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Pepperbird story.

2015-10-12 02:58:50 by NeverHundred

Most evolution is just happy coincidence. Imagine if like bird's ancestors and pepper's ancestors were like, this... So the bird is like, "I'm a bird and I fly all over the place." And the pepper is like, "Well, I'm a plant, so... I dunno, I just sit here and look cool." "That's neat." Says the bird. "Look at those silly little mammal dudes scurrying all over the place. You know they're always trying to eat my eggs and that makes me upset." And the pepper is like, "Yeah, they're fucking with my shit. They'll eat anything. And when they eat one of me, it's like they just fuck up the seeds and I can't reproduce." And they sit and they ponder for a while and the bird suddenly has an idea. "Hey, you want to really fuck with those rodents and beavers or whatever? Why don't you start evovling to be really fucking hot when they try to eat you?" "What, like hot like the sun?" The pepper scoffs. "Nah, nah bro. Like not exactly. I don't know like only hot if they try to eat you. Evolution is cool, I used to be dinosuars, but now I'm birds. Yeah, I'm not as bad ass looking, well I'm still pretty badass looking only now I can fly. Which is cool." The bird flies around showing off it's plumage and made flight skills. "Okay, I admit the flight thing has turned out well for you. And I think this is good advice. Listen though, cause you gave me this idea how about you can eat all the peppers as long as you promise that the seeds will grow after you shit them out." The bird nods, "That's a pretty sweet deal. I think this works for both of us." And then they give each other a high five and they become bffs forever and ever. For a hundred years. Pepper and Bird, it's all the time.



All the Don't Judge a Song by it's Cover articles I've written. Some of them were not actually posted on this site and some have not been posted anywhere.
Shadowplay by Joy Division, cover by Franz Ferdinand.
Suffragette City by David Bowie, cover by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
Where is my Mind by The Pixies, cover by Trampled by Turtles.
Took A Trip on a Gemini Spaceship by Norman Carl Odam, cover by David Bowie.
Mad World by Tears for Fears, cover by Gary Jules.
Running up that Hill by Kate Bush, cover by In Temptation.
Stupid Girl by Rolling Stones, cover by Ellen Foley.
I Want You/Heavy by The Beatles, cover by l0 Echo.
My Guy by Mary Wells, cover by War Paint.
Spooky by Classic !V, cover by Lydia Lunch.
Don't Cha by Cee-Lo Green Tori Alamaze, cover by Pussycat Dolls.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Robert Hazard, cover by Cindy Lauper.
Holy Diver by Ronnie James Dio, cover by Killswitch Engage.
There She Goes by The Las, cover by Sixpence None the Richer.
Livin' in the Sunlight by Al Sherman, Al Lewis and Maurice Chevalier, cover by Tiny Tim.
Renegades of Funk by Afrikaans Bombaataa, cover by Rage Against the Machine.
Heartbeats by The Knife, cover by José González.
The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, cover by Disturbed.


Fiasco!

2015-02-08 00:23:53 by NeverHundred

I've played a fair amount of D&D on and off since I was about sixteen. It's a game, I understand it's appeal, I can have fun with it. I think my best campiegns are behind me. Every time I play the game now it feels so forced and contreived. The players just want to level up and kill things. I thought this was a roleplaying game. I thought we were trying to tell stories. Is this a by-product of the video game RPGs. Maybe a little bit but the mentality has been there before computer RPGs were a big thing. I'm fairly certian. I wasn't there in the beginning I started playing in 2004 or 2006. Yeah we had had MMORPGs for a while, Warcraft Online was starting to become a thing and Everquest showed up right at the end of the century. Before that there had been computer games based on D&D since before I was born. The Elder Scrolls series which I will admit I love, especially Merrowind and Oblivion... Skyrim as well. And way back in the early eighties before I existed there was Rogue. Most video games have little to no Role Playing elements. It's just hack and slash, at best it's a well fleshed out world you can explore. But that's what D&D is at it's core. Sure you could create a well thought out character. From what I've seen though, most D&D games turn into an elaborate award system just like it's computerized counterparts.

Fiasco doesn't really have a reward system. There is not DM creating a worl. Everyone creates the world together, we're all invested in the story in a way that's more than just the characters we play. Also we're encouraged to have our characters not only make bad choices but to make them suffer the consiquences of their actions. In Fiasco the characters are two bit thugs, hopeless romantics, desperate addicts, unstable workaholics, toxic relationships and ne'er do wells.

You commit to half brained plans, decide where they'll fall apart and how badly it will hurt for your character. No one is allowed to get out ahead or unscathed. With that approach there is no reward, only punishment. And thus all your energy is put into the narration, the plot, the characters and their relationship with each other.



There isn't much about Evil Signs. The only thing on their profile is a quote from the movie Fight Club, “We are the singing, all dancing crap of the world.” I associate that movie with a few things. Coming to terms with one's homosexuality or the problems with toxic masculinity are my preferred interpretations. But then there are the Mens Rights Activists who have slightly different views. I wonder if they know that the movies based off of a book written by a gay man. But I digress. There isn't much I can share with you about the band Exit Signs. Searching there name I came up with another band which I'm not convinced is the same one. Perhaps it is, but their sound was much more electronic, almost synth poppy, unlike the experimental track I'm listening to here.

The intro to this track kind of sounds like Mr. Magoo sleep talking. And he's about to have one hell of a nightmare. Things become more distorted, you get this sound that is kind of like what you'd hear from an ultrasound if the child in the womb was rosemary's baby. And it builds, getting louder until it suddenly stops and there's static. A ghostly, simple and repetitive synth melody sound raises out of the static, that continues as we hear other strange and eerie sounds. Distorted voices with tons of reverb and finally it just breaks out into a really heavy crunching guitar sound and thumping percussion.

This part of the song sounds like it came off of the Prong album Cleansing, there is some shredding squeaky guitar solos, that might be more like slayer or another speedcore metal band that could give this a faster feel than Prong but it doesn't really stand out. The description is exactly that. For all it's avant-garde posturing and gritty experimental sound scraping this track sounds exactly like Prong when it actually gets going. If you're a fan of that particular album, and you don't mind some experimental sounds especially if you have to get through it in the beginning, it's like three minutes before the drums and guitars kick in. But you might be into that too.

Personally, I think it's an alright song. I might make parallels to other bands when it comes to the music, but it comes together in an original enough way and I found that I could appreciate what was happening sonically here.


Music Reviews: Mission statement.

2015-01-16 20:43:47 by NeverHundred
Updated

I've done a lot of Don't Judge a Song by it's Cover reviews. That's where I do a comparative of a cover song to the origianl. I try to do some research into the production. I decide which I prefer. It was some good times, but there's no sense in romanticizing the past. It's been a while since I've actually done one of those. I'm not sure when I'll have another one of those.

Until then, I hope to write a few reviews of songs from Vampirefreaks and Newgrounds. Seems like a waste of time, and I'm sure no one will really care. I'm going to anyway. I understand that both these sites have areas where you can write short reviews, and I'll try to write those as well. But my efforts are going to be put into writing in depth reviews that touch on music history, composition, and the art of music writing as they apply to the songs I'm going to write about. Also I feel like the space to write a review for a song on either site is better used for constructive criticism and to speak directly to the creator of the song. In my own space it will be more of my reflections and thoughts on the song in a more personal context.

 



This band has been around for several decades. Originally created in the late sixties. The first half of their existance is a testiment of experimental, avant-garde and dadaist music. Starting in the late eighties they really started focusing on creating grand concept albums, their sound was and continues to be bizarre but also beautiful. Some of their greatest concept albums include Tweedles, Bunny Boy and God in Three Persons, the last one being the beginning of their cleaner but still strangly alluring sound. God in Three Persons, an abum I can discribe as stripped down in many places, the vocals consist of a lot of narration with some backing vocals. The musical consistancy is much more apparent on this album than any other Resident albums before it and even since.

Tweedles has similar narrative approuch and tackles similar themes. The narrator who's name in Mr X, in God in Three Persons is exploiting conjoined twins. He has felt love and loss though, and he becomes infatuated with one of the twins. In the end Mr. X comes to make a startling discovary about not just their nature but also his own.
Tweedles, is more eclectic and complicated musically, thematically the narrator is not as redeemable. Although one who listens to his story might come to understand the source of his internal struggles and the reason for his cynical outlook, the damage he causes to others not to mention himself seems to be more destructive than lost dreams and a broken childhood could excuse. He has his sympathetic moments, but his nihilism and desregard for the damage he brings on a daily basis makes him a repugnant character. Although I do appreciate that the strings of his malevelance are shown.

Bunny Boy is an album that seems less tangable than the other two, as the main character seems to be less stable and self aware than Tweedles. I'm not sure what is real and what is fantasy in the Bunny Boy album, there are several references to the coming end of the world. The narrator talks about anti-social behavior, it is implied he has difficulty relating to people and prefers the company of animals, especially rabbits. At times he comes off as completely innocent and naive. Dreams and fantasies seem to also be a consistant theme in the album. Much like Tweedles who's ambitions where unfulfilled it seems that Bunny wanted to become a butcher, but for some reason he never could. He also has a obsession which may be unconscious with voilence and gore, when grousome events are told they're almost always explained as dreams. I don't believe that Bunny ever kills anyone, but it seems that he may be capable of it despite his appaerant innocuous nature. At least that's how I feel other people might percieve him. They'd think him strange but not capable of harming others... unless he talked about how he wanted to be a butcher when he was a child, or shared his unsettling dreams with them.

It seems to me that these concept albums are very much character studies. They create individuals, Tweedles and Mr. X seem to do things that are incomprehensibly monstrous. But it attempts to explain why they behave in such horrible ways.

It does a very good job of this. As far as this subject goes The Crossed a graphic novel, is also a suburb example. The Crossed takes place after a plague suddenly infects hundreds or thousands of people. This plague turns these individuals into sado-massachistic seriel killers that are driven to murder-fuck what's left of humanity. And if someone were to survive a brutal incounter with a crossed, they will be infected and quickly become crossed themselves.
Aside from the demonic cruelty that the crossed are capable of we also witness the moral and ethical sacrifices that the survivors must take. In one story a group of surivors kills several children in cold blood rather than having to deal with the responibilities and liabailities that come with bringing them along. In many other stories survivors put up with other survivors who are almost as bad as the crossed, perhaps even worse because they are compatent. Even though they use there positions of power to rape, torture and kill others. The crossed shows us what the worst humanity has to offer not only with the plagued individuals that have the compulsion to act out the most heinous crimes we could imagine but also in the fact that what's left of humanity often finds that it must mimic those actions in order to insure survival.

I think the other thing that really digs into my gut about the crossed is that although they behave in a way that would make you think of them as other than human, they seem to retain a bit of their humanity with some ability to speak, although they seem to use that to provoke, tuant and intimadate and also with some recollection of who they once were. It's like their the same person they were, only now they are a psychopath with an infinite hunger for destruction.

Zombies aren't as horrifying. A zombies humanity is stripped away, and that might be terrifying in a way but it's easy to say that the person that zombie once was is no more. Also zombies are typically slow, rotting and they only eat their victims, which is terrible, one of my biggest fears is cannabalism. The crossed have no compunction to cannabalsim, they will happily chow down on human flesh... but it doesn't stop there. They're happy to torture, rape, murder, hunt all the while they laugh viciously enjoy every sickening second of their eternal sluagher.

So, anyone have anything light to say to counter this?


Mouth

2014-08-09 00:36:24 by NeverHundred

Mashups have always facinated me. The best mashup I've ever heard was the Nirvana/Rick Astley mashup, Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up. It's amazing how well these two songs mesh up, Rick Astley's vocals and Kurt Cobian's more than adequete compositional skills. Cobain  was far from the best guitarists out there, and to be fair he ripped off a ton of his music. But he had an excellent musical instinct.
 

Rick Astley can sing, his one of millions of eighties pop fluff. He's better known as a internet meme today... if he's still remembered for that. But somehow his mouth sounds fit perfectly to the music of Smells Like Teen Spirit. That blew my mind when I first heard it, I'm not sure I will ever recover from this.

There ate tons of mashups out there. You can search Youtube or Soundcloud, and you can find just about any two songs cobbled together. Some are pretty good, most are terrible, and some are these unbelievable and unexpected portmanteaus that work on so many levels in spite of or perhaps because of their percieved differences.

One musical man creates mashups under the name Girl Talk, Gregg Micheals Gillis is his real name. A bio-engineer who decided he was better off mixing beats. Girl Talk's mashups are pretty good. Mostly rap and pop music, mayeb a little classic rock and funk mixed in. You can listen to it in all day.
 

Or you can rip through it at night...
 

The amount of rap music being sampled here... literal appropriation. Despite that I really love how he mixes these songs together. But it all really makes sense, it rarely takes risks. But it's the past fifty years of pop congealed together.

Now what if you want something completely different. Mouth Sounds, Neil Cicierega. He is an internet personality. There's this other guy, I forget his name, he has a youtube channel, makes these weird videos. It's Robert Benford. I always get him confused with Neil Ciceirega these days. If it weren't for Neil's Lemon Demon project, The Ultimate Showdown. I never noticed how bad the audio is on that song, at least in that video. He also did BRODYQUEST.
 

You're probably familiar with all that. You probably know well enough who this nerd is. Which brings us to Cicierega's latest projects. And to be fair you probably already know about it. Mouth Silence, Mouth Sounds. Both albums are mashup albums. Mouth Sounds uses copious amounts of Smash Mouth's All Star, a little bit of Walking On The Sun, there other slightly superior song... maybe. Smash Mouth is a very nineties, and much of what Cicierega covers in, especially the Mouth Sounds album is nineties music, with a few exception. There's a bit of Kanye West, a bit of Micheal Jackson from the eighties. But the album is primarally a nineties entity, and Smash Mouth was pretty big when I was a kid. Perhaps that's why, despite how much I disliked them then, and I never went out of my way to listen to them since... I find it charming. The Modest Mouse/Smash Mouth mash up is excellent, nearly as good as the Nirvana/Rick Astley mashup, which is my number one Mashup. the Daft Punk Mashup with Walking On The Sun is right up there. Daft Punk is a personal favorite, as is Modest Mouse, perhaps that's why this two songs appeal to me.

The Lennon Mashup is not so great. but you have to appreciate the experimentation.


Girl Talk and Neil Ciceriera's mashup approaches are two ends of the spectrum. With Girl Talk it feels like Gillis has very carefully chosen his samples and how they will come together. Cicierega on the other hand seems to make the most insane choices. The reality is probably closer to the opposite. I'm sure that Girl Talk did put in a lot of effort into their work, I like it. But I think it takes more skill to try and take the risks that Cicierega took with his albums. Mouth Silence seems to push the envelope even further. I haven't listened to it in it's entirity yet. But you should check these out. Now might be the time to dig back into that mash up craze and see what festers.

And happy birthday to me.


Holy Diver: DJASBIC

2014-07-09 07:43:57 by NeverHundred

Holy Diver

 

Ronnie James Dio was a part of the metal scene when it really began to take form in the seventies. He was in such notable bands of Elf and Rainbow in the seventies. Both names are fitting since he kind of looks like a leprechaun. In the eighties he became the lead singer of Black Sabbath. Personally I don't care for Black Sabbath and my feelings toward that band won't change regardless of whether the frontman of the band is Ozzy or Ronnie. That being said, in the eighties Dio just started releasing albums as Dio. And the first album he released was his best, Holy Diver. I owned this album, I thought it was the greatest thing. To be fair, I went through an eighties metal phase when I was a teenager. But it's still a great album, Holy Diver, Don't Talk to Strangers and of course Rainbow in the Dark.

Killswitch Engage is a metalcore band. Whatever that means, as far as I can tell metalcore is overly polished, over produced garbage. But Killswitch Engage has been around since the nineties, technically 1999 is still the nineties. Killswitch engage covered this song for a compilation album of covers by several bands of several bands. This cover was Killswitch Engage's first big hit, they had a music video and released it several times. That's my justification for talking about it.

The Original: Ronnie James Dio
The original has this long intro with this wind blowing sound effect and some synth build up. And then it crashes into the galloping guitar. Well, galloping might not be the right word, it's not as fast as something off of an Iron Maiden album, but it's the same rhythm which is complimented by some excellent percussive work. Dio has one of the greatest voices in eighties, second only to Adrian Smith. I'm drawing a lot of comparisons between Iron Maiden and Dio, it's hard not to. Iron Maiden just takes things to the next level, but often feels over produced. Iron Maiden came out with what I consider to be their peak this same year that Ronnie James Dio released his Holy Diver EP, his most celebrated album. So I have to focus on Dio here, his voice can his the high notes as well as Smith, it has more of a roughness to it.
Another great aspect on this song and through out the album is the lead guitar work. It's fantastic here, I love the solos and the melodies. It's grade A stuff.



