Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for ZZ Top

I honestly thought there would be at least two or three bands on my iPod that started with Z. I was wrong. And, sorry guys, you are talented but I don’t even have a full ZZ Top album over which to opine. I purchased “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” through, of all things, a Harley-Davidson road song compilation. A cool thing I learned is how they got their name. According to singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons, they wanted to pay tribute to the great blues guitarist BB King and planned to use the name ZZ King until fear of confusion instigated the change.

Ultimately I am blessed that every letter does have representation. Thanks for playing along. I hope you enjoyed my humble take on the A-Z Blog Challenge.

As for my final mock band name, I decided to end with Norwegian symphonic black metal. And so I give you Zest for Death. I’m hearing Dimmur Borgir in my head as I type it. You can view the lead singer's image at bottom.

* Notice: I anticipate restricted Internet access for several days at least as the challenge comes toward a close. So please excuse me if I do not reply to your comment anytime soon. My online activity is currently restricted to reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Thank you for expressing interest in my frivolous entries!
Shagrath - By Shadowgate - originally posted to Flickr as Dimmu Borgir 18, CC BY 2.0,

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yellow Fried Chickenz

This side project, headed by J-pop superstar Gackt, started as a solo endeavor before turning into a vaunted touring group. I basically had to buy the album “Yellow Fried Chickenz I” because I adore Gackt. The guys traveled not only Japan but sold out venues across Europe. Too bad they didn’t tour the United States. I thank Rokkyuu Magazine for the image at bottom.

As for a mock band name, how about Yesterday’s News? It makes me think of Huey Lewis and the News but I learned that the name is a song title by an alternative country band, so maybe they are a Whiskeytown tribute group.

* Notice: I anticipate restricted Internet access for several days at least as the challenge comes toward a close. So please excuse me if I do not reply to your comment anytime soon. My online activity is currently restricted to reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Thank you for expressing interest in my frivolous entries! Now, please enjoy the eye candy below.

Gackt Stands Far Right (the long-haired blond fellow third from right is Gackt's incomparable guitarist with the stage name Chachamaru)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for The xx

I didn’t even recognize this name, my sole representation of the letter X. I listened to The xx song “VCR” and realized they are featured on one of my most meditative albums, “Save it for a Rainy Day”. I listened to it while a neighbor’s tree removal ruined my familiar peace and quiet. Tension truly did slip away.

Today’s mock group name is not so imaginative, titled X-Ray Fantasy. I’ve decided they would play heavily digitized tunes with cynically suggestive lyrics like the Norwegian band Combichrist. Wikipedia describes their music as aggrotech, in fact, a fitting description.

* Notice: I anticipate restricted Internet access for several days at least as the challenge comes toward a close. So please excuse me if I do not reply to your comment anytime soon. My online activity is currently restricted to reading and commenting on others’ posts. Thank you for expressing interest in my frivolous entries!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for Tom Waits

Mr. Waits is the single true solo artist I featured this month and a stark departure from most of what I've shared. Nikki Sixx, lyricist and bass play from Mötley Crüe, recommended him in an article a few years back. Weeks later, I read that Johnny Depp is another purported Tom Waits fan but by that time I already owned three of his albums. His voice was described by music critic Daniel Durchholz as “sounding like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.” I thank The Epistle of Jim for posting the quote (and some music clips!). Recently Mr. Waits featured on a tribute album to Blind Willie Johnson, one of the most influential blues artists of all time. If you want to hear this unconventional master, here is his take on Mr. Johnson’s  "What is the Soul of a Man".

In honor of Mississippi Delta Blues, today’s feaux group could feature on “God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson”. I’ll call them Walking the Word.

* Notice: I anticipate restricted Internet access for several days at least as the challenge comes toward a close. So please excuse me if I do not reply to your comment anytime soon. My online activity is currently restricted to reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Thank you for expressing interest in my frivolous entries!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Vampire Weekend

I have to admit, the name Vampire Weekend enticed me as much as the first single played over the airwaves. Then I heard the tune “Oxford Comma”, which this fussy writer still embraces. That sealed the deal for my owning their self titled 2008 release.

I thought of the awesome band Audioslave when I concocted this mock title of Volume Junkies. Are you familiar with Audioslave? For some mysterious reason, I don’t own a single tune of theirs. Time to go shopping?

* Notice: I anticipate restricted Internet access for several days at least as the challenge comes toward a close. So please excuse me if I do not reply to your comment anytime soon. My online activity is currently restricted to reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Thank you for expressing interest in my frivolous entries!

Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for The Urge

I own a lot of movie soundtracks. Many times they evoke the visual impact of the flicks and The Urge title “It’s My Time to Fly” is a perfect example. That “Titan AE” soundtrack got me through a lot of groggy, discontented mornings at my previous day job. A Wikipedia search on The Urge pulled up an article listing people from Missouri. Criminal. Perhaps it's time I search for more tunes.

Anyway, the current craze over the undead returning to life inspired today’s mock band Union of Zombies. I like to imagine them playing toe tapping tunes with dark messages much like my beloved The Bravery, whom I discovered by luck when they opened for Incubus one summer.

* Notice: I anticipate restricted Internet access for several days at least as the challenge comes toward a close. So please excuse me if I do not reply to your comment anytime soon. My online activity is currently restricted to reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Thank you for expressing interest in my frivolous entries!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream’s purely instrumental contribution to the eighties flick “Risky Business” is a big reason I bought that soundtrack. But I learned that this is just the tip of the iceberg, if you will. Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned that these German artists have produced over a hundred albums! Time to check out one or two, eh?

Troubled Puppets is my mock group for the letter T. I haven’t decided what type of music they play, but I’m picturing those so-called fabricated Americans from the 2002 sitcom “Greg the Bunny”. Seth Green acting with puppets is a joy to behold. Too bad the network mishandled things and it only lasted one year.


Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Seeed

I found this talented gang thanks to my partner discovering German solo artist Peter Fox. This dynamo sings lead on a lot of Seeed’s songs. And no, the extra E is not a typo, by the way. Their offbeat material is a real treat and makes for a great workout play-list. I hope other club members don't mind me dancing a little. ~grin~ Expect irreverent lyrics and a great reggae beat. Yes. German reggae. Sung in English. Amazing stuff.

My mock group bears the name Papercut, though their music is not nearly so annoying. I’ve decided they have a female drummer who could hold her own with Godsmack’s talented guy Shannon Larkin. I guess his unlikely first name inspired me to imagine this drummer female.

Um... I'm a goofball. Thank you, Liz A. for pointing out that I somehow used the letter P for my phony group. How about Shannon's Papercut? ~grin~ Guess I was daydreaming when I posted this.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for Rollins Band

Front man Henry Rollins is perhaps better known for his television and movie appearances than his music. I appreciate his take on both, though I only have two Rollins Band songs thanks to still more movie soundtracks (1994's "The Crow" is a particularly favorite film with awesome music all around). If you get the chance, I advise seeing his live talk shows. The man is a notable writer and speaker.

Today, as well, please enjoy the musical stylings of my mock band Robot Monkeys. Finger Eleven inspired this by their original name, The Rainbow Butt Monkeys. That still cracks up the juvenile boy in me. And Finger Eleven is a fun live act. But there I go, cheating again. I didn’t mean to do a double post.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Q Lazzarus & Garvey

Honestly I planned to write about Queens of the Stone Age. Yet I found myself drawn to Q Lazzarus & Garvey for the tune “Goodbye, Horses” that I enjoy from the “Clerks II” movie soundtrack. Ironically, my only two Queens of the Stone Age songs are also on yet two more soundtracks. I hope this post doesn’t seem like cheating. ~grin~ Both are worth a listen, though very different in sound.

For my mock band, let’s hear from Question Authority. I like to think they would be appropriate as openers for Stone Sour. Corey Taylor's penchant for on-stage political rhetoric fits with the moniker, for sure.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Podunk

A decade or so ago I attended a show with some friends when these Texas natives opened the venue. I cannot recall who we went to see, though Alabama is the name that comes to mind. Anyway, I bought Podunk’s self titled album right away as well as subsequent recordings. They have uplifting yet bittersweet music much like the great band Tesla.

Today’s made up band goes by the stingingly rude moniker Pepper Spray. They won’t make you tear up, though, unless you perhaps get injured thrashing around in the mosh pit in front of their hard rocking stage. I’m thinking of the real group Mindless Self Indulgence here. MSI's James Euringer (AKA Jimmy Urine) is entertainingly rude to his own audience. It’s a hoot, and The Birthday Massacre (see the letter B) opened for them, my initial introduction to that group. ~grin~ I can't help bringing up some of these fun bands more than once.


Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Otep

Otep is a wonderful addition to my relatively small collection of female singers' albums. Songstress Otep Shamaya will raise the hair on the back of your neck with lyrics spotlighting survivors of domestic violence. And she can scream and growl as wonderfully well as Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows’ early recordings showcase. I own Otep's entire catalog.

