Wykked Wytch Cover Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life”

Blabbermouth.net – Extreme metal act Wykked Wytch have released their own rendition of Evanescence’s huge hit “Bring Me to Life” on their Myspace page HERE.  You may recall this is the same female fronted sextet that covered the Eurythmic’s “Sweet Dreams” in a bludgeoning sonic assault far different than Marilyn Manson’s more popular version.

I have to say I thought their version of ‘Sweet Dreams’ was just ok, but I kinda like ‘Bring Me to Life’.  But be warned purists, while the basic spirit of the original song is maintained The Wytch have put their own spin on it (with blood drenched talons, no less).  Think Cradle of Filth or perhaps a more brooding Arch Enemy.  Singer Ipek is truly one wicked gal as she creates unbelievable screams & gutteral growls, all the while supported by symphonic orchestrations and blasting drum beats that’ll pump your heart for you (if not reaching into your chest cavity & removing it).

Check out the link above as these folks are creating quite a buzz.  And if you’re regionally close to me, you should know that the The Wytch will be playing the Indianapolis Metalfest II (Sept 26 – 27) alongside Kittie, Green Jelly, Dew-scented & semi-local boys done good SKELETONWITCH !!  I doubt I can make that show. . .but I’m scheming.  Always scheming. . . .

Stop Picking on Uwe Boll

That’s right, you read the header. . . I’m DEFENDING one of the most notorious film directors on the internet.  Why, you ask? 

“The man directed Bloodrayne II for Christ’s sake, Rev!  Have you lost your freakin’ mind!?! HE GAVE TARA REID A LEADING ROLE – AS A SCIENTIST!!!  MY GOD MAN, WHAT ARE YOU (OR HIM FOR THAT MATTER) THINKING !?!?!?”

Maybe I’ve lost my mind, but that’s another discussion.  Let’s stick to the facts, shall we?

Fact: Uwe may be a schlock director, but I LIKE schlock.  And I’m not alone.  The man delivers what a schlock cinema fan wants to see – boobs, blood, bad ass monsters.  I liked ‘House of the Dead’.  Let me repeat that. . . I liked  ‘House of the Dead’.  I’ve sat through far worse, and some of it was done by Academy Awarded (trademarked yadda yadda) people.  So, with Uwe, you get what you pay for. . .or didn’t pay for, as the case may be.  It’s kinda of like his own genre, take it or leave it.

Fact:  His cinematography (albeit probably not really HIS cinematography but the cinematography in HIS films) is decent, his movies are action packed.  You are entertained.  Perhaps not as much as you’d like, but you’re entertained.  Let’s face it – it’s the scripts that are usually. . . .a bit . . . .wanting.  Well, I’m just being honest here.  But to decry this man as such a horrible director, to have a PETITION requesting he quit making films.  Aw, c’mon!  That’s just lame.   If we’re gonna demand people stop producing stuff just ’cause SOME folks don’t like it, - well then I would’ve willed away Emo a long time ago, trust me. 

Fact: Uwe is one of the only film makers using the German tax code to finance his productions in the way it was intended i.e. to benefit the German economy.  He makes ’em, produces them and distributes them entirely through his home country.  Yes, supported by the German tax law, but hey – he didn’t write the damn law.  He’s a businessman, not a politician. 

Fact: Sometimes Uwe has been known to threaten beating the ass of critics of his films. Ok, well – he’s an artist, and artists get defensive. And hell, some of those critics probably HAVE an asswhipping coming to ’em anyhow, y’know? So he’s a bit melodramatic, well – the great ones generally are. Can you truly fault the guy for protecting his art?? No, God love him for caring so much!

