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Back in the early 2000s, there was a small company here in Illinois that made SMITI action figures - little Kubrick-style versions of bands like Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Powerman 5000, The Offspring and No Doubt. I had a few of the sets and they were pretty fun, but then the maker (Stevenson Entertainment) sorta disappeared. Fast-forward to tonight and I just had a flashback when Japanese toymaker brokker got in touch about their new SEX PISTOLS collection, set for launch in the U.S., UK and Japan in January of 2019. After previously focusing on Japanese bands, this marks brokker's first entry onto the global stage. The SEX PISTOLS set features articulated mini-figures that represent the UK punk icons in their "God Save the Queen" stage gear.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the The Beatles' groundbreaking animated film, Yellow Submarine Titan Merchandising has issued an incredible Beatles Yellow Submarine Limited Edition Box Set. Limited to only 1,968 pieces, the lavishly illustrated box contains a Yellow Submarine novel by Mad Magazine's Bill Morrison, a 6 1/2-inch Yellow Submarine vinyl figure, 16 lobby cards, 4 movie posters based on the originals, 5 Beatles badges, a replica Yellow Submarine film premier ticket, and an exclusive art card signed by Bill Morrison! It's available now for pre-order at Entertainment Earth!

Thursday, November 15 2018 11:24

RIP Superpicker Roy Clark (1933-2018)

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TULSA, OK: Roy Clark, the legendary 'superpicker', GRAMMY, CMA and ACM award winner, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member and co-host of the famed 'Hee Haw' television series, died today at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla.

Roy Clark’s decade-defying success could be summed up in one word — sincerity. Sure, he was one of the world’s finest multi-instrumentalists, and one of the first cross-over artists to land singles on both the pop and country charts. He was the pioneer who turned Branson, Mo., into the live music capitol of the world (the Ozark town today boasts more seats than Broadway). And his talents turned Hee Haw into the longest-running syndicated show in television history.

Jerry Reed and Burt Reynolds were both national treasures as far as I'm concerned. It looks like Midland would agree, and after ripping through a twanged-up version of Reed's "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and The Bandit on the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, a studio version of the cover was immediately released. Accompanying the YouTube stream (which you can check out below), the group issued the following statement: "Eastbound & Down is a balls to the wall, honky tonk, fast tempo tornado of a song that was a great challenge to master and to make some tweaks to make it our own...It’s now one of our favorite songs to perform live and we can only hope that The Guitar Man is smiling somewhere up above with approval." I do believe a tip of the cowboy hat is in order, now crank this one up!

October 31, 2009. It was on that night that Slipknot would bring the touring cycle for All Hope is Gone to a close by performing to a sold-out crowd at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort as part of FANGORIA's Trinity of Terrors. No one knew it at the time, but that Halloween night concert would be the final time that the band would perform with bassist Paul Gray, who died in the spring of 2010. I was at that show - a memorable highlight of my short tenure working for FANGORIA magazine, serving as the Director of New Media for the event and co-hosting live webcasts throughout the weekend, including installments with Slipknot's Sid Wilson and Corey Taylor. Oddly enough, early this morning, Facebook memories surfaced a few images from that event that led me to dig into the archives to take a look at some never-before-seen photos and video that I was tempted to share... pausing and considering that sharing them next year on the 10th anniversary would be more appropriate. And then something unexpected happened: Slipknot released a surprise new single and music video... "All Out Life."

Whether you believe that this last hurrah really is the end... or that KISS has become bigger than its members and will live on with other performers wearing the iconic makeup, 2019 is going to be an important year for the band as KISS (in their current form) will embark on their final tour ever. After an epic 45 year career, KISS made the initial announcement last month on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and today comes news with the first set of dates and cities in North America, produced by Live Nation. Check out the details and tour trailer below!

They were out on the road with Ben Folds this summer, and now CAKE is back on the scene with their first new single since 2011, breaking their seven-year hiatus with Sinking Ship. It's a welcome return, though it's been great fun seeing my daughters (6 & 9) enjoy the back catalog, particularly enjoying Comfort Eagle (they think "onion head hat" is a funny line). All sales from CAKE's new single will benefit the work of Doctors Without Borders, and this is promised to be the first in a series of physical and digital releases that will lead into the release of a new album. Check out the video for Sinking Ship below...

If you're looking for a Halloween Playlist, then you've come to the right place. The right mix of tunes for your Halloween party or seasonal enjoyment can be a tricky thing in that there's a balance that needs to happen between classic tunes with timeless flavor and some new school jams to keep things fresh. That's why I've curated a new Halloween Spotify Playlist for 2018 that aims to do just that - some tricks are there, but it's all treats! With over 5 hours of music, this genre-spanning playlist includes tracks for the whole family, featuring Disney hits from The Descendants, Vampirina and The Nightmare Before Christmas to classic tracks from Warren Zevon, Michael Jackson and AC/DC to gems from Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures and Vince Guaraldi to fresh tracks from the likes of Ghost, Demon Hunter and Product of Hate. Best enjoyed by hitting "shuffle" and playing it loud, we'll be spinning this at Rock Father HQ for the Trick or Treaters to enjoy! Get it on Spotify or the player below...

What are you doing on New Year's Eve? Well, if you're near Los Angeles and enjoy the metal, I'd suggest getting tickets to see OZZFEST. For the first time since its 1996 debut, OZZFEST - the sometimes-annual musical event that celebrates hard rock and heavy metal - has created a special one-night-only New Year's Eve celebration to ring in 2019. It's all gonna go down on Monday, December 31 at The Forum in L.A., and Ozzy Osbourne will headline an incredible evening that also features Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and Jonathan Davis (of Korn), along with the OZZFEST debut of Body Count featuring Ice-T. The New Year's Eve party will include an outdoor stage, along with other holiday festivities, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 20 2018 13:14

Covered: VERSUS ME x TEARS FOR FEARS - "Shout"

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Tears for Fears has a timeless catalog that's long been a favorite for covers and reimaginings, and this week "Shout" has received a new metal version courtesy of Wisconsin's Versus Me. About the song, frontman James Milbrandt commented: "When we were deciding which song we wanted to cover, we knew that it had to be an anthem that everyone has heard before. We went through a ton of different ideas for song choices and finally made the decision with 'Shout.' We wanted to bring back a classic track while giving it a heavy, Versus Me feel to it. The theme of this song is also very relevant to what's happening in the world today, so it seemed like it was an obvious choice. We're not the first band to cover this song and we won't be the last, but this is our take on this classic song." Check out the video below...

Island Records/UMe has just released the 30th anniversary, 2-CD deluxe edition of Anthrax's fourth studio album, State of Euphoria. The new package consists of two discs: Disc One is the fully-remastered album, all of the B-sides originally released in conjunction with the album, and "Antisocial" recorded live in London at the Hammersmith Odeon in March, 1989; Disc Two, "Charlie's Archives," is a real treasure trove for Anthrax fans as it puts you right in the room with the band as the album's songs evolved.  The package also includes a 20-page booklet that will take you right back to the time of the album's release.

State of Euphoria will also be issued as a 2-LP set on standard black vinyl and limited edition red and yellow colored vinyl. 

stateofeuphgoro

The anniversary package was helmed by the band's drummer and long-time archivist Charlie Benante, who dove into his Anthrax vault to come up with the tapes that show the evolution of the album's songs. Disc Two takes you through the writing, development and recording process of the album's songs.  The listener is taken into the band's writing and rehearsal sessions hearing the band members construct the song, deciding what stays and what doesn't, and then into the studio for the recording of basic tracks.  "We recorded everything back then," said Benante.  "We would sit in the rehearsal room with a little two-track machine, record everything we did in rehearsal while we were putting the songs together."  Also pulled from his vault were tapes of the actual recording sessions, all the takes, that also appear on Disc Two.

In addition to the original album's artwork that includes the Mort Drucker-drawn (Mad Magazine) back cover, the anniversary package includes never before seen personal snapshots of the band members, tour admats/posters, plus two Anthrax magazine covers, all culled from that 1988-1989 period.  For the booklet, the band enlisted British journalist Alexander Milas, former editor-in-chief of Metal Hammer, to write the sleeve notes, Shawn Franklin handled editing tracks and Paul Logus mastered the set.  Benante also took to social media, inviting fans to tell him what State of Euphoria had meant to them.  He was overwhelmed with responses, and many of them are included in the booklet. "I think fans will be really excited when they see their own quotes in the package," Benante added.

State of Euphoria was produced by Anthrax and Mark Dodson, includes fan-favorites "Antisocial" and "Be All, End All," and was certified Gold a few months after release.

"'State of Euphoria' is the album that we always felt we never got to finish properly," said Benante. "We wished we had had a little more time to spend on it.  But, having revisited it while putting together this package, I really got to enjoy it again, it took me back to that time when everything was a whirlwind."

DISC ONE – STATE OF EUPHORIA REMASTER WITH BONUS TRACKS

  1. Be All, End All
  2. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
  3. Make Me Laugh
  4. Antisocial
  5. Who Cares Wins
  6. Now It's Dark
  7. Schism
  8. Misery Loves Company
  9. 13
  10. Finale
  11. Antisocial (French) *
  12. Friggin In The Riggin *
  13. Parasite *
  14. Le Sects *
  15. Pipeline *
  16. Antisocial (Live At Hammersmith Odeon) *

* BONUS TRACKS

DISC TWO - STATEMENTS OF EUPHORIA (Charlie's Archives)

  1. Be All, End All
  2. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
  3. Make Me Laugh 
  4. Antisocial 
  5. Who Cares Wins
  6. Now It's Dark
  7. Schism
  8. Misery Loves Company 
  9. Finale

If you're a guitarist that's into the heavy stuff, odds are you hold a lot of respect for the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott. His playing was unique and groundbreaking and his tones were legendary. While his sound evolved over the course of PANTERA's career and into his other work with Damageplan, Rebel Meets Rebel and more, there's no mistaking the signature tones that were present on 1990's Cowboys From Hell. Now, IK Multimedia in collaboration with Dime's longtime friend and guitar tech, Grady Champion, have put together the Dimebag Darrell CFH Collection for AmpliTube. This new collection features precise models of the exact gear used to record Cowboys From Hell, allowing players to match the guitar tones from the album including Dime's personal guitar effects, amplifiers and cabinets - all running inside of AmpliTube. It's available in a convenient desktop app and DAW plug-in, so guitarists can now play and record using the same gear and settings Dime did. Check out the demo video below along with all the models included...

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