Best rock albums of the 21st Century?

Asked that at TOMB, and staying with major-label releases, I said:

I’m not a 16 year old girl altho’ I might play one in …

…eh, …

… well, for me, not a 16 year old girl but a 56 year old young man, the record that first came to mind as something new that I could get behind would be The National’s High Violet, in that it kind of sets up a new genre, altho’ they may be about the only ones innit, of dad-rock. Altho’ Trouble Will Find Me is arguably even better …

I also think that, somehow, a Foo Fighter’s disc should be nominatable, altho’ I don’t really think any given album from them is that good.

So, as a alternate, mebbe Songs for the Deaf by QOTSA, altho’ Them Crooked Vultures is just as good, and …Like Clockwork, also.

Shoutouts to:
Lanegan: Blues Funeral and Bubblegum;
Richard Thompson: Old Kit Bag and Electric
Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams and Gold
Gov’t Mule: Shout and Sco-Mule
Steve Wynn: Crossing Dragon Bridge and … Tick … Tick …Tock
Grinderman: both records
Dinosaur Jr.: Beyond
Buddy Guy: Sweet Tea (blues-rock?)
NIN: The Fragile
Bowie: the last two
Frank Black: Frank Black and the Catholics, Pistolero, Bluefinger
Steve Earle: The Revolution Starts Now
Wilco: Kicking Televisions, Star Wars, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Nick Cave: Push Away the Sky
REM: Accelerate
Jack White: his two
I also dig the Dead Weather records, all 3
Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped, Sonic Nurse, The Eternal
Bob Mould: District Line, Life and Times, Silver Age
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Mojo
Black Dub
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Of Chicago in 1993, grunge, Albini, etc.

I was there as a musician (played every club mentioned and more) and fan and in my job, knew/know many of these people on a first name or just “Hello” basis and had drinks with more than a few, was in business with one of the bands pictured, can personally vouch for a few of the stories.

I don’t know the author, but he was well-known and his opinions as notorious as he says.

His facts are accurate, in the stories that I know.

Besides alla that, it’s actually a hella read, if very opinionated:
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; blog.
I mix with olive juice.

A little hx

In response to a inquiry about a recent drum session from a Scot:

Here’s my mix position; immediately under the ADA logo and next to the top of the bottom monitor (Tannoy 6.5II) is the breakout box for the M-Audio Delta 44 I use an interface to Cool Edit.

Those are some Rat Shack/Optimus speakers in white, on top of Auratones.

The rack from top is:

2 TS patchbays (the tiny little box on top right by the yellow cable is an STP-1 Attenuator I use to pad pre-amps and compressors to get them to distort)

Power strip

DOD 822 (compressor, prob’ly manufactured by dbx, and sound like it)

dbx166A (compressor)

dbx160XT (compressor)

Gyraf 1176 clone (compressor)

Twin RNLA’s in Funk Logic rack mount (compressors)

ART VLA2 (compressor)

ADA Micro-cab (OK analog speaker emulator)

M–Udo Breakout box

Meek C2 (compressor), FM RNC (compressor)

Summot 2BA22(pre), Meek VC3Q (channel strip)

Meek MC2 ((compressor), VTB1 (ore)

Eureka (channel strip)

ART TSP (twin pre)

Symmetrix 522 (compressor)

Meek VC1Q (channel strip)

Altec 1589b (pre)

Power strip

Hafler T2 (rack guitar pre, not shown)

Inline image

I also have an ISA1 (pre) UA710 (pre), UA110 (pre), The Brick (pre)and an MP105 (pre) what are under the shelf under the right-side monitors.


Some guitars (new TV !!! I bought last week in backround):

Inline image


Amps frome the mix position:

Left stack: HD130 atop a Marlboro iuse as the cab, pedal board hanging in front

Tiny Terror atom jet City 1×12″ convertible cab

Tech21 Trademark 10 (awesome 10w.  S/S amp based on Sansamp)

Vox Pathfinder (awesome 10w.  S/S amp with incredible tremolololo behind chair)

Peavey Transtube   (OK S/S 20w.? that does decent metal sounds, nice reverb)

Right stack:

Pro, Jr. (a fave)

Ampeg VT60 (rare Mesa clone – bought last fall, and it’s very versatile bit heavy, 60w., 3 channels, 7 tubes)

Marshall Silver Jubilee

Hot Rod Deluxe

Atop the deluxe is a Magnus chord organ I just bought – used to have one and they are great for quick keys and sound pretty unique.

Inline image


This is the live recording postion, Zoom R16 and M-Audio monitors (the other speakers are just for height):
Inline image
Below is the kit and drummer; the red circles indicate some of the mic’s:
Inline image

I also started onna Porta 1(!)  In about ’88. By ’90 I did demos for a few bands that used them to book some decent clubs.
I then went to a Tascam 238 with an Alesis 1622 board for a few years (’93-’98-ish).
Then the Boss BR8 in ’99, what I bought the day my now-ex left me – HA!.
I started to use Cool Edit about ’01 to mix those tracks.
Bought a few sound cards (Soundblaster then M-Audio Dio) and then the Delta 44 about mebbe ’03.
I have Cakewalk, and Reaper, and Audacity,  and Wavesauras, and I’ve used ProToolsLE and about 3 other programs but I know and still love and so use Cool Edit, which I have onna 7 year-old custom XP Pro 2x P4-3000GHz SATA.


His line, “Ground Control to Major Tom” is heard, and used, by me at least a couple times a year.

Its melody is currently on loop in my head, followed by “Ashes to ashes, funk to funky.”


bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Re: “The Center of Attention”

From a Lostoverture thread:

Thanx for listening.

FWIW, the drums started as Guitar Hero stems for Radiohead’s “My Iron Lung”. I heavily edited same, first using gates to reduce the bleed as well as the cymbals. Then I moved the bits around; it’s surprising how the tempo sped up at the end, hence the disconcerting initial chorus, what I had some trouble fitting in (see above, where I noted that I hadda extra beat where I was tying to smooth the transition).

I wrote this on bass,and sometimes lately I attempt to develop a kinda odd bass pattern to break me out of the tried-and-true – I think it worked OK here, altho’ it’s not radically different. The bass is played DI through two different pre/compressor chains in parallel, what I am loving recently as it gives me tons of EQ and even dynamics control.  The Meek VC3Q by itself is very heavy and dark as a DI as the compressor colours it significantly, and the Brick with the dbx 160XT is very good and dynamic and brighter; together they allow me to get more clarity and heft than separately.

Next came the vocals, what started from that very first line, what I just riffed from.  Lately on vocal sounds I’ve been using my Eureka with the compressor remaining unchanged, adjusting only the pre’s gain. Then, I’ve been changing out mic’s for fun.  This one is a ancient, cream-colored Sennheiser 421n I bought from TOMB’s rhythmranch (the “n” means it has a Tuchel connector – to which I have wired a short Tuchel to XLR cord).  The 421 is a standard, perhaps most recognizable on toms, and in use on everything in the George HarrisonBangladesh movie. I find it comparable to other large-diaphragm dynamics like the SM7b and the PV200i and even some of the older EV’s altho’ its cleaner than the latter, a little more natural and less EQ’d than the former two. There is some ITB compression and plate reverbs on the vox, what I think are a lead and some 5 BV’s by the end.

I did the G&L guitar tracks next, what are panned at 10 and 2, and are sorta Keefy leadish. I developed a little theme  having recently listened to his latest record, and so sorta thinking that stylee.  The reverb is all from the Hot Rod Delux and it’s a old AKG dynamic mic intio a racked Yamaha pre.
I then did the hard-panned Teles as just more basic rhythm fillers, the left being more chordsy and the right a little more with single-note lines. The Toadworks Meat, Jr. pedal is a clean boost (think OCD or DOD OD/Pre250, etc., or even Klon Centaur) into a ancient Marlboro QSB2 reverb unit (as used by 3 Dog Night) into a Fender Pro,Jr. and then a MXL 860 ribbon (looks like a Royer) into a Cathedral Pipes Durham (like a Cloudlifter or FEThead) into the Yamaha pre.

And yes, I wrote this post as I’m killing time before work.  Grin

Mix with me

Aiight, I posted some multi-tracks at Mix-Off, here, of my choon, “The Center of Attention”.

If you care to indulge …
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Aiight, so to ‘splain the *Stems …* album

I said:

Aiight, not only izzat a Clash reference, it’s the drum stems from “Casbah”, see.

Do go back and listen to “Riot”. I think it’s the best choon; it’s the drum tracks from a Sonic Youth ditty, “Teenage Riot” and thus requires the noise intro …

All songs, BTW, are using drum stems from hits, ex., “Love Roller Coaster”, “Yoshimi & the Pink Robot”, “The Hardest Button to Button”, “Shiva”, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, “Ramble On” …

As I wrote on the page, the original titles inspired the lyrics and song names.

The drums are mostly from the video game, Guitar Hero and were .ogg files so the percussion tracks are not the best fidelity of sound.


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