July Playlist

Hello!

The music that came out in July was on another level.

I’m not sure if the Olympics in Tokyo were responsible for the increase of bangers but I am living for it anyways!

There were moments where I wanted to listen to every genre I could get my toes on, and then I back track it with just individual artists and I would be listening to their albums in two days, for example, one evening I started craving Linkin Park and I ended up listening to my favorite albums and I didn’t stop until the next afternoon and I was even looking up my favorite YouTube videos of them, and for like four days, I felt like I was in heaven. And then I realized that the date of Chester’s death was coming up and I became very sad quickly… but it was still great to get back into my favorite songs and sing them at the top of my lungs again.

Another band that I think was having a great month is Halocene. They are an unsigned band in Arizona and only have three members: Addie (vocals), Brad (backup vocals and guitar), and Joe (drummer). that love to do covers of songs in various genres. Personally, I tend to fall in love with their covers of rock and heavy metal songs. Addie does a terrific job of handling her voice against some of these darker and low vocals. The band itself released three covers and they were “Zombie” by The Cranberries/Bad Wolves, “Throne” by Bring Me The Horizon (featuring Ai Mori) and “In The End” by Linkin Park (featuring NerdOut). These are the ones on their YouTube channel but they also have another BMTH cover on Ai Mori’s channel and that song is, “Can You Feel My Heart” but I didn’t enjoy it as much and still drives me nuts!

They also released a brand new original song, called “When Demons Come To Life” and it is awesome! It has Lauren Babic and I really enjoyed the fact that she is singing on the majority of this song, because lots of people know she’s a damn good screamer but I think everybody forgets that she has this soft, child like voice too and it really works wonders against Addie’s vocals too. The music video is very creepy as they show like an asylum and it really draws you into the meaning of the lyrics and everything just works so good! They tend to do a lot of videos and they’re all different and exciting in their own ways but this has to be my favorite because it fits so well with the song and there are not many music videos like that.

I think it’s finally time to tell you my Top 25 songs are for July. If you want to check out the entire Spotify playlist, click here.

Writing’s On The Wall by Yale Out Of The Blue
Hurt by Christian Reindt featuring Lloren
Gravity by Sara Bareilles
Realm Of Dreams by J2
Rani Cypher by Raja Kumari featuring Dee MC, SIRI
Twisted by Carrie Underwood
Remember by Leah
Confessional by Janet Devlin
Weight Of Everything by Ill Factor featuring Katie Garfield
Take You Dancing by Jason Dersulo
Infected by Starset
Harleys In Hawaii by Katy Perry
Fallin’ (Adrenaline) by Why Don’t We
If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow
Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware
The Messenger by Linkin Park
Harley by Letters From The Fire
All In by 2WEi featuring Marvin Brooks
Die With Me by Gemini Syndrome
Holy Roller by Spiritbox
Galway Girl by MALINDA
Hard To Kill by Beth Crowley
She’s Fire by Diane Warren featuring G-Eazy & Santana
Drinks by Cyn
Savage (bitmastr remix) by Bahari

I said this the other day on my Instagram but I love how different my music tastes are on daily basis. They are NEVER the same to the next and honestly, it makes things even more exciting because I absolutely love sharing what I am listening and loving lately with people. I mean, I wouldn’t be doing these posts for my personal enjoyment–although I have in the past!–without influencing somebody else to look outside of their comfort zone. I like a bit of everything and obliviously I’m not afraid to show it!

Now it is your turn, what were you into this month?

Music Monday | Kevin Churko

From early 2009 to late 2014, I knew of five producers in the metal scene. The first was Rick Rubin, second was Flood, who worked with Thirty Seconds To Mars, James Michael, he is the lead vocalist of Sixx:A.M. with Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba but has produced several albums for other bands, Kevin – which I’ll explain more in a minute, and Joost van der Beork. Spoiler alert: he will be discussed in next month’s theme!

I came across Kevin Chucko in either 2011 or 2014; I know this is a big gap of time, but these were the years that my new love of music became very prominent. As I was into the genre for close to six years straight. I really made myself pay attention to various music producers just like I had in the hip hop world in my younger years.

