For those of you that did not know, Coheed & Cambria put on a concert series tour like none other last October that spanned four days in the select cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London. The band performed one of their four albums from beginning to end each night in sequence. This DVD/CD box set is all four performances both on DVD and CD from the live show in NYC. As bummed out as I am for having missed this amazing set of shows I am so happy I have this box set in my possession.
The Neverender: Children Of The Fence Edition includes:
– 4 Live DVDS
– 4 Live CDs
– 1 Documentary DVD
– 10×10 hardcover photo book (and I have to mention that my actual name appears in the “Children Of The Fence” portion of the book as I was quick to order this back in December. I know, I am the ultimate geek)
– Custom metal dragonfly keepsake piece 7.5 x 5.5
The collection comes boxed and lucky me even got an added certificate of authenticity signed by all four band members. During the initial pre-sale it was said that the first 3000 copies sold would be autographed by the band. I feel gypped in a sense as I thought they would sign the actual box set and not a tiny piece of paper. Still this thing is awesome.
I have yet to watch the actual DVDs as I know I will want to try and watch it in one sitting. I listened to all of the CDs already and loved it. Coheed & Cambria really put on an amazing live show and I can say that having seen them three times now. Add a sold out crowd that is just as excited as the band is to be a part of music history and you have yourself a masterpiece of a live show.
Having ordered months ago, this was well worth the wait and undisclosed amount of money I shelled out for it. I am pretty sure this will tie me over too until I cross paths with them at Bonnaroo in a couple of months…
While away this past week I finally caught the rockumentary about one of the only metal bands in Baghdad and their struggle with following their dream. I kept seeing reviews and positive comments about Heavy Metal In Baghdad, a documentary about a band playing forbidden music in a war-zone also know as Iraq. Trust me, this was something I am glad I watched and any fan of music should check this out as it will make viewers realize how lucky you have it here in the USA.
The program surrounded the band Acrassicauda (Latin for “Black Scorpion”) and followed them through their struggle to do what they loved to do, play metal. Inspired by bands from the United States such as Metallica and Slipknot they attempted to start their own band in 2001. The band was only able to play three shows before the war in Iraq started and soon thereafter the band faced accusations of being devil worshipers and at times had to live their lives in secrecy to save their lives.
During the three years this documentary was filmed bans were created by the clerical council forcing the band and fans to cut their hair, not wear Western attire (American clothing), and end “music-filled parties and all kinds of singing”; basically the band was forced to quit or deal with consequences. Insurgents and religious fundamentalists would not hesitate to take their lives if the band or fans were seen in public and the documentary clearly shows the efforts made by the band to risk their lives and also live their dream. Through power cuts to stop the band from playing to avoiding death daily, this was a first hand look at the struggle they faced. Just hearing them talk about the war and the attempts of others stopping them showed how determined they were to continue.
Weeks would go by at times before vocalist/guitarist Faisal Talal, guitarist Tony Aziz, bassist Firas Al-Lateef and drummer Marwan Reyad would even get to see one another let alone practice. Constant threats and even a missile hitting their practice space did not hinder Acrassicauda who claimed to be the only Iraqi metal band in existence.
The documentary really sucked me in as directors/journalists Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi traveled to Iraq to find the band and interview them while in turn have their own close calls with local militants. Upon arriving to Iraq at one time the journals were told to expect to be shot at.
The journalists take their dangerous surroundings in stride with most of the time being held in a hotel just outside the war areas for safety. When they travel they are accompanied by armed guards and wear bulletproof vests. While filming gun shots and bombing can be seen and heard in the background during the active war. Their real-time reporting only made Heavy Metal In Baghdad that much more interesting.
Eventually the band flees to another country becoming refugees to save their own lives. The difficult choice was a smart choice for them. Eventually the band meets up with the journalists once things calmed down a bit and candidly talked about the chaos they lived in. With everything going on they did not give up their dream but rather put it on hold.
The band, once settled, was able to play a live show in one of the countries they fled to and I must say the people who showed up really showed their love to the band after a few songs into the show. All the hell this band went through was rewarded by cheers and applause by others who share the same common love for a said forbidden genre of music.
