Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Concert Recap 2014

I know I skipped TT5, but that's just for this week. Instead you get treated to the list of concerts that I saw in the year 2014.

Disclaimer- I only include openers if it was an artist that I knew about and was excited about seeing before going to the show.

The following list is in no particular order.

The Wailers
Zac Brown Band
Pusha T
2 Chainz
The Band Perry
Corey Smith
The Head and the Heart
Dream Theater
Yelawolf x 2
Schoolboy Q
Black Label Society x 2
Queens of the Stone Age
Suicidal Tendencies
Slayer x 2
Queen + Adam Lambert
Gary Clark Jr.
1/2 of Umphrey's McGee (Summerfest)
Rob Zombie
Skid Row
Machine Head
Jack White
Here Come the Mummies
Def Leppard
Red Hot Chili Pipers
Secret Sisters
The Black Keys
Eric Church
Chuck Berry
The Urge
El Monstero

That's 48 total. I'd say it was a good year.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Floyd - 12/26/14

Today is the day! It's El Monstero day. Tonight I see the band for the 8th time and, as is tradition, you can find my dad and I (6'2" and 6'5") standing in the front row as soon as the doors open. I will post my review of the show in a later edition of Friday Floyd, but for now, you get to hear our response to the question "What does El Monstero mean to you?"

Yes I know my head is crooked.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from TUTR!

Merry Christmas! Here are some beautiful, peaceful, relaxing Christmas to get you in the holiday spirit.

Yes, that Christopher Lee. As in Lord of the Rings. As in James Bond. And of course as in Count Dooku from Star Wars.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TT5 - Top 5 Pink Floyd Albums

In the spirit of El Monstero week and December unofficially being Pink Floyd Month, the Christmas week edition of the Tuesday Top 5 ranks the top 5 Pink Floyd Albums. Please keep in mind that just because an album may not be the top ranked album it's not a great album. These 5 albums are some of my favorite albums of any genre of all time.

5) Obscured by Clouds
This is a very obscure pick to even make the rankings, but this album came from the period of time after Syd and before Dark Side that they created soundtracks for various different movies. The music from this album is very easy to listen to and prominently features David Gilmour as he is embracing his role as co-leader of the band. Unless you're a "head", you probably have never listened to this album. I challenge you to change that, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Key Songs: When You're In, Wot's...Uh the Deal?

4) The Wall
The Wall is the closest thing Pink Floyd ever did to a hard rock album. Sure there are the usual sonic experiments that are a staple of any Floyd album, but with songs like In the Flesh, Run Like Hell, Comfortably Numb, and Young Lust, this album really begs to be played loud and let loose. This is the album that basically did the band in. After this, Roger Waters wrote the last PF album to bear his stamp (The Final Cut) and he was out of the band for good. The live shows were so over the top that they could never actually tour to perform the album. The Wall is the best double album of all time and deserves to be played loud and in it's entirety.
Key Songs: In the Flesh, One of My Turns

3) Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here is less of a cohesive album and more of a collection of some really great songs. The album only has 5 songs and 2 of them make up a 25 minute love story to the great "diamond" that was Syd Barrett. The entire album is about the band moving on after essentially losing their founder and driving force. Wish You Were Here the song has turned into one of the most popular PF songs of all time, deservedly so. Have a Cigar has always been a favorite of mine because of the funky hard rock edge to the song as well as the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Oh and who among us doesn't love to drive in their Jaguar? To top it off, the album cover is on of my favorites.
Key Songs: Have a Cigar, Shine on You Crazy Diamond

2) Animals
Most casual fans have never actually listened to Animals, probably due to the fact that most of the songs are 10+ minutes long and the thought of committing that much energy scares most away. If you're one of those who is willing to commit to listening to an entire album cover to cover regardless of song length, then you know how amazing this album is. It's book-ended by two very short acoustic songs, but is comprised of three very long songs that tell the story of farm animals taking control of their lives from some very mean dogs. The music of these three songs show the band actually working together (something they didn't excel in) as they flawlessly layer their instruments to create very beautiful pieces of music. All of the songs have the same sound and compliment each other so well that taken out of context they would just feel like they are missing something.
Key Songs: Pigs, Dogs

1) Dark Side of the Moon
What can you say about perfection? This is without a doubt the most perfect album of all time. It takes you on a 43 minute journey that starts and ends with the sounds of wind as if it were all a dream. Time and Money have stood the test of time as singles and are the driving force of the album, but the real gold is in Us and Them. This is the best 8 minutes that the band has. If you want to know what Pink Floyd is all about, don't look much farther than Us and Them as it perfectly summarizes the entire musical landscape of the album. The thing about Dark Side is that it's balance is what makes it so perfect. Just as you get comfortable with the vibe and tempo of the music picking up and getting faster, it slows down and provides just enough music in empty spaces to keep you wanting more. If you are one of the few people who does not own this album or has never listened to it cover to cover, you need to change that ASAP. Make it a New Years resolution.
Key Songs: Time, Us and Them

Monday, December 22, 2014

Yelawolf at Turner Hall Ballroom 12/5/14

For the second time in the past year, I saw Yelawolf in concert. This time, it was at Tuner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee.

There were two artists on the bill before Yela. The first was Big Henry, a fellow Alabama rapper, whose style was distinctly southern. His 20 minute set was high energy despite being (from the looks of it) unknown to most everyone in attendance. He proved a worthy opener for what lied ahead.

The next artist already had a big following in the crowd based on the t-shirts being worn, and the reaction when the house lights went out. Rittz was pure energy from a man who at first glance doesn't look like he has the energy to give. But looks are deceiving and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand the whole night. Rittz was joined on stage by his DJ as well as some video projections which added another element to the show. Side note, the video was projected onto a black sheet, so the black and white and darker scenes being shown were pretty hard to make out. Rittz brought the fun for the entirety of his set while also showcasing his abilities. His set was great, but that wasn't the last time we would see him.

