Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cancer Bats and 'Rockstar Taste of Chaos' VIP contest

Want some free RTOC tickets, swag and a chance to meet the Cancer Bats? Enter the 'Rockstar Taste of Chaos' VIP contest!

Further details:


2 tickets to the RTOC show of the winner’s choice
2 Thursday VIP meet and greet passes for the RTOC show of their choice
2 after show Meet and greet passes for the RTOC show of their choice
1 year subscription to the Thursday fan club Digital copy of “Resuscitation of a Deadman”
1 Cancer Bats T–shirt
1 autographed copy of the Cancer Bats’ album “Hail Destroyer.”
Cancer Bats — Custom Skate Deck
$100 Gift Certificate to WWW.DiNGLIFE.COM
Any five cases of Rockstar Energy Drink of your choice.
Rockstar Energy Drink sweater, hat, and a shirt
1 year subscription to AP Magazine and AP merch (1 Hoodie and 1 T-shirt)


2 Thursday after show Meet and greet passes for the RTOC show of their choice Digital copy of “Resuscitation of a Deadman”
2 Cancer Bats after show Meet and greet passes for the RTOC show
1 autographed copy of the Cancer Bats’ album “Hail Destroyer.”
Rockstar Energy Drink sweater, hat, and a shirt

And listen to Cancer Bats.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Abominable Iron Sloth tour dates for early 2009

Jan 3 2009 The Excommunicate House - Vancouver, Washington
Jan 5 2009 Burt’s Tiki Lounge - SLC, Utah
Jan 6 2009 Three Kings Tavern - Denver, Colorado w/ GAZA
Jan 7 2009 The Avenue - Wichita, Kansas
Jan 8 2009 Rubber Gloves - Dallas, Texas
Jan 9 2009 Red 7 - Austin, Texas
Jan 10 2009 Little Joe’s Bar - Shreveport, Louisiana
Jan 11 2009 Insomkneeacks - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Jan 12 2009 The Saturn Bar - New Orleans, Louisiana
Jan 13 2009 The Bombshelter - Jackson, Mississippi
Jan 15 2009 Cave 9 - Birmingham, Alabama
Jan 17 2009 Swayze’s - Atlanta, Georgia
Jan 18 2009 The Wherehouse - Winston Salem, North Carolina
Jan 19 2009 Nara’s Sushi - Richmond, Virginia
Jan 20 2009 The Velvet Lounge! Inauguration day! - Wash DC
Jan 21 2009 The Khyber - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 22 2009 The Charleston - NY, New York w/ the_Network
Jan 23 2009 MARS - Providence, Rhode Island w/ the_Network
Jan 24 2009 ABC No Rio - Manhattan, New York
Jan 25 2009 Westcott Community Center - Syracuse, New York w/ ARCHITECT
Jan 26 2009 Mr. Roboto Project - Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania
Jan 27 2009 The Factory - Rochester, Michigan
Jan 28 2009 The Dayton Dirt Collective Space - Dayton, Ohio
Jan 29 2009 Skull Alley - Louisville, Kentucky
Jan 30 2009 the Anchor - Nashville, Tennessee
Jan 31 2009 LEMP arts center - St. Louis, Missouri
Feb 1 2009 Mojos - Columbia, Missouri
Feb 2 2009 The Foundation - Kansas City, Missouri
Feb 3 2009 The Nerdcore house - Omaha, Nebraska
Feb 4 2009 Blastomat - Denver, Colorado

Friday, December 5, 2008

Artist Entry: the_Network guitarist Kevin Howley and the nightmare of Heathrow Airport

..a short story from a puke-laden sheet of lined paper

Nov. 25th, 2008: Heathrow Airport, London

Alright, I’ve found out what fresh hell really is. Are you ready? You put a diagnosed insomniac in Heathrow Airport at 1:30 a.m. with no medication and make damn sure that his plane doesn’t leave until 3:30 p.m. the next afternoon. Its emergency-room white in here and the people lying about look sicker than any I’ve seen at a hospital.

I’ve been you. I’ve judged people here. What I want you to know is that on your next trip to the airport, you might see someone curled up next to a plastic potted plant with luggage fashioned into some terrible sleeping apparatus, and you might judge that person. You’ll probably think, “Wow, nobody gives a fuck about that guy,” or ask yourself, “What type of true fuck up do you have to be to be trying to sleep like that in public?”

Well, you know what? On your second trip to the airport, you might be that fuck up looking for that bit of shade a potted plant provides. You might find yourself thinking, “Should I sleep on the rock hard ground, the rock hard benches, or on top of all my belongings?”
You might hear one of your fellow international middle-class refugees barking a foreign language into a phone and understand every word. You might know that that Haitian guy lying on his "Member’s Only" jacket is saying, “Yea! I’m in the airport at 2:00 a.m. and it fucking sucks!”
You know why you might know all of this? Because I know all of this right now.

I’ve played about 14 shows in the last 10 days throughout the U.K., showered about three times, drank an ocean of alcohol, and now I’m trying to sleep on my band’s dirty laundry and equipment wondering if the creep with one carry-on is going to steal my awful Nikes.

This is where the busy come to die.

As their heart fails next to a Krispy Kreme, the other people look up at monitors for flight times, check their watches, or yell at their kids. The hopeful walk around as if a king-sized mattress and feathery pillow lay clean and inviting right around the next departure gate. Some people come prepared with sleeping mats, bags, or blankets, but people like you and me, we don’t expect to be in this situation.

The creep near me, I don’t think he’s eyeing my shoes. I think he’s hoping I’ll fall asleep so he can mess around with my smelly body. There are couples jerking asleep in each other’s arms. As the woman instinctively reaches to scratch her nose, her boyfriend pulls her closer. The scene is so damn sweet that I hope my plane goes down.

Some days, you just look at the people around you and realize that you’re just another mutated lifer out on a weekend pass. Some other days, you see some Asian guy’s ass as he fumbles for a cup of tap water, with his hat protecting his eyes from the scorching lights of Heathrow’s innards. Some days, you don’t have a towel to throw in.

My bed’s shuffling around while I write. I’m going to put my shoes on, go brush my teeth, and maybe visit the airport’s nearby “Prayer Room” and hope for sleep. I’ll let you know when the Air Canada gates open -- or an airport bar. I need to put this journal in my bag and finish the bed building process. That’s right -- I’m going to try to sleep on what you’re reading.

CANCER BATS on ROCKSTAR ENERGY's 'Taste of Chaos' tour!

From the official press release:

ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK TASTE OF CHAOS continues to stake its claim as the preeminent winter rock package tour. Always an explosive, in-your-face affair, ROCKSTAR TASTE OF CHAOS features today’s biggest and on-the-verge of stardom hard rock bands. Blaring, boisterous and brutal, this year’s tour will be no different. Heralded by Florida’s Backstage Pass as “delivering some of the best known acts in the rock 'n roll world," past RTOC performers have included a who’s who of this decade’s most popular rock bands including My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Rise Against, Deftones, Killswitch Engage, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Used and over three hundred more.

Tour co-founder Kevin Lyman, always with his ear to the street and his hand on the scene’s pulse, chose this year’s cutting edge lineup after watching many of these same bands explode on the 2008 Van’s Warped Tour. By taking fan feedback to heart and personally handpicking artists that he feels will be breaking out in ’09, the lineup includes headliner THURSDAY, as well as BRING ME THE HORIZON, FOUR YEAR STRONG, PIERCE THE VEIL (all of whom will rotate their spot on the bill throughout the tour), and CANCER BATS. In addition, one local Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands winner will open the show at each stop.

“After listening to what fans had to say during Warped Tour and watching many of these bands with thousands of fans watching them perform,” Lyman explains, “these are the bands rock fans want to see. And I believe they’re all on the brink of breakout success.”

Last year, the Asbury Park Press praised Lyman for his forward looking approach to the tour, writing: "No wonder the Rockstar Taste of Chaos is known as the 'Winter Warped Tour.' Much like the highly successful summer rock jaunt, Rockstar Taste of Chaos is affordable and offers a wide range of bands. Lyman, who assembles the Warped Tour lineup, goes out of his way to put together a package of punk, hard rock and true alternative acts for the bill."

This year, fans can expect a low ticket price (between $20-25 per ticket) as well as the return of the fun-filled concourse offering a bevy of fascinating distractions in between sets guaranteeing that the pandemonium will begin as soon as fans enter the venue.

Tour co-founders, John Reese, Lyman and Darryl Eaton state: "We are very excited about the great bands and concourse activities planned for the 2009 North American Tour. ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK has been a great partner helping us bring fans a great package and a big show at a very fan-friendly entrance price. We’re really proud that the RTOC has become an important event on music fans’ calendars in the long, cold winter in the U.S. and Canada."

ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK Marketing Director Mike Kelso states, “Live music is very important to ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK and for the past four years the worldwide success of ROCKSTAR TASTE OF CHAOS has been instrumental in the success of our brand.”

With nearly 300 worldwide dates over the past fours years, playing in over 20 countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Japan, France, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy among others, ROCKSTAR TASTE OF CHAOS, the only worldwide lifestyle festival tour, is back with another onslaught of winter dates in the U.S. and Canada.
The ROCKSTAR TASTE OF CHAOS pre-sale begins Friday, December 12th, at 10AM in each market. Please go to www.rockstartasteofchaos.com for all on sale information, ticketing links, and concert dates.

Friday, November 28, 2008

News Update: New video of the_Network on tour in the UK

Due to the holiday, there isn't much news to report. But until next week, we have a tasty snack for y'all.

Here's a video shot during the_Network's UK run:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dance Club Massacre and Architect on tour now!

Through of hale of intoxication and deranged Willy Wonka style weirdness, Chicago's Dance Club Massacre have returned with a vicious sophomore record, Circle of Death, bridging the unusual gap between the worlds' of The Devil Wears Prada and Dimmu Borgir. The band attacks from all sides melding their brand of noisy, screamo-grind with symphonic black metal orchestration. This unlikely stylistic pairing showcases the group's maturing into a sound that is distinctly their own. “CIRCLE OF DEATH” in stores November 11, 2008!!
Dance Club Massacre will be hitting the road this month with Dr. Acula!
11/12 Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen CD Release show!!
11/17 St Louis, MO The Creepy Crawl
Tour with Dr. Acula
11/18 Lawrence, KS The Bottle Neck
11/19 Tulsa, OK The Pink Eye
11/20 Arlington, TX Molly’s
11/21 San Antonio, TX Rock Bottom Bar
11/22 McAllen, TX The Incubator
11/23 Corpus Christi, TX The Compound
11/24 Baton Rouge, LA The Darkroom
11/25 Panama City, FL Beamers
11/26 Ocala, FL The Capital
11/29 Wilmington, NC Lucky’s
11/30 Greensboro, NC Club Rain
12/01 Danville, VA Plan B
12/02 Fredericksburg, VA The Refuge
12/03 Yonkers, NY The Haunt
12/04 Pittsburgh, PA Blue Violet Cafe
12/05 Southgate, MI The Modern Exchange
12/06 Mokena, IL Soundlab

New music from Circle of Death online now at http://www.myspace.com/danceclubmassacre and http://www.myspace.com/blackmarketactivities

ARCHITECT “Ghost of the Saltwater Machines”
Just when you thought Architect couldn't get any heavier, angrier or more politically agitated, the Great Northern Trendkill has returned with the most over-the-top release of 2008, Ghost of the Saltwater Machines. Architect's latest effort hits at a vital time. In the wake of a historical election, Ghost of the Saltwater Machines is even more relevant. The songs are politically fueled with lyrical topics including attacks on current administration and figureheads of the free world (Camelot), Middle America being bled dry from government and big business (Death & Taxes) as well as free speech and civil liberties (Traitor). When the abrasive songs rip your eardrums, you listen. And when the vocalist bellows their apocalyptic message, you believe it. With the music scene so destabilized and the fact that Architect is basically the anti-trend, chances are GOTSWM won't see the band rising to super stardom. But as they have always done, there will be touring, trash talk and destructive live shows to accompany this beefy, bone crushing album and those brave enough to listen are in for one of the heaviest records of the decade. “GHOST OF THE SALTWATER MACHINES” in stores November 25, 2008!!

Check out Architect on tour this fall with Rose Funeral!
11/14 Portland, ME The Asylum with The Red Chord and Overcast
11/15 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance with The Red Chord and Overcast
11/25 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Cinema CD Release Party
11/28 Buffalo, NY Club DiabloTour with Rose Funeral
11/29 Pittsburgh, PA The Roboto Project
11/30 Wheeling, WV Yesterdays Draught House
12/01 Columbus, OH Bernies
12/02 Louisville, KY Bulldog Cafe
12/03 Nashville, TN The Muse
12/04 Selma, AL The Loud House
12/05 Panama City, FL Beamers
12/06 Tampa, FL Transitions Art Gallery
12/07 Orlando, FL The Dungeon
12/08 Augusta, GA Sector 7G
12/12 Fredericksburg, VA The Refuge
12/15 New York, NY Lit Lounge

New music from "Ghost of the Saltwater Machines" online now at http://www.myspace.com/architectkills and http://www.myspace.com/blackmarketactivities

For more information or to request a promo, please contact:
Michelle Ferraro, Head of Publicity, michelle@blackmarketactivities.com
Sheena Hamilton, Publicity Assistant, sheena@blackmarketactivities.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

BMA News Update: Cancer Bats to tour with In Flames in the UK; Animosity on 'The Price is Right;' Khann update and more

We're tryin' to keep stuff simple in a complex world.

So we'll keep this introduction simple and get to this week's news brief.

-BMA Staff

CANCER BATS will embark on a crusade with In Flames in the UK, here's the official press release:

Canada’s very own riff masters, Cancer Bats, are proud to announce that they will be trekking across the UK with the mighty In Flames in April. The band spent July and August in the US with Bullet for My Valentine and Bleeding Through and plans for more US tours are currently in the works. Check back to http://www.blogger.com/www.myspace.com/cancerbats often to get updates!

The video for "Lucifer’s Rocking Chair" from the band’s latest album, Hail Destroyer, is up now on http://www.blogger.com/myspace.com/metal..

Tour w/ In Flames

04/15 Norwich, UK Waterfront
04/16 Colchester, UK Arts
04/17 Brighton, UK Concorde 2
04/21 Newcastle, UK Academy 2
04/22 Dundee, UK Fat Sams
04/23 Belfast, UK Mandella Hall
04/24 Dublin, IE Academy
04/25 Cork, UK Pavillion
04/27 Exeter, UK Lemon Grove
04/28 Cardiff, UK University Solus
04/29 Cambridge, UK Junction
04/30 Sheffield, UK Corporation
05/01 Liverpool, UK Academy 2

“Full of youthful energy and great chops, their second full-length never sounds forced, and the first two tracks alone kick more ass than most bands’ entire discographies.” Revolver - 4/5 stars

“Hail Destroyer takes everything that made the first [disc] great and amplifies it.” - BW & BK


“Currently the best punk rock band in the world…” – NME (UK)

“Hail Destroyer is the new background music for every rad party in the world. If it’s not, then I don't want to go to that party. Get this record…..be somebody, baby.” TheSaltyPirate.com

Animosity had its very own TV appearance on CBS' "The Price is Right." Watch the band cheer on Carlos Garcia of fellow California band Antagonist -- not to mention the ironic prize Garcia is offered to win (think band essentials).

Architect will kick off the release of its new album, "Ghost of the Saltwater Machines," with a free show on Nov. 25 at 7:30 pm at the Westcott Cinema in Syracuse, NY. The band will be shooting live footage for a video at this show, so come out ready to rage at full potential. Rouges and Merrimac are set to open the show. Check out the exclusively released songs from the release on the BMA and Architect MySpace pages -- you won't be disappointed.

Khann is currently in post-production for two music videos soon to be released. The band also is planning a plethora of upcoming tours, including possible West Coast, European and Canadian runs. A US tour for early 2009 is in the works and will be announced soon. Check out Khann's MySpace page for pleasurable listening.

Destroy Destroy Destroy is shooting a video for "The Wretched Forest" from the band's upcoming Jan. 6 release, "Battle Sluts." The album artwork and song "Born of Thunder" are posted on the band's Myspace.

The Black Market Activities indie merch store has some updated swag. You'll be making all your friends jealous with your purchase, no doubt!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Artist Entry: the_Network guitarist Kevin tips his hat to the 'Evil Empire'

When you combine the radio-time a pizza delivery driver gets with the sociality of the Unabomber, you get a man who has not only heard the dreadful phrase, “Battleground State,” hundreds of times over the past few weeks, but someone who’s head exploded last night. Of course history was made and it feels as if America has been given back to its citizens, but I’m here to talk about something that I haven’t heard discussed enough in the mainstream media about yesterday’s election; the utterly justifiable liberal backlash towards the obsolete, unfair, ultra-conservative, right-wing mania America’s been swirling in during the past eight years. I think people like Karl Rove and Sean Hannity are just as responsible for Barack Obama’s win last night as the entire Obama campaign.. Let’s all thank Bill O’Reilly and the rest of Fox News for getting what appears to be every Democrat in America elected into positions in Washington.
Forget about the fact that Barack Obama is the best candidate for the presidency, that he’s probably the most intelligent president we’ll ever see, that he’s far more in touch with the average voter than anybody in positions of U.S. power, forget that he’s not in the pockets of any CEO’s, and that he unites people instead of polarizing them. You can forget that Barack Obama will restore the world’s faith in America, will use the U.S. military responsibly, will remove greed from U.S. policy making, and will take the steak knife away from the middle class’ jugular vein. Forget that Barack Obama has the potential to make America the country it really should be. Forget all that. What we really need to do is thank the overwhelming stupidity of George W. Bush and all of his supporters. If not for their blatant trampling of the constitution and stunning misuse of power, Americans may not have realized just how far down the toilet Republicans were shoving this country. With Republicans at the helm and their inane message shouted across the nation by people at Fox News and other various foolish, reactionary, talk radio show hosts posing as journalists, Americans morphed into a population of politically-aware, open-minded, and (boo-yah!) thinking people. I mean, Bush didn’t screw up to the degree that only political junkies and media geeks could understand; he screwed up in everyone’s faces. Everyone in America is either at war or knows somebody at war. Everyone was affected by the awful handling of Hurricane Katrina or knows someone who was. Everybody is losing their jobs or knows someone who is. Nobody can afford to get sick or everybody knows somebody who can’t. And nobody could afford to fill up their gas tank without suppressing painful vomit. So in between counting less and less money, the American people made every powerful Republicans’ nightmares come true; they started thinking.

While John McCain said the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong a few days before the fundamentals of the U.S. economy shit their pants, Americans were wondering why they couldn’t afford to buy a beer at the bar. Then they started wondering why, if they could afford to buy a beer at the bar, they couldn’t afford gas to get to the bar. While Sarah Palin donned designer dresses to say that she was an average Jane and that Barack Obama was a socialist, Americans were going bankrupt because their kid got sick. While Fox News and right-wing talk radio nitwits were whining that, “Waaaaahhhhhh…1% of the population already pays 36% of the taxes,” the American people learned that 1% of the population already has 90% of the wealth!

This time, the attack ads and lies didn’t work. This time, we Americans knew exactly what we needed and how to get it. This time, we were just too smart.

So thank you, Fox News!

Thank you, George W. Bush!

Thanks, Cheney!

Heck of a job, Brownie!

Let’s send a sincere “thank you” to all the Republicans in power. Without their help, we may have actually voted for them.

Fifty years from now, their incompetence will have continued to raise our intelligence and when we look back, we might ask, “Was George W. Bush the one that lied about getting a blowjob?” and someone will answer, “No, he was the one that lied about everything else.”

Oh, and to everyone who voted for McCain, don’t worry. Your consolation prize will be a better country.

Friday, November 7, 2008

BMA News Update: New videos from Cancer Bats, Dance Club Massacre; Animosity riff-roaring contest; and much more

You're probably sick of the news by now, with all the incessant ramblings of TV news anchors about the election. Seriously. There hasn't been so much talk of one man since OJ Simpson and the white Bronco "incident." At least there's some humor in all of this (note the CNN hologram, Anderson Cooper must have been trippin').

Anyway, and more importantly, there is some new and not-yet-repetitive ramblings we need to share with you folks.

- BMA Staff

Black Market Activities now has an official fan mailing list. By joining the list, BMA addicts -- and even those who wont admit to their addiction via the Bradley Effect -- can get first hand news, updates, tour dates, etc., sent directly to their inbox. To join the BMA fan mailing list, shoot an e-mail over to: michelle@blackmarketactivities.com, with "BMA fan mailing list" as the subject. There's no telling the other possible future benefits from being a member of this list, so git on it!

Romans, From a Second Story Window, Paria, and Animosity sounded off on Barack Obama becoming the 44th president of the United States on MTV2's "Headbanger's Blog." Check out the entries from the BMA family here.

