Entries tagged with: Gwar

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by Rob Sperry-Fromm

photo: GWAR at "Empire Records" in April (more by Sachyn Mital)

GWAR (Oderus Urungus) are always keeping busy with stuff that pushes them beyond the category of just being a band and into the realm of art collective or something like that, and as usual there's a ton of stuff going on the in GWAR universe right now. First and foremost, GWAR are a great live band, and they've been on tour for much of the fall, recently stopping in NYC for a show at Webster Hall on 11/15, where they were joined by Born of Osiris and Battlecross. GWAR guitarist Pustulus Maximus joined Battlecross during that show to cover the Pantera classic "Fucking Hostile." Though GWAR didn't play Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo's Housecore Fest this year as they have in the past, Sleazy P. Martini did host a screening of the GWAR movie Skulhedface at the film portion of Housecore, which just went down last weekend. Oh and Anselmo's other band Down did play GWAR-B-Q this year, so clearly they're all still friends.

Speaking of GWAR covers, they've been frequent contributors to the AV Club's "Undercover" series, but yesterday the tables were turned when Iron and Wine covered GWAR's "Sick of You," which was about as quiet and acoustic and funny as you would expect. GWAR contributed a cover of Cundi Lauper's "She Bop" to the series back in October. Watch both below.

And in terms of expanding their universe, current lead singer Michael Bishop aka Blothar has started a marketing firm with Richmond-based artist Joe Adkins called Misery Brothers, who have made their first ad for the Richmond-based "Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix." It seems like a GWAR video even though Adkins claims that Misery Brothers are technically not affiliated with the band. The spot was shot in GWAR BAR (which is, you know, their bar in Richmond) and is a gory, hilarious commercial that features the character TOMATOFACE, who might as well be a GWAR member, as his costume was created by Corrotted Artistry, the Richmondy company that builds all of GWAR's costumes. These guys have their hands in a lot of things down there, and this is just the latest example.

And finally, GWAR also have a book out, because of course they do. It's called Let There Be Gwar, and is a sort of art-book/comprehensive history of GWAR and all related projects and companies and such. It was spearheaded by Bob Gorman aka "Muzzle Slave" (people associated with GWAR who aren't actually in the band are known as " GWAR slaves", just so you know) but features input from a bunch of people and supposedly took about 17 years to put together. It has a bunch of photos, interviews, posters, art and apparently a lot of blood, and is currently available for purchase.

Check out the Pantera cover, the Iron and Wine cover, the Cyndi Lauper cover, and the bloody mary commercial below...

Continue reading "Iron & Wine covered GWAR who have a new book (and other news)"

Dave Hill and his good friend Danzig
Dave Hill and Danzig

The above Instagram photo of Danzig posing with Dave Hill, taken at Danzig's tour stop at Electric Factory in Philly on Friday, is a great reminder that Danzig headlines the Playstation Theater in NYC TONIGHT (10/21). Tickets are still available.

UPDATE: Right after posting this we realized that Danzig has been also making news today for allegedly roughing up someone taking pictures at the Montreal show, two nights after he was hanging with Dave.

Dave Hill was backstage at that Philly show, after himself performing "Fuck Your Enemy" with openers Superjoint Ritual -- not the first time Dave did that with Phil Anselmo's band, and hopefully he finds time to do it again tonight before flying to Austin where he opens for Snoop Dogg on Friday night (?!?).

UPDATE 2: Dave did in fact make it on stage again in NYC:

Dave also returns to Texas in November to be part of Anselmo's Housecore Horror Festival where among other things, he'll be playing guitar as part of Thor's band. Johnny Kelly of Danzig (and Type O Negative) will be on drums for that supergroup.

Housecore has also announced their full film lineup. The massive slate includes a documentary about Thor, aptly titled I Am Thor (he'll also be introducing Zombie Nightmare and Rock N' Roll Nightmare), a screening of the GWAR-movie Skulhedface with live commentary by Gwar's own Sleazy P. Martini, a screening of Dawn of the Dead with live accompaniment by Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, and a special screening of the classic Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer in honor of Corey Mitchell, the author who co-founded Housecore with Anselmo and who passed away last year. This is all in addition to just a ton of horror films and rock docs with titles like Cannibal Man, Voodoo Dick, Deathgasm, Coffin Cruising and Terrain Hatefuck. You get the idea. The updated festival poster and Aztec Theater lineup are at the end of this post.

There's also an I Am Thor screening and performance in Brooklyn on November 22 at Saint Vitus. Tickets are on sale.

You can also catch the comedy and rock n roll stylings of Dave Hill at Union Hall in Brooklyn on November 6th for the next edition of "Meet Me in the Bathroom and Tell Me All Your Secrets". Dave Hill hosts and plays in his band Valley Lodge that night. Special guests for the evening so far include Marcus Monroe, Adira Amram & The Experience, and Danny Felts.

Dave, who last week read his classic BrooklynVegan Def Leppard review out loud at a CMJ event, also appears as part of "Seven Minutes in Purgatory" at Littlefield on November 10th, along with Ian Abramson, Aparna Nancherla, Nick Vatterott, and more (part of New York Comedy Festival). (By the way, Def Leppard just announced a Barclays Center show with Styx and Tesla. Dave, you going??)

