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A Challenge from a Reader - Rage Against the Machine's Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium - Stops the Weakness?

Random/Album Reviews - 3.15.10

Alright, so I got this email from a reader:

By the way...you seem to like "hard" music. For me...so far...I have come to regard Rage Against the Machine's "Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium" one of the few albums I have ever listened to where I simply could not get the volume loud enough. I challenge you to name a few records that are harder/louder/rockier.

Alright, so, this reader emails me a lot, and I get the impression that he is just getting into harder music. So at first that had me thinking, ok, take it easy on him, at least he is trying, and maybe I will use this a jumping point to throw out some more accessible hard music. Then I thought a little bit more about the subject, RATM, and realized....well, I have a live Rage bootleg that I bought for $30 back in 1993 or 1994 or so, and this guy is sort of right. Live Rage is fucking awesome. Now....my little issue with this is that this live album the reader is talking about is from 2003, I believe, and I haven't really gone through the track list but I am guessing it is not comprised soley of the first album....and the first album is where it starts and stops for me. That is what my Rage album is....anyway, so, at first, I was....well....this reader loves music, he emails me a lot, so I was going to feel bad sort of laughing at him and then posting a big list of things that dominate. Now, I am with him way more than I ever thought I would, but I am also going to throw down a bunch of metal albums for this guy to get into based on his choice. Basically, though I thought Rage was an odd choice, I was sort of missing his point a little....and I liked how he said he can't get it turned up loud enough, and I think it rocks so hard because of the funk element. It really drags you in. A big part of that is the groove, so I will focus on albums like that as opposed to straight metal because he has a point and I like it.

killing zone

Rage Against the Machine - The Killing Zone - Stops the Weakness

Album Review - 3.15.10

Alright, my S/T Rage album is scratched to shit, but who needs it when I have this bootleg, released by KTS (Kiss the Stone)...and for those of you who don't know, KTS was (is?) pretty much the best when it came to bootlegs. Best sound quality, best artwork, everything. You were getting a legit album quality CD, but for $30 and you could only find them at rare stores that sold bootlegs and would get raided from time to time.

Sadly enough, I lost my case and artwork for The Killing Zone long ago, so I will have to look up the details of this album. All I know is that it is all of the S/T album sans one (can't think of the name right now) and then the track from the Crow Soundtrack, Darkness of Greed, (that's right another mention of the crow sound track on here) and then a throwaway Zach jerk-off track called JFK, which is just really slow and Zach ranting and raving his politics. I hate politics in my music, but I love the first Rage album. I don't know why I don't listen to any after the first even, I just love the first. With the funk, the rap, the hard fucking rock, it just fucking destroys. I guess with this live album you don't have Maynard singing with them, but.....just because I love you all, here is a clip of Maynard singing with them live. Look at that. Maynard just standing there deadpan in the middle of the stage. He is so fucking awesome. Its weird to see him there in the daylight, because, as Tool fans will know, these days Maynards stands in the back behind the band. I don't know how I forgot this, but Danny Carey is out there too, only one of the best drummers ever.

Ok, back to RATM and the Killing Zone....Metal fans around the world would probably cringe at the of Rage being called the hardest, loudest and rockiest (I did), but no. This guy has a very good point, and when I really want something that rocks and really grabs you in, this album does it for me. As I said, this is basically 100% the first album, and the first album stops the fucking weakness as well. It is that awesome. So the Killing Zone is a show from 2/2/93 in Sweden. It rocks so hard. Here, I even found a place where you could listen to it.

So, to my reader, I haven't listened to your Rage album yet, but I will....but go to that link up above and tell me what you think. Do you feel the rage better here than the double disc you wrote me about?

 

raining blood

Slayer - Reign in Blood - Slays the Weakness

Album Review - 3.15.10

Alright, this was my first choice in this challenge. The obvious. Maybe the best metal album ever. One of the best albums ever....but...if you are not a fan of metal, this won't convert you. This will be your example of why you think metal sucks. Hard, super fast, relentless, screaming, earpiercing, pounding, no melody etc. All of those are true, except the last, and they are all the reason they are awesome.

Just as punk came from kids from the 50s who were fed up with the overblown prog rock shit that was on the radio (don't get me wrong, I like prog rock, just stating the point) and wanted to get back to the '50s/60s bubblegum 2-3 minute pop songs, Slayer wanted to do the same here. They were fed up with the 8 minute metal songs and they wanted to take their thrash influences and combine it with Metal. What you get here are 10 tracks that come in at 28 mins. It is nonstop from the second that you put it on, and it destroys. As I said, if you aren't a metal fan, don't grab this record first unless you are eager and willing to put the time in, because it's tough. This is a tough fucking album and it just slays. nonstop.

The amazing thing is just how tight it is. Rick Rubin is producing, so, if you know anything about Rick Rubin, he is a minimalist who gets shit done outside of the studio, and only records onces it's perfected. His minimalist ideals leave overdubs and reverb behind, and you just get the band straight forward and upfront. I will do a list of the best Rick Rubin albums to listen to another time so you can see his stamp across all directions. This friendship is actually what got Kerry King to do the solo on No Sleep til Brooklyn. What is so amazing about this record, is just how locked in everyone is for how fast it is. Dave Lombardo rules. His drumming is right on. Slayer is awesome.

Anyway, another thing, this album has satan and nazi imagery on it. Angel of Death specifically is a song about concentration camps and Josef Mengele, the angel of death. They have said over and over they don't promote this stuff, but were just interested in the subject at the time of recording. For anyone who has read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, probably the best WWII book ever, or anything else on the matter, it is a horribly fucked up and interesting look into the capabilities of people. Read some of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, especially about Josef Mengele and his human experiments, and you will feel the rage of this song. This album is just dark and relentless.

