Five Christmas Songs You Won’t Hear Where You Are Shopping

Hi folks. This post is my pre-Christmas post for this year, about 5 of my favourite Christmas songs you won’t hear in any shopping mall or coffee shop, you happen to stop in. The one thing they have in common is that they are not traditional Christmas songs (with one exception) and are original songs written by the artists. Something else they have in common is that they are not necessarily well known by the mainstream and only to the audience of the band and or radio format they are played on. In one case, I learned about the song through a book on the song writer and performer, writen by himself. It is a repost from 2016 but I felt it needed an update and so, here is the list for this year.

The first song on my list is Santa Claus Is Comin To Town. Wait! What? Yes, this is a Christmas song but the version I want to bring to your attention is by Bahamian born idiosyncratic guitarist Joseph Spence. Actually, he plays guitar and well… he sings to but in his own unique way. Actually, he more or less grunts and groans his way through the songs he sings, while playing his out of tune guitar in open tuning. It’s going to be hard to listen to, without laughing or wanting to smash your phone or computer, depending on your reaction to it but, here is the song.

Did you get through that song? If so, the next song on my list is Thank God It’s Christmas by Queen, which is written by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. This song was released in December 1984 at the end of The Works album cycle and it has appeared on a couple of Queen albums since. The most recent appearance is on the 2011 Deluxe version of The Works. I had performed it in 1992, with my best friend Bob Reid at our school and it went over well. Here is the Queen version of the song.

This next song will make the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” brouhaha seem like small potatoes. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues is my next choice as one of my favourites. I had actually heard it for the first time, during Christmas 1995 and it didn’t really catch on with me, until some time in the last 9 years or so when I had heard it on more radio stations and recently read about the song on Wikipedia. I like it because of the dialog in the song and the fact that the woman refers to the man as “you scumbag you Magette, you cheap lousy faggot” referring to the man’s drunkenness. Here is the song.

My next two choices require a disclaimer. If you are offended by the language in either of the next two songs, I apologize. However, I feel the songs are important to bring to your attention and, I happen to like them.

Next is a song by a member of Monty Python. Also, a guest star on The Simpsons, as well as having success with musicals and other works. Did I mention that he is a song writer too? He certainly wrote one of the most popular songs at funerals, as far as I know. Yes,Eric Idle has written Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life and this next song on my list. The song is simply titled Fuck Christmas and I heard about it, while listening to the audiobook version of his latest book “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: A Sortabiography”. I highly recommend purchasing the audiobook version of it because, you get to hear Eric himself, read it to you and I will warn you, that there will be a lot of names dropped besides his fellow Monty Python members. Anyway, here is the song, in all its uncensored glory, even if the sound is crappy and it is in mono.

The final song on my list of Christmas songs you will not hear anywhere you are shopping or dining is x-M@$ by Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour. It was released in 2010 as a Christmas single, with any money from sails going to charity. In the song, The protagonist is a man who hates Christmas and all that goes with it and would rather be drunk or stoned on this Yuletide holiday. There are even a few four letter words in the song and a clean version was also produced for radio and for people who would be offended.

To those who would expect a more traditional song from Corey, I say that it isn’t surprising that he wrote a song for those who hate Christmas and also, Corey plays music that is subversive and is not for the Grandma’s and Grandpa’s of the world. It’s for the younger croud of 50 and under who would get that the song is not a serious hatred of Christmas tune, from the singer. I’ve heard that Corey actually likes Christmas and I believe him. I’ve met him and despite him throwing people out of Slipknot shows and throwing water on people, who are texting during the concert, I have nothing bad to say about him. He was great to me and we had Tim Hortons coffee together and he had it black and I had a double-double. Anyway, here is the song.

Well, there is my list of my 5 favourite Christmas songs. What have we learned about them? Well, I am sick of the traditional same all Christmas songs because, we hear them everywhere. Also, I thought that some reality about this time of year, should be brought into more people’s heads. Besides, the season isn’t all about magic and miracles, especially if you are on the streets begging for change and in need of warm things to ware. Also, what about those crying kids who have to go to the bathroom, while you are shopping for gifts and having to risk being trampled upon? Also, don’t the big mall and fast foodchains take into account those who can’t stand hearing the same Christmas songs, over and over again? It’s not something that puts me in the mood and playing all Christmas music on the radio doesn’t make me want to go shopping either. Rock radio has the right idea, in that Christmas music should be played from the previous weekend, until December 25th, but only once or twice an hour, along with the songs in regular rotation. They go all Christmas from Christmas Yves to the end of Christmas day and on December 26, everything is back to normal.

