Category Archives: Feature Stories

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.

GodzMonkey: Ah, the Holidays

A very special Thanksgiving from GodzMonkey:

“Ahhh, the Holidays!

So yesterday I cooked up a turkey breast and doctored up some Stove Top Stuffing with
chopped onion, celery, garlic & mushrooms… got one of them little tubs of pre-made
mashed potatoes and it was all good. Watched a few videos while cooking, eating and
tossing back a few beers. Not a bad Thanksgiving until cleaning up the mess later that
night, when while washing dishes and pans I looked down and saw water pooling up up
around my feet.

turkey-pliers.jpg

A look under the sink revealed that dish water was heavily leaking through one of the
old corroded slip-nuts that connects the “P” trap to the drain pipe. A bucket was an
easy fix while I pondered calling the landlady, who would then call a plumber, and since
this wasn’t a dire emergency like a busted water pipe or clogged toilet, chances were
that I’d have a bucket under the sink until sometime next week which would also mean
having to take time off from work to let the plumber in.

So, while most people were out attacking department stores for that “Black Friday” sale,
I made a trip to Home Depot (well, two trips). A PVC P trap kit runs about $6 bucks, so
it didn’t seem like much to spend to quickly resolve the leak. When I got home I was all
ready to get my hands dirty when I realized that the channel lock pliers I vividly
remembered owning were not in the tool box. Damn! Hence the the second trip back to Home
Depot and an additional $10 bucks spent.

The trap wasn’t all that hard to replace, but it was a bit messy and uncomfortable and
now I really do own some channel lock pliers! ”

Godzmonkey- Orange County, CA Fires

By GodzMonkey:

Crazy week here with the fires and wind. Heard this afternoon that there are still 7
fires burning around southern California.

It was like a brief glimpse of the apocalypse, fires from Malibu to San Diego and one of
the worst Santa Ana winds ever. They blew for 3 days straight. Blew so hard that it sent
the smoke and ash sideways into the metro areas. Daylight had a eerie yellow glow,
sunrise was the most intense… not only did the wind hit it’s peak just before dawn,
but the morning sun filtered through all that smoke made everything look like it was
being lit by orange neon lights. And it was damn hot!

smokey.jpg

The gusts of wind at night were so fierce it sounded like somebody was shaking the front
door. Windows rattled like there was an earthquake. Made it tough to sleep those first
few nights. It was hot at night too. Had to keep the widows closed because of the wind
and ash. Even so, there is still a gritty dust on everything in my apartment. Even in
the car, ash blew in through the vents. Everything smells like burnt grass.

Four days of burning watery red eyes, lots of sneezing, coughing and a sore throat.

The winds started to die down by Thursday, yesterday it cooled off and was even foggy in
the morning which only made the burnt grass smell worse. Today it was cloudy and even
rained a little bit this afternoon but was still in the low 80′s. The weather report
says the winds might kick up again next week. On the news they say that will be a good
thing – it will blow the fires back towards what’s already burned. They figure it will
take another 2 weeks to put the fires out. The estimate on property damage is 1.6
billion dollars.

Smokey the Bear… why have you forsaken us!

Saks, Mac, a New OS

os-shoes.jpg

Leopard Day was a fun success at The Biltmore. I stopped off at Sak’s then on to the reasonable line that wrapped around the gorgeously landscaped building.

Of course, folks were in good mood. It was also the usual Friday night event at The Biltmore so lots of awesome doggies were out and a non-offensive reggae band. They were so inoffensive it took us awhile to figure out they were actually playing reggae.

Everything moved quickly once our 45 minute wait in line was concluded. The mac zealout that nearly fainted in a puddle of his own urine because we had no interest in an iphone didn’t really make the line more endurable. The older gentleman telling us about converting cameras to infra-red, he was very cool.

Inside the store, we were handed t-shirts and shown the line for just the new OS Leopard. It was quick. I don’t think we were in the store waiting more than ten minutes.

Then on to the MindFreezer party beverage from Coffee Plantation and home.

How is this new OS? Eh, it does some new stuff. I just had to have it. I’m kind of a mac zealot myself.