Do you ever see other girls dressed like punks and wonder how they do it? Have I got a video for you!
Says Wendi Braswell, a fashion expert who wears Yeti pelts over her shoulders, "Punk is anything but the norm, so remember if you're trying to be a little ... a little ... modern and off-edge and dress punk, it's anything that normal ... normal people wouldn't do."
Says Berry Anderson, Pitch calendar editor: "That segment should have been called 'How to Dress Like a DTF 15-year-old at a Shinedown concert.'"
I skipped out of work early yesterday afternoon to go catch the day's first showing of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Now, I know it sounds ridiculous to bitch about product placement in a movie based on a line of action figures, especially a sequel that comes as close to being a live-action cartoon as I've ever seen. Still, I got my knickers in a serious twist when I heard the new Green Day single factor into the movie's soundtrack.
"21 Guns" pops up in a way that's about as obvious as a faced can of soda or the prominently featured GMC on the grill of nearly every Autobot. Near the beginning of the movie, Sam Witwicky is entering into his dorm room, and you clearly hear the chorus to Green Day's recently released "21 Guns," clear as a bell.
Stocking a soundtrack with hip new bands in an attempt to cross promote is nothing new. There are also new tracks from Nickelback and the All-American Rejects' new albums, but in no way are the so prominently featured. Hell the Used's cover of "Burning Down the House" is at least in the film as background music to a frat party (shades of Revenge of the Nerds--clever), so I can accept that as music kids would be dancing to. But dropping in the new Green Day single, from their new album that dropped just weeks prior is just sad.
Anyone else remember movie soundtracks that used music to enhance the viewing experience instead of just trying to get people to buy someone's new record? Bill Haley & the Comets in The Blackboard Jungle? Simon & Garfunkel in The Graduate? Black Flag in Repo Man? Hell, I'd accept the soundtrack to Pump Up the Volume, considering it introduced me to both the Pixies and Soundgarden. How is it that an even more lowbrow film like Return of the Living Dead has a stronger soundtrack than a movie from a top-grossing producer?
Just questions for discussion, really. Leave your favorite pop music movie moment in the comments. And, of course, no mention of Transformers would be complete without their greatest musical moment: "The Touch," by Mr. Stan Bush.
In a move that fills me with confusion and suspicion, Denny's is trying to make their restaurant chain "cool" by creating a pseudo-subculture called Denny's Allnighter. They've got band like Rascal Flatts, Sum 41, and the Gym Class Heroes creating items for a special "Rockstar Menu." I swear to God--I can only wish that I was making this up, because it seems like something that was conceived by the Onion.
Anyhow, ridiculous or not, the restaurant chain will be "hosting the official Warped Tour after parties this year at 23 lucky locations," and Kansas City's date of August 4 is one of those "lucky locations." The possible bands for said afterparties are The Devil Wears Prada, Hit the Lights, Sing It Loud, A Skylit Drive, Dance Gavin Dance, Breathe Carolina, Attack Attack!, Therefore I Am, Innerpartysystem, TV/TV and This Providence. I've no clue as to exactly who we're getting out of this, other than there will be five of them, but after looking at that list, does it really even matter?
After digging through the blog on the Allnighter site, I've come to the conclusion that these afterparties are nothing more than the bands showing up and everybody eating at Denny's. Why? I mean, I know you've got to go somewhere, but the nearest Denny's to Sandstone is a good twenty minute drive away. There's a Go Chicken Go right down the road, and that's way more punk rock than Denny's.
[insert joke about Warped Tour not being punk here]
You need to RSVP, which you can do here. Still, I can't help but feel that trying to market Denny's to scene kids isn't any less arbitrary a decision than trying start a campaign to make hipsters drink Michelob instead of PBR.
During the dubiously titled "Bloggers Are Now in Charge" panel at South by Southwest last week, an audience member uncorked a lengthy diatribe about how music bloggers "only write about artists that they like." In a follow-up rant on his own blog, this self-proclaimed "extreme social media" expert (seminar coming soon to KC!) derided the panelists as "underemployed versions of traditional journalists or music critics - without the 'critical' part." I wasn't in Austin last week, an absence that rendered me unable to participate in this discussion or, more importantly, witness some awesome metal bands. But I'll use this column to a) address the blog issue, and b) tout the acts I would've seen.
After guitarist Ryan Caddell left Marasmus a few months ago, the group scrapped most of its existing recordings. Only "Casket Made of Ivory" remains on its MySpace page. Fortunately for fans, that lone remaining track is pretty fucking great, balancing technicality, groove and vocal malevolence. Singer Devon Ferrara vows anything that bears the squiggly-sharp Marasmus logo must meet or exceed the standards of that song.
First Gornography, now Koktopus: Local metal acts really excel at turning two words into oneword. "I thought of the name as a joke," says Koktopus singer Fletch. "When we made up our minds that we were gonna roll with it and use it as some sort of mascot, we decided that the Koktopus needed to be a beast that was feared, like the Kraken or Godzilla. It had to be a brutal creature that created chaos and left destruction in its wake, the total opposite of a pussy." (This seems to make sense literally as well as figuratively.)
Decrepit Birth could be the perfect gateway through which the metal-phobic could enter the darkened realm, provided that the prospective listener could overlook that scary-sounding name. Also, an instrumental like "The Enigmatic Form" would be an ideal starting point, to get the unaccustomed listener hooked on the group's jazzy riffs, symphonic keys, and clear, neo-classical solos before introducing them to Bill Robinson's matted-as-his-dreadlocks voice. "Wow," this extreme-music novice might remark, "I never knew heavy stuff could sound so... pretty! It's like Trans-Siberian Orchestra on speed!" (Enthralled genre newcomers often resort to hackneyed band-on-drug similes.)
Technical death metal seems to offer something for everyone: Gorgeous harmonic guitars for refined aesthetes, 300 beat-per-minute drums and growled vocals for the savages. As such, it has become relatively popular, leading to inevitable message-board sniping. Bassist Dustin Albright, whose Topeka-based band Diskreet plays with Decrepit Birth Wednesday, March 11, at the Riot Room, has shared bills with tech-death squads such as Origin (also headquartered in Topeka) and Necrophagist. He's agreed to help debunk - or confirm, when appropriate - the most common criticisms leveled against tech-death acts.
For the past ten months or so, I've been slagging the world's stupidest bands. I haven't singled out any metal acts for ridicule, for good reason: Metal is the best fucking genre imaginable. Exceptions to that statement: "Metalcore" acts with Pantera-worshipping verses and pansy crooned choruses; that glammed-out '80s bullshit and the even less talented modern-day sleaze merchants who want to "bring it back"; "rap-metal" hybrids. Basically, these abominations dilute and sterilize a musical form that should be served raw, meaning both unpolished and bloody.
This weekly column, which I've named None So Vile after a 1996 Cryptopsy album, will focus on groups with illegible logos, graphically violent lyrics, inhumanly fast blast beats and, occasionally, incongruously gorgeous guitar solos. My primary goal is to spotlight regional purveyors of gloriously brutal noise, those longhaired heroes on the local scene's fringes, but I'll also mention relevant upcoming shows and releases from national, and often international, acts.
I purposefully launched None So Vile to coincide with tonight's Gore Grind Extravaganza at the Riot Room, which epitomizes metal's singular fusion of technical prowess and creative depravity. The best band on the bill, the Independence-based Gornography, might be the loudest duo in area history. Fletcher Kline shreds through the riffs, while Chris Wilson (also the masked man behind the kit in Troglodyte) speed-pummels the drums. It can be hard to decipher Kline's guttural belches, so during concerts, he considerately announces titles such as "Vomitous Vaginal Anal Death Machine."
It's a giant poly herpes dating network. If you go in, wear a hat.
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