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No Devotion - "Stay" (Official)

The Lostprophets are back!

Well, not really.

Well, kinda.

Well…no.

You can decide for yourself.

In recent news, the former Lostprophets’ band members, (minus Ian Watkins), have formed a new band, called No Devotion.  Their first single, Stay, came out on July 1.  They also released another song, called, Eyeshadow.

Fronting the new group is the former lead singer of the US post-hardcore band, Thursday, Geoff Rickly.  Rickly is also is the lead singer of the ‘super screamo-group’, the United Nations (gotta say, love the name – saving the world by screaming superbly? Possibly. I personally think music can change the world if people ever gave it a chance).

I had no idea the former band members were making new music –I’m very happy they found their niche again as they all are a bunch of great guys.  Their previous work was tainted heavily and may always be…this is perhaps time for a fresh start and to try things all over again.   

I encourage you to listen to the songs and formulate your own thoughts.  When I first heard Stay, it did remind me of Lostprohets (tune-wise), but after hearing it a few more times, like many artists who branch out and make new music be it with their former and/or new artists/band members, No Devotion may be creating an entire new sound – a new sound to call their own, not to mention a new band to call their own.

In the case anyone was wondering, Lee Gaze, former lead guitarist of Lostprophets, said in a recent article that No Devotion would not be playing any of the band’s former work.  I actually never thought of them doing that – but we all know there are many bands out there who replace a singer and still play the former singer’s songs (e.g. the whole Escape the Fate feud). 

Gaze also said something else really interesting in that article that I wanted to share with you. He said that music was subjective.  What are your thoughts? Agree/disagree?  Can you still listen to Lostprophets’ music?  Can you listen to any music that has been tainted due to the artist’s personal issues/problems/decisions in his/her own lives?

To be honest, I have not really listened to Lostprophets’ music.  It’s not because, though, I hate the band or the music they created.  It has nothing to do with that; I actually do not have any ill will towards anyone.  I cannot listen to their music simply because I do not have the heart to – I am disappointed and saddened as I feel a certain person did not need to change who they were and/or go further down the road of depravity thinking it would lead anywhere besides Hell – and why that person wanted to go is a question no one but that person can answer.  I guess To Hell We Ride had it right from the start – “it’s not enough…after all I’ve said….No answers…”

Sometimes music is more than just a fond memory, but it stands for something, or well, many things, that are very significant – and you can feel/see/hear that whenever you hear the music, listen to an interview, watch a documentary, and/or read an article —— whatever medium it is….the intangible, in a way, becomes tangible in those instances, because you feel you are right there with the music and the artists in that moment.  You get all the jokes, had a good laugh…and when the worst news came of all, you were again right there trying to understand the situation, too.  And for some of us, (me, certainly), are still trying to wrap their heads around it and perhaps always will question it.

Some pieces of a broken heart will never be picked up – and maybe they should just go in the garbage, but I think No Devotion, much like any former fan’s heart (if they’re willing to listen) is going to the recycle bin for another try at music/life/the world.

I know…that was the weirdest analogy ever, but if you think about it, it makes sense.  Along with starting again, I think No Devotion is turning over a new leaf, too – as they said, there’s ‘no devotion,’ to their past – it’s time to get up and try again.

And, they’re most certainly here to Stay.

There’s nothing you can do about it.

Best and best wishes to the band, x

M

PS – if anyone has any comments about my question, feel free to comment and/or message! Thank you!

*2

::Closure - Fiction vs. Reality::

Friendships lost.

A legacy tainted forever.

Music and art forgotten and left to be swept under the rug or destroyed.

Denial.

Confusion.

Betrayal.

These are just some of the many thoughts that I’m sure all supporters/ex-supporters and friends of the alt metal Welsh band, Lostprophets, have been thinking about since lead singer, Ian Watkins plead guilty (approximately two weeks ago).

It’s been a sad, shocking, and turbulent two weeks on an emotional roller coaster ride. 

My warm thoughts and prayers go out to the band, their families and friends, Ian’s family, and anyone who was directly affected as well as those in similar situations.

It’s a very heart-breaking situation on many levels - not just for the families, but from a longtime supporter perspective - so many questions that may always remain unanswered keep popping up and cannot be pushed back further into the recesses of one’s brain.  

While I never considered the band or Watkins, himself, a ‘hero’ or that great inspiration, I did greatly respect and appreciate the band for their artistic integrity, intelligence, and passion.  I was very impressed on a personal note with Watkins’ and other band member’s writing style (yes, I was one of the few who eagerly would read the band’s MySpace messages and chuckle upon reading their website notes back many moons ago) and was heavily inspired by their boldness to even the smallest monikers, including all of the quirky and witty comments made in the band’s interviews. 

Their music was catchy, fun, energetic, intelligent, inspirational and along with their videos, was, overall, fairly clean content.  I also liked Watkin’s artwork for the albums and the phoenix had such a great meaning and was a very cool idea. I also respected the fact that Watkins did the artwork himself for the albums and the band’s merchandise.  I also thought his Made In Hell (MiH) wearable art (not to be confused with a clothing line) was a very unique and creative idea.  Hate Couture, indeed.

