Seriously? New Yngwie Cover Art

Hey there, sorry it's been a few days, I have excuses but I won't bore you all with them.

Have you seen the new Yngwie Malmsteen album cover? Seriously, does he think it's still 1986? Here I thought the cover for "Trilogy" was bad. This album comes out in October, and I almost refuse to review it on principle. That, and you and I both know exactly what it sounds like. Honestly, though. Also, rumor has it Ripper Owens is the frontman for the upcoming tour. Nice to see the man working, but that doesn't make me think anything good or bad about the tour.

Anyway, some quick updates before we get to the meat of the matter:

1) Got an email from Trent Reznor the other day (sort of.) Second half of the "Lights Over North America" tour starts in a few weeks. If you've not seen this tour or any other NIN tour, I strongly encourage you to get tickets. I drove a long way to see this tour on its first pass, and I'm thinking of doing so again. One the shows of the year for me, and easily the best light show I've ever seen. The opener on the first leg was Does It Offend You, Yeah? And the answer was not only a categoric "no," but in the end, they came off as somewhat organized noise and then got out of the way. Don't let that dissuade you from an awesome tour.

2) AC/DC is reporting on their website that 18 of their world tour dates sold out their respective venues in record time. Not only do I believe that, but it makes me feel even luckier to have my tickets. I missed them seven years ago on a trip through my hometown, and I'll be damned if I do it again. Although truth be told, I have to travel a bit this time. My dilemma with AC/DC's new album is a little more complex. For reasons I won't saddle you with (I'm here to talk music, not politics,) I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Yet AC/DC has made an agreement (or their management has, I doubt the band had that much input,) to make the CD available for retail only at Wal-Mart stores. Now the easy way out of this would be to simply find and burn the CD, but I have a personal policy of monetarily supporting a band I enjoy by purchasing their work. Yes, I'm well familiar with the fact that most bands' primary source of revenue is touring/recording deals and not album sales per se, but there you have it. I'm also well aware that AC/DC probably doesn't need whatever small cut of my money that they receive. Still, dilemma.

3) My Agents In The Field are telling me that the new Metal Church album is somewhat underwhelming. I'd like to be the judge of that myself, but until/unless I get a chance to sit down with it, I'm passing their first impression onto you.

So, some conversations I've had about metal lately, in brief.

-You remember back when you were 15 or 16 in high school? Well, you remember for sure the stereotypes about the "metal" kids from back then. Doesn't matter when "back then" was, it hasn't really changed. Maybe you were one of the kids who got branded? Anyway, think back and see if you agree with this conclusion. Think of the metal kid with the stringy black hair and the Cradle of Filth t-shirt. In retrospect, wasn't he kind of a wuss? Wasn't he only as "metal" as being 130 pounds would allow? On the other hand, you remember the kid with the cigarette behind his ear and the "Great Southern Trendkill" shirt? He meant it. That kid was a bad mutha. Now I'm sure there were exceptions on both sides, but that's the general rule.

-How is it possible that "River Runs Red" is one a universal candidate for some arbitrary "15 greatest metal albums" list, but everything else they did was leagues below it in comparison? How the hell did that happen? By the way, I saw Keith Caputo with Michale Graves on tour recently. Um....yeah....I won't say anything bad because I still think Keith is a solid musician. Sidebar, Life of Agony fans need not apply, he's not playing those songs anymore.

-Man, the world needs another Stormtroopers of Death tour. It just does. Billy, Scott, if you're reading this, we'd all like you to bury the hatchet and give us a tour. That would be dynamite.

Anyway, keep an eye here, there's another album I'm going to review real soon. I wasn't planning on it, and I would almost never review an album a little over a year since its release, but I turned a bunch of people onto it about six months ago. Three of them came back to me in the last week and said it was still in their heavy rotation. And I admit I'm still throwing it in quite often. So I figured, hell, maybe I could get some more people to listen.

Buckethead concert this week. The Oakland Raiders are 1-3, and coachless.
Live Loud.

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This week we discuss alchemy, camera technology, a first time guest host joins the show, and we review "As Above, So Below".  

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