Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year End Lists 2010

Here's a list of my favorite year end best music lists. I like lists, and that's why I compiled a list of those lists, HARDWorlders. In order of loves:

Haunting the Chapel (on Stereogum. Stereogum is a decent site, and similar to pitchfork, but better. They also have this metal blog by Brandon Stosuy. He also writes about non metal music on there too. Good stuff.)

Fenriz (of Darkthrone. His blog and his picks of the year.)

Aquarius Records (my favorite record store, and their lists are usually metal mixed with indie rock, world music, experimental, etc....)

Boomkat (another great record store, but one I have never been to. Just online ordering style. Keeps my ears tuned to the electronic side of things. They also get reggae, sometimes metal, and classical/experimental)

MetalSucks (just got turned onto this site recently. A good one.)

Two other sites I am waiting for year end lists from:

Peacedogman (tons of super nerd lists like, best albums of 1972, and the Buyer's Guide section for their favorite bands. Definitely on the punk and metal side of things - old, but also new stuff as well.)

Teeth of the Divine (writing is probably the worst out of all of these sites, but I still check it once a week for metal happenings and reviews).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rod

And I ain't talkin' about Rodd Lunt (you know who you are). I'm talkin' Rod, as in Rod Stewart. Or The King. I really like....no, love Rod Stewart (and Rod Lunt for that matter). There are many reasons why Rod Stewart should not be dismissed. Number 1: he's a great singer. And with the right material, you will hear his golden pipes in the proper light. Number 2: he is a great song interpreter. Lots of artists get hammered over from people that think song interpretation isn't talented because "they didn't write the song". I call bullshit on that. A great song interpreter can make the song his or her own. Elvis was great at that. So was Johnny Cash. Most country singers don't write their own songs, and that's okay by me. They don't have to as long as they pick the right ones. You here shit all the time from artists pass their prime picking terrible songs to interpret. Willie is definitely guilty of this, and Rod? Fuck yes. And he's also guilty for writing some of the worst music in pop music history. But don't hold that against him, and I say this because of his first 4 solo albums (and maybe The Faces, but I still have never delved into them much despite my Rod love).

First up is "An Old Raincoat Won't let you down" (1969) or self titled in the states. This is the blueprint for the next 3 records. Rod is backed up by most of the Faces during this time, and they make a ragged and loose country blues racket. In some ways they pull it off better than the Stones. This could be because of their working class background (the Stones were art school kids). Anyway, the lead off is a cover of the Stones "Street Fighting Man" which sounds, pretty dang different until they launch into the chorus towards the end of the song. Almost a complete makeover. I have to admit, though, I don't go back to this album as much as the others. "Street Fighting Man" is definitely worth a listen, though.

Next, from '70, is Gasoline Alley which might be my favorite Rod album. This is pretty solid throughout with favorites "Gasoline Alley", "Only a Hobo", "Country Comforts"....damn. It's all good. Ragged and rich blues country folk stompin' music. And it makes you feel great. Maybe that's reason number 3 to like Rod: his music makes you feel good. When he has the right back up that is.






Then there's the classic: "Every Picture Tells a Story" (1971). Yes, it is a classic, and I really like it, but I'd pick Gasoline Alley or Never A Dull Moment over this one. It's pretty much the same format, musically, as the last two, but it doesn't feel as solid. I guess just preference, really. And it's got its classics for sure: "Maggie May" which is just a fantastic song, "Seems like a Long time", "Tomorrow is a Long Time", etc. etc....blah blah.





Last: "Never a Dull Moment"(1972). Which is true. It's really not dull, but you wouldn't know it from the ironic album cover. Probably one of my favorite album covers. I can't decide if I like this one or Gasoline Alley better. Look: all 4 are worth buying. Just get it over with already. But, Never a Dull Moment is the first I ever bought. So, maybe it's my favorite. Anyway, opener "True Blue"- great rocker with a singalong chorus (like many of his songs), "Mama You been on My Mind", Maggie May part 2 which is called "You wear it well" and it's almost as good as "Maggie...". Great one, and I guess the end of an era, really. Next was "Smiler" which is universally panned despite having The Faces on board again. Maybe everyone was losing their "id" or whatever. Anyway Faces broke up not long after it, and Rod went on a solo tear and a move to America. Some of that stuff I really like. Even "Do ya think I'm Sexy" and some of his early eighties new wave-ish stuff ("Young Turks") ain't bad, but he has reached so many nadirs that it's hard to believe sometimes that this is the same man that did some truly great rock n roll.

I'm not gonna post his albums for download. You know where to get 'em if you want 'em. But I will put up some video clips:

This first one showcases his voice.



The Faces pretend playing n having fun on Top of the Pops. The soccer ball at the end was a part of their stage act, and reminded folks of their working class roots.

Monday, December 6, 2010

GHOST!!!!!!!!


And not the Japanese psychedelic band. But some crazy devil worshipping Swedes. However, this is NOT black metal. More like Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest and maybe....Boston? I don't know, but it's catchy as shit. I heard about this from the great Haunting the Chapel blog on Stereogum, and there's a song on that blog too, so I'm not gonna post the whole album like I have for some stuff. Just listen to that song on the blog, and I guarantee that it will be stuck in your head for years to come. The album cover rules, too. And here's a video clip I found, but, strangely not a whole video. Not sure why.