Friday, July 8, 2011

The Call of Ktulu

Appologies for not posting an update on the metal-fest of the year until now, but I have been pretty busy. First of all I need to tell you that this concert requires several posts, of which this is the first. Focusing this post on the set list of Metallica who once again showed why they are the undisputed no 1 band in this category. I still have goosebumps and my voice has not recovered yet. Simply the best Metallica performance I have seen so far. Check out the set list below. Although there will always be 50 more songs you want to hear, it actually felt like a good mix from their best albums. I mean, “The Call of Ktulu”, how did that happen?  Insanely good, and one could almost feel Cliff's presence in the stadium. Really good job by a very humble Rob Trujillo who in my opinion has become an essential part of the band!

Never seen so much energy, passion and joy as in this show. And the sound was absolutely fenomenal. Great stuff…

Set list:
Hit the Lights
Master of Puppets
The Shortest Straw
Seek & Destroy
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Ride the Lightning
The Memory Remains
All Nightmare Long
Sad But True
The Call of Ktulu
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Fade to Black
Enter Sandman

Am I Evil? (performed with Megadeth and Anthrax on stage)
Damage Inc.
Creeping Death

I will be back soon with more stuff on Big 4 concert shortly.

Until then...


Friday, July 1, 2011

Dear mother, dear father...

Dyers eve, last song on the "Justice" album. What a song, always loved it. And I always felt sorry for James as I have read that he did not have that good of an upbringing. Supposedly, and this should be quite easy to double check, he was raised in a very strict Christian Scientist home, where even his mother was denied medicine while dying of cancer.

Anyway, I am not sure if these lyrics are pure fiction or the way James looks back on his childhood, but I am quite sure it does somehow. And now when having two kids of my own, the song becomes even stronger. Could you imagine your children writing and playing this song with such fury. Mom, you better watch out :-) Kidding of course. I had too good of an upbringing,  that's the reason I haven't become a rock star yet. I don't have that prerequisite rough childhood I am afraid. I guess I could blame that on my parents though, couldn't I?

Anywy, all parents should get a dose of this song every once in a while and reflect on how they raise their kids. I have posted the lyrics below as this is the actual point of the blog post, but for all of our metal lovers, there is a live clip of the song at the bottom from a concert in Nimes, France in 2009 I think. Enjoy!

Dyers eve (Album: and justice for all, 1988)
Dear Mother, dear Father
What is this hell you have put me through?
Believer, deceiver
Day in, day out, live my life through you
Pushed onto me what's wrong or right
Hidden from this thing that they call life

Dear Mother, dear Father
Every thought I'd think you'd disapprove
Curator, dictator
Always censoring my every move
Children are seen but are not heard
Tear out everything inspired

Innocence, torn from me without your shelter
Barred reality, I'm living blindly

Dear Mother, dear Father
Time has frozen still, what's left to be
Hear nothing, say nothing
Cannot face the fact I think for me
No guarantee, it's life as is
But damn you for not giving me my chance

Dear Mother, dear Father
You clipped my wings before I learnt to fly
Unspoiled, unspoken
I've outgrown that fucking lullaby
Same thing I've always heard from you
Do as I say, not as I do

Innocence, torn from me without your shelter
Barred reality, I'm living blindly

I'm in hell without you
Cannot cope without you too
Shocked at the world that I see
Innocent victim please rescue me

Dear Mother, dear Father
Hidden in your world you've made for me
I'm seething, I'm bleeding
Ripping wounds in me that never heal
Undying spite, I feel for you
Living out this hell you always knew

Never heard this song live actually. Hoping for the first time in a few days.

Until next time...


Monday, June 27, 2011

Countdown to Metal Madness

One week to go. Then I will see Slayer for the fourth time, Megadeth for the fourth time, Metallica for the third time only, and I have to confess that I have never seen Anthrax live. Don' know much of their music either, except for the song "Got the time" or whatever it's called, so this might be the big surprise of the evening although I really doubt it.

And even if I look forward to this, I am slightly nervous about the playlists. I haven't listened to the last few albums from Slayer, but they tend to play a lot of old stuff live so I am not so worried about this. Megadeth? Well, I've seen them three times, of which one was with the classic setting of Mustaine, Ellefson, Friedman and Menza. A show in San Jose right after the Youthanasia album I think. One of my top 5 concerts of all times. I know that they will not be up to this standard even though Ellefson seems to be back in the band. And Metallica? I really don't know. They always play well, even if Lars sometimes slacks a bit on the drums. I would assume though since this is a nostalgic gathering of 4 old bands that the playlist is a good mix of mostly older stuff. Fingers crossed...

