Friday, May 31, 2013

Lead Singer Ch-ch-ch-changes (video)

I recently had a friend post that bands should change their name if they change their singer. This was in response to the new Stone Temple Pilots track with Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Immediately, I thought of all the bands that were as successful, or even more, after changing singers: Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Marillion, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Rainbow, etc. 

There are always two sides to every story and I am sure we never hear the full truth. While posting about STP, I made the comparison to the Pink Floyd vs. Roger Waters battle. When it is many against one in musical matters, I tend to side with the group. Floyd was better as a whole, but after the split, their group work stands up much better than Waters' solo efforts.

Queensryche had a similar split last year, with the band deciding to carry on after Geoff Tate left. Unfortunately, Geoff, decided to create his version of Queensryche. I waited until I heard from both projects and again, I have to go with the band.

This morning, Stone Temple Pilots released this statement:

"You may have read we recently filed suit against our former singer, Scott Weiland. We wanted to clarify a few things: Our purpose in taking this action is not to hurt Scott. We want to move forward productively, and Scott’s choices and actions have prevented us from doing that. We were in the process of putting our 20th anniversary tour together to celebrate the release of our first album, Core. The plan was for a big tour where we’d perform the album in its entirety, along with some other favorite STP songs. So, you might imagine our shock and disappointment when, without any notice, we learned that Scott had seized this tour for himself as his solo tour, and decided to do exactly what we as a group had planned. We found out about it the same way you did—we saw an ad for it. 

Without getting into legal details, the band has a binding agreement that clearly states what each of us can and cannot do outside of STP. Unfortunately many of the decisions Scott made violate this agreement, have been harmful to the band, and prevented us from moving forward. When our requests to Scott and his representatives that they abide by the agreement were ignored, we finally had enough. So now, we’ve made our choice. It was beyond time we made some new music, which was impossible in the dysfunctional environment we were in. We’ve lived in it long enough and have decided to move forward with STP. We wish Scott well. We’re really excited about the new music we’ve been making with Chester, including the song we just released, “Out of Time.” 

We love this band and respect everything it means to you. We want to always give you our best and the choice we made is completely in that spirit."

-Dean, Eric & Robert

And there you go.

All the above being said, it comes down to the music. I like the new STP. And I think the "band" Queensryche sounds more like Queensryche than Geoff's version. What do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THE WOLVERINE New Trailer (video)

While I enjoyed all the X-Men movies, I do like First Class the best.  Wolverine returns in his own flick, which in it's trailers, looks much better than his last solo outing.  And this brand new trailer is our first look at a new villain.

I have yet to see Iron Man 3, but Star Trek Into Darkness was great!  So far, the summer is shaping up nicely.  I am REALLY looking forward to Pacific Rim, which I found out today, has already had it's sequel "green-lighted" and the film doesn't open until July!

See you at the movies!


Friday, May 17, 2013

METRO: LAST LIGHT First Impressions (video)

 Before I heard they were making Metro 2033 into a game, I had read the Dmitry Glukhovsky book on the basis of a recommendation from a Russian friend.  The novel was filled with atmosphere, dread and ultimately fascinating revelations.  The original game captured quite a bit of what made the book so interesting but due to some extremely difficult sections, some of the fun was lost as a result of frustration.

The second game is unrelated to the book's sequel Metro 2034, as it carries on the storyline from one of the endings of the first game. You don't have to go back and play it, all is explained during the opening scenes of Metro: Last Light.

While this game will not be an action junkie's favorite, it is a very involving first-person experience that carries on the best features of the previous game and fixes most of the problems.  I am probably a quarter of the way through the game and I love the experience, so far.  This post-apocalyptic setting is not a bright and cheery place but it is very realistic, given the circumstances.

Primarily a shooter, the game does provide stealthy ways to complete missions. I have not run into any so far that required the use of stealth but the interactive environment makes great use of light and shadows.  I am playing the PC version and the game's engine is running very smoothly on my system. My PC is a couple of years old but can still run the graphics on high.  There was one graphical glitch during a major plot point, but the misplacement of a cup did not remove me from the experience.

I will post again when I am further into the game.  If you are looking for a single player experience with a richly detailed back-story and fairly unique game-play elements, give Metro: Last Light a try.

All screen shots are taken on my PC running the game 1920×1080. 
(Click on the pics to make them larger.)

 to be continued....


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

RIDDICK - Official Trailer (video)

After two movies and an animated video, Richard B. Riddick is back. Although this flick looks to have a more Pitch Black vibe, hopefully it will be a hit and they will continue Riddick's journey to The Underverse.

from Universal Pictures:

Prepare for the latest chapter of the groundbreaking saga that began with 2000's hit sci-fi film Pitch Black and 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick.

The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he's encountered.

The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.

Director: David Twohy
Release: 9/6/2013
Studio: Universal Pictures
Starring: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine, Dave Bautista, Conrad Pla, Raoul Trujillo, Nolan Funk, Keri Hilson

source: Machinima



As a PADI certified Scuba diver, I have logged more than 200 dives. But I have never attempted anything like this.  yet. 

"There's only one thing that's better than scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and that's skydiving from a helicopter, releasing your parachute just above the water, swimming down to the bottom to get your tank and then scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. This is Scuba Skydiving."

The filmmaking team:
Gulliver Page
Pete Mether
Matt Hodges

Special thanks to:

source: PADI


Friday, May 10, 2013

JOEY EPPARD - Live (video)

After a long roadtrip to Quebec to see Porcupine Tree several years ago, I discovered a relatively unknown band (to me, anyway) called 3 was opening.  Due to some border troubles, the band's front-man and leader, Joey Eppard, had to perform 45 minutes solo.  I was so blown away by that one performance, I became a life-long fan.  Having interviewed and talked to Joey several times, he is a down-to-earth yet incredibly gifted singer/player/songwriter.  Joey recently released a live Blu-ray/DVD that gives you a chance to see what he does solo for the first time in a complete two-set performance. Although I have seen the band 3 many times since (and loved every time!), I have always hoped to see Joey solo again.

I cannot recommend this live release enough, it is what I have been waiting years for!

source: Joey Eppard


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Interview with FREDRIK ÅKESSON (audio)

#fredrikakesson #opeth #rockfile
Having been a long-time fan of Opeth, I jumped at the opportunity to finally interview one of them.  While I was scheduled to chat with Fredrik Åkesson, I got to hang out on the bus with the whole band and Daniel Liljekvist from Katatonia. 10 dates into the new tour and although these bands have toured Europe many times together, everyone seemed charged and ready to bring their music to the American masses.  The night's show in Ft Lauderdale sold out and had their legion of fans enthralled all night.

Get a few details about the guitarist, the band, tours and upcoming plans in my interview with  Fredrik Åkesson: