Monday, 21 January 2013

Miller Or Bust: A Case Study Of Why This Generation Sucks

There is no denying that the generation that we now face is perhaps one of the worst to have ever roamed the planet. Sure, we have cures for many diseases, people are now more tolerate to each other's differences and technological advancements are aiding to make our everyday lives better, but that doesn't excuse global warming, overpopulation and perhaps the most damaging elements to the human race...yes...something even more damaging that global warming. I'm talking about the state of pop culture today. Adolescents today are exposed to some of the most banal, abysmal, mind-rotting entertainment that has ever come across. Television is nothing more than a pseudo-reality train wreck, movies are all shine and no substance and music is absolutely disgraceful. Class and wit are gone from the industry and what takes it's place is vapidity and executive greed. The only music outside of the ring of musicians that plague our airwaves that makes it big are the ones that follow some empty fad or those that dare not tiptoe past the boundaries that the mainstream has created. Every once in a while, something comes along that breaks the mold, but it's never something truly ground-breaking. It only ends up being dubstep. Seriously, fuck Daft Punk for starting that bullshit. 

I, being part of the aforementioned group of dimwits, can not be satisfied with listening to trash such as Lady Gaga and T-Pain. Mainly because I think that the former simply uses her appearance to shock others while I consider the latter to be further reason to not care for the rap scene. Seriously, what sort of great wisdom and passion am I going to get from people who've had to live on table scraps and managed to rise up to fame through sheer strength and perseverance? The point is, I am way more sophisticated that those little fucking shits. Rather than look for the future to fulfill my needs of music that provides much more meaning than whatever upcoming rapper is spewing out nowadays, I've decided to look into the past. I looked at CDs, tape cassettes and other outdated means to listen to music and I listened closely and carefully to what they had to offer. None of them could satisfy my needs. Some are too rude and bombastic, others are too quiet and boring. Not even the most popular of the recent past could succeed in pleasing my auditory sense. Queen spouts silly anthems ad nauseum (plus that Freddy Mercury has one of the worst voices in history), The Beatles are hipster bullshit that will never ever catch on and Elvis just stole a genre from the African-Americans and butchered it into his own half-assed attempt. If only there was a time in history where the world wasn't bound by the burdens of possible nuclear annihilation and Kayne West's antics...a time where the music was not only energetic but could also contribute to a greater movement in history. A time like the 20s, 30s and 40s!

Yes, from 1920 to 1949, there was nothing more to than have a grand old time! No one had to worry about another big war taking an incredibly large death tolls, bars were making grand profits with the Prohibition, everyone was economically stable for a while and free to celebrate all they wanted if they had white skin. Yes, there was nothing to worry about back in those days. No depression, no dust in your eyes, no scares of any kind of color, nothing at all. At that time, music broke through boundaries with a hot new sound called jazz. This craze was nothing like your rap music, it only increased in quality as the years went by. Not only that, but it spread to various genre, such as swing, blues, ragtime and many more. It was not only something that revolutionized the music industry but it was also something that could really change and impact the world rather than deteriorate its intelligence. As we all know, for a movement to really get moving, it needs a pioneer. That pioneer was Alton Glenn Miller.

Many of you uncultured swine may not be aware of who Mr. Miller is. Truth be told, it doesn't surprise me that you wouldn't know anything unless the Simpsons referenced it to you. Glenn Miller is perhaps one of the most influential musicians in history. Born in Clarinda, Iowa on March 1st, 1904, Glenn found himself moving from state to state. As he wandered around in other places, he found himself appreciating other sounds and enjoying them as well. So much so that he managed to get himself a trombone and joining his high-school band in Fort Morgan, Colorado in 1918. He dropped out of college in 1923 and went around from band to orchestra, to carry out his admiration for music. In 1934, he started to record under his own name and 3 years later he tried to form his own band. Even though it failed miserably, he still persevered. Slowly, he climbed his way to the top and by 1939, he was the biggest artist ever known. Much bigger than...what's his name...he shot himself in the head...his band had something to do with Buddha...ah, you probably don't know him.

The reason why I bring up Glenn Miller is not only to honor the man that strengthened the big band movement but to also show to others what a true, dignified artist is. For Glenn Miller represented what was right about being a musician. In fact, most musicians of his era, and most jazz/swing artists in general had a certain charisma and charm to them. It was something you could admire and appreciate no matter what age you were. You didn't have to be bounded by the angst and utter idiocy that comes with being a teenager. In fact, if you were a teenager at that time, you'd probably be learning more about this grand world and not be hooked on any sort of crazy drugs today. That, and you'd be one corny son-of-a-bitch, but that's not the point. The point is Glenn Miller did much better with his music than what is occurring today. It reflected onto his society positively rather than what these modern morons do with their terrible tunes. You could actually feel smart and learn a few things if you looked at what he had to offer. You certainly aren't getting a good education with Carly Rae Jepsen, that's for damn sure. That, and he's a shining representation of an artist who will live through the ages thanks solely to his music. Not like Micheal Jackson, who'll only be remembered for pedophilia charges, the sick fuck. I'm sure he'll fade off pretty soon. 

For starters, you could actually tell apart a Glenn Miller song from the others. He himself once said "A band ought to have a sound all of its own. It ought to have a personality". Telling from his wide array of compositions, there was no denying that he carried out with his words. From the elegant, graceful melodies of Moonlight Serenade to the jumpy, vibrant jig that is American Patrol to a mix of both with In The Mood, Glenn Miller knew how to mix and match properly. With his vast knowledge of listening to other musicians, he could borrow from them and give his songs a sense of culture to them. He knew that variety was the spice of life and gave us something unique every time. You can't tell Beyonce from Rihanna no matter how many times you listen to their songs. Even if you could, they do the same thing over and over again like a broken record. And I sure as hell don't like it when people scratch my Miller records. That wouldn't be so bad, but everyone seems to enjoy the monotony that current artists bring. Whatever happened to taking a chance, huh? No one's trying new key signatures, mixing their style up to create a rich, intriguing sound or even spouting a few seeds of wisdom here and there. The only chances artists take is with their wardrobes and that sure as hell does nothing other than make us pester our parents to buy us useless possessions like the collection of expensive watches my dad bought me.

Another thing very notable of Mr. Miller is that he was an incredibly humble man. He wasn't "interested in making money", he followed his passion as a musician. A lot of people praised him for his great jazz band, but he says that he doesn't have one, nor should he want one. He never thought of himself as a master of his domain, he just "want[ed] the image to be recognizable". It may border on self-deprecation, but I can assure you that a man of his magnitude was not one to pity. He made 20,000 dollars a week, but it didn't change him at all. Glenn Miller just cared about the music and making his mark on the industry. That is someone to admire as a role model. Someone clean and refined. Nowadays you give some starving artist 20,000 dollars and they'll think they're cock of the walk. Why? Because that's what you see. Shallow, greedy artists throwing their money around the streets, convincing the impressionable youth that being a materialistic prick is the right path. No one cares for values or codes of ethics, they just want to buy shiny jewelry and snort cocaine off a hooker's rear. I swear, I just want to drive up by these ingrates and shoot them one by one. 

Speaking of shooting, did you know that Glenn Miller joined the war effort in '42? Probably not, you insipid imbecile. Yes, this patriotic fellow served in the Army Air Force Band, entertaining the troops. He created a weekly radio broadcast called I Sustain The Wings designed to not only to further amuse the soldiers but to also get the Americans at home enjoying their favorite tunes. In 1944, he recorded some of the songs with his orchestra in German. Now you may not see what the big deal about that is, but keep in mind that Miller's style was usually delightful and could bring a smile to anyone. They figured that if they made these recordings and the Germans would listen to them, they'd feel sad that their English-speaking enemies were having more fun, which would psychological mess them up. With all his efforts, he managed to rise up to major. Major Miller. Major. Fucking. Miller. When's the last time you heard about Justin Bieber getting a medal of honor, hmm? I don't think Andy Samberg has aided the Afghanistan troops, all he does is act like a fucking retarded fratboy for your amusement. None of these artists do anything to help in the war effort. Hell, they don't even protest it! They don't voice any sort of opinion on any matter whatsoever, leaving people oblivious to the grander world that surrounds them. They do nothing influential  in this world other than spew garbage. What does everyone do thanks to them? Nothing. What do we do about it? Nothing. We do nothing but let our intelligence wither away into a realm of hackneyed, trite bullshit! That's all you immature, pathetic fools do, just jack off to talentless asshats and laugh at the geniuses who paved the path for them simply because you think that the old is not worthy of your time! All of you sicken me and I hope all of you burn in the deepest levels of HELL! GO. FUCK. YOURSELVES!!

On Decemeber, 15, 1944, his plane disappeared over the English Channel. He left behind his wife, Helen Burger, his children, and a legacy that will live longer than anyone's career today. Miller was a leader, an innovator, a role-model and a great asset to the war effort. Sure, he may have not be the most risky nor the most witty of artists out there, but he gave something more to society. Miller gave the world happiness, hope, bravery, perseverance and honor. One must have these things into to make it big and show the world that there is more to just what confines them. I know that when one looks back in history, they find matters that are troubling, confusing and mostly boring. I know that it's not easy to do something that isn't confined to the social stigmas. All I urge you to do is to listen to some of his music. Take in the graceful symphonies he has to offer. Then go around, looking at others like Duke Ellington, Gordon Goodwin and Gene Krupa. Have a sense of culture to yourself. Make yourself into a refined individual rather than a lowlife urchin. Do that, and maybe I can consider you as a human being rather than a brain-dead sheep. Or don't, I couldn't give two fucks on what you do, you despicable pile of roach shit. Either way, I'm right and thus superior to all of you brats who don't invite me to any of your crazy parties. Argue otherwise and you're nothing more than a bully who spends their time picking on people that while they don't fit your standards, enjoy life more than you ever will! 

We leaders are criticized for a lot of things. It's always true after a band gets up there and is recognized by the public - Major Alton Glenn Miller

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Top 5 Personal Best Albums of Breakbit 2012


There was a lot of great music that came out of Breakbit this year. From the newcomers to the old timers, everyone managed to do a fantastic job with their work. I've decided to look over all of the work and have picked the top 5 to talk about. It was a difficult task as I had to cut Metrosound's magnificently mysterious albums, Poopooface's wacky tunes among many more. This may sound like I'm being nothing more than an ass-kisser here, but a lot of you at Breakbit make wonderful stuff, and I suggest you keep it up. With that out of the way, lets get to my top 5 picks.

5. Progressive Acid Jazz by RookieTheCook

Breakbit has a large assortment of overlooked artists that range from pumping albums like mad or throwing one album into the ring to await response and then venture away, hardly to be heard from again. RookieTheCook manages to be the latter and it is understandable to see why his work has been looked away from. The sound that usually derives from Breakbit isn't particularly associated with a jazzy groove. It's more on the experimental, trip-hop and dance rave side of music. It's a shame that because of its direction it's not looked upon more, because this album is beyond sublime. Every song from "All The Good Things" to "NZT-48" utilizes the bizarre background noise, noticeable rhythm track and smooth melody template wonderfully. The songs end up settling into the mellow infrastructure of jazz but also envelop themselves in the manipulation of the samples that allow for the music to feel more free and loose. Some songs even have a very distinct tint to them, such as the vinyl record effect of "Azure" and the waiting room-like style of "Mindstate". Ignoring the 3 skits that Rookie throws into the mix, this concept of progressive acid jazz must be looked upon further. If Rookie will release more to Breakbit, he should make a considerable effort to develop further on this style.

4. Greengums by Vaervaf

While RookieTheCook's style doesn't fall through to the frame that Breakbit has set up, Vaervaf helps to construct the frame even further with his unique sound. He has always had a gleam of experimentation in his eye and Greengums captures that surrealistic element of his work quite well. Each song is filled with emotion that has been mangled to such lengths that it's incomprehensible. Most of the songs have a great melody and beat to them, and some of the more grating sections in a song end up fitting well to the tune itself. The song titles and lyrics are nothing more than cryptic Mad Libs, all that is left from listening to this album is a sensation of uncertainty. There's so many different techniques implemented into the songs that it's hard to classify the album other than saying that it's experimental. That tone is what makes the album so great because it leaves it up to the interpretation of the listener. One could find "moxlienve" to be a lingering emptiness or a pseudo-ambient piece or "brik" to be looking into the mind of a shy person ridden with ADHD or a maddening variation of a quasi-folk song. Really, it depends on whether Vaervaf is trying to convey a simply message through abstract means or taking genres and altering them beyond recognition. Since that's what the album bases itself upon, it leaves for a lot of replayability and enables the listener to continue listening.

3. Disruptor by mrSimon

Never before has a musical tribute to a children's cartoon been crafted with such a level of complexity that could easily be found in a more independent album. Not only does each song create a tone that can easily be associated with by the style that it follows but it also follows to a "three act" structure that moves the song along phases that play off just the right amount of intensity needed. The samples resemble a Pogo-esque approach which helps to not only properly shine light to the source but also weaves itself well into the progression of the song. Tracks like "Constant" and "Fine Day For Science" take it to a degree where the samples build up to later ooze out all the passion in such an angelic way. Other tracks like "Drop That Monkey" and "Past The Bolter Door" serve well as dance/rave tunes with it's faster pace and higher emphasis with the rhythm. It does help that guest artists Dainumo, Jeesh, glue70 and T-Sex either create their own tracks to play into the nostalgic connection or remix previous tracks mrSimon made to get people who have no relation whatsoever to Dexter's Lab enjoying the album just as much.

2. Autism And Recipes by DR777

It's hard to put into words how magnificent and intriguing Autism And Recipes is. This is mainly due to how all over the place it is. As it is well known, DR777 doesn't adhere to any rules when it comes to creating content. He just selects a wide array of different samples and collides them all into one product. It somehow manages to work in such a way that said product ends up becoming a very interesting work of art. Most of the songs follows a somewhat funky feel to them, but none of the songs seem to be the same in their progression. While this shows the level of skill and depth that goes into the work of DR777, it becomes difficult to explain the strengths of the album without going through a detailed explanation of each song. The best way to put it is that no matter how chaotic or how relaxed the music is, all of the songs feel like a collage put together in a way that everything belongs there and it's placed in the right spot and in the right way. If that doesn't suffice to explain how well-done Autism and Recipes is, then the next-best course of action is to purchase it. The album's a mere 5 dollars, so that's the least one can do to support an ever-growing artist.

1. Worldwide Digitizing by glue70

Glue70 had two fantastic albums released this year, so it was a difficult choice on which one should end up here. While both are absolutely delightful, Worldwide Digitizing brought out another side of glue70. Rather than basing tracks around samples and adding a few rhythm tracks below it, this album delved more into having glue70 make his own sound and then injecting samples into it so that it enhances the final product. It also manages to appeal to a larger base of listeners since the sound is less stylized and more simplistic. That's not to say that the music doesn't have an aura to it that can't be associated with glue70 and that his other works are far too complicated for the average listener, it's just filtered better for a "mainstream" crowd. The true beauty of the album is how most (if not all) of the songs can easily be transmitted to an [adult swim] bump such as "Sines Point To Yes", "Destiny Avenue" and "Peniclean". It just has such a cool vibe to it that could hook anyone in just a mere snap of the fingers. Simply put, this album has a great selection of well-made and rich-sounding tunes and it shows a more creative and precise personality of an already creative and precise artist.