Tomorrow will be an awesome day, for I am seeing the mighty Mastodon with my sister. Before that though, we have the list of the Top Ten songs. Enjoy!
10. Crack the Skye, Crack the Skye
Much has been made of the emotional element in this record, that being the death of Brent Hinds sister, Skye. While the record and this song doesn’t get very sappy in regards to her death, it’s a powerful album that sees Hinds singing for the first time substantially. The record is great, but one of the standouts is without question the title track. It’s a pummeling song musically, and the roughness of the vocals matched side by side by soaring vocals, only helps to add to the emotional toll, and for that reason it opens our countdown.
9. the Motherload, Once More ‘Round the Sun
The video with the butts. Yes, you read that right. Mastodon tends to be all over the place with their music videos, and for this clip, they incorporate ladies you’re more likely to see in a Juvenile video than a metal one. Either way though it works its magic, and adds to the essence of the song. Speaking on the song, the drums and vocals, both presented by Brann Dailor make themselves the stars of the show, and thus they propel the song to a high energy place that makes it difficult to ignore, whether you like it or not. I also really dig the Ozzy-esque sounding vocals mixed through the track. It doesn’t come off as trying to rip him off either, which is easier said than done when you try to pay homage.
8. March of the Fire Ants, Remission
My first introduction to this band was this video, as seen back when MTV2 played video(Seriously read that sentence again and mourn that the channel specifically made for videos doesn’t even do it.) Moving on, the vocals are cutthroat and gravelly, and the power behind the rhythm section is top notch, even for a band at their early days. Almost everything about the song is a force unto itself, but of all thenew wave of american heavy metal bands that came forth, Mastodon managed to stick through it and have become an amazing band,.
7. Divinations, Crack the Skye
When I made this list I was surprised at which songs I loved the most but also which albums were most represented, this being the most represented. Another sprawling and epic song finds us at number seven on the Top Ten Mastodon songs. “Divinations” features multiple vocal parts, psychedelically tinged guitar and bass sections, and an absolutely amazing howl from Troy Sanders. It’s a juggernaut and probably one of the reasons they are so well liked when it comes to the more prog mentalities. Seriously it’s a great track and one that many people overlook. Check that shit out!
6. Oblivion, Crack the Skye
This song opens with an ominous dark hue hovering over the sky. Musically it’s Mastodon at their most foreboding and menacing, so it’s hard not to like it as a metal fan. From my first listen I enjoyed it thoroughly. Another great skill the band has is it’s ability to quickly move between movements and transitions and keep the pace up. This is clearly evident multiple times through the track, and it only gives more credence to just how great of musicians they all are. The lyrics are also highly unsettling and personal, which definitely helps when you write this type of music.
5. Colony of Birchmen, Blood Mountain
One of the best things the band does is concept albums. Time after time they’ve demonstrated, and with “Blood Mountain” from 2006, the may have made an album that matches up against their other great concept album “Leviathan.” Accompanied by Queens of the Stone Age founded Joshua Homme, the song whirls and climbs slowly up the treacherous mountain in search of safety, which likely won’t be found. Homme especially adds a great mixture to the track with his signature voice. I wish they'd have more guest vocalists, but if he’s all we ever get, I’ll gladly take it.
4. Iron Tusk, Leviathan
Oh my god the opening of this insanely brutal song is like no other openings I’ve ever heard. They don’t even get to 100 miles per hour in the first five seconds because that’s where it fucking starts. It’s as in your face and rambunctious as anything they’ve ever written, and in the context of the Moby Dick inspired concept album, you can imagine this track being set to imagery of the mighty creature devastating everything it touches in the ocean waters, and not taking any prisoners, but only lives. It’s a polarizing song that hits hard with every punch, and also remains one of the heaviest tracks they’ve ever created.
3. All the Heavy Lifting, the Hunter
Something to know about me is that I love love love soaring vocals and big choruses. It’s almost as if it’s implanted in my DNA. This song has both of those things, which is likely why it ends up as Number three on our countdown. The “Just Close Your Eyes,” section of the chorus manages to tingle the skin as the story of a frantic family trying to survive is unfolded before us. Lyrically it’s a powerful song able to also shine musically in an introspective way. The band is utterly focused and winds through sections with ease and a grace that is missing sorely in music. In the end though, “All the Heavy Lifting” is about solidarity and remaining calm under extreme pressure.
