The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper. After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.
Somehow, VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show has been running for twelve(!) seasons. If you haven’t seen this show, let me give you a brief rundown: two horrifically unfunny comedians (Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine) wearing band t-shirts a stylist picked out for them attempt to talk metal and hard rock with a portly radio personality (Eddie Trunk) who prides himself in knowing everything there is to know about said genres, but instantly transforms into a butt-hurt five-year-old when it turns out he doesn’t know something, or when one of the comedians makes fun of him, or when one of the guests makes fun of him… basically he spends around 80% of the show being butt-hurt. Guests, which are occasionally people you’d actually want to see interviewed (e.g. Lemmy, Paul Di’Anno, Ace Frehley, Rob Halford, etc), but typically consist of a who’s who of hair metal has-beens, come on and have their asses kissed like they’ve never been kissed before, which is probably wonderful for their egos but pretty annoying to just about everyone else.
Heavy metal and alcohol go together like… well, like heavy metal and alcohol. Once a metalhead starts to imbibe, if he’s anything like me, there are at least a handful of songs he will no doubt demand to hear, songs that add to the invincible feeling that only a little bit of the ol’ liquid courage can provide, complete with copious amounts of goat throwing, air guitaring, invisible orange palming, headbanging and living room moshing. It’s a testament to the emotional and physical response that heavy metal can inspire, amplified a thousand fold by mankind’s age-old friends hops and barley (or perhaps something harder, if you’re so inclined).
So pour yourself a pint of your favorite poison and settle in for THKD’s top ten songs for tying one on. While these songs don’t necessarily have anything to do with drinking, they’re the songs I want to hear when I’m drinking.
I’ve been watching professional wrestling (or wrasslin’ as my grandpa called it) since I was old enough to understand what was happening on TV. In many ways, I think the “sport” may have had a hand in preparing me for heavy metal when I got older. If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities between the worlds of wrestling and heavy metal. Both are rife with drama, theatricallity, posturing, machismo and the desire to create a world and persona outside the doldrums of our everyday existences. There are also visual similarities; hell, sometimes it’s even difficult to tell the wrestlers apart from the metal musicians…
In a recent conversation about music, my wife pointed out that I tend to gravitate towards stuff that is very raw and simplistic. I believe “garagey” was the term she used. She’s absolutely right. I guess this has long been the case, but I had never really thought about it consciously until she brought it up. I mean, I’ve certainly done my fair share of writing and espousing the virtues of raw, primitive music, but I never really considered just how much my listening preferences are dominated by these characteristics.
“The first one is the best.” This is widely regarded as a universal truth when it comes to films, books and albums that are part of a series. Certainly there are exceptions to the rule; I’ve always preferred The Empire Strikes Back to Star Wars and Aliens to Alien, although I’m sure that many will disagree. But by and large, the first piece of work in a series is superior to its sequels, as it is typically the freshest and most original installment, breaking new ground and setting the tone for everything that follows. It also sets the bar, often setting it too high; the more highly regarded the original becomes, the more difficult it is for sequels to do anything but pale in comparison. Continue reading
Acid Witch is a band that appeals to me on so many levels that it’s virtually impossible not to like them. On sophomore album Stoned, the Michigan monster squad’s use of horror soundtrack synths, down-tuned doom riffage, battery acid gargling vocals and Halloween decorations gone hallucinogenic artwork is irresistible, as if someone combined all of my obsessions to create one killer recording. It’s also the perfect antidote to a metal scene that’s become a little too serious for my liking of late. I mean, how many po’ faced transcendental post-black fruit-bot-core bands do we really need?