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Wednesday
May252016

Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee Go Back To Grade School

So apparently Tommy Lee just did an interview where he mentioned that Nikki Sixx unfollowed him on Twitter the day after Motley Crue's final show together. This seems completely absurd and yet I believe it. They don't need to be friends - in fact I think we'd all agree they hate each other - but they can be civil, right? Unfollowing Tommy seems pretty low and petty on Nikki's part. It's too bad there's no Motley Crue music to talk about these days. Just Twitter feuds.


Tuesday
May242016

Another Preview of 'KISS Rocks Vegas'

KISS Rocks Vegas hits theaters for one night on May 25. The concert movie is from the band's 2014 residency in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Of course you had to assume there would be a proper film of the residency. If Gene Simmons can monetize something, he does! Book your tickets for Wednesday night here.


Here's a preview of "Shout It Out Loud."


Monday
May232016

AC/DC Do 'Touch Too Much' Live!

This is rare! AC/DC, with Axl Rose on vocals, just performed "Touch Too Much" live for the first time in more than 35 years. Axl is sounding great on these dates and now he's up and moving around, too! The show below is from Prague, Czech Republic. I love it when bands drop rare tracks into the set from time to time.


Sunday
May222016

Red Hot Chili Peppers Tonight

Tonight I'll see Red Hot Chili Peppers live for the first time. This means I'll be able to check another band off my must-see list. RHCP are headlining Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio tonight. Earlier this week, lead singer Anthony Kiedis was hospitalized. I was worried the band wouldn't play, but it seems all sorted now. I'll have a review of the show a little later this week. For now, I'm off to see rock bands.


Saturday
May212016

Attack of the Horrid Commercials: Part A[C/]D[C] Infinitum

Today's post is from our friend HIM.

There are very few commercials that I enjoy that utilize metal or rock bands. I get a bit priggish and protective when the music of my youth is used to hawk products even if the music is, in fact, a product unto itself. Priest giving mini-vans a mojo injection? Nope. Bon Jovi shilling for DirecTV? Pass. Motley Crue imbuing their brand of cool onto a freakin’ Kia Optima? Please stop. Just. Stop.  But the latest burst of metal marketing irked me in a way that feels different:  


 

More power to Applebee’s for trying to spruce up their fading image, shoved as they are into an increasingly dated segment of the restaurant business. To compete with Chili’s and Ruby Tuesday’s and Shamus McCraptastic’s, they had to go out and buy a bunch of wood-fired grills and retrain staff so that they can hand-cut steaks. Beautiful! Go for it! If that puts enough lipstick on the pig to get them through the next earnings cycle, good for them.   But the use of that music. It irks me no end. Yes, it is AC/DC. And, yes, it is the nice Johnson-era “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” off of Back in Black (1980). But you wouldn’t know that, would you, unless you were already a fan. And therein lies a problem. The song has nothing to do with the thing being sold, even in the tangential senses that the items Crue and Priest endorsed were attempting to lift musical cache and imbue it onto their products. Instead, it fills up auditory space behind a bunch of “go for broke” images of steaks being grilled.   Compare that to another ad that I loathed, even as it made sense. In 2014, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. used Dio’s “Go Eat Your Heart Out.” Yeah, that’s Dio—well, his estate—giving us two horns up while supporting an artery-clogging slab of pre-formed death. But it works on at least a couple of levels.   You can also compare it to a band who simply recognized that they could make some scratch while making a bit of fun of themselves at the same time:



In my humble opinion, that is one of the best uses of a metal band I have seen in a commercial. Cheesy. Overly (and ironically) serious. Money exchanged hands. Norton sold some product. Perhaps a few people figured out that was only half of the original Dokken (that is fodder for another post). But it was just self-aware enough to work on a fan level and just ‘meta’ enough to work for people who don’t give a squat who Dokken were or are.   I don’t bemoan a band using their art to make money. I really don’t. I just wish that there was some thought regarding said use. I also recognize that I should make a distinction. Lending one’s services to the sale of another’s product is different from selling products in your own name. But they are both about branding. And when promotion of both sorts get out of hand—the Bret Michaels approach or the KISS method, for just two instances—it cheapen the artist and the product, whether it is theirs or another’s.   Sadly, even those with an impeccable enough reputation are guilty of branding themselves into a corner. More and more, Lemmy allowed his band’s imagery to be slapped on every conceivable item of which you can think. But he was also cool enough to lend his image to an ad campaign for milk of all things:



That the ad became a tribute is a sad reality. That Lemmy was self-aware enough to recognize that he fit the thesis of Valio’s overall message (itself an update of a much older ad) is genius on his part.   Clearly, someone at ad agency Barkley of Kansas City loves them some AC/DC. Good for them. Equally clear is that this commercial is an attempt to make Applebee’s look a bit . . . edgier? Hmm. While I agree with the song they used, I have my doubts that wood smoke and dead cows are going to be enough to lead more people back to the trough.

Friday
May202016

This Jon Bon Jovi Commercial Is Awful

Is Jon Bon Jovi hard up for cash or something? He just made a commercial for DirecTV, pitching their 72 hour look back feature. The commercial - and the song he sings - are truly awful.


Thursday
May192016

Aerosmith Considering Tour Without Steven Tyler

This is ignorant. Aerosmith is apparently considering a tour without Steven Tyler. The vocals would be done by a "guest." I'm sorry this is the dumbest idea ever. I don't know why bands think they can all just go out on the road, charge a zillion dollars for tickets and just throw anybody on stage behind the mic. Apparently Myles Kennedy, Axl Rose and Sammy Hagar are all being considered. Completely crackers.