‘Music’: Too Many Zooz

So this is pretty neat.

I was going to come up with a clever intro, but have this video instead:

You are freakin’ welcome son.

Too Many Zooz is brass house from NYC, who gained fame when a video of one of their subway performances went viral.  They’ve got David “King of Sludge” Parks on drums, Lou Pellegrino on baritone sax, and Matt Doe on trumpet.

Seriously, this band is incredible.  The grove these guys get into is incredible.  These are some seriously talented musicians.  Their first album Subway Gawdz was released in June of last year.  They are currently playing shows in California and will be in New York in June.

They also did a Ted Talk, so that’s pretty cool. 

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here! ❤

 

Too Many Zooz | Website | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram |

Hatchet’s Top [3] Christmas Albums

I hate Christmas music.

Yeah, I said it.  I hate Christmas music.

Honestly, most of it stems from a burning desire to dislike anything that is popular.  And I suppose ‘hate’ is a bit dramatic.  I dislike a large majority of Christmas music, however there are a few albums that I tolerate more than others.  So here are a few albums that prove that, despite hating Christmas music, I don’t hate Jesus.  (Obviously I do not hate Christmas.  I’m just sick of terrible covers of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”)

August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album – 2012,’14,’15sleddinhillSleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album is exactly what the title suggests.  Featuring two original songs composed by guitarist J.B. Brubaker, and various instrumental covers of such beloved Christmas classics as “Frosty the Snowman”, “Sleigh Ride”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Jingle Bells”, “O Holy Night” featuring the Lancaster Bible College Choir directed by Dr. Robert Bigley (vocals kick in around 3:35), “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Little Drummer Boy”, “Winter Wonderland”, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, “Carol of the Bells”, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, and “Joy to the World”.  You can tell the album is supposed to be listened to during Christmas due to the excessive use of sleigh bells and wood blocks.  I always enjoy a good instrumental rendition of anything, and if it’s metal, well even better.  That double-bass pedal really brings the Christmas cheer to my soul.  Also there are banjos ❤

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve and Other Stories – 1996
christmas-eve-and-other-stories-coverTrans-Siberian Orchestra are pretty awesome.  Symphonic anything is my favourite type of music and they certainly have some incredible tracks.  While I don’t listen to the full album as I prefer the instrumental tracks, it is definitely worth it to give the whole thing at least one solid listen.  This album is the first in a trilogy of rock operas.  My favourite track is “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” as it mashes together two of my favourite Christmas songs “Carol of the Bells” and “God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen”.  All those squealing guitars and grandiose orchestras.

Christopher Lee A Heavy Metal Christmas and A Heavy Metal Christmas Too – 2012, ’13leeChristopher Lee was secrectly a metalhead and it’s the coolest thing.  With four studio albums, three EP’s, and a plethora of guest appearances, Lee was the oldest (probably) active metal musician evah.  If you’ve seen the original Wicker Man, then you know that Lee has one heck of a bass.  And the guy even looks like Santa!  What more could you want!?!  While I’m not sure that his operatic bass lends itself to metal, you’ve got to admit that this stuff is great.  And the idea of Saruman going Christmas caroling is awesome.  Also his song “Jingle Hell” pretty accurately describes my feelings about the season I mean I love Christmas!

Since I’ll probably do this again next year, I’ve got save the rest so I actually have something to write about.  Merry Christmas, and keep cranking out those metal covers everybody!

I’ll be watching Alien and Nightmare Before Christmas under the tree if you need me.

This has been According to Hatchet, thanks for being here!

-Hatchet ❤

[Photo Creds: Pusheen | ABR | TSO | Lee]

‘Music’: Dir En Grey in Arche

Arche (the Greek word for origin) is Dir En Grey’s 9th full length ablum and was released in 2014. The album has also had two special edition releases featuring new tracks and acoustic versions. Arche is characterized by the theme of pain and everything the band has accomplished since it’s inception.

Hey bitmunchers!

Today we’ll be talking about what the title says.  Imagine that.

Dir En Grey is a Japanese visual kei band formed in 1997.  They have released 9 full length albums and many special edition live dvds.  Dir En Grey has been incredibly successful with large followings in Europe and America as well as Japan.  Their sound has evolved through every album they have released, and you can hear the group mature throughout the years.  Most of their music is a form of metal, though some of their songs could be classified as pop-rock.  Dir En Grey is comprised of members Kyo (vocals), Kaoru (guitar), Die (guitar), Toshiya (bass), and Shinya (drums, the prettiest).  The members of Dir En Grey (sans Toshiya) were formerly part of La:Sadie’s before recruiting Toshiya and releasing their first mini album Missa in 1997.

Fun fact: you can find all the band members blood types on their website, so if you happen to be a vampire you know which member is safe to drink from.

