Category Archives: Random

My Experience at NYDM fest Friday

After I saw Slayer at PNC this was the next show i was really excited for. Between those two I did get to keep my live show hunger down by seeing the Undertaker destroy live at the WWE Summerslam Heatwave tour, finally catching The Cult and Stone Temple Pilots live after being a fan for so long, meeting Ray Mystero after watching him kick the ass of indie great Flip Gordon at Wrestling under the Stars Seven, and hearing some great classic Dio,Sabbath and Rainbow songs by Dio’s Disciples at the chance, but this was the show I was most excited about due to it’s incredible line up.

Birdman and I would later head to the Civic center once i got to work. This had been my first time at this venue. We watched many local openers including Birdman’s friends Paralysis and the great local Sabbath tribute, Never Saw Die. I picked up a comp of earily demos by Incatation as well as a demo comp from Swedan’s Crematory. At around 7pm after the string of openers the first main band got on.

Carnivore A.D .

I was curious to hear how Peteless Carnivore might sound. I had once see a Carnivore Tirbute called Retaliation open for Goatwhore years ago and do a good job but this one contained the drummer and guitarist from the band’s last line up. They sounded great. The singer looked and sounded just like Pete and they played a good selection of songs including God is Dead,Inner Conflict,Carnivore, and Predator and had endless energy.

Toxik 

These Westchester county thrashers were on next,and as soon as they started they said they will play all of World Circus which made everyone happy as that album is legendary. While due to time,they couldn’t finish it, it was nice hearing most of this album live.

Whiplash

I had seen these dudes once in 2015 with Nuclear Assault and I was due for another . Like last time, Whiplash killed with it’s unlimited energy.

Possessed 

After getting food and Catching a bit of Leeway’s set, it was time for a band I was itching to see since high school. The nostalgia was real when tracks from theier 2 full lengths and Eyes of horror were played. They also through in a bunch of tracks from a new album they were working on. This was one good Night and i hope this fest comes back to the Mid Hudson Civic Center.

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Acid Witch at St.Vitus

After years and years of being a metal fan I had never been to Saint Vitus. It always seemed hard to get to and I always knew it would have shows run late which wasn’t good for someone who realies on buses and trains to get to NYC(aka me). After my friend Doug moved to NYC, I deicided to pay him a visit as I had that weekend off. The Saturday of that weekend we both diecided to give the St.Vitus venue a first shot. We headed down to Vitus that night after doing random stuff in NYC. For dinner we checked out this lobster joint called Lobster joint. We got to the venue at door time and then 30 mins later the show started.

S.N.A.F.U 

First band on was a punk band called S.N.A.F.U. They were a fun warm up as the had a sound simliar to Poision Idea. We ran into a bunch of my friends around this time.

Against the Grain

After chatting with my friends during the intermission the second band, Against the Grain came on. They were also a punk band but this time with some classic rock influence. Like S.N.A.F.U they were a fun warm up.

Child Bite 

I had seen Child Bite play with Superjoint Ritual and King Parrot back in 2015. It was a very fun performance as was this second time. The singer had a lot of charisma and punk on a better performance than the first time I saw them. This would end up being Doug’s favorite band on the night.

Acid Witch 

Last but far from least was the main band of the night, Acid Witch. I had seen them once at mdf 2011 so I was overdue for another espcally after considering their album last year to be their best. Like, Child Bitte Acid Witch put on a better performance than last time. They mixed up the songs greatly as I got to hear greats like Mr.Bestile,The Black Witch,Worship the Worm and Stoned to the Grave. During the match members of Child Bitte came on stage in masks adding theatrics to the performance. All and all it was an awesome show and I can’t wait to revisit this iconic venue.

My experience at MDF 2018 Part 3 Saturday

 

Before the fest that day, Frank, Genovieve and I headed down to the American Visonary Arts Museum (while Matt headed to the venue to see literally every band). This  was very interesting as it was full of surreal artwork and models some made by people who were in mental homes. After leaving and chilling for a few hours I headed down to Rams Head to catch the first band I wanted to see.

 

The Ruins of Beverast 

I had seen these guys back in 2014, when they were outside. Here they were playing an indoor stage which I felt fit their sound more. and it really did. The band had a set that was extremely more haunting than their MDF 2014 set.

 

Bolzer

Next up were  Icelandic blackend death metalers Bolzer. I had missed them at MDF 2014(even though they had 2 sets), so now it was my chance to get to see them and was glad I finally did as they crushed.

 

Pig Destroyer

Next I went to Soundstage for Pig Destroyer, the band I wanted to see the most that day.

Pig Destroyer had a very killer set including many classic PG tunes and energy like no other. During this set, the MDF mascot, the MDF chicken proposed to his fiance’ on stage. This warmed the hearts of the audience while blood was spilled in the pit.

