Summertime Blues, News, and Views: Help Me, Mary

Attention, friends in MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN!

It looks as if my friends and I will be making a road trip to your fine city once again on April 23rd. Our beloved mcchris is on his first tour and Milwaukee is as close as he’s coming to our neck of the woods.

I looked up the travel information on Mapquest, but we all know how reliable Mapquest can be.

Basically, if anyone out there can give me some good solid directions to this venue with good solid landmarks, that would be ideal. We’ll be heading in north on I-43 (since I’m confident I can get us that far without issue). Even better, let me know if our rental car should be fine. I mean, I have been to Milwaukee. I am more afraid of Milwaukee neighborhoods than I am Chicago by a long shot. I don’t want to die.

This is how you can email this information to me. And perhaps I’ll see you at the show.

Alice In Musicland

First, it’s ProgAID!

ProgAID was set-up in the wake of the terrible earthquake and Tsunami disaster that tragically struck on the 26th December 2004. The sheer destruction and loss of human life was of a scale that shook the world. It was therefore decided, that maybe the Progressive Rock Community could do something, even in a small way, to help alleviate some of the suffering endured and therefore help towards the rebuilding of lives and communities.

ProgAID at this point, is focused on this one particular cause, but now that it is up and running, our intention is to stay together and help where ever and whenever countries, communities and people need the support of people who care and want to help.

ALL monies paid to us go direct to the people we are aiming to help and your support is needed and appreciated. We thank you for visiting us and for being aware of situations that we can’t control but can aid to put right.

First off, yes I’m a prog nerd, and no I had never heard of this thing.

Secondly, I took a look at who’s a part of this ProgAID dealy. Aside from Neal Morse, the only names I recognized apart from their accompanying band affiliations were Pete Trewavas of Marillion and Daniel Gildenlow of Pain of Salvation; apart from that, not only had I never heard of most of the bands, but even the folks from bands I recognized weren’t exactly heavy-hitters.

Let me take this down to a level that a non-prog nerd would understand. This would be like a collaborative effort among hair bands with Michael Sweet, drummer of Warrant, being the biggest name on the bill. If this was a goth gathering, it would look a whole lot like the third tier of Cleopatra Records artists. If it were country, you could expect to see Sawyer Brown. You get the idea.

I don’t care about the cause, to be honest. Humanitarian efforts nearly always are done with a prime motivation being praise and attention to the people behind the efforts. A bright shiny smilin’ mug on the news, with nothing but positive words to go along with it. And let me tell you, these prog rockers could use all of the attention they could get.

So, buy their stupid single, released March 14th. Help these nobodies become somebodies, and feel better that you sent some money to the tsunami folks.

From Launch Radio Networks:

Billy Joel has checked into an undisclosed rehab facility for alcohol abuse treatment. The 55-year-old singer decided to seek help after experiencing severe gastric pain in February. His publicist told USA Today, “Following a recent bout of severe gastro-intestinal distress, Billy Joel has checked himself into an undisclosed rehabilitation facility for treatment of alcohol abuse. Mr. Joel has asked that his privacy be respected.”

Poor Billy Joel. All he ever wanted in this world was to be one of the cool kids. He thought being a musician would make him cool, but just look at the guy. He’s a total dweeb. He married Christie Brinkley… still just the nerd that happened to bag a supermodel. He’s been trying to pull of the drunken-guy-cool thing for the last few years, including crashing his car all over the place and marrying a 23-year-old, but you know what? Still a dork!

Billy Joel is older than my mom. His wife is younger than I. That’s so screwed up, just like his bug eyes.

If only the man had continued to crank out fantastic shit like he did in the ’70s, I wouldn’t have any of this ignorant mockery to toss about. I would like to respect him, honestly. However, I have seen the video for “Keeping The Faith,” and that pretty much wraps up any further discussion of this topic.

From E! Online:

Lil’ Kim, in trouble for a lotta lying, could be heading to the Big House real soon.

The pint-size rap diva was convicted Thursday of federal perjury charges for fibbing to a grand jury about a 2001 shootout in front of a Manhattan radio station involving members of her entourage and a rival hip-hop crew.

The 29-year-old Kim, referred to by her legal name of Kimberly Jones in court, was rung on counts of conspiracy and perjury for trying to protect her posse, but was acquitted of the most serious charge of obstruction of justice. Her assistant, Monique Dopwell, was also found guilty on the same charges.

The two women, who each face up to 20 years in a federal lockup when sentenced on June 24, shook their heads as the verdicts were read. Some supporters could be heard sobbing.