I also greatly appreciated and respected the band a lot as, at least, two of the band members (Ian and Jamie) , that I know of, had pursued higher education  prior to starting the band.  This really resonated with me on a personal note and it validated for me that you can pursue higher education (which is something I greatly value), and still follow your dreams, regardless if they deal with your educational or career pursuits.

Now…in the midst of this recent news and as more information is released on an ongoing basis, while I cannot muster to play a Lostprophets’ song, lyrics come and go inside of my head.  I beckon to question if some lyrics had greater hidden meanings - tracks like Can’t Get Enough and A Better Nothing, which are unarguably, in my opinion, perhaps two of the most darkest of Lostprophets’ songs re: lyrical content…were they not what  I thought they may be about? Do they discuss the very hidden agenda Watkins apparently had over the past few years?  Or, were they secretly cries for help from Watkins and no one suspected a thing?

The world may never know.

While many feel they’ve lost their ‘hero,’ I will say, for the record, for anyone reading this tonight, tomorrow, or whenever…let this be a lesson.

At the end of the day, a musical artist, and/or any artist or someone you look up or greatly admire  are still human.  Being human, we are all prone to make mistakes and/or can be inclined to make the wrong choices in life.

It can happen to any of us, you me, Bobby McGee, that kid next door, a teacher, a friend, a relative, an enemy…an admired musical artist, perhaps?

If you always act like a god, it is only in due time that the devil catches up with you and takes your hand to lead you in the opposite direction you are going.

Then, it is only in due time, justice will be served and you have to pay for the  consequences of your own actions.

Always remember, that as humans, we are all accountable for our own actions.  Not someone else, a Higher Power, or your cousin twice removed - you.  Just you.  People can always be succumbed to peer pressure, or they, perhaps, are just too arrogant and think that nothing can happen, or, maybe, just maybe, they may think that what they’re doing is not wrong, but actually, right. 

Regardless of what you do in life, especially in the art and/or music world, always remember to ensure that whatever path you choose and choices you make, go along with your beliefs and morals.  If you have to question your decisions or cannot ascertain whether the choice you are making is morally right or wrong, then that is when you need to seek guidance and help.  Talk to a parent, a trusted friend, mentor, teacher, counselor, religious leader, etc…

And, if you cannot do any of that for comfort’s sake or whatever reason you may have, then perhaps it is best to not make that decision in the first place and choose an alterative choice.

However, if you do feel the choice you are not making is not wrong, it’d be encouraged to still discuss it with someone - maybe they have another perspective for you to look at, and/or they can offer you some other advice, and/or if it is a morally wrong choice, that person you confide in can reach out and tell you that.

All of this aside,  I’d like to remember Lostprophets and their music and art in a positive light, despite the betrayal, hurt, anguish, denial, and confusion many, including me, are thinking.

I’d like to always remember Ian Watkins as the man and musical artist I thought he was, not the person he so horrifically became/was behind closed doors.

Best and may you always be guided down the right and moral path in life.

M:)

"If the first inward thought is not warded off, it will generate a desire, then the desire will generate a wish, and the wish will generate an intention, and the intention will generate the action, and the action will result in ruin and Divine wrath. So evil must be cut off at its root, which is when it is simply a thought that crosses the mind, from which all the other things follow on."

Imam Al-Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences), 6/17

*2

::End of An Era - “To Every Broken Heart In Here…”::

Hey World::

I know I’m about 20 days too late on this…but better later than never, right?

As I’m sure you all know by now, Lostprophets, (or Wales’ finest as I used to call them many moons ago), announced on their Facebook page on October 1, 2013, that they decided to part ways and no longer be a band together, anymore.

Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in. 

I’ve been a large supporter of the group since around 2004.  I had known of them about a year ago before, and maybe even had seen snippets of Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja on MTV once, but I honestly cannot recall 100%.  I remember being into Chevelle (band, not car :), bee tea dubs, Wonder What’s Next is a good album), and seeing a picture of Lostprophets from Ozzfest.  My initial reaction, as my reaction had been to many bands in that time period, was, “who is this nu-metal crap band? They’re just trying to be like Incubus.”  I don’t even know still what ‘nu-metal,’ is…I just knew the term as that was this new genre back in the hey day of the early 2000s.

(Funny thing was, I also did not like Icubus originally either, but then I heard Pardon Me randomly on the radio and it just grew on me, but that’s another story for another day…)

Ha, that’s what has happened with a lot of music I listen to — I either love the song immediately or hate it.  Then, as fate always has it, I decide to listen to it again, and maybe after 1-5 spins (approximately) of repeat listening, I really start to enjoy it. (The same thing has happened with Black Veil Brides, Escape the Fate (specifically There’s No Sympathy For the Dead and anything pre-jail time for Ronnie Radke.)

Anyway, flash forward to 2004, and I kept seeing the end of this music video on Fuse.TV (remember when they used to play all rock and metal and had that show IMX? Good times…that music stock exchange was a genius concept - I never understood it, but it seemed genius.)  I remember watching a video and thinking "okay, this chorus has really trite lyrics… ‘still tomorrow/forget the sorrow’…what?"  …and, of course, after deciding one day to not flip channels, as I was curious to know who this band actually was, it turned out to be Lostprophets.

You can imagine my surprise as I thought to myself, “Wait, this is not nu-metal crap, at all! This is rock…I think I like this song!”

