The Metal Minute Awarded 2009 Best Personal Blog By Metal Hammer Magazine

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Metal Minute's 2008 Up to the Minute Awards

Welcome to The Metal Minute's first annual Up to the Minute Awards!

This is the time of year when everyone turns in their best-of and worst-of lists and since that business has already been handled here at The Metal Minute, I wanted to acknowledge various distinctions in a bizarre and challenging year personally, but one filled with terrific music and other modes of entertainment-related escapism. Without my alternate life, well...

As another year ends, I want to thank as always the bands, the publicists and the labels who have serviced The Metal Minute with continuous promo material to keep it afloat. I'm excited as hell for the next few Take 5 interview sessions, beginning with French of Palmerston this week. Be on the lookout for two very special guests soon thereafter. I'm beyond grateful to these individuals for agreeing to grant interviews to The Metal Minute.

As always, I thank each and every one of you for reading and bestowing your praise and even your condemnation. I thank my watchdogs out there who spotted an error or two; my mantra these days is blame the baby, ha! Every so often I feel inclined to put The Metal Minute to rest in the interest of time and pursuit of other projects lying dormant, but the enthusiasm from you readers and the bands who chase me down for reviews and interviews make me realize this little blog does pretty danged good for itself. Were The Metal Minute a traditional 'zine, it might not have the expansive readership it currently boasts, and for that, I thank you so much.

Now, on to the categories!

Best Album: Of course you read my selection of Byzantine's Oblivion Beckons already. I have to make mention that the members of Byzantine are true gentlemen for recording the album of the year, the album of their career and an album for this generation of metal, then stopping the machine at a skid to do their fatherly duties. Incredibly stand-up and worthy of The Metal Minute's ultimate praise.

Best Instrumental Album:

Don Airey - A Light in the Sky
Jeff Loomis - Zero Order Phase

Best Live Album: Living Colour - CBGB OMFUG Masters: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection

Best Song: "Statement" by Boris - Wata's guitar solos alone are the most killer thing I heard all year

Best Reissue:

Gore - Hart Gore / Mean Man's Dream
Rigor Mortis - Rigor Mortis Vs. The Earth
Cyclone - Brutal Destruction

Best Comeback: Testament

Album I Didn't Get to in 2008 But Should've: Grave - Dominion VIII

Best Live Show: Well, I'm gonna come clean and say this year was disastrous in terms of my live show attendence, considering I was making 30-40 shows the past few years, so the two I saw were nothing short of phenomenal, those being Iron Maiden and Boris. A hats off as well to Boris' opener Growing, who were freakin' cosmic...

The Metalcore Band to End All Metalcore Bands: Unearth

Most Riotous Band Name: Total Fucking Destruction

Most Metal Moment: Rob Halford passing his condolences to the late Adrian Bromley during our interview.

Best Non-Metal Albums:

Zebrahead - Phoenix
The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
Flogging Molly - Float
Microtia - Distance Is Oval
The Cure - 4:13 Dream
Here Comes Everybody - The Veronica Project
MUCC - Shion
Electrocute - On the Beat EP
Underoath - Lost in the Sound of Separation
Beck - Modern Guilt
Hank III - Damn Right Rebel Proud
Blue Skies For Black Hearts - Serenades and Hand Grenades

Best Making Good On Old Promises: Axl Rose came through with Chinese Democracy and it wasn't the joke everyone expected it to be. Salud...

Biggest Surprise of 2008: Metallica's Death Magnetic and AC/DC's Black Ice

Biggest Disappointment: MTV2 and Headbangers Ball. Bad enough MTV2 litters the screen with scores of distracting pop ups, which is very disrespectful to the bands they air, but now they've taken an hour off the show and bumped its slot into the wee hours of the night. Take this as an omen, folks. If MTV is serious about keeping it on, give me a ring; I can make this show a winner!

For The Honor: Saxon - Beautifully heavy for the third album in a row. Into the Labyrinth gives hope that trad metal still rules.

Best Music DVDs: The Maiden reissue of the immortal Live After Death is the DVD moment of the year, without question. The extra packaging alone tells Maiden have their fans' interest first.

Iron Maiden- Live After Death
Opeth - The Roundhouse Tapes
The Who - Live at Kilburn 1977
Punk's Not Dead
Hirax - Thrash and Destroy
Hanoi Rocks - The Nottingham Tapes
Twisted Sister - Live at The Astoria
Down the Tracks: The Music that Influenced Led Zeppelin
Clutch - Full Fathom Five: Video Field Recordings 2007-2008
Tori Amos - Live at Montreaux 1991-1992
Lair of the Minotaur - War Metal Battle Master

Most Indecipherable Black Metal Band Logo: Spell Forest (good luck, ya'll)

Best TV Show: Puh-lease, television sucks so bad, however two shows on network are incredible breaths of fresh air, and the latter is perhaps the best-written show since Six Feet Under, and the addition of the smoking Lucy Liu makes this one even hotter than last season: Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money

Damn You Bastards For Canceling: The Batman

Funniest Thing In a Book I Read This Year: Mike Daly's intro to his book Time Flies When You're In a Coma: The Wisdom of the Metal Gods.

Coolest Movie: The Dark Knight was beyond the hype and as a Bat-nerd, I'm going out on a limb and saying this is the best Batfilm to-date. Hoo-wah! Just watched The Incredible Hulk last night and kudos for a tremendous effort that makes us forget Ang Lee's gamma-frozen snorefest from a few years back.

Best Film to DVD: Lust Caution. One of the finest Chinese films ever conceived. Pushes the envelopes and more.

Holy Surprise Endings, Batman! Return to Sleepaway Camp

Holy Fucking Shit Ad Nauseum, Batman! Most Curse Words in One Film: Return to Sleepaway Camp

Celluloid You Know Is Bad and Doesn't Fail You: Wrestlemaniac

I Hate You, No, I Love You! The Angriest Album in the Name of Peace and Love: Spitfire - Cult Fiction

Can I Get Some Neil Young In Here? Nils Lofgren - The Loner - Nils Sings Neil

Best Improved in the NFL: Though my Stillahs finished the regular season at 12-4 (yay!) and have the number two seed in the AFC, I have to give props to the Baltimore Ravens for revamping, getting into shape and putting a winner on the field. What can you say about those Dolphins and Falcons? Zeroes turned heroes. Also have to give the Tennessee Titans a big hand for being the most solid all-around team this year, despite the fact I disapprove of their lack of respect towards their opposition. Fisher and his team need to learn a little more grace in winning. Perhaps Indy blanking them this week put things into perspective, despite resting key players. Nevertheless, I predict the Super Bowl will likely see the Titans and Panthers.

Still Crazy After All These Years: The Simpsons

Another Reason Why America is Hated: Tila Tequila

Hottest Celeb MILF: Jane Seymour

Diehard Dickswinger of the Year: Bret Michaels

Best Bands to Hunt Me Down: Boneshaker and John Wilkes Booth

Coolest Interviews I Conducted This Year:

Alice Cooper
Rob Halford
Bruce Campbell
Atsuo of Boris
Joey Eppard of 3
Dan Lorenzo of Hades/Non Fiction/The Cursed
David Coverdale
Jon Schafer - Iced Earth
Sebastian Bach
Rat Skates
Matt "The Lord" Zane - Society 1
Ivan Moody - Five Finger Death Punch
Damon Fox - Bigelf
Jeff Waters - Annihilator

Interview I Shit the Bed in Scheduling: Marky Ramone

Best Beer: Guinness, duhhhh! Of course, Spaten Dark, Negra Modelo, Sam Adams Winter Brew and Miller Chill are all worthy contenders as well.

Best New Meal I Learned How to Cook This Year: Chicken Parm

Most Frustrating Food Price Hike: Pringles

Coolest Song the Baby Picked: "Chocolate" by Snow Patrol

The Baby's Album Pick of 2008 (empirically proven): Sinner - Crash and Burn

Best Way You Can Lure Angelina Jolie Away From Brad Pitt: Forget it, the guy's too perfect. He's gold onscreen and he's willing to raise an entire nest of other people's and his own spawn. A hearty Guinness toast to Brangelina...

Best Album I Chased Down After Waiting Far Too Long: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

Coolest Album Coming Into 2009: Sepultura - A-Lex

Who The Metal Minute Has Its Eyes On In 2009: Isis


Fred "C" said...

Ray, congrats on providing one of the most all inclusive and impressive lists. There's too much to comment on, so I will keep it brief:

1. Wata's guitar solos melt my speakers

2. Pringles cost too much.

3. I'd like to toss out That Metal Show as a new favorite of mine...with a side of Ghosthunters.

Perplexio said...

Hi Ray, since I didn't know how else to contact you I thought I'd drop you a note on here. As you seem to be a fan of early Chicago-- I've got some bootlegs that may interest you-- 3 of which are from 1968... before they recorded CTA back when they were playing clubs in Chicago. They do a lot of covers (some Hendrix, some Spencer Davis Group, Bill Haley and His Comets, Chuck Berry, etc.)

David Amulet said...

Wow, a stunning list with something for everyone! Here's to you for enduring a crazy but hopefully rewarding 2008--and best wishes for a stellar 2009.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Fred, mucho thanks, chum. I did see That Metal Show with Dee and I was like, "DAAAAAAAMN! I want one of those!!!!" Cool stuff. And Wata rules, but now Boris is even more ridiculous with Michio, aka, "The Japanese Jimmy Page," holy fucking shit...

Perplexio, many thanks for the tip...I LOVE early Chicago and feel they don't get their proper due anymore. They're like Kool and the Gang; everyone remembers the schmaltzy pop shit, but forget that K&G and early Chicago were the two funkiest ensembles outside of James Browns' JBs.

Thanks, David, always glad to see you around and I appreciate the nice words. This was strictly for fun, but glad it tripped with you.

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