Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Four Horsemen


The definitive judgment

Sell-outs, metal gods, thrash creators, Hall of Famers – I just refer to them as ‘Tallica.

There’s a different breed of people found in metal. It’s like being a Marine; you may stop wearing the uniform, but you never lose the attitude. There’s just something tangibly different about the musical style and the following, the lifestyle that encompasses it. You can’t quite put your finger on it unless you join it and experience it. Once you live it, you understand. Once you understand, you’re part of a brotherhood.

That brotherhood can be witnessed at a ‘Tallica show; seen in the framework of their CDs and live concerts; and the videos and images from over the years. It’s what fueled their desire to spew out some of the greatest metal the genre has ever seen, and what disintegrated their reputation and the band. (specifically the line-up)

It’s been over 25-years since their first LP, Kill ‘em All. 25-years since their hair strung its way down to their shoulders and their faces looked like ugly teenage Muppets. Those were the days when James Hetfield’s voice sounded like he hadn’t hit puberty and Kirk Hammett looked like he’d been plucked out of a church choir… and Cliff Burton looked stone as ever. It was before Dave Mustaine and Megadeth hit the scene, as well.

25-years later they line-up is 1/4 altered. They’re approaching the big FIVE-O. A new rejuvenated sound is on the streets giving the young generation a taste of the old school thrash. The one thing that hasn’t changed, no matter how many haircuts and therapy sessions are in the books, is the attitude, is Metallica.

10. St. Anger

I don’t care what anyone says – I think ‘The Unnamed Feeling’ is a wonderful song.

9. Garage, Inc.

I listen to this because of ‘Turn the Page’, ‘Mercyful Fate’ and ‘Astronomy’. That’s about it.

8. Load

It’s tough to rank Load and Reload. Load has some of my all-time favorite songs on it by the Horsemen, ‘Bleeding Me’ and ‘The Outlaw Torn’, but Reload start to finish seems better put together. Then again it could be said that they’re one album to begin with. Like I said, this one is ‘Bleeding Me’ and ‘The Outlaw Torn’, along with ‘King Nothing’, ‘Until it Sleeps’ and ‘Mama Said’.

7. Reload

Most people hate Metallica for ever leaving their original style and going towards blues rock and whatever St. Anger was supposed to be. While I too am madly in anger with them over it, I also thank them at the same time because the change gave us countless classics. They may have sacrificed their initial creation of thrash but they didn’t give up on providing good music. Songs like ‘The Unforgiven II’ and others such as ‘Fuel’, ‘The Memory Remains’, ‘Devil’s Dance’, ‘Slither’, ‘Carpe Diem Baby’, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and ‘Fixxxer’ prove that.

6. Death Magnetic

I read once that this is what was meant to follow Justice. I agree slightly. If this had come out in say, 1990 or 1991, this would’ve been one of their best records to date. It’s Master of Puppets, Part II, only they’re in their mid-to-late 40s and with limited creativity and gas left in the tank.

5. Metallica

This ended up being what came after Justice, and for their efforts, they redefined metal, themselves, and in doing so have such classics as ‘Enter Sandman’, ‘Sad But True’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’, ‘The Unforgiven’, ‘Wherever I May Roam’, ‘The God that Failed’ and ‘My Friend of Misery’ to boast about.

4. Kill ‘em All

This is easily one of the best debut albums I can think of. Hearing this makes me wish Dave Mustaine had stayed in the band. His ability to create insane guitar sections and solos is unparalleled. Metallica, with the help of never having lost Cliff Burton, and Mustaine at guitar instead of Hammett, would without a doubt be the best thing in rock and metal in the last 30-years. Instead they’re just one of.

3. …And Justice for All

I wrote a review for this once on Metal Storm’s website. It summed it up pretty well: this was more of a therapy session than an album. Listen to the anger and anguish and you’ll get a sense of what I’m referring to.

2. Ride the Lightning

This is a band taking things to a level no one usually reaches on their sophomore effort. Forever one of the best metal albums, Lightning immerses you in a storm of hell and fire and forgets to turn off the heat.

1. Master of Puppets

There are no gaps; no fillers; no mistakes. The listener is never bored and their time never wasted. Everything is calculated and brought down with a hammer.

25. The Unforgiven II

I vowed to have something off everything they did minus concert releases. This is easily 1997’s Reload best and was a fantastic continuation to the ‘Unforgiven’ series.

24. The Unnamed Feeling

Like I said, I don’t care what you think. It’s haunting.

23. Astronomy

Sorry Blue Oyster Cult, but the mighty Hetfield’s bellow and roar decimates your original attempt.

22. The Four Horsemen

Talk about the self-promotion, eh?

21. The Day that Never Comes

Sure, it’s ‘One’s’ clone, but the sting is felt in a different way.

20. Fight Fire with Fire

Easily one of their most underrated tracks. I’d throw in ‘Ride the Lightning’ and ‘Trapped under Ice’ as well from the same record.

19. Whiplash

Blistering in its speed, unforgiving in its subject matter… Kill ‘em All’s fire is felt here.

18. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

The bridge and solo are electrifying.

17. Sad but True

Very simple and brutally heavy.

16. Turn the Page

While Seger got lost in the mystical powers of the saxophone, Metallica lets loose
soul from every corner of their abilities.

15. Nothing Else Matters

Can a guy get an anthem?!

14. For Whom the Bell Tolls

Such a basic drum piece closes this, yet it so effective. I slam my hands to its beat on my steering wheel when jamming to this. Probably ill-advised.

13. …And Justice for All

Titanic-sized. Politically charged. Justice seeking.

12. Dyers Eve

Such a gritty teenage anthem. This one’s for all the angry and disgruntled teens out there.

11. Enter Sandman

It’s like that freight train that’s coming your way, as told in ‘No Leaf Clover’.
Sandman is the terror in your head and the bad-assery you’ve always craved.

10. The Outlaw Torn

I read once that it doesn’t matter what Metallica ever does to their sound, just so that they continue to poor their heart into their music so much that it overflows from the speakers and into your lap. Well, well… I tend to agree.

9. Fade to Black

Think you need a way to convince a woman you’ve got a heart? Play this while you drive them home from dinner and watch, act, repeat.

