Friday, January 29, 2016

Album Review: "Bloodline" by XIXA

How many people do you know where you get a little bit upset to hear from them again?

In the dating game, you're not allowed to call someone for three days after the first date right?

I've always been really bad at dating because I can't play those games. When I liked someone, I just wanted to talk to them, but few people have the singularly creepy focus that I have.

Usually, you're at the bar, you meet someone and they come and have a drink with you and your buddies. After some time, they make their exit and then you think, that was a nice conversation.

But then you're on your way to get another round of PBRs for you and your running crew to drink while sitting around the fire outside, and there he is again, waiting in line to get to the bathroom.

 How many times has this been a good thing? I always awkwardly try to not make eye contact and hope I'm not seen....

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Album Review: "Victory Motel Sessions" by King Mud

Victory Motel Sessions
An old friend of mine told me about another circle of friends that he was a part of, at least tangentially speaking.

If I recall correctly, there was a girl in that circle of friends who interested me greatly.

Isn't that always the way?

Of course, it was in another part of St. Louis and here, if you're 15 miles outside of the city limits, you're basically in a very different world.

What I was told by my friend however, is what gave me pause.

This circle of friends had known each other from kindergarten, but more than that, they had been swapping partners among themselves for as long as they had been dating. How in the world was I supposed to walk into that setup?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Album Review: "Akroasis" by Obscura

As human beings we tend to congregate, bet it in a place of worship, at concerts, out shopping, and any other make and manner of activity.

We are social beings.

In every group, congregation, or running crew, there's always one person who just doesn't quite fit in.

It's not necessarily because they're strange, but in my personal case it usually is.

There are people who we've known for our whole lives and even though our people have changed, they're still in the circle even if just outside of it. So picture your group of friends. Say that you're all out at your favorite watering hole, singing some karaoke, or just relaxing after a long hard week.

Who's the one that's just a bit different from the rest?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Album Review: "The Gilded age" by Tulipomania

The Gilded age
Thomas The Tank Engine is an amazing program that teaches children a lot of things.

That is if you can ignore their subtle racism towards diesel engines.

I cannot say for certain, and I might be reading too far into it, but there was always a negative connotation for the more modern locomotives.

The first to be on the show was Diesel. Either Ringo Starr or George Carlin, depending on your nationality, referred to Diesel as oily.

Is oily really such a bad thing? So many men, and women, oiled their hair in order to make it shiny, perhaps gilded even.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Album Review: "Buried In Violence" by Product of Hate

Buried In Violence
My perfect Sunday...

If you saw Hot Fuzz and have a memory like mine, that line always resonates with you.

On my perfect Sunday, I like do the same things. I like to watch movies I've seen a thousand times.

Now, I know this sounds boring, but I also didn't tell you about the tea and biscuits....and the M&Ms.

But that's how I love to spend them. Sometimes, I'm not adventurous. I want to see and enjoy something timeless.

Everyone has something in their life like this. Music is the same way. I love experimental bands, emphasis on the mental, and bands that use well worn cliches, and some that aren't genre bending wizards.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Album Review: "The Reign of the Unblinking Eye" by The Bendal Interlude

The Reign of the Unblinking Eye
Do you know what a Loony Bin is?

Insane Asylum?

Well, these are called metal health hospitals now and they leave out anything derogatory because they should. How would you like it if you stayed at the hospital for the tragically weak of knee?

Yeah, well, I used to pass the one in St. Louis everyday. There was a smiling man who always waved to every car as they passed while he smoked a cigarette and waited for the bus.

We called him our buddy friend.

I can't tell you if he was a patient at the hospital or he was just a jolly fellow, but we always waved. It made him and my daughter smile. Just a simple thing...let's say he was a patient.

Everyday he did something to make someone smile. My daughter, though I don't pick her up anymore, still asks me about our buddy friend when we drive down the street.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Album Review: "Feral" by Like Animals

It's fun to see something you have never seen before.

It's just as much fun to see something that you  have seen before, but only once and a long time ago and this second coming isn't precisely the same thing, but something that reminds you of it.

Musicians are pack animals.

I read an article last night about how metal is at a crossroads due to eating its own. This point was that metal is demanding too much conformity from the players.

How can bands truly create when they're so busy making sure that they don't stick out? The album covers are the same. The shirts. The logos. The everything.

In music, of any kind, there will always be a problem of there being too much of the same, but what about those bands that refuse to be walled in. These are the bands we should listen to first. Not everyone was brought up the same way.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Album Review: "Rituais e Mantras do Medo" by Dead Procession

Rituais e Mantras do Medo
How many times have you found yourself locked into something?

