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Release Radar: Kelly Lee Owens – New Album

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Happy New Year to everyone – here’s hoping 2018 brings as much good new music as last year!
 
First, check out the television debut of Julien Baker on Colbert this week.  I featured her several weeks back in an email.  Incredibly intimate and moving performance by her on a national stage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbsXT_Bkl0Q
 
Second, I’m still listening to a ton of new releases from last year – some that would now make my best of 2017 list (including the artist featured this week).  There’s so much music and so little time…
 
It’s still slow for new releases but two notable albums out this week – indie/punk/pop artist Jeff Rosenstock did a surprise release on New Year’s with “POST-“ (I featured his previous album at the beginning of last year) and black metal rockers Watain have unleashed “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE” to the masses today.
 
This week I’m featuring an album I just got around listening to last week that would have definitely been on my list of best electronic albums last year, if not at the top of the list.  Kelly Lee Owens released her S/T debut album back in March.  I saw her name popping up on some “best of 2017” lists and I eventually got around to listening to her album.  I would describe her music as intimate atmospheric techno electronic dream pop (I know that’s a mouthful).  Her vocals are very interesting – they fit very well with her music and sound great throughout.  Sometimes they are used almost more as another instrument, but there are also tracks that are more lyrically focused.  This is an album that must be listened to with good headphones or speakers – her sounds create a mood and atmosphere – some of the sounds are almost tactile in nature – so it’s imperative you can properly hear all the details.  I listened to this album on a small Bluetooth speaker at one point and it just doesn’t work at all that way.  But if you can plug into some good headphones or speakers you will be more than pleasantly surprised.  Another thing I love about this album is it works great in the background, as well as with more detailed listening.  It also doesn’t hurt that I’m currently reading “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami and this album is perfect background music for that book (on a different note, I’m heavily impressed by Murakami’s writing so if you haven’t read any of his books definitely check him out). 
 
Owens was born in Wales and currently resides in London.  She was an intern at XL Recordings, played bass in a band and worked at a number of record shops, allowing her to soak up many influences and meet some other musicians and industry contacts.  She met Daniel Avery working at one store, who used Owens’ vocals on an EP and on several tracks on his follow-up LP, co-writing one song with her.  Owens self-released her first single as a solo artist in 2015.  This led to several more singles, some work with Jenny Hval, and then an EP in 2016.  As mentioned previously, Owens released her debut S/T album in March 2017.  She has received plenty of critical acclaim, showing up on many “best of 2017” lists, mostly for electronic albums but also just in general Top 50 album lists.  Her music is a little difficult to describe, and even within the same song Owens will sometimes mix up tempos/styles.  What stands out for me is the mood, sound and atmosphere her music provides.  For a debut album, she has produced a very accomplished album.  I’m eager to see what Kelly Lee Owens is able to produce going forward, given how accomplished her starting point is.  Below are a few tracks to check out, but I suggest listening through her entire album (also linked below).
 
“Evolution”  This track starts out with some rumbly bouncy beats and then a faster metronome kicks in.  Owens repeats “evolution” alternating between a hard and soft “e”.  Then the bass drops in about 50 seconds in, taking the track to a new level.  Owens effectively uses “drop” moments with the heavy bass at several points during the song.  Her vocals change from spoken, to singing, to whispering – all with great effect.  She also does a masterful job mixing in all of the different rhythms on this track.  All of these nuances are lost though, if you’re listening to the music with a cheap speaker.  You need to feel the music.
 
“Bird”  “Evolution” precedes “Bird” on the album.  On this track, Owens doesn’t provide any vocals.  Instead she deftly mixes in a number of sounds and rhythms to create a cohesive whole.  The beginning is a mix of strings, a xylophone-esque sound and the beats which eventually morph into a big bass drone about 1:45 into the song.  At that point, Owens just mixes the different sound elements in and out of the song.  About 3 minutes in she changes up the beats and brings in some different sounds before bringing it all back around again for the final minute. 
 
“Keep Walking” – Here’s a track that features more lyrical vocals by Owens so you can get a better feel for her vocals.  This song almost pulsates with soundwaves as it swirls inside your head.  Owens ethereal vocals match perfectly with the music on this track.  Again, you must listen to this track with good headphones/speakers or you will not “hear” everything that is going on in this track. 
 

Release Radar: LEGEND – Midnight Champion

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I’m more excited about the announcement of Jack White’s upcoming album in March than any new releases that came out this week, but there are two new albums I’ll check out on Spotify.  I had never heard of Anderson East before I saw him on a late night show this week, where he demonstrated interesting vocals and played with an accomplished backing band.  His new album “Encore” seems to have a little Van Morrison mixed with a retro southern soul sound.  This is his second album and could be a breakthrough for him.  The other release is from southern sludge metal band Corrosion of Conformity and their 10th album “No Cross No Crown” brings former vocalist Pepper Keenan back into the fold.
If you ever wished Depeche Mode was tougher and more aggressive while still maintaining a melodic touch, LEGEND may be the band for you.  Hailing from Iceland and comprised of Krummi Bjorgvinsson and Dori Bjornsson, this dynamic duo recently released their second album “Midnight Champion”.  Resembling most strongly elements from Depeche Mode, LEGEND also has a little Rammstein (without the bombast and German) and older Ministry creeping into their sound.  They are on an Icelandic record label, Artoffact Records, and I don’t think they are getting much attention here in the U.S..  This is unfortunate because I’m sure there’s a decent market for their music if more people were aware of it.  Krummi’s vocals work very well with the atmosphere they create, and he definitely has a little Dave Gahan influence in some of his singing.  If you’re not familiar with the bands mentioned above, LEGEND’s music has an electronic-rock sound, heavy on the atmosphere and mood.  Most of their songs take their time to unfold, these guys are not trying to pump out three minute long radio singles (only 2/10 songs are under 5:00 and the shortest is 4:47).  There are slower and faster songs, and some that mix in both elements.  Most telling, is most of their fans appear to have different “favorite” songs from “Midnight Champion”.  So there’s many different tracks that are resonating strongly with their fan base.  Finally, this album sounds like it was recorded with a ton of confidence.  The band sounds very assured throughout the record, like they accomplished exactly what they were hoping to do.  As you might imagine, it’s not easy pulling YouTube singles to share for LEGEND.  They do have a few individual songs I can share, but not necessarily the best assortment of tracks from the album.  Fortunately, I’m providing a link to the entire album so you can hear it in its entirety.  You can also listen to the album on Spotify or bandcamp.  “Adrift” and “Scars” are two of my favorite tracks which aren’t highlighted below.
 
Captive”  You can really feel the DM vibe on this track – I can totally imagine Gahan singing this song.  I like how they start the track out slower and then ramp up the drums/guitar bombast about 90 seconds in – that’s where it separates from a DM song.  Thesofter chorus with its synth lines is totally DM though.  The verses stand out on this track.  With more exposure, this could be a hit. 
Midnight Champion – This is more of a slow burner, with some interesting bass sounds/heavy synths gurgling in the background.  Halfway through everything is ratcheted up a notch with the big drums and the gurgling evolving into a roar.  The video is a little intensebut highlights gun control issues we have in the U.S. (intentionally or not).
 
Frostbite – This track starts off louder from the getgo, with booming drums and some interesting synth sounds.  It’s a very dramatic sounding songperfect track to capture the attention of some “teen angst” that I already get plenty of at home these days. 
 
Full album stream – This is the best route to take, if you have the time…

2017 Year End Extravaganza

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2017 stands out in a few ways for me – 1) the insanity that surrounds the Oval Office and the resulting comedy goldmine that has greatly benefited Stephen Colbert and John Oliver (as well as Alec Baldwin) – hey, the alternative to laughing is much less desirable.  I never thought I’d be embarrassed to be an American, but the alleged leader of the free world has made that happen.  2) my first full year living on the East Coast – “California Dreamin’” has taken on much greater significance now.  3) the East Coast couldn’t give a &$*# about any teams that play on the West Coast.  Fortunately, there was a wide variety of great music that came out this past year across all genres.  I found myself listening to music on a much wider scope than I typically have in the past.  Given that, it’s difficult to put together a top 20 or top 10 list of best albums from the past year.  It really matters what type of music you’re in the mood to listen to, and it seems pointless to compare a country western album to a hardcore release.  They exist at vastly different locations on the music spectrum.  So I’ve included some of my favorite albums from different genres below, and I’ve undoubtedly left some music out (and there’s a lot I still haven’t gotten around to listening to).  Some of this music I’ve written about and some hasn’t made it into my emails.  Happy Holidays and I wish everyone a wonderful 2018!
 
