Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There's Always Piranhas


Tripping Daisy was one of the more interesting yet obscure bands from the early 90's. While many bands can be described as containing psychedelic elements, Tripping Daisy take those elements to the extreme. Like the acid trip 70's Saturday Morning television shows like H.R. Puffnstuff and Sigmund and the Seamonsters, their music similarly brought a happy, surreal, sunshine filled hallucinatory sound. Their sound can be compared with Jane's Addiction like vocals, Beatles style pop, and heavy LSD influenced themes. The vocals are mostly high pitched and angelic sounding, with strange warped harmonies and a certain degree of humor. Forming in Dallas, TX in 1991, Tripping Daisy were a four piece led by guitarist/songwriter/singer Tim DeLaughter. They created an alternative sound that could fit in with their peers, while staying very much their own. Bubblegum syrup pop sounding tracks, reminiscent of Matthew Sweet, are mixed with whacked out vocal deliveries and lyrical content. The sickly sweet vocals are heavily processed, and create a great upbeat feel in the typical downer grunge scene. Thrown in are creative, yet subtle, key changes and dynamic shifts to keep things interesting.

Their sophomore effort, "I Am An Elastic Firecracker," is my favorite release of theirs, as it was the album that really got me into this great band. Released in 1995 by Island Records, they even scored an infectious modern rock radio hit in the over simplified "I Got a Girl." A track that many would consider to be obnoxious pop radio rock, it is intentionally written that way. Don't write it off though, as it takes the pop rules and throws them for a spin with clever, funny lyrics, and an off-key vocal delivery giving it its charm.

The album starts off roaring out the gate with "Rocketpop," a great name to explain the sound forthcoming. The song's lyrics touch on getting naked in the 70's and hanging out with their favorite cartoon characters, and are only the tip of the iceberg. The overall message is just a tale of warped hallucinations and LSD induced dementia. Great song writing allows the band to weave grunge effortlessly with a sound more common to Flaming Lips or Phish. "Bang," delivers a tribal hypnotic guitar and drum intro with broken apart lyric fragments, that help to create the random bursts of guitar angst that flow throughout the track. Written in an unusual time signature of 5/4, the guitar playing is very similar to James Iha's in the early Smashing Pumpkins albums of the same time. Then came the out of nowhere radio hit, "I Got a Girl". This song has lyrics that are simple and fun, and easily can get stuck in your memory for long stays at a time. Including lines like, "I got a girl she has girl friends, I got a girl, I like her girl friends," sung in DeLaughter's thickest Texas accent, this is evidence that Tripping Daisy were probably one of the most lighthearted bands to emerge from the era. While pop extremes are toyed with on this track, hilarious lyrics and a classic guitar line make this track memorable. "Piranha" keeps the album moving, and serves as one of my favorite tracks on this album. The bass heavy rhythm section carries along the floating guitar distortion, and creates a great sonic backdrop for the catchy pop vocals. With a guitar solo that could just as easily fit into a surf rock track from the 60's, this song really shows their intelligent musical chops.

Tripping Daisy make use of unusual chord progressions throughout the entire album, as highlighted on "Motivation". The always clever lyrics continue, on this slow paced psychedelic trip that tackles boredom, and is after all, motivational as a whole. While guitar feedback shoots over the crisp cymbal hits, the sunshine soaks through with blinding happiness. Something about the drums in this one remind me of an old western saloon, creating a cool unexpected texture. "Same Dress New Day," is a strange exploration of Beatles pop meets country western, with an acid fueled liquid string sound. "Trip Along" has a very thick sound to the wavering guitars, and is further accented when the rest of the band joins in the chorus. This song is a more straight forward alternative rock piece with the band really creating a great sonic togetherness. "Raindrop" is a faster paced track with heavy pop soaked harmonies. Catchy and quirky this song is really held together with the bouncing bass lines and falsetto singing from DeLaughter. "Step Behind" is another one of my favorite tracks, and has a unique structure compared to the rest of the songs. The song starts off with rhyming lyrics that lead into furious drums with strange chants and over lapping vocal displays. A great experementation in layering of their sound. "Noose" is another stand out track on the album with the heavily distorted processed vocals that explode with power chord friendly psychedelic bursts, and great hallucinatory imagery.

"Prick", my favorite track on the album, is with out a doubt the best example of the sheer musical talent possessed by this band. This song has a very progressive feel to it, as heard right from the opening. Coming in at over nine minutes long, "Prick," is a voyage that shifts time without the slightest warning, and switches back when you least expect it. The entire band plays fantastically together on this one, as they continue to move along with shifting times over and over, rarely returning to one time, yet still keeping the song sounding whole. This is an incredible track that would make Jane's Addiction fans proud, and is a statement to Tripping Daisy's talent. "High" contrasts the intense virtuosity of the previous track, by calmly bringing everything back together. Containing more quiet verses that expand to louder extremes, this track ends the album with a peaceful comedown to the wild trip it has been.

If you like upbeat alternative rock music, then you should definitely check this out. While strange and psychedelic, this album is primarily accessible, and a great interesting listen all the way through. If you enjoy it, I recommend their entire catalog that ended prematurely in 2000 when guitarist Wes Berggren died. Give it a listen, and let me know if you don't agree!

Monday, February 25, 2008

We Salute you Stephen Brodsky


There are many musicians that can forge a great band. Stephen Brodsky has created four. Each offering something slightly different than the next, Brodsky has shown his versatility in the rock world to be unmatched by most. Influenced by Failure, Snapcase, Jawbox, and others, he began his career as the mighty Cave In guitarist and main songwriter. Brodsky was recognized with his band as the premiere hardcore artists. With intense, brooding, skull cracking ferociousness, Cave In left no stone unturned in their heavy approach of alternative metal. In 2000 however, Cave In would switch their signature style drastically. Imagine Oasis becoming a metal band, and you get an idea for just how great a change the band made. Gone were all the trashing, chugging guitar riffs Brodsky was becoming so well known for, and in their place was a space rock psychedelic emotion. Brodsky took over vocal duties for bassist Caleb Scofield, and the band had a new sound more obvious of their influences. Picture the end result of melting together Failure, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, and Radiohead, and then you will begin to understand Cave In's incredible sound. Their 2000 release "Jupiter" was truly groundbreaking. The music was still ever so calculated and precise, but add a harmonic beauty into the mix with melodic vocals, and you have the new and improved Cave In. Brodsky developed the band into one of the best rock bands of the beginning of this century. Billed as the best album of the year by many critics and fans alike, they didn't stop there. They went on to release the equally impressive "Tides of Tomorrow," before signing with a major label in 2003 to release "Antenna". In 2005 they went back to Hydra Head Records to drop "Perfect Pitch Black," a strong attempt at mixing their earlier sound with their new one. It worked well and left a question of what direction the band would go to next. That direction unfortunately was onto an indefinite hiatus to explore other musical projects.

Brodsky has not disappointed since however, releasing great albums with whomever it is he's working with. Always one to keep busy, he had been tinkering with other bands and solo projects even while very much in the thick of Cave In's career. Playing as occasional bassist for hardcore act Converge as well as Indie pop rockers New Idea Society. These acts were not all though, somehow between recording Cave In's certifiable masterpieces, Stephen Brodsky was able to record two solo albums. The first, "Expose Your Overdubs," was released in 2000, and certainly shocked all those that listened to it. Almost entirely acoustic, this album is heavily influenced by Guided by Voices, as Brodsky sings short melodic pop songs for the college radio crowd. The ten track album is only 25 minutes long, and most of the songs are not given the proper time to reel you in as a listener before moving on to the next strange pop themed track. Soft and quiet, Brodsky showed a side that even his most alternative rock sounding Cave In material hadn't even hinted at. On his second solo effort, "Ole' Sunday," Brodsky shows a stronger pop rock sensibility more akin to the Beatles this time around. This album makes up for what his first solo effort lacked, with stronger hooks and an overall more complete sound. While it can seem very minimalistic in comparison to the thick, dense swirls of Cave In's spaced out progressiveness, there is a great singer songwriter quality to his second solo attempt, and in my opinion released a complete and satisfying record, with every track holding strongly on its own.

Opening with the feel good jangle pop tones of "Get Out," Brodsky sings through a bit of effects to pay tribute to true old fashioned rock and roll that would make Bob Dylan proud. A call to arms lyrically included the advice, "Get out of your band when it starts to suck." Truer things are rarely said on record. The album then continues with the great acoustic "Imagination Diet". Meaningful lyrics run rampant over this album, and this track is a great example. He then continues into a slow Beatles inspired 60s sounding love song, "Gap Girl," about the corporate takeover. Following this is my favorite track of his solo career, "Sunday Free," another great singer/songwriter type acoustic track. Containing an infectious melody that will stick in your head for days on end, this song shows Brodsky really has mastered the pop song craft ability. The album continues with the piano based lullaby sounding track, "Stolen Echoes Won't Return". "Prepare for Landing," comes across as a somewhat more stripped down version of a track that could have been featured on Jupiter with a great subsonic bass tone. "Big Deal," is a short acoustic explosion of a rocker. Great vocal melodies to accompany the rapid fast guitar picking. "Just Married" is another great track and could easily be played at a dance from the 1950s. "Notes to Self" and "Lupine Menagerie" round out the album with a slow beauty followed by a creeping sonic distortion filled drift to the end.

In 2005 when Cave In announced their hiatus, it took less than a year for Brodsky to emerge with his next band, The Octave Museum. Formed from Boston's rock underground, Brodsky handled vocals and guitar, while Thee Electric Bastard's Johnny Coolbreeze played bass, and Scissorfight's Kevin Shurtleff took over on drums. If Brodsky's solo albums seemed destined for pop stardom, listen to The Octave Museum. 100% psychedelic pop rock, this is another gem of an album that is truly a must listen for all fans of rock. Trippy sounds mesh together on the opening "Voice Electric," appropriately named as Brodsky sings through a synthesized voice. It is good to hear him playing with a band again, as they deliver a great constant marching band drum beat to mainline Brodsky's wild blues like soloing. The album then continues with the bouncy pop jangle of "Sentimental Case". With bright lyrics and warped sounding breakdowns, this is one of those pop rock songs you could see in the 60s with the girls all screaming at the concert. Mixing the Beatles, old Weezer styled pop, and Brodsky's trademark naisely voice, they create a surefire hit if wanted. As far as I know they released no singles, and there was tiny, if any, promotion put into the album. Does this speak on the quality of the music? No, it's just Brodsky making his music, without concern of national fame and notoriety. "Kid Defender," is another spacey pop anthem, sounding like a mix of the Beatles and early Pink Floyd effects. Great strange comic book like cartoon imagery in the lyrics with jangly distorted guitars. Brodsky sings his own back-up in his fairly common falsetto for added textures. Lots of great Hendrix meets space rock ramblings all over the album. Imagine Failure with pop hooks and a strong love for simple pop melodies. "Prove Myself" is a nice quirky love song begging for pop greatness. This could be the most syrupy sounding pop song I actually like, but I do love this song, as it combines an extreme LSD soaked sunshine appeal. Included in the mix is a nice tambourine and great rhythm section, that all drops out into Brodsky and his guitar alone in the mix. "Bluebell" follows and is an instrumental piece similar to early 90's Flaming Lips records. "Red Headed Butterflies," is another acoustic track, with amazing lyrics that recall some of the early space rock from David Bowie. The fat electric bass sound kicks in after the first chorus with the subtle groove created by the drums. A great track that like the chorus suggests is, "exploding in sound." The next track, "Kill the Queen," strays from the pop, and focuses more on the psychedelic aspects of the band. With tribal hypnotic drumming, and a rolling wave of distortion that creates an almost drone to push it along, this is another great example of Brodsky's ability to take you lyrically and atmospherically far beyond the usual alternative rock subject matters. "Swinging in the Sky" is just that, swinging. With a rockabilly like acoustic guitar jangle, Brodsky delivers his best acid soaked hoe down. "Spirals in Her Eyes" is a great track, that really delivers a trip that seems wild and uncontrollable. As the title would leave you to believe, the track is a spiraling ride of guitars and heavy snare hits to keep your head spinning. The cymbals are loud and encompassing, creating a storm of sound. "Ploo" ends the album with more Beatles like sensibility mixed with Syd Barret like vocals. Octave Museum toured for about a year and a half with this album, and then as they reported on their myspace page, the museum closed.

I was fairly disappointed by this news, but that only lasted about a week, as Brodsky was quick to announce his next musical venture, Pet Genius. I was able to attend the final Octave Museum show, and the very first ever Pet Genius show within one week of each other at the same venue! Living in Boston for five years certainly had its unique benefit of being able to see solo Brodsky shows, as well as Pet Genius on a monthly basis. Pet Genius were comprised of Brodsky and two former band members, Cave In's J.R. Conners on drums, and Octave Museum's Johnny Coolbreeze playing bass. The sound is similar because of Brodsky's vocals, but the music has changed again. Keep the psychedelic pop overtones, but replace the Beatles pop jangle with over driven grunge guitars and Led Zeppelin riffs. The album is a modern day grunge masterpiece that deserves major attention. Again little to no promotion has taken place, but could do wonders. The heavy grunge feel to the opener, "Doomsday," comes complete with garage like quality lo-fi amplification and fuzz. In complete contrast, "The Visiting Dynamiter" follows as a head trip in falsetto with reversing guitar feeds and an unforgettable melody that will have you singing along. The trip then picks up pace with the static stoner rocker, "The Walls of Etiquette". Hazy chugging mixed with psychedelic folk urges provide a great unique sound. "Man of the Mountain," is my favorite track of theirs with a dynamic bending heavy to soft sound that goes from stoner sludge to garage rocker pop. Using the heavy riff as a chorus between verses creates a great contrast that works the grunge meets psychedelic influences together seamlessly. "Float my Boat" is a track that has grown on me with each listen. Heavily entrenched in the fuzz on this, even Brodsky's vocals come out with the trademark 70s stoner rock fuzz. The next two tracks "Emit Fo Deeps Eht Esare" and "Erase The Speed of Time" serve as one longer track, with the first a reversed, both in name and sound, preview of what's to come. The actual track is a stop-and-go creation with great hypnotic drums and very precision like guitars. The band are not trying to be the next greatest band to take over the world, but rather are having fun with various styles and their attempt to blend it all together. "Cosmic Erosion" has a cool grunge in space feel to it, before "Trash Heap Swing" emerges with its noise and sound that could very well be played on things found in a trash heap. What sounds like a kazoo is the main focus in this short introduction track. It effectively leads the way for the power chord tale of the chromatic scale variations of "Chromatic Blues". The final track, and the first one to clock in at over four minutes, "Scrapyard King," contains more heavily LSD induced imagery filled lyrics, with a simple rock and roll vibe to keep the record wholesome and memorable. Pet Genius have created a real simple, power chord heavy, grunge inspired, fuzzy, psychedelic vibe that they can easily deliver with extreme intensity live. Another great project from Brodsky that hopefully continues to grow, but if not, I'm sure he'll succeed yet again.

Only about a week ago, Stephen Brodsky announced that he will release his third solo album, "The Black Ribbon Award" sometime in 2008. Who knows where he'll go with the sound, but I would be willing to put my money on the fact that it's amazing.

Check out all these bands...here are some easy links to their music...

-Cave In
-Stephen Brodsky (solo)
-The Octave Museum
-Pet Genius

ENJOY

P.S. - I took the photo I'm using myself at an incredible live solo show in which Brodsky asked the audience to call out songs for him to perform. He played songs from each of his albums/bands as well as various covers including Failure's "Magnified".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where the Air is Deathly Still


I was lucky enough to be given the chance to listen to an advance copy of 30 Fathom Grave's debut full length album, Transcendence. They are a great new band with a very complex and unique sound. Mixing aspects of industrial, techno, alternative, and grunge, 30 Fathom Grave have developed a sound all their own. You may recall their name from an earlier entry, as they are appearing on The Nurse Who Loved Me: A Tribute to Failure. They are covering Failure's track, "Wet Gravity," and from the sounds of their album, I am very excited to hear it. Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, 30 Fathom Grave formed back in 2004, and are comprised of just two members, Aaron Moya and David Thompson. Despite their small line-up, their sound is quite the opposite. Moya handles the vocals, bass, and majority of programming, while Thompson is responsible for the guitars, theremin, electronics, and most of the abstract noise. For better or worse, the duo produced their album entirely themselves, allowing them to capture the true essence of the band.

Opening with "Eight Arms United," the band sets the atmosphere for the record straight off. The opening sound of ambient noise lasts for just about 10 seconds before the drums and the rest of the music kicks in. Creating a pounding electronic rock similar to Massive Attack or Aphex Twin, the song then goes into a less demanding rhythm when the vocals kick in. The effects are heavy on the vocals, as the distortion drenched fog rolls back in. This time complete with a programmed sound very reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. There is a somewhat clean sounding guitar that cuts into the thickness adding in a great moving texture. Their Failure influence can also be seen as you hear the production form of overlapping layers upon layers creating a dense and heavy sound. Everything trickles out into the clean guitar line as the song approaches its end. "Godkiller" follows with a very trip hop influenced sounding beat and a bass line that would make the song appear a NIN "With Teeth" b-side. The vocals on this track are heavily distorted and wavy. "Something Innocent," starts off with electronic twitches and a great synth heavy sound. A strong trance like melody with one of the clearer sounding vocal approaches on the album, this song moves at a slow tempo until the time changes with programmed beats and noise firing out from the darkness. The track moves back to a simple quiet calm as it ends, leaving "Red Light/Green Light" to begin in the same atmosphere. This track is another example of their creative interpretation of industrial rock from within the darkest depths of space. One of their strengths comes from the quiet to loud dynamics explored, as well as an interesting distorted to clean dynamic. The intensity rises in the razor sharp ending of this song as the layers begin to thicken back to a wall of electronic rock sound.

Everything drops to silence as "Unspoken" begins, with a bouncing electrical rain sound. Slowly 30 Fathom Grave add in textures including deep snare hits, a slow weaving bass line, and vocals that strike me as almost Beck sounding. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album, as the fire is fueled, the vocals become completely distorted reminiscent of a more mechanical and industrial sounding Nirvana track. The melody comes back after the feedback filled vocals, and is complimented by some great keyboard accompaniment beneath the mix. "Pie Plates Over Hollywood," comes next and serves as a segue into the next track. The segue, similar to Failure's Fantastic Planet, is a great effect to move the album along while continuing upon a complete sound. "Ad Nauseam" opens with a static rumble and tabla sounding drums that remind me of Tool's more psychedelic offerings. As the blips and static infuse together, a roughly distorted piano accompanies the lyrics at there very cleanest. While still covered in chorus, the lyrics are easily understandable, and sound great. Think Beck's voice with the quirks of the Violent Femmes over a loose NIN backdrop. A great song with an excellent guitar driven floating ambiance. The track crackles out and into, "Turnstile Collision". The crackling stops and is replaced by a driving metal guitar line, similar to early heavy Filter songs. Practically undecipherable distortion covers the lyrics as the intensity rises to screaming. Great mixtures of slow high pitched melodies intertwine with the chugging guitar riffs. Lots of great texturing going on with the different overlapping tracks. The ending rhythmic outburst is heavy, leading into the electronic blips and bleeps to finish the song. "I'm the One" follows with an explosion of sound with overdriven vocal effects leading way into wavy voice modulation and right back into the overdrive. Another good highly industrial track that at times brings to mind Filter's collaboration with Crystal Method, "Trip Like I Do" and at others Marilyn Manson type vocal deliverance.

