Tagged: DIO

episodefour

Last time around, it was decided that Melisandre is going make your shitty death metal band all melodic and atmospheric with her fell magicks, King Stannis is still bitter about getting put on that cross-country bus by James and Lars back in ’83, and Ser Davos would rather just relax in the tub with a nice book. Today, we check out The Mother of Dragons, Daenarys Targaryen, and The Mountain That Rides, Ser Gregor Clegane.
SPOILER LEVEL: Slight allusions to stuff from the second half of A Storm of Swords and maybe part of A Feast for Crows, but nothing major for people who only watched the TV show. So yeah, technically, there are references to minor details that haven’t happened yet on HBO, but you should be able to read on without having things ruined.  Just don’t blame me when I spoil the surprise of the part where a cyborg Ned Stark shows up in a spaceship from the future and just starts laser-blasting Lannisters and Freys in the name of Freedom. Oops. But still, if you haven’t read the books or seen the shows, go do that soon, because it’s kinda worth it, you know? (And really, read the books, because they’re about five theoretical seasons ahead of  where the show is at by my count, and I don’t want to wait for you fuckers.)

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cellaphone

INTRODUCTION!

So a while back, I got a new phone. Then, I broke it and got another one along the same lines, but presumably better. I mean, the screen is bigger and it can do weird stuff with sending files into other people’s phones and your own computer and whatnot, but I guess the main thing is that it’s marketed well enough where you can get a case for it that’s something other than “generic single-color rubber slip-on thing,” sometimes even in actual stores, and not just those little mall booths where they go to Amazon, buy a bunch of cases for $3 each, then ask you $37 for them. Anyway, that information has nothing to do with most of this, but it provides texture for this little introduction, if nothing else. The world needs more textures. Anyway, as well as useless bullshit like making phone calls and allowing me to communicate with the outside world, it’s a pretty sweet MP3 player. And I got lots of MP3s. So many of them. Like a hundred, man. But seriously, at some point, I ripped every CD I had to an external hard drive, (oh man, remember when computers didn’t come with like 15 squillobites of storage, and you had to augment what you had internally?) plus added in all that illegal shit from the Great Downloading Binge of 2000-2004, (which totally didn’t happen, and they’re all hella-legal, seriously) and it all added up to too much crap, and in a spree of going “ooh, ooh, I’ll add this and this and this oh man,” I added way too much to my phone. Too much, as in 1,259 songs. Wow. On one hand, hey right on, variety, but on the other, I do my musical-type listening almost completely on the drive home from work, (I listen to podcasts on the drive up there, because in the darkness of three in the morning, still in the process of waking up and on deer-infested roads, I don’t need to get all Slayered up and have one of those “oh dang, I didn’t know I was going that fast” moments.) and I really don’t need to be reaching down, looking at tiny screens, and skipping stuff I don’t want to hear at 65-70 mph, you know? (Ha ha, oh man, I obey speed limits, what a DORK.) So, partly inspired by sitting on the toilet and  reading about Raven Mack’s JJ Krupert thing a while back,  and partly inspired by not wanting to perish in flames, I have devised a system to cull the herd.

HOW IT WORKS: First, I put the thing on shuffle, all the way home, without skipping a track. Then, I go back over my Last.fm recently played list (mentally adding stuff that it left off the list for some reason, like the Armored Saint track today) and pit each song against each other in the order they got played. So the first song fights the second song, etc. The winner of each song fight (the one I liked more, duh) stays on the phone, and the loser gets deleted. And just in case “Ace of Spades” goes up against “Breaking the Law” and it’s an awful thing for one of those to go, I’ll choose one song from each day to get a second chance. The second chance song stays on the phone until the next day, when it faces that day’s second-chance song, with the winner staying for good. Also, if two songs I can’t stand to lose end up that way, I’ll just keep them both, because fuck your rules, man. I’m a loner, internet; A rebel. But yeah, and then, I come home and type about them, and lost of people get pissed off when they click a Google link hoping for Rapidshare downloads. Suckers.

H and H  Pentagram_st

1. Black Sabbath – “Heaven and Hell” vs. Pentagram – “The Deist”

“Heaven and Hell” is pretty much one of the masterpieces of the heavily-metallic arts, and no matter how unaware of post-Ozzy Black Sabbath the average dude out in the streets may be, it has to get serious consideration as one of the awesomest things Sabbath ever did. And awesome things Black Sabbath did that involved either Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio covers an awful lot of ground, you know? It’s just crazy good, and it still makes me want to punch that Coheed and Cambria guy in the face, because of those things he did to it last year. Anyway, this was a no-brainer, and out of all eleventy-million songs on the damn thing, there were very, very few that stood a chance here.
“The Deist” is the hapless victim here, a moderately deep cut from an album that’s actually on the phone in its entirety, thanks to me literally paying actual money for it, which in this case meant paying six imaginary digital dollars to Amazon for an imaginary digital copy. The Future is here. The bummer is that this is awesome.  It’s a killer song that mentions Satan pretty early on and has this crazy guitar sound that makes me think of what would happen if Thor had use for a lawn mower. Really is a bummer that the world at large (or at least a small portion of it) went completely unaware of this band until that documentary about Bobby Liebling being a crack-addicted real-life Gollum (although he’s cleaned up a lot lately and has been fully upgraded to Smeagol status) came out. I think I first heard of Pentagram when the Be Forewarned CD got reviewed in some magazine my brother had, but I’m not gonna lie, I never bothered to actually listen to them until some time late last year. So I’m a poseur, but not a complete one, maybe? Anyway, this is good and it’s a bummer that it has to lose, but no worries, as this album still has a few goddamn untouchable songs on it, so there will definitely still be a lot of Pentagram in the rotation.

WINNER: Sabbath.

ignorance  salvation

2. Sacred Reich – “Victim of Demise” vs. Armored Saint – “Warzone”

This was actually a tougher call that you might think. Like Sacred Reich, they’re my boys, you know, to the point where a lot of people I internet-know still think of me as “the Sacred Reich guy.” And “Victim of Demise” is one of their more killer songs, from the first album when they were still kinda like Baby Slayer, just going nuts all over the place, and hadn’t yet settled into that comfortable middle-of-the-road groove that a bunch of bands did between like ’88 and ’90, where they all ended up releasing their best stuff, but then either broke up, (Death Angel) fell off the end of the Earth, (these guys) or just turned into complete foolishness. (Metallica) Anyway, this is early Sacred Reich at their Slayerest, going on about rotting corpses and diseases and such, and it’s as awesome as you should expect.
But you know, I barely have anything by Armored Saint, (just this and a couple compilation tracks) and of all that, this is probably my favorite thing of theirs, so it would be messed up to knock it off there. Especially considering that if I ever saw this thing to completion, there would still be a ton of Sacred Reich on there, including at least two – maybe three or four – other songs from the Ignorance album. So in a shocking upset…

WINNER: Armored Saint. HOWEVER, “Victim of Demise” stays alive for now as today’s second-chance song, with apologies to Pentagram.

nwobhm  bigger

3. Diamond Head – “Helpless” vs. Stormtroopers of Death – “Raise Your Sword”

Oh man, Diamond Head. Those guys are awesome, and on one hand, it’s a bummer that they’re known solely as the band that’s had like five songs of theirs covered by Metallica at one point or another. On the other hand, I guess being that into Diamond Head earns points in Metallica’s favor. Anyway, you probably know the Metallica version, and this is a lot like that, except with singing and notes and stuff, plus the entire freaking final third or so of the song that Metallica refused to play, because at that point, they were still trying way too hard to act all, “grrrr, we are GRUFF and can’t enjoy things at all, including girls.” Same reason they left the “OOOOOHH BAAAAYBEEEE, I CAN ROCK AAND ROOOOLLLLL” part out of “Crash Course in Brain Surgery.” But yeah, awesome.
There was a window of a couple of years where S.O.D. was like my thing, and I got all super-pumped when Bigger Than the Devil came out and super-upset when people got all butt-hurt over it not sounding like Speak English or Die. Anyway, this was a bonus track on the deluxe version of the CD, or in real-life terms, one of the two songs I downloaded off Audiogalaxy with my 56K welfare internet, because buying two versions of the same CD is for chumps, suckers, and sucker-ass chumps. But yeah, this is from the dying days of the band, when Billy Milano decided that they should become the Weird Al Yankovics of heavy metal, which sounded like a really good idea until he put out that useless Rebel You Love to Hate CD. But yeah, this is S.O.D. making fun of Manowar, and even if it was completely terrible, it would be worthwhile just for the line, “Hack and kill, then kill some more, kill and hack, then hack and kill.” But man, the last few minutes are mostly just Billy screeching out high notes that no one thought he’d be able to hit, and it gets kinda tedious when you’re driving, and you’ve vowed to not skip to the next song.

WINNER: Diamond Head.

Deftones_-_Around_the_Fur  maiden

4. Deftones – “My Own Summer (Shove It)” vs. Iron Maiden – “Prowler”

Welp, this one was over before it started. One one hand, The Deftones were probably the most tolerable band to hit the scene when nu-metal hit and things got all Korny for a few years, but on the other hand, IRON MAIDEN. And man, the self-titled Maiden album is pretty loaded, and if I had to ditch something from it, this would have been the song I could have stood to see go, which opened the door for an Armored Saint-style upset. But really, I was only ever just sort of barely, marginally into this band, and while “My Own Summer” was like everybody’s summer jam of 1997 or whatever, the title track was like a hundred times better, and it was this band’s only chance to upset anything by Iron Maiden. Also, during the quiet parts, Chino’s whisper-singing is just disconcerting to me, like you can hear all his consonants extra hard, and it just sounds all wet and gross, like he’s singing in my ear as I’m tied to a chair in his rape-dungeon or something. Which might have a been a plus for all the folks who were rocking the XXXXL Jncos, six-foot wallet chains, and Adidas visors at the time, but I don’t cotton to it none, mister.

WINNER: FUKKIN MAAAAIDENNNN

EVERYTHING ELSE:

deleted

(Also, “The Warrior’s Prayer” by Manowar came up, but it’s not an actual song, so it went away automatically.)

DUUUUUUUUDES Last time on this trilogy of blog posts that’s taken more time to put together than the trip itself, Sarah and I repeatedly made narrow escapes with our lives on the Streets of San Antonio and I rambled on about lucha libre for a while. But now the time has arrived to fully inform you people on the night of the reason for all this hullabaloo, and I’m not going to be cryptically sneaking Iron Maiden lyrics into this one, (You guys noticed that on the first two parts, right? Right?) because this was the night when they were actually there, right goddamn there, all up in my face, being the face that they were desperately trying to rock completely off of my head. A glorious night of heavy metal and explosions and light and sound and glory and explosions and additional explosions. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

The Spurs play there!
I totally took this picture myself, because I can jump real high.

First, we had to get to the building, which started with a whole lot of “oh no, don’t worry about it, we can drive ourselves there, it’ll fine, no really, driving is fine, seriously we mean it,” which led to Sarah’s dad driving us there, which lead to a refresher course in the True Meaning of Ultimate Terror.  Of course, we left pretty early, so no amount of completely inexplicable wrong turns in a straight-line drive down one road could derail our quest to be the lines and get a good spot, right up front, where all the metal was going to happen, with the guitars and the yelling and the explosions and what-have-you. So we got there, and we got in the long-ass line. Awesome. Ten minutes later, oops, that was the wrong line, this one’s not for paperless tickets. So we get in another long-ass line. Ten minutes later, oops, that was the wrong line, this one’s not for general admission. So we get in another long-ass line. Oh hey, this one’s the right line! Oh, but your debit card doesn’t work. So we get in another, albeit much shorter, line and since I am the genius king of men with a smart-ass phone and an email opened up on it right there for all to see with my name and relevant numbers and such-like to show the dude at the ticket resolution counter, BAM, we got tickets all of a sudden. Super great. Of course, all of this running around and getting into the wrong lines and the dude’s card reader being broken because THAT’S TOTALLY A NEW CARD just had to have ruined the whole thing, right? Like the time we lost running around after tickets was going to put us at the back of the arena, behind a giant pillar that’s usually not there for Spurs games, right next to a dude who farts a lot and likes to talk about Ron Paul, right? HA!

Where's Baldo?Here’s a picture from the “tag yourself” section of Iron Maiden’s Facebook page, taken from right in front of the stage, and while I may be mistaken, that tiny sliver of a bald head that the arrow is pointing to may very well be my head. Can’t be too sure, but I distinctly remember the dude in the hat being directly in front of me and a little to my right. Or for a better view of how things were, here’s this picture of Maiden’s crew clearing all of the opening act’s crap off the stage:

WE ARE THE ROADCREW, DUH-NUH-NAH-NUH-NAH-NAAHHSomehow, we ended up dead center, maybe forty feet or so back, and I had a pretty nice view of pretty much everything. Sadly, I had to specify myself in that last sentence, because Sarah’s pretty much a tiny little Hobbit person, and any situation where people end up standing in front of her is not going to be a good one for looking at things. In a weird sort of way, this worked out okay in the end, because as a Halfling, she had to use her phone’s camera pretty much as a digital periscope to see over everybody, and we ended up with a whole bunch of footage of the show as a result. And since it was done to serve the practical purpose of her actually being able to occasionally see Bruce Dickinson, all that footage doesn’t come with the attached shame of being the asshole at the show who’s got their phone up the whole time, barely paying attention to anything but the phone itself, because MUSHT THE FIRSHT TO GET THEIR VIDEOSH UP ON THE YOUTBUESH SHHHHHHHHTTTBBBTTTTHHHH *fart*. But yeah, somehow, we ended up with decent seats, aside from the part where there were no seats, because we were in the section that wasn’t for pussies, pussy. Then, after maybe another thirty minutes or so, stuff happened.

Yup.
Here’s Coheed and Cambria’s stage setup. I didn’t take any pictures of the actual band because I was temporarily DEAD.  Dead from BOREDOM.

The problem with an Iron Maiden show is that somehow, they feel that they aren’t enough by themselves and insist on taking along an opening act. And it’s a fairly common thing for a band to be a band that no one else can follow, but Maiden has reached a level where they’re a band that you can’t even precede. I think Henry Rollins did a whole bit on this back in the day, and it’s completely true: There’s no such thing as an opening band at an Iron Maiden concert. The bands playing at Iron Maiden shows in the period of time before Maiden themselves take the stage are merely extended interruptions, obstacles to what everyone is actually there for. If you’re opening for Iron Maiden and are not of equal or greater legendary status , (Like the earlier shows on this tour, who got Alice freakin’ Cooper, instead of this bunch of buncocky that we had to sit through.) the night is not going to go well for you. So while I had previously heard a little bit of Coheed and Cambria’s stuff and fully, completely disliked it, I was ready to feel sorry for them for what I knew was going to end up happening. And yeah, for maybe a few minutes of their boring douche-prog, as I watched their best efforts to rock out met with motionless silence by the Maiden crowd, yeah, I did kind of feel bad for them. Because yeah, they sucked, but they were playing their asses off, and I suppose they suck in a way that’s got to appeal to somebody, or they wouldn’t have become a big enough deal to get on this tour, you know? Then, some bullshit happened.

YOU'RE ALL FOOLSIn what I’m pretty sure was calculated to be the moment where my Heavy Metal Grinch heart was supposed to grow three sizes and let love open the door to my heart for Coheed and Cambria, they busted out into a cover of the Dio-era Black Sabbath classic “Heaven and Hell.” But man, here’s the thing. I know a tiny little guy who sings songs about rainbows and dragons and stuff like that is a thing that probably lends itself well to parody, and I’m sure that the unflattering impression of him that Coheed’s singer can apparently do of Ronnie James Dio was probably pretty funny and entertaining at some point. But you see, once a guy dies, it’s not quite so fucking funny anymore, and especially not fucking funny when you’re using it as some sort of misguided tribute. And it was at that point, as I stood there, wearing my goddamned Dio t-shirt and watching that Polamalu-looking turd switch from his usual high-pitched “Geddy Lee, but if Geddy Lee was an even worse singer than Geddy Lee” vocal style to something that could have only been a “ha ha, let’s make fun of Dio” voice, complete with weird and whacky facial expressions, because guys, heavy metal is such a stupid and comical thing, am I right, building full of tens of thousands of Iron Maiden fans? Ugh. And I know I wasn’t the only one who thought this, because as I looked around, the whole place was a sea  disgusted faces, all but literally screaming “I DISAPPROVE OF THIS,” and one dude in front of us actually turned around toward me and bowed down and apologized to my shirt. But man, this was the one moment that truly solidified my opinion of Coheed and Cambria as bullshit forever, and confirmed any preconceived notions I might have had about them as just a bunch of shitty hipsters who had figured out that they were actually really good at playing their instruments, but there was no way to show off doing emo/indie crap, so they reluctantly decided to slum it as something resembling a heavy metal band.  And you know, I really don’t want to get all “Manowar True Metal Forevermore” Guy here, but once a certain segment of the douche bag community discovered that wearing old metal shirts got you way more scene cred at the Dashboard Confessional show than REO Speedwagon shirts did, there have been way too many bands clogging up the scene who clearly have a whole “oh, ha ha ha, look at us, heavy metal music, how QUAINT” thing going on, so really fuck Coheed and Cambria forever; they can go die in a giant tire fire somewhere. Except for the drummer, though. He just looked so genuinely thrilled to be here, like “oh man, guys, look at the drums that I am playing, this is GREAT,” and I can’t hate on a guy who seems so happy to be alive. So they can all die except for him, he can have some cake and a Game Boy or something, because he ruled. Screw the other three guys, though. And I’m gonna take the main guy’s two-necked guitar from him and hide it somewhere, because he somehow managed to make the 12-string half of it sound exactly like the 6-string half, and it was just so unnecessary. But yeah, before the show, I was not a Coheed and Cambria fan; after the show, I officially became a Coheed and Cambria enemy. Also, to whoever came up with their stage setup and lighting and such: Lighting placed above the band is supposed to point down. You got that right, nice. However: Lights placed behind the band need to point up, preferably through smoke for visibility. If lights are placed behind the band and then aimed down at the audience, all they do is shine directly in the audience’s eyes, temporarily blinding us, followed by filling us with the hateful rage of a thousand angry bees. SO YOU DON’T DO THAT. So stupid.

Sean Elliiot had his number retired?
THE ADMIRAL DISAPPROVES OF YOUR SHENANIGANS

After that, all of their crap was whisked away by the roadies, and almost as if to serve as an apology for the previous half hour or so, the PA system blasted a bunch of old metal/heavier classic rock stuff, like Judas Priest and Deep Purple, while we all waited for the thing we came here for to happen.  It was a pretty uneventful half-hour or so, except for this one big tubbo in a hockey jersey who we overheard responding to someone’s disapproval of the aforementioned “Heaven and Hell” situation with a really nasal-sounding “eh, it’s okay, he’s dead now anyway.” Made me want to fog up his nerd glasses and hang him upside down from something, while I broke all his DVDs of Kevin Smith movies. Sorry, I’m just kind of pent-up about people who can’t appreciate Ronnie James Dio, you know? Speaking of which, going back in time to outside the building before the show started, this older-looking dude in a jean jacket smothered in band logo patches just sort of looked over at me, yelled “RONNIE JAMES” and kept walking, and for some reason, it was the coolest thing ever. Someday, I’m gonna get me a jean jacket and be the old dude at the show who appreciates the younger dude’s shirt. I think I actually have a Sacred Reich patch somewhere already. Anyway, we just stood and chilled for a while, and when all the roadies disappeared, the lights got all weird, and the band’s unofficial real opening act –  a recording of UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” – played, we knew we were about to see some shit. (more…)