Is that black metal or death metal? … And btw those are some bangin’ gauges.

I had to ask- I could not let it go-There was this kid listening to his music and I had to ask.

As a music fan who prides himself on not discounting any genre, (even something sounding still warm from being forged in the bowels of hell) this was a valid question.

The answer, a somewhat indignant – “This is death metal”

The difference as explained to me: Black metal is more rhythmic with complex guitar work while Death is more smash and thrash.

I will have to go with that because I am swimming a bit out of my depth here.

And I understand that part of the attraction is to reinforce the alienation that the listener wants to bathe in.

If that is your deal dude—go for it.

It just surprised me that I could insult someone by simply suggesting this sacred (or more correctly “anti-sacred”) death metal is associated with that whimpy-assed-candy-coated black metal.

Excuse me – I am a stranger here in electric land.

I got away with it mostly because I am just a curious and amicable middle aged person with all the malice worn off me at this point in my life.

I want music that inspires me and touches me- I do not want to summon up demons.

Mostly because they tend to want to hang around and don’t fall for those subtle hints— like…..”er hey guys, yeah it was real fun dancing around the fire and all but I got to put some ointment on these burns and crash, big day at work tomorrow—-so—er see you later?”

They tend to get under your skin and move right in.

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Why Geeks owe Devo everything.


Why Geeks owe Devo everything.

You neuvo geeks don’t understand because you were not born before the revolution. ..

Before the revolution-there was only darkness for the fleet of brain.

Al Gore had not yet invented the internet.

We played chess by mail (yes, stamp and envelope mailbox-mail!…-pawn to king 4, bitch!)

We were hunted down in school and beaten up for good sport-they would later call this bullying-and even later would declare it a bad thing. Think Hunger Games High school.

Comics were not cool…and we read them because we were not cool but they made us feel better. There was no banding together at a Comic Con…with dressing up in costumes and fellowship! Fellowship? Friends? …No –none of that.

When our glasses broke, we could not afford to fix them right away, so we rigged them the best we could. And we did that because without them-we could not see!

Star Wars was yet to become an official religion- it was just a movie they forgot to make toys for. (yes, there would be an over reaction of epic proportion and geeks everywhere or maybe nerds would buy tons and tons )

In this dark age-there was no difference between a geek and a nerd-each were considered the lowest form of life.

Star Trek was a campy 60’s show.

AND—-Batman was still a joke with the cheesy “Bam” graphics or as Robin would have said “Holy History Batman!”  He was yet to make that Walter White transformation and go all badass over Gotham.

Those were the dark days of Geekdom and there was no music.

Then this band Devo came out.

They were smart, smart-ass and funny. We had a band….Yeah! We don’t have to pretend to like Foghat anymore people-we can dance…it just might be O.K to be us!!!

We are legion and we are the bomb!

Then Bill Gates and Steve Jobs arrived and the rest is history.

But first was Devo-first was sound. This revolution would not be televised.

R.I.P-  Robert “Bob 2” Casale

The Defining Beauty of Parody…Thoughts on Spinal Tap and Rock Music

Cover of "This is Spinal Tap (Special Edi...
Cover of This is Spinal Tap (Special Edition)


When Spinal Tap was released in 1984, it signaled the end of a golden age in rock music. We did not realize it at the time because we were too busy enjoying it.

Around the corner, Hip hop was a baby and quickly growing and “file sharing” was ready to pounce and dismantle the whole industry. Like the dinosaurs who once wondered what those weird soft squishy things underfoot called mammals were all about.

And what are the chances of a meteor hitting the earth?

Rock music was about to be unceremoniously dethroned.

These go to 11

“Why not just make 10 louder and keep that the biggest number?”

“These go to 11”


“That is pretty, a real departure from your other stuff”

Thanks, it’s in the sad key of D-minor, I call it “Lick my Love Pump”

Maybe the funniest thing was the bit about books on tape, which was the most perfect joke since it actually happened.

I am not saying “rock is dead” and I am not saying that there is not great music out there today.


What I am saying is that once it ruled the earth as the dominant species and that did not last forever. Once we waited in line all night to get tickets to shows, because if we didn’t –we would not get a ticket. There was no V.I.P experience that could be bought by anyone with enough money. There were no rock fantasy camps! Rock music was not a video game where you got to match colors with buttons on a little plastic guitar!!! Guitars were both worshipped and smashed (a fate that has befallen false deities, rambunctious gods and statues of fanatical leaders since the beginning of time!)

Stonehenge was in danger of being trampled by dwarfs!”

Believe it or not kids-Once we were in a hurry to see stars before they ODed so we could say that we saw them instead of rushing to see them now before they go of natural causes.

“The Puppet Show gets higher billing than us! We are opening for a puppet show”

I am good with YouTube to allow access to any music of any genre at any time. I am good with bringing music with me and listening to anything I want without upsetting anyone else. If I want to crank up Lemmy and the boys doing “Ace of Spades” while mowing the lawn- in this day and age…no one can stop me.

I am also good with Pandora picking music that I don’t like based on music I like. And who can hate being able to make perfect copies of music tracks to enjoy responsibly? I am glad that we are in a different place and have no desire to return to the old days.

We can always learn to sell hats or maybe get reborn with a tour of Japan.

That was the Rock n’ Roll Dream of Spinal Tap

 Instead of playing rehashed hits with one or two original members in an obsessive gluttony of nostalgia in front of fans that wish they still could be as stupid as they once were.

“We now begin a new stage in our music development- Enjoy Spinal Tap mach 2! A jazz odyssey”

We all have to grow up and looking back at yourself and having a good laugh is a good place to start.

Thank you to Nigel, Derek, David and a spontaneously combusting drummer for showing us that.



5 Greatest Geek Rock Acts

A 'geek' rubber duck - side view
A ‘geek’ rubber duck – side view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t think of myself as a geek-but I do watch the science channel and history channel more than the others and if they ever come out with a Stephen Hawking action figure; I may be tempted to add it to my collection. The cold hard fact is that when I think of any scenario and how a geek would act compared to a regular well-adjusted  person…….aaahhhhhhh….I would take the geek way—Ergo I must be a geek. So here is music about my people for my people… Forgive me this is difficult….kind of like when Luke finds out Darth Vader is his Dad…aaaahhhh…I did it again.

Note: Most of this is written from outside the geek world as I have just “come out” and  have not be officially welcomed by other geeks as one of their own. I mean no disrespect to my new brethren. This is still new to me. Enjoy!

5. Gwar

For the militant geek..You know that guy…if someone takes his seat in math class -he will laugh about it and then not let it go. This guy is in serious need of an outlet. A show by this band is just what the doctor ordered to let him have a bit of fun-(while getting sprayed with all manner of fake bodily fluids) and get all that rage out. Shock Rock dressed like game characters that rail against the evil system sounds like militant geek to me…think of them as a more unlikeable Kiss…I know… did not think it was possible to be more unlikeable than Gene Simmons? It is!!..Rage on geeks…rage on.

4.Weird Al Yankovic

He has taken the art of parody and turned it into science. He is the no-one that becomes everyone. Awkward at first glance- brilliant under the surface. The frog that says to the princess that tries to kiss him…”Whatever sweetie…got look for someone else to smooch…I am weird Al and I will rain my fury upon the entire music industry” White and Nerdy is geek brilliance shining so bright, it is almost cool.

3. They might be Giants

I once found myself at the acclaimed bastion of geekness called R.P.I  in order to find the room that these guys were playing in. Two guys that make a lot of noise in order to elevate the words of wonder that spill out from them as they preach to the converted followers of quirkiness. I love a band that relentlessly follows their vision through the hits and misses. You don’t have to suffer from full blown nerdness to enjoy them, but you do require some part of that disease running through your veins.


These guys started the revolution. They gave all geeks, nerds and social rejects a place to rally to. You can like computers and learn more than a few opening moves of chess(you never know when a surprise chess smack-down can happen) and still be O.K. It is alright to come out of the closet and admit that making your brain do some work might be some benefit to you and the world around you. And these dudes with the red plastic hats are laying down some funky beats…we can dance geeks…we can dance! Oh the joy and celebration! You think the iPhone would have been invented without the surge that these guys gave to the geek community? No way!


The hard days of the geek revolution are in the past. Technology runs the world and those that control and maintain this technology are living on the good side of the good towns. Basically…the geeks are running the world. So here is the emerged butterfly band of geekness flapping its wings in the bright sunshine of this new age. Put some of this music on as you lean back in the soft recliner and kick off those expensive slippers and bask in the delight that you have created. Take a drink of whatever you guys drink and enjoy it. We all call you Sir Geeks now!