Month: August 2013

NEW MUSIC + VIDEOS: Carcass Brings Polished “Surgical Steel”

It’s a good thing I don’t have a whole lot of time prior to making this post because otherwise I would be gushing incoherently, going on and on about how historical and momentous it is that after 17 years those boys from Liverpool, England’s Carcass are finally releasing a new album on September 17th in the States. The legendary progressive metal band reunited for festivals and some touring about five years ago, and there was always the hope for a new album. That finally got officially announced this past spring and was properly teased earlier this summer (see the teaser below). Guitarist/growler Bill Steer is a guitar god of mine and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker is legendary in his own right. Since original drummer Ken Owen suffered a stroke a decade or so ago, and second guitarist Michael Amott is too busy with his other two bands, Spiritual Beggars and Arch Enemy, the remaining original members are joined by some new blood: drummer Dan Wilding and touring guitarist Ben Ash. Long-time fans like myself will be …

SHOUT-OUT: Formative Years Roll Call!

Back in 1989 when dinosaurs roamed, 24 years ago this month I formed my first band, a little garage band called Metatrosity (with the C converted to an S for a better looking logo). That little metal band somehow created a 6-degrees of separation kind of family tree that included so many other local Indianapolis, IN bands throughout the 90s and even into the 2000s when a lot of us really started making noise. With such an early start I managed to play in four of those bands before adulthood/fatherhood. Today, we’re all a bunch of old men now, but, hey, those are our roots. So for no other reason than that I want to, I’m sending a shout-out to a bunch ex-bandmates from back in the day: Christophe Holmes, Pete Gossett, Tony Reitz, Chris Robinson, Jason Fredriksz, Michael Downton, Tom Roosa, Jon-Michael Gioe, Dave Lawson, Scott Manning, Tevlin Schuetz, Lyman Medeiros, Joshua Maloney, Nathan Striedinger, Jason McCash, Karl Simon, Charles R Brown, Paul Fox and honorable mention to Ross Ebert who was one o’ …

NEW MUSIC + VIDEO: THE WEEKND’s “Kiss Land”

One of two highly anticipated new albums for me in 2013 is Kiss Land by The Weeknd (Canadian-born Abel Tesfaye and his array of producers). Coming off the success of 2012’s triple-disc feature Trilogy (and the 2011 “mixtape” albums that it compiles) along with a break-out world tour, September 10th will bring the dark-themed r&b soul singer’s first “proper” release to worldwide fans (raising my hand) starving for more of his seedy tales set to sex-inspired chill-out beats (a la trip-hop and hip-hop), seductive basslines, and haunting melodies — all drenched in smoke, sweat and sin. Aww yeah! It’s The Weeknd, baby, and we ain’t leaving the bedroom until . . . oops, sorry, I got a little ahead of myself there. Although, from what I’ve read in the press, I’m getting the sense that this new album will be somewhat of a departure, though still very much carrying that Toronto-inflected sound that gave the artist his original platform. We shall see. Recently Tesfaye told Complex Music.com that “The only thing R&B about my [music] is …

READER: New To My Bookshelves

So as a person with a severe book fetish and addiction, I’ve been hitting up the library a lot more frequently this summer than the rest of the year. Two easy reasons for that: One – I’m currently unemployed; the body may be somewhat “at rest” at home, but the mind absolutely must stay active. Two – I’m doing research, evident by the stack of non-fiction that’s sitting on one of the shelves. What am I researching and what’s the research for? I’m researching the history of mankind, particularly the 18th & 19th centuries (recent stuff rather than ancient); diseases and pandemics that have spread throughout human history, and vampires. This research is for the on-again/off-again/on-again novel series I’ve been slowly developing since October 2009. The novel’s concept revolves around a unique kind of “living vampire” I’ve created as my own individual take on the sub-genre of blood drinkers. Why? Well, it started with the realization that my life partner/fiancee/wife-to-be (we’ll get around to it eventually) is an addicted vampire-geek. I thought, how the hell …

MEMORIAL: Long Live Elmore Leonard (1925-2013)

So, yeah. One of my favorite authors passed away a week and one day ago (August 20, 2013) at age 87. Born on October 11, 1925 (a fellow Libra), Elmore “Dutch” Leonard, who died due to complications from a stroke, was perhaps the greatest modern day crime fiction writer in American history and a huge influence on writers all across the globe, including me. He started out writing westerns in the 1950s before switching over to crime fiction in the late 1970s, which was fitting if you consider the fact that crime fiction was pretty much born in the law versus the lawless motif of western fiction. If the late great Mickey Spillane defined the hardboiled (rogue) detective aspect of fiction for me with his Mike Hammer novels, then it was Elmore Leonard who defined criminals as protagonist aspect of fiction for me with books like Get Shorty, Rum Punch, Out of Sight and Be Cool. All four of those became movies, as did a lot of his other books, but those four left the biggest …

BIRTHDAY: Happy 96th Birthday Jack Kirby

Legendary comic book creator/artist/writer/editor Jack “The King” Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzburg) would be 96 years old today had he not died on February 6, 1994 at the age of 76. Any reader of Marvel and DC Comics has probably been touched by at least the legacy of genius that was Jack Kirby through the characters he helped bring to life collaboratively with Golden & Silver Age comics greats such as Joe Simon, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and others (and in some cases single-handedly). Without Jack Kirby there would be no Captain America, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, The X-Men, Black Panter, Silver Surfer, Fourth World, Challengers of the Unknown and, yes, Young Romance. A lot of folks don’t realize that Kirby and his first mate Joe Simon had pretty much created the genre of romance comics during the Golden Age 1940s. But seriously, that list is just a small sample size which didn’t even included the plethora of colorful villains to thwart the abundant heroes). When I …

UPDATE: Countdown To . . . Four-Oh

In just 30 days (including today) I will enter a new phase in life, a new realm of existence, a new age demographic, a new set of numbers to equate a decade of life. Yes, I will turn . . . 40. Wow. Just to see the number in stark black and white is pretty stunning. But it’s not something that really creeps on you because by my age you will have already developed (almost daily) aches and pains in various joints, muscles, bones and what have you. Still, there’s the actuality of the momentous occasion happening. Considering the year I’ve had (there must be some truth to the bad luck of the number 13), I don’t think I’m in any position to complain about getting a year older. Celebrate life, not bemoan it, right? Just a month to go . . .