Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lost in Vegas REACT TO: Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 1



Props for checking them out and creating a poll of which song to check out.

The basketball analogy actually makes a fair amount of sense.

The thing is though, and they explained they did no research about Dream Theater. But the technicality IS THE ENTERTAINMENT.

And when you listen to a song like this over some time, what sounds and seems overwhelming, becomes actually somewhat listen-able and you get to understand what and why they wrote this song the way they did.

I've heard Metropolis Part 1 probably 300 or more times, and for me, it's not actually overly complex, but just very well composed. The shrink-and-grow section especially.

I'd be curious to hear their take on something like Spawn of Possession, uneXpect or SikTh and they might feel Dream Theater is somewhat tame in complexity.

But none the less, props to these guys for checking this out and they definitely give a good take about what Dream Theater is about, it's just for people who enjoy hearing this kind of music, their reaction isn't necessarily the same.

I suppose while Metropolis does represent Dream Theater in a lot of ways very well, I would have liked to have heard their reaction to a song like "Blind Faith" "A Change of Seasons" or "Scarred"..or even say "The Spirit Carries On' or "Solitary Shell" if they want the song shorter. They might be surprised it is the same band.

But it's obvious this kind of music isn't their forte, and I guess Hip-Hop may be? but I will have to check out some of their other videos, namely Queen and Black Sabbath.

edit: they do have quite a few Rock and Metal Reaction-To videos, so perhaps they do enjoy a good amount of Rock music, but maybe not highly technical stuff?
Blogger Tricks Blogger Tricks

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

All Media Reviews Podcast 1



not incredible, but for a 1st attempt, it didn't come out too poorly.

My biggest issue though is not being able to upload it ON YOUTUBE, lol.

So I'm using a 3rd party site to be able to upload an audio-only file with a pic.

I'm sure this will become 2nd nature, the more I do it. And I will say, it took almost no time to upload.

A lot of what I talked about is just rehash of stuff in here, but of course many people who may find the video/podcast don't read this blog religiously, etc.

But, trial and error, etc..

I did come up with 1 possible schedule, on the 1 day I may go out for work, to get gas or to the storage space, I could easily take 10-20 mins hanging out in the car after consuming my lunch and make these. The car being the only planned, private place to record these at this point, etc.

I may consider renaming/naming this podcast or that weekly thing like
"The Weekly Music at Lunch Podcast"  or "The Lunch Podcast" or something, lol.

The Albums of the Year though, per I can see it going well over 30 minutes, may not be do-able during my lunch break.,

Friday, November 17, 2017

Galactic Cowboys - Long Way Back to the Moon (2017-2018)

11/17/17

Well officially THIS album is now the early leader in the Clubhouse. Really digging this thing. Very cool vinyl and black tee in the mail (on video soon?..perhaps).

.. ARE BACK! "Long Way Back to the Moon" is really fucking good! Tons of energy, layers, dynamics, vocal harmonies.

loving it already.

"Agenda" is awesome, so is In the Clouds, Drama Amisarewas.


11/15/17 6:03PM

"Next Joke"


10/26/17 12:24PM

"Zombies"


 9/25/17 10:03AM
Pre order for November 17th release date
https://usa.mascotlabelgroup.com/galactic-cowboys


Long Way Back To The Moon (CD)
1. In The Clouds
2. Internal Masquerade
3. Blood In My Eyes
4. Next Joke
5. Zombies
6. Drama
7. Amisarewas
8. Hate Me
9. Losing Ourselves
10. Agenda
11. Long Way Back To The Moon
12. Believing The Hype (Bonus Track)
13. Say Goodbye To Utopia (Bonus Track)




time is short at the moment. Great, catchy new single. totally excited for this, the return of the Cowboys!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Genesis - Twilight Alehouse



Why on EARTH did I not know about this B-side track from the Foxtrot period????

A new podcast I checked out about Genesis, Phillin' Up on Genesis talked about it in 1 of their Foxtrot episodes.

It's pretty sweet, although I can't deny it reminds me of Get Em Out by Friday and Can Utility at times. But my lord, I've been under a rock.

I don't recall the Tabletop Genesis podcast including it, although maybe my memory is bad. In fairness, they have not done a podcast on Selling England I don't think, and it's the b-side to the "I Know What I Like" single.

Some modern band should record a cover of it, or even live sometime. Who? the obvious Spock's Beard of The Flower Kings, or Dave Kerzner perhaps. Or Big Big Train maybe.

Although if I had a choice, I'd love to someone like Mew or something do it, but doubt it will happen.

