Archive for March, 2013

First impressions, A Friday Two-fer: Accept & Dio

March 8, 2013

Accept, Blood of the Nations

I picked this album up a few weeks ago, the band’s first with new vocalist Mark Tornillo, after having gotten its follow-up, Stalingrad, back in late December. Between the two, BotN got the better reviews. And while I prefer Stalingrad,  this is every bit the balls-to-the-wall metal album that one was. The more rocking songs are my favorites — “Rolling Thunder,” “Pandemic,” “No Shelter,” and “Bucket Full of Hate.” The latter is quite the interesting tune, as it starts off with the tinkling of a music box before it explodes into a full-on metal blitzkrieg. It was quite evocative of Metallica’s “Fight Fire With Fire,” with that song’s classical guitar intro. You could probably say “No Shelter” is the more biting cousin of Stalingrad‘s “Revolution,” with its slow-burning tale of a swindler getting his comeuppance. Worth the money? Yes, indeed.

 

Dio, The Last In Line

What can be said about this one that hasn’t already been said? More great metal from the ’80s, with those crunchy guitars, pounding drums and that voice. Lots of good stuff here, including “I Speed At Night” — which will make you want to speed both during the day and at night — “One Night in the City,” and “We Rock.” Favorite song, though, remains that oh-so-epic title track, with that subdued intro and its explosion into a full-on metal anthem. You people who know that song know exactly what I mean. “We are coming….hooooooome! We’re off to the witch, we may never, never, never come home…” Yeah. Between this album, Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, and Queensryche’s The Warning, 1984 was a damn fine year for metal.

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This is just a guess…

March 7, 2013

on my part

For the Republicans to suggest these bills are a war on women is probably just a smokescreen for them to rationalize how they can possibly vote no on these bills, one of which takes guns away from domestic violence offenders,” Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, told FOX31 Denver Wednesday.

“We’ve got the background check bill that is devised to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, including rapists. And I’m sure all 15 [Senate] Republicans will vote against that too on Friday.

…but I’m going to guess Colorado Senate President John Morse has no problem with those violent felons walking the streets as long as they allegedly can’t get guns. Presumably he’s okay with women being raped at knifepoint instead of gunpoint.

(h/t Nicki)

You see the problem here…

March 7, 2013

do you not?

States with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, according to a study that suggests sheer quantity of measures might make a difference….

The results are based on an analysis of 2007-2010 gun-related homicides and suicides from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers also used data on gun control measures in all 50 states compiled by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence…

Talk about a hack job if there ever was one. And journalists wonder why they’re not trusted anymore.

And in related news…

March 6, 2013

this right here is richer than ten deep-fried Snickers bars:

Former MEGADETH and KING DIAMOND guitarist Glen Drover — who left Geoff Tate’s version of QUEENSRŸCHE before playing a single show with the band — will join the Todd La Torre-fronted QUEENSRŸCHE on stage this coming Thursday, March 7 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to perform the QUEENSRŸCHE classic “Take Hold Of The Flame”.

In a posting on his Twitter account, Glen wrote: “Going up onstage with the REAL QUEENSRŸCHE and play ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’ this thursday at the Phoenix in Toronto. Going to be fun stuff!”

Pamela Moore, James Barton, Chris DeGarmo and now Glen Drover? That’s gotta smart — especially since, as one BM poster put it, this will mean that Drover will have played more music with Queensryche than he did with Tater and his scabs…

Another red-letter day.

March 5, 2013

Albatross, in comments here on Queensryche with Todd La Torre, back in July:

La Torre now is not what Tate was then. But, you know what? That was still pretty good. La Torre today is La Torre today, and if they released an album with that guy on the vocals, I’d buy it.

Well, time to save the cash, because that album has its long-awaited street date:

Billboard has exclusively learned that rock band Queensryche has signed with metal label Century Media Records for a worldwide record deal. The group will release its next album — its first with singer Todd La Torre — on June 11.

Century Media looks to be a pretty reputable label as far as metal bands go, too; on its roster are, among others, Iced Earth, Arch Enemy, and Triptykon. Quite a contrast from some of the ’80s hair bands the guys are currently appearing with here and there, although I am given to believe some of the upcoming European dates feature more current metal bands. Can’t wait for this one.

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In the meantime, Tater and the Scabs also have a release date for their new album. But the funny part of that is, they’re going to have a different cast of musicians playing on that album than the people Tater announced as part of his “all-star” lineup. Longtime Tater associate Jason Slater tried to spin that as “use the best musicians you have access to.”

