Behold – Old Age!

Oh, Norwegian Black Metal – you make everything funnier…

Huzzah – it’s my 40th birthday!

And to celebrate this momentous transition from the joys of youth to the inexorable call of the grave, my teeth have elected to cause me nominal (but omnipresent) pain.  This, I rather suspect, is a herald of things to come – not that I’m being negative or having the first vestiges of a mid-life crisis or anything…

Mrs Rolling Eyeballs was kind enough to obtain the new Devin Townsend album, “Epicloud” for me as a birthday present and I’m going to be listening to that later on.  I also received “X-Men First Class” on Blu-Ray (I suspect that Rose Byrne‘s presence in the latter might help me forget my grumbling gums for an hour or two) and various vouchers from folk and nice cards, so it’s nice to know that people were bothered enough to celebrate with me (particularly as I didn’t do much shouting about the fact).

If it’s your birthday today too, have a great day and share it with people you love (it makes all the difference…)

Wolverine, Gangnam Style…

The cuddlification of Wolverine continues apace…

Korean rapper and stylish gent-about-town Psy gets everywhere, doesn’t he?  Including hanging out with that lovely Wolverine fellow (via the medium of his Human Life Decoy Model, Hugh Jackman).

Bound to be remembered as ‘that Gangnam Style‘ dude for the rest of his days, Psy’s tune is one of those things that you hear once and have running around your mind for the next few weeks.

So, you probably shouldn’t have clicked on the link above to his video.  Sorry about that.

Still, at least you have Mr Jackman’s next bout of Canadian Beserker rage to look forward to in “The Wolverine” next summer…

(Not) Lazy Sunday…

How to confuse and bewilder a simple mind with one easy device…

Every family has their resident, unpaid technology whisperers – the one, uniquely calming soul who speaks fluent gadget, effortlessly tweaks new mobile phone settings and performs that most essential of modern miracles, making the internet work.

In my family, I am that unfortunate soul.

The major problem with that, of course, is that I’m entirely self-taught and nowhere near being a network engineer, so the major stuff which goes wrong is absolutely beyond my ken.  Power-cycle a router? Can do.  Install software and do updates?  No problem.  Reinstating an internet connection which is shown as being connected but fervently resisting any attempt to allow any device in the house to connect to the internet?  Utterly bewildering.

After the best part of two hours on the phone with my ISP’s technical support team (and three hours of shutting down, starting up, plugging in ethernet cables and grimacing before that), we finally got the damn thing working again by jiggling a pin in a small, hidden port to reset the device entirely.   It feels insulting, somehow.

Yes, I have tried turning it off and on again…

I’ve had better Sunday afternoons, let me assure you.  But everything appears to be working now and Mrs Rolling Eyeballs has been able to blog again and work so I feel as though my wasted hours of first world problems, switching on and off again, obtaining ethernet cables and obsessive tea drinking were all worth the dubious pleasure of chatting with outsourced call centre staff who couldn’t understand my not especially difficult to understand Northern British accent, wouldn’t accept that my PC’s settings were not located where they expected them to be and the sudden, inexplicable collapse of my laptop battery.

It sounds like a horrendous cliché, but it’s true – you really don’t miss the things you take for granted until they’re snatched away by the dread faeries of soul-crushing tech fail…

Today’s Band You’ll Hate – Blood On The Dance Floor…

 

Gentlemen, Jareth from “Labyrinth” called – the Goblin King wants his hair back…

You may blame/praise Merl at Metal Hammer magazine for this one – as host of the venerable UK rock magazine’s podcast, he today introduced me to Floridian Crunkcore scene kids, Blood on the Dance Floor and befuddled my poor mind.

As observed on the podcast, the band look like the dark aftermath of a backstage fight between Black Veil Brides, ‘Shout at the Devil‘ era Motley Crue and British Black Metal loons, Cradle of Filth (they of the charming ‘Jesus is a C…’ t-shirt), yet sound all electronic, spacey and not very metal at all.

My poor brain – it is confused.

Have a listen to the band’s “Unforgiven” on You Tube – it’s like the video mastering facility accidentally mashed up some 80’s glam band’s power ballad video with some hipster European indie-dance track and this absurdity ensued.

All very big with The Kids, I don’t doubt – though a tune would be just peachy…

 

Dark Passion Play?

 

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Yep, fellow Nightwish fans, this one’s for us.

In a rather unexpected announcement on Monday – which you can read here – the band announced that they were parting company with singer Anette Olzon, who in turn replaced much-loved original singer Tarja Turunen  in 2007.

It’s all a bit out of left field, frankly.  Anette missed a show on the band’s current US tour due to hospitalization, recuperated and then played one last show a day or two later before Monday’s announcement arrived and made me do the proverbial spit take.

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A paranoid side of me was convinced that the Nightwish show that Mrs Rolling Eyeballs and I are going to see in November was going to be cancelled – that hasn’t transpired, as the band have recruited former After Forever and current ReVamp vocalist Floor Jansen to complete the rest of the ‘Imaginaerum‘ tour.

I’m glad that I get to see Nightwish, and I’m sure that Floor is going to be a fantastic guest singer, but I’m sad that I don’t get to see Anette play with the band.  She may not have had Tarja’s insane vocal range, but her voice was distinctly different to a lot of the singers on the symphonic metal scene.

Witness one of my favourite Nightwish songs, “The Islander” – not your soaring, octave-busting kind of song, but certainly one of the songs that I looked forward to perhaps hearing Anette sing live.  C’est la vie – perhaps we’ll get to see her in the UK with whatever project she fronts next?

A lot of fans are eagerly speculating who Nightwish will audition to be their next lead singer – speculation which might yet run and run as I’m fairly certain that the band are taking much of 2013 off to allow keyboard player/founding member/awesome dude Tuomas Holopainen to work on a solo record.

But if they want to get somebody with amazing vocal range, Diabulus In Musica’s Zuberoa Aznárez rocks…