2. Tread Lightly, Once More ‘Round the Sun
It’s hard to top a killer album opening song, but they always seem to start off every album in wonderfully epic and big ways. “Tread Lightly” off the most recent “Once More ‘Round the Sun” is another solid example of the band blowing up sonically to introduce a new record. The vocals are harrowing and hopeful, and even enlightening at moments. Seriously it’s one of the most uplighting metal tracks I’ve ever heard, and because of this it finds itself way up on the countdown. Doing this is tricky, especially in the genre they’ve been lumped in with. It’s an eye opening example of what metal can do, and along with the brilliance of the instrumentation, it never gets old and played out. If anything it gets better with every listen.
1. Blood and Thunder, Leviathan
Maybe an obvious sort of choice, but the song is so well thought out and paced that it’s difficult to argue with, at least in my eyes. From the crunchy opening of the guitars, to the blowup at the end, this song easily has everything a fan could want out of his band. The opening track off of their mind blowingly good, timeless record “Leviathan,” “Blood and Thunder” shatters windows with it’s sprawling drumming, the backup vocals, and especially the guitars. This is likely the band’s best known track, and always a highlight at their live performances. I can’t even imagine another track opening the record, which is good, because it sets the epic scale and quick pace for the remainder of the record. Records like this don’t come around too often, and it’s song like this that makes albums this special. The vocals at the end regarding “the White Whale” only add to the tension of the song, and for that reason it lands at number one. Thanks for reading!
Seeing as this week is Halloween, I thought I'd change it up some and make a little post about some of the best horror films that are truly scary and also have been my favorites. Quite a few of these are newer, but they're all great, so I hope this pleases people or at least helps with what to watch. This won't be a traditional top ten, but there are still some awesome gems in here. Some spoilers are ahead, so take that how you want. Enjoy!
DIRECTED: Takashi Miike
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Much has been made about the slow burn of the buildup of the film, but the tension Miike is able to build not only helps to keep the viewer on edge, but it paints a gloriously vibrant picture of a person who is pure evil and is maybe the worst person you ever want to take advantage of. Easily one of the best horror films ever made, and the last fifteen minutes will leave you a changed person, unable to speak or walk from sheer terror.
Cabin in the Woods
DIRECTED: Drew Goddard
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Going in I had no idea what to expect, but that's what made the reward of watching the film that much more plentiful. The film is very meta in nature, and one of the things is does brilliantly is it's ability to turn the horror movie framework on it's head and create something that simultaneously borrow from other film while also being highly original and though provoking. It's a amazing movie full of humor, horror trademarks and an ending that leaves you wanting more, even though it's not possible.
DIRECTED: Breck Eisner
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Of all the bullshit, stale remakes we've gotten in the last decade or so, only a few of them even come close to being worthy of the audiences time, and even fewer stand up firmly against the original. “The Crazies” is one such film. The pacing is awesome, and the whole cast, and especially Timothy Olyphant are perfect in their roles of small town people trust into a giant government clusterfuck. I've seen it countless times now, but I still love the imagery and also while the scares aren't super in your face, the thought of something like this actually happening is what makes the film so unnerving and intense.
DIRECTED: Neil Marshall
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Easily the best horror film of the last twenty years, Marshall's film delivers from start to finish, and for once features creatures that are actually fucking terrifying. Also, much has been made of the female element in the newest “Mad Max” film, but these women were brutal and kicking ass nearly a decade before everyone freaked out over Charlize and her Goddesses. The darkness and claustrophobia also play a huge role in the evolution of the film, and from the opening jolts that literally start minutes in and to horrifying conclusion( the U.K. Ending is better in my opinion), this is a film so perfectly scary I know multiple people who refuse to watch it.
House of 1000 Corpses
DIRECTED: Rob Zombie
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: I've seen this movie so many times that it's become one of my favorite horror movies ever. Sure it's a big outlandish and hokey, but the playfulness in the evil and how the Firefly family torments these purely unlikable people makes it worth while. Not to mention the way Zombie uses his own interesting brand of visuals and colors, and it makes “House of 1000 Corpses” an awesome addition to any Halloween viewing party. Also bonus point for films where the bad guys win.
the House of the Devil
DIRECTED: Ti West
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Now I've only seen this twice, but the fact that it makes the list is a testament to the nature of the film. It's very much a slow burner, and while it's creepy from early on, you don't really know where it's going until the third act when everything falls apart for the main character. Add to that a great performance from Tom Noonan and you have a minimal horror film that deserves more love than it receives.
DIRECTED: Pascal Laugier
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: One of the most fucked up but beautiful films on the list, this is less of a horror film and more of a statement to the fucked up nature of people. I honestly don't know how someone came up with the super violent content, but the film is glorious in it's use of shocking imagery, horrible motives and an ending so eye opening you're left trying to figure out the ending on your own times. It's very much open to interpretation, but that's what makes it so great. We never know what they see at the end, or whether it's the most horrifying thing ever witnessed or something so gorgeous they can't deal with existing in the world.
