With #BestOf2020 coverage having been fully underway here at Nine Circles for a couple of weeks, it’s time for a bit of a breather. Time to crank down the volume, switch off the HM-2 pedal, and talk some non-metal for a change. If you read Ian’s end-of-year Rainbows in the Dark post and thought to yourself, “boy, I sure would like a two-and-a-half-hour audio version of THAT,” well, reader, have I got the post for you!
A little while back — okay, basically a month back now, because I work in a hospital and doing anything productive when I’m not at work has been a tall order this year — fellow non-metal aficionado Chris Voss and I sat down to talk about our favorite stuff from all the other genres that dropped this year. There’s some shoegaze and some folk, some powerful hip-hop and some super-catchy synth pop. We covered as many bases as we could, for a near Buke-sized amount of time.
So if you, too, need a break from all the heavy stuff, jump on in and check it out. If anything strikes your interest, our full lists are included below the episode audio. Maybe some of the stuff that floated our boats will float yours too!
I may have said this before, but a large part of my life’s journey over the last 20 years has been analyzing what the media we consume says about us. Each of us is obviously more than the sum of what they’ve read, watched, or listened to, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a hell of a lot of those films, books, and albums tied into the bundle of molecules that makes up who were are. Whether it’s that record you heard at your first college party or the movie you remember watching over and over again with your father as a little kid, this seemingly disposable media is anything but…
Especially when you’re not in the most optimal mental or emotional state. That’s when you turn to those things the resonate closest to you, that help you reinforce and re-align your identity with yourself. For years I’ve kept an ever-expanding list of songs and albums under a playlist simply titled “Self Definition.” It’s my lifeline for when the water gets too choppy, for when things seems to fall in on themselves in such a way you feel like you’re buried under a million things that won’t let you breathe, let you be heard. And since the past few weeks have felt like to me, I wanted to take this edition of Nine Circles ov… to share some of those tracks that get me through the dark and remind me in a note or a chord or lyric of who I am. Let’s dive in… Continue reading →
It’s been a while since we featured a Rainbows in the Dark column, and to be honest with all the great metal in the last few weeks it’s been hard to do anything but soak myself in the blistering death metal of Immolation, the raging thrash of Power Trip and Overkill, and the dark misery of Junius. But man cannot live on metal alone — at least this man can’t — and last week two fantastic albums dropped that I’d be remiss if I didn’t confess I’ve been playing more than anything else in the last seven days. So I beg your indulgence for a few paragraphs as I wax rhapsodic about the latest albums from two performers I just got turned onto: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Thundercat. Continue reading →