I added a teaser here which is actually the promotion of the tour in the US, recorded while on tour somewhere in Europe and it looks promising I must say. And for those of you not so fortunate as to have tickets, I just found out that SVT (the Swedish national public service TV channel) will film this and broadcast live from Gothenburg throughout the entire show.

Anyway, enjoy the teaser, I know you are all jealous. I'll be back with a report after the show...

Until next time...


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

J.S. Bach - Medieval Metal?

I am not a real big fan of classical music in general. Some pieces however are remarkable and can capture me even more than many of my favorite metal tunes, which is not easily done. My wife gave me a J.S. Bach album several years ago; Orchestral suite no1 Bwm 1066 (can't remember which orchestra recorded it though) which is still very often playing in my car. I have also been known to force my poor friends to sit and listen to a few passages very late at night after a few too many glasses of wine.  They are probably just happy that I didn’t put on some In Flames or Killswitch Engage and actually seem to appreciate it. Or maybe they are just being polite.
But why Bach? Don’t know, as I haven’t listened enough to different composers to say that I like this or this or that. I am an amateur. But in a way it is like listening to metal. In most really good metal albums, you can listen to songs over and over and over again, and still every time notice something new, some detail you’ve never thought of, or a specific or an arrangement that suddenly just become so clear, simple and logic. Also, like with metal, you should never play Bach as background music.  It is simply too complex in my opinion. The right way of listening is by yourself and really loud. The musicians are unbelievably skilled. Which reminds me that I really wanted to play the violin when I was a kid, but mom and dad didn't think it was such a good idea. I am still trying to get over this...
But also, with my very limited knowledge of classical music, Bach might be the only Baroque composer that I have actually listened to and it could be the case that there is a whole world of Baroque music that I would just love if I ever came across it. Could it be the genre as such that I like and not specifically J.S. Bach.
Anyway, as most of you metal-lovers out there know, there are plenty of references from great musicians referring to Bach in different ways. The late Clifford Lee Burton (RIP) has said that one of his greatest musical inspirations was J.S. Bach. Richie Blackmore also referred to J.S. Bach in many occasions and as it happens, he himself left the hard rock scene many years ago and actually spends his time playing Baroque inspired music on a classical guitar while Mrs Blackmore plays the flute, all dolled up in time typical costumes.
Yngwie Malmsteen is also a great fan of Bach, and is probably the guitarist that has taken this classical influence the furthest into his own songwriting. Yngwie has a very unique style of playing and uses harmonies, chords, scales and more usually found only in classical music. (I will get back to Yngwie in later posts as I think he is a true genius, however slightly misunderstood…)
Anyway, as usual, I have to post a clip from YouTube to serve you all as I know you won’t go searching for this on your own. The problem is that there is not that many clips of Bach’s Orchestral Suite no1 BWV 1066 which is part of the album mentioned above. The interesting thing when searching and listening to a few different recordings is that the conductor/producer has such great influence on how it is being performed. I listened to the same passage by four different orchestras, and neither of them sounds like the version I have. And the difference is huge. It is very interesting while slightly disturbing  as you expect certain melodies and instruments to be more dominant or other small things that actually make a big difference.
Please pay attention to what sometimes sounds as 10 distinctly different and quite advanced melodies at the same time brought together in a perfect harmony and in a structure and a flow that is amazing. I can’t even imagine where one begins when composing this stuff. Truly amazing.
For those not really into this, please stay around 2min 50sec into the clip and I promise you what you will find it pretty awesome. Definitely 1 of 10 albums I would keep if all else was to be destroyed by evil forces.

And for everybody who reacts to the headline, yes I know, the medieval times were between 10th and 14th century and Bach was born 1685 I think, but I just like the way “Medieval Metal” sounds :-)

Until next time...


Monday, May 9, 2011


It was my birthday this past Saturday, and the first thing that comes on in the stereo on my way to work this Monday morning is  "Time" by Pink Floyd from the "Dark side of the moon" album. Pure coincidence or a trick played by whoever controls fate? Great song though...

