CD Review: Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo

Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo
Michael Schenker
inakustik
Tracks: 18

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Michael Schenker, one of music’s greatest rock guitarists has just released a new live album titled “Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo”. Recorded at Tokyo’s International Forum on August 24, 2016 via inakustik this historic concert features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker over the years including M.S.G.’S Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley of the McAuley Schenker Group.

For Michael Schenker fans not fortunate enough to have been able to attend the “Michael Schenker Fest” last year in Tokyo, Japan the latest live offering from the prolific guitarist has you covered. Together with inakustik the listen is instantly catapulted front and center for a barrage of riff-tastic goodness courtesy of Schenker and, a bevy special guests from Michael various groups. Tracks like “Attack of the Mad Axeman” featuring Gary Barden, “This Is My Heart” featuring Robin McAuley and probably my favorite track off the release “Doctor Doctor” which features Gary Barden, Graham Bonner and Robin McAuley all side by side with Schenker and his band.

Though I found the albums overall mix to be a touch thin the performances on each of the albums 18 tracks more than made up for any audio short comings as each performance was quite enjoyable. I also liked that the release is available in a variety of formats (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) allowing you to have two different experiences with the same release. Long time Schenker fans will certainly want to pick this up for their collection.

Track Listing:
CD 1
1.) Intro: Searching For Freedom
2.) Into the Arena
3.) Attack of the Mad Axeman
4.) Victim of Illusion
5.) Cry for the Nations
6.) Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
7.) Armed and Ready
8.) Coast to Coast
9.) Assault Attack
10.) Desert Song
11.) Dancer

CD 2
1.) Captain Nemo
2.) This Is My Heart
3.) Save Yourself
4.) Love Is Not a Game
5.) Shoot Shoot
6.) Rock Bottom
7.) Doctor Doctor

Michael Madsen talks about “The Hateful Eight” and the possibility of a “Vega Brothers” movie

Michael Madsen is the rare actor who can give the “bad guy” enough of a heart that moviegoers often root for him instead of the hero. In films like “Reservoir Dogs,” “The Getaway” and “Kill Bill, Volumes 1 and 2,” Madsen is the bad ass that the audience loves. Not that he’s always bad. He’s shown a softer side in many films, among them “Free Willy” and “Wyatt Earp.”

I spoke with Mr. Madsen about, among other things, his seemingly busy schedule, his dislike of the Internet Movie Database, the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film “The Hateful Eight” and whether or not a “Vega Brothers” film is still a possibility.

Mike Smith: I see you’re slated to play Vegas gambling mogul Ted Binion in an upcoming film. How did that come about?
Michael Madsen: The film is going to be produced by Robert Evans and directed by his son, Josh. Ted was part of the family that owned the Binion Casinos. He wound up getting hooked on drugs and ended up with a dancer and….well, they went a little crazy. He would go out and bury silver in the desert. The film is based on the book “Death in the Desert” and we shot it earlier this year in Las Vegas.

MS: You always seem to play the tough guy. Even in an early film, like “The Natural.” Your character, Bump, was a hard ass. Do you ever just want to do an out and out comedy?
MM: I’ve done a little bit. I did “My Bosses Daugher” with Ashton Kutcher…that was pretty funny. And I did a picture called “Lumberjack Man,” which hasn’t come out yet, where I play a kind of bumbling, Peter Sellers-type detective. I think it’s pretty damn funny. My comic genius hasn’t revealed itself yet (laughs).

MS: If you look at the Internet Movie Database it looks like you’re constantly working. When do you find the time to take a breath?
MM: If you look at the IMDB you would think that I was some sort of robotic machine. But the reality is that the IMDB is very, very unreliable. I would go so far as to say that they are irresponsible. There are a lot of things on there that are supposedly in pre-production and aren’t. A lot of things that are supposedly going to be released. They also mention films in which I only appear for ten minutes. I mean, in reality, no human being can make fifteen motion pictures in one year. So a lot of those are, I would say, questionable. I mean, the films that we’re talking about right now are the films I’ve legitimately done and are going to come out.

MS: I understand your frustration with IMDB. I have a few credits on there and one of them is that I hosted my own Canadian talk show back in the 1980s. I keep telling them it’s not me but they won’t listen.
MM: I’ve contacted them many times. I’ve said, “guys, it’s ME. It’s Michael. I’m telling you right now that that movie never happened, that movie was never finished, this is never going to come out…whatever the situation. And they tell me “well, it’s a public page.” And I don’t understand that. It’s kind of bewhildering…kind of irresponsible. It’s sad, you know, that they would put out information like that if it’s not true.

MS: Well, I think if they’re given the correct information they’re not only doing a disservice to their readers but to the people they’re talking about.
MM: Yeah. Then when I talk to someone like you asking me about the (25) pictures I’m in (laughs)…I have to defend myself and say no. I’d hate to think that some people were thinking about making an interesting film and they were thinking of Michael Madsen so they go to the IMDB and go “Holy Shit!” They’re not going to call me. It’s almost interfering with my work, them putting all of this stuff in there.

MS: You’ve voiced a few video games. Is there a difference in the acting process you use as opposed to films?
MM: Well, first off you don’t have to shave and you can show up in your pajamas. I would imagine Martin Sheen probably has a recording studio in his house. If I was him I sure would. Video games and voiceovers aren’t easy. You do have to be at the top of your game. You have to record each line several times. It does take four or five recording sessions, each of them lasting five or six hours, but in the end, some of the games are pretty interesting. People like them. I enjoy them. I really do.

MS: What can you tell us about “The Hateful Eight?”
MM: I’m a cowboy…a cow puncher. It’s a western that takes place on a mountain in the snow just after the Civil War.

MS: Since we’re speaking about Quentin, has he ever discussed with you the possibility of a Vega Brothers movie?
MM: We’ve talked about it many times. I think that over time the story would have had to change. I recently met John. Believe it or not, I had never met him. I met him at the Cannes Film Festival last year. I was there with Quentin and they did a screening of “Pulp Fiction” on the Majestic Beach, outdoors. It was pretty exciting…a great evening. And I met John. And I tell you, when the two of us were standing there next to Quentin…I think in that moment it might have become more of a reality. I think the Vega Brothers might be more of a reality. But that would be a question for the man. That would be a question for Quentin.

Witness Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker and More on the 2016 Axes & Anchors Cruise

Learn from Your Favorite Musicians on the High Seas!

Featuring More than 40 Blazing Performances

Tons of FREE Guitar Workshops with Guitar Heroes

Personal Meet & Greets

Gear Demos and Tutorials

On-Board Parties and Exotic Beach Stops

+ More Bands Confirming Soon!

Book Your Cabins Now at www.AxesAndAnchors.com

In an age where heavy metal music cruises with high-profile line-ups are becoming a dime a dozen, it’s about time that true guitar pros, gearheads, theorists and hobbyists have a voyage of their own. Imagine a cruise exclusively planned for guitarists and instrumentalists, featuring performances and personal lessons from some of the greatest guitar gods on the planet.

Wake up – you are not dreaming! Prepare to learn from the masters on what fans have dubbed the “shredders cruise”: the 5-day/4-night AXES & ANCHORS cruise aboard the Carnival Victory, departing from Miami, FL on February 20, stopping in Key West, FL and Nassau, Bahamas, and docking back in Miami on February 24.

Witness blazing performances and take lessons directly from world-class rock and metal guitarists including ZAKK WYLDE (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, MICHAEL SCHENKER (Scorpions, UFO, MSG), ALEX SKOLNICK (Testament, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), TRACII GUNS (Guns N’ Roses, LA Guns), DARIO LORINA (Black Label Society, Lizzy Borden), and more, all while sailing the high seas and visiting exotic locales.

Passengers can look forward to more than 40 performances, about a dozen free guitar workshops, as well as games and mingling with guitar gods, and more. In addition, the cruise plans on featuring gear demos and displays from some of today’s premier guitar and gear manufacturers.

World-renowned guitarist and AXES & ANCHORS performer ALEX SKOLNICK states, “For generations now, the guitar has remained a source of creativity and symbol of coolness, defying strange musical trends, poor economic forecasts and more, all the while providing a sonic backdrop to good times and bad. I consider it a great honor to be joining Yngwie, Zakk and many other great players as part of AXES & ANCHORS, the very first cruise built around the guitar.” 

Tickets for the cruise start at the competitive rate of just $899 per person (based on double occupancy), and include all accommodations, meals, concerts, open workshops, games, photo ops and more. Since the ship holds a limited number of passengers, early booking is highly encouraged.  Sail less-expensively and get more heavy metal bang for your buck on the AXES & ANCHORS cruise! Tickets are on sale now at www.AxesAndAnchors.com, and monthly payment plans are available

“This cruise will surely appeal to guitar players who want to take their skills to the next level in this really fun, unique, and immersive setting,” said Ann Squire, co-owner of AXES & ANCHORS“Passengers will get to meet their idols and learn from them in between stops at exotic beaches and on-board parties. All of the performers are bringing full bands, and we will be adding some iconic bands to our lineup as well, but as our name implies, the focus now is on guitar-dominated rock.

Squire is also thrilled to have fans experience the unique “pool stage” featured on the AXES & ANCHORS cruise. “The pool stage is unique because it was designed as a pool “theatre”.  Most stages built on a pool deck are the typical raised stage and then a large flat area in front for standing or sitting that goes back but on the same level.  This stage is raised with a flat area in front but has tiered levels as it goes back. The different tiers allow for much better viewing for those not as close to the front of the stage.  You don’t have to be concerned about the guy in front who is 7 feet tall when you’re only 5’3”.”

Stay tuned for more artist announcements, various upcoming contests in addition to more workshops and activities (both music and non-music related), and more!

Follow AXES & ANCHORS at:

Website: www.axesandanchors.com

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AxesCruise

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/AxesCruise/

Twitter: @axescruise

 

Peter and Michael Spierig talk about directing “Predestination”

Peter and Michael Spierig, also know as The Spierig Brothers, are known for directing horror/sci-fi genre films like “Undead” and “Daybreakers”. Their most recent film, “Predestination”, based on the science fiction short story “—All You Zombies—” by Robert A. Heinlein stars Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook (also interviewed here). Media Mikes had a chance to chat with the directing duo about their latest film and what we can expect.

Eric Schmitt: What was it you felt about the Robert A. Heinlein story “-All You Zombies-” would translate well into a film?
Peter Spierig: I’ve read the short story several times, read it first many years ago, and it stuck with me. I’ve never read a time travel story quite like that. You have to remember that it was written in 1958, so it’s still very original and different. Michael read it too and he had the same reaction.
Michael Spierig: My first reaction was “I don’t get it.” I read it again, still didn’t get it. Then I read it again and said “there it is, I get it!” [Laughter] What we loved about it is that it’s a completely original and new spin on the time travel story. It’s old and in the grand scheme of things it would make for a really good mind bender with heart and soul in it. We liked the idea of doing a genre that’s been done before and putting a different spin on it.

ES: With Daybreakers, you took the vampire genre and made it grandiose as far as how widespread it was. A very “maximum” take on vampirism. Then you go to Time Travel and it seems like a very minimalist approach to the subject. Was that by design?
MS: Yes! (Laughs) Peter and I wanted to test ourselves and see if we could do a more low tech approach to science fiction. The assumption today is that science fiction is all robots and space ships, and we kind of liked the idea of trying to tell a more intimate story of fate and identity without having to make it so grandiose. We really wanted to do an actor’s piece. We said when we first started that we wanted to dumb down the special effects where when people see it, they don’t even know there are special effects. A transgender character in a time travel movie seemed so out there, I think it’s so interesting, that it didn’t warrant massive battle sequences. It was a story about a person looking for their identity, and we just loved that. It was a bit of an experiment for us to do this, a more intimate film.

ES: Did you feel that there would be certain challenges in explaining the story’s revelations without the audience feeling rushed?
PS & MS: YES!!!
PS: It’s a very tricky thing; as a filmmaker, there’s no revelations for you when you’re cutting the film because you know it so intimately. So to place the beats in the film, it’s very tricky. So that’s where you rely on showing other people and testing. Do people get enough information at this point? Do we need to add more? What we discovered was that some people get it, some were ahead of the story, others don’t get it at all. I guess there’s a nice balance in the middle, but it’s very tricky to find that (middle). We hope that there are people who don’t get it, who are intrigued enough to go back and watch it again.
MS: I like how there will be people who are ahead of the game, ahead of the story. So we threw in a few jokes to kind of say “Okay, those of you who are ahead of us, here you go!” (This response had to be heavily edited to keep from spoiling some of the film’s reveals!)

ES: There’s definitely a point in the film having to do with the bar, where a light just goes on in your head and you have a complete “Oh shit!” moment. Even with Sarah, it took me a little while to realize that this man, well, it really isn’t a man. How did you go about casting Sarah for the role of John?
MS: We went back and forth on whether we should even attempt it – one actor playing both parts. We talked about casting two separate people, and got very serious about it. But then we thought “God, it would be so good if we could pull off an actor playing both of these roles. It would make the characters more interesting and I think you would care about the characters more.” We started auditioning people, and we saw every actress in Australia. People started touting this actress called Sarah Snook. She had done that Ryan Kwanten film “Not Suitable for Children,” so we had known of her. She came in and auditioned and really just blew us away. We did several auditions with her, actually; an initial audition, one in make-up, a test shot of her acting both female and male. This is also when we rely on our FX artist, Steven Boyle, who’s been with us since we did short films. I showed Steve Sarah’s audition videos and asked him “Can we really do this? Can we turn her into a man? Can we pull this off?” Steve looked at us and said “Yes I can do it. I promise we can do it.”
PS: With that being said, we wanted it to be a blend of male and female. We didn’t want it to be to masculine so you couldn’t see the feminine side. It’s a delicate balance, because if we put Sarah under a tremendous amount of make-up, it would have either looked silly or taken away from the performance.

ES: Did anyone mention on set that when she was made up as John that she looked like a young Leonardo DiCaprio?
MS & PS: Oh Yeah! Everyone!
PS: We all said it! It’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jodie Foster’s love child. We also got a lot of Edward Furlong as well.

ES: Since you guys have worked with Ethan in the past, was he immediately at forefront of your minds when casting for Predestination?
PS: We didn’t really have an actor in mind until we finished the script. When we finished we said “You know who would like this material? Ethan.” It’s along the lines of what his genre tastes are, so we sent it to him. I think within one or two days, he said “Just tell me where and when – I’m in.”
MS: The thing he also asked us was what part he was playing. We told that we were still trying to figure that out and we’d get back to him.
PS: The amazing thing about Ethan is that he’s brave in a sense that he completely trusted us with the casting. He didn’t know who Sarah was initially, but he had faith that we were making the right decision. He’s fearless and he likes taking risks. We’ll forever be indebted to him for having the courage to say “Yes” to us.

ES: One of the things I noticed watching the film was that Ethan and Sarah had a very “organic” relationship in the bar scenes. From your perspectives, how did that develop over the course of filming?
MS: We had a lot of rehearsal time with them talking about the scenes. Our rehearsal time is not primarily about lines, it’s about why the scene has to exist in the movie. They spent a lot of time together working on their (respective) character’s mannerisms and that sort of thing. Sarah and Ethan are both incredibly intelligent, and I think they connected on that level. They’re both really smart actors and they ask the right questions. They wanted their collaboration to be very much intertwined.
PS: We spent a lot of time on the bar dialogue. There isn’t a single line that isn’t essential to the movie. Some of the lines have double meanings, even the joke that Ethan tells is critical to the film. We’re huge fans of the Science Fiction genre, so we really wanted to do this film with meaning.

Grammy Winner, Michael W. Smith talks about new album “The Spirit of Christmas”

Photographer: Cameron Powell

A few weeks ago I got a weird text. It said “do you want to do an interview next week?” When I replied “with?” I got back “you. Michael Smith.” I was excited. Someone wanted to interview ME! Actually I was told that I would be the interviewer and the subject would be Christian singer Michael W. Smith. I was even more excited!

A winner of (3) Grammy awards, as well as (40) Dove awards, Michael W. Smith has enjoyed success not only on the Gospel/Contemporary chart but in the mainstream as well. This month he has released his fourth album devoted to Christmas, entitled “The Spirit of Christmas.” The album, on which Smith duets with such singers as Vince Gill, Michael McDonald and Bono, consists of both long time favorites (“Silent Night,” “What Child is This”) and new originals.

As he readied to embark on a short tour to support the album Smith kindly took some time out to speak with Media Mikes.

Mike Smith: This is your fourth Christmas-themed album. What is it about the music that makes you want to revisit it?
Michael W. Smith: You know this is the music I grew up with. All the way back to when my sister and I used to pull out the Christmas LPs and play them for four months straight! When I hear those songs they just take me back to my childhood. Especially the first part of this record, for sure.

MS: This album consists of duets. There are a few performers on it that your fans might surely expect, like Vince Gill and Amy Grant. But then you’ve also got Bono and Michael McDonald. How were you able to get them on board?
MWS: Well first let me tell you that I’m still pinching myself that it happened, you know? We had these people picked out from day one…before we even recorded one song. We had the whole record sequenced. We had a plan and we had a wish list of who we wanted to invite. And everybody said yes. I’ve known Michael for about 10 years and I’ve known Bono for 12 years. These guys get asked to do stuff all the time, so the thought that they said “yes” is still pretty miraculous to me and I’m very, very grateful.

MS: Is there anyone out there that you’d like to sing with that you haven’t so far? Do you have a wish list?
MWS: I grew up being a huge Barbra Streisand fan, you know. I’ve always loved her voice…I’ve loved her movies…”Funny Girl,” “Funny Lady.” Recently she’s kept a low profile though I know she has a new album out. (NOTE: Ironically, Barbra Streisand’s latest album, “Partners,” is also a duets album). I would love to record with her.

MS: Do you have a favorite song on this new record?
MWS: Oh, man…that’s so hard to pick. I mean, if I had to pick…gosh, it’s hard to pick! Wow. “Almost There,” which is an original song that I did with Amy (Grant). There’s something really special about it. I love…I think it’s one of my favorite songs that I have written….”All is Well,” that Carrie (Underwood) does. And the one song that I get choked up on is “Peace,” which is the one I do with Michael McDonald. And Michael actually co-wrote that song, so I’m sure that’s one of the reasons he wanted to jump in and be a part of it.

MS: When you’re writing songs, do you sit down and write about a certain theme, like Christmas? Or do you later go back and realize that a certain song is right for the project you’re doing at the time?
MWS: Definitely the latter, because I never know what I’m going to write. Obviously if I’m working on a Christmas record I’m going to be a little more intentional. I’m going to be thinking about textures…how a bell sound will go with a piano sound…something that might inspire me to be a bit festive. A bit “holiday-ish,” you know? On “Almost There” I knew I wanted it to be a little haunting. I mean when you’re on that 12 hour drive to the beach how many times do you ask mom and dad “oh my gosh, are we almost there?” My friend, Wes King, came up with the idea which was why not imagine Mary riding on that donkey. She’s pregnant and she can’t find any place and she’s wondering how long it’s going to take…you wonder if she ever said to Joseph, “are we almost there?” And that was the premise for the lyric.

MS: Are you going to tour at all to support the album?
MWS: Oh yeah! The Christmas tour started the Saturday night after Thanksgiving and we’ll be doing about fifteen shows around the country.

