March Mayhem has been a pretty cool feature, not because of the polls and stuff, but the fact that users are genuinely engaging in debate over the bands. I hoped it would be a good point for conversation between users and it most certainly has been. Look no further than the Refused vs. The Receiving End of Sirens thread.
In it, you'll find a majority of the vocal users lambasting anyone that voted against Refused because of their influence on the scene and the fact that they are far superior to most other bands, especially a "fake screamo" band like TREOS. I voted against Refused not because I think Refused sucks or because I don't listen to them, but because I simply prefer The Receiving End of Sirens. Most of the polls are going the way I expected them to, with the majority of the wins going to the more well-known bands and those that garner the most replies when they're posted about in news. I'm quite happy that people are getting so engaged over these first round choices because it's just going to make things even more heated when we get to the tougher later rounds. Everyone seems eager to pick Brand New or Blink-182, but I really think Jimmy Eat World has a solid chance of taking this. Who doesn't like Jimmy?
Anyways, people complaining about one band winning over the other use this defense when their band is losing, "I shouldn't be surprised...it is AP.net." Yeah, it is. And that's pretty much the point of the entire March Mayhem...to find out the site's favorite band. As ridiculous as one may think of Refused losing this particular poll, I find it equally ridiculous that these users aren't taking into consideration that most of the people that view AP.net are of a younger crowd and have never even heard of Refused. A 16 year old would have been around 5 years old when The Shape of Punk to Come came out; Refused never broke mainstream so you're not going to get a lot of longtime fans talking about this band other than the people that find this band from the recommendations from friends. Not only that, but a good number of the users here are pop-punk people at heart and have no real interest in screaming political punk like Refused perfected. Who knows though, hopefully these polls will open the eyes of some users to find some great new bands that they see being lobbied for so passionately.
For those of you who haven't ever listened to Refused, definitely check out their most well-known song, "New Noise" and discover just why people are petitioning for them:
If you combined the intensity of a band like Thursday with the metal guitar-fused pop sensibilities of Rufio and threw in some Japanese flair, you'd have FACT. If you listened to their US self-titled debut, you'd love it.
Almost a month ago, I posted their video for "A Fact of Life" on my blog and fell in love with the song. The chorus is quite excellent and I was rather excited to hear what would come next because I'd never really been interested in a band from Japan before.
Then Garett from AP hooked up the exclusive of "Reborn" and that solidified it. It shot up on my anticipated of 2009 list because the song showed that the band was friggin awesome musically and had a harder edge to them than the autotuned vocal stylings of "A Fact of Life."
One of the exceptional employees at Vagrant asked me to post news so I asked her who had set up the exclusive with us and to give them a pat on the back because the song is awesome. She said it was her and that she'd send me the album.
It's about three days later now and I've been spinning the album constantly. It's refreshing and there is so much variety on this album, whether it be the singalong "whoa" in "Purple Eyes" or the Fightstar atmospheric pop of "Lights of Vein" or just the blistering sound of "Co-3." It doesn't even matter to me that there are certain parts where I don't know what the singer is saying, whether it's because he's singing too quickly or because his English isn't the best...the music most certainly makes up for it. Like I said, picture the guitar of Rufio mixed with Thursday's crunch.
I really love this album and it will most certainly be in my top 10 of 2009 at this point. Definitely, definitely check it out for something vaguely familiar that will have you banging your head and singing along.
At the end of Paramore's "Hallelujah," there is an odd timing where they delay the last beat of the song. Every time I listen to Riot!, this moment 3:12-3:13 in the song completely throws me off and tricks me. Honestly, if I had the chance to ask Paramore any question, it would not be if I could hear their new album or what hair product Hayley uses, it would be to find out exactly why they chose to do this in the song. It's such a small decision, but when you scrutinize over every moment in every song that you write, the band consciously went for this for some reason. I think it'd be a fascinating insight into their creative process to know why this is the way it is.
I've been looking for a song from the band Name Taken for months now. It was on the Warped 2002 (I think) compilation and I have had no luck finding it anywhere. Luckily, BSidesRUs came to the rescue! Thank goodness for that blog and the team of people working on it...I'm quite grateful.
It's been about four years since the disbanding of Midtown and ever since then, I've anxiously awaited a reunion show or a tour or more music or just a real goodbye. I think I'm ready to let that go.
