Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Four new entries in my Spotify Top 40 this week including the highest ever chart debut for Five Finger Death Punch.   Looks like a summer that will be filled by heavy hitters with more on the way.

Missing songs this week:
Rock The Blues Away – AC/DC

New to the Spotify list this week:
Jekyll & Hyde – Five Finger Death Punch,  Intoxicated – Hinder, Someday – We Are Harlot, Cirice – Ghost

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Angel -The0ry Of A Deadman,  Do You Wanna Rock – Danko Jones, Lost & Alone – From Ashes To New, Rise Up – Art Of Dying

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s nearly a dozen new songs added including the brand new music from Disturbed, great new stuff from Gus G, the debut of very promising newcomers Wilson,  and much more. You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Another busy week with five new entries in my Spotify Top 40, nearly 50 percent turnover in just the past three weeks.


Missing songs this week:
Rock The Blues Away – AC/DC

New to the Spotify list this week:
Lost & Alone – From Ashes To New, Here Comes The Light – Within Reason (re-entry), Safety – Fireflight (f. Stephan Christian), Unstoppable – Motionless In White, This Goes Out To You – P.O.D.

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Miscellanea -10 Years, Untraveled Road – Thousand Foot Krutch, Cold Blood – Apocalyptica, Alpha – Periphery, Save Me – Cast Out Of Eden

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen new songs added including the aforementioned  From Ashes To New, new music from Trapt, a new single from Seasons After and more. You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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Howdy Cuz

I haven’t smiled a whole lot this week, not even by my typical grumpy standards, but I got one just now I’m compelled to share a little of.  Given the near comic proportions of my crapfest of a week, it was one of the bigger surprises I’ve had in a while.

Facebook sometimes features the darnedest conversations, tonight was no exception as a topic turned to approaches to frying bologna.  (Yeah, you read that right) Now it’s not the first conversation I’ve had about the particular delicacy and I doubt it’ll be the last but that’s not really the smiling part though.

See, that conversation was with my cousin Robert​, who is currently kicking butt getting some health issues straightened out. Like a lot of families these days, we’re kinda geographically scattered about so I don’t know that either of us could name exactly when we saw each other last nor when we’ll see each other next.  There was just something about that conversation that struck me both familiar & familial.  And then I started thinking about just how many cousins I’d seen on FB this week – on both sides of my family – how many different things I at least know about ’cause we’re all online, some with comments swapped back & forth, others warranting a quick Like, other stuff untouched but still absorbed.

But back to the bologna.

In my mind’s ear I could just hear both of his folks chipping in on that conversation, most likely with more wisdom on the subject than me & him have combined, with something that would produce a better sandwich in the end.  And I could just hear Pop (my maternal grandfather for the uninitiated) getting in on it, probably wondering out loud how anybody could eat bologna without tearing their stomach up.   And all of that food talk would have inevitably led to some other food topic, and then to something else, and to something else and before we knew it hours would have passed.  Kinda like times used to be.

Long about there in my train of thought is where I smiled.  Cause in my mind’s eye I knew those folks gone on before us would have smiled about the whole thing.  And, I do believe, so would have the mutual ancestor that laid up prayers for me & Robert before either of us was ever born.  And that, for me, somewhere contains a lot of what family really means.

Just so happened tonight it was fried food and a maternal cousin.   Could have been any subject, could have been either side, could have been any of a variety of cousins … similar outcome would have been a similar smile.  And that, too, is family.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

And I thought last week was busy.  This week there’s SEVEN new entries in my Spotify Top 40, with a mix of big names and newcomers.   I believe the rush of summer of hits is officially underway.

