Category Archives for "Music"

August 4, 2016

The Most And Least Metal Words

most metal wordsIf you ever wondered if a word was “Metal enough” for a song lyric, there’s a study that evaluated the lyrics from 222,623 metal songs that can tell you. The data set included songs from 7,364 bands spread over 22,314 albums. The research was amazingly comprehensive, but it was done privately by a single data scientist for his own amusement. Still, it’s pretty amazing to see just what passes for metal words, and some of the non-metal words are hilarious (I’d love to read the lyrics from the songs where the words “fiscal,” “literary,” “residential,” and “administrative” come from).

So here they are – the top and bottom 20 metal words are shown in the table below, along with their “Metalness”.

Most Metal Words

Rank Word Metalness
1 burn 3.81
2 cries 3.63
3 veins 3.59
4 eternity 3.56
5 breathe 3.54
6 beast 3.54
7 gonna 3.53
8 demons 3.53
9 ashes 3.51
10 soul 3.40
11 sorrow 3.40
12 sword 3.38
13 goodbye 3.28
14 dreams 3.28
15 gods 3.24
16 pray 3.22
17 reign 3.15
18 tear 3.12
19 flames 3.12
20 scream 3.11

Least Metal Words

Rank Word Metalness
1 particularly -6.47
2 indicated -6.32
3 secretary -6.29
4 committee -6.16
5 university -6.09
6 relatively -6.08
7 noted -5.85
8 approximately -5.75
9 chairman -5.69
10 employees -5.67
11 attorney -5.66
12 membership -5.64
13 administrative -5.61
14 considerable -5.60
15 academic -5.51
16 literary -5.49
17 agencies -5.48
18 measurements -5.47
19 fiscal -5.45
20 residential -5.45


I found this vector representation describing the words most important to these bands particularly amusing.

Band Similar Bands Most Representative Songs Most Representative Words
Motorhead alice cooper, helloween, iron maiden “Life’s A Bitch”, “Waiting For The Snake”,”Desperate For You” gonna, know, ain’t
Machinehead biohazard, metallica, anthrax “From This Day”, “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears”, “Clenching The Fists Of Dissent” pain, inside, strength
Diamondhead quiet riot, rainbow, wasp “Victim”, “It’s Electric”, “Wrathchild” oh, yeah, baby

I’m not sure this study is useful as anything other than an academic exercise, since most metal songwriters shouldn’t need to be told which words are metal enough (at least I hope not). Either you know, or you should stay in other genre. That said, any time music can be analyzed, it does tell us a little bit more about what makes a song popular, and there’s never enough information about that. Check out the Degenerate State site for much more data.

Fender Mod Shop Now Lets You Build Your Perfect Guitar Online

Fender Mod ShopIt used to be that if you wanted a custom neck, color or pickguard on your new guitar, you either started with a stock model and fitted it with aftermarket pieces, or it had to be ordered through a dealer and you had to wait a few months until it was delivered. It was a clunky process to get exactly what you wanted, and didn’t always work as planned. Fender has now tried to streamline the process with the launch of  its new Mod Shop online custom ordering. The store allows consumers to design a fully customized guitar with multiple options and features available.

Mod Shop allows you to customize a Tele, Strat, Precision bass or Jazz bass to your exact specs. There are a number of standard starting places, but if you begin from scratch you can select the orientation (right or left handed), body material and color, fingerboard, pickguard material, pickups, tuning machines, bridge, hardware color and strings.

The instruments have a base price starting at $1649, but some add-ons like color may add to the cost. The entire process from order to delivery takes about 30 days, and the instrument is manufactured in Fender’s Corona, California factory.

While this seems to keep dealers out of the loop, that’s not the case, as you can order through Mod Shop via a dealer as well (presumably to get a discount on the instrument).

What’s more, Fender isn’t stopping with just guitars. It will open an amplifier version of Mod Shop by next year, and may even expand beyond that to foot pedals and accessories if the idea catches on.

The Fender Mod Shop is a direct result of the success of Nike’s customization program called ID. If that idea could be so successful for shoes, then something as personal as a guitar should be a snap.

Check out the Fender Mod Shop and try building the guitar of your dreams just for fun. Beware though, it makes want to get your credit card out (and that’s the idea, after all).

May 26, 2016

Paul McCartney: Chaos And Creation At Abbey Road

Paul McCartney Abbey RoadA few years ago I was speaking with an accomplished songwriter friend and I told him that I had just seen Paul McCartney in concert and how it was an 11 on a scale of 10. ” Of course, that’s like seeing Beethoven,” he replied. Yeah, Sir Paul may eventually be viewed that way, but no matter how you look at his career, he’s given us some of the most memorable and enjoyable music ever.

Here’s a great video of a television show that Paul did at Abbey Road Studios where he talks about how he came up with the idea for many of his songs (like “Blackbird,” “Lady Madonna,” and especially, the Mellotron part in “Strawberry Fields”).

It’s very cool to see some of the old Abbey Road gear, as Paul plays bits from his famous and latest tunes (this was more or less a promo for his latest album at the time). He also builds a song up from scratch where he plays all the instruments.

Glyn Johns On Recording Who’s Next

Glyn Johns InterviewI’ve always been a huge Who fan and just as big a fan of producer Glyn Johns work. This video is from an interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, November 19, 2012, and focuses on the recording of the seminal Who’s Next.

What’s especially interesting is how many of the main parts in several songs were actually lifted from Pete Townshend’s demos, and the band played to the parts when tracking. Also, some interesting tidbits about Keith Moon’s drum tuning.

April 19, 2016

The Music Genre You Love May Reflect Your Personality

Your favorite music genre and your personalityDoes the type of music we listen to provide clues to our personality? Empirically you’d say yes, but there’s a study that confirms that the music genre that we prefer goes a long way in outlining what we’re like in our daily lives.

For better or worse, this is what the study found.

  • Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
  • Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
  • Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
  • Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
  • Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
  • Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
  • Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
  • Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Agree or disagree? Does one of these categories define your personality, or is it way off?