Thursday, March 28, 2013

Unique Singers

            Usually when discussing singers I, and just about everyone else, will analyze them in accordance to vocal range, impact, and the genre they generally perform in. For instance, one might say, Celine Dion has an incredible range. But would she make a good metal singer? Probably not. Or Lou Reed, despite not being a technically magnificent singer, inspired many a punk rock vocalist. Today, however, Id like to take a few minutes to talk about singers that are just all around unique. This has nothing to do with technical ability or genres. I will not talk about what I think is bad or good. It is simply a look at some of the most original vocal styles youre likely to hear. Sound, delivery, and peer comparison played into my decisions.

1.     Tim Baker
Band: Cirith Ungol
Why: Tim's delivery is raspy and high-pitched all at once. It's what I imagine Skeletor would sound like in a metal band. Love the music by the way!

2.     Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Band: The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Why: No one delivers a tune like this guy. His diction is bizarre to say the least. A little bit of trivia for you: David Bowie covered his song "Took a Trip on a Gemini Spacecraft." Bowie's been a fan for years.

3.     King Diamond
Band: Mercyful Fate/King Diamond
Why: Nobody has a falsetto like King. Not to mention, his regular voice is pretty unique too. Likely a mixture of his Danish accent and the lyrical subject matter. Plus the guy sings songs in multiple voices because his songs feature characters and his albums are one big story. Have to love King Diamond!

4.     Lord Worm
Band: Cryptopsy
Why: Lord Worm doesn't even sound human. I know that many a grindcore vocalist out there has borrowed a page from his lesson plan. Never been a giant fan of his vocal approach because he sacrifices lyrical understanding for a monstrous vocal effect. However, I can't do what he does and I'm not sure anyone else really can. He's original and I have massive respect for him.

5.     Tom Waits
Band: Tom Waits
Why: His voice sounds like it lost a boxing match, ate some razor blades, smoked a carton of cigarettes, caught on fire from a cigarette, and was put out with sand. To cool off it had a swig of Jack Daniels. It's so raspy and fragile and yet, it commands great presence. If you heard him singing you'd know it.

6.     Captain Beefheart
Band: Captain Beefheart
Why: Beefheart, besides writing some of the craziest lyrics in the history of music, had a deep, raspy, and unconventional vocal delivery. I'm not sure how to really describe it because it isn't as rough as Tom Waits but it isn't Elton John either.

7.     Tom Warrior A.K.A. Thomas Gabriel Fischer
Band: Celtic Frost/Apollyon Sun/Triktykon
Why: Tom's Swiss accent is very prevalent in his singing voice. Couple that with his menacing growls and grunts and you got a pretty unique vocal sound. Tom was an obvious inspiration for many black and death metal vocalists. His vocals today, are just as unique as they were 30 years a go and we love him for it!

8.     Katie Jane Garside
Band: Daisy Chainsaw/Queenadreena
Why: Katie has a, let's say, different delivery. Sometimes she'll be almost whispering and other times she's totally wailing. Not to mention, she's almost 45 years old and at times you think you're listening to a 6 year old sing. Creepy. Love the tunes!

9.     Jinx Dawson
Band: Coven
Why: Often called the 'Goth Queen,' Jinx burst onto the scene with the early 1970s occult rock band, Coven. Despite the fact that the songs were lyrically driven by the occult, Satan, witches, magic, and ritual the music wasn't all that heavy. Her vocal style is, well hard to explain. Just listen to the way she carries notes.

10.   Bobby Blitz Ellsworth
 Band: Overkill
 Why: Sometimes he drops some of the best shrieks in metal and at other times he sings in a very, very low, almost bluesey style. He's got a unique all-around vocal sound.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Why Sequels and Remakes Can be Good but Often End Up Sucking Like a Leech


Let's talk about sequels for a couple minutes. I think we can all agree that sequels are most often not nearly as good as the original. There have been exceptions. Off the top of my head I can think of Aliens, Evil Dead II, Terminator 2, Psycho II, The Bride of Frankenstein, and Magnum Force. Every one of those movies was as good or nearly as good as the original. The reason every single one of those sequels worked as well as they did as that the writers and filmmakers found a way to expand the universe created in the first picture without losing sight of the original narrative. One major element always remained consistent while the general story itself evolved.

In Aliens, we got more aliens. I mean really, that was the major change. It went from being 1 lone woman vs. 1 unknown acid-spitting xenomorph to a team lead by said woman vs. multiple acid-spitting night creepers. The elements that made the first movie great remained generally intact. They were only expanded to add a new level of suspense and thrill for the audience. Had it followed the exact same 1 on 1 formula the movie probably wouldn't have worked. At that point in the franchise the ante needed to be upped to draw us back in. To make us say, how is she going to get out of here alive this time? The suspense that worked so well in the first movie just couldn't work the same way a second time because we had already seen the monster. Evil Dead II was essentially, a remake of the original film done in the way the director wanted to do the film the first time but couldn't due to a lack of money to do it. It worked too. Again, the scenario was mostly unchanged but the universe was expanded. New supporting characters, bigger set pieces, and a deeper exploration into the powers of the Necronomicon spellbook and its history. The Necronomicon, if you folks don't know, was an ancient Sumerian text known as 'The Book of the Dead.' Of course the Necronomicon as we know it in pop culture, is largely influenced by the book as it was used in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. It is an essential plot point in Raimi's Evil Dead movies. Anyway, as to not veer off topic, one can see the commonality among great sequels.

Bad sequels have a lot in common too. Like I said, they usually break the rules the previous film or films put into place. Take A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge. If I were to watch that movie wholly on its own merits, there are things I can really get into. First off, Robert Englund is always amazing. One of the greatest actors ever when it comes to the use of body language. He is a guy who can say so many words with his hands, facial expressions, walk, and shoulder movements. Of course when when wearing a striped sweater and a clawed glove, he's at his very best. Other merits of the film would include the awesome Clu Gulagar, the very creepy score, and some pretty awesome kills. Now the bad: and no I'm not talking about the homosexual subtext people have been debating since 1985. I'm talking about that rule breaking again. It was established in the first movie that Freddy Krueger was a powerful demonic force when encountered in the domain of dreams. The only way he could be hurt or killed was to be pulled into reality by the dreamer he was attacking. Nancy succeeds in bringing Freddy into reality and waiting for him are a bunch of dangerous booby traps she has specifically prepared. In Freddy's Revenge, even knowing his human vulnerability he seemingly wants to inhabit the body of the very human Jesse and use him to strike again in the world of the living. Say what? Like in the first movie there is still some supernatural presence to him even whilst walking around in reality. However, to inhabit a human body he opens himself up to human vulnerability. We can be shot, stabbed, set on fire, and blown up and we aren't dusting it off like Fred does in the land of nightmares. So as you see, the story clearly makes a dumb-dumb choice. It defies Wes Craven's original assertion that Freddy is just as mortal as the rest of us when playing in our plane of existence.

One of the biggest things I hear from people, particularly genre buffs, is that somehow sequels will ruin the original movie. My response to that is, seek counseling. The events displayed in a sequel should have no effect on your opinion of the movie that precedes it. Its madness to think otherwise. If the sequel sucks, the original still exists by way of DVD, digital copy, VHS, and or film print for your enjoyment. You can opt not to buy the sequel when it comes out and just end your collection of whatever franchise it belongs to with the last film in said franchise you enjoyed. Which in some cases may be the first film. You can pretend it doesnt even exist! Believe me, that's what I do with a lot of remakes. Oh and Jason X and Seed of Chucky.

Since I mentioned it, let's talk remakes for a second. Remakes are not technically sequels because they are supposed to exist outside of the original established universe. They are an attempt to start over or restructure the previous universe. So in a way they are more forgivable than sequels that completely disregard the preceding film's laws. Then in another way they are not forgivable. One of my problems with the vast majority of remakes is this: if you vastly alter the characters or plot you're just making a new movie altogether. So why must you use the title, character names, and basic story elements of the original film? Why not just make an entirely different film with your own characters. Of course the answer is generally because Friday the 13th is a bigger name than The Killer in the Woods and thus, guaranteed to sell more theater tickets and merchandise.