I was actually introduced to Kevin Churko after the nu metal band Papa Roach worked with James Michael on their album “The Connection” in 2012. If you didn’t know, this is actually fairly common in music. Everyone, whether they are just a singer or in a band with more than the standard five members, can work with various people in the album making process. They are not just limited to a set and have to make it work that way. You could look at this as like playing the children’s game “duck, duck, goose” but I think it’s a smart thing to do and I feel like I played the same game in the very beginning of figuring out what I loved about the headbanging and mosh pittin’ lifestyle too.

Sometimes acts will in fact devote their time with only one composer, engineer, songwriter and producer for their work if the chemistry is there, but in order to keep things interesting and build a relationship, you can grow out of your comfort zone and do something new. Kevin Chucko has worked with prominently rock bands. He’s based in Las Vegas and shockingly not all bands want to have fun on the Strip. For most musicians, they make the choice to stay at home and work via online or relocating to wherever their record company sends them to, which is usually where their producer lives.

The first band that I fell in love with in 2009 was female fronted was In This Moment. Since they released their album “Blood” in 2012, they have exclusively worked with Kevin. Personally, it is my ultimate favorite but I think their newest “Mother” has cemented into a stable second place. While I tend to stop following bands in between albums, ITM has been in the same bag as other bands like Linkin Park and Within Temptation where I am always looking at my trustee sources so I don’t miss out on anything they release in the future.

Kevin has also worked with heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch on their album “American Capitalist” which I think came out the same time but I’m really not for sure!Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, this was my first and most beloved album by FFDP and it was also with this collection of songs that I found out that I could enjoy the harsher style of male voices in rock ‘n roll, thanks to Chester Bennington! A year or two later, after working with James Michael, Papa Roach started going to Kevin Churko and he has produced their music since probably 2014 and even though I have only really heard the singles from the last three albums, I usually love anything they put out to the fans.

A couple of things I learned while writing this post were: I have been spelling his name wrong, so I had to change the banner and everything else, so if you notice any misspellings throughout this post, I am so sorry! The next one is he has alongside another producer that was on my original list – Mutt Lange. My mom actually suggested him but once I decided on doing this as a miniseries, he was cut out of the lineup but I thought this was interesting (but odd) to include here. And lastly, Kevin’s son Kane Churko is also a producer, and generally works with the same acts but has done a few remixes here and there too!

Have you listened to anything produced by Kevin Churko? If you have, what are your favorite(s)?

snowflake

 

Music Monday | Rick Rubin

Howdy!

Last week in the series, I talked about Dr. Dre, who I have pretty known my whole life (music wise) because of my mother and the amount of old school rap that was played on our cassette player located in my parent’s room! However, for this week I will be discussing my admiration for Rick Rubin.

Rick Rubin is a very special person for me, because by the time I started listening to Linkin Park in 2009, he had just finished working with him on their album “Minutes To Midnight” (2008). This was my first memory of him working with anybody that I enjoyed at the time. So, while I was getting myself deeper and deeper into the world of Linkin Park, I was learning what could (at my own pace) of this interesting music producer. I call him “interesting” because although most producers want to work with a large variety of acts, they usually tend to stick to one genre and stay there for the rest of their lives. Rick Rubin has had most of his success in heavy metal, hard rock and rap music.

The two most popular acts I learned in the first two years was Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. He has worked with many, many other bands over the years, but these were the two that sort of explain the reason why he helped Linkin Park in the past.

The album I associate Rick helping produce the most is “The Black Album” that was released in 2003. This was supposed to be the final album for the rapper before he retired from the music scene, but considering a year later he and Linkin Park came together like Run-DMC and Aerosmith did in the late 1980’s with “Walk This Way”. Although I don’t think they released an album like Jay-Z and LP did; technically they did an album and put on a concert and would later crash each other’s tours to perform “Numb/Encore” every once in a while. When Chester Bennington died in 2017, Jay-Z was out on tour with his wife Beyoncé, and he performed the hit but instead of doing Chester’s parts, the audience sang every word. It was very beautiful and a great gesture to Chester, his family and the rest of the band too!

