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Ashley Winchester Jan 18, 2014

This is kind of weird one.

Still going through my old music disc and deleting a lot of stuff that hasn't held up over the years... but there is one band where its become obvious that the expiration date has come and gone. Static-X.

When I worked at the electroplating plant my boss would constantly play Static-X songs all day and I was never allowed to play anything I wanted. After a few months I was sick of the same songs but then he took a personal leave of absence and I didn't have to listen to those songs every day. Then after a while I actually started to miss those songs so I bought all the CDs.  This was back in 2009 I believe...

I started listening to some of the those songs now and I realize how terrible some of them are. Don't get me wrong, I still have a few favorites, but so many of these tracks are just completely disposable I don't see what I originally saw in them - and I now see why professional music critics never gave these guys the time of day.

Ashley Winchester Apr 7, 2014 (edited Apr 8, 2014)

The new Sonata Arctica album Pariah's Child came out a few days ago. I knew it was being released in spring but I wasn't expecting it this soon. I went into fye half thoughtlessly and it was there. The price tag said $12.99 but it was only $10 which I can't complain with at all because that's what the DL probably costs.

Unfortunately, while I don't dislike the album this one is probably going to take a while to sink in... and even then I don't think it's going to keep my attention very long. Something is just kind of off with this one... it feels kind of shallow in some ways. Anyway, we'll see I guess.

Futhermore I think Nightwish has an album due this year and, sorry, they are up on my personal chopping block. After how they let go of their last singer after she got pregnant I'm kind of mad at them. Then I hear the new singer isn't good... which could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. A band like that needs a great singer or it just doesn't work.

Edit:

Okay, looking on amazon it seems like EVERY power metal band is releasing an album in April: Edguy and Gamma Ray are due this month as well. However Gamma Ray really burned the bridge with me earlier. Edguy I'll just buy the DL.

Edit Edit:

Also add Brainstorm to the April releases as as well.

GoldfishX Apr 7, 2014

Jpop. Lots of Jpop. I started getting into the albums from various seiyuu and they are right up my alley. Cheap too, most of them are like 1 yen on Amazon Japan (before shipping of course).

This was a fun find...The seiyuu for Sailor Venus doing...Venus, the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkYdad35qyo

Ashley Winchester Apr 9, 2014

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Unfortunately, while I don't dislike the album this one is probably going to take a while to sink in... and even then I don't think it's going to keep my attention very long. Something is just kind of off with this one... it feels kind of shallow in some ways. Anyway, we'll see I guess.

Okay, I've listened to Pariah's Child some more and some of the songs have grown on me... but the album definitely has problems.

"The Wolves Die Young"
The opener is curious because this has to be the weakest opener of any Sonata Arctica album yet - and that's saying something since many of the openers are pretty typical speed metal numbers. There really isn't anything wrong with the song but it just doesn't have any hook to speak of. This almost occurred on the last album with its opener "All the Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful)" but it was able to avoid doing that.

"Running Lights"
Like the opener it just has no hook to speak of.

"Take One Breath"
After two hook-less songs we at least get something different... but it's a jumble of ideas that are far from being cohesive.

"Cloud Factory"
The imaginatively named "Cloud Factory" does manage to get the album back on track somewhat but it pales to the next three songs.

"Blood"
Here's where the album gets good. "Blood" is a fantastic song that does justice to the wolf-themed songs the band put on the back burner with the last album. Quite honestly lyricist Tony Kakko is the only person I know that can plop the dictated Oxford English Dictionary definition of "blood" into a damn song of the same name and make it work.

"What Did You Do in the War, Dad?"
I really like this one as well as it does tug at the heart strings as a son and father talk about the titular subject... but it's basically built on the same foundation that "Caleb" was built on back on Unia.

"Half a Marathon Man"
The title is pretty humorous in itself... but this track is far from a joke. Like "A $hitload of Money" from Stones Grow Her Name this is throwback rock track that is pretty entertaining and seems to confirm making one of these tracks per album may become a common motif for the band... and I have no problem with that.

"X Marks the Spot"
Ugh. "X Marks the Spot" does mark the spot... for the worst track on the album. Easily this album's "Alone in Heaven" from Stones Grow Her Name, this rocker tries to be clever with that whole "rock preacher" thing and it is so hammy it is embarrassing.

"Love"
I've read that Tony Kakko wrote "Love" in response to fans who feel his love ballads always end up being bittersweet. Extremely corny and cheesy like any good love ballad, I think this track will definitely do the trick.

"Larger Than Life"
And of course we have to have to end the album with a ten minute monster because... why else... it's a power metal album! The only thing "Larger Than Life" really accomplishes is proving to me that it is insanely overwrought creation. There are a few good nuggets buried in here but those small moments aren't worth putting up with the rest of the track. Easily has some of the most ill fated choir singing I've heard in a while.

At the end I only like about half the album. In today's world that not too bad... but compared to past albums that's just downright bad in comparison. Still, again for $10 I'll take it.

Zane Apr 14, 2014

I saw The Dillinger Escape Plan in concert* last Sunday night, and got totally sucked in. I've been a fairweather fan for the past several years, but I have such a huge respect for them now. Mostly listening to One of Us Is the Killer and Miss Machine recently. Delicious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeBFEanVsp4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4yxREs-mRM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKRV0zvSnvo

*I'm in that mess somewhere, smushed up right against the stage and under Greg when he stage dives at some point.

jb Apr 15, 2014

They are really good but the live show is a little lost on me, it's just a little too wild/violent/wtf for me. 

I saw a free concert in Brooklyn a few weeks ago with Caspian and Junius performing and it was really good.  Junius' new EP Days of the Fallen Sun is really awesome.  The new Armin van Buuren album, Intense, is just really awesome.  I was listening to that for a while.  I'm looking forward to the new Trophy Scars cd at the end of this month, as well.

Brandon Apr 21, 2014

I've really been getting into Mayumi Itsuwa, a Japanese singer-songwriter from the 70s and 80s, lately. I downloaded her biggest hit, "Koibito Yo" ("Oh My Love") on Napster over ten years ago and kind of liked it, but not enough to look her up. I finally got around to it, and really liked what I heard. I've also come to realize that "Koibito Yo" is really a much better song than I gave it credit for.

Girl: http://youtu.be/4VpZHQaP7UU

Oh My Love: http://youtu.be/vnjEKojqgVc

Just Don't Say Goodbye: http://youtu.be/FdxEhKOiNQQ

Cigarette Smoke: http://youtu.be/9tfph15JceY

Ashley Winchester Apr 30, 2014

I downloaded the new Edguy album Space Police: Defenders of the Crown off amazon and... it's not going very well.

The album is better than the bomb they dropped back in 2009 known as Tinnitus Sanctus but in no way does this touch other albums, not even 2012's Age of the Joker which did a very good job of helping me get over Tinnitus Sanctus.

None of the choruses really grab me and it actually takes many songs too long to even reach that point.

I'm sorry to say this will probably be off my hard drive within a month if not sooner.

I think this another band where I've just grown apart from. Can't say that's very surprising. I don't follow many of the European bands I use to follow anymore. Still, I have the handful of past Edguy tracks I like on my playlists.

However, VERY glad I went digital on this. If not I'd have to go through the hassle of hocking the CD.

jb May 10, 2014

I went to see CHVRCHES last Friday in NYC and I can't say I was disappointed.  This would never have been a band I would have found on my own but I was looking for concerts to go to for a date and this sounded pretty perfect.  I downloaded their album and really liked it.  The only disappointing part about the concert was that it started at 9:00 pm on a Friday, was only an hour set (with a 15m/3 song encore) and was over by 10:15pm ... on a Friday night?  I get that they don't have a lot of material yet but they only had one opener.  But all in all it was a great show.

Also, this new Michael Jackson album, Xscape, is incredible.  Relevant even posthumous.  The Justin Timberlake duo on Love Never Felt So Good is so good.  rip king of pop.

Ashley Winchester May 14, 2014

Just picked up the new Jim Gaffigan comedy special Obsessed.

To be honest the mastering on this album isn't that great.

From the tracklisting it looks like Jim's musing over his children (which now sits at five) is related to a single track this time... so that's good. That was a problem with the last album. I belong to the George Carlin school when it comes to talking about children in comedy specials.

Unfortunately, listening to this I think Jim's comedy has reached its expiration point. The topics just sound tired and I've heard it all before in superior form on King Baby and Beyond the Pale.

Ashley Winchester May 14, 2014

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Just picked up the new Jim Gaffigan comedy special Obsessed.

From the tracklisting it looks like Jim's musing over his children (which now sits at five) is related to a single track this time... so that's good. That was a problem with the last album. I belong to the George Carlin school when it comes to talking about children in comedy specials.

Okay, so this covered during two tracks, but this is much more tolerable than the last album. It is shorter, more to the point, and the material is pretty true in and of itself.

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Unfortunately, listening to this I think Jim's comedy has reached its expiration point. The topics just sound tired and I've heard it all before in superior form on King Baby and Beyond the Pale.

I was somewhat hasty here. It's true the album isn't completely fresh... but for some reason the first three tracks (what I had heard went I wrote this) just came off as sloppy and Jim was throwing out jokes as fast and random as he could for some reason. After this point he calms the (expletive) down and the album it much more organized and digestible. I don't know what really happened with the beginning... very odd.

GoldfishX May 14, 2014

I kept hearing that stupid Katy Perry song "Wide Awake" on the radio, so I decided to "sample" the album it's from. She is pretty obnoxious as a personality, but she has a really powerful voice that can fill an arena quite easily. Same boat as (early) Madonna or Lady Gaga...Look beyond the annoying personality and the music underneath is rock solid. Color me pleasantly surprised.

Brandon Jul 2, 2014

I've been listening to Yutaka Ozaki's final album, 放熱への証. It's glorious. If you're not familiar with his music, you need to be. Seriously, just click the damn link.

jb Jul 2, 2014

Brandon wrote:

I've been listening to Yutaka Ozaki's final album, 放熱への証. It's glorious. If you're not familiar with his music, you need to be. Seriously, just click the damn link.

Sounds like Bruce Springsteen only it's not.

Brandon Jul 3, 2014

jb wrote:

Sounds like Bruce Springsteen only it's not.

Now that you mention it, Springsteen's "4th of July, Asbury Park" was the first thing that came to mind the first time I heard track 1.

vert1 Jul 14, 2014 (edited Jul 14, 2014)

Getting timed out on this website is getting extremely irritating.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPOjDLzXsmY
Paragliders - Paraglide (Humate Remix)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83wMd_0DpCc
Hyperborea - Get Stronger (Technoclub 2 A.M. Mix)

These are my youtube go-to tracks. Bought the first ep to get the first track. Superb trance. Haven't bought the second track yet; I am not sure which format to acquire it on vinyl or the cd.

Generally speaking my listening routine to work I choose from anything in my collection. I was considering listening to Submersion's Finality album exclusively. I listen to WASi303's 'Stage1' and 'Stage 3' [むちむちポーク!& ピンクスゥイーツ Wサウンドトラック [Disc 1]] exclusively when driving to the gym. I listen to Aril Brikha's 'Read Only Memory' exclusively when driving to the mall.

Idolores Jul 14, 2014

reading a Rolling Stone special on Michael Jackson is making me revisit his discography.

Without this added insight into his personal life, I doubt I ever would have seen his work on Thriller and beyond as subtle, desperate pleas for help and understanding.

Anyways, Thriller rocks. Bad's up next.

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