429: All The Same

Last summer there was a scientific study that "proved" that pop music had become significantly less varied over time.  Sultan showed me the article when it came out, and it definitely sounded like an old-fashioned rockers' dream come true.  It was like science had proven anti-pop fans right.  But I immediately knew that it wasn't actually worth celebrating, because let's be honest, a lot of classic rock is just the same old shit over and over again, too.  '70s hard rock was pretty much nothing but 3 or 4-chord songs, half of the modern rock bands that I love are ones that sound like older bands, and blues songs by definition almost always use the exact same chord progressions.  I can't really make fun of pop becoming less varied when a lot of my own music is guilty of the same thing.  That's where this strip idea came from, but I never actually planned on drawing it back then, for a couple reasons.  First, I didn't know how reliable the study was.  Their methods sounded solid, but they never revealed which albums or songs had been analyzed, and "pop music" could refer to practically any genre over the past 50 years.  Second, I was already way past hating on pop music by that time.  It didn't feel like a victory to me because I had already learned to respect pop by then, and so drawing me this way didn't feel very accurate.  But, I decided to do it now regardless, because it will play in very nicely with the comics I have coming up.

Speaking of awesome modern bands that sound just like classic bands, here's a kickass new Swedish band called Ghost. (Also known as Ghost B.C. in America.)  Before I even explain anything about them, why don't you guys watch this short video, because it pretty much sums up everything you need to know about the band.  That's right, Ghost is a horror rock band that plays deep, '70s heavy metal akin to Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult.  The band is comprised of 5 Nameless Ghouls wearing black hoods and robes, and their lead singer, Papa Emeritus II, dressed in his papal attire.  The band has gained a huge amount of popularity in only a few short years, both for their awesome music and for their dark, anonymous personas.  The song you heard in that video was their hit song "Ritual," off their Grammis-nominated debut album Opus Eponymous (fucking great name).  And then here's a song from their new album, Infestissumam, which was just released last week.  The set pieces and poor cinematography in this video pay homage to music videos from the '70s, and captures the perfect amount of kitsch and creepiness that the band is famous for.  Here's "Secular Haze."  Finally, a beautifully dark cover of the (originally) beautifully happy song, "Here Comes The Sun."  The band recently had to change their name to Ghost B.C. in the United States due to legal problems, but they remain simply as "Ghost" everywhere else.  I'd like to thank NoneeLlama from Hungary for introducing this band to me, and by proxy, to all of us.  See you guys tomorrow!

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