The Catalyst – Linkin Park

Earlier this week, Linkin Park released “The Catalyst,” first single from their newest album. “A Thousand Suns” is to be released in mid-September, so this gives fans and critics alike plenty of time to take this first morsel of Linkin Park creativity and enjoy it. It should get us pumped up to go out and buy it, despite the slight letdown that Minutes to Midnight was.

Right?

And then, there was this:

I didn’t like it at all upon first listen. It debuted on the morning show I listen to on the way to work, with most listeners calling in saying they didn’t like it at all. This was my initial reaction as well.

I gave it a few more listens, and my opinion of it is improving, gradually.

The of electronia melody and synthetic beats, while not really entirely new to the LP brand of music, is much too prevalent- at least for a single. There are plenty of songs in the LP catalog that make great use of sampling by the band’s mixer. What has made them great in the past is HOW Chester’s piercing voice and lyrics combine with Mike Shinoda’s clever rhymes. How samples of violin (Faint) and woodwind instruments (Nobody’s Listening) come together with their talented musicians on guitar, bass, and drums. Or how rap and rock come together to form EPIC songs (In the End, One Step Closer)

LP can be raw emotion (Crawling), a screamfest (Given Up) or a gentle reflection (My December). The most important part of every song LP writes is the cohesion of the parts, because there are so many. The cohesion of instrumentation with computer generation. The cohesion of genres. (Collision Course, wth Jay-Z)

Now don’t get me wrong, “The Catalyst” is not a bad song at all. It just isn’t great, and it doesn’t set any sort of expectation for the album. Then of course, perhaps this was done on purpose.

I’d even venture to say that it is a very well written and produced song, harboring an industrial, futuristic sound. The song seems to take the form of a prayer for humanity in the backdrop of a chaotic near apocalyptic setting- a setting where even the non believer might have no resort but to pray for salvation when humanity’s sophistication becomes the supreme oppressive weapon. The electronic melody towards the end of the song fades away and all that is left are words and piano.

“The Catalyst” is a prologue, and nothing more. I don’t know why this song was chosen as a single. This is the type of song that as you’re listening to the entire album you stumble upon and you’re like, “Hmm, that’s different. It’s not bad at all. It’s kind of catchy, almost infectious.” This song does NOT get my excited for the album. It is a new direction, but I would hardly call it refreshing or ground breaking.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

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The Heap: Streaming Event Scheduled- Story of The Year Concert

After a few months of waiting, one of my FAVORITE bands of all time is in town! St. Louis’ own Story of the Year makes a stop here in the Tampa Bay area, and you better believe I will be there. So of course, I will be stream a segment of the concert live on the blog. You can expect footage from 9-10 pm… anywhere in between.

It’s been a long time since I have seen these guys live. There were at Warped Tour a few years back, but I wasn’t able to make it that year. Though I did see them at Warped waaaaay back in the day circa 2004/2005, where they absolutely ROCKED it. They know how to put on a performance, I am am excited to see them at the State theatre in St. Pete, a smaller venue.

They’ve also recorded two albums since I’ve last seen them as well. In The Wake of Determination was just coming out when I last saw them, so I’ll get to hear songs from The Black Swan and The Constant performed. And of course, along with the random live streams, you can expect a nice reflection later this weekend, as well as finally, a review of their newest album!

The Heap’s Recommended Songs: Until the Day I Die, Anthem of Our Dying Day, The Antidote, I’m Alive, The Hero Will Drown

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

Band of the Day

Music has become probably the only saving grace for me when it comes to making it through the day here at work. With all of the constant bombardments from patients and pharmaceutical companies, sometimes you need a little something to escape for a little bit… maybe something to get you into the groove and process all the paperwork you have to do rather quickly.

As I’ve posted previously, Pandora usually fulfills my musical needs. But, after receiving a desparate plea from Pandora’s founder to stop listening to so much damn music I’ve had to find other avenues. (I’ll post the actual email later this weekend).

Playlist.com┬álets you search for any song by any artist and lets you listen to it streaming. From here you can add it to your own playlist and share it with the rest of the playlist.com community. They’ve even added some social networking capabilities via meebo. So you can now talk to those who discover your playlist! It’s pretty neat.

Anyway, this brings me to The Band of The Day. Every once in a while, I get in a mood where I just want to hear every single song by one band to see how the “other songs on the albums” are.

