Friday, October 30, 2009

seen the man at the liquor store

Halloween is tomorrow, are you ready?

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

Not really a Halloween theme but an artist that most would at least recognize in name, or for his big single from this record. Hope you'll check it out.

Thanks to all for reading.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

In the News

short few here..

Two MIT students, spending only $148.00 invented a camera system that can take pictures of the earth from almost 18 miles above. Using a Styrofoam beer cooler, a Canon A470 compact camera and a helium balloon. The camera was set to take photos every 5 seconds. The keep the system "warm" they used hand warmers and a GPS cell phone to track where it landed.

Every year, about 8.8 million children under the age of 5 die of pneumonia, diarrhea and other diseases worldwide, with 40% of the deaths occurring in Nigeria, Congo and India. - Associated Press

When Henry Hudson discovered Manhattan 400 years ago the island was hilly forests, wetlands, meadows and had more plant species that Yosemite had today. The human population was about 600 Native Americans. The New York Times.

Harvard University's endowment fell by 27.3%, or about $10 Billion dollars, in its latest financial year, to just $26 Billion. - The Boston Globe

In 2009 about 47% of all U.S. Households, or 71 million, will owe NO federal income tax. Most of the households that pay no taxes earn less than $30,000 per year.

Cash for clunkers - U.S. auto sales fell 23% in September. GM's sales slipped 45% while Chrysler's were down 42%. The Wall Street Journal

The top 10 U.S. airlines collected $670 million in checked baggage fees in the second quarter of 2009, a 276% increase from the prior year. - Business Week

Sales of "regular cell phones" fell 10% in this years second quarter, but smart phones pick up the slack, increasing sales by 15%. The Economist


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Metalocalypse Tour - House of Blues, Boston MA 10/28/09

Metalocalypse: Dethklok & Mastodon with Converge, High On Fire
House of Blues, Boston, MA
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I will admit, when I first read about this tour I was unsure what to do. Was Dethklok the headliner? I will admit I don't know anything about them, but I was wondering how a "cartoon" band could be a headliner but that is a story for another day. I've been digging Mastodon for a few years now, and their latest cd Crack the Skye is probably a top five, if not top three cd of 2009 for me so I just had to get a ticket.

Set times were going to be rough, but being an old man it is nice to have shows go early. In reading I found that High On Fire was set to go on at 6:30. I headed to the city and actually was inside the venue as they started their first song.

I've been a fan of High on Fire for probably longer than Mastodon, and have seen then a few times. This was their best sounding show I've seen (getting out of the real small clubs helps). Their set was spirited but really short (30 min). Lead singer/guitarist Matt Pike, shirtless as always, did his best to fire up the early arrivals. Drummer Des Kensel and bassist Jeff Matz held down the sludgy, stoner set with some heavy back beats and bass bottom.

Converge was next at about 7:15. I have to hand it to the crew, they turned that stage over quick. I didn't know a thing about Converge but they seemed to have their followers. Guitarist Kurt Ballou took the stage alone and worked some looping guitar cords. It was far too long and really not very good. The rest of the band took the stage and spent the next few songs trying to work out the monitor kinks. Lead singer Jacob Bannon bounded around the stage like a crazed man, working the folks up front in to a frenzy. He was seen speaking to audience members and even tossed the microphone to the audience for a sing along. Bassist Nate Newton was equal to the task on the stage presence..he was just all over the place.

Their set did nothing to win me over though. The vocals were completely incoherent, with some songs simply sounding like "UHH UHH" sung in a growl/gravel tone. They may not have done a lot for me, but more than a few sweaty bodies in Converge shirts passed me coming off the floor at the completion of their set.

Mastodon took the stage about 8:15. The band performed Crack the Skye in full and then took a short break before coming out for 4-5 more tunes.

Touring with a keyboardist filled out the sound a lot and added a great touch. There were tons of visuals. Each song had its own visual. Not sure what they were. Sort of looked like old foreign horror films.

Troy Sanders (bass/vocals) was at the middle of the stage with guitarist/vocals Brent Hinds to his right and second guitar player Bill Kelliher to his left. Drummer Brann Dailor was behind Sanders but not on any sort of riser. The stage was filled with a wall of amps.