To end this I will leave you with a little story about this album. I was on a puddle jumper 20 mins flight and I put this album on for the trip. It was the shakiest flight I have ever been on, and people around me were gripping their arm rests out of fear. All the while I have this album on, and not sure why I didn't turn it off, probably because it's so awesome, but whatever....right then during Alter of Sacrifice, I get to the line of, ENTER TO THE REALM OF SATAN, and the legit fear set in, I am going to fucking die. Shaking planes don't bother me ever, but combine with this, I was sure I was done. Then we landed, and everything was fine. This album won't kill you, but....you may think it could while listening to it. Oh, and on the Alter of Sacrifice link you also get Jesus Saves, which is another favorite of mine. That is from 1986 too. I wish I got Angel of Death from then as opposed to the newer clip, but what can you do.

aenima

ta

Tool - Aenima - Stops the Weakness

Album Review - 3.15.10

I wanted to post this right after my Rage review because it fit in nicely, but....Reign in Blood should have come before Rage in the first place, and I couldn't put it any lower as it is the tops. So, Tool fits in because of Danny Carey and Maynard coming out and playing with Rage. So...I love Tool. I know a lot of people hate on them because they really give some metalheads a reason to feel sophisticated as they play in odd time signatures, and mix them up frequently, and they are also a little psychadelic etc. Whatever, I love them, and Aenima is the tops. Laterlus is up there, but then again, so is Opiate and Undertow, so....it is a tough call, but Aenima rules.

I like Tool a lot for the reasons I just stated for why people hate on them. They mix up time signatures and are a little psychadelic and....well...Maynards voice is like none other. A little side fact, Maynard was in Green Jello (Jelly post lawsuit), and I think Danny Carey was as well. Another reason to love Tool is that Adam Jones does all their cool music videos, and used to do effects for movies prior to Tool. Specifically he worked on Nightmare on Elm St 5. Though one of the worst ones, who cares, its NOES, which I love, so that is awesome.

Anyway, Aenima, like all of the albums presented here, has it all. Every single track could be called the best. Even the little circus interludes, reminiscent of Mr. Bungle's first S/T album, are awesome. Songs range for a minute to about 10+ mins and they are an awesome mix. This is Justin Chancellor's first album with them and the basslines are short and awesome in the way of Joy Division and Jane's Addiction. Danny Carey's drumming is mesmerizing. He is also a giant too. When you see him stand up at the end of a show to take a bow part of you says, no shit, that's where that power comes from, but the other part of you says, how is that guy so agile. Les Claypool has stated that he is the best rock drummer around. Maynard's voice goes from being as fragile as possible to letting out screams that are out of this world, and Adam Jones....his riffs and guitar work are so spacey, weird, and awesome, it is just amazing how it fits into this rock music. On another side note, and some may hate this, but in an interview with Trey from Phish, he stated that if he were to put together a supergroup he would have Maynard as the vocalist because he is the best around. I would choose Danny Carey as the drummer and maybe best in the band, but that is neither here nor there. When you watch this band live, your eyes are jumping all over the place not knowing who to watch because they are all so awesome.

Aenima. It is awesome. From the beginning of Stinkfist, straight on through, it is a journey of ups and downs. Forty-Six & 2 is a favorite, but Hooker with a Penis is my current favorite. I listen to this track all the time when I am in the mood for something hard. Check this out and tell me you don't love it. If you don't, just leave and never come back.

If you think you don't like metal, check this album out. It could convert you.

Another side note, and then I am gone, but this is my most prized record I own. 5,000 copies printed in 1996, and they go for $200+ on ebay. I got mine cheap at $140. Now they have some bootleg bullshit repress, but this is the original gatefold and it is awesome. I will take more pics later tonight.

OK, SO I DIDN'T ADD THE PICTURES OF THE RECORD, BUT CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF A FAN GETTING ON STAGE, AND MAYNARD, WHO KNOWS JIU JITSU (ACCORDING TO THIS LINK AT LEAST), DROPS HIM AND PUTS HIM IN SOME CHOKE HOLD AND CARRIES ON WITH THE SONG. IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE AT FIRST THE FAN SEEMS TO BE STRUGGLING, BUT THEN HE RAISES HIS ARM UP LIKE, THIS IS SO SWEET, MAYNARD JUST DROPPED ME AND HE IS STILL SINGING AND I AM ONSTAGE.

 

broken

 

NIN - Broken - Stops the Weakness

Album Review - 3.16.10

Alright, is Broken the best NIN album around? Maybe so, maybe not, but it is non-stop pure loud, hard rock. The tracks at the end are not there as a gimmick secret to play off the relatively new capabilities of the now obsolete compact disc. They were an addition to the album, originally released on as 7” for the record and a mini cd for the cd, because they do not fit in with the concept of the EP. The album was meant to be pure rage: a loud, fast, aggressive, short, non-stop blast of rage. Don’t get me wrong, the additional songs are incredible too, not to mention really awesome when you are 10 and find out that they can actually put secret songs at the end of a CD (THE TRACKS GO UP TO 99!!!)…but the main part is really what I think of when I think Broken.

Pinion is an awesome intro to the album. I am not going to sit here and type out that I love the song and have to listen to it every time I put the album on because it’s so vital to overall concept of the album and the album wouldn’t be the same without it…..but it is pretty cool lead-in to the album. And it is an awesome intro for a concert too. As a side note, when we went to the NIN final shows in NY at Terminal 5, Trent came out and we got, Pionion, Wish then Last all in a row (I think there was actually one song before or mixed in or something) and I thought we were going to get Broken in its entirety. We didn't, but we got most of the songs by the end of the night. One of the best shows ever. Also, I had been trying to drag one of my friends to a NIN show for a long time, and the first time he went was their last shows. He talks about wanting to go again all the time now. So....Pinion is basically just a slow increasing, pounding heartbeat, getting louder and louder over the minute length of the song, only to erupt into Wish. From that point on, it just rocks. Straight hard fucking rock. It has awesome hooks as well, maybe some of the best Trent has written. Wish, Last (watch that last clip. I was at that show and its filmed from the stage), I mean even Help Me I am in Hell, which is instrumental and pretty much just segue way, transition track…they are just all great. They all fit perfectly into this idea of an album that is just loud, hard rock...better than any other NIN album.

The Downward Spiral may be brillant, and it may have the diversity and encompass everything under the sun. That is awesome, but....well...I have said it too many times, so I will shut up, but this album is an awesome collection of tracks. Like Reign in Blood in terms of the short, angry, blast of a record. Slayer cut off all the fat and fit 10 tracks into that time frame. Trent doesn't do this, but it is still done before you have time to even know what hit you.

