Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 favorite music videos from 2011

With 2011 coming to an end in a few hours, I thought I would end the year with my 10 favorite music videos from this year. Enjoy!

10. Pop Inc - Boulevard of Broken Dreams


09. Lunic - Far Away


08. Chaos All Stars - Autumn Night


07. Spythriller - Nemo


06. Santa Hates You - Raise the Devil


05. Blutengel - Uber den Horizont


04. Miss FD - Love Magick


03. Javelynn - Wannabe


02. Nightwish - Storytime


01. Kirlian Camera - Nightglory

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some upcoming local shows in January

1/06/12 - Countdown to the Apocalypse
Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Line up includes:
Gabriel and the Apocalypse
Pinwheel
I,Corvinus
Uzza

18+ show
Doors @ 9pm, music @ 9:30
$6 presale, $8 at the door
 Online tickets available at ticketfly

01/06/12 - Thought Thieves @ the Fine Line with OBCT, Dissociate, and TBD
Here is the FB event for the show. I was going to go but then I realized that was the same night as GATA's show at the Triple Rock which I really want to go. D'oh!  I definitely recommend checking out Thought Thieves' show since they decided to go in a more synth direction with their music.

1/14/12 - Still Pacific w/The Night, Upstate, DJ Paul Robb (Information Society)
Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Upstate plays first, then Still Pacific, and finally The Night. DJ Paul Robb will be spinning throughout the evening.

1/15/12 - Geodesic, Counterfeit I, Static Image, Dissociate & DJ SLT @ 7th Street Entry
7th Street Entry, 701 First Ave North, Minneapolis, MN

DJ SLT will be spinning in between sets and Shinto Records will be giving out free cds throughout the evening.

Tickets are $5, show begins at 7pm

All shows have FB events.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 10 favorite albums that I bought in 2011

Since I already posted my top 10 list of my favorite albums released this year, I thought I would do the same for the albums that I bought this year but released 1 or more years ago. My top personal favorites are the albums by Omega Lithium, Parralox, and Lily of the Valley. Those albums really stood out with me.

10. Decoded Feedback - Aftermath
09. i:Scintilla - Optics
08. All My Faith Lost - As You're Vanishing in Silence07. Bliss - [Quiet Letters] U.S Edition
06. The Bangles - Everything
05. Colony 5 - Buried Again
04. Kirlian Camera - Odyssey Europa
03. Omega Lithium - Dreams in Formaline
02. Parralox - State of Decay
01. Lily of the Valley - Sounds of the Moments

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seven Christmas Songs by the Innocence Mission

Since I am going to be out of town with very limited internet access, I thought I would post the Seven Christmas songs by The Innocence Mission in honor of the holiday. Enjoy!
Seven Christmas Songs by the innocence mission

I'll be back on Monday night. May post something then or on Tuesday. Same with my FB page.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mind.in.a.Box - Revelations teaser



So looking forward to the new Mind.in.a.Box album Revelations. It sounds amazing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My top 10 albums of 2011

This is the first time when I had actual difficulty trying to put together a top 10 list of my favorite albums of the year. I bought a lot of albums this year. Most of the albums I bought were very good but the ones that really stood out with me were few. As much as I enjoyed the new albums by Diffuzion, God Module and Ladytron, I just didn't think the material was memorable to make it on my top 10 list. So without further ado, here is my top 10 albums of 2011.

10. Scala & Kolacny Brothers - Scala & Kolacny Brothers
09. Khaos Legion - Arch Enemy
08. TC Electropunk Vol.6 - Various Artists
07. Mainstream Sellout Overground - Straftanz
06. Tranenherz - Blutengel
05. Imaginaerum - Nightwish
04. Automatic - VNV Nation
03. Chimaera at Heart - Javelynn
02. Synthesis - The Break Up
01. Nightglory - Kirlian Camera

I really struggled with who was going to be in the top spot on my list. I kept going between The Break Up & Kirlian Camera but in the end Kirlian Camera won. The album has some of the most beautiful melodies and lyrics I have heard all year. I love Eleni Alice Fossi's vocal delivery on the songs such as "Hymn" and "Nightglory". On Synthesis (by The Break Up), Severina Sol's vocals totally wowed me away. She shows more range on the album than any of the albums she has done with Cylab, The Myriad Form, and Diva Destruction. Shane Allen Hall's programming is equally memorizing. I felt like I was taking a trip back to the '80s with the various sounds he created (with the assistance of Sarah Ann Stewart of course).

