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Showing posts from 2016

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 070: The Best Albums Of 2016 featuring Nicole Jenkins

This week, I brought on a guest (Nicole Jenkins) to talk about the albums of note in 2016.  It's not a countdown this year because frankly 2016 didn't give me good enough material to work with, but instead albums are placed in different strata from bottom to top.  It's an engaging discussion, and you might find out about some music you missed, so give it a listen.

I make no apologies for the brutal 90 degree tonal shift of the outro.  Honestly, in 2016 you should have seen the bummer ending coming.

An update to the situation I mentioned last week: Riverwest Radio has apparently found a workaround for the copyright danger, and things are back to relatively normal.  For now.  Nothing in this life is permanent.  Don't take jack shit for granted, motherfucker.

Anyway, happy listening, and hopefully a happier New Year:

1. "Wish You Were Here" Ninja Sex Party

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 069: The Top 26 Songs Of 2016, Pt. 2

Before we get into the shownotes, I need to address something.  Riverwest Radio was recently issued a second copyright strike by Soundcloud (after years of SC not giving a fuck), so at this current juncture we are forced to go through the rigamarole of uploading episodes to our own personal accounts.  This means that going forward (because I use the free option and I'm up against the limit of how many things I can post), only two episodes of Expect The Unexpected will be available at any given time, and they will be the two most recent.  The rest of the playlist exists for now, but if you want to hear any of the old episodes, I suggest downloading them as soon as you can.  (Especially Ep. 8, because that one is on my personal Soundcloud already.)

I'm honestly not sure what this means going forward, because the only reason I could keep this show archived is Soundcloud has been playing fast and loose with copyright for years.  I may have to alter the format to more of a talk sho…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 068: The Top 26 Songs Of 2016, Pt. 1

This is part one of our year end extravaganza! Thirteen of my favorite songs of the year are on display for all to hear. Next week, thirteen even BETTER songs will grace thine ears! Here’s the schedule for our upcoming episode, all of which will be special in some way:

December 20: The Top 26 Songs Of 2016, Pt. 2
December 27: The Top Albums Of 2016
January 3: The Streaming Episode
January 10: Request Line XV

Keep your head up out there. This year has been supremely awful for most of us for one reason or another, but don’t give up yet. We still have each other and that counts for something, dammit! (More than you might imagine!) If you need to talk, I’m @Nicholasnutter on Twitter. One.

26. "Sorceress" Opeth
25. "untitled 06 | 06.30.2014." Kendrick Lamar & Cee Lo Green
24. "In A Parade" Paul Simon
23. "Touch-Tone Telephone" Lemon Demon
22. "Blood Moon" Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
21. "Show Me A Leader" Alter Br…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 067: Request Line XIV

It’s Request Line Time again! This is the show where I play what you the listener tells me you want to hear.  I try to do one of these a month, so if you missed out, hit me up @NicholasNutter on Twitter to get in a request for the next one!

December is always a special time for Expect The Unexpected, as you can actually expect what episodes are coming!  Next week is part one of The Top Songs Of 2016, where I count down my favorite songs of the year.  (Part Two is the week after, obviously.)  Then on December 27th, it's the Top Albums Of 2016.  I used to do a written list on this very blog each year of the Top Albums lists, in fact that tradition dates back to when I ran this blog on MySpace in 2006.  Since I have an hour long radio show now, I'm doing the podcast/audiobook equivalent and it worked out pretty good.

January 3rd is going to be the streaming episode, concluding (for now) our exploration of different recording formats of the ages.  (If you recall, this began a yea…


Well, The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update has drawn to a close, and here we are in the aftermath.  Metallica edged out Megadeth on the strength of bonus material, Anthrax did okay and Slayer should have broken up when Jeff Hanneman died.  For real, all coming back with another album did for them was...well, make them money and allow them to keep touring and making more money, so there's that.  But more importantly, by releasing "Repentless", they dropped from two to three on my completely arbitrary opinion based blog series status ranking system!  Surely, that can't have been worth a couple million bucks?

