Category Archives: Uncategorized

Foo Fighters’ Nate Mendel Forms New Band, Releases First Single

For the first time ever, Nate Mendel is taking the helms of his new band, Lieutenant, as frontman. Mendel recorded the band’s debut record, If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going To Eat For A Week, in between Sonic Highways recording sessions last year, and the album is set to release on March 10. The record features guest appearances from Helmet’s Page Hamilton, Modest Mouse’s Joe Plumber, the Head and the Heart’s Josiah Johnson, Chris Shiflett from the Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate’s Jeremy Enigk. The band’s first single, “Believe the Squalor”, is streaming via Stereogum.

01 “Belle Epoque”
02 “The Place You Wanna Go”
03 “Believe The Squalor”
04 “Rattled”
05 “Prepared Remarks”
06 “Some Remove”
07 “Sink Sand”
08 “Artificial Limbs”
09 “Lift The Sheet”

Blog: Anthony & Roargh’s Top 13 Metal/Punk Concerts Of The Year

Note: Personal blog posts are not edited by the site and do not represent’s usual content/standards. 

2014 was a great year for shows for the metal and punk genres. Many great bands toured the states and many of America’s metal festivals, had amazing line ups. With special guests “Birdman” Dan and Josh “The Snake” Schifris, we are proud to present our best concert experiences of this year.


Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine with Negative Approach and New Red Scare at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, New York

Anthony: So I’ll start the list of with my non metal concert of the year.

Birdman : How much spoken word was incorporated into the set?

Anthony : He did spoken word before every song including when he covered DK classics.

Josh: Brutal.

Anthony: Which is fine. I agree with a lot of his views and really he has great stage presence as well as a good sense of humor. Negative Approach did a good job too, even if the singers voice was a little shot.



Animals As Leaders, Conquering Dystopia, and Chon at The Chance Theather in Poughkeepsie, NY

Birdman: Ah, well I really wish you were at this one Anthony.

Anthony: I wanted to go to that but it was too close to Maryland Deathfest and I was saving money.

Birdman: I didn’t come in time to see the local openers, but I heard they had a vocalist so that kinda ruined the theme of instrumental prog rock.

Josh: I really need to catch Animals at some point. Tosin is a machine!

Anthony:  I miss them every chance I get to see them. I checked out Chon a few days before that show. Pretty good stuff.


Dan:They’re literally a band of kids. One of the band members just turned 18.

Josh: Damn!

Anthony :  My friend  was at that show and he said Conquering Dystopia was actually the best band on the bill. Do you agree?

Dan:Tough call, they were definitely the heaviest. Pretty much all of the leads came from Jeff Loomis, Alex Rudinger talked between songs. Everyone else was silent in this supergroup.

Anthony : Seeing Loomis shred live is worth a concert ticket alone. That dudes a beast!

Birdman: That’s why Arch Enemy just HAD to recruit him.


Pentagram, Radio Moscow, Bang, and Kings Destroy at Johnny Bendras in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Josh: This one is actually the least metal itself, but more of a doom/ 70s rock vibe kinda show.

Anthony: Pentagram I’d defiantly consider metal, never heard of the others.

Birdman : Honestly, the only band I’ve checked out is Pentagram.

Josh : I highly suggest you check out the other 3 if you like good hard rock and roll. Radio Moscow is the hybrid child of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Bang was actually a band that has been around since the 1970s and Kings Destroy is a doom metal band.

Anthony : Cool will check those out . I love 70’s sounds, when done right of course.

Josh: I honestly cant believe that Bobby sounds just as good if not better then his recordings. He did more drugs then Ozzy and Mustaine combined. This was my second time catching Pentagram.

Anthony: I still need to catch them hopefully will see them soon.

Josh: Definitely a great show.


Judas Priest with Steel Panther at the Izod Center in Homdel, NJ

Birdman:My 2nd favorite show of the year.


Birdman : I remember being obsessed with the song “Love Bites” when I first got into them (the first metal band I really got into).

Anthony: While not as great as the 2011 show at the same venue due to shorter set list, the show still ruled due to being  so close and not having to sit through Black Label Society.

Birdman: Hence I’m glad I caught them on this 30th anniversary tour of Defenders Of The Faith.

Anthony: Yeah i’m glad I got to hear “Devil’

‘s Child” live. They didn’t play that last time.

Birdman: Ah, from Screaming For Vengeance.

Josh : I loved that they put alot of Defenders on that set. That album does not get the recondition it deserves . I was gonna say the inclusion of “Devils Child” was great too.

Anthony : yeah and Steel Panther made for a hilarious warm up act.The singer backstage even thought I was a girl and tried to molest me. Most awkward experience ever.

Birdman: I tell ya, after musicians I tend to idolize comedians, or anyone with humor for that matter.

Anthony : Which seems to be lost in metalheads nowadays.

Josh : Ugh tell me about it.


Mastodon, Gojira, and Kvelertak at The Starland Ballroom in Sayrville,NJ

Birdman: First off, I’m not mocking Kvelertak here, but I wish the tour was just Mastodon and Gojira just so Gojira would have a longer set, because they were equally as good as Mastodon.

Anthony : Ahh yes a show i planned on going to be didn’t thanks to Rhode island Comic Con.

Josh: I really want to catch Gojira live. Nothing but good things about them live.

Birdman:  Heaviest band I’ve ever seen live.

Anthony: Yeah there another one of those bands i sadly always miss, Mastodon to.

Birdman: What you want to do Tony, is catch them on a tour promoting an album you like. When they played Heavy MTL they were still promoting The Hunter so I was mostly bored. But this show, LOADS better. I got footage of them playing “Divinations” but I shouldve had the camera rolling during “The Motherload”.The drummer was singing most of it, and he was smiling the whole time.

Anthony:  That’s funny considering he barley smiles in videos. “Divinations” is my favorite track off of Crack the Skye so that would be a site to see.


Metal Alliance 2014: Behemoth, 1349, Goatwhore, Inquisition, and Black Crown Initiate at Irving Plaza,  NYC.

Birdman: Wasn’t too keen on the music I heard from BCI, and I haven’t seen 1349 live yet, I have seen Behemoth and Inquisition before.I have seen Goatwhore a bunch of times.

Anthony: Another show that other plans made it impossible for me to go to.  I like all the bands on the bill, seeing Goatwhore many times and Inquisition now 2 and a half times. Behemoth and 1349 would be who I’d mostly be there for

Josh: 1349 was my main reason for going. Love there music and Ive been hearing good things about there newest release. This was my first time seeing Inquisition and Goatwhore, who I have seen countless times this year. This was my second time seeing Behemoth who I haven’t seen since 2009.

Birdman: You’re not talking about that tour they did with Devildriver when you say 2009 right?

Anthony : What I heard of the new 1349 i didn’t like but to each there own.

Josh: Nahh Mayhem Fest.

Birdman: I checked the new 1349, it’s definitely more thrashy than previous releases.

Anthony: Did Behemoth cover “I Got Erection” at either of those shows?


Josh: I have no idea.


Carcass with The Black Dalhia Murder,Gorguts and Noisem at the Best Buy Theater in NYC

Josh: Ahh yess that was a good one.

Anthony : Yeah sadly thanks to NYC’s  traffic I missed Noisem.

Birdman: How was Gorguts set? I heard when they played The Chance in 2013, their set was just the album Colored Sands, and then two songs from Obscura as the encore.

Anthony: They only played three songs at this show.

Josh: It was all Colored Sands . That album has actually grown on me.

Anthony : It was one of my top last year. And yes at the Chance it was all they played. I was there.

Josh:They did the same at MDF this year, but they did play stuff from the older catalog.

Birdman: To each his own I guess, that album still remains in my book as one of the most overrated metal albums of last year.

Anthony: But yeah, I missed Noisem and Gorguts played too short but, the Black Dahlia murder and Carcass  had great sets.

Josh: Lots of crowd surfing and moshing!

Anthony: Carcass played songs from all there albums even the terrible Swansong  (which Jeff joked about everyone hating).

Birdman: Yeah those are two bands I desperately need to see.

Josh: Third time catching Carcass. Never disappointing!


Arch Enemy with Kreator, Huntress, and Starkill at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY

Birdman: I still have the lump on my forehead from getting decked in the Kreator pit.

Josh: Kreator is always great. Kinda wish I saw them.

Anthony: Kreator is a band I need to see . Didn’t go cause I don’t like later Arch enemy or the other two bands on the bill.

Josh: Same with Anthony.

Birdman: Yeah, Arch Enemy unfortunately didn’t play anything from before Wages of Sin

Anthony: Kreator is one of the very first non big four thrash bands I got into.

Birdman:  I think Alyssa is an acceptable vocalist at best, I mainly went for Mike Amott.


Skeletonwitch with Ghoul, Black Anvil, and Vektor at Underground Arts in Phily, PA

Josh: That show was insane.

Birdman: Didn’t you say Black Anvil were annoyed by your Horse mask?

Josh: Apparently. No disrespect towards those guys. I thought they were awesome but, if you took the horse mask seriously then that’s just sad. Vektor REALLY loved horsehead actually.

Anthony: Honestly I could never get into Black Anvil. Saw them open for Watain and they did nothing for me. If I went I’d mostly want to see Ghoul and Vektor and be curious to see  Skeletonwitch.

Josh : Ghoul stole the show man.

Anthony: Did they have fighting robots?

Josh :YUP. WITH A HUGE SACK! I touched that sack and the robot hit me with a chain!

Anthony: I couldn’t read that with a straight face.


Summer Slaughter: Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Thy Art is Murder, Goatwhore, Origin, Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Within the Ruins, Fallujah and Boreworm  at the Troc Theater in Philadelphia, PA

Josh: Dying Fetus, man.

Birdman: That’s my number one concert of this year. Fallujah made those 20 short minutes count.

Josh: Fallujah was awesome.

Anthony : Yes all bands ruled except for Within the ruins and Thy art is Murder.But the high lights to me were Morbid angel, Origin Fallujah and Dying fetus.

Birdman: I thought Within The Ruins ruled their set, I mean I wish they just got a second guitarist but you give credit where credit is due, the guitarist was perfectly in sync with the backing track. Its why I saw them a second time, at The Loft in Poughkeepsie.

Josh: Apparently kids were break dancing during there sets..I kinda wish I saw  that.

Anthony: There just not my kinda band.

Josh: Yeah not my kinda stuff either.

Anthony: This was my third time seeing Dying Fetus, my 2nd time seeing Origin my 5th or 6th time seeing Goatwhore, my 2nd time seeing the Faceless and my first for the rest.

Birdman: It was my second time seeing Morbid Angel, kinda bummed they didn’t play “Chapel of Ghouls” this time.

Anthony: Yeah but I did get to see Noctrunus cover it at MDF.

Josh: They covered it twice.

Anthony: Cause they fucked up the first time.


Josh: Pretty much.

Birdman: I saw so many friends of mine scattered throughout the Northeast.


The Rage of Armageddon 2 at the Acheron in Brooklyn,NY

Josh:The line up featured Hobb’s Angel of Death,Solstice,Deceased,Whipslash,Blood Feast and more.

Anthony: Those are all bands i mean to check out. I know there all considered classic.

Josh: Hell yes.Also want to add the local bands I caught.  Iron Force, Carcinogen, Inhumation, Thanatonic Desire, False Prophet, and Methane.

Birdman: Josh I remember when your old band opened for Deceased and Blood Feast.

Josh: On my 19th birthday actually.Since then I’ve had a good friendship with the guys from Blood Feast and Deceased.

Birdman : One of the major ups of being in a band.

Anthony: That’s awesome . i’m friends with the bassist from Morpheus Decends and the singer from Origin.

Birdman : Metal is just so intimate.

Anthony:Yes it brings us all together.

Josh:Everybody knows everybody when your a musician

or a writer.

Birdman: It’s held true even when I was still in Binghamton,not playing any shows, everyone in town knew I was in a band.

Anthony: Yes and nothing  brings more metalheads together in this country then…


Maryland Deathfest at the Edison Parking Lot,Baltimore SoundStage and Ramshead Live in Baltimore,MD.

Anthony: This year’s line up contained legendary acts such as Asphyx, Incantation, Immolation, Candlemass, Tankard, Agalloch, Gorguts, At The Gates, Ruins of Beverast, Taake, Inquisition, Dropdead, Birdflesh, Entrails, Bongripper, Uncle Acid, Dark Angel and many more.

Birdman: Did you get a mostly Slaughter of the Soul set for At The Gates?

AnthonySlaughter and Terminal mostly with some older ones to like i was surprised to hear “Windows”.

Birdman: That’s cool. Didn’t get Windows when I saw them at MTL.

Josh: Meeting Dark angel was one of the greatest moments of my life.

Anthony: i didnt meet the whole band but, I did meet Gene and was star struck. Josh I know you were able to make Thursday’s date while I just went Friday-Sunday. How was Thursday?

Josh : Ah man you have to see Coffins. Band hailing from Japan. Kicked so much ass.

Anthony: I saw Coffins. They played a 2nd set Friday at Soundstage.They were great.

Josh: So rad.

Anthony: How was Sourvien?

Josh:Sourvien is awesome. I actually have there split with Grave at Sea and I believe I follow the drummer on Instagram.

Anthony:Graves at Sea I saw on Sunday and they were great. But yeah we can go on forever about this fest. I’d just say that the best bands for me were Incantation,Asphyx,Candlemass,Nocturnus and Dark Angel.

Josh: Can I just go back?


King Diamond with Jess and the Ancient Ones at the Best Buy Theater in NYC

Josh: My number one pick  for a single show is King Diamond.

Birdman: I imagine you bought your ticket within the first hour of the sale.

Josh: I got it during the presale.

Anthony: I  wanted to go to that show but it sold out by the time I got home from work.This was only 3 hours after they went on sale!

Josh: Should have given you the presale code.

Anthony: So what kind of set did king diamond play?

Josh:I think from all the albums. A mix of everything with the most insane presence and live show I have ever seen!

Birdman: All his albums fucking rock. I guess the least good one is House Of God.

Anthony: I like House of God.  My least favorites are Abigail 2  and The Graveyard.  Did he play any Mercyful Fate tracks?

Josh: Yes “Evil” and “Come to the Sabbath”. Ive seen Motorhead, Maiden, Priest, and now Diamond . When I saw the King it was nothing I have ever seen.


Honorable Mentions

Anthony: Anyway I  guess we will wrap this up with honorable mentions. Mine being NIN,with Soundgarden and Dillinger Escape Plan at the PNC, The Damned with TSOL at the Chance. Goatwhore with a Carnivore tribute band at the Chance  and Nile at Bogies in Albany, NY.


Birdman: Periphery, The Contortionist, Intervals, and Toothgrinder at The Chance.


Josh: Artillery at Champs in Trenton, NJ, Samhain with Goatwhore and Midnight at the Best Buy Theater in NYC and Death to All with Obituary and Massacre at the same venue.


Nominees: Best Rock/Metal Music Video Of 2014

Below are all the choices for Alternative Nation’s “Best Rock/Metal Music Video Of 2014” poll. You can click here to be directed back to the poll article to vote.

Aggressive Chill – “7 Inch”:

Alice in Chains – “Phantom Limb”:

Angels & Airwaves – “The Wolfpack”:

Avatar – “Bloody Angel”:

Beck – “Heart is a Drum”:

Bush – “The Only Way Out”:

Crobot – “Nowhere to Hide”:

Death From Above 1979 – “Trainwreck 1979”:

Foo Fighters – “Something From Nothing”:

Godsmack – “1000hp”:

Incite – “Fallen”:

Jack White – “Lazaretto”:

Justin Symbol – “Digital Penetration”:

King 810 – “Killem All”:

Linkin Park – “Final Masquerade”:

Live – “The Way Around is Through”:

Machine Head – “Now We Die”:

Marilyn Manson – “Deep Six”:

Mark Lanegan – “Sad Lover:

Mastodon – “The Motherload”:

Meg Myers – “Desire”:

Mushroomhead – “Qwerty”:

Noiseheads – “Dust”:

Pixies – “Magdalena”:

Royal Blood – “Figure It Out”:

Seether – “Words As Weapons”:

Sleeper Agent – “Waves”:

Slipknot – “The Devil in I”:

Sólstafir – “Lágnætti”:

St. Vincent – “Birth In Reverse”:

The Afghan Whigs – “Algiers”:

The Black Keys – “Fever”:

The Black Keys – “Weight of Love”:

Weight of Love from Theo Wenner on Vimeo.

The Burning of Rome – “God of Small Things”:

The Gaslight Anthem – “Get Hurt”:

The Pretty Reckless – “Heaven Knows”:

††† (Crosses) – “The Epilogue”:

Alice In Chains’ William DuVall Detained In West Hollywood

Alice In Chains vocalist & guitarist William DuVall has been detained in his West Hollywood garage. Duvall posted the tweeted out the following earlier today

UPDATE: We were told the following by Alice In Chains’ official management:

“Just want to clarify – the incident he describes took place about 5 years ago. William was sharing a story/participating in the ongoing #AliveWhileBlack conversation that’s taking place following Ferguson and the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case. The experience he describes did not happen this week.”

You can view our review of Alice In Chains’ latest studio album “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” below:

Before reading this review, please know that I know my opinion does not hold any more weight than yours! Feel free to think whatever you want about this album, if you love it or hate it great. I’m just a fan who owns a rock site, and reviews are part of the deal.

Anyways, Alice In Chains’ 5th studio album, and 2nd of the William DuVall era, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here leaked yesterday. I have listened to the album at least 5-6 times, on headphones and also while driving, trying to listen attentively, so this isn’t just a first impression review.

“Hollow” kicks off the album. I haven’t been a fan of this song since it came out in December, it just sounds really stale and uninspired. The lyrics are just Mad Libs/run of the mill AIC. The verses sound like an uninspired retread of the verses of the vastly superior “A Looking In View.” The overproduced vocals on this song also sets the precedent for most of the album’s overproduced vocal sound. This vocal production style/sound would work fine if the songs were good enough, like “Private Hell” had that same overproduced sound, but the vocal melody was so strong is overcame it.

The second track is “Pretty Done.” This sounds like it could be a Boggy Depot B-side, except it’s not as good as the rock songs on that album. This is also the first example of a song that just runs far too long. There are too many long songs on this album that simply aren’t good, and this is a band that has had great long songs in the past.

I still don’t like “Stone,” but after hearing the whole album it’s understandable why it is a radio single. It probably has the most memorable melody out of the ‘rock’ songs on the album. Still not big on this song, the riff just sounds so uninspired.

“Voices” is by far the best song on the album, it is a new Alice In Chains/Jerry Cantrell classic. The reason it’s so great is that it doesn’t sound like a stale retread plodding rock song with a recycled riff and melody trying to redo a past formula. The melody is incredible, the chorus is one of the best pop hooks Jerry Cantrell has ever come up with. This song will be a surefire radio hit and staple in AIC’s live shows. It reminds me a bit of past Cantrell ballads but it feels totally fresh.

The riff to the title track “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” kind of sounds recycled from “Love, Hate, Love.” This to me is the weakness of the song. Despite this, the song has more memorable melodies than many of the songs on the album and is among the stronger tracks. The lyrics have direction, with the condemning of religious extremists. The next few songs kind of run together, and not in a good way. The first one is “Lab Monkey” which clocks in at nearly 6 minutes. This song just kind of drones on and goes on for far too long, the last minute of the song has an interesting melody with the lyrics “Had enough, no more tears left for me to cry” that probably should have come earlier in the song. About 3 minutes in there is a variation of it but the later version is the more appealing melody.

“Low Ceiling” is another generic rocker. There’s nothing really interesting here, outside of the guitar solo but the song itself is pretty forgettable. “Breath on a Window” recycles the riff to “Lesson Learned” and even the melody is similar in parts. There is a nice vocal melody in the 2nd half of the song, it makes me wish that idea had been used as the basis for a song rather than the Lesson Learned rehash in the first half.

“Scalpel” changes up the pace with more of a country vibe, this is one of the stronger tracks on the album. It doesn’t sound like an inferior rehash of anything AIC have done in the past like many of the songs , it sounds fresh and it feels like a new direction for the band. Most importantly it’s a good song. The line ‘It’s a lie you hide in someone else’ is one of Cantrell’s more memorable lyrics/hooks on the album. “Phantom Limb” is the closest thing we have to an uptempo rocker on the album. This is the strongest of the few tracks that feature DuVall prominently vocally. Like I wrote in my review of this song a couple of months ago I think DuVall does a solid job here lyrically and melodically.

“Hung On A Hook” has a riff that attempts to recapture the Dirt sound, specifically of the title track off that album. DuVall has some good lyrics and interesting melodies on this song, but the chorus is lacking and his vocals are overproduced during the chorus. DuVall and Cantrell just never seem to let loose vocally on this album, it all sounds so robotic. We know William has it in him obviously, he has done it in both Alice In Chains and Comes With The Fall. The closing track “Choke” definitely sounds like a grower. While it hasn’t immediately grabbed me on the first 4-5 listens, the lyrics are solid and it’s a different sound, unlike many of the stale songs on the album.

Overall, this is my least favorite Alice In Chains album, it’s also my least favorite Jerry Cantrell release. Boggy Depot and Degradation Trip were far more adventurous than this album, and they simply had better songs. I was a big fan of Black Gives Way to Blue, and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here doesn’t even come close to that. That album was full of memorable songs that I still crank up in the car regularly today, barring “Take Her Out.” I won’t even bother comparing this album to the Layne Staley era of Alice In Chains. Layne is obviously sorely missed in AIC, but Jerry Cantrell has created great music without him so I’m not going to use a ‘No Layne No Chains’ cop out excuse for not liking the album. Cantrell is a legend in his own right. Overall, I’m happy I’ve got a new track to play to death in “Voices” but the rest of the album is a let down to me. It really pained me to write this review (cue ‘it was painful to read as well, like most of your writing’ insults in the comments section lol). I hope all of the readers like the album more than me, I’m not looking to get into any debates over it. If you like it, great. If you don’t like it, great.

Also, I know King Animal vs. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here will be a big debate in the comments section. I dislike them equally. They both have one song I love (A Thousand Days Before and Voices) along with a few others I like fine. I really hope Pearl Jam bring it with their next album, don’t let me down boys on my most anticipated album of 2013!

Favorite tracks: Voices, Scalpel, Phantom Limb

Listen To Eddie Vedder’s Full Charity Performance For 90 Fans

Link taken down by the request of Pearl Jam

Eddie Vedder performed a Heal EB Seattle charity show on October 30th. The setlist is below.

Trouble (Cat Stevens cover)
Dead Man (Pearl Jam song)
Girl From the North Country (Bob Dylan cover)
Soon Forget (Pearl Jam song)
Can’t Keep (Pearl Jam song)
Sleeping By Myself
Without You
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young cover)
Far Behind
Setting Forth
Take it with Me
Better Man (Pearl Jam song)
Just Breathe (Pearl Jam song)
Immortality (Pearl Jam song)
Ukulele Anthem (Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra cover)
Porch (Pearl Jam song)
Hard Sun (Indio cover)

Imagine (John Lennon cover)
Rockin’ in the Free World (Neil Young cover)

Jill & Eddie Vedder also discussed EB on, “We are thrilled to be able to support the brilliant work of leading doctors and researchers committed to identifying better treatments and ultimately a cure for this cruel disease. Our close family friends have a son with EB and we want to do everything we can to ensure a better quality of life for him and all children living with those types of genetic disorders.”

In partnership with Microsoft, Jill and Eddie Vedder were instrumental in creating the “Heal EB: Cause the Wave” campaign to raise $5 million for EB research. To learn more, visit

Also according to, “An individual with EB lacks a critical protein that binds the layers of skin together. Without this protein, the skin tears apart, blisters and sheers off, leading to severe pain, disfigurement, and wounds that never heal. EB affects the body inside and out. Blisters occur all over the body, as well as in the eyes, mouth, esophagus, and other internal organs. EB causes severe pain, disfigurement, and in too many cases, an early death from an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is estimated that EB affects at least one in every 20,000 births. EB is not specific to any ethnicity or gender. Given that EB affects only 30,000 people in the US, advancing this research relies on the generosity of individuals and corporations.”

Interview: dUg Pinnick Talks Future Of King’s X, Jeff Ament & Grinder Blues

For decades by this point, I have been a major fan of King’s X. And a key component of the band’s sound has always been dUg Pinnick’s soulful vocals and super-duper-low-tuned bass riffs. With King’s X currently laying low while drummer Jerry Gaskill recovers from a heart attack, Pinnick is keeping busy with several other projects – his most recent being the self-explanatory Grinder Blues, which sees the singer/bassist team with the brother duo of Jabo and Scot Bihlman (who provide guitar and drums, respectively).

The trio issued their self-titled debut album on October 14th via Megaforce Records, and Pinnick (who is the gentleman in the center of the above photo) recently chatted with Alternative Nation about Grinder Blues, the status of King’s X, and his collaboration with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament from a few years ago, Tres Mts.

How did Grinder Blues come together?

I met Scot Bihlman, he’s the drummer. And we were just hanging out. He asked me why did I move to LA. And I said, “I just moved out here to continue to make a living,” because nothing was going on in Texas and I was pretty much broke. Like every other musician, we need to think outside the box to make a living. So I decided to come out here and put together some side projects, with people that I knew and also maybe even get into writing for TV and movies and do voiceovers. Anything – acting, whatever I needed to do. What I’m trying to say is if the doors opened, I was going to walk through – but I had to be in LA to do it. So I moved out to here, and I ran into Scot first. I was actually at Ray Luzier’s house – he was having a party. Same situation the way I ran into George [Lynch] at Ray’s also. We just started talking about music. Scot said, “Why don’t you write with us sometime?” He said that they had a couple of Grammys with some movies that they wrote songs in. And they had a song on the show Sons of Anarchy. So I’m going, “Wow. Well, I’m ready to hook up with this!”

So I started getting together with them, and one thing led to another, and I had started to know the history and heard about him and Jabo – they’re brothers and have been playing together forever. They’d been backing up a lot of blues musicians, like they played with BB King, Ray Charles, Buddy Guy – a lot of really heavy duty blues players. And I thought, “Man, that’s cool. If these guys are veterans at playing blues…let’s do something blues. Let’s play on our own and straight up, downtuned to C, and just take every traditional beat and everything that we can find that’s traditional and old blues back in the ’50s and ’60s, and recreate our own Tres Hombres (ZZ Top’s classic 1973 album). And they got all excited about it, and one thing led to another. We got some people down that were interested in us – [producers] Miles Fulwider and Barry Mork. These guys heard the demo and said, “Let’s take you guys in the studio and we’ll produce it.” That’s how it all happened. It was a lot of fun to make the record. We wrote everything at Jabo’s house or in the studio, and we just really wanted to try to make a blues record that people would like, and maybe turn people on to the blues. I hope it works.

What are some favorite songs?

I love them all. I don’t talk like this normally, but this record for me is my comfort zone – vocally and playing-wise. I grew up on the blues and grew up in the ’50s, when the music that was really happening – the blues players like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and Chess Records, all that stuff was going on, between the age of 0 and 15, for me. And I lived right outside Chicago, so I just remember a lot of that stuff. I remember the people coming to the neighborhood and opening their trunk up and selling the records to my cousins and my aunts and uncles. So there is a traditional feeling that I relate to, and these guys, I just took a chance and believed that they understood that vibe. And as a result of it, we put this record together and for me, it’s just a fun record.

It’s hard to say what’s my favorite song, because they all have different elements. Like “Train” is a true story about my grandfather, or “Don’t Go Home,” we were just making up lyrics about “Has anybody seen my baby?” And usually in blues, they say, “Please tell her come home.” And I thought, “Well…let’s say ‘Please tell her don’t go home!” [Laughs] Just take a traditional blues and twist it as best we could. “Woke Up This Morning” is just a straight up blues song, and I was really thinking of Bobby “Blue” Bland at the time, and I was just trying to channel all these blues players that I’ve listened to growing up, into this record.

How would you compare playing in Grinder Blues to King’s X?

It’s a totally different animal, because with King’s X, everything is very…well, I pour my heart out in King’s X. I cut myself and bleed for everybody, and just tell everybody how I feel. I just throw my heart out there. With Grinder Blues, we got together for fun. Lyrically, nothing deep. Just to get up there and have some drinks and have some fun, and play the blues. And so that’s the difference for me. And with Ty and Jerry, we play a bit more complicated music and a bit more demanding music – both vocally and bass playing wise. And all three of us do that – we work really hard for the money. With Grinder Blues, this is a no-brainer for me. I can just do this and have fun – without thinking. I like that.

What are the touring plans for Grinder Blues, and will more albums be made?

We’re going to do another album for sure. We’ve already talked about it. The same thing with KXM – we’ve talked about doing a new record. Grinder Blues, it seems like the guys are more free to go out and play, so we’re booking shows all the time now. We went and played two shows – one down in San Diego and one at the Viper Room in LA. And the shows went great. I felt like a teenager in his first rock band, ready to go out and conquer the world! It was that much fun. So we just decided we’re going to play as much as we can, because we don’t have to rehearse a whole lot, and like I said before, it’s a no-brainer for me to go out and do this. We can just “throw and go.” I don’t have to have everything in the monitors, I don’t have to worry about harmonies. I guess basically, it’s a whole different animal. So it will be fun. I’ve always wanted to be part of a group that we could just say, “Hey, we’re going to play at so-and-so next week,” and just get up there and play and remember all the songs. And with King’s X, I have to rehearse. And with KXM, I can’t wait for that, because I want to play out, but I’m going to have lock myself away for a couple of weeks just to learn the songs, because there’s a lot going on.

Now that it’s been a few years since the release of your project with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, Tres Mts. (2011’s Three Mountains), what are your thoughts on it?

It’s incomplete to me, and it’s my fault. It has nothing to do with those guys – I held the record up, because I wasn’t happy with the vocals, and our lives started to change so much that we couldn’t get together to finish things up. So I finally got to a point where I said, “Let’s just put it out.” So we did, and we did a little tour and played for people, and it was a lot of fun. I hope maybe we can do another one. I would love to do another one, because it was a lot of fun. But it was a quick little love affair, and it’s over. We played Jimmy Fallon and it was a real treat for me to be on TV again, after so many years of not playing music on shows like that with King’s X.

How is Jerry Gaskill doing, and what is the status of King’s X?

Jerry is healing. It’s going to take him a good six months or more. It’s going to take a while for him to get back on track. But he will. My brother had two heart attacks also – the same thing that Jerry had – and he’s bouncing off the walls. So we know that Jerry will be OK too, but it’s going to take a while. I think people won’t hear anything out of King’s X for at least a year.

Band photo by Jim Steinfeldt.


Prong Singer Compares Early Faith No More To Killing Joke

Over the years, Prong singer Tommy Victor has been very vocal about his admiration of such bands as Killing Joke and Chrome. And in a recent interview that yours truly conducted with Mr. Victor for Songfacts, the topic came up of Faith No More’s first two records (1985’s We Are A Lot and 1987’s Introduce Yourself) sounding especially influenced by Killing Joke.

“The early Faith No More records were definitely Killing Joke oriented. And having that staccato strict guitar part was always appealing with Faith No More, as well. That’s always been appealing.”

Victor went on to also explain how both Killing Joke and Chrome were an influence on Prong, as well.

“The guitar, it’s based on a more percussive element. And there’s also dance grooves in it as well. So Prong incorporated that into it a lot. And Jaz Coleman is a genius vocally. The lyrical content, the melodies in the vocals, while being aggressive, were always appealing to me.”

“Chrome were just weird and the fact that they did what they wanted to do attracted me to them. And the guitar stylings were great in Chrome, as well. There were a lot of sounds rather than strict guitar parts or scale oriented treatments on the guitar. And then the catchy element of Killing Joke was always something that I liked with Prong and I still try to attest to that, is that they are songs rather than just a compilation of riffs thrown together. And they hold their own.”

“It’s cool that you pulled those two out of the bag, because they have strict identities. I mean, when you get into the thrash metal mode, most of the bands, they sort of sound the same in a lot of ways, and they rely upon the same tactics. Where I never really wanted to approach things that way. I was trying to do something different, pull Prong away from the hoards, the thrash metal bands, hardcore bands, and even post-punk bands. So that hybrid was always really important for me.”

Also, when asked if stints playing with Danzig and Rob Zombie affected his songwriting for Prong, Victor responded, “No, not at all. Glenn has his own operations in doing things, and I tend to do things different from what I see other people doing. So if I notice what somebody’s doing, I’ll purposely do something differently when it comes to songwriting.”

“As far as business stuff, I mean, Glenn’s a great guy to hang around with. Obviously, Rob, I don’t think he divulged many of his tactics. But I think Rob Zombie stole from Prong, really, so it would be sort of a regenerated version of what Prong was doing.”

To read the rest of the interview, click your clicker here.

Prong’s latest album is titled Ruining Lives, and for more info about the band, scoot on over to here.

Meatmen Singer Talks Blowing Off The Beastie Boys & Remembers Washington DC Punk Scene

Your old friend, Greg Prato, recently interviewed the Meatmen’s longtime frontman, Tesco Vee, about the group’s latest album, Savage Sagas (among other topics) for the Songfacts site, as part of an article titled “GONZOID TRASH PUNK: THE MEATMEN STORY.”

In the article (which can be read in all its unadulterated glory here), Mr. Vee offers up quite a few nuggets, including blowing off the members of a then-unknown Beastie Boys. “I didn’t go on any real long tours. Like, we did that Mudd Club show that was on We’re The Meatmen…and You Suck!! on side b, that’s live. I remember the Beastie Boys were there and they were just little kids, and they were like, ‘Tesco, could we get in free?’ ‘Get away from me, kid, you’re bothering me.’ One of those deals. Good career move!”

Also, Vee recalls a memorable show in Washington, DC during the early ’80s, which helped convince him to relocate from Lansing, Michigan. “There’s an infamous show where it was Minor Threat and the Circle Jerks at the old 9:30 Club, and Ian [MacKaye] blew out his voice at sound check because he was so amped up. And he still did the show, but the charismatic presence that he was, he basically did the whole show through interpretive dance and the crowd sang all the lyrics. It was so epic. And I’m, like, this is pretty cool. I think I want to live out there.”

Lastly, the singer also discussed the impetus behind the Meatmen’s modern day classic, “Pissed Hot for Weed.” “My son was talking to me about a guy he works with. He works at a very weed intolerant business here in Lansing. And they give you random drug tests. He’s been there for four years and he’s had six of them. So he and a gentleman that he worked with that was 46 and hadn’t smoked pot in two years, he just had a moment of weakness on a weekend. And I said, ‘What happened to that guy?’ He said, ‘Well, they fired him.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘He pissed hot for weed.’ And I’m like, wow, I like the sound of that. Pissed hot for weed. I’ve got to write a song about that.”

For more Meat, click your clicker here.

Band photo by Joe Gall Review & Photos: Soundgarden & Nine Inch Nails Show In Irvine, CA

When my buddy and I arrived at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine for last night’s Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails show, I saw a dude in his 40’s in the distance shout out ‘Who is here to see Soundgarden?’ I enthusiastically responded that I was, but unfortunately I was the only one in my section to do so. The crowd seemed to mostly be NIN leaning fans, like when I saw them with Jane’s Addiction at this same venue back in 2009. I saw several Soundgarden and Grunge shirts though, including Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. Kind of off topic, but we really need some new good rock bands, as my only shows this month have been seeing a 72-year old Paul McCartney and 40’s/50’s Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails, and I’ve probably been one of the youngest fans at both shows. Cougars are fun, but it’d be nice to see some more ladies under 40 at rock shows.

Soundgarden came on at 8PM sharp, kicking off with “Searching…With My Good Eye Closed.” Cornell followed this by talking about how the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater used to be called something else (Irvine Meadows), before a ‘corporation’ took it over. Soundgarden’s set overall was lacking compared to when I’ve seen them in the past, with the best show I’ve seen being their July 2011 performance at the Forum in Los Angeles, which was really an unforgettable night. Matt Cameron was sorely missed, it reminded me a bit of when I was missing Jimmy Chamberlin at a Smashing Pumpkins show I went to in 2012. It’s not dig on Matt Chamberlain or (now former) Smashing Pumpkins drummer Mike Byrne, but Matt Cameron and Jimmy Chamberlin are two of the greatest drummers of all time, true powerhouses who elevate performances. There were certain songs where Matt Chamberlain sounded like he fit in, while there were several where the drumming wasn’t as strong as a usual Soundgarden performance.

“Black Hole Sun” was the weak spot of the set, it just really sounded off, rhythmically and vocally. Cornell though was great during “Beyond the Wheel,” a song where the entire band shined and the shortcomings of the performance were not present at all. One funny thing that happened near the end of the show was I saw Ben Shepherd kick down one of the smaller speakers, and then pick it back up mid song. Ben seemed in good spirits throughout the night, dedicating the rest of the show at one point to the Soundgarden/NIN crew, and the fans. He showed the most energy during “Gun” and “Beyond the Wheel.”

Chris made some sort of rip on Affliction shirts, saying he had the King Animal shirt/logo made so he wouldn’t have to give stupid brands money, or something along those lines. He also dedicated the rest of the performance to Stephan (possibly spelled Stefan, I’m just going by ear) who he modestly said helps him not sound like shit every night at shows. He said Stephan was with his sick father so he could not be at the show.

“Blow Up The Outside World” was flat compared to the other times I’ve seen it live, there was a somewhat improvised part that took away from the power of the chorus. One of Cornell’s highlights of the show was hitting some notes really well during “Fell On Black Days,” eliciting a great response from the crowd. “A Thousand Days Before” was one of the best parts of the show too, the band seemed more inspired for that and “Beyond the Wheel” than they did on some other songs, Matt Chamberlain in particular did well on that. Kim threw a bottle after the performance ended, and he had pretty good form. The Angels could use his help right now with Garrett Richards out for the season.

Overall though, many of the songs just fell a bit flat, and I say this as a huge fan who is wearing a Soundgarden ‘Black Rain’ shirt as I write this review, with a Down on the Upside poster in my room. The 2011 show I saw was full of passion, and while the 2012 and 2013 shows I saw lacked that same visceral energy, they still had incredible musicianship and very diverse setlists. My friend who went with me also attended the 2011 show, and he voiced some of his critiques even before I did, and he’s more of just ‘fan’ of the band, not the obsessive type like me and you who can recall B-sides off of Scream.


Nine Inch Nails came on at around 9:45 with an interesting stage set up that they changed throughout the show as they switched between their electronic leaning songs and their hard rock material. They opened with “Copy of A,” one of my favorites off of Hesitation Marks. The early part of the set also featured “Came Back Haunted,” which sounded straight off the record, it was that tight. When they switched to a hard rock portion of the set for “March of the Pigs,” the whole pace of the night in general picked up, it felt like a chaotic rock and roll show. I saw NIN in 2009, but I really took notice of drummer Ilan Rubin tonight, he really impressed me. Trent Reznor sounded great as well, his performance was filled with energy and passion. The only time the set really missed with me at all was a few ballads in the middle of the set, “Disappointed” in particular, but overall it was a great performance and it definitely topped Soundgarden’s, and this is coming from somebody who is a fan of Nine Inch Nails, but does not obsessively follow them like I do Soundgarden.

NIN just sounded tight and had frenetic energy on stage, particularly Robin Finck, they still feel very contemporary. The crowd was going nuts their whole performance, particularly for the one-two punch of “The Hand That Feeds” and “Head Like A Hole” to close the main set. I know the die hard NIN fans will shit on me, but the highlight for me was getting to see “Hurt” live. When I saw NIN in 2009 Trent got pissed off and refused to do “Hurt” due to some technical issues, but I got to see it tonight, and it was beautiful. On a random note, whoever the dudes are who move around NIN’s screens behind them during their set have the coolest fucking job on the planet.

Anyways, NIN were great, and while I found Soundgarden’s performance to be lackluster, at least I got to see Soundgarden again. They’re an iconic band, and I’m sure when they get Matt Cameron back, better things are to come. Matt’s definitely been away too long, but he only ever really wanted a break.


Soundgarden Setlist:
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Jesus Christ Pose
Black Hole Sun
The Day I Tried to Live
My Wave
Blow Up the Outside World
Fell on Black Days
A Thousand Days Before
Rusty Cage
Beyond the Wheel

Nine Inch Nails Setlist:
Copy of A
Came Back Haunted
March of the Pigs
Gave Up
Find My Way
The Great Destroyer
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole


Top 10 Layne Staley Songs

To celebrate the late great Layne Staley’s birthday today, I have compiled a list of (at least what I believe) to be the Top 10 Layne Staley penned songs! Feel free to post yours in the comments section.

10. Mad Season – Long Gone Day (1995)

This is a beautiful dark jazzy song, featuring some of Layne’s most experimental work melodically, along with Mark Lanegan. It’s a shame Layne only got to scratch the surface with material like this, but we’ll always have Above.

9. Alice In Chains – Again (1995)

“Again” has some of Layne’s most unique vocal production/layering techniques. The way Staley wails during the chorus, harmonizing under his own lyrics, is what makes him one of a kind.

8. Alice In Chains – Love Hate Love (1990)

While Staley was just developing his unique melodic/lyric writing abilities on Facelift, there’s a loose swagger to his voice that is present in his voice on this record, especially on “Love Hate Love.”

7. Alice In Chains – Angry Chair (1992)

“Angry Chair” was Alice In Chains’ first radio hit that was solely written by Staley (music and lyrics). There’s a sense of desperation in the verses with lines like ‘Loneliness is not a phase’ and ‘Saw my reflection and cried/so little hope that I died,’ but there’s almost a sense of acceptance during the angelic chorus.

6. Mad Season – Wake Up (1995)

“Wake Up” features one of Layne’s best lyrics ‘Slow suicide’s no way to go.’ The song is a slow burner, and the type that may take time to grow on you, but once it does it will be one of your favorite tracks off Above.

5. Alice In Chains – Man In The Box (1990)

Arguably Alice In Chains’ signature hit, “Man In The Box” is still heard on radio today, with it’s thunderous chorus being one of Staley’s best hooks.

4. Alice In Chains – Get Born Again (1999)

Arguably Staley’s darkest song is one of the last tracks he ever recorded. Staley sings from a place of utter despair, ‘Can you protect/me when I’m wrecked/I pretend you’re still alive.’ Part of the song touches on religious themes, with Staley also singing about his struggles with his ex-girlfriend passing away. While Staley spent his final years out of the spotlight and struggling with his demons, “Get Born Again” and “Died” show that he still was one of the most creative singers on the planet.

3. Alice In Chains – Nutshell (1994)

Jar of Flies found Staley reach new highs, with his part on “Don’t Follow” being one of his most memorable performances, along with the triumphant “I Stay Away.”  “Nutshell” though is Layne’s most personal track on the album, with stream of conscience lyrics, ‘And yet I fight/This battle all alone/No one to cry to/No place to call home.’

2. Alice In Chains – Hate to Feel (1992)

“Hate to Feel” is another Alice In Chains track solely written by Staley, and it is arguably his best AIC track, with a chaotic energy that escalates throughout the song.  The song tells the story of Layne’s relationship with his father, and his fear of becoming like him.  Layne sings manically, ‘All this time I swore I’d never be like my old man/what the hey it’s time to face exactly who I am/I can see/wish I couldn’t see at all.’

1. Mad Season – River of Deceit (1995)

“River of Deceit” is the quintessential Layne Staley song.  Lines like ‘My pain is self-chosen/at least so the prophet says’ and ‘I could either drown/Or pull off my skin and swim to shore/Now I can grow a beautiful/Shell for all to see’ make this one of the most autobiographical and self-aware songs of Layne’s career.

Scott Weiland IMPERSONATOR Arrested For Meth Possession & Stealing From Convenience Store

3RD UPDATE: The police made a mistake in the Scott Weiland arrest case, as it was indeed an impersonator! We even had spoken to Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Smollen who insisted to us that the Scott Weiland arrested was Scott Weiland from STP, but now they are telling TMZ that they have confronted the suspect and it is not the Scott Weiland from STP!

9:00 PM PT — L.A. County Sheriffs are now confirming the famous Scott Weiland is NOT in custody … and have launched an investigation to find out who exactly they have locked up.

This story is unbelievable — Sheriffs tell us they believe a Scott Weiland impersonator is currently behind bars … and claim he looks identical to the singer … including his trademark red hair.

We’re told once TMZ called cops after the real Scott posted online video calling BS on his arrest — they went and confronted the unknown man and established he was a knockoff.

The sheriffs — who are in charge of the jail — claim the Beverly Hills PD made the arrest and ID’d the guy as the former Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland. Pseudo Scott was processed and has been in jail since July 26th.

The guy in jail allegedly stole the razors and had meth … but he ain’t famous.

2ND UPDATE: TMZ’s scoop regarding Scott Weiland’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment for burglarly and possession of meth was shot down by Weiland himself, who posted a video from the studio claiming that TMZ’s scoop was “bogus” and that he has been busy recording his new album and touring. Scott’s appearance in the studio would directly conflict with TMZ’s reports that the former STP frontman is still in prison, having not posted bail.

As it turns out, TMZ was only partly correct. Sgt. Smollen at the Beverly Hills Police Department, while reluctant to provide a mugshot, has clarified to that Weiland was arrested on Saturday, July 26 after investigating a burglary at a Beverly Hills Rite Aid. Weiland posted a bail of $20,000, not the $95,000 as suggested by the online police report, which you can read here. Weiland was apparently released and due for court soon. As for the individual arrested impersonating Weiland, as some have liked to believe, Sgt. Smollen assures that no bail can be posted without the identity of the individual being 100% confirmed.

UPDATE: An official arrest report has been released giving details on the arrest, while Weiland has released a video denying that he was arrested.

Former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland is currently in jail, being charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and burglary, TMZ reports.

Scott went to a Beverly Hills Rite-Aid a few weeks ago and pilfered some razors and other cosmetic items. When a security guard tried stopping him, Scott breezed out, but not for long. Cops nabbed him down the block, searched him and found what they say was methamphetamine.

TMZ was also told Scott pulled the celeb card, telling cops, “I’m Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots.” It didn’t work. He’s been in jail the last 4 weeks on $95,000 bond.

I send my best to Scott’s family during this tough time. They’re the people to feel sorry for here, just can’t help but think about his kids. Review Of Paul McCartney’s Show At Dodger Stadium In Los Angeles

Photo credit: Paul McCartney on Twitter

First off, fuck Dodger Stadium. It took me 45 minutes to get from the freeway exit into the parking lot. Next time come to Angel Stadium Paul! Anyways, I got into the stadium at around 7PM. It was an older crowd, with some younger people mixed in. I saw two women ask an old male celebrity for a picture, he declined and said no because he didn’t think he looked good. The women reassured him that he looked great, but he still refused. I didn’t know who he was, yeah I know: ‘Cool story bro.’ So McCartney went on at around 8:40PM. The show started off well but really picked up when Paul played a snippet of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” He followed it up by saying he had great respect for Jimi and got to meet him in London. He said Jimi was a big fan of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and paid the ultimate tribute by actually covering a song from the album. Paul then played “Paperback Writer” which was the highlight of the show at that point. He followed it up by playing a new track “My Valentine.” He introduced it as a song for his new wife, which led to a piss and beer break for many fans. Paul played a few other new tracks throughout the night too, which got tepid responses, some better than others. You’ve got to respect him though for still going out and playing some new stuff though at his age, there are bands 20-30 years younger than him who are afraid to play anything outside of the hits. I thought “New” was the best of the new song performances.

“Maybe I’m Amazed” was one of my favorite songs of the night. It’s just such an incredible song, one of my favorite Paul songs. The performance was filled with passion, and Paul still sang it convincingly. On a lighter note, Paul shook his ass to the crowd during “And I Love Her.” Right after he shook his ass, a woman asked her husband how old McCartney was. He said: ‘Over 70.’ McCartney also observed signs in the crowd, after mentioning that he’d try to avoid them during performances to focus on the songs. He saw one that said something like ‘Sign my butt!’ He said, ‘Show it!’ He also observed the ‘Supermoon’ a few times. There was a lot of fun banter from Paul throughout the night, and not of it felt contrived. One of the most touching moments was when he talked about George Harrison, and going over to his house to jam and learning how to play George’s song “Something” on ukulele. He credited George for playing ukulele before many rockers did. Paul then played “Something” on ukulele before the full band joined in, and it was one of the best performances of the night.

McCartney wrapped his main set with “Live and Let Die” and “Hey Jude.” “Live and Let Die” just got a thunderous response, the fireworks and spectacle that Paul always bring to that song with his stage show gives it even more frenetic energy. Paul’s guitarist Brian Ray was so into this performance that he fell over, but got right back up and brushed himself off. “Hey Jude” wrapped the set, which is one of my favorite songs ever. It’s one of the songs that really invented a crowd being able to sing a melody at a concert without any real guidance or instrumentation, it’s one of the simplest and great melodies of all time. Paul’s encores were wall to wall Beatles hits (outside of one Wings song), including a roaring rendition of “Helter Skeler.” Crazy to see him still pull that off at 72.

This show was right up there with the other time I saw Paul, at Coachella 2009, though I’ve got to admit I was pretty wasted at that show which probably heightened the experience, so that one probably wins out. It also wasn’t at the dump that is Dodger Stadium. Paul and the Stones though are really the best classic rock acts from the 60’s that still perform live. It kind of makes you worry about the future of rock when you realize there aren’t any bands out there today under 50 who could fill places like Dodger Stadium on a regular basis, outside of maybe Pearl Jam who are pushing 50 themselves. We should cherish the legends while they’re still here, but it’s important for people to pay attention as to why a 72-year old Paul McCartney can still feel Dodger Stadium, so that he’s not one of the last rock stars to do it. It’s the power and timelessness of the music.

Eight Days a Week (The Beatles song)
Save Us
All My Loving (The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
Let Me Roll It (Wings song) (with “Foxy Lady” by Jimi Hendrix snippet)
Paperback Writer (The Beatles song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles song)
Maybe I’m Amazed
I’ve Just Seen a Face (The Beatles song)
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
Another Day
And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)
Here Today
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
All Together Now (The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita (The Beatles song)
Everybody Out There
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)

Day Tripper (The Beatles song)
Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings song)
I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles song)

Encore 2:
Yesterday (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)

Billy Corgan Discusses 20th Anniversary Of Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

Billy Corgan discussed the upcoming 20th anniversary of The Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in a new Q&A on

You mentioned there may be a little surprise during your Ravinia set for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ 20th Anniversary; if this is still happening (without giving too much away), what can fans expect or look forward to?

“I don’t know what ‘surprise’ you are referring to, but if I said something to that effect it would most certainly have had to do with the presentation of the material, or the songs chosen. Say, for example: ‘Methusela’, which has never been played live. I’m certainly not out to create an expectation of the past coming forward, if that’s what’s being wondered about. For me, inclusion of a ‘Mellon Collie’ suite is all about honoring the anniversary of the writing, which was done in almost all cases on acoustic guitar or piano. The enticement being that I could choose to present some of those songs ‘as written,’ or, as they ‘might have been’ if produced otherwise.”

Greg Prato Looks Back At Underrated Albums From Soundgarden, Faith No More & Others

It seems like the days of flipping through vast vinyl, cassette, or CD collections is a thing of the past. And while there’s no denying the convenience of having all your favorite albums on a mobile device, it’s becoming more common for recordings to get lost in the shuffle and/or completely forgotten about.

Author/journalist (and AltNation contributor!) Greg Prato is willing to provide some assistance, with his 12th book overall, Overlooked/Underappreciated: 354 Recordings That Demand Your Attention. Inside, you will find countless albums that you may have completely forgotten about or perhaps have never even heard of before. Either way, all 354 of these titles get the “Prato Stamp of Approval.”

Starting with AC/DC’s Flick of the Switch and wrapping up with Zombi’s Surface to Air, countless styles of music are represented in between – rock n’ roll, hard rock, heavy metal, alternative, new wave, punk, hardcore, grunge, jazz, fusion, psychedelic, prog, folk, blues, funk, soul, rap, spoken word, power pop, big band, glam, experimental, instrumental, soundtracks…the list goes on and on. But the selections stay strong!

Now available as paperback ($12.99, 256 pages), Kindle ($9.99, 287 pages), and Nook ($9.99, 256 pages) versions, Overlooked/Underappreciated is sure to put you in the most musical of moods!

And here are a few exclusive snippets, to point your peepers at:

Truly – Fast Stories…From Kid Coma [Capitol/Sub Pop: June 20, 1995]

Discovery: The drummer of a band I was in circa the mid ’90s owned a Truly CD single, and I meant to give it a listen (especially due to the fact that the trio contained original Soundgarden bassist Hiro Yamamoto), but for reasons unknown, I never got around to it. While doing research/interviews for Grunge is Dead, I finally did what was right…and was promptly blown away from what I heard.
Scrutiny: Truly’s Fast Stories…From Kid Coma gets my vote as one of the most underrated rock recordings of the ’90s (or even perhaps of all time, for that matter). When I think of the blah doo-dah that MTV and
radio was championing at the time (Live, Bush, Silverchair, etc.) and they could have been playing bands like Truly, the Beautiful, and Brad – that were both musically and artistically far more deserving – it really gets my goat. Picture a psychedelic take on grunge (without coming off as pretentious or indulgent), or a hybrid of Nirvana and Radiohead (without sounding like copycats), and you’re close to what the material on Fast Stories…From Kid Coma sounds like.
Similarity: Radiohead, Nirvana, Soundgarden
Keepers: “Blue Flame Ford,” “Hot Summer 1991,” “Leslie’s Coughing Up Blood”
Follow Up Listening: Feeling You Up, Twilight Curtains, Heart and Lungs
Tidbit: Truly was almost included on the hit soundtrack Singles, which obviously would have helped boost their profile. Frustratingly, their song was axed at the last minute, so that a Lovemongers cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore” could be included.

Soundgarden – Ultramega OK [SST: October 31, 1988]

Discovery: After purchasing Louder Than Love in early 1990, I soon made my way back to Soundgarden’s earlier recordings, including Ultramega OK.
Scrutiny: I agree, I agree – since Soundgarden has sold millions of records (and scored a #1 album with Superunknown), how can they be considered “underrated” or “overlooked”? Well, one album of theirs that always seems to get lost in the shuffle is their first full-length, Ultramega OK. Released via an indie (SST), the album seems to be the bridge between the more indie rock sounds of the Screaming Life and Fopp EPs and the metallic crunch of Louder Than Love. Either way, it’s an incredibly consistent listen from beginning to end, and chock full of tunes that the band still play live to this day.
Similarity: Truly, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins
Keepers: “Flower,” “All Your Lies,” “Far Beyond the Wheel”
Follow Up Listening: Badmotorfinger, Louder Than Love, Screaming Life/Fopp
Tidbit: At Soundgarden’s intimate show at NYC’s Irving Plaza on November 13, 2012 (to coincide with the release of their reunion LP, King Animal), the show opened with a reading of the song that closed Ultramega OK (that is, if you don’t count a goof cover of John Lennon’s “One Minute of Silence”), “Incessant Mace.”

Faith No More – Introduce Yourself [Slash: April 1987]

Discovery: It wasn’t until after I became a fan of Faith No More via their The Real Thing album that I ventured back to hear their earlier works. Once Introduce Yourself was reissued on CD during the summer of 1990, I jumped right on it.
Scrutiny: Alt-rock during the mid to late ’80s was a tricky proposition. While you had bands that sounded “rock” but with a unique twist (the Meat Puppets, for instance), there seemed to be an influx of R.E.M.-sounding artists that you would spot on 120 Minutes. Faith No More certainly stood out from the pack – as they were one of the few alt rockers to feature full-on, 100% heavy metal guitars (courtesy of Mr. James Blanco “Jim” Martin). Add to it funk bass, keyboards used more for texture than the way most lame pop acts at the time utilized them, tribal drumming, and a vocalist not afraid to wander off key, and you have one of my favorite alt-rock releases of the ’80s…even though it didn’t cross my path until after the decade was put out of its misery.
Similarity: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Run-DMC, Metallica
Follow Up Listening: We Care A Lot, The Real Thing, Angel Dust
Keepers: “Faster Disco,” “Anne’s Song,” “We Care A Lot”
Tidbit: Faith No More would open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their tour in support of Introduce Yourself. This would prove to be one of the last Chili Peppers tours to include guitarist Hillel Slovak (who died on June 25, 1988 at the age of 26, from a heroin overdose).

The Beautiful – Storybook [Giant: March 3, 1992]

Discovery: Recall seeing the video for “John Doe” on MTV’s Headbangers Ball (one time and one time only, by the way), and also reading a pretty revealing article on the band in Rip Magazine, in which its members were honest about the struggles they were experiencing (a sharp contrast to all the moronic backstage escapades that hair metallists would usually discuss). When I came across this used CD in a bargain bin at a local record shop shortly thereafter, I did what was needed.
Scrutiny: One of the more obscure bands and releases of the early ’90s alt-rock movement – I’ve never seen or read about the Beautiful besides the aforementioned items, and have crossed paths with few human beings who stated they fancied them (or even knew who the heck they were). This is unfortunate, as Storybook is a very interesting recording that should have been popular – and one of the few bands that possessed a cool Jane’s Addiction influence/vibe (for as popular as Jane’s was at the time, if you think about it, there wasn’t a wave of impersonators of Perry and his pals…unlike the grunge groups, who did have their fair share of copycats). The album also has some artsy fartsy bits between the tracks – something else that wasn’t very common during the era.
Similarity: Jane’s Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots
Keepers: “John Doe,” “The We in Me,” “Storybook”
Follow Up Listening: The Beautiful [EP] [no other recordings were issued by the band]
Tidbit: Drummer Frank Ferrer would later join Guns N’ Roses.

For Overlooked/Underappreciated ordering info (and to read more samples), click:

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Scottish BAFTA Nominee’s THE BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS play NXNE and Ontario June Theatre Dates

TORONTO – June 2014 – UK industry insiders brag about seeing Edinburgh, Scotland’s The Black Diamond Express (TBDE) quoting that they are a cross between Robert Johnson and The Sex Pistols. This not to miss, passionate, award winning eight piece band are coming to Canada for the first time.  UK critics love The Black Diamond Express proclaiming they are a compelling sight to behold and have been the highlight of the past year’s festivals and as the opening act for The Mavericks UK tour early this year.  
The Black Diamond Express sound is an amalgamation of Celtic and American roots.   But rather than be an imitation of some bygone era, they offer an inventive take on the old traditional styles of music and collectively produce a sound that is truly theirs alone. Always dressed to kill their live performance showcases slide guitar, fiddle, layered vocals, harmonica and a pounding rhythm section. Listening to the songs you will hear echoes of the chain gang, plaintive melodies, gospel hymns and gut-buckets, noir narratives and tall tales, truth and fiction in equal measure.
They have been invited to NXNE to play the Rivoli Sat. June 21 and have confirmed June 24 at Peterborough ShowplaceJune 26 at The Sculthorpe venue at The Capitol Theatre in Port Hope and June 27 Kingston for the Blues Society at the RCHA Club.  They are confirming venue in Hamilton and are considering other Ontario dates.  Board the train and be transported.
Formed in 2007, they have their just released their live record called Brimstone for Hell and an EP from 2008 titled A Murder Of Crows.   They have toured constantly through the UK fine tuning their stunning live show featuring their passionate blues inspired songs that are turning hearts and heads.  The band was nominated in 2011 for a Scottish BAFTA for their work on the short film ‘A Zombie Musical’. The band were also involved with the flourishing educational project ‘The Tinderbox Orchestra’ and performed for the Dalai Lama on his most recent State visit.
Jack of Diamonds – vocals/guitar (front man)

The Duke – drums/vocals 

George Marsden – Piano/Keys
Ewan Gibson – Electric Bass/vocals
Stephen Robinson – dobro/vocals
Steve MacLennan – guitar/vocals/mandolin/banjo
Cameron Henderson – filddle/vocals
Tom ‘Harpo’ McClelland – harmonica
Check out some of their upcoming concert dates below and check out their official site.
Concert Dates 
NXNE – Sat. June 21 Rivoli – 1AM
Peterborough 24th June (Showplace)!black-diamond-express/cge4
Port Hope 26th June (Capitol Theatre) venue The Sculthorpe Theatre
Kingston 27th June (Blues Society Concert) Standeasy @ the RCHA Club – 193 Ontario StreetWebsite

Cover of Neil Young’s Latest Memoir Appears Online

The front cover artwork of Neil Young‘s latest memoir has recently appeared online.

The Neil Young fansite Thrasher’s Wheat posted the image of  Special Deluxe – A Memoir of Life & Cars, from the Instagram account of website Rock Book Show.

Special Deluxe – A Memoir of Life & Cars is the follow-up to Waging Heavy Peace and is due for publication on October 7th,2014.

Bad Brains Collaborating With Scream’s Pete Stahl & Dave Grohl

Legendary Hardcore Punk vocalist Pete Stahl, from Scream, uploaded new photos of members of The Bad Brains, and Dave Grohl onto his Facebook page. One of the photos shows himself working in Dave Grohl’s recording studio, Studio 606, alongside the Neve console with members of Hardcore Punk group, Bad Brains. Along with an image of Dave on the skins, he uploaded a shot of some of the lyrics that are speculated to be on the upcoming material from the Bad Brains. You can check out the pictures below: