Archive for September, 2012

Some people just really need to get over themselves.

September 30, 2012

And apparently, most of them are Muslim

The head of a leading Islamic organization Saturday called for a global ban on offending the character of the Prophet Muhammad, saying that it should be equated with hate speech….

“If the Western world fails to understand the sensitivity of the Muslim world, then we are in trouble,” (Ekmeleddin) Ihsanoglu said. Such provocations pose “a threat to international peace and security and the sanctity of life.”

Translation: “You people need to sit down and shut up because you’re offending our delicate sensibilities. And we won’t be held responsible for our own actions.” And of course Ihsonaglu said they respected the right of free speech, but does anyone really believe that? It’s more like, “We respect free speech, but we think speech that pisses us off should be banned.”

Does anyone doubt what would happen if these people started trying to kill people and break stuff here on the scale they do it over there? They’d be met by people with guns — who may or may not have badges. Second Amendment FTW!

Oh, and speaking of the Bill of Rights, I would be remiss in not pointing this out:

Rev. Ed Rowe of Central United Methodist, a historic church in Detroit, soke out against the people who created the anti-Islam film.

“They are responsible and blood is on their hands,” said Rev. Rowe. He said people like the filmmakers should be locked up for instigating violence.

Special. Apparently the fucking Methodists hate the First Amendment as much as they do the Second. I wonder what the good reverend would say if some of us suggested he should be locked up for disrespecting the Bill of Rights because it pisses us off. He probably wouldn’t like that, would he?

Well, that would make him a hypocritical son of a bitch.

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Well, that’s the $64,000 question…

September 29, 2012

…isn’t it?

(O. Ricardo Pimentel) stated that there is only one race, the human race.

If that’s true, then what is the National Council of La Raza all about?

Yep. And the NAACP, the New Black Panther Party, MEChA, La Raza Unida, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. I suppose there are always going to be racial grievance-mongers around; it may well just be a fact of life at this point. Even so, it’s more than a bit disingenuous for O. Ricardo Pimentel to advocate for these groups and then out of the other side of his mouth say things like “there is only one race.” To be fair, many of these groups don’t even try to hide their racism — but they ought to be shouted down at every opportunity, and they’re not. And that says a lot about the state of race relations in this country, none of which is good.

And the cowboy saddles up, in preparation to ride away…

September 26, 2012

…or, I think I am going to go into a corner and sulk now:

Country music superstar George Strait announced his farewell tour on Wednesday.

“The Cowboy Rides Away” tour begins next year in Lubbock and runs through 2014.

Strait will play his hometown of San Antonio — perhaps for the last time — on June 1, 2013.

I knew this day would come, but it’s still a sad day nonetheless. God knows George has paid his dues, though, and given me and countless other fans a lot of great music and memories. He deserves this, no doubt about it.

Truth be told, I think we were all blessed that he burned up the road for this long. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to see Strait live 15 times between 1996 and now; most recently it was in 2009, at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Every single time he brought his A-game — and yeah, all he did, all he had to do, was just stand there and sing. With luck, we’ll be able to make the last date here in San Antonio.

I remember thinking the 1995 boxed set was going to be Strait’s swan song; I honestly had no idea that many of his best days were ahead of him, artistically, commercially and critically. I remember first hearing “Blue Clear Sky,” the first post-box set single from Strait, and called the radio station I heard it on (KYKX 105.7 in Longview, Texas) to ask about it. They told me the name of the album, and every day for about a month I called the local music store to find out when the album would come out. I was at the local Hastings in Texarkana’s Central Mall right after school on April 23, 1996 to get it. And ever since then I have picked up every GS album on release day (and acquired the back catalog in the process).

Speaking of that, though, the Strait man did say he’d still be making music, and for that I am quite grateful. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — I think he has a lot of good music left in him.

And although I am pretty sure he’ll never come up on this, I’d still like to say…

Rest well, George. I still look forward to the new music. And I am sure I speak for many when I say we all love you dearly for what you’ve given us for the last 30 years.

Very metal, very hard rock? Not so much.

September 26, 2012

So a little while ago, it was announced that Geoff Tate’s solo album was to be released on Nov. 6. Tate was previously quoted as saying that the album would be “very metal, very hard rock,” and there were those of us who were thinking that if it was, it would be quite contrived because it would be a feeble attempt to get back at Queensryche for firing him.

