Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Friend In Need...

Hello loyal followers of my little crumb of a blog.  The holiday season is upon us, and this year a friend of mine is in a particular bit of distress.  I have never, EVER posted anything like this on my blog before, and thought long and hard before starting to type this.

A friend I have worked with for a very long time is having a very rough go.  His wife's cancer has returned for a third time and isn't looking good, and his father just passed away, adding to his personal struggle.  He has two infant children and a step-son that he is caring for, as well.  

If you feel like you have a few dollars that you could contribute to a fund that his co-workers have set up, it would definitely be a boost to him and his family.

Thanks a lot for reading this post.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Concert Review: Happy Birthday To Me...From GWAR!

Like several other shows my brother and I have seen together, a founding member of the band died in the months following the concert and before they could pass through Washington DC again.  First was Lou Reed, then came Bob Casale of Devo, and then Dave Brockie, better known as GWAR front-man Oderus Urungus.  It had been a decades-long wait before the two of us could get to a show, and thankfully we finally were able to before tragedy struck...

Holy crap...I think I'll finally get around to posting this...about two years after the fact, but I know you'll enjoy!!

My brother Jared and I have been fans of GWAR for about 20 years.  I'm certain that Jared was the first to discover them - and he even let me borrow their debut cassette and bring it to college.  (He's always accused me of losing it, but that's another story.)  We saw them on Beavis & Butthead, bought the occasional CD here and there...Jared even bought their videotape, Phallus In Wonderland!  We'd heard stories of the band's stage show, like executions, storms of blood and cum raining into the audience...pure Heavy Metal madness, fer why hadn't we ever gone?!  We've both been living in the Washington DC metro area for about a decade and GWAR has passed through at least a dozen times, and other than the Stones, bands don't tour forever.

So, my wife was checking local venues for gigs and whadya know...GWAR was playing the 9:30...the day before my birthday!  I immediately gave Jared a call, "Hey Jared, you know what would make a GREAT birthday present?!"  I didn't want to look back 20 years from now with any I do for never seeing the Ramones.  Ten minutes later, the tickets were purchased.  Coincidentally, December 20, 2012 was the Mayan End Of Days, and GWAR would celebrate that to the maximum!!

So, Jared and I met up in DC and grabbed dinner first.  Duffy's Irish Pub is a decent bar right around the corner from the 9:30 and - as luck would have it - they were having a GWARbeque!

After stuffing our faces - we passed on the GWARbeque - we walked over to the 9:30 and barely had to wait before walking in.  We made our way up to the balcony to avoid the coming rain of blood and heavy metal moshing.  Are we old?  Well...maybe...but I wouldn't have liked that when I was 16, either.

So, the opening act was a band named Kepone, led by GWAR's original Beefcake The Mighty.  We weren't too impressed.  To be honest, there really isn't much more to say than they sorta sucked.

Once Kepone walked off the stage to a yawning round of applause, the real show started...and my god...all of the rumors, Pootube videos, and online recollections could never have prepared me for feast of B-movie over the top insanity that I was about to witness.   A sign of what was to come was the plastic tarp that covered large parts of the club, preventing much of the bars from being soaked in fake blood, piss, and cum.

Right before Kepone began boring us.  Tarps in place.
Most of the crowd wore white to catch all of the liquids
being sprayed from the stage!
I won't bore you with the minute-by-minute details of the show, but let me just say that for the next hour and a half, I got to see Hitler and President Obama being tortured, Christ's crucifixion, and the destruction of Mecha Jesus!

Mecha Jesus just before his evisceration

Here's an idea of how packed and insane the crowd was:

And what was the most incredible part of the show?  Well, it was when the band covered Kansas' Carry On My Wayward Son!!

I gotta say, that if you missed GWAR with Oderus Urungus at center stage (the band is still touring without him), you lost out on seeing one the great, and underrated, Metal showmen of all time.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New James Williamson LP Covers Post-Raw Power Material

How could I have missed this one!  James just put out an album of tunes from the 1973-74 post-Raw Power era.  The music is intensely good, even if some of the singers' deliveries are a bit contrived.  I'm all-in for the vinyl + CD package ($26).

Bill Cosby - All American Dad (and Rapist)

The following women have alleged as a matter of public record that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted or raped them. They are listed in the order their allegations became public. - lifted from this article.

1. Lachele Covington. Covington, an actress who was 20 at the time, filed a police report alleging that Cosby pushed her hand toward his penis after inviting her to his New York home on Jan. 25, 2000 to give her career advice. The New York Post reported that authorities "decided no crime had been committed because until the very moment Covington pulled her hand away, all actions had been consensual." A Cosby spokesperson called the story "not true."

2. Andrea Constand. Constand told Ontario police in January 2005 that a year prior, when she was 31, she had visited Cosby at his home in Pennsylvania seeking career advice. (Constand, an Ontario native, worked at the time for Temple University, Cosby's alma mater.) Constand alleges he gave her "herbal" pills for anxiety, then “touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and digitally penetrated” her. The Pennsylvania prosecutor who looked into the case has said that while he didn't bring charges because the available evidence was not sufficient, he found Constand "credible" and found Cosby "evasive." After prosecutors declined to charge him, Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby for $150 million; her suit cited, anonymously, 13 other women who alleged that he had sexually assaulted them. (Some of those women, referred to as "Jane Does" in legal language, have since identified themselves publicly and are mentioned below. The identities of Jane Doe witnesses are disclosed to defendants so their testimony can be fairly researched and challenged, but they are not ID'd by name in court or in public records.) Cosby's attorney called Constand's claims "utterly preposterous." The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2006.

