Live at Woodstock by Jimi Hendrix

As a teenager, and a guitar player, I clung to Jimi Hendrix like a god…. ok fine, I still do! It was something to do with his expression, his release, his distortion, his control of his instrument, and the era that he lived in that I think captured my imagination. I know, that’s a pretty far out list. Continue Reading →

Dummy by Portishead

When I wake up I’m in either one of two moods. One: I don’t want to be up, just sit here and numb for a while. Or two: Alright, today is a great day, lets get this train rollin. Today was a train rollin kind of day. What did I put on? Portishead of course. Continue Reading →

Both Sides of the Gun by Ben Harper

Ben Harper is one of the most inspirational people I follow on a regular basis. His discography spans back to 1992, with Pleasure and Pain (one hell of a record I must add). In 2006 he came out with Both Sides of the Gun. It was a solo show, which means without his standing band The Innocent Criminals. No problem. Continue Reading →

Up From Below by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros are a very tasteful band. Their creativity makes me feel like I’m flowing through some sort of magical mystery, with only floral patterns, old tea cups, and phonographs. To be short, I like the album Up From Below. Rather, I love it. Continue Reading →

South Of Heaven by Slayer

I have been fascinated with Slayer for a very long time. When I was in grade 6 or 7 I had asked my older neighbor (who happened to be a metal head) to make me a mix tape of the heaviest, metalist stuff that he had.

Slayer was on the tape. This is obvious right?

I spent a few years, ever night listening to that tape. For a while I had a ghetto blaster above my head that I would turn on as I went to sleep. Then soon I got a walkman and had headphones on every night. It was for a very large part that tape that I listened to. It was a great tape. The funny thing is that the tape had no song list, so I didn’t know I was listening to Megadeth, or Slayer, or Anthrax, or Prong until much later in life. I’m still finding a few of the bands on there. Light bulbs go off.

So, the album for today I have chosen to review is Slayer’s South of Heaven.

The title track is a staple to any metal fans diet. If you do not know this song, then you are not a metal fan. Seriously. It’s that staple.

The fury that rocks through your veins when you listen to this album is real. Fast drum beats from Dave Lombardo, the fascinatingly hard and fast riffs from Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, and Tom Araya belting out lyrics blows the lid off of many pots (and mothers) regularly.I laugh at this old photo.

I love the track Mandatory Suicide. Not particularity for the name, but everything together makes sense.

On angry days, I like to scare innocent people with Slayer. You know they’re wanting to stare and wonder and gawk, but you know they’re to afraid to do it. This is what goes through my mind.

I think the thing I like about this album is that every single song makes me think about dancing around in a circle throwing a few elbows.  Have you ever been there? I’ve had the chance to see Slayer rock a few times; yes, its epic. Kerry King’s goatee is getting pretty intense. I read an article on him where he explained the reason for braiding it now is because it would get stuck in his guitar. Badass.

Cleanse The Soul? Seriously? Is this possible to be such a crazy insane bits of solo mixed with the clearly searching lyrics of preparation of Tom? Badass, I’m not joking!

Whose with me on this? Which one of y’all have days where you need to be angry? It pushes me further. Does it help you? Get South of Heaven.

Pantera: A Lament

I remember when I was in gr 6 I got an older neighbor of mine to make me a CD. I knew he was into metal because he is also the same neighbor that inspired me to start playing the guitar. I said to him: “Make it as metal as you can, I want to learn the art.” And that, my friends, was the start. Shortly after I got an Epiphone SG and an amp, and well…

Now I know some of you dedicated readers (I know I kid myself into believing there are dedicated followers), you may be wondering where this is coming from. I thought this King Kabuz fellow was a sweet Jack Johnson loving hipster. Fear not, it is still me.

I was brought up on a steady diet of these guys. Friends of mind in High School thought it was cool to write the CFH you see on the skull’s forehead on their jean jackets, and prided themselves saying we were the ‘cowboys from hell’. Me, I’ve always been more partial to hellbilly, or just plain ol hick (of course I have grown up a little bit, now I’m more of a.. hmm. no idea..). But that’s getting into semantics, so we won’t dwell there.

Cowboys from Hell was my first album, I played that CD so many times. It would have been one of the CD’s I would take if asked the ‘if you were trapped on a desert island, and could only have 2 cd’s, what would they be?’ question. It was more of a way of life, an aggression that I had to get out of my system. Not to mention that it was very inspirational to me, making me want to go out and get shit done! Dimebag was, and shall always be, one of my most idolized guitarist.

He is one hell of a shredder, and I don’t think many would argue with that. But what I always loved about him was that he was all about having fun, supporting family and friends, and making damn good music! I read an article a long time ago with regards to his partnering with Dean Guitars. A lot of you may know that he had his own signature series, of the shape you see above in his photo, called the Dean Dimebag. I’ve watched countless videos on him, and he never fails to throw a plug in there for Dean Guitars. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Dimebag.

I think that without Vinnie Paul things would never have been the same. Having that family tie in the band just makes it that much more stronger, if you ask me.Not to mention how great of a drummer Vinnie Paul is.

Another member of the band, Phil Anselmo, is a god in most metal heads minds. He has fronted this power band, but also gone on to do his own projects, most notably Down with the boys of Corrosion of Conformity and Rex Brown, the bassist for Pantera, but also fronted Superjoint Ritual, Arsen Anthem, and Necrophagia. I honestly have never heard the last two bands there, but Down and Superjoint are amazing!

Phil’s voice is what many have come to try and copy, its powering, thundering, and scary aggressiveness is unlike any other out there. It’s the perfect fit for any metal band.

But then, tragically on December 8, 2004, while doing a gig with Damageplan, a raged fan decided to storm the stage for reasons: ludicrous, and shoot Dimebag. I guess he felt that killing Dimebag would make right the splitting up of Pantera that he blamed on him.

This death was felt world wide in the metal community, fans, supporters, and fellow musicians alike all felt the pain of this.

But, forever shall his music remain in our minds, forever shall our spines tingle with furious motivation when we hear the killer guitar licks in 5 minutes alone.

Pantera, you shall always remain in my heart.

Under Feet Like Ours by Tegan and Sara

Under Feet Like Ours was Tegan and Sara’s first full length album, after the Orange, Yellow and Red demos. I’ve recently been on a big Tegan and Sara kick, and came across this gem in my library, and was simply moved. I was crying by the end of the album.

Its a very strong, acoustic rhythm album that plays with vocal and guitar arrangements in such a way that it makes me feel like I’m enjoying the good times, sitting in the back of an old Cadillac convertible, the kind with the big wings, sailing down the highway on a nice sunny day with my sunglasses on and great company.

Its not the singular talent of one specific instrument in the band, but the girls singing is what moves me. Of course they do have great rhythm and chord progressions, but its the way they pack it into a song that I love.

I love Freedom, the one part where who ever is singing, I can never tell, does that drop. If you’ve heard the song, you know. And Proud just fits in perfectly after it.

Seriously, I listen to This is Everything, song 8, and I immediately feel an immense longing and sorrow and desire to be the everything I can be, and it brings tears to my eyes. Maybe I’m just emotional right now, but the chord progression will forever be in my mind. Heavy also gives me the same emotion. Just speaks so much emotion that I don’t know how to express sometimes, except with silence of my mouth, and open ears.

Today is their birthday, they’re 30. Wikipedia says Tegan lives in Vancouver, Sara in Montreal, when they’re not on tour, and are originally from Calgary. They sell out tours, internationally, and totally kick ass. Just like to say if you read this Tegan or Sara, I’m in Vancouver.. gimme a shout and we’ll play guitar.

I’m definitely proud to say that I’ve been a fan of these girls since around 2002 when I first heard of them going to college at SAIT in Calgary, reading the local culture paper.

I need to see them more. I need to hear them more. I hope you all like them as much as I do, I’d be interested if its just me that likes Under Feet Like Ours.

They have a new album thats out, Sainthood, which anybody in their right mind should already have in their possession.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

So, I just recently read a SPIN article on Charlotte Gainsbourg, and instantly got on my horse to go get her albums.

Apparently she just did her first ever live show in USA I think?

I’m listening to it now, and I’m a fan. She rocks with electronics just enough to make it funky, and yet still folky, with a silent ambient sort of flavor to it as well, and I’m only three songs in!

I’ve been a giant fan of hers for a while, but the one role that is creeping into my mind right now is her role in I’m Not There, a Bob Dylan movie of sorts… you have to watch it to understand. She plays in a scene with Heath Ledger. Love it. Her style is amazing.

Find her here: