Thursday, November 29, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 77: White Zombie - LA Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1

Album - LA Sexorcisto : Devil Music Vol. 1
Artist - White Zombie
Key Players - Ivan de Prume - drums, Sean Yseult - Bass, J. - Guitar, Rob Zombie - Vocals
Produced By - Andy Wallace

Release Date - March 17, 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Honest truth on this. A co-worked had asked to borrow some
Stevie Wonder cds. I was re-filing them back into the collection when I saw this cd and said "its been a while".

Overview - This was the bands third album and first on a major label.
With the help of the MTV program Beavis and Butthead (and their approval) the band would garner more success and tour for this album for close to two years. It would pay off as the band would go multi platinum with this release.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - After about one minute of a slow fade up the guitars crunch buzz in and the floor toms kick off "Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psychoholic Slag". The six plus minute rocker is laden with samples, all made part of the track. The guitars, bass and drums all "crunch" and do what they need to do on the track. A strong intro track, laying the ground work for what is about to come. The very short "Knuckle Duster (Radio 1-A) is mearly a prelude of a radio being tuned that rolls to the big single "Thunder Kiss '65". The track, perhaps the one that introduced you to them, probably thanks to Beavis and Butthead on MTV. MTV had all but ignored the band until the cartoon boys professed love for the band. The YouTube clip is here. What the band may lack on a technical front they embrace their capabilities. The guitar and bass are even in the mix and the drums get a workout. The flashy rock solo at about two minute mark accented with the "Diggy diggy daaaaaaaaaawwww". The perfect song for a Camaro commercial and an even better song as a first single. The next track, "Black Sunshine", slowly builds up before the bass line rolls with the sounds of a motorcycle. The drums come in with a simple 4x4 back beat. The spoken portion that follows is from none on than Iggy Pop. There are the audio samples and it seems like Zombie is actually singing faster, if that is possible. The band doesn't seem to break stride though. Its a chugging machine. A solo guitar, working then with drums for an extended intro open up "Soul-Crusher". The band uses a little more "stop/start" conventions here. Its a good touch as the music is still "samey" but once the vocals arrive its slowed down some. The band even samples themselves it here as the latter part of the track sounds like Thunder Kiss. Opening with a sample from the Batman TV series "Cosmic Monsters Inc." grinds down. The intro on this track rips. Zombie has a great growl on the track and the band works a collective around the vocals. No one instrument is really give that much more than the others. If listening with headphones don't turn up "Spiderbaby (Yeah-Yeah-Yeah)" too loudly as you'll lose your ear drums about the 30 second mark. The thwap of the drums accent this track, they are hit particularly hard on this track. The song has some chanting near the end that all comes to an abrupt halt, almost having you feel the cd is over. The almost tranquil "I Am Legend" begins with light guitar work, which is a constant for about a minute and forty five seconds. Zombie howls and the band comes in. The swirling buzz saw guitars are here, nothing we haven't heard yet. "Knuckle Duster (Radio 2-B)" is another sort of throw away track much like the first Knuckle Duster but it set up "Thrust!" for all that more of a rush. Another great example of the sound of White Zombie. It has the bands trademark sound, punch and urgency. "One Big Crunch" is just another sample track all of 21 seconds long. Rocketing back to form on "Grindhouse (A Go-Go)" the listener should be grinning ear to ear and tapping toes by this point. A terrific track buried on the cd. Bottle up the riffs on "Starface" and release them now and again when some knock off hack band decides to get metal on you. Every "good" stereotype sound is used here. The longest track on the album "Warp Asylum" closes out the record. Its a slow and sludgy song but it slowly builds to a familiar speed and sound.

Where are they now?
- The band broke up in 1998. Sean Yseult has graphic design background and has been working with that (see links). She is currently a touring member of the band "The Cramps". J (real name Jay Noel Yuenger) is currently a producer. Ivan de Prume, who left the band early during the tour for this album and now has his own production company. Rob Zombie has gone on to release few solo albums that have sold more than the work he did in White Zombie. He is an artist, illustrator and also works in film. Rob Zombie has released three horror films, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects as well as a new version of Halloween in 2007. He is working on another film m The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, based on his own comic series. It is due in 2008. To cap that all off, Zombie is on tour currently with Ozzy Osbourne.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- Personally I have not see White Zombie, or Rob Zombie live. From a theatric standpoint its probably one heck of a show.