Rick Rubin was the reason for this match to come together in the early 2000’s, because he had just finished working with Jay-Z and was close to LP too, as Rick is known to experiment in the nu metal scene in that time frame. The reason why it was so huge for these two acts to do this was because not many people went outside their comfort zones in the music world, you stayed in your genre for most of your career. At least, that’s my take on the scene and I was very much part of it since I really didn’t like to go outside of my bubble gum pop world although there were was a time were I enjoyed rap music, but you can tell I didn’t listen to a lot of rap between the year 1999 to 2002, because I was busy enjoying Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys too much to really pay attention!

Nowadays, it’s really accepted to like a wide variety of music and not to mention foreign languages that come with these new changes too! Radio is still a big way to introduce new music to a larger audience to the world, but it’s also important to realize that record producers to go through this switch too! They will always stay within their comfort zone, which I think for Mr. Rubin, it is heavy metal, but from time to time he will find something different to sink his teeth into and it might shock a few people that follow his journey just as much as the other musicians too.

So, if you are a lover of Rick Rubin’s work, who is your favorite act(s)? And do you have a favorite era of time too?

snowflake

 

 

EP Review: “Post Traumatic” by Mike Shinoda

Mike Shinoda has managed to lend a hand to multiple musical opportunities over the years. He has produced songs and albums for not only LP, but other artists too! In 2004, he created Fort Minor, and released the album “The Rising Tied” and it featured different artists like Styles Of Beyond, Kenna, John Legand and Common. One of the artists included on the track “Where’d You Go” is Holly Brook, but you might know her by her other name Skylar Grey.

I’ve been back and forth whether I wanted to do this review. As much as I love Mike Shinoda and the rest of the guys of Linkin Park, it’s still so hard to listen to their music. The main reason why I ultimately decided to go ahead with it, is because it’s still music. Mike could have put what he was feelings into some kind of artwork, but instead he chose to go this route. He must’ve wanted us to really hear of the pain that he is going through since the passing of Chester Bennington.

So we’re going to start with the review now. There are only three songs on this extended play, so it’ll be pretty short then my normal posts.

We begin with “Place To Start” and I didn’t know what to expect, whether it would have an upbeat or not. It starts pretty slow, and the tempo does speed up once he starts rapping a bit. The one time we hear Mike rapping, it has a very somber feeling to it. You don’t usually him like that, to be frank, you hardly ever hear rappers let their emotions flow outside of the lyrics. Everybody has a reputation for being a hardass, but this is different in so many ways so I’m glad we got to see that, but those voice mails at the end are so heartbreaking and the fact that he included them was almost too much for me.

The next song is “Over Again” and it immediately starts after the first track. I like the honesty of it. You understand every word he’s saying, and it’s pretty raw. Despite the fact he’s speaking about what he has been going through these last six months, you hear the frustration and anger in his lyrics, I don’t think it’s directed towards one person, it’s a number of people. It gives you in clear insight of how felt about their concert they did in October. I know this may seem weird, but I think I liked this one the best. As much as it hurts to hear and for Mike, to sing it out for the fans, doesn’t make you feel too good either. And lastly, I really like the beat, it’s electronic and very heavy. The song is called “Watching As I Fall” and it’s not as brutal (personal) wise in the lyrics, I mean you get a little bit of it, but it’s not so much at one time like in the previous track.

This was interesting because I didn’t know what to expect, I mean I knew I wasn’t going to feel comfortable, I mean even after my papaw’s passing I think I’ve been fairly quiet because it’s a very personal thing for me, but since Mike is an artist both literally and lyrical–he can use that as part as his healing process and then pass it along to the other fans that feel as though they’ve not showing their emotions enough which is ridiculous to even think about, because unfortunately there are people like that! I don’t know what Linkin Park will do after getting through this hurdle. I don’t expect them to come back with anything for a while and I feel like they need that time to sort things out and heal themselves before diving into a new record and tour. However, I did see that Mike has a gig in Australia on the 18th of August, so we’ll just have to see what else Mike and the rest of the band has in store for us!

