WEEKEND OPEN BAR: unsung heroes.

Unsung Heroes

[WEEKEND OPEN BAR: The one-stop ramble-about-anything weekend post at OL. Comment on the topic at hand. Tell us how drunk you are. Describe a comic you bought. This is your chance to bring the party.]

It’s time to sing the praises of the unsung hero.

That’s not to say that there isn’t something wonderful about zest and panache and pageantry. `Cause there most certainly is. In fact, some of the best entertainment consists of the bombastic acts of conspicuous heroes. Take the guitar solos out of Megadeth’s Rust in Peace and see how much headbanging you do. Don’t let Tony Stark drink and bang babes and fly in his metal-dude suit, and feast your eyes on a rich nerd. Hell, would you even watch basketball if the NBA outlawed slam dunks?

I certainly wouldn’t.

Still, that’s not to say that all heroes are of the sweep-pickin’, philanderin’, slam-dunkin’ variety. There exists another sort, a breed concerned less about the spotlight and more about gettin’ the job done. Y’know the type — the guy quietly keepin’ to himself while the hero of the day slugs champagne and smacks ass and gets high-fived. These taciturn troopers may not be the first to spring to mind, but when we consider their contributions it’s impossible to deny their importance.

What I’m tryin’ to say is that there are unsung heroes who deserve our praise. If you really love the Beatles, send George Martin some flowers. If you think Michael Jordan’s the all-time greatest, get Scottie Pippen a Dunkin Donuts gift card. And if you think Tarantino is an unparalleled master of cinema, find a way to pay tribute to Sally Menke.

Even Moses would’ve been a useless sack of shit without Aaron.

[Which unsung heroes deserve to have their praises sung?]



Bringing Out the Dead

One of the safest moves for any politician to do is to heap praise on police officers and firefighters. If the polls aren’t lookin’ too favorable, all that Mayor Shitbird needs to do is hop on a podium and proclaim, “Our brothers and sisters in blue and red, those who shepherd us to safety when we’re at our most vulnerable, they need our support!” Cue the applause, zoom out to reveal crowd waving American flags, and roll credits.


Now, I definitely think that police officers and firefighters deserve support and admiration. I don’t care how heavy a check you toss into my lap, I’m not going to voluntarily run into buildings that are filled with criminals and flames. Sorry. Call me a coward, but I’m just not cut out for that shit. While I don’t take issue with these civil servants themselves, I think that it’s absolute nonsense that society has bet all its acclamation-chips on these two horses while seeming to ignore a third altogether.

Emergency medical technicians.

In my estimation, EMTs are some of the most bad-ass motherfuckers around. These benevolent lunatics jump into ambulances, careen through the streets, and arrive at scenes of unimaginable horror. As first-responders, EMTs often report to the same sites as police and firefighters, but without the luxury of the equipment necessary to quell criminal intentions and unthinking infernos.

Also, it always cheeses me off when people deify the doctors or surgeons or nurses who saved their lives, but completely forget about the EMTs who rushed their ass to the hospital in the first place. Again, I’m trying to lambast hospital staff — I owe my life doctors and nurses who’ve kept me living — but I wish that we’d acknowledge the fact that that all the medical attention in the world won’t save you if you don’t survive the trek.


[Dan Briggs – BTBAM]

Dan Briggs

One of modern heavy metal’s greatest musicians is a fellow by the name of Dan Briggs.

There’re a couple of reasons as to why there is a dearth of appreciation for Dan Briggs. First, there’s the fact that Briggs is a bassist. While there’re certainly some exceptions — Cliff Burton, Steve Harris, and Steve DiGiorgio come to mind — bassists aren’t usually thought of as the piece de resistance in the realm of heavy metal. So, that’s already working against him. Then there’s the fact that Dan’s band, Between the Buried and Me, aren’t going to be getting airplay on your local rock station. For some reason, radio audiences shirk away from ten-minute prog-metal songs with extended instrumental sections and growled vocals. Whatever, just cue up another Alter Bridge track

Anyways, Dan Briggs is the real deal. While Briggs certainly provides the low-end for BTBAM’s crushing grooves, it becomes clear to any active listener that he is doing much more than doubling over the guitar lines. It becomes evident rather quickly that Briggs uses the approaches he garnered over years of studying classical composition to inject untraditional, but damn appealing hues into the music.

Even after listening to BTBAM for years and years, I’ll still occasionally stumble upon bass lines of Briggs’ that were lost on my ears. He’s like a goddamn heavy-metal Houdini.


If you see any ambulance drivers or bassists today, give `em a thumbs up.

[Which unsung heroes deserve to have their praises sung?]