Author Archives: keepsmealive

Headstones – In-Store Sampler (Tracks From Teeth & Tissue)

The collector in me immediately grabs up artifacts like this because they’re just cool. Here we have five tracks from Teeth & Tissue, and four tracks from Picture Of Health. Right freakin’ on.


Sounds Of The Times Uncut (2018-08)

My sister gave me this issue of Uncut magazine at my birthday. The main article is on Prince. On the tipped in CD I only knew Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Ray Davies (Kinks). The rest were new to me. Reminds me of when I used to buy CMJ New Music every month, just for the CD, because it opened me up to all kinds of new music. Love it!

Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death (2cd)

Released only 16 days after he died (RIP), this classic has collaborations with 112, Jay-Z, Lil’ Kim, Mase, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Too $hort, Angela Winbush, D.M.C. of Run-D.M.C., R. Kelly, The LOX and Puff Daddy. Brilliant.

Danko Jones – Love Is Bold

4 of these 6 tracks got significant airplay on modern rock radio, and it was the band’s breakthrough in Canada. I can hear why. Holy hell, this EP rocks.

Meth, Ghost And Rae – Wu-Massacre

Three variant covers, mine is #3… Not every track is great, but there’s just something about listening to this stuff that just fills me with happy. They just get it, you know? We’re lucky to have them.

Infectious Grooves – Sarsippius’ Ark

Speed funk at its best, cut with Mike Muir’s skits as Sarsippius. The bottom end from Robert Trujillo will crush you, with Josh Freese in the pocket on drums. Cover tunes here are Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, and David Bowie’s Fame. There’s also a live track and a demo track too.

Secret Chord

Dexter Gordon – The Other Side Of Round Midnight

Recorded during filming of Bertrand Tavernier’s Round Midnight film. Players include Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Higgins, Tony Williams, Bobby McFerrin, John McLaughlin and Bobby Hutcherson. Whoa.

Matthew Cutter – Closer You Are: The Story Of Robert Pollard And Guided By Voices

I love me some GBV et al., and Cutter’s book tells the story (thus far) engagingly. Lots left out, of course: no discography, just go to!, and side projects needed more coverage… could have been two volumes, probably, but this gets to most of the main bits. The book we wanted, the book we needed. Just need Vol.2 for all the rest. Thank you for your fine work, Mr. Cutter, and thank you Mr. Pollard et al. for everything!

Mississippi John Hurt – Today!

Right in my wheelhouse, old country blues, folk and spirituals. Stellar guitar work. The most gorgeous record I’ve heard in a while.


Richard & Linda Thompson – First Light

Living in a sufi commune three years prior, and with a band that had been recording with George Harrison, naturally the songs here are spiritual, some of them straight-up translations of sufi and koranic texts. A fascinating listen, with brilliant musicianship.

Remembrance Day

In honour of all those who stood for us. Thank you.


Well, it really would be like shifting without using the clutch…

Tony Bennett – Playing With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues

Bennett does blues, solo and with guests Diana Krall, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, k.d. lang, Kay Starr, Billy Joel, and Natalie Cole. Seriously, awesome.


Concerned about current events? Remember:

Styx – Gold (2cd)

35 tracks v. Greatest Hits’ 16, this set has a lot more. Missing Don’t Let It End, though. Weird.

Eagles Lines

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but it does to me, on occasion: 

Some songs have lyrics that hit you just right at just the right time in your life, or in a song by itself, and forever afterwards, whenever you hear them, you know that music is, for these small moments, still in good hands.

Here are three (of so many) Eagles/related moments:

Eagles – Take It Easy “We may lose and we may win, but we will never be here again, so open up by climbing in, and take it easy”

That line just hums with real.

Eagles – Hotel California “we haven’t had that spirit here since 1969”

Inspired writing and nailed perfectly in the tune.

Don Henley – Boys Of Summer “Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac / A little voice inside my head said / Don’t look back, you can never look back”

Goddamn right.

You can probably quote a ton more. Drop a comment!

Queen – The Miracle

Five singles on their 13th album. Penultimate record before Freddie passed (RIP). Queen rules.

Lady In Red

Here’s another song I gotta rant about:

They play this one at work all the time, and it occurs to me that Chris DeBurgh’s popular song, Lady In Red, is actually a pretty damn insulting tune. I think people take it as a love song, but check out the ineptitude of this dude:

I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I’ve never seen you shine so bright

So every day up until now she’s just been OK? Unremarkable?

I’ve never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They’re looking for a little romance, given half a chance

The jealous lover. Real confident in your relationship there, pal.

And I have never seen that dress you’re wearing
Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes
I have been blind

I can forgive the dress, I mean, maybe she wanted to surprise you. But she changed her hair and you didn’t notice til now? Dude.

The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek
There’s nobody here, it’s just you and me
It’s where I want to be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I’ll never forget the way you look tonight

It’s nice only she exists for you in this moment, but you hardly know her? How long have you been together? If it’s any longer than fifteen minutes ago, brother, she’ll question why she’s by your side.

I’ve never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I’ve never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing

Again? Dude, we got it the first time. Lazy writing.

I’ve never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled, it took my breath away

You admitted earlier that all those people by her side were other dudes looking for a little romance. Cherish that smile, brother.

And I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight

It was tonight that did it, then? No other night in your time together? What about yesterday? Nothing?


This ain’t a love song, though it’s selling itself as one. This guy has, apparently, been oblivious, and this lady in red is the most patient woman in the world to put up with his ineptitude. At least, on this one night, he figured it out.


Queen – A Day At The Races

Five singles and sheer brilliance throughout. Damn, this band was untouchable.

Bryan Adams Recycles?

Is it just my ears, or does that riff bit in Bryan Adams’ song Brand New Day (2015) sound a wee bit too close to his hit song Summer Of 69 (1984)? Was Bryan recycling a bit? You decide!

Queen – A Night At The Opera

Considered by some to be Queen’s best album. I thought it was brilliant.


Party On, Garth

Every now and then, I’ll hear a song and it’ll tick me off. Then I come here to rant about it! Lucky you!

This time, it’s Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places. Now, country music is full of songs like this, so this one’s not special, but it’s what I heard this time. Anyway, we all know this song, we’ve all probably sung along to it and had a good time. But the lyrics just hit me wrong, and then I got thinking about it…


Blame it all on my roots – Why? Have you not grown as a person at all?
I showed up in boots – Depending where you live, those might be considered dress attire.
And ruined your black tie affair – Only one of your mistakes this evening.
The last one to know – I doubt it.
The last one to show – So?
I was the last one
You thought you’d see there – Hoped, more like.

And I saw the surprise – Naturally
And the fear in his eyes – Fear? Really? Isn’t he marrying your ex? Why does he fear you?
When I took his glass of champagne – Champagne not beer, as you’d prefer.
And I toasted you – This is not going good places…
Said, honey, we may be through – For probably a boatload of reasons, all of which you’re convenitently forgetting because you’re probably the cause of a lot of it.
But you’ll never hear me complain – And yet you’re here, complaining.

‘Cause I’ve got friends in low places
Where the whiskey drowns
And the beer chases my blues away
And I’ll be okay
I’m not big on social graces
Think I’ll slip on down to the oasis
Oh, I’ve got friends in low places

Yes. Let’s all venerate drinking and drinking buddies as some form of revenge and ‘better life’ instead of healthy emotional relationships.

Well, I guess I was wrong – You knew you were.
I just don’t belong – You expected they’d welcome you?
But then, I’ve been there before – How many times, exactly?
Everything’s all right – No it isn’t.
I’ll just say goodnight – No you won’t.
And I’ll show myself to the door – No you won’t.

Hey, I didn’t mean- Yes you did.
To cause a big scene – Yeah, it’s all about you.
Just give me an hour and then – An hour? To get to the door?
Well, I’ll be as high – You seem pretty high already.
As that ivory tower  Oh that’s not condescending at all.
That you’re livin’ in – She didn’t choose the gutter. Aw.

Then the chorus repeats. Three times. And the song fades out on it, suggesting this will be an endless immature experience for him. ‘Cos nothing is catchier and drunkenly inclusive than easy rhymes and mentioning alcohol lots of times.

This song made me tired.

Marty Robbins – Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs

Classic country pop crossover album that hits just right every time. This gem is beloved for a reason. My copy even has three bonus tracks.

Car Tunes

I’ve made it a bit of a project to educate our children in music. I play jazz, classical, country, just about anything around them. We play music in the car, and I have an iPod in a player in the kitchen, just running through a big playlist while we go about our lives in the evenings.

I do this because (selfishly) I am always listening to music anyway, so it’s natural to me. But for them, I do it out of love – love for them, certainly, because I want to try to help them to be well-rounded and intelligent people. But also for love of all music. If I generally played one genre non-stop, like… the only thing on was country radio, all day… it could take them years to get around to other things, and where’s the fun in that?

Still, both of our children tend to prefer rock music. Our son (9) prefers metal, especially Iron Maiden. Our daughter (7) likes metal, but also digs on CCR and more classic rock. So, because I was the first one I knew in the 90s to have a CDr drive (2x, baby, yeah!), I still live that instinct to make mixes. And I made the kids a classic rock car mix on a 700mb CDr.

I tried to go for the classics, anything with big riffs and that attitude, you know. My only rule was to try to only have one song per artist (I think I came close to succeeding). And I ended up with one helluva track list which, I’ll admit, looks like every animal-themed classic rock radio station’s playlist for the week. But from our kids’ perspective, it’s a goldmine of new songs.

Right now we’re at the Guess Who’s American Woman in an alphabetical run-through. Some hilarious moments have already happened, like their belly laughs at Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. They loved the line about the teachers’ dirty looks. And during Dio’s Rainbow In The Dark, our boy turns to me in the front seat and says, “Dad, you can’t have a rainbow in the dark. You need light, and it has to have just rained so that the water can refract the light.” I couldn’t argue, but I did tell him that was just Ronnie James Dio doing what he did best. Inwardly, I was chuffed our boy was listening so closely and thinking so critically.

Check it:

Accept – Balls to the Wall
ACDC – Back In Black
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
Animals – The House Of The Rising Sun
April Wine – I Like To Rock
Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care Of Business
Bad Company – Feel Like Making Love
Beatles – Day Tripper
Billy Idol – White Wedding, Pt. 1
Billy Joel –  It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Blondie – Call Me
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper
Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
Boston – More Than a Feeling
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth
Cars – You Might Think
Chicago – 25 Or 6 To 4
Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
Deep Purple – Highway Star
Def Leppard – Photograph
DIO – Rainbow In The Dark
Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing
Don Henley – All She Wants To Do Is Dance
Doobie Brothers – China Grove
Doors – L.A. Woman
Eagles – Life In The Fast Lane
Eric Clapton, Derek, The Dominos – Layla
Europe – The final countdown
Five Man Electric Band – Signs
Foghat – Slow Ride
Free – All Right Now
George Thorogood – Bad To The Bone
Golden Earring – Radar Love
Grand Funk Railroad – We’re An American Band
Guess Who – American Woman
Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Heart – Barracuda
Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills
Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart
Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love
Jethro Tull – Locomotive Breath
Jimi Hendrix – Foxey Lady
Joan Jett – I Love Rock n’ Roll
Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
Judas Priest – Living After Midnight
Kansas – Carry on Wayward Son
Kick Axe – Heavy Metal Shuffle
Kinks – You Really Got Me
Kiss – Rock And Roll All Nite
Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Molly Hatchet – Flirtin’ With Disaster
Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart
Motörhead – Ace of Spades
Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes
Mountain – Mississippi Queen
Nazareth – This Flight Tonight
Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Police – Roxanne
Queen (f. David Bowie) – Under Pressure
Quiet Riot – Bang Your Head (Metal Health)
Rainbow – Since You’ve Been Gone
Ram Jam – Black Betty
Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
Robert Palmer – Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Rush – Closer To The Heart
Santana – Black Magic Woman
Scorpions – Rock You Like A Hurricane
Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
Slade – Cum On Feel The Noize
Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’
Status Quo – Rockin’ All Over The World
Stealers Wheel – Stuck In The Middle With You
Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Pride And Joy
Styx – Renegade
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
Sweet – Ballroom Blitz
T.Rex – 20th Century Boy
Them – Baby, Please Don’t Go
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back in Town
Three Dog Night – Joy To The World
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
UFO – Doctor Doctor
Uriah Heep – Easy Livin’
Van Halen – Panama
Warren Zevon – Werewolves Of London
Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
Who – My Generation
Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart
ZZ Top – Tush

The only one in the list you might wonder about is the Queen selection. Honestly, the Hits Of Queen disc plays in our car quite regularly anyway*, and our kids know all those songs inside and out, so it didn’t really mater what track from them I included and Under Pressure seemed like a nice change from We Will Rock You, or We Are The Champions, etc.

You can probably think of others I missed, or songs you’d have chosen differently for a given band, and that’s awesome. Drop comments!

Fun times!


*And here it behooves me to reference Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens r.e. mixed tapes in the car. You’ve read it, so you’ll know what I mean.

Disassociate – Imperfect World

This is punk as much as it’s unrestrained grindcore hardcore metal… stop/starts, blast beats, guttural demon from hell vocals where I can’t understand a damn word… awesome.


Alexisonfire – Crisis

Their first album with new drummer Jordan Hastings, this thing is a beast, crushing and unapologetic, creative and heavy.


Poison – Poison’s Greatest Hits 1986-1989

Total nostalgia and fun from Poison in their heyday. Cool. It even has two previously unreleased tracks.

The Greta Van Fleet CD Giveaway!!! — 2loud2oldmusic

Welcome to the First Ever Giveaway on Let’s kick off November with a Bang!! And it is an easy one…very simple. Here are the Rules: Like AND Share the post Follow the site (an extra entry) If you do the same on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you will get extra entries as well for […]

via The Greta Van Fleet CD Giveaway!!! — 2loud2oldmusic

Overlooked Grail List Score!

During our last (most recent) Taranna trip, I scored this brilliant 2cd tribute to Neil Young. It’s chock full of cool stuff, just like the first volume one was (I have that too). Lovely!

When I went to the Grail List to update it for the Last Pogo DVD that I also found (wahoo!), I realized that this Borrowed Tunes II set was also on the list!

Double Taranna Grail List Score!!


NB: The list is now updated with these two items removed. Awesomeness.

Poison – Flesh And Blood

Hey dear KMA Readers, 

Time isn’t on my side. I’ve tried for a couple of months, now, to have any sort of regularity in my Reading in the Community and have failed miserably. Even writing time is less and less, first time in 12 years on this blog it’s been this crazy, and there’s no end in sight. I have managed to get a daily post up here and I’ve tried for brevity, but even then…

So, since we’re starting a new month today, I’m (once again) trying something new to try to adjust and at least get something on here daily, just to keep my hand in. I’ll post cover art of an album I’ve heard recently, and use the caption to drop a brief barf about it. In this way, you’ll get a sense of what’s in my ears. Also, let’s assume that whatever I hear is a Hit in the Hit It Or Quit It sense, unless I say otherwise. If I hear something crap, you’ll know it…


Probably my fave of theirs, this is the Poison record where I thought they got interesting and made a record that had character and style.

The Cult – Rebirth Of The Phoenix: Wild Fire ’92 Live In The USA

Yet another bootleg I found, this is the best-sounding of the lot. Hooray!

Recorded at Finsbury Park, London UK on 1992-06-06, this 10-track live boot captures the Cult on fire and taking no prisoners.

There’s a cool write-up on the back cover so, since I am too lazy to re-type it all, here is that back cover, complete with write-up and track list of the set:

As you can see, this was a smokin’ set. Hot DAMN! It’s also cool that they left in all the between-song banter, so you get the whole set as it was. Lovely.

Hit It Or Quit It? Unquestionable Hit!

Bryan Adams – Keep On Running (Live In Europe 1992)

* Come back this afternoon for a second post!

Here’s another Italian bootleg I found, which I snapped up because I have fond memories of seeing Adams on his Waking Up The Nation tour in 1993.

The sound quality here isn’t great, pretty static-y and with a low hum underneath some of it. But I never expect bootlegs to be studio quality, and this is honestly listenable.

There aren’t any notations in the liner notes about where the tracks were record. Somewhere in Europe, of course… that could be a lot of places! Ah well.

It’s a classic setlist, very reminiscent of the show we would see a year later, though this one includes a cover of Joe Cocker’s When The Night Comes… Check it out…

Tracks: House Arrest / Kids Wanna Rock / Hey Honey-I’m Packing You In / Can’t Stop This Thing We Started / Cuts Like A Knife / Touch The Hand / (Everything I Do) I Do It For You / Run To You / When The Night Comes / Somebody / She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing

Hit It Or Quit It? For nostalgia’s sake, Hit!

PS: I looked this one up on Discogs, hoping for more info about the tracks, and was disappointed. But I saw this notification, the first time I’ve seen it on Discogs: “This release has been blocked from sale in the marketplace. It is not permitted to sell this item on Discogs.” Cool!


Last Friday was a professional development day (PD Day) for the kids’ teachers , so my lovely wife took the day off to be home with the kids. Sadly, I had to work. When I got done my shift, I came home to a new family member.

Meet Oscar.

So. Much. Cuteness.

We do have one cat already, our dear Sammy, who is (at a guess, as he was a shelter rescue cat so we don’t know for sure) around 16 or 17 years old. Sammy rules. My lovely wife and I had talked that maybe one day we’d bring a kitten in so that Sammy could raise him up properly before he leaves us (which will be years yet, touch wood). Just trying to be realistic, too, for our young kids.

Enter Oscar. He came with the name Pumpkin, but none of us liked that, so we tossed around a few names. Oliver, Ginger, Mittens (all four feet are white-tipped), Caramel. But I was recalling years ago, in Montreal, when my lovely wife and I had another great cat, Satchmo, and while naming him some of our other name-choices were Miles, Oscar… Oscar… Perfect.

Oscar is 10 weeks old, weighs two pounds, and is a rip-snorting good time. Very playful. He’s also (already) a total mush. Loves bellyrubs, so this bodes well for the future.

Welcome to the family, Oscar!

I’d say Sammy is OK with the little guy’s presence…










Already buds.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones – 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection

Mike bought this disc during our Taranna trip a couple of months ago. He was looking for MMB, and there it was. Cool! I found this copy at my work and brought it home.

If you want the real deal on this one, just go read Mike’s post. He’s in-depth and clear about the whole thing (as always), and lays out exactly what’s here. Me, I’ll just say it’s a cool collection from a band I loved a lot a long while ago. I fell for that whole punk-ska sound, with Toasters and Reel Big Fish and Slackers and these guys and many more, and I still like it now. It’s probably the horns. I always cheer for the horns. Score!

