The NY Black Sabbath Covers Project

23 09 2008

One day as I was developing the New York Music Index and Archive (the project I mentioned in last week’s “Metallica” post where we’re cataloging and making freely available information about all aspects of the music industry in New York State), I happened to come across the MySpace pages of two different New York bands that cover Black Sabbath’s “Fairies Wear Boots.”  The versions were great and reminded me that the first band I ever heard covering Sabbath in fact came from New York–it was Anthrax, who in 1987 recorded Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.  Turns out I love Sabbath covers (even the Cardigans doing Sabbath has its charm), so I decided I’d start keeping track of the bands I’d find that are based in or do business in New York state.  I’ve stumbled across several, now, and I present my findings to you in the form of a Google Map:

There are 23 currently on the map (look for updated counts and a master list in the comments) but surely there are more.   Where are the bands that play Sabbath in the 7-1-6?  Wha ’bout in the 6-0-7?  Erie, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, represent?  How about you folks in Binghamton?  And the good people up in St. Lawrence, Franklin and/or Clinton?  Finally, what about YOU Cortland, New York?  Have you forgotten your own local-boy-made-good Ronnie James Dio?  Until I find a band from Cortland that does Sabbath tunes, consider yourselves all on notice.

Now, I’ve included a Dio entry in Cortland on the map for ceremonial purposes, but what I’m really saying is that we need better coverage.  Because I can only do so much from my seat here at the ARChive, I invite you, dear readers, to assist me in my goal of mapping every single band in and around New York that covers Black Sabbath.  The criteria is simple: does the band play a song that Black Sabbath recorded (any song, from any era, in any style)?  If yes, they go on the map.  If no, they don’t.  Links are great.  Links with sound samples are even better ’cause I’ll love hearing them and it’ll let me know WHICH Sabbath tunes are getting played.

You can post your additions in the comments.  I’ll add them to the map as they come.

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The New Metallica

8 09 2008

So, it’s almost here.  Death Magnetic.  The new Metallica record.  And part of it’s been leaked onto YouTube. I don’t know about you, but I’m LOVING most of what I heard–it’s like the Metallica of old in a lot of ways.  (Thanks Rick Rubin!)  What’s Lars’s take on the leak, you ask?

“If this thing leaks all over the world today or tomorrow, happy days. Happy days. Trust me. Ten days out and it hasn’t quote-unquote fallen off the truck yet? Everybody’s happy. It’s 2008 and it’s part of how it is these days, so it’s fine. We’re happy.”

A-whaaaat?  Lars “I hate Napster” Ulrich doesn’t care if the thing leaks a little?  Mind blowing.  A “new” Metallica, indeed!  Then, like two days later my mind is blown further when Wired posts a video of Lars talking about all the “really cool interpretations of all the Metallica songs that you guys out there are so cool to put up on the net and share with everybody in the world.” The post includes links to a bunch of awesome YouTube videos of people playing Metallica songs.  Happy days, indeed.

The problem with the videos Lars posted is that there he didn’t mention any bands from New York State. Here at the ARChive, Bryan, Jon and I have been working on a project called the New York Music Index and Archive (the NYMIA for short), a freely available online database designed to provide information and access to all aspects of the popular music industry based in New York State.  We’ve not yet launched, but we’re getting real close.  Part of our work involves being on MySpace and learning about what’s going on musically in New York State and you might imagine, we’ve come across a fair number of bands that cover Metallica songs, so I thought I’d share a few with you here.

Scraping Bottom is “a 5-piece, heavy hitting, hard rockin’, cover band from Oswego County NY.”   They cover Metallica, Judas Priest AC/DC, Godsmack, Deftones and more.  On their MySpace page they include a version of “Seek and Destroy.”  They don’t really have a logo, but their homepage does include a animated gif of a very-metal looking dagron dragon, though (below, left):

Hailing from Staten Island & Brooklyn, Kill ‘Em All (see their logo above, right) is a five piece Metallica tribute band.  They formed in early 2007 and have two Metallica tunes on their site, “Four Horsemen” and “Ride the Lightning.”  Sweet versions that get extra points because they reflect the good taste of the band.

Just for kicks, why not compare Kill ‘Em All’s version of “Four Horseman” with that of Alcoholica, which bills itself as “Connecticut’s Premiere Metallica tribute band.”  (Yeah, yeah…they’re not from New York State, but the NYMIA isn’t intended to be used solely by people IN New York.  It’s for everyone, those in-state and those who might come…and Connecticut’s right next door!)  Alcoholica seems to be on sabbatical because lead singer Kai Blackwood’s in Hollywood working on a film of some sort.  I think they should win some kind of award for “Most Metal Blog Title” with their “Ron in the Emergency room again.”  Ron Celentano’s the “Cliff Burton” of the band.  Hope you’re feeling better, Ron!

Do you find yourself located in the greater Glen Oakes, New York area, love Metallica and need a band whose name is “synonymous with energetic renditions of a wide variety of songs” which has “palpable on-stage camaraderie?”  Then look no further than Scream! a cover band from Glen Oakes that includes an really nice cover of Metallica’s “Sad But True” in their set list.

Last, but not least, we have Syracuse’s own Septor.  The Fightin’ Septor! The call themselves “a high energy, in your face hard rock band” that plays “anything from Mudvayne, Pantera, Metallica, Godsmack, Disturbed, Tool, Rob Zombie and MUCH MORE!”  Hvae a listen to their version of “Fade to Black.”  You’ll see what they mean.

So, there you have it, folks, the “New” Metallica.  Discuss in comments.  If you know of any more Metallica tribs in NY/NJ/CT, let us know!

Go New York bands!

ps. if you like metal, keep an eye open next week when I post about the bands in New York State that cover Black Sabbath.  Brownie points to the person who guesses which is the most covered Sabbath tune in New York.





Summertime + the music stories are adequate

8 07 2008

• We recently found four Elvis bracelets at a flea market. While the packaging looked right, the bracelets themselves seemed a little iffy. What did these rocks have to do with Elvis? The date is 1956. So maybe “Jailhouse Rocks?” Our pal the internet turned up pics of the backing card and a reason for the diecut. Seems these were originally ‘Dog Tag Bracelets” and those were the cut out words. So someone just attached available bracelets. I hope they are Bakelite and worth much more than any Elvii souvenir. Jon thinks they’re melted bits of old telephones. Regardless, it’s a reminder of how your career can be on the rocks even if you’re tombstoned; this April both Madonna and Mariah buried the King’s record (36) for the most number one singles on the Billboard charts.

• EMI announced today that they have a NEW CEO. Elio Leoni-Sceti comes direct from handling the Woolite and Lysol accounts at Reckitt Benckiser. Qualifications? He’s gonna clean up the music business

Leoni-Sceti says that if the Melvins can make an album called “Lysol,” HE could run a record company!

By the way Reckitt Benckiser refused to give permission for Melvins to use the name, “Lysol” and our copy has black tape over the title. Yep, the right guy for the job.

• Q : Reporters asked A-Rod how he kept so fit, and commented that his unbelievable condition must have a lot to do with diet. Then they asked what was the most harmful thing he’s ever eaten?

8th Grader’s A : Wedding Cake.

Staff A : Madonna

• Speaking of musical snacks (and consumer goods), boxes of dal and curry from Kitchens of India all contain a Classic Indian music CD. I’ve gotten two of the four different titles so far, and, well, they’re tasty. They call the series “Indian Classical Maestros,” and artists include Ustad Bismillah Khan (Shehnai), Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Sarod), Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya (Santoor), and Dr. Chitti Babu (Veena).

