Archive for the ‘Megadeth’ Category

[WATCHED October-November 2012] Metal Evolution

metal evolutionVH1 aired this series last year and I was intrigued by it but figured I had no time to watch an 11 hour series on the history of heavy metal.  Of course, this being VH1, they have since re-aired the series on an almost continual loop.  So, if you’re interested, you can always catch it.

This series was created by Sam Dunn, the documentary filmmaker who made the movie Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.  I had heard good things about the movie, but never saw it.  After watching the series, I’m definitely interested in the movie.  Dunn is a keener–A Canadian heavy metal fan who is really into his subject.  He knows his stuff and he knows what he likes (heavy metal) and what he doesn’t like (glam metal, nu metal).

The sheer number of people he interviews is impressive (as are the number of locations he travels to).  Part of me says “wow, I can’t believe he was able to interview X,” and then I remember, “X is really old and is nowhere near the level of fame that he once had.”  Given that, the few hold-outs seem surprising–did they not want to have anything to do with VH1?  Are they embarrassed at how uncool they are now?  Just watch the show guys, you can’t be as low as some.

The only mild criticism I have is that the show relies a lot on the same talking heads over and over.  Scott Ian from Anthrax, whom I love, is in every episode.  Indeed, he may be a paid VH1 spokesman at this point.  There are a few other dudes who show up a little more than they warrant, but hey, you use what you got, right?

What is impressive is the volume of music he includes with the show.  I assume that he couldn’t  get the rights to any studio recordings because every clip is live.  This is good for fans in that we get to see some cool unfamiliar live footage, but some of it is current live footage which often doesn’t compare to the heyday.  Having said that, there’s a lot of live footage from the early 80s–of bands that I never saw live anywhere.  And that’s pretty awesome.

With an 11-part documentary there’s the possibility of exhaustion and overkill, but Dunn is an excellent craftsman  he jumps around from old to new, talks about how the history impacts the current and, because of his own interests, he makes it personal rather than just informative. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK:  SLAYER-Live from Sonisphere 2011 (Palladia TV 2012).

Did I get into heavy metal because I loved typography or was it the other way around?  All metal bands love creating logos, and images that resonate with their music.  Nearly every metal band that I liked had a logo, easy to identify from a distance.  Perfect for marketing.The Metallica logo is pretty iconic, but the Slayer logo moves it up a step–crazy lettering with swords that almost make a pentagram.

When I was a young metalhead, Slayer was like forbidden fruit–so evil it was scary.  I love how this video dispels this image of the band.  Kerry King talking about “the kids,” and look how much Tom Araya is smiling through the whole set.  Never has anyone been happier singing the word “eviscerated.”

This show was during the Big 4 tour–Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica.  So Slayer performs a few of their more popular songs.  I actually don’t know how long their set was, but this thirty show must have contained about half of it.

And the band sounds really good–still playing really fast (Dave Lombardo on drums is a madman).  It also makes me laugh to think of Kerry King back in the early days having a leather bracelet with 4 inch ten-penny nails sticking out of it.  Now he’s just got a huge chain hanging from his belt (and a shaved, tattooed head and a very very long goatee).  Gary Holt from Exodus is replacing Jeff Hannemann for this tour because Jeff has Necrotizing fasciitis (which sounds like a Slayer song anyhow)

The Palladia show isn’t online, but there’s another show from this Big 4 Tour recorded in Chile that’s online.  And the interview with Tom Araya at around 11:30 is amazing,  Tom is such a nice, soft-spoken guy–and he was given the key to the city!  Incredible to hear him scream like that.  (And I see that Kerry has the nail bracelet on for the first song in this show too).

I’m also very pleased to see how many fans are wearing earplugs.  Not metal, but sensible.

[READ: September 10, 2012] Just My Type

A few months ago, Karen wrote posts about this book (links are below).  All I need to do was to read her first paragraph to know that I wanted to read this book.  I love typography.  I took a typography class at the School of Visual Arts and I have always been fascinated by logos and text.

This book is an awesome book for anyone who loves fonts but who doesn’t want anything too heavy.  There is some history of the various type creators, but for the most part this looks at type faces in the past and in popular culture.   Chapter 1, for instance, is called “We don’t serve your type” and is ll about the overused and much derided Comic Sans.

Karen wisely spread her review over five posts because there was so much in the book.  Looking at her review now, I had already forgotten these two things that she mentions: “the quandary Westminster Abbey was in when it was discovered the designer of the signage at the Stations of the Cross was an incestuous pedophile (among other things).  Or the story of the font that was drowned to keep it out of the wrong hands.”

Each chapter (about 8-10 pages) follows the adventure and misadventure of a font,  a series of fonts or the creator of said fonts.  In between chapters we got Fontbreaks, two or three pages about a specific font. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: Big 4 Thrash Tour (2010).

During my recent trip down metal memory lane, I learned that the Big 4 Thrash bands may be touring together.  The Big 4 would be: Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer.

When I was a young metal dude, these were definitely my big 4.  I own the first 5 or so albums by all of these bands.  Megadeth was the first to fall out of favor (around 1990), then Anthrax (around 1993), then Slayer (around 1994) (although they came back nicely in the last few years) and the Metallica (around 1997 although really they’ve drifted the furthest from the thrash world, and probably I should’ve stopped sooner).

I haven’t really listened to any of these guys’ newer releases (although I did get Slayer’s 2001 release, God Hates Us All–and I wanted to add this wonderful quote from Araya, who sings of ever so much death and destruction: “when you see someone and if you’re a human being you respect them and treat them as human beings”), so I can’t say that I’m the target audience for this tour.  However, I am delighted that these 4 bands, whose music I loved while growing up, are still together and still touring.

I wonder what the audience make up for this show is?  Is it old fogeys like me (who are still younger than the band members, at least) who would have wet themselves for this tour back in 1989, or is it a new generation of thrash kids who would mosh the crap out of me?

Either way, I won’t be going to this concert (in Poland or in Greece for that matter) but nor will I be going should it come to a theater near me.  But I’ll be delighted to hear how it goes.

[READ: March 29, 2010] “Bystanders”

I was prepared not to like this story (actually an excerpt from a novel).  It is set on a mountainside on the border of China and Tibet.  And it was about mountain climbing, a subject about which I care very little.  And as it started  feared it was going to be another story about battling with the elements on top of a mountain, blah blah.

But rather, the story went in a different direction entirely.  While the young protagonist is watching the sun set on the mountains she hears gun shots.  Ad i the distance, she sees a man fall.  The guides come over to offer her a hand but she refuses.  They force her down behind the rocks as they call for her father.  Then she flashes back to another time when her father selflessly came to someone’s rescue.

There were many cool ideas in this story.  I loved the idea that she was sitting in two countries at the same time.  I loved even more the later idea that the glacier has moved the border between the to countries and that soldiers had to remeasure and replace the flag.  But really, it was the final line, “that by making his care, his very life and limb, equally available to all, he deprived [his family] of an exclusivity they had a right to expect” that was incredibly moving.

I don’t know that I’ll track down the novel Every Lost Country, but I did enjoy this excerpt quite a lot.

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