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bands with the word “black” in their names..

June 10, 2010

I hate most hip hop.. so I am not going to bother writing about the Black Eyed Peas. I think they are terrible.

There’s an iconic punk band called Black Flag. Henry Rollins sang for them, before starting his own band. I’m not into punk, so I’m not going to write about Black Flag.

Black Sabbath is famous, so I won’t write about that band except to say Ozzy Osbourne was the first lead singer of Black Sabbath. Ozzy was kicked out, I don’t know why, but it was the best thing for him. Ozzy was replaced by Ronnie James Dio, who I never liked. RJD died a few years ago.. Something like that.

Ozzy went on to have an incredible solo career, as pretty much everyone knows.

Everybody probably knows about The Black Crowes, (spelling “crows” incorrectly is intentional.. that’s how the band spells it), so I will not write much about them, except to say that their first three albums were absolute genius, some of my most favorite albums of all time. I don’t bother with the rest of their albums.. You haven’t heard of The Black Crowes? I like hiding under rocks too sometimes, but seriously..

Ok.. that last sentence was probably a little harsh. People under 30 might not have heard of the Black Crowes.. so..  I’ll write more about the band. The Black Crowes became popular around 1990, are  from the South, creative, obviously influenced by blues and soul and ’60’s rock, excellent songs, two of the guys in the band are brothers and mostly hate each other..

The band is large.. a singer, 2 guitarists, bass player, drummer, piano/organ player. First three albums are: “Shake Your Money Maker,” “A Southern Harmony and Musical Companion,” and “Amorica.” The uncensored cover of “Amorica” is too raunchy for my taste, but the album is awesome otherwise.

Here’s an extended jam of my favorite Crowes tune, “Thorn In My Pride.”

Next up.. The Black Keys.. a band that is well-known these days.. I don’t know if they get any mainstream airplay though, since I don’t listen to music on the radio.

Two guys.. very gritty blues rock, heavy stuff. They just came out with a new album called, “Brothers,” and they’ve got a few others. I don’t like every song on any of their albums, but that’s true of virtually every album I’ve ever heard.. by anybody. I suggest checking out their new album, and an EP they did awhile back called “Chulahoma.” That one has killer cover art, and is all cover tunes by an obscure blues musician/singer whose name I have forgotten.

My favorite Black Keys tracks thus far – from “Brothers” – “Next Girl” and “Tighten Up,” and from “Chulahoma,” – “Have Mercy on Me,” and “Keep Your Hands Off Her.”

Tonight I checked out two of their earlier albums. One is called “Thickfreakness.” I didn’t like that album as much as the other two I mentioned, except for one tune called “Everywhere I Go.”  The other album I listened to is called “Attack and Release.” I really like a song from that album, called “I’ve Got Mine.” I think it’s one of their best.  Dark, Bluesy, Heavy, and sometimes even a bit cheerful .. that’s what these guys do.. gritty stuff, and I like it!

How ’bout some retro-funky-soul? Presenting.. Black Pumas.

Shockingly, I first heard this band in a grocery store. I write “shockingly,” because in the big chain grocery stores I sometimes go to, almost all the music I hear is really really terrible.

But one night, a miracle happened.. I heard this band. I didn’t know who they were. I got out my phone, typed into google some of the lyrics I heard, and I found..

Amazing band!

Ok then..

Further into the black..

The Black Angels. I  just discovered this band tonight. I have an emusic subscription, and it’s a pretty good deal. Emuisc has plenty of mainstream stuff, but specialize in more obscure and unusual music. I check out maybe a hundred bands in one two hour sitting. The vast majority of bands I listen to on there – in 30 second segments.. I do not like, but occasionally I get lucky.

The Black Angels are qUite rEtro. Sound like psychedelic-laid-back-but-dark blues rock from the ’60’s… imagine Neal Young feeling very depressed and singing a few tunes by The Doors, while Jim Morrison is too stoned to get up off the floor because the ceiling is still spinning madly.. something like that, only without the organ. Not as nearly good as Neal Young or The Doors of course, but still worth a listen.

