Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Being a Female Guitarist.

I don't usually post essay style things on my music blog, but I think that you would like to read this one.

Every Thursday, I look down at my extremely worn in Chuck Taylors with the red laces, or my black slip on vans that are finally starting to look aged and I hear the strum of an acoustic guitar.

At that moment, I know that I arrived at guitar club. Some days, I bring my Gibson SG, while on other days, I like to borrow an acoustic, while at other times I just dont' play at all. Some days, I give basic lessons for free just out of the goodness of my heart (I could easily charge 25 dollars for lesson). It really doesn't' matter what I do, I'm at guitar club, I have fun, and other people are having fun. I've been in the club for three years, and I hardly ever miss a week (although, I remember missing a week or two because I had an extremely important debate meet, and the other time I had the flu and I didn't really feel like playing guitar). People know who I am. I know who people are, but one thing is always apparent, I'm the only talented, non fan-girl guitarist in the whole club.

I'm not trying to brag about this. Some weeks, I'm the only female in the room that is plugged into an amp, waling off solos. I don't care if the guys go in there with their condescending looks and macho attitude; I don't stop playing, I don't get scared, I just stomp on my stomp box and I unleash the pain on them.

On other weeks, I'm not the only female there. I think to myself "Yes! Another Female that plays guitar! I might go talk to her about some guitar related stuff and see if she really likes guitar". But something always happens right before I step over and say something about guitar strings. 95% of the time, the other guitar holding Female goes back to her boyfriend and then hands the guitar over to him. By then, I always say "I knew it". That other 5% of the time, one of my Female friends has a guitar, and they are coming over to me asking for power chord pointers.

I'm not trying to whine about "Why don't more Females play guitar at our Guitar club?" and I'm also not trying to say "Why don't I have a boyfriend?". Hopefully, I'm showing the injustices of being the only good female guitar player in our guitar club.

I guess it is because people don't understand how hard it is coming from my point of view. I've been playing for around 8 years. I started on a really cheep, crappy acoustic guitar. I played until the strings were broken, and until all of the other strings were out of tune. I played that thing as long as I could until all of the strings were broken, and right when the other strings were rusted. I sold that thing to save up more money for an even better guitar. A part of me really wishes that I had that beat up old acoustic back.

Fast forward 4 years. I wanted to get into music again, so a younger version of me saves up some money and I buy an off brand bass guitar. I still have it. It came with a 20 watt amp, and it just sounds great. I loved playing my bass, but I wanted to play 2 more strings. So then, I get my Gibson.

It was an accident, I really wasn't looking for a Gibson SG. I really wanted a Fender Jaguar (I still do) but I found this guitar hanging on the wall. This white SG with 3 pickups instead of the standard 2. I surely thought that it was a fake. But it wasn't a fake. I walked out the store with a steal. From the time I got home, I knew that I'd never give this guitar up for nothing.

I played the heck out of that thing. I still play the heck out of that thing. I played it so much, that I named my guitar White Fang. Why the name? Well, White Fang is a beast of a guitar, and also, Because I'm a lover of books, I think my guitar is kind of "different" in a good way, and the name has stuck like glue ever since.

As you can see, I have a lot of experience with guitars and I love playing. I might not play metal, I might not play speed licks, but doesn't give anyone the right to say that I'm a bad guitarist. I might be a Female, but my gender has nothing to do with how I play. I just wish that those macho guys could understand that. I hope I have my guitar the next time someone says "She's a girl. She can't play", because you know what I'll do to prove them wrong.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Five! Right on time!

Friday Five! Right on time!
Happy Friday! I had the day off today, and I did what I do best; I spent the day crawling though youtube trying to find the best new and intresting videos for my weekly collection of awesomeness! I have some new stuff, I have some old stuff, but just be happy that the Friday Five is back on regular schedule!

Warpaint - Jubilee. I read in this article that this was going to be on the newest album (I guess it was a leftover song?). Anyway, I hope this makes the cut onto the newest one because this song is great!

Beach House - Norway. This is from the Pitchfork Practice sesion. (Yeah, I know...). Why is everything so fuzzy?

Scout Niblett - Dinosaur Egg. This isn't your ordinary song about dinosoar eggs. This is an awesome song about dinosaur eggs! This really sounds great near the end.

Extra! Scout Niblett - So Much Love To Do.

Wild Flag - Romance. I was going to post this last week, but I got lazy and I just didn't do it.

Wild Flag - Romance from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Sleater Kinney - Wilderness (From big day out 2006). I hate to say it, but this footage feels old. Its old, but good, so that is all that really matters. (We get a history lesson too! How cool!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wild Flag - Wild Flag album Review

I've been waiting for this album for a while. No, let me rephrase that. I've been waiting for this album for a very long time, and when I mean very long time, probably since last October. I've outbid people to get the 7 inch LP, I've heard the bootlegs (sorry Wild Flag), and I almost made it to their concert with Sonic Youth and Kurt Vile on my Birthday (August 12th). I've done everything that I could possibly done to hear just a little sliver of Wild Flag, and now I get the chance to.

Listen to this album as you read the review! (thanks NPR!)

Like I said before, I've only heard various tidbits of this album. Some songs here and there, a music video here and there, a bootleg here and there, but besides all of that, I don't think that I've been exposed to the studio recorded epicness that I need to be exposed to. So I have high hopes for this album. Really high hopes for this album. Album of the Year Hopes for this album. I'm pretty sure that I can speak for a lot of people when I say that. I hope it can meet my standards!

