What do Billy Ray Cryus, Steve Stevens and Matt Sorum have on common? I have no idea, but the unlikely group came together with SSgt. Mark Plummer (Ret.), a Wounded Warrior, to record the song "Do What I Do” in honor of Veterans Day.
SSgt. Plummer wrote the song about his battle with PTSD -- he did three tours in Iraq.
KISS are doing a residency at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. First videos of that residency are now popping up online. The residency runs until November 23 - so there's plenty of time to travel to Vegas if you want to catch this show.
Update: According to a New Zealand-based website, the charge of attempting to procure murder has been dropped. Phil Rudd still faces one charge of threatening to kill, plus possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been charged with attempting to have two men killed. He was in a New Zealand court yesterday, facing a count of attempting to procure a murder. He was also charged with threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis. If convicted, Rudd may face up to 10 years in jail. He's 60 years old right now.
I don't know what to even say about this except the news is horrifyingly crazy and maybe this explains why Rudd wasn't in the band's promo shots a couple weeks ago. Perhaps he's been in a downward spiral of drugs and crazy.
AC/DC released a statement about Rudd's arrest:
"We've only become aware of Phil's arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album, Rock Or Bust, and upcoming tour next year."
What does everyone think about this news?
The Smashing Pumpkins will release Monuments To An Elegy next month. Playing drums on the entire album is Tommy Lee. This is an interesting collaboration to me. On one hand, the Smashing Pumpkins are nearly as far away from Motley Crue as you can get these days. On the other, that's probably the point and why Tommy was interested in the first place. "One And All" is one of the album's first singles and it is below.
The University of Dayton (one of my alma maters!) will host a heavy metal conference this weekend. I wrote a cover feature about the conference for the Dayton City Paper. Here's that story.
Studying heavy metal as an academic pursuit isn’t new. The interdisciplinary study has gained popularity in recent years, first in European countries and now in America. This November 6-8, add Dayton, Ohio to the list. The University of Dayton will hold a conference called “Metal and Cultural Impact: Metal’s Role in the 21st Century.” The conference, brainchild of English professor Bryan Bardine, will welcome scholars, business professionals and musicians alike to the campus for three days of insight, education and fun. Events include a presentation on “Queer Metal Matters,” an art exhibition on masks and popular culture, a screening of the documentary, “March of the Gods” and presentations by special guests Alex Skolnick (of the legendary thrash metal band Testament) and Josh Bernstein (creator of the annual Revolver Golden Gods awards).
Bardine, a lifelong metalhead, said he was inspired to create a metal conference at UD after attending a similar event at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in 2013. Bardine also presented at that conference.
“I was asked to be on a panel about metal and community,” Bardine said. “The last four years, I’ve been bringing in scholars [to UD] for different workshops and seminars. I brought one in on heavy metal and globalization. And we had four scholars, two from BGSU, one from Chicago – DePaul [University] – and the other from [University of] California, Irvine. They all talked about different aspects of metal and its influence around the world. And then, after the Bowling Green conference, I thought, ‘Why can’t we do something like this at UD?’ So we started the process.”
Bardine sought permission from UD officials to get the ball rolling. He’s been granted a lot of support, not only from the English department and grad students, but also campus officials like his department chair and even the Dean.
“I sort of borrowed the structure from the one at Bowling Green,” Bardine told the Dayton City Paper. “So instead of having concurrent sessions, we’re having consecutive ones. Once you’re here, you pretty much get to stay in the same place all day.”
Some folks from Bowling Green are also on the UD conference planning committee.
An academic conference takes a considerable amount of time to plan, from the day-to-day tasks like scheduling space for speakers and making travel arrangements, to dealing with the much longer process of formally “calling for papers” from academics across the country and world. And “world” is accurate since UD’s take on metal will welcome people from all over the globe, including New Zealand and South Africa, a feat that doesn’t exactly surprise Bardine. After all, he knew the interest was there.
“Metal studies is a legitimate field,” he said proudly. “It’s youthful and relatively new. But we’ve got great scholars working in this field now.”
In all, the conference will boast 13 sessions, including keynote speakers, meaning there’s likely something for everyone whose passion is metal. Like business more than strumming chords? No worry. Josh Bernstein, Director of Sales and Business Development at Alternative Press Magazine, will be a keynote speaker at the conference. The title of Bernstein’s keynote is “Heavy Metal: A Business, A Lifestyle, Past, Present, and Future.” He’ll address the business side of the metal world and provide an interesting commentary on an industry that has been turned upside down thanks to the Internet and file sharing. Surprising to some, Bernstein is a firm believer that the business side of metal actually helps spur creativity, providing outlets for new music and ideas.
“For years, the idea of ‘selling out’ was deemed the worst thing an artist could do; but, more recently, metal fans are smart enough to realize that it’s a necessary part of the process and essential in letting artists create, distribute and tour with their music,” Bernstein said. “People don’t think Leonardo DaVinci’s artwork was stifled because he had funding from the Medici family, or that Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel was work-for-hire from the Pope. I think all musicians should know the basics of the business side of the industry to help protect their interests.”
Keep reading the rest of the story on the Dayton City Paper website.