• As you may know we are putting together the NYMIA (launch in the fall) a webthing that will host info on all musical artists and music related businesses in New York. PROOF that it’s worth doing, and the wealth of talent lurking in the concrete underbelly of the Empire State, is the band, Tragedy, who do a metal tribute to the Bee Gees. Recently, Jon and Dan came across their MySpace page. Turns out, they’re taking the soft summer hits of the 1970s and making them very, very metal. Few remember, and this tribute does not help, that the B Boys (ARC has 72 of their releases from around the world) were an experimental band at launch – B. would play them right along Pearls before Swine and the Fugs. Rehear “Bee Gees’ 1st” and see why.

• Rell talk: Dan and Jon have taken John Hodgman’s course on hobo names twice now, and can be properly considered experts in the field. If you’re looking to find names for unidentified hobos mentioned in recordings by the likes of Whale, Jimmy Smith, Gene Autry, Karen & Cubby and John Lee Hooker, Jon and Dan are your guys. Yeeeeah! So, now what? Standby…

• We’ve been doing a lot of scans for the new Grammy Hall of Fame going up in LA. Well, after a while it gets kinda boring. But we did zoom in on a Cream LP to pull this exciting screen saver. Your’s for the taking

And finally, if you are one of the few who have not taken the time to hava look at the “Dancing” video on U-tub [sic] please do so. It is an an example of the good that companies do, in this case a chewing gum concern, oft lives after them. An simple idea taken to the heights.





Larry King Live From Death Row

17 12 2007

From CNN’s webpages: “It’s another Larry King Live exclusive! Damien Echols’ interview from Death Row. Does he belong in jail at all? Evidence – or lack of it – has many asking questions in this controversial case involving the murders of three boys in 1993.” Anybody who read my first West Memphis Three post, or the follow-up will know I’ll be watching for sure. And you should too, if you are interested in the story of three teenagers who were convicted of murder on the basis of their record collections. Wednesday night at 9 on CNN.

– Jonny

Yeah, so I watched.  Not surprisingly, Damien came off as quiet, thoughtful and articulate.  Larry King presents an image of a senile troglodyte with questionable fashion sense.  So far so accurate.  Why this smug, wizened egoist can’t just retire and do his pointless show from poolside at the Polo Lounge for an audience of none, and why CNN continues to pimp him as a star are two questions that will persist.  King’s tin ear as an interviewer, his evident ignorance, and CNN’s confused interstitials leading into breaks were some heavy hurdles to overcome, but Damien did a remarkable job holding the story together.  More time could have been spent detailing how shot full of holes the prosecution’s “theory” has become (especially the significance of animal predation as the cause of what at the trial was described as “satanic ritual abuse”) but that would have required a journalist, or at least curious human, which is way beyond Larry’s skill set.

Whatever.  The idea was to raise awareness (again) and get a few more people involved.  I hope that’s what is happening.  Hearing Damien talk about his marriage is enough to tear your heart out, and of course that’s what Larry King Live is all about, but there is more going on here than melodrama.  Please read the defense’s latest motion for a few more facts if you are interested at all.





WM3 Shocker: Satanic Ritual Abuse isn’t real!

30 10 2007

The Damien Echols defense team have filed a new motion which you can read in full here. The DNA evidence, as hinted in the earlier West Memphis 3 post, points to another individual. Also the wounds on the children’s bodies that had every quack self-appointed “expert” screaming “Satanic Ritual” seem now to be consistent with turtle bites. Remarkable, isn’t it? The revelation that B-movie grade horror stories about bloody rituals worshiping Satan™ have all been a lot of bullshit? And the evidence science presents us with suggests that turtles are the true Lords of Darkness? People love a good fairytale, I know, but let’s see if we can make it out of the 16th Century some time soon, shall we? Is there something about the fantasy the Christian religion is founded on that makes it so prone to hysteria? There’s a lot of question marks here, I apologize for that, but even at this late date I find it hard to believe that people can be such flipping complacent, incurious, gullible sheep. In my childhood the Yippies had a slogan; “Question Authority”, which in my high school days was later refined by the punks into a lapel button that read “Fuck Authority”.

Those were the good old days. Free the West Memphis Three.

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P.S.: These Turtles had nothing to do with it.

– J.





Satan™ v. Jesus™: Who Cares? the West Memphis Three still aren’t free.

22 10 2007

If you saw the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills , (1996) or the 2000 follow-up, Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, you already know about the West Memphis Three; Damien Echols, sentenced to death, and Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin, sentenced to life in prison for the murders of three young boys in the Robin Hood Hills section of West Memphis, Arkansas. If you don’t know about the case, the wiki article is a concise overview, and the WM3.org site has much more detailed technical information about the legal history. There is also a blog and a Myspace page which are more concerned with networking supporters and fund raising.

If you think 1993 was a long time ago, you’re right – and be glad you haven’t spent these last fourteen years in prison. But there isn’t anything stale about the ramifications of this case. In essence, an unusually horrendous triple murder was committed and a small town, quite understandably, panicked at the horror of the deed. Their fear, fed by “satanic ritual abuse” hysteria, coupled with the abysmal incompetence of the State of Arkansas during the investigation and the weighty intransigence of its prosecution, led to the railroading of three teens who the local populace apparently felt were disposable.

This is a story about misfits and the price they can pay when they are less lucky than most, and that is the relevance of the WM3 to this blog. Pontificating as we do from the patrician heights of the ARChive’s comfortable Chesterfield, we often celebrate the far out and the just plain out of fashion; poets and hillbillies; those who have spent a life pursuing art so unique that they are exalted as the living acme of their form, or they sleep in doorways. Heavy metal, in its Christian™ and Satanic™ incarnations, is a source of joy in these pages, as are ukulele numbers about wanking. We revel in novelty and rebellion but we don’t like to remember the taunts and abuse each of us has endured in our own experience as the designated scapegoat, misfit, punk, nerd, hippie, freak, creep (I won’t list any of the popular epithets that can get you killed, for obvious reasons, and you can supply them without my help). Nowadays, according to all reports, everyone is “cool” (what a pathetic, impotent word that’s become) with the result being none of us can imagine there are any true outcasts left, let alone that there can still be grave consequences to simply never fitting in. And meanwhile, a decade and a half after the WM3 convictions, the country as a whole descends ever deeper into a quagmire of irrationality that calls itself Christian fundamentalism – perfect emotional weather for another witch hunt, so don’t be surprised campers, it will happen here. There will always be a wrong place to wear black clothes, or listen to the wrong music, or check the wrong books out of the public library (the mistakes that landed Damien on death row) or hang out with weirdos (Jason’s great sin) or a bad time to be borderline mentally retarded (which was Jessie’s mistake). Your homework, dear reader is to reflect on the evil inherent in the mob – regardless of the name under which it operates: Church, State, Pep Club, Future Farmers of America, etc.

This has all been lovely and cheery, I know, but is there a reason for this post? There’s the spinach factor, of course, meaning it’s good for you to remember that the classic miscarriage of justice does happen. We can’t forget these kids, and I mean all six, the murdered and the unjustly convicted, not to mention their families. There’s another potentially satisfying reason, however. New DNA evidence is in, after many months of costly analysis, and there are upcoming court dates which folks close to the WM3 defense team describe as encouraging. The Baroness and I have a friend who has been deeply involved in the case for many years. Nothing specific has been revealed to us but there appears to be some optimism regarding the DNA in as much as none of it belongs to any of the Three. The next month or so will really tell, the case has gone on for so long that this finally may be the last chance for justice. Visit the website and donate something for the last push – it’s now or never.

acdc.jpguriah.jpgdioholy.jpgmonster.jpgsabevil.jpgiron.jpg

– Jonny





7-7-07!

7 07 2007

Happy National Day of Stryper, y’all!  How are you celebrating? Let us know in comments!

stryper.jpg

I know I said I’d be listening to metal, but instead I’m writing and listening to dub:

In a couple of minutes I’m going to mess around on my banjo a little (a tenor banjo at that).  The banjo…a devil’s instrument if there ever was one.dtn








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