Top Ten Albums of 2013

 I’ve made up lists of best albums for ages but this is the first time I’ve posted one outside of social media. So a quick disclaimer: this doesn’t represent G&G’s staff picks or anything, just mine. This was a really hard year to pick. The past three years have been absolutely excellent for music but 2013 may be the best of the century so far. Any of the top six below could be number one and I rearranged them a few times. Slots seven through ten could switch out with any of my honorable mentions easily. Heck, that I had to make an honorable mentions list at all just to sort the sheer volume of really good stuff is remarkable. Then you have all of the excellent singles out in the techno and deep house scenes this year and, well, there’s just a ton to deal with. 10. DIANA – “Perpetual Surrender”: I wouldn’t even know about this group had they not opened up for Austra on their recent tour. Expecting nothing much, I was really impressed by what Diana put on display: an energetic, jazzy synth style, flirting with influences like Sade and 80s era Roxy Music. It’s only natural that we’d end up here, with electronic music of all sorts surging into an unprecedented era of critical acclaim on the back of repurposing older styles for a new century. We’ve done industrial, cold wave, techno, rave, house, and everything in between. Why not draw on the mellower, dare I say smoother, forms of the metagenre? That it’s done with such skill is what surprised me; this isn’t usually my thing...
The Devil Came Down To Richmond

The Devil Came Down To Richmond

“Have you guys heard the D-Devils?” It was 2006 and the voice belonged to my good friend Rachael. The question was addressed to my wife and I. The answer was that no, we had not heard the D-Devils. So we did and there we were, all three of us squished in Rachael’s tiny car, zipping around the streets of Richmond, laughing until we cried. Rachael, a frenetic ball of laughter, turquoise hair, tattoos, and piercing, knew every word. She shouted the lyrics, such as they were, exulting in the goofiness, punctuating each line with effortless, raucous laughter. This went on for a few hours, before and after meals out, on and on, beat out by the steady metronome of that song. Here’s what we know: the D-Devils are Belgian. Very Belgian. They have two full albums out, “Dance With the Devil” and “No Future Without Us”, from 2001 and 2003, respectfully. This meant that, by 2006, they were already well into past due status in the quickly moving world of electronic subgenres. Today, they’re ancient, with a website which hasn’t been updated since 2010 (I’ve no idea why it was updated for even that long). The D-Devils are about schtick and, oh my, what schtick it is. They dress like devils, prosthetic horns and all, go on stage, and play what discogs.com refers to as trance, but is really closer to The KLF’s stadium house, albeit updated with newer bleeps and bloops (it should be noted that The KLF was dedicated to schtick, as well, and that the D-Devils’ sound is shockingly close to those other inheritors of The...
Gangnam Style Madness

Gangnam Style Madness

So we here at G&G have pretty much been ignoring the newest international Asian Youtube meme craze. Well, not so much ignoring it as simply being old and not knowing that the kids are into these days. But I recently discovered gangnam style and have compiled a bunch of videos for your viewing pleasure. Or mockery. Whatever. The meme originated with Korean rapper Psy, who is not exactly what one would think of when they think of rappers. His song “Gangnam Style” is catchy as shit, has a goofy video and is apparently funny, though I can’t speak Korean so I have to take that on faith. Also Psy apparently really likes horses. All About Gangnam Style Youtube Video – PSY – Gangnam Style This oddity has inspired multiple attempts to copy Psy, some amusing, some not. For instance, one man taught his 60-year-old mother to do the dance. Mama’s got mad skillz. Youtube Video – Gangnam Mom There’s another Gangnam Style mom video that is more like Gangnam MILFs (and a Gangnam Dad) that is cute, especially the little Asian kid in a Psy tuxedo. Youtube Video – PSY – Gangnam Milfs And of course flash mobs have to get in on the horsie action: Youtube Video – PSY – Gangnam Flash But you’d better check yourself before you wreck yourself, because too much love for Gangnam can get your ass fired. Lifeguards Canned for Gangnam Spoof If you want to make your own gangnam video, you can learn the moves from Psy himself in this video: Youtube Video – PSY – Gangnam Tutorial Gangnam Tutorial I am thinking...

Japanese Metal News

I’ve been totally MIA for a while, due to many circumstances including death and a birthday party. Anyway, here is Japanese metal news: Heavy Metal Ghibli! I doubt this is going to be a top seller, but maybe I’ll get it for Gohan. It’s killing two birds really; I can indoctrinate him into Ghibli and metal at the same time. And…remember how I love and adore Detroit Metal City? And I tried to talk my metal-loving husband into donning the corpse paint to be Johannes “11 Rapes per Second” Krauser II for some cosplay (he said no, the chicken)? Well, this guy had the stones:...

David Sylvian – For the Love of Life

Just so you understand the chain of thought that led me to post this video – Mick Karn, bassist for 80’s synth-pop band Japan, died today…so I went on the usual YouTube clip safari, checking out loads of old Japan videos. Naturally, I started wondering what lead vocalist David Sylvian was up to these days, and lo and behold – I find out that his tune ‘For the Love of Life’ is used in the end-credits sequence for the Monster anime. So there you...