Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Maw: Shark Attack live in Des Moines 3/10/12

Bigfoot Diaries tech master CVEckian filmed a recent performance of The Maw at the House of Bricks in Des Moines. In the production of this video he pulled out all of his tricks, leaving nothing on the table. The back story to the making of this video is pretty intense... I know because I received periodic updates during the chroma key, the color overlay, the rendering and uploading process. I quickly began to recognize the grandeur of these processes, and while secretly feeling impatience in anticipation of the final product, I admired CVEckian for his tenacity to make sure that every little piece was placed in it's rightful place in time and image.

He explained to me how he had to break the audio (which was originally recorded into two holes on his camera microphone) into three seperate tracks. With one he left the same, but on another he stretched it to a lower frequency (bass-wise) and the other to a high one, increasing and decreasing the volume to match the best result. Then he layered all three sounds together to produce the final audio which is what you will hear on the video. At least to my unknowing mind, it seems to be a hell of a process.

This video is a first of a kind for the Bigfoot Diaries, and the final product is well worth the wait.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Maw Record New EP: Shark Attack

This past weekend, prog rockers The Maw spent a day and a half at the Skyline Audio Studios in Des Moines recording their new EP. This is the second time that the band has utilized engineer Garrett Wilson's expertise at Skyline. Their first EP, 1937 was recorded in the Fall of 2010.

Forrest Lonefight lays down guitar tracks for the EP's title track.
"True art happens when all involved are of one accord." said keyboardist Erik Brown, who also handles vocals for the band.  "We all have those albums that we know every song from and were life changing. Our music feels that way to us, but its very difficult to get that across on recording."

He added, "We have found an engineer in Garrett Wilson who has the same vision we do, and that is to tap into the cortex and share it with the world. As we have grown as songwriters and performers so has our engineer and we wouldn't trade our experiences at Skyline Audio for all the PBR in the world."

The new EP will consist of three tracks familiar to those who have seen them play live. "Bong," "Buddy System" and the title track "Shark Attack" are on the roster. While it might seem lacking, it's important to remember that each song is meticulously arranged and lasts 5-6 minutes or more each. There is also to be a hidden track on this EP, an interlude.

"Really. It's an interlude that's hidden." says Erik. "So I think we consider it a three song EP with a surprise."

Garrett Wilson in the control booth at Skyline
This is the first time that that The Maw entered the studio with drummer Justin Bristow, who joined The Maw at the end of last summer.  While he has previous studio experience with the currently defunct $trick-9, this time he was greeted with the dreaded sophomore curse.

"I nearly collapsed the whole recording process on my own." He said. "I halved the time we originally intended to track by not being able to be there all of Friday, and I found out my snare had a metal clasp crack and break off at some point recently. I had to use a studio snare with my new head and a makeshift tuning to get it to where it sounded similar. We were looking down the barrel of the gun to even be able to track the drums in the time we booked as the pressure to play each track in one to two takes in order just to get by was mounting."

Garrett Wilson's engineering expertise and his calmness throughout the near-debacle might have been a saving grace, at least in terms of saving time. "Working with Garrett was one of the best experiences I've ever had in the studio." Justin explained. "He knew exactly what I wanted when I would communicate with him, and we banged out the drum tracks in a little less than three hours."

Bassist Joseph Antleman couldn't agree more. "He is laid back, easy to work with, and willing to give his honest opinion during the recording and mixing process." He said of Garrett. "The Maw love our relationship with Skyline Audio and Metro Concerts."

Erik Brown and Joe Antleman, watch as Garrett Wilson
engineers Forrest Lonefight's guitar tracks.
The Shark Attack EP will be available for distribution this summer. You can bet that Bigfoot Diaries readers will be the among the first to know exactly when that happens.


Pertinent Links:

Skyline Audio Productions Official Site

The Maw Reverb Nation

The Maw on Facebook

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Five Questions... with Lyle Blackburn

Theoretically, Lyle Blackburn is a perfect fit for The Bigfoot Diaries.

He is an author of books, a Bigfoot aficionado, and an accomplished musician. He is the front man and founder of Ghoultown, a Texas-based horror rock outfit that combines the charisma of Rob Zombie and the cryptid bad-assness of San Diego's Deadbolt. They have played to audiences nation-wide from the infamous CBGB bar in New York City to swanky dance halls in southern California, all the while leaving a hell-infused trail of fire in their wake.

Lyle is also a featured contributor to the horror magazine Rue Morgue, and acts as the publication's cryptozoology advisor. His own blog, Monstro Bizzaro is a subsidiary of the Rue Morgue website, and he heads a column called "Monstro Bizarro Presents" which runs as a monthly column in the print magazine. He has also made contributions to and has been tagged for speaking engagements at paranormal conferences and horror conventions all over the United States.

Most recently he has been touting his book, The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster which is gaining critical acclaim amongst the Who's Who in the kingdom of Cryptozoology.

While I'd eventually like to engage Lyle in a conversation about Ghoultown, I have always been fascinated with stories of the legendary Fouke Monster which hails from the swampy southern border of Arkansas. Ever since my parents took my brother and I to see The Legend of Boggy Creek at the Drive-In in Newton, Iowa during the summer of 1973 I have been tuned into this creature, who's bellowing howls and hyper-aggressive nature kept me awake many-a-night during my childhood. The original screening boasted that "This Movie Will Scare The Hell Out Of You," and it certainly did me... Even now, as I occasionally watch it on DVD I am taken back to that anxiety that this film caused me during my childhood.

