notched band

The neural network will name your next band

An important part of starting a new band is choosing an appropriate name. It is crucial that the name be unique, or you could risk at best confusion, and at worst an expensive lawsuit.

The neural network is here to help.

Prof. Mark Riedl of Georgia Tech, who recently provided the world a dataset of all the stories with plot summaries on Wikipedia, (enabling this post on neural net story names) now used his Wikipedia-extraction skills to produce a list of all the bands with listed discographies - about 84,000 in all.

I gave the list to the Char-rnn neural network framework, and it was soon producing unique band names for a variety of genres. Below are examples of its output at various temperature (i.e. creativity) settings.

Temperature 1.1

This is about as high as the creativity setting can go before most of the band names are unpronounceable jumbles. These are some fine band names, highly suitable for whatever the heck their genres are supposed to be.

Spice Green Robinson
Gloome Schronnana
Boofpas
The Freights
Nighty Daggers
The Loveburners of Internal Watch
Foxettes Ratimot Secret singer band
The Dougloco
The Theps
Choconard Leach
Rhoudemsquat
Terrerssky?
Flemz
Mighty Chipping Baker
Bop Gray (band)

Temperature 1.0

With the creativity turned down a bit, the band names are still weird, but a bit more plausible. Their genres can sometimes be identified.

For example, I think these are probably traditional Irish bands?

The Durks of Audun Green
Sherry of Shinking Feavan
The Shurping Laudst

And these might work as metal bands:

Rabidass (band)
Killerlet (musician)
Brokin’s Killer
Flish Lipe
Supervillin
Girl Dead

These are perhaps a bit less scrutable.

Dr Overhard
The Arce (band)
The Tree Misters
Reilling Ef (rapper)
Flim Brothers
Ching Mage
Nan Edwards (folk singer)
Nittle Bizzy
The Dinlakoposseps
Skins of Space
Michael Porker
The Lost singers
The Nutlet Band
The Rogue Orchestra
The Fuman.A.I.((band)
Vervoly Brown (urtist)
Boohalloid (group)
The Ballening Birds
Lice Stepley

Temperature 0.9

With the creativity turned down a notch further, the band names become even more plausible. You could probably convince me that these exist.

No Andrew Newson
Fuzion (band)
The Wurfywinders
Clay Fights
Berry Stitcher
Something Rothers
The Awl
The Thingsons
Switch’s Rich
Lug
Pond Billy
The Hums (band)
Northern Prince (Indian band)
Staff Killer

Temperature 0.6

Turn the creativity down another notch, and we start to edge toward the neural network’s idea of the most quintessential band names. Note that they’re still pretty weird.

Dub Arts
Sheet Rose
Heart Coil
Elliot Horse
Big Love
The Mothers (band)
The Time Stars
Hulls of Girls
Sucken (band)
Electric Sing Show
The Pans
Symphony No. 3 (Dinish band)
Hell Staple (band)
Peter Parker
Bad Head
The Out Cookers
Flower Shankar
The Hat Coles

Temperature 0.3

Now at a creativity setting of only 0.3, almost all the band names are variations on “The [Noun]”.

The Shines
The Deaths
The Dance (band)
The Livers (band)
The Stone Choir
The Shake Man (band)

Another strange thing happens, which is that the proportion of sharks goes way, way up. Apparently the neural network thinks that if you’re going to name a band, you can’t go wrong with sharks.

Johnny Shark
The Shark Charles
Shark Rander
The Shark (band)
Nicole Shark
Shark Gordon
Shark Taylor (musician)
The Shark Singers
Tony Shark

Temperature 0.01

And now we come to the lowest temperature setting, where the neural network’s output consists of the most-quintessential band name, repeated over and over. Throughout most of the training process, this name was “The Stars” and occasionally “The Brothers”, but there was one generation where the neural network repeatedly insisted that there was nothing… nothing more fundamental to music than the banjo-playing skills of:

Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)
Steve Martin (musician)

She Wears My RIng

Dedicated to @raptorlily​ because she really seemed to like this idea when I floated it past her earlier this week.  Ao3 link 


Betty Cooper is not the kind of girl who gets in a huff about jewelry. She has the little key necklace her mother gave her at 13. She has the little silver studs she always wears. There’s the occasional change in earrings and sometimes a bracelet or two. But she’s never concerned herself with expensive trinkets or shiny baubles.

Until she’s out shopping with Veronica Lodge one Saturday a few weeks before graduation.

They decided to have a best friend’s day. Blowouts at Chez Salon. High tea at Penelope’s. Vintage shopping at Riverdale’s (admittedly small) selection of good vintage and consignment shops.

Betty is feeling bright and bubbly. She doesn’t want to jinx it but everything feels pretty… Perfect.

After everything they’ve been through the last couple of years, they’re all so close to graduating and getting out of Riverdale. All of them are planning on being in New York in some way with Betty and Jughead both getting into Columbia. Betty couldn’t be more excited.

Betty and Veronica have gone through two shops already without buying anything, but Betty’s fine with that. The experience of it, spending time with her best friend is more important to her. Plus, she’s trying to save up her money for when she has to pay New York rent on her apartment. The apartment she and Jughead will be living in together.

Veronica is combing through the small collection of retro dresses when something catches Betty’s eye. It’s a dull silver ring with little crown arches around one half. Underneath the arches are a band of notches with three white stones set in a smooth finish at the bottom.

Betty’s enchanted.

She reaches out a finger and traces the glass covering the ring.

“Girl.”

Betty’s head snaps up and a blush steals its way across her cheeks when she sees Veronica’s cocked eyebrow.

“Sorry. Did you say something V?”

“I asked what had your attention but I see now. Does everything with crowns remind you of your boy?”

“Not everything.”

Betty knocks shoulders with Veronica who knocks her back. Veronica looks back to the ring inside of the case.

“It’s a cute ring.” She admits.

“Yeah. I think it’s really pretty.”

“So get it! It’s only-”

Veronica twists her head, craning her neck to try and see the price tag.

“It’s only $50!”

Betty grimaces. It’s not too bad, but it’s not as cheap as she would like.

“V. I can’t. I hardly wear rings and-”

“Oh come one Betty. Imagine the look on Jughead’s face when he sees a ring on your finger. A silver crown ring on your finger. He’ll flip. And I mean in a good way. You two are practically engaged anyway.”

“Ron. No. It’s ok. It’s pretty but it’s not like I need it. And besides, I’m trying to save up remember? I don’t need to be impulse buying a ring I probably won’t even wear that much. And don’t say that around him. We’ve… We’ve talked about marriage. Maybe. In the future. The far future. I don’t want to freak him out or anything by buying myself a ring. ”

Veronica rolls her eyes but lets the matter drop. For now.

“By the way, V. Did you see anything you like?”

Veronica’s eyes light up.

“Ohmygosh. Betty. I found the cutest little flapper dress. It’s all crystal and sparkly and even if it’s Cherylred I can pull it off. I’m definitely getting it and we need to find you one too. We must have a Gatsby themed party before graduation. I demand it.”

Veronica moves back to the rack of dresses. Betty throws one last look at the ring in the glass case before following Veronica reluctantly.


That night, Veronica and Betty are joined by their boyfriends at Pop’s. Veronica regales them all with the details she already has planned for her Gatsby themed party. Having heard all of them already that afternoon, Betty excuses herself to the washroom.

Veronica seizes the opportunity.

“Jughead,” Veronica purrs coquettishly “I have some information I think you’d might like.”

Veronica balances her chin on her hands, a Cheshire smile in place. Archie turns a startled head to his girlfriend, alarmed at her stance and tone. Jughead stuffs an onion ring in his mouth, arching an eyebrow wordlessly.

“I think the one thing we can agree on is that we want Betty to be happy right?”

Jughead remains silent, rolling his eyes, refusing to answer what he must consider a dumb question.

“And we can all agree that Betty deserves the absolute best, right? She deserves to be spoiled like a princess and given anything her heart desires.”

“You going somewhere with this, Ronnie?”

The redhead hasn’t lost the look of confusion and he nudges Veronica slightly. Veronica pays him no mind, her whole attention on Jughead.

“Get to the point, Veronica.”

Jughead seems to be done with the games.

“I’m just saying that if Betty wanted something, within reason, you’d want to get it for her right?”

“…Yes.”

“If you don’t have $50 to spare I am willing to lend it to you. Just saying.”

Jughead rears back a little bit.

“$50? For what?”

Veronica glances at the restroom door. Their window of time is slowly disappearing.

“Betty found something super cute at one of the stores today but she refused to buy it and I think you should buy it for her because it would make her really happy. I am not telling you this because Betty’s playing some bullshit passive aggressive game about it and told me to tell you or whatever. It’s because I saw the way she looked at it and she rationalized herself out of buying it, but I think that even if she doesn’t need it she should have it.”

Jughead’s eyes narrow in calculation.

Betty walks out of the restrooms and settles herself back into Jughead’s side, stealing a fry from his plate.

“What did I miss?”

Jughead twists his head, pressing a soft kiss to Betty’s hair.

“Nothing much. Veronica was just telling us about some other things that you guys saw at the antique shops today.”

“Yeah. Like that ridiculously overpriced tea set. And the hideous ceramic dolls.”

Betty’s eyes light up and she bounces a little in her seat. She turns to Jughead

“Those dolls! Juggie, they’re gonna give me nightmares. There was this disjointed clown one I swear was haunted. It had the creepiest smile that was like, half worn away and these beady eyes that followed us around the store. I’m staying with you tonight and you have to hold me really tight ok? Also we are never watching It ever again.”

And just like that, Betty is distracted, going on a tangent about how much she doesn’t like Pennywise. Jughead catches Veronica’s eye for a split second and when they exchange nods, Veronica’s smile widens.


Two weeks later, Betty is sitting on the couch in Jughead’s trailer when he breezes in, throwing his jacket and keys on the opposite end.

“I have a surprise for you.”

Betty looks up from her laptop. She’s been going through apartment listings in New York that she and Jughead can possibly afford, making a binder filled with possibilities and the pros and cons of each.

“A surprise? What is it?”

Jughead drops himself on the couch next to her, a large box in his hands. Betty cocks an eyebrow at him skeptically.

“Why the gift? It’s not a birthday, an anniversary, or a major holiday. Not that I think we can only give each other gifts on those occasions but you know, society.”

Jughead snorts.

“So. Why did you decide to get me something?”

“Because I love you.”

The simple statement sends butterflies through her stomach, just as strong as the first time.

“I love you, Betty Cooper. So I bought you a gift. Am I not allowed to do that?”

His eyes are so earnest that Betty curses him. How is it possible that he can make her blush and fluster so easily? Is he supposed to be able to still have this effect on her? She’s irritated that he knows exactly what she’s thinking, judging by the smirk on his face.

To distract herself from kissing away his stupid smile, Betty opens the box and finds another box inside.

“You did not do this.”

Jughead’s smile gets wider when Betty tilts her head and gives him a baleful look. Sighing heavily, Betty pulls out the box and opens it up to find a smaller box. She opens up the third box to find a fourth box. And then a fifth. The sixth box is small and wooden and Betty has no idea what could be in it. She opens up the catch to find that it’s a ring box.

A ring box holding the ring from the antique store.

The little tines of the crown stare back at her and the stones sparkle in their setting . It’s been cleaned and polished very nicely since she saw it last. Betty swivels her head between the ring and Jughead, unable to form words.

“Veronica told me you liked it. And when I saw it, I couldn’t resist getting it for you. It might seem kind of egotistical to get you a ring with my symbol on it. At least what I sort of consider my symbol. But I’d really like for you to wear it, Betty.”

Betty nods rapidly, a smile on her face. Jughead scoots closer, putting an arm around her. His voice is low and serious and Betty wants to stay in this little bubble of happiness for forever.

“I… I’m not proposing. Not yet anyway. But. This is for you. And someday. Someday there’ll be another ring. If you want it, that is.”

“Oh. Juggie.”

Betty’s voice is breathy and amazed.

“Of course. Of course I want it. I love it. I love you so much.”

Betty throws herself into Jughead’s arms. She kisses, kisses, kisses him and he kisses her back just as fiercely. He scoots back just a touch and hauls Betty into his lap so she’s straddling him.

Betty links her hands behind his head while he anchors one hand at the small of her back. It’s a searing heat through her thin t-shirt. Jughead’s other hand roams up and down her spine, sending sparks skipping up and down her spine and raising goosebumps.

“Love you. Love you. Love you so much. Juggie I love you so much.”

Betty can’t stop telling Jughead how much she loves him in between kisses. Jughead pulls away just slightly and heaves a small breathy laugh against her lips.

“Betty. I love you.”

His blue eyes are warm and dark and Betty leans down to give him one more small peck. Jughead plucks the little ring box she’s been loosely holding out of her hand. He pulls the ring out and grasps her right hand gently. He takes the time to kiss the scars on her palm gently before turning it over and sliding the ring on her fourth finger.

Or… Trying to slide it on.

“It… doesn’t fit.”

Betty bursts out laughing. She buries her head into the crook of his neck as Jughead starts fighting with the ring and her finger. Jughead’s forehead creases and he growls a little at how it gets ¾ of the way down before getting stuck. After some struggles, he eventually gets it on but it’s a little too tight for Betty’s comfort.

“Betty. Stop laughing. This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

It’s Jughead’s turn to blush and Betty can’t help but kiss the pout away.

“Here, Jug.”

Betty moves the ring from her right hand to her left ring finger, where it fits snugly, but comfortably.

“I know you said you weren’t proposing yet, but I think that ring was meant for this finger.”

Jughead brings her hand back up to his mouth, placing more small kisses to her fingers.

“Why does it fit one hand and not the other?”

“I’m right handed. It happens. It’s ok. I like it better on this hand.”

“Everyone’s going to think it’s an engagement ring won’t they?”

Betty hums in agreement before responding.

“Probably. But whatever they say doesn’t matter. Whether or not we call it a promise ring or an engagement ring doesn’t matter. It’s just a piece of jewelry. What matters is us.”

“Does that mean you’re going to be the one to explain to your mother why you’re wearing it on that finger?

Betty laughs and nods in agreement. She lifts her leg and folds it underneath her so that she’s sitting in Jughead’s lap instead of straddling him. Jughead wraps both arms around her and cuddles close, settling his head in the tuck of her neck and shoulder. Betty holds her hand up so that it catches the low light shining in the trailer. Jughead presses a kiss to the curve of her neck.

“It’s so pretty.” Betty murmurs.

“Not as pretty as you.”

Betty elbows him gently.

“Cheeseball. Who knew, when we first started dating that you would be such a sap?”

“Only for you.”

Betty giggles and elbows him gently again. He tickles her in retaliation and she squeals before he swoops in to steal another kiss. They spend long minutes like that before Betty breaks away again to admire the ring. She uses the index finger of her right hand to softly stroke the little dips and grooves in the ring.

“Thank you, Jughead.”

“Well if I get thanked like that, I should get you jewelry more often.”

Someone to Stay - AU

Previous chapters

Chapter 5

There was a short line of people standing outside Duke’s, waiting for their turn to go in. Claire, arms crossed, went up to the security guard holding a clipboard.

“Are you on the list?” he barked.

“Um, Claire Beauchamp?” 

“Oh.” His gruff demeanor changed instantly. “Says ‘ere you’re VIP.” He pulled a lanyard with blue tags dangling that read DUKE’S. “Go on in. Ask for Duncan at the bar.”

“Thanks.” Claire slipped the pass over her head and walked into the pulsing, smoky darkness.

Everyone inside looked like they’d stepped out of Rolling Stone or something, Claire thought. She was glad for once she’d listened to Geillis’s advice and dressed up a little for the occasion; she was wearing makeup on her normally pale face and wild curls, a short blue dress with heels – and the black biker jacket Mary her co-worker had lent her to match a certain red-haired singer.

She walked up to the bar. The only bartender on duty could only be Duncan. As she approached, he noticed the VIP pass and immediately gave her a glass of champagne, directing her backstage. “To the green room, love!” he shouted over the din.

Claire was still unsure about this. And this, exactly, was whatever she wanted it to be. Wasn’t that what he had said? For now, he was a friend. And friends could see other friends and support each other at events like this. As much as she – and Rupert – would have liked Geillis to be there, a seven hour drive from Edinburgh and a hectic work schedule was not feasible.

Down a darkened hallway hidden behind a black curtain by the bar, Claire reached a door marked for performers. Boisterous laughter could be heard on the other side, and Claire wondered which was Jamie’s. For courage, she downed the champagne all at once, bubbles fizzing in her mouth. Thinking perhaps they wouldn’t hear her knocking, she decided to turn the knob and walk in.

A group of faces turned to stare, but she only had eyes for one. Towering over most, Jamie’s gaze found hers and a blinding smile widened on his face. Pushing through the crowd sitting on chairs and sofas, he met her at the door.

“You’re here!” Jamie leaned in and pecked her on the cheek. Claire was enveloped in the warmth of his scent – spice, citrus, and honey all at once. Resisting the urge to wrap her arms around him, she merely smiled and squeezed his shoulder.

“How are you, Jamie? Nervous?”

“A wee bit.” He grinned. “The day I dinna get the cramp in my wame, I’ll ken ‘tis time to retire.” 

“Makes sense,” Claire laughed.

“Here, let me introduce ye.” Jamie took her hand (with only a minor jolt) and pushed past the throng. Composed of band members and a few random girls, the rest were close friends of Hugh Munro’s, who enjoyed the perks of knowing the owner. 

Claire was greeted cheerfully by Willie, Ian, and Rupert, who pulled her into a bone-crushing hug. She solemnly promised him to bring Geillis next time, regardless of work schedules. All the while introductions were made, Jamie did not let go of her hand. And neither did she.

Lastly, they approached a taciturn man who stood off by himself behind the chairs. He nursed a beer, and only raised an eyebrow as Jamie advanced closer, Claire in tow.  

“Claire, this is Murtagh, my uncle and our manager. Murtagh, this is Claire, whom I told ye all about.” A faint pink tinged his ears and the back of his neck. Again, he rifled his hand through the red tresses, embarrassed.

She stuck out her hand and was surprised by the firm grip, which held hers for a second longer than normal before he took a swig of beer.

“Mmphm. Ye’ll be the Sassenach lassie then. Yon lad hasnae shut up about ye since Edinburgh.” A thick Scots accent permeated his words, mumbled barely audibly. Claire strained to catch the tone of them, but they lacked any sort of discernible emotion.

Sassenach?” Claire peeked at Jamie, who turned even redder.

“It only means English, to a Scot. Uncle?” Jamie nudged Murtagh, who shook his head.

“Aye, no offense, lass. ‘Tis only he’s never dated an Englishwoman before. French fer sure, mebbe a Lowlander here and there.” He winked at Jamie, who covered his face in despair.

“Really? Well now, that’s interesting. Tell me more.” Claire winked back at Murtagh, who seemed on the verge of smiling.

“Nay. That’s enough. Thank ye, Uncle.” Jamie steered Claire away with a broad hand on her shoulder. She turned back to Murtagh one last time. 

“A pleasure, Murtagh!” The man raised his beer briefly in acknowledgement. She could clearly see that he was protective of his nephew, and liked him for it. 

At the back of the room stood a long table, crammed with platters of finger food. Squeezed in were bottles and bottles of whiskey. Claire could glimpse Laphroaig, Glenfiddich, Macallan, Glenlivet, and the odd bottle of Chivas and Johnnie Walker. Jamie insisted on exchanging her empty champagne glass with the whiskey , which she took neat.

Sláinte!” Jamie clinked her glass, and poured the liquor straight down his throat. Claire followed suit, grimacing a bit at the peaty taste and shivering as the heat of the whiskey lit her insides.

They stood side by side, watching the men interact with a group of girls. They didn’t look older than 25, some of them, Claire noted wryly. A few cast furtive glances at the corner where Jamie and Claire were standing, smiling when they looked at him, frowning openly at her. Claire tried not to care; she reminded herself that Jamie was after all famous, and it was only natural that they wanted to capture his attention. Finally, a girl gathered her courage enough to walk over and introduce herself to Jamie.

Hiiiii,” the girl tittered, flipping her long blonde hair and briefly touching Jamie’s arm. “I’m Malva. How are you?” She smirked, and slid sideways casually to block Claire completely from sight.

“Hello, Malva. Nice to meet ye. Who are ye with tonight?” Jamie offered a polite smile, used to fan encounters.

“Oh, I’m here with friends. Can’t wait for your set tonight. Which is your favorite song?” Malva sidled closer, and Claire was forced to take a step back, nearly knocking over some whiskey bottles.

“Och, weel, I like them all, I guess. Bad if I didn’t, eh?” Jamie reached out a hand behind Malva, and pulled Claire gently into his side. “This is a friend of mine, Claire Beauchamp.”

“Hello.” Claire felt the words stick in her throat. The back of her neck felt alternately cold and hot and prickly.

“Hey.” Malva’s stare was anything but friendly. If looks could kill, Claire thought briefly. She felt the momentary urge to nuzzle into Jamie’s neck, maybe plant a kiss or two there, marking him as hers.

Oh wait. Am I… jealous of her?

Claire dismissed the idea and tried to smile at the girl. She was only a fan, after all. Malva did not return her gesture and just flipped her hair again, hoping for Jamie’s attention.

“Well, I guess I’ll see you around. Good luck with the show.” Malva let the tip of her tongue trail over her lips suggestively. Claire fought the impulse to scratch her eyes out and let her instincts take over, wrapping her arm around Jamie. Surprised, he glanced down at her, and smiled briefly at Claire.

“Thank ye. Hope ye enjoy it.”

Malva sauntered off, moving her hips in a really obvious way that made her look mostly ridiculous. Angus seemed willing to deal with her, and Claire breathed easier for the first time in minutes. 

Well. Was it always like this? she wondered.

“It isnae always like this, ye ken,” Jamie said.

Claire, startled, cursed her glass face again. “Like this what?”

“The fans. Some are pushier, or even grabbier, than others. Mainly they are respectful, they only want an autograph or picture. A bit of a chat. A hug sometimes. But that’s it.”

“Jamie, you don’t have to explain to me. I’m not—”

“Och, yer face looked like bloody murder fer a second there. I promise, I’d never dally with a fan like that. ‘Twouldna be right.”

“What about me?” Claire asked with a smile. 

“Ah, weel, ye said so yerself. Ye didna ken who we were to start with.”

 ______________________________________________________________________

The concert was phenomenal. Close to two hundred people crowded near the stage, clapping, and singing along. The surprise performance had gone over spectacularly, the patrons raising the roof when The Clan was announced.

Murtagh had led her to stage left, where Claire had stood mesmerized by the show, and by Jamie in particular. He was great at what he did, playing off the audience and  gauging their mood and seeming to know just when to kick it up a notch. The band had them all riled up since the beginning, playing upbeat songs that had everyone, Claire included, dancing in their spots.

Finally, as the hour grew late, the songs grew mellower. Claire swayed on her feet, head keeping time with the rhythm. Every once in a while, Jamie would turn to look at her and smile. Finally, close to one in the morning, Jamie pulled up a stool and took up his acoustic guitar. The crowd quieted down a bit to listen.

“Now fer a new song, written verra recently. This one goes out to the girl with whiskey eyes.”

Despite the screaming of a few girls who no doubt thought the song was for them, Claire felt her heart quicken and her palms tingle. He had once told her she was “bonny, with eyes like whiskey.” Was this song meant for her?

Jamie strummed his guitar, caressing the mike in a way that was only his.


I know you’re hurting

You know better than anyone

It’s hard to let your heart trust

But this is real

 

I’m here for you

Good times and bad

This isn’t an ending

Only the beginning of something

 

I promise I will wait

As long as it takes

Because your heart is worth it

 

Feelings unknown

But let these words and actions show

To help you see, give me a chance

And so—

I promise I will wait

As long as it takes

Because your heart is worth it


Claire’s cheeks flushed; she held her hands up to her face, trying to contain the heat. She looked around, but she was alone in the dark, staring out at the blue-lit stage where Jamie was calling out to her. Time ceased to matter; what she thought she ought to do or feel was irrelevant. It seemed like everyone would read it on her damned glass face.

As Claire realized herself in that moment, in the space of a ¾ tempo, her heart had decided of its own volition to tumble over the abyss and into those feelings unknown.

2

1988. Master Control

is the third album by band Liege Lord.

Liege Lord’s music is fast, energetic, heavy, and catchy as hell - all the qualities of a top-notch power metal band. Their previous two albums are both very good 80s USPM, but they lacked the sheer perfection found in Master Control. If you’ve heard the first two albums, the first thing that you will immediately notice from the opening chord of Fear Itself is the production, The previous two albums suffered from very lacking production, which always detracted from the enjoyment of the music, but fortunately this is not the case on Master Control. The guitars are crunchy and heavy, the drums are hard-hitting, and the vocals are clearly audible but not overpowering. The bass perhaps could have been slightly louder, but that’s nitpicking - the production is damn near flawless.

this album is a shining example of the best the genre has to offer. From start to finish, Master Control never once disappoints. This is an absolutely essential album for any fan of ( “‘speed/power metal”“). In fact, even if you’re not a power metal fan, give this a listen - if you enjoy good music, you won’t be disappointed.