Anyhow, I'm getting the feeling that rock music in general is going to need to evolve into something completely different or call it quits altogether.  Rock has had its 60 year run just like jazz did before it, and if it doesn't come up with something soon, it will fade away from the public consciousness, only to return in Gap commercials in the 2040…


Anthrax "Vice Of The People" (2016) VS Megadeth "Melt The Ice Away" (2016) VS Metallica "When A Blind Man Cries" (2016) VS Slayer "Pride In Prejudice" (2015)

"Vice Of The People" is the Japanese bonus track for "For All Kings".  Aaaand it starts with that doofy march beat.  Wonderful.  The lyrics don't do it any favors in the "I should take this seriously" department either.  And like most of the songs I've slagged in this Update process, it's not bad.  It's just so "...whatever."

"Melt The Ice Away" is a Budgie cover that was the Spotify exclusive bonus track for "Dystopia".  It's funny how the original Budgie tracks are often much softer than the bands that cover them and turn them into fucking barnburners.  This song sounds a little goofy in the vocals and lyrics department, but knowing it's a Budgie song, it totally gets a pass.  And unlike some covers of Budgi…


Anthrax "Zero Tolerance" (2016) VS Megadeth "Me Hate You" (2016) VS Metallica "Ronnie Rising Medely" (2016) VS Slayer "You Against You" (2015)

"Zero Tolerance" is trying to be harder than it is.  Anthrax (especially Belladonna-thrax) don't drop F-bombs a lot, but there it is, right up front.  I mean, the song's not wussy, but it doesn't seem tough enough.  After listening to "For All Kings", sure it might seem pretty brutal, but it could use another push to get it to where it wants to go.  I dig the message though, calling out the hypocrisy of religious extremism.

"Me Hate You" is better than anything I've reviewed from this album since "Poisonous Shadows" (save for "Foreign Policy", which edges it out slightly).  This could have easily replaced "The Emperor".  It's a really solid fist pumper of a song and the lyrics manage to cross back over that line of good sarcasm …

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 066: Running Out The Clock

This is the last episode before a SLEW (a slew I tellz ya!) of special episodes comes your way!  (And seriously, we have another month of 2016 to get through?  Fuck that.)  Here is the schedule for upcoming Expect The Unexpected awesomeness:

DECEMBER 6 - Request Line XIV
DECEMBER 13 - The Top Songs Of 2016 Pt. 1
DECEMBER 20 - The Top Songs Of 2016 Pt. 2
DECEMBER 27 - The Top Albums Of 2016
JANUARY 3 - The Streaming Episode
JANUARY 10 - Request Line XV

So yeah, we got plenty sweet things on tap for the foreseeable future (and the Royal Rumble isn't to far after that, so there's another special episode).  Feel free to place your bets or make requests @nicholasnutter on Twitter or right here in the comments section below!

[P.S.: This week's episode suffers from an audio issue.  From 23:20 to 52:50 the input cord came loose and caused a buzzing.  I suppose you can pretend you're really listening on a radio or something; it adds a bit of ambience to the proceedings, but I …


Anthrax "This Battle Chose Us!" (2016) VS Megadeth "Last Dying Wish" (2016) VS Metallica "Lords Of Summer" (2016) VS Slayer "Atrocity Vendor" (2015)

"This Battle Chose Us!" may be the only song that was placed correctly in the track order for "For All Kings", because it's that slower, more thoughtful conclusion before the thrash ending where the album blows its wad.  (Okay, two songs were placed correctly.  Spoilers.)  And then in the back half, it becomes the song where the album tries to blow its wad in a mad blast of energy.

"Last Dying Wish" is kind of ham fisted and it takes awhile to get into the choppy rhythm, but I can actually relate to the lyrics.  It's about the need to prove yourself and seize opportunity; the impulse to conquer, to be the best.  I mean, I only remember those drives as phantoms of a foolish youth when I believed such victories were possible, but I do remember them. 

Anyway, now tha…


Anthrax "All Of Them Thieves" (2016) VS Megadeth "Look Who's Talking" (2016) VS Metallica "Spit Out The Bone" (2016) VS Slayer "Piano Wire" (2015)

Definite word nerd points to Anthrax for using "recidivist" in a seamless manor.  The song is more hard-charging than most of "For All Kings" but still seems like it's stuck in fourth gear when it should be up to 5th.  The back half tries to make up for this by randomly having the solo section go full thrash speed, which is a little unearned but at least they try to make the transition smooth.  Overall, not bad.

"Look Who's Talking" is track 8 on the iTunes and Best Buy versions of "Dystopia", so if you have those versions of the album and were wondering where this was, here's your answer.  (Same goes for tomorrow's song "Last Dying Wish", which was track 12 on those editions.)  I like the solo section of this song, but the rest of it…


Anthrax "Defend/Avenge" (2016) VS Megadeth "Foreign Policy" (2016) VS Metallica "Murder One" (2016) VS Slayer "Implode" (2015)

"Defend/Avenge" is weird in how, unlike most songs with a slash in the title, the chorus sings "Defend Avenge!" instead of it being two different songs one after the other.  Though that does play into the theme:  The beginning has a pretty bad-ass riff that seems to be building toward something, and then aw shit there's that stupid march again I talked about in the "Death From Within" blurb.  They do play around with it rhythmically by throwing in subdivisions and changes so it's not unbearable or anything.  And I know, I'm probably the only one out there that has this problem.  I've just...never liked that one beat, and it's used all the time.  Anyway, there are elements besieging the standard song structure, and the chorus girds its loins and fends them off with this squ…


Anthrax "Blood Eagle Wings" (2016) VS Megadeth "The Emperor" (2016) VS Metallica "Am I Savage?" (2016) VS Slayer "Chasing Death" (2015)

Settle in, because this is the longest Anthrax song ever released (clocking in at 7:53).  The song is half time and spacious, letting notes ring rather than clamping down, but then the middle section cranks that shit up into some real thrash.  The ending is far too long though, trailing off for a full 90 seconds without earning the need for such a cool down period.  In a vacuum it drags the song out a bit too long, but on the album it's another misstep in pacing.  All in all not bad, even if it didn't earn its length.

"The Emperor" has some pretty cringeworthy lyrics.  The song would be serviceable with better words, but as it stands, this is a bit of a throwaway.

"Am I Savage?" doesn't fare too much better in the raison d'etre department, but at least it doesn't start with t…


Anthrax "Evil Twin" (2016) VS Megadeth "Lying In State" (2016) VS Metallica "Here Comes Revenge" (2016) VS Slayer "When The Stillness Comes" (2015)

Speaking of the old Anthrax, here they are again.  Thrashing and railing against the ills of the world; in this case extremism.  This song came out less than a month before the attacks in Paris, so much like "Post American World", it was much more unsettling to listen to after than before.

Whelp, there's that gallop beat that I've been take it or leave it on since the first time I heard it in like 1993.  (It's been around much longer than that, but fifth grade is when I got into metal.)  The thing "Lying In State" has going for it though is that Megadeth put some mustard on it.  Mustaine is spitting the words, not just saying them.  There's energy and urgency and even a few nice twists and turns, even if it's built on an uninteresting skeleton.  (I guess if it ai…


Anthrax "Suzerain" (2016) VS Megadeth "Conquer Or Die!" (2016) VS Metallica "ManUNkind" (2016) VS Slayer "Cast The First Stone" (2015)

"Suzerain" is your pentennial reminder that Charlie Bennante don't fuck around.  Definitely the most fiery song on "For All Kings", and probably the closest to the old Anthrax as we're going to get ever again.  Bang your head in reflection.

"Conquer Or Die!" is more old school, though whether that works for or against it is up to you.  It's the three minute instrumental interlude.  This one is...fine.  Honestly, it's better than fine when compared to the song I have to review next, so I shan't complain too loudly.  But it is a song you wouldn't exactly miss if it fell off the face of the planet either.

