Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1912 Kreeps - Dead Men Walking

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From: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Original Soundtrack, Year: 2010; Genre: Rock/Surf Rock
Happy Halloween! I was wanting to pick a good, fitting song today and this one from the soundtrack to the video game Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare felt like a nice fit. For some reason surf rock with a spooky feel and subject matter just seems to go together quite well.

Hear Dead Man Walking on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Dick Dale - Riders In the Sky

My song pick two years ago today: Andrew Gold - Spooky, Scary Skeletons

My song pick three years ago today: Rammstein - Mein Teil

My song pick four years ago today: Rush - Witch Hunt

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - Witches Promise


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

1911 Irving Berlin - Alexander's Ragtime Band

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Year: 1911; Genre: Pop
In the year 1911, which is also today's song pick number, Irving Berlin published Alexander's Ragtime Band, a song that would not only become one of the more popular songs in American musical history, but also launched his career as one of the most popular songwriters of all time. The song's popularity was a surprise even to it's writer; from what I've read it would gain a resurgence every time an artist recorded it; overall it stayed in the charts for an amazing five decades.
I remember a few years ago when I was doing some personal research on some of the older music I was surprised at how many immensely popular hit songs Irving Berlin wrote, most of which are still heard today; a century later.

Hear an instrumental version of the song on YouTube.

Countless versions of the song can be found here on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Queensrÿche - Della Brown

My song pick two years ago today: Van Halen - Unchained

My song pick three years ago today: Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns and Money

My song pick four years ago today: Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes

My song pick five years ago today: Johann Sebastian Bach - BWV 565 - Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

1909 Alestorm - Barrett's Privateers

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From: Back Through Time; Year: 2011; Genre: Celtic Folk Metal/Pirate Metal
Yesterday I had this song my mind; as usual I took as a sign I should pick it. I remember when I first looked at the track list I was certainly amused when I saw that Alestorm had covered this classic Stan Rogers a cappella folk ditty and turned it into a full-blown heavy metal song. I've always liked the original; I can't remember how many times I've heard it, but it's been a bunch. However, to say the least I like Alestorm's cover just a much, probably more now that I think about it. They simply did an awesome job covering it in my opinion, of course the subject matter fit Alestorm's pirate themed music style perfectly, so it's no surprise at all. This track also features a pretty good guitar solo by guest guitarist Heri Joensen from the band Tyr.

Hear Alestorm's version of Barrett's Privateers on YouTube.
Hear the original Stan Rogers version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Sly and the Family Stone - Sing a Simple Song

My song pick two years ago today: Miles Davis - So What

My song pick three years ago today: Ray Charles - I Can't Stop Loving You

My song pick four years ago today: J.S. Bach - BWV 659 - Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

My song pick five year ago today: Billy Thorpe - Children of the Sun


Saturday, October 27, 2012

1908 Sergei Rachmaninoff - Op. 27 - Symphony No. 2

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Op. 27; Year: 1908; Genre: Romantic Period/classical
Off an on for the last week and especially today I've been having issues with the internet going out, but it's back on now and running fine, (knock on wood). Anyway, just in case it decides to go kaput again I'm making a quick pick.
I checked what was going on in music circa 1908, which is today's song pick number, and noticed this awesome piece of music from Rachmaninoff made it's debut in 1908. I also realized that I hadn't yet chosen one of his songs yet, so it seemed like an excellent time to do so.

Here is a performance of the piece by the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, conducted by Gullberg Jensen on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: AC/DC - Big Balls

My song pick two years ago today: The Guess Who - Hand Me Down World

My song pick three years ago today: Finntroll - Skogens Hämnd

My song pick four years ago today: Bon Jovi - These Days

My song pick five years ago today: Yes - Roundabout


Thursday, October 25, 2012

1906 Rush - Mr. Soul

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From: Feedback; Year: 2004; Genre: Hard Rock
For most of the day I've had the original Buffalo Springfield version of this song running through my mind. I was intending on picking it, but evidently I had already chosen it. So, I decided I would go ahead and pick this cover of the song by Rush. They actually did an awesome job with it, as with any good cover they kept the original spirit while putting their personal touch on it.

