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.

Run the line

Sometimes the YouTube algorithm gets it right. This video popped up on my suggested list. Runner Beau Miles retraces 43 km of an old Australian railway line in his back yard, searching for the old line, searching for meaning.

These last couple of weeks, I’ve been discovering hidden writings, hidden stories, hidden meanings among Mum’s belongings. My dad loved railways. His mother lived in Australia. I love exploring new places and digging into the history of where I am living (only today I rediscovered a couple of maps from where I lived in Bermondsey, London in 1894 and 1914). Somehow, this video brought these strands together.

Oranssi Pazuzu

Last night I was reviewing (for my 195 metal CDs project) a forthcoming EP from IDOLOS, an atmospheric black metal band who claim to come from the planet Venus (whose atmosphere, I learned today, is so hot it would cook a pizza in seven seconds).

After listening to their EP, which was an unlisted video, the YouTube algorithm served me up this glorious chunk of Finnish psychedelic black metal from Oranssi Pazuzu. It is wonderfully different.

The band takes its name from oranssi, which is the Finnish word for ‘orange’ and Pazuzu, a Babylonian wind demon. In the words of Barry Norman, and why not!

Anyway, that’s my listening sorted for this week: working my way through their back catalogue.

Queen—All Dead, All Dead (with Freddie Mercury vocals)

Queen’s News of the World (1977) album turned 40 years old this year. I was five years old when it came out. It would be six or seven years more until Queen were firmly on my radar, and so would begin a lifelong love of the band.

To celebrate the anniversary of the album’s release, Queen are releasing a box set on Friday 17 November that includes a number of recently unearthed out-takes and rarities.

News of the World 40th anniversary box set
News of the World 40th anniversary box set

Among the rarities is this hybrid version of “All Dead, All Dead” (side 1, track 4) featuring alternative lyrics and vocals from Freddie Mercury.

What I didn’t realise, all these years of listening to the song, is that the song was written by Brian May about the death of his childhood cat.

It’s a beautiful song, even if does have the ‘wrong’ lyrics.

The box set is released on Friday 17 November costing £109.99.