MS: What else do you have coming up?
MWS: I know it sounds a bit insane but I actually released three records this year. I did an exclusive record for Cracker Barrel called “Hymns.” That came out early in the year. Then the pop/worship record, “Sovereign,” came out in May. And now, of course, the “Christmas” album has just been released so it’s been a pretty busy year. After the “Christmas” tour we’re going to tour with “Sovereign” all over…South Africa…Asia…Europe. That will all happen in 2015.

MICHAEL W. SMITH’s Upcoming Tour Dates

December 18, 2014 Spokane, Washington
December 19, 2014 Portland, Oregon
December 20, 2014 Seattle, Washington
December 21, 2014 Abbottsford, British Columbia
January 11, 2015 Nashville, Tennessee

For more information go to www.michaelwsmith.com

Win Prize Packs from Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE & Michael Jackson ONE [ENDED]

Media Mikes is teaming up with Cirque de Soleil and giving away some amazing prize packs from their newest shows Michael Jackson One and The Beatles LOVE. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Cirque de Soleil show. This giveaway will remain open until December 26th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Here is what is included in the five prize packs, including a variation of:
– Michael Jackson One Hats
– Michael Jackson One Souvenir Programs
– The Beatles LOVE T-Shirts
– The Beatles LOVE Hats

This holiday season, head out to Las Vegas and experience two awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil shows featuring the music from two of the most iconic names in the Music Industry; Michael Jackson ONE and The Beatles LOVE. Log on to cirquedusoleil.com for a special ticket package now.

Michael Biehn Takes on Different Kind of Role in This Latest Dark Thriller, “Treachery”, to Be Released on VOD September 1st.

LOS ANGELES- Talent Management, Production, Distribution and Marketing Company Traverse Media, announced today the North American release date for Blanc/Biehn Production’s latest Movie TREACHERY on Video on Demand (VOD).

TREACHERY stars Michael Biehn along with a fantastic ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Blanc Biehn (The Divide, Everly, Wrong Cops), Sarah Butler (I Spit on Your Grave remake), Caitlin Keats (Kill Bill Vol. 2, Broken English), Chris Meyer (Among Friends) and Matthew Ziff (Truck Stop, Altered Perception).

Bringing to life real family drama, TREACHERY dives into the deep roots that binds a family and the darker secrets that family can create. Travis Romero (TV’s “White Collar”, THE VICTIM) wrote and directed TREACHERY, which centers on a man (Biehn) who is reunited with his estranged son at a remote wedding party. When a storm strands the party, ugly truths are revealed.

Biehn is best known for his work in The Terminator and Aliens movies but has developed a niche for himself producing low-budget grindhouse-style productions. He is producing Treachery via his BlancBiehn Productions, which he runs with his wife and partner Jennifer Blanc Biehn.

“I always love playing humanitarian type characters and characters that are the real good guys,” says Michael Biehn, with a wink and a nod.

“With an incredible cast, Michael and I were excited to take this story and make it come to life,” Jennifer Blanc-Biehn

TREACHERY will be available from September 1st on:  iTunes, Amazon Prime, Amazon Instant Play, Google Play, VUDU, Vimeo on Demand and across Cable VOD.

About Traverse Media:

Traverse Media is a talent management, production and distribution marketing and distribution company for the independent filmmaker created by independent filmmakers. We provide distribution with active digital profiling and campaigning via the Internet’s best-known film sites. Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TraverseMedia and Follow us on Twitter @Traverse_Media

ABOUT BLANC/BIEHN PRODUCTIONS:

Blanc Biehn Productions is the partnership of famed actors Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn. The pair decided to put their passion for acting and filmmaking together, creating their own production company. The duo produced and starred in Biehn’s directorial debut, THE VICTIM, a grindhouse film which co-stars scream queen, Danielle Harris.  The company recently finished post-production on TREACHERY and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn’s directorial debut THE NIGHT VISITOR. They are currently in post-production on HIDDEN IN THE WOODS REMAKE and THE GIRL, starring Biehn and Tia Carrere. Other films in development include ALTERED PERCEPTION, SHE RISES, starring Angus MacFadyen, THE NIGHT VISITOR 2, GET BACK JOE, and PYSCHOPHONIA with 2013 Nicholls Fellowship winner Barbara Stepanski, to be directed by award winning filmmaker Paticia Chica. Look out for more releases on their slate as well as festival screenings in the near future, as well as a new list of fabulous directors being added to the roster. For more information on upcoming BBP features, please go to www.TheBBBasement.com and sign up for news and updates. Many projects are currently in post-production with partner, executive Lony Ruhman.

Blu-ray Review “The Possession of Michael King”

Actors: Shane Johnson, Julie McNiven, Ella Anderson, Cara Pifko, Dale Dickey
Directors: David Jung
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

Found footage meets Exorcism, sounds good but has been done before, with “The Last Exorcism” coming to mind.  Surprisingly, “The Possession of Michael King” is a decent entry. Not groundbreaking or genre changing but overall decent. It comes from the producers of “White Noise” and “The Haunting in Connecticut”, so that is a plus in its corner. The film fails with its narrative and wide open ending that answers basically nothing but it definitely had some solid scares and kept my attention the whole film. Plus it run just over 80 minutes, so that works in its favor as well. Shane Johnson is a good lead and has solid co-stars including Dale Dickey (“Iron Man 3”), Tomas Arana (“Gladiator”), and Julie McNiven (“Mad Men”). Worth a rent if you got nothing else to do this week.

Official Premise: Michael King (Shane Johnson) doesn’t believe in God or The Devil. Following the sudden death of his wife, the documentary filmmaker decides to make his next film about the search for the existence of the supernatural. Michael decides to make himself the center of the experiment – allowing demonologists, necromancers, and various practitioners of the occult to try the deepest and darkest spells and rituals they can find on him – in the hopes that when they fail, he’ll once and for all have proof that religion, spiritualism, and the paranormal are nothing more than myth. But something does happen. An evil and horrifying force has taken over Michael King. And it will not let him go.

Anchor Bay is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet HD Digital copy included. Honestly, it is really rare for Anchor Bay to be releasing digital copies for it’s smaller releases, so this is a real treat. Not that I loved the film enough to watch it again but it hopefully means going they are going to do so. The 1080p transfer is what it is since we are working with found footage here. The picture is clear and the dark scenes are balanced well. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track sound solid and works well the film scares for sure. There are no special features at all included on this release, which is definitely a let down.

