Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Holidays from Isorski!

Hey everyone.

I have been slightly derelict on the blog postings the last couple of weeks. Anyone in the States following the news probably knows that many areas have been socked in by unusually snowy, cold weather. Portland was no exception, as we broke a 50 year old record for snow and consecutive cold days (in the 20s) over the last two weeks.

You would think that being trapped indoors would lead to lots of time for blogging but when you are also trapped with 3 very active boys aged 2, 9 and 11 during the holidays, you can do the math and see that it equals NO free time for blogging. Ha ha ha.

My Pink Floyd tribute band The Floydian Slips plays on New Years Eve in Eugene and we had our first practice snowed out, so it's a set of marathon sessions starting tomorrow. We are doing Echoes for the first time, and I am very excited about that.

In fact, the set list consists of mainly old school Floyd - Set The Controls, Echoes, One of These Days, etc - and not as much from The Wall. That is a first for us and I am also pretty fired up for that as well.

So that will keep me busy through the New Year. But fear not - Santa was very good to me and I have a number of DVDs to review here. The first two I have started to check out are Rush Snakes and Arrows live and The Who Live in Kilburn 1977, which is unreal. Stay tuned for full reviews shortly!

And of course, happy holidays to all!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Shocking KISS History Revealed

I thought I knew all there was to know about KISS but I was shocked at this news report. I have been totally schooled on my KISStory.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Friday - The Mob Rules!

Could not resist posting this. Happy Friday! FIRE!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fish Takes A Break

Former Marillion lead singer Fish needs to rest his voice for at least six months and will not be doing any full touring until 2010, according to a story on Classic Rock today.

Fish's report of the news, emailed to fans, is pretty amusing:

“It started off pleasantly enough and my speaking voice was deemed to be not too bad considering I’d just completed a tour.

“She [the specialist] took internal photos of my throat and vocal chords with an endoscope and pronounced that I didn’t have nodules.

“I thought everything was going to be diagnosed as down to heavy usage and prescribed a rest from singing for a while.

“Just as I thought I had an all clear she pointed out a white area on one of my chords and said: ‘But this is worrying!’

“As soon as I heard the phrase ‘irregular cell growth’ my mind went cold and focused. I knew what it meant.

“In all honesty I am 50 years old, I smoke(d), drink, have a ‘colourful’ history, have sung nearly 1,700 gigs in 27 years and have conducted probably three times as many interviews. It’s like standing on the M1 and expecting not to be hit by a car.

“I am taking at least six months off from singing. I’d like to think that I can play some festivals in the summer of 2009 but there will be no arranged tours until 2010.”

Get well soon, Derek Dick, and stay off the M1!

12/19/2008 Update - After reading Fish's MySpace blog, Fish fears that this might be throat cancer. I did not realize that when I posted yesterday. Clearly it's more a serious topic than my blog post alludes to. Get well soon, Fish.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ace Frehley Launches Web Site - Awk!

If you can believe it, there has never been an official Ace Frehley Web site. Fan sites have done their best to pay tribute to ole Ace, but he has not had his own vehicle for communication with his fan base - until today.

Buzz was high in KISS-land that the site was coming and it was being designed by Ace himself - the same graphic arts whiz that designed the KISS logo and the very cool solo album morphing faces animation that ran on the back screen prior to the encore on the reunion tour.

But oh my, Ace must have been looking at circa 1995 sites for inspiration. His site breaks about every design rule imaginable. Too many flashing, power sucking animated doo-dahs, unclear navigation design, and man is it slooooooow.

I expected some Flash-based awesome space trip rocket ride but what I got is a page right out of Web Pages That Suck.

Check it out for yourself here. Shock Me!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Alex Lifeson Talks About the Past and Future of Rush In Upcoming Interview

As I mentioned in a previous posting, Rush has been all over the news lately. The last couple of weeks has seen a number of Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee interviews to promote the DVD Snakes and Arrows Live, which I believe I have sitting under the Christmas tree as we speak. (Oh please, Santa).

