Favorite Tracks: IAMX “Alive In New Light”

 

Latest Album “Alive in New Light” released in February 2018

A few of my favorite tracks and my album rating,

 

Stardust

 

Alive in New Light

 

Body Politics

 

Alina’s Album Rating: 5/5

Listen to IAMX “Alive in New Light

Favorite Tracks: Marilyn Manson “The Pale Emperor”

Image result for marilyn manson

Marilyn Manson source: Wikimedia Commons

I’ve already talked about Marilyn Manson’s latest album “Heaven Upside Down” which was released last year but I thought I would make a list of a few of my favorite tracks from his 2015 album “The Pale Emperor”.

note: viewer discretion advised, there is explicit content in selected music videos

 

Alina’s Album Rating: 4.5/5

Listen to Marilyn Manson’s “The Pale Emperor

Favorite Tracks: The Glitch Mob “See Without Eyes”

Latest Album “See Without Eyes” was released in May 2018

A few of my favorite tracks from this album,

 

Take Me With You (feat. Arama)

 

Disintegrate Slowly

 

Go Light

 

Alina’s Album Rating: 3.5/5

Listen to The Glitch Mob’s “See Without Eyes

Favorite Tracks: The Wombats “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life”

Currently listening to The Wombats new album “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life“.

A few of my favorite tracks,

Lemon to a Knife Fight

Ice Cream

Turn

 

I highly recommend this album, The Wombats have kept it poppy and retained their own unique style even after all these years. It’s been amazing listening to The Wombats go from their 2007 album “Proudly Present…A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation” to this latest album. And I love being able to listen to them on the radio! Oh yay!

Alina’s Album Rating: 5/5

Listen to The Wombats “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Top 5 Tracks this Week: Saro, The Kills, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Nothing Nowhere, Foster The People

Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite songs this week, mostly old stuff but still good.


Saro – Saro – Eyelids

The Kills – Desperado (Rhianna Cover)

 

Black Moth Super Rainbow – Twin of Myself

 

nothing,nowhere – ruiner

 

Foster The People – Pay The Man

 


 

Hope everyone’s having a great week! A great big thank you to all my followers and regular readers!

-Alina

Review of “Beyond Gatsby” by McParland

 

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goodreads.com

 

I have finally finished Robert McParland’s “Beyond Gatsby: How Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Writers of the 1920s Shaped American Culture”

I loved this book completely. I do already have a serious interest in the 1920’s when it comes to literature, art, and music but McParland’s writing style and tone really pulled me in. I found myself reading full chapters in one sitting frequently because of this. McParland who is an associate professor of English at Felician College successfully contextualizes the effects of key writers from the 1920’s on American Culture which is still evident today.

My obsession with this particular time period and specifically Modernist literature is rooted in my observation that people today are going through similar changes in culture, technology, and social relations. I am always looking to this period for insight into how culture, America, and the world rapidly changes within only a few decades. This is something that I find very intriguing and I would really love to explore in my own writing someday.

This book is divided up into seven chapters, beginning appropriately with T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland and the world after the first World War. The second chapter is devoted to the two most well-known writers of the 1920’s, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Then, where I was delightfully surprised, McParland took an expansive look at the entirety of America in the 1920’s rather than (what I have come across frequently in similar books) focus solely on Fitzgerald and Hemingway. In chapter three, Faulkner is discussed in detail with emphasis on his style and ability to give a unique voice to the South. Chapter four is about Modernism, Pound, and James Joyce. Again, another favorite for me, I am a devout Joyce fan and I have a serious reverence for Pound.

Chapter five discusses the midwestern writers of the U.S. which I had previously little to no real knowledge of. Focusing on Sinclair Lewis, Will Cather, and Sherwood Anderson, this chapter really begins to put the entire picture of the U.S. together at this specific time in terms of literature. Chapter six is all about city writing with Dreiser, Dos Passos, Yezierska, and of course Langston Hughes. This is a pivotal point in the book where McParland talks about the Harlem Renaissance which is in fact what I plan on studying next. In chapter seven, McParland explores the writers that were both historians and influential writers in terms of setting up America’s history with mythic elements. This last chapter talked about William Carlos Williams, one of my most beloved Poets, Stephen Vincent Benet, and John Steinbeck.

McParland’s approach to 1920’s literary influence on American Culture is specific. I believe he picked a particular approach to this discussion. This was a success in my opinion because at the same time McParland really provides a full picture of the entire U.S. during this time. Not only does McParland discuss literature but music, this was The Jazz Age, and he mentions art movements and the various writers that ultimately affected American writers during this time such as Gertrude Stein.

I would recommend this book to anyone curious about literature and culture of the 1920’s. McParland is clear when he addresses how fiction helped establish a general American Mythos of what it is to be American in the 20th century. Much like popular TV Shows, fashion, media, and movies today which all contribute in one way or another to an Americans identity today. Really fascinating book and I highly recommend it!

-Alina

Reflection on 101WKQK’s Interview with “Nine Inch Nails” (Being an “Old Rock Band”, Social Media and the Artist)

(featured image is a still from one of 101WKQK’s interviews with NIN)

I recently watched a short snippet provided on youtube of an interview with “Nine Inch Nails” by 101WKQK (published on youtube.com on Oct. 6th, 2017). The questions were answered by Trent Reznor, leading frontman, and revolved around NIN’s relation and involvement in Modern Day Festivals.

I found this seven-and-a-half minute interview illuminating as Reznor touched on being in an “Old Rock Band” still playing today alongside young musicians. Reznor also talks about being an artist and what that means to him in regards to how artists place themselves in the public sphere (social media etc.). Atticus Ross sat by Reznor and did not say much, whispered to Reznor frequently but said almost nothing.

I am a HUGE fan of Reznor and his projects with Atticus Ross (soundtracks for major motion pictures) and I loved NIN’s latest release “Add Violence” which came out in July. I was curious to hear his commentary and views on being an “Old Rock Band” particularly one that still plays instruments versus the computer-generated sounds and DJing which have taken over in the music industry as the popular form.

I personally like both kinds of music but relish in hearing music that is made solely by I guess they would be called now “classic” rock instruments; guitar, bass, drums, vocals, with little to none add-ons done after recording (background noise, effects, synthetic sounds) of course NIN’s music has way more involved than just the classic instruments but it is the fact that they still play and use them that makes them one of the “Old Rock Bands”. There is something amazing and beautiful hearing a band actually play instruments and create sound but there is arguably no difference between someone playing an instrument to create music versus playing on programs and computer software, the outcome is still the same, we get music and it does take talent and skill to create music that is generally accepted to be good or even legendary.

In the interview, Reznor was asked how it feels to play big music festival shows, particularly the two that they performed at this year. Ross whispers to Reznor every once in a while in response to the questions, I think Ross was more of letting Reznor take the reigns of answering these questions for this interview. Reznor replied,

“I think rock bands are out of fashion generally, you know these days but I don’t give a shit.”

Later going on to comment generally on how the younger artists such as Frank Ocean and DJ Khaled are completely different artists than NIN. Reznor also remarks on the need today for everyone to be on all social media, or as a platform for artists to have everything out there and available for audiences,

“I’m a big believer in less is more on that front and I said this elsewhere but…our decision making collectively comes from our experience….our tastes and our judgement…and the endless amount of decisions made…are not based on what we [NIN] think you’ll like but what we know we like…”

Reznor continues on the subject of social media and how, in his opinion, why people participate in it,

“…I think that now as everyone’s a publisher, everybody’s got a blog, and everybody’s got a facebook profile and instagram and snapchat, the world can’t wait to see everything about ‘my fantastic life’ that I’m presenting to you through a distorted lens about how awesome it is…”

This conversation on social media and the artist leads Reznor on to reflecting how he listened to music while he was growing up and that he rarely ever saw a picture of the actual band (which he loved, such as Pink Floyd) and that because of this there was a mystery about these bands, they were like “gods” to him that he could connect to according to how he felt when listening to their music. Reznor believes that it is important for the artist to have a little bit of mystery to them to fascinate people,

” I have grown to believe that trying to stay out of the limelight a bit, leave something to the imagination and I think an artist should be mysterious in my opinion…try to avoid the need to over saturate yourself…”

Reznor also mentions that although he does not believe personally inputting your entire life out there on social media that that is a particular thing for him and what it means to him to be an artist,

“…Times are different…I’m not trying to say its wrong…but I do think there are some lessons to be learned about the role of the artist, the role of art, the role of music, we still base it on what it was to us, what it meant to us, what matters to us…”

(quotes are from time marker 2:10-6:40)

I resonated with a lot of what Reznor discussed in this interview mainly because I have similar viewpoints and opinions on social media, the artist, and “Old Rock Bands”. I don’t have a facebook, on purpose, I think it is a total waste of time and I remember in high school when I did have one and it was starting to gain this traction as a thing where having as many “friends” as possible was what was desired. It was also growing to be more popular and more widely used by everyone I knew then, the now ancient and relatively unknown “Myspace”. After graduating from high school I “deleted” my facebook account because I wanted to start fresh, interpret that however you like I don’t care.

It is only in this year ( I am not counting my addiction to Tumblr that started in 2013 and reigned until the beginning of this year) that I finally got a Twitter (and kept it), got an Instagram and created this blog. I have held a very strong belief that if anyone wanted to be apart of my life they would come into my life, by this I mean, knowing what I’m doing, where I hang out, what I like, what food I eat, which is all the information that people generally share with everyone (the entire world) on most social media sites. I am still reluctant to be apart of an online community and put myself out there because I think there is something to be valued in an individual experience or one among a few people but times are changing and I acknowledge that I may be left in the dust if I don’t jump on the band wagon in some form or another (however I am aware of how much information I am putting out there on the internet and what it means to me).

I am an artist in that I am a musician, a Writer, and I actually create art, paintings, drawings etc. These are the ways in which I express myself and that I can connect with others. Reznor’s comments on the artist as a mysterious person I think is valid. There is so much more left to the imagination that is up for the audience to fill in. I do not know how people percieve my work in its many forms and I don’t care because all that matters is that I am getting my work out there and I hope there is a chance that it will help or mean something to someone who feels they can connect with it, that’s it.

Also, Reznor’s reflection on how he grew up listening to music gave me a kind of relief because I have a similar style to his. If I find new music that I enjoy the very last thing I do after listening, usually to a full album, of their music for a few months is google them. I make it a point not to look up a band’s pictures or history until after I decide I want to know more. This is an interesting venture for me now because I do like to use Spotify which has almost all of a bands info available alongside their music but it is a habit I’ve had for as long as I can remember. After I do look at pictures and info, I watch music videos which are a hit or miss experience for me every time. I can love a song for months and finally watch the music video which influences my interpretation of the song and how I feel about it after. I am trying to get better at this and look at music videos as another format of a song, an entity that can be evaluated seperately from the song, this does help but it is difficult because lines are blurred between the two most of the time, where does the art stop and start?

Overall, I wanted to post a quick reflection on this interview because I loved it and obviously related to what Reznor was saying. I hope that for any fans of NIN out there, they also find this interview if so talk to me! Let me know what you thought of it!

 

Thank you for reading my writing, I hope you will return in the future! 

-Alina 

 

Note: I am thinking about doing a quick review of “A Perfect Circle’s” single release “The Doomed” which has been available to audiences for a little over a month now. Any thoughts?

