Summertime Blues, News, and Views: National Emo Kid Beatdown Day

Guess what today is? Oh, you should have heard already. It’s the National Day of Slayer. Created to combat the National Day of Prayer and to commemorate this lovely occasion where the date is the mark of the beast, what’s the proper way to celebrate? Why, blasting Slayer, of course. The website suggests that you play it loudly everywhere you go. I’m lucky enough to have my own office where I can listen to all the Slayer I want, but I don’t think others would appreciate being subjected to it as well. Even though that’s the point, I enjoy a paycheck, you know?

It is ALSO:

Heh heh heh.

With the date being 6/6/06, consequently, dozens of metal (or dark in general) bands have put all of their eggs on this day for proper bombast. Here’s a sampling of what you can find on the shelves today:

hed p.e. – Back To Base X
hed p.e. – The Best Of (Hed) Planet Earth
Accept – Metal Blast From The Past (DVD)
AFI – Decemberunderground
Alice Cooper – Easy Action
Artimus Pyledriver
As Blood Runs Black – Allegiance
The Burning Room – We Invented Thunder
Casey Jones – The Messenger
Genghis Tron – Dead Mountain Mouth
Head Automatica – Popaganda
He Is Legend/Classic Case – The Black Unicorn Split
Illdisposed – Burn Me Wicked
Imperative Reaction – Eulogy For the Sick Child
Kampfar – Kvass
Kottonmouth Kings – Koast II Koast
Merricmack – …of Entropy and Life Denial
Narnia – Enter the Gate
SikTh – Death Of A Dead Day
Slayer – Eternal Pyre (Hot Topic Only)
Speed Kill Hate – Acts of Insanity
Steel Attack – Diabolic Symphony
The Cure – Lost in the Labyrinth (DVD)
This Will Destroy You – Young Mountain
Tiamat – Church of Tiamat (DVD)
Various Artists – For Those About To Rock… We Salute You: Monsters In Moscow (DVD)
Various Artists – Unsound Vol. 1
Yngwie Malmsteen – Yngwie J. Malmsteen Live

So I suppose if the old Slayer standby isn’t cutting it for you on this evil day, plenty of other musicians are ready and waiting to oblige filling the dark hole in your day.

Alice in Musicland

From the AP:

LOS ANGELES – Vince Welnick, the Grateful Dead’s last keyboard player and a veteran of other bands, including the Tubes and Missing Man Formation, has died, the Grateful Dead’s longtime publicist said Saturday.

Welnick died Friday, said Dennis McNally, who would not release the cause. The Sonoma County coroner’s office said an autopsy would be performed next week.

McNally said Welnick was 51. The musician’s Web site gives two ages for him, 51 and 55, but several other sources list his age as 55.

Garcia drops off, they all drop off.

I don’t know that there’s anything special to say whatsoever regarding the 82349th keyboardist for the Dead, but hey, he died, so it’s worth mentioning.

More from the AP:

NEW YORK – Top-selling rappers Kanye West and Ludacris won a copyright infringement trial Thursday when a jury concluded their 2003 hit “Stand Up” did not copy a tune by New Jersey musicians.

“I hope the plaintiffs enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame,” Ludacris said after the verdict was announced. “This whole experience is proof to me of why I will always fight for what I believe in.”

Ten jurors returned the verdict after less than a day of deliberations in the two-week trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Ludacris said he never doubted the jury would agree that the song he and West created did not sound like “Straight Like That,” a tune created by an East Orange, N.J., group named I.O.F., or It’s Only Family.

At issue at trial were the words “like that,” repeated more than 80 times in each song, though one song precedes the phrase with “straight” while the other precedes it with “just.”

Oh my goodness, everyone wants a dollar these days. Where’s Jason Nevins and Run DMC suing? They would have pretty much the same case.

But anyway, later in the article, it gets better:

When West testified last week, he said he had sympathy for the New Jersey group.

“It’s like that glimmer of hope. You’re this close,” he said. “I’ve been in those shoes. It’s hard to make it in this game. I understand why they would sue.”

Ludacris, though, said after the verdict that he saw one of the plaintiffs fall asleep during the trial and was thinking he was not going to let someone like that “ruin my reputation.”

“I feel no sympathy,” he said, “not at all.”


Seriously, I.O.F. has just permanently ruined any chances they had of going anywhere. Never mind the ridiculous lawsuit; with one snooze, they’ve officially become leeches. It’s one thing to honestly believe repeating two oft-used words in a song could be considered theft, but if you’re not even able to pay attention when money and reputation is at stake, it’s obvious that you’re nothing more than scum.

