Good Music / Bad Music

Tag: remastered

Matgo Primo – El Deth Halloween 2004: Dead & Live

by on Oct.28, 2009, under Good Music, mp3

Back when El Deth Records was a newly budding record label, they used to have some insane events around the southeast United States. Their El Halloween was always perennial favorite that generally brought excellent music, packed houses and enough damage that they’d have to change locations every year. The one five years ago, the 2004 edition, occurred on a huge tree farm south of Knoxville. The line-up included David Davis, Dire Con, Obadiah, Next to Never and Matgo Primo, who more or less owned the better part of the night. Now, to commemorate the five year anniversary of that powerful night, and just in time for Halloween, El Deth has released El Deth Halloween 2004: Dead & Live. It’s a recap of Matgo Primo’s set that evening, in it entirety.  (Granted, a bootleg of this night has been floating around for years, but now it’s remixed and remastered from the original tracks.)

Nowadays, Matgo Primo is a very refined band that is about as top notch as music can get in the southeast. Back then, in their infancy, they were no less excellent, but a whole lot more raucous. They often wore strange costume fashions while performing, but on this evening they were decked out in zombie gore. They must have played the part well because this recording captures a very uninhibited, gruff aggression on the stage.

None of the songs performed would eventually end up on Matgo Primo’s debut disc, None, Never. Many of them were recorded in the studio at one point for a great lost album that was produced by Simon Belmont. Though those sessions never surfaced, this live recording is still a pretty good document of that time period and some of their earliest songs. Musically, the most immediately engaging are the ones with member Dorain DeLuca shredding a guitar, rather than keys (“80’s Pop” and “Get to the Show,” for example). There is, however, a noticeable and refreshing increase in the intensity after the cops show up and force an intermission. “In Advance of a Broken Arm” pound swift and steady amid shouts of “Fuck the Police!” “Swamp Thing,” written specially for the show and whose sequel appears on None, Never, is a perfect Halloween song with dark noodlings that climax into an impudent horror show of guitars and yelling. Oddly enough, the whole thing begins with a cover of the Ducktales theme song.

There is a deal of banter on the disc, including an entire track of stage announcements warning of police outside the gates. Most of it is engaging as it’s aimed at the audience. None of it detracts from the meat of the thing. Plus it all sits on the ends of each applicable track, which makes for easy skipping if you really can’t handle the swears and nonsense.

If you’re curious about exploring Matgo Primo more, as you very well should be, but can’t seem to find their catalog hanging around, you’re in luck. El Deth Records has the entire Dead & Live set for free download on their websiteClick here to go there and check it out.

29,617 Comments :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

The Beatles – Abbey Road Remastered (and the one thing they can improve next time)

by on Sep.21, 2009, under Good Music

51jszEU4LVL._SL500_AA240_A couple weeks ago, a remastered version of the entire Beatles catalog was released, alongside (The Beatles: Rock Band).  Considering the timelessness of their contribution to both music and sound, in general, this was excellent news.  I decided to dive in with Abbey Road, which is probably my favorite Beatles record.

Now, I suppose it’s kind of dumb to review an album that’s already been around for forty years and is, by any measure, considered a classic.  So there will be nothing here like: “Starr’s “Octopus’s Garden” seems to be much less off putting than his previous contributions, and fits well with the rest of the record, despite its overt quirkiness.”  I mean…no shit.  Right?  We all know the album.  There are, however, two main observations I would like to divulge.

First of all, the remastering job on this record is top notch.  Apparently, someone spent four years tweaking the catalog and it certainly sounds like it. Though some of the gruffness is properly still in tact here and there, it really sounds as though this is a newly produced work. But it’s not.  It’s the Beatles. As a result, there is a strange phenomenon that occurs when we listen.

See, the Beatles normally make a listener feel kind of happy.  It’s positive music, with colorful sound choices throughout.  Listening to these remasters, however, an undercurrent of mild depression sets in.  We hear not just what can be done with music, but what was done with music a long long time ago.  Because the dynamics of the sound are as crystal clear as any of the music today, we must begin to ask ourselves: “What the hell happened to music today?”

Not all music, of course. But popular music.  In the 60’s, the Beatles were on the radio and everyone loved it.   It was difficult to wrap ones mind around, for it was such a revolutionary sound for the time, and yet it was so accommodating that no one was really afraid to try.  Fast forward to your radio today and we have to settle for Lil Wayne and Lady Gaga?  Considering how much money is being thrown at trite crap like that, you’d think the coked out execs could at least afford to make it sound decent.  What the hell happened?

But I digress.  After all, this is article is filed under “Good Music” and indeed, the Beatles are.

The second and final point I’d like to hit on is something that has always bothered me about Abbey Road.  I’d like to submit it for discussion so that when they remaster the album again in 2020 or whenever, it may possibly have a chance at being debated.

Here we go…

If we are not afraid to enhance the sound of The Beatles, I believe we should also not be afraid to enhance the order of the songs.  That being said, there is one fundamental flaw with the flow of Abbey Road.  I believe now, and forever so shall, that “Here Comes the Sun” and “Come Together” need desperately to swap positions on the record.  If you do not believe me, burn yourself a copy with these songs interchanged.

As it stands, “Come Together” kicks off the album and “Here Comes the Sun” ushers in the second half.   It would make more sense to the flow if “Here Comes the Sun” started off the whole thing, leaving “Come Together” to fill in what should be an edgier, more minimalist space between “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Because.”  Additionally, this would put more songs in between “Here Comes the Sun” and “Sun King.”  Those two “Sun” songs so close together detracts from what would otherwise seem to be an intentionally woven theme.   If my proposed changes were made, we could have one “Sun” song for each half of the album.

I know most people would not have ever really thought about that.  Most people have already accepted Abbey Road for what it is and are likely resistant to the idea of this change.  But consider this: my proposed order actually is the order on some of the older cassette issues of Abbey Road.  That is how I found out, unintentionally going down that path.   Now that I’ve been there, however, I will never go back.

Switch and see!  Switch and see!


36,051 Comments :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!