Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep
10

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock – 2112 a highlight!

I could not resist and had to post what I consider “groundbreaking news” for us dorks, geeks, and super nerds; the newly released Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock game features the album 2112 in its entirety!  What an epic album to feature on Guitar Hero; the entire 21 minute masterpiece!

Rush worked with game developers assisting with various parts of the game and complex time changes and signatures of the music.  Apparently this will be the ultimate test of how good one is a Guitar Hero.

I thought it was cool and worth reporting; it also peaks my interest of perhaps going out to purchase a 360 just for this game.  If you have already purchased this (it was released yesterday), please let us know if it is worth all of the hype.  Other bands featured on this are Megadeth, Ozzy, Anthrax, Steve Vai (wow!), and Slayer.

I find it odd however that Rush was looked over (yet again) for induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, what gives?  However, LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys make the list?  Clearly the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not to be taken seriously these days; no wonder the Sex Pistols refuse ever to be recognized by that goofy museum.

You can read more on this game by clicking here.

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27
Sep
10

Katy Perry and Elmo – Banned?

I was surfing the web today and came across the article about Kate Perry’s performance with Elmo for an upcoming Sesame Street episode and how it has been banned for being too “sexy” and indicated suggestive “inappropriate behavior”.  Elmo often does popular artists both past and present so Katy Perry would seem appropriate due to her current popularity in pop music.

Recently she taped a performance with Elmo where she performed a version of her hit “Hot and Cold”; the problem for some parents does not lie with the content of the song but the outfit she was wearing and the assumptions that some parents are making are ridiculous and absurd. Clearly the accusations are being made by a bunch of old sea-hags who are jealous that some young 20-something is well, 20 and clearly in shape.  Parents are making accusations that her outfit is revealing and the entire production does not promote (ahem)  “family values” that Sesame Street is expected to promote. Here we go again with the wacko’s coming out of the woodwork to preach. This exactly when your rights as a music lover are determined by a “moral majority” who decide the definition of “appropriate” for you and everyone else. Frank Zappa fought against this very issue 20 years ago.

Accusations have ranged from the ability of some parents to have x-ray vision and proclaim they can “see her t**t’s”, to some being offended that Elmo practically runs “under” her skirt.  Wait, “practically” or does?  And if so, what did Elmo do in the video? Doesn’t he merely run past her legs? What am I not seeing?

And just for the record, what toddler doesn’t run between their parents legs and hold on for security when being shy or playing? Sadly, Sesame Street has pandered to the volume of complaints and concerns from parents and has decided to scrap the segment all together. Shame on you Sesame Workshop, clearly your actions indicate you agree, what an insult to Ms. Perry.

As a parent of a 3-year old I don’t see the problem with the video; yes she’s got some cleavage showing but I don’t think my son will be tainted by the realization that women actually have “breasts”!  Most children are more focused with the music and the colors of the background of the video. Clearly the same people reading into this video are the same that read far too much into the Bible and gain a warped perspective about what they “think” something means.

I’ve embedded the video to see what HiFi readers think, please post your thoughts if you agree or disagree with the content of the video.  I’ve heard if  you play it backwards it says “Ernie and Burt live together as grown men, but sleep in seperate beds”. I would assume that all of these complaining parents most likely grew up watching those two and made no assumptions other than they were two guys who liked to sing songs about rubber duckies, torture each other, and feed pigeons, right?

24
Sep
10

Frank Zappa – Tinseltown Rebellion (1981)

Tinseltown Rebellion is a classic Zappa album that was originally released as a 2-lp set and later released by RykoDisc as a single length CD.  The album is the first official release that introduced Steve Vai on guitar.  It should be noted that  Peter Wolf (J Geils Band) is featured on keyboards as well on this album.

The first two song s”Fine Girl”  and “Easy Meat” are the only studio tracks released on the album; the remainder of  the album is comprised of various live performances between 1978 and 1980.  The live tracks are not overdubbed or re-mastered by Zappa as many later albums were such as You Are What You Is (another 2-lp album released in September of the same year).

This album, like many of Zappa’s albums around this decade, provide the listener with an example of the various directions Zappa was capable of taking his music.  The third track The Young Sophisticate is a good song and has a Joe’s Garage type feel and tempo, however the next song Love of My Life exemplifies Zappa’s love affair with the doo-wop genre.  There are other examples of Zappa’s doo-wop style on later compilation albums such as Cheap Thrills (1998) and Son of Cheap Thrills (1999). 

The album quickly shifts gears with I Ain’t Got No Heart, a song that exemplifies Zappa’s innate ability to compose and perform complex arrangements and random time changes.  As mentioned in earlier reviews of Zappa, the people he surrounded himself were simply the best of musicians.  The monologue Panty Rap  and Dance Contest are classic Zappa moments and provides listeners who never had the opportunity to see Zappa live just how interactive and entertaining he was with a crowd; although some may find it offensive I think it’s incredibly entertaining.  Clearly Zappa and his band had a panty fetish while on the road, there is another entertaining song/parity on the album Man From Utopia (1983) entitled “The Jazz Discharge Party Hats”, another Zappa classic.

Now You See It – Now You Don’t showcases Zappa’s guitar talent; although a purely instrumental song it fits nicely in the middle of the album; if you would like to hear more of Zappa’s instrumental work I highly suggest Shut Up and Play Yer’ Guitar (1981) or Zappa: Guitar (1988).

The Blue Light is a random song on the album and actually is reminscent of songs off of Man From Utopia (1983); and that album that would not be produced for another 2-years, so perhaps this song is a precursor. Tinseltown Rebellion is the title track for the album and is entertaining on its own.  The remaining tracks are all good on the album but nothing specifically unique.

The ending track Peaches III is very cool since it is a  live performance of Peaches en Regalia off of Zappa’s early work Hot Rats (1969).  The song is awesome to hear performed live (although live versions can be found throughout the Zappa catalog, my personal favorite live version of Peaches in addition to this is Mothers at The Fillmore East 1971).  The cool thing about this version is the cameo of guitar great Al DiMeola!

All in all Tinseltown Rebellion is a solid Zappa album and one that a newbie or experienced Zappa fan will greatly appreciate as part of their collection.  Give it a few listens and it will quickly grow on you.

Frank Zappa’s Tinseltown Rebellion gets 5 stars!

23
Sep
10

Social Distortion Print – Dan Stiles

I’m digging the new Social Distortion print from Portland, Oregon artist Dan Stiles released today.  The print is in a limited run of 200 and comes signed and numbered by Stiles.

The print sells for a mere $25!   So, it’s a bargain for the budding or experienced art collector; priced right for a terrible economy no doubt!

You can check out this print and a few more that Dan just released on his website including prints of bands The New Pornographers, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Sleepy Sun, Modest Mouse, Major Laser, and Pavement.

I picked up a Midlake print a month back and was very happy with my purchase, check Dan’s stuff out by clicking here.

Let us know what you think and if you grab one!

22
Sep
10

Oktoberfest 2010 Radio

September 18th marked the official start of the one event on the planet most men hope to attend before they die…Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.  This year marks the 200th year of the annual beer drinkers ball; since many of us cannot be there the closest experience might be listening to Oktoberfest Radio while you push the pencil in your place of business, or perhap if you lucky be sucking down a cold import in your Haus.   Oktoberfest radio is mainly just fun accordian mayhem, so crank it up!

Although this is not a beer review blog, there are some pretty good quality Marzen’s on the shelves of your local beer store, Hacker-Pschoor Oktoberfest, Sam Adams Oktoberfest, and Spaten Oktoberfest are pretty damn good, find them if you can!

The radio station is through AOL Radio so please excuse the 5 minutes of mandatory and yet competely pointless commercials prior to your music starting up, it’s very annoying.

Cheers!
HiFi Central

21
Sep
10

Gaga “Go-go” Away..p-p-please!

Just for the record here at HiFi Central we often have a bucket or some garbage can at the ready for our daily feeling of oncoming nausea when Lady Gaga’s name is mentioned.

Although Madonna was annoying in the 80’s and 90’s, yet she was talented to a degree (Ray of Light is actually not a bad album believe it or  not!). Gaga trumps her by a mile at this point in being a retard. 

Can anyone please explain to us why this chick remains in the spotlight?  We just don’t get it.

09
Sep
10

R.I.P. Mike Edwards

Who?  What, Mike Edwards isn’t a household name for you rock fans?  For shame.  Edwards was the cellist for one of the more unique rock bands of the 70’s, the Electric Light Orchestra (or as their friends called them, ELO). 

Actually I had no idea who he was either, but even more strange is how he died.  A 1300-pound hay bale rolled down a hill and crushed his van as he was driving down the road.  Crazy stuff happens in England.  But here’s Mike in an ELO classic.  Enjoy.