Random Thoughts

New Album Upload

Last week I uploaded two albums on to my YouTube account, Morbid Angel’s Covenant, and Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break The Oath.  Just last night I added my all time favorite Iron Maiden album in it’s entirety, Piece Of Mind.  Here’s the link:

First time I ever heard “The Trooper” on WSOU in 2001 it kicked my ass so hard.  This is even MORE of what I needed in my search for ONLY the best shit because if I heard anymore shitty emo-punk or nu-metal depending on who I hung out with on that day I was going to throw myself against a barbed wire fence.  I’m pretty sure I was the ONLY one in my school that had REAL taste in music.  I don’t miss high school at all.  As for Piece Of Mind goes, this to me is the album that, once and for all, established the blueprint to the Maiden sound.  Yeah sure, they already had the epic songs before this but I feel like the great abundance of guitar harmonies on this album set the stage for nearly every band that came after them.  I always felt like The Number Of The Beast is so fucking overrated.  It’s really not that fantastic to me.

Powerlifting Progress

Today began my final week of training before my first meet on May 21st at the Ramada Inn in Newark, NJ.  On the heavy week of 5/3/1 I hit my final PR of 320lbs.  Since you’re only supposed to just hit the prescribed number of reps as you get closer to the meet I “just” hit one rep but I know I could’ve done more.  This shit was TOO easy!  But hey judge for yourself:

Too easy.  Thanks to having nothing but C4 in my system at the time of this set I got a bit carried away and cursed at and even screamed at the bar when I was done, making my girlfriend think I was pissed.  Hardly the case, but here’s some dialogue between me and her from after I finished:

Me: That was too easy!

Girlfriend: That screaming stuff is why you’d get kicked out of that other gym.

Me: Planet Fitness?

Girlfriend: Yep.

Me: Yeah?  Well fuck Planet Fitness!

But seriously though, fuck Planet Fitness.  Any gym that kicks a guy out of a gym for grunting while squatting 500lbs is NOT a real gym – and that’s a true story, by the way.  I’ll never train in Planet Fag.  I lift things up and put them down.

Here’s my entire routine for today:

Deadlift

125 x 5

155 x 5

185 x 5

255 x 5

285 x 3

320 x 1

Stationary Bike

10 minutes

50 calories burned

1.78 miles

Average HR: 115

The Ballad Of Ozzy and $haron

So I woke up this morning to the news Ozzy and Sharon are splitting, not because of drugs or alcohol.  That alone is fascinating just because he drunkenly tried to kill her back in 1989.  Too bad he didn’t get the job done!  This time it’s because she apparently went through his cellphone and discovered numerous texts and calls to celebrity hair stylist Michelle Pugh, a woman more than two decades younger than Ozz.

I can’t say I’m too shocked.  First off, if we all know anything about Ozzy we all should know he probably doesn’t even know how to operate his own phone just because he’s a dumb motherfucker.  So how could he know how to delete his own history?  Right?  It’s one thing to just look at the phone bill when it comes in but THIS was just too easy because it’s Ozzy and he’s stupid as shit.

But more important than that, could anyone blame the guy?  Look at pictures of $haron even in her youth and then look at Michelle Pugh.  Hell, I’ll help you:

Pugh

Look at that and tell me she’s not a cute woman.  I dare you to tell me that’s NOT a major upgrade from $haron in the looks department alone.  Hey, just maybe she’s even nicer than that witch.  Sure, $haron  may have saved Ozzy from drinking himself to oblivion after being booted out of Black Sabbath back in 1979, but it’s pretty much been documented for years that she’s a cunt.  Maybe Ozzy wanted a break from $haron’s overbearing attitude.  As of this writing he’s in a hotel in Beverly Hills.

But the truth is, in the end, they’ll get back together.  He’s still a puppy that needs his master and she needs a source of REAL income.  $haron herself recently admitted on The Talk that she caught him in bed with one of their kids’ nannies.  So why didn’t she ditch him then?  She said because she knew he was high as fuck at the time.  So there you have it.  She excused him them, she excused him when he nearly KILLED her and she’ll eventually excuse him for this, crawling back to each other in pure desperation, since neither of them know anything else at this point in their lives.  So…no need to make a big thing about this.

 

 

“Is That A Chick’s Ass????”

You see the guitar in the main picture?  Yeah?  Now look at the finish closely.  All you see is a pink guitar?  Look again…closer.  See it now?  Now, if you’re a guy under twenty you just jizzed yourself. Twice.  If you’re over twenty you can’t stop laughing, but you still have control over yourself.  You women though….oh, you….the mixed reactions you broads have given this guitar over the years…some of you are obviously offended…yet…some of you actually like it!!  Really???  Um…ok!

