Album Reviews artists Battle podcast

Time to get the HEAVY METAL out!!!



Hello Metalheads!!!

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. 

Stay Tuned


Album Reviews artists interests

My Top Favorite Music From 2016

In no particular order, these are my favorite music releases from this year:




Angel Olsen……My Woman

Car Seat Headrest……Teens Of Denial

David Bowie……Blackstar

Kristin Kontrol……X-Communicate

Melanie Martinez……Cry Baby

Nice As F*#K……Self Titled

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds……Skeleton Tree


Radiohead……A Moon Shaped Pool

Savages……Adore Life

Sunflower Bean……Human Ceremony

Pink Floyd……The Early Years, 1967-1972 (Cre/ation)


artists debates interests Uncategorized

What’s The Best American Band Of Our Generation? #generationx #music #debate #nirvana #mixtape



I am bringing back something that a friend of mine mentioned two years ago: What’s the best American Band of our Generation? But I want to clarify….Speaking on behalf of Generation X and Y (Millennial’s too)…what band has defined this place in time occurring from 1980-2010. A band that began in the 80’s and is still relevant. Longevity and sales play a key roll. It needs to define us!!! So FRANK brought up Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I will add to that Green Day and Nine Inch Nails…..Let’s Debate Folks!!!

The following conversation has been edited for focus and clarity: 



FRANK:I view Nirvana like The Doors. Amazingly influential but too short lived.


PAULI agree with the “short-lived” thing.

MARY: Definitely WuTang is in the running. Very influential in both music and life.
PAUL: If I were to ask 10 random people our age who Wu Tang is….would they know? I’m not saying I don’t like them or think they are good but are they at the top of the list?
MARY: I think so. Look at the rapper that came out of Wu-Tang. Ghostface killah, method man and old dirty bastard. Ghostface and Method are still relevant.
FRANK: For sure. They influenced multiple cultures. Not just one culture like most of the bands we have listed. For sure more than Green Day. Just saying.
PAUL: The only thing is, their longevity doesn’t trace back to the 80’s.Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was a great album but beyond that release, I’m not convinced that it “defined” our generation. IMHO
MARY: Wu-Tang is one of the most influential hip hop artist. That stupid pharmaceutical guy bought the ONLY copy of their latest album. So they are still relevant enough to garner that type of interest. They also started a clothing line and soon many rappers like puff daddy would follow suit. ODB was the original Kanye, interrupting the Grammys when Puff Daddy won best Rap Album and Shawn Colvin when she won Song of the Year.
BOB: My only vote would be for Nirvana. I know they don’t qualify based on the parameters, but their influence and effect rippled across the ENTIRE music industry in the early 90s. All at once, Hair Metal (your Warrants and Wingers of the world) were done. Grunge was the new sound for better or worse. Even thrash metal bands like Metallica and Anthrax were affected; if you listen to 90s records (post-Nirvana) from these bands versus 80s records (pre-Nirvana) you can hear the change. I can’t go with the Pumpkins (even though I am a huge fan) because they weren’t CONSISTENTLY good. Same thing with Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
PAUL: You make a good point Sir.
JOEHa! Me and Geff have a long standing debate on this. Green Day vs Metallica. I say Metallica, he says Green Day. Ironically I’m in a band that plays lots of Green Day. So….Can of worms opened. I contend that without the Black album paving the way for heavier music in popular music there is no grunge or 90s metal.No nirvana, Pearl jam, Alice in chains, tool, Korn, or green day. Ergo Metallica had the most effect on the music of our generation. You must look back to what was on the radio and mtv before Aug 12 1991. It was a huge shift when they started playing a lot of heavy stuff on the radio and more kids at school liked Metallica than didn’t like that bunch of satan worshipping burn outs as they were previously referred to.
BOB:It’s very interesting to note that both the Black Album and Nevermind were released within weeks of each other in 1991. You could argue that the Black Album was one of the first grunge album, though that album did piss off a LOT of their hardcore fans due to the sound change from the first few records. I still think the music scene’s overall “sound” changed more as a result of Nirvana than the Black Album. Also, I still view the Black Album as the “buffer” album between Justice and the Load period. Therefore, I don’t hold it up as much; though there are some great tunes on that record.
JOE: Metal had to rise so it could die and grunge could rise up. I still maintain. If not that then yes Nirvana changed the world.
PAUL: Nirvana’s Bleach came out in 1989 and so did NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine so…
BOB: True, but in fairness, Bleach didn’t have anywhere near the impact that Nevermind did. I doubt Metallica was influenced by Bleach that much.