DIRECTED: Jaume Balaguero
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: Aside from “The Descent,” I don't feel like any film of recent history has done more for lesser known horror films that are so scary you don't want to watch alone. I made that mistake. Watching this by myself years ago at 2 A.M. in my bed proved to be a great mistake I'm still glad I made. The found footage genre is very hit or miss, but (Rec) manages to create a world that's incredibly dark and ominous, and scares the shit out of you. Once it gets going, you can't take your eyes off the screen, even though everything you see is highly unsettling.
DIRECTED: Stanley Kubrick
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: In my opinion the greatest horror film ever made. The movie is long, but there's an undeniable tremor that goes through the whole film. The gradual creepiness that takes over the movie is perfect, and you never know quite where everything is coming from. Is Jack crazy? Is the hotel alive? I could talk about this movie all day, but in the end it's a film that needs to be experienced and not ruined for first timers.
Trick r' Treat
DIRECTED: Michael Dougherty
WHY IT MAKES THE LIST: What I like about this film is that it's gory, but not super gory, and it's pretty stylized but not in a way that's played out or stupid. The four main plots weave loosely through the scenery of the town and all the way through it keeps you wondering, laughing and enjoying the various fates of not only the main characters as we watch their various transformations, but we grow to enjoy and appreciate even the smallest characters who were left behind. See You Thursday!
Hey guys happy Friday, wanted to give you a quick update for the infrequent posts. Basically I'm working a full time job, and have also been taking supplemental classes for the job on Monday and Wedneday nights every week. As it is I try to write everyday and post MWF, but obviously that has not been happening as much as I like. I'm changing the days I post to Tuesday, Thursday and will be also posting owhen time permits on the weekends. It just makes things a little easier on me, and hopefully the quality of the writing goes up.
Lastly, I'm working on the year end reviews I have planned, and am really feeling good about it. Thanks for reading, and I really appreciate it.Here's a few things you can expect in the coming weeks and months:
The Knife Top 10, Year End Albums List, as well as some original writings, and pieces on Deerhunter, Chvrches, and My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead. Have a great weekend!
Years ago, and I mean years ago, I was a huge Korn fan. Call it teen angst(which it likely was), but the music spoke to me in a way my fragile little mind had yet to understand. Anyway, as phases tend to do, my love for the band passed.
As you can imagine, years passed, and low and behold a good friend gets free tickets to the show, so a few of us decide to see how poorly this band has declined since their heyday. First off though, opening bands must be mentioned. Starting the show was a band called Islander. Now, I hadn’t ever even heard of them before I found out about the show, but the name stuck out at me for some reason. While middle of the road musically, the name appeared to me to be more in line with a dreamy indie band, ala Real Estate or something, Anyway, they weren’t terrible by any means, but the consensus seemed to be that they were nothing special.
Second up was Suicide Silence, and pretty much I was expecting it to be terrible and generic. I just assumed it was going to be garbage, but honestly, I really liked it. They bring tons and tons of energy to the stage, and the drummer is absolutely amazing. Between he and the singer bouncing all over the stage, they brought enough power to the set to not even need the guitar and bass players to do much, except even they went ape shit with the hair swinging and rocking out that everyone loves to see in a metal band. For forty minutes they killed the crowd, and it was a well played set that people really seemed to enjoy.
After that, the headliners were up. The latest band to do the “play a full album every night”tour, I came into this remembering how poorly they performed when I saw them on the “Untouchables” tour from over a decade ago, so I was less than excited to see what they had to offer. Alas though, they did actually deliver. Opening the show with perennial favorite “Blind,” they killed the first album in it’s entirety, and although they zoomed through it( the entire album plus the five song encore took less than 80 minutes) they crowd thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the clearly 30something dude with half his hair missing and a kilt on. For real though bro, become an adult.
Having said that, the album, and the band as a whole sounded really good, especially compared to reviews I’ve read in the last few years. Jonathan Davis sounded better than he has in at least 4 albums, and the whole band seemed reinvigorated and truly like they were having fun. After the Self titled album was over, the band retreated to the backstage area to prepare for the encore. Now I hate forced,prearranged encores, mostly because it kills time you could have spent playing, but upon the return they rocked out some of their other big hits from various albums. “Falling Away from Me” rocked just as hard as it did on “Issues,” and “Coming Undone” was still a fan favorite. The closer though, “Freak on a Leash,” got everybody rocking out and with that high note the band sent everyone on their way after a fun, albeit somewhat brief show. Thaks for reading, see you Thursday!
As a kid, few bands interested me more than Green Day. From the first listen of “Longview,” I was hooked. For the kid that had never listened or cared much for what I thought “punk rock” was, this was the perfect expression of me. Finding out about this band eventually led me to discover bands like The Offspring, Rancid, and especially Bad Religion.
