Hybrid Creations of Science

Monday December 5, 2005

Now that the Pharaoh album is done and my weekends are open, Saturday and Sunday feel like an almost endless oasis of free time. I had planned on seeing a concert on Friday night, but, as it turned out, that show was in fact scheduled for Saturday, so Nancy and I went to the movies instead and saw Aeon Flux. This movie is surprisingly good! The previews make it look like Charlie's Angels in the Future or something, and while I was not exactly a die-hard fan of the original cartoon, I always respected Peter Chung's animation and vision, and so I expected to leave the movie furious, as always, at Hollywood. But the movie was fine! Go figure! I was especially impressed with the costumes (and that's something I never thought I'd say in my life.) Whoever was in charge of the clothing did an exemplary job in translating the weird fashion of the cartoon to actual wearable clothing. The story was well crafted, the action was quick, and the special effects were subtle and effective. Who'd have thought?

On saturday, we went to see the aforementioned show, this time with Evan along for the evening. The band was Beatallica, a clever and amusing mash-up of Metallica and the Beatles. While their set was very entertaining, we made some tactical errors that somewhat dampened the fun of the evening. First, I made the rookie mistake of believing the show-time listed on the North Star's website. Second, I didn't adequately research the opening band, Omegalord. This is a band I've known to exist for quite a while, and I'm actually a little surprised that I never saw them before. I assumed (for some reason) that they were Sabbathy doom metal, but this is not exactly an accurate description of their sound. They're more like idiot ass-metal. I feel bad for this band. They're trying hard. They clearly rehearse a lot. They write songs, record albums, and play shows. But they still suck. Their songs are bland, their singer is boring, and their musicianship is nothing to speak of. While they plodded through their interminably long set, I tried to think of a single band that slogged it out for years and years in the underground before finally getting their shit together and turning into a good band on a good record label. I couldn't think of one. As it turns out, most good bands are usually good right away, or at least they show some promise. There's no good band that takes 8 years to find a label. Omegalord just don't have what it takes. They'll continue to labor in the underground, opening for cover bands, playing at dives in New Jersey that no self-respecting band would ever approach, and eventually the guys in the band will give up and Omegalord will simply cease being. I won't miss them.

As for Beatallica, they were even more fun than I was hoping, largely thanks to guitarist "Kirk Harrison." This guy was an insane ball of energy, and he always had a huge smile on his face, which never fails to impress me. I like it when the band on stage is having fun. If they're not having fun, how the hell could we in the audience possibly have fun? They played most of the songs I could remember from their couple of recordings (including such hits as "Hey Dude," "Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band," and "Everybody's Got a Ticket to Ride Except for Me and My Lighting") and a few new songs, plus a silly and amusing bass solo. I especially liked that the bass player (Cliff McCartney, I assume) played one of those violin-shaped basses like Paul McCartney did. Funny! For a novelty act, their set was a little long - one hour would have sufficed, so we left before the encore, but overall I'm glad I saw them. It was a late night, and I had a bad case of concert-back when we left, but that's rock and roll, I suppose.

Posted by Matt at December 5, 2005 10:22 AM


You don't really capture the general joviality of these fellows (Beatallica, not, ahem, Omegalord).

Actually, one thing I would like to add about Omegalord is that they are all pudgy. Not that I don't have my own fair share of pudge, because everyone knows I do, but I am also not an aspiring metal god. I mean, come on! Except for the occasional genuinely fat guy, metal band members are a lean and mean bunch. One guy in Omegalord struck me a web programmer or a paralegal or something -- short hair, clean cut, fey soulpatch, corporately accepted sign of the repressed artiste. They all clearly have cushy day jobs. Not that there's anything wrong with cushy day jobs, but if you have a cushy job by day and are an angry aspiring metal-er by night, you should have some sense of humor about the whole thing, and they had none. They were so goddamned earnest! One of their songs was "Skullbong." Does anyone but me see the disconnect here?

