May 2009's Listening Habits!

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Mag 13 2009, 17:48

This is my second entry in my series of my listening habits over the coming months which I will update as regularly as I can and honestly as I can, with any reviews of albums or even live shows that I might attend. So here's May's entry...

13/05/09

Today is my birthday (Woo Hoo), am 19 (Not So Woo Hoo) but ah well. Before I start listing my listening habits this month so far, last night I was at a gig... Metric at Oran Mor (Glasgow) 12th May 2009 and let me say just one word... Outstanding!. Emily Haines certainly gave 110% in her stage performance. The whole band played great along with her and I couldn't think of anything to criticise them on. Probably just the cheesy rants we gout about love and music, but hey who cares eh! They mainly played stuff from their new album 'Fantasies' which I was fairly happy about, because now I would have to say it's my new favourite album by them following 'Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?'. Haines has a strong stage presence that she managed to sustain throughout the whole entire concert along with the rest of the band managing to keep up her with fast tempo, the highlight of the concert for me would be the song they opened the concert with... Twilight Galaxy, which is the fourth song of their recent album 'Fantasies' and the intensity of the last minute of the song where they just jammed it out and Emily banging around on the synthesizers, creating what sounded like and could have possibly looked like, if you were on some substance that makes you hallucinate was beams just stretching out of the keyboards to higher volumes and heights. The one minute, was clearly an intense moment. To conclude this, I would have to give them 4 stars out of 5 for the performance, not only their ability to perform live, but their ability to have a strong presence and entertain a crowd like they did, was just tremendous. 4/5.

So far, this months listening spree has been quite quiet, not listened to much apart from my usual favourites like Stone Temple Pilots, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, David Bowie, The Kills, Queens of the Stone Age and The Doors.

Although, once again, my friend... Stuart77, gave me a lend of a few more albums, which this time it included, an EP from The Horrors, which the version of Jack The Ripper, is actually a lot better than the version on their album 'Strange House'. I also got The Cure's albums 'Faith' and 'Wish'. To say the least am not too keen on the Cure after listening to 'Faith', it was kind of cementing it in, that am not gonna get in to this band. Although, today I listened to 'Wish' and it was actually okay, I wouldn't go as far as saying it's amazing, but was alright, the stand out songs for me were Open, Doing the Unstuck and End. Other albums he let me borrow was At the Drive-In's 'Relationship of Command', which am still to listen to along with The Mars Volta's albums 'Frances the Mute' and 'De-Loused in the Comatorium'.

New artists I've listened to this month so far have included the likes of The Long Blondes. I have listened to them before, but I wasn't over impressed with them, so I decided to give a different album a go and that album was Someone to Drive You Home. To be honest, it was an alright band, but it was quite boring in places, the highlight of the album had to be the opening song called Lust in the Movies. After that, it did seem to drag on, but more or less, nothing rubbish, just very average. I also listened to a fantastic man called Mark Lanegan, who was part of the Grunge band called Screaming Trees. Lanegan has such a fantastic voice, it's so deep and dirty it obviously suited the Grunge-era pretty well. Although, his solo stuff is pretty good, despite his landmark album 'Bubblegum' being fantastic. He certainly has other albums to push out his success as a solo artist, albums like 'Whiskey for the Holy Ghost' and 'The Winding Sheet' which I found were stand out albums along with 'Bubblegum'.

This month so far has already spawned of obsessions with artists like Manic Street Preachers, Metric and Chris Cornell. My friend, Stuart77 again let me borrow more of his Manics' albums seeing how I enjoyed 'The Holy Bible' and 'Generation Terrorists'. The albums I listened to which made my mind up about this band, being a really good rock n roll band were... 'Send Away the Tigers', which was one of my favourite ones especially the song Your Love Alone Is Not Enough, yeah I know it's one of their most listened to songs, but it's a quality track. Other albums I listened to from them was 'Everything Must Go', which was a good album to listen to along with 'Know Your Enemy', 'Gold Against the Soul' and 'Lifeblood'. The most disappointing album I found from them was, 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours', I didn't see what was so good about If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next and I felt the rest of the album did kind of drag on, as I said in my last journal, they really are, probably one of the best rock bands to come out of Britain during the 1990's and possibly one of Britain's best rock bands ever.

My obsession with Chris Cornell has been lingering around for a long time, it started when I had a bit of a Soundgarden listening spree back in April and it just kinda stuck there for a while but without listening to them, so I channelled this through Chris Cornell, which last week I played his music over 200 times according to last.fm, the beauty of 'Euphoria Morning' has totally grown on me, am not surprised Can't Change Me was nominated for a Grammy Award for best vocal performance. Also, his work on the James Bond film Casino Royale was even better. You Know My Name is a really, really fantastic piece of work, well worth being part of the classic James Bond movie songs like Thunderball, Live and Let Die (although Guns N' Roses version was better in my opinion) and The World Is Not Enough. Apart from the beauty of Euphoria Morning Cornell, also came back with another superb album 'Carry On', which I feel was a lot better than it's predecessor. It's just very unfortunate that 'Scream' was the best musical direction for Cornell to go in :( but none-the-less I also found a lot of acoustic demo's and live performances that I downloaded, which was thoroughly enjoyable, even live, he sounds simply fantastic and he's someone I would definitely pay the money to see live.

