Archive for July, 2013

No Fun Is Had At Municipal Waste Show; Markets in Turmoil

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The classic adage “One does not simply drink one beer at a Municipal Waste concert” may have finally run its course; in the process, triggering the worst financial turmoil in months. Yesterday’s Waste show in Pori, Finland yielded a novel sight for the band: a barren bar, no crowd surfing, concert-goers standing completely still when called to form a Wall of Death, and a general air of utter boredom.

“I don’t know how to describe it… I just, like, didn’t have fun, man,” said one attendee.

At the end of the next business day, the NASDAQ lost nearly 1.5% of its value, down to 3099.14, while Dow Jones Industrial Average did not fare much better, falling 1.2% to 13521.97. The crisis, according to Thomson/Reuters, may be contained for the moment – due to the location of the show in Finland, which has a strong manufacturing base that can offset damages to commodity and retail losses from the concert, as well as brighter outlooks for the remainder of the band’s European festival run.

However, music industry pundits and Wall Street bankers alike fear that the effects of the concert could trigger a domino effect that would send ripples throughout the financial system. “Municipal Waste is highly influential in several markets, most notably for commodities like beer, raw materials like wood, plywood, polyester for skateboards and boogie boards, and in clothing markets like those that include jean jackets, bullet belts, and White Nike High Tops,” said a senior analyst at Goldman Sachs, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There are a lot of traders who are going to buy based on their performances.”

The S&P 500 took the biggest hit, down 1.74% a half-hour before the closing bell.

“There’s been a deluge of market-moving events this week,” said Kleinerman Brigham, chief market strategist for HPL Financial. “Yesterday’s Municipal Waste concert was simply the tipping point, and we’re beginning to see traders react to it.”

Municipal Waste has gone from its underground party-thrash roots to become a major market-shaping force, according to HPL’ research. From January 2003 through August 2013, the correlation between fun had at Municipal Waste concerts and the daily value of the dollar against major U.S. trading partners was -.82. Data available from January 2001 through January 2003 (before the band was signed to Earache Records) shows a correlation between fun had at Municipal Waste concerts and the value of the dollar of -.08. These numbers may seem small, but they have gross consequences. The difference between the two indicates that fun had at Municipal Waste concerts and the value of the dollar tend to have a negative correlation.

“U.S. health and national security is threatened when the value of the dollar is intertwined with fun had at Municipal Waste concerts, which continually feed the U.S. trade deficit,” said J.P. Morgan Chase chief economist Jeremy Johnson. “We need tight regulation of how people enjoy themselves at Waste shows – and we need to do it by setting a cap and floor on fun had, as well as open up new markets for trading allocations of fun, or “fun derivatives”.”

Anti-bank politicians disagree. “Municipal Waste has become a Too Fun To Fail band,” said California congresswoman Elizabeth Boxer. “By no fault of theirs or the governments’ – it was the big banks that allowed the band to become so intertwined with the fate of our economic system.”

This week’s events come at the tail end of a month of bad press for Wall Street. J.P. Morgan has come under ire for manipulating energy prices for thousands of consumers, The New York Times recently released an investigative report about Goldman Sachs’ shady dealings with commodities like aluminum, and nearly every bank is being accused of rigging foreign-exchange FX markets, which play a key role in maintaining currency values.

Brigham sided with Boxer on the issue of regulation versus litigation, while also raising the crisis alarm. “Do I think financial institutions should be held accountable for the losses sustained this week? Should the pension funds for teachers in California, autoworkers in the Rust Belt, and police officers in North Jersey that are going to take the biggest hits be held responsible? Not when the reckless speculation in Municipal Waste-related markets that led to this crisis was done by bankers at the Goldman Sachses of the world. So, yes.”

“This is far from over. Normally Municipal Waste “f**k’s up” its fans. This time, Wall Street may have engineered a system in which the band will “f**k up” five years of economic growth and recovery following the sub-prime mortgage crisis.”

Jari Hjekvik contributed additional reporting from Helsinki.

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Half Donkey, Half Zebra, Half Danzig Creature Born on Island In South Pacific

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Half donkey, half zebra, half Danzig and all parts fuzzy and adorable.  Lucifuge Anzalone, the foal of a male zebra, a female donkey and metal vocalist Glenn Danzig, was reported to be in good health after, just a few days after being born on an island in the South Pacific.  The new species, referred to as a Danzonkey, is not only cute and cuddly, but has a rich, soulful voice reminiscent of Roy Orbison.

The story of Lucifuge’s birth reads like something out of a gothic horror novel.  About nine months ago, Danzig was on a cruise of Southeast Asia when his boat capsized killing all 308 passengers.  Danzig was feared dead, but managed to hold his breath underwater for 6 days while freeing himself from the hull of the boat.  He then swam 300 miles to a remote island near Borneo.

There he encountered Dr. Josef Moreau, a 108-year-old once renowned German scientist who had worked on The Manhattan Project and had been responsible for the creation of DDT.  Moreau had been banished to the island back in 1999 after his controversial creation, a 700,000 pound hybrid of a tuna, a Chihuahua and comedian Jerry Lewis, attacked the city of Tokyo.

At first, Danzig and Moreau struck up a friendship, bonding over their interest in the occult roots of Nazism and one of the lost books of the Bible where Jesus makes clay statues come to life and attack the city of Nazareth.  However, Danzig realized that there was a problem one morning when he found himself drugged, strapped to an operating table and robbed of his male essence.

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Later in the evening, he was able to break free of his cage, get his hands on a ham radio and call in a drone air strike that killed Moreau and most of the other beasts that inhabited the island.  However, one of Moreau’s henchmen, a half-human, half-goat named Cupcake, took the female donkey that had been made pregnant with Danzig and a zebra and hid in a cave for months.

Cupcake called the US Department of Defense early on Tuesday in order to sell the recently born Danzonkey, which is reported to have telepathic powers the military hopes to weaponize, for 120 million dollars.  Lucifuge is currently staying in at a secret CIA base in Poland along with a team of scientists and shape shifting telekinetics.  Meanwhile, according to top government officials, Danzig will not be able to gain custody of the Danzonkey, but will retain the right to visit him on weekends and take him to an occasional ballgame or the zoo.

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Protests Erupt as Tyler Perry’s “Diary of A Mad Black Metal Artist” Starring Dani Filth Opens On Broadway

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Tyler Perry is not usually one for controversy.  His plays and movies typically portray painfully uninteresting people wandering through hackneyed plots repeating the sort of dialogue that could have easily been generated by a computer that has been fed the scripts from the top grossing comedies of the past 30 years.  They are meant only to offend members of the John Birch Society and people who thought the whole cross-dressing bit in Mrs. Doubtfire took things “a bit too far”.

However, Perry’s recent foray into playwriting has been met by a flurry of criticism from the heavy metal community.  Last Thursday, “Diary of A Mad Black Metal Artist”, the latest in the Madea series, opened on Broadway.  Dani Filth, lead singer of the black metal band Cradle of Filth, plays the irascible but lovable grandmother usually played by Perry himself.

The story opens when Namond Brice, a good-natured young man with a penchant for getting in trouble in school, is sent by his parents Wee-Bay and De’Londa to live for a summer with live with his grandmother in order to teach him respect and discipline.  Madea, who has just returned from a tour of Europe with her black metal band Carpathian Melanoma, at first struggles to relate to Namond and forces him to spend weeks being tortured in a homemade dungeon.  Soon, however, the two bond over their love of Venom’s “Prime Evil” album and a deep, lasting relationship is formed.  When bloodthirsty leechpeople attack Madea’s farmhouse, Namond uses a flamethrower to kill them and save his beloved grandmother.

In spite of fairly positive reviews from critics, many metalheads are enraged that Dani Filth was cast in the lead as Madea.  “We stridently object to Dani Filth being cast in a play about black metal,” said BlaK Dan Krutzmeyer, head of Black Metal Fans For Decency, Purity and The Nordic Way.  “To refer to Dani as being a black metal artist is a blatant mischaracterization of the black metal community.  His band is, at best, gothic rock, at worst, a plague visited upon the human race to punish us for not bowing down in worship of The Gorgon.”

Krutzmeyer’s group has spent the past 76 hours blocking the entrance to The Eugene O’Neil Theater to try to stop people from attending the play.  Several of the protestors have thrown fake blood on theatergoers.  Three have even gone as far as to catapult bubonic plague infected bodies at members of the cast. Most of the 300 protestors have been arrested, including Krutzmeyer himself.

Perry has been astounded by the reaction to his latest play.  “I have worked hard throughout my entire career to create the most unimaginative, pedestrian, bromidic possible pabulum.  Having someone getting upset about one of my scripts is like seeing someone banging their fists with rage because their local supermarket doesn’t carry 2 percent milk.  My work should be seen as a marketing strategy, certainly not as some deeply significant cultural artifact worth getting arrested over.  Metalheads are some truly messed up people.”

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US Post Office To Issue Commemorative Jeff Hanneman Postage Stamps

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Earlier this year, the United States Postal Service began to issue a series of stamps to shine the spotlight on some of the finest dead performers in American musical history.  The Musical Icon series has already honored Tejano legend Lydia Mendoza and country superstar Johnny Cash.  At a press conference this morning, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced that the newest stamp would commemorate the life and legacy of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

Beyond being a founding member of the band Slayer, Jeff Hanneman’s influence on American life can be felt everywhere.  From heavy metal to gospel, from the Halls of Montezuma to the fields of Tripoli, from the outhouse to the courthouse to The White House, Hanneman’s distinct style of riffing has been a major part of America becoming the great nation it is today.  Hanneman, a fighter pilot instrumental in the Allied victory during the Civil War, passed away from a combination of spider venom and Heineken earlier this year.

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Nothing is more uniquely American then buying things in order to participate in a tragedy (or event, as they are now called).  Hanneman’s death has certainly been no exception.  “Jeff In Peace” tee shirts were on sale only days after his passing.  “Angel of Jeff” coffee mugs followed soon after.  The Franklin Mint even issued a series of 1000 collectable plates in order to help those who felt they could only show their appreciation of Hanneman’s work by spending 79.99 on an item that would normally retail for 5 bucks.  They sold out 11 seconds after they went on sale.

While many Slayer fans have shown their grief in traditional ways, like buying Slayer merchandise or pirating their discography, a bizarre fetishization of objects directly touched by Hanneman has taken place among the more devout fans.  A Raider jersey, supposedly caked in the dried sweat of Hanneman from a show in 2002, was auctioned off on eBay for over ten thousand dollars because of its supposed “healing powers”.  Osho von Kegel, a registered shaman and Slayer fan from Sedona, Arizona, has recently begun performing a desert ritual where Slayer fans swallow guitar picks used by Hanneman in order to cure ailments ranging from gout to obstructed bile ducts.

The postal service expects these stamps to be the biggest seller they’ve had in quite a long time.  Fans are already putting in advanced orders even though the stamps won’t be out until sometime next year.  Roger Burlingame, an avid Slayer fan and stamp collector, was overjoyed when he learned of his hero being honored as part of the Musical Icon collection.  “I was hoping that he was going to die at some point soon so that I could buy things to honor his memory.  I was so excited when I found out that there is actually going to be a Jeff Hanneman death stamp!  I have already ordered one hundred of them and plan to put them on the wall next to my  9/11 commemorative coin collection.”

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