Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Band: Cloudkicker

I am really enjoying listening to this man's discography! The man in question is Ben Sharp, a man from Columbus Ohio, who writes and records instrumental progressive metal in his free time. You see Ben here has a day job. He has no want to tour or to sell physical CDs. He likes his life and he views music as a hobby, not a career. You got to respect a man like that, he knows just what he wants out of life. But don't let that deter you from listening to his works as Cloudkicker, that should make you want to hear it more! Here is a man who is solely about the music, with no hidden agenda of fame and fortune (well maybe fortune, you can pay for his tracks). You see, as I've already stated, I discovered Cloudkicker on bandcamp.com, where you can get his entire discography for free - you can also pay for them, but it's a pay-what-you-feel kind of thing. It's all very amusing, and did I mention the music he puts out is great?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Awesome Websites: Bandcamp

Recently, while looking for a bands information I kept coming up to this parent site called bandcamp.com. It happened with Cloudkicker and Enos, when I tried to get their album artwork. It was here that I learned that I could download (for free and legal) these group's entire discographies! I was intrigued. When I went to the host site's mainpage, I watched the intro video and it sent me (because I found the music cool) to The American Drag - that first song, "Enemy's God" is damn good - and that convinced me of the amazingness of bandcamp.
Apparently bandcamp.com is a kind of hosting site for new/up-and-coming/whomever bands, its a way for them to display their music for free (for them) and also gives the option to distribute their music for free or charge for downloads. The charge system is pretty cool too, the band can either charge a flat rate, for song or album, or they can have a 'pay what you feel' mode set up, or even blend the two ideas, with a starting rate, but fans can opt to pay more if they wish. Cloudkicker and Enos are both offering up their music for free/donations (Enos has a comic book for free download too, kind of neat) while The American Drag is charging $1 per song.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video: AC/DC "She's Got The Jack" (2 Versions)

[200th post!!]

After my rant about the differences between the two versions of AC/DC's "She's Got The Jack" and the pros and cons of each, I've decided to put both of the songs up here for you to decide.
The original High Voltage version doesn't have a music video with it, they just never made one. But after searching through YouTube for a bit, and seeing more then one version that was nothing but pics, I found one that was appealing. It's the song over a music video by The White Stripes. The video is of a girl dancing on a block and then a pole, so it doesn't match up perfectly, but it's something. The bad thing is that the video doesn't cover the entire song, trailing off after two minutes or so. So you don't get the whole picture, but it's better then nothing (or just staring at the album artwork for 4 minutes).
The new, Live '92, version is from their DVD, Live At Donnington, from 1991. It's an actual vid, and it's pretty easy to understand the vocals (a rarity for Brian Johnson to be sure).

So as I said, decide amongst yourselves, the best version/era of AC/DC!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Comparison: AC/DC "She's Got The Jack" - Then And Now

"She's Got The Jack," off of AC/DC's amazing High Voltage album, is a great song. It's an alluring tale of a man going after a women, and collecting a STD from their encounter. I know, it sounds graphic and disgusting, but the way in which the amazing Bon Scott wrote it, you would really have to listen to it and pay attention to the lyrics double meanings, to get all the juicy details (ew). Instead of saying anything outright, about how the woman had been sleeping around, she was described as being 'delt' and 'shuffled' before, she showed him her 'pair' and which made his 'ace' go high. As you can see there is a definite card motif going on here, which is makes the song witty and funny. It might have been due to censorship at the time (this being released in the 70's), or maybe the band was being really clever on purpose, whatever the reasoning behind it may be, it works smashingly.
A number of years later (17), the song was recorded again for the group's Live '92 album, with a new singer (Bon Scott being dead for over a decade) and new lyrics.To me, it's not close to the same - in quality and sound.

Friday, September 17, 2010

And I'm Back!

I've returned from my globetrotting adventures, unfortunately with no job, but with a hefty list of albums listened to. I had a combined 36 hours of flying and waiting in hotels, so I listened to a lot of music. It would have been much more but my iPod died at the half-way point and it took me some time to find someone with a charger to juice it up. As so, the trip back home had a lot less going for it.
All of the albums are from my Favorite Albums page, as I just put that playlist on 'shuffle album' and went crazy. Albums 1 through 12 were all in transit to Scotland, where only albums 13 through 17 were from the way back. In this time I also watched 4 movies (Death At A Funeral, The A-Team, Clash of The Titans, Shrek Forever After) and read an entire book, so my time wasn't all wasted.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Future

By the time this posts I will be on a plane headed to Scotland - well actually it's headed to Atlanta first, but the ending destination is Scotland - for a job interview. In the short term this meant that there wont be any posts for a while (just a week and I've often gone longer then that when I was in the US). In the long term - and if I get the job - this means that this website may be put off for a while. See I wont have a computer this week and if I move there it may be a month or more before I buy a new computer. I will keep this site going, and maybe this is premature, but it's an issue to be addressed. But until we come to that bridge to cross, I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors, and I hope you do the same to me (hope for me people!). I will see you when I cross the pond again.

