Happy Fucking New Year. Did 2008 suck? It certainly tried.
Jagged Spiral’s long-awaited CD release of “Days From Evil” came and went, and was definitely the highlight of my year. A handful of media reviews, ranging from “needs improvement” up to “gave me the piss-myself nightmares” were exciting to read over and over again. Yeah, even the “needs improvement” one. Being important enough to dislike still makes you feel important. Famous or Infamous? Hell, I’ll take both.
I was hoping the CD release party (at Club Underground on 11 July 2008) would be the start of an exciting summer of booking shows, networking with bands/venues/fans, promoting the album and generating excitement for our new material. Instead, I was informed that it’s “all about the music,” and little more. That pretty much moved us back to the studio; writing and recording. Scratch that, I guess we just write now. That’s our comfort zone, “a sin that we’re good at” if I can plagiarize my own work.
The second half of 2008, I shifted most of my free time away from the band and onto The Demonslayer’s Handbook I did a lot of research and tried to get my mind around the traditional-publishing vs self-publishing processes. The manuscript is done, and my faithful beta-reader-fan-club have devoured the text and reported back plenty of useful criticism. Finding a professional editor is my first primary objective of 2009.
Sometime this year, I’ll be updating the website theme, because I unroll like that. Something dark, urban… not entirely sure yet, but no shiny floor, and probably not Web 2.0. If you want to be kept up to date, get your bad self on the mailing list…
Minneapolis Local Music
On the local music front, Mark Mallman is a tough act to top. I saw him at the Varsity for New Year’s. The man is insane. I hear local hip-hop duo Atmosphere got voted “Band of the Year”, for their album, When life hands you lemons, you paint that shit gold which really should win based on the title alone.
CwnAnnwn (pronounced Coon-ah-noon) is an up-and-coming symphonic metal band, keep an eye on them.
Those interested in the Minneapolis local music scene should check out The Best New Bands of 2008 at First Ave on Jan 14th.
Nine Inch Nails new album was mediocre at best, so much so that I ended up skipping the “Lights in the Sky” tour, and it wasn’t till afterward that I heard it was one of the most spectacular and technically challenging concerts performed (seconded only by Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” tour). That’ll teach me to pass on NIN!.
Metallica went ‘back to their roots’, admitting that their last handful of albums sucked. And Death Magnetic simply proves what we’ve known all along; they can’t play like they used to. And while the world gave Metallica no sympathy for the album’s poor production value, I thought the music sucked far worse than the production. Between mp3s, radio stations like 93X, and bands like Jagged Spiral, I put up with overcompression all the time, but I’ve always said I’d rather listen to a good song at poor quality than a poor song at good quality. It’s not even worth downloading on a free torrent. I’ve decided that the Real Metallica died in a plane crash after making The Black Album.
Guns-N-Roses meanwhile (if we can still call the band that) ran quite far from their roots, and by contractual obligation released Chinese Democracy an album which proves that 13 years and 13 Million can’t make crappy songs any better. As overproduced as a Brittney Spears album, “Chinese Democracy” lacks the Slash-guitar-hero-hookiness that made G-n-R so great. Sorry Axl, its been great, but I think GNR died in that plane crash with Metallica…
Meanwhile, AC/DC released Black Ice, the exact same album they’ve released for years, and are playing sold out shows. The band still refuse to sell their music on i-tunes. Axl and Metallica could learn something here (if they were still alive, that is.)
Its a close tie between Dead Space and Fallout 3 for my Game of the Year. I just finished Dead Space and it kicks undead-outer-space-horror-sci-fi-ass. I just started Fallout 3, and while it looks like an amazing game overall, Dead Space is the winner for mood, atmosphere and storyline.
Spore was disappointing. Portal was fun, and just long enough, but more of a diversion or a mini-game. I’ve just loaded up Left 4 Dead, and plan to fight the undead hordes with some friends next weekend.
What’s up with Guitar Hero, Rock Band and all the music games? Is real music popular again? I like it. Don’t forget that Real Music comes from guitars, not record-scratchers and button-pushers.
I’ve found very few movies to rave about in 2008. Batman trumped Indy by far, and I bet I’m not alone in believing that the Indiana Jones franchise should have been left with our hero riding off into the sunset.
I’m glad that’s over with. Let’s move along, nothing to see here…