R.I.P. Alan Rickman

2015-2016 is turning out like 1970-71, when Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all died within a few months of each other. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Snape, or the caterpillar in Alice, or Marvin the paranoid android. When he played a role, he owned it.

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Mongolian Folk Metal: Tengger Cavalry

Yes, there is such a thing as Mongolian Folk Metal, and it is being performed by the band Tengger Cavalry. It’s post-Metallica heavy metal combined with Mongolian folk instrumentation, which gives the band a feel and sound something like Kansas or Yes playing heavy metal or Porcupine Tree with more diverse instrumentation. In the five songs I’ve listened to on their new album,¬†Blood Sacrifice Shaman, there aren’t so much vocals as there are vocal stylizations: vocals are being used like another musical instrument. Seriously rocks, well put-together. Check it out. You can¬†stream their entire album on the website linked above.

If you’d like to explore world folk metals, check out this video:

If anyone would like to write an essay about folk metal and Romanticism, check out the CFP.

Sleep well, B.B. King

I was lucky enough to see B.B. King in Morristown, NJ in the early 2000s, sometime before 2004. Yes, it was a great show, and he was a great performer and guitarist, but what impressed me the most at the time was that whatever he’d been all his life (I just don’t know), he’d become a gentleman in all of the best senses of the word. He seemed to me like someone to emulate. We lost a truly great person today. Sleep well, B.B. King.