Rick Rubin on Doom Pioneers Trouble: "Great Parts, But Your Songs Don't Make Sense"

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Trouble
Attached to Trouble's name, barnacle-like, is a variant of this descriptor: "American Doom Metal pioneers." Guitarist Rick Wartell, who co-founded the band in 1979, laughs when queried about his agreement with the delineation. "Welllllll... no. We modeled Trouble after Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. We wanted to be as heavy as Sabbath, and have the dual guitars of Judas Priest," he explains, in a flat accent that affirms his Chicago-area roots. "There were bands doing it long before us. Are we appreciative of the recognition? Of course, but the reality is Sabbath got it from somewhere... it's just something that manifests. It's not like we started anything, we just put our stamp on it."

That stamp has been reasonably consistent through several incarnations and nine albums since 1984, coming somewhat full circle with 2013's The Distortion Field. With singer Kyle Thomas (ex-Exhorder) fronting the band for the last two years, the most notable missing member is vocalist Eric Wagner, who sang with Trouble from 1979 to 1997, and again from 2000 to 2008, and now heads up his own band, the Skull, with two other ex-Trouble members.)

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Punk's Not Dead at a New Bushwick Flea Market Housed in Shipping Containers

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Photo Reed Dunlea
"We live here, and we're in control of this fucking city," says Sam Ryser, a Brooklyn native and prolific punk musician and artist, about his brand new shop. "That's part of the beauty of this alleyway. People being able to do something like this is a shred of the control being put into the hands of people who live here, not people who decide who lives here."

Dripper World opened in March in a flea market, or to be more exact, an alleyway of shipping containers housing individual stores at 867 Broadway in Bushwick, Brooklyn. In addition to longer-term tenants taking advantage of the cheap rent, including a clothing store and bike shop, there is now a used book store, two record stores, and a junk shop. It may seem inaccessible at first to the casual shopper, as most of the new shops are unnamed, and are run by individuals in one way or another involved in New York's thriving punk scene. The newer tenants all know each other, making for an exciting sense of community.

See also: One Night at Shea Stadium - Carrying the DIY torch

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After a Stagediving Death at Webster Hall, NYC Venues Face a Hard Decision

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Photo by Luke O'Neil
Over the weekend it was reported that 21-year-old Alberto Scott died after stage diving at a concert by Ohio metalcore band Miss May I at The Studio at Webster Hall. Initially reports said Scott died on the scene of the stage dive. But sources later said he collapsed and died outside of the venue; a video and a police report corroborate that Scott fell as he exited the venue. Witnesses said Scott certainly hit his head when stage diving at the rowdy show, but he seemed fine until he fell to the ground.

"We don't know what the patron was doing that evening but the video footage does show him walking out on his own power and then collapsing at the exit," Rich Pawelczyk, C.O.O. of Webster Hall, wrote to the Village Voice. He added simply, in regard to venue policies, that, "We don't condone stage diving."

Not condoning stage diving and utilizing security to stop the practice are two different things, and venue owners face a hard decision in explicitly prohibiting what many concertgoers see as part of the experience.

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Zakk Wylde: "It Was My Dream to Become a Middle Linebacker and Play in the NFL"

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Justin Reich
Zakk Wylde
Zakk Wylde is a fount of useful knowledge for rock stars-in-training. In his 2013 book, Bringing Metal to the Children: The Complete Berzerker's Guide to World Tour Domination, the Black Label Society singer/guitarist advises young musicians not to demand too much too soon: "Be reasonable, and when you grow into a big rock star you can ask for all the cocaine and dildos you can imagine."

So yeah, he's funny, too. And goofy. Which is good, as he's an imposing behemoth of a man, a hulking beast of a metal-music-making giant whose latest BLS album, Catacombs of the Black Vatican, is the band's ninth. It's full of scorching solos and doomy aural tones, as might be expected from one who learned at the feet of the master, serving good hard time as Ozzy Osbourne's axeman, stepping into the shoes of his idol, the late Randy Rhoads, for eight albums and about two decades (with some on and off) starting in 1987.

