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I miss my LJ and LJ peeps

I'm still alive...

I miss my LJ and my LJ peeps. Lots of good times on this site, and it's a vault of my former self in written word.

The one thing I still hear about LJ is that it's a ghost town. At the same time, I'd love to use it again given I haven't found a blogging platform I like. Blogger sucks, WordPress sucks, and Tumblr sucks. This was the original and the best blogging site of them all.

Writer's Block: Live action hero

Which is your favorite or least favorite comic book-turned-movie?

I would have to say that my favorite comic book-turned-movie would be the original 3 X-Men movies. I think a lot of people were excited for the first film when it came out in 2000. I remember going to see it on the opening day to a packed movie theater, and it did very well for its entire opening weekend and beyond. The story line for the first film was great, and all of the characters were perfectly crafted for that film. Plus Hugh Jackman, who was then unknown at that point, gave such a great performance as Wolverine. The 2 films that followed were also good. As far as the prequel goes, I can say that I didn't find it to be horrible, but I didn't find it to be all that impressive either; I felt the same way about the origins movie on Wolverine. 

My least favorite was Daredevil. I think it could have been much better. Ben Affleck was probably not the best choice for the role of Daredevil. I think the movie had a lot of bad writing to it, and a lot of the action scenes were quite terrible. I recently read somewhere that they are considering giving Daredevil a reboot, and Jason Statham has been bugging the studio to give him a chance in the role given he's a huge Daredevil fan. 

Fleet Foxes

After hearing Captain Sensible from The Damned say that he loved the first Fleet Foxes album, hearing some of their stuff last year, and picking up their most recent album, "Helplessness Blues," I have to admit that I've become quite a fan of their material. If you're not familiar with Fleet Foxes, they're a Sub-Pop signed band from Seattle, WA that combine British Folk, American Folk, and a sense of psychedelia into their music. It's been labeled as 'Baroque pop" as far as labels go. They've put out an EP and 2 LPs. They were first discovered due to file sharing, Myspace, and their music spread around to where it gained the interest of Sub-Pop records.

The songs are beautifully crafted with perfect harmonies, the songs have some very deep lyrics, and they have a sound that critics have tried to use to spark a war with Mumford & Sons as far as who does it better. The band's SPIN Magazine and Rolling Stone articles and photos have made them icons to the hipsters (whatever the hell that whole "hipster" thing means). The band definitely look like a 60s band complete with long beards, dirty looking hair, chuka boots & corduroys, scarves, decorative skull caps, and their recent photo from SPIN showed them sitting around a campfire in a mountain like scene all sharing a moment.

If you read an article about the Fleet Foxes, one of the things that comes out is the eccentricity of their 25 year old lead-singer, Robin Pecknold. Pecknold tries to come across as a hippie who is anti-hippie (he said in a recent interview that he disliked hippies given that culture fell into cocaine when the '70s hit); he supports illegal file sharing, attributing it to the band's success; he states that he suffers from a form of social-anxiety to where the only friendships he has are the other members of the band; and his Twitter account contains many of his hypocritical rants from subjects such as fame & popularity, his dismay for being interviewed, and some other thoughts that show he is a "tortured artist." During their SPIN Magazine interview, he stated that he felt that he was "creatively drained" after writing their recent hit album, "Helplessness Blues."

So, why do I love these hipster kids making music that was obviously inspired by their parents' record collections? I like the fact that they dare to play a combination of sounds that you would generally not hear on the radio, they are great musicians, and their songs have a range of being depressing to really interesting. While I could get that last part from any Radiohead or NIN album, it's nice to hear some rage being played in the form of 12-string-guitars, mandolins, and very unique instrumental arrangements.

If you haven't listened to this band yet, you should. It's about time someone had the balls to be creative for a change. As far as Robin Pecknold's eccentricity goes, perhaps we've reached the era where being a little eccentric is a good thing. I don't think his eccentricity is him coming off as emo; I believe it's the fact that he's an artist and just isn't into the business parts or the starfucker status of the music industry, but loves performing and writing music enough to where he lives for just that. And I also find it hard to believe that he'll never write another song again.


Looking back on '80s Glam-Metal in 2011

Looking back on ‘80s Glam-Metal in 2011
By Brian Blueskye

A few nights ago I had a few minutes to kill and went searching YouTube for some music videos to amuse myself. I don’t remember what I originally started my search for, but it ended up leading somewhere to Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P.; then the Hear ‘N Aid video from 1985 where metal musicians proved that they too along with Ronnie James Dio cared about the famine in Ethiopia; then to a Poison video that featured Beavis & Butthead commentary from one of their episodes, and it went on to a few other videos from the glam metal era that I had never seen before.

I’m going to admit that I’m a very big fan of “Glam-Metal” when it comes to my particular tastes in music that has the word “metal” in it; ok, I do like Motley Crue. We seem to remember glam metal for some of its ultimate cheesy moments and fashion preferences, or for what some of the most notorious of those stars did while living in the fast lane, and let’s face it, glam metal made partying hard and living in excess as part of its requirements; being loaded and on the prowl for your next fuck had never looked so cool like it did in metal videos as you screamed along with Poison that you wanted action tonight. One thing that comes to mind with how seriously I take some musical genres is Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” saying that the ‘80s metal bands were all about having a good time, and then that Kurt Cobain guy had to come along and ruin it all in the ‘90s.

The excesses those bands had back in the ‘80s have outlived the music in stories that are still printed in all the music magazines and talked about on VH-1 marathons to this day. Motley Crue’s songs about cocaine addiction—oh—and all the places in the world that had the best strippers; documentary footage of Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. reclining on a raft in his swimming pool and dumping vodka on himself after he refers to himself as a “piece of shit” in front of his mother; all the various porno tapes that members of glam-metal bands had stolen from their home safes by utility men (or pissed off associates of the band) that were sold to porno companies that the American public couldn’t get enough of. The legends of women being video taped at Poison concerts as scouting material for groupie action after shows; the heroin addiction of Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue being so insane that they started shooting up Jack Daniels; and the drunken speech given at the American Music Awards by Guns ‘N Roses.

If there is one thing that I will give credit to the glam metal musicians aside from their alcohol tolerance, babes bagged, or how many times they fell off the stage during live performances as a result of too much partying is that they were/are impeccable musicians, and more so than what you hear in this advanced age of gadgets and gizmos to make a band sound better. When you watch the “Hear ‘N Aid” video and you see all those guitarists playing the solos for the majority of time in that video, you can’t help but to feel a little bit impressed. While musicianship may not be cool anymore, the boys of glam-metal were definitely top-notch musicians. From the drum solos of Rikki Rockett of Poison; Nikki Sixx’ mighty bass sound in Motley Crue’s live shows and recordings; Ronnie James Dio’s legendary vocals; and some of the obvious talents these guys had, you really couldn’t say these guys were untalented. The image may have been everything, but they delivered musically. Unfortunately, the sound and the game became very dated; the rage of the grunge movement took over the spotlight (SPIN Magazine said to blame Queensrhyche in a rock music true/false issue where they addressed such things as Kurt Cobain supposedly killing glam-metal), and that is where glam-metal took the backseat while speed and thrash metal bands still continued to be popular.

While some of these bands are enjoying a moderate comeback through reunion tours, or simply by continuing to play for the sake of playing music for fans, the legend of glam-metal lives on whether we like it or not. Glam-metal is referenced in comedy films like “Hot Tub Time Machine,” celebrity reality shows where a glam-metal icon will most likely be a contestant (or subject) in, internet memes, and most likely to be appearing in the upcoming reactivation of “Beavis & Butthead” on MTV. Also, there’s been a trend of modernly relevant musicians performing covers of glam-rock songs. Of course there have been those who have written biographies, or have movies about themselves coming to a theater near you. Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue released his journals from the mid-80s that chronicled his severe heroin addiction in a book titled “The Heroin Diaries.” Of course there are those who have fallen off the radar; bands who continue to hate each other over royalties/ex-girlfriends being stolen by other members of the band/etc, etc; and bands like RATT who psych you out every time you’re convinced that they’re back together until they break up again a few months to a year later.

Was glam-metal really all that bad? It depends who you ask. Speed and thrash metal bands hated the “pretty” look, plus many say the songs were too popish and annoying. I look back on it with a huge question mark given I was born in 1980 and didn’t really listen to music until the grunge era; all of my experiences of it came through what music videos they’ve played in marathons, on Beavis & Butthead, or the record collections of my friends through the years. Yeah, the excess and the legendary stories about the gangbangs and orgies backstage make it that much more attractive to some people who would buy records based on that, but many have grown up; some even became born again like Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P., some are like the members of Motley Crue who are married to Playboy/Penthouse/Hustler centerfold girls and act as if the ‘80s never really ended. The bottom line is that glam-metal represents a time when wearing make up, using too much hairspray, and being able to play endless guitar solos was cool. The ‘80s was the age of excess; many actors/actresses, politicians, and the Wall Street bankers were living to excess as well; glam-rock was the soundtrack to excess and cheesiness of the ‘80s, but in a fun way that makes us chuckle when we see the metal music video countdown specials on VH-1—plus it sets the comedic mood in those raunchy comedies we love so much. It can’t be all that bad if it's still remembered in a playful way in 2011.

Writer's Block: Too mainstream

If you've been following a relatively obscure band and they start to become popular, do you tend to lose interest at some point? Is mainstream appeal a turn off when it comes to music?

This is something that so many people have accused me of. It's actually not true as far as I'm concerned. There are a lot of bands that I've liked when they were obscure, underground, and not very well known that have become more popular, or have become more mainstream. If a band goes mainstream and their music becomes more watered down, that's when I start to dislike them. If their music stays unscathed and they continue to make good music, than I like them no matter how big they get. I believe that if a band is original and focused on their music that it will show when their moment of truth comes. 

The one band I can think of that continues to impress me is 311. 311 had a huge legion of fans before they got big, and when they got big, a lot of their original fans claimed that they had sold out and gone too mainstream. 311's music from their beginning, through their ride in the mainstream, and now back to the underground has always stayed the same. It's still original, the formula hasn't changed, they still continue to make great albums, and they still put on a great show even though they've retracted back into the underground. Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly are still great punk bands even though they've been flirting with the mainstream. Flogging Molly is known in every social circle now, and their variety of fans includes more than just punk rockers. 

There are bands that the mainstream does ruin, and I think it's a matter of laziness or losing focus on music. Korn is a fine example in the metal community. Korn made an awesome first album, but as they became more mainstream the music became more watered down. Korn now employs songwriters and management who worked with NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. I've also heard that one band that a perfect example of a band that sold out was Chicago. AFI are another perfect example. Why was AFI's first mainstream album so different than the stuff they did previously? Then again, I wasn't a big fan of AFI to begin with, but I believe the backlash against them is necessary when they abandoned their originality to make pop radio friendly hits. 

I believe that Kurt Cobain took himself too seriously, and I think a lot of the "YOU SOLD OUT!" people need to chill out. Music is a business, but it's a business that a lot of the people who do it like because they love it. Some bands have the belief that money will come naturally if their music is good, and if they work hard it will pay off to where the record companies wont mess with their formula. Others believe they have to jump through hoops and sacrifice their music. I also believe that bands need to get paid for shows, paid for music they sell, and that the hardcore singers like the lead singer of Madball who say that they have to work day jobs in construction or at UPS so they can get paid on top of doing their music careers must be doing something horribly wrong if they've sold albums and play huge festivals around the world. 

A lot of those indie labels like Alternative Tentacles, SST Records, and Lookout Records that had the philosophy of anti-record labels are now being sued or have been sued by many of their past artists due to non-payment when those labels sold millions of records. Where did the money from the returns go? Why was Henry Rollins eating canned dogfood on bread and living in roach infested buildings with the other members of Black Flag as Greg Ginn managed all the finances for the band and the SST label? Why have so many people on Alternative Tentacles made the claim that Jello Biafra has held back royalties? Why does Victory Records have the reputation of not paying the acts on their label? 

Where they live, where they have vacation homes, how much money they have in their bank accounts, and how big their tour bus is doesn't interest me. Just as long as the music is good, the music is original, and they are obviously having a good time doing it, it doesn't matter to me. When their music starts to suck after signing with a major label is when I have a problem with a band, and I usually stop listening to that band the minute their music starts to suffer because it only goes further downhill from there. 

I write like
Kurt Vonnegut

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Addressing LeBron James

 I say what I feel someone needs to say about Lebron James... 



 Happy Early Birthday to dana7880 And in the annual tradition, here is Dana's 2010 Sting Birthday Card