Categories
DJ Highlights

Just Metal things to do while Self-Quarantining

What’s going on Butcher Crew?! It’s ya girl, your Master Butcher, The Saw and I hope you all are doing well during these times! I know most of us have cabin fever (and not like the movies, thankfully), and we want some fun things to do while being cooped up in the house! Well have no fear, because The Saw is here to give you some ideas as to what to do while being stuck at the crib. But you guys should be used to self-quarantine because there is no exit in the The Saw’s Butcher Shop. Remember?!

Here are some fun, but metal things to do while you are bored:

·      Metal musical chairs

This is a fun twist on the game musical chairs! This idea is self-explanatory, grab some chairs, get your family and play the well-known game, but with some metal! Bonus points if you head bang while walking around the chairs.

·      Try not to sing/dance/head bang

I really enjoy this game because it is so hard not to move to some metal songs!! They have some great YouTube videos of songs that you can try the challenge with and you can also create your own. What fun! I have done one of these over the air at the radio station and it was really hard not to move to the breakdown in Domination by Pantera. You can have some fun with this and segment the game into genres! I always lose to groovy death metal and hardcore. Some bands that I always lose to are Six Feet Under, Obituary, Kublai Khan, and Bent Life.

·      Practice your mosh moves

If you are like me, I don’t get in the pit often because I am not confident in my skills. But while locked in the house, you can stay in your room and practice your moves all night! I have gotten better at my 2 step and my crowdkilling moves. Y’all better watch out when shows start coming back, you’ll find me in the pit.

·      Have your own concert

Am I the only one that has shows and dance parties in my room? Don’t lie, I know y’all like to throw down in the comfort of your pjs. You can play some air instruments and jam out and even dance! And the best thing is that the bands sound the exact same and there is no one standing around to judge your dance moves or hit you in your own little mosh pit!

·      Have a Black Metal photoshoot

My house is surrounded by the woods, and that makes a great spot to get your black metal on! Put on some corpse paint, wear the blackest of black clothing that you own, and stand out in the woods and take some dark, gloomy, black metal photos! If you have people with you, remember to social distance! Hide behind some trees and see who can take the creepiest photo.

Remember to have fun and keep yourself entertained while in the house!

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
DJ Highlights

My Best Concert Experience

image

One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live was Cults. Cults is an indie pop/synthpop band from New York City which was formed in 2010 by Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin. Their track, Go Outside, helped them get on the map, and they have gained more popularity over the years with exposure from their appearance on the new Stephen King’s Carrie remake and the release of their most recent album, Offering, in 2017. I’ll go ahead and say that if you haven’t heard of the band or haven’t gotten a chance to listen to them, definitely look them up. 

Before Cults released the album Static, they were pretty underground. I’m not sure how I even discovered them, but regardless they quickly became one of my favorite bands. I’m sure I listened to Cults (their first album) over a hundred times. I really adore their sound and to this day I appreciate them as one of the most unique bands out there. In 2015, after a lot of begging, my parents took me to The Fillmore in Charlotte (on a school night!) to see Cults. The concert was memorable to me especially because it was one of the first times I’d ever seen a band live. Cults put so much energy into their performances and have a live sound that was very similar to their recordings. I loved the high energy and all the excitement in the room that night and it was such a good way to be introduced to the music scene. The highlight of the night was afterwards, my dad somehow helped me get backstage to meet the band. I had just gotten their album and shirt, and Madeline Follin signed my Static CD and chatted with me briefly. It was a really great experience for me as a young woman to meet such a cool, down-to-earth female musician. She really inspires me and I think it definitely helped make that concert even more memorable to me. 

If you haven’t checked out Cults yet, definitely do!

-Miranda 

Categories
DJ Highlights

Top Choice: Movie Soundtracks

image

Her (2013)

The main melody that plays throughout Her is such a nostalgic sound to me and it ties in all of the emotion encompassed throughout the film. The music has such a heavy hand in making the film what it is, a heart-wrenching romantic story, which is why I fully believe Her has one of the best music soundtracks. I love the simple piano melodies created to enhance the movie. The score is credited to the band Arcade Fire, and it was nominated for an Academy Award. I also absolutely adore The Moon Song by Karen O and am so glad it was included as a duet with Ezra Koenig. 

