Archive for February 7th, 2009

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maudlin of the Well – Bath

Saturday, February 7, 2009
Bath (2001)

Bath (2001)

I reviewed Bath on my blogspot, and I’ve also reviewed it for Blogcritics. I just can’t shut up about this album.

maudlin of the Well is one of the greatest bands I’ve heard, yet sadly few people seem to know them. I should say maudlin seem to be gaining popularity – when I first joined last.fm about a year ago, they had less than 100,000 plays. Now, they’re up to about 4oo,ooo.

Bath itself is indescribable. Post-Rock, jazz, progressive, and indie are the main genres maudlin touch on, though their emphasis is metal.

With so much variety it would seem easy to assume maudlin have no focus.This is far from the case. All these elements are seamlessly blended to create something otherworldly. Toby Driver, singer and composer of maudlin’s music, used astral projection to write the music.

Now I’m not a metal guy. Rarely does metal appeal to me. But maudlin of the Well is different.They make great music, not really so much seeing how many notes they can fit in a beat, which is what a lot of metal seems to do. 

My favorite songs here are “The Blue Ghost/Shedding Qliphoth,” “Heaven and Weak,” (definitely “Heaven and Weak!”), and “Girl With a Watering Can. ” However the album is best listened to as a whole.

You’re better off downloading this album than buying it. It’s now out of print, so the band won’t be losing any money off you. Besides, copies go for upwards $50 on Amazon.

And good news! Due to a very generous fan who gave the band $10,000, maudlin have come back together for a new album, to be released in 2009. I will be walking on air, come that day.

So, listen to the song posted below, visit maudlin’s MySpace. Do all the usual “I really want to check these guys out!” sort of legwork. They deserve it.

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John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

Saturday, February 7, 2009
A Love Supreme (1965)

A Love Supreme (1965)

Interestingly, if you don’t know a thing about jazz and you ask a jazz afficionado where to start, chances are they’ll either point you to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue or John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. If you fall in love with either, you’re bound to exlore further the discography of either artist- if you like those albums, then it’s onto branching out into different jazz artists. Then, you’ll come to discover jazz is a lot bigger genre than you first thought it was.

At least, that’s what happened to me. I started of with Kind of Blue, and soon after, A Love Supreme. I then asked my roommate for him to give me some fusion, which introduced me John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Which is when I decided that exploring jazz throughly would be a project for a future date.

In the meantime, I’ll be content with my Coltrane and Miles Davis. A Love Supreme is my favorite jazz album I own (I really don’t own too many – maybe ten).  Like most complex music, it does take a while to get into a wrap your head around unless you happen to be born with that kind of temperement (which I wasn’t).

But when I do sit down to listen to A Love Supreme, it really is heavy stuff. It’s satisfies me in a way that less complicated music, say, the Killers, can’t really do.  A Love Supreme isn’t just good – it’s an absoulte masterpiece. Listening is a spiritual experience – it will bear you away to the highest of heights and the deepest of depths.

Some music you just want to veg out and enjoy. Some, you want to engage and think, and be carried away to entirely different level. Expand your horizons, so to speak. Better yet, rise above your horizons. A Love Supreme is that kind of album.

I could attempt to go in depth explaining each song, but I don’t want to kill what the music could be for you by contaminating it with what I think. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty complicated. I’m horrid at music theory, though I’ve tried, so any attempt to explain it would never do this album justice. All I know is that listening to it makes me feel amazing, body and mind.