In my opinion, 30 Fathom Grave finish their album at their best, with two of favorite tracks from the effort. "Where the Air is Deathly Still," serves as another heavily spaced out electronic segue into "Scattered Ashes". This is my personal favorite track on the album. It begins with an almost reggae sounding up stroked guitar picking and drifts along with a cloudy smoke filled sound. Soft, gorgeous, sincere, and somewhat spooky sounding vocals are delivered here by Moya. While far more of a beautiful atmospheric quality than the rest of the album, that's not to say this song is without its intensity. Instead of coming from crushing walls of distortion and guitars, this song has a melodic intensity unseen on the rest of this album. At around four minutes into the track, things start to build as the screeching guitars are turned up in the mix. The distortion begins to solidify over the mix like a blindingly thick fog over the lower end of the sound. 30 Fathom Grave have really created something different and unique in today's rock environment. "Ordinary" comes next and is another personal favorite, with a great display of dynamics. In what appears to be live studio drumming and not programmed beats, the song has a dreamy acoustic clean vocal introduction, then leads into a rapid rhythmic distortion over everything on the track, and then fades back to clean again. They never lose a step as they make these changes, and it creates a great warped reality effect to their sound. The tempo of the song speeds up and ends very abruptly leading into the final track, "Incapacitated". With fast, rapid, heavy programmed drums leading the way, the vocals move along in a drone like melodic fuzz. A good chaotic feeling forms as the sound just disappears in space and time, and the album is over.

30 Fathom Grave have created an epic album with sounds that envision what carnage outer space may contain, and the struggle of man vs. machine. Sonically devastating destruction throughout the disc with great distorted vocals, hard thumping rhythms, and soaring melodies leaves the listener with a truly unique experience. This is the journey through space, being sucked through a black hole, and spit back out on the otherside. While not the most easily accessible album ever made, it is worth the effort. I've listened to it three times throughout my day today, and it is grown on me with every listen. The album will be self released on Feb. 29th, and (I believe) available through all digital music outlets such as itunes, emusic, etc. You can check out some of their music at www.myspace.com/30fathomgrave.

Check out and support this great band!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Like The Blank Way...You Fill Up My Mind




Today I read a most interesting interview with Scott Reeder. For those not familiar with the man, he was the bassist of the legendary 90s stoner rock band, Kyuss. He also has played with The Obsessed, Unida, Across the River, and Goatsnake amongst others. He has produced, mixed, or engineered albums for most of these bands as well as others including Orange Goblin. Despite the countless examples of heavy, doom, stoner metal he has been involved with, his solo album is not what you would expect. Comprised of a nearly fuzz free sound, the album was written over almost two decades with material he didn't feel fit the bands he was with. That being said, "Tunnelvision Brilliance," is a beautiful atmospheric album sharing more with Pink Floyd than it does Black Sabbath. Changing in the heavy dense fuzz he is so well known for with acoustic textured psychedelic flavors with wide open spaces for the music to roam. One of my most unexpected favorites, Scott Reeder really does show that he isn't just a great bassist, but a great overall songwriter.

Among other interesting topics in the interview, such as life on his ranch, the chances of a Kyuss reunion, and plans for a new solo album, Iann Robinson asked Reeder who in the music world would he most like to play with. The answer, excites me just thinking about it, whether it ever happens or not. And I quote, "Hmmmm... Danny Carey? He played stuff on Day Of Neverending on my solo record - he's obviously an amazing musician, but he's an awesome guy, too - his enthusiasm is always infectious." Within the three guitarists he mentioned, came Soundgarden's Kim Thayil. Noted as one of the first guitarists to combine the heavy approach of Sabbath with the punk style of Ramones, Thayil was a grunge revolutionary. The idea of Scott Reeder, Kim Thayil, and as far as I'm concerned, the greatest drummer of the past 25 years, Danny Carey forming a band together sounds unbelievable. Since in all odds it will never happen, just a thought for everyone to dream about. More on Scott Reeder and the entire Kyuss family of musicians to come...

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Doing things a little differently tonight, instead of writing a long article about a band or album, I wanted to take a little more time to talk about the selections of one of my mixes, so...
Today's mix selection - Good Rock Music Vol. 5 (compiled in July 2006)...some selected notes:

- Nebula is a great "stoner" rock band. With huge fuzz all over the guitars and bass, they perhaps do the best simultaneous blend of Black Sabbath styled stoner rock and space rock.
-"Turn it Again," has become my undoubtebly favorite track on RHCP's latest album. While it has not received much attention amongst critics, this is an incredible track. The manic eye-opening guitar playing during the hooks, bridge, and outro of the song proves John Frusciante still has it just as much as he ever has. I think one of the reasons for the under-appeciation of this song is due to its placement on the album. Considering "Stadium Arcadium" is a double disc, and you're listening from the beginning of disc 1, "Turn it Again," would be track 27. Not only is that a whole lot of music for one album, it also serves as the longest track on it. Give it a shot though, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
-Soundgarden's "Let Me Drown," is possibly the best non-single track off of Superunknown, but then again, they're all pretty damn good.
-Adrian Belew is the lead singer/guitarist of Prog rock legends, King Crimson, and on his solo album, "Side One," he teamed up with what I consider to be the greatest rhythmic pairing so far...Danny Carey (of TOOL) and Les Claypool. Danny Carey is my favorite drummer of all time, and probably my favorite musician. His drumming on this track should explain pretty well why. Oh, and it certainly doesn't hurt to pair him with one of the best bassists and guitarists either.
-Earthtone9 were a very hard to categorize, yet very cool English band that played from '98 to '02. While four years is not a lot of time for a band to change and develop, Earthtone9 continuously did just that. In a very similar move to Cave In, Earthtone9 went from being a technical intelligent metal band with gut wrenching menacing screamed vocals and thrash like influences, all the way to a progressive melodic space rock band. Mix in war-like intensity blended with newborn baby delicateness, and you get an idea of how diverse this band was. "Amnesia," is taken from their final, not so heavy EP, "Omega." A true must hear band for all those that missed them.
-Failure's "Blank," is another one of my favorite tracks on their masterpiece of an album. The song highlights Andrews' production style of blending and building layer upon layer upon layer. "Blank" starts off with a drifting wave of guitar effects and Ken Andrews great voice. When the first chorus hits, add in the bass and drums. Second verse begins, add in the great texture of bongos. After the next chorus add in more cymbals and several more tracks of guitar, then right before the bridge, take those all back out again. As the final chorus hits, add everything right back in as the sonic mayhem fills the tracks with multi-layered walls of sound, till all fades out into the drums. Not to mention the great imagery portrayed in the lyrics.
-Scott Reeder's "Fuck You All," sounds from the title like it might be an angry song, but it really is quite beautiful sounding. Pink Floyd like echo effects running over the entire mix, Reeder really shows his talent for songwriting, regardless how bitter it may come across.
-Wintersleep's "Fog," has to be my favorite song coming in under two minutes in length. The beautiful vocals accompanied by exceptionally positive lyrics are something to admire. Wintersleep are a band that could be getting a lot of exposure. They often remind me of Dredg, both musically as well as artistically. Wintersleep also create some of the best music videos of recent times, its just too bad that they don't get played anywhere. Check them out on their website, wwww.wintersleep.com.
-Hermano's "Murder One," has an awesome wild west outlaw feel to it. With the strumming acoustic guitar, the slow blues of the electric, and the hand claps, this track brings to mind the vision of two outlaws facing off in the middle of some wild west camp, as the wind and smoke blow by. But hey, maybe I liked HBO's Deadwood a little too much.
-Last thing I want to make note of...NIN "Right Where It Belongs." This track is one of those that must be at the end of an album, because nothing can follow it. Some of the most sincere and powerful lyrics Trent Reznor has ever sung, this track is stunning in its depressing self loathing beauty. A little analogy it always makes me think of...As "Hurt" is to "The Downward Spiral,"..."Right Where It Belongs," is to "With Teeth." I see the arrival of the newest SAT question pending.

GOOD ROCK MUSIC VOL. 5

1. Nebula - Beyond (Charged)
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Turn it Again (Stadium Arcadium)
3. Soundgarden - Let Me Drown (Superunknown)
4. Porcupine Tree - Dislocated Day (Live) (Coma Divine)
5. Melvins - Lizzy (Houdini)
6. Adrian Belew - Ampersand (Side One)
7. Earthtone9 - Amnesia (Omega)
8. Failure - Blank (Fantastic Planet)
9. Scott Reeder - Fuck You All (Tunnelvision Brilliance)
10. Brant Bjork & The Bros - Moda (Saved by Magic)
11. Wintersleep - Fog (Untitled)
12. Deftones - Wax & Wayne (B-Sides & Rarities)
13. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Storm in a Teacup (Stadium Arcadium)
14. Eagles of Death Metal - Kiss the Devil (Peace, Love, & Death Metal)
15. Hellacopters - Everything's on TV (Rock & Roll is Dead)
16. Hermano - Murder One (Dare I Say)
17. Nebula - Back to the Dawn (Dos EPs)
18. Nine Inch Nails - Right Where It Belongs (With Teeth)

Download HERE: Good Rock Music Vol. 5

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This Is Not The Same World You Lived In


CONTINUED FROM "I COME FROM THE WATER" POST YESTERDAY...

Six years passed before "Hell Below/Stars Above," the sophomore set from the Toadies was released in 2001. While a wait like that can crush any hopes a band has for mainstream success, the Toadies weren't concerned. They came back strong with a slightly more polished and certainly more mature sounding record than their debut. The climate of the industry had drastically changed in the time during which the Toadies were on hiatus, and their sound was no longer the material of modern rock radio stations. In a time when Korn and Limp Bizkit were ruling the charts, the Toadies were a breathe of fresh air from the nu-metal scene, and "Hell Below/Stars Above," showcased the Toadies back at doing what they do best. The album which is criminally underrated fell far below the publics attention, as it was not even reviewed by Rolling Stone, Spin, or Alternative Press.

Rather than adapt to their current musical surroundings, the Toadies created another unrelenting grunge alternative masterpiece. Not missing a step since "Rubberneck," the album opens with "Plane Crash." As one can gather from the title, the song starts the album off with the intensity to fuel the entire album. The song delivers Rock n Roll at its purest with this energetic bolt of stadium rocking riffs and lyrics. Hot on its heels comes "Push the Hand," another full throttle rocker, that almost achieves a hoe-down southern feel to its grunge. Showing some Led Zeppelin influence this time around, Todd Lewis delivers a great vocal performance on the next track, "Little Sin." While critics often have had problems with the Toadies use of hooks in their songs, "Little Sin," offers a memorable hook with plenty of distorted guitars building all around it. The rhythm section takes control during "Motivational," which served as the first single from the album. I'm not sure it received much to any promotion as I don't ever remember hearing it other than on the album. The song is a very raw pummeling track reminiscent of their debut album. Continuing with the hard hitting shorter songs, "Heel" follows closely behind with much of the same intensity. The build up during this song takes off and holds no prisoners. True aggression combined with a wall of feedback and guitar distortion, brings out the Toadies reckless dark sound, only slightly more calculated and polished this time around. You can't help but feel a sinister dark tone to the song, but it is actually written about training a dog.

"You'll Come Down," is a great track really showcasing the new maturity displayed on this album. A more mellow, creeping song reminiscent of "Away," with wide open guitars, heavy rhythms, and incredible vocal melodies to match. Lewis' vocals, both lyrically and in deliverance are as strong as every, with the culmination of beauty and testosterone filled anger. He shows off this vocal strength on the slow, spaced-out "Pressed Against the Sky." While I am always a sucker for a great build-and-release song, this is a prime example of that technique at its finest. The songs begins with a simple chorus soaked guitar line, dreamscape lyrics, and the lounge mood of the bass and drums. Harmonics are added after the first verse as the intensity very slightly increases, but is still very well rooted in the dreamy atmosphere. Lewis does his great high pitched singing, something of a tribute to one of his favorite singers, Chris Cornell. The song then takes off as it has reached its release. An overall amazing song, filled with great spacey images. The album then shifts right back to the waving darkness the Toadies are known for on "What We Have We Steal." Proving the critics wrong again, the hook of this track is just as catchy and radio friendly as anything the Foo Fighters have released. Todd Lewis' voice is one of the most powerful of the 90s and should be given the credit he deserves as a singer and songwriter.

"Jigsaw Girl," is a fantastic surreal tale, almost a dark themed ballad. With lyrics describing piecing back together the parts of a girl to bring her back into the world, Lewis creates a disturbing, yet magical story of hope. There is a definite strong degree of beauty within the darkness yet again. Screeching guitars and air tight rhythms compliment the swirling sounds of this stand-out track. "Sweetness," is another hard rocking southern tinged track with the usual Toadies swagger to it. With a strong pulsating chorus leading into the deep depths of the bridge and bouncing of the bass line, the song comes back alive like a thousand zombies rising from the ground. The last two tracks of the album are arguably the most interesting ones. The title track, "Hell Below/Stars Above," is a lightning fast punk themed love song with a strange pyschedelic feel to it. And then, without much warning it makes perhaps the greatest shift I've ever heard a song make from the hard charging punk sound to syrupy pop sounding melodies. As original as can be, the sonic change is incredible and leaves you wanting more. The album reaches its finish with, "Doll Skin," a track that reminds me of a mix between their own "Tyler," and something from the "Where is my Mind" era Pixies. A beautifully paranoid tale with hypnotic pounds of the bass and drums, and the glorious hum of distortion fueled harmonies. Lewis proves his gift of songwriting once more with his lyrics. "In the middle of a house, in the middle of nowhere, bodies glide from room to room. I hate these walls, they speak to me," creates the sound and image of a creepy desolate atmosphere for the rest of the song to sprawl through. I highly recommend this song to anyone and everyone.

With that all said and done, the Toadies broke up shortly afterwards. They issued a best-of/live album called "Best of Toadies: Live from Paradise." Recorded at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, they performed a set of their fan favorites, including the great b-side, Paper Dress, and a cover of the Pixies' "Where is My Mind." The album contained no overdubs, giving the fans a sincere example of what it was like to see the Toadies live and in person.

In 2005 they reunited to play a St. Patrick's Day show in Dallas. The next year they played it again, as well as other shows around Texas. In 2007, they played more shows, released an Instant Live Disc from that years' St. Patrick's Day show, and went on a small tour to close out the year. Announcing "they're back," the Toadies never made it clear whether it was for the small tour of Texas and its neighbors, or back to kick more ass as a band again. I am still not sure of their plans, but you better believe I am hoping for the later. I need the Toadies in my life, and it just isn't right to continue depriving myself of new or live Toadies experiences! I believe the full reunion is on its way, so please please please come back to us!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Come From the Water


There is no band I want to see live more than the Toadies. Are they currently together working on new music? I can't quite figure it out. Maybe...maybe not. For the rock world's sake, let's hope so. Playing shows about every six months or so exclusively throughout Texas and seldom neighboring states, the Toadies are blowing my mind with the idea that a full blown reunion and new album are very possible. The anticipation eats me up inside as I am left to consider the possibilities of greatness they can still achieve.

Fort Worth, Texas' local heroes, the Toadies, having formed in 1990, first rushed the grunge rock scene in 1995. During the peak of the early 90's rock wave, bands were being signed to major labels left and right, hoping to find that next Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or Soundgarden. Interscope Records wisely chose the Toadies, and released their debut album, "Rubberneck," that same year. Their sound mixed a blend of warped Pixies styled guitars with the ferocious angst and punch of Nirvana themed grunge. Toadies music pummeled the listener with crushing riffs played at speeds varying from the tornado fast winds of the openers "Mexican Hairless" and "Mister Love" to the slow atmospheric strums of "I Burn." Radio would find a classic on the album, "Possum Kingdom" that is still played regularly today. The track enjoyed tremendous success, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who grew up within the genre that doesn't know it. You might not know the title, but as soon as you hear the opening guitar riff, you know exactly what song it is. With a piercing guitar line over top the grinding riff, this song demonstrates the Pixies meets Nirvana meets Texas Alternative rock sound the Toadies would create. What could be considered a signature of the band is its crushing rhythms mixed with chugging guitars and a squealing guitar harmony to contrast. The Toadies sound is unapologetic and extremely unpolished, and in that is where the appeal comes from. "Backslider" and "Quitter," are great examples of this unpolished pure rock n roll fury. Lurking just below the depths of mainstream, the Toadies crafted an amazing album that burns with a dark and angry mood, yet delivers an uplifting effect.

Singer Todd Lewis to me exhibits the greatest set of vocals since Maynard James Keenan, Chris Cornell, and Scott Weiland led the way. As unique as the other three mentioned, Lewis' voice, raw and angry, twists an incredible feeling of bleakness and hope at the same time. Just look at their second single from the album, "Tyler." The song is written about a true-life abduction of a woman in the city of Tyler, Texas, by a desperate man who had been stalking her. With the horrible subject matter being covered by the band, the song has always struck me as having a very positive and hopeful feel to it. While Lewis tells the story from the view point of the abductor, the song maintains a definite beauty in spite of the subjects ugliness. It is ability like this that sets apart Lewis' vocal prowess from the pack. Containing a siren like guitar line, and a thumping rhythm section to accompany the lyrics, this is one of those songs that you immediately want to start over once it has ended. Easily one of my favorite tracks of all time, it's not the only one on this album. "Away," is another personal favorite of mine right from the opening whammy bar infused intro. Bassist Lisa Umbarger keeps the soaring guitar in place with an infectious bass line that rolls and bounces throughout the entire track. The vocal melodies are complimented by the entire bands playing, and still remains to capture the spirit and soul of the time perfectly. "Away" proves another example of their ability to create a dark, wandering song and fill it with beauty and promise. The next track, "I Come From the Water," is yet another certifiable classic. A fast paced thumping song, complete with head banging styled riffs and drops, this song serves as a great 90's alternative rock sing-a-long.

"Happy Face" and "Velvet" are two more ferocious and adrenaline pumped rockers. Intensity is never in question on this album, and the Toadies never disappoint. Closing the album with "I Burn," the track delivers incredible imagery associated with the lyrics of fire, as it burns with a cleanliness to it, renewing and reforming in the air. Just as the passion of the flames soar, so does the band. Rubberneck is a dark, crushing, grimy album, and I would have it no another way. The Toadies show and prove their strengths with one of the best debut albums from any band of the era. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS ALBUM, YOU SHOULD BUY IT! NOT SURE IF YOU LIKE IT OR NOT...DOWNLOAD A FEW SONGS, THEN BUY IT! Maybe it will motivate them to get back together, as it seems to be right around the corner. Or maybe they will keep me forever waiting, but atleast you will have a great album.

They toured in support of the record with Bush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spacehog, and Butthole Surfers, gaining a large and extremely loyal fan base. Rubberneck went platinum due highly to the success of "Possum Kingdom," but then they all but disappeared from the public's eye until 2001...when they would prove themselves all over again...

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Float My Boat


An extremely important aspect of enjoying rock music, especially of the alternative variety, is live concerts. So while I am certainly not getting all of them, here are some great tours worth taking note of happening in the U.S....Before I get to the currently announced dates though, I want to mention the best news in touring so far in 2008, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS summer reunion tour!! Scott Weiland just went into rehab, so let's hope everything works out well and the tour comes nationwide. Other bands doing small tours worth checking out include The Sword, Witch, Graveyard, Saul Williams, Dredg (west coast only), Candlebox (west coast only, but with more to come), Black Mountain, and Dead Meadow. I have seen most of these bands before, and they all put on amazing live shows. Here are the bands/artists that have already announced nationwide tours between now and the summer:

LES CLAYPOOL

February 29th Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
March 01st Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
March 03rd Nashville, TN - City Hall
March 04th Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
March 06th Everglades Nat. Park, FL - Langerado Music Festival
March 08th New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
March 10th Kansas City, MO - Voodoo Lounge @ Harrah's
March 11th Ft. Collins, CO - Aggie Theatre
March 12th Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
March 14th Seattle, WA - The Showbox SoDo
March 15th Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
March 16th Boise, ID - Big Easy Concert House
March 18th Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
March 20th Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
March 21st Milwaukee, WI - The Eagles Club
March 22nd Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
March 25th Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
March 27th Dallas, TX - House of Blues
March 28th Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
March 29th Austin, TX - Stubb's BBQ
April 01st Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
April 02nd San Diego, CA - House of Blues
April 04th Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theatre
April 05th San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre

THE MARS VOLTA (with more dates to come soon)

April 01st Orlando, FL - House of Blues
April 04th Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
April 05th Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
April 17th St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
April 18th Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
April 20th Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
April 21st St. Paul, MN - Roy Wilkins Auditorium

THE GUTTER TWINS (Mark Lanegan & Greg Dulli)

March 2008
1 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's 365 Club
3 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
4 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
7 - Chicago, IL - Metro
8 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
9 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
11 - Newport, KY - Southgate House
12 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
14 - Toronto, Ontario - Mod Club
15 - Montreal, Quebec - Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire
19 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
20 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
21 - Atlanta, GA - Roxy Theatre
22 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
26 - Austin, TX - Antone's
29 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre

FU MANCHU & BURNING BRIDES

Feb 27 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's (Noise Pop)
Feb. 29 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
Mar. 01 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Mar. 02 - Spokane, WA @ The Boulevard
Mar. 04 - Boise, ID @ The Bouquet
Mar. 06 - Aspen, CO @ The Belly Up
Mar. 07 - Fort Collins, CO @ The Aggie Theatre
Mar. 08 - Denver, CO @ The Larimer Lounge
Mar. 11 - Milwaukee, WI @ Vnuk's
Mar. 12 - Chicago, IL @ Double Door
Mar. 13 - Detroit, MI @ The Magic Stick
Mar. 14 - Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's
Mar. 15 - Columbus, OH @ Ravari Room
Mar. 17 - Pittsburgh, PA @ The Smiling Moose
Mar. 18 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Mar. 20 - Boston, MA @ Middle East Club
Mar. 22 - Wilmington, NC @ The Soapbox Laundrolounge
Mar. 23 - Raleigh, NC @ Volume 11
Mar. 24 - Charlotte, NC @ 314 N College St Camel Cigarettes Free Show
Mar. 25 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Mar. 27 - Houston, TX @ The Meridian
Mar. 28 - Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues -- Cambridge Room
Mar. 29 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk
Apr. 01 - Albuquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
Apr. 02 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Sets
Apr. 04 - Albuquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
Apr. 05 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour

EELS

March
28 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
29 Washington, DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
31 Boston, MA - Somerville Theatre
April
01 New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
02 New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
04 Toronto, ONT - The Mod
05 Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
06 Chicago, IL - Park West
07 Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre
09 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
11 Seattle, WA - Showbox Theatre
13 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
14 San Francisco, CA - Palace Of Fine Arts
16 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater

and last but certainly not least...

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS SUMMER TOUR

05/30/08 Fri Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, MI
05/31/08 Sat The Palace Auburn Hills, MI
06/03/08 Tue Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON
06/05/08 Thu Wachovia Center Philadelphia, PA
06/08/08 Sun Nissan Pavilion Bristow, VA
06/10/08 Tue Post Gazette Pavilion Burgettstown, PA
06/11/08 Wed New England Dodge Music Center Hartford, CT
06/13/08 Fri TD BankNorth Garden Boston, MA
06/17/08 Tue Madison Square Garden New York, NY
06/18/08 Wed Prudential Center Newark, NJ
06/21/08 Sat Darien Lake Performing Arts Center Darien Center, NY
06/22/08 Sun Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
06/25/08 Wed Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, CA
07/02/08 Wed United Center Chicago, IL
07/03/08 Thu Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN
07/08/08 Tue Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
07/09/08 Wed Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park Alpharetta, GA
07/11/08 Fri Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Charlotte, NC
07/12/08 Sat Walnut Creek Amphitheatre (formerly Alltel Pavilion) Raleigh, NC
07/15/08 Tue Bank Atlantic Center Sunrise, FL
07/16/08 Wed St. Pete Times Forum - Ice Palace Tampa, FL
07/20/08 Sun Qwest Center Omaha, NE
07/22/08 Tue Sprint Center Kansas City, MO
07/23/08 Wed Target Center Minneapolis, MN
08/07/08 Thu Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Maryland Heights, MO
08/09/08 Sat MTS Centre Winnipeg, MB
08/11/08 Mon Pengrowth Saddledome Calgary, AB
08/12/08 Tue Rexall Place Edmonton, AB
08/15/08 Fri The Gorge George, WA
08/16/08 Sat The Gorge George, WA
08/20/08 Wed Jobing.com Arena Glendale, AZ
08/22/08 Fri Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (Irvine Meadows) Irvine, CA
08/26/08 Tue Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Selma, TX
08/27/08 Wed American Airlines Center Dallas, TX
08/29/08 Fri Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion The Woodlands, TX

Everyone loves going to concerts, so make sure to attend some of these excellent choices. These are all can't miss acts that will guarantee a great time and experience. If you want to come to any of them in New York with me, let me know!

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Writing this blog has given me the opportunity to look at my mixes in a more thorough light. I have been listening to albums more constructively, as well as noticing songs I just can't explain why I hadn't already used on a previous volume. But with that in mind, I have made my second new mix in less than a week. I don't usually like to make mixes that close together, since I haven't even had the proper time to enjoy Vol. 15, but I feel confident that the selections on Good Rock Music Vol. 16 are not rushed choices. So today's mix, was actually made today...

Featuring many great artists, including several that are new to my mixes, and some trusty old favorites. After writing the articles on Filter and The Twilight Singers, I had to include the stand-out tracks that I wrote about, as I have been listening to them on a heavy rotation. With the article I wrote on the Failure tribute album, it dawned on me to use Orion's cover I had mentioned, as well as a Cave In cover that they withdrew from the album. It also made me realize how much I like Failure's track "Daylight."

I realized the other day that while Dredg are one of my all time favorite bands, I haven't used a single song of theirs on any of my Good Rock Music series mixes. This is due in part to the fact that I don't like breaking apart their albums, as they serve to complete one large picture, and sound better in context, but I caved. "Symbol Song," is one of my favorite tracks since I first heard it as a freshman in high school. I have used this song on countless mixes since then, but it never gets old to me. Complex, shifting drums, an almost tropical sounding guitar line, the impending doom of the bass sound, and the beauty in singer Gavin Hayes voice and lyrics make this song an all time classic for myself. I added the NIN contribution to the mix after listening to "With Teeth" for an upcoming blog on the album. This song stuck out to me for the first time, putting it in high standing company as one of the better tracks on the album. I had to include something from Stone Temple Pilots since hearing the amazing news of the reunion tour. Did I mention I was excited for that?? Hum's "Stars" was a must to include since I hear it every time I'm watching TV now that it's used in all the Cadillac commercials. Do I think they've sold out? Not in the least, considering they don't even exist anymore, good for them to get some great exposure. Now if people only knew it was them...

Christian Langdon is a great songwriter located in Brooklyn, NY. Related to the Spacehog family, and a member of the now defunct Arckid, Christian regularly updates his myspace page, which I've linked here, with great new songs. "The Subway Sessions" are awesome, and I'm waiting for the day that I see him on the trains. Please check him out and support his music, as he crafts great acoustic alternative pop songs. Last thing I want to mention is the Burning Brides. Brought to my attention by Maynard of TOOL and their upcoming tour with Fu Manchu, I want to highly recommend their new album, "Hang Love." While the cover album art looks like something straight out of the "screamo" sub-genre, don't get it misconstrued. The Burning Brides rock with the intensity of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Black Sabbath all rolled into one great band. I had a lot of trouble picking which song to put on this mix, as they are all real good. I can't wait to see them live with Fu Manchu!

Good Rock Music Vol. 16

and the tracklisting is...

1. Filter - Skinny (Title of Record)
2. The Twilight Singers - The Killer (Blackberry Belle)
3. Cave In - Magnified (Failure cover) (Creative Eclipses)
4. Failure - Daylight (Fantastic Planet)
5. Pet Genius - Float My Boat (S/T)
6. Dredg - Symbol Song (Leitmotif)
7. Cracker - Euro-Trash Girl (Kerosene Hat)
8. Tripping Daisy - Piranhas (I Am An Elastic Firecracker)
9. Nine Inch Nails - Love is Not Enough (With Teeth)
10. Stone Temple Pilots - Unglued (Purple)
11. Hum - Stars (You'd Prefer an Astronaut)
12. Christian Langdon - Fallen For Love (unreleased)
13. Orion - Another Space Song (The Nurse Who Loved Me: A Tribute to Failure)
14. The Octave Museum - Kill the Queen (S/T)
15. Lions - No Generation (No Generation)
16. Burning Brides - And I'm Free (Hang Love)
17. The Gutter Twins - Idle Hands (Saturnalia)
18. Beck - Lazy Flies (Mutations)
19. Local H - No Problem (As Good As Dead)

DOWNLOAD HERE: Good Rock Music Vol. 16
**password - rishloo

ENJOY AND SUPPORT THE ARTISTS/BANDS!!

The Candyman Can


Spacehog was a band ahead of its time. Their debut album, Resident Alien, was released on Elektra records back in '95. The album fit in nicely with the solid alternative scene around them, while sounding absolutely nothing like their peers. Most grunge/alternative music is derivative of some earlier form of rock usually stemming from bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, or the Beatles. Spacehog however would create alternative rock with a great sense of British glam-rock thrown into the mix. Spacehog were heavily influenced by David Bowie (as is fairly obvious,) Queen, and the lesser known T. Rex. If you're looking for a good time 90's rock band, Spacehog are it. While all the members of the band (Royston Langdon, Antony Langdon, Jonny Cragg, & Richard Steel) are from Leeds, England, it wasn't until they were all living in New York City that they met and formed the band. The mix of British glam-rock and NYC swagger, piled on top of expansive distorted guitars helped give Spacehog a truly unique sound in the alternative world of the early 90's. Radio and MTV took notice of the band, making their debut single, "In the Meantime," a staple at both. The song still maintains a spot in rotation on almost all modern rock radio stations, and it seemed like Spacehog were destined for greatness. For whatever reason, the rest of the album, just as good as the original single didn't garner the same degree of attention however. I'd like to take the time to honor the entire album as it deserves.

Opening with "In the Meantime," from the very first note of the song Spacehog has already shown the promise in their style. Mixing grunge sounding guitars and drums, with glam-rock meets space-rock harmonies and melodies, and soulful grooving bass lines, Spacehog effectively paint their "view from another planet" picture right away. With the infectious bass line and certain charm to the lyrics, the first track was a hit in every sense of the word. Rightfully so, I believe the song would do just as good if it were released today, in 2008, if not better. Switching tempos, the next track, titled "Spacehog," tells the journey of their namesake, a distorted punk tinged anthem, filled with plenty of outer space effects and imagery. "Starside" follows, bringing the mood back to a fantastic dream voyage through the stars and space. The vocals by Royston Langdon can be heavily compared to early day David Bowie on this track. The song floats graciously to the bridge, complete with hand claps and a sharp guitar lick. Next up we have "Candyman," a haunting tale of a city drug dealer, and the money trail that follows. Spacehog have always had a flair for tongue-and-cheek lyricism, as can be seen on this track, amongst most others.

The band quickly change the mood to the glam-thrash punk of "Space is the Place." The song contains another set of dry humor filled lyrics including, "And when you kiss your other lover, well I will try to understand, just because you're f*cking him, it doesn't mean you don't love me." Even at much faster rhythms, Spacehog continue to show they can combine the feel of glam, punk, space, and grunge rock into one song, creating a sound all their own. Never staying on one style for more than a song or so, "Never Coming Down Part I," is another Bowie-esque track, with a Beatles pop sensibility added for good measure. While clocking in at under two minutes, the track effectively demonstrates the Langdon brother's penchant for crafting a great pop song. Their swagger is kicked back up into full effect on "Cruel to be Kind," the next track. With all the glam fueled 90's alternative strength shown on this song, it achieved mild success even with little airplay or support from the label. Royston's bass grooves in and out of each track creating a great texture with the common vibrato of his voice. The album hits its most mellow point with, "Ship Wrecked," a slow creeping ballad filled with the wit-filled lyricism so often shown on this album. Sung in a vibrating falsetto pitch for much of the song, the lonely sounding vocal approach brings to mind "November Rain" era Axl Rose at times. The song launches with a minute left into a great fog of feedback, before continuing to, "Only a Few," a pop themed track reminiscent of Prince.

"The Last Dictator," follows with a more down south rock n' roll style similar to The Heartbreakers fronted by David Bowie instead of Tom Petty. Spacehog never comprise their craft of catchy and memorable pop song structures. "Never Coming Down Part 2," is a party inspiring rock track, attributed mainly to its chorus, and group chants, as well as time shifts sounding like something taken directly from a Queen album. Nearing the end of the album, "Zeroes," remains just as a strong a song as any other. One of my personal favorites of theirs, the song begins with the marching snare rhythm, slow interweaving guitar and keyboards, space-aged computerized voice, and Langdon's powerful vocals. The build up to the chorus is excellent with a gratifying blast-off each time it hits. The dynamics of this track create the feeling of a peaceful winding cruise throughout the galaxies, without a care in the world. To close the album, "To Be a Millionaire...Was It Likely," is a great sing-a-long styled acoustic tale of a boy named Terry, and his choices for money over happiness. When all is said and done, the album leaves you in a great emotional place with the desire to start the CD over again from the top. Resident Alien is a great album that I honestly believe would create a huge buzz if released today. As it has been out for over 10 years now, all I can ask is that you go back and check out what I consider to be one of the most unique albums released in the from the alternative music nation of the 90's.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another Space Song


Failure are one of the greatest bands I have ever had the privilege of hearing. Relatively unknown to the mainstream, yet their influence has been huge. Ken Andrews, singer, guitarist, one half of the writing team, has gone on to create several incredible projects since Failure, but none can really compare. His wall of sound production style and sonic intensity are unmatched. His attention to detail amongst layers and layers of music is impeccable. Standing on the forefront of "space" rock in the early to mid 90's, Failure never really created a commercial buzz for themselves, despite their unanimous positive reviews. Andrews, along with Greg Edwards and Kelli Scott, have always been wildly respected by their devoted fan base, as well as their industry peers. Tool's Adam Jones and Maynard James Keenan have always been huge fans and friends of the band, with Keenan even covering Failure's "The Nurse Who Loved Me," with A Perfect Circle. The two Tool members also took part in the Edwards' and Andrews' cover album under the moniker of "The Replicants." With all this acclaim, and the band no longer in existence, it's about time someone paid them tribute.

B.L. Barakus has taken the honorable job of putting together a tribute album for one of the true unsung hereos of the 90's alternative scene, Failure. The tribute album, titled "The Nurse Who Loved Me: A Tribute to Failure," will be released hopefully in May or June of 2008. All the bands performing on the album are genuine die hard Failure fans, who's musical abilities and sound reflect their influence. All the money made from this album will be donated to the "Save the Music Foundation," a truly great cause. The bands making up the album's contributors are all independent bands from around the country. As anyone who loves Failure's music knows, a band that is influenced and inspired enough by them to contribute to their tribute album, is a band worth checking out.

The bands involved in the project so far include: The Revolution Smile, Orion, Stemage, 30 Fathom Grave, Exeter, Evangalos, B.L. Barakus, Solare, Ambulance Shotgun, Planet ID, Catch the Sun, [Damn] This Desert Air and others.

So you are now probably saying, "I've never heard of any of those bands." Well, before this tribute album was announced, I only new one of them. I now consider myself to be a fan of many of these bands, and thank Barakus for the introduction. Please visit the official myspace page for the album at: http://www.myspace.com/failuretribute. Great music for a great cause. On the page there are links in the top friends to most of the bands contributing, as well as samplers of the music. I don't have the expectations of these bands to create versions better than the originals, because let's face it, these bands aren't Failure. With that, if you haven't listened to Failure's three albums, do that first. A proper blog on Failure themselves is coming in the next few days or so. I need a sufficient amount of time to write that one. But when you've listened to their albums so many times you know every word and every note played, that's when this tribute album delivers as a much needed gift from the new-class of Failure inspired greatness. I know I can't wait for it's release, and I will keep you updated with all news related.

Can't wait that long for a taste of the album? Here is an mp3 of Orion's cover of "Another Space Song."

**password - rishloo

ENJOY & PLEASE SUPPORT THIS EXCELLENT ALBUM AND CAUSE

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The World Owes Dave Navarro An Apology


I would like to take it upon myself to personally thank Dave Navarro. I'm not thanking him for Jane's Addiction, his solo album, or Panic Channel (even though I do enjoy all of them.) I want to thank him for helping contribute to what in my opinion is the MOST UNDER-RATED ALBUM OF ALL TIME. Red Hot Chili Peppers' 1995 album One Hot Minute has been given nothing but poor reviews and harsh criticism. Despite all the hatred and negativity, I think One Hot Minute is one the Chili Pepper's strongest releases, standing side by side with their greatest work. The album came as the follow up the break through release, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which was released in 1991 with John Frusciante on guitar and Rick Rubin producing. Blood Sugar is with out a doubt one of the greatest rock albums of our generation. The virtuosity of Flea, Chad Smith, and Frusciante combined to create some of the tightest grooves heard in rock's history. Add in Anthony Kiedis' lyrical delivery of some of his most sincere emotional relationships, whether they be about women or drugs (Breaking the Girl, I Could Have Lied, Under the Bridge). To top it off, add Rick Rubin's production qualities, giving the Chili Peppers a more refined sound to their alternative funk, and you have the best album I believe this band will ever record.

To follow up such a record is no small matter, and certainly not an easy task. To make matters slightly tougher, John Frusciante left the group after the Blood Sugar tour due to problems with drug use. While those are big shoes to fill, RHCP found a viable replacement in Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction. An already proven guitar genius, Navarro would write with the entire band to create their next album. The band recorded more pre-written pieces of music, as opposed to the jamming style of writing they were used to. While the difference can certainly be heard in the songs, this is not a bad thing. When the album was released, again produced by Rick Rubin, three singles were issued. Warped, Aeroplane, and My Friends. All three singles were met with great amounts of radio requests and quickly became fan favorites. With that said, why do people still talk so poorly about this album?

Many have gone to say that Navarro's guitar playing is far too metal, and the album does not contain enough of the funk the Peppers' have made their signature sound. To this I ask if they have listened to the entire album. "Falling Into Grace," is perhaps the funkiest cut the Chili Peppers have yet to release. With the bouncing bass line that could have just as easily come off the Superfly soundtrack in the '70s and the heavy wah pedal funk of Navarro's guitar, this track remains one of my favorites they have recorded, as well as one of the funkiest. "Warped" contains an other worldly feel as it begins with Kiedis' voice sounding like he's floating through space and time, right into the heavy funk of the band to continue the space-esque quality to their groove. The song ends with a calm after the storm, displaying the first of many extreme time changes that take place on this album. Then comes the much loved "Aeroplane." No one seemed to have a problem with Dave Navarro being in the band on this song..."Deep Kick" is next to follow on the album, beginning with a story of Kiedis and Flea's teenage years and travels, creating a very personal feel for the song to follow. Once the track gets going, Navarro contributes some Jane's Addiction styled playing on this one, but does not stray far from the hypnotic groove the Chili Peppers excel so greatly at. "My Friends" comes next, and serves as one of the albums slower, ballad songs. Written off by many critics as RHCP attempt at recreating "Under the Bridge," I think that's an insult to this song. "My Friends," stands strongly as its own song, with strong sincere lyrics, and great musicianship. The guitar line during the bridge and ending of the song will forever remain as one of my favorite miniature solos. I will always remember and cherish the video shot in that yellow/brownish color lens. The whole band sitting in the little wooden boat with Flea and Navarro rocking during their respective solo sections. They just don't make videos like that anymore.

Continuing with the album, "Coffee Shop," while heavier than the typical RHCP song, is heavy in a funky manner. With Flea's bass solo about half way into the song, this track proves yet another groove strong enough to make George Clinton or James Brown proud. Next we have "Pea," and I don't think I need to say anything that the song doesn't say for itself. Maybe one day Flea will release a solo effort. "One Big Mob," continues the album bringing the classic tribal anthemic sound the Chili's introduced in their earlier years. The funk leads way to pyschedelic wanderings through the middle of the track, only to explode right back into the funk, creating a great display of musical texture. "Walkabout" is another 70's inspired funk journey that moves like a smooth summers breeze. "Tearjerker" allows Kiedis to show his ever strengthened sense of melody with the high school dance sounding music accompanying, picking up towards the end of the track with swirling guitar effects and a string section. The title track, "One Hot Minute," serves as another reminder of the bombastic combination of Flea and Navarro's symmetry, whether they acknowledge it or not. Next, "Falling into Grace," as I mentioned early is a real RHCP masterpiece. "Shallow Be Thy Game," begins with the liquid sounds of Flea with the building funk from Navarro to create yet another Jane's Addiction meets Chili Peppers sounding track. Closing out the album, "Transcending," delivers the last we'll ever hear of this pairing, and sounds just how the chemistry of this line-up went. Beautiful harmony amongst the members when they started and chaotic dysfunction as it ended.

Critics and band members alike have put this album in a negative light, but the world does not have to accept that fate. I personally think the over looking of this album is flat out criminal, and the bands refusal to play material from it live hurts their setlists on a nightly basis. Still an incredible live act today, one of the best in the business, would it be so bad to play some of the heavier grooving songs? This album live would be incredible, just as I feel the recording has always been. So please, if you are one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers fans that look down upon this album, give it another try. If you have never heard this album, I would recommend doing so as soon as possible. Listen with an open mind, and I think that you will be very impressed with what you hear. An amazing band joined up with an amazing guitarist and released an amazing album, but you don't have to believe me, listen for yourself.

Monday, February 11, 2008

22 Miles of Hard Road...


I don't really care how you feel about the song, "Take a Picture." After all, Filter is the same band that gave the world, "Hey Man, Nice Shot." It was announced today that after six years since their last album and hiatus, Filter will be back in May with a brand new album, "Anthems for the Damned." Upon hearing this good news, I couldn't help but feel that Filter have never really been given the attention or credit they deserve. Whether they were being written of as Nine Inch Nails rip-offs during a time when that was a trend (Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills), or being deemed sell-outs for the success of "Take a Picture," Filter have not been received with the proper adulation from the alternative rock scene. Well, I hope I can change some opinions of this misunderstood band in time for their new release and tour.

Filter emerged on the scene in 1995 with their major label debut, "Short Bus." The album was packed from start to finish with alternative industrial pop rock. Having a problem with that term? That's because labeling the band was not an easy task. While their sound relied heavily in industrial music, they also used a more popular approach to move them into the alternative playing field, and straying from any true industrial fan base. Another band you may have heard of playing this same alternative industrial pop rock at the time was Nine Inch Nails. Since NIN were already established, Filter was quickly written off by critics and skeptics as just another clone of an already successful group. It's not that hard to understand a similarity in sound, as Richard Patrick, the creative force behind Filter, had previously toured with NIN as their live drummer during the "Pretty Hate Machine" era. After leaving the NIN touring band, Patrick would form his own project, Filter, with Brian Liesegang. Much in the fashion of NIN's Trent Reznor, these two men would create their album primarily by themselves. Handling the duties of vocals, drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, programming, producing, and engineering the release would help Filter to get the raw aggressive sound of their debut.

The songs that would comprise this album were bleak tales filled with distortion soaked vocals and heavy industrial rhythms. The guitar playing provides enough power to peel the paint off your walls, without becoming too heavy for modern rock radio. Beginning with the unlikely radio smash hit "Hey Man, Nice Shot" the lyrics and atmosphere set a fairly good assessment of what's to come. The typical hazy vocals delivered by Patrick provide soaring melodies to each song, as the mechanical sounds of the drums and wandering feedback of guitars pull everything together to create a sound that very well may leave the listener lost in the smoke of it all. The next track on the album, "Dose," is another personal favorite of mine. A sonic blend of bouncing bass lines, machine like industrial drumming, and squealing overdriven guitar effects, Filter bring the grunge scene another masterpiece of beautiful dysfunction. The strength of the hook's lyrics are dripping in alienation, "I hate it when you breach my space, and I hate it when you preach your case. And you should go down...down...save someone else." Just when you feel Filter have created a sound heavy enough to crush your speakers, Patrick tones the album back down, with the mid-tempo strummed fuzz of "Stuck in Here." At this point in the album Patrick shows that he is no one note musician, and also has a knack for tying an album together. The album picks back up with more brooding examples of their sonic mayhem, until the album reaches the final track, "So Cool," a gorgeous song complete with a floating in a dream-like sound and programmed drums.

Filter than moved on to their sophomore album, "Title of Record." A far more ambitious album, Filter expanded their sound in every which was possible. Without forgetting where they had come from, Filter pushed their alternative industrial sound to a new level by adding touches of folk, pyschadelia, progressive, and world music to the mix. While the album does not contain the same raw sound as their debut, it does indeed deliver a very strong sound. While they broke through into the mainstream with "Take a Picture," a slower churning ballad that could be as easily played on Top 40 radio as rock stations, the song did not create the tone of the album. The opener, "Welcome to the Fold," would provide a good sense of what the album has in store for the listeners. Coming in at almost eight minutes in length, the song featured everything Filter had strengthened in their time between albums. Opening in typical hard rocking Filter style, the verses bring you exactly what you'd expect from the band. When the chorus hits however, you are introduced to the new strength of vocal melodies not shown on the first album. Playing with a full band this time around does not hurt either as the musicianship soars to new levels. The song moves along to the first bridge and into a musical interlude of guitars swirling in all directions. Everything breaks away as the breakdown of the song occurs highlighting Filter's second new strength, pyschadelic soundscapes and medicated sounding vocals that lead right back into the heavy grunge sound. "Title of Record" is Filter in a transition, and it goes above and beyond anything they were expected to do in the industry, and for a good reason. An eclectic mix of so many different styles, the album proves to be another solid listen from start to finish. Highlights, other than the aforementioned track, for me include "Skinny," "Captain Bligh," and "It's Gonna Kill Me."

So please, check these albums out with an open mind, and you should find two great albums from a talented and versatile band. Also look out for their brand new single, "Soldiers of Fortune" due out next month.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Day I Tried To Live


Today I discovered a new album that really made a impression of me after only my first listen. The album is "Blackberry Belle" by The Twilight Singers. Released in 2003 by One Little Indian Records, The Twilight Singers album and music somehow fell under my radar. Originally a side project for Greg Dulli (of The Afghan Whigs) to express himself musically in different ways then the Whigs albums allowed, he used The Twilight Singers to do so in between albums. It didn't work out like that though, and Dulli waited until the Whigs broke up in 1998 to release the debut from The Twilight Singers in 2000. Blackberry Belle is their second album, and in my opinion their best.

My knowledge of Dulli's music only began recently, a few months back, so by no means am I an expert on the man's work. I have grown to greatly appreciate it though! A few months back Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA) announced that he would be joining Dulli to form a new band called The Gutter Twins. With this announcement, I knew it was time for me to check out Dulli's past work. I was greatly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It's not that I didn't think I would, but why had I never heard them before, and how come no one had ever mentioned them to me. Regardless of why that is, which I have no idea, Dulli is an incredible song writer, and shows it best on The Afghan Whigs' album "Gentlemen" and The Twilight Singers, "Blackberry Belle."

Blackberry Belle takes the listener deep into the atmospheric world of Dulli's soul. Joined by a crew of multi-instrumentalists included Galactic's drummer Stanton Moore and the aforementioned Mark Lanegan, The Twilight Singers deliver pure soul music, through the sounds of rock. Dulli's voice creates a dirt-soaked sounding passion from within, that in unmatched in today's scene. My favorite track is "The Killer," a slow rolling composition, complete with trip-hop sounding drums, that eventually bursts into multi layered walls of guitar. Easily a contender for a spot on my next mix. I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys music that can sound dirty, grimy, and beautiful all at the same time.

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Moving along...I wanted to share the original mix in the Dan Goldin's Good Rock Music collection, Vol. 1. When I decided to make volume 1 back in May of 2006, it was during a period where I was transitioning from listening to primarily rap music, into switching to primarily rock music. As Tool have been my favorite band for almost 10 years now, it was the emergence of their new album at the time, "10,000 Days," that brought me back to the rock world. This is not to say I didn't stay current with the bands I liked, I just wasn't out searching for new rock. I would listen to the albums I knew and loved, but didn't stray far from those bands. When I made this mix, it was during a time that I took to listen to my old rock albums that I knew I loved, but never really sat down and took the time to truly listen to what the artists were doing and saying. I grew up loving the alternative rock scene and I knew that my interests in the genre had never faltered. New appreciation for bands that I already loved like Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age were born, and an undying loyalty to the early 90's sound was brought to life. Another collection of old classics, new favorites (new at the time), and rediscovered gems, here is the tracklisting that started the series...

Dan Goldin's Good Rock Music Vol. 1 (May 31, 2006)

1. Eagles of Death Metal - Flames Go Higher (Peace, Love, & Death Metal)
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Readymade (Stadium Arcadium)
3. Soundgarden - The Day I Tried to Live (Superunknown)
4. TOOL - Jambi (10,000 Days)
5. Queens of the Stone Age - The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret (Rated R)
6. Kyuss - Demon Cleaner (Welcome to Sky Valley)
7. Failure - Frogs (Magnified)
8. Queens of the Stone Age - Autopilot (Rated R)
9. Soundgarden - Blow Up the Outside World (Down on the Upside)
10. TOOL - The Pot (10,000 Days)
11. Queens of the Stone Age - In the Fade (Rated R)
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Warlocks (Stadium Arcadium)
13. Queens of the Stone Age - First It Giveth (Songs for the Deaf)
14. Soundgarden - Pretty Noose (Down on the Upside)
15. Eagles of Death Metal - Already Died (Peace, Love, & Death Metal)
16. Screaming Trees - Dying Days (Dust)
17. The Replicants - Just What I Needed (S/T)

DOWNLOAD HERE - Good Rock Music Vol. 1
**password - rishloo

Ok, so this one doesn't have the greatest variety in the world, but you could see where my head was at. While it heavily relies on only a few bands, they are excellent songs regardless. A few notes on the mix...don't be turned of by the Eagles of Death Metal's name, they are by no means death metal, they're not anywhere close. The best "Boogie Rock" as they like to describe themselves I've ever heard. Album titles that include "Peace, Love, & Death Metal" and "Death By Sexy," should give you an idea of the style of this hard partying rock band. There are QOTSA songs on this mix sung by Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri, and Mark Lanegan, so they give a great feel of the full spectrum the band can cover. Other than that, I just want to say enjoy, and let me know what you think. More to come...

The Becoming

I was recently inspired the other day while doing temp work at a major record label. I realized I'm not really going to be able to say whatever I want to say, atleast not at first. If I am going to be working for a major label there's always going to be music I dont support. Not entirely, but atleast somewhat. While I will work to make whomever I work for as succesful as possible, I am looking at this time while I search for a job as an opportunity to share my personal thoughts on music.

Let this first entry serve as an introduction into the persual of the never ending search for good music, both old and new. There are thousands of albums released a week, regardless of the scale of distribution, promotion, etc. As someone who has always loved music since a kid, I personally have become so tired of people saying there is no good music out there. Or even that it is limited to a few select bands/artsits. There is always more music to check out if you're willing to do the work, no matter what kind of thing you're in to.

I will not say any negative things about any artist, regardless of how much geniully bad music is being released. If I don't have something good to say about an artist/band, I am just not going to write about them. No press is bad press, right? On the same thought however, if I don't mention someone, it doesn't mean I don't think they're good, but I just don't happen to be thinking about them at the time. This blog will pretain mainly to the 90's Alternative Rock fan, and the generation who grew up listening to it. I don't like all the labels given certain bands and musicians. Who's to say what's grunge, post-rock, alternative, hard rock, etc. If you limit yourself to a genre, you could be missing out on something you might enjoy. I will refer to the music as alternative rock, to generalize, while they can certainly be broken into countless sub-genres.

With all the said...my goals with this page are to get people interested in rock music again, ressurect the early 90's alternative rock scene/sound, and re-spark the overall appreciation of good rock music. By no means am I saying this is the only good rock music, just my personal choices. As the title refers, these are my classics, not everyones.

The way I've always gone about introducing music to people is through mixes. My mixes consist of mainly alternative rock bands, from all sub-genres, spreading the gamut from the late 60's to the current 2008 releases. Hopefully by reading this blog I can help new bands to be discovered by larger audiences, and atleast turn some people onto good music, new, or just new to the listener. If you grew up listening to Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. then maybe you'll find you like current bands that you would have otherwise not heard. I am doing the searching for you, and leaving you to decide if you'd like to further check out a band, album, or song. Maybe there are bands from that same era of your favorites that you've never heard, but definetly should. Maybe you never really gave a good listen to those albums that were released back in '95, '94, '93 and would be impressed with what you hear. There are albums and artists that seemed to have slipped right through the cracks of the mainstream, but deserve to be standing at the forefront. The use of mixtapes in hip-hop & rap music has given an unheard of amount of underground and word-of-mouth exposure to new-and-upcoming artists and million album selling superstars alike. Mixtapes revitalized rap music in a difficult time after what many thought to be the creative peak for the genre. I hope to do the same with my work for the alternative rock fans out there.

I need to mention that I do not think mixes are the best way to listen to a band, just a great way to discover songs you may love, and artists and albums you might then want to go and check out further. The art of creating a full comprehensive album worth listening to from start to finish is the greatest thing I feel an artist/band can do. Some bands release albums so great, I dont feel right including on mixes. There are albums that should not be broken apart, and if you truely enjoy a track, I recommend checking out the entire album. I will include the albums that the songs on the mix are taken from, to further move along any interested listeners.

Some posts will contain new mixes, as I will eventually put all the original 15 mix CDs that sparked my desire to share this music with the world. Feel free to share the music with friends. It is important to remember to SUPPORT THE MUSIC YOU ENJOY. The more support you give a band, the more likely you are to hear good music from them, as well as others deserving a fair chance. Other posts however will feature my thoughts on a band/artist/album as the mood strikes me.

Without further ado I present to you the most recent of my mixes, Dan Goldin's Good Rock Music vol. 15. This mix is comprised of old favorites (Hendrix, QOTSA, Kravitz), under-appreciated classics (RHCP, NIN, Beck), new releases (Mars Volta, Ride the Boogie, Graveyard), and rediscovered greatness (Afghan Whigs, Local H, Cracker). The tracklisting is...

1. Local H - Eddie Veddar (As Good As Dead)
2. Ride the Boogie - Moustache Riders (S/T)
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Righteous & The Wicked (Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magick)
4. Lenny Kravitz - Always on the Run (Mama Said)
5. Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe (Are You Experienced?)
6. The Wright Brothers - One by One (4 Aces)
7. The Afghan Whigs - Debonair (Gentlemen)
8. Toadies - What We Have We Steal (Hell Below/Stars Above)
9. Cracker - The World is Mine (Gentleman's Blues)
10. Operator - Nothing to Lose (Soulcrusher)
11. Beck - Jack-Ass (Odelay)
12. Nine Inch Nails - The Becoming (The Downward Spiral)
13. The Mars Volta - Aberinkula (The Bedlam in Goliath)
14. Graveyard - Blue Soul (S/T)
15. Queens of the Stone Age - Hangin' Tree (Songs for the Deaf)
16. Weezer - Mykel & Carli (S/T Deluxe Edition)
17. Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile (The Fragile)
18. Local H - Fritz's Corner (As Good As Dead)
19. Ride the Boogie - Naughty Corner (S/T)
20. The Afghan Whigs - Be Sweet (Gentlemen)

FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY: Download - Good Rock Music Vol. 15
**Password is RISHLOO
***Once downloaded, if the album is in alphabetical order, and not by track, right click and arrange by track number. there is a flow to the mix in the order it's meant to be in.


Along with mixes and my thoughts, I will also be sure to promote upcoming releases and concert tours worth taking notice of. Enjoy the rock.