Guitar and “Vocals”: Jimbo Church Bass on Service Animal: Tzara Church Bass and Vocals on “Whistle While You Work Asshole”: Jimmy Joe Scrammle Drums, Bass on “Slot Machine” and Background “Vocals”: Steven Stereo Mixed and Mastered by Steven Stereo at Stereo Typical Studios Philly Pa.
I helped produce this video for TASC. If you like birds, and want to keep them around, check it out!
From their website:
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Together, we can make a difference! To sign the petition and for more information to prevent the degradation of a special property and the environment, go to: https://www.change.org/TASCTogether To receive important updates, announcements, and future Robbinsville Zoning Board meeting information, go to TASC1@googlegroups.com and provide your name and email address. For more information, join us on Facebook at TASC The Alliance for Sustainable Communities Mercer-Monmouth. Please consider making a contribution. Make checks out to: Crosswicks Doctors Creek Watershed Association/TASC, P.O. Box 662, Allentown, NJ 08501. TASC has hired attorneys and other experts that specialize in land use and environmental law, wildlife, habitat, and stormwater issues. All donations are tax deductable.
A little way into the documentary “This is Gwar” (2021), my wife turned to me. “Wait. Gwar has a bar called GwarBar? Don’t we have some leftover Airbnb credits from when we canceled our trip to Baltimore during the pandemic? Wanna go?”
Soon, we strapped our pug Phil Collins in the backseat of our Ford Fiesta and cruised down ‘95, listening to the state of Virginny’s own Statler Brothers as we pulled into Richmond.
For the uninitiated, the band Gwar crash landed on earth in 1984 after fleeing their home planet Scumdogia under dodgy pretenses. Appearances on The Joan Rivers Show and Beavis and Butthead helped spread the news. Their mission? Exterminate humanity as loudly as possible.
Gwar lucked out. Kids line up around the block for Balsac the Jaws of Death, Blöthar the Berserker, and Flatus Maximus to throw them into chipper shredders or flush them down giant toilets. If you don’t stagger home from an evening with Gwar covered in fake blood, you didn’t do it right. These guys are the Gallager (RIP) of thrash metal, but with significantly more cuttlefish. (now available for purchase for the person/persons you love.
After dropping Phil off at the Airbnb, we made a pit stop at the Poe Museum to get in the mindset of Gwar, like doing stretches. Man, that fellah could not catch a break. Edgar Allen Poe didn’t become famous until after death, and worked a crappy desk job until his suspicious demise. Just to be a dick, his boss sawed off the back of his chair. Was he the guy Poe wanted to seal alive behind a wall in the Cask of Amontillado, brick by brick? I hope so.
Want to hear grisly tales of his childhood? How about his miserly uncle’s role in his death or the ghastly fate of his worst critic? Pay them a visit to find out.
After hitting up a bunch of cool thrift stores, we made it to GwarBar, a cross between Starbucks and the Hello Kitty store. Just kidding, the joint looked like a torture chamber from outer space pockmarked with disgusting Gwar memorabilia, but still clean and hygienic in all the right places. They had Naragausset on tap, a touchstone of class, and super obscure 80’s/90’s punk rock blasting off the dungeon themed walls. I don’t know much about ambiance, but I know it when I see it.
I ordered the Meat Sandwich, (pulled pork) and my better half had the We Don’t Kill Everything veggie sandwich. Both sandwiches were delectable and reasonably priced. Gwar doesn’t do price gouging, just regular gouging. Our meal lasted as long on our plates as a white blouse does at the Wing Bowl.
To burn off our carriage, we picked up Phil and went for a hike in Hollywood Cemetery. It’s not a Goth shop in the mall, but the name of a real cemetery containing the remains of former U.S. President James Monroe, former President John Tyler, and former Gwar frontman Oderus Urungus. (Or what’s left of him after his viking funeral.) I didn’t leave trinket’s on David Brockie’s grave but I didn’t steal any lighters either, so it was a lateral move.
We stopped at the Rest in Pieces oddity shop on the way out to make sure that Richmond really was the most Goth city south of Baltimore. If you are looking for skulls to put on your walls or scorpion wine stoppers, the store is one stop shopping.
Richmond is a cool, artsy city. Even if you aren’t into thrash metal, put in some earplugs and stop at Gwarbar for the Meat Sandwich.
We all know those Christmas songs. The Mariah Carey one that shall not be mentioned. The one about the donkey. The other one with that ignorant keyboard part that makes us question a Beatles’ knighthood.
After spending countless sleeps sipping Adderall infused eggnog, the staff at Next In Line have compiled a list of every single Christmas song that we could all agree upon and vouch for. These picks will not only sound fresh this Christmas, but next Christmas, and every one after that.
The Kinks Father Christmas
Of course, Next in Line Magazine would list The Kink’s as number one. What’s not to like? The catchy chorus? The classic Les Paul/Tele combo? The lyrics about the rich kids getting all the toys while the poor kids get Monopoly money, not the real Mcoy?
And that concludes Next in Line Magazines List of all the Christmas songs that never get old. Happy Holidays everyone! See you next year!
Give creative people knobs and they will twiddle them. Instruction manual? What’s that? Don’t exceed recommended settings? Yeah right! Like a stock car racer, the first thing they do with a new piece of gear is to punch it to the max and see what that baby’s got.
Creative types also like to play with things that would get their hands smacked at engineering school: manipulating actual tape with their grubby paws, tinkering with busted circuits, and slashing speaker cones while voiding warranties left and right.
From Dimebag Darrel’s metal distortion to the gated reverb on Phil Collins’ tom-toms, sometimes too much is the perfect amount. They can’t describe why it’s cool, they just know it when they hear it again. And before long, someone would make the pedal version and cash in.
Here are five effects invented when the boss wasn’t around.
Who Invented It: Believe it or not, Country Western music gets the credit, both for inventing fuzz, and then immediately abandoning the effect. While Glenn Snoddy was recording Marty Robbins’ “Don’t Worry,” a transformer blew on the recording studio’s giant mixing board, mangling the signal. They fell in love with the sound, but only as a one time novelty. Once Hendrix got a FuzzFace pedal, it was all over.
How It’s Replicated: The fuzz pedal replicates the blow circuit by clipping either a silicon or germanium transistor, according to taste. Chopping off the peaks this way turns the naturally rounded peaks into jagged square buzz cuts that generate new frequencies while distorting the signal.
The First Stompbox: The Gibson Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone in 1962. Keith Richards used one on the Rolling Stone’s I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.
A Classic Example:
Who Invented It: In the 1940’s, blues musicians figured out that if they cranked amps all the way, it literally put them into overdrive and sounded rad as hell. Ike Turner is credited with creating distortion when his amp fell off the back of his truck on the way to the studio, tearing a hole in his speaker cone on his way to record “Rocket 88”. Years later, Link Ray went Norman Bates on his speakers with a pencil for his song “Rumble”, inspiring The Kink’s Ray Davies to take a razor to his cones for “You Really Got Me.”
How It’s Replicated: There’s no need to slash speaker cones anymore. Distortion pedals use transistors and op-amps to boost the signal to the point of distortion before it even hits the guitar amplifier. Now, guitar amps could sound cranked to eleven when turned down to three, making live sound engineers around the world rejoice.
The First StompBox: Both the Boss Ds-1 and Proco Rat came out in 1978.
A Classic Example:
Who Invented It: In the 1940’s, French collective Musique Concrète stumbled on the delay effect during their avant guard sound experiments with portable recording decks. Across the pond Sun Studios owner Sam Phillips, the same guy who discovered Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recreated the effect by chaining two recorders together. Before pedal versions came out, Ray Butts made the effect portable with Echosonic, a delay unit with a built-in speaker.
How It’s Replicated: The pedal records the signal and plays it back along with the original signal. Knobs can adjust the time delay in milliseconds.
The First Stompbox: Electro-Harmonix Memory Man in 1976, used on U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.
Who Invented It: Acoustic innovator, Steven Reich, created the effect when he noticed that two signals would start to flange in a cool way if one was even slightly faster than the other one, creating the phase effect.
How It’s replicated: A circuit is used to split the signal. These signals are then modulated so that when they are recombined, the frequencies either reinforce or cancel each other out, creating a crazy sweeping effect.
The First Stompbox: in 1968, Shin-ei invented the Uni-Vibe to replicate the Leslie rotary speaker that cost as much as a used car. The Uni-Vibe didn’t sound like a Lesie, which actually spun their woofers and tweeters around to create the effect, but had its own cool vibe.
A Classic Example:
Who Invented It: The same guy who invented the harmonica holder, multitrack recording, and the Les Paul Guitar. Les Paul set up multiple recorders and wound one tape head slightly faster with his fingers, creating the effect.
John Lennon is credited for coining the term “flange.”
How It’s Replicated: Like the delay pedal, a second signal is added, but this one has a low frequency oscillator combined with one of the signals.
The First Stompbox: Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress in 1975.
Classic Example: 0:48 in
“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit – all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.”
Formed from the ashes of their old band, Spaceshits, Montreal’s The King Khan and BBQ Show have been rocking garage punk since 2004. Both guys do double duty. BBQ playing drums with his feet like a one man band, while King Khan plays guitar and sings doo wop bass lines, when he isn’t singing lead. I’m also a fan of King Khan’s soul band, the Shrines.