"ManUNkind" was the point where I stopped giving "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" the benefit of the doubt and started dreading the fact that I h…


Anthrax "Breathing Out" (2016) VS Megadeth "Poisonous Shadows" (2016) VS Metallica "Confusion" (2016) VS Slayer "Vices" (2015)

So how do Anthrax follow up their breakthrough to 4-point land?  With a...pointless interlude?  Dafuq?  Sure, it sounds purdy, but there is NO reason for this thing to be on the album, much less its own track.  (Oddly enough, the clean nature of it played well as a segue into the Megadeth song I'm about to talk about.  Got that going for it, I guess?)

"Poisonous Shadows" has a nice, dramatic slow build to it, even slightly creepy at points if it catches you in the right setting (i.e.: if you're paying attention).  The orchestra adds atmosphere without becoming overbearing (as they have a tendency to do).  The band kicks things up a notch during the solo while managing not to ruin the vibe, then comes back down to the darkness with a slow pullback of all instrumentation until but the acoustic guitar and Mu…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 065: A Series Of Serieses

This week, I did a bit of a hybrid show.  The opening song is dedicated to Sharon Jones, who passed away last week from pancreatic cancer at the age of 60.  Then I played some C.O.C....cuz reasons.  Then I rolled a segment about The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update that I've been posting right at this here blog, followed by the winner.

Because the episode has The Big Four Song Challenge Series, a look at Survivor Series and a segment about The Night Howl's show on Thanksgiving Eve which has a Survivor Series-themed poster, I decided to a) Call the episode A Series Of Serieses, b) Decided to use an Xzibit meme for the episode picture, and c) Play some Xzibit.  The song I chose, "DNA" has half as many swear words on it than the album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be", but is 74:53 shorter.  So.

After that, I talk about Survivor Series for 21 minutes, then play a song by each band that's gonna be at the show tonight (11/23/2016).  "Kickstand" (whi…


Anthrax "Breathing Lightning" (2016) VS Megadeth "Post American World" (2016) VS Metallica "Halo On Fire" (2016) VS Slayer "Take Control" (2015)

In spite of being a bit of a touchy-feely song, "Breathing Lightning" is really good.  It's anthemic, it has a soaring chorus and even kicks a little ass along the way.  If this album had dropped "Impaled / You Gotta Believe" in favor of "Soror Irrumator" and put this second, this album would have been better off.  "Breathing Lightning" is a song that, in spite of its major key acoustic passages and lyrics about hearing the angels singing manages to get you pumped up, to inspire you.  You can get behind shit like this and that chorus will get stuck in your head.  And afterward, you'll feel better.

"Post American World", at any other point in our history, would seem like a song title and subject matter full of bluster and a bit far-fetched.  I gotta…


Anthrax "For All Kings" (2016) VS Megadeth "Bullet To The Brain" (2016) VS Metallica "Dream No More" (2016) VS Slayer "Repentless" (2015)

It's at this point that "For All Kings" the album feels like it's decidedly lacking edge.  You're wondering if it'll ever pick up and wondering why these songs that are clearly designed to be thrash metal feel like they're holding back.  "For All Kings" the song, in a vacuum, is a bit better served because it sounds like on any other album it would be the contrast needed in an otherwise chaotic maelstrom.  It's got melody, it's got structure, it's actually not that bad.  But put it in context with the album that bears its name, and you get this feeling of "Is this it?"  This is in context of the song by itself, however, so alone it feels a bit more grand, which is what Anthrax were going for.

It's hard to pull off an unsettling acoustic guitar int…


Anthrax "Monster At The End" (2016) VS Megadeth "Death From Within" (2016) VS Metallica "Moth Into Flame" (2016) VS Slayer "Delusions Of Saviour" (2015)

I gotta give "Monster At The End" ups for getting to the point, especially after "You Gotta Believe" tried to get us to believe it was deep by cramming two different songs together.  I gotta take away a few for naming the song after a book by Grover from Sesame Street, but eh.  And that's all I can really say.  "Eh."  It's not a bad song; it's well put together, doesn't leave much of an impression.  It has energy, but that's not enough to make it interesting.

