In which a guy old enough to know better talks about...stuff.
Including, but not necessarily limited to: Wrestling, Metal, Anime, Books, Comics, Cartoons, Stuff that pisses me off, AOR and songs with "Metal" in the title.
Having explored the ugly side of album art last time, I feel it's only right and proper to post something easier on the eye. Here's another selection of broadsword-swinging ladies from the covers of Rock/ Metal albums. Enjoy. (And try and guess which ones I actually quite like)
Mass - War Law (Germany 1984)
Fairly obviously based on Red Sonja - The comic not the godawful film.
In a minute he's going to tell her to be careful with that sword
Hello again. Moving on through the first decade of the 21st century we arrive at a year people remember for all the wrong reasons. Because on December 8 2004 ex-Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbot, playing a show with his new band Damageplan, was murdered onstage.
In other news, Metallica were the subject of the documentary "Some Kind Of Monster" - depicting the fallout from Jason Newsted's departure, James Hetfield's stint in rehab and the making of critically-hammered album "St.Anger."
Anyway, on with the music. And thanks to one of those flukes, it mostly leans towards the nastier end of the envelope.
This first track is somewhat harsh. You may like that sort of thing.
I like to think that I have an enquiring mind. I also have a slightly left-of-normal way of looking at the world. This means that over the years I’ve conducted numerous experiments that, on reflection, were not a good idea. Or if you put it another way, every now and again I feel this weird compulsion to do dumb shit. Let’s have a look at a few shall we?
(Aged 5, standing beside a river somewhere.) Question: I wonder if I can catch that fish using my foot as bait? Result: I’m a bit vague on events but next thing I knew, I was underwater and desperately trying to develop the ability to swim. Conclusion: Any idea a 5 year old comes up with while in the presence of large bodies of water is going to be a dumb one. Also, fish definitely have a sense of humour because while almost-drowning I distinctly remember looking down and seeing the scaly little git laughing his gills off.
(Aged 7) Question: Can I make a double-decker sandwich? Result: Since my chosen ingredients were fried bacon and Golden syrup the end product was a sticky, greasy mess. Conclusion: Dumb idea. But apparently Elvis loved bacon & strawberry jam butties. I have bacon. I have strawberry jam. I may revisit this one.
(Age: Old enough to know better.) Question: Can you tenderize a steak by putting it in a carrier bag and banging it against the wall? Result: The bag split on the backswing and my tea sailed off into the overgrown mess that was our back garden. Conclusion: Poor choice of tools. Also, a steak is surprisingly hard to find in long grass.
(Age: As above) Question: What happens if you add leftover baked beans to scrambled eggs? Result: A plate of pink shit on toast and I spent the next day farting like a bison, Conclusion; Some things should never be combined. I can also offer definitive proof that you cannot actually fart your own arse off. But dear gods, there were moments when I was worried.
(Age: 19ish.) Question: What happens if I have a pint of cider, drink half of it, add a half of Bitter to the glass then drink half of that then add a half-pint of Guinness… and repeat for every tap on the bar. Result: I got so drunk I tried to pick a fight with God Himself, redecorated my bedroom in vomit and woke up the next day praying for the mercy of death. Conclusion; Clearly I’m allergic to Guinness and I haven’t touched the bloody stuff since.
(Age: early 30s and just got my own Internets) Question: What is this goatse thing I keep hearing about? Result: I googled it. Then I googled it again with the safety filters off. What I saw that day haunts me still. Conclusion: When the entire internet is telling you to stay clear maybe you should take the hint.
(Age: Last winter) Question: There’s about three inches of snow on the ground. Wonder what it feels like to walk through it barefoot? Result: For the first minute or so it was rather exhilarating and I was standing there thinklng “Rargh. I am all that is Man!”. After that - not a fun experience. I particularly loved the part where I started to lose the feeling in my toes Conclusion: The brief moment where you feel like Conan Of Cimmeria is really not worth the severe discomfort or the ten minutes you will spend trying to rub the life back into your feet.
I hope the owners don't mind if I reuse their promo blurb;
Lamb of God to Motley Crue and from Behemoth to Shinedown, Heavy Metal
Television will bring both current and classic hard rock and heavy metal
videos to your desktop, laptop or net ready flatscreen TV. Presented by
young, talented V.J's across the planet, no matter what your taste in
hard music might lean toward, give the station a span of five videos and
you'll find a band that you love.
The site is 100% free, with no login necessary, no passwords to
remember, no registration, subscription. None of that - you just point
your browser to http://www.heavymetaltelevision.com/ and start watching. It's really as simple as that. Why complicate matters, right? And this metal show runs 24/7/365 with International Heavy Metal Week celebrated 52 weeks out of the year.
The music runs virtually nonstop with V.J. interludes and limited minute
long commercial breaks consisting of four or five 20 second music
related ad clips. Saturday nights (PST) will feature a live concert and
specialty programming is also being developed.
Heavy Metal Television has eclipsed Google, Apple and Microsoft in terms
of getting a live television station running on the web. And they're
pissed. Why? Because Pantera and Iron Maiden fans are beating them at
their own game, ruling the World Wide Web with the first 24 hour
streaming television network, station or channel on Earth forever free."
The Metal Project: My ongoing quest to track down every song on Youtube with Metal in the title and gather them in one place. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
2003 seems to have been one of those years where a lot happened. Iron Maiden and Limp Bizkit headlined the first ever Download Festival. An unknown Gothic Metal band from Arkansas called Evanesence had a monster worldwide hit with "Bring Me To Life" while over the Atlantic a tongue-in-cheek hard rock outfit called The Darkness somehow found themselves the darlings of the NME/Glastonbury crowd.
Also in 2003: Yours truly trekked up to Derby to witness the first ever UK show from Nightwish, who were headlining the Bloodstock Festival. And a bloody good time I had too.
Among the other bands I saw that weekend were a young, multinational Power Metal outfit called Dragonforce...
Anyway, time for us to worship once more at the altar of Metal. Enjoy.
This first track is Power Metal. Hands up anybody who's surprised?
When pretty Natsuki Shinohara asks fellow pupil Kenji Koiso if he wants a job he is more than happy to take her up on the offer, especially since it involves a few days out at her family's countryside home.
What she didn't tell him was that the job involved being introduced to her large, boisterous family as Natsuki's fiance.
Things then get even more complicated when somebody uses Kenji's account to hack into the worldwide OZ network - backbone of world commerce, entertainment and government - and cause all kinds of havoc.
But as the perpetrator is about to find out, pissing off Natsuki''s family was a bad idea.
Because this clan has never yet backed down from a fight and aren't about to start now.
I'm going to come right out and say that I absolutely loved this one.
Studio Madhouse manage to create an anime that covers family drama and cyberspace antics and does both wonderfully. Almost every single one of the extended Jinnouchi clan is established as a vibrant character and their interaction with each other is as good as anything Hayao Miyazaki has ever done.
Then there's the action in Cyberspace which is equal parts charming and jawdropping, building up to a spectacular climax.
Naturally the animation is up to the usual Madhouse quality. The character designs are kept simple but the faces especially are beautifully expressive, while the Oz network itself is astonishing, colourful and bristling with detail.
If you want some sort of underlying theme, I'd interpret "Summer Wars" as highlighting the need for humanity and social bonds, even in the 21st Century.
Personally I'd recommend you just watch, and enjoy, one of the best anime movies I've seen in the last few years.
Here's the trailer if you fancy a sneak peak.
I don't really remember much about 2002. There was rather a lot of Nu-Metal about, to the point where it was getting boring. By contrast, Finnish Symphonic Metal band Nightwish started getting a lot more attention in the UK, as were an increasing number of European Power Metal outfits.
I also picked up an EP by a slightly quirky British band called The Darkness who seemed to have promise...
Anyway, on with the music. Quite a short post this time around but I hope you find something you like.
Starting with an outfit who just love a good singalong anthem.
The Metal Project is my attempt to track down every song on Youtube with "Metal" in the title.
Keeps me out of mischief.
The year 2001 saw more of the same. Linkin Park and Slipknot were the rising stars of Nu-Metal, Judas Priest followed up the tuneless "Jugulator" with the much better "Demolition" and the inaugral Bloodstock festival was created as a vehicle for all those European Metal bands most UK promoters refused to touch.
On a personal note, I finally got to see Savatage live!
I think we've got a fairly varied selection this time around. Enjoy.
Let's start with these Canadian survivors nailing their colours to the mast.
Starring: Nobody you've ever heard of and being in this piece of dreck will enhance nobody's CV.
The Plot: A young woman awakes from a 12 year coma to find her family are dead. Then a mysterious woman explains that she's now an Angel, one of three heavenly soldiers tasked with maintaining the balance between Good and Evil.
Naturally there's also three Fallen angels on a mission to do...evil stuff. What exactly is never really explained.
When the bad guys launch a sneak attack, our reluctant heroine finds herself fighting alone with the fate of the world at stake. So is it any good?
The DVD blurb describes this as An action-packed adventure in the style of "Highlander" and "The Prophecy" By "In the style of.." they actually mean "Steals ideas from.." and as for action - packed... I have to ask, what movie were you watching?
The bulk of the movie is heroine Taileen looking puzzled while the good angels explain stuff to her. Meanwhile the bad angels act like utter dicks for the hell of it.
Once Taileen's teammates get themselves killed by forgetting that the opposition are liable to be cheating bastards, things do pick up a bit. And at this point wouldn't have been nice if the action sequences had been put together by somebody who knew what they were doing? There's a protracted fight-scene that's so hamfisted it's actually painful to watch and the final showdown is a lethal game of hide and seek in a warehouse because there's not enough of those in low budget movies.
Nobody involved in this film can act, write or direct and about the only positive things I can say are:
Star Alison Fabre is redhaired and kinda cute.
Taileen's psychokinesis is put to novel use when she realises the things she can move include the bones in somebody's neck.
There's not many films where you get to hear Lucifer call God a Mother******.
Normally I'd post screenshots but that would involve having to sit through this shite again and life's too short.
Today's post is devoted to a couple of anime DVDs I watched the other day and I suspect I could not find a more startling contrast if I tried.
Let's start with:
"Redline" is the biggest and baddest motor-race in the entire Galaxy, where a select few test themselves and their machines to the limit. There's no restrictions on engine-size, very few safety measures and firing missiles at the competition is actively encouraged.
To add an extra element of fun, this year the contest is being held on the fiercely xenophobic Roboworld and the locals have promised that any "Redline" racer even arriving in their atmosphere is going to get turned into a cloud of singed atoms.
Bequiffed Human racer "Sweet JP" made it through to Redline on a fluke. His car is in bits, his support team detest each other and The Mob are looking over his shoulder but what the hell, he's pretty sure he can win anyway. And he's just met a girl he rather likes.
Pity she's one of the other racers.
There is no other way of describing this anime but "OTT". I mean there are lot's of other words I could use: "Colouful", "Bold" and "Brash" all come to mind. "Restrained", however, doesn't.
The colour palette is all bright colours, the character designs are gloriously unhinged and if you asked a ten year old boy to design a racing car for the year 3000, he'd come up with something like these, only the Redline cars have more engine, more firepower, more everything.
Think "Wacky Races" updated for the 21st century and created by petrolheads fuelled on Red Bull and bad amphetamines.
But is the animation any good?
It's by Studio Madhouse, so what do you think?
Everything is so bright and- one the race gets started - so intense that visually, this is the most jawdropping thing I've seen in quite a while.
Provided you don''t want your anime tainted by anything resembling reality, this one is enormous fun. Here's the trailer. Play loud after eating lots of sugar
Compare and contrast with :
Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack (2012)
Newly engaged Kaori and her friends Erika and Aki arrive in Okinawa for a holiday. With the three being quite different personalities there's a certain amount of tension bubbling under the surface but frankly this is a minor concern compared to the large, angry shark on mechanical legs that just smashed it's way in through the window and tried to eat them.
