BLVCK CEILING

I’ve been listening to this artist’s work on SoundCloud for a few months now. Dark, disturbing, original tracks that make yourself question what it is you’re exactly listening to, and why. Coming from Spokane, Washington, Blvck Ceiling reminds of Clams Casino, yet each of his songs is a stark contrast from one another; a rare and respected quality among those who produce . The imagery associated with Blvck Ceiling appropriately matches the sounds and contributes to the mystifying aura surround his songs. I most enjoy the subtle use of vocals in the background to support the strength of the beats and production in each piece of his work.

Enjoy.

– Walker


Black Sabbath – 2013 North American Tour

13 seems to represent more than just a number. (20)13 represents the year that Black Sabbath has finally emerged from retirement. 13 is the name of the Black Sabbath’s first studio album with original lead singer Ozzy Osbourne, since 1978’s “Never Say Die!” Indeed, 13 also represent the first time the band has ever topped both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, marking the beginning of a successful return . And if you look closely enough, 1-3 represents a separation from a founding member, Bill Ward. Whatever the number 13 means to you, it’s indisputable that Black Sabbath is alive, kicking, and touring!

On August 4th, 2013 I was lucky enough to stumble into a small miracle. At the last minute, a friend of a friend was forced to give up their Black Sabbath tickets due to a last minute conflict. I was graciously bestowed upon with these tickets, thanks to an extremely generous individual that has forever earned a dear place in my heart. This obtainment happened within only four hours of the show starting and honestly was a modern day miracle. soon I would be watching the original Black Sabbath for the second time in two years, 10th row, dead center, at New Jersey’s beloved PNC Bank Arts Center (to make it all the sweeter I will note that about five years ago I saw Ronnie James Dio croon with Heaven and Hell at the very same venue).

The venue was packed to the gills and undoubtedly sold out. Andrew WK was blaring classic metal jams and served as the only type of opener for Sabbath. The crowd ranged from businessmen, dads with sons, cougars, hipsters, beer bellies, and your quintessential metal-heads. People of all sorts came from far and near to catch sight of what could be the first or last time they would see the band live, in person. Due to the exorbitant amount of excitement and drunkenness filling the Arts Centers,  I was almost positive that the majority of people forgot that Bill Ward was not going to be playing the drums that night. Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine was manning the percussion, just as he did on the studio-produced “13”. Around 8:30 the lights slowly dimmed and the thousands packing the venue rushed to their seats (or for the majority, the lawn).

The crowd was greeted with War Pigs. In return, Black Sabbath was greeted with the loudest cheering I have ever heard at that particular venue. I was close enough to see every detail from Ozzy’s “Ozzy” knuckles tattoo, to Tommy Clufeto’s abs. Instrumentally, the band played absolutely phenomenal. Tony Iommi played every song while slowly pacing around the stage, smiling calmly at both the crowd and Ozzy’s goofy gestures. Geezer Butler remained more stationary than Iommi, and showed more concentration on perfecting each song, rather than playing to the crowd (which was fine by me). And of course Ozzy fulfilled his duty of captivating the audience though his anticipated antics and crowd engagement.

I did not know how I was supposed to initially judge Tommy Clufetos. I enjoyed his previous work with Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie and recognize his talent and aggressive style as an individual drummer. He truly did nail his part throughout the entire night. At one point Tony, Ozzy, and Geezer took an unexpected break and left the fill-in drummer all alone in front of thousands of die-hard Sabbath fans; a truly daring move. Tommy commanded the crowd’s attention and produced a phenomenal five minute drum solo, leaving everyone wide-eyed and thoroughly impressed. As one veteran Sabbath fan put it, “The last time I saw Sabbath live was 1979. Tonight was their tightest drumming I have ever heard.” In all honestly, I would have rather seen a talented drummer in his prime play with the band, rather than a grumpy, out-of-shape Bill Ward trudge sloppily throughout the night. Clufetos fulfilled his duty and earned the approval from nearly every fan present.

