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Marduk-- Norrköping, Sweden--December 19th-20th, 2014
Despised Icon -- Worcester, MA -- December 21st, 2014
Cormorant -- San Francisco, CA -- December 20th, 2014
Opeth -- Toronto, Ontario -- December 21st, 2014
It Lies Within -- Flint, MI -- December 21st, 2014


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  #31  
Old 01-18-2014, 08:00 AM
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No idea

Maybe you should ask him?
Facebook. No way man, not for me.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:11 PM
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Facebook. No way man, not for me.
I see...
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  #33  
Old 01-18-2014, 12:14 PM
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I see...
I'll see you at the show tomorrow. I'll be the guy in the black t-shirt.
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  #34  
Old 01-18-2014, 01:23 PM
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25. David Bowie - The Next Day



About a year ago, you would have asked a random Bowie fan and he would have told you that their idol's career was over. It had been almost a decade since the release of his latest album, Reality, but then from one day to the other, we get a new single and the announcement of a 24th record coming out soon. David Bowie has always been part of my family's values (my mother used to be a die hard fan), so the news got me excited immediately. Apparently, the whole new album had been recorded in tight secrecy. The new song was called "Where Are We Now?": a beautiful introspective ballad led by Bowie's piano. Upon hearing it, I wasn't so sure about The Next Day. Was it going to be softer and less daring, since the artist was approaching his 70's?

Then I saw the cover and I was reassured. It wasn't pretty: the cover of his cult album "Heroes" was scorned, the title scratched off and the picture covered by a big white square and the new title - some kind of hymn to erasing and disregarding the past. Okay, he sure hadn't lost his taste for provocation.

Not long after that, I heard the second single on the radio; "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)". It turned out to be my favourite song off the record: it was so beautifully haunting and emotional! At this point, I couldn't wait to hear the whole thing, and when I did, I wasn't disappointed at all.

The Next Day starts off very strongly with a heavy, solid groove and dark lyrics, which both smell like nothing but classic David Bowie. It set the mood for what is following: it's simply an album that rocks. Then follows one of the best tracks. "Dirty Boys" is a monster of saxophone driven dissonant post-punk enhanced by one of the main highlights of the album: the razor sharp guitar sound, that is often complemented by cleaner aerial melodies. The other striking songs are the also rocking "How Does the Grass Grow" and "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" and the three most sentimental ones: "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)", "Love Is Lost" and "Valentine's Day". The latter ending with goosebumps-inducing guitar leads and shouts. Except for the introspective lead single, the lyrics of each song tell the tale of a character dealing with his or her personal problems in a different part of history. For example, "I'd Rather Be High" is about a soldier in World War II.

In short, David Bowie brilliantly defied my expectations, showing that he wasn't tired at all; his voice is a bit lower than it used to be, but it still sounds great, and most of all, the songs, the riffs and the lyrics are, with no exception, memorable. This is definitely going to be one of the albums that the future generations are going to get into when starting to discover the artistic genius that is David Bowie.

The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
Awesome. I like dat video with Marion & Gary Oldman very much.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:20 PM
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I'll see you at the show tomorrow. I'll be the guy in the black t-shirt.
What particular shirt?
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:27 PM
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What particular shirt?
Plain black, none more metal.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:58 AM
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My son got sick and I had to leave the province. I'm leaving Sunday's show in your hands, Voidflame. Make me proud.
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  #38  
Old 01-19-2014, 06:56 AM
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My son got sick and I had to leave the province. I'm leaving Sunday's show in your hands, Voidflame. Make me proud.
Oh, that sucks.
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  #39  
Old 01-20-2014, 03:43 PM
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18. God Is An Astronaut - Origins



Most albums I've covered on this list so far were emotionally heavy, most of them even deranging in their own way. This one is different; it's an album that actually makes you comfortable.

Since I heard their self-titled album, I loved God Is An Astronaut's pretty and catchy take on post-rock, but I always thought that they lacked a certain personal/unique to put them above other bands of their style, like If These Trees Could Talk and This Will Destroy You. With Origins, they got rid of this problem. They finally decided to fully embrace their once subtle electronic influences, now making the keyboards more prominent, adding more programmed beats and including, for the first time, vocoded vocals. The latter was a shock for me, since I previously thought that the only band who could really carry out emotions with a vocoder used to its full intent was Anathema (in "Closer"). These changes only make their music more memorable, in my opinion. Just listen to "Transmissions", the grooves and the grandiose atmosphere are very explanatory of the general sound of the record: it's a feel good album, but that doesn't mean it's not musically profound. I'll dig deeper into this subject later.