PAUL: probably not…..I just disagree with Joe on this one. Plus Mudhoney arrived in 1988 using” grunge” to define their style.

PAUL:The Gen X soundtrack is a mixtape. It consists of dance. punk, pop, glam rock, new wave, alternative and rap. At the heart of it all is the music that erupted from Seattle in the early 1990s.
FRANK: Agree 100%. But still, need to add the East Coast and West Coast Hip Hop scene. They paved the way for what I’d consider to be the dominant form of American music today. I have been contemplating this and I still have Green Day as a tier 2 in this debate. I don’t think they were very original. They might have influenced the cheapening of punk. Sort of how Metallica made metal mainstream by watering it down. Which makes them successful in pop culture and also eligible for a “greatest” list. Given a choice, I’ll take Slayer and Fugazi over Metallica and Green Day but that’s a different list and different discussion.
PAUL: I tend to gravitate towards Green Day! Dookie went 10 x Platinuum and it was basically considered a Diamond record as opposed to a Gold record!
FRANK:I’ll stick to Metallica and RHCP as the greatest American bands of my generation.
PAUL: Perhaps we are the “mixtape” generation.
BOB:I’m a fan of Green Day, but they have put out a couple stinkers. The Warning album was godawful. It should have been titled Warning: This Record Sucks.Though I think Green Day’s first three records, 39 Smooth, Kerplunk and Dookie were all amazing! The follow-up to Dookie was underrated too. Insomniac, I think? I can’t remember.
PAUL: A good band/artist puts out stinkers! Even David Bowie managed to release some duds. He put out 27 albums but not ALL of them were Golden! 
BOB: That is true, but if we’re talking about generation defining artists, I like to keep the stinkage to a minimum.

PAUL:I suppose Nirvana wasn’t around long enough to stink too much. I still believe that longevity and sales play key factors.

BOB:Eh, I’m not so keen on sales. People buy a lot of crap. I’d be interested to know, which is the WEAKEST Nirvana album in your opinion?
PAUL: I guess none of them. you got me stumped. But I will say, does it define our generation? Or is this a mission impossible?I’m willing to bet that its a “mixtape” generation.
BOB: I think Nirvana defined the generation best with the lyrics to Teen Spirit: Here We Are, Now Entertain Us! If that isn’t the slacker Gen X anthem, well, I challenge you to top it!
PAUL: Actually, Beck, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Radiohead all presented “anthems” for our generation too: Beck’s Loser? Sonic Youth’s Teenage Riot? Radiohead’s Creep?
BOB: I like “Here We Are, Now Entertain Us” better than “I’m a Loser, Baby, so Why Don’t You Kill Me?”Not a huge Radiohead fan, but I like Creep. Love Sonic Youth, especially Daydream Nation. Love it. But I think it more defined the Hipster generation, which I don’t consider myself a part of.
BOB: You could also make an argument that Dinosaur Jr. was making grunge records way before Nirvana. Listen to You’re Living All Over Me; if that ain’t grunge, I don’t know what is…
Nirvana, “Nevermind”
Pearl Jam, “Ten”
Dr. Dre, “The Chronic”
Radiohead, “OK Computer”
Rage Against the Machine, “The Battle of Los Angeles”
Sublime, “Sublime”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”
No Doubt, “Tragic Kingdom”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Siamese Dream”
REM, “Out of Time”
Depeche Mode, “Violator”
Jane’s Addiction, “Ritual de Lo Habitual”
Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill”
Soundgarden, “Superunknown”
Green Day, “Dookie”
Beastie Boys, “Ill Communication”
U2, “Achtung Baby”
BOB: I forgot about REM. Perhaps they should be in the conversation as well? They had a gift for reinvention that was unique. Monster is one of my favorite 90s records.
PAUL: Losing My Religion really spoke to me
BOB: That’s definitely an anthem for a lot of us.
PAUL: So perhaps R.E.M. vs Nirvana?
FRANK: REM for sure. They were around 30 years – not comparable with Nirvana.
PAUL: Would you say REM is more relevant?
BOB: REM probably is more impressive in that they were so good for so long. I loved all their records until like, the late 90s. No obvious stinkers.
STEVE: While mother love bone birthed grunge music, nirvana definitely defined it. In a pop dominated era, rem defied the boundaries along with bands like the cure. However, I cannot find any band to compare to the boys from Ireland (U2). Imo, they’re on an island all their own.
PAUL: I think I’m convinced that it’s not Metallica or red hot chili peppers because there were too many stinkers and I don’t feel they spoke to everybody or at least the majority but what do I know?
FRANK: As for the Metallica and RHCP stinkers – that is due to longevity. I don’t think it discounts them. But to each his own. As long as we all love music and the great (or sad) memories it evokes, the world is right. Now go watch the AIC Would video, put on some docs and a flannel and transport yourself back to the 90s. And share it with a millennial. Poor saps. Sap. Good album.
Maybe we’ll never know for sure. Let’s ask the blog followers to participate. What’s your opinion on this matter? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section. 
artists Concerts Memories

