Posts Tagged ‘Magma’

Hhai!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2004

Anyone who has an opinion on Magma, positive or negative, or who is simply bemused (or amused) by the idea of the Kobaian language, must read this site. It is the embodiment of brilliance.

Top 10 albums of 2001, one year late

Monday, December 9th, 2002

Here’s another list - my top 10 releases of 2001. No, that’s not a typo. I think it’s silly to be doing a top ten list for 2002 already, since the year’s not even over yet. Besides, I always take a while to catch up on new releases, so undoubtedly a top ten for 2002 will be much more accurate if I do it a year from now. Anyway - my favorite CDs released in 2001 were, in (very) rough order of kick-ass-ness:

  1. The Dismemberment Plan - Change
    My favorite album of the year, no question. Great indie-rock, a little less energetic than its predecessor Emergency & I, but more melodic and still possessing some absolutely killer grooves.
  2. Magma - Theusz Hamtaakh Trilogie
    Unbelievably good live set. Who would have thought that these guys could kick so much ass thirty years down the road? There’s so much energy here, and the band is so tight, that I’ll probably never listen to the studio versions again.
  3. Mogwai - Rock Action
    Mogwai’s most beautiful album yet. Lacks the sheer power of some of their other material, but makes up for it in majesty. What’s more, it’s probably the most consistent Mogwai album yet in terms of quality all the way through.
  4. Krakatoa - Togetherness
    Whimsical, eclectic, and utterly unique. Definitely the best original prog album of the year.
  5. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Grand Opening and Closing
    Again, utterly unique, and the best tracks on this album are just fucking awesome. The album as a whole is a bit inconsistent, but the sheer power of “Ambugaton” and “Powerless” alone sold me at first listen.
  6. The Beta Band - Hot Shots II
    Sleepy and contemplative indie-rock that defies any further categorization, and that is transformed into incredibly energetic and groove-filled stuff in concert. The Beta Band just might be my favorite live band ever.
  7. Present - High Infidelity
    A dark slab of accessible avant-prog. Best played at massive volumes!
  8. King Crimson - VROOOM VROOOM
    Somehow King Crimson keeps releasing live albums, I keep buying them, and I keep loving them. This one doesn’t disappoint, even though I’ve already heard eight bajillion versions of all the songs on here already. It’s a testament either to the band’s brilliance or to my utter fanboyishness that I enjoy all their live material, even when it starts getting redundant to the tenth power.
  9. Tarentel - The Order of Things
    Solid post-rock entry, although I preferred the debut album to this one. However, the first half is prime-time stuff.
  10. Avant Garden - Maelstrom
    These guys have a seemingly unlimited reserve of energy. Ass-kickingly intense all the way through, sometimes to the point that it’s tough to get through it all in one sitting. Great debut nevertheless.

Some honorable mentions include Bob Drake’s Skull Mailbox, Explosions in the Sky’s Those Who Tell the Truth…, Radiohead’s Amnesiac, Silver Mt. Zion’s Born Into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward, and After Crying’s Bootleg Symphony (which was a pleasant surprise, as I wasn’t expecting much at all). All in all it was a pretty good year, I think. Certainly I can rave on and on about the top five or six in that top ten list… and as with any year there are undoubtedly some undiscovered gems from 2001 that I haven’t gotten around to picking up yet.

Oh this new Magma box is sweet

Wednesday, March 21st, 2001

I got Magma’s Theusz Hamtaakh Trilogie in the mail yesterday. Man, what utterly beautiful packaging. Packaging this good almost makes the music itself sound better. I’ve only really listened to the second disc, since of the three compositions Wurdah Itah is by far my favorite, but it definitely kicks.

Over spring break I managed to restrain myself to only one new CD, that being the new Sunny Day Real Estate I wrote about a while back. Like I said before, it’s pretty solid: nothing transcendent, but pretty good pop-punky stuff with prog influences. I think I like their slow ballad-type stuff better than their hard-rocking stuff: they just seem like a band that’s well-suited to doing pretty music. Or maybe it’s just because of Jeremy Enigk’s voice.

New York City is a hotbed for good concerts: this Saturday, there’s 12 hours of free live Miles Davis covers by various artists going on somewhere (I still have to figure out where), from noon til midnight I think. Also this Saturday, there’s a Birdsongs of the Mesozoic show at Tonic, starting at 10pm. And then, on Wednesday the 28th, Mogwai is playing Irving Plaza, doors at 8pm. Also, it’s a ways off, but Sigur Rós is playing at what seems to be an art museum or something, on May 8th. I’m going to try my damnedest to make it to all of these events; the latter seems particularly cool if only because of the unique venue.

What’s spinning, February 8 edition

Tuesday, February 8th, 2000

In anticipation of the Dixie Dregs / Dream Theater show here in New Haven in a couple weeks, I just received the Dregs‘ live King Biscuit recording yesterday. The country/Southern influences don’t turn me off, so I do like the music quite a bit, and I look forward to the show even more now.

Something straightforward today: what’s been spinning recently:

  • The Dixie Dregs - King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents - good folk-influenced fusion
  • The Flower Kings - Flower Power - still trying to figure out the hype
  • Magma - Retrospektiw II - love this version of MDK
  • Metallica - …And Justice For All - the more I listen to this the more I like it
  • Rush - Counterparts - I’d forgotten how much I like the instrumental “Leave That Thing Alone”
  • Von Zamla - 1983 - surpassed Tortoise as my favorite of the 1-29-00 acquisitions

What is it about English speakers that makes them so indifferent to music sung in foreign languages? How important are lyrics to the average music listener? I’ve become so accustomed to music that stresses instrumentals over vocals that I no longer remember how much lyrics used to matter to me. Or is it just the fact that songs sung in anything other than English sound funny to an English speaker? Come to think of it, why the sudden fascination with mangling Spanish and putting random bits of it into “Latin” songs meant for American audiences?

In the depths of my gloom
I crawl out for you
From the peaks of my joy
I crawl back into
Tearing me down every time you smile
Every shining time you arrive
Sunny Day Real Estate, “Every Shining Time You Arrive”