If a Mount Rushmore-style monument existed for metalheads, the late Ronnie James Dio would certainly be on it. As the frontman of Dio, Rainbow, and Black Sabbath (and a bunch of others), he’s more than earned his spot. And even if you don’t care much about smashes like “Holy Diver” or “The Mob Rules,” you have to give Dio credit for giving the world the metal horns.
Tag: Things That Are Loud (1-10 of 37)
With Lady Gaga and her bucking vomitron in my rearview, my personal goal for Friday at SXSW was to find some good old-fashioned, turned-to-11 rawk. I had already seen a lot of about-to-break indie, a handful of promising rappers, and one gigantic intergalactic pop star. Now it was time to find some volume.
Anybody who has read my tweets or been forced to sit outside my office for months at a time under the auspices of “work experience” (sorry, interns!) knows that I like things fast and loud, which often means in extreme metal. But punk, garage rock, prog — these are all things that will satisfy my jones, and I was determined to seek out as many opportunities to permanently damage my hearing as I could find.
The day opened at Stubb’s at the Spin magazine party, a tradition that stretches back more than a decade. This year’s bill featured a fine cross-section of indie rock and fringe rap, with a lineup that included Future, Cloud Nothings, Against Me!, and Schoolboy Q. But my main concern was Radkey, a group made up of three brothers (ages 16, 18, and 20) who grind out delightfully unhinged punk tunes that also owe a healthy bit to Reagan-era thrash. It’s grim-sounding but well-executed, and as soon as their songwriting evolves even a tiny bit, they are going to be dangerous. READ FULL STORY
Though I had dipped in and out of MTV throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s, tuning in for the manic kitsch of Remote Control, the clever smarm of The Half-Hour Comedy Hour, and the occasional Skid Row video, I didn’t really go all in on the network—and thus music videos—until 1994. I had become deeply invested in the narrative running through the third season of The Real World, which was the great San Francisco-based slobberknocker between Pedro and Puck. That show became the only thing people talked about during middle school study halls, so I immersed myself in one of the earliest revolutionary reality shows, and often stuck around for the videos.
I have vivid memories of sitting in the dark in my living room after my parents had gone to bed, watching clip after clip on the network (this was still the era when a Saturday night meant several consecutive hours of music videos shown under various umbrellas). A handful of those videos from that year stuck with me, simply because they were in such heavy rotation: Nirvana’s Unplugged performance of “All Apologies,” Smashing Pumpkins’ sci-fi clip for “Rocket,” Soudgarden’s terrifying “Black Hole Sun,” and the Beastie Boys’ kinetic ’70s cop show homage “Sabotage.” (There was also the always-playing clip for Janet Jackson’s “Any Time, Any Place,” which I found boring at the time but now I find cripplingly sexy.)
But only one video really mattered to me, and that was Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.” READ FULL STORY
They say there are only two retirements that never stick: Rock stars and professional wrestlers.
OK, nobody actually says that, but it’s more or less true. The call of the road and the brightness of the lights is often too much to keep aging stars away, which is why we’re still watching Ozzy Osbourne play Black Sabbath songs and Ric Flair deliver chops.
The latest band to declare retirement is Motley Crue, who just announced that they were hanging it up following a massive farewell tour that is scheduled to kick off July 2 and run on and off for the next two years. Dubbed The Final Tour, the trek is signed in blood (kind of): Earlier today in Los Angeles, the group — Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee — signed a formal “Cessation of Touring Agreement” that says they are officially forbidden from hitting the road as of the end of 2015. “Everything must come to an end,” Lee said at the press conference announcing the tour. “We always had a vision of going out with a big f—ing bang and not playing county fairs and clubs with one or two original band members. Our job here is done!”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Motley Crue have called it quits. READ FULL STORY
There’s a scene in the also-ran ’90s teen film Empire Records where one of the titular music store’s employees sorts through the CDs snatched by a just-caught shoplifter. The clerk is appalled that said juvenile criminal would only be jacking rap and metal and encourages him to listen to some jazz.
The passive suggestion in that scene is that obsession over those genres is best suited to 14-year-olds who haven’t yet grown out of their age of aggression. If that’s true, then I am undoubtedly regressing, as I spent roughly 79 percent of 2013 listening to fantastically guttural hip-hop and ultra-intense metal.
Luckily, metal’s constant shape-shifting and envelope-pushing provide a multitude of approaches and attitudes. The six albums listed below all fall under the heading of “metal,” but no two are the same. The only thing they share is a fundamental intensity that taps into something pure and primal. This year wasn’t as great a year as 2012, when stalwarts Baroness, Converge, High on Fire, and Gojira all hit remarkable peaks. But there was still plenty of shredding majesty and genuflections before darkness.
So enjoy my picks for the six (the most evil number) best metal albums of 2013. Apologies to Watain, Skeletonwitch, Kvelertak, Tombstoned, Amon Amarth, Ancient VVisdom, and Avatarium, all of whom made metal records I loved and just missed the cut for the top. Try ‘em all, and play ‘em loud. READ FULL STORY
Because all the world’s movie trailers aren’t going to soundtrack themselves, Sleigh Bells announced they have a new album coming out on October 8. It’s called Bitter Rivals (not to be confused with the UFC event of the same name), and the first single is the title track.
Though “Bitter Rivals” begins with a little acoustic strumming, it quickly morphs into the best kind of Sleigh Bells song: Raw, jittery, loud, and replete with the awesome chorus “You are my bitter rival/But I need you for survival.”
The video, made in collaboration with the Vice/Intel partnership The Creators Project, features also contains a bunch of scenes of singer Alexis Krauss shadow boxing, which will hopefully lead to some sort of title fight against Katy Perry. Check it out below. READ FULL STORY
Just as they did in 2011 with Nevermind, the surviving members of Nirvana are celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the band’s final studio album In Utero with a deluxe reissue.
Hitting store shelves on September 24 (pre-order on iTunes here), the anniversary edition of In Utero will be available in a number of different versions, but the most deluxe edition features three CDs featuring a fresh mix of the album, a never-before-released instrumental, Dave Grohl’s first demo, “Marigold,” the Steve Albini versions of singles “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” (R.E.M. producer Scott Litt sweetened the album versions), new liner notes by Bobcat Goldthwait, and Kurt Cobain’s handwritten lyrics.
There’s also a DVD that features the entirety of the legendary Live and Loud performance (among one of Nirvana’s final concerts), as well as a handful of other live performances and the director’s cut of the Anton Corbijn-helmed video for “Heart Shaped Box.” That version of the video appeared on Corbijn’s Director’s Series DVD, though it has never officially been available online—until now.
Watch the exclusive premiere of Corbijn’s version of “Heart Shaped Box” below:
READ FULL STORY
Back when the surviving members of Led Zeppelin unveiled their concert film Celebration Day a few months ago, they were peppered with so many questions about getting back together that they were pushed to the point of cattiness. But perhaps all those requests to dust those Houses of the Holy tracks off one more time has weakened singer Robert Plant, who intimated that he wouldn’t oppose another run in Led Zeppelin.
“You need to speak to the Capricorns,” Plant told the Australian television show 60 Minutes in reference to his bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. “I’ve got nothing to do in 2014.” READ FULL STORY
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