Op Ed

Thank You

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Dear Readers and Bands,

I just wanted to thank you all for a great year. I truly enjoy doing this. It’s all out of a labor of love for music and spreading the word about good music. In the past three years since I started Audioeclectica, I’ve met some very talented people, heard some really great music, and seen some pretty amazing shows.

Thank you to the bands that take the moment to re-post articles, message me back, share new tunes with me, and just chat. It’s that extra effort that makes this whole thing work.

Thank you to the readers of the site. Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing, liking and giving me suggestions. Keep them coming!

2017 will bring a lot of new things to Audioeclectica. It’s going to be a very exciting time!

See you in 2017,

Brian

 

Check out this performance from Oathbreaker. It’s truly intense and amazing:

 

 

 

 

Stop Hating On Metallica!!!!

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Over the last few days I’ve read a slew of other people’s reviews about Metallica’s new album, Hardwired…To Self Destruct. A good majority of the complaints say there is too much on it, the songs are too long, it sounds too much like Load and The Black Album or there isn’t enough of their classic sound. Are you people ever satisfied? Metallica has written an “album” people!!! You know, one of those pieces of music that you listen to from start to finish. Each song takes you on an emotional ride of aggression, pain, anger, and other tumultuous feelings. Hell, they purposely made it a double album to show you that this is an album. Hardwired is an album that is a summation of everything Metallica has ever done. The songs have elements of their classic thrash style from the Kill Em All era all the way through And Justice For All, the more riff driven Black album style, and the solemn bluesy material a la Load. But that isn’t good enough for some of you elitists out there. This album is seriously one of their best. I for one am proud to say that. Not just as a fan but, as a musician, writer, and someone that understands sonics and dynamics in songwriting and recording. I’m curious to know how many of these so called “critics” have ever actually played an instrument or played in a band. I would bet that 9 out of 10 haven’t. It shows by how you judge an album. You’re opinion is your own, and I won’t begrudge you that, but most of you need to get your heads out of your ass and pay attention to what is happening here.  This album has the ability to help reinvigorate and inspire legions of people to grab instruments and start a band. All you elitist/posers out there remind me of those that are so critical of film, yet have never made one. Until you’ve tried it, and really given it a shot, you can’t say anything. To me you all just sound like trolls.

Let me further explain why you all should stop hating on Metallica. Rather than tarnish their legacy over the years and just throw out albums, like some of their peers (Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax), they have taken the time to work on making the absolute best album they can. And on this new one Metallica really succeeds. Hardwired is the album all you “critics” have been whining about wanting for years. How can you not see it? A good majority of Metallica’s early songs were all six or seven minutes long. It wasn’t until The Black Album, that they wrote shorter songs. You wanted thrashy classic songs? It’s thrashy throughout the entire thing!  You all complain about James’s voice? This is the best he has sounded on an album in years. Even Lars Ulrich’s playing on the new album is great. Yes Lars is playing his ass off on this album. He isn’t trying to be flashy and over do it. Instead he sticks to what he knows the songs needs and it comes across in a way that is pummeling, just like the riffs. Kirk Hammett’s solos on this new album are hypnotic at times and classic. Robert Trujillo’s playing is back to the Cliff days.

Metallica are the Kings of Metal and Hard Rock for a reason. They work hard and play harder than most. They don’t need to have 25 albums in their catalog to show that. How many bands can you name that have a catalog like Metallica’s, where pretty much every album is undeniably great? Their first five albums are classics and game changers. Load is a tremendous and mature album. Give it another listen and you’ll see what I mean.  Reload and St. Anger have some really good songs, and if they were produced and recorded properly, could probably be right up there in terms of great songs Metallica has ever put out. Death Magnetic was a record that got them back to their roots and allowed Hardwired To Self Destruct to be created. Yes the compression levels on it were too much, but you can’t doubt the songs. Especially  “The Day That Never Comes,” ” All Nightmare Long,” “Cyanide,” “Suicide & Redemption,” and ” The Judas Kiss.”

