Friday, August 28, 2015

Blistering High Note Divas: Stop it!!!

...And I-III wish you'd drop an octave!!!

From the 60's all the way to the 90's, we were all dazzled by the vocal styling of divas like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and others. They were great. There was an elite group that all other female singers wanted to be. They will all be remembered as legends, and rightfully so. Who can forget Whitney Houston's National Anthem at the Super Bowl? But, what happens to all good things in music? It gets beaten to death until every last penny can be squeezed out of it by the record companies. Then, once its ruined, its cast aside forever...Unless there is a resurgence. Then, they will hook up the record company juggernaut squeezing apparatus, and do it again. Its sad really. Most of the divas were extremely talented.

Case and point: There is a video of Whitney Houston's version of I Will Always Love You on You Tube. When she hits the last chorus, the infamous internet goat screams over her high notes. Its hilarious, and its true. And, this isn't because anybody thinks that Whitney was any less talented now than they did back then. (Yes, I know she died. Stay with me, wise ass.) Its because the next crop of divas, starting with Christina Aguilera who actually IS talented were force fed based on the popularity of the classic divas. All of a sudden, instead of an elite few, there were at least 20 on the radio at the same time, all singing songs written by the same group of writers that all sound the same. AND, they were all trying to break glass with their auto-tuned voices, and making all dogs in the vicinity want to chew their own ears off. Most came from American Idol. You know how I feel about that show. But, it got so old and annoying that the great songs of the past are now making people cringe if they hear it. So sad. 

Take a look at that video I told you about:

Sure, its funny, but its the sad reality of yet another type of great music being bastardized to line record company pockets with money. This happened with metal too, although when the 80's glam metal went away, so did all the high note singers. That's part of why its easy to listen to a great metal singer like Yannis Papadopolous of Wardrum. We aren't being bombarded with inferior synthetic high vocals like we are from these pop singer divas. 

How do I know so much about this crap? Well, as I explained here, I worked at a car dealership in North Carolina where the GM insisted on playing modern pop through the PA at annoyingly loud levels. There is one song by a singer who I had no idea who was, singing a song that I honestly couldn't understand a single lyric to. Someone told me it was Kya, or Cya, or something like that. I wanted to write this post then, but I obviously had the name wrong. Then, (months later aka now) I saw the goat video on Facebook. I decided to try again. This time, I looked up the Billboard charts from last February. I saw a singer named Sia, with a song called Chandelier. I looked it up on You Tube, and listened long enough to determine if that was it. It was. The song is worse than nails on a chalkboard. It goes from blurry sounding auto-tune into a completely unnecessary high pitched assault on the eardrums. Don't take my word for it. Listen to it for yourself, and see if you can get all the way through it without wanting to stick a knitting needle in your ears to ease the piercing pain!
Did you feel my pain? I had to listen to that song 3 times a day for months! 

My head hurts...And NO, I didn't listen to the song. But, this new diva crop, and this song in particular have ruined the legendary divas for me. I can't hear any of the old school talented ones hit a high note anymore without cringing. Just another thing about this era of unoriginal art that we are living in from movies to music. I'm over it, and you should be also. And, a word to the record companies...KNOCK IT OFF!!

Its sad, but true. But, if your ears are bleeding, let me make it up to you. Here is some Wardrum. Check them out! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Deflategate: Brady, the Patriots, and The Aftermath

"I was just as surprised as anybody. 
I didn't alter the balls in any way."
-Tom Brady
If you're an NFL fan, there's no way that you haven't heard of the latest scandal concerning the New England Patriots. Actually, you've probably heard about Deflategate even if you aren't a football fan. But, everyone else is talking about it, so I might as well too. Basically, Tom Brady is accused of deflating the footballs for an unfair advantage. Even though, quarterbacks have been doing it for years. But, what's even more confusing is the fact that the balls didn't even seem to improve his gameplay. It seems to be more of a comfort issue for him. 

Whatever. The rules are the rules, and with all the idiots getting into trouble in the NFL these days, Commissioner, Roger Goodell wants to look "tough." So, he got a chance to make a ruling that proves that no one, not even the NFL poster boy, Tom Brady himself is above the law. So, he suspends Brady for four games, docks a draft pick, and fines the Patriots. This is the same guy who suspended Ravens runningback, Ray Rice 2 games for beating up his wife, among other things. You might say that he is a tyrant who cares more about his legacy than the health of the league. But, this isn't a post about Goodell. 
No, this is a post about the Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Back in 2007, the Patriots were docked a draft pick for Spygate, when they were accused of videotaping opponents practice sessions. What happened next? The Patriots started the season with a major chip on their shoulder. They blew out just about every team they played, and they ran the score up. One time, they played the Dolphins, and they pulled Brady out. Miami scored, and they but Brady back in, and preceded to "punish" the Dolphins for even trying. In an interview, Coach Bill Belichick was asked about it, and he sarcastically replied "Well, they are a good team who could have possibly come back." That year, Miami went 1-15. So, you figure it out. The Patriots were punishing the rest of the league with the blowouts. But, you know what they say about Karma. They won all their regular season games, and playoff games, but lost the Super Bowl to the Giants.
Only 4 games that year were not blowouts.
The Patriots did that over losing one draft pick, and a chump change fine. Imagine the chip on their shoulder they will have after losing Brady for four games. I suspect Brady will want to set single game scoring records in each game. They likely will even shoot for a three digit score against the weak teams they play. They will want to make the blowouts of 2007 look soft.

And now, here is my personal opinion about Brady, and of course you all know I have no love for the Patriots at all. I am not sticking up for them in any way. I even have a family member who plays for them right now, and I still hate the Patriots. But, what Brady should have done was just admitted it. He should have just said something along the lines of "I had a little air let out of the balls. What's the big deal?" The NFL would have fined him, and that would have been the end of it. But instead, he denied it, and played the victim. If he had just manned up, people would have respected him for it. Including me. But now, the Patriots are looking at 4 games without Brady, and if they go 0-4, they may be out of the playoffs due to how competitive the AFC East is likely going to be.
I'm a misunderstood hero. I can't stand it when
someone says bad things about me!
So, what's going to happen? Just sit back and watch. Don't ever count the Patriots out, and I don't think they will go 0-4. But, that's why they play the game. Football's back! And, I apologize for my first football post of the new season being about the Patriots and Deflategate. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Song Lyric Dissection: Europe's The Final Countdown

Did you guys piss off Superman or something?

Europe's most popular hit. It plays in every stadium or arena in a close game. Its a really cool song, but really bad lyrics. 

Verse: We're leaving together
But still its farewell
And maybe we'll come back 
To Earth who can tell?

Farewell to who? If you're leaving together, then why are you saying farewell to each other? And, I'd hope you'd come back to Earth. Where else would you go?

Verse: I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?
Its the Final Countdown

Well, I guess we could blame you, since you're the one leaving...or the people in mission control! And,
 do you really think you have that much influence that things would change if you went away? That's pretty egotistical, don't you think? However, nothing will be the same if it truly is the final countdown. That usually is referenced to a nuclear rocket launch, not a commercial space flight which it seems that you are referring to.

Chorus: The Final Countdown

Verse: Oh we're heading for Venus
And still we stand tall
Well maybe they've seen us
And welcome us all

Why would you go to Venus? Its EXTREMELY hot on that planet because its so close to the sun. Do you want to fry??? Not to mention the atmosphere is toxic to humans. And, I've never heard of any movies made about aliens invading from Venus. And, if they are welcoming you, they are assuming you are stupid because you don't know how dangerous that planet is to humans. They are luring you to your death! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
Don't go to Venus! You'll burn up!!
Verse: With so many light years to go
and things to be found
I'm sure that we'll all miss her so
Its the Final Countdown

Chorus: Its the final countdown

Wait a minute. Do you have any idea how far a light year is? Well, its MUCH farther than the distance from Earth to Venus. Just a little trivia for you...It only takes light 8 minutes to get to Earth from the sun. And, WHO will we all miss? You haven't mentioned anyone in this song other than you who are leaving. Now, you're talking about someone else who is leaving?? Who is this mystery person? Maybe the line was originally written 'We'll al miss EARTH so' which would make more sense. But, that is not the lyric.

It was supposed to take these guys 75 years to get home.
You guys think you'll get there before "she"
dies of old age?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Album Review: Overlord SR, Still Standing


...Somewhere, creeping through the night,
Out there, you'll be running for your life....

In the early 80's, Overlord SR (Then known simply as Overlord) became the first metal band in the state of North Carolina to be signed. They quickly were put onto the Metal Massacre VI compilation album, with their song, Keeper of the Flame. They gained notoriety from that song and a couple others, and toured the nation as supporting acts for bands like Savatage and more. However, they never really got headlining status nationwide. However, they own their hometown of Fayetteville, NC.

Well, they are Still Standing, as the name of their newly released album suggests. And, they are doing more than standing. They are kicking ass and taking names with their own brand of power metal.