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on this thing back in the early spring of 2004, probably the end of March.  My old music store, where I was no longer taking lessons at this point, was right next door to my shit job where I was working at the time so I took a visit until I had to go clock in.  I looked to my right and immediately saw this…guitar…hanging on the wall.  It was a B.C. Rich Bich, the one shape I’ve always wanted ever since I saw old clips of Dave Mustaine using it with Metallica on Megadeth’s VH1 Behind The Music episode three years earlier.  But this one was…different…and not just because it was part of B.C. Rich’s Body Art Series either.  The pervert in me immediately saw what a lot of people usually need a few looks to see.  Holy shit that’s a chick’s ass in a thong!  A chick’s ass is the finish of a guitar!  What does this say on the tag?  “Bich’s Back”?  Yeah, I’ll say!  Only $300?  Hmmmm.

I was told by the store owner’s piece of shit daughter, who I won’t name because she doesn’t deserve the recognition, that there were two other guitars like that but they sold quickly as should’ve been expected.  She then said that she arranged for B.C. Rich to recall the last one?  Why?  “Because I don’t want kids to come in here and see it.”  I wish I knew what the big deal is, as far as I know she’s only music store employee I ever knew that would say something that stupid.  It’s been more than eleven years since I heard that remark and I still can’t believe I heard it!  So fuckin’ what if a kid sees it??  After much debating I asked this dumb bitch when B.C. Rich were supposed to come.  “Friday”, she told me.  “Yeah?  Well call them and tell them to forget it.  I’ll be back here when I get paid to put money down on it.”, was my immediate response.  I had to get this thing.

The very next Friday I went back there right after I got out of work and used part of my tax return to pay the rest off and this baby was mine!  As the store owner’s cunt of a daughter was counting my money she quipped in a pretty serious tone “I think you’re a pervert for buying this!”.  Oh I have stories on this twat that could last a whole day’s worth of conversation; but then you’d have to knock me out to shut me up.  But who gave a shit?  They had $300 of my money since I was no longer taking lessons with them at this point anyway AND I had a guitar that practically screamed sleazy, filthy no condom fucking…with the risk of a few STDs.  Twenty four frets for hitting those high notes to make this bich scream, a curvaceous body, that finish!  The store’s owner offered to drive me to the mall since I wanted to grab some food before I went home since I didn’t have a car yet; while in his van I asked him if he thought I was a perv like his jackass daughter said I was for buying the guitar.  “I think it’s the most macho thing you can buy!”, he quickly responded.

My time in the mall?  Oh that was just fantastic!  I was given an acoustic guitar case to carry the Bich in because of it’s abnormal shape and when I arrived at the food court to eat I ran into someone and I sadly don’t remember who the guy was.  I showed him the guitar and he couldn’t believe the finish on this.  At that very moment I was approached by this guy I’ve seen on and off at bus stops in his Fun Station USA work shirt.  He had long hair in a pony tail with an under shave and he wanted to let me know that and he and his girlfriend both saw my guitar from across the way and he wanted to tell me he thought it was awesome.  That was cool and he seemed like a nice guy.  The problem?  His girlfriend, who was giving me the death stare right behind him, was this lunatic who I was crazy enough to be friends with not even two years earlier and to say the least I was surprised she was still alive.  I actually spotted her crazy ass a month earlier at a show and when I told my dad the next day even his response was “She’s still alive??”.  So as much as her boyfriend – and future baby daddy – was cool, I could not wait to brush him off as quickly as I could!

It’s amazing, the kinds of people you can attract just by carrying a guitar.  While I was on my way home I was waiting to transfer to my second bus when some homeboy asked to see my guitar.  “Yo dat shit is dope!”, he yelled out with a big laugh.  Then came this weird looking lady who clearly had to be in her late forties.  She saw that I had a B.C. Rich and decided to tell me this story that I still don’t know if I want to believe, in which she saw Metallica with Mustaine on lead guitar at a show.  According to her Dave was playing his first B.C. Rich guitar.  He hated it so much that at the end of the show he smashed it and one of the wooden shards hit this lady’s neck, cutting it open.  She then told me she would force it to stay open for weeks because she wanted to keep the memories.  Ok….