Now I’m not even slightly a punk fan. It’s just never appealed to me, which is probably why I never went further into the scene than a sole Propagandhi, Avail show more than a decade ago. Having said that, Green Day as a band seemed to transcend all of that. I’m of the opinion that “American Idiot” is still a modern rock masterpiece, and the scope and themes of the album still interest me. It’s just a good album. Also, how could a kid who watched them have a mud fight at Woodstock not instantly fall in love? They were the voice of an era, and in some instances, still are. They’ve been so absurdly successful and they still somehow find new fans. The hooks are inescapable, and while the albums have decreased significantly in quality, they will always have a special place in my heart as a band who opened the doorway to a new sound a little 14 year old brat had never heard of before. I hope you enjoy the top ten Green Day songs, and I encourage thoughts and opinions. Here we go!
10. Wake Me Up When September Ends, American Idiot:
Let me first state this album still kicks ass, at least to me. Let me next say, this song and album came out and become popular right around Hurricane Katrina, and it couldn’t have resonated with me more at the time. The month of September was terrible and filled with doubt. This album was still a constant play in my life, and this song brought me to an emotional core because of all the unknowns plaguing my family. We didn’t know if we had a city, a home, or what the next day would bring. It was terrible not knowing if you have a city to call home. This song just helped a lot. The lyrics are heartfelt, and the guitar’s help to add a more positive side to the darkened themes of the song. It’s a track about working through issues, and overcoming difficult hurdles. This is definitely a song that helped me to put things into perspective when it was surely needed.
9. Redundant, Nimrod:
What I love so much about this band is that they can tackle real life issues while still maintaining hooks and keeping it upbeat. This song reminds me of running around in circles as a person tries to figure out how to best treat their significant other. I myself, unfortunately know how difficult it is to fail in this realm, as I’m recently split from a person that was once super important. As a partner, I want to be perfect to my lady, but it’s rarely possible, and quite frankly it sucks. As the song states, sometimes “ I love you’s not enough, I’m lost for words,” but that doesn’t mean we should ever quit trying to be the angel to our loved ones. Some matches are just meant to burn in the fire.
8. She, Dookie:
The drum beat is catchy as fuck, and it’s just an outright bouncy song. I love the lyrics, the chorus, the bass lines, and everything else in fact. It’s just a crunchy number. I’m by no means a punk kid, but to me, this has some of the basic guidelines. It’s to the point, and it’s fun to dance to. Sorry I haven’t said much about this, but I really just wanna dance and hop around. Also, anyone else remember this song as it was featured in that very typical nineties movie Angus? I used to love that movie as a teenager, but I’m not sure how it holds up after all of this time on the shelf of history. Shitty movie or not, the song is still a great one, and it finds us at number eight on the Top Ten Green Day songs.
7. Macy’s Day Parade, Warning:
I never gave this song much thought at first. I indeed bought this album, but I don’t think I ever made it to the end, which is where the track is found. It wasn’t until my friend played the greatest hits that I was lucky enough to find this gem. I like this band so much because so much of it feels disjointedly autobiographical to it’s author. It just seems like he’s been through so many of the issues he discusses, but maybe it’s just because Billie Joe Armstrong is a really good songwriter. This song is more mid tempo and reflective than other songs in their discography, but it’s a damn fine song, and for me, it’s a winner
6. See the Light, 21st Century Breakdown:
Many people have written this band off by this point, but they’ve successfully navigated growing up, and aren’t just making bratty music anymore. You can tell they’ve finally figured out how to make anthems that deserve to be played loud and in front of a giant crowd. And they do it. They bring a massive amount of experience to the table, and if you’ve ever seen them live, you are aware they have one of the most fun rock shows around. Seriously I think a general fan of music could go to that show and have a good time. They bring crowd participation to new heights for an arena rock band. This song is the perfect addition to a live show. It’s anthemic, get’s people involved, and it’s easy to sing along to.
5. Good Riddance (Time of your Life), Nimrod:
So for all the high schools that have had this as some sort of song in some ceremony for the past ten years, it wasn’t without initial merit. It is a very emotional, poignant song. What we failed to realize, at least from my now older viewpoint, is that this song is about the band. They had made it, and all of their dreams had come true, and as a band they had done what most others couldn’t. It’s also just a beautiful song. Even now I get goosebumps listening to it. All it took was the band to put their minds to it, and write a song that will without a doubt stand the test of time. Life is unpredictable, and bad things happen, but don’t forget to savor the good moments, and have the time of your life when able.
