Friday, March 13, 2009

"Shuffle Up and Deal!" My Continued Adventures with the iPod

Yeah, I had fun doing this last week. It was a nice exercise, so here's another round for the kids.

1. FICTION PLANE - "Running The Country" from Left Side of the Brain
~ Not exactly my favorite song on the album, it does have a great bass line. I'm not sure if I've seen these guys too many times or what, but this song doesn't really have the same effect on me as it used to. That said, it is a great, bouncy track to start one's day.

2. SERGEI RACHMANINOFF - "Symphonic Dances: 2. Adante con moto (Tempo di valse)" from Isle of the Dead / Symphonic Dances
~ I've always had a thing for classical music that sounded like film scores (or I suppose I should give credit where credit is due, since film score music is derived from its classical parentage). Anyway, I would never have heard of this particular track had I not been perusing the classical section when working at Barnes & Noble several years back. I innocently stumbled upon a disc called Isle of the Dead, and blindly purchased it based solely on the disc's title. It is rare that I make such purposes, because buying something before listening is always a crapshoot, but it is that much more enjoyable when it pays off.

3. LEAVES' EYES - "Twilight Sun" from Vinland Saga
~ Liv Kristine's voice is simply angelic. Of the female fronted metal pantheon, I'd put anything she's involved with in another league. The music isn't contrived (too often these kinds of bands base their lackluster music around the novelty of the female vocals), and, well, she's a friggin' Viking! You also can't go wrong when your backing band is Atrocity.

4. OBITUARY - "Slowly We Rot" from Slowly We Rot
~ Ah, the days of juvenile bliss. Not a groundbreaking release by any stretch of the imagination, this track of metallic sludgery was released way back in 1989. The thing I always find funny about this song is that although the music is primal death metal and the vocals are sick, if you listen closely, the lyrics actually discuss the ins and outs of volleyball -- proving once again why death metal lyrics really don't matter. Good times!

5. BOLT THROWER - "War Master" from War Master
~ Wow, what is this, a high school reunion? Two old school death metal tracks back-to-back. This is another one of those albums that helped me through my "I hate school and my parents" phase. The song has one of the sickest groove breaks about midway through it, and it always gets my blood rushing whenever it hits. Regretfully, Bolt Thrower is among those few iconic metal bands I've never been able to see live. However, they are supposed to headline this year's Maryland Death Fest, so maybe I will be able to check them off the list.

6. BRICKLIN - "Walk Away" from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure soundtrack
~ Yes, it really is high school all over again. First we have some death metal, and now we're revisiting Bill & Ted. This is the track that was playing during the duo's oral report at the end of the film. Normally, I don't like compilation soundtracks, but this one was so innocent and chock-full of unknown bands, my heart kinda went out to it. Interestingly, this soundtrack featured a demo track by the band Extreme before they had actually released their first album. Now I want to watch the DVD. Party on, dudes!

7. MICHAEL KAMEN - "Sanchez is in the Bahamas / Shark Fishing" from License To Kill soundtrack
~ Now I know I shouldn't say negative things about the dead, but Michael Kamen was always one of those overblown film composers that had a habit of trying to make movies bigger than they actually were. Also, he was given the unenviable task of following up John Barry's last (and arguably best) James Bond score. Add to that the fact that it was another Timothy Dalton Bond outing and you've got a recipe for disaster. Kamen actually sounded like he phoned this one in, more emulating Barry than doing his own thing. Oh yeah, R.I.P., Michael.

8. THE ELIMINATORS - "Punta Baja" from Cowabunga! The Surf Box
~ Is it summer yet? Big fan of surf rock, this stuff can brighten even the dreariest of days. And I think another charm of this music is that the songs are usually pretty short, so the band's have to get in, make a poignant statement, and get the hell out of Dodge. This track is off of a 4-disc box set commemorating the rich history of surf rock, and it sounds like something that could have very easily been on the From Dusk Til Dawn soundtrack...or any Tarantino flick for that matter.

9. SIR MIX-A-LOT - "Swap Meet Louie" from Mack Daddy
~ Yes, this is a track off the infamous album that gave us "Baby Got Back". Why is it even on my iPod? Because for some reason, I dig Mix's style -- his enunciation, humorous lyrics, and complete irreverence towards trends. "Swap Meet Louie" is one of those deep album tracks that makes me laugh.

10. CANDLEMASS - "Under the Oak" from Live
~ And our lesson for the week draws to a close with one of the most massive tracks from the greatest doom metal band ever. Messiah Marcolin's vocals just give me chills on this. It is one of those rare live albums that is comparable to a studio album, due to its recording quality, tightness of the band, and classic set list. There was a time when I thought this band could do no wrong...then the singer left...and came back...and left again. They're still a decent band, but they are a different beast than the mythic monster they once were.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. "The Product" - The Minutemen

2. "Libertina Grimm" - Cradle of Filth

3. "Maturity" - Henry Rollins

4. "I Believe" The Buzzcocks

5. "Solace" - The Gathering

6. "For My Demons" - Katatonia

7. "Divinations" - Mastodon

8. "Blood Duster (live) - Naked City

9. "Easy To Love" - Galactic Cowboys

10. "Beautiful Destroyer" - comes with the fall