I like Lil’ Kim because she’s short.

I like Lil’ Kim because she sings that “I don’t want dick tonight” song which I used to sing along with co-workers back in my olden days of fast food service.

However, I’m not really big on liars. In fact, I’m particularly not into the whole liars deal after having some drama re-enter my life after many years and a lying bitch from my past has tried to weasel her way back into my social circle. For that, Lil’ Kim must go to prison forever.

Yes, this is transference. The true evil bitch in my universe is the one at whom I should be pointing all of this venom. But she’s not a musician and she’s not going to jail, and she’s definitely not anyone that anyone reading this would give two shits about. So, Lil’ Kim, you are the new bearer of my bitterness. TO PRISON WITH YOU, WENCH!

And because I love this kind of stuff:
Kim’s crappy boob job
Kim’s fish lips
Kim’s Michael Jackson Special

And from, as much as I wish I was making this up:

Former KORN guitarist Brian “Head” Welch’s official web site,, has been updated with a brand new interview with Welch. Read on:

Q: Brian, few weeks ago, you felt so desperate that you wanted to die. You even asked God to end your life. What was God’s answer to your cry for help?

Brian “Head” Welch: “Matthew 11:28 and to me it’s God saying, ‘Come tell me and seek me with all your heart and I will take away all of your pain inside and will never judge you because I love you and all I want is for you to come to me with everything in life first.’ I’m also getting another tattoo on the other side of my neck called Matthew 6:19 which is also my birthdate. That verse basically says ‘Don’t store your treasures on earth and don’t worship money or fame like it’s God.’ So with that said, I’m funding my life story to glorify God and I will put it out somewhere in the near future. And again, I will not keep any of the profit. I’m gonna be like the Osbournes but it’s focusing on me and God and how much of a sense of humor I have with him but also how much i obey him. For example, the Jesus tattoo on my hand keeps me from masturbating and I haven’t been with a woman since my ex-wife left me almost five years ago. I go to those extremes to be like Christ and it works for me. I’m moving my own camera crew in my house on Monday. My goal is to glorify God and show the world how much fun this life is. So I invite everyone in the world to get some popcorn and sit back and watch how he uses me to glorify himself. God rules and believe me, everything I say to you, 50 CENT, or whoever it is, I’m also saying it to myself probably even more! I never said I was perfect and I fall everyday like every man, paster, preacher, woman, child, whoever, we’re all human.”

Okay. Let me go back and just pick out the one sentence fragment that bears repeating:

the Jesus tattoo on my hand keeps me from masturbating

Guys, I’m laughing so hard that I’m crying here.

You know, people don’t want to hear me talk about my period, and I don’t want to hear Head talk about Jesus on his jerkin’ hand.

That’s more than enough.

Band vs. Band

At the risk of making Tom D’Errico cry, enjoy Winger vs. Warrant.

I’ve never been more excited in my life to write something as I am to write this article.

I was a huge hair band metalhead from the time I was in sixth grade until I started branching out to the whole new ALTERNATIVE/GRUNGE scene when I was a sophomore in high school. That’s four to five long years that I obsessed over this stuff. I would live, eat, breathe, and sleep hair bands.

There are obvious hair-metal geniuses that you can’t battle against anyone else, because they were each brilliant in their own ways: for instance, everyone took themselves a lot more seriously than Poison. They are simply beyond comparison. Motley Crue. Guns N’ Roses. Each more diverse than the last. However, once you hit a certain point, they all started blending together. And that is where Winger and Warrant stepped in.

Winger released their self-titled album in 1988, while Warrant was still tinkering around in clubs. They took over MTV with “Seventeen,” “Madalaine,” and “Headed for a Heartbreak.” And I have avoided altogether thusfar mentioning Kip Winger, pinup god and super-smile extraordinaire.

Winger was more than just Kip’s pretty face, really. Whether one chooses to believe it or not, there was some severe talent going on behind lyrics like “And just when I thought she was comin’ to my door/She whispered sweet and brought me to the floor.” Rod Morgenstein, the drummer, is incredible. He’s taught before, he’s performed with the Dixie Dregs (who I managed to catch live… drool), he’s performed with members of Dream Theater, he knows his shit. I also happen to own some guitar compilations that show the diversity and skill of Reb Beach. And Kip, well, he only played bass, I mean, hell, I can play bass. But he had blue eyes and dark hair. Melt.

Winger followed up with In The Heart Of The Young in 1990. Their technical mastery came out in spades and at the very least spawned the hit “Miles Away,” along with the forgotten “Can’t Get Enuff” and “EZ Come EZ Go.” It’s good stuff, no, really, stop laughing at me.