Authoring Books (RANT)

I don't know if I really need to, or maybe I've meant to more in detail, but I'm just going to RANT about something.

Some of these people I keep seeing writing and publishing books about music.

Now the likes of Jeff Wagner and even to a lesser extent Lorenzo with altprogcore and Roi with The Prog Report have done them. Rich Wilson as well. And I applaud them in a lot of ways, but also can't help but be envious and even just feeling like something not exactly fair given I have not written and published a book.

But I suspect all of them, especially Jeff Wagner, has a fair amount more time to devote/dedicate to making them, and if/when I would, I would see my ability to make a book too.

And then now seeing the likes of Andrea Swensson and Chris Riemenschneider publishing books about Minnesota music and First Avenue, just reeks of an unfair position of opportunity. I mean yeah they both do it professionally, and I don't. But I just think they are 2 people who I really couldn't care less about their taste/take on those subjects.

Which maybe it shouldn't be, but it is kind of getting a little under my skin and really wanting to make things more fair.

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And maybe the best if not only way to do that is to try and write and publish my own gawd damn book about music.

I have mentioned that milestone over the last year or 2, and it will undoubtedly happen within the next year. But maybe the thing to do after it is reached is to seriously allot my time into figuring out and working on a book.

And my 1st thought is, not to try any kind of Crowd Sourcing or anything, as unlike many others, I just don't feel like I want to beg for others money.

But along with that milestone, if/when I do publish a book, I'm gonna enjoy sitting back and grinning at all the other folks who had the privilege and time I do not.

Because I feel I could actually write a book that will not only represent my own taste, but many others out there, who don't find their tastes represented in many of these so-called expert music books.

And it also can be added just about Social Media and the attention so many of these people get that just doesn't seem more than just finding Sheeples (sheep).  Theres a ton of Music content (journalism, if you want to call it that) that is either about awful music (mostly hipster trash, like 98% of the Hip-Hop and Punk especially), or is about music that is derivative (just in Prog, kissing the ass of what to me is terribly boring, predictable music we've heard many others do before and better).

I dunno, maybe some of it has started to get to me worse than before, but I just think the work I do in here is so much more interesting than the crap that all the lemmings swallow up, at some point, it just seems to have gone too far. Perhaps that may spell the end of this blog? or maybe just a break.

I just think the way music journalism is and online is just sad and pathetic, although it existed more or less since Lester Bangs began I suppose.

Kimbra: 2017-2018 Fall/Winter Tour Dates (incl Minneapolis Feb 5th!!!!)

Minneapolis at The Cedar on February 5th, the Monday after Minneapolis hosts Superbowl 52, lol.

The thing I don't love is how I posted the link to the Cedar show last night on Twitter, yet nobody saw it/liked it/shared it, lol Maybe I didn't Tag it well enough? 

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Image may contain: one or more people and text

11/15 Oslo
11/16 Stockholm
11/19 Hamburg
11/20 Berlin
11/22 London
11/23 Manchester
11/25 Brussels
11/26 Paris
11/27 Amsterdam

12/17 Houston, TX

With Special Guests King and Arc Iris (at The Cedar, and likely the whole NA tour?)

01/28 Boston, MA
01/29 Brooklyn, NY
01/30 Washington, DC
01/31 Philadelphia
02/02 Toronto, ON
02/03 Chicago, IL
02/05 Minneapolis, MN
02/08 Portland, OR
02/09 Vancouver, BC
02/11 Seattle, WA
02/13 San Francisco, CA
02/14 Los Angeles, CA
02/15 Santa Ana, CA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In Vain - Currents (2017-2018)

Very excited for this! I really loved their last album Ænigma from 2013. And of course their debut album from 2007 The Latter Rain is 1 of my favorite Metal albums ever.

Just unclear which version I will get. There's even Test Pressings, lol.


Release date is January 26th.

Image may contain: outdoor

1. Seekers of the Truth
2. Soul Adventurer
3. Blood We Shed
4. En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II)
5. Origin
6. As the Black Horde Storms
7. Standing on the Ground of Mammoths


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IN VAIN TO RELEASE THEIR FOURTH ALBUM - CURRENTS // PRE-ORDER NOW Pre-order In Vain’s new album Currents and new merch at PREORDER 

More than 10 years after their grand debut, In Vain returns with their fourth album Currents, on January 26th 2018.
The pioneers of progressive extreme metal return with a consummate and complete offering. Without question, Currents is the definite pinnacle of In Vain’s career so far. Unique, innovative and catchy compositions with longevity that merge elements from many different genres, whilst still maintaining a carefully balanced dynamic. In Vain retains a principal focus on solid songwriting with cleverness and an original edge. Top notch musicianship in all ranks and a sublime guest performance on drums by Baard Kolstad (Official). Add to that a stellar, organic production tweaked to perfection by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Katatonia, Devin Townsend, Kreator, etc) at Fascination Street Studios.
The album title, Currents, reflects on the colossal shifts and changes of our time. The present world is characterized by continental flows of people, traditions and cultures. Migration of people across continents and borders. Cultures merging. Dramatic shifts in lifestyle from one generation to the next. These are all currents - movements that distort old patterns, create tensions as well as new opportunities. These enduring shifts are some of the topics that In Vain addresses on Currents through a series of epic and monumental songs.
Currents also echoes In Vain’s musical landscape. Since its inception, the band has developed its own trademark sound through extensive exploration and seamless combination of musical genres. Currents goes to new extremes when it comes to further developing this approach. The music and lyrics of the album unite to form its own creative Current; A rich synthesis underlining the very idea of cultural and musical merging, and the album concept and artistic vision has been captured brilliantly by cover designer Costin Chioreanu (Paradise Lost, Enslaved, At The Gates, etc) and his stunning artwork.
The backdrop for the album has been a rigorous artistic and spiritual expedition across the world. Songwriter Johnar Håland comments: “Since the release of Ænigma we have been unknotting threads, followed traces, found disparities and drawn new parallels. In search of both lyrical and spiritual inspiration for Currents we embarked on a journey that took us across several continents. We have put the utmost of our hearts, souls and minds into Currents and we are sincerely grateful to everyone involved in this massive musical undertaking.” Singer Sindre Nedland adds: “Through all the experimentation, In Vain has always had a solid foundation in aggression and melody, and Currents sees these two extremes united in a way that feels unforced, and pretty damn authoritative at the same time. It has been a long and hard process, but the result is everything we hoped it would be: Catchy, intense and unusual.”
In Vain will release Currents in two editions:
SPECIAL EDITION (incl 2 bonus tracks):
This is the ultimate physical experience, clocking in at about one hour and consisting of nine songs. This is your indisputable choice if you want the full and extended Currents experience. The following physical options are available:

1. CD in trifold digisleeve. 2 bonus tracks. Includes booklet with lyrics to all songs. Ltd to 1000x.
2. Double black vinyl in gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves containing lyrics to all songs. 2 bonus tracks, A2 poster (Ltd to 500x).
3. Double solid grey vinyl with swamp green and sea blue speckles in gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves containing lyrics to all songs. 2 bonus tracks, A2 poster (Ltd to 500x).

Please note that the bonus tracks on the special editions will not be available on streaming or download services.
NORMAL EDITION:
This version consists of seven songs with a complete running time of about 43 min. This is the same version that will be available on all digital platforms. The normal edition will be available in the following physical formats:

1. CD in 4pg digipak.
2. Single black vinyl in regular cover, with printed inner sleeve.

To pre-order Currents and new merch, please go to our webshop at https://goo.gl/oa2VnW
TRACKLIST SPECIAL EDITION:
1. Seekers of the Truth
2. Soul Adventurer
3. Blood We Shed
4. And Quiet Flows the Scheldt
5. Origin
6. En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II)
7. Ghost Path
8. As the Black Horde Storms
9. Standing on the Ground of Mammoths

TRACKLIST NORMAL EDITION:
1. Seekers of the Truth
2. Soul Adventurer
3. Blood We Shed
4. En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II)
5. Origin
6. As the Black Horde Storms
7. Standing on the Ground of Mammoths

In Vain: Johnar Håland – Guitars, synth pads, bgv Sindre Nedland – Lead vocals and clean vocals Alexander Bøe – Bass Kjetil DP – Solo guitar Andreas Frigstad - Vocals
All songs composed by Johnar Håland
All lyrics written by Johnar Håland except En Forgangen Tid (Times of Yore Pt. II) by Sindre Nedland
Mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios
Drums recorded at Urban Sound Studios by Thomas Wang
Vocals and strings recorded at Strand Studio by Marius Strand
Guitars, saxophone, bass, organs and additional vocals recorded in private facilities
Band photos by Jørn Veberg
Cover design by Costin Chioreanu
A&R by Erlend Gjerde

