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Weird of the Day: Thor, king of ’80s muscle rock

Thor

What happens when you cross a metal band with a bodybuilding competition? I’m so glad you asked. You get Thor, scourge of ’80s metal and bender of metal bars WITH HIS FUCKING TEETH. And OK, a towel, which kind of detracts from the drama, but still. I bet all the other ’80s metal were all like, “Well, shit, we can’t compete with that. Guess we’ll just have to settle for more Spandex and Aquanet.”

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Public memorial for Dave Brockie set for Aug. 15th, one day before the GWAR-B-Q

This amazing Dave Brockie photo lifted from this even more amazing

This amazing Dave Brockie photo lifted from this even more amazing Metal Sucks article

GWAR fans still shattered over the death of their hero, Oderus Urungus, now have something to look forward to: On Friday, Aug. 15th in Richmond, Virginia, a public memorial service will be held honoring Oderus and the crazy, incredible dude behind him, Dave Brockie.

The memorial happens one day before the 5th annual GWAR-B-Q, which might be a slightly more solemn affair this year. Although let’s hope not, because I’m sure Oderus would’ve wanted his minions partying till they puke in his honor. Maybe they can puke first and then cry later. That seems like the way to go here, I think.

In a video statement, the surviving and unmasked members of GWAR also announced that they’re creating the Dave Brockie Foundation, a charity that “will be a resource for artists in the fields of music, film, literature and all visual arts who cannot find funding through mainstream channels.” So basically, every single band we’ve ever blogged about should apply.

You can read more about the Dave Brockie Foundation here and get updates on the GWAR-B-Q here. So far the only band that’s been announced is…GWAR! GWAR without Oderus? Can such a thing be possible? Maybe they can get Joan Jett to be like Oderus’ long-lost sister or something. She did a pretty good job subbing in for Cobain with Nirvana, I hear.

Here’s that video statement. Mark your calendars, GWARmy!

Dwarr speaks! Duane Warr sets the record straight on his “canceled” tour.

Dwarr

Turns out we really should read the comments on this thing more often. Ten friggin’ days ago, Duane Warr himself, the mysterious garage-metal hero behind Dwarr, posted a comment and we only just saw it this weekend. Sorry, Duane! Day jobs and shit. I’m sure you can relate.

Anyway, it turns out that Dwarr’s ill-fated 2012 comeback tour, which was described all over the interweb as having been totally canceled (including by us…oops), was only partially canceled. Duane did manage to squeeze out two shows in Texas before the whole thing went sideways. He even provided the video evidence to prove it. You can read his entire comment over on this page but allow us to provide the highlights:

The tour started in Austin, and it sounds like the first show went OK, even though Duane had literally only met his touring band the day before. “We had a really rough first practice. We practiced again Saturday around lunchtime. We went on last Saturday night. It was really bad, but everybody loved it.”

The first signs of trouble surfaced in Houston: “I was told I couldn’t use the Fender amp anymore because it was old and I might blow it up.” But the show went on anyway, and even sounded pretty good, despite early signs of road fatigue: “The music was a lot tighter in Houston but my 2 guys were tired. I think they stayed up late in Austin. At the bottom of my set list they wrote ‘BEDTIME.’ Pretty Hilarious.”

Duane drove by himself to the next gig in New Orleans, and showed up right on time for load-in, only to be greeted by the cook and the bartender. “Nobody else showed up for 2 hours,” he relates.

When they did arrive, I was told I had to shorten my set. I told them I only had 5 nights and really needed to play my whole set, I was trying to get a 2 disc live package with a CD and DVD. When I was told “This is Jennifer’s Tour and if she says you get 45 minutes, you get 45 minutes” that was it for me. Adios Amigos.

Jennifer, by the way, is Jennifer Herrema, formerly of Royal Trux and now gigging under the name Black Bananas. Black Bananas was the headliner, so I guess she pulled rank.

So there you have it…the true story of Dwarr’s only partially, not totally, canceled tour. I guess the two-disc live package will have to wait, but at least there are some sweet videos from the tour up on YouTube. Here’s our favorite, for a track called “Tears You Cry.” Yeah, it’s a little rough, but we owe Duane Warr a serious apology for bagging on his musical skills in an earlier post. Clearly the man can shred. And he rides that wah peal like it’s a stolen Ferrari.