But by the time 1993 rolled around, Winger was little more than just the butt of EVERY SINGLE JOKE EVER MADE about hair bands, which is mostly due to the prancing of Kippy boy, but what can you do with a pretty face? Poor Kip. Their album Pull was great, and I don’t care what anyone else says.

While Winger was cruising along on cheesy lyrics but some fantastic talent and musicianship, Warrant was crawling around the corner. Suddenly everyone wanted to go where the Down Boys go. Remember that video, folks, with Jani Lane, Joey Allen, and Erik Turner doing that kickass choreographed headbanging and jumping around? Ohhhhh yeah, that’s what the ’80s were all about, man.

Warrant ravaged MTV. Do you remember “Heaven?” OF COURSE YOU DO, IT WAS ON MTV 24 HOURS A DAY. Remember their outfits? That snow white jumpsuit thing going on? The tragic beauty that made all the girls in the audience cry? Yeah, Warrant had a clue what they were doing. And then in 1990 they backed it up with Cherry Pie, whose title track not only had one of the most tasteless videos ever but also got me in trouble in 8th grade for publishing the lyrics in the school newspaper.

And then “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” And then “I Saw Red.” And “Bed of Roses.” And then they started to fizzle. When they tried to bring the magic back in 1992 with Dog Eat Dog, MTV had all but forgotten them. (I personally think it’s their best album to date — some of the songs actually have some thought put into them — but it just happened to be in the wrong decade. Sorry, guys.)

My god, do any other two bands get ANY more insults combined than Winger and Warrant? At least Winger called it quits in ’93 and Kip Winger went off solo while the other guys started doing more practical things with their lives. WINGER KNEW WHEN TO QUIT, and we thank them for it.

Warrant, on the other hand, is still out touring, still trying to release albums on shitty tiny record labels. For ages they were touring with only 2 members of their original lineup still with them, but they’re STILL WARRANT and they’re STILL TOURING. All anyone heard about was about Jani Lane the Drunk and Jerry Dixon the Drunk and how they kept cutting their tours short because they couldn’t handle 3 weeks on the road together. Then, just a few months ago, all of the original members ousted Lane from the band completely and went on tour fronted by Jaimie St. James of complete no-namers Black ‘n’ Blue. Right, guys, time to find some day jobs, don’t you think?

I think it’s pretty obvious where I stand on this one. Winger had prog influence. They attempted TIME CHANGES and INTERESTING KEY CHANGES and CREATIVITY in their music. Although they are more universally ridiculed than Warrant, they were CLEARLY the superior musicians. I wish there was some way I could rebutt this point with Warrant, but it just ain’t happening. There’s not even a competion with looks, for crying out loud. Jani Lane has been all but DNA matched as the fourth Budweiser frog, but Kip Winger… do I even need to GO that route? I don’t think I’ve mentioned Kip’s teeth yet… oh yeah, that smile would put Donny Osmond to shame.

Winger: stupid songs but brilliant musicians. Kip is hot.

Warrant: stupid songs, mediocre musicians. Jani is not.

If I have to draw a map at this point, you should be shot, because Warrant was fun and all, but they don’t hold a candle to Winger. If for some reason you do not understand this, listen to the last minute of “Headed for a Heartbreak” and tell me again that Winger was a bunch of no-talent whores. Pick up some Dixie Dregs. Just don’t go near that godforsaken Ultraphobic pile of shit.

File Under…

I haven’t done this section in a little while and I’m not sure if anyone cares. Hell, I don’t care if you don’t care, because today, I’m digging only into what I love.

What is Doom Metal? Its roots began in the ’80s when bands like Saint Vitus and Trouble shied away from the popular thrash, speed, and glam of the time (and a thousand miles away from the scary NWOBHM movement). While many will cry “BLACK SABBATH” as the root of this, it’s hard to say that everything evil-sounding comes from the influence of one band. Nay, for a listen or two to Cathedral’s The Ethereal Mirror (an album I cite as one of the first real successes of doom) tells that it truly is a style all of its own. Slow, slow rhythms, tuned down to excess… wait, that DOES sound a lot like Sabbath, except definitely not.

Where Stoner Metal kept a lot of the pop sensibilities of Black Sabbath, doom went straight for the evil and went for it hard. The epicenter was Great Britain, and bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, and Anathema are nearly synonymous with the genre today. This spread to Scandanavia, and often the genre shook hands with Death and Black metal to further blur the lines of metal subgenres. On American soil, doom seemed to grow from the southern US and worked its way throughout, with a smattering style that sounds eerily similar to old Soundgarden works from time to time.

