Tag Archive | Korn

Van Halen at Madison Square Garden: The Set List

David Lee Roth, Alex and Eddie Van Halen at MSG
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Sometimes, life will surprise you. Van Halen is currently on an extensive US tour with original and wildly iconic front man David Lee Roth back on vocals and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on Bass. As an aside, I’ve attended maybe half a dozen David Lee Roth solo shows in the past decade – thanks to a friend of mine having been employed as DLR’s long-time drummer prior to him joining Korn. Dave was always in top form: leaping in the air and roundhouse kicking invisible foes all while hitting those illusive high notes, including the signature, primal yelps he practically trademarked. Because of Roth’s self-evident skill, I easily convinced myself that seeing the DLR Band cover Van Halen songs was essentially the same as seeing Van Halen live. Yes, I just typed that.

Fast forward a couple of years. When I got tickets to the first of Van Halen’s two sold-out shows at NYC’s Madison Square Garden, I seriously wasn’t expecting much. Certainly, I was not considering the possibility of there being any real “wow” factor involved, as I am rock and roll curmudgeon who basically thinks sentimentality is for shit when it comes to a legendary band reuniting with “most of its original members” and blah blah blah. Plus, did you read any of Sammy Hagar’s Heavy-on-the-Eddie-Van-Halen-bashing biography? Yeesh, what hot mess he makes Eddie out to be. And yet, I agreed to get on board for the show, along with a couple of friends, if only for nostalgia’s sake and the promise of an excuse to leave my house on a weeknight. Plus, maybe they would do “Everybody Wants Some,” and that song is just insane.

Well, last night I had a true Come to Jesus moment when Van Halen took the stage for a nearly 2 hour aural assault and reminded me why they are the legends that they are, and why DLR is phoning it in without his on again off again band mates. Because without Eddie Van Halen’s incomparble guitar chops, without Alex the drummer god pounding out the heavy metal thunder and – most importantly – without the Van Halen family’s backing vocals and distinctive harmonies, Roth can’t possibly do a Van Halen song justice. Jesus god, what a great show.

If you weren’t inside Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, this is what you missed.

You Really Got Me
Running with the Devil
She’s The Woman
Romeo Delight
Tattoo
Everybody Wants Some (!!)
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
China Town
Hear About It Later
Oh, Pretty Woman
Drum Solo
Unchained
The Trouble With Never
Dance The Night Away
I’ll Wait
Hot For Teacher
Women in Love
Girls Gone Bad
Beautiful Girls
Ice Cream Man
Panama
Eruption (Guitar Solo)
Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love
Jump

Van Halen Tour Dates for 2012 are available at This Link. Get tickets while you can!

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Fix: The Ministry Movie


“Just One Fix…”

I don’t imagine that many individuals would disagree with a statement made by Ministry front man Al Jourgensen close to the beginning of Fix – a profoundly gritty and utterly compelling documentary of which he is the primary focus – that the best job to have is one where you’re paid to be yourself. Possibly the single most influential musician of the Industrial music genre and an undeniably notorious and outspoken character, Jourgensen has never “posed” nor compromised for the sake of his art. In fact, he’s pretty much always earned a pay check for the talents involved in just being Al Jourgensen. Fifteen years ago, while Ministry was touring the world in support of the Filth Pig album, Al was a relentless junkie who was equal parts devil and messiah to everyone who entered his orbit. Someone on that tour bus was a filmmaker with a camera. Fix: The Ministry Movie is the resultant documentation of the full immersion into Al’s world of someone who was, essentially, just along for the ride. Most of the journey isn’t very pretty.

Directed by Douglas Freel (an award-winning music video director now working in feature length films) Fix is a straightforward, unapologetically graphic and unflinchingly brutal look into the behind the scenes minutia of Ministry’s 1996 Sphinctour. Adding depth and amazing color to what would have been outstanding subject matter even if simply left as a tour documentary (see Sphinctour 2002) are extensive “Talking Head” interviews with musical luminaries and Jourgensen devotees such as Trent Reznor, Ogre of Skinny Puppy, Dave Navarro, Maynard James Keenan, the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, Jonathan Davis of Korn and Jesus Lizard front man David Yow (who is also extensively fully naked in the film. You have been warned). These heavy hitters – many of them former addicts and alcoholics themselves – not only freely praise Al’s creative genius and often beguiling personality but also closely examine his addiction as being almost expected given his chosen work environment. As both insiders and critics, they universally offer wide-eyed wonder that Al could abuse himself to such an extreme degree and not be six feet under. Ultimately, Fix explores how far beyond sanity it is possible to go under the right circumstances and still manage to come back alive.

Also invited to shine a light on the claustrophobic inner workings of the band is Al’s long time creative partner Paul Barker, as well as then-Ministry touring members Duane Buford, Zlatko Hukic, Louis Svitek and, in what I would call one of the films “significant supporting roles,” drummer Rey Washam. Washam, an amazing drummer and obviously a very smart guy, openly discusses how the pressure of being a part of the Ministry machine drove him to heroin addiction. His occasional voice over narrations and on-screen time provide some of the best moments in the film. Other highlights include Reznor’s comment that it was so refreshing to hear a band doing something that couldn’t be directly linked to the influence of “The Beatles or Black Sabbath” and Dave Navarro’s hilarious confession that, while he and fellow Jane’s Addiction members Perry Farrel and Eric Avery were certainly full on Junkies during a shared tour bill with Ministry, at least they weren’t “as bad as Al.” Various record label executives from Ministry’s tenure on the Warner Bros label also chime in with insightful and deeply candid personal accounts of what it was like working with Ministry and Al. One gentleman remembers that it was never possible to have an appointment to hear samples of Ministry’s progress in the studio on one day “and make it to work the next day.”

Seeing Ministry live is comparable to being on a battle field, and that’s the closest I ever want to get to going to war. I’m a fan, but if you’re not familiar with their music, let’s just say that it makes Nine Inch Nails (generally considered by the mainstream to be a rather challenging listen) sound like Ace of Base by comparison. While there are many concert clips in Fix, the music really takes a back seat here, as fairly often there is less than a minute of music featured in each of over a dozen or so songs. That it seems like much more is testament to the music’s immense, battering-ram-to-the face emotional impact. Last but not least, every second of the video footage is pristine High Def quality and scattered shots of the tour bus travelling through a gorgeous open dessert landscape or along the shore of some unnamed locale stands in sharp contrast to multiple scenes of Al tying off and looking for  “a good vein” so he can fix while telling the camera that what he’s doing isn’t any worse than getting drunk. Freel also switches back and forth between color and black & white stock, to great artistic effect. You can’t miss this film.

Unrated for adult content that includes sex, nudity, adult language and blatant drug use, Fix is definitely not for children (say 15 and over is a safe guideline). Visit Fix The Ministry Movie Dot Com for more information on Fix and to find a screening in your area.

The Worley Gig Gives Fix Five out of Five Stars.

Watch The Trailer After the Jump!

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Unexpected Hotness: Munky from Korn

Munky: I Would Do It

No one who really knows me would ever accidentally accuse me of being a fan of the band Korn. Being a happy and well-adjusted person who does not really enjoy listening to a lot of screaming (exception: anything by Ministry), their music is not really my bag. But my friend Ray Luzier has been Korn’s drummer for about three years, and it’s been at least that long since I’ve seen Ray, since he lives in LA and I live here in NYC. So when Korn’s new record label, the great Roadrunner Records, invited me to attend a listening party for the band’s upcoming CD: Korn III: Remember Who You Are (in stores July 13, 2010), and I heard that not only would Ray be there but that also the catering would be provided by Dos Caminos (such delicious food they have) I decided I could not miss this opportunity to make the scene.

It turned out to be a good call. Ray and I had a nice reunion with ample quality time to catch up before the music started, and the guacamole from Dos Caminos was just as amazing as I remembered it to be, even if there were a few too many jalapenos thrown into the mix. Also, Korn’s new record, well it’s pretty good. I mean, it’s Korn, so there are not really any surprises: it sounds like Korn, all loud and angry and growly and like bombs exploding in your face. Metal! But I also kind of dug it. You can hear real guitars in there and Ray’s drumming is amazing and very different from his days in the David Lee Roth band, that is for sure. How they get his kick drums to sound like cannons going off I just don’t know. But I guess the biggest surprise of the evening, for me, was getting an eyeful of Korn’s guitarist, who is named James Shaffer but who everyone calls Munky. Nicknames! Let me tell you, dreadlocks or no dreadlocks, the dude is fucking hot. We’re talking Chris Cornell-pre-haircut caliber hotness. I wouldn’t want to have to smell his hair, but I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to actually say Hello to Munky, but it’s probably for the best since the only thing I could think of to say to him was “You are so good looking.” And nobody wants to hear that.