Tagged: FUKKIN METAL

brutal

System: XBox 360 (also released for the Playstation 3 and PC, but I’m only going to actually list the system I played it on)
Release Year: 2009
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Best Football Card I pulled in 2009: 2009 Bowman Draft Picks Platinum Malcolm Jenkins 1/1
Cool Heavy Metal Album From 2009: GWAR – Lust in Space

YOOOU GUUUUYYYYS. This would have been the most perfect video game possible when I was fifteen. I mean, if I had been fifteen around 1985 or so. And if 1985 humans could comprehend a video game that wasn’t just flat colored blocks that went BLEEP BLEEP BLOOP. And if whatever weird strain of autism I have didn’t make me wait until I was sixteen to start getting into The Metal. And if my appreciation for power metal didn’t start at some point in my twenties. But you get the point, I hope.

This game is basically Tim Shaffer’s intimate, filthy love letter to the very concept of heavy metal, and everything it might stand for in the minds of people who would dare to spell Heavy Metal with capital letters. Like the opening scene of the game involves downtrodden roadie Eddie Riggs (voiced by Jack Black, playing himself, because much like Danny McBride, that’s what he should always be doing) having to put up with the bullshit of a terrible, spoiled nu-metal band. (think pre-crisis Linkin Park, before the backstreetly-boyish sounding dude saw the writing on the wall, bought some thick-rimmed glasses, and started screeching the way Kid Rock fans think is what emo sounds like) And then, a bunch of insanity happens, the entire band is gruesomely killed, and Eddie is magically transported to A METAL LAND IN AN ANCIENT TIME. From there you join a ragtag group of hesher rebels trying to free the Brütal Land from the forces of evil, which includes glam rock posers, Hot Topic/Nightmare Before Christmas goth posers, and demons rocking a weird S&M/Catholic Church kinda look, led by a dude voiced by freaking Tim Curry. TWO THIRDS OF YOUR ENEMIES REPRESENT FALSE METAL, YOU GUYS, AND THE OTHER THIRD IS PENNYWISE THE CLOWN. In time, your ranks grow until your allies include Rob Halford, Lemmy Kilmister, and Ozzy Osbourne pretty much just playing themselves, and Lita Goddamn Ford playing some sort of black metal jungle lady who rides around on a fire-breathing gorilla/cat thing with Gene Simmons makeup. Holy shit. And as well as chopping hella dudes with a big ol’ axe, you can also kill people with guitar solos, which were recorded in real life by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the pivotal parts of the game turn all Real-Time Strategy, where you command your Army of Metal on a field of glory, which is the most metal thing anyone can do in life. And this is all in addition to the crazy-ass metal-as-all-getout soundtrack, with over 100 songs, plumbing the depth of everything you’d ever want in a game about Metal, aside from Iron Maiden, which is a bummer, but still. It runs the gamut of everything from Mastodon to Diamond Head to Ministry to Def Leppard to Emperor to UFO to Carcass, Ratt, Enslaved, and all points in between, all playing while you run over shit with your car.  Everything about this game is beautiful and perfect.

eddielemmyBeautiful and perfect, just like Lemmy Kilmister.

The Case Against: The big problem people seem to have against Brütal Legend is the some pretty blatant false advertising this game got prior to release, where the battlefield strategy parts went completely unmentioned, and it was hyped up as a God of War-style hack-and-kill sort of game. And yeah, there’s plenty of hacking and killing, but the major “boss battle” parts are all Real Time Strategy. But hell, God of War already exists, and people not giving two shits about Dante’s Inferno kind of indicates that the world only needs one God of War series at this point. So fuck all y’all, the strategy parts just make this its own semi-unique game, and I’m sorry y’all are too dumb to do anything but run into a crowd of dudes, swinging your axe until you die again. My complaint is that the story mode is too short, to the point where once I finally got used to leading my army to glory, the game was over. But I guess “there should have been more of this game” is kind of like praising with faint damnation.

brutal_legend_200908151529281Which is probably the best kind of damnation, honestly.

(Since I have no interesting personal memories of this one) TOP TEN SONGS ABOUT HEAVY METAL OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD:

  1. Tenacious D – “The Metal”
  2. Metallucifer – “Heavy Metal is My Way”
  3. Death Angel – “Devil’s Metal”
  4. Metallica – “Metal Militia”
  5. Judas Priest – “Heavy Metal”
  6. Anvil – “Metal on Metal”
  7. Exodus – “Bonded by Blood” (these all having the word metal in the title was by coincidence, not by design)
  8. Sammy Hagar – “Heavy Metal”
  9. Venom – “Black Metal”
  10. Manowar – “Die for Metal”

Current Top Million Billion Video Games of All Time, as of 7-29-2015:

  1. Brütal Legend (2009 EA/Double Fine, Xbox 360)
  2. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (1987 Nintendo, NES)
    3-10,000,000,000,000,000. TBD

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.)

EPISODE THREE

Last time around, we learned that Ramsay Bolton will be the first to watch your funeral and the last one to leave, and that The Greatjon is the medieval fantasy version of the crazy uncle who did like three years in Parchman for running over a dude in a dune buggy after an argument over a football referee’s controversial decision from a week ago. This time around, we’ve got a special three-parter  that looks at Lord Stannis and his Dragonstone Posse, kickin’ it old school for the Lord of Light. As always, if you haven’t any of the books or watched the shows, don’t go any further, because we got spoilers and spoilers and spoilers.

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king diamond shows up in season 4, honest

LAST TIME: We discovered that Ned Stark was probably a pretty good dad, but just too uptight to truly thrash, and that King Robert was so bad, baby, that he didn’t care, at least up until the point when he was killed by death. This time, we examine Greatjon Umber and Ramsay Bolton, and I tell you, those guys – SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, DON’T CLICK ANYTHING IN THIS IF YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW OR READ THE BOOKS, DEAR LORD SAVE ME FROM ALL THESE SPOILERS.
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…Because the night is dark and full of terrors.

Here’s another one of those weird internet projects I’ll start and never finish, but which sounds like a pretty good idea, so I’m still starting it, even though I know damn well I’ll never finish it. Uhh, anyway. The third season of Game of Thrones ended not that long ago, and I actually managed to watch it in a timely manner for a change, through means that were totally legal, honestly for real, and I’m sure the NSA dude that’s assigned to my IP address will vouch for me, especially after I sent him that fancy cookie bouquet. (Of course, if I did manage to watch the show illegally, fuck you, I’m gonna end up buying the DVDs later, so you can go screw, Jack Valenti or whoever it is that sends the lawyers after people.) Anyway, in addition to watching the show, at least 75% of my toilet time has been spent reading the books that the show came from, so at this point it’s reacted with that weird, secret strain of autism I caught off a toilet seat at Kroger that one time, and I’m pretty well immersed in that world lately. So I think on this stuff a lot, at times when I really should be thinking about things like work or oncoming traffic, and something occurred to me. Lost somewhere in all the talk about this show that world has been ablaze with lately, no one’s been mentioning a very important thing: This show is FUKKIN METAL. Seriously, it’s like nothing But swords and knights and blood and death and corrupt politicians and  fell magicks and dragons and metal. It’s like George R.R. Martin sat there, typing all these books out, imagining that someday, somehow, the words he was setting to paper would eventually get turned into a television show that would someday magically cause a single tear to trickle down the cheek of a statue of Paul Baloff, at least in a more perfect world where there actually were statues of Paul Baloff.

BANG YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE STAGE AND METAL TAKES ITS PLACE
If only….

Anyway, partially because it seriously sounded like an interesting idea, and partially because I’m tired of having all my interesting ideas just sort of swirl around in my head for weeks and months until my brain magically erases them, I’m going to do one of those internet things I do, where I start a potentially long, ongoing project that only gets visited once or twice and dies unfinished. But the show’s not done and I still have roughly 2.8 and counting of the books left to read, this idea should pop back into my head from time to time. So I like its chances. I’m going to take the characters from this thing and think about them real, real hard and I am going to figure out who are the most FUKKIN METAL characters from this particular universe, and maybe someday twist it into a top 20 power ranking list, going to super insanely metal at #1 to just pretty darn metal or whatever at #20. And of course, the series isn’t finished yet and the books are nowhere near finished, so characters might rise and fall, depending on their actions and/or gruesome deaths. But to clarify, I’m not going to dork analyze the metalness of everybody. Some characters even in something like A Song of Ice and Fire are still just going to be obviously non-metallic, and all five million of the little background characters simply aren’t going to be worth the time. Like G.R.R. Martin is a dude who cranks out 1,000-plus page books on the semi-regular, and I’m a dude who seriously updates a pissant blog about thrice yearly, so if that guy couldn’t come up with more than a solid paragraph or so for Jeyne Poole or Ser Jacelyn Bywater, I ain’t gonna be the one to fill in that gap. Of course, this is the internet, and the internet is a sick and terrible place, so I’m sure that sooner or later, someone will send me links to some sort of “fuckyeahjacelynbywater dot tumblr dot com” blog or a three-thousand chapter pornographic fan fiction site dedicated to Jeyne Poole’s erotic encounters with Goku or one of the Animaniacs or whatever, and then I’m going to have to turn off my internet and start making bombs in the lawnmower shed out back. Dark and full of terrors indeed. But yeah, sticking to only the debatably metal and at least semi-major characters, and in no particular order. Also, in the event that you haven’t read a book or watched a show yet, you should probably just turn around right now, lest things be ruined for you forever. As in spoilers and whatnot. And in case anyone’s just skimming the introductory paragraph, the way I do with Cracked articles, I’m just going to say SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS OH GOD TURN AROUND THERE’S SO MANY SPOILERS, in bold capital letters. Anyway, I’m going to do this two characters at a time, both in the name of making sure these things don’t get too long and in the contradictory name of making sure these things aren’t too short. Let us begin:
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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…)

I’ll get the third part of the Maiden England Road Report done in the next couple days. Until then, here’s this. Also, a new Armchair Linebacking will have been done sometime between now and Thursday. BE THERE~!

Good to know.
So, this guy right here? Apparently, he fucks like a beast.

This may come as a shock to you who know me as a well-traveled, worldly man of… the world, but prior to not quite a week ago, I had never been to an actual concert before. I mean, I had been to shows before, which is what you call it when there are maybe 60 people and you’re not delusional enough to call it a concert, and there were all the Blues Festival/B.B. King Day festivities as a kid, but those honestly had more of an “arts and crafts fair, usually without any arts or crafts” vibe going on. I can’t count those, because there are no lawn chairs at a concert. Then, my brother pops up and tells that this whole big thing is going down, and he needs people to go with him, because he’s surrounded by normal human beings who would recoil in horror at anything that even looked like Slayer, much less sounded like them. So tickets were bought, days off were requested, and me and Sarah hopped in a giant gold Caprice (For full metal effect, we should have taken the giant red Trans Am, but it had no air conditioning or insurance and runs at about eight gallons per mile, so to hell with that) to our former lands in the North. The actual trip there was uneventful, and I think I passed out at least once, so I won’t tell you about it. Actually I just did. What the hell, man? (Also, unless otherwise noted, the  videos posted were filmed by YouTube peoples who go by the internet handles bustedface, shabby1975, and sciomancy6, then straight-up jacked via YouTube embed codes for use here. The photos were all by us, though.) (more…)

So, the world is freaking out over these SOPA and PIPA acts that Congress is trying to push on us. Personally, I haven’t read into it much and don’t know the specifics, but I know that the government is run by old dudes who don’t know what an internet is, and they’ve all got their own masters to serve, none of which are the people out here in the streets, so I know it can’t be good. That, and that the terms SOPA and PIPA remind me of sopapillas, which are delicious. I’m sure everywhere you’ve gone on the internet today has probably had a hundred messages about contacting your Congressman or whatever, (or completely blocked itself off, like Wikipedia, which didn’t so much raise my awareness as it did piss me off at Wikipedia) so I’ll spare you that whole thing this time. What I can do is show my solidarity with everyone who likes free things and information about other things through simple means: INTERNET PIRACY.

So, in a weirdly appropriate (but not really, kinda) offering to you, the folks out there is “Uncensored Material,” a promotional cassette single by Sacred Reich, a band of much metal thrashings that I liked so much that I once had a whole website named after an EP they put out back in the day. (and come to think about it, I posted this thing there back in the day, too.) This came out in 1990, right around the time everyone was freaking out over 2 Live Crew talking about boobies and butts and Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest having evil hidden messages to make all the people who buy their records kill themselves, and the government had a huge censorship boner that peaked a couple years later when “Copkiller” came out. It’s not really the same thing as what’s going on now, but I guess it is good to remember that this kind of nonsense has been going on since a “cassette single” was still a thing, and we made it out okay. For the record, I guess this has been out of print for over twenty years, (oh Jesus, that makes me feel old) but if Hollywood records  didn’t care about what became of the Sacred Reich stuff they own, (the single is from Enigma Records, but Hollywood owns their back catalog now) they would have sold the U.S. rights back to the band, and people wouldn’t be having to buy copies of The American Way from overseas nowadays. Whatever. Anyway, this is a few parts of a few songs from that record, mixed together with some spoken word type stuff from Phil Rind, the bass player/singer/general mastermind. It’s just one long thing, so I split it into three parts for convenience.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Anyway, fuck a government, listen to old heavy metal from time to time, spay and neuter your pets, always bring a towel, be excellent to each other, party on dudes, and eat more sopapillas.