Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tony Iommi Feat. Dave Grohl & Brian May

Hey friends,

I came to musical consciousness in the late 90's amid Nu-Metal and grunge's dying star. This is probably why I pretty much went straight from shitty "Classic Rawk" directly into HC because rap-metal never did it for me and I never cared for pop punk. Of course, I did have some holdover time in FM's purgatorial pool while I figured out my ass from Age of Quarrel though, and here's where "Goodbye Lament" comes in.

The Iommi S/T solo album came without much fanfare and is largely un-remembered. It's sole single, "Goodbye Lament" is what I call a cult radio hit. I say "cult" because there was an MTV video for it (that aired after midnight), but it's not on Spotify or Apple Music.  I was in 8th grade when it dropped, and I bought it because I was definitely familiar with Sab expected it to be good. Therein lies the problem with solo albums though: nearly everything that made the solo artist good is fused with the music "of the day" to limp-luster results. It should also be noted that Iommi has tried his hand at "solo artist on 1986 on Seventh Star...even if it ended up just becoming a maligned and virtually unknown Black Sabbath album.

Anyway, Brian May (Queen) plays guitar on this track, but I didn't know that til much later. In fact, when it was introduced on the radio, it was always "Tony Iommi featuring Dave Grohl." Brian May was never mentioned. Thanks 100.5 The Fox.

Dave Grohl didn't always annoy me. In this era, he could do no wrong. That Probot album came out a bit later and we weren't inundated with a constant RSS feed of how damn cool and heroic and down to earth he was and how many beers he shared with beleaguered firemen. Nothing gold can say.

All things considered, this is a damn fine track though. A great riff that's unmistakeable Iommi and some goth-y aesthetics on the drum machine. Tony Iommi doubles up with some rock/metal luminaries throughout the rest of the record like Peter Steele and Billy Corgan but nothing really works all that well (even a collaboration with Ozzy!) so I wouldn't recommend tracking it down. If you're looking for a fine use of 4:57 though I'd say fire up the video down below.

Thanks for reading. I hope you like it.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

On Death and WWF Hasbros

Hello Friends,
I hope all is well. As I write this, the holidays are well upon us, the world is (still) in turmoil, I've finally deleted Facebook from my phone and hope to one day ween off completely (LOL)! The "real world" (not to be confused with The Real World) only confuses and depresses me, and I try to deal with it as little as possible. (Segue).

 2015 has been a bonkers year for wrestling fans. We've read more obituaries than we should have to, and while titillating TMZ stories on Hogan's not-so-personal demons was good for a lark, legitimate injuries and a paper-thin roster have rendered the main wrestling product pretty limp. (Segue).

That's why I'm going to talk about action figures instead. I grew up on them. Mostly of the Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters ilk, but I had some rogue ones too. I kept them all sorted into ice cream buckets in my bedroom. I'd sneak them to school, and choose which ones got to sleep in my bed with me. There's photographic evidence of me clutching a Raphael figure on the Swiss Alps, in front of the Eiffel Tower and on the streets of Innsbruck Austria. 

I had some WWF Hasbros too though. I first encountered them at church, a kid playing with The Ultimate Warrior and The British Bulldog in the pew in front of me. I loved the chunky, cartoonish design, they seemed cut from the same cloth as the Toxic Avengers or something else left of center. Of course, it wouldn't be for another year until I'd learn these figures actually corresponded to REAL LIFE people, not just animated characters...and in a world that was still very kayfabe in terms of wrestling's legitimacy, this seems kind of mind-blowing in retrospect.  

I distinctly remember playing with a Leonardo and a Repo Man figure during my grandpa's funeral. I was 6. What seems strange to me now is how many dead people I have in plastic doppleganger, hanging out in my parents' basement. Yes, technically Darth Vader and Spawn are dead, but I'm not talking about them because their deaths didn't run in newspapers or the tabloids. Roddy Piper's (and a host of others) did. There's lots of talk about what makes this shit "real" or "fake" and truly, we smarky internet cretins get off when they intersect, but in a culture where participants bleed their own blood (no special FX here Mr. Van Damme), and become immortalized as children's play toys BEFORE they die, I ask you: what is "real" anyway?

Alright, thanks for reading. Send your spare Hasbros my way. I'm trying to get that rare Kamala

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

MFW my iPod shuffles Haymaker into the mix

Hey Gang,
wrote this iPod dump last summer. Never published it. Can't remember why. Oh well. Enjoy some asinine opinions from 6 months ago!

The Prowl - "Trapped" (What Are Your Doing?, Gloom 2002)
A fast w.mass band that was really influenced by slasher movies and some of the "darker" punk bands of decades, namely T.S.O.L and the Adolescents and stuff like that. Also "dementia" but how many bands use that as a reference? Oh yeah. All of them. I really liked The Prowl, and if I remember correctly, they got crap from MRR or Razorcake or some other dumb punk rag because of the artwork on this 7". A friend of mine had this very 7" and his parents found it in his room and were "quite steamed over it." The Prowl actually has a fair amount of stuff floating around, and even re-emerged in like 2011 or something like that. I haven't paid much attention to their more recent output though. 

"What doesn't kill me makes me stronger," is an oft repeated idiom in hardcore, ever present in this song, only I'm semi-certain that this entire album is about the mind of a serial killer or something like that. "Can't get out, the hole's too deep." Have fun with that lyric tee-hee. 

Pearl Jam "Oceans." (Ten, 1991 Sony) 
Here's where some dingus-dumpling gives me shit for having Pearl Jam in my iTunes library. I can't help it that I went to middle school in AMERICA.  You probably have Twitching Tongues in yours, which means you're just as stupid and have equally horrid taste. Find me one red-blooded American male between the ages of 25 and 35 who didn't have a brother/cousin who owned Ten or who didn't own it himself. Good luck, dipshit.

PJ has always been good...even when they've sucked (Binaural) and it's a shame that it took a Cameron Crowe documentary to bring people back around. I saw 'em in 2003 at Rupp Arena supporting the Riot Act album (underrated AF! "You Are" is a softrock smasher). Incredible. Arena rawk. T'was tight.

Anyway..."Oceans" is probably about surfing or some other dumb shit.  Eddie Vedder wrote the lyrics in a notebook while he was locked out of the studio, and just listened to Jeff Ament's bassline through the studio wall. They overdubbed a pepper shaker and a fire extinguisher as makeshift percussion, which seems kind of dumb but in retrospect it's totally the kind of hippie nonsense this band would be into. Rumor has it that they included this song on Ten because it was one of the "weirder" tracks and they wanted to explore that kind of stuff later on (No Code). Truthfully, this and "Release" were the songs I listened to the LEAST on Ten because...you know...they didn't rawk hard enough, but I've come around on it as I've aged a bit. Watch the video below if you wanna watch black and white footage of Pearl Jam members looking quizzically at water and stuff. 


Haymaker - "Caught in a Mosh." (Fuck America, Deranged 2003)
The second cover song since I've started doing these. I love Haymaker and everything they've done. Reading reviews of their shows in Town of Hardcore made me legit angry that I'd likely never see them live (I just want to get firecrackers thrown at me, is that too much to ask for at a hardcore show?), and I think their side of the Fucked Up split is terrific.

I guess I like this cover just fine, (and I do know that they played it live...so the mosh part would've been bonkos), but as a fan of Anthrax (the good era of Anthrax), it kinda sucks that Belladonna's cool vocal patterns couldn't be replicated here. I know, I know. What did I expect? Not everyone got their vocal chords rubbed by the finger of a falsetto-crooning diety, I'm just sayin...had I never heard the original I wouldn't be bugged by it, but that's just how it is. That's how covers work. 

All that being said though, with all this "put me in a ______ pit" goofery I see on social media, I have to chortle at this predeterminant reference to being "caught in a mosh." As if a "mosh" is one of those dust clouds that Wile E. Coyote could get sucked into, all flying fists and elbows, and couldn't escape. Haymaker is a perfect hardcore band. Everything they released deserves attention. Sucks that it's a cover song that came up, but that's just how it goes down sometimes.

Breather Resist "Astigmatism." (Charmer, Jade Tree 2004)
I didn't really like this band. Did people really like this band? I feel like beard people really liked this band. My best friend Keith really liked this band. They're from Louisville, so I was supposed to like them, but Jesus Lizard aping aggro mathrock that actually just sounds like Coalesce just doesn't flip my cookie. I did have a hand in booking them for a benefit show for a person who faked a brain tumor to bilk money from people. SRS. There's an entire blogpost in that alone. I'll get crackin.

They do weird finger-tappy stuff in this song, and there's a vocoder effect at the end that loops into a sample of people applauding. It's the last song on the record, and Charmer had really cool album art and packaging....ugh. Just not for me. Just not good. Listen to Young Widows. Way better.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

We Love Lightning to the Nations and Never Needed Lars Ulrich’s Help

Though I wish I were alive during the nascent days of the NWOBHM, repelling women and strumming cardboard guitars, I cannot claim such a timeline and must admit that my first exposure to Diamond Head’s music was a cassette copy of Metallica’s $5.98 EP in the mid 90s. Hell, maybe there really are modern rock critics who can bring up Lighting to the Nations without mentioning that “M” word, but I’ve never read their work. We all know that history favors the victors, and though I can hang with a little hyperbole, touted cliches like “No Diamond Head = No Metallica” are as reductive as they are lazy...and don’t even get me started on Malc Macmillan’s “Ulrich Causality Theorem.” What I’ll say is this: with or without Metallica’s aping, Lightning to the Nations would still stand as one of 80’s UK’s most magnificent heavy metal artifacts and bearded journos and bloggers past and present would still champion its greatness and bemoan its underappreciation.

Indeed Lightning to the Nations shows Diamond Head at their most cohesive, a debut full length that nominally indicated hard rock’s seismic shift, showcasing more hooks than a barrel of pay-lake trout. It shouldn’t have surprised the rock press when it debuted on the heels of 2 hot singles (Shoot Out the Lights and Sweet and Innocent) in 1980, but methinks the deft interplay ‘tween Brian Tatler’s circuitous riffing and Sean Harris’s soaring vocals served as soothing balm for a nation balls deep in a vapid punk rock lie. Sublime, orgiastic crescendos nestled in middle passages of “Sucking My Love” and “Am I Evil?” interspersed with meat n’ taters anthemics like “Helpless” and “It’s Electric” offer listeners a full-bodied hard rock masterpiece, a casserole equal parts pomp and gristle, neither one overpowering the other. Gee-tar acrobatics? Check. Benign rock-god balladry? Check. A rhythm section a’la Colin Kimberley and Duncan Scott that simply will not quit? Check check check.
And while “Diamond Head” and “NWOBHM” go together like fanny-packs and Floridians, where contemps like Priest and Maiden stripped their riffs of all loose n’ bluesy excesses, Diamond Head had no bones with ‘em, freely sampling from ALL the great 70’s rock staples (Queen, Slade, Zeppelin, Leafhound, Rush, Bad Company) to cobble their own pastiche of hard glam, high octane thrills and gooey and melodic centers.  Of course, the band’s glory days were numbered almost as soon as they began, following up Lightning with a spate of lackluster full-lengths, unnecessary re-recordings and that acoustic EP that no one asked for, but what’s done is done, and we have the internet now.

“There are more good riffs in your average single Diamond Head song than there are in the first four Black Sabbath albums,” goes an alleged quote by in-on-the-ground-floor NWOBHM journalist Geoff Barton. It’s an extreme declaration perhaps, but one worthy of dissection, the kind I’d encourage everyone to engage regularly with some headphones and a spliff. What I can say is that  Lightning to the Nations and each of its 7 bombastic cuts stand, individually and combined, as grade A rock. “Mother” riffs from which all other riffs descend. Yes, it’s heavy metal. Yes it’s hard rock. Yes it’s full-to-bursting with nearly every silver-tongued rock n’ roll trope that’ll put hair on chests and wrinkles into brains. Moreover though, and I say this now, having just listened to the title track a whopping 18 times in a row:  it’s an album that transcends regional scenes, clunky acronyms and all the ‘Tallica-damaged retro-fitting you can heap on it.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Moments in Mormon Rock '73-'89

Q: How can you tell if someone's a Mormon?

A: They'll let you know a bunch of times.

Rolling Stones - Steel Wheels, Rolling Stones/Columbia 1989
Rock Context: In the grand Stones narrative, Steel Wheels marks the reunion of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards after an acrimonious split. Though conceived as a conscious throwback to the "classic" Stones sound and responsible for launching the group's biggest world tour to date, musically Wheels lacks the hooks and hedonistic grit that made their 70's material so compelling. Still, while hardly essential, "Almost Hear You Sigh" and "Slipping Away" stand as two of the 80's best Stones ballads, in a decade which saw much of the original magic fade.