I bought the live CD of the same tour and ran a long review here. It was a great tour and the band kicked serious ass, doling out the tried and true songs as well as rarely heard gems like Digital Man, Entre Nous, Passage to Bangkok and Circumstances. Even 80s fare like Mission benefit ted from the new energy and heaviness that the band put forth live on that tour.

Word is that this DVD focuses on the musicianship of the band, with many close ups of blazing fretboards and flying drumsticks. That is my flipping dream come true!

Flash to last week, when Alex Lifeson sat down for a long interview with Modern Guitars magazine. posted numerous sneak preview excerpts this week but pulled them all down until the full interview runs on the MG site.

I was lucky enough to read the excerpts while they were up and the interviewer did an fantastic job, asking all sorts of questions I would want to ask, like which songs have they tried to bring back from the past but for whatever reason didn't (A Farewell to Kings and Camera Eye), are there any pre-1974 tapes of the band (there are), including Neil's first audition with the band (probably not).

They also discuss how the band was bummed about how Vapor Trails was mixed (the levels are too hot, so the overall sounds is compressed and distorted, kind of like the complaints about the new Metallica album), and they might remix the whole thing as a one-off project, to make themselves feel better about it.

It goes on and on. I will be sure to post the link when the whole interview runs. The pieces I saw make me pretty stoked to read the whole thing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Ad From The Auto Industry

Click the ad to read the fine print.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gene Simmons Actually Makes Some Sense

Now that Gene is talking about the music business and not about leading the last remaining superpower on the planet, I will give him some props! Check out this video of Gene being interviewed by Billboard (rated R for language). I fully agree with his take on the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I Never Get Out Anymore!

...Not really.

But I hear on the grapevine that I blew it by not going to see Nine Inch Nails last weekend in Portland. Apparently one of the most mind blowing stage sets ever created by mankind. Whatever.

And of course I miss out on a lot by not living in Southern California where in addition to fires, earthquakes and military jets taking out neighborhoods, I miss a lot of one-off gigs with stars and luminaries.

Behold these two edited posts, sent by my friend Tai, outlining what looks like a great club gig in Malibu last weekend, with the band Chevy Metal, a side band led by Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. When you get near the end of the second post, dig the set list. Very cool. The Wizard? Get outa here!

Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo84
I went to the show tonight. it was awesome. 15 dollar cover (yuck) but it was well worth it. I don't know who the other guys in Chevy are, but they're awesome. the guitarist was dead-on for most of the songs they did. Nate came up to play bass on one of the songs, and Stuart Copeland played drums during 'Substitute' by the Who. they played a bunch of cool songs.

then, during the Johnny Cash/Tom Petty cover band, Butch Walker and Pink came up and sang 'Free Fallin' at the end of the set. I was NOT expecting to see her there haha. she seemed to be Taylor's friend, they were chatting for a while during the show. random haha.

if this really is the last show at the Malibu Inn, I'm sad. first time I'd been there, and it was a really cool venue, with a great sound system.

Originally Posted by Cosmo
Yeah.. I was deep down in the O.C., down Lake Forrest way and gave myself plenty of time to make the drive up the 405. Fortunately, there wasn't any traffic, so I got there with plenty of time to spare. Bad thing, The Malibu Inn has already shut down their kitchen, so I had to eat at the Jack In the Box next door.
I met Wiley, Taylor and Dange out front and helped them in with the load in and stringing the cable for the video (yes, the entire night was taped by Taylor's friends). I scored a band/crew wristband, but paid the entry fee as usual because I thought Cassandra might show up and she'd be able to get in through the backstage door and hide out backstage til the band went on (as long as she promised to stay out of the beer tub and the bottles of VO). Plus... I love supporting the local bands anyway.
As previously stated, the setlist (this is slightly altered):
Black Sabbath- The Wizard
ZZ Top - Beer Drinkers, Hell Raisers
The Rolling Stones - Can't You Hear Me Knockin'?
Deep Purple- Highway Star
Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak
The Who - Bargain
Faces (Rod Stewart) - Stay With Me
Wings (Paul McCartney) - Jet
Mississippi Queen - (Nate Mendel on bass, Wiley as frontman)
The Who - Substitute (Stewart Copeland on drums, Taylor on backing vocals)
The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
Black Sabbath - Sweet Leaf
Queen/David Bowie - Under Pressure
(Not played from the setlist was Ted Nugent's 'Stranglehold', Queen's 'Dragon Attack' and Sabbath's 'Fairies Were Boots')
It was clear to see that Taylor was very happy to have Stewart play in their little band. And Nate is... well... Nate.
And yes, Rod Stewart was great at one time... most likely because he had Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagen as his band. His suckiness began at 'Alantic Crossing' in 1975 and 'Do You Think I'm Sexy' was the death blow... in my opinion.
Also... Paul McCartney was a legend... but, 'Silly Love Songs' began a downturn and that 'Freedom' song and his pettiness to have some Beatles songs re-printed to say 'McCartney/Lennon' year's after John's murder sealed it.
(Foos... model your long range career following the 'Neil Young Model'... not the McCartney model).
And say what you will about Alicia Moore (a.k.a. Pink)... the gal has a voice that is pretty fucking incredible. Plus, the girl has a rockin' body and in person... SHE IS BEAUTIFUL. The 'Gospel Church' ending of 'Free Falling' almost made me want to go back to church today... but... I slept in, instead.
Regarding the video... I asked if it would be posted online... but, the answer was, 'Maybe... enventually'. Which I took as meaning, 'Nope'. I think it was made specifically for Taylor. Let's hope it gets posted because these guys had 2 fixed (one pointed at the drum kit from the back) and 2 roaming with an audio feed from the mixing board.
It is a shame that the Malibu Inn will be bulldozed because the land it sits on is so valuable as fucking unaffordale condos that none of us can afford or more bullshit shopping shit. It's like we have no value in heritage, historical value or tradition... only fucking money. The doors close next weekend... Malibu doesn't understand what they are losing.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gene Simmons Lays Down The Law

At the end of the interview, Simmons says, "You guys are good. I never talk about politics."

Probably a good idea, because if Gene were President, here is what you can expect:

--Flat tax of 20 percent
--Public executions for drug dealers
--Gang control via sniper

These and other groovy gems can be found in this recent interview with the Edmonton Sun.

Knowing Gene, what other things could we expect under a Simmons Administration? KISS Koffins for all US military burials? Playmate interns? Family Jewels White House episodes? What do you think?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Queen to Split With Paul Rodgers?

The rumor mill is starting to heat up that Queen and Paul Rodgers are parting ways after the new Queen album only sold 12,000 copies in the States. The rumor has the band scrapping all of its 2009 dates.

This is only a rumor at this point, reported oddly enough on various KISS related sites.

Only last week Gene Simmons reported that KISS and Queen might tour on the same bill next year. That would have been bombastic to say the least. As for the split rumor, Simmons is reported to have said, "Oh, I've heard that, but we don't know until it's real. I would be happy to step up on that stage. I'd (also) love to step up on a stage with the Stones."

I always thought the Paul Rodgers/Queen thing was weird but it for sure didn't suck. It just didn't seem like the best of ideas. Hey, maybe Brian May is trolling YouTube for Queen tribute band singers as we speak! Ugh.

Excellent Rush Interview on The Hour

Rush is on a roll right now, what with decades-overdue positive coverage in Rolling Stone and appearances like the Colbert Report a few months ago. The latest is not as high profile but is a great 13-minute interview with Geddy and Alex on CBC's The Hour from last week.

I really like this interviewer's style. He is very engaging and his questions are solid. he is able to draw some stories out of the guys that I had not heard before. Check it out:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Test Your Prog Rock Trivia Skills Against Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree

Even if you don't know or like prog rock, it's fun to watch Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson decimate Mikael Ã…kerfeldt from prog rock death metal band Opeth in this prog rock trivia video.

I got about 7 of these right. Thanks to Bassbudd for the tip on this one.