Podcast Really Close to Being Done

11 06 2008

The premier episode of the Yesterdazearcade podcast is podcast just about complete! I was going to post it last night but decided that I need to flesh it out and edit it a bit more. I want to add a review or opinion piece…
But until then, if you want to hear what I have so far, you can listen to the rough draft at http://drop.io/yesterdazepodcast/ or if you want the rss feed try this
It is mostly a rambling piece that is pretty boring, but It’s the first one. I am going to organize the following episodes into more cohesive segments. Heck, I might actually write some stuff instead of just making it up as I go along like I did in this episode. There is a really good humorous personal look back at being a young teen in the 1984 by my friend Myles. I hope you like it, as I did. I could relate to it all since I lived it too! Well, like I wrote already, it should be done very soon, but go ahead and listen to the rough cut and let me know how terrible it is!

music note While writing this, I was listening to “No Reason” by Pepper

I have finaly bought a Vectrex!!!

28 01 2008

Those who know me, know that I collect video game systems – especially vintage video game systems. Well, this weekend I found the systemVectrex-angle-slot-small that for me is the Holy Grail of video game systems: The Vectrex.

“What the heck is a Vectrex?” is the kind of response that I get from most people when I mention this system. For a more detailed look at the Vectrex, go to the Vectrex Wikipedia entry. I’ll give you a brief description. Vectrex was a home video game system released late 1982 by General Consumer Electric (GCE), in time for the Christmas buying season. The Vectrex stood apart from other game systems in many ways, none the least of which was the fact that it sported it’s own monitor!

Looking a little like an original (or classic) Apple Macintosh if it had been specifically designed for Darth Vader, this amazing machine had a black and white vector monitor housed in a monolith-like black vertical case. The Vectrex used a vector monitor, because it displayed vector graphics: line based graphics. If you ever seen the classic arcade games Asteroids, Battlezone, Star Wars or Tempest then you know what I mean. At the time, this was the best way to get sharp, detailed graphics on a screen. Vector graphics cannot properly be displayed on a standard television screen. Another benefit of the built in screen is not needing to hog the television: back in 1982, a lot more housVectrex-straight-oneholds only had one television! It also had a more sophisticated sound processor allowing it to reproduce better sound effects and music. Heck, the game Spike even had voice! This is something that was so very rare at the time (1982 was a long time ago), that most systems simply couldn’t do it. The Mattel Intellivision needed a separate expansion device to reproduce sound – Vectrex did it from the start.

So, to make a long story just a little less long, I got the Vectrex and three games for about $150 Canadian (at the moment about $149.80 U.S.). I probably could have paid less online somewhere, but shipping would have been stupidly high… So I am very happy!

Below is a little video of my Vectrex!

Black Sabbath ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

22 03 2007

Tony Iommi - Guitar GodMarch 13, 2007 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton was like a day lost in time: It could easily been a late Winter day in 1981 or so… and that was a GOOD thing.

That was the day (well night really) of the the Heaven and Hell concert (read that as Black Sabbath show). The show was simply fantastic. Although it’s been 25 (or so ) years since this version of Black Sabbath first got together, after the firing/quitting of Ozzy Osbourne, they still knew how to blow the roof off a place.

Ronnie James Dio, vocalist extraordinaire, still has an amazing set of pipes, despite being in his mid 60s. Sure, he doesn’t quite have the range that he used to, but he managed to change up his singing so as to not end up cracking or dropping any of the lyrics. Tony Iommy, well he seems to be getting better with age ( as good guitarist seem to do). His riffs were tasty as they always are and the solos cut through tio my soul. Geezer Butler was as solid as he always is. That man could knock down the walls of Jericho with that bass of his. Vinnie Appice, the veteran drummer still has what it takes. Rock solid beats and a fantasic solo… These guys show that getting old doesn’t have to mean getting boring.

The set was energetic and classic. Opening with the erie instrumental, E5150, and sliding into After All (the Dead), the band led the audience through a classic Metal adventure that few will forget (until the onset of Alzheimer’s, that is – hey, there were a lot of older guys there 😉 ) . It was a long set of about twenty songs, including the three new songs that they recorded for the anthology, The Dio Years. It’s hard to pick highlights from a show that rocked through and through, but if forced, I would have to say that Sign of the Southern Cross, Children of the Sea, Voodoo, Heaven and Hell (of course!), and Neon Nights stood out as especially great moments… but if you asked me ten minutes from now that list might change – it was that good.

Opening band Megadeth has been doing this thing since the 80’s, and although I have never been a fan of them, they did perform a professional, tight show that was nearly flawless.

Man… I loved this show!

My Trogdor Tattoo – In all it’s Majesty!!!

7 03 2007

Another thing I did in Edmonton was get a tatoo before the Wolfmother concert. My friend Clint who happens to be a good tattoo artist (see his portfolio at Raptor Tattoo – this will open in a new window) did the work. I dropped by Clint’s work to pick him up for the concert. I was a little early, and since he had no clients at the time, I decided to get a tattoo that Clint had suggested a while ago – Trogdor the Burninator. For those that are not familiar with Trogdor, I’ll briefly explain: Trogdor is a character from a hilarious web site called Homestar Runner. I am in no way affiliated with the creators of the Homestar Runner – I just think they create some of the funniest material on the “Net today. Click this LINK to find out more. A quick tattoo, Clint had it done with plenty of time for the show…

Wolfmother Live in Concert

6 03 2007

Hey all (if anyone is really there!)…

As per my previous post on the subject, I went up to Edmonton on February 25th, 2007 to see a Wolfmother concert with my good friend, Clint.

Well, The Wolfmother show has come and gone and I was blown away. I have seen anywhere from 40-50 concerts in my life (so far), and I have to say that this show ranks in the top 5. They rocked from beginning to end with an energy that was infectious.

The show was general admission, and with the help of a good friend, we made it to within about 15 feet of the stage and had a pretty good view of the show. Aside from some large screens that the show was projected on, the light show was very basic, but that did nothing to detract from what was coming going on on the stage… and that was some old school Rock N’ Roll of a type that seems so very rare now…

Anyway, they started their set off with the song, Dimension and never looked back. Partway through the show the lead singer commented on playing in the World’s Largest Mall, and that he had seen a flamingo for the first time, and that it just happened to be in said mall. Then he toasted to the flamingo and continued on in to some more rock. A power trio, these boys from Australia sound like they’ve been doing this kinda’ thing for 20+ years.

A great show. If I get the opportunity, I would definitely see them again.

Next stop: Black Sabbath!!! (Yeah, yeah, I know: they’re using the name Heaven and Hell…but that doesn’t fool anyone).

Two Potentially Awesome Concerts in My Near Future

9 02 2007

Hello all (anyone?)…

Well, I thought I would take the time to brag about two exciting (to me, at least) concerts I’ll be attending in the near future.

Wolfmother Album coverThe first one takes place February 25th in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and is Wolfmother. This band just rocks. Apparently they are a bunch of young guys out of Australia that sounds like they time travelled from 1972 (or so) to rock our modern world. They have a huge retro hard rock sound that I freakin’ love. If these guys are even half as good live as they are on cd, then this will be a great show. The venue they are playing is called Reds. Reds is a large bar/enertainment center. I’ve never watched a band there, but I know others that have and they say it’s not a bad place to see live music.

Heaven and HellThe next show is thew real big one: Black Sabbath (touring under the moniker, Heaven and Hell), March 13th at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have been a big Black Sabbath fan for a long time, and this incarnation of Black Sabbath is my personal favourite. This is Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath. For those that are not familliar, I will fill you in. When Ozzy Osbourne left/was kicked out of Black Sabbath in 1979/80, Ronnie James Dio was asked to step up to the mic and take over the spot of lead vocalist of the worlds Greatest Heavy Metal Band (my opinion, but hey, it’s my Blog). They released The two excellent studio albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, along with the live album Live Evil (Black Sabbath’s first “official” live album), before Dio parted company with the band. Several years later this incarnation of Black Sabbath reunited and released the album Dehumanizer. A song from this album, TV Crimes, made it’s way onto the Wayne’s Word 2 soundtrack. Part way through the tour for Dehumanizer, Ronnie James Dio left the band.

Any way, those are the shows. I will post reviews of them after the fact. Keep watching!