More Shocking than Marilyn Manson

LHROOHcoverWhen I was a teenager Marilyn Manson’s released his autobiography The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell. I loved that book. It blew my young impressionable mind. I read it three times. I was shocked, appalled and completely enthralled with the tales of debauchery and drug use and… well, stuff that Marilyn Manson does.

But that was then and this is now. I’ve grown up a bit in that time and I’ve read a few more biography’s of rock stars since then and Marilyn Manson doesn’t seem very shocking anymore.


Here are some of the newer books that make Manson seem tame.

Slash – Marilyn Manson writes about kicking out his original bassist Gidget Gein when he slash_book_coverdiscovers him smoking crack with prostitutes. Slash writes about smoking crack with his mom’s boyfriend when he was 14.

Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen – Jourgensen was a guinea pig for Timothy Leary’s experiments, lost a toe to heroin addiction and hates 90% of the people he ever met. Of course, if crack cocaine has produced anything good in it’s history it was definitely “Jesus Built My Hotrod.”

Life by Keith Richards – This book is shocking because Keef actually talks about his development as a guitar player and songwriter instead of just focusing on tales of groupies and heroin. And yes, he did snort his dad’s ashes. What son wouldn’t?

140The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock by Charles White -Here’s the book to turn to if you want to read about sick sex stuff. Little Richard was a strange priapic ranger. He also claims to have once had a threesome with Buddy Holly (with a girl in the middle).

The Biography of Elton John by Philip Norman – Shocking because Elton John is just so…boring. I expected some sort of excess or strange sexual stuff, but for the most part you have to read slanderous newspapers for that.

Mustaine by Dave Mustaine – Why does Dave Mustaine still hate Metallica so much? I can’t imagesfigure it out. I’m glad he was kicked out of Metallica. If it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t have “Peace Sells,” “Trust,” or Countdown to Extinction.

Red by Sammy Hagar – The most shocking thing about this book is that I actually read the whole thing.

Does the Noise in my Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler – I like Aerosmith as much as the next guy, but a 350 page song is a bit too much.


The Problem with ‘Pay to Play’

In the past few months I’ve come across a several blogs and people griping and moaning pay_to_playabout the practice of ‘Pay to Play.’ My blog post of a the Bridging the Music Local Band Showcase continues to draw readers based on the Google search “Bridging the Music pay to play.” And being in a band myself I have firsthand knowledge of how this sort of thing works. The thing I notice about just about every website I see dedicated to exposing the practice is that they’re all missing some underlying problems and offering no solutions to solve them.


The term “Pay to Play’ is a little misleading. It’s not a strict trade of money for a spot on a bill. What usually happens is a band is contacted by a promoter (or Event Organizer) and if they agree to the terms set forth they are sent about 100 tickets to sell. Usually tickets go for $10. If a band sells all of them they’ll be given $2 for every ticket sold. 99 or less and they only get one. Now, to be clear, this is a good deal. A bad deal involves buying all the tickets up front or having a mandatory minimum to sell.


This isn’t much of a problem if you’re playing with a well-known national act (say The Misfits, Kittie, Otep, Wednesday 13). People will buy tickets because they know it is worth $10 to see those bands. It’s a little bit of a harder sell when your doing a show like Bridging the Music or Spring Fest because your asking people to drop $10 on a bunch of bands they’ve never heard of and who probably suck. Basically to sell a ticket for something like this you have to convince people your band is worth spending the $10 to see. I’m not good at this. My band is worth maybe $3 to go see. We’re working on making it to $5.


It probably wouldn’t be as much of a problem for me personally if I didn’t live 2 hours from where these events are held. Have you ever tried selling a $10 ticket for a show that far away? You might as well try to sell someone a fart.


But logistical problems aside, there is the problem of where does the money go? I don’t mind getting only $1 for every ticket I sell. Hell, I’m happy to play for free. The problem I have is that someone is getting $9 for every ticket I sell. Does that go to the venue? To other bands? To lights and sound production? As far as I can tell it just goes in someones pocket. And they do this to other bands so they make a pretty good living doing… well, nothing. Being a concert promoter/event organizer must be the easiest job in the world. It’s like being at the top of a great pyramid scheme that young naive musicians just cant wait to be a part of.


That being said, what’s the biggest problem with this. I mean, every one knows you have to spend money to make money right?


The problem is, making music shouldn’t be about making money. I play in a band and consider it a hobby. I’m just like the guy fixing up a motorcycle or building a model train set only instead of buying a new carburetor or track, I buy strings and 9V batteries. I don’t expect to make a million dollars; I just want to have some fun. But I don’t want to be taken advantage of.


StayAway04Luckily, there are a few venues in my area where I don’t have to deal with this crap. I can play at the Buzzbin Shop or Sadie Rene’s. Hopefully the guys at Breakin Your F’n Records will come up with some good alternatives. But as long as there’s money in it I don’t think this practice will stop. And though I’m getting out of this game, I’m betting there’s two more bands lined up waiting to jump in.

Renaissance of Music Video?

On our way back from Garbage @ House of Blues Patrick and I were discussing the decline of the music video in popular media. The subject came up because he was turned on to Garbage by their video for “Push It.” Both of us being music fans we were saddened that this alternative venue for artists to create was slowly heading for extinction.

Then this came up on my Facebook feed:

I’ve always loved music videos. They’re a great way to add another dimension to a song and for artists to express themselves visually instead of just audibly. This is the best video I’ve seen since… well, it might just be the best video I’ve ever seen.

While Alice in Chains have always produced great videos (see: “Rooster” and “I Stay Away“) this blew me away. And seeing as how it’s the fourth video from their new album I think it also tells us that record companies are now willing to drop money on the mini movies.

And the greatest thing is that I didn’t have to wait through a bunch of Spice Girls, Limp Bizkit or Chris Brown videos to see it. I didn’t have to stay up until 3 am when MTV finally played the good stuff. I just had to click on a link and it popped up. It’s great that cable television is no longer the supervisor of music video because now we can have true subversion like the above and semi-pornography like Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”

I thought the video was dead, but thanks to Youtube and Vevo it looks like they’re back and better than ever. The only problem is that you have to search a little deeper for them.

I don’t have space (and you don’t have the time) to post all of my favorites, but here are a few of the greats:

And a cool article from Billboard:

The Best Soundtracks

Do you remember back when movie soundtracks were the most awesome thing on the planet? Not only could you get a few rare and/or unreleased songs from bands that you already liked, but it also gave you the opportunity to check out some new bands that you may like. Sadly, it’s been quite a while since I’ve come across any good soundtrack albums. I’m not sure why the industry has gotten away from them or if I just haven’t noticed recent ones. Either way, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites.

You’ll notice that Grease and Saturday Night Fever didn’t make the cut. This is because I don’t care much for disco or John Travolta.

The Beavis and Butthead Experience – It’s more of a compilation than a soundtrack, but it 600full-beavis-&-butthead-experience,-the-coverstill holds a place in my heard because it was my introduction to all the bands on it. And there’s some killer tracks from Nirvana, Megadeth, Aerosmith and White Zombie to name a few. And the immortal “I Got You Babe” from Cher with B & B.

Spawn – Remember those 2 weeks in the late ’90’s when techno was going to be the next big thing after grunge, but then it didn’t happen because of Limp Bizkit? If it wasn’t for this album I wouldn’t either. There’s some great pair ups between awesome metal bands like Filter, Marilyn Manson and Korn with electronic acts like… well, there are some I swear. I just don’t remember them. The Butthole Surfers track on this is one of my favorite songs from them.

Demon Knight – Pantera, Ministry, Megadeth and that Filter song that was on 90 % of the soundtracks ever released.

Queen of the Damned – This album is one of those rarities where a contract SNAFU leads to something magic. It would have been cool to hear those songs sung by Jonathan Davis, but having them sung by Chester Bennington and Wayne Static makes them gold. Not to mention this album helped to turn me on to artists like kidneythieves and Godhead.

downloadRocky Horror Picture Show – You know you love it. I hear you shiver; with antici- (say it!) pation.

Hedwig and the Angry Itch – If you don’t own this go out and buy it. Some of the greatest songs ever to come out of a mockumentary are featured here. Hell, even Meatloaf covered one.

Coyote Ugly – Whoops! How did this get here.

Purple Rain – I’m not ashamed to say I love this album. Think of all the great tunes! “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” “I Would Die 4 U,” “Darling Nikki” and “Purple Rain.”Natural_Born_Killers_(soundtrack)_(1994)

Natural Born Killers – Back before Trent Reznor did mediocre soundtracks for David Fincher he did awesome ones for David Lynch and Oliver Stone. This one is great not just for the great songs from Jane’s Addiction, Cowboy Junkies, L7, Leonard Cohen and Nine Inch Nails, but also the dialogue from the film weaving in and out and making for a unique listening experience.

Pulp Fiction – I don’t really hate John Travolta. Or maybe I just like the surf rock, old-timey country and Urge Overkill’s version of “Girl, You’ll Be  A Woman Soon” so much that I don’t notice.

Heavy Metal 2000 – While the original contained some killer tunes from 80’s rockers this is a must have for fans on music from the 00’s. Days of the New, Queens of the Stone Age, Monster Magnet and arguably the best Pantera song ever recorded.

The_Crow_soundtrack_album_coverThe Crow – A mess-up at the BMG offices sent me this and Megadeth’s Youthanasia instead of Blues Traveler when I was a teenager and I haven’t been the same since. This album has some of the greatest stuff I’ve ever heard from The Cure, Nine Inch Nails and Violent Femmes as well as tracks form a few really cool industrial bands I never heard from again. They tried to reclaim the magic on the sequels, but were never able to match it again.

So what’s your favorite soundtrack?