Recently in Music
It has been a little while since I've done one of these, as I've been quite busy lately with a pretty big move. What did we miss? Well, for one, the release of some pretty sweet new albums! This edition of This Week In Playlists covers three new albums: Wild Blood by Lovedrug, Blues Funeral by the Mark Lanegan Band, and Women and Work by Lucero. Check it out after the jump.
Continue reading This Week in Playlists: Cake, Stereo MC's and Modest Mouse.
In the later days of VGRC's initial run from 2003 through 2009, one of the things I started covering a lot was music. Now that VGRC is back in business, some of you are probably wondering: Where did all the music coverage go?
It's just been moved! Lately I've taken up the handle of Music Journalist over at my personal blog, DennisWyman.com, and many of my old album reviews (including the old "90's Music Flashback" we used to run) have been moved over there, along with plenty of new content. In fact, just recently, I sent up a new recurring feature over there, "This Week In Playlists," where I talk about recent discoveries and addictions. Included in this week's roundup, is the music video for We Come Together by Goldfish, stylized as an 8-bit video game and full of references to several major Nintendo series.
In addition to our resuming regular gaming coverage, expect me to be stopping by here every so often to plug more of these music articles. See you around, kiddos!
Continue reading This Week in Playlists, and Where is All the Music?.
The legendary Dead Can Dance finally have announced the dates for their previously announced world tour. So far it's Europe only. However, Dead Can Dance have stated that it will be a world tour. So Dead Can Dance fans in the rest of the world, no need to pack your bags and head to Europe just yet! For those in Europe, clear your schedules and hit the jump to check out the tour dates.
Dead Can Dance announced that they are working on a new album in May last year.
Continue reading Legendary Weird Band Dead Can Dance Announce Euro Tour Dates.
Drake is one of the fastest rising hip-hop singers in the music industry, and he has officially teamed up with Microsoft and Epic Games to do some voice work in Gears of War 3. He will be voicing a new playable character named Jace Stratton. Apparently, Jace is a popular character in the comic book series and will be making his debut in the game series finale.
"When Epic came to me with the role, I couldn't pass it up," said Drake. "They've created an amazing character in Jace, and I'm looking forward to my tour in Delta Squad."
Continue reading Drake Joins the Cast of Gears of War 3.
So what is so special about this new site? Simply put, every day we post up a couple videos of various songs from the 90's, both of the studio and live varieties, spanning all sorts of genres from Seattle grunge to alternative rock to west coast ska punk to the stoner metal of the Palm Desert. The 90's was more than the same 3 bands that get endlessly repeated on the radio, so the main goal of the blog is to help "rediscover" the decade, whether it be for the younger crowd looking to expand their musical tastes, or the older crowd looking for a nostalgia trip. Occasionally, we'll also tie in the posts there with the editorial content here at VGRC, making this more of an outgrowth of VGRC than simply another "blog."
On a more technical note, 90srock.net is powered by Tumblr, so if you are a Tumblr user, be sure to reblog our posts and spread the word!
Continue reading Introducing: The 90's Rock Blog.
Timeghoul is the direct English translation of the word Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist means spirit of the age in German. This band was not a spirit of its age, yet it still captures a lot of what made death metal great back then. This band was founded in 1987 under the name Doom's Lyre and changed their name to Timeghoul in 1991. This band released 2 demo's under the Timeghoul name; the first, Tumultuous Travelings in 1992, and the second, Panaramic Twilight in 1994. After releasing these demo's they split up. A sad loss considering how far ahead of its time Timeghoul was.
Read on for a somewhat more in depth look at Timeghoul and a interview with Mike Stevens.
Continue reading 90's Music Spotlight: Timeghoul, The American Zeitgeist.
Of course these are all things that say little about the actual music. Watershed is the 9th album by Opeth, it follows the at times brilliant yet often lacking Ghost Reveries. Ghost Reveries had another big problem, over production. Most of the metal fans kind of lost interest in Opeth if they already were fans because of this and the gradual reduction in overall album quality. In general their most praised period is that of their first 5 albums, and I think that is with good reason. Opeth more recently has become rather stale with less songs that just spring out and make me go, "This is great." There certainly have been improvements; Mikael Ã…kerfeldt's voice has improved in both grunt-wise and clean-vocal-wise. While all in all this means that Watershed is a important album, will they be able to produce a album that features more good songs instead of interesting ideas? Will they try something new other than their standard fare of intersecting death metal parts with clean parts of progressive rock and various other genres? Will they go follow the Bolt Thrower/Running Wild route and just follow on the same path but improving upon it, or will they deteriorate further?
Watershed has been out for close to 2 years, which means I can look at it from a rather post-hype perspective, while giving it enough time to sink in and thus get a better judgment. This is important with any metal album as they do take longer to digest than say a pop album, unless if its St. Anger of course.
Watershed from the first moment its already clear that they fixed one of the main issues of Ghost Reveries, this is not a overproduced album. Yes its still very clean sounding, but without the complete sterility of Ghost Reveries. Every instrument sounds full and powerful. The mixing also is also well done. The bass could use a slight boost, but as it is it works nice. The keyboards are more in the background compared to Ghost Reveries. This is a good thing. Yet this album still sounds somewhat tiring to listen to.
Continue reading Postmortem: "Watershed" by Opeth.
However, to narrow an entire series' worth of musical work down to 10 measly tracks is a grave injustice, which prompted me to come up with my favorite soundtrack albums. Like most musical works, individual tracks can always shine bright, but how does the game's entire soundtrack fare as a whole? True, I have been spoiled by the advent of album-oriented rock and concept albums, where the sum works out to be greater than the worth of the individual pieces.
So in no particular order, I present VGRC's Top 3 Zelda Soundtracks, after the jump.
Much like any child of the 90's, I grew up with a Windows 95-based PC. In my case, it was a junky old Packard Bell donated to my family by our uncle, which included a ton of old DOS and Windows games that have been long since forgotten by the general gaming press. Sure, everybody remembers SimCity, Wolfenstein and Doom, but who here can honestly remember Afterlife? (Discluding readers that know of it through my rants in the chat and message boards.)
Afterlife was a quirky SimCity-esque game that had a novel idea: Instead of managing a city, Afterlife had you manage a heaven and hell instead. In practice, this idea worked quite well, and dispite a handful of minor gameplay flaws, remains one of my favorite games from the heyday of LucasArts in the 90's.
However, a game review is beyond the scope of this article, as I specifically wanted to focus on the soundtrack. A mix of strings, synthezised choruses, and overwhelming far- and middle-eastern influences, Afterlife's backing music is best described as peacefully haunting, with an almost spiritual vibe, which given the subject matter of the game was just all too fitting.
Anyways, enough of the banter. Check out some sample tracks after the jump.
Continue reading VGM Flashback - Afterlife.