Archive for November, 2012

That’s more than a bit misleading.

November 17, 2012

So while I was out and about getting Sabra and me some lunch yesterday, I heard a spot on 99.5 KISS advertising the show featuring the cluster-copulation known as Geoff Tate’s Queensryche. Which, from what I gather, was quite misleading, in more ways than one:

For one, Tate has said before that he and his scabs aren’t going to be touring until next year. Right now it’s just he and his solo band. I don’t know; maybe they think it’s close enough as Kelly Gray and Randy Gane are both playing in Tate’s version of Queensryche. But really, that isn’t the worst of it…

They advertised it as “the voice of the Grammy-nominated ‘Silent Lucidity,'” as if Tater still has that voice. Hell, he can barely sing even that song anymore, let alone most of the rest of anything from the EP to Promised Land. Gonna be a loooot of disappointed fans coming out of that one, at least the ones who don’t swallow the whole “Geoff Tate is Queensryche” bullshit.


Oh, hi there!

November 16, 2012

So, check this little guy out…

Douglas-Paul Keith made his grand entry into the world today at 3:10 AM. 9 pounds 4 ounces, and baby and mother both are fine. 🙂

How much of a music nerd am I?

November 15, 2012

This much…

This morning, Crash on KZEP 104.5 was doing his thing where he’d rattle off three events and you had to guess which year those events occurred. This morning’s events….

Hurricane Alicia hitting Houston…Nope, didn’t know that one.

President Reagan signing legislation creating a federal holiday in Martin Luther King Jr.’s honor…Nope, didn’t know that one.

Stevie Ray Vaughan released his sophomore album, Couldn’t Stand the Weather...1984, bitches!

(For the record, Crash was wrong about that one. The year he had in mind was 1983. The SRV record was released on May 15, 1984.)

Here’s the title track of that record, my second-favorite SRV tune after “Texas Flood”:

Vindication, indeed…

November 14, 2012

Wow, it’s quite a red-letter day. On the same day the first-week sales of Geoff Tate’s solo album, Kings & Thieves, was reported — some 1,800 copies — out comes a teaser of what’s in store for Queensryche fans — samples of the new album, and they’re quite a treat!

I must say, I am pretty psyched, even if these are just rough demos. So much for the allegation that “Queensryche is Geoff Tate” and that Whip, Scott and Eddie can’t write, at least if these samples are any indication. I am loving that power metal influence that’s going on here. I heard it said once that the ideal would be a cross of sorts between The Warning, Operation: Mindcrime, and Empire. And I definitely hear that here, along with some nods to more progressive bands like Dream Theater.

I think just as encouraging, though, is the producer they snagged for the new album — none other than James Barton himself, who produced Promised Land and engineered and mixed Operation: Mindcrime and Empire, the band’s three most successful albums. Between the production and the songs themselves, this album is going to be a monster, every bit as good as I thought and hoped it would be. It’s a damn good time to be a fan of this band.

Spent 20 years fighting…what, now?

November 13, 2012

Ginny Rogers, music director at WKLB in Boston, Mass.:

We think that people were afraid they were going to have to go out and buy boots and a cowboy hat and learn line-dancing to be part of the format, when nothing could be further from the truth…When people reference bull riding and hay bales that’s so not us. We’ve spent 20 years trying to cast aside those stereotypes.

Erm…what stereotypes? Who holds these stereotypes and why haven’t they been laughed off the face of the earth? Such stereotypes might not be as offensive as the ones perpetrated by, say, blackface performers — but they still don’t have any place in civilized society.

What’s that, you say? Why do they have to be negative stereotypes? I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the people talking about spending decades fighting them? I heard it said once upon a time that Southern rural culture was perhaps the last — perhaps the only — culture that people wouldn’t get in trouble for making fun of. (i.e., “Stupid hicks, all they do is bale hay and ride bulls.”) And if those stereotypes are being fought, that would seem to imply that they are negative ones.

Negative or positive, though, either way they’re way off base. As has been noted here before, country music has always held pretty universal appeal, to both urban and rural folks. It’s only been in recent years that country has walled itself off from the non-rural audience with songs like “Bait A Hook” and “Kiss My Country Ass.” As Sabra observed to me, considering that those songs have made such a comeback in recent years, it would seem to have made the job of Rogers and her ilk that much harder.

One wonders how willing they’d be to stop playing those songs and give that airtime back to George Strait & Alan Jackson. Probably not very. Which makes them all pretty hypocritical, don’t you think?

(h/t Country California)

Sunday morning tech musings, 11-11-12

November 11, 2012

So I was emptying out my spam comments this morning, and I found this comment:

Hey there, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping….

How many of you reading even use Internet Explorer anymore? I could be all snarky and use my usual retort “they call it Internet Exploder for a reason,” but seriously — between the whole “Internet Explorer has stopped working,” “Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close,” the security issues, and so on and so forth, I really have to wonder why anyone would use it anymore when there are so many useful alternatives.

Speaking of Microsoft FAIL, how about this:

Despite the fact that I’ve been using Windows 8 for the past three weeks, I somehow managed to overlook a rather stark feature in the OS: ads. No, we’re not talking about ads cluttering up the desktop or login screen (thankfully), but rather ads that can be found inside of some Modern UI apps that Windows ships with.

As the author goes on to say, dealing with this is one thing when you see it inside a free app — but it’s quite another when it’s cluttering up something you potentially paid hundreds of dollars for. If I had stumbled up on something like that on a computer I paid money for, I don’t think I’d be too happy.

But even discounting that — the Windows 8 desktop, from what I have seen, is ugly and cluttered enough as it is. Do the apps have to be the same way?