I don't know why, but I think I'm ready to just give it up (omg pun). I don't feel like being that guy who's holding onto his past like the person who graduates college and holds on to that part of their life like nothing's going to get better. I'm not saying fuck that band by any means, because they are still my favorite band and all, but I think I'm finally ready to let go of the dream. I'm sick of hanging on and getting my hopes up each time there's a little hint about a possible reunion. No point in getting my hopes up; I'm just going to try to be numb until it's real. So, no more giddy like a school girl until something concrete comes my way.
When Midtown was looking for a title to what became Living Well is the Best Revenge, they held an online poll of suggestions. One of them was "Holding On by Letting Go." I guess that's what I'm doing here because I'm just going to leave the situation the way it is without having any sort of bitterness toward the situation; they seem happy now and that's what matters. They don't owe me anything as much as I would love them to and they don't owe anyone else anything. If I wanted to quit my job, I wouldn't go back to it because other people wanted me to go back, especially if I were happy elsewhere. I will still champion for the band and promote them whenever I can...I'm just not going to hang on to them coming back. If they do, hooray. If not, it's not the end of the world.
I've read a good number of complaints with the March Mayhem thing that we have going on here on AP.net recently. Some are constructive criticism, some are complaints that make no sense, and others are just jabs at me to jab at me. Let's go through what people are saying and how I have responded or will respond and see if I can quell the complaining, shall we?
"I don't like the pairings. There should have been seeding."
Folks, if you could fairly seed 100 bands, be my guest. I found that it would be a ridiculously tedious and cumbersome task that would accomplish absolutely nothing. Do we account for what band has #1 ranking by last.fm plays? If so, New Found Glory is above every other band on the site. Last.fm accounts for timeliness, but does not give an overall indication. Any band that has a release that is new will have their plays skyrocketed as people are interested in hearing the album. Coheed and Cambria were not even in the top 150 this past week...should they have been eliminated from it? No way. And even if we did it this way...wouldn't we then already have a definitive #1 in a sense, thus rendering the entire point of this polling system moot? A random pairing system like the one implemented is honestly the one that will work best for this competition -- to figure out who AP.net's favorite band is. We're not looking for the top 100 bands in order, ranked from 1-100; we're looking for the #1 most favorite band. Imagine the bitching that would occur if we actually ranked all these bands for seeding. If one of you would like to do a fair and balanced seeding of 100 bands, go right ahead, but expect me to nitpick it.
"This band is only winning because it's AP.net."
Hmm...kind of the point, no?
"The polls are lopsided because street team members are coming over and voting. It's skewing the results."
Yes, it was skewing the results, most notably with 30 Seconds to Mars vs. A Day to Remember. The Poll Forum is unique on AP.net to allow anyone that is unregistered to vote on the polls inside. This would allow a band like 30 Seconds to Mars to beat a band like Brand New on this site (where that should never happen in a poll like this) by having people from outside of the site come in and vote. 30 Seconds to Mars is a much more well-known band so they have more fans to vote, even if those fans don't read AP.net. Our hope is to keep this as an AP.net-only kind of poll so we see what our readers really like instead of which band can get their votes up.
"The polls are clogging up the General Forum."
Agreed, they were, and that was my bad decision. I moved them over to the Music Forum.
"Why isn't this band in the poll?"
Remember, there are still 60 bands to go, so it's very likely that the band you want to see in here is going to be there. I'm expecting people to complain when the full list is revealed and their favorite band is not in the list. There's nothing that can really be done about this as the list is complete (I can change around one of them I know if there's a significant band that I missed), but I think it's a really solid list of bands that get a lot of last.fm plays combined with discussion in the forums and news posts.
"End the polls sooner."
This is not that bad of an idea. I suppose we can do this...maybe have them run 3 or 5 days instead of 7? What do you think? I picked 7 just so it could end when the new one started up and there would be a good consistent Monday morning polls end/new polls start kind of thing.
"Kanye West is not a band. This makes no sense if we're voting for our favorite band."
Really? Really? Forgive me for not saying artist, but I thought it was a wide enough blanket term that people would understand what is meant here. Damien Rice isn't a band, either. If it's really that big of a deal, I can easily change it, but I didn't think people were going to be this critical about things. Come on...it's a poll. Have some fun with it.