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Welcome back, friends!  I’m so glad to see you again and I hope all is well with each and every one of you out there. For me, things are absolutely fantastic.  Know why?  That’s right!  It’s football season, baby, and I’ll tell you right now that makes me happier than John Michael Karr chewing on a pair of Dora the Explorer® panties.  Yes sir. . .like the proverbial pig-in-shit!!  And boy, I’m even more excited than usual this year because besides the normally full college football schedule (a quick aside to you CU fans out there. . .”HA HA!!  SUCK IT!!!), you now have the new NFL channel, double-header Monday Night Football on ESPN and Sunday night games on NBC.  I’ll tell you, my friends, there is more football on your basic cable television than you can shake a baby at (and yes, professor, I just ended that sentence in a preposition). 
 

Today, unlike in years past, we football fans have an unprecedented number of opportunities to catch not only some great match-ups, but more chances to scope that *cough* HILARIOUS *cough* Peyton Manning “porn-stache” commercial at every conceivable break, Bill Cower’s horrific under-bite jutting from the sidelines and onto the field of play and, of course. . . 
 

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. . .the wit and witticism of John Madden, pictured here on break during the recording of one of his four sayings featured in Madden ‘07.
 

In fact, the only thing about this new football season that I am NOT looking forward to is seeing more of Pink as “she” sings her homage to football during the opening of NBC’s Sunday night coverage.  I caught the song this week and from it, I can discern two things:  I sure as hell hope Joan Jett got some kind of compensation for that and, to paraphrase the immortal words of Austin Powers, “That’s DEFINITELY a man, baby!”   Seriously.  Large hands, Adam’s apple. . .huge, giant dick.  Sure, it’s made of rubber, has a big, brass buckle on the back and “Tonsil Train” engraved on the side, but it’s still a dick. 
 

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“I wanna see you in your pink tuxedo.  I wanna sink you with my Pink torpedo.”
 

So, I’m not sure what marketing genius thought up this move, but whoever they are, they dropped the ball in a major way because I am confident that I speak for most of the male, viewing audience when I say that we view “chicks” who can AND want to kick the living shit out of us as a general “turn off.”  Nice try, though.  And thanks, NBC, for not listening to the guy who wanted Clay Aiken to sing that opening.  We dodged a bullet there for the only choice worse than having Pink man-grunt her way through “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” would have been getting your audience pumped up for football while sitting through Aiken’s “I Want You To Put A Vicious Hit On My Tight End.”
 

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Measure of a Man, huh? 
 

But enough about all of that.  Screw football for the time being, friends, for we have more important things to do like. . .well, like checking out some new releases.  This week, we spend some time with the new ones from Iron Maiden and the Barenaked Ladies.  Plus, Double A hits us with the new one from Method Man and we have a Dave Mathews concert review from a faithful reader.  Should be fun.  So, what do you say?  Let’s get to it, shall we??!! 
 

m4m-ima-sept14 Artist: Iron Maiden
Album: A Matter Of Life And Death
Bastard Love Child of: Black Sabbath and King Crimson.
Best for: Pumping up your “street cred” at the local Hot Topic by cruising in there with an ACTUAL concert shirt.

 

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No. . .this is not a scene from Spinal Tap II.  But it easily could be.
  

I’m not ashamed to tell you that, much like pubic hair, I came into Iron Maiden late.  Then again, having Iron Maiden in my life has never made a “clean wipe” a challenge, so maybe that’s a bad comparison.  Whatever.  I guess my point here is that I never gave Iron Maiden’s music a fair shake until well into my college years; always dismissing them as a “poor man’s Sabbath.”  Hey, fuck off.  I never said I was a smart man, Jenny.
 

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Needless to say, in the years since “my discovery,” I have actually become a big fan of the band, more so of the band WITH Dickinson, and have been anxiously awaiting the release of this, their 14th studio album, A Matter Of Life And Death.  So, right about now, you are probably asking yourself “was it worth the wait?”  Well, chuckle nuts, I’m glad you asked.
 