Well, sound clips from Tater’s record found their way onto Amazon for a couple of days before they were quietly deleted*, and suffice it to say, whatever fears that Tater would upstage his former bandmates seem to have been totally unfounded. I sat down and listened to those clips to render an honest judgment…

…and I pretty much agree with those who would characterize it as nondescript, middle-of-the-road rock. I might go a bit further and say it’s really not good for much more than background noise. I can definitely hear hints of recent “Queensryche” records here. Which isn’t good or bad at this point, considering everything that we know now, it just…is. Not Queensryche, for sure, which is but one reason I was glad to see Tater get fired. That once-legendary voice is definitely the weak link, just as I thought it would be; although I am hard-pressed to think of who could save the songs themselves, it still hurts like hell to hear Tater vocally coasting along here.

And none of it sounds very hard rock to me, let alone metal. Which isn’t surprising, but I am completely bewildered as to why Tate seemingly clings to his belief that he is single-handedly going to redefine metal. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t even like metal. I think Tater was right when he said that the bands define metal, but the thing is, virtually no other metal band that I can think of has followed the path that Tate has dragged Queensryche down since Chris DeGarmo left. They have all by and large stuck with the genre as it was defined by all the bands that came along in the beginning — complete with those “boneheaded” riffs.

I guess such is par for the course for someone with such a raging ego, but I am still left wondering what the hell is going through his mind. I don’t know what else he could have expected at this point with that style of music. In fact, one of my first thoughts upon listening to those samples was, “does he really think he’s going to make any money with this, let alone set the world on fire as he seems to think he can?”

But that’s all right. In fact, this is absolutely the best thing that any of us could have expected. Tater has set the bar so low that it is going to be impossible for Queensryche not to top him. The entire reason for them getting rid of him was to get away from this kind of music. Of course, there may be some who read that and say, “but that’s his solo project, of course it was going to be different.” Thing is, though, with the similarities to this music and the recent albums that have come out under the Queensryche name, it’s a virtual certainty that Tater’s solo record would have been the next “Queensryche” record had they not gotten rid of him.

So thank you, Tater. You totally put your former bandmates in the catbird seat here.

*The sound clips were first posted here, via The Breakdown Room, and then on to Blabbermouth, and they were pretty much universally panned at both places. Not long after they hit Blabbermouth they were yanked. Coincidence? Who knows…

Jason Aldean defends country music’s mono-dimensionality…

September 25, 2012

and sounds pretty damn one-dimensional doing it:

If there is a lot of talk about the country lifestyle on country radio today, well, “how many country singers do you find that are from way up North?” the Macon, Ga., native wonders. “I’ll wait-go ahead. The thing is, if you had a guy from the city singing about pickup trucks, hunting and fishing, whatever, that’s like me singing about being a stockbroker. I sing songs I can relate to.”

I am left quite dumbfounded at the inanity of that. (Plus, I don’t think Mr. Aldean has the brains to be a stockbroker.) I mean, you go back even as recently as to when the likes of George Strait and Alan Jackson (who’s also a Georgia native) were ruling the radio roost, and you’ll see that very few of their songs fell into that vein, let alone were that exclusive. Even the songs in that vein that were done by the likes of Alan Jackson — think “Where I Come From” or “All American Country Boy” — were more universally appealing, so much so that even the New York stockbrokers could relate to them. And really, what’s so wrong with that? I am thinking again of what AeroDillo, one of the frequent commenters on my music posts, had to say about this:

Country used to be the music of people who led those kinds of lives; hard work meaning you worked twenty years in some kind of industry to retire to a tiny house and a pension in exchange for your health and best years; a pickup and boots being a practical work investment rather than a fashion statement; drinking being the most readily-available escape from the grind rather than a hot-damn-this-is-fun filler between shows; living on a dirt road being a municipal fact instead of a source of bragging rights.

But those song were about people – well-meaning sometimes, petty, flawed, stupid, good-hearted, misguided, pig-headed hardworking people. Not caricatures in $300 jeans with strategically placed rips and wear marks who look like they’d suffer a critical meltdown if they went a couple of days without their hairdresser and stylist.

Country musicians back then lived hard. That’s how they were able to sing about fun stuff like going to prison, being addicted to drugs, two-timing on their wives, and shooting men in Reno just to watch them die. They had scars and baggage and years of accrued experience that could be turned into interesting songs, which in turn could be appreciated across a wide audience.

That’s why, in essence, you could have a ranch hand in Texas, a truck driver in Montana, a Pennsylvania steelworker, a farmer in Iowa, a longshoreman in New York, and a fisherman out of Key West listening to the the same music and thinking –

“Yeah. Damn right.”

I miss that music.

So do I. But apparently Jason Aldean and his ilk don’t. Which is a shame, because it was miles ahead of the shit they’ve been peddling.

(h/t Country California)

So, if it’s who I think it is…

September 23, 2012

…that found my blog googling the terms “ex wife sabra (sic),” let me say this…

That’s just creepy, dude. Some five years after you walked out on her and your kids and you’re still stalking her on the Internet? Don’t you think it’s time you got over her?

