Film Review – “Black Panther”

BLACK PANTHER
Starring:  Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o
Directed by:  Ryan Coogler
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  2 hrs 14 mins
Walt Disney Pictures

 

 

Holy Crap!!

I continue to be amazed at how the films in the Marvel Universe seem to keep getting better and better.  And it’s not just my opinion.  In checking back though our pages, I found that NONE of the main film reviewers on this site (myself, Mike Gencarelli, Jeremy Werner and Lauren Damon) have given a Marvel film less than four stars out of a possible five.  And “Black Panther” is no exception.

We first met our hero briefly in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.  Our story here takes us to Oakland in the early 1990s.  While young boys shoot hoop in the courtyard of the projects they call home, high above them they see a flash of light among a dark cloudy sky, briefly forgetting their problems.  But those problems will not go away, no matter who you are.

A story of diversity, family and compassion, Black Panther roars onto the screen at a million miles an hour.  Having lost his father, the former king of the African country of Wakanda, in a terrorist attack, Prince T’Challa (Boseman) returns home to find that he has much to learn.  The only place on the planet where one can find Vibranium, the world’s hardest metal, the country hides its vast wealth and technological advantages behind the guise of a small, third-world country.  Before he can rightly take the throne, T’Challa must accept and defeat all who would challenge him.  He does this with the help of his head of security, Okoye (Danal Gurira), brilliant sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), loving mother (Angela Bassett) and former partner in crime and matters of the heart Nakia (Nyong’o).  As the work to keep their country safe, they must take on the challenge of a long-lost relative, Erik Killmonger (Jordan), who is defiant of the fact that Wakanda is a wealthy country with seemingly endless resources.  He wants to share the wealth and make it possible for everyone to reap its benefits.  Of course, this brings a great hub-bub up to King T’Challa.  “If we take in people and their problems they wil soon become our problems as well.”  Sounds familiar.

Director Coogler, who directed Fruitvale Station and Creed, has once again filled his cast with an amazing set of actors.  Besides Boseman, who has played everyone from James Brown to Jackie Robinson to Thurgood Marshall on film recently, the cast contains recent Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Nyong’o, as well as Academy Award nominee Bassett.  These films are meant to be taken serious and the cast more than delivers on that promise.  But these films are also meant to be fun, and with great visuals and a brilliant musical score, Black Panther more than fills the bill.

CD Review: Steel Panther “Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage

“Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage”

Steel Panther
Open E
Mixing: Jay Ruston
Tracks: 13

Our Score: CD- 4 out of 5 stars
                       DVD- 3 out of 5 stars

The raining kings of spandex metal are back with something a little different this time around. “Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage” is the bands first full length feature film which includes a live 10 song acoustic concert mixed with comedic scenes that show case the bands over the top sexually fueled high jinks. The dual CD/DVD is being released via Open E and features 10 tracks that will have you instantly reaching for the aqua net and eyeliner.

Right of the bat “Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage” was a hit for me. The band wastes no time getting right down to business as the album is a spattering of songs from the bands 3 comedic tinged albums but with an acoustic flavor. Songs like “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World” and “Glory Hole” sound as good if not better than the original records. Despite the fact that acoustic instrumentation can be a bit unforgiving especially in live situations the band does an impressive job with each performance. Combine that with a great mix provided by Jay Ruston and you have an album that’s not only fun to listen to because of the songs tongue and cheek subject matter but also because it’s pleasing to the ears and you get to a hear new track from the band titled “That’s When You Came In”. Yes the album is a bit polished for a live album however, keep in mind that very few live albums are truly live making this a moot point. Along with the audio version of the CD fans get a video version of the show which only adds to the entertainment value of this release. Though I found a couple of spots where the audio seemed to be a touch out of sync the brief skits every few songs were funny enough to where you could look past any short comings. Throw in a couple special appearance of 80’s video vixen Bobbi Brown in the role of Lexxi’s mom and you have yourself a pretty killer package.

