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Posts Tagged ‘crowbar’

39. Down – Ghosts Along The Mississippi

Phil Anselmo’s a beast. The uncrowned prince of southern-tinged thrash metal and whatnot. Along with his merry band of traveling badasses (Pepper Keenan, Jimmy Bower and Rex Brown), he belts out one of the best metal ballads I’ve heard since forever. Yes it’s a ballad. Just that Anselmo’s narrative skills are really really scary. Just so you know, Down’s Bustle In Your Hedgegrow is a keeper.

38. Pharoahe Monch, Common & Talib Kweli – The Truth

Some folks sleep better at night, knowing that Hip Hop is only about silly braggadocio and profane limericks. Yeah sure, man. Metal’s all about “Fred Durst and his nookie”, Blues is nothing but an erstwhile John Mayer solo stuck in transit and hey, what is Jazz but a fleeting moment encapsulated inside those reverb-laden Buddha’s Bar albums, right? Wankers. Rappers Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli and Common turn their spittle into laidback conscious rhymes as ethereal strings dive bomb all around them.

37. Weezer – Brain Stew (Live at AOL Sessions)

The anthemic pop punk explosion of Green Day’s original is given a shock treatment by the underrated LA hipsters Weezer. They sedate the track into sounding like therapeutic murmurs that burst into full-blow argument in favour of insanity, thanks to a fantastic piano breakdown. Fun fact: Rivers Cuomo eats cookie-cutter punks like Billie Joe for breakfast.

36. Corrosion Of Conformity – Rise River Rise

I bet James Hetfield secretly wishes that Metallica had made America’s Volume Dealer instead of Corrosion Of Conformity. Soul-stirring, bone-crunching and flat-out amazing. Senor badass Pepper J. Keenan on vocal duties and rhythm guitar plays us like a fiddle, especially on this track.  Fun fact: Pepper Keenan burps out hags like Hetfield after a diet coke.

35. Mark Lanegan – Bombed

Mark Lanegan’s sandpaper-grated, whiskey-soaked vocals surface above the sparse acoustic strumming, along with PJ Harvey’s velveteen whispering, to create the sort of experience that a measly minute truly doesn’t deserve. Like QOTSA’s Lullaby but a million times better.

34. Jon Brion – Theme from ESOTSM

Jon Brion just happens to be one of the most talented multi-instrumentalists out there. His compositions for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind work wonders with Charlie Kaufman’s fantastic dialogues. Existentialism has never sounded lovelier.

33. Crowbar – To Touch the Hand of God / Odd Fellows Rest

I have wussied out and chosen Louisiana’s sludge kings Crowbar’s tamest and most palpable tracsk. Matter of fact, these could be the most fragile ballads to have ever emerged from the NOLA metal scene (along with COC’s Shelter). Not many completely fathom the unbridled intensity of their slow-paced, downtuned brooding, but it would take nothing short of busted eardrums to circumvent the breathtaking artistry of these two.

32. Aceyalone and Goapele – Moonlit Skies

As a founding member of the Freestyle Fellowship, LA rapper Aceyalone was one of the forerunners of jazz rap. Goapele is one of those neo soul musicians who playfully messes around with downtempo and trip hop. Together they…yes, I do believe the word I’m looking for is magic.

31. The Eels – Hospital Food

In case you’re new around here, Mark Oliver Everett has my vote for any King of Pop list. I don’t know any other singer-songwriter since Lennon and probably Elliot Smith to a lesser extent who has been this consistently good. The 1998 album Electro Shock Blues has some of the most gloriously twisted pop music there ever was, with this track’s erstwhile saxophone meltdown providing its most cathartic moment. “He’s always got a problem, he’s a very bitter dude, and now he’s complaining ’bout his hospital food”.

30. Portishead – Only You (Live In Roseland)

Let it be known that Portishead’s Live In Roseland, NYC, is one of the best live albums of the Nineties. With the New York Philharmonic Orchestra backing her up, singer Beth Gibbons lovingly embraces her smoky bar-room mystique and launches into a bone-chilling version of this track.

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Whomadewho

For the last time, techno should not make you want to dance. Techno is painful. Borderline torturous. Hell, our government should be utilizing it to ward off potential terrorists. As for disco…well, Motown’s coloured folks discovered it. Later, George Clinton and James Brown put it on the radio. Hell, even Tom Jones caught a glimpse or two of it. As for Whomadewho…well, this Denmark-based band whacks it right in the disco balls.

Jose Gonzalez

After hearing Damien Rice’s version of When Doves Cry, I decided to give ‘the hollow acoustic sound’ another go. A few days later, I stumbled upon Jose Gonzalez on YouTube. His rendition of Massive Attack’s Teardrop is awesome. Er…at least good enough to drown memories of post-grunge rockers sitting on barstools, strumming on acoustic guitars and singing about how their dads had too many bills to pay and not enough hugs to give. Forget them. Try this chap.

Dinosaur Jr

During the mid-Eighties, Dinosaur Jr unleashed the alternative rock genre upon unsuspecting masses. In essence, this genre was the next step in the evolution of college rock. Some even took it to be the unholy matrimony between hard rock and punk. Whatever the hell it was, these guys managed to make it sound more intriguing and viscerally edgier than anything else that dared to broadcast itself on MTV. Fiction: Nirvana gave birth to the sonic blueprint that made modern rock music a better alternative to popular music. Fact: Dinosaur Jr’s album You’re Living All Over Me packs more punch than the shotgun that blew Cobain’s head off.

Opeth

What’s life without a little metal to whip one’s earlobes into frenzy? For nearly five years, I watched as my Panasonic music system got continuously assaulted by the likes of Sepultura, Pantera, Six Feet Under, Sabbath and Crowbar. By the summer of 2000, Radiohead’s OK Computer launched an attack so intensely alarming upon my aural inclinations that I could no longer appreciate bands that preferred ferocity to subtlety. It’s difficult to lug Opeth into the metal category even though they sometimes consciously channel the spirits of black metal legends. But their calmer and more introspective side lets them escape any such classification. Let me just say that Opeth is what heavy metal should hope to evolve into by the next millennium.

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