BLACK VEIL BRIDES Founder Andy Biersack Releases Audiobook of His #1 Selling Autobiography “They Don’t Need To Understand Stories Of Hope, Fear, Family, Life And Never Giving In”

Book Written With Longtime Collaborator Ryan J. Downey  Now Available Via Rare Bird Books

Singer, songwriter, actor, podcast host and comic book creator are all descriptions that can be used when talking about Black Veil Brides founder Andy Biersack. Now #1 selling author can also be added to that list with the release of his autobiography They Don’t Need To Understand (Rare Bird Books)The book, co-written by longtime collaborator Ryan J. Downey, is currently the #1 release on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Rock Music. The book also finds itself at #2 in Rock Band Biographies, #20 in Actor & Entertainer Biographies on Amazon, and has 4.7 out of 5 stars with customer reviews. The audiobook – read by Biersack – is now available everywhere audiobooks are sold or fans can go to Audiobooks.com or Audible.com to order.

“I am so thankful for the incredible reception the book has had and it means the world to me to know that my story has resonated with so many people all over the world. This whole experience has been a dream come true,” explains Andy Biersack. 

Before he was the charismatic singer of Black Veil Brides and an accomplished solo artist under the Andy Black moniker, he was Andrew Dennis Biersack, an imaginative and creative kid in Cincinnati, Ohio, struggling with anxiety, fear, loneliness, and the impossible task of fitting in. With his trademark charm, clever wit, and insightful analysis, Biersack tells the story of his childhood and adolescence. The discovery of the artistic passions that would shape his life, and his decision to move to Hollywood after his 18th birthday to make his dreams come true, even when it meant living in his car to make it all a reality. It’s the origin story of one of modern rock’s most exciting young superheroes, from building miniature concerts with KISS action figures in his bedroom to making the RIAA gold-certified single “In the End” and connecting with passionate fans worldwide.

Black Veil Brides are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the upcoming album The Phantom Tomorrow– scheduled for release via Sumerian Records in 2021More information on the latest musical creation from Andy Biersack, Jake Pitts, Jinxx, Lonny Eagleton and Christian Coma will be available in the near future. 

About Andy Biersack: Andy Biersack is the singer of Black Veil Brides and performs as a solo artist under the name Andy Black. He’s acted in both film and television, conceived the graphic novel The Ghost of Ohio, and co-created The Andy Show podcast. Andy has appeared on the covers of tastemaker rock music publications like Kerrang!, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, and Revolver and shares content with millions of followers across social media. He was the host and head writer of the 2017 Journeys Alternative Press Music Awards. He lives in Southern California with his wife, singer Juliet Simms, and their three pets.

About Ryan J. Downey: Ryan J. Downey worked as writer, producer, reporter, host, and editor for a number of media brands, including MTV News, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel, IFC, Lionsgate, Hearst Media, and MSNBC. He is the founder of Superhero Artist Management, representing rock bands and producers, and PopCurse, in Southern California.

About Black Veil Brides: Like their band name suggests, Black Veil Brides evoke transcendent visions of an impenetrable hereafter, intermingling with a steely focus on the dark passions and elusive mysteries of the here and now. A romantic fantasy first summoned in a small town by founder Andy Biersack – a creative who was fascinated with death rock, theatricality, and monsters (both real and imagined). It wasn’t until moving to Los Angeles that the unstoppable force the band is currently was finalized. The band (and its members Andy Biersack, Jake Pitts, Jinxx, Lonny Eagleton, Christian Coma) Instagram and Twitter accounts command close to 10 million followers between them. Vale, the group’s most recent full-length album, went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Hard Rock Albums chart. In the hearts and minds of their fans, Black Veil Brides represents an unwillingness to compromise and a resistance to critics (personal and professional), fueled by the same fire as the group’s own heroes, the iconoclasts whose creative output, once dismissed, is now canonized.

Author Success Stories for Your Inspiration

Writing is not an easy task. Many authors start needy and, they take time before getting recognized. Authors who make it to the top without connections to their titles are geniuses. Writing a book takes a lot of work and a lot of negative criticism from the people around them. According to academized reviews, many authors write while balancing other things in life like; families, trauma, among others. They even end up having the best seller books. Here are some of these author’s stories.

  • Joanne Rowling

A single mom, needy, and was battling clinical depression. However, that did not deter her from archiving her goals of becoming an author. She took her daughter with her to a coffee shop and wrote her books from there. She got rejected by many publishers before getting published by Bloomsbury. The publisher told her that the book (Harry Potter) was likely not going to make a lot of money. It, however, was such a successful book.

  • Octavia Estelle Butler

She battled rejection and dyslexia, worked several temporary occupations to get by. She woke up very early to write. She kept pressing on and eventually sold the first book to Harlan Ellison, an author who motivated her to join a writing workshop about science fiction. She is among the most celebrated science fiction writers.

  • Stephen King

He worked as a gas station attendant, a janitor, and worked at a laundry company. His first novel faced rejection from thirty publishers. He tossed the book’s manuscript out after feeling discouraged. His wife retrieved it and encouraged King to keep writing. It ultimately got published.

  • Maya Angelou

She faced a lot of difficulty growing up, among them abuse at a tender age and becoming a teenage mother at seventeen. She even traded sex for money. She eventually got a job as a dancer and singer, which changed her life. She slowly started writing poetry books, memoirs, prose, and essays and was an activist too.

  • Ishmael Beah

He fought as a child soldier for three years in Sierra Leone. UNICEF rescued him but ran away from his home due to violence. He moved to the Big Apple, finished his schooling, and started writing a memoir based on his life as a child soldier bringing him success. Now a successful activist and author.

  • Sandra Cisneros

She grew up in a needy family with seven siblings, all boys. She also faced a lot of misogyny. Her family kept moving from place to place in Chicago and Mexico. The unstable situation surrounding her upbringing motivated Sandra to write. She won a grant from McArthur fellowship worth $225,000.

  • Helen Keller

She contracted a disease that left her blind and deaf but learned how to communicate. When she was 22, she published an autobiography inspiring so many all over the world. She is now an author, political activist, and lecture.

  • Charles Dickens

He is among the most celebrated authors in the world. He grew up in a needy family of eight kids. He left school at a tender age to help with the bills at home. He ultimately stuck to writing, which made him successful.

Conclusion

Many writers take a while before succeeding in the career. Many of their stories are inspirational.

Many started in desperate situations but pressed on and eventually made it in their careers. 

ALICE COOPER UNVEILS ROCK & ROLL THE FIRST SONG FROM THE UPCOMING STUDIO ALBUM “DETROIT STORIES”

FEATURING: STEVE HUNTER, JOHNNY BEE, PAUL RANDOLPH, PLUS “HONORARY DETROITER” JOE BONAMASSA

“Rock & Roll”: A Detroit Story…

Alice Cooper releases “Rock & Roll” today as a first taste of the upcoming studio album Detroit Stories, coming February 262021 on earMUSIC.
“Rock & Roll,” a classic song by The Velvet Underground from the album Loaded, is not a casual choice: It’s a song of joy and celebration of that magical moment when we all first turned on Rock and Roll radio …and it saved our lives. 

Have a listen: Maybe it will save yours too!

Here are some interesting Detroit Stories for the fans of rock and roll trivia and for those who believe that nothing happens by chance (especially in Detroit). 

In 1971, the Alice Cooper Group was working in Detroit, with producer Bob Ezrin. Around the same time, also in Detroit, a band called… Detroit, which featured Mitch Ryder, Johnny Bee and Steve Hunter, recorded a heavy new arrangement of Lou Reed’s “Rock & Roll” also produced by… Bob Ezrin.

It was when he heard that version that Lou Reed decided to work with Ezrin on the follow-up to his monster hit album “Transformer.” Their collaboration produced the seminal and fascinating classic album Berlin.
But wait, there is more!  

Steve Hunter, the amazing guitar player who created the iconic main riff that drives Detroit’s cover of the song in 1971, ended up working with Ezrin on many of his productions. He toured and recorded with Alice and with Lou Reed as well…and that same riff is the backbone of this new recording of the song which was done in…Detroit, of course.

Alice Cooper and Lou Reed shared a relationship of mutual respect and friendship over the years. Bob and Lou collaborated several other times and were dear friends for 40 years. Alice and Bob can’t remember how many albums this is and have been creative partners for 50 years.

Listen to Alice’s powerful new version of Lou Reed’s “Rock & Roll” featuring Johnny “Bee” Badanjek (Detroit Wheels), Steve Hunter (Detroit), Paul Randolph (legendary Detroit jazz and R&B bassist) and special guests Joe Bonamassa and Tommy Henriksen (for this occasion, crowned “Honorary Detroiters”) here: https://alicecooper.lnk.to/RocknRoll

A visualizer for the single can be found on YouTube:https://youtu.be/wmkf57yffT0

Detroit Stories Alice’s upcoming new album, is a celebration of the sound and spirit of the Golden Era of Detroit rock. 

“Detroit was Heavy Rock central then,” explains Alice, “You’d play the Eastown and it would be Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, the Stooges and the Who, for $4! The next weekend at the Grande it was MC5, Brownsville Station and Fleetwood Mac, or Savoy Brown or the Small Faces. You couldn’t be a soft-rock band or you’d get your ass kicked.”

“Los Angeles had its sound with The Doors, Love and Buffalo Springfield,” he says, “San Francisco had the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. New York had The Rascals and The Velvet Underground. But Detroit was the birthplace of angry hard rock. After not fitting in anywhere in the US (musically or image wise) Detroit was the only place that recognized the Alice Cooper guitar driven, hard rock sound and our crazy stage show. Detroit was a haven for the outcasts. And when they found out I was born in East Detroit… we were home.”

50 years later, Alice and Ezrin have united in Detroit with their Detroit friends to record Detroit Stories, Cooper’s new album.  If 2019’s Breadcrumbs EP laid down the trail to the city, Detroit Stories drives like a muscle car right down Woodward Ave.  

Discover Detroit Stories as they were meant to be told.

The Best Gambling Movies Based on True Stories

Gambling is an essential part of pop culture and you can see it in many movies. Even heroes like James Bond are often involved in some action at the casino tables.

Most of the stories in the films are fictional but that’s not always true. There are some gambling movies that are based on true stories. Forget about the modern gamblers who are more likely to use gambling sites, the characters in these movies were involved in “real world” gambling.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

“High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story”

If you are a passionate poker player, you most certainly know who Stu Ungar is. The man won the World Series of Poker’s Main Event three times which is a record. Many believe he is the most talented player in the history of both poker and gin rummy.

That would be enough for a movie but his story adds even more to the legend of Kid Poker. Stu Ungar had a crazy life that involved a lot of booze, drugs, gambling, and parties. He made some bad decisions and died young, but his story will likely live forever.

It’s no surprise that director A.W. Vidmer was inspired to create “High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story” and share the tale of the iconic player.

“21”

This movie is based on the non-fictional book “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions” by Ben Mezrich. As the title suggests, it’s about blackjack and a group of MIT students that terrorize the biggest Vegas casinos.

They learn how to count cards and destroy the tables before the gambling operators strike back. It’s a fascinating story that certainly deserved to reach Hollywood.

In fact, there have been other attempts to make a movie based on the same book, but “21” is the most successful.

Part of the reason is the excellent cast that features Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and Jim Sturgess. While the film is not 100% accurate from a factual point of view, it’s close enough to the real-life events to make the list.

“Molly’s Game”

One of the more recent entries here is “Molly’s Game”. It was released in 2017 and based on a book of the same name. The story revolves former Olympic hopeful Molly Bloom. An injury ends her ski career early and makes her life a mess.

Molly soon ends up as the person who organizes the biggest underground poker games in LA. She runs into some trouble that forces a move to New York where she quickly builds a name and runs some of the biggest games in the Big Apple.

The story is interesting enough, but throw the FBI and some Russian mobsters in there, and you will understand why Aaron Sorkin wanted to make a movie out of it.

“Owning Mahowny”

The most critically acclaimed movie to make this list is “Owning Mahowny”. It’s a Canadian production that features proven stars like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie Driver.

The former plays the role of Dan Mahowny, an assistant manager of a bank branch with access to customer funds and a strong gambling addiction. This sounds like the perfect combination for a complete disaster.

If you want the whole story, watch the movie as it’s totally worth it. “Owning Mahowny” is a brilliant example of the damage done by gambling addictions and its effects on not only the person involved but everyone around him.

…AND JUSTICE FOR ART: STORIES ABOUT HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVERS – VOLUME 2: Available Now

New Art Book Featuring Amorphis, Metallica, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Behemoth, Judas Priest, Opeth, Obituary, And More

Veteran metal/rock journalist, Ramón “Oscuro” Martos, has finally published his eagerly awaited metal art book, …AND JUSTICE FOR ART: STORIES ABOUT HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVERS – VOLUME 2. This one-of-a-kind collection of graphics and stories reveals all the particulars behind the making of now-legendary album art including Slayer’s Hell Awaits, Judas Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance, Morbid Angel’s Altars Of Madness, Metallica’s Death Magnetic, Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell, Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime, Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse, Death’s The Sound Of Perseverance, Type Of Negative’s Bloody Kisses, Carcass’ Surgical Steel, Amorphis’ Tales From The Thousand Lakes, Soulfly’s Archangel, Behemoth’s The Satanist, Opeth’s Sorceress, and many others. 

The stories behind these iconic works are told through more than one-hundred exclusive interviews with metal icons like Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Jeff Walker (Carcass), Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer), K.K. Downing (ex-Judas Priest), Satyr (Satyricon), David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Luc Lemay (Gorguts), Ihsahn (Emperor), Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), and so many more. Additionally, the collection features insightful interviews with legendary illustrators such as Eliran Kantor, Dan Seagrave, Travis Smith, Valnoir, and Costin Chioreanu, who also designed the book’s stunning front cover. 

“This new book features 252 color pages and more than 400 images. It provides firsthand information about hundreds of graphics, which are presented in extremely high quality,” Ramon Oscuro comments. “Although this is a direct continuation of the first volume published in 2015, it’s also a true standalone book. Readers will be able to discover images and stories that haven’t been published until now. This volume is the product of three years of intense work and insightful research. Working on it was an amazing experience.” 

Several musicians have expressed their enthusiasm for the …AND JUSTICE FOR ART book series. Soulfly’s Max Cavalera — who penned the new book’s foreword — has thanked the author, “for helping to keep alive the ritual of the album cover.” Vltimas/ex-Morbid Angel frontman, David Vincent crowned …AND JUSTICE FOR ART, “a historical document about the importance of metal album covers.” Cattle Decapitation vocalist Travis Ryan proclaims, “this is exactly what the music world needs to remind us how important album covers have been to all of us that grew up surrounding ourselves with physical media.” 

…AND JUSTICE FOR ART – VOLUME 2 was funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign launched by Oscuro via Indiegogo. The current edition is limited to 300 copies and is exclusively available at THIS LOCATION. Each copy is personally signed by the author.View the book’s teaser video at THIS LOCATION.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection First Time Ever on Blu-ray!

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A LANDMARK COLLECTION SHOWCASING THE LEGENDARY MONSTERS IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY

UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COMPLETE 30-FILM COLLECTION AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY ON AUGUST 28, 2018 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula(1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942),Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

 

BONUS FEATURES:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
  • 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
  • 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
  • Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
  • 13 Expert Feature Commentaries
  • Archival Footage
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailers

 

Book Review: “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” by Scott Ian

“Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life”
Author: Scott Ian
Da Capo
Hardcover: 243 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Anthrax guitarist and co-founder Scott Ian has seen his share of dive hotels, dirty tour buses and decrepit green rooms. “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” is a collection of his craziest stories recounting Ian’s life on the road as a touring musician. Along the way the guitarist shares his experiences and encounters with celebrities like Kirk Hammett, Dimebag Darrell, David Lee Roth and Steven Spielberg to name just a few.

As the follow up to his autobiography “I’m The Man” guitarist Scott Ian takes readers even further into the depths of the heavy metal underworld. Unlike Ian’s first book which was a more biography than tell all where “Access All Areas” is the total opposite recounting in detail some of the writers more interesting encounters. Very rarely do you get to hear let alone read in published form stories like those shared by the veteran guitarist. From his experiences as a Pro Poker player playing alongside Kiss’s Ace Frehley and ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill to a confrontational meeting with REM front man Michael Stipe. Easily my favorite excert from the book was that where Ian sets the record straight about his guest appearance on “Married with Children” which was to include a story line featuring Christina Applegate.

Over the course of “Access All Areas” 243 pages readers are treated to a bevy of laughable stories that have not been shared before. As I made my way through the book I just kept thinking that even having one or two of these experiences in a life time would be enough for most people but to be able to compile enough for a book was mind blowing. Scott Ian has certainly to this point lived quiet an interesting life full of off the wall experiences which he has candidly detailed in this book. You don’t have to be a fan of heavy metal to enjoy this book as there are plenty of other colorful characters outside of the music world that you will surely recognize making “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” a great pickup for any and all.

