Vinyl Wednesday: Metallica – “Whiplash”

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Bang your head against the stage – Like you never did before – Make it ring, make it bleed – Make it really sore – In a frenzied madness – With your leathers and your spikes – Heads are bobbing all around – It’s hot as hell tonight

Adrenaline starts to flow – You’re thrashing all around – Acting like a maniac – Whiplash

I snagged this record in that big box-o-metal that I bought a while back. I was flipping through the jackets and immediately noticed this and decided that I had to have it. And true to old-Metallica form, I am glad I got it because this little EP is a total monster!

Now, I didn’t happen to get the first pressing but that’s ok. It’s the 1985 reissue and it plays perfectly. Nancy and I have seen this record multiple times at Reckless Records in Chicago but the price was always really high. Like, $50+ kind of high. No thanks to that. Instead, I waited patiently and was eventually rewarded with it here. It’s only 4 tracks but it packs a hell of a wallop and it’s worth every penny spent toward it.

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Vinyl Wednesday: Recent Additions & RSD 2016

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*Note: I wrote this post last week but never got around to clicking “Publish” so now there will be two vinyl posts today. Whoops.

Nancy and I aren’t real big fans of Record Store Day. Well, I enjoy any day at the record store but one where all the creeps and hustlers come out of the woodwork to buy inferior releases at jacked-up prices really brings me down. Honestly though, my biggest gripe with RSD is more about the lack of Heavy Metal releases lately. A few years ago there were plenty of Metal albums being put out on RSD. I got Pantera, Jungle Rot, Machine Head, Slipknot and Gojira all in one year. ONE YEAR! Now, I understand that each year will have it’s own agenda and there may or may not be much Metal to choose from. I get it. I really do. But honestly, all these random reissues that end up in bargain bins and soundtracks to movies are beginning to clog up the vinyl production process for the whole world. It is also making it harder for the smaller labels and bands to get their stuff made for RSD or a regular album release. That’s a bummer to me. Couple that with the nutty prices that are set for these records and it is starting to just be no fun at all to be a part of. Regular vinyl releases are getting expensive. Let’s not make it so they are cost prohibitive on the one day that is supposed to be fun and extra supportive of the scene as a whole.

With all that being said, Naners and I ventured out a few days after RSD to see what scraps we could find left over. We really only wanted the Deftones record (kind of), Left Lane Cruiser and maybe the Atreyu best-of compilation. *I have a soft-spot for Atreyu, don’t judge. We hit up a couple stores and eventually stumbled upon Left Lane Cruiser and promptly snatched it up. We are both fans of this band and their down-and-dirty approach to the blues. The album is a compilation featuring old songs and a few unreleased that all feature their old drummer. Good stuff. I definitely recommend them for anyone who likes Scott H. Biram, RL Burnside or Junior Kimbrough.

We also received two albums in the mail this week. CKY’s Carver City and the “Familiar Realm” single. I saw someone selling them on Facebook and I made it happen. I love Carver City and I haven’t seen a copy for sale in a long time, especially not for under $100. Naners tried to get the “Familiar Realm” single a few months ago but she was denied when we moved a little too slowly for it. That song comes off of the CKY album An Answer Can Be Found. It’s a good song and the B-Side is “Deceit Is Striking Gold”, also a good track to jam to.

Anyway, we ordered the albums from a fella named Austin from Dallas, Texas. He bubbled wrapped them really well, tossed in a few goodies (signed CD booklet, some stickers, a bonus CD) and sent them our way. It cost us $90 but I’m not complaining. We split the price, I’m happy with our purchase and I am happy to help out a fellow fan of the once-mighty CKY.

Click the photo above to see an alternate, cleaner version of the shot.

Vinyl Wednesday: AC/DC – “Rock N Roll Train”

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AC/DC is back on my mind recently. Naners and I were supposed to see them in Cleveland at the Q arena a couple weeks back but they have postponed the remaining 10 dates of their US tour and we are waiting to see what happens before we decide to keep the tickets or not. The rumors are that Axl Rose may end up being the replacement for the 10 dates and that is NOT something I want to see. So, in the spirit of wanting to hear some Brian Johnson-fronted tunes, I give you the 7″ single for the 2008 song “Rock N Roll Train” from the album Black Ice.

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Book Review // Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola

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BlackoutIt took a few weeks before I decided to start reading after surgery — I was desperately trying to fill my time and avoid sitting on the couch staring at the TV, lest my mind should begin to dwell on depressing things. In early March, I was drawn to stories with flawed characters: shows like Nurse Jackie left me content, but trying to start watching The Office grated on every nerve. Therefore,  I chose this book to read first. And I’m really glad I did because I loved it.

According to Amazon:

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was “the gasoline of all adventure.” She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman.

But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn’t remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.

A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure–the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent or struggled in the face of necessary change. It’s about giving up the thing you cherish most–but getting yourself back in return.

I’ve never been a big drinker and I’ve never experienced a blackout so it worried me I wouldn’t be able to relate to Hepola’s story. However, the overarching theme of trying to find oneself and be comfortable in your own skin is easy to relate to. Most especially, as she’s figuring out how to live without alcohol, I found myself nodding at what she was saying.

“I wanted to fast-forward through this dull segment. I want to the part when I was no longer broken and busted up. Was that day coming? Could we skip this part and get there soon? I’d spent years losing time, nights gone in a finger snap, but now I found myself with way too much time. I needed to catapult into a sunnier future, or I needed slink back to a familiar past, but what I could not bear was the slow and aching present. Much of my life has been this way. A complete inability to tolerate the moment.”

Being stuck at home, trying to figure out ways to fill my day while I recovered from surgery was starting to weigh on me. I felt well enough to do things around the house, but was still trying to figure out what to eat, when to eat, how much to drink, and how all these things affected me. Through all that juggling I lamented that I couldn’t return to the months before surgery and I kept counting the weeks and days left until my next surgery. I’m still working on remembering my life hasn’t stopped, no matter how much I feel like I’m in limbo.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. Hepola is wonderfully candid and brutally honest. She’s straightforward and to the point and it’s hilarious. I gave it 5 stars on GoodReads – highly recommended.

Goodreads // Amazon