The Wisdom of Rock


I used to really enjoy deep and meaningful lyrics. I’m not sure what changed. Did I mature? It’s more likely that I did the opposite. What do you call that? Immatured? Yeah, I think that’s it.

I’ve immatured to the point where I tend to prefer songs about sniffing glue and smoking banana peels to anything the Eagles have ever done. But every now and again I still come across a lyric, and even in without any marijuana in my system I think to myself, “Wow man, that’s deep.”

So let’s celebrate some of the wisdom that somehow manages to seep through the crack and drip down on us, even though we don’t listen to jazz.

 

“If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice”

Rush “Freewill”

 

“You’ve got to lose to know how to win”

Aerosmith “Dream On”

 

“It’s better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do”

The Butthole Surfers “Sweet Loaf”

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The Best of 2016


Ahhh, it is finally time for my favorite blogging activity of the year: the “best of” list. I’ve come across a few already filled with death metal and/or indie rock that I have never heard, but I hope this list will have a little something for everyone. Then again, I didn’t see anything from my Amazon wishlist the last time I went to FYE so I’m pretty sure I’m out of touch with the times.

Bloody Hammers Lovely Sort of Death – This album popped up on my radar courtesy of Mr. 1537 and managed to beat out Al Jourgenson’s Surgical Meth Machine and Green Day’s Revolution Radio for the low spot on this list. I’m sure those artists will be pretty upset about that.

 

The Descendents  Hypercaffium Spazzium – This was a pretty good record, but it felt a little too of the moment. This album definitely sounds like it was made in 2016 and you can hear a lot of modern influence. For my money, I’d recommend Cool to be You.

Otep Generation Doom I got a little grief for enjoying this one, but I’m a sucker for militant, butch lesbians with anger problems.

Helmet Dead to the World – I managed to catch these guys live twice this year, which is unheard of for me at the ripe old age of 33. But they managed to impress both times (even with their singer being at the ripe old age of 56).

 

David Bowie Blackstar I would have loved to have listened to this one more, but I stayed away from it because of recent problems with depression. Hopefully next year I’ll get to spend a little more time with it.

 

Garbage Strange Little Birds

 

Weezer – The White Album After several lackluster albums Weezer have somehow managed to redeem themselves with the awesome Everything Will Be Alright In The End and now this one.

 

Rachel Bloom – My new favorite Jewess. Is that a racist term?

Local H Hey Killer (2015) This is one I picked up after reading a best of list for last year and it’s remained in constant rotation. This is my favorite track off the album. I was more disappointed that they didn’t play this when I saw them open for Helmet than I was by the omission of “Bound for the Floor.”

 

Leonard Cohen You Want it Darker – I’m not going to lie, when I listened to Popular Problems in 2014 I wasn’t thrilled. I’m not sure why, but something about it didn’t resonate with me. That’s definitely not the case with this album. This would still be in the top spot even if he hadn’t died this year. But it’s as great a swan song as anyone can imagine.

 

New Music Roundup Part 2


Fisher-Price Little People Animal Songs Sing-A-LongI’ve seen a few posts where people list the music they’ve bought and give a little commentary on it. I find these posts pretty interesting so I thought I’d try my hand at it. I was hoping to make this a twice yearly thing, but blame the state of the music industry for not putting out anything good for me to buy.

*This list does not include anything I have borrowed from the library and ripped to my computer.

13 June 2015 (Walmart New Philadelphia, OH)

Fisher-Price Little People – Animal Songs Sing-Along     $13

Nobody told me how different my music buying habits would change when I had a child, but I can’t expect her to enjoy GWAR or Acid Bath the way I do so I had to buy her something for long car rides. All joking aside though the guitar solo on “The Farmer in the Dell” is pretty bad ass and the drums possess a great laid-back Ringo quality.

 

29 June (Browse & Buy Resale Shop New Philadelphia, OH)

Roadrunner United: The All Star Sessions      $2.50

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Automatic            $2.50

I bought the Roadrunner United album when it first came out, but lost it somewhere along the way. It’s a really unique album where the label tapped four musicians to be team captains who led 57 artists from 45 past and present Roadrunner bands and produced the album. It’s definitely a one of a kind album and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to satisfy a metal craving.

I completely forgot about the Jesus and Mary Chain album. I think I still have it…

 

Greatest Shit9 July (Amazon.com)

KMFDM: Greatest Shit   $17.49

Finntroll: Blodsvept         $8.99

I picked up the KMFDM album after seeing En Esch last year and I hate to just get one album at a time so I grabbed the next thing on my wish list.