The geniuses behind Waddlin’ Around have played everywhere, including a kick ass session on KEXP. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson personally invited the boys to play the Vivid Festival. (If that isn’t bragging rights, I don’t know what is.)
Tagging along were NYC’s Miranda and the Beat, who joined the headliner onstage during the dance off segment of their show. Ain’t nothing but a party.
Miranda and The Beat kicked off the proceedings right. Miranda shreds a little harder than one would expect from a singer. She could play lead guitar in a band. Wearing only a mesh shirt under her suit jacket, her nipples played peek-a-poo, making this the most nipple centric show I’ve ever seen. (More on that later.) Very burlesque-esque.
The Beat’s rhythm section was tight and tasteful and the whole band had a cool aesthetic.
Their keyboard player was a little much for me at first, with his white boy ‘fro and late sixties garb. But later, I got a whiff of his cologne as he walked by. Now, that is commitment to a look. I’ll allow it. All in all, their set was a good time.
If there is one thing to know about King Khan, it’s that he doesn’t give a fuck. The body positive rocker went topless, wearing some kind of animal skins on his head and groin area, nipples flowing in the breeze.
Freeing the nipple is a trademark of the boys’ show. BBQ had nipple holes cut out of his shirt, sporting a look I like to call the anti-paiste.
These guys love to talk between songs. Even BBQ Show made fun of their endless banter, comparing their show to a Henry Rollins spoken word set. You can tell that they are both usually the guy who does all the talking in their other bands. Between songs, there were flashes of mutual annoyance like two youngest children competing for attention, as they both jockeyed for the spotlight. But while they played together there was nothing but love, baby. L-U-V.
Most of their chit chat was hilarious, the highlight being about the song that made their publicist drop them. The lyrics involved their wanting to have taste buds on their genitalia and buttholes, to savor every taste. I hope the door didn’t hit the publicist on the way out. My buddy Chip was there, and he agrees. Chip may not play instruments, but he knows bad management when he sees it.
Some kid staged dived and the audience dropped him, just like they did to the singer from Viagra Boys when I saw them at Underground Arts.
King Khan was amused. “That’s what we love about Philly. They drop you, but then they pick you up again.”
There is a metaphor in there somewhere.
Their cover of the 1978 Johnny Thunders classic, “You can’t Wrap Your Arms Around a Memory” had me singing, to the disappointment of everyone around me including Chip, who stood a couple people away for a while.
The boys brought the bartender on stage for everyone to applaud. To a novice, that might seem like a cheap ploy to get into her pants. But judging the size of their bellies, I’d say it was a cheap ploy to get free drinks. Respect.
Make sure you check both these bands out next time they come to a venue near you. And don’t forget to tip your bartender.
Graceland wants to require Elvis Tribute Artists to have official licensing. This isn’t a good idea. It’s a great idea. That’s the difference between an Elvis impersonator and an Elvis Tribute Artist. Graceland has been cracking down on ETA’s, especially at Vegas wedding chapels. The sacrament of marriage is still sacred, Goddamn it!
It’s one for the money. Two for the dough. Three to get money, now go cash, go!
Elvis Licensing is important, not only to the performer, but also to the paying public. If one doesn’t have quality or control, then how can they have quality control? Proper Elvis licensing offers:
Population Control.This prevents the classic “too many Elvises and not enough Colonel Parkers” scenario.
Quality Control. This will prevent hacks like Dread Zeppelin from taking the King’s name in vain with some crazy ass litigation. At Elvis University, students will learn how to walk backwards (never turn your back on an audience), take upper lip sneering workshops, and vibrato singing lessons. This ensures a safe, regulated, Presley-approved experience for the whole family. Without proper training, a rookie might start asking the audience for their scarves back after the show. Can we say ‘amateur hour’?
Peace of Mind. What if the hunka hunka burning love starts to spread? Can you trust a scab Elvis to be fire safety certified? Licensed ETAs are certified every three years.
How to know if a Tribute Artist is Licensed.
Look for the ear identification tag, which could be hard to spot if the ETA is wearing in-ear monitors or ear muffs.
Check for a certificate of graduation from E.U. at the DJ station, probably next to a tin of Pomade.
Inspect the back of their neck for a barcode tattoo.
Ask them. If they start running, be suspicious.
Do NOT attempt to detain illegal Elvi on your own! Elvis karate can be lethal, and I’d say a good 90% of Faux Kings are packing heat. (The better ones have guns with pearl handles.)
Let the professionals with no kill traps baited with barbiturate-laced fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches take care of it.
Report all unlicensed Elvis tribute sightings to email@example.com. Then rat out your neighbors for smoking weed and stealing cable while you’re at it. What not?