Saturday, April 28, 2012

IPA Taste-Testing

Fuck it, I'm getting drunk tonight. Time to bust out the various IPA craft/microbrew beers I've accumulated and give 'em a whirl.

The Terrapin beers are a "local" brew, from Athens, Georgia. The others were from a mixed 6-pack from a great liquor/craft beer store here in town. The double-IPA's all have at least a 9.0% alcohol content. I don't think I'm getting though all of these tonight...but DAMN am I tempted to try!

I'm a big fan of the craft beers. If you tell me you brew your own beer, then I'll have a stein ready and willing to be filled with your precious ale. If it came down to drinking non-craft beer or no beer at all, I'd choose no beer. I'm at a point where even Sam Adams tastes like Budweiser to me. It's official. I'm a beer snob.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Vinyl Friday! - Week 7

Hello my vinyl friends, welcome to this week's edition of Vinyl Friday!

We have a short playlist, as I only bought one record today.

Mountain - Flowers of Evil (1971)

I recently watched that Such Hawks Such Hounds documentary, and a lot of the doom and stoner rock bands that were interviewed kept referring to Mountain as a big influence. The only thing I ever knew about these guys was that they did that "Mississippi Queen" song.

Flowers of Evil is a rockin' record for sure. I can definitely see how Mountain could have been influential for the burgeoning doom scene. Parts of Flowers of Evil are live, but all of it is good. I enjoyed the hell out of this album today. I'm definitely keeping my eye open for more Mountain in my vinyl-hunting endeavors! 

Enjoy a couple tracks from the album!

Just In Case You Missed It: The Groovy Teacher

Kids in the Hall was the greatest skit-comedy show ever created.

This is one of my favorites, "Groovy Teacher." Enjoy.

Such Hawks Such Hounds

Add this documentary to your MUST WATCH list.

And luckily for you, you can do so on Youtube:

Such Hawks Such Hounds, 2008

Such Hawks Such Hounds is a 2008 documentary on the underground American rock scene from the 1970's through the 1990's. Basically, that's a nice way of saying that this is a documentary on doom and stoner rock.

A lot of great bands are covered in this documentary, and I've even got a list of new bands to look in to. Fatso Jetson, Om, Comets on Fire, Mountain, Earthless, Across the River, Dead Meadow...I shall be researching your music further.

Other than those mentioned above, this documentary also gives in-depth interviews with members and former members of bands such as Pentagram, St. Vitus, The Obsessed, Kyuss, Acid King, Nebula, Sleep, High on Fire, Sunn O))), Mudhoney and more.

A few things from this documentary might be out of date since it was made 4 years ago. That doesn't stop this from being a worthy watch, though. I enjoyed the hell out of this documentary and I hope you will too. Set aside an hour and a half of your time and enjoyyyyyyyy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Amazing Authentic Advertising - Shrunken Heads!

Here's a new blog feature for ya: Amazing Authentic Advertising.

I've got a whole box full of unread comics, many of which are from the mid-to-late 1970's. The advertisements that appeared in comic books at this time were amazing. There should be a book that compiles them. In the meantime, I'll post ones that strike me.

Take today's example, a lovely ad I found in Action Comics #455 (1975).

You can see that Vincent Price was the pitchman (of course), and that these "shrunken heads" were actually just dried apples with add-on's. The reason why I posted this is because despite the fact that this ad was from 1975, I actually remember these things being around when I was a kid (early 1980's). I think I even made one with my mom.

The comic book ads of yore are great. Prepare yourself for seeing more soon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just In Case You Missed It: Marvel vs. DC - Toys Run Amok!

I first came across these videos from some random person on the DC Message Board a couple years ago. I always found them to be absolutely hilarious. Its just a guy with his toys...but its awesome. Most of the videos revolve around the characters from both comic book companies arguing with each other about their respective studio films. Most of the songs and the jokes are only funny to comic book folks, as there are a lot of references the rest of you just won't be forewarned non-awesome people.

So just in case you missed it...enjoy the I'm A Marvel...and I'm a DC series!

The most recent episode, released 1 year ago.

The first one I ever saw. Still my favorite.

Ryan Reynolds vs. Ryan Reynolds

The Rorschach & Deadpool Show.

Wolverine vs. Rorschach...epic.

It's been about a year since the man responsible for this nonsense has unleashed a fresh one on us. Maybe he's waiting for the Avengers movie, or The Dark Knight Rises before coming out of retirement. Or, maybe he just got sick of playing with never know. But the videos will last a lifetime!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Worship: Weird Romance and The Source

Welcome to this week's Sunday Worship, my faithful.

This Sunday morning, I didn't listen to a record as I read a book. Instead, I popped in my VHS copy of the excellent comedy Rushmore by Wes Anderson, starring Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. Its a quirky movie that I've seen a bunch of times, so it was fine to have it on in the background.

This is probably one of the weirdest "love" stories ever filmed, and who better to try than Wes Anderson. The film starts with an introduction to Max (Jason Schwartzman), an underachieving student with a ridiculous resume of extracurricular activities. He becomes friends with the art teacher (Olivia Williams) and eventually falls in love with her. Max also befriends the uber-rich Bill Murray, who of course falls in love with the teacher as well and insanity ensues. 

There's really no way to properly summarize this movie. Its a Wes Anderson movie after all, so its full of odd scenes that all make sense in the grand scheme of things but would ultimately confuse a reader if I tried to summarize them all. Besides, you can just go to Wikipedia for someone's else's attempt at that. 

Rushmore was the first of many "weird" comedies that Bill Murray started doing in the late '90's (and continues to do today), and his performance in this movie is great as always. Anyone could have played his character in this film, but its Murray's calm/cool demeanor that oftentimes brings out the most laughs.

The comic book I decided to read while hanging in the Matt-Cave this morning was Super Team Family #15, starring the Flash and the New Gods.

DC Comics, 1978

Let me go on the record here and say that the New Gods were Jack Kirby's most epic creations. I've been a New Gods fan for a long time. I just love the whole concept of their universe. A beautiful and lush planet of benevolent gods (New Genesis) against the industrialized dark planet of pain and anguish (Apokolips). New Genesis is ruled by Highfather, a spiritual god who has a direct connection to The Source (the "god" of the "New Gods"). Apokolips is ruled by the evil Darkseid, who is determined to solve the anti-life equation. To end the war between Gods, both Highfather and Darkseid exchange their sons as a way of forcing a truce. 

Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips.

EPIC STUFF!!! The Flash on the other hand...I've never been a fan of. "Ohhh....I can run fast!" Big fuckin' deal. Since this book was published in 1978, Barry Allen was the Flash. The story revolved around the New God named Orion (Darkseid's son, who grew up on New Genesis) being cursed with a "growing" disease. As his body becomes larger than the Earth, Highfather enlists the help of the Flash to aid the New Gods in curing Orion. The cure can only come from The Source, but New Gods are prophesized to never be allowed to breach "the final barrier," for if they do they will die. This becomes the reason Flash is enlisted, and at the end of the day...Orion is cured, Darkseid is foiled and Flash has no memory of his time with The Source. 

Barry Allen loses his mind in The Source.

This is actually an interesting issue for us comic book folks, because as any DC comic book reader and fellow New Gods fan will tell you...this "final barrier" is known as The Source Wall. However, this issue showed no such wall. The barrier was simply a bunch of dead gods floating around, attached to pieces of space-junk. Somehow, the idea of this graveyard of Gods morphed into what we know as The Source Wall over time. 

I hope you enjoyed my forms of entertainment for this week's Sunday Worship. Until next week, always remember to keep it vintage!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just In Case You Missed It: Vegan Black Metal Chef

I vaguely remember the time when The Vegan Black Metal Chef first blasted through my computer speakers. I think it was my woman who was looking up recipes who actually came across it. Anyway, this guy is fucking awesome. His sense of humor and knowledge of black metal is clearly evident on his Youtube cooking show.

As far as I know, he's got quite a few episodes online for your evil vegan viewing needs. I've never actually tried any of his recipes (no meat = no interest), but I still like to laugh at his videos from time to time.

So just in case you missed it, here's The Vegan Black Metal Chef!!

