CD Review: M.O.D. “Busted, Broke & American”

“Busted, Broke & American”
M.O.D. (Method of Destruction)
Megaforce Records
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. are back with a brand new full-length album titled “Busted, Broke & American”. The album (the bands 10th) was 3 years in the making and over that course of time the band helmed by vocalist Billy Milano went through a variety of ups and downs and at the end reunited with Megaforce Records to release what could be considered M.O.D.’s most brash and in your face collection of songs to date.

Put this album on and prepare to be pummeled as NY hardcore staple Billy Milano and company come out with all guns blazing on the band’s latest release “Busted, Broke & American”. The track “The Final Declaration” whose gang vocal filled choruses chant “to war” is a staunch warning of what your ears are in for over the course of the next 11 tracks. As the album progresses listeners are treated to the in your face, pull no punches approach of Mr. Milano. Case in point the aptly titled “You’re A Fucking Dick” and probably my favorite track off the album “Busted, Broke & American” which shoves it finger straight into the chest of today’s society. Other tracks I found to stand out was the heavily punk influenced “Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass” and the shredding instrumental track “All Out of Bubblegum”.

Be ready to jump in the deep end as “Busted, Broke & American” is full on from the word go. Intense, thought provoking lyrics mixed with bombastic instrumentation make up each of the albums 12 tracks. With Milano going on record stating that this could in-fact be M.O.D.’s final record he and the rest of the band certainly gave their all leaving nothing on the table.

Track Listing:
1.) Eisenhower Was Right
2.) The Final Declaration
3.) You’re A Fucking Dick
4.) Busted, Broke & American
5.) Fight
6.) Hooligan
7.) Billy Be Damned
8.) Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass
9.) They
10.) All Out of Bubblegum
11.) Go Go Revolution
12.) Kennedy Speaks

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with M.O.D. frontman Billy Milano here.

M.O.D. Vocalist Billy Milano Talks About the Bands New Album “Busted, Broke & American”

Billy Milano is the outspoken vocalist for the legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. On July 7th the group will release its 10th full-length studio album titled “Busted, Broke & American” via Megaforce Records. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Billy recently about the album which was an extremely personal record Milano as well as his thoughts on the current state of hardcore and the possibility of this being the group’s final album.

Adam Lawton: M.O.D. went through a couple rough patches during the making of the new album which was originally slated to be released a couple years ago. Can you tell us about that?

Billy Milano: I have never been one of those guys that say’s I “have” to do something because of music. A lot of people know me from music but that’s not all of who I am. I did the “Red, White and Screwed” album in 2007 and then toured it for a year and a half. During that time one of the things I realized was that I had been forcing myself into a position I didn’t want to be in. I needed some time for myself as I just didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about the band it’s just that I generally do about a two year run with a group of guys and then that’s it. People change and I tend to get angsty unless, they bring something to the table. I don’t agree with people being involved in my life that are all encompassing. I am an adult and want to be able to go and live my life how I want to without any interference. When I came back from California in 2012 after the first sessions for this album there was a myriad of problems. There were guys in the band I was tired off, the producer I was working with wasn’t the right guy for the job and what we ended up with didn’t work for me. I took about a whole year off after this. Also at this time my dog Buster was very sick. To watch him go through what he did was heart breaking and I couldn’t leave him. I started playing guitar again at this time and that’s when this record started to come to life.

AL: The band is back with Megaforce Records. Can you tell us how that relationship came back together?

BM: I had started working on the record again and it was starting to turn out special. I had a couple labels that were interested at the time and out of nowhere Missy the owner of Megaforce calls me up to talk about doing a 30th anniversary edition for the “U.S.A. for M.O.D.” record. I thought that would be really cool and while we were talking I asked her if she would be interested in hearing the new record. I played it for her and she liked what she heard. From there we decided to work together on this record and also to re-release three M.O.D. records from our back catalog. Megaforce has been very good to us and the packaging has come out amazing.

AL: What are your thoughts on the recent upswing that hardcore music is experiencing right now and, where do you feel M.O.D. fits in with today’s music scene?

BM: A lot of people have always looked at M.O.D. and wondered what is it? If you listen to the records it’s not hardcore, thrash or punk. It’s got a little bit of everything in it. I think it has a hardcore punk attitude which is something I myself have always been, a New York Hardcore Skinhead even as hairy as I am now I still consider myself that. (Laughs) When we would start putting together a tour I would think to myself about bands who we could tour with and it was hard because there was no one else really like M.O.D. We just didn’t fit any one specific category. M.O.D. has a core group of fans and I accept that because that is what I have offered. I have only offered a cursorary involvement with M.O.D. live around the world because I feel there are other things in my life that take precedent. That’s not what musicians who are successful think like. In my case growing up in an Italian family with 11 brothers and sisters with tight nit community around us gave me a different attitude towards things. As to addressing where M.O.D. fits on the tooth of the gear to this day this is something I still can’t answer. I know we have a great record coming out to go along with some of the other great records we have put out in the past. “Busted, Broke & American” is a very memorable record. I think it’s coming to a point where it wasn’t the timing of other things going on that might be good for it as much as it was the timing of where I am at. Things are coexisting together and that’s something you just can’t plan. It just happens. I have always just been Billy Milano. There are a lot of hardcore bands out there doing reunions and playing shows right now and I think a lot of that has to do with the vinyl market. Bands are able to release their back catalogs for the first time on vinyl and getting deals based on that which allows them then to put out new music. The anniversary of “U.S.A For M.O.D” and the history M.O.D. had with Megaforce Records certainly helped me get this new record out and I am grateful for that.

AL: You stated in a press release that “Busted, Broke & American” very well could be M.O.D.’s last album. Is that still the case as we get closer to the July 7 release date?

BM: Yes, Absolutely! Do I think I could write another record like? No. Too much pain went into this record. Watching my dog die while writing this and learning how to play guitar again was just awful. At my age the stress that comes along with doing a record is not something I want to deal with. This was a very personal record to me and I put a lot into it. I mixed this thing seven times because it was so personal. It was Busters record. I don’t think I am doing another record. Will I do a single or an EP? Sure. I think I can write a few great songs every one or two years and put out an EP with somebody. It would be cool to do something with M.O.D. and maybe some unsigned punk bands and put that stuff out and expose people to new music. For me that would be a better legacy than a follow up record. I have always tried to help unsigned people. I have brought in unknown musicians to my records because I wanted to bring people into that pool of the music industry.

AL: Are there any plans to perform the new album live?

BM: I have no live shows planned at this moment. We haven’t even been able to rehearse as we are minus a drummer at this moment. I had a guy lined up but due to some personal things he was not able to keep going with us. We will find a drummer eventually. There are always guys out there that want to get paid to play. Our music isn’t Rush or Dream Theater. Maybe more like “Mystery Science 3000 Theater” but not those other groups. (Laughs) When we are ready will be out there ripping it. In the mean time I am focusing on two books I am writing. The first one is my personal book and the second is a cook book which I am doing for my mom. I have another band I am working with called “Billy Be Damned”. I play rhythm guitar in that band. If I had to describe it, it would be a mixture of The Pogues meets Stiff Little Fingers meets the Clash and Foo Fighters. It’s heavy but it’s not metal.

Be sure to check out our exclusive review of “Busted, Broken & American” here. And for more info on Billy and M.O.D. head over to www.milanomosh.com

Mastodon Announce Fall North American and U.K. Headline Tour

MASTODON ANNOUNCE FALL NORTH AMERICAN AND U.K. HEADLINE TOUR

June 12, 2017 (Burbank, CA) – Internationally celebrated heavy rock icons Mastodon have extended their U.S. headline tour starting on September 26 in Orlando, FL at Hard Rock Live with continued support from Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles. The tour also includes stops at several festivals, including the High Elevation Fest in Denver, CO and Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY. Mastodon will also be playing a series of headline shows in the U.K. this December including Brixton Academy in London, England on December 10. Tickets go on sale this Friday, January 16 at 10:00 am local time. Tickets can be purchased at mastodonrocks.com/tour.

“Show Yourself,” from the new album Emperor of Sand, remains in the Top 5 Active Rock Chart after several consecutive weeks. The album continues its ascent towards greater heights and is catching the attention of a new legion of fans:
“Emperor Of Sand… a further evolution of the band’s fusion of metal and prog-rock interests. It’s music of complexity and feeling.” – The Los Angeles Times

“Deeply personal…There’s immediacy to it, something intimate in the way it approaches life and death. Emperor Of Sand sees Mastodon laying their rock roots on the table. Mastodon’s strength is in their ability to harness musical madness into a cohesive vision.” – Nerdist

“There is only one band that can go from extreme metal to classic rock and somehow make it all sound seamless, and that band is Mastodon.” – Alternative Press

Mastodon Fall Tour Dates:
# indicates festival date. All other dates are headline shows.
*w/o Eagles of Death Metal

#08/20 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas Festival
#09/23 Denver, CO High Elevation Fest
09/26 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
09/27 Charleston, SC North Charleston PAC
09/29 Knoxville, TN Civic Auditorium
#09/30 Louisville, KY Louder Than Life Festival
10/03 Raleigh, NC The Ritz
10/04 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
10/06 Atlanta, GA The Fox Theater
#10/07 Camden, NJ Rock Allegiance Festival
10/09 Montreal, QC Metropolis
10/10 Rochester, NY The Armory
10/11 Grand Rapids, MI 20 Monroe Live
*10/13 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
10/14 San Antonio, TX Aztec Theater
#10/15 Houston, TX Houston Open Air
10/17 Albuquerque, NM Historic El Rey Theater
10/19 San Diego, CA House of Blues
#10/21 Sacramento, CA Aftershock Festival
10/23 Boise, ID Revolution Center
10/24 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
10/25 Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theatre

UK December Tour Dates:
12/02 Cardiff, Wales Great Hall
12/04 Wolverhampton, England Civic Hall
12/05 Nottingham, England Rock City
12/06 Newcastle, England Northumbria University
12/07 Glasgow, Scotland Barrowland
12/09 Manchester, England Academy
12/10 London, England Brixton Academy

Summer 2017 Tour Dates:
06/12 Metal Hammer Awards show London, UK
06/14 Barba Negra Budapest, HUN
06/15 Novarock Nickesldorf, AUT
06/16 Culture Factory Zagreb, CRO
06/21 Sala Tejo Lisbon, POR
06/23 Download Festival Madrid, SPA
06/25 Artefacts Festival Strasbourg, FRA
06/26 LKA Stuttgart, GER
06/27 Tivoli Vrdenburg Ronda Hall Utrecht, HOL
06/28 Hamburg Docks Hamburg, GER
06/30 Bravalla Festival Norrkoping, SWE
07/02 Tuska Open Air Helsinki, FIN
07/04 B90 Gdansk, POL
07/05 Karlove Rock For People Hradec, CZE
07/06 Batcshkapp Frankfurt, GER
07/08 Resurrection Fest Viviero, SPA

For further information, go to: mastodonrocks.com

CD Review: CJ Ramone “American Beauty”

“American Beauty”
CJ Ramone
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Out of the seven billion or so people on the planet, only seven men have been lucky enough to be gifted with the Ramone surname. As of 2017, four have already headed off to that great gig in the sky. Thankfully, CJ Ramone has no plans to leave any time soon and his latest album “American Beauty” is sure to solidify that statement. The album which is being released via Fat Wreck Chords features twelve brand new tracks and is the follow up to Ramones 2013/14 album “Last Chance to Dance”.

Though the original Ramones lineup is no longer with us thankfully guys like CJ Ramone who was a member of the band from 1989 to 1996 when the band officially retired are still around and making music to fill that empty void. “American Beauty” is the latest offering from CJ and his band who continue to wave the flag for the originators of pop infused punk rock. With subtle nods to his former band mate’s tracks like “Let’s Go”, “Girlfriend In a Grave Yard” and “Run Around” all tap into that same appeal vintage Ramones tracks have but with a modern and somewhat updated twist. Tracks like “Without You” which features a guest appearance by Big Eyes front-woman Kate Eldridge is a catchy back and forth love song about being apart while the track “Tommy’s Gone” is a somber acoustic driven number paying tribute to original Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone (Erdelyi) who passed away in 2014.

Whether you’re a casual listener or a devoted Pinhead CJ Ramones’s “American Beauty” has something for you. From catchy vocal lines and pogo inducing choruses to overdriven guitars and thumping drums and bass the latest offering from a this true punk veteran is worth a listen.

Track Listing:
1.) Let’s Go
2.) Yeah Yeah Yeah
3.) You’ll Never Make Me Believe
4.) Before the Lights Go Out
5.) Girlfriend in a Graveyard
6.) Tommy’s Gone
7.) Run Around
8.) Steady as She Goes
9.) Without You
10.) Be a Good Girl
11.) Moral to the Story
12.) Pony

Killswitch Engage and Anthrax Announce Openers for Co-Headlining Spring 2017 North American Tour- “KillThrax”

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE AND ANTHRAX ANNOUNCE OPENERS FOR CO-HEADLINING SPRING 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR — “KILLTHRAX”

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA SERVING AS MAIN SUPPORT ON ALL DATES

JASTA TO OPEN 10 DATES, WITH CODE ORANGE OPENING ALL DATES THEREAFTER

SiriusXM Will Present All Dates

(New York, N.Y.): Metalcore forefathers Killswitch Engage and thrash legends Anthrax announced in December that they will hit the road this Spring to co-headline a 27-date North American tour, presented by SiriusXM. The bands’ itinerary will also include an April 15 appearance at the Texas Independence Festival in Austin, as well as each band headlining two solo shows separate from the double bill.

With KsE and Anthrax rotating the closing slot over the course of the dates, the tour will hit the ground on March 29 in Montclair, NJ and then criss-cross the continent, wrapping up in Boston on May 7. The intense and dynamic The Devil Wears Prada will provide direct support on all dates.

Multi-tasking Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta will perform solo as Jasta and open the first 10 shows of the tour — including the two Killswitch Engage headline shows that do not feature Anthrax.

Pittsburgh’s Code Orange, who are being hailed as one of the most exciting metal acts of 2017 with the release of their new album FOREVER, will open all of the dates thereafter. Code Orange jump on the tour on April 11.

Tickets are on sale via the KsE site, the Anthrax site, and the TDWP site. Please visit those locations for all details regarding ticketing.

Confirmed dates for the KsE and Anthrax tour are as follows.

MARCH
29 — The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ *&
30 — Express Live, Columbus, OH **&
31 — Arcada Theater, St. Charles, IL (Anthrax only)
31 — The International, Knoxville, TN (KsE only) &

APRIL
1— Little River Casino, Manistee, MI (Anthrax only)
1 — Norva, Norfolk, VA (KsE only) &
3 — The Fillmore, Silver Springs, MD &
4 — The Dome, Wallingford, CT *&
5 — Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA *&
7 — 20 Monroe Live, Grand Rapids, MI *&
8 — The Fillmore, Detroit, MI ** &
9 — Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA *&
11 — The Ritz, Raleigh, NC **#
12 —Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA **#
13 — House of Blues, Orlando, FL *#
15 — Texas Independence Festival, Austin, TX **#
16 — Boggus Ford Events Center, Pharr, TX **#
17 — House of Blues, Houston, TX *#
18 — House of Blues, Dallas, TX **#
20 — The Marquee, Phoenix, AZ *#
22 — The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA **#
23 — The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA **#
25 — Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA *#
26 — Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR **#
28 — Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO *#
29 — Sokol Auditorium, Omaha, NE **#
30 — Midland Theatre, Kansas City, MO *#

MAY
1 — The Pageant, St. Louis, MO **#
3 — Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON, CANADA **#
5 — Paramount Theatre, Huntington, NY **#
6 — Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY *#
7 — House of Blues, Boston, MA *#

* — KsE closes
** — Anthrax closes
&— Featuring Jasta
# Featuring Code Orange

Duran Duran announce additional U.S. and South American dates on 2017 Spring Tour

DURAN DURAN ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL U.S. AND
SOUTH AMERICAN DATES ON 2017 SPRING TOUR
TICKETS ON SALE THIS WEEK AT WWW.DURANDURAN.COM

January 24th, 2017 (Burbank, CA) – Duran Duran has announced additional dates for their Spring 2017 World Tour, in support of their current album Paper Gods. The new U.S. and South American dates include shows in Texas, Florida, Georgia and Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Tickets go on sale beginning Friday, January 27 at www.duranduran.com.

Duran Duran VIP Fan Community members will have access to tickets before the general public. Members should login and visit the Presale page for details at http://www.duranduranmusic.com.

Duran Duran rang in 2017 playing to a sold-out audience at the brand new Washington, DC-area venue The Theater at MGM National Harbor. As previously announced, the multi-platinum band will travel to South America to perform alongside additional superstar artists The Weeknd and Metallica at the Lollapalooza festivals in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. They will also play a headline show in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. These dates will mark the band’s first shows in this part of the world since 2012, and the very first in this market in support of Paper Gods. Tickets for Lollapalooza are on sale now, with info and links on www.duranduran.com.

Paper Gods was released in September 2015 and entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 10, earning the iconic British band their highest charting album in 22 years. Produced by Grammy Award-winners Nile Rodgers and Mark Ronson, along with Mr Hudson and Josh Blair, the band’s 14th studio album features collaborations with Janelle Monáe, John Frusciante, Kiesza, Jonas Bjerre (of Mew), and Lindsay Lohan.

Duran Duran’s latest release is a very special, limited-edition, deluxe vinyl box set of Paper Gods featuring previously unreleased material from the album recording sessions and brand new remixes of the single “Last Night In The City.” Visit The Vinyl Factory’s website (http://thevinylfactory.com) for more details and purchase information.

Duran Duran’s upcoming tour dates are as follows. Newly announced shows are in bold.

