Scott Alisoglu’s Infrequent Playlist of the Absurd 10

Howdy folks! Who in the hell says “howdy” these days? Lame! Or at least not “Rad!” anyway; I’m pretty sure on this one, but be you might want to consult your copy of Hip Teenage Colloquialisms for Dummies just in case.. We’ll begin the proceedings with a couple of books as a way of proving to the world that I have in fact beaten back the disease of illiteracy…or some shit like that.

by Scott Alisoglu

Ace Frehley’s No Regrets: A Rock N Roll Memoir.Enjoyed every word written. Ace always held a special place in the hearts of a certain segment of the Kiss Army, as well as one hell of a lot of guitarists of some repute. He was the substance-abusing, fun loving, ADD rocker (along with drummer Peter Criss) to the OCD Arrows of Straightness that were (and still are) Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. While he pulls no punches, Ace doesn’t sling mud and always gives credit where credit is due. As much a life story about his own personality traits and lifelong struggles with addiction as a rock biography, No Regrets is one of the best, sincerest rock biographies I’ve ever read. I respect Ace more now than has ever been the case. Rather than perpetually point outward, the Space Man’s fingers are more often than not pointed inward. So I’ve gone on longer than I intended. Let’s just say I loved the book and Ace is now a hero of mine on more than just a musical level.

Sammy Hagar’s Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock. A longer, more detailed account of Hagar’s enormously successful career as both a musician (Montrose, Van Halen, solo artist, etc) and a businessman, Red was just as good a read as No Regrets, but the topics covered were decidedly different. Say what you want about Hagar, but since coming out of an impoverished childhood, he is one smart guy and a thoroughly decent human being who got his shit together from day one and continues to keep said shit intact to this day. A more upbeat guy you’ll never meet.

Tony Iommi’s Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Probably the best inside (and seemingly factual) accounts of Black Sabbath ever written. It is a fascinating autobiography as well. The writing is more succinct than either of the two books above, as well as a little choppy at times, but that’s due to the fact that Iommi actually wrote it himself with no assistance. Of course, if you’re a devout Sabbath follower (such as myself), then you’ll already be familiar with a chunk of it. And to Iommi’s credit he does a lot of setting the record straight. Though he admits that these are just the way he saw/interpreted events (e.g. Ronnie James Dio supposedly turning up his vocals on the Live Evil album in the middle of the night during the recording), he offers very fair assessments, is well aware of his idiosyncrasies, and is anything but self-righteous. What has tended to get lost in the four decades of Sabbath gossip is that Iommi wasn’t just difficult or controlling for the sake of being difficult or controlling; he was the leader, chief songwriter, and the guy that everyone sought out when there were problems (or crises), so he had no choice but to be the “control freak” of the bunch. It wasn’t going to be Geezer and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be Bill Ward or Ozzy. Also of interest was that Iommi has a long history of being one tough, street fightin’ son of a bitch and cleaned many a clock in his day. Bet ya didn’t know that, did ya? That’s why it’s a cool book, provided you can deal with reading “Bloody Hell” at least 250 times.

Jerry Shirley’s Best Seat in the House: Drumming in the 70s with Marriott, Frampton, and Humble Pie. As in the legendary, over the top, soul-voiced performance artist/guitarist/vocalist extraordinaire Steve Marriott and lead guitarist Peter Frampton (yes, I realize you’ve heard of Frampton Comes Alive – get on with your life!), both of whom were members of the hot, the nasty, and the stone cold feverin’ Humble motherfuckin’ Pie. You do realize he drummed on the first Fastway album, right? Just started this one and I’m already hooked. Shirley is a writer of some depth and wit too; easily the most well written book of the bunch.

Abominant – Battlescarred These guys have been popping up in these playlists a lot lately, haven’t they? This one is a four-song EP of two strong originals and two covers (Pestilence’s “Out of the Body” and Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules”). Ya can’t go wrong with it.

Coathanger Abortion – Dying Breed My significant other cringes more when I utter this Tennessee band’s name even more than she does when I bring up Sexcrement in polite conversation. This 9-tracker was purchased for $5 from the band at the Manhattan, KS stop of the ComaTour 2012, which also featured Norway’s Kraanium and North Carolina’s Atrocious Abnormality. Of course it’s brutal death metal! But you’d be surprised at the quality of the compositions. Great CD and great live band.

Uriah Heep – Look at Yourself. Diggin’ deep and gettin’ trippy. Ken Hensley was no slouch. Ain’t no “Sweet Lorraine,” “Easy Livin,” or “Stealin” though, is there? I prefer Into the Wild. Screw your nostalgia!

Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme. The new one and it’s pretty darn good. Still techin’ out like the last couple, but there really are some similarities to the more groove-peppered material of Destroy the Opposition.

UFO – The Chrysalis Years (1980 – 1986)Having already devoured The Chrysalis Years(1973-1979) I was ready for another 5-disc UFO set. I’m always ready in fact. Too much is never enough.

Black Sabbath – Master of Reality Phenomenal. That tone, that vibe… “Sweet Leaf” (that’s Tony Iommi’s cough by the way), “After Forever, “Children the Grave,” “Lord of this World,” “Into the Void.” Are you kidding me? Would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope? Is there a better lyric?

Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Very creative, very cool, and one of Tony Iommi’s proudest achievements (hey, that’s what he said in his autobiography).

Black Sabbath – Sabotage. I’m actually fonder of this album than Sabbath Bloody Sabbath; it’s close though. Heavier guitar sound too. I mean come on, “Hole in the Sky” and “Symptom of the Universe” alone are enough to blow the balls off a charging rhino.

Grave – Into the Grave. Absurdly limited green vinyl.

Monster Magnet – Spine of God. Best album they’ve even recorded and I like most of ‘em. Saw them touring on this album as openers for Soundgarden (Badmotorfinger tour) and Swervedriver in Detroit way back in the damn day.

Monster Magnet – Dopes to Infinity. Christmas is dead and dead is Christmas.

Dawnbringer – Into the Lair of the Sun God. Another masterpiece. Chris Black is Back and on the Attack. He gets it. You should too.

Superchrist – Holy Shit. See above.

Wrapping up now, are we? Let the randomness flow like a polluted river, baby! How much music have you stolen off the Internet in a demented quest to ensure your favorite band never makes enough money to record another album? None of my business? Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night…Bollocks!



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