Archive for May, 2010

Dio’s Widow Asks For Tolerance

Posted in news, opinion with tags , , , on May 25, 2010 by thirteenburn

Via L.A. Times ‘Pop & Hiss’:

Wendy Dio, the widow of heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio, is asking her husband’s family members, friends and fans to “turn the other cheek” to members of the fringe Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas who have called for a protest at Sunday’s public memorial service for Dio at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Note to Westboro Baptist Church/Fred Phelps: two words: Zakk Wylde. This man is huge and takes no bullshit, so I suggest you back off or incur the wrath of not only the like-minded musicians who will be in attendance, but also the fans who will most assuredly show up as well, honoring not only the greatest singer in the genre of metal, but in my humble opinion, all of music, period.

I have a feeling that the Westboro Baptist Church has bitten off way more than they can chew and this “protest” could end up being their last.

I’m just sayin’…

God Bless you, Ronnie. May your soul rest in peace. You will be missed.


Slipknot Bassist Paul Gray – 1972-2010

Posted in breaking news, obit with tags , , on May 25, 2010 by thirteenburn


Police say metal band Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has been found dead in an Iowa hotel room. Police say a hotel employee found the 38-year-old Gray dead in a room Monday at the Town Plaza Hotel in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. Foul play isn’t suspected.

Paul Gray will be greatly missed by fans and fellow musicians alike.

Paul Gray: 1972-2010 R.I.P.

“The Big Four” To Be Broadcast Via Satellite From Sonisphere

Posted in general on May 23, 2010 by thirteenburn

After rumors and ‘on-again, off-again’ reports of it actually coming together, it’s been finally announced that thrash metal’s “Big Four” – Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer – will be playing this summer at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth.

Now comes word that the show will be beamed via satellite into over 450 theatres around the world on June 22nd.

The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax – broadcast via satellite to select movie theatres Tuesday, June 22

For one night only, metalheads around the world can experience history: On Tuesday, June 22, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax perform on one stage together, and through the wonders of satellite technology, you can be part of this historic concert event, broadcast exclusively to select movie theatres around the world. Beyond the limited European festival dates, there are no additional tour dates planned for this extraordinary line-up.

US Tickets on sale now;
International Tickets on sale May 28.

For a list of those theaters where this once-in-a-lifetime event will take place, go here:

Can It Get Any Worse For The RIAA?

Posted in news, opinion, recording industry with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by thirteenburn

It seems that every week, another story regarding the gross stupidity of the RIAA comes out and this week is no exception.

According to, the industry suffered the worse week of record sales since 1991.

Coming on the heels of the NARM conference’s news that only 2.1 percent of albums released last year topped the 5,000 units sold marker, last week saw the worst week in record sales since Nielsen SoundScan started doing the tracking back in 1991.

In light of such news, the recording industry desk jockeys want you to believe that these pathetic numbers are strictly the fault of the so-called “pirates” as well as iTunes and other similar sites that sell music by the song; usually for less than a dollar a pop, and has absolutely nothing to do with the industry’s abject refusal to embrace the internet and it’s myriad distribution possibilities. Couple that with the recent battle between the band OK Go and their record company, who felt that it was their (the record company) decision alone as to how the band distributed their own music and through what platform. Needless to say, OK Go immediately severed all ties with said record company and started their own.

It appears that more and more musicians are choosing to do the same: opt out of contract renegotiations and take over full control of all business related issues concerning their own musical output. Makes one wonder just how long before the record company as we know it becomes extinct.

In my opinion, it can’t happen too soon.

“and the recording industry still can’t figure out why they’re going bankrupt…”

Via The Music Industry Report

SoundExchange Holding Millions In Unpaid Royalites

Posted in news, recording industry with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by thirteenburn

As if the recording industry needed any more embarrassment, it has come to light that SoundExchange, a company that collects and distributes royalty payments derived from satellite and internet radio, cable television music channels and other music streaming platforms, has withheld over $200 million dollars in unpaid royalties dating back to year-end 2008, according to the I.R.S.