Electrick Children (2012)

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, definitely do. It is such an interesting indie film that I happened upon while browsing Netflix. Somehow, nearly six years later I still find myself pulling up the soundtrack to it because it is so compelling and well-put-together. The soundtrack helped me find some new favorite artists, and I won’t spoil too much, but the song that is most important in the film is really cool. *Please note that some content in the film may be triggering.* 

Juno (2007) 

I actually adore Kimya Dawson and loved hearing her music in Juno. I also think it’s a pretty iconic coming-of-age movie, especially its humorous (but very real) tone. I love the inclusion of such a wide variety of musical influence from The Velvet Underground to Barry Louis Polisar. The soundtrack is so cute and romantic and I definitely listen to it outside the context of the movie. 

Donnie Darko (2001)

This movie is definitely a weird one and will have you walking away wondering what you just watched – BUT the soundtrack will keep you coming back. It is such a well-mixed selection of music with the best of songs by Tears For Fears, Nine Inch Nails, and Brian Eno. It is definitely one of the most interesting soundtracks on this list. 

Harold and Maude (1971) 

Okay, as I’m making this list I realize I like some pretty dark films. This one is certainly no exception – but I wanted to include it because I think Cat Stevens is such a cool dude and was really surprised to know that two of his songs that I like most, Don’t Be Shy and If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out, were composed and performed by him specifically for this film. 

Thank you all for reading! I hope to eventually come out with a part two to this series because I have such a deep love for movie soundtracks. 

– Miranda

Categories
DJ Highlights

Best Video Game Soundtracks

image

Video games have a great cultural impact for people across the world. Their importance to different cultures has increased as more game technology has developed throughout the years. One piece that is crucial to the success and longevity of games is the soundtrack that is paired with them. Today, I’ll be discussing some of my favorite game soundtracks and why I enjoy them so much. 

Legend of Zelda Franchise 

Legend of Zelda is a game franchise of Nintendo which has produced some of the most beautiful soundtracks of any video game. Legend of Zelda OSTs consistently include intricate melodies, calming songs, and ones with an adventurous spirit. The most recent addition to the franchise is Breath of the Wild, which has beautifully evolved from the original more simplistic tunes to having a more orchestral base.  

Undertale 

When Toby Fox created Undertale, it became one of the most popular indie games ever made. One reason Undertale gained so much popularity was the complex soundtrack Toby Fox designed which perfectly pairs with each area of the game. For example, in the area called Snowville, Toby Fox created a bright and soft melody that perfectly represents falling snow. The soundtrack for Undertale is so beautiful and musically interesting that I often play it in my car during long drives.

Stardew Valley 

Stardew Valley is a farm simulator and adventure game published by Chucklefish in 2016 and developed by Eric Barone. Barone (also known as ConcernedApe) created the Stardew Valley Original Soundtrack. The soundtrack is incredibly relaxing – just the first few notes of the opening theme give me a wash of nostalgia. I’ve also found that the soundtrack is excellent for studying or doing homework to. 

Year Walk

Developed in 2013, Year Walk is a Swedish mobile horror game. Although the game is nearly a decade old, music from the soundtrack still occupies spots on my playlists. Daniel Olsén, the composer, most recently created the soundtrack for Sayona Wild Hearts in 2019. Since Year Walk is a horror game, many of the songs are eerie and they are completely perfect for Fall or Halloween. Would recommend both playing Year Walk and enjoying its soundtrack with headphones for a truly immersive, spooky experience. 

Thank you for reading!

– Miranda  

Categories
DJ Highlights

Top Choice: Alt Hip-Hop Artists

image

Since February is Black History Month, it is important that as music lovers we celebrate black artists and acknowledge the significant contributions and influence of African-Americans throughout musical history. This week, I’m giving attention to some of my all-time favorite alternative hip-hop artists. 

tobi lou

My favorites: I Was Sad Last Night I’m OK Now, Darlin’, Troop, Txt Me 

Listen if you like: Potsu, Doja Cat, BØjet, KYLE 

Tobi Lou is a triple threat of rapper, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Many of his music videos feature vibrant animation and his album covers display bright cartoon characters. Lou has produced three critically acclaimed EPs. Tobi Lou creates sounds reminiscent to me of Anime Beats, and he utilizes different adlibs and funky beats to create music unlike most other hip-hop artists. 

Berhana 

My favorites: California, Grey Luh, Lucky Strike
Listen if you like: Frank Ocean, Mac Ayres

Amain Berhane, stage name Berhana, released his first album HAN in 2019, three years after the release of his EP Berhana which first gave him traction in the R&B/alternative scene. HAN is a beautiful continuation of the dreamy, melodic music he previously put out. Most Berhana songs follow an in-depth narrative, sung soulfully, paired with subtle electronic influence that reminds me of Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE

Tierra Whack 

My favorites: Only Child, Pet Cemetery, Waze

Listen if you like: Noname, BROCKHAMPTON

The most notable thing about Tierra Whack is her voice and output of creative and unique tracks. Her sound is unlike most other female rappers/singers and there is an underlying sense of humor and fun found in most of her songs. Her album Whack World reflects this with tracks like Dr. Suess and Hungry Hippo. I definitely recommend listening to her music. 

Kari Faux 

My favorites: Lowkey, No Small Talk, IN THE AIR

Listen if you like: Princess Nokia, Noname, Justine Skye  

I first found Kari Faux in 2016 after she was remixed on No Small Talk with Childish Gambino. This led me to finding her 2014 mixtape, Laugh Now, Die Later. Her solo version of No Small Talk was recently featured on HBO’s Insecure. As an artist, she has exhibited continuous growth, but is most known for her sultry, nearly-monotone rapping and vocal harmonies. Her latest release is a feature on Amindi’s new single, Love Em Leave Em. Her iconic vocals and always-fantastic wordplay are truly stunning, definitely give it a listen. 

– Miranda 

Categories
DJ Highlights

2020 Music Resolutions

New year’s resolutions have gained a pretty rough reputation in recent years. A lot of people think they’re a lame excuse for not trying new things all year round and some people see them as setting yourself up to fail. I think it just depends on how you look at them. It is a bit unrealistic to pledge to like 10 new things overnight, but I do like the idea of them. That’s not what this is about though, so to keep things simple I just want to talk about some music resolutions I have for the upcoming year.

Last year I pledged to listen to at least one new song a day, I started a playlist for this but eventually it got tedious and I fell behind, I abandoned the project a few days in. Prime example of a resolution that was a bit too ambitious and failed. I also always try to pledge to practicing music more and making more music, but that’s not specific enough for me. I will say in 2019 I did better than the last few years, but there is still a lot of work to do.

This year I thought things through a little more.

  1. Play music at least one day on the weekends – far more realistic with my school and work schedule then daily practice.

  2. Listen to more new music once a week to make my DJ sets – also more realistic and i’ll have to do it anyways, once I choose a show day I’ll choose a listening day.

  3. Content making: Podcasts about music – thanks to my job at WKNC this is totally realistic and I’m very excited for it, I’ve been coming up with ideas and contacting potential guests all break, setting myself up to get it done.

  4. Work on recording music after I feel my practicing is suffice.

I think by setting only a few goals and not doing them all at once is really going to help maintain things. I also have thought into them more this year to make sure I was planning and preparing well. Do you have any music resolutions or resolutions in general? And what are you doing to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success?

– DJ Psyched

Categories
DJ Highlights

Top 10 Albums of the Year and Decade

Happy New Year Butcher Crew!! I hope 2020 is filled with good vibes and a bunch of metal! 2019 was filled with so many great albums, so it is going to be hard to narrow down my top 10. Since the decade is coming to an end, I decided to compile my top 10 albums of the decade, too! It has been a great year and decade for the metal scene and I can’t wait to go down memory lane collecting all of my favorites (and a bonus list of favorites)!


Albums of the Year

1.     Death Atlas – Cattle Decapitation

2.     A Different Shade of Blue – Knocked Loose

3.     Absolute – Kublai Khan

4.     The Valley – Whitechapel

5.     Wretched Illusions – Creeping Death

6.     Human Target – Thy Art Is Murder

7.     Deserted – Gatecreeper

8.     Velno – Fleshgod Apocalypse

9.     Evergreen – After The Burial

10.  Purgatory – Despised Icon


Albums of the Decade

1.     A Skeletal Domain – Cannibal Corpse (2014)

2.     Inked in Blood – Obituary (2014)

3.     Hartford County Misery – Boundaries (2017)

4.     Wrong One to Fuck With – Dying Fetus (2017)

5.     Deathless – Miss May I (2015)

6.     The World Is My Enemy Now – Upon A Burning Body (2014)

7.     Mark of the Blade – Whitechapel (2016)

8.     Blueprints – Wage War (2015)

9.     Dig Deep – After The Burial (2016)

10.  Ire – Parkway Drive (2015)

BONUS!!! I will also be doing my top 5 songs of the year and the decade!! I had too many favorites I can’t help but play these songs.


