Recommendations of the Fall

I have this friend, whom I've known for fourteen years or so now. Let's call him Jan, shall we -- the name may or may not have been changed. "Jan" loves music, although he doesn't perhaps listen to it quite us much as I do, and certainly doesn't buy records and check out new bands as much. Anyway, apparently feeling the need for some new music to listen to, he asked me (about four weeks ago already... oops) for some recommendations, for a list of records he could and should enjoy. After finally coming up with such a list, I figured I'd publish it here, just in case anyone else finds it useful.


25 Things I Learned from Dave Mustaine's Autobiography

I read Dave Mustaine's autobiography (co-written with Joe Layden), Mustaine: A Life in Metal, quite shortly after it was first published. (That's the title of the edition my copy's a part of, the book was also published under the title Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir. Different names for European and American editions, I suppose.) However, I was quite ill at the time, and I recently realized I had very few recollections of the book. So I read it again.

A Life in Metal is in many ways quite an interesting read - there's not nearly as much pointless mudslinging as one could expect. Of course, as those who have read any of his statements and interviews can testify, Mustaine's style can be pretty annoying (something in the vein of "I don't mean to brag and I don't want to say that I'm the best there is BUT I AM"), and a healthy dose of source criticism is recommended for the reader. But all in all, the book is entertaining and even somewhat educational -- here's a list of twenty-five things it taught me.


Baroness Add to Their Palette with Yellow & Green

I wrote an article about Savannah's genre blenders Baroness and their latest album, Yellow & Green. However, that doesn't seem important at all at the moment. Last Tuesday, Baroness were in a serious bus accident near Bath, UK. All of the band and crew members were taken to the hospital, and most of them are still receiving treatment. You can read my original article after the jump if you want to, but let's keep the focus on wishing everyone involved makes a full recovery, shall we.


Cloudkicker Fades Back into Form

You might remember how I complimented Ben Sharp's one-man instrumental project Cloudkicker and his Beacons album a little over a year ago in my post about great records available for free. No? Are you sure? That's okay. In any case, Cloudkicker has just last week released a new album, titled Fade. And like Beacons (and all of his other work), Fade can be downloaded for the price of your choosing at Cloudkicker's Bandcamp page.


Do You Know What America Buys?

At times, I like to seek and study different kinds of information on what kind of music people are buying and listening around the world. To me, such statistics are usually intriguing, but I must say that just about as often they're embarrassing, bringing about some sort of shared sense of shame. I mean, people buy a lot of horrible, horrible music. But that's of course just my opinion -- everyone's got a right to listen to exactly what they want.

This time around -- and quite often, actually, as it's the biggest music market -- I was looking into which records have been shifting units in the United States. Now, there are two main parties monitoring and measuring the record market in the US: the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the Nielsen SoundScan. The operation principles, reporting methods and scopes of activity of the two organizations differ from each other quite a bit, but like I mentioned, they are the biggest fish in the pond. So if you're looking for information on music sales in the States, your best bet is most probably one of the two -- but which one, that depends on the nature of the information you seek.

[A note for all you hasty ones out there: I came up with a little quiz-type-thingy regarding best-selling records and artists in the US -- if you'd be interested in that but not in the mood for my prattling, you can find the quiz after the jump towards the end of the article.]


All the Best to Laura Jane Grace

Big news this week from Against Me!'s Tom Gabel. In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine, Gabel revealed that she has long dealt with gender dysphoria and that she is about to start the process of gender transition, taking hormones and undergoing a set of treatments. I may not know which pronoun to use at the moment, but I do know this announcement has required immense courage.