Still, the Irish boys haven't completely changed their sound. The dreamy, stargazing ambiance and aerial guitar leads they were worshiped for are still there. It's going to sound subjective and poorly expressed, but I believe that Origins essentially reflects the sentiment of being amazed or fascinated, transcribing it into a musical form, and layering it with catchy and fun minimal beats and bass lines that sound like they're straight out of the British electronic scene of the 90's, except for the samples used that sound more modern. Though, don't get me wrong, GIAA's new record is not all stars, windblown flowers and stuff; the occasional heavier dramatic moments (see "Exit Dream" for example) and the general eerie feeling, that is at its most pronounced expression in songs like "Strange Steps" and "Red Moon Lagoon".

Other personal highlights include the enigmatic grace of the aforementioned "Red Moon Lagoon", and "Autumn Song", with its blooming piano leads that gradually become flooded with floating guitar, strings and vocal melodies. This song recalls GIAA's older albums and makes you feel like you're floating on a cloud, which can never be that bad... Also, the pinnacle of Origins' catchiness is probably the soon-to-be post-dance (seriously, that's what it sounds like) anthem "Spiral Code", with its delightfully delayed guitar lines.

If you're in need of a little musical pick-me-up or if you're just looking to take a momentary trip and drift into the star filled sky, get this record (and respect the cheese).

Spiral Code
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:58 PM
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17. Death Grips - Government Plates



Hey, sorry guys, I've been slowing down with the reviews, but to quote a song title of my next one, "I'm Overflow" with studying. Anyway, let's do this.

When I first became aware of the existence of a new Death Grips record, I was at the same time excited by the idea and (delightfully) disgusted by one of the ugliest album covers I ever set my eyes on and by the fancy song titles like: "You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for it's your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat". This was all so typically Death Grips, so I was ready for an album full of their usual "fuck off" attitude.

Yet, I wasn't really prepared for what I heard when I hit play. The aforementioned album opener starts things off with the sound of breaking glass, immediately followed by a high-pitched drone backed up by a fat rap beat. Then, MC Ride comes in with his "rapped", and sometimes screamed, panicked nonsense, before being swallowed by the enormous distorted bass line. The second song, "Anne Bonny" is more electro-hip-hop oriented, but with an astral ambiance done in a pretty unhealthy way and a somewhat distant feeling. It makes you feel like you're witnessing a weird - and aggressive - sonic manifestation through a window from a parallel dimension.

Government Plates is definitely Death Grips' most psychedelic release, and consequently, their least accessible. Because of that, it is also, in my opinion, their most powerful. It isn't made to make the listener comfortable at all: the uneasy beats, the oceans of echo and reverb, and the bizarre vocal processing. Thus, never does MC Ride make you the favor of adopting a concrete, rhythmic flow to keep you hooked to reality. His delirious rambling only push you further down in to all of the psychotic chaos brought by the album. Still, with all their awkward and diverse electronic sample, the songs remain very catchy.

Rhythm-wise, Government Plates is mostly weighty and mid-paced, but sometimes switches to fast rave-type beats, like in "This Is Violence Now (Don't Get Me Wrong)", "Feels Like a Wheel" and "Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)", and sometimes also sinks into pure incomprehensibility. The new Death Grips is in all its aspects far from being a rap album. The samples and the repeated phrases sound like they were carefully chosen and placed to fuck with your brain; either lacerating it into shreds or drowning it into an inscrutable and oppressive haze, but always framed by harsh industrial-influenced beats (check out the ones in "I'm Overflow"). In the brain-fucking business, one of the most efficient songs on the album is the first single they released off it; Birds, with its throbbing, plaintive loops.

Released on their newly created label, Third Worlds, Government Plates is, to quote the latter song, the perfect "fuck you" to the major labels (namely Epic), the government and mankind in general.

Anne Bonny
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