Tag Archives: Blues Funeral

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012

digging-through-vinyl-records-lp

This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.

BestRecords2012

Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!

ABANDON JALOPY – DEATH & JOY

What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/27/album-of-week-12-death-joy/

CANCER BATS – DEAD SET ON LIVING

One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/04/27/albums-of-week-16-1965-dead-set-on-living/

 

LUCERO – WOMEN & WORK

Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/03/21/album-of-week-11-women-work/

MARK LANEGAN – BLUES FUNERAL

blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/02/13/album-of-weeks-5-6-blues-funeral/

JACK WHITE – BLUNDERBUSS

Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/05/31/album-of-week-21-blunderbuss/

ORANGE GOBLIN – A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED

Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/12/12/album-of-week-48-a-eulogy-for-the-damned/

THE HANGMEN – EAST OF WESTERN

EAST OF WESTERN

This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.

LANA DEL REY – BORN TO DIE

I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/08/30/the-day-i-surrendered-to-the-hype/

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – HANDWRITTEN

 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/07/18/i-knew-handwritten-wouldnt-fail-me/

CALEXICO – ALGIERS

Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/11/14/album-of-week-43-algiers-calexico-on-stage/

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – PSYCHEDELIC PILL

Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2012/10/17/uncle-neil-and-crazy-horse-are-ready-to-conquer-the-world/

VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH

a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!

THE NIGHT THE STATIC MAN SAID THANKS

Lately I’m noticing memory issues regarding live shows. I’m talking serious. Some bands I reckoned never seen on stage I had actually seen them. I’m a bit worried, and find quite wise my decision to write down in my year organizers gigs I’m attending for the last 2-3 years. In fact I’m thinking of starting albums to gather and keep all gig tickets because I’m a mess.

I was 200% convinced I had never seen Mark Lanegan on stage, till yesterday, when a friend remarked his performance at a festival I attended in 2004. I saw the show for sure, and don’t think I was in super bad condition as in other occasions, but guess Lanegan’s show didn’t impress me that much because I can’t remember anything. I’ve read some comments on that show and seems it wasn’t a great one. It was also the year Ryan Adams dug his own grave (in Spain)offering a shitty performance too.

Let’s stick to the point. Yes, Blues Funeral, Lanegan’s last work irresistibly charmed me at the first listening as you already know, thus, when tour dates were announced including Barcelona, I didn’t put my attendance into question, as soon as tickets were available bought mine.  Barcelona finally failed to sell out, but I didn’t want to take risks this time.

I met a friend by 8pm for the pre-show beers. Apolo surroundings were quite lively, with many people in good mood to see  the Static Man. When we got in the venue, it wasn’t sold out, nor uncomfortably  packed, yet quite full. Beer in hand, we went straight to one of the sides, half level over  the guitar tech. I really love see these people in action, tuning guitars, choosing which one comes next, and exchanging them with musicians in no time.

9.15pm, Lanegan and the band turn up on stage, no hello nor good night, quickly as soon as everyone is set Gravedigger’s Song starts. It was like the starting ritual is cut down to nothing to go straight to the point. Believe me I was shocked.

Perhaps not only due to the lack of opening ritual, but also the low volume both instruments and voice set, made me feel uneasy in the beginning. It was ridiculous, as if they were playing in the room next door, or at same level as an accompaniment band at a restaurant, you could even understand conversations around.

First part of the set was marked by songs belonging to Bubblegum and Field Songs album, creating an intimate atmospheric atmosphere, or at least trying, because the volume issue was painful to endure. One Way Street and Resurrection Song played in the beginning were part of a risky choice, quite enjoyable though.

With Gray Goes Black, there was a turning point in all senses. On one hand, the sound of the band increased, not so much the singer’s unfortunately, the setlist revisited Blues Funeral properly, although unfortunately Bleeding Muddy Water wasn’t included, and the rhythm and vibe changed totally. Thus, an impressive Quiver Syndrome, Riot in My House, St. Louis Elegy were winning the audience.

The band wasn’t super remarkable, they accomplished their task correctly, but enjoyed the electronic and keyboard  arrangements and the combination with drums in songs like Ode to Sad Disco. Their appearance was quite discreet, but the lead guitar, whose resemblance to the man in black, Johnny Cash, highlighted by his outfit, was stunning.

The 3-song encore was fantastic, with Pendulum, Harborview Hospital and Methamphetamine Blues, concluding a set close to 90 minutes, which of course, left the audience willing for more, however, absolutely nobody yelled demanding for more. Sense of respect perhaps? Weird and curious all the same.

I can’t say about Lanegan’s feelings towards the audience. He thanked sometimes, something apparently quite extraordinary, and exchanged some words hardly to understand, but seemed thankful. I didn’t notice any negative issues regarding his voice, but the opposite, and considering he’s one of the most static frontmen ever, someone said, in his gargoyle like pose, his performance and attitude were intense.

A really nice and meaningful gesture of Mark Lanegan right after the show, agreed and advised in advance, was to sign up merchandising and other stuff to fans. I was purchasing a couple of things when he arrived so I was the first one to say hello and congratulate him for the show, with a thanks and a smile in return, before I queued for having several items marked by his personal stamp. Yes, I exchanged words with him twice…hehehe! There’s a pic as a proof I’ll post as soon as I get it, I swear.

Thus, my real second Lanegan experience, leaving all the sound issues aside, was a positive one. It’s great to see a guy, quite in shape, having manage to overcome his addictions and personal Hell on Earth, with his attitude, charm and voice untouched.

Long Live Mark Lanegan! Hats Off!

(*) Deep Black Vanishing Train was left OUT

ALBUM OF WEEKS 5 & 6 – BLUES FUNERAL

I was listening to Through a Crooked Soon on a daily basis on week 5, prior to the flash trip to Amsterdam, when I was advised that Mark Lanegan’s album had leaked, some days before its worldwide release, by a close acquaintance  who, not only sent me the link to find this treasure, but also insisted I had to check it immediately.

Who said closing Megaupload would mean the end of an era? Nah! This is the same as it happened before with Napster, Audiogalaxy and other means of file sharing. We take things for granted, and have lost the real perspective. Free downloading might be available, but it’s not fair for the artists.

Anyway, don’t feel like starting a polemic and endless discussion regarding downloads. I download stuff sometimes, mainly films and TV series, and in case of albums, I end up purchasing them, so…

Blues Funeral leaked, my copy is on its way from UK and this has definitely been the album I’ve actually listened to, for the past 2 weeks incessantly. And I’m very glad I did.

Gotta say first, my passion for Screaming Trees has increased and settled in the recent past years, and something similar is happening right now with Lanegan. Cannot say I have all his stuff under my scope, but little by little I’m getting closer.

What I can tell you now is that I adore his broken and dark voice, his melodies, the darkness and desolation in his lyrics, and the proper artist, one of a kind.

I didn’t have any expectations when I attacked Blues Funeral. I’ve heard so many contradictory comments related to his solo career, I really didn’t have any particular idea about he was to offer. Guess this was the key for this album to impress me in such a way from the very first chord. As soon as I started listening to The Gravedigger’s Song, I was shriveled and stunned by its power and intensity.

What is actually happening to me with this album is that, the more I listen to it, the more I dig songs, and it’s like every two days, I have a crush on a different one.

First it was The Gravedigger’s Song, then it was turn for hypnotic Bleeding Muddy Water, some days ago my favorite was St. Louis Eulogy, and today I can’t get Ode to Sad Disco out of my head. I particularly love this swinging opinion, seems that I dig this stuff, and also that there are many features to consider and discover.

Electronic programmed rhythms and arrangements are constantly present in the album, perhaps creating this dark and decadent atmosphere Blues Funeral evokes. It’s not something I am accustomed  to, but I find these devices fitting perfectly, without inhibiting intensity at all.

Right before the album release, European Tour Dates were announced, and fortunately, he will visit us here in Spain, introducing this new album in April.  I already got my tickets. It’ll be my Lanegan baptism, and I’m very excited about it.