Hear Rush's cover of Mr. Soul on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Megadeth - How the Story Ends

My song pick two years ago today: Sethian - Epitaph

My song pick three years ago today: Marcus Miller - Frankenstein

My song pick four years ago today: Jackyl - The Lumberjack

My song pick five years ago today: Blackmore's Night - Rainbow Blues


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

1905 Asia - Wildest Dreams

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From: Asia; Year: 1982; Genre: Progressive Rock
I was drawing a total blank for a song to pick today. I was listening Asia's debut album recently, so a lot of the music therein was still in my mind; I figured that I would go ahead and choose another song from it. Wildest Dreams is one of the lesser singles off this hit laden record that caught my attention the first time. I like the way they disguised a technical song musically in almost mainstream rock trappings, but then that's the way a lot of 80's prog/rock ended up sounding.

Here is an animé music video with the studio version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Don Henley - Dirty Laundry

My song pick two years ago today: The Scorpions - Big City Nights

My song pick three years ago today: Graham Central Station - Earthquake

My song pick four years ago today: John Denver - Season Suite - Fall

My song pick five years ago today: Kyu Sakamoto - Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Aruko)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1904 Béla Fleck & the Flecktones - Earthling Parade

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From: Rocket Science; Year: 2011; Genre: Jazz Fusion/Bluegrass
I've been having a rather difficult time making my pick today. I had a few songs that I wanted to pick, but it seemed as if I was thwarted at every turn at finding the song online. Frustrated, I finally just picked this interesting track off of Béla Fleck & the Flecktones' newest album. However, as it ends up this is the second time I am posting the song due to me accidentally deleting the original post prior to finishing it, so, here it is anyway.
Like much of their material it's a very interesting blend of musical styles and sounds; if you have heard them before you should pretty know what to expect.

Hear Earthling Parade on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Stuart Hamm - Kings of Sleep

My song pick two years ago today: Steeleye Span - Lovely on the Water

My song pick three years ago today: Crosby, Stills & Nash - Just a Song Before I Go

My song pick four years ago today: Robert Mitchum - Ballad of Thunder Road

My song pick five years ago today: Blue Öyster Cult - Harvest Moon

 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1902 Scott Joplin - The Entertainer

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From: The Entertainer: The Very Best of Scott Joplin; Year: 2009, (1902); Genre: Ragtime/Pop
Okay, here's another one of Scott Joplin's more recognized compositions, which probably is the most popular of his songs today; I can all but guarantee you've heard it at some point. This one, of course, was published at the height of the popularity of ragtime in the year 1902, which is also the pick number today.
What has led to this song's popularity in more recent times was its use in the Paul Newman and Robert Redford film The Sting; subsequently it has been used quite a bit in popular culture.

Hear The Entertainer on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Maktub - So Tired

My song pick two years ago today: Dizzy Gillespie - Manteca

My song pick three years ago today: Iron Maiden - Sun and Steel

My song pick four years ago today: Deep Purple - Knocking At Your Back Door

My song pick five years ago today: Slade - Cum On Feel The Noize


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

1900 Van Der Graaf Generator - A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers

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From: Pawn Hearts; Year: 1971; Genre: Progressive Rock
Today marks my one-thousand-nine-hundredth song picked. I probably should've picked a song that was a little more appropriate, but there was no song I could think of and none I really wanted to pick that somehow was related to the number or year 1900. So, as I sometimes do, I am instead picking a huge, epic piece of music to mark the occasion. It's amazing to think that my next "odometer rollover pick" will be my 2000th.
This epic piece of progressive rock was one of three or four tracks contained on the album, depending on the version you bought. A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers is a concept piece that is a bit of a mini opera and is broken up into ten sections: I. Eye Witness, II. Pictures/Lighthouse, III. Eye Witness, IV. S.H.M., V. Presence of the Night, VI. Kosmos Tours, VII. (Custard's) Last Stand, VIII. The Clot Thickens, IX. Land's End (Sineline), X. We Go Now.

Hear the full 23+ minutes of A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Asia - Only Time Will Tell

My song pick two years ago today: British Whale (Justin Hawkins) - This Town Ain't Big Enough For the Both of Us

My song pick three years ago today: Donald MacLeod - Field of Gold

My song pick four years ago today: John Lennon (The Plastic Ono Band) - Hold On

My song pick five years ago today: John Denver - Looking for Space


Thursday, October 18, 2012

1899 Scott Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag

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From: The Entertainer: The Very Best of Scott Joplin; Year: 2009, (1899); Genre: Ragtime/Pop
Here's another song where the composition date coincides with my song pick number. Around the turn of the last century the musical form/genre which is ragtime was extremely popular, and Scott Joplin is considered the greatest composer of the genre.
To easily think of ragtime, it's the music that often times played behind old black and white silent films; it was the kind of music that was popular at the time those kind of films were being produced. While many might view ragtime as antiquated and "old timey" it's very a very important genre, which led to the development of other genres, chiefly jazz.
Anyway, this is one of Scott Joplin's more famous of his compositions and has been covered and recorded more times than I dare to count.

Here is a recording of Scott Joplin playing Maple Leaf Rag on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Jethro Tull - Play In Time

My song pick two years ago today: Exile - Kiss You All Over

My song pick three years ago today: Rush - Show Don't Tell

My song pick four years ago today: The Four Tops - Bernadette

My song pick five years ago today: Devo - Some Things Never Change


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1897 Hawkwind - Hurry on Sundown

From: Hawkwind; Year: 1970; Genre: Blues Rock/Psychedelic Rock
I was going over some of Hawkwind's earlier material the other day; after hearing this track I kept going back over and listening to it. If you are used to their normal sound, I have to say it's a bit different; this is quite a bluesy track with a bit of psychedelia thrown in. Actually there is a version of the song that was recorded prior to their first album when they were still going by "Hawkwind Zoo," which in my opinion sounds more like what they would end up sounding like. Anyway, no matter the version it's really interesting to hear such an early recording of the band.

Hear Hurry on Sundown on YouTube.
Hear the 1969 single recording from when the band was still known as "Hawkwind Zoo" on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Steeleye Span - New York Girls

My song pick two years ago today: The Steve Miller Band - Living in the U.S.A.

My song pick three years ago today: Three Dog Night - Shambala

My song pick four years ago today: Diesel - Sausalito Summernight

My song pick five years ago today: Eric Clapton - Layla


Monday, October 15, 2012

1896 Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra

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Op. 30; Year: 1896; Genre: Romantic Period/classical
1896, which is also today's song pick number, was the year that this very famous piece of music was composed and premiered. While in his time there were works of his that were just as popular, you can't deny that today this is his most famous piece. It, of course, gained most of its popularity from the initial "fanfare" section being used as both the theme song for the Apollo Program and the Stanley Kubrick epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ever since then it has been used quite extensively in many other things and has permeated popular culture. For those unaware, the entire piece is a tone poem that was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's work of the piece's namesake.

Here is a performance of Also Sprach Zarathustra by the l'Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Antonio Pappano:
Here is part one on YouTube.
Here is part two on YouTube.
Here is part three on YouTube.
Here is part four on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: 30 Seconds to Mars - Year Zero

My song pick two years ago today: Don Williams - If Hollywood Don't Need You

My song pick three years ago today: Cream - Strange Brew

My song pick four years ago today: A-ha - The Living Daylights

My song pick five years ago today: Procol Harum - Conquistador 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

1894 Rare Earth - Get Ready

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From: Get Ready; Year: 1969; Genre: Hard Rock/R&B
I woke up this morning with this song from Motown's own hard rock band running through my head. Get Ready was, of course, originally written by the incomparable Smokey Robinson and was a hit song recorded by The Temptations.
This hard rock rendition comes across as an extended jam, which was based off their live performance of the song; Rare Earth would close out their set with this extended jam complete with each instrument getting a proper solo. It ended up at over twenty minutes in length and took up the entire b-side of the album. From what I understand Motown was unsure about releasing their version as a single, of course when the label finally relented it was released at a far more radio-friendly 2:48.

Hear the full 20+ minute version on YouTube.
Hear the much abbreviated single edit on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Trio of Doom - Continuum

My song pick two years ago today: Jethro Tull - Aqualung

My song pick three years ago today: Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys - Wayfaring Stranger

My song pick four years ago today: Billy Squier - In The Dark

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - Steel Monkey


Friday, October 12, 2012

1893 Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Oh Susannah

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From: Americana; Year: 2012; Genre: Hard Rock
Recently I was introduced to this new song and album from Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Essentially Americana is a collection of old traditional American tunes redone in a dark and interesting hard rock style. From what I read about it, Neil Young wanted to return some of the original darker aspects to these that have, for the most part, been relegated to being thought of as children's songs.
In this classic Stephen Foster composition he really turns it into a "dirty" blues in you will. When I first heard it, it reminded me a lot of The Shocking Blue's hit song Venus, especially in the rhythm and chord progression, only this song is a bit heavier. It's definitely a neat take on a traditional classic.

