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Jeromy's Music Interests

On this page:
[Intro] [Playing Info] [Playing&Story] [Influences] [Early Days] [MTV's New Wave] [Metal Pioneers] [Death Metal] [Black Metal] [MP3 Reviews] [Show Notes] [Sites] [Outro]
 
Intro:
 
        Music has always been a great interest to me and a big part of my life. It's often difficult for me to find time for music, but I still make some time even if causes me trouble. Most of the time that I spend listening to music, I spend listening to myself make music/noise, but I do listen to other people's music as well. The particular styles of music I've been into vary widely but I've always been more into more intense "foreground" music than milder "background" music. Music artists make many statements in their music. My interest in their music is not usually affected much by the particular views they espouse. For example, in some music I listen to, the artist may claim to be a Satanist. I am not a Satanist but I am not worried that listening to their music is going to make me a Satanist. I have listened to such music for years and I am no more a Satanist now than I was before. I do not have such a feeble mind. I might even listen to music in which a male artist reveals his homosexuality. Believe me, it cannot turn me gay. I sometimes listen to music that talks of horror scenes such as brutally murdering people. Strange that people don't get so outraged or riled up when Wes Craven or John Carpenter releases a gory horror movie. Think of such music as horror music. Though music often draws from analytic thought, it is not natually an analytic medium. My interest in music is primarily for its artistic merit and its effectiveness in conveying emotion rather than its subject matter.
 
Some Information About Playing Music:
 
        I don't mind sharing some things I have learned about playing and composing music. I have organized some stuff into a few pages. They are written primarily for guitar but some of the concepts can be applied to other instruments. So, if your interested:
 
         Guitar Mods
         Fundamentals of Music Theory Part I
         Fundamentals of Music Theory Part II: The Types of Chords
         Tuning Methods for Guitar
         Taking the Mystery Out of Intonation
         Tuning Alternatives for Guitar
         Guitar Chords & Scales Charts
         Tips For Learning Other Artist's Songs
 
        Also, for more information for guitarists, check out my friend's site: www.guitarlizard.com
 
How I got into playing music:
 
        When I was little, my dad usually had a basic acoustic guitar sitting around the house somewhere. He didn't play it often, but once in a while he'd get on kick and get it out and play for a while. He had a band back in the winter of '69 (a little before I was born) and they jammed in his parents's garage. Looking back I wished I could have heard him play more often. We had various other music instruments around including an old piano that was in need of some repair. Even when I was little I knew some basic guitar chords and crudely how to tune the guitar. I wasn't that interested though, because I guess music seemed beyond my reach, like something that I could never have a talent for.
 
        I don't know what got into me, but when choosing my classes for the first time, being that I was going into Junior High (7th grade), I picked beginning band. I had to choose an instrument and I figured if I was going to be in band, I wanted to play something cool, so I choose an alto saxophone. Our band was a little awkward though since there was about 7 or 8 saxophones, though one was a tenor and one was a bari. I did learn a bit about music and liked to play, but I got kind of low on inspiration. A few weeks into the second semester of 8th grade, I had a falling out with the band teacher and wound up transfering out of band and into Mr. J's science class.
 
        My friends and I were really into riding our dirt and freestyle bicycles around. One of my friends whom I used to go riding with, got an electric guitar (a B.C.Rich Warlock) and amp for his 16th birthday. (He was born one day before I was, in the same hospital.) Some of my other friends and I went to his place to hang and check out his new guitar. He had already learned how to play a few simple tunes. That evening when I got home, I dug my dad's old acoustic guitar out of the back storage room and started tinkering with it. It only had four strings left on it. I soon visited a music shop with my friends where I picked up a set of strings. I didn't know anything about strings then and I wound up with some high tension strings that are hard to play, but they sounded cool. I began by applying the knowledge I had then about music. From there on, you could say I was hooked. The next Christmas, Santa, a.k.a. my Mom, got me a new electric guitar. It's a Korean off brand (The headstock says "West", anybody out there ever heard of "West"?) made copy of a standard Fender Stratocaster, but it is pretty well made and has a pretty good sound. It is one of the three guitars that I currently use.
 
Some Of My Basic Influences Over The Years:
(listed somewhat chronologically)
 
        I take no responsibility for information on my site that is incorrect because it is not unusual for me to be wrong. This is how things appeared to me. If my infomation is incorrect though, I welcome e-mail for corrections.
 
In the days of my youth...:
        I have always been most into rock'n'roll of some form or other. I could never really get much into country or disco. Though I was a kid, I was around in the disco days. You yengstuhs now who feel like you missed out on something, you didn't. When I was a little kid, my sources of rock'n'roll were FM radio and my parents rock'n'roll albums (vinyl dudes, now that is something many of you are missing out on). I grew up on Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Cream, Deep Purple, The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, AC/DC, ZZTop, The Who, Kansas, Santana, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Queen, CSN&Y, Yes, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, The Eagles, Steve Miller, The Clash, Van Halen, Sammy Hagar,...
 
MTV's New Wave:
        Our family hooked up to cable TV and with it MTV when it was still in its infancy. MTV was only about a year old. Boy, that MTV really changed things. I look at MTV now and kind of laugh. When I was in 7th grade was when the breakdance fad hit. I even busted a few moves. When I was in 8th grade there was a New Wave music fad. I was even a little bit of a "waver". Crap, what am I admitting this stuff for! Anybody remember Ministry's "Halloween is Everyday", Depeche Mode(or as I sometimes to call them, Depressed Mood, which I mean in a good way)'s "People Are People", Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" & "Two tribes", Duran Duran, Bauhaus, The Violent Femmes, The Icicle Works, P.I.L., DEVO, New Order UK "Blue Monday", Real Life "Send Me An Angel", Soft Cell "Tainted Love",...
 
The Rise of Metal:
        Sometime about when I was in 8th grade, heavy metal started to kick in. The big debate then was "Who's heavier, Maiden or Priest?". I was a pretty big Iron Maiden fan. I liked Judas Priest, too, though. I also liked DIO and W.A.S.P. My hair was never short, but 9th grade was when I started keeping it significantly longer. Back then I wasn't yet as in tune with the real "underground". It took a little while for me to figure out where you have to look for the most original artists. My friends and I were really into music and we used to listen to music when we'd hang out. Thanks to my friends, I was introduced to many groups that were very cool at the time, like:
 
Venom- The first heavy metal band to go all out with the Yeah-we're-evil-Satan-rules ("Look at me...Satan's child") theme and some may say the first speed/thrash/black metal group. They first had an album out in ~1980! They were way ahead of there time. Few have heard about them, but since it is commonly understood in the metal arena that they were the first, you can still find their albums.
 