Guest musicians:
Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Borknagar) - Drums
Kristian Wikstøl (From Strength to Strength) – Hardcore vocals Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium)– Vocals
Matthew Kiichi Heafy appears courtesy of Roadrunner Records
Simen Høgdal Pedersen – Vocals
Audun Barsten Johnsen - B3 Hammond and church organ
Magnhild Skomedal Torvanger – Violin and viola Ingeborg Skomedal Torvanger – Cello Line Falkenberg - Saxophone
Additional orchestration by MIDAS Productions - Music creation and production

In Vain, Oslo, 14 Nov 2017

2017-2018 Calendar/Projected Anticipated [AS OF FALL 2017]

11/14/17
January
26: In Vain - Currents 

11/10/17 - 11/11/17

Confirmed/Likely to be released
Lehto and Wright
Shelter Red

speculation/wishlist
Jessy Ribordy: new project/band



10/15/17 12:51PM
I post an entry like this every year or maybe 2-4 times a year, etc.

So I'm not sure if I'll bump this, or just post a few more of these over the next 3-6 mos.

The intention is to EDIT it and bump it; not *STICKIE* it per I don't desire to have 1 entry stuck at the top.

At any case, as the news, announcements, and speculation for new albums come up, this list will have more titles.

If any of the names get bumped up to be released before Halloween, obviously it'll be removed/posted likely separately. But given it's October 15th, the odds of that are not too high.

November

17: Galactic Cowboys - Long Way Back to the Moon

December
1: The Dear Hunter - All is as All Should Be [EP]
1: The Faceless - In Becoming a Ghost
1: U2 - Songs of Experience
8: Diablo Swing Orchestra - Pacifisticuffs

January and later:

January
12: Typhoon - Offerings
12: Umphrey's McGee - it's not us 
19: Kimbra - Primal Heart
26: In Vain - Currents

February
2: Field Music - Open Here


Confirmed Titles:
Antemasque - Saddle on the Atom Bomb
Chic - It's About Time
Chromeo - Head Over Heals
Joey Eppard - Word to the Wise
Fish - Weltschmerz
Judas Priest - Firepower
Ours - Spectacular Sight
Sculptured - The Liminal Phase
Tears for Fears - The Tipping Point

Confirmed/Likely to be Released (but no Title or Release Date Yet)

Barren Earth
Bend Sinister
Between the Buried and Me
Flying Colors
For the Imperium
Gotye
Imogen Heap
Lehto and Wright
Live
Monae, Janelle
Native Construct
Neverending White Lights
Pillorian (John Haughm, ex-Agalloch)
The Reign of Kindo
Shelter Red
Soundscape
Esperanza Spalding
Spock's Beard
Tiny Giant
Vennart

------------------------------

*speculation/hope*

Bruce Peninsula
Chroma Key
Disillusion
East of the Wall
Extreme
Fjokra
Jazzkamikaze
Journal
Karnivool
Spencer Ludwig
Pepe Deluxe
Red Paintings, The
Jessy Ribordy new band/project
Sigur Rós
System of a Down


I'll believe it when I hold it in my hand

Guns N Roses
Tool

Friday, November 10, 2017

Rest in Peace Chuck Mosley (of Faith No More)

Untitled


Not that I have ever been too attached to the 1st 2 Faith No More albums, although I purchased Introduce Yourself a few years back, on of all formats, cassette tape (and the wife and I ironically just saw the Cassette documentary tonight), and I did like a good amount of it. The vocal style he had, honestly isn't incredibly different from Mike Patton.

And I suppose I likely never fully evaluated it and the music on those 2 albums with Chuck. It's just Patton is just so good, and the songwriting on those 2 albums are, along with most comments about them not being as good as the Patton stuff, kind of shy-ed me away from ever getting too into them.

But it's never too late. Sad to see this, although I recall why he was asked to leave the band and some stuff between him and FNM happened legally/socially. But I guess he reunited with them a few times, and considered some of the members family.

But if this was per addiction/substance abuse, very sad, but I can't say I'm totally surprised. Regardless, this is sad to see, only 57. Rest in Peace.

Also odd, he reminds me a little of Doug Pinnick for some reason. I suspect the 2 of them may have been friends.

https://www.avclub.com/r-i-p-chuck-mosley-former-faith-no-more-frontman-1820353121


It’s with a heavy, heavy heart we acknowledge the passing of our friend and bandmate, Chuck Mosley. He was a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction and helped set us on a track of uniqueness and originality that would not have developed the way it had had he not been a part. How fortunate we are to have been able to perform with him last year in a reunion style when we re-released our very first record. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his style and his bravado will be missed by so many. We were a family, an odd and dysfunctional family, and we’ll be forever grateful for the time we shared with Chuck.



