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:
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
Some Of My Basic Influences Over The
(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
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
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,
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".
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Soundgarden- "Louder Than Love" was a good album and
their live show I saw at the old Speedway Cafe with Voivod was an
Faith No More- Talented thrash metal capable of
successfully blending styles and instruments that you wouldn't think would
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Circle Six -
older website -
Encyclopaedia Metallum / Metal-Archives.Com -
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
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".
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.
- 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
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
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
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 (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://188.8.131.52/1768_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
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
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
Sites For Sore Ears:
Here are some other websites that have
music media files available that you can potentially download
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
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
• 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
• Dresden Dolls are so off-the-wall, they're
kinda cool. Unfortunately, the video crashes my computer part way through
• 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
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
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.
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.