Tag: Mastodon

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

The Music Year That Was: The Best Albums of 2011

Music
The usual disclaimers about my year-end music lists still apply. I'm only one man and only have so much time to listen to new albums. So even if I hear an album and it's really good, if nothing about it grabs me right away I may end up forgetting it. Also, naturally I'm going to gravitate toward music either from acts I already know and like or that's recommended by friends and writers/critics I respect. These, then, are the ten albums that I have returned to more than any other in 2011 and probably will in 2012. Because at the end of the day, isn't that the only mark of a good record? #1. Mastodon, The Hunter As much as I was disappointed with Crack the Skye, I absolutely love The Hunter. I've read a lot of comparisons between it and Metallica's "Black Album," and I can see why. It's...
Listening booth — Mastodon, “Spectrelight”

Listening booth — Mastodon, “Spectrelight”

Listening Booth, Music
It's probably not going to be as awesome as Leviathan, but Mastodon's upcoming LP -- The Hunter -- promises to be better than Crack the Skye. At least based off the first three singles. First there was "Black Tongue," which has the same vibe as Blood Mountain and is quite good. Then there was "Curl of the Burl," which incidentally looks like the title of a Burl Ives exercise video. In any case, it was a bit disappointing. Now there's single/video #3, "Spectrelight," which sounds the most like the Mastodon I love (and looks like a really cool screen saver to boot!). The rawness of the Remission/Leviathan era has been polished away but it's still hella aggressive and cool. It features Scott Kelly from Neurosis on vocals. The Hunter comes out September 26 on Roadrunner Records. Rel...
Listening booth — Mastodon, “Black Tongue”

Listening booth — Mastodon, “Black Tongue”

Listening Booth, Music
I really should know better by now than to predict how much I'll like an album based off one song. I was certain Mastodon's last album, Crack the Skye, would be a total face-melter, but I was sadly wrong. But I do have renewed hope for their upcoming LP, The Hunter. Why? Check out the first single, "Black Tongue." Aw yeah! This sounds like the Mastodon I love - heavy and vengeful, but still melodic. The Hunter is out September 27. Related articles New Mastodon! "Black Tongue!" Full Song! Listen Now, You Fools!!! (metalsucks.net) Mastodon Roar Back With Monster Metal Anthem (spin.com) Mastodon's B-Sides Are Better Than Most Bands A-Sides. (popblerd.com) Mastodon Releases New Song, Forgets They're Mastodon (allmetalresource.com)
Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Listcruft, Music
At long last, I present the conclusion of my list of 20 albums that have had the most impact on me and my love of music. For a brief refresher, you can check the back half of the top 20 here. But for your convenience, here's the list: #20 — Queen, The Game #19 — Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze #18 — Kiss, Creatures of the Night #17 — Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast #16 — Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell #15 — Kiss, Alive! #14 — Rush, A Farewell to Kings #13 — Miles Davis, Kind of Blue #12 — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pictures at an Exhibition #11 — various artists, Jazz Master Files OK, now that we're all caught up, let's finish this thing already. As a reminder, this is no particular order but I know people love countdowns so there you go. #10 — Genesis, Duke If Rus
Gray Flannel Mixtape: The Best Songs of 2010

Gray Flannel Mixtape: The Best Songs of 2010

Blogstuff
Yup, it's that time again!  Before I roll out the annual year-end rundown of my favorite albums, let's take a listen to some of the best songs from 2010.  I've included YouTube clips where possible, since I used Lala last year and got burned. 1. "Them That Do Nothing" by Field Music (from Measure) - I could probably populate this whole list with songs from Field Music's third studio album.  Instead I'll just highlight the first single from it and we can all revel in its pure pop perfection.  Well done, Brewis brothers, well done indeed. 2. "Doin' It Again" by the Roots (from How I Got Over) - If there's a case to be made for why sampling can work so well in hip hop it's this track, which brilliantly weaves the Roots' own composition with John Legend's "Again".  It's the standout
2009 – The year in recorded musical performances

2009 – The year in recorded musical performances

Music
I swear that each year I have less and less time to spend listening to new music.  It seems like a losing battle anymore to keep up with all the new albums coming out, but I have to keep trying.  So rather than pontificate on the albums of the past year - as I've been known to do - I'm going for brevity in an attempt to get more done.  And I'm adding one new feature to this year's year-end music wrapup (and future releases as well), by introducing a grading system.  Here's the rundown: Dig It - You can safely part with your hard-earned money for this and not feel like a sucker. Download It - Still worth a listen, but you'll probably want to just download it and cherry-pick the best tracks. Ditch It - If you can find something of lasting value, you're a better person than I. Got
Album Cover of the Week: Leviathan

Album Cover of the Week: Leviathan

Album Cover of the Week
From the chilly depths of the ocean comes an album so fierce, so metal, that only an exquisitely kickass piece of artwork could do it justice.  While not a strict concept album, Mastodon's 2004 metal opus Leviathan is loosely based on the story of Moby Dick.  Of course that much should be obvious, as one of the songs is entitled "I Am Ahab".  I took a chance on this album when I bought it a few years ago (I don't care for the majority of current metal), having only heard snippets of a few songs.  Part of the reason, I suspect, was the cover art. Even better is the expanded version of the illustration: C'mon, if a cover with a giant killer whale, guys with spears, and a flaming tower doesn't say "kick ass metal inside", I don't know what does.
Meme time: Pick an album for every year you’ve been alive

Meme time: Pick an album for every year you’ve been alive

Music
From Idolator via the AV Club comes a pretty cool music meme - compile a list of your favorite albums, with one for each year you've been alive. Sounds easy enough, but some years are positively stacked with music I love.  Forcing me to choose among my musical children is just so...cruel. For me the most bountiful years were 1975-1978, 1980, 1982-1984, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006, and 2007. 1975 - Kiss, Alive! 1976 - Led Zeppelin, Presence 1977 - Rush, A Farewell to Kings 1978 - Ace Frehley/Kiss, Ace Frehley 1979 - Pink Floyd, The Wall 1980 - Genesis, Duke 1981 - Rush, Moving Pictures 1982 - Rush, Signals 1983 - Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind 1984 - Iron Maiden, Powerslave 1985 - Kiss, Asylum 1986 - Queensrÿche, Rage for Order 1987 - Anthrax, Among the Living 1988 - Queensr