Monday, August 29, 2011

Music Musings: The Weather

The hot weather makes me enjoy music less.


I don't know why but being sopping wet with sweat every single minute of every single day makes me cranky and tired. It also makes music impossible to enjoy. I suppose it's a good thing this summer has been pretty lacking in new music. Partly that's because we're broke and can't get any new music but the other part is because since Devin Townsend's albums there's been NOTHING all summer I've been interested in.

I was able to get a CD the other day by selling off some game guides I had. I actually considered postponing listening to it until the weather got cooler.

So that's why there's isn't as much action here lately. Now that I think of it I think I already told you all of this before. Oh well. The heat has finally fried my brain I think.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nina - "No Shadow of Turning"

Nina - No Shadow of Turning
1991, REX

1. Calm Before the Storm
2. Emergency 2
3. In a Little While
4. Mirror Image
5. Where Are You Now?
6. Separate Yourself
7. Anyway, I Think It's Over
8. You Hold Your Heart in Your Hands
9. You Better Run Away
10. I'd Like to See the Way It Fits
11. Reality of Love
12. Daughter of Jerusalem
13. Turn, Turn, Turn

Here's a little obscure piece of Christian music history. No Shadow of Turning was a solo album from Nina Llopis of the hardcore/thrash/punk band The Lead. Her debut isn't thrash though, far from it. It's alternative rock and it's interesting. "I'd Like to See the Way it Fits" is Nina's attempt to do a pop song. It's kind of funny because there's all this earnest alt-rock then all of a sudden it's Kim Boyce or Lisa Beville for a song, then back to the rock. I also really enjoy her version of "Turn, Turn, Turn." Probably the biggest mark against No Shadow of Turning is the production which seems really thin and tinny to me. The album is way out of print and dirt cheap as well as available for download. If you're a connoissuer of early 90's Christian music you should definitely check this out.

Useless Fact: Nina thanks the boys of the Lead in her liner notes for putting up with her "non thrash" mode. These days I think Nina is doing worship seminars. She used to have a website but I can't find it anymore.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

U2 - "The Joshua Tree"

U2 - The Joshua Tree
1987, Island

1. Where the Streets Have No Name
2. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
3. With or Without You
4. Bullet the Blue Sky
5. Running to Stand Still
6. Red Hill Mining Town
7. In God's Country
8. One Tree Hill
9. Exit
10. Mothers of the Disappeared

I know I'm about to commit some sort of musical blasphemy here but... I don't really like The Joshua Tree that much. I remember liking the first three tracks a lot when I was young because they played them on MTV endlessly. I bought the tape through Columbia record club (wow! remember record clubs?!) and begged mom to play it in the car. I also begged her to rewind the tape after "With or Without You" was over because those first three tracks were the only ones I liked. I'm proud to say I pretty much drove her crazy with those three songs over and over and over again. Of course, I'm getting mine now because I've seen the Backyardigans' "Tale of the Mighty Knights" at least 70 times. But anyway, back to U2. I still don't really care for this album that much but I couldn't tell you why. Aside from those three childhood favorites I find the rest of the album to be rather boring. I know it's a classic and I know how influential it is... but I just can't get into it. Frequent readers of this blog shouldn't be surprised though - they know I'm weird.

Useless Fact: Christian metal band Bride did a cover of "Bullet the Blue Sky" for one of their videos.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Music Musings: Gear Shift! - Adventures in Shuffle

Good grief...

This has been the hottest, longest summer I've ever suffered through. We've had temps down here in southern Georgia of over 100 for weeks at a time. Ugh! Also, since Decon and Ghost there's not much music coming out until October when Megadeth and Evanescence release their new albums. Bummer. So, I've done something I usually never do - put my Ipod on shuffle.

See, I'm an album person. I listen to albums - in their entirety. I consider all the songs, the order of the songs, etc. My wife is the opposite as she listens to single songs, not albums. So in this musical drought I decided to switch it up a bit and let fate decide what songs I listen to.

My friend and I had an idea for a radio show called "Gear Shift." The idea was that we would play something really heavy then play something really mellow just to mess with people. My shuffled Ipod is pretty much the very definition of that. It'll play Sixpence None the Richer, Mortification, Steve Taylor, Ayreon, The Choir, etc. What's funny is that sometimes the transitions are really good. Occasionally you'll get this totally mellow track then some heavy song will come on but it totally works. It's been fun.

It's also interesting to note just how "random" random actually is. Sometimes it will favor a particular artist or album. One time I got a lot of songs from Steve Taylor's On The Fritz. Other times it will pick a theme - like early 90's Christian metal, or straight up pop songs. It's like my Ipod actually has moods of its own. Weird.

So anyway, not much of an update - for which I apologize. I've got a few albums for the next couple of months but it's going to be a little sparse. At least until new albums come out or I can get some money that I'm not spending on games for my PSP.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Devin Townsend Project - "Ghost"

The Devin Townsend Project - Ghost
2011, Inside Out

1. Fly
2. Heart Baby
3. Feather
4. Kawaii
5. Ghost
6. Blackberry
7. Monsoon
8. Dark Matters
9. Texada
10. Seams
11. Infinite Ocean
12. As You Were

Ghost is truly an achievement. It's simple, melodic, peaceful, and beautiful. It's just as challenging as Deconstruction but I think the rewards for diving into this one are far greater. Some songs, like "Heart Baby," seem to have more in common with Enya than anything Devin has done previously. The album also takes a slight industrial/trance detour with "Dark Matters" and "Texada." Surprisingly, it fits the flow of the album very well. While Deconstruction seemed to be a "greatest hits" compilation of all Devin's usual tricks (bumped up to 11, of course), Ghost stands by itself - truly unique. It's a great way to end this four album cycle.

Oh, I also wanted to point out that the cover and booklet art are absolutely gorgeous!

Useless Fact: Those who pre-ordered the album got access to four tracks on Ghost II. I'm not sure if the four tracks, "Drench," "Fall," "Mend," and "Watch You" are supposed to actually be Ghost II or whether they're just a preview.