Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: Sleep's "Dopesmoker"

Sleep - Dopesmoker

I read a “letter of recommendation” in the New York Times a few months ago for this album and it reminded me that there was a second Sleep album I wanted, but wasn’t easy to get for a number of years, and I’d forgotten about it.

But now it’s easy to order, which I did a couple of months ago.  Amazon had it available as an “auto rip” to download when buying the CD, which was a good start, but after ripping it myself from the CD, the sound quality is so much better, with a lot more clarity throughout.

And it’s the only music I’ve been playing for well over a month now.  I can’t get enough of it.  It’s one song, just slightly over an hour long, with quite a few “movements” throughout it, so it’s not boringly repetitive.

Most of the song is fairly slow, plodding and heavy.  The guitar is tuned down a few notches, making the whole feel of the song very heavy, very deep.  Much of it sounds a bit like early Black Sabbath, especially live when they take off on tangents and improvisation, but this is a little slower and a little heavier.

The singing is mostly deep, heavy growls, with only some words here and there decipherable (I’ve read the lyrics online, but I can’t pick them all out when it’s actually playing).  But that’s ok.  Even where they’re incomprehensible the sound of the singer’s voice goes very well with the music.

So much of this song sticks in my head that even when I’m not listening to it, I’m still listening to it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Eerie Subway Ride

Well, that was kind of eerie...  I was on the 4 express train, that as usual had stopped in the tunnel between the last two stops, probably while they wake up the sleeping or belligerent passengers from the previous train at the final stop. The wait time is usually 3 to 4 minutes, twenty at worst...

Only this time it was neither hot nor cold, so the noisy HVAC system cycled off, making it very quiet on the train.  Other than the faint buzz of the fluorescent lights, the silence was broken now and then by other passengers with music in their headphones, teachers grading papers on their laps, shifting in their coats, opening a briefcase, a quiet cough, and what-not.  There were about a dozen of us, mostly sleepy in the early morning, no one talking or interacting.

Then a rumbling sound from the distance behind us, quiet, faint, but soon building up like thunder rolling in as a bunch of people looked up towards the back of the train.  It became a steady boom Boom BOOM *BOOM* as the local 3 train flew by on the track beside us, then faded away in the opposite direction.