For a number of months I have been offering up our readers a veritable cornucopia of Social Networking posts here in our our sites blog and speaking in relation as to how we were using them to better generate attention to the PiercingMetal.com brand identity. Since site launch back in 2005, I’ve seen networks come and go and while some have even remained active all this time, their own reach and considered impact on the larger geography has waned while others took the reigns and rose to new heights. MySpace in particular was one that is no longer deemed relevant by a large faction of Net savvy people. On the other hand, Facebook is now without question one of the most popular, if not THE most popular and powerful Social Network that is currently online. It seems that everyone you encounter in your travels has a Facebook page and while people used to ask for telephone numbers, I now hear “can I add you on Facebook” much more. Not long after I created my own personal account, I learned of being able to create a focused page that could be dedicated to my website and this community page was limited in its quantification and use to the readership. That left me with some serious doubts about its benefit.
I’m going to continue to show some touring love whenever possible via the PiercingMetal Musings blog, and this is going to especially be the case when it comes to bands that I consider a part of my own Metal Family. The band Into Eternity and I go back as far as to months before I had officially launched the PiercingMetal.com site and after seeing them in action on numerous occasions I came to consider them Brothers in Metal.
I flipped a coin when it came to commenting on this recent bit of news and it landed on the “OK dude toss your views into the mix” side so here we go. Over the last few weeks I have been reading a number of different posts about the band Queensryche and what was transpiring in their camp. One website reported in that in April the bands singer Geoff Tate assaulted two of the members of the band prior to taking the stage in Brazil when he was informed that he was being “dismissed” but since I was not there to witness the exchange, I can only imagine what led to the statement or its real deal outcome. No one ever publicly came out and said that this was happening after all, unless I missed a post on Bravewords somewhere along the line. Moving on, there was also a back and forth with Tate during the Queensryche set at the recent Rocklahoma event. As the main spokesman during a show, Tate is tasked with periodically trying to stir some response from the crowd but he was not appear to get much love back from them. So what does he do?
Well, he tells the audience that “They Suck” or “You Guys Suck” in more clear terms and while everyone was up in arms with this statement since it was captured for all eternity on YouTube, he was very clearly being sarcastic. Come on, we see shows all the time and that is what you tease an audience with when they don’t give you anything back. It’s the whole “do you hear me?”, “hey is this microphone on? Do you hear me!!!!!” kind of thing. I am hard pressed to think that after three decades that anyone in Queensryche think that their audience sucks. This next bit of news sort of surprised me and in some sense it did not. Geoff is touring as a solo artist doing some acoustic tunes that feature Queensryche numbers, solo material and tunes that he likes as a musician. I missed the show that came through NYC based on bad timing but friends went and said it was a good time. Queensryche, who are now signed to Roadrunner Records, only recently had completed their 30th Anniversary Tour and one side of my friends loved it, while the other side said it was less than exemplary. I would have given you my own thoughts on it but I was on vacation and not even in the city when they played. Sorry about that. Even the Metal Media needs a day or two off. The surprises continued when the rest of the members of Queensryche announced that they would be touring and recording with Crimson Glory’s new singer Todd LaTorre. I do have a few thoughts on this since they said the band would be playing the first five albums level of QR tunes and doing some new originals. I admit that the name doesn’t “catch me” right away but there is a saying that goes “what’s in a name” so I will leave that alone for now.
Todd joined Crimson Glory I guess a little over a year ago now and was the perfect replacement for the now deceased Midnight. He can hit all of those stratospheric notes that the former singer hit so it would be really interesting to hear him doing some Queensryche numbers as well. The guys are calling this side project “Rising West” and I will admit to some curiosity about seeing it in action since like some other fans I have found myself being a little left for want with recent Ryche sets. I admit that this is my own fault for wanting so much of the old, old stuff though because that material still floors me to this very day. Back to the point, let’s not be alarmed here. The bands publicist Jeff Albright sent out a statement to that proper industry resource Billboard Magazine and said that all was fine in the bands camp. Geoff is working on his solo material and the rest of the guys just need to keep busy and who can blame them for that. Perhaps some time away from Queensryche as a band is what everyone needs anyway. It let’s them come back fresh and armed with some hopefully killer stuff.
I am appending these thoughts because when I learned that LaTorre had uploaded a sample of him doing some Queensryche classics onto his YouTube page I knew that I had to share it with you readers without a doubt. I was already a fan of what he brought to the table with the Crimson Glory material but just wait until you hear him do this stuff. It brings you back. One has to only hope that this all gets recorded and released to the fans as we deserve to own historic moments like this. Maybe this will even reach NYC.
Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging after a word from our sponsor……..
Official Website: http://www.queensryche.com
Readers of the PiercingMetal Musings blog already know that we love reporting on the conventions that focus on things that our core demographic finds of interest or ones that we feel help us deliver a more interesting website to you at the end of the day. This mindset is why you find coverage of the NY Comic Con and Toy Fair right here at your fingertips. I also attend some of the photo expos as well but tend to keep that stuff on my PiercingKen website instead. In 2011 I would add two new events to my coverage range that I had at the time only recently learned about and they were the Blog World & New Media Expo and BEA or Book Expo America.
The Blog World & New Media Expo intrigued me since I am running an online presence with PiercingMetal.com and employing all the vast and varied Social Networking Mediums that I can make work for its benefit and hopefully help the Metal music scene. That made me feel that that it would be interesting to see what was around the exhibition floor at this convention. I documented the conference in the link you find HERE in case you are interested in some recap. It was interesting for the most part but there was a lot that did not personally help my brand and was instead geared more towards those who were just getting their feet wet. I still managed to meet a number of interesting people and made some nice connections so that made me curious about attending this year’s event to see what has changed and what in some sense has not. In addition to the exhibition floor and all its booths there are numerous panels and discussions but we did not get to attend those based on the budgetary restraints.
Then there was the BEA or as I said means Book Expo America. As participants in the Blog World Expo we were also permitted to wander the exhibition floor of this conference for no extra charge and that was awesome since it was a surprise treat. As I had no real plan for this one in terms of coverage I just walked around and tried to meet as many of the interesting people that I could. I really enjoyed finding some of the comic provider booths and the larger publishers like Harper Collins and Simon and Schuster who each have numerous music biographies out there on the market. I didn’t meet any of those Rockers whose tomes we had been reading but I did run into Spider-Man and a few other interesting characters. My quick thoughts on the experience can be found on the link presented HERE so please do check it out. If you needed a quick idea about what to expect, you can think of Book Expo as being the size of Comic Con but with a main focus on conventional books and its growing digital market. It was very, very interesting to say the least and I was looking forward to doing it again.
If you have not yet signed up for these expos, you still have time to do so and can use the handy code link that I have placed below for your convenience. Remember that by signing up for Blog World you are to able to get access to the Book Expo America as well, so that is two great events for the price of one. This is never a bad thing in my book. Both PiercingMetal.com and Skeleton Pete will be wandering the exhibition floors for sure and we hope that you decide to join us in doing so. If you see us please be sure to say hello.
You can also check out their official websites. There are also Facebook Pages for these enterprises but you can access them right from the real deal sites. We are now at t-minus fourteen days, so act while you can or risk missing out on a great experience.
Blog World and New Media Expo: http://www.blogworld.com/
Book Expo America: http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/
The other day I saw a posting from a friend on their Facebook saying how they were tiring of so many death reports and while I can agree with her with every inch of my person, it is just a sad, cold fact of life that we have to deal with. That being said I am afraid that I must post a memorial reflection on yet another loss and this one saddens me all the more because I actually knew this dude in my media life and frequently ran into him at shows. It’s with a heavy heart that I must share the news about the passing of Mr. A.J. Confessore who fans around the world knew as C.C. Banana. A.J. was a quick thinking improv comic who created the personas of C.C. Banana and Maul Stanley who would run around the comic conventions and shows doing interviews. It was always a lot of fun seeing him do this and if you chanced upon him at a show you would never forget it. For the last bunch of months it had been reported that A.J. was facing some dire straits and there were auctions and events that were trying to help him get a number of issues under control. Unfortunately his family home was lost despite the efforts and it appears that the burden of this was all too tough to take because this sometime this morning A.J. decided to take his own life. He was only 43 years old.
The last time that I actually saw A.J. was at the NY Comic Con from 2011 where he was all made up as the mighty mutant C.C. Banana in a Wolverine costume. We crossed paths at a booth where there were two very lovely Japanese girls so I snapped a couple of photos of him doing his thing. I posted the pair of photos since its how so many people remember his antics. It was really some clever means of making ones impact in a generally strange scene.
I always appreciated the positive interest that Banana showed in the PiercingMetal brand when we ran into each other at the shows and I looked forward to his next adventures when he spoke of them. A.J. was also a talented music and song parody creator and his latest effort was an All-Star tribute to Fat Chicks called “Whole Lotta Love”. I admit that I had not yet heard this but did find the premise and song selections that he shared to be a riot. It’s rather hard to realize that I will not see him around the music scene anymore and I cannot say enough at how much it sucks that he felt this was the only path that he could take. I’m a firm believer in that anything can be overcome no matter how hard. All that suicides do is leave the people behind very hurt, confused and wondering if they had done enough for the person lost and could have helped any more than they might have.
As I said my own interactions were minimal with C.C. but in my book he was a really fun guy and I’ll miss that. In this time of sadness and questions I send the deepest condolences to his family, friends and business partners along with all of the fans that he had in the concert scene and on the interwebs. Rest in Peace A.J. May you finally find the answers you were seeking.