In my life there have been countless instances of finding myself doing, following, or listening to something just because that's what I'd been doing.

It's easy for me to get stuck in a rut I suppose.

I'm working harder at not ordering the same meal all the time. It's easy, and normal for me to order only one dish at each restaurant that I frequent, but I'm slowly working on that.

Especially with my Chinese lunches. I do not order the same thing each time and that's a great amount of progress to me.

It's easy to fall into ruts in music as well, probably even easier than anything. It takes zero effort to look at a crazily named genre and think, there's no way I'd enjoy that. Then we scroll past this bands youtube video that our friend on Facebook was nice enough to share with us....

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Album Review: "Deadhead Syndicate" by Septagon

Deadhead Syndicate
If you could go back in time and have dinner with so and so...

How many times have we seen these kinds of things?

On a related note, one of my favorite concepts is time travel. I keep meaning to write a book on it and my personal ideas about what happens if the timeline is changed, but I'm keeping that to myself!

As for the timeline, the multiverse, and all that jazz....

It's on my mind quite a lot. When something goes wrong and my focus is on what I should have done. 

With all of this throwback stuff in music these days, it really can make a person think about what ifs. What if Metallica wasn't the first thrash band to break out of the bay area?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Album Review: "The Cycle Never Ends" by Ravensire

The Cycle Never Ends
Every year, for as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has meant the following things:

Family, turkey, stuffing, and enough mashed potatoes to fill the lower floor of my house.

This is our tradition and how we celebrate the season. I think that most people have more traditions than they can even name.

Started by family members that we don't even remember and have never known. These kinds of traditions can be very comforting and remind of us our loved ones that we no longer see or who have left the physical realm for the ethereal one.

Traditions are more than just what we do, but they make up parts of who we are. It's just important to remember that "because we've always done it this way" is not an appropriate response when someone asks you if we can change it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Album Review: "All Is Dust and I Am Nothing" by Slaves BC

All Is Dust and I Am Nothing
One of my all time favorite characters in television is Arnold Judas Rimmer from the English show, Red Dwarf.

Rimmer is one of those people that we all know at work.

He's absolutely horrible. He, in equal parts, overestimates his intelligence and knows that he's truly a stupid person.

He fully knows he's a spineless coward, but longs to be brave and thought of as a hero.

Through all of this, and though he does finally become a hero (albeit briefly), he believes that he's going to fulfill his life long dreams of being an officer.

He truly sees himself as being hardwired to be a general in the military. That he could lead legions of soldiers to victory. Over the course of the series though, he did lead a wax droid army to victory, but he was the lone survivor.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Album Review: "Endarkened" by Eucharist (Australia)

This is another one of those times when more than one band has chosen a name.

There is also a Swedish band, but this is not them.

Let's just focus on Eucharist (Australia) here. Unfortunately, I cannot find their Facebook page, so you'll just have to trust me that these guys are real.

I also have no photos of them.

However, I have heard the music contained here and I can tell you that they are quite, quite brutal.

They're coming off of having their demo released by Iron Bonhead Productions on vinyl, of all things. So, in order to celebrate and move forward, they're releasing a mini-album here. We'll call this an EP though.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Album Review: "Voix" by Aluk Todolo

I do my best to get down to Powell Symphony Hall on North Grand in St. Louis, Mo.

Orchestral music is so powerful

There are few stars, but many faces. There's the conductor of course, who many, myself included, may have a bit of fun at their expense...

The first violin. I don't quite understand what the star power there is, but they're always mentioned in the program and get an extra special moment to bow.

Then there's the music!

It's big, lush, and as powerful as any death metal concert. There's a reason why metal took on a classical influence in the early 1980's, people.

No one would ever say though, I'd listen to the symphony more if they had someone singing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Album Review: "Stocial" by Sealclubber

Are you one of those people who loves to have deep conversations about a wide range of topics that actually knows a damned thing about what they're saying rather than parroting what they've heard on their slanted media outlet?

If you're like me, then you know what it's like to talk to those kinds of people. They can't stay on topic because they have nothing of any actual substance to offer rather than repeating something they heard as if it was the final word.

Dealing with these kinds of people can be ever so frustrating and tiresome, but I cannot stop myself from doing it. I'll be honest, I'm a pretty smart guy, but with my OCD....

I can't keep away. If you're like and find yourself engaging with these kinds of people, you've been called every name in the book. Our little parrot friends cannot think for themselves so they cannot begin to understand someone who does or the thoughts they express.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Album Review: "Ice Grave" by Spinebreaker

Ice Grave
When the mountains crumble the sea...I heard that Led Zeppelin song last night.

That lyric resonates with me. When they crumble, there will still be music, but it's undergoing a constant evolution.

No two players are the same and no two acts will play song the same way, even the best of the best of tribute acts can't replicate things perfectly.

When each generation puts their own take on something, it changes and sometimes dramatically.

Metal is very sensitive to this and has changed greatly. After being born of the blues and psychedelia, the half-brother of rock'n'roll, it was then disowned by the parents. Each year, we see new kinds of metal, because it's always moving.

Always moving.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Album Review: "Get On Feelings" by The By Gods

Get On Feelings
You know what's the worst thing in the world?

Gibson Les Pauls.

Seriously, they're two pickup, single cut guitars and completely lacked originality when they were introduced in the early 50's.

There wasn't much about them that wasn't descended from the Fender Telecaster.

Oh, sorry, I was thinking out loud again about my favorite guitar, the Gibson Les Paul. (I have a black Studio personally.)

Today we're checking out should have been 90's pop rock icons, By The Gods. Originally they were a duo out of Nashville, TN until they were joined by a bassist. Now they're a trio. Isn't that neat?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Album Review: "Perfect" by Half Japanese

Our life experiences color so much.

I had jury duty recently and the lawyers intent on choosing the most impartial of those of us who weren't actively trying to weasel out of our constitutional duty.

They continually talked about not being able to turn off our experiences. I'd like to tell you about one of mine now.

It would have been around 1993 during the punk rock renaissance that many of us old timers remember. My friend, who wanted me to be in his band if only I had and could play a guitar, had the Sex Pistols in the CD player.

I swear, I must have heard that CD about 15 times that day. I remember thinking that they were so unprofessional putting such horrific things on this album...forgetting the words, etc... I frankly couldn't find the plot.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Album Review: "So Much So Little So Little So Much" by Charming Timur

So Much So Little So Little So Much
Please allow me to reintroduce myself.

Remember those times in your life when you met someone so special or found that place that meant so much to you?

What about when you had that second meeting, second date, or second time eating that meal that tasted so wonderful?

Can we honestly say that our second meetings meant the same as the first? Had the shine worn off?

The first meetings are always wonderful, but the second meetings can be much of the same.

When we meet the loves of our lives we feel something. Let's think about our second dates though. Today we're having a second date with Charming Timur.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Album Review: "Winter's Doom" by Sanktuary

Winter's Doom
I'm a big fan of our neighbor's to the north, Canada. I'm one of the few Americans who doesn't think of them as America's Hat.

It's an interesting country that deserves a bit more love than they get from us I think, but there are parts of Canada that are a bit, shall we say, off the beaten path even in Canadian circles.

Case in point: The Yukon Territories.

It's not even one of the ten provinces. What's up there? I can't tell you much about this part of the country. I did read an amazing story about the warnings of youth and impatience by Jack London, To Build A Fire, in my Introduction to Fiction course in college.

It was a great story by the way. That's still kind of how I see this corner of Canada. There are a few cities I can name, but that's it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Album Review: "Disciples of the Storm" by Riffocity

Disciples of the Storm
Music is my favorite art form for many reasons.

Perhaps because seeing a live show incorporates most forms of art: acting, performance, dance, drawing, cinematography, etc.

Maybe it's because most of the musicians I've met in my life have been really down to earth people.

Perhaps it's because it's one of the few art forms I actually participate in, however poorly.

There are so many musical movements and currents in the flotsam and jetsam of the world.

We are all familiar with the groups and cliques of music out there. One place that gives me no real strong images is that of Greece, though I have reviewed some spectacular Greek bands: Biotoxic Warfare, Sorrows Path, etc.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Album Review: "Beyond" by Bosque

In my halcyon days, my cousins and I would head to what we called the common ground.

Back in that little patch of the suburban neighborhood of which we lived, there was a creek full of fish, frogs, and poisonous cotton mouth vipers.

Just behind said creek though, there was a patch of woods. Those woods held such beauty for us.

We would explore them for hours upon hours. We'd travel the creek looking for crawfish to capture.

This is probably something that I wish my daughter will have experienced when she grows older, but I think her childhood will be wonderful, though different, because we live in the urban center of St. Louis.

Many times, I think back to those woods though.