CANCER BATS' video for "Lucifer’s Rocking Chair" is now premiering exclusively on MySpace Metal! Head over to MySpace Metal to check out the exclusive premier of CANCER BATS new video for the track "Lucifer’s Rocking Chair" off their latest release "Hail Destroyer."

Dance Club Massacre posted a video for the song "Shenanigans" from 11/11 release, "Circle of Death." The video is a culmination of live footage and studio clips. The video can be viewed here.

Animosity is hosting a "riff contest." Contestants interested in entering the contest must accurately sing three consecutive Animosity riffs. Prizes include free merchandise and concert tickets. Animosity vocalist Leo Miller: "It's a pretty ridiculous notion that animosity fans wouldn't be able to sing any three consecutive riffs, but it's way harder than it seems. Good luck to anyone who enters." More information about the contest can be found on the band's MySpace page, as well as on YouTube.

Friday, October 31, 2008

BMA News Update: Animosity rages with the Russkies; Cancer Bats make the top 10 on Rock Sound and more

It's almost November 4th, which means absolutely nothing to us at BMA -- other than we're edging toward to two exceptional releases (Dance Club Massacre, Architect).

We're not here to tell you to vote or die, but you best read or, uh, well you probably won't die -- still we're not responsible for any unfortunate "accidents."

Animosity recently played Russia, here's a few words from vocalist Leo Miller on that:
"...the experience has been overwhelmingly awesome. The shows have been totally out of control and we have been treated so well. We just finished up the "Hell on Earth" tour through Europe, which was a great time, but not really an Animosity style party. It feels great to be playing smaller clubs with real metal fans losing their minds. Assuming the reds don't sequester and disappear us at the border, we will be heading into the upcoming JFAC tour with full force and will probably work up some older songs for the set list from 'Empires.' Party 'till you're dead!"

Cancer Bats were voted #8 on the Rock Sound list for the "Albums of 2008." Congrats dudes!

Lords' release "Fuck all Y'all Motherfuckers" has a review in Metal Edge. Here's a tidbit from the review:
"Lords is a punk rock band at heart. Let’s start there. And though they don’t necessarily play punk songs—in fact, they play dirty heavy metal tunes full of sudden time and tempo changes—there’s a definite punk rock sensibility to their music....."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Artist Entry: the_Network guitarist Pete Marr reflects on some shitty past jobs

An ode to the joys of bad employment

We’ve all had them.

If you have anything to do with trying to tour, not being forever in debt and/or staying off people’s shit list, then you know what I’m talking about. People always ask, "how do you tour, how do you make money, how do you do it?" Well, kids I’ll tell ya -- you get a shitty-ass job!

Now I know everyone’s got there own shitty-ass job stories. I’ve heard a many in my day, but here’s a few of mine.

The first job I ever had was at a camp in the town that I lived in. It was some day camp where parents would drop of their kids while they went to their jobs in the summer and school (the babysitter) was out. I figured it would be an easy gig. One of my good friends at the time that was working there was the son of “the boss man." Only she was no man, she was a 90 pound completely, over sun tanned, 2 packs a day, yellow-teethed barrel of over stressed hormones. If you’ve seen kingpin and remember Roy’s landlord, then you know exactly what we were dealing with. I’d get as drunk as could the nights before work and show up early, hung over, pissed off and not wanting to do much but hang out. My usual business was making crafts with kids, then hang out with the kids that picked their nose and played in the dirt (stick with what you know I guess). That was the fun stuff.

The shitty part came in the form of the knowledge that my friends Mom (the boss lady landlord) was fucking one of the other dudes that worked there, who was right around the same age as us.

Now I know I live in NH, and maybe this doesn’t seem like it should be out of the ordinary, but it most certainly was. The kid she was fucking actually lived across the street from my friend and his Mom. We would go over hang out, have his Mom buy us beers, and then just be weirded out by this dude being there, obviously fucking his Mom. I guess looking back on it she was a real mess at the time, her husband left her just out of the blue and never told anyone where he was till like five years later.
Basically shit hit the fan towards the end of the summer camp session that year, and all the kids' parents were pissed when they found out about all the shenanigans that were happening around their young, impressionable children. I reapplied the following year only to find out they canned the whole staff due to all this. So another shitty-ass job was in my future.

Kev (the other guitarist) told myself and another good friend that a local amusement park was hiring some people on for the summer. We go to this orientation that was a fucking joke and all got assigned jobs via the mail. Back then people actually used mail (good God I am fucking old). Kev and our other friend got assigned as game attendants. Sweet job, just sit around and wait for people to come by throw a few balls and either give them a prize or don’t. I however get assigned park duty. No idea what that means till I get there.

I show up, have my Mom drop me off at the park. Punch in, get a shirt then handed a radio. I think to myself what the fuck is this, a radio. Well I must be important, they say if this thing rings or beeps and someone says 520, code for cleanup then I have to go respond. I nod and agree and I’m off. We’re told that myself and the other park duty employee have to work in sections of the park. I take the right, he takes the left side. I think, hell yeah, this is way easier t
hen games that Kev and the other guy had. All I had to do was walk around the park pick up trash with a duster and pan and that’s it. Kinda embarrassing, but whatever I was young and it was easy money. So I thought.

After about 20 minutes of doing this, I was bored out of my fucking mind. There's are only so many cigarette buts you can pick up before your brain goes numb. So I’m like, fuck this, I’ll meet up with the other kid on the other side of the park doing the same shit as me and at the very least we can bitch about it to each other till we can go home. I walk over, see the kid, say something like, "wow this sucks huh?" He looks at me real wild eyed, doesn’t say anything for almost a minute, then mumbles something I couldn’t understand. I soon realize the kid is mentally challenged. I’m not one to boost about any type of ego, but I was working the same job of a mentally challenged kid -- fuck, I’m doing a job of a retard. (side note: I have nothing against mentally challenged retards at all, in fact I look at this photo at least a few times a week to remind myself that happiness is actually achievable to a lucky few).

So I head back to my side of the park and the phone I have starts beeping, and a voice comes over saying 520 over at the roller coaster. I ignore the call then it comes back again and then again getting angrier at each call until I respond, saying I’ll be right there. Mind you at this point I have no idea what 520 stands for other then cleanup, I’m not even sure why they’re using code. All I know is I don’t want to do shit.

I get over there and see a huge crowd gathered around near the roller coaster. They see me coming in my park shirt and start howling and making the sounds you would if you saw a bad accident, although some people were smiling like they were about to egg me or something. I get closer and find out what a 520 is…Puke!. Some asshole rode the rollercoaster couldn’t stomach the French fries, hamburgers, and whatever shit food he pumped his stomach up with before he decided to heave it all over the ground for some innocent clump like myself to pick up.

Fucking asshole.

I throw some cat litter looking stuff on it all the while getting hazed by the on lookers and walk away. I called my Mom about half way into my first shift and said I quit, come pick me up I’m done. I didn’t tell any of those fuckers I just walked out and left. Fuck that place! Kev actually ended up getting fired and our other friend quit after his second day. Yes-20-indeed, fuck that place and whoever puked up nasty park food residual that was left over for the next chump.

Next job was at a convenient store, drank beer in the bathroom while working all the time, stole beer and supplied a few parties with it. Did a bunch of pills and drank a shit ton showed up to work after not sleeping and got fired for apparently “Not answering customers questions when asked." I guess some lady was asking me about the muffins we had and I was just staring at her not saying a word till finally she left. Don’t remember any of that, but that’s what I was told when I got fired. Shit job number 3.

and so on and so on.

Get in a shitty band, get a shitty ass job and ruin your shitty ass fuck life!


BMA News Update: Animosity and Architect to tour, Danza visits the great white north and more

Today's news blog begins with a friendly, in your face, reminder:
11/11 - Dance Club Massacre "Circle of Death" (pre-orders available now at the Black Market Activities Indie Merch store.)
11/25 - Architect "Ghost of the Saltwater Machines"

Just sayin' folks.
And onto the news:

The European conquest is coming to a close for Animosity, but those hella-sick dudes will be setting their sights on the U.S. with Job for a Cowboy (Metal Blade), Hate Eternal (Metal Blade) and All Shall Perish (Nuclear Blast) in toe. Check the dates below:

11/13 POMONA CA @ Glasshouse Music Hall
11/14 BAKERSFIELD CA @ The Dome
11/15 SACRAMENTO CA @ The Boardwalk
11/16 PORTLAND OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
11/17 SEATTLE WA @ El Corazon
11/18 BOISE ID @ The Venue
11/20 COLORADO SPRINGS CO @ The Black Sheep
11/21 LAWRENCE KS @ Bottleneck
11/22 IOWA CITY IA @ The Picador
11/23 ST. PAUL MN @ Station 4
11/25 DETROIT MI @ Magic Stick
11/26 PITTSBURGH PA @ Strummers
11/27 LONDON ON @ The Embassy Hotel
11/28 BURLINGTON VT @ Higher Ground
11/29 PORTLAND ME @ The Station
11/30 PROVIDENCE RI @ The Living Room
12/1 FARMINGDALE NY @ The Crazy Donkey
12/2 SAYERVILLE NJ @ Starland Ballroom
12/3 BALTIMORE MD @ Otto Bar
12/4 RICHMOND VA @ Canal Club (Downstairs)
12/5 WILMINGTON NC @ Soapbox Laundro-Lounge
12/6 ATLANTA GA @ The Masquerade
12/7 Knoxville, TN @ Valarium
12/9 LITTLE ROCK AR @ The Village
12/10 TULSA OK @ The Marquee
12/11 DALLAS TX @ The Door
12/12 MCALLEN TX @ Cine El Rey Theatre
12/13 AUSTIN TX @ Red 7
12/14 ODESSA TX @ Dos Amigos
12/15 FARMINGTON NM @ Gators
12/16 TUCSON AZ @ Rialto Theatre

Our big, flannel-loving brother to the North will be paid a visit from Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza following some brief North Eastern U.S. dates. Joining Danza on the "Ripped Across Canada" tour will be A Life Once Lost (Ferret) and Arsonists Get All the Girls (Century Media).

11/04 - Manchester, CT @ American Legion
11/05 - Albany, NY @ Valentines
11/06 - St. Catherine, ON @ L3
11/07 - Windsor, ON @ Chubby Pickle
11/08 - London, ON @ The Embassy
11/09 - Toronto, ON @ Reverb
11/10 – Kingston, ON @ Time To Laugh
11/11 – Ottawa, ON @ Bayou
11/13 – Montreal, QC @ Underworld
11/14 – Trois-Rivieres, QC @ Rock Cafe Le Stage
11/15 – Quebec City, QC @ L' Anti
11/16 - Burlington, VT @ Annex
11/17 - Maplewood, NJ @ Garden State Music Factory
11/18 - Reading, PA @ The Silo

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Artist Entry: The Abominable Iron Sloth's Justin Godfrey shares some lyrics

"In the Event of the Inevitable"

Dear future,
sorry about that shit we left
religious wars
forests burned
atomic death

In the event of the inevitable
I pray you find this song
The protons rained
throughout your veins
the past must rightly own

Dear son, dear daughter
stay away from girls on speed
and boys on weed
in search of death
and fleeting things

In the event of the inevitable
I pray you find this song
Those foolish things
inside your brain
I tell you don't belong

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BMA News Update: holy megaton of tours, Batman! Plus other news from the BMA family

So we've been absent. Shit happens.
But still, the BMA News Update you are about to read will pretty much make up for the month hiatus.
I mean, hell, we could have gone and pulled a "Chinese Democracy."
Now, to the news:

Dance Club Massacre has released the song "Hoosh Hoosh" from the upcoming Nov. 11 release, "Circle of Death." Check out the song on the DCM MySpace page.
The band has also canceled its October tour, due to scheduling conflicts.

Romans are being featured in the September issue of Metal Edge Magazine, pick one up!

Louisville band Lords will make its BMA debut on Oct. 14 with "Fuck All Y'all Motherfuckers."

November is election time -- no other month would be more fitting for an Architect release. The band will unleash a few post-election lullabies via "Ghost of the Saltwater Machines" on Nov. 25 . A little from Architect vocalist Keith on the meaning of the album:

"War, famine, greed, depletion of natural resources, etc. As well as all the interpersonal trappings we have -- such as losing touch with our humanity and getting lost in a world of material possessions. Our species is just getting dumber and lazier, not to mention we follow archaic religions and irrelevant laws. We as people are sort of just saltwater machines and the ghost of our negative existence will surely be coming back to haunt us."

Architect has a rough version of the song "Death and Taxes" from the upcoming release posted on the band's MySpace. Fall tour dates will be announced shortly.

A plethora of bands from team BMA are touring, or scheduled to tour shortly, check it.

Lords is hittin' the road, behold:

10/4 - LOUISVILLE, KY @ Cahoots
10/11 - DALLAS, TX @ The Lounge
10/12 - AUSTIN, TX @ Red 7
10/13 - EL PASO, TX @ The Perclator
10/14 - TUSCON, AZ @ The Living Room
10/15 - PHOENIX, AZ @ Modified Arts

Khann will tour with Wetnurse beginning early October:
10/5 - WILMINGTON, NC @ Soapbox
10/6 - CHARLOTTE, NC @ The Milestone w/ Skeletonwitch,
10/7 - ATLANTA, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn
10/8 - ORLANDO, FL @ Black Box Collective
10/9 - MIAMI, FL @ Churchill's w/ Light Yourself on Fire
10/10 - TAMPA, FL @ Transitions Gallery w/ Light Yourself on Fire
10/11 - TALLAHASSEE, FL @ St Mike's w/ Light Yourself on Fire
10/14 - NASHVILLE, TN @ The Five Spot
10/16 - INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ The 1511
10/17 - CHICAGO, IL @ Beat Kitchen w/ Plague Bringer
10/18 - DAYTON, OH @ Dayton Dirt Collective
10/19 - PITTSBURGH, PA @ Smiling Moose w/ Complete Failure
10/21 - KINGSTON, NY @ The Basement
10/22 - BURLINGTON, VT @ Wasted City w/ Romans
10/23 - PORTLAND, ME @ Geno's
10/24 - WORCESTER, MA @ Forbes Street
10/26 - DOYLESTOWN, PA @ Moose Lodge w/ No People
11/2 - BROOKLYN, NY @ Europa w/ Harvey Milk

Animosity is currently on the "Hell on Earth" tour in Europe with The Red Chord, Walls of Jericho, Evergreen Terrace, Cataract and Stick To Your Guns until mid October. Following in November, Animosity will venture out on a U.S. tour with Job for a Cowboy, Hate Eternal, All Shall Perish and Anotations of an Autopsy, dates are as follows:

11/13 POMONA, CA @ Glasshouse Music Hall
11/14 BAKERSFIELD, CA @ The Dome

11/15 SACRAMENTO, CA @ The Boardwalk

11/16 PORTLAND, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
11/17 SEATTLE, WA @ El Corazon
11/18 BOISE, ID @ The Venue

11/20 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO @ The Black Sheep

11/21 LAWRENCE, KS @ Bottleneck
11/22 IOWA CITY, IA @ The Picador

11/23 ST. PAUL, MN @ Station 4

11/25 DETROIT, MI @ Magic Stick

11/26 PITTSBURGH, PA @ Strummers

11/27 LONDON, ON @ The Embassy Hotel

11/28 BURLINGTON, VT @ Higher Ground

11/29 PORTLAND, ME @ The Station

11/30 PROVIDENCE, RI @ The Living Room

12/1 FARMINGDALE, NY @ The Crazy Donkey

12/2 SAYERVILLE, NJ @ Starland Ballroom

12/3 BALTIMORE, MD @ Otto Bar

12/4 RICHMOND, VA @ Canal Club (Downstairs)

12/5 WILMINGTON, NC @ Soapbox Laundro-Lounge

12/6 ATLANTA, GA @ The Masquerade

12/7 KNOXVILLE, TN @ Valarium

12/9 LITTLE ROCK, AR @ The Village

12/10 TULSA, OK @ The Marquee

12/11 DALLAS TX @ The Door

12/12 MCALLEN, TX @ Cine El Rey Theatre

12/13 AUSTIN, TX @ Red 7

12/14 ODESSA, TX @ Dos Amigos

12/15 FARMINGTON, NM @ Gators

12/16 TUCSON, AZ @ Rialto Theatre

Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza is currently on the "Agents of Chaos" tour. Here's the remaining dates:
9/24 - JOHNSON CITY, TN @ The Hideaway
9/25 - DANVILLE, VA @ Plan B
9/26 - CHARLESTON, SC @ The Oasis
9/27 - AUGUSTA, GA @ Sector 7G
9/28 - MONTGOMERY, AL @ Off the Wagon
9/29 - METAIRIE, LA @ The High Ground
9/30 - LITTLE ROCK, AR @ Vino's
10/1 - AMARILLO, TX @ The War Legion Underground
10/3 - SIOUX FALLS, SD @ Nutty's North
10/4 - FARGO, ND @ Red Raven
10/5 - BUFFALO, MN @ The Vault
10/7 - TINLEY PARK, IL @ Mojoe's
10/8 - FORT WAYNE, IN @ Sunset Hall
10/9 - ROCHESTER, NY @ The Penny Arcade
10/10 - UTICA, NY @ Skate-a-Rama
10/11 - POUGHKEEPSIE, NY @ The Platinum Lounge
10/12 - HOLYOKE, MA @ Water Front Tavern
10/13 - JOHNSON CITY, NY @ Magic City Music Hall
10/14 - LEMOYNE, PA @ Champion Ship
10/15 - WILKES-BARRE, PA @ Cafe Metropolis
10/17 - PHILADELPHIA, PA @ The Warehouse
10/18 - RICHMOND, VA @ Canal Club

Behold...the Arctopus will join Genghis Tron for a set of dates on the other side of the pond:
11/17 BRIGHTON @ Coalition
11/18 DUBLIN @ Whelans
11/19 BELFAST @ Limelight
11/20 BIRMINGHAM @Asylum (w/ the_Network)
11/21 THROWBRIDGE @ Snooker Club (w/ the_Network)
11/22 LONDON @ Underworld (w/ the_Network)
11/23 SHEFFIELD @ Corporation
11/24 BRISTOL @ Croft

The_Network will also be making its mark in the UK in November other than the stops with Genghis Tron and Behold...the Arctopus, confirmed dates below:

11/15 - LONDON @ Clothing Stop (3 p.m. start) w/ Throats
11/15 - ALDERSHOT @ The West End Centre
11/16 - YORK @ The Junction
11/17 - MANCHESTER @ Cafe Sake
11/18 - GLASGOW @ Captains Rest
11/19 - LEEDS @ Royal Park Cellars
11/20 - BIRMINGHAM @ Asylum w/ Genghis Tron, Behold...the Arctopus
11/20 - NOTTINGHAM @ Rock City (Late show)
11/21 - TROWBRIDGE @ Snooker Club w/ Genghis Tron, Behold...the Arctopus
11/22 - LONDON @ Underworld w/ Genghis Tron, Behold...the Arctopus
11/23 - LONDON @ Windmill Brixton
11/24 - BRIGHTON @ The Engine Room
11/25 - NEWPORT @ Le Pub

Stay tuned for more kids, this is just a warm up.

-BMA Staff

Artist Entry: Animosity vocalist Leo Miller checks in from Europe

"These aren't hash brownies mon...."

Guuutentaaaaag! Animosity is back in the land of bread, cheese and
mysterious condiment spreads AKA Europe. So far we have played one
show without our bass player and eaten a shit load the aforementioned
foodstuffs. After just one show, this tour is looking to be quite
awesome. Somehow we are on the exact same bus that we traveled in Las
year with Converge which is pretty weird and nostalgic. I'll check
back in once some crazy shit happens that is noteworthy.
Party on


Artwork credit: John Lause's trippy cover art for the Animosity/Drumcorps vinyl release, "Altered Beast," available at the Man Alive! Web site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

BMA News Update: the_Network checks in, Cancer Bats vid to premier on MTV2's 'Headbanger's Ball,' and much more

Happy hump day to all of you. It's the lame, half-way point of the week, meaning one of two things. If you're a glass-is-half-full kind of person, it means your work week is almost over. But Wednesday also means time for us to drop some BMA news at your virtual doorstep.

the_Network is going through some changes -- but not in a RuPaul sort of way. First, the good changes. The band will begin recording its second full length with BMA in October for "Bishop Kent Manning," the title spawns from guitarist Kevin Howley's short story posted in a previous Artist Entry. Shortly following recording, the_Network will tour in the U.K. and in turn will release a split with U.K. based band Throats, titled "Notes from the Turncoat Campaign" through Holy Roar in the U.K. and yours truly in the U.S. And finally, the bad change. the_Network drummer Tim will be leaving the band following recording "Bishop Kent Manning" and the band's U.K. tour due to the financial destitution that comes with being in a band. The band is currently searching for a replacement. E-mail the_Network guitarist Pete Marr if you're a skins player lookin' for a gig: endtransmission@hotmail.com. Check out the band's MySpace page to hear the_Network's music.

Cancer Bats makes its debut on MTV2's "Headbanger's Ball" with the premier of its video, "Hail Destroyer." The show airs Saturday night at 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Dance Club Massacre has solidified November 11 as the release date for its upcoming release, "Circle of Death." The band is also in the process of booking a fall tour to support the new album and needs your help in doing so. Check out the DCM MySpace page for the tentative dates and locations. If you are interested in booking the band, please contact guitarist Mitch Hein via e-mail: danceclubmassacre@hotmail.com.

Behold...the Arctopus is currently on "The Ultimate Brodeo" tour with Intronaut and Mouth of the Architect -- just thought we'd refresh your memory about this fantastic tour. Go to the band's MySpace to find out if these sweet dudes will be comin' to your town.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Artist Entry: The Abominable Iron Sloth's Justin Godfrey loves that 'H'

"I've been addicted to H for the last 4 years"

It almost seemed innocent at first. A few hours here and there, every other weekend, it wasn't anything I needed except when I had to pass some time. An experimentation, an experience.

That's all it was until I went to Portland. I found out my friend Jayson was in the game and then he showed me what had been in front of my eyes all along: Online multiplayer. So it started with Halo 2 in that winter of 2004 and it continues today with an almost daily indulgence.

Times have changed, and of course Halo 3 is now the standard, but the fundamentals of the game, the guiding lights of competitive shit talking and gang tea bagging still burn as bright as ever in my soul.

So I admit that I am an addict, and I just can't find it in me to change.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Artist Entry: Animosity vocalist Leo Miller gabs about 'Altered Beast'

Just getting home from the final stages of production of the Altered Beast EP. For those of you who have not yet heard, Animosity in collaboration with Berlin's finest, Drumcorps is releasing the coolest record ever made!  I said it, and once you see it you will understand why.  I honestly think that the hand screen-printed edition of this record is perhaps the most ambitious 10" vinyl release to date.  My friend Nick and I have spent literally countless hours getting these things together, printing all of the record jackets and it is finally done.  In the morning I will be shipping out al of the pre-orders.  If you happen to be one of these people, or plan on picking up a copy of the record, although it is not the "proper" speed, I highly recommend listening to it on the 33 rpm speed on your record player.  It really
makes for some seriously heavy and twisted music. All that being said, I want to say that I feel great! Creating things and accomplishing them is fun and rewarding. Yay! Thats all for now, have fun and listen to music. I just got back form Brazil and I might write some stories on here later when it is not 4 in the am.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BMA News Update: Cancer Bats spreading like, well, cancer; Tony Danza will gets 'ta steppin' this fall; Gaza checks in

Hi kiddies. It’s time for this week’s installment of the BMA news update. Though the report isn’t a portly one, this isn't Costco people. We don't sell this shit in bulk quantities. Still, we’re anxiously awaiting to announce some good stuff that's brewing with Team BMA, have patience young grasshopper.

Anyhow, on to the news. Here’s what’s happenin’ in the world of BMA this week:

Cancer Bats are taking to the Canadian terrain for a fall tour in September with Black Lungs and Johnny Truant. Cruise over to the band's MySpace page for a show near you.

We're also pleased to announce Cancer Bats will also premier “Hail Destroyer” on Aug. 27 as a feature video in the main video and metal sections on MySpace. Be sure to surf over and watch the video once it’s available via MySpace.

Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza fall tour “The Agents of Chaos tour" stomps across the nation, one Tennessee-bred footprint at a time – or should that be boot print? Nevertheless, TDTDE will be joined by a few buds on select dates, here's the roll call: Arsonists Get All the Girls, Architects, Stray From the Path, ABACABB and Beneath the Massacre. Check the TDTDE MySpace for dates.

It's been nearly two months since Dudefest and you may be asking yourself, where in the world is Gaza? Are they busy campaigning for John McCain? No F-ing way! Strike that theory from the record right now -- you might as well punch yourself in the kidney for ever believing that statement. Jon, vocalist and Demo-cult member fills us in:

We've tucked ourselves away for nearly a year now trying to write this God damn record. Not because it's some sweeping-epic-theme record about the Cherokee or some shit, but because we've had a rough time writing anything we like. We've toured minimally as a result of that, but the touring we've done has been amazing. If you haven't heard about Dudefest, you're probably not listening. In any case I do have some news to report. We have finished about 95 percent of the record: We're calling it "He's Never Coming Back." Casey broke his hand the very week we wrapped up the last song, so recording has been put on hold for at least six weeks. Once he gets the cast off, we'll need about a month to rehearse. Then we can finally shoot and bury this thing as if it was that ham-fisted cunt Nancy Grace. The new stuff is definitely pissed off, but its more... strange? If IDCWIGWID can be described as harsh, this could be described as well written harsh. We hope to have it out before the end of the year. Take care, dickweeds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

BMA News Update: Current album release dates, FASSW breaks the top 300 and 'How to survive Dudefest as a dudette'

From a Second Story Window is being featured on the JSI Top 21 list, issue #325 for the release “Conversations.”

The video for Animosity’s “Toothgrinder” is now available on Music Choice on Demand

Jess Blumensheid wrote an article for Venus Scene called “How to survive Dudefest as a Dudette.” Joining the story are some photos – can you guess which of these ladies are on the BMA staff? Check it out here: http://venuszine.com/articles/music/features/3752/How_to_survive_Dude_Fest_as_a_dudette_

Cancer Bats vocalist Liam Cormier is featured on the Deciblog, brought to you by those cool cats at Decibel Magazine. Peep Liam on the Deciblog here:

Whats happening in the world of BMA release dates?

Romans - "All Those Wrists" OUT NOW
FASSW - "Conversations" OUT NOW
Sweet Cobra - "Forever" OUT NOW
Cancer Bats - "Hail Destroyer" OUT NOW

Upcoming releases:
Lords - "Fuck All Y'all Motherfuckers" 10/14
Dance Club Massacre - "Circle of Death" - TBA
Architect - "Ghost of the Saltwater Machines" - TBA

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BMA News Update: DCM finishes tour, Cancer Bats feature in Alternative Press, Animosity to release exclusive vinyl

Welcome to the first edition of the BMA news update, meant to act as the family newsletter without all the embarrassing family snapshots, if you will.