During a slow intro, two men walked out onto the stage. First went to the DJ booth (DJ Klever) and the other went over to the rack and picked up a guitar and started playing along (Bones Owens). This was a pleasant surprise as the last time I saw Yela, only DJ Klever joined him. As the intro slowed down, Yelawolf came on stage ready to rock the house. It was clear at the beginning that Yela was here to rock with his music being played a deafeningly loud volumes and him giving free reign to Bones who played his ass off. With a song like Growing Up in the Gutter being one of his firsts, he established a level of mayhem that was going to be expected for the night. I personally was hoping to hear something from Black Fall or even his recent classic rock freestyles, but that was the only disappointment of the night. The rest of the show featured all of the hits you'd expect to hear (Daddy's Lambo, many versions of Box Chevy, Throw it Up, Let's Roll). The show closed with a performance of Til it's Gone which is potentially a major sign of good things on Yela's horizon. This song has been featured in the very popular TV show Sons of Anarchy and has less of a hard edged hip hop vibe. It's foreseeable that Yelawolf could become a household name (whether or not that's what he wants for himself).

Yelawolf is one of the best performers in hip hop and it helps that his DJ and guitarist are actually working their asses off. It's always an amazing concert whenever Yelawolf is involved. With Eminem on his side, an amazing live show, and a hoard of dedicated fans (Slumericans), keep an eye out for Yelawolf.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Floyd 12/19/14

It's that time of year again! Sure it's Christmastime, but more importantly, it's EL MONSTERO season! Tonight is night 1 of The Pageant shows 2014. Our tickets are for next week Friday, but that doesn't mean I can't get excited about it! For anyone who doesn't know what El Monstero is all about, check out this video put together by the guys making the upcoming El Monstero The Movie.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TT5 - Top Milwaukee Concerts

Following this week's trend of Milwaukee music publications posting their top concerts of the year, I'm following it up with my top 5 concerts that I saw in Milwaukee this year. 2014 was a great year for concerts and all of the bands that made it on the Tuesday Top 5 are bands that I saw for the first time this year, so this is a very hard list to put together.

5) Anvil @ The Metal Grill 5/2/14
The thrash metal pioneers ventured through the US for the fist time in years and I caught them at the very small and brand new venue called The Metal Grill (they serve Trooper Beer!). The show started with Lips playing a solo while standing in the middle of the crowd. Then came about 2 hours of every Anvil song you could ever want to hear. Robb is one of the best drummers in metal (by far the best stick twirler) and Lips is young at heart and can still play and sing. Such a great show, just a shame that it wasn't at a bigger venue (meaning they are a bigger band).

4) Outkast @ Marcus Amphitheater (Summerfest) 6/29/14
In the past 2 years I've been to quite a few hip hop shows (thanks Ben) and Outkast was by far the best (Kanye was a close second). They were not promoting any new material, so it was simply a greatest hits show. You always seem to forget just how many hits Outkast had though because they are always under the shadow of "The Way You Move" and "Hey Ya". It was a huge dance party with everyone excited to see (for the last time) Outkast here in Milwaukee. The live band and video screens were added bonuses. It may have been the last time they come to Brew City, but at least they ended with this show.

Note: Ranking my top 3 is like picking a favorite child. This was a hard decision.

3) Jack White @ The Rave 7/21/14
I've been a huge Jack White fan since I first heard Fell in Love with a Girl however many years ago it was. Despite the fact that The Rave was close to triple digits with a sold out crowd and $3.50 12oz cups of water, the night was one of the greatest concert experiences of my life. Jack and his band (RIP Ikey Owens) played classics from all of Jack's projects including some of my favorites Icky Thump, Fell in Love with a Girl, and Steady as She Goes. I know what you're thinking, how is Jack freaking White only #3? If we got more than a few seconds of Ball and Biscuit and Freedom at 21, then it would've been a perfect night. Only getting a short snippet of Ball and Biscuit left a sour taste in my mouth. BUT being there when Jack plays Seven Nation Army live is worth any price of admission.

2) Slayer @ The Rave 5/16/14
Well really this night was about Exodus, Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer. This was my first time seeing Slayer and boy was it a good one. I know I missed out on seeing Slayer in the classic lineup, but Gary pulled double duty with Exodus and Slayer in the same night which was pretty amazing. Slayer went on a week long run before ending the week in Columbus at the Rock on the Range festival. The show we got was about an hour and half of all of the classics; so much so that all of the songs played were off their first 5 albums. Sure there are some great songs that have come later in their career, but nothing stands up to their first 5 albums. The concert was nothing but sheer power, force, and thrash metal gold. This was just after the 1 year anniversary of Jeff's passing, so it made the closer of Angel of Death seem that much more meaningful. I saw them this summer as well at Rock USA, but nothing will stand up to the Rave performance.

1) Queens of the Stone Age @ The Riverside Theater 5/7/14
Not only had I waited to see Queens of the Stone Age forever it seems like, but this was my first real opportunity to catch them live as well and there was no way that I was missing it. The show sold out within a few hours of going on sale (which proves there were more people than just myself excited to see them). Not only was it all of the QOTSA hits you would expect to hear, but we were also treated to the majority of their newest (and in my opinion best) album ...Like Clockwork. They came right out and played No One Knows as their second song which just meant, this was going to be a night to remember. The lasting image for me of the show was during a moment of reverb heavy tones in between songs, Josh had a cigarette in his mouth and just put his hands up throwing the horns high in the air with the only light on the stage was coming from behind the band; it was just such a badass image. I just hope that I don't have to wait another lifetime to see them again.

Side note, Reignwolf is a very close #6. I'm confident that the next time I see him, it'll be in a much bigger venue that the Rave's side bar.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Like What I Like........So What's Wrong With Me?

I like: Ray Charles, The Black Keys, Scorpions, Metallica, Jack White, Yelawolf, Jay Z, Slayer, Marilyn Manson, The Beatles, Eric Church, Bob Marley, Garth Brooks.

I don't like: U2, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Jason Aldean, Michael Buble, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Fall Out Boy, Awolnation, Blake Shelton, OneRepublic, Pitbull, Bon Jovi, Journey.

Am I crazy because I like / don't like this combination of artists? Only if you're crazy because you don't. I like what I like. I don't like what I don't like. You like what you like. We all like what we like. Are we crazy because we have opinions about what we like? The answer is no. Everyone is entitled to their opinion especially in taste of music.

