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The Music Thread

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An open thread to share what you’re grooving to in quarantine!

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In our never-ending quest to provide you with stuff to help ease the boredom that can creep in whilst self-isolating or working from home, we’ve decided to post a music thread where you can share videos/songs of bands you like.

There are some rules, and they’re pretty simple:

1- Nothing that violates the SBN Community Guidelines. Yes, we’re all adults, but we’re gonna keep these in mind.

2- No shaming other people’s musical taste. Don’t like something? Don’t listen to it. Keep an open mind. That being said, this rule does not apply to Nickelback.

3- If you have a band, or friends in bands, by all means share links to their Bandcamp sites.

I will allow our writers to post up to 3 videos here in the post and after that we can all post in the comments. I am looking forward to seeing what you all are listening to!

Kent Basky: As you all know, I am an unapologetic metalhead. There’s a handful of bands I have been sinking into lately:

The godfathers of grindcore. The music may sound angry, but they spend a lot of time lyrically lifting up those who need it.

Silly, and seriously good at creating memorable thrash metal hooks, LICH KING do it all without label support. This is a great lil clip for their homage to one of the best damn movies of all time: Robocop!

My wife Laurie found these guys and I have to say it’s pretty amazing. Mixing chamber music and rock n roll, with a blistering and at times surreal rendition of Metallica’s ‘Fight Fire With Fire’.

Kevin Wong: What a fun idea! Thanks.

Besides listening to a lot of stuff for my video projects, here are a few from my own playlist.

I’ll start with Wishbone Ash. Their album Argus (1972) starts out so strongly, and it has a tremendous cover. “Sometime World” is the highlight of the album, in my opinion. It’s very, very soulful. I listen to too many bands to list; it’s too tough to isolate just three songs, to be honest. Genesis is one of my favorite progressive rock bands, particularly their work from Foxtrot (1972) to Duke (1980). I’ve chosen to give the nod to Wishbone Ash today, though. This is a great track. Rock ‘n’ roll.

This next one is “Affirmation” by George Benson, a great instrumental from his incredible, mostly-instrumental album Breezin (1976). One of my other favorite genres is jazz. From Stan Getz and Grant Green to Casiopea and Brand X, there’s so much there that I enjoy. Bossa nova and jazz fusion are two wonderful subgenres. This album, though, is one of my favorites.

We’re already at three?

Here’s my last pick. The 1980s were such a great time for music. “I.G.Y” by Donald Fagen is one of so many great tunes from this decade. The Nightfly (1982) is a tremendous album. He is also the co-founder and vocalist of Steely Dan.

Westy - 3 songs....I’m not sure that even come close to covering the wide range of music I will listen to. (except Metal....sorry Kent.) Disclosure * I saw Nickelback open for Matthew Good in Chilliwack in 1997.

I grew up in a little town in Northern B.C. and the one radio station in town had multiple personality complex as it couldn’t decide whether it was a country station or a farm report. Every once in a while some DJs would sneak on a current pop hit. I think my uncles and my mom’s friend were the first to introduce me to different types of songs that didn’t focus on the wife leaving, the dog running away or the truck dying. My uncles had KISS and Billy Joel, while my mom’s friend had The Police. This was the beginnings of MTV (when it actually played music) and artists were just trying to figure out the video business. “Every breath you take” was the big hit, but “Synchronicity II” has a beat that was angry and catchy at the same time.

I moved to the smelliest town in all of B.C. in the mid 80’s and that was an era when big hair “pop rock” bands started coming on the music scene. Bon Jovi was probably the biggest of that genre and I hate them to this day. Add in Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Ratt, Def Leppard to the mix and I’m surprised I didn’t switch to country listening. It took some big hair from Ireland to get me to actually go out and buy a tape for my boombox. U2 had three albums before The Joshua Tree, but it took that 1987 album for people to re-listen to them to see if they had been bad albums or they had just missed the genius. (It was the latter)
The Canucks and U2 also have a long connection as U2 would rent out GM Place during the summer to set up their stages for North American tours. The Canucks used “Where the streets have no name” as the intro song for years. I haven’t gone to many concerts in my life, but I saw U2 at BC Place during the Popmart tour. It was amazing, with a large stage and a disco ball lemon. They sounded just as good live as they did on tape. They have a lot of songs to choose from, but the song below summarizes most of our life struggles at some point.

Can you imagine having to choose only three songs. Damn you Kent.

The last song I picked is a 30 year journey. It’s rare that a person can have thirty years of success in music and with multiple bands, playing multiple instruments and singing. Dave Grohl is a drummer. He is pretty good at it. (Some have said one of the best in the world. He doens’t though) He was the drummer with a band from Seattle that did ok, before the lead singer gave into the demons and committed suicide. After an event like that, you would think that is the end of the band. And it was. But Dave Grohl, who wasn’t really known as an individual went back to making music, just not grunge music.
The Foo Fighters not only had an extremely silly name, but their first song was a pop hit with a hard beat that got your feet tapping. Grohl didn’t do much to promote the music and yet it was still a hit. People got over his Nirvana history and realized that the music he made was pretty fucking good.

Foo Fighters is a band my family can agree on. My wife and daughter who have their musical tastes, both will drum along to “My Hero”, sing along to “Times like these” and strum along to “Monkeywrench”. Foo Fighters decided to come to Central America in 2019 and my daughter asked us to go. What better first concert than the Foo Fighters. Here is a video from that night. I wasn’t in the pit with my daughter and wife....that’s crazy.

Markus - I am a country music guy myself, so I’ll differ a little from my peers above. My first entry is “7 & 7” by the Turnpike Troubadours, one of the best alt-country bands of the modern era. Vibrant, organic, and authentic. Good place to start with these guys.

My next pick is “Run” by Emily Scott Robinson, a singer-songwriter in the Americana realm with a killer voice and sharp pen.

Third, a little more mainstream, “A Modern Day Prodigal Son” by Brantley Gilbert, a gospel-tinged ode of self-reflection. I hope you find something to enjoy from these three!

Beggsy

1. I’ll let you steal this idea, since I stole it from someone else. Once a month, a friend and I pick an “Album of the Month.” We listen to it profusely, research it, and at the end of the month we get together and rate it.

Right now, we’re listening to “Currents” by Tame Impala. I only started listening to them recently but so far, so good on this album. It’s one of those albums that gets better as it goes on.

Here’s the most well-known song off of it, which was recently voted as the best song of the 2010’s by fans of Australia’s Triple J radio station. 1.8 million fans voted.

2. I always have one throwback album on my playlist. Right now, it’s one of the best hip-hop albums of all-time, Tupac’s “Me Against the World.” If you like hip-hop but don’t feel like listening to an entire album right now, go listen to tracks #9 and #10 back-to-back.

3. A local band where I live in Surrey just released an album that gives me some serious Steely Dan vibes. If you’re a fan of Steely Dan (one of the greatest American bands of all time, by the way), then you should check these guys out.

jimmi - My tastes in music are not mainstream. But, they are wide and deep. 3 tracks won’t begin to cover it. Oh well... we have the chance to continue this post for months, possibly years before worrying about NHL cap space again.

EST - Esbjörn Svensson Trio

Scandinavian jazz is so cool, brilliant and captivating. EST was the benchmark for early 21st scando-jazzo. Yeah... I just made up that term just now to make me seem hipper than I am.

Doesn’t matter. These guys are masters of their instruments. Tragically in 2008, Esbjörn Svensson, died in a diving accident.

While the sound is better on the studio version, went with this live performance, because experiencing a jazz trio live is something we won’t get for a long time.

Esbjörn Svensson Trio Live At Wackerhalle, Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen, Germany, 2nd May 2004 - Dan Berglund on bass and Magnus Öström on drums.

Seven Days Of Falling/Elevation of Love - 2 tracks will give you a taste that we can’t taste anymore.

Eduardo Niebla & Adel Salameh - Mediterraneo

A little further south than Stockholm, two great musicians, flamenco guitarist, Eduardo Niebla and Oud Master, Adel Salameh met mid-Mediterran to create. If you’re not familiar with the Oud, it’s the great great granddaddy of the guitar - by way of the lute - by way of King Richard and the Crusades (early revival band). The oud is a big round back fretless instrument with an evocative, earthy sound - it’s even mentioned in the Bible.

Anyhow, this album was released in a previous century - in the 1990s. This is the title track. As an Oud-dabbler, Adel is one of my Oud Heroes, like guitar heroes, but more understated. Eduardo is a genius guitarist who plays world music despite being restricted to a fretted instrument.

Jordi Savall - Les voix humaines

Jordi Savall is a legend. Not on NM, that would be Westy. Or Kent. Jordi helped bring early music back to the future. And the much forgotten Viol family.

The big boy in that family is the Viola da Gamba. IMAO, one of the most evocative instruments ever invented. In the west. Looks like a big cello. With 7 strings and movable gut frets for the first position. Built much lighter than a cello, with a different bow technique. Can play chords. Tuned in 4ths, not 5ths.

Reached its peak of popularity and melancholy in the late 1600s in France and England.

This video is from a live solo performance concert in Madrid, May 28, 2014.

1st piece - Monsieur Demachy: Prélude en Re menor

2nd piece - Marin Marais: Les voix humaines - back when there was plenty of time for melancholic self-reflection. Unlike us modern day ADHD netwits in government assisted locking-down.

3rd piece - Marin Marais: Les Folies d’Espagne - the show off tune for virtuoso violists. Jordi rocks it out around 15:24. (If you need to skip the boring parts)

4th piece - Variations on a Breton Lullaby

NOTE: The Viola da Gamba cannot be appreciated on tinny laptop speakers. Needs a great system to reproduce the deep soulful resonance. Jordi’s artistry, a good tube amp and great phones will take you to places in your being you didn’t know existed.

I nominate the Viola da Gamba as NM’s Official Instrument of Covidian Ruefulness.