Arche (the Greek word for origin) is Dir En Grey’s 9th full length ablum and was released in 2014.  The album has also had two special edition releases featuring new tracks and acoustic versions.  Arche is characterized by the theme of pain and everything the band has accomplished since it’s inception.

Track List

  1. Un deux [1 2 (it’s French)]
  2. 咀嚼 (Soshaku) [Mastication (like, to chew.  I had no idea either)]
  3. 鱗 (Uroko) [Fish Scales]
  4. Phenomenon
  5. Cause of fickleness
  6. 濤声 (Tousei) [Voice of Waves]
  7. 輪郭 (Rinkaku) [Contour]
  8. Chain repulsion
  9. Midwife
  10. 禍夜想 (Magayasou) [Calamitous Night Thought]
  11. 懐春 (Kaishun) [?]
  12. Behind a vacant image
  13. Sustain the untruth
  14. 空谷の跫音 (Kukoku no kyouon) [Footsteps in the lonely valley]
  15. The inferno
  16. Revelation of mankind

Favourite tracks include: Un deux, Uroko, Tousei, Rinkaku, and Revelation of Mankind.  It is so hard to narrow it down, I love every song on this album and I’ve been listening to it obsessively for the past week.  If you are into Japanese music, or even just anime, I highly recommend Dir En Grey (though I’d watch their MV’s with caution due to cultural differences and questionable content.  Kind of like Disturbed’s MV’s.  Good music, disturbing MV’s (see what I did there??) All the links here are safe though, I’m looking out for you ;33).

Let me know what you think of this format, it is slightly different than previous album reviews (for reference here is my review of Balance and Composure).

I also wanted to say that my site is mobile friendly if you’re catching up on the go!

This is According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here x33

 

(I used jisho.org for the translations)

[Picture | Facebook | Instagram]

‘New Music’: Balance and Composure in Light We Made

Hey bitmuchers!

Welcome back to Hatchet reviews music!  It’s been a while, but I’ve finally found the time (a.k.a. I’ve been sick all weekend with nothing to do) to listen to, take notes, and formulate words about Balance and Composure’s newest album.

Balance and Composure are an alternative rock/post-hardcore group from Doylestown PA (only two hours from my residence, practically a local band) and are nearly 10 years old.  They have three full length albums and several EP’s.

Balance and Composure’s third full length album, Light We Made, was released on October 7th of 2016 on Vagrant Records.  It is a bit of a departure from their previous albums, as will happen with any evolving musicians, but Light We Made is so undeniably Balance and Composure.  I wouldn’t put this album in the ‘post-hardcore’ genre, it is just too darn chill.  The music is so relaxing and soothing, it is great to lay down with a cat on your feet and zone out too.  It was a wonderful time.

Favourite tracks include Midnight Zone, Postcard, and Is It So Much to Adore?

Fair warning, the video for Postcard is a bit bizarre.

 

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here! x33

 

Their Website | Their Facebook | Their Youtube

‘Books’: V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Remember remember the fifth of November

The gunpowder treason and plot

I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot

Happy November 5th everyone!  The day when the British burn effigies of Guy Fawkes for fun, and Americans only celebrate because an eccentric author wrote a comic book.

V for Vendetta is a comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd, first published in 1988.  Set in a post-war/dystopian/post-apocalyptic UK in the 1990’s, the story follows a large cast of characters who are caught between a corrupt fascist government and a terrorist trying to spread anarchy.

The movie that most are familiar with came out in 2006, produced by the Matrix people.  The movie features a much smaller cast, and less obvious political themes.  Moore hates the movie (he hates all movies), but Lloyd praised the movie for being a compelling story despite straying from the source material.

Reading V for Vendetta for the first time was strange.  I had seen the movie a few years before and was shocked at the number of essential characters that were cut for the movie.  The political themes were much more poignant in the book as well, and obviously, the driving force behind the characters.  I wasn’t prepared for the clout behind the book that the movie didn’t have.

My most recent read through of the book was last semester when I wrote a paper about the themes of anarchy throughout the book.  The book is a commentary on Thatcher era UK (while the movie is a commentary on Bush era US), and Moore’s own personal beliefs in anarchism.  The character’s stories are heartbreaking and engaging, and the story sticks with you.

I highly recommend this book to any comic book lover and anyone who enjoys reading political novels.

And if you’ve never seen the film, November 5th is the best day to do so.

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here!

 

 

[I used Wikipedia because it’s really not that bad, I just googled the picture, but credit to David Lloyd]

‘Books’: Temple of the Dragonslayer by Tim Waggoner

This book is soooooo overdue at the library.

After reading Homeland I got a little nostalgic for Wizards of the Coast books and decided to check out the book that introduced me to the wonderful world of Dragon Lance.  This is the first book in the Spellbinder Quartet which is part of The New Adventures which is simply Dragon Lance for kids (or Dragon Lance without implied sexual antics).

When our story opens we meet Nearra, a young girl who has lost her memory.  Despite this, Nearra is charming and kind and manages to amass quite the crew: a dirty rotten lying scoundrel with a heart of gold named Davyn, a dirty rotten thieving scoundrel elf with a heart of gold named Elidor, a smelly angry Minotaur with a heart of gold named Jax, a self doubting failed page with a heart of gold named Catriona, and a kender lacking any quality associated with common sense but who still has a heart of gold named Sindri.  (whew.  That’s a lot.)  These unlikely friends set out to restore Nearra’s memories, but every step they take is seen by the Black Wizard Maddoc who’s plans can’t seem to go wrong despite constantly going wrong (black as in moon alliance, as the three moons of Kyrnn are what fuel the wizards powers.  Wizards are most powerful at night, especially when their respective moon is at it’s zenith and full.  Maddoc is aligned with the black moon that you can only see if you are aligned with it and I’m really letting my nerd show, aren’t I.  I’ll stop now).

That’s all I’ll say plot wise, so I don’t spoil too much.

I’m pretty sure I read every single one of these New Adventure books in my youth.  There are also several trilogies focusing on various characters.  Elidor was my first elf crush and was the cause of my obsession with ashe blonde hair while in middle school, and I relate to Sindri on a spiritual level as I would probably be so excited to see a dragon I wouldn’t even notice if it ate me.

It’s obvious that these books were written for young adults, but the story is still interesting if somewhat simplistic and spelled out.  It was definitely an excellent introduction point to the world of Krynn.  If you’ve aged out of the YA group, I’d suggest Dragons of an Autumn Twilight instead, but Temple of the Dragon Slayer is a fairly solid YA novel.

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here.

‘Book Haul’: 7/16

Sup Bitmunchers!

I have just returned from vacation and, since I have the day off, am working on getting back on track with this blogging thing.  Today is a sort of update on where we stand, Tuesday will be a music post (haven’t had one of those in ages) and Saturday will be the return of Horus Rising (I promise!  It got really boring again, and I’ve been having trouble staying motivated).

Enough of that.  As is the tradition of vacation, one buys a bunch of stuff.  Here is some stuff.  Also, I cut up the fabric I used for the last set of pictures xp.

The Shannara Chronicles Book One The Elfstones of Shannara, Terry Brooks20160716_150500

                ‘The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land.  Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcry’s seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force.  But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost.’

                I like to think that I maintain my denial of hipster status fairly well.  I was bound and determined to never touch the Shannara Chronicles when I found out it was a somewhat popular TV show on MTV.  For some reason, finding out that the novel was originally published in the 80’s and Terry Brooks being the quite the prolific author pacified my concerns and I bought the book (avoiding the more expensive TV cover).  However, I must confess that the only reason I read Game of Thrones was because Sean Bean was on the cover and fourteen year old me was all ‘GASP!  Boromir!’

The back of the book touts The Elfstones of Shannara as ‘One of the most popular fantasy tales of all time’ which I’ve never heard of before since it was published before my birth.  Again, I must confess that I am well versed in Tolkien and Lewis despite those books also being published before my birth.  My parents just weren’t Brooks fans apparently.

One thing I immediately notice is the lack of ridiculous names which, while many a summer has been filled with tales of Tanthalas Quisif-Nan Pah and Lauralanthalasa Kanan, I am incredibly grateful for.  There is nothing wrong with creating these grand, universe appropriate names for your characters I JUST CAN’T PRONOUNCE THEM.  Also, Demons is spelled like that instead of the deamons I’ve been reading about in WH40K that don’t exist.  The premise also strikes me as similar to the premise of Sea of Monsters (Rick Riordan) but instead of finding a golden fleece they just plant a new tree.  Of course I doubt Ellcrys is a person…

More Than Mortal Sagas Isu. 1, 2, 3; Sharon Scott, Romano20160716_150430

I didn’t buy this and I know nothing about it.  One of my sisters friends bought it for her thinking it was the first three issues of Vaughan and Staples Saga.  The characters and story seem to be based on Irish folklore and mythology which I can totally get behind.  Cool stuff.  Really, that’s all I have for this.

King of Kings, Leaves’ Eyes20160716_150541

While shopping we ran into a music store and they didn’t have letlive.  I was rather put out.  I did find this, however, an album by Norwegian/German symphonic metal band Leaves’ Eyes.   I assumed by the art they were symphonic, so I went with it.  (IT’S AWESOME).  No regrets here.  There will be a review up this Tuesday or the next, so stay tuned!

This has been According to Hatchet, thanks for being here.