Last but not least, don't forget that you can tune into the The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on WFMU every Monday from 9pm-midnight (also available to stream any time in the archives).

Continue reading "Dave Hill hanging with Danzig, opening for Snoop Dogg, jamming with Superjoint Ritual, playing with Thor at Housecore Horror Fest"

photo: GWAR at "Empire Records" in April (more by Sachyn Mital)

GWAR have been touring like crazy lately, with plans to bring beheadings, riffs, and gallons of fake blood across North America through late November. Their schedule didn't have a NYC date when we last posted, but now it does: Webster Hall on November 15 with Born of Osiris and Battlecross. Tickets go on sale Friday (9/25) at 10 AM.

Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "GWAR extend tour, add NYC show (updated dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

GWAR @ Riot Fest Denver 8/29/2015 (photo by @ultra5280)
GWAR at Riot Fest Denver

Riot Fest Denver 2015 began on Friday (review, video) and continued Saturday (8/29) with another load of great bands. Actually, they started a few hours earlier this time and had even more great bands, so picking highlights for day 2 was even harder. Run DMC sounded great from what I saw, but I didn't catch enough of them to really write about it. It was nice to see The Damned still doing their thing but given the vibe of the festival I wish they did more fast songs. The heightened crowd reactions for "Anti-Pope" and "Neat Neat Neat" seemed to agree.

Once again, there were so many great sets on Saturday, but here's six highlights:

GWAR: I admit that I'd never seen GWAR before, and it's sad that I didn't get to until after frontman Oderus Urungus died of an overdose in 2014. So I can't compare their Riot Fest set to how it was with Oderus, but I do know they were massively fun. They were as hilarious and shocking as I hoped they'd be. There was of course a beheading, blood sprayed onto the crowd constantly, and the storyline of this one had them bringing out (and killing) "The Internet Troll." It was one of the shorter sets of the day, but totally awesome.

JOYCE MANOR: Most of Riot Fest's highlights have been veteran bands, but Joyce Manor is the kind of band I hope one day returns to Riot Fest as a veteran. They very much come from this same world -- singer Barry Johnson talked about seeing Rancid for his first time as a teenager -- but they truly feel like a modern band. As they usually do, they stacked their set with the majority of their first and third albums and had the whole crowd bouncing around and loving every second. Joyce Manor played the festival's one indoor stage, which was the perfect fit for them. They'd probably be fine on a big outdoor stage too, but taking a break from the sunlight to see these guys up close and personal in the dark was one of the day's best moments.

DESAPARECIDOS: Conor Oberst's having a killer year with the loooong-awaited sophomore album from Desparecidos, easily his best work in a decade. I saw them celebrate the album in New York in a tiny sweaty DIY spot, which felt like the best possible setting for them, but it's no surprise that they have command over a festival crowd too. And at a festival where populist punk bands tend to get the best reactions, Desaparecidos basically have the perfect sound. It's undeniably catchy and cathartic, and it's not quite like any other band on the lineup.

THRICE: Not much has changed about Thrice's set since their great Skate & Surf appearance in May (except we thankfully got "Under A Killing Moon" this time), but it's worth mentioning again how tight these guys are. I don't nerd out over skill level too often, but it's impossible to watch Thrice and not notice how much every member excels at what they do. Whether it's a thrash-inspired song from their early days or a sludgier one from later on, Thrice are heavy as all hell. And it's not like their musicianship is the only draw here. They rock the fuck out and their screaming crowd is an inspiring thing to watch every time.

DRIVE LIKE JEHU: Since they haven't announced a tour yet, one of the big draws of Riot Fest (and a few other festivals this year) was the reunited post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu. Rick Froberg and John Reis have stayed in active in their many other bands over the years, but these were DLJ's first shows since the mid-'90s and it's great to have them back. Unlike some of their other projects, Drive Like Jehu pay no attention to the structure of a pop song, but here we got to see them zoning out on dissonant jams in a way they don't do so much anymore. Admittedly, they really aren't much of a festival act and I wish they'd bring this tour to small clubs instead of giant outdoor stages. But still a treat to see this band back in action, regardless.

RANCID: Rancid are celebrating the 20th anniversary of ...And Out Come the Wolves this year by playing it in full, and at their Riot Fest set the band ripped through its 19 songs with little to no pause in between. It's not possible for me to be at all unbiased or critical when it comes to ...And Out Come the Wolves. It was a foundational album for me, one that shaped the way I absorbed and thought about and understood punk. I had it in my CD player alarm clock for almost a year straight as a teenager, and even if I don't wake up to "Maxwell can't tell he's in hell!" anymore, it still gets a few spins every year. And at Riot Fest I saw the whole thing come alive. The bass solo in "Maxwell Murder," the raging chorus of "Roots Radicals," the skank-inspiring "Old Friend," the iconic "Ruby Soho." All of it played with exactly the kind of spirit you want out of a great punk rock show. Strangers sang in the faces of other strangers, fists were raised, and almost no one was standing still. Lars Frederiksen took a moment to give a shout out to Motorhead (who had to drop off the fest a day earlier) and dedicate a song to Lemmy. And seeing as they were playing ...And Out Come the Wolves on the night of a supermoon, he asked the crowd to howl at the moon for Lemmy.

