Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Review

It is that time of year again...time for me to reflect on the outgoing year whether it was good or bad. Music-wise, 2013 was a great year. That is if you get past a certain ditzy pop star and her public shenanigans (whom I refuse to mention her name on my blog) in an attempt to shed her child star image and make that transition into adulthood.

I don't know if I can say 2013 was the best year ever for music. That would really be stretching things a bit for me. To be blunt, there were quite a few disappointments this year, more so than in previous years. I was really unimpressed with the new albums by The Civil Wars (whose two members are experiencing their own civil war with each other), Covenant, VNV Nation, Lady Gaga, and Skinny Puppy to just name a few. But for every disappointing album, there is more albums that I heard this year that I do love. Tales of Us by Goldfrapp, Autumn Ruins by Blume,  The Bones of What We Believe by Chvrches, and Kamikakushi by MergingMoon is evidence just how good 2013 was good for music.

Discovered quite a few new bands this year especially from Japan. The thrash metal band MergingMoon was the first of a handful of Japanese underground bands that I discovered. Of all places, I had heard about them via the idiot box (i.e television). Then there is the cyberpunk band Baal who has a debut album coming out on Metropolis Records thanks to Cevin Key of Skinny Puppy. They even came to the US (Los Angeles I believe) to play a show. Other bands I should mention is 2 Bullet, Psydoll, and Valkilly.

Asides from those bands, this year for me was the year of Noblesse Oblige. I believe it was the Absolute Grrrls Manifesto Chapter One compilation that was my first introduction to the band. When I first heard their track "The Great Electrifier", I could have sworn I was listening to Kirlian Camera set to dance beats. When the video for "Runaway" came out soon after I had gotten the Alfa Matrix compilation, I knew this German/Parisian duo was going to be my favorite find of 2013 (like Future Perfect was for me in 2012). While a lot of people in the scene are listening to the more recognizable bands, I am trying to break out of that rut and really push bands who aren't as recognizable like Noblesse Oblige. Other faves includes: Junksista (their lyrics cracks me up and I adore the way Diana delivers the lyrics, she has such a distinct manner in which she sings that makes her stands out from a lot of singers today), and Mr.Kitty (a young but really talented guy from Texas).

Concert-wise: 2013 definitely was a great year for concerts. I went to a lot of local shows as well as national shows. There are three local bands that I am keeping my eye out on...Absynthe of Faith (who was formed in 2007 but just started seeing them live this year) and Promidal. Promidal is easily my current favorite local band. They have such a visual presence and sound that sticks with the audience members. I find their live shows highly entertaining. Absynthe of Faith has really grown a lot on me since I first saw them live at Club Underground earlier this year. They keep getting better with every live show I have seen. Finally there is F.T.C. At the moment, Jesse has had to deal with stuff going on in his personal life so F.T.C is temporarily on hold but from what I have heard, F.T.C's music is quite good. I definitely can hear a bit of FLA in F.T.C's music. Can't wait to see F.T.C live again.

As far as big named concerts I have attended this year, I have to say my favorites are (in this particular order): Ego Likeness, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, Sarah Brightman, The Foreign Resort with The Bellwether Syndicate (I even had the privilege to interview The Foreign Resort for my blog before the concert), and Project Pitchfork with Ayria. I dug The Azoic's set when they came to town as opening act for Combichrist but I didn't enjoy Combichrist's set so much no thanks to the rowdiness of the younger fans. That bump on my head I got from a fan's elbow was so NOT my favorite highlight of 2013, nor was being nearly knocked down to the floor (reminded me of the time when I got slammed into some poor woman by some drunk ass morons at the Faith and the Muse show in 2009).

2013 is the year I started get back into heavy metal music. Well some of it anyways. I already went through MergingMoon on a few occasions here so I won't bore ya with them again ;). Really digging the live concert CD/DVD of Showtime,Storytime by Nightwish. Floor Jansen is just what the band really needed in the post-Tarja era. Anette just didn't do anything for me but I love what Floor Jansen brings to the table as the band's new singer. I am also loving the new Tristania album Darkest Whites. Never thought I would like that band but I do now. I started listening to them after hearing "Year of the Rat" on the Absolute Grrrls Manifesto compilation. I know this band is pretty cheesy in their heyday but I love Vixen. Started listening to them again after hearing the awful news that the band's founder Jan Kuehnemund passed away, for the first time in about 20 years. Loved their first two albums as a teenager, and now as an adult, I find that I still love them to this very day.

While 2013 was not totally perfect, it certainly proved to be an interesting and compelling year for music for this music junkie. I am looking forward to what 2014 will bring both albums-wise and concerts-wise. I have posted links to some of the bands I have mentioned here on my blog. Please do check them out.


Monday, December 30, 2013

My top 10 favorite music videos from 2013

10. "Lies" by Inertia

09. "The Fountain of Clouds" by Kirlian Camera

08. "Eye in the Sky" by Parralox

07. "Life is Unfair (And Love is a Bitch)" by Junksista

06. "Foreplay" by Promidal

05. "We Three Kings" By The Mediaeval Baebes

04. "You Walk Away" by Blutengel

03. "This Means War (feat. Joanna Stevens)" by Sleepthief

02. "Paradise (What About Us?)" by Within Temptation (feat.Tarja Turunen)

01. "Hotel California" by Noblesse Oblige

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of 2013: Arc of a Dream by Otto's Daughter

Otto's Daughter: Arc of a Dream

This is a latecomer to my long list of best of 2013 candidates. I have been an admirer of Otto's Daughter since MySpace back in the mid 2000's. Their music is blend of pop, metal, electronic, and disco music fronted by Jacqueline van Bierk. When I saw that they had a new album up for pre-order a couple of weeks ago, I decided now was the time to show my support and buy it. I am really glad that I did. The album is melodic yet aggressive. As I am listening to Arc of a Dream for heaven knows how many times I have listened to it, I can hear a bit of Shirley Manson in her voice minus the Scottish accent. You can listen to some of the new album on the band's reverbnation page, also you can download it via CDBABY link that I posted at the top of the page. If you dig the sounds of Kidneythieves, I think you would dig Otto's Daughter.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Albums I am currently listening

It has been awhile since I posted the music I have been listening to lately. Let me tell you, I am listening to a lot of good stuff. Recently got some free music from a friend so a few of those albums are included on this list. My latest purchases are the Android Lust and Otto's Daughter cds. I am really digging the new Otto's Daughter album immensely.

Endless Blue - Smoke Through It

OMD - English 

Android Lust - The Human Animal

Combichrist - Everybody Hates You

Voltaire - To The Bottom of the Sea

Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe

Otto's Daughter - Arc of a Dream

Bella Morte - The Best of Bella Morte 1996-2012

Hollowstone - Rite of Existence

Ego Likeness - Treacherous Thing

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My 10 favorite bands that I discovered in 2013

Title of tonight's blog is pretty self-explainatory. Found some kickass bands this year. Here are my top ten faves :).

10. Nitronoise

09. 2 Bullet

08. Mr.Kitty


06. Architect

05. Promidal

04. Junksista

03. Baal

02. MergingMoon

And my #1 favorite band that I discovered this year goes to...

