Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Album Of The Week: Maximalism by Amaranthe

Believe it or not this week's pick for Album of the Week on my blog is an album that I initially did not like but as it turns out I absolutely love. When I first heard the new album Maximalism by the gothic metal band Amaranthe, I was a bit turned off by what I had heard especially "Maximize" which fuses EDM with the band's brand of melodic metal. That was late last year. Fast forward to last week when I picked up the band's new album as well as the new Epica album. Must to my surprise I found myself enjoying the album. Maximalism is just loaded with the catchiest hooks I have heard from the band in recent years.

Truth be told Massive Addictive fell a little flat with me after their oh so wonderful The Nexus. Considering that I now enjoy Maximalism, I think I will give Massive Addictive another shot again.

I am sad that co-vocalist Jake E. has recently left the band so it will be interesting on future recordings how his replacement sounds with Elize and Henrik's vocals. I always enjoyed listening to Jake E.sing with his bandmates.

While most of the album was pretty accessible and very melodic, there were a couple of tracks on the album that needed some time to grow on me  "Fury" and "Faster" which features Henrik on lead vocals. Harsh, distorted vocals are a hit or miss with me. In Henrik's case, I think he sounds better in the background than singing lead on a couple of tracks.  "Fury" and "Faster" are okay songs but for me they lack the pop-friendly hooks and energy that I love in songs such as "On The Rocks" and "Supersonic". I love that the album closes with the gorgeous ballad "Endlessly".

I'm glad I decided to give Maximalism another shot. I admit, I was wrong about the album. This is probably the one time I am glad to be wrong about something.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Playlist of the Week

I have to admit that I quickly constructed this playlist for my Playlist of The Week pick a few minutes ago but the idea just came to my head at this moment. I have had ideas for my blog come to me when I least expect it, like when I am at work or in this case at home chilling out.

Moby for me hasn't been the consistent artist IMO so I skipped a few albums of his (i.e Animal Rights and Last Night). I was first introduced to Moby in the mid-'90s to a former roommate of mine named Brian. He was big into techno music in that era. He played Moby's Play incessantly to a point which me and another roomie bought our own copies of Play. I should note Brian was also responsible for introducing me to Leftfield, Delerium, The Crystal Method, Future Sound of London, and Juno Reactor. He really had some excellent taste in music and obviously left a huge influence on my musical tastes.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Albums and Playlists I Am Currently Listening to

This week I have been listening to more albums than my playlists. Like the funny weather here in the midwest that has been happening this past week, my mood changes.

I recently picked up the latest albums by Amaranthe and Epica from the library a couple of days ago. The jury is still out on the new Epica album but I am liking the new Amaranthe album Maximize a lot more than the first time I heard it last year. The music is super catchy. "On the Rocks" and "Endlessly" are my favorite tracks on the album. As for Epica, I am just not feeling it especially with the male vocals.

I have been neglecting Return to the Breath from Autumn - U.S band too long because I am constantly playing The Hating Tree either at work or at home (I'm sure my neighbors are not loving what is coming out of my condo unit...haha). I think after first seeing them live at the Faith and The Muse concert several years ago, I went on Amazon and found myself a copy of the band's second album Return to the Breath. I think. My memory sucks. Anyways it is such a good freaking album especially with songs like "Red", "All My Lovers" and "Lullaby for Marguerite", my three favorite tracks off the album.

The jury is still out with the verdict with the new Blutengel album Leitbild. Some of the songs are starting to grow on me and some I just find nothing to write home about. The band's last album of original material didn't impress me and I am afraid that this is another dull, lifeless album from one of my favorite bands. There really is no stand out track like there has been on albums like Demon Kiss, Labyrinth, and Tranenherz. Even Monument has its share of catchy tunes and that album was far from perfect. I have never been so disappointed in a band that I love so much than I have been with Blutengel lately :\.

What is really good right now? The new Sixth June album Virgo Rising. If you like darkwave music, Virgo Rising is right up your alley. I discovered Sixth June a few years ago through youtube and have been a fan since then. I enjoy listening to the album from start to finish. Very solid effort.

Still on my Nyxx and Muna kick lately ;). Just adore their music so much. Pop music wouldn't be so horrendous if there were more groups like Muna, Shura, and Tegan and Sara.

Last weekend I threw on Letting Go by Stray (Erica Dunham's other project) in my stereo. I completely have neglected that album for way too damn long. That album is so bloody damn good and so are the remixes. Usually I get bored with bonus remix cds but with the remix cd for Letting Go that is definitely not the case and I listened to the entire disc. I also recommend her other album Abuse by Proxy which is very good in my book.

The more I listen to my Kite playlist, the more excited I am getting about their show at Amsterdam Bar and Hall in a couple of weeks. If it wasn't for my upcoming trip to Chicago in April, I would go to Kite's show in LaCrosse, WI. Oh well, my trip to Chicago will be so much fun. I have had that planned months in advanced.



Friday, February 24, 2017

Music to check out



Dark Electro:


Thursday, February 23, 2017

My 15 Favorite Concert Videos

So I am going through my youtube channel and watching some of my concert footage I have recorded over the years. Let me tell you have recorded quite a bit of concerts over the past several years. I thought I would something different for tonight's blog and do post my 15 favorite videos of concert footage I have recorded over the years. It has been almost a decade since I have started posting youtube videos of concerts I go to, mostly due to my affiliation with Kilted Farmer Koncerts as a street team member.

15. Freezepop Does Europe

This is the footage that started it all. Shitty quality but it is what it is. Footage recorded on a small hand held video camera I got for free from Amazon.com. I think I still have it somewhere. I think. LOL!

14. Unter Null performing "Sick Fuck"

Such a fucking good concert. I also had the opportunity to hang with Unter Null. Best money spent EVER!

13. Aesthetic Perfection performing "Spilling Blood"

I have shot some videos from Aesthetic Perfection over the years but this clip from last Sunday is my favorite. The results came out awesome. I also love how close I was to the stage and Daniel Graves.

12. Autumn performing "Seconds"

If you can get past the fact that I was a total dummy and did not change batteries with my camera before I went out for the night or brought extra batteries hence the abrupt ending, this is on my list because I love the sound quality of the video. I also love Julie's vocals on this song. This used to be my least favorite Autumn song but the more I have listened to it on The Hating Tree and on this video, I have grown to love this song.

