GWAR’s Dave Brockie

So back in 2012, I had the extreme pleasure of seeing GWAR live at the Edmonton Events Centre. I had listened to them before, I knew what they were all about, I knew that they dressed up and sprayed blood on people and put on a hell of a show. But nothing prepared me for what I experienced that night.

It was the weirdest, most messed up, most hilarious, most entertaining show I have ever been to, by far. The props alone were ridiculous. And their costumes — oh my god. For those of you who don’t know what they look like on stage:

Gwar In Concert - Los Angeles, CA

They’re basically borderline satanic orcs whose slogan is: “We’re GWAR and we’re going to kick the shit out of you.” The people I went to the show with made me buy a plain white shirt, which they assured me will be forever known as my “GWAR shirt”, and thank god I listened. That shirt is now basically 100% red.  I had to throw out my contacts when I got home because they were tinted red too. I had red teeth, red arms, red hair. They know how to put on a hell of a show. But sadly, on March 23rd, GWAR’s frontman Dave Brockie, AKA Oderus Urungus, died. The cause of his death is still being determined, but what is sure is that the metal genre lost a legend. I don’t know if GWAR is going to continue without him. It wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t; they had been together since the very beginning of GWAR in ’84. I remember I actually saw Dave Brockie at the show without his mask or costume on. He was rocking out to Cancer Bats, one of the opening bands (and one of my personal favourites). I just thought it was so cool that he was able to enjoy the music without barely anyone recognizing him before he goes on stage and rocks everyone’s brains out. It was cool that he had created a sort of alter-ego for himself.

Rolling Stone Magazine released an article with previously unseen, rare photos of the GWAR frontman. Go take a look, it’s a really cool album. This one’s my personal favourite:

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Him and his mask before a show.

RIP, Oderus Urungus. Thanks for the coolest friggin’ show I’ve ever been to.

 

 

All Images Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine

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QOTSA’s “Smooth Sailing”

Queens of the Stone Age finally released the music video for their song “Smooth Sailing” yesterday. The song is from their 2013 album …Like Clockwork, and was the song that stood out for me during my first listen-through of the album.

The video is extremely weird, but what else would you expect from Josh Homme? Nothing less than a bunch of business men getting screwed the heck up, that’s for sure. I’ve watched it a ton of times already since its release yesterday. It’s just beyond entertaining and SO QOTSA.

Check it out!

 

All images courtesy of Google images.

Pono — Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

“PonoMusic takes all the musical goodness of artist-approved studio master recordings and puts it at your fingertips. Nothing has changed, but everything is gained, with resolutions from 6 times that of an mp3 to more than 30 times that of an mp3, depending on just how great the recording quality was on that original “high resolution” master.”

That quote was pulled from the official website for Pono — Neil Young’s new music player. In case you missed it, Neil Young is now raising funds for a new music download service that focuses on “high quality” recorded audio. It’s supposed to launch this October.

Neil Young started with all this Pono stuff almost three years ago, but the topic didn’t get much awareness until his appearance on The David Letterman Show, where he showed off a prototype of the player and explained what he was trying to do. In a nutshell, Neil Young aims to turn digital music around by getting music lovers and listeners closer to the quality of music as it was created by the artist. He points out that even the CD is a dumbed-down version of the original master recordings, devoid of its dynamics and detail, never mind an MP3, which can have as little as 5 percent of the original information.

The “PonoPlayer” will cost about #399 with 64GB of internal storage. It also comes with an additional removable 64GB micro SD card. The Pono press release stated that the PonoPlayer can store 100-500 high-resolution digital-music albums. The PonoMusic online store will sell earphones and headphones suitable for the portable music player.

Trent Reznor said, “Anything that elevates music back to where it should be is inherently cool. I have great admiration for Neil Young as an artist. But as a device I can’t pretend it doesn’t look a bit like a Toblerone.” And he has a point.

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I don’t know, it’s not too bad. I guess I could get used to it. What do you guys think? Are you interested in getting one in October? Will there be a drastic difference in sound quality and overall listening experience or will it simply be a waste of money? It’s a cool concept either way.

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

My (tentative) Top 10 Artists

Here’s my list of my top ten artists. Other than the top three, the rest of the list will probably change within the next month. The order, that is. The bands themselves are pretty solid.

1. Queens of the Stone Age

I remember hearing “Little Sister” for the first time when I was in elementary school. The rest is history. Sweet, undying, unfaltering history.

2. Metallica

I don’t really need to explain this one, do I?

3. Coldplay

Coldplay has helped me through some rough times.They make me cry more than any other band. Don’t know if that’s bad or good, but hell, I love ’em.

4. Them Crooked Vultures

I don’t know if this is fair or not because they only have one album so far. But I mean, the band is made of QOTSA’s Josh Homme as vocals/guitar, Led Zeppelin’s bassist John Paul Jones, and Dave Grohl on drums. The album is absolutely incredible. There isn’t a song I don’t love by these guys. 

5. The Tragically Hip

Road Apples is one of my favourite albums of all time. 

6. Led Zeppelin

‘Cause, come on.

7. Black Sabbath

Refer to #6. I don’t want to say how many times I’ve listened to the entire Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album on repeat.

8. Arcade Fire

Refer to #3. They also make me cry uncontrollably. I’m seeing them in August at Rexall, so that should be interesting. 

9. Matthew Good

Also refer to #3. I’ve seen Matt Good three times and each time was absolutely unreal.

10. Our Lady Peace

‘Cause Raine Maida. Also, when Superman’s Dead is on, I lose it. Clumsy is amazing.

I had the worst time of my life making this list. I can’t commit to anything. But yeah, this is what I finally came up with. I was fighting for a spot for The Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam and Muse but in the end, it just didn’t happen. Like I said, this list will probably look different in a few months, except for the top three. Those three have always been the top three and will always be the top three, without question.

What do you think? Who’s in your top ten?

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

“It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll”

When it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ACDC said it best. It takes 25 years after the release of an artist’s first debut album for them to become eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And that’s a long, long wait. If I had started a band when I was first born, which is a stupid analogy but just go with it, I’d still have to wait five years to be just eligible. And the wait alone isn’t guaranteed to get you in. You have to demonstrate some contribution to the “development and perception of rock n’ roll.”

This year, Nirvana joins a list of artists who were immediately inducted in their first year of eligibility. The list includes Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Elton John.

A lot of artists will be eligible for induction within the next five years.

The Notorious B.I.G. will be eligible in 2019; his debut album Ready to Die came out in 1994.

Outkast will also be eligible in 2019. Their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (yeah, I dunno) came out in 1994. They’ve won six Grammys so far.

Weezer will ALSO be eligible in 2019. Their debut album Weezer came out in 1994, along with seemingly all the other debut albums in the world, ever known to man.

Dave Matthews Band will be eligible in 2018. The group’s first album Remember Two Things came out in 1993.

Dr. Dre will be eligible in 2017; The Chronic came out in ’92.

Rage Against the Machine will be eligible in 2017. This makes me extremely excited because I loved their debut self-titled album, even though it came out in ’92, before I was even born.

2Pac will be eligible for induction in 2016. His debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, hit the shelves in ’92.

Blur will also be eligible in 2016. Their debut album Leisure came out in late 1991.

PEARL JAM WILL BE ELIGIBLE IN 2016 and if they aren’t immediately inducted, I don’t know what I’ll do. Ten came out in ’91.

Smashing Pumpkins will be eligible in 2016. Gish came out in ’91.

Hole will also be eligible in 2016. Pretty on the Inside came out in 1991. Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain could be reunited.

Green Day will be eligible next year. 36/Smooth came out in 1990.

Oasis’ Definitely Maybe came out in ’94, making them eligible for induction in 2019.

