Sunday, April 15, 2018

Come See Me at Plastic City Comic Con This Saturday (4/21)!

My first convention appearance of 2018 is happening this Saturday (4/21), as I'll be at Plastic City Comic Con in Fitchburg, Massachusetts! My pals Keith Gleason and Amy Kukta are bringing this fantastic show back for a third year, and I'm honored to be a part of it.  The show runs from 10am to 6pm at the Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg. It's only $5 to get in, and kids 12 and under get FREE admission!

Keith and Amy have put together an amazing guest list this year, including comic legend J.M. DeMatteis, one of my all-time favorite Spider-Man writers. My pals Joe Caramagna (Duck Tales, Marvel Universe) and Jason May (Rob Bot, Lego Club, Reckless Sidekick) will be there, in addition to a slew of comic creators. Corin Nemic from Stargate SG-1 and Parker Lewis Can't Lose is the media guest of honor, and as an SG-1 nerd, I cannot wait to meet him.

I'll be selling print copies of all my Parted Veil books there, including my newest novella, Chasing the King in Yellow.


I'll also have copies of my short story collection Intrusive Thoughts:


And a handful of copies of my podcast book Making Ear Candy:


So, if you are in the Central Massachusetts area, come see me and a bunch of other more awesome people at Plastic City Comic Con this Saturday. For the full guest list and more details on the show, you can head to www.plasticcitycomiccon.com.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Saxon Hit Mohegan Sun Like a Thunderbolt

On Thursday March 23rd, the mighty Saxon once again proved they are a force of nature in concert. I've seen them in a club with less than 200 people. I've seen them in a small venue that was packed to the gills. And now after seeing them in an arena filled with metal fans, I can say conclusively--it does not matter what venue you see them in--when Saxon plays, Saxon slays.

Opening up for Judas priest, Saxon had a bit of a condensed set, but they jammed it full of hits from all voer their catalog. After opening with the title cut off their fantastic new album Thunderbolt, Biff and the boys went back to 1983 for "Power and the Glory," making sure that fans old and new were along for the ride. The rest of the set rolled out a few more songs from the new album, peppered in between classics. And of course, Biff masterfully worked the crowd. By the time they finished with "Heavy Metal Thunder," everyone was basically foaming at the mouth. Here's the full setlist:

Thunderbolt
Power and the Glory
The Secret of Flight
Motorcycle Man
Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
Dallas 1 PM
They Played Rock and Roll
Denim and Leather
Princess of the Night
Wheels of Steel
Heavy Metal Thunder

It's a good thing that Judas Priest was up right after them, because they are one of the few bands in existence that can follow Saxon live and have it not feel like a letdown. I am so thankful I got to see Saxon with Priest, and even more grateful my son got to see them as well. They are legends, and as always, they delivered.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rubix Kube is a Celebration of Music's Greatest Decade

If you've listened to any of the music podcasts I've done over the years, you know that I am a diehard '80s music fan. And not just rock and metal, either--I love all '80s music. Lucky for me, there is a bad out there making sure the legacy of music's greatest decade lives on--Rubix Kube. I got a chance to see them play last night, and they put on a fantastic show.

Cherie Martorana (vocals), Scott Lovelady (vocals), Steve Brown (guitar/vocals), Greg Reigle (bass, vocals) John Laspina (drums) and Mike Hunter (keyboards, keytar, vocals) gave the audience almost two hours of nostalgia-filled awesomeness with music from Madonna, Def Leppard, Prince, Van Halen, The Buggles, Journey and about a dozen more amazing artists. Both musically and vocally, they captured the soul of each song and reminded everyone why the music of the '80s truly is the best.

After the show, I got a chance to meet guitarist Steve Brown, who I have loved for since 1990, when I bought my first Trixter album. He was super nice and chatted with my Power Chords podcast co-host Matt and I for almost twenty minutes after the show. After watching him nail all those songs and talking to him in person, it's not hard to see why he is so well thought of in the rock community, or why Def Leppard chose him to fill in for Vivian Campbell due to Campbell's battle with cancer.
If you get a chance to see Rubix Kube, take it. Support this band that is bringing live '80s music to the masses.

