Monday, February 18, 2008

Manic Monday - Two

Manic Monday host Morgen of It’s a Blog Eat Blog World has given us the word “two” for this week. So I had to think what could I write about using the word "two"? What might people find of interest?

Hmm, well, I could write about my two failed marriages – nah, too boring. I could write about my two daughters – nah, I do that a lot anyway. I could write about my two grandsons – nah, maybe not as my son has yet to send me any new pictures despite that lovely digital camera he got for Christmas. What about my two tattoos? Nah, I think I’ve written about those before, too. So what to write about? Think, think, think …

Finally it dawned on me that I could write about two of Amanda’s favorite bands that I’ve taken to listening to lately – AFI and Blaqk Audio. Not only is it two bands but two of the band members of AFI make up the band Blaqk Audio when they branched out to do something just slightly different in between recording albums with the rest of their main band. By golly that's two uses of the word "two"! Perfect!

Just to give you some background on AFI, the band originated in 1991 in the small town of Ukiah, California when two friends formed a hardcore punk band and called it AFI (A Fire Inside). Those two friends, vocalist Davey Havok and drummer Adam Carson, were attending high school at the time along with guitarist Markus Stopholese and bassist Vick (who was replaced after several months by Geoff Kresge). They played a few local shows and released a split 7” titled Dork as well as an EP titled Behind the Times before the band broke up so that its members could attend different colleges. During a holiday break the band got back together to play a reunion show and audience response was so positive that they decided to quit school and concentrate on music full-time.

AFI1997 saw some changes in the band when Geoff Kresge left and was replaced by bassist Hunter Burgan before guitarist Markus Stopholese departed and Jade Puget took his place. In addition to taking on the role of lead guitarist for the band, Puget also started sharing songwriting duties with Havok. The restructured band released an EP titled A Fire Inside in 1998 followed by Black Sails in the Sunset in 1999, a more mature full-length CD. A year later The Art of Drowning was released and even though the band already boosted a loyal core base of fans, the single Days of the Phoenix saw those numbers grow along with its moderate success.

In 2003 AFI crossed over into the mainstream with their major-label debut album Sing the Sorrow for Dream Works. With the release of that record, their fan base grew considerably while national news publications praised them and several singles found airplay on MTV. In June of 2006 they released their seventh and most labor-intensive record to date, Decemberunderground which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and became an instant success.

Anyone who’s ever played Guitar Hero III is probably quite familiar with the song Miss Murder which is off of the album, Decemberunderground. I’ve played it a number of times myself (on the medium level) and can’t listen to the song now without going over the finger movements in my head! Amanda has also done a drawing based on the song Love Like Winter which was also released as a single off of the same album and is one of AFI's most popular and recognizable songs.

AFI - Love Like Winter
Love Like Winter by Amanda

As a side project to AFI, Davey Havok and Jade Puget formed an electronic band called Blaqk Audio. According to vocalist and lyricist Havoc, the concept began at some point between 2001 and 2002 and then went on hiatus for an extended period of time before being revived in 2006. Puget, who writes and programs the music, worked on the development of Blaqk Audio in his spare time during AFI's tour schedule. He would write the songs before sending them to Havok to write melodies and lyrics. As Puget explained, "Everything's electronic, no instruments. We've been experimenting -- everything from industrial to ambient stuff. We're just going to see what happens."

What happened was that after being signed to Interscope Records, Blaqk Audio released their first album, CexCells, in August of 2007 and gained another fan in the form of my oldest daughter. Even though their music has been described as "Electronic body music" which is mainly known by its acronym EBM - a music genre that combines elements of industrial music and electronic punk music, Blaqk Audio's music mostly falls under the genre of "Electropop" - music that is mostly a pop song at heart, often with simple, catchy hooks and dance beats, but differs from other forms of electronic music like techno, house, electroclash, etc. because strong songwriting is emphasized over simple danceability. If that sounds all Greek to you don't feel bad - if I didn't have a 15-year old daughter who listened to this sort of stuff I'd have no clue what I was talking about either! At any rate, this certainly explains why Amanda has been bugging me about wanting a keytar!

Blaqk AudioDavey Havoc and Jade Puget of Blaqk Audio
Of course, having a 15-year old daughter also means that I get to hear a lot of this music both at home and in the car and, if I'm being honest, I've got to say that I actually do like quite a bit of it. I'm not horribly enchanted with Davey's hairstyle, which Amanda thinks is to die for, but I do like the music and because of that, I'm going to post a YouTube video of the song Where Would You Like Them Left so that you can get an idea of what type of music I'm writing about here.