4. Brain Stew, Insomniac:
Did anyone else ever hear the version of this song with the Godzilla roar in between the opening chords? Well you should look it up because it’s hilarious, and also awesome. The song itself is a somewhat peculiar song and doesn’t really deal with anything in particular. I think it’s a song occupying a crazy man’s brain. The song thumps through the intro, but before long Armstrong's voice creaks out with images of sheep and other random ass thing. For the aggression demonstrated in the instrumentation, it's not a super fast paced, in your face song, but that’s maybe what I like most about the song.
3. Holiday, American Idiot:
The best, most fun song on the whole “American Idiot” album if you ask me. It’s just a perfect rock song, especially for the time period. “This is the dawning of the rest of our lives!” For many, they were able to bring political themes and make them known in a way that wasn’t simply being shoved down our throats, and perhaps it made a few people think. Beyond that, can we just for a second talk about how Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool are one of the best rhythm sections in all of modern rock music? I bring that up because they arguably carry the song as much if not more than the vocals. This song just kicks major ass, and shouldn’t be ignored because it was created by a mega band.
2. Welcome to Paradise, Dookie:
Another off their groundbreaking third album. Is he complaining about being pushed aside by his mother? I’m not sure. But the song title doesn’t help my case. So many of their songs discuss things in an unorthodox way, but sometimes it doesn’t matter. Here especially it doesn’t make a difference, the force of the song is felt whether you are aware of the subject matter or not. This is the bratty music that drew me to them in the first place, and all these years later I still love this track and will gladly sing along with it, while still pretending I’m said 14 year old shitty kid. The build up and fight between the bass and drums is yet again a great addition to the song, and drives it home in terms of intensity, which works especially for me.
1. King For a Day, Nimrod:
THIS SONG KICKS MAJOR ASS! And it takes names while doing so. It’s fistpumping fun at the bands best. “G.I. Joe in panty hose?” Who thinks of this shit. Next, the horns and rhythm section once again make you wanna mosh around like you have no fucks left to give. Who wouldn’t want to be a King for a day? That shit would be awesome. Ruling assholes around and they HAVE TO DO IT? That sounds like a plan to me. For the overall funness exhibited in this song, and also for how carefree I feel just listening to it right now, I give this song the number one slot on my list of the top ten Green Day songs. I hope you agree, and if you don’t, well I’m sorry but on this list at least, I’m King for the day! Having said all of this though, the actual story behind the song has literally nothing to do with what I just mentioned, but I figured I would play with my early perceptions of the song. Instead, we’re treated to a track about crossdressing, and how one young man grew up to love it. Various viewpoints are expressed in the track, but the overwhelming message I get from “King for a Day” is that no one should judge, or ever feel bad about things that make them feel good. Thanks for reading! See you Monday!
Pink Floyd, without a doubt is one of the most popular rock bands of all time, but even beyond the staggering appeal, they also happen to be one of the best bands to ever release nusic into the world. Among rock types they are easily up there with the greats, and because of this making a top ten PF songs can be tricky. Mostly it’s to each their own, but I tried to pick songs that were both well known and pushed the boundaries, but also some not so obvious choices. Either way, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!
10. Echoes, Meddle
We open our Top Ten Pink Floyd songs with one of their musical milestones, a song that epically bridges the gap between the super experimental nature of their early albums with Barrett at the helm and the band they would become. Now, this song is so damn long that it’s literally the second half of the record. I had this on vinyl so believe me when I say it’s pretty incredible to listen to. This record for me falls somewhere in the middle of my favorite Floyd albums, but this song is a landmark for them. It’s wide ranging musical ideas are executed brilliantly, and makes it well worth the twenty-three and a half minutes you spend absorbing it.
9. Nobody Home, the Wall
In the past I’ve made no secret of my deep deep love for this absolutely perfect record, so expect quite a few songs off what I think is the band's best work. “Nobody Home” finds us at a desperate time for the character Pink. He’s hit the wall, and can’t decide where or what to do with his life. The song is orchestrally textured and Waters’ voice brims with resentment and anger, but the undertone of feelings here is one of missed chances. You can sense the character wants to get better, for he doesn’t enjoy being this way, but he doesn’t quite know how to break through his own “Wall.” It’s an incredibly sad song that meets us at a critical point in the record, but that’s what makes it all the more worthwhile.
8. Us and Them, Dark Side of the Moon
Ok we get it, literally everyone who's ever experimented with mind altering substances has likely listened to this record. The influence it has on music is nearly incalculable, and while it’s not my number one Floyd record, it’s easily the best known thing the band ever did. “Us and Them” winds slowly down a gorgeous sunset road, and the gently used horns and percussion by Nick Mason only add to the ethereal nature of the track. Gilmour’s voice work here is also outstanding, and the range he showcases in the more uplifting sections is probably my favorite thing about the whole track. Also let’s not forget this is the period where the band hit their brilliant stride of nearly four perfect records, starting with “Dark Side,” and ending with “The Wall.”