They’ve always done what they wanted, and have grown more as a band than most. Their songwriting ability alone is unrivaled. I would dare most bands to try and write a better song than James Hetfield can. He is probably one of the most underrated songwriters, guitarists, lyricists and singers of all time. This new album is a great example of that. Hardwired To Self Destruct is the Metallica album for the 21st century. These songs like like “Hardwired,” Atlas, Rise,” “Moth Into Flame,” “Halo on Fire,” “Spit Out The Bone,” hell all of them, are going to blow you away live.

Embrace your love for the band, and know that they gave you all what you want and then some!… STOP HATING ON METALLICA.

Thank You

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I want to take a moment and thank all of you who take the time to read, comment and share all the articles and podcasts that appear on Audioeclectica. This has been beyond fun for me to do. Being able to share the gift of music and spread the word about bands and albums that are truly fantastic is greatly rewarding. I hope you all have enjoyed what’s come so far. The podcast is just getting started, and there are some other things in the works as well. A sincere thank you to you all.

Cheers,

Brian

I will leave you with 2 of my favorite albums to enjoy!

 

Failure- Fantastic Planet:

 

Nine Inch Nails- The Fragile:

Op Ed: Stone Temple Pilots Take A Break

The wounds are still fresh and the scabs haven’t even begun to form. Now is not the time. Since Scott Weiland’s passing late last year, the surviving members of Stone Temple Pilots have taken it upon themselves to continue on. On one hand I totally understand their need and want to get back out there, but it’s just too soon. Their failed attempt to move on while Scott was still alive was atrocious. Their picking of Chester Bennington was awful. Have you seen the footage of it? I mean seriously, what are you guys thinking? The clips that I saw just showed Chester trying to emulate Scott all the way down to dying his hair pink, and swaying and moving on stage just like Scott would. Not too mention that Chester’s voice is too high and sounds nasally. It’s as though they created a tribute band already with the addition of Chester. At least when the band took a hiatus in the 90’s, the guys had the decency to start a new group under a different name. Remember Talk Show?

With enough time, I think that people would welcome an STP return. Look at Alice In Chains. When Layne passed away, they all did their own things and came back when enough time had passed. Granted there were quite a few doubters, but those that took the time to see the new Alice, saw that it’s a breath of fresh air that does the band justice. Jerry, Sean and Mike found the right guy in William DuVall. And now people are loving what William has done for the band.

What I’m saying is that now isn’t the time to get back out there. Let the people have the chance to get over Scott’s passing. Dean, Robert and Eric take some time and do something else. By getting STP going again, you are tarnishing the memory of what a great band you were. All people will think is that who ever you pick to sing for the band, it isn’t Scott and won’t come close. Start up Army Of Anyone again. I’m sure Richard Patrick from Filter would be down to get that rolling again. Or just start a new band and call it something else. You can play a few songs from your STP catalog, but don’t make an entire set from it. With enough time the wounds will heal enough for you guys to get the band back together with the right person.

As it says in the song “Creep”… “Take time with a wounded hand, cause it likes to heal.”

Thank You

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I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you out there that have taken the time to read Audioeclectica.

Thank you to all the bands out there that have taken the time to repost articles, reach out to me about their band, share new tunes before they are released, and just chat. It’s bands like you that make doing this site worth it. I wish all the bands that have been part of the Band Of The Week segment nothing but the best in 2016.

To the everyday or casual reader, it really means a lot to all of you out there that take the time to read and comment on the posts. I hope that through this site you’ve been able to discover a plethora of new music to delve into.

2016 will be a great year for music and for Audioeclectica. There are some new things on the horizon like a podcast and a new site for you all to enjoy.

Thank you all for making 2015 a great year for Audioeclectica!

See you in 2016,

Brian

I’ll leave you with my favorite Neurosis song of all time. This is “Stones From The Sky,” from their Unsung Masterpiece A Sun That Never Sets.

