Saturday, December 21, 2013

REFLECTIONS Announces Tour Supporting CHIMAIRA

The touring for the Twin Cities' Reflections in support of their Exi(s)t album grinds on, and the band recently announced a month-long tour supporting Chimaira with Iwrestledabearonce, Oceano, and Fit For An Autopsy. Reflections is first on the bill, so get to the venue early when this tour hits your town! Although this tour misses the Twin Cities, Reflections has two area dates bookending the trek.

Prior to the tour, Reflections plays Bubba's in Sauk Rapids, Minneapolis on Friday, January 24 with Sweep The Leg Johnny, Do As The Romans Do, and In The Line Of Duty. Upon returning home, Reflections plays the Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis on Sunday, March 9 alongside Animals As Leaders, After The Burial, Veil Of Maya, Erra, Navene-K, and Chon. Advance tickets for both shows are available through Ticketfly.

Current Reflections tour dates (all are with Chimaira, Iwrestedabearonce, Oceano, and Fit For An Autopsy unless otherwise indicated):

January 24 - Sauk Rapids, MN, Bubba's (w/Sweep The Leg Johnny, Do As The Romans Do, In The Line Of Duty)
January 30 - Worcester, MA, The Palladium
January 31 - Wilmington, DE, Mojo 13
February 1 - Poughkeepsie, NY, The Chance
February 3 - Springfield, VA, Empire
February 4 - Amityville, NY, Revolution Bar & Music Hall
February 5 - Pittsburgh, PA, The Altar Bar
February 6 - Reading, PA, Reverb
February 7 - Jacksonville, FL, Hooligan's
February 8 - Fayetteville, NC, The Drunk Horse Pub
February 9 - Charlotte, NC, The Casbah
February 10 - Norfolk, VA, The NorVA
February 11 - Knoxville, TN, NV Nightclub
February 12 - Atlanta, GA, The Masquerade
February 13 - Orlando, FL, Backbooth
February 14 - St. Petersburg, FL, The State Theatre
February 15 - Pensacola, FL, Vinyl Music Hall
February 17 - Broussard, LA, The Station
February 18 - Shreveport, LA, Riverside Warehouse
February 19 - Tulsa, OK, The Vanguard
February 21 - Kokomo, IN, Center Stage
February 22 - Louisville, KY, Diamond Pub & Billiards
February 23 - Newport, KY, Thompson House
March 9 - Minneapolis, MN, Skyway Theatre (w/Animals As Leaders, After The Burial, Veil Of Maya, Erra, Navene-K, Chon)
March 16 - Grand Prairie, TX, South By So What Fest (w/The Devil Wears Prada)

AFTER THE BURIAL to Tour with ANIMALS AS LEADERS, Play Minneapolis March 9

While on the topic of After The Burial, the band recently announced a slew of North American tour dates as direct support to Animals As Leaders with Navene-K and Chon, including hometown show at the Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis on Sunday, March 9. The initial batch of dates are listed below, and expect more to be added soon. Already fresh off a massive U.S. tour with Trivium and Devildriver in November and December, After The Burial heads to Australia in January before their next North American run.

The Minneapolis show is going to be huge since Veil Of Maya, Reflections, and Erra are also on the bill! Tickets for this show go on sale Friday, December 27 at 12:00 noon through Ticketfly.

Current tour dates for Animals As Leaders, After The Burial, Navene-K, and Chon:

February 24 - Tampa, FL, The Orpheum
February 25 - Atlanta, GA, Masquerade
February 26 - Greensboro, NC, Greene Street Club
February 27 - Baltimore, MD, Rams Head Live
February 28 - Philadelphia, PA, Trocadero Theatre
March 2 - New York, NY, Irving Plaza
March 4 - Montreal, QC, La Tulipe (no Chon)
March 5 - Toronto, ON, Opera House (no Chon)
March 6 - Detroit, MI, St. Andrews
March 7 - Joliet, IL, Mojoes
March 8 - Milwaukee, WI, The Rave
March 9 - Minneapolis, MN, Skyway Theatre w/Veil Of Maya, Reflections, Erra
March 11 - St. Louis, MO, Pop's
March 13 - Houston, TX, Fitzgerald's

AFTER THE BURIAL Hits #1 on iTunes Metal Chart

Twin Cities metalcore band After The Burial released their third album, Wolves Within, through Sumerian Records this week, and it promptly soared to the #1 position on the iTunes Metal Album Chart. Wolves Within also currently sits at #7 on the Rock Album Chart and #106 on the Album Chart (all genres).

After The Burial joins the Twin Cities' Reflections in the feat of hitting #1 on the iTunes Metal Album Chart in 2013. I think the question can legitimately be asked: Is the Twin Cities the metalcore capital of the planet?

Watch the lyric video for "A Wolf Amongst Ravens" from Wolves Within.

