5 Positive Things About THIS Black Monday

The Dow dropped 778 points today after congress failed to pass the 700 Billion dollar bank bailout plan -the largest single-day stock drop in American history.   I’d like to hope that this delay means some of our esteemed Congressmen are thinking this rather expensive notion all the way through rather than reacting in a knee jerk fashion, but who am I kidding?  More likely it’s partyline posturing & government bureaucracy as usual.

In the meantime, a lot of people are freaking out right now, so I’d like to remind everyone that this is not the end of the world.  The world doesn’t end until 2012 (just ask the Mayans) so we can all just relax.  The storm shall be weathered, even if the ride is REALLY bumpy.  Y’all will be back to contemplating Michael Phelps sex life in no time flat.  In fact, I’m so optimistic about the future that I thought I’d try to put a positive spin on things for everyone – if possible.  I give you;

Five Things that are GREAT about this Black Monday.

  1. You can finally tell your Grandpa to shut his yap about how bad the Depression was – now we ALL get the idea.
  2. If you’re in the market for a house, I’m pretty sure you can negotiate sexual favors with certain sellers.  Open House’s are the new Swingers clubs, trust me.
  3. There are now less irritating mortgage company ads on TV.  Unfortunately, they’ve been replaced by bankruptcy attorneys, political propaganda and suicide hotline PSA’s.
  4. Lines in most stores will be quite reasonable, especially higher end stores with a lot of big ticket items.
  5. Finally, we are more likely to have record voter turnout this year than in the past decade (century?).  At long last our youth will be motivated to participate in the electoral process!

So see, you should be feeling better already.  Put away that stock portfolio, shut down your browser full of Vanguard funds and go have a beer.  Hell, go OUT and have a beer – stimulate the economy a little, why don’t you?

God knows we need it.

Seether – Newport Music Hall, Columbus Ohio 9/25/08

Good triple bill last night featuring Seether, with opening acts State of Shock & Ashes Divide, at a nearly sold-out show at Columbus’ Newport Music Hall.  Here’s how it went;

State of Shock was first up, a pop aware alt-rock band out of Vancouver.  They reminded me of Hinder so if you like that style, these folks are for you.  They’re also notable for having a pretty hot female bass player (“The only one of us who could get her guns across the border”) & a very capable lead singer.  Had many listenable songs including a decent ballad ‘Best I Ever Had’ and the EXTREMELY catchy ‘Money Honey’.  I think they’ll grow to be a lot bigger in the States.

Next up was Ashes divide (intentional little ‘d’, per their logo), who quite frankly were a mismatch on this bill.  Ashes Divide is more experimental & brooding, which makes sense when you realize frontman Billy Howerdel is also a founding member of A Perfect Circle.  Thus, they’d be a welcome fit to open for Tool or perhaps Nine Inch Nails but kind of out of place amongst these current, more radio friendly bands.  Still, they put on a good show & I’d be curious to hear more from them – perhaps in a situation where I could focus more on their music.

Finally came Seether, with pink haired Shaun Morgan & co. making a grandiose entrance courtesy of a huge dropping curtain & swinging light fixture.   Well played, dynamic & always appreciative of the crowd, Morgan belted out pretty much everything my kids came to hear including ‘Rise Above This’, ‘Gasoline’, ‘Fine Again’, ‘Truth’, ‘Remedy’, an acoustic version of ‘Broken’, a great cover of Stone Temple Pilot’s ‘Plush’ and current hit ‘Fake it’.  I know I missed a few more. . .

Great show, well worth catching if they come to your area.  Oh, and the picture above is from their Peoria show on Monday – snagged off Flickr.  Click the pic to see more from that photog.

Preparing for Seether

Won’t be posting for a day or two as I’m taking my twins to see Seether tomorrow night at the Newport. This really isn’t for me so much as for the girls, who have been begging to go since they saw the show listed. I’m such a softie.

I’ve seen Seether at least once before (that I can remember), opening for Audioslave. . . back when there WAS an Audioslave. I remember being pleasently surprised with the show so I’m hoping that will be true again. Wonder if we’ll get any Amy Lee bashing?

Tattoo Santa For Christmas

I know we’re still in September but you gotta plan ahead, right? I’ve been playing around with the video e-card site created by digital ad agency R/GA called ‘Tattoo Santa’. Yeah, it’s from 2007 but it’s still awesome. The premise is you pick out a tat for the old guy (be it on his arm, knuckles, butt, stomach etc.) and then type your message in the ink. Vola! Send it out to all your buddies. Go bookmark it now, then you’ll be ready in a few months – at http://www.rga.com/holiday07/index.html.

As you can see, I did bad things in my short time on the site. Sorry, Santa – please bring me the White Zombie boxed set all the same!

Ted Nugent Offers To Be Personal Bodyguard for Sir Paul

Blabbermouth.net – Ole’ Uncle Ted is at it again! He’s offered his services as personal bodyguard/marksmen/general all around badass to none other than Sir Paul McCartney. It seems Mr. McCartney has been receiving death threats from extremist Muslim groups since he declared his intent to perform in Israel as part of it’s 60th birthday celebration. 

Uncle Ted doesn’t care much for bullies as he responds

“Regardless that Paul and I have our obvious social, cultural, and culinary differences outside of music, I will not bend or waiver to voodoo religious whackjobs and neither should Paul”.

Whatever you think of the Nuge, I agree that terrorist threats of this nature are ridiculous.  McCartney just wants to put on a concert, for Christ’s sake!  And for this, he should receive DEATH THREATS!?  Aw c’mon, he should receive death threats for writing a ballad about Heather Mills, not for just wanting to perform.

Sorry, I agree with Uncle Ted on this one.  Click the link at the top to read the whole article.

John Pinette at the Easton Funnybone 9/19/08

Friday the wife and I celebrated out 19th wedding anniversary.  Technically our anniversary is Tuesday the 23rd but Fridays are much more fun to celebrate on, so we moved it up a bit.

19 years.  You know the joke, if I’d have just shot her the night we met, I’d be a free man by now.  Instead. . . .  [Just kidding there honey and lawyer].

Anyhow, we went out to eat up at the Easton Town Center, specifically with reservations at the Melting Pot, an exorbitant fondue restaurant in a dark, yet swanky basement.  3 lobster tails and some filet mignon later, one of my kids can no longer go to college.  Hey, we had a good time tho.

After dinner we caught the late show at the nearby Funnybone, where comedian John Pinette was featured.  He’s been around a while and we LOVE his special on HBO (you also may remember him from ‘Parker Lewis Can’t Lose’ & ‘Seinfeld’).  I’m not even gonna try to paraphrase the man so check out this Youtube video below.  I defy ANYONE to get through all 6 minutes without laughing out loud.  Seriously.

After the show, my wife surprised me by having booked us a room at the Marriott so I didn’t have to drive home.  Actually she told me at the beginning of the evening which is why we finished off enough wine at the Melting Pot to start our own vineyard.   But undeterred, after John Pinette we hung out at Adobe Gila’s, had more beverages and enjoyed the atmosphere before stumbling off to the hotel like a couple of old drunks.

Good times!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

In case none of your geeky co-workers have informed you by going ‘AARRRRR’ in your voice mail, today is indeed ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’.  International – but somehow I just can’t see people in say . . . . Zimbabwe, celebrating.  Perhaps it’s just me.  They do celebrate in Somalia however. . . just ask the French cruise lines.  But I digress.

As a real-life descendant of Highland pirates, I’ve always had a special fondness for anything dealing with the roguish lifestyle. Even so, I wouldn’t be able to talk that way for more than 5 minutes -  less time would elapse if I had to listen to someone else doing it.

Which is why I’m taking the opportunity to start my own holiday to coincide with this one, Reverend Mortis’ “Bitchslap Ignorant Bastards Day” (or B.I.B. Day for short).  I feel it’s fairly self-explanatory.

Feel free to celebrate either Day as you see fit, but don’t blame me if you should happen to get slapped.  You’ve been warned. . .

So Did Metallica Save Metal?

I’ve intentionally avoided all the hub-bub over the new Metallica album “Death Magnetic” because frankly, it’s been covered to death elsewhere. I’ve even only heard one song so far – “That Was Just Your Life” and found it more guitar driven than usual, and with less overall crunch.  Still, it was much better than anything on “St. Anger”.

That being said, I’ve pondered an off comment made by Lars in one of the 10,000 interviews floating around for the album’s release – one conducted by Stevie Chick of the UK’s The Guardian (& linked via Blabbermouth.net HERE).  To paraphrase Mr. Ulrich a bit, he maintains that the world expects Metallica to ‘save metal’, to “carry the whole genre on their backs”.

Do you agree?  I usually don’t with some of Ulrich’s rants, but this time – I kinda see his point.   Granted, Lamb of God or Slayer or any of a ton of other bands would probably assert that the genre doesn’t need saving, and I would agree with that assertion as well.  SOME bands are doing quite well on their own, despite the fact that metal isn’t as popular as it was in say, the 80’s.

But what I think Lars is eluding to is there is definitely an underlying sense of anticipation with this release (as there is with Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy”) that goes above & beyond what you normally see with new releases.  It’s the kind of hype that used to surround big releases in the days of vinyl, long before downloading and Itunes and the digital age leveled the playing field between fans and musicians.

I don’t know that anyone expects Metallica to ‘save metal’, but I do think there IS an expectation of them leading the charge to where metal goes more mainstream again.  Where songs can be played over-the-air without resorting to them becoming a watered down shadow of their potential (cough cough Disturbed cough) and yes, commercially viable.

It was announced this week that with “Death Magnetic”, it is the first time EVER that a band has released FIVE albums that have bowed at number 1 on the Billboard 200 – that beats the Beatles, U2 & Dave Matthews.  So saved or not, metal lovers still buy the CD’s and spend the cash to support their favs.

Metallica may not have saved us, but they sure did motivate us.  Will that momentum continue, will other bands enjoy similar success now that the floodgates are open?  I guess only time will tell.  But to me, a very clear message has been sent.  

To the labels - the industry is not dead nor is the genre known as Heavy Metal.  Promote quality & you’ll be rewarded.  To the bands, if you want fan support – earn it.  It can be done.  And as fans, we’re eager to see you succeed.  Together, we can all show the world that our music has the best community & most diehard devotees – period.

And as a side note, yeah I will probably make my first Metallica purchase in a very long time.  I can only sit on the sidelines so long, before jumping back into the fray.  Just hate being too trendy.  ;>

Sigh – A Tribute to Venom [The End Records]

Picked up this vinyl/CD combo the other day from The End Records.  As the name implies, it’s a tribute EP performed by legendary Japanese Black Metallers Sigh covering only Venom songs (7 in all). There are two versions currently available – a limited run of etched black vinyl w/CD (2000 copies) and a very limited run of etched red vinyl w/CD (400 copies).  I chose the red, of course!

Visually, it’s a beautiful release and the juxtaposition of a traditional Japanese dragon onto the infamous goat’s head & pentagram is an interesting way of acknowledging both bands.  But the actual album length, well that IS my biggest complaint – only 7 tracks?  This little beauty clocks in at only a little over 22 minutes total, so I’m wondering why we couldn’t have had 5 more songs?  I mean, not like it’s a hard band to cover, eh?  Would’ve taken what. . . 10 more minutes for the boys to learn “In Nomine Satanas” & “Live Like an Angel”?  But I digress. . .

Sigh clearly does this as a labor of love, choosing tracks only from the first two Venom releases “Welcome to Hell” & “Black Metal” (other than “Diehard” which was originally a single), both arguably being the band’s most influencial releases (understatement, I think).

They go for more or less a straightforward interpretation of each tune, most notably differentiated by vocalist Mirai Kawashima’s snarling (& heavily accented) voice versus Cronos’ more gutteral rasp from the originals.  “Mayhem With Mercy” is played with Sigh’s trademark keyboards rather than accoustically on guitar, “Schizoid” becomes “Schizo” when Sigh does it (it’s the same song, trust me).   Other than that, your looking at more or less direct interpretations of the originals – albeit well executed ones.  The track list is :

  • Black Metal (Of Course!)
  • Diehard
  • Countess Bathory
  • Schizo
  • Mayhem With Mercy
  • Teacher’s Pet
  • Witching Hour

Like I said, I would’ve loved to see it be a longer release, maybe including a track or two from “At War With Satan” and “Possessed”.   That being said, if you’re a fan of either band this is pretty much a must-have.

Check it out HERE