11. Gabriel and The Apocalypse performing "Silent War"

This set was at the 2012 Icon of Coil show at Ground Zero. I absolutely love the song "Silent War". I think it is one of the band's best songs ever.

10. Nyxx performing "Wicked" at Club Underground

Nyxx put on such a great set on Sunday night. I hope I get to see her live again in the near future.

09. Assemblage 23 performing "Cruelest Year" at Ground Zero

This is my favorite video from the 2012 A23 show at Ground Zero that I recorded. It is also one of my personal favorite A23 songs too.

08. Youth Code performing "Consuming Guilt"

07. Icon of Coil performing "Shelter"

My favorite IOC song ever! Damn shame Sebastian got held up by US Customs.

06. Genitorturers performing "Devil in a Bottle"

One of my personal favorite concerts I have ever attended especially at the now closed Station 4 (miss the venue but not its shitty bathrooms).

05. Project Pitchfork performing "Timekiller"

This was my first time seeing Project Pitchfork in concert. Of course I had to get my favorite PP song on video.

04. Promidal at Club Underground on 11.27.13

I don't know why but this is my favorite video footage of Promidal I have recorded in the past four years I have been following them in the local music scene. This was before Tracy solidified his band's line up and their sound veered more into the black metal genre.

03. Ego Likeness performing "Sirens and Satellites"

This 2013 footage was the first time I had seen Ego Likeness live. It sure wasn't the last time too. They are some great folks. Talented as fuck too.

02. Ayria performing "My Revenge On the World"

My number one favorite Ayria song. Ayria was touring with Project Pitchfork. I just love the lighting for this song as well as for the Project Pitchfork footage. This was the first show I was able to get a photo with her. First time was at The Cruxshadows show but I had no digital camera and my phone at the time was shit. Jennifer is easily one of my favorite musicians to talk to and get a photo with.

01. Autumn performing "Red" at Ground Zero

This is like the 2nd or third concert footage that I had recorded and hands down my very favorite concert footage that I have recorded. Oh and I absolutely adore this song to bits and pieces.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Earworm of the Week: Nightmare by Nyxx

After a fantastic weekend of seeing some live music, it was obvious that one of the shows would have a huge influence on me. In this case it is Nyxx's "Nightmare" which is my pick for this week's Earworm of the Week. I have had this song stuck in my head since Sunday night, not to mention been playing the hell out of her EP Nightmare (download that sucker!). This is easily my favorite song from the delightful LA artist who put on a hell of a show at Club Underground. I like that song fuses both pop and dark electro together. The song is super catchy but has a sinister sound to it at the same time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Playlist of the Week

I decided not to do Album of the Week this week (or maybe I will later this week) and instead today I give you my Playlist Of the Week which features the music of the Swedish synthpop band Kite. If haven't heard already,  Kite is coming to town next month. All the concert information can be found at this link (https://www.facebook.com/events/1244773605617455/). I thought it would be appropriate to help promote the show with this playlist. Right now my favorite songs by Kite are "Dance Again" and "I Give You the Morning". So if you are wondering what their catalog songs like, here it is in one playlist.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Concerts I attended this weekend

This past weekend I went to two concerts. The first was Austra, a Canadian electronica band. They played at the Triple Rock Social Club on Friday night. The second concert was Aesthetic Perfection with Solar Fake and Nyxx at Club Underground.

Opening up for Austra was The Range, a one man electronica act featuring James Hinton. His music consisted of original music with samples of youtube clips that had less than 100 views. James was basically showcasing artists on the internet whose music has gotten lost in the vast world of the interwebs. The audience seemed to enjoy The Range's music but this concertgoer was relieved to be sitting down for his set. You can get an idea about The range's music at his website http://www.therange.us/.

I will be honest, I was torn to between going to the Muna and Austra shows on Friday night. I ended up decided on Austra after listening to her album Future Politics a few times and decided on that show. I know this sounds stupid but I really didn't want to take the lengthy commute back to Minneapolis from Saint Paul.

I have read online how people were crowing about how amazing Austra is live. I did not feel that way. Austra was good but I was not blown out of the water. They sounded fine live but I guess it takes a lot more to impress me. For me there was no chemistry. Would I go see Austra live again? Most likely not. It also didn't help that I had a cold so half the night I was sneezing or blowing my nose. I was not a happy camper but I got out of my condo for the night and did something fun.

Now last night was another story which was a far cry from Friday night's concert. Unlike Friday night's concert, I felt more at home among the audience which consisted of the small, tight-knit goth scene in the Twin Cities and a few other people outside the scene. After a late start, the show got started with Nyxx who has been featured in Aesthetic Perfection's video for "LAX". She has a gnarly EP out called Nightmare which people really should check out. It is super good. Nyxx's set was short but sweet. For someone who had been sick earlier in the week, Nyxx sounded great and did not sound like she had been sick that week.

A post shared by Erica Anderson (@eanderson1974) on

I had the immense pleasure of chatting with Nyxx after the show. I must say she ranks right up there with Jennifer Parkin of Ayria and Kristy Venrick of The Azoic as the nicest and sweetest musician I have ever met in person after a concert. That I do NOT say very often. I ended up missing my bus by a few minutes because we kept chatting away but I have no regrets. The weather was nice enough that I could just walk home (a 25 minute walk from NE Minneapolis to downtown Minneapolis. I just regret not using the restroom before leaving the venue.

Up next was Solar Fake, an EBM act from Germany who really does not make it to the US so for this tour there was no doubt that I had to be there (not to mention take the following day off). I was not disappointed. Solar Fake put on a terrific set.

What else can I really say about Aesthetic Perfection? I have seen them five times within a decade. I have yet to see a disappointing performance from Daniel Graves.

