redefining music

DAY 340

So this is an album I first heard basically when it came out.  I actually have no idea how I first heard of Atom and His Package and usually I have at least a clue somewhere.  But it’s lost to the sands of time, I just know I liked him enough that when this album came out I got it on CD because I wanted it.  I got this on vinyl just recently because it was only $14 and it was worth it to me.

So this is such a strange bit of music to address because it feels almost like comedy except it’s not and it’s better than we tend to think of things that are comedic.  There is actually a long line of underground artists like this, people who just can’t quite take things seriously and it frustrates some people who want to see what the bad would do if they’d quit joking around.  I feel like those people just don’t understand what it’s like to not be able to stop joking around, it’s the only way you’re comfortable.  You can’t do something entirely sincerely because it is just too vulnerable, you have to shield yourself by mocking it some so you can say, oh see, I don’t take it seriously either so when you criticize it no problem, I meant for it to not be good/serious/whatever.  Which is what this makes me think of.  I like this record, it is catchy and the whole electropunk thing is a thing I enjoy.  But there is definitely that wall there, these are not deeply personal songs and the ones who get close to that they end up veering into jokes eventually.  I guess for me that’s part of the charm, I can see why it’s happening and so I have catchy songs that reveal more than they think they do.  But mileage may vary there.  Hey, at least there are 3 Mountain Goats covers here, that’s nice too.

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I just watched this and now you all need to suffer with me. 

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COMBO: Essential Goth/post punk/alternative bands + POCs in Goth/post punk/alternative bands masterpost

IMPORTANT NOTE: Submissions are now closed. However, the blog is featuring a “Song a Day” so you can suggest your favorite audiolicious sounds here.

Essential Goth/post punk/alternative bands

Hello weirdos! A lot of folks seem to be a little lost when first setting foot into the goth subculture and don’t know where to go for band recommendations. Here’s a list of important, influential bands that contributed to the goth subculture - along with several favs - I put together with Dean (angry punk pictured above).

In order to avoid classification issues, they’re categorized by sound rather than specific genre. Keep in mind that this list is personal, and most importantly, ever growing! If you would like to add a band, submit your recommendations to the list here. I would love to have your contributions. So, here we go:

Sounds dead or undead:

  • Bauhaus (1978-2008) “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a national anthem. Lead singer Peter Murphy has really pointy cheek bones.
  • Peter Murphy (1983-present) his solo work, not as angular as his facial features.
  • Love and Rockets (1985-present) Peter Murphy got stuck hanging upside  down on stage and the Bauhaus members formed a band without him.
  • Joy Division (1976-1980) Ian Curtis was an energetic dancer, to say the least. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Transmission” are famous songs.
  • The Sisters of Mercy (1980-present) Andrew Eldritch is not goth, he swears.
  • The Cure (1976-present) lead singer Robert Smith is a giant cat with red lipstick. He cries on stage and his tears cure cancer.
  • Cocteau Twins (1979-1997)
  • Sex Gang Children (1991-present)
  • Wire (1976-1980) seriously underrated. Would recommend the album “Pink Flag”.
  • Lydia Lunch amazing female singer. Try the album “13.13”.
  • Clan of Xymox (1983-present) are you kidding no one’s voice is this deep.
  • The Chameleons (1981-2003) has the ability to sound woeful yet jolly.
  • The Mission (1986-present) “Into the Blue” is a good start.
  • Depeche Mode (1980-present) dark and gloomy synths. Known for “Personal Jesus”, “Enjoy the Silence”, “Never let Me Down Again” and a billion others.
  • Fields of the Nephilim (1984-present) vocalist Carl McCoy is a desert cowboy.
  • The March Violets (1981-present) listen to “The Botanic Verses”.
  • The Bolshoi (1983-1988) start with the album “Friends”.
  • The Danse Society (1980-present) try the album “Heaven is Waiting”.
  • The Southern Death Cult (1981-1983) has a song called “Fatman”. Ian Astbury teamed up with Billy Duffy from Theatre of Hate to create Death Cult which later became The Cult, another band worth checking out.
  • Play Dead (1981-1985) doesn’t like being called goth. Musicians that don’t like being labeled? Unheard of.
  • Corpus Delicti (1993-1998) name means “body of crime”. Just saying.
  • Nosferatu (1988-present) actual vampires making music.
  • Big Electric Cat
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Susperia
  • Mephisto Walz (1985-present)
  • The Wake pretty sure Eldritch’s cousin is in the video “Christine”.
  • Echo & the Bunnymen (1978-present) known for “The Killing Moon” which you might remember from the movie Donnie Darko.
  • The Jesus & Mary Chain (1983-present) known for “Just Like Honey”.
  • Children on Stun (1991-present) would recommend the song “Whiskey a Go-Go”, you’ll be…*lowers sun glasses* stunned.
  • Dead Can Dance (1981-present)
  • And Also the Trees (1979-present) the dictionary definition of “dark and brooding”.
  • Red Lorry Yellow Lorry (1981-present)
  • Magazine (1977-2011) listen to the album “Real Life”.
  • Concrete Blonde (1986-present)
  • Gene Loves Jezebel (1980-present)
  • Tones on Tail (1982-1984) Daniel Ash’s (Bauhaus) illegitimate child side project.
  • Curve (1990-2005) Toni Haliday’s seductive alto voice against a backdrop of layered guitars and drum loops; fans of Curve generally regard Garbage as having stole their shtick and made it pop-friendly.
  • Bella Morte (1996-present)
  • Leæther Strip (1988-present) with forays into industrial/ebm; Highly Recommend “Serenade For The Dead” and “Self-Inflicted”.
  • Love Like Blood (1989-2011) the Sisters of Mercy and Type O Negative’s German child.
  • The Merry Thoughts (1983-1998) another German band that sounds like the Sisters of Mercy.
  • A Pale Horse Named Death (2011-present) another Type O Negative offshoot, this band has the original drummer on vocals and their drummer on drums. Very dark and devoid of Type O’s black humor, but still a great listen.
  • The Cruxshadows (1992-present) an alternative musical start for many. The important thing: spiky hair.

Deathrockers and undead punks:

  • Christian Death (1979-present) founded by Rozz Williams, but faced several line up issues (a second Christian Death featured Valor Kand rather than Rozz Williams). Known for “Romeo’s Distress”. Start with “Only Theatre of Pain” then “Catastrophe Ballet”.
  • Specimen (1980-present) features the cofounder of the Batcave. Best known for “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and Johnny Slut being awesome.
  • Cinema Strange (1994-present) listen to the album of the same name. Known for their acts on stage.
  • The Deadfly Ensemble similar in feel to Cinema Strange with the same “story telling” aspect.
  • Catholic Spit
  • Voodoo Church (1982-present)
  • Misfits (1977-present) 1950s horror told by crazy guys with guitars and muscles. Personal favorite album: “Static Age”. Singer Glenn Danzig went on to create Danzig. Also make your day better by listening to the “Monster Mash” cover.
  • The Cramps (1976-2009) originators of “psychobilly”. Highly original and sleazy with class.
  • Alien Sex Fiend (1982-present) husband and wife that sound like legit extra-terrestrials. Proof that there is no such thing as taking yourself seriously.
  • The Damned (1976-present) lead singer, Dave Vanian, is a vampire.
  • Blood and Roses underrated. Listen to “Your Sin is Your Salvation”.
  • The Birthday Party (1977-1983) pretty jazzy. Nick Cave, vocalist, likes to wear suits and release bats from caves.
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (1984-present) this guys is so interesting he is set apart from the Bad Seeds and he has a movie.
  • Virgin Prunes (1977-1986) known for “Baby Turns Blue”.
  • The Psychedelic Furs (1977-present) remember the movie “Pretty in Pink”? Well there. Try the album “Psychedelic Furs”!
  • Anorexic Dread (1983-1985) short lived but worth knowing.
  • Flesh for Lulu (1982-present)
  • UK Decay (1978-present)
  • Lene Lovich “I Think We’re Alone Now”
  • Skeletal Family (1982-present)
  • Klaus Nomi (1977-1983) the late artist sounded like he looked: surprised and hauntingly original.
  • The Morgans (mid 1990s-1996) try “Half Girl Half Jesus”.
  • Xmal Deutschland (1980-1990)
  • XTC (1972-2006)

Angry about something:

  • Siouxsie and the Banshees (1976-2002) pronounced “Suzy”. I know you know, but I didn’t at first. “Spellbound, “Happy House”, “Cities in Dust”, plenty to listen to. And, Siouxsie Sioux rocks.
  • Killing Joke  (1978-present) where do I begin? Do I begin at all? You know what, it doesn’t matter if you skip this entire list and just listen to this one band. I’ll spare you the essay and recommend the album of the same name, “Laugh? I nearly bought one!”, “Democracy”, “Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions” and “Pandemonium”. More than the sound are the lyrics, the members and the message.
  • 1919 (1980-present) underrated to the extreme. Similar to Killing Joke in sound and vibe.
  • Nina Hagen (1971-present) she’s wicked cool, in sound and style. And also she’s German.
  • Type O Negative (1990-2010) American metal band with widely respected singer/bassist, the late Peter Steele.
  • 45 Grave (1979-present)
  • Swans (1982-present)
  • The Stranglers (1974-present)
  • New Model Army (1980-present)
  • Public Image Limited aka PIL (1978-present) John Lydon’s [aka Jonny Rotten of Sex Pistols] post-punk band that created gems like “The Order of Death” and “Rise”.
  • Life of Agony (1989-present) Alternative metal band from Brooklyn. Had Type O Negative’s original drummer after he left. Slightly thrashy, but sludgy and dark as well.

Witchy, “psycho-delic” or heavily historical:

  • Switchblade Symphony (1989-1999) would recommend the album “Serpentine Gallery”.
  • Strawberry Switchblade (1981-1985) listen to earlier works.
  • Faith and the Muse (1993-present)
  • Soap & Skin (2008-present)
  • The Velvet Underground & Nico the album is known for the songs “Venus in Furs” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties”. Check out Nico, another wicked German artist.
  • Chelsea Wolf (2009-present)
  • Stevie Nicks (1981-present)
  • Japan (1974-1982)
  • The Legendary Pink Dots (1980-present)
  • Black Tape for a Blue Girl (1986-present)
  • Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows (1989-present) taken straight from the Grim Reaper’s playlist.
  • Inkubus Sukkubus (1989-present) check out “Call Out My Name,” “Vampyra,” and “Belladonna And Aconite.”
  • Rasputina (1992-present) historical influences with a storytelling twist.
  • Emilie Autumn somewhat controversial with fans, but excellent violinist.

Discombobulated former construction workers:

  • Skinny Puppy (1982-present) très important industrial band.
  • OhGr by Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy. ReCcoMeNd tHe AlbUm “wELt”?
  • Einsturzende Neubauten (1980-present) post Throbbing Gristle -PS try them out as well- industrial.
  • Ministry (1981-present) famous for “Every Day is Halloween”. Recommend earlier work and the album “Twitch”. Their newer albums are more metal oriented.
  • KMFDM (1984-present) perverse, angry and awesome.
  • Front Line Assembly (1986-present)
  • Thrill Kill Kult (1987-present)
  • Nitzer Ebb (1982-present) English guy shouts over drum machines.
  • Front 242 (1981-present) Belgian guy kinda sings over drum machines.
  • Nine Inch Nails (1988-present) American guy screams over drum machines [early NIN], sings over distorted synths and guitars [later NIN].
  • Everything off of the Wax Trax! label circa 1990

Presumably angry punks:

  • Dead Kennedys (1978-1986) featured living people and some unforgettable tunes, notably from the album “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”.
  • Sex Pistols (1975-2008) So punk, much anarchy.
  • Bad Brains (1977-present) a mix of punk and reggae, a genre within itself that redefined the scene.
  • Black Flag (1976-present)
  • Minor Threat (1980-1983) accidentally slipped and gave birth to straight edgers.
  • Fugazi (1987-2002) with vocalist Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat.
  • Adolescents (1980-present) pfff, these guys are totally adults.
  • The Clash (1976-1985) “London Calling” is trying to reach you.
  • Joan Jett a fine lady that doesn’t give an inkling of care about her unfavorable reputation.
  • Plasmatics (1977-1988)
  • X-Ray Spex (1976-present) featuring the ever so awesome and PVC’s opposite, Poly Styrene.
  • Television (1973-present)
  • Bad Religion (1979-present) - note: skip “Into The Unknown”, everything else is golden

Halloween Town escapees:

  • Voltaire evil top hat wearer that was featured in an episode of Billy and Mandy’s Grim Adventures.
  • Creature Feature did you know? Edward Gorey and Danny Elfman had kids.
  • Nox Arcana creepy soundtrack for your life…or afterlife.

More freaky people:

  • Tom Waits (1949-present) the essence of a Western.
  • David Bowie (1964-present) commonly referred to as “God”.
  • Leonard Cohen (1967-present) he’s Canadian.
  • John Cale (1965-present)
  • Propaganda (1982-2005)
  • Culture Club (1982-1986) just, Boy George.
  • Nico former Velvet Underground member, German ex-model singing songs titled things like “Janitor of Lunacy” off-key.
  • The Smiths (1982-1987) Morrissey is like the Charlie Brown of British pop music: he’ll never win, and therefore is One Of Us.

POCs in Goth/post punk/alternative bands masterpost

Here’s a list of bands featuring members of color. Most are influential, others new discoveries or future freak gods. Thanks to research and helpful readers, here’s a bit of sick sound suitable for all taste buds:

Goth, dark or industrial:

  • Creature Feature - Erik X is an evil composer and organ player with a special gift for raising the dead.
  • Plastique Noir -the Brazilian band that made the song “Empty Streets” that’s just too dark to handle.
  • O. Children - contrary to popular belief, Tobi O’Kandi is not, in fact, a black reincarnation of Ian Curtis.
  • Thrill Kill Kult - sick industrial band with several poc members.
  • Glorious Din
  • Android Lust - Shikhee is Bangladeshi, and she makes some of the best industrial music ever heard.
  • She Past Away
  • 13th Moon
  • Malice Mizer and Moi Dix Mois
  • Phaidia
  • Corrupted - awesome japanese doom/sludge band that are considered super influential in the scene.
  • Light Asylum - heavy dark synth primarily. It’s really fun and the front singer HAS A MIGHTY POWER.
  • Plastic Zooms
  • Hocico
  • Crowd Pleaser
  • Angelspit

Punk, hardcore or post-hardcore:

  • Bad Brains - why most of the bands on this list even exist.
  • Death - not to be confused with the metal band of the same way. Not that you could confuse the members in any way.
  • Rough Francis - founded by the sons of David Hackney of Death.
  • Pure Hell - afropunk taken literally.
  • X-Ray Spex - Poly Styrene was the energy and feel of the band. Actually, she was just energy and feel period. Fun fact: she was also bipolar.
  • Radkey - Rad.
  • TMGE - Japanese band named “Thee Michelle Gun Elephant” or as they prefer: JAPANESE BAND NAMED “THEE MICHELLE GUN ELEPHANT”.
  • Tamar Kali - powerful musician, especially known for “Boot”.
  • The Objex - Feloney Melony’s got a wicked hawk and voice.
  • Stiffed - Santi White now performs solo as Santigold.
  • Cerebral Ballzy
  • Suicidal Tendencies
  • Midori - great jazz-punk fusion band.
  • The Redscare
  • Le Butcherettes - Mexican garage punk band.
  • Atari Teenage Riot
  • NOFX
  • Stalin
  • The Bags
  • Dev Hynes - a British musician who started out in a punk band Test Icicles then went solo as a folk/indie musician as Lightspeed Champion and now is doing an electronic/R&B thing as Blood Orange.
  • L’Arc-en-Ciel - Okay, so these guys are Japan’s other most famous export. These guys got known outside of japan for doing some major anime theme songs (Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam 00, NANA live action movie, etc) and were the first Japanese act to headline Madison Square Garden (Japanese rock bands really like New York for some reason). Their bassist tetsuya (formally known as tetsu) gets bonus points for being one of Japan’s only out LGBT celebrities (he’s Bi).
  • Doll$Box
  • Letlive
  • The Chariot
  • Trashtalk
  • Gogol Bordello - self described as “gypsy punk”. Singer Eugene Hütz is Russian-Ukranian with Romani heritage and born with a ‘stache. Nearly crazier than Little Big and Korpiklaani combined.
  • Blackfire
  • The Bots - punk duo made of two brothers.
  • Bow Wow Wow - IIIIIII Waaaant Caaandy!!!
  • Love Equals Death
  • Ritualization - blackened death metal from Orléans, France
  • Teengenerate
  • Ten Grand
  • Letlive
  • Martin Sorrondeguy - spoke out about US based Latino issues in many of his lyrics and was involved in bands Los Crudos, Limp Wrist and Needles.
  • Ghost Town

Metal, funk/rap/reggae metal fusion or core:

  • Blasphemy - Black metal, the biggest irony on earth as Caller of the Storms remains one of the rare black musicians within the genre.
  • Babymetal - this Japanese trio is more metal than a viking woman on her period in the middle of a battlefield drinking the blood of her enemies to the sound of Immortal…for some at least.
  • Wicked Wisdom - Will Smith’s wife get a band?? Yes she Will.
  • Unlocking the Truth - these 13 year olds played in the streets of NYC before they opened for Living Colour.
  • Absolace - amazing metal from Dubai.
  • Living Colour - better than Dead Monochrome.
  • King’s X - more hard rock, but hey.
  • Bionic Jive - one of the better hip-hop/metal fusions.
  • Skindred - check out the album “Roots Rock Riot”.
  • Ego Fall - a Chinese folk metal band and also Corbac’s fave. Mixing tradition with heavier sounds.
  • Static X - Japanese guitarist Koichi Fukuda & Mexican-American bassist Tony Campos.
  • Sepultura - the founding members are all Brazilian, currently their lead singer (Derrick Green) is black. “Arise” is a massive album of pure metal awesomeness.
  • Straight Line Stitch
  • Blood Stain Child
  • Sasamaso
  • Tenger Cavalry - a folk metal band based out of Bejing who describe their style as “Mongolian folk metal”. Like this and you’d probably enjoy Ego Fall.
  • Cthonic - Taiwanese metal band who’s lead singer is also the president for the Taiwanese branch of Amnesty International.Most of their music deals with their goal of an independent Taiwan and they’re really REALLY great.
  • Myrath
  • God Forbid
  • Invasion - a stoner/psych-metal band fronted by a valkyrie space wizard out of London.
  • Vodun - like invasion, marries punk, psychedelic, and doom metal influenced instrumentals with soul influenced vocals to create a unique and original takes on doom metal.
  • Sevendust
  • Animals as Leaders - most suggested band on this list and for good reason.
  • Veil of Maya
  • Oceano
  • Body Count - Ice T’s metal band rules. It would be a little tastier with ice cubes though.
  • Hirax - pioneering thrash/speed metal band (with hardcore influences). Katon De Pena is one of the most distinctive vocalists of the then-burgeoning California metal scene. Though they never achieved the success of some of their contemporaries like Metallica or Slayer, they have long been an insiders’ favorite and cited as an influence by bands ranging from Napalm Death to Cannibal Corpse to Darkthrone.
  • Infectious Grooves
  • Melechesh - an Assyrian black metal band originating from Jerusalem whose lyrical themes include Mesopotamian mythology and occultism.
  • Iron Man - American doom metal band with PoC members.
  • Sex Machineguns - Japanese speed metal band.
  • Hibria - Brazilian power metal band.
  • Metallica - their first lead guitarist was Lloyd Grant. Here he is in their first recording.
  • Gevolt - Yiddish band from Israel.
  • The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza
  • Gridlink
  • X Japan - Probably Japan’s most famous metal export. These guys are the reason Visual Kei (basically Japan’s gothic metal scene) exists. All those flashy JRock bands wouldn’t exist without X Japan. They also recently just played a huge show at Madison Square Garden.
  • Maximum the Hormone - Also known as “the guys that did that weird opening and ending to death note”, MTH do a fantastic combination of metal, punk, and even pop. The best part about MTH is that their lyrics don’t make sense even when translated so you can just have mindless fun listening to them even if you understand Japanese.
  • Suffocation - one of the most influential death metal acts of all time. Terrance Hobbs’ incredible mastery of the guitar allowed the band to blend complex technicality into the genre without sacrificing raw brutality.
  • Versailles Philharmonic Quintet
  • Suicide Silence
  • The Crimson Armada
  • For Today
  • Glass Cloud
  • Heaven in Her Arms
  • Here comes the Kraken
  • Issues
  • Periphery
  • Reflections
  • System of a Down
  • Fear Nuttin Band
  • Year of the Dragon - founder was a member of Fishbone.
  • Dir En Grey
  • Skyharbor
  • Spineshank
  • Coal Chamber
  • Ill Niño
  • Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in Dilapidation (FID) - Formed in Tokyo. Rad ladies playing some super hard grindcore.
  • Sarcofago - Brazilian band
  • Acrassicauda - Iraqi heavy metal. There is a film called “Heavy Metal in Baghdad”, about the band. Another documentary called Global Metal, which is by the same director as Heavy Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, is highly recommended.
  • Sigh - one of the first japanese black mack metal bands led by a fierce lady.
  • Sabbat - Japanese black/thrash.
  • Blood Stain Child - rather epic sounding Japanese metal band with contrasting vocals and instrumentals.
  • Gallhammer - female Japanese extreme metal band of doom. The wickedest chicks, definitely recommend.
  • Avulsed - Spanish death metal band.
  • Necramynth - Korean black metal.
  • Crossfaith - japanese metalcore.
  • Subrosa
  • As they Burn - deathcore band from Paris, France.
  • Wolves and Jackals - blackened thrash/death metal from Atlanta, GA.
  • Infernal Revulsion - brutal death metal from Tokyo, Japan
  • Orange Sky - from Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Monuments - it’s got saxophone and it’s awesome.
  • Ego Likeness
  • Peelander-Z - watch the videos, you’ll be happy you did.
  • For Today - if you’re into Christian metal.
  • Dream Theater - John Myung plays in the influential prog metal band with the aid of his majestic hair.

Alternative or too cool to label:

  • Bat for Lashes - Natasha Khan’s songs are ethereal.
  • Skunk Anansie - Skin is a fierce woman with a fierce voice. Also, her eyes will pierce through your soul.
  • Fishbone - literally unclassifiable: ska, punk, crazy cool…
  • Dub War - often likened to Skindred. Not because the singer has dreads or anything. Or because it’s the same guy.
  • The Slack Republic - fairly new (2005), looking forward to more.
  • Pierce the Veil - they’re really more “Punk Pop” than anything else. All members are Mexican.
  • Coheed and Cambria
  • Alice in Chains
  • Boris - japanese experimental metal band highly influential in the doom, stoner, noise rock scene.
  • Bleed the Pigs - great band with a singer who has an awesome colorful fro.
  • Motherjane
  • Jimi Hendrix - duh.
  • Asian Dub Foundation
  • BIS (Brand-New Idol Society) - considered “alternative Japanese idols”, and have done some amazing things including recruiting a new member who was rumored to be a high school girl and turned out to be Junko Koshino, a famous fashion designer who is 74 yrs old. Their song + video for MURA-MURA is excellent.
  • Go Betty Go - chicano rock, “pop punk”. Several of their songs are in Spanish.
  • Melt-Banana - Japanese noise rock band.
  • Deftones
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • TV on the Radio
  • Rain Machine
  • Bloc Party - singer is gay and black.
  • Little Dragon
  • Asobi Seksu
  • Blonde Redhead
  • The Go! Team
  • CSS
  • The English Beat
  • Kenna
  • Mono
  • One Ok Rock
  • ELLEGARDEN - JAPAN’S BEST 90s/EARLY 2000s POP PUNK ROCK EXPORT I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING. Part of what contributes to this is Takeshi Hosomi (singer/rhythm guitarist) writing ¾ of the band’s discography in perfect english. Unfortunately they went on hiatus in 2006, but that spawned two more fantastic bands: Takeshi does experimental progressive indie in the HIATUS (its the same guy I swear), and guitarist Shinichi Ubukata formedNothing’s Carved In Stone which is basically a Japanese alt. rock supergroup.
  • The Hiatus
  • Nothing’s Carved in Stone
  • Shonen Knife - you can’t talk about japanese girl rock without the literal originators of the movement/popularity. Because Kurt Cobain said he listened them, a HUGE surge of all girl bands started popping up over Japan.
  • O’Brother
  • The Pillows - alt rock band from Hokkaido.
  • Set it Off
  • The Novembers
  • Shiva En Exil
  • Guns N’ Roses - Slash.
  • (Hed) PE - (or Planet Earth) original sound described as “G-Punk”, a fusion of punk rock and gangsta rap.
  • Soundgarden
  • She Wants Revenge
  • Skip the Use - with influence from various genres and a black lead.
  • Elsiane - Formed in Montreal. Fronted by Elsieanne Caplette. Trip-hop/downtempo.
  • Fall Out Boy’s bassist Pete Wentz English/German and Afro-Jamaican.
  • Sonic Boom Six
  • Cibo Matto - real cool duo.
  • My Vitriol
  • Buck Tick
  • Wormrot - grindcore from Singapour.
  • Toe - post rock from Japan.
  • Guitar Wolf - “Jet Rock n’ roll”.
  • Gazette
  • Kanon Wakeshima
  • The Coup - Yesssss.
  • Street Sweeper Social Club
  • Merchant Ships - post hardcore.
  • The Skints - reggae/dub/punk fusion.
  • White Town - bzangy deserves WAY more recognition! You’ve probably already heard “I Could Never be Your Woman.”
  • The Mars Volta
  • Drill Queen - Born Depressed is just the greatest song.
  • Death Grips - experimental rap.
  • Grateful Dead
  • Suffrajett

Remember that submissions are closed but you can still submit to Song a Day here (on diningwithdana.net/submit) to have your favorite sounds featured on the blog!

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“I seemed to often be the outsider. […] I was always the new kid, trying to fit in. As the new boy you had to learn how to assert yourself. Like an actor you had to constantly redefine yourself.”
– Brendan Fraser

[in response to, “You always interpret the masculine – the classic masculine dressing with the feminine and the drama.”]

“For me, it’s about redefining ‘sexy’ and redefining what a woman can wear and showing people things that maybe they didn’t know would work and being that model for them. I think that’s important, that young girls see that and say, 'you know, I can come and be unique and be who I am and not feel any pressure from anybody else.’”

— Janelle Monáe (x) (x)

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“When you’re queer, no one ever sits you down and says ‘This is our story.’ Sure, you hear snippets. Friends tell friends what they know, terrible movies provide some context, but you don’t often get to share the experience of learning history together.”

With Serving Pride: The Handbook for your Queer History Dinner Party, Geeks OUT hopes to change that. Illustrated by contemporary queer artists, the book will guide dinner guests through a ritual meal where queer history is retold through readings, songs, games, recipes, and art. Guests will learn about the Daughters of Bilitis, sing chants from Stonewall, recall the drag ball culture of Harlem in the 1920s, and remember the queer figures who redefined American music, literature, and fashion.

In addition to printing a full-color version of the book, Geeks OUT intends to make a printable PDF version available for free. Support its publication and learn more about the project here.

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When the harmonica was invented in Germany in the 1820’s, there is no way its early devotees could have predicted the amazing music that would be made on it a century later.  Black Americans, as they have done in so many ways, claimed European instruments as their own and created music that redefined how they could sound.  Here we can see Big Mama Thornton wailing away (on German television) with the help of some friends in 1965.

A R Rahman Talks About His Directorial Debut Le Musk, Baahubali In Virtual Reality And More

India’s Oscar-winning music maestro A R Rahman is now a director. The man who has time and again produced award winning compositions and redefined music in films, has now come up with his directorial debut Le Musk - world’s first virtual reality multi-sensory episodic feature film.

Written, directed and scored by the Academy award winning music composer, the film follows the journey of an orphaned heiress and part-time musician Juliet, played by Nora Arnezeder, who grows up to be a diva on a mission. The film has been shot been in the picturesque Rome.

In an exclusive chat with News18.com, Rahman in his first selfie interview spoke about why he chose to make a film on perfumes, whether he would like to make Baahubali in virtual reality and more.

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i hate it when people treat classical music as this dead-and-gone genre; what’s so neat about classical is that it still exists and has continuously spanned across thousands of years because a critical part of the genre deals with instrumentation/orchestration. sure, there’s pop music today written for orchestras, but there’s also contemporary classical, there are people who still try to write like schubert and chopin, people who still try to experiment with atonality, and people who still try to push the boundaries of music itself and redefine what music even is. and a lot of it is shit, but there’s a solid buildup of unsung contemporary classical composers out there right now who just rock.

a lot of genres of music exist to entertain, but what defines classical music is that it continues to (or tries to) treat music as a purely artistic or technical experience. not that there aren’t exceptions, but if you look at it through a lens continuity and change and progression throughout all of musical history, that’s what has been mostly consistent.

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12 new voices in music redefining what it means to sound American 

5. Lake Street Dive

Like most Americana music, Lake Street Dive defies any true genre distinction. Drawing from indie, soul, folk and jazz, the Boston-born quartet has made a name for itself with creative songwriting, energetic live shows and, of course, lead singer Rachael Price’s powerhouse of a voice.

12 of the best new acts to come out of this year’s Americana Music Awards

Lin-Manuel Miranda: An American Original by J.J. Abrams (Time):

Lin-Manuel Miranda conceived, wrote and stars in this breakthrough masterpiece, cementing his place as one of the most miraculous creative minds of our time. Like Alexander Hamilton, Miranda is a powerful reminder that greatness comes from unlikely places. His Puerto Rican parents’ collection of Broadway-musical records was as strong an influence during his New York City upbringing as the hip-hop he would come to love. There is no recipe for genius, but one can see the disparate elements that Miranda has miraculously seized and synthesized, embraced and celebrated, to create something profoundly moving and wholly original. He has redefined the musical and made us see anew the origins of the remarkable experiment called democracy.

Knowing the man, experiencing his exuberance and dazzle up close, is as delightful as the show itself. His wit would be intimidating if not for his natural and infectious charm. Somehow he is as generous, collaborative and lovable as he is innovative and brilliant. He and his wife of five years Vanessa Nadal (a scientist and lawyer—yes, scientist and lawyer) have a 1-year-old son. In other words, this young man is still in his first act. It’s thrilling to consider how lucky we are to be in his audience, anticipating his next concoction, with his Hamilton’s promise echoing in our heads: “And there’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait … Just you wait.”

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BEYONCÉ TO RECEIVE VIDEO VANGUARD AWARD.

Over the course of MTV history, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award has been presented to exemplary musicians who have made an incredible and long-lasting impact on pop culture. When it came time to choose the 2014 VMA recipient, one particular name stood out above the rest — global entertainer, singer-songwriter and philanthropist, Beyoncé.

Not many singers have the power or ability to command such a massive legion of fans, drop a number one album out of literally nowhere and take the world by storm tour after tour. Queen Bey seems to do it with ease and at the same damn time. As both a solo artist and a member of the chart-topping Destiny’s Child, she’s won an astounding eleven Moonmen and was the first female artist to top both the singles and albums charts simultaneously in the US and the UK.

Her latest studio album, Beyoncé, is a testament to how much she continues to push and redefine boundaries with her music. While no one can forget Destiny’s Child’s iconic castaway ensembles in the video for “Survivor,” or the Charlie’s Angels themed “Independent Woman,” B really came into her own when she went solo and rocked the hell out of a simple white tank-top in “Crazy In Love.” From there, she introduced her Sasha Fierce alter ego in “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and ultimately evolved into the indisputably #flawless performer she is today, nailing 17 artistically captivating music videos from “Pretty Hurts” to the eye-popping, jaw-dropping “Drunk In Love.”

Thanks to her never-ending supply of unique, original videos and ridiculously powerful pipes, Beyoncé has proved time and time again that she is the standard to which all other performers must measure up. MTV is ecstatic to have Beyoncé, a true force of nature, join an exclusive list of past superstar recipients of the Video Vanguard, joining legends Madonna, Beastie Boys, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Congrats, Bey! You really do run this.

THE 1975 ARE REDEFINING MODERN POP MUSIC!!!! THEYRE HARNESSING THE FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF POP AND CREATING PROGRESSIVE AND ORIGINAL AND GENUINE WORK!!! THEYRE SPITTING THE FUCKING TRUTH AND CUTTING THE BULLSHIT ITS NOT BORING OR TYPICAL OR MEANINGLESS ITS THE 1975!!!! YOU DONT HEAR THEM YOU LISTEN AND THEY ARE THE ARCHETYPES OF A NEW GENRE OF MUSIC AND A NEW ERA AND I AM SO HERE FOR THIS!!!

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Atom & His Package - “Anarchy Means I Litter”

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REDEFINING MUSIC

“Dieter Rams Has Got the Pocket Radios” by Ram’s Pocket Radio (piano/rock/alternative) massive sound, great production

“I keep saying I’m trying to make music for human beings. I try to express something or do it in a way that either moves or entertains people. You do that, and then you just see. I have a harder and harder time as I do this longer and longer, to categorize any of it. At a certain point I think it’s beyond category. You know, we don’t have much time in our day, and to sit there and worry about categorization seems like a waste. I think it’s also that sometimes for me, I don’t even know any more (laughs). I really don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m very happy about why that is.”

I will always enjoy the hell out of this man, he loves his music and it shows in every piece. 

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They’re the biggest band in Asia, but Big Bang’s days may be numbered

They’re one of the biggest boy bands in the world. Their concerts make One Direction’s look poorly attended. Compared with their fans, Beliebers seem halfhearted.

They’re Big Bang, and you’ve probably never heard of them.

For a decade, these five stylish, edgy guys have defined and redefined South Korean pop music. They’ve defied the idea that so-called K-pop is inevitably sugarcoated and factory-produced, and that boy bands are all about pretty faces and lip-synching.

But now, as Big Bang celebrates its 10th anniversary, fans are beginning to deal with the unthinkable: that Big Bang as they know it may not exist for much longer.

Thanks to the threat of North Korea, South Korea still has compulsory military service, requiring all men to complete at least 20 months’ duty before they turn 32.

That means the clock is ticking for Big Bang, which consists of lead singer G-Dragon, who takes his stage name from his Korean given name, Ji-yong (“yong” means “dragon”) and four others who go by the names T.O.P., Taeyang, Daesung and Seungri.

Speculation is rife that T.O.P, who’s 28, could enlist this year, while G-Dragon and Taeyang, both 27, are tipped to enter the military in 2017.

It’s a subject the band doesn’t much like to talk about.

“If we’re going to talk about that, we’ll feel sad,” G-Dragon told The Washington Post in a rare interview in Tokyo while the band was on its M.A.D.E. world tour. “I’m just kidding,” laughed the singer, who was wearing sunglasses and an oversize suit jacket over a purple turtleneck and spoke in fluent, slightly rapper-style English.

But the reality can’t be avoided.

“We are Korean, so we have to go someday, but I don’t know when it’s going to be,” he continued. “Until then, we’ll just try hard to do what we got to do.”

The M.A.D.E. tour ends this weekend in Seoul and has been huge. Big Bang sold 910,000 tickets for 18 concerts in Japan alone. By comparison, Taylor Swift sold almost 2.3 million tickets and One Direction sold 2.4 million on their tours last year – but it took them 83 and 85 shows, respectively.

Big Bang’s tour has included stops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Jersey, as well as South America.

“We were amazed that people knew our songs in countries that we haven’t even been to, such as in Mexico,” said Taeyang. “They’d never seen us other than on the Internet.”

K-pop took off in the 1990s, when South Korean music companies started putting potential stars on grueling training schedules — living in dorms with no phones or Internet — and churning out highly manufactured groups with a saccharine sound. Vocal talent came second or third to looks and dancing ability.


This style of music became popular in Japan and then, in the 2000s, across Asia, as part of the “Korean wave” of popular culture that also included dramas and movies, as well as fashion and, increasingly, plastic surgery.

In the West, just as Latino music went from fringe to mainstream, so, too, is K-pop breaking out of its niche. Both Spotify and iTunes now list K-pop as genres.

Big Bang emerged from years of training under YG Entertainment, one of South Korea’s top music labels, which also counts Psy of “Gangnam Style” fame among its stars, to make their debut in 2006.

From their origins in the K-pop machine, the band has matured to become a new generation of boy band, one whose artists are involved in writing, composing and producing.

Indeed, they bristle at the label “K-pop.”

“Actually, I don’t know why they call Korean music ‘K-pop,’” Seungri said. “Good music is good music, so if you are going to be doing good music, then they are going to be listening to our music.”

G-Dragon chimed in. “We are Korean, so obviously they call our music K-pop. But we never thought of our music as K-pop. Our music is just our music.”

“It’s like this,” added T.O.P. “You don’t divide pop music by who’s doing it. We don’t say, for instance, ‘white pop’ when white people make music.”

Mark James Russell, an entertainment journalist based in Seoul who has written two books about K-pop, said that the band has defied categorization.

“Of all the mainstream acts, they’re doing the most to push boundaries of what is considered K-pop,” said Russell. “The group has been pretty active in trying out all sorts of different stuff.”

Big Bang’s videos, in particular, push those boundaries. The trippy “Bae Bae” has garnered 58 million views on YouTube. (Which may be nothing compared with Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift but is huge for Asia.)

In another innovation, the band released eight singles last year — including “Bang Bang Bang,” “Loser” and “We Like 2 Party” — then put them all out as the “M.A.D.E.” album last month.

“Bang Bang Bang” is so punchy that the South Korean government has been blasting it across the demilitarized zone into North Korea as part of its propaganda war with the communist state.

The band members have “become artistic superheroes,” says a representative of a rival Korean music company, who asked for anonymity because he was talking about a competitor. “They have shown versatility and success in whatever they do.”

But the question of military service continues to hang over the men, and it almost seems as if the band has been preparing for this inevitability, with each member cultivating his own image and all of them marketing themselves as individuals and smaller units.

Taeyang and Daesung both have solo acts planned, while T.O.P. has been concentrating more on acting.

As for G-Dragon, well, G-Dragon is fashion incarnate. He was in the front row of the Chanel show during Paris Fashion Week this year, clad in a Navy-style Chanel suit and a huge black fur hat. When G-Dragon posts a photo of himself, whatever he is wearing usually sells out instantly.

Industry insiders say he has a confidence and swagger that make him appealing, plus a David Beckhamlike ability to look both androgynous and studly at the same time.

So, what happens next? The band members are philosophical about the future. “I believe in destiny, and I’m going to let it flow and see how it goes,” said T.O.P.

But there is a sense, after 10 years, that the thrill of being an idol is wearing off.

“I never got tired of the music thing till now, but we are still young, so we can do whatever we want,” said G-Dragon. “I just want to try something new. That’s my new goal. Like fashionwise, or like whatever.”

But for now, they’re not talking about splitting up. As G-Dragon put it: “Carpe diem, you know.”


Source: The Washington Post