8. Disposable Heroes

An absolute marathon. Run and/or walk 10-to-20 miles while rucking it and carrying an M-249 and you’ll know what it’s like to not only listen to this but be what it’s talking about.

7. To Live is to Die

The most emotionally charged creation of Metallica’s career.

6. Bleeding Me

Whatever I said for Outlaw, repeat here and savor.

5. Orion

I still can’t wrap my head around the process taken to make this. Maybe that’s because it’s from the mind of Cliff Burton.

4. Battery

I’d have to agree with a friend of mine who said that if Dave Lombardo or someone of the same quality were the drummer for Metallica, this would be their definitive track.

3. One

Machine-gun guitar, double-bass drums, and longhair – can’t top it.

2. Creeping Death

The introduction sounds like the front lines of a battle between greek gods and man. The break down that follows takes it into the skies where demons roam. Hetfield catapults it into biblical times and the scene of death and god’s wrath. ‘So let it be written, so let it be done, to kill the first born pharaoh’s son – I’m creeping death!’ This song features the greatest moments in Metallica’s live performances history, most notably declared during the crowd pleasing ‘Die, die, die (repeat)’ section, and when Het and newest over the years would combine for ‘mother fucker I shall pass!’ you truly ride the lightning during this one.

1. Master of Puppets

You don’t fully understand this song’s majesty until you experience it live. It’s crazy how they virtually created a bridge that dissects this into what could be two separate songs.

Must Have’s

S&M DVD and/or CD

Some may criticize a metal band for softening themselves and unplugging, like countless artists have done at this point. One can’t possibly scrutinize a metal band for adding a goddamn symphony to their classics in concert. I mean really… how can anyone go wrong, especially Metallica, by doing this. You can’t, and they didn’t. This is a remarkably fun experience and I kick myself for having been born in 1989 and not being old enough to have been at this 1999 concert.

Best Performances: For Whom the Bell Tolls, Bleeding Me, The Outlaw Torn, One, Nothing Else Matters

Live Sh*t: Binge and Purge DVD and CD

Concerts from various years and locations in Seattle, San Diego and Mexico City make up this compilation. The best piece of the pie is the video footage of the 1989 concert in Seattle, Washington. It is bar none the best footage I’ve ever seen of live Metallica play. It’s them at their highest peak.

Any Footage of the 1991 Monsters of Rock Performances in Moscow, Russia

Absolute ginormous in its attendance, the Monsters of Rock outdoor festival was a huge success. The fact that Metallica played was monumental and probably responsible for its memory. They were epic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What a Sad State of Affairs

Last post, February 26th, 2009? Tsk, tsk you guys. Tsk, tsk.

The now Army personnel is back to flex newly acquired and still growing journalist skills.

It's Wild Card Sunday. The Patriots and Ravens do battle in half an hour and I'm amped. Chili's in front of me. Slayer's on standby in case my roommate decides to do what he usually does in blasting his television at a ridiculous volume level. I intend to fight fire with fire.

Speaking of Slayer.


A Fan’s Perspective on the Greatest Speed Metal Band a Month before Seeing Them Live

Taboo: that’s what the name ‘Slayer’ has become. Then again, that would imply that they’re big enough to be recognized in society. It may have taken over 20-years, but they’ve finally made it. If making it to the point that when your band’s name is mentioned it brings chills down people’s spines or ghastly opinions of their “satanic lyrics” and “horribly loud and aggressive” style are quickly dispersed, maybe Araya and company are happy with that.

Comparing what they’re known for to that of the other Big Four members and now Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Metallica, it’s a bit more respectable around the metal scene. I’d rather be known as the meanest bunch of derelicts on the block that consistently unleash the most anti-societal and diabolical filth out there… instead of Napster, sweating bullets, or bringing the noise.
A few Grammy’s for songs off 2006’s Christ Illusion and a growing fan base has helped put their name out there more and more, along with appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Henry Rollins show pitched in as well.

This year’s World Painted Blood peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hard Rock albums chart.

It’s January 2010 now. And I’m only a month out from my first Slayer concert. It’s for the American Carnage tour and the leg of it I’ll be attending is in Houston. They’ll have one of the other Big Four representatives in Megadeth tagging along, with Testament, another thrash semi-giant over the past three-decades.

This is going to be epic. Not nearly as epic as the now confirmed Sonisphere Festival dates that will feature all of the Big Four together, but huge nonetheless.

And due to how cataclysmic it will end up being, I need to establish some things for myself.
For one, what am I going to do when Slayer hits the stage? I’ve made a habit of camping at the barricade and head banging relentlessly at other concerts. That’s fun and all… but this is Slayer. This is something different. This requires measures never taken before.
To start though, I’ll at least establish some things.


11. Undisputed Attitude

I’ve never liked punk. Even Slayer can’t make me like it.

10. World Painted Blood

It’s like a half-witted, gassed attempt at modeling Death Magnetic. It’s funny how the guys were on an equally lame ‘That Metal Show’ a while back and during a segment dubbed DM as “A nice attempt.” Sadly this is just that but slightly more painful. The drums don’t have the same thunder as they used to have. The guitar tunings are dreadful and so are the lack of killer riffs/shredding that we’re so accustomed to with Slayer. Lyrically it’s not as kick ass as in years past and Araya sounds fabricated. Definitely a lack-luster follow-up to Christ Illusion.

9. Hell Awaits

It sounds like this was recorded in a tunnel or cave. Fun record that shows splices of greatness.

8. Divine Intervention

There just doesn’t seem to be much direction here. It’s like a painting you see on TVor in movies, that appears to be where someone tossed paint in all sorts of directions with only a partial sense of purpose. Slayer knew what sound they wanted, but from that no attainable or real idea of how to express themselves. The group seemed lost from 1994 through 1998, and finally found a path to take in 2001.

7. Diabolus in Musica

Diabolus seemed to take the same fire they were seeking in ’94 and charge its battery. More sophisticated, more driven, more purposeful, Diabolus sparks the flame but still fails to revitalize the band. It continues the tradition of heavy, deadly riffs and subject matter Slayer’s known for, though… but that’s about it.

6. God Hates Us All

That path was found in 2001. The first of the threesome in the 2000s, God Hates Us All takes no prisoners. The first half is relentless both in its power and quality. The last half nose dives considerably. On another day it might fall ahead of the next album or two simply because of ‘Disciple’, ‘Threshold’, and ‘Bloodline’; some of Slayer’s coolest – and most brutal – songs. Slayer found a new flag to bear here and have carried it ever since.

5. Show No Mercy

Slayer’s first disc release not named Haunting the Chapel delivered extremely addicting speed metal. It foreshadowed what they were capable of and would contribute to the music scene from then on. It’s such a fun listen.

4. Reign in Blood

This is more about an entire compilation and its meaning to the genre than anything else. That or it’s just the fact that ‘Angel of Death’ and ‘Raining Blood’ lie within. It’s hailed as a defining record. I just call it an erratic epic with two of metal’s greatest songs as headliners.

3. Christ Illusion

Intense Slayer fans would scoff at this, I know. (Okay, maybe a little more than scoff) Christ Illusion has catapulted itself up my list of favorite Slayer works very quickly. Its pedal-to-the-metal attitude is never ending from ‘Flesh Storm’ all the way to one of their greatest achievements, ‘Final Six’. ‘Cult’, ‘Jihad’, and ‘Eyes of the Insane’ are other personal favorites. This is where finally what they had been striving for blindly since 1994 comes together and shows its face. It’s ugly… but I love it.

2. Seasons in the Abyss

There are moments on this one where songs become meaningless, skip able, or just sound like the one before it… then there are times when your mind is blown: ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Spirit in Black’, ‘Dead Skin Mask’, and ‘Seasons in the Abyss’. It’s more polished than anything before it; and anything that would follow it, for that matter. To me, Reign, Christ and this album are interchangeable.

South of Heaven

This is where Slayer peaked. Reign displayed their abilities in speed. South showcased the band’s ability to mature and use what they’ve done to create something far more dangerous. From the incredible two-song opener, ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Silent Scream’, to ‘Mandatory Suicide’ and ‘Read Between the Lies’, to the closer ‘Spill the Blood’, it’s flawless. Musically it transcends its predecessors and never was matched again in their careers.


20. Hell Awaits

The creepy words spoken at the beginning are both unintelligible and odd. It’s like being at a cult meeting and hearing the weird stuff they’d say before stabbing someone in the heart. The song explodes afterwards and eradicates the initial feelings. The deep, Satanic sounding bellow of “Hell awaits!” is classic.

19. Evil Has No Boundaries

I think it’s the poor production qualities of their earliest records that suck the fun out of them for me. I guess if they were played live I’d get the better end of the deal, as in most cases anything live is far better. Still, though, this one shines brightly.

18. World Painted Blood

It’s the only song I can consistently listen to presently off the same-titled album from ’09. Even ‘Psychopathy Red’ irks me.

17. Bitter Peace

Such a studly beginning, it makes me want to pound my chest.

16. Jesus Saves

‘Jesus saves no one!’

15. Spill the Blood

I can’t be the only one swept into nightmares while listening to this.

14. Jihad

The groove that Araya approaches this song with is fantastic. It proves just how innovative he can be. King never has failed to come up with something that Tom can run with. ‘Final Six’ and ‘Jihad’ are two of the best speed songs, musically and vocally, that Slayer have nailed this decade. The high pitched riffs that play sporadically are almost angelic, and the screaming of “Fuck your God!” seem more heartfelt than a Christmas card from grandma.

13. Spirit in Black

One of the best intros they’ve ever forged. The opening drum section by Lombardo is empowering.

12. Read Between the Lies

Lyrically invigorating. Like vinegar to a cup of coffee.

11. Cult

If there was a song I wanted to blast while driving by a church, this could very well be it.

10. Seasons in the Abyss

It feels like you’re lost in a dream during the introduction to this one. King and Hanneman’s step-by-step riffs are spell binding and everything else that makes up this classic begs for listen after listen.

9. Eyes of the Insane

This bar none features some of the best vocal execution of Araya’s career. He hits it every second of the way. You taste the grit and age of his voice during verses and the sting of his piercing screams during the chorus. This is just a fucking cool song.

8. War Ensemble

I still think Slayer and Metallica are the two greatest bands when coming up with spectacular intros for songs. This one is an example.

7. South of Heaven

I’ll elaborate more on the importance of this song later, but for now I’ll just leave you with how I love the entirety of this track.

6. Raining Blood

I still get a kick out of how South Park used this in one of their episodes. It’s probably one of the coolest moments in the series’ history. The entire introduction is epic.

5. Threshold

One of Slayer’s most brutal tracks, ‘Threshold’ sits right in the meat of 2001’s God Hates Us All, acting as an anchor to an otherwise lifeless back-end of the album.

4. Final Six

I wonder why this wasn’t included on the original release for 2006’s Christ Illusion. I’ve come to adore that album with or without this one. But once it was included… it took to a whole other level. Like from four immediately to five stars.

3. Disciple

Then again, this may be the song I’d play while going by a church. The opening explosion and the riffs that follow are invigorating like you wouldn’t believe. The only thing that can possibly top the aggression and the feelings one gets from it is sex. This is what may be their opener at the concert and if it is, I’ll go insane; as in bat shit; berserker…fucking ape shit.

2. Angel of Death

Can the lyrics of a song ever be so genuinely vile? ‘Angel of Death’ is proof that one’s own sick mind can be put down on paper and into song. There is never a dull moment at all here. This has to be one of the most fun songs to ever sing along to.

1. Silent Scream

The flow between ‘South of Heaven’, the opening track to the same-named 1988 classic and my favorite record by Slayer, is perfectly executed to this dazzling piece of wickedry. I love the subject matter and the lyrics that King came up for this one. It’s one of Slayer’s most sonically sound and pristinely crafted musical works. And for whatever reason no Slayer fan I know agrees with me.
'Disciple' and the remainder of my Slayerized playlist in iTunes is prime and ready. I'll bring the pain if need be. Time for football.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Videos -- Volume XI

As of Tuesday, March 3rd, I will no longer be a civilian. I'll be flying off to the new frontier, aka: my future. And the immediate future holds in store for me a lot of things, first taking me to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where I will be yelled at, forced to run, perform pushups, fire weapons, and keep my bed made better than even my mother ever forced me to.

