May 19, 2012

Playlist Week of 5-19-12

Opeth - Mikael Akerfeldt 2012-05-12a

* Eric Dolphy Quintet: Outward Bound (Prestige/OJC CD)
* Eric Dolphy: Out There (Prestige/OJC CD)
* Joe Henderson: Our Thing (Blue Note CD)
* Tony Williams: Life Time (Blue Note CD)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Dialogue (Blue Note CD)
* Grant Green: Street Of Dreams (Blue Note CD)
* George Benson: Weekend In L.A. (Warner Bros. 2LP)
* Bob Dylan & The Band: The Basement Tapes (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity 2LP)
* Grateful Dead: Terrapin Station (Arista/Analogue Productions LP)
* Grateful Dead: Reckoning (Arista/Analogue Productions 2LP)
* Fleetwood Mac: Penguin (Reprise LP)
* Stevie Nicks: Bella Donna (Modern/Atco LP)
* Deep Purple: Shades Of Deep Purple (EMI/Odeon LP)
* Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Trilogy (Cotillion/Atlantic LP)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery (Manticore/Atlantic LP)
* Camel: A Live Record (Decca 2LP)
* Camel: Nude (Gama/Decca LP)
* Camel: The Single Factor (Gama/Passport LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Ricochet (Virgin LP)
* Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Into The Great Wide Open (MCA LP)
* Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever (MCA LP)
* Elvis Costello: Get Happy!!! (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity 2-45RPM LP)
* Elvis Costello: Almost Blue (Columbia/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets (SST EP)
* Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets II (SST LP)
* Meat Puppets: Up On The Sun (SST LP)
* My Bloody Valentine: EP’s 1988-1991 (Sony 2CD)
* My Bloody Valentine: Isn’t Anything (Sony CD)
* My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Sony 2CD)
* Guided By Voices: Alien Lanes (Matador LP)
* Kyuss: Blues For The Red Sun (Dali/Elektra/Warner Bros. CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Stupid Dream (KScope CD/DVD)†/‡
* Porcupine Tree: Lightbulb Sun (KScope CD/DVD)†/‡
* Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Lava/Atlantic CD)
* Storm Corrosion: Storm Corrosion (Roadrunner 2LP/CD/BD)
* Opeth: Still Life (Peaceville/Icarus CD)†
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†(‡)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Legacy Edition) (Sony CD/DVD)
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner HDCD)†
* Opeth: Watershed (Roadrunner CD)†
* Opeth: Heritage (Deluxe Edition) (Roadrunner CD+DVD)(†/‡)
* Katatonia: Last Fair Deal Gone Down (10th Anniversary Edition) (Peaceville CD/CDEP)†
* Katatonia: Viva Emptiness (Peaceville CD)†
* Katatonia: The Great Cold Distance (Peaceville 2LP/CD)(†)
* Katatonia: Night Is The New Day (Peaceville CD)†
* YOB: The Illusion Of Motion (Metal BladeCD)(†/‡)
* Mastodon: Crack The Skye (Reprise 2-45RPM LP)
* Mastodon: Live At The Aragon (Reprise 2LP/DVD)
* Baroness: Red Album (Relapse CD)†/‡
* Baroness: Blue Record (Relapse CD)†/‡



What a week! Part two of the “Mountains & Metal Tour 2012” was a total blast. On Friday, May 11, we drove down to Chattanooga (which meant crossing Lookout Mountain) and spent the afternoon at the Tennessee Aquarium, a beautiful state of the art facility which opened in 1992 along the Tennessee River. There are actually two aquariums, an "Ocean Journey" and "River Journey," offering equally in-depth explorations of both salt water and fresh water environments. In addition to fish, there is a lively butterfly pavilion and plenty of reptiles, penguins and other birds around to re-create diverse natural environments. There are no “killer whale” shows or jumping dolphins at the Tennessee Aquarium, just a series of meticulously maintained ecosystems to observe and contemplate. Truly, it is really one of the nicest aquariums I’ve ever seen. The most impressive exhibit, for me, was the several rooms of various jellyfish, quite possibly the trippiest of nature’s creatures:

Jellyfish 01

On Saturday we headed down to Atlanta for the final show of the "Heritage-Hunter Tour," featuring Opeth, Mastodon and Ghost. Unlike the historic Tennessee Theatre (where we saw them on April 16), the Masquerade Music Park is outdoors, general admission and located in a funky post-industrial area on the North side of downtown Atlanta. Being a Saturday, the crowd was a bit younger and a lot rowdier than in Knoxville—but that actually made it even more fun for an old fart like me. The music started about 7:00, so there was still plenty of bright sunlight around for Ghost’s set—and I was wondering if Papa Emeritus would melt or burst into flames or something. Now, that would have been cool! I guess they’re not so scary after all! Frankly, I find their music to be pedestrian at best and their whole schtick utterly ridiculous. Sure, it was mildly amusing, but I was glad when their blessedly short, thirty-five minute set came to an end.

Ghost 2012-05-12a

Opeth had canceled their appearance in Minneapolis on May 7 and rumors abounded of Mikael Åkerfeldt being in a car wreck and breaking his arm. Oh no!  As it turns out, he only bumped his head on Mastodon’s tour bus just before the show, but it was severe enough to require eight (!) staples at the emergency room. Now, that's what I call head-banging! Amazingly enough, he returned to finish the last couple of shows of the tour—what a trooper! He looked tired and seemed a little subdued (not a lot of witty banter on this night), but his singing and playing were spot on. In fact, the whole band sounded superb and I noticed some subtle changes to the arrangements had creeped into a couple of songs over the past month. Predictably, a mosh-pit broke out during “Demon of the Fall”—a first for Lizzy!—but, despite the surface display of aggression, it was all just harmless kid stuff. I’m too old for that kind of thing, but it looked like good clean fun. Regardless, the moshing and crowd-surfing certainly seemed to energize the band and they turned it up a notch in return, clearly enjoying themselves and the resulting spectacle. It was totally intense, totally heavy metal! I just adore this band!

Opeth 2012-05-12a

The hometown heroes, the mighty Mastodon, closed the evening and their relentlessly pummeling sound benefitted enormously from the outdoor acoustic. Unlike the distorted, smeared mess at the Tennessee Theatre, their sound was crisp and clear—I didn’t even need my earplugs! They tore through their set with extra enthusiasm and the crowd was obviously way into it, despite the soft rain that had begun to fall. Although singing may not be their strong suit, Mastodon’s instrumental virtuosity is undeniable and their performance that night was a stunningly impressive display. Being the last show of the tour, they brought out Opeth, Ghost, roadies, friends and families on stage for a rare encore: a big sing-along on “The Creature Lives.” It was really quite touching! You know, despite the trappings of evil and Satanism and all that stuff, the metal scene strikes me as remarkably wholesome:

Mastodon - Opeth - Ghost 2012-05-12 encore

Hopefully, Åkerfeldt is getting some much-needed rest and letting his head wound heal. Both Opeth and Mastodon will be playing the various European festivals throughout the summer—but according to this interview  with Frederik Akesson, Opeth will be returning to the U.S. in September with their buddies Katatonia for another headlining tour. If true, we are so there!


Not surprisingly, I was too wiped out to make it to the Noa Noa thing  on Tuesday. I’m lame, I know. Maybe next time...


Sam said...

Congratulations for getting out there and rockin', ol'-timer!

Here are my lists for last week:

Playlist 2012-05-21:

*Marshall Allen & the Vertical Dogs: 2010-02-27 The Fridge, DC (wav) disc 2
*Anthony Braxton: Solo (Kent) 1979 (BL020)
*Anthony Braxton: Creative Orchestra (Portland) 1989 Part 1 (BL024)
*Colla Parte: Fields/Figures
*John Coltrane: Live in Seattle “Out of This World”
*John Coltrane Quintet: 1966-07-17 Kobe, Japan (CDR) disc 1
*Miles Davis Septet: 1970-08-02 CBS Records Convention, Nassau (Bahamas) (CDR)
*Duke Ellington: The Centennial Edition: The Complete RCA-Victor Recordings (discs 3, 4)
*Charles Mingus: Mingus Moves
*Henry Threadgill & Zooid: 2010-02-11 Jazz Gallery, NYC (CDR)
*Beach Boys: Today
*Beach Boys: Good Vibrations box set (discs 1, 4)
*Beach Boys: Get the Boot Vol. 1 (boot CDR)
*Beatles: Beatles For Sale
*Earth Wind & Fire: I Am
*High Llamas: Retrospective, Rarities and Instrumentals, disc 1
*Olivia Tremor Control: Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One
*Prince: Work It 2.0 (boot CDR) Vol. 7 (discs 28, 29)
*White Stripes: The White Stripes
*White Stripes: De Stilj
*White Stripes: White Blood Cells
*Robert Wyatt: A Short Break
*Robert Wyatt: Comicopera

Reading List 2012-05-21:

*Hall, James W. Dead Last (started/finished)
*Lee, Stan, and Jack Kirby. Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1 (started)
*Dirda, Michael. Bound to Please (selections/in progress)
*Pushkin, Alexander. Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse, transl. James E. Falen (in progress)
*Pushkin, Alexander. Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse, transl. Vladimir Nabokov (in progress)
*Rosenbaum, Ron. Explaining Hitler (in progress)

george said...

Lucky you to see this concert twice!
I caught them at Universal Studios in LA on 4/26 and the sound was great, even for Mastodon. I could make out the lyrics quite well and didn't need my earplugs. I hadn't been there since around 20 years ago to see Siouxie and the Banshees, and I recalled the stellar sound and atmosphere. Ghost is silly, for sure. It would be cool if Mastodon talked to the audience a bit.
My playlist this week includes the new Jack White, Mars Volta and Spiritualized Cds, as well as Amon Duul II's Carnival in Babylon, Black Flag's The Process of Weeding Out and Miles' Panthalassa. The Mars Volta sounds good to me on the car player, but I don't think my ears are as tuned as yours! Great CD, though, more "accessible" than most all of their stuff.