Iraqi heavy metal? Sure, there's Acrassicauda. They're named after a scorpion. The Guardian has an informative article about them. There's been a movie made about them, which the New York Times has written about. Four members of the group, more recently based in Turkey, were seeking refugee status. Are they any good? I dunno, I guess so, but I''m not all that keen on metal, myself, so I'm not the best person to ask. Just go listen to 'em at their MySpace page.
Last weekend, (22-24 August 2008) saw the fantastic Reading Festival take place (dodgy timeline). Emerging from the National Jazz Festival in 1961, it mutated into the National Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival festival in the 70s, and on into the eclectic festival it is today. My personal faves were 1989 and 1992, but the best moment was seeing Meatloaf bottled off stage in 1988! Due to the combined force of the BBC and the interwebs, most of this year's performances - many complete - are available online for your delictation... [more inside]
Introducing Project Pop (Formerly Indonesia's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-suling metal-dangdut-comedy folk sextet). Their hit "Dangdut is the music of my country" [youtube link--music starts at 0:58] code-switches between pop metal and dangdut, affectionately mocking the cheesy pop of their parents' generation. Here is a great play-by-play translation of the details of the video. [more inside]
Everyone's favorite fictional band (no, not that one) plays an awesome live show - including such hits as Because, It's Midnite and Trogdor.
The One Man Band has evolved. No longer will the one man band be burdened by the weight and bulk of backpack drum kits, guitars, or accordions - or knowing what notes to play. Behold! Beamz by The Sharper Image. Give your nearest buddy a high-five and catch a glimpse into the future of music performance and one of the most hilarious promotional videos you might ever see.
Massive, sprawling, jarring, yet soothing, intimate, and inescapable. Listening to Giant Squid is like waking up to find yourself trying to escape from underneath a mile-wide sheet of lake ice. Featuring stark contrasts between soothing instrumentals and oceanic heavy riffs, intertwined with male/female vocal harmonies that are alternately calm and frantic, Giant Squid creates a dynamic that is haunting and irresistible. [more inside]
Free Bird on piano [YouTube]. The 14-year-old musician, who calls himself UnclassicalPiano on YouTube, currently has 16 other selections, including Stairway To Heaven, Behind Blue Eyes, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Message In A Bottle and Black Sabbath's Paranoid (his main interest is metal), all of which he says he learned to play by ear.
This cheesy 1979 promo film from the group, Blackjack, offers a glimpse into the hard rock past of balladeer Michael Bolton, which also includes a co-writing credit for a Top 40 hit by Kiss. Similarly, Bill Joel disavows the days when he posed in medieval armor next to slabs of raw beef on the cover of the self-titled album by Joel's heavy metal duo, Attila, although Julian Cope is a fan of the album and its Deep Purplish vibes (check out Holy Moses and Wonder Woman). To round out the trifecta, we have Tori Amos who got marketed as the metal-chick frontwoman of Y Kant Tori Read (check out the video for The Big Picture). On the other hand, metalheads have the opposite problem of hiding their pop past. Examples include the industrial metal band Ministry's early days as a new wave synth act and Tommy Iommi's brief tenure as a member of Jethro Tull before becoming lead guitarist of Black Sabbath. Meanwhile, Bon Scott, the late lead singer of AC/DC, is probably spinning in his grave over the YouTube footage of him as an Australian teen idol and a bearded hippie with a recorder.
Kevin DuBrow dead at 52. The lead singer of the 80's metal band Quiet Riot found dead at 52 in Las Vegas. Break out your leather and studs...and hockey masks?
Hello Chococat, Oh No! Doom, Sludge, Noise(warning: ewwtube): the music of Monarch (warning:murdochSpace); they're from Bayonne.
Devolution: Nature's U-Turn is a new music video concept by rock band KoRn for their single Evolution. The premise? Mankind isn't evolving, it's devolving... getting dumber by the day. Wait. Haven't we seen this before? We have, and Devo's Gerald V. Casale isn't happy. "We denounce this as impostors playing with fire." he says of Korn on the Club Devo website. He elaborates in a new interview with Rolling Stone, including a possibility of their first new record in 20 years. Devo's also put out a new song, "Watch Us Work It", which appears in a commercial for Dell laptops [youtube link], with a official music video and single release to come.
Metal! [Flickr set] Slayer! Metallica! Girlschool! Quiet Riot! Megadeth! Maiden! And many, many more.
The 10 Ugliest Men In Heavy Metal History. Well, Metal was never meant for the beautiful people, anyways.
Learning to scream safely as a metal, hardcore or screamo vocalist can "take approximately a year", apparently. Handy tips offered here include "practice screaming into a pillow", and "scream along with music, especially songs in which screaming is already taking place." Bizarrely comprehensive, and probably useful, if you're into, uh, screaming.
"Once Were Kings" Some call them 1980's pop icons, others the Kings of Heavy Metal. Regardless, Van Halen has announced a 2007 tour with David Lee Roth. But without Michael Anthony, will it be worth paying to see? While Dave's current fan base is huge, others feel he has not aged gracefully. Well, it could be worse.....(youtube, ytmnd, and bad 80's haircuts warning)
Motor City Rock 1980-1990 A great archive of Detroit's most overlooked and ignoble musical era. Highlights include Bittersweet Alley, The Trash Brats, Vertical Pillows, The Dick the Bruiser Band, and many more. Great to listen to while you read the relauched (and vaguely sad) Creem.
Well, wouldja, punk? "6/6/06 is only days away! If you were tied to the goat head alter and forced to differentiate between Grind Skronk and Math Prog Metal, would you be able to do it?"
Bad acoustic cover songs with a French accent.
Top 10 most ridiculous black metal pics of all time - 2005 edition. This is a follow-up to the original 2004 list. NSFW (via Buzz)
Learn to Play Guitar like a SuperDork. Can't. . . not. . . look. Don't miss the links in the comments.
Cower in fear girly-men for Crom has finally answered our prayers and brought to us a band which unites Arnold Schwarzenegger with the awesome forces of metal. Witness the awe-inspiring, towering colossus of sonic force that is ArnoCorps. (via BoingBoing and previously here)
Intrinsic within the genre, these songs are full of exotic, mysterious and unbelievable details, which are often critical of society and convey the views of the oppressed. It is this standpoint which has lead to ArnoCorps' aggressive sound and physical presence, which accentuate the emotive forces within the tales they convey. We insist that these songs not be experienced as audio or text alone. To truly experience the splendor that is ArnoCorps, you must go see them live. Come on! Do it now!!!
BATHORY mastermind Thomas "Quorthon" Forsberg has passed away. A fine day to die? Mayhaps but maybe also too soon at a young 39. One might think that those interested in the black stuff would already know of this passing, but like Elton John said, "...then again, no" because I just found out tonight. So there it is, if any of you are listening to "Blood, Fire, Death" while at a grim and blasphemous desk job like me but have missed the news. Reviews are here of the "band" that took off in a grim way from Slayer and Venom and spawned a grip of younger Scandanavian agents like these and them. (mild warning: when reading about black metal you will no doubt read about some people with anti-social ideas.)
Soldiers Under Command! - 57mb Quicktime documentary of the Second Annual Stryper Expo.
I have seen the future of Metal and it's name is Norselaw and their anthem "Sweet Home Scandinavia". Let the Berzerking Begin!
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups became world famous. Others only big in Europe. Some great ones missed stardom by just a notch. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
Tired of your mullet and acid-wash jeans being sneered at in the local gay bar? Wishing that there was someone other than Rob Halford out in the metal scene? Pink Stëël is for you, my gay heavy-metal-loving brethen! Be out, be proud, and crank up "We Fight For Cock!"
Tooling around today, I happened upon small but burgeoning subculture-gay Heavy Metal fans. Headbanging and Rainbow Pride stickers may seem like an odd combo until you think of the number of openly gay performers in Hard Rock (Roddy Bottum of Faith No More, Doug Pinnick of King's X-a gay Christian metalhead, and of course the great Rob Halford formerly of the legendary Judas Preist. I dunno whether this is a large trend or merely people coming out of yet another closet, but it's nice to see metal shaking off it's homophobic image.
Motley Crue ROCKS man! Okay so maybe they're just as old and washed up as Metallica, but the diff here is that Motley Crue supports the idea of their fans downloading MP3s of their music via Napster and Metallica is just trying to get cheap publicity by screwing their own fans. Personally, I listen to bands like these and I made fun of groups like Metallica and Motley Crue back when I was in high school and everybody else thought they were cool, but I'll stop badmouthing Crue for the rest of my life. I might even try to appreciate their music. Metallica still sucks though.
Metallica's Integrity for sale! Don't know if what's left of it is worth the price though.
KNAC was the heavy metal station in southern california from 1986 to 1995. Their stickers graced the back of many a 4x4 and street sign. While driving around today, I noticed a KNAC PURE ROCK sticker for the first time in ages, but there was a .COM where "105.5" used to be. Going to KNAC.COM reveals that they are in fact back with their same format, now solely internet based. After firing up their broadband stream, I heard some good old Ozzy and it was like being in high school again. This begs the question though, since they went under from a lack of advertising before, is there enough money in internet radio to keep them afloat today?
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