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Meeting a legend

There was a time, when I was a kid, where I didn’t really listen to music at all. I didn’t ask to hear certain songs, didn’t ask someone to put on the radio, and I didn’t have a favorite song or band. I did enjoy playing music to an extent, and played in orchestra and then band in grade school, but it wasn’t a core part of me. It didn’t run through my veins constantly. This all changed the summer I was introduced to Iron Maiden.

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My first album, ever…

There was a kid in my class that I made friends with, and he came over my house to hang out one day. He brought a cassette with him to play for me. It was the latest Maiden album, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Whether it was just the music, or a combination of the music and the fact that I thought this was one of the cool kids, I got hooked. Some time later, I purchase this album on cassette, the first music purchase of my life. From there, the music exploded a bomb within me, and my life was quite literally changed forever. Maiden opened the door to other metal bands, as well as many other things in my life. Many of their songs had to do with history, books, TV shows, movies, broadway plays, and various other subjects. I learned from them while also rocking out to the amazing compositions. I was the only one in my class to ace the test on Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge because of the Maiden song of the same name. This band influenced my life in innumerable ways, and all for the better.

The biggest impact, hands down, was made by Maiden’s front man, Bruce Dickinson. From the first time I heard him sing, I knew I was hearing something special. Then I saw him perform on the video for Live After Death, and on a bootleg video my cousin got me of Maiden playing in Dortmund in 1983. From that point on, I wanted to be on stage. I wanted to be a singer, and front a band. I, basically, wanted to be Bruce Dickinson.

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From the World Slavery Tour in the 80’s. This is who I wanted to be!

I’ve since seen the band play numerous times. My first time was with the singer who replaced Dickinson, Blaze Bailey. After he left, I got to see them on their reunion tour for Ed Hunter, which was at the Hammerstein ballroom in NYC. I was maybe 3 people away from the band on the floor, and it was incredible. Definitely one of those shows I wish I could go back to and relive over and over again.

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Freshly autographed by the legend himself!

Now, fast forward to a few days ago. A local bookstore was hosting a signing with none other than the man, Bruce Dickinson himself. He’s promoting his autobiography, which was just released. I sat in the crowd and waited for him to come out and speak. He spoke for about an hour or so, and it was great. He was funny, a little quirky, and pretty down to earth about everything. Finally, it came time to do the actual signings. He was only to be signing his name, no personalization, no photos, none of that. While I waited in line, it looked like an assembly line, and fans didn’t really have time for much interaction. This was likely because he spoke for awhile, and had it gone slower he’d have been there until midnight for sure. Regardless of this fact, my mind raced with things I should say to him. How could I possibly explain to him in just a few short words the mountainous impact he had, and still has, on my life? Hell, I’m writing this post right now, and I’m already well over 600 words, and I’m still nowhere near doing it justice. The time finally came, and I walked up. He sat right in front of me, easily the only celebrity idol I ever had growing up (sorry Billy, not that kind of Idol), and the emotion finally broke and crashed into me. It was like being hit by a tractor trailer doing 100mph. He looked up at me, and perhaps realized to an extent what was happening in my head. He reached out his hand to shake mine, and we shook hands. All I could manage to say was “Thank you, it’s an honor.” My voice shook a little as I spoke. I walked away and felt the waves crashing over me again and again. I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve ever felt like this after meeting someone. He inspired me to become a musician, then again to become a singer and front man. He’s why I try to be dynamic on stage. When I was going to a vocal coach, my goal songs were all sung by him. These are songs I aspire to one day be able to sing and perform. And it doesn’t stop there. He’s a fencer, an airline pilot, and even brews beer. He started an aircraft maintenance company and created jobs. He flew into countries during conflict to get people stranded there out and to safety. There’s so much here that inspires me outside of music, and inside of music he’s always been at the top of my list of influences and inspirations. In a way, I’m kinda glad it went quick. Considering how I felt at that moment, any conversation would’ve devolved me into a blotchy, emotional, slobbery disaster, desperately in need of some paper towels and perhaps a tarp. They’d have needed security to escort me out while my eyes and nose streamed horror, as I muttered incoherently through choked sobs and stream of consciousness ramblings inside my head.

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The men that made the biggest musical impact on my life.

I’m left with a surprising revelation. I’ve never been one to try for backstage passes to meet the band or anything like that, even with Maiden. In my mind, the last thing they probably wanna do after walking off stage is to hear my stupid ass grovel for half an hour in awe of their awesomeness and impact on my life. They’ve heard it before countless times, I assume, and probably just wanna shower and eat a sandwich or some shit. In spite of that, I think now I’d be interested in meeting them. Hell, I’d love to just bullshit with some of them over a few beers and talk about stories and what their take is on the whole crazy ride they’ve been on throughout the years. I think that’d be amazing. Still, if it never happens, I’ll be cool with that too. I’ll still always have their music and concerts, and that inspiration will certainly last me a lifetime, and hopefully I can pass it on to my kids. Hell, I’ve already introduced loads of my friends to them, creating die hard fans every time. It’s pretty easy when the band is that awesome.

TL:DR – Met Bruce Dickinson at a book signing, was totally composed, and it was fuckin’ metal! UP THE IRONS!!!

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Fuck yeah!!!

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Stepping back up to the plate

Surprisingly enough, I haven’t written about this yet, so I figured I’d do so now. Last March/April I got sick. Nothing unusual, just a cold or infection or whatever. As such, I had to take time off from singing with my band while I recovered. Problem is, I didn’t recover. My throat was a horrific blasted wasteland for week after week, and I had issues just talking, not to mention singing. With this happening, and the move about to kick off, I decided to tell my band mates that I needed time off. I told them I didn’t know what was going on, or when I’d be able to play again, and if they found someone else in the interim I’d be totally fine with it. I didn’t want to hold anyone back because of my issues.

I started seeing doctors, and went through test after test. Initially, it started as an allergy issue. I got on allergy meds, but that didn’t do enough. After more tests and discussions, it was suggested that it’s perhaps a GI issue, that I’m having reflux that’s burning the back of my throat all the time. I went on meds for that. Slowly, as the summer ticked on by, I got marginally better. It was a fight the whole way, trying to sing constantly, getting frustrated and angry when I’d be done after a song or two, and then waiting for the next day to try again.

Fast forward to October, and the insanity that ensues during that month for us, I started to forget to take my allergy meds. It just wasn’t routine enough, and it slipped out of my conscious thought. Good thing is, though, it looks like things have gotten better. Not all the way, but enough that I can start rebuilding my stamina and getting my voice back into shape.

This brought up another question: Should I return to the stage? I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Part of me says no, because I’m older and who the fuck really WANTS to come see me on stage and hear me sing, aside from the Lish. Not that I’m really that much older than I was a year ago, mind you, I just hadn’t really thought about it before. Don’t get me wrong, I love that my friends come out to see me perform, and they never complain about it whatsoever. But me being me, I tend to think people only come out because they want to support a friend, and not because of what they’re hearing. If they didn’t know me, would they still come? I tend to think they wouldn’t. I hope this doesn’t come off as me being unappreciative, because I’m not. I love that they come to support me, as I’d do for them. The question is, though, is coming back worth it? Sure, I love to sing and be on stage, but a big part of that is what I get from a crowd. It’s an incredible feeling to play in front of people, and see some of them get really into it, screaming along and exploding with energy. It’s like standing in the sunlight when you’re cold.

On the other hand, there is music still in me that I feel the need to express. If I did go back, I’d want to do a mix of originals and covers. The problem is, I’d want to do a wide range of covers, from metal to alternative to classic rock. My music tastes tend to be eclectic. I’d wanna do some Faith No More, STP, Alice in Chains, as well as Maiden, Metallica, Slipknot, and even some more mainstream shit. I’ve been in bands awhile, and sets like this are hard to come by, and it’s tough finding players all on the same page with something like this.

So I have a decision to make. Do I hang up my mic and just do more youtube covers for my channel, or do I step out on stage again? Right now, I don’t know what I’ll do. To be honest, a part of it, quite possibly a big part of it, has always been me seeking acceptance and validation. Formative years believing I’m not worth a damn cause that to be taken as fact. This belief carried on throughout my life, and is still just as relevant today as it was back then, so I seek validation and acceptance constantly. My logical side wars with this internally, but emotions are silly things, and don’t really give a shit. Being told you’re stupid, ugly, worthless, and disgusting tends to leave a mark. Even something as seemingly provable as being told you can’t sing, or are a shitty singer, leaves its mark. The irony is that when people validate me, I tend to not believe them. I truly feel as though they’re just being nice, or sometimes as if they are patting me on the back and saying good job as if I’m a child in an “everyone gets a trophy” sort of activity. This is made easier because I set high standards for myself, and mostly never meet them, so my emotional response has that in mind, as if everyone knows where my bar is set for myself. Anyways, enough of my pity pot bullshit. Hell, who knows, maybe subconsciously I wrote all this just to garner sympathy and attention. It’d make sense. I guess the real question is this: If my need for validation and acceptance wasn’t there, would I have ever taken that stage in the first place? I don’t have an answer for that one.

Who IS that guy?

Many people are aware of Facebook’s rules for using your real name. For them, people using nicknames or stage names or whatever, screws up their metrics for farming personal information and selling it, so they enforce a policy where only real names are allowed. They have, however, made exceptions for this by allowing the stage names of performers. This, as far as I know, has only really applied to drag queens, since they started a whole public kerfuffle about this causing FB to cave in rather than get publicly smeared or whatever. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to apply to pretty much anyone else.

I like to keep my anonymity online as much as possible, and part of that was having my name on FB be Persona Non Grata, which matches all of my other sites such as this one, youtube, google+, etc. Also, I use this name as my stage name for all my bands. This caused my account to get flagged awhile back, saying it wasn’t my real name. I was able to get by it by re-entering the name with a slightly different format, but last night I got hit again, and this one really sucks. They require me to upload images of my personal identification, such as a license, credit card, social security card, etc, as well as change over to my legal name. I sent them a message stating that I use my stage name online, as this is how most people know me. Many only know me by that name. I included screenshots of the band FB pages showing that PNG is, in fact, used across the board. My account is currently suspended, awaiting review. It’s sad that it comes to this, especially when I’ve tried to contact their support before, only to find out that they have no actual support desk. You have an issue? Post it to the forums for other users to comment on. If you wait for them to respond personally, you’ll wait forever. Apparently, this is the only way to have anyone review an issue.

I really hope they make the right choice, and allow me to continue using FB for my music and to stay connected with those in the community. If they don’t, I may just end up saying fuck it and deleting my FB account. We’ll see.

Been a long time since I rock n rolled

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Wuzzzzzzaaahhhhhh

As some of you know, I dropped off the face of the blogosphere (I can’t believe I actually just used that ridiculous word) a while ago. Lots of shit happened since then, the biggest of which being my change to a new place of employment. I’ve had a bunch of stuff to write about, but just haven’t had the space or time at work to do so, and my personal time at home is pure insanity most days. I’ll try my best to sum it all up here, so bear with me.

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Lish showing off the guns!!!

First and foremost, the Lish decided to try out for a roller derby team. I’m, of course, fully supportive of this, being a straight male and all. She made it onto the team, and has been balls deep (metaphorically speaking) in derby ever since. She’s currently working on passing her skills test so she can be cleared to play in games, and I have no doubts that she’ll pass and kick ass. The team she’s with is great, with some real top shelf people involved, and I’m happy she got involved in it. I kinda wish some of my hobbies had the same feeling of camaraderie, but alas I have geek hobbies,  so the power playing and dick waving (again, thankfully, metaphorically speaking) is always prevalent. That brings me to my next point.

The forecast on audition day....

The forecast on audition day….

My bands have been in a sort of flux lately. The cover band is doing ok, and we actually played shows recently! The original project I was playing keyboards in took a turn for the worse. We lost our drummer and bassist, and have yet to find replacements. Our searching has so far turned up a large number of complete lunatics, wackjobs, and dudes who really need to learn what it means to say they play an instrument. Some dudes came in and just had no idea what the fuck they were doing. Some had personal issues, such as the guy who was pushing 50 and had to work out with his daddy, whom he still lived with, what nights and times he could come out to play. And some were just plain bat shit crazy, who looked like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s 2 having a seizure. Finally, my old original band has had some movement lately. We broke up a year and a half ago, leaving an album unfinished and without playing a last show. Recently, we all got together to discuss our next steps, if any, and we all agreed to finish the recordings and play some shows. Where it goes after that is anyone’s guess, but at least we have something good on the horizon. I’m honestly stoked about it, since this is really the only band I’ve been in that I really felt was “my” band. Here’s hoping something good comes of this.

Aside from that, it’s pretty much been business as usual. We’ve been attending a few SCA events, and enjoying that. I haven’t been to fighting practice really, with only one attendance since Pennsic, because the timing never really works. Lish usually has derby practice that night, and I’d rather save the sitter than go to practice. I do wish I was able to get into it, since whenever I see guys fighting at events I kinda wish I could suit up and join in for a bit. A close friend of mine got into it the same time I did, and is having a great time and really enjoys it. I must admit that part of the reason is me being grossly out of shape, as well as being not physically strong. Much of my training would just be straight up strength and endurance training, and let’s face it, I’m a lazy fuck. I’d much rather sit at my bench and rebuild PCBs than do squat jumps and burpees…

You've been warned...

