But These Go to 11. . .

Wasn’t gonna post today. . . had to visit a couple friends at Hooters.  Yeah, it’s tough to be me.

But on returning home, I found myself watching VH-1 Classic as they showed the umpteenth re-run of “This is Spinal Tap”.  God damn, I love that movie!  It’s quite simply a brilliant piece of cinematography that you either get, or you don’t.   But if you do – you REALLY are into it.

For you kids out there, it’s a fake rock-umentary hosted by director Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner) about an aging British rock band (brilliantly portrayed by Michael Mckean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer) and their misadventurers on a fateful (some would say cursed) US tour.   Written by all four of the actors, the film is nothing short of comedic masterpiece.

The ‘in’ jokes are numerous and subtle – it bears repeat viewings even after all these years.   And the classic scenes – as the title of this post suggests – are legendary.  Understated humor which crosses over into flat out parody without ‘dumbing down’ to it’s audience.  If you haven’t seen the movie, go rent it or buy the damn thing from Amazon [you could use a little link that a certain blog has on it’s lefthand side, to save you some trouble – hint hint].

Back in 2001, the ‘Tap launched a brief 9 city tour (a REAL tour, not a movie) which I was lucky enough to see in San Francisco at the time.  They even opened for themselves;  McKean, Guest and Shearer came out as a classic folk rock act ‘the Folksmen’ and did a set - most notably by performing a bare bones but well harmonized version of the Stones ‘Start Me Up’, done as only a beatnik tribute band could cover it .  Then, as Spinal Tap, they returned to the stage (and sold-out crowd) and played one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.   Good times.

So, have you seen the movie and think you really know it?  I challenge anyone to recall where each of these actors appeared (or what character they portrayed) in the film;  Ed Begley Jr. , Fran Drescher, Patrick Macnee, Paul Shaffer, Fred Willard, Howard Hesseman – ok, THOSE are the obvious ones.  How about Billy Crystal, Paul Shortino (lead singer of Rough Cutt), Anjelica Houston, Brinke Stevens (scream queen) or BLACKIE LAWLESS !?  

Did you even know Blackie Lawless was in the damn movie??  Me neither.  Thanks IMDB.com. 

Now I’ll have to go watch it again.

WordPress 2.5 upgrade successful.

Ok, at the risk of sounding like a broken record – let me know if anything’s not working.  In the span of 30 min., I upgraded to WordPress 2.5 as well as downloaded & installed new versions of two plugins.  Damn, I’m gettin’ good at this stuff!

Actually, part of what makes WordPress awesome – aside from the fact that it’s FREE – is the relative ease you can upgrade your site.  Even if you have a few plugins, it’s still a relatively painless procedure.

But please tell me if I missed something in my testing and something got hosed during the transition.  I’m off to work on my motorcycle. . .

Multiple RSS Feeds

If you’ve been here before, you may have noticed the very LARGE RSS feed icon on the upper righthand side has been replaced by 2 smaller versions – one for the main Posts, one for user Comments. 

Nothing particularly earthshaking about any of this, I only mention it in case any of you who do subscribe via RSS find things not working etc.  Please let me know if you do see anything out of the ordinary. 

I’ve had the Comments feed ever since I signed up for Feedburner, but had just never gotten around to changing my theme to allow for both feeds.  Now you all have that option.  Ta-Dah!

More changes are coming – but first I have to upgrade to WordPress 2.5 and make sure that transition goes smoothly.  If you happen to drop by and things are f**ked – well, then you know that the transition did NOT go smoothly.

Signs of the Apocalypse #174 – ‘Chinese Democracy’ May be Released Free, & Include a Dr. Pepper.

Gonna keep it short tonight as I was home from work sick all day.  I feel like crap – and it’s seriously cutting into my beer consumption, dammit!

Metalsucks.net has an article about Guns N’ Roses 17 years in the making opus “Chinese Democracy”, and how it might actually be released. . .Free.

And then it gets weird – it also may get sponsored by Dr. Pepper.

Look, I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to, but yeah – it all reeks of publicity stunts & possibly Axl Rosenberg’s fevered imagination. But go read the article anyways.

And speaking of fevered, I’m gonna crash. . .

You Can’t Judge a Band by a Logo – Or Can You?

While searching for “do-it-yourself” graphics apps for this site, I found an amusing (albeit dated) thread on www.typophile.com regarding the proper design and fonts for creating logos for Black Metal bands. As is typical for any discussion regarding music genres, the comments often disintegrate into “that type of music SUCKS!” kind of drivel, but it’s still an interesting read all the same.

I do have to disagree with the majority of, in my opinion, uninformed and naive opinions expressed in the thread regarding Black Metal as a whole. You simply can’t stereotype an entire subgenre of ANY type of music based on look, artwork or even sound – although forming a preconceived opinion of a band by it’s sound does make the most sense if anything does. And of course, if you’ve actually listened to the band then it’s not really preconceived, is it? But I digress. . .

