From the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota: Rocky's Log

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Mercury
When the music hits, I feel no pain at all


Gender: Male
Location: St. Louis
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  • #291
  • Posted: 07/20/2022 21:41
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RockyRaccoon wrote:
Let me know what you think!


Listened and it’s fantastic! I think this is the first Power Metal album that really really spoke to me. The musicianship is incredible! The vocals are so great and that would be the area that would usually annoy me the most about this style. But no they were anthemic and touching and catchy. Those super speedy leads and solos were, every single time, fucking riveting.

Awesome recommendation. I hope yo see them live once they have some dates in the US. Something tells me it will be an uplifting experience!

Oh and that is another thing, as someone who never listens to super happy or uplifting music and certainly nothing in the heavier side that’s super upbeat, this was a breathe of fresh air and made me feel good and smile in these generally kinda sad and drab days. The lyric that was like “can someone tell me I’m worthy?!” (Forget which song) made me tear up a little. Anyway, yeah it’s awesome
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


Gender: Male
Age: 31
Location: Maryland
United States
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  • #292
  • Posted: 07/20/2022 22:03
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Mercury wrote:
Listened and it’s fantastic! I think this is the first Power Metal album that really really spoke to me. The musicianship is incredible! The vocals are so great and that would be the area that would usually annoy me the most about this style. But no they were anthemic and touching and catchy. Those super speedy leads and solos were, every single time, fucking riveting.

Awesome recommendation. I hope yo see them live once they have some dates in the US. Something tells me it will be an uplifting experience!

Oh and that is another thing, as someone who never listens to super happy or uplifting music and certainly nothing in the heavier side that’s super upbeat, this was a breathe of fresh air and made me feel good and smile in these generally kinda sad and drab days. The lyric that was like “can someone tell me I’m worthy?!” (Forget which song) made me tear up a little. Anyway, yeah it’s awesome


Ah I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it! I felt a lot of the same things you did—it’s all the things that make power metal great rolled into one album. Catchy, big anthems, great musicianship, it’s all there.

Really happy to hear you liked it!
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


Gender: Male
Age: 31
Location: Maryland
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  • #293
  • Posted: 07/21/2022 17:19
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Memory Almost Full by Paul McCartney

I think it's inevitable that, when you're someone with the musical output of Paul McCartney, there are going to be albums that are going to be overlooked, and I think this album is one of those. This isn't a perfect album, but it's a pretty strong late-stage Paul McCartney album.

I have kind of a personal connection to it too. It came out in early June 2007, and right when it came out, I was going on a trip to Acapulco, Mexico to stay at an orphanage for a week and do some construction, helping them build some new rooms for kids to stay in, a patio, things like that, since they were all staying in an old hotel from the 1940s that wasn't in the best shape.

On the Wednesday of that week, we got the day off and went into Acapulco to see a movie, shop at the market, check out the local mall, stuff like that. I very clearly remember being at a Starbucks in the Acapulco mall and seeing Memory Almost Full available for sale at the checkout, so I bought it. And the next two days, while we were back doing construction at the orphanage, making cement by hand, hauling ceiling tiles, stuff like that, I found a CD player or a boombox or something, I don't really remember what it was, and I put that CD on, and I think we listened to this album at least three or four different times.

I randomly thought of this album today and listening to it again put me right back there, and brought back a lot of memories.

But aside from all that, I think this is a pretty solid album too. Dance Tonight is one of the better songs Paul has written as a solo artist, it's a great, fun, upbeat pop song, which obviously Paul is the master of. He apparently wrote the song after picking up a mandolin for the first time and just goofing around on two chords (amazing to be that absurdly gifted with melody).

There are a couple of duds here, "That Was Me" feels a bit like Paul doing a song on autopilot, but there are some other great tunes. "Ever Present Past," "House of Wax," "Only Mama Knows" are all rock solid songs. And "The End of the End" is a beautiful meditation on death, and shows some real vulnerability from Paul we hadn't heard since he wrote about John's death in "Here Today."

When you have a massive a songbook as Paul McCartney does, it's easy to miss an album here and there, especially when one might consider him past his prime, but this album deserves a bit more recognition than it gets, and it'll always be a special one for me.
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


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  • #294
  • Posted: 07/21/2022 22:29
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Completely Well by B.B. King

This is such a good album. It might be my favorite blues album (though it should be noted that I’m far from an authority on blues music, I haven’t listened to nearly as much as I should).

The obvious highlight here is “The Thrill is Gone.” I realize that saying this is like saying the sky is blue, but that song is such a masterpiece. I’ve heard it covered a million times (Kingfish does a brilliant cover of it) but it’s so good. B.B. King’s guitar work just can’t be beat in that song.

But this album is so much more than just one of the greatest blues songs ever written. The first side is really solid, with “Confessin’ the Blues” being a real highlight.

But it’s the second side where things kick into another gear.

Yes, that’s where “The Thrill is Gone” resides, but it’s also where we get “Key to My Kingdom,” which features B.B. singing his absolute soul out to us, and we get “You’re Mean.”

“You’re Mean” is an absolute JAM. It’s nine-and-a-half minutes long, and probably half of it is just B.B. shouting “YA BEEN MEAN” while soloing but it never gets old. Let that song go on for 20 minutes, I don’t care. It feels like such an explosion of anger and frustration over a significant other who’s been, well, mean.