"Death From Within" has the unfortunate metal trope of the dun du-du-du-du-Dun war drum-inspired thrash march beat (which I've never liked), but they manage to still make a distinct enough song out of it that they are able to overcome this shortcoming.  The lead work and…


Anthrax "You Gotta Believe" (2016) VS Megadeth "Fatal Illusion" (2016) VS Metallica "Now That We're Dead" (2016) VS Slayer "War Ensemble" (Live from Sofia, Bulgaria) (2010)

The refrain of "You Gotta Believe" is more sinister than you realize.  Judging by the chorus, the song should be called "Impaled" (which was the name of the intro track that leads into it) because it's about running people through like mere bags of blood.  Normally when you see a song with the title "You Gotta Believe" you expect it to be inspirational, but in this case it is a command.  "You Gotta Believe in me, or I kill you for being a heretic."  Musically, it's a burner, but it gets interrupted by a quiet middle section that comes out of nowhere and kind of feels unearned.  It's really like they drifted off into a different song; by the time the chorus comes back around you've forgotten where you started.



Anthrax "Impaled" (2016) VS Megadeth "Dystopia" (2016) VS Metallica "Atlas, Rise!" (2016) VS Slayer "Jihad" (Live from Sofia, Bulgaria) (2010)

Unfortunately, Anthrax drew the short straw here, as "Impaled" is a middling intro that, on top of being a bit of a non-song, goes on a hair too long for its own good.

"Dystopia" is a solid, upbeat fist-pumper that was a no-brainer to make the first single off the album of the same name.  It may seem a little milquetoast for the first half, but once the "single" part falls away, it reveals a banger in the back half that makes you remember why you like this stuff in the first place.  It'll take more than one listen to realize how cool this song is, but on play two or three you'll be nodding your head with a pleased scowl on your face.

My first impression of "Atlas, Rise!" was "This is the most average Metallica song ever."  Like if you took all the Met…


Well, it's been awhile, but all four of The Big Four have put out new albums since the conclusion of The Big Four Song Challenge Series, so it's time for an update!  (Link to the original series here.)

For those that aren't familiar, I decided as a writing exercise/New Year's Resolution in 2013 that I would take the first song off of the first four albums by the Big Four thrash metal bands (being Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax & Slayer) and have a little competition.  The best song gets four points, second place gets three and so on.  I then did that 170 times.  I never thought I would finish the project; hell, I didn't think it would make it two weeks.  But next thing you knew, I had a book-length series of blogs about thrash metal.

And now, here we are again.  Every band in this cadre has released another album, and we are going to explore them four songs at a time to see who emerges the winner!  I will be keeping an update total in addition to the running tota…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episodes 064 & 065: Harbor / The Bonus Round! / Back Of Your Head (guest shot)

No, you're not seeing double, and no I didn't miss a week (though you'd be forgiven for thinking either of those things).  Last night, because there was an open timeslot WXRW didn't remember to fill until during my show, I volunteered to fill it for them.  Because Soundcloud auto-records my show in one hour increments, I have two one-hour episodes for you this week instead of one two-hour long one.

Also, I did actually forget to post something last week (my brain was fried by certain events): I was a guest on Back Of Your Head on Sunday, November 6th.  Me and Andy talked about the creative process, mostly from a musical standpoint because it's only a half hour show.  It's a cool little program; y'all should check it out.

So anyway, here's what we got up to last night:


1. "Ready Player One" MC Lars & Mega Ran
2. "Business As Usual" Little Feat
3. "Arithmophobia" Animals As Leaders
4. "Roaming Empire&…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 062: Request Line XIII

If you're still alive to read this, welcome!  Here's a request show that aired just before things went completely wobbly.  It'

1. "Elected" Alice Cooper
2. "La Llorona" Mariachi Flor De Toloache
3. "I Want To Grow Up To Be A Politician" The Byrds
4. "Working Class Hero" John Lennon
5. "I'll Keep Coming" Low Roar
6. "Whipping Post" The Allman Brothers Band
7. "Kodo" The Yoshida Brothers
8. "She's Tuff" Fabulous Thunderbirds
9. "'Tis Of Thee" Ani DiFranco
10. "November 4th, 2008" Ani DiFranco
11. "Nikata" The Yoshida Brothers
12. "Jackie's Strength" Tori Amos
13. "Loading Ready Redux" Big Giant Circles
14. "All Fired Up" Pat Benetar

THE LAST THIRD OF 1991 WAS NUTS: A Look Back at one of the biggest turning points in music history

Before I talk about 1991, let me define the word "watershed":


    1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or     seas.
    synonyms:    divide
        an area or region drained by a river, river system, or other body of water.
    2. an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs.
    "these works mark a watershed in the history of music"
    synonyms:    turning point, milestone, landmark

Yeah.  It's that.

The last third of 1991 saw albums come out, often on the same day, that changed music forever.  Sometimes the change in question was the end of an era and for others it was the beginning of a new one we might not have even guessed at at the time, but there were also several MASSIVE [ahem] watershed albums that altered the course completely by themselves.

And if you look back earlier in the year, it's still pretty clearly the deat…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 061: MP3's featuring Joe Carriveau / Urban Witch: Farewell Milwaukee 2016/11/01

This week, we're doing something different.  For the first time, we have a live guest in the studio!  Joe Carriveau is here to discuss the ins and outs of Intellectual Property and how the technology of MP3's forced us to think about things very differently.  We also play some music related to the history of digital music, and some Neil Cicerega mashups for good measure, because I welcome any excuse to play those.  Click play and learn somethin'!

1. "Tom's Diner" (DNA Remix) Suzanne Vega
2. "I Disappear" Metallica
3. "Head First" Aerosmith
4. "Modest Mouth" Neil Cicierega
5. "Crocodile Chop" Neil Cicierega
6. "Alanis" Neil Cicierega

Once again (and sadly for the final time) I was a guest on Urban Witch.  Meghan is moving to New York (as you may have gathered from last week's show), but me and George from Stone Soup (the show on after hers) are in the studio to help bid her bon voyage.  Check it out:

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 060: Let's Have A Halloween Party! / Urban Witch 10-25-2016: Moving To New York

[Once again this week, I was on the Urban Witch cast, so there's more on that below.]

Episode 60 is all about Halloween.  I think I've managed to pull together quite the playlist for the Big Orange Holiday of Pumpkinatude.  Not much else to say, but to drop it on you and let you vibe to the spookiness:

1. "Spooky" The Pupini Sisters
2. "Voodoo Mon Amour" Diablo Swing Orchestra
3. "Spider Baby" Fantomas
4. "Stranger Things / Bonfire" Survive / Childish Gambino
5. "Werewolves Of London" Warren Zevon
6. "Halloween" Siouxsie & The Banshees
7. "Black No. 1" Type O Negative
8. "Night Of The Sharksquatch" RatBatSpider
9. "Kill The Dead" The Night Howls
10. "Haunted Crack House" The GV Crew
11. "Halloween" Mastodon
12. "Zombie" E-40, Brotha Lynch Hung & Tech N9ne
13. "House Of 1000 Corpses" Rob Zombie
14. "Holographic Moon" Cold Ghosts

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 059: The Jam Is Brought In Many Ways... / Urban Witch (10/18/16)

This week, we have bonus coverage for you!  After my show was over, I moseyed on over to Studio A and did the Urban Witch cast, so we have two shows for you this week.  Expect The Unexpected is split into four compartments, one with four requests I couldn't get to last week, one with groovier material, one with new rock and metal tracks and one with stuff I felt like playing to close the show.  It turned out pretty decent, I feel.  Take a listen.  (Below the song titles, I'll talk about Urban Witch.)