7. Sheep, Animals
I briefly mentioned the band's four seemingly perfect albums in the row in our number eight choice. This record happens to come third in that period, and while “Animals” isn’t their most well known album, it’s still damn fine musically. “Sheep,” our number seven best Pink Floyd song, is one of the reasons this album kicks so much ass. The song starts slowly but by the minute and a half mark the band is jamming, hard, and hitting all cylinders with psychedelic haze and precision that’s still ahead of its time. Inspired clearly by Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” the album provides criticism of the British government that was much needed at the time, and although the whole record is a great listen, “Sheep,” in all of its soaring ten minutes and twenty seconds is the best most pulverizing track the band has on the album.
6. the Trial, the Wall
This one might surprise some people, but it’s always been one of my favorite of all time, standing among the band's best. What the operatic, judgemental nature the song's instrumentation is geared to isn’t completely in line with the other narrative styles prevalent on “The Wall,” but it plays to the center character, and his frail mind trying to break free, all the while being told he shouldn’t have normal human emotions. The juxtaposition of the classical vibe of “The Trial,” mixed with the over the top rock and roll moments of the record do a great job of keeping things fresh and unique, even as we stumble towards the inevitable conclusion of “The Wall” being dismantled and taken around.
5. Run Like Hell, the Wall
There might not be a better song whose title perfectly matches the intensity and themes of the actual song. “Run Like Hell” is a quick natured, thumping song that shows itself to us near the end of “the Wall,” and for me it’s one of their best straight forward rock songs, even though it has elements like the keyboards that might not have been considered rock tools at the time. Waters’ strained voice echoes the urgency of the song, but that’s only one part of why the song plays so well. Even though the band was in a considerable amount of turmoil at the time, they all play to the best of their abilities here, and that’s what makes the song such a fun, immediate jam to experience.
4. Comfortable Numb, the Wall
It was honestly difficult to figure out if such an obvious choice should make the top ten Pink Floyd songs, but in the end it was the songs perfectly harmonized qualities that got it to the number four spot. The song is a clear classic, and likely the band’s best known song, but there’s more to it’s brilliance than that. The guitar playing by Gilmour shines through above all else, and the back and forth vocals from he and Waters make the song what it is best known for. Gilmours voice is able to soar and shoot into the beauty of the stars, while Waters’ somewhat dirty and distant voice makes the juxtaposition even more awesome to experience. The song will forever be known among music fans, and everything that happens in the course of the track, from the scorching guitars, the drums and the vocals are clear reasons why it’s still an extremely popular song.
3. Time, Dark Side of the Moon
This album at this point is somewhat synonymous with “The Wizard of Oz,” and if you’ve had said experiments like the ones we mentioned earlier, you’ve likely watched the movie with this record as the back track. While it doesn’t always sync up perfectly, one of their best moments is without a doubt the “Time” portion of the film. The opening sees the Witch come and take the dog from Dorothy’s home, and it’s done to brilliant effect. The song however, is an outright perfect track. The drums leading up to the explosion of sound is well placed, and the balance of vocals between Gilmour and Richard Wright are done so seamlessly you find yourself not caring who's’ singing. Wright’s voice especially speaks to you from a glowing distantly perfect setting, and for me there's no better quality in this song than that. You don’t get to hear him sing too often, so for me it’s really excited to experience that. The guitar solo through the middle of the track is incredible and manages to lift the song even higher as it makes its way to the soaring vocals that bring the song to it’s ultimate climax.
2. Wish You Were Here, Wish You Were Here
Maybe the most depressing song the band ever created, “Wish you Were Here” lands at number two on the Pink Floyd Top Ten. Pink Floyd’s dedicated track to the one and only Syd Barrett. The story I’ve heard is that Barrett showed up at the studio, hardly recognizable, and his manic, drug induced state so devastated the band, and especially Roger Waters, that this song was written as a kind of living eulogy for the once brilliant man. Listening to the song(and the whole record for that matter), you can feel the sense of lost and hurt the band felt during this period. The guitar is gentle and quiet, and the vocals provide the needed hurt to bring out the pure soul of the song. It’s one of the most well known and beautiful songs of our time, and it absolutely deserves to be. Waters voice trembles through grief and you get a very real sense of loss. It’s one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and it still manages to get me to belt out the painfully honest lyrics.
1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond(Parts I-V), Wish You Were Here
Quite simply, there isn’t a more awesome Pink Floyd song in existence. The scope of both track and the album are well known by this point. Syd Barrett, creator of the band in the first place, falls off the earth and struggles for decades in drug use and mental breakdowns. This song isn’t only about his descent and his much needed departure from the band, but it most certainly showcases how the band felt about their one time leader. The song is technically two parts of one giant song, but for the purpose of this list we’ll be focusing on the first half, which opens the album. The song, while a monument to Syd, also has one of the best musical sections in the band's entire history. The use of synthesizers to propel imagery and how it interlocks with the guitars is classic Floyd, and while the usage of vocals is minimal, the lyrics they do use are profoundly powerful and thought provoking. The second verse especially is powerful. The way Waters’ voice builds up when he sings “Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,” makes you yearn for easier times and a friendship that was once plentiful. There are most certainly people in this world who inhabit their own weird space, and who through everything still remain important to your individual story. For Floyd the band I think, that person was Barrett. Thanks for reading.
The night after a fantastic Beach House show saw me going to a completely different type of show. The pure energy hip hop was showcased in the form of three bands, two of which are actually worth mentioning in a positive way
Opening the show was a fella named Cuz Lightyear. He had a ton of energy and while it wasn’t something I’m likely to track down on my own, he provided a nice warm up for the main attraction. This is worth noting though. Upon arrival he wore this rather elaborate mask that seemed Kanyeish, and while not overtly rip off material it did make me think of it.
Having earned the crowd's attention and giving back good vibes, Cuz exited and made way for the second act. Now initially i was really pumped because it was supposed to be Bishop Nehru, and while I hadn’t heard his music I had heard some really good things about him. The guy we got, sadly was fucking terrible, and it wasn't even the music. In fact i enjoyed the music, but the lyrics and the general militant nature of the artist was so atrocious that I was basically over it before the first song even started. For instance, starting out your show by telling your audience that rap music isn’t for white people and they aren’t welcome here, is a load of fucking bullshit. Like for real, are you aware half of Run the Jewels is in fact the same race of the people you’re insulting. Even better though was the fact that while he hated on most of the audience he still found time to flirt with a pretty white girl at the merch booth after the set. Fuck that guy. I Sincerely hope his career goes nowhere, which is likely will.
Anyway, after that shitbag of a show, Run the Jewels came out. Sauntering onto the stage to the chorus of Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” the duo dove headfirst into the set. With a pretty even mix of songs from both records they nailed it nearly every way they could. Opening proper with “Run the Jewels,” the energy only went up as they knocked out “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” and “Banana Clipper” within the first fifteen minutes. Also worth noting that a good friend in North Carolina saw them awhile back and said that Killer Mike was pretty uninterested, or seemed so at his show, but on this night he was all over the place, rocking hard and clearly having a blast. They both were in fact.
Banter continued and helped keep the energy of the show. Towards the end of the show though, the really began to bring the crazy energy even higher. “Sea Legs” killed harder than it does on record, while “Close Your Eyes(And Count to Fuck)” blistered with the intensity you expect when RTJ teams up with de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine. All in all it was dope as hell, and definitely one of the better hip hop shows I’ve seen in the last seven years or so. If you get a chance, see this act. They know how to throw it down.
When you see a band that’s known for slower more moody music you never quite know what to expect. That being said, years ago ago I saw Beach House and they were nothing but good so I was pretty excited to see this set. Actually I’m sorry, I have no idea why I put that first sentence there. Anyway..
The show, which took place this past Friday night at the Civic Theatre here in New Orleans was another step in the current direction they been going as their popularity continues to rise. To start off the night the sold out crowd was treated to opening act Flock of Dimes. This one lady act featuring guitars and keyboards was a decent opener for the brooding BH, but one big complaint i had was that the music, and especially the vocals sounded way too much like Beach House lead Victoria Legrand. I know it can happen sometimes, but seriously it took me out of the enjoyment because i couldn’t figure out why they would do something like that. I come to see shows sometimes because I wanna experience something different than the main act, and Flock of Dimes provided nearly none of that sadly. That being said, she did have decent energy.
Thankfully, the main attraction was up next. Beach House enters the sold out hall with blackened lights and for a band that is known for textured, deep slower music, they kinda rocked. Obviously certain songs brought more energy than others, but it was a great all around show. With the added fanbase the band can afford to have a more elaborate show, and while they didn’t spare any expense, it was a solid light show. Backdrops glowed and presented stars, while the three box screens on the stage changed colors and showed projections. For a theatre show it was very convincing and energetic.