Joseph Comeau   Frank Cortese   Matt Vinci   Tony Truglio   Paul Nelson

There is Silly String on the ceiling
No, no, no! I will not succumb to your awkward charm
my neighbors are humorless bitches
I told you it wouldn’t work, kick it up a notch
God bless Charles Band
it’s going to take more than this to make it happen
I know what the fuck I’m doing
there is no force more powerful—
I will rape you.

@hex-n & @occulticchlamydia

theguardian.com
India's first trans band: 'Don't hide us away – don't keep us in a cage'
6 Pack Band are forcing India to confront its prejudices – with a cover of Pharrell’s Happy. Transgender singer Komal Jagtap, who was forced to leave home at eight, on the talent show that changed her life

“Their first song, Hum Hain Happy, a cover of the Pharrell Williams hit Happy, was released in January to coincide with India’s Republic Day. It’s a vibrant track infused with Indian rhythms, incorporating the hand-clapping gestures synonymous with hijras. Its video – which portrays a tolerant society, a world in which hijras, too, can be happy – has had nearly 1.8m views on YouTube. Their second track, Sab Rab De Bande, has notched up more than 3m since its launch in January.”

Super Junior's 'Mamacita' Tops World Albums Chart With Only Three Days of Sales

The veteran boy band experimented with Latin dance and New Jack Swing on the LP’s lead single

Almost a decade into their career, Super Junior’s still got it. The veteran boy band notched their first No. 1 on a Billboard chart by sending Mamacita: The 7th Album to the top of Billboard’s World Albums chart.

In just three days time, Mamacita sold 1,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was released to digital retailers on Aug. 29 giving it very little time to rack up sales in Billboard’s tracking week that ends Sunday at midnight.

Despite the atypical release date, the K-pop act proved triumphant, though the set misses ranking on the Heatseekers Album chart. Super Junior had previously sent 2011 LP Mr. Simple to No. 41 on Heatseekers Albums (it peaked at No. 3 on World Albums) while 2012's Sexy, Free & Single hit No. 37 on Heatseekers (and also peaked at No. 3 on World Albums).

watch ‘mamacita’ music video

After the two-year wait, Super Junior’s latest shows the band at what might be their most experimental yet. 

Mamacita’s title track opens with a trumpet intro that sounds as if the listener is in for a full-on salsa romp. But modern-day R&B and dance grooves emerges with the Latin flair left intact via perpetual trumpet blasts and even a bit of Spanish added to the Korean and English lyrics. Co-produced by Teddy Riley (former member of Blackstreet and Michael Jackson producer), the track has subtle elements of New Jack Swing mixed with the boy-band harmonies; a rather fascinating combination best heard on the chorus.

The accompanying video for “Mamacita” has a Spaghetti Western movie theme with the SJ members playing roles like the “Wanted Thief” (Leeteuk), “Sheriff” (Siwon), “Bartender” (Heechul) and more. Paying tribute to the famous movie genre, there’s an over-the-top plotline showing ridiculous fight scenes of the guys spliced in between shots of their group choreography. While the Latin musical theme did not inspire the overall visual theme, the band does incorporate a bit of flamenco in their routine in the second verse.

As for the rest of the album, the song closest to “Mamacita” is “Shirt” which incorporates a sexy samba feel with a hint of modern bachata. Appropriately, Super Junior performed the Mamacita standout during their first live performances to promote their new single. Watch “Shirt” live below. 

watch 'shirt’ live stage

The rest of the album showcases a variety of musical styles for the K-pop act. There’s the slick “Midnight Blues” that mixes slinky synths with ominous strings for a smooth, R&B-pop track. The melancholic “Evanesce” has a Drake feel with a knocking hip-hop beat and old-school synths. Meanwhile, the funky “This Is Love” has a throwback MJ feel to it. As well, Super Junior show their fun side on the One Direction-esque, rock-pop jam “Too Many Beautiful Girls” that’s packed with shout-along hooks and sounds like it could have been a hit single for junior boy band B1A4.  