The energy of Aesthetic Perfection could have easily fed the entire Twin Cities. People completely ate up Aesthetic Perfection's set. Having seen AP on like in larger venues such as Ground Zero and The Cabooze, it was really odd seeing them on such a tiny stage at Club Underground but the band managed. It was hot as hell near the stage. I sweated most of my stamp that was on my right hand nevertheless fun was had last night. In between sets, there were a couple of videos by Abbey Death and Kite who will be at Amsterdam Bar and Hall on 3/12 so it was obvious that show would be promoted last night and expose the audience members to their members. From what I have heard, Kite and Abbey Death sounds really great. Fortunately last night, I was smart to bring extra batteries and got in a few videos to upload on YouTube. So that was my weekend :).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My CD Collection

Last weekend I decided that it had been a few years since I shared my CD collection with my readers and it was time to share a current list on my blog. That proved to be quite a task but it was a labor of love to organize and write out my list. I have 395 CDs which for some may be a lot or not a lot for others. I should note I did not add the digital albums I have bought over the last couple of years online. I felt this list should be strictly about physical copies of music I own. Because I use Spotify a lot, buying music is rare but I do still buy it when I feel it is justified to spend the money. FYI: I am a bit inconsistent on how I alphabetize my albums. I am just too lazy to re-organize my music ;).

V/A - A Strange Play: An Alfa Matrix Tribute to The Cure
V/A - Absolute Grrrls Manifesto
A. Wolf and Her Claws - s/t
Aby Wolf - Wolf Lords
Aby Wolf  - Call the Rocks
Access Zero - Living in Transition
Ryan Adams - 1989
Adele -25
A-Ha - Cast in Steel
Alien 613 - Establlishing Alpha
Alien Skin - Ghost in the Rain
Alien Skin - The Secret Garden
All About Eve - Fairy Light Nights Two: Live Acoustic
All My Faith Lost - As You're Vanishing in Silence
Amanda Ghost - Ghost Stories
Amaranthe - The Nexus
Amy McDonald - This is the Life
Ana Robik  Operator's Manual
And Finally - Heartbreak Empire
Android Lust - The Human Animal
Anemonia -- Moonlit Numina
Anette Olzon - Shine
Angel Haze - Dirty Gold
Angels and Agony - Monument
Angels on Acid -- Eyes Behind the Curtain
Anna - Someday Afternoon 
Anything Box - Future Past EP
Anything Box - Elektrospective
Anything Box - Reocvered 1993-1995
Apraxia - Trite Permission
Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
Arch Enemy - War Eternal
Artesia - Lilydaw
Ashbury Heights - Three Cheers For the Newlydead
Ashbury Heights - Morningstar in Black Car
Ashbury Heights - The Looking Glass Society
Ashram - Shining Silver Skies
As/of  s/t
As/of - A Million Scars
Ataraxia - Simphonia SIne Nomine
Austra - Olympia 
Autumn - The Hating Tree
Autumn - Return to the Breath
Avarice in Audio - Shine and Burn
Avatar Soundtrack
V/A - Awake the Machines vol.7
Ayria - Debris
Ayria - Hearts For Bullets 
Ayria - Plastic Makes Perfect
Ayria - Paper Dolls

Baal - Shurado
Balligomingo - Under An Endless Sky
The Bangles - Everything
The Bangles - Doll Revolution
Bat For Lashes - The Bride
V/A - Beauty 2: Music That Touches the Soul
Bella Koshka - Slow Dancing On the Ocean Floor
Bella Koshka - Deception Island
The Bells of St.Genevieve and Other Baroque Delights
The Bellwether Syndicate  - The Nightwatch
Belly - Star
Belly - King
V/A - Black Snow 2: the Completely Different Xmas Compilation
Blaqk Audio  - Material
Bliss - Quiet Letters
Blue October - Incoming 
Blume - Rise From Grey
Blume - Autumn Ruins
Blutengel - Demon Kiss
Blutengel - Labyrinth
Blutengel - Tranenherz 
Blutengel - Monument
Blutengel - Black Symphonies
The Break Up - s/t (demo)
The Break Up - Synthesis
Sarah Brightman - A Winter Symphony
Sarah Brightman - Dreamchaser
Brute Heart - Lonely Hutnter
Bobby Llama - s/t
V/A - Buddha Bar IV
V/A - Buddha Bar V

Camouflage - Greyscale
Brandi Carlile - The Story
Belinda Carlisle - The Collection
Carved Souls - Waveform
Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around
Celtic Woman - Believe
Kasey Chambers - Barricades and Brickwalls
Tracy Chapman - Greatest Hits
V/A - Chillout 2003: The Ultimate Chillout
The Crystalline Effect - Identity
CHROM - Synthetic Movement
CHROM - Peak and Decay
Chvrches - The Bones of What you Believe
Chvrches - Every Open Eye (2 copies)
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
Clan of Xymox - Creatures
Claps - Wreck
Natalia Clavier - Nectar
Client - Authority
V/A - Club Mix 9
Cocteau Twins - Treasure
Code 64 - Departures
Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting
Conjure One - s/t
Coralina - Limbo Balloon
Cecile Corbel - The Secret World of Arrietty
Covenant - Leaving Babylon
The Crystal Method - Vegas
Curve - Frozen
Curve - Doppelganger
Curve - Come Clean
Curve - The Way of Curve
Cwn Annwn - The Alpha and The Omega 
Cycle Sluts From Hell - s/t
Cylab - Disseminate
Cylab - Cut and Coil

DarkDriveClinic - Noise in My Head
Dave Gahan and Soulsavers - Angels and Ghosts
Decoded Feedback  - Aftermath
Delain - Moonbathers
Delerium - Semantic Spaces 
Delerium - Karma
Delerium - Poem
Delerium - Music Box Opera
Delta Rae - Carry the Fire 
Delta Rae - After It All
Departures soundtrack (Japanese film)
Depeche Mode - Catching Up with Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode - Black Celebration
Depeche Mode - Violator 
Depeche Mode - Ultra
Dessa - Parts of Speech
Deviant UK - Very Bad Things
Dido - No Angel
Dido - Life For Rent
Die Braut - Psychotherapy
Diffuzion - Body Code
V/A - Discover (compilation of synthpop music from Conzoom Records)
Diva Destructioin - Passion's Price
The Divine Madness - Neverworld
DJ Heavygrinder - Eternity
DJ Dado - Greatest Hits
Dolly Parton - Ultimate Dolly
Duck Duck Punch - Human Chemistry
Dual Density - Soul Ecstasy
Dum Dum Girls - End of Daze
Dum Dum Girls - Only Dreams
Dum Dum Girls - Too True
Dust of Basement - Meridian