The next day I finally plugged it in and I was kind of surprised to hear how weak the pickups actually were.  I should’ve known, being that the guitar was kind of a novelty.  The solution?  Replacing them with EMG 85 and 81 pickups – problem definitely solved!  Goddamn this thing was loud after that.  I was playing it – and bragged about it – with a sense of pride for years.  It just screamed “METAL!!” as far as I was concerned.  I used it for years, I mean my next three bands.  I saw it as an attention grabber and my ex-guitarist from my first metal band joked that the guitar is the one thing I’d be remembered for.  Months before my second band’s debut gig in 2007 I decided the guitar needed a little extra kink if you will, so I went to Rudy’s on 48th St in Manhattan and got myself a Levy’s Leather Strap with chains going right down the middle.

Of course, not everybody liked the guitar.  Typical scenario: I’d bring the guitar somewhere, where is irrelevant.  I’ll take my guitar out and some woman will notice.  “That’s an interesting guitar, bring it over here.”  I bring it over.  “It’s so interesting that you’d have a pink guitar.  Wait…is that…oh…”.  Just like that she’s grossed out.  In fact the last time I had the guitar set up for it’s final shows in 2013, the female owner of the store I went to, Rustic Music Center, took one look and declared “that’s the funniest and grossest guitar I’ve ever seen” before calling the guys in the place to take a look at the finish.  I auditioned for the thrash band Sun Descends in 2005 and when I took the guitar out the lead singer, ex-Exumer vocalist Mem Von Stein, immediately said to me with weariness in his eyes “You have another guitar…right?”

But as I said earlier, some women thought it was amazing, including my brother’s ex-girlfriend as well as girls who worked at my college radio station.  Speaking of my brother, one day a friend of his that I used to go to school with gave me a ride to the bus, I think.  I had my guitar with me and when my brother told me to show the guitar his wannabe rapper buddy even he yelled out “What???  That’s AWESOME!!”  Yeah, the guitar even transcends musical boundaries.  At my first ever metal show some dope told me he wanted to have sex with my guitar.  My bodybuilder doppelganger and friend Jon has even considered buying one of his own all because of mine!

Since then I’ve been retired from band life.  So where’s the guitar been ever since I’ve moved to New Jersey?  In the closet because my girlfriend doesn’t want to see it.  Oh sure, I’ll take out from time to time.  I think I’d like to give it another setup.  I do know that if I ever got back into it and began work on the offensive metal project of my dreams there’s no better than my Bich’s Back to get the job done!

Here’s the Bich today:

IMG_20151101_163958795 IMG_20151101_164006142 IMG_20151101_164038068  IMG_20151101_164104554

 

The Perpetual Burn of Jason Becker

Jason Becker was a rising guitar shred G.O.D who had it all coming to him.  To say he mastered the guitar at a young age would be the biggest understatement in all of shred.  His father, Gary, taught him the basics and Jason took it up about twenty levels.  After steadily building a reputation just by making everyone shit their pants with his abnormally original style he nailed the gig of a lifetime as David Lee Roth’s new guitarist, replacing Steve Vai.  And then, just like that…he had problems walking right….then came any musician’s worst nightmare, he lost feeling in his hands…it was then that he discovered he had ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  And just like that…it was all over for Jason Becker…or was it?

Since moving in with my girlfriend in New Jersey a little over two weeks ago we connected my Amazon Prime account to her TV when she searched through the documentaries section and discovered the documentary Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.  We both knew there was a documentary on Jason but neither of us ever saw it but we were tired so we finally got around to watching it two nights ago.  Watching it my mind was flooded with every emotion that can be pulled out of you from a watching a documentary on a guy who should’ve been dead years ago.

The film opens up with a home video of a teenage Jason Becker getting ready to play the Bob Dylan “classic”, “Mr. Tambourine Man” (that’s right I quoted the word classic because the song is garbage!).  This scene alone summarizes the underlying theme of the entire movie, that of a close bond between father and son, a bond between son and a family that would find itself going to the ends of the earth to find a way, any way, to save their ungodly talented son’s life.  It almost makes the story of his career and undeniable musical influence completely irrelevant.  But of course it’s still covered anyway – why would it not be??

As I said earlier, his father was the one to teach him how to play guitar, albeit the basics, and Jason obviously ran like fuck with it.  The movie goes into great detail with this, along with showing 8mm and vhs home videos of Jason practicing at home, listening to the likes of Van Halen, covering Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Black Star” at a school talent show where, well, lets just say the school’s population generally liked hip hop.  And I will also go ahead and say his version sounded even better than the original!  And no that’s not because I can’t stand Yngwie either.