If you're interested, watch the video below. Its an interview with the guy who does all of this. Its fun to see how he is when he's not being silly.

Temple of DOOM

Here I sit in front of my computer, having been ultimately defeated on Record Store Day 2012. The 3 albums I was looking for (a reissue of the classic blues album by Skip James, Devil Got My Woman...along with a couple Ozzy releases) were nowhere to be found.

Frustrated, my journey home prompted me to listen to Pentagram's Relentless album. Its such a great doom-metal album, and instantly put me in a better mood. So in the effort of keeping my spirits high and maybe exposing a friend or two to some rockin' tunes...Welcome to the TEMPLE OF DOOM!!!

Doom metal can sometimes get a bad wrap, but there's a lot of good bands mixed within the herd. The problem is, much like many forms of heavy metal music, there's different kinds of doom. NWOBHM Doom. Stoner Doom. Sludge Doom. Funeral Doom. Blackened Doom. Death/Doom. Need I go on? There's the slow, boring monotone stuff that will put you to sleep. There's the Black Sabbath rip-off bands. But then there's bands like Pentagram, Trouble, St. Vitus and so forth. What I'm going to share with you are MY favorite doom/stoner rock bands. Hopefully you will enjoy the journey.

Let's start with a few tracks by Trouble. Trouble was an interesting band in the doom scene. They were openly Christian and had a lot of religious lyrics, but their style was very dark and heavy. Their beliefs never seemed to bother those metal fans who listened to all the satanic stuff, because Trouble simply kicked ass. Their vocalist (Eric Wagner) takes some getting used to. He's got a bit of a screaming wail that can be annoying to some, but epic to others. Give these tracks a try!

from Manic Frustration (1992)

from Plastic Green Head. (1995)

If you listened to all the tracks, you'll know that Trouble became more "stoner rock" and less "doom metal" as they progressed. They briefly flirted with a major label for their albums Trouble and Manic Frustration, but never quite earned their millions. They're still around today, but Eric Wagner is no longer their singer. The former lead singer of Warrior Soul (Kory Clarke) was their vocalist from 2008-2012, and now Kyle Thomas (the Alabama Thunderpussy guy) fronts the band. Still, nothing beats the Wagner years...and the fans know it!!

Up next for your education is Pagan Altar. This is a band that never made it big, commercially or otherwise. They recorded songs between 1978-1982, but they were never able to get a proper record deal. They released demos and such back in the day, but their material was never properly released until 1998. Here's a couple tracks for your enjoyment!

from Volume 1. (1998)

from Lords of Hypocrisy. (2004)

Pagan Altar reformed in 2004 and have been touring and recording ever since. They consider themselves to be a part of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) scene, even though they didn't quite make a splash until much later. Pagan Altar prove that its never too late to rock!

Next up on the listening dock is Witchfinder General, another band that comes from the NWOBHM scene. Witchfinder General often gets dismissed because their singer tended to do a damn fine Ozzy impression on their earlier tracks. Their first album is definitely their best, and even if they did dip into Ozzy's pool every now and again, they still proved to be an excellent band in their own right. They only released two albums between 1982 and 1983. They reformed in 2008 and recorded an album, but that's about it for these guys. I never heard the newer album. Don't care. It's all about the first two!

from Death Penalty. (1982)

from Death Penalty. (1982)

from Friends of Hell. (1983)

That's all I have for you as far as a "history" lesson goes. The bands you just listened to are all classic, and there's plenty more where that came from. There's a couple of newer bands that I'd like to share with you as well, if you can spare the time. As doom metal progressed from the NWOBHM scene, it also branched out into "stoner doom." I'm going to focus on some stoner doom/rock bands, as they definitely keep the sound of old doom alive, yet keep it fresh enough for the next wave. And no, you don't have to be high to enjoy this music (although I'm sure it helps).

First up is Kyuss. This name may ring a bell for some. The band was on MTV a few times, and their guitarist (Josh Homme) went on to front the mega-popular band Queens of the Stone Age. Kyuss was a part of that early stoner rock scene with bands such as Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet. Kyuss was always set apart though, mainly because they were simply better than most of the other bands at the time.

from Blues for the Red Sun. (1992)

from Welcome to Sky Valley. (1994)

Kyuss reformed (sorta) in 2010 without Josh Homme, and have been calling themselves Kyuss Lives! However, Josh Homme recently filed a lawsuit against them all for trademark infringement and consumer fraud. The chances of a proper reunion are slim at best, but really...Josh Homme is a dick so who cares. Here's to the hope that Kyuss Lives! shall be victorious in court!

Up next from the "stoner doom" scene, we have Sleep. Sleep has gone down in history as a groundbreaking doom band, as they greatly influenced the metal scene of the 1990's. Sleep was a band that all the other metal bands at the time were fans of, even though most normal people didn't know who they were.

from Sleep's Holy Mountain. (1993)

Members of Sleep have gone on to heavy metal success with the band High On Fire, but I prefer the old stuff. High On Fire took what Sleep did to the next extreme. They're a lot heavier and definitely more metal than they are "stoner doom." Still a good band, but for me it's all about Sleep.

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed your time in the Temple of Doom. The Vintage Warrior is always here and he takes requests, so never hesitate to ask for further jam sessions. Until then, lets let the masters take us out!

You just know he digs the Pagan Altar.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vinyl Friday! - Week 6

I didn't happen to go find anything out there in Vinyl-Land today, so instead lets sit back and enjoy a great album together. Prepare yourselves for the departure point...


When I make the decision to spin a Doors record, its a very scientific process. You have to ask yourself "which Jim Morrison do I want today?" Are you in the mood for pretentiousness or blues or something in-between? Waiting For The Sun has it all.

Although, you know what always pissed me off about this album? It doesn't actually contain the "Waiting for the Sun" song! Seriously, what the hell. Regardless, Waiting For The Sun has a lot of my favorite Doors songs, such as:

"Spanish Caravan"

This album also has a lot of the songs that appear on the Greatest Hits collections, such as "Hello, I Love You," "Love Street," "The Unknown Soldier," "Not to Touch the Earth" and "Five to One." All are great songs, but I'm quite partial to "The Unknown Solder."

"The Unknown Soldier"

It was Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall who summed it up perfectly: "Doors fans aren't made, they're born." Enjoy this clip, as it ties in to the album we're listening to!

"All that new stuff sucks, but it's over there."

Just In Case You Missed It: Bill O'Reilly Fucks It Live

This is an oldie but goodie. It's one of those Youtube clips that just never gets old, because making fun of Bill O'Reilly is always relevant.

Even back then, he was an idiot.

I always appreciate those with a sense of humor. Kudos to whoever made the original version of this.

Just in case you missed it, here's the original freak-out for your comparison curiosity. Its even better than the parody.

Yep, you were a bit of an asshole too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Covet Corner: The Black Sabbath/Ozzy Collection

Welcome to part 2 of the 5-part blog series Covet Corner. I'm your envious host, The Vintage Warrior.

Behold the next set of vintage material that you may covet: My Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne vinyl collection.

Yes, there are a couple glaring emissions here. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage and Never Say Die! by Black Sabbath have always eluded me on vinyl for a decent price. Sure, I have them all on CD...but we all know that's just not the same.

Black Sabbath's first album is a classic. With elements of blues, rock and the building blocks of what eventually became "heavy metal," Black Sabbath featured long, terrifying songs about going to hell and dealing with wizards. My favorite track off the album is the blues-infused "Wicked World." Feel free to enjoy it along with me.

from Black Sabbath (1970)

Paranoid is the album most people know, due to the songs "Paranoid," "Iron Man" and "War Pigs." Its a shame that too many people out there think these three songs are the extent of what Black Sabbath had to offer. Obviously the previously mentioned songs are good, so I'm not going to bother posting them. But here's a ditty that you probably haven't heard nearly as much (well, maybe you have):

from Paranoid (1970)

Master of Reality was basically Black Sabbath's ode to drugs, particularly marijuana ("Sweet Leaf") and other forms of debauchery. Its no secret that the entire band suffered from substance abuse for pretty much the entire time Ozzy was in the band, but these were the early days so their youthful energy balanced out the death-ride and great albums were produced. Master of Reality is one of them. One of my favorite songs from the album is "Children of the Grave." It's basically the greatest metal song EVER recorded. I dare you to challenge me on that!

originally from Master of Reality. (1971)

Ahhhh...Vol. 4. Not only was this the very first Black Sabbath album I owned on vinyl, it was also one of the very first vinyl albums I ever owned. I remember finding it at a vintage/thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Its an album I regrettably have nearly worn out and hope to replace at some point. But in the meantime, enjoy one of Black Sabbath's more "heavy psychedelic" songs, "Wheels of Confusion." (I was tempted to post the cocaine-loving "Snowblind," but I can't help but liking this song more)

from Vol. 4 (1972)

Unfortunately, this is where my collection hits a gap. However, Technical Ecstasy is an excellent album and is one that I listen to often. I remember not liking it back in the day because it didn't sound like the doom-metal of their first four albums, nor did it rock the same way that Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage did. Its an album that has grown on me over time. I really dig the new direction the band was trying to go in, and its a shame that this is when things really started to go south between Ozzy and Sabbath (Tony Iommi). 

I have many favorite songs from this album. Their most famous is probably "Dirty Women." Here's one that rocks even more:

from Technical Ecstasy. (1976)

For the moment, that's it for the Ozzy Osbourne-era of Black Sabbath records I have. That one odd-ball album you see in the collage-pic is a collection of songs from Black Sabbath and Paranoid. Since my copy of Black Sabbath is a little bit rough, I usually grab this Attention! album to listen to in its place.

I have no idea when this was released. But that is one awesome cover.

 Ronnie James Dio was Ozzy Osbourne's official replacement in Black Sabbath, and his completely different style of singing gave Black Sabbath a much-needed shot in the arm. Dio's boisterous and angry vocals on Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules were in extreme contrast to Ozzy's style, and Black Sabbath as a band had to adjust to that. Hands down, one of the greatest Black Sabbath songs ever is "Heaven and Hell" from  Heaven and Hell, and Mob Rules has its classics as well. Unfortunately, tensions between Dio and Tony Iommi arose (of course), and Dio went on to an excellent solo career of his own. Below you'll hear my favorite tracks from Black Sabbath's Dio-era. I hope you enjoy the change!

from Heaven and Hell. (1980)

from Mob Rules. (1981)

One of Black Sabbath's last stabs at greatness before delving into mediocrity was Born Again, with the former lead singer of Deep Purple (Ian Gillian) on board to belt out the jams. This album wasn't a huge hit, but it did have some classics such as "Zero the Hero." Ian Gillian only did this one album with Black Sabbath, but it definitely has its place in the hearts of many Black Sabbath fans. "Zero the Hero" is awesome, but nothing on this album touches "Disturbing the Priest."

from Born Again. (1983)

And that's it for my Black Sabbath collection! Oh, wait...yeah...I do have that shitty Seventh Star album. It's not really a Black Sabbath album. It was meant to be a Tony Iommi solo album but the record label insisted on releasing it as Black Sabbath. It is HORRIBLE. AWFUL. With Glenn Hughes on vocals, this was some of the worst music the 1980's ever produced. The only reason I'm posting the "hit single" from the album is so you can hear how bad it actually was.

from Seventh Star. (1986)

Ok, lets cleanse our palates from that awful Seventh Star crap and get on to the OZZY!!!

Clearly, I don't have as many Ozzy albums as I do Black Sabbath ones, but the Ozzy albums I do have are all essential. Ozzy's first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, is perhaps his most famous due to "Crazy Train" being his hit single. "Crazy Train" is indeed one of Ozzy's best songs, but I'd like to give you a taste of something else.

from Blizzard of Ozz. (1980)

Diary of a Madman is another great Ozzy Osbourne album. Randy Rhodes was still alive and kicking ass on the ax, and Ozzy was in top form. The great thing about Ozzy's early solo career was that not only was Black Sabbath re-energized from Ozzy's dismissal, but Ozzy himself was re-energized. It's clearly evident on theose first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Many would argue it was due to his friendship with Randy Rhodes, and I don't think they were wrong.

from Diary of a Madman. (1981)

No Ozzy Osbourne collection is complete without Bark at the Moon. Sadly, Randy Rhodes had met his end via plane crash before this album was recorded, but that didn't stop Ozzy from recording a mediocre album! Honestly, I don't really like this album for some reason. It's got a lot of '80's cheese on it. The best track is the title track. Enjoy the music video for it below, it's a classic!

originally from Bark at the Moon. (1983)

The last album I have to present to your envious nature is Ozzy Osbourne's live album, Speak of the Devil. It's fully comprised of Ozzy-era Black Sabbath songs, and was meant as a dig at Black Sabbath for releasing Live Evil with Ronnie James Dio singing a lot of the old Ozzy songs. Band politics aside, this is not only a great collection of Black Sabbath songs performed by the Ozzy Osbourne band, but it's also one hell of a live recording. It sounds amazing on vinyl! You almost feel like you were at the concert. I love it.

from Speak of the Devil. (1982)

I hope you enjoyed this week's edition of Covet Corner. Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne don't need any more press of course, but that's not going to stop you from wishing you had a few of the records I do.

Join me next week when I take a break from the vinyl records and will show you a comic book collectible or two.

Until then, stay envious my friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Married...With Children vs. Roseanne

Welcome to this week’s VERSUS!

Being a true child of the 1980’s and 1990’s, I was aware of both Married…With Children and Roseanne, but never really watched them until they were in syndication. My mother wouldn’t let me watch Married…With Children as a kid because she thought it was too vulgar, and no-one in my family cared for Roseanne because it was the show with “that raunchy fat bitch who ruined the National Anthem” at some baseball game. I greatly enjoyed watching Roseanne as reruns in the early 2000’s, and finally got around to watching Married…With Children in syndication about 3 years ago. I still watch them both whenever I catch them on TV.

Anyway, these are both classic television programs that really showed you what life was like in low-income white neighborhoods. Where Married…With Children took more of a slapstick style in their storytelling, Roseanne was full of sarcasm and dealt with a lot of issues that were more grounded in reality. They’re both great shows with similar subject matters, but went about telling those matters in different ways.

So who will win? Who will get canceled? The battle of lower/middle-class sitcoms shall now commence!


Married…With Children and Roseanne came out at pretty much the same time and lasted about the same time as well. Married…With Children ran from 1987 to 1997, while Roseanne ran from 1988 to 1997. Married…With Children was the first sitcom television show put out by Fox, while Roseanne was on ABC.

Married…With Children had a lot going for it. Not only was the wife (played by Katey Sagal) a hot n’ horny piece of ass, but the daughter (played by Christina Applegate) was even hotter and sluttier. The main character, Al Bundy (played by the great Ed O’Neil), still stands as one of the greatest characters on television ever produced. His negativity and constant sense of discomfort were always great for laughs, along with the constant bickering and one-upsmanship the siblings would get into. The long-running joke on the show was that Al had the worst job in the world: a women’s shoe salesman.

Every boy in the world thinks they deserve one of these.

I watched the E! True Hollywood Story on Married…With Children once, and one of the producers said that Ed O’Neil’s trick to playing Al Bundy was that he would always pretend that Al’s life “smelled bad.” You can definitely tell that’s the case!

Roseanne on the other hand had an entire cast of characters that were funny, but also had real problems that just about anyone could relate to. Money troubles, unemployment, teenage sex, gay/lesbian issues, domestic violence, neighborhood rivalries, substance abuse…it was all fodder for Roseanne to mock and make a point about. With John Goodman on board as the TV husband, Roseanne reached out to the lower class in a way that no other show had done before.

There weren’t many shows you could watch on TV that dealt with things such as birth control or domestic abuse with class. Where Married…With Children would perhaps make a joke about “how many birth control pills did Kelly take today” or show Peggy beating up on Al for not having sex with her…Roseanne would show you the difficult mother/daughter conversation about birth control and throw in some jokes here and there, and show John Goodman beating the shit out of a wife-beater with a cheering audience.

In the end, who wins the battle?

Both are extremely funny shows, they just utilize humor in a different way. Both shows have a strong sense of realism, yet they portray reality in completely different ways. They both lasted just about the same time, and both shows sputtered out at the end (Married…With Children was canceled without a final episode, and the final season of Roseanne was retarded.) Both shows make fun of white trash culture, yet keep things real enough to make you relate to them, regardless of your status.

At the end of the day, I care more about characters who grow and change as time goes on. That happens with everyone on Roseanne, and character-arcs were often the driving plot of each season. On the other hand, Married…With Children was always funny but everyone pretty much stayed exactly the same in every episode. They were like a live-action Simpsons, when you think about it.

So for personal taste alone, I’m going with the more mature Roseanne as the victor.

Interesting side-note:
Roseanne shares a huge connection to one of my favorite sitcoms on TV right now, The Big Bang Theory. Show-runner Chuck Lorre was a writer on Roseanne before moving on to his own things. The guy who played Darlene’s boyfriend David (Johnny Galecki) is one of the main characters on The Big Bang Theory (Leonard). Darlene herself (Sara Gilbert) appeared in the first couple seasons of The Big Bang Theory as Leslie Winkle. Roseanne’s sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) also appears on The Big Bang Theory every now and again as Sheldon’s mother. 

I’m still waiting for Roseanne herself to make an appearance!

Sing it, fat lady!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just In Case You Missed It: 8-Bit Black Metal

Even though I don't follow the current black metal scene, I still get a hankering for some audio blasphemy every now and then. Instead of finding new black metal to listen to (who fucking cares), I always rely on the classics. Mayhem. Burzum. Emperor. Satyricon. You know, the usual Top 40 chart-toppers.

Not too long ago I stumbled upon these videos on Youtube, where someone had taken old black metal and death metal songs and turned them into 8-Bit video game music. Its amazing to me how similar they actually sound to the originals!!

Here's a few samples. First you'll get a video of the original song. Feel free to listen to it for as long as you deem necessary to get the point. After that, you'll get the 8-Bit version for the full effect. Just in case you missed it, I hope you enjoy! (FYI, the Emperor one is my favorite.)

MayheM - Freezing Moon

8-Bit Version

Burzum - Dunkelheit

8-Bit Version

Emperor - I Am The Black Wizards

8-Bit Version

SWM, 19, looking for girl who likes makeup, long walks in the woods, leather-crafting, swordplay, jewelry and helmets. Those who don't worship the Dark Lord need not respond.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Worship: Hangin' with Bobby at the Zero Hour

I had a real early start this wonderful Sunday morning. Lots to do, lots to do. But that's not going to stop me from enjoying a comic book while I listen to a record or two. It IS Sunday, after all.

Since I just wrote up the "Magical World of Bobby Liebling & Pentagram" blog last night, I still had crazy ol' Bobby on the brain this morning so I threw in the only Pentagram album I have on vinyl, "A Keg Full of Dynamite."

This is a live album that was recorded in 1978, but wasn't released until 2003. It was recorded at some local dive called "The Keg," and isn't the best live recording out there but it still has its charm for sure. Featuring many songs from those early days (many of which were re-recorded on later Pentagram albums), "A Keg Full of Dynamite" is a fine addition to your metal vinyl collection. Here, have a tasty jam...on me.

While jamming out to Pentagram, I also read the old DC Comics classic "Zero Hour: A Crisis in Time." Even though I already have the book, the issues were on sale for 99 cents each from ComiXology (for my Kindle Fire), so I bought 'em. I figured in a world where I can spend just under $5 for 5 books when $4.26 (tax included) only gets you ONE Marvel book...that's a good deal.

This is still a book that holds up, even though it was originally released in 1994. I had forgotten how many important things happened in this book that went on to affect the DC Universe as a whole. We got to see the introduction of Impulse (who would later go on to become Kid Flash), the deaths of many of the original members of the Justice Society, Hawkman's merging into the "Hawk God," and even the birth of Power Girl's now non-existent magic-baby. Guy Gardner was just beginning to show his Vuldarian powers for the first time. Donna Troy was a Darkstar. Hal Jordan was the evil Parallax, hellbent on remaking the universe. Superman had recently just come back from the dead, and Batman was freshly back on the scene after having his back broken. This was definitely an exciting time for DC fans.

The book has always had a very polarized audience. Some people love it while others hate it. I've always been in the "love it" camp, mainly because it was one of the first DC books I read that got me back into comics. Books like this featured a ridiculous amount of characters, so it was nice to get an introduction to a bunch of them. It certainly helped that I had a good buddy by my side to explain everything for me.

When looking for pics to throw up for this blog, I found this old advertisement for Zero Hour:

This advertisement might not seem like a big deal, but I think its quite telling about the industry as a whole. Zero Hour was a story released in 1994. Yet, nearly every single "event" story that gets released by both DC and Marvel all promise that things are "shaken to their core" and that "everything will change." Yet nothing ever does. Its 2012, and I still hear the same exact claims about upcoming stories that were put on this ad in 1994. I suppose its the "illusion of change" that keeps us all reading the same shit year after year. Then again, maybe this is why I read just as many independent non-superhero books as I do superhero books. Something tells me the non-superhero side will wind up winning in the end.

Who am I kidding, I'll probably always read Superman and Batman.

Until next Sunday my faithful. Until then...bow 'em out Bobby.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Magical World of Bobby Liebling & Pentagram

When it comes to old bands who used to rock in the 1970's who still rock n' roll today, one has to ask how you go from this: THIS:

That's what nearly 40 years of drug addiction will do to you.

Welcome to the Magical World of Bobby Liebling and Pentagram.

I'm not going to go through the entire history of Pentagram, for the Wikipedia page does a pretty damn good job of filling you in on all of the important details about the band and its "enigmatic" lead singer. Check it out here.

What I'm going to do is break down the different eras of Pentagram for you. So sit back and enjoy the tunes. You're about to take a journey.

Pentagram's best material (in my opinion) was recorded in the early 1970's. These songs were never properly released until 2001 when Relapse Records released "First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection." You will not find another collection of early '70's rock that competes with what Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were doing. I like to call this excellent era in Pentagram's existence "The Vintage Era."

Even though "The Vintage Era" material wasn't properly released until nearly 30 years after it was recorded, and their hopes and dreams of being signed to a major label and achieving massive success were crushed to pieces; Pentagram still became a well-respected underground metal band in the 1980's.

By the mid-1980's, Bobby Liebling was already hopelessly addicted to heroin. However, this never stopped Pentagram from being a great band. They signed to Peaceville Records in 1985, and were quite a different band than what they were 10 years prior. Pentagram became one of the more influential bands in the "doom metal" genre, which also included bands like Candlemass, The Obsessed, Saint Vitus and Trouble. 

Pentagram released 3 albums between 1985 and 1994. Below I've posted my favorite song off each album, which I hope will give you a good representation of Pentagram's DOOM METAL years.

from "Pentagram," later re-released as "Relentless." (1985)

from "Day of Reckoning." (1987)

from "Be Forewarned." (1994)

After 1994, Pentagram kind of disappeared until Bobby Liebling needed more money for crack and heroin. From 1999 to 2004, Pentagram released 3 sub-par albums that varied in public opinion. It's pretty clear that Bobby's voice was not quite what it used to be, and the constantly revolving band members certainly didn't help Pentagram maintain a cohesive sound.

I like to call this era of Pentagram the I NEED MONEY FOR DRUGS era. These 3 albums all feature decent songs, but as a whole you could probably make your own 'best of' collection from these albums onto one CD.

from "Review Your Choices." (1999)

from "Sub Basement." (2001)

from "Show 'Em How." (2004)

Again, after 2004 Bobby Liebling and Pentagram disappeared again. In 2007, Bobby was found living in his parent's basement, still strung out on heroin and crack. The life-long Pentagram fan that found him decided to make a documentary about Bobby Liebling and Pentagram. Check out the trailer:

"Last Days Here" (2011)

2010-2011 proved to be a good year for Bobby Liebling. Not only did he record a badass Pentagram album called "Last Rites," but the documentary won a ton of awards. Bobby also married a hot little piece of ass.

Yep, they have a kid together and he says he's off the drugs now too. The horror!

Here's a track from "Last Rites," the 2011 album. In my opinion, its Pentagram's best album in years.

Here's to another 40 years, Bobby!

Please don't die.