December 12, 2007
Well not exactly. I was uploading mp3s into my player the other day because I was tired of listening to the same old tunes when I came accross my Van Halen albums. I ripped some into the player and decided that I would share with you guys some of my favorites just in case you haven’t heard some but would like to get into them. So according to me, these are some of the most memorable albums EVER!
Even though most people would disagree with me, 1986’s 5150 album is Van Halen’s unparalled masterpiece. While former lead singer David Lee Roth parted ways with the band (not amicably to say the least) Eddie and the boys made one of the few seamless transitions to another lead singer in rock history when they acquired Sammy Hagar to be their next frontman. Hagar could never fill Roth’s shoes, how could he? Diamond Dave was one of the most flamboyant lead singers since Mick Jagger pranced on a stage, but what Sammy lacked in style he more than made up in technical chops (he could also play guitar) and he was obviously gelling with his new bandmates. It resulted in VH’s first new #1 album.
5150’s sound differs from earlier VH albums, while it’s a little more on the soft rock side than previous offerings, Eddie doesn’t shy away from his fierce and legendary ax grinding. I heard some radio d.j.s say it has a “Journey” sound to it, but to describe it that way would be to do it a great disservice. Like most rock albums of the era it’s got a haunting ballad (Love Walks In, about aliens!) but other tunes exhibit the band’s stylistic musical flare such as the title track and the wonderfull and catchy “Why Can’t This be love?” and the radio and stadium friendly “Dreams.”
In fact, when that clever intro to “Why Can’t This be love” comes accross my car radio, I just turn up the volume and get ready to jam. Oh yea! BTW 5150 is the police code for a crazy person and you’d be crazy not to give this record a chance.
December 8, 2007
Mid December is a football fan’s dream time. This is when the playoff picture to determine future super bowl participants comes into clearer focus and there are some monster games on tap. this Sunday my San Diego Chargers could clinch the western division with a win over the Tennessee Titans and a Denver loss.
San Diego had a disappointing season following their league best 14-2 record of a year ago, but has rebounded of late with back to back wins to post a 7-5 record. The defense in particular has played better than in earlier season losses, recording 8 sacks against the Chiefs last week, and despite claims that La Danian Tomlinson, MVP of a year ago is having a sub par year, he still leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the afternoon game features undefeated New England playing against their toughest opponent yet, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are 9-3 but possess the highest ranked defense and highest rated ground game in the league. The Patriots have looked vulnerable two weeks in a row, after dominating their first 10 games by an average of 40 points a game, New England struggled against both Philly and Baltimore and are sure to be tested again by the Steelers. Steelers QB Ben Roetheslisburger has guaranteed a win, but they better play a near perfect game to pull it out.
If you’re a huge football fan, your place come Sunday is on the couch with a drink and maybe some chips nearby. You don’t want to miss these!
December 3, 2007
With the impending release of the movie this month, I thought it would be appropriate to do a retro-review of the graphic novel. Some people viewing the trailers for the new Will Smith movie may not know that this is the latest film based on comic book or graphic novel material, albeit in an indirect way.
The graphic novel was based on legendary sci-fi writer Richard Matheson’s masterpiece about the last man on Earth and how he deals with the loneliness and isolation of his situation. The science fiction elements of the novel are interesting because Matheson attributes vampirism a scientific basis, thereby turning the protagonist into a desperate being turning to science for survival and re-inventing the vampire mythos.
IDW has republished the original graphic novel series (to coincide with the release of the movie of course) adaptation by Steve Niles who would later go on to pen his own classic vampire epic 30 Days of Night for the same publisher.
I reread the graphic novel recently and I was surprised how faithful it is to Matheson’s original book and how relatively simple but effective the artwork by Elman Brown is, a testament to how good black and white comics can look for the proper story tone. Since Hollywood has a tendency to bastardize source material, (already I found no hint of acknowledgment that vampires are even referenced in the new film referred to as some kind of mutation instead) I will have to reserve judgment on the film until I view it. Suffice it to say, I cannot recommend the graphic novel enough.