Sunday, July 31, 2011

Influential songs

Tonight I thought I would share with those who will see my blog songs that had a lasting influence on me from my teenage years and into my college years. I thought it would be best if I compiled all those songs on my playlist than just post a series of video clips from youtube.

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My first introduction to industrial music was back in high school. It was Ministry's Psalm 69 album. I wouldn't get into industrial music hardcore until my mid 20s but the song "Psalm 69" never left my system. I have to admit my early teen years music-wise revolved around hair metal but once Nirvana and the "grunge" scene burst into the music scene, that killed my attraction to hair metal. I wasn't big on Nirvana or Pearl Jam or Soundgarden, but I LOVED L7. I even got into the mosh pit during their set at the 1994 Lollapalooza on Harriet Island.

The alternative scene back in the '90s was definitely vibrant and it really appealed to me. While my peers in high school was listening to the mainstream crap on 101.3 KDWB, I was listening to the likes of Social Distortion, Texas, L7, Cocteau Twins, 7 Year Bitch, Blondie, Zu Zu's Petals, Concrete Blonde, The Rollins Band, The Gits, Babes in Toyland, Ministry, etc...etc... . The angst reall appealed to me.

When I went to college in Iowa (for one lousy year which was one too many), that was when I discovered Siouxsie and the Banshees. She was a godsend to me. I was miserable as hell in such a lily-white, conservative town. I felt like an outsider (not only because I was Asian) but the fact that I didn't dress like everyone else (for me I was all about my black leather jacket, doc martens, and flannel shirts, oh and the occasional fluffy On a whim I ordered through Columbia House records (LOL) a cassette copy of Siouxsie & The Banshees' Twice Upon a Time compilation. I think I wore that sucker out completely because I was constantly playing it non-stop.

It wasn't until I transferred over to UW-Milwaukee from that hell hole Iowa did my interest in industrial music start to develop more seriously. The very first industrial song that really got my interest going was KMFDM's "Juke Joint Jezebel". I had a couple of friends who had that single in their jukebox. I eventually bought the single from the oh so cool indie record store Atomic Records (RIP). When I moved back to the Twin Cities in 1999, one of the first cds I bought was KMFDM's Retro.

Looking back now, my taste has definitely evolved from uber bad to awesome. Lately I have been getting into David Bowie and The Jesus and Mary Chain. It is as almost I am coming full circle minus the bad hair metal. LOL!

Friday, July 29, 2011

CD Reviews of the Week

Well it has been awhile since I last posted a review of CDs that I either bought recently or had sitting in my cd collection. I am going to just make my reviews shorter than usual.

Curve: Frozen

I have been on a huge Curve kick lately. I recently won a copy of Curve's Frozen EP on ebay. It arrived today in the mail. I have been enjoying the cd immensely. I love Curve's early sound which could be defined as shoegaze. Don't get me wrong I love their techno/rock sound on their last two albums, but it is their early stuff that I really adore. All four songs on this EP is excellent.

Love Spirals Downward: Temporal

A couple of weeks ago I was at Cheapo records. I came across this album and decided to pick it up with a couple of other cds. I always wanted to add some LSD into my cd collection. I am glad I did. It's quite a lovely album. Temporal is a collection of LSD's past and present (at the time) music which features some previously unreleased tracks like "Misunderstood (I'll Always Love You remix)". I find the music very laid back and relaxing to listen to. I dig the remixes and I really love Suzanne Perry's ethereal vocals.

The Very Best of Midge Ure & Ultravox

A couple of weeks ago I came across a video clip on youtube of Kirlian Camera performing Ultravox's "Hymn" at this year's Amphi festival. I was immediately hooked on the song. I decided to go to Cheapo last weekend to find some Ultravox. The best I could find was this compilation of Midge Ure and Ultravox. Definitely better than nothing. At least I have the original song on cd. I don't know where the hell I have been in the last 2 decdades but I just love the Ultravox tracks. Classic new wave. I also enjoyed Midge Ure's solo tracks as well. I remember hearing his song "Breathe" for a Swatch commercial back in the '80s or '90s.

Diary of Dreams: End of Flowers
It has been awhile since I last listened to Diary of Dreams. I decided to give their music another chance. Last year I had fell in love with the track "Tears of Laughter" so I opted to  get the album that it was on End of Flowers. I think this is one of those albums that you have to be in the mood for. It is over an hour long and the music can often be a bit dreary. I like to think of it as one of those perfect rainy day albums. The dark atmospheric melodies and melancholy lyrics is ideal for a cold, rainy day in bed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

White Elephant by Ladytron

The music video for "White Elephant" by Ladytron off their upcoming album Gravity the Seducer was just posted online. So here it is :). Yay!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Musical painkillers

Choose Your Musical Painkillers

The link I just posted at the top is the source of inspiration behind tonight's blog. So here are my songs that always dull the pain that is irritating me.

Ever since I have come across Kirlian Camera's interpretation of "Hymn" by Ultravox, the song makes me forget my problems and put a huge smile on my face.

I can say the same thing about their song "Nightglory".

Love the Eleni's vocals as well as the lyrics.

Here are some other really great songs that always perks me up if I am in a bad mood.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amphi Festival 2011

Tonight I came across some great footage on youtube from this year's Amphi Festival in Germany (I believe). I decided to post a bunch of clips from the festival for those like me who wanted to be there but couldn't.

I really hope that one day Kirlian Camera will put their awesome cover of "Hymn" by Ultravox on record. I love their interpretation of the classic new wave song.

I am really digging the harsh sounds of Hocico.

One of my favorite songs off Popgefahr.

All in all, this year's Amphi Festival looked and sounded awesome.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My favorite cover songs

I thought it would be fun to create a mix of my favorite songs via, so here are the results :).

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What inspired this playlist took place this morning when I came across a live cover of the Ultravox song "Hymn" performed live by Kirlian Camera last year at a European festival. I immediately fell in love with that version as well as the original version.
P.S...I almost forgot about The Light Asylum's version of "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga.
Paparazzi (demo version) by The Light Asylum

Friday, July 22, 2011

Du Hast done acapella

Any choir who can pull off a Rammstein cover acapella can't be all that band ;).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Random thoughts

I forgot to mention this last month but it has been officially a year since I created this blog. I didn't think it would last this long since my previous blogs on didn't last any longer than six months (at the most). I think what helped was my experience helping out Trace with promoting his shows as Kilted Farmer Koncerts. That really inspired a lot of my blog entries here. Another source of inspiration has been youtube and the music I would find (and end up buying). In the last several months, I have even gotten the attention of some of my favorite artists for some of my writing whether be it was Erica Dunham's Unterbites or my ramblings on my favorite bands like Sensuous Enemy and Javelynn (more like new favorite).  I have posted a link to the Facebook page for The Twin Cities Underground with all the links of my favorite artists/bands. My intentions from the beginning (and remains so) is to share my love of music with the public. I have no high expectations for this blog. I just hope that some people will check out a few of the artists that I write about here on my blog.

With July inching closer to the end, that means fall is getting closer and closer. With everything that I have been reading online, this autumn is going to be awesome for new music. For me personally I am most excited about the new albums by Stray, VNV Nation, Javelynn, Ladytron, God Module, and Pop Incorporated. I have to admit I am on the fence about Imperative Reaction. I do like their new song "Surface" immensely but I am afraid of being left unimpressed like I was with their previous studio album. I also am planning on seeing Ladytron and VNV Nation this fall too. They will make up for the fact that Imperative Reaction and The Birthday Massacre will once again pass by the Twin Cities.

Oh if you are wondering what is up with my blog, I have given it a much needed makeover. After a year, I felt it was time to give it a more personal touch. I may tweak it here and there but for the most part, this is how it is going to look. It isn't so dull as it was before...well, I hope it isn't ;).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VNV Nation at Station 4

Today while at work, I was checking my FB wall on my smartphone when I came across a posting for VNV Nation show at Station 4 on November 28th. Tickets can be bought at this link: VNV Nation tickets. I bought my ticket already. I believe their 2009 show at Station 4 sold out so I definitely would recommend buying your ticket ASAP. I am so excited. This will be my fourth time seeing the band. At least it won't be in the middle of summer with no AC. Everyone was soaking in their own sweat that night. Hopefully mother nature will cooperate and won't snow yet. Hopefully.

Sunday, July 17, 2011



If you haven't heard of the band Javelynn, now you have. Javelynn is the new project by former Ashbury Heights singer Yasmine Uhlin who left AH prior to its legal troubles with its record label. The band features Johan Andersson and Elle  (who joined the duo in 2009).

Judging by what I have heard so far from the band, I am totally excited for fall release of their debut album Chimaera at Heart. I would personally describe their sound as mix of synthpop and electroclash thrown together into a blender. The results is Javelynn. Ashbury Heights this is not but that is a good thing. It is best not to replicate your past band and forge ahead with a new sound, and Yasmine Uhlin has done that with her new group. I am hooked. Rarely am I this excited over a debut album by an up and coming band but I am now with Javelynn.

You can find Javelynn's song "Wannabe" on the new Awake the Machines 7 compilation.

With Ashbury Heights in stuck in limbo and possibly may never make new music ever again, Javelynn will be more than able to fill the void that Ashbury Heights has left in my heart.  To be perfectly honest, Yasmine's vocals is what really made that band special to me. Her departure from AH was a bit of a let down for me although I did love Anders' collaboration with Keri Berg.

I have posted a link to Javelynn's Myspace page at the top of my blog entry. You can also find them on Facebook as well. I hope people who are fans of Ashbury Heights will be as excited as I am over Javelynn's music. Fall can hardly get here soon enough (lots of awesome music to be released that and I am sick of the hot weather here in Minnesota...haha). So please check out Javelynn.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New releases: July to October

July Releases
Mesh - You'll Never Understand/From This Height (July 26)

August Releases
Eden - Electric (August 5)
Agent Side Grinder - Industrial Beauty (August 8)
The Birthday Massacre - Imaginary Monsters w/video (August 9)
Accessory - Underbeat (August 9)
Dance or Die - Nostrodamnation (August 9)
God Module - Rituals (August 9)
Jager 90 - Fleisch macht bose (August 12)
Pakt - Freiheit (August 12)
Caustic - Deuche Ex Machina [digital only] (August 23)
Left Spine Down - Caution (August 23)
Bunnydrums - PKD (August 23)

September Releases
Apoptygma Berzerk - Black EP vol. 2 (September 13)
Download - FiXeR (September 13)
Diary of Dreams - Ego: X (September 13)
God Module - Seance (September 13)
Imperative Reaction - s/t (September 13)
UCNX - Generation Damaged (September 20)
Lords of Acid - Mighty Little Rabbit (September 27)
Melt - Emissions of Hypocrisy (September 27)
Download - Helicopter + Wookie Wall (September 27)
Tobias Lilja - Delerium Portraits (September 27)

October Releases
Shiv-r - This World Erase (October 11)
Electric 6 - Heartbeats and Brainwaves (October 11)
Binary Park - The Deviated (October 11)
System Syn - All Seasons Pass (October 11)
Absolute Body Control - Wind[Re]Wind (October 11)
DarkDriveClinic - Noise in the Head (October 25)
De/Vision - Popgefahr-the Mix (October 25)
Straftanz - Mainstream Sellout Overground (October 25)

Metropolis Records
Storming the Base

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CDs that I have purchased in 2011 (so far)

Today I was thinking of all the cds that I have purchased either online or at a garage sale or a local record store (a few bought with a gift card). I thought it would be interesting to see how many cds that I acquired since the first of the year, and let me tell you it has been quite a few ;-).

Accessory - Above & Beyond
Alison Scott - Chinese Whispers
All My Faith Lost - As You Are Vanishing in Silence
Alphaville - Salvation
Angels On Acid - Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Apoptygma Berzerk - Harmonizer
Apraxia - Trite Permission
Artesia - Llydawl
As/Of - s/t
Azam Ali - From Night to the Edge of Day

Bio - Secret Heroes
Blutengel - Tranenherz

Colony 5 - Buried Again
Combichrist - What the Fuck is Wrong with You People?!
Covenant - Modern Ruins
The Cranes - Loved

Darden Smith - Little Victories
David Bowie - The Best of David Bowie
Decoded Feedback - Aftermath
Decoded Feedback  - Combustion
Dismantled - The War Inside Me

The Echoing Green - The Winter of Our Discontent

Flesh Field - Strain
Funker Vogt - Blutzoll

Holiday Ranch - s/t
Hocico - Tiempos De Fura

In This Moment - Star Crossed Wasteland
Iris - Black Light
i:Scintilla - Optics

Joy Formidable - The Big Roar

Kaiser Cartel - Secret Transit
Kate Bush - The Sensual World
Kirlian Camera - Ghloir Ar An Oiche
Kirlian Camera - Odyssey Europa

Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Leaves' Eyes - Meredead
Lolly Pop - s/t

Otep - Atavist

Phantoms of the SS w/Verney 1826 - Anthem and Procession
Pink - Greatest Hits...So Far
Pristina - Stars and Sirens

The Rope - s/t

Sataray - Mata Utara
Schiller - Breathless
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Superstition
Sirenia - The Enigma of Life
Solitary Experiments - The Great Illusion
SynthetiXXX - Magia De Cuatro

Various Artists - This is Neo-Goth

This is just midway through the year. September has a chockful of goodies for me to splurge on like the new albums by Stray, Diary of Dreams, God Module, Imperative Reaction, and Pop Inc. to just name a few.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best songs of 2011 (so far)

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I made a new playlist on Here are my favorite songs from 2011 (so far).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Exciting concert news for the fall

Yesterday I found out some awesome news via Facebook about two upcoming concerts for the fall (sadly not through Kilted Farmer Koncerts). The first is legendary synthpop act OMD and the second being Ladytron. Here is the concert information for both shows.

OMD September 26 show

Ladytron October Show at Fine Line

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Dolly Pop Song by Bella Lune

New music video by Bella Lune. To say it is colorful would be a gross undertatement. LOL. I noticed that it is age restricted so anyone under 18 can't view the clip.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Face the Beat Vol.1 now available

Face the Beat Vol.1 now available for free

You can't beat free music. Here is the actual link to download the music. You will have to "like" the page on FB. Kudos to Side-Line to putting together this compilation and making it available for free.

Friday, July 1, 2011

CD reviews of the week

This week has been a very good week for me with new music. The cds I ordered online last week arrived this week so I am excited to say the very least. So lets get started.

SynthetiXXX: Magia De Cuatro

SynthetiXXX is a Russian synthpop group that I discovered through A Different Drum Records. What makes this group unique is that all their songs is sung in spanish. Doesn't really make sense but the group surprisngly pulls it off quite well. Magia De Cuatro is quite good. For the most part. There was a 2-3 songs where the melodies fell flat with me and that was like towards the end of the album. Despite a couple of clunkers, the music has a good beat and quite catchy. There is certainly a trance element to the group's sound but I think it is very synthpoppy. I enjoy Evgenia Pryadkina's vocals. She has a very pleasant voice. It isn't too weak or too powerful. Her vocals are never overwhelmed by the music provided by Pavel Pryadkin, Oleg Sergeyev, and Dmitriy Lappo. I definitely think this is worth the $20 I spent on it.

Colony 5: Buried Again

It has officially been a year since I have started listening to Colony 5. The band's best-of compilation Colonisation was my first Colony 5 album and I was immediately hooked. Next came Fixed, and now Buried Again. I must say Buried Again is my favorite. While the music still maintains the group's core synthpop sound, it is obvious by the beats that the guys are taking their music in a heavier direction (more EBM). The songs are still as melodic as their earlier material but set to harsher beats like on "Get Off My Back". I am hoping when the band puts out a new album, the music will pick off where Buried Again left off. If not, I can't complain. I dig their more synthpoppy stuff as well.

Kirlian Camera: Odyssey Europa

Ever since I saw the video for the new Kirlian Camera song "Nightglory", I have been on a Kirlian Camera kick. I decided to splurge and treat myself to Odyssey Europa, a 2 cd best-of compilation (sort of) of the band's music dating back to the 1980s. The 2 cd set features previously unreleased tracks like their cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and different versions of "Blue Room", "Erinnerung", and "Drifting" just to name a few. Disc 1 features the current Kirlian Camera line up while disc 2 features past line ups. It is interesting to compare the past and present sounds of this talented band. I have to admit I do have a soft spot for the more recent material the band has been putting out but I do also enjoy their past material too.

All My Faith Lost: As You're Vanishing in Silence

All My Faith Lost is a recent discovery I found through youtube. I was recommended a clip of their song so needless to say I checked it out and absolutely loved what I heard. So last month I ordered a copy of "As You're Vanishing in Silence". I finally got it earlier this week (item was shipped out from Switzerland). I was not disappointed. The music is very mellow and relaxing. It is a very soothing mix of neo-classical, folk, and darkwave not too different from Lycia and old Black Tape For a Blue Girl. Viola's delicate vocals often remind me of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star but not as whispery or as high as hers. I really enjoy listening to this album at any time of day. The music is enchanting. There is not a single track on the album that I did not care for. The long wait was definitely worth it.

I have also received a copy of Combustion by Decoded Feedback but the music needs to grow on me before I can write a review of it.  The music isn't sticking out with me as Aftermath has. I'll write a review of it when I can