 

Op Ed: My Profound Musical Memories

My Profound Musical Memories

It’s really late right now and I just finished watching Almost Famous. Sitting there watching Cameron Crowe’s love letter to music, it got me thinking I should write a love letter to music and show appreciation to certain people that helped guide me on a musical journey. So without further delay, I share with you my musical memories.

My first absolute memories of music is being in the car with my parents. When driving with my mom and dad is when it really started. We would drive in either their dark gray Mazda RX-7 or silver Mercury Cougar.  My dad then puts the tape in the stereo and out comes “ You know a day destroys the night/Night divides the day/try to run/try to hide/ Break On Through To The Other Side.” The Doors were one of my absolute first loves and has played a huge part in my musical chemistry. I would go on to read every book about them to really understand what they were all about. Jim Morrison was and always will be one of my most profound influences in how I write lyrics and poems. My dad was really into The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane and tons of other great music from the sixties and seventies. Adding to those bands was my moms love of The Velvet Underground, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin. Granted I was way too young to appreciate The Velvet Underground at that time, there was something strange and mysterious about their music that captivated me. Lou Reed was such a masterful story teller in his songs. There was something truly poetic about the way he wrote. Sure he wasn’t a good singer, but neither was Bob Dylan and both of them were able to connect on such a level that is hardly touched.  Even to this day when I’m out with my parents, I can put all the albums on that they showed me, and it brings me back to when and where I was when I first heard them. Not to mention all the stories that both of them have of when and where they were, really make musical memories that you can not replicate. Those stories are some of the best things to hear.

The other moment that really changed everything happened when I was three. My parents were having work done to our house and the guys that were doing the work would play their music. One day I heard the song that set everything in motion. “Shot through the heart/ And you’re to blame/ Darling you give love… A BAD NAME.” I was blown away. I had to have this, only I didn’t know who it was. I would soon be told it is Bon Jovi. The next thing I know I’m at The Wherehouse with my mom buying Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet. I must have listened to that tape over a thousand times and wore it out! Of course then I had to have everything Bon Jovi, all other albums, all their videos, magazines, assorted other odds and ends and of course I wanted to be Jon Bon Jovi. The walls of my room were covered with posters of Bon Jovi. My first concert would of course be Bon Jovi. It was in 1989 at the Forum in Los Angeles. I was four going on 5 and my parents asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said I wanted to see Bon Jovi. Then it happened. I was with my mom and dad seeing my favorite band. It was during the New Jersey tour that I went. I still have the t-shirt from that show. Mine is quite too small to wear now, but my mom had bought a bigger extra one and as the years have gone on I’ve rocked that shirt to every Bon Jovi concert I go to. And That concert changed my life

A few years back, my wife took me to Outside Lands festival in San Francisco. One of the main headliners for that year was Neil Young. In all my years Neil was on my list of bands/people I needed to see before they/or I pass. So on the first night of the festival, it happened. Neil Young on stage and the tears of joy started coming. There out in the audience, standing next to my girl, I watched and listened in awe of Neil Young rip though so many of my favorite songs. I remember also as soon as the show was over and calling my parents and telling them how amazing Neil Young was and to thank them. That was such great musical moment in my life that without my mom and dad showing me so many great bands, I would have missed out on seeing someone in concert that would have a lasting effect on me.

My wife causally listened to music before she met me. She hadn’t really been to many shows or heard certain albums. Needless to say, I saw a perfect opportunity to pass along my musical knowledge to her. It’s truly a wonderful feeling to be able to pass along what you were taught about music from your parents to people that really soak it up and get as excited as you do about certain albums. Sure there are some that don’t always connect with her, but she sees it for what it is and appreciates it. Being able to explore different genres with her and take her to concerts and see bands she never in a million years would have ever heard of or listened to is exhilarating. One of the biggest bands that she has really grown to love is Nine Inch Nails. Her love and appreciation of them makes me really happy. Not only are they my favorite band, but now hers too. This sure makes things easy when it comes to asking what should we listen to. I proposed to her at a Nine Inch Nails concert and at our recent wedding we walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “The Fragile” by Nine Inch Nails. Not something you would see at a normal wedding. It was perfect for us though. Over the years and all the albums and concerts, it’s still great to still give her albums to listen to and hear what she thinks of them as she listens for the entire album for the first time and take her to concerts that will leave her speechless.

I wasn’t an easy kid to raise, and got grounded a lot. Even with all the times I was grounded, my parents never took away my music. Music was always my saving grace. It has been the one constant in my life that has truly allowed me to be me and express myself. Through all the genres and phases I’ve been through, music has been there to guide me. It didn’t matter what I was going through, I always had a soundtrack to accompany me. Over the years I’ve gone back and looked at my collection and asked myself why did I buy this? Then take it over to my stereo put it one and listen, trying to remember what was it about this band that made me buy their album. Then I remember how old I was, where I was when I first heard the song that made me want to buy it, and who I was friends with at that time.

Its quite interesting to look back on all this and realize that some of my favorite memories involve going to a record store and buying a new album. I have a ritual when I buy a new album. I immediately have to open it and look at the booklet and skim through it. and then if its a cd I have to listen. Then when I get home, I grab my pillow and headphones and head right for my stereo and begin to listen over and over, just soaking it all in. As I lay there reading the lyrics and liner notes, I delve into the songs with each listen, finding my favorite songs and loving every minute of it. I love listening to music. There is no better feeling than hearing a great album that takes you on a journey that soothes everything and puts you in a space that is all your own

Mom and Dad- Thank you for sharing your music with me. You started me on my journey and let me pursue what I wanted to do with music. They say it’s got to start somewhere, and what better place than at home. Oh and there is nothing wrong with long songs anymore.

Alisa- Thank you for letting me share my musical wisdom and collection with you. You have helped me continue on my musical journey and allowed me to keep pursuing my musical ambitions. I can’t wait for us to pass on our music tastes to our kids. Just try to limit some of that silly stuff you listen to.

Op Ed: What Happened To The Danger

I love music. I don’t know where I would be if certain bands had not existed. Growing up I had posters all over my walls of the bands I loved, from Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses, Metallica and so many more. When I was young there was something really special about what was happening with music. I was lucky enough to get into music at a really young age. Being able to listen to what was coming out during the late 80’s and when the Seattle music came out guns blazing, really helped to shape my musical taste and understanding. One thing that I noticed during that time was a sense of danger. Being able to standup to “THE MAN,” and just letting it all go on stage really had a dramatic impact on the time. Just like in the late 60’s and early 70’s there was such a powerful message behind the music, that led to the danger aspect of things.

Sure there are bands that have theatrics and things of that nature, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the actuality of being real and expressing ones self in a fashion that is uninhibited. Take a band like Pearl Jam for example. They have always stood by their principles and haven’t strayed from what they wanted to do. Not to mention during their early years their shows were unpredictable. Same with a band like Nine Inch Nails and Neil Young. They have carved out careers that add that element of danger by bucking the trends and what’s been expected of them.

The newer bands of today don’t quite grasp the notion of “Danger.” There are so many out there that just play it safe and try to make it seem like they “Get it.” The sad reality is that they don’t, and you can see if in everything they do. Yes, the music business is in a state of emergency, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget your principles. There has been a resurgence of love for 90’s rock as of late, which is great, but if the main aspects of what those bands created are ignored by the bands of today, it seems like just fluff. A lot of the bands that carried the torch for so long are coming back, and showing these newer bands the right way to do things.

One of the best things I’ve seen since I started this site, is that a majority of the bands I’ve written about get it and are trying to break out to spread that around. Remember it’s ok to get a bit crazy and go nuts.