Kimbra - Primal Heart (2017-2018)

11/10/17 11:13PM

Release date is January 19, 2018

Preorder

Kimbra
1. The Good War
2. Top of the World
3. Everybody Knows
4. Like They Do On the TV
5. Recovery
6. Human
7. Lightyears
8. Black Sky
9. Past Love
10. Right Direction
11. Version of Me
12. Real Life

New single/video for "Top of the World"


9/19/17 6:53AM

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

http://www.kimbramusic.com/

Sign up for the Mail List and you get more details. It is coming out in early 2018.

There's an exclusive, unlisted YouTube video to check out as well.

When more of the details come, including a new single and tour dates (Europe initially), I'll have to bump and edit this entry.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Audio Recordings for YouTube? (All Media Reviews Podcast)

11/14/17
edit: unfortunately, my address in ebay hadn't been updated since I moved, and the recorder shipped to my old apartment ironically. Hopefully it'll be forward-ed to my current address in the next day or 2.

11/9/17
So however short or long this will be, here's the deal.

When I moved out of my apartment back in July, I obviously found myself challenged as to not only when but WHERE I might be able to make YouTube Videos, at least in the short term.

So it just occurred to me, giving Podcasting another shot might make sense again. And this time, to use YouTube, at least initially as my hosting site.

PODCASTING: My history is basically this.

In 2006 or 2007? I tried making audio recordings with an iRiver I had with a microphone. Similar to some of the Man-on-the-street recordings and even interviews I had done years before, for KFAI and just for my own documentation/future nostalgia and boredom, etc.

But it never really went anywhere, largely per I wanted to use music, but of course the issues of copywright and file-sharing, etc. So I never did use music, but found it was more work than I wanted using Audacity software.

I recall making little recordings for the "All Media Reviews Essentials" which I forget the hosting site I used now. But those were short-lived for maybe a year/year-and-a-half.

Psych Fans Podcast/Psychic Crapfest: Of course my friend John and some others did make this podcast with the microphones on my PC and Audacity software, which was fun, albeit troublesome and tedious among other issues. The quality of the sound was hit and miss, although it wasn't at least for a lack of effort. In the end, we did make a Podcast for nearly every  episode, but most of them are not available now. Had I thought about it, YouTube or maybe even archive.org would have been a better platform, but that would not have mattered a ton per the low-fi fidelity of them, and just the way we did them. I would imagine our podcast could have found more of a following though. And I've thought for a few years, to when the time may be available, to try and upload them to YouTube now. (or Archive.org and/or as well).

Epic Rock Talk: This was a Podcast that I tried doing with some friends, That Drummer Guy (Josh Rundquist) and some others, often at KFAI. They were as the title said, "Epic" i.e. 2-3 hour recordings just shooting-the-shit about music I and Josh and the others on there, were into. Going down to KFAI, at the time, seemed like a reasonable thing to try and do, but it increasingly became more difficult with schedules and what not. Plus, I feel terrible about this, but I felt like I talked too much, which I had a bad habit about, especially about music. And I was so bad about rattling off names of bands, that the listener might have grown frustrated if/when they heard them.

I think a return to this could happen, but I think it may have to be done like Pardon the Interruption on ESPN2 where each guest has like 1.5 minutes to speak and then a bell goes off. I dunno. Josh and I do enjoy chatting about music, obscure music of course. I just find when we made these, he should have done more speaking and me less, even if it means giving some kind of time limit.

But this will likely only happen when time becomes more available. Possibly through Skype and/or on his radio show. But he's so busy with those, I don't know when that will come. It might want to be just an ANNUAL or BI-ANNUAL thing, given 1 or 2 times a year, we could plan it in advance.

So I posted this on FB a bit ago.

Audio Recordings for YouTube? = i.e. a Podcast likely only shared on YouTube.
Just purchased (arrival pending) a fairly inexpensive hand-held digital recorder which I am looking to use for these.
more in the blog in a bit...


The whole point being, my absence from YouTube may not need to continue so much given it is largely due to where to film, and the amount of time it can take between setting up, recording, watching the recording (and making sure it looks and sounds okay, and often I don't say something that I wished I hadn't or can't remember something I couldn't remember, etc), and then uploading with the all the tags and everything.

By making AUDIO only recordings, some of that time-consuming process is removed/reduced. And of course WHERE I record isn't so dependent on what it looks like.

Plus, the recordings can and are often anticipated/expected to be longer. How much longer? I dunno, but at least a 30 minute audio recording is smaller in size and very likely will take less time to upload onto YouTube.

So the hope is, to try and make a Audio Recording/Podcast more regularly, such as once a week or maybe more often. They may be made in the car like I've tried to do with Videos. It may be in some other places.

And they may be short or long, not sure.

My only real hope is to make them and in some ways, organize them. Have a few things written down or pulled up in my Laptop to go over.

I may still forget things, which, yeah, I very likely will. Or say a thing or 2, a name, fact, date, etc that is off, but I can imagine the ability to remake or even possibly edit it out will be easier/quicker than on Video.

What this means for Video? I still plan to make them, and of course show Vinyl and cds, etc, but I am hoping until I find a regular location to do that (when the wife and I find a new place to live?), these audio/podcast version of my activity on YouTube can fill that void.

In looking back on it, I do really wish I had considered this years ago. Sure, they may come across as Babble-fests or Diarrhea-of-the-mouths, but I have noticed with YouTube and even now, compared to 5-10 years ago, using Social Media, you can reach more people potentially than back then, which gives me encouragement.

When will they start? if the Recorder arrives in the mail by say Monday, I could see trying to make 1 or 2 even next week, if not sooner.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

2016-2017 Albums of the Year

Okay, this is the End of Year 2016-2017 countdown list.

The last few weeks I've come to grips with this year and what is good and disappointing about it. I think making the Albums Calendars has helped that, per there are many years I struggle to find a 5 or even 4.5-star album for whatever reason. Odds I guess.

Although in 2016 and 2017, compared to say 1979 or 1983, there are a ton more albums, but I also think as an invidual music listener, there are just going to be a Calendar year or 2 every decade, that I fail to find a decent chunk of amazing albums like other years.

That all  being said, I do think this has been a year of good albums and some comebacks. And like every year, some of these albums and albums not included (or included but not listened to much) that time may be more kind to them. Or just discovering them will happen in the near future.

#1 is interesting, as it is from a band I've loved for over 10 years, but have never finished in my Top 5 even I don't think, during that year. But it is nice to see them take the crown this year and finish so high. And I did buy the Deluxe Vinyl edition, which I'm glad I did now.

edit: moved Flying Microtonal Banana (King Gizzard) and Drunk (Thundercat) into the list. I have heard both a few times. King Gizzard especially, which for some reason originally (after I checked it out) I thought did not get released in this Calendar Year



Didn't check out
Crippled Black Phoenix - Horrific Honorifics
Cynic - Uroboric Forms: The Complete Demo Recordings
Deep Purple - Infinite
Gizmodrome - Gizmodrome
Steve Hackett - The Night Siren

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Sktehces of Brunswick East
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Murder of the Universe
KXM - Scatterbrain
Leprous - Malina
Metallica - Hardwired...to Self-Destruct
Mastodon - Empire of Sand
Mastodon - Cold Dark Place [EP]
Marco Minneman - Borrego
Minus the Bear - VOIDS
The Mute Gods - …tardigrades will inherit the earth
The Night Flight Orchestra - Amber Galactic
The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions
Nova Collective - The Further Side
Scale The Summit - In A World Of Fear
Solstafir - Berdreyminn
Sons of Apollo - Psychotic Symphony
Styx - The Mission
Peter Silberman - Impermanence
St.Vincent - Masseduction
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister - Planetarium
Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want?
Tuesday the Sky - Drift

Listened to Once

Inter Alia
At the Drive-In - in·ter a·li·a

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Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder

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Bullet Height - No Atonement


Klimt 1918 - Sentimentale Jugend


Krallice with Dave Ediwardson - Loum

Istology
Meridian Incident - Istology

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The Neal Morse Band - The Similitude of a Dream (all live once, which was enough) 

Urn - Ne Obliviscaris
Ne Obliviscaris - Urn

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Offa Rex - The Queen of Hearts

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Temples - Volcano

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Waaktaar and Zoe - World of Trouble



Fux with the Tux
46. Tuxedo - Fux with the Tux [EP]

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45. Black Map - In Droves

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44. The Ongoing Concept - Places

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43. Jessie Ware - Glasshouse

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42. Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions


41. The Barnum Meserve - When All is Lost

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40. Umphrey's McGee - Zonkey


39. Radical Face - SunnMoonnEclippse [EP]

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38.Thundercat - Drunk

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37. Big Wreck - Grace Street

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36. Capital Cities - Swimming Pool Summer [EP]

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35. Blackfield - V

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34. Danny Cavanagh - Monochrome

Tuxedo II
33. Tuxedo - Tuxedo II

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32. Dave Kerzner - Static

Listen
31. Rachel Flowers - Listen

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30. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana



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29. Bubblemath - Edit Peptide


28. Childish Japes - After You're Born [EP]


27. The Family Crest - Prelude to War [EP]

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26. The Contortionist - Clairvoyant

Hotel Junk Box
25. Hotel of the Laughing Tree - Hotel Junk Box


24. Red Planet with Bill Carothers - Red Planet with Bill Carothers


23. Ramona Falls - Coils

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22. Mew - Visuals

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21. Timmy Sean - Weeks


20. Persefone - Aathma

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19. Moonloop - Devocean


18. Umi - World of Color [EP]


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17. Bend Sinister - The Other Way [EP]


16. Ulver -  The Assassination of Julius Caesar

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15. Beck - Colors

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14. Subterranean Masquerade - Vagabond

Major Parkinson - Blackbox
13. Major Parkinson - Blackbox


12. Nordic Giants - Amplify Human Vibration (Soundtrack)

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11. SikTh - The Future in Whose Eyes?

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10. Steven Wilson - To the Bone

This album, while I have checked it out enough times to know, I think found its way this high on my list per the songwriting quality works. It has a handful of memorable, catchy, yet progressive tracks to support why I enjoy it and want to go back to it again.

Whereas I found Hand.Cannot.Erase the concept to be great, but the album itself didn't offer as much go-to tracks and ended up  being more mood-tracks.

I think this just came out in a lot of ways, what Steven Wilson intended. Clever/Sophisticated Pop. And even the fact some of it harkens back to mid-period Porcupine Tree "Same Asylum as Before" and I recall "People Who Eat Darkness."

Refreshing feeling about this album, although I think in a more deep year, I don't know if it would have finished this high, but I guess I almost find it at 4-stars which I can only say about 1 of his other solo records (Raven).



9. Anakdota - Overloading

Great piano-driven progressive college rock. Reminding me of The Reign of Kindo, The Woods Brothers and Gentle Giant namely, with a big jazz side.

The singles from a few years ago still hold up like "Late" and "Girl Next Door,"

Excellent musicianship, and technical enough. And quite catchy, including some female vocals at times.

This was my favorite record early on, but I can't put it up higher at this point per I wasn't as addicted to it, nor was it as memorable as I would have thought initially.

In fairness, it is a debut album, and it may just be a taste of what is to come, although I know this band is a side project of 1 or more of the members of another progressive rock band, ProjectRNL, so I'm not sure whether the band is a top priority necessarily.

Favorites: Late, Staying Up Late, Girl Next Door, One More Day, End of the Show


Luciferian Towers
8. Godspeed You Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers
A bit of a surprising return to form for these guys, and maybe more surprising in that it lacks a lot of the annoying/filler Doomy/Drone that were present on their last 2 albums and much of their catalog.

Other than "Fam / Famine" this record doesn't include anything I'd remove. And the best moments in both the Bossess Hang (pt III) and Anthem for No State are among the best work they've ever done.

A record that reminded me why they live up to their hype of being one of the elite Post Rock bands enough, that I don't know if I can ever not check out their new music (even if a good amount of it I'm not as crazy about).

Love the use of trumpet on here by the way.

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7. Anathema - The Optimist
Maybe Anathema's (or "Ana_thema" as it is written some places) most conceptual work, at least since some of their earlier records including A Fine Day to Exit which is it considered the sequel to I guess.

The Optimist has more of a cinematic element to it, yet it still includes a ton of the kind of songs that have been present on the previous 3 albums this decade.

"Endless Ways" is the biggest melancholy highlight for me. Lee Douglas' vocals and the lyrics along with another one of their trademark crescendos are what does it for me. Also the timing of when it really hit me, right around the time I moved out of my apartment, a place I was at for nearly a decade, it captured a lot of what I was going through.

I can follow why some may be not as into it, and if I had to rank their albums this decade, I may put it behind. But it has become enjoyable enough, and likely one I will continue to return to. I should check out A Fine Day to Exit just purely on the connection it shares with this album,


6. Pain of Salvation - In the Passing Light of Day

An album that seemed to refuel the interest in Pain of Salvation, despite so many different members in the band now, including Ragnar who did a good amount of the songwriting on here.

I found myself agreeing with many reviews about it reminding me of some of the older records, like Remedy Lane and The Perfect Element I, but also Scarsick in some ways.

The chugging riffs namely.

In revisiting it again recently, it is a pretty good album, and 1 at this stage I definitely like more than the 2 Road Salt albums. But overall, I don't look at it quite in the same category as those early albums (call me an old school fanboy).

But still, there's far too many songs on here that I enjoy to not include it high. "On a Tuesday" "Meaningless" "Full Throttle Tribe" "Reasons" "Taming of a Beast" (even with it reminding me of Cloud Cult's "Sleepwalker") among them.

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5. 22 - You Are Creating-Limb 1

22  finally returned with this 2nd album of theirs, which is the 1st of more than 1 part of a series (Limb 1).

Every song is good, its just there are only 8 songs and the clock time is maybe 32 minutes?

I enjoyed this album when it came out, and still do, but I can't say I grew attached to it, even like their debut album from 7 years ago. Why, I guess was per length. It almost felt like a long EP for that reason

Favorites: Sum of Parts, Inspec, You Are Creating, Staying Embodied

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4. Bent Knee - Land Animal

Like many on this list, Bent Knee seem to be as good and consistent of a progressive rock band making music today. 2016's Say So and 2014's Shiny Eyed Babies like this album, all work on many levels and ways. The songs are well crafted, even as schizophrenic and dynamic as they get.

There's so much going on and things to catch, that you have to listen to their songs many times before you understand how much went into them. So many layers of guitars, drums, keys, strings, vocals, etc.

It's a very densely produced record, yet it ends up not being overkilled.

Plus, the title track has that sad vocal melody that is so sad and epic, and then recalled on string, it just became one of my favorite songs of the year, easily.

Love these guys, even as diverse and avant-garde as they are. And this album, like their others, aren't short, or at least don't feel short. But they always leave me with a really rewarding feeling.
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3. Everything Everything - A Fever Dream

Everything Everything continue to include a good majority of catchy, energy, and yet experimental songs that do border on progressive rock at times. Get to Heaven from 2015 I still find is my favorite, but this album may be a close 2nd now. Plus the title track is dreamy as hell as I can't get that echoing melody out of my head, even if it will always remind of a part of Fjokra's "Koi."


2. Small Leaks Sink Ships - Golden Calf

Not as breathtaking as the amazing 2015 release Face Yourself and Remove Your Sandals, but in many ways it shares the great flow and atmosphere that album has.

I think it is a bit of a grower and may continue to grow on me some through time. I guess though it is a classic case of a band whose previous album was so good, the odds of coming away loving it as much is nearly impossinble. But that classic case of the follow-up still being really good and should not be overlooked or forgotten.

Small Leaks Sink Ships do know how to create these great quirky, textured songs that have this surprising charm and energy to them. Like 2 of the bands I often am reminded of when hearing them, Menomena and Wolf Parade, yet still with their own distinct approach.

Favorites: Creepin, Dancing Devil, Drug Lord, Not Counterpoint, Dear John Connor.


1. Mutemath - Play Dead

A great record, that is marred by the fact Darren King and Roy Mitchell-Cardenas both left the band before it even came out. And it may be their last record with the band. I guess beyond many of the songs just have that great energy and vibe to them, this album both reminds me of the Mutemath of recent years, and their older work. Along with some new styles in a way.

The final 2 tracks "Achilles Heal" and "Marching to the End" for me put it over the top and make it stand out a little more than other records this year. They are both beautiful and melancholy, that I can't get them and the mood they give me out of my head afterwards.

I suppose in a way with this year being a bit more spotty and not finding too many albums that I loved a ton, makes this record stand out almost by default. But I do think it compares favorably in their catalog, placing higher than all of their other albums aside from possibly Odd Soul. Although for different reasons.

So that's a wrap (barring EDITS which I always do, so what you're reading now likely won't be identical as it is in a day or week from now).

But here's to looking forward to 2017-2018, which I'm sure will have a ton of albums to anticipate, many which will come out, but also some likely will not as what always happens. I suppose I can predict right now, 2017-2018 will have more 4.5 or better albums, and likely a little more depth. But, that does still remain to be seen.

The 1 other release or thing missing is The Reign of Kindo of course per I was listening to their Patreon songs all year and had they been released this year like I anticipated, it very likely would have found the Top 5. But a new release should come out next year, and knowing many of the songs already, I can probably say they are already the leader in the clubhouse, which bodes well for next year.

Also a Video or 2-3 should be made. When?..hopefully soon of course.