Disclaimer: I am not an investment advisor. When I describe my own trading activities, it is not intended as advice or solicitation of any kind.

14 October 2012

Happy 1993

In 1993, I moved from my suburban prison in Palatine, IL to a downtown apartment in the Chicago Loop. I sold my car and started walking to work, saving a ton of money on car payments, insurance, gas, and parking. I was still putting in killer hours at the job, though, so there was little time for metal. This month we welcome a new face to the motley collection of usual suspects: Tool. I only have one album by Tool, which is 10,000 Days (2006), but I enjoy the deep-dark style and brooding sort of flavor to the sound. Will Tool's first album reflect this style, or will they evolve into it over time?

Accept: Objection Overruled - Accept is a tough band for me to enjoy. The guitars are good, which is important, and the chords aren't repetitive, which is a major annoyance (looking at you, In Living Color). But the vocals sound so much like AC-DC, which drives me crazy with its machine-like repetition, that I have a hard time letting go of the vocal similarity and just ... Accept Accept (ha!). The very first song on this album, my first comment to myself was, "ugh, this sounds just like AC-DC." It took a little while for me to realize it was only the voice. The rest is actually pretty good.

Anthrax: Sound of White Noise - This CD is terribly tardy, and I'm tired of delaying this blog post because of it. I will try to remember to update when/if it arrives.
Dio: Strange Highways - Dio just keeps getting better. This album wasn't a big splash when it came out, but I think it's nearly as good as Holy Diver (1983). Tracy Griljalva joins the team as lead guitarist, and I hope he sticks around for a while. The only criticism I can think of is that the tempo is a little slow and plodding. But I think Dio makes that work better than most.
Motorhead: Bastards - When I first added Motorhead to the Year-a-Month project, I glanced over the impressive list of albums they had released over the years, and wondered how a drug-addled three-man band could possibly come up with that much material. The answer, of course, is that they're very formulaic. But it's a good formula, so what the heck.
Overkill: I Hear Black - Overkill is a guitar-lover's band. The rhythm guitar riffs never fail to get my head banging, and the lead guitar blends into and out of the rhythm better than almost any other band. I Hear Black was their most popular album so far, which wasn't saying much. This is not a big-name band, by any stretch, which is a shame.
Tool: Undertow - Annoyingly, Tool chooses to run their track count up to 69, with 59 tracks of 1-second silence before the last track. Needless to say, these tracks didn't make it into the music library. I was of course familiar with the hit Sober, but most of the other tracks were new to me. Sure enough, the characteristic broody darkness found in later Tool works was on full display in this debut album. This should make excellent programming music.

09 October 2012

Somewhat Tarnished

So here's a weird factoid. A year-old post, Dipped In Gold, wherein I discussed a bit of investing I had been up to, has suddenly been picked up on the spammer circuit. It has about 10x as many pageviews in the past week as my next most popular post, Booting Custom ISOs with Syslinux, and has already appeared in the top-10 of all time. I'm getting about 2-3 spam-comments a day, which is a huge load for a blog that generally can expect one comment from a friend about heavy metal bands every couple of months.

I have no idea what random keyword inspired the bot-frenzy, but here is a representative sample comment:

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it
for you? Plz answer back as I'm looking to create my own blog and would
like to know where u got this from. many thanks
Stop by my homepage : carton of newport cigarettes

The reference to cigarettes in the "payload" seems to be a pretty strong pattern, appearing in nearly all the comments in some form. I miss the good old days when it was all about porn and ED drugs of questionable provenance and wildly creative spelling.

In other news, for the 5 of you that enjoy reading the Year-a-Month posts, I have another one nearly done - I'm just waiting for a couple more CDs to arrive.