all. As far as I care, Chuckles never existed. You have to basically start from 0 to prove yourself. Until then dredg is dead to me, RIP dredg.
  • 7777

    Mar 9 2011, 20h04

    7777

    I am kind of obsessed with numbers. Seven is my favourite number. So I am kind of really obsessed with the number 7. Why? No idea.

    This "obsession" has affected my last.fm account before. When I was "loving" tracks as I listened to new music, I reached 77 "loved tracks". Then I kind of stopped "loving" tracks. For quite a while, when I really wanted to add a new track to that list, I'd go and delete another track to keep the total number of "loved" tracks at 77. I got overwhelmed when going through Radiohead's discography a while ago and I no longer have 77 "loved" tracks. Damn shame.

    ANYWAY, this journal entry is about Seven's and Radiohead. I just now scrobbled my 7777th Radiohead track. Since The King of Limbs was released last month and I downloaded my copy, I haven't been listening to anything but Radiohead. Yeah, I listened exclusively to Radiohead for a over a month. FELT GOOD! Anyway, I had around 6800 something Radiohead plays back then.

    So I decided I'd keep scrobbling only Radiohead till I hit 7777, and then stop. Why? Becauyse 7777 is such a beautiful, cool, amazing number. And Radiohead is my favourite band and definitely the best band in the world... so yeah.

    I really don't know how long I can resist not listening to them, but I'll try to keep the 7777 in my charts as long as I can. (watching Radiohead videos does NOT count as cheating!)

    Some random semi-related facts:

    * My first Radiohead scrobble, which is also my first scrobble ever, is:
    Radiohead - Let Down which I listened to on 11 March 2008. Time flies!

    * My most played Radiohead track is:
    Radiohead - Idioteque with 251 scrobbles. Does that mean it's my favourite Radiohead track? No. Maybe. I don't know. I don't think I'll ever be able to choose a single favourite Radiohead track, ever.

    * I have 25 "loved" Radiohead tracks. That is 27.1739% of my loved tracks.

    * I have listened to I Might Be Wrong 77 times. I wasn't aware of this until 5 minutes ago.

    * My 7777th Radiohead play was Street Spirit (Fade Out). I chose this song to be the last Radiohead song of this marathon on purpose. Because despite being astoundingly beatiful and one of the best pieces of music in the whole world, it always had some sort of "it's over" feel to me.

    EDIT: Today, 12 October 2011, I will resume listening to Radiohead again. I can't believe I went with this for 8 months. Wow. Now is a good time to resume listening to Radiohead because I soon won't be able to listen to any music for a while... I need some Radiohead in my system!

    P.S. I'm having problems scrobbling, so my scrobbles might not appear for a while.
  • x>y>z album comparisons and why I think they do not suck.

    Nov 10 2010, 20h11

    Recently I've seen a lot of negative comments directed at people that attempt to rate albums on bands shoutbox with a "hierarchical" system, namely dredg and The Mars Volta.

    While I agree that those kind of comments tend to be highly subjective, I don't think they deserve the kind of reaction they cause. The shoutbox of a band is there for us users to discuss albums, talk about our favorites and other stuff like that, and sometimes x>y>z comparisons can lead to pretty decent discussions. So why do people feel the need to condemn such comments?

    Of course, arguments can arise but hey, it's the internet!
  • My top 10 favorite musicians.

    Jan 8 2010, 15h10

    I've wanted to do this for quite some time now, but for one reason or another it got delayed till now.

    This is basically a list of my favorite artists, which is obviously subject to constant change as time passes. In addition to the music they make, the other factor that I took in consideration when making this list was how much I liked these people as a "person". Well, the image they have created of themselves actually, as one can't really know how someone is unless they know them personally.

    I don't plan to update this list or anything, but if it'll be subject to a lot of change I'll just post a new one.

    Without further ado, the list:

    #10 John Rzeznik

    I'm not the biggest fan of his band - the Goo Goo Dolls - nor I like the guy very much, but he sang a song that pretty much sums up my teenage years. It's the song used in the 2002 Disney movie Treasure Planet, I'm Still Here. That song was something special for me, and if I scrobbled music back in 2004 I believe it would be on the 1st spot of most listened song on my last.fm page. Yeah, I used to listen to it on repeat a lot. Oh and I like Iris, a lot.

    #9 Karen O

    When I was thinking of this list I had originally included Björk and Sharon den Adel in it but turns out the only female musician to make it into the final list is our lovely Karen O. Every one of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs albums are great, but there are a couple of songs that I really adore. Dragon Queen and Phenomena, for instance, make me realise that I am in love with her voice. Plus the music video for Heads Will Roll is badass.

    #8 Danny Carey

    Danny Carey is a beast. His drumming is abnormally good. I usually don't try to listen to only one of the instruments when listening to music but I find myself paying attention to Carey's drumming a lot. His style is so damn distinguishable that it happens subconsciously. I won't say "he is the best drummer alive" (although many do) because to claim that you should know every single drummer, and I don't. He is my favorite drummer though, higher than Phil Selway which is an awesome drummer on his own. I'm not even that interested in his occult business, but his drum kit is cool stuff. An example of his godly drumming can be heard in Lateralus.

    #7 Jónsi

    Frontman and biggest crative force of one of the best bands of the world: Sigur Rós. That's Jón Þór Birgisson, aka Jónsi. The music this guy and the rest of the band makes is... magical, for a lack of a better word. Heima is like, one of my favorite movies ever and it's not even a movie! I admit I wasn't expecting anything special from Jónsi's solo album, Go, but man isn't it an amazing record. Sigur Rós alone makes me want to travel to Iceland.


    #6 Billy Corgan

    The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the bands that I recently fell in love with. It's not that I like them only because of him, or viceversa, but he's the only member I can really like at this moment. It's a shame that they split, but I really admire Corgan's will to continue. Corgan about the Pumpkins revival: "We didn’t come back for the cash, we came back to be great again. It made me mad that people thought we’re done, that we don’t have a future. Get out. We don’t want you. We’ve never been that band. That happy band. We picked up where we left off. We’re not the retirement band playing our old hits. [...] We’re in the polarizing business. We don’t want a pat on the back: Good to have you back. We want a reaction, even if it’s a negative reaction." By the way, I already really like the 4 new tracks from Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. It's also a shame that his solo material is so underrated, I think TheFutureEmbrace is a really solid record.

    #5 Josh Klinghoffer

    Does being one of John Frusciante's best friends make someone automatically cool? It indeed does, in my opinion. Luckily, that is not the only reason why I think Josh is great. I am currently half-obsessed with his voice, mainly because of his fantastic backing vocals in Omission. His contribution to John's solo material is massive, and his work in Ataxia is bloody great. He recently became Red Hot Chili Pepper's guitarist, and I would personally consider the band dead if anyone else other than him replaced John.

    #4 Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez

    This guy is one hell of a guitar player. Coupled with Cedric Bixler Zavala's vocals, the music produced is absolutely mindblowing. What I really like about Omar is that he's like an unstoppable force, he's always trying new things, changing musical direction and even doing other stuff like directing films. It's also very interesting that he used to hate the guitar and that he "wrestled" with it insted of playing it (his own words). Needless to say, he's also one of John Frusciante's best friends.

    #3 Maynard James Keenan

    Maynard is nuts. He's fucking crazy, seriously. But that's what makes him awesome, he's just as insane as he is talented. Who else would be able to turn a recorded message of a pissed guy swearing in two languages into the beauty that Message to Harry Manback is? No one. His song-writing skills are unparalleled. His work with A Perfect Circle is amazing too, Thirtheenth Step has been one of my most listened albums lately. I haven't even listened to much of Puscifer yet, but something tells me when I do I will enjoy it. But just listen to one of his masterpieces, like Lateralus, and tell me it isn't musical genius. Plus, his scream in The Grudge is mindblowingly beautiful.


    #2 Thom Yorke

    Anyone that knows me even one little bit knows that Radiohead is my favorite band and nothing else ever comes close to it. But (contrary to popular belief) Radiohead does not equal Thom Yorke. He is without a shadow of doubt one of the most talented musicians of the last 2 decades and a musical genius. How his band evolved from Pablo Honey and Creep to their newer material still amazes me. I also dig his rather unusual and blunt personality. Even his solo album, The Eraser oozes genius from every pore, although still inferior to Radiohead. Can't wait for the next album.

    #1 John Frusciante

    I will admit it, I am completely obsessed with him. Not only do I think he is the best guitarist ever, I also think he is the best person in today's music industry. I invite everyone to listen to his interview with MusicRadar, especially the third part. Some may think I am exaggerating and that someone who used to play in a band like RHCP can't be as good as I say. Thing is, it doesn't matter at all as he transcends music in my opinion. I personally think his last album, The Empyrean, is musical perfection. His life is also very interesting and attracting to me; the quick rise to fame, the fall to drugs and near self-destruction, his glorious return, his second departure from the band... He has been where few have returned from, and he is not even ashamed or regretful of it. His views on the music industry, people and life in general is truly fascinating. He is my favorite musician ever.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yeah, That's it. Deciding about who to include and who to leave out was really difficult, so I thought of making an honorable mentions Post Scriptum:

    Jonny Greenwood, Cedric Bixler Zavala, Jack White, Kurt Cobain, Steven Wilson, Win Butler, Régine Chassagne , Gavin Hayes, Dino Campanella, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway, Colin Greenwood, Bjork, Sharon den Adel, Brandon Flowers, Matthew Bellamy, Rivers Cuomo, Kele Okereke, Chris Martin, Howard Shore.

    """""""""""
  • I was bored.

    Dez 2 2009, 17h12

    Saw this on someone else's profile, thought it's a neat idea. Giving it a try.

    Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band.

    Radiohead
    Are you male or female: Vegetable
    Describe yourself: Paranoid Android
    How do some people feel about you: Idioteque
    How do you feel about yourself: Subterranean Homesick Alien
    Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Inside My Head
    Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: (Nice Dream)
    Describe where you want to be: Where Bluebirds Fly
    Describe what you want to be: Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was
    Describe how you live: No Surprises
    Describe how you love: I Can't
    Share a few words of wisdom: 2 + 2 = 5