Eat A Steak.

I have decided that BHP will be going through some changes in 2011. I am in the works on changing things up around here from the design of the site to the content I throw in randomly.  Change is good.

So to start things off early, I decided to start a random series of quirky little comics from events that have actually happened to me or would happen should I be subjected to the situation.

D.X. Ferris has been supplying some funny ass Suburban Metal Dad comics on Addicted To Vinyl this past month and that along with my addiction to the comics on If You Make It made me what to try it for myself. 

So here you go. Laugh, cry, complain… It is all about the fun and terrible artistic abilities right?

What would happen if Anthony Bourdain ever told me to quit being a vegetarian?

They Are Called Fort Wilson Riot

Earlier this year I had one of those evenings that made me remember why I do what I do.  Before you start thinking dirty thoughts, I am talking about my love for music and sharing it with all of you wonderful readers out there via this high tech blog.  I don’t get paid for this (yet), but I can tell you what, I will do this for as long as I can just because I love doing it…

Great, now where was I?

Oh yes, that one evening earlier this year when I remembered why I love music and my blog and blah blah blah…  Flashback time.

It was a warm summer evening and my favorite Columbus folk-duo The Electric Grandmother were playing a show at Annabell’s in Highland Square (a hipster rich area in Akron).  We arrived just before the show was to start and I remember helping them move their gear into a side room of the bar as there was another act scheduled before them.

Mary Alice & Pete (aka The Electric Grandmother) offered me a delicious tall PBR as a thank you for helping them get situation (who later in the night dedicated a song to me – how thoughtful).

As I sat there and enjoyed that 24oz. of goodness, there was a male/female duo getting set up.  I remember specifically stopping everything I was doing the second they started their soundcheck.  All I could think of was “who in the hell is this?”  Mind you I was dead serious and not sarcastic…

The band was called Fort Wilson Riot and they just so happened to fill in a last minute slot at Annabell’s as some unnamed venue in Cleveland cancelled on them.  They were not looking rushed but you could tell they were moving as fast as they could to get set up.  It was then and there they started that song that my attention was captured.

The song they played was called “Snakes & Scorpions” and featured the duo singing in a perfect harmony backed by an electric guitar and electric keyboard as well as a drum machine providing the beat.

It was a simple set up but the sound was not what I expected at all.  The duo consisting of Jacob Mullis and Amy Hager reminded me of everything I liked about acts like Dresden Dolls, Mates Of State, Matt & Kim, and even The White Stripes.  Why?  Because they complimented one another perfectly.  It’s like the ying and yang of music.

I liked what I heard and apparently so did everyone else in the bar that night as the entire basement of Annabell’s filled up after a couple songs in by Fort Wilson Riot.  They were indie rock, they were pop rock cabaret-style…they were…good.

No one was expecting to hear that kind of music that night.  I know I wasn’t.

I remember looking at Pete & Mary Alice and then looking around at all the people who gathered to see this mysterious band play.  It was one of those acts where we could see people mouthing the words “who are these guys” followed by “they are really good.”

When I see people do that while watching a band I can not help myself but smile.  That is why I love music and that is why I like to share it.  Chances are I am not the only one who decided to tell someone about Fort Wilson Riot.  I know I have multiple times, and here I am telling you all.

After their set I greeted them and throughout the night we chatted.  I found out that they were from Minnesota and once were considered an “indie-rock opera” before slimming down to the duo.  They were touring in a van on their own and had been touring with Ice Palace before making the stop in Cleveland.

Amy and Jacob hung out with us for the rest of the night and by the end of the evening they hooked me up with a copy of their latest album Predator Prey, a self-made album that once I listened to, turned me into even a bigger fan.

Not only is it the duo on the CD but they also enlisted a bunch of their talented friends to put together one great listen.  I highly recommend checking out “Forgotten Language”, “All My Friends”, “Snakes & Scorpions” and cabaret-heavy “Diamond Blues”.

Have you found yourself interested in this band Fort Wilson Riot I speak of?  Fear not you can check them out by heading over to their Bandcamp page.  The album is only $8.  What are you waiting for?

Fort Wilson Riot “Snakes and Scorpions” from Fort Wilson Riot on Vimeo.

Fort Wilson Riot “All My Friends” from Fort Wilson Riot on Vimeo.

Best Of 2010, At Least According To BHP…

It’s that time of year everyone (in case you forgot), the time of the year where I look back at all that defined 2010.  I am sure many of you can agree that 2010 was not that bad of a year and there were some pretty good releases / events that happened.

