Articles Observations and Musings 

Bobby Steele: Undead Misfit

Bobby Steele has gotten a raw deal. Before forming The Undead, Steele played on legendary recordings that laid the groundwork for The Misfits ascent to icon status. By 1980, Steele was fired and replaced with Jerry Only’s little brother. Doyle may get mainstream recognition as Misfits ax-slinger, but Bobby Steele remains the true guitarist in the eyes of many fiends. Barring the few who were around to witness the original line-up, fans largely discovered the classic Misfits recordings through compilations lovingly known as Collection 1 and 2. In the post-vinyl/pre-internet…

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Album Reviews Articles 

The Clash – Exploring the Vanilla Tapes (London Calling Rehearsals 1979)

Persistent rumors of “lost” Clash recordings haunted die-hard fans for a solid 25 years. According to legend, The Clash documented London Calling rehearsals in a makeshift practice room at Vanilla Studios. This coveted material failed to surface, leading many to question whether the “Vanilla Tapes” actually existed. Joe Strummer first hinted at the existence of self-made tapes during a 1979 interview. Strummer proposed that bands could avoid expensive studio bills by recording on simple Teac machines. It was a noble idea, perhaps a way to extricate The Clash from corporate…

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Album Art Exploration Articles 

Sonic Youth – Goo and the Moors Murders

Sonic Youth made their major label debut with Goo. An indie past was preserved with the inclusion of cover art by SST artist, Raymond Pettibon. The simple black and white drawing looked more like a demo tape than a corporate release. Pettibon’s past work typically used graphic imagery. Goo was comparatively tame. Violence was still present, yet purely textual. Three sentences spun a compelling narrative for two nameless black and white figures. Pettibon’s text added a cerebral component to the mystery couple. Adventures of the road were purposely open-ended. Overactive minds…

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Articles Top Ten Lists 

Animated Music Videos and Movies

Innovative musicians have long used animation to unite sight and sound. Imaginations run wild when unhindered by reality and anything is possible in a cartoon. From the sixties to the Internet age, the following videos are just a small sampling of what happens when animators interpret rock music. THE BEATLES – YELLOW SUBMARINE The union of animation and rock music dates back to 1968 with a film inspired by The Beatles. Yellow Submarine starred cartoon versions of the Fab Four along with a soundtrack of fan favorites. Yellow Submarine is set…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

The Black Sabbath Cartoon – “Lost” Clip from 1974

Imagine Black Sabbath as stars of their own Saturday morning cartoon. One clip floating around You Tube purports to be just that. Set in 1974, the show would have aired during the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath era. In the roughly three minute segment, Black Sabbath appear as animated caricatures of themselves. Bill Ward guzzles booze and talks incoherently. Ozzy is the ever-present clown, continually getting into hijinks, often without clothes. Tony and Geezer are depicted as stately rock stars that counteract the antics of their drug-addled singer and boozed up drummer….

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Articles 

Iron Maiden Concert Review – Philadelphia PA June 4th 2017 – The Book of Souls Tour

Philadelphia has waited 26 years for a proper Iron Maiden concert. Area appearances since No Prayer for the Dying have been relegated to a tacky outdoor amphitheater in nearby Camden, NJ. When it was announced that Maiden were bringing The Book of Souls tour to the indoor Wells Fargo Center, fans responded by selling out the venue. Sold out shows across the world are the norm for Iron Maiden. North American crowds haven’t faired so well…. especially in a fickle city like Philadelphia. Previous stops in amphitheater hell revealed large…

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Album Art Exploration Album Reviews Articles 

Alice Cooper – From the Inside: Revisiting the Asylum

Alice Cooper soared to incredible heights in the seventies. As his solo career eclipsed the original Alice Cooper band, the shock rocker became a bona fide star. Alice appeared on talk shows, hung out with celebrities and even hosted The Muppet Show. Alice Cooper had transcended the role of rock star to infiltrate American popular culture. Behind the scenes Alice was unraveling. Nearly a decade of alcohol abuse had taken its toll. Rumored to drink a case per day, Alice coughed up blood each morning before cracking open his first…

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Articles Top Ten Lists 

10 Creepiest Alice Cooper Songs

Alice Cooper has been creeping out audiences since the early seventies. With topics ranging from insanity to necrophilia, the following songs demonstrate why Alice Cooper is the undisputed king of shock rock. BLACK JU JU Love it to Death was a pivotal album for Alice Cooper. It was the first record released on Warner Brothers, but more importantly, it marked the start of an enduring collaboration with producer Bob Ezrin. The new relationship brought a tightened approach to songwriting. Although “I’m Eighteen” became a smash hit, a series of darker…

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Album Art Exploration Articles 

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention: The Freak Out Gatefold

The Mothers of Invention released the double LP, Freak Out in 1966. Frank Zappa and his band of misfits took full advantage of having four album sides at their disposal. A mix of psychedelic rock, doo-wop, kazoo solos, and avant-garde soundscapes, Freak Out is not an easy album to process. A carefully designed gatefold helps listeners grasp the eclectic debut. Extensive liner notes provide a mix of humor, social commentary and biography. As a package, Freak Out is a veritable crash-course in all things Zappa. Freak Out introduced the Mothers of Invention…

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Articles Observations and Musings 

Don’t Look Back: Bob Dylan vs. Donovan

D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary, Don’t Look Back, captures Bob Dylan during his 1965 tour of England. Bringing It All Back Home had peaked at number 1 in the UK. Teenage girls stalk his hotel, fans chase his limousine, and newspapers feed the frenzy with endless Bob Dylan articles. Pop singer Donovan was also enjoying a surge of popularity in 1965. Throughout the film, Dylan is preoccupied with the local press. Seemingly every time he opened the paper, Donovan’s name appeared. Our first hint of jealousy arrives early on. Dylan reads a…

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