Friday, January 23, 2015

Favorite Records of 2014.


Spent the last few weeks getting my favorite records of 2014 posted. If you'd like to see/read about some of the new albums that caught my fancy in 2014 check out this link.

I'd expect to be back to the "forgotten discs" next week.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2015

FDF Volume 3 Issue 360 - Hum "Downward is Heavenward"



Album – Downward is Heavenward
Artist - Hum
Key Players – Matt Talbott – guitar, lead vocals. Bryan St Pere – drums, backing vocals. Tim Lash – guitar, backing vocals. Jeff Dimpsey – bass, vocals.
Produced By – Hum and Mark Rubel

Release Date - January 27, 1998


Overview - This was the final studio album released from the Chicago band Hum. Coming off the heels of the bands biggest success with the track “Stars".  It wouldn't sell as well, or push the band as far as they'd expect and this would bring the curtain down on them as band.  Since that time this record has slowly grown a following and many consider it their best, most complete record.
As a side note I try to not repeat bands, but this is the third time we've checked in with Hum.
Electra 2000 here and  "You'd Prefer An Astronaut” here

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - When you start the record it doesn't take long for the big ring of the gutiars to hit you. “Isle of The Cheetah” has close to a 90 second intro before Talbot sings and once he does its that calm delivery that offsets the rumbling of everything else going on. Four records in, and the with the band solidified, they play with confidence and it shows. “Comin' Home” has the big start/stop riffs to keep you happy. “If You Are To Bloom” begins with an acoustic guitar before Talbot and Lash get on the pedals and hammer down. Its a pretty song, with some focus on the vocals being up towards the front. “Ms. Lazarus” also has acoustic guitars strew throughout. The big guns come out on "Green To Me" and any casual fan of the band would be pleased to hear what might have drawn them to the album out of curiosity. “Dreamboat” starts off one quiet side, but does launch pretty hard later. Tracks like “The Inuit Promise” and even more so “Apollo” show a bit of the softer side of the band with slower progressions and more of a mood being set than blasting down riffs. “The Scientists” closes it out on the heavy side. The bass drums and vocals are all right there for you. Nothing really out plays the other and the band ends on a high note.

Where are they now?  - Not much has changed, here is what I've submitted in the past.  As always, comment if you have additional news: 

The four guys have gone on to various bands and other side projects. They've all seemed to have started families and will occasionally play reunion type shows. The bands official site (see below) is updated, albeit it not too frequently with the goings on, including a re-press of “You'd Prefer” with some sad news in that the band had nothing to do with it and may see no money from its release.

Matt formed formed a bad Centaur and he also runs a recording studio. He is married and has 2 children.

Jeff resurrected a side-project from 1997,called National Skyline and from what I can find he is currently living and working in Texas.

Tim formed two groups, Glifted and Balisong. Glfited have released a cd and an ep is in the works. He works for the Unv of Illinois and is married.

Bryan seems to be out of music for the most part. He works in the Pharmaceutical industry and is married with children.

The band has done 2 "reunion" shows. In Aug of 2003 they did a one off at the Furnacefest In Aug of 2005 they played another reunion show headlining the first Rockfest Music Festival in Champaign. Rumors had it that Jeff moved back to Illinois and that the band "may" record again. They played a full set of music to over 3000 fans and that was that..for now??

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? -  Sure thing it is.  It still is shocking to me the guys haven't dusted it off and done a good old reunion tour, you know where they go out and play a record in full?  If you know Hum you dig em, not a lot to convince people on.  Grab any of their records, you'll like them all.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!


Buy it!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Next week and moving forward.

Hi
Happy New Year!

Next week will have new content.

Moving forward I am going to cut down the track by track review.  I am not sure how much people care.  If a song is sort of "meh" why bother to write about it.  Its "the whole" we are looking towards.  That will also cut down on my time taken up.  I can listen more in the care vs sitting at a computer and writing as a I go. 

This might take the load off some and get more out there, weekly.

Otherwise it should remain the same and I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

Regardless, thanks for stopping over, commenting an being inspired to "dust em off" now and then.

See you next week!  I promise!!

-march

Friday, December 19, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 359 - Guided By Voices - Isolation Drills



Album – Isolation Drills
Artist – Guided By Voices
Key Players – Doug Gillard, Nate Farley, Tim Tobias, Jim MacPherson, Robert Pollard
Produced By – Robert Schnapf

Release Date – April 10, 2001

Overview – This is the 12th studio album from Ohio based indie rock band “Guided By Voices”.  This was the bands first album to crack the Billboard top 200, peaking at #168.  This would be the second, and final record the band would release on the TVT label.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 16 track 47 minute record opens with “Fair Touching”.  Anyone that is familiar with their sound would be right at home.  Pollard has a quiet delivery, but a deep baritone rumbles over the ringing guitars.  The band is pretty tight, keeping the guitar fills short and tight with rhythmic drum fills.  "Skills Like This"  has a bit more of a punchy straight at you rock feel, something that could easily grab a new listener.  "Chasing Heather Crazy"  was a moderate radio single for the band.  The guitars are very clean and Pollard is in fine form and once the full band comes in its laid back pop sense shines.  The track “Frostman” is a very short acoustic based track (under 1 minute) and is almost like and interlude, but it has a demo feel to it at the same time.  The layer of guitars on the build up of “Twilight Campfighter” make for a rewarding listen.  The band seems locked in tight and nobody steps on anyone else, allowing the song to stretch out.  Cello is an underlying layer on

“Sister I Need Wine”.  Mostly acoustic guitar based with the haunting drone of cello and a bit of layers on Pollards vocal track show an unique side of GBV.  “Want One?” rolls right away it feels like it is in part of the last track.  A bit disjointed as it moves along but continues to challenge the listener in a good way.  "The Enemy"  has another “demo” feel to it at the very start, but the great guitar riff grabs you and puts you right back where you want to be...in a happy place.  The riff alone will pull you back in time and time again.  “Unspirited” begins with a solo guitar and Pollard comes in and the call and response vocal verses are a nice touch.  The record is a grower, as it chugs along it feels like it matures, a band finding its direction.  "Glad Girls"  was another track that had a few commercial spins.  Listen for yourself, and if you can do so without wanting a beer (in a can) and jumping around the room you are a better person than I.  “Run Wild” is a bit more dark than the prior few songs, with a slugging guitar, but come the chorus it opens up to another one of the finer tracks on the record.  “Pivotal Film” gives you that one channel guitar, before the full band comes in.  The bass fills are subtle, but big and sweeping which is great, and the layers of vocals on the chorus are another nice touch.  “How's My Drinking?” slows it some form the prior few tracks, which keeps the full mix of the record on point.  Its a longer almost “hook free” track.  An odd name for a track comes in  “The Brides Have Hit Glass”.  One needs to listen to it, to really get the idea. “Fine To See You” is a quieter track with a piano layer (provided by Elliott Smith) gives another dimension to GBV.  Wrapping up is “Privately”a track that suits the record well with its big guitar, tight drumming and bass fills.  A solid closer to a pretty darn solid record.

Where are they now?   The band has had its ups and downs, breaking up, taking breaks etc, right now they are broken up.  For a band that seemingly has and endless output of solo, side projects you won't need to wait too long to hear something you'd be interested in.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - Very much so.  For a casual listener like myself this could be a jump off point.  Its very accessable and has some great hooks on it that should pull even the stuffiest of stuffed shirts in.  Take a chance, there is a massive catalog awaiting you!  The band released two records in 2014, then called it a day in September...so who knows?!

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!



 Disclaimer – I am just a music fan.  Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc.  I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site.  This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues.  The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube.  No copy write infringement is intended.  Please alert me if something should be pulled.  Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi.  They need your support.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Gone missing...

Morning.
Sorry for the lack of content the last few weeks.  Typical of this time of year I realize.

Will work to have at least one more up before 2014 closes its window.  Been re-listening to a lot of the great things that came out his year as well and prepping my usual "favorite records of XXXX" list.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully next week!

Friday, November 21, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 357 - Ministry - Psalm 69 (The Way to Suceed and the Way to Suck Eggs)


Album - Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs
Artist - Ministry
Key Players – Paul Barker – bass, programming, vocals. Al Jourgensen – vocals, guitar, keyboards. William Rieflin – drums. Mike Scaccia - guitar
Produced By – Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan

Release Date – July 14, 1992

Overview - This is the fifth studio album from industrial metal band Ministry. Formed in Chicago in 1981 as a synth pop outfit leader Al Jourgensen decided to change directions after a few years, morphing in to the heavier band most know today. This album would break the band in to the mainstream in 1991 with “Jesus Built My HotRod”

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 9 song 45 minute record is an absolute assault on the listener. Opening with "N.W.O"  the crunching guitars and drums hit you. You can see the strobe lights. You can smell the smoke and feel the heat of the lights. This is just one loud fucking record. There are layers of samples and when Jourgensen begins the vocals they are nearly unintelligible as he growls the lines under the wall of sound. Scaccia has a short guitar solo in the mid part of the song, but the looping assault of keyboards and drums makes it almost hard to pay attention to. An absolute assault as noted, and we've only just begun. Lifting samples from the film “Sid and Nancy” we are warned to “never trust a junkie” and
"Just One Fix" gets underway. Slicing like a buzz saw the guitars just pummel the listener. You feel dirty after this one. One thing Minstry does is they find that one riff and they latch on to it. The guitars make no change for minutes and everyone else comes in. The drums don't change, the keyboards fill it out and until the chorus its largely locked in the pummeling riffs. The sampled scream that brings the track all back is as resounding today as it was the first time I heard the tune. “TV II” is a very challenging tune to new listeners. The speed of the guitars and drums off set with breaks of heavily distorted (and shouted at you) lyrics. The shortest song on the record, a spot over three minutes the band must have been exhausted even in the studio after playing this. My arms hurt just listening to what Rieflin laid down. “Hero” is one of the cleaner tracks on the song. You get all the mix of the heaviness, and speed, but it just feels “cleaner” and a better example of what the band is all about it. The vocals are still growled at you,but it seems less busy that the prior tracks and is a song you could easily play for someone new to the band to give them a taste of what the band is about.
"Jesus Built My Hot Rod"  was the bands biggest commercial song. Gibby Haynes wrote and sings on the track. If there were a commercial song on the record this would be the one. Even with Haynes nearly indecipherable lyrics. We change gears to the 8+ minute “Scarecrow”. Still a heavy and dark song its just not as rushed as everything else on the record. “Psalm 69” has a big “church” feel to it. With the request to open our prayer books it has the big choir and heavy marching drum. After some “praise Jesus” chants the band comes in and its another brutal assault. “Corrosion” slowly builds up before it opens up. The techno loops feel extra heavy here. This could be used in any horror film ever with flashing lights and cut shots. It ends so heavy the band used the sound of speakers cutting out, almost as if you've blown them. “Grace” concludes the record. Another “horror movie” feeling track but it never seems to grow in to a song like the others. It fits the mood fine, but its a subtle let down from the whole record.

Where are they now? - The band has had numerous changes over the years as well as some set backs.
The band released, what they claim to be their final album “From Beer To Eternity” in September of 2013. There is talk, and a few confirmed live tour dates, scheduled in 2015. Scaccia passed away in December of 2012 of a heart attack

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There was a time I could not get enough of this record and from time to time it really does the trick.  For this reviewer they were at their peak around this time and its probably the first record I'd suggest from them.
Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, November 14, 2014

FDF Volune 3 Issue 357 - The Beastie Boys - The In Sound From Way Out!





Album – The In Sound from Way Out!
Artist – The Beastie Boys
Key Players – Adam Yauch – bass. Mike D – Drums. Adam Horovitz - guitar
Produced By – Mario Caldato Jnr

Release Date – April 2, 1996

Overview – If you are looking for the rap and hip hop Beastie Boys this is not what you are looking for. If you are looking for three guys crafting some of the coolest jazz funk then you have come to the right place. Recorded in 1996 we were still two years away from “Hello Nasty” and the band, looking to do something different, did just that. The band didn't rush this out as some sort of statement either. Recorded over a span of four years the complexities of this record are really charming.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 13 track 38 minute track opens with “Groove Holmes”. An organ led (played by Mark Ramos Nishita on the record) the band just keeps it low and smooth. The guitar and bass blend well and Mike D is in no hurry so you get that real finger snapping smooth feeling. Horovitz lays down a funk filled wah wah guitar line as “Sabrosa” gets going. Latin percussion once more accompanies before Yauch and D join the fold. Yauch then walks all over the track with a great walking bass line from his upright. “Namaste” is a late night sounding smooth track with keyboards and guitar lightly playing off one another."Pow" is aptly titled as the bass drums and drums come right after you. The guitar breaks and organ fills are prime for that jazz funk moniker. A stellar track that has a great tempo drop. Being a shorter track they really get right after it. “Son of Neckbone” tricks you with the slower intro, but rewards you with the deep groove. The percussion instruments really fill out the sound on the track and D seems to get the most of his drum kit on this one. The track “In 3's” is/was always the stand out for me. I'll just leave it alone and force you to listen to it to figure out why. If you've never heard, enjoy. If you have...you know why
(Listen). “Eugene's Lament” finds the band working with violin (Eugene Gore) and the band is quiet and slowly placing things together like a puzzle. The bass and drums are steady, but the slight plucking of guitar to an short run on the organ keep you wondering where it will all go. It comes back to Gore and his haunting work on the violin. “Bobo On The Corner” is a drum lead track that is just over a minute long. It feels like it could, or should be an intro to another track, but on its own it somehow works with the Mike D drums and Yauch bass line. “Shambala” opens with some throat singers and it is used for the track as an under layer. The track builds slowly around the guitar and drums. Horovitz finds his comfort on a nice repeated guitar line and the band locks in to a tight funk groove. Nishita comes back with the organ work on “Lighten Up”. The band seems to lock in to what Nishita puts down and lets him roll with it, but keeps it all tight. “Ricky's Theme” has a similar feel with much focus on the organ and drums. “Transitions” is another track that uses the slow climb of the keyboard. The bass and guitars get to show off some, but the track just wants to sit tight in the groove and make it unfold. The collection wraps up with “Drinkin Wine” which also happens to be the albums longest track (4:40) The are some back masking, reversed loops being played and it continues to be “backward” song for the duration.

Where are they now? - When Adam Yauch passed away in May of 2012 the Beastie Boys dissolved. Mike D has been working on various projects, and in October 2014 he said he was working with Portugal, The Man as a producer.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - This is a blast to listen to. Sometimes all you need is just that little bit to show you that you can't pigeonhole things. Maybe seen as arrogant at the time (I don't ever recall any sort of fall out) the band just went about and kept busy and creative. A band that is willing to really break the mold is a testament to their desire and abilities. If you can hang on with them you are a bigger fan than you realize.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!


Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.