Monday, December 6

A woman of contradictions


Once upon a time I wrote...
I did warn you that the sea reminds me of my own turbulent spirit. Inviting you to dive in one minute and slamming you against the rocks the next. Are you tough enough to weather the gales? Those violent storms?

Shakespeare wrote in 'As You Like It'
"They are in the very wrath of love, and they will together;
clubs cannot part them"

I'm a woman of contradictions. I wonder if you have the strength to bring me to my knees. Many have tried. Few have succeeded. Like water I slip from their cupped hands.

And now I am restless.

I sat tonight, candles glowing on the mantle, the moon, a shadowy orb, illuminating the night outside, and thought of this. What would it take to break through this shroud that has covered my mind with darkness? I miss the shipping forecast. I miss the dreams I had of traveling across dark waters to find my peace. I'm unable to find the words to make that connection again. I feel far from myself, the self I used to be. I want to lash out, to get in my car and drive until I'm in a place that holds none of the familiar bonds that are forcing me to be grounded.

And yet I long to be stopped. To be forced by your hands into unwilling submission. I want you prove to me that you'll never let go. To fight for me. I want to feel the leathery bond as you slip it around me, pronouncing your dominion over me.

I want you to make me feel alive again.


The shipping forecast for tonight...
There are warnings of gales in Viking North Utsire trafalgar Shannon Rockall Malin Hebrides Bailey Fair Isle Faeroes and Southeast Iceland.

Listen to the BBC Shipping Forecast with me.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl

    Friday, August 27

    Conditions from Van's Warped Tour: free music download

    Hot Topic to offer free downloads from alternative rockers Conditions in their September 7th store magazine.

    Conditions, the hot, new alternative band out of Richmond Virginia, has announced that their latest single "When it Won't Save You", from the album Fluorescent Youth, set for release on September 14th, will be available for free download from Hot Topic stores on September 7th.

    The download will be included in the up-coming AP/Hot Topic Mini Mag and the band has also announced that their exclusive Fluorescent Youth CD/T-Shirt bundle package is now available for pre-order.

    Alternative Press Magazine has included Conditions in their Top 100 Bands You Need to Know for 2010 and they've been gaining momentum after a ground-breaking run on this Summer's Van's Warped Tour. They've gotten coveted spots on the Taste of Chaos tour, Bamboozle Festival, and the SXSW Music Conference.

    Conditions has toured the U.S. and Europe, as an independent artist with some of the biggest bands in the alternative music industry. They've shared a stage with the likes of Paramore, New Found Glory, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Good Charlotte, but their recent union with Good Fight Music, along with the up-coming release of Fluorescent Youth, promises to make them the hot ticket at concert venues across America this Fall.

    Conditions has a rockin' Fall tour schedule lining up. You can check the new Conditions MySpace for band updates and tour dates.

    Article first published as Alt-Rock Band Conditions, Announce Free Download From Hot Topic on Technorati.



    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Slash News: New Tour and SlashFM Radio


    Today, August 26th, was "Slash Day" at the third annual Sunset Strip Music Festival.

    The rock icon was honored during the festival and also that evening at a House of Blues Sunset Strip tribute event featuring speeches from Slash's closest friends and musical associates, a presentation from the City of West Hollywood and live music performances representing the legendary rock guitarist's contributions to the city's rich musical heritage.

    As the Festival celebrations wrap up Slash will embark on a new North America Tour and on Thursday, September 2nd, Clear Channel Radio's "iheartradio" network will begin a limited time broadcast of A.P.E. music station, Slash FM, which will feature the music of Guns N' Roses, Slash's solo projects and music from his 'personal' playlist, including bands like Sound Garden and Metallica and the bands who influenced Slash on the road to rock stardom like The Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC.

    During its run on the "iheartradio" network Slash FM will also feature segments of Slash himself talking about his life as a rock musician and his personal behind-the-scenes stories.

    Slashes A.P.E. station on Clear Channel Radio's digital network will feature the "iheartradio" mobile app, widgets and

    Fans are welcome to take part by sending their own suggestions to

    Legendary guitarist Slash welcomes fans to the rock jungle with a new tour and his own A.P.E radio station, SlashFM

    Article first published as Slash Announces New Tour and Launch Date of Slash FM on Technorati



    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Friday, August 20

    Interview: Talking to Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach

    "That's what I want to bring to the music we write, something that speaks my truth, because I think that when I sing about my truth... it's not only mine, but so many other people's truths. When I sing about what's going on in my life, in my heart, in my soul, I find that--when I expose myself the most and tear down my walls the most--that's when I connect with people the most."

    "We just express ourselves, wholly and truly. That's our strength... showing our weaknesses." ~~Jacoby Shaddix (Lead Vocalist, Papa Roach.)

    As Papa Roach gears up for the release of their latest album, Time For Annihilation..On the Record, and On The Road, on August 31st, and the first single from that album, "Kick in the Teeth," blasts its way up the charts, I had the opportunity to talk with the band's lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix.

    Just the name, Jacoby Shaddix, is enough to strike fear into the hearts of most journalists, Papa Roach wasn't invited to join the Anger Management tour for nothing, you know? He's well-known, actually quite notorious, for being a difficult interview-- mainly due to his explosive strings of expletives, and his lack of tolerance for pop music fluff writers. Jacoby has knocked more than one veteran interviewer into early retirement. I'd fancy him a heavy metal Batman, saving Gotham from the grips of banal, journalistic feculence.

    Jacoby Shaddix Interview - Papa Roach - Interviews From The Edge

    Journalists who have barely escaped his excoriation tend to warn others not to take a trip into the Bat Cave with him. But what I found in talking to Jacoby Shaddix is a person who immediately won my respect with his candor and his humor--a gallows humor, very much like my own. Jacoby is an extremely intelligent guy with little patience for BS and a commitment to being true to himself, his band, and to his fans; a man who is over the hype and just wants to tell his own story, in his own way--and that's what gave my conversation with him its charm, expletives and all.

    Papa Roach's latest video release, "Kick in the Teeth," from the soon to be released album, Time For Annihilation.. On the Record, and On The Road.

    Music Review: Papa Roach Time for Annihilation
    Time For Annihilation is a declaration of perseverance. It's volatile and confrontational, brutally honest and fiercely gutsy. From start to finish this is an album that makes a powerful statement. The intense force that is Papa Roach, combined with the production talents of David Bendeth, gives the album additional punch. And there is something to be said for the shift to Eleven Seven Music; a swaggering, bravado that screams of being unchained, a sense of self regained.
    Read my full editorial album review on Examiner.

    I've long admired Jacoby's bad attitude towards crap journalists. After four attempts to give me a good phone connection and opening up, baring his inner thoughts with me the way he did, I can only say that I'm honored, truly. And that he gave me such a long interview time, along with time for off-the-record personal talk in between interview questions, touched me deeply. Our private conversation actually took up more time than our interview, and for that I'm grateful--and very much looking forward to speaking with him face to face when he hits Atlanta with Papa Roach in the coming weeks.

    For now, you can listen to a bit of Papa Roach's latest single, "Kick in the Teeth" and also Jacoby, himself, talking about the cause, and what fans can do, personally, to support WhyHunger. He called me from Poland where Papa Roach was performing at "Polish Woodstock," another charity event for children, and during our interview he explained that event as well. We talked about the past and future plans for Papa Roach. And he also left special messages for you, his fans, both veteran Papa Roach fans and for the band's new fans also.

    Jacoby is very open about himself and his feelings, sometimes to the detriment of his own reputation, but as you'll hear in our interview, he is always going to be honest. Always. Take it or leave it, this a man who will not compromise his integrity to get on anyone's good side.

    I'll be speaking with him again when the new album, Time For Annihilation, is released, but for now our conversation revolved around the band's, and his own, personal commitment to the cause WhyHunger. As he explained in our interview, his family had been homeless when he was little and now, in light of Papa Roach's success, he feels a strong sense of obligation to help other families in need.

    We talked only briefly about the band's new album Time For Annihilation because we had agreed to save the more in-depth song writing and production discussion for the album's release. We did however discuss Papa Roach's past hits like "Scars" and "Last Resort." We talked about the band's up-coming tour schedule and agreed to do a live interview when they hit Atlanta upon their return home from Europe later this month.

    There was a moment during our interview when I was telling him how the song "Scars" affected me personally and you can hear him just say "Wow" in the background. A poignant moment for me to express my appreciation to someone who helped to bring about an epiphanous turning point in my life, an opportunity that rarely comes along in a life time, and one that should be seized whenever possible. His response let me know that he understood the depth of that effect, and I think, judging by our off-record talk, that it means a lot to him to hear that from a fan.

    Jacoby Shaddix is a man who will never get tired of hearing his fans talk about their connection with him, with his music. They are the reason he continues to lay his soul bare--an open, heady feast for blood-thirsty media vampires; a modern day Prometheus, bound to the rocks for handing his flame over to mere mortals. A man for whom the words raw, vulnerable, powerful and misunderstood are all equally significant, and accurate, as descriptors.

    When I said to him that "Last Resort" was huge, just a monster, was it difficult to get out from under the shadow of a hit like that, he responded "I think for us that "Scars" was the song that helped us get out of that shadow, you know? And kick open a whole new door for us. And now we've had, since then, number one songs on the radio, which has been fucking, a blessing. Yeah, but for a while it was like... that was the monster, you know? We were like FUCK dude! But then you look at it and you go, you know what? Fuck! We got a classic rock song. I mean, we have a song that's a classic. It'll be around forever."

    When the band started their sound check Jacoby ducked into a dressing room saying, "FUCK! I can't do a Fucking interview for the life of me right now. Fuck!" Then he said to me, "I just told them to keep it down--I thought I'd never say that. heheh"

    But, even with his colorful language, he kept his humor. I had a hard time believing that this was the same guy that people fear to interview and, like him, I couldn't believe he actually said the words "Keep it down" either. I have a feeling that may never happen again. Jacoby is definitely a rocker committed to louder. Harder. Stronger. And Papa Roach's latest album, Time For Annihilation.. On the Record, and On The Road, is truly a reflection of that commitment. It promises to be one of Papa Roach's most powerful albums to date; a reconciliation of the past and present, Time For Annihilation brings Papa Roach, finally, full circle.

