Category Archives: News

Sorry About the Hiatus

Hey guys,

I know I haven’t posted for a while; I’ve been busy having a SUPER COOL grown up full-time job as an online marketing intern for Top Draw Inc. It’s a web development/design/online marketing company here in Edmonton. They gave me access to their website’s blog, and they haven’t taken it back yet so I took advantage and posted an article about what it’s been like to work here for the first week. If you want to check it out, here it is. If not, please be patient and bear with me and I’ll publish some awesome face-melting posts soon.

GWAR’s Dave Brockie

So back in 2012, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing GWAR live at the Edmonton Events Centre. I had listened to them before, I knew what they were all about, I knew that they dressed up and sprayed blood on people and put on a hell of a show. But nothing prepared me for what I experienced that night.

It was the weirdest, most messed up, most hilarious, most entertaining show I have ever been to, by far. The props alone were ridiculous. And their costumes — oh my god. For those of you who don’t know what they look like on stage:

Gwar In Concert - Los Angeles, CA

They’re basically borderline satanic orcs whose slogan is: “We’re GWAR and we’re going to kick the shit out of you.” The people I went to the show with made me buy a plain white shirt, which they assured me will be forever known as my “GWAR shirt”, and thank god I listened. That shirt is now basically 100% red.  I had to throw out my contacts when I got home because they were tinted red too. I had red teeth, red arms, red hair. They know how to put on a hell of a show. But sadly, on March 23rd, GWAR’s frontman Dave Brockie, AKA Oderus Urungus, died. The cause of his death is still being determined, but what is sure is that the metal genre lost a legend. I don’t know if GWAR is going to continue without him. It wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t; they had been together since the very beginning of GWAR in ’84. I remember I actually saw Dave Brockie at the show without his mask or costume on. He was rocking out to Cancer Bats, one of the opening bands (and one of my personal favourites). I just thought it was so cool that he was able to enjoy the music without barely anyone recognizing him before he goes on stage and rocks everyone’s brains out. It was cool that he had created a sort of alter-ego for himself.

Rolling Stone Magazine released an article with previously unseen, rare photos of the GWAR frontman. Go take a look, it’s a really cool album. This one’s my personal favourite:

20140324-gwar-04-x595-1395757930

Him and his mask before a show.

RIP, Oderus Urungus. Thanks for the coolest friggin’ show I’ve ever been to.

 

 

All Images Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine

QOTSA’s “Smooth Sailing”

Queens of the Stone Age finally released the music video for their song “Smooth Sailing” yesterday. The song is from their 2013 album …Like Clockwork, and was the song that stood out for me during my first listen-through of the album.

The video is extremely weird, but what else would you expect from Josh Homme? Nothing less than a bunch of business men getting screwed the heck up, that’s for sure. I’ve watched it a ton of times already since its release yesterday. It’s just beyond entertaining and SO QOTSA.

Check it out!

 

All images courtesy of Google images.

Pono — Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

“PonoMusic takes all the musical goodness of artist-approved studio master recordings and puts it at your fingertips. Nothing has changed, but everything is gained, with resolutions from 6 times that of an mp3 to more than 30 times that of an mp3, depending on just how great the recording quality was on that original “high resolution” master.”

That quote was pulled from the official website for Pono — Neil Young’s new music player. In case you missed it, Neil Young is now raising funds for a new music download service that focuses on “high quality” recorded audio. It’s supposed to launch this October.

Neil Young started with all this Pono stuff almost three years ago, but the topic didn’t get much awareness until his appearance on The David Letterman Show, where he showed off a prototype of the player and explained what he was trying to do. In a nutshell, Neil Young aims to turn digital music around by getting music lovers and listeners closer to the quality of music as it was created by the artist. He points out that even the CD is a dumbed-down version of the original master recordings, devoid of its dynamics and detail, never mind an MP3, which can have as little as 5 percent of the original information.

The “PonoPlayer” will cost about #399 with 64GB of internal storage. It also comes with an additional removable 64GB micro SD card. The Pono press release stated that the PonoPlayer can store 100-500 high-resolution digital-music albums. The PonoMusic online store will sell earphones and headphones suitable for the portable music player.

Trent Reznor said, “Anything that elevates music back to where it should be is inherently cool. I have great admiration for Neil Young as an artist. But as a device I can’t pretend it doesn’t look a bit like a Toblerone.” And he has a point.

pono

I don’t know, it’s not too bad. I guess I could get used to it. What do you guys think? Are you interested in getting one in October? Will there be a drastic difference in sound quality and overall listening experience or will it simply be a waste of money? It’s a cool concept either way.

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

“It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll”

When it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ACDC said it best. It takes 25 years after the release of an artist’s first debut album for them to become eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And that’s a long, long wait. If I had started a band when I was first born, which is a stupid analogy but just go with it, I’d still have to wait five years to be just eligible. And the wait alone isn’t guaranteed to get you in. You have to demonstrate some contribution to the “development and perception of rock n’ roll.”

This year, Nirvana joins a list of artists who were immediately inducted in their first year of eligibility. The list includes Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Elton John.

A lot of artists will be eligible for induction within the next five years.

The Notorious B.I.G. will be eligible in 2019; his debut album Ready to Die came out in 1994.

Outkast will also be eligible in 2019. Their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (yeah, I dunno) came out in 1994. They’ve won six Grammys so far.

Weezer will ALSO be eligible in 2019. Their debut album Weezer came out in 1994, along with seemingly all the other debut albums in the world, ever known to man.

Dave Matthews Band will be eligible in 2018. The group’s first album Remember Two Things came out in 1993.

Dr. Dre will be eligible in 2017; The Chronic came out in ’92.

Rage Against the Machine will be eligible in 2017. This makes me extremely excited because I loved their debut self-titled album, even though it came out in ’92, before I was even born.

2Pac will be eligible for induction in 2016. His debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, hit the shelves in ’92.

Blur will also be eligible in 2016. Their debut album Leisure came out in late 1991.

PEARL JAM WILL BE ELIGIBLE IN 2016 and if they aren’t immediately inducted, I don’t know what I’ll do. Ten came out in ’91.

Smashing Pumpkins will be eligible in 2016. Gish came out in ’91.

Hole will also be eligible in 2016. Pretty on the Inside came out in 1991. Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain could be reunited.

Green Day will be eligible next year. 36/Smooth came out in 1990.

Oasis’ Definitely Maybe came out in ’94, making them eligible for induction in 2019.

Beck will be eligible in 2018, 25 years after the release of Golden Feelings in 1993.

Radiohead will be eligible in 2018, 25 years after the release of Pablo Honey in 1993.

Just to quench your thirst for knowledge, here’s a list of all the Rock and Roll inductees so far since 1986.

What do you think? Will any of these artists get inducted immediately or at all?

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

April 5th: Sad Day for Grunge

Yesterday was not only the anniversary of the day that we lost Kurt Cobain, but also the anniversary of the day we lost legendary grunge icon Layne Staley, singer and co-founder of Alice in Chains. He was found in his apartment after dying of a drug overdose eight years to the day after Kurt Cobain killed himself. They even both died in the same town — Seattle.

3419961390_0d9fbaea7d

The self-destructive Alice in Chains frontman had struggled with depression and drug addiction his whole life, and it showed in his songs. He used most of Alice in Chains’ songs to describe the demons in his own life — most of them being about drug abuse, depression, and self harm. This set Alice in Chains apart from the other grunge metal bands in the ’90s, and made them one of the “Big Four” of grunge, along with Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. Layne Staley knew the end was near for him. In his last known interview, he said, “I know I’m near death. I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way. I know I have no chance. It’s too late.”

Alice in Chains has sold around 25 million worldwide, released two #1 albums and 21 top 40 singles, and has received eight Grammy nominations. Their album Dirt is one of my all-time favourites, and I was lucky enough to hear them play my favourite songs when they played Rexall last July with new lead singer, William DuVall (who’s pretty much the coolest-looking guy ever).

alice-in-chains-sonisphere-festival-2009-day-two-20

William DuVall joined Alice in Chains in 2006, four years after Layne Staley’s death. And holy hell, he’s a perfect fit. I know that no one can replace Layne, but he sure does his work justice. Layne Staley’s parents went to the first live show that the band played with William DuVall, and they met him after their set, crying, hugging him, and telling him what an amazing job he did. The band released two new records with William DuVall: Black Gives Way to Blue in 2009 and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here in 2013. Both albums still have the signature dark, troubled, grungy-metal sound that made the band as successfully as they became.

The show at Rexall was phenomenal. They did a tribute to Layne Staley, and it sounded amazing. It was eerie how well DuVall nailed the vocals, and I’m so glad that the band decided to keep their name and keep recording and touring, even though they initially didn’t think there was any chance they were going to.

Yesterday was the day in history we lost both Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, and it’s famously said that one burned out while the other faded away. Both were extremely troubled and even more talented. After Staley’s death, tons of songs were dedicated to him, not to mention Metallica’s Death Magnetic album, which was a tribute to him and everyone who destroyed themselves in the name of rock n’ roll. Layne Staley may be gone, but his signature disturbing sound lives on with Alice in Chains and new singer, William DuVall.

“Would?”, from Dirt, released in 1992.

“Stone”, from The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, released in 2013.

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

Queen & Adam Lambert

Earlier this week, it was announced that Queen with Adam Lambert are doing a 19-date North American tour this summer, stopping in Edmonton on June 24th.

This isn’t the first time original Queen guitarist Brian May and original drummer Roger Taylor have teamed up with Adam Lambert. They first performed together in 2009 on American Idol, then performed at the MTV European Music Awards in 2011, then in 2012, they collaborated again for a series of shows around Europe.

Brian May said about the tour:

“This happened organically with Adam. People are going to ask whether it’s Queen without Freddie. I don’t know. We just want to go out there one more time. Adam isn’t an imitator.”

Roger Taylor added that Adam is “the most incredible frontman.” As if the world didn’t already know, Adam Lambert is a diva, and Taylor says that’s been great for them, that they need that theatrically.

To me, this trio seems to know what they’re doing. Still, people are boycotting the tour, saying that it’s “wrong” without original frontman Freddie Mercury. That it’s not Queen without him. People are bashing Adam Lambert, saying that he’s not even close to being deserving of touring with the original members. A guy on Facebook even said: “I’m not going to pay money to go watch a karaoke session.” But, is that really what this tour is going to be? People are acting as if Freddie Mercury was Queen. Yes, he was an idol. He was the face of Queen. But there were other people in the band. And the fact that those legendary rockstars are wanting to tour one more time, even with a different singer, is beyond exciting. And I think Adam Lambert has a great voice. Yeah, he’s annoying. But he can do Freddie Mercury justice. May and Taylor wouldn’t be collaborating with him if he couldn’t. Adam Lambert has said that Freddie Mercury is his idol, his hero, and that it’s been surreal to be honouring his memory. I trust the dude.

I’m not going to pass up hearing “Bohemian Rhapsody” live. I’m going to be able to tell my future rockstar kids that I saw the legendary Queen live. It wasn’t all the original members, but hell, it was closer than I thought I’d ever get. What about you guys? Are you boycotting the tour, or are you going to go rock out to “We Will Rock You” and “Fat Bottomed Girls?”

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.