Sunday, January 31, 2016

Babes in Toyland with Ageist and Kitten Forever at First Avenue on 01.30.16

Well the new year started off on a shaky start for live music with the homecoming show of Babes in Toyland at First Avenue. More on my personal thoughts later. The line up for last night's show featured local act Kitten Forever and Brooklyn band Ageist. Here are the few photos I got from the show from my android phone.

A photo posted by Erica Anderson (@eanderson74) on

A photo posted by Erica Anderson (@eanderson74) on

A photo posted by Erica Anderson (@eanderson74) on

Ageist put on a pretty fast, loud set. Audience members seemed to enjoy their set a lot. They seemed to be a good fit for the show as well as the current tour they are on with Babes in Toyland. To be honest I was more excited to be seeing Kitten Forever and Babes in Toyland last night.

The first and last time I had seen Kitten Forever was at the second Girl Germs concert event at The Turf Club. I really loved the fact that the women takes turn singing and playing drums and bass guitar. I think that is pretty innovating in music today. I have never seen that happen in my years of covering concerts and the local music scene. I also dig the fact that their music bass guitar driven. Well last night proved to me that I need to make an effort to go see Kitten Forever play. They were fantastic with their high energy brand of feminist punk rock. Their music made me think this band could have been from the '90s riot grrrl movement with their raw intensity they put into their music and live performances.  The audience (which was a good mix of younger and older generations of music fans) ate up their set. Being in the front row, I had to deal with lots of bodies and elbows from the moshing going on in their sets (which was tame in comparison to Babes in Toyland's set). Watching Kitten Forever was truly a joy.

Finally was the mighty Babes in Toyland. I first saw them over the summer at Rock the Garden when Maureen was still in the band. As time went on and I have read more into the whole split between the band and Maureen, my opinion of the sudden change has definitely changed for the better. Clara Salyer  (ex-Prissy Clerks) is a great fit for the band. My general impression of the trio last night was that they really enjoyed each other's company on stage as well as performing live as a band. After all these years, nothing has changed for the founding members Kat Bjelland and Lori Barbero. Kat can still wail as a vocalist and Lori can pound the drums like a beast (she remains one of my top 5 favorite drummers of all time). Their set was ferocious to say the least.  I was left very satisfied with their performance.

Now on to my whole concert experience. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. As a short person, there is nothing worse than having to look over other people's shoulders so for me, there was no doubt I had to get a spot right up in front of the stage. Big mistake on my part. I was surrounded by dicks and assholes who moshed right through Babes' set. I was constantly hammered against the barrier. Had I been not near the barrier I would have been on the ground no doubt about it. I'm sorry but moshing is for assholes. Not everyone digs it and wants to actually enjoy a concert without a bunch of dicks pushing and shoving each other around. Towards the end of the show some stupid ass bitch who was wearing a tacky leopard print shirt and reminded me of a young Tammy Faye Baker pushed her way through the crowd and was practically on top of me. The constant screaming, pinching and her annoying waving made for a much unpleasant ending towards the evening. I honestly wanted to punch her in the face but at the same time I did not want to be kicked out of the club. As much as I loved Kitten Forever and Babes in Toyland's sets, last night left a foul taste in my mouth for live music. I am so over being short and trying to secure myself a good spot so I can actually see. At least when I saw Nightwish last year in Chicago, I did not have to deal with asshole moshers and drunken morons. Yes I could hardly see the band but the audience members were not total dicks. My next two major concerts are Florence and The Machine w/Grimes in June and Lush in Chicago in September. At least with Florence, I am sitting down. With Lush, it is GA. I better not have a miserable time that night like I did last night. I am so over going to concerts. The older I get, the less tolerant I am towards immature assholes who can't handle alcohol. I am now going to be super picky about what shows I am going to now. I can't deal with this crap anymore. I am 41 years old and not even five feet tall.  This shit is not fun anymore.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Music to check out

I have decided to put my weekly End of the Week lists on a hiatus. I just need a break from it. I am going to try to spend my Fridays, listening to new music on bandcamp at work and then share my findings with my readers here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1999

Throwback Thursday time again! Tonight I decided to focus on the year 1999. Enjoy!

01. VNV Nation: Empires

02. FLA: Implode

03. Moby: Play

04. Underworld: Beaucoup Fish

05. Travis: The Man Who

06. Everything But the Girl: Temperamental

07. Beth Orton: Central Reservation

08. Dido: No Angel

09. Fiona Apple: When the Pawn...

10. Tori Amos: To Venus and Back

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Favorite Albums From the '90s: Mezzanine by Massive Attack

I really can't pin point the time when I got into trip hop music. I am thinking it was after discovering Hooverphonic's first two albums back in the mid '90s. Whatever the case might be, Massive Attack's Mezzanine album has always been a favorite of mine. I love their first three albums but Mezzanine is my personal favorite by the band and album in general. The album to me has a dark, sinister yet sexy vibe. The music would make for a perfect soundtrack for a noir film especially with songs like "Angel" and "Man Next Door". In a couple more years, Mezzanine will be twenty years old but the music sounds fresh and new today as it did in 1998..

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Album Of The Week: Ego Death by The Internet

I think it has been a week since I downloaded Ego Death by the LA/Atlanta r and b/soul band The Internet. Still loving the album. Next to Psalm One's The Death of Frequent Flier, Ego Death is the only interesting new music that I have bought lately. I had decided to check The Internet out after reading about them on you guessed it...the internet. LOL! I listened to a couple of songs on youtube and found myself liking their music quite a bit. I love Syd the Kyd's voice which was what drew me to The Internet. She has such a smooth, laid back voice. My favorite tracks: "Get Away", "Just Sayin/I Tried", "Girl", and "Palace/Curse".  Great album to listen to on my morning commute to work.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Music I am currently listening to

Psalm One: P.O.L.Y (Psalm One Loves You)

I have been really digging Psalm One's music lately especially her 2007 album The Death of Frequent Flier, my soundtrack on my morning commutes to work but now I am digging further into her catalog beginning with her most recent album P.O.L.Y (Psalm One Loves You). I consider Psalm One Chicago's own Lizzo with her own group Rapper Chicks (the windy city's version of Grrrl Prty). P.O.L.Y is certainly one of those albums that I needed time to grown on me. I have listened to it casually a couple of times but after getting into The Death of Frequent Flier, the latest album has grown on me. Highlight of the album: "Plenty of Wins". I absolutely Psalm One's rapid fire rapping on this track. Right now Psalm One is my favorite artist at the moment. Oh and I think it is totally badass that she used to be a bio-chemist.

The Internet: Ego Death

This is my favorite album to chill out to. I am really not a fan of r and b/soul music but I absolutely love this album and Syd the Kyd's vocals.

Lush: Spooky

Now that I have bought my ticket to the Lush show in Chicago, I have been binge listening to their music on Spotify. Spooky was my first introduction to Lush. I forgot how I discovered the band. I know I was still in high school in the '90s. Loved the album then, still love the album now. I can hardly wait for September to get her so I can see them in the windy city.

SPC ECO: Sirens and Satellites

Not exactly my favorite SPC ECO album but I still like it a lot. I definitely recommend checking out their music.

The Internet: Feel Good

I decided to check out The Internet's music today. Feel Good is okay but it definitely isn't as good as Ego Death.

Avarice in Audio: Apollo and Dionysus

Really digging the three preview tracks off the upcoming Avarice in Audio album. Definitely will be buying that album.

Helalyn Flowers: Sonic Foundation

Killer preview tracks. Also plan on buying this album when it comes out in March.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ThrowbackThursday: 1989

01. The Cure: Disintegration

02. Ministry: The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

03. Belinda Carlisle: Runaway Horses

04. Kate Bush: The Sensual World

05. New Order: Technique

06. Elvis Costello: Spike

07. Mary Chapin Carpenter: State of the Heart

08. Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation 1814

09. Madonna: Like a Prayer

10. Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Favorite Albums From the '90s: Karma by Delerium

So last week I started a new weekly blog series which is me discussing about one of my favorite albums from the '90s. The first in the series was Play by Moby. This week it is Karma by Delerium, another album the same former roommate of mine from my college days.

Karma was my first exposure to Delerium. It was really my first introduction to ambient related music. I remember thinking to myself how this music reminded me of Enigma but darker and with a more underground electronic sound, Enigma is more on the poppier side of electronic music. In the beginning I loved "Silence" but after hearing the song on so many compilations, it has become one of those rare songs I can't listen to any more. I have gotten sick and tired of it but the rest of Karma is still wonderful. Really love the world music influences that shines through on tracks like "Forgotten Worlds" and "Lamentation". "Lamentation" is a personal favorite track of mine with the gregorian chants, flamenco guitars, and Persian influences. Simply a beautiful track. Another favorite is "Euphoria (Firefly)" featuring Jacqui Hunt on vocals. Unlike "Lamentation", the electronic music is much more pronounced on this track. Very trip hop-ish to me.

After all these years, I still enjoy listening to Karma. The music really calms my frayed nerves after a long day at the office. Definitely one of the ten albums that has left a huge impact on me and my musical tastes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Album of the Week: The Death of Frequent Flier by Psalm One

Back in November of 2015, I read a really compelling article on Chicago rapper Psalm One (who at one time worked with local rap label Rhymesayers). You can read the article here. I have to admit the controversy got my curiosity aroused so I checked out her music both on Spotify and her Soundcloud page. I was duly impressed. I especially love her 2007 album The Death of Frequent Flier. I absolutely love her delivery as well as her lyrics. I will never understand why Rhymesayers' lack of interest in promoting the only woman on their roster and it is a shame especially since there aren't any other women on the label.  Hip hop music is a hit or miss with me (a  lot of it a miss) but I really dig the sounds of Psalm One.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1991

Time for some TBT. Tonight it is all about 1991. Enjoy!
01. Sarah McLachlan: Solace

02. Siouxsie and The Banshees: Superstition

03. My Bloody Valentine: Loveless

04. Slowdive: Just For A Day

05. This Mortal Coil: Blood

06. Massive Attack: Blue Lines

07. Saint Etienne: Foxbase Alpha

08. Soundgarden: badmotorfinger

09. Hole: Pretty On The Inside

10. Enya: Shepherd Moons

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Favorite Albums From the '90s: Play by Moby

Now that it is the new year, I think I am going to change things up a bit on my blog to really get my creative juices flowing. I feel like I am stuck in a rut with my blog. During my morning commute to work today, I suddenly got this idea for a new weekly series on my favorite albums from the '90s (and I may eventually do the same for the '80s and '00s if all goes well with this idea). To start off this new series, I chose Play by Moby.

I spent four years living in Milwaukee, WI from '95 to '99. It wasn't until '98/'99 (in my mid '20s) when I started to get into techno music courtesy of a roommate I was living with at the time. Moby was one of a handful of artists that he got me listening to (along with Delerium, Leftfield, The Crystal Method, Future Sound of London, Junon Reactor, and The Chemical Brothers).

One day, my roommate had picked up the then new Moby album Play from the now closed Atomic Records. Brian (that was his name) would leave his stereo on playing the album non-stop. I heard the album so much that it didn't take long for me and at least one other roommate to buy our own copy of the album. Play was definitely nothing like the craptastic europop that I listened to at the time. I really enjoyed how Moby blends traditional gospel music with modern electronic music effortlessly.

Today I listened to Play at work today. After almost 17 years since its release, the  music remains as timeless to me. The album still gives me the chills as it did the first time I listened to it especially "Rushing" and "Guitar Flute and String".  Of all the albums I have heard from Moby post-Play, as good as a lot of them were none just couldn't match the staying power of Play.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Album Of The Week: The Art of Pop by SPC ECO

Since discovering the band SPC ECO last year, I thought I would start listening to their other albums now that it is 2016 and there really isn't any new music that appeals to me at the moment. My current favorite SPC ECO album right now is The Art of Pop. The music is pure sublime. Please check out the album as well as the band's music. The band's bandcamp page is the more ideal place to check out their music since there is a larger volume of music to stream/download.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1997

Throwback Thursday time! Tonight it is all about 1997. Enjoy!

01. Bjork: Homogenic

02. The Prodigy: The Fat of the Land

03. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: The Boatman's Call

04. Daft Punk: Homework

05. Janet Jackson: The Velvet Rope

06. The Chemical Brothers: Dig Your Own Hole

07. Depeche Mode: Ultra

08. The Sundays: Static and Silence

09. Delerium: Karma

10. The Crystal Method

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Old and New Favorite Songs of the Week

Old Favorite Songs:
Curve: Frozen

Emmon: Smalltown Boy (Bronski Beat cover)

Fiona Apple: Child is Gone

New Favorite Songs:
Ari Mason: Dim the Lights

Grimes: Realiti

Angel Haze: The Woods

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Album of the week: Aon by Emmon

Today on my commute home from work, I decided to listen to 2014's Aon by the fantastic Swedish electropop act Emmon. It has been awhile since I last listened to the album so the music sounded almost new to my ears. I was quickly reminded why this album was one of my favorite releases from 2014. The music isn't overly energetic for most of the album, it is more subdued than a lot of albums in this genre of music but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the album. Although the album is over a year old, I still recommend to music fans to check it out and Emmon's music in general.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Music I bought in 2015

I thought I would share with my readers all the music I bought in 2015.

A-Ha: Cast in Steel
Angels and Agony: Monument
Ashbury Heights: The Looking Glass Society
As/Of: A Million Scars


Camouflage: Greyscale
Chandeen: Forever and Ever
Chvrches: Every Open Eye (2 copies)
Chillout 2003: Ultimate Chillout
Ciara: Paint It Black single
Conjure One: Holoscenic
Covenant: Leaving Babylon
The Crystal Method: Vegas

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers: Angels and Ghosts
Delta Rae: After It All
Depeche Mode: Violator

Ego Likeness: When The Wolves Return
Emika: Drei

Faithless: Faithless 2.0
FKA Twigs: EP2
The Foreign Resort: The American Dream
Frozen Plasma: Dekadenz

Grimes: Art Angels (digital and cd versions)

Hackers 2 soundtrack

Invocation Array: A Color For Fiction
Iotronicaa: Of Moons and Stars

Janet  Jackson: The Velvet Rope
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts: Fit To Be Tied
Joy Williams: Venus

KMFDM: Hau Ruck

Lana Del Rey: Honeymoon
The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack

Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Mono: Formica Blues

Namnambulu: Distance
Neuroticfish: A Sign of Life
Nightwish: Elan
Nightwish: Endless Forms Most Beautiful (digital and cd versions)

Orphan Mothers: Hindsight

Paul Van Dyk: Out There and Back
Pegasus Asteroid: The Fog
Prodigy: The Fat of the Land
Purity Ring: Another Eternity

Queensryche: Empire

Re/Vision: The SkyQode Tribute to De/Vision

Sabaton: Heroes
Sade: The Best of Sade
Seabound/Iris: Radiant Turbulence
SPC ECO: Dark Matter (digital and cd versions)
Sleepthief: The Dawnseeker

Tarja Turunen: Ave Maria-En Plein Air
2:54: The Other

VNV Nation: Resonance (digital and cd versions)

Zola Jesus: Taiga

Spent only $716.90 (rough estimate because I forgot to write down the exact prices for a couple of albums I bought last year). This is the least amount of money I have spent on music in recent years, one because I was saving money for a couple of trips and the other being 2015 was not the best year for music IMHO.