Friday, May 30, 2008

In Rotation


Down - NOLA
Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power & Official Live: 101 Proof
Kylesa - Time Will Fuse Its Worth
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
The Ocean - Precambrian
Tomahawk - Mit Gas
Boris - Smile ( Southern Lord version)
the collected works of Torche
Nachtmystium - Instinct : Decay
Pelican - City of Echoes


Mostly a lot of random on my mp3 player these days
Fish - 13th Star (as well as all his other albums!)
Opeth - Still Life
Opeth - Watershed
Imagika - Feast For The Hated
Al Green - Lay It Down
Motorhead (I'm currently reading Lemmy's autobiography, which reminded me that I really should listen to Motorhead more often)

New Weezer (especially The greatest man who ever lived)
Van Halen- Van Halen II
Van Halen _- Fair Warning
SlipKnot- VOl 3 The Subliminal Verses
Peral Jam - Yield
Rihanna- Good Girl Gone Bad

Hook of the Day - Van Halen "Eruption"

by Myche J

So I finally gave in and got tickets to see Van Halen - the rescheduled show is tonight at Allstate Arena. I'm still dismayed that they didn't include Michael Anthony on this reunion tour, but oh well. I suppose none of us know what is really going on with all those guys and their big rock star egoes. I hope they sufficiently rock me tonight and make me forget about all of the drama surrounding this.

Here's "Eruption" live - all 11 minutes of it. See if you can sit through the whole thing.

Hit it, Ed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bad Ass Cover Art of the Day - A Storm of Light "And We Wept the Black Ocean Within"

by Wayne

I'm mightily enjoying the latest effort from Neurosis visual guru/ex-Red Sparowes member/Battle of Mice participant Josh Graham, A Storm of Light. If you like any of the previously mentioned outfits, you'll most likely dig ASofL's debut And We Wept the Black Ocean Within.

I'm especially loving the cover artwork. GORGEOUS.

Hook of the Day - Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"

by Wayne Graham

Hot damn this has got to be one of the greatest duets in rock history. I was extremely bummed that Stevie didn't join Petty onstage to do this when he came to Chicago on this tour in 2006, but at least THESE people got to see it.

Great live version of a classic. They both still sound terrific together.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MP3 Randomization: 5-28-2008


Devin Townsend "Storm"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication"
Kings of Leon "Knocked Up"
Queens of the Stone Age "Hangin' Tree"
Sleep "Jerusalem (pt 1)"
Queens of the Stone Age "Make It Wit Chu"


Devin Townsend Band "Material"
Prince "The Slaughterhouse"
Ben Folds Five "Lullabye"
Radiohead "In Limbo"
George Clinton & The P-Funk Allstars "Somethin' Stank"
Pelican "City of Echoes"


Radiohead "Motion Picture Soundtrack"
Scorpions "In Your Park"
Mastodon "Where Strides The Behemoth"
The Kinks "Creepin' Jean"
John Waite "Missing You"
Allman Brothers Band "Whipping Post"

Hook of the Day - Kylesa "Where the Horizon Unfolds"

by Wayne

FINALLY--tonight is the big Ocean Collective show at Reggie's in Chicago! Also on the bill---Lair of the Minotaur, Withered ,and the excellent, riff-heavy, two drummered beast that is Kylesa.

Here's "Where the Horizon Unfolds"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hooks So Big Poll Winner - Best Band on Prog Nation Tour

The winner is....

Well, of course it's Opeth, with 60% of the votes.

Dream Theatre and Between the Buried and Me each received 20% of the votes.

Here's fan footage of 'Peth blasting through Watershed's "Heir Apparent" from the May 13th Rosemont Theatre show that we reviewed last week.

Hook of the Day - Dio "Holy Diver"

by Wayne

Thanks to Invisible Oranges for reminding us that Sunday marked the 25th Anniversary of Dio's classic Holy Diver album.

Killswitch Engage, of course, has had some success lately with their cover of that album's title track, with mixed results, if you ask me. Overall, it's a noble effort ,and the video is fantastic. The riffs are there, and the clean vocals sound pretty good, but the screams just don't work for me. (Someone needs to tell these guys that they're not obligated to do both clean and screams in each song) Plus, I'm not entirely on the same page with drummer Justin Foley's work on this. There's something about his playing that destroys any momentum the rest of the band is able to build up.

So, yeah, Dio can't be touched, is what I'm getting at here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hook of the Day - Y&T "This Time"

by Myche J

Thanks for endulging me on the last three Hooks. To round out the all-Y&T weekend, we're going to brings things down a bit. Here's the monster ballad "This Time". This song should have been a huge hit for them. We've never seen them do this live, but here's a clip of them doing it in March, 2007 at the CD release party in San Francisco of the remastered In Rock We Trust. They did the whole album in its entirety, and I would have been there if I didn't have a wedding to attend. Where were my priorities?

There's a lot of chatter - but it is a nice rendition, and I'm glad someone caught it. Anyway, "This Time"...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hook of the Day - Y&T Twofer of Oddities

by Myche J

Here are two Y&T-related videos - and not of the normal live or promotional variety. Both are dedicated to our very own Hannerconda...

First, here's a close-up of some guy's fretwork playing along to "Lucy". Works for me...

Next, a video someone made of footage from the Donkey Kong Country video game, with Y&T's "Contagious" as a soundtrack. Not sure why this game to this song, but he must love both an awful lot! As ridiculous as it is, I've watched it three times so far...

God, I love You Tube.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hook of the Day - Y&T "Open Fire"

By Myche J

I'll be damned if we haven't had a Y&T Hook of the Day thus far! Well, we're going to rectify that. How about an all-Y&T weekend!

I can't think of a better way to kick things off than with "From The Moon" into "Open Fire" circa 1987.

Alright, you rockers!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hook of the Day - Dillinger Escape Plan "Black Bubblegum"

by Wayne Graham

Okay, okay, last time you'll have to hear about DEP this week....I SWEAR.

Here's the brand spankin' new video for "Black Bubblegum."

But you forget that in your fairy tale, bitch, I'M THE WOOOOOOLF!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MP3 Randomization: 5-21-2008


Don Caballero "For Respect"
Coliseum "The Fate of Men"
Morbid Angel "Damnation"
Pearl Jam "Alive" (live from Chicago, 5-16-2006)
Meshuggah "Dancers to a Discordant System"
Melvins "At the Stake"


High On Fire "Fury Whip"
Bob Mould "Wishing Well"
Skeletonwitch "Upon Wings of Black"
Chuck Coleman "Good Luck in LA"
REO Speedwagon "Don't Let him Go" (That's for you, Myche)
Y & T "New Kid in Town" (That's for all of us, really....)


Dwight Yoakam "A Long Way Home"
Opeth "Ghost Of Perdition"
CCR "Proud Mary"
High On Fire "To Cross The Bridge"
George Jones "The Door"
Y&T "Crazy Make Love"

Hook of the Day - Sleep "Dragonaut"

by Wayne Graham

The 90's get a bit of a bad rap when it comes to hard rock and metal. The widely held opinion is that everything was hair bands and nothing but hair bands until Nirvana came along and saved us all, and then the entire genre (save GNR, Pantera, and Metallica) went away until nu-metal reared its ugly head. This is a gross (and pretty much inaccurate) oversimplification on the level of the Everything In American Film Was Good Until Star Wars and Jaws Ruined It All debate.

That's a discussion for another time, but til then......Look harder. Kyuss, Entombed, At the Gates, Melvins, Meshuggah. Perhaps metal wasn't quite selling like it used to, but there are tons of classic releases from that period.

Any decade where a fine slab of molten metal like Sleep's Holy Mountain is released is NOT a bad decade for metal at all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Curiosity of the Day - Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show

by Wayne

RollingStone has posted the following clip of Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show in celebration of the release of The Muppet Show: The Complete Third Season on DVD.


Progressive Nation Concert Review - Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont, IL - 5-13-2008

Last week, we all took in the Progressive Nation show at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL (just outside Chicago), and here are our brief thoughts about the bands that played.


Dream Theater - Dream Theater is accurate...these guys are beyond boring. Sure, they can all play their instruments something fierce, but who gives a damn when these are the songs they've got? All the technical prowess in the world doesn't make up for the fact that watching Dream Theater live is like watching 5 people masturbate, but waaaay nerdier.

Opeth - Best of the fest. Great set list. Amazing musicianship (without being dull show-offs, taking notes Dream Theater?). Mikael Akerfeldt has some of the most hilarious stage banter I've ever heard. Great, great, great. Don't miss Opeth for any reason.

Between the Buried and Me - The little twerps behind us, and the old Richard Lewis-looking hesher in front of us were dead wrong....BTBAM does NOT suck. Crushing, triumphant, mind-bogglingly complex, often quite beautiful, and just flat-out EXCITING is more accurate.

Three - They were fun. Sort of Dave Matthews Band meets the non-irritating parts of Dream Theater meets Rusted Root. Energetic, jubilant stuff. I found the overjoyed crowd reaction to them a bit over the top....they're good, but not "the sickest thing ever" to quote one guy we heard. Honestly, they're one concept album away from being Blue Man Group, but I enjoyed them.


I don't have a ton to add as Wayne pretty much nailed it.

Opeth blew me away. It was an effortless hour for an audience member. I was entranced. It made me order a remastered 2-disc version of Still Life. Can't wait to buy the new Watershed (more like Watershred...) CD (which also has a 2-disc version that I will likely opt for. Also need to get that 2-disc version of Ghost Reveries. So, yea, I enjoyed it! I think it was a brilliant move from a promtional basis to go out as a supporting act on the Prog Nation bill before the album comes out, then likely come around as a headliner later. Good call. They make me proud to be part Swedish. Hats off to the guy in front of us that was banging his head so hard at one point that he lost his balance and stumbled forward. Thanks to his friend who caught him a bit and steadied him so that it didn't get really ugly...

