Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ironic Tie of Fisher/Reynolds Deaths to Star Wars Movies

RIP, Carrie Fisher and
Debbie Reynolds

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed this yet, but I did, and as far as I know, I'm the first to come up with it. If someone else did before today, no plagiarism was intended. Anyway, I'm a little emotional as I write about this striking example of life mimicking art. 

This will be a short post, and here we go. What happened with Fisher and Reynolds, who if you don't know were mother and daughter. They had a very close relationship. When Carrie died, the very next day, Reynolds died after suffering a stroke. One of the last things Reynolds said was "I want to be with Carrie." And, its been said through the media that she died of a broken heart.

Now, in Star Wars: Episode 3, at the end, when Padme was giving birth to Luke and Leia, she died shortly after childbirth. The droid doctor said (paraphrasing) "I cannot explain it. She has lost the will to live.She died of a broken heart" 

Reynolds was Carrie's mother. She died the day after her daughter (Leia) died. Leia's mother (Padme) died giving birth to Leia. BOTH died of a broken heart. I know the conditions are different, but the similarity is ironic, especially when Episode 3 came out more than a decade ago. And, when you look at it that way, Carrie/Leia lost 2 mothers, one fictional, one real to a broken heart. 

That blew me away when I made that connection. Yeah, I am a sci fi nerd. I've admitted it many times on this blog. I avoid spoilers to movies like the plague, but I did see something suggesting that all of Carrie Fisher's scenes in Episode 8 have already been filmed. I hope this is true.

I also hope that Leia gets to
take out a bunch of stormtroopers
in Episode 8.

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds were loved, and will continue to be loved. Carrie is now one with the force, and will be with us always as we rewatch these beloved movies for years to come. Once again, RIP, and Fuck You, 2016!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Movie Review: Rogue One

The question is...
Is the best Star Wars film 
of all time??

Holy crap, people! Rogue One is incredible. Its better than the prequels, the original trilogy, and it blows The Force Awakens out of the water. Is it better than The Empire Strikes Back? I haven't decided yet, but I am leaning that way. Truth be told, it is amazing, and you need to see it in the theater. Now, that's done, let's get down to the review. Ready? Here we go!!

                                         Warning: Spoilers!

The movie starts slow. For about 20-25 minutes, its giving a back story, which is necessary because the film is introducing you to characters that you've never seen before. But the remaining 90+ minutes is nothing but gripping action.

There is no text crawl at the beginning of the movie, and I was ok with that for a couple reasons. One, it is a Star Wars story, not an actual Star Wars movie. Two, you already know what was going on, especially if you've been watching Star Wars: Rebels, and The Clone Wars. The word gets out that the Empire is building a doomsday weapon, and they have to find a way to stop it.

Rogue One answers several questions that Star Wars fans have had for years. One, How did the design flaw in the Death Star get there? Two, Does the Death Star have a hyper drive? And, Three, Can Darth Vader fight as well in the suit? Well, the design flaw was put there by a scientist, Galen Erso who was forced to work on the project. He put it there as revenge on the Empire for forcing him to work on the weapon, which does have a hyper drive. And, yes Vader can fight in the suit. He is absolutely brutal. So brutal and deadly that it is now obvious that he was just toying with Obi Wan in Episode 4, and with Luke in Empire. Not so much in Return of the Jedi though.

Years after Erso was kidnapped, his daughter, Jyn Erso is liberated from an Imperial work camp by Cassian Andor, a rebel captain, and taken to Saw Gerrera, a rebel that even the rebellion doesn't like because of his crazy ways. You may remember him from The Clone Wars.

Jyn Erso in the final battle

He has a message for Jyn from her father. The message states that he did in fact put the design flaw in the Death Star plans, but before he could explain exactly how to exploit it, the Empire arrives with the Death Star, and obliterates the city. Gerrera stays and meets his fate, but the others are able to escape to Yavin 4, where the rebel base is. The rebels actually decide to surrender because of the power of the weapon, but Jyn, Andor, and a group of rebels, including an Imperial pilot who has defected take a captured freighter to go and infiltrate an imperial base to steal the Death Star Plans. When they arrive at the base, and are able to get in, the rest of the rebellion shows up and the fight begins. The rebels ultimately get the plans, and a familiar ship blasts its way out of the system in the nick of time.

Right off the bat, the Death Star in Rogue One is down right terrifying. You get a chill the first time you see it with its weapon being installed. And, its appearance at the end of the movie is spine tingling as well. 

That's no moon!

