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Manowar: The Undisputed Kings of Comedy

MANOWAR

In The Hallowed Halls of True Satire, no comic acts have attained the lofty heights that Manowar has reached by accident. Charlie Chaplin, Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George W. Bush….no one is on par with Manowar. It’s not even close.

An odd mixture of Goebellsian fascist imagery, arrested pre-teen angst and Rodgers and Hammerstein, Manowar have created an act that aims to stretch the boundaries of the absurd far beyond their breaking point.

The sheer earnestness with which they fight for a cause that is not really being threatened is breathtaking. They are defenders of a faith that no one has. Protectors of a mythos so silly that it is hard to imagine that they can stand on stage for an hour and a half without breaking into fits of laughter. Yet they soldier on, without a hint of the joke that only they do not get.

If you’ve been to a Manowar show, you know what I’m talking about. What can be said of a band whose claim to fame is playing at a volume so beyond the limits of what the human eardrum can handle that one would think they were part of a secret government conspiracy to infect all metal fans with tinnitus?

When I saw them, every one of the 300 or so fans around me had their fist clasped within their hand waiving it in a salute called “The Sign of The Hammer”. Mussolini couldn’t keep a straight face. Yet somehow, Manowar does.

Joey DeMaio, the band’s bass player and spiritual center, actually came out when I saw them and read this rambling, demented love letter from a fan about the life-changing power of Manowar’s music. Even the most devout, snake-passing evangelical would chuckle at this trick. Yet somehow, Manowar does not.

The case for Manowar as the greatest comedy act is easy to make. Anyone who has listened to them can easily tick off some of the highlights. Who can forget the letter they wrote to ‘The MTV’ and the Radio (singular)” where they say “What’s going on? Don’t you care about me?” Or the thrity one second note Eric Adams warbles through at the end of “Black Wind, Fire and Steel”?

Try the Manowar drinking game sometime. Listen to their whole discography in order and take a shot every time the words “fire” or “steel” appear in a song. You will be unable to drive halfway through “Battle Hymns”, unable to walk or speak by “Fighting The World” and by the time “Triumph of Steel” comes around, there is a good chance you’ll be in a coma.

If you can’t see the sheer comedic genius in this, the last few pieces of evidence should seal the deal for you.

Exhibit A: “Metal Warriors

Forget for a moment that they continuously encourage “wimps and posers to leave the hall”. Forget that within the first minute of the song the Disneyesque lyric “there’s magic in the metal, there’s magic in us all” appears.

They build the song to a dramatic verse which ends with the unfathomable words “got to make it louder, all men play on ten, if you’re not into metal, you are not my friend”. In case you missed it the first time, Adams howls the same verse at the top of his lungs only seconds later.

Exhibit B: “Spirit Horse of The Cherokee”

There have been many poignant tributes to the plight of Native Americans. This is not one of them. I’m not sure what kinship Manowar feel with Native Americans. They both have long hair. That’s all I can come up with.

Still, that doesn’t stop Eric Adams from punctuating the chorus with a ridiculous made-up Cherokee war cry without a hint of irony. Or from screaming “Let The White Man Die!!!”.

Are they aware that they are white? Probably not. This is Custer’s Last Stand and they are Sitting Bull and his army of Lakota Warriors.  They have taken this bizarro fantasy so far that they are actually capable of believing it.

Exhibit C: “Guyana (Cult of The Damned)”

If you ever want to illustrate Manowar’s talent for ridiculousness to the uninitiated, this is the song to do it with. Long before they were rallying Native Americans to slaughter white men, they managed to write a song meant to highlight the horrors experienced in the 1970s during the mass suicide by Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in an event known as The Jonestown Massacre.

Only Manowar would have the temerity to begin a song about such a somber topic with the line “Thank you for the Kool-Aid, Reverend Jim”. And only Manowar could finish this seven minute catastophe with the haunting words “MOTHER! MOTHER!”

Exhibit D:

manowar-1

Although this article is clearly meant to mock Manowar, it is also meant to be a genuine tribute. They pull this nonsense off seamlessly and with a sense of timing that some of the greatest comics could never match. Few have ever scaled to such imaginary heights. Few have ever soared like eagles to this proverbial “rainbow in the sky”

There is only one Manowar. They are a gift from The Gods of Heavy Metal to remind us of the feats men can achieve when completely detached from reality.

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Danzig To Sue Everyone On Earth

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You’ve probably heard of him before. He’s part wolf, part lion, part ubermensch.  He is possibly the most evolved being in human history. He is Glenn Danzig and He is suing you.

In a stunning declaration of war against the entire human race, Glenn Danzig has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court against over seven billion human beings. Danzig, who is acting as his own attorney, claimed in one of the over 40 billion documents brought into court by an entire fleet of Federal Express trucks that “He has been done wrong by everyone including Misfits bassist Jerry Only, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, actor Eli Wallach, NFL quarterback Sam Bradford, Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) and everyone else on this godforsaken planet.”

While some of the suits have been thrown out by the Court as frivolous, over two and a half billion cases will be heard over the next five centuries. Danzig, who is immortal and has over 35,000 defense points (ten times as many as Snorlax), plans to argue each case “with the passion and burning rage of a thousand suns”.

Judge Marvin Barnes labeled many of the suits “patently absurd and possibly indicative of a severe break with reality that could signify mental illness”. For example, Danzig attempted to sue everyone in the country of Azerbaijan for erecting statues in his honor without properly compensating him for the use of his likeness.

His lawsuit against the 1.6 billion citizens of the People’s Republic of China for building thousands of environmentally hazardous coal plants without consulting Him or giving Him proper credit for the invention of coal was also considered not worthy of the Court’s time.

Here's The Picture of Danzig Buying Kitty Litter For Absolutely No Reason

Here’s The Picture of Danzig Buying Kitty Litter For Absolutely No Reason

Barnes begrudgingly agreed to hear 2.5 billion lawsuits because he “greatly admired Danzig’s first four solo albums and even a few songs by Samhain.” Danzig’s five hundred thousand dollar suit against Carol Mosley, a tax accountant in Boise, Idaho, for listening to “How The Gods Kill” without headbanging during the part where the song gets really heavy will go forward.

His 1.2 million dollar suit against Edward Callahan, a construction worker in Sacramento, California, when, in 2011, Callahan laughed hysterically at Danzig’s famed discussion of his book collection where He talks about the crimes of Jesus, clay people and the occult roots of Nazism will also see its day in court.

Danzig’s six hundred million dollar claim against The Tyranny of Tradition for implying that he gave birth to identical twin girls, a suit that would bankrupt myself and my progeny for the next three thousand years, is also proceeding. Danzig also plans to sue this website for having to waste time filing a lawsuit. Finally, Danzig will sue this site for having to file a lawsuit about filing a lawsuit; again wasting valuable time he could be using writing songs about being the nephew of the Devil and his general disdain for having been born.

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Paul Stanley To Rock Hall Of Fame: “We Can’t Believe One Stupid Gimmick Got Us This Far”

Paul Stanley Hates Us All

Paul Hates Us All

Friday night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony certainly did not go as planned. The all-star gala turned into a near riot when Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley announced to the capacity crowd that he wanted to thank “all the morons who shelled out millions of dollars on our worthless toys and mindlessly dull records.” He continued, “if it weren’t for you people being dumb as a pail of hammers, I’d have never been able to afford all of the cars, drugs and mansions I’ve bought over the years with money that could have been used on things that actually might have bettered your lives.”

Stanley then reminisced about the early days of Kiss. “Jesus, I remember wasting nights with Gene playing god awful music at half empty dive bars in New York City back in the 70s. We both couldn’t play a lick, but we figured being in a band would be a good way to meet chicks. One night he looked at me and was like ‘Paul…I got it! Makeup!’ Next thing we know, you lemmings are plunking down hundreds of dollars just to get your hands on a Kiss lunchbox.”

As the audience began throwing ten-dollar bottles of Dasani water at the stage, Stanley continued to belittle the crowd. “Seriously, none of us are good at anything but marketing. In terms of actual artistic ability, the only thing Gene ever did that was worthwhile was that stupid movie where the robot spiders tried to kill Tom Selleck. Peter Criss is barely bright enough to lace up his own shoes, but he’s made something north of the Gross National Product of Luxembourg by doing nothing more than wearing kitten makeup. None of us can even read music.”

“In America, all you have to know how to do is get the suckers excited about something then….boom….you have a yacht. Mencken sure as hell was right when he said ‘No one ever went broke underestimating the American public’.  We are the Cabbage Patch Kids of Heavy Metal…and you fools don’t even realize it.”

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At that point, Ace Frehely tried to wrestle Stanley away from the microphone, but Stanley knocked him to the ground with a vicious roundhouse left. “Get away from me, Ace…it’s time we told these poor deluded bastards the truth!”

“We laugh at you people! All the time! It’s too damn easy. We howl for hours at all of these music school prodigy types who waste their lives learning to play musical instruments. Have fun playing in front of a bunch of poet socialist college professors and nine dollar an hour baristas at Open Mic Tuesdays over at your local Starbucks. I’m a little busy…you know…meeting with my accountants, buying new Ferraris and investing in strip mining ventures in the Congo to even bother learning how to tune my guitar.”

Stanley concluded his speech over a wild crescendo of booing and screaming with these words…“I originally wanted to end tonight’s ceremony by telling you that our induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a victory for mediocrity. The truth is…that would be an insult to mediocre people everywhere.”

“This great moment is a product of two factors. Our being lucky enough to be the first ones to come up with this stupid gimmick and your need to be part some asinine communal consumer experience that you can share with the rest of the witless sheep around you. We have created nothing of value and have been rewarded for this with barrels upon barrels of money. Thank you to the Hall for recognizing our musical con artistry and all of the dumb animals out there who gave us so much for so little. If it weren’t for you, we’d still be broke. Thanks!”

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Great Moments In Metal History: Jason Newsted Invents The No-String Bass

Jason_Newsted

In 1988, Metallica released their seminal album “…And Justice For All”. Beyond being one of the top selling metal albums of all-time it featured the debut of their new bassist Jason Newsted. Newsted took over for the late Cliff Burton who was considered one of the finest metal bass players on the planet.

The band selected Newsted out of a pool of thousands of candidates including jazz legend Victor Wooten, Primus front man Les Claypool and Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak. Newsted, who was never really considered much of musician, was selected for his very metal looking hair and menacing scowl.   Following Cliff Burton was a challenge for a guy who only recently had learned to use both hands when playing the instrument. How would Jason replace this legendary metal figure?

Instead of running away from this daunting task, Newsted devised a strategy before the “…And Justice” sessions that would forever change metal bass playing. He simply removed the strings from the instrument. “We knew he had no idea what to do with the bass,” said noted producer Bob Rock. “He’s right-handed and would pick the thing up like he was a lefty. We were really nervous. Then, Jason showed up with the bass with no strings and Lars was like ‘Hell yeah, man!’ The rest is history.”

The invisible playing that Newsted performed on “…And Justice” is some of the most memorable non-playing in the history of the genre. Who could forget the fabulous non-bassline in Dyers’ Eve? Or the complex non-bass solo before the fade up at the beginning of Eye of The Beholder? By simply standing there pantomiming what an actual bass player would do, Jason helped create one of the most important albums in the last 30 years.

Newsted abandoned the no-string bass on later albums. This proved to be a career-destroying mistake. James and Lars called a closed door meeting with Jason and broke the news to him. “I told him ‘Jason, we simply can’t grow as a band if you continue to insist on playing actual basslines. It’s just not your strength. Maybe it’s time for you to move on.’ Besides the “little Danish friend” talk with Dave Mustaine in the movie “Some Kind of Monster”, it was the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had,” said a teary-eyed Lars Ulrich as he casually glanced at his watch.

Jason-newsted

Newsted tried to bring back the “no string” style on a solo album called “The Sound of No Noise”. He was accompanied by two no string guitarists, a drummer with no sticks and a mute vocalist. The album sold less than 300 copies. Newsted picked up studio work with several well-known bands, playing several times in the silent space between the last song on the album and the hidden track.

Today, Jason is a manager at a Herman’s Sporting Goods store in Bayonne, New Jersey. He doesn’t talk often talk about the time he spent in Metallica. Recently, he’s toyed with the concept of doing a ragtime album using a piano with no keys, but his musician days are probably behind him. He has no regrets about his life on the road with the band, but he is clear that his getting paid a lot of money for looking like he belonged in Metallica days are behind him. “There just isn’t much of a market for a bass player who doesn’t know how to play bass,” said Newsted as he calmly stacked boxes of Reebok sneakers on top of one another. “Honestly, in heavy metal, untalented, tone-deaf bass players are a dime a dozen.”

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God: “I Did What I Had To In Order To Prevent ‘Lulu Two’”

God Angrily Dismissing Questions From Reporters About "Lulugate"

God Angrily Dismissing Questions From Reporters About “Lulugate”

In a press conference outside his home in Valdosta, Georgia, God today admitted responsibility for committing “several crimes against humanity” including “ravaging Lou Reed’s body with disease” in order to stop Metallica from collaborating on a second album.

“Look, I know I created a world where many horrible things happen.  War, famine, earthquakes, tornados, babies born without heads, I can live with all that.  However, James Hetfield again declaring himself to be a piece of furniture is where I draw the line,” pronounced God moments before he ascended into the clouds for an afternoon meeting with rap legend Eazy-E.