In fact, there were a ton of things to hate about Omegalord, and I would have probably forgotten all of them if the talentless, bearded, fuzzy-haired, corpulent lead singer hadn't splashed water in my eye in an act of desperate, impotent rage! It was one of those occasions where the band's enthusiasm was not reflected in the audience's energy level, which must be very disheartening for a wannabe superstar. If you're a lead singer, don't ever start shouting "Come on, let's hear some noise!" or "Come on, mix it up!" or "Come on, don't fall alseep out there!" (I kid you not, he screamed this at one point). If you feel the need to shout anything that begins with "Come on," recognize your own failure, finish the performance, and undertake to analyze your shortcomings at the next rehearsal. Instead, in what seemed like an obvious act of frustration, this guy sprayed the people in front of the stage (some of whom included his most fervent fans, many of whom even knew the words!) with water from a bottle. A drop of which hit me square in the eye. Maybe this is his thing, I dunno, and maybe he does this at every Omegalord performence, but, even so, it's just another thing to despise about Omegalord. I hope these guys perish in a house fire.

Even though I'm merely piling on at this point, I did also appreciate Omegalord's fat girlfriends constantly snapping photos of their boyfriend band members, because they were just oh so proud! Thank god these people found each other. It was like a high school concert with the parents in attendance. Again, none of this would have really bothered me, probably, if not for that unwarrented splash of water in the eye! But that was just the straw that broke the camel's back. But the fat girlfriends were just glowing, and they were so proud of their boys and to show off their warped and stretched small-of-the-back tattoos.

But to get back to my original point about Beatallica, they were the friendliest guys I've ever seen on stage, I think. Not that, say, Bobby Blitz is not friendly on stage, because he is, but he also has a rather hard edge to him that these guys did not. The main fellow, James Lennon I suppose, outright pranced around the stage! And when, inexplicably, some meatheads near the back organized an E-A-G-L-E-S chant, they were totally fine with it. What nice guys!

Posted by: Evan at December 5, 2005 01:22 PM

Oh yeah! The EAGLES thing. What makes a person do a thing like this? How could these idiots have possibly thought the Beatallica show was the appropriate venue for a rousing football cheer? And they didn't just do it once - they did it four or five times throughout the night. These men deserved to be horsewhipped, as my dad might say.

Posted by: Matt Johnsen at December 5, 2005 01:28 PM

I propose that we collaborate on a book (based on that hideous 'He's Just Not That Into You' book) entitled: 'They're Just Not That Into You: A Primer for Wannabes' I will write the chapter on how to spot 'irony' photographers and tips on when to prepare for flaming rolls of TP. I'm sure you two can fill in the rest...We can sell it at Hot Topic and be millionaires!

Posted by: Sarah at December 5, 2005 10:05 PM

That's a great idea, Sarah! We could call the book, How to Know When Your Band Sucks (and it does!) Think of the sonic suffering we could mitigate!

Have you actually been witness to flaming rolls of TP? I should be so lucky! No one has ever tried incinerating any of the shitty bands I've seen over the years. I think I have a new calling.

Posted by: Matt Johnsen at December 7, 2005 02:40 PM

I thought you said "no one's tried incinerating any of the shitty bands I've been in" for a second there. That would have been ironic fun!


Posted by: Kevin Madden at December 7, 2005 04:03 PM

Well, Kevin, we didn't call the first album After the Fire for nothing!

Posted by: Matt Johnsen at December 8, 2005 12:29 PM

Flaming TP? Why yes, I have seen it (I still have the flyer). 1997-ish, NYC, Coney Island High (RIP), headliner was The Selecter (making the audience mainly Rude Boy/Skinhead types and related women). Anyway...one of the openers was some god-awful all-female act (The Friggs) and after 2/3 songs at least two guys in the audience came out with rolls of toilet paper which they proceeded to ignite and hurl towards the stage. TP doesn't really stay lit so well once it's airborne, but the desired effect was achieved and they ended their set early. The great thing was that nothing really happened to those guys and then The Selecter came on like nothing happened.
As for irony photos, if you go to my blog all the way back to March and find the Anberlin show post (I know...) I will put that one of J Paris up...

Posted by: Sarah at December 8, 2005 02:41 PM

Good point, Matt, I had forgotten the name of the cd :-) When's the new one due?


Posted by: Kevin Madden at December 10, 2005 10:27 PM

Sarah - that sounds like a very effective technique! I should remember that for the next time I find myself enduring Omegalord or their crappy ilk.

Kevin - the new album is recorded and mixed and is now in transit to Italy for mastering. If all goes according to plan, the album will be released in Europe at the end of February. When I'll actually see a copy remains to be seen.

Posted by: Matt Johnsen at December 11, 2005 02:21 AM

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