This movie is extremely well done. The characters are brilliantly developed, and you actually care about them, especially knowing they are on a suicide mission. The story is riveting, and you're on the edge of your seat the whole time. There is some comic relief, that comes from a droid, K-2SO, an imperial droid that has been reprogrammed to serve the Rebellion. His lines are pure sarcasm, yet genuinely funny. It isn't forced, annoying, and childish like another character who shall remain nameless. There is nothing for kids in this movie. 

K-2SO..Possibly my new favorite talking droid

The CGI is damn near perfection. In fact, there are 2 characters from Episode 4 that are in the film, and they are completely 100% CGI, and you'd never be able to tell the difference. The landscapes are spectacular, and everything looks dirty and gritty, as it did in Episode 4. The point of view is incredible as well. You see the AT-AT walkers as if you're on the ground, looking up at them. The battle scenes? Spectacular. The space battle scenes are not only the best in Star Wars, but likely the best in all of Sci-fi. And, the point of view from the Death Star? We see the blasts from the planet instead of space.

It also follows the theory that the Empire was using the Death Star in secret. After the first city was destroyed, they made mention that the propaganda story was that the city was destroyed as a result of a mining accident. Although, it won't be secret much longer!

Since the Jedi are gone, we also see a force user who isn't a Jedi, but he uses the force in other ways. He's blind, but can see. He's also a master at martial arts. There are so many great characters in this movie. 

Not a Jedi but can wield the Force as well as any

There are also plenty of Easter eggs in Rogue One, but they aren't out in the open and obvious like they are in Episode 7. You see the 2 jerks who were giving Luke a hard time in the Cantina. You see the Hoth monster, and come to the conclusion that the one on Hoth must be a hermit that chooses to live in seclusion. There are others, but they are used sparingly. Even Darth Vader is used sparingly. Everything is done just right.

Speaking of Vader, I have to tell you about Vader's fight scene. At the end, his star destroyer captures a Rebel cruiser. A captain gives an order to form a boarding party. We see the rebels from their side of the door, and as it is broken down, we do NOT see a bunch of storm troopers. We see Darth Vader in the doorway, and nobody else. He then activates his light saber and mows down about 20 rebel soldiers like they were nothing. Intense!

The movie ends literally where if it kept going, the very next scene would be the opening scene from Episode 4. This is the best movie I've seen in a very long time. Is it the best Star Wars movie? I don't know if its better than The Empire Strikes Back, but it is definitely better than Episodes 1,2,3,4,6, and 7. It blows Episode 7 out of the water.

So, Gareth Edwards, you hit a grand slam! Thank you! You owe it to yourself to go see this movie. And, if this is what we can expect from Disney owning Star Wars, and from Episodes 8,9 and the upcoming spinoff movies, then SIGN ME UP!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Album Review: Greek Metal Gods, Wardrum: Awakening

Forward never homeward 
On and on towards vast horizons 
Giving life a meaning 
Forming words through enlightened thoughts 
Till the road that he's onto leads to the dream

I've waited for this for several years. Since 2013 in fact. After being blown away by Thessaloniki, Greece's masters of power metal, Wardrum, and their last album, The Messenger, I have wanted to hear more. MORE! Well, I got it. The Awakening continues the band's lesson to all of us about what power metal is. Its a natural progression from their previous works and it shows growth in every aspect of the band from song writing, musical ability, and vocal ability. That's what happens when a band that is rock solid and tight keeps doing what they do best, and get along as a brotherhood. Something that is missing in lots of bands these days.

Have you ever heard double bass accompanying classical acoustic guitar? You will at the opening of this great album. The first song, The Unrepentant begins with a beautiful interlude from guitar virtuoso, Kosta Vreto. Its playing, then a machine gun barrage from drummer, Stergios Kourou blasts you into the song. Its a heavy blast that will get the pit moving in an instant. The vocals from singer, Yannis Papadopoulas are especially brutal. High, aggressive, and unforgiving unrepentant. And, like on the previous album, the incredible opening song is just the tip of the iceberg. 

The second song, Right Within Your Heart is another assault on the senses. Fast, and aggressive, but we get to hear the melodic side of Yannis's vocals as well, and of course his sky high vocal range. We are also treated to a twin guitar harmony solo from Vreto and guitarist, J. Demian. That's actually in most of the songs, done to perfection.

Like big vocal harmony? Virtues of Humanity is for you. I love BIG vocal harmonies, and this song has them in the verse progressions, as well as the choruses. The harmonies in the verses are dark and haunting. 

