Tag Archive | Anvil

Gail’s Top Ten Media Related Things of 2009!

“I Got Yer Top Ten Right Here”

Everybody with a tongue in their mouth keeps asking me when I am going to post my list of Top Ten Favorite CDs of 2009. I am telling you now that this will not be happening; mostly because I only liked 3 or 4 new CDs released in all of 2009, so that is too few to make a list of ten. Obviously. What I will do however is make a list of my Top Ten Favorite Media Related Things of 2009, which will include not only CD(s) but also TV Shows, Art Exhibits, Movies, Books and other stuff. OK, here we go.

Favorite Documentary: Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Anvil: The Story of Anvil was really my favorite movie of 2009. Sue got it for me on DVD for Christmas, because she rules. Anvil!
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Favorite Movie: District 9
District 9 was my favorite movie of the year that was not a documentary. It was really, really good. You should see it.
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Favorite Art Exhibit: Tim Burton Art Retrospective at MOMA I just blogged about this show a week or so ago, because it was so mind-blowing. If you live in the tri-State area and miss this exhibit you are an idiot.
Related Worleygig.com Blog Post Here

Favorite Live Show: Fiction Plane at the Mercury Lounge
Fiction Plane
is a band I saw perform at the Mercury Lounge sometime last summer. Sting’s son Joe is the lead singer/bass player of this band, but don’t hold that against them, because they are a fucking awesome band. I also interviewed their drummer, Pete Wilhoit, for an upcoming feature in Modern Drummer, and he was really cool.
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Favorite Biographical Book: Fall to Pieces By Mary Forsberg Weiland
I generally remain unmoved when drug addicts write books whining about how their lives turned to shit because of drugs. I did not feel that way about this book.
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Favorite Coffee Table Book: Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock
This terrific scrapbook on Queen, my favorite band of my teenage years, makes me wish I actually owned a coffee table so I could proudly display it in my home for all to see.
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Favorite Non-Reality TV Show: Mad Men
Mad Men is the best TV show ever in the Universe of all time. Period.
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Favorite Reality TV Show: Top Chef
There should be no breaks between seasons of Top Chef, ever.
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Favorite CD: Adam Lambert, For Your Pleasure
Too gay sounding for even Geoffrey – my go-to barometer for all things in the gay spectrum – to handle, it is a testament to how shitty modern music is that this ends up being my favorite CD of the year. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic CD! Adam Lambert! Runners-up for this category include Call from Restricted from ex-Guided By Voices guitarist Doug Gillard, and Smithereen’s drummer Dennis Diken’s Late Music.
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Favorite Broadway Show: Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking
Even better than the book!
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OK, I’m Signing Off on These Lists Until 2011!

Gail In Print: Modern Drummer, October 2009

October_2009_Cover

I’m always surprised by how quickly the end of the month arrives and I find the latest issue of Modern Drummer tucked neatly into my mail box. Like last month, October – graced by Jazz master Jeff “Tain” Watts on the cover – is another great issue where you will find my by-line on three fantastic articles! This month I talk with 311’s Chad Sexton, Vinny Appice of Heaven & Hell / Black Sabbath, and Robb Reiner of Anvil – a metal drumming legend who’s enjoyed such an amazing year with the runaway success of the must-see documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! Out to subscribers this week, be sure to pick up your very own copy when it hits newsstands the first week of September!

Gail and Robbo

Me with Robb Reiner of Anvil

Gail and Geoffrey’s Rad Anvil Experience

gail-and-robbo
It’s Me, With Anvil Drummer Robb Reiner!

Thanks to my eagle eye, which spotted a FaceBook update for the page dedicated to promoting the film Anvil! The Story of Anvil!, I was able to snag two tickets for last night’s “Anvil Experience,” taking place at the East Village Cinema on Second Avenue, about a ten minute walk from the Chickpad. The Anvil Experience is part of the promotional tour for the film, where they show the Anvil movie, and then afterwards Anvil play a live set of about six songs. Then the Anvil guys hang around, schmooze with the fans, rub their sweat all over you, pose for pictures and sign autographs. It’s pretty much of a heavy metal cluster fuck, but a ton of rad fun, nevertheless. Geoffrey and I had a blast despite nearly losing our digits to frostbite due to the EXTREME air-conditioning inside the theater. We also got to meet and get photos of us with Robb and Lips. Oh yeah, and Geoffrey got a picture of himself standing next to Chris Martin from Coldplay, whom he is totally gay for (Note origin of  new buzz phrase: “Take It With Your Hand”). That alone was worth the price of admission. If you haven’t yet seen/experienced Anvil! The Story of Anvil!, you are the only one who hasn’t, so you had better go see it while you can.

gail-and-lips
We Were Throwing Metal and Our Horns Locked! Me with Steve “Lips” Kudlow

Anvil Clip of the Day: The Origins of "Thumb Hang"


In this fun clip from Anvil: The Story of Anvil, Lips and Robb eat Toronto’s best corned beef sandwich and discuss the first song they ever wrote together, “Thumb Hang,” which is about the Spanish Inquisition. Because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Movie Review: Anvil, The Story of Anvil!

anvil movie poster
Robb Reiner and Steve “Lips” Kudlow Star in Anvil: The Story of Anvil

Yesterday, Geoffrey and I celebrated the first day of really nice NYC weather in over six months by sitting in a dark theater, enjoying the fantastic new documentary, Anvil: The Story of Anvil. You may have heard this film being referred to as a “Real Life Spinal Tap,” but I assure you that the story of this Canadian Metal band that grasped for fame only to fall into obscurity is all too true. A few of the metal drummers I’ve interviewed in my career have cited Anvil drummer Robb Reiner as an influence, so I had heard of them, but only by name.

Anvil: The Story of Anvil tells an unintentionally hilarious and truly emotionally-moving music industry tale that I am sure a gazillion other bands can relate to, yet Anvil imbue this film with so much heart, I can’t imagine any other “almost was” metal band creating an experience quite like the one you get in this film. Back in the ‘80s Anvil were poised to be the next big thing; touring Europe with supporting gigs for Iron Maiden and The Scorpions, and inspiring peer-group fans that included members of now legendary bands like Metallica, Anthrax and Guns ‘N’ Roses. But where those bands continued on to achieve great commercial success and global fame, it didn’t quite work out that way for Anvil. What went wrong? This movie untangles that web.

There is no doubt that the music is strong and these guys are great musicians, and certainly they did not lack anything in the passion-for-what-you-do department. Anvil is both an incredible inspiration and a highly entertaining cautionary tale that I absolutely loved every minute of. Definitely add it to your list of films to see in the theaters before it comes out on DVD in a few months.