Sunday, April 5, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 12.5

OK Go at First Ave in Minneapolis MN on April 2nd, 2015.

There was supposed to be an opening act but they canceled about a week prior to the show. I got an email that they had canceled. I thought that was fine because that meant more time with OK Go.

The doors opened at 7PM. I think we got there a little after 7. OK Go was supposed to take the stage at 8:30 because the opening band had canceled. Apparently there was a technical issue that they were working on and they didn’t take the stage until 9.

This was OK because we always go over the merchandise booth to check out what was for sale. We went over there and saw that the only thing out were t-shirts and tote bags. There was a piece of cardboard that had items and prices on the table. It did list CDs and vinyl on the cardboard but they were not out at the time. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to pick up a CD. I have all of their albums on CD and all albums that have been pressed on vinyl, not all of there albums have been pressed on vinyl. I was lucky enough to get in on their Pledge Music campaign and got their latest album on vinyl signed by the group. Anyway, the new album or any other music they may have had for sale was not out when I was at the merch booth so I didn’t get anything.

When the band finally got ton stage there was this cool montage that played where they took lots of different clips from movies over the years where actors said the words OK and or Go. It was really cool and at the end of it Kermit the Frog introduces the group. They started with the hard hitting Upside Down & Inside Out. They were playing behind a white sheet. There was some cool video being played on the sheet of each of their heads singing the song with digital distortion. It was a lot of fun.

I was surprised to learn that they used two bass guitars on the song The Writing’s On The Wall. I always liked it for the Joy Division/New Order sound that they achieved. I know that the sound originated with the bass and certain pedals that Peter Hook used but OK Go have somewhat side stepped this with the use of two bass guitars. It is a creative way to get the job done but that also means that there is no guitar in the song as Damian is making the synth sounds happen while he is singing. Either way it is still a great song that I love for the heavy influences of Joy Division/New Order.

After the song I Want You So Bad Damian told us a story about the first single that changed his life, Herbie Hancock – Rocket, then an even shorter story about Prince – Purple Rain. Last we had a little question and answer session because of the technical issue, this was resolved fairly quickly and then they went on to play Obsession.

I really like the song Obsession because of the synth drums that are distorted. As they played the song they had over emphasized the synth bass part on this live version and it totally took be by surprise. It was amazing how that bass sound rolled through the crowd. It made my pants vibrate with the sound but it didn’t go through my chest. In my experience a low blast like that would roll through my whole body. This was somehow directed only at the lower half of my body. I don’t know how it worked out that way but it was unique and made the low bass more tolerable.

The song There’s A Fire was done in a very cool way. I had actually seen a live clip of this song being played and knew this was going to happen this way but, they asked the crowd to help make the drum machine sounds for the song. They asked us to make the bass drum, the snare and both the hi-hat open and closed sounds. We couldn’t seem to get the closed right, someone kept screaming, so Damian made the sound for that part instead. The other instruments were tiny synth boxes that were so cute. The song ended up being a very stripped down version from what the studio version is.

Next, the band left the stage except for Damian. He came into the crowd with just an acoustic guitar. He played the song Last Leaf. It was very difficult to hear him as he did not come out with a mic. The guitar was plugged in though. He played half of the song to one side of the crowd and then turned to the other side of the crowd so they could hear the other half. It was very cool and very intimate.

I really liked the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. They sounded near perfection to the studio version that Led Zeppelin recorded way back in 1971. The difference, of course, is that they are doing a cover and that some of the sections are stretched out. I was taken aback by the detail in the lead guitar part. It was so detailed and not sloppy at all. I know that every kid who has picked up a guitar has played this song in Guitar Center and I have heard many renditions just being in that store. The version that they played during this concert was so much better, clear cut perfection.

The first song from the encore was A Million Ways. The group came out in white suits and lip synced/danced to the song. They recreated the dance they did for the video of the song. I was so cute and funny at the same time. If you want to see what they did then you can check out the video for the song on YouTube.

For White Knuckles the backlights were turned on and suddenly their white suits were glowing brilliant colors. It was pure genius and took the whole crowd by surprise. It was an easy way to make a great song even better.

They then played the latest single I Won’t Let You Down. It was a great rendition of the song. I wasn’t let down by the song but I have seen the video so much, my two year old loves the video, that I almost expected to see them do something with umbrellas while they played the song. That is just my problem though. The song was still sung perfectly.

Set List:
OK Go Montage
Upside Down & Inside Out
You’re So Damn Hot
The Writing’s On The Wall
I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe
This Too Shall Pass
There’s A Fire
Last Leaf
I’m Not Through
Get Over It
The One Moment
Do What You Want
Cover: Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
Turn Up The Radio

OK Go Video Montage
A Million Ways (Lip Sync/Dance)
White Knuckles
I Won’t Let You Down
Here It Goes Again

Vol. 6 Episode 12

If you're in PA, Decyfer Down will be playing City Rock Fest this year.

The Faith No More album will be delayed in the US for pressing issues.

You can catch the in studio performance from OK Go now on The Current web page.

Here we go...

This is the eighth album for Death Cab For Cutie. It was released on March 31, 2015 on Atlantic Records. The album was put out on CD, Vinyl, Cassette and DL. I pre-orderd the vinyl edition and received the colored version with one solid gold and one white record. There were only 5000 made of the records in white and gold though. I am happy that I got the colored version still. The D side, it is a double LP with only three sides being used, is etched with the most minimal etch I have ever seen. The Etch is of the outline of the cover graphic and the name of the album underneath the outline. In my opinion, if your going to do an etch, make it extravagant. The whole graphic is in black and white. The etch could have been of all the black parts. It would have been a lot more substance. On the other hand it is the same graphic that was put on the CD as well.