In conclusion, a great post on this very subject can be found at Beyond Hollywood (where I also stole this picture.  Thanks!). I kinda of agree with their logic & wish Mr. Boll a long and fruitful career of making sexy, blood soaked movies-that-make-no-sense-sometimes-but-you-still-like-them-because-at-least-a-hot-chick-gets-naked-and-fights-the-big-bad-demon type movies.  For some of us, Uwe Boll is our spokesperson.  Not necessarily a very CLEAR spokesperson, but he’s our man.

So back off, preppie boys.  Lest we get mean about it.  ;>

Titans on the Horizon – 3 (Possibly 4) MAJOR Major Label Releases Due This Fall

My readership is a pretty Metal savy group (of course!) but in case you were not aware, there are THREE major releases in the upcoming month or so.   Four if you count Slipknot’s “All Hope is Lost” CD which dropped just yesterday.  The other biggies are;

  • Sept. 12th – Metallica “Death Magnetic”
  • Oct. 20th – AC/DC “Black Ice”
  • ??????? – Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy

Ok, so there really are only 3, ’cause I don’t think Axel is gonna get all of us a free Dr. Pepper by releasing Chinese Democracy in 2008.  I’d love to be wrong about that, tho. 

Anyhoo, it will be interesting to see which album sells the best, and which one IS the best.  Right now, my money is on Slipknot.  Sorry Angus, Sorry James & Axel.  I think AC/DC & Metallica’s releases will be average at best, Gun N’ Roses might even be worse.  Like I said, I’d love to be wrong on those predictions. 

In related news, a blogger was arrested today for streaming 9 unreleased tracks from “Chinese Democracy” on his website.  You can read that whole story HERE – and thanks to Blabbermouth.net for the initial news hook-up.

Horror Fan Buys One Entire Showing For Movie

Fark.com – So a man in Bangalore, India bought every seat to a showing of the movie ‘Phoonk’ to disprove the director’s claims that no one could sit through the entire film alone.  Yes, he survived (DUH!).

And while I admire the “shut the hell up” attitude of the fan, I can’t help thinking how sad is his life if this is his idea of a good time.  Plus I would’ve been more impressed if he had not only sat through the movie but maintained a steady stream of lapdances from hot strippers the entire time.  I mean, if you’re gonna fly in the face of the director’s boasts, really FLY!  “Who’s scared baby, I ain’t scared baby . . . who’s the naughty girl not scared with me?  That’s right, who’s the naughty girl not scared with me??”

Ok, that was a bit disturbing.  If you wanna read the brief article, you can find it HERE

Zombie Rock

A while back I did a post about free online zombie games & it  continues to be a well read article to this day.  Now, being that I do love zombies, let’s look again at our restless dead friends, only this time to a small subgenre of horror metal – that of Zombie Rock.  And no, I ain’t talkin’ Rob Zombie or White Zombie (more or less same thing), I’m talking bands that live it, look it & sound of it.  In some cases, even smell of it.  Where possible, I’ve linked to each band’s Myspace page rather than their official homepage so you can easily sample a tune or two if you so desire.

First off is Zombie Girl, a Canadian Industrial side-project of scene veteran Icon of Coil (Sebastian Komor) & his partner Renee Cooper.  One part techno, one part rock n’ roll & and peppered with humorous lyrics throughout, one doesn’t feel the duo take themselves too seriously while still keeping in the spirit of their name.

If you fancy something heavier, may I recommend Japan’s Zombie Ritual, who DO seem to take themselves seriously (although they look plenty campy!). Very brutal Death Metal with many song titles with the word ‘Zombie’ in them - in case you forgot their schtick.  Kudos for a song called ‘ZomBeer’, however.

Another heavy duty entry to this list is the cleverly monikered Send More Paramedics, who mix elements of Grindcore and catchy Punk riffage into visceral concoctions all their own. The video I saw to ‘Blood Fever’ is actually quite decent – you can get to it from the Myspace page.

Fetid Zombie is a one man Deathcore project by graphic artist Mark Riddick notable not so much for the music but for the accompanying graphics. This guy has designed work for many underground acts so his stuff might look familiar. I dig it but be forewarned, ole’ Mark doesn’t appear to be much of a church-goer, if you know what I mean.

