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, July 6, 2014

Sunday Triple Play - 7/6/14

This week's Triple Play hops genres as blatantly as one can, just because.

First up are electro pioneers Kraftwerk, who are finally getting their due in the development of electronica, techno and EDM.  They may sound primitive in light of today's more sophisticated technological advances, but these guys were one of the first to tinker with the sounds and they innovated the potential for synth-driven music with rich tones and swinging groove.  Kraftwerk pushed into territories seldom few artists had the courage to go as boldly as they did.  My son is ape shit for "We Are the Robots," but he's also keen on "Computer World," a fitting reminder to the world that things are constantly moving toward change, like it or not.

Next up is Aerosmith's seething tirade against the threat of nuclear holocaust, "Nobody's Fault."  Metalheads will automatically cue to mind thrash legends Testament, who did a solid cover and a hilarious video for this one.  Yet Aerosmith's version is far more brutal.  This thing writhes.  Crank it.  Wrapping up is Stringbean, one of the fastest banjo pickers who ever tramped the Earth.  Those who watched the country variety show Hee-Haw in the 1970s will recognize Stringbean as one of the bit players of the ensemble, most famously, the droll scarecrow hanging about the joke-a-thon cornfield.  His goofy, pencil-thin, elongated wardrobe was part of his performing shtick, but his true calling card was some mighty fast fingers on the five string.

Kraftwerk - "Computer World"

Aerosmith - "Nobody's Fault"

Stringbean with Earl Scruggs and Lester Flat - "Run Rabbit Run"

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