I’m a child of the 80’s.  What can I say?  But not the 80’s you might think of when someone says “The 80’s”.  Not the Cyndi Lauper, Men Without Hats 80’s.  More of the Dio-era Black Sabbath, early Iron Maiden, early Metallica, Priest, RUSH kind of 80’s.  I grew up a KISS fan, but what I was really after was Black Sabbath which I actually discovered after KISS.  When I heard the song Black Sabbath I knew I had found my tribe.  I used to tell my grandmother (my earliest musical supporter – she used to have me write her poems which were often dark and mysterious, but she didn’t care) that I liked “mean” music.  And until I found Sabbath that meant the darker Beethoven and Stravinsky.

Martin Popoff is a Canadian music journalist, podcaster, magazine publisher and author.  His depth of knowledge is by no means genre-specific (one of his favorite bands is The Damned), but he tends to focus on progressive rock, hard rock and metal.  His podcast “History In Five Songs with Martin Popoff” is a total stroll down memory lane for me.  But his knowledge and references are very detailed and specific.  Topics include session musicians, one hit albums, drum hooks and early (producer) Mutt Lange.  To a music and production nerd like me it’s absolute heaven.  I have actually created a new Spotify playlist called “Referenced” which is where I put songs and artists he talks about so I can go do my homework on bands I haven’t listened to in forever or somehow missed.

Martin is often on another podcast which is actually a YouTube series produced by Pete Pardo’s Sea of Tranquility.  Pete’s knowledge is as deep as Martin’s and it’s a total blast watching these two old schoolers go down the rabbit hole.  And the vibe is totally chill and unpretentious.  And just because they often focus on older groups the newer stuff gets equal billing with frequent mentions and analysis of bands like Opeth, Dream Theater, King’s X and Porcupine Tree.

If you’re an unpretentious person who appreciates the tongue-in-cheek pretentiousness of prog and metal, check these out and let me know what you think.

Books by Martin Popoff

Martin Popoff’s Brave Words, Bloody Knuckles

Pete Pardo’s Sea of Tranquility YouTube Channel

Sea of Tranquility Website