Sadly, 2 out of the 5 songs won’t be heard on the radio because of the language. The Queen song is probably the most radio friendly of the bunch, in that there is no bad language and it is written in a more traditional Christmas song, type formula. Although, it is a Queen song, after all. Santa Claus Is Comin To Town has been played on the radio but only on specialty shows, which accommodate music which is… well… different.

The other three songs on the list are here because, 2 out of the three reflect my feelings on Christmas these days. Fairytale Of New York is just a great song and it has certainly grown on me. The other two speak to how as an adult, the magic is gone and I even told someone in response to their question “are you ready for Christmas???” that I can’t wait until December 26th. I said that because all of the Christmas music will be put away for another year and we can get back to hearing normal songs on the radio and in the air, again.

Other things have made Christmas different, from how it was when I was a boy. Political correctness has unfortunately seeped into a lot of our culture these days and sadly, Christmas is no exception. I touched a bit on the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” crap earlier and there are other things which have ruined this great holiday for those of us, who are in our 40s and older. I leave you with this, from a friend on Facebook. I like this, as it’s a great comment on how Christmas has been ruined by: politics, commercialization and special interest groups.

Twas the Night before Christmas

and Santa was stressed

The elves were offended

by the way they were dressed.

Rudolph was heart broken

he couldn’t be consoled

they were attacking his cartoon

for bullying he was told

For years the great message

for kids young and old

was stand up to bullies

and you’ll be rewarded ten fold

Mrs Claus took his list

of children naughty or nice

after a complaint from a parent

saying that no longer applies

After complaints laid by PETA,

the reindeer were gone

The radio was silent

from offensive old songs

“C’mon Jolly old man”

said his wife Mrs Claus

“can I still use those terms

or have THEY been outlawed?”

So he packed up his sled

with acceptable toys

making sure none were specific

to girls or to boys

On Dasher on Dancer

Oh shit that’s not right,

I’ve lost all my reindeer

My God what a night….

Off into the darkness

with what’s left of his sanity

sadly shaking his head

and weeping for humanity


The End Of Itunes???

This is a post about something I read on another blog, written by someone whom I respect and who’s opinion I listen to. For some time, there have been roomers about the iTunes Store being shut down, in favour of Apple Music and other streaming sites. This is not a good step forward for a number of reasons. Before I get into them, I want to try and give you their own perspective on why they want to discontinue the store.

They see this as a way to direct consumers to no longer purchase music but stream it instead, through Apple Music and as their way, of allowing you to get more for less money. They also feel that people are buying iPhones more these days and now that the iPod touch is on the way out, why not get rid of this pesky store. Also, they probably had this plan in place a while ago but, we won’t know about the real endgame until it’s too late, like when the store is no longer active.

I disagree with the shut down for a number of reasons:

We should be paying for songs and albums we purchase because paying for streaming doesn’t offset the cost of studio time and the hours spent, working on the songs. It doesn’t matter if it is in the Brill Building or whether it is in a crappy motel on the road. These songs don’t just come out fully formed and recording them can be equally time consuming. Think of all the overdubs and multiple takes a song goes through, before the final version is mixed and released to the unsuspecting public. Streaming doesn’t pay for all of that sweat and patients and time the artist takes to write and record an album, no matter who gets money from it. So, paying for downloads is the right thing to do and not for streaming services. Yes, it is convenient to download as many songs as you want at any time but, think about the artist and what he, or she, has gone through to make this music for you to own and listen to, on the radio or in your music collection.

Unlike streaming services, you can actually keep what you download from iTunes forever. You can delete songs and albums from your library but, you can get them back from your hidden purchases. Right? It’s not hard to do, if you take the time to go into the iTunes store and into your account. With Apple Music, you can get songs and if you don’t want them anymore, you can throw them away, like garbage. What does that say to an artist who has spent all the hours, months,years, recording a bunch of songs for you? This devalues the music and is a slap in the face to the writer and performer! I will give you part of an email I sent to the author of the post, which inspired me to continue this subject. This will repeat a lot of what I said here but, it is worth it.

With music we can stream, we can get it and discarded like garbage but with purchased music, we can get it and keep it forever to use when we see fit. with streaming sites like Apple Music and others, this devalues the music as opposed to those of us, who prefer to own our music. Don’t people consider the hours of work it took to record the songs that we hear on the radio and elsewhere?

I agree that the convenience of being able to download as many songs as you want without purchasing them is great but that doesn’t make up the cost in time at the artist took to write and record the songs that we hear every day. Not to mention the studio time and money spent with this work, by big name artists and even small artists who are cutting their teeth to get to a level equivalent to Taylor Swift or Adele, or even Linkin Park. I dread the day that iTunes shuts down because of all the money spent in writing and recording the songs being wasted, on streaming music. Is it another sign that album sales don’t matter anymore? Also, we won’t be able to purchase TV shows and movies anymore, to watch and to keep them. It is nice to walk around with your favourite movie or TV show in your pocket, which you have purchased and can watch again and again. With iTunes going down, we can’t do that anymore and there is another thing to consider, we are using data to stream music, TV shows and movies. With stuff you’ve purchased, you don’t have to use more data than you need, in order to hear or watch it. Yes, there is an off-line option but it is only available if you have paid for the privilege of streaming music then, you can use it.

Unfortunately, Apple does what they want without consulting the consumer first and they only apologized for slowing down iPhones with software updates, because it would be bad for business if they hadn’t spoken up. However, at least some of us are trying to express our opinions, such as the author of the original post, myself and hopefully other bloggers. If enough of us speak up, then people will listen to us and see that this could be a dumb move going forward. Here is the original post, which inspired my email and this entry.

Telephone Scammers/. Scum

Hi folks. Has this ever happened to you? Have you had to deal with telemarketers or people who use tactics such as leaving a message in your voicemailbox, which says that if you don’t call them immediately they will serve you with an arrest warrant?

I am all for marketing but I think the people who have invented this rather annoying method of promotion are a real stain on society. So, I am raving against the telemarketing job and not the people who have to do this to make a living. They are forced to bother you whenever they can and at crucial times too, such as dinner or when you’re busy doing something. I especially detest those who disguise themselvs as A reputable company, who is trying to get information out of you, about something which isn’t their business. Another thing they would do is threaten you with arrest if you don’t call back as soon as possible, for monetary scams. They want to get money out of people, who may not have a lot to begin with and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

Some friends of mine were dinged by such fowel human treachery and what they do is leave a message on a voicemail, stating the arrest warrant, to get your attention. However, they start the message as the greeting plays, so you only hear the last part of it, so you call back and they can get you that way. That happened to me yesterday and I called back alright, but I wasn’t afraid and didn’t give them what they wanted. I kept asking “What’s the problem”? in order to rush them to their reason for the message on my answering machine. I was aggressive and didn’t back down in my insistence to find out what the problem was. When the guy asked for my name I gave it to him quickly and spelled it out in phonetics such as: G as in golf, oh as an Oscar, etc. I was quick, loud and angry and not submissive and the latter is what they wanted. I don’t know if I frightened them off but the first person who answered hung up. I called back a second time and that’s when I found out that this was a scam, when a woman answered and told me the “truth” after I explained what had happened. I had a feeling that something was up, when I heard a bunch of people yacking away, probably with similar skeams that have been concocted to get money out of people with a negative cash flow position and the intent to ruin lives.

Apparently, you aren’t supposed to call them back when a message in your voicemail stating an arrest warrant or some reason for wanting your money is left by these “people”. As I said, I called back and wanted to put a stop to it because, not calling them doesn’t necessarily deter them from pouncing on other unsuspecting people, with scams of all sorts. They will continue to do this until they are either put behind bars ant telemarketing is declared illegal. I will have something to say about email spam later!

These people target those who they think are either: dumb, naïve, afraid and will do anything anybody says regardless of the consequences. What they don’t want is somebody who will fight and Press their point about The reason for the message in the first place. I even posted about it on Facebook and obviously, I know what they are going through now with the data harvesting controversy. I won’t be afraid of it and I know my own mind and won’t be that easily swayed. Anyway, I digress.

I’m not the only one who is been either duped or had an attempted dupe buy these slime balls. Email spam is much easier to ignnore because you just read it carefully and then delete it quickly. You can’t do that so easily witha telephone scam. Besides, they can do just as much damage with a phone call as with clicking a mouse or tapping a screen to serve their nefarious purposes. Think of the psychological fear that such a call I found in my voicemail could have created. Then, think of how much of the same fear a spam email can create. It’s about the same, except that you can usually figure out if it is a legitimate or false. Just look at the language of how a person writes and the words they would use. Also, when people compose an email they have a certain style of composition and I have various styles I use, depending on the message I am sending.

I also have friends and know of people, who have had to resort to doing this kind of “work” and if you have been sucked into this vocational cesspool, I feel sorry for you. There are other ways to make a living, then trying to get money out of people, by any means necessary and not everyone is built mentally and emotionally to cary out such a job. It is sad that such a way of surviving exists and as I said earlier, I am all for marketing but bothering people during meals or important phone calls doesn’t give you any points. People hate it and will either tell you they are not interested or do other things, like hanging up or making it difficult for you to do your job, then blocking the number. Think about what Crank Yankers does, when people call them; they will use sounds to add humor to the call or other techneaks to disrupt the call, like having more than one person answer the phone. Anyway, I digress.

