Metal Day in the NJ 11-11-11

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FoN3S4-JsU?rel=0]
“Barry Manilow you better cover your ears…”

In honor of METAL DAY, here are a few items from around the Internet that help illustrate New Jersey’s prominence as one of the most METAL states in America. Check these out! m/m/

– I found this classic clip from News 4 New York on YouTube that features interviews with employees and shoppers at Rock n Roll Heaven, a legendary music store in Clark, NJ. Reporter Anna Bond asks the folks in the store about the appeal of heavy metal with the underlying spin of metal being “the devil’s music.” The nightly news hasn’t changed much. Thanks to YouTube user playmobilfriends for posting the video!

– Read Newark Metal Music Examiner writer Scott Boutsikaris’ memories of Rock n Roll Heaven record store!

– Back in January 2009, the website Metal Injection did an awesome post on The State of METAL music in New Jersey. Some of the most popular metal bands from the Garden State are discussed in the article including The Dillinger Escape Plan, God Forbid, Monster Magnet, Overkill, and they also included The Misfits for their far reaching influence over rock and metal.

– Also, keep on the lookout for young and relentless NJ metal heads Rapid Fire: http://www.reverbnation.com/rapidxfire

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 86: Overkill’s 25th Anniversary T-Shirt

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photos from Tshirtslayer.com



New Jersey metal band Overkill always offer some of the coolest looking rock t-shirts around. The shirt pictured above was printed up specially for their 25th anniversary show which took place minutes away from their where they originally formed, Sayreville’s Starland Ballroom. I love how they incorporated the Garden State Parkway sign into the tee on the front and the state of NJ on the back. Overkill has never been afraid to admit that they hailed from Jersey and that is awesome. Presently, Overkill is working on new songs for an album slated for release in early 2012.

*One of my favorite songs ever and a theme song I used when I worked in radio is Overkill’s Kick-Ass Cover of “Frankenstein.”

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.23: Gene Simmons Comes to Old Bridge

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I never thought the God of Thunder himself would grace Old Bridge, NJ with his presence. KISS sings about losing their minds in Detroit Rock City, and meeting girls in the Ladies Room, but apart from concerts, the hottest band in the world have not yet had an intimate encounter with the toxic waste capital of the world, until now.

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After catching a glimpse of Gene’s sprawling mansion on A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels, you’d never understand why he would want to leave the place, especially to fly to New Jersey!
GENE: “We’re going to the east coast”
SHANNON: “What’s it called Genie?”
GENE: “Old Bridge, New Jersey”
In the season 4 episode “Godfather Gene,” a friend of the Simmons family, Uncle Tony, asked Gene to be the Godfather of his grandchild. Being the nice, sweet Demon that he is, Gene accepts. When landing in Newark Liberty International airport, the first impression of the state is far from favorable. The industrial backdrop visible from the NJ Turnpike is not exactly an accurate example of how the rest of the state looks. In sum, NJ’s hellish compared to sunny California.
Aside from the areas of the state you’ll see when landing in Newark, there are actually plenty of beautiful towns, gated communities, and mansions here. Uncle Tony clearly lives in one of these ritzy areas. It’s a part of Old Bridge that I’ve never had the privilege of driving through before.

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Uncle Tony welcomes Gene and Shannon with a “Welcome to New Joisey.” Here’s the thing about that: If you aren’t from New Jersey then you should be aware that NOBODY talks like that in this state. In fact, somehow, we NJ folks get blamed for the terrible offenses against the English language that New Yorkers and Staten Islanders have committed. I’ll admit, there’s certain idiosyncrasies in the speech of Jerseyites, but they aren’t as prevalent as the rest of the population has been made to believe.

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The episode is chock full of terrible Jersey stereotypes, a Soprano’s-esque intro montage signalling their arrival in NJ, and too many bad Godfather impressions to count! It’s also worth noting that Uncle Tony is a not a good representation of males living in Jersey. Not all of us walk around the house pretending to be “Goodfellas” to our guests, and surprisingly, we’re all not living in the past.
Shannon Tweed left NJ with the idea that the women in the state are all backward and still living in “barefoot and pregnant days.” In the episode, the ladies of Uncle Tony’s family served the men, waiting on them dotingly until Shannon helped them turn the tables on the guys. Shannon baffled, said, “Why can’t them come out and get it themselves?” Shannon also stated that “The women’s movement hasn’t hit home there because it’s not welcome…no one opens the door for it.” Shannon, please, take it from a guy who knows first hand, the women here in Jersey are quite independent and you don’t want to mess with them! It’s a safe bet that the producers of the show urged everyone to play up the “old fashioned Italian” angle for the show, but they claim it’s “reality” right?

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Tony’s 1st question: “Can you smell my meatballs?”
Residents of California, New York, and Florida are numb to hearing their sports venues, addresses, and local establishments named dropped on TV and in movies. For example, if you’re a life long New York City resident, then it’s no big deal for you to pass by a film crew or to turn on HBO and catch a scene in a movie that was filmed in the building you live in. Although Jersey has a rich history in entertainment, and it’s the birthplace of the earliest films, we’ve never enjoyed the prominence that the aforementioned states have in the media until The Sopranos premiered.
The Sopranos brought several NJ towns, a local ice cream parlor, and an average strip club into the minds of millions of viewers everywhere. It made us feel important. So, when I heard Uncle Tony tell Gene Simmons that “there’s two malls, the East Brunswick Mall on 18 or Freehold Mall take 9 south,” my face lit up. The thought of The Demon stomping around The Sexy Armpit is so cool. Even Shannon paid a visit with the other women to the popular Ciccone’s Italian Deli in Old Bridge.
Of course the episode wasn’t without wacky hijinks. Gene ran into a speed bump on his mission to become Godfather. Tony’s church prohibited Gene from being a Godparent because he’s Jewish. In an attempt to prove himself to the priest who handled the baptism, he not only unleashed all of his religious knowledge onto the priest, but he also frantically served as safety patrol for local school kids. Those kids have no idea how lucky they were to have had the legendary Dr. Love help them into their cars that day! In the end, all the loose ends were tied up and Gene was able to become Godfather. If only Gene spit the Holy water onto the babies head while churning out a bass solo, that would’ve been an awesome ending.

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Gene rocking NJ designer Marc Ecko’s Cut & Sew shirt
Old Bridge, NJ is also known for being the town where the metal band Overkill formed, the hometown of Brian O’Halloran, Dante from Clerks fame as well as pop singer/actress Vitamin C.

Kip Winger Thursday: The Greatest Kip Winger Story Ever Told!!!

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kip Winger Thursday, it’s a day that can alleviate some of the tension from the stresses of the economic crisis, the soaring unemployment rate, and terrible atrocities like Lady Gaga. It’s a day when all we have to do is fondly recall the more carefree atmosphere of the days of ’80s hairbands. When the sunset strip was crawling with bands like Motley Crue and Guns N Roses and all was right in the world…well, my world at least. I think Stevie Rachelle said it best “When Def Leppard rocked and Skid Row Ruled,” in his song “American Hairband.” Grunge came in like a lion but it totally went out like a lamb. Nowadays who really cares about grunge anyway? Life is challenging, and depressing as it is so why would we want our music to make us even more angry and morose? Don’t you want to have fun and party?

During last week’s ’80s hard rock extravaganza aptly known as Rocklahoma, party is exactly what they did. For 4 days in Pryor, Oklahoma, fans of the genre relived the hairband glory days. It’s an opportunity to see your favorites from the era, as well as new bands who keep the scene alive like Wildstreet and Bang Camaro. Some of the classic bands that appeared this year were Anthrax, Overkill, RATT, Danger Danger, Kix, Nelson, Lizzy Borden, Skid Row, and Twisted Sister to name a few. The festival has been going on since 2007, and has been building up steam each year. The true fans show up hardcore, front and center for all 4 days! I happen to know one of those fans.

A friend of mine, Elise, wouldn’t miss Rocklahoma for the world. She takes her love of these bands to the next level.

On July 11th, 2009 at 1:04 AM, I received this text message from her:

“I just told Kip about u and KWT!!!!”

Apparently, Kip Winger was hanging out at the show and Elise had the chance to slyly slip in a mention for my ongoing Thursday meme dedicated to Kip Winger. To join in the fun, go to www.twitter.com/sexyarmpit. Kip was even in New Jersey a few weeks back and I had the opportunity to go to the show, but the idea of someone else telling Kip about Kip Winger Thursday felt so much cooler to me, especially coming from a girl who he was clearly digging! A BIG thanks from The Sexy Armpit, Elise!

Also, Bring Back Glam has an abundance of info on Rocklahoma and the reasons why it sucked this year, so head over and check out Allyson’s awesome blog.