Category: Personal

2012, The year the world ended.

2012 Record of the Year

So some of you may have seen my list of ten albums of 2012 on our new blog Four North Men of the Rockpocalypse.  If you are one of those who hasn’t yet, go check out the three other North Men and see what they thought the top albums of the year were.  Remember we are four completely different guys with four greatly varying opinions, so the lists should be pretty interesting.  You should also be careful, you may just discover something new…

Here, I will get into a little bit more details on to what I liked so much about some of the albums I chose for my version of the list.  I will be very interested in seeing if any albums I picked even make it onto any of my counterparts lists. Anyway, here I go…

1.  Fionna Apple – The Idler Wheel – This albums was one of my biggest surprises this years, although most of that was probably self inflicted.  I may have had a unfair bias against Miss Apple from my youth.  (a misguided one at that)  I have since discovered that she has an amazing catalog of albums.  Like much of the music I like I need to contain substance.  This album was both passionate and even abstract at times.

2.  Jack White – Blunderbuss – Does anything Jack White touches not amazing?   Mr. White has an incredible way of taking classic american sound and taking modern spin on the sound.  He is constantly stealing from the past while creating something new and fresh.

3. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant – I did love this giant!  I couldn’t stop playing this album for a while.  I even frequently would start this one right from the beginning after listening to once. It’s funny, I didn’t even know who David Bryne was before this, so this album opened the door to the Talking Heads. It is now one that I am happy to have passed though this door.  The music has so many layers, and it makes me want to get up and dance.  Not much I listen to does that.  Now I finally see why so many artists love them.  

4.  First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar – I was in love with these young ladies even before this record came out.  These ladies have such beautiful harmonies!  I love the modern Folk movement.  I still find the lyrics so mature for such young song writers though. 

5.  Grizzly Bear – Shields  – At the beginning of 2012 I  thought for sure that this would be #1 on my year end list.  As you can see it isn’t, and I actually wonder if their previous album Veckatimist may hurt them.  Veckatimist is certainly one of my favorite albums of all time and it may have made it hard for this one to live up to.  All together, I obviously did like this album if it is here, but it just wasn’t as cohesive as Grizzly Bears previous album.  

6.  The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter – These brothers are so good.  They much like Mumford (and the Lumineers) bring that old time country sounds a modern feel.  These albums just make me feel warm and fuzzy and I do like me some bluegrass.

7.  Heartless Bastards – Arrow – This is the only album in my top 10 that I did not discover on my own.  A special thanks to Andrea Civello for introducing me to this blues group from Ohio.  It is a very soulful album, and is somewhat is the realm of the older Black Keys albums.

8.  Mumford & Sons – Babel – See both 5 & 6, that pretty much sums up this one.

9.  Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill – I have always been fond of Neil Young.  Despite varying opinions of his more recent albums,  I have been quite a fan of everything he releases.  You really never know what your going to hear out of him next.  The first track on this album alone is worth giving this one a listen.

10.  Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror  – This on just rips.  If you put this one on, be sure to turn it way up!

Honorable mentions: The xx – Coexist, Cat Power – Sun, The Mars Volta – Noctourniquet, Poor Moon – Poor Moon, The Shins – Port of Morrow, Lisa Marie Presley – Storm & Grace, Muse – The 2nd Law, The Lumineers – The Lumineers

Biggest suprise by far is Lisa Marie Presley.  She has always just been a pop artist until now.  Storm & Grace actually had a lot of substance, and was nothing like you would expect!  The Lumineers came to me from another blog I follow,  You Hear that?.  I was instantly in love.  Then this band blew up!  It’s amazing the trend of great music in the mainstream realm at present.  Last one I’ll mention is Poor Moon.  Another great folk record coming from former members of the Fleet Foxes.  I just missed seeing these guy this past summer.  Poor me!

If you would like to listen to these on Spotify here is the link…

So what do you think?  Am I crazy? Amazing? Crying? Living on the Edge?  Tell me what you think!  And share your top albums with me too!

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Four North Men of the Rockpocalypse

The Rockpocalypse is upon us.

Well, my dear friend Chauncey has started a group on Facebook called “Four North Men of the Rockpocalypse“.  It is the brain trust of four boys from northern Maine and our wild opinions of what is good, bad and ugly in the music world.  To start the this new chapter, we have organized the release of our top ten albums of 2012.  The list will be released this Sunday, January 13th at 8 PM (EST).  It should be a pretty eclectic bunch of list since we all have varying taste in music.  I invite you to visit and like our new page and to come see what we have to say about 2012.

