Sportsball, 2019 Week 1 Preview: Part I (Are You Ready??)

 

Sportsball, 2019 Week 1 Preview Edition: Part I (Are You Ready??)

 

First, a quick warning to regular Valley of Steel readers: today we are introducing, in the words of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “something completely different.” While our purpose for existing remains sharing the good word about what’s happening in the world of music, this new feature (which is intended to be a semi-regularly recurring segment) revolves around a very different sort of heavy metal; specifically, the gridiron.

In case that still isn’t clear enough, we will be taking some time today (and tomorrow) to analyse the sport known around the world as amerikanischer Fußball, and domestically (here in the home of the National Football League) called simply football. As someone who has been voraciously devouring football news and stats for years, and as someone who already uses the written word as a way of exploring other lifelong passions, it just feels natural for me to experiment with writing about the sport. Sporadically, at least — if you aren’t a sports fan, don’t worry, maybe just skip this article and your regularly scheduled music news and reviews will continue coming your way very soon.

But for everyone else: tonight (Thursday, the 5th of September) will kick off the NFL’s 100th season, and we’ll be presenting you with a brief preview of all thirty-two teams. The previews are divided up into the sixteen match-ups that will be featured between now and Monday night, in case you want to quickly scroll through to find your favorite team. Half of them are included in this article, and the other half will be coming out tomorrow.

The main point here is to look at some of the major stories and trends that could shape each team’s season, rather than predicting the results of each specific game. However, you may also notice that each team has been listed with their current win-loss record (which, of course, is 0-0 for every team as of right now) next to their predicted record over the full season. These predictions are the result of an extensive series of proprietary calculations and data modelling based on the information currently available — but as the season progresses, the overall predictions will be updated based on new data and information, as new Sportsball articles are published. So just for fun, feel free to check back to see how right or wrong the outcomes in today’s preview (including the current expected playoff picture and Super Bowl teams, which will be included in tomorrow’s Part II) turns out to be!

Oh, and one last thing — as a fundamentally music-related website, I couldn’t help sneaking in a few references, albeit oblique ones, into the blurb about tonight’s participating teams. So anyway, please enjoy this preview, and then enjoy this weekend’s games. Feel free to voice your own opinions in the comments below, or argue over on Twitter like the cool kids do.

 

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VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 14)

VOStube

 

Cafe Bourbon Street and The Summit (Columbus, Ohio)

 
Red Sun were celebrating the tenth anniversary of their band’s formation, so they invited a whole bunch of their friends to come play with them at two neighboring venues in Columbus. Here are videos of most of the bands that were there.

 
Red Sun – “Highway Sniper”

 
Mockingbird – “Burdens”

 
Biipiigwan – “Rodentia”

 
Before the Eyewall – “Euxine Currents”

 

Gator’s Lounge (Jeannette, PA), 26 April 2013

 
Pipewrench – “The Deer Slayer (I: The Long Road to Recovery)”

 
Pipewrench – “Zombie Walk”

 
Solarburn also played at this show, but unfortunately due to an equipment issue, we ended up losing the recording of their performance.

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
Part 13 (12 – 19 April)
 
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)
Part 19 (23 – 20 June)

VOS Videography 2013: A Mid-Year Retrospective (Part 13)

VOStube

 

Gopher Hole (Lawrenceville / Pittsburgh, PA), 12 April 2013

 
Shiff – “Biology of Fucking Kickin’ It” and “Anarchy Band”

 
Meth Quarry – “Selfish” (New Song) and “Crash Anthem”

 

The Shop (Bloomfield / Pittsburgh, PA), 19 April 2013

 
Biipiigwan – “Nishkaak”

 
Biipiigwan – “Shkweyaang”

 
Biipiigwan – “Nibaak”

 
Godstopper – “Death’s Clothes”

 
Godstopper – “Sick of Everything (Hollow Eyed Friends)” and “Clean House”

 
Solarburn – “C-Section” and “Choad”

 
Flesh Addict – “Socially Inactive”

 
Flesh Addict – “50 Cents”, “Sludge Surf”, and “Brain Dead”

 
Flesh Addict – “Brake a Deal” and “Choke”

 
NAVIGATION
 
Part 1 (28 December – 18 January)
Part 2 (01 – 09 February)
Part 3 (16 February)
Part 4 (22 February)
Part 5 (23 February)
Part 6 (02 – 09 March)
Part 7 (10 March)
Part 8 (14 March)
Part 9 (16 March)
Part 10 (22 – 24 March)
Part 11 (28 – 29 March)
Part 12 (02 – 11 April)
 
Part 14 (20 – 26 April)
Part 15 (04 – 05 May)
Part 16 (11 – 17 May)
Part 17 (18 – 27 May)
Part 18 (31 May – 20 June)
Part 19 (23 – 30 June)

The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year: A Supplemental Video Guide

This was me on Christmas Eve.  In a couple hours, this'll most likely be me again.

This was me on Christmas Eve. In a couple hours, this’ll most likely be me again.

 
Good afternoon, Dear Readers, and a Happy Fucking New Year to you all! I hope you enjoyed the collection of top-ten lists I published yesterday!

Before we finally put 2012 to bed, though, here’s a quick supplemental post to go along with my personal contribution to that conglomerate of lists. I’m calling it…

 

The Top Ten Shows I’ve Seen This Year:

A Supplemental Video Guide

 
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The Huge List of 2012 Year-End Lists!

Well, friends, here we find ourselves in the waning moments of 2012. It’s been an interesting, eventful year that’s had lots of high and low points — a ton of excellent new music has been released and quite a few brand-new bands have emerged that I’d fully expect to be making some serious waves in the near future.

One of the best things about 2012, for me personally, was that I found myself (and my wife) going to lots more shows than in recent years, and as a result I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of new people — as well as starting to take a way more active role in the local music scene.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a suggestion from one of those people I’ve gotten to know in the past year (I won’t say who — he said he preferred not to be given credit for the idea, although I will say that it’s somebody who contributed to this). The idea was to collect top-ten lists from various folks in the Pittsburgh metal community.

So I put out an open invitation for any musicians or other people who are involved in the scene in some way — I was looking for anything, whether it was the traditional “Top Ten Albums” or something totally off-the-wall like someone’s ten favorite sandwiches they ate during the year. Really, the only rules were that it had to be a list, and involve something from 2012.

 
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What To Do In Pittsburgh This Weekend (16-17 November 2012)

Hello, world. No new posts yesterday or this morning, sorry about that — I’ve got a ton of stuff partly written but life and work keep getting in the way of finishing anything! Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this guide to a couple must-see shows taking place in Pittsburgh tonight and tomorrow night! Continue reading

Biipiigwan – Nibaak EP

 

BiipiigwanNibaak EP (Handshake Inc., 27 February 2012)

 
Man, what a horrendously ugly day this has been. As I begin writing this review, I’ve been at work for over seven hours already, and my feet are STILL cold and damp from traipsing through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh during a deluge of Noachian proportions, after getting off the bus this morning.

If they ever published a list of ways to make being at work less miserable, I can guarantee “walk around with wet socks all day” will not be anywhere on that list.

Nevertheless, regular readers of this blog have probably figured out by now — an ugly day calls for some ugly music! (Very observant regular readers may also have noticed that ANY day can benefit from some ugliness, regardless of the weather!)

So to help me along today, I’ve turned to some new friends, whom I discovered two weeks ago when they came to play a show here from their native Ontario. The band is called Biipiigwan (don’t worry, it’s easier to pronounce than it is to spell — and in fact it isn’t really that hard to spell either — drummer Steve Vargas informed me that the double “i” sounds like an “e”, so just say “BEE PEEG wahn“), and their newest release is an EP called Nibaak (again, the “i” sounds like an “e”, so that’s “NEE bawk“).

Now that we got all that out of the way, let’s turn our attention to the actual music. I’ve already mentioned that it’s ugly, but that isn’t nearly descriptive enough — this is grimy, sludgey, filthy, and soul-wrenchingly painful stuff. Plus, you can listen to it for free or download it for any price you choose. Honestly, what more could you ask for?

 

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