03/17 Palm Spring, CA Agua Caliente
03/18 Palm Springs, CA Agua Caliente
03/21 Dallas, TX Music Hall at Fair Park
03/22 Houston, TX Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
03/26 Sao Paolo, Brazil Lollapalooza Brazil
03/29 Belo Horizonte, Brazil Belo Horizonte Hall
04/01 Buenos Aires, Argentina Lollapalooza Argentina
04/02 Santiago, Chile Lollapalooza Chile
04/05 Hollywood, FL Seminole Hard Rock Casino
04/08 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park

http://www.duranduran.com

Blu-ray Review “American Honey”

Starring: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Arielle Holmes, Riley Keough, Will Patton
Director: Andrea Arnold
Rated: R
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Run Time: 162 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

I heard a little bit of hype around this film and then poof! Nothing. This film disappeared from everywhere, showing up on Blu-ray this month out of the blue. Honestly, Shia LaBeouf was such a promising actor and seemingly threw it all away. I was willing to check out this flick and give him another chance. I have to admit performance wise, this is not a bad one for him and I hope he gets back into the spotlight. Sasha Lane, though, is one to keep an eye out. I have a feeling that we will be hearing a lot more from her in the future. Unfortunately, the film itself is just barely watchable due to lack of cohesive story and ridiculously long running time.

Official Premise: An astonishing portrait of youth on the American fringe, American Honey is told through the eyes of a vivacious teenage rebel who joins a group of fellow misfits hustling and partying their way across the country. Bursting with electric, primal energy, American Honey is an immersive, exhilarating odyssey of heartbreaking beauty — a generation-defining film that celebrates the defiant resilience of youth in pursuit of the American Dream.

Liongate Films delivered this film on Blu-ray as a combo pack with a Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This film was definitely shot with a big ole ode to the videophiles out there. It is extremely arty and specifically shot. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is interesting and doesn’t disappoint but didn’t really grab me either. If the film wasn’t worse enough, the special features on this Blu-ray are even more disappointing. “Sasha Lane and Riley Keough on American Honey” is the only extra which includes interviews with the actresses.

The All American Family Guy

America will never be the same again! Trump has taken over not just our TV’s but the entire nation. Some would say it’s ‘Lucky there’s a Family Guy, he can certainly make us laugh and cry’.

In honour of the best piece of TV to come out of the USA coupled with the worst political figures in history we have created a new All American Family Guy. Featuring; Trump as Peter, Hilary as Lois, Vladimir Putin as Chris, Sarah Palin as Meg, Tim Kaine as Stewie and Nigel Farage as Brain.

Episode One: Peter makes some new friends

After the big Election Peter takes some time out to catch up on Nuclear War III USA.

Peter seems to have a lot of haters so it’s time to look beyond the USA for some new friends. In true American fashion he finds them from the comfort of his sofa, on his Xbox console.

Episode Two: I am your Father

Peter takes Brian on his walkies, but who is leading who?

Episode Three: Revenge

Lois finds some incriminating evidence on her husband, will it end up in the hands of the FBI?

Episode Four: Taco that Trump

Peter is taken hostage, but by who?

Content and images supplied by online casino experts Paddy Power.

 

Jag 13 of Eat The Turnbuckle discusses the bands latest EP “The Great American Bash Your Head In”

Eat The Turnbuckle is a heavy metal band hailing from Philadelphia, PA. Despite being from “The City of Brotherly Love” the groups sound and stage show which features elements of extreme wrestling couldn’t be further from the cities well know moniker. The band recently released a new EP titled “The Great American Head Bash In” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with the bands vocalist Jag 13 to discuss the new EP, the group’s intense stage shows and their plans for the remainder of 2016.

Adam Lawton: Is Eat the Turnbuckle a band who wrestles or, wrestler that play in a band?

Jag 13: It’s kind of both honestly. Some of the older guys in the band used to wrestle and Shlak one of our guitarists wrestles now for CZW. For me personally I have always been into both wrestling and music. Philadelphia has always been a great town for wrestling and when I was younger I remember the WWF coming through a lot. I got to see the whole ECW thing come into play as well. With music I think that’s something almost everyone gets in to at a young age so I have been in to both for as long as I can remember.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands most recent EP?

Jag 13: We did “The Great American Bash Your Head In” for our most recent tour. We try and have new material out each time we go on the road. If we know we are going to be heading out at a certain time we start writing and putting things together. This EP has 5 new songs which have been going over really well so far. We only did one show here in the states on this run with the rest of the dates being over in Europe. We did about 22 shows over there and wrapped things up with our performance at this year’s Gwar B-Q inn Virginia. We were actually supposed to do one other show however we had to cancel due to our drummer having a broken ankle. He actually broke it the second day of tour and finally went to the hospital on the fourth day of the tour. He had a cast on but didn’t miss one show. Like a dummy he took the cast off when we got back home and things got messed up even worse.(Laughs)

AL: Speaking of the Gwar B-Q. This was the second time you guys have been asked to play. How did this year’s event differ from the previous year you performed?

