FIVE HEAVY ARTISTS FROM ARKANSAS: 1. Rwake

OK, so when you think of the state of Arkansas, do you think of… anything?  Maybe not unless you’re from the southwest.  When it comes to the tuneage, Evanescence is to Arkansas what Nickelback is to Alberta, but that’s not to say the Razorback State hasn’t produced its share of much, much heavier acts–including one that’s hitting Toronto on Friday.  So go do whatever they do in Arkansas, and crank up some of the bands on this list!

5. Iron Tongue

4. Black Oak Arkansas

3. Deadbird

2. Pallbearer

1. Rwake

Pallbearer might be the reigning kings of Arkansas metal–though I suppose that’s somewhat debatable–but for me, the first heavy band I associate with the Razorback State is Rwake.  (The “R” is silent, FYI.)  The formation of this post-sludge outfit actually predates Y2K, and while they haven’t released a full-length record in three full years, their last one was pretty solid.  Let’s just say that 16-minute epic “The Culling” just might get you in the mood for this evening’s entertainment…which starts in oh, about half an hour. ;)

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FIVE HEAVY ARTISTS FROM ARKANSAS: 2. Pallbearer

OK, so when you think of the state of Arkansas, do you think of… anything?  Maybe not unless you’re from the southwest.  When it comes to the tuneage, Evanescence is to Arkansas what Nickelback is to Alberta, but that’s not to say the Razorback State hasn’t produced its share of much, much heavier acts–including one that’s hitting Toronto on Friday.  So go do whatever they do in Arkansas, and crank up some of the bands on this list!

5. Iron Tongue

4. Black Oak Arkansas

3. Deadbird

2. Pallbearer

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Definitely looking forward to seeing these guys at Lee’s tomorrow night!  Said up-and-coming doomsters just dropped their second album, Foundations of Burden, on Profound Lore a couple months back…and while some say it’s too soft, I beg to differ.  A great doom band is equal parts emotion and amplification, and there’s no shortage of the former here.  And hey, having seem ‘em play an all-too-brief set at Housecore Horrorfest last year, I can tell ya that they certainly ain’t quiet, either!  Check out leadoff single “The Ghost I Used to Be” below:

FIVE HEAVY ARTISTS FROM ARKANSAS: 3. Deadbird

OK, so when you think of the state of Arkansas, do you think of… anything?  Maybe not unless you’re from the southwest.  When it comes to the tuneage, Evanescence is to Arkansas what Nickelback is to Alberta, but that’s not to say the Razorback State hasn’t produced its share of much, much heavier acts–including one that’s hitting Toronto on Friday.  So go do whatever they do in Arkansas, and crank up some of the bands on this list!

5. Iron Tongue

4. Black Oak Arkansas

3. Deadbird

These Fayetteville sludgesters haven’t released a record since 2008’s Twilight Ritual…but they were in the studio, recording its much-awaited successor this summer.  Haven’t heard any new tuneage yet, but if the songs sound anything like the last one, it’s gonna be pretty heavy:

FIVE HEAVY ARTISTS FROM ARKANSAS: 4. Black Oak Arkansas

OK, so when you think of the state of Arkansas, do you think of… anything?  Maybe not unless you’re from the southwest.  When it comes to the tuneage, Evanescence is to Arkansas what Nickelback is to Alberta, but that’s not to say the Razorback State hasn’t produced its share of much, much heavier acts–including one that’s hitting Toronto on Friday.  So go do whatever they do in Arkansas, and crank up some of the bands on this list!

5. Iron Tongue

4. Black Oak Arkansas

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The original Arkansas heavy-rock outfit, named after its hometown (pop 262), put its home state on the map with a string of records on ATCO in the early 70’s.  Their southern-rock sound blended stirring country-rock ballads with raunchy funk/blues and no shortage of hilbilly charm from heavily-accented frontman Jim Dandy, he who has been known to come to the rescue a time or two.  But the band was at its best when it was at its sleaziest, and there’s perhaps no sleazier piece of vinyl than Side A of 1975’s X Rated album.  From the porno-funk strut of “Fightin’ Cock” to the love ‘em and leave ‘em road anthem “Highway Pirate”…even semi-tender ballad “Strong Enough to be Gentle” has got balls!  But there’s no ballsier number than the opening cut, “Bump ‘n’ Grind.”  Let’s just say that if this thumping chorus doesn’t get ya in the mood, you might wanna get that tested:

FIVE HEAVY ARTISTS FROM ARKANSAS: 5. Iron Tongue

OK, so when you think of the state of Arkansas, do you think of… anything?  Maybe not unless you’re from the southwest.  When it comes to the tuneage, Evanescence is to Arkansas what Nickelback is to Alberta, but that’s not to say the Razorback State hasn’t produced its share of much, much heavier acts–including one that’s hitting Toronto on Friday.  So go do whatever they do in Arkansas, and crank up some of the bands on this list!

