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    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2008
    I went into Providence with a buddy Saturday night and we caught The Mars Volta at a small venue. What an awesome show! There was no opener, and the band played for about two and a half hours. They were really into it...very intense, very high energy. A reviewer once referred to their live shows as an "aural blitzkreig," which is fairly apt. One of the better shows I've been to.

    The venue (Lupo's) was ok. The sound quality could have been better, but there was a restroom and small "auxiliary" bar about ten feet from where we were sitting, so it was pretty much a win all around.

    I can never figure out how to describe the Mars Volta to people. they're sort of like what would happen if you combined Tool with early Pink Floyd, but gave them huge afros. And throw some Santana in the mix. That's the best I can come up with, anyway.

    It's snowing out again. That kind of sucks.
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2008
    So, are they hip-hopey? Or more rocklike? Also, by early Pink Floyd, do you mean the Syd Barrett years or simply the years before Dark Side of the Moon? Your description of them sounds interesting. Maybe I should check them out. I'm in the mood for some new music.

    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2008
    Not hip-hoppy at all, definitely rocklike. Definitely the Syd Barrett years of Floyd. They'll be on Letterman this Thursday, I believe.

    After years of complaining that all new music sucks, I'm forced to admit that there's quite a bit of good music out there, you just have to find it.

    Amazon's DRM-free mp3 downloads are pretty awesome. I've long been a proponent of the idea that I'd be happy to pay (a little bit) for non-DRM downloads, and I have been here or there. The selection isn't quite there yet, but the four major labels have all finally signed on, and there's lots of independent stuff.

    Some of the newly discovered stuff I've been listening to (some of it's been around a while, but is new to me):

    The Mars Volta
    Flogging Molly (Irish/Celtic punk rock, very fun)
    Novadriver (spacey rock, a little like Monster Magnet, but not as heavy)
    Five Horse Johnson (ballsy bluesrock)
    Apoptygma Berzerk (electronica, early stuff is sort of like VNV Nation, later stuff is sort of mixed with rock)
    Black Label Society (been around a while, but just discovered by me, pretty straightfoward metal)
    BlutEngel (goth electronica...need I say more? sort of campy, vampire themed, but good music)
    Funker Vogt (angry German electronica...awesome)
    Craic Wisley (Irish music...I think I discovered them through your blog, tallman...they have a newish live album out that's really fun)
    Front 242 (been around forever, early industrial/electronic)
    Matisyahu (Orthodox Jewish reggae artist...truly odd combo, surprisingly good)
    North Mississippi All Stars (very bluesy rock)
    Puscifer (new Maynard side project, haven't listened to it much yet)
    the Goners (local band, "horror punk," very fun)
    Wilco (weird noise collage mixed with fairly straightforward rock, some songs great, some not so great)

    Anyway, that's a few new things I've been checking out.
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    If you like Flogging Molly, I'd suggest checking out the Dropkick Murphies. They're a lot more punk rock than Flogging Molly, I'd say, and most of their stuff isn't quite as good as FM, imho, but they're still damned good.
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
    I've heard a bit of the Dropkick Murphies...they're not bad. They're actually from Boston, so the local hard rock station I used to listen to would play them pretty heavily around St. Patrick's Day. Most of their stuff is a tad "punkier" than I usually care for, but they're pretty good.