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Mycelia Board Game Review

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What MUSIC are you listening to? ARCHIVE

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13 Jan 2014 09:20 #169753 by Josh Look
I revisited The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. Up until now, I never made it all the way through it, I usually lost interest somewhere in the middle. Having heard the whole thing, I still don't know what to make of it. I love the first few tracks and some of the stuff towards the end is really cool, but the middle is dreadfully boring. This is a band who really struck gold with me due to their ability to build up songs in ways that put most prog bands to shame. There's no hint of that to be found inmost of the record and there's nothing in the more streamlined songwriting to separate them from the countless imitators that they paved the way for. It's also too damned long.

This morning I listened to first disc on Reflektor. I like this one better so far. Do I dare say that I detect some hints of Remain In Light?
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13 Jan 2014 09:48 #169756 by repoman
I've been having one of those weeks where I realize every single damn song on my iPod is complete crap and I have no idea who the asshole was that at one time thought these songs were good.

So I've been listening to the hum of the tires...it's pretty good...if a bit repetitive.

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13 Jan 2014 09:50 - 13 Jan 2014 09:51 #169757 by tscook

Michael Barnes wrote:
But there are gaps...no Coil, for example. But like all of the Deutsch Nepal.


That makes sense to me, I mean who the fuck even has the rights to lisence Coil's works out? Whereas Deutch Nepal is on Cold Meat Industry and Roger Karmanik (Brighter Death Now/head of CMI) probably jumped on Spotify early and fully (Spotify is also a Swedish company).
Last edit: 13 Jan 2014 09:51 by tscook.
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13 Jan 2014 09:53 #169758 by Michael Barnes
Ah, but there's also "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)", one of the best songs written this millennium.

It's a dense record, and also their most uneven. They seem spread a little thin through the middle section. A couple of relatively in memorable tracks sag the record a bit, but then you get "Modern Man" or "Month of May".

Reflektor is better, for sure...it also maintains the tradition of having a devastatingly great next-to-last song ("Rebellion: Lies", "No Cars Go", "Sprawl 2", "Afterlife").

They're doing outdoor shows this summer. I'm going to take the kids.
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13 Jan 2014 09:56 #169760 by Michael Barnes
Roger Karmanik, there's a name I haven't heard in a while...

Back in the 1990s, my would-be partner in Atlanta Game Factory and I had this crazy idea that we would sell and distribute Cold Meat Industries records here in the US. Didn't quite work out.

Brighter Death Now was probably my favorite of that lot.
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13 Jan 2014 10:22 #169762 by stormseeker75
Listening to Butcher Babies as we are seeing them with In This Moment tomorrow night. Can't wait.
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14 Jan 2014 09:10 - 14 Jan 2014 09:11 #169825 by wice

Scandinavian blackened crust for the win!
Last edit: 14 Jan 2014 09:11 by wice.
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15 Jan 2014 04:02 #169886 by mikko_r
wice, you might also enjoy Iskra.
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15 Jan 2014 04:21 #169888 by wice

mikko_r wrote: wice, you might also enjoy Iskra.


I'm already enjoying them, but thanks anyway :)
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15 Jan 2014 10:42 #169907 by OldHippy
After having listened to Deafheaven more I have to say that they are probably the poppiest black metal band I've ever heard. This is a good thing in a way. They seem to me to be to black metal what the Pixies were to punk. Really poppy progressions, lots of major chords... it's kind of funny in a way but I do like it. Not album of the year like it but they're an interesting band and it's not just their image that Black Metal aficionado's would hate, from what I can tell the music is designed to be hated... which is interesting. Instead of filling your lyrics with hate you can try to suck that emotion our of your genre's typical fans. I don't know if comparing them to Liturgy makes sense but I think I prefer Liturgy, my wife prefers Deafheaven which tells you something about them if you know my wife. She hates black metal but likes Deafheaven quite a bit. I'm not kidding when I say they sound poppy, it's a weird combo.

Pyres is still on non-stop rotation, just loving that band and excited to hear what their Canadian tour will be, I will definitely go see them live when they come to Vancouver.

I picked up Neil Young's new live album, "At the Cellar Door" it's a beautiful intimate show and Young nails every tune. Mostly the big ones on here but if you like late 60's acoustic Neil then it's a great album (it was recorded in 1970). You can hear some bitterness towards the hippie movement in the banter, he's aware the 60's are over and has some things to say about that, however subtle. I've always loved Neil Young both as a songwriter and as a player. He's one of my favorite guitar players despite is lack of technical ability. But this is more of a singer songwriter album and it's fantastic.

I've also been listening to a lot of Jimmy Durante recently since my son loves him so much (he thinks that Jimmy sounds like me, which is a nice, but not really true). Jimmy is a charming and natural performer and I think his albums are absolutely adorable. I guess most people around here would know him from the Frosty cartoon but he has done a lot of things over the years and has a fantastic voice... assuming you like growly old men singing.
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15 Jan 2014 11:47 #169912 by Michael Barnes
Heh, River sings Frosty like Jimmy Durante.

Deafheaven sounds like that because they are coming from a more diverse background than some of the more traditional BM bands. You can definitely tell they've listened to the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and probably all kinds of music. They aren't trying to put over that the only music worth listening to is metal. They're bringing all of these different influences into BM. Which is one of the more subtle reasons, I think, that hardline kvltists don't like bands like them or Liturgy. They're not coming strictly from the Celtic Frost/Bathory/Burzum lineage.

The irony to me is that bands like these just really do not give a shit about the "scene" or any of the other silly teenage shit that goes on with people trying to prove to each other how much more into something they are. Which is something that if you're truly grim and woeful and morbid you ought not care about anyway. Deafheaven's record has a PINK cover, is called "Sunbather", and looks like it's probably a chillwave thing. They don't care. But the hardliners DO care, and it kind of makes them look silly.
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15 Jan 2014 14:21 #169922 by OldHippy

Michael Barnes wrote: Heh, River sings Frosty like Jimmy Durante.