1. "I've Got A Feeling (Live)" Mongolian Chop Squad
2. "Hiding Out" Ghettobillies
3. "She" Cocaine Jesus
4. "Maware!" (Chiptune Remix) Utagumi Setsugetsuke
5. "You Are In My System" Robert Palmer
6. "Giant" DJ Food
7. "Up To Our Hips" The Charlatans UK
8. "MonstroCity" Meshuggah
9. "Sid And Nancy" NOFX
10. "World Gone Mad!" Suicidal Tendencies
11. "It's Catching Up"…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 058: Request Line XII

We take another interesting batch of requests ranging from Novelty Songs to Mod covers of Black Sabbath to Swedish metal in German to straight up American Pop Music to singer/songwriter electronica to Sitar music to Soulful Rock to Thrash Metal Video Game Themes to Children’s Music to whatever the fuck Sleigh Bells thinks they are to whatever the fuck White Zombie thinks they are to whatEVER the fuck Pork Soda is to big band music to Grind to 80’s synth pop. AND THAT’S ALL IN ONE HOUR. So come on in and get you some!

1. "They're Coming To Take Me Away" Napoleon XIV
2. "War Pigs" Cake
3. "Achtung" Varg
4. "Secrets" One Republic
5. "Down" Marian Hill
6. "Boat To Nowhere" Anoushka Shankar
7. "Turn Up" The Heavy
8. "Duke Nukem Theme" Megadeth
9. "Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea" Joe Hisaishi
10. "Crown On The Ground" Sleigh Bells
11. "Thunderkiss '65" White Zombie
12. "Po…


This review took a weird turn.  Instead of just jotting down my snap reaction and moving on to the next one, I did some research to see what people's responses to this album were.  And, shock of shocks, the masses think its a masterpiece.  Even though Bon Iver started out as a folk act, he has morphed into some kind of electronic...thing that sort of defies description.  It's got a Metacritic score of 87, which means it's got "universal acclaim".

What do I think?  That's a harder question to answer...

Bon Iver "22, A Million"

It's points like this where I have to wonder if this music is actually popular or if the numbers have been inflated over the years.  The song titles are the absolute gibberish of a broken LCD calculator and the music seems to match.  This really sounds like an attempt at whitewashing "The Life Of Pablo", without any understanding of what makes Kanye West interesting in the first place.  (And that's coming fro…

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 057: Spiral Trance

This week, we down with Spiral Trance to talk about their 21-year career and their last show on October 8, 2016, which will feature members from the band’s entire history. Come and reminisce with us, or if you aren’t familiar, come and learn about the awesome band that is Spiral Trance!

1. Dead Set
2. Taker
3. The Me You See
4. Freight Train
5. Hellacious

Songs featured in the background:

"Black Light" | "The Need" |  "All In Due Time" | "Light Leaves You" | "Between The Soul" | "My Life Sucks" | "Breathe Again" | "Correction" | "Of Dust" | "On Our Terms" | "Project & Release"

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 056: SomethignSomething Fall Autumn Pumkin Spice S.E.O. Boiiiieee

I straight up forgot to do this this week.  As it is, there's not much to report.  It's a bunch of songs from "Aurora & Beetlegeuse"  and "The New Definition" mixes with a few new songs, a heavy-handed debate metaphor and Imogen Heap thrown in.  Next week will be FIRE though, as I interview Spiral Trance and play songs to illustrate what made that band great.  Til then, here's some pretty decent songs to tide you over:

1. "Lost In Space (Theme)" Apollo 440
2. "Something Inside Of Me" Wicked Wisdom
3. "The Night" School Of Seven Bells
4. "Hide" Access Royale
5. "Useless" Asher Roth & Pac Div
6. "Moth Into Flame" Metallica
7. "Killer" Band Of Skulls
8. "Crucifixion" Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
9. "Clear The Area" Imogen Heap
10. "Too Good Too Bad" Yoko Kanno
11. "The Great Debate" Dream Theater

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 055: Request Line XI

The most musically diverse episode yet!  We've got Disco, Alternative Hip-Hop, Djent Funk, Dark Country, Hard Rock, Acoustic Turkish Music, Flamenco-inflected Pop Metal from Northern Europe, D&D Power Metal, Downtempo Electronic Music, two movements from Gustav Mahler's symphony "The Planets" and the closing theme to an anime.  Figure it out!  Or don't!  Above all, have a good time!

