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The Obscure Music Thread

The Llama

Jul 13, 2005
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This is a place to post about obscure stuff, local bands, foreign stuff, generally anything not well-known to the general public.

I'll start it out:

Bap Kennedy:
Used to be the lead singer of a band called "Energy Orchard." He does sort of folky stuff...hard to describe. Very good though. Check out the album "Domestic Blues". His website is www.bapkennedy.com, but you can get his stuff on Amazon. (BTW, I don't mean to advertise his site. It's just a link for info and stuff.)
Circus Maximus... progressive metal band from Oslo, Norway. Great band they are.

Here is a review of their debut album...

One of the best metal albums of 2005. - 98%
Written by requiem99 on April 17th, 2005

Another band that further cements Norway's status as the progressive heart of the modern metal scene, Circus Maximus joins Communic and Pagan's Mind in the elite group of the top modern progressive metal bands, and like Communic, they've only got one album out! Things are only going to get better from here, but with such an outstanding debut, it's hard to imagine how they could top it.

The influences of Circus Maximus range about, but Dream Theater is the primary one. There are a couple of songs on here that draw a huge influence from Dream Theater, but Circus Maximus seem less keen on long instrumental passages in that particular wank mode that Dream Theater married nearly two decades ago. Things are a lot tighter, better focused, and better realized – Even the title track, a 19-minute monster of prog, doesn't descend into an orgy of excessive keyboard/guitar dueling. Circus Maximus is too good a band for that. Rest assured, there are a ton of instrumental parts on here, and plenty of extensive guitar and keyboard solos, but they just flow so well with the music I can't help but shake my head in awe that such a young and inexperienced band has got it so right on their first try. Vocalist Mike Eriksen is amazing, but not especially unique (though I'd argue this is a good thing) – He sounds like a mix of Geoff Tate, John Arch, and Nils K Rue. Guitarist Mats Haugen must also be singled out for his incredible leadwork: Check out “Alive” or better yet, “The Prophecy”, for samples of some of the best prog leads of 2005. Incredible.

The band isn't just good at one mode either: “Silence From Angels Above” is basically a ballad, but it sounds so much like what Queensryche used to sound like (when they were good), that it doesn't matter a whit. I have to single out “The Prophecy” as probably being the strongest song on here, but that's simply because I like the soft acoustic contrast with the vocal harmonizing and electric guitar blast – Other people will have different personal favourites, but the only fairly 'off' track on here is the instrumental “Biosfear”, which is just too weird for its own good, and sounds like something Liquid Tension Experiment would come up with. The production is flawless, nearly up there with Pagan's Mind's last release (perhaps they used the same studio).

This Circus Maximus debut contains a broad selection of stunning progressive power that ranges from top form Dream Theater worship to unique cuts of Norwegian prog as only such a band can do. They're playing this September at ProgPower VI USA, and I've already got my ticket. The initial draw for me was Angra and Dreamscape, but after hearing Circus Maximus' debut I'm dying to see them live, as well. Progressive metal fans of all stripes take notice: The 1st Chapter is a absolute must buy of 2005.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
Donna the Buffalo.

Grove funk folk rock jive. Great band. http://www.donnathebuffalo.com/

I can recommend this disc:
Well, I like to listen to music from Japanese Anime series like Macross Plus, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Ghost In the Shell TV series, etc. If that's not obscure, I don't know what is.
New reccomendation: Colin Linden.
Kinda folk/blues. Some really great songs. Check out "Big Mouth".
Just listened to Sin by Circus Maximus...pretty good.
Band name/reccomended album/reccomended songs

The Decemberists/Castaways and Cutouts/The Gymnast High Above the Crowd, California One Youth and Beauty Brigade, On the Bus Mall

Dredg/Catch Without Arms/Ode to the Sun, Hungover on a Tuesday, Jamais Vu

Minus the Bear/Menos el Oso/The Fix, El Torrente, Pachuca Sunrise

The Hold Steady/Seperation Sunday/Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night, Banging Camp

Architecture in Helsinki/In Case We Die/Tiny Paintings, Frenchy I'm Faking, Need to Shout

Death From Above 1979/You're a Woman, I'm a Machine/Romantic Rights, Sexy Results, Go Home Get Down

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists/Shake the Sheets/Little Dawn, Me and Mia, The Angel's Share

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead/Source Tags and Codes/Another Morning Stoner, Relative Ways, How Near How Far

Sigur Rós/Ágætis Byrjun/Starálfur, Ný Batterí, Olsen Olsen

The Dissociatives/The Dissociatives/Forever and a Day, Horror With Eyeballs, We're Much Preferred Customers
I've heard Death From Above 1979, I kinda like it...the others I've never heard of.
Hence the obscurity. :D

Yeah, DFA1979 kicks ass, though the rest of the bands aren't really the same style, so don't get any ideas.
I'm thinking of this woman who's band came through Salt Lake City years ago, she got it on with the singer in my band and gave him a tape and I listened to it and loved it, it was sexy rock but with a stand up bass and real lo-fi organ and twang.
One of her songs was so good I wanted to cover it, but I can't remember the chick's name.
Now that's obscure, I'm a fan and I don't know their name.
Less obscure, but try Son Volt, particularly their debut album "Trace." It's alt-country, from Jay Farrar of Uncle Tupelo. They did three albums, and soon will be coming out with a new one with the same lead singer/writer, but two new guys instead of the original other two. "Trace" is an album you have to listen to for a while to like, or I did anyway, but now I love it. I just bought their second album, "Straightaways", from iTunes, but I have yet to listen to all of it. Definitely try "Trace."
I always liked the Seatbelts...a japanese jazzish band who did most of the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack
Again, less obscure, but try Solomon Burke. He was a soul singer in the 60s, and came back a couple of years ago, did an album called "Don't Give Up On Me". It's really good. Soul/R&B. Check it out.
New: Guy Davis - Son of actor Ossie Davis. Blues. I've seen him live a couple times, he does a great show. Check out "Butt-Naked Free" and "Give In Kind".

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