I will be posting my short list over on the Facebook page, but if you want to read more about my choices you can also see a post on this blog that will coincide with the release of the lists.   It is my hope that this new project will help me revive this small music corner I have created (and neglected).  Maybe I can even con my new partners to write a post or two here also…

Anyway, See you tomorrow…

The very first mixtape in my journey…

Back in the fall of 1994, I was  just a normal kid.  I’d been caught the previous summer sneaking out late at night with alcohol in a buddies back pack.  I’d stolen cigarettes from my Grampy’s camper.  You know, I wanted to be cool.  Well growing up I loved music.  Only I loved the music that was given to me, like the stuff played on the radio or MTV (and bluegrass festivals, but that’s another story).

Then my Obi-won Kenobi came into my life.  He taught me that there was more music out there to be discovered.  He went on to make me several mix tapes.  I was introduced to Type O Negative, the Ramones, Matthew Sweet and Suicidal Tendencies amongst many others.  And so started my journey into the larger world of music (and art for that matter).

The person I am talking about is my dear friend Chauncey.  He’s commented here a bunch of times and is always one person I can count on to add a song or two to our collaborative mixtapes we make here.   We met when I was a little sophomore and he was a big senior.  I had to listen to him back then, because he was so much older and wiser!  (ROFL)   Really he is only like a year or so older than me, but you know how it seems when you are in high school.  Anyway, he was a big influence for me and am lucky to say we remain good friends to this day.

So to celebrate my bud, I wanted to do two things.  First as you can see below is the insert to the very first mixtape the Chauncey ever made for me.  As you can see it is a metal mix, he still is very into the metal scene (although you wouldn’t know it by looking at him, let’s just say family man!)  Here is a link to the Spotify version of the mix.  It is a little different because of certain albums and tracks not being available.  In addition I would like to start a new metal themed mixtape for us all.  Please pick 1-3 songs to add from any metal artist.  You can post you songs here in the comments and/or add the songs to the Spotify playlist.   I’ll post a list all songs and link to the playlist underneath the image below.

This mixtape is called All Mixed Up in 2012, Vol. 7 – Cast Iron Pans

So are our mix looks like this:

  1. Kill all the White People by Type O Negative from the album Bloody Kisses added by KidAJoe
  2. War Ensemble by Slayer from the album Season of the Abyss added by KidAJoe
  3. Mermaid by Amorphis from the album The Beginning of Time added by Chauncey B.
  4. Beat the Bastards by Accept from the album Blood of the Nations added by Chauncey B.
  5. Give A Little by Overkill from the album Ironbound added by Chauncey B.

Old Habits Die Hard too.

My music listening habits as of late have been quite predictable.   It’s partially because I have been so busy, but also because I haven’t particularly found anything new recently that really has moved me.  As a result I fall back into the music that does move me.

Radiohead was mentioned last week, is still in heavy rotation.  Along with them, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear (who drops a new album in September!) The Civil Wars and the Fruit Bats. (the last is according to spotify although I still don’t trust that thing.)  All my comfort music.

I need to shake things up.  Fiona Apples new one is out this week.  Already played it three time so I guess that’s a little boost.  I usually ask this on facebook, but…

What should I listen to?  What bands/artists do you love? Who have you discovered?  Who should I check out?

Two goals I have are to tackle some more Ben Harper and to dive into some Springsteen.  I know a few of my followers love one or both of these artists.  Where should I start or go to with these two artist?

This is a rather short post and also a bit written on the wing.  I’ll be out of the english class writing business this week, and into math mode…yuck.  I’ll have to do better at getting my writing in via the blog.  Until next week.  Hasta la Pasta.

Poor Twisted Me

Well, I figured it was time to give my poor old neglected blog some attention.  The past month of so has been pretty busy.  All I can say is school, work and my little ones have taken up all my time.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I know that’s a country song but I really have no idea by who.

So I have started back to school and my first class is an Intro to Literature class.  It has been really awesome actually, along with reading some cool stuff, I have also been writing.  Not just analytical stuff either, some creative writings!  A relatively dormant part of my soul has been awakened!  Unfortunately this week my prof. made me realize the Zombie state I have fallen into.  I’ll have to write more about that tragedy later.  Until then I suggest reading Malthusian’s Zombie by Jeffrey Ford.  Amazing story!  I have a big writing prompt due on Monday, so I’ll be having some fun this weekend for sure!

I have heard in the past one should write and/or study in quiet controlled environments.  For me, I find that to just suck.  I always have to have music going when I write.  It’s like lubrication for my brain.  I really have a hard time getting going if I don’t have something that eases my soul playing in the background.

Lately that has been Radiohead.  I know big surprise there.  I had kind of neglected them for a while, but since the Mansfield show I attended, I have been pretty full throttle with them.  Of coarse anytime Radiohead tours I tend to listen to them more since I feel the need to download and listen to every single show I can get.  (which is usually all of them!)

I’ve been on a really big live music kick too.  I have for quite sometime been big into the live lossless music community.  I however tend to ride it in waves.  Right now I’m at the peak of one of these waves.  Summer is always the best time for concerts anyway, all the festivals and such.  It’s been awesome attending these show live from home this year too!  It seems everyone is streaming there festivals this year.  If you get a chance, I recomend Bon Iver’s Coachella set as well as Radiohead’s and the Civil War’s Bonnaroo sets.

Well, I always say I’m going to do stuff and only do about a tenth of them, but I’ll try to get on and do one post every Thursday or Friday to keep my monster alive.  I have loved writing here and really don’t want this thing to die!  Wish me luck and encouragement!

RSD 2012 Swag!!

Happy Record Store Day 2012 everyone!  I picked up a ton of great stuff, home for lunch and a first listen then I’m off to watch various live music!  The run down of my day so far is as follows…

I was up at 7:15am and out the door at 7:50am, after a quick coffee stop at Dunkin’ Donuts,  I arrived at Bull Moose Scarborough at about 8:20am.  The line was much shorter than last year at this time.  I was sixth in line!  The people were pretty quiet but there was little bit of conversation about music and RSD.  Some reporter (or was he just taking pictures for Bull Moose?) was out front talking to Chris Brown and taking pictures.  I was right in front of the RSD sign so I know he got some shot of me, who know I could be in the paper on Monday.  Chris walked up and down the line chatting with everyone.  He asked what we were all looking for and gave some of us up front some direction of certain items were.  He actually even went back into the store to scout out items for people.

I did pretty good with my list.  (Previous post)  I got the Black Keys El Camino Special Edition which is on two disc 180-gram vinyl (at 45 RPMs even).  It included a 7″ that included live versions of Money Maker and Sister, a giant poster featuring a lot of different old cars and a CD copy of the album (which my sister is buying from me for a million dollars).   It was the only full length album I got today, the rest of these are 45’s.  I also got The White StripesHand Springs 7″, which apparently Bull Moose only got 3 or 4 of them according to Chris.  As a result of this information it was the very first thing I grabbed.  It was on beautiful clear red vinyl with black smoke mixed in.  It is really the prettiest one I got.   See below (not sure why its posting upside down though)

I also got: The Flaming Lips/Mastodon, Spoonful Weighs a Ton, Side by Side on pink vinyl, Feistodon (nice name!) split record which is a Mastodon and Feist split, Deerhoof/Of Montreal split on clear gold vinyl, and Joey Ramone single Rock N’ Roll is the Answer on clear red vinyl.  I also picked a bunch of free swag.  I got 15 or so different Record Store Day exclusive samplers, most notable (at least to me) was the Subpop Mixed Nuts sampler.  I also go a cool #DEFJAMBACKVINYL featuring music from Young Jeezy, Big Krit, The-Dream and the Roots on a limited edition clear vinyl.  Oh yeah, I got another cool RSD pin.  I hope I don’t lose this one!

I edited this finally and added a few tidits.  My next post has even more about these and other stuff I got as well as a run down of the rest of my day.  You can get the by click THIS!

Oh yeah thanks to the two people who linked to my page.  Here are links to there RSD posts: As A Matter of Fact & Bazaar Daily News

 

Posthumous.

So a new Joey Ramone album is coming out May 22nd.  Joey Ramone died in 2001 of Lymphoma after a long battle.  I have been a fan of the Ramones since they were introduced to my long time friend Chauncey when I was a sophomore in high school.  So when ever I hear something about them I jump.  It got me to thinking about how peculiar it is for music to be released after one death, and made me wonder how the artist would have felt about it.

Much of what is released are either rough demos or live performances.  In some cases an artist was in the process of recording an album when there life came to an end.  I personally have no problem with either of these form coming out as long as they aren’t tampered with much.  The problem come when the new right holders feel the need to turn demos into full fledged singles and/or albums.  I find that this both disrespects the artist and his art.

I mean, if you were to draw a stick figure with a pencil, and didn’t complete the drawing.  Then I came along and traced some of your lines, added more of my own things to your picture and then colored it, could it still be considered your drawing?  Maybe partially since it was based from your drawing, but who’s to day if I would have added any of the same thing you might have to this drawing.

The same goes for music also, and although I am anxious to hear this new album I am also weary.   On JoeyRamone.com, Joey’s Brother, Mickey is quoted at saying “It was of the utmost importance to me that these remaining songs of Joey’s be finished properly, and made available for the world to hear.”  Such a comment make me a bit nervous.  Would Joey have approved of these being finished properly with out his input?

What is your thoughts?

I did some research on this topic and found out all sorts interesting scenarios of music being released after one’s death.   Janis Joplin had full a album released after her death.  Jimi Hendrix has had tons of music released since his death.  Otis Reading’s Sitting on the Dock of the Bay is considered his best album was release after his death.  Nirvana Unplugged was released after Kurt Cobain’s death.   That’s just a few notables, go check out a more complete list here.