Mormon Context: In 1989, Mormon apostle Gene R. Cook (allegedly) sat beside Mick Jagger on a plane. The encounter has worked itself into the annals of Mormon lore, mostly because Cook shared the (alleged) encounter in a devotional at Rick's College (now Brigham Young University - Idaho) and because it provides an anecdotal witness to the inherent dangers of a rock n' roll. (Allegedly) Jagger met Cook's friendly conversational advances with scorn and derision by denouncing the mormon church as a fraud (claiming his mother once met Mormon missionaries in London), scoffed at Cook's case for the validity of the Book of Mormon and declared The Rolling Stones music as a vehicle "calculated to drive the kids towards sex" and wild futures of moral relativism.

Ever since hearing the account, I've always suspected it was exaggerated, so I wasn't surprised to find a Snopes page deconstructing the alleged encounter. Why was Jagger sitting coach on a commercial airline (or was cook riding first class)? If Jagger actually said any of what Cook says he did, can we assume he was simply yanking the chain of a stodgy old mormon apostle? Had Cook been aware of the events at Altamont in '69 would he have worked those into his narrative? (methinks it would've made for a more interesting talk). Perhaps only god really knows and it's our job to ask him in the millennium.

Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies, Warner Bros 1973
Rock Context: Like the Stones, Alice Cooper's critical "boom" period stems from one slew of great records in the '70s ('69-73 to be specific). It'd take Muscle of Love's inclement sexual weirdness to kill off the original Alice Cooper band, which would essentially launch Cooper into the stratosphere as a singular shock rocker, but also lube the gate for a spate of dull and disappointing tripe throughout the '80s and '90s.

Like most early Alice records, Babies features a whole mess of retooled material from the band's inception in the late '60s, glued together by "exploiting the idea that people do have sick perversions." It's the album that spawned the infamous "guillotine-at-live-shows" bit, a classic rawk radio staple ("No More Mister Nice Guy") and the biting assortment of hard rock, perversion and political satire ( "Hello Hooray,""Elected,""Raped n' Freezing", "I Love the Dead.") that would come to define the group's legacy.

Mormon Context: Rumors of Alice Cooper's mormonism have existed since the '80s. Growing up, I always attributed these rumors to white whale wishful thinking on the church's part ("We got Alice Cooper! We don't need Ryan Gosling!" - the Mormon hesher), but have recently discovered that these rumors relate to a kernel of truth. Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier) was actually raised in the Church of Jesus Christ (AKA the Bickertonite church), though he was never formally baptized. His grandfather was the president of the church from 1963 to 1965. The Bickertonite church is significant to Mormonism because it was led by Sidney Rigdon, the spiritual successor to the organization after the assassination of Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith. It should be noted that the official Mormon church (which continued on under Brigham Young after Smith's death) does not acknowledge this (or any) offshoot as an officially "mormon" church.

Warren Zevon - Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School, Elektra 1980
Rock Context: If Zevon's known for anything by the layman it's the eclectic jaunt of "Werewolves of London" or possibly his bizarre friendship with David Letterman. However, for all the praise heaped on 1979's The Excitable Boy, it's his 1980 album that's gotten me through more failed relationships and faith crises than anything else. Perhaps it's the context of the album, written during a chaotic period in Zevon's life as a result of his fame. As a result, Bad Luck Streak charges through itself with a lean focus that no other Zevon album has. Critics will laud everything else, but this will always rank as my favorite. Zevon's collaboration with Springsteen on "Jeannie Needs a Shooter", the Skynyrd send-up of "Play it All Night Long" and the painful admittance of his own shortcomings on "Bed of Coals" and "Wild Age" make for a strange self-deprecating heartbreak confessional, the kind I wouldn't find till years later when I'd discover Sheer Terror's Love Songs for the Unloved.

Mormon Context: According to Wikipedia, Zevon was raised in England by a Mormon mother from the midwest. I've not read I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (though it is on my Amazon wishlist) or else I'd share something else about his childhood. What I do know is that he plays a mean piano, just like every other mormon kid I know. I don't exactly know what it is about mormon kids and playing piano (or basketball...weird, right?), but I'll tell you that the only regret I have in my life is that I broke my Mom's heart to quit lessons. Now, all of my brothers and sisters are accomplished musicians and I'm writing a blog about dumb old music.

