Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sun, copper rings around Earth, hacking baby monitors, Allen Lanier, Andy Summers & Circa Zero, Mike Keneally, Stygian, Avenged Sevenfold, New Years Day, Soundhalo & Middle 8

Why can’t it be upper 60’s, sunny, and breezy every day? Oh yeah, because I live in RVA instead of California. Might need to investigate relocating a little bit more next year!

Did you know 50 years ago, the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense started building a ring of copper around Earth? It was the Cold War, the U.S. thought the U.S.S.R. was trigger happy, radio satellites had yet to be scattered throughout our orbit, and the military feared it was too easy for the Russians to disrupt undersea radio cables and the Earth’s ionosphere was too susceptible to solar storms. So MIT Lincoln Labs developed a program of rocketing a cooper wire dispersal module into space. The first mission failed. The second (and last) successfully spread half a million 1.8 centimeter long copper wires into low orbit. And then tests proved that the band of wires created an effective long-range radio antenna until the density of wires spread too thin. Do you think the military still tries shit like this?

In sad news, founding keyboardist & guitarist Allen Lanier of the legendary Blue Oyster Cult died at age 67 after being hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. R.I.P. By the way, I need to pick up the recently released comprehensive BOC boxed-set. Looks incredible.

In happy news regarding classic rock icons, former Police guitarist Andy Summers has a new band called Circa Zero that has already recorded an album and is just waiting for the right release deal. I got into the Police late, after college post-1998, and consider them one of my favorite bands, with a highly consistent catalog of albums and songs. Good to see Andy putting out new rock material.

Mike Keneally of moderate Frank Zappa fame has released two free live EPs on his website. No reason not to download them. Keneally has an extensive catalog of albums and collaborations spanning every flavor of rock, from progressive to jam to folk to melodic.

In 2014, Divebomb Records (part of Tribunal Records) will be reissuing Stygian’s “Planetary Destruction,” originally released on Leviathan Records in 1994. I got this album shortly after it was originally released and did not appreciate it during my college years, but I have to say that it now stands as a strong time capsule of 80's/90's thrash metal. Proud to own an original pressing of the CD.

Avenged Sevenfold’s new “Hail To The King” will be more than just an album, but a multimedia experience that includes a six-episode animated series. First single sounds like a good fresh start for the band, and I love when heavy metal is combined with comic books or anime!

Century Media recording artists New Years Day have released a video for “Angel Eyes,” off their recent “Victim To Villian” album. Chris Motionless from the band Motionless In White appears in the video, and the video is pretty lavish in production.

Soundhalo, a new rock concert streaming website, has just released a new online magazine called Middle 8. So far, the magazine looks more promising than the streaming service, but either way, there are good lesser-known bands to check out on both sites.

Here's to the weekend and searching for this mythical beast, possibly at Midnight Brewery in RVA.

[the end]

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