Sunday, May 20, 2018

Weekly office playlist

I thought I would do today's blog before I head out for the season opener for the Minnesota Lynx this afternoon (game starts at 4pm, 3:30pm is when the champions are awarded their rings from last year's finals).

I decided to pull out some old albums that I hadn't listened to in awhile (like a few years ;)) such as FKA Twig's first album and Ayria's Plastic Makes Perfect. Gotta give some of my much neglected music collection some attention.

Got all four of my Random Mix Playlists. Currently listening to the fourth volume which I finished last night. It sounds good. Those playlists is like listening to the radio minus the commercials and annoying djs.

Albums:
Access Zero: Living in Transition

Apoptygma Berzerk: The Singles Collection

Autumn: The Hating Tree

Autumn: Chandelier

Ayria: Plastic Makes Perfect

Belly: Star

Blume: Ashes

Blutengel: Tranenherz

Celtic Woman: Lullaby

Cesium 137: Rise to Conquer

Chrom: Peak and Decay

Daybehaviour: Have You Ever Touched a Dream?

Delerium: Voice [An Acoustic Collection]

Dessa: Chime

FIRES: Red Goes Gre

FKA Twig: LP1

The Foreign Resort: Scattered and Buried

Goldfrapp: The Singles

Helalyn Flowers: Sonic Foundation

Hungry Lucy: Glo

Inertia: Dream Machine

Javelynn: Chimaera at Heart

Kirlian Camera: Nightglory

Loreena McKennitt: Lost Souls

Lush: Spooky

Marsheaux: E-Bay Queen is Dead

Mercury's Antennae: The Moon Viewing Garden

Mondtraume: Empty

Moonlight Cove: Hearts of the World

Muna: About U

Pulp: Different Class

QNTAL: VII

Re/Vision: The SkyQode Tribute to De/Vision

Ride: Tarantula

Seabound: Double-Crosser

September Mourning: Volume II

SPC ECO: Dark Matter

Stoneburner: The Agony Box

Stoneburner: On the Folding Space

Tegan and Sara: Love You to Death

Various Artists: Deadpool 2

Venus in Aries: Beyond the Veil

Zanias: To the Core

Playlist:
Random Mix

Random Mix II

Random Mix III

Random Mix IV

Fukken Uber Death Party: My Favorite HuG songs

Shitlist: the Best of L7

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Albums and playlists I am currently listening to

I will be honest I have spent most of this past week listening to my newly re-done Random Mix playlists. I re-did my Random Mix playlists because I felt they were getting outdated, if not repetitive. It was time for a change. I just finished the fourth RM playlist but I haven't gotten around to listening to it. I like what I have heard on the three playlists I have put together. I am glad I took the time last weekend to start over from scratch.

I recently got the Celtic Woman live album from the library. Boy! There is a group that needs to call it the day. I used to love Celtic Woman when their first album came out in 2005. Since then all of the original members have left, new women have come and gone. Unfortunately I was not impressed with what I have heard. I miss the original members. Just not impressed with the latest round of women in the group.

This week I just learned that the new Hanzel und Gretyl album Satanik Germanik will be coming out in early July. I preordered my copy directly from the band. I hope to get it sooner but if not at least I have something to look forward to in July (other than my tattoo appointment). In the meantime been jamming to the HuG playlist I created not long ago.

So for most of this week I have been listening to the usual music that has been in heavy rotation in my stereo or on Spotify [new albums by Autumn, Unity One, Mercury's Antennae, Blume, Strvngers, Nordika, and Loreena McKennitt]. I think so far the new Chandelier, Ashes, and Lost Souls are my top three favorite albums of 2018. So far. I can hardly wait for the new Helalyn Flowers and Hanzel und Gretyl albums. It will be interesting how they will fare with the others. I honestly can say I am a bit leery of the new Chvrches album because some of the songs I have heard from it didn't strike a chord with me.

Albums:




















Playlists:








Friday, May 18, 2018

My current favorite songs of the week

TGIF! I had a very good day. I had taken the day off from work. The week overall was pretty good despite having to be trained in on some new duties because a coworker is leaving the company I work for, can't really complain because it will keep me busy all day long. Also I made a deposit for my next tattoo in July with an artist who specializes in blackwork tattoos. Yeah this has been a good week.

Music-wise, I got a good mix of new and old music. Really digging new music by Loreena McKennitt, Blume, and Mercury's Antennae in particular. Their albums have been getting constant play whether on Spotify or on my portable stereo. Had to throw in a couple of cheesy pop songs to lighten up the mood. I admit I have a soft spot for ABBA and the UK pop group Steps.

Songs to check out:
"My Last Confession" by Autumn
"The Killing Time (Dead Leaves Mix 2018)
"The Ballad of the Fox Hunter" by Loreena McKennitt
"Fetisha" by Strvngers
"Relocate" by Nordika
"Scarlet" by Blume



Where to buy some of the music heard on this week's playlist:
https://strvngersngp.bandcamp.com/album/amor-noir
https://skyqode.bandcamp.com/album/awakening
https://aquorecords.bandcamp.com/album/venus
https://mercurysantennae.bandcamp.com/album/the-moon-viewing-garden
https://autumn-us.bandcamp.com/album/chandelier-2

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Throwback Thursday

It is Throwback Thursday time. I thought I would re-post the one band interview I have done for my blog (haven't done any more since I am a massive introvert). It is with the Danish post-punk band The Foreign Resort. It has been almost five years since I did this interview. Here is the link to the original post [https://thetwincitiesunderground.blogspot.com/2013/11/my-interview-with-foreign-resort.html]

Now here is a real treat for my blog readers...my first interview. This past week I had the immense pleasure to chat with the Danish post-punk band The Foreign Resort. If you haven't heard of the band before, you know now. The Danish quartet is about to tour Holland, the US, and Denmark. Here in the US, the band will be touring with Chicago post-punk band The Bellwether Syndicate. Although this is my first time interviewing a band, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to help promote their 11/9 show at Ground Zero (Minneapolis, MN).

TCU: For those in America who might not be familiar with The Foreign Resort, how did you and your bandmates meet?

TFR: Henrik, Morten and I know each other from way back. We played in death metal bands from two different cities and played a couple of shows together. We stayed in touch and years later when we all moved to Copenhagen we got together one by one as The Foreign Resort. Rehearsed a lot and released our first album "Offshore" in 2009 (2010 in USA).

TCU: Does anyone in the band have formal training in music or did all of you just taught yourselves?

TFR: I went to drum school for a while but guitar was self taught. Henrik went to classical guitar school but quit because he preferred AC/DC's guitar sound (hence all the noise).Morten went from death metal drumming across jazz to the drummer he is today. Patrick has been training licks and was a big fan of Jeff Beck's fast playing. At the same time he is very inspired by Peter Hook.

TCU: How is the creative songwriting process is handled in the band? Is there one primary songwriter and the rest contributes to the arrangements of the music? Or does everyone contribute to both lyrics and arrangements?

TFR: Usually I come up with demos recorded on the computer at home. Some are more finished than others. Orange Glow is from a jam whereas Take a Walk is exactly like the demo. Usually every member contributes to the style of the song. Henrik and I have a different style of playing and Morten adds a more lively groove to the beat, which changes the songs' expression. So all in all a collective process.

TFR: Oh, and I write the lyrics with some co-writing from Morten here and there.

TCU: I have been really enjoying your music lately. I definitely can hear your musical influences shine through naturally without trying. Is this the sound you guys had in mind when you started The Foreign Resort?

TFR: The original idea was to be a noisy as well as a 80s melodic band but it took us a while to get where we felt comfortable and confident. Our debut was intended more noisy and it wasn't until after going through several delay, reverb, fuzz and chorus pedals that we ended up with the guitar sound on our 2011-EP. At the same time we simplified our expression to make our sound more spacious while under somewhat control. It gets out of hand at times with fuzz and feedback but that's what we like too.

TCU: You recently released a new single called Dead End Roads from your next album. When can fans expect a new album from the band?

TFR: We're aiming at March 2014.

TCU: In the meantime you are just about ready to go tour the US with Chicago band The Bellwether Syndicate. Will you be showing off any new material you are working on?

TFR: If you refer to the new album, definitely! We will play 4 or 5 songs. We have new material in the works past the Fryer-recordings but it is not ready for a show yet. I think our sound goes very well with that of Bellwether Syndicate. We met them at a night club when we played in Chicago last year. About six months ago Faith and I got back in touch and started planning the tour. We are really excited to be going on tour with them in cities we haven't played before. Its always good to meet new good people and see new places! One of the touring benefits.

TCU: Have you toured the US before?

TFR: Yes. This will be our 8th US tour. Not covering the entire US every time so instead we play for 17 days straight, sometimes two shows a day, covering as much ground as we can. At SXSW we would play up to four shows in one day, but we feel that when we set the locomotive, that is a US tour, in motion, we need to get as much of it as possible. This time we have two days off in 17 days and both those days are reserved for video shoot in LA. So not really any days off, but we love it!

TCU: Do you have any favorite cities that you like to visit here in the US?

TFR: That's gonna take some discussion. A lot of favorites ;).

TCU: LOL! Well about is there any cities on this upcoming tour that you haven't visited before?

