elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth. Please keep in mind that the majority of the artists that appear on this blog, along with their respective record labels, are not wealthy and need your support. If you enjoy the material that you find here, please support the artists/labels by purchasing their material afterwards. If you are an artist/label that would prefer to have your material removed from this blog, simply leave me a comment, and I would be more than happy to promptly remove the offending post. In addition to running this blog, I also work on a few other projects during my spare time. You can find links to those, as well as a few other important links associated with Digital Meltd0wn in the menu bar above.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I May Be Offline A Few Days

I'm in the process of moving at the moment. My internet service will have to be transferred, and I'm not sure how long that will take. Hopefully it won't be much more than a couple of days. I'll try to respond to any questions or comments if I have free time at work, but I won't be uploading any new material until my internet service is back again.

In the meantime, please leave a comment and recommend me some artists/bands to check out, or leave me some feedback on the recent modifications I've made to the blog, or suggestions for improvements or new features.

Redd Kross - Teen Babes From Monsanto

This album is currently out of print and not available on CD, so I suggest you get this while you can.

Redd Kross was the brainchild of Steve and Jeff McDonald, brothers from the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne (also home of the Beach Boys) who began playing music together before either had hit puberty. Fueled by a series of dubious visits to famed area rock clubs like the Roxy and the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, they formed their first band, the Tourists, in 1978; Jeff, then 15, handled vocal duties while Steve, 11, took up the bass.

After rounding out the group with schoolmates Greg Hetson on guitar and Ron Reyes on drums, the Tourists played their first gig, opening for Black Flag. Following a name change to Red Cross, they issued their self-titled EP debut in 1980. After the departure of Hetson and Reyes (for the Circle Jerks and Black Flag, respectively), the McDonalds enlisted a revolving line-up of underground musicians for their full-length follow-up, 1981's Born Innocent, which found the group's pop-culture obsessions bubbling over on tributes like "Linda Blair" and "Charlie" (about Charles Manson, whose "Cease to Exist" they also covered).

Following the album's release, the band was threatened with a lawsuit from the real International Red Cross; as a result, they became Redd Kross, and returned in 1984 with Teen Babes from Monsanto. Ex-Black Flag singer Dez Cadena had already come and gone through Redd Kross by the time Geza X produced the seven-song Teen Babes From Monsanto. Running strictly on wicked irreverence, the McDonalds and drummer Dave Peterson turn the spotlight on various musical victims, and the Redd Kross living jukebox bangs out loud and convincing covers of Kiss ("Deuce"), the Stones ("Citadel"), Stooges ("Ann"), Bowie ("Savior Machine") and others, leaving "Linda Blair 1984" the sole original. A record of the ultimate bratty garage band in its element. (Year of Release: 1984)

Credit goes out to the TwilightZone! Music Blog for originally uploading this wonderful album.

Track List
2. Citadel
3. Heaven Only Knows
4. Ann
5. Savior Machine
6. Blow You a Kiss In the Wind
7. Linda Blair 1984

Download: Redd Kross - Teen Babes From Monsanto (20.4MB)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Wishlist

Since I've uploaded hundreds of albums, and filled many requests, I thought it would be fair to create a wishlist for albums that I would like to have. The great thing about the music blog community is that we are able to obtain almost anything regardless of how scarce it may be. The albums below are on the list either because I couldn't find them, or I'm short on time and need a place to list them so I don't forget to check them out later. I have also listed albums which were requested by visitors that I have been unable or haven't had the time to find. Thanks in advance to those of you who are able to fill these requests for me. So without further ado.. here's my wishlist:

My Wishlist:

Elmer Bernstein - Robot Monster (1953)

New Feature - Table Of Contents

I've made another modification to the blog which I believe will help you to find what you are looking for. If you look to the sidebar on the right, directly underneath my profile, you will see the option to 'Show Table of Contents'. Clicking it will reveal a list of all the posts that I have made in alphabetical order. They can also be sorted by the date they were posted. I've noticed that this modification increases page load time; specifically the time it takes for the portion of the sidbar beneath the Table Of Contents to display. It was more apparent on Opera than Firefox, but it wasn't significant enough to be a problem for me. I haven't tested it on Internet Explorer yet. If you notice that page times are extremely slow, please leave a comment and let me know.

This modication was made possible thanks to Beautiful Beta. Please give me some feedback about this addition.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Show Your Support

As some of you may know I had a graphic design contest for Digital Meltd0wn recently. The winner, a talented guy by the name of Fill, came up with a wonderful banner and button set. If you would like to show your support for the blogroll you can do so by displaying this button on your website/blog. There are also a great selection of banners to choose from which were submitted by the participants of the graphic design contest which can be found here. Thank you for your support.

Copy & paste the code below onto your website

Note: I'm not sure why, but a box is showing up around the button. This has something to do with the blogger layout that I've chosen, and is not part of the image. This box will not appear on your website. In order to view what the image will look like simply right click on the button and select 'open image'.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tar - Jackson

Part of the Chicago underground scene of the late '80s and early '90s, Tar played a fierce blend of abrasive noise rock and post-hardcore punk, drawing from local touchstones like Big Black and Naked Raygun. However, they were also influenced by vintage punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Stooges. As they evolved, they were often compared to more metallic noisemakers like Helmet and the Jesus Lizard. Tar's thick, heavy guitar textures and pitch-dark dissonance were an accurate reflection of their moniker, and their disdain for accessibility or major-label exposure was just as accurate a reflection of the scene from which they'd arisen.

In 1988 the group landed a deal with Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles imprint. Tar made their proper debut with the 1989 EP Handsome, half of which was engineered by Steve Albini; they followed it with another 7", "Flow Plow" b/w "Hand." Tar's first-ever full-length appeared in 1990 in the form of Roundhouse, which was produced by Albini and found the band growing more assured in its style. Bassist Mescher left the band in early 1991 and was replaced by Tom Zaluckyj. The "Solution 8" single followed, as did their second album, Jackson, which again boasted assistance from Albini and showed Mohr developing into a stronger vocalist. Tar subsequently departed Amphetamine Reptile in favor of Touch & Go, making their debut with the 1992 single "Teetering"; a split 7" with Dischord emo heroes Jawbox followed hot on its heels. 1993's Clincher EP flirted with the grungy side of electric Neil Young, a trend that continued on the full-length Toast, which appeared later that year.

The band toured the U.S. and Europe in support of Toast, and the latter leg of the tour went poorly. Deciding that they were no longer enjoying themselves as they once had, Tar agreed to go their separate ways after one more album. Over and Out was released in 1995 and was widely acclaimed as the high point of their career, thanks to its greater variety. In the wake of Tar's dissolution, Zaluckyj and Greenlees reteamed in Luckyj, which never released a record. Greenlees also played in Ex-Chittle with former Dis- member Rob Sieracki. Meanwhile, Zaluckyj played with the B-52's' Fred Schneider for a brief period, and also worked as an engineer at Albini's studio.
(Year of Release: 1991)

Track List:
1. Short Trades
2. Cross Offer
3. Walking the King
4. On a Transfer
5. Trauma
6. Dark Mark
7. Goethe
8. Tellerman
9. Land Luck
10. Viaduct Removal

Download: Tar - Jackson (44MB)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley aka "The Originator", is often cited as a key figure in the transition of blues into rock and roll, by introducing more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard edged guitar sound. He was born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, Mississippi, and was adopted and raised by his mother's cousin, Gussie McDaniel. He took her surname, becoming Ellas McDaniel. The family moved to Chicago when he was seven. He took violin lessons as a youth, but was given a guitar by his sister and was inspired to become a guitarist by seeing John Lee Hooker.

He worked as a carpenter and mechanic, but also began a musical career playing on street corners with friends, including Jerome Green (c.1934-1973), as a band called the Hipsters (later the Langley Avenue Jive Cats). In 1951 he landed a regular spot at the 708 Club on Chicago's South Side with a repertoire influenced by Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. He adopted the stage name Bo Diddley, which is probably a southern black slang phrase meaning "nothing at all", as in "he ain't bo diddley". Another source says it was his nickname as a teenage Golden Gloves boxer. The nickname is also linked to the diddley bow, a one-stringed instrument used in the south by mainly black musicians in the fields.

In late 1954, he teamed up with harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, drummer Clifton James and bass player Roosevelt Jackson, and recorded demos of "I'm A Man" and "Bo Diddley". Re-recorded at Chess Studios with a backing ensemble comprising Otis Spann (piano), Lester Davenport (harmonica), Frank Kirkland (drums) and Jerome Green (maracas), and released in March 1955, the a-side, "Bo Diddley", became an R&B # 1 hit. In 1958 his debut album entitled 'Bo Diddley' was released on the Chess label in 1958. It is a compilation of his singles since 1955. It collects several of his most influential and enduring songs. - Wikipedia
(Year of Release: 1958)

Track List:
1. Bo Diddley
2. I'm A Man
3. Bring It To Jerome
4. Before You Accuse Me
5. Hey Bo Diddley
6. Dearest Darling
7. Hush Your Mouth
8. Say Boss Man
9. Diddley Daddy
10. Diddy Wah Diddy
11. Who Do You Love
12. Pretty Thing

Download: Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (51MB)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Black Mountain - Black Mountain

Black Mountain is one of two circulating incarnations of Vancouver musician Stephen McBean—the other being the more solo oriented Pink Mountaintops. Releasing self-titled, debut albums within six months of each other, these Mountain-family bands have given nostalgic rock 'n' roll fans reason to rise. And hell, even if your record collection doesn't consist of battered vinyl copies of late '60's and early '70's drug-fueled, heavy hitters, you won't be able to resist the gritty grooves of both bands. But, this is a Black Mountain review, so on with the show.

Black Mountain opens the curtain with the first of many assertive anthems. The caustic "Modern Music" declares "One, two, three another pop explosion / One, two, three another hit recording / Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten." – A jab at the state of modern music that makes no bones about it, and I likey. Like much of the album, it's adorned with loud guitar, screechy sax, and some killer Keith Moon/John Bonham style drumming. And if you aren't already familiar with Pink Mountaintops and their superb duet "Tourist in Your Town," you get your first taste of the soulful singing of Amber Webber who takes center stage later on "Heart of Snow."

Following the opiate groove of "Druganaut," "No Satisfaction" sounds like a sunshine alarm after the two previous shadowy efforts. Recalling the Vaselines and VU, "No Satisfaction" showcases more of McBean's cool and Webber's raw soul. The album continues with more blues, prog, and psychedelic rock detailing the sub-genres' highlights with a new and exciting perspective. Citing the Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd among others, Black Mountain somehow succeed in keeping it fresh all along.
(Year of Release: 2005)

Track List:
1. Modern Music
2. Don't Run Our Hearts Around
3. Druganaut
4. No Satisfaction
5. Set Us Free
6. No Hits
7. Heart Of Snow
8. Faulty Times

Download: Black Mountain - Black Mountain (70MB)

Monday, January 21, 2008

VA - The Psychedelic Voyage

Someone requested this several months ago, but I was only able to find it recently. It proved extremely difficult to track down, and I couldn't find out any information about the album, other than it contains 26 tracks of rare psychedelic music from the 60's. If any of you find out more info about this release, please leave a comment.

Track List:
1. Tac Pocum System - Asmodia
2. The ones - Lady Greengrass
3. Kiss Inc - Hey There Mr. Holy Man
4. Gee Brothers - Let Me Find the Sun
5. Keith Meehan - Darkness of My Life
6. Flower Traveling Band - Satori pt1
7. Flower Traveling Band - Satori pt2
8. Lewis & Klark Expedition - Blue Revelation
9. Picadilly Line - Yellow Rainbow
10. Petards - Rainbows & Butterflys
11. Petards - Tartarex
12. Almond Lettuce - Magic Circle
13. Fickle Fickle - Sam & Sadie
14. Kaplan - I Like
15. The Admirals - In the Promised Land
16. The Shirelli - I'll Stay by Your Side
17. Jackueline Taeib - 7am
18. Vanilla fudge - Some Velvet Morning
19. The Sleepy - Loves Immortal Fire
20. The Beloved ones - Land of Shadow
21. The Rugby's - Stay With Me
22. The Pirates - Shades of Blue
23. The shames - Greenburg, clickstein, Charles, Davies, smith & jones
24. Smoke - dream of dreams
25. Smoke - my birth
26. Poppy family - shadows on my wall

Download: Various Artists - The Psychedelic Voyage (92.4MB)

German Oak - German Oak

In the strange Olympic summer of 1972, the Dusseldorf instrumental group German Oak entered the Luftschutzbunker, or Air Raid Shelter, in order to record their eponymous first LP. A free form rock band founded by a small community of 5 German hippies / "avant garde" artists back at the beginning of the 70's. Their self title effort was recorded in a WWII air raid bunker. The cover of their self title album (a militaristic image which is a portrait of the third Reich military force) provides an illustration of anger expressed by the WWII’s young generation against their parents. By consequence German Oak's music is very tortured, dark and weird, dominated by heavy, "distorted" guitar solos & rhythms. The background creates "painful" & "ambient" sequences thanks to delay echoes, electronic "fuzzy" noises & repetitive bass lines. A funkadelic/jazzy felt punctuates with discretion this grandiose, "creepy" instrumental album. A first CD reissue was offered by Witch And Warlock in 1991. Today this album is re-edited by Radioactive records (2005). In a rather discretion they also released the moody, cloudy and experimental epic-kraut "Niebenlungenieg"

Following in the footsteps of the percussive and organic Organisation and the remarkable Dom, German Oak had every reason to believe that this 3rd LP to be recorded by a Dusseldorf band would be warmly received. Unfortunately, German Oak were not only wrong in their assumptions that locals would embrace their music, but even local record shops rejected all the group's attempts to sell the albums in city outlets. Such was their lack of success that 202 of the original 213 copies were stored in the basement of the group's organist until the mid-1980s, when a thirst for undiscovered Krautrock finally brought German Oak back from the dead.
(Year of Release: 1972)

Track List:
1. Airalert
2. Down In The Bunker
3. Raid Over Dusseldorf
4. 1945 - Out of the Ashes

Download: German Oak - German Oak (60.3MB)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Freeware Music Programs

I've tried to put together a comprehensive list of freeware music programs. If you know of anything that you think should be added to the list please leave a comment. I would like to thank the members of the Neowin community for contributing many of the programs on this list.

Audio Creation:
Ambiloop - Homepage
Canorus - Homepage
CP-GFX - Homepage
Gungirl Sequencer - Homepage
HammerHead - Homepage
Jesusonic - Homepage
Jungulator - Homepage
KRISTAL Audio Engine - Homepage
LoopBe1 - Homepage
MIDI Pattern Generator 64 - Homepage
orDrumbox - Homepage
Reaper - Homepage
Smart PC Record - Homepage
Soundclub - Homepage
TuxGuitar - Homepage
Tu2 - Homepage

Audio Players:
1by1 - Homepage
Apollo 37zx - Homepage
Billy - Homepage
CoolPlayer - Homepage
DeejaySystem MK1 - Homepage
DeliPlayer. Homepage
Foobar 2000 - Homepage
iTunes - Homepage
Jet Audio Basic - Homepage
Juke - Homepage
Mixere - Homepage
Mixxx - Homepage
monoRAVEik - Homepage
MoreAmp - Homepage
MPXPlay - Homepage
Musik - Homepage
MusicIP Mixer - Homepage
musikCube - Homepage
QCD Player - Homepage
Screamer Radio - Homepage
VUPlay - Homepage
Winamp - Homepage
Xion - Homepage
XMPlay - Homepage
Zinf - Homepage