I had a good 2010 thanks to all of my great friends.  I went on two mini road trips to see bands I adore and had good times doing so without injury.  There were plenty of albums to keep me going and a good share of bands made their way to play Cleveland.

So, as a blogger I feel it is my duty to continue my “Best Of…” posts yearly.  I am sure I will miss something but here we go:

Best Punk Albums:
Iron Chic – Not Like This

-Hands down my favorite release this year.  Catchy punk rock at its finest.  They kick ass live too.

Menzingers – Chamberlain Waits

Easily my second favorite release of the year.  This band is going places.  I can not wait for a follow-up release.  They kick ass live as well.

Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man

-It’s Bad Religion, need I say more?  30 years as a punk rock band with no sign of giving up any time soon.  It is as if getting old is cool…well it is if you are Bad Religion.

RVIVR – RVIVR

-It was brought to my attention that I overlooked this important release.  I knew I was forgetting something as I thought of what albums I really enjoyed…  Ex-members of Latterman as well as a few whose roots cross with members of Jawbreaker in a band?  Yes please.

Best Rock Albums:
J. Roddy Walston & The Business – J. Roddy Walston & The Business

-I’d be lying if I said that I did not listen to this album 3 times a week.  A few of my friends have been fans of J. Roddy for a couple of years now and thanks to them so am I.  This album is so fun to listen to and so well written that I am shocked all those mainstream music magazines failed to put them on their “Best Of” lists…  Jerks.

Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

-I am sure many of you know my slight obsession with this band.  Their new album slid more towards the rock and less of the punk but I am ok with that.  From start to finish this is an excellent release.

Against Me! – White Crosses

-Kind of funny how much I love these guys seeing how I used to hate them 5 years ago.  I love the direction they are taking with their new material and I am sure many will disagree.  Yes, it is not anything what they used to sound like and that is why they are considered to me now as a rock band.

The Black Keys – Brothers

-I have to give some love to this Akron, OH duo not just because I reside near the city they started in but also because they dropped a solid album.  If you have not listened to this album yet, do it.

Foxy Shazam – Foxy Shazam

-Here’s another album I almost forgot about!  Some might think these guys are going to just be another one hit wonder but I disagree.  Foxy Shazam kicks some serious ass!

Best Metal Albums:
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis

-Love this album.  So much better, to me, than their last release.  Heavy and full of energy.  They put on a killer set at the Warped Tour this past summer too.

Deftones – Diamond Eyes

-Nice to see the Deftones continue moving on.  I was super excited when this album dropped earlier this year.

Best Folk Rock Albums:
Frank Turner – Rock N Roll EP

-All I have to say about this EP is that if you are a fan of Rock ‘n Roll you need to hear the song “I Still Believe”.

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

-Still in shock these guys are from the UK…  Not that it is a problem or anything, but they play Americana folk-rock as if they grew up in the mountains.  This album was a suprise listen for me in 2010.  Very addicting if you like this kind of music.

Best Indie Rock Albums:
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

-Never thought in a million years I would admit be being an Arcade Fire fan, but this album brainwashed me into one.  Catchy as hell and just a solid release.

Bars Of Gold – Of Gold

-I love surprises.  Bars Of Gold surprised me with how awesome they were.  Best underground album I have heard in a while.

Band Of Horses – Infinite Arms

-This album snuck up on me.  It took three listens and now I can not get enough of it.

Best Hip-Hop/Rap Albums:
Sage Francis – LI(F)E

-Oh Sage Francis…  You are a talented talented man.  I was not too sure about this album upon my first taste of it, but it is exceptional.  Love the way this guy puts words together.  I also really liked how he got some of the music for some of the tracks – he had indie bands work with him.

Eminem – Recovery

-This guy is good once again.  The end.

Best Film Soundtrack:
Tron: Legacy Soundtrack – Music By Daft Punk

-I had bee waiting for this release since early 2010 when it was announced that the French dup would be providing the soundtrack.  It is insane.  Insane as in good.

Best Shows I Attended:
The Avett Brothers @ House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH

Frank Turner / Social Distortion @ House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH

Bed Folds @ House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH (minus the douche I almost got into a fight with)

Dale Watson & His Lone Stars @ Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH

Most Fun Shows I Attended:
NOFX @ Madison Theater – Covington, KY

Gaslight Anthem @ Lifestyles Pavilion – Columbus, OH

The Facials as NOFX @ Now That’s Class  – Cleveland, OH
-Seriously, one of my favorite memories of 2010.  My pals The Facials practiced their butts off to do a Halloween-inspired NOFX cover set.  They nailed it. It was just one of those nights where I was surrounded by friends and felt like a kid. That right there is a show.