The other real issue I have with remakes is that the marketing machine tries to pretend like the original didn't exist. This is because they want the general public to buy the new vision so they may make plenty of profitable sequels. They don't want you to think you've seen it all before or that you have an alternative. For instance, last year, Warner Brothers (Who now owns the original studio New Line Cinema) released a Nightmare on Elm Street box set featuring the first 8 films starring Robert Englund. Guess whom they had on the box art? Jackie Earl Haley, the new Freddy Krueger. Why would they do that? No offense to Jackie but he had absolutely no involvement in those movies. It is a cheap marketing ploy to make young folk who may have never seen the original believe they will be getting a product very much like the new one they liked. Of course the studio only did this after they realized people hadn't forgotten about the old films. I see now that the box set has been re-released with Robert Englund on the cover, as should be. Apparently the new A Nightmare on Elm Street didn't come close to matching the success of the Robert Englund films and people still envision Mr. Englund as Freddy Krueger. He was the voice of their childhood nightmares after all.

If Warner Brothers had waited at least another 10 years to reboot the Freddy Krueger brand they may have had more success. This is another problem we run into with remakes. The last film featuring Robert Englund was in 2003. He was doing press for and promoting new Freddy Krueger TV projects, comic books, and film sequels up until about a year before they announced the 2010 remake. No one had forgotten about Freddy Krueger or Robert Englund. So Robert suddenly being replaced and a remake being announced looked mighty suspicious. It looked like nothing more than an attempt to update. Which is something you hear a lot these days. Hey that old movie looked like it was made in 1984. We can make it so much better with our CGI." The flaws and technical limitations of the old movie are really just part of the charm. Studios don't seem to understand this mentality. They also underestimated the role Robert Englund played into the character's success. In their attempt to keep anyone from being reminded of the original movie, they only reminded us of how great the old one really is.

In my mind, remaking a movie that is 50-100 years old is no issue. It re-introduces the movie-going public to concepts and characters that have fallen out of popularity or that have just been replaced in the public's mind by literally thousands of other movies. This can in turn stir up interest in seeking out the original film. It can also get studios to get off their ass and commission proper DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the old movie. They will view it as a worthy investment.

So whether you're talking sequels, prequels, or remakes, there's a lot to consider. You have to analyze each movie on its own and then see how well it correlates with the source material. Good movies can come from sequels and remakes if the new writers and filmmakers embrace the material as their own while doing their best to maintain the integrity of the franchise's starting point. It is a simple concept that is often times marred by artistic arrogance, pretention, studio pressure, and the need to make a buck. Just remember, no matter how badly a sequel or prequel fails, we always have the original to run back to. The original must be cherished for without it: there is no sequel and there is no remake.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Retro Rock: 70s and 80s Heavy Metal being Made Today




     If you love heavy music you probably like some of the following bands: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Venom, Metallica, Motorhead, Motley Crue, Slayer, Anthrax, Bathory, Death, Mayhem, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Saxon, Queensryche, UFO, Pentagram, Riot, Overkill, Testament... These are just some of those essential bands that helped shape the heavy metal genre and are thus considered must-listens by many headbangers. Some heavy music fans, particularly those who were around when those bands formed and unleashed their first few albums, often get nostalgic. Hell, I get nostalgic. I headbanged until my head hurt, driving down the road in my car blaring Holy Diver, Melissa, Master of Reality, and La Sexorcisto Devil Music Vol. 1. A friend and I actually pulled a Wayne's World on multiple occasions, trading off vocal duties to a noise ordinance-defying rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Today as I spin new albums by new artists, I don't feel the same since of excitement I had when I heard Hell's Bells and Working Man. Why is that? Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with these new bands. The old guys had already popped my sonic cherry and once you go old school metal, well, everything else just pales in comparison. 
      Some of the biggest obstacles to overcome in enjoying the new stuff are the vocals, the overly clean digital production, and the complete lack of showmanship being displayed by most bands these days. When it comes to vocals, I'm looking for someone who can belt it like Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson. I love those insane glass-breaking high notes and I tremble at the sound of deep evil-sounding grunts. These days it seems like the vocals have literally morphed into an instrument. They have lost their humanity. For instance when I attempt to listen to a grindcore tune, I can’t follow the lyrics even with a print out of them in my hand. The vocal delivery is a series of shrieks, snorts, and squeals with no attempt to make the message of the song known. Don’t get me wrong. I can’t perform grindcore. Saying that most people can’t has to lend it some sort of credibility no matter how much I’d like to reject such a thought. If you like grindcore, good for you! But for me, it’s a bunch of incoherent noise. This is where I start reminiscing again. Remember when guys like Alice Cooper and King Diamond would sing songs as a part of a greater story? They would change their voices to match different characters, sometimes within the same line. Or who in heavy music today, has a more memorable voice than Bon Scott or Ozzy Osbourne? And vocals aside, whatever happened to being able to hear that fuzz, that accidental clanging of a drumstick slipping out of the drummer’s hand, or bands dressing up in costumes and makeup and setting things on fire? It’s those things that made shows a lot of fun and gave records a flawed human touch.
            Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, you’ve heard this all before. That’s why I’m not going to waste any more time trying to convince you why the gray-hairs are so much better than the plaid-shirted bearded young folk hitting the skins, shredding the guitar, and commanding the microphone today. So the point of my post? Hope is alive! Out there right now there is a plethora of great young people making kick-ass metal tunes. They’re making music that will remind one of the 70s/80s heydays of the genre whilst infusing a modern touch to keep things fresh. It’s the perfect balance between the old school and the new school. As always, the metal community has already placed a label on these throwbacks. They call them The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal. Other terms that have picked up steam are: retro rock, retro metal, and new old metal. Call it what you want, most of it is pretty good. I hear some metal purists complaining because these bands won’t get with the times or because they aren’t as good as the bands they’re playing homage to. My answer to that? Who cares? No one is going to replace the old guard. Plus, like I said earlier, if you grew up with the old guys, nothing will ever be able to compare to that spark you felt when it was new. Just enjoy it for what it is. I mean, what do you have to lose? What are your other options? Collect all the old stuff and then eventually have no new music to listen to? Or maybe you’ll suck it up and go buy some metalcore or grindcore. Not this guy! There is a way to continue to enjoy new heavy metal that sticks truer to the foundation of the founding fathers of heavy and it’s called The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal.

