Anchorhead vs. Galactic Empire


Anchorhead vs. Galactic Empire

Anchorhead vs. Galactic Empire

I have seen Galactic Empire blowing up lately, and I love it… but it makes me wonder what happened to Anchorhead, who was doing it first.  (Yes, I know scores of metal versions of Star Wars songs are all over the Innerwebs, but these guys are the best.)

Here’s some side-by-side comparisons…

Anchorhead:

…and check out this incredible entire live show!  Apparently all these cats ever left was one EP & a handful of performances.  Their guitars have so many strings, it takes 12 parsecs for any non-force user to make their way across the fretboard.

I did download all I could form MySpace, but all I could get of some of the stuff was some snippets of songs.  Their interpretations are proggy, masterful, eerie, and dark.  I would love to get my hands on the EP.

Galactic Empire:

Obviously, these scruffy-looking Nerf Herders rock too.  The costumes and video production are all-out.  The metal seems happier if that’s even a thing.  They used kickstarter to fund their eventual takeover of the galaxy.  Galactic credits go far with the Empire.  I’m anxious for their full-length album, too.

It looks like of the two, these guys are the only ones currently in existence.

Vote for Your Favorite:

I would love to see a fan mix of the movies using either of these guys to score the entire thing.  I don’t think Disney would go for it, unless like Darth Lucas they realize they can make more money by selling the movies again to the same people that already own all possible formats & variations.

Bonus:  Check out Sarlacc!

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This is most likely more awesome than anything you will do today.


Thanks to Farcebook, these two articles about Finnish band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät came on to my radar:

Besides being awesome new (to me) enjoyable punk rock, I feel like it served as some sort of cosmic reminder, warning, or inspiration.  Not only to me, but to everyone who happens to read this.

Not feeling a bunch of paragraphs today, so I will hit you with a bulleted list.

  • Don’t ever let anyone tell you “no.”  Don’t let anyone else set your limits.  You can do whatever you set your mind to, and tell them to shove it.
  • Don’t let anyone put you in a category.  If you feel like you’re different because of your gender, race, orientation, religion, or a disability… own it, don’t let it own you.
  • A little railing against convention, society, or any set standard is good for everybody.  Punk rock can be all about a healthy expression of primal aggression.
  • Learning about the lives of others who have things differently than you is incredibly enlightening.
  • Someone with special needs like Down Syndrome or Autism with different abilities ought not be an object of derision.  They have thoughts, feelings, and aspirations just like you.  They get pissed off just like you.  They rock just like yo
  • Shattering expectations is the most badass thing you can do.

I’m sure there’s more, but you get my point.  Notice little things like this in life.  Be thankful for your insight.  Be thankful that there are others out there reminding you to put forth your best effort.  Learn something or learn about something often.  Make some noise that gets heard.

Check out these videos.

…and more.

I need to get my hands on some music & get a peep at this documentary.  Anyone already have these cats on their radar?  Tell me more!

Gig Checklists


Jim Dunlop Tortex Fin PicksInspired by a post called Gig Preparation, I thought I’d make some checklists.  I think we’ll need one (and a half) for our stuff, one for setting up the gig, and one for doing stuff at the gig.  The lists would change depending on who’s working the gig or who set it up, but you should be able to help with the flow of things even if you’re not the organizer.  This is also from the point of view of a guitar player, because that’s all I’ve ever been.  I’m guessing it would be the same for a bass player & quite similar for a drummer.

Gig Checklists…

-·♠·-

Before the gig:

☐ Get all the details in order:

☐ The bands
☐ The place
☐ The time
☐ The price
☐ All ages or 21+
☐ Is it a benefit?
☐ Any specials if it’s a bar?
☐ Selling tickets?

.
Promote!

☐ …using social media – Link the crap out of details/event pages.
Flyers – Hang ’em up, pass ’em out.
☐ Word of mouth

.
☐ Communicate with the other bands…

☐ Sharing equipment? – Cut down on changeovers between bands.
☐ Playing order?

.
☐ Do you need your own door person?

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Stuff to take:

☐ Guitar – In a case or gig bag, I actually saw a guy use a bath-towel once.
☐ Backup guitar(s) – Don’t kill the show when you break a string.
☐ Amp head & cab (or combo)
☐ The merch box(es)
☐ Your gig backpack or briefcase. (“What’s that.” you ask? Keep reading!)

.

|·| |·| |·| |·| | |:|  |  | · |   | · |   | · |  | · |   |   |

.

An acoustic guitar string. 0.044-inch (1.117 m...I make sure to have my backpack full o’ stuff with me at every gig.  Over the years, every item in it has proved useful and one time or another.

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In The Gig Backpack or Briefcase:

☐ Tuner (Get a pedal one, so no one can hear you tune.)
Wireless system (Certainly not a necessity, but fun.)
9V battery (Are the lithium ones OK for pedals?)
☐ Guitar cables (1 more than you need)
☐ Speaker cables (1 more than you need)
Strings (At least a full set, …any leftovers you’ve got should be in there.)
☐ Extra power cord
Power Strip (w/ Circuit Breaker)
3-Prong to 2-Prong adapter (or 2)
Duct Tape or Gaff Tape (or both… Gaff doesn’t leave a mess.)
☐ Tablet (Setlists, Merch Prices, Boredom)
☐ A sharpie or 2 (Setlists, Rock Star Autographs)
☐ A Leatherman-type tool. (Crazy or not-so crazy.)
☐ Guitar picks (I use Jim Dunlop Fins.)
☐ An Extra Strap
☐ Flashlight (A really bright one helps)
☐ Extension Cord

[::( )::]

Stuff that I don’t have, but might be a good idea…

☐ Pedal(s) – Wah, Distortion, Foot Switch, Etc.
Mic clip(s)
String Winder
☐ Pick strip or holder
Slide / eBow / Capo
☐ Strap locks
Trem poker
☐ Ear plugs
☐ Nail clippers
☐ acetaminophen / ibuprofen / aspirin
☐ Band-aids
☐ Cloth or towel

.

\m/_(-_-)_\m/

At the gig:

☐ Set stuff on the stage for the 1st band & any bands sharing
Backline the “main” act if there is one & set up in front of them.
☐ Tune (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song! – Tune your backup guitar too.)
Let the Sound Technician do their job.
☐ Set up a Merch Table/Corner/Counter/Box.
☐ Put your door person at the door.
☐ Using a setlist? Reach into that backpack & get one made!
☐ Have a drink? Water, Beer, or something harder.
☐ Tune Again (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song!)
☐ Unless you’re awesome & have a tech, get a string-wingman.

.

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Danelectro Vintage Power Source A cool looking...

I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting, but I think this is a pretty decent start.  What do you think I’m missing from the list?  Do you have an emergency gig kit?  What’s in it?

D'Andrea Gmk1 Guitar Cleaner Maintenance Kit

Psst… It’s a bar, not a stadium.


Sound Mixing deskI’m always amused when I’m out at a bar gig (whether playing or just attending) and I hear bands spitting directions to the person at the soundboard.  Let the sound guy do his or her job.  (Is there a feminine or neutral  form of “Sound Guy” that doesn’t sound dumb?)

Sure you can ask for a level adjustment if something’s drastically off, but don’t demand.  It makes you look like a pompous ass.  Then again it’s rock and roll, and it’s a bar.  There are monitors at all?  What a luxury!  If you can’t plow your way through a set on instinct with your band mates & sound somewhat in-synch, it’s time to find a new band.  So shut up, grab a beer, and play… Rock Star.

Onlywatchthebandwithaguy(orgirl)thatIknowinit-itis


This ties in with an earlier blog post.  I’m just trying to figure out how to reach people.  When people who have never heard of us catch us play, we generally have people coming up to say they dig it. It’s a good feeling.  I’d like it to happen more often because I think the band is doing a fun thing, and I’d like more people to share in the fun.

Getting people to come out in the first place is one struggle.  Getting yourself in front of an audience that’s already there is another struggle.  Getting people to watch you once they’re there seems to be an entirely different struggle.

We'd like to thank Bobby for coming out tonight!

Has this ever happened to you? Yes, it has.

Lately I’ve seen a trend of bands telling people saying “hey we’re 1st, come early” or “hey we’re last, come late” then their fans show up for just them & don’t bother to check anyone else out.   I generally tell people to come for the whole show & check out the other bands.  We try to book shows with bands we dig, just for this reason.

Spider-\m/an

Spider-Man :: This has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I found it hilarious.

I hate to come of as a whiner, and I know I will to some readers.  I’m just trying to express my frustrations, and this blog is a forum for just that.  In fact, it’s my forum for just that.  I’m trying to work it out for myself & to possibly get some insight from other local (and some not so local) musicians.

In fact, I think I have ranted about this very topic online before, maybe just a similar one… but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

I also don’t want to dismiss the people that come see us at just about every show.  Your presence is incredibly important to us, and we value it.  We just want some more people there to watch with you, and we don’t want things to get stale where you’re seeing the same show over & over.  Even if you’ve only caught us once, or if you’ve bought a T-shirt, or told us you liked a video online… you are awesome and we truly appreciate your support & attendance.

I recently saw the worst case ever of this crazy only-watch-the-band-with-a-guy-I-know-in-it thing going on.  We played a show where people watched the band they came to see, then just absolutely bailed.  Not even the bands stuck around to check out the other acts, one of which was a touring act & the reason we were all playing the show.  It’s disrespectful.  I get that stuff comes up, & sometimes you need to go.  It happens.  Sometimes there’s burnout.  Sometimes there’s arrogance.  Sometimes there are good reasons.  Sometimes you’re just being ignorant.

I know personally that a bunch of people from my wife’s family came out to a show at a bar once where my wife & I absolutely love the wings.  We had told everyone how cool the place was, they all decided to come to the ‘Burgh to eat some legendary wings & watch my band play… killing 2 birds with one stone.  They sat through one band that everyone liked, then through a 2nd band that was just absolutely awful… one member was so drunk and/or high that he would strum the guitar and look down at it dazed for a minute or so while apparently hearing stuff that none of the rest of us could.  This was all endured just to see us play.  The place was packed all night, the bands & their fans watched each other, and everyone had a good time.

Not to judge a book by its cover, but I all kinds of judged books by their covers the other night and I hit the nail on the proverbial head.  A quick scan of the room revealed some crazy demographics.  More specifically a bunch of old people trying to look cool and standing on tippy-toes watching their kid play with no general comprehension of what was going on up on the stage or around them.  If I’m calling them old, you know they were old.  We knew these were parents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors… and they were going to split as soon as their kid’s bands was done.  Boy, did they ever.  If it was a cartoon, there would have been a cloud of dust & a cartoon noise.  Whoop!

It must be happening everywhere because the touring band had it written into their contract that they weren’t to be slated to play last on any of their shows.  You can’t blame them.  You tour to build support for your album, and if no one sees you play, no one’s going to buy your album or you merch or come see you the next time you roll through town.  We took the cleanup/closer spot because none of the other bands would.

Do you know what it's like to be on the bill and to play for fifteen minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don't talk to ME about Rock n' Roll!  I'm out there in the clubs and on the streets and I'm living it!  I AM ROCK N' ROLL!

Do you know what it's like to be on the bill and to play for fifteen minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don't talk to me about Rock n' Roll! I'm out there in the clubs and on the streets and I'm living it! I AM ROCK N' ROLL!

We didn’t help their cause because we apparently weren’t a draw either.  We watched the touring band, & they watched us.  The handful of people that came to see us were there for all of the sets that night… and the show started an hour or so later than it was supposed to.  It was awesome that the touring band actually stuck around to see us play.  I’m sure on the road they’ve seen crappy band upon crappy band night after night… but it was an unparalleled show of respect for us, and assured us that the sound guy & doorman had to stick around until we were done.  Ha ha.

My boyfriend's lame-ass band... live at the Radisson

Playing their new hit, ''Girl Girl Girl''!

Well, there were more people there to watch us… since it was a rare all-ages gig for us, we had an under-ager and her mom eager to see us… we were told we’d be rocking about 8:00pm.  We eventually went on much much later, way past the under-ager’s bed time.  So, two people who bought tickets & came out expressly to see us had to leave early and were unable to see us because of all the ridiculousness and shuffling.  Then the dozens of people who came out to see the other bands watched them then left.  Immediately.

The Sitter

Try as he might, Jeremy could just not meditate in front of a stereo. Live music is the only way to go.

It would be nice to say that whoever sold the most tickets had to go last… but then again, they did sell a lot of tickets, so that has a certain amount of pull as far as when you want to go on.

I didn’t hear any of the opening bands even mention the touring band… the headlining band that (again) we were supposed to be there in support of.

Before you say that my band sucks (you’re certainly entitled to your opinion), I’ll say that no one who left early would know, because they didn’t even give us a chance.  I’d rather clear the room myself than have it cleared for me.  How do you expose people to your live show, if the people in the place don’t even stick around for one song?

☘·☠·⚔·✪ Real McKenzies, Goddamn Gallows, The Bloody Seamen, Ernie and the Berts – Tue. Jun. 5th @ Altar Bar! ☘·☠·⚔·✪


That’s right, Ernie and the Berts are opening for Real McKenzies, Goddamn Gallows, & The Bloody Seamen on June 5th at the Altar Bar!

Hello faithful readers.  I’d like to sell mad tickets for this.  The Real McKenzies are right up my alley, these Goddamn Gallows cats look to be our kind of insane, & the Bloody Seamen remind of us our new bff‘s The Botched for some reason.

This is my personal plea to all of you to come out to this show & show us (Ernie and the Berts – the band, and the people) your support.  We’re selling the tickets for $12 a pop in advance, and we hope to sell out quick… so get a hold of me, or get a hold of Erin at ernie@ernieandtheberts.com to score your tix.

I know it’s a Tuesday, and I know it’s not a $5 bar show… but shows like this really help us get our music/name/faces out there.  Don’t you want more people to be aware of the nearly-controlled chaos that is Ernie and the Berts?

Drusky is getting warm to us, and it seems like the Altar Bar digs us… so we’d like to play more shows there more often.  The best way to do that is for us to convince your collective ass to come out to the shows, support national touring acts, local venues & entertainment companies, and local music…. and most of all to have a good time!

I mean, we like to be extra goofy, you never know what Ernie’s up to next.  The Seamen are just ridiculous and you have to see them live to believe it.  Look at the Gallow’s dudes photo & tell me they don’t like to party.  I hear that the Real McKenzies don’t wear anything under their kilts.  You have something going on a Tuesday night that can compare to that awesomeness?

Yeah, you have to get up for work the next day.  So do I.  So do most of the guys in the local bands.  You can deal with it.  Drink an extra coffee in the morning and man (or woman) up.

So, how many tickets do you want?

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Goddamn Gallows

The Goddamn Gallows

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen

Ernie and the Berts

Ernie and the Berts

Here are all the details so far, I hope to make a flyer as soon as possible…

The Bands:

The Place:

The Details:

http://twitter.com/#!/AltarBar/status/172831020033388544

Here’s a taste of what you might get…

Dethlehem & more at Stage AE the other night… Review/Photos/Video ☠


This isn’t all an all-out super in-depth review, but I wanted to post that I really enjoyed the show the other night at Stage AE with Ascend the Fallen, The Bloody Seamen, Lady Beast, & Dethlehem.  All of the bands put forth a great effort, and the (giant) crowd was pleased.  I managed to take a ridiculous amount of photos, and some of them even turned out pretty cool.

Professor Richard Smallchange & Harry Valentine

Professor Richard Smallchange (Channeling Lord Bonecrush) & Hairy Valentine

Check out my photos on Photobucket & Facebook here…

If you’re on the Facebook and know the bands (or anyone else) in the photos, please tag ’em!

Ascend the Fallen

Ascend the Fallen

Ascend the Fallen was all over the place… literally.  They’re quite the active bunch up on stage.  They run n’ jump all over the place & had the crowd all riled up.  Those cats can shred.  They were a perfect opener for this gig, getting everyone ready for the things to come.

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen

The Bloody Seamen always blow me away.  Their showmanship & dedication to character is unmatched.  My wife (who’s not a metal fan by any means) saw them for the first time the other night & became an instant fan.  Their catchy choruses, funny tales, and ridiculous stage presence will easily shanghai many a fan.  Something about everyone yelling during some of the aforementioned catchy choruses & the melodies have a very Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly sort of feel.  I’m sure the fife, accordions & bagpipes don’t hurt there either.  I’m going to have to try to barter with some doubloons to get my hands on some of their bootleg demos or something to hold me off until they have a proper album out for purchase.  Also… where else can you see a guitarist snap all of their strings with a machete at the end of their set, a fire-breathing sea-captain, and a bass player with a really creepy dead eye?  The highlight the other night was watching “Filthy” Cheswick Springdale decided to throw his guitar on the ground & assault it with his combo amp head while it squealed, only yo expertly cut it off when the song ended by unplugging the feedbacking beast.

Gunny

Gunny

Lady Beast

Lady Beast

Lady Beast rocked hard.  One dude on guitar had a Ravelle and made me extremely jealous.  Their singer is one hell of a positive role model for women into metal.  There were more ladies packed in front of the stage for their set than I have ever seen at a predominantly metal show in all my years of going to & playing shows combined.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s got great pipes and the band has a really heavy attack without sacrificing groove or melody.  These cats can play hard.  I’ll be anxiously awaiting their album, and I plan to check out more of their gigs!

Deb

Deb

Overlord Brom

Overlord Brom

Dethlehem

Dethlehem

Of course, I may have biased opinions on Dethlehem.  They are absolutely ridiculous, and no one deserved headline an all-local-acts show at Stage AE more than them.  These guys put a crazy amount of effort into not only the performance… but the song-writing, the shredding, the drumming, the singing, the over-all story arc, the costumes, and the entire production.  Someone needs to interview them & ask about the stuff they do to constantly take their playing & song-writing to the next level.  Trust me, it’s intense.  Sometimes people might look over that due to the theatrics.

Dethlehem

Dethlehem

It was great to be there for the first full show of the new Brutalitus the Bloodbeard, and it was very cool that Professor Dick Smallchange helped narrate and channeled Lord Bonecrush, joining the apparently chronic self-pleasuring barbarian-turned-blacksmith Sean “Hairy” Valentine for an encore.  The troll/ogre being made a eunuch, the birthing & bloody decapitation of said newborn, …both fantastic moments of on-stage debauchery.  The music itself was spectacular… with fretboard acrobatics by Bovice and Hildor, a helmeted Brom for nearly the entire show, Davidicus is truly a wizard of the low-end and keeping things going between songs with the interludes.  Bloodbeard proves himself to be a mighty vocalist, looking forward to his development with the band.

Headbangin' Harry

Headbangin' Hairy

I found a bunch of cool videos of that night online, enjoy!

If you have any links to more photos and/or video, please share!