Want something awesome too....Josh Freese toured with NIN a lot recently. I saw a bunch of the shows with him and they were sick. He posted a lot of video, tour diary type stuff - here is the cameras on him playing Wish. I know I just went off about Danny Carey, but Josh Freese is the ill as well.

 

primus sucks

Primus - Frizzle Fry - Stops the Weakness

Album Review - 3.16.10

I know what a lot of people are thinking, well, they have probably been thinking it the whole time - (insert band name) is on this list of hardest rocking albums? And, this isn't a metal list. These are all albums that I can't get loud enough, and completely rock. I love Primus. I have since I was a kid. Well, I took a little break a little bit after Tales from the Punchbowl and didn't come back til after Antipop, but, even with Antipop, their catalogue is incredible. Les Claypool's catalogue is incredible, but nothing matches Les, Ler and Herb. Also, I may allow an argument regarding what album is the best, but Frizzle Fry is the album for this list...and I am pretty sure that nothing matches Frizzle Fry.

Primus is an odd machine, and Frizzle Fry is the most straight forward. Don't get me wrong, you are still getting weird here, but you are also getting the most hard funk metal out of the band. Alright, maybe Brain hits harder than Tim "Herb" Alexander, and maybe Antipop is the most straightforward pop album they have released, but....I feel bad even sort of comparing these two albums, so I will stop it there. To tell you the truth, this album may be way higher on my list, and in response to the reader, this may be the number 1 album for him next to that live Rage album I posted at the top. Les Claypool's bass just rocks you so hard. Ler's guitar is weird, but unlike Pork Soda, where the band intentionally wanted to ignore keys and just play whatever, these songs are crafted in a way more straightforward manner. And yes, I know a lot of these were written by Todd Huth, but Ler plays on the album. Herb may not hit like Brain, but his drumming is also out of this world. Primus, and other Claypool bands, usually do a drum solo instead of a set break, and watching Herb solo is unreal. Anyway, get this album immediately if you do not have it. You want loud, hard and rock, go to Too Many Puppies. That is an awesome old radio appearance. You may not get the full rock feeling, but it makes up for it in the coolness of the studio shots. This is my go to Primus song when I am looking for something hard. This song gives you Primus in a nutshell. An awesomely weird Ler guitar solo, incredible bass work that....well, if you have never seen Les Claypool play bass I feel bad for you. You know, people traces where the style comes from and say it's not original and whatnot, but fuck that, Les is an animal from another world. Not to mention the Les voice, that nasal squeal to the low bellows, to the little whispers. This song brings it up and down, and rocks all over the place. Maybe not the coolest bass Les has ever played, but its awesome.

I don't even know where to go from here, Mr. Knowitall? John the Fisherman? Harold on the Rocks? The Toys Go Winding Down? Frizzle Fry? To Defy the Laws of Tradition? Spaghetti Western? Seriously, I don't know where to go. I may just post videos for all of them, but I won't, so....Mr. Knowitall it is. Again, it has everything about Primus, but this album/song is hard and rocks. Double finger tapping bass, the creepy break downs before the onslaught of rock. God, I haven't listened to this album in a while, and listening to the videos right now has me very excited. I will definitely be listening to some Primus today. Fuck it, let the music speak for itself because I can't do it justice: Frizzle Fry from when they did the tour playing the full album. John the Fisherman with Brain on drums (probably from 1999 by the looks of Les). To Defy the Laws of Tradition from the studio again. The Toys Go Winding Down from 1990....wow, I should have put this up earlier because this one of best. Awesome Les bassline. Incredible. And here is Primus doing a little bit of Master of Puppets. Les auditioned for Metallica after Cliff Burton died. Metallica has said that Les was too good to be in their band, but Les says that is them being nice, that they really just thought he was a freak. So, I just so happened to find a clip of Les talking about this and saying it himself. Haha, I just watched that and I was pretty much right on with how it went down.

Les is just awesome. I remember him talking about getting together with Trey for Oysterhead and hearing Trey talk about the endless hours they would practice to get down weird time signatures and what not....and Les was like, I was not used to that at all. For Primus we would just get together for a short time before a tour and practice a little bit to get ready, but the rest just came. In fact, I think he just picked up the standup bass one day and decided to play it, and if you watch, he plays it damn well. Not to mention the 6-string fretless bass he plays. Oh, and he just has the coolest basses ever. I can't think of who makes them off the top of my head, but they are the coolest. Primus Sucks, you know the drill, and if you don't, get on it.

master master

Metallica - Master of Puppets - Stops the Weakness

Album Review - 3.16.10

I am not going to lie to you and say I am some huge Metallica fan, but only the first 4 albums, because after that they betrayed me and went pop. I didn't give a shit when they cut their hair, though I did think they were really lame at that point, and I did think the Alice in Chains unplugged show where the bassist wrote, Friends Don't Let Friend Cut Their Hair on his bass, or something like that, was pretty funny. But, I was never that huge into metal when I was younger, and it wasn't until later that I really got into these albums.

Quite frankly, fuck the Metallica dudes. Lars....I used to once think he was cool, but that whole Napster ordeal was just lame. He just sounded like such a whiney little bitch, and I actually don't like downloading, so it's not even that. Then when Jason Newsted left the band because they wouldn't let him do a solo album or something because, as James Hetfield put it, it is like cheating on your wife, I mean, come on guys. I have never seen Metallica live, and I was hesitant on this last tour for fear of them being too lame to handle, and maybe having to listen to new stuff. They are like U2 in that regard....made albums that were so awesome, and they were so cool, and then just destroyed themselves to the point of really discrediting their older stuff. Now, that is going too far here....

Master of Puppets destroys. It's old Metallica, last album with Cliff Burton, and...they are one of the big four original speed/thrash metal bands (Slayer, Megadeath, and Antrax being the others). Side note, Dave Mustaine of Megadeath was in Metallica early on to be replaced by Kirk Hammet. So....Master of Puppets. Like I said, I would feel like a phony poseur loser going off passionately about how awesome this is and always has been and changed my life and so on and so forth, but....this is it. It is awesome metal. Battery, check it out. Master of Puppets, check it out, and see for yourself if you have not already. You will see what's up. This album is not weak in anyway, and as it states above, it has prevented weakness all over the place.

