Washington Think Tank

  • Who is your favorite One-Album Wonder?

    In this very special guest post, our buddy Zeke is asking you a question: Who is your favorite One-Album Wonder?

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    December 14, 2016 • Metal, Washington Think Tank • Views: 1176

  • Washington Think Tank: When Should A Sick Musician Stop Playing Shows?

    Facing mortality on the main stage. Continue Reading

    September 14, 2016 • Washington Think Tank • Views: 699

  • Is a Lack of Crowd Interaction at a Show a Deal Breaker?

    Today’s Think Tank article is brought to you by the ursine with the divine mind (no, not the Finnish one). Our own Leif Bearikson watched some drama unfold on the twitter, and he just had to speak his piece about the absurdity.
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    July 7, 2016 • Washington Think Tank • Views: 1003

  • Think Tank: Bad Mood Therapy

    Every single one of us has to endure a stretch of days where, for one reason or another, things just do not go right. Some people handle it better than others. My own personal method is to medicate with music daily and add in a few beers for flavor on the weekend. For those of you in a rotten mood who need a little something to calm you down, I recommend you embrace those negative feels and counter them with negative music. Here are my go-to’s for when I find my self in a bad place mentally. It helps by making it worse. Continue Reading

    June 28, 2016 • Washington Think Tank • Views: 815

  • On Playlists, Compilations, and Mixtapes: A Catered Experience from Enbilulugugal

    On January 1st, 2014, Izedis, front man and lead conspirator of both Enbilulugugal and Dipsomaniac Records, published a 24-hour compilation/playlist meant to consume your new year and plunge you into a blackened, noisy hell within which there is no hope for resolution. Now, I’m no stranger to playlists, employing quite a few myself and aiding in the development for several here at the blog, but as I was plumbing the infernal depths of this day-long deluge of darkness (Izedis recently republished it on Facebook), I found myself contemplating the odd, seemingly counter-cultural (to metal, at least) idea of a curated playlist. To metalheads who consider themselves seasoned music connoisseurs, is there any value to allowing someone else to choose your jams for you? Therein lies my quandary.

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    June 2, 2016 • Music as a System, Nerd Shit, Washington Think Tank • Views: 753

  • Think-Tank: Discog. Diving

    So you’ve found a new band you enjoy. Turns out they have a decent amount of released material already. Awesome! Where is the best place to commence your exploration into their discography? Today, we’re going to oppose and possibly dispel some commonly held beliefs about discography diving. Continue Reading

    May 4, 2016 • Discography, Washington Think Tank • Views: 1068

  • Music as a System: The Unfinished Album

    Here at the Toilet ov Hell, we like to discuss the creative value of heavy metal (and music in general) as a form of art. Our typical means of encountering this art is through one of two media: (1) a written, recorded, produced, and packaged performance of the artist’s work that stands as a unique snapshot of that artist’s progression and abilities at that period of time; or (2) a live performance that may vary from previously recorded songs and may show a more dynamic approach to artistic evolution. While recorded music is static, live concerts are more fluid and may give a better representation of how the artist views his art while also enabling interaction with the crowd. However, albums represent a type of all-or-nothing statement whereas live performances may lose some of the integrity of personal creativity in favor of entertainment value. What if there was a third way, though, a different path whereby artists may continue to dynamically change a particular performance without the immediate (and possibly biased) feedback of the crowd? Today we explore that middle ground by way of an unlikely source.

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    April 5, 2016 • Metal, Music as a System, Washington Think Tank • Views: 1061

  • Washington Think Tank: What’s Your Favorite Lyrical Subject?

    Sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. These three lyrical topics are the foundations of rock-based music, but if we peer a bit beneath the surface, we’ll find a particularly rich cornucopia of different subjects, especially in metal. From war to suicide to zombies to religion to industrialization to elves to quantum singularities and everywhere in between, there is no lyrical stone left unturned in metal. Though many of these topics are partitioned within specific subgenres, anyone who truly wants to find a specific lyrical topic within a specific subgenre can surely do so. Today’s Think Tank is a celebration of this rich diversity that’s there to be found should you seek it. The world thinks we only listen to music about death and violence. Let’s prove them wrong.
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    March 28, 2016 • Washington Think Tank • Views: 1118

  • Washington Think Tank: When Does an Album of the Year Become an All-Time Favorite?

    Every December, the entire metal blogosphere collectively loses its crap in a giant ego-stroking endeavor known as “listmania.” Top ten albums are trotted out. Elusive and illusory trophies are proffered for the very best releases to crush our dicks in an album cycle. Fans compare, argue, and get utterly butthurt about whose list is the very best. In all that frenzy of annual self-congratulation, though, perhaps we’re losing sight of what’s most important. The entire point of annual year-end-lists, or at least what we all pretend is the point, is to celebrate the very best this musical genre we all love can produce. Amid the hype of last year’s listmania, though, David Parnell, guitarist of Hadean, asked some of us in the Facebook group how often our yearly favorites get added to our lists of favorite albums of all time. It’s a simple question, but it actually gave me pause because the implications are pretty immense. If we are indeed celebrating the very heights to which metal as an art can rise, should the newest albums we praise regularly find positions among our favorite albums ever, or is there something more than taste and artistic value that causes the classics to predominate our own personal collections of most-treasured records?

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    March 1, 2016 • Metal, Washington Think Tank • Views: 1136