Jag 13: The first time we played they had us going on pretty early. Something happened with the doors and we ended up playing to a small group as a lot of people were stuck at the gates. I think the reception from those who saw was really good and the fact that a lot of people who wanted to see us couldn’t helped with us getting asked back this year. This year was off the hook! We played the Slutman Pavilion which was a lot of fun. I think I would prefer playing that stage over one of the bigger stages. We have sort of gotten used to playing on smaller stages but even if we were on the bigger stage things would have definitely spilled over. (Laughs) A bigger stage means we have to do bigger gimmicks!

AL: With your show incorporating extreme/hardcore wrestling elements and references what was the European reception like being that type of wrestling isn’t as common there?

Jag 13: I think those things were why we have caught on so well over there. They don’t have the hardcore and extreme matches in their wrestling shows so this is something new for them. We had people coming up to us after the shows who weren’t fans of the music but they came out to check out the wrestling. We played a lot of smaller countries over there and those people just ate it up. They loved watching the shows. We did a festival in the Czech Republic where they actually got a wring for us. Shlak ended up wrestling the Champ from the league there in a death match. It was in front of about five thousand people and it was just crazy. Both the guys needed to get stitched up afterwards.

AL: What type of planning goes into one of your shows being that not only are you performing musically but you are also including wrestling elements as well?

Jag 13: We argue a lot. (Laughs) Right before the show we sort of get the lay of the land and plan out what we are going to do. At the same time we have work with the venue to make sure we know what we can and can’t do. Like when we did the Gwar B-Q you can’t have any glass. Every show is a little different so we have to just go with the flow. People have been really accommodating. We have all been in bands that have crazy stage shows. That’s how we all came together. Philadelphia has a history of violent shows so we sort of just fit in to that. When things started to get a little more PC within the scene myself and Shlak started gathering guys who still wanted something crazy.

AL: Do you ever feel that the graphic nature of your shows limits your audience?

Jag 13: We have had shows cancelled due to people finding out about our shows and in turn not wanting anything to do with it. At this point I have become so used to that type of thing that it doesn’t bother me. If they don’t want us, they don’t want us. We have a pretty good booking agent who lets all the places know what type of show we put on. Some of the show we have done in the past we just showed up and started going at it. (Laughs) That tended not to work out real well for any one.

AL: With your drumming being laid up with an injury does that end the year for you or do you still have things plans?

Jag 13: We don’t have anything planned until October then after that we don’t anything planned until spring time of next year. We have some bids in on tours that we think will work well for us here in the states so we have our fingers crossed.

For more info on Eat The Turnbuckle be sure to check out the bands official website at www.facebook.com/eattheturnbuckle

Comedian Margaret Cho discusses her new album “American Myth”

Actress/Musician/Comedian Margaret Cho is set to release her second music album titled “American Myth” on April 29th. The album is the follow up to her 2010 debut release “Cho Dependent” which help add musician to the artists already impressive skill set. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Margaret recently about the new album, her current project with Amazon.com and about just what happened at The Stress Factory on March 26th.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on your new music album “American Myth”

Margaret Cho: I always write music as it’s something I enjoy and is a part of my life. I worked on a majority of the album with Garrison Starr who is a really great artist and someone I have worked with before. She came down to right with me while I was living in Atlanta and I also had a few sketches of songs that I had done on my own. This is the first record where I actually did all the melodies and composed the pieces. I had never done that in the past which made things really exciting. I think the album is really beautiful.

AL: A lot of the song lyrics seem to be very personal. Can you tell us about writing from that perspective?

MC: A lot of the songs on the album deal with loss and compassion. They deal with a lot of human emotions. The songs are very anthemic as I appreciate a good rock anthem. I also did a memorial song on this album titled “Anna Nicole” which is about Anna Nicole Smith. We recently shot a video for this song as well which feature a variety of Anna Nicole impersonators running around a castle. This will be the third video for a song off the new album as I also did videos for “Come With Me” and “Kill My Rapist”. It was a lot of fun running around a castle filled with hundreds of Anna Nicole impersonators.

AL: What was it about releasing a music album that was more appealing than say a new comedy album from your recently aired comedy special?

MC: The stand show album will be coming out as part of the DVD release of the special. That’s something that will generally always come out. The music album is a very different undertaking. It is something that is very personal to me. Stand Up comedy is also very personal but music is a different part of my work.

AL: Over the past few years you have become very involved with bringing attention to homelessness in various cities here in the U.S. Can you tell us how you got involved in that?

MC: The “Be Robin” events are kind of a way for me to honor the life of Robin Williams and to be an advocate for the homeless population. We have events going on all the time in lots of different cities. I can’t always be at the events because of my schedule but we try to have them whenever I have the chance. They end up just being these big, crazy, fun events. There is actually a documentary about this as well which has been sort of a way for us to bring closure to the grief caused from his passing.

AL: What other projects are you currently working on?

