Author Archives: rfornelli

About rfornelli

I am a teacher in North Dakota.

Music You Aren’t Listening To But Should Be: Halestorm


This is part of a continuing series. The first was on Billy Joel, and the second on Matchbox 20. I last posted about The Dixie Chicks.

Let me continue by showing love to a loud, edgy rock group with an intimidatingly beautiful, insanely talented, and terrifyingly angry lead singer to match. I’m referring to Halestorm, led by Lzzy Hale.

In this list, I’m going to be sticking to their original songs, but I also highly recommend their covers of Bad Romance and All I Wanna Do (Is Make Love To You) — they are phenomenal.

I got on the Halestorm bus right away, with some of their earliest songs. I remember the first time I heard “Miss the Misery.” I was driving to work and hadn’t caught the band or title, but I was so enamored that as soon as I pulled into the parking lot I used my phone to search the lyrics to find it again. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Her voice was so powerful and unique and, again, angry.


A song that always makes me smile — mainly because it’s a phrase I’ve heard my sister-in-law use countless times — is “You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing.” It’s a catchy song, fun to sing along to, and very empowering.


Another popular crowd-pleaser, “Here’s to Us” was featured on the television show Glee. I appreciate the strength this band portrays — showing their listeners that it is not only good but our right to stand up for ourselves. It’s a message that cannot be overstated.


Admittedly, the loud yelling is not for everyone. But before you try to pigeonhole this group, I challenge you to listen to some of their more beautiful, touching, and meaningful songs. Take, for instance, “Familiar Taste of Poison.” Likely, the most specifically relatable lyrics are “I tell myself that you’re no good for me. I wish you well, but desire never leaves. I can fight this to the end, but maybe I don’t wanna win.” More impressively, this is a song off their debut album.


One that has a bit of an 80’s influence (I’m looking at you, Skid Row’s “18 and Life”) is off their third album. “What Sober Couldn’t Say” is a genuinely touching love song/ballad. Vocally, it’s clearly highly inspired by Pink and Lady Gaga. Lyrically, it’s a tragic story of what can happen when you are trapped in a relationship you can’t admit is long over and, thus, bad for you.


“Break In” is about the speaker letting someone in after (metaphorically) building a wall around themselves. She sings, “You are the only one — the only that sees me, that trusts me and believes me. You are the only one the only one that knows me.”


A top favorite of mine is “Innocence.” The speaker is telling someone she likes not to get too close to her because she will destroy him — that she has no interest other than the thrill of the chase. It’s haunting. I love it. Love. It.


Did I miss one of your favorites by Halestorm? Let me know — I love the group and would like to catch all their best ones.

Peace and love.



Fall Frightfest Oct. 25, 2018


October 25: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Booth 3. Rating: 4/5. Comment: Ruby of the past, now in the future somehow after murdering present Ruby and altering the Baal deal, comes up with a scheme aimed at wiping out Ash and all of Ash’s progeny. She also gives birth again to another bouncing bundle of nightmare fuel. I docked one point because her hair in this episode was, in a word, disastrous. I also thought Brandy should have seen through her act, but, you know, traumatized kids whose parents were just murdered by an underworld demon aren’t necessarily the most observant.

Fall Frightfest Oct. 23, 2018


October 23: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Second Coming. Rating: 2/5. Comment: I just couldn’t understand the plot of this one. Somehow they changed the past yet wound up in the present where nothing had changed but Pablo’s fate. I was so disgruntled by this episode that Josh researched it and found out that the director quit over “creative differences” and the whole thing was changed from what was supposed to have happened. Anyway, a crappy end to Season 2, but on to bigger and better.

Fall Frightfest Oct. 22, 2018


October 22: Curve. Rating: 1/5. Comment: The longer this went on, the more I hated it. No. That’s not true. I hated it pretty much from the start. The villain shows up in the first five minutes with an unenlightened and immature outlook on the world, much like that of an aging stoner who has an epiphany that all the other people at the party realized when they were eight (and here I am paraphrasing): “Dudes! What are events if not, like, you know, a bunch of random coincidences that lead to now?! Whoa! Your car broke down and I saw it and then we met! Life is just a series of chance happenings! I can, like, do something and that will lead to something else!” And then she tries to kill him, and then he tries to kill her, and then she tries to not die, and then she finds him and tries to not kill him, and then he doesn’t die. I literally can’t even with this movie. Julianne Hough, you’re so pretty. Can’t you make a single good film? Be a little choosy and you won’t be stuck with embarrassing, first-day-of-film-school-assignment garbage on your resume.

Fall Frightfest Oct. 21, 2018


October 21: The Veil. Rating: 3/5. Comment: This flick was genuinely original with an interesting story line. Was it horrifying? Mostly no. That being said, the actors acted the deuce out of their script! The (obviously) Jim Jones-esque cult leader was spectacular. Admittedly, at times, the scenes were a little hard to follow. The lighting was not good — intentionally, but it still made it hard to figure out what was going on. Overall, I’d recommend this one, on the basis that you promise not to get offended by the content. Promise?

Fall Frightfest Oct. 20, 2018


October 20: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Home Again. Rating: 5/5. Comment: Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, Ash does something like this — and totally redeems himself. No, I’m wrong. He makes a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad choice and makes things ridiculously complicated. Also, Kelly and Ruby were, essentially, useless after the first five minutes of this episode. Ugh. Women.

Fall Frightfest Oct. 18, 2018


October 18: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Delusion. Rating: 5/5. Comment: Ash wakes up in an old, run-down insane asylum. Much like in the Wizard of Oz, most of the past 30 years were actually part of a dream. Patients and hospital staff played large roles in Ash’s “memories.” Spoiler: I’m not sure we can trust this storyline because it is clear throughout the episode that we can’t trust this storyline. But I’m sure you knew that already. Furthermore, it is the unanimous opinion of the Frightfest judges that this show was surprisingly scary with a distinct Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-meets-One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoo’s-Nest vibe.

Fall Frightfest Oct. 17, 2018


October 17: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Trapped Inside. Rating: 5/5. Comment: Ash and the gang find themselves trapped by an angry mob — something about him murdering a young woman at a bar/being Ashy Slashy. His sister, Cheryl, who died in the original movie, returns with an ax to grind. Pablo, tortured by his link to the book, possibly gives the team a way to banish Baal. Eventually, Ash is knocked unconscious.