Audio Tools:
Audacity - Homepage
Balthers Graphic Groove Box - Homepage
beatharness - Homepage
BeSweet - Homepage
CUE Splitter - Homepage
dBpowerAMP Music Converter - Homepage
EffecTV - Homepage
Encounter 2003 - Homepage
Gephex - Homepage
GermaniXEncoder - Homepage
iTunes Agent - Homepage
KraMixer - Homepage
Libra - Homepage
M4a/Flac/Ogg/Ape/Mpc Tag Support Plugin for Media Player & Media Center 2005 - Homepage
MediaInfo - Homepage
MediaCoder - MediaCoder
MediaMonkey - Homepage
MP3 My MP3 Recorder - Homepage
mp3DirectCut - Homepage
MP3Gain - Homepage
mpTrim - Homepage
opcode - Homepage
SC Free Audio Extractor - Homepage
SoundEngine Free - Homepage
Vibe Streamer - Homepage
Whorld - Homepage

MP3 Tagging:
Audiograil - Homepage
AudioShell - Homepage
MP3 Book Helper - Homepage
MP3 Tag - Homepage
Mp3 Tag Tools - Homepage
TagScanner - Homepage
MusicBrainz - Homepage
The GodFather - Homepage
TigoTago - Homepage

CD Ripping:
Audiograbber - Homepage
BonkEnc - Homepage
CDex - Homepage
Exact Audio Copy - Homepage

CD/DVD Burning/Cover creation:
Burn4Free - Homepage
Burnatonce - Homepage
Burrrn - Homepage
CDBurnerXP - Homepage
CDRDAO - Homepage
cdrtfe - Homepage
CDR Tools Frontend - Homepage
Deepburner - Homepage
DVDAuthor GUI - Homepage
DVDStyler Homepage
eCover - Homepage
GUI for dvdauthor - Homepage
ImgBurn - Homepage
InfraRecorder - Homepage
ISO Recorder - Homepage
MediaCD - Homepage
SilentNight Micro CD/DVD/ISO/AUDIO Burner - Homepage
Smart CD-Menu Creator - Homepage
Ultimate CD/DVD Burner - Homepage

Compression / Decompression:
7-zip - Homepage
Alzip - Homepage
bzip2 - Homepage
Compress it - Homepage
ExtractNow - Homepage
FilZip - Homepage
Info-Zip - Homepage
IZArc - Homepage
KGB Archiver - Homepage
QuickZip - Homepage
SimplyzIP - Homepage
TUGZip - Homepage
UPX - Homepage
Zip&Go - Homepage

File Upload/Distribution Sites

I originally posted this on the DM Blogroll, but I thought I would cross post it here also.


I've decided to start sharing other music related resources here. The main focus of this blog will always be to share all the wonderful music blogs available on the internet, but I would also like expand on that idea, and make it a great place for all things music. Next, I plan to make a list of freeware music software. If you have any ideas on music resources that I could add please leave a comment.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is sick of Rapidshare's dominance of file uploading. There are plenty of great alternatives out there, but unfortunately they are overlooked by many. In my opinion the best sites are those which distribute files to several upload sites. These are known as file distribution sites. If you know of any that aren't on this list, please leave a comment, and I will add it. If you know of a friend or site that you frequent which is guilty of using rapidshare, please point them in this direction. Hopefully we can break people from using rapidshare.

File Upload/Distribution Sites
75d (Non-English)
Xirror (Non-English)
XLspread (Non-English)
FTP2SHARE (Registration Required)
YouMirror (Non-English)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

And the winner is....

As I said in my previous post, choosing the winner for this contest was very difficult for me. There were several entries that were my favorite throughout the contest, and I even ended up changing my mind at the last minute. Entries 1, 4, and 14 were my personal favorites, and I think any one of them would have looked great if they had been chosen as the winner. Someone left a comment saying that most of the entries looked too digital and not enough rock & roll. I would have to agree with that statement. A lot of the entries looked too clean and professional, which would have been great for a computer tech site, but I just didn't think it would be fitting of a music blog. There were banners that might have fit better with the overall design better, but in the end I had to go with entry #1 by Fill from Russia. I was captivated by his work from the very beginning, and I knew as soon as I saw it that the other participants would be hard-pressed to best him. His entry stood out to me as being the most original and artistic, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Entry #4 was a very close second, and I considered making it the winner several times, and had I not changed my mind at the last minute it would have been the winner. To everyone who participated in this contest.. I can't thank you enough for your hard work. There were many great entries, which made my decision difficult. I would also like to thank Sir Real Films and Trinity Comics for sponsoring this contest, and donating such a generous prize package. It wouldn't have been possible without them. Please visit their websites, located below, and help support two wonderful independent companies. I've added the winning banner to the header of the blog, however I'm having a little trouble out of blogger with the placement of the image. I'll try to get that fixed within the next couple of days.

Sir Reel Films - http://www.sirreelfilms.net/
Sir Reel Films Blog - http://sirreelfilms.blogspot.com
Trinity Comics/The Wraith - http://www.the-wraith.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sly & the Family Stone - Stand!

Stand! is the pinnacle of Sly & the Family Stone's early work, a record that represents a culmination of the group's musical vision and accomplishment. Life hinted at this record's boundless enthusiasm and blurred stylistic boundaries, yet everything simply gels here, resulting in no separation between the astounding funk, effervescent irresistible melodies, psychedelicized guitars, and deep rhythms. Add to this a sharpened sense of pop songcraft, elastic band interplay, and a flowering of Sly's social consciousness, and the result is utterly stunning. Yes, the jams ("Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey," "Sex Machine") wind up meandering ever so slightly, but they're surrounded by utter brilliance, from the rousing call to arms of "Stand!" to the unification anthem "Everyday People" to the unstoppable "I Want to Take You Higher." All of it sounds like the Family Stone, thanks not just to the communal lead vocals but to the brilliant interplay, but each track is distinct, emphasizing a different side of their musical personality. As a result, Stand! winds up infectious and informative, invigorating and thought-provoking -- stimulating in every sense of the word. Few records of its time touched it, and Sly topped it only by offering its opposite the next time out.

Track List:
1. Stand!
2. Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey
3. I Want To Take You Higher
4. Somebody's Watching You
5. Sing A Simple Song
6. Everyday People
7. Sex Machine
8. You Can Make It If You Try

Download: Sly & the Family Stone - Stand! (56.7MB)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Graphic Design Contest - Winner To Be Announced Tomorrow

I've finally decided on a winner for the graphic design contest. It was a tough decision, and I would like to thank everyone who participated in the contest. There were a lot of great entries, and I appreciate the work that you all did for the contest, but unfortunately there can be only one winner, and you all will find out who that is tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Important Blog News

As some of you may already know, I recently had to take a break to deal with some personal issues that I was going through. Life is much better at the moment, so I'm able to devote time to Digital Meltd0wn once again. Once again, I would like to apologize to those who entered the banner contest. Unfortunately, the circumstances that prevented me from being online happened around the deadline of the contest. Here have a few important announcements regarding the contest and other random blog news.

