Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wannabe - Javelynn

What a nice surprise I found this morning on Facebook...a music video for the song "Wannabe" by Javelynn.

You know what this means? Their album is going to be released in just under a month away. Yay for me! I have been waiting for this release by the former singer from Ashbury Heights.

If that isn't exciting enough, Chimaera at Heart is now available for pre-order. I pre-ordered myself a copy. It only ended up costing me $22 in US dollars. Album will be released on 10/28. I can hardly wait. Same day the new Kirlian Camera album Nightglory comes out. Yay! I'll probably pre-order it later next month. lol

Saturday, September 24, 2011

CD reviews of the week

Since it has been awhile since I last posted some CD reviews, I decided to just make this latest entry short and brief since I have bunch of new stuff that is making my ears very happy :).

Arch Enemy: Khaos Legion

This was one of the six cds I picked up today at the Electric Fetus' last garage sale of the year. I don't know what compelled me to get it (maybe the cheap ass price of $1.50) but I got it. I tried listening to them years ago but at the time didn't care for their brand of metal and Angela's singing. Fast forward 6-7 years later, I am glad because I am really enjoying the Swedish death metal band's latest album. The music is aggressive yet melodic. I am even enjoying Angela Gossow's vocals. Really solid metal album. Lots of energy, melodies, and aggression. It will be great to listen to it at the office.

Schiller: Voyage

This is another cd I picked up today. I am a relatively new fan of Schiller's brand of electronica music. It is a pleasant mix of pop, ambient, classical, and trance. I am particularly fond o the track "Dream of You" (featuring ex-Wolfsheim singer Peter Heppner).

Hooverphonic: A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular

I used to own this album years ago, long before I got into industrial and synthpop msuic. I found this album today at the same garage sale. I decided to get it because I missed listening to the trip hop track "2Wicky". It's a good trip hop album but I am more fond of Blue Power Wonder Milk than I am of this album. I really wasn't crazy on some of the beats I heard, plus I think the material on BPWM is stronger and much more compelling. Better melodies and beats. Still it is good to hear this album again.

I also bought a few more cds at the garage sale but I have yet to listen to them so I'll write about them once I have.

Culture Kultur: Spirit

This is my favorite futurepop album right now. Their song "Love WilL Tear Us Apart" (originally done by Joy Division) was on my recommended section on youtube. One thing led to another, I was hooked on their music. I ended up ordering Spirit online. I adore this group from Spain. The music often reminds me of Wolfsheim and Covenant. While I like their Joy Division cover, I don't know if it was really necessary to include it on the album. Personally I think they should have just included the track as a b-side. Just my $0.02.

God Module: Seance

I am really enjoying the latest God Module cd but I would be dishonest to say that it was flawless. It isn't. I love Clint Carney but his tracks that he sings on "Into the Outside" and "Rember & Extinct" are the only 2 tracks that I have to hit the skip button. I honestly don't think his vocal stylings are suited for the aggrotech sounds of God Module but that is just my personal opinion. I do love his work with System Syn. I felt that his vocals on Seance felt forced. The rest of the album though is fantastic. I just love the song "Devil's Night" (which is also on Awake the Machines vol.7.

The Birthday Massacre: Imaginary Monsters

It's really odd. I really didn't care for the last TBM album Pins and Needles but when I heard the songs on the band's new EP Imaginary Monsters I took to them like a duck to water. Maybe because the new tracks didn't sound like a regurgitated versions of Walking With Strangers.  I think I will have to hear Pins and Needles again to see if my attitude towards the album has changed. I really love the title track a lot so I think it would be unfair to not give the album another chance.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marsheaux

Marsheaux is a Greek synthpop band that I have been currently obsessing over (asides from Parralox). They have been around since 2003. I first heard of their music on the latest Awake the Machines compilation. Lately I have been listening to their music online. Tonight I compiled a bunch of their songs on to a playlist for people to listen to. I just love their retro '80s vibe in their music.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finally! An official release date for Chimaera at Heart by Javelynn

This morning I finally got the good news of when Javelynn's debut album Chimaera at Heart finally comes out.

Release date is 10/27. I am so excited. This is one of my top 3 most highly anticipated fall releases. Posted is a collection of snippets from the album. You can also find a couple of full length tracks on youtube.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Songs that should not be covered by other artists any more

Today while heading home from work, I came across an article on Salon.com about the criminal overuse of "Hallelujah".  Love Leonard Cohen and I do love the late Jeff Buckley's version but by gawd that song needs to stop being re-interpretated by other artists.  Then I read this horrific article about Susan Boyle covering Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence". Needless to say, this inspired tonight's blog which is about songs that people needs to stop remaking (or butchering) because it has worn out its welcome with me.

I love the Josh Groban version of "You Raise Me Up". It sends chills down my spine. Celtic Woman's version isn't too shabby either (prefer the live version from their first dvd) but everyone else's version of the song ranging from  Westlife, Becky Taylor (a UK kid version of Celine Dion ...blech!), and Selah is just vomit inducing or just simply bland and boring. Enough with the damn song already. Write your own song.

I recently saw a live video clip of Linkin Park covering Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". Can we say lame? Plus youtube is full of amateur no-talents trying to sing their version of the hit song. IMO the only person (other than Adele) who is good at singing the song is Vicci Martinez from The Voice.
I love Vicci's version as much as I love Adele. And yes I did watch the first season of The Voice. I admit it. LOL

Love this song by The Smiths, hate the cover versions especially the one by that crappy group TATU. Worst cover version ever.

Granted not a huge fan of this song. I do like Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" but it is not my favorite new wave song however I am a lesser fan of those who try to cover the song like Marilyn Manson and Access Zero (a really kick ass synthpop band).


Dear Goldfinger: your version sucked donkey balls. Please don't ever do a cover of a classic '80s song because you will end up butchering it beyond recognition. To my readers: listen at your own risk. LOL

Here is another classic from my youth that should never be covered ever again. Hear that Jason Mraz, Bowling for Soup, and Sugarcult?

Do I really need to explain this Joy Division classic? I mean really, how many versions does the public really need to be subjected to? There are too many covers, most horrendous (including Dave Gahan's version).

So long story short I think it is high time for the music industry to give these songs a rest and stop ruining the integrity of them by remaking them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

VNV Nation - Automatic


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I must say I am really digging the new VNV Nation. I finally was able to hear the album in its entirety. I will definitely be putting a pre-order for the new album soon. I would prefer to actually buy from the band either from their website or at their concert but their website doesn't have a functioning online store and the Saint Paul show isn't until 11/28.  For me, patience is not a virtue ;). Considering my cd collection, I do buy music to show my support favorite artists and I do encourage people to do the same.

The album begins to a very good start with the track "Air", a gorgeous instrumental. It really sets the tone and mood for the album. I knew right from the start that this album is going to be EPIC. The next song "Space & Time" really kicks it up a notch. The beats, the melodies, the lyrics...they all work so well together. The song (as well as the whole album) just makes me want to dance. I will have to admit I am not all that crazy about the song "Control" as I am with, well, just about every other song on the album. The beats are good and has a ton of energy to make me want to dance however the melodies is lacking the grandeur and beauty of "Nova (Shine a Light On Me)" and "Gratitude". Asides from "Control", the album comes pretty close to being flawless in my personal opinion. I have seen quite a few VNV Nation haters on sites like Side-Line but you know what? They can kiss my goddamn ass for all I care. I'll take VNV over mainstream music nowadays. For me VNV can do no wrong, and they have once again created an album that takes my breath away with their new album Automatic.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A few of new tracks from VNV Nation's new album Automatic

This morning I just found a few new tracks uploaded onto youtube from the new VNV Nation album Automatic. The songs are sooooo good. I am really excited. I plan on pre-ordering a hard copy. For me, I prefer cds over digital mp3s. For those who can't wait until October 11, the album is available to download.
















Edit: I just added some more tracks from Automatic that I found on youtube not long ago. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Parralox

Tonight I was listening to a bunch of songs by the Australian electropop group Parralox. I am so hooked. Their music is so infectious. I decided to create a 10 song playlist of the songs I listened to tonight. I definitely plan on buying their music as soon as possible. Wish I can find their stuff at my favorite record stores as opposed to buying online. Oh well, either way, I need to add Parralox to my cd collection. Enjoy!


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Monday, September 12, 2011

My current musical obsession: Culture Kultur

A few days ago I went on my youtube home page and under the recommendations section, I saw a clip of Culture Kultur's cover of Joy Divsion's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". While it was a fine cover, I decided to check out their other songs. I think "Wonder" was the first original track I heard by the Spanish duo. Of course I fell in love with it. The more songs I heard by the group, the more I was hooked. Tonight I made a little playlist of their music.

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I hope that people will enjoy their songs as much as I do. Oh and today I couldn't help myself and ordered a copy of Spirit, the band's most recent album. LOL! I had listened to a few tracks off their album and totally dug what I had heard. I am such a music junkie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My tribute to the tenth anniversary of 9/11

In response to the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. I decided to create a playlist as some form of a personal tribute to those whose lives were taken unexpectedly and too soon.



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I almost forgot to mention this earlier tonight but for $5.99 each, you can download the compilations In the Praise of the Fallen volume 1 and volume 2. All proceeds goes to help the first responders from 9/11.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gabriel and the Apocalypse CD release party at The Cabooze

Gabriel and the Apocalypse CD release party
So last night I went to The Cabooze for Gabriel and the Apocalypse CD release party. I had been looking forward to seeing GATA live again. Their set during the Combichrist concert back in May totally kicked ass. The band had three opening bands: Caustic Vision, Whither the Tide, and Screaming Mechanical Brain. I missed Caustic Vision's set but did catch Whither the Tide and Screaming Mechanical Brain's performances. I personally preferred Screaming Mechanical Brain's set. They were a real hoot to watch. Over the top would be putting it mildly. Also during the night, there were drawings for $50 gift certificates for Rockin' Tattoos.

As for Gabriel and the Apocalypse, they put in an excellent live set. I personally think their albums really don't do the band justice. While at the show last night, I picked up their new album New World Disaster. After hearing the songs from their previous album so many times, it is great to hear new material from GATA. As much as I like Into the Afterglow, New World Disaster is definitely a better album. Considering that tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occured in NYC, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, I find it purely coincidental the timing of the release of New World Disaster with the 10th anniversary. Or maybe it isn't coincidental. Whatever the case, the raw lyrics will most likely hit home for anyone who knows someone that was seriously maimed or killed on 9/11 ten years ago. The lyrics are bleak and angst ridden. Of all the songs, the lyrics to "Silent War" is my personal favorite. The song is just bloody terrific. Good hooks, good musicianship from the band. I personally think Lindy sounds better on this album. As I have said before, I don't think the album can really do the band justice. If  you want to get an idea of the full power and aggression of GATA's music, I definitely recommend going to their shows whenever they are in town. They are one of my favorite bands to see live (whether local or national).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Album teasers for the new iVardensphere album APOK

Judging by the snippets, the new iVardensphere album APOK sounds incredible. I really like what little I heard from their collaboration with i:Scintilla. Sounds like that song is just off the hook.
APOK (New Album Teasers) by iVardensphere

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New God Module and another new track from System Syn

New God Module video. It is for the song "Doppelganger" off their upcoming album Seance which drops a week from today. So excited for the album.


Here is another track off the new System Syn album All Seasons Pass.

Monday, September 5, 2011

CD Reviews of the Week

Mina Harker: Bittersuess

I bought the new Mina Harker album not long ago after I first heard the track "Macht" on the new Awake the Machines compilation that I had ordered online. I really dug what I had heard so I bought Mina Harker's new album. The album Bittersuess was definitely worth the money. The music is super catchy. Mina Harker's music is classified as being electropop and most of the music does fit the category however there is a rock edge to the songs as well with the guitar heavy tracks like "Macht" and Rache Ist Suss". All the songs are sung in German but I personally don't mind. The infectious melodies and Mina's distinctive vocals makes listening to the album a lot of fun. As much fun as it is to hear Mina rock out, I also like it when she slows down a bit like on "Fort Von Mir". This is where the electropop label comes in. The music is clearly electronic.

There is a second disc included in the album featuring a couple of rare tracks, a remix (of the title track), and some live/acoustic tracks. Normally I am not wild about a bonus disc featuring live and/or remix tracks but the songs on the second disc isn't terrible. I actually enjoyed listening to the songs. Where they absolutely necessary? To be honest, no. Overall I enjoyed Bittersuess. Definitely worth my money.

Bella Morte: Before the Flood

Last week I started listening to some of Bella Morte's new album Before the Flood online. I found myself enjoying some of the songs off their new album quite a bit. I ended up acquiring a copy of their new album over the weekend. In the past I have never been all that crazy about Bella Morte's music but I find myself liking their new album a lot. The songs on the album are more melodic than what I have heard on past album. I really like how the band changes it up on "Lights in the Sky" with the additional programming, giving it a more electronic sound, a sound that I rarely heard on the few previous BM albums I had listened to. One of my personal favorite songs is the gorgeous ballad Here With Me. This is the song that convinced me that I should add it to my cd collection. My other favorite song on the album is "The Morning Sun" with its radio-friendly pop hooks. Before the Flood is a terrific album. I am glad I bought the album, let alone gave Bella Morte another chance.

Dance or Die: Nostradamnation

I really wanted to like this album but I found it to be so incredibly monotonous. Their music reminds me of Solitary Experiments and Project Pitchfork but a lot more repetitive. Oh and I saw this in the metal section of The Electric Fetus. I was like WTF?! Dance or Die is anything but metal.

Natalia Kills: Perfectionist

I first heard of Natalia Kills earlier this year when I went to see Robyn at First Avenue. Natalia Kills was one of the 2 opening acts on Robyn's American tour. Although her set was extremely short, I was immediately hooked on her brand of pop music. Fast forward several months later, Natalia Kills finally released her debut album Perfectionist on CherryTree Records. Natalia Kills may not be Bob Dylan or Tom Waits in the songwriting department. The silly lyrics is my only beef with the album like with "Free" and "Acid Annie". The album is just loaded with sugary pop hooks guaranteed to get stuck in your head. I particularly love the songs "Wonderland", "Love is a Suicide", "Mirrors", and "If I Was a God". The songs are addictive. Crack for my ears  mind you. The pop hooks are super heavy on the pop melodies. I hope as her career progresses that her lyrics improves. Only time will tell I suppose.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Static Image, DoublePlusTen, and As l Of at Station 4 on 09.02.11

Static Image, DoublePlusTen, and As/Of at Station 4






I am going to let the photos and video clips I took on Friday night at Station 4 speak for themselves. I will say this that the show was a lot of fun. Friday night was the first live performance for Static Image. All that rehearsing they did at Oni Sakti's home really paid off well. In general all the bands sounds great live and that their cds really can't compare to the energy they all put into their live shows. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long to see Static Image live again. You can see As \ Of this coming Monday at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. I will post the details on the FB page for The Twin Cities Underground.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Static Image at Station 4 tonight with DoublePlusTen and as l of

My good friend Tracey Setterlund will be making his first live performance with his group Static Image at Station 4 in Saint Paul tonight. This is a huge deal for him and his bandmate Jesse (formerly of Souless Affection). Details can be found here on the Facebook event. I am excited. I really like what I have heard on  the cd I got from Tracey back in May. It will be interesting how his music will translate live. From what I know, he and Jesse has been rehearsing a lot with the help of Oni Sakti (of Shinto Records). I am confident their first live set will go over well. Of course I will take photos for my blog as well as The Twin Cities Underground FB page which will be uploaded sometime over the weekend. Hope to see a good number of people at the show.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Metropolis Records Summer Sale coming to an end

Metropolis Records's summer sale is coming to an end this coming Tuesday. They have a ton of good stuff on sale. Over the summer I bought cds by  Accessory and Alphaville from the label. Most cds are about $9.99, few are less than that amount. Here are some recommendations for anyone interested in buying a cd or more from the label:

Satellites by Cylab
Aftermath by Decoded Feedback
Viscera by God Module
Breedless by Ego Likeness
NOOB by De/Vision
Salvation by Alphaville
Modern Ruin by Covenant

Those are just some ideas but you don't have to get them. I am particularly fond of the Cylab and God Module cds ;).