Traditional Heavy Metal Bands of Note:

Ghost- Check out Opus Eponymous
Jex Thoth- Check out Jex Thoth
Christian Mistress- Check out Possession
Black Moth- Check out Killing Jar
Holy Grail- Check out Ride the Void
Orchid- Check out Capricorn
White Wizzard- Check out Over the Top
Enforcer-Check out Diamonds
Blood Ceremony- Check out Living with the Ancients
Speedwolf- Check out Ride with Death
In Solitude- Check out The World the Flesh the Devil
Portrait- Check out Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae
Witchcraft- Check out Alchemist
Cauldron- Check out Chained to the Nite
Steel Panther- Check out Feel the Steel
RAM- Check out Death
Striker- Check out Armed to the Teeth
Witch- Check out Witch
Crystal Viper-Check out Crimen Excepta
Bullet- Check out Bite the Bullet
Widow- Check out Lifes Blood
Ravage- Check out End of Tomorrow
Early Man- Check out Closing In
Kobra and the Lotus- Check out Kobra and the Lotus
Graveyard- Check out Hisingen Blues

            The bands are a mixture of styles from the good old days. You get a little Black Sabbath or Pentagram-like doom, a little Blue Cheer blues, a little Alice Cooper horror rock, some Motorhead or Metallica like thrashing, Mercyful Fate or Venom styled speed metal with occult overtones, and even really catchy 80s arena rock tunes from more glam-like acts. Fans of hard n heavy from 1968 to 1995 should find something from these bands that reminds them of the bands that got them into this music in the first place. Even better, it will give you that sense of hearing something new but with just enough familiarity as to not make you want to gauge out your eyes. Metal is changing and you can either get with the tide or seek out these guys and gals that are keeping that old school mentality alive. See, its a great compromise. You get to move forward while staying right where you like it. 

P.S. For the more open metal heads, there are a lot of new bands keeping thrash and death metal equally rooted and exciting right now. Maybe I'll talk about them soon.  Oh, and death to grindcore, metalcore, post-grunge, and emo. It has to go.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why Censorship is a Bunch of Un-American Bullshit

    Okay, let's talk about censorship for a moment. I'm assuming from my headline you already know my thoughts on the matter but I'm going to elaborate on why. First we must ask, what is censorship? A dictionary will give you a pretty vague explanation like, "the act of censoring." So, what does it mean to censor? The answer is of course is to cover, prohibit, or hide certain words, images, phrases, opinions, or writings because the material is considered by the powers that be to be morally or principally objectionable. The only problem with using such a definition is that one must now determine the basis for which something is considered to be objectionable. That my friends, opens up a whole new can of worms. What one person finds to be reprehensible, another might not have any problem with at all. For instance, if I say "Fuck the Steelers," you're going to react in 1 of 3 ways. Either you're going to say, "Hey, fuck you! The Steelers Rule!" Or you might shrug it off and say nothing at all because my opinion matters very little to you. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion right? The other reaction might be, "why'd you have to use the F-word?" Now, living in the city of Pittsburgh the majority of people are likely going to disagree with my abrasive dismissal of their favorite sports team. That’s no problem. Unpopular opinions are still opinions. The problem would be being, by law, prohibited from voicing that opinion. Now, you’re probably thinking, this is the USA, freedom of speech! What I’m here to tell you today is that somewhere down the line the first amendment has been altered in the hearts and minds of the people and its government to mean, freedom of speech as long as it’s the popular opinion.
                I once walked into the mall to get a haircut having forgotten that I was wearing a Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses t-shirt that proclaimed, “Everyone fucking dies” on the back. As soon as I signed my name on the waiting list at the salon an older man approached me and said, “Son you shouldn’t be wearing that. It doesn’t look good.” Well, I kind of agreed with him. I said, “I apologize, I forgot I was even wearing the shirt.” A few minutes later as I was waiting my turn to get snipped a security guard approached me and said “we’ve gotten several complaints about your t-shirt.” Which of course means, “This one guy is totally offended by your t-shirt.” As to not make a scene I quietly left the mall. I still think of that day though. There was so much wrong with that scenario that it still eats at me. First off, I was wearing a t-shirt with a tagline for a movie on it. Is a movie and its tagline not a freedom of expression as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. constitution? Was it not my free choice to represent that movie? Also, why would me wearing a t-shirt with a word somebody doesn’t approve of bother someone so much that they actually walked all the way down to the end of the mall to talk to someone at the security office? This person was acting as if I had stolen something, kicked a baby, and snorted coke off the fountain on my way out. This person was so greatly offended by nothing more than a word. Words only have the power we give them. Obviously, he gave that word a lot of power. What this person did not realize though, by bucking at my right of free expression, he was denying my rights as a U.S. citizen.
                It is said that Voltaire, a French writer and philosopher, said, “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire died in 1778, two years after The Declaration of Independence was written. This quote embodies all of what our founding fathers intended with the 1st Amendment. That right, still to this day, is absolute. It is not to be twisted and manipulated to make 1 or 100,000 happy. It is in place to make us as a whole happy. To allow us to be free to speak our mind, create, challenge, and enlighten all those who care to listen. You do not have to listen but you can’t stop me from talking!
                In 2013 this just shouldn’t be an issue. I shouldn’t have to sit here and explain the 1st Amendment to anyone. In all actuality, anyone reading this blog most likely knows of the Bill of Rights and what it means to us as a people. People who don’t understand the Bill of Rights will say things like, “but what about the children?” Well good sir or mam, that is up to you as a parent. You are to teach your children what you believe to be right or wrong. You are to teach your children of the ‘golden rule’ and instill them with morality, laws, and boundaries. That is not up to me. You cannot tell adults what they can’t say in public because of what you teach your children. In fact, kids need to hear some things. If children are not exposed to anything then they will not know how to handle themselves when they enter the real world and have no choice but to hear things they don’t like. Again, my freedom of speech is absolute. I will not make it a point to say things to your child that you would not want them to hear out of respect for you and the morality I have in myself. I will not be barred from expressing myself in a public forum because somebody doesn’t like the words on my shirt or coming out of my mouth. Those words are only bad because someone says they are bad.
                What we have in cases of people shutting out the freedom of speech is a discussion of taste. Taste does not make the law. There is nothing wrong with finding something distasteful. We all do. We must, however, realize that others may not. Adversely, what we find to be perfectly okay, somebody else may not. We reserve ourselves amongst others so that we don’t offend them out of respect. Not because we will be flogged, tarred and feathered, or burned at the stake if we don’t. Look at it like this, in the Western world, eye contact when talking to someone is a sign of respect. In other places in the world, such as the Far East, direct eye contact is a sign of disrespect. I love bacon but I would not expect a Jew or a Muslim to eat bacon. I respect their opinions and beliefs. I can live with the fact that you don’t like what I have to say. You have that right. You must also learn that I have a difference in opinion and I’m entitled to it.
                One of the biggest slaps-in-the-face of our constitution comes by way of censorship in art. Yes, there are laws against the exploitation of children and animals. There should be. They are not mentally capable of making decisions that adults can make. There is a scientific basis for this and it must be understood and respected. However, what 2 or more consenting adults engage in is the business of those adults. If you don’t like reading Hustler magazine and seeing those naked photo spreads don’t read it.
I mention Hustler, specifically because its founder and publisher, Larry Flynt, is one of the greatest champions of the 1st Amendment ever. You may not agree with some of Larry’s choices as a person and you may not agree with the work he does but you need to respect his right to do it. It was a long hard battle for him that resulted in multiple lawsuits, imprisonments, and even the use of his legs in an assassination attempt. He held in there though. He fought hard for all of us, whether that was his intention or not matters in the least. He did it so that we are able to exercise the right afforded to us by the framers of our constitution. Most famously, he defeated Jerry Falwell in the Supreme Court over his right to parody public figures. If one puts themselves in the public eye, the public has the right to make fun of them. That my friends, is guaranteed by the freedom of speech. You can say what you want about that person. That’s not to say that your reputation and relationships business or otherwise, will not suffer as a result of your outspokenness. The people you may do business with may not agree with what you say and they have a right not to do business with you. They have a right to say what they think of you just as easily as you do them.
                Without Larry Flynt’s court victory, shows like Saturday Night Live, South Park, The Simpsons, and Family Guy may have had a harder time getting their material on the air. The reason being that for everyone out there with a sense of humor, one of the celebrities they parody might have been able to sue them for defamation. Luckily, Larry won and we as a people were guaranteed that we are allowed to say how much we think a certain band sucks or do a laughingly bad impersonation of even the President of the United States on live TV.
                When it comes to movies, we have a little organization called the Motion Picture Association of America. They are a bunch of nameless, faceless, paid-in-the-shadows individuals who get to decide whether the material presented in your movie is offensive or not. They get to tell you that if you don’t cut 10 seconds of sex or 5 seconds of a decapitation your movie isn’t going to be played in a theater with a rating that will allow a bunch of people to view your movie and make you any kind of profit. Even worse they may ban the movie outright and say that it just can’t be played in a movie theater. Okay, here’s the issue with that. Should objectionable material be kept from the eyes of children who do not understand the context? I think so. Is it my job to tell someone else what is right or wrong for their children? Absolutely not. Even worse, who the hell is the MPAA to tell me, an adult, what I shouldn’t watch? That is my choice and my choice alone. It is the filmmaker’s choice to present a film with their message and my choice to receive that message or not. Leave it up to us MPAA; we don’t need a Big Brother movie agency.
                Music, there’s another fun one for you. Wal-Mart, I’m looking at you. Why is Wal-Mart allowed to sell edited CDs? No I’m sorry. They should be allowed to sell edited copies. The real question is why don’t they sell the original cut of the album in the way the artist intended also? If they want to restrict the sale of a CD based on lyrical content to a minor, they have that right as a company. It’s also very much appreciated by parents. Why don’t they have the un-edited one for me the adult? The answer is because Wal-Mart does not want you to hear the un-edited CD because someone at Wal-Mart has deemed it in bad taste. Once more I will say, bad taste doesn’t mean a damn thing when compared to the law of the land, the United States Constitution. I will give Wal-Mart this though, they do mark that their CDs are edited. Some other outlets do not. I bought 3 copies of the last Meatloaf album from 3 different stores before I got the one with Meatloaf singing “she’ll fuck you when she’s done,” on the track “Like A Rose.” Was the word “fuck” really necessary to my enjoyment of this album? No, not really. But it was the lyric the artist chose and let’s be honest, when you’re singing along do you want the chorus to drop off or worse have a beeping sound? That really throws off the flow of the song!
                So, I hope you think about what I have said. I hope you realize that bad taste, popular opinion, and individual morals and motives cannot interfere with our 1st Amendment. It is what separates us from unjust dictatorships. When we ban one thing we soon ban something else. It’s a slippery slope that leads to nowhere good. We as Americans must learn to be tolerant of each other and the different beliefs and opinions that we carry. I would love to see the entire world live with that philosophy but for now, if we can embrace it ourselves, I’ll be more than happy. You don’t have to agree with what someone says but you should be able to acknowledge their right to say it. Art is a form of expression and therefore it must also be protected under that same clause. If you believe that what I say isn’t worthy of the constitution’s protection because you find it to be in bad taste, there are plenty of other countries with your beliefs you could be living in. Agree with me, cool. Disagree with me, cool. Don’t restrict me. It’s un-American my friend.