SURPRISE!!! New David Bowie single drops

Well, Mr. Bowie has been out of the spotlight for quite a few years. Reality (my favorite Bowie record) came out in 2003, and other than a live album from that tour that released in 2010 the man has been silent. Then today, on Mr. Bowie’s 66th birthday, from seemingly out of the blue, the new single “Where Are We Now?” from his forthcoming album The Next Day (March) dropped. Check this out and you can pre-order the album on Bowie’s official site here and happy birthday David Bowie. Thank you for the present on your birthday.

Grez Top Albums of 2012 : First Listen Regardless of Initial Release Date

As music in general progressed over the past 10 years, more and more musicians are recording and releasing more and more quality material. Couple that with how easily available many of these artists are due to online presence and it’s difficult to have time to keep up. There truly is an overwhelming amount of music to which to listen. So the thought came to my head to review material that is NEW to ME regardless of when the artist released the said recording. Upon compiling the list of 12 recordings (10 was not enough, plus it is 2012), I’ve noticed I still have 4 releases from this year and 9 releases total debuting within the last 3 years. So relatively speaking much of the list is quite modern. I make no concessions nor apologizes. After consulting Shawn Baker about compling such a list he proclaimed: “Do it! It’s your list!” So keep in mind that mine may not be as “up-to-date” as all other critiques.
As well, there is no stipulation as to where or how I came across the releases on this list since the release year does not bind them. Some were recommendations, some loose tips from a night at the bar and some were results of my own research. All though are releases that I’ve listened to at least a few times in 2012 and now have as part of my permanent collection.
Enjoy and responses are welcomed and encouraged. Here is to a year of great music. Hopefully you had one as well, if not there is little but still time. ;)

Shawn’s Top 10 Albums of 2012

This is never easy. Despite what naysayers might have you believe about the quality of music and its supposed decline over the past twenty years I maintain (as I always have) that there is so much good, new music out there I could very easily go bankrupt buying it.

The emphasis there is on buying it in a post-pirate world.

Soooooo how hard is it for me to narrow my yearly musical endeavors down to a handful of records? Pretty f”ing hard. Nonetheless, I do it every year and this year is no different. What follows are my ten favorite albums from 2012.

Chicago Music : A Word with songwriter/guitarist Bill MacKay : Joup Interviews

Bill MacKay at his best - creating (billmackay.wordpress.com)

Bill MacKay at his best – creating (billmackay.wordpress.com)

Record Review: Deftones Koi No Yokan

image courtesy of loudwire.com

I’ve had a week to get to know the new Deftones record Koi No Yokan and in that time it has done what almost all other Deftones albums have done – it has opened up to me, blossomed into yet another ethereal beauty that quakes with 2 AM fuzz, aquatic shifts in tempo and a tone that is both haunting and beautiful. Lead singer Chino Moreno’s voice is a major part of that haunted quality, and it’s with that in mind that I’d like to open this discussion, because I would argue that Moreno’s voice is quite unlike anyone else’s in the annals of “heavy” music.

Vegetarian Festival 10-2012 Phuket, Thailand

Acrobat troupe recreate slaying of the dragon (sesame/joup)

Acrobat troupe recreate slaying of the dragon (sesame/joup)

Phuket, Thailand – Firewalkers, facial piercings, fireworks and acrobats. How could one know that being a vegetarian could be so exciting? At least the Chinese-Thais in Phuket make it so during their annual Vegetarian Festival in the ninth month of their calendar year. This year of the dragon provided no disappointments in the festival either. The fest takes place the second to third week in October with the dates in this Roman Calendar year being 10th-23rd. Arriving in Phuket for the last five days and six nights provided insight into the ritual, photo ops to drool over, memories to last a lifetime and the desire to come back for more.

The Cycle is Complete: Blut Aus Nord 777: Cosmosophy is here

image courtesy of metalkingdom.net

Three years ago I would never have believed that I would become as into the fringe elements of Black Metal as I have. I mean, what’s in a genre name or classification – right? Except of course there is always something there. And with Black Metal – the good stuff anyway – the name just sorta fits. No, not an all-African American band that plays metal like one co-worker thought, Black Metal at its best is more about the dark, liquid-obsidian terrors that lurk at the outposts of the human musical experience. And when discussing France’s Blut Aus Nord – quite possibly the most radically inventive band to fall under the banner of the genre (by choice or not) out there – Vindsal and crew have definitely attained something of a mastery of putting every shattered, hopeless and down right frightening atmosphere together into something that transcends any genre or even any inherently musical experience and gives us a sort of transcendental evocation that both grafts onto and extracts lifetimes of human philosophical arcana.

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