Saturday, October 13, 2012

Best Albums of 2011

Now that we are coming into the final stretches of 2012, you may think it is time to start considering the highlights of the year in music. And while that is certainly the case, I have yet to talk about my favorite albums of the past year. So, 10 months late, here are my favorite releases of 2011:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Song of the Week: Xibalba – Laid to Rest

Xibalba was a band that I was only familiar with in name for awhile, one of the many hardcore bands that Southern Lord Records has started to sign. I was prompted to give them a listen this week due to the release of their new album, Hasta La Muerte (its awesomely old-school death metalish sort of album cover was one of the main things that drove me to listen to it).

Friday, August 3, 2012

Song of the Week: The Menzingers – Good Things

When I heard that the Bouncing Souls were coming through Pittsburgh on their current tour cycle supporting their new album, Comet, I knew that I had to make an effort to go see them. The Bouncing Souls were the first band that I ever saw in concert, it was right after my first year of college, and was in Baltimore at the Ottobar. And while I have not listened to the Bouncing Souls much in the last few years, I figured it would be nice to relive old times.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drag The River – Garage Rock (2009)

Growing up, I basically wrote off country music as a genre that I would never enjoy. While I had not realized it at the time, most of the country music I had heard was just pop music meagerly disguised with acoustic guitars. It was not until my later years in college that I learned that there was a whole other side to country music, quite unlike what I grew up hearing on the radio. One of the first bands to help me realize this was Armchair Martian, a relatively unknown punk rock band from Ft. Collins, Colorado. While they were not a country band, the band’s vocalist, Jon Snodgrass, had a noticeable country twang to his voice, which was something I was not accustomed to hearing in rock music. I quickly fell in love with the band, and eagerly acquired all of their releases.  Throughout Armchair Martian’s career, they slowly began to adopt more of a country flare. In fact, once they called it a day, Jon Snodgrass went on to form a country rock band called Drag the River with Chad Price of the punk band ALL.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Micah Schnabel - I'm Dead, Serious (2011)

If you were to ask me my “favorite currently-active rock band”, I would unquestionably say Two Cow Garage. And unlike many bands today that fall under the umbrella term of “rock,” that descriptor accurately fits, with them merging country twang and punk aggression with a fist-pounding intensity. In the past 10 years that the Columbus, Ohio-based band has been active, they have been constantly on the road touring, such that I have had the pleasure of seeing them a number of times. Each time impressing me with their stamina and energy as Micah Schnabel (guitarist, vocalist) and Shane Sweeney (bassist, vocalist) vaulted about the stage while drummer Cody Smith pounded the hell out of his drum kit. Two Cow Garage released their fifth album (Sweet Saint Me) in 2010, and last year both Micah and Shane released solo albums.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Song of the Week: Black Pyramid – Mercy’s Bane

After a few week’s respite, I am finally back with another Song of the Week. I first became aware of Black Pyramid while reading the excellent metal blog The Obelisk, which is primarily focused around Doom and Sludge metal. They were talking about their favorite albums of 2011, and listed Black Pyramid’s “II” as one of the albums they did not get the chance to listen to, but figured it would be a favorite if they had. I needed no better reason to check the band out.