I Fuckin’ Miss Ozzfest and SOTU


 

At the beginning of this century there was an annual ritual called Ozzfest. What happened was that Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne would get together all of the great metal bands touring that year and put them together on an awesome bill. Then in 2005 another awesome fest called Sounds of the Underground began trekking across the country. Unfortunately by 2010 both of these awesome metal tours dried up and we were left with only Warped and a few sponsored by energy drink companies.

Ozzfest___Possessed_by_gomediaNow don’t get me wrong, I did make it to Mayhem Fest in 2009 and I enjoyed it. But Mayhem and Uproar don’t do nearly as good a job as Ozzfest or SOTU did of consistently booking bands that were worth the cover price every single year. They also can’t claim to have the same sort of impact on the genre of heavy metal music. Were it not for Ozzfest bands like Coal Chamber, Slipknot and Otep may never have achieved the level of popularity they have.

I want to say that the reason behind this has something to do with the rise of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal bands in the early aughts and the tendency of major labels to cash in on the trend, thereby ensuring that a young concertgoer like myself would have an interesting and pleasing plethora of bands to sate my highly refined palate.

And while I’m sure that argument would be true, that’s not the real problem.

2004demonThe real problem is that I’m old. I find myself watching bands occasionally and thinking, ‘damn, I would have loved these guys ten years ago.’ Sometimes I think ‘I don’t understand this. They’re just jumping around, screaming and banging on instruments.’ I also occasionally think ‘Gotta stay out of the pit. Gotta go to work in the morning.’

So while I saw and enjoyed nearly every awesome band that was touring from the year 2001-2009, these days I have trouble finding awesome bands to go see live. And I don’t think it’s because of a lack of awesome bands, I think it’s because of my heightened standards of what is awesome.

What are your thoughts? Do you still love going to shows or are you happy to stay at home and jam to Spotify? Do you find yourself tempted to drop the money for Uproar or pine for the days when you’d buy and Ozzfest ticket without even knowing the lineup?

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Coal Chamber & Fear Factory @ the Agora


11270704_10153269105956061_8145256622501936446_o16 August 2015

the Agora Theater; Cleveland, OH

Madlife, Saint Ridley, Devil You Know, Fear Factory, Coal Chamber

I don’t listen to heavy metal like I used to, but I find it’s really difficult to let go of the bands I listened to in high school. So when I saw a chance to see two of my favorites from yesteryear (and for only $20) I jumped at the chance. This is how I ended up jamming to sci-fi metal and horror metal last Sunday night when I should have been in bed resting for work on Monday.

A long Burger King line and last minute bowel movement made me just a little late to the show. I only caught the last song from Madlife, which was disappointing. Judging from my Spotify research they were the opening act I was most interested in seeing. They had a sound similar to Fear Factory, but mixed with nu-metal. Not anything I’m going to run out and buy, but something that sparked my interest.

Saint Ridley

Saint Ridley

Saint Ridley was a good heavy metal band. Unfortunately they were a typical heavy metal band. I didn’t really hear anything to differentiate them from hordes of other bands vying for my attention. They played a great set and managed to keep my attention, but this is the kind of stuff I would have been into 10 years ago.

Devil You Know

Devil You Know

I can’t say that I care for Devil You Know any more than I did for singer Howard Jones’ previous band, Killswitch Engage. I’m not sure what it was that turned me off from metalcore, but I never really cared for KsE. And DYK sounds very similar (though noticeably heavier). It hurts me to say that because aside from being a fellow Ohioan, Jones comes off as a really nice, funny guy. I also have to give them props on being killer musicians (I really dug the bassist Ryan Wombacher’s backup vocals), but it’s just not my cup of tea.

But all was right with the world after the lights dimmed and Fear Factory took the stage. I couldn’t help but feel a little scared as they broke into their buzz-saw guitar riffage and the mosh pit threatened to engulf the whole floor area.

