Here is my dirty little secret regarding Queensrÿche. No, it’s not that I really dig the new incarnation with Todd La Torre – that’s neither dirty nor a secret. No, it’s that nine times out of ten when I’m reaching for a Queensrÿche album I don’t reach for Operation: Mindcrime. In fact, it’s been years since I felt the need to revisit that album, which truth be told to these ears hasn’t aged all that well. Nope, when I want to scratch that progressive hard rock itch, I reach for Empire. That’s right; fight me if you want but despite not having a pseudo-SF storyline and 10+ minute “suites” I think Empire feels darker and deeper as an album, which an overall stronger collection of songs. There…that feels good to get off my chest.
Continue reading “Queensrÿche: Empire (1990)”
A quick one as I prepare to leave for the weekend (which means no review tomorrow…I’m okay with that). Miles Davis has always been a towering figure for me in music: he was my gateway into jazz, and his evolution served as touchpoint for my own growth as a listener. The connection to his music is even stronger now that my son joined his schools jazz ensemble and in what is now his 7th year playing trumpet opted to get his own for Christmas. So we’ve been exploring the man’s work, and today as we drove to school I put on Jack Johnson to show Davis’s skill at improvising over a repeated lick, and his use of a mute, which my son is also starting to utilize.
Continue reading “Miles Davis: Jack Johnson (1971)”
I’m back at work, and back in the office. Which means I’m commuting again. The routine and mental/emotional expense is exhausting, and as I went in this morning I thought about what to listen to to cover for today’s Consuming entry. I put my phone on shuffle and the choice was made for me. I was aware as a kid of Suicidal Tendencies, whether it was through the immortal “Institutionalized” ands its rally cry of “ALL I WANTED WAS A PEPSI!” as well as the anthemic “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow” that set as much as a template for the band moving forward as anything else. I love both those songs, and their accompanying albums. But if I’m being honest, my go-to album has always been Lights…Camera…Revolution! It was the one I bought first and listened to the most. So I listened to this again this morning on the way to work. In lieu of a “proper” post instead here are some passing thoughts as each song played.
Continue reading “Suicidal Tendencies: Lights…Camera…Revolution! (1990)”
It’s probably not a shock, but when I was in my teens I loved the hair/glam/hard rock scene. We were always looking for the next great chorus to sing along to, the next wicked solo. Everyone had their favorites, and mine was Lillian Axe: a hard rock band out of New Orleans who could certainly play to the MTV and hair crowd with songs like “Show A Little Love” but really nailed it on their heavier, almost progressive (for a 80s hard rock band with hair that high) tracks. It’s been a hot minute since the band had done any new music; but as I was putting together my Nine Circles Best of 2022 list I needed a breather from all the extremity so turned to the band only to see that – lo and behold – back in August they released their first album in 10 years, From Womb to Tomb. Another non-shocker: more than a few of those songs have that magic to bring me right back to that time where every chorus was bathed in the glow of youth.
Continue reading “Lillian Axe: From Womb to Tomb (2022)”
Jane’s Addiction always brings up a very specific sense memory for me: driving to high school with my friends in the backseat of a station wagon, transitioning from the suburbs to the country, hearing these songs mixed in with Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix (it was always the Smash Hits compilation), and Minor Threat, among others. Ritual de Habitual may have been the chart breaker as it rode the alternative wave in 1990, but I always preferred the hazy, Zep-heavy debt of Nothing’s Shocking. Recently my brother and I went record shopping looking for the songs we grew up with, and whereas his Perry Farrell fix came from Porno for Pyros (we’re seven years apart), mine was with the OG. This just came in on vinyl yesterday, so no better time to give it a fresh spin.
Continue reading “Jane’s Addiction: Nothing’s Shocking (1988)”
Another day, another Italian prog album celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The self-titled debut from Alphataurus was pretty much a one-shot: after their debut the band, formed out of some like-minded musicians in Milan broke up before completing their second album. But that one is enough for me – this is more bombastic and rocking that the previous albums we’ve covered so far, and I remember it also being the first album I checked out from the Sea of Tranquility primer (yeah, I know…I’m linking to this a lot), namely because the list was alphabetical. But whatever the course it took to discover, it’s here, in my hands and on my turntable and the rush of sound is both exciting and calming, putting me in the familiar waters of prog and getting steadily settled in the Italian vibe.
Continue reading “Alphataurus: Alphataurus (1973)”