While all the songs showcase the elite rhythm section of Kourou and bassist, Kostas Scandalis, it is featured prominently in Medusa. Scandalis is machine gun fast, right along with Kourou's drums...and Vreto's blistering guitar....and Yannis's vocals....I could literally say this about every song. However, this song shows a side of the band that I haven't heard in their music yet. Its a blend of thrash metal, with Boss caliber leads that will remind you of names like Malmsteen, Vai, Gilbert, etc. The song's rhythms are more intricate than some modern mainstream band's entire leads. Not to mention another wrinkle of different styled backup vocals.

Yannis Papadopoulas, Kosta Vreto, J. Demian, Kostas Scandalis, Stergios Kourou

In a kind of departure from the power and aggression of the album, On Skies of Grey starts off with a ethereal guitar and vocal duo. We hear a the softer side of Yannis's voice, but its an intro. It shifts into a driving and anthem like ode to the 80's style of metal...done in Wardrum's unique style, with a blistering guitar solo. 

All the songs are heavy, aggressive, and the album as a whole will captivate You won't be able to stop listening to it. I know I won't be able to!

I'm hesitant to say that this album is better than their previous works because I still after 3 years listen to The Messenger at least 2-3 times a month. Its a great album. But, there is a very noticeable leap in the cohesion of the band. Its heavier, and more technical, but the songs are every bit as memorable. Like Nigel Tufnel said in This is Spinal Tap, where do you go after 10? You go to 11. The Messenger is 10, Awakening is 11. I don't think there's a power metal band out there anywhere that can hang with Wardrum either. They are the total package both in the recording studio and live in concert. While they are not progressive metal, as in epic 10 minute songs with 6 different progressions, they are extremely talented, and their songs display that talent in grand fashion. At the same time, someone who isn't musically inclined will enjoy them as well. They are the true definition of power metal in my humble opinion. If there's a better band out there, I haven't heard them. 

You NEED this album. Buy it here:

Just a random note...This album cover has a phoenix rising from the ashes. Is the phoenix a representation of the previous album transitioning into this new masterpiece? There is a song on the previous album called Phoenix. Things that make you go hmmmm....

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Crimson Glory Reuniting With New Singer?

"When we live to die fighting

for all the things we believe

wishes come true" 

You may have just read the quote above, and thought to yourself "What is that? Those aren't Crimson Glory lyrics!" Well, you're absolutely right. They are not Crimson Glory lyrics. I'll get to who those lyrics are in a minute. Just bear with me.

We all know that replacing Midnight, the legendary singer of the incredible metal band, Crimson Glory is not an easy task at all. He was arguably one of the greatest metal singers of all time. After his death, the band struck gold with Todd La Torre. He could sing Midnight's vocals perfectly, from the stratosphere blistering high notes, even down to the soul striking and haunting beauty of the voice, which made Midnight unique. But, unfortunately, the band went on hiatus, leaving La Torre to seek other work. We all know the end of that story, where La Torre went on to replace yet another metal legend, Geoff Tate of Queensryche.  The band hasn't done anything really since. There have been rumors of them finding a new singer, but nothing concrete. 

That all changed last week. Yannis Papadopoulos, the incredible singer of Greek metal superstars, Wardrum announced that he had been contacted with a proposal from none other than Crimson Glory about recording an album with them. I reviewed their previous album, The Messenger a few years ago, and I had Yannis as a guest on the radio show, then called The Will and Thunder Show. Yannis is a truly gifted singer who could easily step into the role of singer with Crimson Glory.  Don't believe me? Check this out. Its Yannis covering Eternal World.  And, here's another of him singing my favorite Crimson Glory song, Masque of the Red Death. Does he sound exactly like Midnight? No. Not exactly. But, close enough. But he is a better singer than Wade Black, who sang on the band's album, Astronomica. His voice is also a little more on the aggressive side. But, like I said, he is close enough, and he has the power to perfectly hit those notes that Midnight is famous for. With possibly even more power than Todd La Torre had, and that is saying ALOT.

Here is a screen shot of Yannis's announcement:

That quote at the top of this page? Its from the title track of Wardrum's previous album, The Messenger. I have been hoping for not only a Crimson Glory reunion and new album/ tour, but I ALSO wanted the band to recruit Yannis. That wish came true. Hopefully, they actually do it!

