Sunday, April 16, 2017

R E D R U M

Plays with Danny Torrance once.

I am delighted to announce that I have been summoned to DJ The Overlook Film Festival afterparty on Friday April 28th at the breathtaking Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. This is the first ever fully interactive genre film festival to take place at the beautiful outdoor location of Stanley Kubrick's supernatural masterpiece The Shining, and you can bet I will deliver a black magic horror ritual of vintage vinyl madness to shake asses and bang heads. The days of boring film festivals have been...corrected. Hail Horror Hail.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

GROSS ANATOMY (20)


Since I launched Wyrd War three years ago I haven't had much time to draw, and that's been just fine with me because crawling out of the basement has allowed me the freedom to expand my reach into incredible cinematic events, concerts that have raised the bar for what can be expected of live music and the accomplishment of myriad projects that have been swirling around in my brain for many years. Nonetheless, when my good friend Chris Reifert calls to inform me that Autopsy needs a shirt design to commemorate their 30th anniversary, I can be coerced back into the dungeon. Time to call in sick, get scribbling and post a new installment of Gross Anatomy! This little disaster was torn from the womb in one night and shipped to Scotland quicker than you can sing My Corpse Shall Rise Again. Don't believe me? Take a look...



"In the cemetery now you have arrived / To finally see my flesh from which you stole the life / Though you never were discovered, you're still free / I've got a curse on you, I've haunted all your dreams..."



"You can't believe I'm gone / You must be sure, it must be real / Panic stricken, to the grave / The truth must be revealed..."



"With shaking hands and sickening thoughts / You find my resting place / With pounding heart and bloodshot eyes / The shovel desecrates / The time has come to face reality / And visit death / To see my corpse and stop the dreams..."


"At your feet, uncovered is the box / You're almost paralyzed with fear / Feel the bile creep up your throat / Lift the lid and know I'm here / I lie here rotting / Maggots burrowing / Feeding, swarming / You can't hold back the nausea / Help won't find you..."


"Stomach twisting, violent retching, defiled by vomit / Now my vengeful corpse begins to rise / I've been waiting here for you / Now it's time to see you die!!!!"


With my part of the conjuration now complete, Chris Reifert set his sights on designing the back of the shirt. I am proud to say, my latest Wyrd War release, Until We Rock: The Early Recordings of Black Death, was the inspired soundtrack for the night! 



Next, the artwork is delivered to Adam Rooster Grim over at Nightgaunt Graphics, who laid it down in white without an underbase to give it the soft greyish hue of a moldering grave! And within mere hours...

Live pics courtesy of Ron Falcon.


Autopsy destroys Glasgow, Scotland at Lords of the Land festival, where the shirt is introduced to the world on Saturday April 1, 2017.


For me, the most rewarding moment of this whirlwind project is receiving this text message from the merch table in Scotland, and knowing that the rabid kilt-wearing Autopsy fans are duly pleased! Next up: Maryland Death Fest (Baltimore), Hellfest (France) and Party San (Germany). Grab one if you can because this is a limited edition design for this year's gigs only, and very soon it slithers back into its festering tomb forever...

This is AUTOPSY! They play DEATH METAL!!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

R.I.P. BERNIE WRIGHTSON

Bernie Wrightson 
(October 27, 1948 - March 19, 2017) 

I am fucking gutted today by the loss of Bernie Wrightson, one of the greatest horror illustrators the world will ever know. I only met him once very briefly back in 2007 when he received a lifetime achievement award at Portland's annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and, like the class act that he was, he used his five minutes of stage time to condemn what he considered "the real horror in the world": war. He was a gentle, kind, soft-spoken and ferociously talented and devoted artist. He will forever be missed. R.I.P.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

WYRD WAR PRESENTS: EYES OF FIRE



April 30th is Walpurgisnacht - the portentous “Witches’ Night” of European folklore, when it is believed that nightside currents surge with sinister purpose - and Wyrd War summons YOU to Portland's historic Hollywood Theatre on Sunday April 30, 2017 for our second annual Walpurgis Night cinema celebration! 

Join us for a rare 35mm screening of Eyes of Fire (1983), one of the most beautiful, bewitching and psychedelic historical period horror films of the 80s that you’ve never seen! Long before The Witch (2015) rattled audiences with lurid satanic panic, obscure auteur Avery Crounse delivered his own transcendent meditation on blasphemy, witchcraft and place as active agent set in the uncertain American frontier of 1750. A fine art photographer by training, Crounse only directed three films before unceremoniously exiting the industry, and his only foray into the horror genre is an unexpected compositional wonder, meticulously attentive to detail and boldly meandering down its own path to perdition. Sadly, his masterwork was also destined for inglorious VHS purgatory, and still has not received an official domestic digital release. Eyes of Fire tells the tale of a dubious preacher who narrowly escapes execution for adultery, and ventures forth into terra incognita with a small band of loyal colonists, including an insane and psychically attuned young woman. Pursued downstream by Shawnee tribesmen, the exiles make their stand in a primeval wooded valley rife with dire omens and chthonic forces. By the third reel, all hell breaks loose...80s style! This absolutely must be experienced on the big screen to be believed. Do not miss this one-night-only screening on rare 35mm! You won’t guess the ending. I promise. Tickets on sale HERE.

April 30, 2017
7:30pm
Hollywood Theatre
Portland, Oregon

WE POKED AT IT WITH A STICK!


Here I am being strangled by Danny Roebuck while wearing his original jacket from the film. And a vintage Iron Maiden Purgatory shirt just like Samson wears in the flick, naturally.

The beautiful and historic Hollywood Theatre.
Total support!




"You're dead, dude. Here have a beer."
Photo by Greg Hamilton.

Photo by Greg Hamilton


Photo by Tammy Roebuck.

Samson lives!

Our partner in crime for this event, Greg Hamilton wearing "the jacket" from River's Edge!

TFW you bein' directed by Danny Roebuck and screenwriter Randall Jahnson. 

TFW you bein' killed by Randall Jahnson and Danny Roebuck.

TFW you pretend you sippin' Ouzo and Jack in Greece with screenwriter Randall Jahnson and Daniel Roebuck​. Opa!


Killer night, eh Portland? My deepest gratitude to the more than 300 people who filled Hollywood Theatre last night to give actor Daniel Roebuck a proper Portland welcome. Special thanks to Greg Hamilton, Doug Whyte, Dan Halsted, Jamie Victorino, Connor Kirkwood, Matt Cunningham, Erin Eave, Virginia Durost, Alison Hallett, Kristy Conrad, and EVERYONE at the Hollywood Theatre whose names I don't know or can't remember at the moment. It was a truly special night, and your support means the world to me. Very special thanks to our new friends Daniel Roebuck and Tammy Roebuck for delivering the goods. "You do shit and then you die."

Friday, March 03, 2017

UNTIL WE ROCK!



I am very proud to be delivering this amazing relic of heavy metal history to the world! Black Death is widely considered to be the first heavy metal band to feature all black musicians, and this digipack CD collects all of their earliest surviving material from 1983 (before their one and only release on Auburn Records in 1984)! I enlisted the genius of audio engineer Timothy Stollenwerk to digitally restore and remaster this material to sound as amazing as analog demo and live recordings from 1983 can possibly sound. In other words, expect raw unexpurgated noise! Headbangers are in for a real treat! Order NOW!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

SMASH YOUR SKULLS WITH POWER!!!!



I'm announcing this one way in advance, because that's how excited I am! Wyrd War proudly delivers legendary Rust Belt warlords DESTRUCTOR to Mississippi Studios for their first ever west coast appearance on Friday July 7, 2017! This ain't no tour, this is a mission of death!!!!