Look on the Bright Side, Suicide:

Sparklehorse/Mark Linkous Kills Himself - REALLY FUCKING WEAK.

Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain - REALLY NOT FUCKING WEAK

Random/Album Reviews - 3.7.10

I wish I listened to more Sparklehorse than I do. I bought this album when it came out in September of 2006 and I loved it then. From what I know, the 3 prior albums are far superior, but, hell this one is great. Sadly, Mark Linkous shot himself in the heart yesterday outside a friends house in Knoxville, TN. He was 47. He worked with the Flaming Lips, Danger Mouse, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Daniel Johnston and even worked with David Lynch. He was married.

I don't know, this makes me a little depressed. I never thought of this album to be depressing as an album from a tortured person or whatever....who knows. It's great. It is an awesome mix of instruments and noise...sort of like the flaming lips and sort of like sgt peppers. I guess it is pretty sad, but its great. Check it out if you haven't. When this album came out it didn't leave my cd player for a while. I will be digging deeper into his catalogue for sure.

RIP

PAV E MENT

Ok, here is an email I got from a reader last night, followed by his review of the two items below. The Pavement reunion is obviously a big deal in the indie world, and it seems that the few one off US shows are turning into a full scale tour. I will post the known dates at the end. Here is the email I got last night, the subject was spelled out as above (PAV E MENT):

You need to do a post on pavement. They are fucking rad. Best band ever perhaps. Reunion tour going on now, good post. The works man..... songs mean a lot when songs are bought and so are you

Watch slow century and get hooked. Its fuckin illy nilly. NOT AT FUCKING ALL WEAK

This is not a post, its a tourists recommendation.

Pavement - Slow Century DVD and the Book: Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement - Not Weak at All

Last night, for the thousandth time, I watched SLOW CENTURY because I was so pumped up after seeing these videos from PAVEMENT’s first reunion tour show. (The group disbanded in 1999, but after an unbearably long hiatus, they played their first show the other night in Auckland, New Zealand).

For those of you who don’t know Pavement, get a life. Seriously. They are the greatest band ever, and this DVD sheds some light on this influential (and extremely unweak) band. Slow Century features 13 Pavement music videos; a 60-minute documentary by Lance Bangs incorporating original footage from 1989 to 1999; and two full live concerts: Seattle '99 & Manchester '99. Granted the editing sucks, and there is very little art-direction, but who really fucking cares?

If you are a Pavement fan, you need this. If you are not a Pavement fan, you will be after you watch this.

PS: If you don’t like to watch DVD’s, or need some extra Pavement in your life, check out the awesome book, Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement by Rob Jovanovic.

Slow slow

slanted

US TOUR DATES:

04-18 Indio, CA Coachella

05-30 Seattle/George, WA Sasquatch Music Festival

06-25 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre

09-09 Broomfield, CO – First Bank Center

09-11 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater

09-12 St. Paul, MN – Roy Wilkins Auditorium

09-17 Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for the Performing Arts

09-18 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena

09-21 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield/Central Park

09-22 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield/Central Park

09-23 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield/Central Park

09-24 New York, NY Rumsey Playfield/Central Park

Keep up on the Pavement site as I am sure more dates will be announced, in fact, I believe I heard they are doing a string of CO shows.

Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted - Not Weak

I decided that I should throw up a review of my favorite Pavement album to go along with this whole Pavement praise thing. Pavement are pretty much the godfathers of indie rock along with Sonic Youth and some others. They are the type of band that people who really just don't like it will go off with extreme enthusiasm on how awesome it is they are playing shows again because that's what the cool kids do. They are the band that are so cool, some will deem it uncool to like them. For the most part though, they are a band that is so popular in the indie community that even the hippest hipster is excited for this. With that being said, I don't know where I fall really- but Slanted and Enchanted is my favorite.

When I heard they were doing shows again, I was pretty excited about the prospect of seeing them play but I must admit I am not as blown away as the writer above. I first got into Pavement when Crooked Rain Crooked Rain came out and my older brother had a copy. I was 11 and a sucker for Cut Your Hair and I must admit that I still am. Pavement has held up well over the years. This is about Slanted and Enchanted though. You know, when I first typed up the title to this little review I gave this album a Stops the Weakness rating, but I changed it. That would have put me in the category of wanting to seem cool by throwing this album up as one that changed my life...and it didn't. It is a damn fine album though, and I can see how this could easily be your favorite album, or your favorite band.

Unlike Sonic Youth, who goes for the more experimental approach, Slanted and Enchanted falls much more in line what I had to say about Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville - if you took these songs and added pop production and better singing, you would have some awesome pop songs. It's almost like comparing old Modest Mouse to their major label stuff. Their old albums are awesome, but you take the same band and add major label backing (i.e. money for expensive producers, and pressure for hits) and you get tight pop songs. This created a huge backlash from a lot of their old fans, but personally I really like new Modest Mouse. They have created some awesome pop songs, but they still retain what they always were (in my mind). That being said, their old material is awesome as well, and it is awesome the same way Slanted and Enchanted is. The song writing is incredible, the lyrics are awesome, and the lack of polish only adds to the charm. It brings the listener closer to the band. Makes them seem more human and less rock stars. It also lets the listener feel that this is their special band that the whole world doesn't love.....even if it seems like everyone loves Pavement. I don't mean for that to sound gimmicky either, like its a trick or something, because as I stated before, if these guys wanted to or succumbed to major label pressure, they could have created a ton of hits. Instead they did their own thing - I even read that Rolling Stone claimed that Steve Malkmus was afraid of success, but that was from the internet, so don't quote me on that. It seems plausible though, even though he supposedly refuted that claim, because the songwriting is really good.

I will shut up in a second because I feel like I have filled this up with enough lame ramblings for one review. This album will take a little while to get into. It is probably their least ecclectic. The sound doesn't vary all that much, there is sort of a constant distorted guitar, the hooks are sort of hidden at first, and....well...everything just kind of blends together and doesn't grab you right away. As I have said a million times before though...these always seem to be the best records. The ones that take a few listens to really uncover what is there. Check it out. I am not going to guarantee that this will change your life, or that you will go off praising Pavement as the best band in the world, but you are sure to enjoy every song on the album if you give it a chance. You may not go to throw this album on all the time, but you are always happy when it comes on rotation on your ipod. Oh, I am also holding the deluxe edition, which has a second disc of live material and demos. I have the Wowee Zowee deluxe edition too, and I think they did this for all their albums. Definitely worth picking up. Double the fun.