Anj is a Russian metal act that has a freaky video to the song ‘Gorbachov‘ that features a balding barbarian, big breasted honeys and – you guessed it – more zombies! They describe themselves as “Megadeth after five bottles of Russian Vodka” and will apparently be heading over here to the States for a tour sometime soon . . .

Other notable zombie acts I found were the aptly named Recently Vacated Graves, the NOT so aptly named Brazen Bull (They say it’s Viking Zombie Metal but their name sounds more like an alternative lifestyle club to me), and Zombie Apocalypse.  All heavy, with varying degrees of subtlety to their respective attacks.

Lastly, if all this zombie music has put you back into the mood to play some video games, may I recommend Zombie Grinder 60000 as my latest shoot’em up addiction.  Enjoy kiddies!

The Rules of Metal Concert T-shirts

I’ve been meaning to weigh in on this subject for a while now, as it seems to be a hotly debated topic around & about. In fact, while researching this post I found two interesting posts Here and Here– both from Ohio based bloggers like myself. Apparently we here in the Midwest REALLY take this shit seriously!

I should probably also add that I disagree with points on both of those links.  My own rules are no more definitive than anyone else’s, but I like to think that my roughly 30 years of concert going experience means something (other than just that my ears ring a lot).   Still, consider these as just rules of thumb.  Ok, so here’s my take:

First off, in the Metal community it’s best to wear the most obscure, yet badass t-shirt that you own to a  show.  The more corporate the concert you’re attending, the less obscure your shirt needs to be as obscurity is relative, but to a really underground show – you best bring out your hard won Ebay treasures. 

Wearing a Nickleback T-shirt to an Amon Amarth show, for example – might get you an assbeating.  Wearing Amon Amarth to Nickleback will get you a few knowing nods from other more experienced metalheads in attendance.  It’s really kind of an art form, matching the appropriately kickass shirt to the audience & show you’re going to.  I actually know a guy who brings 3 shirts with him, changing throughout the show – especially if someone has the same shirt on that he has.  Probably taking things a bit far, no?

Wearing a t-shirt of the same band (or bands) of the concert you’re attending is generally a no-no unless you have a few extraordinary circumstances.  Wearing an older tour shirt of the current band is acceptable in some situations (depends on the band, really) as it can mean “Hey, I saw these guys back in the day”.  Iron Maiden fans, for example, often appreciate that you saw the Powerslave tour when going to their shows now. 

Another reason it could be ok is if the shirt you own is rare in some way.  Autographed shirts, although technically rare, shouldn’t be worn.  It makes you look like a self-important prick to wear an autograph.  Aside from that, it’s best to advertise some OTHER band to the masses, kinda helping to spread the word.

I never wear a shirt I just bought at the current show, instead preferring to tie it to my belt and use it almost like a kilt.  I think wearing the new shirt AT THE SHOW just looks dumb, especially if you’re wearing another shirt under it.  At Blue Oyster Cult, however – I broke this rule bigger than shit.  I liked the ‘More Cowbell’ shirt so much, I put it on immediately.  I probably helped the band sell a lot of shirts that day as I walked the crowd & people are like “where did you get that shirt?”.  I only needed to point to the merch table & they skipped off like Dorothy to see the Wizard.  Like I said, these are rules of thumb.

If going to a metal show, do NOT wear a golf shirt, or a dress shirt, or anything trendy to the normal public.  Really, act like you’ve been to a concert before – even if you haven’t.  Metalheads don’t suffer fools well & you could really regret trying to “look good for the chicks”.  Besides, metal chicks have a different idea of what looking good is.

After the concert, feel free to wear your new swag whenever.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with showing people that you attended a given concert & many folks may stop you to ask your opinion.  The two week rule?  Psshaw.

So there you have it, or at least the finer points that come to mind.  I’m sure I’ll get the disagreeing emails & that’s fine.  To each his own.  But if you are stupid enough to wear your favorite Emo band to see Manowar. . . well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cruefest – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH 8/19/08

Attended the first annual Cruefest yesterday – the Motley Crue headed tour that also features Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx AM (Nikki Sixx’s side project) & Trapt.   First off, this is the first time I’ve been to Riverbend in over 10 years & I really hate the layout now.  Who in their right mind puts EIGHT very large, steel beamed supports partitioning the more expensive pavilion seats & the lawn?  People smack middle to the stage, but in the lawn, had to sneak a peak between these huge girdered columns – which didn’t allow nearly enough viewing space for an entire crowd.  Easily 40% of the lawn seats were forced to watch the show in this manner.  Fortunately, on the far sides of the lawn there were no supports so you could sit in that small area & still see the show (which is what my group was forced to do).  I would really hesitate to go to this venue again unless I was willing to pay pavilion prices.

Trapt was first up and was incredibly average.  It’s always tough to go first & the crowd just wasn’t into them all that much.  It didn’t help that the band has only one real hit (‘Headstrong’, which is really annoying to me) and didn’t have much presence on stage.

Next up was the much ballyhooed Sixx:A.M., who pulled in a much larger portion from the beer lines – and deservedly so.  Aside from Sixx, vocalist James Michael & Guitarist DJ Ashba are both Sunset Strip vets & their expertise is evident from the moment they hit the stage.  Songs included opener ‘Xmas in Hell’, ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Accidents Can Happen’, ‘Pray for Me’ & video phenom ‘Life is Beautiful’.

Then came Papa Roach, probably the most energetic band all night.  To me, they don’t have as many recognizable songs but I did love hearing ‘Forever’ & ‘Last Resort’.    The rest was unfamiliar but ‘almost’ moshpit heavy.  They were all dressed predominantly in black, with spikey hair, tats and thrashing about the stage like jet-fueled hooligans.  Pretty fun, even if I didn’t know what I was listening to.

Buckcherry was a disappointment & I know many will disagree with me.  They’re a perfect opener for Crue, don’t get me wrong, as their subject matter & delivery is very remniscent of old Aerosmith.  But y’know, two good songs won’t carry a set – especially when you drag ‘Crazy Bitch’ out to 18 minutes because of a pointless dialogue by singer Josh Todd where, among other things, he describes various sexual positions he enjoys etc. etc.  Look Josh, I’m sure the chicks will help you out AFTER the show but for now, can you just play!?  Really expected them to keep pace with Papa Roach but nope, too busy strutting & trying to urge enthusiasm out of an unimpressed crowd.  Like I said, I was expecting better.

After a brief shadow play on the stage curtains showing an angel walking over & then going down on a devil, the mighty Crue took the stage.  Easily one of the top 5 live acts in rock n’ roll, and out to prove it, the self-proclaimed ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ took CinciNASTY (as they called it) by storm.  There was pyro, fireworks, smoke, enough flashing lights to fritz out 100 epileptics, 4 video screens (which often showed blurry porn & S&M scenes) and a set with the words ‘Los Angeles’ (spelled backwards) sprawling like Stonehenge from end to end.  No strippers this time out, but we still got Tommy’s Tittycam, a smokin’ guitar solo by Mick Mars and just about every hit you would hope for (although no ‘Smokin’ in the Boys Room’, surprisingly).  Here’s the setlist;

  • Kickstart My Heart
  • Wildside
  • Shout at the Devil
  • Saints of Los Angeles (where they were joined by all four singers from the other bands)
  • Guitar Solo (including Voodoo Chile)
  • Live Wire
  • Sick Love Song
  • Motherfucker of the Year
  • Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away
  • Same Ole’ Situation
  • Primal Scream
  • Looks That Kill
  • Girls, Girls, Girls
  • Doctor Feelgood
  • Home Sweet Home [ENCORE]

I don’t believe there was anything else, but I did have to leave to make the 2 hour drive home at that point – so feel free to correct me if I missed anything.

It was a very strong performance, even this late into their two month tour – and I would heartily recommend catching the show if you get a chance.  I will definitely try to see Cruefest 2.

In fact, & to be honest, I spent most of the night thinking the Crue would’ve been an equally good first concert for my twins (instead of Iron Maiden), but after watching the smokin’ hot girls next to me dirty dance each other all night, and then the porn started on the big screens, and then Tommy’s Tittycam (he later handed a full bottle of jager into the crowd for his “homies in the lawn”) etc etc.   well, let’s just say it might be better to keep some things to yourself after all.

Wing Zing 2008

Budweiser’s Wing Zing is becoming somewhat of a tradition here in ole’ C-bus, as for many people like myself it incorporates three really awesome things together in one event; beer, wings & rock n’ roll!   So Saturday, this is the kind of mayhem the wife and I decided to get into (that’s her pictured with the Rooster from BC Rooster’s.  The gal behind her is attempting to choke a chicken, I think).

Many area restaurants were gathered together, offering 2 wings of various sauces & styles for a buck, which allows you to sample a few different places’ all for a reasonable sum.  Then, you’re supposed to vote for your fave, or you can do what I did and forget entirely about it because you were drinking BEER and jamming to some blues.  Hey, I’m just bein’ honest.

Anyhow, this year’s event was headlined by REO Speedwagon, but also included two my of fav local Blues acts – The Willie Phoenix Band and Scotty Bratcher.  

Willie Phoenix’s set is one part 70’s rock, one part electrified blues – heavy on improvised solos and complete craziness as he gets into his show.  Never quite sure what he will play, what he will do, and neither is security (as they found when he jumped out into the crowd).  Good times!

Scotty Bratcher is also quickly becoming a must-see for me and this show was no exception.  I was starving but couldn’t pull myself away from his jammin’ set to go get any food (fortunately, the beer stand was close by or we could have had a code blue emergency).   Check out his Myspace page at the link, and take a listen if you’re interested.  I recommend ‘Ready for Rain’.

Chris Duarte was next – a more jazz-centric Bluesman out of Texas.  Although his style doesn’t strike as much a chord with me as some of the other acts, he definitely has an enthusiastic fanbase that came out to see him. 

And then of course there was REO Speedwagon, who fortunately spaced out their 80’s ballads and infused some more upbeat rockers in between.  The crowd was almost capacity at this point, which surprised me – I’m not gonna lie.  But Kevin Cronin & co. have aged well and know what their fans wanna hear, so we got all the hits including ‘Back on the Road’ ,’Take it on the Run’ & ‘Ridin’ the Storm Out’.  Yeah, and then those ballads of which we will not speak.  The wife was pleased. . .so let’s leave it at that, shall we?

It was a fun festival and I had a great time indeed.  Next up (yes, ANOTHER one!) I’m headed to Cincy for Cruefest tomorrow.  I’ll report in on Wednesday with all the . . . dirt.

Just in Time for Football Season – The Beer Belly & The Wine Rack

From those zany folks at http://coolerfun.com comes the Beer Belly.  Actually, I think a picture is worth a 1000 words here;

It’s a wearable bladder (with attached drinking hose) capable of holding 80 oz. of fluid, that you strap to your middle to look like a spare tire.  Brilliant – unless you REALLY have a big gut already, in which case maybe not so much.

For women, they also offer the Wine Rack – a sports bra that functions in essentially the same manner as the Beer Belly, except it will also increase a bra cup by 2 sizes (!!) in addition to storing the hootch.  No recommended for women 36DD or 38D+, for some odd reason.

Read more about them HERE. Ah, ain’t technology great! And thanks to my buddy Steve for passing along this site.