WCFB – You Don’t Call Chicks Broads

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WILL CODE FOR BEER
“You Don’t Call Chicks Broads”
Recorded 6/21/2018

James Classic is back after an extended break to take care of a pain in the butt, and since he’s the only one with the recording equipment we just now get a new episode of Will Code For Beer! Come Join Art, Brian, Andrea, Sarah and Everett as we discuss, among other things, parenthood, wedding anniversaries, the Kansas City Maker’s Fair, and various other pop culture nerd rage topics…

willcodeforbeershow@gmail.com

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My Dark Night of the Soul: May 21, 2018

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insaneThis darkness that is with me nearly every time I wake up. I feel like the grime of the world is covering me. I feel like I’m trapped in a contaminated body that no amount of washing will clean.

I can still feel the fallen nature inside me. It’s an evil that wants to destroy. It nearly destroyed my loved ones, and it nearly destroyed me.

The Holy Spirit keeps this monster that is my old self at bay. But, even though it’s dying, it’s not going without a fight. Wanting to destroy me. Whispering mad ideas when I am at my lowest, urging me to kill myself, to harm my flesh, to suffocate in my despair.

I know I shall never be rid completely of this, until the day that I am resurrected with Christ and given a new body. I let the monster in myself; I shudder to think what kind of destruction I could have attained had I not submitted to the Reanimator.

Wrapped in chains, this Old Self of mine remains, with the chains only getting tighter the further I walk. His screams are maddening…

::END TRANSMISSION::

Music Review: SCARLET – Scarlet

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scarletSCARLET
Scarlet
FnA Records
2010

Hey, look. Just what we need. More obscure hair metal from the 1980s getting re-released in the second decade of the 21st Century. In this case, it’s the band Scarlet, a band that hailed from Florida in the mid-1980s, and recorded nine demo songs before calling it quits in 1988. The band and their demos remained obscure until FnA Records released all nine songs on CD in 2010. And since I’m a sucker for things like this, let’s review this thing, shall we?

The very first cut on this collection, “Right Reason”, more or less gives you an overall scope of what to expect, with a really good, driving hook and riff that’s on the upbeat hard rocking metal side of things, with vocals that go for melodic but are really in need of some vocal lessons to tune things up, with the lyrics going for the standard generic “rock for the Rock” cheese that seemed to be the standard for underground Christian hair metal bands from the 80s. Ah, memories. “Lisa” is one of those not-quite-power-ballad type songs that is mid-paced and heavy, with a melodic chorus and featuring a decent shredding guitar solo. “Stop Runnin'” has a decent mid-paced riff and a good solo, but doesn’t really go much of anywhere beyond that. Kind of a forgettable track. “We’re Gonna Rock” is another upbeat, anthemic rocker with the cheesy “rock for the Rock” lyrics going.

It was about this time, as I was settling down and bracing for five more cuts of the same, when “Armor” began with an acoustic opening, but then I was surprisingly caught off guard when some blistering, high-octane NWOBHM style HEAVY METAL ripped my face off with something actually good in this collection. Wow. Nicely done, album. Nicely done. The problem was, this actually raised my hopes that the band was merely getting warmed up, with some better cuts following. Alas, this wasn’t the case, as “I Declare War” is decent, with a driving heavy riff, but with the sound quality not being the best, like the source got a bit damaged between then and when it was transferred to CD. “Treasure” is more of a bluesy metal style, and it’s noticeable that they changed vocalists with this one. Still rather sub-par in the vocals department. “Beginning” decides to shed the whole “metal” thing and goes with a radio-friendly janglepop style that couldn’t end fast enough. But then, the CD ends with “Friends”, which thankfully isn’t a cover of the Michael W. Smith tune, but unfortunately is a !POWER BALLAD ALERT! that’s song by another vocalist entirely, this one more of the female persuasion, that’s just grating on my nerves, and features lyrics that sounds like an angsty 12-year-old wrote them attempting a free-form association thing.

Overall, Scarlet is really more of a curiosity than a must-have in terms of obscure 80s metal. The bright spots to this is definitely the guitar work, which shows some raw talent that I hope the guitarist kept up with after the demise of the group. Otherwise, the production is sub-par, and the vocalist(s) are just annoying. One and done with this one. Pass.

From The Dream Files…

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alone on a stoopI found myself smitten by a special lady last night. It was while I was in the middle of fighting off an invasion of alien squid creatures. One of the horde had eaten her cat, and she wasn’t happy about it. We managed to beat them back, and as the last of the tentacle faced invaders left, we looked at each other, realizing we may have meet our significant other.

But alas, that very same night, as we sat on the porch, splitting a root beer and telling each other about ourselves, I opened up and told her about my struggles with clinical depression, laying out everything, my flaws and broken-ness, just being as straightforward about what she was getting into. There was silence when I finished. Without saying a word, she stood up, and walked away into the misty night.

Even in my dreams, I end up alone, it seems. Stupid subconscious.

::END TRANSMISSION::

HALLOWEEN’ING Day 13: Friday The 13th Marathon!

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halloween'ing 2017
friday the 13th
Now, this is a special day, indeed. It’s not every year that we have a Friday the 13th in the month of October. Superstitious or not, having one during the Halloween season is a special kind of frosting on this proverbial cake. And what better way to celebrate than to have a marathon of the classic Friday The 13th movies? Okay, maybe a little too on-the-nose, but this doesn’t happen too often, either.

I would recommend going with the first movie from 1981, then Part 4 (“The Final Chapter”…yeah, right), and then Part 6 (“Jason Lives”). Why these, instead of going the sequential route? Well, for one, I did watch all of the movies back-to-back once. Keep in mind I’m a well-seasoned horror fan; I don’t recommend doing this for your standard novice. These three I consider the best of the classic era: The first one setting things up, where you don’t even see Jason until the very end (but you do see a young Kevin Bacon get offed rather nicely); Part 4 has Jason go up against perhaps his greatest nemesis, Corey Feldman; and Part 6 is where we finally get the classic Jason we all know and love, Unstoppable Zombie Jason!

FRIDAY The 13th
FRIDAY The 13th: The Final Chapter
FRIDAY The 13th: Jason Lives

::END TRANSMISSION::

Music Review: LUST CONTROL – We Are Not Ashamed – Getting It Right The Second Time

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lust control getting it right the second timeLUST CONTROL
We Are Not Ashamed – Getting It Right The Second Time
Retroactive Records
2006

Lust Control – the band that Heaven’s Metal creator Doug Van Pelt started with a ski mask and a dream – released their album We Are Not Ashamed back in 1992. Apparently, Van Pelt wasn’t happy with the mix of that original release, so in 2006 Retroactive Records released a newly mastered 2-disc special edition of the album.

Since I already owned the original release, and I really don’t see why there would be any issue with that particular mix of the album, there had to be a reason beyond a better mix to get me to double-dip, even for just purchasing the MP3 download of the album off of Amazon. As it turns out, there are plenty of incentives to look into getting this edition: Besides the different artwork and a written history of the album itself written by Doug Van Pelt (which goes into detail as to why he didn’t like the original mix), included with the album (one of the songs, “You Make Me Puke”, has the spoken intro from the original removed, possibly for time constraint issues on the physical CD media, so there’s a reason to hold on to the original release at least) are some live cuts (“Sex Rant Intro”, “Finger” and “Mrs. Lowry”), a stereo mixed version of the This Is A Condom Nation release, an album release party radio spot, a couple of commentaries, and karaoke versions of the songs “Planned Parenthood” and “The Big M”. So, yeah…I would say this is chock full of incentive to get this release.