If you havent picked up on it, I'm talking about the U.S. Army's Basic Training. And why am I telling you this? Well, because this is the last time I'll ever blog here. Never seems a bit strong, but I'm under the impression that after all the things I'm about to experience in the next five years will be so wonderful that I'll surely forget the existence of this blog and how no one ever read it -- other than the authors, of course!

Anyway, I figured I'd do one last post while I'm relaxing in the comfort of my dwindling teenage life, and bring you the 11th edition of The Videos. One for the road, if you will.

1. Set to Fail, Lamb of God

I was watching some clips today of Henry Rollins and how he loves to express his anger. It was a Top 10 rants list and one of the clips was about Henry ripping modern rock music along with the shitty garbage he loathed so much, rave music. He hit on something that truly made me laugh: it seems like so many bands are sounding the same today, and that everyone appears to want to be nice. To paraphrase Mr. Rollins, what ever happened to bands that wanted to terrorize everyone with their music? The bands that wanted to shock the world with every album they released? That it seems like most bands werent born with balls and lack testosterone. While I'm sure he was referring to artists like Fall Out Boy, Nickelback and My Chemical Romance, he was undeniably not talking about Lamb of God. Exhibit A, my friends.

2. Burden, Opeth

I love fresh music. Whether it's a classic created decades before you ever existed, or something that just hit the streets the day before, listening to new material always has a unique feel to it. Listening to Lamb of God's Wrath three-times yesterday was incredible; I jammed to it in my room and on the other two occasions, driving to and from various locations with the volume cranked beyond any safe level. With Opeth's Watershed, it's no different. Regardless of how this is a video that slices three-minutes off the actual song's length, it's still holding the beautiful power of the track off the album -- an album I've probably listened to ten times already.

3. Get On Your Boots, U2

Is there anyone bigger than U2? The new single off their set to be released album Horizon is pretty all over the place, but who ever said erratic is a turn off? Beyond the interesting lyrics and edgy guitar play (just let that one go), is an intoxicating need to get up and move being exhibited from this song and the way its performed. So when they say get on your boots, they really mean it.

4. Wavin' Flag, K'naan

I havent heard K'naan's new album Troubador yet, but seeing how The Dusty Foot Philosopher was a big hit for the Mac Daddy, something tells me it's gotta be dynamite. And with the help of this little number, it makes it even more believeable.

5. Bleeding Me, Metallica

This is how I wish to exit. A mesmerizing track from a section of their career that most try to push from their memory, "Bleeding Me" is one of their most complete songs and underrated at the same time. The 1990's was a decade for grunge music and the birth of nu-metal, and while all that went down, songs like these went unnoticed. May it go noticed now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Videos, Volume X

Top of the three-days before the Super Bowl to ya! Yes, yes, I know... one must seperate one love from another. Tsk, tsk. Moving on, trying to forget the terrible introduction that I've refused to delete, here's volume 10 of The Videos.

1. N.I.B. - Black Sabbath

OZZY, OZZY, OZZY... OI, OI, OI!!! Back in the 70's the man known as the Prince of Darkness and daddy to those who watched him on MTV, Ozzy Osbourne, fronted the heralded band and father of metal, Black Sabbath. OK. Beyond the obvious. Straight shootin': This is a track off their debut album that took a whopping two-days to record. Ohh, yeah.

2. Fear of a Blank Planet - Porcupine Tree

Up until a few days ago I'd never heard of these guys. You'd figure I would've with a name like that, but this title track to their 2007 album Fear of a Blank Planet definitely should be noted by rock enthusiasts. The video for it condenses the song by roughly three-minutes, so it's adviced that you check out the actual album version, not to mention the rest of the album as well.

3. Closer - Kings of Leon

I dont know what movie the maker of this custom video used but the song is a sure-fire classic. The vocals are flawless and soulful in every syllable uttered. This is one of those songs I listen to when I'm in a chill mood. Dont you just wanna flow with the motions of life when you hear this?

4. Fell on Black Days - Soundgarden

I'm not one who likes grunge a great deal, but when it comes to that genre of rock the likes of Soundgarden's Superunknown, and Alice in Chain's Dirt are the two albums I more than stomach, but enjoy. There's a load of classics off Soundgarden's 1994 genre-defining record, and this is just one of them that gets constant radio time. Thankfully I dont listen to the radio or else I'd get sick of this song.

5. Mind's Eye - Wolfmother

Most of the vids I found for this had embed disabled, so we'll just have to make do. Sad that these guys are no longer together because I sure as hell saw potential in their debut album. Even the guys from Jackass did.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Working On A Dream: A Quick Review

Heading into this listen I was expecting this to be a minor effort from Springsteen; in the same vain of “The Ghost Of Tom Jones”, “Devils & Dust”, and “Tunnel Of Love”. Thankfully, the fact that this may be his most satisfying album in a while is a great surprise. “Magic” was really, really good, but that album was more short bursts of power than drawn out fist-pampers. “Working On A Dream” flows better and has more variety. A quick rundown of the tracks with ratings (1-5 stars):

1. Outlaw Pete- The best song on the album to kick it off. This is 8 minutes of pure, old-school Springsteen. Just absolute awesomeness in every aspect. Reminds me of Jungleland. The harmonica bit that comes in the middle also reminds me of Supertramp’s “School” opening. A fantastic song. 5/5

2. My Lucky Day- By far the most addicting and easy song to love on the album, the hook is a monster and the lyrics just barf happiness. No one else is better than The Boss at revving you up with energy and here’s a great example. It’s such a simple track, but who cares? 4.5/5

3. Working On A Dream- It takes you a while to warm up to this one, but it’ll eventually get you. It’s a little too sublime which holds the song back from truly jumping out. With that said, it’s still memorable and the pace does pick up as the song ticks on. 3.5/5
4. Queen Of the Supermarket- Juuuuuuuuuuuuust short of being great, nevertheless still very nice. One of the more bizarre tracks on the album as the lyrics go and look out for the blatant f-bomb The Boss drops toward the end (which is rare for him). 4/5