Wow, being a blogger has its benefits.

November 10, 2012

…or, Hey, did you know radio deejays read blogs too?

I attended the Texas Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony today, courtesy of a gentleman named Josh Holstead. Some of you might be wondering what’s so cool about that. Well, here it is…

I might not be so hot on it now, but for a good 10 years or so I was a pretty big fan of radio in general and Houston’s FM 100.3 KILT in particular. It might not have been the true golden age of radio even then, but back then they were playing a really great mix of music, both new and old. And I’ve said before that being able to hear the station again in Beaumont-Port Arthur after listening in College Station was like catching up with old friends again. A large part of that was the deejays — Hudson and Harrigan, Dan Gallo, Rowdy Yates, and even the news guys like Robert B. McEntire and Pat Hernandez. Rowdy Yates is the guy who’s pretty much single-handedly responsible for my passion for old country music because of the classic country show he had on KILT on the weekends. Such fond memories…

For those of you who don’t know, Rowdy Yates’ real name…is Josh Holstead. Yep. He read my blog and thought I might like to go to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony held this year in San Antonio. So I got to meet him, Dan Gallo, and Robert B. McEntire.

Mr. McEntire apparently reads the blog, too; he told me that I did a great job writing about the station. We had a great conversation about our East Texas roots (I grew up in Texarkana, of course, and he grew up in Lufkin) and the KILT days, with him behind the mike and me as a listener. We also talked about radio in general, and how great it used to be. Super, super nice guy. It was such an honor to meet him and Dan Gallo too.

Gallo was one of this year’s inductees. He’s been in Houston radio for more than 40 years; he did the midday shift at KILT for many years and is now doing the morning show at KTHT. I spoke with him for a few minutes and his passion for radio really comes through in the way he speaks of his gig and the people he has supporting him. The way he talks, you’d think he was fresh out of school. He’s definitely one of the good guys; I am glad to see that he’s still on Houston radio. (Would that KTHT had brought on R.B. McEntire, too…)

And Rowdy Yates…wow. If I sound starstruck it’s because I probably am. I may not talk about it much, but every time I hear a lot of those classic country songs from years gone by, I think of those Sunday nights when I’d be home, kicked back with a cold one and listening to him on KILT. I must say, his voice is every bit as big as it sounds on the radio.

And the inductees themselves had some really great stories, along with an inspiring belief in the medium even with all the changes that have come down the pike for terrestrial radio in the last few years. I don’t know if radio in general and KILT in particular will ever get back to the way it was, but there’s no denying that it was pretty awesome back in the day.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for now. Maybe I can get them better-organized later…

Oh, aren’t you special, you don’t have to remix.

November 10, 2012

Carrie Underwood, on re-mixing her songs for airplay on other radio formats:

When a song like ‘Before He Cheats,’ ‘Blown Away’ or ‘Cowboy Casanova’ manages to have some crossover success, it does it ‘as is.’

That’s not really the ringing endorsement she thinks it is. I didn’t really find “Before He Cheats” to be all that, shall we say, offensive to my ears as a country song, even if I did like Miranda Lambert’s take on that theme better — but neither of the other songs struck me as the least bit country. In fact, if I remember correctly, my reaction was something along the lines of, “Oh, so they’re marketing this shit as country now? All righty then.”

And if you’ll read that article, you’ll see that Ms. Underwood is still on that “radio not playing the same song” kick, as if country radio playing ’80s rock retreads alongside poorly written rap songs and boy-band soundalikes is a good thing. (I had more to say on that here.) She’s apparently not alone, as evidenced by the popularity of that tripe, but I think I’ll just go back to my Texas-red dirt country and heavy metal now.

(h/t Country California)

Just some post-election political musings…

November 8, 2012

Pardon me for not taking Froma Harrop seriously when she talks about supposedly “mature” Republicans “wanting their party back.” It’s pretty odd that she and her kind would deign to call actual conservative Republicans out for being uncivil as they sling their own brand of epithets at know, “irresponsible,” “immature,” and so on and so forth. Civility for me but not for thee, eh? And, again…Richard Lugar’s loss had at least as much to do with the fact that he hadn’t lived in Indiana for several decades as did the fact that he was a squishy RINO.

Speaking of which…Anybody but Obama, eh? Didn’t work out so well, did it? That’s what happens when that “Anybody” is a gun-banning Massachusetts RINO. How about a real choice next time?

Aaaand, there goes Michael Wilton…

November 5, 2012

….under the Tater bus.

Geoff Tate talks about how Michael Wilton “didn’t show up” for the recording of Dedicated to Chaos, but I seem to recall Whip himself said that he was purposely kept in the dark about the recording of the album. And then, of course, there was that infamous Guitar International interview in which Whip said he and his bandmates came up with some ideas, but Tater changed the direction of the whole thing.

But that isn’t really the pisser here. This is:

He liked playing around with gizmos and gear rather than writing songs and participating.

What a bastard. Of all the horrible things Geoff Tate has said about his ex-band members, I think this pisses me off more than anything. Michael Wilton arguably was more responsible for the trademark Queensryche sound than anyone other than Chris DeGarmo, and Geoff Tate talks about him here like he was just some man-child more interested in playing with his toys than anything else. I mean, sweet zombie jeebus, it was bad enough that the son of a bitch was trying to marginalize Chris DeGarmo’s contributions to the band, but now this?

When all this started, even though I was glad that Tate was replaced, I really did wish him success in his post-Queensryche endeavors. But I don’t anymore. Now I think if he ends up penniless on the street corner like Della Brown, he will have gotten exactly what’s coming to him.