3. Tamara Green. In February of 2005, Green, a retired trial attorney, appeared on The Today Show and told Matt Lauer that Cosby had drugged and assaulted her in the '70s. Green was working as a model and met Cosby through mutual friends, she says, and he once offered her what he told her was cold medicine when she was ill. When she began to feel incapacitated, she alleges, he offered to take her home, where he began groping and undressing her; when she struggled, he left, leaving behind two $100 bills on her table. Cosby's attorney issued the following response (which referenced Green's maiden name, Lucier): "Miss Green’s allegations are absolutely false. Mr. Cosby does not know the name Tamara Green or Tamara Lucier, and the incident she describes did not happen." Green was one of the Jane Does cited in Constand's lawsuit.

4. Beth Ferrier. In June 2005, Ferrier, 46 at the time, told the Philadelphia Daily News that Cosby drugged her coffee when she visited him before a performance in Denver when she was 25. Ferrier, who worked as a model, had been in a consensual relationship with Cosby that ended before the alleged assault; she met him through mutual acquantainces and had believed he would help her with her career. Ferrier was also a Jane Doe.

5. Barbara Bowman. In 2006, Bowman publicly identified herself as one of Constand's Jane Does via an article in Philadelphia Magazine, though she didn't discuss details of her accusation at the time. In October of this year—after comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist during a performance—Bowman, now 47 and an artist, spoke about her experience to the Daily Mail. When she was 17 and pursuing a career as a model and actress, she says, she met Cosby, who she says pursued a mentor-mentee relationship with her and drugged and assaulted her multiple times. (While the Daily Mail can be unreliable, Bowman later vouched for its version of her account in a Washington Post piece.) Bowman's account mentions that during their first encounter he asked her to wet her hair and pretend to be drunk while he stroked her, an incident similar to those recounted by other accusers.

6. Joan Tarshis. On Nov. 16 of this year Joan Tarshis, a 64-year-old music industry publicist and journalist, told Hollywood Elsewhere that Cosby raped her twice in 1969 when she was 19 years old and pursuing a career as a writer in L.A. Tarshis says Cosby first assaulted her after he invited her to work on material with him in his bungalow and made her a drink that caused her to lose consciousness.

7. Linda Joy Traitz. Now 63, Traitz wrote on Facebook on Nov. 17 that Cosby assaulted her when she was 19 and working as a waitress at a restaurant that he partially owned. Traitz alleges that Cosby offered her a ride home from the restaurant but instead drove her to a beach and tried to force her to take pills to help her "relax." Traitz told CNN he then groped her chest, pushed her down, and tried to lie on top of her. Traitz has a criminal record that includes imprisonment on a drug trafficking conviction; in a response to her allegations, Marty Singer, an attorney representing Cosby, cited her troubled past and said she lacks credibility.

8. Janice Dickinson. On Nov. 18, model and reality TV personality Janice Dickinson, now 59, told Entertainment Tonight that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982. At a dinner in Lake Tahoe at which they were to discuss her career, she says, she asked him for a pill for period cramps, and that "the last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me. And I remember a lot of pain." Singer, Cosby's attorney, called Dickinson's story "a fabricated lie." Dickinson says Cosby's attorneys kept her from including a description of the alleged assault in a 2002 book, but Singer says she never wrote such a description and was never contacted by Cosby representatives.

9. Therese Serignese. The Huffington Post printed allegations made against Cosby by Serignese, a 57-year-old nurse in Boca Raton, Florida, on Nov. 20. She says she encountered Cosby in 1976 when she was 19 years old; he was headlining a show at the Las Vegas Hilton, she alleges, and approached her in the hotel gift shop. Backstage in the green room, he allegedly gave her drugs, and when she came to he was having sex with her in a bathroom, she says. Serignese subsequently stayed in contact with Cosby and accepted money from him—which he had promised to give her if she pursued an education and received good grades. She told the HuffPo that at one point in their relationship (it's not clear when) he asked her to wet her hair and pretend to be an actress.

10. Carla Ferrigno. Carla Ferrigno, an actress and the wife of Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno, told Rumorfix on Nov. 20 that in 1967 Cosby grabbed her and forcefully kissed her at a party while his wife was in another room.

11. Louisa Moritz. Moritz, a 68-year-old lawyer and onetime actress who appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, told TMZ in a story published Nov. 20 that in 1971, Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him in the greenroom of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Singer responded by saying allegations against Cosby have "reached a point of absurdity" and alleging that Moritz has been the subject of professional sanctions: "Mortiz is a lawyer who was disciplined by the California State Bar and ordered not to practice. We pulled the documents -- she can't practice because she didn't report certain quarterly reports."

12. Renita Chaney Hill. Hill, now 47, says she met Cosby when she was 15 and he was filming an educational TV segment in Pittsburgh. Hill says they stayed in touch for four years—that Cosby flew her to meet with him in various cities and kept in touch with her parents, asking them about her grades in school. On Nov. 20 a Pittsburgh CBS affiliate broadcast an interview with Hill in which she said she believes Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion during their relationship. 

13. Angela Leslie. On Nov. 21, the New York Daily News reported that a 52-year-old former model-actress named Angela Leslie says that Cosby sexually assaulted her in Las Vegas in 1992. Leslie alleges Cosby fixed her a drink, asked her to wet her hair and pretend to be intoxicated, and masturbated using her hand while she was "in shock."