Iggy, Josh, and their baby, Gardenia.

           Yesterday, news broke that Iggy Pop and Josh Homme had spent the last few months working on a secret album, Post Pop Depression. Not only that, they were going to be premiering the first single on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I don’t know about you, but I flipped. This is huge. Two musicians that know how to growl, riff and get down. Two guys who just enjoy playing some rock n’ roll, while gyrating their hips like the crowd owes them money. Iggy Pop, who is, well, Iggy. Not much else needs to be said. Iggy puts out music, you should be excited. Then there’s Josh Homme, king of collaboration. This project has picked up Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) so there’s a powerhouse on every instrument. If Them Crooked Vultures is any indication of how well Homme can coordinate a band, then we can expect the album to be nothing short of bad ass.

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           I have never been much for Colbert, or late night talk for that matter, but I watched intently. As the camera pans over, the first thing I notice (and much to my surprise) is Iggy Pop wearing a shirt. And a jacket, to boot! My attention is quickly turned when the bands starts up and Iggy’s voice deeply snarls into the mic. I watched the whole performance last night, and then revisited it on my commute to work this morning. I keep circling back to the same conclusion: Bowie.

           The voice, the music, the overall feel of the song has some major Bowie vibes. It’s like a tribute and a posthumous release all wrapped into one. It’s no secret the close relationship Pop and Bowie had, so who knows, it might even be intentional. Don’t get me wrong, the single has it’s own independent sound and you can definitely hear Homme’s touch of gold. However, I can’t help but feel like there’s an inkling of the Thin White Duke in there too. Regardless, the song, band and album are sure to be a treat. Take a listen to Gardenia for yourself, there’s no way to be disappointed.

It’s all smooth sailing from here on out.
I’m gonna do the damage that needs getting done.

~Queens of the Stone Age

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Another ‘best of’ list; my favorites from 2015.

            This year’s releases really hit a high note with me. I discovered new artists and enjoyed the new sounds my old favorites created. I think its fair to say, this year really gave back. So here’s my top 5 albums for 2015.


[5] BAPTISTS – Bloodmines

           Okay, I’m cheating a bit with this one. This album actually came out late 2014 but I didn’t pick it up until 2015. I’m including it because its one of my most listened to albums of last year. My metal tastes have been changing lately and it appears faster/ louder seem to be where I gravitate. These guys are Vancouver natives and its no secret I have a special place in my heart for a local artist. The thrash is erratic but controlled, which isn’t an easy feat to accomplish. ‘Chamber’ opens the album up, luring you in with a creepy sound-scape of scrapping and distortion. After this, its full throttle and you better hold on. Every song delivers a punch and its not comparable to any other band out there. Bloodmines truly stands apart.
           Recommended track: Bloodmines (especially the video!)


[4] TWIN SHADOW – Eclipse

           This album was my summer anthem. It was hard not to dance when any of this album came on. A little 90’s, a little funky, hell I even picked up some Tina Turner in there somewhere. This album has it all. Even without accompaniment, the vocals are out of this world. Smooth, but rough when it counts.
           I was privileged enough to see Twin Shadow perform at a music festival in the summer and that’s what catapulted this album into my top 5. Watching George Lewis Jr high kick and lunge at a cymbal while hitting the vocals hard was nothing short of entertaining. Watching a mass of people go silent as the single ‘Eclipse’ started to play, was truly mesmerizing. He had all of us under his thumb. Couldn’t get enough.
           Recommended track: Turn Me Up


[3] THE DEAD WEATHER – Dodge and Burn

           When the video for ‘Every Million Miles’ came out, I had two initial thoughts: Sweet lord, where is the REST of Alison Mosshart, girl is half the size! And, how does her voice keep getting better?!
           This album was a long awaited one for me. Jack White, solo, is great. The Kills, also awesome. But nothing ever beats the rhythmic writhing of those two sounds molding into one. They have a unique way of making one song sound like 3 separate ones, and then loop it all back together at the end. The high, lulls, screeches and whispers are in all the right places. Another bonus: it is impossible to play this album too loud.
           Recommended track: Three Dollar Hat


[2] GRIMES – Art Angels

           Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. This was EVERYONE’S favorite pop album this year, topping lists and taking names. But I had to include it because it has truly earned its spot. My first listen, I really wasn’t sold. Quite frankly, the poppy beats and new sound completely threw me. Even the reanimation of ‘Realiti’ made me stop and think, ‘Do I actually like this or have I been so blue-balled for new Grimes material that I just WANT to like this?’
           Well, results are in and I LOVE it. In her typical style, Grimes takes a bunch of depressing lyrics and dresses it up into a dancing phenomena. Before you realize what’s going on, you’re having too much fun to care about the fact that the lyrics are actually kind of sad. The lesson in all this: sometimes new is scary and you have to forget the old to appreciate it.
           Recommended track: Kill V. Maim


[1] FKA TWIGS – M3LL155X (MELISSA)

           Oh boy, I had this one on repeat for awhiiile. Blaring through my apartment, I’m sure my neighbors were starting to get sick of the same 5 songs. Not me, though. FKA Twigs always delivers a raw, emotional sound and this was no different. Her past endeavors have been soft and gentle but this EP brought out the claws. Hard hitting and experimental, this album is rife with a strong darkness that I think Twigs is just starting to explore. It’s an EP, so of course it’s short but it is arranged perfectly. Everything blends together together into a 20 minute masterpiece. The other element that really hit home, was the video released for tracks 1-4. There is something intriguing about an arrangement of images that makes you want to stop blinking but look away at the same time. Undoubtedly, my favorite listen of the year.
           Recommended track: All of it. Every. Single. Bit.

Oil and gold. Tar and coal. All for blood.

~Baptists