2013 in review…wow

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


2013 Was A Good Year For Metal Bands

As a metalhead and guitarist, it was awesome to see some great work released by some of my favorite players & the bands they inhabit.

Queensrÿche by Queensrÿche

Todd La Torre is an amazing singer so much that I do not miss Geoff Tate’s departure. The drum work by Scott Rockenfield is tight, heavy, melodic too. The bottom rhythm is rounded out with some nice grooves from Eddie Jackson. Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton exchange some nice trademark dual solos comparable to the DeGarmo/Wilton beginnings of the band. Michael “The Whip” Wilton is still one who influences my development as a player still. I like the trademark ambient/progressive stylings as well as the reggae and grunge flavors sprinkled throughout. For me, this was a better follow-up than Operation: Mindcrime II. I miss DeGarmo, but the airline industry has an amazing guitarist in their pilots’ ranks. Parker Lundgren is a guitarist I am definitely warming up to!
I absolutely love it!

Slave To The Empire by T&N

This album was released late 2012, but is a bit of an enigma. There are some Dokken songs (Jeff Pilson, George Lynch, Mick Brown minus Don Dokken) that are re-recorded in slightly different styles with some great guest singers like Tim “The Ripper” Owens, Sebastian Bach (formerly Skid Row), Robert Mason (Warrant), and Doug Pinnick (Kings X). The original songs feature Brian Tichy on drums rather than Brown and also feature Jeff Pilson(Foreigner, Dokken) on lead vocals. I like the way George does some of his signature styles, licks- but he really takes things to a more organic approach at times. George still is formidable on the guitar. Period. To hell with his critics. Seriously.

For me, both of these albums are from some of my favorite bands from 20+ years ago-I’ll not deny that.

But they are as fresh as metal in 2013 could ever be.

Rock on! \m/


1 year ago today, 20 years ago

One year ago today, I was on the porch of a friend’s house in the rain, slightly early with to a Holiday party wearing a short dress, with a busted phone and no number to reach them. I could not tell if the doorbell was even working on the second floor. I mention the broken phone: you can’t call out but you can cycle through texts. I select the text of a girl I just made friends with. She was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas the year before.

I had to get a new phone the very next day. I didn’t have a computer and even a way to talk/text people makes such a difference when you try to hang out or talk to new and old friends.
Especially around the holidays..

I got to visit with someone I went to high school with. I hadn’t seen her in more than 20 years. Her and I briefly worked together. She had brought her mom on this mini-vacation west too. She too had joined the Army, and left the shitty little town we both were in. It was a real treat for me, and I was happy to see people who knew me before “the change” in my life. I am happy that I got to see someone whose life had moved away from the negative ills that can really culminate in a small town. I’m so grateful to have had this moment.

But for now,I will just enjoy the time off of work until the next festival outing.