Vinyl Confessions: BUYING BACK MY CHILDHOOD, Part II

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Continuing on with the titles that I once owned as a boy, from grade school to the end of high school…
bruce springsteen - born in the usa
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – Born In The U.S.A.
Yeah, I was a fan of this album back in grade school. I wore out two copies of this album on cassette. And for those of you hipsters poo-pooing liking the so-called commercial sell-out album…so what? It got me to look into his other works and really appreciate his contribution to rock and roll…you know what? I don’t have to explain myself. I like this album…
joe satriani - dreaming #11
JOE SATRIANI – Dreaming #11
I first discovered Joe Satriani by way of a Flexi-Disc that was included in an issue of Guitar Player magazine which featured him on the cover. It was a combination of a bizarre guitar solo called “Power Cosmic” (which I can’t seem to find anywhere) which segued into a song called “The Crush Of Love”, which I fell in love with at the age of 13. I bought the cassette release of the EP that “The Crush Of Love” was on, which included three additional songs performed live. Good release. Found it on vinyl now…
stray cats - rant + rave
The STRAY CATS – Rant N’ Rave
So, once upon a time, there was a small grocery mart in a small town in Eastern Nebraska, called Marv’s. At the lone checkout counter was a box of dusty cassettes for sale, with several obscure titles. One of which was of The Stray Cats’ Rant N’ Rave (technically titled Rant N’ Rave With The Stray Cats). I bought that tape, as I was familiar with their other hits that weren’t on this release…but it was an interesting collection of Neo-rockabilly rock and roll with a punk attitude. Good enough to warrant picking up when I found it at the Half Price Books, then…
wham - make it big
WHAM! – Make It Big
Don’t look at me like that. For what it’s worth, I agree with Deadpool when he asserted that this was the album in which George Michael’s pop group earned that exclamation point at the end of their name. Say what you will, this is still an infectious 80s pop album, front to back. I have no shame in having this in my collection…

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Vinyl Confessions: MULLET ROCK

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Some good classic hard rock from an era most refer to as “hair rock”, “butt rock” and “dad rock”, but I lovingly refer to as “mullet rock”. As someone who had more than one mullet in his teenage years (and Recovering Adolescent years), I wear that as a badge. Anyway, here are the ones in my collection thus far…
acdc - dirty deeds done dirt cheep
AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep
Obviously the American release version, with that cover and track listing. This is a bluesy hard rock classic, with several cuts that just lends itself to the format it’s printed on. The title track, “Rocker”, “Problem Child”, “Ride On”, and let’s not forget the middle school boy giggle-fest that is “Big Balls”…
acdc - for those about to rock
AC/DC – For Those About To Rock
This is the album that had to follow the juggernaut that was Back In Black (wondering why I don’t have that one on vinyl yet? So am I…looking to rectify that). This is still a solid album, though there’s really only two that are immediately recognizable as AC/DC classics: the title track, and “Let’s Get It Up”. Otherwise, there are some good rocking deeper cuts on this…
acdc - fly on the wall
AC/DC – Fly On The Wall
At this point, I’m pretty sure the band knew they weren’t going to hit the heights that was Back In Black, but they were okay with that. This one has some good cuts on here, including the title track, “Sink The Pink” and “Shake Your Foundations”; this is probably when the phrase “It’s an AC/DC album” was sufficient to describe any release of theirs at this point in the game…
sammy hagar - voa
SAMMY HAGAR – V.O.A.
I’m not a fan of Sammy Hagar. I am a listener of Sammy Hagar, though; meaning, I’m familiar with the hits he’s written. I’ve never owned an actual full album…well, I take that back. There was the low-budget live album on cassette that I never listened to. But, I got this particular album because I kept seeing it at the shop for months, just sitting there, forlorn and lonely, like a homeless kitty at a shelter. So…yeah, I gave it a good home. Also, there is the first track, “I Can’t Drive 55″…
ANTHRAX -- I'm the man
ANTHRAX – I’m The Man
Okay, so, not technically falling under the proper “Mullet Rock” tag, but as of this writing, this was the closest thing to fitting in with the others in my collection. Decent enough EP, though the live cuts are a bit on the thin side production-wise…

Songs That Suck: “PINK” (Aerosmith)

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songs that suck heading
aerosmith - pink
“PINK”
Aerosmith
Columbia Records
1997
(from the album Nine Lives)

Bit of a Rock N’ Roll History Fun Fact: In 1977, the band Aerosmith decided against renting the same Convair CV-240 airplane that eventually crashed and killed members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Aerosmith had concerns about the safty of the plane, and also questioned the seriousness of the plane’s crew, who seemed to be more of the partying type than serious pilots. Keep in mind, this is 70s-era Aerosmith, where the singer Steve Tyler and the guitarist Joe Perry were refereed to as the Toxic Twins. When 70s Aerosmith thinks you’re partying too hard…well, you get the idea.

The point of that is, since they survived to play another day, we never would have to ask, “What could have been?” like we do with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and others who died at the prime of their musical careers. With Aerosmith, we don’t have to. We know exactly what happened: “Pink” happened.

Released about a year before the release of the Ultimate Aerosmith Ballad You Can’t Get Away From that was on the Armageddon soundtrack (you know the one), “Pink” gets the Songs That Suck listing for one reason above all the others: This is a song about Steven Tyler’s love of vaginas.

Yes, you could argue that, this is Aerosmith. What else are they going to be singing about? Well, sure…except that this is late 90s Aerosmith we’re talking about, here. Not only were their pop relevance waning again (the last resurgence happened because of Run-D.M.C.), but at their age at the time, singing songs like this made them more creepy late middle-aged dirty old man creepy, rather than bad boys of rock n’ roll cool.

Also, this is a ballad. Nope.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Vinyl Confessions: BUYING BACK MY CHILDHOOD, Pt. 1

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So, one of the objectives I have when I dived back into collecting vinyl records was to try and get back some of my favorites that I may not have originally owned on that format, but were integral in shaping my personal soundtrack growing up. So far, it’s been fun running into some of these bits…
duran duran notorious
DURAN DURAN – Notorious
Not my favorite Duran Duran album, but still something I nabbed when I saw it at Half Price Books. The title track skips right at the beginning, which sucks…
nugent, ted - double live gonzo
TED NUGENT – Double Live Gonzo
It’s one of the albums that my Uncle Jerry gave me when he heard me listening to Wham. It’s one of the two gateway albums that he gave me that got me into hard rock and metal in the first place. Which is the main reason why I have this in the first place. Otherwise, not really a fan of the Nuge’s music outside of the radio hits…
run dmc - raisin hell
RUN-D.M.C. – Raisin’ Hell
Bought it as a nerdy 13-year-old white kid because of their cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”; discovered that this is a solid album front-to-back. Still one of my favorites…
bon jovi - slippery when wet
BON JOVI – Slippery When Wet
I once overheard a teenage coworker years ago proclaim–out loud–that Bon Jovi was the Nickelback of the 80s. I immediately chucked several sharp objects at him. Slippery When Wet may be their only album that I can still listen to front-to-back (with their follow-up New Jersey coming a close second) in public and not be ashamed of doing so. It’s also one of the very few good memories I have of my Junior High years. That, and the Run-D.M.C. record…

::END TRANSMISSION::

Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 1: 100-81

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So, some time ago, I came across a bunch of lists that the members of one of the Facebook Pages that I am a member of were doing. Namely, they were listing their top 100 favorite albums by Christian bands and artists that were released in the 1990s. I thought I would go ahead and write out my own list; the thing was, I was also in the middle of organizing and uploading the posts for the entirety of October, all of the Halloween’ing articles, and put the list on the back-burner to focus on getting all of that taken care of. I went back to it, and…well, I decided to not post it in the group itself, but instead share the outcome with everyone, along with some blurbs on the ones I picked.