(I was somewhat disappointed that the balcony section wasn’t opened. I’m a bit older now so I appreciate being able to sit down while watching a band, even if they are one of the heaviest in the known universe. Plus I’ve had a few harrowing experienced on the floor of the Agora Theater. When Primus played “Too Many Puppies” at Tour de Fromage in 2003 I thought I was going to get crushed to death and Ministry’s C-U-LaTour in 2008 resulted in several stitches on my forehead and years of Harry Potter jokes. (That Ministry show also featured both Fear Factory’s vocalist Burton C. Bell and bassist Tony Campos.))

But still, I was pumped to see Fear Factory. The last time I saw them was in 2004 and aside from Bell, it was a completely different band.* I was a little disappointed to not be seeing Raymond Herrera’s drumming again, but Mike Heller proved to be a very talented replacement. The last time I saw them I wasn’t very familiar with their material, but I’ve listened to them quite a bit over the past 11 years so I was able to sing along with “Edgecrusher” and “Replica.” I’m pleased to say I resisted the urge to hop into the pit during “Demanufacture” and only caught one elbow to the face from standing too close to the edge.

My biggest bitch of the evening is that FF only played a 50 minute set. I was thinking that they could have been the headliners. Until Coal Chamber took the stage.

Coal Chamber Cleveland Agora 8/16/2015I’ve hear Coal Chamber slammed a few times on sites like Metalsucks for being part of the nu-metal scene, but they’ve aged really well. I find their simplistic three chord metal songs catchy and driving. Plus they’ve definitely inspired a new wave of musicians. They’re the band that every nu-metal cover band has to cover, like a 2000’s AC/DC. I found a great spot just stage left of the barrier for the beginning of their set. You could feel the tension rising as guitarist Meegs Rascon played the opening lick to “Loco” and as soon as Dez Fafara sang “Pull” the crowd went nuts. I wanted to move around to get a better look at the pit, but I didn’t have to move very far. Little mini-pits kept popping up all around me like a whack-a-mole. One minute the guy next to you is a normal run-of-the-mill metalhead and the next minute he’s bouncing Coal Chamber Cleveland Agora 8/16/2015around like a three-year-old who just chugged a Red Bull. It was awesome! Within 5 songs they covered all my favorites with “Loco,” “Big Truck,” “Fiend,” and “Rowboat.” I didn’t care what they played after that. I was surprised that they didn’t play more off the new record, but I can’t complain because I knew most of the set, which helped keep me to singing along.

Perhaps the best part, and something that led me to crack up a few times, was how Rascon would spit straight up in the air and catch it in his mouth. Gross, but hilarious.

Bitch number 2 has to do with how the crowd immediately dispersed after “Sway.” Haven’t any of these people been to a show before? You stand around and yell really loud until they come back out and play another song or two.

Really though, it was the best show I’ve been to in a long time. I have to give props to the staff and roadies for their quick set changes. And though I’m not a fan of all the bands, they all gave really great performances.

I know there are only a few more shows left on the tour, but if you get a chance- get to one! You wont regret it… well, maybe you will if you get in the pit.

 

*2004 FF featured Bell, guitarist Christian Olde Wolbers, founding drummer Raymond Herrera and bassist Byron Stroud (formerly of Strapping Young Lad) 2015 FF features Bell, founding guitarist Dino Cazeres, bassist Tony Campos (Static X, Ministry) and drummer Mike Heller.

Garbage – Self Titled


garbage15 August 1995, Almo Records

A little while ago I stopped by my baby mama’s house after work and still had my headphones from my new MP3 player hanging out of my shirt. Being 6 years old, her niece was really interested in this new mechanical device and insisted on listening to it. Being the nice uncle I am I obliged.

But I was left with a dilemma. What music did I have on my MP3 player that she would enjoy? I knew she was a fan of female singers like Ariana Grande, but I didn’t have anything like that on the gadget. If memory serves I only had 2 female fronted acts on my MP3 player at the time. One being The Pretty Reckless and the other being Garbage. I’m not sure Shirley Manson would make a perfect role model for a 6 year old, I’m sure she’s better than Taylor Momsen (and probably Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and a plethora of other slut-pop superstars). I also figured she would like the melodies and message of songs like “When I Grow Up” and “Cherry Lips.” So I cued up Garbage and let her listen. She seemed to really enjoy it.

A few weeks later she asked to listen to my MP3 player again. I asked, “Oh, would you like to listen to Garbage again?” She looked at me as seriously as only a 6 year old can be and told me “I’m not allowed to listen to garbage.”

This gave me a good chuckle. Especially since her mother’s and my idea of garbage are sure to be very different.

 

I always wondered why Garbage wasn’t a bigger band than they were. But then I checked on Wikipedia and found out they were huge. I guess I was misled by the cheap ticket prices when I saw them at the House of Blues and their absence on rock radio. It also seems like their nestled somewhere between industrial, grunge and bubblegum pop, which is a very precarious place to be. But they have sold millions of albums and recorder the theme for a James Bond flick.

And they had a string of really, really great hits on their debut. “VOW” is one of my favorites. I’m so used to it being the opening track on Absolute Garbage that I can’t get into “Supervixen” (which is a good song, but has verses that are a little too quiet).

“Only Happy When It Rains” is a great upbeat rocker that makes it difficult to sit still. “Stupid Girl” uses some simple drums and guitar to maximum catchiness, and “Queer” is close to the top of my list of sexiest songs ever recorded.

 

And then a lot of the songs that I’ve never heard are just as awesome. “Not My Idea,” “Dog’s New Tricks” and “My Lover’s Box” rock just as hard as anything else on the album. It’s the kind of music you’d expect of a post-grunge project featuring the producer of Nevermind and Siamese Dream.  

But some of it is filler. “As Heaven Is Wide” and “A Stroke of Luck” both rely a bit too much on drum machines and distorted guitar noise for my taste. For the life of me I can’t figure out why the album closer “Milk” was chosen as a single. I really don’t care for that song.

Of course, all the songs that I don’t like on this album are ballads; so maybe if you give it a spin yourself you’ll feel differently. It’s well worth a listen.

 

For more Platinum Anniversary Albums:

Foo Fighters – Self Titled

Clutch – Self Titled

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “The Crow”

Marilyn Manson- Portrait of an American Family

Weezer – The Blue Album

Soundgarden – Superunknown

Happy Monday


So, I’m pretty silly at work. My job can occasionally be challenging and labor intensive, but for the most part it’s monotonous and dull. Which is why I try to use my time on the clock in a constructive way. I do most of my air guitar practice at work. I also spend too much time singing love songs to any women in my general vicinity.

But last week I experienced something that filled me with woe. Not one but TWO girls looked at me like and idiot when I started singing George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You.” It wasn’t the normal ‘you’re an idiot’ stare that I get when singing love songs to coworkers, but a ‘what the hell are you singing you idiot’ stare. They never heard of George Harrison!

I felt like Ahab talking to someone who had never heard of Moby Dick. Ken Hamm talking to someone who had never heard of Jesus. And Bill Cosby talking to someone who had never heard of Rohypnol.

So to do my duty and try to make the world a better place I’m sharing with you a small bit of greatness. Enjoy!

Are You Lost 13


Picard Why would you google thatI like to think it’s because I’m such a great writer that people are coming to read my thoughts on music. Of course, what’s really happening is that people are typing crazy shit into Google and somehow ending up here. After reading Lebrain’s posts about what search terms lead to his site I thought it would be fun to share what leads people to The Audible Stew.

stevie nicks nue – I’m really not sure when her new album comes out. I’m sure that’s what you were looking for.

The kind of girl you want to take home to Mom.

The kind of girl you want to take home to Mom.

stevie nicks topless cover

james root beard

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juggalo porn

maria brink hairstyle – Of all the weird search terms that have led people to this site, this is the one I’m most ashamed of.

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sexy maria brink

мария бринк 2015 -I think they were looking for Maria Brink, but I’m not sure.

Was this the kind of nude metal chick you were looking for?

Was this the kind of nude metal chick you were looking for?

nude metal chicks

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kim dylla sexy and nude – That makes sense. Since you couldn’t find pictures of her sexy or nude, just try both!

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marilyn manson’s penis – What the hell is wrong with people?