They have at least two albums out that I am aware of. Their first album is appropriately titled “Passover.” You won’t know why if you don’t know the story of the Angel of Death, the last plague of Egypt and all that.. get out your bible and read the Book of Exodus..

Anyway, I don’t remember the title of their second album, because it wasn’t near as good as their first.

Tracks I chose from “Passover” : “The First Vietnamese War,” “Black Grease,” and “Manipulation.” I might go back and get the first tune, which is called “Young Men Dead.”

It’s a strange thing.. people often use the phrase “ahead of their time” to describe bands, artists or authors who are doing something rather unique that later becomes more common, but no one uses the phrase “behind their time..” That phrase would work very well for this band, I think.

Here’s “Young Man Dead.”

Next group I want to mention is especially for stoners. I don’t get high, which is probably a surprise, considering my sometimes rather odd taste in music. Since I don’t get baked,  I can’t much appreciate the music from Brightblack Morning Light (now that’s a name for you!), but I must say they are different.

Some of the slowest tempo music I’ve ever heard, and I am just not patient enough for most of it, but I still feel the band is worth mentioning.. They have sort of a ’60’s feel … very trippy slide guitar and electric piano/organ music.. far out man… but like I said.. veeeeery sloooooow.

So far, I just picked one tune from their album, and that one is called “Black Feather Wishes Rise.” That’s the sort of title you get.. shamanic-neo-hippie strangeness. You won’t need to ingest any substances to feel you are in an alternate reality, just listen to this band for awhile, and you will slide right off your chair.. gradually. Hope you got soft carpet in your room.

If you are looking for a ’60’s fix, but don’t actually want to get your music from ’60’s bands, here ya go.

How ’bout some more weirdness?

Like your music heavy and a bit strange? You might enjoy listening to Black Queen Speaks. They sound like Soundgarden crossed with Mother Love Bone.. sort of a Seattle Rock Revival sound, I suppose. If you’re into grunge music from the ’90’s,  You might like this band.

Last group I want to write briefly about.. God Speed You! Black Emperor. The name comes from a documentary about a Japanese motorcycle gang called The Black Emperors. I first heard of this group while watching a disappointing movie called “Pineapple Express.” One of the characters mentioned the band. I thought the name was cool, so I looked them up.

These guys really freak me out. What they do, I would almost not call music. I don’t know what to call it. The band is from Canada. Some of the strangest music I have ever heard. The album I listened to was their first, and is called F# A# Infinity (F Sharp A Sharp Infinity).

There are only 3 tracks on the album. One is just over 14 minutes long, one is almost 18 minutes, and the last one is just over 29 minutes. Strange noises, very slow and long notes, a bit of spoken word.. some very good poetry.. odd musical meanderings. Dark, melancholy, at times.. insane.. Saying this group is “weird” doesn’t even cover it. I’ve read that this band is part of a genre called “post rock.”

Whatever “post rock” is, it is not for me. This stuff messes up my head. But, I have to say.. there are a few moments on the debut album by GY!BE (that’s how the name is often abbreviated) that really sound like art.. art at the end of the world.. or maybe a little bit after..

This is the first track from F#A#Infinity, called “The Dead Flag Blues.” It starts with poetry, and then there is some very slow and hypnotic music. This is a terribly bleak video with some graphic content. But, I must say, it is art.

Alright then, that’s my music report for tonight.

Please pay for your downloads. The bands deserve your support, and your dollars. Even Brightblack Morning Light.. I’m guessing weed and ‘shrooms are expensive these days.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2014 6:48 PM

    Thiss iss vry interesting, You aare a vewry skilled blogger.
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    • tomschronicles permalink
      June 22, 2014 12:38 AM

      Thanks very much!

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