As is typical, people want to put labels on things to make it easier to pass judgement, without really getting to know the subject of which they are commenting. It’s human nature and often times stereotypes exist for a reason. Perhaps an antiquated or absurd reason, but validity is in the eye of the beholder.  Yet if anyone bothered to research their subject even a modicum, they’d find for every ‘typical’ Black Metal band like Darkthrone there is something entirely different in the same subgenre – such as Ulver or Vampiric Ritual or Vaakevandring. 

Sad to see in these so-called days of enlightenment, and by peers that are ‘supposedly’ open-minded, that the status quo is still the lowest rung on the ladder.  C’est la vie, eh?

On the bright side, I did find the mention of http://www.skuls.no as very amusing & clever.  It’s a Norwegian site that sells t-shirts of faux Black Metal bands (with nifty logos) made from common words like ‘weekday’, ‘office’ or ‘bread’.  All in hopes that some non-Norwegian poserboys will buy them up and wear’em out to shows.  Brilliant!

My personal favorite is the logo for Gravid, which means ‘pregnant’ in Norwegian.  I kinda resemble that one what with my god-like appearance (Buddha).

Now if they would just do a shirt for marokkaner “moron” or drømmen “dreamer”, then I might actually have to buy a shirt (thanks to http://www.tranexp.com/ for the help on translating those!)

GREEN JELLŸ Have reunited. Be Afraid. . .

Yes indeedy, another little morsel from those folks in the know over at Blabbermouth.net. Apparently comedic metal phenomenon Green Jelly (or Jello for those who remember) have reformed and are touring. Not to my hometown – but they’re touring nonetheless!

You may recall they had a MTV hit with “The Three Little Pigs?”  Who knew that Maynard from Tool was singing the falsetto “Not By the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin”? I certainly didn’t. Go read Blabbermouth’s article. And if you don’t remember the video, here it is –


Keep of Kalessin’s Columbus Show to be Streamed for FREE

Blabbermouth.net is reporting that Norway’s Keep of Kalessin will be streaming their performance in Columbus live on the site YeboTV.com.  KoK is opening for Dimmu Borgir & Behemoth as part of the Invaluable Darkness Tour Part II.  If you’re an old reader, you’ll recall that Part I of that tour was reviewed HERE by yours truly.

This time I don’t have to drive all the way to Cleveland (about 2 hours from here) to see the show as it’s coming to our very own Newport Music hall (my home away from home).  So yes, I myself won’t be streaming it ’cause I’ll be there.

Incidently, Blabbermouth is reporting that Dimmu Borgir’s set will also be streamed live – almost makes me wanna sell my ticket and just stay home to watch. 

NOT!

Britny Fox – Alrosa Villa, Columbus Ohio 3/20/08

Thank GOD for Britny Fox!!  Why, you ask?   Simple.  While other so called Glam bands are trying to relive the glory days, feeding off the corpse of their dying image, Britny Fox is reinventing itself with younger talent and a whole lot of passion.  This makes for an entertaining show, I’m here to tell you.  And it’s me saying this – a guy who’s not even that big of a fan of the ‘Hair’ bands.

So let’s start at the beginning, as my shrink would say (if I had one).  There were 5 bands on the bill and tickets were $6.  Hard to complain so far.  Ok, 4 were local acts that ranged from somewhat decent to downright hideous, but out of kindness I won’t mention any names here.  Suffice it to say that most played covers and of the few originals we heard,  probably the most significant came from a group called ‘Straight Up’ out of Newark.

Billy Childs & The RevThe crowd was sparse – probably numbering no more than 75 – 100, so the Britny Fox band members easily walked amongst us and had a beer or two pre-show.  The only original member left is bassist Billy Childs who is pictured to the right in this photo.  The old man with hairfuck on the left is me.  Gorgeous ain’t I?  Kiss my ass.

Anyhow, I talked with Billy and drummer Henry (just Henry) about the most recent changes in the band – specifically vocalist Tommy Paris’s somewhat abrupt departure and the future legacy of the group.  Henry was very candid about the attention they were starting to get again and how new vocalist Jamie Fletcher had had to learn 15 songs (and rhythm guitar parts) in only 5 days.  Alrosa was their first live show together.

Well, rest assured sports fans, they collectively rose to the challenge.  Henry is a monster on the drums, a literal machine who powers the rhythm section along with Billy’s bass with an exciting level of energy.  Guitarist Greg Polcari is under-rated in his ability to fluidly handle the solos and main melodies while Jamie takes on the vocals & rhythm parts.  No small feat considering the older stuff was sung falsetto – and Jamie sings it within range.

The guys were tight, rehearsed and enjoyable to watch.  Plus, on two occasions in the set Billy let my wife pluck his bass from the front row.  You know she’s a fan now but somehow I was still unable to negotiate a full-on trade (her for the bass).  Maybe next time. 

The highlights of their set included the two mandatory hits – ‘Girlschool’ and ‘Long Way to Love’ as well as interesting choices for covers; The Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right to Party”, “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth and “You Gotta Another Thing Comin'” by Judas Priest.    Other songs I recognized were ‘Left Me Stray’, ‘Black and White’, ‘Pain’, ‘Closer to Your Love’, ‘Midnight Moses’, ‘Six Guns Loaded’, ‘Liar’and ‘Shot From my Gun’.