Of course, now the elephant in the room is Wardrum. I would hate to see that band break up, get put on the back burner, or for them to replace Yannis. So, I have a solution! When Crimson Glory tours, bring Wardrum on the road with them, as the opening act. That would be an EPIC concert. And, yes, Yannis would be opening for himself, but if any singer is good enough to pull it off, Yannis is. And, it would be a dream concert for me personally. 2 of my favorite bands together? Sign me up. Plus, the United States needs to have a chance to meet Wardrum! They are INCREDIBLE!

Looks good to me!

This needs to happen, folks!  Hell Yeah!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Album Review, Metallica: Hardwired to Self-Destruct

We're So F**ked
$hit out of Luck
Hardwired to Self Destruct

Let me first say that I was not impressed with Metallica's Death Magnetic album. It seemed to be an attempt at a prog metal album, but it turned out to be just long. I gave up hope on that return to form thrash metal album that we had been waiting on for 20+ years. When I heard they were recording a new album, my first thought was 'Meh.' I wasn't expecting much, and they were pretty tight lipped about it. Then, came the first video from the new album, the title track, Hardwired. I was cautiously optimistic because that song freaking rocked! I thought about doing a blog post about how that song gave me hope, but I decided against it. What if the tune was a fluke? Then came the next song, Moth Into Flame. That song was incredible. A 6 minute juggernaut that would have easily fit on Master of Puppets. My cautious optimism turned into cautious hope, not only that this was the return to form album, but also the best album since Puppets? Maybe? Dare I hope? Read on! (I didn't really like And Justice For All. The songs are great, but I like bass in my metal.)

What can I say? This album is badass. Review over. Just kidding. First of all, there is no filler on this album. Every song is incredible in its own way. Metallica displays elements from all of their good albums from Kill Em All all the way up to Load and Reload, while having its own stand alone style. One thing that stands out is the harmony guitar between James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett which is back in a big way. Its featured in quite a few songs, most notably Atlas, Rise. One thing I never thought I'd hear again was James's vocal ability being on par with his voice on the first 5 albums. That was a very welcome surprise. Vocal harmonies are tight too. 

We're BACK!!!
One thing that really stands out and makes this a return to form album is the fact that Lars Ulrich and Rob Trujillo are extremely tight. Much moreso than on Death Magnetic. Trujillo is such an incredible bass player, I believe that he brought out the best in Ulrich on this album. In the song, Now That We're Dead, there is a Judas Priest type chug opening, with a thick double bass part. Its not as fast others like One, and anything off Puppets, but the song isn't that fast either. My point is that I doubt we would have had a double bass part on a song like that if the album had been released a year or two after Death Magnetic.

All the fast licks in the songs are back. Fast, heavy, brutal. And, while I hate to keep going back to Death Magnetic, I have to. That was their last album, so it needs to be compared. As I mentioned before, the DM songs were just long, with a bunch of different licks that didn't necessarily need to be there. On Hardwired,  there are 6-7 minute songs on this album with a bunch of different licks. The difference? They all fit.

There are no ballads on this album, but there are some acoustic intros. The acoustic guitar sound is the same sound that was used in Fade to Black, and Sanitarium. Murder One (among others) is a good example of this, yet the song slams into a really heavy yet slow groove that will make you want to break something. Another slow yet brutally heavy song is Dream No More. If The Thing That Should Not Be and Sad But True had a child, it would be this song. It also has the vocal harmony that was present on Load and Reload. This song is a perfect example of James still having his vocal ability from years past.

In classic sounds, the song Confusion, it has a vintage Metallica feel. Think Am I Evil. But while this song is badass from a musical perspective, its lyrics are powerful. Emotional. And, so is the video. Its about a soldier returning home from war, and suffering from PTSD. I won't spoil the video for you, but it is INTENSE. I lived near Ft. Bragg for a while, and I have seen how horrific PTSD can be to a soldier. Watching the video made me tear up a little bit. 

But, I know you all want to know, which song compares to Battery or Damage Inc. While Moth Into Flame could fit on Puppets OR Ride the Lightning, it isn't the heaviest song on the album. That designation belongs to Spit Out The Bone! Not only is it fast and heavy, it also has a distorted bass break. 

Is that a Miami Dolphins logo over Lar's left eye?

Basically, this is the Metallica album that we've all been waiting 20+ years for. Its the album that should have followed Master of Puppets. Was it worth the wait? I think so. It shows that the most influential metal band of all time next to Iron Maiden still has what it takes to grab us by the throat and not let go.

On DM, there is a song called The Day That Never Comes. Well, that day finally came today. Metallica is BACK with a VENGEANCE!!!! Buy this album! You will not be disappointed!

Prediction: Hardwired to Self-Destruct will debut on Billboard at #1. Metallica won't be self destructing any time soon.

And, while you're here, check out my review of Through the Never.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Geezer Blasts Doors Off Nursing Home With Volume II

They got me
Feelin Freakie! 

Following the 2015 release of  Geezer's self titled first album, the retired rockers from Miami stormed back with the follow up. I'm told that much planning, debate, and consideration went into the naming of the band's sophomore effort. The name they decided on was Volume II. What wisdom. An elegant name that reminds of how great life was before the internet, and when we had to replace a set of encyclopedias every couple years. We could all learn a lesson from them. 

Volume II picks up where the self titled album left off, and chronicles the band's growth as musicians and song writers. The first track, Feelin Freakie is a punk anthem that would make The Ramones proud. They also do a superior version of the Katy Perry hit, I Kissed a Girl. Perry, in a 'hot mic' moment was heard considering hanging music up after hearing Geezer's version of her song. Other incredible covers are She's The One by The Ramones, and We Are The Road Crew, an amazing tribute to the late great Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, who Harvey once babysat. We also get to hear Leonard Geezer on vocals in Boom Chicka Pop. He rules the mic. Smile Sara Smile is a driving groovy tune, and when I hear it, I know everything is okay.

Everybody loves Geezer

Guitarist, Leonard Geezer is emerging as a guitar icon. Bassist, Calvin Sizemore has been taking lessons from Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, who he considers a cool kid. It shows in his budding ability. And, of course, singer, Harvey Geezer, the enigmatic frontman is is crunk as ever. Unfortunately, drummer Victor Farnsworth has passed away. The official story was that he was chasing a bunch of teenagers who were searching for Pokemon Go off his lawn, and he fell into traffic. That is true, but he wasn't trying to chase them away. He was trying to give them Geezer CDs! The band is currently seeking a replacement, but they aren't letting this slow them down. They aren't a Sad Banana about it, and are still playing shows with guest drummers until a suitable replacement can be found. 

This is one of the best sophomore releases that I've ever heard from a band. If you want a bunch of high energy tunes that will make you feel good and freakie, than Volume II by Geezer is for you, and get their CDs and awesome merchandise! Find them on tour, and on social media:

Cassette tapes!

The band's Facebook page
Harvey's Facebook
Calvin's Facebook
The band's blog
The band's Twitter page

Sitting During the National Anthem: My Take


Ok, I had to weigh in on this Colin Kaepernick story, not because every other blogger on the planet has. It just became personal. And, obviously your first reaction would be to assume that I am going to post about the flag waving U-S-A patriotism. You'd be wrong. But while I do agree that you should stand and show respect during the song, this post isn't necessarily about patriotism.

Before I get to how this became personal, I just want to say that any multi millionaire who is bitching about oppression needs his head examined. He says black people are being oppressed, cops suck, black lives matter, etc. But, I guarantee he voted for 0bama twice, and plans on voting for Killary. Two of the most corrupt pieces of crap to ever be voted into office. Two of the people who champion policies that have done more harm to the black community than any slave owner could have ever done. Two people who want to disarm law abiding citizens and rob them of their GOD GIVEN rights to protect themselves, while the places that have the toughest gun laws also have the highest murder rates. (Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, Baltimore, St Louis, etc) Kaepernick is so stupid that he doesn't even realize that the overwhelming majority of black people who are murdered are killed BY OTHER BLACK PEOPLE.  

The people these idiots are protesting gave up a lot more for a hell of a lot less than these spoiled brats.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move on. Linebacker, Brandon Marshall of Denver sat out the National Anthem, and he got hurt during the first quarter of their first game. He also lost a major sponsor because of it. There was also a rookie in Philadelphia that was planning on doing it, but realized he could have been killing his career before it even got started. Not to mention the fact that Kaepernick lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert of all people. In a classy move by the NY Giants, during a preseason game, they all stood side by side at the sideline during the anthem. 

Thank you, Giants
Now, here is my take on the whole situation: This is all for attention and nothing else. It takes the focus off of the team as a whole, and makes it all about themselves. Can any non 49er fan tell me one single preseason move that the team made? (other than benching that worthless Kap...) I can't. And, the reason is because all the sports media talked about was what Kap was doing. He should have gotten cut from the team.

Now before you go off telling me that its his right to do this because its America, let me stop you right there. No, he does NOT. He has the right to do his job. He is NOT paid to be a political activist. If he wants to be an activist, why doesn't he do it on his OWN time? You know, on social media, or even  by organizing a rally. They won't. Its much easier to just sit down, and not say anything. He, and any other player who does this are not doing their job. They are doing this to piss off the fans (customers) and you know damn well that if you or I went on political rants at our jobs in front of customers, we would be fired, and rightfully so. Why should these spoiled brats be any different?

So, how did this become personal? There are rumors that the Miami Dolphins, the team that I've put 30+ years into, suffering through mediocrity and failure, is planning a protest today. If they do this, they will lose not just me, but MANY fans. Stephen Ross and Adam Gase could put a stop to this. They had better. So, what will I do then? Its simple. My #2 team, the Carolina Panthers will become my #1, and the Dolphins will be down there with the Jets and Patriots. The Panther's owner, Jerry Richardson would not allow this to happen. Neither would coach, Ron Rivera or Cam Newton.

I've always been one of the biggest subscribers to the philosophy that once you pick a team, you stick with them no matter what, but this isn't about the team. Its about respect, and the lack thereof that these jerks have for their fans.


EDIT: Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills, and Michael Thomas all took a knee. It wasn't the entire team. I'm going to stay with them, but it makes it hard to deal with.
Its up to you, Phins.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Dirt Can the Media Uncover on Trump?

 *Satellites transmit the 
latest thrill...
We can't escape this

I'm sure you've all heard the media circus about Melania Trump's speech at the RNC. This post isn't even a dig at Michelle 0bama. Not in the least. But, here's the transcripts of both speeches.

 Michelle 0bama's speech:
"And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them. "And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and to pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."
Melania Trump's speech:

          “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

And, a Donald Trump adviser admitted that she took quotes from Melania's ideas for her speech and wrote them down, and that she didn't cross reference them with 0bama's speech, even after  Melania Trump told her that she had taken quotes from Michelle's speech. She tried to resign, and Donald Trump rejected the resignation, saying basically that it was an honest mistake. 

ANYWAY, the media is grasping at things like this, and the fact that "too many Trumps are on stage," and anything else they can dream up.

My contention is if the media actually did their job, they would be able to come up with MUCH more serious dirt on Donald Trump. 

For example:
  • I am sure he doesn't always wash his hands after going to the bathroom.
  • I am sure he doesn't always look both ways after crossing the street. 
  • I am sure there have been instances where he didn't use his turn signal.
  • What if he watered his lawn during a drought?
  • Or broke the speed limit?
  • Heaven forbid if he threw a glass bottle into the trash bin rather than the recycle bin!
  • Maybe he even accidentally opened a letter that was in his mailbox but not addressed to him???
  • Could he possibly have been walking his dog, and neglected to pick up its poop?
  • He's doomed if he ever walked on grass when there was a sign that said 'Keep Off The Grass'
  • He's in NYC a lot. Has he ever called a transgender male who believes he is a female "Sir" or a transgender female who believes that she is a male "Maam?" 
  • Does he always wear his seatbelt???
All of these should disqualify him to be president, So, the media should go after THESE stories rather than a misunderstanding about a couple lines lifted by Melania Trump in her speech.

Good luck, MSNBC and CNN. I hope you can finally start reporting the dirt on Donald Trump rather than the fluff stories you've been staking your lives on.

And by the way...#Trump2016

You're going to have to do better than that, you douchebags!

*The large print text is from the Scorpions song, "Media Overkill." It fits.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Album Review: Thrillkiller, Showdown

Its a Showdown 
In the Prime time! 

Rob Bradley is a freaking ROCK STAR! Rob, the singer of Thrillkiller has one of the best voices I've heard, and the musical arrangement on the band's first full length album are nothing short of mind boggling. Thrillkiller is a blend of rock, metal, jass, funk, fusion, and pop. A perfect blend, combined with the musicianship of the top maestros. 

The band released a 4 song EP featuring 4 of the tunes on this album, as a teaser. I reviewed it at the time, and the accolades I gave the band in that review still apply, just moreso. This band is one that will appeal to musicians and non musicians alike. Translation: RADIO! Somebody sign these guys!

The album starts off with my favorite song by them, Passion Killer. A hard driving groove with a chorus that will stick in your head. In fact several of the songs have that, like In Too Deep, The Fever, and Time. Another thing that record companies look for. Once again, Somebody sign these guys! This is a band that I won't get sick of, and its a band that once signed, some snotty producer won't be able to change the vision that the band has in order to make it more 'commercial.' Meaning, Thrillkiller is perfect as is, and radio ready.