Without a doubt, this film is solely responsible for my lifelong fascination with the Bigfoot phenomenon, and is the catalyst for what has become my personal creative muse. It's only natural that I talk to Lyle Blackburn about his book and his thoughts on this menacing beast.

Lyle Blackburn
Tell me about your childhood and what influenced your interest in Bigfoot.

I loved horror movies and monsters right from the beginning.  I used to stay up late on Saturday night – or at least try – and watch the old black and white horror classics on television.  I had all the Aurora model kits and Halloween was my favorite day… year round.  None of that stuff really scared me, in the sense of being actually frightened, but when it came to the paranormal stuff like ghosts, UFOs, and cryptids, that really spooked me.  But I loved it.  I collected a lot of the strange-but-true type books when I was a kid, but seeing the Patterson-Gimlin film on television and watching The Legend of Boggy Creek got me totally hooked.  I’ve had an interest in cryptozoology, and especially bigfoot, ever since.

This book is available by clicking the link below

Your book, The Beast of Boggy Creek, is one in a long line of books and movies about this legendary creature. What does your book feature that is absent in other related media?

There’s never been a book that covers the complete history of the Fouke Monster and the making of the movie, so it’s the first in that sense and one reason I wanted to write it.  Other bigfoot books have covered a few of the sightings, and Smokey Crabtree’s memoirs offer his point of view, but that’s quite different than having the full story all in one place.  My book offers quite a lot that will be new information to cryptozoology buffs and horror fans alike.  Unless you have access to all of the old Texarkana Gazette newspapers, you probably have no idea of the number of reports and the crazy stuff that went on back in the 1970s.  Let alone all the amazing sightings since then and all of the old word-of-mouth stories I dug up going back as far as 1908.  I also worked with the Pierce family in order to cover the movie-making process.  And there’s a lot of details about my own personal experiences, such as my trips into the swamps out there, and personally seeing some strange things such as the skeletal remains of a very large animal - found back in 1991 - that some people have claimed to be remains of a Fouke creature.  So even if someone thinks they know all there is to know about the Fouke Monster, I guarantee they haven’t ever heard the full story.  Just parts and pieces – like myself – before I really started going up there and researching for the last few years.

Having Loren Coleman on board (he penned the Foreword) gives you instant credibility. How were you able to get him involved?

I spent some time with Loren when I visited his International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine a couple of years ago.  I’ve also contributed to Loren and Craig Woolheater’s Cryptomundo website, so I’ve know Loren for awhile.  I knew he was very influenced by The Legend of Boggy Creek movie, so I thought it would be appropriate if he could write the foreword.  He liked the idea, so he agreed to do it.

What personality traits does the Fouke Monster possess which make it different from other known Bigfoot-type creatures in North America?

In many ways the creature is similar, but it definitely has some distinct traits in that it seems to be leaner, meaner, and hairier; maybe because of the swampland environment from which it comes.  For example, it’s usually described as being no more than seven feet tall… unlike bigfoot which is sometimes reported to be up to ten feet, and not as bulky.  The Fouke creature’s hair is said to be longer and more unkempt, and in many cases, witnesses report a foul odor, which is more along the lines of skunk ape reports.

What, in your opinion, makes Bigfoot so elusive to humans?

The creatures are obviously experts at survive and evade techniques.  If I were them, I would avoid humans too!

Have you had any personal encounters?

I haven’t had any encounters myself, but I’ve listened to so many unexplainable stories from friends and other credible people, I have to keep it open for possibility. On one hand I’m just naturally attracted to these sort of real life mysteries, but on the other hand, I do believe that something might just exist out there that we haven’t accounted for.


Pertinent Links:

Lyle Blackburn's Website, Monstro Bizzaro

Horror Website Rue Morgue

Buy Lyle's Book, Posters and T-Shirts

Lyle's band: Ghoultown

Loren Coleman's

Saturday, March 24, 2012

KISS-Jimmy Kimel Live,Hollywood CA, 3-20-12

   When I was 11 I first heard KISS for the first time in a video game. As soon as I heard "Rock N Roll All Night" I fell in love with the song like most people do all over the world. In The video game that my Grandma got me(Tony Hawks Underground) had a level in which you skate in a KISS concert while the band is playing a song. Gene Simmons was an unlockable player in the game and two of his special skate moves where grinding on rail while breathing fire on his skateboard and the other one grabbing his board with his huge tongue on the half pipe. Besides Gene I loved the whole make up,explosions,and of coarse the music. 8 years later (especially the last 2 since I really got into Heavy Metal giving Punk Rock a break) I was super excited to find out they where do a mini show at Jimmy Kimmel  for free. Tho it would only 4 songs,seeing them upfront close and personal with out paying a body part,it something to take advantage of right away.

   After driving there(guess who got there license?) paid $2 parking,and got in a huge line,I finally got in. Unlike the times I saw Slayer,Ozzy,and Rammstein there,The line this time was huge. While the risk of getting in seemed at risk,I got in. The TV was on the side while Jimmy Kimmel was interviewing people. Some actress Ive never heard of and my favorite rapper Ice Cube,who said was a KISS fan. Finally Kiss hit the stage. The 11 year old me couldn't stop clapping and cheering them. Tho original members  Peter Criss and Ace Frehley(my favorite member) arn't in the band anymore,seeing Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley that close up got me excited. Jimmy introduced them,then guitar player Tommy Thayer started the riff to Detroit Rock City and I started jumping and singing along. Me and the some of the crowd(lot of old boring farts there) started jumping and singing and dancing. Gene was there sticking his tongue out while Paul kept pointing at people. Drummer Eric Singer kept playing loud. After that was over Jimmy asked the band about the upcoming tour with Motley Crue(LAME!!) and asked them a few questions. They came back to stage and did Calling Dr. Love for the credits. Again I sang and danced to one of my personal favorite songs. After KISS gave us two special songs that wern't aired on TV, Cold Gin and Shout It Loud. Everyone left freaking happy. If your loaded and have a good job go see em with Motley Crue but go late so you wont be bored out of your freakin mind. Its really hard to choose one KISS CD to start out with so I suggest a Greatest Hits album,I don't usually recommend those but KISS ones are a must for beginners. KISS wasn't lying when they say they're the hottest band in the world.
 Here's the TV airing of the show.
And another
\m/ (-_*) \m/

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Conversation with Mister Zero of The Kings

You might not recognize the name, The Kings, but I would bet that you have heard their music. Their hit, "This Beat Goes On/Switch Into Glide" has been a staple on the FM radio waves, and it is still in heavy rotation today.

Originally, Whistle King, the Kings formed in Vancouver in the late '70s. They played in clubs around Ontario, and in 1980 they entered Nimbus 9 Studio in Toronto where they were paired with legendary producer Bob Ezrin. Ezrin is perhaps most famous for the work he did with Pink Floyd on their The Wall album. It was he who produced The Kings Are Here which featured The Kings hit, "The Beat Goes On/Switch Into Glide". Other than that particular song, The Kings never really experienced much else in the world of radio play. They did, however get to tour with some of the biggest acts of the time period including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Bob Seger. In 1980 they reached the peak of their careers by headlining the major Heatwave Festival held that year in Bowmanville, Ontario. Earlier in that same year they were guests on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

The original lineup of The Kings was David Diamond (vocals, bass), Mister Zero (guitar), Sonny Keyes (keyboards), and Max Styles (drums). Mister Zero was kind enough to share nostalgia with me concerning his days with The Kings, which continue up to this present day.


Did you get your name from the character in the Batman comic books, that later became known as Mr. Freeze?

The stage name came about when we were in the process of changing our direction from what was hippie/prog rockers to more straight rock with a 'New Wave' marketing influence. We were always rocking out, but decided we might have more success by jumping on the post punk bandwagon. We couldn't really be punk because we were too skilled as players, so we started working on shorter 'hit' type songs, and saw that bands like U2 had funny names so we went there too. We all contributed to each other's monikers and when my turn came I got the 'Zero' handle due to my negative attitude towards certain things. I didn't feel like it was accurate, but one thing is for sure, it wasn't meant as a compliment.

Please tell me about the Kings, before the band was actually called the Kings.

Our original name was 'WhistleKing'. We got our start when I first met Sonny Keyes in Vancouver and started writing songs. We realized we needed a band to go further, and I knew Dave and Max from high school back in our home town near Toronto. I had played with Max and Max had played with Dave. They were both out playing the pro bar circuit around Ontario but were not doing much original music. Older than me, I was kinda this upstart kid, but I managed to convince them to give us a try and that is when we all started to pitch ideas and we realized that Dave was a genius songwriter himself as well as an awesome singer, so that was how it began. We then tried getting gigs but realized we would have to do covers and so we did that, but the most we ever did was 50/50 covers to originals, we wanted to focus on our stuff. I remember seeing bands that would do some hits and then this shitty song, after which they would announce, 'and that was an original..',that never happened with us. We couldn't or wouldn't learn cover songs note by note, we always did them our way, and put our stamp on them.I am going to release an album next year of us live in a bar back in the day, it is quite revealing.

The Kings. Mister Zero at far left.
Who were your guitar influences as a young musician, and as a child, who did you see yourself emulating as an adult?

As a guitar player, I didn't really latch on to any one player when I started playing, but as time went on I did listen to the English guys, Clapton with Cream, Pete Townshend, Paul Kossoff, Steve Howe etc. Oddly enough, I wasn't that into Led Zeppelin, but I am now and consider them the ultimate rock band in terms of creativity and ability. The 3 players are all outstanding. Don't get me wrong, the Beatles are still the top of the heap, but the Stones and Zep are the other two peaks in that mountain range. I have always loved bands that had hits, and so among my faves are the Bee Gees, Beach Boys, Queen, Eagles, Doors, and even Chicago. All song bands with great singing. Loved Free, Yes, Tull, Genesis, Procul Harum, lots of prog rock.

Do you remember the very first album you bought?

Can't really remember the first album I bought, but my older brother was in a band and I used to watch them practice, and I thought it was pretty cool. I do remember thinking song writing was the key, more than playing ability.

