Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder - “Highway to Hell”
Bruce and Eddie are joined by new guitarist Tom Morello and the veteran E Street Band for a raucous version of the AC/DC classic. This was recorded in AC/DC’s homeland of Australia on Springsteen’s current 2014 tour.
Why is it that almost every mention or review of an artist’s second album is referred to as their “sophomore” effort, LP, album, release or whatever? I get the reference as it is the second year of a four year school - like a high school or university.
What I don’t get is why this is the only year used. You never hear of an artist’s freshman, junior or senior album. I must have seen the term sophomore used in this manner 7 times this week already.
If you found your way to this post then you probably know a little something about Mr. Dolby. Sure, he started off as one of the new wave synthesizer movement’s pioneers but he turned out to be quite a bit more than that over his long, but decidedly non-prolific career (only 5 full studio albums in 30 years). His songwriting and song craft have grown with each album and he has moved far past “She Blinded Me With Science”.
With A Map of the Floating City, Dolby covers a wide range of styles, including rock, jazz, bossa nova, electro, bluegrass and more, all wrapped up in a steam-punk package. While electronics still play a major part, there is plenty of live instrumentation and a real ensemble feel to the playing.
A Map of the Floating City is the work of a mature artist that takes the listener on a trip through time and place. If you haven’t checked in on Thomas Dolby in a while, do yourself a favor and give this album a listen.
Eluveitie - “Omnos” from the 2009 LP Evocation 1 - The Arcane Dominion
This folk metal band from Switzerland (singing in the dead Celtic language Gualish) pushes all the Pagan Folk Metal buttons: medieval folk melodies with lutes, flutes and a hurdy gurdy, crushing metal riffing and some death metal growling in the background.
Arkona - “Liki Bessmertnykh Bogov” (Faces of Immortal Gods) from the 2009 album Goi, Rode, Goi!
If I was forced to name my favorite musical genres the list would probably start with the classic hard rock of the 70’s (Zeppelin, Queen, Rush etc.) followed by modern indie rock (Okkervil River, Arcade Fire, Portugal. The Man etc.) - but it turns out that somewhere on that list there is also room for Russian Pagan Folk Metal. My next goal is to figure out what they’re going on about…
I was on a business trip to Phoenix last week and figured I’d better see who was playing while I was there. Well, I got lucky and one of my favorite Symphonic Metal bands, Leaves’ Eyes (from Norway) was in town that night. So I got a ticket and was there two hours later!
They were opening for another great Gothic Metal band, Moonspell, who hail from Portugal. Both of these groups regularly play for tens of thousands of headbangers at European festivals, but on this night there were no more than 120 fans in this small club called Joe’s Grotto.
The good news is that this small,l but VERY enthusiastic, audience got one hell of a show. Leaves’ Eyes played all out, as if they were in front of a crowd of 20,000. Though it was only a short 10 song set, they gave it everything they had. The highlights were “My Destiny” from their 2009 album Njord, and “Symphony of the Night” from their new record of the same name.
I was able to meet and talk to both Liv Kristine and Alexander Krull after the show and they both were incredibly gracious and easy to talk to.