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Quite simply, this is the best Maiden disc in years.  Hell, I’d gladly argue that it is the strongest album that Maiden has released since the ‘80’s and it is EASILY one of the best metal discs I’ve heard this year.  I mean, sure, the band is getting a little long in the tooth, but it doesn’t show in the music.  Not in the least.  Dickinson’s voice is as strong as ever and the impressive, 3-guitar attack of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers delivers enough punch to make your sphincter tighten.  I’m not sure what that really means. . .I just like the word “sphincter.”
 

The band has always had progressive leanings, but on this album, they lean a bit harder as they switch up tempos, keys and styles while galloping through the 10, epic songs on this 70+ minute disc.  All of the songs are engaging with soaring melodies and catchier-than-usual choruses, but my personal favorites include the slow-burning The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, the punishing Different World and the driving The Longest Day.

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Simply put, this album is a must-have for any fan of good, old-fashioned, ass-kicking metal.
  

Rating:  4 out of 5
 

m4m-bnla-sep14 Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Album: Barenaked Ladies Are Me
Bastard Love Child of: They Might Be Giants and R.E.M..
Best for: Proving that the fully-clothed ‘Ladies are a hell of a lot of fun, too!

Man. . .I absolutely LOVE Barenaked Ladies.  In fact, if I had to guess, I probably spend a MINIMUM of 4 hours a day searching them out on free sites on the internet.  Hey, why buy the whole cow when you can get a sample of the jerky for free?  Know what I’m saying?   So, imagine my surprise, whilst chasing down a “golden shower” string, when I found a BAND named Barenaked Ladies.  No shit.  Here’s a picture of them. . .
 

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Settle down, now. . .I’m just joking.  The Barenaked Ladies are actually one of my all time favorite bands. . .even if they are Canadian.    They are a talented group of musicians, especially keyboardist Kevin Hearn and bass player Jim Creegan, who are funny, quirky and, hands down, put on one of the best, damn live shows I have ever seen.  I shit you not.  A live BNL show is NOT to be missed.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. . .it’ll become a part of you. 

That’s why I’m a bit perplexed by this new disc, Barenaked Ladies Are Me (Get it? Barenaked Ladies ARMY?).  You see, it’s not that goofy.  It’s not that quirky.  In fact, the damn thing is actually a very *CRINGE* mature effort.  What the hell, Ladies?  Where’s my Yoko Ono?  Huh?  How about my monkey?  You know I’ve always wanted a monkey.  Seriously.  I want one of you guys to explain just how in the hell I’m supposed to dance to the radio station that plays in my teeth if it’s playing this album?  Huh?  Fuckers.
 

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Yep, I’m sorry to say it, friends, but it appears that the Ladies are “all growed up” and all we are left with is. . .easily their most consistent effort to date.  Sure, the wacky humor has been trimmed back to dry wit and the “rocking” is MIA, but these songs do a better job of showcasing the band’s musical craftsmanship and songwriting than any of their other albums.  Oh yeah, and, lest we forget, in true BNL style, the songs are all catchier than Hep C.  Right, Tommy?
 

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Tommy says, “RIGHT!!” 

Even though the disc is more mellow in nature than previous BNL efforts, you should know going in that it is chock full of easily accessible tunes and that there are some real gems here. . .particularly, the album’s opener, “Adrift,” featuring some smart lyrics and incredible harmonies, the creative instrumentation of “Bank Job,” the nice and easy track. . .umm, “Easy,” which is also the first single and, my personal favorite, “Wind it Up.”
 

Obviously, long-time fans of the band will get more out of this disc than casual listeners, but if you are one of those people who shied away from this band because they were just too damn wacky, give this disc a chance.  I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s nice to finally see that these guys have grown up a bit.
 

