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I Don’t Know If I’m Alive Or Dead

Mastodon performs “Dry Bone Valley” at the London O₂ Academy in Brixton

Am I the only one that thinks Mastodon should just let Brann sing everything?! And that’s some pretty sick guitar tone Brent’s pumping out during the solo. I really need to go see these guys live.

Enjoy!

Mastodon - “Dry Bone Valley”

You’ve Run Out of Time

Mastodon performs “Black Tongue” on Later… with Jools Holland

Mastodon performed last night on the October 18 episode of BBC’s Later… with Jools Holland. I have to say the audio mix on this performance is a huge improvement over their recent Letterman gig, especially in the vocals department. And I love Brann’s polka-dot Randy Rhoads tribute drum kit.

Enjoy!

Chew It Up, Spit Out the Rest

Mastodon performs “Curl of the Burl” from The Hunter on Late Show with David Letterman on October 5, 2011

Continuing the late night TV live performances, here’s Mastodon romping through a song on Letterman that we have visited twice here recently. Much like yesterday’s Judas Priest clip, it’s a good performance, but it doesn’t quite live up to what I expected. Not that the guys don’t lay down the same heavy groove found on the studio track. I think the biggest issue here is that the mix is absolutely terrible—muddy, uneven, no dynamics, and the vocals are mostly buried, especially the harmonies.

I love that heavy music is getting late show attention these days, and therefore, I hate sounding so critical of the performances. Diehard fans—and even those on the periphery—will tune in to support the bands they love, and like me, they’ll even forgive a multitude of sins, knowing how difficult it is to replicate the album versions of songs. But in this age of musical ADHD, a band is going to have to turn in a stellar performance on these shows to gain new fans and, as a result, record sales. But then again, maybe that’s not always the point of the appearance.

Enjoy!

Splinters In My Skin

Mastodon - “Curl of the Burl”

Continuing with the bizarre video theme, here’s Mastodon’s “Curl of the Burl” from their new album The Hunter. Despite the song’s obvious stoner-rock vibe and the video’s tongue-in-cheek, low-budget horror movie campiness, the song apparently really is about meth-crazed lumberjacks.

Enjoy!

Thought it was about time to get heavy again and groove it up a bit. Enjoy!

You’ve Run Out Of Lies

Mastodon - “Black Tongue”

Mastodon have recently released the video for the first song from their forthcoming album The Hunter. The video features artist AJ Fosik constructing the sculpture used on the album’s cover. Fosik is also responsible for the backdrops the band uses for concerts.

"Black Tongue" is not nearly as catchy as some of the material from their previous effort Crack the Skye, but it’s not bad either.

Enjoy!

How Do I Know What Food Is Right For Me?

Mastodon’s Brent Hinds no longer suffers from OHP

Mastodon frontman Brent Hinds is featured in an ad for Atlanta bar and restaurant Elmyr that spoofs the pharmaceutical commercials we are bombarded with every day on television. Nice.

What’s that you say?! Dave Grohl in the studio with Mastodon?! Awesome!

How Can I Tell You That I Failed?

Mastodon - “Oblivion”

I watched a couple of recent interviews with the guys from Mastodon today, and it put me in the mood for this video. Crack the Skye is a 7-track progressive metal concept album from the Altanta-based band, with a couple of songs going past the 10-minute mark. Normally that’s not a problem for me, but for some reason it takes a little effort for me to really get into this one. But “Oblivion” was the one track that really hooked me from the very beginning. Couple that with this epic video, and it’s definitely a win-win in my book.

I thought, ‘Man, I wanna be that dude, expressing myself through a Gibson Explorer every night in front of thousands of people.’
Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher on James Hetfield’s influence on him, Guitar World, August 2010

Nothing wrong with that…

I Almost Had The World In My Sight

Temperament and personality aside (hey, all those drummer jokes exist for a reason, right?!), I never cease to be amazed at what a good drummer is able to do, especially one who also happens to be a lead vocalist or who does a lot of singing. That he is somehow able to disassociate his limbs from one another while remembering and delivering lyrics completely blows my mind. Neil Peart and Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy are perfect examples of the limb independence I’m talking about. Then there are the Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf tracks circulating on the interwebs with Dave Grohl’s drum tracks isolated that reveal just how good a drummer he is.

Well Meinl Cymbals recently caught up with Mastodon’s Brann Dailor and installed a drum cam on his kit for the band’s tour stop in Memphis, and they are releasing a video per day from the show displaying Dailor’s drumming technique. While there’s nothing going on in the following video that is totally mind-blowing, it is nonetheless very impressive to a non-drummer like me.

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Mastodon’s Brann Dailor performing “Oblivion,” courtesy of Meinl Cymbals

But then again, I sometimes have trouble walking without falling down.