Anyway… with a phone call, unless you know the persons speaking voice, it is easier to suck people into something which could be harmful both psychologically and finantially. Think of the times when you have gone out and found a message in your voicemail from someone wanting a donation or something and there is no number to call back. If there is, it is either a number which has a full voicemailbox or you can’t call it back, period. I have had this experience with landlines and that is one of the reasons why I have given them up in recent years.

In conclusion, I won’t apologize for this post or my feelings on such an email or phone call because, people like that need to learn that not everyone will say yes and be either passive or compliant with their demands. You have to defend yourself and you can’t let such scum try and take your hard erned money, for what ever their reasons. I hope that within a few years, such scams will be either a thing of the past or relegated to email. After all, you just hit delete when such a message shows up in your spam. Right? Also, hopefully this doesn’t migrate to something like FaceTime. If it has… … ….

iPod Touch Seven

Hi folks. I feel I should talk about the iPod Touch today, because I have recently learned that the iPod Touch 6th generation may be discontinued as of iOS11.3. Currently, the 32 and 128 GB models are available for purchase but the prices have dropped. So, what does this mean for the iPod Touch in the future?

When I purchased my first one back in 2014 I had a 32 GB model, which was enough for a bit. But, I realized that I needed more space and so, I had acquired bigger capacity models and I currently own two 128 GB model’s. Why two of them you may ask? Well, one is for The Simpsons and the other is for everything else in my music, movie and audiobook library. I also bought them because I don’t like to listen to music on my iPhone because I can be more easily interrupted by all manner of things: text messages, tweets, Facebook posts, phone calls, etc.

Since the iPod touch six generation might be reaching the end of its life, I am hopeful that a seventh generation will be coming down the pike soon. After all, I mentioned earlier that the six generation might be discontinued as of iOS 11.3 and I stil have more episodes of The Simpsons to purchase, before I complete my collection of purchased episodes. What does Apple have in store for the iPod Touch? Will it die like the Shuffle or the Nano? I hope not, for reasons I had mentioned earlier and that we will have news coming soon, with new products from Tim Cook and company.

If the iPod Touch is killed off it will be a real shame because you will have less options for streaming and having it around does provide you with more than one option for this purpose. Even if you streem you may be able to keep the audio on more than one device and what ever device you choose. I’ve done it with both Spotify and Apple Music and, I’ve had varying degrees of success with keeping the music I downloaded. However, I am quite aware that with any streaming service we are merely renting the music and not necessarily keeping it forever, without paying every month for it with a subscription.

Also, what about the compact disk and its slow death? Yes, vinyl has made a resurgence but it’s not quite as portable as the CD or an iPod touch. With 12 inch records you can cary them around but only when you aren’t listening to them. Also, they and the CD can skip and scratch, if you are careless with them.

With an iPad you can use it as you could use a laptop in that, you can put your music on it, TV shows, audiobooks, at Cetera and of course, do all your work on social media and answering emails, for business or pleasure. Yes, an iPad is portable but not quite so durable in that, you can’t put it in your pocket and that is why an iPod touch is the most convenient and ideal device to cary with you. After all, it is light and not in any way, cumbersome.

Getting back to how we consume our music, I prefer buying mine through iTunes because with a few taps the song I want is mine, provided I have enough credit for my iTunes balance. Also, keeping music is ideal so you don’t have to connect to wifi and search for songs, for a specific purpose and then throw them out when you are done with them. This devalues the music and the work the artist has done with long hours and sweat in the studio. So, I will still purchase digital downloads because I want to keep what I listen to and not just have it temporarily or thrown away, because of a lack of space.

Also, with only an iPhone you have other things to contend with, for space. Think of the contacts and apps which you have purchased from The App Store and the software updates. Also, don’t forget about those who may have more than 128 GB of music, movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, etc, they may have accumulated over a number of years. The Simpsons alone, would require almost 256 GB which (at this time) you would need 2 iPod touches or one iPhone 8 or iPhone X, with that much capacity. Get my drift?

As for the forthcoming HomePod, I’m not quite so sure how it will work or how accessible is to not just people could see but also others who can’t. Using Siri to do things for you is one thing but using VoiceOver allows you to do a lot more and without use of data.

If there is to be a new iPod touch I hope that it will expand to 256 GB to allow for even more memory or maybe even 512 GB on one device. Yes, it’s a tall order but this would surely be a good thing for me, so I can store everything on one audio playing device and not worry about running out of space.