Formed in Euclid, Ohio in 1983, DESTRUCTOR’s enduring legacy is forged in tragedy and triumph worthy of their epic battle hymns. Following the 1985 release of their debut underground masterpiece Maximum Destruction, on the equally legendary Auburn Records label, the band was poised on the brink of major label success. In 1987 they recorded their second and third demos, Decibel Casualties and Power Aggression, in preparation for their sophomore release, when founding bass player David “Holocaust” Iannicca was stabbed in the heart by a stranger at a New Year’s Eve party, dying where he fell outside of the band’s rehearsal space. The unthinkable loss of their brother precipitated the band’s unraveling, and both DESTRUCTOR and Auburn Records went into hiatus in the terrible aftermath. A few years later they returned with one final demo before unceremoniously disappearing into the fog of obscurity…until an entirely unexpected return to form in 2007 with a Nunslaughter split, an EP and their second full-length, Forever in Leather. International festival appearances soon followed, heralding the true rebirth of pounding evil! In 2016 they released their third full-length Back in Bondage (a nod to their Maximum Destruction roots and sleazy classics such as ‘Bondage’ and ‘Wet Hot Leather’). Join us for this exclusive Pacific Northwest appearance as we smash our skulls with power in memory of Dave Holocaust and the unbending might of American-made steel!!!! 

ANTICHRIST: The Swedish militia of death known as ANTICHRIST sets sail from their hometown of Växjö in longships crafted from the bones of their enemies to decimate Portland for the very first time! Formed in 2007, ANTICHRIST released two underground demo tapes, Crushing Metal (2009) and Put to Death (2010), before unleashing their widely celebrated debut full-length Forbidden World in 2011. Anton Sunesson (vocals), Gabriel Forslund (guitars), Filip Runesson (guitars), Gobbe Hennigsson (bass) and Sven Nilsson (drums) return from the terror dimension in 2017 with their first full North American tour, and a sophomore full-length recording titled Sinful Birth on Electric Assault Records. Hailing the old ways with unexpected influences and unhinged energy, ANTICHRIST has come to kill...’til there’s nothing left to kill! It’s time to raise the flag of violent thrashing metal victory!!!! 

DANAVA: There are many paths to the jeweled gates of liberation: possession, ecstasy, sacrilege, heresy. Paradox subjugates ego in the transcendent thrust toward the eternally expansive. The star studded spacecraft known as DANAVA, dispatched as it was from America's rainy northwest coast, emerged on the midnight horizon with an obscure 4 song masterpiece as a shining symbol of freedom in sound. Critics have done their best to identify this flying object with all manner of convenient but ultimately meaningless qualifiers and all have missed the mark. This is not "stoner rock," even if the pilots are probably stoned. This is not "progressive rock," for the boundless soul thwarts gentrification. This is not "space rock," although their heads are full of meteor dust their boots still waltz in the gutters of Whitechapel sin. This is not "retro rock," because tomorrow calls even as the third eye glances in reverse to hail electric ancestry. Armed to the teeth with Orgone amplification and mesmeric Luciferian aether, the technicolor demon people have risen from primordial depths to dispel all curses and sever all bonds. 

DJ DENNIS DREAD: Dread is an internationally renown artist (cough, cough), beer drinker and hellraiser (true!) who has provided album cover artwork for Dead Moon, Darkthrone, Autopsy and Bobby BeauSoleil among many others. He has exhibited his intricately detailed ballpoint drawings across the U.S. and in Germany, Italy, Denmark and Sweden without the aid of methamphetamine. As "war chief" of Wyrd War Records, together with his darling companion Meadow “Mother Wolf,” Dread co-facilitates vinyl releases and guerrilla action events keenly focused on the advancement and celebration of strange and beautiful music, film and art. On July 7th he returns to the wheels of steel to bang that head that doesn't bang. Don't be a fuckin' idiot, buy your tickets NOW!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

NEITHER THE SUN NOR DEATH CAN BE LOOKED AT STEADILY


The 40th Portland International Film Festival kicks off this week, and my friend Nick Bruno has curated an inspired program of independent films for his sidebar series PIFF After Dark. As the title cleverly implies, these are films that might best be described as "post-horror," with moody existential themes and artsy fartsy angst presiding (cue the digital filter that makes everything look like an overcast car commercial). The title also refers to the fact that these films don't get started until 10:30pm, which is an ideal time to poke yourself in the third eye while drinking beer in the dark. The razor blade party really gets started with a ghastly shudder on night two, Saturday February 11th, with Emiliano Rocha Minter's depraved and beautiful Tenemos La Carne, a.k.a. We Are The Flesh (2016), a post-apocalyptic atrocity exhibition of incest, necrophilia and cannibalism that is loosely strung together with sparse haiku-like subtitles. Something of an inverted parable of the Garden of Eden, this Mexican mindfuck features full penetration and a POV fellatio scene worthy of Jodorowsky that caused my penis to retract into my gut. For the less savage of heart, Without Name (2016) is a milder eldtritch fairytale set in a primeval Irish forest where the trees are decidedly not what they seem. Director Lorcan Finnegan's brooding mystery unfolds as if someone replaced the third reel of Hour of the Wolf with The Secret Life of Plants (sans Stevie Wonder), and exemplifies the sort of genre-bending experimentation that makes this entire series so fun. There hasn't been a better reason to wallow in the splendor of the Bagdad Theater in a long time. Buy your tickets and blow your mind!      

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"You do shit and then you die."



I almost gnawed my tongue off trying to keep this one a secret. Thankfully, I can now announce that Mr. Daniel "Samson" Roebuck will be our very special guest for our 30th anniversary screening of River's Edge (1986) on March 10 at Hollywood Theatre! Yep, he of Dudes (1987), Phantasm V (2016), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002), The Devil's Rejects (2005), The Man in the High Castle (2015-2017), Lost (2005-2010) and about a million other flicks and TV shows. And Cavegirl (1985). Immediately following the screening, Mr. Roebuck will blow our minds with a slideshow Q&A featuring rare behind the scenes photos from his personal contact sheets from the 1987 shoot. Get your tickets NOW!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

ALL THE KING'S MEN



Happy Birthday to Roger Tofte, visionary creator of the family built, family owned and family operated Enchanted Forest, who celebrates 87 years today!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

"WASTING PIGS IS RADICAL, MAN!"


Now that I have made amends with my liver, I can make my first announcement of 2017! Wyrd War and Hollywood Theatre’s Greg Hamilton join forces to deliver this very special one-night-only screening of Tim Hunter’s harrowing wasted youth masterpiece River’s Edge (1986). When one of their friends inexplicably murders his girlfriend and leaves her naked body on a riverbank, a gang of morally stunted high school wastoids grapples with their conscience and fraying solidarity. Unfolding like an S.E. Hinton novel on methamphetamine and thrash metal, River’s Edge is a subverted coming-of-age story directed by the screenwriter of Over the Edge (1979), and starring Daniel Roebuck, Dennis Hopper, Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye and Joshua John Miller, that portrays the ambiguous emotional lives of dead end youth with unflinching honesty, startling depth and the best soundtrack of the decade. "Out of love, out of mind...out of fooooood, out of time!"

River’s Edge
March 10, 2017
7:30pm 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