We all knew that Ozzy was not going to be perfect, especially at an outdoor amphitheater during a humid New Jersey summer. Judging from what came out of the speakers (with or without an vocal enhancements), he sounded pretty good. You could easily tell when he was looking down to glimpse at the lyrics taped on the stage; during those moments I chose to close my eyes and pretend it was in 1975. Sometime it sounds like he was reading from book, but for the most part his voice sounded authentic and young. Unfortunately he no longer sings my favorite song, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, simply because no man in his 60’s can sing that high. He certainly doesn’t have the same mobility and fitness, but he displayed unheralded energy that earned the roars and respect of the crowd. It really was truly amazing to see him up there after 40 years of musical wear and tear, thoroughly enjoying himself at age 64. As a dedicated metal fan, hearing the band play classics such as “War Pigs”, “Into The Void”, “N.I.B.”, and “Black Sabbath” was pretty damn emotional.

One tiny, nit-picky, critique I had came during “Snowblind”, when Iommi and Geezer were clearly not on the same page. During the first two choruses the bass and guitar were not matching up at all, producing much dismay in the face of Iommi, the perfectionist that he is. Although the real elephant in the room was made clear by the audience. As expected, every song from “13” the band played, earned significantly less energy and cheers. I felt a sense of discomfort during the few songs played from “13”, but it is understandable for Black Sabbath to promote and show off their new music. Although when “God Is Dead” was played, I found myself robotically spewing out the chorus and entirely enjoyed their newest hit.

10:30 PM rolled around and the band began to wrap it up with “Dirty Women” and “Children Of The Grave”. Directly after the last song Ozzy provoked the fans and generated enough applause to deem it appropriate for an encore. Right around 10:40 the band rightfully ended the show with Paranoid. The famed lead singer blessed and thanked the crowd while the entire venue roared as if the band were never coming back. I left in a daze after spending $100.00 in merchandise, going back over each song in my head during my walk to the car. I still cannot entirely describe my exact feelings about leaving the show that night. Letting it sit for four days allowed my conscious decipher what went through my head the night, and what still continues to plague me: anxiety. Just like all the other fans, I want a guarantee to know that that was not the last time I will ever see Black Sabbath. It might sound pathetic, but just like an ex-girlfriend, I need some closure over here! Within the next six months I better wake up and see the announcement of a 2014 or 2015 world tour. Until then I hope you will continue with me in relentlessly and religiously listening the classic songs of the world’s first heavy metal band.

– Walker

Venue: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Date: August 4th, 2013

Setlist: War Pigs, Into The Void, Under The Sun/Every Day Comes And Goes, Snowblind, Age Of Reason, Black Sabbath, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, N.I.B., End Of The Beginning, Fairies Wear Boots, Methademic, Rat Salad, Iron Man, God Is Dead, Dirty Women, Children Of The Grave, Paranoid (encore).

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Daughn Gibson – The Pisgee Nest

Very cool quasi-country sound, which Daughn Gibson himself describes as “country techno.” His raw, nostalgic voice paints landscapes for which his tunes serve as the perfect background. It’s upbeat and it’s dark at the same time and it yields a truly unique approach. The stories behind his lyrics are equally interesting and out there. This song is from the recent follow-up to his acclaimed debut, titled “Me Moan.”

Tiësto – Club Life Vol. 3: Stockholm

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I know this post is pretty delayed (like a month to be exact) but I’ve been doing a pretty shitty job slacking off and haven’t gotten a chance to really go in depth with this album yet.  Nonetheless I still wanted to get a post in on this just so I could talk about what I thought about each track and the album itself.  As a whole, this album delivers just like the past 2 Club Life Albums; combining songs that have already been out for a while with new hits that are sure to be played at all the big festivals.  But before I give my final thoughts, let’s look at each individual track.

Paradise – Tiesto & Dyro

I’ve mentioned before that everything Dyro has been touching over the past 6 months has turned to pure fucking gold.  Well this is no god damn exception.  This might just be my favorite track in the whole album, if not certainly top 3.  With a hard hitting bass and a melody that just finds its way into your head, you can guarantee your gonna be hearing this one blaring from my speakers for the next couple of months.

Take Me – Tiesto ft. Kyler England

Now this song was released as a sort of promo for the new Club Life album so I’ve already been exposed to it for a few months.  That being said, this song is still amazing (you’ll probably hear me say that about a lot of the songs actually).  I especially love the way the vocals mesh with the keystrokes when it’s just her and the piano goin’ at it.  And then when the beat drops I can’t help but absolutely lose it.

Compromise – Baggi Begovic ft. Tab

Now I don’t know about you, but I had never heard of Baggi Begovic before this album.  God damn am I glad he’s been brought to my attention because this song has a great anthem feel to it.  There are points when it’s just floating along with the lyrics so slowly, and then before you know it the melody kicks in and your feet leave the ground.

Apollo (Hardwell’s Club Life Edit) – Hardwell ft. Amba Shepherd

This song has been an anthem that I heard frequently when I was at UMF back in March.  It’s a great song, but it’s just been out for so long at this point that I remember listening to it a year ago before Hardwell had vocals to put in.  But yeah great song doh.

Love and Run – Tiesto, Mark Alston, Baggi Begovic, & Jason Taylor ft. Teddy Geiger

There are so many god damn names associated with this song that I honestly couldn’t tell you who the fuck did what.  But what I can say is that this massive group of artists put together my FAVORITE TRACK OF THE ALBUM.  That’s right, if i had to pick one of these to play in my head for the rest of my life it would DEFINITELY be this one.  It’s just perfect in the way everything is built up throughout the song I just can’t get enough of it.  And the way the vocals are filtered blows my fucking mind. 5 stars boys.

Clarity (Tiesto Remix) – Zedd ft. Foxes

Here’s another song that’s been around for a good while.  The original: great.  The remix: great.  Both are worth a listen, if you haven’t heard either of them by now then you must be living under a rock.

Sweet Nothing (Tiesto and Ken Loi Re-Remix) – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch

This is a re-remix?  Was this totally necessary?  Alright well anyway this re-remix takes the song to the levels of insanity it never dreamed of.  You probably heard the original remix all over the radio, and at first this sounds just like that.  But when you get to the drop it almost sounds like Florence is having a seizure on stage and all the equipment proceeds to malfunction and blow up all around her…yeah this re-remix is that fucking insane, in a good way though.  Check it out, you’ll totally understand what I’m getting at….I hope.

I Love It (Tiesto’s Club Life Remix) – Icona Pop

Remember that whole Icona Pop phase we had in the spring?  Yeah I was getting kind of sick of it too.  But this remix has found a way for me to get hooked again.  It’s not really anything like the original except for the vocals obviously, which I think is terrific.  He really manages to deliver a hard hitting remix while retaining the spirit and “I don’t give a fuck” attitude of the original.

Carried Away (Tiesto Remix) – Passion Pit

*See above for the comment about Clarity by Zedd.  Same concept applies here.

Champs – Moguai

I’ve been a big Moguai fan for a number of years now, my favorite being his remix of Fatboy Slim’s Ya Mama (seriously if you have the time look into that one you will NOT regret it) but this song seems to stray away from his typical style.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the way vocals are/aren’t incorporated into the song.  I just can’t put my finger about what I find different about this style.  It’s definitely one of the bigger songs on this album so make sure to give it a look-see for sure.

If I Lose Myself – Alesso vs. OneRepublic

The fact that I’m commending a OneRepublic song really grinds my gears.  My 10 year old sister has posters of these fucks all over her room and I just cannot stand them.  But god damnit Alesso why did you have to make them sound so amazing?!  This song’s been out for a while too, but it’s just so fucking good! Ugh I hate to say it but if you haven’t checked out this song then you need to, you regrettably need to…

Cango – Pelari

Another new artist to me that I’m happy was included in this album.  If you’re looking for the big house anthem of this album then look no farther.  I’ve just started getting into big house music with new stuff from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Knife Party opening my eyes to the whole scene.  This track is right up there with them and I’m really excited to see what else this genre has to offer.  Give it a good long listen if you’re willing to jump around your room like a complete moron (which is perfectly fine by me).

Century (Tiesto & Moska Remix) – Tiesto & Calvin Harris

I’m kind of on the fence about this song.  Mainly because Kaleidoscope was my first real EDM album that really pulled me into the scene and I distinctly remember Century being one of the key persuading factors for me.  But if I’m gonna be honest, Tiesto and Moska do a good honest job of capturing the spirit of the original, while at the same time making it feel much bigger if you get what I’m trying to say.

Shocker – Tiesto & DJ Punish

The fact that there’s a song called Shocker by a guy named DJ Punish sounds a little off to me…well anyway this song is one of the more electro fueled songs your going to find on this album.  It doesn’t really stick out to me too much compared to the others, maybe it’ll grow on me later in life but for now….meh?

Back To The Acid – Tiesto & MOTi

When I was listening to this song, the intro honestly had me really excited that this was going to be something amazing, but there came to be a point where the more I listened…the more it just didn’t make sense.  About two thirds of the song is spent on the intro and the buildup, only to end up with the same exact beat I was hearing in the intro which felt like I was being blue balled actually.  So that’s my general consensus for this song; blue balls.

United (Tiesto & Blasterjaxx Remix) – Tiesto, Quintino, & Alvaro

I’d like to say that Tiesto saved the best for last…I really would.  But this song is a remix of an already existing Tiesto song, and while it is entertaining and has a powerful bass, the lack of vocals or an inspired melody really leave me wanting more out of this.

 

So that’s my opinion on every track in the album.  In my opinion the album started off strong as ever with original works and collabs that will be a huge part of my daily commute over the next several months.  Towards the middle we got a look at some already existing works form the past that just fit with the Tiesto style and still have a lot of life left in them.  However the 4 tracks he chose to close the album with really left me wanting more out of this.  Granted as a whole the album is magnificent, but isolate those 4 songs out and I just can’t understand why he made the choices he did.  But regardless, get this album now it is well worth the investment.  Or you can look around for a torrent…I don’t care I’m not the god damn police what am I gonna be able to do about it.

Below you can find a minimix Tiesto prepared for the release of the album, it’s the best I could do for ya.

 

FFEJ OUT!

Lightning Dust – Fantasy

 

Lightning Dust has released their third album titled “Fantasy,” and it’s quite the introspective, yet emotionless delight. Amber Webber offers thoughtfully harmonized vocals on top of a sturdy wall of intense synth from Josh Webber. It’s submissive, it’s dreamy, it’s satisfying. This would be the perfect soundtrack for the Bomberman (vide0 game from my youth) biopic/love story. Best listened to with cut-off jeans, a tight black ginny T, and multi-colored thick-frame sunglasses. Black coffee not essential, although recommended.

DJ Earworm – “SummerMash ’13”

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Since 2007 Jordan Rose, also known as DJ Earworm, has released an annual “United States of Pop”.  These annual releases are mashups of the most popular songs throughout each particular year, effectively recapitulating listeners with the unique sounds of the past 365 days.  Although Rose manages to make each mashup sound completely original by creatively blending the familiar songs we all know.  Every year I look forward to hearing how Rose will somehow manage to harmonize the many pop songs featured throughout the musical year.

Rose has yet to release the latest edition of “United States of Pop” (considering there are 5 more months left in the year), but did manage to release a “SummerMash ‘13” mashup on July 2, 2013.  Using chart-topping songs from the likes of Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, Macklemore, Icona Pop, Armin Van Buuren, and Zedd, DJ Earworm does indeed deliver a song worthy of defining the pop music surrounding Summer 2013.  Catchy, corky, and innovative, SummerMash ’13 does exactly what a mashup is meant to do: combining familiar songs to invent music that is completely different from the original.  DJ Earworm has taken the latest radio hits being played the past month or so, and translates them into a captivating masterpiece. SummerMash ’13 ranks as one of my favorite DJ Earworm mashups, simply because he doesn’t attempt to jam in every possible song from the past year.  Each songs blends in smoothly and works off of each other, creating a more than listenable song to blare on your radio while driving down to the beach!

