Okay, I need to review three huge things here soon, so I'm just gonna make them all short and sweet:
1. Metallica - Death Magnetic
Their first new album in 4 years and the best thing they've done in more than 15 years, Death Magnetic sees Metallica's replacement of long-time producer, Bob Rock, with the amazing, mega-guru, "reducer-producer", Rick Rubin - an expert at whittling bands and solo artists down to their essence... and then letting them just rock that essence good and loud. He does it again here.
With 10 tracks, (that is, nine songs and one 10-minute instrumental onslaught,) and clocking in at almost 75 minutes, Metallica returns to the more progressive, hard-edged sound that they abandoned circa 1991, but that fans have been dying for ever since. It's dark, heavy, filled with amazing riffs and solos, a few power choruses, (but not too many,) and almost never lets up. This album will exhaust you. You can't listen to it all in one sitting very often, because each track (averaging 7 and 1/2 minutes each) is an epic experience unto itself. So, pace yourself, young rockers. The good ol' days of Metallica are here again.
The End of the Line
Broken, Beat & Scarred
("METALLI-HINT": Try to get your hands on a rip of the Guitar Hero III version of this album - the final mix is deeper in dimension and fuller in scope than the CD release. Not a "night-and-day" difference, but enough to be appreciated more.)
2. San Diego Streey Scene - 2008
On my birthday, Friday the 19th of September, I was treated (by my most-awesome bro-hams, Rob and Reuven) to a ticket for Street Scene - the annual outdoor "91X" multi-band concert festival. Usually held in the downtown "Gaslamp" area, the event was moved to the Quaalcom Staudium parking lot for the past several years. But this year, it was relocated again to the downtown area - not exactly in the Gaslamp, but behind Petco Stadium, which was closer to the original sentiment.
It was pretty awesome. I met up with my cousin, Sean, and his friends, and it felt like a big party. We arrived around 6:30 just in time to see MGMT finish up a set, and then Michael Franti & Spearhead hit the big stage next. They were okay... a bit too reggae for me, but that's still cool. The big acts were TV On The Radio, Justice, Spoon, Vampire Weekend (who were playing on a smaller stage and got ditched quickly for the headlining act:), Beck!
Despite some technical problems, Beck and his amazing band rocked and rolled for well over an hour until about 11:45 PM. But Spoon and TV On The Radio certainly held their own again the blond, scientologist So-Cal native. We didn't go the second night, but that's fine by me, because headliners, The Black Crowes, canceled their appearence, and teh slot was filled by the totally irrelevant Devo. I would have liked to have seen The Hives and Cold War Kids, but no big loss. I definetly went on the right night!
Street Scene was a very unique show that turned me on to more than a few different bands and types of music. Thanks again to my homies Rob and Reuven. THANKS GUYS!
3. NEW AC/DC!
As the old saying goes, "If AC/DC ain't broke... don't fix 'em!"
For the first time in the post-9/11 world, AC/DC returns with new music and... surprise! surprise! surprise! It's more the same than ever! Check out the new video for "Rock 'N Roll Train" from the forthcoming new album, Black Ice (due out October 20th).
Even moderate AC/DC fans will notice that the song and the video follow some sort of formula to which the band has stuck for many years now. And bands like Metallica could learn something from these never-changing aged rockers - "if it rocks, just keep doin' it." I've never met anyone who has commented that they're bored with AC/DC's sound. And I hope I never do.
That is all! GUH-BYE!