Archive for the ‘Awesome of the Week’ Category

ICYMI: Bowie’s Stunning Farewell Video

January 13, 2016 Leave a comment



November 9, 2015 Leave a comment

by Mat Weir. 

I know, I know. It’s already been a week. That’s a horrible time to write a concert review because in our up-to-date-by-the-minute society, a week might as well be a year. But if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written here, you know that frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. Besides, after a week I’m still trying to fully digest the awesomeness that was King Diamond in concert.


On November 2, 2015 I felt like death. October had been a rough month on my physical and mental state and by November everything had revolted. But, I also had a ticket to King Diamond and Exodus at the Warfield in San Francisco with a couple of fellow Streetlight, metal warriors. With my head in a daze and my legs weak from weeks of constant work, I clearly saw the only thing I could do was dose myself with LSD and make sure my ticket didn’t go to waste. Obviously.

I would write about Exodus since they are a favorite, Bay Area thrash band and one I’ve been wanting to see for a while. However, by the time King Diamond finished, I had almost completely forgotten there was even an opening band. The King and his band were just THAT good.



With the stage decked out in gargoyles, upside down crosses and a giant second story deck with stairs on either side, King Diamond opened with “Mother’s Getting Weaker” off Them. The 59 year old artist didn’t disappoint with the theatrics and had a female counterpart dressed as an old woman, rolled out on stage. Of course, this was mother.

Mother's Getting Weaker

Mother’s Getting Weaker


Throughout the next hour Diamond and crew blasted through a bunch of fan favorites like “Eye of the Witch,” and “Halloween” before diving into some Mercyful Fate territory. “Evil” and “Melissa” were personal favorites with a priest burning a witch and a giant, light-up goat-headed pentagram in the background. Oh yeah, and at one point. As Streetlight metal-aficionado, Dayan, pointed out, during “Come to the Sabbath” the female performer was acting out the Satanic ritual Diamond was singing about.

Hail to the King, baby!

Hail to the King, baby!

Burn the witch!

Burn the witch!

I mean, does it get any more METAL than THAT?!?

Then the lights went up and we realized the band hadn’t even started what we all came to see, the complete Abigail album from start to finish.

The classic 1987 album was King Diamond second solo and first concept album. It’s the story of Abigail La’Fey, a stillborn baby “birthed” through the murder of her mother, whose spirit haunts the unborn child of her future relatives. If that doesn’t make you want bang your head with joy, we can’t be friends.

The lights went out in the building and by this point I was completely drenched in the world created before me. Then, the familiar haunting bells and a spotlight appeared on King Diamond standing above a child coffin repeating the words, “We’re gathered here to night to lay to rest, Abigail Avail, who we now know was first born dead on the seventh day of July, 1777. . .”

July 7th, 1777.

July 7th, 1777.

And the crowd. . .well. . .the crowd exploded into a chaos of moshing, cheering and headbanging.

Watching King Diamond mesmerize the audience with his insane voice and high energy made it hard to believe he had a near fatal heart attack only five years ago. The heavy metal legend appeared in full-form, blasting through the classic 1987 album without missing a note and enacting the entire drama of Abigail. At one particularly fun acid moment, I realized we were witnessing the modern evolution of the  musical. Give it one or two more generations and you’ll see King Diamond-inspired sold-out shows on Broadway. I’ll be the old man saying “Back in my day, we had to stand to see musicals. And we called them metal shows back then, dammit!” Could be fun.
At the end of the night, King Diamond and his band came out for a second bow. He even stuck around for 10 minutes or so to shake hands and thank the crowd. I actually saw several metal heads leaning as far over the second story railing to bow and blow kisses at the man. Then again, don’t take my word for it, I was on drugs. Next time he tours your town, make sure you buy a ticket. And for god sake don’t tell your mom, or she might just drag you to church after.

Bonnie Raitt Waxes Lovingly About Record Stores

February 19, 2014 Leave a comment

“I don’t know if I’d ever have had the exposure to the roots and world music…folk, blues, classic jazz, gypsy, celtic, African, Latin, had it not been for combing the racks of the local independent record stores in the Cambridge/Boston area when I was in college and the years since.

Those ‘mom and pop’ stores and small chains, like radio, provided the rich soil from which so much of my passion and education sprang. Having the ability to linger and talk about selections with a staff person who really knew their stuff and was able to illuminate why certain albums by a given artist were better than others or steer me to new exciting finds I never would have discovered without their help, is another reason why preserving these independent record stores is so crucial.

It’s the personal connection, the vastly more extensive collections, and being part of the community of like minded music fans, that makes such a difference. I loved striking up conversations or just spending hours reading notes on vinyl record covers and having the visceral experience of being surrounded by so much history and variety. Nothing like it.

So much of what I love about music of all kinds and eras was hatched by just this kind of discovery and choice. The decisions about what to carry and the overall service of these stores is what has made so many of us who we are as musicians and people. Indelible, irreplaceable…and a treasure to protect.”

– Bonnie Raitt

I’m the Guy Named Kurtis Blow and Christmas is One Thing I Know

December 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Awesome of the Week: The First Song Recorded in Space

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment


Over the holidays, astronaut Chris Hadfield sent, from the International Space Station to earth, the first song ever recorded in space. As one might expect from someone hovering high above our small blue dot, the tune contains lots of references to love, peace and goodwill.

Categories: Awesome of the Week

Awesome of the Week: Records Made of Ice

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment


To promote their forthcoming album Optica, Swedish band Shout Out Louds made an ice record of the first single, “Out of the Blue.” They only released 10 copies of the record and word is, they’re all gone, but you can still have watch and a listen to what an ice record looks and sounds like.


Here’s another ice record that was seen at a museum opening at Duke University:

Awesome of the Week: Handwritten Lyrics

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

by Cat

Finding handmade treasures inside record sleeves is one of the joys of working at a record store. Someone taking the time to create a customized cover, or write out the lyrics to a favorite song, reflects a passion and connection to the music that extends far beyond merely listening to it. It’s an expression of the imprint that the music has made on a life.

These lyrics, written in a bubbly, cursive script, were found inside a jacket that was neither the Kinks nor Led Zeppelin. Memory is not serving me, but I think they were in a spoken word album, or audiobook. Regardless, tip o’the hat to whoever took the time to give the songs a little extra love. Perhaps it was just an exercise in penmanship, but even if that’s the case, for this particular exercise the scribe chose the Kinks and Zeppelin. Music awesomeness, indeed.