You’ve been warned…

I’ve seen a few movies that I’d like to share my thoughts on, stuff like Snowpiercer, Europa Report, 5 armies, etc. I’ll do my best to get those going, as well as some other shit. I’m also going to post some more arcade related stuff on my other blog, so if you have any interest in that crap, give it a look. Otherwise, I’ll see you freaks around soon!

All bottled up

I’ll preface this post with a warning: This post will be entirely me ranting and bitching about stuff related to my life and choices, so if you don’t wanna spend the next few minutes reading about me whining, then you can safely skip it and not feel like you missed out. That being said, let’s get on with it.

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Me in my natural habitat….

When I started blogging, it was for many reasons. I felt like imparting what little knowledge I have, and views I have on life. I wanted a collection of this information. I even felt “well so many people do this, why not me”. Another big reason is because, to me, it’s a form of therapy. People have said to me, on more than one occasion, that I have balls for posting some of the shit I post. This always strikes me as kind of odd, but that’s mostly because my perspective is different. To me, I’ll post about pretty much anything, shame free. Doesn’t really bother me much. Hell, the only reason I don’t talk about most of my crazy shit around others in person is because it tends to make THEM feel uncomfortable. For me, blogging about stuff is cathartic, a process akin to journaling which they teach you about in therapy. Only difference is that I do it in public, in case there are other people out there who feel the same way, so they can read it and know they’re not alone. Oh, and the attention, I also totally do it for the attention (of which I get very little [hey, you shut up!] ok..)

Soooooooooo, here goes! I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be miserable at work forever, and my career will burn out in about a decade. Good start, right?! I’ll elaborate. I used to do logistics and warehousing, and while I enjoyed it, I made shit money and there was no real career path. The other careers I had interest in were a wash as well, so I chose something that came easily to me, and I could make better money with: computers. I got certified and started doing PC support and followed with sysadmin work. The work itself isn’t bad, per se. I like solving puzzles, and learning how shit works. Problem is, it’s not a passion of mine. I don’t go home and play with computers. I’ll check my mail and Facebook, maybe troll Craigslist a bit, but otherwise I don’t bother unless something’s broken. Also, a ton of people in this profession are complete assholes. Many of them have this competitive thing, where every time you disagree with them, or correct them, it’s seen as a challenge and is thus “game on”. Others have severe control issues, or are so lacking in social skills that it’s painful to work with them. Sure, there are cool laid back kinda dudes and chicks too, but they’re in the minority, from my experiences. I just don’t feel the need for the pettiness and condescension. All in all, probably not the best fit for my personality, since I don’t tend to take shit like that well. To top all of this, I’m trying to find a new place to work. My current place does little other than stress me out, but even searching for a new place is also stressing me out. Can’t win either way.

The Lish and I have had to make a hard choice. After much deliberation, we’ve decided to move. Not to get too far into it, it should suffice to say that our current house doesn’t fit our needs, and altering it to fit our needs would make our already insane taxes absolutely astronomical. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue if our school district was top-notch, but it isn’t. Grade school and such are good, but the High School is apparently like a demilitarized zone since the “less illustrious” town next door sends their kids there too. So we’re moving. I didn’t realize how much stress this packs on, especially since we’d have to sell and buy right around the same time. I’m going nuts trying to get the house in salable condition, while also keeping an eye on the housing market, and trying to keep the Lish from getting trampled by the onslaught of “moving stress”. While I’m doing this, she has to be the one who must constantly keep the house 95% clean in order to show it to buyers, and be ready at a moment’s notice. We also have to round-up all of our stuff that we don’t use regularly, and store it somewhere off-site in an effort to give the house a more empty look. Not an easy task when you have a bunch of stuff, much of which is hobby related. That’s another part, I have restrictions on homes I look at. Must have room for my arcade addiction hobby, must have room for Victoria (my ’68 Fairlane), must have heat and a roof and stuff. You know, little shit. All this, and we’re trying to get it done ASAP so we can (hopefully) move within the next year or two.

Now this next part is completely my fault, and may be slightly my imagination, but it matters. I’ve been moving a LOT of arcade machines lately. I brought a few new ones in, and I took a few out. I keep my games in the basement, and they go in and out via a short staircase to the garage. Considering how much these games weigh, and how bulky they are, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that I always need help moving them in and out (HAIYO!). I call on my friends to help me on such occasions, which ends up being once or twice a month. At first, I had no problem getting help. Nowadays, the help is drying up a bit, and I can’t say I’m surprised. I have a bunch of very good friends who always go out of their way for me, yet in recent memory all I’ve done for them was asked for help. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to waste an entire day driving for a game, only to break their balls helping my get it up or down stairs. I’ve felt the vibe off those around me, and whether it’s my imagination or not, I feel like a user. I feel like I guilt people into helping out of desperation, since they know I can’t move these games alone. I’d imagine them feeling like “well what am I gonna do, say no?!”. I feel guilt about this, and it does weigh on me. I don’t wanna be that guy, who takes from others without really giving much. As such, I’ve been wracking my brain to devise a way of getting these in and out without needing another person. I have a plan, but I need to do some more structural engineering to work out the kinks. Once that’s in place, I won’t have to harass anyone in order to shuffle stuff around. BTW, if you’re one of my friends reading this, please don’t succumb to any need to make me feel better. I KNOW I’ve been doing this. I’m just letting you all know that I acknowledge it, I do feel bad about it, and I’m making arrangements to free you from future endeavors.

I’m currently in 2 bands. One is an original band that I play keyboards in, the other is a cover band that I sing in. The original band is much more focused. We play out once a month or so, and that’s great. The other side is that it’s harder for me to learn or work on parts, since setting stuff up at home to practice is a nightmare, and it’s hard to find the time. Also, we have a few songs with solo sections for me, and I was never really much of a soloist to begin with. I’ve never been good at just going off like guitarists do, I’m more of an elaborate fills kinda guy. Now I’m looking down the barrel of more and more shows, and my writing issues are starting to drag things down. My cover band, on the other hand, is a totally different story. I’ve been playing with them for about a year or so, and we still haven’t played out. I’m not sure what the deal is there, but it’s aggravating going to practice every week and practicing songs that only we hear. Hopefully that changes soon.

All this shit just compiles to send my normal stress levels into orbit. I know, almost all of these are first world problems, and there are many people out there with real problems they have to deal with on a daily basis. I don’t really have much of a response to that. Sure, I could say that from my perspective and such, this is an equivalent stress level to others who have real hardships but are used to coping with them, but I don’t actually believe that. I think people with real hardships have lots of underlying stress they don’t even recognize. Oh, and by the way, don’t mistake me ranting about being stressed as me unhappy with my life. Far from it. I’m just very stressed out at the moment, and needed to vent to nobody in particular. It’s easier than venting to a person, cuz then I’m always wondering if they’re thinking “listen to him bitch about stupid shit, he doesn’t even know what real problems are”. Maybe I don’t, but that doesn’t make my stress less valid and real…

Hail to the king?

Avenged-Sevenfold-Hail-to-the-KingA few months ago, I picked up the most recent Avenged Sevenfold album, Hail to the King. I gave it a good listen, and must say that I wasn’t impressed. Their previous albums were kick ass, with heavy riffs, awesome drumming, and killer vocal hooks. This album just seemed to be missing….something. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that this is the first album that the Rev didn’t collaborate on or not, but something definitely changed. I put it on the back burner, and left it alone for awhile.

About a week or two ago, I started listening to it again, since I forgot much of the album and couldn’t remember why I disliked it. I’d been listening to a lot of Maiden recently, newer Maiden that is, and that’s when it hit me. The new A7X sounded a LOT like newer Maiden. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, in my opinion, and I’ll explain why.

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Seriously guys, what the fuck happened?!

First of all, I’d like to start by saying that Iron Maiden is, and has always been, my favorite band. I’ve seen them a dozen times, both with Bruce and with Blaze, I own every album legally, and easily half of my tee shirts are Maiden shirts. I have so many shirts that I cycle them out in a yearly rotation. I love most of their albums, but some are really not that great, and one is downright horrible (Yes, I’m looking at you Virtual XI). There’s a history to follow here, and I’ll sum it up as best I can. Bruce Dickinson, their singer, came on board in the early 80’s to replace Paul DiAnno, who sang on the first 2 records. He reigned until the late 90’s, when he left the band to pursue a solo career, which released some amazing albums. They replaced him with Blaze Bailey, who wasn’t a bad singer, but he wasn’t a true replacement for Bruce. He did 2 albums with them, and in the early 2000’s they welcomed Bruce back and started cutting new records with him again.

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This record is the SHIT!!!

The first of these was Brave New World, which is fucking incredible. Then they did Dance of Death, which was also pretty awesome. The next one, A matter of life and death, was a big step down IMHO, and much of it was wholly forgettable. Their latest, The Final Frontier, was kinda meh as well. I know many Maiden fans will disagree with me, but trust me, I’d like nothing more than to absolutely LOVE these albums. I think the problem is that Steve Harris, the bassist and main songwriter, has run out of ideas. Many of the riffs are recycled, taking older riffs and changing them slightly for a new song. This breaks my heart, since I’d rather they end off on a high note, rather than slowly sink into mediocrity. They still put on a fucking phenomenal show, and are incredible musicians, but the songwriting is getting tired and worn, and it’s showing.

 

Now, back to Sevenfold. I feel the Maiden their new album sounds like it sort of a mix between Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death. It’s not full of wicked hooks that kick your face in, it’s more like very subtle parts that eventually grow on you. Sometimes this is a good thing, and after listening to it for a few days I must say that I do like the album a lot. It’s just a noticeable change of pace from a band who has consistently been kicking me in the face (in a rather pleasant way) for the better part of a decade. If you didn’t like it at first, give it a few more listens. You might end up really enjoying it, or you might hate it just as much and then blame me for the extension to your agony and disappointment. Either way, you gotta admit, it certainly isn’t worse than the last Disturbed album, Asylum. Boy, did THAT suck.

As for Maiden, I do hope they freshen things up and get struck with some new inspiration, but I fear that Harris is too set in his ways as a songwriter to recapture that magic from the 80’s and 90’s. He still has his moments, but they only seem to last a few songs instead of entire albums. Regardless of that, though, I’ll always buy their albums and listen to them, because even their bad albums are still better than 80% of the other shit that gets released these days.

I need more RAM

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2 suave muthafuckas!

I’ve been putting off this review for awhile, since I wanted to take my time to gather what little thoughts I have. A few months ago, I picked up the new Daft Punk album, titled Random Access Memories. I’ve been a fan of theirs, though not of the die hard variety, for many years. My first introduction to them was a flash animation starring the main character from River City Ransom, with him “dancing” to the song Harder, Better,  Faster, Stronger. I was so hooked, I bought the album Discovery. I know that album cold, and the movie Interstellar 5555 they did. I’ve always been a fan of older techno, ever since the early 90’s when it had a boom. Once they moved to the freestyle shit, I abandoned ship. Daft Punk is sort of the bridge between the two for me. All that being said, it was a huge culture shock for me when I realized that their latest album was nothing like their previous offerings.

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This gets the PNG seal of approval!

My initial reaction was distaste. I really loved the first song, since it was kind of a techo-ish, but with a VERY 70’s feel to it. Then I listened to the rest of the album and realized that the whole thing is 70’s R&B/Funk/Disco-ish. I stopped listening to it, since it was such a drastic turn that my puny brain couldn’t get passed the fact that they went from the Tron Legacy soundtrack (which is decidedly incredible!) to a 70’s homage. This all changed when I went away on vacation. The lish, the peanutty, the beast and I all went to Lake George for 2 weeks. We rented a house up there, and I brought my PS3 for late night gaming and daytime music and the occasional movie. I gave the lish a copy of the album before we left, and she immediately fell in love. She absolutely LOVES music from the 70’s, so it was well within her realm. The album ended up being the vacation soundtrack, being played daily on repeat. At this point, I was over my initial shock, and could listen to it objectively. The album, in short, is fucking awesome. Great grooves, great hooks, and a very chill overall feel. The album really suits a chillin’ out atmosphere, and has a good mix of upbeat and mellow songs. During the times that we were in the house, we grooved to the tunes, danced on occasion, and generally enjoyed the enhanced relaxation. Now, when I hear the album, I immediately think of our time there just chillin’ out in the house, looking out into the woods, just feeling awesome. The only song I’m not crazy about is the tribute to Georgio Moroder. The music is good, and I love much of the work Georgio did, but the couple of minutes of him telling everyone his life story is something I don’t need in a song. I bought a music CD, not a narration CD.

So, in short, pick it up and listen with an open mind. If you like the genres listed above, you’ll probably love the album.

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