After learning more about that song (Last Train Home - a song that still means a lot to me, to this day), and researching a bit more about Lostprophets, I realized this band was not just your typical rock band… They were from a small mining town (Pontypridd, Wales), had intelligent responses in their interviews, had a sense of humor, and, what honestly impressed me the most, was that, along with getting higher education, I eventually found out, a few of them, (at least at that time), were something called ‘straight-edge.’ 

I remember reading an article about Last Train Home - I always felt I connected with the band in some way from that moment on.  Perhaps it was how the interviewer had typed something along the lines of that song sounding like the lead singer had his heart ripped out and had it thrown in the trash can, (which, coincidentally enough, had also been my same reaction when I first heard it) - or perhaps it was their sense of humor and, as I said, intelligence, integrity, and honesty as artists - but the band, as a whole, really meant and still does mean something special to me.  They were just ‘cool’, I guess, my far away ‘friends,’ even though I never have met them. 

They were also one of the first bands I got into that, well, screamed a bit in their work.  It was a bit surprising for me - as they sounded a bit different than some of the music I had been listening to (Blink 182, Incubus, Linkin Park, and, of course, long-time favorites, Matthew Good (formerly of Matthew Good Band) and Butch Walker (formerly of Marvelous 3).  Maybe, upon looking back, they were not all that different, but to me, at that time, they were. 

…What really sealed the deal, though, was, I remember, once doing my intermediate statistics (STAT 350) homework on the computer before I went to class, and I managed to find a copy of To Hell We Ride to listen to. 

I remember hearing it as I did my homework.

The song played.

And…believe it, or not, immediately after it ended, I hit ‘play,’ again. 

At that time, and perhaps, even now, it is very rare for me to like something immediately - first time, no questions asked and/or arguments in my head (e.g. ‘really, Maria, you like that?!).

So…that are  some of my first memories of

I’ve followed their work ever since - when they were on MySpace (hey, Tom), I eventually joined.  I also was on the band’s web message boards for a while.  I loved their bold way of writing to their fans, in particular. Later on, I was really impressed with the design work on their albums (that Pheonix still is pretty awesome), their clever song titles, and their honest and down-to-earth interviews minus the arrogance, or the ‘we want to be the best band ever,’ kind of vibe. 

I think at the end of the day, given the current circumstances, a choice had to be made…while situations like these can go one out of three ways, (e.g. either the band breaks up, they wait, and/or the band gets a new lead singer), I think as long as the band is collectively satisfied and in agreement with the choice they made as a band, then, at this time, that’s the right choice.  Sometimes you have to do, what you have to do.

Life is full of obstacles, challenges, moments of despair, loss, and confusion - the important thing is to be able to rise above all of these things and do what is best for you.

In this case, the band had to do what is best for them -  individually, collectively, and perhaps, most importantly, artistically and for the sake of their own artistic integrity. 

Despite all the hulabaloo, and chit chatter, the most important thing, here is, if the band can continue going on not just as artists, but people in whatever career paths they choose to go in and be there for their families, (as anyone else would do) - that’s the most important thing.

I wish Lee Gaze, Stu Richardson, Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver, and Luke ‘Jocko’ Johnson and their families the best with their future endeavors.  Thanks for being my far away friends in the rock world and also inspiring me creatively - along with Matthew Good and Butch Walker, this band really taught me that concept of artistic integrity and helped me realize that musical artists are just that - they are artists creating music - however, they are people, too.  They are not ‘celebrities,’ or monkeys to sing and clap on command on stage - they have feelings, dreams, aspirations, morals, values, beliefs, and ideas just like the rest of us.

Now, if only the rest of the world realized this about any musical artist, actor, actress, and/or any ‘entertainer,’ think of how much nicer the rest of the world would be.

Really — think about it.

As for me, I have to go now - otherwise, I’m going to miss the last train home. 

xXx (I also learned this ‘x’ thing from Lostprophets -  I think it means ‘straight-edge,’ but I just do it, because maybe I think it cool - it’s the Maria way of showing just a little bit of affection - or, maybe, it means x marks the spot…? Hmmm…I’m still not sure :)

Thank you and until next time…(or as Lostprophets sang, “even through your doubts, we will still be here…”),

M:)

PS - To read the band’s departing statement, please go to www.facebook.com/lostprophets

*13

"We’re big sports fans, actually."

"We’re big athletes. We’re looking forward to seeing Athlete…"

"…the band."

:)

You unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), don’t hear the questions, only the answers. This was an interview Lostprophets did a few years ago. I randomly (nothing new, right?) thought of it when I saw the After Romeo video. Ridiculous, I know.

As Lostprophets are from Wales, a lot of their work and interviews, etc…were all done in the UK. Being a huge supporter of the band for a variety of reasons and, as mentioned, being a music lover, watching their unscripted and real interviews with reporters were always refreshing and hi-larious, to say the least.

Please note this interview does have a few inappropriate words.

The most interesting thing about this interview, though, is that the lead singer, Ian Watkins, gets the cameraman to look at someone to his right. "Look over there…over there…over there…"

Classic.

I know there’s a lot of hulabaloo going on about them nowadays due to Ian perhaps metaphorically and literally being in a very dark place right now. Regardless of what’s being talked about, at the end of the day, supporters, or even if you are not one anymore, should really focus on the band’s musical body of work and who the band is as musical artists.

There is also no denying their talent, passion, and integrity in those roles, respectively.

Artists are people, too, ya know. They have feelings just like we do, contrary to popular belief. They’re not monkeys to ‘entertain’ and clap their hands and wear top hats on stage.

Most importantly though, in general, I really believe if it’s not your place to say anything, you really shouldn’t be saying anything at all. You do not know the whole story - and, as you don’t, you really are in no place to judge.

No one should do that.

To anyone.

With any situation.

Ever.

Easier said than done, though…right?

Easier said than done…

The interview is classic Lostprophets though…enjoy.

ty

(thank you)

*9

Oh, After Romeo.

Wherefore art thou After Romeo?

Deny my love for loud rock music and refuse my passion for guitars.

I feel like I’m in my own *gasp* forbidden love story.

Le sigh.

Can this love ever be?

Can I let go of my heart’s desire to listen to heavy riffs for even just one night (with you?;) 

Dare I  spark an unbridled passion of listening to pop that I may or may not have secretly yearned for many a night?

 

Of course I can.

Don’t be silly, world.

As I’m sure I’ve typed before I’m pretty eclectic in my musical tastes and while I haven’t actually talked about pop music (especially a boy band…or is it boy group? I always get that confused), I decided to take that plunge…as the cool dudes of After Romeo sing.

Actually, the song is called, Free Fall

And, just to clarify, they’re not literally talking about a free fall, because, well, first of all, that’s kinda sorta dangerous.  And, secondly, Tom Petty already sang about this same topic in the 90s.  (And I’m freeeeee…..free fallin’….skateboarding anyone? You know you always watched that video on VH1’s Pop-Up Video!)

Swiftly moving on…where do I begin?

Oh, yes.

So, I first heard of these guys when I went to Costco two weekends ago.  (For the other Muslims fasting on Tumblr, here’s a Ramadan challenge for you - going into Costco and not being tempted by the food samples.  Yup, only seven (arbitrary number) more hours until you can eat! Ha! Besides buying the usual things from Costco, you know you also go to eat a sample! Fact, not opinion.)

Anyway…I saw this video being played on the TVs.  My initial reaction went something as follows:

1. Boy group. singing. They look young - mainly all blondes/light brown hair, one guy looks of Asian descent (hey, that’s pretty rad), and this one guy has dark hair that reminds me of Lostprohets’ Ian Watkins’ hair in that one interview… that’s pretty cool. (I’ll post it after this. Hi-larious interview…well, to me, anyway.)

2. Color me confused - there’s so many colors and styles! Someone has a bowtie! And this one guy has a really colorful jacket!

3. Ooo - jumping! I like the jumping and the simultaneous camera movements.

4. Lastly, of course, me being me, thinks to herself, ‘dude, this is like a G/PG rated dancing and happy version of the video, Lostprophets’ Bring ‘Em Down, of course, minus the whole fighting, blood, and post-apocalyptical concept… okay, I’m probably thinking this because the whole gang is running through an abandoned warehouse in that video, too.’

5. Then (Oh Em Gee, you’re not done, yet, Maria?), thinking of warehouses and dancing makes me think of comedian, Fahim Anwar's 'Step Up' comedy bit on YouTube. I’ll post the video afterwards.  Where do those DJs come from in those abandoned warehouses? Do they live underneath the warehouse sewer and crawl/come to life when there’s a dance battle?  Like TMNT did? But…wait,who’s Splinter? Hmmm…

Wait, Mar, hold the phone, these were really your thoughts?

Yes.

Yes, these really were my thoughts - okay, I just thought of the Splinter thing, but everything else was fairly accurate. True story.

One thing about me (if you didn’t know already), is that I probably make pop culture references to things that I’m sure most people will not get or understand (smile and nod?).  I also am very random (I’m the same in real life, too, hah….this is like that one time..’ or ‘real quick - I have a story’- Family Guy, anyone?). And, of course, I also know one too many useless facts about pop culture, like Milhouse said in The Simpsons, 'It's that thing. That thing that I say!'

:)

If you’ve gotten this far, I’m proud of you. We’ll totally high 5 later.

Let’s go back to the song

 After my initial reaction, I eventually found out the name of the song and who was singing it.  Then, after listening to the song a couple of times, nature ran it’s course and I’ve had this song stuck in my head on and off for approximately…let’s see, if we carry the 5, divide by 17….for two weeks. 

T’is a record, world, t’is a record.  Being the music lover I am (contrary to a listener, by the way:), I conducted some research on who this group was. Two webisodes and a few vlogs and videos later (thanks, YouTube), I come to the conclusion that not only is the group very talented, humorous, and all around, very real and honest as individuals and as artists, but I also really wanted to this song with everyone. 

I really like it!

Really, really?

Really, really!

It’s happy, it’s fun - and similarly to a lot of the rock music I listen to (e.g. Lostprophets, even some Black Veil Brides), the message of Free Fall is very similar.  It’s not as — what’s the word - lovey-dovey? as some other boy bands and/or other pop artists sing about - this song really has a powerful overall message.

