Monday, July 31, 2006

Swords & Tequila

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y: While running errands, I stopped at the usually lame Tower Records in San Mateo and was ambushed by their clearance bin. I scored a copy of Riot's 1981 classic Fire Down Under on CD for a mere $5 as well as a copy of ZZ Top's reissued Fandango CD for a criminally cheap $7. "Let that boy boogie woogie!"

Later, on this very special episode of Umlaut, Timo and I headed down to lovely Mountain View to spend the afternoon with The Kidz and see what they're into these days.

Sounds Of The Underground
Shoreline Amphitheater Parking Lot - Mt. View, CA
July 29, 2006

For the record these were the bands on the bill: As I Lay Dying, In Flames, Machine Head, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse, Gwar, The Black Dahlia Murder, and a couple of other acts whose names also sound like cheesy Horror movies or Sci-Fi characters. I've owned and then sold CDs by several bands on the bill at various times over the years.

Since I'm not overtly Metal anymore, I appreciated it when "fag" bands like The Cure and The Darkness were played over the PA in between sets. Surprisingly, there was no crowd revolt over such pussy music being played at such a "hardcore" event. So either The Kidz had a sense of irony or they were too lazy to react. With that in mind, the energy level of this show was about the same intensity as a 2-for-1 T-Shirt sale at HotTopic. Perhaps it was because Slayer's Unholy Alliance Tour had just stormed through town the week before and OzzFest a couple of weeks before that; maybe a Metal threshold had been reached. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Man, The Kidz these days don't know.... 66.6 miles barefoot uphill in the snow for Metal... etc. etc. When I started typing this (under the influence of morning coffee) I was going to rant, rant, rant. However, everyone hates an old man ranting about the younger generation... so I won't.

However, I will say that I found it WEIRD that Trivium's bass player dresses like we did in 1984: White high tops, pegged jeans, bullet belt, and denim jacket with all the "right" band patches sewn on it; he's dangerously close to wearing a costume onstage IMO. If anything, Trivium have obviously watched the Cliff 'Em All video on their tour bus and took notes.

The best part of the afternoon was seeing all of the kidz who had obviously been down front during Gwar since their skin, hair, and clothes were discolored from the liquids Gwar sprayed into the crowd. Having your skin stained by your favorite band is better than any merch item.

Cute Quote of The Day: A girl (her face smeared with "fake" blood) to her friend: "Have you ever seen so much blood?? This is what I look like after having violent sex with a donkey." CUTE!!

THANKS to Holy Diver for arranging the +1 into his 21st Century Metal World. Umlaut prefers his Old Man 20th Century Metal, but keep it real out there, for The Kidz!

Iron Maiden shirts seen = 8. I have no idea how much you would have paid if you bought one of every merch item. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. When I told people at work on Friday that I was going to this show I was met with blank stares and silence (cue crickets chirping). For those of you who know where I work, the irony is obvious.

Moving forward: Because Summer is traditionally a popular time for launching invasions against thine enemies, here are Umlaut's Top 6 20th Century Metal songs for charging into battle this season:
  • Glory Hunter - Armored Saint
  • Kill The King - Rainbow
  • Power And The Glory - Saxon
  • Swords & Tequila - Riot
  • The Trooper - Iron Maiden
  • War Ensemble - Slayer
Can you feel The Power? Can you feel The Glory?? Smite thine enemies and have a GREAT Summer! K.I.T., 'kay?!

S-U-N-D-A-Y: Just to show that Umlaut doesn't live and breath METAL 24-7 (what?!)..

The Dresden Dolls
Amoeba Records, San Francisco
July 30, 2006

On the spur of the moment, Big Wayne and I made our way to Amoeba for The Dresden Doll's in-store appearance. After all these years, it's funny that Big Wayne and I still get into the same bands without being aware of our mutual fandom until later; it all began with Metallica back in 1982. The Dutch and Chinese have a long standing alliance.

It's been a little over a year since I last saw The Dresden Dolls and, judging from Amoeba's crowded aisles, they've obviously built a large fanbase since then. What? Oh, whatever.. Okay, if you need *some* kind of Metal content to hold your attention, chew on this: Since I last saw them, The Dresden Dolls signed to Roadrunner Records. Roadrunner released Mercyful Fate's first two albums back in 1983 and '84. So there you go.

I like The Dresden Dolls' kitschy Goth Cabaret thing... and with all sincerity, the most Metal thing I saw all weekend was them performing their version of Sabbath's 'War Pigs'; I love it because it's so NOT Metal. For the newbies, if you've never heard it:

OH LORD, YEAH. Big Wayne noted that Brian played a Minor Threat song as he warmed up on his guitar (For the newbies: He switches off between drums and guitar onstage). I appreciated that Amanda was wearing a Who shirt.

Afterwards, we cruised over to La Corneta (For the newbies: Mission @ 23rd) for some slaytanic burritos. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. During the drive across beautiful San Francisco, Mercyful Fate's 'Melissa' came on over Wayne's Sirius radio. No matter where you go, Metal is there.