Public Image Ltd. Tourdates

and Album - Not Weak

I am not a huge PiL fan, but that is more because I just haven't dug that deep into their catalogue. I have actually only listened to and own Album, which is picture to the right, and is pretty incredible. It is produced by Bill Laswell and has a pretty awesome group of musicians on it - Ginger Baker and Steve Vai to name a few. Rise is probably my favorite tune, and...well, not being a huge PiL fan, I hope that isn't the equivalent of saying Smells Like Teen Spirit is my favorite Nirvana track. If I offend any PiL heads out there, I apologize for my lack of knowledge.

For those of you that don't know anything about PiL, this is Johnny Rotten's band post the Sex Pistols. It is not punk like the Sex Pistols and is way more musically complex. Album is really great, check out Rise for an example of the sound. Also a funny note, I guess Johnny Rotten ripped off the idea from Generic Flipper. If any of you know that album, it is pretty obvious, but I was never sure which came first. This led to Flipper releasing the album, Public Flipper Ltd, in response.

Anyway, enough of this, here are the tourdates:

Fri 4/16 - Indio, CA Empire Polo Field/Coachella

Sat 4/17 - San Francisco, CA - Grand Ballroom @ Regency Center

Tue 4/20 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at The Market

Wed 4/21 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom

Fri 4/23 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot

Sat 4/24 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre

Mon 4/26 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre

Sun 5/2 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues

Tue 5/4 - Boston, MA - Royale Boston

Wed 5/5 - Boston, MA - Royale Boston

Fri 5/7 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus

Sat 5/8 - Montreal, QC - Theatre L'Olympia de Montreal

Tue 5/11 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live

Wed 5/12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

Fri 5/14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Zoo

Sat 5/15 - Atlantic City, NJ - The Borgata Music Box

Tue 5/18 - New York, NY - Terminal 5

PiL
supreme

Ghostface - Supreme Clientele - Stops the Weakness

To continue on with the Wu theme, I figured I would write about Surpeme Clientele, which has been dominating my listening recently. I want to also do a ranking of Wu albums at some point as well, and maybe even do a poll, because it is really a tough thing to decide in my opinion. Is Liquid Swords better than 36 Chambers? Bold, but maybe in my opinion. But what about Cuban Linx? or Tical? Return to the 36 Chambers? or even Ironman?......or...what about Surpeme Clientele?

Sticking with the trying to figure out which is best for a second, I think it speaks volumes that Supreme Clientele is in the running in my book... even though it comes years after the golden age of Wu with . It is awesome. This album actually slipped through the cracks for me. When Tical 200 came out...I could just never get into it, mainly because of the excessive and horribly stupid skits, and it kind of halted my desire for new Wu. Stupid on my part, this album is awesome. It is not RZA dominated, which is a bad thing in my book. I like RZA production in my Wu albums, because that is sort of what makes a Wu album in my book....but here it is great. It more than just works. This is one of those things where I could list most every song off the album as the best, but I won't. I really like the first two tunes, Nutmeg (w/RZA) and One, and also Buck 50 (w/Meth, Redman, Cappadonna and RZA production). I think my favorite tune may be Appollo Kids though, which has Raekwon on it. I wouldn't be surprised if they do this track on March 5th. It is awesome. Watch that video.

Really, this is in the running for being one of the best Wu albums out there. Most of you guys are probably rolling their eyes saying, no shit, what are you doing trying to tell me to check this out 10 years later, but...maybe you don't have this album, or maybe you just haven't busted it out for while, in which case you should break it out. I just found this on vinyl recently too which is another reason I am putting this on here. awesome

I also wanted to include the deleted scene from the first Iron Man movie when Ghostface aka Tony Starks cameo. Can't find it anywhere though. It is nothing special, but still kind

Echo & the Bunnymen - Porcuine - really not weak

It has taken me a while to getting around to write something about this album. Each Christmas I get about 10 cds from my parents, but I actualy go and buy them, hand them over to them, and then they give them to me. I have been paying for them for a while too, so I don't know why I still hand them over to be wrapped etc. Anyway....this yeah I got a bunch of post punk new wave etc type bands and....well, I thought it was overload and I would never get into them and instead listen to Elloitt Smith, Slayer, and Sebadoh which I already wrote about. Echo & the Bunnymen was one of the last cds I picked out and it was a random pick, purely one of those, ok, I have seen the name around all the time, but don't know them, so I am finally going to buy one of their albums.

At first I wasn't crazy about it. In the post-punk/new wave sort of world, it is way more New Order than Joy Division. Though, I like New Order, I will always like Joy Division more. This is very synthy and more upbeat, but the hooks....well they are a little hidden. Its hard for me to say that now because I listen to a song like The Cutter and don't know how I could be so stupid to not love it at first listen....anyway, in my experience that is how it is with the best music. I have already talked about that, so I will spare you.

Buy this album. Right now. I am probably going on a huge Echo & the Bunnymen kick, so you will hear a lot more about them shortly.

Oh, and click on that link. It is so awesome.

bunnymen

Desaparecidos

Desaparecidos - Read Music/Speak Spanish - Really Not Weak

Alright, this isn't new, it's old, but it is also not all that well known...and it's a great album. It is a Conor Oberst related band, which right off the bat will either suck some people in, or turn them off. To tell you the truth though, if you are a Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes fan, be wary, and if you loathe him, you may like this because its different. Both the music and the lyrics are different here.

Lyrically, Conor has switched from his usual introspective writing, focused on relationships and the likes, to more....well, it's more about corporate America taking over and ruining culture. I know that sounds lame and pissy, but, well, first off it is Conor Oberst here (i.e. you have to expect whining about something), and secondly, it is Conor Oberst (i.e. the lyrics are very well crafted, and to someone who hates political commentary and bullshit like that in his music, I still love the lyrics on this album). Now, this is coming from an extremely biased point of view as I am a huge Conor Oberst fan. I am obsessive with my music and have a small number of bands that I become overly obsessed with, Conor Oberst being one, and the most recent addition to that collection. The others include, Guns n' Roses, Nirvana and Ween.

I will say though, as an obsessive Conor Oberst fan, I didn't love this album at first. It is more....and I really don't want to say this because it is not at all, but its more punk. Throw Conor Oberst in the mix, and.....that sort of means emo. Emo started out as a form of punk rock and didn't always carry the horrible connotation it does today, but that connotation is so strong today, it wipes out any old connection in my mind. This album is more straight forward rock, with distorted guitars, faster songs and more yelling. Another one of the band members, Landon Hedges, is in a band called Little Brazil, and it sounds a lot like them with Conor Oberst singing. Little Brazil is a good band too, I should really do a write up on that album.

To wrap this up, I would give this album a try if you are or aren't a Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes fan. I think you have more of a shot of liking it if you are a fan of his, but if you dislike his self-loathing whining normally, you will be happy to know it is not in this album. Man and Wife (the former) and (the latter) are both great tunes. I may prefer the latter, but....they are both good. I put a live clip up of the former for you to check out. This tune, Mall of America, is awesome as well. So...yeah, I like it, which means it must be awesome, so pick it up if you haven't heard it before. Oh, before we go though, here is my favorite tune - The Happiest Place on Earth. This video has some skateboard clips through it which is nice to watch, but the noise is annoying....so....fuck it, check it out and point and click on another link if you can't deal with the other noise.

Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville - Stops the Weakness

Everytime I see your face I get all wet between my legs, every time you pass me by I heave a sigh of pain. Everytime I see your face I think of things unpure unchaste, I want to fuck you like a dog, I'll take you home and make you like it....... I remember being 10 years old at my friends house and going up to his older brothers room and listening to this song in amazement. To a 10 year old a girl saying she wants to be your blowjob queen was...well, it was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Also something you played at low volume, or at least nervous about your parents coming in and busting you. I had a nice maxell copy of my brothers Whip-Smart CD, but did not know of exile in guyville until being at said friends house. Liz phair was awesome. So I listened to these albums but slowly my cassette collection went under my bed to rarely come out, and its still there. I pull it out every once in a while actually when I am at home driving my dads car, which only jas a tape deck...its straight time traveling. Anyway as my tapes went away I basically forgot about liz phair, or at least didn't listen to her for years.

exile

Then in the 2000s she came out with her pop album and it pissed everyone off and alienated most of her old fanbase. The songs, or at least the single I remember, fit in pretty well next to all the teeny bopper rock songs that have been popular in the past decade. I didn't care as the songs were catchy, good pop songs and....whatever, they are fun and fine and good and she didn't really seem to be ashamed of it. Not many saw it that way though (the allmighty pitchfork gave it a 0.0. I love how they are so awesome they can rate an album down to the tenth of a point on a 10 point scale, and then still give stuff a 0.0...though I guess it would be shittier to get a 0.7 or something) and weren't happy that their once blowjob queen was now singing to 14year old girls. For example, my girlfriend at the time took me to a liz phair concert to see matt pond pa open and then demanded we leave before she came out. I didn't really care then, so I didn't put up a fight. Now I wish I had, even if just to hear the new shit.

So a year ago, or was it almost 2 now, they reissued exile in guyville and I grabbed it, having not had a copy forever. It is so awesome. What's written above is laced with stuff from the song flower, sort of indicating that she had a one off shock song. Not true. Maybe when I was 10 that was the biggest deal and that was the point (dirty words rule!!!), and don't get me wrong, I still love that song, but the whole album is incredible. Another recent back to back cd vinyl purchase. The album is that incredible this many years later. Its such an odd album, it is so hard to pinpoint why it is so good song after song. I mean its not super catchy, her voice isn't great, the musicianship isn't incredible, the instrumentation is pretty sparse and just kind of odd at times. Like solo songs with her and an electric guitar. I don't know, its just awesome. Everything just comes together perfectly and just sounds....fuck....I don't know how to say this so it doesn't sound completely lame...real? From the heart? How bad does that sound? It is just legit. Her voice...well, honestly, its probably kind of like the nirvana factor - if you changed up the instrumentation, had someone else sing it, and changed the lyrics, you'd have incredible pop songs. That is basically what she did on her 2003 album that pissed everyone off, though she was still singing there but in a poppy more kelly clarkson voice (I am making that statement having only heard the one single mind you). The songs are awesomely poppy but stripped of the cheese blandness. I mean, that's sort of what makes the best songs anyway.

Is that just the lamest thing ever written? Whatever, I will stop. This reissue is good, the extra material is good but not vast. I would really just go buy this because your copy probably is under your bed in your room at your parents house or just never existed at all.

oh and for good measure, when I just now went to find a clip of flower, I came across this. Yup, Flower live from 2003, just to make me feel worse about not seeing that show I walked out of.

 

Grimace

Grimace Federation - Tasted by Chemists - Not Weak

Alright so here is Tasted by Chemists by Grimace Federation. If you don't know anything about these guys, check them out. They are tough to describe and seem to get lumped into the jamband genre which is a shame. They are an instrumental band and play at Camp Bisco and with the Disco Biscuits a fair amount, so I can see why they get that label, but they don't jam (I don't think) and they don't suck. I am pretty positive all of their stuff is written out before hand, and the compositiions are awesome. I want to say if you like Ratatat, check these guys out, but...it makes me feel lame saying that because they are both instrumental bands. That is not the only reason though, and I am going to make that statement. Check out this video of the song Catch 22 to see what you think. The video is pretty funny and the song is great, but I think one of the best parts of Grimace Federation is seeing them live. Their lineup is ever changing, but they used to have 2 drummers, who are brothers, as the focus of the band sitting front and center on the stage with their kick facing. You can sort of see this in Toy Pianos, which I think is going to be on their new album....which I think should be coming out pretty soon. When I picked this album up I actually thought it was the new album, but it turns out this was released in 2007 and I am a moron. Anyway, check out the 2nd half of Toy Pianos here.

Now, I believe the band no longer has two drummer, which is a shame. It also kind of worried me because that is really what I loved. The drummers were nasty and to have them front and center like that was really cool. Fuck it though, here is the same song with one drummer. Awesome. They just moved the vibes more up front. And if you want something really ill, check out this Halloween show at the TLA where they open up with some Michael Myers Halloween. I wish I were at this show. I used to live a few block from the TLA, this would have been awesome.

I have gotten a little off topic, and...well, not sure where to return. There is an Aesop Rock remix of Catch 22 if that does anything for you. It is pretty sick actually, and this album is overall awesome. I think these guys no longer have a website or it is down or something, no idea. They used to have one, that is all I know. Anyway, they do have myspace - www.myspace.com/grimacefederation

 

Elliott Smith - New Moon - Really Not Weak

Elliott smith. New moon. Same title as the twilight saga book/movie, but I may go out on a limb and say that this is just a little bit better. I wasn't always a big elliott smith fan. It took me a little while to get into him, and I am not sure why because he is sort of right up my alley. In fact, the reason I first bought one of his albums was that a few people had said my music sounded like his. Knowing his music now, I am not really sure this is the case, but not having heard it at the time, I was intrigued and went out and bought Either/Or. I picked this one up because my friend who I play music with, aj, had us play/record 2:45 AM when we were in high school or early college and I always liked that song. Maybe I will post the version if I can dig it up. I love that album, but it did take me a little while to get into it.

Moving onto New Moon - this came out fairly recently and I made the mistake of buying the vinyl without having heard it. Therefore I didn't really get into it right away as I don't have that much time to listen to records and when I do it is usually when people are over or a party setting......and, well, elliott smith isn't what I'd call party music. Unless that party involves a lot of downers and crying and maybe some cutting. I don't attend parties like that all that often though. Also when I put elliott smith on with people over they always ask me if we can put something less depressing on.

To tell you the truth though, I don't find elliott's music to be depressing. I can see why people say it is depressing, but music that people describe as depressing never really makes me depressed. It usually has quite the opposite effect actually. Elliott Smith's songs really are beautiful. New Moon is unreleased songs from his either/or period, which is early on in his solo career. Therefore, if you like either or you will love this album. It actually has a bunch of more upbeat songs on it too for those of you who don't like acoustic depressing music. New Monkey, Riot Coming and All Cleaned Out are some of my favorites. In an earlier post I said that Sebadoh was dominating my listening these days, but I forgot to mention that disc one of New Moon actually gets equal if not more play recently. I love it so much I find it hard to even get to the second disc which is also filled with great tunes.

These tunes have the trademark elliott harmonizing with himself on most every track and they are all pretty lofi and sparce at times. They are really great though. I can see how elliott smith may not be everyones cup of tea, but I would suggest listening more and just giving him another shot. I liked and really wanted to like his stuff and it still took me a while to really love him. The story of his death is really depressing and prior to artie langs suicide attempt, I really had a tough time believing it was possible to kill yourself by stabbing yourself in the heart. I guess it may not be as uncommon/impossible as I once thought. Its really fucking sad to think about. And on that note.....

Elliott Smith New Moon
Live at Reading

Nirvana - Live a Reading - Stops the Weakness

In case you haven't noticed yet, I am somewhat of a nerd collector/hoarder. And in case you can't tell from this picture, I am a Nirvana fan, and I really like this release. I used to have this bootleg when bootleg's existed and you had to find cool record stores that sold bootleg made by KTS and other bootleg companies...and you were more than happy to pay $30 for a single cd trying to compile the full outcesticide collection. Kids (or anyone else) these days don't even buy cds let alone shell out any money for a rare live show...because they are not rare and can easily be found on ye ole internet. I am a loser though. I often buy cds first and if I really like it, I will buy a vinyl copy. Buying vinyl first is a problem, unless it comes with a a free download, because records aren't all that portable.

So....Live at Reading. This is Nirvana at their all time height. I think this may be one of their best shows around. This is the infamous show where Kurt came out in a wheelchair to play off of the rumors that he was a sick junkie, with a junkie wife and a poor newborn junkie baby. He stands up only to collapse before the mic, only then to stand up and start the show. Once they start they don't stop. It is awesome. This was post Nevermind, but pre-In Utero, and they play songs from both albums and everything in between. They play some Wipers, with D-7, and Fang, with The Money Will Roll Right In. These are both awesome songs, and Nirvana played a few Wipers songs throughout their career. Pick up some Greg Sage and the Wipers when you get a chance. You won't be disappointed.

Anyway, as for this release...you can get a CD/DVD combo I believe, but I wanted everything packaged seperately. I would probably pick that up. Most importantly though I would grab the DVD. It is awesome....and sad for any fan that never got to see them. This concert is awesome. I should do, and will do, a review of the deluxe edition Bleach reissue, because that is awesome too. That is them in their prime during the Bleach era, and this is the prime of their career I'd say, though its hard to top the Unplugged show. Anyway, up until recently it was hard to get Nirvana video. You had Live! Tonight! and Sold Out!, but that too was just recently released on DVD. Then Unplugged came after, and the Nirvana boxset had a DVD, but I think this is the first official full concert release, and I have heard a lot of live Nirvana shows, and I really don't think they could have picked a better one. I think this was the biggest crowd they ever played to. It was a festival, so I guess that doesn't really count, but it is pretty cool how the three of them are enough and are big enough for 100k people. I may have just pulled that number out of my ass, but I think it is right.

I don't have the album in front of me, so I am trying to think of what the highlights are without going and looking and without having listened in a while. They play something like 23 songs and get their hits out in the first half. I think that may just be enough out of me. It's awesome. It's good enough to buy the CD, DVD, and vinyl in my book and I have listened to all three formats numerous times even after having this since I was 12.

For the hell of it check out Eugene Kelly and Kurt doing Molly's Lips at Reading the year before.

Slayer

Slayer - World Painted Blood - Not Weak

I haven't listened to much Slayer post what they released in 1991 or so, and I was a little hesitant to just jump right back in here. Dave Lombardo has been back in the band for a couple years now, so that is a good thing, and I had heard good things, so I went for it. Little did I know that I would pretty much get in a time machine back to 1986 with Reign in Blood. Or maybe it takes you to South of Heaven. Or is it Seasons in the Abyss. Either way I think you get my point. This is old Slayer of their first major label era. Except for the song following Psychopath Red,which was the first single released especially for Record Store Day, you may actually think you were back in the late '80s. In case you don't know what that means, this album fucking rules. For those of you who don't know Slayer and aren't into metal, Slayer may not be the place to start for you, because it is just too awesome it will blow your mind....but I suggest trying. This album is so good I even went out and bought the vinyl after getting the CD, something that I do when the album is that good. If you want to give it a try, maybe put on the song World Painted Blood and Psychopathy Red and make yourself listen a bunch, then put it down for a little bit. The next time you pick it up the melodies and all the stuff you thought was nonexistent, will come to the forefront. It is awesome. I haven't been this excited about an album in a little while. Go out and buy this now.

 

Raekwon - Only Built for Cuban Linx...pt II - Not Weak

ok here is what I wrote about Only Built for Cuban Linx pt II during my first week of owning it. I love a lot of this album now, but I still think some of this stuff holds true. on the other hand, I love the first one and was really excited about this coming out, so...I think this was bound to fail initially due to high hopes....although....I usually don't like my favorite albums when I first get them....and there is good reason for that....because they sound different and new. if I really like something off the bat, unless its by a band I know, I am always weary of it. so....here is what I thought then:

not sure what I think of cuban linx II. haven't listened to it all the way through yet, and I will give it a proper shot (hopefully coming out loving it), but.....to use the movie comparison that the album itself uses.....its like the Die Hard Series and the new sequel. too much time has passed....sure, it has bruce willis, and the same general plot etc that makes a die hard movie...but it doesn't fit in next to the first three movies.....too much stuff is taken from recent new action movies. same here. sure, it has raekwon and ghost, and sure they have their wu gambino names and...I haven't listened to it much, but I am guessing it has the same sort of wu mafia theme, but....it just isn't the same as the first. first off, the first was all done by rza and he set it up perfectly with his sort of wu mafia sound. same beats he was using in 36 chambers on, but changed it up slightly and instead of the martial arts clips he added mafia movie clips....well...here it is all martial arts clips. almost like since raekwon got pissed at the rza over 8 diagrams, he resorted back to their oldest trick in the book the win him back...throw in the clanging swords. I don't know. everyones style has changed a lot too. the ghostface you here on this is way different than ghostface back on the original cuban linx.

 

cuban linx II

not a bad thing, just different. everyone is older...and...i guess I wouldnt mind that as much if the music were more true to the original. if the feel of it were more true to the original....and I guess above all that is what ruined the new die hard....it had bruce willis and a few similarities, but in the end the feel was just completely different than all the others. in this album it has a lot of new hooks, a lot of guests, a lot more production....all things old wu albums didn't need to slay.

as for now? would I put it up there with the original, or any of the originals- liquid swords, tical, 36 chambers, etc? no. but....well, tracks 6 through 8 are incredible. I really like them. Gihad is my favorite I think. Also, the album flows with the original a lot better than I originally thought. Method Man's verse on New Wu is awesome. overall there are some great moments. Though, I do start the album at track 6 typically, which oddly enough is where the RZA comes in. so....I don't know. I like the Slick Rick song as well. oh, I saw Raekwon at the church in philly. it was....well, it was awesome because it was Raekwon at the church but it was annoying because it was in typical wu tang fashion where they will just spit one verse out and then stop. when raekwon first came out he did 3 36 chambers songs and did them all the way through with someone else doing the other members' verses, and that was awesome. I was then pumped for the show, because originally I didn't know what to think. When I saw wu tang a while back it was one verse and done, but I saw the gza do all of liquid swords, and he...well, he did the whole album....I was hoping for the later, but got the former, so I was a little let down. it was still pretty awesome though. maybe I will go into it more at another time

 

cd

 

Guns n' Roses - Chinese Democracy - Not Weak

After a long time of going back and forth on this album, does it suck, it is awesome, I thought about it the other day and pretty much decided that, whether or not it sucks, it isnt good enough for me to want to listen to in the past however many months since I stopped listening to it. it was a tough album to decide on when it came out because at least half of the songs, if not more, had already been released in some form, and as a loser gnr fan, I had been listening to them for a while. The Blues and Madagascar....I had those since rock in rio 2001. I loved them then....but....that was 8 years ago now. kind of absurd. anyway...up until last night I kind of stored this album away next to With Teeth and all the albums Beck has put out post Sea Change....well, including sea change too I guess. so last night I was walking home and The Blues (aka street of dreams) came on my ipod, and it basically restored faith. chinese democracy is awesome. not only is it awesome, but the blues may have one of my favorite moments out of any gnr song old or new.....it is at the end of one of the solos and there is this dramatic awesome squealing slide.....it is awesome. I was going to type out a hum of it but figured that won't really get us anywhere.....then....well, I guess I could look it up and find a youtube clip of it and pinpoint the second, or at least look up which solo it is so you can listen to it...but...if you have heard this song and don't know what I am talking about, then f off. and if you haven't heard the song, well, f off. then go listen to it, and if after listening to it you dont know what I am talkign about, then F off. Here is a link to the blues to make it easier for you all since I know you are too lazy to look it up. though you are probably to lazy to click this link anyway.

what else.....I could go on, but...I am going to say, Silkworms, wait...is that the song off End of Days....its not,but I can't think of the name...F...I should have gotten that (I just looked it up)...Oh My God.....well, when it first came out I said F new guns, what the f is this....but now......its awesome. go download that track. silkworms (an unreleased song that you can find on Rock in Rio 2001) still sucks I think...but some of the electronic stuff isnt bad. Shacklers revenge is a good tune, great tune. Chinese democracy, another great tune. then there are about 6 ballads, but.....it is an axl album, and they are good ballads, so, the blues, madagascar, catcher in the rye, there was a time (twat)...what else? there are all good. better....good song, great live song. oh yeah...and live the band is awseome. Robin Finck....awesome guitarist. speaking of...look up Sossego....that is a finck solo song that he did at rock in rio 2001. its awesome. bumblefoot is lame as fuck....I will give you that. he is embarassing....but....tommy stinston (sp?), brain, robin, axl...thats a cool band. and the record has some josh freese and buckethead on it....awesome. I am trying to think if there is anything else I left off.....probably a lot. but whatever. its great. I am going to listen to it either way.

so....this was a little dated. robin is out of the band. I think brain is gone too. kind of depressing. but they are on the album and that is what this was supposed to be about.

 

newer