Origin Story is my fake band. I want to front this one and tell the world all about how to be yourself just like Marilyn Manson with his confrontational yet inspiring (if you really listen) lyrics. Go MM! ~snicker~ Sorry. Just had to work them into this...


Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for the New York Dolls

If you want to discuss glam rock you can’t ignore the New York Dolls. Their proto-punk sound is a little too fast paced for me, but I am still glad I own the debut album that Wikipedia describes as one of the most popular cult records in rock. Amusingly, front man David Johansen portrayed the ghost of Christmas past in 1988’s “Scrooged” with Bill Murray.

By contrast, I made up the band name Nerve for the letter N. Imagine with me a band displaying Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails “Downward Spiral” sensibility with a slightly less industrial sound but similar moodiness. Would you check them out?


Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Mindless Self Indulgence

Anyone who knows me at all hears me talk about Marilyn Manson. And while you should check out the music if you’re unfamiliar, I decided to talk about a band fewer folks know. My partner discovered Mindless Self Indulgence years ago while I shopped shirts at a Hot Topic store. The album cover for "Another Mindless Rip Off" caught his eye, to be sure (see at bottom). As I will revisit in my post for the letter P, they are a hoot to witness live, with the lead singer actually teasing their own fans in a good humored way. During one show we sat in the balcony in padded recliners and learned later that my niece risked her life in the mosh pit.

Mildew is the name of today’s mock group. No doubt you have long since figured out that I lean toward music that is an antithesis to pop culture, perhaps even subversive. So these guys might actually open for Marilyn Manson, who I imagine inspired Mildew's lyricist/bass player to first pick up a notebook and a guitar. ~grin~

By the way, I realized today that Mindless Self Indulgence has a highly processed sound that I usually don't care for but they somehow make it work for me. Maybe because it's so over-the-top.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Lucky Dube

Picture a rainy afternoon with a book in your hand. But you want to hear more than the wet splatter against your window as accompaniment. What music do you choose? On one particular lazy day I found Lucky Dube thanks to the reggae music channel. And the atypical song “Soul Taker” creeped me out so delightfully that I bought the album online that very day.

For the letter L I’ve imagined a band name that sounds sort of like a disease - Listeria. Or I suppose the vine called wisteria inspired it. That plant actually cost me some grief because the behemoth never flowered once before toppling my trellis. I’ve decided that this band plays brooding instrumentals accompanied by eerie, melancholy lyrics. Sort of like Otep, I suppose, who you can read about in a few days.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Korn

The R should be backward and upper case for Korn, actually. In fact Bakersfield, California where the band formed installed a street sign in their honor with it spelled just that way. I find that hometown support adorable considering their heavy music and twisted lyrics. It's good stuff. This is another band that gets my blood pumping still faster while lifting weights.

For my phony band I chose the name Kiss of Death. I’m not sure I really care for it now, days after the invention. But that’s okay. Maybe I wouldn’t like their music. Let’s say their name is tough but the music sounds mainstream enough for prime time. If you like pop music, more power to you. I’ll just be in the corner with my Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson albums book ending Korn. I promise to wear headphones.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J is for Jem

This music is not something you would expect me to enjoy because anyone following along knows I’m less fond of female vocalists. In truth I picked up the album by way of an auction when I really wanted other items in the lot. Yet Jemma Griffiths is not only a gifted singer but writes some really macabre lyrics. Just finding a female lyricist makes my day. And her voice sounds heavenly.

Today's fake band is called Just Cherry. The name was inspired by a line in the movie “Planet Terror” that came out nearly ten years ago (!), in which actress Rose McGowan played a comically dour character. In the end, she apparently saves the human race. I think this band would play something like the awesome Mark Ronson tune voiced by Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”.


Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Incubus

I own two albums by Incubus and had a blast watching them perform live years ago. It surprised me when another fan expressed disapproval over their changed sound at the time. I wonder if it had more to do with her disliking change than the music itself. Anyway, later you can read about a band that opened for them who inspired me to buy still more CDs.

{Confession time: I’m old school. I rarely download tunes because I enjoy the visceral pleasure of holding a real case in my sweaty little palm. Besides, nobody can take my music away, unlike downloads.}

Today’s unreal band goes by the name Ick Factor. I like to think their music would incorporate video game soundbites similar to what George Clinton used from the “Mortal Kombat” film for that soundtrack.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Hollywood Undead

This is another group whose name intrigued me almost as much as the singles initially played over the local alternative station airwaves. I don’t listen every day to Hollywood Undead, but their first album “Swan Songs” remains my favorite. The sometimes shouted lyrics wouldn’t appeal to everyone but make me want to pump my fist in the air.