5. What Love Can Do- A nice little pop tune. Nothing more and nothing less. 2.5/5

6. This Life- It begins sounding like a Christmas song and then evolves into a graceful rock ballad. Has a hint of sorrowfulness in it. 4/5

7. Good Eye- Springsteen doesn’t throw too many curveballs, but this one is a knee-buckler. If I just heard this on the radio I’d think it was from garage bluegrass band. There lies the novelty of it though. Quite enjoyable 3.5/5

8. Tomorrow Never Knows- Pure filler. Not terrible, just instantly forgettable. 1/5

9. Life Itself- At first this sounded too rushed, but that’s just from the jumpy beat the song has. The odd thing about that is this song isn’t even fast. 4/5

10. Kingdom Of Days-One of the high points of “Working…”, this is the best ballad Bruce has done in a while. Really anthemic with a great melody. Sounds like an outtake from “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”. 5/5.

11. Surprise, Surprise- The lyrics are way too peachy and this song isn’t breaking any barriers, but it’s really catchy. All filler right here, but at least it’s fun to listen to. 2.5/5

12. The Last Carnival- Springsteen delves into “Nebraska” mode again with favorable results. Bizarrely arranged song that has a cool aura about it. 4/5

13. The Wrestler- Pure brilliance. Only way to put it. Springsteen could write about a toaster and make it heart wrenching. 5/5

14. The Night With The Jersey Devil (Bonus Track)- Gotta love the rollicking beat, Bruce’s fuzzy vocals, and that roadhouse feel. 4/5

Overall- 4/5 Once again, this is a really worthwhile listen that shows Bruce still has the creativity and range to make great, timeless music like no else can.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

DRK Proudly Presents...


How y'all doing today? Hope you don't have a foot of snow in your area of residence like we do here in northeastern Ohio. My name is Esco, and I represent the "Rhymes" wing of Dogs, Rhymes, and Karma. Anyways, apologies to chrono for never posting before this.
So, today I suddenly had the urge to write about producers in the hip-hop world. Now, in the beatmaking world, there are plenty of stars, just as in the emceeing world. Old timers like Kanye West, DJ Premier and the late J Dilla are always a treat to listen to, especially when paired with the right rapper, like say Eric B. & Rakim and Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth. Of course, as time goes on, more beat makers come into the light. Lately, Don Cannon has become this unabashed Pete Rock stan's favorite producer. The man's work is amazing. From Young Jeezy's "Go Crazy" and "Mr. 17.5" to Ludacris' "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Undisputed", Cannon has produced some of the most infectious songs in the last five years.

Anyways, off of Cannon for a second, production adds a certain mystique to a song. Any song that gets blessed by a Andre 3000 verse is special, but the dreary, almost eery beat in "The Art of Storytellin' Pt. 4" by Don Cannon (maybe we're not off him) adds a certain braggadocio to the song. Laid back yet in your face, the beat excels at showcasing the amazing lyrical skills of the two OutKast members. Whilst my rock-fixated brethren may find lack of change in chords or whatnot boring, hip-hop heads would certainly appreciate the beat for the purpose it so aptly serves, that as a platform for the emcee to showcase his skills. This, I believe, is a fundamental difference between rock and rap fans, the former thriving on the diversity and variety of sounds found in a certain song, while we hip-hoppers are simply satisfied by a beat that sounds nice and helps listen to listen to the performer's message. For example, the Nas song "The Message", deemed a classic by most rap fans, and would potentially bore most stereotypical rock fans. But that's neither side's fault. We're both products of our environment.

When it comes to pure beatmaking, another one of the greats around these days is Black Milk. His 2008 album "Tronic" was one of the best all year, but extremely slept on, right up there with Killer Mike's "I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II" and Ice Cube's "Raw Footage. The song "Give The Drummer Sum" has a beat might actually have the cross-over appeal to rock fans, due to the captivating drum beat in the back ground and an amazing horn sectin on the chorus. (While the rapping and hook may be annoying to those who aren't fans, keep in mind the beat is what I'm talking about.)

Well, I unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) have to cut this short.

One love,

Escobar Caesar III

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 - The List Review

Well, 2008 is obviously over, and I, Cardsox, am here to post up my lists for the best of '08 (that I was fortunate enough to listen to). And so, without further ado:

Top Albums:
20. Noah & the Whale - Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
19. Low vs. Diamond - Low vs. Diamond
18. E For Explosion - Reinvent the Heartbeat
17. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
16. The Republic Tigers - Keep Color
15. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
14. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
13. Sleeping Cranes - Good Fences
12. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
11. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
10. Sigur Rós - Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
9. Butch Walker - Sycamore Meadows
8. Nada Surf - Lucky
7. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
6. The Matches - A Band In Hope
5. Astronautalis - Pomegranate
4. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
3. Lydia - Illuminate
2. Forgive Durden - Razia's Shadow: A Musical
1. The Airborne Toxic Event - The Airborne Toxic Event

Top Songs:
25. Wolftron - Crystal Skulls
24. The Killers - Human
23. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
22. Noah & the Whale - 5 Years Time
21. Robot Love Story - North By Northwest
20. Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened
19. Fleet Foxes - White Water Hymnal
18. The Airborne Toxic Event - Innocence
17. Vampire Weekend - M79
16. Death Cab For Cutie - ...Cath
15. Wild Sweet Orange - Either/Or
14. MGMT - Time To Pretend
13. Butch Walker - Ships In a Bottle
12. Nada Surf - See These Bones
11. Forgive Durden - Life Is Looking Up
10. Alkaline Trio - Help Me
9. Lydia - Hospital
8. E For Explosion - Paper Flowers Never Die
7. Conor Oberst - Cape Canaveral
6. The Matches - Wake the Sun
5. Sigur Ros - Fljotavik
4. Sleeping Cranes - You Come Too
3. The Airborne Toxic Event - Wishing Well
2. Bon Iver - re: stacks
1. The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Videos -- Volume IX

Okay, so it's finally time for the NFL Playoffs to start. Finally, they're here. As I type, the first Wild Card game is at half with the Atlanta Falcons, the team I picked, up 17-14 over the Arizona Cardinals, a team most believe to be the worst division winner in playoff history, or at least since we've had the current format giving division winners a guaranteed home-playoff game opener.

