Archive for December, 2009

A Sad Day…RIP Rev

Posted in Opinion with tags , , on December 29, 2009 by zach-attack-shaw

I woke up feeling good, excited for the new year…….until I heard the news about drummer The Rev (Avenged Sevenfold).

It has been reported that The Rev has passed away. He was 28 years old. This death has left me extremely devastated. Not only is this because Avenged Sevenfold one of my ALL TIME favorite bands (City Of Evil is one of the albums that has heavily influenced me as a guitarist and song writer), but also because of the talent that has been lost. The Rev’s drumming is truly amazing and gave the music an edge. The Rev was also a key player in the song writing, giving songs a unique twist that other metal bands of today failed to capture. One of the highlights of the band’s self-titled release was hearing Rev’s backing vocals on such songs as “Critical Acclaim” and “A Little Piece of Heaven”. He was a musical force to be reckoned with, an individual who along with the rest of Avenged Sevenfold was going to rule the rock world for years to come. While I pray that A7X continue on (my condolences go out to the rest of the band), it still kills me that The Rev wont be able to march on with them.

RIP Rev. I cannot explain how much you will be missed.

Class May Be Done … But There’s Still More To Come!

Posted in Opinion with tags , on December 19, 2009 by zach-attack-shaw

As you may or may not know, I originally created this blog as a requirement for a class I was taking called Computer Mediated Communications, taught by Professor Paul Bohan Broderick. With the class’ main focus on Web 2.0 applications and how a culture interacts with it, the class was assigned to create their own blogs and post answers to Macro-Assignments. The goal of this experiment was to see if we could use Web 2.0 applications to expand dialogue regarding class topics outside of class.

However, I knew at the very beginning of this course that I wanted to use my blog for more than just posting homework assignments. With encouragement from Broderick, I have been using my blog to showcase my music reviews and music opinions. I have loved being able to voice my very own thoughts on albums, concerts and hot topic news. With that in mind, you can rest assure that even though the class has ended, ZachShaw.wordpress.com will continue.

I would like to take a moment and thank Professor Broderick for his encouragement and support throughout the past semester. His knowledge and wisdom has truly enhanced my understanding of culture and their interactions with new technologies. I look forward to taking apart in his Communication Ethics course next semester.

So keep checking in for new articles and pieces. I will try to update this site with more reviews and opinion pieces as often as I can. Thanks to everyone who supports and checks in regularly! Happy holidays everyone!

-Zach Shaw

Computer Mediated Communications Assignment 7: Social Networks

Posted in Assignments with tags , , , on December 8, 2009 by zach-attack-shaw

1. Which of the various tools for communication/collaboration do you find the most useful? Why?

I lean towards saying that Facebook is the most useful communications tool. Facebook biggest strength is in its capabilities to allow people to stay in contact with friends and acquaintances without any difficulties or hassle. I can easily talk to a friend I haven’t seen in years by leaving him or her a comment on their wall or status. If I want to send something more private to a friend, then I can send a message to that person in their inbox that’s only visible to them. An additional advantage to this social network is giving everyday people the chance to promote a cause or event through “Facebook Pages/Groups” and “Facebook Events”. While Facebook “Pages/Events” are not the most reliable ways of securing an audience (you can usually expect half of the people who say they will “attend” an event to not actually do so), such applications are great tools for the everyday user who don’t have the same support or backing as an actual marketing company. In other words, Facebook is a great tool for the independent, smaller operations (like college campus groups and events).

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A Solemn Five Years: A Tribute To Dimebag Darrell

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , on December 8, 2009 by zach-attack-shaw


Today (December 8 ) marks the 5 year anniversary of the senseless murder of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell. I’ll spare the details of the actual night for we all know (or at least should by now) the devastating story. Rather, I want to take a few moments to pay tribute to arguably one of the most inspirational and phenomenal metal guitarists to ever grace the metal community.

Even though it has been five years, I can still vividly recall when I heard the news. I was just waking up to get ready for school that day when my mom rushed into my room saying “Zach, the Today Show is reporting that there was a shooting at a metal concert in Ohio and that some of the band members were killed! They haven’t mentioned who the band was yet.” I sprung into my mom’s room waiting for Katie Couric to reveal more details. After waiting for a good 20 minutes for them to get to the story, they revealed the horrid news. Once they showed a picture of Darrell, my heart plunged to the floor. My mom asked “Do you know the guitarist?” Without saying a word, I lead my mom back to my room and showed her a poster of Dimebag hanging next to my bed. Needless to say, I didn’t need to explain any further to her.

Dimebag Darrell’s musical work stands as inspiration to millions of aspiring guitarists. What made Darrell’s playing so unique was its mix of speed and groove, simplicity and technicality, and purely its strong sense of melody. He stood out amongst the rest for he wasn’t just trying to be flashy and shred like most virtuoso guitarists. While some guitarists would settle for having an insane solo, Dimebag cared about the riff being melodic and memorable. His riffs and solos were permanently melted in your brain at first listen. My personal favorite performance from Darrell is on the song “This Love”. Not only did the song feature a chilling yet passionate solo that you could easily sing along to (even without the music actually playing), but it also showcased the great musical partnership he had with his brother and drummer Vinnie Paul. The two’s tight timing together throughout the song highlights how Darrell was just as skillful with maintaining rhythm as with soloing (a combination not many guitarist possess). Dimebag Darrell proved that metal guitar playing can still inspire and be praise worthy during a time when grunge and alternative rock ruled the mainstream. He was a pivotal reason behind Pantera’s strength and ability to keep metal alive during the 90s.

While he may no long be with us, Dimebag Darrell’s legacy shall always remain. His music will live on and inspire generations of guitarists to come. Though today we mourn his memory, we must always be thankful for the inspiration he has given all of us. RIP Dimebag Darrell.

Computer Mediated Communications Assignment 6: Attending A Virtual Event

Posted in Assignments with tags , , , , on December 3, 2009 by zach-attack-shaw

1. Which event did you attend? How did you go about attending this event?

I attended a live music video screening online (cool right?!) this past Wednesday night (December 2). The rock group 3 premiered their music video for their song “Rabid Animals” live on a music website called Sputnikmusic.com. The band and video director Chase Pierson appeared live via LiveStream and interacted with fans through a chat room set up on the site. They answered fans questions before and after showing the music video a couple of times. The event ended at 11pm with an acoustic instrumental performance for everyone viewing. There were about 45-65 people in and out of the chat room posting questions as well as comments.

The video that they premiered, “Rabid Animals”, was actually shot in front of a live stream online. Fans were able to view and chat with the band in a similar fashion as to the event I attended. In addition to being able to make suggestions for the video while they were filming, 3 actually featured submitted video of their fans “foaming” from the mouth in the video. On top of that, footage was taken with only web cams and flip cameras (which I thought was extremely cool). In a sense, this video was made online. In addition to these past online events, 3 will be streaming their record release concert live from Woodstock, NY on their band’s live stream on Friday, December 4 at 8:30 pm. I highly recommend checking it out!!

2. What happened? Did anything unexpected happen?

Besides a few tiny glitches (which were not that bad), the event ran really well and smoothly. Not only did I post comments and questions for the band, but they actually responded! I asked the question “What lead you guys to holding such cool events like these online?” Singer/guitarist Joey Eppard explained how they wanted to do more then just film a video to put on MTV and do something that would really connect to their fan base. I was extremely flattered that I even received a response. However, in a surprise course of action, Chase the director followed the singer’s answer by saying “Wait is that Zach Shaw?! Oh hey! Why haven’t you returned my calls?!” Sadly, I wasn’t the same Zach Shaw he was thinking of (unless if I misunderstood which Zach Shaw he was talking about. If so, call me Chase! Haha). “Oh. It’s a different Zach Shaw? Well you haven’t called me back either!” he joked once realizing the mistake. I have to admit, even though he mistook me for someone else, I was still extremely flattered by the shout out. It definitely made my night!

3. Was this experience any good? Would you recommend it to others?

This was an amazing experience. Even though it was open to the entire world online, the event felt like it was an intimate social gathering. I felt as if I was actually apart of a conversation with the director and band and not just an observer. Mixing Q&A with a video screening and an acoustic performance, 3 did an amazing job at using new technologies to better connect with their audience. This was truly a unique experience that I would recommend to any music fan. In other words, you should absolutely check out the live stream of their record release concert live from Woodstock, NY on their band’s live stream on Friday, December 4 at 8:30 pm!!! I believe the show will be streaming on LiveStream.com/3live.

I must admit, this was actually my firs time hearing music from 3, despite hearing rave reviews. After seeing the video for “Rabid Animals”, I have come to see how awesome these guys truly are. With its mix of melodic and progressive rock, it’s a safe bet that 3 will blow you away! Check out the band on their MySpace page. Their latest release, Revisions, was released on October 26 via Metal Blade Records. Check these guys out!!