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BAMM.TV FEATURED ARTIST – ASH – A LOOK BACK

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We’re massively excited to feature Ash as our Featured Artist this week, in order to tie in with the release of a couple of exclusive BAMM.tv performances from this three-piece Brit-rock legend. The first one – ‘Shining Light’ – was unleashed last week, and there’s a second one all ready for you to watch later this week. Excited? Course you are.

In the meantime, however, we thought we’d take a few days to celebrate all things Ash … beginning with a look at their discography to date. Let’s join hands and relax in a blue shimmery light as we Quantum Leap back through musical history …

TRAILER (1994)

For those of us who have been following Ash’s musical trajectory since the beginning, here’s a chilling little reminder of your own mortality: ‘Trailer’, the debut album from a bunch of young Northern Ireland upstarts barely past the point of their school exams, is now a whopping twenty years old. Time flies when you’re having fun. Or even when you’re not.

Luckily, all that’s needed to nullify such morbid musings of mortality (check out our alliteration skills) is to take another listen to ‘Trailer’, and to be blown away by the sheer energy and verve of the band’s first long-player. It’s not as polished as later work, obviously, and the songwriting is a mere foreshadow of what’s to come – but, just as a teenage Metallica arrived fully-formed with 1983’s ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ we can safely say that ‘Trailer’ is the confident, bellowed announcement of a great new talent.

There’s more after the jump …

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BAMM.tv Featured Artist – Ash – ‘Shining Light’

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We’ve got a very special Featured Artist season this time around – we’re celebrating the 20-plus year career of Britrock legends Ash, whose glorious power-pop continues to thrill fans around the world. Oh, and did we mention that we snared a TOTALLY EXCLUSIVE BAMM.TV PERFORMANCE from them? Because, y’know, we did.

There’s more to come next week: more exclusive live video, a sprawling Ash retrospective, a look at their greatest musical moments and some great musical recommendation to take you down the indie rabbit hole if you’re looking for further Ash-like sounds.

In the meantime, check out this exclusive performance of all-time classic ‘Shining Light’ …

Why I Love Music: Wirjo Hardjono

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A return to our occasional ‘Why I Love Music’ series – this time featuring thoughts from BAMM.tv’s Wirjo Hardjono …

Sound made to make you ‘feel’? Just the idea of it sounds absurd to me. I don’t know why but I’ve always wondered why music makes you feel and never understood. Sure if it brings back memories, if used is specific contexts or when it’s used in other media. But even if your not paying any attention it sets a mood or better a tone.

Our brain just starts triggering neurons and creating hormones when the air moves our eardrums. Signals that make you aware of your surroundings, did we make sounds to warn the world of our existence? Or did we make sounds to drown out the paranoia of the things we didn’t see? Probably both, we probably still use music for those reasons today, as art form and for an escape.

We just got really good at it. We made sound a form of expression, I imagine that we developed instruments together with our voices. Interacting with your surroundings to create a sensation in others. Of course we do this all the time in many ways but somehow music has always been special to me.

Growing up seeing thousands of people gathering in stadiums to experience it together, yet it feels so personal. It’s a thing we share. Its how we explain to the world how we feel, it gives us identity, both through creating and listening to it. It also gives us the ability to change our state or at least influence how we feel.

We communicate feel best through music, in my experience anyways. I don’t express myself musically, but I like the consumption. I like being influenced by it, giving in to it. I’ll never understand how and I’ll never have to, it just is. It just takes you on a journey.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Chris Hansen

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Jerad Fox

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Diana Gamboa

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Peter Hackmann

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Music has played a major role in my life ever since my older brother decided he wanted to learn how to play drums. Naturally, as the little brother I had a juvenile obsession with his decision and followed closely, admiring his shiny black and chrome kit and the seemingly random things he would play on it after a drum class. What I didn’t realize is how greatly his decision to study music would affect the trajectory of my own life. When I decided to try out for band as a 13 year-old, I was told by the teacher that I would make a fine addition to the horn section. But, taking my brother’s lead, I opted for the ‘things you bang on’ section instead.

Down the rabbit hole I went. Playing percussion soon became an obsession. Anything I could get my hands on became a snare drum, marimba, triangle, or bass drum. I would find myself listening to fluorescent light bulbs for their pitch and tuning the timpani to the sound of light in the band hall. Competition after competition, performance after performance, playing music became a highly-addictive and ‘can’t-do-without‘ feature of my life. This is one reason that I love music. It has the delightfully infectious ability to give life meaning and substance, and teach people to focus, listen, reflect, and ultimately better themselves – and share these things with an audience.

But an even greater reason that I love music, besides its individual benefits, is because it functions as a truly global language. During college, I had the opportunity to travel abroad and interact with very different cultures which, as my aunt put it, was like “traveling to the moon” for her generation. When translation failed, and it often did, I turned to music. I found that simply pulling out a guitar and strumming chords could turn foreigners into friends, after the wine was consumed, of course. A playlist on my iPod once turned a benign roommates’ dinner into a night on the town. Just knowing and appreciating music from other cultures has ignited conversations and friendships, whether at a bar in Mexico, a birthday party in Italy, or a seminar in New York.

I can remember one occasion where I performed with a girl from South Korea, who was a talented, if timid, musician. She spoke almost no English, and I speak no Korean, but when we played together no words were needed. Our language became phrasing, tempo, dynamics, and the movement of sticks. We could play a sonata without even speaking to each other. I’m also reminded of the times at a folk festival in Texas when donning my washboard allowed me to jam with “the Nashville camps” simply because it was something we all recognized and understood (Even Tennessee is somewhat foreign to Texans). No language can even come close to these types of communication, only music.

