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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Tune Tuesday | USA

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Well, now that summer’s officially over so is my Tune Tuesday worldwide series!

It’s kind of bittersweet and a relieve at the same time! When you first start something up, a series on a blog, you have to get into a routine as far as figuring out what you’re going to talk about and then finding out what dates each post will be scheduled on! Every single post was either made up a month or two weeks in advance. Once I got towards the middle of it all, I was basically dragging myself to keep going and finish. After this post, I’ll be retiring my Tune Tuesday posts for a bit. I’ll be adding on another music review day to my week! Pray for me! Now that I’m done I’m actually sad, but I’m pretty sure in a week or two I’ll go back to wanting to pull out my hair again! Talking about music will do that to you sometimes!

So out of all the music I’ve gotten myself into in the last few years, I thought I’d be nice and dedicate this post to somebody else. We’re talking about American music for this week and since my friend has a birthday this weekend, I thought I would dedicate this post to her! Now the normal thing would be to send them a card through the mail, but since we met online I couldn’t think of another way to show my love to her than through my blog! We met through Twitter five-six years ago! I was busy finding other Linkin Park fans on there and I found my twin Breanna, She’s roughly the same age as Blondie but we get along so well! We’ve sent letters, exchanged text messages, and last year we finally met face to face through Skype! If we both lived closer to each other, I’m pretty sure we’d never leave each other’s side! She lives on the west coast so I’ve had to learn Pacific time quickly, which means we’ve had lots of late night conversations: it would like 10pm for her but 2am for me! One day we’ll meet I’m sure of it! I have faith we will!

I used LP in last year’s USA post, so I went looking through her Facebook (even though I knew of three bands I wanted to add) I had to make sure all of them were US acts too! Somehow I managed to pick five acts and they’re all from the US! How awesome is that! She likes a lot of punk rock music! A lot of them I’ve never heard of before. Two of them: Dance Gavin Dance and Joyce Manor are bands that I’ve seen my sister listen to on her Spotify! She likes to talk about these two and Circa Survive a lot of Twitter, so those I’ve known for a couple of years now and every time I go into Hot Topic and I see merch by either band I have an urge to buy it for her or at least take a picture of it and sent it like “look what I found!” I’ve actually done that before! She also has a thing for Lana Del Rey, she’s like the only female singer she likes. I remember a conversation we had once, it was in the beginning of the friendship where we were sharing different things we liked and didn’t like, we figured out we are both addicted to tacos through that discussion! She shared that she usually doesn’t listen to a lot of female acts, at that time I was finding bands like Within Temptation and In This Moment which are female fronted so I had been getting stuck in that category and I think that’s how that started I think I was trying to persuade her to listen to one of them and that was her answer to it. It’s all good though!

Happy Birthday to my little twin! Hope you see this and didn’t cry as much! Your friendship means a lot to me. You were there for me when others weren’t and I really appreciate you always waking me up in the middle of the night and obsessing over Mike Shinoda memes. Love you! ♥

Song Review: “Happy Song” by Bring Me The Horizon

Since I wasn’t a big fan of Linkin Park when they first came out like my cousins, I didn’t care much when their music started to change drastically when they released “Minutes to Midnight.” I’ve been able to change right along with bands and artists when they want to go into a new direction with their next album(s) but seems like Bring Me The Horizon might have to work for it.

BMTH was on that list – I wasn’t going to listen to because they were too dark for me. They made Deathcore music and I wasn’t willing to hear their music. At the end of last year, I knew I’d break because I had listened to like four other bands that we’re on the same list. It was just a matter of time. I heard Sempiternal several months after it had come out. Everybody was talking about it and naturally I wanted to know what all of the fuzz was about and then after I heard it, I saw complaints from former fans about their change in sound, so I looked up their past albums and there was a definite change from their first to this album. Oli’s vocals were the focus for a lot of fans, especially when they tried to perform their older songs live. Oli could barely do them anymore. The sound in their albums are still dark in terms of lyrics and sound but they are using more electronic/synths in their newer songs. I liked it because it was something that I was used to hearing.

They’ve recently released their first single of their new album called That’s The Spirit and it’s called “Happy Song” and I didn’t like it when I first heard it. I was actually disappointed in myself a little. The introduction has a bunch of girls shouting the word “Spirit” like a cheer at a game of some sort. Oli’s vocals start out slow, low and then in the chorus he’s higher pitched. He’s shouting-singing, but not like harshly. As much as I love music, I’d hate to see artists and bands release songs that would be good for radio play. I feel like this is one of them unfortunately. It sounds like a song they released in the late winter and there’s nothing special about it. I just don’t like it. I’m sorry! I’m hoping the new album sounds better than this.

I don’t care if you were a fan of them before the change or not, what do you think of “Happy Song?” To try and save Oli”s voice do you think going in the direction like Linkin Park is a good one?