Deafheaven sounds like that because they are coming from a more diverse background than some of the more traditional BM bands. You can definitely tell they've listened to the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and probably all kinds of music. They aren't trying to put over that the only music worth listening to is metal. They're bringing all of these different influences into BM. Which is one of the more subtle reasons, I think, that hardline kvltists don't like bands like them or Liturgy. They're not coming strictly from the Celtic Frost/Bathory/Burzum lineage.

The irony to me is that bands like these just really do not give a shit about the "scene" or any of the other silly teenage shit that goes on with people trying to prove to each other how much more into something they are. Which is something that if you're truly grim and woeful and morbid you ought not care about anyway. Deafheaven's record has a PINK cover, is called "Sunbather", and looks like it's probably a chillwave thing. They don't care. But the hardliners DO care, and it kind of makes them look silly.


I think that this is why I like them so much, same with Liturgy. I like the genre and don't like the theatrical element that much (unless I'm at a show in which case it makes sense). I like the early BM bands and then most of the ones around since then seem to be rehashing the same idea's. I'm coming at this from a musical perspective exclusively. I really like the constant tremolo that BM guitar players use, as a mandolin player that technique is all too familiar to me and I want to incorporate BM idea's into our more progressive acoustic tunes so when I'm listening to BM it is specifically for idea's and inspiration. Same goes with when I listen to hip hop or any other genre. I'm trying to find new idea's that I can lift in some way and transplant to other genre's just to see what happens. Bands like this give me a sense that all music is free for the taking and there isn't some stupid clique rule where you have to believe this or that to get involved. That's what makes music fun to me.

I really hate going to a show where they choose an opener that sounds way too similar to the headliner. I'd rather hear totally different genre's if possible. That is far more interesting to me. 8 punk bands in one night sounds like hell to me, but one punk band, a classical guitarist and a jazz trio is much more appealing. Unfortunately that is not how music is sold to the public. The whole idea of genre's is counter intuitive to that. I know that when I used to buy all my music in record stores, as a kid, the idea was that once I discovered Ska or Metal or whatever I'd be expected to peruse that section of the store in hopes of finding more bands just like the ones I already liked. To me that doesn't make any sense.
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15 Jan 2014 14:56 #169926 by Michael Barnes
The tremolo thing originates almost entirely from Darkthrone, Transilvanian Hunger to be specific. They wanted to do a really raw, lo-fi, downtuned, and crude record that was really quite different than their earlier work that was much more traditionally metal. It's the origin of that whole "necro" sound, and it's a sound that TONS of bands have tried to clone. The trem picking, the "blurry" structures, the tinny production, the droning basslines. "Nattens Madrigals" can almost be read as an attempt to out-necro Darkthrone.

Have you listened to that record yet? You really, really should. It's one of the more avant garde BM records, way ahead of its time really and incredibly influential. It's really different from the kinds of Celtic Frost/Bathory stuff that was going on in '93.
All in all, I think any list of the best BM records of all time that doesn't have it on there is suspect and should not be regarded as credible.

Funny thing is that for all of the corpsepaint and spikes (it's still one of my favorite BM album covers- stark, simple, and trendsetting), Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are really kind of normal, down-to-earth guys. In interviews, Fenriz comes across as the kind of guy you'd want to sit back and have a beer with, talking about NWOBHM or something. That has pissed off some hardliners too, that he's FUNNY. Check out some of their song titles..."The Wind They Called the Dungeon Shaker", "Witch Ghetto", "Canadian Black Metal", "I am the Graves of the 80s", "Hiking Metal Punks"...
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15 Jan 2014 16:28 #169929 by OldHippy
I have both Nattens Madrigals and Transilvanian Hunger. Those two albums (and the other two Ulver discs) were kind of my baseline for new-er BM... (thanks by the way, for pointing them out a couple of years ago) that's my starting point for post Celtic Frost type stuff. I love those albums and I haven't heard much new since then until these 'hipsters' starting jumping into the foray, although a few bands have impressed me with some cool ideas in between, Deathspell Omega comes to mind.

As for the paint and shit, on a cover that's cool, in a show that's cool, it only really bothers me in interviews when they seem to put on airs and try to convince me that they're walking around with battle axes in public and eating their friends bodies or something. That's when it goes too far for me and gets ridiculous. As an aesthetic or an idea I'm on board. That can add to the music the same way that costumes can to an opera and it really isn't much different.
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15 Jan 2014 17:26 #169932 by Michael Barnes
That's a good point about the costumes and such...I read an interview with the band Nifelheim back in the late 1990s where they were seriously all like "any band that doesn't wear corpsepaint and spikes 100% of the time is fake black metal". It was accompanied by a picture of the band, one of whom had a leather gauntlet with what must have been an entire contractor's box of 6" nails.

I actually like some of the "mystique" though, however phony it is. Like with the Les Legions Noire bands, there's all of these almost definitely untrue stories about them recording in the Parisian catacombs, with microphones stuffed into dead rats and so forth. As silly as that sounds to a reasonable person, it really brings back a kind of rock n' roll mystery that doesn't exist anymore. You don't have to wonder what Zoso means, or what "I am the Walrus" is really about.

The thing is, there have been a couple of instances where BM folks really were walking around with battle axes and eating people. The rash of violence in the Norwegian scene back in the 1990s really demonstrates taking that shit WAY too far.

You can still go to a Watain show and get covered in pig blood, from what I understand.

Theatricality is one thing...but be honest about it.

But seriously, does anyone believe that these guys go into a studio completely black metalled up to cut a record?
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