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That time Genghis said...
Album of the Month - April
  • Pretending 2 Run
    Pretending 2 Run
    by Tiles
Video of the Month - April
  • Monsters of Rock Live at Donington 1980
    Monsters of Rock Live at Donington 1980
    by Rainbow
Like He Needs More Money...
  • Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
    Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business
    by Gene Simmons
Props

CD of the Month
  • Mudvayne
    Mudvayne
    by Mudvayne
Inspiration
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
    by Michael Moynihan, Didrik Soderlind
  • Retribution
    Retribution
    by Shadows Fall
  • Brutal Legend
    Brutal Legend
    Electronic Arts
Tuesday
Mar152016

Podcast Interview: Tracy G!

Right To Rock main man Tracy G is back in the [interview] saddle again with Rags.The one the only, inimitable Tracy G is back to talk face to face with Ragman about his latest projects, as well as previous endeavours, in his own candid style. Join us we enjoy a lively chat with one of our absolute favorite guests and friend of the show.

And by all means check out Tracy G's website to see everything he's got for purchase - including White Horse Rider (Lea Almazan and Tracy Grijalva) and This Device EP (Tracy G Group) - cuz we can't praise his talent enough. HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Dio - Black, Tracy G Group - Space Beast, This Device, Red, White, Black and Blue, Leech (World Premiere, unreleased track from forthcoming CD!), and WWIII - Call Me Devil

Tracy G Interview

Monday
Mar142016

UFO @ Concert Pub North

Man, I love to see old school pros lay down some sweet jams. And UFO is one of the best I've seen in a long time on that front. Founded in 1969 (yeah, the 1969 when I was still in diapers) by singer Phil Mogg, Mick Bolton (guitar), Pete Way (bass) and Andy Parker (drums), the band has seen its share of ups and downs in the business - and employed quite a few high-profile musicians (Billy Sheehan, Michael Schenker, Jason Bonham, et al). But the core of their sound has remained a masterful blend of hard rock and British heavy metal that now belies a older man's confidence and poise in its swagger. It's seriously good stuff.

Phil Mogg is just old school class all the way.You wouldn't have known it was the Sunday before Spring Break here in Texas as Concert Pub North was packed with many a long (and gray) haired rocker primed and ready for some hard rocking thanks to opener Love and War. Kicking off the proceedings with We Belong To The Night (Mechanix, 1982), it was immediately apparent that Phil Mogg hasn't lost a note - in fact, his voice actually sounded better live. Throw in Andy DeLuca's solid bass work and Andy Parker's steadfast drumming and you've got some trusty live show bedrock. They followed their first song with the opener from 2012's Seven Deadly, Fight Night (apparently, Phil was a junior boxing champ back in the day) which led into the first song of the evening off of the new album (A Conspiracy Of Stars), Run Boy Run, to huge applause.

Vinnie Moore is just on another level, okay?This is where I have to hand it to my boy, guitarist Vinnie Moore who Rags and I have been a fan of since his debut album (Mind's Eye, 1986) on Shrapnel Records. Vinnie may be one of those neoclassical shredheads from the 80s, but his talent involves so much more finesse and flavor than a one-trick pony from a bygone era. With influences like Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, and Al Di Meola, the man can't help but play with tasteful, melodic phrasing even at warp speed. He's a modern guitarist with incredible technical skill raised on some of the best music of classic hard rock and heavy metal, and his playing is a perfect compliment to the sound of UFO. And while there was surely a contingent of knowing fans like myself and Ragman that were there in part to see this amazing artist play live, he never made any of his playing about him. He played to the music and helped make the band shine like the consummate professional he is.

The Bottom Line: The setlist was a good mix of the old and the new and never left the audience staring at their shoes even when a couple of very minor technical glitches came up during their 90 minutes of stage time. This was one damn fine evening of music from hard rock veterans that know what works and what doesn't and you can't buy that kind of experience. Kudos to Phil and the lads. You guys kicked ass.

- Genghis will be ecstatic when they finally lick that viewing problem for us short guys...

Monday
Mar072016

Can We Stop Treating Concept Albums Like Regular Albums?

Welcome to a new segment where Genghis Runs His Mouth about stuff.I've been listening to rock music for over 30 years now and while I'm no expert on the subject, I've spent a lot of time in my life observing my fellow humans do what they do. And a particular pattern has emerged regarding how long time fans of a band treat that band's occasional concept albums.

There tends to be a reaction of "meh, it's all right," (usually when comparing it to previous works from the band) which I think belies a fundamental misunderstanding of where such an undertaking fits into the scheme of things. Concept albums by their nature - when done right - are cohesive narratives, with each individual song a part of a larger storyline that dictates a dynamic structure. Just as a Hollywood movie has moments of intense drama mixed with thoughtful silence, so does the musical trajectory of the concept album. You might think it exciting, but imagine a movie like Die Hard where every single scene that's not about shooting and fighting are taken out. You don't have an intelligible story, and ultimately aren't engaged in the movie. And in fact, it's the inbetween scenes that give impetus to the actions scenes and make them satisfying.

For example, this scene from The Matrix, while a nice bit of choreography, is made so much cooler by the preceding scene where Neo finally realizes his power within the matrix, that he may actually be The One.

So it goes with music. Radio stations never play Rush's Discovery off the legendary 2112 album as a standalone track; it's not meant to be. Who really wants to hear Alex tuning his guitar and noodling around? But within context it's absolutely essential to the imagery of the story as our hero gains insight into the music of a bygone era.

Take us nearly 40 years hence to Dream Theater's The Astonishing - and ironically a pretty similar story to, albeit more fully realized than, 2112. It's a double album with 34 songs, many of which are punctuated with sound effects and ambient vocalizations/music (e.g. The Hovering Sojourn and Brother, Can You Hear Me?) rather than full-fledged progmetal tunes as enjoyed on the band's preceding self-titled album (e.g. The Looking Glass). What I've heard mostly from critics as well as fans is "wow, what an ambitious album," which sounds suspiciously like "it's kind of boring, but they clearly put a lot of work into it, God bless 'em."

All I'm saying is you can't look at such art and treat it like you're looking at the ingredients on a box of cereal: "Bastards! There's nearly 40% less balls and chunk™ in this than there used to be!" It's not a straight numbers game. And I can't say I've ever overheard someone in a museum looking at the Mona Lisa like "Not bad, but this one's so drab compared to his earlier stuff. Wish he'd done another Last Supper".

- Genghis admits it's taking a little time to fully appreciate The Astonishing...

Friday
Mar042016

Inside Metal - Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock and Metal 2

Inside Metal is a series, of documentaries, put out by MetalRock Films.   These documentaries give you really good insight into the LA music scene.  The first documentary, in this series, is called Inside Metal: Pioneers of the of L.A. Hard Rock and Metal.  The first film, in this series, covers the L.A. rock scene from 1982 - 1986.  I decided to check out the second one first, because it starts from 1975 - 1981.  I'm not sure why they didn't do these in order, other than the fact, that maybe they thought that the 82 -  86 era, would be more popular.  It totally makes sense, if that is why they did it.

Inside Metal 2, is a very informative documentary, covering the rise of the L.A. Hard Rock and Metal scene.  It takes you back to when Van Halen broke, and covers the challenges that many of these bands faced, trying to emerge from the pack.  The DVD is chocked full of interviews, from some of your favorite artists.  I was also impressed that they had representation from some of the more obscure bands, from the era, like Max Havoc.  I have to say, this was a thoroughly entertaining watch, and left me craving more.  I'm definitely putting my order into Amazon, for Part 1.

Bottom Line: An in depth look, into one of the greatest rock scenes, to emerge from the USA.  lots of great interviews and information from the scene that would impact the metal world forever.

-Ragman is glad he decided to go in order. 

Friday
Mar042016

Podcast Interview: Tracy G

Legendary Pretty Maids singer Ronnie Atkins chats with Rags about his latest project: Nordic Union.Singer Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) stops by to talk with Ragman about his collaboration with Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T.) known as Nordic Union. So join TRTR for a little tête-à-tête about the new melodic hard rock album as well as his plans for Pretty Maids.

And don't forget to look for Nordic Union's self-titled new album which is available from Frontiers Music. HORNS UP!

Featured Tracks: Pretty Maids - Loveshine; Nordic Union - Hypocrisy, The War Has Begun, Every Heartbeat, Wide Awake; Pretty Maids - Hell on High Heels

Ronnie Atkins Interview