The remix of the album…yeah, it sounds good. I didn’t break out the original release to compare, mind you, but listening to it again in this mix, it’s pretty good. The first couple of live cuts have that recorded on a hand-held cassette recorder somewhere in the crowd quality. Standard punk rawk style, I would say. The third one has better quality, but is less than one minute long and is a tribute to Paul Q-Peck’s mother. Since this is the first time listening to the This Is A Condom Nation demo in any format, I’m glad they included that rarity on this. The sound quality on this version is rather good; keep in mind I have no original mix to compare it to. The “Album Release Party Radio Spot” is exactly that, a thirty-second clip promoting the album back in the day. The DJ/Gene’s Commentary is a brief but interesting commentary on the album by Doug Van Pelt. And the Karaoke versions of the two songs are just that: versions of the songs sans vocals so you can sing them at your youth group’s Karaoke Nite. That’s a think youth groups do, right?

Overall, getting this iteration of We Are Not Ashamed was pretty good idea, methinks. We get the remixed version of the album, a remixed version of one of their hard to find demos, and a nice handful of fun odds and ends. Very much worth checking out, here.

Farewell to the Youth Group…

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NecRoSarX Chronicles Header

haunted hallwayFor the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10

I’ve been silent. I know I have been silent, not posting my brain droppings or reviews or such these past few weeks. There have been some paradigm shifts, the major of which was where I said goodbye to my youth group last night.

It was known that this was Shelli’s last year of doing the youth group, as she had been faithfully doing so in the Student Venture capacity for 25 years. Not counting the few years before when it was just a weekly Bible study in the late 1980s and early 1990s. While she had said she was retiring every two years or so, this time she meant it.

It just so happened that I had gotten involved with Student Venture when it was started back in February of 1992, and have been involved in some capacity for approximately 17 out of the 25 years. There was that wilderness period between 2000 and 2009 that I’m not going to go into right now. Sufficed to say, I needed that time. When the Lord saw fit, He drop-kicked me back with the youth group to serve the leaders. Then I moved up to one of the co-leaders. We kept the name Student Venture long after Campus Crusade decided to change their organization name to CRU, and then the last year it was decided to break off entirely with being associated with CRU, more because we were affiliated in name only. The break was very amicable, really. That was also the last year we would exist as a youth group as we know it.

The original plan was to pass on responsibility of the group to myself and another friend–Darla–who were helping co-lead (for lack of a better word, this early in the mourning as I write this). Then, a few weeks into the new season, Darla left to to focus on her family (I swear I didn’t mean to evoke Dr. James Dobson’s old ministry, sorry); I realized that I would be the one taking over the lessons and teaching the group after Shelli was gone. And, after the initial period of anxiety, I  fell back to what I knew best to do: leave it up to God to do what He does, and let the Holy Spirit guide me as I merely serve to the best of my ability. Remain faithful in presenting the Truth of the Bible and Who Jesus is, and let God do the heavy work in the kids’ hearts and minds.

You know, what I’ve always been doing. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, and all that.

Then, without getting bogged with the details, a chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes was started at the High School, and Shelli decided that the torch should be passed to those starting up FCA and dissolving Student Venture entirely. It’s logical, really, as there are so many more opportunities for the kids to grow and mature in their faith and interact with peers from other FCA groups, and it’s headed up by a couple of instructors from the high school. I would be lying, though, if I said I wasn’t a little bit upset at the sudden shift. Then again, the group wasn’t mine to begin with.

So, last night I said goodbye to probably the best bunch of kids I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with. To watch the Holy Spirit work in their lives, seeing them want to dive into what the Bible says, reading it chapter-by-chapter, and most importantly getting to introduce them to Jesus. It was the one day out of the week I looked forward to. It was…difficult, to understate the situation. Hugs and tears and laughter all around.

So, the torch has been passed for the kids in Hooper, Nebraska. And various surrounding communities. It’s difficult to imagine not being a part of their lives in the future, but I believe they’re in good hands. As for me, I foresee a bit more Wilderness Wandering. Or to put it another way: While it’s true that when God closes one door, He will open another, no one wants to talk about the period where you’re wandering around the hallway waiting for Him to open up the other door.

Can I praise Him in the hallway? Do I have a choice? Am I really going to end this with rhetorical questions? Sure, why not? Cheers, all…

::END TRANSMISSION::

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