Ego Likeness - Breedless
Ego Likeness - Dragonfly
Ego Likeness - East EP
Ego Likeness - Treacherous Thing single
Ego Likeness - The Order of the Reptile
Ego Likeness - Water to the Dead
Ego Likeness - When the Wolves Return
8mm - Songs to Love and Die By
The Echoing Green - The Winter of Our Discontent
The Echoing Green - Music From the Ocean Picture
Elastica - s/t
V/A - Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music to Cure Cancer Vol.II: Recurrence
Eluveitie - Origins
Emika - Drei
Emmon - Aon
Empyrean Asunder - Serpent
Empyrean Asunder - You Are My Punishment
End the DJ - Endtrovert
Endless Blue - Smoke Through It
Endless Blue - Fever Dreams
Enigma - The Cross of Changes
Enya - The Very Best of Enya
Epsilon Minus - s/t
Erasure - The Innocents
Erasure - s/t
Espermachine - The Dying Life
Essexx - Bridges
Eurythmics - Ultimate Collection
Evanescence - Fallen
Everything But the Girl - Walking Wounded
Exit Music - Passage

Faithless: Sunday 8pm
Faithless - Faithless 2.0
Feathers - If All Now Here
Filament 38 - Unstable
FKA Twigs - LP1
For All the Emptiness - Axioms
Foretaste - Love On Demand
The Foreign Resort - Scattered and Buried
The Foreign Resort - Dead End Roads
The Foreign Resort - The American Drea
Fort Wilson Riot - Trillion
Frost - Melodica
The Frozen Autumn - Is Anybody There?
The Frozen Autumn - Emotional Screening Device
The Frozen Autumn - Chirality
Frozen Plasma - Dekadenz
F.T.C - Anti-Human
F.T.C - Bound Child
Future Perfect  - Dirty Little Screts
Future Perfect - Escape

Gabriel and The Apocalypse - Into the Afterglow
Gabriel and The Apocalypse - New World Disaster
Garbage - s/t
Garbage - Version 2.0
Garbage - beautiful garbage
Garbage - Not Your Kind of People
Geodesique - Smoke
Geodesique - Hologram
Geodesique - Eighty-Eight
Geodesique - Myriad
Lisa Gerrard/Patrick Cassidy - Immortal Memory
the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sdtrk
Gladiator sdtrk
God Destruction - Novus Ordo Seclorum
Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Goldfrapp - The Singles
Goldfrapp - Tales of Us
Gospel Gossip - s/t
GPKism - Atheos
Gravity sdtrk
Grendel - Timewave Zero
Grimes - Visions
Grimes - Art Angels
Guano Apes - Bel Air

Haberdashery - Tonight the Angels
Hackers 2 soundtrack
Hanzel und Gretyl - Transmissions From Uranus
Hanzel und Gretyl - Scheissmessiah
Hanzel und Gretyl - 2012: Zwanzig Zwolf
Hanzel und Gretyl - Black Forest Metal
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part 2 soundtrack
Helalyn Flowers - White Me In/Black Me Out
Herzschlag - Fest der Liebe
Hocico - Tiempos Defuria
Hocico - El Ultimo Minuto: Antes De Que Tu Mundo Caiga
Holiday Ranch - s/t
Hollowstone - Rite of Existence
Hooverphonic - A Stereophonic Sound Spectacular
Hooperphonic - Blue Wonder Power Milk
Hooverphonic - The Magnificent Tree
Hungry Lucy - Glo
Hungry Lucy - Pulse of the Earth

Icon of Coil - Machines Are Us
Icona Pop - This is...
Ikon - Subversion
In Strict Confidence - Morpheus
In Strict Confidence - Utopia
Inertia - Universal Blood
The Innocence Mission - s/t
Invisible Limits - A Conscious State
I: Scintilla - Optics
I: Scintilla - Dying and Falling
I: Scintilla - Marrow 1
Is/Is (now known as Candace) - This Happening EP
Is/Is - III

James D. Stark - Moonstruck
Janet - The Velvet Rope
Javelynn - Chimaera at Heart
The Jesus and Mary Chain - 21 Singles 1984-98
The Jezabels - Prisoner
The Jezabels - Synthia
Joan Jett - The Hit List
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - Fit to be Tied Greatest Hits
Jourdan Meyers - Ruin Me With Love
Junk Circuit - Universal Republic
Junksista - Bad Case of Fabulous
Junksista - Hot Voltage Confessions (2 copies

Kate Bush - The Sensual World
Keep Shelly in Athens - In Love with Dusk/Our Own Dream
Kirlian Camera - Absentee EP
Kirlian Camera - Pictures From Eternity
Kirlian Camera - Odyssey Europa
Kirlian Camera - Nightglory
Kirlian Camera - Black Summer Choir
Kitten - s/t
KMFDM - Hau Ruck
Kristin Kontrol - X-Communicate

Ladytron - Best of 00-10
Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon
Leiahdorus - Parallel Universe
Leftfield - Leftism
The Last of Mohicans sdtrk
LIGHTS - Midnight Machines
Limited Warranty - s/t
Lisas and KMP - A Beautiful Chemistry
Lily of the Valley - Sounds of hte Movements
Lindsey Sterling - s/t
Lindsey Sterling - Shatter Me
Lolly Pop - s/t
The Lonely Soul Experience - A Path of blood
Loreena McKennitt - The Visit
Loreena McKennitt - The Mask and The Mirror
Loreena McKennitt - The Book of Secrets
Loreena McKennitt - An Ancient Muse
Loreena McKennitt - A Midwinter Night's Dream
Lullacry - Crucify My Heart
Lullacry - Fire Within EP
Lullacry - Vol.4
Luna Mortis - The Absence
Lush - Lovelife
Lush - Blilnd Spot

