Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MP3 Randomization: 4-30-2008


Iron Maiden - "Heaven Can Wait"
Radiohead - "Subterranean Homesick Alien"
Trans Am - "American Kooter"
Iced Earth - "Angels Holocaust"
Paul Stanley - "We Are Just Getting Started" (onstage banter)
The Strokes - "The Modern Age"


Prince- "The Question of U"
Stone Sour- "Socio"
Iced Earth- "Red Baron / Blue Max" (How bout that, QM?)
Kanye West- "I Wonder"
Sepultura- "Refuse/Resist"
Styx- "Blue Collar Man"


Rick Danko - "Sweet Romance"
Bruce Dickinson - "Accident of Birth"
Iced Earth - "Iced Earth"
Richard Thompson - "Dimming of the Day"
Neil Young - "No Wonder"
Richard Thompson - "Got No Right"

Hook of the Day - Pantera "Mouth for War"

by Wayne Graham

I was emailing my buddy Jonesy back and forth a bit this morning about shows that we went to when we were younger, and there were of course a few that made us laugh. (Stryper, anyone?)

But one show that still looms large in my memory is the Skid Row show that I saw in, I think, 1992. They were on their first headlining tour, supporting their excellent Slave to the Grind album. They had swung through the area the summer before, opening for Guns N Roses when Slave first came out. This particular summer, the stage was all theirs, but I recall the opening band very vividly.

The openers had somewhat-recently released their second album to good sales and big acclaim. To this day, said album is considered a metal classic. The album was A Vulgar Display of Power. The band was Pantera. I'll never forget the earth-shattering set they had. The crowd went absolutely nuts. I remember after they had left the stage and as the roadies were all setting up Skid Row's stuff, sending throngs of us to take our pre-headliner pee breaks, a guy I had seen jump onstage with Pantera and take a flying leap back out into the crowd was spitting his teeth into a dingy bathroom sink. I never saw Pantera again, unfortunately, but what a perfect point of their all-too-short lifespan to have seen them.

Best opening band I've ever witnessed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hook of the Day - Roger Waters "Sheep" (Live at Coachella)

by Wayne Graham

As you may have heard, Roger Waters launched the famous inflatable pig during his closing night set at Coachella on Sunday, and the poor thing just flew off and got lost. The festival's organizers have issued the following press release.


COACHELLA organizers are offering $10,000 and four (4) festival tickets for life in exchange for the safe return of the two-story inflatable pig that broke loose during Roger Waters'
set on the final night (Sunday, April 27) of the 2008 COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL. The pig escaped and floated into the desert sky just prior to the intermission between Roger Waters' back-to-back sets--marking the only back-to-back COACHELLA sets by one artist in the critically acclaimed festival's history. Anyone with information on the lost pig, should email

Sure would be nice to get free Coachella tickets for life, but I wonder how much this would get ya on eBay if it were to land in your yard. Here's some video at the pig's last known location.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Comforting Realization of the Day

by Wayne Graham

In between now and August 19th, no matter how bad things get, I will have the following comforting realization.

Not too terribly long from now, this will happen mere yards from my face.

Then this.

Then this.

And, then, THIS

Did YOU get YOUR ticket for Metal Masters?

Hook of the Day - Prince "Creep" (Live at Coachella)

by Wayne Graham

I was pretty nonplussed overall about the Coachella line up this year...until they announced that Prince would play. The Purple One remains the very best live act I've ever seen, he's absolutely amazing, and the best part have no idea what he's going to do when you see him. He could parade out some hits, some covers, just jam with his crack team of backup musicians, the sky's the limit. So, needless to say, Prince playing to a festival crowd is an attractive proposition.

As it turned out, he did all of the above. Here's the cover you'll be hearing about all week.....Radiohead's "Creep". The setlist is below the video. Enjoy!

Set List:
The Bird (performed by Morris Day)
Jungle Love (performed by Morris Day)
Glamorous Life (performed by Sheila E.)
Instrumental Jam
I Feel For U
Controversy (with snippet of "Housequake")
Little Red Corvette
U Got the Look
Creep (Radiohead cover)
The Arms of an Angel (Sarah McLachlan cover performed by backup singers) /
7 --> Come Together (Beatles Cover)
Purple Rain
Let's Go Crazy

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hook of the Day - Flight of the Conchords "Business Time"

by Wayne Graham

I love love love Flight of the Conchords. Easily some of the most sublime comedy that TV has throw our way over the past couple of years.

Unlike other comedians who fuse laughs with music, FotC actually has some AMAZING hooks. Watch "Business Time" twice. Once to enjoy the hilarious mix of slo-burn sexytime soul with routine sex. Another time to appreciate that sweet ass acoustic guitar lick running through the song.

The first season of Conchords is out on DVD, and they released their first full-length album on Sub Pop this week.

Two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hook of the Day - The Allman Brothers Band "Dreams"

by Wayne Graham

I've recently embarked on a journey towards rock guitar supremacy. I've played drums for a number of years, but I've never really given guitar more attention than learning some chords here and there. But there are so many musicians doing such great work on the instrument lately, and the opportunity to come into contact with great music you missed before is so much higher now than ever before, that I now feel inspired to finally learn as much as I can.

This state of musical growth, combined with my Southern upbringing and the Southern Rock leanings of bands I enjoy like Mastodon, Down, and Baroness have led me to study the work of Duane Allman more closely.

Duane was taken from the world far too soon, but the work he left behind is stunning. Here's the Allman Brothers Band performing "Dreams" live in 1970. Beautiful, beautiful music.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MP3 Randomization: 4-23-2008


Tool - "Cold and Ugly (live)"
Judas Priest - "Epitaph"
Allman Brothers - Done Somebody Wrong"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Around the World"
Deftones - "Teenager"
John Lennon - "Woman"


High on Fire- "Master of Fists"
Devin Townsend Band- "Deadhead"
Exodus- "Pleasures of the Flesh"
Unearth- "False Idols"
Carcass- "Raptured in Purulence"
Madonna- "Human Nature"


Fish - "Fugazi"
Devin Townsend - "Thing Beyond Things"
High On Fire - "Waste Of Tiamat"
CCR - "Green River"
Pavement - "Newark Wilder"
Thin Lizzy - "The Boys Are Back In Town"

Hook of the Day - Nine Inch Nails "Discipline"

by Wayne Graham

Remember back when Trent Reznor would take 5 years in between new Nine Inch Nails albums? With the advent of release-it-when-it's-done album distribution experiments, those days are long gone. Only two months ago, Trent released the soundscapes n' textures instrumental collection Ghosts I-IV directly to fans through his website before releasing a physical copy. Yesterday, Trent released a new song called "Discipline" to radio, allegedly 24 hours after he was finished mastering it. The other day, in a post on NIN's official site, there was an update that simply said "two weeks." Last time he posted something like this, we got Ghosts. One would presume that a new album--one with vocals---is on the way before NIN hits the road for the summer.

This track is great, by the way. Closer to With Teeth than Year Zero, which is fine. (I consider With Teeth to be sorely underrated) Drop by to download your copy, as well as a file to remix, which is becoming the norm. Reznor truly has an eye towards the future of music and interactivity with fans, and is to be applauded.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nachtmystium Record Release Gig Announced!

by Wayne Graham

If you're a fan of psychedelic black metal artisans Nachtmystium and will be in Chicago in late May, you may have plans....

According to a a post on the band's MySpace page, they've got a gig planned for Friday, May 30th at Reggie's Rock Club to celebrate the release of their new album Assassins, which is due out June 10th from Century Media. They'll play some tracks from the album, and will have it available for purchase, a full week and a half earlier than it's official date.

Drop by their MySpace and check out two songs from the album-- the title track and "Your True Enemy"--which are both absolutely fantastic.

If you're having trouble waiting for the gig and for the album to drop, be sure to pick up their new new Wordfall EP, which I've had a hard time putting away since I downloaded it a week or so ago.

All Nachtmystium album release gig info here.

Hook of the Day - ZZ Top "Jesus Just Left Chicago"

by Wayne Graham

No less an authority than Jimi Hendrix once referred to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons as his favorite guitarist.

Good enough for me, Jimi.

Here's "Jesus Just Left Chicago" from a 1980 German gig.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Judas Priest's "Nostradamus" Title Track Streaming Here!


Big Judas Priest News Day

by Wayne Graham

If you're a Judas Priest fan, you've--ahem---got another thing comin'. Three things, actually.

First, Wired Magazine reports that Priest's classic 1982 album Screaming for Vengeance will be the first entire album available for download for the popular-but-not-quite-as-popular-as-Guitar-Hero game Rock Band. The download will be available tomorrow for XBox 360, and Thursday for Playstation 3. The full-album download will cost $15, but you can download individual tracks for $2 each.

Secondly, the title track for Priest's upcoming album Nostradamus is now available for streaming. The two-disc concept album will be out on June 17 from Epic Records. Take a listen right here.

And finally, the official announcement has been made....and, yes, it's on. Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Motorhead, and Testament are hittin' the road this summer. Tour dates below.

6 - Susquehanna Bank Center - Camden, NJ
7 - Nissan Pavilion - Bristow, VA
9 - PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ
10 - Nikon at Jones Beach - Wantagh, NY
13 - Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON
15 - Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville, CT
16 - Post Gazette Pavilion - Pittsburgh, PA
18 - DTE Energy Music Theatre - Detroit, MI
19 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - Chicago, IL
22 - Amphitheatre - Dallas, TX
23 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Houston, TX
24 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - San Antonio, TX
27 - Journal Pavilion - Albuquerque, NM
28 - Cricket Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ
30 - Glen Helen Pavilion - San Bernardino, CA
31 - Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, CA

1 - Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort - Las Vegas, NV

Hook of the Day - Opeth "The Lotus Eater" + "Porcelain Heart"

by Wayne Graham

Sometime last week, a couple of tracks from Opeth's upcoming album Watershed (due out June 3rd from Roadrunner Records) leaked to the interweb, and if these tracks and the previously posted "Heir Apparent" are any indication, this is going to be yet another fantastic Opeth record.