Ten things I’ll miss the most about Oderus Urungus

Oderus

I’m not gonna get all misty-eyed about the death of GWAR main man Dave Brockie, who for 30 years strapped on the Space Barbarian suit known to fans the world over as Oderus Urungus. I never actually met Dave, unless you count the one time in ’91 or thereabouts when I yelled “Great show!” at him after a gig and he yelled back, “Thanks, human!”

But even though I didn’t know him, I’m guessing he wouldn’t have wanted people to get all sad and weepy at his passing. He might want us to break shit, but cry? Fuck no. There are many bodily fluids I associate with GWAR, but tears are not one of them.

So instead of some pussy-ass eulogy, here’s a list of just 10 of the many things I will miss about Oderus. And probably about GWAR in general. I mean, maybe the surviving members will morph into some kind of GWAR tribute band, the way the Murder Junkies still tour with GG Allin songs, but it’s not like you can replace Oderus. In fact, this list could probably also be called “Ten Reasons GWAR Should Just Break Up Now.” I know that sounds harsh, but fuck it. It’s been a harsh day.

1. His bloody stage antics.

Especially when he dismembered Hitler. A million times more cathartic than Inglorious Basterds.

2. His interviewing skills.

Comedians should study this guy.

3. His crushing vocals on GWAR’s “Carry On Wayward Son” cover.

So much better than the original, Kansas should pay him royalties.

4. His giant Scumdog dick, aka The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu.

Yes, I know saying I miss someone’s dick is totally gay. But I don’t care. I’m gay for GWAR.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. His appearances on Fox News.

I love how the Fox commentators keep trying to be in on the joke and failing miserably.

6. His love for the children.

7. The blood. Oh, the blood.

I suppose this may continue after Oderus is gone, but it won’t be the same. (Photo swiped from this excellent article.)

gwar-fans

8. The witty stage banter.

And the disembowelment of Justin Bieber is a nice bonus, too.

9. The music.

Yeah, fine, no one ever went to a GWAR show for the music. But you know what? Some of their earlier punk/metal stuff is pretty fucking catchy.

10. The man behind the mask.

Did I say wasn’t going to get all misty-eyed? Well, fuck it, I lied.

I’m going to miss the hell out of Dave Brockie: his music, his humor, his insane stage shows, and his all-around weirdness. We basically started this blog specifically for bands like GWAR…you know, the ones that come up with something completely original and fucking commit to it. Brockie did GWAR for 30…fucking…years. Most people can’t even stay married that long.

We call the bands on here “weird” because it’s funny and it gets a reaction and because we didn’t want to crawl up our own asses and talk about “the avant-garde” or “experimentalism” or some other bunch of pretentious horseshit. Calling the bands “weird” just made the whole thing sound like more fun.

But let’s not kid ourselves. The best bands on our Weird List…maybe not all of them, but the best ones…aren’t just weird. They’re fucking extraordinary. They do shit no one else would have the creativity or perseverance or sheer balls to do. Dave Brockie embodied all of that and them some. There will never be anyone else like him.

We read a lot of great things about Dave Brockie today, written by a lot of cool people. But you have Google so we won’t bore you by reprinting them all here. We’ll just print this one, from a 2010 article about GWAR in Decibel magazine, reprinted on Deadspin. It’s from Brad Roberts aka Jizmak Da Gusha, GWAR’s drummer and it sums up Dave pretty well, we think:

I’ve known Brockie since we were little kids going to hardcore shows in the early ’80s. He was always the guy with his shirt off; he always had pit grime all over him. Nobody would drink out of pitchers of beer after he’d been drinking out of them. He would slam dance the wrong way, and everyone fucking hated him. He was chaos incarnate—that was my first impression. But I remember thinking, “He’s nuts. I gotta get in a band with that guy.”

Rest in peace, Dave. And Oderus, safe travels back to your home planet.

We’ll leave you with video of GWAR’s first-ever performance, which we discovered thanks to Boing Boing. They were so freakin’ adorable, weren’t they?

R.I.P. Dave Brockie of GWAR, aka Oderus Urungus

Oderus Urungus of GWAR

Like a lot of people, we just assumed that GWAR front-demon Oderus Urungus would be around forever. Yes, we knew there was an actual human being underneath the codpiece and monster makeup; we’re not fucking five-year-olds. But anyone who could strap on that much plastic armor and latex and churn out buckets of fake blood and real metal night after night for 30 years—we figured that guy was probably just as indestructible as the alien overlord he portrayed.