Yes some of the sexual innuendos used in “Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage” have started to become a bit tiresome however the catchiness of Steel Panthers songs are what keep me coming back time and time again. For long time fans of the band picking up this release is a given. For those new to the group despite having three studio albums under the bands belt I recommend starting here a working your way backwards as the songs just sound so good played acoustically. For those wanting this for just the video performance be warned that that is all you will get on the DVD there are no behind the scenes or bonus footage here. Knowing the bands comedic nature I would have thought there would have been tons of outtakes and gag reels from this shoot that could have been included but when you are already getting both the audio and video version of the show for the price of one you can’t really complain.

Track Listing:
1.) Show Intro/ Say Yeah!
2.) Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World
3.) Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
4.) If You Really, Really Love Me
5.) Gloryhole
6.) Bukkake Tears
7.) The Burden of Being Wonderful
8.) Weenie Ride
9.) That’s When You Came In
10.) Michael Don’t Know
11.) Community Property
12.) Grindy and Sexy
13.) Death to All But Metal

 

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Concert Review: “Redeemer of Souls Tour” with Judas Priest & Steel Panther @ Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

“Redeemer of Souls Tour”
Judas Priest, Steel Panther
Wednesday, October 1st 2014
Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

After a 2 year hiatus from the music scene the metal gods themselves Judas Priest are back on the road supporting their latest album release titled “Redeemer of Souls”. The tour kicked off on October 1st in Rochester, NY before a near capacity crowd and though opening night didn’t go as smoothly everyone was hoping for both Priest and opening act Steel Panther were at the top of their games.

As the doors to the vast Main Street Armory opened fans quickly flooded the venue in anticipation of the evening’s events. As the evenings advertised 7:30 start time rolled around and quickly turned in to 7:45, 8:00, 8:15 etc. It wouldn’t be till almost 8:40 that opening act Steel Panther would take the stage. The band which has been taking a lot of heat since it was announced they would be part of the tour initially didn’t win over the Rochester crowd as they took the stage to a sea of boo’s. It was unclear if the late start was the fault of the bands or of the promoter however despite the unpleasant welcome the band shrugged it off and blasted through an 11 song set which touched on each of the bands 4 releases. Vocalist Michael Starr handled his vocal duties like a true veteran and in between songs attempted to regain the crowds trust through the bands normal joking and goofing on one another.  This seemed to work as the band left the stage to cheers and applause the total opposite of how the night began.

After a few minutes a large Judas Priest banner dropped from the rafters signaling that the wait was almost over. After a brief intro the arena was filled with smoke and lights as Rob Halford and company ripped into the song “Dragonaut” which is also the first track off the band newest album. Halford seemed a little unsteady at first and was using a cane however by the end of the first number it appeared as though it was just a prop as he lurked back and forth with ease the rest of the night. The band played a variety of songs from their vast catalog such as “Victim of Changes”, ‘Turbo Lover” and “Love Bites” which hasn’t been in the set since 1986. The band’s sound was tight and well rehearsed with Rob’s signature scream being in top form. The newest member of the band guitarist Richie Faulkner seemed even more comfortable and certainly did his part to elevate the night’s excitement. Before calling it a night the band treated the audience to two encores which were both greeted with deafening roars and devil horns thrown high into the air.

When the night was finally over and the venue was silent it was easy to say that despite a few small setbacks the tours opening night was a success.  Both Priest fans new and old were given everything both bands had and then some as it was a great night of music. If the tour is coming to your area make sure to get your tickets as soon as you can as there are very few bands out there right now who can rival the power and fury of the one and only Judas Priest.

Steel Panther  Set List:
1.) Pussy Whipped
2.) Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
3.) Asian Hooker
4.) Just Like Tiger Woods
5.) Gold Digging Whore
6.) Girl From Oklahoma
7.) Community Property
8.) Eyes of the Panther
9.) 17 Girls in a Row
10.) Death to All but Metal
11.) Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

Judas Priest Set List:
1.) Battle Cry Intro
2.) Dragonaut
3.) Metal Gods
4.) Devil’s Child
5.) Victim of Changes
6.) Halls of Valhalla
7.) Loves Bites
8.) March of the Damned
9.) Turbo Lover
10.) Redeemer of Souls
11.) Beyond the Realms of Death
12.) Jawbreaker
13.) Breaking the Law
14.) Hell Bent for Leather

