Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan [FREE]

Brian K. Vaughan is an amazing and highly acclaimed writer. He has created and/or written many comic books including Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Marvel’s Runaways, Pride of Baghdad, and the highly popular Saga. Vaughan was also a writer, executive story editor and producer for seasons 3 to 5 on the ABC TV series Lost. Damon Lindelof the co-creator and executive producer of Lost was a huge fan of Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man. In addition to all that Brian has won a whopping 10 Eisner Awards and was nominated for many others. Needless to say any project he is involved with deserves some attention, let alone one that is being offered for free. 

The Private Eye is a sci-fi detective series written by Vaughan, drawn by Marcos Martín and takes place in the year 2076. It is set in a post-internet world where concerns over privacy and a major event have led to every citizen having a secret identity. In this world the press is also the police, and the story follows Pi who is a detective/unlicensed journalist, aka a "paparazzo." The series lasted 10 issues and was self-published by its creators digitally through their website, Panel Syndicate, in DRM-free formats.  In 2015 it won an Eisner Award for Best Digital/Webcomic and the Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work. The comic has a clever premise and is highly addictive, and I can see it being easily adapted to television. They are up for digital download with a suggested donation so try and drop a few bucks if you can, it is insane that a comic book this good is being offered for free.

Download Here: panelsyndicate.com

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Idol Threat's Top 20 Albums of 2015

It's only a few days later than when last year's list was posted, but we made it just under the wire! This past year's Top 20 list took awhile to put together so we won't add on needlessly with a long intro. So without further ado, here is Idol Threat's Top 20 Albums of 2015 in no particular order (see the full list by clicking on "the jump")

Beauty Pill – Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are
I want more life, fucker.”  That quote from Bladerunner is the first lyric for the “Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are” album.  It’s a pretty appropriate movie quote for an album that’s so electronically organic. That phrase seems even more apropos when you realize that years ago the mastermind behind Beauty Pill Chad Clark was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy and had to undergo emergency open heart surgery to save his life.  The surgery is one of the main reasons it took so long to record this new album, which is the band’s first release since 2004.  Their artsy, electronically-inflected indie rock was a strange fit on the legendary Washington, D.C.-based hardcore label Dischord, so they opted for a more fitting home for this release with Butterscotch Records.  This album is so full of life, colors, and joy that it transforms the opening phrase into a declaration of exuberance as opposed to rage.  Beauty Pill Describes… seems so celebratory that it manages to make words like fuck, junkie and asshole sound almost innocent.  With its thick yet sleek production, inventive rhythms and nuances this album is definitely more appreciated within headphones.  “Describes Things As They Are” is lush, fresh, extremely listenable and engrossing.

Endon – MAMA
MAMA was originally released last year in Japan on CD through renowned Japanese label Daymare Recordings. This album was produced by Atsuo the drummer of the famed Japanese band Boris. It also garnered so much attention that it received a worldwide release via Hydra Head in 2015, which is considerable since they technically closed their doors as a label in 2012. There seems to be a lot of star power that believes in Endon and for good reason. The Japanese quartet's sound is intense. So much so that it often defies categorization. Endon are about noise. There's some black metal there, and some grindcore and a dash of hardcore too but they're mostly about noise. Despite this fact you would be hard pressed to call their music noise metal. They don't sound like Today Is The Day, Unsane or Ken Mode, so calling them noise metal would be more of an understatement to the term noise. There are lots of bands that sound like the sum of their influences, but it is rare for one to sound like all of them playing at the same time. Guitar riffs are enveloped or beaten into submission by distortion as harsh electronics whirr and stutter. Often times the drummer sounds like he’s playing blast beats in a typhoon as schizophrenic screams and tongues spoken with both anger and anguish terrorize the tracks. That isn't to say that this album was put together haphazardly, there's an obvious method behind the madness. There is structure underneath all the chaos. Yet there is also more madness behind the madness as well. This is very challenging anti-music so proceed with caution.

