Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I saw Metallica on the opening night of their concert tour for the new CD Death Magnetic. Let me say right up front that I am not a Metallica fan, although I do like a few songs. I have a policy, however, that I will go hear any band, no matter how bizarre or outside my sphere, if you buy the ticket (my Sister in Law bought this one). If they suck, I will drink a beer. If they still suck, I will drink another beer, until such time as either they sound good, or I am drunk (in the case of Primus I just ended up drunk). This policy has served me well. I saw Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (a show I thought I would hate) and, low and behold, I had a blast! Additionally, I saw Velvet Revolver on someone elses dime and I was pleasantly surprised. Conversely, I saw Bon Jovi when a friend bought the ticket and I later wished she hadn't wasted her money. That said, let's return to Metallica.

As I said, I am not a Metallica fan but I do like a few songs. I was, however, again pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the performance. I thought they were very polished and they put on a very energetic show. They had laser beams, flames, and coffin shaped lighting fixtures which I thought were fun (albeit campy). For me, the high point was when they performed Master Of Puppets. The audience knew every word and sang louder than the band. That's pretty cool no matter what genre. It was also a very good rendition. My only real complaint is that the sound engineering was truely bad... literally atrocious. The distortion was so bad that your couldn't make out words even when they were speaking directly to the audience. Lars' double bass drum riffs just sounded like a dull roar and sixteenth notes were indistinguishable in every lead guitar solo. From an entertainment standpoint, the show was great. From a technical audio engineering stand point, the show was an utter failure. I'm still glad I went. Somebody else paid and I had a great time.

Halloween Fun

I read to my kids every night. We just finished the last two Harry Potter books and I read them a short story by pulp science fiction writer Fredric Brown. You might know the FB story Arena - it was reworked into a Star Trek episode of the same name (big lizard guy called a Gorn) - classic SF. Well, in honor of Halloween I'm reading them a story by my cheesey horror hero H. P. Lovecraft. Those who know me know I love Lovecraft. I know the stories are corney, but somehow they're effective. The good ones really are creepy. I'm reading them one of my favorites: The Colour Out Of Space. They haven't really been exposed to horror fiction so this is quite a change of pace. So far, their attention is rapt. They keep saying things like, "Dad, that's freaky!". At some point I should show them a picture of 'ol H. P... that's freaky! He looks like a character from one of his own stories.

On Halloween we're going to watch the campy old Vincent Price film The Abominable Dr. Phibes. I think they're going to love it. My favorite is the part where Dr. Phibes locks the frog mask on his victim's head at the masquerade party and it slowly clicks tighter and tighter until the poor creep's head explodes, spewing blood all over the transparent eyeballs of the mask. Of course the scumbag deserves it! Hooray for campy horror, hooray! Vincent and H. P., true kings of cheese!

The Latest

Okay, so I haven't made a post for a while. Here's the deal: my new job as a high school art and music teacher is just plain overwhelming. On top of that, my band is loosing it's bass player. Yup, it's true. Eliot is leaving us to go to seminary college. Maybe at some point in the future we'll release a CD listing "Reverend Eliot" on bass. In the interim, however, we're looking for someone to fill his very big shoes (shoes of the fisherman?). Hopefully we'll get to do at least one more show before Eliot goes. Stay tuned, I'll let you know.