Finally some good music

2015 is finally starting to give us some good music, but unfortunately it won’t change the stripped down indie rock trend or the too electronic and fake pop music out there. The problem is that most of the good music coming out now days is by bands and artists who have been around for a long time. There aren’t a lot of new artists that are venturing into hard rock.

Already this year Wednesday 13 released his newest album Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague, which while good isn’t up to par with his last two albums. Then Kid Rock and Blackberry Smoke released albums that had promise but really didn’t take off.

Marilyn Manson released his best album in a decade with The Pale Emperor, showing that his best days are not behind him. Then ’80s glam band Trixter released a not-so-great album that included “Rockin’ til the Edge of the Night,” the best song of the year in my opinion.

Now rock albums seem to be coming out daily.

Disturbed

Disturbed released their 6th album last week, which is their best since their debut. The songs “The Vengeful One” and “What Are You Waiting For” are standouts, although a handful of them have found a place among the top rock songs on the iTunes charts for the past month and received radio airplay.

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi just released a new album that is so embarrassing and rushed that I want to cry. Not really, but the album is terrible. It shouldn’t be a surprise seeing as What About Now in 2013 and The Circle back in 2009, I think, were also under par. The surprise is that there is a gem in the track “I’m Your Man,” which is the most hard rocking song Bon Jovi has released since 2005. Still, it doesn’t make up for the rest of the album.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden is back with its first album since 2010, which is due out in October. The album’s first single “Speed of Light” is a bit underwhelming for an Iron Maiden lead single, but it still rocks. If the rest of the album is at least as good as this single I’ll probably buy it.

Chris Cornell

I’m a big fan of Soundgarden and I really enjoyed Chris Cornell’s time in Audioslave, but I’ve never enjoyed Chris Cornell’s solo albums as a whole. There are a few songs I’m okay with, but I’ve never purchased a Chris Cornell album. His work in the last few years has been mediocre at best and not up to par with his past work, until now.

His new album, titled Higher Truth, will be released in September. The lead single is perhaps the best Chris Cornell has sounded since Audioslave and it shows him going back to his alt rock style that everyone misses. I bought the song the day it came out and I love hearing it on the radio.

Queensryche

I love Queensryche. Operation: MindCrime and Empire are some of the greatest albums ever made, but Queensryche has struggled to find a consistent style and to regain its lost popularity. I saw them live a few years ago and I was underwhelmed. Their stage presence was boring and Geoff Tate just didn’t have it anymore. This showed on the many albums released throughout the past decade, especially American Soldier and Dedicated to Chaos (although the single “Get Started” from DtC was actually quite good). When the band split with Tate and hired Todd la Torre as vocalist, I was excited. This new guy has some pipes!

Then the album Queensryche was released, and although it wasn’t bad, it was boring. It didn’t have any hit material or standout songs. It showed an improvement, but also that there was still a long way to go. Now the band is back with their album Condition Human, set to be released in October. The song “Arrow of Time” sounds like a song from the band’s 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, just not as catchy. I’m hopeful that the new album will be better than the last one, and all of the others released from 1999 to 2011.

Collective Soul

I’ve never owned a Collective Soul album or song in my life, but I’ve heard them on the radio over the years. I actually like them, although I didn’t realize that until I heard some of the songs from their new album and then looked up their old ones I had heard on the radio.

Collective Soul’s new album See What You Started By Continuing will be released on October, the same day as the aforementioned Queensryche album. The album’s lead singles are good and show that the band can continue to make good music that doesn’t stray to far from what made them successful.

Def Leppard

We’ve been promised a new Def Leppard album for a few years now, but the band has said multiple times that it will be out sometime this fall. On Aug. 27 vocalist Joe Elliott confirmed that it is finished and will be out before the end of the year to Grand Forks Herald, saying the album will be called simply Def Leppard. If everything the band has been saying is true, the album will be more like ’70s classic rock than Def Leppard, which is fine by me. Elliott sounds great singing Elton John and Mott the Hoople and their Queen-like songs throughout their career have been very haunting.

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New content on YouTube

My brother and I finally restarted one of our YouTube channels. We’ve been talking about making videos and movies for years, but we’ve never gotten around to it. We’ve filmed lots of content but nothing really panned out.

Now I’ve gone though and made new channel artwork and branding information and posted two new videos of concert footage just to let people know that we’re alive. You’re not really supposed to do that because of copyright but Wednesday 13 seems to enjoy any and all publicity for him since he isn’t that big of a music artist yet.

I actually expect us to post some new content soon because I will be learning a lot more about capturing good video and editing effectively this fall as a part of my new job.

The quality of the videos are pretty bad because they were all recorded with my iPhone, but future videos will be recorded with a Sony HD camcorder, our GoPro, and maybe even the Nikon D5100.

Check out the channel at:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6BRtNGiZkXpwlzMz4He7cA

Or view some of our videos here:

Changes to my novel

I will keep this post short and sweet, since there is more planning to do and fun to have at the lake.

Earlier this week I shared that I wasn’t feeling my novel anymore. I think I have fixed that. I took my novel back to the drawing board and took a nice look at it. The problem was partially the plot and partially the characters. Arrellinor, the main protagonist, was not interesting enough on her own. Furthermore, the plot was really created when I was in 7th grade and expanded upon when I was in 10th and 11th grade.

I had only made a few minor tweaks to the plot this year when I started Camp NaNoWriMo for the novel’s rewrite, where I hoped to fix the overwhelming issues I was having with it.

I fixed most of the problems, but I also created a few more, so I knew this complete redo was coming.

For starters, the novel is no longer called Prophecy of Euphinor. That title just wasn’t jumping out at me. Now, I am calling it A Clash of Crimson, which will be followed (hopefully) by A Mountain of Shadow and A Banquet of Fire.

I am also changing the POV. Instead of having only 1 POV from Arrellinor, I am introducing a few brand new characters that I had created for a separate story I started a few days ago. The idea for that novel just popped into my head and the planning went well, but I realized it would work better as part of my current novel as a substory that moves everything forward and ultimately helps with the resolution I have planned.

I am pleased with how the outline is looking. Now I just have to get to rewriting some chapters, deleting others, and adding lots of new content.