Irish Melodic Metal to kick your Friday’s ass

When I’m coding on 4 hours sleep I stream very heavy metal to stay focused. ChroniX GRIT on iTunes is usually my staple. I just heard a new band out of Dublin, Ireland called Shattered Skies and they absolutely kick ass!

They’ve released their Reanimation EP free on SoundCloud¬†and BandCamp.

This is the final track on the EP titled This is What We Built:

06 – This Is What We Built – [Reanimation EP] by Shattered Skies

7 Songs

Alan Steele just tagged me to write 7 songs I like and then tag 7 people I know to do the same – kind of a blog chain letter. I don’t actually know 7 bloggers – and yes, I don’t get out much at all – in fact I’m pretty much an uber nerd who just fishes and writes code and both don’t require much interaction with humans. But I’ll give it a shot….

I’m tagging Jason Goldberg, Tony Wright, Joe Heitzeberg (can’t remember your blog url) and the Shy Guevaras (Sergio specifically!).

Please note that the first song has explicit lyrics and is not safe for work or kids.

1. NWA – Straight outta Compton

This is the original gangsta rap song. Pretty much launched the entire genre. The album has special meaning to me. I was in high school in 1991 in South Africa during apartheid. The school I was in was a private one and therefore one of the very few multi-racial schools in the country. A black friend (Natasha) was into NWA and black culture at the time and gave me a tape of their music. We used to spend hours having political debates at school. I ended up dating her friend (Claudette) and a white boy dating a black girl in apartheid South Africa was an interesting time of my life. This album captures that time.

2. Pearl Jam – Alive (Ten album)

Right after high school I joined a band doing half covers and half originals. We used to gig to a packed room at the local lifesaving club in Milnerton. The first gig we ever did was at the University of Cape Town and I was scared shitless. We covered Alive and it has an almost 2 minute guitar solo at the end that I totally pulled off. Good times!

3. Mother Love Bone – Come Bite the Apple

I left South Africa when I was 23 and went to live in London for 5 years. I was working for Credit Suisse after 6 months for about 1.5 years and living in Canary Wharf. I would walk to work with a Sony Minidisc player (where did they go?!) and listen to this song repeatedly whenever I was having a bad day and it would cheer me up. The lead guitar work in this song is just unbelievable – I love the whiny slow sound he gets. I never got into Mother Love Bone until after Andrew Wood died and it kills me that I’ll never see them live. Ah well – at least we have Pearl Jam.

4. Massive Attack – Three (from the protection album and City of Industry soundtrack)

My good friend Antonio Separovic has an eye for the artful and he told me one day that the movie City of Industry has the most amazing opening scene and soundtrack. I have slow moral and aesthetic reflexes, so it took me a while to catch on, but one day I was watching it for the 2nd time and it clicked. I was still living in London and Massive Attack had finally gone mainstream and the visuals and the song captured London beautifully even though it’s set in LA. Massive attack’s music reminds me of London and I had the pleasure of seeing them live at the London Arena.

5. Paul van Dyk’s Ministry of Sound session on friday night on Radio1 in London

There’s a session that Paul van Dyk did that was rebroadcast on Radio1 (who I worked for in 2003 but this was recorded in 2000 I think) and that my friend Marco Stichini and I used to listen to before a workout or a cycle to get psyched. It’s the most incredible 1 hour of Trance/Techno you’ll ever hear. It’s still floating around on the peer to peer file sharing networks today.

6. Rammstein – Du Hast

One night at 4am in 2004 after a rather harrowing experience (Atlanta – my friends know what I’m referring to) I walked into a bar in Table View in Cape Town and they were blasting Du Hast over this amazing sound system. I ended up drinking tequila with the barman and blowing off some steam. Du Hast captures that time.

7. Heart – Crazy on You

My amazing wife introduced me to Heart and the song Crazy on You is a great one for the stage I’m at in my life right now. Nancy Wilson’s guitar gives me chills and Anne Wilson is IMHO one of the best vocalists in the history of history. Heart came out of Bellevue, Washington and I’m very much into their music right now so I’ll have them as my 7th choice. Here’s the video of Crazy on You. There’s a 2 and a half minute acoustic guitar solo at the beginning. Enjoy!!

Sergio and Muse

My good friend Sergio who is an extremely accomplished musician and who morphed himself from a spectacular bassist to spectacular drummer and can put most lead guiarists to shame once told me that Muse is the best rock band that has ever existed.

Personally I don’t have the balls or the knowledge to make far reaching statements like that. And reading this I know you’re enumerating the thousands (millions?) of rock bands that have existed since African American slave communities sang their first question/answer folk songs and created the foundation for blues and then rock.

But Serge is a smart guy and his opinion is not to be taken lightly. Go buy Muse – “Hysteria” and “Supermassive Black Hole” on iTunes and let me know what you think.

Otis Taylor – Blues God

I watched Shooter last night. Besides a few badly done slow-motion-macho-manly-walking scenes, it’s a pretty good flick. The titles at the end had this awesome blues song that I had to Google. It’s called ‘Nasty Letter’ by Otis Taylor. The man has an interesting history. He left music in the 70’s to become an antique dealer and then picked it up again in the 90’s. I bought his album ‘Truth is not Fiction’ on iTunes and it’s full of incredible gritty meaty blues.

If you’re looking for music to sip a peat and seaweed 10 year old Laphroaig single malt whisky to, then this is it.

Hard Rock – music for MTB

Andy Sack doing 51 pushups inspired me to haul my MTB out of the closet and start cycling hills. If you’re into hard rock and need something to get your adrenal gland pumping, here’s my list:

Godsmack – Running Blind
The Exies
Army of Anyone – Goodbye
Shinedown – simple man
Trivium – The Rising
Tesla – into the now
Dropping Daylight – tell me
Incubus – Anna Molly
Trivium – This world can’t tear us apart
Papa Roach – Forever
Linkin Park – what I’ve done.
Hinder – Get stoned
Lost prophets – wake up
Trapt – Headstrong
Sevendust – Black
Seether – Remedy
Marilyn Mansom – Coma White
Mudvayne – Forget to remember
Motley Crue – If I die tomorrow