Bachman Turner Overdrive - Not Fragile, Mercury 1974
Rock Context: This is hard ass meat-n-taters rock from up north. My Dad told me I'd dig this record a lot and I ignored him on it for years (my bad). In fact, it wasn't til late college and a chance encounter with Acid Witch's harrowing cover of the title track that I fell headlong into an anachronistic obsession with it. The unrelenting groove of "Not Fragile," breakneck pace of "Givin' it all Away" and the anthemic "Rock is my life, this is my song" (Who doesn't love rock n roll songs about rock n' roll?) make for a record that's more than solid, but actually quite exceptional. I long for the era when I hear Not Fragile spoken of in the same reverent tones reserved for Black Sabbath and UFO but I'm hardly counting on it. Critics of the day were hard on the likes of pre-metal hard rock of the Grand Funk, Blue Oyster Cult ilk but we love 'em for it now. Oh! the album title itself a parody of Yes's Fragile, a deliberate dis by band leader Randy Bachman who wanted none of that namby pamby prog rock posturing.

Mormon Context: Randy Bachman is the first verified (ex)Mormon to make this list. He's been quoted as leaving his original band The Guess Who due to conflicts with other band members concerning his Mormon beliefs, though it's unlikely that he's still a member of the church today. His son Tal (responsible for that one radio hit single in the '90s) served a full time mormon mission in Argentina and was featured prominently in the 2007 PBS documentary about Mormonism. It should be noted that the majority of Bachman's interview concerns his leaving the faith.

Boston - Greatest Hits, Epic 1997
Rock Context: It's nearly as ubiquitous a greatest hits album as Madonna's Immaculate Collection, only it sports a hilariously dated CGI cover, the kind that makes the Simpson's Treehouse of Horror VI look like Avatar in comparison. It's a more-than-decent collection of tunes from a band who basically made one really great album and then one kinda OK album and then nothing. I won't slag them for including 5 of their 8 debut album tracks (know where your bread is buttered), nor will I for crediting Francis Scott Key on their rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Mormon Context: There's something to be said about a group of MIT students who built their own amps and laid the musical blueprint for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I once had some friends who's Dad bought them this CD but threw away the lyric booklet because of the nekkid ladies on the cover. I've known plenty of strict mormon parents in my day, but hey, at least he met 'em halfway. Those kids grew up listening to Bat Outta Hell and Sheer Heart Attack while you and all your stoner reprobates were feeling your way around rap metal and trance-core.

Dylan Chadwick is a writer who occasionally pays his bills as an illustrator. His rated R twitter is @drugdogs and his rated PG twitter is @dyl_chadwick. In 6th grade he wrote a book report on Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin story and that's how he learned about MLA formatting.
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Life Matters in Metallica Tees

My collection of t-shirts has been a constant conversation starter throughout my life. I'm sure that my decision to don a Hawkwind In Search of Space tee to a fateful college BBQ is what got me my dream gig in the University library and I initiated 3 of my most important post high school friendships by wearing (or commenting on) certain T-shirts (S/O to OG Combat Rock tour shirt from '82 and a Destruction Sentence of Death long-sleeve).

Collecting shirts, and the constant hassle of finding bigger and more appropriate containers to house them, has often made me feel like the maligned subjects of TLC's "Hoarders" series. This fear wasn't allayed in 2011 when I finally ponied up for a storage locker in downtown SLC. I tried to justify the expense by luring my brother and girlfriend into the proposition, saying we could use it to house all our stuff, but really, I was sick of packing all my T-shirts every time I’d move (5 times from 2012-2014). Here’s the thing about hoarders though: they’re not just supremely passionate about T-shirts or newspapers or cats or nazi paraphernalia or fingernails or whatever they fill their homes with. They're obsessed with eliminating risk and uncertainty from their lives. They truly cling to the belief that every single thing they retain holds the unique potential to one day save a life, avert a natural disaster or secure them an unfettered contentment otherwise unsecurable if said item wasn't being hoarded. Like that line in Fight Club where Edward Norton talks about IKEA furniture. When I was balls-deep in band tees, I knew that no matter what happened to me in my life, my T-shirt situation was well taken care of.

So when I stopped collecting them two years ago, thinning out a ghastly assemblage of 250 (mostly band) T-shirts to a (semi) respectable 50 wasn't anything quick or easy.

Of the shirts I kept, most were for either reasons of nostalgia, comfort or some mixture of both.

Nostalgia: a starchy red BSA tee proclaiming my completion of a 50 Miler on the Appalachian Trail in 2002.
Comfort: the pale yellow Ralph Lauren pocket tee with a worn collar and pinholes in the pits.
Both: E-town Concrete "E-pocalypse" tee from 2001, formerly black XL, fade-shrunk down to a loose and breathable size L charcoal pajama shirt.

There were 5 great Metallica shirts in my assemblage and I sold two of them. Those I kept were unanimously for reasons of nostalgia. ("The pain of an old wound" - Don Draper, "The Slave Becomes the Master," James Hetfield). Most significant is that which I bought from a friend ("TS") in Salt Lake City. TS was a good guy who'd occasionally get salty when I'd slag bands he liked on Twitter. I am a fan of Bullshit Monthly fanzine. Not everyone is. He did let my stupid band borrow his amp even though we blew its fuse and took an unreasonably long time to get it fixed. Car trouble put this t-shirt on the auction block and in a rare show of intuitiveness and determination, I snatched it on my (very reasonable) first offer and have never looked back. I first saw the tee on his Instagram, but I really would've bought it sight-unseen had anyone simply texted me the following:

It features a bald Eagle, perched atop a distinctly Pus-headed Earth flanked by a red Metallica logo, dripping blood from each letter.

The back features another Pushead jumbo skull and "Nowhere Left to Roam '94", one of many ominous Metallica Tour names from the 90's (Runners up include 1992's "Wherever we May Roam" tour with GnR and late-1994's "Shit hits the Sheds" tour with Alice in Chains and Candlebox [yuk]) carved into it. Keen coremen will note the lettering's marginal reminiscence of the famed Schism logo.

The shirt is tangible proof that even in Metallica's WORST critical eras ('94 was still a good 2 years pre-Load) they were making white hot merchandise. I'd encourage interested parties to seek out their tee from the abominable Woodstock '99 festival for it simultaneous nod at, and complete lack of, self awareness.

TL;DR I've never seen the shirt anywhere else, and as a self-respecting fan of this big stupid band, I needed it in my possession. 

When I first moved to New York City I wore the shirt to a friend's birthday party in Brooklyn. Outside a deli, the kinda weirdo my girlfriend's uncle would describe as "a fluorescent pencil-neck," ran up to me and shook my hand, pointing to my shirt while shrieking "OHMIGOD METALLICA. LOOK! THAT'S AWESOME. DUDE THAT'S AWESOME. I TOLD YOU PEOPLE LIKE METALLICAAAA!" He said this all to another guy dressed in equally fluorescent Brooklyn clothing. I'm certain he was drunk, but his inebriation didn't muddy my relishing the idea that this weirdo had, (barring this all being an elaborate joke on me) finally found one person on this planet who rightfully understood him and his unique interest in an American "hard rock" band that's sold 400 Quazillion records.

I wore it again the other day in "my" neighborhood of Astoria while walking my dog Lemon with a pink leash. At the corner, I could hear a guy singing to himself "blackened is the end! Winter it will send. dun dun dun." He was dressed in a maroon sweatsuit and walking with a young child, and he sang the couplet six or seven more times, like Beavis would on catching a rare groove, with gusto and a Greek lilt to his voice. At this point, I really couldn't tell if I was really hearing a guy sing "blackened" in the wild or if I was just catching a late-morning Allergy Med buzz, but I intervened at the crosswalk's end to make sure. When I stopped (Lemon decided that this was her most opportune chance to take a shit), I turned so that he'd have to pass me, making eye contact with the shirt. His eyes got wide and he stopped mid sing-song to jam his hand toward me. "OHMIGOD BROTHER. I HAVE TO SHAKE YOUR HAND RIGHT NOW!" Clearly he wasn't worried about my pooping mini schnauzer or her pink leash.