Anywho, all this mess about football has gotten me into a good mood, regardless of the fact that I'm watching these games alone with nasty weather engulfing my house that's tucked away in what's practically a village. So much of a good mood that I'm not even remotely featuring a song before 2000 in this volume of The Videos. (O.M.G.)

1. Easy/Lucky/Free - Bright Eyes

I've never really investigated anything involving Conor Oberst, outside of the handful of songs I've been forced to listen to by fellow writer, Cardsox, aka Rob Dog. "Easy/Lucky/Free" was the first song, I believe, that I was introducted too. It goes by quickly as it flows ever so perfectly, and surprisingly, Obert's vocals actually are more than tolerable -- actually quite angelic. Oh, and the video is sweet too.

2. Runes To My Memory - Amon Amarth

I know almost nothing about Amon Amarth. The most coming from Metalstorm's ravings in putting its album Twilight of the Thundergod in its Top 10 for the best metal albums of 2008, and the record I was given today by another online buddy and fellow DRK contributor, chrono: With Oden On Our Side. To be honest, the only reason this video is here is for the synchronized windmilling. And the long, Viking like hair that's spun...

3. Young Men Dead - The Black Angels

The Black Angels are today's version of the '60's psychadelic rock. Get anyone from that era and they'll immediately start getting goosebumps out of wonder if the man known as Jim Morrison is somewhere in the room. Driving, pulsating, trippy and dark rock is what's brought to the table by these young guys in the album Passover, one of a handful of records they've released.

4. The Pot - Tool

Am I the only one biting my nails in anticipation for the next Tool record? 10,000 Days, like its two predescesors -- AEnima and Lateralus -- was a fantastic album, and also hard to categorize within rock's walls. This is one of my favorite tracks, right there with "The Grudge" and "Vicarious", along with other less talked about gems. There was no official video for this track but some people out there took it upon themselves. Here's an example.

5. All Nightmare Long - Metallica

Like zombies and apocalyptic destruction caused by the Russians? Then watch this video. Yeah, that's all I got here...

Damn, it's arleady 28-17 and the end of the 3rd quarter. What took me so long?

Friday, January 2, 2009

How I got into Rock Music

I'm Dyhard, or Dan, and this is my first post on here.

A couple of years ago, I use to be the normal kid who would listen to rap music and only rap music. I would listen to the local radio station, and listen to only rap/hip-hop. That was until in 2008, when I found two groups on the sports site associated with, and that site was FanNation. Those two groups that I stumbled on, where Dogs, Pigs and Sheep and the other was Karma Police. They both served a different purpose for me.

Dogs, Pigs and Sheep is the place that I joined first. That place helped me get into the classic rock, which is stuff like The Beatles, The Doors, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, and other artists like that. Those people who led the groups like that were LIFER, Mac and Coletrain. I have grown an appreciation for that kind of music, and that is the one thing that got me off the hip-hop/rap scene.

There was another group, Karma Police, they got me into what we like to call "Alternative Rock" and that has gotten me into Bright Eyes, Muse, The Bravery and other artists like that. That was led by Cardsox, DJTG and NomarFan with Chrono helping out. This is the kind of music that I now listen to the most.

These two groups is what found a music that I was craving for, and found what I had a drive to spend more for, and to buy albums. The first album that I bought was Smashing Pumpkins:Rotten Apples (Which is their Greatest Hits) which has opened up my horizons in my music purchases. They made such a good album with their greatest hits, that I had desire to look into different albums from them. I have not purchased any other albums from The Smashing Pumpkins, but that is on my list in the near future.

I'm finding new artists very frequently, and my knowledge is growing with every band that I find. The more and more artists I find, more artists open up to me through finding music made by that specific band.

2008 was a thrill-ride for me in the music department, and 2009 should bring a ride again that will be full of excitement as I uncover more and more different aspects of Rock, and there are so many artists out there to look into, and that has driven me to look for more Rock music.

Thanks everyone who has led me into this great genre of music we like to call Rock.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Slayer -- The Unholy Alliance: Live

I've made my choice: six, six, six.

Cult, Slayer

On June 6th, 2006, Slayer made the choice to start a tour with some of the best names in metal of the present day. Through a concert in Vancover, Canada, music fans everywhere were allowed to witness the ferocious wonder of Slayer, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Children of Bodom and Thine Eyes Bleed, as it all was captured by cameras that seemingly were placed in all the right places.

In today's metal landscape, bands like Lamb of God, Opeth and Mastodon are on top of the mountain. 10-20 years ago, Slayer, along with metal-titans Metallica, led the metal underground movement to possibly its highest point, fighting the glam scene and bringing the people true, primal metal in its purest form. It's remarkable that bands of such importance were able to take the same stage on one night, much less for an entire tour.

In this DVD that I was able to acquire through Netflix, you'll see performances of songs such as "Crystal Skull" (Mastodon), "Vigil" (Lamb of God), and "Silent Scream" (Slayer), among many more by those artists and the other two included in the concert, Thine Eyes Bleed and Children of Bodom.

P.S. It's educational, too. I didnt know how to conduct myself in a circle-pit while bands like Lamb of God performed until basking in this nearly hour and a half concert DVD.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Album of the Week: 12 - 29 - 08

I went to Best Buy today to use my $50 gift card that I received for Christmas. I had no clue what I was going to buy but I had a hunch that I'd find my way to the exstensive (and in actuality, the opposite) CD section in order to purchase some albums I didnt possess. I ended up getting the following: Opeth -- Watershed; Mastodon -- Blood Mountain and Leviathan; and The Mars Volta -- De-Loused in the Comatorium.

The album and artist I felt like focusing on was the one I opened up upon sitting in my truck and making my way to a Taco Bell, being Mastodon's 2006 release Blood Mountain.

This concept album telling the tale of Wear-wolf like being attempting to place the Crystal Skull at the top of Blood Mountain grooves through a 12-song track listing with decimating speed. There's plenty of brutish vocals and riffs to be had, along with some unique drum play that's adverse to the norm of modern metal. (although I still say the opening drums to "Crystal Skull" are a copy of Sepultura) The first three tracks blister by and open the record with a screaching bull-horn bellow.

If you're looking for great hooks and grooves accompanied by studio vocals and imaginitive story-telling than Mastodon's third album is for you. It perfectly leads into their 2009 release, Crack the Sky. 2006's number-one metal record fails to make you notice that there's a story being told, but in a way, makes up for it in its musical prowress. (acting both as a culprit and hero in this instance)

Just a Taste

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Videos Volume VIII: 12-28-08

I thought for my first edition of the Videos, I'd try a little something different genre-wise. Everyone of our bloggers has a different, exotic music taste, from the heaviest of metal to the most underground of pop. Me? I'm that one guy who listens to everything. You take a look at my iPod and you'll see everything from Metallica to U2 to MGMT to Casting Crowns. The majority of my music is, however, of the acoustic variety, most coming from Cities 97 City Samplers (If you don't know what those are, they're basically compilations of various acoustic versions of popular songs). My goal is to bring you songs from genres that get overlooked by many of our bloggers...basically said acoustic music, mellower music that doesn't meet the genre requirements of our other bloggers...

And without further ado, I bring you The Videos.

1. Bittersweet-Big Head Todd and the Monsters

To be perfectly honest, I've got no idea why I like this song. Todd looks like he got hit by a bus...several times...the lyrics are fairly basic...I dunno. I guess the simplicity of the song actually gets to me. It's not, in my mind, a true love song, as lines such as "We live together, but it's different from my dream" tend to show me that this is basically the story of the modern American marriage. It's not the true love he imagined it would be, but it's still love. I guess that gets to me. But seriously...he looks like he got hit in the face with a wrecking ball...

2. Jumper-Third Eye Blind

I love love love love love love love Third Eye Blind. (I don't think I used too many "loves"...) Their alternative rock style has always been one of my favorites, and Jumper is possibly my favorite song. The intro of this song is cool, with just the guitar, vocals, and the snare drum. Even though it's really a song that talks about someone so depressed they want to jump off of a ledge, it's still a very good song. I love the songs that don't really ever get all the instruments into the fold until the end, like this song. I just love this song...

3. A Lifetime-Better Than Ezra

Better Than Ezra...I've never really heard much from this band, but found A Lifetime just on my iPod randomly and fell in love with the song. It's a fairly depressing song (at least the intro), with an uplifting beat, amazing how many of those there are out there...hmmmm.
The soft to loud to soft pattern of this song is another one of my favorite styles, and one of the reasons I love this song. The lyrics are good, and the whole piece just fits together. Good song.

4. Absolutely-Nine Days

(I couldn't embed the actual video, so we get this crap.)

You've all heard this song, it's been around for a damn long time, and it's always been on the radio. Very good song, solid guitar part, solid lyrics...not much else to say...So how bout them Lions?

5. Take Five-Dave Brubeck Quartet

Jazz? Not played on a flute by Ron Burgundy? What has this world come to?!?!?! Well this may be my favorite jazz song ever, I've played it twice in school jazz bands and it never gets old. The 5/4 time makes it all the better, and the fact that the song is basically two extended solos is awesome. Any song that has a 2:20 long solo that actually is rhythmic and musical is awesome, and the song itself is masterfully played and is a wonderful and classic jazz tune.

Bonus: Scottish National Anthem played on Bagpipes

Why? Because I felt like it. That's why.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Various Artists - We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year

Various Artists - We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
Record Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: October 13, 2008

What's the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word "Christmas"? If you're one of 98% of normal functioning human beings, the answer is of course headbanging.

We've all heard the traditional Christmas carols a thousand times over, and ten thousand again. In the Yuletide spirit, this is not necessarily a bad thing; however, Bing Crosby's legendary "White Christmas" and Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run" can only be heard so many times before it gets a little repetitive to the ears. Even for most music fans here, the rock renditions of carols and collectively similar "original" tunes (which can be summed up with the following: "It's Christmas, baby, and I want you in my arms tonight") get a little old. That's where metal comes in to fill the void of originality.

Yes, metal music can be seen as the face of unoriginality. But let's face it: how often do you hear Christmas metal? As much as the two have a natural blend, it just for some reason never comes together. Perhaps it's the whole "worship Satan, praise the Lord of Darkness and his armies" complex going on, but that's just mere speculation. The lineup for this rollicking tale of Christmas death and destruction includes a ridiculous all-star cast, featuring Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper, Geoff Tate, Tommy Shaw, members from Testament, Motorhead, ZZ Top, Dokken, Kiss, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Ratt, Marilyn Manson, and others.

The record begins with a distant, peaceful chorus of "we wish you a merry Christmas" before steadily descending into a dark underrealm chant of "we wish you a metal Christmas." Clever! What a pun. After an energetic, phlegmy rendition of "Run Rudolph Run," Alice Cooper, completely in character, uses his usual campy horror-metal to turn "Santa Claws is Coming to Town" (another pun!) into a creepy stalker song. "He knows when your window is open. He knows when you're under your bed." Eventually it digresses into burning down decorated Christmas trees and breaking toys. Pleasant. Alice Cooper: scaring children away from Christmas joy one pine needle bonfire at a time. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" consists of a mix of Dio and Black Sabbath musicians (including Ronnie James and Tony Iommi themselves), and quickly becomes the album highlight with Dio's vocals. The vocals are immediately challenged, though, by the Freddy Mercury of metal, Mr. Geoff Tate (Queensryche). His trademark piercing-yet-pleasing holds ring out every 10 seconds or so in "Silver Bells."

Later on, we come to what is easily and without a doubt the funniest song on the completely serious record. What metal Christmas album would be complete without "Silent Night"? Not this one, that's for sure. After a 12 second onslaught of guitar, bass, and kickdrum, Chuck Billy (Testament) rips into the mistletoe microphone with the guttural roars that usually accompany the traditional headbanging carol. This continues for approximately four minutes, or until one simply cannot stand it any longer due to a) ear pain or b) rib pain resulting from ceaseless laughing. From there, "Deck the Halls", "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer", and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" lead into the album closer, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." Being my favorite Christmas song, I was ecstatic to see this track being played with minimal headbangage, because well, one can only take so much brain hemorrhaging until one is forced to bring the tempo and volume down. Tommy Shaw (Styx) croons out the classic John Lennon peace whore to acoustic guitar and melodic guitar play.

As a whole, this record is...interesting. The kick of wailing guitars and pounding drums was a smashing wake up from the serenity of fireside re-tellings of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with the family. None of these songs may be spinning under the ol' needle come Christmas morning, but it was definitely a worthwhile use of my precious music time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 - Album Review

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Coheed and Cambria

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is Coheed and Cambria's second album (the three in the title refers to the part of lead singer Claudio Sanchez's story, not the number of the album; C & C have yet to record the first part of Sanchez's The Amory Wars, the storyline which is the origin of the band's name and the idea behind all of their music). I downloaded this CD not long after attending a concert with my brother. (He had an extra ticket, so I tagged along to check them out.) However, I didn't listen to the whole album until almost a year later. For whatever reason, my interest in the band waned after the concert, and I moved on to other stuff. But when I returned to the band, I became more interested than ever. Why? It rocks.

The album begins with the customary Coheed and Cambria classical-style intro "The Ring in Return," before launching straight into the most epic track on the CD. No lie. If you listen to nothing else on Keeping Secrets, listen to its title track. The quiet beginning builds to a downright mind-blowing performance. The eight minutes goes faster than you will believe.

Next, we get "Cuts Marked in the March of Men," a good example of Coheed's ability to craft dual-guitar stylings, as well as a nice refrain. The album moves right along into "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)," an upbeat track with another solid refrain. It's nothing spectacular, but it's another fine case of C & C's musicianship and knack for counterpoint. You'll also get a postively mystifying lyric: "On the wrong way out / On the causeway to neverwhere."


Anyway, in "The Crowing," we get a chance to hear Coheed and Cambria's method of repeated notes with chord changes, followed by one or more melodic sections, then returned to the sparse foundation of intermittent strokes, then ended by an echoing melodic section. Included in a recent "The Videos," "Blood Red Summer" gives us a single-friendly song, but that shouldn't be taken the wrong way. It's an enjoyable song and the way the ascending and descending guitar fits with the punctuating chords of a second guitar is nothing short of fascinating. Like many people, one of my biggest weaknesses is a catchy vocal improvisation, and you'll get that from about 2:43 to 3:08.

The album then enters the three-part "The Velorium Camper" section. This is a pattern on Coheed and Cambria albums to have a section of a few songs set off on their own. "I: Faint of Heart" is an interesting song, though nothing very praise-worthy. "II: Backend of Forever" is another nice effort, but once again, I struggle to find anything especially noteworthy. "III: Al the Killer" is by far the best of the trio. It's menacing guitar at the start shows a dark side of C & C, but when it opens up, there's a great change of pace, at which point we hear yet another great refrain, complete with excellent harmony.

"A Favor House Atlantic" is the pinnacle of this album. It's no surprise that this is the most radio-friendly song from this album; it's not as drawn-out as "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3," and it has more energy and a better refrain than the other shorter tracks. If you attend a Coheed and Cambria concert, you will hear this song. And you will hear girls screaming the refrain, which begins coherently,

Bye, bye, beautiful
Don't bother to write

but ends with what appears to be nonsense.

Disturbed by your words, and they're calling all cars
Face step let down, face step-step down

Huh? This is probably an instance when the comic books' material simply doesn't translate to music without proper explanation.

The second-to-last track is "The Light & the Glass," the slow song of the album. This isn't really what you look for from a prog band, but while the nine minutes are a little long, they aren't a total loss. The song has some good spots. It closes with another rendition of the opening theme. And that brings us to the close of the -- BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! There's a hidden track!


Meh. Personally, I could do without it. Even without "21:13," the album is already just seconds away from an hour long. The last track pushes it to 69 minutes, 24 seconds, which, quite frankly, is too long. If you're going to make a 69-minute album, it had better be the best freaking album ever made. I like In Keeping Secrets, but enough to give it that kind of praise.

Anyway, I give In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 four stars out of five. Even if it's a little dull at times, there's no way I can overlook the sheer magnificence of the title track, the catchiness of "Blood Red Summer," the powerful "The Velorium Camper III: Al the Killer," and the spirited "A Favor House Atlantic." If you're looking to explore what Coheed and Cambria has to offer, I'd recommend this album, and the following one, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Videos: Volume VI -- 12 - 08 - 08

Volume six is here, finally. It's an extra special edition, too -- everything featured are live performances. (OOOooooo... ahhhhhhhhh)

Let's get to it.

1. The Drapery Falls - Opeth

I figured I might as well put this here seeing how I just blogged about Blackwater Park the other day. I'm in a bit of awe in the fact that these guys are so good live. I had a thought that some of what we hear on their albums are merely products of the studio, but that's not the truth whatsoever. Mikael Akerfeldt is slowly becoming a new hero of mine. Just need to hear more than just one of their albums...

2. Viva la Vida - Coldplay

I know, we've all heard this song and seen its video a kagillion times... but they're up for a few Grammy's so they're just the flavor of the people right now. That, and I just got their latest album and felt compelled.

3. The Dope Show - Marilyn Manson

Dont tell me you're not intrigued by this man's every move. You'd be lying. Like his music or not, Marilyn Manson is a figure in modern music and its culture. Songs like these and performances of them like this one are just a fraction of what his legacy will be.

4. Wonderwall - Oasis

To me, everything I've heard from Oasis is generic and average, and helps remind me that artists like Metallica, Pantera and U2 were truly the biggest bands of the 1990's. (Crap, Nirvana too I guess) But I felt like I needed to feed someone out there after stuff by Opeth and Manson, so here, does this suffice? If not, take the fact that I enjoyed the video here as a consolation.

5. Instant Karma - John Lennon

Karma just knocked O.J. Simpson in the face recently -- wonder if he saw that coming. All in all, we all shine on, while The Juice looks like he'll get his squeezed in the slammer for the next 15 or so years. Lame joke, I know. It's past midnight, gimme a break!