Month: August 2016

Ultimate Set List: Nirvana

nirvana_smiley_face_logo_meaning_kurt_cobain.jpg
I was talking to a friend the other day and during our conversation the subject of Nirvana came up. While in the midst of our talk, I began thinking of making this ultimate set list and the songs that would be on it. Let’s pretend for a moment that Kurt is still alive and he and Nirvana did what Guns N Roses did, one day they announce that they are getting back together for a tour. The following ultimate set list is what I’d love to hear and the appropriate order to pull it off.

What would be your Ultimate Nirvana Set List?

As usual here are the rules:

Rule 1: What line up of the band would it be

Rule 2: Where would you want to see the show

Rule 3: maximum 25 songs

 

Line up: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novaselic, Pat Smear

Venue: Forum in Los Angeles

Set List:

01) Aneurysm
02) Scentless Apprentice
03) Milk It
04) In Bloom
05) Heart Shaped Box
06) Rape Me
07) Serve The Servants
08) Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle
09) Lithium
10) Polly
11) Pennyroyal Tea
12) Drain You
13) School
14) Negative Creep
15) Territorial Pissings
16) Stay Away
17) You Know You’re Right
18) Breed

Encore:

19) Something In The Way (Just Kurt)
20) The Man Who Sold The World
21) All Apologies

 

 

Amazing Albums: Prodigy- The Fat Of The Land

prodifgyfatsleeve-10.16.2012.jpg
The year is 1997 and the landscape of music is moving in a strange direction. Anytime there is a cosmic change in music there are a handful of albums that come out that really point the direction of things to come. One of those albums in particular is the absolute great album The Fat Of The Land by Prodigy. When it was released it debuted at number one in the US on the billboard charts on the heels of breakout singles like “Firestarter,” “Breathe,” and the controversial “Smack My Bitch Up,” which to this day still has one of the coolest music videos ever. This album did a lot for music at the time. The Fat Of The Land has a more rock oriented sound, thus bringing the electronic and rock worlds together. Prodigy’s producer and main songwriter Liam Howlett was all about the group evolving their sound and creating something substantial. Here’s a fun fact Liam Howlett was only 24 years old when he made The Fat Of The Land.

The album contains 10 of the most fiery “dance” tracks ever, as each track has a real purpose and identity on the album. From the more rock tinged songs, to hip hop, and straight up electronic songs, it all works and flows perfectly. Besides the three main singles that everyone knows, other tracks on the record really stand out. The Beastie Boys sampled “Funky Shit” is one of the most danceable tracks on the record, providing the classic sound that The Prodigy is known for. “Serial Thrilla,” is still one of my favorite cuts off the album. It’s super heavy with a great riff to drive the beat. “Mindfields” is another that has some really intriguing electronics. There are a few trip hop moments in the song adding some psychedelia, which can also be heard in the epic “Climbatize.”

I remember hearing this album for the first time, and I was blown away by it. This album really mixes the “rock flair” with electronica so well. It’s often been copied and duplicated but it will never be matched. With a band like The Prodigy, once you release a game changing album like The Fat Of The Land, where do you go from there? After the release and touring cycle, the band took a five year break and returned with new music that was quite underwhelming as well as their subsequent albums. Their last album 2015’s The Day Is My Enemy, had some tracks on it that has some of the same passion as The Fat Of The Land, hopefully fueling some inspiration for the group to return with some great new music. 

 

The Fat Of The Land:

 

Smack My Bitch Up:


Breathe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Bands: H

10697292_723168117777156_4168158518538488340_o.png

Making these lists of the greatest bands/artists by letter is quite fun and a bit challenging at times. There are certain letters that make you really think does this band or artist really belong in a top ten all time list. H is the letter upon us now. Below are my picks for the top (in no particular order). Add to it and help me finish the list!!