MC: I am working on a pilot for Amazon right now called “Highlands”. The show is a comedy/drama about an Asian-American family involved in the marijuana business. I am working with Liz Sarnoff who has worked on “Lost” and “Deadwood”. She is a real genius. We just finished the script and start shooting soon. Everyone at Amazon has been really wonderful as they let the artist be themselves. They have really given a lot of creative freedom to the project which I feel has been priceless.

AL: You have quite a few live dates lined up can you tell us about those and also give us an update on the recent incident that occurred during your show at

MC: I will be in Detroit during the middle of April and then in Nashville at the beginning of May. As for what happened recently at the Stress Factory Comedy Club I speak about a lot of personal things in my shows. I talk about rape and sexual abuse because I feel it’s important to discuss those things. We are living in an age where as a survivor you don’t have to stay silent. That sometimes can be very confrontational to people and an audience. It can be very upsetting. Some jokes are meant to make you laugh while others are to make you think. As comedians we try to wake people up so there is this weird thing when people get angry but that’s part of the great arc of comedy. I am going to be going back to the Stress Factory for a makeup show with those who were there. I want to do a reenactment of what happened and talk to the audience members about why they got upset. (Laughs) It would be fun to bring in Dr. Phil to moderate. I love comedy so much and don’t want to hurt it or the Stress Factory as it is a really important venue in that it’s an independent club owned by comedians. The place is like a dojo and holy to me so I want to invite everyone back and to work this out. We will buy them dinner and drinks and allow them to have a conversation with one another. I think it could be very funny.

Film Review “American Bred”

Starring: Andy Martinez, Jr., Eva Tamargo and Michael Lerner
Directed by: Justin Chambers
Not Rated
Running time: 1 hr 49 mins
Crevice Entertainment

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I was recently given an advance look at filmmaker Justin Chamber’s latest film, “American Bred,” which is premiering this Saturday at the D.C. Independent Film Festival.  I greatly enjoyed Chamber’s first feature, 2012’s “Broken Roads,” and am pleased to report that his latest film is an outstanding sophomore achievement. In the city of Detroit, if you need something, you speak to Francis Adamo (Lerner). Together with his wife, Catalina (Tamargo), he has made a life that many envy. The Adamo’s love America. And may God have mercy on those that would try to disparage that love.

A smartly made film that compares in style with “The Departed,” “American Bred” is a classic mob movie with a modern twist. The film is a study in trust – as in who you can and can’t. Loyalty and deception are the calling cards here when an order is given but not carried out and the question “who can you trust” overshadows everything.

The film is smartly written with complex but identifiable characters and smart, believable dialogue. In fact, Chambers screenplay won 1st Place in 2014 in The Writers Place Screenplay Competition. Besides a strong script, Chambers has cast some amazing actors, including Ms. Tamargo and Mr. Lerner. I’ve been a fan of Michael Lerner’s ever since he played Jack Ruby in a television film almost 40 years ago. In films like “Eight Men Out,” “Harlem Nights” and “Barton Fink,” for which he earned an Academy Award nomination, his presence on screen is always powerful. The film works technically as well. The direction is tight and the story moves smoothly, powered by an outstanding musical score by Ian Hughes.

Anti-Flag’s Chris No. 2 talks about new album “American Spring”

The Pittsburgh, PA based punk rock band Anti-Flag recently released a brand new album (their 10th all together) chocked full of politically fueled anthems titled “American Spring”. The album features 14 brand new tracks along with guest appearances by Tom Morello and Tim Armstrong. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Chris No.2 recently to discuss the new release, the groups tour plans and the idea behind the groups strong political approach.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the new album “American Spring”?
Chris No. 2: “American Spring” is our 10th record and our first after the 20th anniversary of the band. I think we worked harder on this latest record than any other Anti-Flag record. It’s a
tremendously personal record for us. We focused on using empathy as the key to
live above racism, sexism, homophobia and corporate waged war in 2015.

AL: Can you tell us about the guest’s performances on the album and how
those came about?
C#2: Our very old friend / former record producer Tom Morello is on the track “Without End”. He put down this epic space vide solo which is really great. Tim Armstrong from Rancid sings verse 2 of the song “Brandenburg Gate”. Both of those guys being a part of the album is the result of having some very talented friends who we both admire for their talents and humility. We called them and asked if they, as important people in our lives, would appear on an important album for us and thankfully they both said yes.

AL: Some bands tend to shy away from various topics such as politics however you have always been very vocal towards it. What is it about these topics that inspires you to write your songs around them?
 C#2: It’s our only inspiration. We want people to know they’re not alone. There are a lot of us concerned with more than just ourselves. These songs are for those people.

AL: Are you ever worried that the subject matter of your songs may turn away listeners who maybe are as in touch with the current political climate?
C#2: Nope. There are plenty of bands out there for people to listen to if these songs don’t happen to be for them.

AL: You guys just wrapped up a run of shows in April. What are the bands plans going into the rest of the year?
C#2: Our goal is to play every city Anti-Flag has ever played as part of the touring for the “American Spring” album. We will be on the road indefinitely so we hope to be able to see everyone out there.

Film Review “American Rescue Squad”

Starring: Tony D. Czech, Douglas Sidney, and KariAnn Christense
Directed By: Elliot Diviney
Rated: R
Running Time: 94 minutes
Music Video Distributors

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

Imagine a Troma movie without any of the fun gratuitous nudity and violence. That’s “American Rescue Squad” in a nutshell. The creators behind this low budget flick have the know-how to realize what kind of movie they’re making. I just hate to think that a movie missing two components, as simple as naked people and gore, is what brings down this movie, but it does.

“American Rescue Squad” is a politically incorrect “Avengers”. Two superheroes, by the names of Personal Responsibility and Common Sense, have been away from the scene, but come out of retirement after a group of villains kidnap the Taxpayer. These villains are made up of the Freeloader, the Bible Thumper, and they’re all led by Congressman Dick Pansy. And just like any knowledgeable comedy movie that touches upon politics, it’s an equal opportunity offender.

There’s nothing too outlandishly offensive that should cause you to turn off the movie. There are jokes for both blue and red states, but luckily it never really grandstands and preaches a solid message. You can take what you want, but in an unbiased comedy like this, you would be wasting your time trying to read between the lines because there is nothing. None of the jokes are particularly clever, but silly for the sake of being silly. If you don’t have a rod up your butt, you should be able to chuckle every once and a while.

While it’s not about to join the ranks of “Airplane!” or “The Toxic Avenger”, it’s decent for what it is. It reminds me a bit of “Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead” because of how it adds nonsensical musical numbers for our stereotypes to sing. And as you could surmise, the songs are equally crude and vulgar. “American Rescue Squad” has a charm that only comes from shoestring budget movies with passable acting.

But I just can’t quite enjoy it because as I stated earlier, no blood or naked people. I know when it comes to excessive nudity and violence, I’m generally condemning other movies for doing that, but when it comes to Troma, that’s what makes them so enjoyable. It’s supposed to be silly and over-the-top, but “American Rescue Squad” doesn’t have that and when you don’t have squirting red syrup and bare breasted women or male genitalia to keep your dirty mind occupied, you start to really think about the flaws of a movie that’s created in the same vein. I don’t know if what’s more terrifying. That that’s how my own moral compass is guided in some pop culture or that that’s my big slam against a movie that could have been better.

CD Review: Anti-Flag “American Spring”

Anti-Flag
“American Spring”
Spinefarm Records
Producer: Kenny Carkeet, Jim Kaufman, Anti Flag
Tracks: 14
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Anti-Flag are back with a brand new album that is a testament to their politically fueled angst. “American Spring” is an empowering, energetic antidote to the crippling cynicism that infects even the most dedicated of rabble-rousers. Co-produced by AWOLNATION’s Kenny Carkeet, Jim Kaufman and the band, Anti-Flag’s tenth studio album is both a shot across the bow of the political discourse and creatively challenging.

“American Spring” the latest release from the punk rock band ANTI-FLAG comes out swinging for the fences as it runs the gambit of today’s political climate. No punches are pulled on the albums 14 tracks as the band certainly has a lot to say. “Fabled World” kicks off the album perfectly by setting the stage for the 13 subsequent tracks. Vocalist/ Guitarist Justin Sane rips at the throat of topics such as drone strikes “Sky is Falling” and nihilism “All of the Poison, All of the Pain”. The track “Brandenburg Gate” features a guest appearance by Rancid front man Tim Armstrong who lends his signature snarl to the song bassist/vocalist Chris #2 describes as a mixture of Billy Bragg and The Clash. Another note worthy guest appearance is that of Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello who lends a helping hand on the track “Without End” by laying down a dive bombing, laser like solo in between the rallying sing along choruses.

Even if you don’t follow politics or social activism there is still something for you on “American Spring”. Solid song structure consisting of catchy choruses and thought provoking verses make this an album that gets in your head and stays there. Each time you listen to it you hear something that you may not have heard before which for me is the foundation of any solid album.

Track Listing:
Fabled World
The Great Divide
Brandenburg Gate
Sky is Falling
Walk Away
Song for your Enemy
Set Yourself on Fire
All of the Poison, All of the Pain
Break Something
Without End
Believer
To Hell with Boredom
Low Expectations
The Debate is Over (If You Want It)