After AOCTW they played a four-song encore that included the title track off last year's Honor Is All We Know, their massive hit "Fall Back Down" and two rippers off AOCTW's predecessor, Let's Go: "Tenderloin" and "Radio."

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver day 2: Rancid's 'And Out Come the Wolves' set, Drive Like Jehu, GWAR, more"

GWAR-B-Q 2015 (photo by Taylor Lopez)

GWAR's annual GWAR-B-Q went down in Richmond this past weekend, and now GWAR have expanded their tour. They already had a Long Island show scheduled for 9/17 at The Paramount (tickets), and while a NYC show still hasn't been added, they did other stops in the surrounding area including Philly and Connecticut. Updated dates are listed below.

GWAR bassist Michael Bishop, who you may know better as Blothar, also recently gave a TED Talk. You can watch that video below too.

Continue reading "GWAR-B-Q happened, GWAR extend tour, Blothar gave a TED Talk (video, dates)"

photo: Iggy Pop in Austin in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Iggy Pop

The full Riot Fest Denver and Chicago lineups were already announced, and more recently the day-by-day lineups were revealed. Check those out below.

You can still get tickets to Denver and Chicago, and now Groupon is also offering an exclusive presale on single-day tickets for Chicago.

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver & Chicago daily lineups & Chicago Groupon"


While you may not think a festival curated by Slipknot is a thing you wanted to attend, the lineup is actually pretty awesome for their annual Knotfest this year. They've got cool stuff like Judas Priest, Mastodon, GWAR, Corrosion of Confirmity, Clutch, Mobb Deep, Ghostface Killah, At the Gates, Suicidal Tendencies, Body Count, Cannibal Corpse, Helmet, Red Fang, The Sword, Goatwhore, Kataklysm, Dying Fetus, Inquisition, Abysmal Dawn and more. Early bird, VIP, and camping passes go on sale today (6/29) via the festival's website.

The fest happens October 24-25 at at the San Manuel Amphitheatre and festival grounds in San Bernardino, CA. Full day-by-day lineup below...

Continue reading "Judas Priest, Mastodon, GWAR, At the Gates, Helmet, Body Count, Mobb Deep, Ghostface, more to play Slipknot's festival"

photo: Death Grips at FYF Fest 2013 (more by Wei Shi)
Death Grips

First Toronto, then Chicago, now here's the 2015 Riot Fest Denver additions: System of a Down, The Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie, Chef'Special, Input & Broken, and... Death Grips whose current tour surprisingly includes actual shows being played!

The additions join Modest Mouse, Pixies, Snoop Dogg (playing Doggystyle), Ice Cube (playing Straight Outta Compton remix), Rancid (playing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Iggy Pop, Run DMC, Motorhead, Drive Like Jehu, L7, Explosions in The Sky, Thrice, Babes In Toyland, Anthrax, Testament, The Damned, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, GZA, De La Soul, Desaparecidos, Nada Surf, The Lawrence Arms, The Get Up Kids, The Vandals, American Nightmare, Joyce Manor, 7 Seconds and more.

Riot Fest Denver happens August 28-30 at the Western Rodeo Complex. Tickets are still available. Updated poster and lineup below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver 2015 adds Death Grips, System of a Down, The Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie & more (updated lineup)"

Riot Fest Chicago 2015

Following the Riot Fest Toronto lineup additions, the 2015 Riot Fest Chicago lineup has now been expanded. Additions include System of a Down, The Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie and Chef'Special.

They join Faith No More, Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg (performing Doggystyle), Modest Mouse, No Doubt, Rancid (performing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Tenacious D, BIlly Idol, Ice Cube (performing Straight Outta Compton remix(, Drive Like Jehu, Lifetime, Desaparecidos, American Nightmare, Swervedriver, Babes In Toyland, L7, The Damned, Death, Anthrax, Modern Life Is War, The Movielife, and more.

Riot Fest Chicago goes down September 11-13 in Douglas Park. Tickets are still available. Updated lineup below.

Update: Denver additions announced too.

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago 2015 adds System of a Down, The Prodigy, 88 Fingers Louie & more to lineup"

photo: Weezer at Bowery Ballroom in 2014 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

The blanks have been filled in for the Riot Fest Toronto 2015 lineup. Most excitingly, Weezer is playing their two best albums (Blue Album and Pinkerton), and in addition to that, there's The Prodigy, Cancer Bats, Bleachers, Courage My Love and Ritual.

The new additions join Wu-Tang Clan, Rancid (performing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Motorhead (who announced a tour today), Echo & the Bunnymen, Thrice, Babes In Toyland, GWAR, Against Me!, Thurston Moore, and more. This year's Riot Fest Toronto happens September 19-20 in Downsview Park.

Tickets are back on sale. Updated poster below.

Riot Fest Chicago additions here. Denver here.

Continue reading "Riot Fest Toronto 2015 lineup additions (Weezer playing 'Blue' and 'Pinkerton,' The Prodigy, Cancer Bats, more)"

UPDATE: More artists added.

Riot Fest

First Toronto, then Denver, now the Riot Fest Chicago 2015 lineup is announced. It includes Faith No More, Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg (performing Doggystyle), Modest Mouse, No Doubt, Rancid (performing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Tenacious D, Billy Idol, Ice Cube (performing Straight Outta Compton remix), Alkaline Trio, Taking Back Sunday, Drive Like Jehu, Merle Haggard, Lifetime, Desaparecidos, American Nightmare, Swervedriver, Babes In Toyland, L7, Thrice, The Lawrence Arms, The Dwarves (performing Blood, Guts and Pussy), Jimmy Cliff, The Damned, Against Me!, Living Colour, Fishbone, Death, Hum, GWAR, Civ, The Thurston Moore Band, Echo & the Bunnymen, Anthrax, Modern Life Is War, The Movielife, FIDLAR, Andrew WK, Steve Ignorant & Paranoid Visions, Alvvays, Speedy Ortiz, Beach Slang, Tommy Stinson and many more, plus a few more TBA.

Tickets are on sale now. This year happens at the new location of Douglas Park from September 11-13. All currently announced artists are listed below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago 2015: Faith No More, Billy Idol, Lifetime, Hum, Desaparecidos, Civ, Ice Cube, Merle Haggard & more"

UPDATE: More artists added.

Riot Fest

We just posted the Riot Fest Toronto lineup, and here's the Riot Fest Denver 2015 lineup: Modest Mouse, Pixies, Snoop Dogg (playing Doggystyle), Iggy Pop, Tenacious D, Ice Cube & special guests (playing Straight Outta Compton remix), Run DMC, Rancid (playing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Motorhead, Drive Like Jehu, L7, Explosions in the Sky, Cypress Hill, Alkaline Trio, Thrice, Babes In Toyland, Anthrax, The Damned, Eagles of Death Metal, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, GZA, De La Soul, Testament, Desaparecidos, Nada Surf, The Lawrence Arms, Andrew WK, GWAR, The Black Lips, The Dead Milkmen, The Get Up Kids, American Nightmare, Swervedriver, The Vandals, 7 Seconds, Joyce Manor, OFF!, Speedy Ortiz, Beach Slang and many more. A few more bands, including two headliners, TBA.

Tickets are on early bird sale now. This year, the fest happens at the new location of Western Rodeo Complex from August 28-30.

UPDATE: Chicago announced too.

All currently announced Denver bands are listed below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Denver 2015: Modest Mouse, Pixies, Iggy Pop, Run DMC, L7, Snoop Dogg, American Nightmare, 7Seconds, more"

UPDATE: More artists added.

Riot Fest

Riot Fest Toronto returns in 2015 from September 19-20 in Downsview Park, and today the initial lineup has been announced. There's Wu-Tang Clan, Rancid (performing ...And Out Come the Wolves), Motorhead, Drive Like Jehu, Echo & the Bunnymen, Thrice, Alexisonfire, Eagles of Death Metal, Against Me!, Babes In Toyland, GWAR, The Thurston Moore Band, DOA, The Dead Milkmen, Moneen, Atmosphere, Doomtree, Andrew WK, FIDLAR, Tyler the Creator, and many more. Two of the headliners are TBA, one of which is performing an album in full, and a few other bands will be added too.

Tickets go on sale June 16, the same day that the full lineup will be announced.

UPDATE: Chicago and Denver announced too.

All currently announced Toronto bands are listed below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Toronto 2015 lineup: Wu-Tang, Rancid, Motorhead, Drive Like Jehu, Bunnymen, Gwar, Babes In Toyland, more"

photo: Kim Dylla as Vulvatron at Riot Fest (more by James Richards IV

Last year, GWAR got a couple new members, including Kim Dylla as the character Vulvatron. After just a few months with the band, Kim is leaving, but GWAR say a new person will fill the role of Vulvatron. They write, "Kim did a great job, but we wanted to go a different direction with the Vulvatron character. You will absolutely see more of Vulvatron in the future, just not portrayed by Kim. There is no ill will, no acrimony, and no drama. We respect Kim's talent without question, it just isn't what we needed in the character."

GWAR's upcoming tour hits the NYC-area on September 17 at The Paramount in Huntington. Tickets for that show are still available. They also have their annual GWAR-B-Q in Richmond coming up with Descendents, Down, The Dickies, and more.

All GWAR dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Kim "Vulvatron" Dylla no longer in GWAR, but someone else will be Vulvatron"

photo: GWAR at 'Empire Records' celebration (more by Sachyn Mital)

2015 marks GWAR's 30th anniversary and the band is heading out on a tour this fall to celebrate. The "30 Years of Total Domination Tour" starts August 25 in Millvale, PA and closes out in Rochester, NY on September 18 with Butcher Babies and Battlecross on support for all dates.

NYC proper isn't on the tour's schedule but it comes to Long Island's Paramount on September 17. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (5/1) at 10 AM with venue presale starting Wednesday (4/29) at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.

The dates follow this year's edition of the annual GWAR-B-Q in Richmond, VA which features Descendents, Down, The Dickies and more.

Down are heading out on a tour of their own around their appearance at the festival. The "Eastbound 'N' Down" tour stops at Jersey's Starland Ballroom on August 14. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (5/1) at 10 AM with AmEx presale starting Wednesday (4/29) at 10 AM.

All upcoming dates for GWAR and Down are listed along with a video of GWAR covering The Pet Shop Boys below...