    Here's a bit of my discussion with Jacoby Shaddix about WhyHunger and Polish Woodstock. You can listen to the full conversation in the audio clip as well.

    Jacoby Shaddix Interview Papa Roach - WhyHunger - Interviews From The Edge

    The new album is special in a couple of ways, right? The one that's coming out in August. It's got live performances, it's also got new cuts, and it's also supporting a very special cause, WhyHunger, can you tell me a little bit about the cause? What kind of activities they're involved in?

    WhyHunger is an organization that we've been working for for the last year. Raising money to put food on the tables of different homeless shelters across the United States. Started working with a group called Loaves and Fishes back in Sacramento, going down there, serving lunch, working on the food line, myself... me. And, you know, just getting involved in that and going "How do we do this on a national level? How do we do this every day? Instead of just trying to raise money once, and then, okay cool, we're going to do a food can drive and that's it."

    So we got in touch with Why, and they're nation wide, and obviously world wide. And for us it's just an opportunity to raise money and raise awareness for the homeless folks out there. We know a lot of people are going through a lot of struggle and strife out there right now, at this time in the world, especially with the economy... with the way that it is. And, you know, homeless shelters overflowing and families just trying to make ends meet, and you know, feed their kids.

    We feel that it's a good opportunity for us, as a rock and roll band, to give back to our communities directly. And 33 cents? That'll put a meal on the table. So, when I found that out I was like, man... when you go raise a thousand dollars that's almost three thousand meals, right there, on tables directly. And for us to become involved in that--I think it's just a good way, you know? Because I think, coming up, and being where I'm at, and being able to provide for my family and do that. I think it's, you know--especially where I come from, you know--the first year of my families life, of my life, my family was homeless. So, to come from not having anything, to coming to where I'm at now, it's like... I feel like... obliged and responsible to do this. And be part of this.

    I talked to Youtube Video Interview with Stephen Christian Stephen Christian from Anberlin. He supports Faceless International. And the one thing that I learned from him, and one of the reasons why I try to talk to people directly, is because most of the time you just get a website... it's like okay, well, go to the website and you can find out what you can do to help but, a lot of times, what people want to know is specifically what kind of help does the organization need? Now, what he told me with Faceless, they need donations, they need prayers, but more than that they need bodies.

    Oh yeah, well like I said earlier. Primarily, we encourage our fans, cause kids ask me, "what can I do if I don't have money"' I'm like, well, go to your local homeless shelter and just clean up. Work on the food line. And volunteer your time there and if you have money to donate, then donate it to Why.

    The reason we got involved with Why is they're reputable and the money actually goes to where they say it's gonna go. It doesn't get lost in the lining in someone's pocket. And so yes... money definitely is the key factor to it because, like I said, 33 cents puts a meal on the table of a homeless shelter. You go into these places and they're serving 1,500 meals a day.

    It just goes to show you what these places are like... they gotta cut off the line and go "Okay. Cool. That's all the food we got." You know? So, there are people that are going hungry. So, the more money, the merrier, because that just puts more food on the table. And, like I said, this isn't an organization where some CEO guy's getting his pocket lined.

    Last year you guys auctioned off V.I.P passes at each show, right? To raise money. And you got to meet those folks, right?


    Did a lot of those people have stories too? Because I would imagine they were probably purchasing those tickets for more than they would have if they had gotten them straight off the website.

    Oh yeah. We've gotten like, anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for the V.IP. packages, and some of them are just huge Papa Roach fans and they see the cause that it's going to and they're like, "We have no problem paying this much money to come see the show." Because they know that the money is going towards a good cause. And so... some of the people have interesting stories and some people just got shit piles of money to waste on rock and roll tickets. Heheh
    You know what I'm saying?

    So, as we said, it's kind of like using some our status to help raise the money. Cause if I was just some Joe on the street going "Hey, give me money so I can give it to the homeless people, they might look at me like I'm some kind of jackass. I don't know.
    That's kind of sad.

    Well, it is a very good use for your international platform, that's for sure. And I'm sure that there are a lot of families out there right now that appreciate it, because the economy is so bad. You'd be surprised how much people appreciate it when people go out of their way for them.


    I wanna go over just a couple of questions, okay? About the band, and the music. You guys are on tour right now. Where are you calling from?

    I'm actually in Poland. We're doing Polish Woodstock and it's another... it's actually a charity event. It's the biggest festival in Europe. 500,000 people. All the proceeds go to the children's group here in Poland, and the kids that are in need, like in the first months of their lives. Kids that need surgeries and such like that. Or hospital care. All of the money from this goes to that. And so, we're doing that show here today.

    Then we're headed off to the rest of our European tour. And we're getting ready to release a new album August 31st and so we're really excited about that. We're just gearing up, playing some of the new material and the new material's going over really well.

    So, there's a general level of excitement around PaPa Roach and what we're doing right now. It feels good.

    It's apparent when we step on the stage, people are really receptive to what we have to offer as a rock and roll band. And I think that just seeing the smiles on people's faces, in the front row singing along, going crazy, is all worth it.

    Photos, Music and Video courtesy of Papa Roach and Eleven Seven Music.


    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd.
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    A condensed version of this article was first published as Interview: A Chat With Papa Roach Lead Singer, Jacoby Shaddix on Blogcritics.

    Monday, August 16

    Concert Review: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2010 (Atlanta GA)

    Backstage With Winds of Plague and In This Moment at Mayhem Festival 2010, Atlanta GA

    "It's quite chaotic, hence the name, Mayhem. It's three stages and they start at like two o'clock and there are motorcycles flying through the air and lots of people running around. People moshing in the brutal humidity." Ray Luzier - Korn (Headliner Mayhem Festival 2010 - Interviews from the Edge)

    Photos © Tricia Weight
    mayhem_festival_johnny_plague_winds_of_plagueThose words were spoken to me by Ray Luzier from Korn just ahead of my arrival at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Atlanta. But even his words couldn't prepare me for what I was about to encounter. Motorcycles flying through the air? Yes. Stunt bikes doing aerials, pits filled with moshers and crowd surfers. Even a heat index over one hundred couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the hardcore metal fans at Mayhem Fest Atlanta on August 1st, 2010. It made me proud of my hometown.

    Mayhem Fest is an all day event, with thirteen bands scheduled on three different stages. From 1:50 until 6:20 PM nine bands rotated between the Silver Star Stage and the Jagermeister Stage and at 6:30 PM all activity moved to the Main Stage.

    My interview schedule was with Korn first, since they were headlining. A pre-concert-craziness interview that we did a few days in advance of the show because we planned to cover the production and song writing on their latest album release, Korn III: Remember Who You Are; a long interview that needed a quiet space for focus.

    Video: Interviews from the Edge: Korn Interview: A Chat with Ray Luzier during Mayhem Festival.

    I followed up that interview on-site at Mayhem Fest with two more bands, Winds of Plague and In this Moment; live interviews held backstage, and very loud.

    The first band I interviewed on-site was Winds of Plague. I went to watch them perform beforehand. Winds of Plague is easily one of the greatest, deathcore, fest bands around for audience participation; when lead singer Johnny "Plague" Cooke called the metal fans to the pit, the ground actually shook in answer to his call That call to arms echoed throughout Lakewood Amphitheater. In reaction the venue sent additional crowd control staff, strong guys in bright yellow shirts, flying across the blacktop and through the crowds to join the mob on the field of battle.

    The crowd control event staff moved in, lining the stage as Cooke began whipping the crowd into a frenzy. But they weren't there to protect the band, they were there to catch surfers. The crowd had gone crazy and the stage was on blacktop. Moshers, divers and surfers as far as the eye could see. Motorcycles flying through the air in an absolutely hardcore, thrash, death-metal, aerial ballet.

    I watched those crowd control guys catch surfers with, literally, no more than an inch between their skulls and the parking lot pavement. I'm positive they saved many a life that day. I watched them snatch people out of a mid-air dive and flip them right side up before pushing them back out into the crowd for another go at it. I was so awed that my mouth hung open and my camera hovered right in front of my face. I never snapped a single shot. That's a lesson I'll keep in mind for my coming coverage of American Carnage in October. Get the shot, don't stand there looking stupid.

    I talked to Dave Lombardo from Slayer not long ago for an up-coming interview. I asked who his favorite band was to tour with or who he had the most fun touring with. "Marilyn Manson and Bullet For My Valentine. When we did the recent Mayhem Fest, it was 2009. We had a great time! It was fantastic!" I thought it created an odd musical picture at the time, but it was the most enthused I had ever heard him, so I knew he meant it. I can fully appreciate his enthusiasm now, having experienced it for myself.

    Youtube Video: Interview - Slayer - Dave Lombrado

    After checking out as many of the nine bands rotating between those two stages as was physically possible, my cell phone rang and Mayhem Tour's organizer called me to meet her so we could go over my interview schedule. Fighting my way through the crowd surges I headed across the venue to the press area for interviews. I had accepted interview invitations from Winds of Plague (basically for the same reason that I can't resist scary movies) and In This Moment, because I was one of the many who had become addicted to their cover of Blondie's "Call Me" on youtube. Also, they were the only metal band at Mayhem Fest featuring a female lead singer.

    Korn was meeting and greeting fans next to us as we settled in to talk, the sound of the ongoing concerts made for interesting interview audio. You can listen to that audio if you dare, but keep in mind that, even far from the shows and the crowd, Mayhem was under way. Five Finger Death Punch was inciting the crowd to furious levels as we talked, but what you hear is nothing compared to what followed as headliners Rob Zombie, and then Korn, took the Main Stage that night. It went from Mayhem to Insanity--even after the crowd got a thorough drenching from a sudden thunderstorm during Lamb of God's Main Stage pre-headliner set.

    A special thanks definitely goes out to whomever approved my photo passes and then ticketed me on the lawn for the on-coming monsoon. Because nothing says "Hey. I'm a hardcore, death metal fan." like ruined camera equipment. But the downpour still didn't dampen the spirit of Atlanta's hardcore fans; an impromptu mosh pit opened on the lawn as Lamb of God drowned out the storm with a thunderous roar of their own.

    But even the rain stops for Rob Zombie and Korn; a nearly Biblical, metal moment as the clouds parted for them to take the stage. Rob Zombie hit the stage with the kind of veteran, heavy performance it takes to follow a band like Lamb of God. Guitarist John 5 finally gave the crowd what they had been screaming for throughout their performance; sending another perfectly good guitar to an early grave.

    As the sun began to descend over Mayhem, Korn lit up the night with a brilliant light show and a dazzling display of pyrotechnics. They wrapped up the show, bringing everyone to their feet with a mix of hardcore fan favorites like "Freak on a Leash" and "Falling Away From Me".

    Korn's latest video release "Oildale (Leave Me Alone)"
    From Korn III: Remember Who You Are

    New Interview with Winds of Plague lead singer Johnny Plague on
    Youtube video interview with Johnny Plague on

    I was lucky enough to salvage a few interview pictures.
    From before the deluge.

    Interview: Winds of Plague: Mayhem Fest 2010

    Photo © Tricia Weight: from left to right: Winds of Plague - Johnny "Plague" Cooke (eardrum shattering lead vocals), Art Cruz (drums)

    Interview: In This Moment: Mayhem Fest 2010

    Photo © Tricia Weight: In This Moment - Jeff Fabb (drums)

    A sincere thanks goes out to Mayhem Tour's Laura Jean, who called my cell phone several times during the show to make sure I had everything I needed for my interviews. But for her diligence at taking care of press, the lack of coordination by the venue staff would have made this fest a nightmare.

    Mayhem Fest Band Schedule
    Lakewood Amphitheater
    Atlanta, GA 8-1-10

    Silver Star Stage
    In This Moment 1:50-2:20
    Norma Jean 2:40-3:10
    Winds of Plague 3:40-4:10
    3 Inches of Blood 4:40-5:10
    Atreyu 5:45-6:20

    Jagermeister Stage
    Mobile Death Camp 2:20-2:40
    Shadows Fall 3:10-3:40
    Chimaira 4:10-4:40
    Hatebreed 5:10-5:45

    Main Stage
    Five Finger Death Punch 6:30-7:05
    Lamb of God 7:25-8:05
    Rob Zombie 8:30-9:30
    KORN 9:55-10:55

    Photos © Tricia Weight
    Korn video courtesy of Roadrunner Records



    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


    Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl


    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Article first published as Backstage With Winds of Plague and In This Moment at Mayhem Festival 2010, Atlanta GA on Blogcritics.

    Tuesday, June 29

    Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Trailer




    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Tuesday, June 22

    Music Review: Ghosts of Eden Ignorance and Lies

    New York has a long history of pumping out gut-wrenching, powerful rock bands. From Kiss to Type-O-Negative to Patti Smith it has been a city of eclectic musical offerings.

    Ghosts of Eden are following in the fine tradition of those bands who have emblazoned their names across the skyline of Gotham. Their first E.P. Ignorance and Lies has been garnering them attention from all over the globe, even EspyRock magazine in the UK wanted a piece of this new hard-hitting rock band--and this, their first E.P., has only been out since January.

    Ignorance and Lies is a self-produced four track E.P. that showcases the bands rough-as-silk vocal harmonies as well as their dual power-guitar playing and percussive expertise. The individual musicianship of the members is obvious from the first heart-thumping beat of "Eliot Ness".

    Each member stands out on every track. You can hear them distinctly, yet they manage to pull it all together with a cohesion that allows them to complement one another without competing for attention. For a young band's first endeavor there is nothing amateurish about this fledgling production. As musicians they seem to understand and appreciate one another's strengths. You'd be hard-pressed to find fault with their technique or with their passion. 

    It's not even a slightly subtle thing when you hit the play button on Ignorance and Lies--the first word out of your mouth is rock! The very next word is blues. That's just how fast you realize that this band is no shit. They get it. They slap you right in the face with some bad-ass blues riffs and then hit you resoundingly from the other side with hardcore, grungy rock and roll. The kind of one-two punch that Clapton, with the aid of Duane Allman, managed on "Layla". A rare gift indeed.

    "Capsize" features drumming that literally nails you to the wall. There is an intricate weaving of drum, guitar and spanking bass throughout that even Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers would be proud to claim. But it's the drumming that stands out. Driving, then releasing, the master of the drum kit has taken the helm this time and the results make this song a veritable powerhouse of raw vocal wailing and thrusting, punching drum explosions.

    "Even Violence" is another variation on the classic grunge rock sound. There's a strong symmetry there with bands who have withstood the vagaries of fickle pop radio like Bush and Seven Mary Three. Like the other three tracks on this E.P. it promises to hold its mettle, and its relevance, over the long haul of time.

    "Heartbreak Crutch" is my personal favorite on the E.P. It has the kind of build up and hook chorus that made it stick in my head long after I had turned the player off.

    Although Ghosts of Eden classify themselves as a rock/ grunge/ alternative band I really think indie rock just about covers it. The songs are definitely radio friendly, yet meaty and robust.

    There is nothing in the way of pop music on this E.P.--it's better-suited to stand alongside the likes of Audioslave, Soundgarden, Bush, Papa Roach and Alice in Chains. Ghosts of Eden have proven a skill for pulling influences from the larger fabric of grunge rock, yet they are able to assemble it in a way that is unique, entirely. And recognizably their own.