Beck will be eligible in 2018, 25 years after the release of Golden Feelings in 1993.

Radiohead will be eligible in 2018, 25 years after the release of Pablo Honey in 1993.

Just to quench your thirst for knowledge, here’s a list of all the Rock and Roll inductees so far since 1986.

What do you think? Will any of these artists get inducted immediately or at all?

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.

Classic Album Covers in Google Street View

I came across an article that I thought was pretty cool. It took a bunch of classic album covers and put them in their exact surroundings in Google Street View.

Check it out!

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Paul’s Boutique (1989)- Beastie Boys. Ludlow & Rivington, New York.

 

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Moving Pictures (1981) – Rush. Ontario Legislature in Toronto.

 

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Animals (1977) – Pink Floyd. Wandsworth, London.

 

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The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) – Eminem. In front of his childhood home in Detroit, just down the street from 8-Mile.

 

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Abbey Road (1969) – The Beatles. London. After the album was released, the London council had to repaint the wall next to the crosswalk every three months to cover fans’ graffiti, and the street signs had to be mounted high above the ground because otherwise they’d just keep getting stolen.

 

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(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) – Oasis. Berwick St, London.

 

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Physical Graffiti (1975) – Led Zeppelin. St Mark’s Place, New York.

 

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The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) – Bob Dylan. Jones St, New York. (That’s 22-year-old Bob with his at-the-time girlfriend.)

 

 

 

April 5th: Sad Day for Grunge

Yesterday was not only the anniversary of the day that we lost Kurt Cobain, but also the anniversary of the day we lost legendary grunge icon Layne Staley, singer and co-founder of Alice in Chains. He was found in his apartment after dying of a drug overdose eight years to the day after Kurt Cobain killed himself. They even both died in the same town — Seattle.

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The self-destructive Alice in Chains frontman had struggled with depression and drug addiction his whole life, and it showed in his songs. He used most of Alice in Chains’ songs to describe the demons in his own life — most of them being about drug abuse, depression, and self harm. This set Alice in Chains apart from the other grunge metal bands in the ’90s, and made them one of the “Big Four” of grunge, along with Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. Layne Staley knew the end was near for him. In his last known interview, he said, “I know I’m near death. I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way. I know I have no chance. It’s too late.”

Alice in Chains has sold around 25 million worldwide, released two #1 albums and 21 top 40 singles, and has received eight Grammy nominations. Their album Dirt is one of my all-time favourites, and I was lucky enough to hear them play my favourite songs when they played Rexall last July with new lead singer, William DuVall (who’s pretty much the coolest-looking guy ever).

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William DuVall joined Alice in Chains in 2006, four years after Layne Staley’s death. And holy hell, he’s a perfect fit. I know that no one can replace Layne, but he sure does his work justice. Layne Staley’s parents went to the first live show that the band played with William DuVall, and they met him after their set, crying, hugging him, and telling him what an amazing job he did. The band released two new records with William DuVall: Black Gives Way to Blue in 2009 and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here in 2013. Both albums still have the signature dark, troubled, grungy-metal sound that made the band as successfully as they became.

The show at Rexall was phenomenal. They did a tribute to Layne Staley, and it sounded amazing. It was eerie how well DuVall nailed the vocals, and I’m so glad that the band decided to keep their name and keep recording and touring, even though they initially didn’t think there was any chance they were going to.

Yesterday was the day in history we lost both Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, and it’s famously said that one burned out while the other faded away. Both were extremely troubled and even more talented. After Staley’s death, tons of songs were dedicated to him, not to mention Metallica’s Death Magnetic album, which was a tribute to him and everyone who destroyed themselves in the name of rock n’ roll. Layne Staley may be gone, but his signature disturbing sound lives on with Alice in Chains and new singer, William DuVall.

“Would?”, from Dirt, released in 1992.

“Stone”, from The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, released in 2013.

 

All Images Courtesy of Google Images.