The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘austin texas

The Obsessed & Karma To Burn Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 7, 2016

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In general I’m not a big stoner rock/stoner doom fan.  I don’t think it’s because I’m not a stoner as I have a lot of friends who love that music but don’t get high.  Too much droning and not enough melody for me.

I was on the fence about going last night as I was still tired after the Whitesnake show the night before.  The Obsessed’s mgmt offered me a guest list slot so I sucked it up and went downtown.

As I arrived to the venue, Wino and co. were hanging out and I got a chance to speak with him one on one for a few minutes.  I showed him The Book and he was surprised by the entry in it.  “Where can I get a copy?”  I had met him several times before and didn’t realize until yesterday that they were in the book.  I should have known that at least based on their inclusion on Metal Massacre VI.  Duh.  I had him sign his entry and the CD cover.  In a rush to leave the house, I had forgotten the first Hidden Hand CD (my favorite Wino project ever) and the last St. Vitus album he was on.

My friends in Crimson Devils opened the show with a solid 30 minute set.  Jake and Curtis are fantastic musicians, good dudes and always a pleasure to watch.

There were 2 bands coming up next and I left to go get dinner.  By the time I got back, West Virginia’s Karma to Burn was getting ready to start.  My memory is a bit hazy but I think I saw them in Virginia in the late 90s, but can’t confirm that.  Almost all the way to the end of their first song, the growing crowd was standing at least 5 feet from the stage.  I walked right up front to help entice the rest of the crowd to move up and it worked.  Their set was solid, heavy and instrumental.  Highlight for me was their unrelenting drummer.  Although much of their stuff started sounding the same to me after a few songs, that drummer was damn near flawless.

Up next was The Obsessed.  Admittedly I’m not familiar with their stuff at all.  From what my friend told me, the first 3 songs were all Obsessed songs, then they played a Spirit Caravan song.  I’ve seen them before but again, I’m not familiar with the material.  After a couple more songs, I went home.  I was dog tired.  The band was solid and Wino’s guitar playing was good.  He looked confident playing it.  I will say this, though, and a few others noticed the same thing, Wino looked tentative when he was singing.  They’re midway through their tour right now so I don’t know if it’s just my perception or if he’s having some nervousness.  The guy is a seasoned veteran so I’m thinking it’s just my perception.

By the time I left, it looked like there were about 70 or so people there, which isn’t bad for a Tuesday night downtown.

Lemmy: The Movie – A Review Of Sorts

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Let’s go back to Norfolk, Virginia 2004.  My friend Jeanne introduced me to Marco who had been doing some tattoo work on her.  She kept telling me, “You should meet this guy.  He’s big into Maiden and Motorhead like you are.”  So at some random show we were introduced and just started talking about music.  When the conversation turned to Motorhead, we both stated that our favorite was the Another Perfect Day album.  That album seems to one that many people love to hate.  I think it’s flawless.  Marco said, “If I could find someone who’d let me put that cover on their back, I’d do it for free.”  Instantly my compulsive side kicked in and I said I’d do it.

So in April 2004 we started work on this major backpiece.  I clearly remember during the first session, which lasted 6 hours, Marco said he ultimately would love to get a pic of my back, him and Lemmy together.  After 88 hours of work over the course of about a year and a half, we finished it.  There were some pretty brutal sessions for both of us.

I moved to Austin, TX in 2006 and after tonight I will have seen Motorhead 4 times since I moved here.  We tried to get this photo with Lemmy 2 years ago and didn’t get it as I was balled up on the floor of my bathroom from a kidney stone.  Marco was at a titty bar with Lemmy trying to call me…no go.  Last year we got backstage at the Motorhead/Rev. Horton Heat show and I thought I’d get the photo done, this time without Marco being in town.  Again, no go.  Lemmy was elusive once again.

So last summer the producer of the The Lemmy Movie emailed me and asked my tribute band to do Ace of Spades to potentially be in the movie.  Of course we obliged.  The producers, Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoshi, was going to piece together a bunch of the tribute bands doing Ace.

A month or so ago I found out that the movie was doing the world premier at Austin’s SxSW Movie Festival.  Sweet!  The theater was 4 blocks from my house.  I called Greg to ask if we made the final cut and he said he had to trim the tribute band stuff out due to time constraints but that it may make the DVD version in the extras or something.  No worries.

So with the movie premiering here, Marco booked a flight to come in to see it and the concert.  Film Festival passes range from $500 and up.  I had no inclination to buy one of those.  The theater released some tickets for $12 with no guarantee of admission.   Festival badge holders had first come first serve right to see all films, but I figured if we got in line early enough, we may still get in.  We got in line at 4pm for the 6:45PM screening.  We were 4th and 5th in line.  The faithful!  The badge line was getting really long, going around the block and I was getting worried that we wouldn’t get in.

Lemmy, the band and the movie producers rolled up in a limo and did some interviews out front on the red carpet and then the SxSW folks let in the badge holders.  We were told that they thought everyone who wanted in would get in.  As the movie started and to the end there were still some vacant seats.  I was a bit surprised.

The movie itself was quite enjoyable.  It wasn’t so much of a chronicle of Lemmy’s life but more of the last 3 years, however there were some good flash backs to the Rocking Vicars and Hawkwind.  Lots of good cameo interviews, especially from Dave Grohl and Billy Bob Thornton.  There were a few moments when Lemmy was sitting with his son that were quite personal and nice to see.  Scott Ian has some really good stuff to add.  It was nice to see Fast Eddie and unfortunately there wasn’t a Philthy interview.

There were a few moments where you saw some emotion come from Lemmy.  It was cool to see it.  It was captured well.  The movie really shows his awesome and witty sense of humor.  When you see it, just remember, “Don’t worry, be happy.”  One of the funniest things I have ever seen.

It was also verycool to see his apartment.  It’s small, unassuming and simple.  Full of his WWI/WWII collectibles and just stuff.  Lemmy has a lot of stuff.

The only thing that I can say that I didn’t like about it was all of the Metallica footage.  I completely understand why it was there, but my long-running dislike for that band just makes me cringe when I see them talk or perform.  But…they are huge fans of Motorhead and have always been vocal about it for as long as I can remember.

So after the movie they did a quick Q&A with the producers and the band.  You could see how excited that Greg and Wes were, as they should be.  They’ve worked on this for 3 years and things like this become a labor of love.  Good work, guys!

After the Q&A, Marco and I just hung out in the theater to see if we could get the photo that we have been trying to get for years.  I was getting nervous.  I’ve been told that I “may” have backstage access for tonight’s show, but it’s not guaranteed.  I caught up with Greg and asked if he could set it up really quickly.  He told us to hit the side exit o the alley as that’s where the band was.  Security had already stopped a few folks from exiting through that door…but we made it.

The band was standing in the alley just talking and making a few jokes about the movie and Marco and I just stood a few feet from them.  Their conversation stopped and I looked at Lemmy and said, “Lem, I’ve got Another Perfect Day tattooed on my back and this is the guy who did the work.  Can we get a photo or 2?”  Thankfully he obliged.  I removed my shirt and he said, “Motherfucker.  That had to fucking hurt.  Looks great.”  We snapped 2 photos, thanked him then headed back to a bar to do a celebratory drink.

I was elated.  It felt like a weight was lifted off of both of our shoulders.  Both Marco and I endured a lot in doing this tattoo and in trying to get this photo done…and finally…por fin…done.  Boom.

So tonight…Motorhead at Stubb’s.  Can’t wait!

Written by The Metal Files

March 16, 2010 at 9:55 am

Watchtower – Energetic Disassembly (1985)

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I remember clearly the first time I saw this on cassette.  It was at the Music Man at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk, VA.  WATCHThe cover was upside down as compared to how the majority of cassette j-cards were printed.  It always struck me as odd but I always felt it was intentional, especially after listening to this album at least 100 times since I first heard it.  It certainly turned my mind upside down several times.

My friends and I were pretty shocked by this one.  Most of us were into thrash ala Overkill’s Feel the Fire, Anthrax, Testament etc…but this was something different.  Something special even.

The album opens with a frenetic frantic pace with crazy guitar riffs, insane bass lines and hyperactive drumming.  They don’t stop until the end of the album.  Mix all of this with Jason McMaster’s incredible vocals that cut through all of this madness and you have a perfect technical thrash album…perhaps the first truly technical thrash album.  Some may debate that one but for me, this is the first.

While I love every song on this album, my absolute favorites are Tyrants In Distress, Violent Change, Meltdown and Argonne Forest.  The whole band really seems to just be together and well-rehearsed.  Billy White (f. Don Dokken), Doug Keyser and Rick Colaluca just flat out lay it down on this album.  Period.

I still don’t feel that this album gets enough respect although some of the major metal players loved them such as Chuck Schuldiner (RIP) and Dream Theater.  Watchtower set the standard early for technical metal.  Their popularity is Europe still seems to be pretty strong as I believe they’re playing one of the Euro-Metal fests in 2010.  It seems that they are still pretty huge in Greece.

While Control and Resistance was a good follow-up and was partially written by Billy White, a lot changed in their sound.  Ron Jarzombek (Spastic Ink) and Allan Tecchio (Hades, Non-Fiction) do a fine job, but the loss of Jason McMaster and Billy White took them down a slightly different progressive thrash metal path.  Both albums are certainly worth owning, but I have always preferred the debut.

Watchtower is in the studio recording a new album with McMaster on vocals (!!!) and I can’t wait to hear the whole thing.  Hopefully I’ll finally get to see them live.

Living here in Austin, TX now, it is great to see how much that band is loved and respected around here.  It gives me a warm tingly feeling.  It’s also pretty incredible for me to have McMaster in my Motorhead tribute band.  He’s a talented musician all the way around and bring a lot of energy to the band on rhythm guitar and backing vocals.  Certainly one of my musical idols.

If you don’t own Energetic Disassembly and you like thrash, prog-metal, RUSH on steroids, you need to own this one.

Just do it.

“Breakdown, warning – Nuclear nightmare, reality”