Thursday, May 31, 2007

embrace the random xxii

Morgan's Tarot

I don't believe in tarot as a psychic phenomema (buh-buuuh-buh-buh-buh, phenomena, buh-buh-bi-buh). But I do see tarot as a great way to surf your subconscious, waltz with your shadow, and swing from the rafters in your brain. Morgan's Tarot is not a standard deck but rather an original take on the tarot. Ask it some questions, enjoy the fun drawings, and embrace the random.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

care for a hamburger, mr. lizard?

This little guy was sunning himself on Sunday at the Cascade Locks in Akron. Unlike the rest of the wildlife I encountered that day, he was more than happy to pose for a portrait.

Monday, May 28, 2007

what was deluxe becomes debris

typo negative?

...and what the hell is a storm event? Like George Carlin says, it's not a sales event--it's a sale.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

all that shimmers

I was late for work today. This is why. Some things cannot be denied.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

thank you, porcupine tree

Devastator and I made our way to the House of Blues last night to see one of my favorite bands, Porcupine Tree, and once again, we were blown away. We settled into our second-row balcony seats just as opening act 3 was taking the stage. We had never heard of 3 and had no idea what to expect. These guys were stellar: melodic songs, inventive arrangements, and stunning musicianship that was chops-heavy without being masturbatory (including an entertaining duet between the drummer and percussionist). If I hadn't already bought three PT-related discs at the merch table, I would have bought a 3 CD for sure. Their new release comes out in July on Metal Blade--very cool. Check out their Facebook page.

During the break between bands, Devastator and I chatted with the guys seated behind us about PT, surround sound, and other nerdy progboy topics. I had refrained from reading any online setlists so that I would be surprised by the song selection. Soon PT took the stage and kicked into the title track from the new album, Fear of a Blank Planet. They continued to play the album in its entirety--no complaints here, as I dig the new release immensely.

The second half of the show was comprised of older songs, many of which I had never heard performed live before, such as Lightbulb Sun, Drown With Me, and the awesome Sever. Guitarist/vocalist/mainman Steven Wilson wasn't as talkative as at previous shows, but he did seem to be getting into the music and feeding off of the crowd's energy. A woman in the audience gave him a bag of toy trains, so he dedicated the show-closing Trains to her. As the band took their final bows, they clowned around with a bra thrown onstage (a first for any prog show I've been to!) before tossing it back into the crowd.

Damn, Heaven and Hell/Megadeth last week and Porcupine Tree/3 last night--two great concerts in a row. This is a trend I could get used to.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

are we not men? we are dio!

Last night Devastator and I went downtown for an evening of metal mayhem with Heaven and Hell, Megadeth, and Machine Head. My ears were still ringing this morning. Machine Head played a twenty-minute set of competent new-school metal, which really isn't my cup of tea. They were tight and actually had guitar solos, but their riffs were more lunkheaded than heavy or catchy, and the gutteral vocals were just plain silly. Oh well, the crowd seemed to like them.

Megadeth were awesome, playing a fierce mixture of old and new songs. The highlights for me were raging versions of Peace Sells and Holy Wars. The audience went apeshit, and Dave Mustaine seemed genuinely surprised and moved by such a rabid response. Many critics have always written Megadeth off as a "poor man's Metallica", but the fans know the real story: Megadeth have stayed true to their metal roots and have never released a steaming turd like St. Anger. Looks like Mustaine may have the last laugh after all.

The last time I saw Ronnie James Dio live was way back in 1985 on the Sacred Heart tour, so I was incredibly psyched to see him reunited with his Black Sabbath bandmates as Heaven and Hell. I was not disappointed, to say the least. Dio has not lost any of his vocal range, sounding just as powerful as he did two decades ago. He moves a little slower onstage these days, but even that works to his advantage, giving every movement a deliberate and confident swagger. The set list drew from the three Dio-era Sabbath albums and also included two new songs from the collection that Rhino Records put out last month. Amazing.

The only downer of the evening? The constant intrusion of beer and t-shirt vendors walking through the crowd hawking their wares during the show. Get the fuck out of my face--this is not a baseball game. If I want a shirt, I will go to the merch stand and buy one. To interrupt my enjoyment of the concert in such a manner is crass and disrespectful to both the audience and the performers, so please take your over-priced plastic beer bottle and stick it up your ass.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

the countdown has begun

I put in my request today to take vacation time from June 1 through June 11. I am now in planning mode, scouring the web for cheap flights and fun destinations. It's my goal to visit all fifty states eventually. So far I've been to twenty-two--this vacation may raise that total by a few. Who knows? I'm just glad that I'm finally putting myself ahead of work. Gotta look out for number one.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

inside i am 2000 light years from home

I need a vacation. This is the third Sunday in a row that I have had to work. April seems like a blur, non-linear flashes of hurried activity and the headless-chicken 10K run. Did I mention that I need a vacation? I have over three weeks of PTO accrued but haven't been able to use it due to my department currently being understaffed. It's like owning Terry Bozzio's drum kit but not being allowed to play it.

I rarely take vacations. I'm one of those idiots who thinks, "I'll take a vacation when I can afford it, when all my debt is gone, blah blah blah." Of course, that time never arrives. Damn, I can be such a jackass. I need a vacation NOW. No cell phone, no email, no contact with anything or anyone work-related. Fuck Cheers--I want to be where no one knows my name.

I want to go on a long canoe trip. I want to hike through dense forests. I want to sit on my rear for an hour doing absolutely nothing just because I can. I want to spend five hours in Amoeba Records. I want to see a different live band every night for a week. I want someone to provide me with splendid customer service and kiss my ass for a change.

I need a vacation. I demand a vacation. I declare a vacation before my soul vacates the premises. It's my turn--it's my time.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

mile eight...

...and not the other way around.