3.10.2008

you've got questions? Supergig's got answers.

i found a list of questions about music on another blog...it was a long time ago, so i don't remember which one it was. however, i liked a lot of the questions. they prompted me to start musing about various songs and artists. so, i answered them.

1. Which bands/artist do you own the most albums by?
i own 17 Wesley Willis albums. that is my biggest music-collecting goal...to own all of Wesley's albums. i've been working on this for about seven years now, ever since the spring of my first year of college. it's not a likely goal to achieve, since many of his albums were self-released and there doesn't even exist a comprehensive list of all of the albums he recorded. but, i want to try. Wesley is one of my favourite musicians ever, and every album of his that i find contains more amusing, entertaining gems.

2. What was the last song you listened to?
"Dissent" by Linoleum. i just heard it for the first time, and it's a really good song. it's somewhere between alt-rock and indie-rock on that ever-so-nebulous continuum, but we know how worthless those kinds of descriptions are. the lead singer's voice is shiny.

3. What's in your CD player right now?
i don't own a CD player anymore. my last one broke back in 2005, and i have depended on my computer and my iPod for my music-listening needs ever since.

4. What was the last show you attended?
Theory of God, Once Afflicted, and Slugtrail at the Creepy Crawl on February 2nd. it was a show i went to because i wasn't doing anything else that night, and needed to get out of the apartment. i didn't know any of the bands who were playing, but decided a local metal show was just what i needed. i try to write about all the shows i go to here, but there really wasn't enough to say about that show to fill up a blog post. Theory of God was good...solid, instrumental heavy metal. i wish they had a website that was in any way useful, so i could figure out when they were playing in town next...or even how to contact a band member so they could tell me when they were playing in town next. however, Once Afflicted and Slugtrail were both awful. Once Afflicted sounded like a bad Godsmack knockoff come ten years late. Slugtrail? i don't know quite what i was listening to, but i wasn't sure it was music. i've done a lot to put it out of my head in the last two weeks, and i'm not about to google them in order to put it back in my head to give you a better description. i love you, my dear readers, but not enough to listen to them again. you can google them if you want, but be warned. your ears may rebel against you.

5. What was the greatest show you've ever been to?
Cold, Finger Eleven, and Reach 454 at the Metro, on May 25, 2003. okay, so Reach 454 was terrible, but Cold and Finger Eleven were then, and still are, my favourite bands on earth. they both put on such passionate shows...as good as they are recorded, the energy is just so much more when they play live. they also both sounded great...it makes me so happy when bands i love sound good live, because it means they don't need all that slick record production to sound like the band i feel like i know and love. the Metro is also my favourite venue in Chicago. it's big enough to get some good crowd action going, but still not so large that i feel detached from the band on stage.

6. What's the worst show you've ever been to?
see #4. i've never been to a show where every band was awful. but, at that show, it was only Theory of God, who was on stage for a whole twenty minutes, who was good. the two bands that got more stage time, Once Afflicted and Slugtrail, were unlistenably bad. it was the only show i've ever left early because the music was so bad. and, to add insult to injury, my friend and i got mugged on the way back to the car after the show. sigh.

7. What show are you looking forward to?
i've got a few coming up...but the one i'm most looking forward to is Brian Vander Ark. [does that really surprise you, on a blog named after a Verve Pipe song?! didn't think so...] he's coming to Wash U and playing a show on campus on March 31. his solo music is mellower than the stuff he did with The Verve Pipe, but is still very good. the venue is small and intimate, which will be nice. i just really hope he plays my two favourite songs of his: "Didn't Want To Be A Bother" [a sarcastic song about people who try to push religion on others] and "1229 Sheffield" [a Verve Pipe song he reworked as a solo piece...a really melancholy song about a young marriage gone terribly wrong].

8. What is your favorite band shirt?
my Slitheryn shirt. Slitheryn was a local band in Chicago for a few years in the early aughts. they were weird...a heavy metal band in which all the instrumentalists were thirteen years old, and the lead singer was eleven. they were together for a while...until the instrumentalists were maybe fifteen or sixteen, and the singer thirteen or fourteen. they weren't a great band, but they were extremely good for their ages, and have promising things ahead of them if they want to stick with the music thing. anyway, the shirt i bought when i saw them in 2001 is fantastic. it is a black shirt. it says "Slitheryn" on the front. on the back, it has a picture of the band, and the text "DITCHES SCHOOL." i love the fact that the most bad-ass thing they could think of to brag about was that they ditch school.

9. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
James Black from Finger Eleven. not only does his band make really good music, but he makes really weird art and poetry as well. he'd be an extremely interesting person to hang out with for a day. i think we'd have some very strange conversations, and i'd enjoy that.

10. Who is one musician or group you wish would make a comeback?
i always hate to answer this question. whenever bands get together and make "comebacks," it never seems to be quite as good as the original music. i always allow myself to get optimistic, and then i'm always disappointed with the results. however, if i were to allow myself to hope a band would get back together and be as good as they were, it would definitely be Cold. they waffled between together and broken-up for a while, and finally broke up for good in November of 2006. they released four albums during the time they were together, all of which were fantastic. they're still one of my favourite bands of all time, and it makes me sad that i will never get to hear them live again, or listen to a new album of theirs.

11. Who is one band/artist you've never seen live but always wanted to?
Wesley Willis. i know i never will, because he died in 2003...but i always wanted to, and never did. his live shows were probably completely weird: him, playing his keyboard, improvising even weirder lyrics to his already-weird songs. he also usually played the Fireside Bowl, which was a fantastic venue. the Fireside used to be a bowling alley, but when it got too old and decrepit to be functional for bowling, they started hosting underground music shows there. i've been to a couple shows there, although never Wesley. it would have been perfect to see the goofiest musician in Chicago play at the goofiest venue in Chicago.

12. Name four or more flawless albums:
flawless albums? that's hard. almost all of the albums i've ever listened to, owned, or even loved have had a flaw on it. even the best albums have that one song that isn't quite up to par. however, there are a few albums i know that don't have even That One Inevitable Clunker on it...and can thus be described as flawless:

  • Secret Samadhi by Live.
    • this album stands up to repeated listenings more than any other album i've ever experienced. it always confuses me why people always seem to prefer Throwing Copper to this one. Throwing Copper is good, yes, but the songs aren't as interesting, fun to listen to, or generally hard-rocking as the songs on Secret Samadhi. this album is Live at its best...and, possibly, nineties alternative rock at its best.
  • Rush Hour by Wesley Willis.
    • this album has some of Wesley's most deliciously weird music. Greatest Hits Volume 3 may be weirder, but it also has "Love God" on it--which is by far Wesley's worst song. Rush Hour is hilarious from beginning to end, with no songs worthy of being skipped. it has such gems as "The Termites Ate My House Up", which suggests the worst way ever of exterminating bugs [specifically, shooting up a house with a BB gun] and "King of Fire", which i am convinced is Wesley's weirdest song ever.
  • Eve 6 by Eve 6.
    • this album is just plain solid from beginning to end. the songs are all fun to listen to, and they're rife with the clever puns and wordplay that make Eve 6's lyrics so interesting. it's one part pop, two parts rock, thoroughly nineties...and made the summer after my sophomore year of high school extra-happy.
  • Darkest Days by Stabbing Westward.
    • this album is a concept album, designed to trace the arc of a relationship from being single to meeting someone to becoming infatuated with them, through the deterioration of the relationship and then finally getting over it. it's sixteen good songs put in the perfect order to tell a story. what makes it even better is that they maintain their dark character as Stabbing Westward...there's nothing sunny and sappy in the album. if there had been, it would feel out of place, even during the phase when the relationship described in the album is going well. the love song, "You Complete Me", straddles somewhere between "what did i do to get so lucky?" and "we're both screwed up, let's be screwed up together."
13. How many music related videos/DVDs do you own?
only one. i'm not a big DVD watcher, so even if it's a band i like i never buy the concert DVDs. i'd prefer to just buy a ticket when the band comes through town and see them live. the only music-related DVD i have is The Daddy of Rock and Roll, a documentary made about Wesley Willis a few years ago. it has a little bit of concert footage, although most of it is a portrait of his life. there's actually another documentary out about Wesley, one that came out just this year: Wesley Willis Joyrides. it's still making the festival circuit. i hope it plays here, although it's not likely because the Saint Louis Film Festival is held in November. it's not out on DVD yet, but i'm sure i'll buy it when it does come out. Wesley is fascinating, and i've heard very good things about Joyrides.

14. How many concerts/shows have you been to, total?
i have lost count. i used to know how many i had been to, back when i was in high school. i wasn't able to go to very many back then. but, once i moved out of the house and up to Chicago, i started going to a lot more shows and lost count. in Raleigh, concertgoing was a rare occurrence. in Chicago, it became my life. it became the norm. instead of buying tickets for every show weeks [and sometimes months] in advance, i had the luxury of being able to go see a random local band on almost any given night if i didn't have anything else to do.

15. Who have you seen the most live?
i have seen Inept sixteen times. they're a local band from the Chicago area, and played in the city and the near suburbs a lot. i'm not as crazy about their recent stuff, but their first few releases back in 2003 and 2004 were fantastic. the shows were a lot of fun; they had a lot of devoted fans who jump, mosh, and sing every word. then again, i'm sure they still do...i don't know all the words to their newer songs, but i still know the old stuff like the back of my hand, and miss the days when those songs were the bread and butter of their shows.

16. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
that's an easy one: Daredevil. i don't know who was in charge of putting together the soundtrack for that movie, but they had to have been reading my mind. otherwise, how would they have known to put so many bands i love on there? Fuel, Seether, Finger Eleven, Drowning Pool. it was paradise! furthermore, i discovered several bands who i grew to love after hearing them on this soundtrack: Revis, Evanescence, and Boysetsfire. i would never have picked it up if it didn't have so many bands i already knew and loved, although the strongest tracks on the album are the ones by these new bands who i had not heard of before then. i've never seen the movie; i'm not a big movie watcher and i kept hearing that it was terrible. but, the album is solid evidence that Wind-Up Records should be doing a lot more movie soundtracks.

17. What was your last musical "phase" before you wisened up?
my musical tastes have been building upon each other since i was 14, and first got into modern rock. before that, though...wow, it's embarrassing. the cool station to listen to when i was in middle school was Mix 101.5: the adult contemporary station. so, that's the kind of stuff i listened to in a futile attempt to have something in common with my classmates. it didn't help me; i still had no friends then. but, i had a voracious taste for anything Celine Dion would put out. that should count for something, no?

28. What's your "guilty pleasure" that you hate to admit to liking?
where do i begin with this one? i'm usually really open with my ridiculous guilty pleasure songs. out of all the songs i feel bad for liking, the one i feel the worst for liking--and even worse for admitting i like--is "Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit. i know, i expounded here earlier upon the fact that there's no excuse for Limp Bizkit. i still don't think there is; this one fun guilty pleasure song of theirs is not worth all the musical havoc they wrought in the late nineties. but, still...if this comes on the radio or a jukebox, i start singing and dancing. i hate myself for it, but i can't help it.

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