This is my one and only Tool post: I have been a hard core fan of the band for 26 years. I absolutely love all of their recordings. I saw them live 4 times. I’ve worn their t shirts and hung up posters. Pink Floyd is my favorite band of all time. But Tool is a close second.
Am I biased? Hell yes! 😂 However, as much as I would like to complain and whine about their newest record after 13 years and say it was a disappointment, I cannot do that whatsoever because it’s an absolute masterpiece!!!
It really is! It’s their most mature album yet. It’s complicated and intense. The drumming is out of this world! Danny really shines! Justin’s bass and Adam’s guitar both are technically so genius and precisely amazing and exactly perfect. It surpassed my expectations by miles.
Maynard’s vocals were added later after the music was laid down. His approach is astonishing. As always his contribution is the icing on the cake or the cherry on top. He has matured so much over the years.
This album pays homage to all their previous works and is so current and relevant today. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: this album is a 5 star classic and could very well be their greatest album ever and is not only their crowning achievement but might actually be their swan song. What a way to please us die hard fans. Wow!!!⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I have a group page called Music Obsessed on Facebook. I am working on an upcoming tournament bracket that will be featuring Heavy Metal as it’s sole subject.
I did a lot of research on this subject. Perhaps too much research. Anyways, during the first week of February I plan to unveil this painstaking but amazing tournament. A battle of the bands and their fine albums. A challenge to the death! But you can only participate at my group page.
Be warned! I am going to be fair and honest with my criteria. I will cover as many sub-genres as I can that are related to the progression of the sound.
My criteria will include only one album per artist and it will move forward from the late 1960’s and well into the 2000’s.
I gathered research from chart standings, various podcasts and artists popularity over the years as well as various critic reviews and my own experience & knowledge. I’m hoping it will be an awesome experience.
This will begin during the first full week of February. I will post the individual charts here as well as on my Facebook page.
madness, i was submerged in it
dancing girls in long brown dresses
starry eyed folks selling shirts
“fungus?” they’d say
“want some brownies?” he yelled
“Got any blow?” she wandered
tents and balloons
music won’t start for awhile
“the stage collapsed, there was a storm!”
i guess, they said Jerry’s spirit was truly alive!
venue after venue
grill to grill
in the open field
port-a-johns and water bottles
i found the experience
seeing the magic in everyone’s eyes
lots of walking and talking
you’re cool on top of the hill
listening to Robert Hunter off in the distance
reading his poetic words
talking to strangers
it’s the world’s biggest tailgate party
before the show even starts
Dylan packs a punch…he delivers
his raw but honest voice
roaring piano guitars
“Hard Rain Gonna Fall”
“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”
twisted a bit and thrown out with an edge
powerful sound truly great
time for lemonade and pretzels
mustard and a t shirt purchase
they come out
crowd roars afoot
jamming right into it
as if 30 years never went by
“Let The Good Times Roll”
“St Stephen…Dark Star…Not Fade Away
The Other Ones”
new and old
thousands of balloons
“Sugaree” (a big hit)
i left early to beat the crowds
bought a copy of the show later on my computer
it was a soundboard recording of The Dead
then I listened to it
…one more time
LIVE “CD/TAPE” CHOICE
I own several of the Grateful Dead Dick’s Picks series, and I must say with most certainty that Volume 8 is my favorite. It was recorded at a little known college in New York in 1970, when they had their best lineup, IMHO. Pigpen was still there in his prime. He was one of their best keyboardists.
This gig opens up with an awesome acoustic set featuring exquisite versions of some Dead classics that you don’t hear much. (“Don’t Ease Me In”, “I Know You Rider”, “Dire Wolf”, “Black Peter”, and “Deep Elem Blues” are some real treasures here.
For the folks only familiar with popular Dead songs, cool versions of “Friend of the Devil” and “Uncle John’s Band” are included in this fine show. This first set is almost flawless – rarely will you hear the Dead this on-target and synchronized.
There is some tuning issues and bantering but i like it raw. But that’s not all, they come back on the second disc with almost 40 minutes of Cryptical Envelopment which starts off with St. Stephen, some Drums and of course, The Other One and finally concludes with Cosmic Charlie.
They follow that little marathon with the most supreme version of Casey Jones that I have ever heard before. On the third and best disc, Pigpen steals the show with his nice blues-version of a James Brown hit, “It’s A Man’s World.” It goes on for almost ten minutes. A really groovy version of “Morning Dew” follows (but I don’t think I have ever heard a bad version of this song)
The spotlight of this disc and the whole show is the glistening “Viola Lee Blues” that rises to not one, not two, but three peaks in an acid rush sense. Then eases down with a rather lengthy version of “We Bid You Goodnight” – most likely because the crowd just won’t let them leave. But after hearing this show, you’ll understand why.
If you even kinda like the Dead, then I totally suggest you hear this live show. I own lots of Dead, but this one gets played more than any of them. It shows them at their absolute most versatile. This is some of the best music you’ll ever dig. But of course it’s only my opinion.
Well I don’t know where to begin with the babble on Pink Floyd. I absolutely love this band. Ever since I was a kid in the 80’s, I was exposed to them. My dad played the records and I was awakened from whatever slumber I was trapped inside when I listened to their music. I just want to thank my father for opening up my mind to great music. We didn’t always have a lot of common ground but it was the notes coming from David Gilmour’s Fender Stratocaster that could potentially bring us both to tears. Any time the two of us took a drive in his pickup truck, it was almost a certainty that the band Pink Floyd would be emitting from the car stereo. Ever since I was about 10 years old; I UNDERSTOOD this unique, abstract, bizarre, spacey and progressive rock band. I was hooked.
Then just before I went into college, the 2 of us went to Soldier Field in Chicago and saw Pink Floyd perform one of their last live concerts ever! It was quite an awesome experience. In the summer of 1994, my dad surprised me and bought 2 tickets for us to go see Pink Floyd live. It was my first concert ever. I was 18 years old. I was so pumped. The band takes the stage. I am among a crowd of 50,000 people with my dad screaming and shouting. I have never been to a rock show as awesome as that one in my entire life…been chasing that high for 24 years…my dad raised the bar right out of the gate. I still have my ticket stub and I bought a T Shirt.
For me, the band became an obsession of mine. I never could ONLY be a casual observer and listener. “Another Brick In The Wall,” was my first encounter with the Floyd. Mom would take me to the grocery store with her when I was a small boy. I was probably five years old when I kept hearing that song on the radio. My imagination was quite vivid at that age of my youth. Sometimes you like what you are hearing without quite being aware of the meaning or having a complete understanding of its lyrics, structure and relevance to your own life
In high school, my dad bought this awesome Pink Floyd Box Set. When I gazed upon the cover, with nude figures soaring above the water, I surrendered to the abstract art which definitely made an enormous impression on me. 8 compact discs inside the box. A large book with stories, pictures, track listings and lyrics captivated my interest for several weeks. After school homework and on dull weekends as a teenager, I would gravitate towards the magic of Pink Floyd. The 8 cds consisted of 7 albums and a bonus cd from the early days when a man named Syd Barrett was their lead guitarist and singer. The others were chosen as highlights that represented the “FLOYD SOUND.”
A Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Animals were the chosen ones for this box set. My father loved this kind of stuff! He was big into bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, CSNY and many others. But when it came to this artistic and experimental music from these four obscure British musicians, it was a whole new ball of wax. Moods were created. The atmosphere has that imagery of a street alley corner, an abandoned mountain peak, being lost in the desert and being inside a warm room looking outside at the cold neighborhood sort of feeling. Getting lost into that PINK noise.
Sometimes atmospheres and moods are hard to describe in detail. When I hear Roger Waters’ lyrics come to life in these Rock Operas, like THE WALL, I am left speechless because suddenly I have insane images in my head of worms, naked women in bathtubs, hammers marching, kids staring at airplanes up in the sky and getting thrown into a meat grinder by disgruntled teachers. The same holds true to all of their albums.
My dad and I would get into really long philosophical conversations about these guys, the meanings behind their politically charged and surreal lyrics and the imagination that they yielded. We would be working in the yard, painting the family room, or he would be helping me with my homework and have these awesome songs in the background.
While I was in college a couple of noteworthy things took place. One was that my dad met someone online that had a cassette tape of the Chicago performance we were at. It was a bootleg copy but still pretty cool. I swear there’s a part during the encore that I can hear my dad’s voice but one can only imagine. The second thing that happened was on Pay Per View, they were televising a live Pink Floyd concert during that “Pulse” tour. This guy paid for it and then charged everyone 5 bucks to hang out in his dorm room and watch the show. Some folks were tripping and others were stoned but everyone was having a good time.
Then came PULSE the CD in the summer of 1995. This live double disc set had a battery operated blinking light attached to the case to represent a pulse. The artwork on the packaging was stunning. Picture attached. Sound wise, it was a good representation of the music they played on the same tour as when we saw them. The only real difference was the second disc contained all of Dark Side of The Moon (they did not play all of the songs from this album at the show we were at). The encore was the same with “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell.”