Top Songs of the Year

1.     Brimstone – Whitechapel

2.     Peeled from Reality – Creeping Death

3.     From the Ashes – Gatecreeper

4.      Behold The Crown – After The Burial

5.     High Hopes – Kublai Khan


Top Songs of the Decade

1.     Fixated on Devastation – Dying Fetus  

2.     Thanks For Nothing – Bent Life

3.     No Other Way – Boundaries

4.     Elitist Ones – Whitechapel

5.     Stitch – Wage War

What albums/songs made your top of 2019 and the decade? Are they similar to mine?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
DJ Highlights

The Saw’s 2019 Spotify Wrap Up

So, there has been a trend of people posting their 2019 Spotify lists of their top played artist, songs, and podcasts. I like looking at these because it gives you a recap of what you have played throughout the year, and this year Spotify gave listeners the top artist, bands, and songs of the decade.

Even though I am a metalhead at heart, I listen to a lot of different music that doesn’t consist of metal. I listen to a lot of different genres that I think people would be surprised that I listen to. I might be exposing myself but I don’t care. Enjoy the different layers of The Saw that you probably didn’t think I had.

My top genres that I have listened to the most this year from least listened to most listened are groove metal, hardcore, melodic metalcore, lo-fi beats, and pop rap. I am kinda surprised by this because I listen to a lot of hardcore influenced bands and a lot of death metal so I am shocked I have not listened to these genres more than what is stated in my 2019 wrap up. I do listen to a lot of lo-fi because the rap that I enjoy most is the type of rap that has soft hip-hop beats and has a jazzy vibe to them. One of my favorite artist’s that describes this genre is Isaiah Rashaad. Pop rap I could see because I listen to a lot of Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, and 21 Savage. The majority of my friends that I hang out with do not listen to metal so I play a lot of my other playlists that are more rap influenced.

My top four artist of 2019 are Tash Sultana, TLC, Boundaries, and Whitechapel. This did not surprise me because I know I have spent a lot of time listening to these artists. I discovered Tash Sultana in late 2018 when her album Flow State came out. She is an artist that is unlike any other. It is hard for me to describe her style because she incorporates many elements from other genres. I would highly recommend listening to her. Now, TLC, I have been listening to for years and their 1994 album CrazySexyCool is my all-time favorite. It was my anthem for 2019 so it would make sense that it appeared on this list. I ACTUALLY HAVE METAL ARTISTS ON THIS LIST THANK GOD!! I discovered Boundaries in early 2019 and have repeatedly listened to their album Hartford County Misery at least every month. It’s just so groovy and heavy that I can’t stop listening to it. Is anyone surprised that Whitechapel made the list? Because I’m not. I got my DJ name from them for crying out loud so I think that explains itself.

My number 1 most played artist this year, however, is Saweetie. I know Saweetie and everything that she stands for. I discovered her late 2019 and if she is my number 1 artist, this should tell you how much I love her music. I bump her songs all the time and I am not ashamed of it what-so-ever.

Here’s the funny thing, none of my top played songs in 2019 are metal. I can’t even believe that. My top played songs are: Nights Like This (feat. TY Dollar Sign) by Kehlani, My Type by Saweetie, Make Me Feel by YBN Cordae and YBN Almighty Jay, Creep by TLC, Act Up by City Girls, Egyptian Joint (All I Need) by Young Bull (North Carolina locals), Ball w/o You by 21 Savage Casual by Doja Cat, Kream (feat. Tyga) by Iggy Azalea, and Pissed by Saweetie. All I can say is… I was having a “hot girl” summer okay? Ok.

But my number 1 artist of the decade is Upon A Burning Body (finally, I gained some of my metal creds back). This really doesn’t surprise me because over the decade, I have listened to a lot of Upon A Burning Body. I love every single one of their records (mainly The World is my Enemy and Southern Hostility). I know every word to every song and the band knows this, they have pointed me out at shows because I just yell everything back to them.

Here are some more stats of my tops of 2019 and of the decade. I am not surprised, but disappointed that my top artists of the decade were metal but my top songs and genre are not. I promise I am more metal than what Spotify gives me credit for.

What bands, artists, songs, and genres made your Spotify Wrap Up?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
DJ Highlights

Music of The Decade

image

The end of 2019 marks the end of the decade. I honestly didn’t think much of it until Spotify reminded me, but after I got to thinking about how much things can change in a decade. Since 2010 started we’ve had a lot happen in the world (don’t worry I won’t go into anything here because a decade is a lot to cover) but my point is there has been rapid change in the world and that change hasn’t left any aspect of life the same, especially not music. We just finished a unit, in my music literature class, on last year’s pulitzer prize winner Kendrick Lamar, which pushed a huge conversation on music, specifically the direction hip-hop is taking in our world. I think the timing is perfect for the new decade since it’s about time hip-hop and other incredible works get more recognition and don’t get pushed aside because they don’t fit the classical definition of ‘high class’ music. It’s about time that definition changed. 

But that’s just a part of the story. The fact of the matter is this was a huge decade for music because technology has changed our world A LOT. Making music is the most accessible it’s ever been, it’s not just something done by the few and far who can access it anymore, anyone can make anything and publish it. This huge change will only further the development of music going into the next decade, I mean it already has but since the new decade also has that and the new discussions that came with Kendricks win I think we’re in for a lot of change in the next decade. Change can be scary, but I’m pretty excited for the possibilities here. Entrepreneurship and the arts are making such a bold leap these days I wonder just how much new material we’ll have in the next decade and what new developments will come our way.

What do you think? Will technology and the discussion of what ‘high class’ music is rapidly change the music scene in the coming decade? Are you looking forward to it or have any predictions? I think genres will be challenged even more and music will become even more abstract then it already can be, do you agree?

– DJ Psyched

Categories
DJ Highlights

Spotify Wrapped 2019

image

It’s the end of the year and since everyone’s sharing their spotify wrapped I figured I would too. Just the 2019 one though, I’m not sure I want to expose myself by sharing my decade. I have to say I wasn’t really surprised by anything (I mean I know what I listen to), but it is super fun getting a rundown of the data. 

My favorite part is that top 100 song playlist, I’ve had a serious nostalgia trip this week listening to that since a lot of the music I listened to at the start of this year I haven’t heard since then. It’s odd how emotionally heavy it can be looking at the year through music, it’s not even just the music (though that totally counts because the music you listen to can say a lot about where you and your head are), but because I usually get a vivid picture in my mind of where I was when I first heard the song. Memories come flooding in and I begin to realize just how much has gone on this year. Anyhow, to get it over with here is DJ Psycheds Spotify Wrapped for 2019.

Top Artists : #1 Smallpools

  • I love this band a lot (obviously) and they were the first band I saw in concert this year at Motorco.  I first started listening to them when I was a freshman and the show was so amazing I’ve had their setlist on repeat ever since.

2. Clarence Clarity 3. Arrested Youth 4. Panic! At The Disco 5. Mike Shinoda

Top Genres : Indie Pop (as an indie DJ this was expected, Pop (I didn’t see that one coming but then again my workout playlists is pretty pop heavy), Lo-fi beats (I listen to that lofi study playlist a lot so sounds about right), Rap and Modern Rock

Top 10 Songs : #1 We change by Clarence Clarity #2 Naysayer, Magick Obeyer by Clarence Clarity

  • These two songs are amazing, the whole album is but these two songs get me everytime. I have yet to get tired of these tracks and the transition between them is so smooth I can see how they became my top two songs, it’s hard for me to listen to one and not want to listen to the other

3. Blood // Water by grandson 4. Get to You by The Honeysticks 5. Promises I Can’t Keep by Mike Shinoda 6. Don’t Know How by Ricky Montgomery 7. (finally getting more into that indie music) Death, Thrice Drawn by The Scary Jokes 8. Wavy Gravy by Okey Dokey 9. Trippy by Mindchatter 10. Ok by J.P. Plains

So what were your top listens of the year (Spotify user or not)?

P.s. Panic! At The Disco was my artist of the decade.

– DJ Psyched