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Tag Archives: Beatles

Why We Should Stop Hating on Nickelback

3 May

Trashing Nickelback hasn’t always been a thing. In fact, about ten years ago, a lot of you loved Nickelback. During the 2000s, Nickelback was one of the top-selling musical act in the United States, coming in second to the Beatles. That’s right. The American people willingly chose Chad Kroeger — goatee and all — over U2, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones.

“Stop pretending you don’t want me.”

So why have you suddenly turned your back on the band you used love? I have a few ideas, all of which boil down to your failure as a human being. So for all of you who love to trash Nickelback, there are several reasons that I would very much like you to shut up.

1. You are filthy hypocrites.

Flash back to your life ten years ago. Did you have the words to “How You Remind Me” memorized, like I did (and still do)? Damn right, you did. So did every other kid in America, and you know what? You were proud of it. I even remember my five-year-old sister singing that she’d never made it as a wise man, that she couldn’t cut it as a poor man stealing, and that she’d been to the bottom of every bottle. It was literally — yes, literally — impossible to escape this song.

I have since reached the conclusion that, music-wise, Chad Kroeger and his pals are not what I would call “talented.” In fact, they suck. But you know who else sucks? Avril Lavigne, the Black Eyed Peas, and the Spice Girls. And if you hear “Sk8r Boi,” “My Humps,” or “Stop!,” you’re gonna sing. You know why? You love it. Sorry.

2. We get it: you’re just like everyone else!!! U R so awesum!!!

“Nickelback sucks.”

THE SKY IS BLUE!  CANCER IS BAD!  RICKY MARTIN IS GAY!

It’s funny how by criticizing a band for bringing nothing new to the table, you are, well, bringing nothing new to the table.

If you are going to talk, please present me with new information or a unique perspective. Saying how much you hate Nickelback is a cheap and unoriginal way to gain approval, and it does not demonstrate your value as an individual. So stop it, or so help me, I will delete your number from my contacts and remove you from my Facebook friends.

3. Nickelback’s horribleness + you not liking them ≠ you having good taste in music.

Laughing at the atrocious dialogue in From Justin to Kelly does not make you a movie critic. Gagging at the thought of chocolate-covered bacon does not mean you have a refined palate. And being sort of creeped out by serial rapists does not make you a good judge of character.

See what I’m getting at?

Nickelback has earned the support of highly respected individuals.

4. This level of sadism kind of disturbs me.

I will admit that I take joy in the suffering of a good number of people. Yeah, it sort of makes me happy to see the reaction to a B- from the girl who speaks Spanish before the professor gets to class, because she needs to know that her fake accent does not make her a better person than me. And yes, very few things thrill me more than an ugly photo of Jessica Biel, as I am obligated to hate anyone in a relationship with Justin Timberlake.

But Nickelback? What, besides filling your ears with sounds on par with nails on a chalkboard, did Nickelback ever do to offend you? Don’t you think the band everyone loves to hate has suffered enough? Apparently, not.

5. And lastly, in the words of Nickelback’s devoted fans on YouTube…

“[W]e need this, its almost as good as sex and mary jane its definately needed so jesus i love you see you eventually AMEN.”

“[T]his song exposed the illuminati!!.. lol.”

“Thumb up my comment please, my caterpillar just died, its what she would of wanted.”

I don’t know about you, but the idea of debating fans like these is simply terrifying to me.

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Album Review: Extreme Measures’ “Extremities”

6 Sep

It's rumored that Sherman Ave's own Ross Packingham was the leg model for the album cover

Some say that Radiohead’s Kid A was the most important album of a generation. Other music aficionados declare that the Beatles were the best band or that Sam Cooke was the best singer modern music ever saw. These debates have raged for years and will continue far into the future, but nobody doubts that all of the aforementioned artists look and sound like tone-deaf taintfaced 12-year-olds playing “Louie, Louie” at a midday suburban block party when compared to the debut album Extremities by the renowned a cappella group Extreme Measures.

Founded four years ago by Dan de la Torre, Extreme Measures follows in a long line of successful, talented, and unbelievably peppy a cappella groups here in Evanston ever since the Northwestern University School of Music dean Peter “That dude who won’t stop belting Journey covers in Burger King at 1 am each Saturday” Lutkin popularized a cappella in America with the founding of the A Cappella Choir in 1906. Extremities is the exquisitely angelic culmination of a year of recording by the group (with production by Ben Lieberman), and is the greatest thing that my ears have had the good fortune to hear since “Born to Run” on vinyl. Featuring covers of acclaimed artists like OneRepublic, Gavin DeGraw, Yellowcard, Christina Aguilera, and the Backstreet Boys, Extremities has the power to transport you to a wondrously magical time in your life — right around 6th grade — and keep you there until the album finally ends, an experience you won’t soon forget.

The enchantment starts right from the beginning.

There are certain moments that occur right at the opening of truly great music: the rimshot before Dylan launches into “Like a Rolling Stone;” the riff of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that channeled every conceivable emotion of a generation; and that moment when the beat finally drops in Beethoven’s 5th Symphony all immediately come to mind. But the opening line of Extremities, a cover of Yellowcard’s “Breathing,” is so stunning that it immediately warrants consideration as one of the best album-openers of all time. In the first few bars, Extreme Measures already establish themselves as the most illustrious a cappella group in America since four insufferable pricks from Yale first donned tuxedos and formed the Whiffenpoofs — who incidentally only have the second-most obnoxious name among a cappella groups at Yale.

But what makes this album so bewitchingly radiant is the caliber of the rest of the tracks furnished by Extreme Measures. Stunning and sublime songs like “Brand New You,” “I Don’t Want to Be,” and “The Call” all exhibit more pop sensibilities than if Hall & Oates got together with Huey Lewis to cover Rihanna’s discography. Each of the ten songs are probably catchier than the hypothetical musical lovechild of Michael Jackson and Will Schuester, and any random song you select will display more technical virtuosity in a three-minute auditory frenzy of delightful harmonies and resplendent melodies than John Coltrane could ever hope to produce in an entire gig. The vocal percussion is ravishing, production on the album is supurb, and the vocals mesh in only the most tantalizingly mesmeric combinations that make your heart (and groin) go pitter-patter.

Clearly, upon my first listen of Extremities I experienced a slight tingle in a particular extremity of my own. But multiple listens of the album can prove invaluable, providing a deeper sense of the true meanings behind Extreme Measures chipper vocals. In “The Voice Within,” for instance, the line “dum dum dmmmmmmm da da” subtly hints at a hidden darkness lurking in the hearts of man, which we all feebly try to cover up by surrounding ourselves with material goods and unsubstantial romance, while in “Ignorance” the interplay between lyrics about how much Hayley Williams likes change and more incomprehensible lines like “sjaw dot du chaut jot sjaw dot du chaut jot” evoke the inner turmoil that can arise in your soul when former loved ones start treating you like a stranger.

When the album comes to a close with “Sound of Silence,” you will probably be left with only your thoughts about the astounding beauty you just experience and a pool of your own urine — an unfortunate side-effect of aural pleasure as powerful as that produced by Extremities. Luckily, this predicament can easily be cured by purchasing more copies of the album. Scientific studies have already determined that owning a copy of Extreme Measures’ Extremities will make you five times cooler, six times more intelligent, and last at least 12.78 minutes longer in bed.

OVERALL RATING: Drip drip drop there goes an eargasm

Extremities by Extreme Measures can be purchased from iTunes HERE.