Here's "The Lotus Eater."

And here's first single "Porcelain Heart."

Friday, April 18, 2008

New My Morning Jacket track available for download!!!

by Wayne Graham

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!! Kentucky rockabouts My Morning Jacket have made the title track from their upcoming album Evil Urges available at this location. (password is "urges101") Between this great track and the songs they've been playing live, it looks like it's business as usual for MMJ....if by "business" you mean pushing and pulling on their Space Age Southern Americana in all kinds of interesting ways. (Thanks to Stereogum for the heads up)

Evil Urges is out on June 10th from ATO Records.

In other MMJ news, they'll be hitting the Saturday Night Live stage on Saturday, May 10th on NBC. The host is....awww...who cares? MMJ is going to be on!!

Hook of the Day - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"

by Wayne Graham

Sad news today. Long-time E Street Band organist/keyboardist Danny Federici died yesterday after a three year battle with melanoma. The virtues of Bruce Springsteen himself have been discussed endlessly, but we often overlook just how integral each member of the E Street Band is to the wall of gorgeous sound that they erect to support Bruce's songs---the wail of Clarence Clemon's sax, the foundation of Max Weinberg's drums, and, of course, Federici's perfect touch that gave each song such lift and color.

Federici took leave of the band's current world tour in November to focus on getting well. On March 20th, 2008, Federici returned to play on a number of songs at Bruce and the gang's show at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.

From that show---Federici's last---here's the rarely performed "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)", featuring Mr. Federici's wonderful accordion work, without which, the song just ain't "Sandy."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hook of the Day - Anthrax "Black Lodge"

by Wayne Graham

Anyone who knows their thrash metal will obviously give Anthrax their due. Legendary band. Among the Living is one of the cornerstones of a respectable 80's thrash collection.

But I know I'm not alone when I claim that my favorite album of the band's career is 1993's Sound of White Noise. Recorded after vocalist Joey Belladonna left the group and was replaced by Armoured Saint singer John Bush. If you haven't heard it---do it, and do it soon. From that album, here's "Black Lodge."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hook of the Day - Probot "Shake Your Blood"

by Wayne Graham

Why "Shake Your Blood"?

Because it's the world's best Motorhead song not performed by Motorhead, while managing to still have Lemmy's participation. Because Dave Grohl is bashing away joyfully behind the kit. Because it remains the only music video I've ever seen that has Wino in it. And because there are 66 Suicide Girls squirming around in it.

It ain't rocket science, people.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MP3 Randomization: 4-15-2008


"In My Eyes" - Rage Against the Machine
"Angel of Death" - Slayer
"Return" - Arsis
"Engine of Ruin" - Earth
"On the Run" - Pink Floyd


"The Emerald Law" - Probot
"Into your Arms" - The Lemonheads
"A 1,000 Hugs and Kisses" - Prince
"The Emplyoment pages" - Death Cab for Cutie (very appropriate)
"Used for Glue" - Rival Schools


"Amused To Death" - Roger Waters
"New Age" - Velvet Underground
"Wild Night" - Waysted
"Sweet Jane" - Lou Reed
"You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)" - Hank Williams

Hook of the Day - Ozzy Osbourne "Crazy Train" + An Appreciation of the Flying V

by Wayne Graham

Recently, before the excellent Clutch show at the Metro, Queensryche Myche and myself were kickin' back, enjoying a Trouble DVD, when we took note of an excellent Gibson Flying V guitar that one of the members of the band was playing. A hearty, mutually appreciative summit on the matter commenced, and here's what we concluded:

If you're going to play guitar, and MEAN IT.....Flying V is the way to go.
Oh sure, everyone loves the Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster, and they should, they're amazing instruments, of course. But there's something about that V. If you strap one of these bad boys on, you're making a commitment. You can't sit down with the Flying V, at least not without some effort and a daily yoga regiment. It's very structure demands that you hold it a certain way, you stand with your legs a certain length apart, and you MUST rock. I'm sure there have been guitarists who were unmemorable when they played the Flying V, but, guess what, their names have been lost in the sands of time, and that's the way it should be. Those who took the challenge seriously...prevailed. Hendrix, Albert King, Dave Davies, Brent Hinds, Jim James, both Schenker brothers.....all played or currently play the Flying V. Not a slouch in the bunch.
Ya know who else played the Flying V? Perhaps most memorably of all?........

Randy Rhoads, that's who.

R.R. + The Big V = Guitar Xanadu

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hook of the Day - Motley Crue "Too Young to Fall in Love"

by Wayne Graham

So, Motley Crue is back in rock news lately. There's a "Big Announcement" tomorrow, which is rumored to be news of a CrueFest tour which would include a lot of bands like Papa Roach, Trapt and a bunch of other bands I can't stand.

The Crue is also streaming a new song--"Saints of Los Angeles"-- from their upcoming album, The Dirt. (listen HERE)

Um, don't worry, that's not the Hook of the Day. "Saints" has a typically good Mick Mars riff, and typically great Nikki Sixx-Tommy Lee rhythm section grooving, but the lyrics are sub-laughable and Vince Neil continues his vocal decline. So let's go with "Too Young to Fall in Love" instead. Shout at the Devil remains their best album.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hook of the Day - Scorpions "Big City Nights"

by Wayne Graham

Dear Scorpions---

Where are the U.S. tour dates at?? You released your latest album last year, and you haven't come around yet! Why? Is it something we said? There were rumors that you'd swing by with Judas Priest but that's looking unlikely now....

Perhaps by making "Big City Nights" the Hook of the Day, an olive branch will be extended, and you will honor our humble request for a tour in the States some time soon.

Hooks So Big

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another New Sword video!!!

by Wayne Graham

I've been trying to lay off talking about the Sword all the time. We reviewed their latest record, we alerted you to their tour with Metallica this summer, and we showed you their new video for "Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephrians" a few weeks back. But how could I resist posting the brand spanking new video for "Maiden, Mother & Crone", courtesy of the good people at Headbanger's Blog ? I couldn't, obviously.

In case you missed it, here's the video for "Fire Lances....". Two totally different approaches. Which is your favorite?

Hook of the Day - Witchcraft "Hey Doctor"

by Wayne Graham

One of the best gets for Lollapalooza this year is Sweden's Witchcraft, a terrific band that sounds like the best band from 1967 that never existed. If this live clip of the band playing "Hey Doctor" scratches you where you itch, pick up last year's The Alchemist and more of the same goodness awaits you. Don't miss 'em at Lollapalooza this summer! (Thanks to YouTube poster monkeyforce for the upload.)

Marks take:

And if I may also add...
I fucking love this song! Now listen carefuly, faithful listeners. If you listen to this song and dont watch the clip, close your eyes and try to imagine Cher singing this. For some reason I think that the lead singer kind of sounds like early Cher on this track. Which, let's be serious. if Cher came out with a JAM like this she would be the super rock star that she truly is. Well done boys.
As you were....

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hook of the Day - Metallica "Battery (live)"

by Wayne Graham

How in the hell did it get to the point where everyone hates on Metallica so much?? Sure, they haven't had a good album since The Black Album. In fact their last album--St. Anger--is pretty lousy. And they didn't win many points with the Napster thing. And, while it's a good movie, they didn't rack up the cool points with "Some Kind of Monster." And Lars IS pretty irritating.

But do they get NO credit for their first five albums being metal classics? Or for being a top-drawer live act? Or, as reported on Blabbermouth, for knowing how to put a summer tour together? Looks like the guys are bringing out Down and The Sword on their European Summer Vacation Tour this year. THAT, my friend, is a hell of a bill.

Let's enjoy a 1989 live clip of Metallica tearing through "Battery" and hope that they'll bring those bands to the U.S. in the fall, and that they give us a great new album this year.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Today in "I'm sorry...did you say what I thought you just said??" Tour News

by Wayne Graham

Pitchfork reports that Sly & The Family Stone are going to do a very short tour, beginning in late April.

Yes, THAT Sly & The Family Stone.

Yes, I DID pee my pants when I found out about this.

Yes, here are the tour dates:

04-25 Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
04-26 Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues Sunset Strip
05-02 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
05-03 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre

Yes, at the 2:14 mark in this clip of S&TFS playing "Stand" you should get your ass up and dance.

Album of the Week - Torche "Meanderthal"

Wayne's Take

Somewhere near the middle of “Amnesian”, a dense, triumphant track from Torche’s beyond-excellent new album Meanderthal, the band, having slowly worked the listener into a lather that seems to have nowhere else it can possibly go, starts employing vocal harmonies that would sound sweet on their own, but in this context help the track crawl up, up, UP right into an explosive guitar solo that sends the song officially into the stratosphere. Torche’s brand of hook-infused stoner rock is often referred to as “thunder pop,” and a more perfect description of what this Miami quartet does so beautifully I could not conjure. These guys can rattle doom- loving bowels with the best of them, but front man Steve Brooks’ pop sense is unmistakable, and the group courted both sides quite well on 2005's self-titled debut and last year’s In Return EP. It was inevitable that at some point they’d make the kind of record that can please anyone who listens to any sub genre that ends in “rock.” And, boy, have they ever with Meanderthal. Fans of “___ meets ___” type descriptors for new music are going to have a field day with this one. Melvins meet Foo Fighters. Helmet meets Kyuss. Cheap Trick meets Black Sabbath. Heavy meets poppy.

Which is not to say there's anything calculated about the album. Far from it. This is one of those platters that bursts out of the gate with so much energy, focus (this bad boy is done in about 35 minutes), density, and hooks that if you’re destined to love it all, you’ll fall for it instantly. (You’ll hear no “this is an album that takes some effort” out of me this time) I can’t think of a single situation where this record wouldn’t be embraced. Metalheads will love the guitar hero horns-in-the-air moments and the sheer WEIGHT of it all. Arena rock fans will respond to the big sing-along-worthy choruses. Headphone-listening production nerds have a full album’s worth of deeply textured layers to bask in--thanks to Converge’s Kurt Ballou, whose production here might be his best work behind the boards yet. And I’m pretty sure that if you play “Healer” at a large gathering, you’ll get more than one gleefully anticipatory “Who IS this???”

