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ETID On-Stage Selfies are a No-No (But With A Happy Ending!)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Getting on stage during a show is one thing. Getting on stage during an Every Time I Die show is another. Getting on stage during an Every Time I Die show and then trying to take a selfie with Keith will result in Jordan going all Karate Kid on your phone.

But it has a happy ending!

That’s Actually A Cover Song?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

I’m trying to get back to the free-floating music thoughts on here, in addition to just the CD’s and show reviews. Again. For the umpteenth time.

Anyway, I’ve long been a fan of cover tunes. I like when bands put their own spin on songs, for the most part. (See the rant about Florida Georgia Line destroying Black Stone Cherry’s “Stay” here.) There’s a ton of covers that are readily apparent, and the longer it goes, we’re now getting into songs I knew and loved the first time around getting covered (some good, some bad). What’s more interesting to me is when I hear songs by one band, and only find out much, much later that the version I knew was actually a cover!

I bring this up now because just last week, listening to Chris Jericho’s podcast with Slash, they talked about Slash working with Michael Jackson, and how he’s associated with playing on Black or White during live shows, while in reality, on the album, he played on Give In To Me. I’m thinking, that’s interesting, I didn’t know that, I don’t know that song, I’ll go check out that song.

I hear the opening notes, and its one of those “Heeeeyyyyyyyyy I DO know this song!”. But I know it because Three Days Grace covered it on Transit of Venus, not because of MJ. It was just another song on the 3DG album, and I didn’t think anything of it. But an MJ song? That’s not exactly obscure. It’s like, how did I miss that one?

It’s happened to me a couple of other times in the past too, notably with Finger Eleven covering Depeche Mode’s “Walking in My Shoes“, and Oleander doing The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry”. There’s probably a bunch more waiting in the wings for me to discover. I kind of like it when bands just slip songs in there and don’t call too much attention to them, just waiting for the sometimes-unobservant fans like myself to find them.

When Covers Become Karaoke (Or Worse.)

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

In which Eric hears a terrible cover of an okay song and flies off the handle…

Every once in awhile you hear something that makes you stop and say “WHAT IN THE BLUE HELL IS THAT?!?!”. I was the unwitting victim of this today, strolling through the music section at Target. As everyone probably knows, they have a couple of TV’s that cycle video clips from whatever albums they’re trying to push. I walked by one this morning, and heard some familiar lyrics…

“But if I told you I loved you, would it make you want to stay?”

…and I’m like, “Wow, Black Stone Cherry? That album’s almost three years ol… HEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYY THAT’S NOT BLACK STONE CHERRY THAT’S A TERRIBLE COUNTRY KARAOKE VERSION OF STAY WHO THE HELL MASSACRED THIS WTFOMGBBQ!!!” I literally stopped dead in my tracks. Nate’s stroller probably could have used an airbag (poor kid, all that *and* he had to hear this too). Come to find out, whomever or whatever a “Florida Georgia Line” is (looked them up and found out they’re also responsible for that insipid “Cruise” song too) decided they would cover Black Stone Cherry’s “Stay”. I’m all for covers, hell, Black Stone Cherry does their share on their albums too (The Yardbirds’ “Shape of Things” and Marshall Tucker’s “Can’t You See” to name two), but this here cover is BAD. Really bad. Really, really bad. Michael Jackson is hearing this from the grave and is like, “nope, you guys are Bad; I can’t hold a candle to this.” Like, Eric going to a country karaoke bar, deciding to mock the entire pop-country genre by picking this BSC song, and singing it in the most ridiculous, obnoxiously twangy way possible bad. If I sang this song like these guys do, they’d throw me out of the bar (into PUBLIC). How this made it onto an album, let alone #1 on the country charts (I fell out of my chair when I saw that), is beyond me. I mean, a cover is usually some sort of homage to the song, not the poster child for every reason I can only stand like 30 seconds of current country music. Yikes.

And honestly, as big of a BSC fan as I am, their version of “Stay” isn’t exactly blowing the doors off either. There’s plenty of better songs on Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea (see White Trash Millionaire and Staring At The Mirror, for starters).

But you don’t have to take my word for it (thanks LeVar Burton!). In the interest of fairness, and because misery loves company, here’s both tracks linked so you can do your own comparison. You only need the first 30 seconds of each. Probably less for the FGL version (my ears started bleeding).

My Top 12 Albums of 2013

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

I don’t think I did this for 2012, and this seems like as good of a topic as any for the inaugural “blog post” of my music-only refocus of Having to limit the list to ten always seemed so arbitrary, so you’re getting 12. It’s also in alphabetical order, because I’m not about to try and say one album was “better” than another, this is simply what I was spinning heavily this year.

Alter Bridge – Fortress

Continuing the strong, straight up hard rock that they’ve been known for since the first album, Alter Bridge brought it yet again on Fortress. I’ve written it before, but Myles Kennedy could sing over my cat’s screeching and I’d love it, and Mark Tremonti and crew are a damn sight better than that. I’d probably put this a shade ahead of ABIII, but just behind Blackbird. “Addicted to Pain” rips hard, “Lover” is probably as close as they’ve ever gotten to sounding like the Mayfield Four (Myles’ old band), and “Cry A River” is probably my favorite track on the album.

Chimaira – Crown of Phantoms

Everyone wondered if Chimaira could come back and be Chimaira after turning over the entire lineup, save for lead singer Mark Hunter. The answer was a resounding YES. To me, the first 30 seconds of the first song (The Machine) told me everything I needed to know. After that, “No Mercy”, “Plastic Wonderland” and “Wrapped in Violence” are highlights.

Eye Empire – Evolve

One of the hardest working bands in rock today rewarded their die-hards this year with Evolve, which amplified everything that made Impact great. The heavy got a little heavier, the melodies a bit sweeter, BC’s solo’s even tastier. Check out “War Isn’t Over Yet”, “Beyond The Stars”, “Bleed” (which you can absolutely tell Corey Lowery had a hand in, hello Stereomud vibe!), and “Live Loud”.

Fall Out Boy – Save Rock And Roll

#MUPS have been lit. Wow. I’ve always liked FOB, have all the albums, and I always thought From Under The Cork Tree was their best complete album. This is stealing the title. Given all that, I was (and still am) genuinely surprised at how much I’ve ended up listening to this album, and how much I like it. A truly solid pop-rock album from top to bottom with no duds. No highlights because I’d just have to list the entire tracklist.

Filter – The Sun Comes Out Tonight

Picking up where they left off with 2010’s The Trouble With Angels, Filter delivered a great follow-up with this one. The heavier tracks have some great riffs (We Hate It…, What Do You Say, It’s Got To Be Right Now, This Finger’s For You), and the slower tunes / ballads are very well done (Surprise, It’s My Time). My personal favorite is definitely “Self Inflicted”.

Hatebreed – The Divinity Of Purpose

Frontman Jamey Jasta described the album as “All pit, no shit.” Can’t argue with that assessment much. 38 minutes of good old-fashioned Hatebreed metalcore. It kicks off with “Put It To The Torch” and goes from there. Besides that, “Honor Never Dies”, “Before The Fight Ends You” and the title track are my standouts.

Hey Monea – Cheap Souvenirs

We found out about Canton, Ohio’s Hey Monea through our Buffalo boys The Doyle Brothers (although I swear I’d heard of Hooked on Tonics previously, but can’t substantiate that), and really enjoyed their first Hey Monea disc “Wine, Women, and Song“. Cheap Souvenirs continues their pop/light-rock sound with more polish, tighter songs, and if it’s possible, more fun. WW&S’s “Ballad of Moonbeam Swiner” gets a little tune up and turns into “Stay” on this one, and beyond that, “Pollyanna”, “Never Gonna Take You Back”, and “Ohio Lullaby” are my faves.

Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent

A four-year break, plus Jesse Leach re-joining as lead singer, equals one hell of an album. Talk about a new energy! This is another one where I can’t really list highlights, the whole album is fantastic, but I’ll single out “A New Awakening”, “In Due Time”, and “A Tribute To The Fallen” as my favorites.

Matthew Good – Arrows of Desire

A bit more upbeat than the last couple of MG solo records, it’s no less solid than everything that came before it. I like practically everything he puts out, so this is kind of a no-brainer for the list. “Arrows of Desire”, “Had It Coming”, “Garden of Knives” and “Guns of Carolina” are my highlights.

Mike Doughty – Circles, Super Bon Bon…

After swearing for years that he’d never revisit Soul Coughing tunes as a solo act, Doughty had a change of heart, and recorded a bunch of tunes as he’d originally conceived them before they got put through the Soul Coughing wringer. The album was crowdfunded through PledgeMusic (I helped!). It’s pretty cool to hear how stripped down most of these songs ended up, and I’m partial to the fact that “Unmarked Helicopters” and “St. Louise Is Listening” made the cut.

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

Pretty much anything Pearl Jam put out would have made the list, but Lightning Bolt really is a great album. “Sirens” is one of my early favorites, while “My Father’s Son”, “Infallible” and “Future Days” are catching up.

Sevendust – Black Out The Sun

This one actually had to grow on me a little. I’m as big of a Sevendust fan as you’ll find, but I did not get into this album on the first listen. In fact, I think I called it “Call Me No One Part 2″ at first. After running through it a couple more times, however, it started to make sense to me, and I’ve grown to really appreciate the album. The title track is fantastic, “Decay” is the lead single for a reason, and “Faithless” and “Dark AM” are favorites.

Thank you iPod shuffle this morning for this under…

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Thank you iPod shuffle this morning for this under-rated, forgotten album. Always did like these guys!

So this happened last night! @hatebreed VIP! @Wate…

Friday, April 19th, 2013

So this happened last night! @hatebreed VIP! @WaterStreetNY

Help make it happen for ‘Chimaira *CROWN OF PHANTO…

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Help make it happen for ‘Chimaira *CROWN OF PHANTOMS* Fan Edition CD-DVD’ #indiegogo via @indiegogo

To tie that up nicely, here’s my review of the @Wa…

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

To tie that up nicely, here’s my review of the @WaterStreetNY show with @hatebreed and @chimairaband from July 2009!

Tonite is VIP for @hatebreed and @everytimeidie at…

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Tonite is VIP for @hatebreed and @everytimeidie at @WaterStreetNY, and then @chimairaband starts following me! Definitely #MetalThursday m/

RT @Maffewgregg: R.I.P. Chi Cheng, Deftones bassis…

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

RT @Maffewgregg: R.I.P. Chi Cheng, Deftones bassist.

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