# CDLXIII…Rock Spotlight Vol. IX…”Under Your Spell”, The Birthday Massacre (2017)…

When this band announced a PledgeMusic campaign to fund this new album, titled “Under Your Spell” (which features a silhouette of a “bunny-girl” skeleton embracing another shadowy grim reaper skeleton), I immediately and without hesitation did my part to kill the “bubblegum” that graces the airwaves.  As a man with a collection of music that DOESN’T include most of the moronic nonsense out there, this band is among my Top 50 (coming soon?!?) and this album is proof-positive that you’re missing out.

Before I get into the album, however, I would like to state my official position on this Canadian sextet (which I’ve covered in FOUR posts on this blog)…everything this band has put out since 2002’s “Nothing and Nowhere” is in my catalogue!  When I made my “pledge” (although a measly $16), it was with the intent of keeping them in my musical database because of their intelligence.  As true masters of their craft, this album is everything that is expected of them (in terms of recording music for all to enjoy!)

An 11-track romp through a Carroll-esque (“Alice in Wonderland”?) landscape of emotional highs and lows in dealing with life and, more specifically, love, it grabs you from the first song (aptly titled “One”) and keeps you enthralled, through Chibi’s haunting vocal styles, combined with Owen’s keyboard mastery with Rainbow and Falcore’s guitar prowess to finish.  The flow that this band has had since the beginning is something that everyone can enjoy.  The band is more tempered for the darker side (goth-synth?) and I can certainly relate to most of the subject matter on this album (as highlighted by tracks like the title cut, “All Of Nothing”, “No Tomorrow” (featuring two sides of Sara Taylor’s impressive vocals), “Games”, and “Unkind”.)

In closing, this is definitely a band that you should enjoy and this album is a five-star caliber album!  I suggest that you all mark June 9th on your calendars…you WILL NOT be disappointed!

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CDLXII…”There Can Be Only One”…(Memorial Day Excerpt)…

May 29th, historically for this blog, has not been covered…but, as I mention in the book, it made an impression enough to bring out my inner nerd, as you’ll see in the following excerpt (hopefully to invoke more sales???)…

# lxxvii…”There Can Be Only One”…

The date on the calendar, May 29th, meant almost nothing to today’s star, Adrian Paul (1959), who, as you may recall, starred as Duncan MacLeod on the hit science-fiction show, “Highlander” (beautiful show about an “immortal”, who has to keep his head from being chopped off in order to stay that way) from 1992 to 1998.

It was actually my best friend, Shawn Smith, who introduced me to the British actor, as I have been an avid science fiction fan my whole life…so, naturally, I really enjoyed his acting and his emotion in the role for those six great years.  His career, in case you didn’t realize why he’s here yet, actually spans television and movies since 1987…since before a lot of the “Internet Generation” was even thought of…the title, by the way, was his usual “catchphrase” after taking another “immortal’s” head.

Also celebrating on this wonderful date are/were; late veteran patriarch Stacy Keach, Sr. (1914-2003), late President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent (1938), veteran racer Al Unser (1939), veteran actor Kevin Conway (1942), soap opera phenom Anthony Geary (1947), music and movie maestro Danny Elfman (1953) and famous songstress LaToya Jackson was born in 1956.

Veteran actress Annette Bening (1958), musical icon Melissa Ethridge (1961), former “The Facts of Life” co-star Lisa Welchel (1963), former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher (1967), Spice Girls’ Mel B. (1975), comedian/host Daniel Tosh (1975), wrestling personalities Brian Kendrick (1979) and Hornswoggle (1986) and basketball star Carmelo Anthony (1986) round out this list of celebs.

And, in case you didn’t know, there IS only one…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CDLXI…Personal Dia de los Muertes…

As today is the eighteenth year since my father passed on to the astral plane, I would also like to regale you another tale from my book (with a minor edit), as I’ve never used this time to tell you (on the blog, at least) about the other people born on this day…the following was published last year and, to my knowledge, has never been spoken of outside of my book…

RIP Frederick Henry Johnson (07/08/31 – 05/21/99)…a light forever missed…

# lxx…Wrestling’s Greatest “Ghost”…

{Author’s Note:  May 21st is the date that, in 1999, my father’s physical body left this earth…this is not a date that I celebrate normally…}

I have just found out that May 21st, aside from being the darkest day in my personal history, would have been the birthdays of late wrestling pariah Chris Benoit (1967) AND his wife, Nancy Benoit (1964).  Now, I don’t know about you but, to me, that is reason enough for me (to mention them), aside from the fact that, reportedly, Mr. Benoit killed his wife (two days before he committed suicide), who was the performer formerly known as Woman (in ECW and WCW).

It’s just one of the reasons that I love the unpredictability of the calendar…they knew they were born on the same day and got married, too…although the reasons for his supposed murder of his wife, being the tragedy that it is, will never be known, because he took those thoughts to his grave, regardless of what the media will say (they only let you know what THEY want you to, remember?)

Chris Benoit, by the way and for the record, should not have his wrestling accomplishments and great performances stricken from the annals of the WWE history…the matches alone speak for themselves, as does the skills in promotion of the craft.  Regardless of the acts that he has committed, his prowess in and out of the ring will be forever remembered by the truest fans of the genre.  I can remember countless matches with the man that were far superior then anything being broadcast today.

I understand the stigma that his actions have caused…but he is deserving of this spot because of his performances, not because of his final actions!

Also born on this dismal day are; late actor Robert Montgomery (1904-1981), late musician Fats Waller (1904-1943), late “Ironside” (among others) star Raymond Burr (1917-1993), former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian (1923), former Braves’ manager Bobby Cox (1941), singer Leo Sayer (1948), actor/politician Al Franken (1951) and the ever-popular Mr. T was born in 1952.

Comedian Judge Reinhold (1957), late serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (1960-1994), former Minnesota Twins’ mainstay Kent Hrbek (1960), late rap icon The Notorious B.I.G. (1972-1997), actress Fairuza Balk (1974), former running back (yes, and former Saints’ bust, I know…) Ricky Williams (1977) and former Three Days Grace vocalist Adam Gontier (1978) {Author’s Note:  Check him out with the cello-based band Apocalyptica, as well} close this list.

Well, with this date now off my calendar, brighter days ahead…

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CDLX…Weirdness Excerpt…

So, for the first written post this month (been busy with Book 2)…I will just enlighten you with this tale about a not-so-well-known actor and why he was placed in the first book…

# lxix…Classic “Cult” Actor…

Today, May 20th, just happens to be the birthday of veteran actor (active since 1963) Anthony Zerbe (1936)…as some of you may recall (if you’re old enough), he was the villainous Abner Devereaux in the cult classic rock movie, “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park”, from 1978.  The film, which was certainly, by today’s standard, poorly made (if rebooted in this day and age, however, could be awesome) told the story of Abner Devereaux’s plot of revenge against the well-known theme park that he worked at.

His plan, which was to create chaos and ruin after a concert by evil versions of the rock band, was thwarted by the heroes, who had regained their supernatural “powers” to save the day.  Anthony Zerbe’s performance of the villain Devereaux is just one of the many roles that has garnered his place here; he’s played in a James Bond film (“License to Kill”), a Star Trek film (“Star Trek: Insurrection”) and two Matrix films (“The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”)…not too shabby.

Also celebrating are/would have been; late actor (“It’s A Wonderful Life”, among others) James Stewart (1908-1997), former baseball world home run leader Sadaharu Oh (1940), late 60’s crooner Joe Cocker (1944-2014), multi-talented entertainer Cher (1946), late Yankees’ star/broadcaster Bobby Murcer (1946-2008) and former New York governor, David Paterson, was born in 1954.

Famous 80’s scion Ron Reagan (1958), The Go-Go’s’ guitarist Jane Wiedlin (1958), The Cowsills’ Susan Cowsill (1959), actor/comedian Bronson Pinchot (1959), “The Facts of Life”s Mindy Cohn (1966), rapper/actor Busta Rhymes (1972) and basketball scion Patrick Ewing, Jr. was born in 1984.

I should be back tomorrow…not for birthday post, though…if you follow me, you’ll know why!

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

{The above excerpt, and many more like it, are still available at the link below…}

# CDLVIX…New Music Excerpt…

Before I begin, I would like to say that this could be my final excerpt for the foreseeable future, as I am knee-deep in compiling my next project…details to follow?  Anyhow, April 26th (today) is one of the reasons I do what I do here; a date that, as you’re about to see, I should have spoken of…as I’ve reviewed the group numerous times!

# lx…The Best Lead Singer You’ve Probably Never Heard Of…

Today, on April 26th, 1977, a very special talent named Sara Taylor was born into this world…however, she is also known as “Chibi”, the vivacious lead singer of the band known as The Birthday Massacre.  She and her bandmates have been rocking the scene for a very long time (since before the new millennium (1999)) and my music collection has never been the same.

The band has been releasing hit after hit since before most of you were brainwashed by the stupid bubblegum music blasting the airwaves today.  With such hits as the song that described them to the music community, “Happy Birthday”, and classic anthems like “Red Stars”, “Walking with Strangers”, and their 2014 classic, “Superstition”, their sometimes-dark lyrics are just a wonderful piece in their melodic structure…which is awesome and why they belong in your collections, too!

Part of Chibi’s lyrical prowess stems from the fact that she is an avid crossword fan…something that I relate to, as I’ve been enjoying them since before she was born (1975, to be precise)…so I know the power that they have as it relates to one’s vocabulary skills.

Also born today are; veteran actress Carol Burnett (1933), singer/guitarist Duane Eddy (1938), former teen idol Bobby Rydell (1942), Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor (1960), actor/martial artist Jet Li (1963), actor/comedian Kevin James (1965), actor/wrestler Kane (1967), former Slipknot/Murderdolls musician Joey Jordison (drums-Slipknot, guitar-Murderdolls) was born in 1975, everyone’s favorite “Smallville” hero, Tom Welling (1977)  and the ubiquitous Channing Tatum joined us in 1980.

Until next time…thank you for coming and enjoy your day!

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CDLVIII…Level 46…

If you follow this blog, you’d know that today, April 19th, is my birthday…I was born in 1971 (for those that don’t follow LOL) and as weird as you think that is, I have another little piece of trivia for you.  When I was doing research on my next “project” (couple pages in, at the moment), I found out that one of my favorite groups happened to release an iconic album on my birthday!

The album, by the way, is none other than The Doors’ monumental sixth album, titled “L.A. Woman”!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I continue to do what I do…

Without getting too mushy for you, I present the reason that I’m here this early; the list of birthday-mates for me (and everyone else born today):  The original “Untouchable”, former lawman Eliot Ness (1903-1957); “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” star Hugh O’Brian (1925); the second Darrin Stevens from “Bewitched”, Mr. Dick Sargent (1930-1994); actress Jayne Mansfield (1933) and actor Dudley Moore (from the original, and best, “Arthur”) (1935-2002); “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” lead man, Tim Curry (yes, the “Sweet Transvestite” himself) celebrates his 71st birthday today (1946).

The youngest daughter of painter Pablo, Paloma Picasso, turns 68 (1949); former Metallica (and other artists’) producer Bob Rock (1954); former Black Sabbath lead singer Tony Martin (1957); baseball players Frank Viola (1960) and Spike Owen (1961); race car phenomenon Al Unser, Jr. (1962); rap producer Suge Knight (1965); actress Ashley Judd (1968) and motorcycle enthusiast Jesse James (Sandra Bullock’s ex) turns 48 today.

The guitarist for the band Within Temptation (which I’ve spoken about here), Mr. Ruud Jolie was born in 1976; James Franco, whose works need no introduction to me, was born in 1978; actress Kate Hudson (1979); actor Hayden Christensen (you know him as “young Anakin Skywalker”) and sports “legend” Troy Polamalu were born in 1981 (36 years old); and, finishing the list, three baseball players born in 1983, Mr. Zack Duke, Joe Mauer, and Curtis Thigpen (all 34 today).

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

# CDLVII…R.I.P. in Heaven, Year Two…Fredrick Van Johnson I (1964-2015)…

Today, April 17th, as most of you know, would have been my late eldest brother Fred’s birthday…his 53rd, to be exact…and those of you who know me personally know just how much my late brother meant to me.  As such, I will keep it short and sweet and, if you want to know who’s birthdate you share, the archives are to the right… have a job, you know, and most of your attention spans aren’t what they used to be LOL.

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\