(Go listen to it here!) Something told me that they would open with this. It was one of their singles after all. (should have been a red flag) It is a fitting song, it just starts off awesome. You have the dual guitar maze going on with those blaring drums and the flowing wind of the keyboard. They really started this album with a bang! I could just be happy with this one song playing over and over, but instead I have a whole album to play though! This is very good news. If I find it hard to not move on from the first song to the next song, then you know that I would like the album!

Something Came Over Me
This has been my favorite song from the bootleg, so I'm remotely familiar with this song. This is a slower song, but it isn't lacking on the awesomeness. Right off the gate the dual guitars are just what keeps me listing, it really is a simplistic guitar tab, but it is just in the way that they play it on this song! Something just sounds...Better I guess? I'll find more examples thought the song

Wow, Carrie's vocal delivery on this one is reminding me of the Kinks or is it the Pretenders? Whatever it is I'm enjoying it. This song is pretty simple lyric wise, but at the same time it is so complex; this is showed in the breakdown near the end of the song. This might just be me again, but I 'm fining some resemblance to Sonic Youth here too? (am I just crazy?). Anyway, this is a great song to listen to, and it flows greatly into the next song. 

Glass Tambourine
I think that Wild Flag collectively summed up the universe. I've really liked this song ever since I heard it on the 7inch and I"m so glad that Wild Flag went back and revised it a little. (yes I can tell). But it is still the same song but this time around, they just added a little extra something in the solo/breakdown, and they made the ending more epic (4:31 on is re-worked). What else can I say about this song? It is just very good. Halfway through it you feel like you are floating in space looking at a glass tambourine.

Endless Talk
Endless Talk is the halfway point of this album. If you read my reviews often, you will understand that the halfway point is where I judge if an album is just average, or if it is really great. Like most halfway point songs, this one started off a little bit slow (one of my pet peeves) but the pace is a major part of this song. I when I listen to this song, I can hear a mix of The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Pretenders and those awesome 60's pop harmonies (no I seriously do). The guitar isn't mind melting on this one, but that is a good thing because we get to hear the harmonies from the keyboard!

Short Version
Nice Opening! I feel like this band never stops on this album! To be honest this sounds even better than I thought that it would sound (dont' rely on the lyrics).  I seen a live version of this not too long ago, and I was amazed by the dual guitar harmonies and the vocal melodies and even at times the keyboard melody is pretty out there. I guess this song is what liquid would sound like, and by that I mean that this song is very fluid. 

Electric Band
 I've heard this song plenty of times on the bootleg. Every time that I listen to it, I just can't get my mind around how awesome the drum opening is. It just holds up the rest of the song, and gives it unique qualities.
I also like the high gain effect that the lead guitar has on this song; it goes great with the drums It takes a little effort to hear it but from what 2:18 until the end of the song, that guitar with the gain is going crazy. On the other hand I felt like this song could have been a little bit longer, but the ending just sounds great,so its fine even if the song is a little short.

Future Crimes
The Drum opening is what really sands out on this song. It is there from the start, and right there when the song ends. But there is more than just drums on this song. Again you have to listen carefully, but you listen to the guitar with the gain, you can find a really good riffs,  and also if you can listen and try to find the keyboard riff that is going right along with you will probably be amazed. You probably didn't hear the difference (trust me I did) but this "album version" of Future Crimes is a little bit different from the 7inch version. I personally think that re-recording it is smart, but that just might be me tyring to be cool again.

This is the best song on the album. But you would only agree with me if you listened to the whole album in order. Firstly, listen to that bridge at 1:09. There is just so much in that small section of that song, and then not too long after that at 1:20, we have another breakdown! Check that out. (Another one at 1:45 I need to quit counting!)  The small instrumental beak starting at 2:40 is nice too. After that the keyboard adds another dimension to this song.4:40 on is just pure joy in my ears and brain. It is 6 minutes of pure amazing.

Black Tiles
I love how they broke up the long song by ending this album with a shorter song. I really haven't seen that on a shorter album. This song is also a highlight on this album because it is shorter, but also because it sets the new standard on how to end an album. It doesn't scream "This is the last song on the album, be sad that it is over" but more "This song is slower, but because this the last song on the album, enjoy it and listen to it again". I really appreciate the ending  of this song (3:45 on). It is just the cherry on top, the one last guitar melting solo on this album; and then it is over. Just like that.

Trust me, I'm not joking when I say this, but this is probably my new favorite album. I honestly can't find any weak points on any of the songs or on any of the instrumentation. This is pretty much anything that I could want in a album. It has elements of punk, indie, noise, experimental and it even has hints from some of the great bands of the past. Looking to the future, I hope that Wild Flag releases more stuff! They can't just leave us hanging (a la Sleater-Kinney). Because if they did...

Anyway, I hope I didn't sound like a rabid Wild Flag fan that was trying to get you to buy this album. It is just great. Go buy it Today as a thank you to Wild Flag. I think that they just saved music.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Five! Finally Back!

Happy Friday! Its kind of strange to be doing the Friday Five again, but I think I took a long enough vacation! I have some awesome stuff planed for you all so keep checking back soon! (*Wild Flag review Cough Cough*)

EMA - Butterfly Knife. This was filmed in Portland.

Pictureplane - Post Physical. I have to rep Denver. I just have to.

The Pretenders - The Adulteress. These next 3 videos are from the Fridays show that used to come on. I'll spare you the bad Andy Kaufman intro ok? (watch the bands reaction)

The Pretenders - Message Of Love. Go away Andy Kaufman!

The Pretenders - Louie, Louie. Looks like Andy finally left. (yes!)

CSS - Lets Make Love and Listen to death From Above. This is a pretty good video. (Does this sound like Tom Tom club to you? Or is that just me again?)

Extra! CSS - Move. Yes! I can't wait for the CSS concert!