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40 Years of Noe

#1997 #Dylan #Time #Out #Of #Mind

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Seems unlikely right? Well here is my first curve ball. No its not an early April Fools Joke. This record makes it on my list because it stood out like a soar thumb, honestly. This thumb needed attention. I was listening to the radio back in 97 while attending University. One day I’m driving around and this song comes on. I was so impressed with how it sounded. It was poignant. Think of an old man’s version of “Blood On The Tracks.” It just simply blew me away that this was Bob Dylan. What a comeback!

“Time out of Mind” is a quote from `Moby Dick’ meaning “from time immemorial” or “as long as anyone can remember.” This 1997 Grammy-winner marks something of a landmark for Dylan in its recognition of the approach of old age. Full of sad, emotional and intelligent song-writing, it marks the initiation of a mature creative period in Dylan’s life. Many people proclaim this as Dylan’s best-ever album, and from the perspective that it gets deeper into your soul with each repeated listening, they might be right.

Deeply personal and serious in tone, the album can make you weep.

 

`Time out of Mind’ is an album which could not have been made by a young man, and not by any product of the 21st century’s sales-and-image driven global music business. Only a master of his craft, confronting mortality and looking back on a lifetime stained with regret, could produce a masterpiece like this.

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40 Years of Noe Uncategorized

#1996 #Tool #Aenima

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I have been listening to Tool constantly since I first heard the Sober video and watched the twisted geniuses at work that created such a short film. Since then, as I grow and learn, the lyrics, which I used to study for each song and read over every once in a while hit me on new levels upon each reading. Their lyrics during my first reading leave the impression that this group supports all things “evil.” However, as the depth of reading and interpretation grows and evolves, the true meaning and genius of the lyrics is revealed.

This album to me is the epitome of the genius of Tool. I was sitting in my car one day and heard the song “Eulogy” start up. I listened closely for the first time to the introduction where each instrument comes individually. When I truly listened to it, I was in awe of the fluidity that the song works. Each instrument fades in individually, the strumming of the guitar is incredible, the drums, solemnly beating in the background are again splendid.

I cannot begin to describe my admiration for this band. Reading the interviews that Maynard has given and reading a small biography of him gave me so much respect for his vast intellect and his well read nature. He quotes Carl Jung during shows. From day one, their music has struck me as essentially what I would consider flawless vocalists of the human state and nature. The drums are splendid and so incredibly complex. The way that Tool uses the Bass guitar is incredibly impressive. Usually bands use the bass as a background instrument, but Tool brings it to the front to further drive their message into the soul. The lead guitars are amazing.

I cant begin to even describe how good Maynard is. He is truly a singer. Ozzy Osbourne (for example) is excellent in terms of being a rock singer, but Maynard has bridged the gap. He is truly a vocalist. He could just as easily be singing opera or jazz or whatever form of music you can think of. Maybe someday, people will be worshiping their music and his lyrics.
If anyone reading this commentary/review has never payed attention to Tool before, start now. This is the embodiment of all music that I have ever heard. It rivals in perfection in vocal music as what Amadeus Mozart did for instrumental music. That is all i’m going to say, and I doubt that anyone has read this far.

If so, please comment. Thank You

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40 Years of Noe

Alice In Chains #Music #1995 


Alice In Chain’s self-titled, “Tripod,”album is one of the most gloomy and sluggish albums ever recorded. The cover features a three-legged dog (hence the title reference).

This would end up being their final studio album with vocalist Layne Staley. His drug addiction ultimately took his life. Layne’s voice here sounds more downcast but still powerful.

Honestly, it’s my favorite album because of how it feels throughout. It never got the acclaim it deserved. Although it’s a slothful sounding one, it remained intriguing without losing steam.

It’s a freak show. A nightmare of grinding sounds. It’s heavy! Grunge sounds are dominant still. Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley continue to harmonize well. The guitars shred as if busting through quick sand.

The lyrics are ambiguous and obscure more so than ever. Staley is so much more frightening, dark and creepy with his vocals. But don’t misunderstand me. This “Tripod” record is a masterpiece imho. It’s so beautiful!

On a personal note: It got me through the winter of 1995 and 1996 when I transferred colleges and broke up with my girlfriend at the time. I began my own frightening path of poetry writing content that ultimately freed me from the shame and guilt that surrounded me.

I think of the crappy red Ford Tempo I drove to school and how protected I felt with  Alice In Chains at my side.

What matters is I lived through it and that album was my best friend. Here’s a creepy video:

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40 Years of Noe

#1994 #NIN #Downward Spiral

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I graduated from high school, was attending various graduation parties and this album was playing at one of them. It immediately grabbed my attention. The summer of 1994 I started to believe I was Trent Reznor. I loved his music featured in the films Natural Born Killers and The Crow. When I bought the cd, I listened to it on buses, car trips, in my college dorm and just simple walks around the neighborhood. I was absolutely OBSESSED!!!
This album is considered Nine Inch Nails’ most controversial and disturbing work. They (He) completely change the image that was first seen on “Pretty Hate Machine” to something much more darker and emotional. The result is a very successful and complex masterpiece that takes you to places you have never been in the music world. With each track you step in further and further into Reznor’s mind. “The Downward Spiral” is an outstanding album and will always remain a classic.

The songs are much more complex and have more structure to them than the ones that appear on “Pretty Hate Machine” and “Broken.” There are heavy songs, and there are soft songs. There are disturbing songs, and there are beautiful songs. You get to experience something different with each song.

The great thing about this album is, just like with any other NIN album, no two songs are the same. Each one has its own identity and feeling to it. Another plus is that there is not a single bad song on the entire album. My favorites are “mr. self destruct,” “march of the pigs,” “closer,” “the becoming,” “a warm place,” “eraser,” “I do not want this,” “ruiner,” and “hurt.” I might as well say ALL OF THEM!!! LOL

“The Downward Spiral” is an amazing album. Reznor knows how to make great music and continues to impress us even to this day. Be warned, though. This album isn’t for everyone. It is indeed a very controversial and even sometimes offensive album. But if you love Nine Inch Nails, then this is a must-have. It is a CD I continue to listen to over and over again. It never ceases to amaze me. A classic to the very end.
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40 Years of Noe

Siamese Dream #1993 #music

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I was a Senior in High School in 1993 when this glorious record came out! Everything fell into its right place with this one. Gish was stunning! But Siamese Dream was a masterpiece!!!

Every artist has their “crowning achievement”

I think Smashing Pumpkins were one of the greatest rock bands of the 90’s, easily.

Billy Corgan has been one of my favorite guitarists. His work on the studio albums Gish, Siamese Dream and even Mellon Collie (1995) is brilliant, layering guitar upon guitar with brilliant riffs and awesome solos.

His lyrics are often depressed and angry, but they show hope and beauty too. Lyrics aren’t usually as important to me as music, but Billy Corgan writes good ones, in my opinion. For a rock star, he surprises me with the kind of songwriting talent.
“Cherub Rock” opens up with a distinguishing drum roll followed by simple clean guitar playing the main riff. Within less than a minute, a wall of guitars is hitting you, but it’s still extremely listenable. The melodies of this song are awesome, and I’d bet you’ve heard it on the radio.

“Quiet” is an assault of layered metal riffs. “Today” is another radio song. It’s one of the weaker songs on the whole, but I think it’s still pretty nice and ironically a lot of people’s favorite song.

“Hummer” is nearly 7 minutes long, with several different parts and great textures and melodies. “Disarm” is a beautiful acoustic guitar and vocal track, with strings added (that are good and not cheesy).

“Soma” starts with a peaceful clean guitar riff, but explodes into a wall of distorted guitars and wild leads. I still pull out my acoustic guitar once in a while and play the tabs to this one.

“Geel U.S.A.” is one of the best rockers, and one of the most layered. I don’t know how many guitars are in this song, but I’m pretty sure it’s more than 12 or so. Think My Bloody Valentine-esque The solo is wildly energetic, and the metal riffs are awesome.

“Mayonaise” is gorgeous and noisy at the same time. It’s my personal favorite.

There are no bad songs. Or else it wouldn’t be on my top 40 list. Duh!!!
When I first got into the Pumpkins back in 1991, I didn’t like Billy Corgan’s voice that much, but I grew to really appreciate it. The wall of sound created by Billy Corgan’s guitars combined with his original voice and songwriting is also backed up by the experienced drumming of Jimmy Chamberlain. He used to be in a jazz band apparently, and the guy definitely knows what he’s doing.
James Iha and D’Arcy are respectively great rhythm and bass guitarists as well but they are unfortunately known more for their live contributions because Billy tended to prefer taking over in the studio. This was always the one controversial fact about the pumpkins.

If you want my opinion (I guess you do, if you’ve read this far), this is one of the best rock albums of the 90’s, and you should buy it. Highly recommended. Here’s a video:

 

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40 Years of Noe

1992 + R.E.M. + Mario Bros. = GOOD TIMES!


In the winter of 1992, I was on Christmas break while I was a junior in high school. I received two special gifts that season. The first was super Mario Brothers three for the Nintendo. The second was automatic for the people by REM.

The reason those two gifts are connected is because I’ve played that game all the time while listening to that CD at the same time. You see I would turn the volume down on the game and crank the volume up on the CD. This has forever associated the two together so when I hear the music I think of the game and when I play the game I think of the music.

So getting back to the CD, automatic for the people, I truly thought that was their best album. REM has been around for a very long time. They have certainly yielded several hit songs. But this album came sort of midcareer if you will if you count any recent efforts. I thought this was their crowning achievement.

It starts off with a song entitled DRIVE which really has nice guitars and orchestration in the background. It sets the tone and the lyrics make references to pop culture such as games and rock ‘n’ roll references. The song “man on the moon”  is a tribute to the late comedian Andy Kaufman. There are many many more songs on this record including “everybody hurts”, that speak to a whole generation.

Now I don’t just play this record when playing Mario Brothers but it sounds good on cloudy days autumn nights and whenever I am into deep thinking, or a melancholy frame of mind. A lot of records came out in 92 but this one certainly means the most and it recalls the fondest of memories that I will forever cherish in my heart. “Hey kids rock ‘n’ roll!”

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40 Years of Noe

1976-1991 #music summary #forty #years of #Noe

  
There’s been an ongoing list of albums that I have been posting about for the past few weeks. Feel free to browse thru the archives of my blog.
Getting closer to 40
I’ve made the bold and brave decision to not only disclose my age but also establish a list of my favorite albums for every year of my life…so far. 

  

So far I have covered 1976 Thru 1991
More to come.
I post little reviews every Tuesday and Thursday
Stay tuned
  

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40 Years of Noe

Smashing Pumpkins presents #Gish from #1991

GISH

I listened to this album more than any other when I was in high school. Even more than Nirvana or Pearl Jam. Seriously!

When I was in cross country during my sophomore year in high school, we were heading to practice in this guy’s sport car and he was playing this tape that really captured my sense of sound. I was memorized by the intense wailing guitars. The ferocious pounding of the drums and the way the snares and bass were in perfect unison. Then there’s this soothing voice that clashes but actually blends quite well with the rhythm. I asked the guy driving who was playing. He told me the name and I was like….Smashing Pumpkins? Now that’s an interesting name for a band.

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One afternoon,I was in my bedroom watching MTV laying on my stomach with feet up in the air with the sun light streaming through my bedroom window and suddenly a video comes on by Smashing Pumpkins. The song was entitled “Siva” and I was hooked. I felt alive!

I bought that album “Gish” at a Sam Goody and was in pure heaven. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Billy Corgan is a great song writer. For a man in his early twenties to compose songs of such complexity, yet undeniable relevance, is a truly awe-inspiring accomplishment. Such originality and creativity from Corgan allows us to suspend reality for the best part of an hour. Simply put, Gish bring the listener to another dimension where nothing matters except the wonderful emotions this album evokes.

James Iha is an awesome guitar player complete with strange sound effects. The whole band is great. The hard rock slant on I Am One sits beautifully with the majestic nature of the song Crush-all of this driven by wonder-drummer Chamberlain means that Gish frequently took up residence in my CD player and disc man…..and it often refused to leave.

So, if you haven’t got this record, well then you’re at a loss.

The only definite thing that can be said about Gish is that it is a forgotten classic. Don’t believe me. Listen the the track…Tristessa! This is pure adrenaline that just hooked me like getting stuck in a tar pit trap of ecstasy. I refuse to say any more about it. Check it out!

Click here:   THIS IS WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

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40 Years of Noe

Depeche Mode #1990 #music #favorite

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When I was a freshman in High School, I went to a Halloween “sock hop.” There was a limbo contest. I won! I got to go up on stage by the dj and choose a prize from the box. Based on pure looks at the time, I chose a cassette tape by the band Depeche Mode. The cassette was entitled “Violator.”

Who knew this would turn out to be one of my favorite recordings of all time. I played the taped all the time after I took this prized possession home. Days turned into weeks which turned into months and beyond. I feel that at age 14, I found my first musical obsession.

What makes this record so great?

“World In My Eyes” kicks off the album. The opening lyrics “Let me take you on a trip, around the world and back, and you won’t have to move, you just sit still”, you know that you are in for one serious trip here. This song is without question one of the best songs on this album, and also one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs as well. I just love it.

Violator is an amazing piece of euro-alt-dance-pop that has a huge dance floor appeal while at the same time makes one think and feel. This is a crowning achievement for Depeche Mode’s brilliant lyrical and orchestral composition talents. Accessible to all with brilliant pieces of poetry, addictive dance beats and techno hooks, and beautifully crafted videos. Like this one:

 

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Poetry

This Mysterious Life of Mine #music #poetry

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There are too many enquiries I examine

 

Competition is apparently strong in this world

Emotions are like wild beasts released from cages

Running around without any rules

There are no answers

No truth in science

 

I am human

Mistakes are made

Is NORMAL an actual term?

Does it have meaning?

 

Much focus in this world is about WEIGHT

What does that mean?

It’s definitely acceptable to feel WEIRD

Eccentric behavior makes me feel like I exist

 

Bullies pick on other people

Why?

They’re insecure with themselves

And wish to make others feel dejected

In order to boost their ego

 

Dwelling on the past does no justice for the mind

Beating myself up because

I forget things

 

Is a waste of time

 

Dreams and nightmare are part of life

 

And Music has amazing benefits on our brains

Music is my therapy

And it’s a great escape from problems

 

It’s all mysterious

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