The Best Bands That You Don’t Know: Aloha

Aloha is a hardworking, crazy-touring mainstay of Polyvinyl
Records here in the States. Started by long time members Tony Cavallario
and Matthew Gengler while they were attending college during the summer of
1997 in Ohio; they have been working extremely hard for the progress of their
band ever since. Matthew and Tony, joined by Cale Parks and later T.J. Lipple
in the spring of 2003 make up the band as they are now.

With the addition of T.J. their sound was able to expand quite
a bit from the band’s earlier works; with his sound contributions of a homemade
Mellotron, Marimba, Organ playing, editing tricks, as well as his Drum playing
abilities; which allowed Cale to further develop his sound within the band.

Their expanded sound can be seen on their first album
together: 2004’s Here Comes Everyone,
which was released that winter. The beginnings of the album were written in T.J.’s
grandfather’s house in Pennsylvania shortly after the coming together of the band’s
lineup.

Their follow up album was the critically acclaimed Some Echoes, which was released in the
spring of 2006. The album was recorded and produced at the Silver Sonya studio
in Virginia, which is operated by T.J. and Chad Clark (from the DC band Beauty
Pill).

Some Echoes showcased
a further progression in their sound and was praised by nearly everyone that
listened to the record; I honestly do not believe that I’ve read a single poor
review of the album. It is an absolute classic and quite possibly my favorite
work by the band to date. The album was also streamed on their website for
everyone to listen to, but sadly the old band website is no longer available;
they now use their Myspace page for their website needs.

Their latest release is Light
Works
, an EP, released in late 2007. While not as progressive sounding as
the previous two releases, Light Works
is a light and fine work indeed, especially as far as EP’s are concerned; it is
a quality release without a doubt, it’s almost album like. Though it may be a
little unexpected at first to hear the piano and the acoustic guitar, you soon
get used to it and enjoy the quality of the work that is being done.

Aloha really is one of the hardest working bands making
music today, and they are grossly unappreciated for the amazing work that they
have done and continue to do. I have been to several Aloha shows over the years
and I am not joking when I say that they are one of the hardest working bands
around. They are in what seems to be a constant state of touring, recording,
writing and working.

They have played shows all over the world, from every corner
of the United States, to Japan and Singapore. They have a very loyal following
in their fan base, which will undoubtedly continue to grow as time passes by
and people continue to discover them. The band certainly deserves any and all recognition
that they receive.

Aloha: One of the best bands that you didn’t know about
until reading this article.

The Greatest Songs of All Time: Neil Young’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”

Released
on the 19th of September, 1970, on Young’s brilliant and now classic After
the Gold Rush
album; the song was written by Young and the album was
written and recorded between the summer of 1969 and the spring/summer of 1970.
Most of the album was recorded in the homemade recording studio thrown together
in Young’s home in Topanga Canyon;  a very popular and famous place to
live at the time for musicians due to its populace, attitude, and location in
Los Angeles County, California.

 

It’s
an acoustic song in the vein of Young’s work with Crosby, Stills & Nash, as
is much of the album; quite possibly due to the immense popularity of their
album with Young Déjà Vu, which was released earlier that year and
quickly rose to the top of the charts.

 

No
matter what the reasoning was behind Young’s decision to record the album the
way he did, he still created a great album. Though it was originally panned by
critics; it is now generally accepted as a great album, one of Neil Young’s
best, which I tend to agree with; and furthermore, it has several great songs
on it, including “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”:

 

 

Lyrics:

Old
man lying
by the side of the road
with the lorries rolling by
Blue moon sinking
from the weight of the load
and the building scrape the sky
Cold wind ripping
down the allay at dawn
and the morning paper flies
Dead man lying
by the side of the road
with the daylight in his eyes

Don’t let it bring you down
It’s only castles burning
Find someone who’s turning
And you will come around

Blind man running
through the light
of the night
with an answer in his hand
Come on down
to the river of sight
and you can really understand
Red lights flashing
through the window
in the rain
can you hear the sirens moan?
White cane lying
in a gutter in the lane,
if you’re walking home alone.

Don’t let it bring you down
It’s only castles burning
Just find someone who’s turning
And you will come around

Don’t let it bring you down
It’s only castles burning
Just find someone who’s turning
And you will come around

 

It is a beautiful work with beautifully simple and
extremely vivid lyrics; which are powerfully brought to the forefront of the
song via Young’s voice and the simple playing of his acoustic guitar.

The Greatest Songs of All Time: The Diamond Sea

From Various Thoughts on Music

===

I’m going to write about some of the greatest songs of all time. Some
songs are not only classic, but they are also musically, lyrically,
artistically pure and genuine, beautiful. I will discuss what the songs
mean to me, why they are great, as well as information about where you
can listen to these songs, when they are from, where they are from,
where they were recording, as well as other miscellaneous information.
It should be fun!

The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth

The song itself is from 1995 and was written by Thurston Moore. It
was first released on the brilliant Washing Machine album. There are
three versions of this song: The album version which is 19 minutes and
35 seconds, a radio edit which comes in at 5 minutes and 26 seconds,
and an extended version which is an amazing 25 minutes 50 seconds. It
was released in 1995 as the first single from the Washing Machine
album, the single has the radio edit and the extended version of the
song, as well as the song My Arena. There was a video created for the
song which used compiled footage from the 1995 Lollapalooza tour, Spike
Jonze and several other well known directors were involved in the
creation of the video.

The lyrics read:

time takes its crazy toll
and how does your mirror grow
you better watch yourself when you jump into it
cause the mirror’s gonna steal your soul
I wonder how it came to be my friend
that someone just like you has come again
you’ll never ever know how close you came
until you fall in love with the diamond rain
throw all his trash away
look out he’s here to stay
your mirror’s gonna crack when he breaks into it
and you’ll never ever be the same
look into his eyes and you can see
why all the little kids are dressed in dreams
I wonder how he’s gonna make it back
when he sees that you just know it’s make-believe
blood crystallized to sand
and now I hope you understand
you reflect into his looking-glass soul
and now the mirror is your only friend
look into his eyes and you will see
that men are not alone on the diamond sea
sail into the heart of a lonely storm
and tell her that you’ll love her eternally
time takes its crazy toll
mirror falling off the wall
you better look out for the looking-glass girl
cause she’s gonna take you for a fall
look into his eyes and you shall see
why everything is quiet and nothing’s free
I wonder how he’s gonna make her smile
when love is running wild on the diamond sea

To me, these are some of the greatest lyrics ever written. The
combination of the lyrics and the music make for not only one of my
favorite songs of all time, but a song which I believe is one of the
greatest ever recorded. The music is simply gorgeous, a masterful
composition of sound invading, pummeling it’s way down your ear canals.
At some points you won’t know if you want it to stop or not, but you
will most certainly continue listening, waiting for that breakthrough
of pureness and beauty that we are all so hopeful for. At times the
song can seem a sonic stillbirth, an amalgamated abortion of sounds
destroying your eardrums and you know it, yet you turn it up a little
louder.

The lyrics are much the same. They are an expansive
journey inward and within ones deepest self, tickling our egos and
insecurities in ways that we never thought were, and hoped not
possible, especially from this punk band from New York. What were they
doing writing like this, playing 20 minute explosions of emotion,
touching us on nearly every level? This was unchartered territory for
the band, a new and great discovery to be shared with everyone that
wanted to expand their musical horizons.

Lyrics written,
interpreted as I may, looking, digging, finding, deep within oneself,
some deeper meaning of what is of a real, actual value, and what isn’t.
Exploring how not only this revelation affects you, but how others
around you, in your life and out, affect you just the same. Discovering
and overcoming whatever insecurities that you personally may have had
by ripping them to shreds with words and feedback seemingly from
another planet, certainly from another level, a level that we were most
definitely not on until The Diamond Sea.

Then in the end, we
come to an understanding and hopefully even an acceptance of what we’ve
come to realize by the end of the song. We have been a witness to true
artistic beauty and that can never be taken away from us. In one single
song we have learned to search, find, explore, and then understand and
accept the innermost feelings that we allow to be affected.

That’s just it: The Diamond Sea, just like any other music, is what it
is, and is what you make of it. If we allow ourselves, then we end up
seeing and understanding that these things are not of any great
importance, and only then are we able to break from our bonds and
prejudices, whatever they may be, and truly be free.