Another gem in this movie is the interviews with several of the people in Jason’s life from his family to the guys he worked with including David Lee Roth drummer Greg Bissonette, ex-Cacophony bandmate/future Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman, as well as peers such as Shrapnel Records founder Mike Varney, who hooked Jason up with Marty to start Cacophony, Steve Vai, Ritchie Kotzen and Joe Satriani.  It’s an absolute privilege to hear their stories of how they all met Jason, the accomplishments they all made together, their takes on his playing, watching him transform into this in-demand guitar genius who’s creative mind knew absolutely no boundaries as far as anyone knew.

It’s actually a fun ride, watching Jason’s rise to the top through the interviews, the videos, the music….that other worldly guitar!!!…blaring in the background.  You see it all, his recording alongside Marty in Cacophony, his desire to break out on his own with the legendary Perpetual Burn, and what really should’ve been his big break with David Lee Roth.  Hell, it’s one thing to worship Eddie but to be the right hand man of the guy who sang on those first six records during that time period?? Score!  Right??

But this was were the fun sadly ended.  And by the time he was diagnosed with the crippling ALS he was just hoping he could at least get a tour in with Diamond Dave before his imminent departure and full on nerve degeneration began.  That now iconic picture I posted here of Jason kissing his Carvin guitar?  Yeah, he’s on his knees because he already was having a hard time standing up without a cane.  Fucked up but it’s still a true story.  Judging by how positive a person his family and friends portrayed him as he most likely would’ve toured with Roth had he not lost feeling in his hands.  That did him in.  His future as a guitar god to a more mainstream audience familiar with Eddie Van Halen?  Over.

From here we see how hard it must have been to lose the ability to do anything at all.  For those of you who don’t know, those with ALS generally don’t survive.  His parents, and caregivers – who ironically are both ex-girlfriends (Jason!  You devil you!) – show more love and support to him than most families would.  His father showed he has a lot of patience because he designed a geometric letter system that’s used for him and Jason’s mother to communicate with Jason using Jason’s eyes in preparation for Jason’s eventual inability to talk ever again.

He lost all hope when his doctor asked him if he even wanted to live anymore, as his throat began swelling up.  He shockingly said he DID want to live.  He wasn’t ready to give up yet!  So he was fitted with a tube in his throat to help him breath and take in food.  And even better?  He’s still writing music with the help of a computer.  He’s released a few albums since he’s been robbed of his amazing ability yet he still has the mental strength to carry on??  How???

Jason’s story up until a certain point is almost similar to that of Randy Rhoads’.  A hot young guitar player who works hard until he gets the gig of a lifetime, makes everyone shit their pants with his playing only for it to be cut short before he could ever reach his true potential.  There is one major difference though.  The thing is, I don’t know how I’d react if I found out I could never play guitar again because I was diagnosed with ALS.  I’d much rather crash a plane into a house and die like Randy did than EVER have to suffer like this poor son a bitch has to do everyday.  Fuck it – I’d refuse to leave the hospital unless I knew I could be euthanized right there and then.  Yeah, I said it.

He’s been in a wheelchair unable to physically do anything for maybe 25 years now – pretty much his entire adult life!  Once again, he has an incredibly devoted support system in his family and two exes turned caregivers (this guy must’ve been the best sex either of them ever had for them to give up everything to take care of him!).  But here’s my problem.  His parents are getting older now.  I think his parents are the only two people who know how to communicate with Jason the way they do.  So what would happen then if they go before he does?  What if anything were to happen with his caregivers?  Sure, the easy answer is a nursing home but things will undeniably never be the same again.  The diet he’s currently on alone is the reason this guy happens to look so healthy.  He won’t get that in a nursing home.  I also worry that once his inner support system is gone he’ll eventually be taken advantage of.  I’d know from experience.  My grandfather, who suffered brain damage thanks to a stroke, had a caregiver.  Guess what?  My father discovered that the rotten piece of shit was taking his clothes and shipping them off to her family back in Granada.  See…point is anything can happen.  I almost want Jason to die just so he won’t experience this shit because I think it will happen.

That being said, I have nothing but endless respect and admiration for Jason Becker.  The documentary, more than covering his outstanding career and subtly highlighting his special bond with his incredibly strong and loving family, sends an important message.  If this guy, who should’ve died at least 20 years ago, is still finding the inner desire to live life everyday in the face of this crippling disease, then you can do anything.  Tony Iommi was introduced to Django Reinhardt after he lost his fingertips.  Django’s hand was crippled in a fire and he could only play with two fingers.  But not even that story holds a candle to Jason Becker’s.  Life is short and as Jason learned things can be taken away in a heartbeat.  In a cruel twist of irony he’s recorded telling his mom that he feels weird that he was the only guy in Cacophony with nothing to bitch about.  “When is something bad going to happen to me?”  He asked.  Well, we know how that ended.  But he fought through it all and will continue to fight.

