The FOH Breakdown of Potential – And Not So Potential – Super Bowl 50 Halftime Performers

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by Guest Editor

Although I find most pop culture-related news to be a waste of my time and extremely exhausting, this subject is something I try to keep tabs on every year because technically it’s NFL-related. Which is weird, because I think we all know that technically it has nothing to do with the league, or the game on the field. The objective here is to get people who may not be interested in said game to watch the halftime show. This is typically done by putting a pop artist or a group of classic rock musicians on a stage with a lot of lights and clever camera angles in order to attract viewers who are impressed by shiny objects. In a nutshell, the Super Bowl is essentially the one time a year where television programming just goes ahead and assumes we all suffer from attention deficit disorder. I say bullshit, I don’t suffer from it one bit. In fact, I accredit my ADD as the source for the fact that I’m able to multitask so well in the physical business environment. What were we talking about again?

Oh, right…The Super Bowl Halftime Show. Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of interested halftime shows since they became such a popular part of the Super Bowl landscape. There was the disaster at Super Bowl XXXV where MTV was in charge of the production and thought it would be a good idea to pair up N*SYNC with Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was followed three years later by yet another MTV production which would land the NFL in hot water as singer Justin Timberlake ripped off a section of Janet Jackson’s clothing revealing not only her nipple, but also 38-year old former child star Janet Jackson. And who can forget a year later in Jacksonville when LeAnn Rimes took the stage and shit all over the front reference monitor?     Continue reading

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The Deep Six:  The Icarus Syndrome – Metal Edition

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by guest contributor Blade Mancano with Ryan Meehan

The Icarus Syndrome is defined as “a terrible virus that infects music, tainting it to the point of being unlistenable”. Icarus is a fitting metaphor in that the music comes close to passable, similar to the winged demigod’s fruitless voyage to the sun.  I can’t stand a bad album as much as the next guy.  I hate actually buying something – Yes, I do buy most of my music – be it a pre-order or a “long awaited return-to-form” comeback album that sucks the living shit right through your ears while you find yourself praying to locate the stop button.  However, this sad and brief moment in time has an easy fix:  Throw it away or sell it, get it out of here – problem solved.  Unfortunately there is a far worse fate for music fans: listening to a release that is almost good, hence torturing the listener who is simultaneously “kinda” enjoying it. Similar to putting on a fresh pair of wet socks to go with your dry-cleaned suit for a day at the office, it drives the listener to a crazy level of auditory irritation. A shady, shaky grey limbo of notes accompanied by either word salads or sub-par productions, the results are the same.  Purgatory…On…Earth.  The world of heavy metal is littered with such releases but here is my personal list of disdain, complete with Meehan’s snarky commentary to boot.  This is The Deep Six:  The Icarus Syndrome – Metal Edition.   Continue reading

7 Questions with Doro Pesch

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by Ryan Meehan

Doro Pesch is a female vocalist, formerly of the German band Warlock and one of the few female singers of the 1980s Heavy Metal scene, which was primarily a male-dominated genre of music.  After Warlock underwent many personnel changes, Pesch was the only remaining original member of the band. After changing her record label, she released the fifth album as Doro, as the former label owned the trademark on the Warlock name.  Doro has been solo ever since with a solid backing band and lives in Europe. She celebrated her 20th year as a performer with her most recent release “Warrior Soul” in 2006.  Originally Pesch was a member of the group Snakebite, but in 1983 she left to join Warlock. In 1987, after Warlock’s fourth album, “Triumph And Agony”, enough band members had been exchanged that Doro Pesch was the only remaining member. What would be Warlock’s fifth album was released titled Force Majeure in 1989. In 1995, Doro made her acting debut on the German television program “Verbotene Liebe” (Forbidden Love).  After the “Love Me In Black” tour in 1998, Doro parted ways from WEA and signed at SPV Steamhammer. She also signed a U.S. deal with Koch in 2000.  She continues to tour and perform at festivals around the world and her fan base is as loyal as it gets, that’s just one of the reasons why we are honored to have the legendary Doro Pesch as our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

The Deep Six: Why Getting Weird Al Yankovic to perform at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show might not be such a weird idea at‏ all‏

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by Ryan Meehan

As die hard sports fans, we’d all like to think that we have no real opinion on the Super Bowl Halftime Show. This is the time that we use to relieve ourselves from all of the Busch Heavy that we drank in the first thirty minutes of the contest, and perhaps type up a few first half wrap-ups. But in reality, like it or not it is part of the experience. Over the past couple of weeks, a petition started by Ed Ball of Washington over at change.org has been getting a lot of attention.  Ball supposedly drafted the petition while intoxicated, but the purpose of this petition is clear as day:  He wants the National Football League to get Weird Al Yankovic to perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLIX this February in Glendale, Arizona.

I used to listen to Weird Al a lot when I was younger.  We used to get the tapes and copy them for each other, and Al was a seemingly never-ending source of entertainment.  “Dare to be Stupid” was one of my favorite albums.  Eventually my tastes progressed towards much darker subject matter, and there was a certain passage of maturity that came with saying “I don’t listen to that stuff anymore”.  Nevertheless, I still respected the guy and the career he was able to put together with an accordion and wire-rimmed glasses.    Continue reading

7 Questions with Kelly David Smith of Flotsam and Jetsam

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by Ryan Meehan

Flotsam and Jetsam, arguably one of the most influential and prominent acts from thrash metal’s birth in the early 80s, returned to Metal Blade Records to release their 2013 album, “Ugly Noise”. It was the band’s eleventh full-length album, and their first release on Metal Blade since 2001, as a follow up to their 2010 album, “The Cold”. The record also heralded the return of original members Michael Gilbert on guitar and Kelly David Smith on drums, who haven’t recorded with Flotsam and Jetsam since “High” in 1997. According to Smith, their decision to work with Metal Blade “was the obvious choice for us after our long-standing relationship and Metal Blade’s 30 year history of metal. You can’t match what they can do with 30 years of experience behind them.” The band has re-recorded their classicalbum “No Place for Disgrace” which is set for re-release on February 15th, 2014. Horns to that, and Kelly David Smith is our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading