Posts Tagged Atlanta
We have always been a Bolt Thrower family. Many of our happiest, most memorable times have been spent listening to their music. Whether it was me soothing my son on his first trip to the dentist by playing him all of “In Battle There Is No Law” or my wife and I making the long car trips from Atlanta to Minnesota go by quicker by singing “Cenotaph” with them, Bolt Thrower have almost been like relatives. This is why, on my daughter Jo-Anne Bench Spillett’s sixth birthday, we’d like to hire Bolt Thrower to play the party.
However, as you probably have figured out, hiring a death metal band to fly from England to Atlanta to play can be expensive. My wife and I talked about how to make it happen financially, but short of working nine more jobs and selling the platinum grill I had made during my brief rap career, it didn’t seem affordable. Enter the miracle that is Kickstarter! We have seen several projects from a Veronica Mars movie to an Obituary album to a nose job for Sebastian Bach all get funded this way. Why couldn’t our dreams come true as well?
Therefore, I am proud to announce that The Tyranny of Tradition will be starting its first Kickstarter campaign to raise $250,000 dollars to get Bolt Thrower to play my daughter’s 6th birthday party on November 22nd. Sure, $250,000 is a lot of money, but I want to assure each and every one of you that each and every penny will be put to good use. In the spirit of transparency, here is an itemized list of what the money will be used for.
Band Compensation $25,000
Bolt Thrower is a legendary band and they won’t come cheap. Being metal legends, they deserve to be well compensated for their time. They will, of course, be responsible for their own airfare.
While we’d love to have them in our home for a one-time, special birthday concert, the wife and I are not particularly keen on letting them stay in our house overnight. We live in a gated community with an extremely active homeowners association. I’m not sure they would be willing to tolerate Baz Thomson walking out at 7 o’clock in the morning holding a Miller Lite and wearing nothing but his boxer shorts to get the newspaper. Let’s face it, they are kind of, well, dirty looking. Not any more than most metal bands, but certainly not the type of people we necessarily want the neighbors to see us with. They’ll fit in fine at the Super 8 motel out in Snellville.
According to the City of Atlanta, I’m not technically allowed to have a death metal band play in my backyard without a permit. Because of the potential noise and disruption, several local city officials have told me that it will be impossible to get a permit for the event. The $20,000 will be used to bribe the necessary City Council Members needed to get us the permit or, in case they are unwilling to be bribed, to hire a private investigator to dig up humiliating blackmail information on them.
Instead of hiring one of those costly, pretentious professional security companies, I have contacted a local motorcycle gang, known as The Disciples of Satan, to make sure that things don’t get out of control. Not only will they be tasked with crowd control, they will need to go door to door in the days leading up to the concert and threaten my neighbors with violence or the potential kidnapping of their children should they complain to the police about the noise or lack of available parking. The Rolling Stones used a similar approach to security with great success.
Home Renovations: $80,000
Our home is simply not ready for a concert of this magnitude. The backyard will need to be equipped with arena style seating, a stage and adequate bathroom facilities for the 10 or 20 children that will be attending. Also, a hot tub will need to be added overlooking the backyard in order to allow me to help loosen up my back from moving furniture to ensure the children don’t break anything if they wander into the living room. We will also need to add marble countertops in the kitchen and a new family room in order for us to spend quality time together.
Opening Bands: $10,000
Bolt Thrower is an older band who probably can only do a one hour set without risking collapse. Most parents expect these parties to go 2 to 3 hours. So, the show will feature several talented local bands including Spectrecide, Butter Knife Appendectomy, and Dysrythmic Sphincter Valve who will perform while the kids are playing party games like Pin the Murder Rap on Randy Blythe.
Live Pokémon Characters: $5,000
Besides old school death metal, both of my young children love Pokémon. What would make them happier than if people dressed in Pokémon suits came out during Bolt Thrower’s set to really get the pit moving? We’d have Snorelax, Charazard and even, during the encore, a visit from the one and only Pikachu.
It’s amazing how many things need to be rented or purchased outright in order to make something like this work. Lights, speakers, smoke machines, animal parts to be tossed into the crowd, a cake, and goodie bags filled with Bolt Thrower merchandise can really add up.
Remaining Money For Personal Compensation: $87,000
This is America. No one works for free. My wife and I plan on working hard to make this day very special for our little girl. Thusly, our effort should be rewarded in the form of monetary compensation for our time and labor.
Hopefully, this campaign will raise the funding necessary to make my daughter’s birthday a day to remember. If it is successful, this is only the beginning. I am already in the planning stages of several possible Kickstarter campaigns including a $300,000 campaign to stop Megadeth from making another album, a $5 million dollar drive reanimate Dio and a $250 million dollar fundraiser to take over the nation of Botswana and declare it a Heavy Metal Republic. So, take a moment of your time and help us to make November 22 the best 6-year-old birthday party ever. You’ll be glad you did.
Anne Echols is an amazingly talented writer from Atlanta who has just released her third book, A Tale of Two Maidens. She is a brilliant teacher and a wonderful human being. I was honored to get a chance to talk to her last week about her new book, Joan of Arc and, of course, Iron Maiden.
For those folks out there who haven’t read it, tell us a bit about what A Tale 0f Two Maidens is about…
The book is about a fifteen-year-old Felise who is an apprentice scribe in medieval France. She dreams of escaping her cruel guardian, who plots an arranged marriage for her. She dreams of being a writer and a book shop owner. The Hundred Years War rages all around her, even spilling into her town. This takes place at the time that Joan of Arc blazes onto the scene as a teenage girl who claims God-given powers to change the fate of France. Joan inspires Felise to run away and embark on a daring adventure of her own.
Every day draws her further into the underbelly of a life she has never known — a world of lepers and vagabonds, brawling men and loose women. Burning villages and terrified peasants are left behind in the path of war as Joan tries to free France from the English. When a young suitor from home pursues her, Felise finds herself drawn to him despite her quest for freedom and her distrust of men.
Following after the army, Felise meets Joan face to face and soon finds herself torn between Joan’s single-minded sense of purpose and her own desire for love and personal fulfillment.
Lepers and vagabonds! Sounds like she went to a Poison concert. What was the inspiration for writing A Tale of Two Maidens?
I wrote two other books (both non-fiction) about women in the Middle Ages. Joan of Arc has always fascinated me since I read saint’s tales about her and I wanted to understand the truth about her. I researched her life and found out that there were Joan imitators both before and after her death — false Joans who went around pretending to be her. That gave an idea for my book — to see how she influenced ordinary women of her time.
Joan of Arc figures prominently in your book. What do you think she was like in real life?
Blunt; down to earth; practical; bad-tempered; pious and celibate; fiercely loyal to the Dauphin (deposed prince); illiterate. Didn’t like dressing as a guy at first but I think she kind of got into it after a while. She would hear the sound of church bells and lapse into a vision of her saints but then snap out of it and go off and lead her men into battle. I don’t think she liked the adulation of the crowds and certainly didn’t believe that she could perform miracles. I think she truly cared about her soldiers — almost like a big sister.
If Joan of Arc were alive today, what do you think she’d be up to?
She’d be attached to a ruler who had been has been unjustly deposed (or unjustly lost an election) and exiled and she’d be the star military genius helping him or her get back in power. Maybe Radonski in Venezuela. She’d be an indigenous peasant from a small village in Venezuela with undiagnosed schizophrenia and hear voices to help him contest the election or stage a coup. I picture her in a Rambo style bandana driving around Venezuela in a tank — with a tatoo of her beloved saints and lots of groupies. They would use her name to market clothing products, t shirts, berets, and of course Joan of Arc goat cheese (I really saw this product at my local grocery store!)
Earlier I could have seen her as a female Che Guevarra.
Many of the readers are metalheads, so I want to make it clear, A Tale of Two Maidens is not a comparison between Iron Maiden with Bruce Dickinson and Paul Di’anno. But, in your opinion, who is the better frontman for the band?
Both are great singers, but I’d pick Di’anno for being raw and real — I believed that he was actually feeling the emotions as he sang. Dickinson was more theatrical and was having more fun performing but I didn’t believe him as much as I believed Di’anno. I think Joan would have liked the first singer better too.
Who was “more metal” Shakespeare or Chaucer?
This is a tough question…Chaucer came to mind first because I could really see someone doing a metal style Pardoner’s Tale in Middle English. Also I think the earthy, bawdy exterior of the tales (but often with a melancholy but truthful interior) lend themselves well to the metal blend (at least in my mind) of raucous exterior but often emotionally charged, compelling interior. And the ‘on the road’ setting definitely applies to both.
Shakespeare’s play have already been done in so many styles from the Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet, to a stage interpretation of Julius Caesar done in Star Trek style sci fi, so why not metal?
About two weeks ago, the house up the street had a moving van in front of it. At first, I didn’t think much of it. After all, I live in Atlanta and people are always moving around in order to avoid the rampaging hordes of flesh-eating reptiles that roam the streets at night. Had I not built a Y2K shelter some years back, I would have probably been devoured myself. My family and I hide there during the evenings, watching old VHS copies of The Young and The Restless until the wee hours of the morning with shotguns in our hands. My 4-year-old is particularly skilled at shooting the beasts when they try to overpower the deadbolt. She’s a great shot for 4. I’m hoping that one day she can lead the humans as we rise up and try to take back control of our cities from the robot overlords. Maybe she won’t. We all grow up thinking we are going to be something special. Sometimes, we just end up working in retail.
The fellow coming in and out of the moving van seemed nice enough. He had longish hair and a mustache that made him look something like either Ron Kovic or a relief pitcher for the Brewers in the mid-70s. I greeted him with my usual Sufi chant and politely asked if he minded if I took a lock of his hair in order to fuse his DNA with a water buffalo. He looked a bit shocked, so I put my shirt back on. That way he would not have to stare at the eyes that had begun to grow out of my stomach.
Suddenly, a feeling of recognition overwhelmed me. I knew this fellow. He was in the band Mastodon. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. I immediately asked him to autograph my copy of .38 Special’s “Wild-Eyed Boys of The South”. I had been carrying this copy of the album with me for months asking celebrities to sign it. So far, I had gotten Rick Wakeman, the former Yes keyboard player who currently works at the Publix deli counter in Decatur, and Jerry Mumphrey, the former Yankees outfielder who lives inside of my right kidney, to put their names on it. Had this Mastodon guy signed it, it would have completed my collection and allowed me to pass into the cosmic netherworld of alien dwarves. But he refused.
He broke my heart. As a fan, all I ask is for a little acknowledgement. After all, I’ve spent hours of my life listening to that album with the whale on the cover of it. Is a signature too much to ask for?
It’s like the time I broke into Cal Ripken’s home and demanded that he sing all of the lyrics to “Covered With Sores” by Cannibal Corpse at gunpoint. I wasn’t asking a lot. My request certainly didn’t warrant the two and a half years I served in the Allenwood Federal Correctional Facility. Or the removal of all of my teeth at the hands of some hired goon named Vito. But the Ripkens can be brutal when you cross them. I learned that the hard way.
So here I am. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I am covered in honey and ox blood from head to toe. Waiting. Hoping. I’ve been in the guy from Mastodon’s living room for 3 hours now playing Black Ops 2 on his Xbox. I wonder if he’s at the supermarket. Or collecting and trading pig exoskeletons with his church group. Or meditating at an ashram in Utah. Or at the park reading his dog-eared copy of V.C .Andrews’ masterpiece “Flowers in the Attic”. He has to come home at some point. Doesn’t he?
Greetings everyone, my name is Matthew Bailey. I’m a blogger over at Left Hook from Right Field and a close friend of one Keith Spillett. Like you, I spend upwards of 14 hours a day online, reading Tyranny of Tradition. I’ve come to find this wonderful blog as the most influential online news source of this generation, or any. Thanks to Keith’s fantastic writing and knack for those “special” news stories, I have learned about King Diamond’s political career, Rick Santorum’s war on heavy metal and all sorts of fun facts about Cronos. I have come to see the Tyranny of Tradition as not only a source of entertainment, but my best link to my surrounding world and the most fun way to spend time at the office, when I’m pretending to do work.