Monday, January 1, 2018

My Favorites of 2017

I know this is technically the New Year, but I did want to give a shout out to some of my favorite things from 2017. Without further ado, here's what was awesome:


Comics--GIANT DAYS
This series is just a joy to read, and it's been my favorite comic for a couple years running now. Funny, genuine and beautiful.



Music--KXM: SCATTERBRAIN
George lynch, Ray Luzier and DuG Pinnick put together a sophomore effort that exceeds their amazing debut album.



Movies--THOR: RAGNAROK
This is easily in my top three Marvel movies of all time. It's a love letter to both Jack Kirby comics and the 80s Flash Gordon movie. It's also downright hysterical.



Games--RESIDENT EVIL 7
I didn't believe this series would ever get back to its horror roots again, but I'm happy to say I was wrong. This game rules.



Television--CHANNEL ZERO NO-END HOUSE
I enjoyed the first season of Channel Zero (Candle cove), but this season surpasses it in every way. Not only was it truly disturbing, but it was emotionally powerful. A tragic horror story.

So, those were some of my favorite things from 2017. What was on your list?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Year of Change

For me, 2017 was a year marked by change. Some significant chapters in my life closed over the past year, while new ones began. It was a year where I accomplished a lot, but also failed to meet many of my goals. It was a year that gave me more to reflect on than any year in the past decade.

In 2017, Matt Herring and I ended a twelve-year run of the Secret Identity podcast. When we started the show in March of 2006, most people didn't know what a podcast was. Since then, we've created 2000 hours of programming, interviewed hundreds of comic creators and made some of the best friends we will ever make in our lives. Without Secret Identity, I would never have been a game journalist or a writer, and I would not have the job I have today.

Which brings me to the second major change of 2017--I got a new job. I had been with the same organization for seventeen years until I left this year, and it was a job I could have retired in. But I wanted to do something that provided me an opportunity to make a positive impact, as well as use my creative skills, and so I left my old job for a new adventure. While it's only been two months since I changed careers, I know with all my heart it was the right decision.

There were other changes in my life as well, and it often felt like my life over the past year was in flux. That may have been one of the reasons that I did not meet my creative goals for the year. The two projects that I really wanted to get out in 2017 were the second book in the Woodsview Murders series (Haunted) and the fourth book in the Parted Veil series (Lovecraft's Trial). Both of those books top my priority list for 2018, though there are several other projects that could also see release in the upcoming year.

I did make stuff this past year, though!

On the writing front, I released the second edition of my podcasting book Making Ear Candy,


I released a new entry in the Parted Veil series--a novella called Chasing the King in Yellow. 


I had a short story published in the A Pizza My Heart anthology, which features a character in the upcoming Orchard Pointe series I'm writing with Jolene Haley.


I also wrote a short story for Jolene's Summer of Screams event called "The Boathouse," and it's one of my favorite short stories I've written to date. You can read "The Boathouse" for free right here.


And on the podcasting front, Matt Herring and I launched a brand new show called the Power Chords Podcast. As the name implies, this is a music-focused show, where Matt and I discuss our love of 80s rock and metal on a twice-monthly basis. We just released our "Best of 2017" show, which you can listen to in the player below.


I also co-host the Thrash It Out podcast with Antony Johnston, and we just posted our latest episode of that show as well, featuring the 2012 Huntress Album, Spell Eater.


So, while I did not meet all of my creative goals for 2017, I did have a productive year, all things considered. I'm extremely excited about jumping int 2018, because I finally have my feet back under me, and I can start establishing my creative routines again. In addition to getting the Parted Veil and Woodsview Murders books out in 2018, I plan on returning to the See Brian Write podcast as well.  

Happy New Year! Here's to 2018!