For those of you not familiar with the film The Big Year, it's an OK film about three guys who try to set a record for spotting the most birds in one year.
Well I decided to do that with music this year. Trying to listen to as much new music, both literally new and new to me, this year as I could and in the end of the year I'd post a list of all the albums. The original goal, which I wasn't sure was realistic, was 365 albums so it would be one per day on average. I ended up surpassing that by quite a lot so I'm pretty pleased with myself right now.
Some of these are borderline embarrassing as I should have listened to these bands a lot sooner but that's the nature of things I guess. With one's head stuck deep underground you sometimes forget the big names of the genres you love. Most notable of those shameful albums are probably the discographies of The Blood Brothers, The Jesus Lizard and Circa Survive. I had of course heard of these bands before but never listened to a whole album, let alone several.
In the beginning of my big year I decided to rectify that.
To be clear: Full lengths and EP's both count but I did not count live albums (that one live album I bought would have made all the difference), reissues of albums I'd heard before or singles.
The list is in no particular order except for the fact that I put all albums by the same artist together. "Band name - Album title" format if that's not obvious (No there were not four bands who released an album called "The Venetia Fair")
Most of these albums are good or great as I am not counting albums that I turned off after less than half the duration. If everything I "checked out" was here this list would be truly monstrous.
What the list is right now is 602 albums, from at least 24 countries around the world and spanning everything from jazz and pop to breakcore and black metal.
Enjoy the list and, if you have done this yourself, feel free to share your number in the comments.
I was pretty happy about my year-end list in the beginning of November, didn't think anything had yet to come out that would disrupt the balance of my carefully selected list of albums.
Then the 4th of November rolled on by and Blood Music released another gem to add to their already impressive catalog. This gem, modestly named The Last Note In God's Magnum Opus, messed with my list by being too damn good to ignore.
No this does not mean they split up, that would have caused a much sadder title and a picture of crying people. They just released a split with Russian post-rockers She Oak but the split is slightly more Septa than She Oak. How so?
Freekend hasn't been monotonous or anything but I wanted to focus on some non-metal or -core material for this one. These are available for a price of your choice, but as always, support what you like.
Last month I went to Bournemouth to see my girlfriend Þyri, who has helped with DI stuff before (she was with me at Tech Fest and did all the interviews with me) and we went to Burn Out Festival, or at least half of it. The line up was pretty great and I was always planning to write about it. Unfortunately, school and work have taken up a lot of time along with review requests so I'm just getting around to it now.
Better late then never?
The year was 2011. The Apparatus was still going strong and Between The Buried and Me had recently released the Parallax EP which, to me, was kind of a let down.
One day I see a banner with beautiful abstract art and something about shred so good it shames player twice their age (well, arthritis has it's say there, let's be fair to our elders). I decided to Google the band and that took me to their Bandcamp page where they had two songs for my listening pleasure: Creationed and Recreationed from their full length debut Astrodrama. A everflowing masterpiece of modern prog it only took one of those songs to sell me the quality of the album. I bought the album, along with a shirt and all the posters they had by the artist behind the cover art, that's how much that song impressed me. It ended up topping my 2011 list, kinda along with Last Chance to Reason and Unexpect though, and still gets regular spins on my perpetual playlist.
Editor's note: When Troy sent me this review he said he should have finished it "years ago" despite this being a 2014 release. This has convinced me Troy is in fact a time traveler with a very poor grasp of the possible uses of his time machine. Time traveler or not you can enjoy his review of RTJ2 by hip hop duo Run The Jewels below and download it for free here.
Doom comes in many forms. It can come in the form of an asteroid, a super volcano or a malfunctioning robot that wants to be friends with a squirrel.
That's not the type of doom I'd like to talk about here. I've recently gotten review copies of two doom albums, both from Italy so instead of doing a large review of each I decided to combine two shorter reviews into one article.
Birthplace of the croissant, the éclair, and the French, France is also home to many of my favourite bands/artists. Here’s a list of France’s finest musical patisseries. Bon appétit.