1. "We Are Family" Sister Sledge
2. "Cold Beverages" G. Love & Special Sauce
3. "Physical Education" Animals As Leaders
4. "Ain't No Grave" Johnny Cash
5. "Catalyst" Dorje
6. "Boomerang" Tolghahn Cogulu & Sinan Ayyildiz
7. "Dance" Kontrust
8. "General Of The Dark Army" Unleash The Archers
9. "Angel" Depeche Mode
10. "Mars, The Bringer Of War" Gustav Holst
11. "Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity" Gustav Holst
12. "The Mokona Drawing Song" Hajime Mizoguchi

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 054: One Year Anniversary Special!

Yes, I've been doing this crazy show for a full year now.  I don't know where the time went either, but it's another notch in the belt, another milestone to celebrate, and I would be honored if you would celebrate it with me!

This episode is a look back at the year prior, kind of a cross-section of the more special episodes and as such has more talking than music, but the music is still there infused throughout, in the background or even in collage form.  It's almost a resume of things that you can expect from this show.  (Boo.)

So come along with me friends and followers into the madcap soundscape that is Expect The Unexpected!

1. "Back To The Future - Main Theme" Alan Silvestri
2. "Everybody Rise" Busta Rhymes
3. "You Prefer Gold" The Atomic Spins
4. "Bicycle Race" Queen


CDs were the bees knees when I  was growing up, and really I only...scratched the surface as to all the things I wanted to talk about.  (That pun wasn't intended when it came into my head, but once it did, I made an executive decision to phrase it in a groan-inducing manor.)  I never even mentioned the only reason I started buying rap albums was because of Columbia House's 12 CDs for a penny thing, or anything about CD binders or a bunch of other stuff that escapes me even now.  Maybe not pertinent information, but it might help the listener understand the experience if they grew up in an era after CDs were a thing.  I dunno.

The other thing was picking music for this episode was weird.  I could have just played things that were popular on CD at the time and people would have liked it more, or I could do what I did and stick to the things I listened the fuck out of during that timeframe.  I ended up having to cut three songs on the fly because I talked WAY more than I thought …

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - Episode 052: New Music Roundup, August 2016

We have music that's so new the album isn't out yet, music that's just plain new to me and music that is celebrating a 20th or 25th Anniversary.  Let's see if you can figure out which is which!

The undercurrent of this episode is a real ying-yang kind of deal.  There's plenty of metal and rock, but there's at least three slow jams and three more that have chill elements to them while keeping an energy and an edge.  All I know is this music sounded good as hell when I played it in the studio at WXRW.  Hope you like it and vibe to it morning afternoon and night:

1. "Once" Pearl Jam
2. "Hail, Hail" Pearl Jam
3. "The Greatest" King
4. "Nobody Speak" DJ Shadow & Run The Jewels
5. "Hardwired" Metallica
6. "Sorceress" Opeth
7. "Clap Like Ozzy" Suicidal Tendencies
8. "Laugh Together" Peter Hadar
9. "Secret Sciences" Devin Townsend
10. "Born In Dissonance" Meshuggah
11. "P…

A Special Kind Of Hell: Music Reviews for August 2016

When I started blogging 10 years ago, one of the things I did was reviews based off of 30 second samples on iTunes to determine if new releases were crap or historically crap (2006 was not a good time for music; neither was 2007).  Most of my reviews back then were not...great.  But some are still genuinely funny, and a few might have even had a point.

I've written less and less in this blog, mostly just ceding it to be the shownotes for my radio show Expect The Unexpected.  That's because I've written less and less in general.  I've written a haiku since May, and that's it.  So I figured "Hey, if I'm gonna dip my toe back in the water and see how it feels, how about a consequence-free music review thing?"


Ratings are as always 0 to 5 stars.  0 Star reviews are denoted by no asterisks after them.  Occasionally, I get hateful and bestow a negative rating, but something really has to get under my skin to get one of those.