BEST OF 2016


I haven’t done a “best of” rant in quite a few years. However, 2016 has been such an unprecedented log flume of starkly contrasting personal zeniths and plummeting public disasters that I find myself compelled on this winter solstice evening to at least attempt a summary of a few of the more triumphant moments of the past 12 very confounding months. Perhaps dwelling on small victories here might somehow thwart the current momentum of things, and dam the flood of bullshit from spilling into next year and contaminating us all with slack-jawed impotence. Despite what your Gregorian calendar suggests, 2016 actually began on December 28, 2015, the gloomy Monday when Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister finally blasted a hole through the space-time continuum and rode his silver machine out of the sun forever. That evening, it took us three bars, all blasting Motörhead, before we found an establishment that wasn’t sold out of Jack Daniels. Such was Portland’s love for the man, and of that alcoholic reverence I will remain proud despite my growing resentment for a city that has turned its back on what it once was and could have been (for the record, we ended up buying our own fifth of Jack and kept candles lit at home all week). If only it could have been the day the world fell silent. Instead, it was the day that the most reliable cigarette-slashed voice of rock 'n' roll resistance was finally drowned out by the whimpering din of castrated mediocrity and toothless imitation – the “mounting opposition,” to paraphrase our beloved Commander. Lemmy is not a legend simply because of the massive body of music that he left in his stubborn wake, from his formative recordings with the Rockin' Vickers in 1965 through Motörhead's crushing twenty-second (22!) studio album, Bad Magic, released exactly four months before his death. He is a legend because at some point over the course of his five decades long recording career he lived harder than the outlaw bikers that comprised his earliest audience while navigating an absolutely indifferent music industry and, without any pretentious aspirations, became a living archetype of the intangible and paradoxical spirit of something we might earnestly refer to as the tradition of defiance. Or, to put it another way, totalitarian anti-authoritarianism. I worshiped Motörhead long before I knew what my claw was for. In fact, I loved the band before I heard a single note. I used to stare at the cover of Iron Fist on the vinyl rack at Caldor, it was an album he didn't much care for himself, trying to imagine what this band of Frazetta villains could possibly sound like. And here's the thing. When I finally got to hear that record, through my older brother's best friend, it was louder, tougher, scarier, and altogether more transcendent than my prepubescent brain could have ever imagined. Bet your life you don't need religion? Yes, sir! And in the blink of an eye, the man who set it all in motion for me was gone. To make matters worse, Lemmy’s unsurprising but no less gutting demise (just four days after his 70th birthday and four months after he limped offstage during a Texas concert like a soldier who knows the war is over) seemed to precipitate an entirely unexpected funeral procession of highly publicized celebrity deaths that only the most steadfast among us could possibly catalog, much less comprehend with any meaningful emotional intelligence. It was as if the good Dr. Rock had left the door wide open behind him in one final winking prank on us earthbound bastards. And it was this star-studded runaway train to the eternal void, punctuated as it was by genocide, mass shootings and the most embarrassing election season of my lifetime (they’ve all been a shameful mess), that came to characterize 2016. Loss upon terrible loss. And still more stinging loss. Yet, shining moments of pleasure, power and ecstatic mad intoxication can be attained by those willing to venture forth. And venture forth we did! Here are just a few salient moments from the year that have come to symbolize much more than the fleeting moments we captured on our phones. These pictures represent deep friendships and even deeper love. Love that sets fire to doubt, depression and destitution. Onward and upwards! I wish you, dear reader, the very best in 2017.

DEAD MOON
Crystal Ballroom - January 2, 2016


We've started many years with Portland's best kept rock 'n' roll secret (and quite a few Halloweens and even more random wild nights than I can remember). It's become something of a tradition in itself. This year Fred and Toody Cole took the stage with our old friend Kelly Halliburton filling in on drums for Andrew Loomis, who hadn't been looking well for many months (so, more accurately, this was Pierced Arrows playing Dead Moon songs). They opened the night with Walking on My Grave, a song that at the time seemed like a joyous salute to Fred's harrowing medical condition and recent successful bout with open heart surgery. Two months later, Andrew Loomis was gone.



One of the last times we saw Loomis perform with Dead Moon, he came up after the show and handed us this rolled up set list wrapped around his drum stick. Not sure why, except maybe because we had been having so much fun that night making faces at each other and laughing together while he banged away behind his decrepit kit and uncooperative candle. He was just that kind of dude. We miss you, man. Let it rain, as the song goes.

THRONES
Dynasty - January 9, 2016


I've had the pleasure of celebrating quite a few Thrones anniversary shows in recent years. This time it was an intimate affair at a cozy bar right in my own neighborhood. The perfect setting. We found out David Bowie died about two songs into the set, when everyone's phones started going crazy. There's nowhere I would've rather been and nobody I would've rather been with to receive the news. We are the dead chanting for the ever circling skeletal family. We are future legends. R.I.P. Starman. Up the Thrones

DEMONS / RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR
Hollywood Theatre - March 12, 2016


Photo by Jesse Lanier.

Discussing rape, racism and rats with the beautiful Geretta Geretta!


One of the more bizarre moments of our exhaustingly bizarre (i.e., totally amazing!) weekend with Geretta Geretta occurred over brunch in our favorite cafe. We were nursing hangovers from the night before and rambling madly about 80s post-apocalyptic flicks when I noticed this gorgeous young woman at the table beside us listening in intently. If you've ever been around Geretta, you know this woman is commanding, so the eavesdropping was understandable. Finally, she leaned over and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I overheard you talking about Rats: Night of Terror. That was co-directed by Claudio Fragasso, who also co-directed Troll 2." It was true. "My dad," she went on, "Played Farmer Walts in Troll 2!" You can imagine what happened next. Typical, eh?  

THOR
Rose City Strip - March 19, 2016


"Dear God, you don't exist. Only Thor is real."

Thor
. Performing Only the Strong in its entirety. In a heavy metal strip club. With my friend Mason assisting on vocals. Nuff said.


While we're on the subject of strip clubs, a few weeks after his death we organized a proper memorial for Lemmy at Rose City Strip on February 27th, and played nothing but Lemmy's music all night long. We met this beautiful wild child who called herself "Strawberry" that night. In fact, she made the night. And guess what? She died too. It takes, takes, takes. R.I.P. Strawberry.

SATAN / DANAVA / VIOLATION WOUND
Mississippi Studios - March 27, 2016

My record label Wyrd War hosted Satan again this year, this time on Easter Sunday, and I booked them at one of Portland's best venues. We invited Chris Reifert's band Violation Wound up from California for the occasion and summoned our brothers in Danava to anchor it all down with their tentacled extraterrestrial road riffs. The expected chaos ensued. Another night for the history books.


Photo by Amanda Selmick.
Here's something you don't see everyday. Chris Reifert of Autopsy/Violation Wound toasting Steve Ramsey of Satan from the crowd!


Photo by Amanda Selmick.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2
Hollywood Theatre - May 28, 2016

The indomitable A.K. Wilson was with me for some of the best moments of the year. They were the best moments because she was with me!



Eating oysters with Bill "Choptop" Moseley.
14 year old Dread was very fuckin' impressed with me this year. 

VOIVOD
Dante's - June 10, 2016

VOIVOOOOOOOD!!!!
Photo by Alyssa Herrman.

C'mon, did you think I was gonna hang with Away and not tell a totally hilarious story?? By the way, that's Andrew Loomis' image flippin' the bird in the background.


DANAVA / THRONES / SUSAN VASLEV
Enchanted Forest - July 9, 2017

This short video montage by Shelby Menzel sums up one of my proudest accomplishments of the year. We made a record that sold out very quickly. We threw a record release party at a hand built amusement park that also sold out very quickly. Hmm. It was so fun we might even do it again in 2017...
video




If you were there you know what's going on here. Northwest history being made.

Photo by A.K. Wilson.

DESTROYER 666
/ BULLDOZER / EXCITER
Reggies - July 15-17

Deströyer 666 at Metal Threat in Chicago was hands down the best performance of the year. Period. Fuck off. Photo by A.K. Wilson.


Bulldozer was devastatingly good.
So good, in fact, that they played Whiskey Time twice. Photo by A.K. Wilson.

Exciter was one of many bands at Metal Threat that blew me away. It's almost unfair not to mention Black Death ResurrectedAngel Corpse, AbigailMidnight, ShitfuckerRazor, At War, Savage Master and Inquisition. But, then again, I guess I just did. Cheers to Paul Dunski for doing it right in Chicago! Photo by A.K. Wilson.

Siki Spacek was...er...very popular...at Metal Threat. Every time this man gets on stage, dudes fold their arms and smirk smugly. And every time this man walks off stage those dudes' girlfriends do this. UNTIL WE ROCK!!!!