What I like is not necessarily popular or cool or even fits under the same genre umbrella. My musical umbrella is an ever growing one. It is not dictated by what is on the radio. Sure I may discover a band by hearing them on the radio, but then I do my homework on them and give their music (not just that one song that is popular right now) a listen and then decide for myself if they "fit" in my umbrella. But the beauty of music is that it's my umbrella. We all have one. Mine is different than yours and yours is different than the person you're sitting next to. Music is about a feeling. It evokes so many feelings and emotions in such a short period of time. And if a band or artist evokes a feeling that you like, then give them a chance. If not, then just move on to the next one. There will be plenty of other musical options for you down the road.

Are you crazy if you don't like a band like say...Bon Jovi? I mean for crying out loud they are one of the most popular bands of all time and they still make hundreds of millions of dollars when they tour. No. No you're not crazy. Just like the millions of fans that bow to JBJ aren't crazy for liking him. Their music just doesn't do it for you. And that's fine!

I tip my hat to those who like a band simply because they like a band. They discovered them and allowed their music into their music into their lives all on their own. Sure maybe a friend recommended them or they heard their most popular song on the radio, but they sought out the whole picture of who they were as artists.

If you are a person who lets popular radio dictate your tastes, I have a challenge for you. The next time you hear a song that sounds interesting, I want you to look up the rest of the album that that song comes from and listen to it cover to cover. I don't care why the song intrigues you, but listen to the entire album that it belongs on. You can listen to the album in the car, at home, at work, I don't care. With services like YouTube and Spotify (both free) that entire album is just a click away. Once you've listened to that album, don't stop there. If you like it, keep going in that direction (both of those websites have recommendations based on what you're currently listening to). If you didn't like that album, then start this whole process over and find a new song that intrigues you. GO OUT AND DISCOVER MUSIC! Be your own judge on what is popular and cool. Trust me, it's very exciting when you find that new band that you just can't stop listening to. You want to tell all of your friends about it. That's the kind of emotion that turns music listeners into music lovers.

There is nothing wrong with you if you love the music that is played on popular radio. There is nothing wrong with you if you despise all music that makes top 40 radio waves. But only let yourself be the judge of that. Don't let someone tell you what you can and can't listen to.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Floyd - 12/12/14

Dark Side of the Moon is back on the Billboard Top 20 charts! This week a familiar face climbed all the way up to number 13 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. This chart tracks the highest selling albums for the week in the US. Dark Side of the Moon is the longest charting album in the chart's history. The album has been somewhere on the chart for 874 weeks, including a 741 week stay from the albums debut in 1973 to 1988 when it fell off the chart. Since then, it has bounced on and off the chart to a total of 874 weeks and not it's back on it again. Perhaps it's because of a new interest in the band now that they have released a new album. Perhaps it's because the album was available for a $0.99 download on the Google Play store. Regardless, my favorite album of all time is back on the charts putting a 40+ year old album back into relevancy. Here's Us and Them from Dark Side of the Moon to help celebrate this occasion.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TT5 - Top Metal Albums 2014

Closing out 2014, today's Tuesday Top 5 ranks my favorite metal albums from the year 2014.

5) Black Label Society - Catacombs of the Black Vatican
Black Label Society have carved out a great niche in today's metal market. Lead by Zakk Wylde, they have been cranking out very groovy, bluesy metal for over 10 years. 2014's effort, Catacombs of the Black Vatican, is no exception. This album has a few more slow spots than other BLS albums, but this just shows Zakk's range as a singer, musician, and songwriter.
Key Listen - My Dying Time

4) Killer be Killed - Killer be Killed
This is a supergroup composed of members of Mastodon, The Mars Volta, Sepultura, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. I mean that's 4 of the most well renowned heavy bands of the last few decades. What did you think was going to happen? Well a great album came out of it. Anyone who likes any of those bands will find something for them in this album. All members of KbK bring something different to the band and they let all creativity flow into a very cohesive debut album. With vocals being handled by three of the four members, each song has it's own unique flavor. While very heavy, there are a lot of layers to this band and this album. Hopefully these guys can find time in the future to tour and put out another album.
Key Listen - Wings of Feather and Wax

3) Slipknot - .5 The Gray Chapter
We had to wait a long time for Slipknot's fifth album (6 years), but man was it worth it. It may not take over the debut album as my favorite Slipknot album, but it's a close second. As is the pattern of a Slipknot album, there are many peaks and valleys when listening cover to cover. The peaks are some of the heaviest material the band has, and the valleys are some of the most emotional the band has. For those that don't know this album is the first since losing founding member and key songwriter in bassist Paul Gray, hence why the low points in the album ooze raw emotion. You can hear the fragility in Corey's voice during these songs. When it comes time to rock, you can hear the anger and power in Corey's voice more so than most anything else in Slipknot's catalog.
Key Listen - Custer

2) Mastodon - Once More Round the Sun
This Atlanta based foursome have been considered to be one of the best heavy metal bands of their generation. This album has been criticized by some of the same people who put them on that pedestal as saying Once More Round the Sun is their Black Album; saying that the 'Don sold out and went commercial. I say, trust in the 'Don and take this album for what it is, a great collection of riffs, technical solos, and complex song arrangements (the same thing we've all expected from them for years). Sure the vocals are a little cleaner and the songs a little shorter, but did you hear these songs played all over rock radio USA? I didn't. So even if they did go commercial, mainstream radio didn't latch on, so it's as if it didn't even happen. Haters gonna hate, but this is a fantastic album by a fantastic band.
Key Listen - High Road

1) Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls
Judas Priest has proven that you are never too old to rock. This is the best Judas Priest album since Painkiller (1990). With the current lineup sporting an average age of 56, this album is played and sung as if Judas Priest has found the fountain of youth and fits right in with the classic Priest albums of past. Featuring roaring guitars, pounding drums, and the voice of the Metal God Rob Halford, there is very little downtime on Redeemer of Souls. Sure Judas Priest has had a few blemishes in their catalog, but Redeemer of Souls belongs with the highlights that are heavy metal standards. Priest is back and better than they have been in a very long time. Now if only Ritchie Blackmore would play rock n roll again, all would be right in the metal world.........
Key Listen - Redeemer of Souls

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Urge at The Pageant 11/28/14

I FINALLY got around to seeing The Urge in concert on Black Friday 2014. For the past few years, The Urge have played a handful of shows throughout the year, but always around Thanksgiving. Due to other circumstances, this was my first real opportunity and I jumped right in (get it??).

The first of two local openers for The Urge was The Adam Hansbrough Band. Their music was mostly instrumental with the keyboardist singing one song and Steve Ewing from The Urge singing their last song. They played a style of jazz/funk/blues jam music. The second act was a local band by the name of Unifyah. Featuring 9 members, they were quite the wall of sound. Their music style could be considered funky reggae. Both bands were very fun and easy to listen to.

Then it was time to PTMFUS and everyone knew it! After a three peat of Super Freak on the house music, the crowd was getting anxious with excitement. As soon as they started playing, I got it. I got why they have such a dedicated following. Their live performances are incredible. They are energetic, enthusiastic and each member brings something unique and is fun to watch in their own way. On top of being highly entertaining, they sounded amazing live. All of the musicians are great and Steve's voice is crystal clear. The stage set up was very unique and really awesome. There were 5 scaffolding beams that came from the back of the stage to out over the crowd that held lights and smoke machines. The Urge always has a great light show, but this added an extra element to the show because sometimes the lighting effects were all around you. The Urge's music is very up beat, high energy and anytime that things kind of slowed down, they picked it right back up the very next song to maximize the moshing time. Anyone who thinks that people only mosh at heavy metal concerts have clearly never heard of The Urge. As soon as the first note of the concert hit, about 15-20 people were moshing on the floor. The mosh pit hit it's peak during perhaps The Urge's heaviest song (and one of my favorites) Straight to Hell. But immediately following this very heavy song (basically a metal song), The Urge followed it up with a "ballad" in Closer. Despite it being a fan favorite, the crowd was anxious for Closer to be over so that they could continue dancing or moshing.

As the show was coming to a close it was obvious that the last four songs were going to be some combination of their most popular songs (It's Getting Hectic, All Washed Up, Jump Right In) and a Bob Marley cover (One Love), but I was hoping for a drum solo by John Pessoni. For those that don't know, John is basically the best kept musical secret in St. Louis. He has more talent in one hand than most musicians around the world. He sings. He drums with furious pace and precision. I've even seen him play guitar. As those four songs were played, my chances of getting to see a solo got smaller and smaller until BAM! it happened during band introductions in the middle of It's Getting Hectic. We were treated to a few minutes of drum solo from the great John Pessoni. I was satisfied. All that was left was a few more hectic (seriously) lines from It's Getting Hectic to get what dance moves, moshing, and sweat was left of the crowd.

They don't play often, but if you're a fan of anything remotely close to rock, funk, metal, or ska, you HAVE to check out The Urge.


Check out Todd Morgan's concert pictures of the show at Back Beat Photography

Friday Floyd - 12/5/14

I read a very entertaining story recently about the photo shoot for the cover of the Animals album. For those that need a refresher, here is the cover. Below is the story and the song Pigs from the album.

The first day of the photo shoot for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover took place at Battersea Power Station in London, England with a giant inflatable pig lashed between two of the structure's tall towers. A trained marksman was hired ready to fire if the inflatable escaped, but was not needed on this, the first day. Unfortunately the following day the marksman hadn't been rebooked, so when the inflatable broke free from its moorings, it was able to float away, eventually landing in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had ‘scared his cows.’ Credit This Day in Pink Floyd

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

TT5 - Most Underrated Bands

Day late and a dollar short. Better late than never.........

There are so many bands and singers in today's music that are way overrated. Today, I'm showcasing my top 5 underrated bands of all time.

5) Sleigh Bells
This is a wild card pick for me. I discovered this band in college based on a recommendation by Rolling Stone. I blindly bought their debut album (first time for me) and was very pleasantly surprised. This noise duo is just pure energy and Alexis Krauss is the perfect mix of hype-woman and singer. They're worth checking out if you haven't. They don't tour much and I've missed all their shows close to me as of recent, but I'm dying to see them live as I hear it is quite the performance.
Key Listen: Infinity Guitars

4) Cactus
They call themselves the American Led Zeppelin and anyone who's seen the Anvil documentary knows that Lips and Robb met over a shared fascination with them. Take out the folk and world music that LZ experimented with and I would agree that Cactus is the American Led Zeppelin. They are still putting out music, but their first 4 albums are classic blues based rock. If you're a fan of LZ, Cream, The Guess Who, Grand Funk Railroad, or Jeff Beck, you'll love Cactus.
Key Listen: Long Tall Sally

3) Reignwolf
This one man band (with a few guys thrown in every once in a while) is a budding mega star. Reignwolf (Jordan Cook) plays guitar like a cross between Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page, has a raspy singing voice that is way past his years, and also plays the drums (sometimes all at once). He only has three singles that have been officially released, but he's been touring all over including opening for Black Sabbath. Keep an eye out, this guy is going places.
Key Listen: Are You Satisfied?

2) Wolfmother
Depending on what your definition of underrated is, you may disagree that Wolfmother even belongs in this category, but I would say that Wolfmother has not received anything close to the attention that they deserve. I say they, but in reality Andrew Stockdale is the driving force behind this band, and what a driving force he is. These Aussies have put out some amazing bare bones, no frills rock for about 10 years. Anyone who has seen any of the Hangover movies has heard their music as it's been featured in all three. Their music is catchy, upbeat, and very dependent on Andrew's riffs.
Key Listen: Love Train

1) Accept / UDO
I know, I know, this is two bands. One thing they share is vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, but I am also including Accept's work after Udo left. Accept are so criminally underrated, it's quite sad actually. Accept found a style and a groove in the late 70s and have stayed true to that even with multiple lead singers. Anyone who is a fan of power metal or NWOBHM will love Accept. UDO is a very similar band to Accept, but they maintained the voice that gave Accept it's start. Udo Dirkschneider is such a unique singer, and the best vocalist to compliment the screaming guitars of power metal. Udo is like Lemmy (without the drinking and female exploits) in the sense that he fully embodies what heavy metal is and has such an iconic voice that it'd be hard to imagine his music sung by anyone else.
Key Listen (Accept): Balls to the Wall
Key Listen (UDO): Animal House

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Floyd 11/28/14

One of my favorite concerts of the year is El Monstero. For those of you who are unfamiliar, they are St. Louis's premier Pink Floyd tribute band. They consider themselves the monster truck version of Pink Floyd and I'll be attending their show this December, followed by the official Turn Up That Racket concert review. In the meantime, I'm using their fan poll as this weeks Friday Floyd. This past weekend they posted a Facebook poll to find out which song they should add to their live show. I was very happy to see that one of my favorite Floyd songs, and one of the most underrated Floyd song were on that list; The Nile Song. This song appears on the Soundtrack from the Film More which is their third album. By this time David Gilmour had joined the band due to the decreasing health of founding frontman Syd Barrett. Some consider this song the closest thing Pink Floyd ever got to heavy metal and I would definitely agree. So turn this one up!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

American Pop Music Awards Rant

I usually always internalize my music award show rants (they occur quite frequently), but now I have a platform to put my thoughts into print, so I'm taking it.