When I first listened to Metric back in April 2009's Listening Habits Journal, I mentioned they were a fairly good band but I was overly impressed by them, well, I noticed they were playing in Scotland in support of their new album 'Fantises' and I decided I'd go and see them. Just before the gig, my obsession kicked in, so I was really excited in seeing them. Now, seeing how it's after the gig, my obsession will now be in bloom. All their albums are simply fantastic and to be honest, their most disappointing album in my opinion would have to be 'Grow Up and Blow Away'. My favourite songs from them would probably be... Succexy, Satellite Mind, Grow Up and Blow Away, Sick Muse and Empty, but there's really too many to mention, they're such a good band.

I got round to listening to At the Drive-In's album 'Relationship of Command' which was actually really good. I remember a few years ago I listened to a few songs of them and I really didn't like them. Am pretty glad they proved to me that they are good and convinced me to like them. The songs that stuck out most for me were One Armed Scissor, Sleepwalk Capsules and Arcarsenal. I have also listened to The Mars Volta's album Frances the Mute which was basically just some of the most creative and original pieces of music you can think of, Progressive Rock is really something that is either complete boring at times, or completely great and The Mars Volta are simply great, especially with Frances the Mute, such a good album, as guitarist Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez hammers in his loose guitar solos which are not only influenced by the obvious Latin and Rock but by his own creative genius, he really is like a Jimi Hendrix but in a completely different style and completely different frame of mind, the only similarity is... their both amazing guitar players. Right now, as I am typing this, am currently listening to The Mars Volta's album called 'De-Loused in the Comatorium' which is my personal favourite album from them, and seeing how I haven't listened to this album in at least a year, I can see why I loved it so much back then. Inertiatic ESP is just an amazing song, even though it's their most listened to track judging by last.fm, but you really can see why though, it's simply fantastic and well constructed with the common influences that the Volta hold along with their genius. Further credit to this album, will follow, as the song Drunkship of Lanterns has a special feel to it, as again, Omar just sails through it with his swift and brash guitar playing while Zavala screams the haunting lyrics in his sharp and fierce tone.


29/05/09

I haven't wrote in here for a long time, but to be honest, I've rarely listened to any new artists apart from obsessions with bands like The Doors, Rage Against The Machine and The Horrors.

Tonight, I am seeing The Horrors with my friend Stuart who actually got me into the band. It took me a while to get into their new album Primary Colours, which is totally different from their debut album Strange House. Still, on that topic, I feel Strange House will always be my favourite Horrors album so far, even though I have listened to Primary Colours, more than it... seeing how am going to see The Horrors tonight, am quite looking forward to it, I really want to hear songs like Jack The Ripper, Sheena Is A Parasite, Little Victories, Train Roars, Mirror's Image and Do You Remember. Am pretty sure they'll play some of them, but if they don't play Jack The Ripper... I would be very disappointed lol.

Going back to my recent obsessions though, last week, I had a big obsession with The Doors, which I managed to get over 200 plays for, but the thing with The Doors, I really don't listen to them THAT often these days, but when I do play them, I pretty much play them to fuck, but hey... that's a good thing, seeing how it is my favourite band. I still feel L.A. Woman is still the best Doors album as I felt when I first listened to them at least 4 years ago. Although, more so now-a-days, I feel The Doors' live stuff is a lot better than their studio stuff, depending on your point of view though, but live albums like Live In Detroit and Live In Boston 1970 are truly tremendous and full of pulsating energy considering Jim's a drunken wreck and pretty much slurring the vocals and stretching most songs out past the 7 minute mark. More recently however, I have gotten into the Strange Days album more, apart from the obvious classics like People Are Strange, When the Music's Over, Moonlight Drive and Love Me Two Times. I will always see My Eyes Have Seen You and You're Lost Little Girl as the most stand out songs on the album, maybe that's just because I heard the classics to much? but I doubt it, I could never get tired of The Doors and their music.

As for Rage Against The Machine however, this is a band that I've always never had or maybe should say never gave much time for. I don't know what gave me the urge to listen to them and properly enjoy them more than I ever have, but am not complaining, their music is definitely fresh and exciting, with Zack's political influenced lyrics thrashing through Morello's screeching and buzzing guitar, and Brad and Tim's percussion keeping the rhythm in time creating a very exciting and heavy band that is Rage. More or less though, I feel their live album Live at the Grand Olympic Auditoriumis definitely more enjoyable to listen to than their studio stuff. Now I can properly judge my favourite Rage Against The Machine album and song(s), I would say my favourite album from them would be The Battle of Los Angeles and my reasons would be, it's not as dragged out and long as their self titled album Rage Against the Machine and it's more enjoyable than Evil Empire. Especially the song Ashes in the Fall, which is really just so special, considering all of Rage's music is so direct and in your face, this song is more laid back and more experimental than any other Rage Against The Machine song. Even though it's not my favourite song from Rage, my all time favourite song from them has and more than likely always will is Sleep Now in the Fire. Which really... I don't have to give a reason... just listen to it.

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