Musically, some highlights of the night were “Levitation” which opens their new and very good record “Depression Cherry,” while older gems like Walk in the Park” and “Myth” got the crowd into something they had spent significant time with. I’m not sure where the band goes next, but having transitioned comfortably from a two piece only two albums ago to a full fledged band, they seem to have a good idea of what the next few years of the band will look like. Hopefuly the albums stay as consistently good as they have been. Thanks for reading.
Throughout your life there are amazing moments you experience and remember forever. Today we’re going to talk about some cool random moments I’ve had at some shows. Hope you enjoy.
Tool with Tom Morello at Roo
Towards the end of their Friday Night headlining set, while the band is hammering through their best song “Lateralus,” a guest emerges onto stage. The guest? None other than Rage guitarist Tom Morello. his contribution in the form of a nearly 5 minute battle with Adam Jones and Danny Carey was epic to say the least, and has since become one the single coolest moments in the band's history.
Spending the day with Nothingface
I’ve briefly mentioned them before, but for awhile there these guys were one of my favorite all time bands. So, one faithful day my friend and I are waiting outside of a theatre in New Orleans waiting to see them open for Disturbed, Mudvayne and Spineshank. Anyway, lead singer Matt Holt emerges from the venue, and the two of us rightly flip the fuck out. He was cordial, welcoming us to his band's van for some hangouts as we talked about music. I even got a coke from the bus, with the intention of saving it as a souvenir. But my grandmother had other plans. She found the coke on my dresser the next morning and promptly drank it.
Without a doubt one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The Chicago skyline over the 100k plus crowd, and the band absolutely killing. Many sections of the set were brilliant, but maybe the best was “Fake Plastic Trees.” During the slower part of the song, unbeknownst to the crowd, fireworks start going off. We later find out that it’s from the Cubs game nearby. Either way, as the song builds up to the final explosion, the sky is enlightened and the entire crowd is singing along to one of their best songs.
Cannibal Corpse arm story
Years ago some of my best friends took a trip to see the opening show of the bands tour. Many interesting things happened that day, but since they're mostly illegal I won’t go into details. Anyway, before Corpse goes on to play a nearly 3 hour, 40 song set, something happens in the pit. Three songs in a man falls out of the pit, his arm pulled and dangling from the socket. The thing is, he doesn’t care at all, and is forced to leave the show by paramedics. The memorable quote from unnamed Mexican fella is “My arm is broken; here, and here,” as he points to the obvious dents in his limb.
Foo Fighters/ Weezer
Easily one of the best days ever. My good friend Andy and I travel to Houston. Many things happen during the course of the trip. One, we see a girl fall down the escalator at the mall, then we meet a really hot lady cop on a horse. After that we see the escalator girl at the show and upon being asked if she fell she turns to her friend and screams “I told you they saw us!” After that we end up being given something illegal buy a really gorgeous asian girl, then we strike up a conversation with a girl who were we checking out and her guy friend ends up getting us drinks as we watch two amazing bands. After that it became known to Andy and I as the best day ever.
Paul McCartney Live and Let Die at Bonnaroo
Seeing Sir Paul is maybe the best thing you will ever witness. For nearly three hours this 71 year old pummels the crowd with hit after hit. Near the end of the show however, things are cranked up to eleven, and the eventual finale starts with this killer song devastating a field of over 80k people, all the while more fireworks than I’ve ever seen cover every inch of the sky above. Quite simply the best show I’ve ever witnessed.
Nins “Last Show” Roo
Essentially billed as the last show of the band, I purchased a Roo ticket with only nin on my mind. While it didn't end up being the last show, it was easily the best nin show I ever saw. Nearly 3 hours, 35 songs, 17 of which I had never seen performed live before. It was incredible to say the least. Even one Dillinger Escape Plan made an appearance for "Wish."
Meeting Dailor ar the Pixies
When you're at a festival plenty of times you see other people in bands around checking out acts. That's basically how I met the drummer of Mastodon on day one of Shaky Knees at the Pixies. He's chilling being awesome, and instead of asking me to not bother him (like every member of the Arcade Fire i’ve ever met) he was gracious, easy going and down right awesome.
Daft Punk at Coachella
Quite simply, this show will forever be known as the greatest show in the history of the festival, and thank xenu I was lucky enough to be there. So many highlights come to mind, but I will never forget the opening moments when the curtain is slowly pulled to reveal a giant glowing pyramid that gave me more excitement and thrills than nearly any other moment I’ve ever witnessed.
Seeing Pantera is a wild, wild experience. During their Texas homecoming show over a decade ago there’s a moment where you see a wheelchair bound man being carried crowd surfing style through the floor area. He makes his way to the stage and gets to watch the rest of the show from the side. The best part of the whole thing is when Phil Anselmo goes “Somebody get that motherfucker a beer, that’s going on Home Video 4.” Thanks for reading.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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