Discover more from Lamniformes Cuneiform
Five & Five on Friday, 11/17/2023
A new Lamniformes cover, a new Substack to follow & more
Happy Friday! Congratulations on making it to the end of the week. As you head into your weekend, here are five recommendations and then five micro reviews of albums from my high school CD collection. Maybe you’ll find something new to read, listen to, or do this weekend. See you next week!
The good folks at GUNK put together a compilation album called For Palestine to raise money for the Palestinian Youth Movement and Anera, and I’m honored to say that they included my cover of “A Stone’s Throw Away” by The Style Council alongside tracks from a number of NYC indie rock luminaries. Some of the big names featured include Mutual Benefit, Frankie Cosmos, Told Slant, and Why Bonnie. The whole 53 track album is only $7 and is only available on Bandcamp. It’d mean a lot to me if you grabbed copy, if you’re able.
Back in October when ~*my girlfriend*~ and I went to California for my friend Joseph Schafer’s wedding I had the chance to hang out and catch up with Cody Davis, another of my West Coast heavy metal homies. When he’s not writing about metal bands Cody is a real deal physical therapist. At one point in the weekend I overheard Cody say that he was working on a Substack where he could combine these two passions and I’ve been buzzing with anticipation for it ever since. This week Cody officially launched Heal ‘Em All, a blog about pain management and musculoskeletal health for the touring musician. Check out the mission statement and subscribe, especially if you, like me, have spent a lot of time loading heavy gear in and out of venues lately.
Do NOT under any circumstances let any post-punk musicians in your life find out about Chinese real estate ghost stories. You’ll never hear the end of it from them about hauntology and the horrors of urbanization.
I’ve never attended a “-con” of any variety, or even a boring old conference if I’m being real, but I found this quick (by his standards) video from Folding Ideas about line mismanagement at a recent Blizzard event fascinating. I love thinking about these kind of logistical problems, and there’s a lot for live music folks to glean about crowd management in this one!
Speaking of crowd management, Justin Charity recently wrote about how Taylor Swift turned the potentially unwieldily concept of re-recording her back catalog into the single biggest success story of the streaming era for The Ringer. I appreciated Charity framing this coup in the lineage of famous artist vs label conflicts throughout recently music history.
Now, onto the five micro reviews. Long time Lamniformes Instagram followers will recognize these from my stories back in late 2020, however they’ve been re-edited and spruced up with links so that you can actually hear the music instead of just taking my word for it.
The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd (1973) - Progressive Rock
For some reason I think it’s hilarious that I spent money to buy this album. Fond memories of listening to this on a rainy day at summer camp while waiting for an open shift at the camp radio station. What am I supposed to say about this record that hasn’t been said? It’s difficult to even “hear” this record through the decades of takes about it. [Editor’s Note: Despite punting on my critical responsibility in this micro review it is still possible to write well about Dark Side. Check out this great review by Eric Harvey]
The Human Equation by Ayreon (2004) - Progressive Rock
Another way-too-long rock opera from this guy. Basically a prog rock version of Inside Out, in which a bunch of hired gun singers all play the different emotions of a guy in a coma. By the end of this album you might be in a coma yourself! I bought this because the singers of Opeth and Dream Theater were involved. The only person who emerges looking good from this project is Devin Townsend, who only joined on the condition that he wrote his own lyrics and vocal melodies. Smart move, Devy.
The Adversary by Ihsahn (2006) - Progressive Metal
My copy is signed by the man himself. I was very star struck when I met him in 2006. This is the first solo album from the singer of Emperor. The selling point at the time was that he was moving past black metal toward classic heavy metal. There’s still a ton of the blasting/tremolo picking/screechy vocals that you’d expect from a former black metal guy, but those elements are part of a broader pallet and are cleaned up for a more straightforward metal experience. A very professional record.
In Their Darkened Shrines by Nile (2002) - Death Metal
South Carolinians making death metal about mummies. The liner notes are filled with mini-essays breaking down their references to Egyptian mythology. I get the sense that they are sincerely excited to tell you about this stuff, which is a fun tone for extreme metal. Even though Nile play super fast the melodic and harmonic rhythm of their music is actually pretty slow. The sensation is like watching something extremely large travel across great distances at a slow pace.
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son by Iron Maiden (1988) - Heavy Metal
Depending on who you ask this is the last album of Maiden’s golden age. They were experimenting with guitar synths and had really gone full sci-fi by this point. This record is based on an Orson Scott Card novel that I haven’t read because fuck that guy. This is either my favorite or second favorite Maiden record depending on the day. I love the shimmering, other-worldly feeling the synths give this band. The title track is an absolute monster and the singles/fan favorites are a thrill.