Summertime Blues, News, and Views: Save It For The Morning After

Ahhh, Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and I enjoyed many adventures with Alex Lucard and his compadres from the Twin Cities. Nothing like a spin through kitchy Wisconsin tourist goodness to fill a three day weekend. For those who haven’t been, The House on the Rock is absolutely stuffed with weirdness, but you can skip Circus World unless you really, really need to ride an elephant right now. Bring along some rad people, though, and you can make anything fun — and we had a blast.

As for everything music-like? Aside for exchanging some tunes with my Lucard-designated Internet Husband (don’t ask), the journey wasn’t meant for this column. Lucky for us all, the world kept spinning even without my constant attention.

Alice In Musicland

Ahhh, Iowa. From the AP:

Greece’s Orthodox Church urged concert organizers Monday to cancel a planned show by extreme metal band Slipknot because of the group’s violent lyrics and references to the devil.

The band from Des Moines, Iowa, were performing Monday night at the open-air Lykavitos theater. Concert organizers could not be reached for comment.

Slipknot’s song “I Am Hated,” includes the lyrics: “The whole world is my enemy — and I’m a walking target/Two times the devil with all the significance/Dragged and raped for the love of a mob/I can’t stay — because I can’t be stopped.”

The church, citing a local press report, said in a statement: “The members of the band have a shocking appearance, wearing black uniforms and masks that look like skulls.”

The statement added: “Public institutions must do their duty and protect Greek citizens, especially people, from any public event that promotes Satanism.”

Okay. One thing I have to say, first:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH

This is f*cking SLIPKNOT. They are from IOWA. We might be sort of backwoods at times, but come on. The church clearly didn’t bother doing any real research. They just wanted an excuse to make a scene. Especially when we’re talking about “I Am Hated,” a song that is basically about the mainstream looking down on outcasts of society because they don’t fit norms and refuse to conform. It’s as much about Satan as it is about daffodils. Public institutions must do their duty to protect Greek citizens, especially people, from any public event that promotes individualism, apparently.

I don’t know if I have said this lately, but I have this bizarre devotion to Slipknot that is quite embarrassing. That’s because I hate Slipknot fans. Most of them are midwestern, which instantly makes them completely retarded to the ways that normal people should act at a concert or as a fanboy. However, what I love is that the band not only heralds that they come from Iowa, but they encourage Iowans to be proud to be from Iowa. We’re not all Willie Nelson and cow tipping; we’re just as metal, just as fired up, and just as crazy as any other state in the union. They don’t say that they’re metal DESPITE being from Iowa, they say they’re metal BECAUSE they come from Iowa. I can’t help but respect that.

Alright, that’s one tangent down, how many more to go?

More news, again from the AP:

Britpop group Oasis’ 1995 hit “Wonderwall” topped a radio station’s poll of the best British songs of all time on Monday.

Listeners to Britain’s Virgin Radio voted the anthem by brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher’s band their all time favorite British hit.

Best British Songs, as voted by Virgin Radio listeners:

1. Oasis – Wonderwall
2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven
4. The Beatles – Let It Be
5. John Lennon – Imagine
6. The Police – Every Breath You Take
7. The Jam – Going Underground
8. Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
9. Robbie Williams – Angels
10. The Stranglers – Golden Brown

Oh my, oh my. What a painful list. I can think of twelve bands that belong on that list, even though it’s only a top ten. No Rolling Stones? Or was that their excuse to put The Verve on the list? Never mind that “Wonderwall” isn’t even close to being Oasis’ best song. Elton John, anyone? Jesus… the Beatles song they listed is… oh lord… brain… melting…

This is so awful. If I try to write any more about it, I’m going to die.

I about agree with the placement of The Police and the inclusion of that particular song, though. There, that’s my happy thought of the day.

From Rollingstone.com:

Rhino Records will release the seven-disc box set Whatever: The ’90s Pop Culture Box on July 26th. The 130-song collection follows in the tradition of the label’s Have a Nice Decade: The ’70s Pop Culture Box (1998) and Like, Omigod! The ’80s Pop Culture Box, Totally (2002).

Whatever captures last decade’s diverse sounds, from MC Hammer’s hip-hop novelty song “Can’t Touch This,” to lighter-flicking ballads like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge” and Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train,” to Moby’s sample-drenched and commercial ready “Natural Blues.”

The set also moves easily from international superstars to the relatively obscure with Oasis, Busta Rhymes, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Aaliyah and En Vogue appearing alongside the likes of Luscious Jackson, Dinosaur Jr., Babes in Toyland and the Flaming Lips.

I have the first two and am dying for this third, even if I want to stab myself in the eye sockets when it comes to remembering a lot of the bland, bland badness that the mid-90s bestowed upon the world of music. So many alternative bands, so little time. Yet this was my latter teenage years and the time when I could afford to buy up everything I liked, so it was a great time of discovery for me as well. Of course I was mostly buying stuff from the ’70s and ’80s that I had missed out on, but you get the general idea.

I just love kitsch. These Rhino collections are the best kitch that money can buy and save me a lot of bother making mix CDs. Now if only they would do a whole seven-disc set of hair metal or new wave exclusively, my world would be complete.

And now, because I can’t get enough of this Gigantour concept, here’s how the tour is shaping up, straight from the gullet of Dave Mustaine at Gigantour.com:

Stage 1:
MEGADETH – Co-headline (90 mins)
DREAM THEATER – Co-headline (90 mins) confirmed through 6/21-9/3/2005
FEAR FACTORY – Special Guests (45 mins) confirmed 6/21-9/11/2005
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN – Guests (30 mins) confirmed 8/2-9/11/2005
NEVERMORE – Guests (30 mins) confirmed 6/21-9/11/2005

Stage 2:

LIFE OF AGONY (40 mins) confirmed 6/21-9/11/2005
SYMPHONY X (30 mins) confirmed 6/21-9/11/2005
DRY KILL LOGIC (20 mins) confirmed 6/21-9/11/2005
[last act to be confirmed this week] (20 mins) 6/21-9/11/2005
BOBAFLEX (20 mins) confirmed 6/21-9/11/2005

Confirmed dates so far:

7/21 – Fresno, CA – Selland Arena
7/22 – Las Vegas, NV – Thomas and Mack Arena
7/23 – Phoenix, AZ – Cricket Amphitheater
7/24 – Los Angeles, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7/26 – Sacramento, CA – The Cove @ Cal Expo
7/28 – San Diego, CA – OAT
7/29 – Tucson, AZ – Casino Anselmo
7/30 – Albuquerque, NM – Journal Amphitheater
7/31 – Denver, CO – Coors Amphitheater
8/02 – Dallas, TX – Nokia Live
8/03 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street Amp
8/05 – Atlanta, GA – Gwinett Arena
8/06 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
8/07 – West Palm Beach, FL – Sound Advice Amp
8/08 – Tampa, FL – St. Pete’s Times Forum
8/10 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Amphitheatre
8/11 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Coliseum Expo
8/12 – Chicago, IL – Tweeter Center
8/13 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
8/14 – Cleveland, OH – Tower City Amphitheater
8/17 – Pittsburg, PA – Chevrolet Amphitheater
8/19 – Portland, ME – Civic Center
8/20 – Manchester, NH – Verizon Wireless Amp
8/21 – Poughkeepsie, NY – Mid Hudson Civic Center
8/23 – Wantagh, NY – Jones Beach Amphitheater
8/24 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
8/26 – Boston, MA – Bank of American Pavilion
8/27 – Reading, PA – Soverign Center
8/28 – Atlantic City, NJ – House Of Blues
8/30 – Buffalo, NY – Darien Lakes Amphitheater
9/02 – Montreal, Quebec – Bell Center
9/03 – Toronto, Ontario – Molson Amphitheater

I’m going to try to make it to both the Chicago and Milwaukee shows, even though I hate the Eagles Ballroom with a passion.

OMG WTF MAIL

No Band vs. Band this week as my brain is officially burned out for some reason, but if there are any good compare/contrasts you would like me to analyze, send ’em my way. I like working from assignment.

But I still get mail:

Where do you stand on rock supergroup the Gin Blossoms?

Patrick Stickney

Ahhh, one-album-hit-wonders that they were. Talk about filling the radar, then completely falling off of it. Well, I guess they did have “Follow You Down” from their second album that made a decent splash. The last I heard, their was a release in 2002 of older stuff, but they pretty much disbanded after they didn’t go anywhere after Congratulations… I’m Sorry.

The Gin Blossoms are 100% indicative of everything that was going on in mid-’90s pop rock. The alternative edge had mainstreamed itself into bland, boring, happy music that absolutely nobody could find offensive. See also: Collective Soul. I can’t argue that they could write one hell of a good, standard pop tune that stuck in your head like peanut butter, but I certainly don’t ever see them named in the annals of time as being anything more than a band that filled space. They didn’t suck, though. They couldn’t suck. They were too busy being middle-of-the-road to be anything but just there. You wouldn’t change the station if they came on the radio, but you wouldn’t turn it up, either.

I’m sure they made a decent bundle of money to get them through the rest of the decade so that it never mattered that their imaginations never got a huge workout.

And because I wrote that sentence, I am doomed that someday I will run into a former member of the band and he’ll punch me.

What band/performer has the most annoying fans? Grateful Dead? Jimmy Buffett? Phish? Someone else?

Jon Seibel

Oh my goodness, the bands he listed are definitely at the top of the list.

Slipknot fans, as I mentioned before. I noticed they’re worse outside of Iowa than when you see them play at home, though. In Milwaukee I actually saw this rather large latina with “PEOPLE=SHIT” tattooed on her back. That’s really nice.

Nine Inch Nails fans. I have turned down seeing them twice because I don’t want to be surrounded by kids who are proud that they cut themselves and Joe Frat Boy, nor do I want to see the fights that ensue in the pit.

Dream Theater fans, and I’m not kidding here. I love the band, but the fans at shows are either total humorless prog musos or biker-like metal guys with their biker bitch wives. In either case, neither of them will ever talk to me, much less buy me a beer.

My Opinion Matters

I have ranted enough for one day. Instead of going into depth about any one band in particular, I have decided just to list a few bands that I don’t know a lot about yet I have listened to their music for a while and have made attempts to fill holes in my collection whenever I can. So, if you want to know more, that research is up to you.

Deine Lakaien: Gothy gothness! Their latest album, April Skies, is quite nice and hasn’t left my playlist for a while.
Green Carnation: Somewhat techy metal, not over the top for those who aren’t into the cookie monster vocals kind of thing.
QNTAL: Related to Deine Lakaien, although there have been member changes and now they’re known as QNTAL III. Call it medieval electronica?
Failure: Once touted as a groundbreakingly marvelous project, it withered away and died. Lesson learned: pay attention to what you name your band.
Barkmarket: Another dead and gone alt-product of the early ’90s, I’m still looking to complete my catalog of their music. My mom likes them, too.
Leaves’ Eyes: Have I touted them lately? Excellent folk metal with vocals by Liv Kristine (who was on the last Cradle of Filth album). They have a new disc coming out soon and it’s wonderful.
Tanzwut: Industrial madness with an orchestral side at times — I just love the creativity these guys toss into every release. Always a surprise.

The Rad Ones

Linky linky linky!

Seriously, I put these here for a REASON. These are articles you should read! I don’t just do this because of some sort of sense of obligation. Remember when I yelled at everyone via my column to email the writers they enjoy and give them feedback? This is the same thing. I’m telling you that I heartily recommend this crap, so give it a shot.

I already plugged Lucard at the beginning of this column, but I’m doing it again because he deserves it just that damn much. Although he likely doesn’t need hits from me, I would rather throw readers at him than lose them to the abyss of the Internet.

The Television section has done a massive feature on Reality vs. Drama television shows. Of course, I advocate turning the damned thing off and perhaps getting a bit of sun or reading a good book, but I’ll take baby steps here instead of alienating the couch potato set. Did I ever mention that I recap The Shield?

Back to us music nerds, Fernandez has been writing one of my favorite columns on the Pulse lately, as his sense of humor makes me want to fall over in fits of giggles. He also has the most creative ways for pimping out the other music writers on the site.

Although I haven’t watched the product in nearly two years, I still read Dan Hevia‘s column every Monday. He does a Daily Pulse column as well. He uses a lot of pictures, and pictures make it easier for me to understand because words are hard.

And the game geeks covered the shit out of E3. I only know about E3 because I’m currently housing a friend of mine who lives and dies for video games, so he keeps me in the chain of intelligencia. Fun fact: there really are other writers in the games section other than Liquidcross!

Outro

I just would like to say THANK YOU one big, hearty time to all of the awesome folks who bought me a birthday gift from my Amazon wish list. I feel rather odd that someone who doesn’t really know me aside from reading my work would feel compelled to buy me a present, but I know that I would do/have done the same for others who have brought some kind of spark to my life. So honestly, I take it as one hell of a compliment and only hope that I don’t let you down in the time to come.

Although I’m already letting the site down with how behind I am on album reviews… man, I’m a punk.

Here’s just some randomness to fill space!

Current Winamp playlist, by song/album:

  • two Dream Theater promo songs from Octavarium
  • a song by Scumbucket sent to me by a German fan
  • an awesome birthday mix album sent to me by someone cool
  • Cover It Up Vol 1, which is a bunch of cover songs done by metal bands. Mnemic’s version of Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” is constantly stuck in my head.
  • Deine Lakaien, April Skies
  • Dream Theater, Octavarium (yes, the real one, not a fake>
  • James LaBrie, Elements of Persuasion (often found on file sharing programs as Octavarium — if the final track isn’t 25 minutes long, you’ve been hornswaggled).
  • Leaves’ Eyes, Vinland Saga
  • Meshuggah, Catch 33
  • The Project Hate MCMXCIX, “At The Entrance To Hell’s Unholy Fire”
  • Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth
  • System of a Down, Mesmerize
  • VH1 Electric Heroes, a fun ’80s compilation full of some obscurish stuff
  • Weezer, Make Believe

    Also: anyone out there use Audioscrobbler? Do you recommend it? Is it nothing but annoying spyware of some type? Is there a point to it? I have seen a lot of people who use it but I don’t know if there’s something better or more popular out there that has some sort of similar tracking type dealy. I would love to meet more people based on music taste and find recommendations based on their tastes as well.

    Before I go, taking off from last week’s column, here are some relevant lyrics.

    Sky fits heaven so fly it
    That’s what the prophet said to me
    Child fits mother so hold your baby tight
    That’s what my future could see

    Fate fits karma so use it
    That’s what the wise man said to me
    Love fits virtue so hold on to the light
    That’s what our future will be

    Traveling down this road
    Watching the signs as I go
    I think I’ll follow the sun
    Isn’t everyone just
    Traveling down their own road
    Watching the signs as they go
    I think I’ll follow my heart
    It’s a very good place to start

    Traveling down my own road
    Watching the signs as I go
    Traveling down my own road
    And I’m watching the signs as they go

    Traveling, traveling
    Watching the signs as I go

    Hand fits giving so do it
    That’s what the Gospel said to me
    Life fits living so let your judgments go
    That’s how our future should be

    Traveling down this road
    Watching the signs as I go
    I think I’ll follow the sun
    Isn’t everyone just
    Traveling down their own road
    Watching the signs as they go
    I think I’ll follow my heart
    It’s a very good place to start

    Traveling down my own road
    Watching the signs as they go
    Traveling down my own road
    And I’m watching the signs as I go

    Traveling, traveling
    Watching the signs as I go

    Good little girls they never show it,

    –gloomchen

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