DUDES / SUBURBIA
Hollywood Theatre - August 25-26, 2017


An event even true believers didn't think we could pull off. The Dread Family (most of 'em anyway) imbibing negative ions with Penelope Spheeris at Multnomah Falls.

BLACK SABBATH
Sunlight Supply Arena - September 13, 2016 

Photo by Angie Moss.



We saw Black Sabbath up in Tacoma in February with admittedly low expectations. I mean, who wants to see some hairy young toned-up stud sitting on Bill Ward's throne? Well, they blew us away. Every moment was sheer perfection. A few months later I received an unexpected text from a very good friend who informed me that I was on Sabbath's guest list for the evening. When security escorted us to our seats we had to pinch ourselves to believe how close we were. It was The End, indeed. Thank you, Black Sabbath! Thank you, Jason Charles! Eternally.  

FABIO FRIZZI
Hollywood Theatre - October 3, 2016

The Maestro!

Here I am explaining to Fabio Frizzi that as a kid I used to record Lucio Fulci movies on VHS with my boombox just so I could play the cassettes back and listen to his soundtrack music. He seemed duly impressed.  Or troubled. Hard to say. 

After the concert, Frizzi and his very gracious keyboard player conspired to place this pick in my hand as a small token of appreciation. I think I'll keep it.

BLACK DEATH RESURRECTED / CIRITH UNGOL
Venture, California - October 7-9, 2016

Taking Siki Spacek to visit Jimi Henrix's grave in Renton, Washington was most definitely a high point of 2016.

Watching Black Death Resurrected convert a room full of true headbangers at the amazing Frost & Fire Festival was even better!

"C'mon and riiiide...The Black Machine!!!!"
CIRITH UNGOL!

I have to salute Jarvis Leatherby for organizing one of the best U.S. metal festivals I have ever attended. It was pure magic. Thank you, Jarvis!

Tim Baker of Cirith Ungol still has golden pipes and is one of the coolest dudes I met down in Ventura.

Cirith Ungol drummer Rob Garven is such a cool dude that he plucked this pin right off his denim vest and placed it in my hand when we met after their first performance in 25 years! October 10th is now and forever CIRITH UNGOL DAY!

THE SKULL / SAINT VITUS
Star Theater - October 16, 2016


You ain't seen Saint Vitus until you've seen Scott Reagers' Saint Vitus


The only time I ever saw Trouble was in 1990 opening up for Danzig on the Lucifuge tour. It was Halloween night in Port Chester, New York. This year I had the pleasure of seeing their triumphant return, as The Skull, with Steve "Thee Slayer Hippy" Hanford of Feel The Darkness era Poison Idea smashing the skins just like Chuck Biscuits did all those years ago. You wanna talk about rock 'n' roll salvation? Eight years before this concert, almost exactly to the day, a very strung out Hanford turned himself in to Portland police after robbing a bunch of local pharmacies for opioids at knife point. It was beautiful to see his return to slim hard-hitting form behind a drum kit, where he belongs. What a goddamn show!

ALICE COOPER
Keller Auditorium - October 22, 2016

I guess this guy invented something called "Shock Rock." I think it's gonna be big.


Our seats were pretty damn good, but once The Coop started in with The Ballad of Dwight Fry, I realized I needed to get a close-up. So I walked down to the very front of the stage with my phone and politely asked some fat old slob if he would mind if I stood in front of him for a few seconds to get a quick photo (I'm short, man). His jowls shook with the kind of indignant rage that comes with the sort of net income that affords one $800 front row tickets to Alice Cooper and he said, "As a matter of fact, yes I do mind!" So I nodded, walked around him and took my position just as Alice Cooper locked eyes with me and froze like this until he saw that I had my perfect shot. Then he proceeded to shake his way out of that damn straight white vest that has been causing him so much grief all these years. Money don't always get the last laugh, chump!


That's all I have the stamina to report, dear reader. The lows were abysmally low. The highs were soaringly high. Here's to a better new year. Live to win!