One of the biggest surprises for me this year was the new Nightwish album Imaginaerum. I had totally written off the band after Dark Passion Play but once I heard the first single "Storytime", I was lured back as a fan. I have to say that I have been enjoying Imaginaerum immensely. It definitely surpasses Dark Passion Play. The album just has better melodies and Anette sounds better as singer especially on "Storytime". Another surprise was Khaos Legion by Arch Enemy. I bought this on a whim at the last garage sale for the season at the Electric Fetus. Found a copy for $1.50. Normally not a death metal fan but I totally dug Khaos Legion.

Like Nightwish, I had totally written off Blutengel after their sub-par, barely mediocre album Schwarzes Eis in 2008/2009. That all changed when I heard "Reich die Mir Hand".  With a new and improved line-up, Blutengel once again made me fall in love with their music.

Overall 2011 has been a fantastic year for music. I am looking forward to 2012 when new albums by Stray, Decoded Feedback, The Frozen Autumn, Mind.in.a.Box, and possibly Assemblage 23.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Motor feat Martin L. Gore "Man Made Machine"


This song almost reminds me of Depeche Mode when the band was still making good albums which was in the '90s. Oops! Did I just say that? ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Albums I am currently listening to

Nightwish: Imaginaerum

I have to admit I am really digging the new Nightwish album. After the so-so Dark Passion Play, I thought I was over Nightwish. I was wrong. When the band unveiled the video for their first single "Storytime", I was hooked. I didn't want to like the song but it was so freaking catchy I couldn't help butlove the song. After a long wait, I finally got my copy of Imaginaerum this weekend. I have been listening to it constantly. The album is so much better than the previous Nightwish album. Anette has definitely won me over. Granted she is no Tarja but that's okay with me now. This album definitely is one of the best releases of 2011. I am most likely going to list it in my top 10 if possible.

Rammstein: Made in Germany

I just picked up a copy of Made in Germany today. I still have yet to listen to disc 2 which features remixes. The first disc is fabulous of course. I am so looking forward to seeing the band for the first time next year.

Diffuzion: Winter Cities

I have to admit this is one of those albums I think needed to grow on me. I kinda prefer their first album Body Code over Winter Cities but not by much. To be brutally honest, the music isn't that all memorable. It does have some good beats and hooks but I think it could have been so much better.

Blue Stone: Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box is my first Blue Stone album. As a big fan of ambient/pop groups like Balligomingo, Conjure One, Delerium, and Amethystium, I figured I would like Blue Stone (especially after their track "Warrior Heart" on a compilation I heard last year). I like Pandora's Box but I was disappointed that the music was ALL instrumentals and no vocals whatsoever.

Nitin Sawhney: The Namesake soundtrack

I recently found a copy of the soundtrack to the film The Namesake. Loved the film score in the film when I first saw it in theaters a few years ago. This is my favorite body of work by Nitin Sawhney. I first heard of Nitin on one of the Buddha Bar compilations. I think he is a terrific artist. Here is one of my favorite tracks from the soundtrack.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My top 10 favorite bands of 2011

10.Nightwish

I have to admit after the band's previous album Dark Passion Play, my interest totally waned. My lack of interest wasn't because of Anette but because I found the material lacking in the spark and passion I had heard when Tarja around. Now that the band has one album under the belt with Anette, apparently the chemistry has finally jelled together. The band totally reignited my interest with their first single "Storytime" off their new album Imaginaerum. I just received my copy of the band's new album and I have to say that the album is fantastic from track 1 to track 13. While Anette can not fill Tarja's void, I consider her as part of Nightwish's next chapter in their career.

09.Blutengel

Blutengel is another band whose recent material left me to question my faithfulness to the band. Their 2008 album Schwarzes Eis left me thoroughly unimpressed. When they put out Soultaker in 2009, I didn't even bother to pay much attention to it. This year when the single "Reich Mir Die Hand" was released, the band definitely got my attention back. With Constance Rudert gone and 2 new additional singers, I have to say that Tranenherz was easily one of Chris Pohl's strongest albums as Blutengel. Love the new singers. It seems that the Blutengel that I came to love several years ago is back in fine form.

08.Straftanz

Straftanz is one of my new favorite bands of 2011. Got to meet the guys in person after the VNV Nation concert last month. They were some of the nicest musicians I had the pleasure to meet. Plus their music is fucking awesome. Bought their album shortly after the show which is also awesome too.

07.Omega Lithium

Excellent band from Poland who blends industrial, metal, and goth music to make some of the catchiest music I have heard in 2011.

06.VNV Nation

I must say Automatic is one of the catchiest albums VNV Nation has ever put out. I find myself listening to it constantly. Their most recent concert I attended was as always so much fun. I love VNV Nation.

05.Lily of the Valley

I discovered this band through FB from one of my friends when he posted a clip of one of their songs from their 2010 album Sounds of the Moments, been hooked ever since then.

04.Scala & Kolacny Brothers

Earlier this fall, I came across Scala & Kolcany Brothers on youtube. It was their cover of The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love". I was hooked and I started to checking out their other songs. Who thought that modern pop/rock music re-done in a choral arrangements would sound so good? The group does some amazing covers. My personal favorite is U2's "With or Without You". That track really sends chills down my spine. Their music is definitely worth checking out. It is amazing how well modern music sounds when sung by an all female chorus.

03. The Break Up

The Break Up is easily one of the best new bands in 2011 that I have heard. Of course it helps a lot that their singer is Severina Sol (from Cylab), my favorite singer in the electro scene. Their album Synthesis is a remastered version of their 2010 debut album with a few new tracks (I believe). Severina really shows what she is capable as a singer which I rarely hear with her work in Cylab, often reminding me of Siouxsie Sioux at times. The band's music is a throwback to the '80s. I hear a lot of Missing Persons, Berlin, and The Human League.

02.Javelynn

For most of 2011 I had been waiting to hear what former Ashbury Heights singer Yasmine Yaz Uhlin had to offer with her new project Javelynn. The wait was so worth it. Javelynn's music is a far cry from her days in Ashbury Heights. The music reminds me of Fischerspooner and Goldfrapp (Black Cherry era) with its electroclash beats. The music is a ton of fun to listen and dance to.

01.Kirlian Camera

My FAVORITE band of 2011. After hearing their songs "Nightglory" and "Hymn" (a cover of the Ultravox classic) earlier this year, it was right then and there that I really started appreciating and enjoying the legendary Italian dark electropop band. I always did like them before but it was their songs "Nightglory" and "Hymn" (both found on their new album Nightglory) did I really become a huge fan of Kirlian Camera.  I won't say where their new album ranks on my best of list (which I will publish before Christmas) but it definitely is in my top 5 best of list.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My top 10 favorite songs from 2011


MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a playlist at MixPod.com

Unlike the last playlist I posted, these songs are all songs released in 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My top 10 favorite concerts of 2011

Since my concert season has pretty much come to an end for 2011, I decided to post my favorite concerts that I attended this year.

10. Legends of Synthpop - This was the third time I had seen De/Vision live. I have always enjoyed seeing them and they did not let me down for a second. This time they were touring with Mesh and Iris. I wasn't impressed with Mesh (who played last at GZ) so I left during their set (had work the next day anyways). Liked Iris but I can't really say they are one of my favorite bands in the synthpop genre.

09. Front Line Assembly with Dismantled, Cyanotic, and DJ Acucrack - This was one of those rare moments when an opening band blew the headliner out of the water for me. Absolutely LOVED Dismantled. FLA was definitely cool though. Always wanted to see FLA live. DJ Acucrack was alright but not my cup of tea. Cyanotic was pretty damn cool. Almost forgot to mention them. lol

08. GATA cd release party - This is is one of my favorite local shows I attended this year. It was the CD release party for New World Disaster (which I love). GATA has definitely grown on me since I first saw them in 2010 as one of the opening bands for Lords of Acid. I know Screaming Mechanical Brains was one of the bands that opened up for them, forgot the other 2 (the first I missed). As much as I love GATA's cds they really don't match the band's live sound which is totally phenomenal. Can hardly wait to see them next month at the Triple Rock.

07. Ladytron with Sonoio - This was my first time I saw Ladytron. I missed them the last time they were in town. Probably just as well since their sound at First Ave didn't sound so hot according to a friend of mine. The show at Fine Line was excellent. Played a good mix of old and new songs. Their opening act Sonoio was pretty damn cool.

06. Souless Affection with The Rope - This was at Ground Zero featuring a fashion show and I think some burlesque too. One of my favorite local bands (Souless Affection) was playing its final gig in the Twin Cities before moving to Texas and a new up and coming local band The Rope provided the music. Souless Affection was one of those bands that made me realize that the local music scene in the Twin Cities wasn't as lame as I used to think that it was when I first moved back to Minneapolis from Milwaukee, WI. Loved their brand of aggrotech. I saw them twice when Angels on Acid played at Ground Zero . The Rope is an excellent post-punk band that reminds me of both Danzig and Bauhaus with maybe a bit of Dominion.

05. Conjure One with VOSHO and Little Tin Box - What a treat seeing Conjure One live was. Definitely one of my favorite bands in the last several years. The 2 opening acts for this show were local VOSHO (who made their debut performance that night) and a reunited Little Tin Box. I enjoyed both bands as much as I did with Conjure One. Conjure One played all my favorite songs so no complaints from me.

04. The Bangles w/Half Demon Dolls - There aren't many bands that I grew up listening to that I still listen to to this very day. The Bangles is one of those rare bands. I have always wanted to see them live in concert so much to my delight I finally got to see them live. I was not disappointed. The band that opened up for them was a local alternative rock band called Half Demon Dolls. For a band as young as HDD, I was impressed by what they have accomplished. I do wished that I had seen The Bangles when Michael Steele was still performing with them before she retired but nevertheless, great show.

03. VNV Nation with Straftanz - I have yet to see VNV Nation live and be disappointed. VNV really knows how to put on a good fun show. Wished that it was at Ground Zero though. Straftanz was equally amazing.

02. Lords of Acid with Angelspit - The 2011 Lords of Acid show was definitely one of my 2 top highlights of this yeard. Absolutely LOVED them. Praga Khan definitely found the right woman to sing for the band. As for  Angelspit, well, my mother always says if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

01. Combichrist with iVardensphere, Starkiller, and GATA - This is definitely my favorite concert of 2011. I thought it was a better show than their show at The Cabooze in 2010. I did the VFIM deal again and that was even more fun the first time around. Got to meet Abbeynex from Morbid Angel/Genitorturers. The whole show itself totally blew me away. I had better view of the bands and got better photos from the concert too. I didn't get tired so easily (probably because I moved around a lot as well as sat at a table for awhile).

Honorable mentions:TC Electropunk 6 cd release party
Thought Thieves cd release party
Static Image with Doubleplusten and As/Of at Station 4

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Electronic Saviors Vol.2: Recurrance track listing

This afternoon I just came across a link on Facebook for Electronic Saviors Vol.2. What did I notice on the sixth disc? Lo and behold Sensuous Enemy with the song "RE:Mission". Proceeds for the compilation will be going to Gilda's Club/Cancer Support Community (http://www.gildasclub.org/) and The Bone Marrow Foundation (http://www.bonemarrow.org/). At the moment the compilation is in the final stages of production and the art work/packaging has begun. No word on the release date but once I find out, I will post the information here and on my FB page.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 releases that I bought this year

I thought I would start working on my best of list this week by listing all the 2011 releases that I bought this year. I am still waiting for my copy of the new Nightwish album. It finally was shipped out this week. I should know a couple of the albums on this list were given to me free like Krista by Thought Thieves and the latest Electropunk compilation. I have bought a few more albums that were released this year but I hated them & sold them like right away on ebay. All of the albums listed here are still in my music collection.

Arch Enemy - Khaos Legion
Awake the Machines vol.7
Azam Ali - From Night to the Edge of Day
Bella Morte - Here With Me
The Birthday Massacre - Imaginary Monsters
Blue Stone - Pandora's Box
Blutengel - Tranenherz
The Break Up - Synthesis
Cities 97 Sampler vol. 23
Covenant - Modern Ruins
Diffuzion - Winter Cities
Dismantled - The War Inside Me
Doubleplusten - Hourglass
Evanescence - self-titled
Gabriel and the Apocalypse - New World Disaster
God Module - Seance
Guano Apes - Bel Air
Haberdashery - Tonight the Angels
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Pt. 2
Javelynn - Chimaera at Heart
Kirlian Camera - Nightglory
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer
Mina Harker - Bittersuiss
Natalia Kills - Perfectionist
Necro Facility - Wintermute
Nightwish - Imaginaerum
OTEP - Atavist
Qkumba Zoo - letthelightin
The Rope - self-titled
Scala & Kolacny - self-titled
Sirenia - The Enigma of Life
Solitary Experiments - The Great Illusion
Static Image - self-titled
Statik Sky - They Look to the Sky
Straftanz - Mainstream Sellout Overground
Synthetixxx - Magia De Cuatro
Thought Thieves - Krista
Twin Cities Electropunk vol.6
Within Temptation - The Unforgiving
VNV Nation - Automatic

Now the fun part  will be going through the process of elimination for my top 10 (maybe 20) best of list. I will definitely try to keep it to just ten albums. I plan on posting my list definitely before I go out of town for Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twin Cities Electropunk Volume 6

Twin Cities Electropunk volume6

Last weekend I attended the cd release party for the new volume of TC Electropunk 6 at Club Underground. This is free compilation of local bands in the Twin Cities (Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota for my foreign readers)that comes out every year. What do all these bands have in commmon? They are all part of the underground electro scene in the Twin Cities. The scene may not be big but it is obvious to me that it is a tight little community that clearly shows a lot of love for each other.

Prior to volume 6, I have only heard volume 5 and to be brutally honest, I wasn't crazy about it. At least at the time. I might have to pull out my copy out of storage and give it another chance. Volume 6 I liked right from the get go. A lot of the bands on the disc I am very familiar like POP INC, Thought Thieves, Little Tin Box, AS/OF, and Thosquanta. The sounds are very diverse ranging from the electropop sounds of The Night to the industrial/metal sounds of OBCT. While there are about 2-3 tracks that I wasn't really feeling, the majority of the compilation is truly a joy to listen to. I also discovered a few gems that I had no knowledge of until now.

One of the tracks that really stood out with me is "The Carousel (Planktoon Mix)" by Mach FoX.

This is a song that is right up my alley. Totally sounds it came straight out of Germany or one of the Scandinavian countries where a lot of my favorite EBM/synthpop bands originate from. So to know that Mach FoX is from my neck of the woods is pretty damn awesome.

Another personal fave is "Love Kills" by The BlackLight.

The song is in that industrial/rock vein similiar to i:Scintilla.

Overall the compilation, not to mention series is a great introduction to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. If anything the series shows that there is a burgeoning electro scene in the metro area that I THINK is worth checking out. Oh and at the top of the blog is a link to the bandcamp page where you can download it for free. I do hope though that in the future bands like Ana Robik, The Rope and Gabriel and the Apocalypse will contribute to the series. Just my $0.02 though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trent Reznor plans on spending 2012 working on new NIN music

I admit I am not a fan of NIN. For some odd reason, his music never resonated with me.  That said, for those who are, I have some great news. Trent Reznor is planning on spending 2012 creating new NIN music.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Side-Line 2011 awards nominees

It's that time of year again folks! Side-Line 2011 awards nominees

I already submitted my votes. I thought I would post my nominees.

Best Band: Kirlian Camera


Best Newcomer: Javelynn

Best Album: Synthesis by The Break Up


Best Single: Nightglory by Kirlian Camera


Best Label: Out of Line

Best Concert: VNV Nation with Straftanz

Best Magazine: Gothic Beauty

Best E-Magazine: Side-Line
Best E-Shop: Out of Line

Sunday, December 4, 2011

TC Electropunk 6 CD release party

TC Electropunk 6 CD release party
Here are last night's photos that I took at the TC Electropunk 6 CD release party. I stayed for most of the night. I left prior to As/Of's set because I was tired and not feeling all that great.  Everyone who went to the show got a free copy of the cd. FYI...you can also download it for free on bandcamp. My favorite set of the night was by the Thought Thieves. The band has recently decided to go in a more synth direction which I personally think they should have done a long time ago. Not that I didn't love their synth-rock sound but the new direction they have taken has really made me love the band even more so.

I have to admit I am not really crazy about Avenpitch (at least the vocals live) but I will say that they are a real hoot to watch, namely their lead singer who has all the energy and spunk of a 13 year old (and I say that in a good way). Who else could wonder all over the stage and club while singing effortlessly. I do though have liked what few songs I have heard recorded. Best song of the night had to be Avenpitch's "Manscaping". Holy crap! I was LMAO through out the entire song.

I was really pleased with what I have heard from The Night. I have always wanted to see the duo live and I was definitely not disappointed. The band has a show coming up at the 7th Street Entry on the 21st but I probably won't go since it is on a work night and I really just don't like going out during the work week to be honest.

 Also enjoyed sets by Albuterol, OneNeoEon, OBCT, and Kether. All in all it was a good night for me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Electropunk 6 CD Release show tomorrow night

For anyone in the metro area looking for something to do this weekend, tomorrow night is the Electropunk 6 CD release show at Club Underground (355 Monroe St NE. Minneapolis, MN). Show begins at 8pm. Cover fee is $5. Everyone who attends the show will receive a free copy of the new volume in the Electropunk series.  There will be 2 stages. Here is the FB event for the show. It includes the schedule for the bands performing that night. I for one am looking forward to seeing Thought Thieves, The Night, As\Of, and Albuterol (whom I have seen as one of the opening acts for Unter Null last year).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Break Up - Synthesis

The Break Up



Synthesis is the debut album by the Seattle band The Break Up. The band consists of Shane Allen Hall, Severina Sol, Rey Guajardo, and Sarah Ann Stewart. For some people, Severina Sol is most notably known for her work in Cylab as well as Fockewolf, and the first Diva Destruction album. The Break Up first came to my attention with Jennifer Parkin of Ayria mentioned the band. When I saw that my favorite singer Severina Sol was in the band, that immediately made me love them right from the word go. Earlier this year, the band put out a music video for the song "My Machine" and when I heard that I couldn't help but think this is the love child between Cylab and Ayria. It goes without saying that I was excited about their debut album.

Right before Thanksgiving, I received my copy of Synthesis from Metropolis Records. I have not been able to stop listening to the album. The music is a mix of various musical genres thrown together into a food processor and blended together to create an eclectic mix of retro and modern electropop. As a diehard Cylab fan, I can not help but hear a bit of Severina Sol's other band but that is due mostly to her smooth, seductive vocals. As I continued to listen to the album, I could also hear a bit of The Human League, Missing Persons, Berlin, and more importantly Siouxsie Sioux (especially on the track "Come Undone"). Considering  the diverse sounds on the album, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the songs flowed together as opposed to sounding disjointed or out of whack so to speak. From a technical standpoint, I think Synthesis really showcases Severina Sol's talents as a singer. Her vocal range on this album truly shines through especially on songs like "Come Undone" and "The Sun". I think with the diverse sounds of The Break Up, Severina Sol is allowed to really let loose. I get chills when she sings on "The Sun". The one song that really gets my groove on is the title track with its gritty electro beats and fetching pop hooks. What a fantastic way to close out this delightful album. I definitely recommend this album without a shadow of a doubt.

2011 has been another great year for music. I heard 2 great new debut albums...one being Chimaera at Heart by Javelynn, and the other Synthesis by The Break Up.