Friday, December 21, 2012

He Did It!!!

Been wondering why we're still here, even after the Mayans clearly and precisely (with no room for error) predicted the End Of The World? Well... here's why...

See... this is why The Doctor is awesome.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Green, Cee Lo - "Cee Lo's Magic Moment"

Green, Cee Lo - Cee Lo's Magic Moment
2012, Elektra/Asylum

1. What Christmas Means to Me
2. Baby, It's Cold Outside
3. This Christmas
4. The Christmas Song
5. White Christmas
6. All I Need is Love
7. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
8. Please Come Home For Christmas
9. Run Rudolph Run
10. All I Want For Christmas
11. Mary, Did You Know?
12. River
13. Merry Christmas, Baby
14. Silent Night

I like Cee Lo. I like that he doesn't take himself too seriously. He's like all, "Yeah, I'll wear a giant peacock costume while I play." Or, "I want a Mr. Bigglesworth-cat to stroke while I'm on The Voice." My wife likes to call him "the black Elton John." Cee Lo's Christmas album is a lot of fun too. I heard "Merry Christmas, Baby" on the radio and I really liked it (it features Rod Stewart) so I decided I'd check this out. I like "What Christmas Means to Me" and "All I Need is Love" - the latter of which features the Muppets. I also dig the acapella version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." It's also nice to see "Mary, Did You Know?" and "River" two songs that I don't think get enough treatment. Probably the only thing I have a problem with is the duet with Christina Agulera: "Baby, It's Cold Outside." The problem isn't that it's bad, the problem is that Christina cannot just sing a line. She has to fill it with trills and fills and whatnot. Vocal acrobatics do have their place but it's not in this song. I also had to get used to some of the more R & B type songs as that's not really my style. Overall, though, it's a solid Christmas album that my entire family likes.

Useless Fact: Did you know Christian comedian/singer Mark Lowry wrote "Mary, Did You Know?" Yep he sure did. And it's been covered by a lot of secular musicians - not the least of which is Kenny Rogers, who looks a bit funny now that he's had some "work done."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - "The Christmas Attic"

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Christmas Attic
1998, Lava

1. The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
2. Boughs of Holly
3. The World That She Sees
4. The World That He Sees
5. Midnight Christmas Eve
6. The March of the Kings/Hark the Herald Angel Sing
7. The Three Kings and I (What Really Happened)
8. Christmas Cannon
9. Joy of Man's Desire/Angels We Have Heard On High
10. Find Our Way Home
11. Appalachian Snowfall
12. The Music Box
13. The Snow Came Down
14. Christmas In the Air
15. Dream Child
16. An Angel's Share
17. Music Box Blues

I quite enjoyed Christmas Eve and Other Stories so I picked this one up the other day because it was five bucks. "Christmas Cannon" gets played on the radio a lot. Apparently, people rush out and buy this CD thinking the whole thing is like that song and are rather disappointed when it turns out to be a rock opera. Since I knew what to expect I had no such trouble. It's a good touching album with only one single problem. One of the vocalists is awful. He sings on the first couple songs. His voice is loud and deep and doesn't seem to mix with the music. It sounds like he's just yelling half the time. I'm almost embarrassed to play those songs for other people. Aside than that, this is a solid Christmas album with some pretty poignant and beautiful songs. The story involves the angel from the last album and his new mission. I don't know what the faith is of the band, but their lyrics are more Christian than some Christian bands I've heard.

Useless Fact: I had a friend who saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. He took the "orchestra" part of the name a bit too seriously. He was shocked and appalled when he got a loud, bombastic rock concert.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sad Day Indeed...

Pour a forty on the sidewalk for one of my childhood icons...

Nintendo Power's very last issue was this month! I don't even own any of the current Nintendo consoles but I saw this and had to buy it.

When I was growing up Nintendo Power was second only to the Bible as far as important tomes go. It started in 1988 and lasted 285 issues. It was probably one of the most successful and most popular video game magazine of all time. The day a new NinPow came in the mail was a good one indeed. I read and reread every issue I had several times. Geeks will notice that the cover of the last issue mirrors the cover of the first issue which featured Super Mario Bros. 2.

Just another sign that I'm getting old....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Evergrey - "In Search of Truth"

Evergrey - In Search of Truth
2004, Inside Out

1. The Masterplan
2. Rulers of the Mind
3. Watching the Skies
4. State of Paralysis
5. The Encounter
6. Mark of the Triangle
7. Dark Waters
8. Different Worlds
9. Misled

My first exposure to Evergrey came with their "sellout" album, Monday Morning Apocalypse. If I recall I liked it but it wasn't something that completely enamored me. I've always wanted to hear some of their progressive stuff and I recently acquired several of their albums. In Search of Truth is one of the more popular ones as far as I know. It's okay. That's what's weird about it. The music is well-written and the vocalist is great, but I never really latched on for whatever reason. My other problem has nothing at all to do with the music. The concept is about alien abductions and what-not. However, the whole thing is just dark and moody (which is sort of their thing, I know) and it never really seems to resolve itself. It's just kind of a spiritual black hole - only you're sticking it in your ear. I'm going to listen to some of the other albums I have and maybe something will stick.

Useless Fact: Vocalist Tom Englund performed on Ayreon's binary album. I'm too lazy to look up the exactly 0110 combination.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free Holiday Music!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know about some free music I've found recently.

The first is Come Let Us Adore Him by Riki Michelle. She was a member of one of my favorite bands of all time, Adam Again. The album is very laid back, very chill. Sort of a cross between Nora Jones and Vince Gauraldi. You can find it at Noise Trade, where you can also leave a tip if you're so inspired.

The second is Fleas, Naughty Dog - Vol. 3. It's a compilation from Rottweiler records featuring bands such as Grave Robber (who is awesome), All the Departed, and Final Surrender. It even includes a brand new song from Lust Control! The music is mostly metal and rock. Check it out over at Indie Vision.

I do have some more reviews coming. I've just been in a nostalgic Christmas mood so I haven't really been listening to new stuff. On the way, however, are reviews on Evergrey and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fueled By Fire - "Spread the Fire"

Fueled By Fire - Spread the Fire
2007, Metal Blade

1. Ernest Goes to Hell
2. Thrash is Back
3. Striking Death
4. Spread the Fire!!!
5. Betrayal
6. Massive Execution
7. Metal Forever
8. Dreams of Terror
9. Command of the Beast
10. Chaotic Punishment
11. Put to Death

Spread the Fire was another gift from a friend. There's a sticker on the cover that says "AUTHENTIC THRASH METAL" - and they sure are. As if you couldn't tell by the thrash guy choking out the goth kids on the cover. Classy. They play a throwback sort of thrash metal, similar to Gama Bomb. Unfortunately, they don't do it with quite the style or fun of Gama Bomb. They certainly have the chops - chugging riffs, great leads, etc., but they don't have that sense of fun or nostalgia. Well, they do have some pretty muddy production like back in the old days, but that's not a good thing. It's a slog to get through and it shouldn't be, especially since I love this style. The vocals sound almost exactly like Gama Bomb too. So, in short, if you want to listen to throwback thrash - choose Gama Bomb, because they are awesome. Fueled By Fire? Um... not so much.

Useless Fact: Supposedly tracks ten and eleven are supposed to be "bonus tracks" but I don't think there's any edition of this disc lacking those tracks.