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The Editorialist: Band Names – What Came First, The Ocean Or The Ghost?

Anyone who has ever started a band knows how difficult it can be to come up with an original name. And the more bands that pop up every day, the harder it gets. You would hope that this would encourage artists to push themselves to really think outside the box and come up with something truly unique, but we all know that’s not the case. The result is an over-saturation of bands whose names all incorporate the same words, themes, ideas, and imagery to the point where they almost become indistinguishable from one another. Some words and terms, in particular, are used in excess just because they sound cool or familiar. I’ve found”and I’m sure many of you may have noticed this same trend”that two of the most commonly overused concepts in the indie/rock and punk/hardcore scenes are the words “ocean” (or water-related imagery) and “ghost.” Don’t know what I mean? Allow me to provide you with a list or examples. From small local bands you’ve never heard of to huge international acts with devoted fans, the following are just a few of the many bands who either didn’t know or didn’t care how many other bands used similar monikers incorporating these terms: (more…)

Collaborating Couples

It’s good to be Wiz Khalifa. After Warner Bros. kept delaying his major label debut, he decided to part ways with the label and instead began releasing a series of free mixtapes, including the acclaimed Kush & Orange Juice. After building up a strong underground following, he signed to Atlantic Records and released his chart topping single “Black and Yellow” late last year. In March, he finally released his major label debut, Rolling Papers, which sold almost 200,000 copies in the first week alone. Now to top it off, he’s dating a model!

Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose at the VMAs

And apparently, his girlfriend Amber Rose is more than just a pretty face. During an interview during the VMAs, Khalifa and Rose stated that they were working on new music together. Describing the music as “mysterious,” Rose said that they might release the music for free online, and they may not even attach their names to it. Rose said that “you may not even know it’s me. We might just throw it out there, might give it out and see what’s up.”

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Weezer Get Wacky Once Again With The Weezer Cruise

Weezer has a solid history of making strange PR moves in recent years,  from collaborating with rapper Lil Wayne to releasing their own Snuggie. In fact, their antics have become so absurd that one angered music fan attempted to raise $10 million to get them to break up. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the band just announced The Weezer Cruise, a five-day cruise from Miami to the island of Cozumel from January 19th to the 23rd. The cruise will feature multiple performances by Weezer as well as a slew of other bands, including J Mascis, Wavves, The Antlers, Yuck and Free Energy, among others. Cruise attendees get photos with the band, Q&A sessions, and all the other amenities you would expect from a typical cruise.

Now you might be shaking your head, thinking this is just a desperate PR move by an aging band trying to stay relevant, but think about. It’s really not that bad of an idea. Weezer is bringing sixteen other bands along, with different stages and shows happening across the ship. It’s like a music festival in the middle of the ocean! And unlike most festivals where you’ll be in some huge field in the middle of nowhere with 90 degree weather, on a cruise you can just jump in the pool if you can’t take the heat. That sure beats a sweaty, shower-less week surrounded by other sweaty, shower-less people (*cough Bonnaroo cough*).

However, the whole “music festival in the ocean” thing naturally comes with some downsides. Anyone who’s ever played a gig outside knows that water and musical equipment do not mix. One cannonball into the pool by that pudgy kid or one wave that splashes a little too high could send your thousand dollar amplifier out of commission. And there’s also the fact that, well…. ships can sink. It’s definitely a legitimate concern if your trying to plan a cruise of this type of magnitude, but the likelihood of a modern cruise ship sinking is still extremely low. Besides, these days you might actually be safer on a cruise ship than at a festival on land. When the Titanic sunk in 1912, the musicians aboard famously continued to play as the ship was sinking. If Weezer’s cruise ship was sinking, would they keep rocking out to “Surf Wax America” and go do down with the ship? Something tells me the answer to that question would be no.