CRAWFORD ON CAL
When life’s a challenge be a man
Don’t wine cry or moan, take a stand
Fight with words and honorable tactics
Don’t kill in vengeance you stupid halfwit
Just like i the Brain put up with you
You can deal with fido too
This week a story has come out about a woman, Gisele Paris, who allegedly stole a man’s companion, his dog, and had it exterminated. What kind of monster steals another person’s pet and has it put down?
Mark Boehler, owner of the dog, who had been missing his canine friend since sometime last fall, has now learned his friend will never be coming home. According to KDKA Paris is said to have broken into the man’s yard and stolen the dog in the fall and took it upon herself to have the dog killed calling in a vet to her home. To make matters worse, Boehler is suffering from cancer.
I am not one of the crazies who thinks animals should be on the same level as people but I am a big advocate for animal rights. Just as I the BRAIN would not use my superiority to eradicate you, you should not use your authority over animals to abuse them. There are better ways to handle your issues than murder, but this woman is obviously a little touched in the head.
According to the district attorney the woman called a veterinarian to her home to have the dog, named Thor, put down. Maybe under the law its time she be put down. We need to throw the book at this woman, let her rot in a jail cell somewhere. How would you feel if someone killed one of your family members? That is essentially what she has done. Killed the dog of a man fighting for his life and then claims the murder was just.
Thor had a tumor on him, a tumor that was not life threatening. Maybe Paris acted on the tumor thinking it was fatal? Does it matter? She took what was not hers and ripped the heart out of this poor man, fighting cancer, who said “It just felt like she took a piece of me and had me put to sleep.”
This woman is a monster, a menace to society who should be taken off the streets. The local media is calling it euthanasia, I call it cold hard murder and its time Ms. Paris does cold hard time.
Listen to the BRAIN, Brian Crawford, Mondays 8-10pm on 91.9 WCAL for unrivaled analysis and and unmatched awesomeness.
Contact the BRAIN on twitter @crawfordoncal and
ELVENKING – Elvenleigions
Elvenlegions is the first glimpse of the upcoming Elvenking album The Pagan Manifesto, their follow up to their critically applauded Era (2012), coming May 9th. In this track, their unique style of folk-inspired, power metal is immediately noticeable! Although a solid song, with its catchy melody and folk synth lead, I felt like the song was missing something. The keyboard that is up at the forefront in the very beginning gives the song a very fun tone to a song that lacks really much variation in its guitar and drum parts, but feels mixed out during most of the rest of the song. Some of the intricacies of the song are heard a little less than desired.
3.5/5 A good sneak peek into the coming album!
BEST ALBUMS OF 2013
WHITEY AT NIGHTY
As many of you know, I am not the original host of the popular radio show at WCAL known as Whitey at Nighty. Airing on Thursday nights from 6-10pm for almost 5 years straight, the show evolved through the years in musical style and creativity, from pop punk and ska to more of an indie, electronic style. Precious took over the show in fall 2013, and the show is still strong as ever.
Every year for W@N, a Top 25 list is done for the top albums released in that year in the opinion of Whitey and/or Precious. The criteria for each album can be extensive and the list can take up to a month or two to create through careful analyzing of each album, and what makes it stand out. I won’t critique every album in the list…it would be a bit overwhelming, but the following is the Top 25 albums of 2013 lists for Whitey at Nighty.
Top 25 albums of 2013 for Whitey at Nighty, for Precious:
1. Cut Copy – Free your mind
November 1, Modular recordings
2. Empire of the Sun – Ice on the Dune
June 14, Capitol Records
3. Gold Fields – Black Sun
February 26, Astralwerks
4. Strange Talk – Cast Away
February 8, Fine Time/Sony Music Australia
5. Crystal Fighters – Cave Rave
May 24, Zirkulo
6. Hungry Kids of Hungary – You’re a Shadow
February 22, Stop Start/EMI
7. Shapeshifter – Delta
May 31, Truetone
8. Fitz and the Tantrums – More Than Just a Dream
May 7, Elektra
9. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
September 20, Virgin UK/Glassnote records
10. Capital Cities – In A Tidal Wave of Mystery
June 4, Capitol Records
11. Snakadaktal – Sleep in the Water
August 2, I OH YOU/Liberation
12. Wavves – Afraid of Heights
March 26, Mom + Pop Music/Warner Bros.
13. Streetlight Manifesto – The Hands That Thieve
April 30, Victory Records
14. Robert Delong – Just Movement
Feb 5, Glassnote Records
15. Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun
July 2, 8 Minutes 20 Seconds Records
16. Hellogoodbye – Everything Is Debatable
Oct 29, Old Friends Records
17. Echosmith – Talking Dreams
Oct 1, Warner Bros.
