Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favorite Songs of 2014 redux

Tonight I was going through my best of 2014 playlist on Spotify. I decided to make some changes to my playlist. I think this playlist is a lot stronger than the previous one I had posted about. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My favorite moments from 2014

I decided for tonight's blog, I thought I would post some of my favorite pictures that I took at concerts from the past year. This is all in random order. Warning there is a lot of pictures. LOL!

Hate Dept. at Club Underground

God Module at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Grendel at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Hocico at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Within Temptation at First Avenue

Veruca Salt at The Varsity Theater

Tegan and Sara at First Avenue

Phantogram at First Avenue

Uh Huh Her at The Triple Rock

Skinny Puppy at Mill City Nights (February)

Youth Code at Mill City Nights (as part of the Eye Vs. Spy tour)

Grrrl Prty at The Pizza Luce Block Party

Lizzo at First Avenue

Absynthe of Faith at Ground Zero

Sick of Sarah at 7th Street Entry

Dum Dum Girls at The Fine Line

Ego Likeness at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

HARDWIRE (with Hocico and Infaux) at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Front Line Assembly (Eye Vs. Spy tour)

Ludovico Technique (with Grendel and Endif) at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

My Midnight Heart (with Tegan and Sara and The Courtneys)

Amaranth at First Avenue (with Within Temptation)

Hunter Valentine (with Sick of Sarah) at 7th St Entry

Fort Wilson Riot (Mears Park)

Endif at Club Underground

Promidal at Club Underground

Unwoman at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 releases I still need to hear

With 2014 coming to an end within a couple of days, there is still a good amount of music released this year that I have yet to check out. Hopefully I can get around to listening to them very soon. If I can remember to that is ;).

The Lovelorn Dolls "Japanese Robot Invasion"

Melotron: Werkshau

Babymetal: Babymetal

"Japanese Electro Punk Brutality"

Bella Morte "Exorcisms"

Electrovot: Elegant Love

Solitary Experiments: The 20th Anniversary Compilation

Mr.Kitty: Time

The Birthday Massacre "Superstition"

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My favorite Christmas videos

Since it is Christmas Eve, I thought I would post some of my favorite Christmas videos from youtube. And I wish all my readers a Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa :).

October Project "Silent Night"

Mediaeval Baebes "I Saw Three Ships"

Loreena Mckennitt "The Bells of Christmas"

Voltaire "Coming Out For Christmas"

Celtic Woman "What Child Is This?"

Rhea's Obsession with Athan Maroulis "We Three Kings"

The Cruxshadows "Happy Xmas (War is Over"

Johnny Cash "The Little Drummer"

John Denver and The Muppets "12 Days of Christmas"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Albums I am currently listening to

I recently downloaded this EP from the US artist Roniit. It is really good. She also has a new single out called "Runaway" which I think is also worth listening to.

Nightwish: Highest Hopes

I saw this last weekend at Cheapo Discs and decided to grab it. This compilation showcases all of the songs when Tarja was in the band.

Nightwish: Showtime, Storytime

I have been listening a lot to the Nightwish live concert CD released last year. I am really getting excited for their Chicago show in April.

FKA Twigs: LP1

A weird but yet beautiful pop album. FKA Twigs reminds me a lot of the artist Grimes. If you like Grimes, I think you would dig FKA Twigs.

Emmon: Nomme

I am so into the Swedish synthpop artist Emmon. I recently downloaded this album onto my Google Play account. I have to admit I like this just slightly more than her most recent Aon which is very good and one of my favorite 2014 releases.

Hanzel und Gretyl: Black Forest Metal

A month after its release, I am still listening to this album every damn day of my life. It is so much fun to listen to.

Junksista: High Voltage Confessions

No sophomore slump here with the second full length album from Junksista.

Avarice in Audio: Shine and Burn

Excellent debut album by Avarice in Audio. I am rather surprised they don't have more likes on their Facebook page. Their album is really good in my book.

Sisu: Blood Tears

Not a bad debut album by Dum Dum Girls' drummer Sandra Wu. If you like shoegaze, I think you would like this album.

Mediaeval Baebes: Of Kings and Angels

One of my favorite Christmas albums in recent years.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Favorite Minnesota Releases From 2014

2014 has been quite a good year for Minnesota music for this blogger. In the past there have been just a couple of local releases that I heard and liked but this year I have heard quite a few so I thought I would share with my readers my favorite Minnesota based releases that I heard this year. I definitely recommend checking out all this great music from the land of 10,000 lakes (and a million mosquitoes...ha!).

GRRRL PRTY "Tonight"

Jourdan Myers "Ruin Me With Love"

Tiny Deaths "Tiny Deaths"

Astronomique "Burning Stars Fade"

Lizzo and Caroline Smith "Let 'Em Say"

Audiocentesis "Zughenruhe"

Fort Wilson Riot "Trilliun"

F.T.C "Bound Child"

Glean "EP1: Echoes & Waves"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014: My Year in Review

With 2014 quickly coming to an end, I thought I would reflect on the year. I think for the most part, 2014 has been a great year for music. I certainly could have lived without some of the drama in the underground from bands who whine too much about the internet and why people aren't buying their music to bands hiring controversial singers and then give the public some half-assed explanation and getting all defensive about it when they get blowback from the public. I am so over that shit.

Local music-wise - I have seen and/or heard some great local bands coming out of the Twin Cities scene. My favorites include: Fort Wilson Riot, Tiny DeathsAstronomiqueEndif, Grrrl Prty, Orchyd, and Glean. For me 2014 I was all about Fort Wilson Riot and Grrrl Prty . Trilliun is my favorite local album I have heard this year. The music is super catchy and addictive to listen to. The hip hop group Grrl Prty totally kicked my ass big time especially when I saw them at the Bastille Day Party in August. They have so much energy. I am looking forward to when the day comes when the group puts out a full length album. Of course I attended a lot of great  DarkSide MN shows. BTW...they are now known as Dark Agents of Minnesota.

I saw a lot of concerts this year, I say 98% I enjoyed immensely. There were a couple that just didn't impress me so much, probably because I had seen the bands so many times and well to be honest watching paint dry would have been more interesting. That said this does not include bands like Skinny Puppy and the Dum Dum Girls whom I have seen twice this year which was a real treat for me. As far a industrial shows that I have seen this year, I say Skinny Puppy was my favorite (both back in February and the most recent show this month at Mill City Nights) with Unwoman right behind them and Hocico. The Dum Dum Girls were my favorite show outside of the scene. I also really dug the First Avenue performance by Phantograms in April. Maybe because I have seen bands like De/Vision, VNV Nation, and Aesthetic Perfection so many times, I found more enjoyment out of shows that wasn't part of the dark electro scene. This year was my first time I saw Tegan and Sara live at First Avenue (sold out as always). They were immensely entertaining. They really engaging with their fans on stage in between songs. They don't just stand there and perform. My personal fave? Veruca Salt. I was so crushed when Nina and Louise had an acrimonious falling out in the '90s and Nina left to start a solo career. To see them live on stage was a real treat. Still getting to see EBM acts like God Module, Grendel, and Hocico live was pretty freaking awesome in my book. Definitely a fantastic concert year for the local dark underground scene.

Like last year, I bought a shit load of music. What can I say? I'm a music junkie. For all the bitching people do about site like Spotify and Pandora (yes I do know they rip off artists), I have found them (well Spotify at least) quite useful. I found my current favorite synthpop artist Emmon via Spotify. I even bought  her music via google play (and her label Wonderland Records). I find that Spotify does save me money. Earlier this year I bought some J-Pop artist on a whim. It was not good. I should have listened to streamed it first. Thankfully Spotify saved me from wasting money on the new Lacuna Coil album which I felt was not good and same with the latest In This Moment album. Sure there are some people who stream who are too fucking lazy and cheap to buy music but I think most people who stream do buy music like me. I have calculated the other night that I spent $1,290.13 on music this year alone. I don't appreciate being accused of not buying music.To me, that is a personal attack towards me as a music blogger. Music fans like myself just hate losing money on bad music. Insulting us music fans is not very productive. Thankfully after next year, the band who had been bitching about the internet and people who stream music will go away like the Dodo bird. I for one won't miss them.

As for what the new year will bring, so far I will be attending the second Girl Germs tribute concert at the Turf Club in January and in April Nightwish with Sabaton and Delain. I am also looking forward to the classical album by VNV Nation. I am hoping that the recently reunited Babes in Toyland will play at First Avenue (or any venue in the Twin Cities) and L7 will officially reunite. There are plans but nothing official yet. I certainly  hope that Unter Null will put out a new album. I have been waiting for that for gawd knows how long. LOL! All I can really hope for the new year that it will be as good as it was this year and 2013.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Albums I have bought in 2014

Baal - Shurado
Foretaste - Love on Demand
Feathers - If All Now Here
Sirus - Broken Hearts Corporate Minds
Army On the Dance Floor - Many Faces of War

The Melismatics - Rising Tide
Glean -
Dum Dum Girls - Too True
Aby Wolf - Wolf Lords
Astronomique - Burning Stars Fade

Client - Authority
Dum Dum Girls - Only In Drems
Within Temptation - Hydra
Lullacry - Crucify My Heart
Icona Pop - This is...
Nitronoise - No Cure For Apocalypse
Phantogram - Voices
God Module - False Face
Schoolcraft  Rushing Through the Sky

Belinda Carlisle - The Collection
Amaranthe - The Nexus
Veruca Salt - 8 Arms to Hold You
Amanda Ghost - Ghost Stories
Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty
Anette Olzon - Shine
Depeche Mode - Black Celebration
Depeche Mode - Ultra
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Mondtraume - Empty
Uh Huh Her - Future Souls

Blutengel - Black Symphonies
Nightwish - Oceanborn
Psyborg Corp - The Frozen Shrine of Obsydyana
Fort Wilson Riot - Trilliun
Stoneburners - Songs in the Key of Arrakis
Machinista - Arizona Lights
God Destruction - Novus Ordo Seclorum
Mankind is Obsolete - Mobius Loop
Panic Lift - Is This Goodbye?
Surgyn - Envy
Lucid Living - Miracless

The Luna Sequence - Fearful Shepherds Hunt Their Sheep
Arch Enemy - War Eternal
Lindsey Stirling - Shatter Me
Marsheaux  - Odyssey
My Midnight Heart - Chest of Hearts
Delerium - Poem
The Girl and the Robot - Silence/Borderline
The Girl and the Robot - Whole/Flowers

Dum Dum Girls - End of Daze
Travis - The Man Who
Puffy - The Best of Puffy Amiyumi
Xandria - Sacrificium
Weird Al - Mandatory Fun
And Finally - Heartbreak Empire
The Lonely Soul Experience - Path of Blood

Youth Code - An Overture
Junksista - Bad Case of Fabulous
Kitten - Kitten
Kyary Pamyu Pyamyu - Pika Pika Fantajin
Ludovico Technique - Some Things Are Beyond Therapy
Angel Haze - Dirty Gold
Blutengel - Demon Kiss
Mirabilis - Here and the Hereafter
Mirabilis - Sub-Rosa
Mirabilis - Pleiedes
Lizzo and Caroline Smith - Let 'Em Say

Empyrean Asunder - Your Are My Punishment maxi-single
Empyrean Asunder - Serpent
Hocico - El Ultimo Minuto Antes de que tu Mondo Caiga
Dido - Life For Rent
Gladiator Soundtrack
Austra - Olympia
Loreena McKennitt - An Ancient Muse
Club Mix 99
Lindsey Stirling - Lindsey Stirling
Elastica - Elastica
Eluveitie  Origins
The Jezebels - Prisoner
In This Moment - Blood
Psy'Aviah - The Xenogamous Endeavour
A Strange Play: An Alfa Matrix Tribute to The Cure
Clan of Xymox - Creatures
Hocico - Wrack and Ruin
Social Distortion - Social Distortion

Avarice in Audio - Shine and Burn
Hanzel und Gretyl - Black Forest Metal
Tiny Deaths - Tiny Deaths
Jourdan Meyers - Ruin Me With Love
Dolly Parton - Ultimate Dolly Parton

Junksista - High Voltage Confessions
Unwoman - Circling
Emmon - Aon

Pretty Addicted - Crackhead Christmas Stockings (which included a copy of  It All Stems From Childhood CD)
FKA Twigs - LP1
Sisu - Blood Tears
Nightwish - Highest Hopes
Stanley Woolner - Houston County
Emmon - Nomme
L7 - Hungry For Stink

I have spent $1.290.13 on 98 cds total in 2014. And who says people don't buy music? ;)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Top 20 Albums of 2014

I finally put my list of my favorite albums released in 2014. I knew 10 would be impossible so I went with 20.

20. Army On the Dance Floor: Many Faces of War
19. Tiny Deaths: Tiny Deaths
18. FKA Twigs: LP1
17. Fort Wilson Riot: Trilliun
16. Keluar: Keluar
15. Xandria: Sacrificium
14. Empyrean Asunder: Serpent
13. Mondtraume: Empty
12. Cosmic Armchair: We Are Watching EP
11. Kitten: Kitten
10. Dum Dum Girls: Too True
09. Junksista: High Voltage Confessions
08. The Luna Sequence: Fearful Shepherds Hunt Their Sheep
07. Guardians of the Galaxy: An Awesome Mix Vol.1
06. Emmon: Aon
05. Arch Enemy: War Eternal
04. Youth Code: A Place to Stand
03. Psy'Aviah: The Xenogamous Endeavour
02. Avarice in Audio: Shine and Burn
01. Hanzel und Gretyl: Black Forest Metal

Honorable Mentions:
Mirabilis: Here and the Hereafter
Stoneburner: Songs in the Key of Arrakis
Unwoman: Circling
Nitro/noise: No Cure For Apocalypse
A Strange Play: An Alfa Matrix Tribute Album to The Cure
Pretty Addicted: It All Stems From Childhood

This was a difficult list to compile. I had to do a a few do-overs with this list because I kept forgetting some of my favorite releases. I chose Hanzel Und Gretyl's Black Forest Metal album as my number one pick because of all the albums on my list, this is the one album I have the most fun listening to especially at work. The music is loud, aggressive and easy to bang one's head to. My other favorite heavy metal album of the year is Arch Enemy's War Eternal. I have yet to get sick of listening to that album. As you can see, I have mentioned a lot of artists from Alfa Matrix records. 2014 was an excellent year for the label in my book. They released some seriously excellent music. I am particularly fond of the debut album by Avarice in Audio. The beats are just sic and the male/female vocals are excellent in my book. I included a couple of local releases by the likes of Fort Wilson Riot and Tiny Deaths, both whom put out some seriously wonderful music this year.

If you are looking for some interesting, new music to check out, I definitely can recommend the artists on my list here. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 Things I have learned in 2014

With the year coming to an end, I thought I would share 5 things I have learned in 2014.

1) Never bring flower pots to a concert venue. Back in October at the Fine Line for the Dum Dum Girls concert, some guy brought in some flowers and the pot they were in. Unfortunately that got the guy escorted to the door and asked to leave. As humorous as I found the situation, I did kind of felt bad for the guy because he was asked to leave the building. Not sure if he was able to come back. I think management should have confiscated the pot and let the guy stay.

2) When you choose a highly controversial singer to front your band when your original singer leaves, do expect blowback. Don't act all surprised and defensive about it. When you do, you get no respect from me or from fans. You made your bed, now go lie in it.

3) Complaining constantly online does not earn respect from fans. Complaining about the internet being the reason why people aren't buying your music and then blaming fans really doesn't earn anyone respect. Being an asshole doesn't get anyone far especially with me. Newsflash: other people have financial priorities to attend to. I can't always what I want. I also get bogged down with a ton of music that I suddenly want to own (in other words I get easily distracted). While I do stream music, I also make sure I buy music legitimately whether online, at shows, or at my favorite record stores, and so should music fans. I can not emphasize enough for music fans to support their favorite artists and buy the music. Don't treat music as a commodity.

4) Don't pander to fans who don't like change when you want to take your music in a different direction. Daniel Graves of Aesthetic Perfection took a shitload of heat when he decided to take a different direction with his music for his next album 'Til Death. He was accused of selling out. At the time I found the whole debacle amusing but annoying simultaneously. My problem was with those who thinks artists like Daniel should be making music for them. Artists like Daniel create music for themselves, not for the public.

5) Try broadening  your  musical horizons and listen to music outside your comfort zone and that I did this year. I actually started getting into some hip hop music which I thought would never happen. I still don't like a lot of hip hop music but I do love the sounds of Grrrl PrtyLizzo, and Angel Haze

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Top 20 Favorite Artists/Bands of 2014

I can hardly believe that December is half way over. Discovered and heard lots of great music. Tonight I thought I would share my favorite bands of 2014. I didn't think 10 would be enough so I opted for 20.

20. Psy'Aviah

19. Pretty Addicted

18. Astronomique

17. Fort Wilson Riot

16. Arch Enemy

15. Keluar

14. Cosmic Armchair

13. Xandria

12. FKA Twigs

11. Veruca Salt

10. Tiny Deaths

09. Junksista


07. Army On the Dance Floor

06. Avarice in Audio

05. Youth Code

04. The Luna Sequence

03. Dum Dum Girls

02. Emmon

01. Hanzel und Gretyl

Honorable Mentions:
Jourdan Meyers
Lindsey Stirling
God Destruction
Lucid Living

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Favorite Songs of 2014

Well it has been awhile since I last made a Spotify playlist for my blog and since the year is coming to an end, now would be a perfect time to make one. Tonight I just cobbled together a playlist of my favorite songs from this year called My Best of 2014 Playlist.

Here is the track list [song/artist]:

01. Frostbite - Avarice in Audio

02. Black Forest Metal - Hanzel und Gretyl

03. Rimbaud Eyes - Dum Dum Girls

04. Before I Die - Psy'Aviah featuring Diana S. of Junksista

05. Come With Me - Xandria

06. Expanses - The Luna Sequence

07. The Truth - Junksista

08. Consuming Guilt - Youth Code

09. To Hell and Back  - Sabaton

10. Far From Pain - Mondtraume

11. I'll Be Your Girl - Kitten

12. If We Stop Breeding - Nitro/Noise

13. Marching of the Days [synthpop mix] - Cosmic Armchair

14. War Eternal - Arch Enemy

I am so glad to see that Hanzel und Gretyl regained their mojo after their disappointing Born to Be Heiled in 2012. "Black Forest Metal"is by far my favorite metal song of 2015 with "War Eternal" by Arch Enemy, "Come With Me" by Xandria, and "To Hell and Back" by Sabaton right behind them.

2014 has been a good year for Alfa Matrix records I think. They put out some killer music. I particularly love the debut albums by Avarice in Audio and Mondtraume as well as the new albums by Junksista and Psy'Aviah. Of course I had to include some songs by those bands.

The new Youth Code EP A Place To Stand is killer. "Consuming Guilt" is one of my favorite tracks off the EP.

One of the catchiest songs of the year is deifnitely "I'll Be Your Girl" by Kitten. The self-titled debut album by Kitten is one of my most played albums of 2014.

I definitely recommend checking out my playlist to listen to my favorite songs of 2014.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My 10 Favorite Concerts of 2014

Now that I have seen all the shows that I plan on seeing for 2014, I thought I would share with my readers my favorite concerts from this year.

10. Lizzo and Caroline Smith at First Avenue

09. God Module with Die Sektor and F.T.C at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
goth_maven's God Module with Die Sektor and FTC album on Photobucket

08. Grendel with Ludovico Technique and Endif at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
goth_maven's Grendel with Ludovico Technique and Endif album on Photobucket

07. Eye vs. Spy Tour at Mill City Nights
goth_maven's Eye versus Spy tour album on Photobucket

06. Hocico with HARDWIRE and Infaux at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
goth_maven's Hocico with HARDWIRE and Infaux album on Photobucket

05. Within Temptation at First Avenue

04. Tegan and Sara at First Avenue

03. Dum Dum Girls at The Triple Rock Social Club/The Fine Line Music Cafe
goth_maven's Dum Dum Girls at the Triple Rock album on Photobucket

02. Unwoman at Amsterdamn Bar and Hall
goth_maven's An Evening with Unwoman album on Photobucket

01. Veruca Salt at The Varsity

Honorable Mentions:
Phantogram at First Avenue
The Ladykiller Tour 2 [Sick of Sarah and Hunter Valentine]
Aesthetic Perfection with Surgyn and Panic Lift at Ground Zero
Voltaire with Ego Likeness and The Trapezoids at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Hate Dept. with Project .44
VNV Nation with Whiteqube
Skinny Puppy with Army of the Universe
Uh Huh Her at The Triple Rock