Shut Up, Already. Damn!

As ubiquitous as Prince was in the 1980s (you could not escape the reach of his brilliant songs if you tried) I’ve always been a little behind the rest of the crowd when it comes to fully appreciating much of his work. I had 1999 on cassette back in 1984, I thought it was pretty […]

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“They Gotta Catch Me if They Want Me to Hang”: Back in Black Turns 40

“I’m a rolling thunder, pouring rain / I’m coming on like a hurricane / My lightning’s flashing across the sky / You’re only young, but you’re gonna die…” It’s fitting that AC/DC’s magnum opus begins with an apocalyptic line that echoes the self-mythologizing blues lyrics of Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf. After all, the Australian […]

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50 Years of Heavy Metal

The sound of a torrential downpour. The slow tolling of a church bell. The unsettling, three-note tritone riff sequence that embodied the mythical diabolus in musica: G, G, C#. “What is this that stands before me? Figure in black which points at me. Turn ’round quick and start to run. Find out I’m the chosen […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #10

10. Danko Jones, A Rock Supreme (Rise Above) As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am subjected to an inordinate amount of bro-ey rock music at my place of employment, and as much as I’ve had to tune out the same male rock music from the ’70s through the ’90s, I also have to hear […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #11

11. Black Mountain, Destroyer (Jagjaguwar) Music critics will never admit it, but as much as they publicly deny it, they rely on press kit bios and one-sheets a lot. The trick is to work the little factoids and anecdotes into the piece without making it look like a cut-and-paste job, but there are plenty of […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #12

12. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Infest the Rats’ Nest (Flightless) Metal nerds hate genre tourists. Hate them. The whole “culture”, if you want to call it that, is so afraid of outside influences and musicians who dabble in metal that it’s paranoiac. According to many, you have to be all-in, a lifer, a […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #20

20. Ozzy Osbourne, “Straight to Hell” Having followed Ozzy Osbourne’s career for nearly 40 years, I have learned to have low expectations when it comes to new music. His only true classics are his first two solo albums, his last consistently strong effort was 1990’s No More Tears, and his more recent solo work sounds […]

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The 2018 Album of the Year

Ghost, Prequelle (Loma Vista) The potential for Ghost to metamorphose into a major headlining rock/metal act was always there, which is why Loma Vista signed the Swedes to a lucrative deal in 2012. Since the 2010 cult favorite Opus Eponymous it’s been a slow build, but over time more and more curious listeners have been […]

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The Best Tracks of 2018, #15

15. Clutch, “In Walks Barbarella” For years now, Clutch’s entrance music has been Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers’ 1987 funk tune “We Need Some Money (Bout Money)”. It was only a matter of time before that funk ferocity showed up in Clutch’s own songwriting, and wow, did it ever explode on the groove rocker […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #7

                    7. Queens of the Stone Age, Villains (Matador) I was skeptical upon learning that Mark Ronson was going to produce the seventh Queens of the Stone Age album. Not that the idea had zero chance of working, but so often have these big name cross-genre […]

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