Fester’s Lucky 13: 2015 Year-End Summary

Fast 'n' Bulbous Best of 2015

Top 100 Albums of 2015 |  Spotify Mix | 2015 Breakdown: Genre Lists | Shows, Videos | Movies, Television, Books & Comics

In years past, I often got outraged about albums that got critical conensus while other great ones were ignored. I’m passionate about the music I love and try to spread the word on, and can get a bit worked up. I’m feeling a bit more accepting this holiday season. While the diversity of what I cover has diminished somewhat in recent years, it’s also harder to piss me off about the stuff I care about getting ignored for Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett and Father John Misty. Continue reading

What Last Minute Goodies Will Krampus Pull from His Black Bag?

rihanna-baronessAs the year-end best album lists start coming out the holiday season, there’s always a few artists who either transcend critical influence, or are so under the radar it doesn’t matter, and they drop an album in December with little or no notice. In the former case, Beyonce did this effectively on December 20, 2013, and ended up selling quite well as a last-minute stocking stuffer. Then she released a Platinum Edition in a re-issue the next year. Last year, after a 15 year wait, D’Angelo dropped Black Messiah, and even made some lists from those who were able to hear it before their deadlines.  On the other end of the spectrum, German psych legends Colour Haze came out of nowhere with To The Highest Gods We Know on December 23. Their hardcore following took notice in the stoner/psych blog world, but not beyond that.

mia-bordersThere’s a number of high profile artists who we know have been working on something that have not announced a release yet, including PJ Harvey, Radiohead, M.I.A., Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Metallica, No Doubt and Rihanna among many others. Will any of them surprise us with an album in December with little or no pre-release hype? With these big names, of course, the hype is out there whether they do anything to stoke the fires or not. PJ Harvey turned the creation of her album into performance art, allowing people to watch the process. Metallica likes to yap about how awesome the recording progress is going. Rihanna shared the title and cover art of Anti, but no date. Frank Ocean announced a title, Boys Don’t Cry, and July release date, but it’s new release date has not been mentioned. Kanye West has been hyping So Help Me God for over a year, but no release on the horizon yet. Will he be the one to pop? Or M.I.A., who has no release date for Matahdatah, but has released the single “Borders.” Others keep fairly silent. Continue reading

Thin Lizzy Worship: Carousel, Black Trip & Dead Lord


This year has seen a flood of albums from bands paying tribute to Thin Lizzy. The fact that they generally happily admit to Thin Lizzy being a primary influence, even emblazoning it on the sticker such as the case of Valkyrie’s Shadows, shows how far Thin Lizzy’s legacy has been rehabilitated this past decade. While they were respected in their time, for some reason starting with their dissolution in 1984 through the 90s, they were seen as hopelessly dated one-hit wonders (“The Boys Are Back In Town”) in the same category as dinosaurs like Grand Funk and Foghat. Nothing could be further than the truth. Of their 12 studio albums, seven of them, between Vagabonds Of The Western World (1973) and Black Rose: A Legend (1979) are absolute classics. Throw in Live And Dangerous (1978), which many consider the greatest live album ever, it’s the most consistently great run of hard rock albums in the 70s. Yes, that includes Led Zeppelin. There’s several reasons for this. The twin lead guitar harmonies between Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson (and also Gary Moore and Snowy White) starting in 1974, served as a huge influence, along with Wishbone Ash, on Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and many other New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands. And of course they had Phil Lynott, the charismatic Irish bass-playing Hendrix who partied too hard, but who’s Celtic poetic soul was the equal of Van Morrison, and rarely wrote a bad song and was a great storyteller. Continue reading

Double Trouble: Double Albums Are Still A Thing!

There was once a time when double albums were kind of a big deal. Even established artists had to often fight with their labels to release double albums, because it meant more packaging, more expensive studio time, and ultimately less profit for the labels. It was an audacious move, to have the confidence and/or ego to think one could fill two LPs, usually more than an hour of music, with consistently great songs. Dylan, The Beatles and Hendrix weren’t the first to release double albums, but they definitely made a statement with over 1:13, 1:33 and 1:15 worth of pretty amazing music, respectively. Blonde On Blonde, The Beatles and Electric Ladyland continue to haunt the upper slots of all-time best of lists, and show no signs of going away. More major landmarks followed with Trout Mask Replica (1969), Third (1970), Tago Mago (1971), Something/Anything and Exile On Main St. (1972). Continue reading

Baroness’ John Baizley Writes About Crash

Over six weeks since Baroness’ horrific bus crash in Monkton Combe, UK, John Baizley gives a detailed account of his experience. I knew the band would choose to get back on the horse if they could, but the long-term implications of their injuries were in question. I’m relieved to learn that Baizley has already resumed playing guitar along with doing physical therapy. I’m also relieved to know he doesn’t believe in fate or some higher power either punishing or rewarding him. Because really, is there anyone more insufferable than a musician who believes they’re some sort of chosen one? Not that I was worried about Baroness, a tough group of men who have been around the block a few times. That doesn’t mean Baizley doesn’t have some pretty intense insights resulting from the experience. Check it out after the jump. ‘Til the wheels fall off! Continue reading

Baroness Tour Bus Crash in Bath – Update

Baroness Coach Crash

Earlier today, Baroness‘ publicist, Monica Seide of Speakeasy PR & Marketing, released the following update regarding the musicians’ medical condition:

“The band members of Baroness and their crew are recovering from injuries sustained after their tour bus crashed outside of Bath, England early on Wednesday morning.

“John Baizley [rhythm guitar, lead vocals] has broken his left arm and left leg. Allen Blickle [drums] and Matt Maggioni [bass] each suffered fractured vertebrae. All three remain in the hospital as of this writing. Pete Adams [lead guitar, vocals] has been treated and released from the hospital.

“Three of the five crew members who were on the bus have also been treated and released. One member is still undergoing testing. The driver of the bus remains in critical condition.

“Please stay tuned for further updates. Thank you for all the support during this extremely difficult time.”

Two guys with broken backs is pretty bad, but send good thoughts to the driver who isn’t out of the woods yet. Continue reading