    As of now Ghosts of Eden are unsigned, but I predict that it won't be long at all before the record label bidding wars begin. If I have any advice for these new-comers it would be to take a cue from Shaun Mullins. The local radio airplay of his self-produced single "Lullaby" started a bidding war that left him sitting in the driver's seat. He got a hefty contract on one meager, trendy pop song with not much to back it up. But then, he didn't have an arsenal of talent like Ghosts of Eden.

    Make no mistake, this may be a young band, but they have a strong talent in songwriting, vocalizing and their musicianship is absolutely solid. This E.P. has settled into my CD player and it won't be budging for the rest of the summer. Ghosts of Eden is a band that you're sure to be hearing about a lot in the near future. They are poised for launch. 

    Have a listen to Ignorance and Lies by Ghosts of Eden and judge for yourself. With one listen I'm sure you'll be just as blown away as I was. With two listens you won't be able to stop pushing the play button.

    iTunes get music onQuantcast


    GothamRocks out of New York  will be featuring Ghosts of Eden at up-coming shows .

    You can see them live:
    Jun 25 2010 6:00P Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, New Jersey,US
    Jul 24 2010 10:00P Arlene’s Grocery New York, New York, US
    Aug 21 2010 12:00P Six Flags Great Adventure - Gotham Rocks Jackson, New Jersey, US
    Aug 28 2010 8:00P Ace of Clubs New York, New York

    Visit Ghosts of Eden
    Follow Ghosts of Eden on Twitter



    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Originally published as Music Review: Ghosts of Eden - Ignorance and Lies (E.P.) on

    Friday, June 18

    Ghosts of Eden

    Review and Interview coming up on Blogcritics

    Ghosts of Eden



    Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Friday, April 16

    A Day In The Life - Grace

    I received this email in February from a woman who used one of the breast cancer templates I created to design her friend's breast cancer journal, A Day in the Life

    Hello T~

    I wanted to let you know that I have created a blogspot template for a friend based on your goinpink_evening template.

    Tuesday evening I received a panicked email from one of my blogging friends. She's recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She found your template, and tried to install it. Unfortunately, she was unable to understand the HTML after switching back to the Classic Blogger format. She was afraid she'd lost all her widgets in the process. She asked me to help her out, and sent the .zip file for the template.

    I decided to use it for inspiration. She loved the header graphic, and the color scheme you'd created, so I took it from there.

    Anyway, long story short, I want you to know that I've given you credit, and a link. If you'd like to go take a look at the site, you'll find it here.

    From one geek to another, thank you for your inspiration... it made the gift to my friend a joy to create.

    Warmest Regards~

    That note made the tears and hair-pulling I went through to build those templates (quickly - Pink For October was around the corner) worth it.
    And seeing the final result filled me with so much pride.

    I also noted how she credited herself and I on the side bar.
    Template created with love for Grace
    by :: CeeCi
    Inspired by :: WoodNotWood
    Awareness Template#4

    Just beautiful.
    Please swing by and show Grace your support on her brave journey.



    Currently Reading: The Red Door by Charles Todd
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Saturday, March 6

    BlogExplosion 2010 Problems in the blogosphere

    blog explosion

    Anji, one of my co-blog-reviewer-approvers on blogexplosion, recently wrote a few posts on problems that we've been having since the loss of contact with the blogexplosion owners and senior administrator.
    BlogExplosion: Problems logging in and surfing

    This post is a message for her and all others who might be having the same concerns.

    Anji, I did manage to locate some older blog posts about BE having this same problem sporadically over the years. It seems to occur every couple of years. 2006, 2007, Blog posts complaining of no support/admin responses and thumbnails not being updated, etc. Those posts correspond with changes in ownership and management.

    I have a feeling that what has happened is our senior *volunteer* admin finally gave up trying to keep up, particularly in light of the fact that he was working for free -- He maintained the site. Dealt with server and script issues. Added new blogs. Updated thumbnails. Created new ideas to keep the site fresh and interesting (He did a great job there, but that had to be majorly time consuming.) Responded to emails. Checked every forum post and deleted the spam. Checked each site that received a *flag* for content. Responded to member complaints about other blogs or comments that had been left by members on their profiles.

    I have a feeling that the straw that finally broke the camel's back was the constant complaints and gripes at him from us, the members. Complaints that 'admin' and 'support' were not responding to emails and thumbnail requests quickly enough. That sort of thing...

    I know there were others helping him before, but they didn't appear to last long. I had no idea that 'admin' and 'support' was really just one guy, trying to do it all alone-- and for free, until you told me. He never said anything about it on the forum or in email responses. I think we all would have been a bit more patient had we known that. And a bit more appreciative of his efforts to keep the community happy and the site interesting.

    I'm sure the in-boxes for support and inquiries are over-flowing with duplicate email requests sent multiple times by the same people-- and spam. I don't think he'll ever look in there again. I don't think he'll ever come back. He obviously got just as much support from LiveUniverse as we did. None. And he has a job and a family.

    I think what will happen (as portended by the past) is that ?LiveUniverse? -- or current owner -- will eventually do a spot check (probably an annual or bi-annual audit of sorts, or to pretty it up for sale, again) to make sure everything is up and running. They'll see there is no senior admin and take back control of it.

    They'll probably delete all of our approval accounts without notice--we just won't be able to login one day-- they'll clean out the support requests and admin emails (they know that there are thousands waiting for approval and more coming in every day, if someone needs support badly enough they'll send a fresh email when they see there's new management) They'll add new advertisements and apps. maybe even give the whole place a shiny new look.

    Then suddenly a new admin group will appear. They'll set about fixing what needs to be fixed and BE will take off again with a re-newed enthusiasm...
    until the next break down or sale.

    Don't fret Angie Baby. These things are cyclic. We're just feeling the same stress that our 'admin' felt; like we're personally responsible for each and every member's satisfaction and all of the guilt that comes with not being able to keep everyone happy.

    I'm kicking back and enjoying the time I have left to approve blogs.

    Information For New Members

    I'm thinking we should create a standard email we can send to new members as we add their blogs. Just to let them know that BE is in a holding pattern, and to be patient. That support is not currently available, and they should not make any site purchases until further notice.

    But they should log into their accounts and go to 'surf member blogs' to start earning credits and that they need to go to the 'assign credits' page after each surfing session to move the new earned credits into their blog account. They can also choose the option to have those credits automatically assigned -- then they won't have to do anything except have fun surfing blogs and meeting new bloggers.

    blogexplosion assign credits dashboard
    (click to enlarge)

    I'm making my predictions based on information from the web and in old newsletters I received from BE about how these problems occurred, and were resolved, in the past. I've listed the BE NEWSLETTERS that I think are significant, but you might want to read them all for their historic value. The changing personalities of the owners, admins, and the site as a whole.

    Sept 28, 2004 Meet Thomas and Jeff: The guys who created blogexplosion issue their first email newsletter.
    April 24, 2006 Blogexplosion Sold: BlogExplosion has been sold to Stephen Sartain.
    May 3, 2006 Under New Management: Meet the new blogexplosion management Lewis Johnston and Stephen Sartain
    June 9, 2006 Ooops and Ouch: BlogExplosion is up for Sale again
    June 17, 2006 Blogexplosion Sold (Again): "The new owners are a large group." This is where the mystery begins... a large group of what?

    I have one more piece of information I'd like to share for people who have submitted a blog at blogexplosion for review and have not yet been approved.

    In 2008 the senior administrator and resident geek Chris created an algorithm to move those who are serious about becoming community members to the top of the approval list. Here's what he had to say about it on the forum.

    Hi Susan

    It sounds like you may have been caught by my blog verification algorithm. If a user does not attend (log in to) blogexplosion for more than 30 days their blog is moved to another queue.

    The idea of this is to ensure only blogs with active owners are reviewed. With such a huge backlog I had to find a way to bring legitimate blogs to the front of the queue.

    For an idea of whether it works or not there is still over 4000 in the queue waiting for their owners to come back.

    They will not be processed unless the owners return and log in at BE -- because you came back your blog was automatically rushed to the front of the queue.

    Once the queue drops to less than a 30 day backlog all blogs will be reviewed in the order they are submitted



    Currently Reading: What Will Happen in Eragon IV by Richard Marcus
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Friday, February 26

    Witty Quotes by Brilliant Women

    marilyn_monroe_readingInside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out.
    But I can usually shut the bitch up with cookies.

    I refuse to think of them as chin hairs.
    I think of them as stray eyebrows.
    Janette Barber

    Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
    Marilyn Monroe

    Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
    Lily Tomlin

    A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car.
    Carrie Snow

    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened.
    Cora Harvey Armstrong

    Laugh and the world laughs with you.
    Cry and you cry with your girlfriends.
    Laurie Kuslansky

    My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
    Erma Bombeck

    Old age ain't no place for sissies.
    Bette Davis

    A man's got to do what a man's got to do.
    A woman must do what he can't.
    Rhonda Hansome

    The phrase "working mother" is redundant.
    Jane Sellman

    Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
    Charlotte Whitton

    Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
    Caryn Leschen

    If you can't be a good example--then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
    Catherine the Great

    When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss. And they called me slow!
    Kathy Buckley

    I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb
    - and I'm also not blonde.
    Dolly Parton

    If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them.
    Sue Grafton

    I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on.
    Roseanne Barr

    When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. Elaine Busler

    Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.
    Maryon Pearson

    In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man.
    If you want anything done, ask a woman.
    Margaret Thatcher

    I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.
    Gloria Steinem

    I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.
    Zsa Zsa Gabor

    Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    Currently Reading: What Will Happen in Eragon IV by Richard Marcus
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.


    Saturday, February 13

    I have had enough winter!

    Stop touching my snow.
    Or the snowman gets it!


    Currently Reading: What Will Happen in Eragon IV by Richard Marcus
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


    Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl


    Tuesday, February 2

    The AT&T Facebook Glitch

    : a harbinger of doom for the future of mobile Internet users?
    AT&T Phones Hack Facebook Accounts
    Please. Bear with me while I take a moment to brag.
    This, my latest article on has been the headline on the sci/tech section since the 22nd. It was also a front page feature. I'm flattered, honored and, honestly, surprised. My eternal gratitude to our Technology editor.

    I had promised to try to avoid writing geek there, but I couldn't help myself. I tried to make it as humorous as possible rather than just another technology article. You must check out the link to mashable under "Bill Gates threw his hands in the air and announced that he was out of there", a mock up of a fake Bill Gates Facebook page created by PC World. It's hilarious.


    Currently Reading: Web of Deceit by Darlene Cox
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Monday, February 1

    Haloscan Closing - export comments to a new system

    I've got an app for that.
    Recently Echo announced that they're closing Haloscan commenting.
    They've given users two choices:
    1) Export comments or lose them.
    2) Pay for the formerly free service and upgrade to Echo.
    Needless to say people are confused.
    I've been watching and waiting for my notification.
    It came last night in the form of an email.

    Haloscan is being shut down on: Feb 04, 2010
    The Haloscan hardware and software is physically failing and we have no choice but to discontinue the service. (yeah. sure. right.)

    Two Options: Switch to Echo or Export your comments FREE.
    Although we can't rescue Haloscan, we are trying our best to limit the negative impact on users. To do this, we have worked hard to provide 2 options for Haloscan sites.
    Log in now to make your choice and continue without interruption
    I don't really see a choice here. It doesn't support popular blogging platforms.
    Or spellcheck. Obviously.

    Haloscan upgrade FAQ

    Their blog has gone crazy as some people vent anger and others just sound desperate and depressed.
    It's a little strange to see such self congratulatory and uncaring attitudes towards disappointed potential clients. For myself, I don't intend to comment on sites using Echo. I can't even begin to express my disappointment in finding that Technorati has become a client, I can only pray that they'll realize how much commenters dislike Echo and dump it. And I also pray that they won't force it on us at, but we are sharing one umbrella so to speak... they are we and we are them.
    Every site that I've seen using echo so far has dumped it.
    Commenters hate it.

    There's an old geek saying
    If two wrongs don't make a right... try three.
    It has nothing to do with the fact that they've monetized. At least not from what I've seen. I wouldn't mind paying for my commenting system. I would have happily given them $12 a year to continue to use haloscan. Most users would. But I keep hearing the same complaint. People don't like Echo. Geeks like Echo, at least the idea of it. But readers don't like it. And in the face of the 'F Off' attitude of its administrators I can't say that I would ever trust them either. Too self-serving. Too set in the mind frame that data aggregation creates community, rather than people.

    Here's what Paul had to say in comments.
    I agree with him whole-heartedly.
    Now of course I wish I had never gone with Haloscan in the first place. I have a selfhosted blogger blog using my own template. I no longer have the code to put my blogger comments back in place, so find myself facing the prospect of upgrading to a service that I don't want to use, or losing the facility of comments altogether.

    All the guides about reverting from Haloscan to Blogger assume that you use the new blogspot templates, so sadly I cannot undo what I did three years ago. Coincidentally, JS-Kit appears to believe all Blogger users are on blogspot sites, as trying to sign in with my Blogger identity didn't work, as my blog isn't on blogspot

    Coming to the Rescue of the Blogosphere

    Thankfully, there is a very kind person providing a service for free to transition comments from Haloscan to a new comment platform. (I found him and it's one poor guy collecting all of those xml files through email and transferring them for free. I can't imagine how many are emailing him for help.)

    Please export your files from your haloscan account before emailing Kirk.
    It's easier for him to pull them from the site, but they may be gone before he can get there. So best to have that back-up on hand just in case.
    The comments will be transferred into tridentscan. It's just like haloscan.

    Go to this site to get email information.
    And Please Be Patient.
    He's just one guy.
    One great guy who embodies the spirit of the blogosphere.

    So, who's next?
    I know there are some programmers out there who can whip up something to help out.
    Put your thinking caps on.
    We need you.


    Currently Reading: Web of Deceit by Darlene Cox
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

    Sunday, January 31


    "Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall."
    ~~ Salman Rushdie
    I know I've been absent the last few days, but I needed to shut myself down for a bit. The weekend was a forced rehabilitation time for me, although I did have to work (crazy situation there that I'll explain later). I had visited the doctor Thursday thinking that I might have strep. I've had an upper respiratory infection for nearly two weeks that has refused to be coaxed away by any medication. Last week it migrated into my ear and I started feeling dizzy. Really dizzy. Disoriented.

    Then it got worse. I can only relate it to the feeling that I used to get as a child after spinning around in circles. My eyes couldn't focus on one spot. I could only stop myself from falling by reaching out and holding onto something. I would be overcome by waves of nausea that felt like sea-sickness and then a feeling that I might pass out.

    The doctor discovered that I've developed an inner ear infection that has caused vertigo. I haven't been able to drive, I can't sit at the computer for long and I can only read when I'm laying down. When my eyes shift right, my body drifts left. I find myself walking into things. If I stop suddenly whilst walking I feel like my body is still moving forward. I have to grab onto something until the feeling passes.

    The vertigo is not consistent. It comes and goes. I never know when it will happen and I don't know what sets it off. According to what I've read it can be brought on by simply looking in a certain direction or moving my head in a specific way. I can be feeling fine one moment and then unable to stand up straight the next. And I have no idea how long the spell will last. It has made life miserable.

    The doctor gave me medication to help, but the only way to get rid of vertigo is to see a specialist who is trained to do certain head-moving exercises to re-balance the fluid in the inner ear.

    For now, I'm taking the meds and resting.
    I will be back soon.

    Currently Reading: Web of Deceit by Darlene Cox
    Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


    Hang with Me on Twitter: @a_geek_girl