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Hang the (Corporate) DJ

99x in Atlanta was the basis of my current taste in music. They were amazing – the DJs had personalities, they played new artists before anyone else, and they had a deep catalog of old favorites that complimented the new acts wonderfully. On any given day, listeners could hear The Smiths followed by The Smashing Pumpkins followed by Our Lady Peace followed by  The Cure followed by Alice in Chains followed by Depeche Mode. And not just the big hits, either. These guys were playing songs that weren’t supposed to be on the radio.

99x came to fruition in 1992 after a bit of a hostile takeover. Legend has it that Leslie Fram, along with cohorts Sean Demery (I finally remembered his name… Another story for another time perhaps) and Rick Stacey built 99x from a special feature show that had gained huge popularity. You can read the whole story from Sean Demery here.

Sadly, though, 99x no longer exists. What happened?

Continue reading

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Artist Spotlight: Alter Der Ruine

2014 so far has been a great year for electronic music – in the last few months alone, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and writing about the likes of 3TEETH, Seeming, and Randolph & Mortimer.  And here we are now, sharing with you a band that’s new to my radar:  Alter Der Ruine.

Alter Der Ruine is on the softer side of electronic, but they weren’t always this laid back.  Hailing from Arizona, their roots are in powernoise.  Nowadays, though, their atmospheric and layered synth tones are a great way to soundtrack your summer.  “I Will Remember It All Differently” was released on July 8 and is available as a digital download and also as a physical CD.  Remember those?  (Please buy the CD and support physical media!)

Michael Treveloni provides the vocal work, and the immediate quality that stands out is that he’s not trying to sound like 85% of the other synth acts in existence.  In a field that tends to get very same-y, Michael shines through with his raw vocal performances.  No over-production here.  Michael Jenney and Tamara Jenney round out the act, with the three collectively taking part in the music creation and programming.

The layering on “I Will Remember It All Differently” is masterfully created.  The effect is top notch on a good pair of headphones – the listener will definitely notice the tiny nuances in the background layers even more on headphones or a good home audio system than through computer speakers.  You can test it out here:

If forced to compare I Will Remember It All Differently to other existing music, it mostly gives hints of early 2000s Hybrid and A-Ha releases (this, not this).  The electronics from Alter Der Ruine, combined with Treveloni’s vocal performances, put the band on a higher level.  The versatility from earlier releases compared with the new album is quite astonishing – upon first listen, it’s impossible to even tell that this material has been created by some of the same people.  However, as different as all their releases are, each one is an A-level album in its own right.  I Will Remember It All Differently is an A+ piece of music from an incredibly diversely talented band.

Alter Der Ruine are on tour with Mr. Kitty starting Thursday, July 17, 2014:
Thursday, 17 July, 2014 – Tucson, AZ – Surly Wench Pub
Friday, 18 July, 2014 – San Diego, CA – Kensington Club
Saturday, 19 July, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Complex
Sunday, 20 July, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
Tuesday, 22 July, 2014 – Portland, OR – Tonic Lounge
Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 – Seattle, WA – The Highline
Friday, 25 July, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT – Area 51
Saturday, 26 July, 2014 – Denver, CO – Milk Bar – DJ SETS BY DJ PLASTIC DISEASE OF ALTER DER RUINE!
Sunday, 27 July 2014 – Denver, CO – The Church Nightclub
Monday, 28 July, 2014 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad
Thursday, 31 July 2014 – Dallas, TX – The Boiler Room
Saturday, 2 August, 2014 – Austin, TX – Elysium

Follow Alter Der Ruine around the Internet at these fine establishments:
Official Site:  http://www.alterderruine.com
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/alterderruine
Instagram:  http://instagram.com/alterderruine

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Unappreciated Scholars Crash Course: Motörhead

Motörhead. Everyone has heard of them at this point in their nearly forty years of existence, but sadly there are other phrases which go along with that name:
- “Motörhead? Yeah, they did that song, what’s it called? *sings*The Ace of Spades! The Ace of Spades!”
- “That’s Triple H’s band, right?”
- “If you’ve heard one Motörhead album, you’ve heard them all.”

Sure, Motörhead did “Ace of Spades”. Correct, they have done multiple entrance songs for WWE Superstar-turned-suit Triple H – all of them in the running for “Best Wrestling Entrance Theme of All-Time”. But the phrase that gets me fired up like none other is that all Motörhead albums or songs sound the same. We’re here to prove to you that not all Motörhead songs are created equally. Behold, the Unappreciated Scholars Crash Course in Motörhead.

Motörhead have released albums with rapid frequency since 1975. These songs span all those years, and nearly all those albums, and show just how diverse a band that Motörhead truly are. Even more amazing is that the current Motörhead lineup of Lemmy, Mikkey Dee, and Phil Campbell is the longest running version of the band but probably gets the least appreciation. You’ll hear how the band just clicks starting with the Bastards album.

This list is for those folks who have heard “Ace of Spades” or who have seen them perform at one of the many festivals that Motörhead usually frequent. If you’ve heard enough to consider giving them a listen beyond the hits, here’s where to start (Google Music All Access subscribers – click this link to listen).

Track # – Song Title – Album Title
01. Iron Horse/Born to Lose – Motörhead (s/t)
02. Stay Clean – Overkill
03. Stone Dead Forever – Bomber
04. The Hammer – Ace of Spades
05. Another Perfect Day – Another Perfect Day
06. Deaf Forever – Orgasmatron
07. Just Cos You’ve Got the Power – Rock ‘n’ Roll (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track/Eat the Rich Single B-Side)
08. Love Me Forever – 1916
09. Asylum Choir – March or Die
10. Death or Glory – Bastards
11. Order/Fade to Black – Sacrifice
12. I Don’t Believe a Word – Overnight Sensation
13. Dead and Gone – Snake Bite Love
14. We Are Motörhead – We Are Motörhead
15. No Remorse – Hammered
16. In the Black – Inferno
17. Trigger – Kiss of Death
18. Heroes – Motörizer
19. Devils in my Head – The World is Yours
20. Dust and Glass – Aftershock
21. Overkill (Exlusive Version) – Digital Single
22. Ace of Spades (Slow Version) – Digital Single

Motörhead is capable of heavy (Death or Glory, Trigger), rock ‘n roll (Iron Horse/Born to Lose), angry (Just Cos You’ve Got the Power, No Remorse), emotional (Love Me Forever, I Don’t Believe a Word), and even country (Ace of Spades slow version). Whatever pre-conceived notions you have of Motörhead, it’s time to put them to rest. Give some, or all, of this list a listen. If you’re a fan of good, real, true rock ‘n roll, you won’t be disappointed.

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#MetalMonday presented by @MetalOrGTFO: Exmortus – “Slave to the Sword” Review and Tour Dates

“Slave to the Sword” Review

If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen tweets asking for some epic “Viking Metal”. I generally dislike metal that only has “death growl” or screaming vocals. I don’t mind harsh singing, but I don’t like when the singer roars at me. I’m also a big fan of great drums and machine gun guitars with sweeping background guitars and ripping solos. Enter – Exmortus.

Slave to the Sword was released back in February, but only now have I been made aware of its existence.  The album is unrelenting from beginning to end and it contains all those elements of great metal records that I have grown to love.  By no means am I a metal expert – I leave that to the guys at Metal or GTFO; however, I enjoy Slave to the Sword enough to rate it at a solid A-.  The album does not overstay its welcome.  It is, without a doubt, the fastest 49 minute assault I’ve experienced.  Standout tracks include “Slave to the Sword”, “Foe Hammer”, and “Battle-Born”.

What keeps the album from being an A or A+?  Quite simply a lack of diversity.  While it works as an overall collection, there’s not a ton of range shown outside of “Moonlight Sonata (Act 3)”, which shows us that the symphony and metal are in fact made for one another.

“Foe Hammer” Video

Enjoy the video for “Foe Hammer”, then see if these guys are coming near your part of the island for a banging good time.  Purchase Slave to the Sword from Prosthetic Records.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

8/02 Los Angeles, CA – Black Castle (w/ Morbid Saint)
8/10 Fullerton, CA – Slidebar (FREE)
8/22 Santa Ana, CA – Malone’s (w/ Gyspyhawk)
9/01 Springfield, VA – Empire #
9/02 Trenton, NJ – Championship Bar #
9/03 New York, NY – Santos #
9/04 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall #
9/05 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #
9/06 Quebec City, QC – Dagobert #
9/08 Lakewood, OH – The Foundry #
9/12 Winnipeg, MB – The Zoo #
9/13 Saskatoon, SK – Rock Bottom #
9/16 Vancouver, BC – Red Room #
9/17 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven #
9/18 Portland, OR – Tonic Lounge #
9/20 Anaheim, CA – OC Music Hall #
9/21 San Diego, CA – New Royal Dive #
9/23 Denver, CO – Moon Room #
9/25 Fort Worth, TX – Rail Club #
9/27 Orlando, FL – Haven Lounge #
9/28 Tampa, FL  - The Orpheum #
# with Arsis & Allegaeon

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Emigrate – Silent So Long Album Teaser Trailer

Rammstein fans may have heard of Emigrate, the side project of guitarist Richard Kruspe. Emigrate is probably doomed to live in the shadows of Rammstein, but the project deserves to be judged on its own merits. With a second album coming later this year, Emigrate have released a teaser video for the album. The main guitar riff is a bit reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, but get a load of the sound on those drums!

Visit Emigrate’s official website at http://www.emigrate.eu for future details on the new album Silent So Long.

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#MetalMonday presented by @MetalOrGTFO: Die Apokalyptischen Reiter – Live at the Hard Rock Festival 2014

In case you missed it (and you probably did), Die Apokalyptischen Reiter released a new album called “Tief Tiefer” several weeks ago. We featured a track a couple months ago, but we never got the pleasure of listening to MegaGoose try to pronounce the band’s name, so we’re going to try it again. Enjoy this full proshot performance from the German metallers Die Apokalyptischen Reiter.

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UnScholars 0002 – This Week in History and Debut Records

Steven and Katie take a walk down This Week in History with discussions on Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures” and Radiohead’s “OK Computer”.  After featuring the Vision Fantom track “Zaelen (Nederland)”, they discuss various degrees of successful debuts.

You can interact with the Unappreciated Scholars at these fine Internet establishments:

www.unappreciatedscholars.com
www.twitter.com/UnScholars

The Unappreciated Scholars Podcast

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#MetalMonday presented by @MetalOrGTFO: Metallica – Battery & Whiskey in the Jar

What’s that sound I hear? The Metal or GTFO! show is back, and the BATTERY of Lumbersqatch (can we go back to Monster?) and Mega “IT’S METAL MONDAY EVERY MONDAY” Goose have made their triumphant return to your podcast feeds. Let’s party!

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Upcoming Release: Solstafir – Svartir Sandar (Cassette)

Icelandic metallers Solstafir (who have been featured here on Metal Monday at least a couple times) are bringing a new album later this year, but if that’s not soon enough, check out this special limited cassette edition (250 of each) of their 2011 album Svartir Sandar. Choose from 5 different shell colors, or get the whole set for a special price.

For just around $10, you’ll get a fantastic album in a neat collector’s edition for your treasure chest. You DO have a treasure chest, right?

Solstafir – Svartir Sandar Cassette Reissue