You just feel it. It’s as close to a “you know what, fuck YOU” song as I think B.B. could’ve gotten in 1969.

At its base, what is the blues? It’s feeling put to music. It’s catharsis. Sure, that’s what most art is, but the blues was built on “everything sucks, lemme play this guitar,” and few albums do that better than Completely Well.
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Mercury
When the music hits, I feel no pain at all


Gender: Male
Location: St. Louis
United States

  • #295
  • Posted: 07/21/2022 22:40
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PREACH!

Great album. Been awhile and need to revisit that particular BB classic. My intro to him and even the blues in general was Indianola Mississippi Seeds from 71 I think. That is also a great one.

Always good to see some blues and BB King love.
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


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Location: Maryland
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  • #296
  • Posted: 07/21/2022 22:43
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Mercury wrote:
PREACH!

Great album. Been awhile and need to revisit that particular BB classic. My intro to him and even the blues in general was Indianola Mississippi Seeds from 71 I think. That is also a great one.

Always good to see some blues and BB King love.


It’s such a great album.

I found it for sale on vinyl for $12 and HAD to buy it. It came in the mail today which, naturally, inspired another listen of it. That album never gets old
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


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  • #297
  • Posted: 4 days ago
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American Pie by Don McLean

I wanna take a second to talk about this album, because I feel like Don McClean sort of unfairly gets forgotten when we talk about some of the greatest singer-songwriters out there (similar to the way John Hartford gets forgotten, though not nearly to that extent).

Growing up, I listened to whatever my parents listened to on the radio, and generally speaking, that was the local classic rock stations playing all the hits of the 60s and 70s. And I clearly remember hearing American Pie rotate through the station over and over and thinking of it like a puzzle. My dad told me the first time we heard it about how it's supposed to be this big allegory and how different aspects of the lyrics represent different musicians (The Jester is Bob Dylan, the Sargents are the Beatles, etc.)

And since McClean has always been cagey about the meanings within the lyrics, I used to sit there and try to figure out who was supposed to be what. I'd talk it out with my dad or mom, whoever was around, I was like this 9-year-old detective trying to figure out what this song meant.

And what's funny to me is, while American Pie is a great song (even if I got a little tired of just how much it was played on classic rock radio), it's far from the greatest song on this record. In fact, it's maybe the fourth-best song here?

Vincent is an absolutely beautiful song, both melodically and lyrically (also, if it's your jam, James Blake does a gorgeous cover of the song). I can never get sick of Vincent, I really can't, I think it's a masterpiece of songwriting.

But what I want to take a second to talk about is Empty Chairs, a song that I think is maybe even more of a masterpiece than Vincent is. Few songs encapsulate heartbreak better than Empty Chairs. Check out some of these lyrics:

"Moonlight used to bathe the contours of your face
While chestnut hair fell all around the pillowcase
And the fragrance of your flowers rest beneath my head
A sympathy bouquet left with a love that's dead"

"Morning comes and morning goes with no regret
The evening brings the memories I can't forget
Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs"

And then of course, the chorus:

"And I wonder if you know
That I never understood
That although you said you'd go
Until you did
I never thought you would"

I mean JESUS CHRIST that just hits me right in the chest every time I hear it. It's beautifully poetic without being verbose. Such simple, evocative, painfully effective imagery. The idea of being in a relationship with someone that's slowly dying, but you're comfortable or you're just on autopilot, or maybe you're oblivious to the state of the relationship. You think, that'll never happen, every couple has their highs and lows. And then they're gone. And you're left walking around looking at the empty chairs that you and your significant other used to sit in together. A house full of painful memories.

On top of that, musically I just love what McClean does here. The finger-picking he does, tossing in a few major 7s and 6s here and there (walking down from G to Gmaj7 to G6 at the end of the chorus - it's simple but beautiful). Don McClean doesn't get enough credit as a guitarist, mostly I think because what he does isn't overly flashy, but the stuff he's doing here (and in Vincent for that matter) is really difficult stuff.

There's just so much incredible stuff on this album (I didn't even mention Crossroads, which is almost as painfully beautiful as Empty Chairs). It's not a perfect album, but man does this album show off what an absolutely incredible songwrite Don McClean is.
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


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  • #298
  • Posted: 3 hours ago
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God's Country by Chat Pile

This is, without a doubt, some of the best sludge I've heard in quite a while.

This is the soundtrack of America falling apart. There is so much pain and frustration and anger built into this album, and what I love about it is that Chat Pile is so very methodical with their sound. There aren't a bunch of ripping solos or anything (not that there's anything wrong with that), this is just a straight-ahead sludge album that is going to smack you right square in the head with a sledgehammer and absolutely SCREAM at you.

And what's fascinating is how much of a catharsis this is. To hear Raygun Busch absolutely let loose with some primal screams, it feels like he's doing what we all want to do sometimes. Everything that we pent up inside of ourselves every day, Busch is just letting it all out in the most basic animal way he can, and man do I feel that.

Easily some of the best sludge I've heard this side of Eyehategod and The Body. If that's your thing, you should very much make this album your thing.
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