Worst Shows Attended:
Van’s Warped Tour
I did not even make it past 5 o’clock this year.  I got to see some of my favorite bands including Face To Face, but overall it was far too hot outside and I just was not feeling it as I had no clue who most of the bands were on the tour.  I guess a time comes one day when a punker gets too old for this shi-, not to mention, my circle of friends dwindled significantly (2).  After being at almost all of the Warped Tours since they started – I am done (I say this every year…).

Worst Albums Released:
Brokencyde
Words can not describe how I feel about this band.  I will not even go there.

3OH!3
Any band that collaborates with Keisha or however she spells it is instant THE SUCK.  I really liked the band’s first album but could not stand their recent effort.  Nice guys, but just not my cup of tea.

Album I Did Not Get Whatsoever:
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
-Why is everyone giving this album 5 stars?  I do not get it, am I missing something.  I do not think it is that good at all.  That is me of course…  Give me his older material any day.

Looking Forward To In 2011:
Social Distortion’s New Album

Those Darlins’s New Album
I got a sample of their new material when I saw them play at the Beachland Tavern and I must say…impressive.  I look forward to their new release as it appears as if they have changed up their sound a little.

The Bonnaroo 2011 Line-Up
This will be the ten-year anniversary and I am hoping for a line-up unlike any other)

SXSW
I think I am actually going to be able to make it this year finally…

Making new friends and hearing new music. I always look forward to something new.

What are your favorites of 2010? I want to hear! This comment section below doesn’t fill itself out you know!!!

Thanks to all my readers. 2010 was fun – here’s to 2011. Happy holidays everyone!

Album Review: J. Roddy Walston & The Business – J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Just when you think you have heard it all, along comes something new, something that I just have to talk about.  Every once in a while, a band drops an album good and so different that once it hits my ears, all I can do is play it over and over.  Recently, rather this past summer, I was introduced to a band that had me going crazy for more.  The band I speak of is J. Roddy Walston & The Business.  If you have not heard of this band already you are missing out (I may say that a lot, but in this one instance I mean it).

So who do they sound like?  Imagine the Beatles, the Kinks, Queen, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, and throw in some Jerry Lee Lewis.  There are far more comparisons to be used, but the previously mentioned bands were first to come to my mind.  From beginning to end the band’s self-titled sophomore album on Vagrant Records, J. Roddy Walston & The Business does not let up.  It’s a bare-boned non-overproduced album that leaves any listener hungry for more.

J. Roddy Walston?  More like J. Roddy Awesome…

The moment the piano started on “Don’t Break The Needle”, I knew I was in for something good. The hoot-hollering track full of dark references of addiction carries on with laughter in the singing, pounding piano playing, and guitar playing that’ll easily peer pressure the listener into wanting more.

“Used To Did” simply rocks.  With lyrics like “I got this gun girl, it don’t miss, it makes babies,” how could you not agree?  From J. Roddy’s broken-record lyricism to the heavy shedding guitar playing, this track is all about not caring and Rock ‘n Roll.  Just watch out for that gun.

My favorite track on the album hands down was “Brave Man’s Death”.  Happy as it may seem while listening to, the song itself tells of a selfish dysfunctional life lesson no one should ever be subject to.  Still, I have found myself on more than one occasion screaming the chorus at the top of my lungs alone and with friends.  It is a refreshing song when the moral of the story catches up with you, but until you get there you will be lost.

Easily an instant classic, “I Don’t Wanna Hear It” has everything included in a track to be liked by anyone who fathoms themselves a music lover – a southern rock jam, group vocals, and a bad ass attitude.  Continuing with that feeling was the closing track “Use Your Language” a twangy track that made me want to clap my hands, stomp my foot, and sing along.

I really should have had this review done months and months ago, but all excuses aside, this Baltimore foursome (originally hailing from Cleveland, TN) has been in regular daily rotation since the day the album hit my hands over the summer.  J. Roddy Walston & The Business has become an instant Rock ‘n Roll album that I will spin for years to come.

Having only caught one live song by them this past Fall when they opened for Shooter Jennings (I literally arrived just as the band played their set-ending song) I can tell you this: The band rocks on so many levels.  The excitement that that foursome bled onto the crowd made me smile.  I am sure that hardly any of the crowd knew who J. Roddy Walston & The Business was when they entered the Beachland Ballroom that rainy October night, but I know they left with something that tasted ever so good to their ears. I was there, I know they liked it…

J Roddy Walston and The Business – Don’t Break The Needle from Vagrant Records on Vimeo.