Dream Theater pretty much met my expectations, which were admittedly low. I was most impressed with some of their instrumental cuts, at times I thought they were jamming pretty well. I am just not a fan of lead vocalist James LaBrie. I see his name pop on lists of best metal vocalists, and I just don't get it. But then again, looking around the arena, there are people that love him and the band. Like, a lot. So, Dream Theater, you don't need any advice from me. People like you, and you seem to be doing well. You didn't win me over, but I'm guessing you won't lose much sleep over that...

Hook of the Day - Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things" & "Like I Love You"

by Wayne Graham

All of the Hooks So Big contributors are, to one degree or another, fans of the mighty Dillinger Escape Plan. When they released Ire Works last fall, many were quick to label the band as "The Next Faith No More." For those that agree with this assessment, I strongly urge you to check out DEP's excellent Irony is a Dead Scene EP if you haven't already. In fact, check this one out if you DON'T agree with that assessment. At one point during DEP's early days, they opened for Mr. Bungle and Mike Patton became a fan. When DEP found themselves in between lead singers, Patton temporarily filled in and they documented the collabo with said EP.

It's an amazing 20 or so minutes of madness. The best track is probably "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things", a song the band still performs. Here's Patton + DEP blasting through that number at a New Year's Eve 2002 gig.

And, what the hell, here's the guys doing their cover of Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You" at the same gig. Say what you want about JT, but this is one hell of a catchy-ass song. Patton + DEP hardly do anything to alter it, and it goes over huge.

Much thanks to "HolgerregloH" for posting these fantastic clips.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hook of the Day - Battle of Mice "Sleep and Dream"

by Wayne Graham

Julie Christmas is easily one of the most electric vocalists in contemporary heavy music. She's got a voice that can veer from a baby doll to a banshee without a moment's notice. Many compare her to PJ Harvey, which is pretty apt, but I'd throw in Bjork and Mike Patton as a couple of others she reminds me of as well.

Battle of Mice is a supergroup of sorts, combining Christmas, Josh Graham of Neurosis/Red Sparowes/A Storm of Light, and members of Book of Knots and Peeping Tom. I've heard conflicting reports of the likelihood of any new Battle of Mice material, but any of you wanting to hear more of Ms. Christmas should be sure to check out her "main" band, Made Out of Babies, who have a new record called The Ruiner coming out this summer. (check out their MySpace to hear a new track from that album called "Cooker", and cook it damn well does)

Here's Battle of Mice with "Sleep and Dream" from their excellent 2006 album Day of Nights.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Poll Results: Best Mugging By a Bass Player

by Wayne Graham

The results of our very first Hooks So Big poll are in, and the Best Mugging By a Bass Player according to you, our readers, goes to.....

Rudy Sarzo of Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, and Ozzy with a whopping 80% of the votes. We'll have a post about rampant bass player mugging sometime hopefully this weekend. 20% of the votes went to "Bass player not listed here", so if you selected that one, leave your choice in the comments.

Poor Juan "Crab Walk" Croucier and Jeff "I'm in Foreigner Now" Pilson got big fat goose eggs. Better work on those pouts, boys!

Heavy Metal Logo Wars: Judas Priest vs. Metallica

This week, last week's champion, Judas Priest, goes head to head against Metallica on the road to logo supremacy.

Last week, we all commented on the metallic sheen, the sharp corners, and the jagged teeth of Priest's logo. (We neglected to mention the bad ass cross making the T in Priest, though). But, honestly....that Metallica logo is iconic. You could ask people on the street what Priest's logo looks like, and you'd get a lot of shrugged shoulders. Ask the same person to sketch Metallica's logo, and there's a good chance you'll get the clean and simple "etallic" and the lightning bolt M and A. When you see someone other than Metallica using this style, most will recognize it as a play on their logo. It's a classic.
My vote...definitely Metallica.
Ummm, Priest. I'm gonna go for it. I think as much as everybody on the planet likes Metallica more than I do, I still think that Priest's logo is super tough. The simplicity of Metallica's logo is impressive. But I'm going old school....
My vote....Priest
Once again, I come in late but must cast the deciding vote. What pressure. Next time let me know and I will cast my vote first and one of you guys can make the tough decisions! It's so hard to separate your feelings for the band and your feelings for their logo. Anyway, I'm going to have to go with Judas Priest again. There's just more going on in the logo, but none of it excessive. Do we have brackets for this, or do we just go until we've thought of everyone and the last man is standing? I'm sure Wayne has it all figured out...
My vote: Judas Priest
Winner: Judas Priest

Hook of the Day - Children of Bodom "Blooddrunk"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Rotation


Mastodon - Blood Mountain & Leviathan
Jesu - Conqueror
the Ocean - Precambrian
Sleep - Sleep's Holy Mountain
Cult of Luna - Eternal Kingdom
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
A Storm of Light - And We Wept the Black Ocean Within
Battle of Mice - A Day of Nights
Meshuggah - "Bleed" (over and over and over again)


Idina Menzel -I Stand
Meshuggah - obZen
Pearl Jam - Yield
Opeth - Watershed and Ghost Reveries
Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's dog
Prince - The Rainbow Children
John Williams - Star Wars III - The Revenge of the Sith
Linda Ronstadt - Greatest Hits Vol 1 and 2

Hook of the Day - KISS Gets Rick Rolled

by Wayne Graham

So, this isn't traditionally the kind of thing we'd post as a Hook of the Day, but it's absolutely mesmerizing, all the same. It's the only thing this week that I've watched more than that new Meshuggah video.

Congratulations to YouTube poster FuntToob for a fantastic mash-up.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Early Contender for Hook of the Year--- Meshuggah "Bleed"

by Wayne Graham

Think Meshuggah's "Bleed" is one of the year's best songs so far? Just wait til you get a load of the video.

Holy shit.

Meshuggah - Bleed

MP3 Randomization: 5-14-2008


Wilco "You Are My Face"
Radiohead "Lucky"
Probot "Ice Cold Man"
Sam Cooke "Bring It On Home To Me"
AC/DC "Shoot to Thrill"
Lair of the Minotaur "Enemy of Gods"


Mike Jackson "Burn this Disco Out"
Weezer "Photograph"
Iron Maiden "Tailgunner"
Mercenary "Times Without Changes"
Iron & Wine "Flightless Bird, American Mouth"
Integrity "Release the Fiend"


Dillinger Escape Plan "Horse Hunter"
The Band "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"
Randy Newman "Short People"
Drive-By Truckers "The Three Great Alabama Icons"
Bruce Dickinson "Gates of Urizen"
Mastodon "I Am Ahab"

Hook of the Day - Between the Buried and Me "Ants of the Sky"

by Wayne Graham

Mark, Myche, and I caught the Progressive Nation show last night, and we'll try and have our thoughts up soon.

But I'll just say for now that Between the Buried and Me were amazing. Here's a clip of them playing "Ants of the Sky" in Atlanta last fall. (check back here periodically, as we'll post this song from last night's show once something shows up on YouTube)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A List








Man Tonsils


Coin Purse





Chin rests


50 cents







Family Jewels













and, yes....


All of these things...Def Leppard no longer have.

Sorry boys.

Who wants to do something really pointless?

by Wayne Graham

Skipknot have released the following--ahem--teaser trailer for their forthcoming album. There's no music or views of the band---Bobbleheaded or otherwise--but, apparently, there are all sorts of riddles within. Great....Tree, rock, barn. Okay, now what?

Hook of the Day - Pelican "Dead Between the Walls"

by Wayne Graham

Headbanger's Blog has posted Pelican's new video "Dead Between the Walls" and will play the clip this Saturday on Headbanger's Ball on MTV2. Good for them, I say. A little more of this type of thing and a lot less of...well, you know.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hook of the Day - Faith No More "Last Cup of Sorrow"

by Wayne Graham

I've been obsessed with this song lately. I love the Vertigo-quoting video, where Jennifer Jason Leigh manages to give a non-irritating performance, for a change.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scorpions - World Wide Live

by Wayne Graham

So when you talk about great metal live albums, the obvious Citizen Kane-level one is (few would argue) Live After Death. No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith is up there. Ozzy's Randy Rhoads Tribute album is a contender. As often as they release best-of compilations, KISS opus Alive is the best reference point for what's good about them.

I submit World Wide Live as an applicant. This is really the best destination for a lot of good songs in the Scorpions catalog, played with vigor and met with thunderous applause. I prefer a ton of the live versions of these songs to their studio album versions. And Klaus Meine's stage banter is fucking HILARRRRIOUS. And it does the trick....he just screams the city name, and begins some sort of inquiry into how they're enjoying the performance so far,or are they ready for ____(nasally loud screaming of big hit title, sometimes along with some sort of reference to the album where it can be found)_____ !!!!??!!! and the crowd is ready and starts screaming and then the band will start the riff, which is of course instantly recognizable, and will get more people yelling and the ones already yelling, yelling louder. It's effective Banterwerk.

He really shines at :30 of this clip. This also has some pretty bad-ass Framptone noodling. And then some banter about the song coming up...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Heavy Metal Logo Wars: Scorpions v. Judas Priest

The Priest logo is classic. The steel font lets you know just what you're going to listen to, and that's the work of a good logo. But Scorps Font cannot be beat. It's quite distinctive and I love the way each letter curves into the one next to it. Scorpions

Well, it's shimmering metal vs. shimmering metal. Those are two very good logos. I'd have to give the edge to Judas Priest due to the incorporation of the buzzcutt sawlike feature at the bottom. If it were a an actually piece of metal, you could get hurt handling it. Judas Priest

While I am a huge Scorpions fan, and their logo is certainly one of the more original of fonts. I do not feel the rounded edges of the font is sharp enough, While the edges of the Priest logo is sharp tight and right. I like how metal it looks just by using the letters. That's the one for me. My vote Priest

And the winner is......

Judas Priest

Hook of the Day - The Clash "London Calling"

by Wayne Graham

We haven't said word one about The Clash in our time together. I'm deeply, deeply sorry for that.

London Calling is seriously one of the greatest albums ever recorded. If you don't have it in your album collection you don't truly have an album collection.

We miss you, Joe.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Well said, Dave!

Dave Grohl has sent out the following open letter to Metallica. Couldn't have said it better myself.


Hey, it's Dave! Remember me? Yeah, I'm the guy that's been listening to
your band faithfully since 1983. I bought your first album 'Kill 'Em All' from a
mailorder catalogue called Under The Rainbow, I think. Actually I can't
remember. It was 1983 for Christsakes! But that album changed my life and I've
been listening to your albums ever since (even 'St Anger'!).

I can't wait to hear the new shit, and no matter what you guys do I'll
always be first one at the shop waiting to hear it. I'm sure you'll come out and
blow everybody's fuckin' minds, because you're fuckin' METALLICA!

Good luck. And don't release it until it's kick-ass.

Yours, Dave Grohl.

P.S. Are you finished recording the drums yet?

Another 666 topic...

This is a list I am starting that consists of your TOP 6 Albums (or bands that you were into) that you bought (or downloaded, or whatevs) that you loved for about 5 minutes and then got over them. Bring it on folks. Admit them!!!


Dave Matthews Band-- Whichever one had "Ant marching."
Barenaked Ladies-- Gordon (no explanation needed. It's awful)
Killswitch Engage -- The End of Heartache (all I had to do was see how lazy and obnoxious they were in concert and that did it for me...)
Hootie and the Blowfish-- Fairweather Johnson. (what was wrong with me? I don't even like Golf!!!)
Dream Theatre-- Any (I think I like, maybe, two songs total...)
Beyond Evil-- I love the Ripper, but this album is AWFUL


The first six that came to mind...

Dione Farris Wild Seed – Wild Flower
Montel Jordan This Is How We Do It
Virgin Prunes [I don’t recall the album title]
Pete Townshend Iron Man
Demons & Wizards Touched By The Crimson King
Todd Rundgren Nearly Human


Off the top of my head....

Dave Matthews Band - [generally anything they did from 1995-1997]
Jewel - Pieces of You
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Basement Jaxx - Remedy (that album cover still rules, though)
Extreme - III Sides to Every Story
Slaughter- Stick It To Ya!

In Rotation

What we're listening to today:


Clouds - Legendary Demo
Iron Maiden - Killers
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Melvins - Stoner Witch
Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton - Irony Is A Dead Scene [EP]
Opeth - Watershed
Allman Brothers - Idlewild South
Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
Scorpions - World Wide Live
Ozzy Osbourne - Randy Rhoads: Tribute


Y&T - In Rock We Trust
Scorpions - Virgin Killers
Exodus - Tempo Of The Damned
Allman Brothers - Eat A Peach

Nine Inch Nails The Slip
Pedro the Lion Control
Idina Menzel I Stand (I'm gay and in theatre!! What do you want from me!?!?!)
Urge Overkill Saturation

Hook of the Day - Arsis "We Are The Nightmare"

by Wayne Graham

Yeah, of course the song is great and the animation is cool, but the washed-out window cinematography has gone sadly unremarked-upon by most bloggers discussing this fine video.

So let's discuss it.

The lighting in this video? It's awesome.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

MP3 Randomization 5-7-2008


Devin Townsend "Tall Latte"
This Will Destroy You "They move on tracks of never ending light"
Deftones "Kimdracula"
Kings of Leon "Arizona"
Tears for Fears "Head Over Heels" (hahahahahahaha)
Beastie Boys "High Plains Drifter"


Pelican "Lost in the Headlights"
Dinosaur Jr "Get Me"
Mercenary "Times Without Changes"
Shadows Fall "Dread Uprising"
Sloan "Suppose They Close The Door"
Pig Destroyer "Loathsome"


Prince "Uptown"
Allman Brothers "Done Somebody Wrong"
Fish "The Field"
Mavericks "In My Dreams"
Ian Gillan "Trouble"
Funkadelic "Maggot Brain"

You Might Be A Whitesnake Fan…

by Myche J

Whitesnake is one of those bands that are right on the fence in the world of metal. Some folks have a hard time taking them seriously, most likely due to the over-saturation of the iconic 80’s video for “Here I Go Again”. They pretty much get lumped into the worst of hair metal. I think there are people out there that are very careful when they are in groups and are confronted with the question: “Do you like Whitesnake?”

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s okay to like Whitesnake. They are more than that one video. They were around way before the hair metal thing, and are still doing a nice job of kicking ass today.

But I’m sensing that there are still people out there that might be in denial. In the spirit of comedian Jeff Foxworthy (and it will be a lot funnier if you mimic him while reading these), here’s a list of a few things that could help you get off the fence and just admit that you are indeed a Whitesnake fan:

If every time you hear “Here I Go Again” you tell everyone around you that you prefer the earlier version from 1982’s Saints & Sinners album…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you have David Coverdale’s birthday (September 22nd) noted on your calendar next to the words “Take Day Off”…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you own, and prefer, the European release of Whitesnake’s self-titled 1987 album simply for the fact that the lead-off track is “Still Of The Night”…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you’ve ever used the phrases “Slide It In” or “Slow ‘An Easy” with a straight face during a sexual encounter…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you write “Vivian” in front of the name of all of your cans of soup…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If your favorite album with Jimmy Page playing guitar on it is “Coverdale-Page”…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you abbreviate the word “and” (like the boys did on no less than ten songs and two album titles) on grocery lists (milk ‘an butter), legal documents (cease ‘an desist), and invitations (Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Aldridge ‘an Family – and have actually sent one to them!)…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If your car’s license plate is any of the following: “WHTSNK 1”, “LUVHNTR”, “SLO AN EZ”, “R SARZO”, “GUD 2 B BAD”…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you have three different Whitesnake shirts, all of them depicting an album that is pre-Slide It In…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you have three of the same Whitesnake shirts, two tucked away for backup…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

If you’ve had backyard barbeques where you only played Whitesnake CD’s and served “Vandenburgers”…you might be a Whitesnake fan.

Gigantour Review 5/6/2008 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL - The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly

by Wayne Graham

Last night, Gigantour rolled through Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, and I was there to take it all in. Well, almost all of it. I had to leave halfway through Megadeth's set due to a number of factors, a few of which I'll get into in a bit.

Here's a recap:


Megadeth - Don't let my hasty retreat fool you, they were GREAT! Mustaine was badass and whoever the guys that make up the rest of Megadeth are kept up wonderfully. Due to some factors I'll soon discuss, it was hard for me to enjoy the material I wasn't as familiar with, but that's not on the band. I've seen 'Deth twice in the span of a year, and they rocked both times. "Wake Up Dead" ruled last night. Wish I had gotten to see the rest of the set.

High on Fire - I was eavesdropping on some guys who were talking about "what's up first", and when asked who High on Fire is, one young man flippantly replied, whilst rolling his eyes, "It's stoner rock." Halfway through HonF's first song, this chode was throwing horns like the rest of us. Matt Pike and company had a tough job...going up first at 4:30 in the afternoon as everyone is just trickling into the building and getting settled, but they tore it the fuck up. Just like they always do. 30 perfect minutes. Pike played like a man possessed. Jeff Metz' bass and Des Kensel's tribal thunderdrums were the rare examples of when the cavernous acoustics of the Aragon worked in everyone's favor. HUUUUGE.

In Flames - They were one of the biggest casualties of the crappy Aragon sound, but they were still absolutely fantastic. This was a very In Flames friendly crowd, and the band gave it back to us 1,000 fold. They played quite a bit of stuff off their newer album, which I'm not 100% crazy about, but they selected the better ones from that platter. Great live band.

Alexi Laiho - Not to say that Children of Bodom on the whole weren't good, they very much were. But they had some slight tempo issues here and there, and were sloppy in spots. Frontman Alexi, though, gave one of the evening's best rockstar performances. The guy was great at getting an already riled up crowd pumped up. His vocals, while not his strongest feature, sounded great, and his guitar work was damn impressive. The reason for the ever-growing popularity of Bodom begins and ends with this guy.


Job for a Cowboy - These guys are to progressive death metal what Black Tide and Trivium are to thrash......little boys playing with big toys. Big congrats to them for being as young as they are and pulling off a good following, especially for this type of music. And they definitely know how to play their instruments and be br00tal and what not. But the songs....are not there. Very dull, repetitious set.

Janne Warman - I'm already reluctant to listen to bands that feature cheeseball-sounding keyboards as it is, Children of Bodom's keyboardist Warman really made it hard for anyone to make much of a convincing case to the contrary. When he played solos and doubled Alexi Laiho's runs, he sounded great, but when he didn't have anything to play, he just......STOOD THERE. Staring off into space. Waiting for his turn to play. Buddy, DO SOMETHING. Double the bass line. Act like you're playing but keep the volume off. No one would notice, I swear. We do notice when you're on the nod. Ask Alexi to give you more to do. If he says "no" then just concentrate on staying awake.

The "Fuck Metallica" Guy - At one point during Megadeth's set, this older guy who appears to only come out of the crypt when Ozzy, Slayer, or 'Deth comes to town, blurts out at the top of lungs "Fuck Metallica! The bitches!" Groan. I imagine this is a show of solidarity for Mustaine, who, as we all know by now, was ousted from Metallica way back when. Nice show of loyalty, guy, but that happened DECADES ago. I'm sure Dave is over by now. If he's not, I don't imagine he wants reminders of it, particularly in the middle of a barnburning Megadeth set. Oh, also, he can't hear you! Shut the fuck up! And while you're at it, stop getting down on bended knee and putting a triumphant fist in the air. That takes up way more space than you think it does.

Fat Pit Guys Who Decide They Want to Take a Breather Right Next to Me, Rubbing Their Sweaty Bare Arms Against My Mastodon T-Shirt - Oh no you don't, tubby. Back into the pit with you.


The Aragon Ballroom - For a venue that LOOKS like it would be a great place for a rock show, it sure is a terrible place for a rock show. Where to begin......well, for starters, not sure if I've made this clear, but the sound in this place SUUUUUUCKS. Bass and drums ring through the place, but guitar work is often hard to hear. Not a good thing when we're talking about so many guitar-centric bands, huh? It was hard enough to properly recognize songs that I KNOW, much less enjoy songs that I wasn't familiar with yet. On top of that, crowd control sucks there, the staff includes some of the biggest bunch of retards I've ever had the displeasure of wishing I had never met, and a big reason why I left early is because I know all too well how long it takes to shuffle out of that place once a show is over. (Don't plan any meetings immediately outside the venue for at least an hour has been my experience)

So, anyway, all in all. A good time at a somewhat reasonable price. It was my first Gigantour excursion, and, provided it's not at the Aragon, I intend to make it a yearly thing.

Smart Move of the Day - Sebastian Bach will not join Velvet Revolver

by Wayne

Say what you want about Sebastian Bach, but his loyalty to Axl Rose saved him from joining a shitty band, one that could have been really cool......if they had hired Bas in the first place when they had a chance.

Velvet Revolver blows. Do the right thing, Axl and make it happen.

By the way....Slave to the Grind is totally underrated.

Hook of the Day - Def Leppard "Photograph"

by Wayne Graham

Okay, not to be One of Those Guys that always claims an older band's older stuff is better than their newer stuff.....but Def Leppard's older stuff is better than their newer stuff.


Lep scored a #5 debut on the charts with their latest album Songs From the Sparkle Lounge. As much as I think that Def Leppard is a genuinely great band overall, I get hives when I think of devoting 45 minutes to an hour of my life listening to something called Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, especially when the first single is a collabo with, um, TIM MCGRAW?? (look it up yourself. I want nothing to do with you being subjected to it) Look, I get it, there's not much difference between hair metal and contemporary country. Bon Jovi is proving it. Carrie Underwood proved it when she covered Skid Row to the approval of Sebastian Bach.

But that doesn't make it okay. And, frankly, the song is bunk, with or without McGraw. I'm going ahead and chalking Sparkle Lounge up as a creative failure based on this alone.

THIS is the Def Leppard I like!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Reasons why I can't stand "Remission" by Straight Line Stitch

by Wayne Graham

1. It takes the band 1 minute and 25 seconds (of a 4 minute 30 second song) to get to some actual vocals. This would be okay, if it weren't for the fact that this 1:25 is spent with the band just playing 1/8 notes over and over, likely for the purpose of building some kind of mood, which it doesn't achieve. All this padding really does it give all the band members time to preen and pose, which leads me to the fact that....

2.....this has got to be one of the phoniest bands I've ever laid eyes on. Take a look at these chodes.....they reek of a bunch of people who were playing Bloc Party/Bravery rock, and then they saw that metal was back on the rise, and decided to grow their hair out and learn how to do windmills. Such a huge effort is made in this video to let you SEE just how "metal" Straight Line Stitch is, which is fine, were it not for the fact that....

3.....this song is AWFUL. It's just dreck. It starts with the previously discussed 1:25 worth of glorified instrument tuning/warm-ups, then launches into the most tired-ass metalcore cliches you've ever heard. Wow! Listen to that pretty girl scream! Except it's not a very interesting scream. It's the same one you've heard for years, out of the mouths of both males and females. And the riffs, such as they are, are completely unispired. So, then we get to the chorus, and surprise come the....

4......clean vocals. Groan. Really? This shitty band tortures us with every play in the book, and the hook comes around, and instead of giving us a twist, like making the screams more menacing or powerful, we fall back on clean vocals. And, frankly, they're not very good, either. This woman has a very wispy, nasally nosevoice. So, she can't scream, she can't deliver any heat with the clean vox. Fine. But do they have to do the classic "scream the verse, sing the chorus" thing that everyone had done for the past decade? Can't you just sing? Or just scream? Hell, why can't you find a better, more original way of mixing the two vocal styles? I'll tell you's because this band knows that this is all they've got, and I can see it in their beady little eyes. They set their fancy home-studio equipment random music generator mode to "Hot Topic" and the machine shat this out, and all the band had to do was take a week to learn how to mug to it. Speaking of mugging.....

6.....their drummer is unsightly to behold. I realize it's hard to find drummers, and that every band has to have their signature Ugmo, but this guy has got to go. First of all, Tubby, STOP LOOKING RIGHT INTO THE CAMERA! Even the vocalist doesn't do it THAT much! Plus, not that SLS isn't fooling anyone with their tough metal act, but this guy specifically looks like the classic dude who's only in the band because he owns the van that they so sorely needed to cart their gear to whatever frat parties they played at before Headbanger's Ball started shoving this crap video down my throat. Which reminds me....

7. .....Headbanger's Ball won't play ISIS videos, but they have no problem playing videos by bands who wear ISIS t-shirts as some sort of desperate cry for credibility? Laaaame.

Hook of the Day - Gigantour Sampler

by Wayne Graham

Myche and Mark have decided to pass on this year's Gigantour show, but I will be there with bells on. We're going with an all-Gigantour Hookfest today.

First up, my favorite band on the bill....High on Fire. Here's "Rumors of War."

Next, a band who has their moments, but is ultimately my least favorite at Gigantour...Job for a Cowboy. Maybe they'll win me over with their live show. Here's "Altered From Catechization"

Next up, Finland's Children of Bodom. Please enjoy "Blooddrunk."

I'm excited to finally see a proper In Flames set. I was only able to catch the last two songs of their set at Ozzfest in 2005, and am excited to see a full set. Here's "The Mirror's Truth."

And, of course.......MEGADETH!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Trouble - R.I.P.

By Myche

I was saddened by the news that Trouble and singer Eric Wagner have parted ways. What a bummer. The last two times I've seen them they've been great. Can't figure out what would have caused this, but it does appear to be mutual (per Wagner, he just couldn't handle touring anymore). All that gossipy stuff behind, I'm just really disappointed.

Trouble has announced that they have hired ex-Warrior Soul singer Kory Clarke (the spelling of that name worries me a bit, I must say). They have a lot of festivals planned in Europe, so I guess they had to act fast. Those will be tough shoes to fill. If they play around Chicago, I will give the new group a chance. I guess I owe that to the rest of the band...

Nevertheless, from this fan's standpoint, I hope this is not a permanent thing. But for now, here's a clip from Live in Stockholm. How appropriate.

Rest in peace. Or better yet: Reunite, If Possible...

Hook of the Day - Nine Inch Nails "The Slip"

by Wayne Graham

Yeah, yeah. I'm cheating. This isn't a a hook of the day as much as it's 10 hooks of the day, but who cares? In the spirit of generosity that Trent Reznor has displayed by releasing the latest NIN opus The Slip today for no charge whatsoever, you folks are getting 10 hooks.

Download your copy at this location.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Close-Up's Top 20 albums 1991-2008

by Wayne Graham

I love a good best-of list. These things are obviously meaningless, but it's fun to see your favorites on a list, and even more fun to bitch about the ways that the list "got it wrong." Swedish music magazine Close Up has published the top 100 albums in metal, hard rock, hardcore, punk, and, um, "extreme rock" released from 1991 until now. Seems like an arbitrary starting point, I guess, but I do tire of music lists that you just know are going to be topped by Paranoid, Led Zeppelin IV, and Master of Puppets even before you take a single look, so 1991 it is. Here's their top 20. (thanks to Blabbermouth for posting)

Close-Up's Top 20 albums 1991-2008:
01. AT THE GATES - "Slaughter Of The Soul"
02. METALLICA - "Metallica (Black Album)"
03. PANTERA - "Vulgar Display Of Power"
04. ENTOMBED - "Wolverine Blues"
05. ALICE IN CHAINS - "Dirt"
06. NINE INCH NAILS - "The Downward Spiral"
07. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - "Rage Against The Machine"
08. NEUROSIS - "Through Silver In Blood"
09. MINISTRY - "Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed And The Way To Suck Eggs"
10. MAYHEM - "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas"
11. MACHINE HEAD - "Burn My Eyes"
12. FAITH NO MORE - "Angeldust"
13. TOOL - "├ćnima"
14. W.A.S.P. - "The Crimson Idol"
15. ENTOMBED - "Clandestine"
16. NIRVANA - "Nevermind"
17. OPETH - "Blackwater Park"
18. SEPULTURA - "Arise"
19. SOCIAL DISTORTION - "White Light, White Heat, White Trash"
20. MASTODON - "Leviathan"

I can tell you that this list has ALOT of records that I deeply love, and I'm not griping about much here at all. Of course, I don't really see that Entombed needs TWO entries. Plus, where is Meshuggah's Destroy Erase Improve? Why in the hell is W.A.S.P.'s Crimson Idol on there?? (sorry Myche and Mark. I know you guys like it fine.)

So, what we're going to do....we're going to listen to all of these over the next couple of weeks. Some of these will be first listens, many will be ones that we've heard, but we're going through all of it. And we'll post our thoughts as we go along.

So...keep an eye out. We're starting at the bottom and working up, so prepare yourself for our thoughts on Mastodon's Leviathan soon. (Lord knows we never talk about THOSE guys)

Hook of the Day - Sly & the Family Stone "If You Want Me To Stay"

by Wayne Graham

It is with much wailing and gnashing of teeth that I report that your friends at Hooks So Big will not be attending the Sly & the Family Stone concert here in Chicago on Saturday evening. This show has been cancelled.

So, in response to the many questions on the theme of "Will Sly even show up?", no he will not.