Showing the band's incredible diversity, track 6, A Reason starts off almost like a boy band harmony song, but with real music behind it. It then builds into a slow driving jam, with stunning vocal harmony, and mind blowing guitar by Maxim Sobchenko. But you can honestly say that about EVERY song. Want to hear a song that sounds like a mix of vintage Iron Maiden, Rush? Track 10, Social Disease. Bass player, Sebastian Ochoa puts on a performance worthy of Geddy Lee and Steve Harris, with the flare of Billy Sheehan, and drummer, Matt Bittman is there lock step with him. Boma Jack joined the band as the drummer after the album was recorded. Speaking of Geddy Lee, Rob Bradley's vocals reach the stratosphere in a vintage Geddy vibe. This song will melt your brain. 

Boma Jack, Rob Bradley, Sebastian Ochoa, Maxim Sobchenko

Thrillkiller has their own style, resembling no other. They come from an area known for producing incredible prog metal bands, and they have set the bar extremely high. But, we the fans are better for it. Hopefully, Thrillkiller gets signed, makes it big, and has multi platinum albums, with sold out stadium tours. Maybe that would reignite the fire in musicians to be the absolute best they can be, and for that to reflect in their music. 

You will like this album. Buy it! Here's how:


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Album Review, 3D In Your Face: Lost in the Volume

Loud! Make it Loud!
Turn it up make it 

2 years ago, I had the privilege of  getting to know Omaha, Nebraska's rock and roll pride and joy, 3D In Your Face. I interviewed them several times, and I reviewed their album, Midnight Devils. It is a glam metal masterpiece. When bass player, Sam 'Spade' Morris contacted me, telling me that they were recording a new album, I wondered if they could have a repeat performance of awesomeness. Well, they did. Their new album, Lost in the Volume is a perfect followup to Midnight Devils. It shows the continued maturation and growth of a band that was already firing on all cylinders. 

The first song, 2 Miles Down starts off with a hard and heavy lick from guitar virtuoso, Chris 'Sniper' Hineline, with the band joining in. Singer, Alan 'Hot Rod' King dips deep into his vast vocal range and gets low. The song has a catchy chorus that's perfect for sing along audience participation. And, not to mention a blistering guitar solo from Sniper. The band has changed drummers a couple times since I first came into contact with them, but they seem to have hit the jackpot with John 'The Hammer' Lovings. That's a very appropriate nickname as his sound is heavy and turns the bands low punch from about 8 up to 11. He and Spade combine to knock you into your back seat, and loosen your fillings.


The band explores several different genres on Lost in the Volume, including punk with the song Moscow Queen. But it's punk with 80's glam flashy guitar that isn't there in most punk music. Its a unique and awesome fusion of 2 genres. My favorite song on the album is Loud. Its a metal anthem that grabs you with a Randy Rhoads/ George Lynch inspired hook riff. Once again, Hot Rod explores the lower reaches of his vocal range, but he's all over it in this song. 

Hot Rod

I'm going to stop saying that Sniper is an incredible guitarist on every song. I'm going to put this here, and you need to remember it. Sniper is a phenomenal guitarist who belongs in the same conversation with people like Rhoads, Lynch, and others. His solos are blistering, and his rhythms are catchy yet intricate. He even has a couple unaccompanied breaks in Memphis Mile, rocky/bluesy jam. On Sound of Recklessness, he is simply brutal. 

Lost in the Volume has all of the things that made Midnight Devils a masterpiece. Great songs, a few anthems, a ballad, (Show Me How To Love Again) astounding musicianship, and a production that sounds better than the majority of the music on rock radio stations...even back in the 80's when stellar production was a must. But as I mentioned before, it also shows growth as a band. They seem even tighter and more comfortable together than before, if that's even possible. The radio needs to be 'Baptized by 3D In Your Face.' (A play on the title of track 8, Baptized by the Radio) The song, Static Renegade has a clip of one of their songs being played on the radio. It needs to happen nationwide. Their shows are high energy, and their fans follow them the way New York fans did for Twisted Sister before they got signed. They go to all the shows, and are blown away every time. And, they are getting notoriety too. They've played many festivals with big name bands, such as Rocklahoma. 3D In Your Face delivers 110% both in digital, and on stage.

Lost in the Volume joins Midnight Devils on my cell phone in its entirety. I've been wearing it out, and you will too.If you love the arena sound of 80's metal, this is a must. I've said it before, and I'll say it again..If 3D In Your Face had been around in 1985, they would have headlined arena tours and had platinum albums.

