When Popdose Grand Poobah Jeff Giles asked me to write a list article for his site, I couldn't say no. The only question I had for him was, "what content restraints am I working under?" He said, "none." I'm sure he'll come to regret that answer in the coming weeks, but hopefully not now. For today my chosen topic is music autobiography, or musiphy as it's known in the industry. We've seen some great ones in recent years -- Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, Ace Frehley's No Regrets, and Bob Dylan's Chronicles just to name three. But what about all the legendary musicians we haven't heard from yet? Like James Hetfield of Metallica, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, or... well, you can read all about that on Popdose.
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1983. (Spotify users, check out the accompanying playlist and subscribe!) Robert Plant, The Principle of Moments -- While I would in no way claim that Robert Plant's solo output bests Led Zeppelin's music, a lot of times I simply prefer to listen to Plant. In fact I'd say that Plant has enjoyed one of the most artistically rewarding solo careers of any artist who was part of a popular band that I can think of. The Principle of Moments is probably my favorite Plant solo effort (next to Fate of Nations) -- he sounds freed from the constraints of creating larger-than-life rock and the music just crackles with energy. "In the...
With her tragic and untimely death, Amy Winehouse became the latest member of a grim group -- the so-called Club 27, whose only entrance requirement is to be a famous musician and to die at age 27. The club also includes legends such as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain. This got me to thinking -- is it really true that the brightest stars burn out the earliest? Or does it just seem that way because of our fascination with stars who die young? Curious, I decided to conduct a little research so I compiled a list of famous and influential dead musicians. Of course that list could be limitless, depending on your standards for fame and influence. I ultimately opted to use Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, first published in 2004/05 and...
My last Popdose mixtape (five-star jazz) seemed to go over pretty well on Popdose, so I thought I'd mix it up this time and delve into my first true love -- heavy metal. This mixtape focuses on the metal that was burned into my brain during its formative years. So it should come as no surprise that I included Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica among others. So bust out that denim jacket and head over to Popdose now to check out my metal mix. Because it's what Dio would want you to do. But just before you do, as a super-special bonus here's one of the tracks that very nearly made the cut. It's the first track from Anthrax's blistering 1990 album Persistence of Time -- "Time."
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
Today sure feels like a thrash metal kind of day, so here's a nice one from the '80s heyday of the genre. It's Testament with "Trial By Fire", from their 1988 release The New Order. Now I always considered Testament a notch below the premiere thrash bands of the day (Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, etc.) but I've always liked this song. Trial By Fire - Testament
A few months into this year I couldn't shake the feeling that 2008 just wasn't going to be the great year for new music that 2007 was. And so here I am, about a week away from 2009, and I still feel the same way. It wasn't a total wash mind you, as there was definitely some quality to be enjoyed. So here's my take on the 2008 music year - good, bad, and ugly. The Best of the Best (Albums) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) Yeah, this seems like an obvious choice, but it's also a damn good one. I'm always up for listening to good vocal harmonies, and this band has them in spades. The music is gorgeous to boot, and is a highly engaging blend of folk titans like CSNY, America, and early '70s Fleetwood Mac. The vocal round of "White Winter Hymnal" is worth the price of admission
Here's the dirty little secret that both fans and detractors of Metallica seem to forget from time to time. Rather than being a faceless musical entity, they're really just four human beings who have grown and changed a great deal since 1983. And don't tell anyone, but so have their fans (well, most of them)! I was just shy of 13 years old when ...And Justice for All came out in 1988. Imagine if I conducted my daily affairs as if I were still in junior high school. How far do you think I'd get in life? Not very far, right? So why is it that it's perfectly OK for people who grew up, grew older, and matured as people while listening to Metallica seem so unwilling to allow the band to do the same? OK, I think I've made my point. Now onto Death Magnetic. Plain and simple, this
The buzz behind Metallica's new album, Death Magnetic, continues to build prior to its September 12 worldwide release. This is easily the most hyped Metallica released since, well, St. Anger. The stream represents 60% of the final 10-song product, an unexpected amount of accessibility for the band. Here's what you'll hear when you visit their site: "The Day That Never Comes" - Decent for the first 4 minutes, then it gets much better. And hey, a Kirk Hammett solo! "My Apocalypse" - Pretty kickass I must say. Reminds me a lot of "Dyers Eve". "Cyanide" - I've heard this one the most, and it's growing on me. Love that drum/bass bit at the beginning and the end. Very reminiscent of the Black Album era. "All Nightmare Long" - CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAA