Saturday, February 28, 2015

Albums I am currently listening to

Angels and Agony: Monument

I just received my copy of the new Angels and Agony album yesterday in the mail. It is excellent. I have already heard it via Spotify but I ordered myself a physical copy of the album because I really liked what I heard. It is great to see the guys in Angels and Agony return to the scene. They put out some excellent futurepop music reminiscent of Solitary Experiments, one of my favorite bands in the past few years. Monument is super catchy. If you like bands such as Solitary Experiments and Assemblage 23, you definitely would like Angels and Agony.

Sleepthief: The Dawnseeker (extended version)

I had received the new extended version of Sleepthief's first album The Dawnseeker last weekend. I have missed owning this album so I was really pleased when Justin announced last year that he would re-release his first album. I was not disappointed. I recommend this album for fans of Conjure One, Balligomingo, and Delerium.

Today I went to uptown to the Cheapo Discs location to see if I could find any some L7 music (which I did but not the albums I wanted). I ended up leaving the store with some '90s electronica music which was good enough for me. I have been on a serious '90s kick for some time now. And before I got into industrial and synthpop music, I was a diehard techno fan in the late '90s/early '00s. The cds I bought today really goes back to my early roots in electronic music. Here are my new music purchases:

Hackers 2 soundtrack

I have always loved the first two Hackers soundtracks, the second is my personal favorite.


ESCM is one of my personal favorite albums in the dance genre. IMA was good but I always preferred ESCM. Unfortunately after ESCM, BT's music went to hell in a hand basket for me. Too many outside influences started to show up in BT's music post-ESCM. For me, ESCM epitomized trance music.

Prodigy: The Fat of the Land

It is really good to hear some Prodigy. I think it has been at least ten years since I last heard this album. I think the music sounds better now than when I first heard it in the late '90s.

Okay this next album came out in 2000 but it was still at a time before I seriously got into industrial and synthpop.

Paul Van Dyk: Out There and Back

Out There and Back is my favorite trance album ever. Heck! Paul Van Dyk is still the only dj whose music I will listen to although not very often. Unlike many of his peers, Paul hasn't sold out or let the quality in his music diminish. As much as I like a lot of his recent works, Out There and Back is my personal favorite album from him.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Lords of Acid with Angelspit, Radical G! and Thought Thieves

Throwback Thursday time! Tonight I decided to re-share my photos and videos from the last time Lords of Acid came to town back in 2011. They were touring with Angelspit and Radical G!.

goth_maven's Lords of Acid concert 2011 album on Photobucket

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Old and new favorite songs

Old Favorite Songs:

Sero.Overdose: Missing

Angels and Agony: Euphoria

Namnambulu: Memories

I have been on a big futurepop kick for the past few days and especially songs from several years ago. Since hearing the new Angels and Agony album Monument not long ago, I decided to dig back into their archives and listen to their earlier music. They remind me of another excellent futurepop band Solitary Experiments.

I used to have a Sero. Overdose cd but to be honest I found it to be a hit or miss with me. One of the few songs I loved on the album was "Missing". Super catchy song.

One of these days I need to add some Namnambulu to my music collection. I have listened to a lot of their music online and absolutely love all the songs that I have heard. I have never heard a song by the group that I did not like. "Memories" is one of my personal favorite songs by the band because it was the first Namnambulu song that I had ever heard.

New Favorite Songs:

Angels and Agony: Monument

Covenant: Not to Be Here Synchronize

I am so thrilled to see Angels and Agony back on the electro scene. They have been sorely missed by me. I started listening to them after discovering Apoptygma Berzerk and VNV Nation. Their new album is fantastic. The title track to their new album is a terrific track off the album. I definitely recommend checking it out.

I have been listening to a lot of Covenant lately because of their upcoming show. I have decided to give their most recent album Leaving Babylon a second chance (wasn't crazy about it the first time around). It is okay but certainly not my favorite Covenant album but I do love the song "Not to Be Here" a beautiful ballad.

Really digging the new song "Synchronize". I certainly plan on checking out the new MiB album when it comes out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My 10 Favorite Seabound Songs

Last night I posted my 10 favorite Covenant songs in honor of their upcoming show at Amsterdam Bar and Hall in April (Seabound w/Architect(Daniel Myer of Haujobb) in Saint Paul), tonight I thought I would give Seabound the same treatment.

01. Hooked

02. The Promise

03. Watching Over You

04. Black Feathers (Requiem)

05. Poisonous Friend

06. Sapphire

07. Murder

08. Breathe

09. October Song

10. Without You

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Top 10 Covenant songs

For some odd reason tonight I couldn't embed my latest playlist on to my blog. I couldn't get the link of my playlist to convert the link for me. Hopefully it isn't a permanent issue and just a temporary technical issue with Spotify. Tonight's playlist was going to be all about Covenant (as a means to help promote the upcoming Covenant show in Saint Paul put on by Kilted Farmer Koncerts). Instead I decided to post my 10 favorite Covenant songs.

01. The World is Growing Loud

02. Brave New World

03. Dead Stars

04. Call the Ships to Port

05. Ignorance and Bliss

06. The Beauty and Grace

07. Like Tears in Rain

08. Judge of My Domain

09. Bullet

10. Feedback

And in case you are wondering who else is playing with Covenant that night, local band AS/OFand The Labrynth which which features Sara Stewart [Ayria/The Break Up] and Michael Wimer [Ayria/Information Society/VNV Nation].

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Artists worth checking out: Orphan Mothers and My Midnight Heart

Tonight I got notified on my android phone that the electropop duo from Regina, Saskatchewan called Orphan Mothers which features Jon Neher and Eden Rohatensky, had just started following me on Twitter. When I clicked on their Twitter page and I then went to their bandcamp page to check out their music. The duo had just released their debut EP Hindsight earlier this week.

Hindsight is a six song collection of intimate electro-pop songs whose influences ranges from jazz to '80s new wave music. I was immediately drawn to their music given my fondness for electro-pop music. If the duo wasn't from Regina, I would say they would have been from the Twin Cities where there is a burgeoning electro-pop scene featuring the sounds of Tiny Deaths, Astronomique, Claps, Yoni Yum, and Aby Wolf. Check Out Orphan Mothers. Their music is pure synth bliss.

Last year, I went to see Tegan and Sara at First Avenue. Of the two opening bands that night, My Midnight Heart was my personal favorite opening act. My Midnight Heart's music is described as "dark pop" and her influences ranges from Bat For Lashes to Radiohead. My Midnight Heart (i.e Angelica Allen) recently released two EPs Drown and this past week Break.
I was not disappointed in what I heard with the new EPs. Like on her first EP Chest of Hearts, the music is absolutely lush and atmospheric and couple that with Angelica Allen's gorgeous vocals, the results is absolutely enchanting. I am really been keeping my eye out on My Midnight Heart (and apparently so is the media like Spin Magazine). My Midnight Heart is proof that pop music (as a genre) can be good and have substance to it (as opposed to the mindless, corporate crap churned out by mainstream record labels). 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Ego Likeness with Servitor at Ground Zero [2013]

I decided for #throwbackthursday, I decided to go with the 2013's Ego Likeness show with Servitor and local act Ficshe. This was the first time I got to see Ego Likeness and I was really excited about seeing them live in concert being a big fan of the band. I was not disappointed in what I saw and heard that night. It was a fantastic show and getting to meet Steven and Donna was a real honor for me. Fun people to talk in person as well as on Facebook.

goth_maven's Ego Likeness with Servitor album on Photobucket

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Old and New Favorite Songs

Believe it or not I actually remembered to post my latest favorite songs (from the past and present) ;). As a reminder, this was inspired by Rolling Stone magazine's column where they have an artist or some sort of celebrity list their favorite tracks, 3 old and 3 new tracks.

Old Favorites:
Limahl: Never Ending Story

Amaranthe: Amaranthine

Massive Attack: Angel

One of my personal favorite songs from my childhood that I can never sick of is Limahl's "Never Ending Story". I can listen to it non-stop and not get sick of hearing it.

I first heard "Amaranthine" by Amaranthe back in September when they opened up for Within Temptation. I immediately fell in love with the song. I am hoping they will play it again live this May.

I almost forgot how good Massive Attack's Mezzanine album was until I re-acquired a copy of the album last weekend.I absolutely love the dark sinister beats of the song "Angel" in particular. A very moody track.

New Favorites:
Nightwish: Elan

Nightwish: Sagan

Richard Marx: Turn Off the Night

I am truly loving the new Nightwish single "Elan". I think it kicks ass. I am constantly listening to the song at home, work, and on the bus. I also like the song "Sagan" which unfortunately won't be on the new Nightwish album. It is a shame it was cut from the album. I think it is a fantastic song.

Awhile back I heard the new album by Richard Marx. I thought it was a well written pop album. My favorite song off the album was the ballad "Turn Off the Night". I suspect the song is based on his divorce. The lyrics sounded very personal and the melodies was absolutely breathtaking. After all these years, Richard Marx still has the knack for writing a good pop hook.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Upcoming shows in the Twin Cities worth checking out

Industrial VS. Hip Hop at Club Underground - This is a local show but the bands on this bill is definitely worth seeing live.
Steve Aoki at Myth Nightclub

Helmet at Mill City Nights
Hellyeah at Mill City Nights
Transmission Celebrates 14 Years Featuring DJ Jake Rudh
Coal Chamber w/Filter, Combichrist, American Head Charge, and Saint Ridley
Orgy at POV's on 65
Seabound w/Architect Speak in Storms Tour

Kitten Forever at Triple Rock

Covenant in Saint Paul

Mastodon with Clutch at Myth
Information Society at The Fine Line Music Cafe

The Body with Full of Hell, Prostrate, and Thunderbolt Pagoda at Triple Rock
Kamelot with Dragonforce at Mill City Nights
Amaranthe with I Prevail and Santa Cruz at Mill City Nights
Ministry at Mill City Nights [tickets for Ministry goes on sale this Friday]
Hot Chip with Slow Magic at First Avenue Mainroom

Glass Animals at First Avenue Mainroom
Purity Ring at First Avenue Mainroom

*I should note that I only featured shows that might appeal to my readers and friends in the dark electro/metal underground scene. I also included some music regarding the upcoming shows from Kilted Farmer (i.e Seabound and Covenant) because I really want to get people to go to those shows in particular.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Playlist for 02/16-02/22

Today I have been listening to the new Nightwish single "Elan" quite a bit today. I am really enjoying the song and hearing Floor Jansen sing new material with the band. I decided for this week's playlist I compiled some of my favorite current and past songs in the gothic/symphonic metal genre.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Old and New Favorite Songs

I admit it I kind of forgot about this weekly blog series for the past couple of weeks. I will definitely try to be better about posting it every week here on the Twin Cities Underground. I guess I just have been so preoccupied with the recently announced Covenant show at Amsterdam Bar and Hall in April and before that June concert for Purity Ring at First Avenue. I get really excited about upcoming shows way too easily. LOL! Without Further ado, here are my favorite songs (old and new alike).

Old Favorites:
Of all the songs The Bangles have released as singles, "If She Knew What She Wants" is my favorite song by the band. While Susanna Hoff's vocals takes front and center the band harmonizes really well on this track. Just in general the reason I always loved this band was because that all four members sang vocals. The harmonies always stuck out with me. Their music remains timeless for me. Also I like the UK video of the song than what was released in the US. I find it more interesting visually.

I have been listening to the band's last album for Sub Pop record label. "Fast And Frightening" is my personal favorite song off the album. It is so raw and aggressive. After 2 decades, the song (and their album) still sounds absolutely freaking amazing.

"Sanvean" is easily my favorite Dead Can Dance song hands down. Just love Lisa Gerrard's vocalizations on this track. The melodies and her vocals simply sends chills down my spine.

New Favorites:
I am totally digging the new Nightwish single "Elan". I can only speak for myself when I say the band may the right decision to hire Floor Jansen as their vocalist full time. I can certainly hear a little Tarja in her vocals throughout the song but not too much. Do I think the song isn't heavy enough like some fans are complaining? Absolutely not. I think "Elan" is a beautiful track and a good choice as the first single off the new album. While it may not be as heavy on the guitar riffs, the song itself is as melodic as the band's previous singles.

My favorite song off the new Zola Jesus album Taiga.

Great song from one of my favorite futurepop groups from years ago. Their new album is excellent. I listened to it last night and ordered a copy from Their return to the scene is most welcomed with me. "Inside Sanity" makes me think of Solitary Experiments and maybe a little of VNV Nation. I really recommend checking out their new album Monument. It is fantastic.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1982

01. The Cure: In Between Days

02. Sting: Russians

03. Siouxsie and The Banshees: Candyman

04. Pet Shop Boys: Opportunities

05. Berlin: Like Flames

06. Falco: Vienna Calling

07. Divinyls: Pleasure and Pain

08. Billy Idol: To Be A Lover

09. Tears For Fears: Mothers Talk

10. Animotion: I Want You

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weekly Playlist for 02/10 - 02/15

A little late on this week's playlist but better late than never I say. For this week's playlist, I chose a few songs from each band on the upcoming concert at Amsterdam Bar and Hall featuring Seabound, Architect, and Endless Blue which is going to be held on 3/27. Details can be found on The link I just posted.

Monday, February 9, 2015

My 20 worst bands from the '90s

Tonight I came across this article from Mandatory about The 20 Worst Bands From the '90s. I decided to put together my own list of my least favorite bands from the '90s.

20. LFO

If you need mispell one of the words in your band name, then you know this group is going to suck.

19. Hootie and the Blowfish

Just the name of this band made me can't stand them. Their songs themselves were generic and boring.

18. 7 Mary 3

Horrible, horrible band with even worse music. Yes I thought there was some good grunge but then there was this shit and Candlebox.

17. Candlebox

See 7 Mary 3.

16. The Presidents of the United States

Never understood the appeal of this band and I still don't.

15. Five

Boy bands were one of the reason I hated some of music that came out of the '90s. Thank goodness this band never really hit its peak like the BSB and NSYNC did in the '90s.

14. Metallica

Metallica in the '80s were kickass. Metallica in the '90s was lame.

13. Goo Goo Dolls

Like 7 Mary 3, awful name, awful music.

12. Spin Doctors

This band and their overplayed music drove me up the wall.

11. Nsync

I loathed and still do this sort of pop music.

10. Backstreet Boys

09. Third Eye Blind

I never understand this band's popularity. Eric Jenkins can't sing shit and the lyrics he wrote were awful. Plus from what I have read he was a pompous, egotistical ass.

08. Tonic

When I worked at the local Dairy Queen one summer, I heard this damn song over and over again. Gawd did I hate it! Thankfully they disappeared as fast as they came on to the music scene.

07. Marcy Playground

Another band whose one hit drove me insane. Such an awful voice.

06. Barenaked Ladies

See Tonic. Their music just downright sucked but "One Week" was the worst of the bunch they put out.

05. Smash Mouth

The lead singer had one of the most annoying voices I had heard from that decade. Just got on every last nerve in my body.

04. The Verve Pipe

Bands like The Verve Pipe offended me so much because the music was so damn boring and bland.

03. Limp Bizkit

I absolutely hated the whole rap/rock sound. Limp Bizkit was the worst of the bunch. The music and their fans were as dumb as a box of hay.

02. Spice Girls

I don't think I need to explain this one. LOL!
01. Creed

Pearl Jam called, they wanted their sound back.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

5 Things I rather be doing than watching the Grammy Awards

Well it is that time of year where people in the music industry kiss each other's asses. Yawn. Of course 98% of the artists I don't give a shit because I don't listen to them. Here are 5 things I would rather be doing than watch the Grammys.

01. Watching paint dry

Does the award show really need to be about 3 plus some hours? Talk about inducing viewers into a coma.

02. Listen to nails on chalkboard

Some of the artists that goes on that show are pretty painful for me to listen to, mainly Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, and Ariana Grande. Listening to nails running down a chalkboard would be far more pleasant. At least Meghan Trainor isn't performing. I'm sorry I don't get her appeal. Her voice is painful to listen to. Like the positive lyrics but she really needs to lay off auto-tune.

03. Read War and Peace

See #1. War and Peace would be so much more entertaining. LOL. And to make it more entertaining, make the book in latin.

04. Listen to actual music.
And that is what I am actually doing right this moment. And this is what I am listening to right now.

Today's current crop of mainstream pop music keeps getting worse and worse by the year. Gimme someone like Swedish electropop act Emmon. People like Katy Perry and Iggy Azalia are horrible to listen to.

05. Watch Downton Abbey or anything else other than the Grammy Awards.
No need for explaination here. Hell! Watching the Weather Channel would be more interesting.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Albums I am currently listening to

It has been quite a long time since I have listened to the pop punk band The Muffs. I loved them in the '90s.  I always felt they (and The Groovie Ghoulies) put out better pop punk music than that shit band called Green Day. I recently got their latest album from the library and I find myself enjoying their music as much as I did in my 20s. I absolutely adore Kim Shattuck's raspy vocals.

Back in November when I was visiting my folks for Thanksgiving, I was watching the Saturday morning and the Ohio band Wussy came on the air. Normally I am not a big indie rock fan but I really liked what I heard when they performed on the show. Last week I finally got their latest album Attica. I think it is pretty damn good. Definitely rockish but there certainly is a bit of country here in there in the music. If the band ever came through the Twin Cities, I definitely would go pay to see them live (as I would with The Muffs).

Ever since I got the new Chandeen album Forever and Ever, I decided to give their previous album Blood River Skies. It is definitely as good as their new album. It is funny I like the band's more current material than I do their earlier stuff. I guess it is just personal preference. Their current music has a shoegazey sound that appeals to me.

I Remember by Kaskade is Google Play's current free album of the week. I like it. It isn't the best album I have ever heard but it is good chill out electronica music.

I downloaded Taiga by Zola Jesus a few weeks ago when it was (and maybe it still is) on sale for $3.99 via Google Play. This is my kind of pop music that I can dig. Definitely check it out.  People need to listen to more Zola Jesus and a lot less Katy Perry and Beyonce IMHO.

The latest albums by Delain and LIGHTS have been getting good airtime at home and work. I am looking forward to seeing Delain in April with Nightwish and Sabaton. That will be a killer show. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1997

I will be honest I may or may not have done a TBT on 1997 and in case I did, I am using videos I didn't use the first time around. I thought 1997 was a great year in electronica music. I listened to a lot of electronica music towards the couple of years I lived in Milwaukee, WI. I had a roommate who listened to a lot kick ass techno music.
01. The Prodigy: Smack My Bitch Up

02. Olive: You're Not Alone

03. Sneaker Pimps: 6 Underground

04. Daft Punk: Da Funk

05. Death in Vegas: Dirt

06. Chemical Brothers: Block Rockin Beats

07. Depeche Mode: Useless

08. Sash!: Ecuador

09. Faithless: Insomnia

10. Bjork: I Miss You

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Some Food For Thought: Nightwish - 10 years later [time to move on]

This morning I saw a link from the Finnish metal band Nightwish about their upcoming new album Endless Forms Most Beautiful. As someone who likes a good train wreck, I couldn't resist and read some of the comments on the band's Facebook page. Most people like myself are excited about the album, of course there were a few people who somehow hasn't gotten over the fact that Nightwish has moved on from the firing of Tarja Turunen. I thought for tonight's blog I would write about Nightwish and the drama surrounding the band. After ten years, it seems like people still can't get over the fact the band has a different singer.

I have been a fan of the band Nightwish for just over 10 years. I first got into the band when I saw an advertisement for their album album Wishmaster which may have been a year after its release, I can't remember ;).

I was intrigued by the description female operatic vocals and immediately ordered a copy online. That album opened my eyes to another world of heavy metal music I did not know it existed. Wishmaster immediately made me a Nightwish fan. What drew me to the music was Tarja's powerful vocals. Her voice completely blew me away. At the time, I never heard anyone in heavy metal sing like she did. After Wishmaster, I made it a point to buy as much of their music as I could. I thought this line up would last forever. I was wrong.

Like every other fan, I was completely shocked to have found out that Tarja was fired for the band (and it wasn't on good terms either from what I had read). I didn't know who could fill the huge shoes that Tarja left. I didn't think anyone could. When the band announced that they chose Anette Olzon, I admit I was a bit excited but sad at the same time, after all no one could sing like Tarja but still I was excited for new music from the band. When the band released 2007's Dark Passion Play I liked the album but lets face it Anette Olzon was no Tarja. Anette sounded so different from Tarja. I felt she was an odd pick to replace Tarja. My overall thoughts on the album was meh. I liked a few songs but in general the album was no match with the body of work that Tarja did with the band. I did get to see the band with Anette perform live in 2007 (I think). I will say this about Anette as a live performer. She was far more engaging with the audience than Tarja was when I saw her in 2004 or 2005. 2011's Imaginaerum was definite improvement. I liked that the band was venturing out beyond the confines of their symphonic metal sound and I was starting to warm up to Anette's singing style. I admit there was a brief time when I thought of giving up on them. Briefly. Once again, the band surprises me with an announcement that Anette had left the band during their tour behind Imaginaerum and asked ex-After Forever singer Floor Jansen to finish the tour with them. Not long after the tour ended, Floor was asked to become their lead singer on a full time singer. This had me intrigued. Of course I had to start listening to her former band's music. I really liked what I had heard.

But it was not until I heard Floor perform "Storytime" did I really get excited about Nightwish again.

I think with Floor, her voice falls inbetween Tarja and Anette. After listening to Floor's work with Revamp and her former band After Forever, I knew Floor was the right pick for the band. I liked Anette but her voice and Tuomas' compositions just didn't click with me for 98% of the time. I love Anette's solo album Shine which for me is grossly underrated and underappreciated and I do look forward to hearing more music from her in the future. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Floor has to offer with the band. I will be making a trip to Chicago in April to see the band perform at the Concord Music Hall since they aren't coming to Minneapolis.

Over the years, I have found myself a lot less bitter and resentful towards the band (after the departure of Tarja). I  have come to realize that Nightwish was and is Tuomas Holopainen's baby and he has the right to see how the band functions as a whole and to see his musical vision come to fruition. Do I miss Tarja? Sure but I have the albums she sang on to listen to . She has given several years of listening pleasure for music lovers.  As I see it with each of the singers in the band, it is like different chapters in a book. Floor just happens to be the next chapter for the band.  I wish those who continually insult the band or put down Floor Jansen as a singer would just learn to let things go. It has been ten years since Tarja has been out of the band. Time for the haters to stop following the band and move on. I do that with bands I stop liking for various reasons, trolling their pages just seems pointless. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekly Playlist for 02/02/14 - 02/08/14

For this week's playlist, there is no particular theme. Just a random mix of my current favorite songs. It is pretty much a mix bag.