01. Noblesse Oblige

Yeah, like that should come as a big surprise for some of my readers and friends. lol

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Best of 2013: Voyager by Sensuous Enemy

Voyager by Sensuous Enemy

Voyager is one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2013. Anyone who knows me personally knows how much I adore Sensuous Enemy. I have been a fan of the band since my Myspace days (under countless pseudonyms like Rubber Ducky and Hello Kitty...lol). Anyhoo...I was really excited when the band signed to Nilaihah Records earlier this year. Talk about a perfect fit for the label and band. If there was any band I thought whose music deserved to have a bigger (or better)distribution deal (in our scene), it is Sensuous Enemy.

After a lengthy wait (which is putting it mildly), the band recently released their second full-length album Voyager last month. I remember hearing a couple of songs from the album over the summer when the band made a rare trip to Minneapolis to perform at Ground Zero. I immediately gravitated to the song "Freedom From Religion" because: a) love the hooks and beats and b) the lyrics totally reflect how I feel about organized religion (which my disdain for is mostly based on its batshit crazy/fanatical followers). I love that one of my personal favorite SE songs "Intentions" was included on the new album but it is a different mix. The sound isn't too different from what I am used to from the band's Parity EP (which I totally recommend taking a listen to). Right from the get go, Voyager had my undivided attention with "Blue Energy" and kept me to the last track "Powering Down". The wait for this album was definitely well worth it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My top 10 best/worst songs of 2013

Just because I am holding off on my best of 2013 albums list until January doesn't mean I can't do my my favorite/worst songs of 2013 now ;). I'll start with the good stuff. lol

My favorite songs of 2013
01. Runaway by Noblesse Oblige
02. Life is Unfair (and Love is a Bitch)by Junksista
03. Annabel by Goldfrapp
04. For My Lorraine by Blume
05. You Walk Away by Blutengel
06. Antibody by Aesthetic Perfection
07. The Mother We Share by CHVRCHES
08. Paradise (What About Us?) by Within Temptation featuring Tarja Turunen
09. Sirens of the Sea by Sensuous Enemy
10. Epiphany by Solitary Experiments

 Here are what I consider THE 10 worst songs of 2013 ;):

10. Lorde: Royals

09. Daft Punk: Get Lucky

08. One Republic: Counting Stars

07. Kanye West: Bound 2

06. Brad Paisley and LL Cool J: Accidental Racist

05. Britney Spears: Work Bitch

04. Miley Cyrus: We Can't Stop

03. Robin Thicke with T.I: Blurred Lines

02. Maroon 5: Love Somebody

01. Pitbull featuring Ke$ha: Timber

Yeah, the worst list was pretty easy to create. Come on. Making fun of today's shitty pop music is like shooting fish in a barrel. If anything this list is proof that mainstream music keeps getting worse and worse by the year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Best of 2013: Kamikakushi by Merging Moon

Kamikakushi by MergingMoon

In case you have been living in a cave or under a rock, one of my favorite new discoveries in 2013 is the Japanese heavy metal band MergingMoon. I found out about them via Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in season 2.

My jaw practically hit the floor when I heard clips of their music on tv. After the show, I went on youtube and listened to a few of their songs. I absolutely loved what I had heard. I thought it was totally kick ass to see such a tiny woman have such a ferocious voice. So it goes without saying, I found a copy of the band's latest album Kamikakushi and ordered it. I was not disappointed. The band's music isn't straight forward heavy metal. The band combines heavy metal with electronic music. I also like that the band's native roots also shines through in their music like on "When A Phantom Becomes a Fact". For an album that was self-released, the production value on the album is immaculate (to me at least). The vocals are not muddled down with poor production which can be a problem in the metal genre but this is not the case here. I love the aggressive sounds of the music yet it is melodic. For me, Kamikakushi is my favorite heavy metal album of 2013. It is so much fun to listen to either at work or when I am cleaning my apartment. Why this band doesn't have a record deal is beyond me.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best of 2013: Phenomena by Solitary Experiments

Phenomena by Solitary Experiments

Phenomena is easily my favorite futurepop album of 2013. And to be honest, the new Solitary Experiments album really outshone VNV Nation's Transnational. The music on Phenomena simply stood out more for me than with the new VNV Nation album. I thought the melodies, beats, and overall production were ten times better than what I heard on Transnational. Phenomena gets off on a strong note with the instrumental "Tilting at Windmills". The party really gets started with the thunderous beats of "No Salvation" and the energy of the album does not let up until the very end. All of the songs on Phenomena have solid pop hooks, there are a few that really stood out with me such as "No Salvation", "Trial and Error", "Epiphany", and "Stars". There were a couple of tracks on the album I am not too particularly fond of but overall still worthy of being considered one of the best releases of 2013.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Best of 2013: Life by Mr.Kitty

Life by Mr.Kitty
Over the summer I was introduced to Mr.Kitty via Twitter from the indie label Engraved Ritual, namely the song "Heaven". I was immediately hooked on the catchy synthpop tune. My jaw practically  hit the floor when I first heard the song. After hearing a few more songs off Life, I knew I had to order an actual copy of the album from Engraved Ritual. As I suspected, Life is one of those rare gems in the music world that will quickly remind a music blogger like myself why he or she does what s/he does as a career/hobby.  I am new to Mr.Kitty's music so I don't have anything to compare the latest offering to his past work. What I have heard on Life is a good blend of post-punk, goth, and synthpop music. I definitely can hear the Depeche Mode influence like on "Holy Death", one of my personal favorite tracks on the album. I like how Forrest has one foot entrenched in the '80s and one foot in the present. The songs have a distinct retro new wave quality to them but without sounding outdated. Mr.Kitty is easily one of my new favorite discoveries of 2013 and his album Life one of the best albums released  this year. I am very pleased to see quite a few artists in the scene mention Life on their best of 2013 lists.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Best of 2013: Showtime, Storytime by Nightwish

Nightwish: Showtime, Storytime

Live concert albums/DVDs usually don't appeal to me but I made the exception with the new Nightwish concert/DVD Showtime, Storytime because this was the only way I was able to see/hear the band's new singer Floor Jansen since the band didn't come to Minneapolis in 2012 on their American tour. After seeing the live clip of "Ghost Love Story" from last year in Buenos Aires, I knew the band made a really great choice of making Floor their full time singer. Then when I saw the clip of "Storytime" from the concert footage, hearing Floor made me super excited for Showtime, Storytime. Since getting the album earlier this month, I have been listening to the CDs from the box set constantly. Floor has clearly demonstrated she is more than capable as full time singer for Nightwish. I loved that the band pulled out "She is My Sin" out of the vaults and performed it at Wacken. I thought Floor totally nailed that song. I have to admit she almost made me forget about Tarja. While there are no new material featured on the live CDs, I still find myself enjoying hearing the music immensely especially hearing Floor sing.

On the DVD/Blu-Ray, the first disc is all concert footage with bonus footage of "I Want My Tears Back " from Helsinki and "Ghost Love Story" from Buenos Aires. On the second disc, there is a documentary of the band during their 2012 Imaginaerum tour. Due to personal/professional differences, the band's former lead singer requested to not be featured in the documentary. I thought that was really interesting and not having her featured in the film made it feel a bit empty to this viewer but I respect her wishes as did the band. There is also bonus footage on the second disc of a table hockey tournament and Christmas Song for a Lonely Documentarist.  Inside the box set is a gorgeous booklet of photos featuring the band members.

As disappointed as I am that I never got the opportunity to see Floor and Nightwish perform in 2012, Showtime, Storytime really made up for that loss. Easily one of my favorite releases of 2013.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My favorite concerts of 2013

With 2014 just right around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to review a lot of my favorite concerts. You can find a lot of pics on my instagram account.

I:Scintilla with Goodnight Criminals, GoFight, and Gabriel and the Apocalypse

Once again my friend Renee got the Chicago rock band I:Scintilla to come up north to perform for her birthday. Fun show. The band brought along Goodnight Criminals and GoFight. Local band Gabriel and the Apocalypse opened the show. Always good to see I:Scintilla live. They are sound so much better live.

Leaether Strip

I have to admit what made this show a lot of fun was seeing my friend Tracey's band Promidal open up the show. It was a very visual show to say the very least. Still Leaether Strip did put on one heck of a live performance.

Combichrist Old School set with The Azoic and F.T.C
For some odd reason, I thought I had uploaded my Combichrist pics into Photobucket. Guess I didn't. Oh well. You should be able to view it from Facebook. I have set it to public setting. My highlight for that night wasn't necessarily Combichrist no thanks to the rowdiness of the crowd. Didn't have fun during their set, it was seeing The Azoic perform live for the first time in Minneapolis.

Cyndi Lauper at Mill City Nights
Absolutely freaking one of my favorite concerts of 2013. Cyndi was highly entertaining to watch.

Project Pitchfork with Ayria and As\Of

Second time I have seen Project Pitchfork with Ayria. Great show but I'll confess. I am more of an Ayria fan. Still seeing PP live again was great.

Hellions of Hollywood tour
goth_maven's Hellions of Hollywood Minneapolis show album on Photobucket

Fun, energetic show. Great seeing two bands that I have never seen before live that night. Loved watching the mosh pit from afar during Psyclon 9's set.

Garbage with Io Echo at Mill City Nights - Finally got to see Garbage after their seven year hiatus again. Truly one of my top favorite concerts of 2013. Really worth the money I shelled out for it.

The Bellwether Syndicate with The Foreign Resort and UZZA
goth_maven's TBS with The Foreign Resort and UZZA album on Photobucket

This was definitely one of my personal favorite shows of this year. I even got to interview The Foreign Resort.

Ego Likeness with Servitor, Gabriel and the Apocalypse, and Ficshe
goth_maven's Ego Likeness with Servitor album on Photobucket

The Ego Likeness show was by far my favorite show of this year because they are one of my favorite bands in the past few years.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Best of 2013: Affair of the Heart by Noblesse Oblige

Affair of the Heart by Noblesse Oblige

For anyone who knows me well enough or reads this blog on a regular basis knows damn well how much I love Affair of the Heart by Noblesse Oblige, a German/Parisian duo. I am trying to remember correctly if it was the video for "Runaway" or the Absolute Grrrls Manifesto compilation that introduced me to the group. Either way, both made me a big fan/supporter. I do know that IAMX's Chris Corner directed the video for "Runaway" which really made the band stand out with me this year. I quickly became addicted to its catchy pop hooks (and still hooked on the song to this very day). I can easily say that "Runaway" is one of my top 5 favorite songs of 2013. The song is like an earworm but in a positive way. In fact, it is my go to song when I get shitty earworms stuck in my head and need to remove them. LOL!

As for the album itself, I really dug the sensual sounds of Affair of the Heart. I definitely like it a lot more than In Exile (the only album of the group's I have at the moment) which was all over the place. In Exile is a good album but the sound was so all over the place while Affair of the Heart has a more cohesive, electro-poppish sound. I really liked the direction the group took with this album. I also dug the risks they took with the eight minute long version of The Eagles' "Hotel California". Not really a fan of the original but I really love this interpretation of the classic Eagles track. It's very trip-hoppish. I like how Valerie Renay goes from spoken word to singing through out the song. I also love the Middle Eastern influences on "Mata Hari".  I find the song very hypnotic to listen to between the music and Valerie's vocals.

I listened to a lot of electro/synth pop music this year. Some good, some bland, and some just not so good. Affair of the Heart is one of the few that really stood out with me. I really like that the album isn't completely all dance music which can be a bit repetitive and the beats slows down for the second half. I am definitely looking forward to hearing more from this talented duo. I wouldn't have been pushing them so much via Twitter/FB if I didn't believe that their music needs a larger audience.  Noblesse Oblige is easily one of my favorite finds of 2013 without a shadow of a doubt.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My top 10 current favorite songs of the week

My top 10 current favorite songs of the week
01. "Love Me or Leave Me" - Kerli
02. "The Mother We Share" - Chvrches
03. "Adera Sempre" - Miranda Sex Garden
04. "Dead Tomorrow" - Bruderschaft
05. "Never and Me" - Kidneythieves
06. "Blue Sky Night" - Glis
07. "Paradise" - Mikro
08. "Change the View" - Solar Fake
09. "Star of the Sea" - Mediaeval Baebes
10. "Escape Artist" - Zynic

Right now I am particularly fond of the tracks by Kerli, Chvrches, Glis, and Mikro. I especially love the Mikro track. Totally catchy as hell, certainly more poppy than most music that I listen to.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Best of 2013: Darkest White by Tristania

Darkest White by Tristania

I have to admit I never really paid much attention to the band Tristania. For a long time I had fallen out of love with the gothic metal scene until 2011. Earlier this year, I found the new Tristania album on youtube. I listened to a few tracks from the album and found myself enjoying Darkest White quite a bit and it goes without saying that I ended up buying a copy of the album from my favorite record store. Darkest White is easily one of my favorite heavy metal albums of 2013. While a lot of internet trolls bitch about Mariangela Demurtas's vocals (namely on youtube) and her not being anything like their previous singer, I really enjoy Mariangela's vocals. In fact her vocals is why I love the album so much. In the past I used to not like the cookie monster on acid type of vocals however I have grown accustomed to them thanks to Kjetil Nordhus. I was pleasantly surprised how connected I felt with the lyrics as well as vocals. I particularly loved listening to Kjetil's vocals on "Diagnosis". Very clean and powerful. My personal favorite track is without a shadow of a doubt "Requiem". The song has so much emotions and the way Mariangela sings on that song made the song the stand out track with me. I definitely can listen to Darkest White from start to finish without skipping a single track. Truly a real solid, winner for me.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jam of the Week: The Mediaeval Baebes - We Three Kings

With Christmas just right around the corner, I have been getting in the holiday spirit with The Mediaeval Baebes' interpretation of "We Three Kings" from their Christmas album Of Kings and Angels (which of course I ordered ;)).

I really love how the women harmonize on this timeless classic. I am eagerly anticipating on hearing the entire album. I really have forgotten how good this vocal group is. I have been a fan for a decade now. I discovered them at Cheapo Records when I came upon their album Undrentide and the cover art intrigued me, and the rest is history. FYI...for those in the underground scene and are familiar with Miranda Sex Garden, Katherine Blake used to be in MSG. I started listening to MSG when I did some online research on Mediaeval Baebes and Katherine Blake.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Best of 2013: The Bones of What You Believe by Chvrches

The Bones of What You Believe by Chvrches

I admit I just jumped on the Chvrches bandwagon recently. I have been listening to the album online since Monday, and today finally bought my own copy of The Bones of What You Believe. I totally understand the hype over the album by music critics and fans alike. The Bones of What You Believe is a super catchy synth driven album. The more I listen to the album the more I am reminded a little of the latest Tegan and Sara album Heartthrob but with more synths, a little of the Greek duo Marsheaux, and a dash of Ladytron. I have been listening to this album quite a bit today which says a lot about how much I enjoy the music. Although December is halfway over, I am so glad I got to check out this gem of a Scottish band. The Bones of What You Believe is truly one of those rare gems in which the music does live up to the hype by music critics and fans.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Best of 2013: Tales of Us by Goldfrapp

Tales of Us By Goldfrapp

Tales of Us is the album that I have been longing for from the electronica act Goldfrapp since their debut album Felt Mountain. While I do like most of their albums that proceeded Felt Mountain, I always missed that intimate sound that their first album had which was lacking in its predecessors except for 7th Tree. The band's more dance orientated albums are pretty good and I do like a good number of their dance songs like "Strict Machine" and "Ooh Lah Lah" but a lot of felt felt contrived to me. When I first heard Tales of Us on Spotify, I was in heaven. For the first few weeks after I bought the album, I listened to it every freaking day. I was hooked with its seductive charms courtesy of Alison Goldfrapp with her breathy vocals and Will's subtle production style. This is probably the closest I will ever get to hearing another Felt Mountain but that is okay. I really like that the duo incorporated acoustic guitars into their music. I love how sparse and intimate the album is and that Alison's vocals isn't overwhelmed by thunderous dance beats except maybe on the track "Thea". For people who got into Goldfrapp with their post-Felt Mountain albums, they will probably be disappointed in the laid back sounds of Tales of Us but for those who fell in love with them on Felt Mountain, this album is definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Best of 2013: When Evil Speaks by Suicide Commanod

Suicide Commando: When Evil Speaks

2012 wasn't such a hot year for industrial music for me. There were only three albums that I liked. Thankfully 2013 made up for that with the new albums by Front Line Assembly, Ayria, Helalyn Flowers, Amduscia, and Suicide Commando. I am particularly fond of the new Suicide Commando album When Evil Speaks. I just enjoy the distorted, gutteral vocals from Johan Van Roy as well as the nihilistic and visceral lyrics. My favorite track is the title track.

I can feel the aggression in the music. The thunderous beats makes me want to headbang whenever I listen to the song at work. The Sin DNA remix is even better. I like the general overall sound of this remix slightly more so over the original version.

But either way, LOVE the title track. Another favorite track off the album is "Repent or Perish". It seems like he took a more minimalist approach on this track.

While the pace of this album is a bit slower than on previous albums, the music is still as aggressive as ever. Of all the (just a few) albums I have heard from Suicide Commando, I relate most to When Evil Speaks lyrically. It has become the soundtrack to my life or at least on days when I am in the worst of moods. When I am in a bad mood, I just throw on this album into my portable stereo and crank up the volume. Easily my favorite industrial album of 2013.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Some food for thought: hating on the local music scene

Today on my afternoon break at work, I read on City Pages online about how Rock the Garden 2014 will be spread out into a two day event. Maybe this will allow non-members of The Current/MPR to gain access to the local event but that isn't what really got my undivided attention. what got my undivided attention is the hate that was being spewed towards the event. Here is some of the classic "gems" I found in the comment section:

"Fuck Rock the Garden"

"I already hate Loring Park in the summer. This adds to it."

"So even less cohesion? Yeah that's what this event needs."

"Tiresome hipsters."

"Fuck 'em. Pigs."

Pretty harsh. What the hell did RTG do to deserve the ire of a bunch of bored ass internet trolls? More importantly what have those people have done for the local music scene? $5 says absolutely nothing!

Okay I admit there is aspects of my local music scene that I am not particularly crazy about (like the fact that Minneapolis is primarily an indie-rock town and hipster paradise). Yes, I do often make fun of hipsters, yes I dislike a good part of the local music scene especially when they troll my FB and Twitter pages thinking I would do shit for them when I strictly focus on music that interests me like goth, industrial, synthpop, and occasionally metal, alternative rock, EDM, and whatever else floats my boat). But unlike the whiny little wankers on City Pages/Facebook who just sits behind their computer and bitch and moan away about the music scene, I actually go out of my way to find shows that might be of interest to attend or write about music that I enjoy listening to in hopes that people will feel the same way when they read my blog.

For me personally, it took me a few years after moving back to Minneapolis from Milwaukee, WI (over a decade ago) to realize that the Twin Cities is capable of having some good local bands. What got me to think differently at the local music scene was when I went to see The Cruxshadows with Ayria and I:Scintilla. Local band Bella Koshka opened up for the show that night. I was really impressed with what I had heard. When I joined Myspace, I started following local singer/songwriter Jenny Dalton and started going to her shows in town (I really need to go see her again one of these days). Eventually I started attending shows featuring local artists/bands on a regular basis (as well as big named concerts). Shortly after joining the Kilted Farmer Koncerts street team, I created this blog. Originally I created this blog as a vanity project but as time as gone on, my blog The Twin Cities Underground has become something much more than a vanity project. Since I am not a musician, dj, or promoter, my blog has become a voice for a grossly overlooked scene in the Twin Cities music scene. I am now a permanent fixture in Minneapolis's tiny yet tight electropunk (i.e goth scene). Kinda hard to miss the short Asian chick in the black leather jacket, jeans, doc martens, and one of her favorite band t-shirts ;).

I will ask this question again...what has those who continually hate on the local scene done for the Twin Cities music scene? If those people on City Pages hates the scene so much? Why aren't they doing something to change their attitudes by contributing to the  music scene? Unfortunately I suspect these people just get off on their own negativity. Judging from their comments I have read, it seems that spewing hate for a scene they aren't a part of is their equivalent to having sex or masturbating. All I can say is to put a sock in it, your shit is old. If you don't like the music scene but yet you aren't doing anything about it to change it, then STFU.

The Twin Cities may not have a perfect music scene but I do think it has a healthy, vibrant music scene. I have discovered some really great local acts in the last few years that has really made me proud to be a part of the music scene. I rather have what there is than not have a music scene at all.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Best of 2013: Inhale by Marsheaux

Inhale by Marsheaux

I am a relatively new fan to Marsheaux's music. Last year I finally got around to buying Lumineux Noir and it automatically made me a life long fan of the group's music. So it goes without saying that I was excited when the two women put out a new album earlier this year called Inhale. I would describe their music as being minimalist '80s synthpop. Their music reminds me of all the '80s greats like Book of Love, Yaz, OMD, (early)Depeche Mode,and Human League. Inhale (and like their other albums) may have a retro sound, the music never sounds dated or obsolete. On their previous album, I felt like I was listening to Ladytron here nd there. The songs are incredibly catchy. The vocals do tend to be a bit monotonous here and there but overall I did Marianthi and Sophie's vocals. The women's vocals do complement each other.I don't know if I really needed an extended version of "Can You Stop Me" but overall Inhale is a solid electro-pop album worthy of being mentioned as one of the best albums of 2013.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Best of 2013: White Me In/Black Me Out by Helalyn Flowers

White Me In/Black Me Out by Helalyn Flowers

Helalyn Flowers is one of my favorite bands from my Myspace days which was years ago. I always loved their fusion of industrial music with heavy metal. My only problem with their music is that their albums was always uneven. They had good songs but there was also a lot of filler tracks.  That is up until their latest full length album White Me In/Black Me Out which was released earlier this spring. I ordered a copy directly from the band's website. I opted for the 2 CD version which Naomi and Max personally autographed. It did not take very long for this album to become one of my favorite albums released this year. Every song on the album had strong pop hooks unlike some of their previous albums. This album is what I have been dying to hear from Helalyn Flowers to make which is an album where I can listen to the album from start to finish without skipping a single track. If you check out the two disc version, you can hear some really kick ass covers that HF does like 2 Unlimited's "No Limits" and The Ramones' "Pet Sematary". They have a lot of energy and just a lot of fun to listen to. I also dig their cover of PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" (found on the first disc). And the remixes were pretty good although it did get to be quite a chore to hear the same song  again and again just  remixed differently but as everyone knows me, remixes are a hit or miss with me. Overall I got my money's worth and the album truly is one of the best releases of 2013.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jam of the Week: Hurts - Somebody to Die For

So for this week's Jam of the Week, I have chosen Hurts' Somebody to Die For. I have been listening to the song constantly at home as well as at work. It is easily my favorite song off their Exile album. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Best of 2013: Goliath by Butcher Babies

Goliath by Butcher Babies

I will be brutally frank here...I really don't listen to a lot of heavy metal music because personally I am more into industrial and synthpop music (as if my readers and those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter haven't figured that out). Much to my surprise this year, I found a few heavy metal albums that grabbed my attention and have been getting lots of airplay in my portable stereo. One of those albums is the debut album Goliath by the Los Angeles band Butcher Babies. From what I have read online, The Plasmatics' "Butcher Baby" was the inspiration behind the band's name. What got my attention was that the band had two female lead singers which you really don't see in the underground music scene, especially in the metal scene. I ended up borrowing a copy of Goliath from the library earlier this summer/fall and quickly fell in love with the band's music. The music is aggressive and brutalin the vein of Lamb Of God and Hatebreed. I really love the dual vocals of Carla Coates and Heidi Shepherd, and how one is singing and the other is screaming. It is like yin and yang. I have a ton of fun listening to the album as loud as possible especially at work. I find myself headbanging to Goliath at work with my earphones on. LOL! I especially love the brutality of the title track. I love the in your face vocals by the women. This album is also good to listen to while cleaning house ;).

Here is the latest music video by the band.

If you are really fortunate enough (unlike me), the band is going on tour next year with In This Moment. Here are the tour dates.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The 8 albums of 2013 that did not impress me

I thought I would take a break from my best of series tonight with my list of albums from this year that just failed to impress me. I probably am going to break one of my own ten commandments of being a music fan but you know, this is the end of the year. I'm going to be honest with the music I have heard this year, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I honestly wanted to like these albums but with every listen, the less I liked what I had heard. So break out the pitchforks and torches because here are the 8 albums from this year that I did not particularly care for! LOL!

8. Covenant: Leaving Babylon

There was a point when I was seriously looking forward to buying this album but then I streamed it on Spotify. Is it me or does this band keep regurgitating the same songs? This had to be even more dull than their previous album Modern Ruin.

07. Funker Vogt: Companion in Crime

See #8. There were a couple of tracks that I did like on the album but my goodness, listening to Companion in Crime quickly became a chore for me.

06. Skinny Puppy: Weapon

I for one am looking forward to seeing Skinny Puppy live in February. Totally dig their older material. Just couldn't get into their latest album Weapon. Maybe once I see them live I can appreciate the album.

05. Lady Gaga: Artpop

I listened to the new Lady G album on Spotify a few weeks ago out of sheer curiosity. It was not good. It lacked the infectious pop hooks that made me appreciate her first two albums (before my patience ran out with her schtick). Artpop is proof that I am SOOOOO over Lady Gaga. Gimme Grace Jones, Madonna, Bette Midler and every other artist she has nicked her gimmicky image off from over her.

04. Hanzel und Gretyl: Fur Immer

I love HuG but they really have been trying my patience in the past year. Last year's long awaited album Born to Be Heiled ended up being one of my biggest disappointments in which their music sounded like half-baked Kid Rock songs. SMH. Now this year they decided to put out a remix album. I'm sorry but I really dislike remix albums. At this rate, I might as well throw in the towel with them. Not to say that there weren't any good remixes (just a couple) however the bad outnumbered the good. Sad.

03. Combichrist: No Redemption

I actually started liking this album in the beginning but within a half hour into it, my ears got tired and needed some diversity. I do commend Combichrist for going in a different direction with their music.

02. Sirenia: Perils of the Deep Blue

I really enjoyed the band's previous effort but this album was just a massive let down for me. All the songs sounded the same to me.

01. Tarja: Colours in the Dark

I love Tarja's voice but her solo music is something to be left desired. Of her three solo albums, Colours of the Dark is the most tolerable of the bunch. The problem with her music for me is that Tarja isn't working with someone who has an ear for melodies like her former Nightwish bandmate Tuomas. I will say this I do love the Within Temptation song she sings on. Maybe she should join that band and share vocals with Sharon. lol

I was just thinking today (12/8) about The Civil Wars' self-titled album. I almost forgot how disappointed I was in the long awaited follow up to their first album Barton Hollow. The music on their self-titled album was lackluster at best. The worst part of this story is that the two band members aren't on good speaking terms so this may (or may not) be the last album by the group. It would be a shame to end one's career with an album totally devoid of personality.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Best of 2013: Autumn Ruins by Blume

Autumn Ruins by Blume

You know the old adage "good things comes to those who wait"? Well that is how I felt when Italian synthpop act Blume finally released their second album Autumn Ruins earlier this fall after a lengthy 3 years. After listening to Rise From Gray a gazillion times, Autumn Ruins was a definite breath of fresh air. Not that Rise From Gray is bad (love that album), but one can only listen to one particular album without getting sick of it without hearing new material. Thankfully the long wait was really worth it. Autumn Ruins picks up where Rise From Gray left off. Autumn Ruins ranks as one of the best synthpop releases of 2013 in my book. The music is irresistable from start to finish. Enrico Filisetti's vocals is so warm and comforting. Listening to him sing on the album is like putting on my favorite hoodie/flannel pajamas. He has such a deep, rich voice, I get the warm fuzzies whenever I listen to him croon. I am often reminded of Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan but with a slightly deeper voice. Enrico could sing the phone book and I would still find listening to him enjoyable. LOL! I really enjoyed the fact that the band picked up the pace on the album with more beat heavy tracks like "The Chosen" and the excellent instrumental "Arclight". My personal favorite track on the entire album is the gorgeous acoustic ballad "For My Lorraine". It is obvious to me how deeply personal this song whenever I listen to the song. The lyrics often brings tears to my eyes. That said, the entire album is excellent.

I really wish more people were familiar with Blume. The band really knows how to create a memorable pop hook. Their latest album is definitely one of my personal highlights of 2013. Definitely check out Autumn Ruins if you enjoy the sounds of Covenant, De/Vision, and Depeche Mode.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Best of 2013: Death of a Sun by Syrian

Syrian: Death of a Sun

2013 has been a very good year for this synthpop lover. One of my favorite synthpop releases this year is Death of a Sun by the Italian synthpop band Syrian. The album has everything I look for in a synthpop album; catchy melodies and crisp, dance-friendly dance beats. The music on Death of a Sun is a good balance of modern and retro synthpop without sounding dated or hokey. "In the End" is a perfect example of how the band straddles the fine line between modern and retro synthpop. I loved all the songs from track 1 to track 10. I am particularly fond of the ballad "Walk Into the Sun" and "Nuvole", two of the prettiest tracks on the album. My only issue with the album is that it is too short and is filled with four remixes of "Fire In Your Eyes" and a bonus track called "Midnight Run" to complete the album. Frankly the four remixes should have been cut. They weren't bad but they weren't necessary. I just find it disappointing when artists feel the need to add remixes to their albums because their album ends up being a half hour long however that is just my personal opinion. Regardless of the remixes, Death of a Sun is truly a memorable synthpop album from 2013. I think it is one of the group's best albums ever.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Best of 2013: Animal by Berlin

Berlin: Animal

For tonight's blog entry and in my ongoing series up until January when I will post my list of best of 2013 list, I decided to focus on Berlin's new album Animal. It was back in October when I discovered that the band had a new album out while I was perusing the CD racks at The Electric Fetus. Being a huge Berlin fan, I decided to buy the album.

