kMNR... November 24th, 2005

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In This Issue:

It's Coming REAL Soon!!!

Since this is the last issue of November, I figured now's a good time to remind you that the second annual kMNR Year End Issue arrives in five weeks. Just like last year, I look to you my faithful reader to submit their picks for concert and album of the year. I also encourage you to write a small comment as to why picked who you picked.

The following week, kMNR will celebrate its 100th ISSUE!!! The wheels are in motion for a big party so stay tuned for details in the coming weeks. For now, enjoy this week's issue!

The Unstoppable SOAD Hypnotize Us All

Call me biased, but I struggle to find any flaw in the second half of System of a Down's release this year. It's been six months since Mezmerize hit the streets and Hypnotize is just as incredible a piece of work. The talent of these four guys is just mind blowing. I love this band...fully!

Actually, there is one flaw with Hypnotize. I can't seem to get the CD to work on my computer's CD drive. Luckily for me I purchased the DualDisc version whose DVD side contains not only videos for B.Y.O.B. and Question! (the two singles from Mezmerize) and the making of both discs, but it also contains all of Hypnotize in enhanced stereo. Plus, each song on the DVD side is accompanied by unique art work when viewed on a TV or media player.

There really is no point in trying to single out any songs. This disc is a perfect example of the artistry of SOAD. Almost every single song stirs up emotions in the listener through both the amazing music AND the lyrics. The only difference between Hypnotize and Mezmerize is that this new disc returns Serj Tankian as the primary singer. Guitarist Daron Malakian still lends his voice a lot more than the first three SOAD albums, but not quite as much as on Mezmerize.

The packaging is very similar to Mezmerize which is no surprise since both discs are considered one piece of work. That's why Hypnotize's packaging allows you to combine both physically.

Hypnotize is yet another example that there can most definitely be brilliance in heavy metal and System of a Down go far beyond proving that to their fans. They embody it.

NIN Deliver A Stunning Concert At The 'Dome

I knew this show was going to be good, but I really wasn't ready for what I witnessed at the Saddledome last Thursday night. It had been nearly ten years since I last saw Nine Inch Nails in concert and although the previous three concerts were memorable, this concert is by far Trent Reznor's finest.

Part of the great success of this concert was the openers. Toronto's Death From Above 1979 opened on time with a half hour set that featured the best sounding performance I've seen from this duo which is a huge surprise for the Saddledome. Drummer/Singer Sebastien Grainger made the double duty look too easy while bassist/synth player Jesse F. Keeler looked more like a wailing guitarist. Their set contained hits Romantic Rights, Black History Month as well as my personal favourite Dead Womb among others. It was a bit of surprise to hear You're Lovely (But You've Got Problems) which appears on their remix disc Romance Bloody Romance while Going Steady displayed how tight they've become since touring the past couple of years.

After a half hour break, Queens of the Stone Age hit the stage performing Regular John. It was a sign of things to come as they didn't play that much from their latest release Lullabies To Paralyze. Instead, they stuck to playing songs from every album and even including Infinity, a song which appeared on the Heavy Metal 2000 compilation. In fact, they only played three songs from their most recent release starting with Long Slow Goodbye which was introduced by bassist Alain Johannes delivering an impressive guitar solo. They followed it by Burn The Witch and Little Sister. It was most exciting to hear the title track from Song For The Deaf before they finished with an extended version of No One Knows, breaking for a crazy guitar solo, a vocal-only solo and even for Josh Homme to proclaim that he wanted "to have sex with every one of you." After each of the three breaks, the song resumed with an intensity that left us yearning for more. Sadly, the slightly less than an hour set wasn't enough.

Amazingly, less than half an hour later the house lights went down and the Nine Inch Nails show started with a sheer curtain concealing the stage as Pinion was played over the PA system. Reznor and company (replacement drummer Alex Carapetis, keyboardist Alessandro Cortini, guitarist Aaron North and bassist Jeordie White) hit the stage and started by playing Love Is Not Enough. Through the entire song, the curtain remained lowered with only lights highlighting each band member from behind but once it was raised, we were treated to a light show the likes I have not seen before. This was further accented when half-way through the show they played Eraser, Right Where It Belongs and Beside You In Time with the curtain down and film footage projected on it. It started with microscopic images continuing into insects, animals and on to people, war and explosions; all very vivid. It was a most powerful commentary whose only words were the lyrics of the songs.

One of the best things about this nearly two-hour performance (you read that correct) was that although this tour is in support of the last album With Teeth, it had an extensive selection from the NIN catalogue. It was fantastic to hear some rarities such as Dead Souls (from The Crow Soundtrack), Suck (a hidden track on the Broken EP), Deep (from the Tomb Raider Soundtrack) and Burn (from the Natural Born Killers Soundtrack). There was a decent balance of songs from Pretty Hate Machine (including Down In It), Broken, The Downward Spiral (including Reptile, one of my favourites) and even though The Fragile got the short end of the stick there was still a couple of tracks including The Wretched. Of course, the big songs made the cut including Closer, Hurt and the whole show closed with Head Like A Hole.

It was also refreshing to hear a concert that sounded amazing acoustically, especially at the Saddledome. The mix was excellent (save a few blips in the QOTSA) and the levels were near perfect. This should come as no surprise since it is Trent Reznor's tour, but every sound technician should take a cue from these guys. It was great listening to three heavy, distortion laden bands clearly and at levels that won't make you bleed from your ears. Take those three bands, the excellent sound and great sets all around and you've got a fantastic show.

(Wanna see the set lists for Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails?)

Death From Above 1979 Mix It Up

Despite being only two guys, Torontoís Death From Above 1979 are known for their wall-of-sound live shows. Romance Bloody Romance, a full-length remix release, dispels the myth that this duo is just noise and distortion.

One might be disappointed to find that the majority of the 13 tracks in here are remixes of Romantic Rights and Black History Month, but that doesnít mean it lacks some depth. The CD opens with a cover of La Pesteís Better Off Dead which is great. It also contains the previously unreleased Youíre Lovely (But Youíve Got Problems). There are also new editions of Little Girl, Sexy Results (both by MSTRKRFT which is bassist Jesse F. Keelerís alter-ego) and a fantastic remix of Blood On Our Hands.

As far the four remixes each of Romantic Rights and Black History Month go, they are all compelling. RRís Erol Alkanís Love From Below Re-Edit is an extended version that doesnít stray far from the original while The Phones Lovers and Dahlback Remixes incorporate an electronic feel to it. The Marczech Makuziak Remix transforms the song into a funk-dance groove.

Meanwhile, Josh Homme of QOTSA transforms BHM into a creepy offering. The Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix is a likely candidate for spins at your local dance club. The Sammy Danger Remix picks up the pace of the song throwing in techno-ish elements and the Girl on Girl Revision takes the song back to those 70s disco days.

If nothing else, this remix album paints DFA1979 in a different light and could prove to capture more fans for this duo.

The Genius Of Marketing

So I'm watching television the other day and this Victoria's Secret commercial comes on. Aside from taking notice due to the scantily clad women gracing my set, the music sounded very familiar. It was All My Life by Foo Fighters.

Now that pure marketing genius!

In Stores Next Week

So, maybe you really did enjoy Rock Star: INXS. Well if that's the case, then you'll be happy to know that not only will the DVD be out next Tuesday, but so will the new release from the band with their new singer. The album is called Switch. I still think Michael Hutchence simply had a very unfortunate accident while trying to get himself off.

November 29th seems to be a day ripe with DVD releases. Sum 41 took a trip to the Congo with War Child before releasing Chuck and now they're delivering a documentary of their experience titled Rocked: Sum 41 In Congo, including footage of their well-known evacuation from Congo with help from Canadian peacekeeper Chuck Pelletier. Their last album was named after him for that very reason. Now you know...the REST of the story.

Dave Matthews Band is also dishing out a DVD which is accompanied by a double live CD. Weekend On The Rocks contains footage from all four concerts at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Radiohead also have a live release, Live At The Astoria. Keeping with their trademark obscurity, there is no information on this release so I don't even know for certain whether this is a CD or a DVD, although I'm pretty sure it's a DVD. Either way, the release captures their performance at the Astoria in London, England back on May 27, 1994.

Chart's Weekly CD Release Reviews

"Christmas is for shopping, and the shopping God is everything"

That's right kids, we are in full Christmas shopping season now that the big day is one month from tomorrow. What better way to treat those that you love by buying them music? Not sure what to get that special someone? Why not Anthrax's Anthrology: No Hit Wonders 1985-1991 or maybe Burt Bacharach's At This Time? Maybe One Way ticket To Hell...and Back, the latest from The Darkness will suit Uncle Peter and Neil Diamond's 12 Songs for Aunt Ruth? Regardless, you can read Chart Magazine's reviews of these and other recent releases to help you decide.

Upcoming Calgary Shows

November 25, 2005 Joshua's Habit, Deepfinegrind, 800 Prospect The Gateway (SAIT)
November 25, 2005 Great Lake Swimmers, Field + Stream, Woodpigeon Liberty Lounge
November 25, 2006 Hot Little Rocket Crescent Heights Community Centre
November 25, 2005 Wintersleep, Ladies and Gentlement, Sylvie Broken City
November 25, 2005 Fallout Frequency, Fij The Castle Pub
November 26, 2005 The Uncas (2-4 pm) Ship & Anchor
November 26, 2005 Hot Little Rocket, DJ Meliquoi, Dee Sun Broken City
November 26, 2005 Wednesday Night Heroes, Tartan Hearts, Fan The Fire The Hi-Fi Club
November 26, 2005 The Uncas, Agriculture Club The Castle Pub
November 26, 2005 The Russian Artist Factory Ironwood Stage
November 27, 2005 Simple Plan, Hedley Saddledome
November 29, 2005 The Dudes, Tender Jealousies, DJ Adom N Gomorrah Broken City
November 29, 2005 English Beat Cowboys
December 01, 2005 The High Dials, The Rocky Fortune Broken City
December 02, 2005 The Fullblast, Drive By Punch The Gateway (SAIT)
December 02, 2005 Greeley Estates, My American Heart The Warehouse
December 02, 2005 Elliot Brood Broken City
December 04, 2005 Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans Margaret Greenham Theatre
December 05, 2005 Moka Only, Sweatshop Union, Derty Circus The Hi-Fi Club
December 07, 2005 My Chemical Romance, Thrice, Circa Survive Stampede Corral
December 08, 2005 Fake Cops, Pressure Kill Common Style, SIDS Liberty Lounge
December 09, 2005 Clutch, William Elliott Whitmore The Warehouse
December 09, 2005 The Rocky Fortune The Gateway (SAIT)
December 10, 2005 Paper Moon, The Summerlad, Duck Liberty Lounge
December 13, 2005 Theory Of A Deadman, Hurst MacEwan Hall

~~ kMNR v2005.094 ~~

If you would like to hear about or if you have any information on a particular band or artist, please email chris_s_a@hotmail.com and I will do my best to cover them.