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!


Taranna Trip Finds! GRAIL LIST SCORE!!!

Yup. My Dad and I went to Taranna yesterday. Much goodness.  Of course, I hit up BMV and Sonic Boom. Here’s a quick post to share what I got. You will be seeing all of these at some point in future posts!


3-For-$10 Bin:

Pretty sure I owned Hindu Love Gods at some other point but it ain’t here now and I wanted it back! Warren Zevon fronting a bunch of the R.E.M. dudes? Awesome. The Memoirs Of A Geisha soundtrack looks sweet: music composed and conducted by John Williams, cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma, and violin solos by Itzhak Perlman. I loved the film, and this CD looks all kinds of awesome. And a solo Q-Tip album? I’m in!


Jonny Greenwood (radiohead)’s soundtrack for There Will Be Blood intrigued me. Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky was a collection-gap filler. Neil Young’s On The Beach is one I didn’t yet have (exciting!). Wayne Kramer’s The Hard Stuff (complete with ROLLINS liner notes, and it’s on Epitaph Records) totally made my day. And Nine Inch Nails The Slip (Halo 27) is a CD/DVD set. It looks to be numbered, limited to 250,000. Rare? I have no idea. Still, cool!

I also scored a couple of books for winter reading. Our Band Could Be Your Life is one I read years ago, wanna do it again. And Mersereau’s History Of Canadian Rock will be lovely. My copy has a foreward by Neil Peart!




Someone in the Community (sorry I’m tired and I forget who) was recently talking about Biffy Clyro. Found this Puzzles album for $2.99 and decided to give it a go. Cynic’s Kindly Bent To Free Us finishes off my Cynic collection (sweet!). GZA’s Legend Of The Liquid Sword is exciting, I’ve never seen one in the wild before. Happy to have this one on board! And the 2CD Borrowed Tunes II, a collection of Canadian bands covering Neil Young songs, is gonna be sweet. I loved volume one!


Super-stoked to find this DVD copy of the remasterd and re-released Last Pogo DVD. Documentary about Toronto’s punk scene 1976-1978 and the last-ever punk show at the Horseshoe. Dubbed ‘Punk’s Last Waltz.’ So many bands involved, including Teenage Head, Viletones, Diodes, Simply Saucer, Forgotten Rebels, Demics, and tons more.

It also has a 24-page colour booklet and 1.5 hours of special features! Including the film itself, this set is 204 minutes in total. Whoa.

I cannot wait to watch it all!

Story: I asked at BMV if they had this DVD. They did not. But the dude there said to check Soundscapes or She Said Boom! as he knew the director had dropped off copies at those shoppes for consignment. We checked both, and that was about three years ago… no copies left. But then I walked into Sonic Boom, asked the lady there and (Sonic) Boom! There it was! I wasn’t even in the store more than two minutes and I had a Grail Item Find!


And those were my scores. Sweet!

Funny, I spent my time in both stores telling myself this could be my last trip before spring (we don’t tend to try to fight our way to the city when the roads are shite), so I oughta load up for the winter! And, comparatively with my usual piles, I came back with far fewer items than most trips. I tried like crazy to find more things that would suit, and I guess this time it wasn’t as many as usual… So I feel that I shopped for quality, not quantity! I am thrilled with it all.

‘Twas a great trip down to the city, no real traffic, and no snow (which had been forecast). Ultimately a perfect day, as not even the drizzly rain bothered us.

Watch for all of these scores, individually, in future KMA posts!


Bob Marley And The Wailers – Catch A Fire

Pretty sure this was the deluxe 2CD Mike bought off me, if memory serves. Well, this single disc edition served me pretty damn well for this (and many other) run-throughs. In fact, over the years, I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have jammed this record. It’s a lot, anyway.

Their first album for Island Records, this is pure classic work, top to bottom. In fact, as I sit here typing this, I wonder if I even need to tell you about it? Probably not. Y’all know this record. You know its power, its sound, it’s majesty. You know that this is one of those records, in a lifetime.

As you were.

Hit It Or Quit It? Absolute HIT!


Tracks: Concrete Jungle / Slave Driver / 400 Years / Stop That Train / Baby We Got A Date (Rock It Baby) / Stir It Up / Kinky Reggae / No More Trouble / Midnight Ravers

Vitamin Piano – The Piano Tribute To Nine Inch Nails

Just like yesterday’s post about the string quartet tribute to NIN, this disc makes me very happy indeed. Piano run-throughs of Reznor’s songs, here, are beautiful and stark and wonderful.

Coolest was Closer, where even that thump/throb percussion seems to have been made (and looped) by hitting the side of the piano, or The Downward Spiral’s use of the piano’s innards like a harp while knuckles wrap on the instrument’s top…

But all of the tracks here take NIN’s propulsive sound and turns them into believable piano sounds. Brilliant stuff.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Vitamin String Quartet – The String Quartet Tribute To Nine Inch Nails

I love discs like this. Something about taking songs that have no business being classical-sounding tunes and turning them into, well, classical-sounding tunes, pleases me greatly. I pictures myself sitting somewhere at some hoity-toity gallery or function and a string quartet jamming these tracks instead of the typical stuff from 400 years ago. Love it.

If you know/enjoy Nine Inch Nails, the tracks chosen here are fun and interesting. If not, you come away knowing that even if you don’t like Nine Inch Nails, the songwriting and structures definitely lend themselves well to string quartet interpretation.

In fact, with as dark and angsty as NIN can be, these versions turn those same tunes into something equally harrowing, fascinating and awesome.

I’ll listen to this again, easily!

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!


Tracks: Piggy / Heresy / Just Like You Imagined / The Fragile / Into The Void / Closer / Something I Can Never Have / Suck / Eraser

Def Leppard – Armageddon It (Single)… or Pour Some Sugar On Me (Single)

This is an interesting one. It’s clearly a single for the song Armageddon It, as it’s track 1 and the text on the CD for that song is exploded out when the others aren’t. But the cover art says Pour Some Sugar On Me…

T’was Discogs that cleared up the confusion somewhat: this single I have here, with the PSSOM cover, is identical to LEPCD4 single for Armageddon It (The Atomic Mix). In fact, this CD says U.K. LEPCD4 while the maxi-single card sleeve I have here says Bludgeon-Riffola 870 239-2. Maybe I got the wrong CD in this sleeve (or maybe not!), but it matters not because the tracks are the same either way.


Opening up is the album cut of Armageddon It. You know it well, I’m sure.

Ring Of Fire is definitely not a Johnny Cash cover. It’s a full-on DL rocker b-side and a ton of fun. Animal and Pour Some Sugar On Me seem to just be album cuts.

Confusion aside, this is a single that’s really just three album stracks and one b-side (which appeared on Retroactive anyway).

Hit It Or Quit It? May as well Hit it, as I seem to be amassing a small DL collection…


Def Leppard – Hysteria (Single)

First up is the album version of Hysteria. You know this one already.

Next is Ride Into The Sun, which includes a brief note from the band on the sleeve: “This is a song that appeared on our first EP. We re-wrote it and re-recorded it in the summer of 1987… spot the difference.” I have that first EP here on 7″ and both versions are of their times. The original is rougher, faster in the right places, and has more cowbell! The newer cut is cleaned up into the modern DL sound. I preferred the original.

Love And Affection, recorded live in July 1987 in Tilburg, Holland, is being played live here before the album even dropped. It’s something to hear the band go from zero to full DL in about three seconds. The sound quality is good.

And finally it’s I Wanna Be Your Hero, which Wiki tells me was on the Pour Some Sugar On Me single, as well as the Animal US single as well. It’s a straight-up DL rocker, sounds fine to me. I liked the punk guitar line throughout.

Again, in all, a cool single to add to the pile.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Def Leppard – Rocket (Single)

First up is Rocket (The Lunar Mix)[Extended Version], complete with intercom/radio communications, and the inevitable remixery these tracks tend to contain, such as a breakdown section with tribal drums, and cut-and-paste elements into new places. This version adds about two minutes to the original’s length.

Next there are two live tracks: Women is from the In Your Face – In The Round live show and sounds good. Rock Of Ages was recorded live in Tilburg, Holland, and also sounds great though it’s interesting to hear the song played so slowly (in comparison to the album cut) and also contains an interesting Buddy Holly/Who/Golden Earring/Beatles/Led Zeppelin section. Haha fun!

And finally, it’s Rocket (The Lunar Mix) [Single Version], which seems to me to be the same as track one, just shorter. Collectors rejoice!

Overall, a cool single to have!

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Def Leppard – 1992 Los Angeles Bootleg

You know, for a guy like me, who likes Def Leppard well enough but isn’t a super-fan, I sure seem to own a hell of a lot of Def Leppard. When I found this stuff recently and got it all home, I texted Mike because he’s my go-to DL expert, and he thought what I’d found was cool…

First up is this Italian (unofficial) bootleg of their set at the Los Angeles Forum on December 30th, 1992. The inner liner notes are in Italian. I tried Google Translate, but it wasn’t making a whole lot of sense. No matter, you’re not here for that stuff. You wanna know how it sounds and what’s on it.

The sound quality is… well, it’s alright, at first. It’s a bootleg, so it wavers and isn’t anywhere near perfect, but it’s definitely clean enough to listen to it. Happily, it seems to get better as the gig goes on. Through the good headphones, the bottom end improves and it actually doesn’t sound bad at all.

Here’s the set list: Let’s Get Rocked / Tear It Down / Women / Too Late For Love / Hysteria / Make Love Like A Man / White Lightning / Foolin’ / Animal / Guitar Solo / Gods Of War / Rocket

You can tell the singles were bigger, but the crowd really seemed to be having a blast throughout. The track called Guitar Solo is 4:37 of Vivian Campbell wailing away (mighty impressively, I might add), presumably so the band could go backstage and catch their friggin’ breath. Set-ender Rocket, while a mere 6:38 in its album incarnation, stretches to 10:41 here, thanks to a huge middle breakdown section and a Zeppelin song cameo (!). Sweetness!

In all, this disc makes it seem like it was a pretty damn great night to be at the L.A. Forum!

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Faith No More – Sol Invictus

WikInfo: “Sol Invictus (Latin for Unconquered Sun) is the seventh studio album by American rock band Faith No More, released on May 19, 2015. It is Faith No More’s first studio album since 1997’s Album of the Year, marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career, and their first release on Reclamation Records. Sol Invictus is also the band’s first album since 1992’s Angel Dust to feature the same lineup as its predecessor.”

So could FNM pull off good music after an 18 year hiatus? Of course they could! The singles: Superhero fucking kills, and Motherfucker is an odd little thing, but compelling and fun. Sunny Side Up is a bluesy groove that builds to a howl, and Cone Of Shame teases with a weirdo gentle first half, then sandblasts you with the second half! Yeah! The rest of the songs are just as good. It’s muscular, it’s weird, it’s that FNM sound as we know it and love it.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

I bought this on spec because I remember James excitedly buying one of their releases in Taranna at the old Sonic Boom on the north side of Bloor – holy crap, that was a long time ago, now…

Anyway, this 2014 album is the only release of theirs I now own, and it rocks like hell! I hear Black Keys and White Stripes and I Mother Earth… and it sucks that I said that because comparisons are always somewhat unfair, because of course they have their own sound and it grew on me like a fungus and holy crap I love this album. It would sound amazing in a live setting…

In looking it up, I learned that this was a reunion album after several years of breaking up. And they only had one album (2004’s You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine) before they split! There was a fight with a label over their name, which you can read about here, if you wanna. There’s been one other album, 2017’s Outrage! Is Now and, while they are not prolific, they certainly make awesome music. Haha I even made that White Stripes comparison before knowing this was duo. I coulda sworn this was a band of four players…

Nevermind. Put this one in, turn it all the way the hell up, and give ‘er!

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

So, what was NIN up to in 2013? “The album’s title is derived from the term “hesitation wounds”, which is used to describe marks that are produced by testing a bladed weapon before attempting suicide or self-harming.” Well then. Buckle up, buttercup, ‘cos here we go!

The lyrics are still there from what I remember of when I listened more often (the 1990s), full of dark honesty and a clarity of vision, and Reznor’s voice remains recognizeable and unique.

But it’s the music that has grown more streamlined, cleaner somehow. As he says in Came Back Haunted, “I am not who I used to be…” and that’s accurate as hell for this one. It’s not a bad thing, there are plenty of moments here that grab your ears and hold your attention and make you want for more. It’s atmospheric and dreamlike, driving and powerful all at once. I just felt like I hadn’t seen Trent since he was an angry teen, and when I walked in to see him after all these years, he’s grown up into an equally eloquent but more mature and interesting adult.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Exodus 2-Fer – Bonded by Blood, and Let There Be Blood

Alright KMA Readers, you’re in for a 2-Fer treat today! Bring on the Exodus!! \m/ \m/

1) Exodus – Bonded By Blood

Groundbreaking debut thrash metal album from the Bay area’s Exodus. I mean, what do you need me to say here? This thing fucking ROCKS! All the elements are here, and it’s absolutely and brilliantly relentless. Seriously, this is the real deal.

My copy (a 1999 reissue) has two bonus live tracks: And Then There Were None, and A Lesson In Violence, performed live at The Astoria, London, England on March 8, 1989. Sweet addition!

Also fascinating: my copy has some cyrillic on the CD and the back cover. It also bears a disclaimer in small white text on the front cover: “Licensed for sale only in Russian federation, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan. Any sale outside the a.m. territories is unauthorized and without permission of the copyright owner.” Uh oh! Ah well, I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

ESSENTIAL! \m/ 🙂 \m/

Hit It Or Quit It? HIT!

Here is some further info, as if you needed more prodding:

Bonded by Blood was originally titled A Lesson in Violence, but had its name changed when a suitable cover idea could not be found. An advance cassette copy of the album (with the original title) was widely distributed through the tape-trading network upon the record’s completion late in the summer of 1984, creating an immense underground buzz prior to the official release of the LP. The release was delayed, however, due to problems with the artwork.

The song “Impaler” was originally to be featured on Bonded by Blood, but it was abandoned when Kirk Hammett took the main riff with him to Metallica (it was used on “Trapped Under Ice”).

Also interesting:

Bonded by Blood received a positive review from Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic, who states: “Had it been released immediately after it was recorded in 1984, Exodus’ Bonded by Blood might be regarded today alongside Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All as one of the landmark albums responsible for launching the thrash metal wave” and adds that “Exodus were left to wonder what kind of impact they may have had without these setbacks.” Rivadavia also described Bonded by Blood as “an album whose influence far exceeds its actual notoriety, and it remains a crucial piece of the thrash metal puzzle – essential.” Bernard Doe of Metal Forces in 1985 defined it “a classic album in the thrash metal sense which is sure to be sneered at by the unconverted and mainstream media.”

In 2013, Bonded by Blood was ranked number 8 on Whatculture!’s “10 Greatest Thrash Metal Albums of All Time”, and was ranked number 80 on’s ‘Top 100 Heavy Metal Albums’. In August 2014, Revolver placed the album on its “14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own” list. The album was also ranked at number two on Loudwire’s top ten list of “Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4“.


2) Exodus – Let There Be Blood

This is an interesting release. In 2008, Exodus re-recorded their classic 1985 album Bonded By Blood, but with their line-up at the time, not a re-formed 1985 line-up. Check it:

The only band members who play on both Bonded by Blood and Let There Be Blood are guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting. The track “Hell’s Breath” originally appears on the “1983 Rehearsal” with Kirk Hammett and never was recorded officially.


Let There Be Blood has met mixed reviews. The musical quality of the album has been praised, but reviewers have questioned the need for such a re-make, with Cosmo Lee of Allmusic going so far as to accuse it of being a potential “cash-in” on the original album’s legacy. However, Gary Holt has said that the band was not trying to replace the original, but rather wanted to give the songs “the benefit of modern production.“

What did I hear, when I listened to this? Fuckin’ Exodus mayhem, that’s what! Holy hell, this thing was as punishing and pummelling and relentless as the original. I thought it sounded friggin’ great (per Gary Holt’s comment on modern production). No complaints here!

\m/  YEAH!!! \m/

Hit It Or Quit It? HIT!

Miles Davis – Out Of The Blue

I grabbed up this UK Hallmark Records budget compilation because it’s Miles. Information specifically about sessions/players is non-existent in the packaging, and the internet hasn’t got a whole lot either. The back cover of the CD does offer this:

“Organised jam sessions at New York’s legendary Birdland Club were broadcast twice weekly during the late ’40’s and early ’50’s and a baker’s dozen of tracks featuring the magnificent Miles Davis have been selected for this collection. The various pick-up line-ups included all the great jazz musicians of the era, and tenor sax genius Stan Getz can be heard here on several tracks beautifully complimenting Miles’ wonderful trumpet excursions.”

OK… The sound quality here isn’t the greatest, as you’d expect from recordings of radio broadcasts from the period, but the playing is stellar. Of course. These tracks swing like hell. And yup, there are two run-throughs of the track Move. So be it!

Folks, there are a lot of cheap-o compilations out there, tricking you into buying them with their flashy cover art and their low, low prices. But given the talent on display here, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit! It’s Miles!


Tracks: Out Of The Blue / Lady Bird / Conception / The Squirrel / Woody ‘N’ You / Confirmation / That Old Black Magic / Move / Half Nelson / Down / Max Is Making Wax / Ray’s Idea / Move

Matthew Good Band – Loser Anthems B-Sides And Rarities EP

I am a simple man. I see b-sides and rarities on an EP from a band I like, it’s an instant purchase! Of course, this disc is 17 years old and I wasn’t aware it existed, but that’s probably beside the point, right? Sure!

This release was limited to 35,000 copies. Mine here is #18,870.

Some fun trivia I learned online: the songs Flashdance II, and My Life As A Circus Clown, were demos from the album Beautiful Midnight. Also, the Japanese characters on the front cover translate as “Are you high now, crazy kids!?” Fun!

What I heard, in listening to this, was some awesome Matthew Good Band songs. And if you like them, you’ll like this. There’s even an appearance by Holly McNarland and, I’m not gonna lie, these two vocalists go well together! After the intermezzo, the recording quality changes into a more live sounding, better quality and more immediate sound. I loved those last few tracks.

Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!

Tracks: Flashdance II / The Man From Harold Wood / My Life As A Circus Clown / Intermezzo: M. Good V M. Trolley / Flight Recorder From Viking 7 / Life Beyond The Minimum Safe Distance / The Fine Art Of Falling Apart

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