Rapper Big Pooh & Nottz - Home Sweet Home
Little Brother came onto the scene at an opportune time.  The North Carolina trio was credited for bringing positive throwback Hip Hop back to the forefront at a time when it was sorely lacking.  Even their name itself was an ode to the 'big brothers' of Hip Hop they admired; A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, De La Soul etc. With the group's disbandment it was no question that the members would thrive on their own with 9th Wonder producing for Mary J. Blige, Jay Z and Destiny's Child and Phonte creating his own Grammy nominated duo The Foreign Exchange.  With the meteoric rise of the two it would be easy to assume that the lesser noticed Rapper Big Pooh would be left by the wayside.  Pooh had done quite the opposite actually dropping a multitude of mixtapes and albums while proving himself to be a strong solo artist.  "Home Sweet Home" touches on more personal subject matter, making it highly relatable.  Memory lane is definitely the major theme that is driven over on this album as songs about home, high school and nostalgia dominate the release. In the opening verse to 'Welcome Home' Pooh raps “all respect due to the elders in the room” before rapping about coming home to family - when's the last time you heard a Hip Hop artist give respect to their elders?  That respect is reflected in Rapper's music as well as his life and is quite refreshing to hear. But Big Pooh’s wise and insightful lines would be nothing without the hard-hitting production from Nottz, who’s break-heavy beats pushes this album from a solid one to one of our top albums of the year.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Insect Warfare Reunite to play Obscene Extreme 2016 July 13-17

The other day Dobber Beverly, the drummer for War Master and the last drummer to play for legendary Texas grindcore act Insect Warfare posted the above picture of said band.  Rahi, Dobber and Beau's current bands just happened to be sharing practice space and posted the pic on Facebook which instantly spurred comments and questions on whether or not they were getting back together.  Apparently the rumors are true because it was just announced that the trio will reunite to play Obscene Extreme Fest an open air metal and hardcore festival that takes place in the Czech Republic!  Hopefully this also means more shows planned for the future and maybe even some new music.  With this and the At the Drive In announcement this is turning out to be an incredible week!  Here is what festival founder Miroslav "Curby" Urbanec had to say about the fortuitous reunion:

"Thousands of grinders all over the world have been waiting for this moment for many years and now it is here! An exclusive show at Obscene Extreme fest and a comeback we have been impatiently waiting for!!!

INSECT WARFARE will crush the Trutnov Battlefield with a power of grind hurricane!!! Precise riffs, intense cyclone. We are expecting nothing less!!! This band has ruled the world with their ingenious album “World Extermination” that brought an awesome portion of totally devastating music!!!

Uargh! You just cannot miss that!!! Our enthusiasm knows no limits!!! Where is July?"

Website: www.obsceneextreme.cz

Thursday, January 21, 2016

At the Drive In announce 2016 World Tour and New Music

Seminal post hardcore group AT THE DRIVE IN have announced that they are reuniting for a world tour and to work on a new album!  This would be their first new album since 2000's classic "Relationship of Command."  At the Drive In formed in 1993 in El Paso, Texas and rose to prominence over the years for their energetic live shows and critically acclaimed albums.  They became one of the most influential post hardcore groups of the late 90s and early 2000s and their last release is considered by many to be a landmark album.  The band broke up in early 2001 and vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López formed The Mars Volta while Jim Ward, Paul Hinojos, and Tony Hajjar formed Sparta.  They first reunited in 2012 and played a string of festival shows including Coachella, Lollapalooza, Splendour in the Grass, Fuji Rock, Reading and the Leeds Festival.  You can check out a teaser for their new music below and see the dates for their 2016 World Tour after the jump.

Website: www.atthedriveinmusic.com/

WORLD TOUR. NEW MUSIC. 2016. www.atthedriveinmusic.com
Posted by At The Drive In on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead frontman dead at 70

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, legendary singer/bassist for Motörhead and former Hawkwind bassist has passed away from cancer.  Lemmy was a Heavy Metal icon and one of the last, true remaining rock stars and this is a tremendous loss for Rock and Roll.

Former Motörhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor died aged 61 in November. “Fast” Eddie Clarke, who becomes the last surviving member of the band’s most famous lineup, wrote on Facebook: 

I have just been told that Lemmy has passed away in LA. Like Phil, he was like a brother to me. I am devastated. We did so much together, the three of us.  The world seems a really empty place right now. I am having trouble finding the words … He will live on in our hearts. RIP Lemmy!”

Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee has also confirmed in an interview that the band is obviously no longer going on without Lemmy;

“Motorhead is over, of course. Lemmy was Motorhead,” Dee says. “We won’t be doing any more tours or anything. And there won’t be any more records. But the brand survives, and Lemmy lives on in the hearts of everyone.”

Lemmy was born in Burslem, Staffordshire, on Christmas Eve in 1945. In the early 1960s he was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. He played in several rock bands, including the Rockin’ Vickers, Sam Gopal and most infamously in Hawkwind, before forming Motörhead (originally named Bastard) which was taken from the final song he had written for the band. He was reportedly fired from Hawkwind for “doing the wrong drugs."

Lemmy has publicly struggled with illness in recent years. He underwent surgery to have an implantable defibrillator placed in his chest in 2013, and has cancelled shows due to exhaustion and a haematoma; a solid swelling of clotted blood within tissue.  Motörhead had been scheduled to tour the UK and France in early 2016. 

There will never be another metal god like Lemmy.  No one will ever have the same style, the same gravely voice or the same blitzkrieg bass playing as the mighty Lemmy Kilmister.  He will be sorely missed.  Here's what the official Motörhead Facebook page posted:

"There is no easy way to say this... our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.

We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren't words.

We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please... play Motrhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy's music LOUD. Have a drink or few.

Share stories.

Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.


lan 'Lemmy' Kilmister"

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Star Wars: Tales from the Far, Far Away [Free Comic]

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has finally arrived and Star Wars fever is EVERYWHERE! Luckily for us that leads to more Star Wars related merch, and even some new fan-written Star Wars comics! Michael Moreci writer co-creator of Hoax Hunters, Roche Limit and Burning Fields and ReincarNATE and Tim Daniel writer, co-creator of Burning Fields, Curse, Enormous, Skinned and Spiritus brings us two new (unofficial) stories from the Star Wars universe!  Tim Daniel's story, featuring art from Kendall Goode, takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and focuses on Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life on Tatooine, while Moreci's and artist Morgan Luthi's story “The Hunter’s Bounty tells the tale of how Boba Fett and Bossk fought over the bounty that was placed upon Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon following the Rebel’s victory at Yavin.  Here's what Michael Moreci had to say about the comic:

"If you know me, you probably know I love Star Wars more than just about anything. There’s nothing on the genre fiction spectrum—no book, comic series, or movie—that holds a more important place in my heart. And it goes without saying that I’m not alone in feeling this way, not even close.

Along with Tim Daniel, we partnered with a whole lot of talented comics creators who, like us, share a deep love for Star Wars and, in some ways, feel we owe a debt of gratitude for everything this series has done for us, personally and creatively.

With the new movie coming, the Force was…uh…awakened in all of us. And we wanted to do something to be part of it. We had to. So, we made our own comics—two stories, one written by Tim (with art from Kendall Goode, colors by Matt Battaglia, letters by Adam Wollett) and one written by me (with art from Morgan Luthi, colors by Jordan Boyd and Dee Cunniffe, and letters by Jim Campbell).

This is a dream come true for everyone involved, and we want to share it far and wide (there's a direct download link below). Friends, family, strangers, everyone. We did it for NO other reason other than our love of Star Wars. That’s it. Please, read it, enjoy it, share if you’d like."

Download here: Tales from the Far, Far Away

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Legendary Chicago DJ Timbuck2 Passes Away at 34

DJ Timbuck2 has passed away after a lengthy fight with cancer. A fixture in Chicago Hip Hop, he came up being mentored by legendary Chicago DJ Twilite Tone (interning for Tone and No I.D. at WHPK) and was also a member of Treated Crew along with Hollywood Holt (HXLT,) DJ Mano, Mic Terror, ShowYouSuck and others. In 2004 Tim was brought on at the age of 21 to popular Chicago radio station 107.5 WGCI. He hosted Go iLL Radio which ran on Saturday night’s on GCI, and often showcased local artists and broke alot of talent on his show. He also earned a spot with the Heavy Hitters, an illustrious worldwide DJ crew. Timbuck2 has also toured the world with Chicago rappers Kanye West, Common and Lupe Fiasco. Here is an unreleased mix from Timbuck2 which was shared by famous Chicago-based blog Fakeshoredrive.com who were good friends to Tim: