Led Zeppelin IV: an overview

Overall, the album does not seem like there is one specific concept the band was working toward, but that is what makes the album so great. Every song tells its own story, and blends elements of rock and roll as well as folk rock and even blues.

The album starts off with “Black Dog” which is followed by “Rock n Roll” which both sound like what someone would expect to hear when they think of a rock album. Each song has a very driving beat that is matched with Page and Plant’s lyrics along with Plant’s unique voice that was perfect for both hard rock, and acoustic folk.

“The Battle of Evermore” is such an interesting song to put on next on the album. If someone was new to listening to Zeppelin, this folk tune would be a complete shock. The use of the mandolin, makes the song sound very old, from a completely different time period. Plant’s vocals in this song sound more like chanting which gives the song a more spiritual feeling to it. There is a story being told with this song, it could have been talking about an actual battle of sorts, or maybe just war in general? Unlike bands like the Beatles who sang more about love, Zeppelin had more songs on existentialism and issues in society.

“Stairway to Heaven” is the song that just about everyone can say they are familiar with, even if it is just the title and the name of the band. For avid music listeners and musicians, Stairway to Heaven is the rock anthem to learn on guitar. That is why movies like Wayne’s World references the song when Wayne starts playing the opening riff. The man stops Wayne from playing the song and points to a sign saying “No Stairway to Heaven”  because that is the one song that every guitarist will try to learn and then be able to go to a music store to play the opening  riff to establish themselves as a musician. The song combines all the elements that make up Led Zeppelin. It is a nice blend of folk music and rock and roll which makes the song so prominent.

“Misty Mountain Hop” does not even sound like it is coming from the same band until Robert Plant does his screaming vocals. The song almost sounds like a jazz rock feel to it, and the lyrics are sang with the same tone all the way through. Honestly, I remember listening to this song as a child and thinking it was a Beach Boys song until my mother so kindly informed me otherwise. It is a perfect opening song for side 2 of the album because it hints to the driving beat of “When the Levee Breaks”.

Although “Four Sticks” isn’t as well liked as the rest of the tracks on this album, it does still contain many elements of folk and rock which made Stairway to Heaven loved by so many. I think the reason why “Four Sticks” isn’t as well received is because each part of the song is so diverse and there is a bit of a disconnect that might make it harder for someone who wasn’t already a fan to enjoy the music. I still enjoy the song, it just isn’t one of my favorites.

“Going to California” just sounds like a soft love song with a bit of a folk feel to it, which doesn’t sound anything like “Black Dog” or any hard rock group’s song, but it in itself is still a great tune, and can be matched up to any other song on the album.

“When the Levee Breaks” is such haunting song to end the album with.  The song is not entirely Led Zeppelin’s, it was a rewrite of a previously recorded song.  Listening to the slow drum beat, and then each instrument joining into this song, was the perfect way to end the album.

 

Ellie Goulding: A Mini British invasion in the U.S.

Ellie Goulding – Halcyon

This live performance of Ellie Goulding is truly perfect. The recording sounds so different live, but you can still imagine how Ellie Goulding felt when she was writing these lyrics.

Her line,  “I know you’re a fighter, but you never fought for me. When I was a shelter, you were not heading home to me,” is so amazing because at the end of their relationship, even though she knew it he possessed these characteristics, he didn’t use them to fight for the relationship with her. Oddly enough, her relationship with Skrillex was just ending with the release of this album Halcyon .

Ellie Goulding needs to be appreciated as a musician anyway because she has so much control over her voice and is able to transform simple lyrics and tell a specific story. Even being as new of an artist as she is, she is still very versatile and has a voice that could be both very pop and lovey dovey as well as rough rock.

Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen music video
This music video is very weird, but it helps you slightly understand where Ellie Goulding is coming from. She is singing about a future breakup and being in the end of a relationship.
The lyric, “Baby, I’ll give you everything you need; I’ll give you everything you need, but I don’t think I need you,” touches the listener because if you are in the same mood of the song, one would be likely to feel the same emotions Goulding did when writing and recording. Shoutout to the Skrillex hair in the video.

Ellie Goulding Anything Could Happen Live:

I can really appreciate the way she took the time to consider how the vocals would sound live on a rooftop like that. She makes up for all of the individual pieces of her song and produces them only with he vocals which is truly remarkable. I don’t care for many bands or artists live, but Ellie Goulding is a singer/songwriter that is high on my list of amazing vocalists.

Ellie Goulding – High for This (The Weeknd cover)
Beautiful cover. This song has been remixed multiple times and actually may be more popular than the original. Sometimes that happens when a band gets a song that doesn’t sound like their overall “sound”. Sometimes it works when a new artist tries a different path. Ellie Goulding never took that smooth R&B sound for her music. The cover of The Weeknd’s song has amazing range. Her control is phenomenal.  Her voice sounds almost robotic and very fake but this isn’t even a cleaned up studio version.

The Weeknd – High for This:
This is nothing like Ellie Goulding’s version. It isn’t necessarily worse, just a completely different tune to someone not familiar with the song. It is nice to see what Ellie incorporated in her vocals, but it is also great to see how much she was able to make it her own.

