The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out

The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out
Darren Scott, July 2019

“I’m not sure what I am getting us in to.” – This thought keeps running through my head as I have now committed our Sonic Collective members to listen to this album featuring front man Frank Zappa.

Not too long ago I watched Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words on Netflix and I found the story very interesting. Frank Zappa was a classically trained composer who wanted to push musical boundaries. Zappa is a very interesting man.

I have to admit, even as a massive music fan, I found most of Frank Zappa’s music I heard a bit strange. Now that it is my turn to pick an album for the group I figured it was about time that I give this very influential musician his due.

Through a bit of research I decided to not actually pick a Frank Zappa album but rather go with one of his first bands, The Mothers of Invention. I feel there is so much to learn about this group, Frank Zappa and the movement he was a part of in the 1960s.

Though I don’t think this album will be for everyone and may not score well with the group, I invite you to listen along and make your own opinion. I respect that Frank Zappa was creating something new and pushed music forward. That’s more than I can say for all the bubblegum pop garbage we hear on the radio all day.

Bring an open mind(and maybe some cannabis) and enjoy this month’s pick, The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out.

The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out on Wikipedia

Album on Spotify

It’s Fluffy Album Review

 

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals

Marilyn Manson: Mechanical Animals
Alain DuPuis, June 2019

Marilyn Manson is a band that has long been misunderstood, and largely by design. I will never forget when Antichrist Superstar came out in the mid 90’s and caused a minor moral panic. Who was this weirdo group fronted by an angry, satanic, cat-murdering, rib-removing maniac musician?! Even my parents knew who Marilyn Manson was. The clever marketing almost backfired when the band ended up being disallowed from playing shows in certain cities. I never admitted as much to my rather conservative religious parents, but I LOVED that shit. It’s been years since I visited any Marilyn Manson content, so I figured it was time to dust off the old CD player.

Now, on to the review. Mechanical Animals came out in 1998, the third release for the group. On the cover of the album, an androgenous nude(?) Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) stood there like some weird alien. Did that generate a lot of hype? Yep, you bet it did. It also reinforced the notion that he is a brilliant frontman, willing to deliver his vocals flamboyantly, and unafraid.

Mechanical Animals debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, the group’s first album to do so, which meant like it or not, they were a band you had to take seriously.

I chose this album because I think it will probably serve as a good entry point for people who only know of the negative press and the hype. This album came with a number of great singles such as Dope Show, and Rock is Dead, but there are songs that never hit the radio that I think are worthy of a listen.

Check back in a month to see what the other guys thought of Mechanical Animals, and dont forget to leave us a comment, a Tweet, a like on Facebook. Hell, we even reply to emails.

Mechanical Animals Wiki

Mechanical Animals on iTunes

Mechanical Animals on Spotify

Fun fact:

Mechanical Animals is the middle of three concept albums that take the listener on a journey through the mind of “The Worm”, the main protagonist in the plot line, and a semi-autobiographical representation of Manson himself. He is a flawed and tragic anti-hero and self-realized sage that tries to save the world only to find the world doesn’t want to be saved. This consumes him with rage and disgust and transforms him into the destructive and oppressive Antichrist Superstar. The weird thing about this concept is that it’s meant to be played in reverse order, starting with the 1999 album Holy Wood and ending with Antichrist Superstar.

Florence + the Machine: Lungs


Florence + the Machine: Lungs
Scott Gregory, May 2019

Hello all you Sonic Collectivists and welcome to our pick for May, 2019. I’m Scott G, and I clearly remember the very first time I heard this month’s artist. In 2010, Florence and the Machine appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, singing Dog Days Are Over and You Got the Love, and I was like “OH.MY.GOD. Who is this woman?” One of the biggest compliments I think I can give a musician is “I’ve never heard anything like this before” and that was certainly the case here.

The songs she sang were off the groups recently released album “Lungs” and after a couple plays, I settled into the habit of pulling the singles out and adding them to my play lists and not really thinking of the album as a whole. Well, the time’s come to do what the collective does best and dig in and experience the album as a whole. Reading up, it sounded like Florence had a very long, very winding road to land to the sound she landed on for this debut album. I’m going to be watching for whether this represents a culmination of those effort, or does she sound like she’s still exploring even within the bounds of the album.

Some picks really polarize the group, and I’m very curious how this will go with them and you. Does that “wow” factor hold up now that there’s been a decade of listening to her and imitators work in this space, or are these albums’ dog days over and it’s all old hat. Check back with us at the end of the month to see what the group thinks “Lungs” by Florence and the Machine, and be sure to share your thoughts with us as well. This has been Scott G on behalf of the Sonic Collective, see you then.