In the end, these guys play good ole’ fashioned rock n’ roll and that’s fine by me.  With new band members and thus re-invigerated vision, I have more faith than in most that they are capable of producing future work that rises above mere rehash of 20 year old riffage.  Check’em out and support their efforts.

Is Gene Simmons a Liar?

I was sucked into last night’s episode of ‘Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels’ on A&E, as it was the heavily promoted episode where Gene subjects himself to a lie detector test over questions to his faithfulness to longtime girlfriend & former Playboy playmate Shannon Tweed.  Live on the air in LA with Adam Carolla and Danny Bonaduce, no less.

If you still haven’t seen and/or heard the results, stop reading now as I’m gonna spoil it all for you.

Ok, now that the lone guy in Poughkeepsie has stopped reading, let’s continue.  First off, I love the show, it cracks me up but there is no way in hell it’s not at least partially scripted.  Too many ‘coincidences’, y’know?  And let’s face it, Gene has a great family but they’re not going to win any Academy awards for faking surprise.   It’s still a fun watch, don’t get me wrong – but let’s call it like it is, shall we?  S.C.R.I.P.T.E.D.

Now, as for the ‘moment of truth’, I’m appalled at how many ‘slow pitches’ were thrown out, by both radio hosts,  to Gene.  C’mon guys, we’re not that stupid!  The most glaring example is in the first couple of questions, Danny points out the difference between asking “Have you really slept with over 4600 women?” and the intension of that question – “Did you have SEX with over 4600 women?”. 

Of course, Gene denys the question in it’s first incarnation – apparently he had sex and then left.  No sleeping or cuddle time.  Hey, he never claimed he had sex with over 4600 EMOTIONALLY SATISFIED women, did he?  Not until Bonaduce rephrases the question does he come clean – yes, he did in fact have that much sex.  Damn him.

So, now the precedent has been set; Simmons is a tricky little bastard.   With that in mind, then WHY did Carolla phrase the big question, the one everybody tuned in to see, as “Have you MADE LOVE to any women since dating Shannon in 1983”.  I’m paraphrasing, but the key phrase is ‘made love’. 

Of course Gene denies it and everybody’s happy.  “Oh, that guy!  He’s such a braggart – but he would NEVER do that to Shannon.”

Or would he?  No one asked him “Gene, have you had sex of any type with any other woman or girl since you started seeing Shannon back in 1983?”  I’m thinking we would have had an entirely different ending to the story. 

Look, I think everyone including Shannon knows the score.  And if she’s happy, great – it’s a win.  But I don’t think America was fooled, especially by an 8th grade word game in how the question is phrased.  Besides, you know the credibility is lacking in any lie detector test that marks as a truthful answer Simmons saying his hair is in fact real. 

I’m gullable and even I didn’t buy that one.

Bad Things to Do With a Nannycam

So one of my co-workers likes to check up on her nephew via a webcam as he spends his time at daycare.  Y’know, making sure he’s not abused or neglected or taught to do the ‘electric slide’.  Cruel stuff like that.

Anyhow, as I watched her checking the site today I couldn’t help but think about how childcare is yet another career field I could never work in.  Not only for the obvious reasons, like I detest small children and would probably be stringing them up like little papoose pinatas, only to swing at them on occasion with a broom handle.  No, worse – my sense of humor is WAY out of line for a job with those kind of serious responsibilities.

I mean, a live webcam – to me, is an invitation to entertain whoever is on the other end.  Even if said entertainment is probably inappropriate, possibly illegal. 

Before you get the wrong idea, let me clarify;  I’m the type of guy who, if given the temptation of a webcam where YOU KNOW there are parents watching every second, would sit quietly in the background, just at the edge of where the camera could see, in a hockey mask and holding a machete.  Maybe whispering a little ‘chi chi chi, cha cha cha’ or however the hell the Friday the 13th sound goes.  You get the idea.  Imagine how fast the phone lines would light up to that place.  They’d answer the phone to screaming hysteria, “WHAT IS THAT MAN DOING!?”  Of course, by then the mask and machete would be quietly tucked away for later.  Muhahahaha. 

Or better even, I would leave an empty six pack in full view.   Or walk around in front of the camera dragging a realistic looking doll – by the hair.  Or yes, the timeless classic – the full webcam moon.  Priceless.

I also think it might be amusing to light incense directly under the webcam. . .y’know, so the smoke wafts gently in front of the lens.  Or maybe I’d answer the phones in a foreign accent, whispering “we are about ready for delivery of your order.  you still want the blonde child, yes?”

Now, before I get sued – which would be sad ’cause you cannot get blood from an onion – let me just remind everyone that I am in NO WAY suggesting you actually do any of those things.  You’ll go to jail and let me tell you . . .THAT is definitely not the type of crime that gets you ‘street cred’ with other inmates.  A few dates perhaps, but not street cred.

But it underscores my point that I myself am best not involved in positions of responsibility, or honesty, or patience, or perseverence, or intelligence.   Or morality, decency or even accountability.

Yep, I’m where I should be - in Advertising.