Encore:
15.) You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Encore 2
16.) Living After Midnight
17.) Defenders of the Faith

CD Review: Steel Panther “All You Can Eat”

“All You Can Eat”
Steel Panther
Open E music
Produced by: Jay Ruston
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The Sunset Strip’s hottest export, Steel Panther, is back with their third full-length album titled “All You Can Eat”. The album is the first release from the band since starting their own label title Open E Records and features 12 all new original tracks produced by Jay Ruston. With edgy song titles and enough sexual references to overload urbandictionary.com the guys in Steel Panther continue to wave the flag for the glory years of 80’s hair metal.

The latest from Steel Panther may not be the group’s strongest effort to date but there are some killer vintage guitar licks and rhythms that do a good job making up for what the album lacks in substance. Of course if you are at all familiar with the band then you know going in what you are in for. “All You Can Eat” features an edgier sound than what we have heard previously from the spandex clad 4 piece making this attribute one of the more shining moments of my listen. Of course with songs like “Party like Tomorrow is the End of the World” and “Gangbang at the Old Folks Home” you know there are good times to be had blasting these and the other 10 tracks as you role around the subdivision in your vintage Z-28.

“All You Can Eat” is certainly a stepping stone for the band musically however I feel they still have yet to capture the power and appeal of their over the top live performances.

Track Listing:
1.) Pussywhipped
2.) Party like Tomorrow is the End of the World
3.) Gloryhole
4.) Bukkake Tears
5.) Gangbang at the Old Folks Home
6.) Ten Strikes You’re Out
7.) The Burden of Being Wonderful
8.) Fucking my Heart in the Ass
9.) B.V.S.
10.) You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk
11.) If I Was The King
12.) She’s on the Rag

Steel Panther New Album “All You Can Eat” Slated for Release April 1st on Open E Records via Kobalt Label Services


Band Celebrating New Release By Sending the Famous G
rill ‘Em All Truck Around Los Angeles Today Giving Out Free Burgers: “The Fat Girl” and “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’ Cheeseburger”

Pre-order All You Can Eat online January 14th

(January 13th, 2014 – New York, NY) The Sunset Strip’s hottest export, Steel Panther, is back and ready to unleash their third full-length album, All You Can Eat, on the world. The 12-track masterpiece is slated to hit stands April 1st in the United States on Open E Records via Kobalt Label Services (KLS). The album will be available for pre-order on January 14th at http://www.steelpantherrocks.com. From the opening acoustic riff of album opener “Pussywhipped” to final chord hit in the album closer “She’s On The Rag,” it is clear Steel Panther is back and better than ever. Songs like “Gloryhole,” “Gangbang At The Old Folks Home” and “BVS” all showcase Steel Panther’s incredible musicianship and ability to write memorable and sometimes educational songs. The band, comprised of Michael Starr on vocals, Satchel on guitar, Lexxi Foxx on bass and Stix Zadinia on drums, have made a name for themselves as one of the most entertaining acts out today. The debut single “Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World,” was released in November with a star-studded video directed by Rob Riggle that has been viewed over 660,000 times. The explicit video for the song can be seen at http://smarturl.it/sppartyvd. Longtime Steel Panther producer Jay Ruston produced All You Can Eat.

The track listing for All You Can Eat is:

1. Pussywhipped
2. Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World
3. Gloryhole
4. Bukkake Tears
5. Gangbang At The Old Folks Home
6. Ten Strikes You’re Out
7. The Burden Of Being Wonderful
8. F@#king My Heart In The Ass
9. BVS
10. You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk
11. If I Was The King
12. She’s On The Rag

Steel Panther has also partnered up with acclaimed LA food truck Grill ‘Em All for a promotion to coincide with the announcement of the release date of All You Can Eat. Grill ‘Em All was the winner of the first season of the Great American Food Truck on the Food Network and is known for their heavy metal themed burgers. The band unveiled the album cover of All You Can Eat on the Grill ‘Em All truck and the truck will roam around Los Angeles giving away “The Fat Girl” and the “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’ Cheeseburger” for free to all Steel Panther fans in Los Angeles. Here is the schedule for the locations of Grill ‘Em All today:

