Archive for September, 2012
In a move designed to discourage the unauthorized distribution of their albums as well as to bleed money from their audience, German based record label Century Media have brought suit against a Little Rock, Arkansas man for illegal singing Iced Earth songs in the shower. The man, identified as David Chaste, a mechanic and father of four young children, began singing the chorus from the Iced Earth song “Wolf” while taking a shower after work on August 5th, 2012. Chaste, who did not own the album the song was on, was overheard by his wife and, therefore, was distributing property that did not belong to him.
According to Cy Ganiff, the lawyer for the company, this sort of distribution of stolen property makes Chaste liable for nearly one million dollars in damages against the company. However, Century Media has offered to make the lawsuit go away if Chaste simply agrees to pay thousands of dollars in legal costs or name his next child Napalm Death.
According to Century Media spokesman James Heister, the record industry loses millions of dollars a year on people using their products without permission. “Think about how many people sing songs by Century Media bands on a regular basis. That is revenue the label is entitled to. After all, it is our property and they haven’t paid to use it,” said Heister, while kicking a puppy and burning a baby with a lit cigarette.
Last month, Century Media brought suit against Myrtle Washington, a 92-year-old woman who was overheard humming “The Star Spangled Banner” on line at a Kroger in New Port Richey, Florida. “The Star Spangled Banner” was, of course, first used on the Iced Earth album “The Glorious Burden”. The case was dismissed as by a local magistrate because it was considered frivolous, but that hasn’t stopped the label from looking for other creative new streams of revenue. Novel new methods of fundraising, like kidnapping and ransoming the children of those involved in illegal file sharing, are being strongly considered.
In spite of the unpopularity of the suit among many fans, some have rallied in support of the label’s right to use the American legal system as a giant extortion machine. Ralph Sycophant, a lifelong metalhead, self proclaimed rebel and founder of the internet protest group called Property Over People, believes that Century Media should continue with the lawsuit. “Companies have the right to do anything they want in order to make a profit. This is America. It’s in the Constitution,” said Sycophant.
The war over Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 100 metal albums of all time just got more heated. On Thursday morning, metalhead activist Steve Dalkowski lit himself on fire in his living room in Asbury Park, New Jersey in an attempt to show his anger at the recent Top 100 list. The fire consumed two-thirds of his house and his entire collection of Pig Destroyer live DVDs. According to a note left by Dalkowski, he could “no longer live in a world where Borknagar’s 2012 release Urd is not given its proper respect by metal fans and the media as a whole.”
Dalkowski’s note, which railed against several notable omissions from the list, was scrawled on the back of a gatefold vinyl copy of “Anthems to The Welkin At Dusk”. It included a scathing critique of the list, which he noted “failed to include anything by Darkthrone, Mayhem or any of the early Gorgoroth records.” Further, he added that “the doom genre got totally and completely ignored. What sort of Top 100 list would leave out anything by St. Vitus?” He finished the note by excoriating the writers at Rolling Stone for “not even knowing which Death album James Murphy was on.”
Rolling Stone’s list has been criticized by many metalheads for including bands that are not traditionally considered heavy metal. Number 23 on the list, for example, was Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde”. The Shins “Oh, Inverted World” and Kanye West’s “Late Registration” were also considered worthy of being in the Top 100 causing great consternation among those who follow metal. Still, Dalkowski’s reaction is considered extreme.
Dalkowski’s self-immolation is the latest in a string of metal related self-disfigurements. Two months ago, Nevada metalhead Jim Loudermilk doused himself in sulfuric acid to protest Cryptopsy’s failure to use fretless bass on their recent self-titled album. Last week, metal fan James Riley drowned himself in a giant vat of mustard in order to voice his displeasure that Bolt Thrower is not being allowed to play two sets at this year’s Maryland Death Fest.
Dalkowski is currently in critical condition at Mount Sinai hospital with burns over 90 percent of his body. Doctors expect a full recovery but believe he might never again be able to grow hair on his tongue.
If you are even a casual metal fan, you’ve seen your share of church burnings, corpse paint, virgin sacrifices, dead animals on stage and even the occasional Finn on Finn homicide. You’ve seen pirate metal. You’ve seen bands do entire concerts covered in potting soil. You’ve seen Vikings. You’ve seen limbless guitarists play Yngwie Malmsteen solos with their noses. You’ve seen bands play with orchestras. You’ve seen groups of naked lepers playing grindcore versions of Steely Dan songs. Most metal fans have seen it all. Until now.
On December 21st, 2012, Children of Bodom plan to take the metal gimmick to a place it has never gone before. In order to promote their forthcoming record “Collecting Pictures of Autopsies To Impress Girls”, Children of Bodom singer Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho plans to put a live dog in a dryer and hit start. The stunt, which will take place in Cleveland’s famed Agora Ballroom, will be performed in front of a crowd of 12,000,000 of Ohio’s most devoted metalheads.
The band plans to open the show with “Beaten To Death With An Armadillo”, the first single off of the new record. Then, during one of the 12 solos in the song, Alexi will throw Shemp, an 11-year-old French poodle, into a 14-cycle high efficiency front-loading Maytag dryer. During the concert’s finale, the dog will be removed from the dryer and forced to run through a make shift obstacle course created by the band on stage. Hijinks will ensue.
Children of Bodom are not the only metal artists boldly pushing in this creative new direction. Dimmu Borgir plan to interrupt their own concert in November by flushing oranges down all the toilets on the top floor of The Masquerade in Atlanta simultaneously. Cradle of Filth made news earlier in the month when singer Dani Filth began prank phone calling local supermarkets on stage and asking them if they had Prince Albert in a can. Behemoth even went so far as to put several sets of fake chattering teeth on the stage during a show last week in Dubuque, Iowa.
Not everyone is as excited about this event as Children of Bodom’s Hatecrew of wild-eyed, dog suffering hungry fans. Several groups have planned protests including People For The Ethical Torment Of Cows and Other Edible Beasts (PETAC). According to PETAC leader Emmett Fassbinder, The Children have threatened to not clean the lint screen before the dryer is started putting audience members at risk for “a fiery, horrific death.”
(Night. Daddy, Moses and Blankie lie on a bed. All three stare into the darkness. All is quiet)
Daddy: Moses, you know that Blankie is actually your brother, right?
Moses: No. Blankie’s not my brother. Blankie is a blanket.
Daddy: Not yet. Blankie is only 5. He doesn’t become a blanket until he’s 18.
Moses: Daddy, Blankie isn’t 5.
Daddy: Sure he is. He’s very advanced for his age. Did you know that he’s an expert in archery?
Moses: What’s archery?
Daddy: Shooting a bow and arrow.
Moses: Blankie can’t shoot a bow and arrow. He doesn’t have arms.
Daddy: He uses his corners.
Daddy: And he speaks three languages…
Moses: Really? Are you joking?
Daddy: No. He speaks English, Spanish and Cantonese. He is also semi-fluent in several regional dialects native to Ethiopia.
Daddy: He only reads Russian and English though.
Daddy: He’s read most of Tolstoy in the original language.
Moses: What’s Tolstoy?
Daddy: It’s a kind of medicine. For people who can’t sleep.
Moses: Blankie can’t read.
Daddy: Shhhh. You’ll hurt his feelings.
Moses: Daddy. Blankie can’t read because he doesn’t have eyes.
Daddy: Good point.
Daddy: Did Blankie ever tell you he was the starting fullback for Baylor on their 1995 Liberty Bowl winning team?
Daddy: And did Blankie ever tell you he was the Attorney General under Richard Nixon. And that he quit rather than fire Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski?
Daddy: And did Blankie ever tell you that he once saved a fishing village in Alaska from a giant squid?
Daddy: And did he tell you that he was the bass player on the first and second Borknagar albums?
Moses: He didn’t tell me because he doesn’t have a mouth.
Daddy: Oh. Well. Yeah.
Moses: Blankie isn’t real.
Daddy: You are going to give him a complex.
Moses: What’s a complex?
Daddy: A group of buildings.
Daddy: It’s time for the two of you to go to sleep.
Moses: Blankie doesn’t sleep.
Daddy: Well, he’s going to be tired in the morning.
(They stare at the ceiling)
Daddy: Good night, son. Good night, Blankie.
Moses: Good night.
Blankie: Good night.
(They do not move)
On the eve of this years’ Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama is facing tough criticism from death metal legends Carcass. Obama, who regularly uses the splatter-grind classic “Regurgitation of Giblets” as intro music before his speeches, was asked to “cease and desist” from using the song until his policies match “the spirit in which the song was intended.”
According to Carcass singer Jeff Walker, “Regurgitation” was meant “to address the deeper themes of dehumanization in the work place, consumer alienation and the effects of modernity on the human form.” Guitarist Bill Steer reiterated Walker’s statement and added, “The song certainly wasn’t meant to help elect the President of the United States, a nation that is, after all, the largest dehumanizing, alienating force in the history of organized society.”
Obama, a die-hard Carcass fan, had been using the song to contrast the campaign’s message of stability and progress with the Republican themes of blind panic and race-baiting. He has even managed to use lines from it in a campaign speech in Dubuque, Iowa last month. “Romney’s America is one where the average American will be spewing up his or her collective sanguined guts into a wooden box. I ask you, do you want to be trapped in that type of sarcophagus? Is that the sarcophagus we want for our children?”
In deference to Carcass, the Obama campaign will no longer be using the song. They have decided to switch to either Clinton era favorite “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac or “Epitaph of the Credulous” by Suffocation. However, the campaign plans to keep distributing the 30,000 Carcass themed “Festerday In America” pro-Obama tee-shirts that they have been handing to supporters at campaign rallies.
This is not the first time that an American political campaign has run into trouble over the use of a song. Back in 1984, Bruce Springsteen strongly objected to Ronald Reagan’s use of “Born in the USA” as a campaign anthem. In 1840, the band Cattle Decapitation went to court to stop William Henry Harrison from using the song “I Eat Your Skin” in several television commercials.
Occasionally, however, metal bands lend their support to help a campaign. In 2000, metal godfathers Death re-recorded their first album under the new title of “Scream Albert Gore”, in order to support the Democratic Presidential candidate. While Gore did not become President, the album was credited with helping him win the hotly contested State of Florida in his campaign against George W Bush.