Before I forget, I should mention that I had read about the possible discontinuation on Wikipedia. I don’t know if it is correct but there are times when it is right on the money. If this is true then I will be happy to have told those who may not have time to read about their iOS device.

In closing, my request to Apple is to please, please, please consider giving us another iPod touch model. If you have decided to kill it off, please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE reconsider, for reasons I have stated above. After all, the sixth generation came out around the time Apple Music was launched in July 2015. Why not the seventh generation coming out this year too? After all, iOS11.3 is roomered to have changes to Apple Music in it so, why not? If you want to surprise us a new iPod touch seventh generation would be a pleasant one, even if it is bewildering to some. It would be a bold move, with The proliferation of streaming services, including Apple Music it’s self and Apple could add a few new goodies to the device. How about touch ID? I certainly hope that Apple is thinking about everything and not just the next iPhone or just how to further innovate. If that isn’t in the cards, I might as well contemplate getting an iPad Pro, with the capacity of 512 GB. After all, it would be my first ever iPadin my possession. Come to think of it, maybe the next iPad or iMac might have a capacity as large as 1024 gigabytes. Maybe I’m wishing for something really grand bud, I can dream. Can’t I?


Hi folks. It’s nearly the end of 2017 and what a year it was. Actually, what a year it was for deaths in music and particularly, the two passings I’m focusing on today. We have had many deaths in the past couple of years of notible people in music but the ones which really made me stand up and say “what the fuck” were singers Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Both of these deaths are linked together because of the methods of ending their lives, meaning suicide by hanging as well as their close friendship. Both these guys sang in more than one band and in fact, they sang in three bands each, during their careers as recording artists. Chester was lead vocalist for the bands: Linken Park, Stone Temple pilots and Dead By Sunrise. Chris was the singer for: Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave and they both were working at the time of their demises.

The first to join the choir invisible was Chris on May 18th and he had just finished playing a show with Soundgarden in Detroit and was staying at the MGM Grand Hotel. He was found by his bodyguard in the bathroom with an exercise band around his neck, hanging, suspended . I had been a fan and a follower of his work since the Badmotorfinger album and the song Rusty Cage, especially. My first Soundgarden album I had bought was Superunknown and my favourite songs were Black Whole Sun and Like Suicide. I liked the vocals and how his voice sounded different with each octive of his range and in the case of Black Whole Sun, I liked the panning voices from left to right, when he sings the title of the song. That album made me want to get more Soundgarden songs and I continued buying CD’s until they broke up and the best of album A -Sides came out in 1997.

As for Audioslave, I had the first album and I liked a lot of it too but he sounded different in that he sounded like he had, or was getting over a cold. If you have the first Audioslave album, listen to his lower range especially and you can hear what I heard and still hear in his voice. The next two albums went bak to his normal voice but it also retained the nasally sound in the higher range. The sound would stay with him until his death.

As for his solo albums, I wasn’t interested in them at first and I don’t know why. I think it was because I didn’t have a place in my Collection for them. I was always organizing my music by genre and I couldn’t figure out where to put Chris Cornell and his solo stuff, alongside his work in Soundgarden and Temple Of The Dog. Even after Audioslave had been and gone, I had stayed away from buying his solo albums but I have always kept up with what he was doing.

When I had bought them (after he died) I began to gravitate towards Scream because of one song. I thought that Long Gone was cool because it reminded me of gnarls Barkley and what he was doing at the time with that song suited his voice, regardless of what he was supposed to be known for as a singer. I also began to listen to some of the Higher Truth album and the songs: Dead Wishes, Bend In The Road, Worried Moon and the single Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart are my current favourites from that album.

As for the last Soundgarden album, (King Animal)I think it is fine for what it is. It isn’t the same as the older stuff but everyone had changed in their playing style and Chris had that different sound to his voice. However, it worked with songs like: Bones Of Birds and Eyelids Mouth, as my current favourites.

When Chris died I was shocked and all the memories of my favourite songs came flooding back and even his influence on me as a musician. I had recorded a song in 1997 called No I Can Not Stay, which had a similar sound to what Chris did with his solo albums. It isn’t available anywhere as a Digital download and appears on a compilation put together bye Hamilton CNIB. For the record, I sing and play all the instruments on the song! Anyway, I went out and bought everything again, as well as albums I hadn’t previously bought by Chris and the bands he played in. Yes, it is the classic case of when someone dies, you go out and buy everything they put out or as much as you can find.

In the case of Lincoln Park and Chester Bennington, my love for his music took a lot longer to grow then with Chris Cornell. I couldn’t stand his voice at first and I didn’t much care for the songs either, at the time. However, they eventually grew on me but I decided not to buy an album and just follow on the sidelines. I grew to respect Chester and the rest of the band and continue to follow them and keep an ear on what they were doing.

When the album One More Light was to come out in 2017 I had a feeling that it was going to be a turning point for the band. Sometimes I can sense these things but I can’t really explain why, until it’s too late and whatever happens, happens. For example: when Korn released the album Take A Look In The mirror in 2003, I sensed something was about to change in the band but I couldn’t fathom what it was. It was because of the sound of the album and because of how poorly it did, compared to their past albums. Then in 2005, Brian Head Welsh left the band and didn’t return until 2013.

Another example of this is when Queen were not touring to support The Miracle and innuendo albums and obviously, singer Freddie Mercury had been sick throughout the making of both albums and he died in November 1991, of bronchial pneumonia. This was more sudden, much like The suicides of both Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington but, there were indications that something was about to change. For example: listen to Freddys voice and it is thinner on the more recent material but, he could still hit the notes. Also, lyrically on the song The Show Must Go On, it was about Freddys bravery despite what he was dealing with and again, he nailed that vocal and there is no indication that he was sick other then, his ailing voice. There was also the lack of touring which really got people going, with roomers about Freddie’s health and well… we know now why.

In the case of Chester, I think it was his reaction to the critical reception to One More Light which should have tipped people off because he never seemed like someone who wanted to cause harm to anyone else, even if they spoke ill about the latest album. Yes, the death of Chris was on his mind and it changed him but I think that the negative reception to One More Light may have also pushed him over the edge. This is despite that Corey Taylor said that he should just give it time and let time change the minds of those who hated the album. Chester admitted that Corey was right and that he is a good dude. I agree that he is and having met him, I trust what he said to Chester, through the press.

fast forward, to July 20th, Chester was dead and I heard about it on Facebook first, before the radio. Obviously, I was shocked and sad to hear of this tragedy and it’s been on my mind, ever since then. I had bought all of Linken Park’s albums and I still have more to get if I wish to complete my collection. I grew to like most of One More Light and in particular, the song Sorry For Now, because of the sounds in the track. They remind ed me of today’s contemporary pop music and all of its quirks. I also became fond of the title track and even the first single Heavy. I also grew to like even more, songs such as: Lying From You, Waiting For The End and Burn It Down. All of these songs have great vocals and other sonic intricacies throughout them which also made me listen to them closer. For example: the samples in Lying From You and Waiting For The End. In the case of the latter, it was the remixed vocals from Chester that I thought was cool. Another song which is worth listening to is Robot Boy, from A Thousand Suns because it is mainly comprised of 3 part harmony, between Chester and Mike Shinoda. This song is (in a sense) completely different from anything in their discography or any band out of the alternative metal stew. It also reminds me of classic Genesis, from the progressive part of their career. For example: listen to most songs from the album Wind & Wuthering and pay attention to the keyboards. I hear some of that influence on the song too. Anyway, I digress.

In the case of tributes to him, my favourite one was from David Drayman from Disturbed, who wrote about going on tour with Linken Park and meeting him and his family. He made me laugh with all of his stories and you can probably still find his tribute somewhere on Google, if you want to look for it and read it.

Something else which made Chester’s death even more alarming was that when he spoke while being interviewed, he sounded like someone I had heard or known somewhere. It really hit me when he was doing an interview during the world premier for the album Minutes To Midnight in 2007. I can’t remember what he said exactly to trigger it but that voice always stuck in my head. Also, the day before Chris died, a panhandler came up to me while I was eating lunch at a donut shop. He asked me for money and said he was very hungry and when I heard him talk, he sounded similar to Chris Cornell. Of course, I didn’t think it was him but his death made me think of that guy.

Unfortunately, both these guys are gone and thanks to their deaths, the topic of depression was brought up in the media. Obviously, it’s very important to be there for somebody who is in the midst of depression and has suicidal thoughts. I’ve been there and thankfully, I am Lucky that mine was so mild that it didn’t require any drugs to alleviate it. Unfortunately, there are some people who are trapped in a more severe form of depression, it has become a source of conversation. It is so insidious that it takes iconic figures to die, in order for us to talk about it? There are warning signs for sure but they may not be obvious and if there is something going on with somebody we care about, we should just check in with them and see how they’re doing. Most importantly, listen to them and let them know that we’re there for them. It sounds so simple to do but it isn’t because of how fast paced our society is these days, with the immediacy of information at our fingertips and the addiction of social media and smart phones. Admittedly, I’m using mine right now to compose this blog post but, I am also aware of the human aspect of my being and that life is very fragile. After the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, I value my own life even more and especially now that I am passed 40. Especially because of their ages being 52 for Chris and 41 for Chester, at the time they shuffled off this mortal coil. I hope that I can live at least to 62 or 80 because 8 seems to be a number which comes up in my own life. My birthday is June 2nd (6th month and 2nd day of the month) and I moved into my own apartment at the age of 26. I bring it up because of both Chester and Chris being born on the 20th days of the month they were born on, as Chris Cornell’s birthday was July 20th and Chester Bennington’s birthday was March 20th. I don’t know how much numerology goes into this but because I’m 44 now, I’m in a year of my lucky number so… I wonder what they’re lucky numbers were!

Anyway, I’m glad they were here to give us all music to listen to and unfortunately because they’re gone, we have something to talk about and I’m sure there are others out there, who have depression and may or may not die because of it. Hopefully, we can save lives of others by just being there for them and let them tell us what’s going on and not force them to talk about it if they don’t want to, at the time. I can say for myself that I want to live as long as I can and be happy, for as long as I can be and hopefully, we can help to save more people from this insidious mental illness. Unfortunately, we’re going to see more people dying who are celebrities by various forms of suicide because of depression and it’s going to be repeated again and again, that we should be there for each other. Hopefully I’m wrong and there will be less suicidal deaths in the future. As for Chris and Chester, they are gone but not forgotten and the music will live on for as long as we live and as long as the fans want to hear their songs either on the radio, via streaming services or to purchase them on iTunes or on cd or vinyl.

iOS11 So Far

Hi folks. Here is my first post on how iOS11 is doing so far, since it was released on September 19th. There really isn’t much that I have noticed that is worthy of disgussion here, except for a few things.

First, the new Siri voices sound better and in particular, the American female Siri sounds rather hot. I loved the female Austrailian Siri but the new American Siri is just so good. Oh, the male Siri voice hasn’t changed all that much, much like the male and female Austrailian Siri voices. It’s just that the sound quality and some inflections have been tweaked. Other than that, the files are bigger and you have to be carefull which voice you want, so you don’t run out of space.

Speaking of which, I like the new offloading feature, for apps what you don’t use anymore. Although, I try not to use it because I just might want to use one of my apps which I have accidentally gotten rid of and by the way, if you want to re-download the app you should go straight to the App Store to do that. For some odd reason when you download the app using the app it’s self, it only downloads as much as 1% of the app. I have no idea why this is but that has been my experience so far.

Something else which I should talk about and nobody has mentioned to me is the peculiarity of the Apostrophe punctuation being replaced with a quotation mark in its place. Perhaps I should explain! If you type in an apostrophe using a Bluetooth keyboard or the screen keyboard it gives you a quotation mark of some sort and not an apostrophe as it should. However, if you touch the icon where this punctuation mark is and you hold your finger on it for the alternative characters, it shows up as an alternate character. My question is why? This is stupid and should be fixed immediately because this makes myself and others who are using this to compose emails, text messages, blog posts, etc, look like we can’t type properly. This also is the case with dictation, where the punctuation mark replaced by a quotation mark of some sort. Again, this should be fixed as soon as possible because more and more of us these days use our iOS devices as our main computer, while mobile. Am I right on this? However, there is a way to stop this and that is to go to Settings, go to General and go to Keyboard. Then look for Smart Punctuation and if it is on, turn it off. Now you can type ‘ to your hearts content. However, this should have been told to us that if we use the Smart Punctuation it will mistake an quotation mark of some sort for an Apostrophe.

There was also the issue of battery drainage but, I didn’t notice it that much. In fact, I never even knew about it until it was mentioned on the Internet. I find my battery in my iOS devices work just fine, despite the rather large iOS 11 and it’s updates so far, with the exception of iOS 11.1.1.

One thing I really do like is that there is no longer limit of how much you can download without Wi-Fi, in most cases. If you want to download apps which are over 100 MB, go right ahead because you can do that now. This is because some apps get rather bloated because of how much you have on them or how long they’ve been around. For example: Facebook is rather large and the updates are equally as Mammoth with as much is 200 MB per update. Of course, you should be careful with how much you update using data because going over your data will cost money. Right?

One more thing I should mention, if you like moving apps or folders around. For some strange reason you can’t move apps or folders from the bottom row, just above where you go from page to page. However, if you want to do that and if you need to do as such, you just move an app down from the second highest row and keep doing that until you have the apps in place the way you want them. Just be carefull that you don’t approach the border or it will move to the next page. So, you have to be slow and methodicle about how and where you move the icon. It has frustrated me but I think I have a handle on how to do it, somewhat but, this should be fixed and I hope that when iOS11.2 rolls around this will be taken care of.