Hard Rock/Metal  Mastodon’s “Emperor of Sand” takes the top spot here (plus they even released a nice EP “Cold Dark Place” last year).  Other notable albums include:
Queens of the Stone Age “Villains”
Foo Fighters “Concrete and Gold”
Death From Above “Outrage! Is Now”
Greta Van Fleet “From The Fires
Living Colour “Shade”
At The Drive-In “In.ter.a.li.a”
The Midnight Ghost Train “Cypress Ave.”
 
Hardcore/Extreme Metal – Converge “The Dusk In Us” is a brilliant album and easily tops this list.  Other notable albums include:
Obituary “S/T”
Mutoid Man “War Moans”
All Pigs Must Die “Hostage Animal”
Unsane “Sterilize”
EXPANDER “Endless Computer”
Trapped Under Ice “Heatwave”
 
Instrumental – Sanhett “So Numb” but right behind are:
Ex Eye “S/T”
Elder “Reflections of a Floating World”
Ufomammut “8”
 
Alternative/Rock/Pop (this is broad)  J. Roddy Walston & The Business “Destroyers of the Soft Life due more to my overall love for the band but the album is very good.  Other notable releases this year include:
Lorde “Melodrama”
Wolf Alice “Visions Of A Life”
Ryan Adams “Prisoner”
Rainer Maria “S/T”
Ron Gallo “HEAVY META”
Waxahatchee “Out in the Storm”
Spoon “Hot Thoughts”
St. Vincent “Masseduction”
Quicksand “Interiors”
Sleigh Bells “Kid Kruschev”
Julien Baker “Turn Out the Lights”
Afghan Whigs “In Spades
Priests “Nothing Feels Natural”
 
Rap/R&B – Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” stands head and shoulders above everything else. Other notable albums:
SZA “Ctrl” (I would write this album up but lyrics are so inappropriate)
Run The Jewels “RTJ3”
Jay-Z likely would have made the list but since he’s committed to Tidal, I haven’t heard his album at all…
 
Electronic – Fever Ray “Plunge” barely nudges to the top.  Other notable albums:
Jlin “Black Origami”
Ibeyi “Ash”
Sylvan Esso “What Now”
I’ll also include LCD Soundsystem’s “american dream” in this genre
 
Country  Chris Stapleton “From A Room: Volume 1 and 2” takes the top prize here.  Other notable albums:
Margo Price “All American Made”
Lee Ann Womack “The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone”
 
Best Soundtrack – Baby Driver
 
I Don’t Understand The Hype – King Krule “The OOZ”, Thundercat “Drunk“, Perfume Genius “No Shape”, Pallbearer “Heartless”, Moses Sumney “Aromanticism”
 
Concerts I saw in 2017 
Deafheaven (awesome waves of sound)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (finally – don’t know why it took this long!)
Pixies (first time seeing them live since I was in college)
Iron Maiden (another bucket list band, would have gotten into a fight if the other guy wasn’t so drunk)
Tool (another bucket list band)
Spoon (3rd time on a sweltering summer night front and center)
Hans Zimmer (my son is a huge fan of his soundtracks – this was actually a fun show)
Afghan Whigs (way underrated)
Queens of the Stone Age (Royal Blood was surprisingly good opening, new venue in D.C. on the river (Anthem) is very nice and luckily Homme didn’t kick me or anyone else)
J. Roddy Walston & The Business (since they’re local now, I will be seeing them play live whenever I can)
Converge (another bucket list band, and they brought it hard – probably best live drumming performance I’ve ever seen)
Fortunately these were all great shows.  And I already have tickets in 2018 for J. Roddy Walston & The Business, High on Fire, Spoon, St. Vincent and U2.
 
Finally, here’s a compilation of all the music that I shared in 2017 via these weekly emails (in chronological order).  Hopefully you were able to discover and enjoy some of it!
 
