"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Archive: Columns

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Unearthing the Metal Underground In Montana

Each week with Unearthing the Metal Underground we provide a new batch of bands that aren’t signed to a major label and are making a name for themselves in the underground. This week I’ll be digging into three very different bands in the Montana scene. Although heavy metal is sparse in Montana, there are still a few bands who carry the torch of their respective sub-genres for the fanatics who need their live show fix. More...

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Sunday Old School: Suicidal Tendencies

Hardcore is such a great means for getting rid of some teenage angst and aggression. Though that's not what really attracted me to the style, it was beneficial many times. While being far from the greatest song in history, I know I related to the underlying issue: that we're a product of the environment that our own families put us in, while at the same time leveling accusations at us that we're "out of step." If you don't like the song, I imagine you'll love the video.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Rehab Special Report

It appears Crue fans will have to rest for a Summer as Cruefest goes on hiatus until 2011. Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) does however leave the possibility open of having the festival continue next year with a new headlining act. Here’s hoping W.A.S.P. and Blackie Lawless are ready with a bucket of raw meat and sharp knives to cut people… More...

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: The NYC Scene

This week on Unearthing the Metal Underground I am delving into the New York City scene. All bands are currently unsigned and are making a real name for themselves in the underground. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: A Metal Video Marathon

Jon Bon Jovi alone increased acid washed denim sales by 40 percent. In the videos “Living on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” there are more ass shots of Jon than two years of Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez on TMZ…There is no way the Latin kid playing the drug lord in Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood” rises to the top of the underworld…I always thought it was assumed Poison wore the most spandex until I saw the number of tight changes in David Lee Roth’s “Goin Crazy”…KISS easily has the most body hair of any rock band…The song “You’ve got Another Thing Coming” by Judas Priest takes on different meaning from when I first saw it years ago… More...

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Tales From The Pit: Joey Vera's Mosh Pit Flips

We've been talking to bands to get their best mosh pit stories. This one is from Joey Vera when he was on tour in 1986 with Armored Saint, opening for Metallica and WASP.

"Just about every night, whoever happened to be watching Metallica's set from side stage, got invited out to sing the 'DIE!' part at the end of Creeping Death. One night in Texas, there I was, hammered and waiting for my nightly invitation. Sure enough, I get the wink from my gracious host, Cliff Burton.

"On I go and give my best beer soaked "DIE!". After my part is played, I walk to the edge of the stage in front of Cliff's floor monitor, turn around to face him, and with all my strength I hurl myself in a back flip into the audience. Luckily the crowd takes pity on my poor aerial form and catches me. Then I find myself in a flurry of sweaty limbs as I begin to surf towards the front of the stage. Metallica's crew pulls my sorry ass out and back onto stage while Mr. Burton tops my score with a thumbs 'way' up. Good times."

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Tribute to the Microphone

Ever since the days of Jim Morrison using his microphone stand for self arousal the mic has been a key tool for rock singers and their act. This was specifically true for the glam heavy metal acts in the eighties. Here’s a breakdown of the microphone cowboys and their unique style.

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Tales From The Pit: Unholy Rocks A Boxing Ring

We've been talking to bands to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week's story comes from Unholy's Billy Price.

"We played this show in NYC and midway through one of our songs this fight breaks out in the pit and these two guys start slugging it out. Theyknocked over at least 5 people rolling around going at it, get back up and start trading blows, the crowd starts to form around them creating a boxing ring type of effect. No one bothers to step in or break it up and we keep playing while these guys try to take each others heads off. Finally one of the brawlers decided he had enough and disappeared into the crowd, the winner then proceeded to finish moshing to the rest of the song! It was probably the closest we will ever get to playing a live boxing match."

Next week we'll hear about Joe Vera's exploits at a 1986 Metallica show.

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Unearthing the Metal Underground: The Jersey Scene

In our newest weekly column, "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands each week in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I’m taking three local and unsigned talented New Jersey metal bands of different sub-genres that will wet your appetite for new music. More...

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Sunday Old School: Integrity's "Systems Overload"

I love Integrity so much. They're one of my favorite old school hardcore bands. The great thing about Integrity is, is they're still around. Formed in 1988, they've stood by through the various fads that have made the scene ridiculous. Now they're currently on Deathwish Inc. and they're still putting out great hardcore albums. This song is off their 1995 Victory Records LP, "Systems Overload," and it's a solid mid-90s hardcore video.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Side A Song 1

There was once a time when music wasn’t downloaded one song at a time, had (in the case of albums and cassettes) two sides (an A side and B side), and song order was not only a conscious decision, but a reason an album would be successful.

Today we look at the glam heavy metal scene (late seventies to early nineties) and review the best first tracks.
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Tales From the Pit: Spin Kicking Davey Havoc

We've been talking to bands around the world to get their best mosh pit stories. We heard from Makh Daniels of Early Graves about his favorite pit experience:

"11 years ago at a now defunct SF venue called the Cocodrie, I was stage diving and moshing a bunch at a Disembodied show. During the part in the song "Bloodshed Rain" where it goes "GOD SAVE US!" I ended up spin kicking Davey Havoc in the face and nearly knocking him out. Highlight of my spin kicking career."

Next week we'll hear about an impromptu boxing ring at an Unholy show.

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Sunday Old School: Dark Angel's "Merciless Death"

Dark Angel is a thrash band that formed in 1981 and played on and off up until 2005. They were pretty big in the Bay City thrash movement, so you might call them some of our "thrash granddads." If you care you can read their whole story here. It's really awesome that we're still able to experience some of the music that influenced the bands we love today. This video is a live clip from their 1989 show in Hammersmith, London. This of course was back when you could wear tight jeans and have feathered hair and not get your ass beat by the other metal heads. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Restraining Orders and M&M

Both Slash (Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver) and Steven Adler (Guns N Roses/Adler’s Appetite) have filed restraining orders against the same woman. Adler claims a woman he met in rehab is stalking him. She is also trying to contact Adler through Slash. One thing we know for sure, she definitely has a type. KISS has announced a special promotion with M&Ms. Expected to be available in October, there is no word whether Gene Simmons will be sending over any of the brown candies to Eddie Van Halen’s dressing room… More...

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Tales From The Pit: Ravage Stops Moshing Kegs

We've been talking to bands around the world to get their best pit stories. This week's comes from Al, vocalist for Metal Blade band Ravage.

"Ravage was playing a thrash/ speed metal fest recently featuring Bonded By Blood, and some other touring and local bands at a place we call 'The Metal Hall' just outside of Boston - which was basically a glorified kegger party in a room with a stage. It ended up raining a lot before the show went on - and outside the hall is an unpaved road and industrial yard, so the crowd tracked a lot of mud onto the floor when they came in and the floor of the place became a slippery, muddy mess. When the bands went on, the pit became insane and people were sliding around like crazy, so it was a wonder no one got seriously hurt. The walls were padded with a lot of sound foam, so that probably helped.

"Toward the end of the show I was standing in the very back and filming the bands on a hand-held camera. All the kegs had been drained and a lot of people were completely blasted. I was standing next to the empty kegs and one particularly sloshed guy came up to me and slurred, "We need to inject a little CHAOS into this party!" He proceeded to pick one of the empty beer kegs up over his head and he tried to bring it down directly on the head of some little guy standing next to me. When I realized what he was doing, I grabbed his arm and was able to stop him from completely crushing the guy's skull (the shocked little guy escaped with just a glancing blow). I grabbed the keg from the crazy guy, put it down and pushed him back into the ongoing circle pit, where I thought he at least wouldn't be able to murder anyone. A few minutes pass and I'm still filming, not totally paying attention to the crowd, and from out of nowhere the same crazy guy comes back, grabs an empty keg from behind me and bowls it into the circle pit where it took down at least two unsuspecting moshers who fell backward onto the slippery floor and were covered in mud and beer. That was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen someone do in a pit."

Stay tuned for next week when we'll read about knocking out AFI vocalist Davey Havoc.

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Rock Tavern Edition

This week announced the official open of Feelgood’s Rock Bar & Grill, the new venture from Vince Neil (Motley Crue), in Las Vegas. Neil is by no means the first rock star to open a bar. For many years Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, as well as others have made the connection of booze to rock fans. However, what makes this particular opening special is the expectations set for decadence in a true rock and roll atmosphere. With a sound system fit for a stadium you will find live rock (including a house band), privacy in the V-rooms, and hosting after-parties for the bands Whitesnake and Judas Priest (already booked) Neil is introducing the future of rock bars. The question is who will be the next to follow this trend? I’ve broken down some of the potential favorites: More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Five Deserted Island Songs

The autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne is set to be released in the UK in October. In a recent interview he discusses his life: “When people ask me how I’m still alive I don’t have an answer for them. There have been suicide attempts, STDs, overdoses, and I’ve been hit by a plane, yet I’m still here.” Leave it to Ozzy to casually throw in the “I’ve been hit by a plane” story, easily topping all other rock autobiographies before his…In L.A. a new promotion for the MLB team Dodgers shows residents on billboards with the caption THIS IS MY TOWN. Both Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) and Bret Michaels (Poison) head shots are displayed on giant billboards. No word on if there are plans to feature Jani Lane (Warrant)… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: A Tribute to Cherry Pie

In a recent interview Michael Sweet (Stryper) confirmed that the band has sold eight million albums. Welcome to the new segment called, “Holy Shit! That’s Crazy!”… More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: A Big John Sighting

Poison will be featured in VH1’s new Live & Loud series. It is recommended girls wear the least amount of clothing as possible considering this could turn into a casting session for a potential Rock of Love 4 show….Steven Adler (Guns N Roses) recently commented on bands and stars he met while touring with his band Adler’s Appetite. When asked about his show in Minnesota (where Bret Michaels was playing) he commented, “I didn’t get to meet Bret Michaels, but did get to meet Big John, and he’s the main guy on that show Rock of Love”. Thank you Steven for this week’s installment of “let’s boost Big John’s confidence”…. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Shout vs Cellar vs Hungry

Three rock albums were releases during 1983-1984 that would change my life. For a boy approaching his teen years these albums (actually cassette tapes) opened me up to a new world that remains part of me today. These albums were Ratt’s “Out of The Cellar,” Motley Crue’s “Shout at The Devil,” and Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry.” Given these three bands are back touring (Ratt and Twisted Sister playing these albums in their entirety) and the albums are celebrating 25+ years I thought it might be a good time to break down these volumes and see how they influenced, compared to each, and hold up today. More...

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