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Joe Daly JOE DALY writes for a number of publications, including the UK's Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazines, Outburn, Bass Guitar Magazine and several other print and online outlets. He is the music and cultural observer for Chuck Palahniuk's LitReactor site and his works have been published in several languages. When he is not drafting wild-eyed manifestos, Joe enjoys life in San Diego's groovy North County, teaching music journalism, doing yoga, running, playing guitar and spending tireless hours in deep and meaningful conversations with his beloved dogs, Cabo and Lola. You can check out his rants at http://joedaly.net and follow him on Twitter: @JoeD_SanDiego

Recent Work By Joe Daly

We here at TNB Music would like to extend a swift kick in the ass with a steel-toed boot to 2012, with menacing threats to never, ever show its ugly mug around here again. That said, this open heart surgery of a year has yielded a rich trove of enduring albums and songs, and as we impatiently wait for 2013 to pull up out front and beep its glorious horn, the intrepid writing corps at TNB Music now pause to share our favorite offerings from 2012.

To our readers, colleagues, conspirators, confederates and harried editors, we wish you all a happy, healthy and hopelessly sexy new year.

-Joe Daly

TNB Music Editor

 

By the dawn of the 80s, punk rock was dead and a leaner, more muscular sound known as hardcore had commandeered the underground. On the West Coast, hardcore pioneers like Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, Social Distortion and The Minutemen unleashed rage-fueled anthems that bypassed the cheek of punk and went straight for the jugular.

Chronicling every show, rumor and police raid was We Got Power, a fanzine founded by a pair of first generation hardcore freaks and best friends, Dave Markey and Jordan Schwartz. The epitome of DIY publishing, We Got Power seethed with unchecked passion, snark and attitude, and three decades later, their humble periodical now stands as one of the most vivid and enduring documents of Los Angeles in the Reagan era.

One is hard-pressed to find a more festive American than Andrew W.K. The muti-talented musician, artist, motivational speaker and TV host announced his arrival with his 2001 debut I Get Wet, and its narcotically-catchy anthem, “Party Hard.” The ensuing decade saw the classically-trained musician release a slate of hard-charging rock albums celebrating the time-honored art of partying, as well a record full of J-pop covers and an album featuring only improvised piano pieces. He has published advice books and delivered motivational speeches at some of America’s most prestigious universities, including Yale, New York University and Carnegie Mellon. Anything but a vapid party animal, Andrew’s unwavering positive attitude and magnetic charisma saw him recently commanding headlines amid rumors of a State Department appointment as Cultural Ambassador to the Middle East.

With the November release of Adler’s Back from the Dead, former Guns N’ Roses timekeeper and notorious reality TV underdog Steven Adler has transcended the milieu of improbable comebacks and released one of the finest rock albums of 2012. At the year’s outset, few would have registered surprise that a member of the classic Guns lineup would record one of 2012′s most bracing releases; it’s just that nobody would have bet on Steven.

The thing about superstitions is that usually there is some anecdotal evidence, however tenuous, to bear them out. Take, for instance, the myth that misfortune visits in groups of three. Laugh if you will, but for Oakland’s Machine Head—arguably the biggest underground metal band in the world—a trio of recent mishaps suggests there just might be something to that old wives’ tale.

November 15, 2012

The one-story building sinks back into the row of small businesses along San Diego’s Adams Avenue, all but imperceptible to passersby. At some point, perhaps those jaunty 70s, when they couldn’t make concrete and tinted windows fast enough for the architects of the day, this business likely contained a cozy neighborhood bank, although the rushing torrents of commerce have long run dry. The sign above the front door now reads “Gerson Institute.”

Inside, the walls are spangled with colorful tapestries accented by warm, low lighting. There is not a deposit slip in the entire joint, although one couldn’t swing a celery stalk without hitting a book about holistic medicine on one of the clunky desks scattered about the lobby.

Is it that time again already?

Hell yeah, Dre.

Welcome to the 2012 holiday season. Are you ready for it? If you’re anything like the staff of TNB Music, you are most certainly not. But that’s OK, because once again, we’ve got you covered.

Might as well just drop the testicles into a vice and start spinning the gears. It certainly presents a less painful alternative to releasing a sophomore follow-up to a mega-successful debut. Call it the “sophomore jinx,” or call it “the hot, blistering envy of your critics,” but second albums carry a far higher degree of difficulty than any other album in a band’s career. The bottom of rock and roll’s dark, abandoned well is littered with the bones of bands who frittered their careers away chasing the success of a massive debut. If the second album tanks, the band’s legacy is reduced to a trivia question under the “One Hit Wonders” category; but if the band pulls off a compelling, groundbreaking follow-up, then someday they might just have a date in Cleveland.

TNB Music reviews an outdoor rock festival in Irvine and a Red Hot Chili Peppers show in San Diego.

EPICENTER FESTIVAL
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Irvine, CA
September 22, 2012

Fans holding tickets for this year’s Epicenter Festival have reason to be concerned. This past Monday night, Epicenter headliners Stone Temple Pilots channeled their inner Guns ‘N Roses and strolled onto the stage two hours late for a show in British Columbia. The half-hearted apology from singer Scott Weiland, followed by zero in the way of explanations, proved to be an exasperating precursor to their subsequent cancellation of the next evening’s show in Alberta. Although the band eventually issued a statement that Weiland was ordered on 48-hour vocal rest, speculation raged that perhaps there was another explanation. After all, Weiland has never been regarded as a paragon of sobriety, and with back-to-back snafus, as Epicenter opens its doors on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon, fans and promoters are left wondering if STP will even show up for their only Southern California appearance of the fall.