And I’m not just saying this because I have a soft spot for Ludacris. Yeah, I love that guy. Not only was “What’s Your Fantasy” completely over-the-top obnoxious, but “Area Codes” still makes me break into a gigglefit whenever I hear it. But if I thought for a minute that he was a plagiarist, I’d be more than happy to toss him in a pile with Milli Vanilli and be done with him.

Let’s not end this hip-hop run. AP:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The rap star DMX has again been charged with traffic infractions, this time after being pulled over in downtown White Plains.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was stopped on Friday afternoon for driving his 2001 Chevy Suburban at unreasonable speeds and making unsafe lane changes, Deputy Commissioner Daniel Jackson of the White Plains police said Monday.

Once he was stopped, police found he was not wearing a seat belt and did not have a driver’s license, Jackson said.

The 35-year-old rapper was ticketed and told to come to court on June 16.

Last year, DMX served 70 days in jail for violating his parole following a 2004 incident in which he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his SUV through a security gate at Kennedy International Airport.

A week after he pleaded guilty in that incident, state police accused him of driving over 100 mph on Interstate 684 in North Castle, in Westchester County.


What was it, a month ago? I yelled at you for starting shit on an airplane. It’s dumb, Earl, it’s dumb! So what do you go and do? DRIVE 100 MPH? With no seat belt of course, but we already know from the flight charge that you really, really don’t like seat belts, so that’s no surprise.

Ever want to just reach over and whap someone upside the head? I’ve had friends with multiple drug charges or multiple DUI charges. The first time, well, that’s a good wake-up call. But for it to happen twice, you’re just a moron. DMX just keeps doing these utterly stupid things. He and Michelle Rodriguez need to hook up. I don’t think either of them have gotten charged for assaulting Mickey Mouse at Disneyland; maybe they can pursue that venture together to round out their rap sheets.

Finally, from Reuters:

SYDNEY – Sick and tired of souped-up cars with loud engines and pulsing music? Barry Manilow may be the answer.

Officials in one Sydney district have decided to pipe the American crooner’s music over loudspeakers in an attempt to rid streets and car parks of hooligans whose anti-social cars and loud music annoy residents and drive customers from businesses.

Following a successful experiment where Bing Crosby music was used to drive teenage loiterers out of an Australian shopping center several years ago, Rockdale councilors believe Manilow is so uncool it might just work.

Councilor Bill Saravinovski said local authorities plan to install a loudspeaker and pipe in Manilow music, interspersed with classical pieces, over a car park favored by car “hoons,” or hooligans.

“There are restaurants nearby and people can’t park in the car park because they’re intimidated by these hoons,” Saravinovski told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Kind of reminds me of the use of Twisted Sister during Desert Storm.

Barry Manilow, hmm? Wow. That just might do it. I can see how Bing Crosby worked, too. Barry doesn’t even have kitsch value, unlike Neil Diamond or Pat Boone.

I guess if the kids wanted to be really obnoxious in return, they should haul out a DJ to spin beats over the music. These days, even Barry Manilow can be made cool if properly mixed.

Not that I’m actively suggesting Barry Manilow rave mixes. Goodness, why did I even bring this up. If such comes to fruition, I’m heartfully sorry for unleashing this demon upon the world.

My Opinion Matters

A bit from the ol’ mailbag.

While most bands I cover tend to send me positive feedback even when I engage in constructive criticism, this was in reference to a metal show last month which I glossed over in discussion of unsigned local metal. I can understand that finding my whining tirades via Google isn’t the first thing that bands want to see, but critics have a tendency to write those sorts of things. It’s going to happen.

This email, as I will break down, is puzzling in its juxtaposition. Read on:

Hey this is the as you put it “horrible vocalist” from Nailed Shut. So you know, I was running a brutal fever that night so my sound was a bit off. Yeah I know excuses, excuses right? What you say about time in the seat is true, after all, the show you caught was like our fourth live performance and if you come out again to see us, we’ll crush you.

A typical response, full of excuses. But at least he recognizes them as excuses, and I can respect that. People do have off-nights and it does take time for bands to really glom on-stage. So, I do accept these explanations. In other words, so far, no harm done.

We continue.

If you don’t like the vocals, that’s fine (as opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and most of them stink)

Also respectable. Even the snark is okay with me. But we have not finished!

…but to call the music wank is total f*cking bull shit!!! Did you actually listen to the material or did you have you’re mind made up before hand? We try to have fun with it and don’t really take ourselves all that seriously!

Oh, now we’re getting good. Truth be told, I had pretty low expectations in general. I always do when I go to see unsigned bands. This is why when I review things on MySpace, there’s usually a lot of positive comments made. But I wouldn’t have anything to say if the music hadn’t entered my ears at some point, correct?

I know wank when I hear it. I love wank when it’s done well, too. Great musicians are a fabulous plus. But not all performers are also writers. There’s a lot of ability and promise, but the execution is lacking. If they’re not taking themselves too seriously, then fantastic. But that’s not a good excuse for poorly structured songwriting.

Should figure someone that praises that flat-line of a band Kittie wouldn’t like us. That shit is so cookie cutter. Just because they’re women it must be good right? How original… wow.

Well, that was certainly out of left field.

I don’t know if anyone here wants me to get into Kittie. I could write a ten page article on Kittie, how they sucked, how they got better, how they lost their way. But this isn’t about Kittie. This is about someone attacking the person instead of engaging in proper debate. Buddy, I don’t care if you love Winger. It has nothing to do with how you perform. And anyone who has read my music reviews can firmly state that I don’t swing prejudice towards my favorites. So let’s get back to the topic at hand, yes?

Never mind the irony that there is a female in his band. Anyway, carrying on:

We as a group have been around in our band and as members of many others for years and take what we write very seriously.

So are you taking yourselves seriously or are you not taking yourselves seriously?

Have you listened to our myspace page?*ckingshut You may get a better idea of what we do if you check it out.


That’s certainly not an unreasonable request.

Nailed Shut:
Grindcore a go-go. Combined with black metal vocals, we’ve got ourselves a band that your mother would not only despise but also order you to set yourself on fire after listening to it, as that’s the only way you would be able to cleanse yourself of demons.
Positives: It’s all about the playing. Lise on guitar is the highlight, as she just shreds to ungodly proportions without stopping for a moment. The whole band does well weith the tech side of things, changing up on a dime. Still, they sound best when they slow it down as they do on occasion in “A Rather Unwanted Guest.” It also features some rather nice soloing.
Negatives: You can’t exactly call grindcore a clusterf*ck because that’s pretty much its purpose in existing. And it’s not very fair to mock the vocals as sounding like a pterodactyl sound effect when that’s black metal’s essence as well. But “Nailed Fucking Shut” and “Hypocritical Persecution” just kind of sound like every other band of this ilk. At risk of sounding like a broken record, these guys need to distinguish themselves as different and better.

So, there. Fair as I would rate any MySpace band, yes.

The Rad Ones

This is rushed due to yesterday’s site outage. I can’t stay up all damned night just to link people.

Chris Lamb reviews stuff.

I review stuff.

Fernandez is amusing.

I review more stuff.

D’Errico speaks on Zombie.

A witness at my wedding writes about games and stuff.

Here’s a DVD review.

and some comics stuff.

Yeah. Rushed isn’t the half of it.


If you caught it last week, yeah, I got hitched.

My husband and I have a lot of music taste in common, but there’s plenty that we don’t. He was listening to Dream Theater back in the Images and Words/Awake years, but dropped off after that. Other than that, he’s got some Cradle of Filth, but not much other metal to speak of. He’s far more industrial and EBM. And that’s fantastic, as I love those genres as well.

In fact, most people I dated over the years had music taste that I had no problems tolerating. When you like a little bit of everything across the board and have been trained to think as a critic, you can pick out the good in damn near anything. Of course, the street has never run both ways, but I can respect that. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop listening to things I like, but I can understand that not everyone is going to enjoy a car trip featuring Shudder To Think, My Dying Bride, Phil Collins, and Combichrist all in one sitting.

However, as pointed out on our wedding day, his lovely wife who adores music has never listened to one of his very favorite artists: Nick Cave.

Technically, it should be right up my alley, right? And it’s not like John is the first person I’ve met who is into Nick Cave. It’s pretty sad that an artist with over ten albums under his own moniker and countless others with other bands and projects would be completely off my radar. Still, what can I say? It just never caught my ear. I’ve heard songs here and there, but was never intrigued enough to pursue it further. That’s just the way taste goes sometimes.

I suppose I’m counting on him to show me the best of the best so that I might learn to understand the beauty of this Nick Cave guy. He’s certainly had to sit through enough ’80s Genesis.

And we danced like a wave on the ocean romance,