Slayer- The first really talented Yeah-we're-evil-Satan-rules really heavy/hardcore speed/thash metal band. Their first recording made available was in 1981, though it was simple and raw. They quickly evolved and developed, earning their place as legends in music. These guys were the kings of metal for many years. In fact, they are still together, with 3 out of 4 of their original members (their original drummer also stills plays but in other bands) and have recently released a new album. After songs like "Dead Skin Mask", their evolution slowed greatly and their newer songs lack the pioneering ingenuity and uniqueness that their previous material had. It's cool that they stayed heavy and didn't weaken, but why listen to the newer stuff when the old stuff is just as good and more original. My favorite Slayer album is "Reign in Blood". SLAYER!
 
Metallica- When I first heard Metallica in 1986, I was completely blown away. The music these guys created on their first three albums: Kill'em All (1983), Ride the Lightning (1984), and Master of Puppets (early 1986), is truly remarkable. Though they lacked the evil edge of Slayer, Metallica's sound was the most powerful I had ever heard. I really related to their music and was a big fan. Unfortunately, in 1986, their tour bus slid off an icy road and their bass player, Cliff Burton, was killed. This was a huge loss. The other members admitted he had the deepest musical knowledge. He may not have been really directing Metallica and he may not have written a huge portion of their music but I think he was a critical key to their music. Metallica did mourn and honor him. They eventually hooked up with a bass player named Jason Newsted from another one of my favorite bands of the time called Flotsam and Jetsam. Jason Newsted was also a talented musician. They released a very cool "warmup" EP of cover tunes called "Garage Days Re-revisited". Then they finally released "...And Justice For All". "...A.J.F.A." still had a little bit of Cliff Burton's influence in it and some impressive playing and some parts definitely lived up to the Metallica name, but to me the album didn't quite compare to their first three albums. With "...A.J.F.A." the music industry world finally accepted as fact that heavy metal was worth its weight. Personally, it never mattered much to me what the music industry thinks. Still, at that time it seemed like Metallica would manage to continue to be a classic band, what I compared to Led Zeppelin, but then something unexplainable happened. Metallica released the wimpy soldout commercialized piece of trash album actually called "Metallica" though most call it the black album. Kids, go back and listen to the real Metallica, and if you still like the new Metallicka better, then you probably also like The New Kids On The Block and so be it, but don't claim to be a metal head- I'll just call you a block head.
Update: Metallica has tried to go back to their roots in a new album called "St. Anger". It is by far the best thing they've done since ...A.J.F.A. but that is not really saying anything. I think it is good that they have gone through rehab. I think it is good that they're trying to get back to their roots and be hardcore. They went for a very raw sound which I think is cool but in some places it is too raw. They could have done better. I would like to have heard a little bit more heaviness in their sound, more like heard on Master of Puppets. I heard some originality on this album but I think they could have worked more on some of their songs either tightening them up (not so dragged out) or adding a little more fresh material to help fill them. In interviews, they said they wrote a whole bunch of songs, like about a hundred, then pick the best ones for the album and that is what it sounds like. You can hear their talent and potential but I'd like to hear them work hard on a album's worth of really good and original songs. M.U.Y.A.
 
Megadeth- Megadeth is cool. Why? Because Dave Mustaine and his chums are also pioneers of metal. Though I haven't kept up, Megadeth is still going strong, picking up new fans and keeping some of their old. Some of you kiddies may not know that Dave Mustaine was an early member of Metallica (You can see his young mug on the "Cliff'em All" video). Metallica jumped on a contract to record "Kill'em All", but Mustaine didn't feel comfortable about it. While Metallica flew across the country to record "Kill'em All", Mustaine stayed behind, supposedly lived out of his car eating pork and beans from the can, and formed his own band...Megadeth! Favorite Megadeth albums: "Peace Sells... But who's Buying?" and "So Far, So Good... So What!".
Update: I can't remember the details right now but I heard that something happened to Dave Mustaine's arm and so he has decided to hang it up and move on to something else.
Another Update: Dave Mustaine's arm has fully recovered and he is planning on getting back into playing again but no word yet if he will form Megadeth again. He's been promoting his new signature guitar.
Yet another update: A new Megadeth album is out. I've heard a couple of the new songs. The songs I've heard sound very Megadethish. If you like Megadeth then I think you'll really like the new stuff. If you don't like Megadeth then you might not. But they sound better than I've heard from Megadeth in a long time. The songs are interesting. They often attack political issues, as they did before but the impact is stronger now because of the current politcal environment. I do think it's worth a listen. Also, there is a motion picture out now about Metallica called “Some Kind of Monster”. Why am I mentioning this in my section on Megadeth? Because Dave Mustaine is in it. And it's not old footage! They somehow got Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich together in the same room for the first time in many years (maybe two decades). I haven't seen it yet. I guess they got pretty emotional. I also hear Dave was not real happy about the final footage shown in the movie but he did sign a waiver saying they could do whatever they wanted with whatever footage they obtained from the meeting.
 
Warrior- A scarcely known band. (There are other bands named Warrior.) They only had one album that I know of called "Fighting for the Earth" of which I only have a crappy copy of. I've not been able to find an original copy. I don't even know if it ever made it to CD. This album should be known as a classic. They're not all out thrash metal, but they were very original, somewhat dark but intense. I especially like the short a-capella vocal solo. You really have to hear the recorded vocalization of it for the full meaning, but since you likely may not, this is the words:
(Start)
Where would we be
Without the ability
To let our minds wonder.
And where could we go
If our emotions were submerged
Down under our souls.
(Switch to higher voice)
Their master control plan will fail
(Back to lower voice)
As the young minds prevail
In pure
Genetic
Wisdom.
(End)
If they try to sue me for printing this without permission, at least then I might be able to get a better copy of their album.
 
Flotsam and Jetsam- Their album "No Place For Disgrace" is a masterpiece. You just have to hear it. It was their second album. Their first one was also pretty good as were later albums, but "N.P.F.D." was my favorite of theirs and one of my all time favorites.
 
Anthrax- Speed/thrash metal with a New York style punkish edge. If the only thing the word "anthrax" reminds you of is some disease that cows get then you're either a true cowboy or you have been otherwise disconnected from society. Update: I recently saw John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars" which has a lot of heavy duty thrash metal instrumentation in its soundtrack and guess who plays it: Anthrax and Buckethead.
 
Nuclear Assault- A very intense speed/thrash metal band. The only thing I don't like about Nuclear Assault is that they did a song that if taken literally is anti-lesbian and I am definitely not anti-lesbian.
 
S.O.D. (Stormtroopers Of Death)- The sounds of churning, grinding machines coming from musical instruments. Contained some of the same members as M.O.D., Anthrax, and Nuclear Assault. Their music became the trademark theme for MTV's Headbanger's Ball. Unfortunately, the S.O.D. music was pretty much the only reason to tune in to Headbanger's Ball. That's right- Headbanger's Ball sucked. Only once in a very great while would they play something cool, but S.O.D. was cool.
 