Here is a video with Neil Young's version of Oh Susannah on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Miles Davis - Freedom Jazz Dance

My song pick two years ago today: Boston - More Than a Feeling

My song pick three years ago today: David Bowie - Suffragette City

My song pick four years ago today: Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now

My song pick five years ago today: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) - Prologue/Twilight

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1892 Pallas - For the Greater Glory

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From: The Cross & the Crucible; Year: 2001; Genre: Progressive Rock
Recently I started listening to Pallas' '01 release The Cross & the Crucible; I have to say that I like what I hear. Frustratingly, this is the only song from the album I could find online, so I guess it's the one I'm picking today. While it's not my favourite on the album, it's some quite excellent progressive rock.

Hear For the Greater Glory on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Steely Dan - Peg

My song pick two years ago today: What Made Milwaukee Famous - Selling Yourself Short

My song pick three years ago today: Jethro Tull - Left Right

My song pick four years ago today: Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes

My song pick five years ago today: Eisbrecher - Ohne Dich


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

1891 Rush - Anagram (for Mongo)

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From: Presto; Year: 1989; Genre: Rock
I noticed in the news today that actor and former NFL player Alex Karras passed away. Even though he had many other roles as an actor I'll probably always remember him for the character "Mongo" from the comedy classic Blazing Saddles. In the movie there were many highly quotable lines, among them was Cleavon Little's famous "Candygram for Mongo."
Anyway, after hearing of Alex Karras' death this song just popped in my mind. I don't know if the title of the song was inspired somehow by the line in the movie, but ever since I first saw it I figured there had to be a connection. Even if there isn't a real connection, in my mind (and probably in that of many others'), there is.

Hear Anagram (for Mongo) on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Sky - Troika

My song pick two years ago today: Mason Williams - Classical Gas

My song pick three years ago today: Alexi Murdoch - Breathe

My song pick four years ago today: Bad Company - Shooting Star

My song pick five years ago today: Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Skies

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

1890 Savatage - Somewhere in Time

Streets: A Rock Opera cover
From: Streets: A Rock Opera; Year: 1991; Genre: Progressive Metal
Off and on over the last few days I've been listening to this Savatage album, which is one of my favourites.
This is the second-to-last song and, much like the other material on the record, is a fusion between Savtage's brand of metal with opera/broadway. For the most part Somewhere in Time can be played alone without losing anything, especially if you don't pay as much attention to the lyrics. However, it does work better played with the rest of the rock opera; particularly with the final track: Believe.  Those two songs go very well together and for the most part are often played in tandem.
Even though I normally listen to it along with other songs on Streets, this is still one of my favourites on the album. I especially love the work by Jon and Criss Oliva; the vocals, piano, and guitar are excellent as always.

Hear Somewhere in Time followed by Believe on YouTube. - paired as always.



My song pick a year ago today: Rammstein - Links 2-3-4

My song pick two years ago today: Rammstein - Donaukinder

My song pick three years ago today: U2 - Pride (In the Name of Love)

My song pick four years ago today: The Charlie Daniels Band - Uneasy Rider

My song pick five years ago today: Megadeth - Psychotron


Monday, October 08, 2012

1889 Sol Ho'opi'i - St. Louis Blues

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From: Sol Hoopii: Master of the Hawaiian Guitar; Year: 2009 (1927); Genre: Blues
I happened to remember that in the year 1889, which is also today's pick number, was when the Hawaiian or steel guitar was invented by Joseph Kekuku.
Since the guy who has been teaching me to play the Hawaiian guitar is a huge fan of master guitarist Sol Ho'opi'i I've become well acquainted with his music, so I thought I would pick one of his songs. I just wish there was more of a selection of his music on YouTube.

Hear Sol Ho'opi'i's rendition of St. Louis Blues on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Allman Brothers Band - Les Brers in A Minor

My song pick two years ago today: Puhdys - He John

My song pick three years ago today: Styx - Too Much Time On My Hands

My song pick four years ago today: The Amboy Dukes - Journey to the Center of the Mind

My song pick five years ago today: The Who - Pinball Wizard


Sunday, October 07, 2012

1888 Stevie Nicks - Stand Back

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From: The Wild Heart; Year: 1983; Genre: Pop/Rock
It seems as of late that I've been picking songs I heard on the radio, but with how much I'm on the road anymore it's no surprise. I've always loved how Stevie Nicks' solo material contrasts for the most part with Fleetwood Mac; I think it shows a lot of growth and definite artistic direction in her music.
Other than her vocals I love the use of synthesizers, especially in the lower-end of this song. I know the use of synth is often reviled, but I grew up hearing it used a lot.

Hear Stand Back on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Jigsaw - Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind

My song pick two years ago today: U2 - Mysterious Ways

My song pick three years ago today: Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

My song pick four years ago today: The Who - Behind Blue Eyes

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - Part Of The Machine


Saturday, October 06, 2012

1887 The Police - Every Breath You Take

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From Synchronicity; Year: 1983; Genre: New Wave/Pop
Today when I was sitting in the car waiting for an appointment this song came on the radio. It's weird, but for me personally I've always had it very much connected to the time period when I first heard it; because of that it hasn't become as cliché to me as it probably is to others.
If you don't really listen that closely to the lyrics it almost sounds like a love song, but, as you probably know, the song is about a stalker and his ex-lover. I was taken aback the first time I actually sat down and listened to the lyrics; for quite a while I never really listened to them; I was rather focused on the music. I like the smooth and highly predicable chord progression, however my favourite part of the song is the middle eight and how they enter and exit it.

Watch the music video on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone

My song pick two years ago today: The Moontrekkers - Night of the Vampire

My song pick three years ago today: Maddy Prior - Cold Flame

My song pick four years ago today: Savatage - Follow Me

My song pick five years ago today: Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) - Sledgehammer


Thursday, October 04, 2012

1885 Jethro Tull - Overhang

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From: Broadsword and the Beast (Remastered); Year: 1982; Genre: Rock
It's been a rather busy couple of days; I had this rarer 'Tull track running through my mind off and on recently. As I often times I do, I took it as a sign I should make it my pick, so I am.
This was one of the many songs written and recorded at the time of the Broadsword and the Beast album that didn't make the cut; it's amazing to think that almost as many songs got cut as made it on to the album. It did however get released on the 20th Anniversary Boxed Set and then later reunited on the remastered version of the Broadsword.
Overall I have to say it, as well as it's siblings who were also cut, has a lot less polish than a properly released song. But who knows, if it would've made the cut they might have given it that polish. Musically in my opinion it's one of their straight forward songs; nothing too fancy, but it does have a nice driving rhythm. Funny enough the first few times I listened to it I had some difficulty understanding what the song was about. This was mostly due to Ian Anderson's metaphor and symbolism laced lyrics. However after a while I realized it was a song written about a hangover the day after an apparent wild party. Definitely a bit different from their normal stuff and perhaps one of the reasons it got left off the album initially.

Hear Overhang on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Hawkwind - Uncle Sam's on Mars

My song pick two years ago today: Al Di Meola - Suite – Golden Dawn

My song pick three years ago today: Béla Fleck & the Flecktones - Sex in a Pan

My song pick four years ago today: David Bowie - Space Oddity

My song pick five years ago today: The Guess Who - No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

1884 The Moody Blues - Don't You Feel Small

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From: A Question of Balance; Year: 1970; Genre: Progressive Rock/Blues Rock
Since last night I had some Moody Blues music running through my mind; since I usually take it as a sign I should pick one of their songs and I haven't picked one of their song in a while I figured I would. I believe that I've said it before, The Moody Blues were my main "gateway" band into progressive rock and because of that they'll always have a special place for me.
Anyway, I realized I hadn't picked one from their A Question of Balance album, so here's one of my favourites and one of the more interesting tracks from it. I like how they start out with some incredible atmospheric music that build into their full rock sound then end it in the same atmospheric manner.

Hear Don't You Feel Small on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Depeche Mode - Stripped

My song pick two years ago today: Sammy Davis Jr. - Mr. Bojangles

My song pick three years ago today: John Denver - Blues My Naughty

My song pick four years ago today: Rush - Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres

My song pick five years ago today: Rush - YYZ


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

1883 Mastodon - Oblivion

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From: Crack the Skye; Year: 2009; Genre: Progressive Metal
A bit ago I noticed that I've only chosen two songs from this great band; I thought I would add a third today. I've been trying to get more into Mastodon; it's not like I've been trying to find something I like from the band, not at all; I really like what I've heard. It's just been hard to find the time to listen.
Anyway, since I'm a fan of their Blood Mountain album I thought I would check out their follow-up: Crack the Skye. To say the least I was impressed and I think I've found myself a new favourite album from Mastodon.
Oblivion is one of the main singles off the album; it is one of those songs that's fun to listen to as a musician or just being a metalhead rocking out.

Watch the music video on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Van Morrison - Wavelength

My song pick two years ago today: Lee Michaels - Do You Know What I Mean?

My song pick three years ago today: The Who - The Ox

My song pick four years ago today: Rush - Cygnus X-1

My song pick five years ago today: Joni Mitchell - Amelia