Rating:  3.5 out of 5
 

 

doublea

 

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Im going to admit something to you dear Quick Stoppers that I’m not proud of.  I did not buy Method Man’s new album 4:21…the Day After on the day that it came out. Nor did I buy it the next Tuesday either.  It took me 10 days to finally get around to buying this album.  I like Meth, (the rapper, not the cough medicine derived drug that is produced in trailer parks across this great country).  I enjoy his music.  But there were so many other CDs and DVDs to buy in the last few weeks that I just kept pushing Meth further and further down my priority list.  Now, after giving this album a good listen, I wish I had picked it up on the day it came out.  I won’t go as far as to say this is the best rap album to come out this year, (Dr. Octagon is the best), but this is a very, VERY close second.
 

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With nightmares of the ill-fated and ill-conceived sitcom “Method and Red” running through my head, I listened intently to the songs on the disc.  The first thing I noticed that separates this album from just about every other mainstream rapper out there is the beats.  In a world of over the top beats where each song tries to be more complex than the latest hit, it’s nice to see someone take a step back and do it simply.  That’s what made Dr. Octagon good, that’s what makes 4:21…the Day After good.  Simple bass lines with simple melodies, often just a guitar or piano sample.  Makes for a nice, retro feel.  It also doesn’t hurt that Meth, or Mef, as he is often called, can rap.
 

Seriously, Mef can bust a rhyme quicker and better than I can bust a flimsy lawn chair.  All of the flows are smooth and the lyrics are tight.  It also doesn’t hurt that this album is very “Wu tang-y.”  Just about the whole gang is present and accounted for, with the only real exceptions being GZA and Ghost Face Killa.  Hell, even Big Baby Jesus himself, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard makes a posthumous appearance.  Another difference between this album and most other rap discs of late is that the guest stars don’t necessarily make the songs better.  The songs are good enough as they are, the guests are just the icing on the cake.  And being a gentleman of a larger stature, I likes me my cake and icing.
 

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There are no bad songs on this disc.  Of course there are the obligatory rap disc skits, but they don’t bog the album down.  They are short and seem more like song intros than actual skits.  The best songs on the album are “Fall Out” and “Say.”  Both follow the formula with simple beats and both are Mef solo and at his best.  “Fall Out” is more of a hardcore rap song while “Say” is more of a biographical song.  Out of all the many guest stars, the Dirty memorial song “Dirty Mef” is the best collaboration.  It’s nice to hear that the memory of ODB is everywhere on this disc.  Just about every song has a shout out to the Dirty, and seeing as he is one of my favorite all time rappers, its cool to see the memory kept alive. 

Rating:  5 out of 5

REVIEWS. . .

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 by Tommy Gunn     

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TEN HUT, SOLDIER!!

Now, ladies. . .

Normally, a Dave Matthews Band concert held in a modern day sports arena wouldn’t warrant much attention or acclaim.  DMB, though always good live, comes off much better in either smaller venues or outside.  But the performance at Denver’s Pepsi Center on September 12th bucked the status quo and was one of the better shows I’ve seen by Dave and Company.

With an opening act of Robert Randolph (who appeared again later with the group to close the show) and the guest addition of Rashawn Ross on trumpet, DMB concocted a production with great tempo and flow.  As Dave himself mumbled in the mike, “We’re just gonna eeeeease into it,” before launching into a handful of mellow tunes before laying into more upbeat tracks like  Grey Street.  Playing mostly well-known songs with a dash of newer titles, even the most casual follower of the Dave Matthews Band was able to sing along with the result being an arena that rocked for almost 2 hours.  

 Dave’s affection for Colorado is always genuine and despite the venue, they gave an A-grade performance to a very receptive crowd.  The technical crew deserves kudos for this show as the audio and, in particular the video, were dialed in and overcame the typical shortcomings of a cavernous Pepsi Center.  Of the 8 times I’ve seen DMB live, this was by far the best indoors and the energy rivaled previous epic performances at Folsom Field in 2001 and the legendary Red Rocks last September. 

AS YOU WERE!!!!

Nice work, Major.  Well, there you have it friends.  That’s going to do it for me and the gang this week, so, until next time, keep wearing it proud and playing it loud! 

Send your naked lady pictures, review copies, presents and assorted hate mail to:

M.C. Bell
P.O. Box 1222
Arvada, CO 80001
     

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