Blu-ray Review “Brazil With Michael Palin”

Actors: Michael Palin
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Run Time: 220 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I see the title “Brazil With Michael Palin”, I can’t help but think about fellow Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film “Brazil”, which also co-starred Michael Palin. This is a 2012 documentary miniseries hosted by the the Monty Python member is making its debut on Blu-ray for the first time in the U.S. In fact, after Python, Palin began a new career as a travel writer and travel documentarian. Besides Brazil, he has traveled across the world, including the North and South Poles, the Sahara Desert, the Himalayas and Eastern Europe. He has written books and filmed documentaries on his travels. If you are curious to see a different side to funnyman Palin, this is a great miniseries.

Official Premise: Brazil in the 21st century has become a global player. With a booming economy and massive social changes, there is a swagger to this once-sleeping giant, but what do we know of it apart from football and carnival? Michael Palin has travelled across most of the globe over the years, but never to Brazil. In this four-part series he crosses the country as big as a continent to find out what makes it tick. Meet remote tribes who pit their survival skills against gold diggers and loggers. Dance with witches. Watch the new World Cup stadium rise in Brasilia. In the entertaining company of your good-humored host, you’ll delight in the spectacular landscape, food, music, beach life and unique cultural heritage of this rising global power.

The episodes included on this Blu-ray are “Out of Africa, “Into Amazonia”, “The Road to Rio” and “The Deep South” Going from the lost world of Amazonia to the big city of of Rio de Janeiro, Palin allows us to join him as he meets the people and visits these amazing places that helped shape our nation. The 1080p transfers on these episodes are simply stunning. These located are extremely beautifully filmed whether it is of the remote tribes on the Venezuelan border to the modernist
 buildings of Brasilia or my favorite the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, this Blu-ray is sure to get you considering a trip to these wonderful locations.

Stryper’s Michael Sweet talks about new solo album “I’m Not Your Suicide”

Michael Sweet is best known as co-founder, writer, lead guitarist, lead vocalist and front man of the Christian rock band Stryper which were synonymous with their over the top black and yellow stage attire in the 1980’s. Michael was also co-lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Boston from 2007-2011. In the past couple of years Michael has been busier than ever releasing a new Stryper album in 2013 and more recently a solo album titled “I’m Not Your Suicide” and an autobiography titled “Honestly: My Life in Stryper Revealed”. Media Mikes spoke with Michael recently about his recent body of work and what he feels has contributed to his and the bands recent re-surge.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on your new solo album?
Michael Sweet: A lot of people often wonder why I put out these solo albums. I am always writing songs and sometimes some of those songs don’t fit in with the Stryper material. I listen to all different kinds of music and I like to be able to go and express myself and show people the other side of myself. The material on this new album is still edgy however they wouldn’t exactly fit on a Stryper album. I tried some different things with this album and it was a lot of fun. I tried some country music as my dad had written a #1 country song in 1979 so I wanted to show my roots a little bit.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the guest appearances on the album?
MS: I took everything with this album song by song. For instance I was working on the song “This Time” and though Kevin Max would be great to have in there. He has a unique quality in his voice and he fit perfectly with that song. Then for “Taking on the World Tonight” Tony Harnell was a no brainer. All of the people on the album are dear friends of mine. I had never done an album that incorporated guests but it was something that I had always wanted to do. This was the album where it finally happened. I have Doug Aldrich and Chris Jericho on a track, Robert Sweet and Timothy Gaines on a track and Dave Mustaine’s daughter Electra sings with me on Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”. Everyone brought something to the table which took each song to the next level.

AL: Did you have an idea as to what you wanted each guest to do on their tracks or were they free to experiment?
MS: I had an idea for some of the parts. For example the song Doug Aldrich appears on I knew he was the guy I wanted to play the solo. I sent him the song and he sent it back and it was just perfect. It was so simple of a process. The same thing happened with Electra’s performance. I had been thinking about having a female voice on that song and I had become good friends with Dave Mustaine over the years and mentioned the idea to him about having his daughter sing on the track. She has such a pure and angelic voice. They both thought the idea was great and Dave produce Electra’s vocals and it sound great! It was like clockwork as everything went as planned.

AL: Can you give us a little bit of background on your recent autobiography?
MS: I needed to write this book for myself. There is a lot of healing still taking place within my heart and my soul. There have been a lot of things that have happened in my life. There were a lot of questions from throughout my career that were still getting asked today so I wanted to answer all of those at once. That’s what I did with this book. There was a fine line I had to walk between being brutally honest and not hurting people. I’m not sure if that is totally possible. Anytime you talk about someone in a different light than what they want to be talked about in your going to offend or hurt them.  That is certainly the case with some of the stories in the book. I think I did a good job of not going down some of those dark paths that purposely hurt people. I didn’t want to hurt anyone and that’s not what the book is about. I cover everything from when my mom managed Stryper to the choice we made that led us to bankruptcy. The book is my take on the situations as it’s told from my perspective.

AL: Was it hard revisiting some of the more painful memories?
MS: It definitely was. As I was sitting there rethinking these stories part of me was revisiting those emotions while another part was saying that I had moved on but obviously I really hadn’t as there was still some pain and emotion there. This book was a big step in the right direction as I come clean with the mistakes I have made be it good or bad.

AL: Within the past couple of years Stryper has started to make a resurge. What do you feel has contributed to that?
MS: I think for the most part it’s been hard work. The band has worked very hard. After I finished the album with Stryper I went immediately back in and started work on this solo album. After that recording wrapped up I went back in the studio again but this time with Michael Sweet and George Lynch. It’s a constant evolution of continuing on and growing. I couldn’t have it any other way.

AL: Can you tell us a little bit about the project you have going on with George Lynch?
MS: This was a project I co-wrote with George and it was one I got to produce as well. The group has Brian Tichy on drums and James LoMenzo on bass. It’s really a great band and album that I am super excited about. That should be coming out in early 2015. We plan to tour around this release as well.

AL: Do you have other projects you would like to mention?
MS: Stryper has a bunch of shows planned for the rest of this year before we take off most of next year to work on the new album. I will also be out doing some solo shows as well. Right now I have my schedule booked through the end of 2016. There’s just so much going on that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Maybe by 2020 I can start to think about retiring. (Laughs)

Michael Rosenbaum talks about his directorial debut “Back in the Day”

For nearly a decade, Superman fans came to love Michael Rosenbaum for his portrayal of Lex Luthor on “Smallville”. During that time Michael also found time to act in other TV shows and movies as well as voicing the Flash for DC’s animated universe. For the past two years though, Michael has been working on something near and dear to his heart. His first movie, “Back in the Day”, details a lot of his experiences growing up in a small town in Indiana. Some of those experiences are hilarious as well as very touching. Media Mikes was able to talk with Michael about his labor of love as well as the trials and tribulations with working on his first film.

Jeremy Werner: When watching “Back in the Day”, you really get this vibe that this is a love letter to the people and town that you spent your best years in.
Michael Rosenbaum: Oh yeah…I go back twice a year for whiffle ball. I really embrace the city. I really love where I grew up…cutting backyards, drinking out of firehoses, catching fireflies and playing baseball as a kid…It was a little bit of a love letter. I wanted it to be authentic and I wanted people to see how beautiful it can be instead of a stereotypical, ‘Oh I hate the small town and these people are rednecks’. It’s just the opposite of that. I’m very proud of where I grew up.

JW: I assume that every character in this movie is based off someone that you knew growing up.
MR: (laughs) Oh yeah, it is. Skunk is a real character played by Harland Williams…A lot of these things happened. I’ve known these guys for a long time, so it’s an exaggeration and loosely based on a lot of these guys, but definitely. There’s kind of a lot of characters all rolled up in one…I was kind of a nerd in high school and couldn’t get laid. So the girl in the movie is the one I had my first time with mixed in with the most beautiful girl in the world I could never get. They’re all based on the idea or of people that I knew.

JW: I’m almost afraid to ask, (laughs) but there’s a mom who drinks and smokes in the movie…did you know someone like that?
MR: (laughs)…You see some of those things every once and a while and you’ve seen it. That girl was a little bit of an exaggeration, but I hope that people find that funny…that was an exaggeration of someone I sort of knew, who when I go back home, I kind of still see every once and a while and it’s a big exaggeration…I thought she was just a larger than life character and people do that. They actually smoke light cigarettes and they’re smoking occasionally. They think it’s OK. They occasionally drink…an occasional shot of whiskey. So I think there are people out there.

JW: So have your friends watched this movie yet?
MR: They love it…they thought they were gonna see something shot on an iPhone and we had the budget to about do that (laughs). The laughs were loud, it’s great to see it with an audience…so far everyone has really enjoyed it. Obviously there’s some offensive moments and I’m sure somebody will say this isn’t for me, but it’s not for everybody. There is heart…so there’s a little bit of something for everybody. It’s what I wanted to make. I’m happy with that.

JW: How much of yourself did you put into the movie’s main character, Jim Owens?
MR: I obviously have a lot to be thankful for and I’ve done it all for myself and God bless, but there’s always a part of me that longs to be back home. I miss that side, that part of my life. Jim left someone behind, a girl he was in love with. I think that we all wanna find that, that love and he remembers that she was probably the best thing to ever happen to him and even though it happened years ago, he’s seeing what happens. I think there’s a big part of Jim in me or me in Jim because I think a lot of people long to go home and they miss home. Sometimes when they’re home, they realize: I do love home. But maybe I was destined to be an actor. I was destined to be a doctor somewhere or was destined to be…whatever it was. To each his own. I miss my friends back home. I miss the simplicity of being in a small town and living in a neighborhood and having seasons. I’m in Los Angeles and as beautiful as it is and you go to the beach and you have all these great things in life…everybody will sit there and go, “Oh my God. I’d love to have your life”. It’s funny because I’d like to have their life in a lot of ways too…It’s kind of mixing it. I think you can have the best of both worlds.

JW: So with so many memories, when did you start work on this script?
MR: Well, it’s one of those things where it was one of the first scripts I’d written and then I kind of let it go because it’s too small for a studio to buy and go, “Yes! It’s gonna be a big blockbuster comedy.” They consider it not high concept enough, I would say. I was trying to say, “I know these characters, wait until you see them.” It’s funny, I wrote it so long ago that I started working on all these other projects and then when another movie that I was suppose to make fell through…I was asked, “Do you have anything you wrote on growing up in Indiana?” I said, “Holy shit, I do.” I kind of switched gears and within three months I was prepping this movie and I pulled it out of the woodwork. I updated it a bit and I asked my friends to be in it. It’s a passion project. I can’t believe this movie is my first. Honestly, it was my first step in directing and it was the best first step. I hope people look at it and go, “Wow! For a million bucks, this is friggin’ funny. It looks great.”…You hope that people appreciate it and you hope you can get your second shot and that’s what I’m aiming towards.

JW: Was there a lot of pressure going into this?
MR: Yeah, I didn’t know how much work it was until I started doing it and then I realized…how am I gonna do this scene in one day? I don’t have enough money for this stunt, how am I gonna do that? How am I gonna get these actors from LA…and why would they do some independent movie in the middle of Indiana for no money in the dead of winter? So there’s a lot of obstacles. Then you finally make it happen and then you’re shooting and you start to have more problems. It’s raining…a snowstorm is coming in…whatever’s happening. Oh my God, it can’t be a Christmas movie anymore, it’s getting warm now. And then how do we finish the movie…and then post-production. How can we afford sound design? How can we afford a composer? How can we afford getting the songs that I really wanted to be in this movie? And then all of sudden we’re trying to screen the movie and we only have ‘x’ amount of weeks to edit it and now we’re trying to sell it. On a studio movie, once you’re done directing and cut, you’re done. Studio takes over and they have an infrastructure. With an independent movie there’s multitasking and I’ve been doing a ton of jobs with my amazing producer, Kim Waltrip and my post supervisor Aaron Peak, for no money. I haven’t taken a job for a year and a half because I’ve become so invested in this.

JW: Is there another script you have in mind after this?
MR: Yeah, I can’t really name it. There’s a camp movie that I’m considering directing that I wrote. I also wrote a TV show that we’re probably gonna shoot digitally for a studio. So that’s in negotiations…a lot of good stuff on the horizon.

JW: Now finally…as a nerd, I gotta ask…
MR: Do it!

JW: (laughs)…have you gotten any calls to be Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie?
MR: The fans have been unbelievable. They’ve tweeted me, I’ve tweeted back…I’ve been to conventions and they always ask me, “Would you do it?” And I’m not an idiot, of course I’d do it. I’d love to do it. But I think Joaquin Phoenix is probably gonna do it or somebody. I’m a big Zack Snyder fan. Obviously, I think I could play the role. I would do it in a heartbeat, but I don’t hold my breath because I know there’s the stigma, “He was the TV Smallville Lex Luthor.” I say that sarcastically, but I think it’s a shame. If people like the role and what I did with it, then they should consider it. But I’m not the director. I’m not the producer. Long story short, I’d do it in a fucking heartbeat.

Michael Orlando talks about new band The Killing Lights and 2014 UK tour

Michael Orlando is the founder and lead singer of band The Killing Lights, which was formerly Vampires Everywhere! Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Michael to talk about the band’s new name and their upcoming 2014 tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you explain the name change from Vampires Everywhere! to “The Killing Lights?
Michael Orlando: I felt it was time to move on. VE was my brainchild for over 4 years and through it i got to meet so many amazing fans & people. However, over the last 4 years I have grown as an artist and as a person. I am definitely not the same person I was 4 years ago haha. I’m definitely more positive and I feel my eyes are now open to the world around me. The Killing Lights brings a measure of closure to both the person I was & the horrid events I went through. TKL represents the new me and my new hopes and dreams.

MG: Do you feel fans of the band will be confused at all by the change?
MO: At first this was my greatest concern! I had many anxiety attacks about the name change and leaving a project I had built from the ground up! However, my fans are amazing and have embraced the change with open arms! I have recently changed back to my birth name Michael Orlando as well. Fans really seem to respect the fact that I did this name change & I love them for it! I am sure things will continue to be a bit confusing but over time everyone will eventually catch on! I have to stay true to myself and what I believe in.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands new line up?
MO: The Killing Lights consists of myself on vocals, DJ Black on Guitar, Frankie Sil on Bass, & Joshua Ingram on Drums. I am beyond happy to be surrounded by talented determined individuals that can see the big picture. We have been working hard to make sure everything is true to our heart and Rock n’ Roll!

AL: Can we expect any other stylistic/musical changes with the band?
MO: With VE we were overly theatrical and prided ourselves on making a statement. TKL is way different both musically and stylistically! We are basically being ourselves. We don’t go out of our way to be “Rock n’ Roll” we just bring ourselves as we look everyday. Whether that’s a bit of the 90’s or a bit of the 80’s it is who we are and what we represent. You can expect rock n’ roll music from rock n’ roll people.

AL: What does the band have currently scheduled for 2014?
MO: There is so much going on with TKL! As of now we are gearing up for our first UK Tour in February! I am so excited to finally meet my UK fans and show them the new band. We also plan on releasing a music video and a couple of singles. There is so much in the works and I couldn’t be more happy about whats going on!

Michael Angelo Batio talks about new album “Intermezzo”

Michael Angelo Batio first burst on to the music scene in the late 1980’s with his band Nitro and quickly became known for not only his playing speed but also for his use of unique guitars. In the early 1990’s Michael ventured off on a solo career which has taken him to over 50 countries around the world and also was recently named by Guitar World readers as the fastest player in the world. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Michael recently about the creation of his new album titled “Intermezzo” and the latest edition to his line of Dean MAB guitars.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about your new album?
Michael Angelo Batio: The album is titled “Intermezzo”. The term intermezzo is an Italian musical term which denotes a piece of music that is in between two major parts of an opera. During longer opera’s there would be an intermission and during that time there would be musical pieces that would be played titled intermezzos. Sometimes these works would become more popular than what was being played before and after. I have had an amazing career up till now and there are a lot of amazing things going on within music. I consider myself to be in that intermezzo phase with my career. That’s where everything really started. The tracks on this release are all new original material and I got some really amazing guest musicians to perform on them with me. Everyone from George Lynch and Rusty Cooley to Michael Romeo and Jeff Loomis had a part in this record. There is just so much talent on this record and I think it is the best record I have ever done. I am very happy with how it turned out. This was my first time using seven string guitars and I think this is the heaviest album I have ever done. It not as time signature intense as some of my other stuff but it is a super complicated album even though it may not sound it.

AL: How did you go about selecting who you wanted on the record and, which track they would play on?
MAB: When I was writing I wanted everything to be new. I wasn’t going to rehash old song parts or anything like that. For example on the song “8 Pillars of Steel” I put some music together in 4/4 timing and then played some very syncopated sections along with that. I then asked the owner of Dean Guitars, Elliot Rubinson to play bass as he is a phenomenal player. From there the idea was to have everyone play over the same chord progression. By doing that you are able to here different players take on the same music. That track came out great and the solos really tell a story as they progress from player to player. We did a lot of crazy things on the record. Sometimes we would go back and add things after we got peoples take and then it would go out to the rest of the guys. I just had an idea and it got bigger than life. Everyone I used on this album is not only a friend of mine but I am a fan of their work. I am sure I could have even gotten more guys but at some point you have to make a stand and say enough is enough. (Laughs)

AL: You also had fans write a couple songs for album. Can you tell us about that?
MAB: Dave Reffeit is kind of like my right hand man on this record. I had most of the songs written and they were all pretty close to being finished before we got Michael Romeo. I had told Dave one day that I didn’t have any more in me and nothing else had been recorded so I asked Dave if he could throw something together and he said yes. Dave is a young guy that is very metal and comes from a little bit different school than I do. He wrote the song “Juggernaut” and we had my engineer mix it and it came out amazing. I have a big fan base and I like engaging them so this was my way of giving back a little. I actually had another fan by the name of Maxwell Carlyle who plays in the band Hellion write a song for this record as well. This was actually the third song Maxwell has written for me. Everything worked out great and it fit well within this record.

AL: Can you tell us about the addition of a 7 string model to your line of Dean MAB guitars?
MAB: One thing a lot of people might not know about me is that I was probably one of the first guys to use a seven string guitar in rock. If you watch the Nitro video for the song “Freight Train” you can see that the top two necks on the quad neck guitar I am playing are in fact seven string necks. This was at least a year or two before Steve Vai came out with his seven string. I have always been interested in extended range instruments and pushing the limits of things. For me I have wanted to use seven string for quite some time and I was always bugging Elliot at Dean to put one out for me. Dean wasn’t known for seven string guitars so he was always hesitant to put one out. He ended up telling me that if I wrote some seven string music the company would put out a model. The whole “Intermezzo” album is seven string music. (Laughs)

AL: How involved were you in the design of this model?
MAB: I like wild shaped guitars. I have had everything from double neck guitars to rocket shaped guitars however; I am not stupid enough to think that everyone else likes what I like. The idea of a signature guitar is in fact your signature but there is a lot of money involved when starting with an idea and ending with a finished product. The companies have to be able to sell these models when it’s all said and done. I told Dean Guitars not to put my name on my models as historically models with players names on them don’t sell. We did settle on calling the series the MAB series so that it was associated with me and the first model I did for the company sold through the roof. The new seven strings follow the idea of what we did with my previous models as we wanted to keep the body shape normal and not go with a leap of faith. From there we put in components that I really and that’s how it all really developed.

AL: Can you tell us about your upcoming tour plans and how you plan to perform the new material live?
MAB: Some of the stuff from the new album I won’t be able to perform live but I have been very fortune in my career as I have multiple ways that I can go out and tour. I have the option of doing clinics, solo shows and a multi-media rock guitar tribute show that I do as well. I have been working with two different companies here in the states to put these multi-media shows on as I really enjoy going out and doing my version of other peoples music. I will be performing some of the “Intermezzo” material in a number of these performance settings and between these three options I have about 120 shows lined up this coming year.

AL: Do you have any other projects coming out that you would like to mention?
MAB: I have worked with the guitar tutorial company Metal Method over the past few years to put out a couple videos titled “Speed Kills 1, 2 and 3”. What we are looking to do is to go back and reshoot those. This series was originally shot in 2004/2005 which wasn’t really a long time ago but in the video production world these are ancient. The playing on these was still there but they weren’t shot in high definition or anything. We think that we can make things look a lot better by redoing the series so along with touring I am going to try and fit this work in as well. I really want to run with “Intermezzo” along with everything else.
For up to date information on Michael you can visit his official website at www.angelo.com

Good afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Michael McDonald and all the ships at sea – it’s The Mike O’Meara Show!

It would be difficult for me to put into words how elated I was when I first discovered the Mike O’Meara Show podcast a few years ago. I had just recently started my career as a CPA and was now a desk-jockey from 9-5, Monday through Friday. I had been a listener of The Don and Mike Show, the predecessor to the Mike O’Meara Show, back when I lived in New York and it was broadcast on WNEW. That show got me through many-a-night of boring high school homework. Now, years later, Mike and crew were suddenly back to save me from utter boredom once again.

Frustrated with the evolution of terrestrial radio and tired of being subject to the constant control of corporate broadcasting companies, Mike O’Meara has changed with the times by ditching the standard format and creating the Mike O’Meara Show podcast. Alongside Mike is Robb Spewak, a former cohort from The Don and Mike Show, and Oscar Santana, whom Mike and Robb met while broadcasting at WJFK in Washington, DC. In Fact, it was Oscar that inspired the move to the podcast format. Together, the experienced trio delivers quality that terrestrial shows could only dream of replicating.

Mike, Robb and Oscar entertain listeners with real-life personal stories, pop-culture, current news and a whole lot of ball-busting (Funnnnnn!). Recorded in the living room studios of the O’Meara Estate in Manassas, Virginia, these three likeable man-asses have a level of chemistry that’ll make you feel like you’re sitting in a room with a group of close friends. As time goes by, you feel like you know the cast and their friends and family personally. You’ll hear Carla, Mike’s wife, as they phone her at work so he can apologize for freaking out about a pot that sat in the kitchen sink too long. You’ll hear Robb talk about his obsession with Elvis and the many Elvis-themed iPhone cases he’s made using Vista Print. You’ll hear Oscar talk about his girlfriend, Shannon, and how she burned his new hardwood floors with a curling iron. But most of all, you’ll come to hear how talented, intelligent, and good-hearted these three slobs are.

From time to time Mike will read a letter on the show in which a listener talks about their personal life and how the show has impacted them in a positive way. I can relate to all of them, as each day I get to escape my near-comatose state in my cubicle to tune in for just over an hour of conversation with my friends. The podcast airs every weekday at 10:30(ish) EDT, and you can stream live (with video) at www.MikeOMearaShow.com. You can also download the shows directly from the website, from iTunes, or using the show’s app on your smartphone. Heck, there’s even a YouTube page! The show is free, but once you’re hooked there are uncensored bonus shows available for a pittance. And guys, if you can only afford the free show – at least throw them a bone and check out their advertisers – they don’t suck.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 marks the four year anniversary of the Mike O’Meara Show podcast. If you’re just now learning this for the first time, you no longer have an excuse for not listening. Come Monday, you’d better get your ass to www.MikeOMearaShow.com and tune in. You’ve already wasted four years. But don’t worry; all the archives since day one are available on the site – so get started playing catch-up!

CD Review “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson”

Various Artists
“Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson”
Cleopatra Records
Producer: Bob Kulick
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you think of heavy metal your probably not instantly thinking of Michael Jackson however, Cleopatra Records along with Grammy Award winning producer Bob Kulick and a laundry list of metal’s elite musicians are about to change that. “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson” features 13 reworked versions of some of Jackson’s most memorable songs heard as they never have been heard before.

Being a fan of music there is always room on my playlist for some Michael Jackson. Now I’m not saying I am a fan of everything he ever did however “Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson” has shined a new light on the departed singers catalog. Producer Bob Kulick and a diverse cast of metal maniacs have put together a great sounding metalized pop album. The album hits the ground running or maybe in this case moon walking as it opens up with Testaments Chuck Billy’s grainy rendition of “Thriller” which gives way to Angelo Moore’s spot on performance of “The Way You make Me Feel”. As the album progresses we are treated to performances by everyone from Paul Di’Anno and Doug Pinnick to Phil Campbell and Corey Glover who team up for a great rendition of “Billy Jean”.

Now before all you MJ purists out there take to the message boards only to discredit the albums mere existence I strongly encourage you to take a listen before making any judgments. Yes this is a rather unconventional line up performing however Bob Kulick truly lets his genius as a producer shine as even with the songs being reworked and beefed up they still retain the charm and appeal of the original versions making this album a great listen whether you are a traditional MJ fan or a fan of the artists performing on the record.

Track Listing:
1.) Thriller – Chuck Billy (Testament)
2.) Man In The Mirror – Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria) & Billy Sheehan (Mr.Big)
3.) The Way You Make Me Feel – Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Rudy Sarzo (Queensryche)
4.) Black Or White – Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust), Bruce Kulick (ex-Kiss),Tony Franklin (The Firm)
5.) Beat It – Priya Panda (Diemonds) & Ron Bumblefoot Thal (Guns n’ Roses)
6.) Billy Jean – Corey Glover (Living Colour) & Phil Campbell (Motorhead)
7.) Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) – Elias Soriano (Nonpoint)
8.) Rock With You – Doug Pinnick (King’s X)
9.) Dirty Diana – Chris Jericho (Fozzy)
10.) Bad – Paul Di’Anno (ex-Iron Miaden) & Craig Goldy (Dio)
11.) They Don’t Care About Us – (Icarus Witch)
12.) Never Can Say Goodbye – Lonnie Jordan (WAR)
13.) Smooth Criminal – (Alien Ant Farm)