The Music Industry’s Amazing 2-for-1 Deal

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 New artists, new albums, and new songs are constantly being produced, and it can get quite confusing keeping track of what you have and have not listened. But often times, a band comes along and drops an album named after the band itself, making our job of keeping track of it all a bit more easy. It is surprising to see just how many bands have eponymous albums, and below I have compiled a list of just a fraction of the bands that have one. Best part is, if you like any of them you only have to remember one name! Wow!

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Aphex Twin – Syro Review

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The Aphex Twin blimp over London, the harbinger of the return of Richard D. James.

On August 16, 2014 this mysterious blimp, sporting the iconic Aphex Twin logo and “2014″, appeared over London.  Soon after, the same logo appeared in street art graffiti-ed onto the sidewalk in front of New York’s Radio City Music Hall.  While many refused to buy into the hype, discussion exploded in the music community about the possibility of a new Aphex Twin album this year, which would be 43-year-old beatsmith Richard D. James’ first full release since 2001′s Drukqs.  Just two days later, Syro was announced via James’ twitter, and just one month after that music fans found themselves experiencing an Aphex Twin comeback.

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A River That Does A 180°

An album two years in the making finally presented itself this past August. Dry the River’s Alarms of the Heart exudes a confidence that wasn’t as obvious in listening to the band’s first album. Actually, in a lot of ways, the two albums are super different.

(The Guardian)
Dry the River (theguardian.com)

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Progressive or Regressive Rock?: Opeth’s “Pale Communion” Reviewed

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Anyone familiar with the name Opeth most likely knows the Swedish band for being innovators in the progressive metal genre.  Their extremely unique sound has led them to worldwide acclaim in the metal community, and the band has had much praise from the modern progressive rock community as well.  Albums such as Blackwater Park and Still Life have become some of the most heavily-praised metal albums of the modern era.  Many fans, myself included, love Opeth for their ability to change from an extremely heavy metal riff to a beautiful acoustic guitar with the creativity and skill that few bands can even manage to pull off a few times, let alone as consistently as the band has proved.   [Read more...]

The Death of Death Grips and The Powers That B

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MC Ride

In early June, the elusive experimental hip hop group Death Grips released the first half of a double LP called The Powers That B, effectively dropping a bomb on the indie music community from up their sleeves.  Soon after, the band announced the completion of Death Grips as a project and the cancellation of all future tour dates.  Now we find ourselves in a post-Death Grips world, except one of these days we can expect Death Grips to release the second half of The Powers That B in a similarly sudden fashion.

Black Quarterback:

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Five Albums from Five Different Eras

Saint Motel
Saint Motel

As you might be able to tell by now, I really like lists and I enjoy the number 5. So here’s to a bit of both. Lately I’ve been going through my Itunes library and come across some old favorites; the one’s I’ve been meaning to get into more but haven’t had the time or energy to. But here I am to revive that spirit and to enlighten you all about some albums you may not have heard of, but will be glad that you did.

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Beck – Morning Phase

“Can we start it all over again this morning?” Beck asks early on in the opening track of Morning Phase, his first album since 2008′s Modern Guilt. After a gorgeous 40 second instrumental opening, strings give way into the plaintive guitar strums of “Morning”, and it truly does feel like a something entirely new, a rebirth — which is odd, because Beck has specifically said this album is a spiritual successor to his 2002 masterpiece Sea Change.

And sure, the beginning of “Morning” has an uncanny resemblance to the beginning of Sea Change opener “The Golden Age.” And sure, all of Morning Phase is ostensibly similar to its much-vaunted predecessor. It does feature the same musicians and the same California-folk influence. And yeah, even the cover art (Exhibits 1 and 2) looks strikingly similar, Beck’s steady gaze staring out behind smears of orange and blue.

But hear me out: the truth is that it’s only similar in the sense that all music by an artist sounds similar to previous music produced by that artist. No left turn is truly a total departure: even the cold, Kraftwerk heartbeat of Kid A‘s “Idioteque” had its roots in the laserbeam percussion loop of OK Computer’s “Airbag”.

The point of all this is to get you to look at Morning Phase in the ways it differs, rather than its similarities, because these differences are what make Morning Phase the best Beck album since 1998′s Mutations.

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