This album could have easily followed their material from back then. It has the classic power metal feel of bands like Warlord, Manowar, and others. All those bands had their own unique sound, and so does Overlord SR. Their trademark is the powerful twin guitar attack of 'Wildman' George Koerber and Craig Dunham, along with the vocals of Steve Sosa. Most of the singers of that era tried to break every glass window within 3 blocks with their voices. Sosa doesn't. His voice is powerful and the 3 part harmonies of Sosa, Koerber, and Dunham fit perfectly...with power. And, the rhythm section with bassist, Bob Durocher and Drummer, known simply as 'Zip' will knock you down. So, when you see them in concert, hold on to your drinks. 
Before I get into the album, I would like to talk about their shows a bit. Expect to be blown away. The band does not take prisoners. They have a castle mock up on stage, with medieval weapons strategically placed throughout, and knights sword fighting to the death! Don't be a jerk at one of their shows. You might not walk out!!!. They even wear armor on stage. Its a great show, and you need to check it out when you get the chance. 
Bob Durocher, Craig Dunham, and Wildman George in armor
Notice the castle in the background!
Wildman George announces the victorious knight!
And now, on to the album:
I've used the word 'Power' several times so far, and that's intentional. Track 4 of Still Standing is called 'Power Metal.' And, if you look up the term on Wikipedia, there should be a link to this song. Its everything I think of when I hear that phrase. The album starts off with the pounding drum and galloping guitar opening of  'Shadow of Darkness.' It really lets you know what the band is all about, and what's coming. Basically, what is coming is the style of metal that has been overlooked in this resurgence of 80's metal, which is what the band wants to showcase. There are anthems like 'Creeping in the Night,' and 'Standing on the Edge of Time.' There is also a slow and surreal instrumental called 'Passages in Time.' The song, 'Under Fire' has a spectacular harmony guitar outro that will leave you wanting more. I'd bet this is their concert closer. If I was at one of their shows, and they closed with this, I would have to grab a beer, and scream for an encore...unless that WAS the encore, which would kick ass too. 'Hour of Souls' is a hard groove that will have your fists pumping. It closes with a rerecorded version of a classic, 'Full Speed Ahead.'  And, that is how the band plans to come at you. 

If you like the talented sound of pure, raw 80's power metal, Overlord SR's Still Standing is for you. It has everything you're looking for, and then some. Buy their album, and look for them on the road near you sometime soon!

Here is the band's contact info: Overlord SR's Website, Facebook pageReverbnation Page

Sunday, August 9, 2015

TV Show Review: Dark Matter

Sci Fi TV is about the only intelligent TV on the air these days that isn't based on History or Science. The rest is mindless dribble that claims 259 brain cells for each episode watched. That, and sports. There simply isn't anything original or good anymore...Unless its Sci Fi. Personally, I'd rather watch Star Trek reruns than a new episode of Two and a Half Men, or any other sitcom. There are several sci fi shows that are running right now that are excellent, such as Falling Skies, The Last Ship, Under the Dome, and a couple others. They are all very good, but the one I'm discussing is Dark Matter, on the Sy Fy Network. Don't worry, there are NO SPOILERS!

Dark Matter
Friday Nights, 10PM Eastern on Sy Fy

It is set in the distant future, and humans have gone into space, and achieved faster than light travel. But, space isn't the peaceful utopia portrayed in Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is every man for himself, and there is a very vast and brutal corporation that is controlling everything.

The premise is that six people awaken on a ship, with amnesia. They don't know their names, history, or anything. They are obviously all suspicious of each other, but they decide to calm down and try to figure out what happened. They decide to name themselves as the number of the order they awoke in. 1 is a mild mannered buy whiny guy, 2, a sexy woman who takes control as captain, 3, a hot headed man who isn't very smart, 4, an Oriental man who is very quiet, but quickly realizes he has ninja abilities with fighting and weapons 5, a timid girl who doesn't seem to fit in with the rest, 6, a big bad black man. There is also a female android who keeps the ship together. She has no memory of these people either.

4, 6, 3, 2, 1, 5, and The Android
The ship 'The Raza'
The show chronicles what happens as they try to figure out who they are, and what they were doing on the ship, all while evading capture from the Corporation, and others who they may have had dealings with. Each episode gives another piece of the puzzle, and while it can be a bit confusing, it usually makes sense at the end of the episode. They grow as a crew, and a family, and their bond is more apparent with each episode. And, since the first thing they find out about each other is definitely not a good thing, they are going to have to stick together in order to have a chance to survive.

