• The Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time

    Posted 08/19/2017 by Cal

    I could’ve done a straight-up “favorites” list like the black metal list I made earlier this year, but then there wouldn’t be the pretense of going up against the Rolling Stone list, the comedy of which is what prompted this list.

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  • The You-Phoria Guide To Festivals, 2011

    Posted 03/09/2011 by cal

    Now that festivals are big business again, even the hippies have gone hipster, and every year is a PR race to announce the most diverse and crowd-pleasing lineup.  The sense of community is all but gone now from the major three-day parties, and the pioneering spirit that created Bonnaroo is nowhere to be found.  This is already causing a decline in festival attendance and the cancellation of several formerly big names (10,000 Lakes and Rothbury spring to mind).  Still, for the music lover with eclectic tastes, there is an incredible bounty to be had.  Events succeed because with the demise of making records as a career, more and more bands are learning that they must be able to draw crowds playing live if they ever want to quit their day jobs.  Thus, while the big festivals may be on the verge of going dormant again, we concert-goers win by packing as much music as possible into the bulk ticket price.  But which ones are worth the hassle that IS festival life?  Just in case you’re still mulling things over for this year, here’s a handy guide.

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  • Buckethead: CAPTAIN EO'S VOYAGE

    Posted 11/30/2010 by cal

    Being an obsessive Buckethead fan isn’t easy.  You never know what style of music his next album is going to be, or how many he’ll put out in a year (although I doubt he’ll ever match 2007 again--at least 20 albums’ worth of fresh slabs).  On the other hand, if you enjoy the sound of a well-played guitar, maybe being a fanatic is easier than it seems.

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  • The Best Shows I Saw In 2009

    Posted 04/14/2010 by cal

    I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a better year of live music than 2009. 2001 and 2003 were pretty much neck and neck before, but they were both missing one key ingredient: a revitalized Phish. I wish I could’ve squeezed Radiohead in there somehow, but aside from that, it was as if all my favorite live acts conspired to keep my mind blown for most of the year. And since most (if not all) of them will be touring again in the coming months, ’09 may not even hold the crown for long…but we’ll see. My rule for this list, as always, is only one show per artist; otherwise, there might have only been three bands on it.

    (note: links in the headings are to my original reviews of these shows, where possible)

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  • Buckethead: Barrymore Theatre, 9-17-09

    Posted 09/29/2009 by cal

    Some will insist that it’s cheating, but Buckethead has been toting around a cache of pre-recorded tracks on tour in lieu of actual musicians for longer than almost anybody, and now the market is glutted with one-man bands. Most of these, including the two artists who opened for Buckethead at the Barrymore, utilize a sample-and-loop system to create their own backing tracks onstage, which is ostensibly more authentically “live” than canned backing tracks, but let’s face it, we go to a Bucket show for two reasons: to watch him perform, and to hear him wail. Anything else is just the means for him to keep the beat.

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  • The You-Phoria Guide to the 2009 Concert Season

    Posted 03/06/2009 by cal

    The musical prospects of 2009 are quite honestly frightening. To begin with, barring my death, this will be the first time I’ll see Phish and U2 both in the same year; that alone virtually guarantees a landmark end to the aughts. But there’s a lot to get excited about, so I thought I’d run up a quick list (note: “quick” is a relative term) of potentials to shake us out of the winter doldrums if this 50-degree weather hasn't done it already.

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  • The Best Music Of 2007

    Posted 01/24/2008 by cal

    Was 2007 a year of solidarity or separatism? Let's forget about U.S. politics for a second. I'm talking about music

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  • The Best Shows Of 2006

    Posted 03/21/2007 by cal

    Yep, 2007 is well underway. I really don't give a damn. It's still worth it to me to sum up last year in live music, even if it isn't worth it to anybody else to read the summation.

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