The Best of 2014

The best thing about the end of the year is all the “best of” lists that help you catch up on the great music you missed in the past twelve months. My favorites so far are the ones from here and here. As these are my favorite thing about New Years, I though I would try one myself.

Best of 2014:

11) Marilyn Manson “Deep Six” While I don’t expect The Pale Emperor to be 2015s album of the year, I was pleasantly surprised by this track. It’s actually pretty good. Which is more than I can say for most of what Marilyn Manson does these days.


10) Bastard Friendly Lost in Translation Hahaha. Just kidding. This band sucks.




8) Alice in Chains “Phantom Limb” The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here came out last year, but I only saw this video a few weeks ago. Just like all the other videos from that album, it’s pretty amazing.


7) Faith No More “Motherfucker”


6) Kyng “Electric Halo” This is one that slid under my radar until I got to the “best of 2014” lists. Now I can’t get it out of my head.


5) Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt (2013) Pearl Jam deserve a big pat on the back for doing something they haven’t done in 20 years and releasing an album worth listening to. Way to go guys! I knew you had it in you!


4) Killer Be Killed


3) The Last Internationale Usually when I hear about a drummer’s side project I think… well, I don’t really give it any thought. But when that drummer is Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave I figure it’s worth a listen. This band doesn’t disappoint.


2) The Pretty Reckless Going to Hell


1) Monster Magnet “The Duke” A few sites have called this the best video of the year. And I’m inclined to agree with them.


Happy Boxing Day

We don’t celebrate Boxing Day here in the states, but I know I have a lot of readers from countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand where they do celebrate it.

So I wanted to do a post for this special day for all my international readers. Hopefully I understand this holiday.

Bad Religion – Christmas Songs

Bad_religion_christmas_songs(29 October 2013)

I’m not a fan of Christmas. I don’t like the cold, the snow or the rampant consumerism. I find it extremely ironic that a holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Christ has become cause for the biggest celebration of greed on the calendar. And I don’t care much for the never ending refrain of Christmas music coming from the radio.

But it’s that time of year. I wanted to review some Christmas music and I thought Bad Religion’s Christmas Songs would be a good choice. I expected some biting social commentary dealing with everything that I personally hate about the Yuletide season. But wait… what’s this? Their covering traditional religious songs?!

Of course they do a great job rocking out to these traditional tunes. I’m not a huge fan of the vocal opening on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” but once it finds it’s rhythm it rocks. My favorite track is “Angels We Have Heard on High” which reminds me of Patty Smith with it’s chorus of ‘Gloria, In Excelsius Deo.’

bad-religion-punk-crossbusterBut what disturbs me is a band that have always been secular to the point of adopting a ‘no parking for religion’ sign as their logo playing religious tunes. I feel like its a statement. I think they’re trying to say something here. I’m not entirely sure what they’re saying, but it’s something. And the fact that they include a version of “American Jesus” to close out the album only confirms that suspicion.

Maybe in their own way their proclaiming the death of Christmas as a religious holiday and its full assimilation into secular culture.

Or maybe they just wanted the revenue from a Christmas album.

Local Bands to Watch

I don’t write about local bands often because most local bands suck. And most of the ones that don’t suck aren’t very good. So instead of having them go jihad on my Facebook for pointing out why they’re playing to 20 people at the Foundry in Lakewood instead of 18,200 at Madison Square Garden, I’ll just point out the best.

Against All Odds Album CoverAgainst All Odds – I still haven’t gotten around to checking out these guys’ album, but if it’s anything like their live show it contains a lot of really fun, high energy, well written punk rock. And maybe a guy in a grass skirt and coconut bra.

Minimal Concern – These guys are more of a hardcore act than I usually go for. Maybe I like them because even though there’s a lot of screamed, unintelligible vocals, they still have a lot of melody in them.


Decepticon Theory – Usually I don’t get into metalcore at all. I find the genre boring and devoid of feeling. Decepticon Theory liven things up by playing ‘Nintendo-core’ and mixing in video game samples and singing about Pokemon. That’s just enough humor to bring me into the fold.

Faceplant JunkiesFaceplant Junkies – I used to be in a band with the singer that was a thrash-punk hybrid. I think I like this straight punk version of some of those old songs better.

The Last Show for Dimebag

It’s been 10 years since this happened, but it seems like a lifetime.

The Audible Stew

Every now and again someone mentions Pantera and Dimebag Darrell. And every time that happens the conversation turns to his murder at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, OH.

I don’t mention that I was there every time. Sometimes people talk so fast and so much that I have trouble getting a word in edgewise. And anyway… even if they asked what it was like I couldn’t explain it as well as I did in this story I wrote for a college class a few years ago.

It was originally published on Buzzbin Magazine’s Website, but it was brought to my attention that this link is no longer working so I’ve posted the text below.

I took this shot on a digital camera a few seconds before the end of the show. I took this shot on a digital camera a few seconds before the end of the show.

Flyer for the last Damgeplan show Flyer for the last Damgeplan show

I was expecting to see the best concert of my life…

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