There have been four singles released from the album already. all were digital only singles though. I always find this disappointing as I like to track down the B sides. At the same time, because bands are releasing the singles digitally it usually means that there will be an EP released later with what would be the B sides from a new album.

The first single from the album is Black Sun. When the song was released the official video wasn’t ready so the record company released a lyric video and later released the official video. The song has a good beat with not so overwhelming drums. The guitar part is what has me on the fence though. the guitar part is picked notes. I feel like I want to hear whole chords being played with distortion. Instead, I am getting mostly picked fragile notes. It is not until the last third of the song that I get to hear what I want and that is just in the bridge and it is gone. I want to hear more of that sound on this track and it isn’t there enough for me. It is still a beautiful song and I am glad to have it in my collection.

The second single from the album is called No Room In Frame. The song starts off kind of slow with some odd noises. Ben’s vocals come in with a simple guitar part. The drums come in and the song falls into a smooth beat that feels nice. The song slowly builds into something that is warm and fuzzy like a teddy bear clutched to a child's chest. The song isn’t over bearing but instead wants to be your next love. It is sweet and loveable. I could get used to this song easily.

The third single from the album is called The Ghosts of Beverly Drive. This song has a quick beat and sings about a car accident and the feelings of a spot where that accident happened. It talks about the emotions that one goes through with the aftermath of said accident. It is kind of weird putting these feelings on a song that is so danceable. Ben has done this kind of a thing in the past though so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with this song. I like the song though so I can look past the bizarre lyrics and into the music.

The last single that has been released from the album, there may be more singles later, is called Little Wanderer. This track is a bit slower but seems to sit well like No Room In Frame does. The chorus is super catchy and the lyrics are easy to follow and sing along to. It is also a sweet song about someone that goes away because they have wanderlust but he always wants her to come back because he misses her so much when she leaves. He only hopes that she messes him as much and has a desire to come back to him.

This is such a great album. I hope that there will be more singles released that will reach so many more people.

This is the first physical release from Big Data. It was released on March 20, 2015 under Warner Bros. Records. Previous releases, 1.0, 1.5 and 1.6, were released only as downloads. This album was released on CD and DL only. The album overall deals with new world issues such as hacking and invasion of privacy by overreaching governments and corporations. I found out about the album from a new local radio station called Go 96.3. This used to be the local R&B station. Either they changed formats or they sold out. I haven’t bothered to look into it because it doesn’t matter enough to me. I still listen to 89.3 The Current but it is nice to have an alternate station to switch to when I don’t want to hear what is on The Current. Anyway, the album was put together by a producer named Alan Wilkis. He has his own record label, Wilcassettes, and this is why the project was put out under, not with, Warner Bros.

There have been two singles put out off this album so far, the album is really good and I am hoping for more off of this album. The first of those two singles is called Dangerous. The vocalist for this goes by the name Joywave. The bass guitar in this song is super heavy and is a real slap in the face. The vocals are stark and fit with the bass guitar sound. The drums are simple and unobtrusive. The chorus is just a bit louder with added synth parts to get the listener even more interested in the song. It is a perfect blend of drum and bass.

The second single from the album is called The Business ofEmotion. This song features White Sea. She has a beautiful voice that seems to go well with the electronic sounds that are featured on the song. She has a way of being stark but beautiful with all of the harsh sounds that are going on all around the song. Hard hitting bass drum sounds with repetitive synth bass sounds. It is a great dance track and would fit in well at a dance party or a club anywhere.

I feel like the song that Rivers Cuomo contributed to, Snowed In, would be perfect for a third single. A) it is Rivers Cuomo and B) it is super catchy electronic dance music and C) Rivers Cuomo is from Weezer, i.e. instant recognition.

This is a great album for anyone who likes EDM (Electronic Dance Music). I find it a really fun album and am lucky to have heard a track on a local radio station. Go check it out.

This is the second single released for the upcoming album. It was released as DL and 7” record on March 23, 2015. There was apparently a misprint with a part of the pressings where the B side label is on both sides. It is unknown how many of these exist but they are out there. I did not get a misprint personally but there was an official apology not only for a delay in the release but also for the misprint.

The A side is the song Superhero. The song is heavy with hard hitting drums a low sounding rubbery bass guitar and thick distorted guitars. The song is cut with piano to slightly lighten the song. Mike Patton still has that amazing vocal style where he can growl and have that clear vocal tone a second later. The song uses a sample of mike singing “Go!” over and over in different notes. It gets kind of old but helps the song along at the same time. I can’t say this is a great song but it is also what I would expect from the group at the same time.

The B side is a remix of the song Superhero by Battaglia. I am going to start off by saying that this remix is nowhere near as good as the A side track. I think that they tried to take this song in the same place as the remix for the previous single. It just didn’t work at all. The use of the reed instrument was a big fail in my opinion. That is the big stumbling block for me. I think that over simplifying the track didn’t help this song either. It is like looking into a sink hole. It isn’t going anywhere and you hope that it isn’t going to take everything in with it. Luckily, it is just a remix and will have nothing to do with the rest of the album.

Just get the DL on this one if you have any interest.