Understandably shaken by the experience Kaori tries to contact Tadashi, her fiance, but is horrified to discover that Tokyo has been overrun by scuttling fish-cyborgs and Tadashi isn't answering his phone...
I picked up this film expecting it to be goofy monster-fun and I really should have looked at the credits list more closely because "Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack" is based on a manga by Junji Ito.
So less "Goofy monster fun" and more "Weapons-Grade Nightmare Fuel". The premise may sound silly - and it is - but as Kaori struggles to get back to Tokyo the film gradually descends into something darker and weirder. Without wanting to give too much away, the invasion of fish is only the curtain raiser and by the end we're looking at something between "Zombie Apocalypse" and "Return of The Old Gods." The animation is functional rather than pretty, the characters especially having that "flat" look you see in some tv anime. The animation crew do make up for it with their work on the fish-beasties and the scene where a Jumbo jet tries to land on an infested airfield is quite impressive, as is the initial shark-attack. Apparently there's a lot of changes from the original manga - the story is condensed quite a bit, characters are mucked about with and the ending is quite different - so if you're a fan of the manga you may not like this. I, on the other hand, couldn't really say I enjoyed it but it was an interesting viewing experience. Problem is, I'm confidently expecting my upcoming nightmares to feature lots of scuttling mechanical legs. Trailer here if you're interested:
I haven't had a proper rant in a while so let's get a few things off my chest.
Dear rest of the world,
Please find below a short list of things that annoy me ever so slightly. Please knock it off.
1. "You know wrestling is fake don't you?"
Leaving aside the fact that scripted action has never stopped anybody enjoying movies and tv, this one winds me up something fierce. If you tell me this then one of two things is happening.
Either you think I'm too dense to have worked it out for myself or you are trying to score points.
Now I've been watching wrestling for almost 30 years and that's not likely to change just because of your opinion. The one thing that has changed is that I now think you are a bellend.
2. Talking at the cinema.
And no, I don't mean whispering to the person next to you if they were having trouble with the plot, I mean chatting merrily away like you were sat in a beer garden.The film starts, you shut the hell up. How difficult is it to grasp? I should have the legal right to beat these people to death. 3. "Ladies, buy this product. Aren't men stupid. Hurr hurr."
This has been pissing me off for at least a decade and if anything, it's getting worse.I turn on the tv and one ad after another has the smart mother/daughter/girlfriend showing up some hapless male for the semi-literate shaved apehe is. That's supposed to be me up there is it? Thanks ever so frigging much.
Hang on, apparently I'm supposed to prove I can take a joke and laugh it off. However, I have a better idea. How about, I stop buying your product you patronising sack of monkey turds, and how about you stick a broken bottle up your arse and give it a quarter turn to the right. 4. "But it's the Olympics..."
The Olympics was a big deal, clearly made a lot of people happy and no doubt the next World Cup is going to get a lot of people bouncing around happily.
But not me.
I'm not interested in sport, never have been interested in sport and Elvis will make a comeback paying dubstep before my feelings towards athletics ever get beyond "Meh!" So why do people get astonished because I'm not cheering for Team GB?
So if you enjoy watching people running around a track, I wish you joy but just because a sporting event is bigger profile does not give me any more incentive towards giving a shit. I'll listen politely but that's all you're going to get. Accept this and we can move on with our lives. 5."We paid good money for this footage. We're going to get our money's worth." Coming up, I will explain exactly how annoying it is to see documentaries reusing the same short snippet of film time and time again.
Ever noticed how certain documentaries will keep showing the same snippet of recreation throughout the programme? Any programme about the end of the dinosaurs is guaranteed to use the compulsory shot of an asteroid tumbling towards earth every ten minutes or so. This starts to grate after a while, especially when you realise the narrator has to give a recap after every ad-break, complete with that damn shot of the asteroid again.
The trashier "World's Dumbest Rednecks" type of programme takes this to extreme levels by running the same clip 3-4 times right after each other.
We've been discussing documentaries using footage over and over again and how much it gets on my tits.
Pack it in.
That's it for now folks. I'll maybe do some more when my blood-pressure gets back to normal.