In essence, what I love about music is that all people, regardless of age, origin, or language, are hard-wired to understand it. Even in today’s hyper-active, hyper-connected world, music remains a testament to the oldest and simplest of human instincts: the desire to come together and share, learn, and simply enjoy sound itself. I never considered any of this when my brother first practiced his drum kit, but now I understand just how crucial those experiences with music were to me. And that’s why I love it.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Jerad Fox


Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Jerad Fox

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I love music because so much of it can be explained, practiced, experienced, invented, and reinvented…and yet no one can ever understand all of it.

I love how Little Richard was my first favorite artist, and how he’s like catching up with a old friend still, everytime I listen to him.

I love minimalist bands like The Strokes and The Libertines, and bands with complex arrangements like The Mars Volta and The Blood Brothers.

I love classical elements in metal music, especially in Cacophony (Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, you’re both such bad-asses!)

I love how confusing it is Patsy Cline’s music always cheers me up, even though it has some of the most depressing subject matter. I also think she has probably my favorite voice from a female vocalist.

It’s fucking stupid how much I love Wu-Tang. How they can talk about the projects in Staten Island, something I can never truly never understand, then talk about spiderman, and green eggs and ham. I love how they have huge egos, with none of the bad parts that come with having huge egos.

I love how Bernie Taupin wrote most of Elton John’s lyric’s. The idea of an artist not writing their own lyric’s and expressing their own emotions in their songs has always bothered me, but the fact that they created, together, the amazing music that exist now is so awesome. A producer can find an attractive artist, and find or pay for songs that fit the bill of a mainstream successful persona; but they found each other, and did it for a collective idea, and annihilated that idea.

I love how The Sonics wanted every channel to clip on their recordings, how the dirt, grit, and grime was a part of their sound, and how the guitarist poked holes in his amp speakers with a screwdriver so it sounded like the right kind of garbage.

I love how latin musicians can always tune their drums, I love how jazz drummers can always play to a metronome, and I love when a rock drummer can actually hit hard enough for the best recordings.

I love how auto-tuning vocals takes away the soul.

I love musicals, because I love imagining the real world as a musical.

I love the artists people feel embarrassed emitting they like, until they realize they were dumb enough to keep that joy from anyone. E.L.O. fucking rock!

I love being an audio engineer, and knowing the “take”, is just the take, and has nothing to do with the quality of the recording.

I love when bands sound can’t be explained by comparing them to another band, or a certain genre.

I love when a legend can be broken down to a normal person after meeting them.

I love when I finally understand lyric’s that were too simply and cheesy, and then feel they’re the only explanation.

I love how punk rock could scare parents into thinking that it isn’t the most lovely, caring fan-base in the world.

I love electronic music more every time someone doesn’t understand it, because it’s this generations noise, and the next generations history.

I love the standard ways to make music, because it underlines the reasons it isn’t art.

I love how knowing more technicalities of the creation and recording of music, can make you appreciate it more, and feel more involved; but sometimes I miss how much easier it was to enjoy everything before that.

I love music because, well, I love music. If I could explain it, then I probably should be an accountant. I understand a feeling of logic, I can prove theories, disprove theories, and yet, never have the same answer for the same question. Explaining music is like explaining love…it’s almost pointless, because I don’t live and love for the explanation.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

Why I Love Music: BAMM.tv’s Sarah Levitt

BAMM.tv Featured Artist: Tea Leaf Green

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San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green describe themselves as “newfangled Lost Boys, a traveling gang dedicated to seeking wisdom and experience in places both glorious and seedy”. This may sound opaque, but once you wrap your ears around their sound – playful, radio-ready yet adventurous pop-rock – you’ll get it. Don’t worry. It’s simply just “ultimately Rock and Roll”, they reflect, “improvisation with respect for the songs.”

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Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Christopher Davies

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Here’s the latest in our series of articles in which we ask the BAMM.tv crew one simple question: why do you love music? Walking up to bat this time around is BAMM.tv Editorial Director Christopher Davies …

What does ‘love’ actually mean, anyway? That old stalwart The Oxford English Dictionary simply refers to it as “a strong feeling of affection”, which frankly seems like the kind of vagueness a modern politician would peddle. If we take that meaning literally, then to say ‘I love music’ would mean ‘I really am quite fond of music.’

‘Quite fond’ … yeah, that’s not going to cover it. ‘Quite fond’ doesn’t describe the sensation I had when I first cranked up The Avalanches’ Since I Left You or My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless or Pulp’s This Is Hardcore or any of the million albums that have soundtracked my life, emotions, memories and even moulded my general worldview. ‘Quite fond’ doesn’t cover the tingles I get when Johnny Marr begins that guitar fiddling in Talking Head’s Nothing But Flowers. It doesn’t cover the serene dopamine rush of chillng out to Stars Of The Lid’s That Finger on Your Temple Is the Barrel of My Raygun. It doesn’t cover the laugh-out-loud wonderment of hearing R.A The Rugged Man spit his rhymes (“If i ain’t the best then I’m the closest / I’m like Richard Pryor before multiple sclerosis”).

Buuuut then again … ‘love’ might not cover that feeling either. Because – and you’ll forgive me if I indulge the sentiments of Foreigner for a moment – no-one quite knows what love is in the first place. Why do I ‘love’ music? Not to be a cop-out but I honestly couldn’t say. I just know that it makes me feel something … and that’s good enough for me.

OTHER BAMM.TV STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Sophie DeWitt

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Jeff LaPenna

Why I Love Music – BAMM.tv’s Phil Lang

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