Sunday, August 28, 2005


System of A Down did not disappoint. They were just awesome - a phenomenal combination of melodic thrash, punk metal, spirituality, politics and silliness. They played almost the entire "Toxicity" and "Mezmerize" discs. There wasn't a single song I had hoped to hear that they didn't take care of. Since they have so many short songs, never wasted time with even a single solo, and didn't ever take a break or encore, it felt like they played at least 50 songs. Especially when compared to opener The Mars Volta whose never ending jams made me think of Black Sabbath crossed with The Grateful Dead with Minnie Mouse singing. In their hour long set, I think they played two songs. I could appreciate the musicianship but it just became background music to me.

SOAD on the other hand, grabbed the audience by the throat right from the start and never let go. The show featured an open, sparse stage with some cool LED light displays capable of tons of patterns and colors. They did a couple verses of Neil Young's "Rock and Roll Will Never Die" before playing a new tune "Kill Rock and Roll". The new album, "Hypnotize" comes out in November and they undersold it calling it just like "Mezmerize" but with different songs. The sound was great - nice and loud but still clear and all the harmonies were right on - except maybe on "Question!", the current single. During its softer parts voices sounded a bit out of tune, but it was probably the 10,000 tone deaf fans who often drowned out the band during their rare softer moments. Later they played a bit of Dire Straits' "Sultans Of Swing" which was very cool, especially with the lyric change: "we are the system of a down." Just a great high energy, crowd singing, psychotic show. System is one of the very best bands to scream along to, I was just exhausted by then end (still am). And the people I met at the show left early! LOSERS!

SOAD Set list:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

System of a Down

Woohoo! Headed to see System of A Down and The Mars Volta tonight at The Centrum (or BankCenter of whoever just bought it) in Worcester Ma. Am very psyched to see System - one of my very favorite bands. This will be my first time seeing them headline, I caught them a couple years ago on OzzFest.

Here is a decent article on them from yesterday's Boston Globe.

Pounding out a blistering attack
System of a Down lashes out at Hollywood, war, and hypocrisy

By Steve Morse, Globe Staff August 26, 2005

Hollywood was no fantasy for Daron Malakian. Forget about celluloid heroes or silver-spoon coddling in mansions. Such dreams were not part of his childhood.
''I grew up across from a motel where a lot of prostitutes hung around. And there were a lot of gangs," he says. ''When I think of Hollywood, I don't think of the movies."
Malakian is now a co-songwriter/co-conspirator with System of a Down, a hugely successful group of rock provocateurs that attacks greed, hypocrisy, and self-righteous superiority wherever it sees it. The band headlines the DCU Center (formerly the Centrum) in Worcester tomorrow.
On the new album ''Mezmerize," Malakian takes some head-on shots at his hometown.
Give a listen to ''Lost in Hollywood" (with the warning verse, ''You should've never gone to Hollywood . . . they look at you in disgusting ways") and the slamming ''Old School Hollywood," about Malakian playing in a celebrity baseball game at Dodger Stadium with the likes of Tony Danza and pop-nostalgia singer Frankie Avalon. The verse ''Old school Hollywood, washed up Hollywood" is the nasty summary of it.
''I played for about two seconds in the game," notes Malakian, who is ordinarily a big baseball fan. ''No one knew who I was. They were looking at me like, 'Who is this guy?' But I don't think that Frankie Avalon is the biggest System of a Down fan."
Even though his band has achieved major success, Malakian says LA and its class distinctions still provide plenty of songwriting material. ''I just drive around Hollywood and observe people and make up stories about them," he says. ''You could compare it to Lou Reed singing a lot about street life."
The group was once labeled ''nu metal" and lumped in with such acts as Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Rage Against the Machine. But Rage is gone, Korn and Bizkit have faded, and that leaves System, which has never felt comfortable with glib stereotypes.
''We don't belong to any one scene," says Malakian.
On such CDs as ''Toxicity," ''Steal This Album!" (a play on the old Abbie Hoffman book title), and ''Mezmerize," the band demonstrates an extraordinary ability to write songs that sound unlike anyone else's. Malakian's frantic rat-a-tat guitar rhythms intertwine with singer Serj Tankian's supersonic vocals -- and the result is a strangely controlled chaos. It's then topped by lyrics that might blast the president's war policies one minute, then talk about Hollywood a few songs later.
''A lot of bands sound the same these days, but as soon as you hear System of a Down, you know immediately who it is," says Mistress Carrie, the music director and acting program director of WAAF (107.3 FM), which is presenting the DCU Center show.
''They go from a politically charged, screaming rant all of a sudden into this sweet melodic chorus and you think, 'How did that happen?' " adds Carrie. ''They're an enigma. According to the formulaic nature of the music business, they shouldn't be successful. . . . People are usually afraid to take chances on a band that is that quirky, different, and strange, but in this case, people have really gravitated to them."
System has paid its dues -- playing Ozzfest and doing a tour with Slipknot -- while observers have struggled to describe the band. It was once labeled a cross between Frank Zappa and Slayer. Malakian will buy that, but says, ''Zappa is big for me, but not as big as the Beatles because I really take a songwriting approach. I just really want to stress that."
System tunes have a complexity that betrays a surreal amount of experimentation and craft. ''Every song is like four different songs crammed together," says Mistress Carrie. ''If any other band tried to pull that off, it would sound messy and sloppy."
As for the group's political bite, there's no greater example than the recent single, ''B.Y.O.B.," inspired by a TV ad for the Army. ''It glamorized going into the Army," Malakian says. ''It made it look like a party where everybody was going to have a good time."
The song turns vitriolic with the line ''dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine"; it never mentions Iraq by name but is a less-than-subtle allusion to it. Then comes the agitprop of ''Why don't presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?"
''Back in the day, when the emperor or the king or whatever waged war, they went to war, too," says Malakian. ''But that's been lost in time."
The new album is meant to be a companion piece to another CD, ''Hypnotize," due in November. The band could have chosen to release them as a double album but opted to issue ''Mezmerize" and ''Hypnotize" separately.
''I feel like people have only heard half a record so far," adds Malakian. ''But we like releasing shorter records. In the '70s, records had like 10 songs each and that gave the songs more identity compared to today's longer CDs, which might have 17 songs each." (''Mezmerize" has 11.)
''I can't say which of the two albums is softer or heavier than the other," he concludes. ''Both are really all over the place, which is how we always are."
System of a Down appears with the Mars Volta and Bad Acid Trip at the DCU Center in Worcester tomorrow, 7 p.m. 617-931-2000.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Kickin' Off A Busy Week

This summer is coming to an end with a flurry of activity. I finally received a DVD of the independent film I took part in last summer CHAOS UNLIMITED. This marked my professional acting debut as "Head Thug" as well as portraying dozens of anonymous masked gunmen, I also ended up with Assistant Director credit. Guess I was a nosy thug. You can't buy it anywhere - and I doubt you would want to.
Tonight Lori and I saw RED EYE - a very good suspense thriller. I was most interested in seeing this because it was written by a first-time screenwriter and it sold for $500,000 within hours of being sent out to studios.
I'm currently in development with some screenwriting projects in the UK and on both coasts of the US. Nothing big to brag about yet, but things are moving along.
Tomorrow night I'm off to see System of a Down and there will not be any blowoff possibilities like at the Crue last week. I've been looking forward to this show for months.
Then next Thursday it's the final preseason game for the World Champion Patriots at Gillette Stadium, Friday we are off the Fenway Park to see The World Champion Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles and their steroid star Palmero. Finally Saturday we return to Gillette Stadium to see Green Day -- psyched to see them, but not a fan of the giant stadium shows usually.
And after surviving all that, the NFL season opener is just around the corner on Thursday Sept 8, when the Pats will hoist yet another Super Bowl banner.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin Rocks!

Just saw The 40 Year Old Virgin and it is absolutely hilarious. Lori and I both laughed more at this than even at Wedding Crashers - which is also a riot. If Hollywood keeps this up it could be the start of the golden age of R rated comedy. The sad sack virgin is played by Steve Carell (from The Daily Show, The Office and supporting player in movies like Liar, Liar and Anchorman), who has long deserved his lead shot and he nails it. Another stand out is Seth Rogen, whom I've been a fan of since his time on the unappreciated TV series' Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared. The director of Virgin - Judd Apatow - was also involved in those shows.
This is the kind of movie you have to see a 2nd time because the audience is laughing so much you miss a lot of lines. It also has, I believe, the first Al Qaeda joke in a major movie - and it's funny. Plus one of the best "straight out of left field" ridiculous/hilarious endings ever. A great raunchy, dirty and touching ride. The only troubling thing was how many toys I had in common with Andy - the name of the tragic 40 year old. That and a similar love for Asia... and Survivor... oh no.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What a Tool

Tonight was Motley Crue up in Manchester NH. For weeks I'd been joking with Del (my friend who was going with me) that we'd probably just blow it off, neither of was really caring about going. We've probably seen the Crue together close to 10 times. Anyway today came and we decided we were actually going to go despite feeling old and lame, we knew we'd have a blast once there - Manchester just felt farther away than it is. Then Del calls 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave and backs out of it all together. He'd had a couple beers this afternoon and now just wanted to go to sleep. Don't laugh too hard - you'll feel the same way soon enough.

So with Lori headed to the Cape there was nobody to drag along now that I was almost close to being psyched to see them. I end up staying home and watching the finale of Six Feet Under on HBO. And cry. And bawl. And sob. Fuck I hate that show, it can be so torturous to watch sometimes. I've never watched a show that can make me feel so depressed - but it does it so well I couldn't ever kick the habit. Great episode, could be their best ever. But I'm glad its done, cause Entourage just makes me laugh. Thank God.

So I must ask myself, when did I become such a tool that I blow off Motley Crue to stay home, watch TV and cry? Oh yeah, thirty some odd years ago. D'oh!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

T Bone TV

Motley Crue's Vince Neil was first with season one of the Surreal House - now it's Tommy's turn. "Tommy Lee Goes to College" premiers tonight at 9pm eastern on NBC. The drummer for the Crue, amateur porn star, high school dropout, and professional Hell raiser enters the University of Nebraska for a six episode stint. Will hilarity ensue? We'll have to tune in to find out.

Monday, August 15, 2005

More New Sites

Have launched two more sites full of valuable information just for you!
Check out for the latest hot tub and spa news and information as well as, a new site dedicated to Safari and Adventure Travel.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New Office Furniture Site

Have recently launched a new Internet marketing company and our first site is now live. Office Furniture Buys is the place to go when you need any office or home office furniture. The site has articles, news and reviews regarding office furniture. That name again is Mr. Plow... I mean

Monday, August 08, 2005

Another Goofy Writing Contest

Here's a silly little contest that could win you $500. It's "That First Line Writer's Contest." So, if you've a great opening line to something or can just make up one right now, submit it at: and $500 could be yours! It cost $5 to enter and the deadline is midnight on August 15th. Since it is just one sentence, feel free to wait till the last minute.