The Best Singers


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I really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog.

My “Best Guitarist’s” post from last week managed to stir the pot and spark a bit of conversation. I’m hoping this post will do the same.

Of course, the problem with a “Best Singers” list is similar the problem with a “Best Guitarists” list: What am I judging them on? Do they get points for creativity? Lyrics? Emotion? I try to weigh several factors and think I came out with a list that should have something for everyone.

But I’m sure I missed a few

 

Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantomas, About 12 billion others) – I like Mike Patton. He’s a phenomenal singer with a very impressive range. He should be higher on this list but I hate is that he has the same effect on grown men as the Jonas Brother’s have on 13-year-old girls.

GG Allin covered in his own shit and still singing.

GG Allin covered in his own shit and still singing.

GG Allin – To this day he’s the only man I’ve ever seen take a shit on stage and not miss a note. Not that that’s a good thing, but it is really impressive.

Simon & Garfunkel – These two were way more than the sum of their parts. Paul Simon always wrote great songs, but they never shined as bright without him harmonizing with Art Garfunkel.

Tom Waits – Anyone who can have such a long and prolific career while sounding like they’re gargling gravel and broken glass is OK in my book.

Layne Staley (Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Class of ’99) – The thing that always impressed me most about Staley was how he could take songs like “Rooster” and “Would?” that were written by Jerry Cantrell and pump so much emotion into them.

Meat Loaf – I’ve heard a few people say that they don’t enjoy the way Meat Load mixes opera singing with hard rock. That usually ends the conversation for me.

Adele – I love that deep, smoky, soulful voice. She sings like a black girl. Which makes me think I must be racist because I didn’t put Tina Turner or Gladys Knight on here.

Elton John – I want to make a gay joke here, but I’m not that crude. So I’ll just let Tenacious D do it.

 

Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, Solo) – Not only does he have the most impressive set of pipes this side of 1988, he also writes some of the craziest lyrics this side of Dax Riggs.

Leonard Cohen – In ‘Tower of Song’ he sings: “I was born like this I had no choice, I was born with the gift of a golden voice.” But I’ve heard some of his older stuff and I don’t think he really started to shine until the mid-Eighties.

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

 

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Nickelback Sentenced to Death in Most of the Developed World


hqdefaultThe World – Following news this week that Iranian death metal band Confess may be facing execution in their country for playing music the International Court of Justice sentenced Canadian rockers Nickelback to death.

“We don’t usually condone the death penalty,” said President of the International Court of Justice Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi. “But if anyone should be put to death, it’s those bastards.”

The quartet was found guilty of crimes against humanity, torture, civil rights violations and generally sucking during a trial on Friday.

The news is shocking because most countries don’t currently practice capital punishment. The death penalty is prevalent mostly in China, India, the United States and the Middle East, but is not practiced in Europe or Nickelback’s home country of Canada.

“We’re OK with all the hoser’s thinking we’re really nice and love hockey and maple syrup, eh,” said Canadian Alex Bouchard. “But it really irks me when people want to blame Nickelback on the whole country. Come on, we don’t blame every German for the holocaust or every Icelander for Bjork. Really, they make our country an embarrassment in the international community. Fry the fuckers, eh.”

Perhaps the most damning evidence against the melodic milquetoast band was the information that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been bombing rebels with tracks from the band’s 2008 album Dark Horse as well as using the hit single “Photograph” as a torture method.

“I was totally for waterboarding,” said US Presidential candidate Donald Trump. “Loved it. I think we should bring it back. Most forms of torture I’m OK with. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Nickelback is too inhumane.”

BatistaFireSquadThe band is currently hiding in North Korea with other ostracized members of western culture like Dennis Rodman, Richard Simmons and the dude who played Urkel on Family Matters

The Hauge is currently working on similar cases against Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Limp Bizkit.

The Best Guitarists


guitarist-on-stageI really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog. This one is rather difficult to pull off though. I mean, how do you compare Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison? They’re both great guitarists, but it’s like comparing your favorite burger to your favorite doughnut.

I’m going to try anyway.

I do realize I could just call this “My Personal Favorite Guitar Players,” but I worry that would take away all the controversy and I really enjoy when people comment about how I forget someone. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

 

Johnny Ramone (The Ramones) – He may not have been the most skilled palyer, but not many musicians have had the impact he did. Before Johnny no one played guitar solely with fast down picking. After him, an entire genre of music that did nothing else was born.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Solo) – He’s definitely not a traditional soloist, but he stands out in a crowd.

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains, Solo) – I’m sure being the primary songwriter for his band forces him to look at the guitar in a different manner than someone who composes as part of a group. His solos always feel like they belong in the song and were written to make it just a little better.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) – One of the best guitar solos of all time starts at 3:50

 

Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) – A Randy Rhoads solo disc would have been awesome wouldn’t it? He was amazing at writing these great instrumental songs – but within the songs that he was playing with Ozzy.

Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth 1990-99) I’m not sure who was doing what in the band at the time. I’m not that interested really, but I know they made one helluva team.

John 5 (Solo, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Two) – So far there’s only been one guitarist able to maintain my interest throughout an album and/or live show by just playing his guitar. I should probably check out Vai or Satriani sometime to see how they compare, but I’m pretty sure Mr. 5 will always be my favorite shredder.

George Harrison (The Beatles, Solo) – He’s definitely not the flashiest or speediest musician on this list, but he always seemed to know the right notes to play. Come on, could you imagine Mick Mars doing a solo on “Helter Skelter”? Or Steve Vai doing “Hey Bulldog”? Or Type O Negative doing a Beatles melody. (You don’t have to here)

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Jimi Hendrix (Solo, Band of Gypsys) – It really doesn’t seem right to include Hendrix on this list. He doesn’t come off as a guitar player to me. He really just sang through the instrument and like it was a part of his body. His voice and gyrating hips were his instrument, the guitar was just an extension of his body.

Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd, Solo) – “Dave Gilmore can do more with one note than most guitar players can do with the entire fret board” (That’s a quote I read from Dave Mustaine in an old issue of guitar world. Never have truer words been spoken.

 

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

Phil Anselmo to Perform Halftime show of Super Bowl LI


philipanselmowhitepower_638New York – After the deafening uproar from the white population in the wake of Beyonce’s homage to the Black Panthers during Super Bowl L, the NFL has done an about face and booked noted white supremacist Phil Anselmo for next years’ show.

The NFL released a statement saying:

“We really didn’t think Queen Bey would have been able to cause this much of a ruckus. I mean, it is Black History month and the Black Panther Party is part of Black History. The act seemed timely as it coincided with the  50th anniversary of the Parties founding and also in the wake of police officers constantly killing unarmed black men (and children).  Also we had Coldplay as the main performer and they are quite literally the whitest band we were able to find. I guess we didn’t realize that after a millennium of oppressing other races white people developed such thin skin. We’re deeply sorry for all the butthurt you feel and are willing to go to great lengths to make it up to you, our white trash audience.”

“I’m pumped up about this,” said Anselmo. Anselmo, the former singer of Pantera and current vocalist of Superjoint Ritual, Down and the Illegals came under fire last month for performing a Nazi salute and saying white power. “We’re going to have a bunch of Klansman dressed up in colored robes and we’ll have them dance around to create a big confederate flag. That shouldn’t be offensive right? I mean if blacks can support their culture with the Black Panther Party we should be able to celebrate ours with the KKK right? Their pretty much the same thing right?”

My comment that the main difference between the two was that the Black Panther party was committed to ending segregation and racism while the KKK promoted it was shouted down with phrases like “Uncle Tom” and “Niggerlover.”

“We’re going to get David Allen Coe to come down and we’ll sing ‘Nigger Hatin’ Me’ together,” said Anselmo with a glint in his eye. “We’re also looking at getting John Mayer, Paris Hilton, Moby and even Kreayshawn for the rap lovers.”

The announcement received a surprising amount of support from the black community as Jay Z and Soulja Boy expressed interest in singing the national anthem in exchange for five minutes alone with Anselmo.

No word yet on why racists just don’t watch hockey.

Both Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith plan to boycott the halftime show.

The Best Drummers


drum-2I’m not a huge fan of the “Name Four Musicians to Form Your Dream Super Group” game. I usually just rattle off the members of Alice in Chains or Tool. Sometimes it’s fun to pick a trio or quintet and add or subtract a member, but that was never my game.

I do really enjoy “Best of…” lists though. And I thought it would be a good idea to do some for this blog. That’s not because I’m running out of ideas or anything. I swear I’m not. I’ve got tons of ideas. Make sure you check in next week when I do this with Bass Players.

 

Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies) – Wackerman lands on this list not only because of his awesome chops and stamina, but also for his great last name. It’s like his ancestors knew that someday one of their brood would become the drummer for a great punk band so they picked the coolest surname they could think of.

Frank Beard (ZZ Top) – Yet again, here is a man who’s name is as great as his ability to keep a beat. He gets bonus points for being the guy without a beard but having the name beard. God, will that ever get old?

Jimmy Chamberlain (The Smashing Pumpkins) – The best of the pumpkins if you want my opinion. And you must or you wouldn’t be reading this.

sexy drum machineMax Weinberg (E Street Band, Meat Loaf, Max Weinberg 7) – I had to add someone to make this list ten names. He was the most obvious choice.

A Drum Machine (Too Many To Name) – I was in a band with one of these for a while and I have a ton of praise for these guys. He was always on time (both for and during practice), never got too drunk to play, never had girlfriend drama and never threatened to quit. Aside from his lack of stage presence and sleeping with my old lady he was perfect.

Tommy Ramone/Marky Ramone (The Ramones) – I’m not sure if the trophy should go to Tommy for inventing the Ramones’ drum beat or to Marky for perfecting it.

Raymond Herrera (Fear Factory) – I’ll just let his feet do the talking:

 

Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander (Primus) – Both he and Larry LaLonde are pure geniuses just for being able to work with Les Claypool.

Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell) – Do you know anyone else who could come up with those great intros to “Angry Chair” and “No Excuses”? I don’t.

Neil Peart (Rush) – I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rush. I like them, but I can’t say I love them. Still, Neil deserves a spot on this list.

Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Probot, Scream) – I read him saying in an interview once that he is completely overrated as a drummer. And that may be true. He isn’t flashy, over the top or as machine gun fast as some other guys. But he has been very prolific as a timekeeper and has a knack for playing beats that accentuate the song without overpowering it. Sorry dude, you may be the best drummer ever.

BREAKING: Slipknot wins Republican Nomination at Iowa Caucuses


pg-38-slipknot-1Des Moine – In a bizarre turn of events the Iowa nu-metal band, Slipknot has been named the state Republican Party’s choice for the nomination to President.

“At this point we’re really just pulling names out of a hat,” said local Republican Robert Alcorn. “I saw a poll the other day that said Nickelback was in third place in this race. As long as it’s not them or Trump, I’m happy.”

The Donald was less than pleased with the news, citing the fact that most members of the band don’t even live in Iowa any longer and also use satanic imagery on their albums and in their stage show.

“As long as their not Muslims or gay, I don’t care if they worship the devil,” said 83-year-old Dana White. “Trump seems like a nice man, but I think if we play that music on the border those pepper bellies will keep to their side of the fence.”

Perhaps the people most shocked by this news were the 9 members of Slipknot.

“What?” asked percussionist Shawn Crahan. “How the hell did that happen?”

It appears that the Republican Party is in such disarray and so full of hatred that the only way to connect is through angry shouted lyrics with hooks like “People = Shit” and “I Push My Fingers Into My Eyes.”

“How the hell would that even work?” asked singer Corey Taylor. “Would we all be president? Or would just one of us be president and then the rest of up fill cabinet positions?”

“I want to be head of the FBI” said a visibly drunk Mick Thompson while rubbing the scar from where his brother stabbed him in the head last March

It appears that if Slipknot wins the nomination then Stone Sour will be their choice for vice president.

 

The Best Bass Players


Page OneI’m not a huge fan of the “What Four Musicians Form Your Dream Super Group” game. I usually just rattle off the members of Alice in Chains or Tool. Sometimes I pick a trio or quintet and add or subtract a member, but that was never my game.

I do really enjoy “Best of…” lists though. And I thought it would be a good idea to do some for this blog.

I do realize I could just call this “My Favorite Bass Players,” but I worry that would take all of the controversy out of it. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

Billy Gould (Faith No More) – He’s not an extremely flashy bass player, but every so often you get a bit of flare that lets you know his chops could keep up with the best of them. I’ve always felt it takes more to restrain and play for the song than to shred.

Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) – McKagan isn’t really a bass player. He’s more like a rhythm guitar player who only has four really fat strings.

Jonathan Wolff (The Guy Who Did The Music for “Seinfeld”) – Really, he did all of that with a synthesizer. But I think he still deserves a place on this list.

Les Claypool (Primus, Flying Frog Brigade, Oysterhead, etc.) – Perhaps the only instance of a lead bass player in popular music. There are a few other’s who can turn the bass into the main instrument on the song, but Claypool is the only one whose album I ever bought.

 

Mike Inez (Alice in Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) – You may think I put him on this list because of my AIC fandom, but you would be mistaken. Inez makes his way to this list for being credited with “Inspiration and Musical Direction” on Ozzy’s No More Tears album. Seriously, how fucking awesome do you have to be to get that credit on that album?

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, G//Z/R) – But even with as awesome as Mike Inez is, he’s still lower on the list than Ozzy’s other main squeeze of a bass player. Geezer gets bonus points for writing some pretty awesome lyrics too.

Ryan Martinie (Mudvayne) – Mudvayne get’s a pretty bad rap for being lumped together with nu metal, but when it comes down to it they’re some pretty bad-ass musicians. And the bass player is the one who manages to consistently wow me.

Cliff Burton (Metallica) – You may think I put him on this list for being such a virtuoso and shredding all over the neck and doing stuff that people confused for guitar solos, but you’re wrong. Much like children, bass players should be seen and not heard.

The dude from AC/DC (AC/DC) – Who is that guy? Does he really exist? I know he’s been in the band for a while, but I really can’t think of his name. Like, we all know Angus and Brian Johnson. Then you have Malcolm there in the background and the drummer who does meth and tries to hire hit men. But who’s the bass player? In fact, I may be wrong here. AC/DC might not even have a bass player.

The Horror... The Horror.

The Horror… The Horror.

The dude from the White Stripes (The White Stripes, Local H, The Doors) – The greatest bass players should not only not be heard or seen, they should not even exist! Come one, who really cares about bass players anyway?