There’s no telling what Torche has in store for them after hearing this. Even though they travel in the same neo-metal fraternity as Baroness , ISIS, and The Sword, I can just as easily see them opening for U2 or Pearl Jam, and still managing to retain their underground cred. Meanderthal is so approachable and yet hits all of the perfect heavy metal moves, that there’s no end to the doors that Torche can enter now. I can’t wait to see which one they choose.

Mark's take--

First off, I always love it when Wayne says he has found his early pick for album of the year. Mainly, because sometimes B'wayne-o and I sometimes disagree on stuff musically. (i.e Anselmo) I fucking love it when we do, too. Basically, because we're both not assholes about it.

This time, however, I agree with him. after a couple listens to this, this has ALL the markings of an album of the year. It's confident, hook-y as hell, and powerful. Plus the run time isn't too dramatic that would make this album possible taxing. Like some albums do. Albums that I love, of course, but sometimes a too-long album can be...well, taxing.

It opens with a bang. Guitar work that clearly shows that these guys were Maiden fans growing up. At first I was a little put off at the similarities of their vocal sound being very reminiscent of a fave of this site Baroness. Just the cadences and stuff, but then I realized, "Hey, I love Baroness, so who the fuck cares?" They have their own groove, and are actually a bit poppier than Baroness, which I admit, I am digging the shit out of. The third song, Piranha, kind of reminds me of a hook from one of my favorite bands Myracle Brah. The song "Orange Shirt" should have been huge. don't know why it wasn't....I love how Wayne's favorite song is "Healer." Mine is the one directly after that, "Across the Shields." The chord structure in that song is so beautiful and Devin-worthy. (Devin Townsend. Check him out) That is a jam worthy of ANY mix tape you could make for a co worker. Hell, might as well put "Healer" on there before it. Hopefully, they will do both in order live. One can dream. Like when Y & T did Lipstick and leather into Don't stop running? I almost dropped a loaf. And how embarrassed would I have been then? Anyway.

This album is solid,tight, and right. Any fan of Rock would be hard pressed to not get into this. I tell ya what, Put down that cope of Linkin Park's latest bull shit and hear what rock really is sounding like these days. You'll thank me. Us. Thank Torche, they did it, not me.

As for the album of the year? I can't call it this early. Because I know we have Mastodon and SlipKnot coming out with new albums. And they both hold previous years' titles..... Plus, who knows who else will release something excellent........

Hook of the Day - Yeasayer "Wait for the Summer"

by Wayne Graham

This is a great song for relaxing and enjoying a cup of joe before the daily shitstorm starts. If you're not familiar with Yeasayer, go pick up All Hour Cymbals. It's a rich mixture of CSNY-level harmonies, the world rhythms of Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, and David Byrne, and the joyful noise of Arcade Fire. Wonderful stuff. Enjoy "Wait for the Summer".......

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hook of the Day - Radiohead "Jigsaw Falling Into Place"

by Wayne Graham

As you've no doubt heard by now, the line-up for this year's Lollapalooza Festival has been announced, and it confirms the rumors that the headliners will be Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, and Wilco. Also appearing....Kanye West, the Raconteurs, the Black Keys, Gnarls Barkley, The National, Gogol Bordello, Love & Rockets, Witchcraft, and HSB faves Bang Camaro to name just a few of the over 100 acts participating in all the fun at Chicago's Grant Park from August 1-3.

In celebration, please enjoy Radiohead's "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" from last year's excellent In Rainbows album, then check out the full-line up.

Rage Against the Machine
Nine Inch Nails
Kanye West
The Raconteurs
Louis XIV
Love and Rockets
Gnarls Barkley
Bloc Party
The Black Keys
Broken Social Scene
Lupe Fiasco
Flogging Molly
Mark Ronson
Cat Power
The National
G. Love & Special Sauce
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Explosions in the Sky
Brand New
Gogol Bordello
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Dierks Bentley
Okkervil River
Amadou & Mariam
Blues Traveler
John Butler Trio
Girl Talk
Your Vegas
Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves
Steel Train
Jamie Lidell
Bang Camaro
Butch Walker
The Blakes
Mates of State
Tally Hall
Spank Rock
White Lies
Brazilian Girls
Magic Wands
Electric Touch
The Kills
The Postelles
Rogue Wave
The Parlor Mob
The Go! Team
Bald Eagle
Mason Jennings
The Gutter Twins
Ha Ha Tonka
Grizzly Bear
We Go To 11
Sofia Talvik
The Weakerthans
Booka Shade
Black Kids
Black Lips
Dr. Dog
Nicole Atkins & the Sea
The Ting Tings
Kid Sister
The Cool Kids
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
The Whigs
Manchester Orchestra
The Octopus Project
Cadence Weapon
De Novo Dahl
Noah and the Whale
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
Serena Ryder
Newton Faulkner

Chuck Billy Confirms Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Motorhead, Testament tour!

by Wayne Graham

Some good news on a Monday morning....

Headbanger's Blog reports this morning that towards the end of Testament's set last night at B.B. King's in Midtown, New York, singer Chuck Billy announced on stage that there will be a Judas Priest/Heaven & Hell/Motorhead/Testament tour later this year.

Last week, jumped the gun a bit and then promptly removed the first eight dates and venues for the tour. So, nothing confirmed with these, but I'd be surprised if the following aren't officially announced pretty soon.

Aug. 07 - Bristow, VA @ Nissan Pavilion At Stone Ridge
Aug. 09 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
Aug. 10 - Wantagh, NY @ Nikon At Jones Beach Theater
Aug. 13 - Toronto, ON @ The Molson Amphitheatre
Aug. 15 - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
Aug. 16 - Burgettstown, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion
Aug. 18 - Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug. 19 - Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

From Testament's The Legacy album, here's "Over the Wall."

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hook of the Day - Cheap Trick "Speak Now"

by Myche

This is one of my favorite Cheap Trick songs.

It's Friday. Play this LOUD.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Miss Jackson likes to get down.

by Mark Hanner

And by 'Get Down', I mean, she likes to get freaky. I mean, isn't that what she wants us to believe? On her last, like, FIVE albums, she has in between tracks that have her breathing heavy and coyly playing with someone and proving to us that she has sex. We get it. Move on. Pass me the JAM!!! Now, I say this with the BIGGEST love for Janet. I have gotten every cd that she has released. She's a diva, and I'm a fan, what do you want from me? I think her songs are fun (when they're good) and I will admit it in public that I think she is great. I've taken some umbrage with her last few albums. (Oh SURE, take all the umbrage) It's like she wasnt inspired or something. I mean, Janet has always had filler on her albums, but alot of the last two albums have had more than I expected. I dont think I've listened to 20yo more than three times. I love the songs Enjoy and Show me, but thats about it. On Damita Jo I liked the Kanye stuff and I LOVE the song All Night (don't stop) (Well done, Miss J). But I think she suffers from all of the other ingenues around. I expect Janet to lead not follow. I dont want Janet to sound like Gwen Stefani. Or Mariah Carey. You were first, girl, STEP UP!! And on the albums weak tracks she's following. Oh well, I'm gonna stop bitching at talk about what I DO like about the new album, Discipline.

That song Feedback is a JAM!!! I love the Daft Punk vibe that she sampled on 'So Much Betta.' And in this case, I dont mind that others have Daft Punked before, most recently with Kanye's Stronger. (Jam. you can be my black Kate Moss tonight) I think that's a good step forward. It's as fun and as different a song that I have heard her put out. Rock with U is also a JAM. She can still put out the jams. Janet has never really had the strongest voice. I'm sure she's not going to get any awards for her performances in vocalizing, but she can sure sounds great on dance tracks! I could do without a few of the inner slow, come fuck me songs. Cause I really dont want to fuck Janet Jackson. I'm more of a Joshua Jackson fan when it comes to that. Anyway, Janet, I'm a huge fan, and probably will be as long as you're putting out cds. Just focus on the Jam and quit diddling your puss. I said it.

1st Annual Midwest Fuckfest 2008: 5/16-17

by Myche J

My goodness, I just had to post this because a) I love the name, b) I love that it is in the Midwest, c) I love reading the band names.

Two days of mayhem, for sure. Do you think you can handle it? Are you up to the challenge? Here are the confirmed acts:


Wow. That's one hell of a list. All are pretty awesome, although I'm intrigued by one that doesn't seem to fit in: A Case Of The Mondays. Sounds more like a Boomtown Rats song. But I know nothing about these guys - I'm sure they slay (or, more accurately, they better slay or be slayed).

There should be clinical studies done on people that go to both days. Check their vitals before, during and after. This would also make for a great documentary...

So it's all happening at The Rave Bar (2401 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI - which I've personally been to and can confirm that it's a cool venue). Ticket prices are as follows: $20 for a one day pass; $35 for a two day pass.

Go, and get fucked.

Hook of the Day - Slipknot "(sic)"

by Wayne Graham

Personally, it took me a while to get into Slipknot.....and yes, it was because of the masks. They seemed like another GWAR-type group, and I stayed far away. But over the past couple of years, their music has caught up to me and I'm surprised at how much I love their mixture of total chaos and a tightly-wound wall of sound. So a new album from them this year is highly anticipated.

That said, I HATE their new masks (above). I had a hard enough time listening to them when they had the Insane Clown Posse thing going, but now they're going to be Bobble-Heads??? The image above was posted on April 1st, so I thought it was a gag, but they haven't taken it off their official site yet, so........they're Bobble-Heads now, or at least those things walking around in the new In Flames video. Groan.

I'll get over it, I' m sure. Here's a the band ripping thru "(sic)" from their 1999 self-titled debut.

A counterpoint:
by Mark Hanner

I fucking love SlipKnot. I just do. I can't help it, nor do I shy away from it. And I think the new press pic is fantastic!! I love the shadowed aspect of it. I love that the figures aren't humanly proportionate. I love that there is still one way off in the distance. Now, for all us Maggots (and non maggots who have listened to Murderdolls, Stone Sour, or whatever Shawn is up to) out there that now all know what these guys look like, I'm sure it was quite a discussion as to how to create mysterium again for the new album. I mean the gimmick was pretty much up when they revealed themselves. But I like the fact that they aren't revealing what masks they are going to wear, if they even are, just that something shady and menacing is coming on the horizon. Plus, I think this is just a tease of what is going to come. I have faith and I have hope to be fucking pulverized as I have been at every SlipKnot show that I've been privliged to see. I'm proud to be a maggot, and can't wait to see what is in store......

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Concert Review: Ray Davies @ Chicago Theatre, Chicago 04-01-08

By Myche J

So I like a lot of different kinds of music, and go to different kinds of shows. To date, I’ve always mentally limited my postings to those of the hard rock/metal genres. So I really had no intention of reporting on this show here. But something happened towards the end of this show that has made me re-evaluate this thinking. And the fact of the matter is that this is “Hooks So Big”, so we left it pretty general…

Ok, just a little background. I like the Kinks, but I’m not like an insane rabid fan. I’ve been listening to the album “Lola Versus Powerman And The Money-Go-Round” for about 20 years and it’s one of my favorites. I also have the albums from around that time: “Arthur: Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire”, “Something Else”, and “The Village Green Preservation Society”. I think they write great songs, and they are probably a little underrated as they will always drop to the bottom of the list of the major British Invasion in most people’s eyes. But I’ve really focused my attention on their output from 1967 – 1970.

So I had started listening to the Kinks quite a bit when it was announced that Ray Davies was coming around. I figured it was a sign or something, and decided to go. Considering it was at the Chicago Theatre and knowing Mr. Davies is in his mid-60’s (and supporting a new solo album), I also figured it would be a pretty laid-back affair.

My first mistake was forgetting to bring my ear plugs. Right off the bat Ray and band were rocking pretty damn hard and loud. It kind of took me aback. He ended up playing for 2.5 hours with a 20 minute intermission. He really looked to be enjoying himself and was very appreciative of the audience throughout. I like the songs off his new solo album, so all-in-all a very good show.

Now, I’ve never really been that into some of the older Kinks songs (pre-1967). I certainly respect those songs, but I never felt the need to have them in my collection. But here’s where things got interesting for me at the show. He goes into a rousing rendition of “All Day And All Of The Night”, a song that I would have never thought twice about before. But I was just hit right over the head with it last night! First, I think they played it very well and inspired, and cranked it up a notch – no doubt about it. But what really came over me was the simplicity of the song. There’s nothing all that complicated with it, but it just flat out rocks! Talk about Hooks! He continued along this vein with “You Really Got Me” and “Victoria”, and continued to bowl me over. In its simplicity, it all sounded so refreshing to me. And I knew this going in, but damned if "Lola" is one of the best crafted rock songs of all time...

The show made me realize that from time to time I think we all should just get back to the basics of rock. It all started out very pure and simple, and years later it still rocks. It has stood the test of time for a reason. It is, after all, all about the Hook, right? So I urge you, take a step back every now and then. Dig down to the roots to understand how we got to where we are today. Spin some classics. Go see music legends live. Keep that old shit alive!!!

Hook of the Day - Down "On March the Saints"

by Wayne Graham

I'm going out on a limb with today's Hook. I'm slowly but surely getting certain HSB contributors used to the idea that Down's 2007 record--III: Over the Under-- was one of the year's best releases and that it's well worth checking out, despite said contributor's un-fondness of Phil Anselmo.

Hopefully this video for "On March the Saints" will help. Great song, great video, great band.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Album of the Week - The Sword "Gods of the Earth"

Wayne's Take:

In short, your opinion of The Sword after listening to their latest album, Gods of the Earth, will be pretty much the same as your opinion going into it. If you enjoyed the Sabbath-meets-Maiden riffing on 2006's Age of Winters, you'll find just as much to love on this one. If you're a tr00-Nazi who sticks up his nose at any metal band that gets the thumbs up by the indie cognoscenti, then go on your way, you're only wasting your time here. I think Xasthur might have a new album that you might enjoy more.

That said, even after several weeks of tearing into this one, it's not immediately clear how the new platter stacks up to the band's debut, at least in a "Which one is better?" situation. It's a close call. While I mightily enjoy the instrumental majesty of Gods-opener "The Sundering", I can't help but be a little let down that it doesn't lead to a bigger climax, or at least segue more seamlessly into the next track, much in the way that "Celestial Crown" led into "Barael's Blade" on Winters. After the opener, there's nothing in the first chunk of Gods--good as it is--that stacks up to the "Celestial Crown-Barael's Blade-Freya-Winter's Wolves" opening stretch on Winters.

It's wildly unfair, of course, to expect a second album to work the same magic as the first. Besides, this is very light criticism, especially when you consider that once the record hits first single "Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians", the whole thing catches on fire, and doesn't let up for the remainder of the album, going instantly from "very good" to "excellent." The band--while still very much in the Iommi y Ozzy tradition--goes on to play even further with their NWOBHM-twin guitar elements and Slayer-esque thrashabouts than they did on the debut, and the results are explosively entertaining. Guitarists J.D. Cronise and Kyle Shutt dispense plenty of Two Horn Tasty riffs on this bastard, and Cronise's vocals give the right amount of weight to what are basically lyrics about battles and wizards and other D&D-styled dorkery. Special attention is also to be paid to one of contemporary hard rock's best rhythm sections--bassist Bryan Ritchie and the shirtless, straight-backed beast that is drummer Trivett Wingo. These guys do a great job laying down solid rolling thunder for Cronise and Shutt to play on top of, and yet, they manage to do so in ways that make them stand out, as well. Ritchie is fantastic at supporting the main riffs, while throwing in nice counterpoint of his own, while Wingo does some of the most tribal, most musical drumming that I've heard so far this year.

Mark's take:

I made a list of random musings on the Sword for this week's review

1. Thank you, Rock Gods, for the Sword
2.Thank you for The Age of Winters
3. Thank you for the last half of 'Gods of the Earth,' because in my opinion, the last half is a bit more cohesive than the first half. Yet the first half is pretty damn good.
4. Thanks Mr Wingo for moving from Seattle to Austin. And for drumming without your shirt on. That's hot.
5. Thanks for letting me be honored to have seen these guys at the Subterranean when I did.
6. Thanks for allowing me to see them at Reggies when I did.
7. Thank you for the Battle imagry despite your normal appearances.
8. Thanks for sounding like a young energetic Black Sabbath
9. Thanks for the guitar solos that seem to come from nowhere and sound as effortless as good rock can sound.
10. Thank you to whoever makes those little frozen Taquitos that I get at the store that I usually eat when I get home from metal concerts....

Two-fer Tuesday: Metalocalypse & Zimmer's Hole

by Mark Hanner


Are you serious?

Why am I now just watching this?

This is the funniest thing I have seen about metal since Ziltoid the Omniscient. (Which I realize is not that long ago, but give me some slack, slacker)

There are so many perfect things about this show that I can hardly give it justice by describing it. If you like metal and enjoy the delicious ridiculousness of it, you have to watch this show. Plus the music is FANTASTIC.

I had read about it, but always forgot to watch it. I don't have tivo or a vcr, so I wasn't ever able to catch it. I finally rented it from Netflix. (god bless you brothers) Within the first episode, I knew I was going to buy it so I could watch it every freaking day. Nathan Explosion is an idol worthy of everything his fans do to themselves. When he had to listen to the menu for the brutal phone they drunkenly endorsed and referred to the menu as brutal.



My first real knowledge of Nathan was his cameo on Zimmer's Hole, While you were shouting at the devil album. Which, while I'm here, I might as well give my review.

This album is everything that I love about metal right now. It's fast, TIGHT, intelligent, and funny. Now there is nothing I hate more than fucking cheeky people who try to make music funny. (Weird Al notwithstanding, he rules) I have stopped listening to SEVERAL bands because they tried to get too tongue in cheek and tried to be funny and all that sucks. These guys have it right. Actually, I think Devin Townsend is so brilliant that his sense of humor is perfect for me. He understands the ridiculousness of some of these metal bands, and it looks like his off shoot of production also shares his humor. Now, at first, I was confused as to who actually sang on this record. I honestly thought it was Dev, but I was set straight by the AMAZING drummer Gene Hoglan who told me it was The Heathen., and that The Heathen actually is a big influence on Dev. Perfect. Thanks, Gene. I can't wait to see you live.

This album also represents something that I love about my boy Queensryche Myche. I was on a plane flying to Arizona to meet my boyfriend's family, and I had my new issue of Revolver with me. I saw the review, and made a mental note to make sure we get ON THIS ONE. When I got back, Myche and I went to see Bob Mould at Metro. (overall, a disappointing show in my book, but I won't be happy unless he does the entire Black Sheets of Rain album. Which he never does, by the way...) At Myche's house, I said, "dude, there's a Devin produced album that we have to get on". He looks at me, smiles, and says, "I just got it, but haven't listened to it".


I then had it in my possession a few seconds later. (thanks, computer) After the show I went home and fired up the old Super Nintendo system that I borrowed and proceeded directly to Donkey Kong Country. I listened to that album , at least, 5 times that night. It is so tight. The thing I love about it is that it's such a statement on what these guys think about metal, and how ridiculous it can get, but the RIFFS ARE THERE! They make metal, so they are the perfect ones to make light of it. I love the heightened nature of "Anonymous Esophagus" It's disgusting and perfect at the same time. They are touring later in the spring at the Pearl Room, and you can bet your metal ass I'm going to be there. If for anything else, but to witness Gene Hoglan live. I've never been able to see Strapping Young Lad live, so I am thrilled to see him do his THING.

So basically, if you like your metal fast, furious, and pissed off at stupid shit, this is the album for you. Keep it up, boys!!!

Hook of the Day - Converge "No Heroes"

by Wayne Graham

5 more days til the Converge show , 5 more days til the Converge show , 5 more days til the Converge show .....