Keep rockin'


Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Band: The Assorted Dax Riggs Projects

While not technically 100% brand new, I just finished listening to Dax Riggs' complete discography and I really liked what I heard, in all forms. Riggs was the singer in a number of bands, from the sludge-gods Acid Bath, to the more stoner rock groups, Agents of Oblivion and Deadboy And The Elephantmen, and now he works on his solo work, with more of an acoustic/alternative sound, but the dark elements of his past work are ever present. (Side note, I don't get why Agents of Oblivion and Deadboy And The Elephantment have official websites - if only very basic and outdated - but Acid Bath and Dax Riggs himself only have MySpace's... interesting)

Acid Bath is legendary in most metal circles, and it is interesting to see the varied groups that enjoy their music. I've met people who don't usually listen to metal that have heard - and listen - to Acid Bath, on the other end I have met metalhead fans of all genres - be it death, doom, or progressive - who have shown interest in the themes or music of the group. It's actually kind of amusing.
Anyway, Acid Bath blended the sounds of doom and hardcore, with all sorts of sounds in-between. With such an eclectic collection of sounds, it's amazing how much of an underground following they have collected, even now almost 15 years after their break-up, hell I had never heard of them more then 5 years ago. That is some staying power. It could have been the artwork from their first album, When The Kite String Pops, known for hosting a picture that the serial killer John Wayne Gacy painted while in prison on death row. It's those kind of touches (and the population's focus on morbidity) that I think helped the band stay in the underground mindset for so long.
After one more release, Paegan Terrorism Tactics, the group broke-up following the death of bassist Audie Pitre (killed by a drunk driver), and the members all split off to form their own groups of all metal genres; ranging from the sludge Crowbar, and Goatwhore, the doom Vual, and the black metal (with two bassists and no guitars) Shrum. Dax Riggs choose to go in a different direction, to the stoner rock project Agents of Oblivion.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Retrospective: Type O Negative (Part 2)

I thought I had written and posted part 2 of Type O Negative's discography long ago - soon after I had posted the first one, in March - so I apologize for the great delay between. I'm just going to use frontman Peter Steele's death in April as my excuse (even though I know that's a load of shit).
Anyway, here's part two:

October Rust (1996)
     Following up the immensely popular Bloody Kisses, October Rust was pushed by the record label to be more accessible to the average audience. In this trial they both succeeded and failed, with some songs like "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" and "Cinnamon Girl" (a Neil Young cover, in their usual comedic fashion) are a little more mainstream metal then their past works. On the flip side they continue the trend of having their normal tongue-in-cheek songs; "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)," "Be My Druidess," and "Love You to Death," and then they have their 'throw-away songs,' songs that are not really songs at all. Either they have looping feedback or are some dreary collection of sounds - more like noise or drone then anything else - which are present in most ToN albums, like the long-titled "The Glorious Liberation of the People's Technocratic Republic of Vinnland by the Combined Forces of the United Territories of Europa." It's a selective comedy that the group has, but long-time fans are well aware of this brand of humor and fully expect it. For October Rust, however, it seems to go a bit overboard, with a lot of throw-away songs and joke tracks, it takes away from the album proper. It's as if that with the record company pushing them for something more mainstream, they complied for a handful of tracks and decided to rebel greatly for the others. But what did the record company care? They got their singles, and that's all that matters to them. Regardless, after the stellar success of Bloody Kisses, October Rust was bound to be a sales goldmine, and to a point it was; it sold well and helped the band out, but the trend could not continue with the executives pressing at their backs and their fans pushing for 'classic' Type O Negative, and what would become World Coming Down as the result.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Favorite Albums: Type O Negative - Dead Again

    Type O Negative's latest - and quite possible last - release, Dead Again is their magnum opus. It continues the trend they started with Life Is Killing Me, that of an album with no 'throw away' songs; not only that but each song off this album is pretty damn good. Because of this, Dead Again is my favorite album from the band's discography. Most of the songs are long, multi-styled, and deep in lyrics, meaning and production. The tracks merge genres, with some being the thrash/sludge sound of their early works, others are outright depressive doom, while some tread the line into atmospheric/experimental; it is a transverse group of music.
    Best songs (if you can choose such) are the first five tracks; "Dead Again," "Tripping a Blind Man," "The Profits of Doom," "September Sun," and "Halloween in Heaven," while the second half tends to drag on a bit. The second half, tracks 6 through 10, are not bad songs, on their own or in another album they would be great, but compared to the stellar songs that start this release they lag behind the curve.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Albums Listened To In August (45)

    It's the end of August already...crazy. I say that but as I look back over this list I see some of the albums I listened to and can't believe that I heard those albums this month. It seems so far away. I might switch back to the week by week next month, just because I like being able to see the time line for what albums I have listened to. You only miss something when it is gone, I thought the whole month layout was better, but I'm beginning to see the benefits to the breakdown.
    Only 45 albums this month, my numbers are steadily going down ever sense I moved closer to my job and got a new position at work. I am slowly getting back to the average numbers for the first year of having this website. I feel that my numbers will float around fifty for the foreseeable future, which is pretty decent I have to say.
    Bringing this up reminded me that the two year anniversary of this blog is coming up! I have nothing special planned or anything, just worth mentioning. Hopefully by next month I'll have moved, or be moving soon, to Scotland - I have a job interview this week - so this blog might take a slight turn as I cross the pond. We'll see, and hope... hope for me damn you!!

    Also, this is another month where I have this article all written and primed to go off on the first of the month, instead of putting it off a week like I do half of the time. What can I say? It's been a boring day at work.