rules my world. Music has always been part of what makes up my identity and my tastes are all over the place. At this moment I’m listening to a BKLYN based duo known as Sleigh Bells.
Super bombastic guitar and drum machine with a school teacher singing! Check out their Myspace.
Big thanks to Spike Jonze’s blog We Love You So for this discovery.
Another type of music that I grew up with and have always loved is late 70’s punk rock. The Clash, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, The Adverts, etc; all, to some extent, are well known names, but thanks to the Music Ruined My Life blog, some lesser known bands from punk’s formative years are seeing the light of day again. The series ‘Every One a (Punk Rock) Classic’ showcases bands that blur the lines between mod, punk, and pop; before everyone became angry and dyed their hair blue. Head over there and give a listen (there are convenient MP3 players embedded). This paragraph brought to you by U*X*B’s “Crazy Today” from ‘Every One a (Punk Rock) Classic Vol. 4′.
If you like bands like The Kinks, early Rolling Stones and early Who, then you might be interested in discovering more about Mod and Northern Soul music. Essentially the by product of early Motown releases hitting England, there are some real gems out there. I’ve gotten some great compilations from the Mod 64 blog and quite a few of these tunes have made it onto my playlist at the the bar. It’s really, really difficult not to enjoy this music; even if you don’t know the song, you find yourself tapping your foot while it’s on. Spend some time digging through the archives on Mod 64 and you’ll come across compilations like ‘The In Crowd’, ‘Northern Floor Shakers’, ‘The Mod Scene’, and ‘Northern Soul Connoisseurs'; just to name a few from my iTunes. Hit Amazon and you can preview songs from these, dig around Mod 64 and you can download them.
As I said before, my musical tastes are all over the place; in addition to old punk, new indie and classic mod, I also really like old Jamaican ska and rock steady music. I have the blog Youandmeonajamboree to thank for broadening my knowledge of this stuff. Like mod music, the best place to start is with compliations; these allow you to get a taste of the music and figure out which artists float your boat the most. Youandme is a dense site, with long scrolling pages, so be patient, there are some gems out there. Individual artists like Desmod Dekker, Byron Lee, Prince Buster (he’s filthy he is) and early Bob Marley and Peter Tosh are safe bets, but the more you dig, the brighter the gems you’ll find!
Finally, I’ll talk about a type of music that almost no one reading this will enjoy, but I listen to alot of it, so I may as well drop it in here; black metal.
I know I’m feeding the stereotype by dropping Peter Beste’s photo of King of Norway’s Gorgoroth in this post, but remember the saying ‘You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” … or maybe you can. Black metal as a genre is about as broad as any musical category out there, with the possible exception of ‘indie rock’. Bands like Gorgoroth, Dimmu Borgir and Burzum occupy the harder (read brutal) end of things, while bands like Alcest, Amesoeurs, Drudkh, Lantlôs, Spektr, Walknut and Thränenkind create music that is atmospheric, heavy and, yes, catchy. I’m sure the idea of tapping your foot along to black metal seems absurd, but I’m doing it right now (to Thränenkind’s ‘Im schwarzen Kämmerlein’). American bands like Krallice and Wolves In The Throne Room are no slouches either, just in case you think all of the best black metal comes from Europe (I’m not sure who the ‘you’ I’m talking about here is, Jeff may be the only one who knows who Wolves or Krallice are). Fans of My Bloody Valentine will want to check out Sweden’s Lifelover; all three of their releases are unbelievable; reminding me of MBV in an insane asylum. Bands like Stars of the Lid, Blut Aus Nord, Trist, Nordvargr, Northaunt, Nortt, Lustmord, and Xasthur (to name a few) create purely creepy atmospheric music that is great to zone out to while you work.
As I said before, black metal is one of the broadest genre’s of music out there. I would say there is something for everyone, but that’s just not true. If, however, you think bands like Mastadon, Negură Bunget, Pelican or Isis are “metal” then you need to step outside of that safe (boring) little box and give some of these bands a try. As always hit any of the bands listed above on their Myspace page, since previewing music is all that shat is good for anymore. Find that you like any of that stuff, then hit blogs like blackmetalownsyou to download stuff or to peep new releases that you might like; but be forewarned, hit that site with some knowledge of your ‘type’ of metal, as the spectrum is very, very broad, and they cover it all.