Monthly Archives: April 2008

Grand Theft Auto-Midnight at Blockbuster

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The Gamer Division of Alien Jesus gathered for the buying of Grand Theft Auto.

11:40pm, we put Colbert on pause and headed for the last round at Starbucks located right across the parking lot from Blockbuster. Thwarted! Bastards closed at 11pm.

We smoked furiously in the van and waited the 15 minutes before they Blockbuster would sell us the game.

11:50pm trucks, SUVs and other vans start pulling in. No cars. GTAers drive big vehicles.

11:55pm we go in with the other 20 or so people. Mostly men ranging from the 13 year old clutching a can of Red Bull to the overweight late 30s guy with a basement pallor.

We roamed like we were being controlled by a broken joystick. Blockbuster had made no preparation for people lining up for a game they had been heavily promoting. A loose line formed and at midnight promptly the sales began.

Gamers pay funny. A combination of cash and two or three credit cards. “If that doesn’t have enough on it, I have another one.” The cash must have come from returnable cans and bottles. Blood donations.

Nobody had pre-ordered and they didn’t know to hand out the framed art work or not to those who didn’t reserve. The line said “YES, hand out the framed art work to everybody.” They did.

Grabbed our copy and headed for coffee and cigarettes. On the way home we passed Game Crazy (the wretched game part of Hollywood video) with a huge line out front. They were handing out the GTA faceplate. I don’t care if they were actually giving the game away, AJ Gamer Division loathes and despises Game Crazy. Wait in line, you fools, we already have the shrink wrap off.

Home. Xbox on. Mission Accomplished. Review of GTA to follow.

Beltane 2008

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Beltane – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia“Beltane is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun’s progress between the vernal equinox and summer solstice. Since the Celtic year was based on both lunar and solar cycles, it is possible that the holiday was celebrated on the full moon nearest the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is closer to May 5 or May 7, but this can vary from year to year.”

True Beltane, Sun 15 degrees Taurus, is Sunday, May 4th.

Roundtable Review – Judas Priest’s Nostradamus

NostradamusAlbumCover400.jpgListen for yourself here (hit play on the widget, then the download link at lower right to download an mp3. Sorry their widget kind of sucks). Then read what our panel of experts thinks!

Hazel Lord
From the Wagnerian inspired intro to the blistering contrapuntal twin axe work of K.K Downing & Glen Tipton and the throbbing rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis Judas Priest have never sounded heavier. This track (Halford’s vocals in particular) literally drips goblets of sonic testosterone from the speaker. The production values are superior to everything since the 2001 remastered version of “British Steel”. The
verdict is in! Nostradamus kicks ass. Punk Ass metal bands beware! The
Priest is back to reclaim what’s theirs!

Agent Ackme
It’s not Dethklok, but I’d love to hear them do it. Great song, well played! I just hope to God they don’t bring out a two foot high Nostradamus and some midget cheerleaders. “HE’S OUR MAN!”

Martin Luther Gene
So it really is Judas Priest… doing a real concept album! About Nostradamus! I kept waiting for the punchline until I just read they really did just release this AND launching a world tour to promote it. I find it a little odd that their North American Tour only has 1 US concert scheduled:

JULY 2008 North America/Canada Tour
22nd WAMU Theatre/Seattle, WA, USA
23rd Save On Foods Memorial Centre/Victoria, BC, Canada
24th General Motors Place/Vancouver, BC, Canada
26th McMahon Stadium – MONSTERS OF ROCK/Calgary, AB, Canada
27th Shaw Conference Centre/Edmonton, AB, Canada
29th Credit Union Centre/Saskatoon, SK, Canada
30th MTS Centre/Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Come on, the Save On Foods Memorial Centre? Shaw Conference Centre? Credit Union Centre? Doesn’t it sound just a bit too much like the last days of Spinal Tap?

As for the free preview track “Nostradamus”… It reeks of of Pro Tools or some other digital recording / editing software. Sounds too squeaky clean and formatted for old head bangers. Funny how kids doing music today are using old analog equipment found on eBay or adding “vinyl filters” for that “vintage” sound on their digital recordings. It will be interesting to compare a live version to this one once tour footage hits youtube.

I have to admit, I am intrigued. Ok, 1 song about Nostradamus by Judas Priest is par for the course… it made me chuckle. This 2 year project? I’d listen to more if it turns up somewhere on theinternet. I have my “metal” favorites: White Zombie, Anthrax, Rammstein, Powermad just to name a few. Judas Priest just never made on the list. But with lyrics like “Nostradamus… Nostradamus… Nostradamus… he’s our man!”, well like I said… just makes me want to hear more!

Buck Huff
Buck still has the same 8-track of the Outlaws in his Ranchero that he bought at a Gallup, NM truck stop in 1983. He declined to comment on the latest from Judas Priest.