TFR: Regarding favorite cities, it depends whether we are talking about playing a show or the feel of a city. They are numerous and we keep getting fascinated by skylines.

It will be our first time in Minneapolis and in the state of Minnesota!

There are a lot of new cities on this tour: Denver, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, not to forget St. Louis, which Morten is very happy about! Being the home town of Miles Davis got him very excited!

TCU: I think you will like Minneapolis a lot with the skylines. LOL! Since you have toured the states quite a bit, you must be used to the food that America has to offer (some of it not being so great, much less considered "food"...hahaha). Do you ever miss your favorite foods in Denmark while in the US?

TFR: We looking forward to see the city! We all love American food! We're aware it is not super healthy but we eat burgers almost every day of a tour. They are just better in the States.

All that said, at times I do miss my ryebread with our weird meat spread and sausages to put on. Smørrebrød, as we call it.

TCU: I think if there was one food that the US does the best, it has to be burgers. I have heard of Smorrebrod. Probably from watching Bizarre Foods on The Travel Channel. lol.

When on tour, do you guys get any time to get in a little sightseeing?

TFR: We try to see as much of every city we play in. We went on the architectural boat ride in Chicago, up to the top of Rockefeller Plaza and walked across the Hoover Dam, but I never saw the Statue of Liberty up close and never went to Disneyland.

And we ran the steps of Rocky in Philadelphia :).

TCU: Minneapolis has some interesting museums if you guys are into that sort of stuff. There is also that big old tourist trap which I call the Mall of America out in Bloomington. Has an amusement park inside.

Finally, one last question. What can audiences expect from The Foreign Resort live?

TFR: In short: a blast! We have a lot of energy on stage and love to play. It is funny how small shows sometimes feel way better. The intimate atmosphere and the interaction with the audience is cool. Large settings is a different story but nothing beats a big applause after you finish a song.

TCU: I can hardly wait. After listening to your music for the last few weeks, I am excited to see the band perform live. Thank you so much for taking your time out of band rehearsals to chat with me.

TFR: Thanks so much!

Looking forward to meet you next week!

You can check out their music on bandcamp: https://theforeignresort.bandcamp.com/

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Earworm of the Week

It has been almost two weeks since the new Blume album Ashes was released. I have been listening to it daily (like I do with Autumns' third album Chandelier). Every song on the album is a real gem. Right now the one song that really sticks out to me is "Desolation Road", it is also the one song that is eerily reminiscent to the band's earlier work especially "Walking in Darkness", "Endless", and "Desperate Love". In fact "Desolation Road" sounds like it could have been on Rise From Grey, the band's first album. I am glad that the band did retain some of their old sound. I like that this track allows the band to slow down for a bit and take a breather from all their fast-pace songs. It is a great midtempo track with great pop hooks and lyrics.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Album of the week

Over the weekend, I made a trip down to the Electric Fetus to pick up the new Loreena McKennitt album Lost Souls because Amazon had pushed back its delivery of the album I had pre-ordered for Wednesday. I have been listening to the new album for the past few days on a daily basis. On Facebook, some of Loreena's fans were not thrilled with the album saying that Lost Souls was not like The Mask and the Mirror or Elemental. Well true, Lost Souls is not like her previous albums nor did I want it too.

Lost Souls is Loreena McKennitt's first album of original material since An Ancient Muse which came out in 2006, well over a decade. I enjoyed listening to The Wind That Shakes the Barley and A Midwinter Night's Dream but those albums consisted of traditional songs not written by Loreena herself. To hear an album of original Loreena McKennitt songs is a joy to these hears. It is always a joy for me to see Loreena work with longtime collaborators Caroline Lavelle, Brian Hughes, and Dudley Phillips on her  albums. I always enjoy the results of their work together. I have just learned that the songs on the album are tracks not used on previous albums. Surprisingly the songs flow effortlessly together. Yes, this album is not like its predecessors but I don't want every Loreena McKennitt album to sound like Book of Secrets and The Mask and the Mirror. Overall a very satisfying album to this longtime fan.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Playlist of the week

For awhile now, I have been trying to get rid of some access weight and have been hitting the treadmill a few times a week. Last week, I finally got around to creating a playlist for my 40 minutes on the treadmill. I got a good mix of metal, pop, industrial, and techno music. I really didn't want to stick to one particular genre. The majority, if not all of the songs are older tracks. PIG's "Prey and Obey" is the only newer track. I just wanted a mix that would motivate me with my exercise routine and it does.

Songs to check out:
"Immigrant Song" by Karen O, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross
"Prey and Obey" by PIG
"Unterstutzung 87" by Hanzel und Gretyl
"The Bomb" by L7
"My Revenge On the World" by Ayria