M.O.D. (Method Of Destruction)- After S.O.D., Billy Milano started M.O.D.. In M.O.D., Billy Milano says whatever is on his mind which is often humorous and usually will offend at least some people.
 
Voivod- This band lies somewhere between Pink Floyd, Slayer, and Picaso. These guys are so weird, that they are cool. I saw them play with Soundgarden at the old Speedway Cafe in Salt Lake City. The moshers kept tripping over themselves from all the unpredictable tempo changes. They put out quite a few albums. The last half-listenable one was "Nothingface" and the older Voivod, the better Voivod. I once saw a bunch of copies of one of their newer albums in a discount store bargin bin for something like $4.95. I didn't bother. Update: Jason Newsted left Metallica and joined Voivod and then Voivod put out a new album. I've downloaded (from MP3.com) and listened to a couple of the new tunes. They are very back-to-basics and raw sounding. They have a very punk rock sound. They are better than anything I've heard from Voivod in a long time but I can't say I like this latest stuff any better than their old stuff.
 
D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles)- Pioneers in the realms of both punk and thrash. These guys have been around a long time. I saw them a few years ago in a club in SLC. The singer said,"Yeah, when we were hanging out in the Heavy Metal Shop, people kept asking us,'Are you guys going to play some of the old stuff?'. Well, these people have obviously never been to a D.R.I. concert!" They were as hard and radical as ever.
 
Suicidal Tendencies- More pioneers in the realms of both punk and thrash. Their name is often misunderstood. There are suicidal tendencies in everyone. Everything we do in life has its risks so if we do anything, we must have some suicidal tendencies. Sounds strange: in order to survive and get though life, we must have some suicidal tendencies. Of course, many parents don't understand what Suicidal Tendencies are about. Favorite track: Institution!
 
        Other important and influential crossover groups: Corrosion of Conformity (I recently saw CoC, they still kick butt.), Samhain/Danzig, The Accused, L7, Gorilla Biscuts, Black Flag/Henry Rollins, D.K.(Dead Kennedys)/Jello Biafra/Lard, Dr. Know, Sex Pistols, JFA(Jodie Foster's Army),...
 
Bathory- Arguably, the original black-metal band. (Black-metal is a style that employs countinuous high speed blur of wide-open nonmuffled chords- it has nothing to do with the color of the musicians' skin.) Bathory is actually a one man band. The first Bathory album was released in 1985. This guy was way ahead of his time. Black-metal didn't get much notice until the mid '90's.
 
Candlemass- Often compared to Black Sabbath. Their music is much heavier than Black Sabbath though- more of a constant churning drudgery of chords where heaviness is more important than speed. They are considered forerunners of a style of metal called "doom metal". They still sound pretty good today, though the vocals sound dated and weak by today's standards. The only album of theirs that I have really listened to is "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" (1986).
 
Testament- A very talented band. Very intense, very technical, but still very listenable music. Chuck Billy still keeps Testament going. I recently saw them play. Man, does Chuck Billy have a powerful voice. They don't have their guitar wizard Alex Skolnick any more though, which is a shame. They instead had another great guitar player, James Murphy. When I saw them play, I don't know if anybody else noticed but James Murphy had a hard time trying to play Alex Skolnick's material and often had to ad lib. I bet the reverse would also be true though. They are both very advanced musicians.
 
Hellhammer/Celtic Frost- Pioneers of twisted chord progressions, shifting time signatures, and wicked heavy sounds. Probably, their most well known track is "Procreation of the Wicked" which still stands up to today's latest music. Sadly, they got caught up in the MTV glam trends and their music weakened along with it.
Update: After a long hiatus, Celtic Frost has released a new album in 2006. The album contains a diverse mix. Some parts of it are strongly in the style of industrial grindcore and are extremely heavy. These parts are very reminiscent of the era of Godflesh's Streetcleaner which in a way makes sense because the early Hellhammer / Celtic Frost stuff was in some ways a precursor to some of the stuff heard on Godflesh's Streetcleaner. I really like at least some parts of this album. Some parts clearly bring back some of Celtic Frost's roots. Some parts are sort of gothic metal. You have to be prepared to handle some really heavy stuff as well as a diverse variety of styles. It is very interesting and I think one of the most important releases of 2006.
 
Sepultura- These Brazilians showed up on the scene a little bit later than the others I've listed in this section but they deserve to be classified as pioneers. They have really experimented, and invented very unique sounds that rose above all other groups at the time. My favorite album of theirs is "Beneath the Remains". What is strange is that they followed this album with an album called "Arise" which sounded to me like a rehash of "Beneath the Remains", but then they evolved and came out with a very different album which I also like very much called "Chaos A.D.". Then they later released similar recordings like "Roots" that differed a little by adding in some weird experimental industrial-like stuff. My brother gave me a Sepultura CD called "Blood-Rooted" which is half live and half cover tunes. I like their covers of Bob Marley's "War", Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe", and Celtic Frost's "Procreation of the Wicked". The members of Sepultura have recently split apart and formed new bands. Their new bands (Soulfly and reformed Sepultura) are also pretty cool.
 
Ministry- Ministry surprised the music world when they released, "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste", starkly different from their waver days albums. This album triggered the development of a whole new genre of music called "industrial". Industrial music is characterized by a hard driving repetitious rhythm. The musical interest is created by what they lay over top of the repetitious rhythm. Industrial often uses samples and drum machines. This style was soon picked up by Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor) and more recently Static-X.
 
Death Angel- These guys were very young (as young as 12!) when they released their first album, "The Ultra-Violence". Despite their ages, their music showed impressive talent. Their sounds were fresh and very original. "The Ultra-Violence" was fast, hardcore, raw but elaborate. They followed "The Ultra-Violence" with another great album, "Frolic Through the Park" which was different but still very cool and very original. They made a video for "I'm Bored" which got lots of play on MTV especially on Headbanger's Ball, and was one of the few cool things that was on MTV or Headbanger's Ball. "I'm Bored" is a very simple song. Anybody can learn to play it in about 30 seconds except the solo but if you're dedicated, that won't take you long either. Still, it was a cool tune proving that complexity is not always necessary to create good music. (Note, I'm not saying complexity should be avoided.) Most of Death Angel's music was more complex than "I'm Bored". Their third album, "Act III", was very good too, but it sounded like a rehash of their second album.
 
Believer- An intense, technical, Christian (a.k.a. white-, which also has nothing to do with the artists' skin color) speed metal band. I've included Believer here because they released what is the most intense performance I've ever heard called "Sanity Obscure" off the album of the same name. If you want to know what I mean by intense, you just have to hear it. They also ~95% successfully blended opera and thrash metal on a tune called "Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)". If you just heard their music, without knowing anything about them, you'd never guess they are a Christian metal band.
 
Soundgarden- "Louder Than Love" was a good album and their live show I saw at the old Speedway Cafe with Voivod was an unforgettable event.
 
Faith No More- Talented thrash metal capable of successfully blending styles and instruments that you wouldn't think would work.
 
Nirvana- What is Nirvana doing in here? I like their pre-Nevermind material, primarily the album "Bleach" which they recorded in two days for $600. Apparently, that didn't give them or at least any record exec's a chance to screw it up. "Bleach" is very raw, antimelodic, back-to-basics hardcore. Maybe it was before Cortney Love came in and screwed things up. I actually think Cortney Love and her band, Hole, are musically talented, but man is she a psychob......
 
Alice In Chains- With their cool original style and musical talent how could anyone not like or at least respect Alice in Chains? Update: Layne Staley who was the lead singer for Alice In Chains was found in his apartment dead from an apparent overdose of heroin. Sad. Very sad.
 
Tool- Not as progressive as Alice In Chains but their style is so cool, those who hate are only envious. I also like Maynard's other band, A Perfect Circle.
 
Pantera- I was not the biggest Pantera fan but my best friend at the time was so I heard them a lot. Pantera along with a few other groups like Exhorder paved the way for a type of metal often called "power metal". I once read that Pantera called their style of music "power groove". Power metal has its roots with progressive thrash metal bands like Testament except power metal is more raw/hardcore with an angry attitude. Power metal avoids breaking down and playing something pretty or beautiful. Ugly is prefered. I think tattoos and body piecings are mandatory. Hair is usually long, dark and curly. If you're a guy, you have to have facial hair in some place. White Zombie / Rob Zombie did their take of this type of music. Pantera was more technically progressive though. "Dimebag" Darrell was their star guitar player. He even wrote a column in a guitar magazine. "Dimebag" Darrell eventually joined / helped form another band called Damage Plan. Just recently Damage Plan was playing at a club in Ohio when some wacko snuck a pistol into the club, jumped up on stage and shot Darrell in the head killing him. The wacko then shot several more people killing 3 of them before a police officer shot him to death. This is such a messed up thing to have happened. What is wrong with some people? If you're going to go postal, at least do something that makes sense in some way. I guess, as some people might say, Darrell died doing something he truly loved.
 
The Rise and Decay of Death Metal:
        Around the very end of the eighties and the early nineties, death metal exploded. Groups came out that were heavier than anyone could imagine. Death metal itself branched into several genres that included earache grindcore, industrial grindcore, gothic metal and noise-core. There were so many bands that it became difficult to keep track of them, such as Possessed(1985- Seven Churches), Napalm Death(1987- Scum), Death(1987- Scream Bloody Gore), Obituary(1989- Sowly We Rot), Entombed(1990- Left Hand Path), Autopsy(1990- Severed Survival), Grave(1991- Into the Grave), Unleashed(1991- Where no Life Dwells), Suffocation(1991- Human Waste), Malevolent Creation(1991- The Ten Commandments- their only good album), Fear Factory(1992- Soul of a New Machine), Hypocrisy(1992- Penetralia), James Murphy's own band Disincarnate(1993- Dreams of the Carrion Kind),...
 
        Particular styles of death metal from this era that greatly influenced me were (earache) grincore, and industrial grindcore, most notably from these bands:
 
Godflesh- To me, the greatest work of music of all time is Godflesh's album, "Streetcleaner"(1989). Nobody has even tried to imitate this work or at least they never even came close. They have a number of other great albums as well (I wouldn't go as far as to say all their albums are good, I didn't like "Pure"), but "Streetcleaner" is the best I've heard. Get a good copy of it, sit down, and listen to it through good set of speakers or headphones at a full volume. You may have to listen to it a couple of times to understand it. If you don't like it, pass your copy on to someone else so they can have a chance to hear it. It will very likely be too powerful for you.
 
Pitchshifter- They had two monumental albums: "Industrial"(1990) and "Submit"(1992). "Industrial" was raw, darkly recorded, definitive grindcore with an industrial (samples, percussion) edge. "Submit" was clearer, more developed and a little stronger in the industrial direction. Both Pitchshifter and Godflesh are from the same area in England and are sometimes compared to each other. They don't seem to like each other though.
 
Skinchamber- Around the same time and along the same lines as Godflesh and Pitchshifter was a group called Skinchamber. They had an album called "Wound" that I saw once in MediaPlay and almost bought it. I didn't though and now I kick myself because any evidence of its existence was wiped from the Earth. There have been other groups by the same name which confuses searches. The band reformed under a different name, but I forgot the name. Any info on Skinchamber, e-mail me.
 
Scorn- A more industrial group, but still very heavy. They had two very important albums. "Vae Solis"(1992) was more hardcore and featured Guitar work of Justin K. Broadrick of Godflesh. "Colossus"(1994) was more refined and very intense. These albums are extremely unique and you'll never hear anything like them.
 
Deadworld- A very dark world. On the album "The Machine", they create a unique and moving atmosphere. What sucks is the album "The Machine" suddenly vanished and I can't find a copy. Like Skinchamber, there are other bands named Deadworld confusing searches. Any info, please e-mail me.
 
Eisenvater- A German grindcore group with all German lyrics. They have a very heavy sound like no other. It doesn't matter that the lyrics are German- it's probably better that way. I love their creative unique style. Their first and best (that I've heard) album was simply called "Eisenvater".
 
Fear Factory- Progressive, aggressive, intense, creative, uhm, I'm not sure how to classify them, I guess grindcore with an industrial edge. This band so far has not weakened in any way. Every album is good, though I favor the first, "Soul of a New Machine", because of its originality. They've actually gotten even heavier over time. I recently saw them at Club DV8 in S.L.C. and they put on one of the best shows, possibly the best show, I've ever attended. Burton C. Bell's vocals were incredible. He uses several different voices including one that is high, pure (not raspy) and powerful.
 
        In the mid-nineties, black metal exploded, basically taking over death metal's crumbling reign. My favorite black metal group is Mayhem. Unfortunately, Mayhem's lead guitarist, Euronymous, was murdered by the drummer from rival black metal band. (In a recent Guitar World magazine they say the rival band was Burzum but my memory says it was Emperor but my memory could easily be faulty.) Apparently, these black metal bands truly are as evil as they say they are. My favorite Mayhem track is "Life Eternal" off of their album, "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". Euronymous's vocal's take a bit of getting used to; in fact, the first track on that album reminds me of Megadeth.
 
        By the end of the nineties, you could say that the market became saturated. Few bands could get much of a following since there were so many other bands just like them. It got hard for fans to sift through all the different groups to find the most worthwhile and deserving. Eventually, heavy music evolved into just one big whatever-anything-goes continuum. Of the better bands for this era are Tool, Korn and Deftones and later, A Perfect Circle, Linkin Park, POD, and Disturbed. Such bands are often called "Nu Metal". In recent times, I have also found N.E.R.D., The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age at least a little bit impressive.
 
The Information Age and the MP3 Era:
        Now enter the digital media revolution. By putting media in digital computer file formats, the media can be copied with no loss of quality. This expanded in two directions. First, through people having increased data storage capacity and increased data transfer and processing rates. Second, through clever ways of compressing the data to speed effective file transfer rates and to effectively squeeze more media into data storage systems. Terms like "MP3" have become household words.
 
        This has opened a whole new can of worms. Artists and media company executives can no longer rely on the consumer's physical limitations of copying and distributing to be an effective limit to copying and distributing. Some time I'll write a separate page on what I think about the whole unauthorized file sharing issue - it's too complicated to get into here.
 
        What's great, though, is I've been able to hear music that I otherwise would not have even known about and that would have been very unfortunate since I have discovered some music that is truly special and deserves being known. There are a lot of ways now to find and aquire music. So far, I just never got into the whole file sharing scene. It is not uncommon these days for bands to have their own websites and some of them offer some downloads. I have searched and downloaded media files via sites that carry music and music video files. With some of these sites, artists have agreed to have their songs posted sometimes for free download. With peer-to-peer file sharing you can find almost anything but you have to search with keywords in which case you are much less likely to discover anything you never heard of before. One nice thing about some of the music sites is that you can browse through categories and lists and try stuff you never even heard of before. So now is where my list becomes more of a list of reviews of music I've downloaded via the internet and listen to on my computer. Before I move on, I offer the following advice:
 
        Please be aware, when listening to heavy music, wimpy sound systems cannot recreate anywhere near the full experience. Throw away those cheesy little plastic computer speakers! Adapt your sound card output to a decent stereo receiver amplifier and in turn, to decent speakers - it's really easy to do - or at least listen through a good set of headphones.
 
        For a while, most of the music I was aquiring I found and downloaded via www.mp3.com. Most of the bands that I have reviewed below have posted MP3's of some of their songs on www.mp3.com for free download. MP3.Com keeps changing their site and...
 
Critical Update Patch (2004 Apr. 14th): MP3.Com apparently ran into some financial problems and went belly up. CNET then swooped in and bought the name off of the grave marker. They have been claiming that they are going to resurrect MP3.Com to a new glory. But they haven't had anything except a page saying that. Why couldn't they keep the old MP3.Com running until they have the new version ready? I think this will kill off a lot of MP3.Com's following. They might be able to bring back some of the old following and build a bit of a new following but the longer they take, the less they'll be able to bring back. I now return you to the regularly scheduled program.
 
Critical Update Patch 2 (2004 Sep. 12th): Well, CNET has their new version of MP3.Com up. (Actually, it's been up for a little while now. Sorry, slow to update.) Well, what can I say? It sucks! The great thing about the old MP3.Com was that you could actually find underground stuff you and most other people have never heard before nor even heard of. Sure that means there is a lot of crap you have to sift through. But there is no way around sifting if you really want to find what you will really like. Other peoples opinions do help though. MP3.Com had a system where you could look through categories as well as go through the list of MP3's in that category listed in order of number of downloads. What was nice was that any band could get on MP3.Com for a reasonable and often affordable fee. If an unsigned garage band could create enough of a stir to generate a fair amount of downloads, you had a good chance of finding them on MP3.Com. Of course, this was not the ideal system since creating a big stir does not always equate to good music. Sometimes a band and their songs had interesting names and the band posted desriptions of themselves and their songs that made them sound like they were cool so a lot of people would download their songs but their songs actually sucked. Since there were a lot of downloads, their songs got high on the list leading to even more downloads and so on propelling them up the charts even though people's true opinions where not that high. So you had to sift through these overrated songs. But in general, the old MP3.Com system was the best system I have yet come across on the internet. The new MP3.Com is a site put together by a crew of webmasters and writers for you and me rather than a system that is more of the people, by the people and for the people. They don't have any real underground stuff. Some stuff may sound like underground but they are actually fairly well established groups in the genre. The only way you can get real underground stuff is if access is extended to unsigned, unknown, as-yet-unestablished, underground groups. But just extending access to the underground is not very useful unless there is something that helps the searcher find the kinds of groups they are looking for. I have many ideas for a site that I think would be even better than the old MP3.Com and would of course bury CNET's rendition into the ground but I lack the web programming capability and the financial backing to get it started. For now, I offer my reviews here. For now, I am leaving my MP3.Com reviews mostly as they were before the old MP3.Com died (so some of the links won't work but I've added links to some of the artists' own websites).
 
...as of this writing on MP3.Com it is difficult to find anything unless it is mainstream pop so first try "http://primo.mp3.com/gen/36/listen_charts/". There should be all the parent categories of music including the most important one: metal. When you click on metal, that should take you to "http://genres.mp3.com/music/metal/" On the metal page, near the top left of the charts column it should say "Metal Charts". Don't pay too much attention to what's on the charts especially more generalized charts such as that one. Instead to the right of where it says "Metal Charts" next to where it says "more music" is a drop down menu that initially says "[ sub-genres ]". Pick a sub-genre such as "doom/stoner metal" and click on "go!". (Most of the doom metal I listen to is not really stoner metal and I don't know why they make it one category.) Don't forget, if you are looking for a specific band, you can use their site search. You unfortunately, now have to allow cookies to work with their site.
 
        Not long ago, I rediscovered a style of music called "doom metal". I've long known about this style, but I basically lost track of what's going on. Thanks to the internet, I've found out about some very cool doom metal bands, many of which are currently still producing good music.
 
Evoken - on mp3.com - on MySpace.Com - Of all groups still producing good music, I'd say Evoken is the best. I love everything I've heard from them. My favorite is "In Pestilence, Burning" from their newest album "Quietus".
 
Disembowelment - on mp3.com - Three songs available: "The Spirits of the Tall Hills"(1993), "Your Prophetic Throne of Ivory"(1993), and "Cerulean Transcience of All My Imagined Shores"(1992); all amazing. Their music features an interesting use of dual guitars. Each alone would still work well without the other but together they are multiplicative. One guitar plays very heavy doom rhythm while the other plays eerie acoustic-guitar-like sounds with heavy chorus-type effects. They also play grindcore well which is perfectly grafted in. Very dark and powerful though I would like to hear the rhythm guitar just a little louder.
  Update: The MediaPlay stores have shut down. Just before shutting down they were selling everything off at discounted prices so I went and combed though their inventory. To my surprise I discovered that Relapse Records has released a 2 CD package with everything that Disembowelment recorded. I, of course, immediately bought it and took it home and listened to it. It is just incredible. This is a must-have for anyone into heavy music. It is one of the best, if not the best, music releases ever.
 
November's Doom - on mp3.com - Check out the dual vocals, like on "My Agony, My Ecstacy"- low, rough, grindcore vocals with operatic-like female vocals. "Silent Tomorrow" is very different and could almost get airplay except that it is too good and would go over the heads of the mindless zombies that are radio's primary audience. I have not heard anything from November's Doom that I haven't liked.
 
Thorns of the Carrion - on mp3.com - Interesting orchestration. I like "Eve of the Emerald Sun" though I think it could be mixed a little better. Another song I like a lot but sounds quite different is "Beautiful Thorns to Caress the Girl".
 
Katatonia - on mp3.com - Something about this band's sound really sticks in my head. Their first release was clear back in 1992 which included the track "Without God". Their second release was in 1993 which included "Gateways of Bereavement" as well as "Without God". It has become cliche for hardcore music bands to scream "Die!" but nobody does it better than Katatonia in "Gateways of Bereavement" which also happens to be one of my favorite songs. The band is still going but over time they have evolved into a different kind of a band. Some of their newest stuff could get airplay. Their vocals seemed to change drastically between their 1997 and 1998 releses.
Update: Katatonia has released a new album. This one is still not as hardcore as the old stuff but it is a very impressive production. These guys now sound like they have everything coming together just right. This may be their best album they have done in a long time and one of the best releases of 2006.
 
October Tide - on mp3.com - What is it with doom metal bands and names of months? Anyway, I wouldn't say October Tide is quite as good yet as a band like November's Doom, but they do have some very cool sounds. Check out "Infinite Submission" and "12 Days of Rain". October Tide was formed by Jonas Renske who is one of the original members of Katatonia and Fredrik Norrman who first appeared on a 1996 Katatonia album. October Tide released the album "Rain Without End" in 1997. I like October Tide better than Katatonia of the same era and much better than the newer Katatonia.
 
Circle Six - older website - on MP3.Com - on Encyclopaedia Metallum / Metal-Archives.Com - on MySpace - This group is a bit faster paced blend of doom and grindcore with scratchier vocals. They used to have only one song posted called “A Ten Point Plan On How To Kill Yourself” which is a killer cut and is one of my favorites. Now they have a bunch of songs posted but their website seems to be down. I also like “Stigmata”, “Crowned With Horns”, and “Black Sheep Jesus”. This is a talented and powerful sounding group. I would love to be at a live show with this band. (Beware, there is another band called Circle Six that is nowhere near this heavy.)
 
Shape of Despair - on mp3.com - I can only find one song from this band but it is awesome. It is very slow tempo and lasts over 14 minutes but it is worth every second. It is called "Quiet These Paintings Are".
 
Umbra Nihil - on mp3.com - This band's music is very different and interesting and I really like it. I love the low rolling bass that comes in on "Determination". They have a different way of structuring their music. Apparently the band is pretty new and only has out a split CD along with a band named Aarni. Hopefully they stay on the path they're on.
 
Draconian - on mp3.com - This group is more gothic and not quite so heavy. I don't get very much into all of their music but there are some highlights that are very much worth checking out. "The Cry of Silence" is quite a work and is nearly ten and a half minutes long. Its intro especially is a classic. I also like "Return to Solitude" which also mixes in beautiful female vocals and piano.
Update(2004-11-08): If you go to their website you will find a link that takes you to the page on a website called SoundClick where you can download a couple of their MP3's.
 
Ashtorath - on mp3.com - Check out their music and check out what these guys have to say about MP3.com on their own website.
 
Grey Skies Fallen - on mp3.com - Want to hear what doom metal sounds like with a male vocalist that actually sings? Listen to "Drawn to the Earth" by Grey Skies Fallen. In some places the vocals remind me of early Black Sabbath or Alice in Chains.
 
All Hope Lost - on mp3.com - This is primarily a one man (Mathew Heilman) band though sometimes he has guest musicians; most notably, a female vocalist (Danielle Biconik) with a sorrowful and beautiful voice which can be heard on "She Grows Weary" and "Metamorphosis of a Vampire". The instumentation is very good on many songs, but the Bauhaus/Peter Murphy (also compare to Queensryche in a few places only not as good) style male vocals only work some of the time. I think some of the music was released prematurely; in other words, the music could use more work but the music has a lot of potential. Most of the time the male vocals should be replaced with vocals that have the intensity and quality of the instrumentation. All Hope Lost does a version of the ubiquitous instrumental "Marche Funebre" that should not be overlooked. "Requiem for the Departed Angel" is another good instrumental. "Metamorphosis of a Vampire" shows a lot of metamorphosis particularly in the vocals. I see talent and potential in and have high hopes for All Hope Lost. Unfortunately, now only 3 songs are available on mp3.com but 2 CD's are available.
 
Cathedral - Since I'm on the subject of doom metal, I have to mention a band that released some doom metal tunes a while back that had an important influence on me. Cathedral's first release was, in 1990, an EP called "In Memorium" and on it is a song called "Mourning of A New Day". It had a very unique sound and I thought it was very cool. Their next release was, in 1991, an album called "Forest of Equilibrium" which also had some good spots such as "Commiserating the Celebration" of which you can download the MP3 from their website. (Unfortunately, "Mourning of A New Day" which is even better is not available for download.) After "Forest of Equilibrium", all the rest of their releases are lame.
 
Mahavatar - on mp3.com - You must hear Mahavatar's "Open Your Minds". The lead singer as well as the guitarist are both women but they rock very hard. The instrumentation I would not say is the most original or technically challenging to play but it is played in such a way that it deserves attention. I am completely blown away by the vocals. "Open Your Minds" is very powerful and intense. Their other songs are also pretty good.
 
Volition - on mp3.com - What I say about Mahavatar and their song "Open Your Minds", I also say about Volition and their song "Something of Me" but not to as great of a degree. Not that it isn't good - it's just that Mahavatar's performance is so great. Check out Mahavatar first then check out Volition.
 
Inkubus Sukkubus - on mp3.com - Since I'm on the subject of bands with female vocalists, I thought I'd mention this goth band. What I found interesting from them is a short a capella tune called "Wytches Chant". It is a simple chant but it has great harmonizing vocals.
 
Nasum - on mp3.com - Switching now to grindcore, Nasum has been around for a while and now you can download 5 mp3s of theirs. Their songs tend to be short and to the point. Of the 5 mp3s, I would first recommend "Shadows" but they're all great grindcore.
 
Luddite Clone - on mp3.com - Very progressive, very intense, very heavy, very fast, grincore. 2 mp3s: "Arthropod" and "Bottom King". For grindcore, I highly recommend this group.
 
Circle of Dead Children - on mp3.com - Another fast, heavy grincore band. Check out their titles: "A Wooden Heart Never Bleeds", "Skull of a Hermit, Brain of a Faery", "Doom Farmer" and "Migration".
 
Antagony - on mp3.com - Originally Antagony had one mp3 available called "Kip and Mitch" but now "Kip and Mitch" is no longer available and instead they have "A Killing" and "Internal Itch". "Kip and Mitch" is the best of the three so it sucks that it is not currently available via download but the other two tunes are still pretty good. Most of the vocals are of the high scratchy style. Their music is very progressive grindcore. Update: Antagony stopped through Salt Lake City at Club Vegas on 2007 August 25th and I saw them. I still like their older stuff better but they were still pretty cool. The singer even handed me a free EP CD called "Voyage". I took some pics and I should have them posted soon.
 
Update:
        I recently found a thorough directory or "encyclopedia" of metal at welcome.to/bnrmetal or alternately here (which may avoid pop-ups and cookies) or now the new address: www.bnrmetal.com.
 
Update (2004 Apr. 14th):
        I found a really cool applet available online. It is unfortunately in Flash format but it is so cool I have to tell everybody to check it out. It's called Punk-O-Matic. With Punk-O-Matic you can assemble punk rock songs piece-by-piece and it sounds pretty cool. It works so well that even if you don't know what you're doing, you can still put together something that sounds cool. The computer animated characters actually match the music. The directory page for it is at: http://www.flashplayer.com/games/punk-o-matic.html or you can just go directly to it at: http://www.flashplayer.com/games/punk-o-matic_movie.php or even (expanded to full browser window size): "http://69.93.46.90/1768_punkomatic.swf". I even put together a guide. I still haven't gone through and deciphered all of the drum parts yet but here is what I have so far.
 
Show Notes:
First added 2006 Nov. 21st

        I sometimes take notes live while I listen to stuff being aired on radio or television. Below are links to my notes from several different sources of music.

        There are currently two radio shows in Utah that play the really heavy stuff:

Maximum Distortion Notes - One of these shows is called Maximum Distortion on very late Wednesday night (actually early Thursday morning) from PM10:00 to AM01:00 Mountain Time on KRCL 90.9 FM. Even if you're not in Utah, you can listen to KRCL's online stream. That's what I usually do because I sometimes have trouble tuning it in on the radio. I use the ogg format and foobar2000 audio player. Maximum Distortion's MySpace page is at MySpace.Com/maximumdistortion. When I listen to the show, I try to take notes so here's what I got.

Behind The Zion Curtain Notes - One of these shows is called Behind The Zion Curtain on very late Wednesday night (actually early Thursday morning) from AM01:00 to AM03:00 Mountain Time on KRCL 90.9 FM. Even if you're not in Utah, you can listen to KRCL's online stream. That's what I usually do because I sometimes have trouble tuning it in on the radio. I use the ogg format and foobar2000 audio player. When I listen to the show, I try to take notes so here's what I got. But if you're also going through my notes on Maximum Distortion, you can just follow the links at the end of each show section to get to my Behind The Zion Curtain notes. Then, at the end of the show section, just hit the back buton on your browser to get to the next show section.

KAOS Notes - This was once a major radio metal show called KAOS which aired on KHTB 94.9 FM on Sunday nights PM09:00 to midnight Mountain Time. There was some info on 949ZRock.Com and that radio station is streamed online (appeared to be Microsoft Windows Media based but might have become Flash like everything else) so you can listen to that station anywhere you have an internet connection. When I listened to the show, I tried to take notes so here's what I have. The host Darby decided to get out of the broadcast business altogether and moved with his wife to Colorado. He said he will have a new version of his KAOS show that listeners can simply listen to online whenever they want. He said that should be available after the start of 2012.

- There are many other online radio streams that I'll have to review, post and possibly even post notes for sometime in the future.

Music Choice Metal Notes - On Comcast cable, they have some channels that play music all the time but not music videos. There are different channels for different genres of music. I usually just listen to the channel for metal. Here's some notes from that.
 
Sites For Sore Ears:
    Here are some other websites that have music media files available that you can potentially download and/or stream:

    MySpace.Com has largely taken over from where the old MP3.com left off. Unfortunately, MySpace lacks the ratings capabilities and search tools that made the old MP3.Com work so well. To minimize overall bandwidth on MySpace's servers, they basically force members to host most of their images and other support files on other servers and then viewer's browsers have to put it all together. Also, MySpace only allows each member to have one webpage that is free and viewable by nonmembers which means members cram as much as they can into a single page. A big problem with MySpace is that the pages are way overloaded and so they load slowly and make it hard for browsers to render and scroll. I could go on with problems with MySpace but that is where basic infomation about a lot of artists can be found right now.

    Of course, there is YouTube.Com which does have some nice search capabilities but I hate YouTube because all the videos are Adobe/Macromedia Shockwave/Flash format. I hate that format because it is proprietary, encrypted and often not playable offline. They try to prevent you from saving a copy to your hard drive though you usually still can by digging it out of your browser's cache but when you do, it usually won't play in (m)any media players. I wish everybody would just avoid this format so it will die (and the same with all of Adobe/Macromedia's proprietary formats).

    Earache's website has a number of media files available, many of which are easily downloadable. If you're into the heavy stuff, you have to check this out. There are even some Godflesh videos but the sound quality of the media format is not very good. To truly appreciate Godflesh you have to hear them with good sound quality so keep that in mind.

    GoFish.About.Com is a very cool site for music. They have a huge archive. Note that many of the videos they have are the uncensored versions you never saw before! Some of these videos didn't get airplay at all, likely because the band refused to allow the video to be edited down. I was quite surprised at some I saw. Of course, they also have plenty of videos that didn't need editing to get airplay. If you're not easily offended, you have to check out this site. Most of the videos are set up for streaming only but if you know the tricks, you can save them. (You can e-mail me if you have questions.)