I mean, I know she was pretty much the apex of your existence, but seriously, just go on with your pathetic life. You have absolutely no one to blame but yourself for the fact that you’re alone and living at the Hobo Ranch, or out of your car, or wherever the fuck you’re staying these days, and dating women who could never compare to the one you threw away. Honestly, I have my own theory as to why you’re doing this, but it’s going to stay off the Internet. It’s really best for all concerned, even you.

But don’t think I give a shit about you, because I don’t. You could lick a live wire tomorrow and neither Sabra nor I would shed a solitary tear. Which is the way it should be, because God knows she cried enough over your worthless ass.

tl/dr: Go fuck yourself, smirky fat boy.

A worthy cause.

September 23, 2012

…right here:

When the subject of California’s gun control laws are discussed, rarely are they associated with the civil rights movement and the quest for equal rights for all. This film will compare the historical aspects of gun control targeting the indigenous tribes of North America and emancipated slaves through the Jim Crow era to today’s laws that favor elitists and denies the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the most vulnerable in our society.

This looks to be an absolutely fantastic film. Spread the word, and donate if you can. All of those things are gun control’s dirty little secret that none of them like to talk about. Sure, if you ask them, they’ll deny it…

…but how many people know the horrible origins of the term “Saturday night special”?

Free speech for me but not for thee…

September 22, 2012

because thou sucketh. And we hate thee.

No, that isn’t what Sarah Chayes or the L.A. Times is implying, but it honestly makes about as much sense. If you outlaw all speech that’s obviously intended to be provocative, then what does that leave? Who gets to decide what’s intended to be provocative? What standards are to be used? Take all the vitriol that’s been slung at Christians and the names they’re called — godbotherers, bitter clingers, and the list goes on. Or how about the infamous “Piss Christ” photo? (Interesting factoid: if Wikipedia is to be believed, Andres Serrano “has…said that while (the) work is not intended to denounce religion, it alludes to a perceived commercializing or cheapening of Christian icons in contemporary culture.” I must say, if that’s what he was really commenting on, he had a point…)

But anyway, why is it that Christians don’t get so bent out of shape about that sort of thing as to go killing people and setting shit on fire but the Muslims do? Seriously, does anyone want to put money on some Muslims somewhere NOT going on a rampage if a “Piss Mohammed” came along? Is this really what we’re reduced to — curtailing our own freedoms to avoid offending these people so they don’t blow us up, as opposed to bombing the shit out of them when they pull something?

Apparently it is. You wonder why I have gotten so vexed about the timbre of the 9/11 commemorations? ‘Cause of this right here. It’s not that we’ve forgotten anything. It’s that we never learned the lesson in the first place. And our self-perceived betters are throwing our freedoms away. In a different time, Sarah Chayes and her ilk would have been horsewhipped and run out of town, if not hung on the courthouse lawn.

It’s only fair.

September 19, 2012

Considering I’ve been mercilessly flogging Geoff Tate for his actions as of late, I figure it’s only fair to show what he once was — specifically, one of the perhaps three or four greatest vocalists in all of metal.

While I never thought Geoff Tate was a studio creation, I always wondered if he could hit those high notes in a live setting — or, rather, how well he could hit them. Well, I found out when I bought Rage for Order, as it featured this live cut of “Walk in the Shadows” from 1991:

Suffice it to say, my jaw was left scraping the floor after the first time I heard that. And that was after Tate had already knocked out a part of his upper range with the smoking habit he took up after Operation: Mindcrime was recorded. He sounded even better before then. Tate may not be what he used to be, but what he used to be, was freaking magnificent. Thank God we got so much of it preserved for posterity.

One more reason Eric Church deserves no respect.

September 18, 2012

I don’t know why I didn’t say anything about this back when it was posted, but…

There’s this writer, at the time that kinda had written a critique of the new country Outlaw movement. Said something about “I wish all these new guys would do it like the old guys did it, and make the same music, the same way, over and over.” …

Eric firmly asserts that country music is currently as good as it has been in a long time. “Since I’ve been doing this, these past six years, the music is as good and as cool as any format.”

That pretty much speaks for itself, if you ask me. (And there’s that damn F-word again.) I suppose it’s par for the course; after all, what mainstream artist is going to come out and talk about how much shit music is being made? No doubt all the pop-country stars of the Urban Cowboy era thought they were making music that was as good as what had come before; only later was that music thought of as a blight on the genre. But I still can’t have any respect for Eric Church as an artist if he’s going to come out and defend things like “She’s Country,” “Bait A Hook,” and “Truck Yeah.” Yes, I know it may by and large just be the country music blogosphere bemoaning the state of modern country, but those blogs are written by country music fans. I bet they represent a lot more of us than the likes of Eric Church would like to think they do.