Meta blogging; Ozzfest

I spent some time today screwing around with the layout of my page. I came up with a couple of things that I kind of liked, but nothing that I was sure enough about to commit it to the internet. The thing is that without any advertising logos to put on here it just seems foolish for me to have it divided as it is, when there is so little information in the left column. I like the things that I do have over there, but on the occasions where I actually write a bit there is just a lot of dead space over there. Conversely, when I removed the left column the daily text stretched so far that it became difficult to keep the eyes on the correct line. That led to me reducing the size of the table, leaving about 40% of the screen as just background.

Once again I realize why I just ripped off this layout instead of coming up with something of my own.

Having written the previous, I went on to spend a lot of time looking for a few songs that I remember fondly, with hopes of updating my side bar. It turns out that the first three I thought of were absolute shit, and the one that I ended up placing there was not far behind. I guess that is why every generation hates the music that their parents listened to, considering that I can hardly listen to most of the hair band shit that I used to listen to. The one saving grace of my generation is that we have Megadeth and Metallica to listen to in a pinch. I don’t mean the horrible soap-opera-esque crap that they started putting out in the mid-late ’90s, I mean the real Metallica and the real Megadeth.

I am sure that every generation makes a stand like this at some point. Trying to defend the music that they grew up listening to against the new bands that are coming out. The thing that makes me think that some of the power bands that I was listening to when I was sixteen, Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera specifically, are better than the bands of today is the fact that they are being played on the radio in rotation with the new Metal. Perhaps that is just in the area I live, but the fact is that they are still being played, more than twenty years later. The only other songs that get that kind of air-play are oldies.

As I approach 30, I realize that I am no longer the kid that used to bang his head while listening to the old metal bands, but when I see kids half my age wearing ‘Master of Puppets’ t-shirts, I realize that some of the kids are still listening to it.

I had the opportunity to go to OzzFest last summer, thanks to my wife having an amazing job where she won V.I.P. tickets to the event. The one thing about that experience that really surprised me was the sheer number of old metal t-shirts I saw. I felt like I was damn near the oldest person there, but lots of the kids were wearing Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Anthrax, Slayer t-shirts, regardless of the fact that they weren’t even alive while those bands were in their prime.

I sure hope that by the time I reach say 50 I will quit trying to defend all of the metal that I listened to when I was a teen, but the sad truth is that there is just nothing coming out today that is as heavy and even tries to tell a story. Thunderous guitar riffs are pretty easy to come up with, the hard part is making something that will last. You can have the heaviest riff known to man, then have someone just scream, “keep on rollin’, rollin’, rollin’,” over the top of it and it will be absolute garbage. Put that next to the riffs in a song such as Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”, which is basically an anti-drug campaign, but it tells a story and it sticks. I am sure you can see the difference. If you can’t then I am old.

• The aforementioned OZZFEST was by far the best show that I have ever seen. There were so many bands there that I could not possibly list them all. The ones that played the main stage, though, were Chevelle, Disturbed, Korn, Marilyn Manson and, of course, OZZY. We wandered around the festival for a good five hours or so before they actually opened the entrances to the main stage. I was able to see a couple of bands, like Voivod, on the second stage that I had always wanted to see. There was another band on the second stage called MotoGrater that I mention only so you will know the name.

I don’t remember the exact date that the show was, but it was in the middle of the summer, in Arizona. Temperatures outside that day were over 110 degrees, which led to us using our V.I.P. passes frequently to get to the only area with a misting system, and the V.I.P. restrooms, which were the only air-conditioned place in the whole venue. It was there, the bathroom, that I met the guys from MotoGrater as they were trying to wash off the silly make-up that they put on before they do a show. An hour or so later, I met the bassist for Korn in the same restroom. Keep in mind that it is tough to try to talk to someone while they are pissing in the urinal next to you, let alone ask for an autograph. I briefly thought about shaking his hand, as we were walking away, but considering that neither of us had stopped at the sink to wash our hands, I thought better of it. And NO, I didn’t look at his Johnson. I stared at the wall just like I always do. I did ask him if he was in the band ‘Korn’ and he said that he was. Then he asked me who was on stage, I told him who it was (though I can’t remember at this point), and he disappeared through a door marked “NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL BEYOND THIS POINT”. I didn’t try to follow.

I was absolutely blown away by Marilyn Manson. I do not care for their music, but won’t turn it off if it is on the radio, it is just the kind of thing that I don’t actively hate, or like. His (their) theatrics really stole the show. To the point that I was a bit disappointed when I finally got to see Ozzy (for the first time in my life). Manson certainly took care to stage a show that would shock and entertain you for his full set. The rest of the bands, Ozzy included, just did their songs. I will give ozzy a bit of lee-way on this one, since he is no spring chicken, but the other bands, like Korn, couldn’t they have done something other than just play their songs?

Manson had choreographed marionettes (they were actually people behaving as such) that did things for his entire set. He had a little tiered stage kind of thing that they would climb. It is difficult to describe, but it was an experience. The other bands just played their songs. If you want to hear the song, you have the cd, the sound quality is going to be a lot better, just listen to the damn cd. Marilyn Manson, on the other hand, really sold me the experience. Even though I do not like Marilyn Manson, I would be more likely to buy tickets to his next concert than I would be to buy tickets for the next, say, Korn concert…Even though I like Korn a lot more than I like Manson.

That is about enough for today. Feel free to email me if you agree/disagree, that is why I put the link down there after all.

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