But friends, I have to tell you something which is so shocking, so heinous that I may very well be risking my life by doing so…Keith Spillett is a liar! That’s right, it turns out, these so called “news articles” are nothing more than satire. My neighbor, John Fredricksten, told me that Bert Reynolds once said, “Satire is the lowest form of literature, worse than readers digest.” I have to concur here. Any idiot could write satire, hell Thomas Paine wrote satire and he lived in France for a stretch! No, my friends, Keith Spillett isn’t the genius you all thought him to be, he’s really nothing more than a poor man’s Mark Twain, a purveyor of exactly the kind of low brow literature that led to the demise of that great America we all loved in the 1870s.
I first began to become suspicious of Keith when he claimed he interviewed Dave Mustaine at North Dekalb Mall, a popular shopping destination, located outside of Atlanta, Georgia. You see, first of all, Dave Mustaine played a concert that night in Santa Fe and I seriously doubt that he would have had the time to do an interview, fight his way through Atlanta traffic, catch a flight and have the time to make the stage in time to deliver classic thrash metal songs in which he speaks during the verse and sings the chorus. And another thing! Keith specifically said in this blog that he was drinking an Orange Julius, a seemingly innocent fact, but in reality a telling truth. You see, once in 2006, I asked Keith if he liked Orange Juliuses, to which he replied, “they’re ok I guess.” Aha! This little slip got me suspicious, but oh, there’s more.
On January 9th of this year, Keith wrote a blog entitled, “Dickey Eaten by Mountain Lions, Mets Sign Christian Knuckleballer Tebow” Being an ardent sports fan, I found the blog informative and intriguing. In a pure stroke of genius, Mets GM Sandy Alderson somehow pushed aside the grief of losing one of his most reliable starting pitchers in a terrible accident, and signed one of the most popular and pure athletes of our time. Even though I’m a fan of the Atlanta Braves, I couldn’t wait for the approximate 645 annual Braves /Mets games, so that I could watch endless hours of Tebow coverage in my own hometown! I went to subway to celebrate by purchasing a footlong tuna sub for only $5, when I asked my wonderful sandwich maker, Doug, his opinion on the news. I couldn’t believe what he said…
“Tebow, on the Mets? Are you stupid? Tebow isn’t going to be pitching for the Mets. You see, my sister, Elizabeth, who we all call Beth for short, is a fortune teller or witch or something and she told me that Tebow would be traded to the Jets and for some odd reason, the media will actually care.” I generally shy away from confrontation, so I fought the tears as I quietly paid for my sandwich and fled the store to go somewhere and think. After eating my sub, I was still at a crossroads. What did this all mean? Why would Keith lie? What did he have to gain? After many hours of quiet meditation, I decided to just laugh off poor Doug and his delusional sister, I mean honestly, I knew his story was wrong, because why would the people of New York, who made two AFC Championships in the last three years care to trade for or give any media attention to Tim Tebow and potentially sabotage their young quaterback…it just didn’t add up.
But then it happened. Beth’s apocalyptic fantasy came to life. The media did care and poor Tim Tebow was subjected to unnecessary scrutiny and was even booed at a Yankees game. I felt my grip on reality slipping. I knew Keith had lied to me, but I didn’t know how. Then, late one night I read a book in which the word sarcasm was used. Being the recipient of a Georgia public education, I didn’t know what the word meant, so I looked it up. Not in a dictionary, but instead in a thesaurus, as the dictionary was upstairs and I didn’t feel like walking that far. That’s the first time I saw the word satire. From there, I delved into a world of liars, thieves and moral midgets. I subjected myself to things which most well-meaning people could only dream of. I read books by Aristophanes, watched Dr. Strangelove and in an act so masochistic that I have still yet to recover, listened to “Bad Hair Day” by Weird Al Yankovic. It turns out, there’s a whole subculture of sub-human creatures which not only participate in this vile form, but thrive in it. Apparently for all of written history, satir-philes have plagued our good earth with their filth.