Machinista - Arizona Lights
Madonna - Ray of Light
Mankind is Obsolete - Mobius Loop
Marsheaux - Lumineux Noir
Marsheaux - Inhale
Marsheaux - Odyssey
Vicci Martinez - Vicci
Ari Mason - Creatures
Massive Attack - Protection
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Sarah Mclachlan - Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff
The Melismatics - Rising Tide
MergingMoon - Kamikakushi
Midge Ure/Ultravox - The Very Best of Midge Ure/Ultravox
Mirabilis - Pleiades
Mirabilis - Sub Rosa
Mirabilis - Here and the Hereafter
Mediaeval Baebes - Undrentide
Mediaeval Baebes - Of Kings and Angels
Moby - Play
Moby - 18
Moby - Innocents
Moonlight Cove - Orphans of the Storm
Moonlight Cove - Hearts of the World
Moulin Noir - Boy in Darkness
Mondtraume - Empty
Mr. Kitty - Life
The Muffs - About U
V/A - Music for Dreams
Myths - s/t

Nadina - In the Now
The Namesake sdtrk
Nena - Definitive Collection
Netz - .werk 01
Neuroticfish - A Sign of Life
Nightwish - Oceanborn
Nightwish - Once
Nightwish - Imaginaerum
Nightwish - Showtime, Storytime
Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful
9th Evolution - Retro Americana
Nitin Sawhney - London Undersound
Nitro/Noise - Total Nihilism
Nitro/Noise - No Cure For Apocalypse
Noblesse Oblige - In Exile
Noblesse Oblige - Affair of the Heart
No One Knows about Persian Cats sdtrk
Sara Noxx - Exxtasy, XX-Ray, In(t)oxxication

OMD - History of Modern
Omega Lithium - Dreams in Formaline
Omega Lithium - Kinetik
Otto's Daughter - Arc of a Dream

Pachelbel Canon and Other Baroque Hits
Panic Lift -Is This Goodbye?
Paprika Soundtrack
Parralox - State of Decay
Phantogram - Voices
Phantoms of the SS/Verney 1826 - Anthem and Process
P!nk - Truth About Love
V/A - Platinum Girl: A Tribute to Blondie
P.O.S - We Don't Even Live Here
Pretty Addicted - It All Stems From Childhood
Pristina - Stars and Sirens
The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land
Promidal - Dead Nation
Promidal - Simul Iu Stus Et Peccator
The Promise sdtrk
Protea - The Osiris Tree
Protea - Going Forth By Night
Puffy - The Very Best of Puffy/Amiyumi
Psyborg Corp - the Mechanical Renaissance
Psyborg Corp - Shrines of Obsydyana

Qkumba Zoo - Letthelightin
Queensryche - Empire

The Raveonettes - Chain Gang of Love
Regenerator - Disease
Reliquary - Winter World
Republica - s/t
V/A - Re/Vision: The Skyqode Tribute to De/Vision
Robyn - Body Talk
The Rope - s/t

Sabaton - Heroes
Sade - The Best of Sade
Saint Etienne - Tiger Bay
Samara sdtrk
Sapphire Solace - Shadow Stories
Sash! - It's My Life
Sataray - Mata Utara
Scala and Kolacny Brothers - s/t
Scarlet Slipping - Fire In The Mist
Schiller - Voyage
Schoolcraft - Rushing Through the Sky
School of Seven Bells - SVIIB
Schwarzblut - Gebeyn Aller Der Dammten
Seabound/Irs - Radiant Turbulence
Seelenkrank - Engelsschrei
Sensuous Enemy - Fragments
Sensuous Enemy - Parity
Sensuous Enemy - Voyager
September Mourning - Volume II
Sequencia - Algo en tu ser
Sigur Ros - Valturi
Silent Auction - H On Earth
Silica Gel - Exodo
V/A - Sin Faktory
V/A - Sin Tech
Siouxise and The Banshees - Superstition
V/A - Sirenes
Sirus - Broken Hearts Corporate Minds
Sister Soleil - Soularium
Sisu - Blood Tears
Sleepthief - The Dawnseeker
Sleepthief - Labyrinthine Heart
V/A - Slumdog Millionaire sdtrk
Darden Smith - Little Victories
Sneaker Pimps - Becoming X
Social Distortion - s/t
Solitary Experiements - Phenomena
Somegirl - She's Full of Secrets
Somegirl - The Velvet Hour
Sound Sketches of Ancient Egypt
V/A - Sound of the Underground
SPC ECO - Dark Matter
Spectra Paris - License to Kill
State of the Union - Black City Lights
Stever - Playground Isolator
Stever - Idiot Savant
Stoa - Zal
Stoneburner - Songs in the Key of Arrakis
Stray - Abuse by Proxy
Stray - Letting Go (2 copies)
Strvngers - s/t
Suicide Commando - Implements of Hell
Suicide Commando - When Evil Speaks
The Sundays - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic
Sunscreem - Change or Die
Synthetixx - Magia DeCuatro
Syrian - De-synchronized
Syrian - Death of A Sun
System Syn  - End
System Syn - For All Seasons Pass

Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death
10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden
The Girl and The Robot - Whole/Flowers
The Girl and The Robot - Silence/Borderline
V/A - This is Neo-Goth
Thought Thieves - All I Pretend
Thought Thieves - Krista
'Til Tuesday - Everything's Different Now
Tiny Deaths - s/t
Tori Amos  Midwinter Graces
Sylvia Tosun - Too Close to the Sun
V/A -  Torture Garden
Travis - The Man Who
Tristania - Darkest White
Tarja Turunen - Ave Maria En Plein Air
2046 soundtrack

Uh Huh Her - Future Souls
Ultraviolet  - DOS
Unter Null - The Failure Epiphany
Unter Null - Sacrament EP
Unter Null - Moving On
Unwoman - Circling
Uzza - Samsar

Paul Van Dyk - Out There and Back
Veruca Salt - Eight Arms to Hold You
Vivaldi - Four Seasons
Vixen - s/t
Vixen - Rev It Up
VNV Nation - Advance and Follow
VNV Nation - Burning Empires
VNV Nation - Automatic
VNV Nation - Transnational
VNV Nation -- Resonance
Voltaire - To The Bottom Of the Sea

Waves Under Water - All Of Your Light
Wideband Network - Ten Thousand Seconds
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
White Lies - Friends
Joy Williams - Venus
Joy Williams - Venus Acoustic
Within Temptation - Hydra
Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty
Wolfsheim - Casting Shadows

Xandria - Sacrificium

Youth Code - An Overture

Zynic - Fire Walk With Me

Friday, February 17, 2017

Albums and Playlists I Am Currently Listening to

Tomorrow I will be posting my updated list of all the CDs I own. I figure I would post the music I am currently listening to tonight.



I completely forgot the new Blutengel album came out today so I didn't get to listen to it at work. I am listening to it right now. I will post my thoughts about it when I have listened to the album a few times.

One of my favorite bands in the past 12 months Softwave has a new remix album out. I am definitely enjoying the remixes of their debut EP Together Alone. Go check it out.

I wonder if my neighbors are tired of hearing the throbbing sounds of "How It Came to be This Way" and "Desert Winds of Jezebel" off The Hating Tree, an album I have yet to get sick and tired of listening to. Damn shame I didn't have this album when I lived in Loring Park and had to deal with some noisy ass upstairs neighbors. I could have used this album to retaliate against their shitty house music with this album. I sure don't miss that place. Speaking of Autumn and The Hating Tree, I am sooo considering using their album cover as part of a future tattoo. Depending on if I end up getting an appointment in Chicago at Black Oak Tattoo in the fall (or not, I am kind of hoping not to be honest :P ). If not, I so want want to incorporate the moon and tree off The Hating Tree into a snow globe. All of this done in black ink. I love black ink tattoos.  Those are so damn dope. This is how freaking much I love that band and album. That and tattoos. LOL!

I so wish the Muna and Austra shows were not happening on the same night (i.e tonight). Both musical acts have put out some killer music. I ended up flipping a coin last week on which show I would go to and Austra won out. Good thing to be honest. The train ride home from Saint Paul is long and boring. At least my commute back into downtown Minneapolis is just under 15 minutes.

Another band I can not stop yakking about is Erotic Elk. I want people to stop sleeping on this band. If you like Apoptygma Berzerk and Neuroticfish, you really can't go wrong with this band.

I have been really getting myself psyched over the upcoming Aesthetic Perfection concert with Solar Fake and Nyxx. I have been really binging on Solar Fake and Nyxx's music. It will really be interesting to experience this concert because it will be at Club Underground, a tiny little venue in NE Minneapolis and the show is almost sold out. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My current favorite songs

Well it is Thursday again. Time to share with my readers the current crop of songs that I have been enjoying immensely. This week it has been a mixed bag for me. I got a little country from Mary Chapin Carpenter, an old fave of mine from high school/college, new age tracks by Paul Schwartz, Blue Stone, and Enigma, lots of synthpop such as my current favorite band Erotic Elk, longtime fave CHROM, Solar Fake, Icon of Coil, some electropop by the likes of Robyn (who really needs to put out a follow up to 2010's Body Talk) and Muna, goth darlings Autumn and Voltaire, Aesthetic Perfection, and Client.

The other day I was listening to "Refuge" by Client. I hadn't listened to it in a year (I think). I definitely forgot how great of a song it is. The band is working on some new music so that I am very excited about. I need to listen to their last album Authority again. It is not a perfect album but there are some solid synthpop tracks on the album.

I hope people are checking out my album of the week pic III by Erotic Elk. They remind me so much of Apop with a smidgeon of Neuroticfish (but they remind me mostly of Apoptygma Berzerk). That's a band that should not be slept on.

Super excited about seeing Solar Fake for the first time this Sunday. I was listening to my Solar Fake Playlist today. Definitely give them a listen. "Under Control" is one of favorite songs by the band.

I will never be a fan of country music but I do love me some Mary Chapin Carpenter. At least her earlier music. I have to admit, I lost interest in her music after Stones in the Road. Every now and then I'll listen to my MCC playlist. I find her music very comforting, like a good pair of fuzzy pajama pants. Right now I love her ballad "This Shirt" from her second album State of The Heart.

Whenever I get pissed because of Lord Cheeto, I love listening to Voltaire's "Hell in the Hand Basket" for some laughs. I do think that is where the angry apricot is taking this country to.

Generally I am not a huge fan of generic alternative rock bands like Imagine Dragons but I do like their song "Demons". I can certainly relate to it. Being inside my head is not very pretty. Damn shame the rest of their music blows just like Nickelback.

So until next week, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Earworm of the Week: I Know a Place by Muna

"I Know A Place" by Muna has been stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks. I am finally making it my Earworm of the Week. I just adore this song. Discovered the song on youtube a few weeks ago, it hasn't left my head since then. It didn't take me very long to buy the trio's debut album About U which is about the best pop album I heard since Tegan and Sara went electropop on Heartthrob.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Album of the Week: III by Erotic Elk

Thank heavens that last night's issues with Spotify was just one night and I didn't have to worry about finding a replacement segment to write about had the server issue continued today.

For this week's pick for Album of the Week, I chose the 2015 album III by Erotic Elk, the third album by the Swedish synthpop duo featuring Fredrick Sigeback and Tomas Gustafsson. I forgot how I discovered the band. Probably though youtube knowing me and my ability to find new music. it was a couple of years ago when I discovered the band. It wasn't until last year that I found out about their most recent album III when I found their cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" on youtube. Over the weekend I finally got around to listening to the album. If you like bands such as Neuroticfish and Apoptygma Berzerk (circa 7, Welcome to Earth and Harmonizer), you definitely would enjoy Erotic Elk. The song "Seal the Moment" makes me think of Apop. It is one of my personal favorite tracks. Without a doubt, the name of the band is pretty unforgettable, if not hilarious but what you should pay attention to is the music. The music is so damn good. I have no idea how this band slipped under my radar for the past few years but I definitely will be following them more closely. Their music is simply too good to keep to myself.

Monday, February 13, 2017

My current favorite artists/bands

Spotify is down. I am unable to post this week's playlist. Only on a Monday would this bullshit happen. Gotta love Mondays. Since I am unable to share this week's playlist, I thought I would post a list of my current favorite artists/bands.

Autumn - U.S Band - What a shock eh? LOL! I don't think I need to explain my enthusiasm for this band.

Muna  - I swear this LA pop band has been a godsend to me for the past couple of weeks. Their music has really lifted my spirits up in the past few weeks. Their album About U is so damn good. I am constantly listening to it.

The Rope

Erotic Elk - My current favorite synthpop band at the moment. Yeah their name is hilarious but if you look past it and listen to their music you would be surprised by how good they are as a musical act.

White Lies


I am so glad I went to the White Lies/Vowws concert. Both bands each put on excellent sets although I will admit that it took me awhile to get into Vowws set.  In the end the band did win me over.

Tegan and Sara - ever since I started listening to Muna, I have been on a Tegan and Sara kick. Both groups put out some excellent electropop.

Austra - super excited about seeing Austra live this week. Her new album Future Politics is excellent. I am particularly fond of her song "I Love You More Than You Love Yourself". That is my favorite song off her new album.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Albums and Playlists I Am Currently Listening to


For the longest time ever, I have been wanting a copy of The Hating Tree by Autumn for a long ass time but every time I checked Amazon's website, the cheapest copy I could find was $39. That is until last week when I saw that there were a couple of copies available for $10. Long story short, my copy of my favorite Autumn album arrived in the mail today. As much as I enjoy streaming music through my tablet, nothing beats listening to CDs on my portable stereo. I love being able to crank up the volume on tracks like "How It Came To Be This Way" and "Desert Winds of Jezebel". Now I can say I have both Autumn albums in my CD collection. Right now my favorite song at the moment is "Desert Winds of Jezebel".

Another current favorite album is Muna's About U. Really great infectious dark pop music. It is rare for me to find pop music that I can enjoy and not feel embarrassed for liking the music.

After last Saturday night's show at the Triple Rock, I have been binging on The Rope's music.

As funny as the name Erotic Elk is, their most recent album III is nothing to laugh at. It is my current favorite synthpop album at the moment. I definitely recommend checking them out.

Next week I am going to see Austra after listeniing to her latest album Future Politics a few times. The album has definitely grown on me quite considerably. When I had the day off on Thursday, I made a trip to the Electric Fetus and picked up a ticket to Austra. I am so looking forward to seeing her perform live.

With the Kite show next month, I have been listening to their EPs on Spotify. I am particularly fond of V. That is my favorite release by the Swedish synthpop group.

After the terrific White Lies concert, I been listening to Vowws' album The Great Sun. It is definitely one of those albums that doesn't grab the listener's attention right away. The music has been slowly growing on me with every listen.


I haven't been listening to a lot of my playlists. I have been on an odd Erasure kick lately and quickly put my playlist together last week. I suppose all the listening to the pop sounds of Muna, I started having a craving to hear some Erasure. I wish I could say I like their most recent material but I can't. I pretty much prefer their older stuff. I am particularly fond of their album Cowboy.

Three days after seeing White Lies live, I am still listening to my playlist of all their albums (with the random button turned on). They are so damn good.

I have been updating my work soundtrack with some of my favorite songs here and there. Always looking to improve it to make my work day more bearable.

Friday, February 10, 2017

My Current Favorite Songs

Since I wrote my review on the White Lies/Vowws concert last night,tonight I would post my playlist of my current favorite songs. After a great weekend of live music, I been binging on music by Autumn (US band) and The Rope so I have a couple of songs by those two excellent local bands here in Minnesota. As if I I have to really explain my absolute adoration of Autumn but I do think they need to be heard. I wouldn't be yakking about the band so much on my blog if I did not enjoy their music as much as I do, not to mention believe that their music should be heard on a larger scale. The Rope is so damn freaking awesome. I really do need to go see them live more often. I also have a couple of songs by White Lies and a song from Vowws. You could say I had a great week in live music. I especially been binging on White Lies all week long before and after the concert. That band is so good live and recorded.

On a different side of music, I am totally digging the dark pop sounds of Muna. I absolutely adore their latest single "I Know a Place" but for this week's playlist I have my new favorite song "Around U". I would totally be going to their show at the Turf Club had Austra not be playing the Triple Rock that same night (an artist whose music is also featured on this week's playlist).

Being part of the Kilted Farmer street team, I have included a few tracks from a couple of upcoming shows (i.e Aesthetic Perfection and Kite). I know shameless promotion ;). I am particularly fond of Nyxx at the moment. Super excited for the Aesthetic Perfection show coming up later this month.

I have been on a weird Erasure kick lately especially been listening a lot of their album Cowboy which is my other favorite Erasure album next to The Innocence. Also threw in some Robyn from her 2010 album Body Talk, one of my all time favorite pop albums. She needs to put out a follow up album to that album, just saying ;).

Also another shameless promotion since I can't add any of their music via Spotify so I'll pimp their music out separately:please check out my friend Tracey's band Promidal. They are freaking awesome.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

White Lies with Vowws at The Cedar Cultural Center 02.08.17

Last night I went out to The Cedar Cultural Center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis to see White Lies and Vowws. Up until now I had never heard of Vowws. They are a dark electro/experimental band from Sydney, Australia but based in LA, featuring members Matt (guitars) and Rizz (synths). Prior to the show I had only heard of their song they collaborated with Gary Numan on "Losing Myself in You". They put on a 45 minute set which for this blogger started off a bit on the slow start. Personally I felt like the beginning of their set sounded like one continuous song. The first few songs sounded way too much a like. I don't know if it is because of the acoustics at The Cedar (which is an unusual venue for this show considering the fact that they tend to put on shows that aren't in the post-punk/electro genres). As Vowws continued on though, their songs started to develop their own identity and I started to get into the music. Even the people I hung out at the show agreed with me that the beginning of their set started out flat but the music eventually improved. One of the first things that came to my mind is that the folks behind Dark Energy should be spinning these guys' music, if they are not already. Go check out their music. I listened to it for the first time today and I enjoyed it immensely.According to Matt, the duo is currently working on new music.

Up next was White Lies, a UK based post-punk band which I have only started listening to for the past couple of years. Their album White Lies was listed as my favorite album of 2016. I absolutely love their fusion of synth and rock. There is neither too much of either. Their music has both the right blend of each sounds. Couple that with Harry's gorgeous vocals, the results is pure bliss. As far as male singers are concerned, Harry McVeigh is my very favorite. I was always wondering how his deep vocals would translate live and I was not disappointed for one second. His voice was just as impressive live as it is recorded.

A video posted by Erica Anderson (@eanderson1974) on

A fun time was had by all int he venue including myself. I was not disappointed in the set list. The songs was a good mix of old and new songs. I would totally go see the band live in a heartbeat. I hope it doesn't take another seven years to see White Lies in concert again which is the last time they were in Minneapolis. Here is the set list from last night's set:

Set list: Take It Out on Me / There Goes Our Love Again / To Lose My Life / Getting Even / The Price of Love / Farewell to the Fairground / Morning in LA / Is My Love Enough / Unfinished Business / From the Stars / A Place to Hide / Don’t Want to Feel It All / Death Encore: Big TV / Come On / Bigger Than Us

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Earworm of the Week

In honor of tonight's White Lies show at the Cedar Cultural Center, I chose their song "Right Place" from their new album Friends as this week's pick for Earworm of the Week. "Right Place" is my personal favorite songs on the entire album. Here is the link for tickets to tonight's show http://www.thecedar.org/event/1385189-white-lies-vowws-minneapolis/

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Album Of The Week: About U by MUNA

I am generally not particularly keen on pop fan. When I think of pop music today, I want to vomit however I do not think all of it is total garbage like Tegan and Sara's last two albums Heartthrob and Love You To Death. Right now I am digging the debut album by the LA dark electro-pop trio Muna. They recently dropped their first album About U. It is funny. I first heard of them a months ago with their EP The Loudspeaker EP but I completely forgot about it. I liked what I had heard but at the time there was other music that made got my attention. It wasn't until I came across their new music video for "I Know A Place" did their music grab my undivided attention. I was hooked right from the get go. I could not believe this was the same band I had completely forgotten about a few months ago. I have been listening to the album at least twice a day since the album was dropped last week. I couldn't ask for a better pop album with hooks as solid as what I have heard on tracks like "I Know A Place", "Loudspeaker", "Around U", and "End of Desire" (my personal favorite tracks on the album. To get a really good idea about About U, you can read this excellent review . My impression of the lyrics? They are well written, thoughtful, honest, with a little angst here and there but not condescending or vindictive. Nothing derivative or contrived about their lyrics. Please check them out. This group is so good. According to their FB page, they have an upcoming show at the Turf Club on the 17th. I am very tempted to go. It would be interesting to see how well their music translates live.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Playlist of the Week

Because I will be seeing the band White Lies on Wednesday night at the Cedar Cultural Center, I chose my White Lies playlist I put together over the weekend. Actually it is most of the band's catalog except for Friends. I like playing the playlist on random instead of listening to the songs in consecutive order. I love this band's sound. It is a mix of '80s synth, rock, and pop. Their sound is so distinctive. I can hardly wait to see the band live and hear the difference between their live shows and recorded music. If anyone is interested in attending Wednesday's show, here is the link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1190268044389079/ .

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Concerts I went to over the weekend

Believe it or not this weekend I was a busy girl and went to two local shows in Minneapolis. Nice way to start off the new year as far as live shows is concerned. The shows I went to this weekend were the first two live shows I have been to in 2017. These shows were a much needed reprieve from my week long bout of depression (and let me tell you Friday was the worst for me). Friday night I went over to Club Underground for some live metal under the banner Winter Chaos which features one of my favorite bands in the Twin Cities Promidal. This band never ceases to entertain me with their live shows. While the band's line up, stage show and sound has evolved over the 2-3 years I have been watching them, I have always loved the band's sound and live shows. The show also featured some excellent local (industrial) metal bands like Volsungasaga, Mortificator, and My Zero (a new fave of mine). Sadly I couldn't stay for the entire show but I saw 90% of the show and the bands killed it on stage.

A photo posted by Erica Anderson (@eanderson1974) on

Saturday night I went over to the Triple Rock Social Club to see a couple of my favorite local bands in the postpunk scene and a new band. Headlining the show was The Rope, Finesse featuring Patrick Donohoe of Principality opened up the show, and my personal fave darkwave darlings Autumn (U.S band) played in the middle of the show. Finesse was excellent. They reminded me a bit of Spandau Ballet and Pet Shop Boys with their brand of synthpop or new wave music. I certainly hope to catch more live performances from this duo.

Up next was my absolutely favorite band of the trio tonight (sorry to the guys in The Rope) Autumn. Since the band reunited a couple of years ago, I have not been this excited over a local band in ages (with the exception of Promidal whose shows I try to haul my introverted ass out the door as much as possible unless I have to work the next day). Since I have started catching the band live last year (which I admit have been a couple of times), lead singer Julie Plante continues to impress me with her powerful, operatic vocals with every performance I have seen in the past few months and with her alluring stage presence, Julie is a force to reckon with and one that cannot nor should be ignored. IMHO not many women in the music industry can match delivery and range that Julie possesses as an artist. She bloody fucking rocks in my book.  No matter how many times I have listened to tracks like "Red" and "How It Came To Be This Way', I can never get sick of hearing them especially live as I did last night. I am particularly fond of the latter song. First of all I love the throbbing basslines, and secondly I adore the confrontational delivery of Julie's vocals. The band even performed a new song which was excellent but then again the band could perform the entire phone book and I still would enjoy it. I am excited that the band is working with William Faith of Faith and The Muse for their third album which is awesome news to report. There was nothing about Autumn's set I did not enjoy (same with Finesse).

Lesson of the night: change batteries in camera before heading out to the concert venue or bring extra batteries. My video footage of "Seconds" is cut short because I was a total idiot and forgot to bring extra batteries. Today I made a Target run for some batteries in the future. lol. On the upside the footage did turn out quite well. I really think it showcases Julie's talents. She is so grossly underappreciated (as is her bandmates) in the music scene it is criminal.

Finally is The Rope who I hadn't seen lives in a few years. I had only seen the band one time and enjoyed every second of their performance. Last night's show the band reminded me why I need to go see them in concert more often. They were absolutely fantastic! Because of my poor judgment and not bringing any extra batteries, I couldn't take better photographs the band so excuse the shitty quality of these photos. This band definitely can draw a crowd in Minneapolis, which is mostly a indie rock/hip hop scene. I was really impressed with the number of fans that showed up to the triple Rock last night and seeing how passionate these fans are.

A good time was had this weekend for sure. Seeing some of my favorite local bands is just what I needed to get myself out of the dark hole I had been in since last Monday. That is not an easy feat for this introvert.