See also: Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

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Graveyard: Not as Doomy as Their Name Might Suggest

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Graveyard
From the dance-pop of Ace of Base to the melodic death metal of The Haunted, Gothenburg, Sweden, has spawned more than its fair share of disparate and successful bands. Graveyard drummer Axel Sjöberg gives a brief history lesson that may help explain the area's aural legacy. A neutral country during World War II, "Sweden was completely spared; we had a good infrastructure, so we had lots of bands touring early on. We had Hendrix and Beatles playing very small villages in the early days, and a lot of infusion from the US and UK." He turns to his mother, and asks her a question in Swedish. "She saw the Who with Keith Moon. And in our hometown (Örebro), the first time Iggy and Stooges were over, there was a story about a guy who came to the show after going fishing, and Iggy got hit by a fish in the face. Hendrix toured with and even recorded a song ("Tax Free") by late Swedish musician Bo Hansson."

See also: Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

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Six Reasons I Won't Dance at Your Wedding

Categories: Feature

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All illustrations by Dave Watt

The wedding invitations are coming in fast now, and although we typically don't enjoy sitting in a church and staring at comb-overs, there are two things provided at weddings we can all agree are great: food and alcohol. I can live like the lord of the event center, alternating between sips of coffee and bites of three or four varieties of cupcakes I have chosen. Things are as perfect as they can be for a greedy sinner like myself, until I am dethroned by one simple request:

See also: Six Reasons Employers Should Hire Touring Musicians


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New York's Comedy Community Remembers Jiwon Lee

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Lee's photo as it appears on a GoFundMe page set up by her family
Monday's local headlines announced that the body of 29-year-old Columbia dental student Jiwon Lee was found Saturday in the Hudson River. Most outlets reported that she was last seen at her apartment the evening of April 1, served as president of the university's American Student Dental Association, and that a history of depression led to at least one prior suicide attempt. Some mentioned that her cell phone was traced to the George Washington Bridge, she taught math to middle-schoolers through AmeriCorps and had performed as a stand-up comedian. Missing from all was her love for and respect within the New York comedy community.


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Even Country Music Is Ready for Marijuana Legalization

It has been rough and rocky traveling for cannabis cowboys for most of the 40 years since "Me and Paul," the hounded-by-the-Man classic in which Willie Nelson tipped off like-minded longhairs to the presence of narcs in Laredo. "If you're staying in a motel there," he warned dryly, "don't leave nothin' in your clothes."

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The Dance Cartel Brings Jubilation and Humor Back to Dance

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Photo Sasha Arutyunova
It is rehearsal, several weeks before the dance company's return to the Ace Hotel for its oft-packed On the Floor and it is time for new material. Dancers do half cartwheels through the studio floor, slow move with a disco ball, point a leg and shoot (as if their leg was a semi-automatic) and fly with a make-shift cape. They are focused, watching their characters in the mirror and seeing what sticks, and they are laughing, joking about how silly they look.

This new opening they're trying to build, explains Dance Cartel founder and choreographer Ani Taj, who was surveying the scene, seeking nuggets for the show and rehearsing new moves herself, is a way to magnify the dancers' own quirks. Days before she'd asked them to consider, "What's the Power Ranger or superhero version of you inside the Dance Cartel? How does that assemble into this wacky team?"

See also: Inside NYC's Burgeoning Folk Scene

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Ratking Redefine NYC Hip-Hop on New Album So It Goes

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Photo via XL Recordings
It's 6:30 pm on a Tuesday and it's hectic on West 14th Street outside Babycastles Gallery, where the three members of the up and coming hip-hop group Ratking are trying to figure out how to get all of their friends into their album release show. Upstairs, the two floors of the gallery are already filled to the brim with 19 and 20 year old kids, enough diversity to fill 30 university brochures, though administrators might shy away if more than half the kids looked like these: hair-dyed, tatted up and smoking like freight trains.

I'm outside talking to Patrick Morales, the 20 year old de facto leader of Ratking, if only by virtue of being the most extroverted member of the group. Morales, who goes by the name Wiki--short, curly-haired--is gracious enough to concede to doing an interview just 30 minutes before show time, even as we're constantly interrupted by the scores of his friends and acquaintances coming by to congratulate him on the album.

See also: The 50 Most NYC Albums Ever

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