God is no stranger to controversy.  While he has been responsible for many of the greatest miracles ever to take place, he has also gained a reputation as a vengeful, jealous God and, by some estimates, has been responsible for the deaths of over 107 billion people throughout the course of human history.  Some critics have gone as far as accusing God of the manufacture and use of several biological weapons including the bubonic plague, cancer and the Ebola virus.

Some of God’s critics claim his treatment of humans is excessive and even bizarre.  Lot Markowitz, a traveling salesman from Gomorrah, Pennsylvania, remembers God’s behavior as being extremely erratic.

“He destroys two cities completely, kills everyone, but lets my family go, right? Then, all of a sudden, my wife turns around and she’s a pillar of salt.  What sort of weird, sick creature would do that?!?!”

God also has been known to play the occasional inappropriate practical joke.  He once told his faithful servant Abraham to climb up to the top of Mount Moriah and kill his beloved son Isaac.  Only moments before the murder of this small child, God, hardly able to keep a straight face, stopped Abraham and boomed out “Just Kidding!!!”

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In spite of his recent indiscretions, many believed God’s ending of the Cold War and introduction of additional cable television channels had signaled a “kinder, gentler God”.

However, according to several confirmed sources, God not only smote Lou Reed but also threatened to cover each member of Metallica from head to toe in boils and send a flood to destroy the city of Cleveland, Ohio if they released anything else they had written in tandem with the rock legend.

Many bloggers had speculated that God took retribution on Metallica skinsman Lars Ulrich by robbing him of his ability to play drums as punishment for his work on the first “Lulu” album.  However, those charges have been brushed aside by many in the metal community who have listened to Ulrich’s drumming since “…And Justice For All” and are well aware that he was stripped of those powers back in 1988, well before the dreaded 2011 release.

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Kiss Army Invades Poland

War Criminals?

War Criminals?

“Death, makeup, savagery, merchandising rights, Lick It Up…” 

These are the words being posted on social media by the devastated citizens of Poland the day after the Kiss Army unilaterally invaded their country. Thousands are feared dead or overcharged for concert tickets, following this, the latest aggressive act by the hardcore group of Kiss fans. The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet later this afternoon to discuss their options while various human rights groups have decried the actions of the Kiss and their army.

The invasion of Poland by Kiss Army forces, not to be confused with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, is rumored to have started shortly after Gene Simmons discovered a Warsaw flea market selling bootleg copies of Revenge. Simmons issued an ominous statement which said, “You Poles better pay up, I have two ugly children who have a $400,000 a day diamond laced orange sherbet habit. You think you can get a piece of the Kiss fatherland? There is going to be hell to pay.”

However, tensions between the Kiss Army and Poland are more deeply rooted and may go all the way back to 2008 when Prime Minister Donald Tusk refused to allow Tommy Thayer to wear Ace Frehley’s makeup, thereby forcing him to miss the band’s Polish dates and robbing Kiss of their one member who can play an instrument competently.

Polish citizens are facing numerous challenges following the invasion, most notably only being allowed to buy Kiss products. Most Poles are complaining that despite looking great and being readily available, most Kiss products are overpriced and lack any true substance. Kiss guitarist and plastic surgery aficionado Paul Stanley claims this is ridiculous, saying, “sure some of our products are missing their original ingredients, but with the just the right touch and a lot of lawyers, you can make even the worst product great…in fact, most people won’t even know it’s not the real thing.”

Perhaps the most alarming figure is the number of Kiss caskets ordered following the invasion, with over 1,000 “rocking death vessels” already being shipped to Europe.

Both political and cultural leaders have been vocal in their criticism of the Kiss Army following today’s events. Barrack Obama was quoted as saying, “this is almost as bad as Hot in the Shade…almost.”

Noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson added, “I have always hypothesized that Kiss and their fans were the most despicable people on earth, but not I have the quantifiable evidence!”

Memes misquoting Dr. Tyson found their way to social media immediately and have been misused and misunderstood throughout the day.

Yet despite their heinous actions and deplorable music, Kiss and their army have their supporters. Long time overweight Kiss apologist Eddie Trunk said, “Look, this invasion of Poland is the best thing Kiss has done since Love Gun. I know a lot of people want to see these guys hang it up and give Poland a break, but so long as Peter Criss comes on my radio show and lets me suck up to him, I will always be a Kiss fan.”

Other noted Kiss fanatics such as Sebastian Bach were seen wearing authorized “Polish Invasion” tour shirts and have boycotted polish sausage, decrying Poland as a country that just doesn’t understand what good music is.

Kiss has started a kickstarter campaign to further fund their invasion, offering videos of polish children being tortured with Paul Stanley solo records for $73 and pictures of Gene Simmons ego, taken from space, for only $144. In the meantime, the world can only wait and see if and when this will all ever end…and at what price.

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2013: Year of The Hideous Baby Name

Baby Mitchum

One of the hideous, terrible truths about parenting is that with one stroke of the pen you are capable of sentencing a child to a lifetime of cringing every time attendance gets read aloud in a classroom and cowering sheepishly while handing in job applications.  Marshall McLuhan once said “a name is a numbing blow from which a man never recovers.”  In the case of many of the names dropped on poor, unsuspecting infants this year, one would expect them barely able to walk by the time they are 35.  2013 was a year that famous parents sentenced their children to name based humiliation at a near record pace.

In any society that valued justice or decency, parents who name their kids things like Type Two Diabetes or Pusillanimous would be rounded up and caned in the public square. Do celebrities really need more attention than they already get? By giving their babies ridiculous names, not only are they garnering more attention in the media for themselves, they are also dooming their child to a lifetime of recognition as a psuedo-celebrity that will never be taken seriously.

Honestly, would you go see a gynecologist named Respektdakrew Smith, OBGyN? Or a lawyer named Heavenly Flowing Lava Monster Bison-Lipton, Attorney at Law? Probably not. These unfortunate kids will have to live off of reality TV and royalties from tell all novels about their parents eating the flesh of homeless people at Hollywood parties.

The other problem with celebrity baby names is that they create a culture in which lesser celebrities copy their unfathomable taste, thereby creating, if you can believe it, even worse names. In any given year you will see themed clusters of baby names around, say, like automobiles, or intestinal parts. The following is a brief year-in-review of the worst names of 2013.

First there was Everest Hobson, (girl), born to George & Mellody Lucas. While the original name was not so bad, the names that followed in the theme of mountains seemed to lose their charm with each new birth. This May, Charlie Day and Elizabeth Ellis named their newborn daughter Matterhorn Lucas. Not to be outdone, Mark Duplas and Katie Aselton names their son baby Titicaca.  Finally the anchor from Channel 2 News in Chicago upped the ante on mountain baby names and ended the trend when he dealt the punishing blow by bestowing the name K2 on his baby girl.

Bear Winslet, Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll’s son, popped out of the womb with a machete and a flint, ready to spend the night inside a dead camel for survival. This name was silly enough, but this sparked Lauren Parsekian to name her daughter Pink Fairy (a type of armadillo). The animal names continued with Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde calling their son Parastratiosphecomyiastratiosphecomyioides. But the worst animal name goes to Sacha Baren Cohen and Isla Fisher who named their twin daughters Embarrassment and Panda. An embarrassment is the technical term for a group of pandas, and is also what these parents should be feeling about their naming abilities.

More embarrassment arrived with the naming of Emile Hirsch’s son, Valor, who was obviously showing noble characteristics when he escaped the womb while screaming bloody murder with tears rolling down his cheeks. Other notable but flawed character trait baby names this past year include Joanna Newsom’s daughter Fanatical and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son, Vacuous.

Even heavy metal, whose artists once went out of their way to avoid mainstream trends, have gotten into the fray.  Dave and Madolyn Mustaine named their newest daughter Psychotron.  Venom frontman Cronos and his wife, television star Fran Drescher, brought young Ayatollah Khomeini Lant into being last month.  Slayer axe man Kerry King and his bride of 10 years, former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, decided to cash in on an offer from a major corporation and name their child Smoothie King (Burger King made a slightly lower bid).

Shall I continue with the list of offenses? Kim Kardashian & Kanye West named their daughter North, prompting a rare copycat move by Bradgelina (who could have easily started their own trend) who named their adopted daughter, In That General Direction.

Of course, every year the nature loving hippies have to sacrifice their child’s named identities to prove their love for the great mother, the wolf teat, or whatever it is they are worshipping these days. Holly Madison named her daughter Aurora Rainbow, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum named their son Mitochondria Cell-Division, and Kaitlin Olsen named her baby girl Chlamydia Luekorrhea. It kind of makes you miss the good old days of Moonunit and Dweezil.

As much as we can hope and pray that this celebrity baby naming madness will come to an end, we know from scientific graphs drawn by lemurs paid in cicada that it will only get worse. Luckily, the heat death of the universe is just around the corner and all of these really clever ideas and fascinating people will one day be sucked into a vast nothingness in which their existences will no longer matter to anyone or anything.

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