 

25 Oct (FYE, New Towne Mall New Philadelphia, OH)

Alice in Chains – Live & Unreleased  $3.99

Nirvana – Unplugged in New York     $5

Unplugged in New York was a replacement. My copy was scratched to hell. I grabbed the Live & Unreleased promo disc and was quickly disappointed when I realized it was song that were released later on their Live album. I’ll have to put it on eBay to get some other poor sucker.

 

GWAR-Scumdogs-of-the-UniverseI went on a bit of a GWAR kick after seeing them live last November. My collection isn’t complete yet, but I’m getting pretty close.

10 Nov (Amazon.com)

GWAR – RagNaRok  $8.35

11 Nov (Ebay.com ( jnientertainment ( 17042 ))

GWAR – Carnival of Chaos  $7.34

 

14 Nov (Ebay.com (swmcom11 ( 267 ))

GWAR – Scumdogs of the Universe – $20.74

 

The Best of Mozart6 Dec (Browse & Buy Resale Shop New Philadelphia, OH)

Elton John – Reg Strikes Back  $2.50

The Best of Mozart                    $2.50

I used to wonder how Elton John could go from megarockstar 70s icon to virtually unknown in the 80s. Then I listened to Reg Strikes Back. Have you ever heard it? No? There’s a reason for that.

The Mozart album is pretty good. It features cuts from his entire career. From his humble beginnings playing cover symphonies in Hamburg nightclubs, through his time as a backup player with James Brown, Little Richard and others and even his much chagrined “Fat Mozart” period.

 

20 February 2016 (Amazon.com)

Foo Fighters – Big Me                     $4

The Tea Party – Edges of Twilight  $ 3.91

Glueleg – Heroic Doses                   $ 3.97

Stay away from mikeladano.com. Seriously. If you go on that site you’ll end up reading about some awesome band that you’ve never heard of and the next thing you know they’re on your Amazon wish list. I mean, I don’t regret any of these purchases (Except the Big Me single which is just the single and not the Maxi CD single (Who knew there was such a difference?)) But I was perfectly happy not knowing there was an awesome band called Glueleg and if it hadn’t been for that damn website I probably never would have known.

 

Beezelbubba28 May 2016 (FYE, New Philadelphia, OH)

Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral $9.99

The Dead Milkmen – Beezelbubba       $1.00

I was looking to see if they had any Dead Kennedys when I came across the Dead Milkmen disc and I instantly knew I had to have it. Because it was “Buy 1 Get 1 for $1” day at FYE I replaced my old copy of the Downward Spiral while I was at it.

 

29 May (Bandcamp.com)

Mr. Clit & The Pink Cigarettes – Haircuts $5

(Amazon.com)

Local H – Hey Killer                            $8.99

The Descendents – Everything Sux   $9.49

Bad Guys – Bad Guynaecology         $8.99

Hey Killer is probably the best album of 2015 and nearly everyone missed it. Well, except for the guy that wrote that article telling me how great it was.

 

The Best Singers


live-sound-microphone

I really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog.

My “Best Guitarist’s” post from last week managed to stir the pot and spark a bit of conversation. I’m hoping this post will do the same.

Of course, the problem with a “Best Singers” list is similar the problem with a “Best Guitarists” list: What am I judging them on? Do they get points for creativity? Lyrics? Emotion? I try to weigh several factors and think I came out with a list that should have something for everyone.

But I’m sure I missed a few

 

Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantomas, About 12 billion others) – I like Mike Patton. He’s a phenomenal singer with a very impressive range. He should be higher on this list but I hate is that he has the same effect on grown men as the Jonas Brother’s have on 13-year-old girls.

GG Allin covered in his own shit and still singing.

GG Allin covered in his own shit and still singing.

GG Allin – To this day he’s the only man I’ve ever seen take a shit on stage and not miss a note. Not that that’s a good thing, but it is really impressive.

Simon & Garfunkel – These two were way more than the sum of their parts. Paul Simon always wrote great songs, but they never shined as bright without him harmonizing with Art Garfunkel.

Tom Waits – Anyone who can have such a long and prolific career while sounding like they’re gargling gravel and broken glass is OK in my book.

Layne Staley (Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Class of ’99) – The thing that always impressed me most about Staley was how he could take songs like “Rooster” and “Would?” that were written by Jerry Cantrell and pump so much emotion into them.

Meat Loaf – I’ve heard a few people say that they don’t enjoy the way Meat Load mixes opera singing with hard rock. That usually ends the conversation for me.

Adele – I love that deep, smoky, soulful voice. She sings like a black girl. Which makes me think I must be racist because I didn’t put Tina Turner or Gladys Knight on here.

Elton John – I want to make a gay joke here, but I’m not that crude. So I’ll just let Tenacious D do it.

 

Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, Solo) – Not only does he have the most impressive set of pipes this side of 1988, he also writes some of the craziest lyrics this side of Dax Riggs.

Leonard Cohen – In ‘Tower of Song’ he sings: “I was born like this I had no choice, I was born with the gift of a golden voice.” But I’ve heard some of his older stuff and I don’t think he really started to shine until the mid-Eighties.

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

 

The Best Guitarists


guitarist-on-stageI really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog. This one is rather difficult to pull off though. I mean, how do you compare Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison? They’re both great guitarists, but it’s like comparing your favorite burger to your favorite doughnut.

I’m going to try anyway.

I do realize I could just call this “My Personal Favorite Guitar Players,” but I worry that would take away all the controversy and I really enjoy when people comment about how I forget someone. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

 

Johnny Ramone (The Ramones) – He may not have been the most skilled palyer, but not many musicians have had the impact he did. Before Johnny no one played guitar solely with fast down picking. After him, an entire genre of music that did nothing else was born.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Solo) – He’s definitely not a traditional soloist, but he stands out in a crowd.

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains, Solo) – I’m sure being the primary songwriter for his band forces him to look at the guitar in a different manner than someone who composes as part of a group. His solos always feel like they belong in the song and were written to make it just a little better.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) – One of the best guitar solos of all time starts at 3:50

 

Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) – A Randy Rhoads solo disc would have been awesome wouldn’t it? He was amazing at writing these great instrumental songs – but within the songs that he was playing with Ozzy.

Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth 1990-99) I’m not sure who was doing what in the band at the time. I’m not that interested really, but I know they made one helluva team.

John 5 (Solo, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Two) – So far there’s only been one guitarist able to maintain my interest throughout an album and/or live show by just playing his guitar. I should probably check out Vai or Satriani sometime to see how they compare, but I’m pretty sure Mr. 5 will always be my favorite shredder.

George Harrison (The Beatles, Solo) – He’s definitely not the flashiest or speediest musician on this list, but he always seemed to know the right notes to play. Come on, could you imagine Mick Mars doing a solo on “Helter Skelter”? Or Steve Vai doing “Hey Bulldog”? Or Type O Negative doing a Beatles melody. (You don’t have to here)

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Jimi Hendrix (Solo, Band of Gypsys) – It really doesn’t seem right to include Hendrix on this list. He doesn’t come off as a guitar player to me. He really just sang through the instrument and like it was a part of his body. His voice and gyrating hips were his instrument, the guitar was just an extension of his body.

Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd, Solo) – “Dave Gilmore can do more with one note than most guitar players can do with the entire fret board” (That’s a quote I read from Dave Mustaine in an old issue of guitar world. Never have truer words been spoken.

 

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

The Best Drummers


drum-2I’m not a huge fan of the “Name Four Musicians to Form Your Dream Super Group” game. I usually just rattle off the members of Alice in Chains or Tool. Sometimes it’s fun to pick a trio or quintet and add or subtract a member, but that was never my game.

I do really enjoy “Best of…” lists though. And I thought it would be a good idea to do some for this blog. That’s not because I’m running out of ideas or anything. I swear I’m not. I’ve got tons of ideas. Make sure you check in next week when I do this with Bass Players.

 

Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies) – Wackerman lands on this list not only because of his awesome chops and stamina, but also for his great last name. It’s like his ancestors knew that someday one of their brood would become the drummer for a great punk band so they picked the coolest surname they could think of.

Frank Beard (ZZ Top) – Yet again, here is a man who’s name is as great as his ability to keep a beat. He gets bonus points for being the guy without a beard but having the name beard. God, will that ever get old?

Jimmy Chamberlain (The Smashing Pumpkins) – The best of the pumpkins if you want my opinion. And you must or you wouldn’t be reading this.

sexy drum machineMax Weinberg (E Street Band, Meat Loaf, Max Weinberg 7) – I had to add someone to make this list ten names. He was the most obvious choice.

A Drum Machine (Too Many To Name) – I was in a band with one of these for a while and I have a ton of praise for these guys. He was always on time (both for and during practice), never got too drunk to play, never had girlfriend drama and never threatened to quit. Aside from his lack of stage presence and sleeping with my old lady he was perfect.