Free Fall is about taking that risk, that chance, or whatever it is you want to do in your life.  

It’s about not giving up on your dreams or your passions. 

It’s about just going out there and trying to accomplish what you feel you are set to do in this world.

The song, I also eventually realized has some great metaphors.  You can really visualize someone standing on top of a mountain or quoi-ever building, and just thinking about what choice to take.  Okay, building might sound creepy - but regardless, the song has a very valid point.  You may face obstacles, challenges, an/or bumps on the road of life, but the important thing is that you can always speed up and take that next detour  instead of the exit.

Anyone can take an exit - anyone can throw in that towel and call it a day.  However, it takes a really special and strong person to be able to overcome what they are scared of and find either a new solution or attempt a resolution to his or her problems.

That’s a really great and powerful message, and how often do you hear ‘rat race,’ in a pop song? Um, never. So, kudos to the dudes for penning that - unlike other boy bands, I believe they actually write and record their own material, which is pretty great, as well. 

So many people are entertainers - they sing, dance, perform on stage - but to be artists, which is what I think these guys are working on being, is something pretty special.

While I honestly have never bought a boy band record (as I’ve typed before, I like tune more than anything else, and I usually don’t care for all of the tunes by boy bands), this group really made me think about a few things.

  While  I think it’s hard to be a rock musical artist, as it’s not in the popular music category, and you have to play and write your own material, I think it’s also a great challenge to be in the pop world.  This may be as tough or even harder than being a rock musical artist (or, perhaps, any artist for that matter), because, if you think about it — you’re playing your own voice - your entire body, is, in a way, an instrument that is crafted and perfected a certain way.  Your voice and your body is what is trained, toned, and through practice after practice, determination and, I’m sure a lot of patience, do you get it right.

And, in a way, even after all this hard work, an artist may even not be good enough. Look at all those folks who are here one minute and out the next. Or, consider all of the thousands of individuals who are trying to make it big or have even a mediocre following but we, as general radio listeners, have no idea who they are because his or her music isn’t played on the radio (That’s what the internet is for, Maria. Yeah, yeah, I know, but I think there are more listeners than lovers of music and art in the world. Is it just me?)

It’s certainly an interesting concept and I’d love to talk to people in the pop industry about it - how cool would that be?  I wonder if pop artists also agree with Billy Corgan’s (lead singer of Smashing Pumpkins, formerly Zwan, then formerly Smashing Pumpkins) regarding that whole 'dumbing down principle'? Does that actually exist?

I’ll post the article link from Ultimate Guitar after this, too.

It’s questions and concepts like this that really fascinate me being an outsider to the entertainment/music/art industry.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I also feel sometimes a band’s management or what’s ‘hot’ or the ‘in’ thing at the moment can cause people in this industry to change, be it you’re playing pop music or rock or whatever floats your boat.  And, what if the band doesn’t want to cater to the needs and/or wants of their management or what’s ‘in’?  Is that it? Is it either the highway or continuing on a road that you may not want to be on because it will take you to a town where everyone but you know will know who you really are?

So many questions - no answers…le sigh.

I’m sure this post is getting too long and too deep, for you all, so to conclude, I’ll say:

1. Free Fall is catchy.  The video is also cool (see above).  It’s very positive and it makes you want to smile :). And, when I mean catchy, I mean really catchy - Catch Me If You Can, like in that one movie with Leonardo diCaprio catchy

2. The band is cool. They can sing and dance very well.  I’m really impressed. :) While I think I’m a couple of years older than the oldest member (Jayk Purdy? Hey dude, btw), After Romeo, in general, seem like really nice and friendly guys.  You can see they have this great camaraderie and are really passionate about what they do.  As a music lover, I’m all about watching band interviews, etc…and seeing their YouTube channel videos was a lot of fun and different for me because I’m so into rock related things. The guys also are humorous and I think it’ d be fun to talk to them, They’re down to earth and seem very humble.  This is such a rare trait found in so many people these days. I’d love to interview them about my ideas above - what fun and how interesting that would be. :)  (I know, I know, most people want to know all about the personal lives of an artist, but with me, I’d rather talk to someone about their work - I’d like to talk to people about their lives, off camera and/or not for the purpose of an interview, but as a friend.:)

3.  Recommendations - I would recommend this song to anyone who likes pop music, and/or fun, dance-y (new word, coined) music.  I’d also recommend this to anyone  who was a fan of Varsity FanClub (VFC), which some of the previous members of the band were in before creating this one.  I’d also recommend this song to anyone who just wants to hear something different than what they usually listen to.  As you know, I’ve talked a lot about post hard core as of recently, and while I was a bit apprehensive to post this on here, I thought why not? Music is music - art is art - creativity is creativity.  Let me freefall into my writing and write a post. :)

Wow!

Phew!

Are you still with me?


So many thoughts and ideas are swirling around in my head - I guess it’s good I went to Costco that day.  (Anyone else really want some samples, now?):)  

As always, if anyone has any insight on my pop related or any of my questions, feel free to message me! I really want to learn more as I feel so strongly about art, music and the overall integrity of an artist - any artist - be in pop, rock, rap, blues, jazz, country, classical, etc…

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this - art is through the eye’s of the artist.  I’d like to think of writing as an art, too, even though I know it’s often times too much for folks to read.

