Like I said I might

The second band I totally fell for was Savatage. I picked up their then current compilation album From the Gutter to the Stage, and their blend of theatrical metal and symphonic rock totally blew me away. In a short time, I picked up all their albums, and being the total idiot I am, I just had to find out everything there was to find out about them. It was just a matter of time before I would get to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

I was going to work out the story, but then I got bored. Do your own research, crapdammit. Here are some songs.

  • Savatage’s “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” [download] was the song that started it all. It first appeared on the Savatage album Dead Winter Dead. After being rebranded to TSO, it was a huge radio hit, and is still the trademark song.
  • “A Star To Follow” [download] is taken from Christmas Eve and Other Stories.
  • “The Three Kings and I (What Really Happened)” [download] features the late Daryl B. Pediford on vocals is from the second album, The Christmas Attic. It’s the funky but true story of the the Three Kings.
  • “Wizards in Winter” [download] from The Lost Christmas Eve is very close to be overly pompous, but hey, what’s wrong with that?
  • “What Child Is This?” [download] is by far my most favorite song from the last album. Vocals are by sometimes Steinman-collaborator Rob Evan, which might explain the Broadway-vibe I get from this.

As a final note to TSO-mastermind Paul O’Neill: you can go ahead and keep making these very lucrative Christmas albums, but can the fans have Savatage back?

First Lines: No one belongs here more than you

Ever since I first saw Miranda July‘s movie Me and You and Everyone We Know, I loved it. Earlier this year she launched a website for her upcoming short stories collection. Loved it to bits. The website. The book, not so much.

Maybe it’s one of those books that need more time and a second read. We’ll see.

No one belongs here more than you. Stories by Miranda July
It still counts, even though it happened when he was unconscious.

Random thoughts for today

Some things that were running through my mind today:

  • Earlier today, the song “One of Us” was played on the radio. The second verse asks,

    If God had a face, what would it look like
    And would you want to see
    If seeing meant that you would have to believe
    In things like heaven and in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets.

    And I think that, yes, I would like to see God showing up and showing His face. That is probably all that’s needed to make a believer out of me.

  • Related to this, Desmond Child used this song to defend his nonsensical lyrics for “If God Could Talk“. This discussion between him and Todd Rundgren is gold.
  • Two days ago, I received a copy of Karla DeVito’s 1982 Christmas-single, “Santa Claus is Coming to my House”. [mp3 download / lyrics] (Karla is the woman you see but don’t hear in the video for that song by Meat Loaf.) Maybe I’ll post some more seasonal music next week, to counter all the crappy Christmas music.
  • Put the FSM back in ChriFSMas.
  • In the light of Ike Tuner’s passing: can you value work produced by someone whose private life and acts you find appalling?
  • To quote the great philosopher Shania Twain, You must be joking, right?: Christian teenagers watch porn, too. (in Dutch)

The Thing that Should not Be

Most people will know about my strong dislike of that worthless excuse for a browser that is Internet Explorer, and some will even share it. So when I found a tutorial for a plush IE Voodoo Doll, I LOL’d. And then I just had to get all arts-and-crafty:

The Thing that Should not Be

First Lines: Rose Madder

Bookstores are literally littered with books. Finding a book to read within such confines requires some sort of approach. There is one theory by Marshall McLuhan (he of “the medium is the message” fame) that says you should take a book, turn to page 69 and read it. If you like that page, take the book home and read it. If not, don’t.

One could ponder and theorize about the ‘page 69 test’, or one could put it to test. Let’s do the latter.

On page 69 of Stephen King’s Rose Madder, we find Rosie McClendon sitting in the office of a woman’s shelter, after she fled from her abusive husband. Here, she is told that Providence (with a capital P) brought her to the shelter, and when asked what her skills are, she realizes she has none.

Is this representative of the book as a whole? I think so. As far as the story goes, it isn’t overly exciting. A woman flees from home, and a mad man follows. The supernatural angle didn’t sit well with me, just as the concept of providence: it’s like saying that there’s no such thing as luck and everything happens the way it happens because of some supernatural force. A painting that works as door to another world (This world, all worlds…) is a nice concept, but the way the Rosie’s problem is taken care of in that world feels like a cop-out. If it wasn’t written so well, it probably would have been a unremarkable novel. The few allusions to the Dark Tower — …like a rare flower in a weedy vacant lot… — are nice for fanboys like me, but no big deal in the greater scheme of things.

Still, great first line.

Book read
Stephen King — Rose Madder
First line
She sits in the corner, trying to draw air out of a room which seemed to have plenty just a few minutes ago and now seems to have none.