But, how to confront Keith? I mean, I am the Godfather of his daughter and one of his closest friends. I couldn’t face him and risk a fight, not to mention risk becoming infected with Satircitis, myself. I had to think of a way to trick this disgusting man. So, I sent him a facebook message and asked if I could write a post on his blog about Andre the Giant coming back from the dead to star in a Bull Durham sequel. Of course, being so blinded by his satircism, he agreed. Instead I posted this.
It’s all a big nothing people. Keith hasn’t been delivering us up to the date news on our favorite irrelevant metal heroes. He’s been lying all along! He tricks you into spending upwards of four minutes, up to three times a week reading his deceitful literature, all so that he can click “like” on your facebook comments, complimenting his work. So, be free people! Read outstanding blogs by Anderson Cooper or Tony Kornheiser, because this Tyranny of Tradition is exposed. Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.
Matt’s blog “Left Hook From Right Field” is easily one of the best places in the filth-ridden sewer that is the internet. Check it!
A wise man once told me not to pay for what you can get for free. He’s currently doing a stretch of 2 to 5 years at Rikers Island for passing bad checks, but his point was well taken. After my ticket for Saturday night’s Ghost, Opeth, Mastodon show at The Masquearde in balmy Atlanta, Georgia fell through, I was faced with two possible futures. One involved me jumping in my car, heading over to The Varsity and drowing my sorrows in 12 pimento cheese sandwiches and the other involved me standing out in the parking lot and craning my neck around some light poles to get a glimpse of Ghost, the current greatest band in the history of the universe. The choice was obvious.
By the time I got to a spot that allowed me to view 1/12th of the stage, they had already launched into a rip-roaring version of their Mercyful Fate tinged masterpiece “Elizabeth”. Apparently, I was not the only person leery of actually paying to see a concert. There were two 15-year-olds staring over the fence with expressions of cold, awe-struck horror. One of them had his “throwback” Bullet For My Valentine “Scream, Aim, Fire” shirt on and the other one looked like he was dressed for the eventual random onset of a golf match. They clearly were in the wrong place:
Metal Kid #1: Why is the singer of Mastodon wearing a Pope hat?
Metal Kid #2: I don’t think that’s Mastodon. That’s probably Opeth.
Me: No….that’s Ghost. Ever heard of them?
Both Kids at Once: No????
Me: They are completely crazy. Keep watching. You’ll see some terrible things.
Metal Kid #2: What do you mean?
Me: Well, first of all, you know where he got that hat from?
Metal Kid #1”: No.
Me: He stole it from the real Pope.
Metal Kid #1: No….No way! Is that true?!?!
Me: Oh yeah. These guys are pure evil. The drummer punched the Pope one time at an IKEA in Munich and the singer took the hat and ran. They mugged the Pope for Godsakes! They were supposed to play America a year ago but they were banned from the United States.
Metal Kid #2: Whoa! What for?
Me: They are into trafficking and selling animal organs. The singer got caught trying to sneak 150 sheep livers into his suitcase when they went through customs. It was a big international incident. That and the whole thing with the walrus got them into a bunch of trouble….
Metal Kid #1: (horrified) Walrus??? What happened with the walrus???
Me: Jesus, doesn’t anyone read the newspaper anymore!!!! They did a concert in Poland and at the end of the show they brought a walrus on stage and beat it to death with hammers. They cut it up and gave pieces to everyone in the audience. It was unbelievable. They put birthday candles in each of the pieces! People ate it completely raw and something like 46 people died of food poisoning. Horrible! That’s what got them on the FBI’s 12 Most Wanted List.
Metal Kid #2: Oh my god! Wow! These guys are awesome!
Metal Kid #1: Do you think they’ll kill a walrus tonight?
Me: God no! They found religion and recently became Jehovah’s Witnesses. They swore off all of that praising Satan and slaughtering animal stuff and now they go door to door preaching The Word. The guitarist, the one dressed like a Jawa from Star Wars, he sold me a copy of Watchtower magazine last month.
Metal Kid #1: Whoa!!!! That’s amazing!
I quickly tired of filling the minds of these kids with insidious poison and began to focus my attention onto the mellifluous tones of Ghost. The solo from Ritual was casacading to its nearly perfect peak when I became aware of a terrible presence only inches from my right arm. As the song ended, I turned and came face to face with The Hipster With the Glass Eye.
The fella was probably six foot three and 98 pounds soaking wet. Imagine your average beardo coffee shop barista decked out in his best Piggly Wiggly tee-shirt and you’ve basically got a mental image of the dude I was looking at. Except this person had a glass eye. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Did he have some terrible accident Vespa racing? Was this some kind of sadistic, post-ironic fashion statement? Did he pull the original eye out in frustration when he couldn’t find a copy of the new Band of Horses album? Do they sell glass eyes at Urban Outfitters now? This rare specimen of humanity had my interest for a full two minutes worth of conversation. Then, things got ugly.
Me: Nobody knows who Ghost is. They’ve only done two interviews. Both of them were in caves. The interviewers were blindfolded and driven hours away to a secure location. They did the interviews wearing hoods!
Hipster With The Glass Eye: So, no one knows who they are?
Me: No one!
Hipster With The Glass Eye: (excitedly) Wow, so they are kinda like Banksy??? That’s awesome!
I looked away and shook my head in horror. An uncomfortable, awkward silence fell over us both. He stood there waiting for a response that would never come. I decided that the night was officially over. I walked to my car filled with hopelessness and despair. At least the band was good.
All that is left in my world is Sigh’s new album “In Somniphobia”. I love it. I can’t stop playing it. Over and over and over and over again. I love it so much I want to rip off my shirt and paint the letters S-I-G-H across my chest and run around the local Walgreens screaming at the top of my lungs. I want to beat myself over the head repeatedly with a claw hammer until I do such severe damage to my hippocampus that I forget I’ve heard the album just so I can have the pleasure of experiencing it again for the first time. I long to leap off of a bell tower screaming the lyrics at the horrified spectators. I dream of ripping each of my teeth out and sending it to members of the band to thank them for all the joy they have brought to me.
My love for it transcends all possible love I could experience. I want to go to a beautiful meadow, set out a picnic blanket and caress the album telling it all the things I know in my heart and have been afraid to say. I want to run through a field with it in my arms, laughing girlishly, dancing to the wonderful sounds of the wind whipping through the grass. I want to whisper lovingly into the albums ear, telling it my deepest secrets and most personal desires. Surrender unconditionally to its alluring charms. Bathe it in pure, unadulterated affection.
I feel jealous that others will have the chance to hear this album. When I think of others listening to this album I am filled with rage. I will kill them. I will grind their bones into dust. It is my album. Mine! Their love is cheap and tawdry while mine is filled with the sincerity and innocence of a child. They cannot feel what I feel for this album. They are mere mortals while I have been imbued with the gift of second sight by the god Amen-Ra. They live shallow, meaningless lives. Their love will flicker and fade the minute something else comes along. My attraction will never fade, no matter what happens. If nuclear bombs reign down on the city of Atlanta and all around me is melted and disintegrated, the only thing left will be my boney, skeletal fingers embracing the album, stroking its brow.
Don’t listen to the album. You and the mortals around you don’t deserve it. I’ll know if you are listening to it because I’m in front of your house right now. Watching you. I was at the supermarket yesterday when you bought two bags of pork rinds for 2 dollars and 28 cents. I saw you stop at the gas station and get approximately 8 gallons of gas. I know that you stopped in Hot Topic at 3:45 just to look around. You didn’t buy anything. I am watching you all the time. Even as you sleep. If you dare to listen to this album, I will tie you to a chair and feed you hundreds of pounds cheese dip until either your stomach bursts or your entire body explodes.
I’d give it a 2,389,124 out of 10. I am currently in the process of undergoing a medical procedure to add an additional thumb so I can give it 3 thumbs up. There will never be anything better. Music as we know it is over. People should not even bother to try to create anything else. This is the pinnacle, the zenith, the apogee, the climax of all civilization. It is the Hanging Gardens, the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. There is no future, there is no past, there is only Sigh’ “In Somniphobia”.