guitarist > writer > coder

May 9, 2013
Comments Off on Understanding Metal Music in 500 Albums

Understanding Metal Music in 500 Albums

How many bands have you heard? I think I have a fairly wide taste in bands thanks to my parents eclectic tastes, but know there are so many bands I haven’t heard that I’m always on the look out for lists and articles that point me towards more.

Same bands on repeat

So stumbling on the List Of 500 Albums That You Need To Have Heard In Order To Have A Full And Comprehensive Understanding Of Metal Music was like striking gold. I like Metal, but tend to default to the same few bands. An article that lists over five hundred albums that helped shape and develop Metal had me creating a Spotify playlist with as many of the albums listed that were available*.



I know a lot of them won’t be my thing – I’m not a Death Metal fan, for example – but to have them pop up every now and again while the list plays on random isn’t a problem. And I hadn’t ever listened to Nick Drake, and Hazey Jane II is brilliant, so already I’m happily hearing songs that I love.


As there’s still money to be made re-releasing Rock albums on cd with an extra demo version or alternate take or live version, so some bands aren’t on Spotify yet, but a surprisingly large number are as record companies become less internet paranoid.


Others released albums pre-internet that weren’t successful enough for them to be still available are MIA from the playlist. And others are missing altogether, like the original Mr Big’s Photographic Smile – not on the list, but an album worth seeking out second hand.


*It’s a work in progress, it’s a lot of albums to search and find and add…


November 14, 2012
Comments Off on Near pefect Zappa playlist

Near pefect Zappa playlist

Had a look at my Last.fm Frank Zappa “most played“, and stuck them in Media Monkey. Of course being my most played they are my favourite Zappa tracks, but they fit together so well as a playlist that they make a pretty decent introduction to Zappa – from a rock guitar playing listener’s point of view. Every Zaqppa fan will have their own take on what is and are his best tracks, and since he played so many different styles you could easily approach his music from a load of different angles. As he did.


Highlights: Guitar solo on Inca Roads, guitar solo on Ya Hozna, and Planet Of My Dreams for just being what it is.


  1. Society Pages – You Are What You Is
  2. Harder Than Your Husband – You Are What You Is
  3. Ya Hozna – Them or Us
  4. Suicide Chump – You Are What You Is
  5. Camarillo Brillo – Overnite Sensation
  6. You Are What You Is – You Are What You Is
  7. Sharleena – You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Sampler
  8. Can’t Afford No Shoes – One Size Fits All
  9. Planet of My Dreams – Them or Us
  10. Stinkfoot – Apostrophe
  11. Dirty Love – Overnite Sensation
  12. Inca Roads – One Size Fits All
  13. Cosmik Debris – Apostrophe
  14. Jewish Princess – Sheik Yerbouti
  15. Jones Crusher – Sheik Yerbouti
  16. Dumb All Over – You Are What You Is
  17. Father O’Blivion – Apostrophe
  18. Cheepnis – Roxy & Elsewhere


Favourite album? Tricky… Tinseltown Rebellion was the first I bought, so special for that reason, Roxy and Elsewhere is a brilliant live album, and Sheik Yerbouti has the widest range of Zappa Zappa tracks from his rockiest period. And has Jewish Princess, which I love for too many reasons.


Wilson and Alroy describe Zappa’s different styles well:


“Zappa had at least six distinct musical personalities or facets: the Psychedelic Satirist, the Serious Avant-Garde Composer, the Fusion Bandleader, the Potty-Mouthed Reactionary, the History-Minded Obsessive and the Just Plain Rock And Roller. One personality usually dominates any given record, and the typical listener will love one or more facets, hate at least one, and be indifferent to the rest” – Wilson & Alroy, Frank Zappa (and The Mothers Of Invention)


Guess from this list I’m a Frank “Just Plain Rock And Roller” Zappa fan.


“There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we’d all love one another.” – Frank Zappa


July 24, 2012
Comments Off on My Top 10 Films

My Top 10 Films

  1. Lost in Translation
    Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray perfect in Sofia Coppola’s best
  2. Groundhog Day
    Explains The Internet
  3. Dumb and Dumber
    Saw this at the cinema when it came out and hated it. Got funnier with every viewing after.
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Perfectly captures the pain of being in love with the wrong person
  5. Ichi the Killer
    Off the wall sadomasochism
  6. Kissing Jessica Stein
    Slightly clutzy lesbian love story, but that “I know…” scene is a killer
  7. The Dead Zone
    David Cronenberg’s best is the best Stephen King adaptation
  8. Five Easy Pieces
    Quit a job after watching this
  9. Harold and Maude
    Quirky love story with perfect soundtrack
  10. Big dumb fun action movie
    Die Hard, Payback, Terminator (I or II), Bourne. Before the sequels ruined them


July 8, 2012
Comments Off on Zergnet


At some point you might have come across Zergnet. If you haven’t, you will. Like those old linked sites or rings, where sites with similar content linked to each other so you could surf like minded content, Zergnet has a nice page with content described as “interesting articles actually worth reading.”



Zergnet landing page


And when you click on something, you go to the original site. And on that site is a content box with stories on the same theme that link you back to Zergnet. This is fine. The problem is that every click opens in a new tab. So click in Zergnet, open content in new tab, click the embedded Zergnet content links, go to Zergnet in new tab, click to open content and it opens a new tab. Why? Would be so much nicer to stay within a single window. There are no ads on the Zergnet site, so I don’t see what is gained by pulling users back there each time.


Zergnet tabs...

Zergnet tabs…


Another more minor gripe is that the content seems to be mainly “A list of…” or “Ten things…” They get boring quite quickly.


May 16, 2012
Comments Off on Top three things that were on my fingers when I put in or removed my contact lenses in descending order of resulting pain

Top three things that were on my fingers when I put in or removed my contact lenses in descending order of resulting pain

  1. Chili peppers
  2. Factor 50 Sun Tan lotion
  3. Garlic

Only from the last fortnight or so, so subject to change