Steve Gunn – “Ancient Jules”, “Full Moon Tide”, “Night Wander”
Jeff Rosenstock – “Festival Song”, “Staring Out the Window at Your Old Apartment”, “We Begged 2 Explode”
Shamir – “Vegas”, “On The Regular”
Striker – “Phoenix Lights”, “Out For Blood”, “Too Late”
Pinegrove – “Old Friends”, “Cadmium”
Big Thief –  “Real Love”, “Masterpiece”, “Animals”
Ryan Adams – “Do You Still Love Me?”, “Haunted House”, “Breakdown”
Danny Brown – “Ain’t it Funny”, “Pneumonia”, “Tell Me What I Don’t Know”
Deafheaven – “Brought to the Water”, “Baby Blue”, “Gifts for the Earth”
Sleaford Mods – “B.H.S.”, “Moptop”, “Army Nights”
Spoon – “Hot Thoughts”, “Can I Sit Next to You”, “Do I Have to Talk You Into It”
Jesus & Mary Chain –   “All Things Pass”, “Presidici”, “Facing Up To The Facts”
Mastodon – “Show Yourself”, “Steambreather”, “Clandestiny”
Tennis – “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar”, “My Emotions Are Blinding”, “Baby Don’t Believe”
Sylvan Esso – “Radio”, “Die Young”, “Kick Jump Twist”
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Dark Necessities”, “We Turn Red”, “The Getaway”
Afghan Whigs – “Oriole”, “Copernicus”, “The Spell”
Soundgarden – “Loud Love”, “Jesus Crist Pose”, “The Day I Tried To Live”, “Burden In My Hand”,  “I’m Going Hungry” by Temple of the Dog
Jlin – “Black Origami”, “Enigma”, “Kyanite”
Allah-Las – “No Voodoo”, “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind), “Ela Navega”
Waxahatchee – “Never Been Wrong”, “No Question”, “Hear You”
Greta Van Fleet – “Highway Tune”, “Safari Song”, “Black Smoke Rising”
Ron Gallo – “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me”, “Put the Kids to Bed”, “All the Punks are Domesticated”
Ranier Maria – “Suicides and Lazy Eyes”, “Lower Worlds”, “Possession”
Queens of the Stone Age –  “Feet Don’t Fail Me”, “The Way You Used To Do”, “Domesticated Animals”, “The Evil Has Landed”
Arcade Fire – “Everything Now”, “Signs of Life”, “Creature Comfort”
Sannhet – “So Numb”, “Sleep Well”, “Way Out”
Death From Above – “Never Swim Alone”, “Moonlight”, “Statues”
Miley Cyrus – “Love Someone”, “Younger Now”, “Thinkin”
Foo Fighters – “La Dee Da”, “Run”, “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
Chris Stapleton – “Either Way”, “Second One To Know”, “Broken Halo”, “I Was Wrong”
J. Roddy Walston and The Business – “You Know Me Better”, “I Called You”, “Bleed Out”
St. Vincent – “Los Ageless”, “New York”, “Pills”, “Masseduction”
Julian Baker –  “Turn Out the Lights”, “Appointments”, “Sour Breath”, “Happy to Be Here”
Quicksand – “Illuminant”,  “Hyperion”, “Warm And Low”
Smithereens – “Blood And Roses”, “Only A Memory”, “A Girl Like You”, “Strangers When We Meet”

Release Rader: St. Vincent – Masseduction

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I have a lot of new music queued up this week starting with a new album/mini-album? from young Led Zep Michigan band Greta Van Fleet with “From The Fires” – interested to see where this young band is headed even though half the tracks are from their previous EP.  Noise/pop rockers Sleigh Bells also have a new 8 track mini-album out titled “Kid Kruschev” – always interested to hear what this band is working on.  The early music recorded by Minneapolis legends Husker Du was packaged together and released today – 69 tracks featured on “Savage Young Du” (I’m not bothering with the umlauts).  Yacht rock band Tennis have a new EP “We Can Die Happy”.   Hardcore legends Quicksand have a blistering new album out titled “Interiors”.  Up and coming indie rockers Bethlehem Steel have an excellent new release “Party Naked Forever”.  Finally, Royal Blood has a 2 track Spotify sessions out on Spotify which features a cover of “My Sharona” – worth a listen.
 