 

Sadistic Intent

After PD I went back to Rams head to catch some obscure OSDM goodness. The band didn’t disappoint playing their timeless material and sounding so good doing so.

 

Masters Hammer

After seeing Root last year i thought “wouldn’t it be awesome if they got Masters Hammer next year?,” and to my luck they did.

Performing with a hot woman wearing a goat skull and giving the devil horns with over-the-top theatrics and an awesome sound.

 

Helmet

For  a short while I went to Soundstage to watch Helmet during the gap between Hammer and Satyricon. The band played several songs before I had to leave all within a short time frame due to not talking much at all. They were fun, although I couldn’t get over the fact that the drummer looked like Tom Green.

 

Satyricon

I was curious about seeing Satyricon due to being a fan of the first three albums… and only those albums. Live they were pretty boring and it wasn’t long before I left and Caught the last two songs of Helmets set, Unsung and the song from the Crow. After their set I called an Uber and went back to the hotel.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 42: Defenders Review and the Joker Too

Chris and Jon review Marvel’s The Defenders and discuss the Joker spinoff movies rumbling around Hollywood. Chris also goes off on a bad voiceover experience.

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My Experience at MDF 2017 – Part 3: Saturday

by Anthony Carioscia

Saturday was the most interesting day at this year’s Maryland Deathfest, not just because of the lineup, but because of the day leading up to it as well.

Matt’s friend Dave came into our room as well as his friends Chris and Ricky.  We went for dinner at a place called Dick’s Last Resort. It was a cool place where the staff would  – in addition to insult the customers – yell at them, throw stuff, give them all hats with insults on them. The waiter asked who was here for the DeathFest, then blasted Venom on his phone while headbanging and thrusting (not making this up). After we laughed and ate their great food, we headed to the venue and ran into Dave from Nucleus.

Uada

The first band I wanted to see for the day was Portland black metallers, Uada. The band is normally criticized for sounding too much like MGLA, but I think they are a fun little band and their performance was top-notch.

Goolagoon

I was very curious to see this Spongebob-themed punk band. Once you get past the gimmick, they are actually a pretty decent punk band and live they were loaded with energy.

Exhumed 

This was my fourth time seeing Exhumed, but they are never boring live. This was no different as they had a great set list and their over the top horror stage show was great like always.

Exumer

I am a fan of the band’s debut Possessed by Fire but nothing  after that. However, I was still curious to see Exumer. They played some songs of the first album but just seemed boring live.

Root

Along with Insect Warfare, Root were the band I was most excited to see. I had requested for Root to play since 2014, so it was nice to see them finally get added. They played a nice mix of their early black metal stuff and their later heavy metal stuff and sounded great. Big Boss’s voice was spot on and their stage setup was fun. They ended their set with the iconic “Pisen Pro Satana.”

Grave 

Next up were Swe-death masters Grave. I didn’t watch too much of their set due to not wanting to miss a second of Insect Warfare but they played a nice old-school set from what I saw and sounded great.

Insect Warfare

I went over to the Soundstage for the band that made me buy my ticket. Insect Warfare is one of my favorite grindcore bands and I was glad I finally got to see them. Their energy was unbeatable with an insane pit full of people crowd surfing, slipping on beer, and someone even threw a trash can into the pit. The singer had tons of over the top banter such as threatening those who bootleg his shirts. This was without a doubt the best set and best day of the fest. After them, we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lone Star: Captivating and Surreal

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The year is 1972. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an unknown issue developing in Vietnam veterans. Upon his return from the war, Roy (Matt de Rogatis) discovers both he and his life have changed in Jame’s McLure’s Lone Star, an off-Broadway play that encompasses a man slowly going insane from the shock of the things he’s seen while clinging to his past.

The short play gets right to the point as Roy, drunk on his favorite beer (Lone Star) heads to the backyard of a Texas bar and immediately acknowledges the stars in the sky, one of the recurring motifs in the one-hour show. We are then introduced to his brother Ray (Chris Loupos) and for a brief moment, Cletis (Greg Pragel) –  a friend of Ray who Roy despises for seemingly no particular reason. As Ray and Roy chat and reminisce about Roy’s glory days, we quickly realize Roy is not nearly as stable as he claims to be while brother Ray is dealing with his own issues.

The acting is impeccable. De Rogatis’s portrayal of an alcoholic post-war victim really hits home as his energy translates well across the stage. His use of facial expressions and body language carry the character convincingly as you continue to feel worse for the mood-swinging Roy every minute. Loupos shares a unique chemistry with de Rogatis as you can immediately tell the two characters are brothers, as well as which is older. Loupos also makes you believe Ray’s concern for his brother and his attempts to make everything seem alright while holding back the truth. Together, they work very well. Pragel also provides a somber comic relief in Cletis, who simply wants to be accepted by the macho Roy.

The play also provides a simple, yet relatable premise while making fantastic use of what little time the actors have. From the mcguffin in Roy’s 1959 pink Thunderbird to his marital struggles to Ray and Cletis’ secrets, the elements are peppered in at the right moments where nothing feels forced. The dialogue feels real enough to suggest that similar conversations have happened many times in reality during this particular period, and even now with current war/military vets. Even the southern accents are done to a T (for Texas, that is).

Additionally, Lone Star also has a series of motifs sprinkled thoughout the presentation. Stars are a metaphor for Roy (indicated by his beverage of choice) and everyone he’s ever known and loved (the stars in the sky). Another is Hank William’s 1953 classic “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”

The one issue with Lone Star is it’s ending. Despite all the turmoil and build, the play tries to end on a positive note. This is not only confusing as there is no real resolve to Roy’s growing problems, but not entirely believable unless Roy really is that drunk (which is plausible). However, the audience will be left with many questions and the desire to see the true aftermath of Roy and Ray’s night out.

At the end of the night, Lone Star is a quick, yet large dose of drama with a great cast and script. Despite a light hiccup of a finale, you have a solid show that makes a strong brew out of the limited hops, grains and barley it’s given.

Lone Star is moving off-Broadway to The Triad May 6th and 13th. Tickets can be purchased at DrinkBeerRaiseHell.com.

DNC Unable to Watch ‘Mania, Blames Russia

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The DNC was rather upset Sunday evening, but not for the reasons you may think.

The entire committee gathered at the Clinton estate to watch WrestleMania 33, but things went awry after the one hour WWE Kickoff special on the USA Network aired.

“Due to large amounts of delays, we were unable to watch WrestleMania,” said Hillary Clinton, an avid John Cena fan. “We believe the Russians hacked into our Xbox One console, sabotaging The Ultimate Thrill Ride for the Democratic Party.”

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin could not be reached for comment, but sources say he was very upset Rusev was unable to compete due to his shoulder injury and hopes he receives a proper main event push upon return.

“This is preposterous,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, who had no issues watching the event on his 80-inch Smart TV from his Vermont home. “Everyone knows the WWE Network lags on the Xbox One, plus when you account for the amount of new subscribers and people watching this event, it’s very clear that Russia has nothing to do with this.”

Over in the White House, the Trump Administration thoroughly enjoyed The Show of Shows on their Playstation 4. However, Vice-President Mike Pence was reportedly unable to watch any matches involving women as his wife Karen was out running errands all day.

“Mother and I love Bayley,” said the Vice-President.

It was also reported that President Trump and his wife Melania were having marital issues over the main event as Melania is a huge fan of Roman Reigns – a Superstar her husband despises.

“He’s hot and has muscles,” said the First Lady before calming down her son Baron, who was upset his favorite Superstar Baron Corbin did not win the Intercontinental Championship from Dean Ambrose.

President Trump could not be reached for comment, but we were told by Secret Service Agents that he thought “very bigly” of this year’s event and popped huge for the returning Hardy’s.

Then. Now. Hoax.

The New Wave of Entrepreneurship

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by Matt Swanson

There is a multi-trillion dollar economy opening up to technology faster than ever. It has been driven by trends that have changed the nature of how entrepreneurs will be characterized going forward; specifically, industry executives will be the next wave of in-demand startup CEOs.

In April of 2007, Apple changed everything with the launch of the iPhone. It is hard to imagine that it has only been 8 years since the release of the first truly pervasive smartphone, but there is no denying its impact has been world-changing. Beyond the creation of a new dimension of industry-driven, by location-based, services (and with it, a myriad of billion dollar companies), an equally significant phenomenon emerged. By creating technology that was intuitive to the consumer masses, every person around the world started to embrace technology as more than just a work tool. Lawyers, doctors, car mechanics and people from every sector of the economy not only had a tool for productivity, but a piece of technology in their pocket they embraced as an intimate part of their lives.

Furthermore, these new consumers could now point to a standard for usable technology. Cumbersome, enterprise legal software that won’t allow a lawyer to search cases from outside the office is no longer acceptable. For those outside of the Silicon Valley silo, conversations can be heard from construction workers sitting on a lunch break saying “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app to …”. Unfortunately, these conversations are often too far away from Silicon Valley’s ears, which are still dominated by the talk of what will be the next WhatsApp or Instagram. Even so, a new breed of entrepreneur is emerging who see firsthand the challenges in their industry, and with that the opportunity to make a world-changing impact, and these entrepreneurs do not fit the founder archetype that many Silicon Valley investors look for.

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IWD Strike a Political Tool for Leftist Organizers?

Woman’s March on Washington D.C.

by Connor J. Frontera

Today is International Women’s Day, but instead of celebrating the achievements of women in America and around the world, many will use it to express themselves another way, participating in protest against the “injustices” that women face every day in the workplace, at home, and in society known as the “A Day Without a Woman” strike.

The marches set for today, similar to the marches against President Trump on January 21st, will be made up of not only people protesting the rights denied to women, but also rights denied to the members of the LBGTQ community, people with disabilities, and immigrants, a direct retaliation to the executive order signed by President Trump on Monday.

Although the march has a clear-cut mission, it lacks a strong base to the movement. Planned Parenthood, the top sponsor for the march, rigorously fights for women’s rights every day, but people who support this fail to realize that Planned Parenthood is also responsible for more than 300,000 abortions every year, according to liveaction.org. Considering many of these unborn children were potentially female, fighting for women’s rights suddenly becomes problematic when it’s realized that the top sponsor denies a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution: life.

Moreover, including members of groups that do not share that mission (groups fighting The Dakota Access Pipeline for example) clearly shows that the movement is not actually about women’s rights, but rather used as encouragement for other progressive agendas such as immigration and environmental policies. The Natural Resources Defense Council, the only platinum sponsor of the movement, just behind Planned Parenthood, is an organization aimed at fighting climate change, which has absolutely nothing to do with women’s rights.

Even the debated relevant topics being protested for by this movement are problematic. The common workplace discrimination arguments, brought up consistently by women’s rights organizations, too, lack a strong base on multiple fronts.

On the equal pay front, which lacks decisive evidence in general, paying women the same as men disintegrates the meaning of capitalism, a system that once made this country arguably the strongest in the world. Paying the same wage to people occupying the same job throws a wrench in the wheel of competition, lowering the standards of an employer who might see something past the actual resume of a candidate. In addition, it creates a ceiling on bargaining power for positions, which might actually force employers to pay someone who is more equipped for the job less money, including women. While there is still no real evidence that supports the claim that women are paid less, the true meaning of the movement becomes shaky.

In defense of these ideologies, women are taking the day off from work, unpaid labor, and shopping. In circumstances where striking is not possible, they will wear red in solidarity.

Fighting for women’s rights once sent a powerful message to lawmakers and society, but that message has now become diluted as recent events have seen the cause embody a new meaning closely tied with leftist politics. It is no longer about the rights of women, but rather a vehicle to break down the current Trump administration, and force an equal, socialist-leaning agenda on society. Real women should not march, take the day off from work, or simply do (or not do) things to divide on this day, but rather celebrate the accomplishments that so many great women such as Sally Ride and Nellie Bly have made throughout history, aiming to further accomplish great things for the world.

CPAC 2017 Arms Young Conservatives With Intellectual Ammo

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President Trump takes time to bask in the moment mid-speech.

by Connor J. Frontera

The Conservative Political Action Conference, held In the Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, Md. last week, attracted more than 10,000 conservatives (many of them college students) to share and gather knowledge about conservative values and contemplate the future of the United States of America. Speakers were invited from all over the globe, including Senator Ted Cruz, Judge Jeanine Pirro, and the even the President himself, Donald J. Trump.

The convention began last Wednesday and ran until the following Saturday afternoon. Each day, Speakers presented special seminars, talks, and panels to pass on their knowledge and experience to young and passionate conservatives to arm them with the proper arguments against their liberal opposition. These seminars included topics regarding very simple Constitutional rights, such as the meaning of the second and fourth amendments, as well as some very controversial topics which included sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, and radical Islamic terrorism.

President Trump, arrived Saturday morning via Marine One to address the convention. In the Gaylord National Resort ballroom, over five thousand patiently awaited his arrival, some students waking up at as early as 3 o’clock in the morning to get a front row seat. This was the first Presidential appearance at this convention since Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s.

In his speech, President Trump addressed all of the current issues that are facing the country today. He criticized the mainstream media for its “fake news,” exclaiming that the people of this great nation are no longer going to let the media report false stories. The President also addressed ISIS, stating that he will make sure they are “eradicated,” and that he will help build our military so strong that it will be completely unstoppable. In addition to these topics, the President covered immigration and the wall, helping businesses by cutting taxes, and that he indeed loves Campbell’s soup.

Minutes after his speech, a crowd joined outside to watch him head back to the White House on Marine One to get back to work and help deliver on the promises he has made as President.

 The overall convention was a success and most of its attendees went away happy and gracious from what they had learned. It supplied them with the intellectual ammunition for battle against their liberal opposition in future debates, cases, and biased college campus policies.