2014 NEW CFL STADIUM TOUR: Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton

It was the last to open–hell, the upper deck on the west side isn’t even ready yet!–and the last one for me to visit, but I can now finally check Tim Hortons Field off my list.  Basically, if you’ve been to Ivor Wynne (and I have), it’s in the same spot, albeit in a different direction.  Both the seats and bathrooms are MAJOR upgrades, but it seemed like the concession stands weren’t fully complete yet.  Aaaaaand that’s why God invented pre-drinking!

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As you can see, some things are not *quite* ready yet:

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The aforementioned empty upper deck:

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Only in the CFL does your starting safety moonlight as a cheerleader:

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Apparently, this isn’t the same Pigskin Pete as a couple years back?

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Bring out the dancing eight-year-olds!

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Episode 135 of Gruesome Tunes now available for download!

gruesometunesnew

CLICK HERE.

09/21/14 PLAYLIST

TTTDC – Dog Day Afternoon (Greatest Hits) 4:49

Black Tar Prophet – Bottom Feeder (Deafen) 2:05

Budd – Methanol [Jawa the Genisis] (Jawa) 4:23

Rival Sons – Flames of Lanka (Before the Fire) 5:03

General Lee – Running with Sharp Scissors (Raiders of the Evil Eye) 5:29

End of Level Boss – Senescence (Eklectric) 7:16

 

Akris – Row of Lights (self-titled) 3:42

Monobrow – The Radio in Between… (Bennington Triangle Blues) 6:57

Taurus – Increase Aloneness (No/Thing) 13:14

River of Snakes – Burning Skulls (Black Noise) 6:17

 

The Cutthroats 9 – Eraser (Dissent) 3:07

Neurosis – A Chronology for Survival (Souls at Zero) 9:34

Ladybird – Gone Away (Ontological Physicalism) 7:53

Godhunter – GH/0ST:S (Godhunter/Secrets of the Sky GH/0ST:S split) 10:55

 

Leaf Hound – Sad Road to the Sea (Growers of Mushroom) 4:24

Culted – Intoxicant Immuration (Oblique to all Paths) 10:44

Naam – Lands Unknown (The Ballad of the Starchild) 5:02

On Pain of Death – Year Naught Doom (Year Naught Doom) 11:26

2014 CFL POWER RANKINGS: Week 13

Well, we’ve been waiting all year for an East-over-West upset, and last week, we had not one, not two, but three of them.  In fact, there was almost a fourth, had the Curse of Taylor Field not gotten the best of Henry Burris again.  But hey, the REDBLACKS!!!! still scored 32 points in defeat, which is normally a full month’s output from them.

That said, it’s hard to advance anyone from the CFL’s midget wrestling circuit ahead of the big boys, not when all West Division teams are at .500 or above, while the top wrestlers in the Least are batting no better than .364.  (Holy Mixed Metaphor, Batman!)  Still, I think the Ti-Cats might be on a roll here.  They’ll at least prove they’re better than Winnipeg if they beat ‘em next week.

Preseason Predictions

Last Week’s Rankings

Rankings Archive

1. Calgary Stampeders (10-2) Last Week: 1.  OK, so the Stamps offence sputtered in Montreal with their backup QB and RB last week.  But they’re still the highest-scoring team in the league, with the stingiest defence, to boot.  And for my money’s worth, if Calgary played Saskatchewan right now, with both their backup pivots, I still think the Stamps would win.  Besides, from what I’ve heard, it’s only a sprain–Bo Levi’s week-to-week. ;)

2. Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-3) Last Week: 4.  As the only West team that won last week, the Riders move up two spots in the standings.  But hey, they still needed overtime to get past a 1-9 REDBLACKS!!!!! squad quarterbacked by Henry Burris.  Aaaaaand that’s why you’re not number one, Saskatchewan!

3. Edmonton Eskimos (8-4) Last Week: 2.  The Esks played a pretty tight game at Timmies Field last weekend, ultimately losing by a safety.  I was actually at that game, cheering for my second-favourite team–y’know, whoever’s playing against Edmonton. :P

4. B.C. Lions (7-5) Last Week: 3.  The Lions likely had the ugliest loss of Week 13, giving up 40 points in defeat to Toronto at B.C. Place.  But it only would’ve been the second-ugliest loss of the week had the REDBLACKS!!!!! pulled that one out in Regina!

5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-7) Last Week: 5.  This time, the Cats beat a West Division team that wasn’t without its starting quarterback, and they even came from behind to do so.  I think the Cats could be the class of the Least–which is sorta like being the tallest building in North Dakota–but hey, one more win next week, and I might move ‘em ahead of the Lions (who are so losing to Calgary!).

6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-6) Last Week: 6.  Idle Winnipeg neither moves up nor down in this week’s rankings, but if they lose a fourth straight game, they could find themselves behind more than one Least Division team after Week 14.

7. Toronto Argonauts (4-8) Last Week: 7.  The Argos had the biggest win of Week 13, but at 4-8, they still stink.  Did I mention they’re only half a game back in the CFL Least!?

8. Montreal Alouettes (4-8) Last Week: 8.  The 4-8 Als are also in the thick of things out Least…but let’s face it, only two of these teams are making the playoffs (and it should really only be one).

9. Ottawa REDBLACKS!!!! (1-10) Last Week: 9.  Y’know, I’m running out of silly REDBLACKS!!!! pictures to put at the bottom of these posts, so here’s one of Henry Burris in ladies’ lingerie:

(Wait, I’ve used that one before, haven’t I!?)

AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: NIKWIND/Witch Mountain/Hedersleben @ The Garrison, Toronto, September 15, 2014

Well, considering that Brockwind cancelled its North American tour–twice!–last year, I figured I might as well see the closest thing (which, in terms of founding members, is just as close as the other thing) in Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, aka Nikwind.  Mind you, my main reason for attending this gig was the touring support.  Witch Mountain is one of my favourite female-fronted doom bands going today, and since they reside on the other side of the continent, I’ll always make a point of seeing ‘em whenever they’re in town.  And hey, Nikwind puts on a pretty stellar show in its own right. ;)

I didn’t catch all of opening act Hedersleben, an experimental kraut rock band that may or may not actually be from Germany, but let’s just say they were kinda like Hawkwind in disguise.  (Foreshadowing much?)

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Much like the first time I saw em, a couple years back, Witch Mountain was touring in support of a new album that I hadn’t even heard yet.  (In fact, I just bought a copy at the gig.)  But while the songs were all new, they maintained that signature Portland style, and Uta Plotkin’s voice is still as amazing as ever!

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Now, I will say this about Nikwind.  Not sure what an actual Hawkwind gig was like back in the day, but they did a pretty decent job of recreating the atmosphere I’d imagine.  Frankly, I’m just glad I got to see someone play “Silver Machine…”

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Hmm, haven’t I seen this guy before?

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Note the “What Would Lemmy Do” container atop the bass head:

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Episode 134 of Gruesome Tunes now available for download!

gruesometunesnew

CLICK HERE.

09/14/14 PLAYLIST

ASG – Children’s Music (Blood Drive) 4:41

Sin Dealer – Thoughts (Sell Your Soul) 4:33

Missiles of October – Addiction (Don’t Panic) 3:50

Corrosion of Conformity – Brand New Sleep (IX) 5:54

U.D.O. – Dr. Death (Rev-Raptor) 3:46

Juggernaught – Train (Bring the Meat Back) 3:24

Buddha Sentenza – Tzameti (Alpha) 3:45

 

Windhand – Evergreen (Soma) 6:57

High on Fire – Last (The Art of Self Defense) 6:36

Hail! Hornet – Gifted Horse (Disperse the Curse) 2:26

Beneath Oblivion – Barren Earth (From Man to Dust) 9:03

ÖfÖ Am – Lasserre Baltz (The Beast Within) 2:13

Oh How It Ended – Old Man Jenkins (Welcome to Brown Rock) 2:40

 

Orange Goblin – The Fog (A Eulogy for the Damned) 6:46

Cowards – The Old City (Hoarder EP) 6:19

Dread Sovereign – Pray to the Devil in Man (All Hell’s Martyrs) 5:58

Lumbar – Day One (The First and Last Days of Unwelcome) 5:02

Roadsaw – Long in the Tooth (self-titled) 4:36

 

Grime – Down by the River of Dreg (Deteriorate) 4:32

Argus – The Coward’s Path (Beyond the Martyrs) 7:17

Dukatalon – Gate of Mind (Saved by Fear) 6:09

Beastwars – Mihi (self-titled) 3:42

Suns of Thyme – One Song (Fortune, Shelter, Love and Cure) 4:43

Biipiigwan – Crimson Sword (God’s Hooks) 3:40

AMATEUR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY HOUR: WINDHAND @ Coda, Toronto, September 14, 2014

While Windhand opened a few Canadian dates of High on Fire’s last (non-Converse sponsored) tour, they only played places west of Winnipeg, making this their first Toronto appearance.  Now, I wasn’t quite as enamoured as most critics were with Soma when it came out, and seeing ‘em live didn’t really change that.  I’d still say they’re pretty good, but not great.  However, for a sludge/doom band, they sure do a lotta headbanging on stage, which makes for some pretty decent pictures:

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Heeeey maaaan, sweet dog leaf shirt!

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Hmm, not every day that you see a topless girl tattoo…on a woman:

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CROWBAR REVISITED: Sever the Wicked Hand (E1 Metal, 2011)

Though I’ve been waiting a long time for a new Crowbar album, I wasn’t too sure I’d be pleased with the end result. Their last few recordings were somewhat lacklustre, and then there’s that whole Hatebreed influence, as heard on Kirk Windstein’s two releases with Kingdom of Sorrow. (I’ll never forget seeing Jamey Jasta—not Kirk—singing “Self-Inflicted” and “All I Had” the one time I saw KOS live. Ugh…)

Alas, there is some of that hardcore chugging to be found here, but it’s kept to a minimum. Opener “Isolation (Desperation)” has a great winding sludge riff, and a classic Crowbar breakdown, but the chorus is karate-choppable. The title track is almost the opposite—fast-paced, pounding verses with a killer slow chorus driving in the final nail. That Windstein signature tone sounds just as evil as ever on this record, and compliments his hoarse vocals perfectly. “Liquid Sky and Cold Black Earth” features both prominently; three songs in, and I’m not complaining…

“Let Me Mourn” and “The Cemetary Angels” are the so-called singles, released ahead of time on the internet. The former sees Windstein soar above a downtuned, mournful sludge barrage, while the latter is a barn-burning hardcore stomp that ends on a slow note. While not my favourite tunes on the album, both are pretty decent.

After a spiritual instrumental interlude, in the form of “A Farewell to Misery,” the album’s second half features more of the same, slow, meaty and heavy riffage serving as an anchor for Windstein’s anger, his words grounded in reality as always, with enough tempo changes to break up the monotony. Dude produced the record, too, which makes sense—it really sounds great.

Don’t get me wrong, the days of Time Heals Nothing and the self-titled are long gone, but if  Sever the Wicked Hand sparks a Crowbar revival, I’m all for it. In fact, I’ve already got my ticket to see ‘em with Saint Vitus, Helmet et al in Cleveland next month…

(Originally written for Hellbound.ca)