Before I moved to New York City—hell, before I even moved to Salt Lake City, I had an old band in Provo, Utah called Tijuana Bible. LW, our guitar player, was the only one of us who could really play, and he repped a distinctly "metal" look to boot. Think '85 Bay area, tight jeans tucked into white hi-top sneakers. This was fine and good, but it meant I had to hold myself back from going totally Svengali on him, constantly pressuring him to join me in making the spiritual third Carnivore LP. I lobbied for at least one face-melting solo in every one of our songs, and considered umlaut-ing our name. My heavy metal redecorating was met with general disdain by our bassist (the resident punk, ergo resident idiot) who usually defaulted on us doing boring "1-2-feck-you" fare to get him in good with Provo's burgeoning garage scene. I fought a damn good fight though, steering us to open with "Hell's Bells" a bunch (mostly to troglodytes in Ogden who didn't appreciate it), to cover mid-period Black Sabbath and even laid stylistic claim to LW's heavy metal wardrobe. I’ll always have special memories of his Heavy Metal Parking Lot style Kill 'em All baseball tee, a distinct proto-hesher cut, the kind that, had Dazed and Confused taken place 10 years later, would be strapped across Matthew McConaughey’s waify body. In the band's best moments, LW would walk on "stage" clad in a leather motorcycle jacket and sunglasses, completely expressionless. Once into the set, he'd fling his pointed guitar about him as if trying to decapitate any audience member in the front row while I bellowed Venom's refrain "Lay down your soul/ to the gods rock and roll," In those moments, we couldn't have been better if we'd taken the stage to Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold." Also, I felt rightly euphoric claiming membership in a band that made people bang their heads in unison with the GD guitar player.

Walk All Night
The photo above depicts us in our element, weeks before hitting our zenith and then exploding and dying like a huge, retarded star that wanted people to love it more than it wanted to make memorable music. I sleep at night knowing I had fun and made a tape with a Pentagram on it. You'll see me here, chubbier and wearing some (too short) BYU shorts pilfered from the gym along with a Walk All Night Records tee. Many of you never got your Cold World EP's when you ordered them, but I've got this shirt (thanx KL). Also, the photo highlights a baby (!) in the audience who's not at all threatened by us, our music or Lynn's grotesque looking BC Rich. And you’ll note LW's Tallica tee. A tee so crispy that long after the band died, I bought a replica which now permanently resides in a parental basement in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Can you imagine the LP we'd have written if given the months (and psychotropics) to do so?

My final "keep" was a Metallica fan club only shirt, from an ill-fated time in my life (mid college) as well as theirs (Death Magnetic lulls them in, LuLu shits them out). It features another Pushead/earth drawing and the deathless tagline, "Fifteen Years Infecting the Planet." As if whoever made these was also titling a japanese pro wrestling Pay-Per-View. You'll notice the requisite Metallica Ninja stars flanking their questionable typeface, a vestige of their "Alternica" period which is also their obnoxious way of saying, "Don't forget that even though we wrote Master of Puppets, we also did a lot of TERRIBLE stuff that we're not going to let you forget even if you try!" Still, when I call myself a "card carrying Metallica club member," the shirt is my proof.

Lo, I no longer harness a closet full of T-shirts, but I shall always appreciate each and every one of them. Some of those I've retained will outlive me and some will not, and those who don't will be cherished as dust rags as they were once cherished wrapped around me. Others will go on to fund road trips, new car parts and maybe even rent. I'm grateful for them, but I don't need them any more.

I've taken to high-end socks as a new way to get my collecting jollies. They're relatively cheap, pack well and (concealed 'neath pant legs) go with any outfit in virtually any setting. It's also unlikely that I'll ever need to buy a storage locker to keep them in. I wore a pair of Jim Phillips "Screaming Hand" Santa Cruz thermal knee-highs to a work trip and got a raise on that same weekend. Is this what growing up is? Will those Cro-Mags Age of Quarrel socks ever actually get made? No telling, but a quick Google search informs me that Metallica sells socks with the pun/lyrics "Holier than Thou" on them. Good, because I’ve already designated a spot in my top drawer.

