Holy Crap, Cheese Metal is Back

I present to you “Heroes of Our Time” by Dragonforce:

It’s like they’re the opening band for Wyld Stallyns. Or Europe.

Please make it up to your ears by listening to the music in the previous post. You’re welcome.

Songs for the Forgotten Future, Vol. 2

My pal Dave Wechsler — who used to be the Rough Guides publicist who had to deal with me, the poor bastard — is also a member of the very groovy band Piñataland, which specializes in a type of music which, for lack of a better term, I would call “alternate history Americana”: Instrumentation that is old-time Nashville by way of gypsy caravan, and songs that celebrate both the heroes and misfits of American history (mostly the misfits), and point toward visions of our country that are best described as collapsed potentialities rather than where it actually went. Basically, the sound of what America might have been if it had zigged instead of zagged at some indefinite point in the past. Naturally, I think this is kind of cool.

Last Tuesday Piñataland released its most recent album, Songs for the Forgotten Future, Vol. 2, which is available for download on iTunes, eMusic, Amazon and other sites. If the idea of listening in on a secret history of the United States seems like a fun time to you (and I don’t know why it wouldn’t), I’d recommend checking it out. It’s smart and wistful and not much like anything else you’ll be listening to this year.

Here’s the leadoff track from the album, called “Ashland,” which I’m streaming to you with permission of the band. Enjoy.

You can also sample more of their music on their MySpace page.

Books v. Blogs, Atlanta Style

Just in time for Dragon*Con and the Decatur Book Festival, Creative Loafing, Atlanta’s alternative weekly, has done a long meditation on the subject of books and blogs and how the two interact with each other, and the article features pithy quotes from Cherie Priest, Rich Tommaso and me. And yes, Bacon Cat is referenced, because I know how much all of you love that. The article is here, and there is no small irony in the fact, as I understand it, that the online version is longer and more comprehensive than the print version. Oh, Internets. You have such infinite newshole.

And for extra recursive fun, here’s a related entry about author blogs on Fresh Loaf, the Creative Loafing blog, focusing on authors who will be at the Decatur Book Festival. Enjoy.

Recurring “Nightmare”

Thursday means my movie column at AMC, and this week, on the occasion of yet another home video release of the film, I look at why Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is more popular now than it was when it was released fifteen years ago. I also tell the story of why every emo boy and goth girl I meet is insanely jealous of me (it involves the film, obviously). It’s spooktastically delicious. Remember, if you have a comment about what I’ve written, the column threads await your sage words.