Monday Morning Commute: For the Rest of Us!

Welcome once again, m’babies, to the Monday Morning Commute. Please ignore the fact that this feature is posted during the late-night timeslot. Also, there’s no need for you to know that my commute to work takes no more than fifteen minutes on a bad day. Instead, join me in celebrating the entertaining bits of existence that are going to get me through the week.

And try to remember what you learned on the playground – I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. After peeping my naughty bits, hit up the comments and show me yours. After all, it’s only fair.


Rockin’ / No Presents for Christmas

It’s the year 2010. Living in the future, we’ve come to accept all sorts of innovations of which our forefathers would’ve never been able to comprehend. Digital cable. Radioactive meals. Invigoration elixirs. And the heavy metal/holiday hybrid.

Truthfully, we’re a bit spoiled today. TSO has come to be accepted by the holiday snobs as a legitimate orchestra and even Twisted Sister (the We’re not gonna take it! dudes) have put out an album of heavy hymnals. If I weren’t such an ardent supporter of all things shred, I might go as far as to suggest that this new genre is now old news. Passé. Regurgitated.

But long before geriatric were swinging their arthritic hips to the band that killed Savatage, King Diamond put his own stamp on the holidays with No Presents for Christmas. In fact, this track was the first single to be released by the King after splitting from Mercyful Fate and forming his own eponymous group. And what a debut it is! Through his unmistakable falsetto, the Dane mixes bizarre imagery and religious overtones to create a malefic masterpiece.

I’m not exactly sure if there’s supposed to be a cohesive narrative behind No Presents for Christmas. But I know that when I hear King Diamond referencing cartoons and appealing to a dark master, I’m in. With Christmas-riffs tossed in for good measure, it’s damn near impossible to not love this tune.


Hopin’ / Marco Minnemann for Dream Theater

Earlier this year, the progressive rock world was turned upside by the news that Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater were splitting ways. It’s been a real clusterfugg since;   fans debated whether or not Portnoy essentially left DT for Avenged Sevenfold, the drummer denied that he ever wanted to join the Avenged Sevenfold full-time, and then he left a series of mopey online messages when they gave him the boot. It’s been a hell of a year for Portnoy, but it’s hard to not see these wounds as being anything other than self-inflicted.

Anyways, Dream Theater has decided to move on without the founding member. A new drummer has been chosen and there’s plenty of speculation as to who the grand reveal will be. Plenty of names have been tossed around – Donati, Mangini, DiCenso – but only one fits my fancy.

In my humble estimation, the man for the job is Marco Minnemann.

I’m not going to waste your time or my time by trying to summon my former drum knowledge to give an in-depth explanation as to why Minnemann is the best fit. I will just say this – the dude has sick chops, plays a wide variety of styles, and doesn’t allow his technical prowess to get in the way of playing shit that pleases the ear.

Check out these videos and become acquainted with the diverse mastery of MARCO!!!


Watchin’ / It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Six Feet Under)

Every year, I make it a point to revisit It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – one of my all-time favorite episodes of Six Feet Under. In terms of its contribution to the series’ overarching plots, the episode excels. We see Brenda and Nate trying to figure just how (un)comfortable they are with their engagement, David and Keith struggling to find their places within each other’s families, and the Fisher family’s collective attempt to get through the one-year anniversary of Nathaniel’s death.

But It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year is truly a gem because it provides authentic insight to the meaning of the holiday season. After the death of a benevolent biker (pictured above), Fisher & Sons Funereal Home is forced to stay open on Christmas. Although this seems like a hindrance at first, Nate takes a liking to the Jack Daniel’s-guzzlin’, Lynyrd Skynyrd-bumpin’ ways of the motorcycle-mourners. Speaking with the bereaved girlfriend, Nate has a holiday reminder that life is to celebrated.

Watch the episode and you’ll thank me.

Or at the very least, watch this terrible rip of the ending:


So there it is. Now tell me, what’re you doing this week?