Dylan Chadwick is a writer who sometimes pays his bills as an illustrator. He tweets bad story ideas at @drugdogs and Instagrams his own shitty artwork @drugdogs. He wrote his college thesis on Metallica.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wrock Mixtape Vol. 1


"WWF Superstars 2 Opening Theme" (Game Boy, 1992)
Jake Roberts Theme (WWF Superstars 2, Game Boy 1992)
"Trust Me [Jake Roberts Theme]" - (Jim Johnston, 1991-92)
Jake Roberts Promo (Sept. 1986)
Megadeth "Trust" snippet (From Cryptic Writings, 1997)
Tony Schiavone/Bobby Heenan - WCW Nitro 8-23-99
Death - "God of Thunder"  (Bonus from Human 1991)
Undertaker Entrance Theme (WWF Superstars 2 ,Game Boy, 1992)
Gorilla Monsoon, Roddy Piper, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase - Undertaker debut (Survivor Series, 1990)
Venom - "Buried Alive" (From Black Metal, 1982)
Agent Orange Interview Snippet (1981)
Agent Orange - "Living in Darkness" (From Living in Darkness, 1981)
"You're Standing on My Neck [Daria Theme]" (1995)
Wipers - "The Lonely One" (From Over the Edge, 1983)
"Pomp and Circumstance [Macho Man Theme]" (WWF Superstars 2, Game Boy, 1992)
Waylon Mercy - Worm Vignette (Monday Night Raw, 6-17-95)
KARP - "Bacon Industry" (From Self Titled LP, 1997)
"Dipshits" Interview Snippet (From Kill All Redneck Pricks: KARP LIVES 1990-1998, 2010)
KARP - "Get No Toys (When You Pay the Money)" (From Suplex, 1995)
Soundgarden - "Big Dumb Sex" (From Louder Than Love, 1989)
Rick Derringer "Real American [Hulk Hogan Theme]" (WWF Superstars 2, Game Boy, 1992)
Ultimate Warrior Soundbites (From his legendary 60 Minute Shoot on Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea, 2011)
NAME REMOVED - Back with a Bang (From Back with a Bang/I Don't Like You, 1982) [Chill out Tumblr warriors, if Merauder covers it, I will put it on my GD mixtape)
Vince Mchmahon says a naughty word to John Cena (Survivor Series, 2005)
Jim Johnson "No Chance in Hell [Vince McMahon Entrance music] (1999)
Merauder - "5 Deadly Venoms" (From the 1998 Demo with Eddie Sutton)
Pentagram (Death Row) - "Sign of the Wolf" (live in Virginia 5-18-83, VHS Rip)
Radio Birdman - "The Hand of Law" (From Radios Appear, 1977)
The Mountie v. Big Boss Man Video Package (Survivor Series, 1991)
The Mountie - First Theme 
Jimmy Hart and J.J. Maguire  "What a Rush (Legion of Doom)" snippet 
Rush - "The Trees" (From Hemispheres, 1978)
Gary Hart - "Armaggedon Promo" (World Class Championship Wrestling, 1983-1986-ish)
Abdullah the Butcher (soundclip from aftermath of 1986 Vengeance match with Carlos Colon)
Lard - "Forkboy" (From The Last Temptation of Reid, 1990)
Kermit the Frog Introducing Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show (1976)
Alice Cooper - Halo of Flies (From Killer, 1971)
A collection of "Pyscho" Sid Vicious botches
Obituary - "Intoxicated" (From Slowly We Rot, 1989)
"Mean" Gene Okerlund says a naughty word (Summer Slam 1989)
Straight Ahead "Not Afraid" and "Right Idea" (From Breakaway 12", 1987)
Artificial Peace - "Wasteland" (From Flex Your Head Comp, 1981)
No Comment - "Hacked to Chunks" (From Downsided, 1992)
Terry Funk Soundclip (From Beyond the Mat, 1999)
Monster Magnet - "Nod Scene" (From Spine of God, 1991)
Dave Wyndorf - Interview snippets from German TV (1998)
Sonic Youth - "The Diamond Sea (clip)" (From Washing Machine, 1995)
New World Order Theme Song (1996)
Sleep "Dragonaut [Live]" (From Live in Denver, 9-5-10)
Monday Night Raw Original Theme (1993)
Koji Kondo - "Invincibility Theme" (From Super Mario World, 1990)
Dub Diablo - "Disco Headache Remix" (2000)
SpacEKrafT - "Convergence" (from  Jodorowsky's Dune OST 2010)

Additional sounds pillaged from Koji Kondo's Original Arrangements in Super Mario World (1990) and from the "Gifted" episode of Daria (1998.)

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