Continue reading "GWAR & Down touring separately around GWAR-B-Q (dates)"

photo: GWAR at 'Empire Records' celebration (more by Sachyn Mital)

GWAR, who were just in NYC for the Empire Records 20th anniversary, will be putting on another installment of their annual GWAR-B-Q this year. The fest happens in Richmond from August 14-16. Day 1 happens at two RVA venues, The National and The Broadberry, day 2 happens at Hadad's Lake, and the final day will have a "Brutal Brunch" at the new GWARbar.

Bands announced so far include Descendents, Down, The Dickies, Goatwhore, MC Chris and Dead Earth Politics, with many more TBA. Ticket info will be announced soon, and like in past years, part of the proceeds will benefit Ring Dog Rescue.

Meanwhile, the band are currently dealing with legal trouble from their late frontman Dave Brockie's father.

For Descendents, this is their third 2015 show announced so far, including the free Converse Boston show and Atlanta's Wrecking Ball festival.

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Rex Manning Day
Rex Manning Day
Rex Manning Day

We already posted pictures and a review of the first Empire Records 20th anniversary celebration at Rough Trade NYC, and now we've got a set of pics from the third and final night (4/10). Like the first one, actors were dressed as characters from the film, scenes were recreated, GWAR showed up, Johnny Whitworth (AJ from the movie) showed up, and Tyson Meade from Chainsaw Kittens did too, and there was music from local bands -- this time it was The Mosers, Born Cages and Vacations.

More pictures below...

Continue reading "'Empire Records' celebration @ Rough Trade NYC - day 3 pics"

words & photos by Sachyn Mital

Rex Manning Day
Rex Manning Day
Rex Manning Day

For our generation -- a shoulder demographic between Generation X and the millennials -- this was one of our movies, a film that managed, however oddly, to capture the ineffable feeling of being a (white, straight) quasi-alienated teenager in a very specific time. But Empire Records was no hit: It grossed a mere $250,000 in its two weeks in release in 1995. With a budget that topped $10 million, it's not difficult to do the math: Empire Records was an unmitigated, unequivocal flop.

Yet like so many artistic disasters that go on to become cult classics, Empire Records flourished when it was ignored. Kids like me saw it in the video store, watched it on cable, found a random VHS copy, and thought the charm was their secret.

...It was the movie's depiction of misfit teens -- and the interactions between them, all of which seemed so pregnant with exceptional meaning -- that resonated. These characters -- a good girl, a slutty girl, a gothy girl, an artist boy, an adorable weirdo, a beatnik, a too-cool rocker, a hippy stoner, a wannabe -- with whom nearly any high schooler could identify or toward whom they could direct their desire. [Buzzfeed]

Cult '90s film Empire Records turns 20 this year, and in celebration of that, Williamsburg record store/venue Rough Trade NYC is dressing up as the Empire Records store from the movie for three 'Rex Manning Day' celebrations (presented by BBQ Films). The first happened yesterday, April 8, the actual date of 'Rex Manning Day' in the film.

BBQ Films are known for creating immersive film experiences and this one was no exception. As BBQ co-founder Gabriel Rhoads told the Village Voice, he wasn't even considering to recreate this film when when he visited Rough Trade in Williamsburg for the first time but things inside his head clicked and he realized it would make a great Empire. Rough Trade and Bowery agreed, so Rhoads and his production crew put together an event true to the spirit of the film. Actors dressed as Corey, Joe, Lucas, Rex, Debra, Gina, Mark, shoplifter Warren, and more mingled with fans who were often garbed similarly. Even without a ticket to the screening, there are a few portions of the event accessible to regular shoppers. It's possible to pop into a photo booth to get a picture with Rex, make some pins and get your head shaved (which at least a few people committed to on the first night).

The Empire Records screening occurred inside the Rough Trade venue, which was also where the real treat for fans of the film happened. During an intermission, the metal band GWAR rushed out to recreate the dream-video scene where Mark is with them and eaten by a worm. This time though "Mark" was a raffle winner selected earlier in the evening. But moments after this Mark disappeared, actor Ethan Embry, Mark in the film, was pulled from the worm, and he, Johnny Whitworth, who played A.J., and GWAR selected the next two raffle winners, including a "Warren" shoplifting package. The proceeds were directed to Opening Act, a charity that supports arts education in NYC schools. The culmination of the night was when local band ARMS (who also performed pre-movie) wrapped up their set of '90s covers with someone dressed as Gina taking the mic for "Sugar High", her big finale in the film.

ADVENTURE[s] was also on board to DJ for the evening. Rough Trade does it again tonight (4/9) and Friday (4/10), both of which are sold out. Pictures from last night are in this post and continue below...

Continue reading "'Empire Records' 20th anniversary celebration at Rough Trade NYC underway (night 1 pics)"

photos: Oderus @ GWAR-G-Q 2013 (more by Josh Sisk)

As you may know, Dave Brockie, aka GWAR's Oderus Urungus, died of a heroin overdose last year. The surviving members of the band paid tribute by alighting his costume and setting it afloat. at a Viking ceremony during their annual GWAR-B-Q weekend. Stereogum notes that Brockie's father is suing the band, accusing them of having stolen his son's cremated remains, instruments and artwork. The suit was filed on April 2 in state circuit court in Richmond, Virginia by William Brockie and seeks "$1 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages for alleged breach of contract and unauthorized use of Dave Brockie's image, as well as the return of Brockie's cremains."

