Ever since Bush released their new album, The Art Of Survival back in October, I’ve been delving back into their catalog. If you haven’t heard their new album, I recommend it a lot! It’s quite good. It picks up where their previous album, The Kingdom left off. While going back through the albums, I remembered one song that I fell in love with many years ago when I was listening to Sixteen Stone. That song would be “Alien.” This deep cut is tremendous. It’s the song that should’ve ended Sixteen Stone, in my opinion. When you get to this song in order of the album, there is something about it that sort of encapsulates the themes of the record. Lyrically it can be taken in different ways but, it always felt like a song that was rooted in a sense of pain and loneliness. Gavin’s voice on the track carry the emotions in an interesting sway with the music. It feels epic while at the same time a mission statement of a song. “Alien” is one of the songs in Bush’s catalog that needs to be a part of their set list. Take a few moments to delve into this one!
The other night at The Cobalt Presents show I was part of putting on (which you should definitely be coming out to), the excellent DJ we have at our events (Thank You, Johnny Scott Gramercy) played a song in between bands that I haven’t heard in quite some time. While listening to it, I went into a bit of a trance as the song shifted my attention. That evening I put The Mars Volta’s epic masterpiece, De-loused In The Comatorium on as my go to bed album. Of course I didn’t fall asleep to it like I planned, instead I became comepletey consumed by the album like I did the very first time I listened to it. Then when it got to “Televators” (the song played at the show), I found myself completely in awe of the song again. It’s one of those songs that in the context of the album is so perfectly placed, and as a stand alone track, it’s quite the trip. The Mars Volta’s debut album is a perfect album start to finish. “Televators” is one of the hidden gems of their catalog! Enjoy!
The Mars Volta- Televators (Album Version):
The Mars Volta- Televators (Live At Electric Ballroom, London- 2003):
One of my favorite things to do is go for a nice drive, put my iPod on random and see what comes on and where the musical mood takes me. The other day while on a drive, a song came on early on that I haven’t heard in a long time and it was one of those absolultely perfect songs at the right moment to make it all come together. The song I’m talking about is “Suddenly” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club from their second album, Take Them On, On Your Own. “Suddenly” is a dark, moody mid tempo track with lyrics and a melody that get into your head and then you almost feel like you are swept away by the combination of everything. It’s one of those songs that once you hear, you’ll come back to. And when you put the full album on and it gets to “Suddenly,” it just fits ever so right! Also a fun side note, Ken Andrews of Failure mixed the album too!
The deep cut is something that I feel has become a lost element of music today. Everything is so focused on singles and the “hit” that so much of the time, there are songs that get left out and bypassed. As you’ve noticed the past couple years that my level of postings about The Smashing Pumpkins has gone up over that time and that’s because I’ve really delved deep in their catalog. One of the albums that I’ve truly come to love is 2007’s, Zeitgeist. Not only does this album foreshadow a lot of what our society has become but, it’s also one hell of a great album start to finish. There is a particular song on Zeitgeist that I keep going back to and that is track 3, “Bleeding The Orchid.” This song is quite interesting and profound. The song is indirectly inspired by the death of Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley and it also features a bit of an homage to the band with the harmonies you hear in the song. Also the guitar solo on this track by Billy Corgan further proves my point that he is truly an underrated guitarist. This song is one that I really wish would make it’s way into upcoming set lists as it’s an absolutely great and touching song.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Bleeding The Orchid (Live at The Viper Room, 2010):
Ever since the news broke that Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters died I’ve gone back through their catalog and marveled at some of the songs that Taylor played on. He was an absolute beast on the drums. There are certain songs I heard during this delve that hit me in different ways. One song that really got me (and is actually a top 5 favorite Foo’s song) is “Come Back” the last song on their great album, One By One. This track is epic, heavy, melodic, dynamic in all the right places and the one thing that really sells it is the drum performance by Taylor. He really nailed this one. If I had to pick a Foo’s song that shows off his dynamic range as a player and power I’d go for this one instantly. It’s so damn good I can’t get enough of listening to it. Interestingly this song was only ever played live once in 2002. Taylor Hawkins you will be missed greatly. The couple times I met him he was a super nice guy and took time to chat for a few minutes.
The other day I was watching an interview with 3/4 of White Zombie as they were talking about the 30th anniversary of the album, La Sexorcisto Devil Music Vol 1. It’s quite a good interview with really good stories about the making of the album and the early years of the band before their eventual breakup. The moment the interview was over, I put on La Sexorcisto and it took me back to when I first heard it when I was a kid. The songs are still kick ass, the production on it is crisp and punchy and the album still holds up great! Of course everyone knows the song “Thunder Kiss 65” but the real gems on this album are the deep cuts. My favorite of those deep cuts happens to be the last song on the album “Warp Asylum.” I love this song. It’s got all the right groove and is the perfect ending to this great album! Now how about a damn White Zombie Reunion Already!!!
The Smashing Pumpkins have a plethora of deep cuts that could fill one hell of a playlist. The deep cuts alone from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness could make an album of their own. I love going back to MCIS and delving into particular songs even more than before. This morning I remembered a certain riff to a Pumpkins song and it took me back to when I bought this album and all the feels I got when I reached this song on the record. The song I’m referring to is “X.Y.U.” from the Twilight To Starlight portion of MCIS. I’ve loved this song from the day I heard it. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album. The song was recorded in one take, live for the record with drum and vocal overdubs added later. The title means “Ex, Why You?”, but is also a play on the spelling of Russian obscene word “хуй” (pronounced “hu:i”) that is translated as “penis”. “X.Y.U.” is a song that was developed in a similar jam fashion to “Silverfuck” as it evolved as a song over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this song live a couple of times over the years and it’s always a highlight and never disappoints. So, take about 7 minutes out of your day and delve into this superb deep cut from The Smashing Pumpkins.
Over the past week or so, I’ve gone through a deep dive of all the Slipknot albums. Throughout my listening extravaganza, I came to realize that if I had to pick a favorite Slipknot song it would most definitely be “Gently” from their second album, Iowa. This is one of those songs that packs so much into it yet, it’s a very minimalist song. It’s one of the songs in their catalog that is experimental yet totally makes sense. When put into the context of the sequence of the album on Iowa, “Gently” not only acts as a perfect transition piece of shifting the album into even darker territory. Something else that is quite interesting about this song is that it dates back to the very first Slipknot release, Mate Feed Kill Repeat. This is one song that I wish they would play more live. And now, “Gently.”
The first Metallica album I ever heard was And Justice For All and from that point I was hooked. I was only 4 at the time but, it all made so much sense to me. Throughout the years of me listening to the album, I’ve come to love certain songs a ton. One of which is “Dyers Eve.” The songs lyrics is a rant from Hetfield to his parents and it’s such a poignant rant too. Musically, this song rips. It’s a “thrashterpiece” of epic proportions. Interestingly too, this song was debuted live in 2004, sixteen years after it was recorded, at a show in Los Angeles during the bands 2004 Madly In Anger With The World Tour. Also, as an album closer, what a way to end it on.
Metallica’s “Black Album” has so many hit songs it’s not even funny. Even with all those, there’s still some other gems that are often overlooked like this deep cut, “The God That Failed.” This song has an interesting story behind it as it’s based on James Hetfield’s experience with his mother’s death and her beliefs in Christian Science to rid her of the cancer that was killing her. This isn’t the first song nor the last to touch on this subject in the Metallica catalog. Another interesting fact about the song is that, this song was never released as a single, but was the first of the album’s songs to be heard by the public. “The God That Failed” has been played live over 100 times since the release of the “Black Album.”