PULSE is definitely on my list of favorite live albums. It takes me back to a memory of that experience where Mr Sight and Mr Sound hung out and played for two hours. They eventually released a DVD set for PULSE complete with special footage and awesome art. While I enjoy the live in Pompeii experience or the numerous other live recordings from the Wish You Were Here tour or even the mighty The Wall one, I still LOVE the PULSE double CD set most because it directly ties me to my experience going to see the band live.
Pink Floyd was always about the concept of Sight and Sound blending together. I think that folks who enjoy SOME of Pink Floyd’s music and not much of the more EXPERIMENTAL stuff should honestly hangout with my dad and I more often. It’s like unraveling a mystery. Solving a puzzle within an enigma. Exploring symbols, metaphors and digging deeper is part of the fun. There’s more to this music than what lies on the surface. Anyways, PULSE is so great because it’s extremely enjoyable and it isn’t really an acquired taste. Once you hear it then it becomes this emotional transposition from just appreciating their works to totally submerging yourself into the true genius behind David and the gang.
I owe it all to my dad! He solidified his coolness with me. Props to you papa! Shine On. I’m glad our special bond is timeless……
I was in the car driving home from work earlier this evening and I started to cry. Emotions began to amplify themselves within my mind. Life, beauty and death surrounded me. Why?
It was the powerful music I was listening to. I’ve been playing this album for over a month now, ever since it was released. Tonight I came to the conclusion that this was spiritual therapy. In fact, not only am I dedicating this blog entry to my niece Samantha, I am proclaiming that a certain album by a certain pair of artists is the most surprising, astonishing and inspiring one of 2016. In my opinion, of course.
This is a personal choice for me. I was going to do my usual countdown of top 10 favorite albums of the year but when a series of songs feel good on my ears and brings me to a place of overwhelming joy and sadness and can make me cry because I am suddenly appreciating everything around me, then I know this is the one to gravitate towards as my favorite album of the year. So let me get right to it.
The artist is Phantogram. They are an American music duo from New York. Josh Carter does vocals and guitars while Sarah Barthel provides vocals and keyboards. Both of them are unbelievable at what they do.
You could define their music in a number of ways. Lets just say they fall under four major categories. Dream pop, trip hop, electronica and “Shoe gaze”could aptly describe them. I love their awesome rhythms, guitars that swirl, keyboards that transport me to outer space, voices that echo and vibrate and lyrics that move through me.
Their October 7th release of the record, simply titled Three, is something that I can’t seem to play enough of. The songs spin around in my head and they won’t let go of me. I have surrendered to their addictive sounds.
This album, ironically, received mediocre reviews from several online sources. I am not one of them. I can’t explain why there are so many negative and poor reviews but that just doesn’t seem to matter. Perhaps I am sentimental when it comes to heartbreaking songs about losing someone close and dear to you.
I have experienced much tragedy this year. I took group fitness instructor courses and attempted to pass a certification test TWICE and FAILED both times. I lost 2 of my grandmothers within the same week, believe it or not. My wife and I had a miscarriage earlier last summer, which was a deep and personal tragedy. I had several battles with depression as well. So maybe this record speaks to me in a really strong way. Sadness, melancholy and panic attacks surround my soul even as i go through the process of healing.
My niece and I connect in a really special way. We are like kindred spirits when it comes to words, poetry and music and I really believe that she will love this album. Its an engaging listen for the ears and the brain. I think the songs punch pretty hard right into the heart. They help someone like me cope with loss and failure. The songs reassure me that I am not alone trying to sort out my sensitive feelings in this world of opinions, hatred and jealousy. I reflect on the beauty that is all over me when I play these songs.
How can I put this? Its one of the best bands you never heard of. They aren’t quite mainstream but that is just fine with me. The mood of this record is deep, raw and real. I won’t go into great details anymore. I can only provide you with a video and trust that faith and hope will take you on this fantastic musical journey.
I highly recommend you listen to (and watch) this:
I want to talk about some music since I haven’t posted at this blog since December. Sorry I haven’t talk to you in a while. Was hibernating for the winter. So I feel like taking a little flashback to the fall of 1995. I was in my third semester of college and me and the boys were drinking and smoking late one night and listing to an EP by a band called Alice in Chains. The CD was simply titled SAP. It only consists of four tracks. But we must’ve played that particular album on repeat about 40 times on that evening for a cloudy haze of teenage escape from school and life on a Saturday night. But that EP was my lifeline to my friends for at least a decade until I ran into my friends again. The songs on that record were mellow and acoustic for the most part. The vocals and the harmonies were so hypnotic and really spoke to me and got me through many tough times.
Ann Wilson from Heart, Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney all make appearances on this campfire chill of a musical treasure. Chris and Mark sing along with Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell on “Right Turn” which is my personal favorite track. So the harmonies and the emotions just oooze into my soul. With Anne Wilson being my favorite female vocalist of all time, I was glad to hear her backing vocals on not just one but TWO tracks on the record. BROTHER and AM I INSIDE.
Of course, Layne Staley really steals the show here on this EP as this powerfully emotional singer that takes you, the listener, into a blackhole of despair and yet somehow brings you back into reality in the end with the silly hidden 5th track that sounds like insane circus punk music. But ultimately, Layne is such an incredible vocalist and its so sad he’s no longer with us. But the memory remains. Every time I hear these songs, I think of that night in college with my friends Nate and Geff.
I cannot decide what my favorite record of the year is!
Not an easy choice.
There is so much music that I listen to.
From Jazz to Rock to Classical Orchestra to Heavy Metal.
My tastes are quite eclectic!
So how do I figure this out?
Well some of the criteria is the following:
1) Number of times played? Am I obsessed?
2) Did I see this artist/band live in concert?
3) Does it stir up a lot of emotions each time?
Ultimately, I have broken it down to 7 specific albums and 1 favorite song!!!
Number 7 is BECK – MORNING PHASE
He’s moved beyond his slacker-hipster days of Loser. I have embraced the soft side of Beck with this soft, mellow and acoustic vibe. These songs SOUND like the morning in the winter while drinking a cup of hot coffee. Way to step out of your comfort zone!
Number 6 is THE WAR ON DRUGS – LOST IN A DREAM
I hear the Dylan, Petty, Pink Floyd and Dire Straights influences here. Really dreamy music for sure. I am transported to another time and place every time I pop this record into my ears.
Number 5 is A SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW – SEA WHEN ABSENT
This became a more recent obsession of mine. It has a real addictive sound. Shoe gaze, trippy, mellow, synth pop is some magical stuff for the brain! It reminds me of the band My Bloody Valentine with that Cocteau Twins vibe from the 80’s. Amazing vocals and mind blowing digital effects mixed with grungy guitars.
But the truth is….this really was my favorite album of the year because of how rich, potent, spine tingling it is!!! Until……
THIS ALBUM CAME OUT!!!
Number 1 is PINK FLOYD – THE ENDLESS RIVER
Holy Cow!!! This was the surprise release of the year! Only my favorite band of all time suddenly came to life after 20 years in absence!!!! Here’s a long spiel:
Firstly if you’re a hard core fan of the Roger Waters era then this probably isn’t for you. Their aren’t many bands who have lost their main writer and reinvent themselves. But David, Rick and Nick did just that. Roger thought he was bigger than the FLOYD! That was a big mistake and firing Rick Wright was also a bad idea.
I’ve always been a fan of Rick and I recommend you take a listen to his solo project Broken China, for me it was sheer brilliance from Rick. For me it’s about paying respect to a Great musician and the quiet man of the Floyd. Yes you could say this is a collection of pieces that where put aside from The Division Bell but does it matter??…. Nope!
This album is a fitting tribute to Rick. David and Nick have given a lot of thought producing a highly pleasurable listening experience, listen hard enough and it will transform you back to your youth. To the band: it’s been a great journey. You will in years to come be regarded as one of the Greatest Rock bands of all time.
Richard Wright RIP
But now I wish to make mention of my favorite song this year…….
FAVORITE SONG…….Jenny Lewis – Just One of the Guys
Once in a band called Rilo Kiley as their singer, she walks away from the all night parties with the boys. Now in this deep, layered, tonic rock tune things get real! Lewis’ addictive melodies and smart, heartbreaking lyrics about aging, loneliness and being without a child certainly make a huge mark in her career! This is a welcome back moment for this indie Rock queen!!!
2014 has been an awesome year! Believe me, I had so many favorites but these were calculated precisely and are logically my biggest ones! See you next year!!!!!
Her music has an incredibly cinematic sound and refers a lot to pop culture. Primarily of the 1950s and 1960s. Total Americana. Lana has described herself as a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Musically, she was influenced by what she believes to be the masters of major genres. These include but are not limited to Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and Nirvana. But also much poetry and film noir.
Her real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. She was born on June 21, 1985. A New York girl. But I love her stage name Lana Del Rey. Very cool sounding. Simply put, she is an American singer-songwriter. But she loves the world of crime, love, romance, drugs and loneliness.
Currently her number one selling record, ULTRAVIOLENCE, is probably my favorite one of this year. In fact I know it is. It was love at first “sound.” Now I must admit It took me awhile to climb aboard the Lana Del Ray express, but I am glad that I caught a ride only about a week ago. What a fascinating artist! She is so deep and mesmerizing! Could this be my favorite artist of 2014? Hmmmm….better than Katy Perry? Better than St Vincent? Who knows……
So…..fascinating….angelic voice….dreamy….grainy…..addictive (for me)
It’s slow and feels good with the windows rolled down in a pink Cadillac ( if I owned one).
The title ULTRAVIOLENCE was clearly borrowed from Stanley Kubrick’s dark film, A Clockwork Orange. That happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time! Futuristic, creepy, weird, cool and deep!
Her trip-hop, noir and almost operatic vocals sound sends me off into psychedelic dreams of shivers lying by the ocean and recalling all of the highlights of my life. The carefree days of childhood but also the smoke filled world of sex drugs and rock n roll. I mean she’s not “kid friendly.”
She also pays much tribute to David Lynch (master of bizarre art films) and could even provide theme songs to James Bond flicks, if she wanted to. Although, I do know one of her songs were featured in a recent adaptation of the Great Gatsby . In addition, she was asked to do a sultry waltz remake of the classic song, “Once Upon A Dream,” in the film Malificent.
Take the sex appeal of Marilyn Monroe and mix it with the songwriting skills of Leonard Cohen. That is the feeling I get from Miss Lana. I won’t lie either. She is a stunning and gorgeous young lady at 29.
Of course I have heard negative feedback for Ultraviolence. This makes me confused but I guess it all boils down to individual taste. I love this album – it’s a refreshingly “old” style. Listening to her music and voice makes me feel like I’m somewhere in that darkly-romantic time, whenever that was. Taking a stroll along a boardwalk of California’s beaches and looking over my shoulders. Love mixed with danger.
I think of Mulholland Drive (the film and the actual place) when I listen to this record. It’s creepy world and it’s sexy world and it’s dreamy world. In her videos she smokes and makes it look cool….just like the old-fashioned days.
So I have decided that as of now….August 17th 2014…..my favorite album of the year is Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence!!! OMG what a masterpiece!!
Music Bard here.
Okay so I think I found a new blog post.
Lately I’ve been kind of struggling.
Just been posting monthly playlists and a few TOP FIVE favorites but I decided to move on.
And that’s my prerogative.
But my new post here is actually about Peter Gabriel.
I’m actually maybe kind of annoyed. Not at him but at some NON-fans.
Plus some of these NON-fans are my friends/co-workers so I’ll be nice.
I have nothing against the people as individuals but more of this Blasé / ehh attitude about Mr. Gabriel.
Now I’m not saying every person out there has to be a Peter Gabriel fan by any means.
That’s okay. That’s your prerogative.
But like he was just inducted into the “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” recently among the likes of KISS and NIRVANA.
So yeah there’s differences in all three of those artists right there but I personally feel like he’s getting over-looked
Not enough credit by the audience out there. Perhaps not being treated fairly.
Some are saying, “He’s old,” “He’s boring” and “I don’t like his stuff.”
Sure some of his songs are overplayed on the radio. Like Salisbury Hill, In Your Eyes and Sledgehammer (to name a few).
But to dig deep into his catalog, particularly when he was the frontman of GENESIS, pretty much everything he touched (until drummer Phil Collins took over) was pure gold in my opinion.
I suppose it requires a patient listener to fully appreciate that experimental sound.
Me? I like avant garde & weird art music.
So he split and did his own thing due to creative differences with his former band by coming out with some great solo material.
In particular; it was his album PASSION, from 1989, that catapulted world music into the popular culture.
Passion was originally Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ.
And there’s no mistaking this record’s exciting power. I love that it’s essentially all instrumental too.
But he developed this into an actual album rather than just soundtrack.
Like a lot of Gabriel’s solo work, the album is the result of his continuing obsession and devotion with world music.
He uses it here to create an exceptionally beautiful and atmospheric canvas of sound perfectly bringing strong and vivid memories to the mind.
If you saw the above mentioned movie, memories flash of the film’s resonating spiritual drama; inspired by field recordings collected in areas wide spread as Turkey and Egypt.
Passion (the album posted below) achieves a unique effect clearly Middle Eastern in origin.
I seriously consider PASSION as Gabriel’s finest music of any kind. Such an underrated album.
But I digress.
Peter Gabriel has been around for a long time and certainly deserved his accolades.
He certainly writes brilliant music
He was and still is a true artist.