Book Review: “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars” by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

“From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”
Author: Virginia Hanlon Grohl
Da Capo Press
Hardcover 204 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When Virginia Hanlon Grohl first saw her son perform in front of thousands of screaming fans she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son’s star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children’s fame? Did they worry about their children’s livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children’s passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour?

All those answers and more are contained in “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”. Over the course of the books 204 pages you get a unique behind the scenes look like never before. However not from the stars themselves but from their mothers! Yes that’s right their mothers. Along with author Hanlon Grohl own story of motherhood we hear from other moms including Verna Griffin (Dr. Dre), Janis Winehouse (Amy Winehouse), Hester Diamond (Mike D of the Beastie Boys) and Bettye Moses and Harriette Brown (mother & step mother of Zac Brown) as they recount the years before, during and after their sons and daughters became house hold names. I don’t recall a book like this ever being released which adds to the appeal because who is better to ask about those earlier childhood years than one’s own mom.

The candid firsthand accounts are what really kept me turning page after page. “From Cradle to Stage” is a fun, fast read unlike any biography I have come across before. While the book does a great job showcasing several mothers’ journeys its underlying story about the bond between parents and children is its greatest attribute. Not only is this a great read for parents but also for anyone looking for a different look at some of music’s biggest artists and the moms who impacted their lives.

 

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CD Review: Dropkick Murphys “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory”

“11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory”
Dropkick Murphys
Born & Bred
Producer: Ted Hutt
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Everyone’s favorite Bostonian punk band Dropkick Murphys are back with a brand new studio album titled “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory”. The album (the bands ninth) is being released via the groups own Born & Bred label and features 11 tracks which were produced by Grammy Award winning producer Ted Hutt.

With a four year lapse since the release of 2013’s “Signed and Sealed in Blood” fans of Dropkick Murphys have had a bit of a wait for new material however with the release of “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” DKM has made up for that lost time. The album opens up with a mostly instrumental track titled “The Lonesome Boatman”. The track which features gang like chanting serves as sort of a rallying call announcing the bands return. I found this to be a fitting way to open the album given the gap between this album and the last. As you make your way through the albums 11 tracks you get a spattering blend of traditional and non-traditional instrumentation mixed with vocalists Ken Casey and Al Barr’s signature Boston snarl. Tracks like the upbeat “Rebels with a Cause” and the rawkus “I Had a Hat” are classic DKM in their subject matter and approach while the 1945 Rogers and Hammerstein show tune “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is given a folk/punk makeover that is new and fresh while still paying homage to the original. Another track worth mentioning is the somber “4-15-13” which is the bands heart-felt tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

“11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” is everything fans of Dropkick Murphy’s have come to love about the band and their music. The only negative I really found was as the title suggests the album is a bit short. Clocking in at less than 40 minutes I seemed to be through all 11 tracks before I knew it, the upside is the albums diversity makes it easy to listen to multiple times through without it getting stale or redundant negating its short run time. No matter if you are a long time fan of the boys from Boston or a more casual listener the latest release from Dropkick Murphy’s surely has something you will enjoy.

Track Listing:
1.) The Lonesome Boatman
2.) Rebels with a Cause
3.) Blood
4.) Sandlot
5.) First Class Loser
6.) Paying My Way
7.) I Had a Hat
8.) Kicked to the Curb
9.) You’ll Never Walk Alone
10.) 4-15-13
11.) Until the Next Time

 

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Vampire Stories That Are More Romantic Than Twilight

Vampires are one of the most iconic figures in the horror realm and whether they’re showing off their bloodsucking prowess on film, on TV or in literature they’ve always been the popular subject matter for many writers and filmmakers who are keen to show audiences their softer sides.

There has always been a certain alluring amorousness surrounding these vampiric figures and when fiction author Stephanie Meyer unleashed her ‘Twilight’ franchise onto the world we were introduced to a whole new level of undead loving.

But whilst fans of the series still mourn the absence of Edward and Bella in their lives you may be surprised to discover that there are still plenty of other romance-filled vampire experiences out there to have.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

This popular TV series has been the perfect alternative for lovelorn teenagers ever since the demise of the ‘Twilight’ saga.

The show is now in the middle of its 8th season and still going strong. There’s plenty of action and twists and turns throughout the series which has helped keep its characters interesting and flip-flopping each and every season. At the heart of the series is a trio of characters all mixed up in an enviable love triangle which includes two brothers who just happen to be vampires. The show itself is based on the popular series of books of the same name penned by L.J. Smith.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

This unique entry deals with love in a very different way and is an expertly crafted horror film where the characters and interactions are the key to the whole experience more so than the premise.

This beautiful and memorable romantic horror movie exported from Sweden has already had the US remake treatment however it’s the original that managed to expertly provide a special story of childhood romance blossoming between a young boy named Oskar and his strange nocturnal neighbour who turns out to be a bloodsucker.

THIRST

This South Korean offering revolves around a Catholic priest who ends up turning into a vampire following a failed medical experiment when a potential procedure to help eradicate a known virus results in the priest receiving a transfusion of vampire blood.

There’s plenty of passion and lust on show here and it’s cleverly weaved in around the themes of vampirism. It features a love triangle between the main characters and sticks with you long after the credits roll.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Whilst fictional vampires were the perfect fodder years back in order to scare audiences they have very much become a once classic Hollywood type monster that has gone through a number of significant changes over the years.

Now even games such as Immortal Romance are being influenced by these monsters newly found romantic side. But even back in 1997 there were even complicated romantic entanglements occurring around vampires on the small screen.

In Joss Whedon’s highly influential supernatural drama series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ there was plenty of loving, especially with so much teenage angst and hormones thrown into the mix.

So when a vampire slayer falls in love with a vampire there’s bound to be plenty of moral issues raised. With such a mixed relationship things obviously don’t run as smoothly as they would hope but we won’t spoil it for you. Buffy however is a great choice for those looking to tackle a weekend of box sets.

 

DVD Review “Strawberry Shortcake: Campberry Stories”

Strawberry Shortcake: Campberry Stories DVD
Street Date: June 7, 2016
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Total Run Time: 66 minutes

DVD Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Growing up in the 80’s and having a younger sister, there was no shortage of “Strawberry Shortcake” in our home. 30 years later and it is still extremely relevant and going strong. “Campberry Stories” is the latest DVD release in the series of episodes from this TV series. I  have to admit, this show honestly keep my attention when my daughter watches it. It is cute, funny and very colorful. So out of all the kids shows that I am “forced” to watch, this one is definitely one of easier ones to get through. Any fan of the series will want to pick up this latest collection of themed episodes.

Official Premise: It’s time for tall tales and small kindnesses in this berrytastic animated trio. Strawberry Shortcake and her pals are on their annual campout in Very Beautiful Meadow when they decide to see who can tell the most OUTRAGEOUS story. Plum, Cherry and Orange get things started with different made-up reasons to explain why they’re late to the party. Sour tells everyone an imagined adventure involving her and her sister, Sweet. And Apple tells the campers about a thrilling cross-country race… only she insists it really happened. It’s going to be a berry difficult decision to choose the best tale!

Fox has been putting out these DVDs in this series quite regularly. They are only on DVD, not Blu-ray but come with a bonus Digital HD copy, which is great to be able to stream on the road. The format for the DVD is Widescreen 1.78:1 and the audio tracks included are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Surround Dolby Digital 2.0. There are some decent special features as well for the kiddos including “Exclusive Berry Sweet MASH UP videos”; “Meet Strawberry Shortcake & Friends”; “Best of Sweet Sunshine Adventures” and lastly some fun printable coloring pages and activity sheets to enjoy outside of the DVD as well.

Book Review: NOFX: “The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories”

NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories”
Author: NOFX w/ Jeff Alulis
Publisher: Da Capo
Paperback: 368 pages

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

NOFX has been called one of the worlds most influential and controversial punk bands, but its full story has never truly been told until now. The band has sold over 8 million records, toured six continents and founded one of the most successful indie labels in the world. Together with writer/filmmaker Jeff Alulis “NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories” takes a look back on more than three decades of completely inexplicable success told directly from those who lived it providing a close-up look at the punk-rock music genre and the punk-rock life.

Growing up as a skateboarding, punk rock music fan of late the late eighties and nineties I was extremely anxious to get a hold of this book. Written much like Motley Crue’s famous/infamous tell all “The Dirt” “NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories” is a similar tale of debauchery minus the excess and stereotypical “Rock n Roll” life. Instead you get an in-depth look at the seedier underbelly of rock n’ roll bastard step son know as Punk Rock. Over the course of the books 368 pages band members from past and present tell their tales of trial and tribulations while wading through a cesspool of filth consisting of drugs, murder, suicide and the occasional S&M occurrence. After reading some of these stories it’s a complete miracle that the band is around to tell these let alone have enough memory to recount the tales so vividly and in such detail. Bassist “Fat Mike” Burkett, Guitarist Erik Melvin, Drummer Erik “Smelly” Sandin and Guitarist Aaron “El Hefe” Abeyta along with a list of other notables keep your attention page after page making this book damn near impossible to put down. Spread out amongst the tales of punk rock madness are tons of rare photos and show fliers from all stages of the bands career which only seem to add to the books over all appeal.

“NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories” is definitely not for the faint of heart. The book and its writers pull no punches as they are both candid and real as they can be in this mesmerizing tale of the true punk rock life. Even if you have never heard of the band NOFX or its members do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book!

Also be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Fat Mike in the interview portion of the site.

 

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Book Review “The Avengers Storybook Collection”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Storybook Collection
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Marvel Press
Release Date: March 31, 2015

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I wish I had a book like this when I was a kid. “The Avengers Storybook Collection” is a must have for any parent with young boys or even young fan girls for that matter! There is nothing like getting ready a story filled with heroism, adventure and action just before going to slip. These stories are fun, exciting and feature some of our favorite Marvel superheroes. Even though, my daughter is a little young for this one, she still loves it and already came name every character on the cover!

Official Premise: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Falcon are Earth’s Mightiest Marvels-the Avengers! Join them as they work together to battle against sinister Super Villains such as Ultron, Thanos, the Masters of Evil,and more, to keep the Earth safe. Featuring 20 explosive stories of good vs. evil. Avengers assemble!

Let’s hope that this Storybook Collection is the first of many. There are literally an infinite collection of characters that they can include in future collections. This one has 20 stories included with all of the favorites like Iron Man and Captain America but I would love to be able to introduce my daughter to some of the lesser known characters as well. They could even do a female superhero only book OOHHHH OOHHHH or even better a villains only book. Who wouldn’t want to read a new story featuring everyone’s favorite Avenger villain, Loki! Fingers crossed!

Book Review “Disney Fairies: Bedtime Fairy Stories: A Treasury”

Author: Celeste Sisler
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Series: Disney Fairies
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: LB Kids
Release Date: October 7, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Tinker Bell has always been a favorite character from “Peter Pan” but she has recently developed into one of Disney’s biggest character within the Disney Fairies series. Having a two year old, I have become a big fan myself of the Disney Fairies, especially the movies. “Disney Fairies: Bedtime Fairy Stories: A Treasury” is a great collection of nine bedtime stories for my little tinker Bella (my daughters name). A must have for sure!

Official Premise: The fairies of Pixie Hollow are always busy flittering about. They have mysteries to solve, animals to care for, and a responsibility to help one another. But the fairies also know how to have fun together! They go on great fairy campouts, search for the perfect pumpkin, and paint beautiful pictures. This bedtime treasury includes nine soothing stories sure to put every fairy to sleep.

The illustrations are very colorful and vibrant. I have read some bedtime stories that are a bit too exciting to really be considered bedtime stories since it rallies the kids up. This collection really has some enjoyable stories but my daughter loves to point out each of the characters’ names and what is going on in the stories. So I have really enjoyed reading this to her at night. I hope that LB Kids have future volumes planned.

 

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Book Review “Disney 5-Minute Spooky Stories”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: 5-Minute Stories
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 22, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Halloween is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate with your young kids than with kid friendly spooky stories with their favorite Disney characters. This is not Disney’s first time around with the % Minute Stories as recently they have released “5-Minute Marvel Stories”, “5-Minute Princess Stories”; “5-Minute Snuggle Stories” and “5-Minute Disney*Pixar Stories”. These are a great fun for the kids and listen up parents, they are great for bedtime. I probably wouldn’t recommend the spooky stories before bedtime but these are still great fun and original stories from our favorite character like “Wreck-It Ralph”, “Tangled” and “Sleeping Beauty”.

Official Premise: The perfect treat for Halloween, this treasury of spooky stories is packed with thrilling adventures. Beloved favorites like Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan as well as popular new characters from the latest Disney films, including Wreck-It Ralph and Rapunzel, encounter everything from ghosts to haunted houses! With twelve scary stories, a padded cover, and fun illustrations on every page, this collection is a great gift for boys and girls. Plus, each of these spooktacular stories can be enjoyed in just five minutes, making it perfect for bedtime, on the go, or anytime!

 

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