Much to my surprise , Animal sounds nothing like the band's work from the '80s. From what I have read online, Terri Nunn has been listening to a lot of modern dance music lately and it shows throughout Animal. I think she has also been listening to a lot of Lady Gaga because the opening riff "It's Nice to Meet You" shares that same vibe in the opening melodies to "Poker Face". Initially I was a bit thrown off by the band's venture into modern dance music but after some time the music grew on me. I really like the more uptempo tracks like "Animal" and "With the Lights On".  Of all the ballads, "It's the Way" is my personal favorite. I thought it had the strongest, most memorable pop hooks and lyrics. Another favorite track of mine is their cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love". Berlin gives the classic rock song a modern dance treatment.

Terri Nunn sounds even better than ever on the new album IMHO. Rarely do singers from my youth still sounds amazing in the present moment but this is the case with Terri Nunn. Do I wish she kept some of her band's old sound? I admit I do. Animal isn't a flawless album. There are moments when I miss the new wave sound from the '80s. You can hear the album at the top of my blog with the Spotify link I had posted above the album cover.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Best of 2013: Absolute Grrrls Manifesto Chapter 1

Now that it is officially December, that means I am going to once again start posting (as much as possible) my favorite albums of 2013 throughout the month of December. To make it interesting and unpredictable, some of the albums I am writing about may end up on my final top 10-20 best of list, some may not. Let me tell you that will not be an easy feat since I have heard a ton of excellent music this year.

Tonight I am beginning with the excellent 4 Disc compilation Absolute Grrrls Manifesto Chapter 1 from Alfa Matrix. This is a 4 CD compilation featuring female-fronted bands or bands with tracks featuring female singers like the tracks "Deep Waters" by Grendel, "Voyage" by Patenbrigade Wolff feat. Antje Dieckmann and "High Heel Fixation" by Aesthetische. I am definitely considering Absolute Grrrls Manifesto as one of the best releases from this year. It really introduced me to some excellent bands like Noblesse Oblige (whom you know by now absolutely adore) and Junksista (a relatively new favorite of mine). While the compilation certainly left out some other notable acts (i.e Sensuous Enemy, Cylab, The Break Up, Future Perfect to name a few), it still provided this music junkie hours of entertaiment.

While the majority of the bands featured on the a compilation are part of the electro underground scene, the music does branch out into the metal genre. Most of the songs were a hit with me, few I just skip but those were few and far between. Here are a few of my favorite songs from the compilation:

If you want to discover new artists, check out Absolutely Grrrls Manifesto.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Albums I am currently listening to

Crystal World by Marnie - Ladytron's Helen Marnie is really good. If you like Ladytron, I definitely would recommend checking out Crystal World. It is a good mix of pop and dance music.

Bad Case of Fabulous by Junksista - One of the late players in the game that I am just totally enjoying. I really love Diana's vocals and the way she delivers the often raunchy lyrics. Rarely do I listen to how the lyrics are delivered by a vocalist but in the case of Junksista, I have really taken noticed to them. Just take a listen to the song "Department Store". The lyrics on the entire album totally cracks me up. I love the band's raunchy sense of humor. Certainly one of my favorite 2013 releases.

Kamikakushi by MergingMoon

Kamikakushi was so well worth the $36 I shelled out for it. Thank you Anthony Bourdain for bringing this excellent metal band to my attention. They fucking rock! I know I have said it before and I will say it again...THIS BANDS NEEDS TO BE FUCKING SIGNED ASAP!!!!

Innocents by Moby - I love chilling out to the new Moby album.

Water to the Dead by Ego Likeness - This is my current favorite Ego Likeness album at the moment. The album has a couple of killer ballads that I absolutely adore "Wolves" and "Wayfaring Stranger".

Order of the Reptile by Ego Likeness - Excellent album. Need I say more? Ego Likeness definitely has become one of my personal favorite bands, especially after seeing them live a couple of weeks ago.

Showtime, Storytime by Nightwish

My copy of Showtime, Storytime arrived today. I will watch the live DVD tomorrow but the live CD is excellent. I finally got to hear Floor Jansen some of my favorite Nightwish songs from the Tarja era. I personally think Floor just nails the songs perfectly. Her voice is well suited with Tuomas' compositions. I hope Floor stays around for a long time. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Last night I went to Club Underground to see some local live music. The show was put on by DSMN (DarkSide Minnesota) by my good friend Tracey Setterlund of Promidal/Static Image. The evening began with two local IDM acts LiesFromtheWolf and BetaEight. BTW...BetaEight is Daniel Bateman (of Promidal and OBCT fame). Both artists put on some interesting sets. Then about 10:45-11, Thought Thieves hit the stage. It had been awhile for me since I had last saw them. It was good seeing them live as always. Then around 11:30, Promidal hit the stage. I swear to god that band just keeps getting better and better with every live show I have seen them. Granted their set last night was tamer than their previous shows I had attended (probably due to the venue size and/or maybe rules) but that's okay. What really stood out for me was just how good they keep sounding live. These aren't the best pictures that I have ever taken but it is something to look at in case you couldn't make it to the show.
goth_maven's Terror on Tiki Island album on Photobucket

I also did capture one song from the band last night.

I love this band. They truly deserve to be heard outside the Twin Cities, let alone the state. Their sound is on par with some of my favorite aggrotech bands like Suicide Commando, Hocico, and Unter Null.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My current favorite songs

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am sure some of my readers will be heading out of town to visit family and gorge themselves on some food until they are in a food coma ;). I thought I would share my current favorite songs playlist before people would got out of town.

01. City of Dust by Diffuzion
02. Return by Bruderschaft (featuring Tom Shears)
03. Freedom From Religion by Sensuous Enemy
04. Victim of Ritual by Tarja
05. For My Lorraine by Blume
06. Wolves by Ego Likeness
07. The Fountain of Clouds by Kirlian Camera
08. Stars by Solitary Experiments
09. Love is Strange by Wolfsheim
10. Ghost Love Score (Live) by Nightwish

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jam of the Week: Parralox's "Eye In The Sky"

Since I didn't do Jam of the Week last week since there wasn't a particular song that was stuck in my head, I will make it up with my current favorite song Parralox's infectious version of "Eye in the Sky". I absolutely love this version.

The song is really damn catchy. And just for the hell of it, here is the original version by The Alan Parsons Project. I think it goes without saying that I prefer Parralox's version :P.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Office Playlist of the Week

Yep, it's another fun-filled week at the office. Meh! Better to be employed than unemployed for sure. Here is some of the music I plan on listening to this week along with the music I got from the Ego Likeness show last weekend.

Tarja: Colours in the Dark

MergingMoon: Kamikakushi

Finally got the MergingMoon in the mail this past Friday. I absolutely love it. Definitely worth every single penny I shelled out for it. I think this is my favorite metal album of 2013, and definitely one of my favorite releases from this year in general. This band so needs to get signed ASAP!!!!

The Frozen Autumn: Chirality

Curve: Way of Curve

David Bowie: The Next Day

Suicide Commando: When Evil Speaks [Deluxe Edition]

In Strict Confidence: Utopia

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Some food for thought: some new discoveries from Japan

This past week I had discovered the Japanese cyberpunk band Baal. It all began when I went online to Metropolis Records and came across the band's upcoming 2014 release Shurado. My curiosity was quickly piqued and I quickly headed over to youtube. The first video I saw by Baal was this live performance for "The Hardliner".

I was completely awestruck by what I saw and heard. The more Baal clips I found on youtube, the more impressed I was with their sound. Being Asian-American female, I really love the fact that the band is Asian and that their lead singer is a woman and one hell of a singer too. I really love it when women are venturing more into the harsher style of singing in industrial music. Not that I don't like the cleaner vocals (which I adore),I find it immensely empowering when women are as aggressive singers as the guys are.

Tonight I decided to see if I could scrounge up some more goth/industrial bands from Japan (a country that rarely gets mentioned in our little music scene, usually Europe, North America, and Latin America gets most of the attention). I came across this old thread on Violent Playground on Japanese industrial bands. It didn't take me very long that got my undivided attention.

2 Bullet
2 Bullet bandcamp page



Unfortunately Schwarz Stein is no more but I thought I would still share their music.

Velvet Eden

You might wonder why I didn't mention Malice Mizer, GPKism, Blood, or Dir En Grey. To be honest, that would have been too obvious. I wanted to go for the really obscure bands. I was only able to find as much info on a few bands as possible, and unfortunate quite a few haven't updated their Facebook pages in a few years which makes me wonder if they are still together. Truth be told the purpose of tonight's blog really is to show that there is more to our little scene than what is coming out of North America, Europe, and latin America.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My favorite songs of 2013 [so far]

Tonight I decided to start putting together a playlist of my favorite songs from this year. Some of the songs are singles, and some are not. You can take a listen to what I have put together here.

01. "Runaway" - Noblesse Oblige
02. "If I Was" - VNV Nation
03. "Paradise (What About Us)" - Within Temptation featuring Tarja Turunen
04. "Annabel" - Goldfrapp
05. "Eye In The Sky" - Parralox
06. "Nuvole" - Syrian
07. "You Walk Away" - Blutengel
08. "Ghosts" - Front Line Assembly
09. "Life is Unfair (and Love is a Bitch)" - Junksista
10. "Voices of Devotion" - Alkemic Generator
11. "This Means War" - Sleepthief featuring Joanna Stevens

This playlist barely scratches the surface to all the great songs I have heard this year. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Albums I am or was currently listening to

Ego Likeness: Water to the Dead

Ego Likeness: Order of the Reptile

While at the Ego Likeness concert on Sunday night, I picked up the two new versions of Water to the Dead and Order of the Reptile. Best damn $30 I spent my money on. Absolutely love both albums.

Sensuous Enemy: Voyager - Okay I couldn't resist this morning before work and had to listen to the new album on Spotify HOWEVER I just put in an order for a physical copy of the album via Nilaihah Records. You can find the link on the label's Facebook page. As for teh album, all I can say is I was not disappointed at all.

THYX: Below the City - Earlier this week I was checking out the latest THYX album. I can't say I was terribly impressed. It sounded no different from any of Mind.in.a.Box's albums. It wasn't bad but it just wasn't memorable. I really wanted to get into the music but it sounded all the same.

Alkemic Generator: The Oniric Geometry - I discovered this band via Nilaihah Records on their FB page, namely the music video for "Voices of Devotion". I highly recommend checking out Alkemic Generator. I really dig their sound.

Peaches: I Feel Cream - Lately I have been digging the electroclash sounds of Peaches which is funny I used to not care for her music years ago. I am particularly enjoying her 2009 album I Feel Cream. A few weeks ago I came across the music video for "Talk to Me" and I found myself watching/listening to the song over and over again.

Before I forget, while at the Ego Likeness show on Sunday I picked up a copy of Ficshe's music. It is fabulous. You can hear her music on her youtube channel. You can find them at her shows. To keep in touch with her and up to date with what she is up to, you can find her on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2013 releases that I have listened to this year

Today I decided to start compiling my list of albums released this year that I had listened to, this in turn will make my job of putting my best of 2013 albums list easier for me. Granted the list isn't going to come out until early 2014 but considering how much new music I listen to every freaking month, I seriously need to get started on my list. I got a lot of work to do on my best of list. The list I am posting is just a general list. It will include the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me tell you I have found a few turkeys this year.

Absolute Grrrls Manifesto Chapter 1
Amduscia - Filofobia
Arven - Black is the Colour
Ayria - Plastic Makes Perfect
Benedictines of Saint Mary Queen of Apostles - Angels and Saints of Ephesus
Berlin - Animal
Blume - Autumn Ruins
Blutengel - Monument
Butcher Babies - Goliath
Covenant - Leaving Babylon
DJ SLT - Kradis
Ego Likeness - The Order of the Reptile [re-release]
Ego Likeness - Water to the Dead [re-release]
Faun - Von Den Elben
Front Line Assembly - Echogenetic
Geodesique - Hologram
Ghost and Writer - Red Flags
Goldfrapp - Tales of Us
Gospel Gossip - S/T
Gravity Soundtrack
Helalyn Flowers - White Me In/Black Me Out
Io Echo - Ministry of Love
Junksista - Bad Case of Fabulous
Juno Reactor - The Golden Sun of the Great East
Kirlian Camera - Black Summer Choirs
Lady Gaga - Artpop
Marsheaux - Inhale
Moby - Innocents
Mr.Kitty - Life
Noblesse Oblige - Affair of the Heart
Sarah Brightman - Dreamchaser
Sirenia - Perils of the Deep
Skinny Puppy - Weapon
Solitary Experiments - Phenomena
Suicide Commando - When Evil Speaks
Syrian - Death of a Sun
Tarja - Colours in the Dark
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
The Bellwether Syndicate - Night Watch
Tristania - Darkest White
VNV Nation - Transnational

I wasn't sure whether to include the two Ego Likeness re-releases but I decided since they included new versions of "Aviary", "Save Your Serpent", "16 Miles" and "Water to the Dead", I decided to include them. What the hell why not? LOL! I am holding out for the actual copy of Sensuous Enemy's new album Voyager. Sorry but this old girl wants a CD, not a download :P. Still waiting for my copy of the new MergingMoon album to arrive in my mail from Japan. Also the new Nightwish album Showtime,Storytime doesn't come out until the end of the month (I ordered my copy via Nightwish's store). Until then, I am glad to have gotten my list started so I know which albums will end up on my best of list.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ego Likeness with Servitor, Ficshe and Gabriel and The Apocalypse at Ground Zero

Last concert for 2013 from Kilted Farmers Koncert has come and gone. Unfortunately it went by way too quickly. Last night the band Ego Likeness performed at Ground Zero nightclub with Servitor, Ficshe, with two local opening acts Gabriel and the Apocalypse. You can find several pictures on my instagram account which I tweeted live last night. And here is my slide show of the show.
goth_maven's Ego Likeness with Servitor album on Photobucket
I also got some video footage of the show too.