Ava Cairo
On first listen I would have sworn it was the South Park boys, Stone & Parker, mocking an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. The not-quite-metal sound, the silly lyrics (Nostradamus…He’s our Man!) did not conjure images of a leathered Rob Halford taking to the stage on a Harley.

Rob’s vocals sounded strong enough but you’d have to hear him do it live to know if he really does have the pipes after all these years.
The subject matter, Nostradamus, could give them an edge with raising another 14 year old male army of the dark and brooding.
The old fans might be past that phase by now.

I look forward to hearing the entire album. It may have not amused me in the way they intended, but I like it just the same.

Legba
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian really summed it up: Judas Priest did away with the last shards of the blues present in heavy metal. I think he nailed it, and also nailed why their cover of Johnny B. Goode evokes a level of cognitive dissonance equivalent to Rammstein and Bjork covering late 70′s Fleetwood Mac. When this was released in the late 80′s, you couldn’t help but choose a side when hearing it. But some of the fans driven away by this sacrilegious Chuck Berry cover might remember Priest hits like Breaking the Law, You’ve Got Another Thing Coming or Living After Midnight, and come back for a steaming slice of Nostradamus.

A concept album about Nostradamus from a band like Judas Priest evokes the beloved Spinal Tap, with equal parts Saucy Jack and Stonehenge
present in the finished product. I wonder if Priest manager Bill Curbishley put some ideas in their heads about a property that could be turned into a Broadway musical. Personally, I’m hoping this leads Priest down the road to a Jazz Odyssey.

The band’s guitarists sure sound like they’ve still got the huge rack mounted amp and effects stacks from the 80′s, and they’re giving their modes a workout for the solos. The bridge feels kind of tacked on, but might work with an army of dancers high kicking their way through it, with Rob Halford popping wheelies on a Harley in the middle. Ultimately, only Nostradamus himself could predict the reception this concept album will get.

New Jon Ronson article

I’m loving aliens instead

Jon Ronson accompanies big-in-England singer Robbie Williams to a UFO abductee conference in Laughlin, Nevada, and hijinks ensue. With a special guest appearance by alien implant doctor and frequent Coast To Coast AM guest Dr Roger Leir:

“It could be a lot of things,” Robbie says, cutting me off. “So, Dr Leir, this was given to you last night. Are you excited about what it may be?”

“In a word,” Dr Leir replies, “no.”

“Oh,” Robbie says.

“It could be a piece of nothing,” snaps Dr Leir. “I was recently sent an object that was surgically removed from an abductee. I put it under the electron microscope. It looked like an organic compound, so we went to the next level. We did a test that uses infrared spectroscopy. Long story short, it was a piece of wood.”

Phoenix Lights II ?-April 21,08

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UPDATE: Man claims responsibility for Phoenix mystery lights
April 23rd, 2008 @ 10:04am
by Hanna Scott/KTAR and KTAR Newsroom

A Phoenix man says he caused the red light display that mystified thousands of people as it floated across the north Phoenix sky Monday night.

Strange Lights in Valley Sky-ABC 15

“An official from Luke Air Force Base stated that they do not have any aircraft in the sky tonight and that the lights are not part of any Air Force activities.

The Deer Valley airport officials said that the lights were not from any aircraft at that airport.

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said that air traffic controllers at Sky Harbor Airport also witnessed the lights, but they do not know the cause.”

This is Alien Jesus’ neck of the woods and this is the first time anybody is making a big deal about these lights. They’ve been around for years and nobody ever knows anything. Nobody ever much looks.

What I find the most interesting is last night so many people were looking up and decided this was strange.

Photo: Scott Cancelosi

Remembering James Brown

James BrownGQ talks about the battle over James Brown’s estate in a new article. But some of the best stuff is the stories people tell about JB. From long time girlfriend Gloria Daniel:

One night in the summer of 2001, after he’d slathered her in Vaseline (“He liked you all greased up,” she says. “Like a porkchop”) and wore her out trying to come, he gave up and left the room, and Gloria dozed off. When she woke up, Mr. Brown was standing at the foot of the bed in a full-length mink coat over his bare chest, a black cowboy hat, and silk pajama pants with one leg tucked into a cowboy boot and the other hanging out. He had a shotgun over his shoulder and a white stripe of Noxzema under each eye. “I’m an Indian tonight, baby,” he announced. “C’mon, let’s let ’em have it.” Then he dumped a pickle jar of change on the floor, told her to get a machete, and went out to the garage. He took the Rolls, drove ten miles to Augusta, weaving all over the road, clipping mailboxes, smoking more dope, and screaming about being an Indian. Gloria kept thinking she should flag down a cop, say she’d been kidnapped.

Hard to top that, but there are a few other bits that at least match it. Definitely the unvarnished view of the man. Worth a read if you love JB’s antics.