5. Iron Tongue

Not sure whether they’re officially considered a supergroup, or just a side-project, but this heavy southern blues-rock outfit from Little Rock features members from all kinds of other bands, including at least one that appears later in this list.  Their debut album, The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown dropped last year on Neurot, and while not quite as leftfield as some of that label’s other acts, she’s still a heavy vegetable.  Check out the pulse-pounding “Witchery” below:

2014 CFL POWER RANKINGS: Week 17

As the CFL season comes to a close, only one of the two divisions is really heading down to the wire.  Out West, Calgary and Edmonton clinched their spots with wins last week, while the CFL Least Division remains a one-armed scissor fight with the off chance that three teams actually might make it.  For what it’s worth, I think B.C. beats Loseapeg next week to claim the crossover spot, and the Argos won’t get to make use of their lack of a homefield advantage.  But hey, that all remains to be seen.  Here’s how I see things right now:

Preseason Predictions

Last Week’s Rankings

Rankings Archive

1. Calgary Stampeders (13-2) Last Week: 1.  With Bo Levi back behind centre, the Stamps clinched homefield advantage for the West Final with a relatively easy win over Loseapeg.  Clearly, their QB is fully healthy, and he made a huge difference on offence (full disclosure: I only watched the first half) for Calgary.

2. Edmonton Eskimos (11-5) Last Week: 2.  Although they’ve got absolutely no chance of catching Calgary–what with their three losses to the Stamps this season–the Esks are a solid second place out West.  Here’s hoping they make it four losses come November! :P

3. B.C. Lions (8-7) Last Week: 3.  Even though they didn’t play last week, I guess I’ll keep B.C. at 3 for now.  Hey, unlike the entire Least Division, they’ve actually got a winning record–and unlike Saskatchewan and Loseapeg, they haven’t lost at least four straight.

4. Montreal Alouettes (7-8) Last Week: 4.  I gotta say, though, Montreal is number four with a bullet, after picking up its fourth straight win.  At the start of the season, I picked ‘em to finish third in the Least–and while my projected 8-10 record might actually be accurate, this team is starting to look like the class of the division right now.  It’s still too early to call, of course, but there might actually be a game at the Big O this postseason…

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (7-8) Last Week: 6.  OK, so they just beat the worst expansion team since the last time Ottawa had an expansion team, and by a mere 16-6 margin, at that…but a win is a win, and with the W, the Cats keep pace with the Als in the Least.

6. Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-7) Last Week: 7.  Well, it’s safe to say that, even at 41, Kerry Joseph’s a better quarterback than the two kids they had backing up Durant…and starting in his absence.  Who knows, they might even win another game between now and the end of the year–I suspect that Calgary and Edmonton might rest a few of their starters in the coming weeks. ;)

7. Toronto Argonauts (6-9) Last Week: 5.  Not only are they the team with the league’s smallest fanbase in the country’s largest city, but the Argos are also a sinking ship.  After scoring just 12 points in Montreal last week, Toronto might hafta win out just to make the playoffs…and only one of their remaining games is against the REDBLACKS!!!!!

8. Loseapeg Blue Bombers (6-10) Last Week: Last (tied).  Though they still didn’t really come close to winning, Loseapeg’s 33-23 loss to Calgary was just enough to break the tie between them and the REDBLACKS!!!!!, who only scored six points last week.

9. Ottawa REDBLACKS!!!!! (2-13) Last Week: Last (tied).  Don’t have much to say about this team at this point, other than that the Riders ultimately decided to bring 41-year-old Kerry Joseph out of retirement rather than trading for the REDBLACKS!!!!! “franchise QB.”  And with that, it’s time for another installment of Ottawa’s greatest attractions, back after a two-week hiatus:

It’s the Ottawa Public Library!  Cuz let’s face it, where else are ya gonna go after 7:30 on a Saturday night in the nation’s capital? ;)

AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: KING DIAMOND @ Sound Academy, Toronto, October 18, 2014

I usually don’t tend to go to the Sound Academy–it’s a little out of the way, and not entirely TTC-friendly, especially when you’re coming from downtown.  It takes somebody that I really wanna see to get me out there…somebody like King Diamond.  The dude’s stage setup rivals some stadium-touring bands–reminded me a bit of Maiden–and while there was no animatronic Eddie, let’s just say the guy *might* have some grandmother issues, even at age 58.  King can really still sing, though!

Anyways, I wasn’t quite front-and-centre for this gig, so keep that in mind.  But I do think these are better shots than some of the other large concert hall (Danforth Music Hall, Sound Academy) editions I’ve done.  Of course, I do have a slightly better camera these days…

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