If you read this,thank you, as always, for reading and allowing me to share my ‘art’ with you.  :)

I hope you all can one day have the courage to free fall and take that plunge to do whatever you want to do in life.

Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams.

Always.

Best,

M:)

 PS - Post Script - One of my next posts will be about Pakistani rock (wait, what Maria?) ——let’s take a musical journey around the world.  Who’s with me?

Get ready.

*2

Hello World::
I honestly can’t get enough of Lostprophets’ Can’t Get Enough off of their 2012 album, Weapons.  Incredible.  

Upon hearing it quite a few times, the opening, while it sounds a bit haunting (and awesome, might I add), reminds me of tracks from the band’s second album, Start Something.  That album heavily used orchestra to make the music ‘sound harder,’ as well as had instrumental intros which featured electronic mixing.  (Refer to Make A Move and Sway, two key examples off of Start Something.)

Swiftly moving on…let’s talk about Can’t Get Enough.

This song describes a lot of emotions.  I feel the lead singer, Ian Watkins, harbors a bit of a grudge. It’s a song about himself to himself, but also, I feel the lyrics are words of caution to his…how do you say…ah..yes, “haters.”  He seems to have a great amount of disdain (“hate,” if you will) towards the ones who have either wronged, mistreated, and, even perhaps, misunderstood him.  Despite these individuals’ possible jealousy and strong dislike of the path he has taken (which the exact road is unknown to the listener), Watkins alludes he will still stay on his path and not back down.  Further, though, this “hate” (perhaps disguised as anger) he just can’t get enough (pun intended) of is something he keeps inside.  Perhaps these feelings are the “fuel to his fire,” as it helps him continue to stay on his path…but I also think there could be a different meaning.

He may not necessarily want to have this grudge - Watkins repeatedly states he still “needs it,”….this anger is something he cannot let go of.

Questions still remain though…why does he still feel he needs to continue feeling this way?  Is it because he is still angry at the way things worked out in his past and how he was treated?  Or, perhaps, let’s look at it from another perspective.

Maybe he is upset at himself.  Maybe he realized he should not have done what he had done in the past…maybe he had let go or shrugged off emotions and incidents one too many times…and, now, this is payback to himself to continue feeling angry….and he needs to continue feeling this way as it helps him  hold his own in order to not let anyone walk all over him again.  Maybe, as well, he still needs to feel this way, because, well, if he didn’t…he would not be able to be who he is and would fall apart.

Hmmm…interesting.  I feel like this song is a great song for anyone going through a difficult time or has felt wronged and/or mistreated by anyone they care about and/or who cares about them.  If you think about it, the content of the song also greatly deals with communications and possible psychological concepts.  Perhaps, this ‘hate’ is the lead singer’s coping and/or defense mechanism…it’s a wall from protection from those who have done him wrong.

I, of course, am just interpreting the song the way I hear it, others, and of course, Watkins, himself, has differing views.  This song may not even be in the first person but it could just be a general song that is purely fictional. 

Despite what the exact contents of the song is about, like with primarily all the music I post, it has a lot of powerful concepts in it, as noted above.  I would recommend this track to anyone who’s a fan of Lostprophets, who likes UK (specifically Welsh) rock, intellectual rock (rock music that makes you think!:), and/or is a fan of songs with heavy emotions.  These emotions in this song seem to be a mix of positive and negative, but regardless, I really enjoy it. I think a lot of people who have felt they should have acted differently ('for the times, I never walked away'), in a particular situation or situations could relate.  Also, this song can be helpful to those who also hold this kind of anger inside of them.

While, I don’t promote grudges of any kind (eventually, I think, you need to let it go and come to that realization that no one’s perfect. However, it’s easier said than done!), this song is fun, catchy, and full of meaning.  

Further, it is very reminiscent of the band’s previous work as seen on Start Something but lyrically, it reminds me of the lyrics from the band’s 2010 album, The Betrayed.  That album was actually primarily all autobiographical to Ian Watkins, lyrically, and I feel this song is a continuation of his ‘dark’ personality which was seen very heavily on that album.  (However, as I mentioned above, these are just my thoughts..as Radiohead said, I Might Be Wrong)!

Lastly, I’d also recommend this song to folks who may not like traditional rock music but music with a slight twist (note the introduction and the orchestra in some parts of the song, as well as the ‘heaviness’ of it…it’s not a light pop song.) 

Overall, it’s a powerful track and I’d suggest you all to listen.  Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. 

Best, X

M:)

*1

Hello world, been a while!

Many updates — so, be prepared (not to be confused with Scar from The Lion King) for a few posts all at once, here!

New Lostprophets video for Jesus Walks is available for viewing now.

"Jesus Walks, but baby, he’ll just walk away…"

(Not to be confused with Kayne…)

:)

I think the video is simple enough - it appears to be about a relationship and trying to work things out? If there is some greater message, then, well, that’s beyond me…any thoughts on this are welcome!

Please note though, the video actually cuts off the second verse (and an excellent verse, at that…which may even change the whole meaning of the song…Ooooo…see, what I did there? How’s that for some mystery!)


Overall, it’s a great song - a very catchy tune with an interesting message…possibly about some type of relationship (be it romantic, or possibly about a friend/mentor talking to someone who’s learning about many of life’s lessons all at once.) The beginning honestly reminds me of Katy Perry’s 'Teenage Dream,' (the first five seconds, literally) but that could be just me.

If you have read my previous posts, you should know by now I’m a big supporter of this band due to their unwavering passion and hard work ethic, amongst many other things.  Jesus Walks is a very strong highlight from their 2012 album, Weapons, which was released in Spring earlier this year (and in June in the United States).

This song is recommended to anyone who likes Lostprophets’ music or UK Rock, in general.  The track may also be geared towards those who likes that poppy type of alternative rock (no guttoral screaming in this track, emo fans!).  It is also for anyone who just wants something new to listen to (I think it’s very different than what’s playing in mainstream today).  This song can also be good to listen to for those who are going through any relationship or friend problems. Not saying the song may provide help (but, hey, sometimes music is the key to the soul), but it may provide a comfortable solace knowing that someone else in the world wrote what you may or may not be thinking about.

Enjoy!

Best,

M:)

PS - While this song may or may not have some religious connotation, then that is beyond me. Any intellectual insight on this song is welcomed (as with any of my posts).  Please note, I’m talking about the work as a whole (as a work of art), as opposed to anything controversial.  If this song is seen that way, then that is your opinion.  However, I will say this (as the voice of reason, once again):

At the end of the day, artists create the type of work they want to create.  Only they know the real meanings, definitions, and interpretations of their work as they are the producers of their artistic products. As with anyone in real life (or internet life, quoi-ever), always try to think about things first before swiftly judging an artist and what they have created - there may be more to the story than what we see or hear.  At the end of the day, only the author(s) know.

Thank you.

*23
Styles change…people change.  
Picture change. Re-arrange.
You don’t wear the same clothes you did ten years ago, do you? 
That style was the ‘in-thing’ back then…I personally miss the short hair instead of the ‘my hair is in my face, let me help find you a book, though’ kind of look…but, those jackets are pretty rad and I do love to read. :)  Full support of the band; lack of understanding of hair styles, tight jeans, and just the entire fashion trend going on these days…but that’s another story.  
Kerrang mag, you are a funny one.  Is there a TV along with that sofa? 
Just wondering… :)
lostprophetsdaily:

THEN: Guffaw. Is that a sun visor? Baggy jeans, skate shoes and tight tees were the order of the day for the fresh-faces of Pontypridd sextet Lostprophets, back when they were still calling themselves Lozt Prophetz. Smiles were not allowed, but sofas in the middle of the street were obviously coo. And the look wouldn’t be complete without a cheap beaded chain around the neck, now, would it? Just what were they thinking? NOW: Dark pastels, woolen scarves, overcoats and waistcoats? The post-modern librarian look is so hot right now, at least as far as Lostprophets are concerned. A little make-up here and there to compliment the teased and tousled barnets helps too. Gotta keep the inexorable march of time at bay somehow, right guys?

Styles change…people change.  

Picture change. Re-arrange.

You don’t wear the same clothes you did ten years ago, do you? 

That style was the ‘in-thing’ back then…I personally miss the short hair instead of the ‘my hair is in my face, let me help find you a book, though’ kind of look…but, those jackets are pretty rad and I do love to read. :)  Full support of the band; lack of understanding of hair styles, tight jeans, and just the entire fashion trend going on these days…but that’s another story.  

Kerrang mag, you are a funny one.  Is there a TV along with that sofa? 

Just wondering… :)

lostprophetsdaily:

THEN: Guffaw. Is that a sun visor? Baggy jeans, skate shoes and tight tees were the order of the day for the fresh-faces of Pontypridd sextet Lostprophets, back when they were still calling themselves Lozt Prophetz. Smiles were not allowed, but sofas in the middle of the street were obviously coo. And the look wouldn’t be complete without a cheap beaded chain around the neck, now, would it? Just what were they thinking?

NOW: Dark pastels, woolen scarves, overcoats and waistcoats? The post-modern librarian look is so hot right now, at least as far as Lostprophets are concerned. A little make-up here and there to compliment the teased and tousled barnets helps too. Gotta keep the inexorable march of time at bay somehow, right guys?

(Source: tracy1)

*52

Hello World::
Thought I’d do a TWO FOR TUESDAY kinda thing - What a great way to start the week…Lostprophets’ new video is out! We Bring An Arsenal


Wow

Only Lostprophets.

Only them.

The title is classic to them as many of their titles of their songs are, in my opinion, unique and sometimes make you raise a brow (FSOP Fans - we all know Handsome Life of Swing wasn’t mentioned ONCE in that song…but that’s what partially makes Lostprophets, well, Lostprophets.  Am I right, or am I right?)

Seriously though, I’ll be honest, I totally thought they were making fun of some boy band (or, maybe even trying to act like one) and it was a jab to those music reviewers who claimed they were such back in the hey day.  I think it’s 50% the jackets and 50% the way their standing around/moving in the video.  However, before you disregard the rest of my post, let me finish, son!

As I watched the video in its entirety, I confirmed there must be some greater point (to which I’m not 100% certain, but I know there is) and Lostprophets did a good job.  It’s an all around fun video with an anthem sounding vibe which rings a bell with their 2004 video Make A Move, minus a flag and as lead singer, Ian Watkins, quipped in a Fuse Behind the Scenes video for Make A Move, ‘We found four floating kids…scoured the Earth for them.’ 

