Metal. Monsters. Mayhem.

Archive for February, 2012

In case you were wondering

A pack of wolves, a parliament of owls, a herd of bison… Should you need to refer to groups of paranormal things, though, what do you say? Traditionally, “coven” is used to refer to a group of witches or vampires, but someone has taken up the challenge to assign words for all groups of beasties.

This is a creative if specious list… I do love the “lunacy of werewolves.”

To read more, click here.



Hunting monsters: Criminal Minds as Beowulf

Modern cop drama investigative teams: for when you need someone to metaphorically rip a monster’s arm off.

We never get tired of hearing about Beowulf.

No, I’m not talking about the actual Geatish hero or the eponymous poem in Anglo-Saxon, or even the attempts at movie versions in recent years (I haven’t seen the one with Angelina Jolie, though if that’s the only one you know, check out Sturla Gunnarsson‘s original take on the story in Beowulf & Grendel with Gerard Butler and Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson).  I’m mainly interested in the basic trope of Specialist Warriors From Away Swoop in to Deal With Monster.

It’s the basis for most of the hunting-the-psycho cop shows out there, in particular Criminal Minds.

To read more, click here.

Rough life makes for a great read

I’m not always keen on rock biographies. Some, like The Dirt, which tells the sordid story of Mötley Crüe, is a great if at times unbelievable read. Others, like Two Sides to Every Glory, which chronicles AC/DC’s rise and then ignores most what happened after 1990, leave something to be desired.  And I’ll always have a soft spot for Hammer of the Gods, even though I think all the surviving members of Led Zeppelin have disavowed it.

As a sometime book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press, I occasionally get to write about a book like this — the autobiography of Guns ‘N’ Roses founding member Duff McKagan.

The following is republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2011 J7

Guns N’ Roses bassist rocks autobiography

Even a rock star can feel like a dork.

Guns N’ Roses co-founder and bassist Duff McKagan opens his self-deprecating memoir with his daughter’s 13th birthday party. While trying to stay out of sight so as not to embarrass her by his mere presence, he surprises two partygoers sneaking a kiss.

“My mind rushes through a checklist… of things I was doing at this same age,” he writes: boozing, smoking pot, dropping acid, snorting cocaine, stealing cars, having sex. These kids are just kissing.

Embarrassed, he mutters a quick, “Sorry,” and ducks back into the house.

To read more, click here.

Coughing and sputtering to life

At long last, I join the early 2000s by starting a blog.  This, from someone who didn’t even buy a CD player until 1998.  So I’m not an early adopter!  Sue me!  🙂

Check back soon — more to come, and, I promise, an actual theme.