It’s like listening to… Week 9

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

For the rest of this series, click here.

Danny Elfman:

It’s like listening to a child’s dream. The sky rains glitter and fairy dust, as an aquamarine sun floats through the sky. Then, goblins riding on dark clouds clash against kaleidoscopic clowns and circus performers. Explosions of inky darkness dot the edges of the battle. As the ink overwhelms your vision, you sense the fighting fading away. But something else is coming…




Straight towards you…

Yes, Danny Elfman counts as a genre, too. Listen to him here. Also, this description is only about his scores. His work with Oingo Boingo is for another day.

Gothic rock:

It’s like listening to ash and hail raining down around you, as the air grows hotter and thicker. The very reality around you cracks and fractures, hungry fissures racing past your feet. The crumbling ground you stand on could give way at any moment, sending you tumbling into a burning abyss.


But, what a wild ride it’s been. It was worth it. You light your cigarette and breathe deeply, calmly closing your eyes. You’re ready for what happens next.

Inspired by Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead“.
See also: Siouxsie and the Banshees.
And, The Cure.

Alternative rock (pre-grunge):

It’s like listening to the soul of a dirty, crumbling, concrete-slab neighborhood. The energy within the walls hums and pushes against its boundaries. There, at the cracking seams, the power wriggles free. It’s made up of dozens of pieces. Some match, but are in the wrong place. Most don’t.


Its rough hodgepodge nature doesn’t seem to bother it a bit. It thrives in the chaos. The gaps in what has come before are where it dances and plays.


Off it goes.

Inspired by Siouxsie and the Banshee’s later work.


It’s like listening to a friend tell a joke that you already know to someone else. As the joke builds to its climax, you’re more excited than anyone else to get to the punchline. The sentences get shorter. Choppier. You’re bouncing with excitement.


Your friend nods to you and starts the punchline, the and you jump in, too. The two of you proudly leap to your feet and shout the words together.

Inspired by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & Reel Big Fish.

It’s like listening to… Week 8

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

For the rest of this series, click here.


It’s like listening to a musical prodigy attempting to compose grandiose pieces. Upon revealing their latest opus, the prodigy finds out that they were cursed by an unholy spell to be compelled to use every damn sound effect on their keyboard. All attempts at breaking the curse have only mild success: repeatedly using the same effect instead of all of them.

Inspired by Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” (moderately cursed) & “Lean On” (heavily cursed)
Bonus: An attempt at breaking the curse.

Disco house:

It’s like listening to an urban spirit, its soulful, sexy energy seduces your limbs into rhythmic movement. The moon rises and slumbers during your ensorcelled fit of dance. When the spirit finally releases you from the dance, you aren’t sure what month it is.

Inspired by Lauer & Canard.


It’s like listening to an ocean made of steel. Steel sheets of waves break free of the open sea, charging to shore like implacable juggernauts. Exploding upon the shore, the waves shake your very soul into movement.

Inspired by Manolin “el Medico de la Salsa”.

John Williams:

It’s like listening to a skyship shaking free its earthly moorings and soaring straight to strange lands, stranger folk, and adventure. During the middle of its voyage, a dark cloud crawls in front of the sun, casting snakes of shadows slithering across the deck. But, the skyship’s drive fires brightly, brashly brushing the darkness away.

Yes, John Williams counts as a genre. He has more major albums than the entire Top 40 chart combined. Anyways, listen to this. And this.

It’s like listening to… Week 7

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

For the rest of this series, click here.

Epic trance:

It’s like listening to the still calm of the air atop a cliff. The soft breathing of the wind nearly lulls you to sleep before you remember your purpose and step off of the edge.

The water rushes past your ears as you plunge into the ocean below the cliff. The water frantically boils with your sudden dive. As the water settles after your dive, you begin to float, first on the water’s surface. Then, lazily sailing through the air.

Inspired by Tycoos and Armin van BUUUUURRRRREEEN!

Afro-Cuban Jazz:

It’s like listening to city made of brass instruments floating through the sky. The wind rushing past the city walls creates a bright, booming sound that pulls people from the ground and lifts them up to the clouds. The peal of trumpets echos across the world, sending the city lazily spinning across the heavens, dancing with the air and the earth.

Inspired by the unequaled Dizzy Gillespie.

Industrial punk:

It’s like listening to a city-destroying mecha battle, buildings exploding as 20-story tall robots fight for the freedom of the cyborgs and their human allies. Fists the size of large trucks desperately grip swords so large that they’re only dwarfed by the spirit of the pilots controlling them.

Victory is not sure, but the hearts of humans and robots will always yearn for freedom that no boundary can contain.

Inspired by Powerman 5000’s “Transform” EP. “Theme to a Fake Revolution” & “Free

By request: Baroque:

It’s like listening to the Earth crack and fracture, letting loose an ancient evil that has been patiently awaiting its inevitable release. Newly reborn, it slithers along the ground, like a sentient cloud, a miasma of malevolence. As it glides across grass, it steals the life from every blade it encounters, growing stronger.

Before long, the once weak wisp is now a towering tornado of torment.

But, wait…

What is that?
What *is* that?

While the ancient evil had been devouring life, its twin had been flowing through the night’s sky, stripping it of its darkness. Its twin surges forward, and the two primordial forces crash, flashes of jet black and pearl white lashing out, devastating their surroundings.

And just as soon as the battle began, it is over. There is no clear victor, but we are among the survivors. And that is enough for now.

Inspired by Bach’s toccata and fugue in D minor & Handel’s “Sarabande“.


It’s like listening to a joyful parade start to sweep by your window. As you lean out to listen, the music pulls you into the streets. Your feet barely touch the ground as you bounce through a crowd of dozens of new friends.

Inspired by Panjabi MC.

It’s like listening to… Week 6


It’s like listening to an arcade full of video game machines from the 80s playing a symphony. Halfway into the first movement, Donkey Kong plays a sour note and Q-Bert screams at him. Arkanoid tries to keep the peace, but the waggling paddle sends the rest of the ‘orchestra’ into a frenzy that culminates with 8-bit explosions and spilled quarters.

Inspired by: Riot Games’ “Bit Rush”Anamanaguchi:


It’s like listening to a caravan rolling through an unworldly desert. The sun blinds you every time you try to look up. Instead, you fix your eyes on the sands in front of you, though they shift colors with every blink of your eyes, an uncontrollable kaleidoscope. The wheels spray sand against the caravan, creating a rasping beat that keeps you alert, but relaxed.

Inspired by: Lost at Last’s “Radhe” & March Across the Endless Plain (Cecil Harding)


It’s like listening to one hundred and one nights of dancing, bells and bangles jingling as the crowd pounces out a tribal beat with their steps. Your voice is lifted up and carried along on a bed of other dancers, all singing that same song, one that none of you know, but all of you feel.

Inspired by Beats Antique & Asian Dub Foundation

Big Beat:

It’s like listening to a stampede of drums that have just exploded through a paper banner in front of their locker room. As they demolish the field, fireworks, distorted guitars, and the crowd scream their approval. The drums face off against a team of snarling keyboards.

After four fierce quarters of block rocking beats, diesel-powered firestarting, and tripping like I do, the final score blasts off of the scoreboard.


Inspired by The Prodigy, The Crystal Method, & The Chemical Brothers.

Dance punk:

It’s like listening to a can being kicked down the street, its metallic rattling vibrating the formerly still air of the alleyways. The can picks up speed, crashing against the buildings harder and faster. Before you realize it, you’re the one kicking the can, desperately trying to destroy the establishment.

Inspired by Does It Offend You, Yeah’s “We Are Rockstars”. Also, Hadouken’s “M.A,D.

It’s like listening to… Week 5

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

Week one is over here.
Week two is over there.
Week three is over here.
Week four is over here.

Folk metal:

It’s like listening to whistling wind and wandering water winding through woods dotting a dale. Suddenly, the dale rockets upwards, powered by explosions. The peace of the wooded valley is unaffected; you find serenity, swaying above the detonations.

Inspired by: ELUVEITIE – A Rose For Epona & KORPIKLAANI – Kunnia

Electro swing:

It’s like listening to a old timey big band covering a bouncing dance floor with velvety brass horns and thick bass notes. During a trumpet solo, you notice that the trumpeter is a robot. Full of sudden alarm, you edge away from the dance floor and bump into a well-dressed couple. Their mechanoid eyes click as they examine you. Everyone here is a robot. You resume dancing to avoid suspicion.

Inspired by: Parov Stelar – Booty Swing & Lionel Hampton – It don’t mean a thing (Club Mix)


It’s like listening to a loud upstairs neighbor who has somehow convinced a string quartet to tap dance on a sheet of iron. When you pound on the ceiling to make them quiet the hell down, your broom makes a scratchy, static-filled boom. Confused, you hesitate, and the violin finally sinks its melody deep into your brain. A lever ratchets open as your sight surrenders to an unknown grey mist.