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desparation is the English way

The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say

Speak to you soon!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ganja Smuggling

You like reggae? Me neither, never been a big fan of reggae. I have of course on occation played best of Bob Marley  in my car while driving to work, but that doesn't really count. He is too big of a star and too widely spread to say that I like reggae. It would be like someone saying they like metal just because they listen to Metallica once in a while. It just isn't representative. The artist has become to big to represent a specific musical style.

Anyway,  for some reason reggae just doesn't hit the spot. It doesn't move me. Not musically, nor lyrically. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely can't sit still listening to reggae. I am right now browsing some youtube live footage and every part of my body is moving. Still, I am not really moved on the inside. This is very strange to me as I have a tendency to appreciate and get moved by artists and bands that come from some type of hardship and who write songs about difficult life or try to provoke a poitical message.
For me, reggae needs to be performed live. And it has to be enjoyed with other people. Reggae is great party music. It get's people moving. But more importantly it is generally accepted even by those who can't listen to anything but the latest top-list pop songs and start complaining the very instant something more advanced is played on the stereo. (Blog post soon about two types of people: those who actually listen to music, and those who simply want music as a background sound.)

Anyway, live is the way to enjoy reggae in my opinion. Yet I have only been to a handful reggae concerts so far. Sweden isn't really reggae country so it might not be so strange. My first reggae concert really set the stage and will be remembered for the rest of my life. It is really this experience that is the background for this post. 1994 on a sunny afternoon  at San Francisco State University,  my buddy "Q" and some other friends went to see Eek-a-mouse who held a free concert at the student union in the middle of campus. Of course we had played some Eek-a-mouse before we went there, and in all honesty I dodn't know what to expect. At first I thought that this dude is completely insane with his strange type of "scatting" and very simplistic lyrics while still touching upon philosophical issues. Just check this line out:

The wise man built his house on the rocks,
the foolish man built his house on the sand.
Oh, where there is no foundation...

Trying to be philosophical, but a little bit too easy I would say, no?
Anyway, to the concert we go, and there's about 200 people standing around in a fairly small auditorium, and long before the band comes on stage there is a heavy fog hanging in the room. And up on stage comes Eek-a-mouse. Playing all his old classics while the fog grows even heavier, and the stage is just 2 meters away. One of my most memorable concert moments actually.

Now then, what about Eek-a-mouse, with a name like that and sometimes questionable lyrics, is the man simply insane or is he a genius? In my opinion, neither. Slightly insane with some talent actually. Check out the song below. An honest tale straight from Jamaica, with the unmistakeable classic Eek-a-mouse sound, lyrics and scatting. Great stuff in my opinion. The person behind the music is simply so intriguing to me that I he moves me. When I want reggae, Eek-a-mouse is what I play. Here is Ganja Smuggling, from the album Wa-do-dem in 1982. Enjoy...

Stay tuned...


Friday, May 6, 2011

Drugs & Rock'n Roll

Did this headline get your attention? Thought so...

During these past weeks of blogging it has become more clear for me that the blog needs some kind of strategic direction partly in order to attract new readers but more importantly to retain the solid group of followers that I currently have in Sweden, USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.


So what is the new direction? So far I have written about anything that has come to my mind, thus creating a very cluttered blog. If I was an extremely interesting person then this might have worked, but I am not. At least I know myself that well. Solution? Focusing on a subject that is extremely interesting, namely Music. Oh God you say, who cares about metal? But that's the thing. It will not be about metal. Not just about metal at least.

I will write about any type of music that I have some type of connection to, an analysis of lyrics, artists, individual musicians, and whatever else music related that comes to mind. The red thread will be my personal connection to the music or the artist.

Tom Araya
As a teaser, following topics will be touched upon in the near future:

1. Eek-a-mouse - a misunderstood genius or just simply crazy?

2. Metal lyrics - are they evil? Tom Araya of Slayer is a very devoted Catholic...

3. Alice in Chains - Song writing and Heroin - the rise and fall of true artist Layne Staley (RIP)
Layne Staley

As you might understand, I will not write about a specific guitarr riff, or a drum solo, but rather focus on the people behind the music. And I assure you there will be plenty of interesting stuff no matter what taste of music you have.

Check back soon. Take care!