Halitosis is the name of my phony band for the letter H. Heck, there’s a real band called Saliva. So why not? Maybe they could go on tour together. Of course the lack of oral moisture promotes stinky breath, so maybe that wouldn’t work. That’s your little factoid for the day, by the way.


Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Gorillaz

I adore this group’s first album “Demon Days” from 2005, which still gets me into a funky groove regardless of what I’m doing. The fact that members are portrayed as cool cartoon characters only ups the anty for me. The late, great Dennis Hopper actually laid a fantastical voice track for “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head”. And who else in the world titles a tune after Clint Eastwood? It’s another alternative radio station favorite.

Grave Robbers is my fantasy band for the letter G (separate from the real band without the pluralization). I can’t help but think of the incredibly talented singer/songwriter/actor/what-have-you Terrance Zdunich who corroborated with other artists to brought us “Repo: The Genetic Opera” and “Devil’s Carnival”, both terrific musical productions. He played a character named Graverobber in "Repo". His wide ranging croon is to die for and I imagine this fantasy group would do his operatic style true justice.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for Faster Pussycat

I consider Faster Pussycat a guilty pleasure due to the blatant sexual content. That said, one track is an homage to the lead singer and bassist of Betty Blowtorch, Bianca Halstead’s tragic death marking the group’s demise. Another reinvents the classic “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” first made a hit by Nancy Sinatra. I adore Ms. Sinatra’s version from the soundtrack of “Full Metal Jacket”, which just makes Faster Pussycat’s take that much more fun.

My phony band for today goes by the name The Frozen. As you can probably already guess, they also have a counter-pop culture sensibility. I think they may write angst ridden tunes similar to The Faint (“Ballad of a Paralyzed Citizen” being one great example). In a cool aside, tunes by The Faint featured on episodes of the creepy television show “American Horror Story: Hotel” last year. What a treat.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Ego Likeness

I not only like my music dark, but other artwork as well. Musician Steven Archer of Ego Likeness crafted amazing multi media paintings featuring H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, several of which adorn my home. He and writer Donna Lynch, whose book "Isabel Burning" is a captivating read, make a great team in all mediums. I’m glad to own their EP “The Lowest Place on Earth” and probably should pick up the rest of their catalog.

For the letter E I came up with the fake band named Empty Life. This seems perfect for a post-modern goth/punk band. Doesn’t it?


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for Disturbed

As promised, I bring you Disturbed. Front man David Dramon turned forty-two years of age as of March 14 this year. I note this because I hope he rocks on into his eighties or later because the band’s hiatus broke my heart just a little bit. Oh, what a happy day when they came out with “Immortalized” in 2015.

Demon Dolls is my feaux rock band for the day. Because my imagined name evokes the Gorillaz debut album “Demon Days” I have decided they share the group’s eclectic sound featuring a wide range of guest vocalists.


Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for The Cure

It’s embarrassing but I only came to understood this band’s name a few years ago. They stayed true to the cliche of sex, drugs, and rock and roll since “the cure” refers to drug and/or alcohol addiction treatment. On that note I find The Cure's music plenty addictive. Robert Smith is simply fabulous.

Crumpled is my fake band for today. It was going to be Corrupted Angel until yesterday's wind storm ripped at a chunk of our house (pictures below). Crumpled might have a sound similar to the Goo Goo Dolls.

By the way, our flashing beat the roof like a whip before pieces started breaking off - a frightening sight. I ventured out several times to collect pieces before someone got injured by our flying debris.

Former Flashing

The Remnant Where the Flashing Used to Be


Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Birthday Massacre

For whatever reason, I usually prefer male voices over female. Birthday Massacre's Chibi has an amazing set of pipes, though. And they put on an excellent live show. One of my favorite memories consists of meeting a hardcore fan who sported a tattoo of Chibi on his arm complete with plaid schoolgirl skirt. He said that attention to detail compounded the pain but that he wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Bottled Rage is today’s imaginary band. I like to think they would play music similar to that of Korn and Disturbed, both of which I will mention on their respective days. Stay tuned!


Friday, April 1, 2016

A is for Avenged Sevenfold

Happy April first and welcome to my venture in the A to Z Challenge! And now for the letter A...

I first heard of this band upon finding their merchandise in a Hot Topic store. The winged skull looked so cool I bought a shirt. Then a friend’s daughter played me their music upon seeing the garb. Now I own every studio album plus a concert DVD. Great head banging stuff.

As I decided to be silly and make up phony band names, as well, I give you Autoclave Empire for the letter A. I imagine they are a super group made up of members from LA Guns and Velvet Revolver.