FDF Overall Take - This is not a challenging listen by any means, which is fine. The band delivered a strong major label debut and followed up with and even bigger record for them (and the company). The band never compromised on their sound, or image. For many, it might not be something you can listen to every day, but then again there are few things you can listen to every day. Some tracks just beg to be "turned up" and rocked out to.

Rob Zombie official page
The designs from Sean Yseult
de Prumes production info here

***MP3's REMOVED JANUARY 11,2008***
Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
Thunder Kiss '65
Cosmice Monsters Inc.

A Live version of Thunder Kiss from Robs new live cd

Those three taken from La Sexorcisto which you can buy here The Rob Zombie Live Version is taken from the cd which you can get here

Just a heads up!
If you linked to this site, or were directed right to this post, check out the Main Page for this site and you can see and get the last few weeks worth of FDF mp3's.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, November 16, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 76: Annie Lennox - Bare

Album - Bare
Artist - Annie Lennox
Key Players - Annie Lennox -Vocals and keyboards, Stephen Lipson - guitars and programming, Peter-Hohn Vettese - keyboards and drums
Produced By - Andy Wright, Annie Lennox and Stephen Lipson

Release Date - June 10, 2003

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Mostly due to her new
solo album I wanted to go back and re-listen to some of the older releases.

- This is the third solo release from Annie Lennox. Lennox, first climbed to fame as the "buzz cut red head" of the Eurythmics. Lennox has gone on to much larger things. This album would be nominated for a Grammy Award as "Best Pop Album" in 2004. She'd lose this, but win an Academy Award for the song "In to the West" from the Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King. The song would also win her a Grammy and Golden Globe.

The album cover
- On the back of the album/cd there is a paragraph from Lennox about the image she chose and why. In not so many words. "This album contains songs that are deeply personal and emotional. In a sense I have 'exposed' myself through the work to reveal aspects of an inner world which are fragile..broken through experience but not entirely smashed. I am not a young artist in their early twenties, I am a mature woman facing up to the failed expectations of life and facing up to "core" issues. I don't want to represent myself as some cliched air brushed, saccharine kind of way. I want to reveal myself as I am. For me this is a powerful and courageous statement. I have never been known to "toe the safety line". She continues. As an artist I need to be authentic, take risks, break the mould when necessary. More..the false eyelashes represent the artifice of "performance" and the color has been drained from my mouth (where the words and sounds issue from)

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The listener is immediately reminded, or shown the smooth and soulful voice of Lennox on the lead off track "A Thousand Beautiful Things". The track is awash with acoustic guitars and light keyboard work. Lennox is the sole voice and the harmonies are overdubs but very pretty. "Pavement Cracks" was released as the first single off the album and begins with piano and just Lennox with a very "breathy" vocal delivery. The first verse is done in the same matter before the track picks up. It actually gets pretty "rocking" with a little flashier guitar work but it never strays from the vocal point...the vocals. The longest track on the album (over 7 minutes) "The Hurting Time" begins with a harmonica sounding keyboard line, much the same is the follow up track ""Honestly" which honestly is one of her shining moments on an already great album. Lennox never has a voice waiver, you can tell she is really focused on her message and the underlying chorus/verse that she sings the harmonies over is a great touch. (see the download). Canned drums open up "Wonderful" and upon listening this could be, and should be a big wedding song. It was released as a single but didn't do much here in the States. The reason it is probably not a wedding song is that at about the half way point the band kicks it up a notch before setting back to the piano, guitar lead verses. Still, a pretty song that is overlooked. "Bitter Pill" is a more uptempo track and is a nice change of pace. All the tracks have their strong points, but this was a good time to put in a more uptempo number. Its nothing you'd work out to perhaps but its a little quicker than other tracks. "Loneliness" is another strong track. Lennox seems to push herself a little more, and again, we get a little more of "loud track". Again, its not fast or heavy but the drums hit down with a little more authority on this track, which is a nice touch. . "The Saddest Song I've Got" follows and crisp vocals surround you. It has a powerful title and you want to to be the saddest song you've ever heard as well. Its sad, its moody but I think she feels better now that she has sung it. The piano and guitar open up "Erased". The track slowly swells and Lennox is off the chart on her vocal range. After the verse the track kicks up more with a more driving beat. "Twisted" has a more dance feel to it than the other tracks, but at the same time, nothing you can really dance to, if that makes any sense. The album closes with the dark and somber "Oh God (Prayer)". A confession of sorts? A plea? The listener is left to wonder and decide. Sort of a bummer album closer, but based off the theme it fits.

Where are they now?
- Lennox continues to write, record and perform live. Her latest solo album just recently released called
Songs of Mass Destruction. She did a tour for the album (albeit short) and has said her desire is to now make a dance album.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I have not seen her live. There was a chance to catch her in Boston just a few days ago, but it was the same night as the Police. Bummer for me.

FDF Overall Take
-Lennox has a wonderfully powerful and soulful voice. The bulk of the tracks on this particular album are not overly up tempo, but each has prefect place on the album. After hearing the album its no wonder her critical acclaim has grown stronger. Not sure what is taking the rest of us to catch on. Her second album called "Medusa" was a collection of cover songs that is also a good listen. Heck any of her albums are great.

Her official page is here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

*****MP3's Removed December 27, 2007 4:13pm ET*****

Pavement Cracks

All three tracks taken from "Bare" which you can buy here

Also if you linked to this site, or were directed check out the Main Page for this site and you can see and get the last few weeks worth of FDF mp3's.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, November 09, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 75: James - Laid

Album - Laid
Artist - James
Key Players - Larry Gott - guitar, Mark Hunter -Keyboards, Tim Booth - Lead Vocals, David Baynton-Power - Drums, Saul Davies - violin and guitar, Jim Glennie - bass guitar
Produced By - Brian Eno

Release Date - October 5, 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust? Not even really sure, i think its because I was humming one of the tunes..but who knows what gets me to do 1/2 the things I do?

Overview - The fifth studio album from Manchester England band James. The album expanded the American audience with the radio single "Laid" and the band would tour extensively for the record. After this album was completed Gott left the band and there were money issues and musical clashes. The band would still manage to sneak out a few more records to moderate success before a 2001 disbanding took place.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The beautiful "Out to Get You" slowly fades up awash with acoustic guitars. Booth whispers his vocal tracks and the bass and guitar lay nice and low. By the second verse the vocals swell a bit more and by the third we have more floor toms from the drums and the band is moving as a collection. Booth has some nice high notes he hits on the lines "Is You..." It's a pretty call and response chorus and it all. One of the catchier tracks ". "Sometimes" (Lester Piggott) follows. A quick rat a tat on the drums and the acoustic guitars come ripping over the top. The chorus is a lot of fun and the bass swoops below it all but the drums and guitars never waiver. One of the more defining "James" tracks. Listen via the down load for the first time, or once more. Great stuff. A heavily chorused bass guitar brings up "Dream Thrum". This is a dark track that is evened out some with the strings, after an up tempo like the track previous it seems a bit out of place. Rumor had it that producer Brian Eno didn't care much for "One of the Three" so the band opted to record it when he had a day off. Opening with light drums and a nice even guitar, piano lead it fits well with the feel of the album to this point. A more lively "Say Something" follows. The drums get the first work out in a few tracks. The guitar has a cool reverb meets chorus sound. Booth is in fine vocal form on this track as the guitars and keyboards compliment his vocal range on the chorus. "Five-O" also fades up with keyboards and a light drum beat. Its a quiet song until about the 2 minute mark when it picks up pretty good and its the first track there are more than just short harmonies on the backing vocals. With a delayed slide guitar "P.S." brings up the rest of the band towards the end it gets a little more urgent and even the heavy use of strings does little to take away from that (strings i find can often bring down a mood). "Everybody Knows" follows much of the same pattern in that it uses a slow fade up with but equals out nice with some deep drum work. "Knuckle Too Far" finds the guitars almost down tuned as its sounds dark, and heavy, but its not heavy in that its fast. It just "feels" heavy if that makes sense. A track for late night for sure. There is a cool guitar effect that runs thru the track at various points. A hidden gem on the album "Low, Low, Low" is next. Once more we are a little more bouncy and this is where James shines. Acoustic guitar lead with some punchy drums it is a real toe tapper. When this song is done live Booth uses a megaphone to duplicate the studio sound. A terrific and horribly overlooked song from the bands catalog. See the down load for taste will you? Eleven tracks in the big single "Laid" appears. This was the first single and honestly a key reason for me personally to grab the cd. Its a very recognizable song now with the rat a tat used on the drums to bring it all up to a very happy, fun and "risque" track. The vocal bending Booth does we have all done in our cars and showers, come on admit it. Perhaps one of the most emulated vocal parts right up there with yelling "Leonard Bernstein" in REMs the "end of the world..." The band slows it down once more on "Lullaby". A clean bass guitar has a few bars before Booth comes in with the vocals. This is a pretty track and fans of Booths voice are treated to a perfect moment in time with him. The album closes with "Skindiving", which is a nice bookend to the album, ending on more subdued note but noisier than the opener. The falsetto from Booth is really "up there" careful singing along to this.

The end result of these recording sessions even had enough interest to release
Wah Wah a collection of studio outttakes etc.

Where are they now? - The band initially broke up in 2001. Tim Booth went on to release some solo work. Jim Glennie, who was with the band from the start to completion stepped away from music for a bit but surfaced as a producer for a bit. Baynton-Power worked did some work in television and toured with the Alarm for a while. Mostly he spent time with his family. Gott left the band after this album but continued pursuing his career in the arts. In early 2007 the band re-formed and played a series of shows. They are currently working on a new album.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- The first time I saw James was May 8, 1994 at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. I remember a dark, candle lit stage and them opening with "Out to Get You" it was the most rewarding show opener I had seen in ages. The show overall was very good a really terrific show. The second and final time was on the Lollapalooza tour 97. The date was July 8 and the band was on the bill with the likes of Korn and Snoop Dog so they were a little out of place, but that was supposed to be the charm of Lollapalooza.

FDF Overall Take - Even with the success of "Laid" the band really can not, nor should they be put into the "one hit wonder" category. Songs like Born of Frustration are a clear example of how great the band is. Laid itself reads like a best of to begin with. If you check out the
Best of cd there are at least four from this very album. A great band, terrific live act that hardly got their due, this time around perhaps?

Official sitehere
A fan site is here
The band has a myspace page.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

*****MP3's Removed December 27, 2007 4:13pm ET*****

Low Low Low

The three tracks were taken from "Laid" which you can purchase here

***Bonus down load**
The Apollo, Manchester England
April 10, 1998

FM Broadcast..VERY nice!

this has been removed...
Come Home
She's A Star
Say Something
Born of Frustration
Out to Get You
Destiny Calling
Waltzing Along
Johnny Yen
Run Aground
Top of the World
Sit Down

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, November 02, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 74: Midnight Oil - Diesel and Dust

Album - Diesel and Dust
Artist - Midnight Oil
Key Players - Peter Gifford - bass, backing vocals. Jim Moginie - guitar, keyboards,backing vocals. Martin Rotsey -guitar. Peter Garrett - lead vocals. Rob Hirst - drums, background vocals.
Produced By - Warne Livesey and Midnight Oil

Release Date - Fall of 1987 in the USA.

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Midnight Oil has been a band I have meant to go back to and give cds a spin all over again. Recently a glossy music mag I read had an article where one person mentioned their live show and the person being interviewed pretty much said "Who?". So perhaps that person will read this, and get caught up.

Overview - This was the bands 6th studio album. After touring the Australian outback and witnessing first hand all the Aboriginal hardships the band was moved to write and record this album. This album as well as the follow up "Blue Sky Mining" would catapult the band into international stars. In 1989, Rolling Stone magazine would rank this as the #13 on their list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - With one of the most recognizable intros to a song "Beds Are Burning" opens with horns and drums opening very sharp and quick bursts. A swampy bass line lingers under neath it all. Three members work with Garrett on various portions of the vocals. The harmonies are decent on the chorus. Just about half way in to the track there is a horn break down and even before that you hear the chime of some acoustic guitar. The bass and drum, as "basic" as they are really are driving force on the track. The chorus' are sung with urgency and as the song begins to end there are some great horns. "Put Down That Weapon" has much the same feel musical as Beds. The first verse is delivered a little easier (meaning with less urgency but no less passion). A grossly overlooked song in the Oils catalog is "Dreamworld". Opening with a everyone just hitting down hard. The drums clack off a machine gun precsion while guitars chime over the top. The backing vocalist really compliment Garrett with almost soothing quality. This tune was a barn burner live. The band really shines everywhere on this track. "Arctic World" takes the band way down in both tempo and mood. To this point of the album it really shifts gears, string sections, piano and much calmer vocal delivery. One can appreciate the band challenging themselves and the listener at this point of the record. Opening with a shift between acoustic and electric guitar "Warakurna" slowly builds up. This track is one, that when I was reviewing the cd I actually went back to as being something I must not have paid so much attention to, but its a really strong track. Returning are the good call and response chorus' and strong Midnight Oil feel. Perhaps its Hirsts hammering of the floor drums? This is also the track where the album title comes from. The line "Diesel and dust, is what we breathe". One of the four singles released from this album "The Dead Heart" follows. Acoustic guitar and marching drums come in followed by the "do do do do dooooooooo do do do" Hard not to sing along, but the acoustic guitars push you right along. There is not a ton to say about this tune, you probably know it..but have a listen (via download) and listen to one part you may not have ever been aware of. At about the 3:45 mark listen to how prominent the French Horn and Cello are..brought WAY up in to the mix I always loved that, and it fades out with the chiming bells. An outstanding track..but you knew that. "Whoah"begins with a solo guitar for a few bars and a very phased out drum line brings Garrett up to the first verse. The chorus is sung in a raspy tone and the track never really gets moving but has some interesting musical moments with some studio trickery. A return to the sound listeners might be accustomed to by this point "Bullroarer" rises to the occasion. The drums hit down hard and the guitar washes over the top perfectly. A lot of Garretts vocal verses are almost spoken, but in the chorus he can really shine. An actually "bouncy" sounding "Sell My Soul" comes up. The guitars feed off one another and there is just a bubbly feel to it (dare one say). There is almost a flamenco style guitar solo as well, interesting touch. Closing out on such a high note is perhaps my personal favorite Oil track "Sometimes". The guitars cut sharply over strong downbeats of the drums, but as the chorus rises above it all it becomes a real fist pumping sing along. A terrific closing track.

Where are they now? The band disbanded in December of 2002 mostly so Garrett could work in politics. Peter Gifford left the band at the completion of this record. He started a business called "Wicked Weasel" and they are in the business of making "very small bikinis". I kid you not. See the link section if that is your bag. Matrin Rotsey was with the band until it dissolved in 2002. He continues to work as both a solo artist and in collaborative formats. Rob Hirst, also with the band until the 2002 disbanding, continues to work in a band called "The Ghostwriters" with members of Hoodoo Gurus
and Midnight Oil member Martin Rotsey. He also plays drums in another band Backsliders. Jim Moginie continues to work in the music business and released a solo album in 2006. Peter Garrett has been an Australian Labor Party member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Kingsford Smith, New South Wales, since October 2004. Check his "wiki" entry (he has been BUSY)

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I have seen a fair number of shows in my day but honestly the October 9, 1988 Midnight Oil show at the Orpheum Theater in Boston ranks as a top 10 show of all time. It was just one of those "moments". That night I said "if the band ever comes around again I will do whatever it takes to see them" I know of at least two more occasions where I could have gone..but fell back on my own word..damn it.

FDF Overall Take - When you mention Midnight Oil chances are you'd probably get "Oh yeah the band with the really tall bald singer" or "Oh yeah I remember (insert a track from this record). The latter is not bad since there are some great tracks on this record that really defined the band and its sound.

The band has an Official Page.
Peter Giffords non music project (might not be safe for work) here
Rob Hirst Ghostriders on myspace and another project, Backsliders,here
Jim Moginie has a personal page here
Peter Garrett on Wiki
as well as a personal page here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

*****MP3's Removed December 27, 2007 4:13pm ET*****

The Dead Heart

All three songs taken from "Diesel and Dust" which you can buy here here

Bonus download
Blue Sky Mine (Food on the Table Mix) taken from the Forgotten Years cd single.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.