 

1) Hum
2) Helmet
3) Jimi Hendrix
4) How To Destroy Angels
5) Husker Du
6) PJ Harvey
7) High On Fire
8) Don Henley
9) George Harrison
10)

Live Review: With Our Arms To The Sun, Socionic, MAL, Kolm @ The Viper Room

13419284_822936204503235_1254381607007926710_n.jpg
One of my favorite things about going to shows is when the lineup fits. Each band that plays the evening fits the bill, and nothing is out of place. Especially when you have a night full of artistic and progressive bands. Last night at the Viper Room, was just that. With Our Arms To The Sun, Socionic, Mal, and Kolm all delivered. The theme of the night for me was passion, and each band had it.

First up for the evening was Kolm. Their blend of prog rock, and metal really set the tone for the night. As a three piece, playing that style is no easy task but they pull it off with passion and great musicianship.

Next up was Mal. Their sound is a mesh of prog rock and 90’s rock. The three guys playing have the ability to mix genres and make something genuinely creative and passionate, and extremely tight. Amongst the songs are heavy grooves and sensible melodies led by singer/guitarist Kris Jung and bassist PJ. Their latest album Aqua Macabre is one album you should definitely check out!

With Our Arms To The Sun was the third band of the night and they absolutely killed it. Playing a set of all new material from their upcoming album Orenda, they didn’t miss a beat and left it all on stage. Each member of this band understands the statement of “playing with passion,” and it shows in each song they play. With Our Arms To The Sun is epic by nature, thus allowing the songs to feel like a journey of emotions as you listen. Singer/guitarist Josh Breckinridge, along with guitarist Joe Leary, bassist Joe Breckinridge and drummer John McLucas, have a unity on stage that is unrivaled by many bands of today. The band live is a different animal. It’s something you should see and won’t regret. I’d even say that if you are a band that has to play after With Our Arms To The Sun, you best bring it all, because they are the real deal.

Closing out the night was Socionic. Their artsy and theatrical set was played with a great deal of passion (there’s that word again). Musically the band is tight and really work to deliver a show. The majority of their set was comprised of songs off their newest album Dividing Horizon. Socionic is one of those bands that seeing them live is the best way. Their album is great to listen to, but just like With Our Arms To The Sun, the best way to experience it is in a live setting.

All in all this was a great night for music and for Los Angeles based bands. The Viper Room is fast becoming a favorite of mine again to see shows. It’s intimacy really gives off a vibe of community, something that has been missing in Los Angeles, especially in that area, for a long amount of time. Every band was meant to be on stage this evening and did it justice. With Our Arms To The Sun and Socionic are gearing up to go on tour together for a few weeks. So when they come through your area, I strongly suggest you make it out to see them. As well as if Mal, and Kolm are playing in Los Angeles. Nights like this and bands like those that played, really give me hope for the music.

With Our Arms To The Sun and Socionic Tour Dates:

*9/07 @ Lowbrow Palace       El Paso, TX
*9/08 @ The Mix                      San Antonio, TX
*9/09 @ Scout Bar                   Houston, TX
*9/10 @ The Door                     Dallas, TX
*9/11 @ Stickyz                          Little Rock, AR
*9/13 @ Foobar                          Nashville, TN
*9/14 @ Melody Inn                 Indianapolis, IN
*9/15 @ PJ’s Lager House       Detroit, MI
*9/16 @ Ottawa Tavern           Toledo, OH
9/18 @ Riot Fest                      Chicago, IL (With Our Arms To The Sun only)
*9/20 @ Lee’s Liquor Store   Minneapolis, MN
*9/22 @ Lost Lake                    Denver, CO
*9/25 @ The Shredder             Boise, ID
9/27 @ High Dive                    Seattle, WA (With Our Arms To The Sun only)
9/29 @ Black Forest               Eugene, OR (With Our Arms To The Sun only)

 

Cover Song: The Dillinger Escape Plan w/ Nine Inch Nails- Wish (Live)

10697292_723168117777156_4168158518538488340_o.png

As you all probably could tell, I’m on a huge Dillinger Escape plan kick right now. So now, I’m presenting you all two versions of The Dillinger Escape Plan joining Nine Inch Nails on stage to perform “WISH.” The first is from a 2008 performance in Australia and the second is from 2009 when Nine Inch Nails played the Wiltern during their Wave Goodbye tour (which I was at, and seeing this live was brutal). Each version is chaotic, energetic and awesome. I can honestly say that of all the bands I’ve ever heard cover Wish, Dillinger is the only one to ever nail it. So enjoy what you are about to see and hear!