As to the latter charge, the lawsuit alledges that when Brockie's father asked for his son's remains from the band's Slave Pit management HQ, he was denied entry and then given "a small fraction of his son's ashes which were delivered in a used plastic bag with Discover credit card logo on it." The suit also claims, among other things, GWAR still owes the Brockie estate for his last tour with the band, and that they're using his likeness without permission.

GWAR, meanwhile, have issued a statement on the lawsuit:

We did not steal Dave Brockie's ashes, or anything else that belonged to him. In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave's ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks. At all times, and under very trying circumstances, we have acted in good faith to honor the wishes of our dear friend. Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave Brockie would have wanted.

The accusation concerning Dave's ashes is particularly troubling for us. Following Dave's passing, the first thing we did was notify his father, who signed over Dave's body so we could have him cremated. We were told by Dave's father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave's final arrangements. For this reason, Slave Pit assumed that responsibility, paying for his cremation, arranging two memorial services (one public and one private), and purchasing a plot for Dave in Richmond's famed Hollywood Cemetery. Dave's father did not attend either of the services held for his son in Richmond.

You can read the whole response below.

GWAR are in NYC this week for the sold-out Empire Rercords 20th Anniversary events at Rough Trade.

Continue reading "Dave Brockie's father suing GWAR saying they stole his son's ashes; GWAR respond"

Mark meets GWAR in 'Empire Records'

The three sold-out Empire Records' 20th Anniversary "Rex Manning Day" events are coming up at Rough Trade on April 8-10. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Ethan Embry's character, Mark, gets pulled into the TV and into a GWAR music video. (Watch it below.) We're excited to announce that GWAR will be making a "live cinematic appearance" at the three Rough Trade events, stepping out of the screen. Says GWARs Jizmak Da Gusha:

I can't wait for the album throwing contests in NY. Whatever happened to the frisbee? Going back in time to Empire Records is way better than the future. The future sucks.
Gabriel Rhoads from BBQ Films (who are presenting these events) adds:
We live to make movies immersive, and we are thrilled that the BBQ Films EMPIRE RECORDS event will host an appearance from GWAR, one of the greatest live experiences of all time.
In addition to GWAR's appearance, there will also be Empire Records "Rex Manning Bands" at each event and those have been announced as well: ARMS and DJ Adventures on 4/8, Charly Bliss, Locksley and The Falling Birds and DJ LeahV and DJ Vacations on 4/9, and then The Mosers and Born Cages on 4/10. Says Leah, Music Director, BBQ Films:
"EMPIRE RECORDS embodies the spirit of independent music, and we simply couldn't tell that story without having live music and DJs at our event. We're proud to include all these bands and artists."
Watch the GWAR Empire Records scene below...

Continue reading "GWAR appearing at 'Empire Records' anniversary parties ++ house bands announced too"

by Andrew Sacher

Empire Records

You may remember that last year for Record Store Day, Father/Daughter Records put out Faux Real, a compilation of punk and indie bands covering fictional TV and movie bands. RSD rejected the idea of putting out a sequel, but Father/Daughter are going ahead with it anyway and will release Faux Real II on April 28. It features Chumped, Krill, Allison Crutchfield, LVL UP and more taking on songs from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Billy Madison, Doug, Almost Famous and more. Listen to LVL UP's take on "Somebody Kll Me Please" from The Wedding Singer, with the full tracklist, below.

There's also a release show happening in NYC on April 28 at Palisades with Bellows, Small Wonder, Rivergazer and Sharpless. Tickets are on sale now.


In other music movie news, Empire Records turns 20 this year, and Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg will be hosting a high-concept anniversary celebration on April 8. Presented by BBQ Films, they're even calling it Rex Manning Day and will have the whole place turned into the actual Empire Records store from the movie. Here's the event description:

Twenty years - to the day! - since the original Rex Manning Day, BBQ Films invites you to "Say No More, Mon Amour," damn the man, and save The Empire. For one night only, Williamsburg's Rough Trade is transformed into the legendary Empire Records, with all the staff and characters you've come to love (and hate).

On April 8, 2015, join Lucas and his couch cushion, boss Joe (but don't touch his drums!), Gina and her "Sugar High," and, of course, Corey and her crush, Rex Manning... Immerse yourself in the world of Empire Records with a screening of the film, live music, a Rex Manning autograph, and, if you're brave enough, a chance to shave your head for Debra's funeral. Music-veto power available, pending Mark's approval.

Tickets include:
• 1 free drink and free BBQ Films gourmet popcorn
• A Rex Manning autograph
• 1 custom button at the DIY Button Station
• A fabulous Rex Manning Photobooth
• Screening of Empire Records (1995)
• A live set from the Empire house band, and potential additional sets TBA
• A head shaving station (first five folks who shave their heads drink free)
• A limited-edition event poster by Todd Ian Goldstein
• ...and all the theatrical immersion BBQ Films guests have come to expect...

Limited edition! For brave souls, special secret experiences will be auctioned off the night of. Think: A Warren shopping spree. A Gina Sugar High. An Oh Rexy You're So Sexy one-on-one with Rex himself... Come with a few extra bucks if you're game!

Tickets are on Internet presale now (anyone know the password?) and the general on-sale begins Friday, 2/20, at noon. A portion of proceeds will go to a TBA charity.

Empire Records is filled with memorable music moments, like when Eddie eats a special brownie and watches a GWAR video (only to hallucinate that GWAR attacks him on stage), when Joe gets behind the kit for AC/DC's "If You Want Blood (You Got It)," when most of the cast dances on the rooftop to The The's "This Is The Day," and of course when Gina joins Berko (played by actual rock musician Coyote Shivers) to sing "Sugarhigh." (By the way, if Faux Real III happens, someone should really do "Sugarhigh.") And for the real nerds, the post-credits scene when Eddie and Mark argue over whether Primus or the Pixies have better bass lines.

Revisit some of those moments below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade NYC turning into Empire Records for film's 20th anniversary; real bands covering movie bands for Faux Real II"

Blothar at Riot Fest Chicago (more by James Richards IV)

Vulvatron at Riot Fest Chicago (more by James Richards IV)

After some confusion about who GWAR's new members are and what they do, most notably Vulvatron, GWAR have issued a public statement:

GWAR, the most brutal band in existence, has bolstered its ranks leading up to the GWAR Eternal Tour. The Berserker Blóthar and Vulvatron are the latest intergalactic warriors to be banished to the pathetic mudball known as Planet Earth. Blóthar; a fat, filthy, frozen space viking, will take over as GWAR's lead vocalist. The role of the red-hot cybernetic spitfire known as Vulvatron is more mysterious...Both will feature prominently in the anticipated GWAR Eternal Tour - which promises to be the most shocking and entertaining rock show of the year! Get to know your new masters before they grind you to a bloody pulp!
As previously mentioned, Blothar is played by Michael Bishop, formerly Beefcake the Mighty. More details on each character are listed below.

It was recently reported (and re-reported all over the place) that Vulvatron was "co-frontperson", but as we can see now, she is actually just "more mysterious". Both characters were already seen live at Riot Fest Chicago (and Blothar played the GWAR-B-Q). Both can be seen again on all the tour dates listed below...

Continue reading "GWAR clarify who their new members are (Vulvatron & Blóthar), and what they do"

Vulvatron! / w/ GWAR at Riot Fest Chicago (top via FB, bottom by James Richards IV)

GWAR played Riot Fest Chicago last weekend, with the return of Blothar (aka Mike Bishop, formerly Beefcake the Mighty) as vocalist who is leading the intergalactic band on a tour/quest this fall to, as their ongoing mythology goes, find the lost leader Oderus (the late Dave Brockie). He's actually co-leader of the band now, with new female warrior Vulvatron also on vocals. Vultatron, who made her live debut at Riot Rest, is the first female member of GWAR since Slymenstra Hymen left in 2000. In real life Vulvatron is Kim Dylla who also plays in Kung Fu Dykes (who played GWAR-B-Q 2013) and Thismeansyou, is also a visual artist, and more. Kim Kelly had a bit to say about Vulvatron over at Wondering Sound:

Why is it so important that one of the biggest bands in metal has just added a female member to its ranks to replace one of metal's biggest personalities? How could it not be? It's no secret that metal's demographics still skew heavily towards straight white cis men, but this decade has marked a definite shift; audiences are diversifying. But there is still a lot of work to be done. Representation matters, and now, all of a sudden, there's a big, brash, bold new female personality on stage with a legendary band. Moreover, she's just as gross and goofy as her male bandmates, whether she's slaying dinosaurs or disemboweling Nazi skinheads onstage or drenching her minions with the aforementioned boob-blood (a move which, as a bit of trivia, references Slymenstra's past crotch-spewing exploits).

Vulvatron's costume is skimpy, but so are those of her bandmates; it's not a Gwar show unless everyone's arse is out. She occupies a powerful role. She's nobody's girlfriend, or groupie or background dancer; Vulvatron is in charge. She gets to be a monster instead of a princess, and that is immensely important for younger girls who are just starting to explore heavy metal.

Update: Despite initial reports that Vulvatron is a frontwoman, she is actually one of several vocalists, but not the lead.

While in Chicago for Riot Fest, GWAR stopped by the AV Club to perform a punishing version of The Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" for an upcoming episode of AVC's "Undercover" series, so keep an eye out for that. Soon, Vulvatron, Blothar and the rest of GWAR's scorge will hit NYC on their tour this fall.

photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack

Jane's Addiction / GWAR fans / Title Fight
Riot Fest 2014
Riot Fest 2014
Riot Fest 2014

Riot Fest Chicago is currently underway at Chicago's beautiful Humboldt Park. It kicked off on Friday (9/12) and that first day was plagued by light to heavy rains that pretty much continued from doors until the headliners. But the weather didn't seem to slow down the bands or the audience much at all, and it was an opening day with something for everyone. On the heavier end, there was American thrash kings Slayer performing Reign In Blood in its entirety, resilient interplanetary scumdogs Gwar, and Mastodon; classic punks Stiff Little Fingers and ALL; alternative rock flag bearers Jane's Addiction; anthemic and melodic punks The Offspring (performing Smash), Gogol Bordello, The Hotelier, Pity Sex, and Title Fight; the excellent Pussy Riot -- Discussion Panel; and much more packed in there.

We began day 1 of Riot Fest Chicago by catching Boston-based melodic punks Somos at the Revolt Stage -- one of the festival's two smaller setups. The four-piece drew a decent crowd with their punchy output, including the especially catchy "Dead Wrong" and "Lives of Others" from their 2014 debut Temple of Plenty. Title Fight were up next, over at the larger Roots Stage. The Pennsylvania-based road dogs impressed with tunes from their debut LP, huge-sounding 2012 album Floral Green, and their many EPs. They got the crowd moving with the Hot Water Music-like "Secret Society," and kept the momentum up throughout their set, which closed with the thrashy "27." After the combination attack opening of "Numb, But I Still Feel It," "Shed," and "Like a Ritual," the band brought things down a bit with the great Floral Green shoegaze number "Head in the Ceiling Fan."

GWAR have a hell of a lot to be proud of, and not just the troves of blood-caked fans who were easy to spot throughout the park for the remainder of the day. The Oderus-less (RIP) outfit are indeed back in fine form, with a thrilling new stage show in Dave Brockie's honor. The interplanetary warriors delivered seven-songs (or acts) throughout their set, each coming from a different album. Bloody Pit of Horror's "Hail, Genocide!" was the absolute highlight, with blood baths both by way of a rotating circular saw and vocalist Blothar (aka Michael Bishop, formerly Beefcake the Mighty)'s chest. Yummy.

Taking things down a notch from GWAR were Worcester, MA's The Hotelier, who we caught next on the Revolt Stage. Christian Holden and his band gave 110% while delivering nearly all of their anthemic second album Home, Like Noplace Is There. The packed crowd braced along with Holden and co. for the multiple cathartic full-band crashes, as well as the din of the album's more subdued and vocal-only moments. After a few tunes, Holden seemed as if he couldn't help but to share that this was the largest crowd that had ever paid attention to the band at once. He also had his bass turned waaaay up, which cranked up the intensity for punchy numbers like "The Scope of All of This Rebuilding" and "In Framing."

We then headed over to the one-day Riot Fest Speaks stage to watch a bit of the Pussy Riot Discussion Panel go down. The Henry Rollins-moderated panel consisted of Pussy Riot/Zona Prava members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, with guests Greg Graffin (Bad Religion), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), Marcelle Karp (writer/activist), and Michael A. Petryshyn (Riot Fest Founder - aka Riot Mike). As we approached, Rollins and Karp were in the middle of a back-and-forth about feminist journalism in relation to the now six-month-old Zona Prava. Karp spoke of writing provocative messages on her and friends' bare chests, and Rollins brought up the old flyers he made while in Black Flag (ie "cop with a boner handing a child a lollipop with Black Flag scrawled across the top of the page"). It was an insightful discussion. Hopefully they bring the Riot Fest Speaks stage back in years to come.

Mastodon was the next mark we hit, over at the Rebel Stage. Touring on this year's classic rock-ish Once More 'Round the Sun, the band delivered a few tunes from that album -- including the fun single "High Road" -- some from The Hunter, as well as a bunch of their older meatier tunes. We got "Aqua Dementia" and "Hearts Alive" off Leviathan, "Bladecatcher" and "Crystal Skull" from Blood Mountain, and Crack the Skye favorites "Divinations" and "Oblivion." They were as tight as ever.

We capped off the night by catching alternative rock giants Jane's Addiction, who were performing their 1988 debut studio effort Nothing's Shocking in its entirety. Pit against American thrash gods Slayer playing Reign In Blood at the other side of the park, Perry Farrell and co. went for a much flashier approach while delivering the attitude-packed hits like "Jane Says," "Mountain Song," and "Ocean Size." It was nice to finish off the night with a feel-good set of songs.

Day 2 pics and review are HERE. Day 3 HERE. Pictures of all the day 1 bands mentioned above, plus a few others like Clutch, NOFX (they performed Punk In Drublic) and Radkey, are in this post. They continue below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago day 1 in pics (Jane's Addiction, Mastodon, Pussy Riot panel, Gwar, Title Fight, All, NOFX, Clutch, more)"

by Ian Chainey

GWAR at the Housecore Horror Fest in Austin, 2013 (more by Trent Maxwell)

Style Weekly dug deeply into GWAR this week and for good reason: the band have had a year like few others. Certainly, the sad news of Dave Brockie's passing will be the lasting memory for many, but after their downs, GWAR also had their ups. They've released a mountain of atypical merch and marketing ideas -- some good, some not so much. They're going back out on the road with Decapitated, Corrosion of Conformity, and American Sharks. When they've played Oderus-less, they've looked in good form. And now there's going to be a GWAR documentary.

The nine minute trailer for Let There Be GWAR details the band's beginnings, showing how frustrated art school castaways built a band to fit their fantasies. It's actually a rather inspiring story and a clever piece of cinema, utilizing a picture-in-picture talking head technique to great effect. Of course, GWAR aren't just any band, but their origins are similar to other lifers that keep on doing it out of love. If you've winced at their recent capitalistic streak, it's a nice palette cleanser. A date and other release information for the Don Drakulich-directed documentary hasn't made the rounds yet, but you can watch the full nine minute trailer below.

Speaking of GWAR-related documentaries, you can catch them in Riot on the Dance Floor, the new film about Trenton, NJ rock club City Gardens, which makes its BV-presented NYC premiere TONIGHT (8/28).

Let There Be GWAR trailer below...

Continue reading "GWAR documentary coming (watch the 9-minute trailer)"