Turns out we were wrong. Dave Brockie, the man behind Oderus and the heart and soul of GWAR, died yesterday.

At this point, we’re too stunned and depressed to write much more. You can read more details (what few there are) here or here if you’re so inclined. We’ll scrape together a longer tribute to The Man, The Myth, The Scumdog later tonight. But for now, we’ll just be here cranking “Sexecutioner” and crying.

Hear a new track from Mayhem: “Psywar”

Mayhem

Here’s a factoid that’s gonna make some of you feel really fucking old: It’s been 30 years since Norwegian black metal legends Mayhem slouched out of the frozen woods of Norway and into our cold, black hearts. 30 years! And they said it wouldn’t last. Especially after the lead singer committed suicide and the guitarist got murdered. But when you basically invented the entire black metal genre, murder and suicide kinda go with the scenery.

Anyway, to celebrate 30 years of making the world a darker, more depressing place, the remnants of Mayhem are releasing their first new music this year since 2007′s Ordo ad Chao. The new album’s gonna be called Esoteric Warfare and you can hear the first single, “Psywar,” in a YouTube video below. Fortunately, it’s a lyric video, because otherwise there would be no way to figure out what the hell Attila is saying.

Heavy as fuck, am I right? My altered persona definitely just got triggered. Now pardon me while I go break stuff.

OK, I’m back to let you know that “Psywar” will be released as a single on Season of Mist on April 25th (April 29th here in America, because we suck). It’ll be on limited-edition vinyl in different colors with different artwork, all of which you can pre-order here. Looks like the red and grey vinyl are already sold out but the black is still available, because even in black metal circles, colored vinyl is still cooler than black.

Esoteric Warfare drops May 23rd (May 27th in the U.S.). It’ll feature the surviving “classic” Mayhem lineup of Necrobutcher on bass, Hellhammer on drums and Attila Csihar on vocals, with the new addition of Teloch standing in for the late, great Euronymous on guitar. Will it live up to the legend? Probably not, but who cares? As long as it means they’re bringing their severed pig heads to a theater near us soon, we’ll take it.

Hey, remember that parrot who sang lead vocals for the death metal band Hatebeak? Now he’s a fucking music critic.

For Those About to Squawk

Listen, magazines. I know times are tough and no one subscribes to you anymore and all. But do you really need to start replacing your writers with fucking birds? It’s not like us freelance writers cost all that much to begin with. And most of us don’t shit all over your product on a regular basis. Most of us.

Anyway, it’s true: Whether to cut costs, as a desperate bid for attention, or because somebody lost a bet, Waldo the Grey African Parrot from Hatebeak is a music critic for Decibel magazine with a bi-weekly column called “For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week.” Actually, he’s been one of their critics since 2010, so we’re a little late in breaking this story. No wonder we’re being phased out by birds.

In case you’re not familiar with Waldo’s other gig: Hatebeak was a joke death metal formed back in 2004 with Waldo doing lead vocals. We’ve embedded their 2007 masterpiece “The Thing That Should Not Beak” below for your listening pleasure. I gotta give it to him: He’s a talented bird, that Waldo. He even writes pretty good. “This record has the teeth of an infant, and is about as warm as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s corpse,” is how he describes one particularly shitty album. Metaphorical and offensive…nice one, Waldo!

Hatebeak has been out of circulation for a pretty long time…so long that their main web presence is still their MySpace page. Between Waldo’s busy writing schedule and the success of Hatebeak drummer Blake Harrison’s other band, Pig Destroyer, I guess they just haven’t had a chance to get back in the studio. But in a 2012 radio interview, Harrison hinted at a full-length Hatebeak album dropping sometime “before I die,” so hopefully we haven’t heard Waldo’s last death squawk.

USA Today really isn’t sure what to make of the new Babymetal video

Babymetal

Don’t look now, but the American media has discovered Babymetal. Just a few weeks after we made them a Weird Band of the Week. Coincidence? You decide. But whatever the reason, Babymetal are suddenly more popular with the journos than Justin Bieber’s jail pics.

First the pseudo-feminist website Jezebel did a little drive-by blurb about Babymetal’s new video “Gimme Choco!!” They called the girls the “world’s best (and probably only) half-pop/half-metal entertainment sensation,” which seems like a bit of stretch. Ever hear of My Chemical Romance, guys? Or, I dunno…the ’80s? But they also  described Babymetal’s songs as “insane. And then really catchy. And then insane again.” Which sounds about right, actually. So OK, Jezebel, we’ll give you a pass.