Jason at his best:

Random Thoughts

New Trivium…and I Think I Like It…Uh Oh!

Over two weeks ago Roadrunner Records released the new music video for the title track to Trivium’s upcoming October 2nd release Silence In The Snow.  The only reason I even gave it a listen was just so I can say that it sucked balls.  I was a fan of them starting in 2005 when I bought Ascendancy and thought that these kids had a shitload of potential and that as they progressed their shit would get better – and it did for a while!  Their next two CDs, The Crusade and Shogun were far more metal sounding and far more mature than Ascendancy and you either supported them for growing up and doing different things or you refused to grow up, understand that no band can do the same thing forever and move on.  That’s exactly what happened with Trivium.

Starting with The Crusade I was hearing a lot of bitching from people: “This sucks!  Ascendancy is better because it’s more metalcore!”.  “Fuck these posers, trying to sound like Metallica all the time!”  And by the way, you dumb motherfuckers who made those Metallica complaints…please…just…open your ears and tell me if you really think that Kirk Hammett in his prime could play any of Matt Heafy’s or Corey Bealieu’s leads – and without raping that fucking wah pedal!  Tell me that Lars in his prime could handle Travis Smith’s drum patterns.  Ok, so maybe Matt sounded a tad like James in the singing department but I’d rather that than just screaming to breakdowns all the time and not developing to become a better vocalist.

Then something happened.  They seemingly gave into those immature fuckheads that bitched and moaned about their music because it wasn’t Ascendancy parts 2, 3, 4 and 5, and decided to please these “fans”, or so it seems, by pretty much dumbing down everything they had done before.  The result?  In Waves, probably the worst regression I’ve ever seen in a band.  Ever hear the title track?  The opening breakdown broke my heart…so metalcore…I immediately had visions of stupid kids with their hair super glued to the side doing stupid dance moves.  I heard a few other tracks to try and give it a chance but I couldn’t get into it at all.  Worse?  Their next album was produced by none other than David Draiman.  So I totally wrote Trivium off.

Then this video was released two weeks ago:

Pretty different…pretty much avant garde…but what the fuck is with Corey circle headbanging blindfolded?  Is Matt just randomly bleeding?  What’s with the cute Asian not being told how to properly hold a guitar?  And while bleeding too?  But more than that…doesn’t Matt sound a slight bit like Myles Kennedy here while singing the verses?  Oh shit his singing voice is suddenly WAY better.  No screaming at all…not even a bit?  Ok…so the riffs are still simple as fuck…but damn are they heavy!  What’s that?  This was inspired by the band’s time touring with Heaven and Hell, you say?  This song was originally written during the sessions for Shogun??  Score!!!!!

Then came this other leaked song just this past week:

Uh oh…this sounds really good too.  This musically speaking is a really good mix of old-school playing with modern edge guitar tones.  Just listen to that slow part – goddamn!  And Matt’s voice?  Great work harmonizing with himself!  Great singing altogether!  I don’t know that ditching screaming altogether will work out in the end but we’ll all have to wait until October to find out for sure.  But for now, not bad boys, you just might win me back as a fan – just don’t fuck it up again!

New Maiden…And I Like It!!

That shouldn’t be a surprise to any REAL metalhead worth a shit; but truth be told, I’ve been kind of disappointed with Iron Maiden for 12 years.  When I was 16 Iron Maiden v4.0 was THE SHIT.  Bruce and Adrian were back and they now were a six-piece with THREE guitar players since they chose to keep Janick Gers with them.  That’s awfully nice of them but let’s face it – if Janick were gone tomorrow most people would cruelly show just how much happier they’d be just because it was Adrian and Dave again.  I’m not one of them though.  Why?  Because I liked Brave New WorldIt was a fantastically written, thought out album.  The title track alone is incredible as is the lead off single, “The Wickerman” – that track is just badass!

Three years passed and they released their next album, Dance of Death.  Dude…what the fuck?  I get that bands need to evole to survive and/or feel excited for years to come but this…this was just weak as FUCK and absolutely boring.  The epics on it…I used their longest epic for a bathroom break during my days as a college DJ several times but man it was such a dramatic decline because their most memorable shit is the epics.  It’s sad when Bruce’s next solo album, Tyranny of Souls, had WAY more balls to it than his own band’s material!  Three years later we were given A Matter of Life and Death.  I was officially scared and I blame producer Kevin Shirley because he encouraged the band to “loosen up”.  I feel like in “loosening up” the band completely changed, they became too rock and roll for my taste.  I could NEVER hate Iron Fucking Maiden, but I didn’t know that I’d ever buy their shit again and I haven’t since 2003.

Then I heard this!

Holy shit does this sound old school as FUCK!  Am I listening to something from Piece of Mind???  All that’s missing here are the crazy ass guitar harmonies, but you can’t get everything.  Right?  But at least we know that they’ve still got it!  Listen to Bruce hitting those notes!  How many people pushing 60 do YOU know that can still sing as amazingly as Bruce Dickinson?  I’ll wait.

Another Reminder of Changing Times

I took my girlfriend to Manhattan for her birthday this past weekend because she wanted to go to the Museum of Sex and see Funland, which is a boobie bounce house.  I shit you not this does exist.  Here’s the proof:

boob-bounce-house[1]

You – yes, you! – can bounce around in plastic titties for an extra $15!  I’d still prefer the real thing though!  But before we walked all the way there from Port Authority I really needed to eat something so we got Pizza across the street from 2 Brothers, which is doing really good at expanding their stores with $1 Pizza.  The problem?  One of the guys behind the counter was playing the most annoying Reggaeton you could find.  Bad enough that shit is just horrid to begin with.  I like a lot of different kinds of music…but…Reggaeton, like Dub Step, is to music what rape is dating, like Kobe Bryant was to the hotel employee in Colorado, just a nonstop fucking assault – but to your ears.  And it just…won’t…stop.  That same, annoying “beat” is pounding away worse than even house music ever could, and possibly with even more bass!!  That shit was stuck in our heads for a while.

After going to the Museum of Sex and discovering that fake titty land was closed, probably for maintenance, we decided to go towards St. Marks Pl.  It was during that long ass walk that my girlfriend let me know that Trash And Vaudeville were finally closing shop and relocating after forty years in that block.  I was aware that they were being stubborn about ever doing it, being that they were the one piece of the old St. Mark’s that I remember that’s still standing, they weren’t going anywhere.  But, like most historic places in Lower Manhattan, the pressure of increased rent was finally seeping in.  And as we arrived at the block I can see why.  The whole block has pretty much become yet another tourist trap: restaurants, a Barcade, Karaoke, Bongs and even a 7 Eleven.  Yeah, that’s not a mistype.  I first discovered St. Mark’s Pl. had a 7 Eleven in 2012.  St. Mark’s Pl. and the Village as a whole used to have so much more character than THIS.  And if you’re in you’re early 30’s like I am or even older you know how awesome the place used to be.

I remember getting a good chunk of my metal shirts from places in the Village that are no longer in business because of rent and because of the faggot ass hipsters that came in.  I used to love hanging out on W. 8th St.  I met some really amazing people there.  Of course most of them were strange as fuck but some of them were fucking awesome.  I bought my first leather jacket there, as well as my leather vest, which I still have, and even my first real biker watch at this place called Leather Master, which along with the comic store I used to go to and the places I used to by my clothes at, are all gone thanks to increased rent.  The Mars Bar, an infamous punk rock dive bar I discovered through this crazy chick that frequented the place a lot…closed and is now Jupiter 21, a nice 12 story condo.  Although I feel the beginning of the end came around the tail end of 2006 when Hilly Kristal, after years of dodging eviction, finally caved in and shut down CBGB.  Even being landmarked by Mayor Bloomberg of all people couldn’t save the place, so what does that tell you??

I never bought anything from Trash and Vaudeville, I always found their clothes too extreme for my tastes.  But I understand and respect the history it provides.  It may be relocating to a cheaper and safer building (from what Bobby, a store employee told me), and that’s great.  But in the end it just puts the final nail in the coffin of a place that began loosing it’s character a decade ago.  Sure, Sounds is still there.  But that place seems to me like just another generic music store, although it does have more Henry Rollins CDs than I’ve ever seen anywhere else.  Around the time the Mars Bar went out of business someone spray painted on a wall “THE EAST VILLAGE IS DEAD”.  Well, that person is absolutely right and it kills me to see what it’s become.  My only hope now is that Bleeker St and the streets surrounding it remain the way they are for years to come.  It’d be a shame to lose The Bitter End!  I played there once in 2012, what an honor that was.  Café Wha? is another place like that.  It’s a landmark much like CGGB was but we saw how much that mattered, right?  It’d also be huge blow to lose Generation Records, a record store I find to be the equivalent of Vintage Vinyl in New Jersey.  It’s bad enough Bleeker Bob’s finally went under two years ago.  I was there the day before they closed, the owner told me he was hoping to relocate but I still haven’t heard of that happening and I sadly am not holding my breath either.

Show Me What You’re Made Of

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What a ride it’s been for Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe over the last few years, huh?  He’s been through hell and somehow avoided a lengthy prison sentence for the death of a fan during a concert in Prague back in 2010, having been acquitted in 2013.  I know I wasn’t the only the only one to be relieved for him when the news came that he would come home.  I personally put the blame on the security guard and the fan himself.  I don’t do moshpits but if I were in a Suicidal Tendencies show or a LAMB OF GOD show I sure wouldn’t be drunk because I know I’d have to be VERY aware of all the other jackasses ready to clobber you.

I was well aware of his upcoming prison memoirs Dark Days, set to be released this July, by the time my girlfriend, Courtenay, told me that she was invited to his photography exhibition Show Me What You’re Made Of at Sacred Gallery in Manhattan this past Saturday, May 2nd.  Whoa, wait.  Randy Blythe?  Photography?  I already knew that he’s ridiculously intelligent, and I’m so looking forward to buying his book.  But taking pictures too??  My girlfriend HATES Lamb of God so much but was so happy that he was able to come home, and was interested in seeing his work.  I, of course, LOVE Lamb of God AND was so happy he came home.  The kicker?  My girlfriend was issued a permanent VIP pass by Kevin Wilson, the manager and defacto owner of Sacred Tattoo and Sacred Gallery, and therefore we could get in an hour ahead of everyone else.  Of course we were going!

While waiting on line that night we met a college kid named Alexander, very nice…very talkative.  Well, either that or he was trying to avoid the two seventeen year old dumb fucks in front of him on the line.  In fact if you check out Metal Injection’s coverage of the exhibition you’ll see they even interviewed him during the halfway point of the story.  I just wonder if when the reporter was trying to go somewhere else this guy still wasn’t done talking!

Around 7pm we were able to go in for a private viewing thanks to Coutenay’s VIP pass and need less to say I was absolutely blown the fuck away.  He’s a natural!  Randy has been apparently taking pictures for years, maybe a year or two before the Prague incident; he found the time to explore the surroundings of whatever city or country he might’ve been in a the time and just capture some breathtaking shots.  Not to blow smoke up the guy’s ass but he definitely has a knack for timing, which is all too important when you shoot moving images.

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Notice that the frames are a little…old looking?  A little beaten up?  Maybe…even old as fuck…like it was a piece of something else a long time ago?  Well, you’d be right!  These frames are courtesy of Frames by Greta.  Greta Brinkman, a carpenter turned frame builder takes old pieces of wood and turns them in to picture frames of all sizes – rather than just throwing them out.  She also happens to play bass for stoner metal band Druglord from Richmond, Virginia – Randy’s hometown.

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I actually spoke to Randy for a few minutes and I tried to get him to explain to me how he edits his shit because it was so good and he told me that there was no real editing involved.  Most people would yell “arrogant prick!” but he didn’t come off to me that way at all.  I was almost offended again when he just ditched me but I understood he was getting pulled away because some couple bought a picture.  While there I ran into my friends Jimmy and Peter Pallis, the singer and guitarist from Brooklyn based metal band Anaka.  If you’re in the NYC at all you should check them out when they play the Gramercy Theater on Saturday, June 27th.

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…and just like that you now know what I look like.  Don’t get any ideas.

Everything was cool until some lanky 6 foot 8 fucktard arrived.  I had a feeling he looked familiar, especially after everyone sitting on the couch next to mine began taking pictures on their cellphones.  Then I heard him talking – loud as fuck – like some surfer stoner shithead with this gay looking red hat and this long, doofy looking jacket.  My first reaction: “This motherfucker’s still alive?!”  Remember Jesse Camp everybody??  The first MTV I Wanna Be A VJ contest winner from 1998?  This was him and man he looks like SHIT.

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He turned his head as my camera was taking the shot but he looks a lot older than 35.  Drugs are a bitch, eh?  But aside from that he was acting the same, talking the same, the STOOPID hand motions.  Oh yeah.  He was doing a video on the exhibition and he was interviewing Acey Slade, who was the DJ for the night.  I’m not a fan of anything Acey played that night but man it was way better than ANY of the bands he’s ever played in.

I tried to get a picture with Randy before Courtenay and I left when I noticed a funny scene where someone trying to take a picture with Randy couldn’t get the camera to work.  I found it so amusing I even made a video of it:

This video was taken right before I finally got a picture in with him.  Funny guy.  I went for the selfie pose when Randy decided “Ok that’s way too close.  Here!”  He then takes the phone from me, reaches as far back as he could with his lanky ass arms and takes a really good picture.  “And…walla!  There’s your picture!”, he said before he went off to take more pics.  The smart ass style of the way he said almost pissed me off – again.  But then I remembered “Oh wait!  I probably would’ve done the same thing!”.  That Randy, funny guy.

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Humanity…what a joke…

download (1)This past Thursday a gas related explosion in a Manhattan restaurant demolished an entire building on the corner of 2nd Ave and St. Mark’s Pl, an area I used to hang out in a lot during my college days.  As a result several people, including actress Drea Di Matteo, have lost there homes and many of them, of course not including Drea, are going to have a real hard time picking up the pieces.  Businesses are destroyed, homes are lost, and as of today, two bodies have been found.

Yet a few pieces of shit decided this had to have been a great time to take a selfie.  Right?  Right??  Any takers???  This is why I hate people and this is also how I know that even I have some standards.  Who out there with COMMON SENSE would take a selfie in front of a burning building where several lives have been destroyed?  I don’t want to compare this to a terrorist attack but since the building in question did collapse, if these assholes took a selfie when the World Trade Center was hit nearly fourteen years ago they would’ve paid dearly for it without question!  Is it just me or shouldn’t these pieces of shit be punished for this?  Am I out of line?  Who the fuck are they to make light of something so tragic??  I’m not one to talk about poor taste but not only was what they did in poor taste but it’s just wrong in every way.  I also don’t feel like these pieces of shit are truly being held accountable for this and it’s about time they are.  I hope to hear something about this happening soon.

Introduction to a jerk

I never thought I’d start one of these things.  I did a wordpress blog back in 2007 for some fucking worthless Advertisement course I took in college, despite the fact that it had absolutely nothing to do with what I originally wanted to do with my life.  Again…worthless.   So why am I here again…and why now?  I’d like to think it’s because after years of curbing my thoughts and opinions as to avoid issues with those who can’t handle them I decided just recently that it’s about time I said what I had to say.  My name’s Mike.  I’m 30 years old and I’m a weightlifting, guitar raping (Yeah I said it!), sarcastic as fuck, ranting, rambling, angry metalhead.  I’ve been a metalhead going back to the late nineties/early 2000’s, when it was so uncool to be a metalhead.  Yeah, I went through shit that early.  See, when my musical taste began darkening the “in” thing, depending on the year, was faggot ass Rap Metal shit like Limp Bizkit and Korn, or Pop Punk like Blink 180-suck.  When nearly everyone I knew was listening to Weezer, Mudvayne and Emo I was the one guy taking the bus to Zig Zag Records on Victory Blvd buying the REAL classics.  I’m talking Slayer’s Reign In Blood and Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying by Megadeth.  That place was amazing and I miss it. After high school HELL I joined my college radio station.  I won’t say what station because they don’t deserve the attention thanks to the few jerkoffs from back in the day that are STILL there like the losers they are.  I was an assistant engineer and within a few months into my 2 plus year run there I began DJing.  I began calling myself Metal Mike after a joke my then guitarist, Chad, made one day when I told him I was getting my own show.  I don’t know that I was a local celebrity but I do know that when I began playing shows with my band a  few people knew me as Metal Mike, which I thought was crazy.  I’d also gotten phone calls from some strange motherfuckers.   Trust me, I’ll get into that one day. During these years I became very opinionated in terms of music.  I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that I wanted to be a journalist for a brief time, or that I used to write reviews for the CDs I played at my station, or I somehow developed extremely high standards of what Metal is and should be in my eyes.  I also had become very opinionated about society and the morons surrounding me.  I hate people and I’m extremely selective with who I hang with for many reasons. That’s not to say I’m friends with “just” metalheads because even THEY are so fucking cliquey it’s ridiculous!  What the fuck happened?!?!  I intend on using this blog for a few things.  You might see my ramblings of the day, my takes on the bands that ruined me for life, surviving as a metalhead in the outside world, etc.  But it’ll always be honest as fuck.  You’ve been warned.