American Idiot

Green Day is my personal favorite band of all time. Even though I do not listen to them as religiously as I once did, I still consider them my favorite. This is largely due to their record “American Idiot”.

American Idiot is GreeGreen_Day_-_American_Idiot_covern Day’s seventh studio album and it was career rejuvenating for the band. The album was released in 2004 and became highest grossing record to that date. The success of American Idiot proved that Green Day should be considered one of the best Rock-N-Roll acts in recent memory.

Everything done on this record is performed masterful. To the amazing guitar tone that sounds huge on the record, the structure of the songs and their placement on the album, and the lyrics of this amazing narrative that is spilled out throughout the record.

If you need a reminder of how great this record is then listen to it on spotify.com  or listen to it in this YouTude video.

Billie Joe Armstrong (the lead singer and guitarist for Green Day) is my personal favorite songwriter ever. I discovered my love for his songwriting with American Idiot. In fact I discovered my love for music period because of Green Day and American Idiot. After becoming absolutely obsessed with their music I began to take guitar lessons. The first song I learnedgd all the way through on guitar was American Idiot’s second track “Jesus of Suburbia” (which is a little over 9 minutes long). This record was life changing for me and I know it’s the exact same way for a lot of other people too.

Even though the lyrics were about characters within a story, the songs still came from a real emotional honest place. They were blunt, honest, and at times very opinionated, but more than anything this record has passion. That’s Rock-N-Roll man. That’s what today’s Rock music needs. A group or a record that will come in and shake things completely up and change how we look at and consume Rock-N-Roll. We need an album like American Idiot.

FORGETTING YOU BUT NOT THE TIME

Design by Chris Bilheimer

YouTube Video by Az Navarro

Photo by Ross Halfin

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Are The 1975 a Rock-N-Roll band?

The 1975 are a band from Manchester England. They have found so much success in the mainstream media with their records, their self-titled debut and their sophomore record “I Like it When You Sleep For You Are so Beautiful Yet so Unaware of it”. The question I shall be asking today is whether or not The 1975 are a Rock-N-Roll band.

Let’s take a loThe 1975ok at their lyrical content. The subject matters that lead lyricists Matty Healy loves to tackle are that of sex, drugs, girls, flawed relationships, suicide, and frustration with self. These are all things that many great Rock-N-Roll bands of old coined within their lyricism. Look at The Beatles, they wrote about every single one of those subjects in one or more songs and they are considered the greatest Rock-N-Roll band that ever existed.

Most importantly though for their lyrics are that they are challenging, they make you think. They make you want to dissect them and figure out what they mean and thus making you want to listen to their tracks even more. This is a sign of not only a great Rock band but also a great musical act in general.

the1975_2_dave_ma_300dpi_wide-66d2a251e322f824e8d5d2671ecf1db38f13320b-s1600-c85What I shall be discussing now is the dividing point for a lot of people on whether or not The 1975 are a Rock-N-Roll band.This is their sound. No one here can pretend that The 1975 are the heaviest band out there. Their sonic sound is very much derived from Pop and some R&B influence. They even utilize electronics and synthesizers within their music, which many people use as the defining argument for them not being a Rock-N-Roll band. But I say this is not the end of the argument.

Yes they do use things like electronic drums and synthesizers but at the end of the day they are four guys playing guitar driven music. GUITAR DRIVEN MUSIC. Sonically this is the key to being a Rock-N-Roll band. If you have a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist, and a singer, then you have the classic mold of a Rock band.

rs-232787-1975So in conclusion, I say that even though The 1975 have many Pop elements and uses electronics in their music they are still a Rock-N-Roll band. They make upbeat guitar driven music laced with challenging and real lyrics. If you disagree with me then go to spotify.com and give them a listen and decide for yourself. But most important enjoy the music.

 

BABE YOU LOOK SO COOL

 

Photo by: David Drake

Photo by: Dave Ma/Courtesy

Photo by: Jon Super/Getty

Rock-N-Roll Analysis on Oasis

In my opinion, one of the last true Rock-N-Roll bands had to have been Oasis. They embodied the essence and the spirit of Rock-N-Roll. The music and the attitude were ever present in this group’s persona from the time they began in 1991 till the time they decided to part ways in 2009. Rock music is surely lacking without their presence, so let’s take a look at this amazing Rock-N-Roll band.

 

Oasis-by-Steve-Double-smallOasis formed originally under the name The Rain with members including Paul ”Guigsy” McGuigan on bass, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs on guitar, Tony McCarroll on drums, and Chris Hutton on vocals. Hutton was eventually replaced by Liam Gallagher and suggested the band’s name should be renamed to “Oasis”. Oasis played their first live gig on August 18, 1991 at the Boardwalk Club in Manchester. There in attendance was Liam’s older brother Noel Gallagher. After the show, Noel offered to join Oasis only if he’d become the sole songwriter of the group. The others approved and thus the Oasis that majority of us know and love was born.

 

With Noel now being lead songwriter the band received a big break when Creation Records co-owner Alan McGee discovered them at a gig in May 1993. McGee was impressed with the band so much he offered them a recording contract. Oasis went into the studio and recorded their debut record “Definitely Maybe”. The record was released on August 29, 1994, entering the charts at number one within a week of its release. This made “Definitely Maybe”, at the time, the fastest selling debut record in the UK.

48OasisWhatsTheStory201010

In 1995, Oasis released their sophomore record “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”. “(What’s the Story)” received commercial success, selling over four million copies thus becoming the fourth best-selling album in UK ChartHistory. This record gave us amazing tracks including “Some Might Say”, “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, “Champagne Supernova”, and of course, “Wonderwall”. Oasis would continue to release music throughout the years until 2009 where they inevitably broke up. This was mainly because of the professional and personal conflicts that would happen between both Liam and Noel Gallagher.

 

A huge reason why Oasis was successful and cemented their place in Rock History was because they made amazing tunes, but another reason, which is often criticized as a negative, was the fact that were so controversial. The members of Oasis were often described as everyday “lads” in a band. They were loud, they were not afraid to say their opinion on music, politics, etc., they were known partiers, and they would constantly say they were the greatest rock band that ever existed. This is almost genius in an unintentional way. Because they would get in a drunken fight, or punch a photographer, or say that everyone in the British Parliament does drugs, or have a member quit the band during a tour, the media wanted to cover it. With the major news outlets covering these shenanigans all this is doing is getting more eyes on the product of Oasis. People who watch these stories would be exposed to Oasis and their music, which could ultimately win the audience over and make them become fans.

 

oasis-oamr001jfWhatever your opinion on their music is, you cannot deny the impact and the influence Oasis has had on Rock-N-Roll. With their relatable rock tunes and their media grabbing actions, Oasis has to go down as one of the last great true Rock-N-Roll bands as of late. They of course aren’t the only ones and I shall be discussing. There are many more acts to speak about in the coming weeks. But for right now you should head over to spotify.com and put it on the Oasis channel and fly away.

 

LIVE FOREVER

 

Photo by: Steve Double

Photo by: Brian Cannon

Photo by: Jill Furmanovsky

Where are all the Rock Stars?

the beatles

Over the past few years, Rock-N-Roll music has begun to take a back seat to the mainstream media and receiving less radio play on popular stations. Why is that? Has the music changed? Has the audience changed? Has our taste changed?

Almost all of these are perfectly acceptable reasons but I believe it is something deeper. Rock-N-Roll is no longer in the forefront of music is because Rock music no longer has these iconic figures who not only influence us through their music but influence us through their iconic lifestyles and beliefs. Look at some of the most popular Rock acts out there. For example, The Beatles had John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. I understand most people would not be able to name all of The Beatles but majority of them could at least name one. And why is that? It is because of some of their antics and their life outside of the band that truly made this group icon. Of course, The Beatles make amazing music but again they solidified their place in Rock history for everything they did outside of their realm of music. They influenced pop culture. Because of them everyone started wearing their hair just like them and dressing like them. They became so huge that major news would report on them.

Oasis

The reason why Rock-N-Roll is taking a back seat to Pop, Country, and Rap is because of this. Rock Music no longer has these characters. Rock-N-Roll no longer has ROCK STARS.

So where are all the Rock Stars? If you believe the title of this blog, you could say and make a pretty decent argument that they are all dead. Currently right now in today’s music scene, Rock-N-Roll is not challenging in any sense of the word. It is not challenging musically, it is not challenging lyrically, and it is not challenging to pop culture and the rest of the world. I believe this is because a lot of Rock bands think to themselves “How can we be the heaviest Pop band out there?” They are trying their hardest to get played on the radio so they can become bigger and make their management and record company more money.

They are focusing on the wrong thing here. They should be writing true, real, honest music that is not influenced by anything or anyone other than the artist themselves. When a band does this we get The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Who, Metallica, Green Day, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Oasis, etc. (If I made any of you feel nostalgic then you can listen to all of these bands here on Spotify.) And the real winners are us the fans, because we get AMAZING music that we all shall talk about for years and years to come.

Green Day

In the weeks to come, I shall be discussing more about how we need the Rock Stars put back into Rock-N-Roll music. I shall be talking about certain bands of the past and certain bands of the present as well and see what makes them important to Rock-N-Roll. If any of you have some favorite Rock Bands you’d like for me to discuss, please leave a comment below.

 

Photography by: Iain Macmillan (1969)

Photography by: Jill Furmanovsky (1997)

 Photography by: Joe Papeo (2013)