Marilyn Manson’s latest release ‘Heaven Upside Down’

After years of Marilyn Manson and countless albums, we’ve come to ‘Heaven Upside Down‘ released only a couple weeks ago. ‘Heaven Upside Down’ calls back to the era of Manson where blame was put on the shock rocker for multiple problems within society (notably the Columbine Shootings which would mark Manson for the rest of his career).  Marilyn Manson a.k.a. Brian Warner seeks to shake the public from the comfort it finds within institutions that dumb them down and constricts them to beliefs that may be seen as more harmful (his opinion) than beneficial (Christian religions). It is worth it to look into the philosophical beliefs that Manson has himself and to acknowledge that behind his in your face attitude and abrasive personal beliefs there lies a man that is more brain and wits than just pure “Fuck You!” anthems on repeat.

‘Heaven Upside Down’ reminds me of a few earlier albums by Manson such as Mechanical Animals, Holy Wood, and The Golden Age of Grotesque (albums from the years 1998-2003). The ‘pop-iest’ song on the album I feel would be ‘KILL4ME’ that hooks listeners into a repeated chorus “Would you kill kill kill for me?”, a reminiscent love song that harkens back to the overwhelming betrayal and questioning in ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’. There are also many songs on the album that comment on the socio-political state of America right now giving the album more weight with its sharp lyrical statements and catchy rhythms, songs such as ‘Saturnalia’ ‘Revelation #12’ and ‘WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE’. A few songs that remind me of the album ‘Mechanical Animals’ would be ‘Je$u$ Cri$i$’ and ‘Blood Honey’. For ‘Holy Wood’ I would argue for ‘SAY10’ and ‘Tattooed in Reverse’. Although I do feel like many of the songs on this album synthesize multiple elements from these three albums, these particular songs could be interchangeable in where they would fit under as songs like those on ‘Mechanical Animals’, ‘Holy Wood’, or ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’ songs.

This latest album by Manson is a welcomed one. I find relief in the music by one of my favorite artists especially in times like these. I would recommend this album to anyone with an open mind, well versed or new, to the music of Marilyn Manson, it is an album fitting for the season and year but not one to listen to lightly or shuffle through.

Music Videos thus far for songs on the ‘Heaven Upside Down’ album


 

Thank you for reading my writing! I hope you will return in the future! 

-Alina 

Chelsea Wolfe: Hiss Spun Album

Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album “Hiss Spun” was released on September 22nd of this year. “Hiss Spun” is her fifth album and features a synthesis of her trademark gloom-folk rock * that echoes with her uniquely haunting voice. The complexities within each song on the album are to be admired; mixing heavy guitar and pulsing drums that bring a feel of the darkly ritualistic. Notable tracks on this album (that stand out to me) include 16 Psyche, Vex, and Offering.

Chelsea Wolfe’s music offers (no pun intended on track ‘Offering’) an essence of the dark spirit that resides within us all. Her voice feels as if it echoes from a dimension within our minds and the human experience that is primal and yearning. To embrace her music is to expand your mind to the possibilities of the spirit and at the same time acknowledge your own quiet inner voice that echoes with Chelsea’s.

This is a short review and is more of a personal opinion than a complete deconstruction of the elements within this album. My goal is to queue the interest of readers so that they may want to listen to her music and see what they think for themselves.

Thank you!

-Alina


* Chelsea Wolfe, Spotify page ‘about’ describes her music as “doom-drenched electric folk”

Featured Image photo source: www.instagram.com/cchelseawwolfe

 

My Favorite Tracks: Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe’s magnetic voice echoes across a world of emulated darkness, a darkness that is welcomed. Her music often exudes a sense of other-worldliness, or a world we have long since forgotten, with tribal drums and mysteriously magical lyrics. I would say Wolfe touches on a darker and truer form of the human psyche, one that may still believe in old Gods and worship them, or one were there is an endless abyss that is a more holistic definition of human life.

That being said, here are some of my favorite songs by Chelsea Wolfe,

I am excited for the release of her new album HISS SPUN on Septebmer 22nd of this year and her upcoming American tour!

Chelsea Wolfe is coming to SALT LAKE CITY~! Oct. 28th at the Urban Lounge

 

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my posts! I hope you will return in the future! -Alina