So, what are you listening to these days?

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revjohn

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A couple of months ago I discovered Weird Al Yankovic wrote and performed the official theme for the Captain Underpants movie.

It has been a persistent ear-worm ever since.

I will not link to it in order to spare others.

I'm not suffering much since I am a huge Weird Al fan

na na na na na
Captain Underpants
yeah yeah yeah.
 

Luce NDs

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And they say that there s nothing weird within the ordinary people syndrome! Is everything just the way it appears?
 

Mendalla

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Listening to Auri II : Those We Don't Speak Of, the new album from Finnish trio Auri. This group is sometimes called "Nightwish Light" by wags both for its sound and its close ties to the symphonic metal group. The band consists of Finns Tuomas Holopainen (keys, piano, composer/arranger), Johanna Kurkela (vocals), and Irishman Troy Donockley (vocals, various instruments). Tuomas and Troy are both members of Nightwish, while Johanna is Tuomas' wife so certainly has a connection. And I heard that Nightwish drummer Kai Hahto did some session work on this one.

A couple of the new tracks:


 

Mendalla

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The first album by Concrete Castles, Will I Miss U, dropped yesterday and it is everything I hoped. More hard-edged pop than rock, but some strong songwriting and performances.

The band's name comes from a song they first released under the name First to Eleven, the cover band that the trio have been a part of for several years, entitled "Thrill". And, fittingly, they did re-record that song under the Concrete Castles brand for inclusion on the album.

 

Mendalla

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New Violet Orlandi today. It's a "remake" of the first cover the Brazilian alto ever posted, done in celebration of hitting 1 million subscribers in 9 years on Youtube.


And while she has become best known for her covers, Violet release her first album of original material in May. The opener is heavy metal, quite in keeping with the sound she has built in her cover career. However, many of the tracks actually sound rather like a heavier, darker Sarah McLachlan. To be fair, Sarah got pretty dark at times in the nineties so a heavier, darker Sarah McLachlan is not exactly a stretch. If that's where Violet's writing is headed, I'm along for the ride.

A couple samples:



The album is called High Priest Daughter and is available from major online stores and streaming services.
 

Mendalla

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Listened to Northward on my walk today. This was a hard rock project from Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen and Norwegian guitarist Jørn Viggo Lofstad. The two did most of the writing in 2008 but it took another decade to get the album recorded and released due to both being busy in other bands. It is an excellent album, with the two leads in top form and a solid team of session players behind them. Floor's sister Irene, also an accomplished vocalist, even joins her for a duet. Sadly, it is a one-off and unlikely to be repeated, though Floor now includes a couple Northward songs in her solo shows.
 

Mendalla

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And apparently the only actual video from the album is for the lead-off track.


And then there's a lyric video for another song.

 

Mendalla

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So I have been listening to the extended version of Nightwish's 2007 album Dark Passion Play. Terrific album, the first by the band to feature Anette Olzon on lead vocals. And the extended edition offers a nice glimpse of the evolution of one of their enduring hits, "Amaranth". "Amaranth" leans more into a straight-up hard rock sound than the usual elaborate symphonic metal. And, as such, it is ideally suited to Anette's more conventional rock voice (as opposed to the operatic voice of her predecessor Tarja Turunen).

First up, there is the demo for the song, originally entitled "Reach", which eventually evolved into "Amaranth". Here, bassist Marko Hietala takes lead on vocals. Main difference is the chorus.


Then we have the album version with the final chorus and Anette on vocals.


And then, just to be different, Nightwish composer-songwriter-keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen pulled the song back into the symphonic metal realm, creating and recording an orchestral/choral version.


And another song from Dark Passion Play, "Eva" actually got the same treatment (demo with Marko, album version with Anette, orchestral version).
 

Pavlos Maros

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Bedfordshire, England.
Just watched a Dust scifi short on you tube, this song was played a couple of times, thought it was nice.
So now I will be looking out for more from these people.
Breathin' Hard by Camellia Hartman and The Soulful Saints
 
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