Saturday, January 21, 2012

Inside Four Walls: Wonder if American students would do this... get to school

just goes to show how in some parts of the world education is more valuable than others. I can see not only the students saying school's not that important and also the parents. Interesting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Video Killed the Radio Star: Is this what I sound like?

A short video of what comic book nerds say. I will admit to saying some of these. The one that sticks out is the whole "Galactus is a cloud?" because every time I talk about FF2 I always say that.

Inside Four Walls: Not surprised...

I haven't posted a school story in awhile and this one doesn't have to do with my job, but the results are more of the mind boggling "why would you want to get into education?"

I have talked about teacher's rights and free speech and all that good stuff plenty of times on here. But teacher's and educators in general seem to get screwed in that department. Take this story via Joanne Jacobs' blog.
A middle school principal in northeastern Pennsylvania was shocked to see his photo online along with a description of him as a “hairy sex addict” and a “pervert” who liked “hitting on students” in his office. 
A high school principal north of Pittsburgh saw a MySpace profile of himself that called him a “big fag,” a “whore” and a drug user. 
And in West Virginia, a school principal found out that a girl had created an online site to maliciously mock another girl as a “slut” with herpes. 
All three students were suspended and filed suit, claiming their free speech rights had been abridged. The two students who charged their principals with misconduct won in the lower courts. The girl who mocked a classmate lost.

I absolutely love how the students that attacked their principals on line are protected by free speech, but the student on student isn't. Open season on online attacks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Music Non Stop: 2012 new music

It's going to be tough to have another year like last year, but so far there seems to be a lot of promise that it won't be a crappy year.

First up is Into Eternity. Their last one was mediocre. I felt that they let Stu go a little to high too much. But by the sound of this clip he seems to be using his new found "mid-range" vocals from Iced Earth.

Another band that I have on my radar is The Resistance. It's a band made up of former members of In Flames and The Haunted. One of my favorite The Haunted album's is One Kill Wonder with Marco Aro on vocals and he is back for this album. Hopefully they throw in some nice guitar solos, but I am ready for this to drop.
COUP DE GRACE by The_Resistance
Also to note would be Lacuna Coil's Dark Adrenaline which sound better than their last album which was just ok...and that would be a positive spin. Add onto that I am also watching for some new Soulfly this year.

So even though this time last year, Times of Grace was already in my hands, I am optimistic it will be a fairly solid year.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Video Killed the Radio Star: Prometheus Trailer

Late to the party that's for sure, but this looks good. I am a fan of the first two Alien movies...the rest were so bad...just bad. So when rumors of a Ridley Scott movie based of the famed "space jockey" was announced I kind of perked up. But when the trailer was released last week...

...I am at full attention now. This is a must see for me. This thing screams Alien prequel down to the ship. How can this not be the same planet in Alien/Aliens?

Right Now: Howard Jones out of KsE

What a crappy way to start off the new year with the news of Howard Jones leaving/fired from Killswitch Engage. I am a huge Jesse Leach fan, but if you have to have another singer for KsE it was Howard. End of Heartache is a classic and easily is up there with Alive or Just Breathing. I have always said those two albums were so much like Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. Meaning the songs were similar and how both albums were at the top of their game.

What sucks is that their last album was a "return to form" so to speak after the mediocre Daylight Dies. I was really excited to see what they were going to come up with, especially with everyone sort of doing their own thing. It would have been interesting to see what they could have produced after being apart for so long.

Now this opens the door for Jesse to return to KsE, but who knows if he will. He did the Times of Grace project with Adam D. and the touring version of the band features a couple of KsE members. I hope he does. Times of Grace was awesome and at times was reminiscent of KsE.

If I couldn't get Jesse back there is only one singer off the top of my head that could pull it off and that would be Jimmie Strimmell of Dead By April/Nightrage fame. I think he would be great in that role. He isn't allowed to do the clean vocals anymore for DbA so why not?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Who Decides: 2011 Albums of the Year

What happened to the end of 2011? I was on track to have close to 300 posts and then...well nothing happened. I stopped posting. I will try to get back to posting on a regular basis, so let's see how that goes.

First things first, my top 10 albums of 2011. There was a lot of great music last year and in all my years of doing this list, this was the hardest hands down. In fact when I was making the list, I actually ended up with 20 albums that I really enjoyed, so since i already did the Spinal Tap Edition, I will simply do a top 20 for this year, nothing full detail with the 20-11, just list them.

By the way, here is the list of the mid year albums.  Most show up again with only a few not making it to the final 20.

20. Protest the Hero - Scurrilous
19. Deadlock - Bizarro World
18. Anthrax - Worship Music
17. Megadeth - Th1rt3en
16. Nightrage - Insidious
15. Unearth - Darkness in the Light
14. Revocation - Chaos of Forms
13. The Haunted - Unseen
12. Sylosis - Edge of the Earth
11. The Human Abstract - Digital Veil

Some really good albums in there. On any given day those 10 could have made the top 10 list...maybe not the top 4 or 5, but easily 10-6. Now onto the rest;

10. Lazarus A.D. - Black River Flows: This was a surprise for me, not because I'm not a fan, but because how much growth transpired between their debut and this one. This is the kind of maturity that you see between albums like Kill Em All and Ride the Lightning or KIMB and Peace Sells. Lazarus A.D. easily put themselves out there as one of the top new "thrash revival" acts. Before they were just an Exodus clone, but not anymore.

9. Cavalera Conspiracy - Blunt Force Trauma: This was another surprise, but for a different reason, their debut was meh. It wasn't great, it wasn't bad, it was just there. Their follow up really brings back the days of Arise. The guitar work, mainly solos, is awesome. Killing Inside and I Speak Hate are two great songs that just grab you and don't let go of you.

8. Evile - Five Serpent's Teeth: Another "thrash revival" band. I had heard of this band, but never paid much attention to them. I will never make that mistake again. The best way I can sum up this band is by repeating what i read about them; This is Metallica after AJFA. The vocal delivery is similar and the music is also in the same style as the classic thrash we all know and love.

7. Iced Earth - Dystopia: I already talked about this album HERE. All I will say is that it's nice to see Iced Earth back making classic heavy metal/thrash again.

6. In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading: People said In Flames were dead after their guitarist, Jesper, left the band. And I will be honest I was worried. Come Clarity was awesome, but The Mirror's Truth was bad. This one is back on track. Ander's vocals remind me of Reroute to Remain and the music is closer in style to Come Clarity than The Mirror's Truth. I was very glad to see that In Flames could rise up and make a stellar album without one of their key members.

5. Anterior - Echoes of the Fallen: Of all the "new" bands releasing sophomore albums (Anterior, Lazarus A.D., Sylosis) I wasn't too interested in Anterior's, until I heard the samples. This is easily the best of the other 2 bands. The guitar work is top notch and even thought there is no real change in vocal delivery, it works and I never find myself wishing something would change.  Reviewed HERE.

4. Times of Grace - Times of Grace: This album was my choice for album of the year in January. As you can see it didn't quiet make it, but it didn't fall off the radar either. I have reviewed already and have nothing to add. It stands up through continuous listens and it is a nice change of pace when compared to other albums here.  Reviewed HERE.

3. Mercenary - Metamorphosis: There was a time when I thought this might be number one because it really came out of nowhere. I was a fan of Mercenary's 11 Dreams, but when they lost their bass player/scream vocals I was worried. But when they released Architect of Lies all those fears were gone the new vocalist was great. But then short after their tour ended the band imploded and 2 members, including the vocalist, left. So I was nervous, but this album is everything that is great about Mercenary, heavy guitars, great vocals, and some excellent head banging moments.  Review HERE.

2. Machine Head - Unto the Locust: Now if you remember in 2007, Machine Head's The Blackening was my number one album. Looking back and what I have listened to since, I sometimes think maybe DevilDriver's The Last Kind Words should have been number one. But fast word to 2011 and Machine Head's latest is good...really good. There are times when I think this is a lot better than The Blackening. With The Blackening, some of the songs were too long. Now these songs are long again, but for some reason they fly by. The songs are a lot easier to digest if you will. I have read the opposite from some reviewers, but this was an album that was very easy for me to get into and enjoy. But unfortunately it couldn't top the number one album...who knows maybe in a few years I'll say how Machine Head should have been number one.

1. Trivium - In Waves: Well let's hit the time machine again, in 2008 Trivium's Shogun ended up number two behind Metallica's Death Magnetic...mainly because I am such a Metallica fan. And there were some times towards the end of the year that I was thinking that Trivium could drop to number two again, but it didn't happen. Trivium's songs are so catchy it's amazing. There is only one other band that makes songs grab you on the first listen and that would be Bullet For My Valentine. While this wasn't as good as Shogun, it was still the best thing from start to finish I heard all year.  Reviewed HERE.