Annie Clark who records as St. Vincent dropped an excellent new album a few weeks ago titled “Masseduction”.  For those of you not familiar with her, she is a multi-talented musician/songwriter who incorporates rock, electronic, jazz and even classical touches into her music.  She has also recently dabbled in directing, finishing one segment of a horror anthology.  St. Vincent was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Dallas, TX.  The guitar prodigy started playing at the age of 12.  Her uncle is Tuck Andress, who played in a popular jazz duo Tuck & Patti.  She spent some time touring with his band while she was a teenager.  After high school, she attended the Berklee School of Music.  She recorded some EPs with fellow students while there, but eventually dropped out after 3 years to join the band Polyphonic Spree.  After two years with this band, she left to be part of Sufjan Stevens’ backing band.  It was at this point that she adopted the stage name of St. Vincent.  After a year with Stevens, she left to start her solo career.  Her initial solo album “Marry Me” was well-received by critics.  After she switched labels from Beggars Banquet to 4AD, her sophomore album “Actor” got even more attention.  Strong critical success and impressive live performances vaulted her from indie success to mainstream success.  After her 3rd album “Strange Mercy” came out in 2011, St. Vincent collaborated with David Byrne and they recorded an album that came out the following year.  She ended up touring with Byrne to support their album.  Her 4th album, which was S/T came out in early 2014 and she continued to evolve her sound and stage presence (including winning a Grammy for Best Alternative Album).  Using choreography and more electronics in her sound, she created a very unique musical experience and continued to build on her reputation.  That brings us to today, where she worked with Jack Antonoff who co-produced her current album “Masseduction”.  St. Vincent continues to innovate her sound.  She has a custom guitar she designed that is available for sale via Ernie Ball Music Man.  Her main intent was to make a lightweight guitar that could easily be played by either gender.  She also incorporates a lot of effects into her guitar playing, often it almost sounds like a synthesizer.  St. Vincent is composing some very interesting music, and coupled with her interesting stage presentation, her live performances can never be called pedestrian or repetitive.  I’m looking forward to seeing her when she’s playing here in March.  As her sound continues to evolve on “Masseduction”, you’ll hear bigger and poppier music but still containing plenty of complexity that becomes apparent over time.  There’s wistfulness, anxiety, desperation and even a little funk thrown into the album.  And you continue to pick up on new elements in these songs with repeated listening.  It’s an album definitely worth checking out.  Here are four tracks from “Masseduction”. (that’s not actually her photographed on the album cover if you were curious)
 
Los Ageless – Great song title – this track highlights some interesting sounds she gets from her guitar and features a memorable chorus “how could anybody have you, how could anybody have you and lose you, how could anybody have you and lose you and not lose their mind”.
 
New York (explicit) – One of the initial singles, I initially was a little indifferent about this track but it has definitely grown on me after hearing it a number of times.  One of the slower tracks on the album, it features some very nice vocals from St. Vincent and is more piano-focused.   
 
Pills (explicit) – One of the quirkiest songs on the album, it features a memorable and catchy chorus.  There are also some interesting sounds on this track.  Fitting statement about today’s society.  Plus some saxophone from Kamasi Washington at the end.
 
“Masseduction” – The title track features some prominent guitar licks from St. Vincent and once again, a memorable chorus.  This is an example of how she skillfully blends electronic sounds and her guitar into a cohesive piece of music. 

Release Radar – J. Roddy Waltson & The Business

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This week it’s really all about only one new release – Converge’s “The Dusk In Us”.  The legendary Massachusetts hardcore/metal/punk/touch of jazz band is not for most people since they are extreme all the way around.  But they feature incredible musicianship, thought-provoking lyrics and innovative song writing.  But vocalist Jacob Bannon is intense, so you will need to absorb those thought-provoking lyrics as they are passionately screamed into your ears.  This is album #10 for them and it’s been over 5 years since their last release.  The 4 members of Converge all also play in other bands, and guitarist Kurt Ballou is one of the most sought-out hardcore/metal producers in the industry. I’m such a fan of his work, I actually have a t-shirt with a photo of his GodCity studio located in Salem, MA.  There are no other notable releases worth pointing out this week, but if you’re curious I’ll be checking out new albums (with low expectations) from Gunn-Truscinski Duo, Blitzen Trapper, Tracy Bonham, 21 Savage, Kid Rock and Ty Dolla $ign.
If you read last week’s email, you may recall a comment I made about Chris Stapleton hypothetically destroying all other contestants on The Voice if he were to go on the show and sing “Either Way”.  Well lo and behold one of The Voice contestants decided to sing “Either Way” this week.  Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him, but he’s not Chris Stapleton (but he did a fine job – Blake just wanted to keep the other guy on his team because he was very unique).
 