Today’s band of the day is Paramore. I’m almost through the entire list, and let me tell you, It certainly doesn’t disappoint. I don’t think I skipped a song for not liking the sound or words! I might have to buy some albums on itunes. Though newer stuff hasn’t made it on this list yet. You can’t beat a hot rocker chick with an absolutely amazing voice and blond red hair singing to my heart’s content. I want a Hayley!

Check out what I’m listening to here!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

The Heap’s Song Stuck in the Pile: “Savior” – Rise Against

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/df/ATRFinal.jpg

(Click on link to listen)

\”Savior\” – Rise Against

It kills me not to know this but I’ve all but just forgotten
what the color of her eyes were and her scars or how she got them
as the telling signs of age rain down a single tear is dropping
through the valleys of an aging face that this world has forgotten

there is no reconciliation that will put me in my place
and there is no time like the present to drink these draining seconds
but seldom do these words ring true when I’m constantly failing you
like walls that we just can’t break through until we disappear

so tell me now

if this ain’t love then how do we get out?

because I don’t know

that’s when she said I don’t hate you boy
I just want to save you while there’s still something left to save
that’s when I told her I love you girl
but I’m not the answer to the questions that you still have

but the day pressed on like crushing weights
for no man does it ever wait
like memories of dying days
that deafen us like hurricanes
bathed in flames we held the brand
uncurled the fingers in your hand
pressed into the flesh like sand
now do you understand?

so tell me now
if this ain’t love then how do we get out?
because I don’t know

that’ s when she said I don’t hate you boy
I just want to save you while there’s still something left to save
that’s when I told her I love you girl
but I’m not the answer to the questions that you still have

one thousand miles away
there’s nothing left to say
but so much left that I don’t know
we never had a choice
this world is too much noise
it takes me under
it takes me under once again

I don’t hate you
I don’t hate you

so tell me now
if this ain’t love then how do we get out?
because I don’t know

that’s when she said I don’t hate you boy
I just want to save you while there’s still something left to save
that’s when I told her I love you girl
but I’m not the answer to the questions that you still have
I don’t hate you
I don’t hate you, no

Introducing a new segment for us here at The Heap! Song Stuck in the Pile will function as a “Song of the Week (or moment) that has gotten in my head and I just can’t stop listening to.

This week, for our initial entry, it’s Midwest rock group Rise Against, with the latest single “Savior” of their new album “Appeal to Reason.” RA often includes one “love song” on each album, though this song in particular does offer a particularly perverse love story.

The lyrics hint at a couple who have already broken up, and the guy is responsible. In addition, there are hints of some sort of addiction as the overwhelming vice. Recognizing this, the girl tries to intervene before he ends up doing serious damage to himself in the long run, thus, “wanting to save you while there’s still something left to save.”

But, as expected from a band with the sophistication of RA, there has to be multiple meanings. The lines referring to “the telling signs of age” and “aging face” suggest an older woman. We must keep in mind the name of the album- Appeal to Reason.

Could it be a reference to Lady Reason? I believe so, particularly how Lady Reason defines love in “The Romance of the Rose” by a woman named Christine de Pizan who challenged the misogynistic tendancies of her society in the 15th Century. In essence, she is considered one of the first prevalent voices in the movement for equality between sexes, at least in the arts.

Lady Reason begins:

“Love is hateful peace, love is hate in love. It is disloyal loyalty, it is loyal disloyalty; it is fear that is completely confident, it is hope in despair. It is reason completely mad, it is reasonable madness…” and so on.

The key words of interest are Love and Hate, not to mention that at this part of the story Lady Reason intervenes to advise the struggling traveler. Interesting.

Read the rest here (it’s actually pretty interesting!)

An off the wall reference from the boys from Chicago. But it keeps to the theme of the band’s concerns with human rights. (Re-education Through Labor touches immigration, but that’s for another day) Definitely a catchy, borderline poppy song, but nevertheless demonstrating Rise Against’s concern with issues as well as their knowledge of history and literature!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

From The Desk Of… “Currently Listening To:”

A fantastic Arctic Monkeys playlist.

Check it out by clicking on the link above!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

From The Desk Of… “La Bandera”

This might just be the sweetest picture I have ever seen.

This is a promo poster for Coheed’s upcoming concert in San Juan in June. Their lead singer Claudio Sanchez is Puerto Rican, I believe. At least at the concert I went to, he had a PR sticker on his guitar.

In any case, Great Band. Great Poster. Great Use of the Puerto Rican Flag.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser