Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Turn of a Friendly Card

I am a camel and this is my music: The Alan Parsons Project is soooooo good. Since my last blog about them, I have listened to every album I own of theirs. Each one is rather unique. The Turn of a Friendly Card is no different. This album happens to be about gambling and the results thereof (you know card, gambling, yeah). With nothing left to say in this section here comes the album cover.

Album Cover


This is a pretty simple album cover really. It depicts a king of diamonds on a stained glass window. This is probably because the story this album tells is of some guy in the middle ages. I do however, like the font. There's the good old church font and some unique nonsense for the band name. I wonder if I can find that font myself for future projects...

Musically this album is exactly what you would think of gambling: a bit harsh and regretful. There are some songs that sound like the driving rush of gambling and some that depict sadness in the aftermath. One thing the Alan Parsons Project was very good at happened to be conveying emotions through music.Every song on this album does exactly what it's supposed to do.

On this album I particularly like the songs Games People Play, The Gold Bug, Turn of a Friendly Card, and Snake Eyes. Games people play is a rather catchy song with a driving beat and a good mood. The Gold Bug is the primary instrumental track on this album. It's about four and a half minutes of trippy music that sounds pretty interesting. Turn of a Friendly Card is a song that feels sort of like renaissance music with an Alan Parsons Project twist. The vocals sound really cool. Snake Eyes is probably my favorite song on the album. It's definitely one of the harsh gambling songs. It's pretty catchy and has an interesting feel that can't be found in much of any other music.

Overall this album is one of my favorite by the Alan Parsons Project. Actually, I don't know if I can say that because I like pretty much all of their albums. Not only that, I also like them for different reasons.Whatever, this album is worth listening to and that's all that matters. I am still a camel and I hope you enjoyed my music. Thank you for reading!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Throwing something together

Oh wow. It's really late and I haven't blogged. Well, that's what this is which means I did remember in time. The quality of this post may be only adequate but I hope you enjoy it.

This post marks my first since the end of slice of life. This means that I am still blogging publicly (wow). Also, this post is not about music. From now on, I won't feel inclined to post about music but regardless, music will be the main topic because it is easy for me to talk about. After I finish this post I'm going to very quickly write a few comments and then submit. People have reminded me of this all week but I'm only remembering now (ugh). I think that every time I write an unenthusiastic blog, it looks exactly like this. I talk more about the act of writing the post than an actual subject of significance. This doesn't really matter to me because I always feel a bit different when blogging. I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my blogging mind!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fragile

I am a camel and this is my music: Today's album may in fact be my favorite of all time. I don't think I can express how much I love this album. Today's post, which also happens to be my final of this month, will cover Fragile by Yes. This fine collection of music is the best Yes ever sounded. The line-up for Yes at this point included a master of every single instrument used. There's Jon Anderson singing, Chris Squire on Bass, Rick Wakeman on Keyboards, Bill Bruford on percussion, and also Steve Howe on guitar. One thing this album does perfectly is showcase every one of these members in one way or another. So here is the album cover which may look a little familiar:

Album Cover




You probably know why this album cover is so familiar. If you don't you're actually rather blind. Look to the left of this post and look to the right. That's been there since the day I started this blog. The album cover is certainly not exempt from my love of this album. For me, there is something special and appealing about the blend of greens and blues in this artwork. It all seems to blur together a little yet it doesn't seem messy. This abstract image of the Earth with something flying above it captures the feel of this album possible. Even the colors are spot on. If this music were translated into colors, those would be the colors. The title above the album appears to also blend in perfectly. Written in the classic Yes font, it blends seamlessly with the somewhat hazy image below. I know I mentioned this slightly before but the different shades of each color do something amazing. The Earth all seems to take on a good amount of white while the background is dark to the point of blackness in some parts.

I don't think music has ever been made alike to that found in this album. This may be a classic representation of prog but this is so because of it's unmatchable quality. Generally the best of something, becomes the representative of the whole group. Every piece found on this album is unique. That is one thing that sets it aside musically. Some artists (and other Yes albums for that matter) tend to have everything blend into one almost flat piece of music. Fragile does not do that. Though the album is clearly meant to be listened to in its entirety, each track stands out as something special. This goes for everything from the first song to the last song. With that in mind, today I will talk about every song on this album.

I can't pick out stand out pieces because I love them all. The first track on this album is the legendary Roundabout. This song starts out with a Latin guitar sound but shifts into a bass heavy mess (for lack of a better word) with an incredibly complex part played by every member of the group. The bass in particular is amazing at this point in the song. Soon, Jon Anderson begins to sing beautiful abstract lyrics with his high and airy voice. As the song progresses, it comes to a point where an insane percussion break takes place. This break eventually shifts back into the Latin guitar styled intro (this time with a keyboard part underneath). The song picks up again and then changes into something vocal heavy for a little while and then finishes with one more Latin guitar section.

After Roundabout comes a modernized version of Brahms' fourth symphony in E minor. This piece, known as Cans and Brahms, is a complex keyboard solo. It lasts for two minutes and invites the listener to reevaluate what they thought classical music has to sound like.

 After this comes We Have Heaven which is a bouncy and happy piece. It's bright and happy lyrics with a bright guitar backing. This song sort of sets up the story of the album. This song depicts a bright, happy, and perfect world yet at the end of the song, the lyrics drone out and the sound of a door closing is heard along with footsteps running away.

Following the sound of someone running away, a wind is heard and the album progresses (progressive rock) to South Side of the Sky. This is a rather lengthy piece (8 minutes) that continues the story and has other small breaks like Roundabout. About halfway through the song, the winds return and then a rather short piano solo is played. The song form the beginning continues and then a wind is heard again as the music fades out.

Next comes the shortest song on the album. Five Per Cent for Nothing clocks in a 38 seconds and is basically a trio of conflicting parts between guitar, bass, and drums. There isn't much to say about this track because there isn't very much of a track to listen to. Regardless, this piece has every bit as much quality as the others.

Long Distance Runaround is the next piece on this album. This song starts with a bright and happy synth and guitar part which ends up shifting into a cold and sparse section with lyrics. The song ends up becoming bright and happy again and plays at full force from then on to the end.

The end of Long Distance Runaround isn't really the end. It's actually the beginning of The Fish. This song is a few minutes of Chris Squire messing around and recording over himself on bass with a percussion backing. What he's playing, certainly isn't easy or simple for that matter.

The Fish then ends and is followed by a song that is a bit of a departure from the rest of the album. Mood for a Day is one Spanish guitar solo from the beginning to end with no backing whatsoever. There is a great amount of emotion conveyed in this piece and at parts, the song is so quite that a listener can hear Steve Howe breathing.

Heart of the Sunrise is the last song on this album and comes out to about 11 and a half minutes. This track starts with a bass heavy intro that goes on for a while and then shifts into a sort of funky groove. The song stays in this groove and then the first verse comes in. After this, the song becomes a little synth heavy for a break and then more lyrics come in. I would continue describing the song piece by piece but for the most part, it fits that pattern. The ending however, is very important. Foot steps are heard once again followed by the opening of a door. As this door opens back up, We Have Heaven is heard playing again and it fades out with the album

I would talk about this album stylistically here but by this point, you probably get it. With that, this turns into my concluding paragraph. I hope that this musical blog has interested some people in a style of music they otherwise wouldn't consider. I wouldn't be writing this blog about music if I didn't think you, the reader, could get something out of that. With that I bid you happy listening. I am still a camel and I hope you enjoyed my music. Thank you for reading!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Was Going to Have Music Today But....

OK, my procrastination this weekend has been absolutely awful. I am now flooded with work to do and it's all my fault. I even cleared up time on my Saturday so I would have tome to work. Being the idiot I am however, I wasted it. Now I'm swimming in work and I've only gotten about half of it done. I don't see myself getting much sleep at all tonight. I think I may at most get 5 hours which is quite the departure from my regular 7.



That's the album that I was going to talk about today and almost did. I realised when I started writing this post that there was no way I would have time to do this album justice. Instead I'm just going to talk about my problems. For tomorrow however, I am going to be talking about Fragile by Yes which happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time. If you hated this blog today, do not lose hope, come back tomorrow. Thank you for reading!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thick as a Brick

I am a camel and this is my music: Today you're actually getting more Jethro Tull. Amazing, isn't it? The album I listened to today is another one of my favorites and goes by the name Thick as a Brick. This album consists of one song broken up into two parts because back in the day you couldn't really fit 40 minutes of music onto one side of a record. So now I know what's going through your head (probably). A really lousy joke that you thought was witty popped in your head: "That song is as thick as a brick." Let me tell you right now that that is the exact phrase that everyone tells me when I tell them about this album. It's not funny anymore. Ok, album cover.

Album Cover


OK, this album cover does have a story behind it. I'll just start from the beginning. This album was created as a response to the critical response of Aqualung. Aqualung, which is widely regarded as Jethro Tull's best, is an album with a mostly uniform sound and has rather uniform themes. Because of this, critics labeled this album as a prog concept album (I think it is too). Ian Anderson kept trying to stress that it wasn't a concept album but nobody really believed him. From here, he decided to make the most concepty concept album possible. This album would be a complete and total parody of the progressive rock genre and a parody of concept albums as a whole. Well, it turned out to be one of the best examples of a concept album and one of the best examples of progressive rock. This album's cover and the inside cover tell a story of a boy who won a poetry contest but was stripped of his title because of the controversial themes of his poem. Of course, this was completely fake. The supposed lines of this poem were adapted to lyrics and a 40 minute song was born along with all of it's progressive frills. Yay.

Musically, this album is pretty amazing. It has all of the fancy time signature shifts and key changes and other nonsense. It perfectly merges the old style of Jethro Tull with more progressive elements. The flute is very well done throughout, the lyrics are interesting, the guitar and bass are spot on, and the drums are pretty tight (especially at the the drum solo). Nothing else to say really, Very good.

Stand out songs would include Thick as a Brick. Out of the plethora (never used that word before) of songs to choose from, I just had to go with this one. Nothing else.

Stylistically this album is proggy. Yay. I dont feel like writing. Yay.

Altogether, this is is one fine album. I don;'t have very much to say however, because there is only one song. I am still a camel and I hope you enjoyed my music. Thank you for reading!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Dark Side of the Moon

I am a camel and this is my music: Wow, an album you've probably heard of average reader. Honestly, who hasn't heard of this album. It is actually the second best selling album of all time behind Thriller. The claimed sales of this album hover at around 45 million. Think about that for a second. That would mean that almost 1 in every 140 people on the planet owns a copy of this album assuming they are evenly distributed. Wow. There's certainly a good reason for this. This album is one of the best I've ever listened to and is right up there with The Wall for Pink Floyd's best. Now, I shall post the oh so iconic of album covers below.

Album Cover


Yup, no matter who you are, you've seen this before. It doesn't matter why or where, the fact is, you have seen this album cover before. Though incredibly simple, this album cover is rather amazing. It conveys a rather simple idea through rather simple shapes and colors. It really is just a prism. My interpretation of this cover is that it's representative of the themes of this album. The lyrics and styles of the songs would suggest that this album revolves around the stages of a person's life. It may be one continuous life but when looking closer, one can see that things change a great deal.

This album is near impossible to beat musically. Everything is perfect (thanks to Alan Parsons). There's not a single flaw that I can notice and it's not even like that's made up for by a consistent lower quality. This album is just all around amazing. It may be important to note that this album isn't for everyone. If you don't like synth or rock or even jazz, you may not like this album. You could probably get away with not liking jazz but some songs (Money) have a heavy jazz influence. Actually, I think anybody who can't put their stylistic preferences aside and acknowledge the quality of this album is kind of crazy.

This album officially had two singles. Those two singles were Time and Money (Time is not Money in this case). It's not that there aren't other good songs, it's more that those two are absolutely amazing (I'm sorry the joke in my last sent of parentheses is awful). Time is a ..... ummmm......... it has a long intro and........ ummmm.....well....... I don;t know how to describe it. You've heard Money but not in it's entirety, do that. Other pieces I like are The Great Gig in the Sky (Amazing vocalizing ) and Brain Damage along with Eclipse (Have a good feel).

Stylistically this album is very synth heavy. Any Colour you like is pretty much a 3 minute synth solo and the same goes for On the Run. As I stated before, jazz influence is present in some pieces. Looking at the whole album as a whole is certainly the better way to do things. Every single song fades or shifts perfectly into the next. During this fading or shifting is usually some spoken conversations that are a bit confusing and disjointed but somehow fit perfectly. This entire album might as well be one giant song because that's what it feels like (Thick as a Brick). 

I could probably go on with this one but I think that what I typed is all you need to know. This is a really short concluding paragraph. Listen to the album. You should. I am still a camel and I hope you enjoyed my music. Thank you for Reading!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Don't Feel Like Blogging

OK, I had a lot of work today and almost none of it wen the way I planned. If everything had gone as I wanted, my homework would have been completed by 10:30. Right now it's 11:45 and this blog is the last thing I have to do (yes I have to do it). First, I had hoped to move some programs from my slow laptop to my newer desktop. This didn't go very smoothly and I ended up giving up at around 9:30 with nothing accomplished. From here I worked on my Latin Project but that didn't go right either. My color printer ended up stopping working completely after waiting for it to do something for 15 minutes. In the end, I had to print everything out in blck and white.

Latin was not where my problems ended. From here I had my choice of ITR or data. Aaron said I should do ITR so that's what I did. Unfortunately, as it would turn out, I didn't have the ITR 7 paper and had no idea what was going on because I wan't in class on Friday. On top of that, I had to write an entirely new EDD because I wanted to scrap my old one. EDDs are usually easy but mine seems to be the exception to every single part of the EDD template. Data came next and for once I had no problems. It still took some tie because I had to do it on my old  laptop but there were no major roadblocks. This blog is the last thing I'm doing before sleeping. These next few days should have some really good music so check back then. Thank you for reading!