In reading the fans web site message board some fans are sort of put off that the band doesn't say much to the audience, while others don't care. The band batted through the set and didn't say a word to us but they did point out to the audience from time to time. Hinds did say "See you tomorrow" when the set was all done but that was it.

The band didn't need to say much, they really just hammered through their set. All in all it was a spot on rendition of the album, but the mix was off just a tad. There are some BRUTAL moments on that record that were sort of left out there. For example the third track "Quintessence" has this great tempo shift that is follwed by a monster of monsters guitar riff..and it was sort of missing in the live setting.

Overall, I was very pleased with their set. Seeing a record like that in full was great and the other tunes tossed in only sweetened the pot.

I didn't stay for Dethklok. I wanted to check them out, at least some, but the floor was getting fuller and fuller with people and since I didn't know much about them I was really unsure if I was "missing" anything. I may regret it, or it may have been the right decision at the time.

The same bill is at the House of Blues in Boston again tonight and the tour runs until November 21st. Was also told the new High on Fire cd is due out in February.


Friday, October 23, 2009

The chills that you spill up my back...

Still no Halloween costume eh? Same here.

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This week we are back in the realm of a band you probably have heard of. Read, listen and groove.

Thanks to all for reading.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Echo and the Bunnymen, Great Scott, Allston MA October 18, 2009

Echo and The Bunnymen
Great Scott, Allston, MA
Sunday, October 19, 2009

A few weeks ago I was combing facebook or twitter, and I saw a post noting that Echo and the Bunnymen were going to do a one, off, super small club show at Great Scott. In reading the capacity of the venue is between 220-240 persons. It was a ticket I just had to at least try for.

Day of ticket on sale I sat on the main sale page, clicking refresh from time to time and then shortly after 10am I got a message "No tickets available". Oh, well at least I tried, but was surprised the tickets seemed to be "sold out" before they even went on sale. About 20 minutes later, on a whim I tried again, and actually scored a single ticket (which is all I was after).

Sunday came, and snow was flying. Yes, you read that right, it was snowing. Parking near the club had me worried so I left a little earlier than I'd liked to for a regular show, but that pro activeness was worth it. The snow slowed everyone down and I think the timing was perfect, as I was about 50 yards from the front door in a "legal" parking spot.

The doors were at 9, but the band was still sound checking when I arrived so we stood in the wind, rain and snow. Finally about 9:15 we were let in. I made my way towards the front part of the room and just took up residence. I was about 10 feet off the stage off to the right some, but I was close.

Finally, at about 10:30 the band took the tiny stage. Lead singer Ian McCulloch was decked out in a pea coat, and wore sunglasses for the duration. Guitarist Will Sergeant was to his right and the rest of the band filled in. (keyboards, bass, second guitar).

The band opened with "Going Up" the lead off track from their debut album "Crocodiles".

The band would mix around their long archive of songs, but it felt woefully short. (1hr and 5 minutes?)

The band was strong, but sort of seemed to be going through the motions. Ian would speak to the audience only on rare occasions, sort of having a sleepy drawl to his delivery. When he sang he sounded great, and that is what mattered, but it being a small venue and "special" would have been a little cooler to connect with the audience.

Will rolled through his guitars, swapping out time and time again. He'd really strum, wave the ebow and shoot some rock star poses from time to time.

Here is the full set list:
Going Up
Show of Strength
Villers Terrace
Strormy Nights
Forgotten Fields
Seven Seas
Bring on the Dancing Horses
All That Jazz
Think I need it Too
Back of Love
Killing Moon
Nothing Lasts Forever
Lips Like Sugar

It was a fun and neat night for sure. I wish the band was a little more aware and made more of a connection with the audience. This was a hardcore bunch of folks with a median age of probably 31, if not older. A little longer, a little more friendly and it would really have been something, but all that said I am glad I went.

Some shots:


Friday, October 16, 2009

I want to live in a city where the air is clean

Blasting forward to the middle of October. Have you picked out your Halloween costume yet?

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This week a one and done band. The singer would have more success with his prior band, so he went back to that after this "branch out"

Thanks to all for reading.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Raveonettes Boston show and cd giveaway!

Boston area music fans take note! The Raveonettes are headed to Boston for a show on Tuesday, October 20th at the Paradise nightclub.

Tons of info!

You can stream the album here.

Or you can check out "Last Dance" or "Suicide".

Love it all, and just can't wait? This is the only link you need.

To celebrate we are able to give away up to three copies of the latest cd "In and Out of Control". All you need to do is submit your mailing information to
laokas2002 at yahoo dot com. Be sure to put in "Raveonettes cd" in the subject line. Contest ends Monday October 19, 2009 at 12 Noon ET. Contest open to US residents only.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In the News

Been a little here goes.

A 75 year old New York man recently donated his 320th pint of blood, bringing his lifetime total to 40 gallons. The man first donated in 1951 and has donated about 6 times per year since.

A Florida bank refused to cash a check for a man with no arms because he could not provide a thumbprint. Even with 2 forms of photo id the bank still refused. The bank has since apologized.

Two girls, aged 10 and 12 trapped in a storm drain in South Australia, decided to seek help using their cell phones to update their facebook status rather than calling for help.

The US now has 2.3 billion square feet of self storage space which is about 7 square feet for every citizen. New York Times Magazine

Nearly 90% of all home loans originated in the U.S. this year were either funded or guaranteed by the federal government. The Washington Post

A 99 year old woman from Jerusalem passed away recently and left 1,400 direct decedents, 11 children, 150 grandchildren and 1,000 great grandchildren, and it was even reported a few hundred great great grandchildren.

A 19 year old from Pennsylvania broke in to a home and stole some jewelry, but left his facebook account logged in to the victims computer.

There are more that one billion people worldwide that are experiencing "chronic hunger". New York Times

By the end of this year, half of the fish consumed in the world will have been farm-raised. - Washington Post

85 to 95% of bills circulating in the US and Canada contain traces of cocaine, up from the 67% in 2007.

More that 31 million bags by airlines last year. About 1.4% of all bags did not arrive at the destinations at the same time as the passengers. About 1.8 million bags were lost altogether. - Wall St Journal

Since 2007 myspace has deleted 90,000 accounts because they were created by registered sex offenders. Harper's

Within 10 years, for the first time in the history of mankind, the number of people in the world aged 65 or older will be greater than the number of people age 5 or younger. - Washington Times

Americans swallow an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar a day in the form of soft drinks, candy, cookies and processed foods. For teenagers that goes up to 34 teaspoons. Associated Press


Monday, October 5, 2009

Some random stuff...

Don't have a ton to say but felt like writing just a little.

Met with my boss today about vacation and sick time. Come January 2010 I will have been at "Innitech" for 15 years. One of the "perks" come that time is you no longer accrue sick/vacation time. I like to say its "unlimited" time. I know, I know its not really "unlimited" but I don't have to worry about taking time off so much.

That being said, and me being the stellar employee, I have over 480 sick hours accrued..and was told today..that come my 15th Anniversary I "lose them". Too bad he knows I just had a flu shot eh? Too bad there is no payout either. The good news is I need to do the same w/vacation time. I have about 2.5 weeks as of I think we are looking at some short weeks for the rest of the year!

In sports surprise to readers of this blog I was happy to see the
Providence Bruins back on the ice yesterday afternoon. They opened the season with a strong 6-2 win against the Springfield Falcons. They got off 49 total shots over 3 periods. It was a good time as always and I am going about once per month for the entire season.

Speaking of hockey, today is the last day to enter for the "Winter Classic". I've entered about a dozen times...part of me wants to go, the other part can't be bothered..outdoor game, in January..on New Years Day..this is a crap shoot for sure.

Finally..movies. I've been sorta wanting to see more of the classics as of late. There are so many "best of" lists its hard to keep track. Today, I decided to just look at the Top 250 Movies as picked by readers on Now, I can't say they are the true judges, but they are movie fans right? So here is the breakdown of the top 20.

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
2. The Godfather (1972)
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966) (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly)
5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
6. Schindler's List (1993)
7. 12 Angry Men (1957)
8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
9. The Dark Knight (2008)
10 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
11. Casablanca (1942)
12. Star Wars (1977)
13. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
14. Shichinin no samurai (1954) (Seven Samurai)
15. Goodfellas (1990)
16. Rear Window (1954)
17. Cidade de Deus (2002) (City of God)
18. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
19. Fight Club (1999)
20. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I am kinda actually impressed with myself. Of that 20, there are only four that I have not seen..and 2 of them are the Lord of the Rings. (I know, I know...) but I'll toss it right back at you and ask why you have not seen (insert any of the movies here you have not seen). The other 2 are "12 Angry Men" and "Casablanca" both of which were already in my Netflix queue. I've seen parts of Casablanca, but not the whole thing "unedited" if you will. That is sorta how I called it "viewed".

Friday, October 2, 2009

They're the types that make me sick

Happy first Friday of October.

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This week, a female fronted band that for some reason never got to be very big, even with some modest radio play. Another lost/forgotten gem.

Thanks to all for reading.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mono with Maserati - Middle East, Cambridge MA September 30, 2009

The Middle East (Downstairs)
Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Support: Maserati

I have been going to shows for a lot of years. In all those years there are very few that were just sorta "ehh" and the polar opposite is the shows that change you forever. As the seasoned concert goer I will sit through about anything at least once but I prefer to see/hear bands I like. I was lucky to finally see Maserati play on Wednesday, September 30. The Georgia based band was opening for a favorite of mine (Mono) so it was a killer double bill.

Arriving at the show I noticed the drum kit sitting towards the front lip of the stage. Things like that you notice. The four guys took the stage shortly after 9pm and then proceed to just kill. Most of the focus is on drummer Jerry Fuchs. For the aforementioned location of his drum kit, but also for his pounding groove laden fills. Flanked with guitarists to his left and right and bass behind him the band gave a spirited opening set.

The sound man figured out the Middle East downstairs room as well. The venue has low ceilings and things can get washed out easy. I've never had a bad time but have friends that just don't care for the venue for this very reason. Two songs in I was thinking it was the finest I had ever heard it in the room. The guy in front of me leaned to a friend next to him and I could hear him say "In all my years of coming here this is the best I've ever heard a band here". Could not have agreed more with that.

Their set list:

no more sages
we got the system to fight the system
show me the season
(a new one yet untitled, song the band has been calling it "chug")

After about 30 minutes Japans very own post rock icons (to me at least) Mono took the stage. The band still sets up the bulk of their gear so they leave the stage to a very nice symphonic piece and then proceed to run the gamut of blowing back your hair to having you on the verge of wondering what is next.

Tamaki (bass) stood towards the middle of the stage with Takaakira "Taka" Goto (guitar) and Yoda (guitar) on each side. Yasunori Takada settled behind the drum set and we were pretty much ready to roll.

The band was in fine form and each song seemed to be more engaging than the last. For as excellent as they are at keeping us on the verge, slowly building and building until they all hammer down and blow our minds and hair back there are the few dolts that need to scream during the interludes, or just have conversations. Is it that hard to sit and listen for 1hr and 15 minutes? Really? The only other thing I'd like to see is the band to move in to small theaters. They didn't sell out the 575 capacity room on this show but a small theater setting might be better for the band. Taka and Yoda sit for a lot of the show and you just can't see them for the bulk of the show. Tamaki stands center stage and really lets the music take her over. I guess I'd like to see more of the band. They are a listening experience for sure vs. a visual.

I've seen Mono at least four other times (here is one of the few reviews from the past) and this show was on par with all the others I have seen. No one stands out as being stronger and they have always had good bands with them that I wanted to see (Pelican/High on Fire for example).

Always a good show, see em with Maserati if you can for an excellent 1-2 punch.

My camera is really not the best in low light. As you can tell, but this is Yoda from Mono:

A group shot of Maserati tearing it up:

My recording of both sounds good. I'll look to upload once I confirm the set lists etc.

Mono official site here.
Maserati site here (official)