11:00AM – 12:00PM – Origami (1816 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026)
1:00PM – 2:00PM – High Fidelity (1956 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027)
3:00PM – 4:00PM – The Record Parlour (6408 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
5:30PM – 7:00PM – The Rainbow (9015 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069)

Steel Panther was, for a long time, rock’s best-kept secret: a cult legend on the LA scene. But in recent years due to the success of their albums (both debuted at #1 on the Billboard Comedy Album Charts), and live shows, the band has enjoyed huge acclaim from fans and peers alike. Steel Panther has been joined on stage by rock and roll icons such as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Paul Stanley of KISS, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Green Day to name a few. Steel Panther has also been seen on Dancing With The Stars, Bad Girl’s Club and most recently in a national web campaign for Warner Brothers Pictures hit film, Rock Of Ages.

Concert Review: Steel Panther “Spreading the Disease” Tour

“Spreading the Disease Tour”
Steel Panther w/ special guest Hillbilly Herald
Date: Friday, April 19th, 2013
Venue: Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The 80’s were alive and well in Clifton Park on April 19th as the spandex clad Steel Panther brought their own brand of hair metal to the intimate Upstate Concert Hall. The band along with special guest Hillbilly Herald are currently on the road for Steel Panthers first full length tour which is being billed as the “Spreading the Disease Tour” (STD). Both bands proved that this is a legitimate tour and even though Steel Panthers on stage antics and subject matter is anything but serious the group’s performance was top notch.

Elkhart, Indiana’s own Hillbilly Herald would kick off the night with an energetic sound that could be described as AC/DC meets ZZ Top. The bands 45 minute set was a mixture of original material and a few notable covers that  included a unique take on the John Denver classic “Country Road”. The band received a large amount of praise from the near capacity crowd and seemed to be a fitting act for the opening slot. After a brief intermission the house lights would come down and the intro from the bands most recent album “Balls Out” blasted over the PA. Guitarist Satchel would take the stage first launching in to the opening of “Super Sonic Sex Machine”. Lead singer Michael Starr worked the crowd like a pro paying especially close attention to several scantily clad women in the front row. As the night moved on the band treated the crowd to songs off both of their albums such as “Asian Hooker” and “Turn Out the Lights”. In between songs the band would take comedic jabs back and forth at each other while propositioning the women in attendance with sexual explicit banter.

It was great to see the band which has been around since 2000 finally take their show outside of their weekly Los Angeles and Las Vegas shows. The band’s look is straight out of 1985 but the performance is fresh and fun. Though it may not be a show you want to take your children to it’s definitely a night full of great music and laughs. Don’t let the bands look fool you as they are all accomplished musicians who despite their wild/funny personas are serious players who like to go out and have fun while entertaining the crowd. If you have a chance to check out the “Spreading the Disease Tour” make sure to get your tickets early, tease up your hair and throw on your favorite pair of spandex as this is a tour you won’t want to miss.

 Steel Panther Set List:

1.)    Super Sonic Sex Machine

2.)    Tomorrow Night

3.)    Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)

4.)    Asian Hooker

5.)    Just Like Tiger Woods

6.)    Turn Out the Lights

7.)    If You Really Really Love Me

8.)    Guitar Solo

9.)    It Won’t Suck Itself

10.)  Girl From Oklahoma

11.)  Community Property

12.)  Eyes of the Panther

13.)  Death to All but Metal

Encore

14.)  Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

15.)  17 Girls in a Row

 

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DVD Review “Steel Panther: British Invasion”

Directed by: Daniel E Catullo III
Starring: Steel Panther
Guitar Anarchy Studios
Mixing: Jay Ruston
Rated: N/A
Concert Feature: 90 min
Special Features: 60 min

Our Score: Concert- 4 out of 5 stars
Special Features- 5 out of 5 stars

“British Invasion” is the long awaited DVD/Blu-Ray release from the spandex clad band Steel Panther. Release dates for this film go back as far as March of 2010 however the wait is finally over. There are two versions of the film being released in the U.S. on Oct. 22nd with the first being a 2 disc DVD version that will have the concert and special features on two separate discs along with a 16 page color booklet. The Blu-Ray release of the film will feature all of the same material and packaging but contained on a single disc. Shot on location in London, England at the famous Brixton Academy director Daniel E Catullo III (Nickelback, Rush, Godsmack) does a great job capturing all the hairspray filed hijinx as the concert was shot on 16 HD cameras which give the film a really stunning look.

I have been waiting patiently since the first announcements of this DVD were released over 2 years ago so when I finally received the Blu-Ray version of the film for review I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. Satchel, Michael, Lexxi and Stix deliver with every song and cheesy choreographed dance move as they make their way through the 90+ minute set shot during one of their sold out shows at London’s Brixton Academy. Lots of jokes and scantily clad women fill in the empty spaces making this a hysterical watching experience. At times the music does seems a bit too crisp and clean for a live recording however it’s not enough where it distracted my attention. The only other negative I could really find was that because of the film being shot during the highly successful “Feel the Steel” tour the set does not include any songs from the group’s latest release “Balls Out”. However the band does a good job making up for that during the bonus features.

The Special Features portion of the disc was chocked to the brim with over 60 minutes of bonus material. The first is a hysterical 40 minute documentary which takes you behind the scenes of the band known as Steel Panther. Next is a video of the bands performance from this year’s Download Festival which not only features performances of “Just Like Tiger Woods” and “17 Girls in a Row” both off of the “Balls Out” album but a very special guest vocal performance by Corey Taylor of Slipknot on the bands song “Death to All But Metal”. Closing out this portion of the disc are several deleted scenes that even though were obviously staged still managed to garner a number of laughs.

Great laughs and great music is what you find on Steel Panther’s “British Invasion”. So do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of this film, tuck the little ones away for the night and get prepared to ROCK!!!

Main DVD:
1.) Eyes of a Panther
2.) Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’
3.) Fat Girl
4.) Hair Solo
5.) Party All Day
6.) Hell’s on Fire
7.) Stripper Girl
8.) Asian Hooker
9.) Turn Out the Lights
10.) Girl From Oklahoma
11.) We Want Pussy
12.) Community Property
13.) The Shocker
14.) Death to All But Metal

Bonus Disc:
40 Min. Documentary
Deleted Scenes

Download Festival 2012:
1.) Supersonic Sex Machine
2.) Community Property
3.) Just Like Tiger Woods
4.) 17 Girls in a Row
5.) Death to All But Metal (Feat. Corey Taylor)

CD Review: Steel Panther “Balls Out”

Steel Panther
“Balls Out”
Universal Republic
Producer: Jay Ruston
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Balls Out” is the second release by the Los Angeles based band Steel Panther. “Balls Out” features 14 all new tracks by the spandex clad band that were produced by Jay Ruston. The album is being released via Universal Republic and is the follow up to Steel Panthers 2009 release “Feel The Steel”.

“Balls Out” seems to lack the catchiness of the bands first release “Feel The Steel”. It’s as though the band went more for a shock approach with their lyrics rather than concentrating on making a good album as a whole. “Balls Out” is still good and packed full classic 80’s inspired riffs that will make you want to tease your hair to epic proportions. Tracks like “Tomorrow Night” and “Critter” were the highlights for me while tracks like “It Won’t Suck Itself” featuring Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and the album’s first single “17 Girls In A Row” are definitely worth mentioning.

Though “Balls Out” doesn’t measure up to the bands previous release its still a fun and upbeat album that you can sing along to. Steel Panther fans new and old should be able to find something of “Balls Out” that they will enjoy.

Track Listing:
•    In The Future
•    Supersonic Sex Machine
•    Just Like Tiger Woods
•    17 Girls In A Row
•    If You Really Really Love Me
•    It Won’t Suck Itself
•    Tomorrow Night
•    Why Can’t You Trust me
•    That’s What Girls Are For
•     Gold Digging Whore
•     I Like Drugs
•     Critter
•     Let Me Cum In
•     Weenie Ride