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The number of sleeveless Municipal Waste jean jackets at recent metal shows should have made me check them out sooner.

Tags: music spotify
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"My friends all burned around me and the smoke was full of you…" I love the early Richard Buckner stuff.

(Source: Spotify)

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One of many albums I discovered by listening to the Root of All Evil on KFAI. PLAY AT MAXIMUM VOLUME ONLY.

(Source: Spotify)

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"Night had now fallen on ancient Krikkit… a small group of people… were walking home across the hill towards the town… actually singing a song about how terribly nice everything was… Arthur could almost imagine Paul McCartney sitting with his feet up by the fire one evening, humming it to Linda and wondering what to buy with the proceeds, and thinking probably Essex…" —The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Paul McCartney always makes me think of Douglas Adams.

(Source: Spotify)

Tags: music spotify
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Another gorgeous sunrise from the Washington ave bridge.  (at Washington Avenue Bridge)

Another gorgeous sunrise from the Washington ave bridge. (at Washington Avenue Bridge)

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In some respects, plumbing is like procedural programming. There is a kind of logic to it that’s not always easy to grasp. Also, some times you just have to hack it to connect to legacy systems. Don’t judge me.

In some respects, plumbing is like procedural programming. There is a kind of logic to it that’s not always easy to grasp. Also, some times you just have to hack it to connect to legacy systems. Don’t judge me.

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Wait. The theme to the BBC production of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an Eagles song? I may have to rethink my opinion of this band.

(Source: Spotify)

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Bikes were one of the best things in 2013. I bought a Long Haul Trucker and a Krampus this year. I’ve never had bikes so nice.

I did the Almanzo 100 in May and the Filthy 50 in October, a tap room ride for my birthday in February, a ride (in freezing weather) to Hastings & back on St. Patrick’s Day as well as a few other random rides w/ friends and family.

Others are faster. No one had more fun.

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When I started to think of best-of list from memory without poring back over my Spotify playlists, there was one record that clearly stood out.

I was excited for Red Fang’s Whales and Leeches, and Sandrider’s Godhead, but in terms of hours-listened and pure inspiration, nothing came even close to Kvelertak’s Meir. Everything else was eclipsed by this one record.

This band is definitely not for everyone. First, they are Norwegian and none of the lyrics are in English. I’m sure the translation is a little loose, but here’s a snippet:

Odin gave us
Suttung’s mead
The magical mead
The daily bread

Odin gave us
Suttung’s mead
The magical mead
It is better than beer

Juvenile perhaps, but certainly fun. Any band that wants to sing about Norse gods and The Mead of Poetry is alright in my book.

I’ve always been into bands first for their music and lyrics second. If a band can give me some sort of visceral feeling, I’m in. I supposed that’s why I love metal and punk so much.

Kvelertak has visceral in spades. No other record released in 2013 has worn as well for me as Meir has. I listened to this record about 4 times a week while training this summer and fall. It never failed to inspire me to keep going. At key moments it inspired me to go faster.

I have some touring experience under my belt from long ago. I can tell you that it’s extremely hard to get up on stage every night and give an inspired performance. Sometimes it’s just a grind and you’re exhausted. You just don’t feel like being there. I know first hand what’s like to get up on a stage and be less than excited to play. So I have a lot of respect for bands that can put on a great show night after night. Three Kvelertak shows within a year’s time and I can tell you they do just that.

The 7th St. Entry show was honestly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The six-piece band filled the stage and absolutely rocked the faces off everyone in the room. It was one of those perfect shows where the band and the audience are interacting with each other in a perfect loop that builds and builds and builds.

So it was when they opened for High on Fire.

Kveklertak at First Avenue

They took full advantage of the larger stage for dramatic effect with an OWL MASK that had glowing eyes. The shear decibel level of this show made it a different experience the the other two shows I’d seen, but no less stunning. The band was just as comfortable here as they were on smaller stages. Total pros.

So my best of 2013 list has one band. One record. Kvelertak Meir wins. Hands down.

(Source: Spotify)

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If you’re in my neighborhood and you hear someone singing loudly in Robert Plant falsetto, it’s not me.

(Source: Spotify)

Tags: music spotify