Lungs on Spotify
Lungs on Apple Music
Lungs Wikipedia page
Florence and the Machine website

Massive Attack: Mezzanine


Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Scott Coates, April 2019

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of funky, jazzy, electronica lately: The Brand New Heavies, Chemical Brothers, Morcheeba and a few others. While thinking of similar bands, Massive Attack came to mind. I’d listened to their Blue Lines release a few times but hadn’t listened to this month’s pick, Mezzanine. Upon giving it a listen I realized there are a lot of tracks that I’ve heard before, namely Angel which was on the Snatch soundtrack and Safe from Harm which was featured on The Insider soundtrack. Some of my mixed chillout albums also have Massive Attack tracks on them. 

Mezzanine is the third studio album by the Bristol, England, released on 20 April 1998. It took a long time to make and band members pushed themselves in various new directions, often finishing songs, then tearing them apart and almost starting again from scratch. It features many samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to The Cure. In 2003, the album was ranked number 412 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It faired very well in the UK, entering the charts at #1 but didn’t do as well in North America, peaking at 51 in Canada and 60 in the US.

This is a potentially dark exploration, but one I’m looking forward to and I hope you enjoy doing so as well. Settle in to a relaxing spot and give it a roll.

Links
Mezzanine on Spotify

Mezzanine on Apple Music

Mezzanine Wikipedia page

Massive Attack website

Massive Attack fan page

Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City


Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Darren Scott, March 2019
Listen to why I picked this Kendrick Lamar album. It is actually more like a film. The album was meant to be played in order and tells the story of a young Kendrick on the streets of L.A.  Does the influence stand up, does the album still sound relevant? Listen for yourself and then join us at the beginning of next month for our review.

Links
Wikipedia
iTunes
Spotify

Fleetwood Mac: Rumors

Rumors – Fleetwood Mac

Alain DuPuis, February, 2019
Greetings, fellow audiophiles. It’s Alain, back with another Sonic Collective pick for the month of February 2019, and I’ve been thinking about this one for a long while now.

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac, released in early 1977, is the band’s eleventh studio album. It spawned a number of singles including Go Your Own WayDreams, and Don’t Stop, several of which I’m sure you’ve heard either on the radio or out in the wild at least a few times.

What attracted me to Rumors were the rumors around the making of Rumors. See, I’ve had this longstanding theory that the best music is made when the artists are in emotional distress. Good music is rarely bred from contentment. And while Rumors was being created, nobody in the band was content…

Fleetwood Mac’s line-up at the time consisted of Lindsey Buckingham (guitars and vocals), Mick Fleetwood (drums), Christine McVie (keyboards/vocals), John McVie (bass), and Stevie Nicks (vocals). Prior to working on Rumors, things went sour between the McVies and after eight years of marriage, they called it quits, all but ceasing to communicate with each other – except to discuss musical matters. Meanwhile, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were having an on-again / off-again relationship that led them to frequent and heated fights. The duo’s arguments stopped only when they worked on songs together. Mic Fleetwood was dealing with dark times of his own, having learned that his wife, the mother of his two children, was having an affair with his best friend.  While all this was going on, the press who had picked up an interest in the band, frequently wrote false reports about both present and past members.

With rumors inescapably swirling internally between band members, as well as outside of the band thanks to shoddy journalism and a growing fan base eager for salacious news, Fleetwood Mac was faced with trying times – Rumors was the result, filled with songs deep and personal, full of angst, pain, resentment, and introspection – or so I hear.

It must be pretty good since the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, an honour only bestowed to “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” recordings. One prominent member of the band was even cited as saying it was the most important album they ever made.

Stevie Nicks has suggested that Fleetwood Mac created the best music when in the worst shape. Lindsay Buckingham said the tensions between band members informed the recording process and led to “the whole being more than the sum of the parts”.

I haven’t given the album a listen yet, but having heard rumors of its backstory, I’ve been eagerly awaiting my turn to pick so we can dive in and see if my previously stated theory holds true – Is the best music made when the artists are at their worst?

Check back at the end of the month to hear our reviews

ABBA: Arrival


ABBA: Arrival
Scott Gregory, January 2019
Hello everyone and welcome to The Sonic Collective. Scott G here with our pick for January, 2019. We’ve been playing around the last couple months with some really fun ways to pick albums, but I’m going to sneak back to the single album format for a second to correct a grevious oversight on our part.
We’ve completely neglected a band that cranked out Eight albums in nine years, all of them went platinum and you can still here them playing n the radio everywhere, all the time.
Afer they won Eurovision in 1973 with their song Waterloo, I wonder if Benny, Bjorn, Frida, and Agnetha knew how quickly things were going to change for them. By the time they got to their fourth studio album in 1976, aptly named Arrival, they were launching into worldwide megastardom, and ABBA would changethe face of music forever.
I thought this was a great album for us to dissect pricesely because it’s the bridge between their early work and the height of their succcess, and it also includes a healthy number of their most recognizable songs, but an equal number of tracks we’ve likely never heard before to chew on. I’m going to listen to the 1977 release that included Fernando because I really enjoy that song, but you can go with the 1976 release that didn’t if you’re sick of it.
ABBA’s always been celebrated for their harmonizing and technical brilliance in song composition. I’m really curious to see if that’s mostly just a judgment of their singles, or if even the B-sides show the same level of care and attention. I’ll probably even watch the videos for some excellent 70s fashion and dance moves.
So, I invite you all to join us in enjoying The Sonic Collective’s first pick for 2019: Arrival by ABBA.
Links
Wikipedia – ABBA
Wikipedia – ABBA  Arrival Album
iTunes – ABBA, Arrival 
Spotify – ABBA, Arival

4 Movie Soundtracks That Matter

Soundtracks that matter

We all know that around the holiday season there is nothing better than watching a good movie. It also is a great way to avoid that weird uncle with bad breath, ha ha.
Sonic Collective member Scott Coates suggested we all pick a movie soundtrack that we really felt made the movie better. A great movie soundtrack can create an emotional connection to the characters, the environment and the story. Though there are many to pick from, listed below are the four our experts say you need to watch and listen to. We will all spend December watching and listening and then we will release our podcast that will allow our experts to tell you why the movie and soundtrack blended together so nicely. Happy holidays and enjoy the movies and music.
Listen to our podcast and check out the details below.

 

Trainspotting


Selected by Scott Coates
Released July 9, 1996
Few movies have made as strong an impact and stuck with me as Trainspotting has. While it’s an incredible movie, the soundtrack plays an indelible role in cementing the film. Songs I didn’t know before and some I did, came together to elevate mood and moments in a manner rarely achieved. The songs and movie are the better for it. Truly one of the best curated soundtracks that works in complete symbiosis.
Track Listing

  1. Lust for Life, Iggy Pop
  2. Deep Blue Day, Brian Eno
  3. Trainspotting, Primal Scream
  4. Atomic, Sleeper
  5. Temptation, New Order
  6. Nightclubbing, Iggy Pop
  7. Sing, Blur
  8. Perfect Day, Lou Reed
  9. Mile End, Pulp
  10. For What You Dream Of, Bedrock
  11. 2:1, Elastica
  12. A Final Hit, Leftfield
  13. Born Slippy, Underworld
  14. Closet Romantic, Damon Albarn

Wikipedia Page
iTunes
Spotify
Amazon

Romeo + Juliet


Selected by Scott Gregory
Released 1996
The Romeo + Juliet movie attempted to update the classic story for a 90s audience, and the soundtrack called upon quintessential 90s artists to set help set the stage. It’s a great blend of existing songs and ones written just for this album. It went triple-platinum, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 Album charts.
Track Listing

  1. Crush, Garbage
  2. Local God, Everclear
  3. Angel, Gavin Friday
  4. Pretty Piece of Flesh, One Inch Punch
  5. Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet), Des’ree
  6. Whatever (I Had a Dream), Butthole Surfers
  7. Lovefool, The Cardigans
  8. Young Hearts Run Free, Kym Mazelle
  9. Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good), Quindon Tarver
  10. To You I Bestow, Mundy
  11. Talk Show Host, Radiohead
  12. Little Star, Stina Nordenstam
  13. You and Me Song, The Wannadies

Wikipedia
iTunesSpotify

The Greatest Showman


Selected by Alain DuPuis
Released December 2017
The Greatest Showman original soundtrack accompanies the movie of the same name, recanting a very creatively liberal musical interpretation of the story of P. T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Effron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya all lend their singing voices as well as acting chops to their roles. While I’m not personally a big fan of musicals or long, elaborately choreographed dance numbers at the best of times, I’ve gotta admit, this movie is really damn good.  Particularly when the cast starts singing their songs. Holy shit, these people have serious talent. Most of the songs from this album are really catchy, and have found a home in my permanent playlists on Spotify. That’s how good I think the soundtrack is. And maybe by the end of the month, you’ll find yourself agreeing with me!
My recommendation: watch the movie! The songs will make way more sense in context of the story, and then the  emotion will really shine through.
Track Listing

