You folk nerds should listen to Call it Arson. Dudes are also music nerds so JJ might even dig it, some of that shit gets all kinds of mathy.
I checked some of it out today, I'll probably download an album tonight. Sounds interesting enough for further investigation.
Not sure how I got this rep as someone who likes it complicated. If your thread wasn't bands my fav's would have been something like
If dudes want records, I put out their first EP (and did bands myself with a few of them).
You are a serious music playing dude and all of those sorts dudes I know are especially into the musicality aspects of bands more so than most and even if they don't really dig on the overall vibe, can usually find something to enjoy and appreciate when listening to something that has those deeper musical levels. So I figure even if you hate on folk or whatever, you might be into the arrangements or playing. But what do I know, I just yell in hardcore bands and play bass even worse.
I just discovered Reggie Watts. Holy fuck is this man absolutely mind-blowing. He performs his music by sampling his vocals into loops and layering them on the spot. There's a bunch of his stuff on youtube, and it's all incredible. He mixes his music with some absurdist stand-up comedy, and his mojo is through the roof. To me, right now, this man is the greatest living artist.
For a year or two now, I've been tuning in through Last.fm to listen to music that puts me in the mood for what I'm playing or reading.
I've read a bit of Bernard Cornwell's Viking saga. For that and for playing Warhammer Fantasy RPG I've been listening to Wardruna, a pagan Viking revival band with Scandi black metal performer Gaahl. They use a lot of instruments oriented toward tradition, like branches for percussion and blown animal horns. Clips included below, including a live one performed at the Viking Ship Museum.
I've also been listening to some Faun to put me in the same kind of pagan medieval mood. Between listening this and the Wardruna, I'm getting a hankering to watch 13th Warrior again.
Darker still, and great for background music while playing Warcraft Fantasy RPG, are a few select titles from Hexentanz. I've included a couple of my favorites.
Finally, I've included Sephiroth, and the creative talent behind them, Ulf Söderberg. His stuff works for me both when I'm in a dark fantasy mood, and dark sci-fi. I'll post my dark sci-fi preferences soon.
Oi Polloi is still around? Man, I loved those guys 15 or so years ago. They came to Atlanta a couple of times, good stuff.
Chasch- I'll respond to your BM comments here rather than in the movie thread since it's more appropriate.
I think you and I are in the same boat in regard to BM and politics. It's definitely troubling, and it does sour the music. No doubt, a lot of the viking/heathen/pagan rival stuff is CLOSELY connected to ultra-right wing, fascistic ideas. It's a big problem. I don't know how many times I've started listening to a BM act and suddenly there's REALLY anti-semitic lyrics or whatever. And sometimes on _great_ records (see: Graveland or Nokturnal Mortum). And it's a really kind of insidious politics too, because we're not talking about Rahowa/Skrewdriver/Prussian Blue kind of bullshit...it's veiled in mysticism, occultism, and paganism. It's also not the same kind of ignorant, KKK-style racism we generally have in the US- it's a much more reasoned and unfortunately traditionally rooted kind. Still evil, still wrong, and still needs to be destoryed, no doubt. But it's a different kind of strain. It's not even really political, when you get down to it. It's more of a cultural thing.
I _love_ Burzum. I think that between "Aske", "Det Som Engang Var", "Hvett Lysett Tar Oss", and "Filosefem", that's some of the _greatest_ BM ever recorded- it's profound, stirring, grim, and otherworldly. But there's no escaping the politics and very real-world hatefulness of the creator. Or that he's a bona fide murderer. See Nargaroth's "The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem" for the story.
So what do you do? Do I also not listen to Wagner and any number of other European composers that also had very anti-semitic, imperialist, or other antiquated worldviews? I seriously doubt that the great composers were all paragons of racial and cultural diversity, given the prevailing notions of their times. Or do I divorce my experience with the music from what they're saying outside of it or talking about in interviews and whatnot? It's difficult, particularly when you're liberal, ultra-left wing, and anti-hate like me...but you also understand creation, art, and context.
Fortunately, there's PLENTY Of great BM that isn't all hemmed up in this shit so if any of you guys are reading this thinking "no way, don't want to be anywhere near that" (which I _totally_ understand_, there are lots of great bands that don't go anywhere near this stuff in the music or outside of it. Summoning's stuff is all about Tolkien. Peste Noire's stuff is all about Medieval France. Abigor's stuff (at least some of their records) is all Sci-fi, like "Battlestar Abigor". Wolves in the Throne Room is practically a "green" band, everything about survivalism and nature. And Nagaroth's stuff is all actually about Black Metal itself. And, of course, there's PLENTY of goofball Satanism to go around. It makes me giggle.
Barnes: I too am pretty far to the left for an American. For an Oregonian I'm perhaps centrist, but no matter: I really can tolerate a wide range of views. How to deal with the fascism in some of the music I like not an easy call. Though I give a pretty wide berth when it comes to opinion, I believe that sometimes your opinion can make you an asshole. I'm far more ready to judge actions rather than opinions, however, and opinions are opinions and music is music. So, I give a pass to a lot of musicians in these various movements even though I disagree with their, well, asshole opinions. I recognize the talent and separate it from the politics. Furthermore I don't listen to much BM, though some of the Euro-pagan is associated with some of the extremes we're discussing here. But some in all these genres go right into violence, and when I know about it it sours me on their "art". Gaahl is right on the cusp of what I tolerate, but he hasn't yet bolted over the line.
For those who are unfamiliar with the fuss, some of the church burnings in Scandinavia by Black Metal artists go well beyond simple acts of arson. The burning of the Fantoft Stave church was especially tragic and stupid beyond measure. If you burn down world treasures, you are an asshole.
Needless to say this gets even dicier on the matter of martial ambient. I've listened to very, very little of it and don't really know one band from another, so I don't really have a who's who in my head (I cannot name even one band). But I've seen that some try to project that pro-fascist vibe, and it's a real turn off.
So, I'm with you Barnes: where do you draw the line? For me, in practice, while I don't go kick the radio into the pool when the musician gets naughty, neither do I care for it and I do have some kind of soft limit where enough is enough.
As for the pagan stuff, none of it bothers me just because it is pagan. I'm not threatened by it and, like you, consider much of it silly. But give those 2 Hexentanz tracks a listen. Those are really well constructed tracks meant to sound medieval and doom-laden, like you've just wandered into a medieval woodcut depicting witch burning and torture. It effectively sets a mood.