Killswitch Engage Part Ways With Singer – Kinda bummed about the news that Howard Jones is no longer with Killswitch Engage (follow the link for the full story on KNAC).   HoJo’s from Columbus, so it was always cool knowing he was out there on the road, kicking ass and making a name for himself.  Another fine example of the veritable hotbed of Metal that is the Midwest, despite what many believe. Howard, this ones for you. . .

2 1/2 Men – The Verdict

To follow up on my previous post, after having watched the season premiere of ‘2 1/2 Men’ as well as Charlie Sheen’s roast on Comedy Central, well – Sheen’s roast wins. Kutcher’s performance – while I’m sure was droolworthy for anyone wishing to see insinuations of his nakedness, was far too derivative of his Kelso role on ‘That 70’s Show’ to breathe the fresh air this show desperately needs. Despite his new character Walden Schmidt being an entrepreneur and a billionaire, he actually came across as just another dorky airhead – again, not far from Kelsoland. CBS garnered killer ratings for the debut (27.7 million viewers) but I predict we’re gonna see a HARD drop-off over the coming weeks – possibly not even enough to sustain the show, although it’s a little early to call the patient deceased just yet.

Sheen, on the other hand, definitively has been given the last laugh. Literally. While his roasters were tasteless, brazen and occasionally even racist, like a NASCAR spin-out it was tough to turn away. Sure, Steve-O and Mike Tyson made one cringe and “joke borrowing” Jon Lovitz confirmed his washed-up status by using material that’s been on every Facebook status page for the past 10 months (“How much cocaine did Charlie Sheen do? Enough to kill 2 1/2 men”). Fortunately, with the razor sharp ruthlessness of relative unknowns Amy Schumer, Jeffrey Ross and Anthony Jeselnik as well as veteran zingers Seth Macfarlane and William Shatner, this rag-tag ensemble proved that the prime-time roast sure as hell ain’t dead. And even Sheen’s rebuttal – well, WINNING (you knew I was gonna throw that in here somewhere, didn’t you?). I for one wouldn’t object to a Sheen roast EVERY week instead of the faltering “2 1/2 Men”. Still, hope springs eternal that the show will get it’s legs with the new cast. Had this had been a prizefight, “2 1/2 men” may not have been KO’d but they sure lost on points. And ultimately, the champion remains the same. Well played again, Mr. Sheen.

2 1/2 Sheens

Like many folks, I plan on watching the premiere of “2 and 1/2 Men” tonight live (sans DVR – EGADS!) & then most likely flipping over to the Charlie Sheen roast on Comedy Central. After it’s all over, I’m wondering which will actually be the funnier of the two (probably the roast, but it won’t be the intentional parts).

Can’t help but think that Charlie’s “tirades” and the ensuing media storm, the tour of rants etc. weren’t all some ploy on Sheen’s part to get a better contract. His apologetic presentation on last night’s Emmy’s could be construed as laying the groundwork for guest appearance discussions on the hit sitcom (probably around the May Nielsen book, I’m thinking), provided anyone still cares at that point. And if all of this IS true – well done Mr. Sheen. Played like a well oiled stripper.

But what I’m curious about, and why I even care at this point, is from a more artistic standpoint. As a writer, the challenge of substituting a pivotal character with a NEW pivotal character – well, it ain’t as easy as Chuck Lorre would like for us all to believe. It’s like a good series finale; every producer says they “know what mistakes were made by the great series before them”, and yet few (if any) actually go on to prove that they were paying attention. I’m talking to you, J. J. Abrams.

So for me, it’s not “Is Ashton Kutcher able to pull it off” because of course he will, or they wouldn’t be airing the show at all. The question to me is, will the writers? Or are we about to be treated to a rehashed, revamped, retro-fitted semblance of a transition story that could’ve been more imaginatively conceived by a junior high art class on a long bus ride to Origami Camp? I certainly hope not.

I have faith in the genius of Chuck Lorre and his writing team – arguably some the sharpest tacks in the business right now, and tonight’s episode WILL be a learning experience one way or the other from a storytelling standpoint; either a textbook “This is how it’s done” template for future sitcoms, or a cautionary tale about over-estimating one’s prowess with plot devices.

We shall see, won’t we?

Hear Jamey Jasta’s Solo Release – Free.

Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow) just released his first solo album, called simply ‘Jasta’, and was kind enough to do so on my birthday (July 26th – did you send me a gift?). What’s cool about this is you can hear the entire thing for free on AOL music (HERE). Thanks to for the info & a great article about the release.

Hatebreed fans are sure to love this one, so go check it out!


RIP Seth Putnam

According to Anal C**T’s publicist, and as seen on HERE, vocalist Seth Putnam apparently died of a heart attack yesterday at age 43.  Very sad news, indeed.

Despite their extremely offensive lyrics & song titles (of which many fans have always suspected were for shock effect more than anything), Putnam & AxCx showed themselves to be full of humor (albeit very dark humor), with a ‘devil-may-care’ attitude towards . . . well, just about everything.  Still, listening to their new album “Fuckin’ A”, you hear genuine musicianship marrying the staple AxCx Grindcore sound with 80’s metal riffage in a combination that is sure to surprise both fans & detractors alike.

Further down this site, you’ll see just recently I reviewed what I didn’t know at the time was one of the final AxCx shows ever.  Wish now I had actually had a chance to speak with Seth as there are few anti-rock stars that can rival him.   I completely disagreed with some of his song lyrics (‘Ha Ha Holocaust’ comes to mind) but respected his right to express himself – and the balls it took to say what he said.

Love him or hate him, we just lost a strong & unique voice in the metal community.  If I had a band, I would write a song called ‘Dying is Gay’ in tribute to Seth.  Where ever he is, I think he’d laugh his ass off over it.

Rest in peace, man.

No Ozzfest 2011 – This was announced last Friday (the 13th ironically), but Ozzy has confirmed there will be no Ozzfest 2011. Apparently the Prince of Darkness plans to be touring over in Europe this summer – so my readers across the pond, rejoice!

For the rest of us, there’s plenty of other shows/tours to fill the void. In my case, next up is the mighty Rock On The Range this weekend featuring A Perfect Circle, Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Disturbed, Staind, Stone Sour, Danzig, Black Label Society and about 30 other bands!

Happy SkyNet Day!

If you followed “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” during it’s short run on network TV, then you may recall that technically today, according to the storyline, is when SkyNet launched it’s assault on mankind (after having become self-aware on 4/19). Notice the clever avoidance of anything special on 4/20, those wacky producers.

In a related coincidence, I heard from a friend that the Playstation network had some outages today, so yeah – IT HAS BEGUN! Stock up on toilet paper, maybe ammo too!!

Anyhow, have a great weekend everyone. Reviews forthcoming of the Bobaflex and Skeletonwitch/3 Inches of Blood shows I recently attended.

In the meantime, c’ya near the Rim.

The Horror! William Shatner To Release New CD!! – File this under “Signs of the Apocalypse”, but William Shatner is working on a new CD. . . and it’s got a metal edge to it. Yeah, really. Revolver magazine even made him an Honorary Headbanger. See – signs of the apocalypse!

And check out ole’ Bill’s list of guest musicians; Zakk Wylde, Richie Blackmore, Johnny Winter, Bootsy Collins, Ian Paice, Michael Schenker, Brad Paisley, Alan Parsons (he’s still alive?), Peter Frampton, Dave Davies, Steve Howe, many others. Of course, no self-respecting guest list would be complete without Carmine Appice on the drums (I think he’s actually part of the US copyright process, in that a song isn’t copywritten unless Carmine Appice plays on it).

Read the whole linked article on Blabbermouth. . . and shiver a little. I mean did you ever hear Shatner’s rendition of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”? OMG – I’ve heard cats mate with more musicality. Here’s hoping with this level of talent in the studio alongside him, something good comes out of it. Or someone has the common sense to destroy the tapes.

Kopek Is Coming To Columbus!

If you’ve been a visitor here before, you know that The Rev really likes Irish rockers Kopek & their new album “White Collar Lies”. Well, they’re touring the States currently, and tomorrow night (4/1) they’ll hit the stage with Cold and Egypt Central at the legendary Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.

Folks, this band has a long history of winning Battle of the Band competitions, so I’m thinking their live performances have to be phenomenal. Won’t you join me & check’em out?

Here’s another video to whet your appetite – “Cocaine Chest Pains”. Yeah, it’s grungy but it’s got a great melody. Enjoy, and see ya’ at the Alrosa!