You would think that the band has a happy ending and plays sold out shows at metal clubs and recorded a platinum selling CD. The happy ending at the end of the documentary was the band saving their lives and continually fighting for what they wanted to do. At the end they were in small living quarters and had sold their equipment just to pay for rent. Since they were refugees it was difficult for some of the band to acquire jobs. Not what I expected to see but it made sense.
With war going on during the filming of this documentary I could only think of how easy I have it living in the United States. The interviews of the band showed how hard it is for them to be a metal band in Iraq and even harder to be a refugee. Their love for metal was more of a secret as they did not want to risk their families or their own lives. It was truly sad to see their expression cut by others.
In the United States I can wear what ever I want, play any music I choose, and roam my streets without worrying about being executed or caught in crossfire of a seemingly never ending war. I am lucky that I do not have to flee my country to save my own life for my beliefs and do not have to sell my own belongings just to pay a month of rent because I am a refugee. Sometimes I forget how good I really have it here. The members of Acrassicauda did not have this luxury by any means.
I did learn after viewing the program via the movie’s website that the band was eventually relocated to New Jersey of all places. Looks like the band finally got that happy ending they deserved.
Friends, fans and family… as many of you heard lately we made it to the States, all four of us.
After 8 years of waiting and struggling it feels good now that we all made it and we’ve got high hopes for the future that maybe after all what we’ve been through it’s time to become 4 musicians instead of 4 refugees and finally to stand on stage steps away from everybody that helped us and supported us and believed in the band and its quest.
We’re finished being in purgatory not knowing what’s next, tormented by the bad thoughts of not being able to finish what we started 8 years ago. We were so afraid to let our dream go, so afraid to let it slip away and get sucked in to the bureaucratic black hole by the people that tell you what to do and what not to do, but I guess we were blessed cuz we had you on our side. Each and every one of you brothers, sisters, wives and husbands, moms and dads, friends and our idols whoever that might be stay true to who you are, you are the reason that we wanted this dream to come true even when it felt impossible cuz we felt that every one of you guys wanted it just like us (or maybe more).
From the bottom of our hearts, that pump every bit of iron and Metal into our veins, we salute you no matter who you are… Arabic, American, German, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, Norwegian, Danish and many more. I have seen many people from all over the globe getting under the flag of metal and music in general and becoming one. We just had an idea, no more, but you made it happen, you are the true inspiration. Many times we sat and read your emails and comments and many times I saw some of the guys in Acrassicauda getting tears and space out for many minutes looking at your emails.
Now that we all sit and think about our future as a band we know that every thing that we had been through in the past years of our lives was totally worth it. We set out goal and now we know what is worth living for and what is worth to dying for.
Here’s the trailer to the documentary now available on DVD:
For the first time ever punk veterans NOFX did something that might be actually considered “going commercial” by creating a show that was broadcast on TV in 2008. Last Spring NOFX teamed up with real music station FUSE TV and put out the hilarious yet eye opening series called NOFX Backstage Passport. The two disc DVD was finally released by the band’s very own Fat Wreck Chords so that now fans can watch this very original show over and over again.
The eight episode documentary that took place from September of 2006 to November 2007 featured NOFX on tour in unfamiliar countries showcasing not only their live performances to their fans but also aired their down time and behind the scene troubles trying to get from one country to another. The result is a show that is like a punk rock No Reservations complete with drunks, drugs, and disaster.
Any fan of punk rock knows who NOFX is; now admitting you are a fan of NOFX is another thing. Formed in 1983 the band achieved their own success doing things their way with no commercial help. Having never signed to a major label, they ignored requests for radio airplay as well as refused to have their music videos aired. They are godfathers of punk to many and have toured the world as well as have been a staple to the punk rock summer camp also known as the Van’s Warped Tour.
I have been a fan of NOFX since I got my first taste of their adaptation of punk rock music when I was in high school. 14 years ago I purchased a VHS movie put out by them called Ten Years Of F*cking Up. I swear I watched that video until the tape wore thin. Their live videos were entertaining in a sense that they just did not care. Not just seeing them on the television, I have caught them numerous times live as well, I guess you can say like these guys a little.
The moment I heard that they would be putting a show on FUSE TV I made sure I set my DVR to record because I knew I was going to enjoy it. From the first episode of NOFX Backstage Passport started I was hooked. With only eight episodes of course I wanted more but thankfully the two disc DVD is now a part of my collection so I can go back and enjoy their tour.
The intro song performed by NOFX pretty much summed up the entire series with:
“We’re NOFX, screwing up since 1983 / These days we’ve got mortgages and families / So we’re going on a sketchy tour / No country is too obscure / We’re going to drink and golf and fight and snort / We’re NOFX this is punk rock passport”
Just alone in the first episode, it is learned that the series would revolve around NOFX playing in countries that punk bands normally would never tour in. While a comedic gesture it also proves to be the band’s biggest challenge ever.
The band, as if no one knows, includes Fat Mike, Smelly, Eric Melvin, and El Hefe. Along side the band, their manager Kent was introduced (who becomes a major part of the show, mostly because of his drinking habits) as were multiple crew members (Rugly, Wilkie, Carlos, Jeff, Ryan, Limo & Jay) who are more like family over employees.
Seeing the band at the beginning of the episode leave their actual families for the tour proved that these careless musicians are people too and I almost felt bad for them. As exciting as a world tour would be, I can only imagine how tough it is to leave your loved ones.
The reality of their idea soon is shattered at some of the first episodes when the fans actually turn on the band during a couple of shows because of an instrument mishap as well as a failed joke turned insult. It’s wild to think that such a thing could happen to a band like NOFX but it did and fans were pretty pissed off at the band. If that was not bad enough a later venue the band showed up at had no idea that they were even supposed to play and the band was soon forced to leave the country because of death threats their mindless promoter was receiving.
The promoters NOFX worked with to get this tour working were novice if not scam artists. Some of them kept promising Kent money and never delivered while others just continued to dish out lies.
It was actually sad to see the band get screwed out of money from those brainless promoters, yet humorous to see Kent negotiate with them sternly, fueled by anger and sometimes alcohol. Kent alone stole the show at times especially during the one episode where he just kept drinking and eventually was carried away. At the end of the series Ken makes a wise and bold choice that will change his life for the good.
Though the band seemed to have nothing but disappointment during most of their tour in many of the episodes, there were a handful of stops that they made the best of. From hanging out with curious youth who become excited at one of the roadie’s tattoos to cuddling with wild animals and even swimming in the Dead Sea, NOFX and crew seem to ignore the bad and enjoy their surroundings with what they had. They even gave acoustic apologies to fans outside their hotel at one point due to a canceled show that quite possibly even lifted the band member’s hopes more so about the situation they were stuck in.
During one of the episodes NOFX randomly made friends with a local while hanging out at a bar. The local had never heard of NOFX let alone punk rock music and the band was quick to invite him to see their live show for a real taste of punk rock. The smile alone on the local’s face during the show was priceless. The band even went so far in one country to self promote themselves reflecting their younger days as an unheard of punk rock band in California. After all, many of the countries NOFX toured in had no real idea who they were let alone sold their material at local music shops.
From missing band members to strange green powders and some S&M whipping and pain, you clearly are involved in punk rock shenanigans like none other. Throughout the series I was actually wondering to myself if the band would ever make it home alive and had a very hard time waiting in between episodes to see what happened next. Thanks to DVD there was no waiting between episodes. I watched the entire series in one sitting and was ok with my decision to kill an afternoon doing so. I seriously could talk about this show all day but I really do not want to ruin it for you.
The first disc contains all eight episodes with the band touring in such countries as Brazil, Peru, and Russia. The second disc is loaded with over two hours of bonus footage from each episode that soon loses it’s appeal. I really wish the footage would have been included with each episode almost like an uncut version but other then that I have no complaints. There is also a enclosed NOFX passport full of photos, set lists, and other added memories from the tour.
The release on DVD was supposed to be uncensored but somehow the original footage was lost so the broadcasted episodes on disc one is exactly how it was seen on Fuse. The deleted scenes however are full of wholesome cussing and fowl mouthed hilarity. The series were limited on cable thanks to censorship, commercials, and week long waits but I assure you this DVD will make up for all of that. Loaded with hilarious adventures this DVD will not disappoint and if you think all musicians have it easy, think again. Granted NOFX traveled in no man’s land at times and narrowly escaped with their lives, this is visual proof of how badly a world tour can go and how awesome the experience can be by taking chances.
Want to buy a copy? For only $15 it can be yours. Head over to Fat Wreck Chords to buy a copy online.
1: Episode 1: Brazil, Chile Watch
2: Episode 2: Argentina, Ecuador, Peru
3: Episode 3: Japan, Singapore
4: Episode 4: Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China
5: Episode 5: Indonesia
6: Episode 6: Israel
7: Episode 7: Russia
8: Episode 8: South Africa
UPDATE: Concert ended on 03/18/2009. Thank you to all who entered!!!!
Well I think today is a good day to start a contest. FREE STUFF. Keep reading…
Recently I was given some copies of the new Fountains Of Wayne live DVD for a giveaway of sorts thanks to my friends at The Syndicate. I tried thinking of some witty contest to have people enter to win one.
Before I do that though I just wanted to talk about Fountains Of Wayne for a moment… I know I know…bare with me. Free stuff soon.
“Stacy’s Mom” is indeed the song that Fountains Of Wayne will be labeled with forever. As amusing as the video was for the song I never cared for it and regretfully assumed that all other material that this band created sounded just like that song. I wanted nothing to so with it so I never looked into their catalog.
I missed out.
In 2007 I attended the Virgin Mobile Festival with my pals Matt and ((RAD))am. Matt kept talking about wanting to see the Fountains Of Wayne set and I thought he was joking or had a guilty pleasure I was not aware of. I mean, Matt is a huge music lover and all, but a pop punk band? Matt proceeded to correct my judgement of the band and told me to at least give them a shot.
I checked them out and loved them. I was so missing out on this band and could not believe how great they were. Why do I keep judging bands based off of one song? Because that is how I am. I’ll try anything once and usually it is the first taste that is a deal-breaker or not. If not I have the tendency of spitting that initial taste out and never returning to it. Fountains Of Wayne, I apologize. You all taste just fine.
So recently a Fountains Of Wayne DVD was released through Shout Factory Records called No Better Place: Live In Chicago. This is the band’s first DVD to be released and features 80 minutes of live footage including live performances and even some extra goodies in there. The concert was shot in front of a live audience in Chicago and was even recorded in 5.1 Surround.
So are you still hanging in there trying to figure out when I am going to tell you how you can win a copy?
I’ll tell you in a second…maybe…as in….right now.
Ok, I have 3 copies of this DVD for giveaway. I could be easy and just say the first three people to comment get one but that is not far for people who may be away from the internet or who were too tired to read all the way to this point.
So here is the contest:
I have pet peeves. I have a lot of them. I can’t stand it when people do not use their turn signals while driving, it drives me mad (no pun intended). I can not have the tag of a blanket be near my face when sleeping. I hate when people type your and mean you’re… The list continues. Enough about me though. What about you?
I want to know one of your most random weird pet peeves of yours.
Post a comment with your submission and do not forget to enter a valid email where it asks you to so I can contact you should I find yours hilarious. Once a winner is chosen I will email you for shipping info and boo ya, you have a Fountains Of Wayne DVD. This contest starts now and will end on 03/18/2009. Ready. Set. Go!
I’ve Got A Flair
No Better Place
Valley Winter Song
Red Dragon Tattoo
Bright Future In Sales
Sink To The Bottom
(All-New, Never-Before-Seen Acoustic Performances from their 2007 release Traffic & Weather)
It Must Be Summer
Someone To Love
Fire In The Canyon