Read the full story here.

Via the music industry report

Remembering Ronnie James Dio

Posted in obit, opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by thirteenburn

As Tony Iommi is known for being the father of the “heavy metal” guitar sound, his on-again, off-again Black Sabbath band mate in Ronnie James Dio is considered the father of the “heavy metal” vocal style. There was no one else like him at the time and close to fifty years later you can still hear his influence loud and clear.

The first time I heard of Ronnie James was when I was living in Germany on the Gov’t dime (USAF – Bitburg) and the NWOBHM was just starting to hit the states. In short order, I realized that, while this was something new for my friends back home, the genre had been well established in Europe. Bands like Samson (w/ Bruce Dickenson on vocals pre-Iron Maiden, also a heavy weight of the genre with singer Paul Di’Anno) Saxon, Judas Priest and several other lesser-known bands that never quite translated their European success back here in the states: Diamond Head, Girlschool, Nightwing and Tygers Of Pan Tang, just to name a few. To the general population, these bands are probably more known for their heavy influence on the music of Metallica than for their music itself, but they were considered commonplace in Germany.

And then came Holy Diver. I had first heard, and heard of, Ronnie James Dio via his stint with Rainbow and even back then I remember being blown away with his power as a vocalist. To be honest, however, I was not a huge fan of what I considered “classical metal.” I didn’t hate it; it was just a style that I wasn’t into all that much. But Holy Diver was something different.

Very few albums give me goose bumps at first listen, but Holy Diver did exactly that. The sound of the opening riff from the title track was something I hadn’t heard before. It’s hard to put into words; it was just the “hugeness” of guitar sound, and it’s the first time outside of first hearing Eddie Van Halen that I seriously entertained the thought of learning the instrument. At that time, I had a good fifteen years as a drummer under my belt, learning at the age of eight from my dad who drummed in a few Jazz bands during his high school and college days. Up to that time in my life, I hadn’t taken it that seriously, but that wall all about to change when I heard Dio – the man and the band.

Very few musicians can stand the test of time. Ronnie James Dio is one of those musicians. Listen to and/or read any of his myriad interviews and you can’t help but feel like you know the man personally. Several of those in the music industry press who have had the honor of conducting said interviews have become close friends with the man because of his ‘common man’ vibe and attitude. If it’s one thing that can be said of Ronnie James Dio, it’s that he’s never suffered from L.S.D. – Lead Singer’s Disease. One interview in particular drove that fact home when he recounted a story where a certain guitar player he never named (clearly he was referring to Blackmore but as classy as Dio is, he never said his name) made it a point to blow off fans because, as this guitar player put it (paraphrasing) “if you do it for one fan, you end up spending hours singing your name and I don’t have the time…”. As Dio put it, “that’s ridiculous because without the fans, we’re nothing; I’m nothing.”

“Without the fans, we’re nothing; I’m nothing.”

No truer words were ever spoken and while I’m sure that all bands/musicians claim the same mind-set, percentage wise there aren’t many bands that actually step up and put their money where their mouths are and Ronnie James Dio is one of those musicians. And it’s that attitude that has made Dio such a hugely popular figure in the world of metal, both with the fans and industry peers alike.

Thank you, Ronnie James Dio. Thank you for all the fantastic music you created. Thank you for your humanity towards the fan. Thank you for all you’ve done for the metal genre and music in general, and above all, thank you for all the great memories you’ve given all of us.

You’re a rainbow in the dark and will be missed.

Ronnie James Dio – 1942 – 2010

Has Lou Reed’s Career Gone To The Dogs?

Posted in news with tags , , on May 15, 2010 by thirteenburn


We all know how “Avant-Garde” that Lou Reed has been throughout his stellar musical career, but this story really tops all…

Check it out

Thanks to altsounds