My usual beef with awards show is their categories. For example Lorde won a VMA for Best Rock Video. Think about that......Lorde. Best Rock Video. Lorde is great. I am in no way bashing Lorde, but she is not rock music. She's a pop singer (and a really good one at that). She beat out Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Imagine Dragons, and Linkin Park to win this award. Three out of five ain't bad MTV (I'll let you guess at who the other non-Rock artist was listed there). MTV rant is another day, another post.

For some reason the American Music Awards decides to group pop music and rock music into the same category. The following bands / singers were nominated in the Pop / Rock category.
  • John Legend
  • Sam Smith
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Iggy Azalea
  • Lorde
  • Katy Perry
  • Imagine Dragons
  • One Direction
  • OneRepublic
Is it just me or are there no rock bands / singers in that list? I'm OK with excluding rock music from your music awards show, but don't pretend to include rock music in your show by having a Pop/Rock category, and then failing to even nominate anyone rock! 

The lack of nominations does not accurately reflect the great efforts by rock bands in the past year. The following rock bands all released albums or songs in the past year: The Black Keys, Linkin Park, Jack White, Beck, and The Pretty Reckless (just to name a few). No I do not think that all of these bands / albums should be included in a "best of" category, but surely they can find room to fit one of them in.......

That's all for now. Another rant, another day, another post. 

TT5 - Top Non Metal & Hard Rock Acts

In this edition of the Tuesday Top 5, I am ranking the top 5 Non-Heavy Metal & Hard Rock Bands / Singers. I'm a metalhead through and through, but sometimes it's OK to slow it down and not ALWAYS headbang your way through music. Below is my list of my top 5 bands / singers NOT to headbang to.

5) Bob Seger
I got really into Bob Seger when I listened to a greatest hits collection on repeat in my car for months at a time in high school. Then it just expanded from there like wild fire. He's a tremendous song writer and his music is timeless.
Key Listen: Turn the Page, song

4) Eric Church
My girlfriend turned me on to Eric Church as they both have the same alma mater. The more I listen to him, the more I am impressed by him. His brand of country music is much heavier and more based in hard rock than any other country artist. The thing that most impresses me about Eric Church is his desire to be his own person and artist. He doesn't care that he redefined what popular country music was, he kept expanding his horizons and pushing himself creatively. He is also one of the best live performers of any genre.
Key Listen: Caught in the Act, live album

3) The White Stripes
My first White Stripes experience was actually "Fell in Love with a Girl" because of the Lego based music video. After that it was Seven Nation Army, and then I was hooked. I went through a big White Stripes period in college when Icky Thump came out. They will probably never get back together, but the music they left behind is some of the most respected music of their generation.
Key Listen: Ball and Biscuit, song

2) Queen
I challenge you to find someone who doesn't recognize the stomp, stomp, clap of We Will Rock You. Queen's music is just so anthemic and powerful that you feel like you can conquer the world when listening to it. The other side of Queen also has some of the most soulful, heartfelt ballads of all time. Listening to a Queen album is one of the best emotional Rock n' Roll roller coaster rides. Queen is your victory music, your sad music, your sing-a-long music, etc.
Key Listen: Queen Rock Montreal, live album

1) Pink Floyd
I am one of the biggest Floyd-heads around. They are my all time favorite band. They are prog rock legends because of The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall, as everyone knows. What people don't know is that someone of their best music came from when they were figuring out how to move forward after losing their first driving force, Syd Barrett, and gaining an excellent singer and guitarist in David Gilmour. Keep reading Turn Up That Racket and you'll learn all about my love for Pink Floyd.
Key Listen: Meddle, album

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Floyd 11/21/14

Happy Friday everyone. Today's Friday Floyd showcases the closest thing I have come to seeing Pink Floyd. I went to Wrigley Field in the summer of 2012 to see Roger Waters perform The Wall. The video below is the opener. I had no idea what to expect going into the show and it was (and still is) the most visually impressive and stimulating concerts I have ever been to. The Wall practically went from foul pole to foul pole and was used as a video projection screen and exceptionally detailed graphics were projected on the wall for the entire show. As always with a Wall performance, the remaining bricks in the Wall were brought out as the show went on in order to complete the Wall. At the end, the Wall came crashing down. Again, quite the show and one of my all time favorite concerts......so far.

Disclaimer, I did not shoot the video. Thanks to whoever did as it's a very good clip. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TT5 - Top 5 Metal Bands

I'm creating a new weekly feature called the Tuesday Top 5, obviously recurring every Tuesday. Each week I'll list my top 5 for various different categories. This is influenced by That Metal Show, but if there are any category suggestions for the TT5, please share.

One of my favorite metal blogs, Metal Sucks, recently polled an extensive and impressive list of metal musicians, fans, and writers and came up with their Top 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time. I am starting off the weekly tradition of TT5 with a bang and giving you my Top 5 Metal Bands of All Time.

5) Motorhead
If you look up heavy metal in the dictionary, you see a picture of Motorhead (I wish). Motorhead, and Lemmy in particular, have played the same style of metal since they began in 1977. One of the most prolific bands around, they haven't changed and people love them for it. The first few Motorhead albums are heavy metal staples and their most recent albums are instant classics. If someone defines themselves as a metalhead and says that Motorhead sucks, please point them to the nearest door. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And Motorhead ain't broke.

4) Iron Maiden
The leader of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal pack, Iron Maiden have been cranking out some of the best melodic heavy metal since 1975. Despite a few lineup changes, they have maintained an exceptional level of talent and musicianship. They are one of the biggest bands (not just metal) in the world. Even though they could play to millions of fans a year by only using old material, they have consistently put out amazing albums, playing the songs live, and attendance numbers haven't dropped. They have defined their own style of long, epic, galloping songs that make every time you listen to them feel like an adventure. Don't go changing Iron Maiden. In Eddie we trust.

3) Slayer
The "Un-Holy Trinity" of heavy metal (Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss) have not only put Slayer into legendary status, but have also influenced every metal band to come after them. Despite being famous for writing three of the greatest metal albums of all time, they have consistently put out heavy, pounding, in-your-face thrash metal since 1981. Dave Lombardo is the king of the double bass, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman are the architects of sinister riffing, and Tom Araya has the mightiest roar in metal. Even though the classic, original lineup can no longer exist due to contract issues with Dave and Jeff's untimely passing, Slayer reign on and continue to tour and put out new music. Keep an eye out for a new album in 2015.

2) Metallica
We've all heard the counter arguments, but the truth of the matter is Metallica is the biggest metal band of all time. Yes they're commercially successful. Yes you can hear their music on any radio station and stadium PA. Yes everyone and their brother know who they are. BUT THAT'S OK! There is nothing wrong with a metal band having mass appeal, attracting huge attention to the genre and if Metallica are usually that "gateway drug". Despite their success, most of their work is phenomenal. Sure there are blemishes in the library, but their first five albums (yes, the Black album) are near perfection. Metallica is back on track with Death Magnetic and is reportedly coming out with new music soon.

1) Black Sabbath
Plain and simple, EVERY metal band owes everything to Sabbath. If it weren't for Tony Iommi's accident as a teenager, we may never have heard down tuned guitar that sounded so good. Iommi, along with Ozzy, Geezer, and Bill Ward, went on to create the basis for what heavy metal was to become. Black Sabbath off Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath is the most evil metal song of all time. They've had numerous variations of themselves, including having legendary Ronnie James Dio as Ozzy's replacement at lead singer. Despite Iommi's health, they released a new album in 2013 followed up by a successful world tour. They have said that their next album and tour will be their last. They were the first, and they are the best.

MetalSucks.com Top 5 Recap:
5) Pantera
4) Metallica
3) Slayer
2) Iron Maiden
1) Black Sabbath

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Floyd 11/14/14

So this week was a very busy one for Pink Floyd. They released their "new" album The Endless River. I'll give my 2 cents about this album at a later date because on this edition of Friday Floyd, I'd like to honor the falling of the Berlin Wall. This week was the 25th anniversary of the falling of the wall and there were plenty of celebrations and commemorative activities all of the world. What does this have to do with Pink Floyd? Back in 1990 Roger Waters performed The Wall in it's entirety in Berlin with the help of an all star cast (Cyndi Lauper, Sinead O'Connor, The Band, Bon Jovi, and many more). Below is the performance of Run Like Hell by Roger Waters and Scorpions from that concert.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Slipknot & Korn Concert Review - Alliant Energy Center Madison 11/8/14

This was my first time at the Alliant Energy Center, so in true "Show Pro" fashion, part of my excitement for the concert was just for the fact that I had the chance to experience a new live music venue. My venue notes are after the concert notes.

There were 3 bands on the bill for the night. The first band, King 810, started right at 7. I knew two things about them going into the show. First, I knew they were from Flint, MI (hence the 810). I've never been to Flint, but I have been to East St. Louis and in my mind they are the same. Secondly, I knew that when they were first coming out, a metal blog had a picture of them performing at a festival with assault-rifle-armed body guards standing at the edge of the stage. Now these weren't present for our show in Madison, but they did play up the whole Flint thing a lot. All in all, they didn't do much for me as a band.

Now I'll be honest, I had very low expectations for Korn going into the show. I never was a big fan of Korn besides a 2 or 3 catchy songs (one of which being of course "Freak on a Leash"). My friend that joined me at the concert is a big Korn fan. He was very much looking forward to this as it had been something like 7 years since he last saw Korn. They came on just before 8. To my surprise, their set was very high energy and entertaining. I really had a good time and enjoyed most all of the songs. The biggest crowd response was for the song "Shoots & Ladders" (which I was not familiar with), but begins with a bagpipe intro by lead singer Jonathan Davis. As soon as they heard a note of bagpipe, the crowd went nuts. Korn played for just under an hour and all in all was a great opener as they were full of energy and really got the crowd rocking. Negative note, Jonathan Davis had to visit an oxygen tank after each song. I'm sure it's for a very legitimate reason, but it just kind of doesn't seem very rock-star-ish.

Honesty sidebar before I talk about Slipknot. When these nu-metal bands were big (Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, etc.), I dabbled in Linkin Park and P.O.D.; that was my extent with the genre. In the early 2000s I was still learning my way through the vast genre of classic rock and somewhat getting into heavier bands like System of a Down. Korn and Slipknot were not on my radar at all. I kind of took the first 15 years of Slipknot's career and condensed them into the last 6 months or so. I had listened to "Spit it Out" and "Wait and Bleed" before, but not much else. When the new album was announced I started to give the rest of the music more attention. But I will say that in the last 6 months or so, I listened to A LOT of Slipknot, read A LOT of articles and blogs, and watched  A LOT of documentary type footage of the band. I really wanted to know all about the band (good and bad). So even though when I was most impressionable in my early teens, I joined the 'Knot fan club much later in life.

Slipknot took the stage a little before 9:30 and I was very very excited to see this band. They started off behind the curtain while the first track off the latest album played. We were sitting on the side of the arena and our view was mostly unobstructed by the curtain, so Clown came over to encourage us to stand up (even though we were already standing). As soon as the curtain came up, they were right into the high energy show I was expecting with Sarcastrophe (second song off the new album). The show continued on with it's high energy pace playing more songs from the new album, but also showcasing classics like "Psycosocial" and "The Heretic Anthem". Corey Taylor is an incredible front man and demands attention wherever he is at on the stage. The stage shows are quite chaotic because there are 9 members of the band. As a member of the audience it's pretty crazy to whitness because you have no idea where to watch at any point in time. Not only are there 9 band members, there is also the mayhem that is happening on the floor.

One of the craziest things I've ever seen at a metal concert happened right before the last verse in "Spit It Out". As soon as the music slowed down, Corey started talking and I noticed that some people on the floor were sitting down. Mind you, this floor has been a moving mass of bodies since the show started so to see nobody moving and people sitting down was quite noticeable. Corey gave a speech about how it didn't matter if you were a fan of the band for the past 15 years of 15 days, you were here now and you were going to participate in one of their traditions. He then commanded everyone to sit down and then as soon as he hit the last line in the next verse, which said "Jump the f(udge) up!", we were to of course jump the f(udge) up. I didn't expect an entire arena (probably 10,000 people) to really be that still for the next 30 seconds or so, but sure enough, everyone did.......... and then we all JUMPED THE F(UDGE) UP and it was an incredible sight to witness.

Say what you want about the masks and the back story and the lyrics, but Slipknot are tried and true professionals and they know how to put on one hell of a show. Their stage was huge which allowed for all 9 members to go crazy and run all over the place (they all did except the drummer of course). The two percussionists (Clown and Chris Fehn) are on custom built rising drum rigs. Jim Root is all of 6'6" and is constantly head banging all of the stage. Corey channels his inner Bruce Dickenson and can belt out any lyric while running around during the length of the show. Plain and simple, these guys know how to put on a show and what a show it was. Slipknot did not disappoint for my first experience with the band.

Venue Notes:
  • It's much smaller than you'd think. For it being an arena, it didn't feel all that big. 
  • It was a perfect circle shape which is quite unique for an arena.
  • By far the worst beer system I've every seen. Basically anyone who wanted to drink had to get a wristband and be corralled into a very small area that was a makeshift beer garden and bar. They only had Budweiser and Bud Light and in 2 different sizes so it moved quickly once you got up there. But in the meantime you were crammed like sardines into this little area. I understand that it makes controlling the underage drinkers and the mess of cups, but it was not enjoyable as a patron. 
  • The sound seemed OK, if anything too quiet, but that's probably more to do with the bands than the venue. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

National Metal Day 2014 Is Upon Us!

National Metal Day is Tuesday 11/11/14. Here's my way of helping you celebrate the greatest holiday of the calendar year!

To start off National Metal Day in the only way possible........by cranking it to 11!!

Top 11 Reasons to Listen to Heavy Metal:

  1. Heavy Metal gets you going in the morning to conquer your day.
  2. Heavy Metal helps you relieve stress in a safe manner so that everything seems just a little easier.
  3. Because there is no such thing as being too old to rock. Heavy Metal will love you until you're old and grey. 
  4. Because even though the bands and musicians get old, the music never dies (For example, Black Sabbath played to sold out crowds all over the world this year). 
  5. Because you're part of a brotherhood of billions of Heavy Metal fans all over the world (Iron Maiden and Metallica are some of the biggest concert draws anywhere). 
  6. There are brand new Heavy Metal bands sprouting up every day that need your love and support. 
  7. Live Heavy Metal is always a high energy show and there is always a concert nearby that you can attend practically weekly. 
  8. There are so many sub-genres (and more creating all of the time) that each person is sure to find some style of Heavy Metal that appeals to them.
  9. Heavy Metal musicians and singers are some of the best at their craft regardless of music genre. 
  10. Heavy Metal does not discriminate. Men and women from all walks of life, every age, shape and size live and breathe Heavy Metal and we are all better because of it. 
  11. Quite simply because Metal Rules. 

Here are two classics that will definitley help get your NMD rocking.

Metallica "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

Black Sabbath "War Pigs"

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Profile of a Metalhead

Hi, my name is Chris and I'm a metalhead. It has been 0 days since my last headbanging session.

Hi Chris......

One of my favorite things in life (this is kind of sad that I enjoy it so much) is seeing people's reaction when I tell them that I saw Slayer or I was just listening to Slipknot or Iron Maiden or Black Label Society. People look at me like I'm crazy and have two heads as if to ask the question "Are you serious?" Apparently I don't look or act like a "metalhead". Which makes me wonder, what is "normal" metalhead behavior?

What does a metalhead look like? This really intrigues me. Society and media dictate that metalheads look like pale, emo, high school aged kids. I'm here to tell you that for the most part (excluding metalcore) this is untrue. Sure when you go to a metal show there is the guy with a black mohawk, black skinny jeans, black band shirt, black boots, piercings and tattoos everywhere. When you go to a country concert you're bound to find a guy in cowboy boots, jeans, flannel, dip ring, and camo hat who's never been more than 20 miles from the family farm. I could go on an on about stereotypes. They exist and to some extent they are accurate. No I don't have piercings or tattoos or a black mohawk, but when I go to a metal show, I grab my favorite (at the time) metal t shirt. When I got a to a country concert, I'm probably wearing a camo hat. There are tons of people at metal and country concerts doing the same. Does this make everyone there a total representation of that stereotype? No. But people want to fit in with their surroundings, it's a natural feeling for most. I digress.......

Back to where I started, what does a metalhead look like? We all know what society tells us that a metalhead looks like. I'm here to tell you that you are surrounded by metalheads! Don't look now, but I'm sure that someone you know (friends, friends of friends, family, etc) is a metalhead. We come in all shapes and sizes. For example, I put thought into my hair every morning, I try to always look presentable, I practice good hygiene, I don't have piercings or tattoos; not what you would expect from a metalhead. My style would be categorized as "Wisconsin" not "emo" or "metal". When I go to the heavy metal record stores or heavy metal concerts, I am surrounded by people who look just like me. Well not identical, but they wear "normal" clothes, they have "normal" hair (you catch my normal drift).

Heavy metal (just like any genre of interests) can dictate a "style" if you let it. Yes I'll always be a sucker for that awesome band t shirt (in black of course), but I'm not about to run off, grow my hair out to enhance my headbanging or get my limbs covered in tattoos.

It may sound like I am bashing those who fall into the stereotype of a metalhead, but I am in no way doing so. To each his own. We're all entitled to dress the way we want and express ourselves the way we want. Be who you are and be it with pride. Let your metalhead flag fly.

Now just because I'm a metalhead does not mean that I listen exclusively to heavy metal and hard rock. I am also into Hip Hop, Blues, Country, Pop, and some oddball stuff here and there. I don't make excuses for what I listen to. If it's good, has a good back story, is catchy, or is given a recommendation, I'll listen to it. I've mentioned country stereotypes many times so far. Reason being is there is a lot of country music that I love and country concerts are a great time. I frequently go to country, hip hop, rock, and metal concerts, sometimes all in the same week. For example, in the month of April 2014, I saw a folk band, a few metal bands, a few hip hop acts, a stoner-funk jam band, an Italian superstar bluesman all in a matter of 21 days. What I'm getting at is that I don't let the term metalhead define me. I listen to a wide variety of music, heavy metal is just always my favorite and my true musical passion.

So what makes a metalhead a metalhead? A metalhead is someone who not only listens to heavy metal, but has a passion about the music and the genre. The music means something to them. Metal is more than just music to metalheads; it is an outlet of stress, frustration, energy, and rage. It gets them going while also calms them down all at the same time. A metalhead should know the following, who are the Big 4, what band created heavy metal, the names of multiple sub-genres of heavy metal, who the metal god is, and have some opinion of who the greatest metal band, metal singer, metal guitarist, metal drummer are.

To summarize, I tuck my dress shirt into my pants everyday at work, I have no tattoos, I headbang on the daily and I'm OK with that because my name is Chris and I'm a metalhead.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mastodon @ Orpheum Theater Madison 10/23/14

I went to Madison last Thursday to see Mastadon, Gojira, and Kvelertak at the Orpheum Theater.

At first listen to all three bands, you would think they are all about making the heaviest, most brutal metal that they can. When in reality, there is so much more that goes into each band that initially meets the ear.

I'll start with Kvelertak as they were the opener opener. They came on right at 7:30 and I missed their first song, but these 6 Norwegians were excellent openers. Their lyrics were in a different language, not that I would've understood much anyway. Their lead singer employs a death-metal-esque growling style of singing. Despite this delivery, their music was very high energy, uptempo hard rock. At times, you can hear a huge punk rock influence whereas other times, you can hear a more traditional classic metal style (a la AC/DC, Iron Maiden). I found this easy to listen guitar based hard rock to be the perfect way to start off the show.

Next, Gojira came on at about 8:15. I had been looking forward to seeing this French metal band for quite some time. Now I'll admit, I'm a big Gojira fan, but just as of recent. I heard about them because they opened for Slayer in Chicago (a show I did not attend). Anyway, these guys came on stage with one goal in mind and that was to rock......hard. Their breed of metal is very heavy death metal, but extremely technical. Their set started out with 2 songs off their latest album. The stage set up was classic metal; stacks of amps (havne't seen a metal band use so many Eddie Van Halen's EVH amps), with the drum riser in the middle. A light bar on top of the amps provide the right amount of strobe lights; as in the right amount to add effect to the pounding double bass, but not enough to make you look away out of fear of a seizure. The highlight of the show was the title track off their latest album, L'Enfant Sauvage. Hearing the intro to this song for the first time many months ago is what first got me hooked on this band. There are some very technical portions of this song that I was very curious to see them perform live. Needless to say they nailed it and made it look as if any schmo with an electric guitar can play it on their first day. The bassist was by far the most animated of the group as he would run all over the stage, jump up and down off risers, and swing his bass around his head while never really missing a note. Negative note: the vocals for Gojira were poorly balanced with the rest of the music and if I was not so familiar with the lyrics, I would've missed out on hearing much of anything. Positive note: the lead singer/guitarist and drummer's mom (they're brothers) was born in Madison, WI in 1950 and it was their first time playing in Madison.

Mastodon came on at 9:30. They jumped right into music from the new album, Once More Round the Sun. This album is their most "radio friendly" album yet (meaning songs follow more of a verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse structure and are a little more condensed). This translated to a hit the ground running first 20 minutes of the concert. It was almost like a Motorhead show where before you realize it, you're 5 songs in because they are just coming at you one after the other. The setlist consisted of songs from all throughout their career. The highlight of the show was without a doubt the finale of Blood and Thunder. This is their most iconic song and one that the crowd gets the most into. I've heard some negative rumbling about how Once More Round the Sun was Mastodon "selling out". There was no evidence of this at the Orpheum. All of the fans were singing along with new songs The Motherload, High Road, and Ember City. I personally really like the album and was glad to hear the majority of it performed live. Being the headliner, the only things on the stage was their equipment which allowed them the ability to move around more. They didn't really take advantage of the expansive stage space as the bassist and two guitarists focused more on their finger work then they did on seeing all sides of the stage. Mastodon's music is not easy to play (this coming from someone who has no musical ability). Brent Hinds and his glorious face-tat would come to the edge of the stage for a solo every now and then. Troy Sanders (one of the few bass playing metal front men) handled not only singing lead vocals on the majority of songs and playing bass, but crowd interaction as well.

In conclusion, these three bands prove that metal is about more than simple riffs and some double bass drums. All three of them are unique in their own breed of metal, but all do so with extreme ability and expertise. Their music requires much more than a first listen to truly appreciate the genius.

Side Notes:

  • One of the many reasons why I am encouraged by metal fans is their willingness to open their minds. It seemed like everyone there thoroughly enjoyed both Kvelertak and Gojira even though their styles aren't the same as the headliner.
  • Joe Duplantier, the lead singer / guitarist in Gojira was wearing a Kvelertak shirt. I always think it's cool when bands wear shirts of the guys that just played the stage right before them.
  • Gojira is all about the environment and saving whales. Someone from the crowd had a small blow up whale that he gave to the drummer after the show. Most all of their lyrics involve sustainability, nature, and our impact on the earth.
  • I'd be willing to put Mastodon's drummer Brann Dailor up there with any drummer in heavy metal. He's good. Really good. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Welcome to Turn Up That Racket! I will use this to share with the world my favorite music, my experiences with music, and what music means to me. Mostly this will consist of heavy metal and hard rock, but could go anywhere as I listen to anything and everything, just preferring something I can headbang to! You'll get some concert reviews, album reviews, album rankings, rants, band profiles and whatever else I'm feeling at that time.

In the words of Anvil, Keep on Rocking!