You wake up on a Victorian-style wrought iron bed that has been painted brass, covered in cogs, and appears to have multiple points of articulation that you can’t figure out how to use. Your ears are filled with the ringing of anvils and the heaving of bellows. You think you might be helping to construct a 90 foot tall steel crab. As you leave your room, you take a pair of goggles with you. They’ll probably never be useful, but it’s better to have them and not need them…

Congratulations to Tobias McCurry for now having a TV show that proves that he’s the steam-est punk I know.

Inspired by: Abney Park’s “Airship Pirate”Steam Powered Giraffe – Brass Goggles

Trip hop:

It’s like drifting down a gentle stream, your feet brushing across smooth river rocks. Your heartbeat swells in your ears, methodically tapping out your lifeblood. As you make your way downstream, you drift in and out of consciousness. Each time you lift your head, you find yourself in an entirely different, yet somehow familiar, river.

Inspired by: Massive Attack – Teardrop & How To Destroy Angels – How Long? & Martina Topley-Bird – Sandpaper kisses

Rap metal:

It’s like listening to a subway car methodically rattling down the track. The brakes scream as it takes turns harder and faster. The train begins charging through the city, throwing the castoffs and remnants of society back into the harsh fluorescent light of the platforms. The helpless wail of the brakes vanishes into the night, leaving you surrounded by the problems you had ignored and forgotten.

Inspired by: BIOHAZARD – How It Is (Video) & Rage Against The Machine – Bulls on Parade

It’s like listening to… Week 4

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

Week one is over here.
Week two is over there.
Week three is over here.


It’s like listening to a pack of wild dogs who have been transformed into guitars, losing none of their feral nature or ravenous hunger. The pack thunders through the underbrush, pouncing upon every morsel they hunt down.

Inspired by: Soundgarden – Rusty Cage &  Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Bonus “It’s like listening to”:

It’s like listening to an entire give of 10 foot wasp spirits, furiously screaming a banshee’s song of hatred with their wings. The wasp spirits shatter the wall of the Containment Zone and escape Chicago. ‪#‎shadowrun‬

Inspired by: Filter – Hey Man, Nice Shot (Official Video) HD

Horrorcore rap:

It’s like listening to a busy, dirty urban street on the edge of sanity. Crows and starlings mix their songs with bass notes from thumping hoopties and jalopies. A nearby stoop full of hoarse-voiced cultists chant about murder, monsters, menthol cigarettes, and social inequality.

Inspired by: Twiztid – We Don’t Die

Hardcore rap:

It’s like listening to the clanking of oars on a massive longship. The coxswain assaults his drum with savage, irregular beats, spurring the ship to ramming speed. Bearing down on a gold-laden merchant ship, the crew’s hungry growls boom out across the water. As the bow batters through its prey, the world shatters.

Inspired by: HQ Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit + Lyrics

French hip hop:

It’s like listening to a proud, battle-scarred spaceship taking a meandering path through the galaxy. Flying sparks crack across the engine room, as the hum and thrum of the reactors resonate through the hull.

Inspired by: Art De Rue Album Complet by Fonky Family

Bonus “It’s like listening to”:
Hyphy hip hop:

It’s like listening to a 12 year old reading the Urban Dictionary while mashing random buttons on a synthesizer.

Inspired by: E-40 & Too $hort – Dump Truck ft. Travis Porter, Young Chu

Zef rap:

It’s like listening to the Lost Boys of Neverland suddenly invading an abandoned train yard, pounding out an echoing beat, and howling in mirthful angst. A crazed crowd races through the steel jungle, following the iron thumping, only to find nothing.

Inspired by: $o$ – Die Antwoord (Full Album) 2010

It’s like listening to… Week 3

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

Week one is over here.
Week two is over there.


It’s like listening to a hummingbird’s heartbeat on a ghostly shore, with spectral echoes of former waves scampering forward and boiling against wave breakers made of glass wind chimes and unidentifiable bones.

Inspired by: Psymoon Record’s “Kapnobatai” EP ( )


It’s like listening to a crotchety, old, silicon-based life form trying to get his grumpy cyborg dog to stop baying at the TV. Dammit, Rrrkl’plix! There’s no one at the door!

Inspired by: Flux Pavilion’s “Blow the Roof” EP ( )

Power noise:

It’s like listening to a pair of sturdy work boots slamming around the inside of a massive dryer, while a street drummer jams with a construction crew.

Inspired by: Terrorfakt ( ) and AUTHOR & PUNISHER ( )

Tribal house:

It’s like listening to a strangely competent drum circle sending your spirit on a journey through a sonic forest. The drumbeats resonate with your heart’s pulse, connecting you to the forest on a primal level. For good or ill, you get lost in the Samba Grove for a half hour. Or longer.

Inspired by: Lacandon and Venes’ “Purple Sessions 019” ( )


It’s like listening to an army of Highland Scotsmen getting psyched up and ready for war, then deciding to have a party instead. They end up causing the same amount of destruction.

Inspired by: Corvus Corax’ “Fili Neidhardi” ( )

It’s like listening to… Week 2

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.

Week one is over here.

Futurepop/Future synthpop: 

It’s like listening to a Big Band-era lounge singer crooning along with an orchestra that has secretly been replaced by robots.

Inspired by: Minerve – “Hold Me Tight” ( )
Happy Hardcore:
It’s like listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks singing, while Animal from the Muppets frantically beats a drum kit like it punched his mom. Then, the Tasmanian Devil runs in, playing an auto-tuned vacuum cleaner.
Inspired by: Anabolic Frolic’s Happy 2b Hardcore series ( )
Bonus “It’s Like Listening To”:
Rotterdam Hardcore/Gabber:
It’s like listening to to the previously described Chipmunks, Animal, and Tasmanian Devil band, except they also angrily worship Satan, and “fuck” makes up approximately 25% of their lyrics.
Inspired by: Rotterdam Terror Corp ( )
Black metal:
It’s like listening an OCD guitarist who must play each minor chord four times quickly before he can move to the next one, while a homeless Scandinavian screams himself hoarse inside of a wind tunnel. Also, there’s a church choir being eaten by a gremlin in the background.
Inspired by: Sturmglanz’ Soundcloud page ( )
Symphonic metal:
It’s like listening to an orchestra riding atop a fire-breathing dragon as it battles an army of orcs. During the fracas, the dragon banks hard, throwing the orchestra into the clouds, where they scream and pour their last few moments into weaving The Perfect Coda. The dragon, hearing the The Perfect Coda, sweeps back and catches them. Together, they escape into the night’s sky.
Inspired by: Ara’Kus’ “Aeterno Elementum” EP ( )
Speed metal:
It’s like listening to the lone surviving member of a choral version of The Hunger Games. His vocals are rough from the trials, but he is victorious and defiant. His song echoes in the crystal prison of living lightning, which is furiously careening off of all of the facets of its cell, desperately seeking freedom.
Inspired by: Firewind’s “Burning Earth” EP ( )

It’s like listening to… Week 1

This is a weekly series of genre descriptions. If you disagree with my descriptions, you’re probably wrong. It’s OK. It happens to the best of us.


It’s like listening to a pissed-off robot angrily growling about the failures of humankind at 180 beats per minute.

Inspired by: Neuropunk 37 ( )


It’s like listening to a panicked man screaming at sentient robots in a desperate and futile effort to prevent the percussive explosion that ultimately destroys him.

Inspired by: Combichrist – Making Monsters EP ( )

Industrial metal:

It’s like listening to a prisoner of the Machines who is literally caught in the inner workings of a monstrously gigantic mechanical device. The prisoner screams as he frantically dodges pistons pounding out an inhumanly fast beat.

Inspired by: Fear Factory – Obsolete EP ( )

Minimal techno:

It’s like listening to the audio equivalent of the Mona Lisa; it’s waaay smaller than you thought it was going to be, and there’s so much empty space here…


Damn. This is disappointing. Wait! The eyes moved! Holy shit! The eyes are following me! Hey! C’mere! Check this out! No, no. Just give it a chance, man.

Inspired by: Plasticman – EX EP ( )

Intelligent Dance Music:

It’s like listening to a bitmap of a crazy man’s face that has been mathematically remapped via a power over frequency algorithm into an audio waveform.


No, really. Richard D. James is insane.

Inspired by: Aphex Twin – ΔMi−1 = −αΣn=1NDi[n][Σj∈C[i]Fji[n − 1] +Fexti[n−1]] ( )


Welcome or something

So, after a several year hiatus from the interwebs, I have a site again.

Don’t expect too much.


Of course, if you’re familiar with my previous work, you already knew the folly of high expectations.