Lots of guys could really play, but could they write? Nope. I used to hear some great guitar on AM radio in my Dad's car, two of the most killer tracks were Zep's 'Whole Lotta Love', the cut down version with that killer solo intact, and 'Mississippi Queen', by Mountain, you cannot to this day beat those two songs for guitar tone and attitude. As a kid, they were huge. Did get to see Mountain, never saw Zep. Started going to concerts a month after I turned 14 years old, was lucky enough to see a lot of the classic bands in their heyday. Kids nowadays have no idea of how great it was back then, this money based corporate music biz is bullshit. Unlike today, you couldn't buy alcohol at shows but it seemed that everyone was passing joints around. Didn't get into that at 14. But later, yeah.

With the Kings, what was life on tour like?

I don't think we toured as much as a lot of other bands, but we have done our share. It could be a grind, and I'm not sure we realized how fortunate we were to be with a major label in the US with a song climbing the Billboard Chart. It was all a logical progression to us. Work hard and get good, write some hits, and always kick ass. I'm not sure we had the killer instinct needed to stay on that ride, coming up with the amount of quality material is very difficult. But as far as gigs go, we were already pretty seasoned when our chance came to play bigger shows.

Mister Zero
(Nine Live photography)

"This Beat Goes On/Switch Into Glide is basically two songs combined into one... Was it written that way?

'This Beat Goes On' and 'Switchin' to Glide' were written around the same time, and were combined pretty early on. It just made sense, we had no fear of anything creative, so why not combine two tunes into one long one? The original version is what caught the ear of our producer Bob 'Pink Floyd' Ezrin, and he encouraged us to work on it and fix it so that it was even more commercial and we did that. We have recently put out that original version, and our dvd 'Anatomy of a One-Hit Wonder' describes in detail how it all happened.

What was it like working with Bob Ezrin? Here you were, basically amateur musicians playing for the kick of it, and then suddenly you get stuck in the studio with the wizard from Pink Floyd's The Wall album. How did that all go down, and was it a smooth ride?

The reason we got to work with Bob Ezrin is because we weren't amateur musicians. We had written, rehearsed and gigged for years, and had hundreds of shows of all kinds under our belts. When opportunity knocked, we were absolutely ready, through hard work. Bob could see that. But he also saw how raw we were and how much guidance we needed. It was a joy going through the process with him and we absorbed it like a sponge.

As far as support goes, is there any difference between the Canadian rock fans and the American rock fans?

We have always loved playing in the US. And that is where we want to be. Canada is just too spread out, it makes for a very tough road. The fans are pretty much the same, although playing New York City is a breeze compared to some of the tough joints we used to play. One of the biggest compliments we get is when people say 'I never thought you guys were Canadian...', that means a lot to us. Its like we're legit.

How were you picked to be on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and what was it like to play on national TV?

We performed on American Bandstand through the promo dept. of Elektra Records and our manager. It was one of the biggest thrills we ever had. Mr Clark was a pro, but an absolute gentleman. He made us feel welcome and wanted. He sat in makeup with us and asked a few questions that he later used on the interview segment on the show. It was fun doing it because all the bands lip-synced and therefore there is no pressure to play right notes or sing on key, you can just go for it. We were on with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds in Rockpile and we blew them off the stage. In my humble opinion of course.

What are your general feelings about the music that is being produced today?

I doubt very much that any band from today will ever match the creative achievements of what has gone before. It all seems to be hype. Yes, I hear the hype and then check out the band or whatever, and mostly it falls short. Its more about fame than music. I think people still want rock music, but the corporations are doing their best to kill it. Country is sort of where classic rock went, but it is a watered down version of the real thing. A buddy of mine owns an indie record store which sells vinyl and cds and kids are still buying Beatles, Zep and Floyd. Why wouldn't they? The cream will always rise to the top and those bands set a standard that is pretty much untouchable. But you know something? Of all the great shows and concerts I ever saw, you know what the best one was, by far? Frank Sinatra. Hands down.

What are the Kings doing today... Anything?

Today The Kings are still at it, too dumb to quit is how I put it. We get a lot of positive feedback from the fans who can now find us through youtube, where we have a bunch of stuff available for viewing. The video I made for 'Beat/Switchin'', is incredible, I think, and we are so glad we never made one back in the old days because everything from then basically sucks. Our video shows us as we'd like to be thought of, as a band onstage kicking ass. We still write and record and perform as often as possible. And we still deliver the goods. There is no point in lamenting the negative side of the music business, we try and be thankful that millions of people know and love a piece of music that we created that has and will stand the test of time long into the future. How many people get to do that?


Pertinent Links:

The Kings Official Page

The Kings Facebook Page

You can purchase the DVD Anatomy of a One Hit Wonder at each of these sites.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Andrew W.K.-The Glasshouse-Pomona CA- 3/10/12

     I won tickets to see Andrew W.K. If you don't know who he is,chances are you've seen him on TV somehow. You may recognize him from VH1 interviews,his 2000's music video for Party Hard,or someone young may know him from Cartoon Network show Destroy,Build,Destroy. Its really hard to classify him into a genre. Hard Rock/Alternative/Metal/sometimes Punk pops out. Point is,He makes fun music. Nothing too aggressive. Just music you'd play if you threw a party with teenagers and alcohol. This tour was special because he was going to preform his first album, I Get Wet, in it entirety.
      I missed the first band,but I saw their touring opener Math The Band. This 2 piece is also very hard to describe. They guitar player singer,and the female keyboard player(and other stuff?) also sings. They mix electro music,rock,and hell i don't know. Rock N Roll with Nintendo video games soundtrack. Very fun and a perfect opener for Andrew WK(who they are highly influenced from). I gotta check their stuff out.

   Andrew was up next. I wasn't used to the this type of audience before. Majority of em where women and the dudes that where there were dressed pretty normal. Your typical AWK fan from what I can tell already had something to drink,goes around hi five-ing everyone,is in a super good mood,and is trying to crowed surf before any music is even playing. I got my way to the front. He started with Its Time To Party and the whole audience began to dance(not mosh) and sing a long. His hit from the millennium "Party Hard" began and I was singing a long with everyone else. During the whole set random fans would jump on stage and dance with Andrew WK. He would talk to some of them while on stage. Some dude said he drove from Iowa just to party with him,another kid gave him his fury coat,and he he sang "She Is Beautiful" to a random girl on stage. With people dancing everywhere it was truly something i haven't experienced before. After he finished the album he did an encour with 5 songs. I tried to crowed surf to "We Want Fun" but no luck. It was truly a fun show. I talked to the guitar player after the show. Really cool dude. Go see him live if you have the chance. And get I Get Wet,you wont regret it. Party Hard!
  1. Encore:
  2. Encore 2:
  3. We Want Fun

Deafheaven-The Smell,Los Angeles, 3/9/12

   In June after I saw Deafheaven I fell in love with the band. Seeing them live was so amazing I had to again. I ended up taking the bus by myself. I had to be in the front singing a long this time. I went,and luckily there was no line(that place is always crowded I didn't get in last time). Got in,was surrounded by hipsters,and waited. I was excited as fuck.

      First band was a Post-Rock band named Marriages. They have members of Red Sparrow and there was a bunch of people there to see em. Female fronted and loud. Not my thing. But they had a fan base.
   Up next was another Female fronted band,Whirr(formally known as Whirl) This band had a lot of fans as well. They played Shoegaze music and had Deafheaven member Nick Basset who plays guitar. Once again I couldn't get into it much. They had their moments but I wasn't a fan. I later complemented the bass players T Shirt. It had Kane the wrestler on it.

       Like the last Deafheaven show, One of my favorite Grindviolence bands opened again. DNF(Duke Nukem Forever with members of Trash Talk and Touche Amore) have been playing again(they hardly did before) and have changed their sound a tad bit. There is a Sludge/Hardcore vibe in them now,but still a badass band. The singer looked pissed as he was on stage. He screamed and a pit finally broke out. Last time I didn't enjoy them due to their microphone being busted,but I realized they don't really need one. He was pissed and loud. I was upfront for this band enjoying their set. They finished. After the show I told em I loved their set and thanked me. Much more fun than the last time I saw em. Go catch em live. I found a flyer for an add for their new HURT 7' that should be out March 20th. Til then get their old stuff here. DNF Discography.

      Finally I get to see Black Metal/Shoegaze/Post Rock or has haters call em "Hipster Black Metal" Deafheaven once again. Like I said last time they aren't your typical BM band. Don't expect corpse paint,satanic lyrics or upside down crosses. These guys are unique. Instead of dressing like Immortal they actually look like Joy Division. It finally got crowded(the hipsters left for a bit when DNF was on). They went on stage. While trying to set up a drunk fan(who may have known them) was yelling stuff at the guitar player for wearing a Hate Forrest shirt(a National Socialist Black Metal band. In other words... a Nazi band). The guitar player was just laughing it off  since the band has already gotten shit for that shirt before when they had toured the U.K. I assure you him or the other members are NOT raciest at all. After being a called a Nazi,singer George finally hit the stage and the lights turned off. With the long intro of Violet the singer held onto his mic stand(reminded me a lot of Ian Curtis) while rubbing his hands all over him self to get into the evil zone. He started to scream his ass off,as did I. The energy in the room was amazing as people where just yelling nonsense to him. I had my hand up screaming most of the time. He grabbed my hand in some point and we screamed nonsense at each other(Not gay at all). During Language Games I head banged my ass off and and I got the mic for a few seconds. George then flew on to the crowed and and we threw him back stage. He continued to sing his beautiful evil music while shouting at peoples faces. George once again threw himself to the crowed and we carried him for a minute. He got back and finished his set. After the show I told him how much I loved the show,the album,and the band. He thanked me and asked if i was the person upfront. He said he only see flashes with all the cameras. I got a free poster and waited for my ride. Deafheaven is truly a phenomenal band to see live. They only played 4 songs(each songs is 10 minutes, I usually listen to 40 second songs.).I loved it so much. If they come near you,you MUST see them. And you MUST listen to their album Roads To Judah(#3 album of 2011 according to me)and the Demo.. Amazing just amazing.
Language games
Exit Denied

OFF!-Random Warehouse-Downtown LA- 2/4/12

  Once again I see every ones new favorite Punk band,OFF! which of course has members Keith Morris(Black Flag/Circle Jerks),Dimitri Coats(Burning Brides),Steven McDonald(Redd Kross,etc),and Mario Rubacalva(Rocket From The Crypt,Hot Snakes,Etc.). When the band first debuted in 2010 they immediately got recognition and love from fans all over. They released a CD that had and was called "First Four Eps" which was really good. OFF! is once again in the studio and ready to release their first full length self titled.

    They day before OFF! had announced on Face Book they needed extras for a music video shoot in some warehouse in LA. My friend told me to go and we did. Tho 700 people "Liked" the post,only around 20 showed up. And I'm glad cause that warehouse was crammed full of random junk and we fit perfectly. The bands gear was set up in the middle of a skate ramp. The director told us just to go crazy,in other words just to mosh as if it was a regular show. Keith thanked all of us for being there and right away played a new song. We all went nuts moshing in circles. There was some old songs that we snag along too. At one point the director even laid down in the middle of the pit to shoot us dancing. After 10 songs it was over. They all thanked us again and gave us free water bottles. I was in the pit most of the time so I left freaking tired. When the video gets released ill post it here. OFF!'s new album comes out May 8th. Its gonna rule. Trust me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bob Patton: Slashing Funds in Iowa Education

Drawn exclusively for the Bigfoot Diaries by Bob Patton
(Click to enlarge)

Meet Cartoonist Bob Patton

The Bigfoot Diaries is excited to welcome the newest addition to our staff, Cartoonist Bob Patton. He is a former political cartoonist for the Iowa City Press Citizen, and by the graces of sheer luck (His girlfriend is CVEckian's sister), he has agreed to join our staff. Feel free to contact him for all of your cartoon needs, and/or personalized greeting cards, charicatures, etc. His business card is on the sidebar.

Meanwhile you can get to know him from watching this interview he did with Yale Cohn:


Pertinent links:

Bob Patton's Official Website

Bob Patton's Facebook page

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Bigfoot Diaries Interview with Rudi Protrudi

Back in the day my buddy, Brian Patterson and I would always do these road trips to Des Moines or Iowa City checking out dusty old book stores and second hand record shops. We were probably what you would consider classic rock guys and we were into some heavy metal. (This was back just before, or maybe right about the time when all those pussy primadonnas were coming to the forefront.) The only thing I really knew of punk rock was the Ramones and the Sex Pistols which I liked fine but it didn't go much deeper than that. Brian and I would always scour things like Rolling Stone and Spin magazine to catch some kind of minimal mention of something off the beaten track that might spark our ever growing mania in all things connected to the Big Beat.

So on one fatefull day in one of those record shops I happened upon the record Lysergic Emanations by The Fuzztones. Upon immediate sight and grabbed the thing in my hands. The cover art (done by Rudi) was like something out of a lost EC horror comic. The band depicted as zombies rising out of a haunted swamp. Yeah man, this record was mine. The title was perfect, because I tell ya I could feel my stomach tighten as I took it up to the cash register. Colors were starting to become more vivid and I thought that I could faintly hear the pounding of jungle drums off in the distance. Was this a record or some kind of voodoo talisman I had here? Needless to say I got home went immediatly to the turn table and played the thing.

I've been hooked on The Fuzztones ever since.

The Fuzztones are really the first band that led me down the path of 60's punks. It was because of Rudi and The Fuzztones that I started to delve into bands like The Seeds, The 13th Floor Elevators, etc. It was because of them that I was exposed to the mad brilliance of Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

The Fuzztones celebrate real rock 'n' roll... Ya know, dirty, wild, and savage. Their sound is a hedonistic Bacchanal with biker barbarians who also just happen to be werewolves. They sound like the second coming of The Count V and The Standells filtered through a Vault Of Horror comic book.

Rudi Protrudi, the driving force behind The Fuzztones and their caveman clang, was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us, so lets get it going.

The Fuzztones have changed base of operations a few times. From New York City to L.A. and now to Germany. Do you find Europe to currently have a better environment for the kind of primal beat garage that you play?

You bet. American music, especially roots music of any sort, has always been appreciated in Europe more than in the States. Hendrix actually had to go to England to get noticed, for instance. Blues music was ignored in the States until the Stones and the Animals rediscovered it and introduced it to American teenagers. When it comes to music, Americans are complacent and lazy. They want their music spoon fed to them. They tend to not support their own, especially underground artists. We've always been treated with way more respect in Europe, so it made sense to move here.

"...Biker barbarians who also just happen to be werewolves"
Is the current line up of the band still the same as on the "Preaching To The Perverted" album?

Keko, the drummer on the album, plays local gigs with us, and Rob Louwers, who's been with us for several years, plays the tours. Lenny, the guitarist on the last two albums, has moved on - he has his own band now. Lana is still the organist, and Fez Wrecker is still the bassist. Vince Dante has been touring on and off with us for the last 8 years, and is the current guitarist. And then there's me, of course.
How did The Fuzztones come about working with the late great Screamin' Jay Hawkins?

I was walking around the Lower East Side (Greenwich Village, NYC) one night in '84, and saw a black and white xeroxed handbill tacked onto a telephone pole. It was advertising Screamin' Jay playing at a little rib joint up the block. I couldn't believe that he would play a place like that, so I had to go just to see if it was true. He was sitting at a piano, alone, no band, dressed in a suit and tie, and playing old R&B standards. Not even his own stuff. The audience was about 30 yuppies, sitting around eating ribs and drinking beer. They didn't even know who he was, and weren't even paying attention to him. The old guy who ran the place kept coming up to Jay, in mid-song, telling him what to play, what not to play, or to make announcements, like "there's a special on draft beer for the next five minutes," shit like that. Horrible. I approached him during the breaks, and got to know him over the course of his three night stand there. He was obviously down on his luck at the time and I wanted to help him out, so I hooked him up with Midnight Records, the label we were on.

What was it like working with a legend like that?

Jay was apprehensive at first. He was quite honest. He told me he didn't like white people. But I won him over, and we became good friends. In '97, after the Lysergic Emanations line-up had our reunion at Cavestomp, an Italian label was interested in releasing the record we did with Jay. I contacted him and suggested we do a tour together, he and the Lysergic line-up. We were in the process of working out the details when he died. His last words to me, by the way, were, "Rudi, I ain't gonna die."

The legendary Screamin' Jay Hawkins. He passed away in 2000.

I have been a fan of your artwork as well as your music. It has a cool hallucinagenic pre-code comic style. What have you been doing lately in that regard? Will we ever see a Fuzztones comic book?

Thanks for the compliment. I've always done art on the side. I just did an album cover for the Raymen's newest, Sinister Funtime. I designed a tattoo for someone last month. I've often thought about doing a comic book. I loved EC pre-comics code stuff, so if I ever did, those comics would be a big influence on mine.

I heard a while ago that you had been in a couple of movies. Do you enjoy making films?

There were some fun moments but there's a helluva alot of standing around. But the pay is good. I did some extra work in a few films you might've heard of: The Doors, a cult film called Liquid Sky, a few German films whose names I no longer recall - one was about Ushi Obermaier. Oh yeah, and a made-for-TV flick starring Bruce Willis as a blues harp playing rock star. With the exception of one of the German films, I believe all my scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. I was interviewed for the documentary on the Monks, but because I had a falling out with the director, I demanded he remove my bit. You can still see it on YouTube but it's no longer in the film. My contributions to the Screamin' Jay Hawkins documentary, "I Put A Spell On Me," remain intact though.

One movie in particular sounded pretty interesting, "Night Tour". Will that ever be released?

I hope not. I played the lead role, a vampire named Snake. We did alot of filming in the California desert at night in the winter. Not really what I'd call a good time. The film might've had a chance as a cult film but the director didn't want to put any T n' A in it. His budget was too low to try to make art so he shoulda just went for Sex and Gore.
You did some acoustic shows a couple of years ago in Berlin. Have you done more or do you plan to?

I still do solo shows every so often, usually around Berlin. I was going by Rudi Protrudi Unfuzzed. It started as a trio - me on acoustic guitar, backed by a stand up bassist and a drummer - on just snare with brushes. Since then we've added a blues harp player and a pianist. We do acoustic country delta and swamp blues and play a few times a month at various smaller venues in Berlin.

You've been writing your memoirs. That's a book I'm really going to want to read. Is it finished?

I wish! I've been working on it on and of for ten years now. It's getting close to being done. If I could stay away from touring for awhile and just work on writing, I might be able to finish it before the End of The World (Dec. 21, 2012, for anyone who's keeping track).

This Rudi never played for Notre Dame
Talk a little about the "Snake Oil" record. Will it get released in the States?

Well, Snake Oil is a two CD set intended to be a follow-up to Creatures That Time Forgot, the rarities album that we put out 21 years ago. I've compiled something like 34 tracks, most of which were either never released, or were only on a rare comp or b-side of a single. And a few alternate takes of songs released previously. We've incorporated loads of soundbites between songs - lots of rare interview stuff, with guest appearances by Little Steven, Martha Quinn and John Peel. There's a very funny snippet of Question Mark raving about The Fuzztones to an absolutely clueless DJ. Some great and very rare live stuff, including Ian Astbury singing Kick Out The Jams, backed by The Fuzztones, and a studio recording of Sean Bonniwell (Music Machine) and I doing a duet on the Music Machine classic, "The People In Me." There are even two live tracks by the ORIGINAL line-up of the Fuzztones which pre-dates the Lysergic Emanations line-up that most people mistakenly assume was the original line-up. It's a very entertaining collection. Whether it will be available in the States, I do not know yet. It will be out on an Israeli label called Third Ear. That's all I know for now.

Since you've been residing in Germany what's the wildest thing you've seen?

Believe it or not, I haven't seen much that I would consider "wild" here. A lot of gays and drag queens, but nothing I haven't seen all the time in New York. Personally, I think Berlin is kind of conservative.

So what can we expect to look forward to from you and/or The Fuzztones in the near future?

The Fuzztones usually tour a few times a year, all over Europe. I expect we'll continue to do that, as we still have quite a large following. We always vary the set so it doesn't get old. We try to put out at least one album a year. We have a great live album in the can - we recorded it when we did the Fuzztones Gonn primitive tour in 2005 with Craig Moore of Gonn, the 60's garage band that did the original version of "Blackout of Gretely." Stag-O-Lee has been threatening to release a live Link Protrudi and The Jaymen album which will be called Naked Crisco Twister Party. It was recorded in 1996 when I used a Dutch rhythm section who later became Link Wray's rhythm section. It's a brutal record. But best of all, I have a project on the back burner that will blow alot of people's minds. It's an album that I've been working on for about ten years and, for certain reasons, I have had to keep it a secret. I can't say anything more at the moment but I hope to have it out within a year. Maybe around the time my book comes out, if all goes well.

Thanks Rudi.

Well there ya have it, another BigFoot Diaries conversation with legendary cool.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

White Mystery MANIA

Hang on to yer hats gang. White Mystery is probably coming to a neighborhood near you, and even if they aren't; it's well worth the road trip to catch this group at whatever venue that happens to be close. I can say with the utmost assurance that if you go see this band and do not become completely immersed into a full tilt, adrenaline overload, fuzz drenched frenzy, then you're probably dead.

White Mystery on full tilt adrenaline overload
(Photo by Cveckian)
I don't even remember how I came to hear about this band. It was about a month or so ago and I had gotten a hold of their self titled album. I played it and immediately fell in love with the garage rock blast coming out of the speakers. Imagine The Velvet Underground if Mo Tucker had taken over the lead vocal chores, and Russell Quan (The Mummies) was sitting in on drums while simultaneously having a skin bashing battle with a neanderthal. It is that primal.

This drummer, Francis Scott Key White could make Scott Asheton cry. And Alex White's fuzz crunch guitar riffs had me thinking I was lost in 1966.

This past weekend I was able to catch the band in Iowa City at the legendary Gabe's. As I first met the sibling duo, I was struck by their soft spoken demeanor. Alex White posseses a girl next door cuteness, disarming charm, and easy likability; and Francis is the living definition of laid back coolness. But when they get behind their instruments they unleash a sonic tidal wave.

Their sound and energy has the intensity of a military assault laying all the posers to waste, while channeling the MC5 from the Grande Ballroom days, and mixing it with the twist and stomp of The Cramps. Alex's chuncking, buzz saw guitar riffage makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning. And as for the drums, I've seen guys with real elaborate kits that do not even come close to laying down the primal thud like Francis. Truly devastating rock n' roll.

Alex And Francis were kind and gracious enough to sit down for some quick questions before the show:

So you guys were born and raised in Chicago?

Alex: Yes

Alex White (Photo by CVEckian)
What music did you grow up listening to?

Alex: The Rolling Stones and the Who.

Francis: Devo

When did you guys start playing together as White Mystery?

Alex: April 20th, 2008.

What was the motivation behind you forming the band together?

Alex: We found an Airheads candy wrapper that said White Mystery out of control, and we knew that we were destined to fulfill that prophecy.

When was it that you decided that this is what you wanted to do, play in a band?

Alex: Did you look at our Wikipedia page before this?

I think I kinda wish I had, but no.

Alex: Well we've been playing together since we were little children. We're brother and sister. It's what we do, so it's been a lifelong musical partnership.

(To Francis) That your take as well?

Francis: Yep.

Who is your biggest influence on guitar?

Alex: Poison Ivy from The Cramps.

And for you on drums?

Francis: Bill Ward from Black Sabbath.

Dynamite comes in small packages.
(Photo by CVEckian)

I love your guitar sound. What kind of distortion do you use?

Alex: Big Muff Pi through an Orange amp. (The guitar she plays is a Rickenbacker 330 Fireglo.)

What do you guys think about the state of underground music in Chicago, or actually the Midwest as a whole?

Alex: We're really lucky to be surrounded by a lot of really amazing DIY rock 'n ' roll bands, especially out of Chicago/Milwaukee. This is our third time in a year coming to Iowa City and there's a great scene here, we love it.

Francis: Yeah, we go to the same shows and enjoy the same bands, have a lotta the same friends, so there's a lotta very good, healthy competition among bands in the surrounding areas.

So this tour is the biggest one that you've done so far?

Francis: Yeah, it'll be two months.

Alex: 70 shows in 2 months starting tonight in Iowa City.

Where do you go next?

Alex: ( At this point Alex listed every one of the shows on their current tour from memory. All but the last one which Francis helped her out on. Go here for a list of the tour and be impressed by this girl's mind.)

Ok, so any new records on the way?

Alex: We put a new record out every 4/20, it's our band anniversary and when put out our records, and so this year we have a record coming out that just debuted on...our new song just came out on MTV today. So if you go to MTV you'll get a taste of the new record out on 4/20. We have a circus that we organized in New York on April 20th, there will be trapeze artists, ventriloquists, and rock n' roll bands.

Wow. Sounds like fun. I should try to go. Ok. Last question. How would you classify the music you play?

Alex: Heavy trash rock n roll.

Francis: Ditto (laughing).

Alex: Please visit our website at

Anything else you would like to say?

Alex: Check out our music videos, we love doing music videos. We have a lot of them. We have a "Birthday" video that was a top 5 video at MTV. It's a pleasure to be here and we appreciate you taking an interest in us.

Francis: R-O-C-K in the USA!

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, it was a real pleasure.

Ok. So now you really don't have any excuses. They're cool, they're smart, and they kick ass. You miss this and your missing out on a lot. So check out White Mystery and form a new obsession. It's worth it.