Noise-Some Notes – A Week in Listening 10th September 2012

Noise-some Notes – A Week in Listening 10th September 2012

Napalm Death – Grind Madness at the BBC Massively groundbreaking and influential Peel Sessions from the Extreme Metal pioneers. The first from 1987 is the best. Essential.

Rollins Band – End of Silence and Weight Really enjoyed End of Silence last week so another listen was required and I’m so glad I’m finally getting to know Weight better too. What a band. I even made it all the way through to the excellent live bonus tracks this time. Check me!

The Black Crowes – Three Snakes and One Charm The glorious “Beard Years” of the Crowes resulted in this album and Amorica, their two finest moments. Quality adventurous stuff.  Then they went and shaved.

Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory I’m not entirely up on DT’s career but this is fantastic and hasn’t been far from my ears for the past few years. A band that has managed the feat of both playing in odd time signatures and staying in decent hotels. Bill Bruford would be proud. In other news, I met James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess in a shop once. Nice guys but they couldn’t pronounce “Braehead” to save themselves.

Slade – In Flame A great soundtrack to a great, gritty movie. How Does it Feel and Far, Far Away are the well-known hits but I absolutely adore Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing which is an awesome slide-driven rocker. I love Slade more with every passing year.

KISS – Dynasty and Rock and Roll Over Possibly my two favourite studio albums from the original line-up. I’m going to give a shout out here for Dirty Livin’ on Dynasty. A real sultry effort from the undervalued Peter Criss, it also features a feedback solo from (I’m guessing) Ace Frehley which is a shivers-down-the-spine moment. Rock and Roll Over is more signature-style KISS though and I would treat anyone that didn’t like it with extreme prejudice.

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned I’ve went back to this often since its release. It’s a formidable blast of modern Metal but with a really appealing melancholic melody running through it. It’s very addictive stuff! The song Blood on Wood is the stuff of training montage dreams!

Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy Really pleased with this on vinyl. A great album that just got better. This feels like it was meant to be heard this way.

Yes – Drama Yes have had more than their fair share of drama but never more so than when Buggle Trevor Horn took over the mic. His glasses may have looked daft but that didn’t stop this being an awesome and surprisingly heavy Yes record. One of the great underdog albums.

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55 thoughts on “Noise-Some Notes – A Week in Listening 10th September 2012”

  1. Amorica is such a great album. I loved beard-period Crowes. And that’s two great Kiss albums there. Rock And Roll Over might be as close to the blueprint “Kiss sound” as you could get.

    And of course, Chinese Democracy, it sounds good on vinyl. I wonder if a less-is-more approach would have helped the album more, maybe it should have just had the 10 best songs.

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  2. I love John Peel, what a pioneer. And to have Napalm play! So great. TEOS and Weight are companion pieces, like brothers. Different, but also alike enough to feel like logical extensions. And they just sound so huge. It’s crushing. Love it.

    See, I disagree with you guys on the Crowes. I saw them live for Three Snakes’ tour at Massey Hall in Toronto. They were terrible. Well, the band did OK, I guess – nothing spectacular. But Chris was so out of his gourd he couldn’t even stand. Seriously, he was hanging off the mike stand. Weak and pathetic. Also, it makes me unpopular, but I didn’t like Amorica then and I don’t like it now. It has some OK songs, but I never play it. Not interesting to me. Meh. I got the Brothers Of A Feather CD/DVD set recently, though. That had some great moments.

    Dream Theater is another of those bands I want to get into more. Same as Opeth – some day! All in all, a cool week in your ears. I like this format, a weekly roundup. But I don’t know how you keep it all straight. Do you keep a list? CD piles shift and get moved so easily…

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    1. I was really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Crowes. A friend of mine saw them on the same tour in Glasgow and said the same thing about them. That’s pretty weak, glad I never saw that! I’m surprised you don’t like Amorica, I loved Southern Harmony… for years but I just never listen to it any more. I tried earlier in the year but it didn’t work for me. I always enjoy going back to Amorica and 3 Snakes though. I’ve got that Birds of a Feather set too but haven’t stuck it on yet.
      Glad you like the format! I enjoy doing this so much. I have an A4 pad and I write in what I’ve listened to every day. Started doing it at New Year just as a project. My CDs are just all over the place these days… I ran out of space a loooonnngg time ago!

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      1. Maybe it’s the Rollins influence then, eh? Not having time for those who can’t get it up to perform. Probably.

        I have a long history with the Crowes in my ears. My sister is probably the biggest fan I ever knew (and it was me that got her started!). She later married a guy who was a taper/trader for years. Big-time fans. Anyway, I started with Moneymaker (on cassette!), and went from there. By Your Side was the last time I rushed out and bought a new record on New Release Tuesday. I was spotty with them from then on, snippets would appeal and the rest would just not appeal. I don’t have any of the solo stuff – I don’t need Chris’ hippy dippy shit. The album I would be most likely to play all the way through would be Southern. Funny, we all like different stuff. But Amorica never gelled for me. I blathered about all their records on KMA, but I doubt any of that is helpful to the conversation. I probably came across like I loved them all. Haha.

        And I fully expect Mike to weigh in on this one. I know he’s a fan. He and I have had this Amorica conversation before. Maybe even in his store, way back in the day. He will come down in favour of Amorica, I guarantee it. 😉

        I hear you about the collection in piles. I went to Canadian Tire (not sure your equivalent there, it’s a ubiquitous institution here) and bought three cabinets meant as pantries. They stand about 5′ high. All my stuff just gets stacked in these. At least they have doors on them to keep the kids out!

        The notepad is the only way to go. Even computer files take more work. And it’ll be neat to see the stack of pages after a year. Cool idea!

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      2. I’m the same with the Crowes, got all the Crowes stuff from Moneymaker to By Your Side and then lost interest. Liked The Lost Crowes album but haven’t heard anything they’ve done since Lions.
        It’s weird that I loved Southern but it just doesn’t do anything for me any more.
        I’ve got 3 racks about 5′ high but they are now surrounded by piles over, beside, under them. It’s a bit of a riot. I’ve got some nice big walk in cupboard space I might be able to rearrange… but that would be bit of an undertaking!

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      3. The later Crowes albums have good songs. The double set, Before The Frost whatever, those were more rootsy. Warpaint’s alright.

        Yeah man, rip out whatever’s in that cupboard, get some 6″ boards (they’re never 6″ anymore, more like 5 3/4″ so it’s perfect for CD cases). Anyway, get some 2x2s too, cut ’em all to fit and fill the sucker with shelves. Wrap ’em around too, do both side walls. You’d be amazed how much you could get in there, and for minimal outlay. Time? Negligible. A weekend, if you painted them. Less, if you didn’t. And then everything would be contained, and you could start over on your racks with new stuff coming in! 😉

        Or, you could just by a flat-pack pantry like I did, one that would fit, and build it into the cupboard. That’d be way easier and about the same cost.

        I’m not exactly a handy guy, but I can get crafty when it comes to CD storage.

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      4. Good tips! I reckon I could handle something like that. The organisation is a problem, I’ve got stuff everywhere. I fantasise about hiring some storage! I wonder how Mike stores his mighty collection?
        So much DVDs,CDs, Vinyl and Books… And my girlfriend has got a massive collection of books which adds to the dilemma! I suppose it’s a good problem to haveI suppose! haha.

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      5. My Dad and I built floor-to-ceiling bookshelves at one end of our living room. They even are built around the window and have a 16″ wide window seat. Aren’t we handy! It was simple though, same project as your cupboard, slightly bigger scale. Brilliant for the books.

        I do also have four smaller CD shelves from IKEA. They’re great. But when I went back to get more they’d discontinued them, and had nothing similar to replace them, either. Bastards! Those shelves are languishing in the basement.

        I’ve never seen Mike’s collection in person. I imagine he has a crafty way to store it all. He’s just that kind of guy.

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      6. Mike’s crafty storage won’t last me another year, unless I do a significant purge. I have three towers, all spinners. One holds 1000, one 800, and I’m not sure what the last one holds. They’re great for space but none too sturdy, and I need more space now.

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      7. Mike: I do have these four IKEA shelves. Depending on what the set-up in the new house will be (if we can ever sell our current house!), I may not need them. They hold a good amount of stuff. They’re stand-alone wall shelves. So you’d need wall space with clear floor. But if I can’t use ’em in the new space, we can talk about ’em. Or, follow my advice to HMO and just build some! It’s easy. Heck, if I can do it, you surely could do it, and better than me.

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      8. Vinyl storage is easy. There’s only one way to go (if you ask me). Hie thee to IKEA. These absolutely rock for storing vinyls (I even got the UK link for you):

        http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/10196431/

        I have one in white, and just laid it on its side for 2 rows of 4 = better stability and no bracketing it to the wall. Each cubby is exactly 13-1/4w x 13-1/4h x 15-1/4d and it’s damn solid so weight’s not an issue. They sell them in 4,8,16, and 20 cubby units. I figured the 8 would be more than enough for me. I got it home, put it together and slid my records into it… and they veritably disappeared – I still have TONS of space! I’ll never fill this thing. And, I set my stereo and turntable on top, so it’s all in one place. Perfect!

        I got the idea from a record shop in Toronto. They had the big 20-cubby version just jammed with vinyl sitting behind the counter, I asked where they got it. Voila. And it’s dead easy to put together too. Took me ten minutes.

        Gimme an email and I can shoot you a picture if you want to see how it looks. I LOVE it.

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      9. I’m hoping to buy a bigger place within the next two years so storage won’t be an issue any longer. I would like a room set aside just for my junk, with shelving on the walls for CDs. And Transformers 😉

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      10. Haha I just realized, it sounds like everything I own is from IKEA. It’s not, I swear! Those two things (the shelves languishing in the basement, and the vinyl shelf I use now) are examples few and far between. 😉

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      11. I believe GI Joe comics were released over there under the name Action Force? Does that sound correct? Either way I hope you have nothing again poor Joe, as since no photos exist from my old Record Store Daus, Joe and his friends are forced to re-enact those scenes!

        Well that’s not entirely true — I do have photos. But I won’t post them as they would identify the store, and I don’t think they’d appreciate that too much. I hope my stories are not too negative but confidentiality was an issue for me.

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      12. I understand you keeping the store name out of things, makes perfect sense. Especially when the store’s still in business.

        The name Action Force rings a bell but I honestly have no idea! I certainly don’t have anything against Joe, the pictures are great. Especially the ones with the csah sign. 🙂

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      13. Dude, just had a thought if yer gonna re-do your cupboard like I suggested – make sure you get some anchors to go with yer screws. Drill into studs when you can, but for the places that are without, use the anchors with every screw you put in. A CD collection is heavy, and I’d hate to think of them falling down after you go to all that work! You could also measure it all out, and cut any left-over boards to fit upright between shelves, like spacers. If you go floor to bottom of top shelf in a row like that, that’d definitely help with the weight too.

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    1. After keeping track of my listening I’ve noticed it’s all more varied than I thought! Starting to wonder if I should have even called this Heavy Metal Overload… but if it wasn’t for HM I wouldn’t be into ANY of this stuff so that’s my reasoning. I always think Metal is way more varied than the modern perception anyway.

      Slade and Napalm… both Birmingham bands too! The true home of Heavy Metal… 🙂

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      1. So true, I’ve done that a few times. I’m intrigued by jazz, I’ve heard a few things I’ve quite liked but I feel like developing an interest in that would be like opening the floodgates! Heard some of the obvious stuff like Love Supreme and Kind of Blue, the only album I own is Billy Cobham’s Spectrum (mainly for the Tommy Bolin connection).

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      2. Oh yes, jazz gets into your blood. I was THAT kid in high school. While all the other kids were wearing their G ‘n R and Metallica t-shirts, I was immersed in the trumpet players – Armstrong, Davis, Hirt, and on and on… Mainly because I play trumpet as well, and was in two bands in high school. Anyway. For all its experimentation, I found that jazz really helped when I went back to rock and pop music. I looked at structure in a different way, for sure. It’s a great musical education.

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      3. I’m sure it must have been! With jazz and, to an extent, blues I always love the sound of it when other people play some but if I try to listen to it at home I just can’t get into it somehow. My girlfriend has been investigating some of the classic jazz albums so I can hopefully hear some good stuff that way.

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      4. Yeah man, jazz and the blues at an early age. I consider myself very fortunate for looking after myself like that! Plus, my Mom had an old jukebox, all the 50s singles in it. Also great.

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      5. I’m going to be covering some jazz in the future as well. The Burning For Buddy discs were my gateway drug. Neil Peart started it for me. From there I wanted to hear Buddy Rich himself, and Gene Krupa and those guys. So many people that I grew up on, such as Peter Criss, were influenced by these guys.

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      6. Maybe I should post something like a rocker’s beginning guide to jazz. Since everybody from Testament to Kiss to Van Halen and back have member influenced by jazz, I found it an easy genre to appreciate. Who can’t appreciate awesome musicianship right? Jazz and blues seemed like natural progressions from the Zeppelin and Metallica that I already enjoyed. Don’t get Aaron started on the blues!

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      7. Well, I’m no expert, but I have heard a ton of it. My entire teen years were spent on jazz and then into the blues before I got into the rawk. Check out the Alan Lomax book, The Land Where Blues Began. Now THAT’S an education. It was a bible for me for a good long time.

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      8. I know a bit more about blues than jazz. I always really enjoy documentaries about it though, I’ve got quite a few of those so I fancy checking that book out. Sounds great. One of my favourite things is a film called “The Blues According to Lightning Hopkins”, I love that!

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  3. Thanks for showing lots of love to Yes’ “Drama,” a much-maligned and overlooked classic. Steve Howe never sounded as ferocious as he did on that album. It’s definitely in my Yes Top 5. Also a fan of the Dream Theater, Black Crowes and Kiss titles you mentioned. Sounds like a great week of music.

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    1. Many thanks! I would go so far as to say that was the album of the week for me! I haven’t listened to it for too long and was just bowled over by how good it was. I gather that line-up struggled more on the ensuing tour, especially in the UK. I would have expected fans of such an adventurous band to be more open-minded really! Shame.

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