Such strikes me as just so much self-serving bullshit, really, because if you have one set of people playing on the record and another set of people playing the songs live, then it’s not so much a real band as it is a “singer” and his supporting cast (and of course I use the term singer here in a very loose sense). Not to mention the fact that the people behind the “music” of Tater and the Scabs — Tater, Kelly Gray, Randy Gane, and Jason Slater — are the very people responsible for the decline of the Queensryche brand in recent years. (And don’t even get me started on the re-recordings of old songs that Tater can’t even sing anymore.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be at Century Media agree, considering they signed Queensryche to their main label and signed Tater and the Scabs to a subsidiary label.

I have an answer to this question.

March 4, 2013

From the Charlotte Observer:

As the nation revisits gun control following the massacre in Newtown, Conn., the sheriffs embody another facet of the debate: What are we entitled to know, through public records, about our neighbors’ weaponry?

How about not a damned thing? There is absolutely no legitimate point to publishing data about concealed-carry permit holders. Grass Roots North Carolina president Paul Valone was dead on the money:

“What they’re trying to do is shame gun owners…‘Gee, Jim you’ve got a gun permit – you’re not going to go postal on us are you?’ It’s an attempt to stigmatize people.”

That’s really what it’s about. No more, no less. It’s just too bad that Cherokee County sheriff Keith Lovin had to give the newspaper at least some cover for doing it with the alleged abuses at his department that the paper had previously covered.

Notwithstanding that, though, he absolutely did the right thing. I did get a kick out of one of the comments, though:

…if firearm permits are public records, then they’re public records whether some two-bit sheriff likes it or not. Don’t like it? That’s fine; there’s a legislative solution to it, and I’m sure it will be enacted. But in the meantime … do your job.

One wonders if they’d have said the same if this was about, for example, the enforcement of the  laws mandating that black people had to sit at the back of the bus…

This was a thing of beauty.

March 3, 2013

…or, Quote of the day, from Joey Guerra on Brantley Gilbert:

Brantley Gilbert posits himself as a “real outlaw” and a “hell raiser.” He sings about dirt roads and rednecks and law-breaking. But he’s no Johnny Cash. (He’s not even Gretchen Wilson.)

Ooooh, burn!

And brass knuckles on the mike? Really? I got nothin’. Just go read the whole thing. And don’t forget to look at the pictures.

In honor of Texas Independence Day.

March 2, 2013

I could think of few better written tributes to our state than this; I first saw it around 2006. It was attributed to Orange native Bum Phillips, but I don’t know if he really wrote it; I’ve seen it around the Web and don’t know where it originated. But no matter the author, no matter if it was written in honor of Texas Independence Day, it rings true today, and every day of the year. Every time I read it, the room always gets a bit dusty…

God bless Texas and everyone who lives here, or wishes that they did.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TEXAS — FROM BUM PHILLIPS

Being Texan by Bum Phillips

Dear Friends,

Last year, I wrote a small piece about what it means to me to be a Texan. My friends know it means about damned near everything. Anyway, this fella asked me to reprint what I’d wrote and I didn’t have it. So I set out to think about rewriting something. I considered writing about all the great things I love about Texas. There are way too many things to list. I can’t even begin to do it justice. Lemme let you in on my short list.

It starts with The Window at Big Bend, which in and of itself is proof of God. It goes to Lake Sam Rayburn where my Granddad taught me more about life than fishin, and enough about fishin to last a lifetime. I can talk about Tyler, and Longview, and Odessa and Cisco, and Abilene and Poteet and every place in between. Every little part of Texas feels special. Every person who ever flew over the Lone Star thinks of Bandera or Victoria or Manor or wherever they call “home” as the best little part of the best state.

So I got to thinkin about it, and here’s what I really want to say. Last year, I talked about all the great places and great heroes who make Texas what it is. I talked about Willie and Waylon and Michael Dell and Michael DeBakey and my Dad and LBJ and Denton Cooley. I talked about everybody that came to mind. It took me sitting here tonight reading this stack of emails and thinkin’ about where I’ve been and what I’ve done since the last time I wrote on this occasion to remind me what it is about Texas that is really great.

You see, this last month or so I finally went to Europe for the first time. I hadn’t ever been, and didn’t too much want to. But you know all my damned friends are always talking about “the time they went to Europe.” So, I finally went. It was a hell of a trip to be sure. All they did when they saw me was say the same thing, before they’d ever met me. “Hey cowboy, we love Texas.” I guess the hat tipped em off. But let me tell you what, they all came up with a smile on their faces. You know why? They knew for damned sure that I was gonna be nice to em. They knew it cause they knew I was from Texas. They knew something that hadn’t even hit me. They knew Texans, even though they’d never met one.

That’s when it occurred to me. Do you know what is great about Texas? Do you know why when my friend Beverly and I were trekking across country to see 15 baseball games we got sick and had to come home after 8? Do you know why every time I cross the border I say, “Lord, please don’t let me die in _____”?

Do you know why children in Japan can look at a picture of the great State and know exactly what it is about the same time they can tell a rhombus from a trapezoid? I can tell you that right quick. You. The same spirit that made 186 men cross that line in the sand in San Antonio damned near 165 years ago is still in you today. Why else would my friend send me William Barrett Travis’ plea for help in an email just a week ago, or why would Charles Stenciled ask me to reprint a Texas Independence column from a year ago?

What would make my friend Elizabeth say, “I don’t know if I can marry a man who doesn’t love Texas like I do?” Why in the hell are 1,000 people coming to my house this weekend to celebrate a holiday for what used to be a nation that is now a state? Because the spirit that made that nation is the spirit that burned in every person who founded this great place we call Texas, and they passed it on through blood or sweat to every one of us.

You see, that spirit that made Texas what it is, is alive in all of us, even if we can’t stand next to a cannon to prove it, and it’s our responsibility to keep that fire burning. Every person who ever put a “Native Texan” or an “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast a could” sticker on his car understands. Anyone who ever hung a map of Texas on their wall or flew a Lone Star flag on their porch knows what I mean.

My Dad’s buddy Bill has an old saying. He says that some people were forged of a hotter fire. Well, that’s what it is to be Texan. To be forged of a hotter fire.

To know that part of Colorado was Texas. That part of New Mexico was Texas. That part of Oklahoma was Texas. Yep. Talk all you want. Part of what you got was what we gave you. To look at a picture of Idaho or Istanbul and say, “what the Hell is that?” when you know that anyone in Idaho or Istanbul who sees a picture of Texas knows damned good and well what it is. It isn’t the shape, it isn’t the state, it’s the state of mind. You’re what makes Texas.

The fact that you would take 15 minutes out of your day to read this, because that’s what Texas means to you, that’s what makes Texas what it is. The fact that when you see the guy in front of you litter you honk and think, “Sonofabitch. Littering on MY highway.”

When was the last time you went to a person’s house in New York and you saw a big map of New York on their wall? That was never. When did you ever drive through Oklahoma and see their flag waving on four businesses in a row? Can you even tell me what the flag in Louisiana looks like? I damned sure can’t.

But I bet my ass you can’t drive 20 minutes from your house and not see a business that has a big Texas flag as part of its logo. If you haven’t done business with someone called All Tex something or Lone Star somebody or other, or Texas such and such, you hadn’t lived here for too long.

When you ask a man from New York what he is, he’ll say a stockbroker, or an accountant, or an ad exec. When you ask a woman from California what she is, she’ll tell you her last name or her major. Hell either of em might say “I’m a republican,” or they might be a democrat. When you ask a Texan what they are, before they say, “I’m a Methodist,” or “I’m a lawyer,” or “I’m a Smith,” they tell you they’re a Texan. I got nothin’ against all those other places, and Lord knows they’ve probably got some fine folks, but in your gut you know it just like I do, Texas is just a little different.

So tomorrow when you drive down the road and you see a person broken down on the side of the road, stop and help. When you are in a bar in California, buy a Californian a drink and tell him it’s for Texas Independence Day. Remind the person in the cube next to you that he wouldn’t be here enjoying this if it weren’t for Sam Houston, and if he or she doesn’t know the story, tell them.

When William Barrett Travis wrote in 1836 that he would never surrender and he would have Victory or Death, what he was really saying was that he and his men were forged of a hotter fire. They weren’t your average every day men.

Well, that is what it means to be a Texan. It meant it then, and that’s why it means it today. It means just what all those people North of the Red River accuse us of thinking it means. It means there’s no mountain that we can’t climb. It means that we can swim the Gulf in the winter. It means that Earl Campbell ran harder and Houston is bigger and Dallas is richer and Alpine is hotter and Stevie Ray was smoother and God vacations in Texas.

It means that come Hell or high water, when the chips are down and the Good Lord is watching, we’re Texans by damned, and just like in 1836, that counts for something. So for today at least, when your chance comes around, go out and prove it. It’s true because we believe it’s true. If you are sitting wondering what the Hell I’m talking about, this ain’t for you.

But if the first thing you are going to do when the Good Lord calls your number is find the men who sat in that tiny mission in San Antonio and shake their hands, then you’re the reason I wrote this tonight, and this is for you. So until next time you hear from me, God Bless and Happy Texas Independence Day.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. But, rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Regards From Texas

UNder the category of ‘you can’t make this sh*t up”…

March 1, 2013

…comes this:

Vice President Joe Biden told Field & Stream magazine in an interview published Monday, “[if] you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.”

Coincidentally, a 22-year-old man in Virginia Beach, Va., was charged Monday with reckless handling of a firearm after doing just that a couple days earlier.

I have to wonder when the last time was that ole Greasy Joe did anything more than look at a shotgun. I’d guess it was about the last time he had a real job, if then. He’s just as much of a fucking post turtle as his boss is, it seems — probably even more so.