Friday, July 30, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star: Megyn Kelly taking Kristen Powers to school...

...on the Black Panther voter intimidation case. I have nothing to add, just sit back and watch a good old fashion beat down.

This is classic liberalism at its best. They can't argue facts so they bring up George Bush. Liberals fight with emotion no logic, and that's why Megyn destroys her because Megyn is talking facts only.

This was the last draft I had, the others were kind of dropped for now. I love this clip, but couldn't figure out where to put it, but when I made this new tag it made sense to put it here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tirades of Truth: Team America

So this is another post that has been in draft mode for awhile, was meant for the 4th of July...obviously.

Team America. The name itself is awesome. This was a movie put together by the creators of South Park and like South Park, they go to extremes to get their point across. The plot itself is pretty basic. Turns out that there exists a secret squad ala the Delta Force that takes out terrorists called Team America. Their leader is killed so they need someone else to come in and take his place as an undercover specialist. So they get an actor. It all turns out predictably in the end like you think it would, but the journey to get their is memorable.

Like my South Park post I will repeat the same warning;
*If satire and going to the extreme to prove a point offends you...don't go on! This post might be offensive to some, read on at your own risk*

The South Park guys like to sing. Seriously, their first South Park movie was a musical at the core. This one starts off the same. The first song we hear is Everyone has Aids...seriously. With a line that says "come on everybody we got some quilting to do" you know what you are in for.

Some of the other great songs include Kim Jong Il's I'm So Ronery. They manage to take one of the most dangerous people on the earth and turn him into a nerd, loser, whatever. And you know what...most of the people view him as that now and maybe this song had something to do with it.

Of course, like in any good movie there is a montage scene. The guys knew exactly the song for it...Montage. It has that classic 80's rocker montage song and a catchy course describing the movie exactly.

Fun side note, they ended up using this song again in a South Park episode in which Stan learns to ski...classic.

And finally, the song that everyone knows from this song...the theme song America. It is so catchy and so over the top I can't put it into words. Once you listen to this song all the way through, the next time you hear someone say "America", you will follow it up with two choice words. The song lists all the good and bad things America is known for...listen at your own risk.

The other great thing about this song is how they took on Hollywood actors. Actors are always against war and defending the enemies and they took it to them. First off, the actors, led by Alec Baldwin, are part of the Film Actors can put together that acronym.

Classic...seriously, if you have one conservative bone in your body you will love that.

If you didn't laugh at that, here is the shoot out and death of all of the actors...Susan Sarandon's death is great.

Of course, like South Park, there is this "got it" moment at the end. And like South Park they go to the extremes to make it. I played this for a few non South Park people and they were amazed at how clear the point was in the video and how it actually made perfect sense.

***Don't watch if foul language offends you!!!***

That sums it up I guess. Team America is an over the top comedy. There is more surprises for you if and when you watch it. It's memorable...let's just leave it at that.

Who Decides: Most Controversial Comic Costume Make-Overs

So I wanted to do a list about bad costumes for awhile, but Topless Robot has done some classics that I can't even touch, take a look HERE, HERE, and HERE. The last one deals with 90's revamps and most of mine come from the 90's as well. Although, I will just highlight the controversial ones and give some thoughts. Believe it or not, some are actually not that bad.

Obviously, I won't be talking about the new Bucky-Captain America or Wonder Woman because I talked about them already HERE and HERE. So on to the list...

Invisible Woman: Sue Richards is supposed to be the most wholesome character in the Marvel Universe. Think of her as a June Cleaver with super powers or at least Carol Brady. So when they decide to update her costume they turned her into some whore.

Really...was this necessary? To top it off this woman supposedly had a couple of kids running around. Would you want your mom to dress like that? So bad.