New music reviews and staff picks for September, 2012

 

AMANDA PALMER & THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA
Theatre is Evil (Kickstarter Deluxe Digital Edition)
8FT RECORDS

Kickstarter: Believe the hype

In May of this year, Amanda Palmer launched Kickstarter campaign with a $100,000 goal to fund the completion of this album; she reached her goal in a mere seven hours. By the time the after-party yellow-book pages had settled on the evening of May 31, nearly 25,000 people had pledged just shy of $1.2 million. Palmer’s Kickstarter success built up huge expectations for Theatre is Evil. Does it live up to the hype?

If you can recall the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan, then you have a crystalline picture of the present state of the music industry: absolute carnage on all fronts. Record labels have begun suing people for illegally downloading new albums, while paradoxically, more and more bands, such as Green Day, are streaming their new albums for free. Technology has leveled the playing field, allowing anyone with a MacBook to release an album, and the price of gas continues to push more and more up-and-coming bands off the road because they can no longer justify driving a hundred miles to split $50 four ways. It seems like nobody’s making a living anymore, except the lawyers and maybe the toothpaste companies buying ads on American Idol.

An artist would have to be plumb crazy to walk away from a well-oiled support team and try to enter this fray alone. Right?

Comedian Jim Florentine might well swing the biggest pair of brass balls in stand-up comedy—no small feat in a genre where bulletproof cojones are an occupational prerequisite. Most comedy and music fans know Jim from his duties co-hosting VH1′s That Metal Show, but Jim first crept into the pop culture limelight years before through recurring appearances on MTV’s subversive hit show, Crank Yankers. He has since appeared in myriad television shows and movies, and although Jim proceeded to win an Emmy in 2004 for his work on HBO’s Inside the NFL, his most enduring achievement may well be that this month, he released the worst comedy album of all time. On purpose.

TNB Music is bursting at the seams with albums to be reviewed, interviews to conduct, features to write, concerts to attend and news to report. We’re looking to augment our plucky staff by two positions:

TNB Music Contributor

Duties include monthly album reviews, plus regular features including artist interviews, concert reviews, music biography reviews and general music features. While contributor will be assigned certain albums and artists to cover, she or he will also enjoy wide latitude to cover features of interest to them, and we will move mountains to give this person the space they need to carve out a tasty little space they can call their very own. THIS IS AN UNPAID POSITION. Can you believe the gall? However, with so many people jockeying for attention in the music blogosphere, this position offers the chance to place your writing in front of a broad (opinionated) international audience, add a new writing credit to your resume and enjoy access to both established and up-and-coming artists. If you’ve got the chops, we’ve got the readers. This position is ideal for the writer looking to expand his or her online footprint. TNB music writers have gone on to score book deals, freelance work with reputable music magazines and jobs at some high-profile music sites.

Commitment would be approximately two features per month, plus regular album reviews.

If you’re ready to join our team, send a letter of introduction, plus links to two or three writing samples to: [email protected]

 

TNB Music Intern

Our last intern set the bar massively high and we’re looking forward to seeing who might want to pick up the reins of the TNB Music Internship. Although we call it an “internship,” you’re really driving the ship. This position oversees album reviews, label correspondence and the TNB Music Calendar. In addition to the admin, we believe that the TNB Intern should get the chance to contribute reviews and features as well, so ideally this person is interested in a career in journalism and has some experience writing about music. We sent our last intern off to music festivals and concerts, she conducted interviews, worked with record labels to secure copies of upcoming releases and she generally put up with our nonsense. Like the position above, THIS IS AN UNPAID POSITION. We will, however, make sure you get access to cool albums and great shows (depending on where you live, of course). The TNB Music Intern needs to be motivated to make the most of this opportunity; they must be organized and comfortable with self-direction. If you’re someone who needs constant attention and supervision, this is not the gig for you. We need you to supervise us, not the other way around.

Commitment would be approximately 4-8 hours per week and would include managing the reviews calendar, assigning reviews, staging features for publication and contributing features as desired.

If this is you, send a letter of introduction, plus links to two or three writing samples to: [email protected] If this is a college internship, please cut and paste the details of the internship in the body of your email.

 

One of the runaway cable hits in recent years has been VH1′s That Metal Show, a production cobbled together with the barest of bones, featuring three regular guys from Jersey (host Eddie Trunk and comedians Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine), sitting around and talking about hard rock and heavy metal. Were it not for the the guys’ unmitigated passion for metal, their profane sincerity and the massive, eye-watering doses of ball-busting (they are from Jersey, after all), the show might have never left the ground. The trio’s lack of pretense and utter likeability however, have inspired the show’s evolution from a late-night placeholder to a bona fide cultural epicenter for hard rock and heavy metal fans across the globe.

On August 9, 2012, the legendary Iron Maiden were playing in Irvine, and as a rock journalist, I sort of had to go. I mean, it was Iron Maiden and this wasn’t just any ordinary tour; the band were dusting off a handful of rare gems, scattering them across a setlist of classics that inspired metal fans across the US to hail this tour as their best yet. Moreover, they were playing at a sprawling outdoor amphitheater in the belly button of Southern California on a warm summer evening—an ineffably inviting backdrop for live music.

And yet, I didn’t go.  Agalloch, the mysterious psychedelic black metal outfit from Portland, Oregon, were playing The Casbah here in San Diego, and in the remote but statistically viable chance that I passed away on August 10, I wanted to ensure that my blink of an existence did not pass without experiencing this preponderant act in a rare and intimate live setting.