Beeline: Classical Gas Museum, Embudo, NM
2009 was arguably the best year for new music since 1979, and that’s saying a lot, even if I’m wrong. For whatever reason, this year was just packed with incredibly great CDs from bands we knew were great, bands we didn’t know were this good, bands we hadn’t heard from in a long time and bands we’d never heard of, period. The result – it was all I could do to keep up, and I fully expect to spend the next couple of years tripping over even more awesome releases from 2009 that I missed this year. So in advance, apologies to those artists I didn’t find my way to in 2k9.
So here’s the format. There are usually three tiers: Gold LP, Platinum LP and CD of the Year. (The LP is taken from my personal site, Lullaby Pit, which is where this annual tradition started several years ago. And the fact that albums used to be LPs. Get it?) This year the glut of outstanding CDs have necessitated the addition of a new level – SuperPlatinum – because a few of those platinum discs are a notch above the rest. Over the next few days, then, the Scholars & Rogues/Lullaby Pit Best CDs of 2009 will be rolled out in four installments.
Up first, in roughly alphabetical order… Read more
Our Best CDs of 2008 continues today with a review of the super-premium Platinum Award winners for Excellence in rocking and rolling. As with last week’s Gold Awards, these are in alphabetical order. Band Web sites link to the band name, and if the CD is available via eMusic, that links to the CD title. (Mike Smith of Fiction 8, in last week’s comments, recommended that you buy from the band’s Web site or Amazon, if possible, because the artists get a better cut of the proceeds that way. Duly noted.)
Fiction 8 – Project Phoenix
I have a rule – I never include in my official ratings CDs that I had something to do with, no matter how great I think they are. And since I co-wrote “Hegemony,” the track that closes this disc, that means that Fiction 8 is officially disqualified. This doesn’t mean I can’t tell you what I think I’d think about the record if I weren’t laboring with a conflict of interest, though. Read more
Today S&R presents a second TunesDay, completely free of charge.
The anticipation is finally over: Project Phoenix, the new CD from Fiction 8, is now out. And was it ever worth the wait.
S&R readers may know F8 front man Mike Smith without realizing it: he’s a frequent commenter here (and I’ll let him unmask if he so chooses). So for us, this TunesDay is about family, sorta.
The new disc represents a significant step forward for the band. Read more
We write about music here from time to time and I know that a lot of our readers look forward to posts about tuneage. If you love music and want to hear more, let me introduce you to a new music site you may appreciate, and one that comes with the coveted S&R Seal of Approval: Pop Underground. Read more
Some of the best things in life we trip over completely by accident. A few years back a friend of mine invited me to come see his band play a warm-up gig at The Snake Pit in Denver. The headliner was Plexi, a band he was really big on, so it was one of those two bird/one stone deals.
Plexi no-showed, so the third band on the card became the headliner by default. That was my introduction to Fiction 8, a band I’d never heard of, and I became an instant fan. Not only was the music really compelling, the front guy (Mike Smith), his lovely wife (Kelly), and the keyboard wizard (Steve Hart) turned out to be darned nice people.
Since then I’ve followed F8’s growth, and Mike has taught me a little about industrial music, which I didn’t know very well (still don’t, to be honest, but I’m learning).
Recently the band released their third CD, Chaotica, and in my estimation it’s the best yet. To mark the occasion, Mike agreed to field a few questions from the Lullaby Pit. Read more