Almost a decade into their career, Super Junior's Mamacita proves the band can make a solid album while getting more experimental in their genre-hopping. Listen to a medley of the LP’s tracks below.

listen to the 7th album highlights

Source: @billboard  | billboard.com

2

The Chinese Mini Mauser — The Norinco JW - 25A

A creation of the Chinese firearms company Norinco, the JW-25A is a .22LR bolt action rifle that is made to simulate the German World War II era K98k rifle.  Inspired by German training rifles, the JW-25A is made to look like a K98k, but with some key differences.  First and foremost it is about 25% shorter and lighter than the K98k.  The action is a direct copy of the Czech CZ 452-2E, another .22LR bolt action rifle popular for its accuracy and ruggedness.  Finally the JW-24A features a 5 round detachable magazine, done for convenience since its difficult to load small .22LR cartridges into a fixed box magazine.  However, most other features of the rifle are authentic to or similar to the WWII original, including mounts for a sling, adjustable V-notch sights, barrel bands, cleaning rod, bayonet lug (which doesn’t mount a bayonet), even the “hole” in the stock which was used to aid in the field stripping of the bolt.  The JW-25A is marketed for small caliber target shooting/plinking, as well as small game hunting, but in truth we all know that it was created to appeal to the tastes of World War II history buffs.  The JW-25A is common in Canada and Europe, where it retails for around $200- $250.  It is not commonly available in the United States due to a ban on importation of Chinese firearms.

Super Junior's 'Mamacita' Tops World Albums Chart With Only Three Days of Sales

The veteran boy band experimented with Latin dance and New Jack Swing on the LP’s lead single

Almost a decade into their career, Super Junior’s still got it. The veteran boy band notched their first No. 1 on a Billboard chart by sending Mamacita: The 7th Album to the top of Billboard’s World Albums chart.

In just three days time, Mamacita sold 1,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was released to digital retailers on Aug. 29 giving it very little time to rack up sales in Billboard’s tracking week that ends Sunday at midnight.

Despite the atypical release date, the K-pop act proved triumphant, though the set misses ranking on the Heatseekers Album chart. Super Junior had previously sent 2011 LP Mr. Simple to No. 41 on Heatseekers Albums (it peaked at No. 3 on World Albums) while 2012's Sexy, Free & Single hit No. 37 on Heatseekers (and also peaked at No. 3 on World Albums). 

Video link:(x)

After the two-year wait, Super Junior’s latest shows the band at what might be their most experimental yet.

Mamacita’s title track opens with a trumpet intro that sounds as if the listener is in for a full-on salsa romp. But modern-day R&B and dance grooves emerges with the Latin flair left intact via perpetual trumpet blasts and even a bit of Spanish added to the Korean and English lyrics. Co-produced by Teddy Riley (former member of Blackstreet and Michael Jackson producer), the track has subtle elements of New Jack Swing mixed with the boy-band harmonies; a rather fascinating combination best heard on the chorus.

The accompanying video for “Mamacita” has a Spaghetti Western movie theme with the SJ members playing roles like the “Wanted Thief” (Leetuk), “Sheriff” (Siwon), “Bartender” (Heechul) and more. Paying tribute to the famous movie genre, there’s an over-the-top plotline showing ridiculous fight scenes of the guys spliced in between shots of their group choreography. While the Latin musical theme did not inspire the overall visual theme, the band does incorporate a bit of flamenco in their routine in the second verse.

As for the rest of the album, the song closest to “Mamacita” is “Shirt” which incorporates a sexy samba feel with a hint of modern bachata. Appropriately, Super Junior performed the Mamacita standout during their first live performances to promote their new single. Watch “Shirt” live below. 

Video link:(x)

The rest of the album showcases a variety of musical styles for the K-pop act. There’s the slick “Midnight Blues” that mixes slinky synths with ominous strings for a smooth, R&B-pop track. The melancholic “Evanescene” has a Drake feel with a knocking hip-hop beat and old-school synths. Meanwhile, the funky “This Is Love” has a throwback MJ feel to it. As well, Super Junior show their fun side on the One Direction-esque, rock-pop jam “Too Many Beautiful Girls” that’s packed with shout-along hooks and sounds like it could have been a hit single for junior boy band B1A4.  

Almost a decade into their career, Super Junior's Mamacita proves the band can make a solid album while getting more experimental in their genre-hopping. Listen to a medley of the LP’s tracks below.

Video link:(x)

cr:billboard