Dastardly Uses for a ‘Merge Session’ button

Ok, this is lame.  I admit it – lame, lame lame.  But I can’t stop snickering over it, so I’ll share.

At work, we are equipped with many of state-of-the-art tools to better facilitate our getting work done.  Free soda, free snacks on occasion, a substandard phone system, fluorescent lighting (or in my case, a lack thereof).  One of the niftiest is a registered copy of AIM pro.  W00H00.  Nothing like getting bugged by colleagues in style!

With AIM pro, if you should receive multiple IM’s at the same time, it lines each users nick (or sessions as they’re termed) on the left side, and keeps the active conversation to the right.  By clicking each session, you can scroll thru the various conversations you might have been sucked into over a given work day.

But what I find intriguing, is at the bottom of the session list is a button marked ‘Merge Sessions’. MU-HAHAHA.  I wonder did the developers of AIM realize the potential mayhem such a fiendish button could be put to?  I mean, the possibilities are endless.

 For example, say you have two sessions going with people who don’t even know of each other’s existence, let alone having actually met one another.  Why not click the ‘merge’ button, and then hastily logoff?  How long do you suppose it will take them to realize that they don’t know anyone involved in the conversation?

“Hey, where’s Rev?  And who the hell are you?”  “Screw that, who the hell are YOU!?”

Or possibly even more fun, is if you find yourself inadvertantly moderating a dispute of some sort.  Get both parties going on IM, and then dump them onto one another.  Then leave for the day.

As I go thru my busy day at the office, I find temptation attacks me at every turn, urging me to just PRESS THE BUTTON.  Honestly, I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. 

Let the blind-side communications BEGIN!!

The Satanic Freebird?

I had a few ‘incidents’ at the Viva La Band concert that are worth repeating, I’ll start with this one.  Since my work attire and my preferred concert attire don’t much overlap, I changed before the show to my Harley Davidson boots, my near legendary black leather jacket (that’s a whole ‘nother series of tales) and a Goatwhore shirt which I picked up at the Sounds of the Underground show a few months back.

While at the concert, I saw another gentleman about my age also wearing the same shirt.  In heavy metal, t-shirts are viewed one of two ways – you either wear the shirt of a band at the show, to advertise that this isn’t your first time seeing them or who you’re really here to support (kind of bragging).  OR, you wear the shirt of a band NOT at the show, to kind of educate the unclean about some band that you’d rather be attending (kind of metal snobbery).  The true elistist (such as myself on occasion) will wear the most obscure, unheard of, unsigned piece of backwoods Euro-noise just to truly sharpen that point to a nice gleam.  Maybe because they have a cool logo.  Maybe because the shirt was on sale at some headshop.

It’s not uncommon to see folks, American’s mind you, with a shirt like Burzum, which HAS to be bought in a store seeing as how the sole member of that band (Varg) is in a prison in Norway for murder and has never toured.  Not in OHIO at least.  So you see that this whole thing can get carried away.

Anyhow, wearing the EXACT SAME shirt as another guy is pretty much like showing up at the Prom with the same dress as another woman.  But as men, we handle it differently.  Rather than sulk, we usually greet one another because, well after all, we both appear to have great taste in shirts, right?

So, this gentleman and I began talking, and I soon discovered he had some friends accompanying him, and they all began telling me this little story.  It seems this motley crew (no, not THEE Motley Crue) had a tendency to shout out “GOATWHORE” during concerts.  As they explained it to me, they’d shout out “GOATWHORE” before the main act in hopes that the headliner would be as good as . . .you guessed it, Goatwhore.  And if the headlining act failed to impress, they’d continue to shout out “GOATWHORE” to somehow, someway invoke Goatwhore into appearing, slaying all of the currently performing band’s members, and then transforming the dismal set into a blistering performance of thrashing, black metal goodness.  Ok, I added that last part but the truth is not much more realistic, or sensible. 

There didn’t seem to be a contingency plan for if the headlining act was actually GOOD, so I quipped how this was some kind of black metal “Freebird” ritual.   The little group denied this vehemently but to be honest, even now as I write this I don’t see much difference between yelling out “GOATWHORE” or “FREEBIRD”.  Heckling is heckling.

They went on to explain how they’d gone to see Dope three times this year at the Alrosa Villa.  Each time, they said it ended with them chanting “GOATWHORE” at Edsel Dope, causing everything to deteriorate into threats of violence and on one occasion, Edsel screaming at them from the stage “Thanks for ruining the first show of the new tour” and slamming down his mike.

However exaggerated their prevarications, and the gleeful ignorance in their voices, I found myself appalled.  I dislike hecklers, unless it’s me, in which case it’s brilliant observations offered for consumption of the masses within earshot.  In others, especially those who are actively seeking to disrupt a show, I have little regard.

I mean, they didn’t actually have to pay to see Dope all three times, if in fact they don’t even like the band!?  How stupid is that??  So, before I could stop myself, I pointed out that it was kind of a shame they chose that particular band to harass.

“You guys do realize”, I began “Dope was, by Rick Cautela’s own admission, the first band to call after the Damageplan shootings at the Alrosa.  Yeah ,they called the very next day and asked to be booked at the venue.  Because they knew Rick would need support.  I can’t really get behind giving them such a hard time.  Not that band.”

I’m paraphrasing but that was the jist.  And that was pretty much the end of our conversation, as I was no longer popular.  I had dared not see the fun, in their fun.

And I still don’t.  By their own words, they once told Louis Benjamin Falgoust II (current singer for Goatwhore) how they like to yell out his band’s name during concerts.  Louis replied “Is that good or bad?”  

Exactly Lou.  Exactly.

Viva La Band – LC Pavilion, Columbus OH 10/26/07

This tour was constructed using bands featured and favored by Bam Margera on his show ‘Viva La Bam’ and sponsored by Rockstar Energy drink.  The roster consisted of Cradle of Filth, GWAR, CKY and Vains of Jenna, although by this date CKY had had to drop off the tour due to “serious injury”.  All in all, it was an EXCEPT-tional show.   I’ll explain what I mean by that as I go along.

First up was Vains of Jenna, a throwback to raunchy, sleazy 80’s style rock in the ‘vein’ of Guns N’ Roses or LA Guns.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen 4 guys with tattoos and eyeliner, and they were fun EXCEPT. . . this wasn’t GNR.  No one really knew their stuff and they just couldn’t seem to get the crowd going.  There was a certain sameness to every song and not much energy coming off the stage.  They were cool enough to walk around in the crowd afterward, which made them a beacon to every hair metal wannabe in the room.  It was a nice gesture, but for all I know they were hunting groupies.  Still, I’d see them again.

Next up, was scheduled to be CKY (featuring Margera’s brother Jess) but as mentioned, they had to drop.  I’d seen CKY open for Avenged Sevenfold, and to be honest, was not impressed.  I was hoping to give them another chance but alas, it was not to be -EXCEPT . . I was NOT hoping to hear that Whitney Houston cover of “I will always love you” again, as it was blasted at me what seemed like every 5 minutes as punishment for not cheering a lackluster performance.  No real loss, I guess.  I did see one lone guy with a CKY shirt roaming the room like a duckling looking for it’s mother.  Sad really.

The Mighty GWAR came next, which is always a treat and something I look forward to every Halloween.  They didn’t disappoint of course, and brought the pummelling metal assault, both visually and aurally, that one comes to expect from their shows.  If you’ve not seen the blood-spraying, viscera-throwing, sonic mayhem that is a GWAR show, you must go!  There’s none like’em.

EXCEPT. . . and this is a small except.  This is the third time I’ve seen the guys in a year (not complaining!) and was hoping to hear “Sick of You” or dare I hope, their rendition of “School’s Out”.  No luck.  But at least there were new victims slain onstage and explosive performances of “Bring Back the Bomb”, “Biledriver” & “Tormentor” to compensate.  Check out Metalsetlists.com for a complete listing  (and thanks to Slave670 for posting the setlist to jog my memory).  GWAR rules and the crowd was clearly there to see’em.

Last was Cradle of Filth, and literally, almost half the crowd left during the long setup time between GWAR and themselves. That sucks.  Cradle is one of my favorite bands EXCEPT this was NOT the setlist to win over new fans – even tho it did showcase something from almost every album.   But no ‘Cruelty Brought thee Orchids’, or ‘Malice Through the Looking Glass’ or ‘Lord Abortion’.  The stage show consisted of the band (duh) and a large screen behind them that mostly served to display their videos while the accompanying song was played.  No gargoyles, no girls on stilts this time.   No theatrics at all, really.  Guess they figured it was covered by GWAR.

On the other hand, this is probably the tightest line-up that Cradle has ever had, with the addition (since last I’ve seen them, anyways) of Charles Hedger on guitar, Rosie Smith and Martin Skaroupka as live session instrumentalists on keyboards and drums, respectively.   Dani sounded great and walked the stage like a gothic lion about to prance on an unsuspecting audience.  Sarah’s vocals were as compelling as ever, Paul and Dave amazingly over the top with their solid performances.  The setlist is below (I managed to write it all down from the soundboard list);

  • Ebony Dressed for Sunset
  • Gilded Cunt
  • Dusk and her embrace
  • Nymphetamine
  • Tonight in Flames
  • Born in a Burial Gown
  • Dirge Inferno
  • The Twisted Nails of Faith
  • From the Cradle to Enslave
  • Her Ghost in the Fog

It was a good show, just a bit shy of truly exceptional.  I would recommend catching it, but was disappointed in the details.

Kid Rock: True to his Image

Anyone else think it’s hilarious that within days of Kid Rock’s new album “Rock N Roll Jesus” being RIAA certified at #1 that he is involved in a scuffle in the parking lot of an Atlanta Waffle House?  I mean, I can take or leave his new stuff, but how cool is that!?  A man who’s made a career of playing up the ‘white trash’ aspects of his life, actually frequenting an establishment that fits his image.   And getting busted for fighting to boot!

This is the equivalent of Brit-ninny Spears actually being found, I dunno, PARENTING -instead of {fill in asinine behavior du jour here}.

Anyhow, would’ve been cooler if there’d been a decent food fight too.  Or Maybe somebody getting hit in the head with a skillet!  Or. . .or. . .Kid Rock, drunk off his butt, screaming in the middle of the dining area about how Pamela broke his heart and how he was gonna eat bacon and grits until he died!  And maybe a drunken ballad of . . . oh nevermind.  I’m tired and slap-happy tonight.  

Bottomline – loads of street cred there, Kid.  You’re still the Bull God.

X-files: I ordered it!

A few weeks ago I posted how I was going to use the knowledge from the book “The Secret” to gain a shiny new ‘X-files: The Ultimate Collection’ boxed set from Amazon.com.  Of course, I don’t actually own “The Secret”, nor have I read it . . . or ever intend to, for that matter – but hey, I was gonna try anyhow!  That’s why they make Product Reviews, right?  Just read the highlights and off we go!

Well, friends – I’m here to tell you IT WORKED!  I placed the order today.  And you know what “The Secret” was?  I’ll bet you do.  And I’m gonna tell ya’. . .

I EARNED the damn money.  No one gave me a dime (unless you count my wife saying “Ok, Ok – buy the thing already, ya’ geek”), I saved up the cash over a 2 month period of time.   2 months, you say?  Well, hey I wanted it pretty bad but not enough to give up BEER.  That’s just crazy talk. 

Anyhow, the point is. . .unlike the “The Secret” which preaches you can sit on your ass and wish for things to come to you, I used positive visualization to get motivated, made some sacrifices, and bought the thing.  With cash, thank you very much. 

Now, would I have loved a fat million dollar check to come to me in the mail, and solve all of my financial worries?  Sure, but I’m realistic enough to know that ain’t gonna happen.  And really, I don’t want it to happen as much as I’d like to earn the money myself – but that’s just so I can be a pompous know-it-all.  Or maybe so I can waste it all on lapdances and beer.  (“Sorry kids, you can’t go to college.  Dad blew all the money on strippers.  BTW, meet your new stepmom Fontaine”)

Hey, a guy’s gotta have dreams, right?

Review: 30 Days of Night

I anticipated this baby from the day I heard it was in production and Sam Raimi was involved as producer.  Now that it’s here, the results are uneven, but mostly positive.

In our story, Barrow Alaska is getting ready for it’s annual winter month of total darkness, which lasts – ta dah – 30 days.   Unbeknownst to the town folks, this makes them a happy hunting ground for a large band of roving vampires who look at a month of sunless days as an extended vacation, with an all-you-can-eat buffet provided.

The local sheriff (Josh Hartnett), his estranged wife (Melissa George) and a handful of other townsfolk must try to survive Vampfest 2007 until the rising dawn weakens the undead and forces them into hibernation.  Or at least keeps them from killing everything in sight.

Directed by David Slade in a manner remnicent of films like “28 Days Later” i.e. loud booms evoking a jump from the audience and monster attacks being filmed in a shaky, blurred hallucination of editing, the film still manages to be stylish and tense while avoiding many common pitfalls of the genre in recent years.  That means there are no quippy one liners, no “Matrix”-style fight scenes – in fact little of the over-the-top comicbook stagings that permeate cable or your local video store - and the characters act for the most part in a believable fashion considering their circumstances.  Not bad for a movie adapted from a graphic novel, eh?

Nitpickers will have plenty to dissect here however, as logic does take a backseat in several instances.  For example, after a breathtaking aerial shot looks down on block after block of carnage and humans being easily butchered by the vampfolk, the story then treats us to DAYS of survivors hiding in attics or empty general stores, and no vamps can seem to find them? In fact, the Vamps disappear a lot for a group who aren’t hindered by daylight – what, does this town have a nosferatu-friendly Happy Hour as well?

And as for the creatures of the night, the pre-release buzz was this film would ‘redefine’ the vampire archetype.  Well, I dunno about ‘redefine’ but they’re more like nosfer-zombies, with strange fox-like beady eyes, quirky (almost reptilian) body movements and a downright bizarre & guttural screech.   But they are mean as hell, so they DO have that going for them.

Still, despite the irregularities, this is a fun watch boosted with great performances by Ben Foster (as the dental hygiene impaired “Stranger”) and Danny Huston as the lead vamp, which helps to raise the level of creepiness without sacrificing believability or an underlying sense of danger.

Is it scary – not so much as tense (and bloody).  Is it good – definitely.

My Rating: 8 Skulls out of 10.

What I’m listening to. . . week of 10/15

Not as much stuff has blasted thru my CD player as of late, but here’s what I recall;

  • Midnight Syndicate – Vampyre: Symphonies from the Crypt: Harpsichords, creepy organs & sinister synths OH MY!  Really like “Blackest Rose” off of this disc.
  • SkeletonWitch – Beyond the Permafrost: “Blackened Thrash” out of Athens, OH.  I’ve seen these guys live and they’re a blast!  This newest offering is destined to be a classic.
  • Archenemy – The Doomsday Machine: Brutal yet melodic Swedish metal
  • Pantera – Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits!: need I say more?
  • Therion – Gothic Kabbalah: Can’t get the song “Perennial Sophia” out of my head!  This is the apex of symphonic metal, in my opinion, and was one of the best live concerts I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.

Not so many CD’s this time, but what I lacked in quantity I made up for in quality.

Stay tuned, going to see “30 Days of Night” tomorrow at a preview – will be posting a review that night [hopefully!].  I CAN’T WAIT!!