Buy it NOW, and play it LOUD!!!!!

3D In Your Face's links:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Song Lyric Dissection: Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

Ok, the grunge anthem. The song that killed metal. The song that had the Generation Y crowd learning to play guitar, strumming 3 chords, and thinking they were guitar gods. You know, I was in a music store in the 90's trying out an effects rack that I was considering buying. There was this kid who came up and asked if he could try out a was one of those weird looking grunge special guitars. The guy at the music store plugged it up for him. He starts playing Smells Like Teen Spirit...badly if that is possible. I couldn't hear what I was doing, so I turned the amp that I was playing through up. Gen Y guy took that as a challenge. He turned his up again and does a very bad version of the guitar solo in that song, looks at me and nods his head, like he was something special. I looked at the salesman, winked, turned the amp up even louder, and proceeded to shred. I jammed. I played an un accompanied guitar solo worthy of an arena, and just shredded for about 30 seconds. The kid looked at me in astonishment, and said "Dude, you wanna be in my band?" (imagine a pimply faced teenager saying that with the typical teen nasal sneer with a puberty break thrown in) I said "No, but I would like to hear what I'm doing because I'm thinking about buying this effects rack. Think you could help me out with that?" The kid put his guitar back on the wall, and went back outside, grabbed his bike and pedaled away.

Now, on to the dissection. I think I'll use a rusty scalpel on this song.

Verse: Load up on guns
Bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend

Sounds like an angry right wing militia as described by CNN. However, this is Nirvana, who is completely against the establishment, so that can't be it. The last line I think sums up what would be 'nirvana' for Kobain and company. They wanted to be unsuccessful losers, and they pretended to play guitar.

Verse: She's overborne and self-assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Smells like a certain California politician if you ask me...and I do know a few dirty words that would describe that woman. But, if Nirvana was so against normalcy, why not just SAY the dirty word. 

What a dirty filthy...word!

Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low? -Hi...I can hear you.
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low? -Yes..I...I can hear you, Kurt! 
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low? -Kur- Hey! I can hear you!
Hello, hello, hello ,hello 
Maybe you should get a new cell phone. I can hear you just fine. 

Chorus: With the Lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now entertain us

How so? With the blast shield down, I can't see. How am I supposed to rock? Ok...Sorry for the Star Wars reference, but it fit. I'm not above the movie references. But, how can it be less dangerous with the lights out? I mean you could fall off the stage and break your neck!

Chorus: I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now entertain us
A mulatto an albino
A mosquito my libido

Stupidity is contagious. Just ask the Gen-Y crowd anything about American history. Not sure where you were going with the mulatto to albino line. They are not opposites...unless you were trying to rhyme. That's ok. Not like this song made any sense anyway. And why would you compare your libido to a mosquito? That's not the image I want to portray about my sexual prowess. 

I'm .00003 inches, and will rock you for
the best half second of your damn life!

Verse 2-
I'm worse at what I do best...
And for this gift I feel blessed.

It shows in your guitar playing. You say you feel blessed now, but once you made it big, you started whining like a little bitch. No one felt sorry for you anymore. So you married Courtenay Love. I felt sorry for you fact if I married her, I'd probably take a similar approach to getting out of the marriage as you did.

Verse: Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Been what? Blessed? If that's the case, your drummer got the best end of that deal. He's now in a VERY good band, and showed that there was actually one talented member of Nirvana.

Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello

Dude, get a new cell phone already! Or call me from a land line...or borrow the drummer's cell! Stop wasting MY minutes because your phone sucks!

Chorus: With the Lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now entertain us
A mulatto an albino
A mosquito my libido

Verse 3-
And I forget just why I taste
Oh yeah I guess it makes me smile

All these things combine to give you
the ability to taste.
Taste what? Or are you asking why people taste? Well, its because of those little taste buds on the tongue. Its so that you can differentiate what you are eating from one thing to another. And what exactly makes you smile? The fact that you can own apartment buildings, shopping centers, condooo-miniums...and you only know 3 chords??

Verse: I found it hard it's hard to find
Oh well whatever nevermind

What is hard to find? Oh well I'm not going to finish this dissection. Whatever, nevermind. If you don't care, neither do I.

Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello
With the Lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now entertain us
A mullato an albino
A mosquito my libido
A denial
A denial
A denial

Yeah...You're in denial. You think you have a good cell phone, and that its everyone else's phone that

You know, this is the first time I actually read the lyrics to this song. Weird Al was right to do his parody of it. We all know, its hard to zwarg bargle zous with all these marbles in my mouth!