"John Sharkey III Is a Poser and a Skinhead" - You in the Comments, Probably

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Dark Blue's 7"
The first music I became heavily obsessed with as a young man was first and second wave British punk rock and Oi! In the mid-90's, It was the en vogue punk of the day and I immersed myself in the world of boots, bondage pants, painted and studded leather jackets, and knox gelatin'd spiked hair with little resistance. Every weekend our mob would cram into West Philadelphia venues to see bands ape this style with excellent-to-poor execution. Groups like Blanks '77, Wretched Ones, Violent Society, Showcase Showdown etc. Like I said; some good, some shit. Going to see these bands really exposed me to the greater, older bands that they were completely ripping off.

I feel now that I'm a bit older and have gained a bit of perspective that it was time to start ripping these bands off, as well. That's basically what I'm trying to do with my new project Dark Blue. Here I've listed some of my favorite songs of the period. It basically reads like any number of compilations that I overpaid for as a child. Not digging too deep here but that's really not the point. Enjoy.

John Sharkey III's Dark Blue perform tonight at St. Vitus.

See also: Has John Sharkey III Toned Down His GG Allin-Meets-Don Rickles Act?


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Band of Skulls: "You're Not Selling Out ... It's a Way to Survive"

Band of Skulls
Cool enough for hipsters, heavy enough for metal heads, smart enough for muso snobs, Band of Skulls succeed in striking that oft-elusive aural sweet spot for fans of all stripes....including the folks at the mayonnaise-alternative Miracle Whip, who use a crunchy riff from the band's 2012 song "The Devil Takes Care Of His Own" to push their creamy concoction.

Bassist/singer Emma Richardson laughs. "Soundtracks, commercials... it helps fund the band to do what we need to do, and sometimes it's the best way to get your music heard by loads of people," she observes. "Times have changed. Adverts aren't sneered at anymore. You're not selling out--it's a way to survive, as people aren't buying records anymore."

See also: The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013

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Deafheaven: "Genre-Mixing Was Definitely a Goal"

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Reid Haithcock
Deafheaven
Some names tell you all you need to know about a band: Slayer. Dee-Lite. Metallica. Pearl Jam, eh, not so much. But Deafheaven? Definitely. Black metal (Deaf) + heaven (shoe gaze) = a slew of critical acclaim and year-end "best of" nods for the band's 2013 Sunbather, their second LP since forming in 2010.

See also: The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2013

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North Mississippi Allstars' "A-Ha" Moment

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North Mississippi Allstars
The 11.4 square miles of Hernando, Mississippi has seen its fair share of talented musicians, including Jerry Lee Lewis, and guitar pioneer Paul Burlison. In more recent years, though, a younger, but no less prolific musician calls the town home: Drummer and renaissance man Cody Dickinson, who along with his singer-guitarist brother Luther, is two-thirds of the revved-up blues band that's the North Mississippi Allstars (rounded out by bassist Chris Chew).

In the last 13 years they've put out nine albums, including the just-released World Boogie is Coming. Like the band themselves, it's a record that boasts an impressive legacy. The title comes from the brothers' late father, Jim Dickinson, whose credits include producing Big Star and the Replacements, among many others, as well as playing piano on the Stones' "Wild Horses."

See also: A Replacements Doc With No Replacements Music: Color Me Obsessed

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Lifestyle Envy: Donavon Frankenreiter Lives Large and Not-So-in-Charge in Hawaii

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Donavon Frankenreiter
Looking like a young Jim Croce with a dash of Owen Wilson if he were a Williamsburg hipster, Donavon Frankenreiter's brand of positive mellow-pop clearly evinces his roots. Which, of course, are West Coast. Way West, as in Hawaii, six hours and a lifetime away from the high-rise, high-noise delirium of New York City.

That said, definitively urban gigs don't generally affect the singer-songwriter's mellow mindset, though he says, "I've had some great sessions surfing around New York before shows, and that always helps out for an amazing day and a way to ease into any show."

Donavon Frankenreiter plays the Brooklyn Bowl Wed., August 14.

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Star & Dagger Will Drink to That (...and That ... and That ... and That Too)

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Leslie Van Stelten
Forget Thelma & Louise: Star & Dagger are the ladies you really want to take a road trip with. Only, though, if booze, blues and shenanigans in copious amounts are your thing. Or, as guitarist Dava She Wolf (Cycle Sluts From Hell) elucidates her band's appeal: "A subwoofer's cauldron forged by functional alcoholism, pharmaceutical voyage and junk drawer hallucinogens, all under a heavy contraband haze that hangs low enough to embrace the Almighty Downtrodden so they can revel in it."

Yeah, pretty much. Star & Dagger, rounded out by Sean Yseult (White Zombie) and newcomer/old soul vocalist Von Hesseling, are whisky rock-a-rollers. On their irresistible 10-song debut, Tomorrowland Blues, the swampy, sometimes-metallic tunes include the edgy, honky-tonkin' foot-stomper "Your Mama Was A Grifter," and "Before It's a Crime," whose ominous low-fi bass rumblings support lyrics such as: "...So you killed a few men in your time... can't execute you before it's a crime."


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If Not For Those Satanic Lyrics, Ghost B.C. Could Be Superstars

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Ester Segarra
When a CD starts with "Belial, Behemoth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Satanas, Lucifer ... Hail Satan, Archangelo," and features the song titles "Per Aspera ad Inferi" (From Hardship to Hell) and "Depth of Satan's Eyes," it begs the question: "Is your band promoting Satanism?"

Said query was directed at a "Nameless Ghoul," one of two anonymous guitarists in Swedish metallers Ghost BC. His response? "From a Biblical [sic] belt point of view, yes we are. Because if you're talking to someone who is a very God-fearing devout Christian with all that comes with it, obviously that person would deem us being complete blasphemy and an abomination to everything they considered dear and holy."

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Without British Metal Legends Diamond Head There'd Be No Metallica

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Diamond Head
It's gotta be a bitch when a band you influenced becomes the richest, biggest-selling metal group in music history... and you're still plugging away in clubs 37 years after you began. Such is mythic but true tale of Diamond Head and Metallica.

Diamond Head guitarist/founder Brian Tatler doesn't let it define him or his band, and will even repeat the now-legendary account for the benefit of Americans who might not be familiar with DH or its place in the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement of the early '80s.

See also: Former Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted Is Back to Kicking Asses Again

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Saigon Kick Are Better Than Ever, Say Saigon Kick

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Saigon Kick
When Florida foursome Saigon Kick first hit in 1991, they were post-metal, pre-grunge, and their approach--often epic and grandiose in the best possible ways--was in a category of its own. Their 1992 sophomore album, The Lizard, featured the group's MTV and Billboard hit, the ballad, "Love Is on the Way," but subsequent records and incarnations failed to thrill, and the beloved Saigon Kick entity lay semi-dormant, save for a few reunion attempts.

Until now. To plagiarize Poltergeist II The Other Side... 'They're baaaaaaack." "This line up has not been onstage since early 1993," says frontman Matt Kramer. "Phil [Varone, drummer and former Playgirl centerfold] and I went out for a few weeks just for fun in 2000 and it was great, but this is the real McCoy here. (Rounded out by founding member/guitarist Jason Bieler and longtime bassist Chris Mc Lernon.) "Those 20 year old kids we were back then just lacked the experience of how fast everything happened for us success wise."

See also: Soundgarden's Kim Thayil's Favorite Bands Sound Nothing Like Soundgarden

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The Best Metal Concerts in New York This Month

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Every Time I Die
These are the best metal shows in NYC this month.

See also: The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012

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