TCIC are *amazing* live. I had to miss a Sons of Kemet/Irreversible Entanglements show in Brooklyn in 2019 and I'm still pissed about it. And Shabaka and the Ancestors were supposed to tour the US in March 2020; obviously, that didn't happen.
These guys opened for Neurosis in 1997 and it was one of the most intense things I've ever seen. Mike looked like he was going to fall over any minute, and the rest of the band looked like if he did fall over, they'd leave him there. Just a solid wave of sullen hostility coming off them... toward each other, the audience, life itself...
I remember reading somewhere that the "Chinese music" gibe came from Louis Armstrong, of all people. I almost included that in my writeup, but forgot about the Camarillo stuff so left it out.
It's always weird to me how albums are split between the Jazz and Contemporary Instrumental categories. Christian Scott's Axiom, and Jon Batiste's Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard, are nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, not Best Jazz Album. I mean, "Live at the Village Vanguard" is right there in the title! That shit is a jazz album, full stop.
I've been a Judas Priest fan since I was 11 years old, when Screaming For Vengeance came out, and I've interviewed Halford twice. He's one of the best interview subjects any music journalist could ask for. He listens to your question, thinks about it, then answers in full, lucid paragraphs. Also, he's incredibly nice and friendly and generous. Seriously one of the best human beings on the rock/metal scene. Definitely looking forward to reading this book.
Yeah, it really is great; unfortunately, I couldn't write it up for the column because my wife designed the cover. (Might find a sub to write it up for next month, though...we'll see how packed the list is.)
Yeah, it's really, really good and I need to point out that if you buy it on his Bandcamp page you get a total of 14 tracks (the physical CD only has 9).
Roots Magic are amazing. I sometimes wonder whether people give them the side-eye because they're a bunch of Italians "covering" free jazz and Delta blues tunes, but they really do make the material their own. I love all three of their albums.
Yeah, that one is definitely recommended to fans of all the acts you mentioned and maybe Hot Rats/Grand Wazoo-era Zappa, too. Really good stuff. I've been a fan of hers for a long while.
I get that projecting an image of wealth and luxury is crucial in a lot of hip-hop, but referencing *gout* is kind of a weird choice.
I ranked all of Yes's albums here a few years ago: Here's (part of) what I had to say about 90125: >>Musically, 90125 (named for its catalog number) is incredibly, gleamingly '80s. Howe's galloping prog boogie is completely absent, as is Squire's thunderous bass; the dominant instrumental voices are Rabin's high-gloss guitar and Kaye's bell-like synths, while Anderson's vocals are soaked in reverb and echo. This is a big album -- the stomping "Hold On" sounds like it's being blared at you through a stadium PA, while "Our Song" sounds like a training montage from a Rocky sequel. The most fascinating elements of the album, though, are those that are most obviously Trevor Horn's doing. "Leave It," one of the big singles from the album, is stacked with massive drum machine thwacks and some of the very same Fairlight stabs that would pop up on Art Of Noise singles a year later. They're present to a lesser extent in "City Of Love," too, decorations at the margins of as dense a slab of corporate "hard" "rock" as has ever been recorded. 90125 is as un-Yes-like as it's possible to be; it's much more reminiscent of 1980s "supergroup" projects like the Firm and the Power Station than anything its members had done before. But approached in that spirit, it's fascinatingly bizarre, and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" remains a kick-ass single.
Realization and Inside Out were paired on a single CD quite a few years ago - I don't know how available that reissue is anymore, but it's worth seeking out.
It is a really good record, and was in contention, but literally got nudged out of the way for "embarrassment of riches" reasons.
Inside Out and Realization (Henderson's two albums for the Capricorn label) were basically Mwandishi albums in disguise - all the members of that band, including Herbie Hancock, played on them, and when I interviewed him, Henderson told me they were closer to what Mwandishi sounded like live than any of the group's other work, because Warner Bros. and Columbia (the labels Hancock was signed to back then) wanted more commercial material. They didn't really get it - all three Mwandishi albums have one side-long jam and two tracks on the other side - but whatever.
Have you ever seen the cover of John Coltrane's Live At The Village Vanguard Again! from 1966? Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane and Rashied Ali are all standing there dressed in nice, reasonably hip clothes, and Jimmy Garrison is wearing a plaid short sleeve shirt, khaki shorts, and white tube socks. It's impossible to look at the photo and not feel bad for him...but it was his choice to show up that way to a gig, I guess...
"Together and separately, Eurythmics haven’t done anything as elementally powerful as 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).'" Disagree; their 1987 album Savage is AMAZING, and the first single from that - "Beethoven (I Love To Listen)" - is arguably even more stark and terrifying than "Sweet Dreams." And the video's phenomenal.
Just you wait. There's a ridiculous amount of fantastic records coming out this summer, including some by artists I'd basically sworn off and others I've been waiting for full-length albums from for what seems like forever...
Yeah, Stanko was a tremendous talent. I loved those records, and his later stuff with New York musicians as well.
Funny story: Revolting Cocks couldn't originally get permission from the publisher to release their version of "Physical" (the writers actually threatened to sue), so they had to write entirely new lyrics, in the process turning it from a sex song into something more like AC/DC's "Night Prowler." Many years later, the version with the original lyrics showed up in a boxed set.
Careful what you wish for. You'd get a 3000-word rant about why all black metal is shit, followed by 10 broooootal slam death albums that I chose for their cover art featuring neon-colored demons tearing cartoonishly proportioned women in half against sci-fi landscapes.
I saw Sanders this past December. He's interesting live now, because he doesn't do the raw screaming thing that much - a lot of the show is more like 1950s hard bop, and he proves that he can really play the shit out of the horn, that the giant tyrannosaurus roar is just one tool in his kit.
Just start with their debut, King Of The Dead. The first song includes the lines "He's the hero of the atom age/Born in a test tube, raised in a cage." What more do you need to know?
This song was featured prominently in the first season of the show The Americans, as one of the Russian secret agents used to listen to it in his car - somehow, early 80s pop-country was one of the things that made him think America might not be all bad.
You have my attention...
I'm sort of in the same boat as you - I've heard Zero Tolerance For Silence and his collaboration with Ornette Coleman, and a couple of his more recent records, but I wouldn't call myself a fan. This one's really impressive, though.
I've never been much of a Cure fan, but I saw them on this tour and was surprised by how heavy they got, and how many long, loud guitar solos Smith took.
That was a fantastic album. And I got to see him play at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, which was amazing.
Because Power Metal has actual songs on it. Pantera imitating Judas Priest > Dimebag Darrell making a bunch of angle-grinder noises while Phil Anselmo grunts and roars like Mike Williams shitting a peach pit. Pantera Albums, In Order Of How Often I Actually Listen To Them: 1. Reinventing the Steel 2. Cowboys From Hell 3. Power Metal 4. Vulgar Display of Power 5. Far Beyond Driven 6. The Great Southern Trendkill
Yeah, I really liked the David Ware, the Miho Hazama, the OK:KO, and the Cochemea. Haven't spent enough time with the Joe Martin yet, but I do like him.
I saw their 10th anniversary tour. Fuck, I'm old.
It really grew for me. I disliked every track as they emerged, as singles, but when I heard the whole album they all suddenly snapped into place. It really is a fantastic album-as-album.
I've been listening to them since 1989. As good as the early albums are, I'm kinda burned out on them, and I feel like the newer stuff doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.
1. Hesitation Marks 2. The Slip 3. The Fragile 4. The Downward Spiral 5. Broken 6. Pretty Hate Machine 7. Not the Actual Events 8. Bad Witch 9. Add Violence 10. With Teeth 11. Ghosts 12. Year Zero
I saw NIN at Madison Square Garden on (what I believe was) the second leg of the Fragile tour. A Perfect Circle opened (pre-Mer de Noms) and Marilyn Manson came out to sing "Starfuckers, Inc." with the band. It was fantastic.
Try Live Around The World too. It's compiled from a bunch of different shows from different years, but it proves that Davis's live bands were strong as hell in those final years.
It's a fucking brilliant album. I ignore lyrics about 95% of the time; with her, I pay attention, and am constantly amazed. The music is fantastic, too; the harp and French horn(!) on the title track absolutely kill me. And it's a goddamn master class on how to record vocals.
Not out till 9/27. It'll be in next month's column.
The Ahmed album is *really good*. (All-female roster, I believe. I'll have to double check. But either way, it rules.)
Yeah, Gould is a serious talent.
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