I have written a piece about J. Roddy Walston & The Business before, but they have a new album out titled “Destroyers Of The Soft Life” and you should check it out.  This four-piece Southern rock band originally formed in Tennessee 15 years ago, but quickly relocated to Baltimore.  They initially had a few lineup changes, but have been steady lately with J. Roddy Walston on vocals/guitar/and the hardest rocking piano playing you’ll ever see, Billy Gordon on guitar, Logan Davis on bass and Steve Colmus behind the kit.  These guys have developed a huge live following, because 1) they have some great songs to play live and 2) J. Roddy Walston is a formidable presence on stage.  I’ve never seen anyone headbang playing the piano like he does.  Check out some live performance clips on YouTube to see it for yourself.  Anyway, this is just the band’s 4th proper album, and it appears that they are gunning for more commercial success with this release.  The songs are less raw and are more polished and radio-friendly.  So you lose a little of the rawness/excitement factor, but they could gain an even bigger audience.  J. Roddy Walston moved to Richmond, VA since their previous album was released (his wife is from the area).  He and the band built their own recording studio in Richmond, where they worked on “Destroyers Of The Soft Life”.  This local connection is personally nice for me because the band frequently plays in Richmond.  In fact, Thanksgiving weekend they have a 3 night stand at a local club and I’m dragging my wife, son, sister-in-law and nephew to one of the shows – promising them an entertaining evening.  The band has their own unique sound, but you’ll hear elements of My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon and The Band.  When trying to select songs to highlight from the album, I realized I had marked 8/10 tracks on the album.  So yeah, to say the least it’s a strong album (I can’t remember ever having that many songs from an album to draw from).  And none of these below are even the initial singles from the album.  At the very least, when they come around to a venue near you, go check them out.  You will be entertained.
 
You Know Me Better – The lead track on the new album, and this song sounds most like their older material.  Maybe that’s the reason it’s my early favorite song on the album.  Plus I’m sure this is going to be terrific live.
 
I Called You – The band does have a slower, softer side and this track is one example of that.  This is also an example of a more carefully crafted song that is an attempt to broaden their fan base.  Nice use of a big drum sound to really boost the choruses.   
 
Bleed Out – And here’s a mid-tempo example, but the chorus is massive.  J. Roddy puts everything he has behind the vocals on this track.
 
If you can’t be bothered to do a search on YouTube to see a performance video, here are a couple of live clips:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyd2LfJt2QA – “Take It As It Comes”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wdv5-TrUhg – “Don’t Break The Needle”

Release Radar – A good week for Pop

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Lots of fun pop releases this week not to mention a new album from UK alt-rockers The Charlatans “Different Days” and there’s a 50th anniversary release for the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” (remix is pretty good).

 

All I’ve been listening to lately is Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, Tool and a little Pixies, Mastodon and Sublime. Never a bad choice to listen to almost anything by those bands.

 

I did see Tool in concert for the first time this week and it was an both an auditory and visual experience. Great musicians plus a lot of attention and detail to their lighting and projections to complement the music. Plus, they have actual fanatics for fans. Lots of love going on there for those four guys. And the longest merchandise lines I can remember seeing at a concert. And they stayed that way the entire evening.

Image result for tool band

Many people walking around with plastic shopping bags overflowing with merch. It seemed like about 75% of the attendees were wearing Tool shirts. However, I saw a number of Soundgarden shirts walking around as well.

Stop in next Friday for your weekly Release Radar from Noisy Planet.

20 BEST Songs to Get High To!

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Noisy Planet presents the TOP 20 SONGS TO GET HIGH TO:

1. “Because I Got High” Afroman

2. “Good Times (I Get High) Styles P

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fJZbBcDsRQ

3. “Marijuana” Kid Cudi

4. “I Got 5 On It” The Luniz

5. “Smoke Two Joints” Sublime

6. “Stay High” Three 6 Mafia feat. 8 Ball & MJG and Young Buck

7. “Purple Haze” Jimi Hendrix

8. “Kaya” Bob Marley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLghskVhcuI

9. “One Toke Over The Line” Brewer & Shiple

10. “Sweet Leaf” Black Sabbath

11. “Reefer Head Woman” Aerosmith

12. ‘(Roll Another Number) For The Road’ Neil Young

13. “Reefer Man” Cab Calloway

14. “How High” Method Man and Redman

15. “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35” Bob Dylan

16. “Hits From The Bong” Cypress Hill

17. “You’re Making Me High” Toni Braxton

18. “Mary Jane” Rick James

19. “Jesus of Suburbia” Green Day

20. “Weed Song” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

10 songs from the last 5 years that need to be in Rock Band

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For those of you who are into gaming and rock music, you are probably familiar with the Rock Band game franchise on Xbox. The last game in the franchise to come out was Rock Band 3 in 2010. It was known for having many content offerings available for download, which stopped being available in late 2013 but then started up again in early 2015. However, fans of the Rock Band franchise had gotten to the point where they weren’t just looking for new downloadable content for Rock Band 3. They were looking for an entirely new sequel all together. The creator of the franchise, Harmonix, is finally going to satisfy these demands.
It was just announced by Harmonix that Rock Band 4 is in the works and will be released five years after the previous game came out. It is also predicted that it will have all new downloadable content available for gamers to purchase. The great thing about downloadable content in Rock Band is that you can request your own songs to be placed into the game, and then you get to play them yourself. Remember, Rock Band is all about creating your own rock band and living the life of a rock star virtually through your gaming console. But this also gives you the chance to play some of your favorite songs as a rock star and to experience the thrill of having an audience cheering you on as you play it.  
The only thing Rock Band needs to have is newer songs in its downloadable content. In fact, there are ten songs in particular created within the last five years that need to find their way to Rock Band 4 as downloadable content.

These songs are “Bucker Buster” by Viet Cong

“BlockBuster Night Part 1” by Run the Jewels

“Under Control” by the Internet

“Reflektor” by Arcade Fire

“II. Shadow” by Childish Gambino

“We Were Rock & Roll” by Janelle Monae

“Graceless” by the National

“Under the Pressure” by The War on Drugs

“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar

“New You” by My Bloody Valentine

Chances are newer gamers from the current generation would have probably heard of these songs and bands by now. If you are an older gamer from the 80s generation then you are probably looking for soft or classic rock.

Either way, you’ll still have a good time playing these songs if they do become available for Rock Band 4.

Samson by Regina Spektor

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The first time I heard this song was on The Voice (performance below)

I couldn’t believe it–had I heard this Regina Spektor song before? It turns out this song is older…regardless, I decided to post this song, in the spirit of timeless music; lasting forever.

Until next time…get LOUD AND NOISY!

Music Streaming Service Grooveshark Shuts Down

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The music streaming service known as “Grooveshark” is finally shutting down after ten years of service. A letter on their homepage last month announced the termination of the company. Grooveshark was most famously known for being a music streaming service, but they apparently failed to secure the proper licenses with a number of music producers and record companies that owned the rights to the music. Grooveshark claims their intentions were good because they wanted to help fans discover and share music with each other. But due to these legal issues regarding licenses and a settlement that was made with the recording companies, Grooveshark had no choice but to shut down completely.
Many people have misconceptions about music streaming by thinking it must be illegal or unauthorized by the record companies. The truth is that music streaming is perfectly legal as long as you get authorization from the record companies to stream their music. This entails purchasing a license from the company to legally stream their music. The company ends up getting a percentage of the earnings generated from their music streams and the music service provider ends up getting the rest. Some examples of music streaming services that are legally operating are Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, Apple’s Beats Music and Deezer.
Grooveshark gained attention because they allowed people to just upload music files to their website. These music files were not screened for copyrights or anything. Grovoeshark basically became a file sharing website where people could just share their music files with each other. The problem with any kind of file sharing service is that illegal activity runs rampant. If somebody uploads a file that is copyrighted and illegal to reproduce, that person is committing a crime. Also the people who download the music are committing a crime as well. On top of that, the file sharing service provider will get in the most trouble for permitting this behavior. That is why authorized music streaming sites, like Google Play, put new artists that submit their music files under very strict agreements. You are only allowed to upload files to Google Play that you own the rights to. It is not a file sharing site where you can just distribute any random file to other people. Each file you upload is screened and the submitter is forced to contractual agree that they hold the rights to it. Unfortunately, this was not the business model that Grooveshark lived by which is why they were forced out of business.