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 We have so many awesome things happening over here at That Music Junkie, that I maybe sort of kind of got WAY off schedule. I apologize for the lack of legitimate updates this week, and can assure you we will be back on schedule this coming week!

 We have a lot of exciting projects coming at you, so be sure to like and follow this blog, as well as our Facebook page That Music Junkie and follow us on Twitter @TheMusicJunkie8 ! 

  
 Here’s a picture of my cat as a peace offering 

A Costume Can Change Everything

Some bands are known for their impressive musical talents, like Rush. Others are known for their commanding stage presence, like Alice Cooper. Some bands, like L7, are downright infamous, while some are notoriously goofy and lighthearted, like how Blink 182 started out.

We all know bands and singers that fall somewhere in those categories, but it would be silly to omit the various other characteristics that define the plethora of musicians the world has to offer. One of which I will specifically be talking about today.

There is an underlying mechanic that spans throughout the numerous genres of music, and unlike the Super Group mechanic I’ve written about previously, this one tends to undermine the musical participant’s talents. Not only that, but 98% of the time this mechanic proves to be a detractor against any sort of positive notoriety the band may seek.

What I’m referring to is, of course, the “Novelty” Band ideal. Unlike gimmicks, which is another subject I’ve previously written about, Novelty often hinders bands/singers from any sort of mainstream success. “What is a novelty band exactly?” A novelty band, most of the time, is a group that makes goofy and obnoxious dance songs.

Aqua-Barbie-Girl-I-Am-A-Barbie-Girl-TelezonesWe try to forget that Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” was a thing in the 90’s, we really do, and yet somehow we haven’t.

Those aren’t the bands I will be talking about though.

 Instead, I’m going to talk about the groups that are a themed novelty band. For instance: the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim themed Norwegian folk band Skooma Cat.

SkoomaCatsUnfortunately I couldn’t find a picture of the actual band, but here is a link to their BandCamp. You need to hear this. https://skoomacat.bandcamp.com/releases

 “Oh! So you mean stuff like Dragonforce, right?” Not exactly. While Dragonforce is a bit of a novelty band, they are more appropriately categorized in the Power Metal genre (i.e. Rhapsody of Fire, Hammerfall, Iced Earth, etc.). But you’re on the right track! While Dragonforce may not be, Portland based “Pirate Rock” band Captain Bogg & Salty are very much the themed novelty band I’m speaking of today.

boggandsalty009It’s Pirate Rock that’s fun for the whole family! Seriously, one of their songs was even featured on a Legoland ride.

 These bands can be fun and immensely entertaining, but unfortunately they often don’t gather any sort of mainstream success. This can ultimately lead to them resort to a niche market like Barmitzvahs & and birthday parties, or even a band breakup. Sometimes that’s for the best, but it can really be a bummer for their fans. And, believe it or not, these bands DO have fans.

 So we salute you, oh bravely themed novelty bands, for courageously putting yourselves out there to the hordes of internet trolls and drunken venue hecklers. Keep on keepin’  on, and always bear this thought in mind: At least you’re not Aqua.

-Nick

Nick’s Notes: Wow, sorry about the late post everyone! There have been a lot of things in the works over here, and we’ve got some exciting things coming your way! We’re getting ready to launch our first video series on YouTube, and we’ve had an overwhelming response from awesome bands wanting to get some interviews posted here. First and foremost, I want to announce that we will be launching a weekly newsletter! You’ll be able to get a weekly rundown of all the exciting things going on here at That Music Junkie studios, so keep an eye out for the info soon!

With Our Powers Combined

There is a reoccurring phenomenon among musicians to collaborate and explore new musical horizons. Sometimes its a wonderful convergence of talents providing an enjoyable listening experience, and sometimes it’s such a tremendous disaster that WE NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN.The occurrence I am referring to is, of course, the Super Group ideal.

 “What exactly is a ‘Super Group’?” you may be asking yourself right now. Well, it’s simple really: A “Super Group” is a band comprised of singers/musicians from previously existing bands/solo acts that converge to make music, often in a different genre than what they are known for. It’s a pretty cool idea, in theory. Unfortunately, these endeavors tend to fail more often then not, and their memories kind of just fade away.

damnocracy

Case in point, this terrible VH1 venture Damnocracy. Featuring Ted Nugent, Scott Ian (Anthrax), Sebastian Bach, Jason Bonham (Jason Bonham Project, Led Zeppelin), and Even Seinfeld (Biohazrd).

 The majority of the time this occurs in the Rock genre, however it is not limited to it. There are Super Groups in almost every genre, including Folk, Country, and even Hip-Hop/Rap. For instance: Young Money.

youngmoneycrew

*shudders* *tries not to vomit* *ears bleed*

 Sometimes these artists come together in an effort to just have fun and entertain, like Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, which includes members of various punk outfits like NOFX and Lagwagon.

maxresdefault1

Their live album was recorded at a Barmitzvah, enough said.

 Then there are the groups that attempt to be genuine, but end up being downright terrible. Prime example would be this abomination known as Chickenfoot.

chickenfoot

You’d think a band with guitar legend Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer Chad Smith would be awesome, but Sammy Haggar’s lyrics just kind of extinguish all hope of sincerity.

 It’s not always terrible though, I promise. In fact, one of the greatest bands of all time was a Super Group. With the combined forces of George Harrison (the Beatles), Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), and Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra) we were presented with the glorious band known as The Traveling Wilburys.

travelling-wilburys

“NO ONE is better than The Traveling Wilburys!” – Martin, “Questionable Content” http://www.questionablecontent.net

 It’s hard to truly determine which band was the first actual Super Group, but it’s a safe assumption to think the idea has basically been around for awhile. It is also safe to assume that the idea of the Super Group will be around for as long as music exists. Who knows, maybe one day The Traveling Wilburys may even be dethroned. I doubt it, but we’ll see.

 – Nick

All The Feels

Have you ever noticed the raw, emotional power behind good music? How a simple melody can calm your spirits when you’re feeling frustrated, or the arena rock anthem to get you pumped for the big game? It’s an amazing phenomenon, really. One we never really consciously think about regularly.

Yet, daily people cling to their favorite tunes for a pick-me-up when they’re feeling down, or that emotional song after a breakup. I always throw on some instrumental music like Tycho or Blackmill whenever I need to just kick back and relax. We all do this in some way, shape, or form, and we have been many years.

Music has been, and always will be, the universal language. From the man visiting African tribes and communing with them through their tribal drums, to the girl who can only communicate through her cello, the ethereal force of music is all encompassing.

Throughout my elementary days and into my high school years I was brought up in a Baptist church. When I entered my teenage years, every Sunday we were discouraged from listening to “secular music” as it could sway your emotions. Only the church’s music was suitable listening materiel. I have always believed that to be a dire travesty! How could anyone rob someone of the freedoms and joys of music?

Now, granted I know they were worried we would fall in with gangsta rap about drugs and sex, or party rock about…well, drugs and sex. That’s perfectly rational for a church to keep their congregation away from that kind of music, I totally understand and agree. I just think dissuading from everything except church music is a tad overboard.

I’m not here to discuss religious politics. That’s not what this site is about, nor will it ever be. I use myself as an example to show that one can listen to music and not be consumed by whatever lifestyles the various genres coincide with. I’ve listened to Public Enemy, but I’ve never felt the desire to be a thug. I’ve listened to Dimmu Borgir, but I’ve never wanted to burn a church. I’ve listened to Black Moth Super Rainbow, but I have no need of drugs. I’ve listened to Reagan Youth, but I’m not an anarchist.

Music, as the truest art-form, is very emotional, powerful, and influential, but you don’t have to be defined by a genre. In fact, I don’t understand how anyone can listen to any one specific genre exclusively. There are SO many different forms, bands, singers, and songs that you’re missing out on! Be a bit more open, you may discover a song to help you from feeling down, or a singer whose words are like the biography of your life.

Okay, I’m down preaching now. I’ll get off my soapbox and let you get on with your day. I just hope I’ve left you with something to think about is all.

NICK