Our Newest Ears of the Crude Contributor

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I’m more than ecstatic to announce that we have added a fourth music enthusiast to Ears of the Crude, Greg Manning! Another New Jersey native, Greg currently shreds the bass for a talented, on-the-rise hard rock band, The Spider Rockets. With years of experience playing guitar, bass, and singing, Mr. Manning is also a walking heavy metal encyclopedia. Greg will be reviewing the latest content of established metal bands, as well as writing about up-and-coming groups. Keep your eyes open for some really insightful writing within the heavy metal genre!

Operate (The Chainsmokers Remix) – ASTR

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Now I’m not too familiar with The Chainsmokers but one things for sure, after this song got passed along to me I became an avid fan in ~2.5 seconds.  Their style is something that I find lacking in the EDM industry nowadays.  Instead of joining the crowd with all of this non-stop heavy bass drops and just pure madness, The Chainsmokers prefer to dial things back a bit and focus on a softly progressing melody similar to the early works of Kaskade and Deadmau5.  But somehow they find a way to add their own flare that separates them from this pack entirely.  But lets not get into their sense of humor.  To be honest if music doesn’t work out for these guys then they should seriously consider going after Jimmy Kimmel’s job.  For example, they describe this track as, “…like a stripper made of gold that stole your heart and actually gave you her real number.”  All kidding aside that’s a pretty spot on description of this song and I can’t come up with anything that could top that.  So with that check out the song below, but after that check out all their material on their soundcloud, you won’t regret it.

Bio:  The NYC Dj/Production Duo The Chainsmoker’s Drew and Alex have recently headlined Marquee Dayclub in Vegas and BangON music Festival. There last three remixes went #1 on HypeMachine and have some big plans for upcoming material. But most importantly coming up they have a very special show at Marquee in NYC their hometown on JUNE 29th, for which they prepared this special production edit for the night MARQUEE SUNRISE EDIT and tickets can be pre purchased here: Marquee NYC Pre Sale

Die Antwoord – “Cookie Thumper”

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Die Antwoord – “Cookie Thumper”

If you are not familiar with Die Antwoord’s previous music, please listen to their song “Enter The Ninja” to get a feel for the type of dynamics involved with the group.  Die Antwoord claims to represent true “South African Culture”, led by the two highly expressive band members, Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er.  In a feeble attempt to describe their music, the frontline duo has developed hybrid sort of South African rap mixed with delectable club beats.  Warning: do not try to wrestle with yourself and define what Ninja and Yo-Landi produce.  It is as much of a political and cultural expression, as the group toils with some of the oddest harmonious and visual elements ever produced in both their live performances and music videos.  While Ninja is covered in miscellaneous tattoos and breathes a harsh South African accent, Yo-Landi produces a uniquely shrilling voice and often sports contacts that entirely blacken her eyes.  Die Antwoord creates an unparalleled musical experience that is truly one of those “you gotta to see it to believe” types.

Their latest release “Cookie Thumper” surprisingly does not include Ninja or his vocals in it at all, although he is given full credit for the music video’s production.  The music video then begins with Yo-Landi, posing as an orphan, buying drugs from an older South African man (presumed to be a gang member) recently released from prison.  Listeners are then vehemently confronted with Yo-Landi’s hypnotizing South African lulling.  The entire song and corresponding music video centralize around the idea of a young, not-so-innocent girl, and her enduring relationship with an older criminal. The takeaway from the story is something every individual need decide for themselves, as most of the lyrics are choppy, nearly impossible to understand, yet commanding.  But this is what makes Die Antwoord so likable. They are their own breed, personifying a type of culture the entire world is not familiar with, whether it is wholly inappropriate or not. The best part of it all, is that the beats are dominant and the singing is captivating.  Yo-Landi’s vocals in “Cookie Thumper” were damn catchy, don’t kid yourself  Another entertaining example of the bang-bang, in-your-face single of Die Antwoord!  Keep on the lookout Die Antwoord’s outstanding performance of “I Find You Freeky” on David Lettermen to get a gauge of their live shows.