The Cover: Killswitch Engage.
Here's an amazingly well polished and produced metal song. You have your guitars screaming, shredding and grinding along. The vocalist here is Howard Jones, he's very talented. This is a popular voice for metalcore electric guitars, when it gets that squealing at times, that annoys me a little bit. I'm not sure where it originated but I'm putting the blame on Zakk Wylde. And there is some screaming that I never really cared for, but it's pretty minimal. But I really can't complain, they are not bad at playing their instrument. Nobody here is. The dueling guitar solos kick some major ass. If this s your style of music, you'll love it. But if you love the classic metal than I can't help but think you'd feel like it's patronizing. This cover feels like a parody, but that's alright, they're just having fun and I know Dio didn't mind. Pat Boone covered this song, with Dio backing. My point is Dio was could poke fun at himself and I don't think he minded a little parody. I have no doubt that Killswitch Engage are huge fans of Dio, and they parody out of love.

Obviously I ice the original as the better song. Even though I'm not offended by parody, sometimes it's tricky. Eighties metal is easy to parody. It's over the top, theatrical, excessive all around it's the most ridiculous thing. But the beauty is that it's genuinely outrageous and cheesy. Many newer bands are aware of how ridiculous it is and have fun with it. But when the band's self aware, is it as entertaining? It certainly isn't as sincere or genuine. Aside from that newer metal bands are so precise and technical. Metal has always been on the more technical side when it comes to the music, how it's written and performed. But in the eighties there were still several guitarists that had a healthy balance of heart and skill. Somewhere in the early to mid nineties that was lost in the genre. I guess I can respect these musicians for their technical skill but it will never really hold my attention due to it's lack of soul.



Don't Judge a Song by its Cover: Girls just Wanna...
I'm not so smooth with the ladies. Thankfully I have this song to remind me what it is that the girls want.
This song is known as the quintessential eighties pop hit that helped really merge the new wave and disco sounds to pave the way for modern pop music. But that was only the cover. The original was recorded in the late seventies by Philadelphia rock and roll hero(and frontman for the band The Heroes) Robert Hazard. They never really made waves outside their home city. A lot of their earlier stuff barely saw the light of day. Most people don't know that
At some point in the early eighties Cyndi Lauper, or her producer heard the song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and decided they'd make their own recording of it.


Cyndi Lauper cover version
This version has this electro-Caribbean sound to it. It starts with the ook from the original, but it has this organ synch that's got this almost two step ryhthm to it, which has this ska like feel. The guitar has that sound to it as well. Then there's another synth that sounds kind of like metal drums from that island music. Which really fits the mood of the concept of the song, which is to have fun. And the Caribean has the reputation of being the place to go, when the working day is done, you get a vacation than it's time to go to a tropical island paradise. You can party, or you can cillax or whatever.


Robert Hazard original version
This is some good rock and roll semi-punk music. It's got a guitar solo, some chunky guitar. If this was covered in the eighties and kept this same sound it probably would have been covered by Billy Idol. It's a really grate opening guitar hook. There's a bridge that's not in the original. The production's pretty bad, but it's a demo that was probably recorded in someone's garage or basement. So what are yeah gonna do. I have a few recordings in the audio-portal and I know that feel.

Which get's my number one?
It's a tough one, I like both of these songs. I think that Cyndi Lauper really made this song her own, and gave it an injection of not simply energy because the original wasn't lacking that but it gave it a fun atmosphere. As much as I love the original, it's sexist, not intentionally and many might say it's a sign of the times or that for the seventies it was trying to be progressive but thinking about it most people know better today.
You can't speak for other people. It's rude. And you can't claim other people as your own, even if you play it like it's for their better good or you're in a relationship with them. In the lyrics he says, “Some men take a beautiful girl and hide her from the rest of the world. My girls get to walk in the sun...” Well how considerate of you. It sounds like they need permission. It sounds like they need a man to let them have fun.
I just never really like the term, “my girlfriend” or “my boyfriend” a person does not belong to anyone other than themselves. That being said, I really like the sound of the original, and looking past it's unintentional sexism, and understanding that they meant well. I actually prefer the original.


Jenga Cat

2014-05-29 02:36:38 by NeverHundred
Updated

I especially like the moment right before it ends where the cat seems to contemplate something. Was it that they couldn’t think of a better move, did they feel their opponents last move was unfair, or did they just suddenly realize that they are a cat and actually have no idea what Jenga is.