Cuz they don't die out

 On youtube today, the most viewed videos are those being released by artists such as Shakira, Lady Gaga, Taio Cruz and other known names of the Pop world. In a years time, it will be those being released by the new and improved versions of Lady Gaga and artists who like her, push boundaries and test fashion and musics dos and don'ts. Domination of the music scene is of no interest to me and don't get me wrong, I am by no means questioning their success. The point I am trying to make is that in my opinion, all these one minute crazes have accomplished nothing in comparison to bands that may not rule in youtube hits or twitter followers, but have survived 10 years in a business now being swept away by commercial music...how?
                                           Quality, Meaning & Dedication.
This post is dedicated to Lagwagon, Bad Astronaut, Hot Water Music, Thrice & Pennywise. These are five of the many bands who may not have climbed to number one on the billboard charts but they sure did make their mark in music, and even today, with so much music controversy and variety, fans are loyal and their music is still heard.

Thrice (1998)                                         Pennywise (1988)

In the 7th grade, I had a friend who had exceptional taste in music. He was quite a few years older than me in school and although I was already passionate about music, I did learn alot from him. He made me numerous CDs of things he thought I'd like and that's when I was introduced to bands such as 'Thrice', 'Bad Astronaut' , 'Hot Water Music' and 'NOFX'.  From the time I got those CD's, I started digging into websites and noticed that some of the best music is the music that you don't hear in big stadium concerts and don't see on the headlines on music channels, but even today, six years from the time I was introduced to such bands, their influence passes through generations and such music is eternal, irreplacable and always respected.

Hot Water Music (1993)                          Bad Astronaut (2000)

    A man worth admiring is Joey Cape: Lead Vocalist of Lagwagon & Bad Astronaut and guitarist in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. There is something amazing about the three projects he contributed to. Bad Astronauts lyrics are like no other of their time...deep and about deep emotion and personal issues. Their album 'Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem' released in 2002 is still one of my favorite albums. Me First and he Gimme Gimmes are in my opinion the best cover band in punk rock. Their original take on some of the most classic songs of all time is truely a joy to listen to and not simply guitar and drums in the backround of a cult song. Lagwagon showcased a new take on punk rock in the 1990's; very fresh.The fact that Cape was able to transform himself and experiment with music with his own bands Lagwagon and Bad Astronaut and then play a key role in another band shows dedication to music, eagerness to be involved and passion to keep going.

Lagwagon (1990)


the man behind the posters

         So let me set the scene: You're walking down the street heading for the bus stop, or waiting for a friend on a  corner...what are you surrounded by other than people, dog shit, honking cars and buildings? or better yet, what do you see on every street corner, on every electricity poles or bus stop? Posters. A never ending supply of reminders of upcoming gigs and festivals all attempting to attract your attention with bright colours and busy fonts. Some you may look at, out of boredom, out of curiosity or maybe just because the backround is so bright that you can't help but look...but have you ever sat and wondered who the person behind these posters is? Have you ever imagined the amount of things he/she has seen, musicians he's talked to, labels he's nagotiated with? Probably not, and yeah...I hadn't either until I came across 'Secret Serpents' (http://secretserpents.wordpress.com) a blog dedicated not only to the musicians, but to the artists behind the covers and the posters that inform you and me that this band is ready to get loud..make an impact or simply be introduced.
Little recognition but a hell of a lot of memories I bet!
  Now, I may call myself a musician, but an artist in the sense of art & design I am not...and although my passion lies in other fields as well as music, I had never realised the talent behind these album covers, or behind the posters I see online. In a nutshell, the fact that one man alone, for example Alan Forbes, the man who is responsible for the creations  have showcased in this post, has worked with the likes of  AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine, Black Crows, Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age and an insane amount of other ace musicians strikes me as quite an achievement.

 Alan Forbes - Artist/Designer of rock band posters, symbols and album covers.