Blog Archives

Blood & Banjos Are Awesome, And You Can Make Them Awesomer!

small-on-sandA bit over a year ago I stumbled upon a blog called Blood & Banjos, and with a name like that, how could I not stop and check it out.  Upon reading one of the first few posts that they had I quickly learned that the blog was to be a chronicle of the creation of an album from its inception to its finish.  The original idea for the record was conjured in the brain of project leader Mike Lindsay during a casual conversation between friends when the idea of making an album that combined the visceral, raw sound of black metal with the conservationists passion for bluegrass music.  The churning mental gears quickly gave way to Mike starting up the project of seriously making an attempt at this daunting task of combining polar opposites of the musical spectrum.  Blood & Banjos were born.

michael01Throughout the year I kept up reading this blog, as a look into what goes into writing, recording, and conceptualizing an album from start to finish was quite interesting to me personally and seeing it being done by a group of regular Joes and not the usual ‘big rock star’ album chronicles piqued my interest further.  Then there’s the fact that they were not just creating your usual metal album, but quite an experimental take on it, my interest went through the roof.  As time went on and their posts on concepts and brief histories into the styles of music went on things started to shift from concepts and ideas towards actual songs being created.  Very neat stuff, and being the cool dude he is, Mike took the time to listen to the comments people were leaving on his blog and even embraced a few ideas for specific song sections I threw his way when he went to post up the next demo recordings.  The fact that Mike had the management capacity to be able to make recordings with his group of musicians and collaborators scattered all across the USA and EU was very neat to observe also.

Now, some of you may be thinking that the whole black metal/bluegrass combo has already been done, and quite well I might add, by the one man band Panopticon on his album Kentucky.  While this may be true, what really grabs me about the Blood & Banjos project is the angle they are approaching the concept from.  Instead of going for the intensely deep side bluegrass and metal like Panopticon did, they are putting the focus on the fun side of the genres.  Almost resembling a Broadway spectacle, the album will tell the tale of a simple Appalachian family man named Abram Stone who has been deceived by Satan into believing only himself and his banjo can prevent the coming of the anti-Christ and the coming Apocalypse.   The town’s mayor and townsfolk stand in his way and inevitable violence of mass proportion ensues.  Amazing concept if you ask me, and B&B take it a step further by taking the time to actually cast various musicians and singers to fill the various roles in the story.

gang1So after a bit over a year of conceptualizing and writing, Blood & Banjos have finished the first phase of production and have even released some awesome demos (you’ll find something to listen to at the bottom of this post) and now starts a phase where they really need the help of music fans everywhere.  I’m sure you know getting quality recording of ones music doesn’t come cheap, and even for the more economical options a pretty penny must be spent.  Being the regular Joes they are with day jobs and the like, dropping 10 grand for an album recording just isn’t in their personal budgets, but fortunately, this wonderful thing called Kickstarter exists and could very well ensure that the bands dreams of seeing this project come to life does so at the highest possible quality.  While the band states that even if they don’t meet their goal, they will still see this project through to completion, but wouldn’t you like to hear such an awesome concept for a record come to fruition as shiny as possible and actually know that you were partly responsible for that happening (c’mon, everyone one loves bragging rights even if they don’t admit it 😉 ).  So head over to the bands Kickstarter page, make a pledge, get yourself some cool perks (that poster is looking mighty fine), and support independent music, cause without it we’d be stuck listening to the same old stuff that the major labels habitually pump out.  And it should go without saying, share the Kickstarter with as many as you can, you could be the one responsible for the really rich dude that has a passion for both metal and bluegrass music and has a hankering to toss a few grand at the project, I’m sure Mike and the rest of Blood & Banjos would be very appreciative.  Enjoy!!!  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!

Band Links: Kickstarter Facebook Soundcloud Official Blog Bandcamp

Demos will be added to the bands Bandcamp as they are released, you can hear a couple in the player below now 🙂

Who Wants a Sparkling Richard?

