Afghan Whigs were one of my favorite bands in the 90’s. In a musical landscape of a lot of divergent genres of music, many of it exploring very new at the time sounds and taking influences from each other, this hard edged band from Ohio started incorporating elements of old soul music. Their first couple of albums were good, but then Gentlemen came out in 94 and took it to a whole new level. This album was pure perfection from the first note to the last. The lyrics would break your heart and put it together again. This was emotional on a level that would put the emo kids to shame. It comes from a place in the heart that most people don’t even have. Many of the Gentlemen b-sides were straight up soul covers, like Dark End of the Street and My World is Empty Without You. While staying true to the originals, they brought darkness and a punk rock sensibility to it all. They continued in that vein on their next album, Black Love, which I can only describe as dirty white boy soul. They released one more album after that, 1965, which I haven’t really given as much of a listen to as the others, and then broke up, only to reunite a couple years ago for some reunion gigs. And now they’ve got a new album coming out in April. Here’s the first single with a really cool looking video!
I can’t believe the Grey Album is 10 years old. 2004 was shortly after I had moved to California, and the new exciting thing the kids were doing with music at the time was mashing up songs together. Many of them were amateur, but there were some that were plenty of professionally made ones. And then Jay Z released an a capella version of The Black Album and a bunch of people mashed that up. The best one was Dangermouse’s mashup with the Beatles’ White Album to create The Grey Album. Helter Skelter and 99 Problems are both classics, and they go very well together.
Just for the hell of it, here are two more 99 Problems mashups after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »
Somebody found this tree stump in Florida and posted it to Reddit. So I thought, why not a post about Lovecraft? H.P. Lovecraft might not have been the best writer, and he was quite a racist, but he created one of the creepiest mythoses ever, one that has lived far beyond his work, and told some stories that will definitely give you the shivers. There have been lots of movies based on his work, but I’m not going to talk about From Beyond, or Reanimator or the Dunwich Horror, or even the upcoming Guillermo del Toro directed At the Mountains of Madness (which I think is going to probably be pretty damn amazing!). I want to talk about the ones specifically involving the old ones, the deep ones, the esoteric orders that worship them and the big winged tentacle-faced guy himself!
I am assuming anyone reading this actually knows me, since I don’t think I’m getting a whole lot of traffic from strangers here. So you know it’s been a while since I’ve been in a band that is anywhere near the gigging level. There was the old prog cover band a few years ago, and then the “jazz study group,” and then the brief attempt to get the prog covers going again. And then for a while it was just myself and Matt on guitar, and then we got Gabe to come back on the drums. And then we took out an ad for other musicians and we met Melica, who plays a mean electric violin. And the more we play, the more it comes together. We’re currently doing mostly instrumental tunes that Matt wrote, though there might be a singer coming soon. Here are a couple of tunes from our last rehearsal. We had a flautist sitting in. I really dug the sound and hope he wants to keep coming. This is the first time in over a year that I feel anywhere close to being involved in a musical project that is ready to go play for people. So until we are able to get some full gigs booked in a few months, I’m hoping we can take it to an open mic soon. Oh, and we also kind of need a name.
I started hearing about this band when I subscribed to /r/doommetal on reddit. For those of you unfamiliar with the doom metal genre, think about early Black Sabbath, slow and sludgy and dirge-y with big heavy riffs and dark lyrics. Electric Wizard have been at it since the mid 90’s. They’re from England, and took their name from two Black Sabbath songs (I’m going to make you figure that one out, it’s pretty obvious!). Here’s their full Dopethrone album, considered by many to be a landmark of the genre. I listened to it on my bike ride yesterday and it is all sorts of heavy old school awesomeness.