Before I share, I want to point out that I had a couple of ground rules: 1) no live albums, and 2) no greatest hits type albums. Also, this list developed from the top down, as I thought of them, with very little messing with the final lineup. This is all as they came to me, so they’re in no particular order per se. So, now, without further adieu, here is my list:

carman-addicted-to-jesus100 – Addicted To Jesus (Carman)
…yes, I actually owned this one, way back in the day. It still remains a bit of a guilty pleasure, really. Especially with “Satan, Bite The Dust” on here. Pure, delicious sanctified cheese.

petra-beyond-belief99 – Beyond Belief (Petra)
…’tis the only 90s-era release of Petra’s that I don’t find myself flinching at too much while listening to. Also, that riff on “Seen And Not Heard” that everyone knew was a rip-off of the riff from the KISS song “Heaven’s On Fire” but couldn’t admit to in public circles because that would be admitting to knowing what a KISS song is.

adventures-of-the-o-c-supertones98 – Adventures Of The O. C. Supertones (The O. C. Supertones)
…there was a brief time in the mid-1990s where everyone claimed to like ska. Well, the so-called “third wave” ska that seemed to pop up like a rash after using the public pool. I’m afraid this wormed its way into my collection due to peer pressure. This album is the equivalent of that one person you know that tries so very hard to get you to be as bubbly happy as they are, you can’t help but want to kick puppies into traffic. Good production, though.

dc-talk-jesus-freak97 – Jesus Freak (DC Talk)
…there was also a time in the 1990s where there was a list of albums you needed to own, otherwise your sincerity of claiming to be a Christian was called into question. This was one of those albums. The thing is…this still holds up.

bloodgood-all-stand-together96 – All Stand Together (Bloodgood)
…it’s a pity that the majority of the good Bloodgood albums were released in the 1980s, because they needed to at least be represented. This particular album, unfortunately, is not that great. But, it’s on here in hopes to get someone to check out their previous releases before this one.

third-day-third-day95 – Third Day (Third Day)
…remember what I said about Jesus Freak being one of those albums you needed to have in your possession to justify your Christian existence? This was also one of these albums. That’s all I’m gonna say about this.

miss-angie-100-million-eyeballs94 – 100 Million Eyeballs (Miss Angie)
…would you believe I got this after seeing the video she did for “Lift”, because I developed a bit of a fanboy crush on her voice and style. The album is pretty good, too, kind of a Veruca Salt vibe to it.

grammatrain-lonely-house-cover93 – Lonely House (Grammatrain)
…one of the actual decent releases from the glut of Grunge music that came out two years after Grunge died out in the mainstream. That’s the usual gestration period for a genre to be co-opted by the CCM market.

mike-knott-strip-cycle92 – Strip Cycle (Michael Knott)
…I like to pop this one on after someone claims they only listen to acoustic singer-songwriter music. Nine times out of ten, their heads explode. I also like to que up “Rock Stars On H” when the youth group is stuck inside the NEKRON 7 with me just to hear the uncomfortable silence.

galactic-cowboys-space-in-your-face91 – Space In Your Face (Galactic Cowboys)
…look, I agree that this should be quite a bit higher, had this been an actual ranking-of-the-worst-to-best list, but as I mentioned in the intro (in case you skipped it directly to the list, like I usually do with posts like these), this was thrown together as they came to mind. And this is my favorite of the Galactic Cowboys discography.

swirling-eddies-sacred-cows90 – Sacred Cows (The Swirling Eddies)
…finally. Proper renditions of Christian favorites. This has the superior version of “Satan, Bite The Dust”. Sorry, Carman.

steve-taylor-squint89 – Squint (Steve Taylor)
…this is a classic. You need to own this, if you don’t. Period. Yeah, I realize I would say this to all of Steve Taylor’s output, but this was the only one of his solo albums released in the 1990s. So, there you go.

crashdog-the-pursuit-of-happiness88 – The Pursuit Of Happiness (Crashdog)
…released at a time when punk was still underground and yet to be made into a joke, this release is legit.

tourniquet-microscopic-view-of-a-telescopic-realm87 – Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm (Tourniquet)
…Ted Kirkpatric’s “Tourniquet” goes back to playing “metal”, and the result is adorable. Eh, still better than Crawl To China.

kings-x-dogman86 – Dogman (King’s X)
…very raw, very dark and very angry. My favorite King’s X release. You know, whenever I’m in that kind of mood.

way-sect-bloom-effloresce85 – EfFLoReScE (The Way Sect Bloom)
…something I came across while first exploring the industrial and Gothic side of Christianity. Produced by Celldweller, released on Flaming Fish, and one of the more interesting electronic industrial releases I came across.

scaterd-few-grandmother-spaceship84 – Grandmother’s Spaceship (Scaterd-Few)
…the legendary scaterd-few’s third full-length release I don’t really listen to as much as the first two releases, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something to overlook, here.

tourniquet-vanishing-lessons83 – Vanishing Lessons (Tourniquet)
…Tourniquet back when they still had a few members of the classic lineup left, plus a new singer and a streamlined sound. Eh, still better than Crawl To China.

holy-soldier-holy-soldier82 – Holy Solider (Holy Soldier)
…some say this self-titled released by Holy Soldier is better than their sophomore release. I disagree. Still a good album.

dig-hey-zoose-strugglefish81 – Struggle Fish (Dig Hay Zoose)
…while I grant that Dig Hay Zoose actually tried to do something unique with their music, rather than just aping a style, this is a delicious hot mess when compared to their second album.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Movie Review: The RUNAWAYS

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Movie Review: RUNAWAYSSony Home Pictures
2010
R

“They’ll eat you alive out there! Rock ‘n’ roll is tough music played in tough venues! Men don’t like to see women anywhere but in their kitchens or on their knees – let alone on stage with guitars.”

I don’t really know much about the 1970s all-girl rock group The Runaways, save for the fact that it featured both Joan Jett and Lita Ford before they made a name for themselves as solo artists in the 1980s. Outside of that bit of rock n’ roll trivia, yeah…still not much of an interest in this bit of history. Sure, the group were something of a novelty at the time, an all girl rock group that played their own instruments and could hold their own against the male dominated music scene, inspiring several girls to pick up instruments and form their own rock groups.

Being into rock biopics like this, my inner pop culture junkie urged my decision to watch this movie recently. It was one of the choices available for instant streaming on Net Flix, so I figured what the heck.

I realize that biopic movies like this tend to fudge over a lot of details and facts, mainly for the interest of entertainment. For the most part, The Runaways focuses mostly on lead singer Cherie Currie and guitarist Joan Jett, from their early days, to the formation of the band via producer / manager / celebrity weirdo Kim Fowley, their rise to fame to the inevitable breakdown. The rest of the band seems more of an afterthought, just kind of background dressing or something. They don’t even warrant the obligatory Where Are They Now? blurb at the end of the movie.

The story is a fairly standard one: small town girl escapes by joining a band, experiences fame and fortune, drug use, downward spiral, burnout, blah blah blah. It’s a familiar if not clichéd trope I’ve seen many a time. Fortunately, the movie sports a cast that is capable in the roles presented – both Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as Cherie Currie and Joan Jett, respectively, give some impressive performances, as does Michael Shannon as their eccentric manager – and as a period piece about the 1970s rock n’ roll scene I think lends a lot of authenticity.

Overall, though, I neither liked nor disliked The Runaways. I think it focused too much on Cherie and Joan, and probably would have benefited more from a greater inclusion of the other band members’ back story. As a movie itself, I was mildly entertained, but the story behind The Runaways wasn’t anything I haven’t seen before in a rock n’ roll movie. Matter of fact, I would say it was handled better in the 1988 fictional movie Satisfaction, really.

NECRO SHOCK RADIO: February 4, 2014

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February 4, 2014

 It’s time for a new Session of Brutal Music Therapy! Strap in, as Uncle NecRo fires up the Randomizer for another hour of twitch-inducing goodness!

 featuring: Antidemon, Apostles Of Rock, Argyle Park, Balance Of Power, Believer, Blaster The Rocket Man, Blindside, Bloodgood, Cage, Demon Hunter, Divinefire, Fasedown, Godfear, Sacred Warrior, and Skymetal…

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