    FearlessMusic.TV is a companion site to a television show originating from WNYW FOX5 in New York City and is broadcasted every Saturday night. It also shows on many other stations throughout the country...except here in Utah, of course. Maybe we can get a station here to carry it. On the show they have young upcoming modern/alternative rock bands perform live in their studio. They might not be real heavy stuff like I prefer but some of the performances really impress me. I applaud them for setting up most of the videos so you can click to download and save on your own drive (though for some unknown reason I've had problems trying to play some of the few .MP4 files - fortunately most are .MPG). Of the bands on this site, I've found that I tend to like the bands with at least one girl in them. Girls are taking over more and more, particularly in this genre.
The Duke Spirit - This band with their peformance of "Red Weather" impresses me the most of all of the bands with videos on this site. It starts out pretty plain but give it a chance; it really builds in intensity; kind of like Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". In a way the song reminds me of something from the late 1960s but much more modernized. As the singer's voice intensifies, her voice and style reminds me a little bit of Janis Joplin but there's a lot more to her singing than that. She's more comfortably to listen to than Joplin.
Update 2008-12-08 PM11:05: Holy crap! I flipped on the intro for Dave Letterman's show just to see who was going to be on and the musical guest is going to be The Duke Spirit!
Update 2008-12-08 PM11:55: Wow. That was cool to see them on The Late Show with David Letterman. They looked great and sounded great. I still like their song Red Weather better but this new performance song is pretty good.
Metric is very creative and original and I have also seen them on Last Call with Carson Daly and I believe they have been played on our local modern/alternative rock radio station.
Shiny Toys Guns have received a lot of radio airplay with their song "Le Disco" but their live performance of it makes it more impressive.
Mosquitos are not hard rock at all but are a very talented and different band. The singer is from Brazil and half of the lyrics are in Brazilian Portugese. I love listening to her voice. The original version of their song "Boombox" which they have the video on the band's own website is very familar but I don't know where I know it from, maybe in the background of a commercial or a movie. For their live performance on FearlessMusic.TV they combined it with another one of their songs called "Footsteps" and then they played them really fast changing the rhythm. She sings the Brazilian Portugese very rapidly. I've also never seen anyone play an electronic organ like the guy plays in this video. It sounds completely different. After hearing the variety of styles that they are able to achieve, it is evident how talented they are.
Paramore is a very young band but they show a lot of potential. They seem to have good chemistry together and if they can keep things together, I think they will keep getting better and will have a big future. Update: They are on the 2007 Vans Warped Tour.
NaNuchKa - This chic, Yula, really jams on the bass, "Red" is kind of cool, goths might dig "Anyway", on the band's own website are a few songs including "Red Ripped Shirt" which uses a mandolin and I think is the best song of theirs I've heard so far;
Ambulette - pretty girl, pretty voice, plays guitar;
Blondfire (formerly Astaire) - pretty girl, pretty voice, plays guitar, found some more of their songs at MSNBC which are much more electronic;
Dresden Dolls are so off-the-wall, they're kinda cool. Unfortunately, the video crashes my computer part way through playing it!
Damone - basic straightforward hard rock but not bad;
Charlotte Martin - similar to Tori Amos;
K.T. Tunstall - most of her music is little bit too pretty or folky for me but she is a talented acoustic guitar playing one woman band, gotten well known now especially from her song "Blackhorse & The Cherry Tree", one video she stops retunes her guitar and starts over;
Imogen Heap - music too pretty for me but she is a talented one woman band;
Juliette & The Licks - actress (Juliette Lewis) who played crazy psychotic characters turned crazy high-energy singer;
Supergrass - no chicks but kinda groovy, sense Neil Young influence.

    Anti.Com is the companion website for the record label that simply calls themselves "Anti". The website has a lot of downloads available. "Anti" has some high quality and very talented artists. I found their site because Neko Case is with them. The type of music that Neko Case produces is very different than the types of music I typically enjoy, but her music is just so good I can't help but like it. Some of the press lump her into a genre of county or "alt-country" and although her music definitely contains elements of country, it doesn't really fit into the category of country music. I don't really know how to describe it, maybe "progressive folk". Her voice is one of the most beautiful and powerful I have ever heard. She is a great talent. I saw her live in Park City which further impressed me. She even played a song that was about Utah just for us and it was actually pretty good. Somebody even posted footage of the very show I was at on YouTube.Com though it doesn't do her justice.

    RollingStone.Com is the companion website for Rolling Stone magazine. Their website is also a good place to find music and music videos. I have so far found videos from Sikth, Korn, Deftones, Mushroomhead, and more.

    KCRW.Com is the companion website to the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate KCRW 89.9FM which is based at Santa Monica College (on the north side of Los Angeles, California). Their website is another great place where you can find media of many artists. They get artists in their studio for interviews and often in-studio performances. The in-studio performances are usually very well done. They are not poor quality. Unfortunately, the media files are usually Real Media format and and are set up for streaming and not downloading; however, they are often capturable with the right software and techniques. They have a vast archive that you can dig through. A lot of great music artists have passed through their studio.

    KEXP.Org is another "member sponsored radio" station that posts in-studio performances on their companion website. They broadcast from Seattle Washington on 90.3 FM and they have some association with the University of Washington. I found this site when I was looking for media files of Leslie Feist who releases her albums under her last name "Feist". Leslie Feist is from Canada and has a beautiful voice. She has her own unique vocal style that might seem odd at first but grows on you. She is almost whispering but still holds a tone. Her phrasing is what is different. It is kind of percussive as many of her notes have a relatively strong staccato-like attack followed by a steady but light sustain. Sometimes during the sustain she does other interesting things with the note. The result is very interesting and very sexy. Her major studio releases have many layers of different instrumentation sort of somewhere between alternative/modern pop and electronic dance fusing in styles ranging from folk, jazz, disco, and more. What impressed me most about her was her in-studio perfomances on KEXP. It was just her and her electric guitar. Of course, her songs sounded very different since the only instrumentation was her playing her guitar while singing but I was impressed because it really showed how talented she is. I'll use her as an example of how to find in-studio performances on KEXP.Org. First, get to KEXP.Org's main page for in-studio performances at http://www.kexp.org/aspnet_client/live.asp. Then find the little alphabetic drop-down menu. In this case select "E-F" and then click on the go button. That should bring up a page with a list of artists that start with E or F. In this case Feist should be in that list so you can click on that which will bring up the page for that in-studio appearance. On that page it should list the media file links in two columns: one for Windows Media format and one for Real Media format. In each list their should be a file with the word "Interview" in it. This is the whole appearance which includes the music performances. There should also be the music performances as separate files for convenience. I suggest checking out the interview of the artist then if you like any of the songs, you can then download those songs separately which can be useful if you're listening to a big playlist on your computer (a la iTunes) or a pocket-sized portable media player (a la iPod) though you might have convert the files to a different format if your media player does not support Windows Media nor Real Media.

    MusicRemedy.Com is another site that has links to media files. They show a grid which may have a variety of formats. One column is even labeled "Download". Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the links to fail to work so it is hit and miss. However, I have been able to view and/or download some interesting media files through the site. I also discovered this site looking for Feist media files.
 
Outro:
        No matter how much I write about music, it will never be enough. This page will always be very incomplete. There is much more I want to say about music right now, but for now this is all I have time to write. This area of my site will keep growing. So keep checking back.
 
~
 
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