Anyway, if you are enjoying iOS 11, that’s wonderful and if you’re not, I understand. This is rather a large update and it will take time for it to fully settle in.

Rage Against The Machine Album: 25 Years Later

Hi all. Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of the debut album by Rage Against The Machine. At the time it was looked upon as an important album which continued the musical shelshock of the mainstream by the Alternative Rock Nation. It also helped to give birth to New Metal a year later, influencing bands such as: Korn, Limp Bizkit and other bands with a similar take on both rap music and heavy metal . Fortunately, it still sounds as good today, as it did back in 1993, when it had become recognized as a landmark album in the further evolution of hard music.

This won’t be an in depth look at it, like I have done with other albums but rather pointing out and emphasizing both the most important and the lease recognized songs on the album One of the most well known songs off this very important album is Killing In The Name, which has the repeated fraise “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” near the end of it 16 times. Wikipedia incorrectly states that it is spoken 17 times and it may have to do with the word “motherfucker” spoken after the last time this is heard. The beginning of the song is also unmistakable, with both the guitar and bass playing a D power cord 4 times. This song was also released as a single and somehow pllayed on the radio. However, the offending repeated fraise was obviously removed after the guitar solo. Apparently someone accidentally played the album version and something must have happened… Maybe a fine or someone was either suspended or fired. I don’t know but that is how things turned out for the song and thankfully, it has done well despite the use of the word fuck in it.

There are other songs which also deserve attention for their greatness on this album. Know your enemy is a great song with great riffs by Tom Morello, the bass playing of Tim Commerford which is also complimented by the drumming of Brad Wilk and the vocals of Zack de la Rocha to round out the band. This song also features another voice just before the guitar solo, in the form of Maynard James Keenan from the band Tool, who were also on their way up and who toured with Rage for a bit. Maynard sings the lines “I got no patients now… I’m sick of complacence now… Time has come too pay. ” It really isn’t a surprise that both bands were on the 1993 version of The Lollapalooza festival, along with many other popular Alternative bands at the time.

The track Settle For Nothing is the slowest and darkest track on the album but make no mistake, this song is no balid and contains the same amount of anger that permeates the rest of it. The song is supported mainly by a bass line and ominous speaking by Zack. I think it is cool because it shows that the band isn’t just about political anger and anger in general. It tackles the topic of abuse in the home in a way that nobody had done before.

The final track Freedom is a tipical Rage song in that it is angry and it is also dynamic. Just before the musical chorus, Zack speaks the words “anger is a gift “then the band kicks in with the faster chorus. At the end of the song, the affect of the band trashing their instruments is heard, as the last thing you hear is buzzing from an amplifier, just to end it all on a distructive note.

Ever since the album came out, Rage has released 3 more albums: Evil Empire, The Battle Of Los Angeles and Renigades. The latter came out after singer Zack de la Rocha left to start a solo career. In the meantime, the other three members formed a new band, in the shape of Audioslave with former SoundGarden frontman Chris Cornell and released three albums, the self-titled debut album Audioslave, out Of Exile and Revelations. Then in 2007, Rage got back together and have worked with each other in various forms ever since. The latest is the supergroup Profits of Rage, with the 3 remaining members of Rage Against The Machine and wrappers Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real from Cypress Hill, along with DJ Lord. They have released music and were formed because of the political climate today in America. Also, Chris Cornell died on May 18 of this year, so no chance of an Audioslave reunion.

The Rage Against The Machine album is one of the few that Tom Morello has recorded, with the exception of his work with Audio Slave, that has more conventional guitar solo’s on it. It is also an introduction to what sounds out of his guitar, we would hear on future Rage and Audio Slave albums and elsewhere. Some people have stated that this album sounds unusually fully formed for a debut album. This may be partly because of all the members of Rage being in previous bands and having experience in the studio. Another thing that us Canadian’s can hang our hats on is that it was produced by Fanshawe College alumnist Garth Richardson, who is the son of Canadian producer Jack Richardson.

I have owned this album since 1996 and I have never grow’n tired of it. It always gets a frequent listen when I am doing something and I want to hear some good angry political music. This is despite that I absolutely can’t stand politics because of what it is and what it does to people, who become politicians.

If you don’t have this album in your collection and you are a fan of rock or heavy metal, I insist you get it in whatever format you choose. You can get it physically and as a digital download from iTunes. There is also the 20th anniversary edition which I don’t have because it doesn’t have everything I want on it, such as the studio version of Darkness Of Greed from The Crow soundtrack in 1994. However, I’m happy with just the original album in my collection and that’s okay with me..