Graphic Design Contest: Once again I would like to apologize to those of you who entered the graphic design contest. I am currently in the process of adding the late entries to the Flickr account. Once that is finished the only thing left for me to do is to preview how each of the banners would look on the blog if they were chosen as the winner.

last.fm account deleted: Unfortunately last.fm deleted my account a few days ago. They sent me a warning once before for displaying the url to this blog on my profile. I promptly removed the url from my profile. I can think of only one reason they would have for deleting my account. Earlier this week one of my friends on there asked me if I know where to find any albums by a band called Pond. I posted the url to a blog that I ran across which was sharing a couple of their albums. My account was deleted without warning a few days after that. Because of this the Digital Meltd0wn group I created on last.fm has a vacated leader position. I suppose I'll leave it as is, rather than create a new group. I created a new account, so if you were my friend on there before, please re-add me. Here is the url to my profile: http://last.fm/user/zer0_ii

Random Blog News:

  • Once I've chosen a banner for the blog, I plan to create an introductory post. This post will basically be an introduction/site map that I think will make the blog more user friendly and navigable. I also plan on creating two posts; one for requesting an album, and the other for requesting a re-upload of any album that was previously uploaded, but has since been deleted.

  • The Digital Meltd0wn Music Blogroll is coming along well. Traffic has been steadily increasing. When I first started it, I was the one asking for permission to include other's blogs on the list. Now a lot of fellow music bloggers are requesting to be put on the list. It's especially nice to see bloggers, from the blogs that I've admired for a long time, visit the site and leave comments. Even if don't run a music blog, and you know of some blogs that you think are worthy of the list, please leave a comment some time and tell me about them.

  • I've been considering adding a cbox http://cbox.ws to the blog. I've already added one to the blogroll, but it doesn't receive nearly as much traffic as this blog, and I haven't received any positive or negative opinions about it. Please let me know whether you think this is a good or bad idea.

I suppose that's all for now...

Samhain - Unholy Passion

First off, there's a lot of history to this EP. First, it appeared as 5 song EP on vinyl. Then it appeared on the "Initium" CD with an extra track. Then it appeared as the second half of the "Final Descent" album. Now, its back on its own. Another thing to note is that when "Unholy Passion" first game out, it featured Damien on guitar, but somewhere along the way Danzig, as he'd also done with some unrealeased Misfits' material, re-recorded the guitar parts himself (it was rumored that this was done to avoid paying Damien royalties) and I know that this was the version that originally appeared on "Final Descent" and that's also the version that appears here. So you're not really getting the original "Unholy Passion".

Secondly, this contains the 3 best songs Samhain ever recorded, those being "Unholy Passion", "The Hungry End", and "I Am Misery". "All Hell" (an updated version of the Misfits' "All Hell Breaks Loose") and "Moribund" are also good tunes. If you're not familiar Samhain's sound, the best description is sort of mid-tempo punk-goth-hard rock cross that takes its evil much more seriously than the Misfits ever did (but that doesn't mean you have to). And if you wonder why I keep mentioning the Misfits its because Samhain was Glenn Danzig's first post-Misfits project (but chances are you already know that).

There two lowpoints to this release. One is the so-called "bonus track", "Misery's Tomb", which is just the backing vocal and bass tracks of "I Am Misery". Pretty dull. You'll probably only listen to it intentionally once. Then there's the production. Like all Samhain releases, the production was pretty weak. The guitars are mixed too low and the vocals sound sort of muffled. Still, the songs, for the most part, are excellent so they make up for most of the album's weaknesses.

Track List:
1. Unholy Passion
2. All Hell
3. Moribund
4. The Hungry End
5. Misery Tomb
6. I Am Misery

Download: Samhain - Unholy Passion (23.7MB)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sam Cooke - Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963

For anyone who thought they knew Sam Cooke's music based on the hit singles, this disc will be a revelation. This is the real Sam Cooke, doing a sweaty, raspy soulful set at the Harlem Square Club in North Miami, FL, on Jan. 12, 1963, backed by King Curtis and his band, a handful of local musicians, and Cooke's resident sidemen, guitarist Clifford White and drummer Albert "June" Gardner. To put it simply, it's one of the greatest soul records ever cut by anybody, outshining James Brown's first live album from the Apollo Theater and easily outclassing Jackie Wilson's live record from the Copa. Cooke's pop style is far removed from the proceedings here, which have the feel of being virtually a secular sermon. The record opens with the frantic, desperate chant-like "Feel It," followed by a version of "Chain Gang" that has all of the gentling influences of the single's string accompaniment stripped from it -- Cooke's slightly hoarse voice only adds to the startling change in the song, transformed from a piece of pop-soul into an in-your-face ode to freedom and release. "Cupid," perhaps the most sweetly textured song that Cooke cut during the 1960s, gets the full soul treatment, with horns and Curtis' sax up front and Cooke imparting an urgency here that's only implied in the studio rendition. "Twistin' the Night Away" gets two hot King Curtis sax solos, the highlights of a pounding, rippling performance with a beautifully vamped extended ending (with the drums, bass, and White's guitar wrapping themselves ever tighter around the central riff) that never would have made it to the floor of the Copa. "Somebody Have Mercy" leads into a long vamp by Cooke, a brief, soaring quotation from "You Send Me" that could easily have been a high point in sheer intensity -- and then Cooke and the band crank the tension and the spirits several notches higher with the greatest version of "Bring It On Home to Me" ever done by anybody. It all ends with a version of "Having a Party" that manages to be both soothing and wrenching at the same time, Cooke luxuriating in every nuance as the crowd joins in singing, reaching a higher pitch to the gently swinging tune, the drums kicking in harder, the rhythm guitar rising up, and Curtis' sax and the horns rising up slowly while Cooke goes on with his singing, which is more like preaching and the group sounds like it could play the riff all night. It's one of the cruel ironies of the recording business that this unique and extraordinary concert recording went unreleased for almost 22 years, in favor of the more polished (but also more antiseptic and duller) Sam Cooke at the Copa.

Track List:
1. Feel It
2. Chain Gang
3. Cupid
4. Medley: It's All Right/For Sentimental Reasons
5. Twistin' The Night Away
6. Somebody Have Mercy
7. Bring It On Home To Me
8. Nothing Can Change This Love
9. Having A Party

Download: Sam Cooke - Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 (79.2MB)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Suck - Time To Suck

Official release of this rare South African hard rock album from 1971 that contains wild heavy guitars and screaming vocals
that is on par with any UK underground rock act from that period. Excellent cover versions of 'Into the Fire' Deep Purple,
'War Pigs' Sabbath and an extended 10 minute version of 'Season of the Witch' which is mind frying. Excellent booklet
detailing the history of this wild rock group. This is heavy 70's rock with a real attitude and deserves your attention.
CD reissue taken from the original master tapes. The loudest, most controversial and obnoxious revolutionary
fist-in-your-face rock album of the early 70`s.Suck`s rapacious musical rampage through a conservative South Africa in
1970 is stuff the legends are made of! "Time to Suck" is all howling guitars! Including covers of "Black Sabbath",
"Grand Funk" and "King Crimson"
(Year of Release: 1971)

Track List:
1. Aimless Lady
2. 21st Century Schizoid Man
3. Season of the Witch
4. Sin's a Good Man's Brother
5. I'll Be Creeping
6. Elegy
7. The Whip
8. Into the Fire
9. War Pigs

Download: Suck - Time to Suck (40.6MB)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Please Read

I have experienced a bit of tragedy in my life. It's not something I feel like going into detail about right now, but let's just say that someone very close to me is in a lot of pain and trouble. I apologize to those who entered the banner contest, but I am going to have to decide on a winner when I am in a better state of mind, and I will make that announcement as soon as the time comes. I'm not officially extending the deadline because I don't know the exact date that I will announce the winner, but if any of you would like to submit an entry until that time comes, feel free to do so and I will consider it an official entry.

I would appreciate it if those of you who are reading this would give your opinions on the banners that have already been submitted to the contest. Here is the flickr account which hosts all the entries that have been submitted to the contest so far: http://flickr.com/photos/digitalmeltd0wn You are the visitors to this blog, and I would like to know which banner you would like to see each time you visit this site.

I hope that you will be patient and understanding as I go through this difficult time in my life, and I will be back to normal soon.