It was a fun show last night. I had the opportunity to help out Courie Bishop of Ficshe to work at her merchandise table as a favor for a good friend of mine. I was more than to happy to do it. Ficshe is one of my favorite local acts. Her music is a mix of industrial and trip hop music. Really good stuff. As a reward, I was able to take home a copy of her CD which is very good. So if you see Ficshe's name mentioned online at an upcoming show, go see her. She is fantastic.

Servitor followed Ficshe. His set of tribal rhythms was awesome. A highly energetic entertaining show. One of these days I definitely will get around to buying his album.

Gabriel and the Apocalypse was next. They performed a couple of new tracks from their upcoming EP. Normally I like GATA but I really wasn't feeling their music, plus I was more stoked about Ego Likeness, who has become one of my personal favorite bands in recent years. I guess I wasn't feeling the new material that night. Still unlike one person who griped on FB about the opening acts sucking (except for Servitor...yeah, like KFK put that bill together in hopes of pleasing her :::eyes rolling:::). Unfortunately after GATA's set, I have noticed that their fans also left the club. I will say this about last night's show, the numbers were disappointing. I was hoping more people would show up but alas they did not and this show was an early show. Show ended about 11.

That said...EGO LIKENESS! That band totally tore the stage up. I was definitely impressed with the amount of energy the band put into their live set. As much as I love listening to Donna on CD, her recorded vocals don't really do her justice as opposed to her powerful vocals when she is performing live. I really liked how she made eye contact with audience members. I had the opportunity to chat with both Donna and Steve before and after the show. I must say they rank as two of my favorite musicians I have had the joy of meeting and chatting with in person.

Despite the disappointing numbers, I had a blast last night at Ground Zero. The long ass wait was so worth it as was the 15 minute walk home in the barely above freezing temperatures. If Ego Likeness comes to your town, I definitely recommend going to their show. They are good people and excellent musicians. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My current favorite songs

Here is my latest Spotify playlist featuring my favorite songs at the moment.

01. Paradise (What About Us?) by Within Temptation featuring Tarja Turunen
02. Tide by The Foreign Resort
03. Speak No Evil by Detroit Diesel
04. This Means War (Jamie Myerson remix) - by Sleepthief featuring Joanna Stevens
05. Christiana Obey by Republica
06. Only This Moment by Royskopp
07. Voices of Devotion by Alkemic Generator
08. Life is Unfair (and Love is a Bitch) by Junksista
09. Love They Say by Tegan and Sara
10. The Lonely Night by Moby featuring Mark Lanegan
11. Sirens of the Sea by Sensuous Enemy
12. The Oceans Besides Us by Ego Likeness
13. Forever and More by In Strict Confidence

Friday, November 15, 2013

Jam of the Week: Nightwish's Storytime

I totally realized today that I hadn't posted my favorite song of the week. This week's Jam of the Week is Nightwish's "Storytime", the live version that will be featured on their upcoming Showtime, Storytime 2 CD/DVD/Blu-Ray set featuring the band's new singer Floor Jansen of ReVamp and formerly of After Forever.

I am totally digging Floor Jansen as the band's full time singer. She is what the band needed after the departure of Tarja. Anette was okay but her vocals just wasn't suited for the Tuomas' compositions. Still I did like her version of "Storytime" as well. It is such a catchy tune. I definitely plan on keeping an eye on Anette's solo career.

The more I have watched youtube clips of Floor performing with Nightwish, I have become more convinced she is the right singer for the band post-Tarja. I refuse to say who is/was better singer between Tarja and Floor. I believe Nightwish is in a new chapter of their career with Floor. I wish some of the Nightwish fans would stop being a bunch of whiny douchebags and get over the fact that Tarja is not in the band anymore. Just stop your bitching.

Anyways, I am excited about Showtime, Storytime. I pre-ordered the cd/dvd version with a t-shirt from the Nightwish store. I was so disappointed that the band didn't hit Minneapolis when they were touring for Imaginaerum so the live album/DVD will be the closest thing for me to having seen them with Floor.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

More new videos

This week has been a really great week for new music videos. Tonight I am featuring Alkemic Generator's Voices of Devotion and Parralox's version of Eye in the Sky. I really like both of the songs/videos. Check 'em out!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ego Likeness with Servitor, Ficshe and Gabriel and The Apocalypse at Ground Zero 11.17.13

If you have not heard or read about it...the band Ego Likeness will be performing at Ground Zero nightclub this coming Sunday night. They are touring with Servitor. Local acts Ficshe and Gabriel and the Apocalypse will be opening the show. You can find all the gory details about the show on the Ego Likeness Facebook event.

In honor of the event, I thought I would share with my readers links featuring the bands performing on 11/17.

Interview with Ego Likeness


Gabriel and The Apocalypse:


Ego Likeness:

I am going to let that concert footage from last year's DragonCon speak for the wonderfulness of Ego Likeness :).

I do hope that many people in the Twin Cities will make it to this show. Or at the very least share the news. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Bellwether Syndicate with The Foreign Resort and UZZA

Well another concert has come and gone. Last night was the Chicago band The Bellwether Syndicate with the Danish band The Foreign Resort and local band UZZA. While the numbers at Ground Zero didn't exactly match the numbers of this summer's old school Combichrist show (which would be putting it mildly), the show was nevertheless a lot of fun. If you didn't know The Bellwether Syndicate is the new project from Faith and the Muse's William Faith along with Sarah Rose, Philly Peroxide and Mike Skull rounding out the line up. And as if you didn't already need an introduction, The Foreign Resort is touring with the states with The Bellwether Syndicate. Local band UZZA started off the night with a compelling 30 minute set. Here are photos from last night's show. I have tweeted some live shots via instagram on my Twitter and FB pages.

goth_maven's TBS with The Foreign Resort and UZZA album on Photobucket

If that isn't enough here are videos that I recorded last night.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

5 Local artists/ bands to look out for

Last night I went out to Club Underground to see some local industrial acts. I had a blast. It got me thinking that I need to write about some local bands that I think people should keep an eye out for in the coming years.

01. Hydrah - while her music is not industrial or synthpop, I think her music is fantastic. I saw Hydrah earlier this year at 7th Street Entry. Little did I know that would trigger my venture back into mainstream dance music.

02. Dance Assault - I saw Carson Befus (aka Dance Assault) for the first time at Cause last month with Geodesique and Dichotomy. Another great local EDM artist to keep one's eye out for in the coming years.

03. Absynthe of Faith - Absynthe of Faith is a new band that I have seen perform live 3 times in the past few months. After seeing them live last night, I think the band is starting to find its groove. I wasn't really sure what to think of them the first time I saw them however I decided to chalk it up to the fact that they were a new band and needs to work out whatever kinks they had and to grow with every performance. Last night's show has really demonstrated that Absynthe of Faith is a band to watch out for in the local goth/industrial scene.

04. Promidal - easily my favorite [local]industrial band. If you like early Skinny Puppy and Suicide Commando, you will totally dig Promidal. Their live shows is fucking awesome. Very visual to say the very least. Their newt show is on November 27 at Club Underground.

05. Glean - I admit it, I am little biased by mentioning my good friend Brooke's band Glean in my blog entry ;). I do think what I have heard on their reverbnation page their music is very good. They should be putting out an EP sometime next month. No confirmed date but I definitely will post it when I find out about it.

I have totally forgot to mention F.T.C earlier this afternoon. I should note that due to personal conflicts in his life Jesse had to put F.T.C on a temporary hold. Nevertheless, once he gets back into music I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out on F.T.C.