A happy Thanksgiving to you all out there! If you're air traveling in the U.S., here's hoping the lines are less painful than expected and that you're not honked, goosed or have your goodies scanned and posted on The Hun.
As they say, this is the time where it's appropriate to sit back and reflect on what we're all thankful for before plowing into our holiday feasts. That being said, I'm personally grateful I have a son who's going to turn 3 in a couple weeks and I'm less fearful for his well-being than I was before. If anything, his confidence is through the roof--if you're a parent, that's both a good and bad thing! While the experience has aged, grayed and tired me out more than I needed to be at this point in my life, I recognize I have a fine young man for a kid to this point and when he looked up at me during a daddy and son breakfast yesterday and said to me, "I'm happy," well, how can you not be thankful for that?
I'm thankful for a solid family base who provide my sanctum, hectic as life is. No way could I live this life at my point without such a strong support base, so bless you all, family. I'm thankful for my friends, most of whom I neglect, admittedly. Not easy juggling multiple hats in my household and running out of time to pick up the phone and call or answer my emails. I suck, but you all rule for not holding it against me. As rappers would've said when the genre was still legit, y'all are true playas...
I'm thankful to all of my publicists, label reps and band chums who've flooded me with anticipation (and insurmountable requests for press coverage) and encouragement with The Metal Minute and especially Retaliate magazine. I've had numerous trials behind-the-scenes getting this sucker afloat and while it sometimes felt like the unforseen forces wanted to keep a brother down, I've felt even more it's time to push and seize the moment. People slug through worse odds and prevail.
I'm thankful for football on Thanksgiving, because we all don't take into account how privileged we are as a nation to have such luxury at our disposal, namely athletes who give up their family time to go to work and entertain us...assuming we're awake after stuffing our gills. Yeah, football players are paid mondo bucks, but this is a day where they earn their money for simply showing up. Ditto for all those forced to work on a holiday they deserve to chill out. Again, y'all are true playas...
I'm thankful to be employed in these times. While it's never easy to stomach working on loan files with people making triple what you do and getting half the interest rate you have, at the end of the day, if you're not on unemployment, that's something to believe in and be thankful for. So many people continue to struggle for the basics of life in and out of this country and there have been so many natural disasters and manmade conflicts tearing their homes apart...if you're not touched by that and thankful for the luxuries you have, then you're devoid of either the basics or a soul.
I'm thankful bands like Killing Joke, Devo, Heart and Filter believe in themselves so much they're playing honest music knowing their demographic will be limited. Their heydays are gone but not their spirits to play music that either matters or is simply a fun ride. Though I don't get to spend nearly the amount of time with every band placed before me as I'd like to, I'm thankful they've all come to me for my opinion. It's a subjective business, like writing itself; journalists and writers are tools, that's the sad fact. We're on the lower tier of the rock 'n roll food chain, yet we're given power and credentials as tastemakers and opinionated arseholes. We may not say all the things everyone wants us to say or our critiques may touch a nerve with some people, but when the albums still come, the interviews are still booked and the offers to be guest listed fill up the calendars, how can you not be thankful?
Finally, as always, I'm beyond thankful to have the same number of readers as I ever had, even when dropping out for a couple months. An audience is the most important dimension to being a writer. As a writer, you may think you're writing for yourself and only yourself, but in the end, filled pages become awful lonely without eyes giving them a lookover. Thank you all, for always being there reading.
So, this past Saturday I had a ripping interview with Thomas Pridgen and Viveca Hawkins of The Memorials for Retaliate #2. Thomas played drums on the past couple Mars Volta albums and has sessioned all over the place, while Viveca has likewise done tours of duty with multiple acts including Blackalicious. An hour filled with laughter, lunacy and one of the nuttiest but coolest interviews I've had all year. That's something to be thankful for, to connect with your guests in such fashion. After talking with Viveca and Thomas, I believe we have a date with some blue crabs in the future. Good times, ain't we lucky we've got 'em.
So on to the playlists, and do stick around The Metal Minute. I was thankful for a productive week here and I have plenty more o' comin' atcha quicker than 3-D. Well, maybe not that fast, but it's all about the hype. Look out for reviews of Texas Hippie Coalition, Heaven & Hell, Twisted Sister and a Take 5 guest I'll leave you in suspense with for the moment.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone...
Mini Mansions - s/t
The Memorials - s/t
David "Rock" Feinstein - Bitten by the Beast
Suicidal Tendencies - No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family
Gwar - Bloody Pit of Horror
Powerworld - Human Parasite
Texas Hippie Coalition - Rouin
The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Air - Love 2
Hawaii Mud Bombers - Mondo Primo
The Flairz - Rock 'n Roll Ain't Evil
Res - How I Do
Heaven & Hell - The Devil You Know
Repo Man soundtrack