Monthly Music – May

This month we have Moby and a bit of Woody Guthrie, sorta. (Yeah yeah, it is June, it is close enough)

Moby – Destroyed (electronic)

I have had a thing for Moby since I first heard “Everything is Wrong” all of those years ago. (Almost too many to say aloud) Since then it has been a steady stream of great albums ranging from the quiet ambient (Wait for Me) to the get up and dance (Last Night).

Destroyed is more in the middle. There are a collection of ambient pieces towards the end, along with some more energetic stuff from the beginning. In a way it is close to the album structure of “Everything is Wrong”.

While I horribly biased, I love it. I’d been a huge “Hotel” kick as of late, and the two together are great.

Billy Bragg and Wilco, Mermaid Ave (folk/rock)

This is an older album (1997) but it is brand new to me, so I think it counts. The album is a collection of songs that were lyrically written by Woody Guthrie. He never got around to writing the music parts, and that is where Billy Bragg and WIlco come in.

The album is folksy for sure, but it is supposed to be. More than a few of the lyrics are political, and topics include the Great Depression to, well, Walt Whitman’s niece.

In the end, I bought it for “California Stars” which is a fantastic song. But I stayed for “Walt Whitman’s Niece” and all the rest.

Monthly Music – April

For April I have a theme: metal bands with female singers. Sure there have always been some rockin’ girls out there, but it wasn’t until Evanescence that I got the taste, really, for chick goth metal.

In This Moment

In this Moment is like the prequel to this adventure. I heard “Daddy’s Fallen Angel” in a rental car far from home and went on a quest to find the album. I had mistakenly thought it was a metal band with a girl back up singer (hey it was a convertible, the top was down…). Instead i get a metal band with a lead female vocalist who can sing, growl, scream and rock. I was pleased. While more traditional metal than the rest of this list, I still recommend.

For the beginner: Because of the vast difference between the first two albums, hard to say. Recommend “The Dream” for everyone, and “Beautiful Tragedy” for those who like their metal chicks a bit more, well, metal.

Within Temptation

This was the start of it all. I started a search on Amazon for “the guy who left Evanescence and I think started his own band, maybe” and somehow ended up here. Within Temptation are a Dutch band (they sing in English) who started in 1996. Easiest way to describe them is like Evanescence, but better. And they’ve been doing it longer too. I put “Within Temptation” into my Slacker Radio ( and that started the rest.

Within Temptation’s new album is called “The Unforgiving” and is a concept album with a comic book and short films (music videos) associated with it. The first single is “Faster” and has been blasted out of my open car windows more than once already.

For the beginner: While the new album rocks, I still think that “The Heart of Everything” is where to start.


Nightwish is over the top symphonic metal and I love every minute of it. Finnish, they also formed in 1996. There There have been two female lead singers of Nightwish, but I am a fan of both. Naturally there are others who are more polarized on the issue.

Nightwish does not yet have a new album out, but I had to include them anyway. They have announced a new album this fall, I’ll update then.

For the beginner: This one is harder because of the lead singer change. Recommend “Dark Passion Play” and “Once”


UnSun is a Polish band. They are newer, having started in 2006, but still good. While a bit ligher than Within Temptation and don’t have an orchestra and band of singing monks like Nightwish, they are still

For the beginner: “Clinc for Dolls” is where to start.

The Birthday Massacre

The Birthday Massacre isn’t metal, per se. I’d really classify them as “dark wave” or something (wiki says ‘synthrock’) but they showed up on the Slacker Radio station and I fell in love. More traditional sync goth music rather than goth metal, they still

Bithday Massacre’s newest album is “Pins and Needles”

For the beginner: All of them? Get “Walking with Strangers” or “Pins and Needles” and then if you like, just get the others.

Monthly Music – March

This month we have NIN and Deadmau5 – UPDATE and A Fine Frenzy

Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine Remastered (industrial)

No this was not the first time I had heard Pretty Hate Machine. I’d been introduced to Nine Inch Nails in middle school and have long singe worn out my cassette copy of PHM. Broken was one of my very first day one purchases (again on cassette) and my fandom of NIN has never really diminished in all of these years.

So when I heard Reznor was remastering Pretty Hate Machine i was interested. Let’s be clear, this is a remaster, not a re-release or anniversary edition. And it sounds like it. From the first moments of Head Like a Hole to the last of Ringfinger the sound quality has just been improved all over. It is as if I had never stopped listening to that cassette tape and only now was hearing the CD edition of Pretty Hate Machine.

(it also has “Get Down Make Love” which I was never a fan of… but it is there.)

If it has been a while, or you never got around to getting PHM on CD, now is the time.

Deadmau5 – 4 X 4 = 12 (techno, electro, trance, whatever you want to call it)

I find a lot of music these days due to Slacker radio. If you haven’t started using it (or Pandora) I suggest you start. Listening to the Trance station on Slacker can be dangerous to my wallet.

I’d not heard of Deadmau5 until last year listening to Slacker. Most of the songs that came up on the station I marked as favorites. Still I floundered on buying an album.

Then I saw 4 X 4 = 12 at the store and went for it. A few seconds into the first song and I was happy with my decision.

I’ll not get into an extended philosophical topic on genre definitions, but as a whole 4 X 4 is heavier than normal trance. Still it is engaging, danceable and, as to be expected, best heard with the volume turned up. Solid through and through, this album will be hanging around my playlists for a while.

side note; if were a dance/trance dj of sorts i’d make it so the last song mixed into the first, so that if your cd player (like mine) just starts over, you get into a loop. I’d call it Möbius. i expect this idea to be stolen ASAP so i can go buy this album. (so get to work!)

UPDATE: A Fine Frenzy – One Cell in the Sea (Pop, uh, i think)

I did not buy this in March, but was listening to it this morning and wanted to put it in here anyway. This album popped up on my “Amazon thinks you’d like this…” list and I’ll admit I clicked on the album and started listening because there was a cute redhead on the cover. What can I say? I like cute redheads.

Well, I am glad I did. I’ve had the album since January and I love it. Lighter piano and guitar pop– that cute redhead has a fantastic voice. All the songs are good, and (much to the dismay of my office mates) I’ll find myself singing along. While “Come on, Come Out” and “Almost Lover” are my favorites, I don’t fast forward through any songs. Often I’ll just hit “Play” again after it is done.

This one I recommend for the Tori, Sarah, Fiona, Dido fans. Check it out, even if redheads aren’t really your thing.