BOOK: Love and Rockets – The Covers (Fantagraphics)

For the love of quality comics, this (as with pretty much any Love and Rockets book) is an obvious must-have!

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LINKAGE: Saga 10 Years From Now @ Bleeding Cool

tumblr_ma1sa3w31x1rpwufmo1_5001Why We Are Going To Be Even More Obsessed With Saga Ten Years From Now by Hannah Means-Shannon.

Hannah Means-Shannon is the Senior New York Correspondent for Bleeding Cool. She writes blogs about comics for Trip City and Sequart.org. Follow her on Twitter @hannahmenzies.

NEW MUSIC + VIDEOS: Carcass Brings Polished "Surgical Steel"

File:CarcassSurgicalSteel.pngIt’s a good thing I don’t have a whole lot of time prior to making this post because otherwise I would be gushing incoherently, going on and on about how historical and momentous it is that after 17 years those boys from Liverpool, England’s Carcass are finally releasing a new album on September 17th in the States. The legendary progressive metal band reunited for festivals and some touring about five years ago, and there was always the hope for a new album. That finally got officially announced this past spring and was properly teased earlier this summer (see the teaser below).

Guitarist/growler Bill Steer is a guitar god of mine and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker is legendary in his own right. Since original drummer Ken Owen suffered a stroke a decade or so ago, and second guitarist Michael Amott is too busy with his other two bands, Spiritual Beggars and Arch Enemy, the remaining original members are joined by some new blood: drummer Dan Wilding and touring guitarist Ben Ash.

Long-time fans like myself will be happy to know that Surgical Steel reportedly sounds like the lost relic that could fit nicely between their third and fourth albums, Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious (1991) and Heartwork (1993), and some say between Heartwork and Swansong. Judging by what I’ve heard so far, I’m happy with either. Early reviews also say that the advance single, “Captive Bolt Pistol” (video below) is easily the least accomplished song on the album. That is very good news.

Check it out.

 

SHOUT-OUT: Formative Years Roll Call!

Back in 1989 when dinosaurs roamed, 24 years ago this month I formed my first band, a little garage band called Metatrosity (with the C converted to an S for a better looking logo). That little metal band somehow created a 6-degrees of separation kind of family tree that included so many other local Indianapolis, IN bands throughout the 90s and even into the 2000s when a lot of us really started making noise. With such an early start I managed to play in four of those bands before adulthood/fatherhood. Today, we’re all a bunch of old men now, but, hey, those are our roots. So for no other reason than that I want to, I’m sending a shout-out to a bunch ex-bandmates from back in the day:

Christophe Holmes, Pete Gossett, Tony Reitz, Chris Robinson, Jason Fredriksz, Michael Downton, Tom Roosa, Jon-Michael Gioe, Dave Lawson, Scott Manning, Tevlin Schuetz, Lyman Medeiros, Joshua Maloney, Nathan Striedinger, Jason McCash, Karl Simon, Charles R Brown, Paul Fox and honorable mention to Ross Ebert who was one o’ my neighborhood homies from back in the day (I’m talkin’ Cub Scouts, son!). He damn-near became a bandmate too.

Oh, and long live Drop Dead!

NEW MUSIC + VIDEO: THE WEEKND’s "Kiss Land"

One of two highly anticipated new albums for me in 2013 is Kiss Land by The Weeknd (Canadian-born Abel Tesfaye and his array of producers). Coming off the success of 2012’s triple-disc feature Trilogy (and the 2011 “mixtape” albums that it compiles) along with a break-out world tour, September 10th will bring the dark-themed r&b soul singer’s first “proper” release to worldwide fans (raising my hand) starving for more of his seedy tales set to sex-inspired chill-out beats (a la trip-hop and hip-hop), seductive basslines, and haunting melodies — all drenched in smoke, sweat and sin. Aww yeah! It’s The Weeknd, baby, and we ain’t leaving the bedroom until . . . oops, sorry, I got a little ahead of myself there. Although, from what I’ve read in the press, I’m getting the sense that this new album will be somewhat of a departure, though still very much carrying that Toronto-inflected sound that gave the artist his original platform. We shall see.

Recently Tesfaye told Complex Music.com that “The only thing R&B about my [music] is the style of singing. My inspiration is R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and Prince, for the vocals anyway. My production and songwriting, and the environment around those vocals are not inspired by R&B at all.”

Also, that he “wrote a letter to the producers of Portishead and let them know this album [Kiss Land] inspired by them.”

Personally I can only hope the new disc is a sizzler like previous The Weeknd releases. I had bumped that Trilogy CD set (which consolidated the House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence — the first three digital mixtape albums + 3 all-new bonus tracks into one convenient physical package) in my car all this past fall and winter long. It kept me warm. Regardless, it’s good to know that Kiss Land, which Tesfaye has said is yet another concept album, will keep me warm this coming fall and winter.

Advance singles have already been released. Here’s the video for “Belong to the World”.