Missing songs this week:
Rock The Blues Away – AC/DC

New to the Spotify list this week:
Footsteps – Pop Evil, Gravity – Papa Roach, Bring It On Back – Buckcherry, Waiting – Light Up The Darkness, Rise Up – Art Of Dying f. Dan Donegan, Save Me – Cast Out Of Eden, The Otherside – Red Sun Rising

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Diamonds – Manafest, Chicago – Acidic, Stronger – Of Eyes That See, Untie Me – Sandveiss, Love, Lust, and Liars – I Prevail, Here Comes The Light – Within Reason, Valley Of Bones – Full Devil Jacket
For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s a half dozen new songs added the aforementioned new Pop Evil, new singles from Asking Alexandria and Bullet For My Valentine, an album cut from Sons Of Texas and more. You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Five new entries in my Spotify Top 40 this week including a number of new artists, strong work across the board.  We WILL make it to the weekend, we’ve got plenty of rock to keep us going.

Missing songs this week:
Rock The Blues Away – AC/DC

New to the Spotify list this week:
Sudden Life –  Rise Against,  Better Place – Saint Ansonia, Untie Me – Sandveiss (re-entry), Here Comes The Light – Within Reason, Valley Of Bones – Full Devil Jacket

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Take It Back – , Thread – Flyleaf, Intoxicated – Hinder
For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen new songs added including new music from Buckcherry, a new single from Adler, the next hit from Papa Roach and more. You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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Honest … or not at all

I write a lot.  Well, at least more than the average person I imagine.

Some of it is informative.  A good bit of it is opinionated.  And, surprisingly, if you look at the sum total of my output across all platforms there’s more positive than negative, especially when it comes to comments and commentary about music.

While I tend to share more praise than anything, as I do genuinely enjoy passing along the best of what I come across, there are times when a certain amount of negativity is simply required.

Call it “keeping it real”.  Or maintaining credibility. Or simply … being honest.

I consciously try to avoid calling out bands or artists specifically, no matter how much something might have provoked me to do so.  I exponentially try to avoid doing so when it’s artists with a relatively low profile, or without the necessary larger body of work to provide a fuller perspective.  I work REALLY f’n hard to avoid that.  I succeed a lot more than I fail.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent cases with artists – some better known than others – where considerable exception has been taken with various opinions that have landed on the internet.   Exceptions taken in a manner I find particularly objectionable.

See, if you’re happy to accept the adulation of “people who probably live in their mother’s basement” or the money of people who “have never sung in their lives” then I believe you have to be willing to accept other expressions of their opinions when they’re less favorable.

Now let me make a very significant distinction here:  by “accept”, I don’t mean you have to agree with their take on your work.  You’re welcome to defend yourself, even more welcome to ignore those takes.  What you are NOT welcome to do, not without losing any presumption of respect at least, is attempt to deny the critics right to have a less than favorable opinion.

Thin-skinned artists — unreasonably thin-skinned in my estimation — seem to come in a wide range of talents these days.  And that’s disappointing.  If you’re content enough to bask in the glow of praise then be man enough to accept criticism as well.  And if you aren’t up to that then perhaps it’s time to reassess your use of social media.  I hate to have to put it bluntly but … we’re not all out here just to kiss your ass.  Some of us may have gotten at least one evolutionary step beyond blind idolatry or even plain old fanboyism.  And we’re not all only entitled to an opinion, or to express our opinion, when it’s one that suits you.

And, nope, nobody asked us for an opinion pro or con … except you DID put the work out there.  Were you really hoping it would just be ignored?  I’m going to guess that’s generally not the case.
No, you were ultimately hoping for some reward of some sort,a proverbial cookie.  Financial, typically.  Psychological and/or emotional in many cases.  Thing is, that’s not entirely a straightforward transaction.  You didn’t “buy” the positive with your work, the response isn’t guaranteed nor obligated to be favorable.  It’s more of a gamble, like putting your money in the slot machine and pulling the handle.   You KNEW that was a risk, not a guaranteed payback, as the wheels started spinning.  It’s either incredibly naive or incredibly ignorant to get mad at the machine if you don’t get three of a kind on each & every pull.

For years, I’ve said that the internet really ISN’T for everybody.  Lately I just wish so many people didn’t seem so hellbent on proving my point.

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