Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Album Covers

Album covers fascinate me. They give a somewhat a visual perspective of the music hidden within their gate folds. The ones I really enjoy are the illustrated artwork, especially the ones done by Roger Dean. His cosmic architectural landscape design adorns albums from Yes, Asia and Uriah Heep. The photo above is one my favorites from Roger Dean- Yes Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Not just only Roger Dean I like, there is the Stanley Mouse/Alton Kelly combo whom does the Journey album covers and the "story" they tell.

Then there is Frank Franzetta's work on the Molly Hatchet and Nazareth album covers. Very medieval-screams rock and roll....

The portraits of "life, death and afterlife" of Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie are done by Derek Riggs. Some of them shockingly gruesome... What the hell, it's only rock and roll!

Another one I like is the Grateful Dead's Blues for Allah album cover done by Philip Garris..

There many more I'd like to post, some other time maybe... So what is your favorite album cover?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Packers Week #12 Turkeys and Touchdowns

My girlfriend had to work this morning, so I up ended with the task of making the turkey. Never made a turkey before, so this is a whole new experience for me. She did leave instructions on how to do it. So I think I'll manage... (I hope so)

Hours later, it's beginning to smell like Thanksgiving around here. The aroma of the turkey that is roasting in the oven is filling up my apartment sending pangs of hunger in my stomach. After spending time this morning stuffing an empty cavity of a deceased bird, I'm feeling hopeful. So far, so smoke either...

The Green Bay Packers did route the Detroit Lions 27-15 this afternoon at the Ford Stadium. Here are my thoughts of the game...

The game was ugly and sloppy in the first half. A mostly defensive game filled with penalties.

In the second half, the Packers overcame their blunders and mental mistakes and stared playing real football. The Lions, however didn't.

Defensive back Ndamukong Suh of the Lions was ejected from the game for stepping on Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm in the third quarter. He could face a possible suspension.

Lions' Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions during the game. Hey, Aaron Rodgers only threw four during the ENTIRE season!

The Packers are 11-0 now. Still undefeated for the first time in franchise history...

More on the game here.

I hope everybody out there that is reading this is having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love you all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Packers Week #11

The Green Bay Packers held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-26 at Lambeau field this afternoon.

Here are my thoughts of the game...

Aaron Rodgers didn't have a great of a game he normally does, yet when it counted he still shines.

Rodgers threw 23 of 34 passes for 299 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception.

Rodgers has only 4 interceptions this year. Damn good.

Tampa almost caught up to the Packers in the forth quarter. It was a 40 pass from Rodgers to WR Jordy Nelson that sealed the Buc's fate.

The Packers are now 10-0 and still haven't lost a game.

More on the game here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Box Sets, Anthologys and Other Compilations

As many may be aware, Pink Floyd has released a 16 disc remastered box set containing pretty much their entire catalog. Just in time for the holidays... So is this like the forth or fifth box set they've released? At a $180 price tag, I think I'll pass this up. I already have all of the Pink Floyd albums spread across my collection on vinyl, cassette or CD. So, why should I go out and get something I already have? It's pointless! Because it's better sounding than what I have? Vinyl suits me just fine. I'll eventually get the CD's for my car in due time, but not by spending $180 bucks for repackaged materiel. I don't need it. If Pink Floyd really wants to capture my wallet's attention, maybe a Roger Waters era concert would do the trick.

Which brings me up to the purpose of this blog post....

Box sets are nice....Believe me, I've been wanting to get my hands on some of them for some time. Tom Petty's Live Anthology, Jimi Hendrix's Winterland, Stevie Ray Vaughan's SRV, Grateful Dead's So Many Roads and so many others to mention are some of them that interest me. The box sets contain live shows, outtakes and other material I simply do not have my collection. If it wasn't for the hefty price tag, I'd have them by now. However, some box sets from Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Pink Floyd I have zero interest in. I don't need to spend a hundred buck a complete remastered, repackaged studio efforts that I already have. Why are they on the market anyway? For the die hards? I honestly believe they are quite satisfied with the present copies they have. As for the casual fan, I don't think they'll spend that much on something that they are unsure of.

