Arguably Polly Jean Harvey’s finest moment. The Uh Huh Her album might’ve been the culmination of her old sound but ironically I’d say this was the peak of it. And that duo with Thom Yorke is sonic nirvana.
[Post #543 | Daybook #13]
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve listened to METALLICA’S 3-disc live set Live S**t: Binge and Purge, recorded and released in 1993 (the Mexico City portion of the box set). Tonight I was bopping around Spotify looking to cue up Metallica’s instrumental songs (“Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth”, “The Call of Ktulu”, “Orion”, “To Live is to Die” and “Suicide and Redemption”) to use as a soundtrack for a brief stint of writing when I scrolled to this particular live concert recording I’d been shunning for so many years. I jumped right to “Creeping Death” in the track listing and what I immediately noticed was how much better the live songs sounded twenty-five years ago compared to modern times. Not because of the band’s performance or anything like that. No, it’s because back then their guitars were tuned to E-Standard tuning (A440) rather than the E-Flat tuning they’ve been using the last fifteen years or so (I believe since the St. Anger “Madly in Anger” tour in 2003, at least). These days when I hear modern live versions of their songs it’s a bit of a bummer because the majority of the songs sound off — because they are off, by a half-step, or semitone in musicology terms. I’ve been listening to Metallica for thirty-plus years, so it seems only natural that when a fella puts on the music of the soundtrack of his formative years that he’d want it to sound like it’s supposed to sound at least in terms of the original tuning, even when it’s via a concert, live or otherwise. [End old man rant].
So this happened — Mastodon won a Grammy! The metal band’s 2017 magnum opus Emperor of Sand was hands down the best musical release last year for me, and the first song on that album, “Sultan’s Curse”, which was also the first song we heard from the LP, won the Best Metal Performance award. I’m not a watcher of the Grammy’s (and hell, they don’t even include the Best Metal Performance category in the telecast), but I’m extremely happy and proud for the fellas (pictured: Bill Kelliher, Brann Dailor and Troy Sanders — not pictured: Brent Hinds).
Perfectly hushed and chill music for writing, mediation, solitude . . . in the quiet hours. Also nite-nite music.
Unofficial lyric video by John Flynn of my current favorite new song “Blue Walsh” by Mastodon, from their new EP Cold Dark Place (released September 22, 2017).
It’s only been like forever since London Grammar released their debut album If You Wait back in 2013. I didn’t become aware of it myself until the late winter of 2015 (along with Daughter’s If You Leave). Well, the wait is only a few months longer as their sophomore album, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing drops this June. Below is a lyric video of the title track. Hannah Reed’s voice is as hypnotic and powerful as ever.