Seven Days of Music

After seeing a whole lot of CRAP on FaceBook recently (Be Like Bill !?), I was thinking back to when I’d done the “7 songs in 7 days” post series – just before Christmas.

I really enjoyed thinking back to my favourite songs, bands, and which ones to “limit myself” – only SEVEN ?

As it turns out, I hadn’t realised I’d done day #3 – so it’s actually EIGHT posts – oops !    I could have gone for TEN, or maybe more…     LOL !

I wanted to capture them here – easier than trawling back through FB !


Day 1

Thanks Andy Neumann for the nomination in the "7 songs in 7 days challenge".

I listen to a LOT of music – varying from ‘Sinatra’ to ‘Slayer’.

My main genre is METAL – and I guess the defining band for me, from teenage days would have to be METALLICA.

I remember getting a C-90 cassette in high school, with "Kill Em All" on one side, and "Ride The Lightning" on the other. And I was hooked.

And then "Master Of Puppets" – and "Justice For All" – all of the above in the space of a few months.

I remember going to BRASHS (!) to get the new BLACK album the day it was released – having to ask for it, and they opened a box to hand me the first copy – Brandon Park, 1991.

My favourite song by Metallica would have to be FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS – I love the rollicking riff, and percussive hits from Lars – and who can forget lyrics like "take a look to the sky just before you die, it’s the last time you WILL !"

The classic line-up too – James, Lars, Kirk and CLIFF BURTON.


** Nomination to Ben Sartori – who I first saw Metallica with in 1993 – on the floor at Rod Laver – we were 2 people from the barrier – and could hear Jason Newstead yelling at us "cmon MF’ers !!"


Day 2 of "7 songs in 7 days".

I’m treating this challenge as more of "7 BANDS" in 7 days – and want to call out MOTLEY CRÜE.

The year was 1989 – high school, year 12 – and I was discovered many MANY bands.

LA glam rock was the flavour of the time – pre-grunge – and it was MOTLEY CRÜE who started it all.

Then came trashy bands like Poison & Warrant – who I saw live in 89/90 – as well as Ugly Kid Joe, Skid Row – some amazing live shows.

By far – the best live show – was Motley Crüe. The lights & pyro – and Tommy Lee’s drum kit.

This was their "heyday" – excesses of sex, drugs & rock-n-roll – pretty amazing to an 18 year old.


I’ve since read the biographies from Nikki Sixx (brilliant) and Vince Neil (meh).

Laugh at the LA glam scene, if you must, but from early 80’s until early 90’s, it was fantastic – a pivotal scene in heavy metal’s evolution.

Hard to pick a best song by THE CRÜE – another option was "Kickstart My Heart"…


Day 3 of the 7-day music challenge

It’s time to talk about HELMET.  

A band that is hard to tag in a genre – neither metal, or grunge or punk – and not really New York hardcore.

PAGE HAMILTON’s voice is very unique, and I love Helmet’s chunk/chug riffs.

I first discovered the album MEANTIME – and classics such as "Unsung", "In The Meantime" and "Ironhead".

And then the amazing BETTY album – with strange samples & distortions – love the songs "Milquetoast" (was in THE CROW movie too) – and "Wilma’s Rainbow".

I saw them live a few times – recent tour was just Page Hamilton + band – he stayed on stage after the show – and spoke to EVERYONE 1-to-1 – shaking hands, posing for photos – a genuine NICE BLOKE of rock.

Thanks HELMET….!


Day 3 of the 7 day music challenge

I’m going to lump FOUR specific bands together; today is about GRUNGE.

[oops – I’d already done Day #3 !]

The Seattle sound that exploded onto the world in the early 90’s was a dose of rock, metal and angst – perfect teenager/20-something fodder.
It was nihilistic, distorted, and great to sing loudly. Hardly refined, or musically creative, far from polished – but that was the point. And – I loved it.

Pearl Jam’s TEN, SoundGarden’s BADMOTORFINGER, Alice In Chains’ DIRT, and Nirvana’s NEVERMIND – all of them – classics, and fantastic.

Pearl Jam had more melody and soul/heart – so many great songs. Alive, Jeremy, Once, Even Flow – all stand outs. And the talent within this band is staggering – Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard – each are masters in their own right. Sadly, PJ are one band I’ve never seen live.

Alice In Chains had some fantastic fat riffs, DIRT had classics like Rooster, Them Bones, Angry Chair and the all time classic WOULD? And then some great acoustic tunes – I Stay Away from JAR OF FLIES is hauntingly beautiful – Layne Stayley’s unique voice has so much soul. I saw them live in late 93, just before moving to Cairns. I crowd surfed, and stage dived – with a gentle PUSH off stage by Layne. (LOL)

Nirvana became a huge obsession for me – I remember buying the NEVERMIND album having heard the buzz online, via chatroom and newsgroups at Uni. This was the early “internet” before WWW days.
I hadn’t even heard the track “Smells Like Teen Spirit”- the first time was when I played the album, bought at Brash’s Chadstone.

I bought BLEACH the following weekend – and was lucky enough to see them live in early 1992. Nirvana’s only Australian tour was booked before they even finished NEVERMIND, and the album hit #1 in the USA as they were arriving down under. It was the calm before the storm for the band, and they played THE PALACE in St.Kilda – a tiny club venue – totally chockers. They also played the first ever Big Day Out, which was a Sydney only event, in it’s first year (92).

I’m sure some of my music friends will have a giggle of derision at the talent of Kurt Cobain (haters gonna hate) – he may not have been a wonderful muso, and a bad druggie, and the band only made a few albums, but they’re all STILL fantastic today, 20 years later. Probably the BIGGEST grunge band – a household name in the genre. I really loved Nirvana, and still do.

But, in my mind, it was SoundGarden who were THE original grunge band – songs from BadMotorFinger like Rusty Cage, Outshined and Drawing Flies are brilliant – wonderful LIVE.
I really (REALLY) loved SUPERUNKNOWN when it came out – when I was living in CAIRNS. SpoonMan, Superunknown, Limo Wreck – fantastic – but I never really liked Black Hole Sun.

Anyway – I could go on-and-on about grunge, but I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from the genre. That fat groove sends chills down my spine – sheer bliss – even today.
And then the break-down towards the latter section of the song, those power chords are just wonderful.


Day 4 of the 7 day musical challenge.

PANTERA. This one word brings a smile to every fan of heavy metal.

I first grabbing the COWBOYS FROM HELL (CFH) album when I’d just finished university, it was just before the grunge era broke, and the CFH album scared the pants off me.

Coming from listening to LA style music – where GUNS N ROSES were "heavy" – PANTERA had amazingly fast drumming, and groove-laden riffing from Dimebag Darrell, and the snarly agressive tones from Phil Anselmo – it was something else, for sure !

Primal Concrete Sledge, Cemetary Gates, Domination, The Art Of Shredding – fantastic.

Then, the almighty VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER (VDOP) came out – OMFG. This is a landmark heavy metal album, for the ages.

Quite possibly THE best metal album of the 90’s.

Mouth For War, A New Level, Walk, Hostile, This Love, Rise – the opening 6 tracks are ALL brilliant.

I was in America in early 1994 (a few weeks after Kurt Cobain died) and bought FAR BEYOND DRIVEN (FBD).

The opening song is flat-out speed instantly – incredible.

When I was in New Orleans, I had my wallet stolen, and I recall listening to FBD on repeat, and challenging my anger and frustration into my portable CD player.

Even today – PANTERA is a wonderful anger release for many people I know…!

"The releasing of anger can better any medecine under the sun…."

The next albums from PANTERA were not so appealing for me – I’d progressed to other bands like SEPULTURA, FEAR FACTORY and MACHINEHEAD.

"The Great Southern Trendkill" (GSTK) – I’ll have to listen to this some more, but I think the turmoil within the band was obvious. Vocals were recorded separately, etc.

The band split soon after, and then the guitarist DIMEBAG DARRELL was shot dead on stage in a show with his follow-up band (Damageplan). WTF !?

DIMEBAG entered folklore and legend, for all heavy metal fans – in the worst way possible.

But for now – let’s remember the glory days of PANTERA… (the song that saved me, in New Orleans ’94)


Day 5 of 7 days of music…

Today’s song is from one of my all time favourite bands – certainly the greatest metal band that *I* personally loooove.

My journey with MachineHead began back in 1995 when I bought the “BURN MY EYES” album – based on the cover. A classic set of power/groove-metal tracks, post-grunge, when metal was “on the nose”. Davidian, Old, A Thousand Lies – wonderful pinch-harmonics & riffs, and driving double-kick drumming. Awesome.

The next album “THE MORE THINGS CHANGE” had a few classics too – with Ten Ton Hammer, and Take My Scars.

The follow-up period for MachineHead was dire – with line-up changes, and the new rap-metal such as Korn and Limp Bizkit were on the rise. MachineHead’s album THE BURNING RED was ‘ok’, but the follow-up SUPERCHARGER was a little to much of the “trying to fit the new scene” – and a bit of a flop. The band was dumped from the label, and close to being finished.

Then, the amazing THROUGH THE ASHES OF EMPIRES – and then a true metal classic THE BLACKENING. This album won them many KERRANG awards, a Grammy nomination, included on Guitar Hero (!) , a tribute song to Dimebag (Aesthetics Of Hate), and they have been being hailed as “one of the pioneering bands in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal” (Wikipedia)

Another brilliant album to follow – UNTO THE LOCUST, and more band troubles with ADAM DUCE leaving, with lawsuits, and nasty lyrics about ‘this is a friendship broken’ on last year’s BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS.

I’ve seen MachineHead live on 6-7 occasions – and they’re spectacular.

So – here’s one of the best ‘opening’ songs on a album, and live show – IMPERIUM.


Day 6 of 7 days of music, and I’m not ready to stop yet !

I love discovering a band by seeing them live, and then getting the CD or listening on Spotify, and then getting excited to see them live AGAIN…

I saw KYUSS as the support band for METALLICA in April 93 – excitedly waiting for the main band (first time seeing Metallica), and I couldn’t get over the down-tuned fat bass and grungey metal riffs.

It wasn’t metal, and wasn’t grunge – it was "stoner".

They are the standout pioneer band in this genre – most would say. Certainly, the most well known.

Around the same time, I was working at FoodPlus (LOL!) close to the end of University days, and the the JUKE magazine had a competition saying "who supported Metallica ?" and I won their CD…

BLUES FOR THE RED SUN (BFRS) is an epic album – Thumb, Green Machine, Allen’s Wrench – still classics.

I then went to find their prior album WRETCH – not their best work – but good to see them ‘growing’ into their sound.

The followup to BFRS was WELCOME TO SKY VALLEY – this was brilliant !

I loved the way they had a 10 song album, but only 3 tracks on the CD – to mess with people clicking ‘random’.

Demon Cleaner, Gardenia, Space Cadet and 100 degrees – I could imagine them in the middle of the desert at night, with an open air concert for friends, with beers, bourbon and weed a-plenty.

The next album AND THE CIRCUS LEAVES TOWN was their final album – only three months before they broke up, with great tracks such as One Inch Main, and Hurricane.

Only together as a band for 4-5 years, some members went on to form QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – I liked their first few albums, but not so much lately.

I recently saw KYUSS again – and they were fantastic – such great songs.

One of my all time favourite bands – so many good songs to choose from.

I love the riff on this track – quick LOL at a drunk sounding dude as intro – and then a fat (FAT !) sludgy riff – turn it up LOUD…


Day 7 of 7 songs – last one !

When I was a big Metallica fanboi, part of the fanclub, and met Hetfield and Newstead, I thought I’d reached a peak of my ‘fandom’ in music. But, somewhere along the way, Metallica dropped the ball (ahem – Load, ReLoad, Lulu) – and I was disappointed, cancelled my fan club membership – and they were just "another band" in my rotation.

Around the same time (1999), I’d been listening to ALTERNATIVE music as well as metal. THis was the era of White Zombie, Korn, Limp Bizkit – and other surprises such as Slipknot. Metal was in a wierd place.

I’d been listening to other alt.bands like Filter, and Nine Inch Nails – who I’d seen in 1995 at Alternative Nation. I didn’t fully appreciate them back then – but I soon would.

I’d listened to THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL, and loved the heavier songs, and distortions and angry lyrics. But it was THE FRAGILE that really cemented my love of all things NIN and Trent.

A double album, with amazing production, and a bunch of stand out tracks – they were my new favourite band.

I saw them on the WITH TEETH tour, an album that I didn’t mind – but not as good as previous.

When it came time for YEAR ZERO, the band did one of the best viral marketing campaigns ever – I even did a workplace ‘public speaking’ session about it (see link below).

And then – May 2007 – I saw them twice at The Palace nightclub – still one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. (blog posts below)

The surreal GHOSTS album of just acoustic sounds was after that – some wonderful ‘thought voyages’ while listening to that.

And then – an album for free "this one is on me" – with THE SLIP. And the incredible "lights in the sky" tour. I have my name on the liner notes for the fan-produced "this one is on us" DVD recording.

The band split for a long term hiatus, after touring with Janes’Addiction – I was at TechEd on the Gold Coast in 2009, watching the live-tweets on their final show. *sigh*

Reznor then did some music soundtracks, and then a remarkable NEW album – HESTIATION MARKS.

I got to see them again, on the tour for that album – expecting that it might be the last time. Incredible light show, and I knew every single song… EVERY song.

I also have a NINE INCH NAILS *tattoo* – so yep, no surprises, that I’m posting a song from Nine Inch Nails.


That’s it !    Some awesome bands, and great memories of live shows….



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