dTunes Editor’s Week, day 2: Topher Cantler

[dTunes is a community organized blog showcasing the musical tastes of Destructoid’s users. For two weeks, the editorial team is commandeering the series because, hey, we like music too. To further expand your horizons, make sure to check out the dTunes blog.]

After yesterday’s fine introduction by one Mr. Conrad Zimmerman, I’d like to welcome you to dTunes Day 2. It feels weird to be writing about something other than videogames. Not weird in the same way that it’s weird to type your own name in the headline of a post, but weird in that this was an oddly refreshing change of pace for me.

It was also a difficult task, since I’m limited to what I can find on Youtube and the like. A lot of the music I’d really like to share with you, like some local bands’ work, doesn’t exist on the internet, which is a shame.

Thankfully, however, most of the important stuff was available in some form, and what comes after the jump should give you a pretty good idea of what I listen to. I’m one of those people who puts headphones on in the morning and then falls asleep 18 hours later with them still on. I have music playing 24 hours a day, whether it’s on an iPod, a stereo, or stuck in my head. I’m the guy next to you on the subway with his sh*t turned up too loud. Rockin’.

I love music even more than I love videogames (gasp!) and I’m delighted for a chance to talk about it. 

GO!GO!7188 – Aoi Kiretsu

So yeah, this is my favorite band. Period. In fact, I was severely tempted to dedicate this entire post to them, and were it not for a couple of other things I really wanted to talk about, I would have. GO!GO!7188 is one of those bands that’s hard to cram into a genre, because the songwriting is just so dextrous. Their amazingly versatile style spans everything from Dick Dale-esque surf rock to traditional Japanese Enka, and asking what kind of rock band they are is like asking what a Katamari is made of.

As such, this video isn’t exactly a pristine example of their overall sound, because no song is. I picked it for its aesthetic coolness, and because it IS a great example of how hot the singer/guitar player is. (Her name’s Yumi, but you can call her Mrs. Cantler.) I also picked it because it’s one of my favorites of theirs, and I like the way the fuzz pedal makes Akiko’s bass sound like an idling Chevelle at the beginning. Friends from high school, these two ladies actually never intended for their casual jam sessions to become a professional act. It’s a good thing they decided to take it public, because they turned out to be one of the most profoundly talented rock bands in not just Japan, but the entire world.

I really can’t express to you how much I love this band. I could easily go on about GoGo for the entirety of this post, and honestly, I’m having trouble holding back that urge. It’s rare to find music you can adore so much, and the day I discovered them was like getting a check for a billion dollars in the mail. I’ve got 9 of their albums and there isn’t a disposable song on any one of them. Every track is candy-coated porn for the ears. When I have enough money, I’m going to have surgery to embed an iPod in my skull so their music is the only thing I ever hear again. And if I die and heaven turns out to be nothing more than a big, empty room with an eternal GO!GO!7188 concert happening inside, that’s how I’ll know it’s really heaven.

Also, I am hopelessly in love with the singer. 

Literally. 

Not even joking.

 

Wu-Tang Clan – Triumph

Hey, remember pre-2000, when Hip-hop was good? I do. It sounded like this. The above video includes the added bonus of at least four videogame references, one being a mini-Hadouken.

 

Hatsune Miku – Love Is War

I could fill half this page with explanations for what Vocaloid is and why it’s awesome, but I’ll save that for Japanator. Above you’ll find a fantastic example of just what can be done with the program, as provided by Vocaloid master Ryo from Supercell. The guy’s so good at this you can actually hear Miku breathing at certain points. Truly impressive stuff, and little wonder that it remained on top of Nico Nico Douga’s Vocaloid rankings for most of 2008. Probably still my favorite Miku song ever.

 

Perfume + Cherryboy Function – The Endless Polyrythm Lovers

Say what you will about J-pop, there’s no denying that Perfume‘s got an incredible sound, regardless of how much of that comes prefabricated. More often than not, they’re amazing. The same can be said of Cherryboy Function — a brilliantly talented Japanese electronic/synth/chiptune artist. Take an exceptionally delicious piece of music from each of them, squeeze the two together, and you get the outstanding mashup above. It takes a minute to get going, just stick with it. This is one of those songs I’ll put on a loop for hours as background music for whatever I’m doing.

 

The Pavers – Safe Boating

Scott Reynolds is a testament to the idea that there is no justice in the world. The guy holds a day job while countless singer/songwriters with far less talent become millionaires. Why he doesn’t have a framed portrait in a hall somewhere next to Jim Morrisson and Ozzy Osbourne is beyond me. I honestly consider him to be the single most underrated musician in the world. This guy? This is my Elvis. There’s some chance you’ll recognize him from bands like Bonesaw Romance, or his side project Scott Reynolds and the Steaming Beast, but if you’ve heard his name, it was most likely after his brilliant work with the Descendents spinoff, All.

The Pavers were one of his semi-recent projects, and played host to some of the finest work he’s ever done. Quality videos being few and far between, you’ll have to hit a link for this one. Safe Boating is track #2 in the playlist that follows, and it’s one of my favorite songs of his. Another loop-for-hours piece. Scott’s been a rock hero to me since the 80s, and every album that’s ever had his name on it is worthy of being placed into a CD player and having the lid glued shut. He’s a magnificent crafter of anthems for the brokenhearted and working class, and if you run into him in real life, you’ll find he’s also one of the friendliest and fucking coolest people you’re likely to ever meet.

 

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Milk Lizard

I love the Dillinger Escape Plan, and you’ve probably already heard of them, so I won’t waste your time talking about why they rule. I picked this particular song because it vaguely reminds me of the late ’90s Baltimore rockabilly scene that I dearly miss. Walk into any choice Baltimore rock bar on any Friday night circa 1998, and the first minute of this video is pretty much what you’d see and hear. Most of their stuff is decidedly more bone-crunching than this song, but it’s still one of my favorites. Also, it should be noted these guys put out an EP with Mike Patton, and it satisfies like a Snickers bar.

 

Polysics – I My Me Mine

WTF, right? Nothing like a little fuckstrange New Wave. Weird stage presence aside, Polysics are often nothing short of amazing, and their music will make sitting still very difficult if you’re prone to busting the occasional move. If they sound familiar to you Tomopop readers out there, it’s because their song Rocket closes out every episode of Tomocast

 

Reggie and the Full Effect – Get Well Soon

Reggie and the Full Effect is another one of those projects that mashes a hundred sounds together, only takes it another step and digs into half a dozen non-rock genres for the ingredients. Again, no one song can show you what to expect. Metal, techno, hardcore, jazz, disco, ’80s rock, you name it — Reggie smashes it all to bits and then glues it to the wall as one huge mosaic of excellence. Not sure what else you’d expect from James Dewees — a guy who simultaneously played in two bands as wildly different from each other as Coalesce and The Get Up Kids. But the result of those two influences, combined with his own humorous flavor, makes for some amazing music. Like a hyperactive puppy that found its way into a paint store and emerged covered in a little bit of every color. The whole catalog sounds like a goddamned electronic heavy metal puppet show.

 

Faith No More – A Small Victory

Senor Beedog would never let me live it down if I didn’t include a little PATTON.

 

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up

Just kidding, it’s GO!GO!7188 again. They get a second video because, honestly, 90% of the time, they’re what I’m listening to. Empresses of my headphones, they are.

So that’s me. Check back tomorrow to see what R3Y listens to. I’m as interested to find out as you are!

Topher Cantler