NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Session 3.25: On The Cover Special!

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The doors of the Asylum have swung open once again, and the Brutal Music Therapy awaits! This time, it’s another round of On The Cover goodness, as the songs chosen are of the covered variety!

Featuring Cuts From:

As The Story Grows, Dead Artist Syndrome, Krig, Mortification, Narnia, One Bad Pig, Place Of Skulls, Possession, Pylon, Screams Of Chaos, The Showdown, Soul Embraced, Stryper, and Ultimatum…


NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Session 3.24

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NECRO SHOCK RADIO – Session 3.23

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Featuring cuts from:

A Hill To Die Upon, Antestor, Avenger Of Blood, Bridgeshadows, Crimson Thorn, The Crucified, Death List, Grave Robber, Immortal Souls, Lament, Mental Destruction, One Bad Pig, and Tourniquet…


MAY 11, 2016

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Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8:5-8

Woke up this mourning at 2am to the sound of a whimsical thunderstorm outside. The windows were open, and I lay there in the darkness, listening to the rain hitting the cars, the concrete, the roof; the wind blowing the trees, rustling the leaves, howling through the ancient foundations of the Haunted Victorian. The strobing of the lightning, the crack of the thunder. The chill of the draft, chilling my skin. Oh, the wondrous dreams the weather drummed up while I drifted back off into the netherworld of dreaming.

Awakened again around 7:45am. Recorded the scripts for two upcoming sessions of NSR, edited one together. Finished up watching Season 2 of Angel.

Went to the HyVee at 132nd and Dodge, met up with certain members of the CBC Bennington for lunch. It’s part of my ongoing “therapy”, wherein I force myself to be “sociable” and not be “antisocial”, to force down my revulsion anxiety at connecting with fellow Christians. Once again, I survive, yet still need to take a nice, hot shower to make my skin stop crawling.

Finished lunch, went down to the Old Market to see about picking up some dust covers for my vinyl LPs at Homer’s, and ran into Kyle B—–. He’s one of those kind of friends that we run into each other every few years or so, but always pick up like no time has passed. He’s good people. I praise God that He would allow me another time to catch up with an old friend.

MAY 10, 2016

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And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Tuesday. I don’t know why, exactly, I mention the day of the week, but here we are. Still on holiday. It is good.

At Annie+Chad’s place helping to prepare the food for Saturday’s Graduation Open House. Wasn’t expecting to do this; but, had no plans anyway, so I figured why not. I’ve eviscerated several avocados to create the guacamole dip. Now cooking approximately 46 chicken breasts on the outdoor grill. Fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday, went to the Amon Amarth show out the Sokal auditorium with fellow Exalted Geek and metalhead, James Harr in tow. I should have worn the boots instead of the sneakers. Regardless, it was a good show, a much-needed injection of live \,,/METAL\,,/ that Omaha so desperately needs more of.

Exmortis was decent, more of a thrash band than death metal, but they put on a good show. It was thrash. Better than average thrash, they did impress with a metal rendition of the Moonlight Sonata. Worth looking into.

One guy in the mosh pit impressed me by holding an open glass of beer while doing so. I salute you, sir. All you needed was a mullet to really bring everything together.

Five minutes passes so quickly when one is writing. Time to flip the birds.

Also, kudoes to the bands for including 3XL t-shirt sizes in the merch. It warms this MetalHead’s heart.

Entombed A.D. killed it with their brand of groove-based death metal.

Observing Annie walk barefoot over gravel. Truly a farmer’s wife, that one.

Anyway….yeah. Great set, that Entombed A.D. About the only song I knew of theirs was “Wolverine Blues”, but still. ‘Tis metal. ‘Tis awesome.

Amon Amarth…what a show. What. A. Show. Didn’t play “Guardians Of Asgard”, but fantastic set regardless.


Book Review: VAMPIRES: The Greatest Stories

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Book Review: VAMPIRES: The Greatest StoriesMartin H. Greeberg (Editor)
MJF Books

Whenever I find myself at one of the two Barnes & Nobel shops here in Omaha, there’s usually one main area you’ll be able to find me browsing in: the Bargain Books sections. Besides the possibility of running into a title by an author that’s been marked down to titillate my cheapskate sensibilities (stop giggling), you can also find some obscure short story collections of both the horror and sci-fi varieties that B&N releases on one of their offshoot publishing groups.

And that’s how I happened across a copy of Vampires: The Greatest Stories. I was looking for something cheap yet interesting to kill the time while driving my Nurse Practitioner mother around to her appointed rounds, and came upon this very thing that caught my eye. So I bought it, and read it. Obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this obligatory review.

The stories contained in Vampires: The Greatest Stories have maybe a handful by authors I recognize right off the bat: Robert Bloch (“The Bat is My Brother”), Philip K. Dick (“The Cookie Lady”), Robert McCammon (“The Miracle Mile”) and Richard Matheson (“No Such Thing As a Vampire”), as well as stories by names I didn’t recognize (but that hasn’t stopped me from devouring their contributions anyway): Eric Lustbader (“In Darkness, Angels”), Roger Zelazny (“Dayblood”), Brian Stableford (“The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady”), David Drake (“Something Had to be Done”), Daniel Ransom (“Valentine from a Vampire”), Jane Yolen (“Mama Gone”), Karl Edward Wagner (“Beyond Any Measure”), Tanith Lee (“Red As Blood”), S. P. Somtow (“The Vampire of Mallworld”), Tad Williams (“Child of an Ancient City”) and Dan Simmons (“Shave and a Haircut, Two Bites”). It was an intersting selection, with some imaginative takes on the whole vampire genre, without devolving into a whole glut of “dark fantasy romance” or “young adult fiction”. But, I digress.

Overall, while the stories themselves were amusing and at times inventive and imaginative, I wouldn’t go so far as calling this the “Greatest Stories” ever assembled for vampire-themed fiction. Yes, I know, hype for the purpose of selling. Still, the collection seems a bit anemic. But then again, for a greatly affordable bargain book, it was a great way to kill a few hours.

Movie Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: Civil War

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captain america civil warMarvel/Disney

“Ok. Anybody on our side hiding any shocking, or fantastic abilities they’d like to disclose, I’m open to suggestion.”

Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow and Hawkeye must pick a side.

I’ve decided, right off the bat, to begin this particular review with a hearty SPOILERS AHEAD. You’ve been warned. There, that aside…

I have to admit that I was a bit late to the game when it came to the movie adaptations of Marvel Comics’ Captain America. Since he was never my thing in the funnybook format, naturally I didn’t really bother seeing the first movie until it was out on DVD. Then, even though I enjoyed that one, I still waited for the sequel to hit the local Second Run theater house to watch that one on a big screen. With Captain America: Civil War, I went to see it opening weekend, the Saturday morning, with some of the Exalted Geeks with. Then we went to lunch and recorded a podcast of our thoughts on the movie, which you can totally listen to here. But, I’m also gonna stick my own personal thoughts on the movie here on my bligity-blog. Because movie review. It’s what I do. Anyway…

Right off the bat, I’ll have to admit that Captain America: Civil War felt more like Avengers 2.5 rather than an actual stand-alone Captain America movie. It pretty much has all the current Avengers in there, save for Thor and Hulk, along with Bucky / Winter Soldier, Ant-Man and the very first appearance of Spider-Man and the Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We start with a bit of a flashback to 1991, where the Winter Soldier is reactivated for a mission that involves the theft of some liquid packets from the back of somebody’s trunk. Then, we arrive to the present day, where the current roster of the Avengers are in Lagos to stop Crossbones from stealing a deadly biological weapon, which doesn’t end well when Crossbones blows himself up and inadvertently causes the death of several dozen citizens, and injuring hundreds more. The public blame the actions on the Avengers, which leads to the world governments to enact a policy to oversee and control the Avengers due to this issue. Heading up this accord is the King of Wakanda, due to the blast killing the Wakandan humanitarian workers who were there. Due to an encounter with the mother of one of the victims who was in Sokovia when Ultron was battling the Avengers the year previous, Tony Stark is all for the Sokovia Accords, while Captain America is naturally dubious about the whole thing. Things escalate when the UN building in Vienna where the Accords is being ratified is bombed, killing (among others) King T’Chaka of Wakanda, by someone who is identified as the Winter Soldier. Captain America wants to bring in Bucky himself, peacefully, while S.H.I.E.L.D. has orders to shoot him on sight; T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, however, has an agenda all his own to take down Bucky himself, as the Black Panther. Captain America manages to find Bucky and barely escape with him; Bucky maintaining his innocence. Turns out one Helmut Zemo is the real Vienna Bomber, and while Bucky, Falcon and Cap are ultimately captured, they manage to escape when Zemo sneaks in and brainwashes Bucky back to the Winter Soldier and causes him to go berzerk again. To take Zemo down, Cap and Falcon decide to not wait for authorization and go rogue, recruiting Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man in the process. Meanwhile, Iron Man’s got his own posse, consisting of Black Widow, Vision, Black Panther, War Machine, and a newly-suited Spider-Man. They rumble at an airport, resulting in Cap and Bucky getting away, but the rest of Cap’s team getting captured and sent to a submersible prison. Iron Man discovers that Bucky was innocent all along, and catches up with Cap and Bucky as they discover the abandoned compound where the Winter Soldier project that created Bucky was at, catching up with Zemo. Zemo reveals that it was never his intention to create more Winter Soldiers, then shows the video of Brainwashed Bucky killing Tony Stark’s parents back in 1991, causing Iron Man to go mental and attack Bucky, which leads to Cap to jump in, leading to another massive throwdown in the bunker. The fight ends in a draw, Zemo is captured, and the movie ends with the team still divided and bitter.

Obviously, I left out a good amount of details that you’re just going to have to watch to find out for yourself. Can’t spoil the entire thing, now can I? Regardless, it still took a lot of words to even get that Reader’s Digest Condensed Version, which should tell you what kind of epic scope this movie was. Still, with all of these characters crammed into the movie, Captain America: Civil War still gelled completely, working in a way that a certain other superhero team-up movie that was released earlier this year couldn’t seem to be able to do with just three. When you get past the action (which was done very well) and the various comic book superhero drops (and there were many), the story was still engaging and streamlined, with character development on each one that invests you with the outcomes. Also, the story didn’t take the easy route with the resolution. It was a very dark ending, kind of the Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the two new introductions to the superhero stable of the movies–namely, Spider-Man and Black Panther–they did a good thing by touching on the origins without spoon-feeding us and insulting our collective intelligence. And dare I say it…I am all on board with this new Spider-Man. Bring on the stand-alone movie. Sony, you did good by letting Marvel play with its property again. Fox could learn a thing or two by that.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is a very good, very entertaining superhero action movie that you should try and see on the big screen while you can. It’s heads and shoulders waaaaaaaay better than DC’s attempt this year. If that one is still leaving a bitter taste in your head, watch Captain America: Civil War as a nice palate cleanser.

Book Review: SMALL FAVOR (The Dresden Files)

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Book Review: SMALL FAVOR (The Dresden Files)Jim Butcher

Wizard Harry Dresden’s life finally seems to be calming down. The White Counsel’s war with the vampiric Red Court is easing up, no one’s tried to kill him lately, and his eager apprentice is starting to learn real magic. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow. Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, calls in an old favor from Harry. Just one small favor he can’t refuse—one that will Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally and strain his skills and loyalties to their very limits. And everything was going so well for once…

It’s the tenth book in the ongoing Dresden Files series of novels, which means we’re two-thirds of the way through with what’s out there at the time of this writing. Just a little aside: On the Good Reads entry, there’s one reviewer that’s been keeping a tally of how many times the proclamation of “Hell’s bells” is made by Dresden. Here in Small Favor, it looks like it was said 21 times. Anyway, how goes this installment in the series?

Another year has passed, and here we start as Harry Dresden receives a visit by Queen Mab of the Winter Fae, calling in one of the favors Harry owes her. And this one entails being her emissary and protect John Marcone, the “gentleman” crime boss of Chicago that has played some considerable part in Harry’s life since the first book. This is no easy task, as he’s constantly attacked by the goatlike soldiers of the Summer Fae called the Gruffs. Then the Denarians show up again, as does Ivy the Archive, and then the party really gets started. The Archive is kidnapped, and everyone shows up on an island of really dark mojo for yet another explosive and wacky showdown. And not everyone gets out unscathed.

Aw, yeah, the Billy Goats Gruff. While the first couple make for some rather tense action scenes, the showdown (in a manner of speaking) with the third Gruff uses more of Dresden’s gift of wit in a way that’s just downright hilarious. That aside, though, the book hits all the standards that the series has, which at this point would normally mean things getting a bit stale and predictable. But, as reading Small Favors proves, things are stirred up in the narrative to keep things fresh. And the fate of one of the major side characters is quite shocking, to say the least.

Overall, another fun read, the momentum not slowing a bit. On to the next one…

Book Review: WHITE NIGHT (The Dresden Files)

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Book Review: Dresden Files 9 - White NightJim Butcher

Someone is targeting Chicago’s magic practitioners—the members of the supernatural underclass who don’t possess enough power to become full-fledged wizards. Some have vanished. Others appear to be victims of suicide. But now the culprit has left a calling card at one of the crime scenes—a message for Harry Dresden. Harry sets out to find the killer, but his investigation turns up evidence pointing to the one suspect he cannot possibly believe guilty: his half brother, Thomas. To clear his brother’s name, Harry rushes into a supernatural power struggle that renders him outnumbered, outclassed, and dangerously susceptible to temptation. And Harry knows that if he screws this one up, people will die—and one of them will be his brother…

Ninth book in the ongoing Dresden Files series, this one involving a murder mystery and the White Court Vampires again. Also, that pesky fallen angel that’s been stuck in Dresden’s head. I can only imagine how annoying that would be. I already have enough trouble with voices without having a fallen angel taking up residence inside my noggin. Anyway, considering the book itself…

Someone, or something, is killing magic practitioners in Chicago and making them look like suicides. While investigating, Harry discovers his former love Elaine is in town banding the other minor practitioners together for safety. He comes cross a mysterious gray cloaked figure with tries to one of the surviving necromancers from Dead Beat, and a branch of vampires who feed off fear are responsible for the suicide-looking murders. Meanwhile, Harry’s half-brother Thomas has been smuggling magically talented women out of the city to protect them, they’re attacked by ghouls, and Harry saves Elaine from an attack. Seems Madrigal Raith–the Lord of the White Court of vampires–is behind all of this, and so Harry rallies the troops to confront him about his shenanigans of late. Things go boom.

Overall, White Night was a pretty good supernatural mystery that continues the overall drama and story of Dresden’s life. There’s some further development and a bit of insight into just what kind of dog Mouse really is, the whole White Court vampire dynamic makes for some amusing soap opera drama and such. Also, there’s a surprise resolution of an arc that I thought was going to be stretched out a bit longer, maybe the next couple of books or so. Long story short, though, another action-y urban fantasy noir mystery with just a hint of cheese goodness.