List WordPress posts alphabetically beneath category headings

Now, this is going to be a niche blog post.

For the last ten years, I’ve been blogging metal, punk, hardcore and rock music reviews at 195metalcds.com.

Besides the main list of reviews, I also created three pages to list the reviews by artist, genre and score. I updated these manually because when I started the blog I hosted it at wordpress.com which had limitations about which themes and plugins I could use. But ever since moving the site to my own paid-hosting account at SiteGround, I’ve wanted to write a plugin or child theme function that could update these three pages automatically. Well, now I have and that’s what this blog post explains.

You can view the code on GitHub.

Continue reading List WordPress posts alphabetically beneath category headings

Steve Vai—”Teeth of the Hydra”

Released on 1 April 2022, a new song from guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, “Teeth of the Hydra” from the forthcoming album Inviolate.

This is extraordinary, but what else would you expect from Frank Zappa’s former guitarist?

And just how heavy is that three-neck guitar? It comprises a 12-string guitar, a 7-string guitar and a 4-string bass, with a whole bunch of onboard gadgetry including what looks like three vacuum tubes.

My albums of 2021

All the albums I bought or acquired in 2021

My annual review of what I’ve most enjoyed listening to during the last 12 months, and my albums of the year.

  1. Mordred—The Dark Parade
  2. Sel Balamir—Swell (EP)
  3. Amplifier—Bonus EP (2004) / Glory Electricity (Sunset Version)
  4. Steven Wilson—The Future Bites
  5. Jerry Cantrell—Brighten
  6. Graeme Lamb—Winter Passing
  7. Gojira—Fortitude
  8. Mastodon—Hushed and Grim
  9. Charlie Benante—Silver Linings
  10. Sepultura—SepulQuarta

Honourable mentions:

  • Aporia—Internal Conflict
  • Exodus—Persona Non Grata
  • Iron Maiden—Senjutsu
Continue reading My albums of 2021

Re-covering Queen podcast

Recovering Queen : The Queen Fan Podcast Podcast Artwork Image
Podcast with three Queen fans, re-recording Queen songs and talking about them.

Well, you wait years for a decent Queen podcast and two come along at once.

On Re-covering Queen, each week, life-long Queen fans Jai, Matt and Ian talk about, rate and challenge each other to take it in turns to record a version of a favourite, or not so favourite track, by the greatest band in the world, Queen.

I’ve loved listening to their conversations, learning new things about the band and their recordings, and especially enjoyed their reinterpretations of familiar songs.

If you are a Queen fan, do check out Re-covering Queen on your favourite podcast application; mine is Pocket Casts for Android and Apple iOS.

It Doesn’t Matter Two (lockdown version) by Libra and special guests

One of the beautifully creative things that this global pandemic has offered the world are the number of truly astonishing musical collaborations that simply would not have happened otherwise.

This is amongst my favourite. Masterminded by metal producer-songwriter Libra, he brings together nine artists to create this epic, orchestral-sounding version of the Depeche Mode song “It Doesn’t Matter Two”.

Featured (in order) are Shaun MacGowan (My Dying Bride) on violin, Eicca Toppinen (Apocalyptica) on cello, Libra on vocals and drums, vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen (Devin Townsend, Vuur, The Gathering), Aaron Aedy (Paradise Lost) on guitar, Caleb Bingham (Five Finger Death Punch, Athanasia), Don Aires Pereira (Moonspell) on bass guitar, Kenny Hickey (Type O Negative, Silvertomb) on guitar, Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) on vocals, and Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation, For All We Know) on guitar.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if all these lockdown collaborations could be released as a musical record for 2020 and 2021. Hmmm… there’s an idea. I should create my own compilation album of my favourite lockdown collaborations.