Blaqk Audio has yet to put out an actual music video for any of their songs but if you'd like to keep up with them, you can visit their website at or you can check out their MySpace blog where they also keep their fans up-to-date on the latest news.

And that's my take on "two"! If you'd like to see what other people thought about the word then pop over to Morgen's and check out some of the other Manic Monday Minions!


  1. And I wrote about my generation and the Rock 'n Roll with which started every other music style and bands ! And I too had to listen to my son's music at that time it was Techno ! horrible !

  2. Uhm, I don't mind listening to my daughter's music actually ... I'm sorry you found your son's music to be horrible, Gattina.

  3. Unbelievable, but true... "old Sanni" enjoys listening to both bands.

    Great choices, Linda. "Where Would You Like Them Left?" with my morning coffee - you made my day.

    Love Amanda´s drawing. I know, I repeat myself... just because I love them all. That girl is so talented!

    Happy Manic Monday!

  4. That was really good. I depend on you to keep me connected to what is happening otherwise I might spend all my time HERE

  5. Great MM Post! That is a remarkably informative post this week. I ended up going with the two failed marriages and two daughter (smile)...

    I struggled with this week's MM meme. Come visit if you have time or inclination.

    peace, Villager

  6. personally i wouldn't mind seeing the two tats! ha ha ha

    smiles, bee

  7. I must admit that I am more in tune with Elvis but that is generational, my parents thought he was bad. I will not be like Gattina and insult todays choices, of course that is what she dose best.

  8. I like Blaqk Audio! Thanks for the video, Linda! Happy MM! :)

  9. Hey Linda, they should hire you as their manager! Good write up! :D

    Happy MM!

  10. I'd pay big money for my mom to listen to an entire song from my uber hot playlist.

    You're the coolest.

    Happy MM!!! ;)

  11. It was Greek to me, but at my age most of the new stuff is. I really like their sound Linda. I can see why you like then. I can even understand what they are saying and that's a real plus for me. Very good take on TWO. Have a great MM. :)

  12. It was all Greek to me too but I liked the music. My youngest was a Heavy Metal fan, dressed himself all in black, had hair down his back (it was beautiful) and even painted his fingernails black. That was 14 years ago, he looks very different now! :)

  13. Linda. I think Amanda is influencing your music tastes!

  14. What an awesome mom you are.

    Showing interest in your children's music shows them that you really care about them. A lot of parents don't even know what their kids favorite bands are.

  15. Anonymous3:34 PM EST

    I think it's wonderful that you know so much about your daughter's favorite musicians. I think our kids and their tastes can tell us a lot, if we listen.

    I try to take an interest in my daughters' musical tastes. They don't like it when mom plays their music, though!

    This is my first time trying Manic Monday. I think it's fun.

  16. Anonymous4:04 PM EST

    I have to say I like them. Never heard of them before though. Sounds a bit like some 80s bands - Depeche Mode, OMD or Cure....
    Thanks for visiting and happy MM!

  17. Nice choice for MM.

    As I was listening to the recordings you linked to and the video you posted, one question kept popping up. They started off as a punk band, but there is very little trace of punk style in any of this music. It's quite commercial and easy enough on the ears.

    And I must say that I didn't hate any of it, which is odd. I don't know that I'd buy it, but I wouldn't switch the radio if I heard the songs.

    Happy MM!

  18. It's not bad...thanks for the explanation because I had no clue about AFI, Blaqk Audio, etc.

    Does sound like 80s music!

  19. I've never heard of em... but I live under a rock. I think it's great that you listen to your kids music. Jasmine and I don't agree on music much but I've listened to all of her favorite songs.

  20. Anonymous9:36 PM EST

    Linda, as if you don't hear it enough, I'll say it again. You are an AWESOME mom! In many, many ways! My mom listened to U2 with me back in the day and she still likes 'em. I liked Blaqk Audio, thought they sounded like Depeche Mode a bit like another reader said. Very easy on the ears, much like some of my favorite 80's music. Amanda might not like hearing that!
    Hey, DM rocked it back in the day!

  21. When my son was in his teens, I used to hear him play his music and I was pissed off with it. I found it more to be a noice than music.

  22. wait!!! hold it!! back up!!!

    2 TATTOOS!!??? need more input!!

    spill the beans girl


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