 

2008 Soundwave Festival in Australia:

 

2009 Wave Goodbye Tour @ The Wiltern in Los Angeles:

 

 

 

 

Unsung Masterpieces: Will Haven- Carpe Diem

33591-carpe-diem.jpg

If there is one thing that has always been mind blowing to me is that the bands that are huge influences on so many “Bigger” bands are often overlooked by the masses. The strange reality of all this justifies my thoughts that those in charge really don’t have a clue what is good and isn’t. There is a band from the Sacramento area that really left a huge mark on the bands like Deftones and Far. That band is Will Haven. In 2001, Will Haven unleashed what I consider to be an unsung masterpiece entitled Carpe Diem. Clocking in at just over 45 minutes, the ten songs on the album are honest, emotional and chaotic with dashes of atmosphere. There are so many things about this album that have rubbed off on other bands from the guitar tones, song structures, vocal delivery and style, and even lyrical content. Songs like “Bats,” “Carpe Diem,” “Dolph Lundgren,” “Dressed In Night Clothes,” “Finest Our,” and “Moving To Montana,” have been my absolute favorites on this album and still hold up over 15 years later.

If you are a fan of heavy music and you’ve never heard this band or album, I urge you to stop what you are doing for the next hour and listen to this. And if it’s been a while since you’ve listened to Carpe Diem, stop what you are doing and take a trip back to 2001 and rediscover a great album.

 

Will Haven- Carpe Diem:

Bands That Should Return: Botch

botch_word_logo.jpg

 

Through many heavy music circles there are certain bands that when they are brought up, people get really excited. Amongst a few friends of mine, when we are talking about heavy bands, Botch always seems to be brought up. Botch was one of those bands that were pioneers of what is commonly referred to as “mathcore,” due to their off time rhythms, and complex intricacies. Throughout their short but very influential career, Botch managed to release two very acclaimed albums, American Nervoso, and We Are The Romans, along with a few EP’s and splits. Their live shows are still notorious for being a bit of a free for all of aggression and intensity, just like fellow mathcore pioneers The Dillinger Escape Plan, whom they have shared the stage with many times. Botch officially decided to break up the band in February 2002 and performed their final show on June 15, 2002 in their home of Seattle. Tensions were growing within the band amongst its members and the direction of how the band should go, thus leading to the break up. Over the years when asked vocalist Dave Verellen has said, “I’d be first in line to keep this goddamn band together.” Other members like guitarist Dave Knudsen, who would go on to form Minus The Bear, has said “I could totally see doing anything with any of those people that’s not Botch but something else that’s creative and fun… and maybe more aggressive.” Though in 2014 bassist Brian Cook, now of Russian Circles was quoted as saying that he would never reunite the band, but in another 2014 interview, he revealed that the other members of Botch felt like the band ended too early and that they had been urging him to stop saying the word “never” in regards to a possible reunion. So hopefully in the next year or so we can get a Botch reunion. With The Dillinger Escape Plan taking a lengthy hiatus after they finish touring on their new album Dissociation, Botch can come back and carry the flag for the style they helped to pioneer.

Band Members and Bands They Are In Now

Dave Verellen (Vocals)- Narrows
Dave Knudsen (Guitar)- Minus The Bear
Brian Cook (Bass)- Russian Circles, Sumac
Tim Lantona (Drums)- N/A

American Nervoso:

 

We Are The Romans: