Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Triple Play - 6/22/14

I had the pleasure Friday night of watching four hours of dynamic, hellraising live mayhem from Hank Williams, III and I was so jazzed from the experience that I was able to complete a 5K walk the following morning on only one-and-a-half hours' sleep. 

I crashed to my face later in the day of course, but there's something to be said for the power of full-frontal, no-holds-barred live music.  Thus, this week's Sunday Triple Play brings three in-your-face live selections from Hank, III, The Clash and Faith No More.  In Hank's cut from 2010, you'll be given a  history lesson how his grandfather, Hank the elder has been shafted by the Grand Ole Opry before III's ensemble rips into "If You Don't Like Hank Williams" thereafter.  It's just a small taste of how powerful Hank, III can be live.  Stick around for his ADD and 3 Bar Ranch sets after the country leg, and you won't be the same thereafter.

The Clash's version of "The Magnificent Seven" from 1981 on The Tom Snyder Show is indeed magnificent here.  It's set on full throttle and dispenses with the funk strides of the original recording.  The Clash go straight to the edge on this performance and it's one of the most urgent sounds you'll hear out of anyone.  Sidebar, this clip can be found on the mandatory Live Revolution Rock DVD along with "Radio Clash" from the same t.v. appearance and likewise, "Radio Clash" is pushed hard instead of dancy.

Faith No More fans have a way of testing people about the band with one simple question:  "What's your favorite Faith No More album?"  If you don't answer with King For a Day, Fool for a Lifetime, chances are, the convo's gonna end right there.  FNM always delivered a frantic performance live.  I was there in 1989 when they and Soundgarden open for Voivod.  Yes, opened, since neither FNM nor Soundgarden had broken out yet.  That gig was the second best live show I've ever seen, but no doubt, this live rendition of "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" from King for a Day is so hyper and heavy, it gives perfect argument why that album reigns as Faith No More's supreme effort.

Hank, III - "The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't so Grand)/If You Don't Like Hank Williams," Live in Denver, CO  4/10/2010

The Clash - "The Magnificent Seven" Live, The Tom Snyder Show, 1981

Faith No More - "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies," Live in England 1997

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