18. The Boy Least Likely To – The Great Perhaps
April 28, Rough Trade
19. Toro Y Moi – Anything in Return
Jan 22, Carpark Records
20. Phoenix – Bankrupt!
April 22, Loyaute/Glassnote
21. Major Lazer – Free the Universe
April 16, Secretly Canadian
22. The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation
May 14, Hopeless Records
23. Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends
June 4, Atlantic Records
24. Beach Fossils – Clash the Truth
Feb 19, Captured Tracks
25. Yip Deceiver – Medallius
Sept 17, New West Records
You can check out both Top 25 lists, as well as Youtube links to music, on the Whitey at Nighty Facebook page:
I encourage everybody to make Top releases lists of some sort in the future. They are fun and make you think!
BEST RELEASES OF 2013
LONG ISLAND ICED STEVE
Now in its second year on the WCAL airwaves, Long Island Iced Steve has opened up from being just a pop punk/alternative rock show to including indie rock, pop, and electronic genres. And with it now expanded to a 4-hour show on Fridays from 6pm-10pm, the show is seeing it’s most solid year yet. Below is a list of albums and EP’s that had me really stoked this year. For full descriptions on why I placed a release where it is, head on over to my facebook page at facebook.com/longislandicedsteve
Top Releases of 2013 for Long Island Iced Steve
1. The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation
May 14th, Hopeless Records
2. State Champs – The Finer Things
October 8th, Pure Noise Records
3. Man Overboard – Heart Attack
May 28th, Rise Records
4. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
September 20th, Virgin Records
5. Diamond Youth – Orange EP
January 22nd, Topshelf Records
6. Allison Weiss – Say What You Mean
April 16th, No Sleep Records
7. Boxed Wine – Cheap, Fun
May 21st, Self-Released
8. Yellowcard –Ocean Avenue Acoustic
August 13th, Hopeless Records
9. Polar Bear Club – Death Chorus
November 18th, Rise Records
10. The Front Bottoms – Talon of the Hawk
May 21st, Bar/None Records
11. The Story So Far – What You Don’t See
March 26th, Pure Noise Records
12. Pentimento – Inside the Sea EP
October 22nd, Paper + Plastick Records
13. Lemuria – The Distance Is So Big
June 18th, Bridge 9 Records
14. Better Off – (I Think) I’m Leaving
September 24th, 6131 Records
15. Los Campesinos! – NO BLUES
October 29th, Wichita Records
16. Real Friends – Put Yourself Back Together EP
June 04, Self-Released
17. Tonight Alive – The Other Side
September 10th, Fearless/Sony
18. On My Honor – I Never Deserve the Things I Need
June 11th, Little Heart Records
19. Wavves – Afraid of Heights
March 26th, Mom + Pop Music/Warner Bros.
20. The Naked and Famous – In Rolling Waves
September 13th, Somewhat Damaged
If there is one modern rock band you should take notice of, it is Young Guns. These guys are phenomenal and I simply just can’t get enough from them.
Hailing from London, UK, the band broke out in 2009 when they opened up for fellow UK band, Lostprophets. Since then, they band released two albums, “All Our Kings are Dead” in 2010, and “Bones” in 2012, both released by the band on their independent label, Live Forever.
Even though Bones was released in 2012, it wasn’t until the following year that I heard them, but since then, I’ve been a strong supporter. It is rare for me to find an album that I can listen to from beginning to end without getting bored of it, but “Bones” is not one of those albums; each song is layered perfectly, from the melodic guitars, hard hitting drums, deep bass, and harmonic vocals, I will always hear something new in each song.
What I love even more than the music, however, are the lyrics; they are so deep. These are not your normal rock songs of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll; in fact, not one song on Bones is about those topics, which for me, is a huge plus. Instead, the songs convey a message of living life to the fullest and unity, while also making sure that you always think about what decisions you may make.
For fans of rock bands like Halestorm, Foo Fighters, Thousand Foot Crutch, Shinedown, or Alter Bridge, if you haven’t heard of Young Guns, you are missing out!
What happens if you blend artists like The Script with the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Gotye? You get the very fast rising alternative/indie rock band from Manchester, England, The 1975. While many people may categorize them as “pop rock,” the band makes it very clear they are anything but that (want further proof, go watch their music video for “Girls”).
Now you may have your own opinions of what constitutes as a good band name, but for me personally, I love the simple, yet interesting names; there aren’t that many bands that have a year as their name. In fact, the name came from a date scribbled in the back of lead singer, Matthew Healy’s (third from the left-hand side), poetry book.
Though the band has been around since 2002 (it actually wasn’t until 2012 that they became known as The 1975), just last year, the quartet finally released their self-titled debut album, “The 1975.” It was this very album that spawned radio hits like “Sex,” “Chocolate,” and “The City.” This album offers much more than just those three singles, however; in normal fashion, album’s tend to have at least up to twelve songs, but for a debut album, The 1975 decided to ignore that standard and go for sixteen (although, three of them are “filler” tracks, making it a thirteen song album), but from beginning to end, I was totally hooked, even finding myself bobbing my head and tapping my foot the whole time listening to it.
The music itself is something completely different right off the back. The band’s sound is a fusion of alternative rock, indie, synth, and even a slight touch of punk at times. There is a clear distinction that the band experimented with their sound in the writing process, especially in the heavy synth songs like “Talk!” and “Settle Down,” and for that, I love this album even more!
If you are into artists like The Script, SafetySuit, Arctic Monkeys, Gotye, Parachute, and even Peter Gabriel, then The 1975 and their debut album are something you need to go check out yourself!
Artist: Plague of Babylon
Release Date: 1/21/14
There are not many albums that I’ve been as excited for as this one, Iced Earth being one of my all-time favorite heavy metal bands! Guitarist, song writer, and band leader Jon Schaffer has done it again with Plagues of Babylon, a worthy addition to their already stellar discography, but also an addition to their ongoing Something Wicked concept. The Something Wicked concept is a set of albums, beginning with final three tracks on Something Wicked This Way Comes (a referral to Ray Bradbury’s novel of the same name) warning of the upcoming apocalypse, continuing with Framing Armageddon and Crucible of Man fully revolving around the story, and now Plagues of Babylon. Now the whole album does not follow the epic concept set forth back in 1998 but rather the first six songs do while the next 6 are standalone tracks and the last being a metal rendition of the Jimmy Webb song Highwayman.
Although I’ve already seen a dozen or so awesome bands planning album releases this year, I’m already predicting Plagues of Babylon to be one of the best overall metal albums we’re going to see this year! There is honestly not a bad song on here and I highly recommend those who were a fan of their last album Dystopia to give this one a full listen! With lyrical content ranging from corrupt and evil governments (Democide), fighting back against said corrupt government (The Resistance), an outlaw out for revenge (Gunslinger), and the dark lord Cthulhu himself (Cthulhu), there is a masterfully crafted story in every song! This being current vocalist Stu Block’s sophomore studio album with the band (and the third different singer to be a part of Something Wicked), he really seems to have come into the position and made it his own, this is the Stu Era of Iced Earth and I couldn’t be more pleased with the direction they’ve gone.
And my favorite track on the album is…
Cthulhu- The epic ode to the otherworldly being created by famous horror/sci-fi author H.P Lovecraft in his short story (The Call of Cthulhu) is worthy of it’s title! An elder god lying dormant at the bottom of the ocean in the sunken city of Ryleh, Cthulhu is described as being enormous, with the body of a man, head of an octopus (complete with tentacles) and the wings of a dragon, oh and also so horrific that the sight of it alone is enough to drive humans into madness. The lyrics are spot on with the lore of the creature, Lovecraft himself would be proud! I recommend paying extra attention to the drumming in the track, especially towards the beginning and the shriek 80 about seconds in because of how well they lend to the creepy factor that is Lovecraft!
Other standout tracks – Democide, The Culling, Peacemaker, Highwayman
TL;DR- A great Iced Earth album! Highly recommended for fans of their previous album Dystopia, but probably won’t win over new people that didn’t like previous Iced Earth works.
4/5 – Loved it!
Artist: Polar Bear Club
Album: Death Chorus
Release Date: 11/19/13
When I listened to this new album by upstate NY post-hardcore band Polar Bear Club, I was in for quite a bit of a shock. Streaming the album from the Red Bull website, I had no idea that Jimmy’s voice has changed so drastically. I was certainly concerned for the first song and a half if they could pull off changing their style, but it was quickly subsided as soon as the melody to “Graph Paper Glory Days” kicked in, I knew they could at least manage it. This was a huge change of pace for them, where for their past three albums were all gruff and tough, and they had to do a complete 360, all while keeping a sound that is distinctly PBC.
The album as a whole is very solid. Is it their best work? That’s debatable. The album more or less showed that PBC is a band that can adapt when they need to. As an introductory song, “Blood Balloon” does leave you questioning about the band’s new direction, but as stated before, it’s reassured when “Graph Paper Glory Days” comes along. However, for any older PBC fans, they might not find the change in Stadt’s voice appealing. In a statement by Jimmy prior to the release, he says how he felt that he couldn’t sing as high as he used to, although he still gets way up there in songs such as “So I Buy” and “Twang (Blister To Burn)” Things slow down in “Siouxsie Jeanne,” as a ballad, where Jimmy shows off his theatrical background, with his versatile dynamic range. Things get going again with one of the more catchy songs of the album, “WLWYCD,” but any older PBC fans will enjoy “Chicago Spring,” with a sound that is very reminiscent of Clash Battle Guilt Pride. The final song on any record is to me the most important, it’s what should leave you with wanting more from the band, get you excited for when they come to town or for their next release. I think with their final song “Upstate Mosquito,” PBC exceeded expectations. It’s a very good song about moving on from your past, to just accept any of your flaws and mistakes you have made in the past and keep moving forward.
Polar Bear Club’s Death Chorus was a very good adaptation for the band, at the worst. Despite having to change their sound as a whole, they still maintain a feeling that can only be done by a band like PBC. Expect this one to be on my Top 10 Albums of 2013 List.