Have you listened to the “Post Traumatic EP” yet? What were your thoughts on it?  

What One Band Can Do!

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Hello! 🙂

I know everybody would rather read about how things went at my sister’s wedding, but I wanted to do something special first. The music world lost another great vocalist. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park died and I have a lot of friends that I’ve been thinking about over the last week. I felt I needed to let them know that I’m always here for them!

If you read my FB post I published an hour after founding out, I was pretty much in denial about it. I’ve learned that you don’t believe anything that those “news” sites say until that person or somebody close has said something first. And it’s been a couple of weeks and I don’t think it’s sunk in yet because I still feel like it’s a cruel joke! No wonder people think that Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson are alive and hiding out somewhere!

I put on my blog’s Facebook page of what I was feeling at that moment and how much these guys have meant for me as a whole! I mean, Chester is essentially the first male screamer I ever liked, and I started listening to Linkin Park mid-2009 and if anybody remembers he was with Dead By Sunrise at the time and I remember the album came out the week after the new Backstreet Boys album and I was stunned on how much I wanted the DBS album more! I still think it’s a damn good album! This was also the year that “New Divide” came out too, it was the only new song from LP that came out that year as Chester was busy, but I loved that song! I STILL love that song!

The chemistry between Chester and Mike was awesome! I had never heard of Nu-Metal and immediately after I started listening to “Collision Course” I was pretty much done for! It was my dad’s but it became mine after like four months of being in my possession! Overtime when their music started evolve, it was like their bond got stronger! I never thought a rapper or a screamer could do EDM until these guys! I can’t imagine what Mike is feeling right now. To be able to share a stage with somebody like Chester is an honor but for them to be bandmates and how this happened, I cannot imagine what any one of them are feeling and my hearts goes out to them!

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By 2010, I was using Twitter a lot more despite the fact I had it for even longer than that! Mike, Chester and Phi were the only three members who had Twitter accounts at the time! Mike and Phi would have conversations amongst each other, but Chester would rarely visit because every time he did his mentions would explode. I’m not being a stalker, he literally said it a few times!

I don’t really remember why I started following more of the fans and couldn’t even told you who was first! I remember Maryam was at University at the time of when we started talking though, because I was in and out of my depression and she tried to set me straight with a few of my life problems! I remember Alex was from Italy and she was our like matriarch of the group; everybody wanted follow her and talk with her! I really enjoyed chatting and admired her for what she was doing with her life!

One of the last that I started talking to in the beginning was Breanna, we have a long history with each other! I helped her while she was at school and needed a code to be able to go through the LP meet and greet back in 2014. I still have text messages saved of our late night conversations! She lives on the west coast and I am on the east so time zones screwed with us most nights! Stacie was another one and was the first one I ever Skyped with and I was so nervous! She even met my mom and dad too! Poor girl! Breanna got to see my dad with his beard!

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I definitely remember on how I met Maddy. I love her dearly despite the fact we no longer talk to each other as much. When I first heard the news, I thought about her and then my other friend Rana. They were definitely Team Chester! My heart broke more for these two than anyone else I think! I met these next two chicks during a chat that was livestreamed on another site (thank god)! Hell I even remember the screen names they used: “ilovelpforever” was Autumn and “caroleeone” was of course Carolee. I enjoyed talking with them while we all basically lost our minds while hearing Mike talk on the screen! And then I found both Melissa and Ally randomly after I saw somebody talk about Rob and I think I just joined their whole conversation!

I made friends from all over the world! There was one girl who was from Viethnam and the closest was from the same state! It was crazy! I sent quite a few of them Christmas cards! I cannot remember how we all met but I still think of every single one of you! Antigoni, Jelena, Nevena (still love your name!), Iva, Yahaira, Stephanie, and Gilmara. It still shocks me that one band can create so many friendships at one time! You all were the reason why I got so fast on my key pad! Every time we had a chat, my toes would just drag on and on, but now they are super quick! So thank you for that and lovely memories! We’ll always be LP soldiers!

If you want to read what else I put on my status, you can check it out here!

snowflake

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