random thoughts to confuse and enlighten.

Posts tagged ‘Music’

Late Night with Cal. Music Edition.

The title of this post is pretty much the most straight forward title. You already know what I am about to do here. But, you gotta cut me some slack. I came up with that baller title of “Adele; Adieu” …Straight up gangsta. So, here’s another music post. It’s all about those late nights. When you’re out and bumbling your way to your house. And you got your iPod, and you are too tired to search for something different, and so you settle for your favorite band. Which ain’t no bad thing. But there are some great albums that match late night drives. I am gonna try and hit the no-brainers, but then enlighten you with some stuff that you might have missed.

Rules: Top 15. And we’re talking: you’re in the car, by yourself, on your way to sleepy sleep. And you’ve got at least a fifteen minute drive and you are tired.

Here they are:

This music video is so cool, that it should be in my blog.

There you go. A quick little blog. Not a review on any of them. Just great albums that you should get, and then jam out to while driving.

A quick anecdote: My buddy J-Tables totally looks like Justin Vernon (lead singer of Bon Iver).

J-Vern of Bon Iver

J-Tabes of Two Tables. They totally look alike. Danger Zone.

Who am I missing? Let me know, In the comments. Online.


Adele; Adieu

Adele won six Grammy Awards this year. And to that I say, rubbish. Even more prestigious, she came in fifth on VH1’s Top 100 Greatest Women in Music. I know, you all support her and everything. She’s every woman’s role model. And she speaks for all of you. But here’s the deal. She’s really not that great. I am all about artists coming out of no where and taking the world over. But here’s a thing: she isn’t even the best one out there right now. So here we go. In classic Cal Mader fashion. A list of female artists better than Adele. Also, please note that this is in my opinion. Not Adam’s. We had to have a conversation about Amy Winehouse after this post. Her jazz stuff doesn’t impress me. Sorry, Holmes McHolmesDawg.

Rules. Had to have had an album in the 90s/ 00s/ 10s. Has to be a girl. I ain’t gonna remember or care to even grade all of them. Examples include Rihanna, Tori Amos, and Barabarabra Streisand.

Female singers that should be mentioned in any article talking about female singers:

Stevie Nicks – You wanna turn your face into a not-face? Tell me you hate Fleetwood Mac.

–You should probably listen to this song while reading this post. Just saying.
Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter (1950 - 1983)

Aretha Franklin – Did you know RESPECT is a cover? You do now. Expect a post on great cover songs soon.
Joan Jett
Janis Joplin
Etta James
The Pussycat Dolls

Female Singers who should not be things:

Nicki Minaj

Not a thing.

Amy Winehouse
Christina Aguilera
Liz Phair
Yoko Ono – Only because of what she did to the Beatles
Queen Latifah
Danity Kane – One of their albums went platinum. I hate this.

Female Singers of the last twenty years who are worse than Adele, but still deserve some serious recognition:

Regina Spektor

A good smile is one of the most beautiful things women can do. I believe that love starts with a woman's smile.

Madeline Follin of Cults – April 16 2012: First Ave.
Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Imogen Heap
Kelly Clarkson
Whitney Houston
Elly Jackson of La Roux
Ke$ha – Almost not a thing. But she’s kind of a thing. Not close to Adele, but a thing.

Zooey Deschanel – We love Zooey here at theFwaah.
Katy Perry AKA Katy Hudson. The Christian Singer.

Shirley Manson of Garbage
Sinead O’Connor
Lady Gaga
Alanis Morissette
Enya – I wanted to put the Enya scene from Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. But the scene is kinda late in teh movie, so it’d give some stuff away. So. Watch the movie, because it’s phenomenal. And the Enya scene is absolutely perfect.

Colbie Caillat
Kimya Dawson – She’s coming to Winona for the Midwest Music Festival.
PJ Harvey – She’s big in England, becuase all of her songs are love songs to England. Regardless, really cool indie rock songs.
Taylor Swift

Here’s the deal. Singers who are better than Adele. And I don’t care what you say.

Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer
Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries

Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine

A definite thing.

Ellie Goulding – Here‘s a dubstep cover of an Ellie Goulding song.

Her looks match her name. Ellie Goulding.

Norah Jones

Alison Krauss (27 Grammys)
Joy Williams of The Civil Wars
Gwen Stefani
Alicia Keys
Ingrid Michaelson
Hayley Williams

I have a thing for redheads. In case you haven't noticed.

As you can see. Adele is better than most. But she certainly isn’t the best female singer out there right now. Not even close. She’s like middle of the road of the best female singers. That’s still… amazing. But it ain’t six Grammys good. I liked 21. I thought it was a good album. But I wasn’t about to say it was better than every album out there. Please people. Let’s take a step back and say goodbye to our relentless rapture with Adele.

Adele, you ain't bad. You're actually pretty baller. You just arent's six Grammys good. I hope you have a great career filled with heartbreak, so you can continue to write music.

Adele, adieu.

Bonus: My favorite three female singers:
1. Stevie Nicks
2. Hayley Williams
3. Soprano from University of Chicago’s Voices in Your Head. During the recording of Magic off of Ben Folds A’Capella album. Check out ALL of it, but at least 2:50 on…

If you disagree with me, hit it up in the comments section. Stand up for your fav girl!

fwaah, cal

Becoming a musician or GarageBand made me who I am.

Yet another expedition into the Grinsell archives yields a fruitful bounty of blogs and Nesquik mix. However, as I shuffle through the darkness my ears catch a faint whistling echo in the distance. ”Merely the wind,” I say as I brush off my dusty memories of old sheriffs and Barney Fife. I continue my journey, with the determination of a guido at a nightclub, but I can’t help but think that some music would indeed lighten the mood as the cold dark surrounds me…

Oh, so it’s Thursday? That means the only class you have is a discussion for an introductory course on scratching your butt. You already have a B in that so there’s really no reason you should wake up before ten-thirty. Once the relentless sunshine rustles you from your slumber, you realize you got nothing to do today. You could sit on the couch and doing homework scratching your butt and it wouldn’t even matter! So you whip out the Mac Book and suddenly it hits you. Today, you are becoming a musician. And it’s all thanks to this little guy.

Actual guitar and talent not included.

A Day in the Life of a GarageBand Musician.

Phase 1: Optimism.

Optimism. A deadly first timer's mistake.

As the little guitar icon bounces up and down in eager anticipation to destroy your hopes and dreams, an almost overwhelmingly strong wave of positivity cascades over the Musician. Thoughts wander to back stage parties, hotel foam parties, and Bob Saget Parties. The program finally loads and gates of musical paradise have opened. It’s time to make some music.

Phase 2: Snack Break.

We recommend Gushers. After a grueling fifteen minutes setting up GarageBand with the new Billboard chart topper, a musician wants food that gushes flavor in the same way their fans will be gushing adoration for the rock star’s tight pants. Everyone loves fans. Except for the groupies. Groupies are nasty.

These ladies are definitely not smuggling narcotics... in their noses... and in their bloodstreams.... Okay, they do cocaine.

Phase 3: Choosing a genre.

Usually when someone makes a song, they like to stick with formulas and styles they are comfortable with and have proven successful in the past. Since an up-and-coming musician doesn’t want to make a potentially career altering move so early in the game, a GB Musician must at all costs throw in a hint of every genre they have been exposed to in the last five years. EVERY. GENRE. No exceptions.

June is also my birthday month. This is not a coincidence.

This decision allows the artist to remain “hot and fresh” so as not to become old, stale, and irrelevant like that Bob Dylan guy. If Owl City can hit number one with his monster hit, “Koala Bear Skylines Behind Electric Eel Sunsets” than anyone can, right?

Phase 3: Smoke Break.

If you don’t smoke, skip this step. If you do smoke, this will be the first of many. I hope you bought a new pack of Camel Crushes, because you are going to need them.

Phase 4: Looking around the house for lyrical/band name inspiration.

At this point, the musician understands that the next sentences they write must be the most insightful they have ever penned. They must write something that shows off their caring, thoughtful side, while establishing themselves . The closest thing to them is a lamp, so their song must be about being a light in the darkness.

Watch your back Adele.

But mostly, it’ll come across like a song that was written about a lamp. Also, band names that contain the word Mud or Mudd or any other spelling are gonna have it rough. A musician must spend more time naming the band than actually being in the band. Crucial step.

Phase 6: Lunch Break.

A musician must be careful with their diet. Their body is now a national treasure along the lines of Monica Lewinski’s blue dress. No longer can one eat what they want, but rather, they are confided to the brown-bagged lunches of champions and diplomats.

Coming back! Netflix 2013, baby!

Anything with unnecessary syllables or accents is now their bread and butter. Goodbye chunky chicken noodle with a Snickers, hello Ayam Bakar with a side of Achaar. Which may sound like a plateful of jihad, but actually is quite the tasty Indonesian dish. (We do not condone the eating of snickering puppies. That’s something a meanie pants would do.)

Phase 7: Actually recording musical sounds.

Now that their belly is full of top shelf delicacies, the music must be made. The next two hours will be spent with the tinkering with the distortion on the bass. This is not a fruitful phase. Nothing gets done. Another Camel Crush is consumed.

Phase 8: Talent Haters.

Any successful GB musician will say that a fundamental part of becoming a successful entertainer is addressing those who don’t share the same artistic vision as you. You have to address these people in as many songs as possible, so you can let them haters know who has the true skills. Be sure to reference the haters at any given opportunity, even if there are no haters. The people who say, “We aren’t haters, we just want you to shut up,” are secret haters, and are not to be trusted. When it appears there are no haters, that’s when people hate the most.

Nothing more should be said.

Phase 9: Taking a step back to admire the work.

Another day of music laid to rest.

A musician must be aware of the socio-economic environment they are releasing their music into. Are the people ready? Is it too progressive? Will there be enough room in the mailbag for all the letters of gratitude? The answer is always no, to all of these questions. It’s in a musician’s blood oath to change the landscape of music forever, starting with trimming off the nu-metal leaves. It’s really time to kick that one to the curb.

Yes, people listened to Mudvayne at one point. NEVER FORGET!

Phase 10: Party and Wait for praise.

At this point, a musician will want to turn off all their phones, as they will be ringing off the hook. It’s time to spend some alone time with their thoughts and a mountain of drugs, and exotic animals. It’s time to get so weird they turn into corn.

Not KORN, thank Talos. The C/K is crucial.

At this point, all interest is lost in finishing the project, and it becomes yet another shelved work of genius. Years later, a musician will come across their old pieces of work, and upload them various places in an attempt to raise interest and relevance. However… it will still sound mostly like songs about lamps.



p.s. included is my own landscape shaping piece of futuristic art. Let it load, and revel in my mastery.