Katy Restored My Innocence


Enormous stadium

Thousands of flashlights
Emitting from smartphones
Gigantic colorful balloons
Glitter everywhere

Clapping hands
Dancing in place by our seats
Jumping up and down
Like giddy children

Wild outfits
Little girls with wings
Pizza and Abe Lincoln?
What’s Gluten?

Shiny guitar strumming

Glamorous costume changes
Everything is a prism
Camera phones
Coca cola
Love of her crowd

Told us how she went
For a bike ride around
“Our city of Chicago”

Selfies with Katy and the crowd
Birthday party with a member of the audience

Egyptian feel
Kitty cats
Glow in the dark
3D glasses
Moms & Daughters
Doing the WAVE
Chanting “Katy! Katy! Katy!”
10 year old girls’
energy all over

“But What’s Gluten?”

Brightly connected
A thrill ride
Awesome sauce

Got home at 1:00 a.m.
And was

Album Reviews artists

Peter Gabriel’s PASSION

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.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!


5 guitarists that SHRED!!!!

(I am not one of them)

Solos that make me weep is more like it! But seriously, I love a good guitar riff and a long jam that has a ripple effect on my brain thereby causing me to bust out into “air guitar” mode!!!

These are the fab FIVE:

1) David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) the example song is DOGS (it’s stellar)

2) Adam Jones (Tool) the example song is “Schism” (holy crap is that a jam)

3) J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr) a prime example is anything from the album, “You’re Living All Over Me.” In such short songs he squeezes these unbelievable solos. He packs a punch!!!

4) Lou Reed (of Velvet Underground) R.I.P. This man destroys this improvised song called “Sister Ray!” Damn he has endurance!!!

5) Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) on “Dazed and Confused” played live in New York for the film THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME…he busts out a violin bow string and seems to never stop playing! (See clip below)

Amen to the great guitar Gods!!!!


artists interests

Top Five Records To Save From A Burning Building

So these are five cd’s or vinyl records that I consider, at least the mood I am in right now, to be a few of my favorite ones. This list consists of albums that would make me cry if I lost them or got them stolen from me. I have played these records constantly. I would consider these to be currently my “desert island” discs.

1. Beck….Odelay (sampling masterpiece)
2. Black Sabbath….Paranoid (Original Heavy Metal Genius)
3. Beach Boys….Pet Sounds (So far ahead of its time)
4. Smashing Pumpkins….Siamese Dream (Listened to this one everyday after school in high school)
5. Neko Case….Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (I just listened to this one again a few hours ago… “ALWAYS” makes me cry…..because it’s that good!)


artists interests Memories

Release My Demons….Please!

I am melancholy right now. I have a friend that got angry with me. I threw her under the bus and embarrassed her. Then she got even more upset and denied me a gift and de-friended me on facebook. Life can really suck sometimes. But it is through music that my soul can be heard. My three nieces performed this song on Christmas Eve before my fight with my friend. They did an awesome job! It was stunning to watch them sing, play guitar and keyboard like that and do it with passion and pretty harmony. I enjoyed videotaping it. But now I am reminded of its profound meaning. The girls know what it is like to be human and have real pain and emotions that we tend to bury, hide and ignore. We all make mistakes. We all deserve a second chance. But we all must learn to forgive ourselves. We cannot let the sins and the black coins of our life fill up the jar of our minds and soul or else there will be no more room for love.


These are the lyrics to the songs, “Demons,” from the band Imagine Dragons

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you’ve made

Don’t wanna let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Here is an acoustic version of the song which is heaven to my ears:

….and here are my awesome nieces; Amanda, Sydney and Sam. This is their version that prompted me to write this blog entry (a baby cries in the beginning):


Album Reviews artists



Thrilling! Haunting! Arresting!

Those are just some of the words to describe this 80’s style, indie post punk band from London. A female-foursome, nonetheless. I was honestly blown away the first time they blasted energetic and addictive raw hooks into my ears. I’m getting more goosebumps just talking about this band for the third time this year. Their debut album is entitled, “Silence Yourself.” The guitars, the bass, & those tight drums are all so clean, yet heavy. Explosively pulsating machines of focused rage! Everything is amplified by their wonderful production. A new wave of post punk; a do-it-yourself revival is coming your way!!!!

In this day and age of music, it’s not easy to find an original and valid band. These girls have done it! They made an anti-pop record. There are no “anthems” involved here. I honestly do think of other garage punk groups from the late 70′s when I listen closely. Groups like Joy Division and Siouxsie & the Banshees come to mind for sure. As lead singer of Savages, Jenny Beth’s voice compliments the instruments quite lovely. Their appearance is dark and mesmerizing. All of it is riveting, poisonous, exclusive and reckless.

This album rocks hard! It really does. This is my favorite record of the year. Why?

Well; first of all, they all actually know how to play their instruments each with a unique sound. Nothing is radio-friendly about them. Compared to their live shows, the album “Silence Yourself” is low-energy. I saw them at Metro Club in Chicago! Wow! Astonishing! I do not believe that these ladies are over-hyped. No. Not this time. They bring it!

The fusion of Jenny’s original sounding screams at the end of a perfect track, “She Will” with the wailing feedback makes me think to myself, “Damn that is genius.” Who does that anymore? I love the bravery and brilliant results of these tracks. At moments they can be be unsettling and dreamy. But still, my ears do the talking. They like what they hear. I find it difficult to avoid them. I keep playing them over and over and over again. Almost every day over this summer and for the past two months. I am nuts over them!

British chicks RULE!!! While tons of bands have all done similar things with their music as other groups have over the years, it’s the jaw-dropping and unique way that Savages recorded the sound on this album that makes the difference. This re-creates rock and roll history, for me. If it SOUNDS great then it is great!

Give it a listen (brace yourself):

Album Reviews artists



It’s time to do a 180. That’s the title of a supreme British Punk Record for the year 2013. The album title is based on the studio in Lambeth, London where the band tends to perform. Palma Violets are a pretty radical group. They are the first of two British bands that made it to the top of my countdown! What does that tell you? I LOVE British bands! They just know how to do it for me. For the fans of bands like THE CLASH, look no further. So these guys are named after an old-fashioned British candy, apparently. The lads of this gigantically buzzed-about indie-rock four-piece from southeast London look like they blew their first paycheck on facials and cigarettes—so far. But Palma Violets have a great sound all of their own, even if it has been pieced together from their favorite records. But that’s ok. The band’s debut single, “Best of Friends,” featured an awesome and stylish organ, plus loud drum pounding and background shouting that recalls the Who or something that begs for a round of drinks and earplugs. Animal like noises blast at times. I even hear a bit of Syd’s Piper in it. No matter. The songs get their rugged physical strength and vocals from the likes of Nick Cave and surprisingly the deep and fantastic Joe Strummer. Give this video a view and a listen! Modern Rock to the MAX Baby!!!! It’s pure brilliance!