A couple of months ago I did a post on bands that did covers of metal songs in a very unmetal way (said post here).  Of all the covers I put in that post, the one that impressed me the most was by a band that goes by the delightful name Glitter Dick.  Their surf rock rendition of Slayer’s “Seasons in the Abyss” and accompanying video was just to damn rad and I have listened to the tune a number of times since.

The guys in Glitter Dick have completed their debut album, Sparkling Richard, but like many starting bands, lack the funds to get the album released.  That’s where the ever-so-wonderful Kickstarter comes in.  So, if you dig some crusty rock and roll, dick and fart jokes, and silly Slayer covers and have a wad of cash burning a hole in you wallet give a watch to the innuendo laden infomercial below, listen to that rockin’ Slayer cover, check out the rockin’ original track, and head over to Glitter Dick’s Kickstarter page to make a pledge.  I guarantee it will add a nice sheen to your johnson while you rock out with your cock out.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!

Game Changer

Tim Schafer, Double Fine Studio owner, video game creator, legend.  What this man has brought to the realm of video games is some of the greatest and most imaginative works I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.  The Secret of Monkey IslandDay of the Tentacle, Grim FandagnoPsychonauts, and Brutal Legend are just a few of his contributions to gaming.  As of now he runs and develops for Double Fine Studios releasing smaller projects such as the adorable Halloween themed Costume Quest and the only game starring a complete cast of matryoshka dolls Stacking.  But for some reason, this proven game developer has lots of trouble finding funding to make his games come to life recently.  No big publisher over the past decade gave him a fair shot and when E.A. finally did when they funded him for Brutal Legend they ended up screwing him over and suing him and his company.  So he recently decided to try some alternative methods for getting his imagination funded, and boy did it work in spades.

Last week it was announced that he will be bringing a game fans (myself included) have been clamoring for since the second we finished the previous, Psychonauts 2.  Through a Twitter post Tim Schafer found some funding from millionaire indie game developer Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of the smash hit Minecraft (which has a huge success story all of its own).  Talk about unconventional.  Then along with that news Mr. Schafer also hit headlines when he opened up a Kickstarter page to ask fans for funding to start developing another game they have been want him to make for ages (along with Tim himself).  He was asking of his fans for money to go back to the type of games he loves making the most, point and click adventure games.  Within 24 hours he was able to raise over $1.25 Million Dollars and it’s still growing rapidly!!!  His goal to fund the project was only $400,000.  No small achievement whatsoever.  So, within 1 week, unintentionally and the only drive behind him was the passion to make video games, Tim Schafer may have hit the spark that may make some changes in the way big publishers such as E.A. and Activision think and what they think gamers want.

What he did is make the indie game scene even more viable and well know to those who are unaware of it.  It has to get people thinking, “If this guy is generating millions of dollars on a game he hasn’t even started to make, why are all the big dogs sending him away?”, “What if there are other developers as talented as Tim and the publishers are sending him away into obscurity while they keep feeding me rehashes of the same basic game I’ve been playing for years?”, “If these indie guys are making games that average about 3/4ths the size of a big release and only charge$10-$20 why am I paying $60 for a game?” and so on and so forth.  The big publishers should be very afraid of these questions, and I think with Tim’s recent success some action may be taken.

Will this end the reign of Call of Battlefield and other big budget blockbusters?  No, certainly not.  Gamers (myself included, sans COD) still want to play those.  But what I think that we will see a rise of even more new I.P.’s and more indie games, developers, and publishers taking the forefront, and dare I say it, competing with the likes of E.A. and Activision.  With a the exception of a good handful of sparkling gems, the big guys haven’t been delivering have become quite stale.  Tim’s push looks to bring more creativity and originality into modern gaming and I can’t wait to see what comes of the gaming world over the next few years.

This also ties into the rise of digital distribution, but more on that later.

Peace Love and Metal!!!!

And here’s the link to the mentioned Kickstarter page if you would like to donate.  If anything, watch the video, it’s really funny.