Friday, December 23, 2011

The Pirate Charles

*looks around guiltily* Okay, how about we pretend that I haven't been slacking for a couple of weeks and instead have posted some really good music, so I don't have to make up some lame excuse for not posting.  No?  Yeah, okay, I've been bad.  I'll try to do better.

So, for the real post.  Last week our friend Rock gave us an album because he knows about our love of pirate music.  The album is Conquer and the band is The Pirate Charles (warning: the page autoloads music, and I find no way to turn it off).  Now, this is not a Renaissance pirate group, like so much of my pirate music.  These guys are rock musicians.  They do have a mandolin, a couple of fiddles and a very Ian Andersonesque flutist, but they also have some good heavy guitars and drums.  The music is mostly about drinking, wenching and thievery on the high seas.  I dig them.  The appear to be from somewhere in the Northwest going by their schedule, so I'm hoping to catch them sometime if I go up to see my brother in Oregon.

Vocally, none of them have overwhelmingly awesome voices.  They sing a bit rough, which is totally acceptable for both the music genre and the theme of the group.  Now, they do harmonize very well and I think y'all are aware of my love of good harmonies.  Musically, they are very tight.  On the album, there is a good balance between the acoustic instruments and the electric instruments.  The sound on the live performances on their videos isn't very good, but it seems that they balance fairly well on stage as well.

My favorite song?  The Star Spangled Banner.  No, really.  You know how they told you in music class that Key only wrote the lyrics, the music was from an old drinking song?  And do you remember - like I do - thinking "No way are a bunch of drunks going to be able to sing this music."?  Well, TPC convinced me.  This is the Star Spangled Banner as sung by a bunch of drunk, but very patriotic lads down at the local pub.  I in no way shape or form find this in the least bit insulting.  In fact, I was very sorry that I couldn't find a YouTube video so I could share the love.

So, I'll share this one instead.  It gives you a good idea of both their harmonies and their ability to rock.  Unfortunately, the sound isn't the greatest once the guitars kick in, but its good enough that you get the idea.  And no, the lead singer isn't playing a tambourine.  He's playing his flogger.  It's THAT kind of fun. :)

They've a bunch more videos on YouTube than they do on their website.  I suggest you go have some piratical fun.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

*looks around cautiously*

Don't tell anyone, but....I kinda dig this video

No, I'm not a Belieber or anything.  However, I'm also not a jealous adult who will give him shit for being famous.  All that fuss about his hair?  Dude, he had the same haircut that John Lennon had when the Beatles started out!  Talentless?  No, not really.  He can actually carry a tune pretty well (although there is a touch of Autotune in this song, I'm thinking it's more b) moo than lack of talent).  He's not what I'm going to regularly listen to, but I'm also not about to fuss over a reasonably clean cut kid who is an appropriately aged teen idol.  Not my generation - not my place to dis.

But the video - Steampunk and awesome breakdancing.  Hell, I might even give Ke$ha brownie points for doing that!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Slow music week...

I haven't run into any new music this week.  Granted, I haven't been looking for it, but I usually have at least one friend post or email a cool video every few days.  So, if anyone is actually reading this thing, I kindly request you post a video or music link to your favorite obscure artist's favorite obscure song.  Because I could use another artist that I now desperately need to buy all the music they've ever created including the crappy first album that they recorded in their parents' garage. :)

On another note (ha! see what I did there?) I finally broke down and bought Ukulele for Dummies and it came in this week.  I've been doing pretty well figuring out a large chunk of the chords on my own, but bar chords are kicking my butt.  I figured it was time for a little help.  They guy who wrote it - Alistair Wood - is British and right off the bat I found out something that I didn't know before.  We Americans use completely different names for the notes than the British do.  I would expect this means that any English speaking European uses different names, seeing as they get their English lessons from the source.  So, for those like me who didn't know, but want to (the rest of you can just skip) here's the run down.

We say whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes.

They say semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver and semiquaver notes.

He states in the introduction that he's going to use the American notes because they make more sense.  Which I'm rather glad of, because I don't know that I could wrap my set-in-its-ways brain around the other system.

Okay, to kick off (hopefully) some music sharing here is Plink Floyd, banjo virtuoso (no, that's not a typo) playing with Steamboat Willie:

And one more with Steamboat Willie himself singing: