Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: "Born Villain" by Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson is back this year with "Born Villain." I don't know why precisely, but I bought it. I'm not the biggest fan of his (formerly theirs) anymore. Before this album, I only had "Portrait of an American Family" and "Lest We Forget." I hadn't listened to an entire studio album since the debut record.

Aside from Mr. Manson, the entire band was different on the current release than that one. Twiggy Ramirez, who was a member of the band when "Portrait of an American Family" was released, but not when it was recorded is playing guitar on this album, apart from that, he had also spent time away from the band. On a side note, I always think back to Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster" documentary when we was auditioning for the spot that Jason Newsted had recently abdicated and I really liked the way he sounded playing "For Whom the Bell Tolls," but I digress. It is rather strange seeing that the majority of the line up on this album doesn't have the sex symbol/serial killer stage name. I suppose now, what was once a band, is truly a solo singer and his back up band...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Poison and Def Leppard: Rock of Ages 2012

On Saturday August 25th, three hair rock bands from the 1980's arrived at the Chaifetz Arena on the Saint Louis University Campus for an evening of nostalgia. Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford all graced the stage and played the songs we all remember from the free wheeling 80's.

Lita Ford opened up the show with a short six song set with her new band. I was never much of a Lita Ford fan. Of course I knew her big songs, "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Close My Eyes Forever." I knew she had been talking about touring again for at least the last ten years. I had long since given up on her making good on the threats which made me very happy that she decided to get back on the road supporting her first album in forever, "Living Like A Runaway." She opened with "The Bitch Is Back," how apropos, no? What really struck me were the new songs she played. My companion and I were really blown away at the musicianship, the lyrics, and the emotion that went into these songs. I immediately went and purchased the CD at the merch table. Lita then ripped into the aforementioned big hits. She played a short and sweet set. Her new guitarist handling most of the leads even though Lita was always quite adept at handling those herself. When her new guy let loose on a the new songs, I saw why she let him take over. The dude just smokes. I haven't listened to the CD yet, but her performance was good enough to convince me to lay down fifteen bucks for it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: "Weightless" by Animals As Leaders

"Weightless" was released on November 8, 2011. This is the sophomore effort by the solo project of Tosin Abasi. Though hardly a solo project. Animals As Leaders consists of three members: Drummer, Naven Koperweis (now replaced), Tosin Abasi, and Javier Reyes who both play 8 string guitars. Both Tosin and Javier play solos and rhythms, so it's not like most instrumental guitar acts where one player is the focal point of every song.

In "Weightless" each of the twelve tracks weaves in and out of riffs and solos, both on the guitars and the drums. In that regard, it is similar to most guitars of this genre, but that is about where the similarity ends. There are no acoustic guitars or bass guitars, but what I found to be the most interesting is that there are very little in terms of guitar effects on this record. Aside from a little distortion and a touch of chorus, these guitars are played cleanly.It was a very refreshing change of pace. I wasn't distracted by the guitar tone and could focus on the guitar playing, which was phenomenal.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome To My Glacier

Good afternoon.

Thank you for stopping by today. This is my introduction to what I am doing with this bit of the web. I am going to begin by explaining who I am and what I do.

My name is Nik and I'm also the author of the 13 Blog. There I review, beers, slingers, fish frys, and other slightly strange food stuffs. Though I am a big sports fan, beer snob, father, and a thousand other things, my first love has always been music. An old friend of mine has always like to throw a quote of mine back into my face in a fairly sarcastic tone..."I was a music buff when I was eight." I suppose music buff was a pretty poor choice of words, but it is an accurate statement. At that very early age, I can remember Kiss taking the make up off and the premiere of the "Lick It Up" video on Friday Night Videos. Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Run DMC, the Fat Boys, Black Sabbath, The Beastie Boys and so on and so forth. Over time, my tastes grew and I now appreciate a bit wider variety of music than I did when i was little, but I still love all of those old bands as well.