Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Playlist 2016

34 videos/songs for your listening pleasure.
Start with classics to get you in the spirit (pun intended) and slip into the more disturbing madness of the holiday.
Happy Halloween and Merry Samhain!!
- Ninja Fish

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Omina's Steve: "Maybe we can also sell ourselves? And no one will care?"

Today: Omina rants about "sellout" musicians who try to make a living at what they do and ask fans if they should sell out too.

Opinion insert: They'll shame anybody who isn't exactly like them and who takes interest in anything "mainstream." Maybe they should get off their high horses and realize that their way isn't the only way and if they were truly as accepting and peaceful as they say, they should stop condemning everyone who doesn't do things their way.

Throwback Thursday: See our previous Omina article on Shaman Steve blasting the ALS ice bucket challenge, calling it an unworthy cause because enough people don't die each year. (14,000 people) 

Link: Steve Blasts ALS Challenge
- Ninja Fish Facebook page

Okay, so maybe I'm judging him too harshly, but the whole tone of his post was condescending and had the feel that he was trying to shame fans for listening to anyone who had signed with a label. Why always with the hate, Shaman Steve? I used to like Omina. If you like Omina, do yourself a favor and don't follow them on social media. It will completely shatter your image. They're not the sweet, loving pagans they seem to be. They're harsh, unkind, and seem to hate anything that's not their way. 

Come on guys. Let it go. Your way isn't the only way, and you shouldn't hate on everybody who sees things differently. What it comes down to is that we're all humans and we all have the right to like what we like without others shaming us for our choices. You're not really upholding what you pretend to stand for.

What do you think? Are we being too harsh? Or is Steve on another one of his famous hate-rants again? Be sure to check the link above to read the last time he was on a hate jag. As for today's post, here's the link. Decide for yourself and share your thoughts with us in the comments or on our Facebook post. Better yet, share it on Omina's post.

Link: Omina Post

Random Video Thursday: Tight Pants / Body Rolls

Terrifying, but catchy. Once you listen to it, it's stuck in your head. And in case you're wondering: yes. The creator(s)/star(s) intended for it to be this bad. Apparently this level of terror is supposed to be a form of comedy.

My reaction at 0:11

Friday, February 13, 2015

Album Review: The Great Balancing Act (2015)

This article has been co-written by Editor "Captain" Gen and "Underling" MJ. This is MJ's Ninja Fish debut.

2015 has started, and that means we can look forward to a new year of music. Unfortunately, the groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter, so you'll have to wait a while for this spring release: The Great Balancing Act from This Way to the Egress.

[Captain: Groundhog? Really? That has nothing to do with the release date.
MJ: It sounded like a good idea... I think it adds nice flavor.
Captain: If you say so...]

The Great Balancing Act features a dozen unique and enticing tracks from the multi-genre, flavorful sound we've come to know and love. It all started with a dream in mind and an empty fund jar.

Egress turned to their fans and Kickstarter for help. The Kickstarter goal was just over 9k and within 27 days, The Great Balancing Act was fully funded - and then some! Fans banded together, eager for another album. One shy fan we reached out to (who would like to be anonymous) had this to say...

MJ: When you heard of the Kickstarter, how excited were you?
Fan: Um. I was pretty excited. I didn't really have anything to donate, but I passed the link around to everyone I knew.
MJ: And that's how we found it.
Fan: Yeah.
MJ: Are you going to buy the album as soon as it's released?
Fan: Of course! You know, I didn't even know about them until Mighty Seed and their tour with that, but now I listen to them all the time.
MJ: What do you think this new album will be like?
Fan: Awesome! [Laughter.] Seriously, though. I think it will be really incredible. They are just so passionate about their work and it really shows in their music and performances. You can tell that they love what they do and when they're so happy and in love with their work, you can't help but love it too. Anyone who listens to them live or just from their albums can immediately feel that energy. So, I think this album will be just as great, if not greater, than their others.
MJ: What would you like to see more of from Egress?
Fan: Anything! [More laughter.] I know how much goes into recording albums and touring, so I can't be too greedy. But I'd love to see anything they do. Especially if they play at DragonCon again. I missed it when they were there last, and I heard it was a lot of fun. Also, I don't know if they do this, but it would be cool to see more videos. Not like music videos or anything - though that would be pretty cool. But just more of them. Hanging around, busking, talking about their instruments. More stuff about their lives. I saw that behind the scenes video of them and loved it. It would be cool if every week or two they had the time to post up even just a minute long video of something they do, no matter how mundane. Like an Egress web show! [More laughter.] That's just my own personal wish. But, yeah. I won't be too greedy.
MJ: Well, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Fan: Yep. No problem!

Behind the scenes with This Way to the Egress...

It goes without saying that The Great Balancing Act is certainly a highly anticipated album. There are twelve tracks in total, two of which were named by the Kickstarter backers: "This Side of Jordan" and "Rogue Trip."
Track listing
1. Let's Not Pretend
2. So It Goes
3. Earworm
4. What Do You Want
5. Tarantella
6. You Never KNow
7. This Side of Jordan
8. Devil's Breath
9. Rogue Trip
10. Not Around
11. We Won't Go
12. Lucy, a story about your mother.

Captain and I picked a couple of our favorites since we can't review them all, and discussed them together:

MJ: So what's your first pick?
Captain Gen: The first track, Let's Not Pretend.
MJ: I was going to pick that.
CG: Well, I went first.
MJ: Fair enough. So what did you like about this track?
CG: I enjoyed the steady rhythm. It's easy to adapt several styles of dance to. The vocals blended with the melody, but didn't get lost in it; instead they took the spotlight, weaving together effortlessly. Not to mention the lyrics. It's very enjoyable piece.
MJ: Nicely put. My first pick, after the one you stole from me-
CG: Bitter.
MJ: -was Tarantella. It starts out with this light, music box sort of melody and then transitions into a spiral of creepy imagery.
CG: I enjoyed the tempo change around 1:16. It reminds me of the last half of 6 Count Swing from their album Mighty Seed, about 1:41 I think it was. The tempo slows and then slowly builds up again. It's a great technique. I always admire how their songs are unique, yet somehow tie into the rest of their work.
MJ: Those are very precise times.
CG: [Shrugs.] I come prepared. My next pick was Devil's Breath. I really had a fun time listening to the rich vocals on this one. Actually, I loved everything about it. It was something unexpected. I don't want to reveal too much, but there were some new elements embedded in their signature sound; just a couple of things, but they made all the difference in transforming the track as it progressed. Last pick?
MJ: Rogue Trip. Without a doubt. "'s the desert's decision..." And, indeed, the opening of the song sounds like something you'd hear in a western film with a slight twist. "He's jacking your mind up, he stares with his good eye. He tells you a story of death." I'm addicted to this song. The imagery - everything about it makes me feel like I can see it unfolding. I feel like I'm taking a long drive through the desert.
CG: And of course you grew up in the Arizona desert, so I'm sure there's a fondness for the nostalgia it invokes?
MJ: Oh, yeah. Big time. It makes me think of the heat and the landscape, the countless hours driving on long road trips... I really enjoyed listening to this track with you. I can't wait to buy the album when it comes out. This will be my road trip music for a long time.

[Captain: So I think it's time you wrapped it up.
MJ: Can I tell a joke?
Captain: Is it a joke or a pun?
MJ: ...Never mind.
Captain: I thought so.]

The Great Balancing Act is set to be released on May 19, 2015. Their single We Won't Go will be put out on February 23rd. If you like This Way to the Egress as much as we do - or just listening to great music -  you should make sure you keep up with them through their Facebook and Twitter. Want to check them out live? Click over to their events here.

Happy Friday the 13th! Check back tomorrow for a Valentine's and Anti-Valentine's playlist!

- Underling MJ and The Captain

Egress would like to give mention to Stefan Zenuik for his contributions of bass and sax clarinet, and thank those who made the album possible, including their fans!

Ninja Fish thinks this is great music to... discover life with.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Random Video Thursday: Chick Chick by Wang Rong

This? This is terror wrapped in Chinese pop star Wang Rong. "What's going on," you may ask in a horrified whisper.
The world may never know.

Just watch.
You won't regret it.

You probably will.

(Seriously the face I was making through most of the video.)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Playlist 2014

Here is a mix of different genres perfect for any Halloween night atmosphere. Give it a listen. Play it loudly. Pass it around. Pick out your favorites from our collaborative playlist and make your own.

As per tradition, the first song is "This is Halloween" - Marilyn Manson cover.

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Album Review: Bonjour Batfrog (2014)

I finally managed to give this new Frenchy and the Punk album a listen - and I wasn't disappointed.

This album was released on August 5th of this year and has received nothing but the highest praise from fans. It's even been a hit around Ninja Fish:

"I've listened to it on repeat all week and I don't regret it." - MJ

"It's good to hear more of the Punk on 'Don't Fear the Rabbit.' The two clearly work well together." - Bunny

Even I've become quickly addicted with three of the album's songs making it to my personal favorites list (*notated below in the track listing) - right up there with some David Bowie, Eivør Pálsdóttir, and Depeche Mode. But did we expect any less of our favorite wandering, steampunk gypsy duo?

The pair recently completed a few shows abroad in the UK and have returned, starting their tour of the US. Dates and information can be found here.

Track Listing
1. Fe Fi Fo Fum
2. Strangers After Midnight
3. Bringin' Out The Dead (Edward Gorey Seance)
4. Don't Fear The Rabbit
5. Forever And Ever MC Escher*
6. Batgirl
7. Carried Away*
8. La Vie De Bohème*
9. Why Should I
10. She Was A Flapper (Ode to Lois Long)
11. Mirror Mirror

For the sake of time and space (and time-space), we will pick a few of the tracks to go into detail about; however, we will say that they are all absolutely fantastic! By popular vote here at Ninja Fish, these are the top tracks listed in order of appearance on the album (click the titles to hear the songs):

Strangers After Midnight... This song evokes strong nostalgia for me; Shadowy streets, masks, devils in red top hats and masks, fog, and the flow of drink. The seductive lyrics draw you into a hazy and dark scene filled with mystery and risque liaisons. A must for anyone throwing a masque this Halloween season. Or any function, really.

Don't Fear The Rabbit... This song made the list due to the prominent feature of the Punk. His voice is well suited for this track, lending depth to the words and meshing beautifully with Frenchy's melody. The repetitive riffs and the simple yet elegant chorus get this song stuck in your head quickly. Well played. Well played.

Forever And Ever MC Escher... My personal favorite on this album - not only because I am obsessed with MC Escher**, but because this airy tune has me listening to it obsessively on repeat. It has the right amount of pep and longing to balance out and attract my undivided attention. "That's when we'll fall through infinity..." Lines like that are just magical. You don't find writing like that in songs anymore, and it's a damn shame. It brings out the dreaming artist in all of us, the feeling of possibility. If you need more convincing, just listen to it yourself - really listen. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine.

Carried Away... I had trouble finding the words for this one. It's incredibly beautiful and (for some reason) makes me feel something between sadness and happiness that I can't quite place. It's not something I'd expect from Frenchy and the Punk, but perhaps that's why I love it so much. It's unexpected, it's breathtaking, it's ethereal... it's really something. I don't think romantic is a strong enough word.

La Vie De Bohème...This is my second greatest obsession from the album! Cheery, bright, and the embodiment of fun. "The bohemian life... la bohème is a life style of those who live for and by their art." (Thanks, Yahoo! Answers) If anything represents this outstanding duo, it's this. Their personalities really shine through this song.

Why Should I... This track revives some of the elements of "The Circus Parade" from Hey Hey Cabaret - which is a fantastic idea whether it was intended or not; it really ties this album together with earlier works. There is something oddly satisfying in a song that juxtaposes airy and upbeat melodies with the topic of the inevitabilities of life, aging, and death.

I was surprised that they could put out an album that beat their previous works, but they never fail to impress. They cannot be defined, and their success cannot be limited. Just go buy all their albums, would you?

**For your viewing pleasure:

Never Ending Staircase by M.C. Escher
Ninja Fish thinks this is great music to... discover new worlds and possibilities with.
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