The Cities are also home of other widely recognized metalcore/grindcore bands like The Crinn, Ambassador Gun, and Blue Ox as well as a burgeoning crop of young talent featuring the likes of Don't Worry I'm A Doctor, The Broken Are Crowned, and From Concept To Chronicle. Is there another city that can match of the quantity and quality of metalcore output? I'm not sure, and perhaps it is time that the Twin Cities is recognized for music other than Prince and the "Minneapolis sound" developed by the likes of The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and Hüsker Dü.

After The Burial plays two album release shows at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis this weekend. Tonight's show (Saturday, December 21) with Your Memorial and I Am Vengeance is SOLD OUT. A second show with Your Memorial and Thira has been added on Sunday, December 22.

Friday, December 20, 2013

In Concert This Week

UPDATE: Reflections will not be playing with After The Burial on Sunday, December 22. The promoter has removed them from the lineup listed on his website.

This is naturally a slow time of year for live music, but there's still some (primarily local) shows to be had this week.

Poison frontman Bret Michaels plays a rescheduled show tonight, Friday, December 20 at Myth in St. Paul. The opening band has not been announced, but this all ages show starts at 7:00 and tickets are $25.

Tonight you can also catch a big local show at the Cabooze in Minneapolis with Blue Felix, Nuisance, Emergent, Pinwheel, Scream At The Sun, and A Sound Theory. This is an 18+ show, and it's only $5 at the door.

Tomorrow's After The Burial at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis with Your Memorial and I Am Vengeance is SOLD OUT, but a second show with support from Your Memorial, Reflections, and Thira has been added on Sunday, December 22. Both shows are early, all ages shows. These shows are the official album release events for Wolves Within, the new album from After The Burial that came out this week through Sumerian Records. You can buy tickets ($15) for the Sunday show through Ticketfly.

Lastly, Grant Hart, former drummer of hardcore punk legends Hüsker Dü, plays a solo show at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis on Thursday, December 26 with Catbath and Frankie Teardrop. This is an 18+ show that starts around 8:00; tickets are $10 in advance through Ticketfly.

Y&T Adds Minneapolis to Extensive North American Tour

Long-running metal/hard rock band Y&T will undertake its most ambitious U.S. tour in years in early 2014, and Minneapolis is among a handful of dates that have been recently added. The band will play The Belmore/New Skyway Lounge in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 22. Y&T Guitarist Dave Meniketti is widely regarded as a guitar god, and their lengthy live shows are the stuff of legend. Y&T last played the region at Moondance Jam in Walker, Minnesota in 2006.

No ticket information is available at this time, but I spoke with the booking agent at The Belmore yesterday and confirmed the show (“I just got the contract yesterday!”). He described the venue as intimate, holding about 400 people – “Like seeing a band in your living room.”). Advance tickets will be sold through Ticketfly, and may go on sale as early at next week (the week of December 23).

Here’s the complete list of Y&T North American tour dates for 2014:

January 31 – Modesto, CA, Fat Cat Music House
February 1 – Santa Cruz, CA, The Catalyst
February 28 – Fresno, CA, Tower Theatre
March 1 – San Luis Obispo, CA, SLO Brewing Company
March 8 – San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
March 14 – Las Vegas, NV, Vamp’d
March 15 – Tempe, AZ, KDKB
March 20 – Dallas, TX, Trees
March 21 – San Antonio, TX, Backstage Live
March 22 – Houston, TX, The Concert Pub North
March 29–April 2 – Miami, FL–Nassau, Bahamas, Monsters of Rock Cruise
April 4 – Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Soundstage
April 5 – New York, NY, Stage 48
April 6 – Londonderry, NH, Tupelo Music Hall
April 7 – Londonderry, NH, Tupelo Music Hall
April 8 – Cranston, RI, 1150 Oak Bar & Grill
April 11 – Etobicoke, ON, The Rockpile West
April 12 – Toronto, ON, The Rockpile East
April 13 – Akron, NY, Braun’s Concert Cove
April 16 – McKees Rocks, PA, Deadhorse Cantina & Music Hall
April 17 – Akron, OH, The Rock Factory
April 18 – Flint, MI, The Machine Shop
April 19 – Bolingbrook, IL, Tailgaters
April 21 – Madison, WI, High Noon Saloon
April 22 – Minneapolis, MN, The Belmore/New Skyway Lounge
April 25 – Lakewood, CO, Eck’s Saloon

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DREAM THEATER to Embark on North American Tour; Burnsville Date and Presale Password

Progressive metal giants Dream Theater have announced a headlining tour in support of their current self-titled album. Dubbed the Along for the Ride Tour, the band will have no support acts and promises a lengthy show.

The dates (the full itinerary is below) includes a stop in Burnsville at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, April 8. General ticket sales begin this Friday, December 20 at 10:00 am through Ticketmaster. A ticket presale is current underway through Thursday, December 19, 10:00 pm. The presale password for the Burnsville show is PACDTH - head over to Ticketmaster now for your reserved seat tickets!

March 20 - Toronto, ON, Massey Hall
March 21 - Montreal, QC, Bell Center
March 25 - Boston, MA, Opera House
March 27 - Upper Darby, PA, Tower Theatre
March 28 - New York, NY, Hammerstein Ballroom
April 1 - Washington, DC, Lincoln Theater
April 2 - Greensburg, PA, The Palace
April 4 - Detroit, MI, Fillmore
April 5 - Chicago, IL, Chicago Theatre
April 6 - Milwaukee, WI, Pabst Thater
April 8 - Burnsville, MN, Burnsville Performing Arts Center
April 9 - Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theater
April 10 - Denver, CO, Paramount Theatre
April 12 - Vancouver, BC, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
April 15 - Salem, OR, Elsinore Theatre
April 17 - San Francisco, CA, The Warfield
April 18 - Riverside, CA, Fox Performing Arts Center
April 19 - Los Angeles, CA, The Orpheum
April 23 - Mexico City, MX, Arena Ciudad de Mexico
April 25 - Monterrey, MX, Arena Monterrey
April 26 - Guadalajara, MX, Auditorio Telmex

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tonight - TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA (2 Shows) and CHURCH OF MISERY with VULGAARI in Minneapolis

Chris Caffery performing with Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on April 24, 2010. For a review of this concert, click here.

The seemingly unstoppable Tran-Siberian Orchestra plays two shows in Minneapolis today at the Target Center, one at 3:00 and the other at 8:00. Before dismissing this as rock-lite Christmas fare, keep in mind that Jon Oliva himself has stated that TSO, for all intents and purposes, is Savatage. Most of the Savatage principles are usually on the tours - Chris Caffery, Johnny Lee Middleton, Jeff Plate, Al Pitrelli, Alex Skolnick, and Zak Stevens alongside prominent metal vocalists such as Jeff Scott Soto and Kelly Keeling. Close your eyes, imagine Jon Oliva singing the songs, and it's not much of a stretch to hear Savatage as the foundation of TSO. If you long for the days of metal bands touring arenas with elaborate stages, TSO beats 'em all with hands-down the best, most dramatic stage and light show you'll ever see. This is also the last tour on which the band will play the The Lost Christmas Eve album. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster; it's all ages and tickets are $32–70.

Jeff Scott Soto performing as the Devil with Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on April 24, 2010. For a review of this concert, click here.

TIP: Arenas almost always release choice, extra tickets on or near the sides of the stage once they see exactly how the stage fits in the arena - even if they show is sold out. I've gotten awesome seats to previous TSO concerts by buying them the day of the show!

BONUS TIP: Kurdt Vanderhoof, guitarist for Metal Church, can usually be seen running the soundboard for TSO! I don't know if he is this year, but if you see him, shout out "Metal Church!" and he'll give you a smile and a wave.

If slow, intense doom is your thing, don't miss out on seeing Japan's Church Of Misery together with local sludge/doom masters Vulgaari and Lungs at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. This is an 18+ show that starts around 9:00, and tickets are $18 at the door.

FiRock - Muslim Rock Under Investigation

Joe Parkinson of the Wall Street Journal recently reported on FiRock, a Turkish rock band fronted by Muslic cleric Ahmet Tuzer (the full article is behind a paywall, but if you're a subscriber click here):

"By day, the 42-year old Muslim cleric chants the Azan—the Islamic call to prayer—from a small mosque in the coastal village of Pinarbasi, where he preaches to about 150 people. By night, he preaches the gospel of Led Zeppelin, singing about a different stairway to heaven with his four-piece rock band, FiRock, led by Mr. Tuzer and heavily tattooed metal guitarist Dogan Sakin."

"Mr. Tuzer, a third-generation imam who took up religious responsibilities at the age of 19, says the band combines Islamic mysticism with the music of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen to spread a message of peace and tolerance. At home, he headbangs to Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark" and Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam." He says there is no contradiction between religion and heavy metal, and he is hoping to attract younger people to the faith by carving out a new genre: Muslim rock."

Mr. Tuzer, however, has drawn the ire of his religious elders and received threats online:

"Turkey's religious directorate, the Diyanet, in September began to investigate whether Mr. Tuzer's activities were 'un-Islamic' after he played an August gig in the seaside town of Kas."

This treatment doesn't sound too dissimilar to the criticisms that Christian rock bands like Petra faced in the 70s and 80s. You can watch the video for the band's hit in Turkey, "Come To God", below. Can't say that I'm a fan of this soft rock style, but you have to admire anyone trying to smash boundaries in the name of rock!

From the Vault - POWERMAD and Sheet Metal

While browsing through my library of old metal fanzines and magazines, I happened upon the first issue of Sheet Metal from 1987, a Minneapolis-based fanzine published by a young Jake Wisely, who also published Uncle Fester around the same time. His cast of writers included a number local musicians, including the late Earl Root and Powermad guitarist/vocalist Joel DuBay. There are some interesting early reviews of Powermad in the issue, but first Jake Wisely needs to be acknowledged for his work in developing the Twins Cities metal and punk scene in the late 80s and early 90s.

Powermad performing live at Darkness Day 2012 at Surly Brewing.

While publishing Sheet Metal and Uncle Fester, Jake is credited with getting Madison's brilliant Last Crack signed to Roadrunner (do what you have to do to find a copy of the band's second album Burning Time). It wasn't long before he founded Red Decibel Records, which quickly landed a distribution deal with Columbia and released albums from some great Twin Cities and Midwest bands, such as Season To Risk, Glazed Baby, Cher UK, The Coup De Grace, House Of Large Sizes, and others. He eventually went on to executive positions within EMI, Universal Music, ASCAP, and eMusic. Since 2005 Jake has been a partner and President of The Bicycle Music Group, an independent music publishing company in Los Angeles.

Back to Powermad. Here are scans of the Absolute Power demo and a live show while opening for Anthrax, coincidentally the first one with guitarist Todd Haug. Near the bottom of this post is a full-page ad for the Absolute Power demo from the same issue.

Todd Haug, of course, is now the Head Brewer at the world-renowned Surly Brewing. He and the rest of Powermad still play the occasional live show at Surly's Darkness Day, and they're getting ready to release their first new album since 1989. Todd is also now a guitarist in the mighty sludge/doom band Vulgaari. If you haven't already, check out my recent interview with Todd Haug for an in-depth discussion of Powermad history, the new album, and the world of brewing beer.

I don't know have any other issues of Sheet Metal or Uncle Fester, nor do I know how many issues were published. Post a comment if you have any further information or any relevant stories to share!

Vulgaari performs tonight, Saturday, December 14 at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis as direct support to Church Of Misery with Lungs.

Friday, December 13, 2013

SLIPKNOT/STONE SOUR Frontman Corey Taylor to Be Interviewed Tonight on Coast to Coast AM

UPDATE: I've modified the headline and post to correct the fact that Corey Taylor will be interviewed tonight by Dave Schrader (of Darkness Radio) during his guest host spot on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory (not during tonight's broadcast of Darkness Radio).

Corey Taylor, frontman for multi-platinum recording artists Slipknot and Stone Sour, is slated to spend 2 hours live tonight, Friday, December 13 (actually the morning of Saturday, December 14) on Coast to Coast AM by special guest host Dave Schrader of Darkness Radio, a paranormal talk radio broadcast from the Twin Cities, from 12–2 am CST. During Taylor’s first appearance with Schrader on Darkness Radio in July, he talked extensively about his own paranormal experiences.

One likely topic of discussion is the recent announcement of Taylor being cast in the movie Fear Clinic alongside actor Robert Englund. The interview should be especially interesting in light of yesterday’s bombshell news that Slipknot has parted ways with drummer Joey Jordison. Will Darkness Radio and Coast to Coast AM have a scoop and get the first public explanation of this shocking development? You’ll have to listen to find out!

Darkness Radio (formally Darkness on the Edge of Town) is broadcast live five days a week Monday through Friday from 9:00 pm to midnight CST on News-Talk 1130 AM in the Twin Cities metro area. The show is hosted by Dave Schrader, Tim Dennis, and Mallie Fox. You can also listen live through the iheartradio website and app, and it is also available by podcast through iTunes.

Darkness Radio hosts (l-r): Dave Schrader, Tim Dennis, Mallie Fox


Halestorm – ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP
Atlantic, 2013

This is an entirely disposable release that has little worth for all but the most devout Halestorm fans. As the title suggests, this EP contains six cover songs, so I won’t spend a lot of time thinking about creative ways to bash this. “Dissident Aggressor” opens the EP on a decent note, but Slayer’s version crushes both this and the original by Judas Priest. I’m glad I didn’t know who Daft Punk was until I googled it, but “Get Lucky” is the only other decent song here. “Shoot To Thrill” is downright weak; the guitars and drums lack punch, and the effort sounds phoned in. Pat Benatar’s “Hell Is For Children” is the song I was most looking forward to on the EP, however, there’s none of the emotion found on the original. Things only get worse with Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” and “1996” by Marilyn Manson. Generally I’ve found covers releases to be pretty lame—Garage Days Re-Revisited and Attack Of The Killers B’s are the only great ones that spring to mind. If you’re a Halestorm fan you may want to check this out, but don’t expect anything great.

Halestorm performs tonight, Friday, December 13 at Myth in St. Paul with support from Stars In Stereo and Redlight King.