  1. The Greatest Show
  2. A Million Dreams
  3. A Million Dreams (Reprise) – Reprise (Austyn Johnson & Cameron Seely)
  4. Come Alive
  5. The Other Side
  6. Never Enough
  7. This Is Me
  8. Rewrite The Stars
  9. Tightrope
  10. Never Enough (Reprise)
  11. From Now On

Spotify
Wikipedia
iTunes

Super Fly


Selected by Darren Scott
Released December 2017
I’ve always liked a wide variety of music and I love the Soul and Funk. Though I had heard some of the music before by Curtis Mayfield from the movie it wasn’t until I saw Super Fly at one point in the early 2000s that I understood what an awesome soundtrack can do for a movie. It was funky, awesome, hilarious and sometimes cheesy to me but I ate it up. Released in 1972, this was Curtis Mayfield’s 4th album and is very recognized for the history it made. It is one of the few soundtrack albums that actually outsold the movie box office earnings. Ranked by Rolling Stone as the 69th album in their Top 500 of All Time List I invite you to listen to this funky gem and watch the movie with us this month. I hope the rest of the group and our listeners love it as much as I do.
Track Listing

  1. Little Child Runnin’ Wild
  2. Pusherman
  3. Freddie’s Dead (Theme from ‘Superfly’)
  4. Junkie Chase
  5. Give Me Your Love (Love Song)
  6. Eddie You Should Know Better
  7. No Thing on Me (Cocaine Song)
  8. Think
  9. Superfly
  10. Freddie’s Dead (Theme from ‘Superfly’)
  11. Superfly

Wikipedia
Spotify
iTunes
Amazon

4 bands you've most likely never heard of and why you should listen to them now.

My favourite part of being a huge music fan is discovering new music. As life gets busier it can become harder and harder to make time to listen to new music. Keep in mind that ‘new’ music is oftentimes old music. I find it just as exciting to discover new bands like Royal Blood as I do to uncover and rediscover bands of that past, like The 13th Floor Elevators.
As our four Sonic Collective members all have amazing taste in music, obviously, I thought it would be fun to ask the group who they thought was a recording artist that other music fans should listen to. We each picked these artists independently so many of these picks are new to the group as well.
On November 1st our show will be available on the website. Each of our Collective members will educate the listeners about the band they chose, tell you which albums and songs to listen to and give you some cool facts about these bands.
Here are the the bands picked by our expert panel.
Artist: Ron Gallo
Chosen by: Darren Scott
Artist: The Kills
Chosen by: Scott Coates
Artist: Greta Van Fleet
Chosen by: Alain Dupuis
Artist: Jenny Lewis
Chosen by: Scott Gregory

Blink-182: The Mark, Tom and Travis Show


Blink-182: The Mark, Tom and Travis Show
Scott Gregory, September 2018
Hello everyone I’m Scott G and welcome to The Sonic Collective’s pick for September 2018. As you know, we’re in the middle of a round of live albums. We’ve had some New Wave with the Talking Heads, some Southern Bluesy Rock with the Alman Brothers and some acoustic Blues from across the pond from Eric Clapton unplugged.
This month, I wanted to find a seam in the picks and go in a completely different direction. We’re going to fast forward to the 2000s, we’re going to get loud, and we’re going to get a little crazy.
Blink-182 is well-known for putting on electrifying live shows full of crazy banter with the audience in between songs played way faster than on the studio albums. In 2000, between hit records Enema of the State and Take Off your Pants and Jacket, Mark, Tom and Travis recorded a show over two nights and aptly called it “The Mark, Tom and Travis Show”.
Looking at the track list, I think what I’ll enjoy most is everyone getting a deeper look at the band. Much Music (MTV for Canadians basically) only played the videos for their singles, and the band got a bit of a bum rap as some sort of prank group. It got them a lot of publicity so I’m sure they played it up a bit, but no joke, this is a band with tight lyrics and playing. This album isn’t just a greatest hits, so you’re going to get a deep look at their full playlist.
HISTORY WILL EXONERATE BLINK-182 as the greatest punk pop band of the 2000s. I’m staring right at you Green Day.
So yeah. The show’s supposed to capture lot of the live banter between Mark Tom and Travis and a crazy audience coming in loudly over the vocals, so I’m really looking forward to a great audio recording of a frenetic live rock show.
Without further ado, I’d like to once again invite you to join us here at the Sonic Collective for our September pick: The Mark, Tom and Travis Show by Blink 182, and check in at the end of the month to see how your thoughts match up with ours. Cheers.
Album on Wikipedia
The Mark Tom & Travis Show on Youtube

Best Blink-182 Video

Sad Clown covering the same song: