Even if you skip Hart Plaza, and aren't wearing the same fucking Uggs with a miniskirt and a metallic tube top all weekend (to go with your green hair and face piercing), you'll likely spend at least part of your holiday weekend near the water, partying to some degree. And if what I've said so far is true, fuck off. We here at RDW will be slaving away, as usual, to provide you with the best content for your world wide web perusal. Anyway, since you'll have electronica of some sort shoved down your throat all weekend no matter what you choose to do with your free will, I thought I'd throw together a nice non-DJ set of music for your listening enjoyment. So enjoy away. (Disclaimer: there's no Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on this list.)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs — one of those bands that consistently puts out shit worth checking out. Their new album, Mosquito, is one such example.
Charli XCX — look out, dance central. If her remixes aren't good enough, check out her poppy originals.
The National — you know what you're getting from these guys. It's good. It's slightly sleepytime, but it's solid.
Jack White — new track "Love Is Blindness" (unfortunately from The Great Gatsby) is killer. Very typical JW.
Eleanor Friedberger — lead singer and major talent from the Fiery Furnaces. Worth checking out if you're into some folksy indie-rock. She's not pretty thought, just to let you know ahead of time.
Savages — no idea where the fuck this came from. Check out "She Will" — it'll be stuck in your head for days.
Imagine Dragons — sounds great, it's like AWOLNATION learned how to make real music. Catchy.
The Lumineers — just kidding, this is about as corny as that song by that Fun(.) band. UGH.
Chvrches — hit after hit. This is some of the catchiest pop music since the turn of the century. You might have to dig to find it, though.
Movember, No Shave November, Beard Month...whatever you call it, it's a glorious 30 days for men everywhere. Well, local rock powerhouse Wilson has added another amazing reason (another beloved bodily structure) to love Turkey Month.
Beards for Boobs is Wilson's attempt at celebrating mammaries, Neanderthal facial hair and rock n' roll. Here's the thing: for every photo you, Wilson's dear fans, post to their Facebook page of your beard growth this month, they'll donate $0.50 to Keep A Breast. Sound awesome? It is.
Not only do you get to enjoy — alongside Wilson and their rocktacular musical mischief — beards (something else that Wilson happens to be a humongous fan of) and tits equally. So, go forth and participate! (If we hadn't already hit the point home, Wilson + boobs + beards is about the best combo you're likely to come across as 2012 dwindles.)
Also, make sure to take a gander at the press release the boys in Wilson sent out for this fantastic and festive occasion. It's a riot.
Yes it’s true, WILSON is a band that is very proud of our facial hair! In general we are supporters and advocators of facial hair growth in general ...some of you might also assume we like breasts too, well… that is also true!
So for this “No Shave November” we are stepping it up a notch here in the WILSON camp and calling on you to show us what you got. We’ve decided to make a dedication to both our love for beards and boobs this November and create a plan to give back to those beautiful flesh mounds of joy who have given so much to us over the years.
So here’s the plan! For the entire month of November if you come to the WILSON Facebook page and post a picture of you sporting a beard we will donate .50 cents to the Keep A Breast Foundation. It can be a picture of you with a beard already or your process during “No Shave November”. HOWEVER, no 5 o’clock shadow bullcrap or any other wimpy shit…it needs to look like you have at least dedicated a few days to looking like a real scumbag. SERIOUSLY DON’T COME AT US WITH ANY PUNY WEAK MAN SHENANIGANS! Make an effort to be a slob for Christ sake. And ONE picture per person!
Metro Detroit got a taste of two monsters last night at DTE Energy Music Theatre — phenomenal artists each giving one hell of a performance. Unfortunately, it was the rock star diva drama that has been all the industry gossip today.
After finishing his set for the evening (and keep in mind, this is a co-headlining tour), Marilyn Manson began belligerently shouting about Rob Zombie and how he was going to kick his ass backstage. Not entirely sure what he was angry about, what he was mumble-yelling into the microphone or what the hell the problem was in the first place, the crowd simply cheered along, assuming this was all part of the show.
By the time Rob Zombie took the stage — one of the most dynamic entrances of any musical artist — the audience, foaming at the mouth for some zombie rock at this point, had pretty much entirely forgotten the fact that Manson had been shouting ridiculousness only minutes earlier (plus the fact that, in all of his diva-ness, he came back out and threw a plastic deli platter into the audience as a sign of some sort of defiance). Zombie most certainly hadn't forgotten, and he explained the fiasco briefly, shouting "Fuck you, Marilyn Manson" several times throughout his set and — in what appeared to be a totally impromptu change to the set list — dedicated a rendition of "School's Out" to Alice Cooper, whom he described to the crowd as "the only fucking real shock rocker" in an obvious attempt to call out Manson.
Unsure whether this was all a publicity stunt or not — though, to be honest, neither musician has ever had to stoop below the shtick that their acts normally are to attract media attention — the crowd was pretty much stunned, but nevertheless enjoying the hell out of the spectacle that was unfolding right in front of them.
Blazing through his catalog of hits, Zombie captivated the crowd in the same way he always does while playing Detroit Rock City. The man obviously has a love for the Motor City, often citing past performances or memories from his trips to town. He put on one hell of a show, as he does night in and night out, and showed an impressive amount of energy and enjoyment for a man of 47 years. In fact, his new stage show (developed and built exclusively for this, the Twins of Evil tour) is his biggest and best yet — with multiple monsters, machines and costume changes. It was basically a clinic in how to be a living dead rockstar.
To be fair, Manson's set was solid — definitely enjoyable — although he didn't have the dynamic presence or impact on the crowd that Zombie did. His voice was fantastic at times, then obviously lacking at others. Doing his best to bring the hits and keep the crowd in the palm of his hand — until his utter meltdown, that is — Manson put on the performance that everyone expected from him, and little else. His antics, ever-evolving wardrobe and pure evil presence conjured Manson circa 2000, but alas, he ended up paling in comparison (pun intended) to Zombie and his over-the-top act.
Today brought about a few rumors, some stories and anecdotes from those in attendance — and then, lo and behold, Zombie made a post addressing the fiasco on his official Facebook:
As stupid as this all is, I feel I must clear things up a little better. First off, I want to thank all the fans who came out in the freezing cold in Detroit last night. It was a total blast as always.
Unfortunately things turned ugly backstage. Why? I don't know, but for some reason our touring partner decided to end his set by blaming me for something that I had nothing to do with and screaming he was going to "kick Rob Zombie's ass as soon as he got off stage".
Go figure. I was backstage hanging, watching the show thinking "hey this is gonna be a great night", when suddenly he starts screaming threats. So strange. I don't get it. Christ, I've known some of his crew for 20 fucking years and some of his crew used work for me. It's all good. No one would fuck with someone's show. It is ridiculous.
Well, of course I felt the need to respond to the " kick my ass remark". Who wouldn't? Although I wish I had kept it backstage and kept the fans out of it. It is all 4rd grade fight after school nonsense of which I have never dealt with on tour before. Co-headlining tours always go smooth because everything is cut 50/50 and I mean everything. No one fucks with anyone's show. It is even fucking Steven.
I've done it co-headlining tours many times before and have had no troubles. Not with Pantera, Slayer, Alice Cooper, Korn, Megadeth or anyone ever. So I didn't expect any troubles on this. It seemed like a great idea at the time.
But shit happens. Anyway, sorry to the fans who had to dealt with the embarrassing stupidity of it all. We are all there for the same reasons to give you the best show ever… that's it.
As awkward as it is to address the issue on Facebook, this actually isn't even the first time this tour that one of the two took a shot at the other via social media. Manson threw a barb at Zombie via his official Twitter the previous day, referencing the fact that both John 5 and Ginger Fish (of Zombie's current lineup) are former Manson band members:
Sorry to Chicago for not getting to play "Beautiful People." You can sing it in between Zombie songs, his band has already played it.
Well, there you have it. What began as a spectacular evening of monster rock turned into an exercise in rockstar diva mentality, and then ended with a fantastic live performance despite all of the nonsense. As the saying goes, "you win some, you lose some." Well, fortunately, fans were treated to two amazing performances plus a gossip-worthy debacle involving two of the industry's heavy hitters. This will definitely be one for the books, folks.
We thought we'd be polite and give everyone a few days to catch up on their DVR before launching into any sort of discussion of the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy and all the shock and awe that it brought with it. We're not the type here at Real Detroit Weekly to worry too much about SPOILER ALERTS, but every once in a while we'll exercise some manners and self-control.
As you all well know, Ryan Hurst (Opie) was the special guest at this past summer's Detroit Bike Week. Well, we were fortunate to have picked his brain for a bit prior to his trip to Michigan. And in hindsight, none of us knew that it would likely be his last metro Detroit visit as "Opie".
In light of his departure from the show (although there have been a ridiculous number of theories circulating as to how he can continue to be part of the show, despite his death), we thought we'd revisit our little chat with Hurst and post the discussion in its entirety. As prophetic as we can be here at RDW, we hadn't a clue as to what he was hinting at in his final answer comments during this interview. Well, Opie, now we know what you meant — and we're here to say that we're just as bummed at the loss of our favorite character as the rest of SOA's viewership.
Real Detroit Weekly: Has the popularity of Sons of Anarchy surprised you at all?
Ryan Hurst: The demographic has surprised me. I never foresaw such a huge viewership of women over 40. Who knew Grandma has a panhead in storage!
RDW: How has the role changed your career trajectory?
RH: The beard has opened a lot of doors...homeless man #2...lumberjacks...and cavemen, lots of cavemen roles.
RDW: You come from an acting family. Did you always know this was something you wanted to do?
RH: I'm still not sure it's something I want to do. Although, I did always have strong inklings that some form of creative prostitution was in my future.
RDW: Are you a tough dude in real life, or are you really more of a softie?
RH: I'm a teddy bear with a live grenade sewn into its belly.
RDW: How many of your tattoos as Opie are real?
RH: They cover my personal tattoos. Although I did design/commission all of my tattoos for the show (with the exception of the back piece).
RDW: Were you into bikes before getting the role on SOA?
RH: No. That's why I initially decided to do the show, honestly. My choice in roles is not always creative. In the past there have been a lot of wonderful projects that I've pursued simply because of their exotic shooting locations. Sons was the bikes. Who wouldn't want to get PAID to learn to ride??
RDW: Do you ever get real-life outlaws or badass biker dudes give you huge respect? Or is it like, "Shit, these guys are for real, I'd better stay the hell away"?
RH: Actors aren't the most psychologically grounded lot. So you see, funny enough 1%ers and I get along perfectly. We go together like gasoline and dynamite.
RDW: What's it like working with [Executive Producer] Kurt Sutter? Where does he come up with the material? Is he just, like, one bad dude?
RH: Sutter is a complex motherfucker. Not to mix metaphors, but he's a happy rattlesnake strapped to a kilaton of creative dynamite. Rattle, Rattle, BOOM.
RDW: Anything you want to give away for Season 5?
RH: This is not a spoiler — it's a promise. In Season 5, you will scream at the television. Bet on it.
So, now that I have 24 hours under my belt of the new iPhone 5, I think it's fair to put a review out there. For beginners, it's beautiful, not nearly as fragile as its predecessor, fast as shit and the slightly increased screen size is just perfect.
Is it wait-in-line-at-a-mall-for-three-hours awesome? No. But some folks just aren't savvy enough to figure out that ordering an iPhone online is the way to go. Sure, it required staying up until 3:30am (it went on sale at midnight PST), but in the long run, it was a cakewalk compared to the corn-fed mules that waited in line at the Apple Store starting at the crack of dawn on Friday. Oh, and you realized that apple.com, att.com and verizonwireless.com were all doomed from the start, right? There are such things as mobile stores that end up working much faster and more successfully for these types of releases. (Just keep that in mind for when Apple finally releases their iPad Mini.)
Back to the iPhone, let's just say that the step up that this device has taken from my old iPhone 4 is like night and day. Is it terribly different from the 4s? No. It has a slightly different design and aesthetic, but in terms of functionality, you're not going to have your socks knocked off if you're thinking of paying the extra money to upgrade early from the 4s.
It's fast, sleek, lightweight and beautiful. These are the things you need to know. The new speaker styling and layout provides a much more full sound than previous models and the headphone jack at the bottom of the phone...well...that's just kind of pointless, but I suppose it might work better for some folks (maybe?). The battery life is slightly improved, the larger screen is crisp and actually provides more accurate coloring and detail to photos and websites, and the Maps app is — well — still being debugged.
The lightning connector seems to be the main sticking point with most folks, but when you take a real look at it, there hasn't been a hardware update to any of these types of iPhone accessories since the first generation. It's going to happen, people, get used to it. It's smalled, reversible and seems to connect a whole lot better (by the time my old phone had come to its last days, it needed two rubber bands to keep it connected to charge).
The bottom line? If you have an iPhone 4s, stick with it. If you can't stand not having the coolest new phone on the market, get the iPhone 5. If you need a new phone in general, this is most definitely the way to go.
Is it just me, or were the VMAs both the best in years...and the absolute worst?
For starters, a "watered down" Kevin Hart still beats Billy Crystal or whoever the fuck usually babysits the shark-jumped award show. Censored and scripted Hart isn't the funniest thing ever, but it tops pretty much anyone else they could have invited to host (with the exception of maybe a half-drunk Stephen Hawking).
And then there were the awful performances. With the exception of Frank Ocean (does his sexuality even matter? Shut the fuck up EVERYONE), that was single-handedly the worst display of musical talent that I've seen in years. Nicki Minaj actually flowed better in her 30 seconds of stealing the spotlight from Alicia Keys (how is she still hot after JUST having given birth to a child?) than 2Chainz and Lil Wayne combined. Yeah, live hip-hop is notoriously awful...but those two literally lowered the bar for horrible.
As far as audiences go, both general public and celebrity were uneventful and boring. No Bieber? No Eminem? No Kanye? No Beyonce? Lame. Give us a break — at the very least Bubba Sparxxx could have made a guest appearance.
And considering all that went into the 2012 VMAs, and considering MTV's attempt at throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) at their dwindling viewership — despite the gazillion dollars they spent on marketing for the show — there was really no saving it. Dwight Howard? Not impressed. The Olympic gymnastics team? Old news. Nicki Minaj's huge ass? Downright frightening.
All in all, the awards show was less than impressive. Yet, for some reason it gets a passing grade. Is it because MTV took a brief (two hours is better than nothing) respite from no longer being "music television" and instead now having fully adopted the "teenage pregnancy entertainment" theme? Perhaps. But I'll be honest, for one brief evening...it was at least something with a spark of variety.
I applaud the fact that these shows still exist. Some normalcy needs to remain in a crumbling industry, even if it means having an old-as-fuck pack of corn-fed mules like Green Day perform live.
Keep up the mediocre work, MTV. At least you're trying.
(Oh, and have Taylor Swift's legs ALWAYS been that long??)
In case y'all didn't catch this...
While it's completely ridiculous, stupid and fucking nonsensical to attempt a Best "x" Tracks of 2011 (http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/8726-the-top-100-tracks-of-2011/) — and furthermore, I only agreed with 45 of their horrible 100 anyway, it obviously makes total sense to patch together a list of Best Albums of 2011. And furthermore, I'm not going to simplify it to the Top 10 or overly maximize it to the Top 1000. This is all absurd, and completely based on grotesquely subjective opinions and guilty pleasures anyway. That said, here's a listing of the top albums of 2011, in no particular order, and based solely on my superior taste in music. Enjoy.
The Black Keys - El Camino
Lana Del Rey - Video Games EP
Neon Indian - Era Extrana
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Toro y Moi - Underneath The Pine
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
Cold Cave - Cherish The Light Years
Cults - S/T
Gardens & Villa - S/T
Beirut - The Rip Tide
Yacht - Shangri La
Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
Washed Out - Within and Without
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel
Black Lips - Arabia Mountain
My Morning Jacket - Circuital
Tyler, the Creator - Goblin
The Black Angels - Phosgene Nightmare
The Kills - Blood Pressures
Odd Future - Radical
Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams
PF Harvey - Let England Shake
Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
Tennis - Cape Dory
Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Peter Bjorn & John - Gimme Some
Danny Brown - XXX
Das Racist - Relax
Real Estate - Days
White Denim - D
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
The Roots - undun
LMFAO - Sorry for Party Rocking*
*I am completely and utterly serious about this last selection. These two are the grandkids of the (literal) king of Motown, and they seriously know how to put out the hits (admit it, the shit's catchy). If you're too cool or too big of a music elitist to admit that in all of its seriousness, I pity you.
Two discs. 40 tracks. That's a lot of Christmas. The annual holiday release by our local pals in Suburban Sprawl has come once again. And, per usual, it's a lot. It's just a lot.
Maybe even a little too much to fully review. That said, here's the best of the best:
Lightning Love — "It's Christmas Behave Yourself"
Passalacqua & Doc Illingsworth — "A Very Frugal Xmas"
Panic & Sharon — "The Christmas Song"
Lettercamp — "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch"
Child Bite — "Good King Wenceslas"
After that, I kind of lose track of things. All in all, a very solid (and comprehensive) release from a ridiculous amount of incredibly decent local bands.
Keep up the good work, dudes!