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Is Iggy’s music too much?

When listening to her music, no one can deny that Iggy Azalea has a good flow, even if you do not appreciate her raps, she is still a good rapper. Her music on her mixtapes is easily overlooked or pushed aside because of the content of the lyrics. If she was a singer who sang sweet songs like Colbie Caillat then she might get a little more attention. Her lyrics might be thought to be offensive to many people, but she hasn’t said anything any worse than other male rappers like Kanye West for example. The topic for rap is usually the exact same, talking about money, drugs and women. There aren’t many notable female rappers in the game today, and even those that were once famous, have lost some of their fan base just because they do not continue to release new music. Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliot and Eve are some of the female rappers that come to mind when thinking over the last two decades. Now here is this white woman who is trying to make a name for herself, but could get easily shoved under the rug just because the current definition for “female rapper” is someone like Nicki Minaj (who doesn’t rap as much anymore). With Nicki Minaj changing to more of the mainstream pop sound, there is definitely a market for a new female rapper.

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Music video for the song “Pu$$y” by Iggy Azalea on the mixtape Ignorant Art

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea is an Australian rapper who moved to Miami when she was 16 years old. She is currently working with T.I. and signed to Island Def Jam Music Group. With the release of songs like “Work” and “Change Your Life (ft. T.I.), Iggy Azalea has gained attention and is pushing her way into mainstream rap. She has two previous mixtapes: Trapgold and Ignorant Art. Iggy Azalea already has a lot of underground fame from working with DJs like Steve Aoki and Diplo, and even other rappers like Juicy J as well as T.I.

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Iggy Azalea Bio

Her new album “The New Classic” is set to release in March of 2014.

http://www.nme.com/news/iggy-azalea/73107

Bon Qui Qui isn’t going anywhere

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I’m sure just about everyone has heard about Bon Qui Qui and the skit that was done by Anjelah Johnson. Johnson’s videos of her stand up went viral and after being on MadTV, her popularity only grew. She had a skit on the show where the character Bon Qui Qui was a rude cashier at a burger place. At the very end of the video, Bon Qui Qui starts rapping, and oddly enough that is what most people remember from the video except maybe some catch phrases like, “I’ma cut you” and “rude”.

With all the popularity Johnson gained from essentially three viral videos, Johnson was offered a deal with Taco Cabana and has remained in the public eye. People wondered if there would be a return of Bon Qui Qui, and Johnson responded with this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-KdXdfmWa0

Music Then and Now – Influences

The Beatles and Foster the People, how do the two match up?

The Beatles  VS     Foster the People

Why would the Beatles even be compared to Foster the People? As a Beatlemaniac, I am not trying take anything from the Beatles for being legends in Rock n Roll nor am I saying that Foster the People hasn’t done their part in music. This post is only to show the connections between the two bands and their lyrics. In the later years of the Beatles, there was a song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer“. It is on the album Abbey Road, and even though the song sounds cheery and fun, it is actually very dark. The lyrics will completely go over your head if you’re not listening. There is also the reference in the title/lyrics with “silver hammer” and “bang bang”, the listener can hear the eeriness of the song. The hammer is referring to a gun, and the onomatopoeia is making the reference to a gun as well.
Foster the People has a very similar song. The song “Pumped Up Kicks” is just as dark as the some of the darker Beatles songs, and they are able to cover it up just as well. Mark Foster of Foster the People wrote a song that was able to be successful on mainstream charts when most people don’t even know what the song is about. In the song, there are direct references to guns. “Outrun my gun,” “faster than my bullet” and “six shooter gun” are just a few of the references.

To listen to the tracks and make the comparisons just click on the pictures.

Bands that make awesome music videos stay relevant

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All it really takes these days to make it in the music industry and get your 15 minutes of fame is to have that one hit song that maybe just goes along with an awesome music video. These days people already know what they want to listen to, so one is not always looking for new music. If they happen to be watching YouTube videos, links might come up to what is trending and what is popular and it is a good way to find new music. Our generation is very visual, if it doesn’t look cool, it probably won’t keep much attention. Some bands make it their mission to keep pumping out catchy tunes that can add to a well thought out music video. Indie bands with enough funding will continue to make these music videos and publish them online to keep up with their fans. Most big name artists have enough press as it is, and do not need to constantly have a new song to stay in the peoples’ mind.

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Two indie bands with good music videos that I will mention are Vampire Weekend and OK Go

OK Go – “Here It Goes Again”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA

Vampire Weekend – “A Punk”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XC2mqcMMGQ

AWOLNATION: More than just “Sail”

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As funny as the Cat Sail video was, this band has so much more to offer. They have a unique sound that makes their music just as catchy as the song “Sail” that became a huge mainstream hit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awf45u6zrP0

Their song “Not Your Fault” is both catchy, and it also has a really cool music video which is an easy way for a video to go viral on YouTube and gain publicity.

AWOLNATION - Your Fault 1

(Click Picture Link for Video: “Not Your Fault” – AWOLNATION)