Tommy Ramone/Marky Ramone (The Ramones) – I’m not sure if the trophy should go to Tommy for inventing the Ramones’ drum beat or to Marky for perfecting it.

Raymond Herrera (Fear Factory) – I’ll just let his feet do the talking:

 

Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander (Primus) – Both he and Larry LaLonde are pure geniuses just for being able to work with Les Claypool.

Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell) – Do you know anyone else who could come up with those great intros to “Angry Chair” and “No Excuses”? I don’t.

Neil Peart (Rush) – I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rush. I like them, but I can’t say I love them. Still, Neil deserves a spot on this list.

Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Probot, Scream) – I read him saying in an interview once that he is completely overrated as a drummer. And that may be true. He isn’t flashy, over the top or as machine gun fast as some other guys. But he has been very prolific as a timekeeper and has a knack for playing beats that accentuate the song without overpowering it. Sorry dude, you may be the best drummer ever.

The Best Bass Players


Page OneI’m not a huge fan of the “What Four Musicians Form Your Dream Super Group” game. I usually just rattle off the members of Alice in Chains or Tool. Sometimes I pick a trio or quintet and add or subtract a member, but that was never my game.

I do really enjoy “Best of…” lists though. And I thought it would be a good idea to do some for this blog.

I do realize I could just call this “My Favorite Bass Players,” but I worry that would take all of the controversy out of it. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

Billy Gould (Faith No More) – He’s not an extremely flashy bass player, but every so often you get a bit of flare that lets you know his chops could keep up with the best of them. I’ve always felt it takes more to restrain and play for the song than to shred.

Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) – McKagan isn’t really a bass player. He’s more like a rhythm guitar player who only has four really fat strings.

Jonathan Wolff (The Guy Who Did The Music for “Seinfeld”) – Really, he did all of that with a synthesizer. But I think he still deserves a place on this list.

Les Claypool (Primus, Flying Frog Brigade, Oysterhead, etc.) – Perhaps the only instance of a lead bass player in popular music. There are a few other’s who can turn the bass into the main instrument on the song, but Claypool is the only one whose album I ever bought.

 

Mike Inez (Alice in Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) – You may think I put him on this list because of my AIC fandom, but you would be mistaken. Inez makes his way to this list for being credited with “Inspiration and Musical Direction” on Ozzy’s No More Tears album. Seriously, how fucking awesome do you have to be to get that credit on that album?

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, G//Z/R) – But even with as awesome as Mike Inez is, he’s still lower on the list than Ozzy’s other main squeeze of a bass player. Geezer gets bonus points for writing some pretty awesome lyrics too.

Ryan Martinie (Mudvayne) – Mudvayne get’s a pretty bad rap for being lumped together with nu metal, but when it comes down to it they’re some pretty bad-ass musicians. And the bass player is the one who manages to consistently wow me.

Cliff Burton (Metallica) – You may think I put him on this list for being such a virtuoso and shredding all over the neck and doing stuff that people confused for guitar solos, but you’re wrong. Much like children, bass players should be seen and not heard.

The dude from AC/DC (AC/DC) – Who is that guy? Does he really exist? I know he’s been in the band for a while, but I really can’t think of his name. Like, we all know Angus and Brian Johnson. Then you have Malcolm there in the background and the drummer who does meth and tries to hire hit men. But who’s the bass player? In fact, I may be wrong here. AC/DC might not even have a bass player.

The Horror... The Horror.

The Horror… The Horror.

The dude from the White Stripes (The White Stripes, Local H, The Doors) – The greatest bass players should not only not be heard or seen, they should not even exist! Come one, who really cares about bass players anyway?

The Best of 2015


 

Bad Guys “Prostitutes (Are Making Love In My Garden)” Thanks 1537

 

Eyes Set To Kill – This album actually came out in 2013, but because I only discovered this band in 2015 it meets my rigorous and thorough standards to appear on this list.

Marilyn Manson  “The Pale Emperor

Ghost – Meliora

 

Coal Chamber/Fear Factory tour

Finntroll – Haxbrygd (Thanks to Mike Ladano)

 

The Death of Scott Weiland – I’m not trying to say this was one of the best things to happen this year, or even a good thing, but I don’t do a “Most Important” list so it ends up here.

 

John 5 finally goes on a solo tour

GWAR still Rocks!

Faith No More – Sol Invictus

 

Happy New Year!

 

Dave Grohl is the Chuck Norris of Rock


Dave Grohl can play guitar with his goatee.

Dave Grohl can play guitar with his goatee.

Have you ever seen all of those ridiculous Chuck Norris fact? Stuff like ‘Chuck Norris can blow bubbles with beef jerky’ or ‘Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch, he decides what time it is.’

Well I bet you didn’t know there’s a whole slew of them about Dave Grohl also. (Seriously, this is a thing. I definitely didn’t just make it up.)

Dave Grohl was born in Warren, OH.

Dave Grohl was born in West Virginia.

Dave Grohl was born in a log cabin made out of drumsticks.

Dave Grohl can play a left handed guitar upside down in the right handed position.

Dave Grohl can kill a man with rock.

Dave Grohl taught Chuck Norris to play bass.

Dave Grohls DNA is the same as that of Lemmy Kilmister’s warts

Dave Grohl was the original lead guitarist for Metallica, after he was kicked out in 1983

Dave Grohl sometimes pretends to be an otter

Dave Grohl sometimes pretends to be an otter

he formed Megadeth.

Dave Grohl’s parents had to change their name because people kept threatening to be adopted by them so they could be raised like Dave Grohl.

Dave Grohl sometimes dresses up like a nameless ghoul and performs with Ghost.

Dave Grohl holds the world record for largest drumsticks.

Dave Grohl holds the world record for largest nostrils.

The Dos Equis guy only ever listens to Probot.

The Pope kisses Dave Grohl’s ring

Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl’s beard trimmings have more talent than Godsmack and Three Days Grace put together.

Dave Grohl vs. Courtney LoveDave Grohl sent a letter to straight edge pioneer Ian MacKaye that was so profound MacKaye questioned his existence while embarking on three week bender fueled by alcohol, drugs and casual, premarital sex.

Buzz Osbourne from the Melvins is the only person in the world who doesn’t like Dave Grohl. Except for my neighbor Steve, but Steve is an asshole.

Courtney Love is the only person in the world Dave Grohl doesn’t like, which proves she is more detestable than Yoko Ono.

 

 

 

 

#bottom12onthe17th


When I was preparing my list for the Top 15 on the 15th I came across a few albums that were close, but didn’t quite make the cut. I’m sure this happened to everyone and I noticed at least on person included them on their post. I didn’t do this because the original post ran long enough as it was and I didn’t want to clutter it up.

After Boppin’s Blog made the suggestion of posting the close calls I found it too hard to resist doing a second post for the almost made its. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a nice list post.

Plus I’ll milk a good idea until it’s completely drained.

 

The_Crow_soundtrack_album_coverOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack The Crow (1995) – Definitely would have made the list if it had a better second half.

Fear Factory Demanucacture (1995) – I’m not really into heavy metal as much as I used to be, but this is still one of the defining records of the genre for me.

GWAR We Kill Everything (1999) – GWAR aren’t really a band known for their records. This one is the first I ever bought from them and features some of my favorite songs from like “Fucking an Animal” and “Fishfuck.” Classic.

Ministry Psalm 69 (1992) – Yet again, the metal thing. But this one is right up there with Pantera and Megadeth in terms of thrash brilliance.

Mudvayne The End of All Things To Come (2002) – This is what happened when good musicians played nu-metal.

Red Hot Chili Peppers BloodSugarSexMagic (1991) – I was surprised to not see more RHCP on the top 15 lists. This one is a classic, but for me it’s a Top 25 classic.

Meat Loaf Bat Out Of Hell (1977) – A classic hard rock album that has never been duplicated.

Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980) – Where would punk be without the Dead Kennedys? They’re definitely my favorite socially-conscious rockers.

Ozzy Osbourne No More Tears (1991) – I was also surprised by the lack of Ozzy on most lists; but yet again, Top 20.

Tool AEnima gifTool AEnima (1996) – This was right before Tool lost me in their strange heavy prog. But I love this album. Not just for the tunes, but also for the weird interludes.

Nirvana Unplugged in New York (1994) – It’s hard to pick a favorite Nirvana album because they’re all so different. I chose this one because even though it’s missing the loud, distorted guitars and scream-till-you’re-hoarse vocals it displays the beauty of Cobain’s simple songwriting skills.

Fiona Apple When the Pawn… (1999) – This album was right there with Madman Across The Water and Temple of the Dog on my list of “OK, I’m done drinking now and I want to go to sleep” list. As I always had trouble sleeping after too many beers I listened to it a lot. And I’m still pretty in love with it.