The Android...
I like her, but I hope 
they change her hair.
This show is very special. It is probably the best sci fi show running right now because A, it takes place in space. B, it has the elements of classic sci fi shows like Star Trek, with the attitude of Firefly. And, it isn't rehash either. This series premise is unique, and because of the fact that they have amnesia, there is no limit to the possibilities that the show could explore.

I mentioned that 3 was a hot head who wasn't very bright. You might be thinking of Jayne from Firefly. There are similarities, but they are completely different. In one of the episodes, 3 will surprise you. Big time. In fact, all these characters will grow on you to the point that you care about each and every one of them. Even The Android. And that is the mark of a good show.

5 and 6...They form a very sweet, 
almost father/daughter relationship
On a scale of 1-10, I am going to give this one a solid 8. That may rise as the show goes on, but season one so far has been incredible. Why not a 9 or 10? Because there is always room for improvement, and I would hope that the show's coming seasons are even better than the first one. A word to Sy Fy...DO NOT CANCEL THIS SHOW. I am SO tired of getting into a show only to have it get cancelled. Happened with Farscape, Firefly, the new V series, and so many others. My heart can't take another cancellation of a good series. And as always, I have an original sci fi series that needs to be seen. Hit me up, Sy Fy!

Anyway, watch this show. Its great, and has the potential to go down as one of the all time greats. It has great characters, great story writing, great character development, great special effects, great everything. Literally, everything a science fiction purist would want.

And, watch for cameos from other Sci Fi series actors! There are several just in season 1.

Song Lyric Dissections: Miracles by Insane Clown Posse

You know it! The Juggalos are going to be pissed. By reading the replies on the SNL parody on Youtube by them, it appears they cannot take a joke. They take their rapper Kiss ripoffs VERY seriously.

If you've never heard this song or seen the video, you might want to so before you read this dissection.  This is the original video:

Here is the SNL parody:

This song is ridiculous. I don't even really have to do much to make fun of it. They do a pretty good job on their own. Its their attempt to be DEEP. Well, its deep all right, but not the kind of deep they were hoping for.


Verse: If magic is all we've ever know
Then it's easy to miss what really goes on
But I've seen miracles in every way
And I see miracles everyday

Commentary: Sure, life itself is a miracle, but ICP decided to label other things as miracles. Read on! 

Verses: Oceans spanning beyond my sight
And a million stars way above em at night
We don't have to be high to look in the sky
And know that's a miracle opened wide

Commentary: Its not really a miracle considering the earth is 3/4 water. Still, not a bad verse. Nothing weird...yet.

Verse: Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas
And everything chilling underwater, please
Hot lava, snow, rain and fog
Long neck giraffes, and pet cats and dogs

Commentary: Ok, you've repeated yourself. You've already talked about oceans, and I gave you that one, but mentioning the 7 seas is essentially the same thing. Hot lava, snow, rain and fog are all part of nature. Not necessarily a miracle. Long neck giraffes are not a miracle. A SHORT neck giraffe would be a miracle though. As for pet cats and dogs, How can you call that a miracle? Dogs have been mans best friend since the caveman days. Cats have been worshiped before in ancient Egypt. How is it a miracle that we have them as pets? 

Verse: And I've seen eighty-five thousand people
All in one room, together as equals
Pure magic is the birth of my kids
I've seen shit that'll shock your eyelids

Commentary: I guess 85k people all in one room would be a miracle if they came to an ICP concert. I didn't realize there were even that many ICP fans in the world, let alone one city! But they didn't say they saw 85k people at an ICP concert, so maybe they went to a Bon Jovi concert. 85k people in a stadium? I could see that. And, thats definitely not a miracle!

Verse: The sun and the moon, and even Mars
The Milky Way and fucking shooting stars
UFOs, a river flows
Plant a little seed and nature grows

Commentary: Is it necessary to throw the F bomb in that line? Seriously. You know what would be a miracle? A rap song that wasn't loaded with F bombs. UFOs haven't been proven yet, but if they were, it still wouldn't be a miracle. Want to know how rivers flow? Its because of gravity. Not a miracle. Planting seeds, I'll give you that one, but we already covered nature. And, it isn't nature that grows from a seed. Its a plant or tree. I guess if nature did really grow, that could be considered a miracle because no one has defined nature as one specific thing.

Verse: Niagara falls and the pyramids
Everything you believed in as kids
Fucking rainbows after it rains
there's enough miracles here to blow your brains

Commentary: Waterfalls are not miracles. Its due to gravity. The river flows, then comes to a cliff. What else did you expect to happen? I suppose you're talking about the Easter Bunny and such. They don't exist! So, how could they be miracles?? And, The way rainbows form is not a miracle. They are formed by light through moisture in the air. Unless you believe something else like this lady: 

 But, I guess it would be a miracle if you DID manage to actually *uck a rainbow though. 

Verse: I fed a fish to a pelican at Frisco bay
It tried to eat my cell phone, he ran away
And music is magic, pure and clean
You can feel it and hear it but it can't be seen

Commentary: How is feeding a fish to a pelican a miracle? I've done it many times! And, I've even seen one snatch a cell phone from someone. Did I witness a miracle here? If I did, please let me know! And what do you expect music to look like? Actually, you CAN see it. Here's how! But, I seriously doubt they have ever seen sheet music before. 

Chorus: Music is all magic
(Are you a believer in miracles)
You can't even hold it
(Do you notice and recognize miracles)
it's just there in the air
(Are you a believer in miracles)
Pure motherfucking magic Right?
This shit'll blow your fucking mind
(Do you notice and recognize miracles)

Commentary: Pure *ucking magic! Yep! I notice and recognize miracles every day! The fact that people take ICP seriously is a *ucking miracle! And, yes. It DOES blow my mind that ICP even sat down and thought out these lyrics.

Verse: Music is a lot like love, it's all a feeling
And it fills the room, from the floor to the ceiling
I see miracles all around me
Stop and look around, it's all astounding

Commentary: mmm hmmm. I think a little hit of acid might make me see things the way ICP does.

Verse: Water, fire, air and dirt
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
And I don't wanna talk to a scientist
Y'all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed

Commentary: Clown guys! Come on! Here's how magnets work And it doesn't really take a scientist to explain how magnets work. You might have to read a book though, which could take a miracle.

Verse: Solar eclipse, and vicious weather
Fifteen thousand Juggalos together

Commentary: Solar eclipse? How is that a miracle? The moon gets in between...Ahh, forget it. ICP might think I was a lying scientist. 15k juggalos together is a miracle? Yep. ICP said it not me!

Verse: And I love my mom for giving me this
Time on this planet, taking nothing for granted

Commentary: Birth is a miracle. Gotta give you that one, but you DO take things for granted. They're called BOOKS! How do I know ICP doesnt read books? I've already explained it. Did you read this dissection? ;)

Verse: I seen a caterpillar turn into a butterfly
Miracles ain't nothing to lie

Commentary: Another one I'll give you. But what does 'aint nothing to lie' mean???

Verse: Shaggy's little boys look just like Shaggy
And my little boy looks just like daddy

Commentary: Your boys look like your daddy? Am I the only one here who finds that line to be a little strange??

I think it would be a miracle if these girls could name 10 ICP songs.

Verse: Miracles each and every where you look
And nobody has to stay where they put

Commentary: WHAT? Nobody has to stay where they put WHAT??? It seems like ICP wanted to rhyme the word 'look' and used the word 'put.' It doesn't rhyme, but there have been other lines in this song that didn't even come close to rhyming. Why start now?

Verse: This world is yours for you to explore
there's nothing but miracles beyond your door
The Dark Carnival is your invitation
To witness that without explanation
Take a look at this fine creation
And enjoy it better with appreciation

Oh great. They gotta plug the album in a song? Question: If they already bought the album, why would you need to plug it on a song that's ON the album???

verse: Crows, ghosts, the midnight coast
The wonders of the world, mysteries the most
Just open your mind, and it ain't no way
To ignore the miracles of every day

Commentary: Get me a gun! There ain't no doubt...You might as well shoot me when the beer runs out!

Chorus: (Are you a believer in miracles)
Magic everywhere in this bitch
(Do you notice and recognize miracles)
it's all around you, you don't even know it
(Are you a believer in miracles) Shit's crazy
(Do you notice and recognize miracles,
So many miracles, the magic miracles)

Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles
Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles
Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracles
Are you a believer in miracles
Do you have time for the miracles
Do you notice and recognize miracles
So many miracles, the magic miracle

Commentary: Yo Yo Yo, Awwww Yeah Boyyeee! Recognize these miracles, Bitch! Recognize them or I'll smack you upside your head with a hammerhead Shark! How did the shark live with a hammer in its head??? Its another miracle!

Its a miracle this dissection only took 30 minutes.

Fucking minutes..How do they work??

My head hurts now. I need a doctor.