Archive for June, 2013

So, guess what I got in the mail yesterday…

June 20, 2013

…six days before it even hits the stores, even? Go on, guess!

Or don’t, whatever floats your boat. 😉  (The t-shirt and other swag won’t be in the stores as far as I know. You can only get all that from Century Media.)

More thoughts forthcoming…

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Does not compute.

June 19, 2013

Did Duane Chapman really say this?

Dog: A lot more guns than I expected. I’m a gun advocate and I believe everyone can have one to protect themselves, but guns are rampant, it’s like a disease being spread though out the U.S.

FOX411: So how can you be pro-gun?

Dog: I’m not against the gun. I’m against the bullet, the lead bullet, because I’ve used non-lethal weapons for 30 years. I have had to shoot many fugitives and never killed anyone. You have the right to bear arms, which means you can protect yourself, but you don’t have the right to kill people for no reason.

Oh, my. So, so much fail here that I hardly know where to start. It’s nice that Chapman can use non-lethal means to take down his prey, but in the end it really doesn’t matter. Why? Because Chapman doesn’t have a choice in the matter. With his murder conviction and having been arrested some 18 times for armed robbery, Chapman is — you guessed it! — a prohibited person. To his credit he seems to have redeemed himself and ended up on the somewhat straight and narrow, but he still doesn’t have any business posing as some sort of authority on what people should be doing to protect themselves, let alone acting like there ought to be laws restricting the rest of us to his choices.

Oh, I’ll say.

June 18, 2013

Sabra, on her Father’s Day gift to me:

It seems to be a hit.

Heh. That’s putting it mildly. I was using a percolator I bought at Walmart last summer, and it worked fine; it was just a bit of a pain in the ass when it came to getting the coffee just right, and it always took so long to brew. Not so with the French press — you heat the water to boiling, put your grounds and water in, and seven minutes or so later, BAM! Fresh, HOT coffee. I FREAKING LOVE IT. I thought at first that the French press would have been more labor-intensive, but it really isn’t. I want to make coffee with it all the time, just because. As an added bonus, it uses the same coarse grind as the percolator!

Speaking of the trusty percolator, though, we didn’t get rid of it. Oh no. We use it to boil the water. 😉 I would be quite interested to see what cold brew coffee tastes like so we can make iced coffee one of these days, though…

Some of you would be interested in this.

June 17, 2013

So the first Queensrÿche album with Todd La Torre on lead vocals hits the stores a week from tomorrow…

…but Century Media has the whole thing streaming here.

I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet — I’m going to try to wait till I can actually get the cd before I do — but I will say that as great as “Where Dreams Go To Die” is by itself, “X2” as the intro to it takes the song to a whole new level. I’ve heard here and there that the YouTube and SoundCloud versions of the songs were pretty compressed so as to prevent leaks and illegal downloads, so I’m really interested to hear how the real thing sounds. Won’t be long now!

And he thinks that’s an acceptable excuse?

June 17, 2013

Son of a Peach Picker Thomas Rhett, attempting to rationalize his banal, middle-of-the-road pop-country bullshit:

My dad’s the biggest Rolling Stones fan. And I like Poison, and all the rap and hip-hop that was floating around my junior high school. That’s why I can’t just do a straight country song.

The Rolling Stones, eh? I have to wonder if the father or the son knows the story behind the classic “Honky Tonk Women,” or that the Stones were big fans of country music, going so far as to cover the Waylon Jennings classic “Bob Wills Is Still the King” every so often in their live show. Frankly, if I were a member of the Rolling Stones (or Poison, for that matter) I’d be quite offended to be cast as one of the reasons that shit’s being foisted on country fans.

(I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if that did piss Bret Michaels off; I’ve heard here and there that he is a fan of folks like George Strait and Alan Jackson.)

Seriously, just because you like some kinds of music doesn’t mean you can’t make your living doing other kinds of music and be true to whatever genre you choose to make you make your mark in. I can’t tell you how utterly shocked I was, for example, to find out that Tom Araya sings country music to keep up his singing voice when he isn’t fronting Slayer (let alone that he is a practicing Catholic and owns a cattle ranch just outside of Buffalo, and shops at the Palestine Walmart…). Could Tom Araya make a real country record? I don’t know, but I do give him a lot of credit for not trying to make one just because country is where the money is anymore (especially since there seems to be a fairly vocal contingent calling for Slayer to disband in the wake of guitarist/songwriter Jeff Hanneman’s death).

What’s that, you say? Why do I think Thomas Rhett is only pitching his shit to country singers because of the money? Because if it wasn’t, he’d be doing hip-hop or playing in a Poison tribute band. You know, doing the stuff he likes. I was telling Sabra earlier that while “Gone Country” was very much a commentary on its period in history, I still thought it was a timeless piece of work, but I never expected it to be as relevant now as it was when it was released.

(h/t Country California)

Yeah, me too.

June 16, 2013

Colorado gunwriter Michael Bane:

I have to say that Chris Christie would be the final straw…I have been as pragmatic as anyone on wading through this political cesspool…sucked it up for McCain…sucked it up for Romney…but I will be damned if I’ll cast a vote for an antigun floating…well, whatever it is that floats in cesspools…like Chris Christie. I’ll stay home.

He will, I will as well, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones. New Jersey has arguably the most onerous gun laws in the country, and Chris Christie supports every last one of them. A Facebook friend said before that Christie’s position on guns wasn’t justification for not supporting him, but I didn’t agree with that then and I don’t agree with it now. And his support of laws that are antithetical to the Second Amendment is hardly the only reason not to vote for him. I know that there are a couple of years to go before the presidential campaigns get started in earnest, but the Republican establishment needs to get the hell over this Chris Christie infatuation right the hell now.

Another really good question…

June 15, 2013

…from the Triggerman:

But if (Eric) Church is so enamored with rock and so dismissive of country, why is he even be pushed on country radio and winning country awards? “I didn’t grow up listening to Hank Williams Sr. or Earnest Tubb,” Church told Playboy. “I grew up with rock and roll.” If this is the case and his sound is so rock, why is he surprised when country fans come out and say he doesn’t belong?

The short and snarky answer would be that he has his head so far up his ass that the lack of oxygen has muddled his thinking…

…but seriously, it’s worth discussion. I didn’t grow up on Metallica or Iron Maiden either, but if I was going to start my own metal band, I wouldn’t be suggesting we throw a fiddle, steel guitar, or Western swing beat up into our music, let alone trying to rationalize my actions by saying, “I didn’t grow up listening to metal.” I only discovered metal later in life, but if I was going to make a go at it in some alternate universe where I could sing like Todd La Torre or Russell Allen, I’d at least try to remain true to the genre.

So, seriously, how exactly does one explain Eric Church? Between him not growing up with country music and his co-opting Blake Shelton’s argument that people who don’t like new “country” music are, as Shelton put it, “old farts and jackasses,” surely those of us who don’t buy that Church is sincere in his desire to be a country artist can be forgiven for looking at him with a cynical eye. Now that I think about it, another good question might be, “Since Eric Church is so dismissive of country music as a genre — going so far as to market his artistry as a mix of ‘Jack Daniels, weed and Metallica’ — why is he pushing himself on the country genre?”

The answer, of course, is that Eric Church is the same thing Jason Aldean is: a frustrated ’80s rocker born 15 years too late, who only markets himself as a “country” artist because “country” is where all the money is anymore.

“I hear down there, it’s changed, you see. Well, they’re not as backward as they used to be.”

As usual, a drug warrior does not get it.

June 14, 2013

Houston police chief Charles McClelland, Jr.:

Police officers tend to target violations that are visible and that create a sense of crime and disorder. In Houston, open-air drug dealing and possession tend to generate citizen complaints.

I’m going to guess that the “open-air drug dealing and possession” also “create a sense of crime and disorder.” But it’s worth asking why those activities do that when, say, smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer on the front porch do not. Alcohol and tobacco, while perhaps not quite as dangerous as something like cocaine, cause enough damage on their own. But unlike marijuana and cocaine, alcohol and tobacco are still legal.

You see what I’m getting at, right? Arguably the biggest reason, if not the only reason, McClelland’s “sense of crime and disorder” is there is the illegality of the substance in question. There’s going to be that perception of wrongdoing even when no one’s actually doing anything wrong. He and those who agree with this approach might argue that illegal activity attracts criminals who by definition commit more illegal activity. And this is true, but the same could be said of those who were smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer on their front porch if alcohol and tobacco were illegal, as alcohol once was.

As for this:

The public needs to know the health risks associated with marijuana use and the amount of marijuana use that causes psychological and/or physical impairment. In other words, the public needs to know when drug use becomes an immediate public danger.

We need to know the health risks? You mean we don’t already, after more than 25 years of Just Say No, DARE, and assorted other anti-drug programs? “Do it again, only HARDER!” Yeah, that sounds about right.

And speaking of that whole illegality of alcohol thing. You remember reading about that, right? About how it was a resounding failure? Why haven’t we taken any lessons from that?

And, in related news…

June 12, 2013

…we have this.

To wit: Lenny Kravitz got to play a full version of “American Woman” on the CMT Awards show the other night, while the late, great George Jones got barely a mention. Naomi Judd was so pissed off about it that she wrote a letter to the Nashville Tennessean:

George Jones is to country music what The Beatles are to pop, the Rolling Stones to rock, Elvis to rockabilly, Mozart to classical and Aretha to soul. Yet, the “Country” Music Television awards show allowed only a “by the way” mention of Jones’ death and legacy. Incongruously, they chose alternative music group the Mavericks to perform their short version of George’s “The Race Is On.”

True country music fans are a loyal bunch and are passionate about our roots and heritage. Every year, CMT includes artists of unrelated genres, many of whom some country music fans don’t even know. I suggest the CMT Awards show change its name. Perhaps to “the Multi-Genre Awards Show, Featuring Artists under 30.”

I realize speaking out will cause me to now be forever banned by CMT. But I’m tired of folks messing with my country music. Especially when it involves my dear friend George Jones.

Speaking of the Mavericks, though, Raul Malo had a few words to say about that whole Charlie Foxtrot:

So when is country music going to grow some balls and close its legs to every has-been, asshole Rockstar (sic) that wants to be on tv?

That’s a really good question. I understand that they’re trying to expand the demographic that watches that show , but where do you draw the line? It has to be drawn somewhere, or we might as well just not have any more “country music” at all.

I agree, but then I don’t.

June 11, 2013

Josh Abbott:

I hear songs like Jason Aldean’s “1994,” then I think about all the sh*t that a guy like Casey Donahew or myself take from the people in our scene. We’re a hundred times better than that stuff!

In a way he’s right, but in a way maybe not so much. Some of the stuff that comes out of Texas (although only a bit of it) is just as bad. It’s just that it’s a different kind of bad. We all know that if somebody came down here and heard Pat Green’s “Country Star” or Kevin Fowler’s “Hell Yeah, I Like Beer,” they’d rightly be wondering why we all trumpet Texas country as being better than mainstream Nashville country. No, we by and large don’t do country rap down here, but Texas country at its worst can be just as banal and uninteresting — and, yes, downright bad — as anything else.

I will say, though, if I had to choose between Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton or Casey Donahew and Josh Abbott, I would gladly take the latter every day of the week and twice on Sundays. It’s not perfect, but Texas is still miles ahead of Nashville when it comes to stuff worth listening to.

(h/t Country California)