If you want to hear the funnier side of doom, track down some Candlemass (especially live shows… the lead singer is such a goofball). If you want be introduced to doom the way I was when I was wee, listen to “Memory’s Garden” by Trouble. Otherwise, take every opportunity to check out the bands above, plus perhaps Solitude Aeturnus, Pentagram, Lake of Tears, and Cemetary. Oh, and if you can find Rwake, they really are worth the aggravation of a self-righteous internet boy if that’s what it takes to hear them.

My Opinion Matters

You know who sucks? 3 Inches of Blood.

Oh god, they’re AWFUL. I had heard a lot of buzz about them and was actually really excited to get ahold of a copy of their album, Advance and Vanquish. Then I tried listening to the damned thing. Oh my god, it’s so bad. Soooooo BAAAAAAD. If I had paid money for this album, I would have had to commit seppuku to save face as a music aficianado.

You know who else sucks? Eddie Money.

I think I’m just really bitter that, in listening to his Greatest Hits collection, there are only two really good singles, a handful of mediocre but listenable singles, and a whole f*cking steaming pile of crap. I mean, yes, this is Eddie Money, and I shouldn’t have such high expectations. But I have a lot of greatest hits collections of mediocre artists because their singles were usually pleasing to the ear and I rather enjoy hearing them all in one big clump without having to skip over anything. You know something is wrong when there is filler on a greatest hits collection of an artist that has been around for decades.

And finally, you know who else is up there on the suck list? Peter Gabriel-era Genesis.

I’m a prog nerd, I know. I have tried really hard to get into the whole Lamb Lies Down On Broadway shit, but I just can’t do it. Gabriel was far too weak as a prog frontman. He just sounds like a flitty little whining twit. Phil Collins’ background vocals completely overshadowed him. And just like the conversation I had with Michaelangelo McCullar, Genesis may be the only band in history where a frontman leaving was best for both the careers of the band AND the career of the solo artist.

Yes, I’m listening to “Invisible Touch” again. I truly do need help.

The Rad Ones

First, a big fat pimp goes to Mathan because he gave me one hell of a big fat pimp. I felt that pimpin’ hand halfway across the country. Plus, he rips on Fiona Apple’s latest piece of tripe which makes me very happy. When you make Gloomchen happy, everyone is happy.

Hell, I’ll pimp him twice just for good measure.

Kyle David Paul covers Coachella! Someday, maybe, some cool music thingy will come near me. Either that or I’ll finally find the sugar daddy of my dreams who will take me to one. Remember, I’m single, and easily charmed by sweet dirges of the evil persuasion.

Hey, check it out, I’m recapping The Shield! We all know that if Michael Chiklis wasn’t married, he would totally hunt me down and sexx0r me for hours. Uh huh, that’s right.

Shaun Norton features a lot of conversation that isn’t in any way inflammatory about anyone’s personal lives. I gotta give that a “hell yeah.”

And although I have no clue what the hell he’s talking about, Liquidcross is always an angry gamer. I like angry; everything is more fun with anger. GRRRR!

Finally, IP now covers paintball. Oh yeah, and this marks yet another column with liberal Oz references. We Oz people are going to take over the world.


The last time I plunked out one of these columns, I posted the lyrics to Genesis’ “Misunderstanding.” Do you realize I have been obsessed with that song for at least the last six months? In fact, I think it even dates back farther than that; one day, I just woke up and said to myself, “I really want to hear that song.” That feeling has yet to disappear. It has, quite simply, become a song I never get tired of hearing. Never mind that the lyrics are so deliciously tragic, something I universally dig.

Anyway, this one’s a little different. A former namesake, I had more than just a fleeting love of this musician and this album in particular. If you don’t know it, don’t worry about it. Just read, absorb, and gain a little more insight.

Help me Mary please.
I’ve lost my home to your thieves
They bully the stereo and drink
They leave suspicious things in the sink

They make rude remarks about me
They wonder just how wild I would be
As they egg me on and keep me mad
They play me like a pit bull in a basement, and for that

I lock my door at night
I keep my mouth shut tight
I practice all my moves
I memorize their stupid rules

I make myself their friend
I show them just how far I can bend
As they egg me on and keep me mad
They play me like a pit bull in a basement, and for that

I’m asking, will you, Mary, please
Temper my hatred with peace
Weave my disgust into fame
And watch how fast they run to the flame.