But then USA Today tried to jump on the Babymetal bandwagon and immediately was all like, “Eh, I don’t know about this, guys! Can we get off again now? This music confuses me!”

“Babymetal’s video is the greatest ever — or the worst” reads the USA Today headline, in no way shamelessly trolling for clicks. (For the record, “Gimme Choco!!” is not even the greatest Babymetal video…clearly, this one is. And as we keep pointing out, the worst video of all time remains Brokencyde’s “Freaxxx.” On this point there can be no debate.) And then, in their “Story Highlights” sidebar…because yes, USA Today has “Story Highlights” now, because what kind of asshole actually reads an entire USA Today article?…they write this: “Babymetal is a J-pop/death-metal girl-group trio. Yep, that’s what it is, all right.” Yep, that’s what passes for music journalism nowadays, all right.

Let’s see, who else got in on the Babymetal action this week? Vice’s Noisey music blog. GlobalPost. Huffington Post, which actually has an entire section dedicated to weird news, which we really wanna hate but is actually kind of awesome. How else would I have known to put “Putin butt plug” on my Pinterest “Gift Ideas” board? But I digress.

Anyhow, here’s the video that started this whole thing. Depending on who you believe, the song is either called “Gimme Choco!!”, “Give Me Chocolate!!”, “Gimme Chocolate!!” or possibly “Give Me Choco!!” All I know is that it has two exclamation points at the end. And in the video, they appear to be dancing in front of a giant statue of the Virgin Mary and throwing kawaii metal gang signs. Yep, that’s what happens, all right.

Finally, an experimental death metal song about the Teletubbies. Thanks, VirginTurtleWhore!

Teletubbies Say Fuck You!

It’s about time someone made an experimental death metal song about the Teletubbies. And VirginTurtleWhore was just the band for the job.

On their new track, “Teletubbies Say Fuck You!”, the Mexican metalheads invite the Teletubbies over to play, then bash them over the head with their Flying V’s and stomp their soft, squishy bodies into paste. At least I assume that’s what happened, although that doesn’t explain the Texas two-step breakdown, so I don’t know. Maybe all they did was party.

Here’s what VTW say about the track on their Bandcamp page:

Turn on the ole’ boob tube and enter the realm of Satan and become his anal bead today! Every time my urethra sings this song it gives me an orgasm which in turn drowns the singer, so tragic really. Sometimes I put the in ear headphones in my bum hole and let the vibrations rattle my rectum until I get diarrhea. If the yellow and red teletubbies have sex is the baby orange?

My friend’s two-year-old says the answer to that last question is definitely “yes,” by the way. He also asked what a urethra was, but I just told him it was none of his goddamned business.

Anyhow, enough talk. Let’s rock. Oh and if you want to download the track: I’m pretty sure the market value of a song this good is at least half a million dollars. But you can name your price, you cheap bastard.

Peelander-Z’s spring tour is going to melt your fucking face off

Peelander-Z

Photo by Brian D. Byers

With their whole Mighty Morphin Power Ramones shtick, I didn’t think Peelander-Z could get any more awesome. Then last year, they transformed from a punk band and into a metal band and bam! More awesomeness. I’ll never underestimate you again, Peelander-Z.

You can see the new hesher-friendly incarnation of Peelander in action starting next month, when they head out on a U.S. tour that is sure to leave a lot of sore necks and torn fishnets in its wake.

Peelander-Z On Tour:

03/08 Savannah, GA @ Club One (Savannah Stopover Festival)
03/18 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Upstairs
03/19 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
03/20 Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree Cafe
03/21 Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
03/22 Knoxville, TN @ The Bowery
03/24 Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
03/25 Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
03/28 St. Louis, MO @ The Demo
03/29 Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom
03/30 Tulsa, OK @ Mercury Lounge
04/01 Norman, OK @ Opolis
04/03 Lincoln, NE @ Knickerbockers
04/05 Kansas City, MO @ Middle Of The Map Fest
04/09 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
04/15 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
04/16 West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
04/17 San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
04/19 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre Lounge
04/21 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
04/22 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
04/26 Billings, MT @ Railyard
04/29 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
05/01 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
05/03 Toledo, OH @ Frankies
05/08 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
05/14 Providence, RI @ Fete Music

Peelander’s metal-themed album, Metalander-Z, is available here.

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