Sunday, May 30, 2010
Any fan of Dennis Hopper will agree that one of his all-time best roles was in Tim Hunter's brilliant 1986 character study thriller The River's Edge as a crazed hermit with a tortured past and an inflatable girlfriend named Feck. Here is a scene from that amazing and underrated film in honor of the passing of one of America's most enigmatic screen stars, who finally succumbed to his long battle with prostate cancer this Saturday. He will be missed.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Head over to Big O Magazine and grab a beautiful audience recording of Neil Young's first stop on his current Twisted Tour with opening act, the legendary British folk master Bert Jansch at the gorgeous Palace Theatre in Albany, NY. Neil performs seven new songs off his forthcoming yet-to-be-titled album he has been working on in Los Angeles with veteran producer Daniel Lanois, not to mention a wide variety of choice nuggets from his massive archive of song. And while he plays it predominantly acoustic like he did during his 2007 Trunk tour, he also breaks out White Falcon and Old Black for some killer solo electric versions of such classic cuts as "Down By The River", "Ohio", "Cortez the Killer", "Cinnamon Girl" and a rare reading of the still-unreleased 1992 number "Hitchhiker". For a full review of the show, read the accompanying Big O article here. Also make sure you check out Jansch's stellar set as well, which the taper was kind enough to capture in addition to Neil's two-hour performance. Just act fast, because Big O doesn't keep this stuff up for long. Enjoy!
Fan footage of Neil Young at the Palace Theatre:
Friday, May 21, 2010
I'll never forget the first time I ever played Pac-Man. I believe it was at either the arcade at Nathan's on Old Country Road in Westbury or perhaps the Levittown Roller Rink or maybe even, for some strange reason, Borelli's, the Italian restaurant in East Meadow that my family and I have been dining at since it opened over 50 years ago.
Regardless, the moment I bugged my mom for a quarter and popped it into that glowing red "Insert Coin" button, I was immediately hooked. My obsession with Star Wars took a momentary detour for Pac-Man. I had just about everything: bedsheets, gumball machines, stickerbooks, that stupid board game, that even stupider Atari 2600 game, stuffed animals, rubber figures, the whole nine. If you were to see my notebooks from elementary school back then, they were covered with attempts to perfect the Pac-Man caricature. Game-wise, it took me a while to get to the Pretzel level, but I finally made it after several quarters and a lion's share of patience. It's hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Pac-Man became the national sensation that made 1980 one of the greatest periods of time ever, in spite of a recession, a hostage crisis with Iran and Richard Pryor nearly burning himself alive freebasing cocaine.
Here at the IRT, we pay tribute to the 1980 Midway/Namco game that started it all for many of us in Generation X. Thanks to Pac-Man, more kids are addicted to video games than they are to crack, smack or the wacky tobacc. Happy Anniversary, yellow guy.
Original 1980 Gameplay:
Pac-Man cartoon opening theme:
Pac-Man "A Bad Case of the Chomps"
Pac-Man Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee pasta commercial:
Monday, May 17, 2010
Message from Wendy Dio
"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever." - Wendy Dio
"Never More" with Elf 1973
"Man on the Silver Mountain" with Rainbow 1977
"Heaven and Hell" with Black Sabbath Live 1980
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Here's the press spiel. Will definitely be at that Chance show in Poughkeepsie! -Ed.
SOCIAL DISTORTION SIGNS WITH EPITAPH RECORDS
May 11, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA - Epitaph Records is proud to welcome Southern California's iconic rock ‘n' roll group Social Distortion to the label with plans to release their first studio album since 2004 in fall 2010. The signing pairs one of rock ‘n' roll's most renowned bands with one of the most respected independent labels for what could be the greatest match in decades.
"We feel that Epitaph has a natural understanding of Social Distortion; both the history of the band and the direction we want to go," says frontman Mike Ness. "Combine that with their successful track record and it felt like a good next step for us. We've always been open to new ideas and pushing the envelope, but we have also been very conscientious about the decisions we've made. We considered a lot of options, but in the end, Epitaph feels like the right home for us. We're looking forward to taking this step forward, opening some new doors with this upcoming album and this next chapter of Social Distortion."
"My relationship with Mike goes way back to the beginnings of our careers in the LA music scene," adds Epitaph owner and president Brett Gurewitz. "Through the years Social Distortion have been a matchless voice in American rock and roll and I couldn't be more thrilled to play a part in the next chapter for this great band."
In March the band entered a Burbank studio to record their yet to be titled seventh studio album, produced by Mike Ness, which is slated for release this fall.
"We went back to tape, old compressors and old microphones," Ness recently told Spinner.com. "We're just really trying to fight modern technology as much as possible."
"The record reminds me very much of Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (the band's 1992 release), but also I'm bringing elements of early New York '70s punk," said Ness.
Social Distortion also recently announced a U.S. summer tour with Dan Sartain and The Action Design. The tour kicks off July 27 in Poughkeepsie, NY and makes seven stops in the Northeast before the band heads to Chicago for an August 7 main stage performance at this year's Lollapalooza. Dates with Dan Sartain and The Action Design resume in Green Bay, Wisconsin on August 8. A complete list of tour dates follows.
Formed in Fullerton, CA in 1979, Social Distortion have spent the last three decades performing their signature style of roots driven rock ‘n' roll and hard luck stories for fans worldwide while recording six classic, critically heralded albums including Mommy's Little Monster, Prison Bound, Social Distortion, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, White Light, White Heat, White Trash and Sex, Love and Rock ‘n' Roll.
Social Distortion Tour Dates:
July 27 - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance
July 28 - Hampton Beach, NH - Casino Ballroom
July 30 - Providence, RI - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
July 31 - Hartford, CT - The Webster
Aug 1 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
Aug 3 - Wantagh, NY - Mulcahy's
Aug 4 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club
Aug 5 - Rochester, NY - Nola's BBQ
Aug 7 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
Aug 8 - Green Bay, WI - Oneida Casino
Aug 10 - Council Bluffs, IA - Stir Cove @ Harrah's
Aug 11 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
Aug 13 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
Aug 14 - Medford, OR - Medford Armory
"Ball and Chain"
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Exciting news for fans of the former Company Flow wordsmith who were wondering what his next move following the folding of Definitive Jux might be. Here's the label spiel:
Few artists can combine uncomfortable with catchy; paranoiac with head-nodding; morbid with springy. It's hard to scare the sh!t out of you while simultaneously keeping your foot moving. Rapper, producer and Def Jux founder El-P knows how to get to parts of the brain others can't. As a solo artist and frontman for seminal hip-hop group Company Flow or producer of Cannibal Ox, Cage, Mr. Lif, Aesop Rock, NIN, Beck, The Mars Volta (and many, many more), an El-P production can drive you to hide underneath the bed, punch a wall and nod your head all at the same time. Which brings us to Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 (August 3rd, Gold Dust), the sort of, kind of but not really follow-up to his past two mixes of the same name previously released at live shows.
It's another unique release in the artist's catalog. In the tradition of Company Flow's Little Johnny From The Hospitul (1998), El's own Collecting The Kid (2005), and more recently Weareallgoingtoburninhellmeggamixxx2 (2007), Hell3 is a fully realized suite of instrumentals that continues to exemplify the producer's versatile, otherworldly, futuristic and wholly original sonic worldview.
"I wanted to do little mini-movements that had a real beginning, middle and end and then moved on," says El-P. "The challenge for me was taking all these seemingly unrelated little pieces of music I had laying around and fitting them together as a cohesive piece. I wanted to craft a record that had an arc."
Given this format, Hell3 both sounds similar to and nothing like anything you've heard before. "Drunk With a Loaded Pistol" starts off woozy and deranged before evolving into a warning alarm/drum attack. "Time Won't Tell" opens as a soundtrack for the apocalypse followed by the layering of guitar-driven pop over boom-bap drums. As the album title implies, El-P creates a dark, dystopian sonic universe filled with ominous basslines and thumping, punishing drums.
Comprised of original instrumentals as well as remix instrumentals to Kidz in the Hall's "Driving Down the Block" and Young Jeezy's "I Got This," Hell3 represents songs that were meticulously crafted yet never found a home on a proper release. While sonically different from J Dilla's instrumental masterpiece Donuts, that album would prove inspirational to El-P. "Like Donuts, I wanted to keep things short and to the point. I think that's an aspect of instrumental music that so many more people can relate to. I didn't want anyone to listen to this record and at any point get bored."
While the producer is currently working on the follow-up to 2007's I'll Sleep When You're Dead, Hell3 functions as both a stopgap and standalone album. "This was a chance for me to give something to my fans as a reward for their patience as I worked on my new record. With the past Megamixxes, I never sat down and really tried to make a record. It was more like, 'Here's a bunch of cool stuff you haven't heard.' I look at this new one as a proper album. Me calling it a Megamixxx is just an excuse to get to Volume Three of anything."
01. Take You Out At The Ball Game
02. Whores:The Movie
03. Meanstreak (In 3 Parts)
05. Drunk With A Loaded Pistol
06. Time Won't Tell
07. Secret Police Man's Ball
08. I Got This (El-P Remix) Redux
09. Jump Fence, Run, Live
10. He Hit Her So She Left
11. Driving Down The Block (El-P Remix) Redux
12. Honda Redux
13. How To Serve Man (Stripped)
14. Contagious Snippet (Wilder Zoby Feat. El-P)
15. Eat My Garbage 2