I also like, how, once again, there are no instruments to be seen.  This video is a simple call to arms (‘grab your Weapons’, so to speak - yes, pun intended).  So, friends, rally up the troops, and march out to fight the rebel haters in whatever type of war you are fighting in life.

This video is recommended to all Lostprophets fans, fans of alternative rock/rock music, fans of anthems/powerful songs and ballads with strong messages, and anyone who likes to watch music videos, in general.  Oh, and of course, anyone who likes cool matching jackets and rad bandanas.  How could I forget those? Awesome.

Good job, friends!

Best,

M:)

(Source: lostprophetsdaily)

*6

If anyone ever wanted to punch Ian Watkins, the lead singer of the amazing Welsh rock sextet, Lostprophets, then this is the video for you, my friend. In all seriousity, (uh…new word, coined? seriousness, I know, I know),Bring ‘Em Down, is the first video off of their soon to be released 5th album, Weapons. The album is due for release April 2, 2012. Different than their other videos, this video seems to tell not only somewhat of a story, but it’s the first video I’ve seen of them where there are no instruments or any scenes of the band actually playing. I’m personally a huge fan of story music videos, so to see them go in this direction, (even if it may be for only this video), is pretty awesome. I don’t know how they would all feel about acting, but I think they could pull something off really well.

This song is definitely a rocker — a combination of their nu-metal past (Fake Sound of Progress…Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja, anyone?) with a mix of their second debut, Start Something, and a pinch of Liberation Transmission (their 3rd album). I think it is a different sound in comparison to The Betrayed, their long awaited 4th album which came out in 2010; that album appeared to be more stripped down with heavy choruses (and awesomeness, might I add), and none of these special almost electronic sounding effects.

I really like how whenever a new album of theirs comes out, Lostprophets always seem to solidify in their first single (or maybe it’s in all their songs) that they’re back (from wherever they were, I guess) and surely here to stay…this video and song really exemplify these ideas, well — E.g. when Ian tells the camera and the audience "…Here we go again…" Classic. (Not to be confused with WhiteSnake, bee tea dubs, that song is pretty awesome, though, too.)

I can go on and on about this band, but I’ll save that mayhaps for other posts. I will say this, though —- I respect them greatly as musical artists and people. Their music has a lot of different themes (some very inspiring, might I add) and they do not appear to touch on the usual relationship topics seen in much alternative rock. (Or, well, if it does, I think it’s not exactly about the poppy boy meeting girl kind of scenarios, like it seems a lot of American rock goes towards.) I also really give them credit and props for always following their hearts and doing what they want to do as musicians. So oftentimes I feel musicians are either trapped or record songs even if they’re not a 100% to their liking - a lot of albums end up either sounding the same or are all full of ‘filler’ tracks. (However, I could be completely wrong here, and maybe that’s just how some bands make music…and maybe they like all their songs they do very much.) I do feel though many songs do tend to have similar tunes, beats, and lyrics, and that could be because everything is influenced by everything else and it all fuses together…and of course, one band’s work is bound to sound the same at times as, well, they’re the same band…! I am not trying to disrespect any bands, as there are several reasons definitely unknown to me as why musicians do what they do, say what they say, act how they act; this is just a mere observation.

I feel with the ‘Prophets, though, it’s different - their vibe, mentality, and always desiring to do more as artists - that consistent strive of perfection and even when much money (should I say lost profits…? oh come on, that was genius…ba-bum ching;) has gone down the drain, they still want to make an album to their liking. At the end of the day, they will play the songs they want to play and create what they want to create - it’s not a management or producer decision - it’s ultimately their (the artist’s) decision.

I think that’s really important - this idea of not giving in or trying to be a part of the status quo (is that selling out?). True, maybe you won’t sell “a million bajillion records,” (Rock Vocal Power, anyone? Butch Walker? Google it), but to create what you want and hone your craft on your own terms is a great concept and something I personally feel that deserves recognition and respect.

At the end of the day, Losprophets (and countless other bands) are not puppets here to amuse the audience, but they are here to play what they want and hope others like what they’re playing - and to put this into greater perspective, to of course, entertain whoever is listening. I think there’s a fine line between entertainment and musicianship, as most think it’s the same thing…but that’s another story for another post.

Until then, feel free to watch the video…as I saw on a review Jamie Oliver (keyboardist and backing vocals) of Lostprohets tweeted, Lostprophets fans unite!

Cheers::
Mar :)

PS - Post script - this song is recommended to anyone who like Lostprophets’ music, are a fan of UK rock, a fan of alternative rock, and/or music with great musicianship, interesting lyrics, and somewhat of an…edge (when you hear the song halfway through, you’ll know what I mean). It’s more upbeat than…down-beat…so fans of lighter music may not enjoy, but I would still recommend it’s worth a listen just so you can say you tried something new! Experience and Listen.:)

*33
Lostprophets single debut from Weapons! Thanks lostprophetsdaily!
:)

Lostprophets single debut from Weapons! Thanks lostprophetsdaily!

:)

(Source: lostprophetsdaily)