Which brings me to the anthology albums. These often two or three disc compilations I like. The number of studio albums from older and sometimes forgotten bands like Free, Sweet, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, James Gang, Jethro Tull and others on the market are dwindling, going out of print...Some them I have never seen a copy of. For about twenty bucks, many of these anthology albums can give a casual fan an honest overview of an artist's storied career. The ones I really like dig deep into the catalogs and pull out a few of the finer deep cuts from an obscure album. I find myself listening to Bad Company's The 'Original' Bad Company Anthology. Blue Oyster Cult's Workshop of the Telescopes, Jethro Tull's Best of Jethro Tull-The Anniversary Collection and Grand Funk's Thirty Years of Funk 1969-1999 quite a bit. The only downfall in these compilations are one can argue what tracks that should be used.

Single discs compilations, however, I feel are a waste of time. For one, there are too many of them! How many from Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Aerosmith, the Beach Boys , the Beatles or the Stones we really need? How many different compilations does "Walk This Way", "Freebird", "Good Vibrations", "Light My Fire" or "Satisfaction" need to appear on? Yeah, the hits are being cashed in to assure sales, but this is overkill....especially when there is The Door's Greatest Hits, The Best of the Doors, The Very Best of the Doors and on and on....

Another thing, the constant throwing in of a couple of newly recorded tunes in to push sales. As a collector, I don't go out of my way to buy any single compilations. By the time they come around I have whatever that is from them on the studio albums, therefore the couple of new tunes are just an annoyance to me. Sure I want the new songs to complete my collection, but I'm not going to shell out fifteen bucks for Aerosmith's The Big Ones just to get "Walk on Water" and "Blind Man". I'll tape them off of the radio or download them instead. (Unless someone gives me a copy) Just wish they save them for a new album..

Then there are the Gold, Icon and the Millennium Series. WHY? The kind of stuff that that the clueless fan would buy. The shit you buy at WalMart. They aren't even authentic releases approved by the artists themselves. Betcha they won't even see a dollar off of any copies sold. Just another reason to part with your hard earned dollar

So what kind of compilation you like? What do you recommend?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Packers Week #10

The Green Bay Packers crushed the Central Division rivals Minnesota Vikings 45-7 at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football.

Here are my thoughts of the game...

Aaron Rodgers had another spectacular game throwing 4 touchdown passes.

The Packers defense played well, effectively shutting down the Vikings.

The Packers rested Rodgers and other starters at the end of the game. Second string QB Matt Flynn runs for another touchdown.

The bright side for Minnesota was defensive player Jared Allen,whom put some pressure on Rodgers.

The Packers are now 9-0 and STILL undefeated...

More on the game here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black Sabbath Reunites!

I just learned this from a couple of music blogs that the original lineup of Black Sabbath has reunited for an upcoming album and a tour in 2012. SWEET! After 33 years of "waiting" I finally could a chance to see this legendary lineup. Hope they come to Milwaukee...

The group's new ninth studio album will be produced by Rick Rubin, who also appeared at the press conference. The four band members are currently recording it and have not yet announced a title. "We've written about seven or eight songs .. and they're really good," Osbourne said at the press conference. "I'm not just saying that. I'm like, 'Woah!'" "Tony's come up with like, absolutely incredible music," Butler added. "It really is back to the old Sabbath style and sound."

What's ironic about this reunion of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward is where their announcement conference took place-at Los Angeles' Whisky A GoGo on 11/11/11, the place of Sabbath's first American concert, exactly 41 years beforehand! What a trip!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Packers Week #9

The Green Bay Packers defeated the San Diego Chargers 45-38 in a rather impressive gave at Qualcomm Stadium at San Diego.

Here are my thoughts of the game...

The Packers' defense was impressive, picking off San Diego's Philip Rivers three times. Two of them for touchdowns.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 21 of 26 passes for 247 yards.

Though Rivers got picked off three times, he did well throwing for touchdown passes.

The Packers are STILL undefeated at 8-0

More on the game here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunrise at the Lake

It's not too often that I get up early on a Saturday morning...That is either I'm gone off to work or in this case-to take my girlfriend to work. Otherwise, I sleep in. This morning, I was marveling at the quiet serenity of my surroundings and the peacefulness of the cities' streets. After dropping my lady off the reddish orange glow from the east lured me to the lake... Calmness seeped into me as I ate an Egg McMuffin, while watching the waves crash into the shoreline. As the sun rose higher into the sky, turning the darkness into light, I felt happy to be alive...