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Inhuman Rampage (DragonForce), What I Think.

There's very little music that I seriously can't handle to listen to for a long time. I can't listen to harsh noise for more than, say, 45 minutes at a time; my ears just can't handle the abuse for that long. One of the other things I can't listen to for a long time is Dragonforce. Listening to 'Inhuman Rampage' is like running a goddamn marathon for me. I have to take a nap after it's over. Actually, maybe it's more akin to someone sitting you down in front of a massive bowl of delicious candy, saying that you can't get up until you're done eating every piece. It's wonderful for a while, particularly when you're hungry, delighting in each piece's sweet and flavorful fun. After about a third of the way into the bowl, though, you start to not want to eat candy anymore. But it's not really an option, is it? He's not OFFERING you all the candy you can eat, he's making DAMN WELL SURE you eat every piece. So you persist. The unwrapping of each candy becomes more laborious, your tongue becomes sore from the constant sugar's tastebud-bludgeoning hammer, and your stomach swells painfully as you pack more and more candy down your gullet. You keep eating, and it becomes more and more exquisitely painful with every piece. And after a while, you notice that you no longer taste sweetness, but just a hot, salty flavor. Do you know what you're tasting? It's your tears. Your tears. Okay, so I can't deny that I love Dragonforce. They are, like candy, delicious and sweet. I don't give a shit that they're uncreative and only have one song, because that one song is fantastic. They're incredibly fast, catchy, and fun to listen to alone or with friends. They're great driving music. They're INCREDIBLY shallow and disposable, but they are perhaps the best trash that metal has ever come up with. Most importantly, it's EXCITING music: it has a constantly driving intensity to it that really forces you to enjoy it. Constant melodic riffs and solos and soaring vocals over a bed of nonstop double bass and blast beats? Yeah, I'm game for that. The real problem comes when I try to listen to a whole album. It's almost physically painful. I can handle 25 minutes, maybe a half hour of this insanely melodic, hyperspeed power metal before my brain just shuts down. It's just too much. For some reason I can listen to hours of brutal death, grind, or ultra-raw black metal, but for some reason, this little band is somehow too much for me. Maybe it's just the number of notes is too much for my primitive, slam-oriented brain to handle and were it only that Dragonforce had more breakdowns I'd be able to get through a whole album. But as it stands, I'm put into a coma for six months when I listen to the whole thing, which is really quite a terrible thing. That being said, those first 25 or 30 minutes are pretty divine. Dragonforce is one of those bands which really does make me overtly cheerful and want to play air guitar. The music is pop in metal drag, obviously, but it's stunningly well composed pop that never gets boring or trite. I'd imagine they're a fantastic band live, and that hearing this while surrounded by thousands of other equally nerdy individuals is a lot like visiting Mecca. But it's almost as good all alone in your room and does make you feel like you can jump over a mountain using your cock as a pogo stick. In short, it's heroic and catchy and perhaps some of the best pop music out there today. I love it. It's the sort of thing where you almost appreciate its shallowness. It's music that will not stand the test of time, but it's not meant to. It's an outburst of flamboyantly cheerful youthful enthusiasm, and while you could criticize it for that very reason, the band really sees that outpouring of feeling as reason enough to make its music. It's decidedly immature and decidedly inartistic, but perhaps the willingness to abandon more erudite values is what makes it so charming. You can find worth in a lot of things, you know. Because the fact is, though it has no value, we all demand a little candy at one point or another.
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Dear David Bowie: A Thank You From Yet Another Odd Kid
I thought about immediately taking to the keys last night, upon hearing the news of David Bowie's passing, but I thought against it. When people don't have time to process things they end up creating these jumbled messes, that don't come out as tributes. They're more akin to shocked streams of consciousness, where neither the reader nor the writer can properly put things into place. After further inspection, I realized that Bowie wouldn't have wanted a proper tribute, because as a champion of all things individual, he valued the pure ideals of hope and art over everything else. I guess the sadness stems from the knowledge that anyone can fall prey to the sickle of cancer, and that just doesn't sit well with us, because if it can get Bowie...where's the hope? But that's not the point, it never was. So the following, is a mis-mosh of thoughts aimed at the cold blooded bummer we're all feeling today. So here is a letter, a bit out of sorts, but exactly what I wanted to say. David Bowie, you are more than a musician to most. You are someone who gave every single person on this planet permission to be themselves. The idea of creation can only go so far as the brain will let you, and for some reason, Bowie, your brain just went a little bit farther than most. From early in your career, you were constantly pushing boundaries, as if to say, "Hey world, you can be whatever the hell you want to be, except boring." And that sentiment always spoke volumes to me. As a kid who was never on the right side of anything, it was an incredible feeling that someone who came before, was brave enough to blaze the trail for the rest of us. Especially considering the societal implication of being an alien at the time, you held down the fort, creating a legacy that nobody would ever touch. I wore glittery makeup and strutted around like I was from a different planet too, and sometimes people would say, "Huh. There's a touch of Bowie in you." I could only be so lucky. Bowie, you never let gender define you. You didn't let society define him. You didn't even let yourself define you. You were utterly unique, do you know how valuable that is? You, and only you, were created from space dust and glitter, roaming the earth among us mortals, gracing us with your presence when when was worth so much more. You stand as the singular voice in a world full of people who couldn't give a shit about being themselves, and you made that cool. You made individuality and sense of self cool. Could you imagine a world without that? Without you, almost all of our artists today either wouldn't exist, or they'd be infinitely more boring. From the 70's onward Bowie provided all people with something otherworldly, something that anyone could sink their teeth into. You know, when your parents and you are mourning the same genius...that person was completely transcendent. It didn't matter what race, nationality, gender or creed you were a David Bowie fan, because some people just can't be ignored. And though the world tended to criticize and marginalize your efforts, nobody ever said you weren't talented. The true heart of an artist takes a beating, and with every single hit, you came back stronger, better, more creative. There was nobody like you. Nobody before or after you will ever touch you. The mark you leave on this pitiful world makes it a little more brighter, a little more glitter filled. You took the music of yesterday and splattered it with technicolor. The rules of the passed were smashed to smithereens, and Bowie, you had the sledgehammer. No musician ever, could dispute the raw influence of you. In fact, I would say that no person who has ever come across your music could dispute your raw influence, and we are forever grateful. You see, without someone tending the gate of creativity, none of us would ever have the courage to open it. Now you're tending another gate, somewhere high up in the stars, where you always belonged: because Bowie is not from this planet, he can't be. He can't be mortal. And that's the hardest part. You see, he isn't mortal. He never was. He's now off to another place where he can really shine. He's the spaceman after all. The world changed when this man picked up a microphone. And in the halls of Gods and monsters, Bowie will sit atop a shining pedestal of stardust, waiting for another trip to the moon. On behalf of all people, musicians and freaks alike, I want to extend this fervent and sincere thank you to our very own alien: Mr. David Bowie. Returning to space must be an incredible feeling, and we hope to someday meet you there. It took me a full 12 hours to realize that I was experiencing the stages of grief, and that I should give myself time and all of that...but you never gave yourself any time right? You never stopped for anyone. You accomplished more in your 69 years than most of us could in three lifetimes, and for that reason, I will continue on. I will not stop to cry or hold my breath. I will sit at the desk, cry on the keyboard and continue my journey. "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring." Until then, I'll be holding down the keys, making sure that whatever tears that fall are not in anger or sadness, but celebration, that our world could even begin to hold such an incredible talent, spirit and genius. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. --Tess
Mac Sabbath: The McDonald's Metal Band Of Your Nightmares
Just when you thought Ronald McDonald was as scary as clowns got, in comes Ronald Osbourne. From the poofy red wig and the yellow gloves, he's got all the fast food joint's iconic colors in place; however, something sinister boils beneath the surface. This is Mac Sabbath, a Black Sabbath cover band that combines all things Prince of Darkness with ketchup, mayo, and the occasional sweet and sour dipping sauce. And in this gig, Ronald Osbourne is the fast food world's Prince of Darkness equivalent. Needless to say, you should be scared. Very scared. And instead of 'Iron Man', their signature song is 'Frying Pan', which equal parts mocks the quality of fast food and the health of the people who eat it a little too frequently. Oh, and you've got to see Ronald's bandmates. There's Slayer MacCheeze, Grimalice, and Catburglar, who looks a whole lot like Peter Criss from the original KISS line-up. And just like the original Black Sabbath, Ronald and the crew are just as notorious for their extreme stage antics. After attending their concert last summer, music journalist Jake Manson observed a move pulled right out of the Ozzy Osbourne handbook: "The highlight came when Ronald reached into his takeout bag, pulled out a hamburger with bat wings, and took a massive bite out of it." So what do you guys think about Mac Sabbath? Have you seen any clown rock this hard? Let me know if you'd be down to see Mac Sabbath live in concert in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection.
Wedding Band vs DJ (Which Is Better?)
We love both bands and DJs and think there is a place for both of them to create an awesome party for any wedding or event. But if you only have the budget or space for one of them, which are you supposed to choose? Your Budget One thing we can't ignore is how much cheaper DJs are compared to wedding bands. If you are think about hiring a band or a DJ for a wedding and aren't sure which to pick, it's a good idea to think about what budget you have. Of course, DJs are usually solo performers and would command a much lower fee than a larger group of musicians. Wedding Venue Space If space is an issue, a DJ could also be the optimal choice. Their set up is usually much smaller and easier to fit in at most wedding venues. However, a full band set up can look incredible if you have the space for it. It really is a spectacle to see a band set up properly and decked out with guitars, drums, speakers and microphones! A scene like this creates a buzz in the room and gets your guests ready for a party. Sound Limiter Friendly These devices are becoming more and more common across wedding venues around the UK. Essentially, a wedding venue sound limiter will cut power to the stage or wedding musicians if the performance breaches a certain decibel level. As you can imagine, this can be quite a problem for couples who want a rocking live wedding band at their party. DJs are able to alter the volume of their entertainment much easier than a live band. Some wedding bands can work with sound limiters by performing with electric drum kits and different instruments, but it can have a negative effect on the energy of the performance. It's worth checking with your venue what the sound limit is set to before making your decision! Song Requests Another plus for the DJ column is the ability to deal with almost any song requests. The repertoire of a DJ is huge compared to that of a band. This is great if you are wanting a really wide variety of songs to dance to on your wedding night. Whilst a band can only play a certain amount of songs live, it is absolutely incredible to hear them performed by talented musicians. If you have a first dance request or a special song you'd love to hear on your wedding night, hearing it sung by live musicians makes that moment even more special!