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Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 8/10



Parrots dance to music they like. Few types of birds do. Parrots, however, move to music in ways they never move to anything else. They ignore slow beats, so there are few if any funeral doom parrots. If you want a dancing parrot, play speed metal. That gets them moshing, bobbing their heads up and down while they shuffle from side to side like goofed-out metalheads.

I mention this because I don’t have a parrot. If I get one I’ll call her Thrasher. If I can find a male to mate with her, she’ll hatch out metal chicks.

There are no parrot songs in my selections for today.


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Mammal’s Merry memories: Three takes on Sympathy for the Devil

devil-doll-girl-teen-costume2My parents’ generation couldn’t relate to the music of ’60s at all. There were two dominant bands and both were evil. The Beatles grew their hair long (horrible) and John Lennon said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ among young people (blasphemy, burn him). The Rolling Stones were rough and coarse as well as long-haired, they were loved by motorbike gangs (sex, drugs and rock’n’roll) and obviously worshipped Satan because of this song, released in 1970.

Blood, Sweat & Tears — to my mind, still the benchmark for jazz-rock — fared little better with the older folks. They played modern jazz (you call that music?) and rock (yes, all devil’s music) and this song proved they were also Satanists.

More than 40 years later, it is the majority of my children’s generation that can’t relate to metal (you call that music? again) and includes some who think metal is all satanic. The Czech black/thrash band Törr has confirmed that by covering this song.

We’re all damned, I tell you!



Album review: Alessandro Bertoni – Keystone

Allesandro Bertoni - Keystone Genre: Progressive jazz-rock fusion (instrumental).
Recommended to: Eclectic metal and prog fans.
Release date: September 9, 2013.
Label: Generation Prog Records.

It’s happened again. I played this album through a couple of times. The first time, I put my brain in neutral gear and let the total effect of the music tell me what it was about. The second time was a more critical listening to identify the interplay and the nuances of the various instruments. The seven or eight subsequent complete play-throughs, however, have been motivated by sheer greed. I can’t get enough of this album. It keeps getting better.

Who should listen to Keystone outside the community of jazz-rock fusionists? Bertoni’s eclectic compositions should appeal to followers of avant-garde and symphonically inspired prog metal, symphonic prog rock and Rock Progressivo Italiano.

Bertoni is a king of the keyboards. The music he writes is understandably keyboard-based. Metal fans are usually more interested in supremely good guitar work, which abounds on this album. If you like the jazzy hard/fusion rock of guitarists such as Craig Chaquico, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai or the late Kevin Peek, you’ll be in for treat with Bertoni and his band.

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