The Thing: sticking with the Fantastic Four, let's look at The Thing. Ben Grimm is already screwed because he has rocks over his body. Well someone thought it would be funny to give him more rocks to make him look more extreme.
Honestly, I didn't mind the look at the time. It was cool. I think what made it bad was they gave Ms. Marvel his look from the early issues of the FF. I mean look at him...clearly he could do more damage. I really don't know why they changed him back, but I am more glad they did it for Ms. Marvel.

: ok it would be easy to talk about mullet Superman, but it might even be easier to go after Electric Superman. See killing off Superman was huge. It was covered on the news and everything...huge. Well how could they top that? Take away everything iconic about Superman and make him into this.

I guess what really makes it bad is that stupid 90's head gear thing he is wearing. They even did an update of the Red/Blue Superman story...I won't bother you with that it.

Psylocke: I don't think there is any sort of controversy here, but I will simply ask how do you go from this... to this... anyone?

Iron Man: The man has had tons of armors. Most of them are of the red/gold variety, but in the 80's they decided to change it up a bit and go with... I don't know if it was controversial at the time, but they did leave him in the colors for most, if not all, of the 80's. Iron Man is really hot these days and I never thought of him as super cool, but if they want to really "spice' things up again, bring back the silver centurion armor!

Captain America
: I know I said I wouldn't talk about Captain America, but if you look at that second picture above you see a guy wearing a black/red Captain America type suit. Well in the late 80's early 90's (can't remember) Steve Rogers quit as Captain America because he didn't like what was going on in the government...some secret society type thing. But he realized he still wanted to fight evil, but he couldn't be Captain America enter The Captain. I love this suit a lot. It has that sort of steathly version of Captain America to it. The star and the red/white stripes...awesome. Now after Rogers came back to Cap, the guy playing Cap (Johnny Walker) became U.S. Agent (same suit). Totally awesome. Now that Rogers still isn't back as Cap, I would love to see him don this suit again. Heck, he's in the Secret Avengers now...this suit screams secretive.

Batman: Can I really have a list without the 90's Batman? This was after the big move to kill off Superman. They couldn't kill Batman, so they did the next best thing...paralyze him.
So while Bruce is recovering, they bring in this guy Jean Paul Valley to take up the mantle. At first he kept the costume, then he realized he needed some more help and added little things here and there. Plus he was having visions of what to add and become. The first time I saw the new suit was right here...Freakin' Awesome!!! He looked different, but you could still see he was Batman. Plus he had the cool 90's thigh pouches. Joking aside, I really liked it. And then the artists started to go away from it to this...
Maybe it was all of the running or jumping, but his thighs became freakin huge! look at them. They are bigger than my chest! And what is up with that first one? It looks like either his head is tiny or his gut and body have tripled in size! The first suit looked like he was wearing a clothe mask too, but that clearly wasn't the case anymore. Add on the fact that they actually took away the eyes for a sort of cylon visor...ugh! This suit had so much potential, but was quickly killed off by horrible artwork.

Spider-Man: Ohhh the clone saga. So very bad. It was a somewhat good idea that went south really quick. The story was a sort of sequel to a 70's story about the jackal and cloning Spider-Man. So the clone saga said basically, what if the clone won and the real Peter Parker was just out somewhere else and came back. So enter Ben Reilly. His first costume as the Scarlet Spider was pretty 90's-rific. awesome hoodie with ankle pockets? Anyways. It wasn't too bad, but doesn't hold a candle to the more famous costumes...So when Ben took over he had to ditch the Scarlet Spider hoodie look for a new one... This is a great update of a classic look. The red/blue colors are present and if you don't look at it you might think you are still looking at the original red/blue. Then they take the best thing about the black costume (the white spider) and transfer it to this one with a huge black spider on the chest. Sure the boots are a little off and the webshooters are on the outside, but other that those two minor things this is a winner!

Apparently it was so popular that when they did a future Spider-girl series they took this costumed and gave it to her...nice.

By the way, I might need to update this list in a few weeks because they unveiled a new Spider-Man suit this past really? green?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Last Laugh: Arizona Tourism Thriving

So a few weeks ago I talked about how San Diego was afraid of losing some tourism because of their boycott of Arizona. Well apparently the boycott of Arizona really isn't doing much because the hotels are seeing an increase of business compared to last year at the same time. From the article;
The data from hotel industry research firm STR showed that for the state of Arizona, hotel occupancy was up 5.7 percent in May and up 8.3 percent in June compared with the same time a year ago.

In Phoenix, occupancy was up 10.6 percent in June; in Scottsdale, it was up 10.7 percent for the same period. Revenue also was up, with Arizona hotels raking in $148 million last month -- up more than 11 percent from a year ago.
This article and post really sums up The Last Laugh.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Clone: Testament

Another The Clone tag. Once again, here I will post bands that remind me of other bands. Keep in mind I will be finding clones of bands that either broke up or take their time releasing albums. That would be the reason I started looking for bands like Testament.

I actually wasn't a fan of early Testament. I felt it was a rip-off of Metallica, listen to Practice What You Preach. It wasn't until I saw a video for Trial by Fire that I realized I should check them out. I picked up their greatest hits album and was blown away by Dog Faced Gods from Low. So I went out trying to find it, but couldn't. Instead I found First Strike Still Deadly, which is an album of re-recorded Testament classics from their first couple of albums. The songs were tons better. Chuck Billy used some of his deeper vocals and didn't try to sound like James Hetfield. After that I went and got Low, The Gathering, and Demonic. All were great, with Low probably being my favorite. After The Ritual, Testament went for a more modern thrash sound and went away from the mainstream metal that Metallica and Megadeth had created.

After The Gathering, I waited for a new album. But members came and went and eventually Chuck Billy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It would be about 10 years in between albums from The Gathering until The Formation of Damnation. So in the meantime I looked for bands that sounded like Testament. Musically, it's not that hard to find that same kind of thrash element that Testament has. The difference maker here is the vocals. Chuck Billy has a unique sound. He is harsh without death metal vocals. So we are really focusing on the vocals this time around. So, here's my list;

3. HavocHate - Cycle of Pain: This is their second album and last that I know of. Their first album kind of sounds like Exodus in terms of vocals. This guy really has that deep harsh, but not death metal vocals down. Musically, holy crap! Modern thrash all over the place. It shouldn't surprise you once you read that Testament's bass player actually plays on this album. Years ago I talked about this band when I was describing modern thrash, HERE. The drumming is probably the highlight of this band. Listen to Still Alive. Drumming perfection.

2. Sanctity - The Road to Bloodshed: if you thought Havochate's vocalist sounded like Chuck Billy just listen to Sanctity. This guy nails it. I really can't say anything else. Now, there are those clean vocal moments ala Trivium, and even some Halford-like screams. It's an interesting mix, but it works. Musically, if you are fans of Testament, you won't find anything wrong here. Ironically, the lead singer and drummer left the band and the rest of them...who knows? This was their one and only album. It showed some great potential, but unfortunately, it appears that they are done.

1. Susperia - Unlimited, Cut From Stone, Attitude: This band just rocks. Since Unlimited they have really come into their own. They were formed by some guys from Dimmu Borgir and at first they were a black metal band. With Unlimited, that was all but gone and they were mainly a thrash metal band. These 3 albums are great with little filler on them. I think Cut From Stone might be their most complete album from start to finish, while Attitude is a bit more mainstream, but don't think I am talking The Black Album here. So why is Susperia number one? Well, musically it's thrash so that the first, but obviously it's the vocals. Athera is the closest thing to Chuck Billy besides Chuck Billy. In fact, he's so good that I put him on my list of top 10 metal vocalists over Chuck Billy. When I picked up their latest, Attitude, it took me a long time to realize that Chuck Billy actually sings on one of the tracks. Now, I can pick him out easily, but the first couple of clue that's how close they sound.

Amazing huh? Clearly, Susperia belongs as number one on this list. The funny thing after doing this list is that Susperia is the only band that is still making music. It's like the other bands were there to keep us happy until Testament returned.

Music Non Stop: The Autumn Offering

The Autumn Offering is a mixed bag for a band. Their first two albums are really good...really good. Then they decided to go a little more mainstream and they dumped their vocalist. I already went off on that one HERE. That album was horrible compared to their first 2. Their last album wasn't that bad. It was a step back towards the first two. So here is the teaser for their latest album.

Gotta admit, musically they have gone away from any sort of mainstream songs. The vocals (at least in the samples) are all death metal vocals. There is some clean singing here and there, but this sounds a lot heavier and darker than anything released by the band before. I will still complain a little bit about the vocals because the original singer had more of a Dez (DevilDriver) type vocals. They were harsher, but not death metal. Needs some variety. Other than that, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: The Dish

This really isn't a new show for me, I have been watching it for over a year now, but it is probably one of the best clip shows out there right now. In fact, some weeks it is better than The Soup.

The Dish is a spin-off type show from The Soup. A few years ago they did a whole bunch of spin offs, Web Soup, Sport Soup...and The Dish. What makes this one different from the other flops? The host. Much like The Soup's success has always been the host, Joel McHale (and Greg Kinnear from Talk Soup), The Dish has a great host in Danielle Fishelle. If that name sounds a little familiar it should, she was Topanga on Boy Meets World.

I think it is this acting background that makes her a better host than the other guys and an equal to Joel or Kinnear. She can do the skits really well (see the clips) and she can introduce clips with ease.

The show took awhile to get going and was kind of rough at the beginning. Like The Soup there are regular segments which has really made this show work. Plus, like The Soup, actors and actresses are stopping by for quick little segments.

Bottom line, if you like The Soup, give this a try. It might take a couple of weeks to fall in love with it, but you will.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star: Double Rainbow

I saw this video on The Kilborn File a couple of weeks ago...thought I would share the craziness.

BTW, The Kilborn File has to be one of the best comedy shows on right now. I haven't missed one yet. This thing needs to be picked up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Last Laugh: Cheerleading isn't a sport

If I have any cheerleaders next year, I'm going to have fun with this story. Turns out that a college wanted to replace its volleyball team with a competitive cheerleading squad. What say the judge?

U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill ruled Wednesday that Quinnipiac University in New Jersey could not replace its women's volleyball team with a competitive cheering squad, saying cheerleading is "too underdeveloped and disorganized" to be treated as an official collegiate sport.


Side note - I have always felt any "sport" that is judged, isn't a sport. So that would be gymnastics, skating, cheerleading, etc. For me a sport is head to head competition...two enter, but only one leaves type deal.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who Decides: Top 20 Lead Off Tracks

I have done lead off tracks before, with Metallica, but what about the rest of the music world? For me a lead off track is a special one. It sets the tone of the album and to make this list it had to grab me and make a lasting impression on me.

Now when I first did this list I had over 40 songs. So I imposed some rules; no EPs, the band had to have released at least 3 albums, only one song per band, and of course no intros. Since there are 20 songs I can't do a paragraph a song or the post would be a mile long, but I will try to highlight the really important ones to me. So without further we go.

20. Betrayal - Halford: Crucible; cheating a little to lead off the list because the track order was rearranged for the re-released version.

19. Splinterd Visions - Into Eternity: Buried in Oblivion; mentioned it here and here.

18. Being Nothing - Nightrage: Descent into Chaos; At The Gates-like

17. Demanufacture - Fear Factory: Demanufacture; first taste of industrial metal...and what an impression it was.

16. Arise - Sepultura: Arise; if Nightrage was At the Gates-like this is Metallica-like with harsh vocals. Nothing tribal about this song.

15. Burnt Offerings - Iced Earth: Burnt Offerings; talked about here.

14. Clenching the Fists of Dissent - Machine Head: The Blackening; an lead off track that is over 10 minutes long and you can't tell because it's so good...definitely belongs here.

13. Born - Nevermore: This Godless Endeavor; almost death metal like from Nevermore definitely a song that broke some boundaries for them.

12. This Calling - All That Remains: The Fall of Ideals; the opening scream was my ringtone for a long time.

11. Cowboys from Hell - Pantera: Cowboys from Hell; this was the first impression a lot of people had from Pantera (because they buried their glam days). That first riff is so memorable. Classic song.

10. Blinded by Fear - At the Gates: Slaughter of the Soul; not the best song on the album or on the list, but it was my first intro to At the Gates. The speed, harmonies, and vocals still get me.

9. Hate Song - The Haunted: The Haunted; fast, angry...first taste of The Haunted. Most of the guys came from At the Gates, but the music was more punk/thrash than melodic death metal.

8. Painkiller - Judas Priest: Painkiller; first song I heard of Judas Priest. Fast...I was blown away by the speed and power of the drum intro. The two solos at the end put it over the top for me.

7. D.N.R. - Testament: The Gathering; I'm not a huge fan of The Gathering, but this might be Testament's best song ever.

6. Deathrider - Anthrax: The Greater of Two Evils; another cheating I guess. From their re-recording of earlier songs with John Bush on vocals. I love John Bush with Anthrax and this song proves how great they were together.

5. More Than Feeling - Boston: Boston; this is no typo. I love Boston. Their first album to me is one of the greatest albums of all time. How can you not include Boston on this list? I got into Boston a long time ago and anytime this song is one the radio (yeah still played from the 70's) I sing along like I am at their concert.

4. Your Betrayal - Bullet for My Valentine - Fever; I have talked about it here already. And the fact it is #4 on this list and it just came out this year...says a lot.

3. Take This Life - In Flames: Come Clarity; when I started this list I thought this would be number one. It is great. The whole thing is just great; the opening, vocals, music, has it all. After the mess that Soundtrack to Your Escape was it was a refreshing return to melodic death metal for In Flames. This lead off track was just the song they needed to show everyone they still had it.

2. Holy Wars...The Punishment Due - Megadeth: Rust in Peace; second longest song on here. It was my first taste of thrash metal. At the time, the solos blew me away. When I listen to them now...they still do! That opening riff...classic. Any metal fan will know instantly what song they are listening to.

1. Fight Fire with Fire - Metallica: Ride the Lightening; any surprise here? It made my top Metallica lead off tracks and Metallica is my favorite band. But the opening is still memorable. Remember it's 1984 and you didn't hear that in metal bands.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star: Rep. Ciro Rodriguez

This was one of the drafts I had earlier. I was trying to figure out which tag to put it under. So I made a new one for videos.

I happened to catch this on KFI's website and really don't have much to add to it, expect that It appears that Rep. Rodriguez might need some anger management classes. He gets a little upset when someone challenges him on the cost of Obamacare.

I love this. The thing has passed and yet the democrats are still running around trying to drum up support for it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Free Speech for the Dumb: Shirley Sherrod

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the NAACP is going after the Tea Party full force about the racist tendencies within the movement. They talk about signs that show up, yet no one can produce pictures of them. Sometimes it feels that if you are black or a minority then you can't be racist. Enter Shirley Sherrod.

Sherrod is was the Agricultural Department's Georgia director of Rural Development. Well seems that she didn't help out the white farmers enough;

"He had to come to me for help. What he didn't know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him," she said. "I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land -- so I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough."

Better yet... to show how good of a job she did;

"I figured if I took him to one of them his own kind, [they] would take care of him,"

The sad part is that she works for the government. People need to realize that racism doesn't exist. What you have is rich people screwing over poor people. Greed is color blind.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Right Now: It's My World

So it's been a couple of days since my last post. I wanted to do a post a day and as you can tell I'm a little off. I thought I would do more since it's summer, but alas I find myself relaxing after work instead of blogging. Funny thing is that I have a bunch of drafts I started, but never finished.

So the plan is to get the drafts published (they might be old) and get back on track to a post a day. So hopefully tonight I will have another post on something done.

Other than that...nothing much.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Free Speech for the Dumb: Rev. Jesse Jackson

So I think unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Lebron James basically held the basketball world hostage for a week as he contemplated where he would play next year. He then decided to have a one hour live special to announce where he would play.

Spoiler wasn't in Cleveland. So Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was upset. I think in part that they were kept out of the dark as to what he wanted to do. He felt hurt because Lebron did a lot for his team and vice versa. Then all of a sudden Lebron just left without saying anything to the owner. So you can see his frustrations.

After the announcement, Gilbert put out a pretty intense letter. Some highlights;

"This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment."

"You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal."

"This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma."

For an owner to say these things...pretty shocking. But as I read it, he seemed pissed at the way Lebron treated the fans and the team. Well, not according to Jesse Jackson. He sees it a bit differently;

"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract."

Of course Dan Gilbert has a slave master mentality. That explains it all. How about the fact that the "runaway slave" didn't have the common courtesy to tell the team ahead of time he was leaving instead of turning it into a spectacle? Why does everything have to be about race? And show me where Gilbert says Lebron had no right to leave. I think he had a problem with the way he did it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Venting the Anger: Wonder Woman's new costume

Well it's been awhile since the news hit of Wonder Woman's new look and new origin (which I won't even touch here) and I thought I might as well give my thoughts on it.

First off, WW's costume is iconic, whether you like it or not. It ranks up there with Superman, Spiderman, and even Captain America (which I hit earlier) as costumes that are perfect. Here are most of the variations of WW's look through the years and they all look good...well almost
Minus the 60's WW on the far left and the 90's version when she lost her title as WW on the far right, they all are pretty much the same. There is a common theme going on there. Red top, blue shorts with stars, and red boots. Simple enough right?

Apparently not because here is the "new" Wonder WomanOk ummm red top kinda. It's got the really tiny WW logo. Red, I'm not even sure if she has boots on or if they are booties. Stars on the blue shorts...impossible because she isn't wearing shorts!!! And where is the blue anywhere? Oh wait it's on the cool looking 90's jacket that brings back memories of her look in the 90's...see the first picture again!

The whole look sucks. The new origin sucks. This all just wreaks of a sales ploy. It's not as bad as the Electric Superman, but its not good by a long shot. But it's not as good as when Spiderman gave up his title to his clone...for another time.

I am sure when Diana corrects the timeline we will see the old costume return, but I said the same thing about Captain America and well Steve Rogers is back among the living, but he isn't back to being Cap yet. There have been a ton of costume redesigns that have been brought in for a quick gain in sales and I know it won't last forever, but still it bothers me.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Clone: At the Gates

So a new tag that should be kind of fun for everyone, The Clone. Basically, I will be finding shows, bands, or whatever that remind me of some other band, show, or whatever. So today we will look at some other bands that remind me of the classic melodic death metal band At the Gates.

When I started getting into some harder music I kept hearing about this band, At the Gates and their album Slaughter of the Soul. I finally picked it up and was blown away. It was thrash metal with some great vocals by Tomas Lindberg, who made my top 10 metal vocalists. It was great. Listening to this thing from start to finish was amazing. No filler on it at all...just great. It's no shock that it made my top 5 Must Own metal albums. So if you picked it up, then you were probably disappointed, like me, to learn they broke up after this album.

So I searched high and low to find bands that sounded similar and really brought back that same style. I have a ton of melodic death metal albums and here are the ones that really remind me of At the Gates;

1. Nightrage - Descent into Chaos: this is a no brainer. I mean, their first two albums had Tomas on vocals. Descent into Chaos is my favorite from these guys and it really has that At the Gates feel to it. It is probably a bit more thrash than At the Gates had, but it works. The guitar harmonies are there and of course with Tomas on vocals you are getting the same style from At the Gates. All of Nightrage's albums are great, even A New Disease is Born (my second favorite), but if you loved Slaughter of the Soul start with this one.

2. Within Y - Extended Mental Dimensions: If Nightrage has the vocals, then this album by Within Y has the music down. Heck, even the vocals are similar. When I heard Lost in Solitude the first time, I thought it was At the Gates. The same screaming opening...classic. If you Google a review of this album, you will find almost everyone comparing it to At the Gates. The guitar tone, drumming, and vocals make this a clone of At the Gates. Some might knock it for not being original, but when you have songs that are this memorable, who cares? It's interesting to see how their sound has evolved as well. They sound more like The Haunted now than At the Gates and that's ok too.

3. Arsis - A Celebration of Guilt: before I heard Within Y, this was my fix for At the Gates. Think of this album as a more technical version of At the Gates. Vocals are dead on to Tomas. But musically, like I said, it is more technical. The tone is the same, but the guitarists go to town on showing off what they know. Oh did I say guitarists? I meant guitarist as in one. What really blew me away is when I found out that this entire album was recorded by two people! The writing on this album is actually better than Within Y's too.

4. The Absence - Riders of the Plague: This was their second album and they really stepped it up a notch. Riders of the Plague has that same death/thrash blend that At the Gates helped create. The album starts off with a scream into that Tomas perfected in At the Gates as well. The vocalist is a little deeper than Tomas, but still works. Musically is where this album really shines. The solos are great. Each one is not rushed and written hastily.

So there are 4 bands that you can go check out if you were/are a fan of At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: The Kilborn File

Most of you have probably heard of The Daily Show, but what some of you probably don't know is that Jon Stewart was not the original host. That honor belongs to Craig Kilborn. My senior year in high school I was addicted to Sportscenter. Watching it as I went to bed with Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann and waking up to Craig Kilborn and Stewart Scott. Those four anchors made ESPN what it is today.

Craig eventually left ESPN for cable TV, specifically Comedy Central. He would go onto host The Daily Show for 3 years before getting a bigger job as the Late, Late Show host following Letterman. The Daily Show was great during Kilborn's time. It wasn't political like it is now. It was like SNL's Weekend Update. The segments were great and the interviews were memorable. I still remember Keith Olbermann coming on the show doing an interview (where he bad-mouthed ESPN) and then getting suspended for a week because of it. The best part of his interviews was 5 questions. It was just that, 5 trivia type questions for the celebrities.

After he left, I actually watched some of Jon Stewart's version. I remember his first week when he did his interviews he started with 5 questions and everyday would take one question away, until they were all gone after one week. I rarely watched it after that first week.

I'm not one to stay up late to watch Leno or Letterman, so staying up after that to watch Kilborn wasn't an option...until TIVO. The Late, Late Show was pretty similar to The Daily Show except that the news segments were gone. The headlines and 5 questions were still there, but the missing news segments kind of ruined it. The show was an hour which was nice, but sometimes it dragged on. Besides by then I was recording Jimmie Kimmel's show which was better (sorry Craig).

It had to be like a month after I got TIVO that Kilborn announced he was leaving tv again. I was pissed to say the least. Kilborn has a sharp sense of humor and is very sarcastic. He plays this arrogant person and plays it up well.

So I was shocked and happy to hear about his new show, The Kilborn File. It has a 6 week test period to see if it will go national and continue on. It is more like his Late, Late Show than The Daily Show. In fact, the set looks almost identical to his LLS set. But it is only 30 minutes, so it has that Daily Show feel to it. I have enjoyed watching Kilborn again and hope that this thing continues on. The timeslot might not be the best (6:30 PM here in CA), but my fingers are crossed.

So some pros and cons;
  • headlines are still there
  • 5 questions as well
  • new segments like Power Panel and Speed News
  • 30 minutes

  • side-kick in Christine Lakin
  • no dance, dance Friday (hopefully this will change)
  • no news segments (though the show flows very well without them)
Like I said, this show needs to make it. Watch some clips HERE.