Throwback Thursday: “If Only” by Queens of the Stone Age

I’ve been a fan of Queens of the Stone Age since I heard “Spiders & Vinegaroons” on the Kyuss/QOTSA split EP.  They’ve been doing it big, dirty, sexy, grimey, and sleazy in the absolute best ways possible for a long time.

I don’t like the new album, Villians, for a number of reasons, and it seems like overall the reviews are mixed; it’s a love or hate thing with the new one, and I happen to fall into the latter group.  That said, it’s not going to keep me from enjoying their previous six albums to their fullest extent.  They’ve been one of my favorite bands for a really long time and that’s not going to change.

So, with all of that said, here’s one of the first songs Homme recorded after Kyuss broke up.  Throwback to the good ol’ days.

 – MCG.

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West Coast Wednesday: “Set It Off” by Snoop Dogg ft. MC Ren, Ice Cube, Nate Dogg, The Lady of Rage)

With this column, besides rehashing the classics, I’m going to attempt to highlight a lot of possibly lesser known tracks that are collaborations between all the greats.  For example, this song, which features one of my favorite rap verses ever, by the irreplaceable yet often underrated MC Ren.  He was the dark horse, the George Harrison of N.W.A., and he went harder than all of them.  Throw Ice Cube on the chorus and Nate Dogg on the bridge and clearly it’s a must listen.

 

 – MCG.

“Undoing a Luciferian Towers” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

The post-rock gods Godspeed You! Black Emperor are set to release their new album entitled Luciferian Towers on September 22nd and the first song on the album is up to stream on their Bandcamp website:

https://godspeedyoublackemperor.bandcamp.com/album/luciferian-towers

All hail GY!BE

– MCG.

“Day I Die” by The National

Admittedly, I don’t like how album roll-outs are going this year, with half the album being released as singles before the album comes out.  It kind of takes away from the luster and excitement of hearing it all as a whole piece of music for the first time.  That said, I don’t have enough self-control to wait when it comes to one of my favorite bands (“they made me looooose my, self controoooool, my self controoollllll”), so here’s another new jam by The National.

Sleep Well Beast is out September 8th and I can’t fucking wait.

 – MCG.

Album Review: The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

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The War On Drugs’ music sets a certain mood very well.  I liken it to the feeling I got when I first heard Radiohead; it’s a calming, peaceful feeling that induces bouts of melancholy.  I’m not comparing The War On Drugs to Radiohead in any way, all that I’m saying is that I feel the same sort of self-reflecting existential dread when either band is playing.  It’s a strange feeling, very unique to certain experiences.  It’s heavy, it’s sad, it’s happy, and most of all it’s beautiful.

The War On Drugs’ previous two releases, Slave Ambient and Lost In The Dream are  great, and I have spent a fair amount of time with both of them.  It seems as though Adam Granduciel is a very meticulous person, at least with his art, and with this latest release he has compounded, concentrated, and improved upon everything he’s previously done, amounting to something truly epic.  If he was an artificial intelligence program, before now he was an extremely efficient one that got the job done just about perfectly, as he was programmed to do.  On A Deeper Understanding, he became self-aware, which allowed him to make the necessary adjustments to not only produce something as great as he is capable of once more, but to improve upon it in a way that was previously thought to be unattainable.  It’s a culmination of his lifetime experience as a musician that has been arranged and sequenced into a sprawling and absolutely gorgeous journey.

Take, for example, the slightly off-center highlight of the album, “Thinking of a Place”.  It was the first single released back in April of this year, and has been an unavoidable entity in my life since.  It’s eleven minutes long, and so in the traditional sense of a “single” it makes the least sense out of any song on the album, but it exists as a microcosm of the calculated wandering and transcendent perfection achieved on the album as a whole.


By stepping outside of his own box he was able to view everything from a new vantage point, shore up the weaknesses, and improve on the already unique and enthralling strengths.  It’s a great leap forward, which makes me wonder about where he can go from here.  I’m looking forward to bearing witness.

  A Deeper Understanding is out everywhere 08.25.17.

 – MCG.

Throwback Thursday: “Physical (You’re So) by Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails have released two EPs in the past 9 months, Not the Actual Events at the end of last year and Add Violence a few weeks back, both of which are great.  In 1992, on the heels of his incredible, supernova burst onto the music scene debut album Pretty Hate Machine, and a couple years before his game-changing magnum opus The Downward Spiral, Trent Reznor released another EP called Broken, and it is perfect front to back.  Here’s a gem that hides in the shadows cast by a few of the other tracks.

“…TOO.  FUCK.  KING.  PHYSICAAAAALLLL”

 

 – MCG.

West Coast Wednesday: “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A.

This probably should’ve been the first song I chose for my West Coast Wednesday segment.  If this isn’t what started it all, this is what made it blow up.  “You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge…”

 

 – MCG.