[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.]

There ain’t nothin’ on this planet like live music.

We create as many venues for musical performances as possible, from drug-fueled festivals to cozy coffee shops. When was the last time you watched a late-nite talk show that didn’t feature some sort of live musicianship? Hell, one of the annual highlights of the Superbowl – a sporting event – is the musical halftime show.

It’s hard not to be affected by musicians who’re willing to wear their hearts on their sleeves in front of a live audience.

Some argue that concerts are magical simply because they’re ephemeral. There might be something to this notion, as the performances infiltrate our memory-banks and eventually germinate into the stuff of legends. However, there’re also no shortage of concerts that’ve been documented and still manage to entertain, awe, and inspire.

What we’re talkin’ `bout, of course, are live albums.

So what’s your favorite live album? Is it a classic like Frampton Comes Alive? Maybe a hidden gem like Iron Maiden’s Rock in Rio? Tell us which concert album (or DVD!) gets your toes-tappin’!

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Face of a Franchise: The Brothers Metal

[face of a franchise presents individuals that’ve fulfilled the same role. your task — choose the better of the options at hand and defend your choice in the rancor pit that is the comments section]

Speaking from personal experience, I can say without hesitation that there is no relationship on the planet comparable to brotherhood. Friendships, business partnerships, and marriages are all pretty cool, but the connections between their members don’t carry the same weight as those between brothers. After all, we’re talkin’ about dudes bonded by BLOOD! And hell, I know that there’re some cool sisterhoods out there, but sorority members don’t have anything that fraternity members don’t have as well.

And yes, that includes slumber-party conversations about periods and boys’ dinkies.

In fact, the only relationship more inherently powerful than brotherhood is that of the METAL BROTHERHOOD! When you take two dudes that share genetic material, give them musical instruments, and encourage their bad ideas, then you’re bound to get something diabolically beautiful. Brothers – dudes that’ve spent their formative years hanging out, watching movies together, beating the shit out of each other, stealing nudie mags for one another – are more adept at collaborating on solos and breakdowns and subversive lyrics than anyone else.

With that in mind, we must now ask – who are most deserving of being known as The Brothers Metal?

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RIP Dimebag Darrell Day: A Moment of Shred

OL would be remiss if we didn’t take a second to tip out a 40oz for Dimebag, who was shot down seven years ago today. Sleep well, sweet prince. In Hellfires, scantily clad women, and pick slides.

Hit the jump for some shredding remembrance.

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In Memoriam: Dimebag Darrell

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.

That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Three decades ago today, Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon in an attempt to actualize the wishes of Holden Caulfield. Thereon, December 8th became a somber day for anyone who appreciates music and hates shitty literary interpretations.

Unfortunately, this day became even more ominous six years ago as Dimebag Darrell was murdered onstage by a crazed fan. Slinging the axe for Pantera, Dimebag helped craft a brand of metal that held complete domination over the 1990s. While long-heralded heavy metal gods began experimenting with blues-riffs and mascara, Pantera maintained their dedication to savage thrashin’ and soulful groovin’. In fact,   they only became more aggressive – which is ridiculous, considering that they kicked off the decade with Cowboys from Hell.

What strikes me most about Dimebag’s playing is the originality and conviction. There is no mistaking a Dimebag Darrell riff, whether it’s one of the machine-gun facsimiles that punches you in the gut or one of the chunky stutter-steps that greets you at the party and convinces you to funnel a beer. His six-string prowess was, in a word, jaw-dropping.

Hit the jump to check out some of my favorite Dimebag moments.

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