  • Dance Club Massacre finishes its tour with KillWhitneyDead, Carnifex and The Demonstration tomorrow at Uncle Pleasants in Louisville, KY.
  • BMA bands are gettin' busy, recording new music that is. If you weren't already aware, Architect, Dance Club Massacre, From a Second Story Window and Romans all have songs off their recent and/or upcoming albums posted on MySpace. You can find each band's MySpace by visiting the BMA MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackmarketactivities
  • Animosity will release a 10 inch vinyl through Man Alive! titled "Altered Beast" on Aug. 1. It's a collection of three songs from the band's BMA release, "Animal," tweaked and altered by Aaron Spectre aka Drumcorps. "Altered Beast" features four different covers, created from the groovy mind of John Lause. And there's plenty more goodies to go with that folks. For more info and pre-ordering, visit the Man Alive! Web site.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Artist Entry: The_Network guitarist Kevin wants the odds evened, one attention whoring band at a time

No living person on this planet really has it “all together.” That is a statement I’m certain of. We all float around in our lives just barely hiding a complete mess of a human being. Yes, some are better at it than others, but they’re probably the ones that go home and chew on their sofas with tears streaming down their face while blocking out thoughts of suicide and/or homicide. Literally, everyone you see in public are nervous wrecks with vibrating hearts and the darting eyes of a weasel stuck in a bear trap. The know-it-all crust punk, the Abercrombie model, the oh-so hip hipster, the Trekkie, the newly-weds with plastered on smiles, the boss, the manager, the vegan, the hunter, the gym addict, the life of the party, the guitarist of that band, the apathetic bartender, the homeless, the compassionate protester, the driver with “NRA” and “George ‘04” bumper stickers, the soldier, the record label owner, the teacher, the professor, the governor, the senator, the president, the American; all of them are an open wound with a shiny Band Aid struggling to hold on to slippery skin. Whether they know it or not, they don’t have a damn thing “together.” If a person has any sense in their head, they’re a fucking mess. If you have any kind of intelligence, you want to scream blood.

This is the kind of paragraph I’d repeat to myself every day regardless of what kind of life I’d be living. The reality is that I’m going to be 29-years-old in two weeks. I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and an IQ of 137. I deliver pizza for money and live with my parents so I can devote all my time and energy to playing in the_network. And, yes, I too am a shaky pile of nerves behind an ill made costume of normalcy. If I had tried to start some horrific career right after college or gotten married and had kids or went to graduate school or became a vigilante or a serial killer, I’d still have to repeat the above paragraph to myself every morning. I’d still have to tell myself that life isn’t what you want it to be, life is what it is. This could all be some sickening pre-birthday, soul searching bullshit that would otherwise make me simultaneously laugh and puke, but it is necessary and true. No matter what life choices we make, reality is always going to confront us with situations that will force us to evaluate the entire world and our role in it, so why not do whatever the fuck we want.

Being in a band offers plenty of situations that will force a person to look far too deeply inward. If you’re in a band, you know what I’m talking about. When you’re in a van (the band bought themselves) literally all day only to lug out all your equipment and play in front of five people in the middle of the fucking country, you get to thinking. This is happening every day to bands that are really good. I mean, I think my band is relatively good (if you don’t like your own band, quit) and we’ve played numerous horrible shows with many bands that I know are good. And I guarantee that every shitty show an amazing band plays, there’s some huge tour package with three or four equally well known bands stopping somewhere within a hundred mile radius. This has gone past a minor annoyance to a full-fledged epidemic in the extreme music scene.

Only a few years ago, one or two big bands would actually tour with one or two less well known but great bands, and those smaller bands would get the attention they deserve. Now, it’s a little different. I mean, how many times do we see some tour with The Red Chord, Despised Icon, A Life Once Lost, and Through the Eyes of the Dead? Or maybe The Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Converge, and The Locust? Maybe Since the Flood just decided to help out Full Blown Chaos. (I’m not saying these tours have or are happening, but just using examples with well known bands.) Are A Life Once Lost and The Red Chord still both in dire need of gaining more attention? Is Despised Icon finally getting a break? Is someone going to go to a Dillinger show and just discover Every Time I Die? Fuck no. About ten of these tours happen a year and dozens of smaller ones have to spend weeks just eating gas money. What maniacal capitalists are booking these tours? When did Rockefeller and William Randolph Hearst start booking shows? I’m sure there’s some tiring explanation for all this and maybe I’m being naïve or bitter, but the reality of the situation is worth discussion.

For every sold out show full of kids buying their second or third Suicide Silence shirt across the country, there’s most likely an amazing band like Blues or Graf Orlock playing in front of 10 jaded guys or eight broke kids in some VFW a few miles away. And while Blues is hemorrhaging money on gas and sleeping on top of each other in a Wal-Mart parking lot after eating dry Ramen noodles, fucking Born of Osiris is trying to decide whether to go to Chili’s before or after they get their two rooms at the Holiday Inn. What the fuck happened?

There’s enough fans, attention, and, unfortunately, money to go around. All I’m saying is: let’s even the playing field. If the extreme music scene is going to be built up with the same capitalist attention paid to a game of Jenga, then it is time for the tower to crumble all over the fucking kitchen table. All I’m saying is give me one day when I don’t have to repeat the first paragraph of this rant to myself. Give me one day where I don’t have to force myself to look through everyone’s bullshit façade. Give me one day where I can tell myself that everyone around me is happy, well-rounded, and honest so I can get a gun and blow my fucking brains out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Artist Entry: Lords' Chris Owens is the next Gene Siskel, minus the brain tumor

3 shitty movies

Every couple of weeks my uncle drops by with some DVDR's of shitty movies he's ripped. Here's my critique of the latest batch:

"I am Legend"

Man, does Will Smith suck, or does Will Smith suck? So, he's this ripped, athletic scientist, who is the only dude left in Manhattan (or maybe the world...ooooohhh) that is immune to some virus created to help cure cancer but instead turned everyone into shitty, bald, hyperactive, CGI zombie types that apparently cant handle sunlight. Yawn. Everything is going fine and well until the Fresh Prince fucks up and flips out on some mannequin then gets himself stuck out side at night with the shitty, bald, hyperactive, CGI dummies.

What's the deal with those mannequins anyway? Oh yeah, he's going "crazy" He's like loosing his mind, yo! Oh! Naw he didn't! He just talked to that mannequin and asked her out on a date! Naw he didn't! Crazy ass Fresh Prince!

Well guess what, I don't believe it. I don't believe it because he's a shitty actor and I feel no sympathy for his character.

You know what else I don't believe, is that some chick and her little girl somehow manage to stay alive without the Travis-Bickel-workout-routine-six-pack abs, machine guns, a fortress house, or any of the other amenities that the Fresh Prince required for his survival. Furthermore, what the fuck took them three years, or however long it was, to find him in Manhattan? You know, when he's broadcasting his location on the radio every single day, AND, how the fuck did they drive off the island?! It was supposedly sealed off, as explained in some stupid flash back sequences.

Whatever, fuck this stupid movie. Go rent "Omega Man" instead.

"The Italian Job"
I have chronic sleep problems which result in and are perpetuated by massive coffee consumption. I drink more coffee than Bobby from Engineer. I keep a coffee pot in the van and bust it out at every show on tour. I drink coffee all the time because I don't sleep very well, or often, and I need the stimulant in my brain to stay functional during the day. I can't sleep without earplugs or complete
darkness. I talked to a doctor about it years ago -- when I could afford to go the doctor -- and he explained to me that normally people's nervous system "turns off" when they're sleeping, but mine only goes in to "low gear," so I'm still aware of sights and sounds, and any kind of stimulation will easily wake me. So the bottom line is that I cant fall asleep with a TV or radio on, or people talking or any kind of shit like that.

....or at least I couldn't, until for the first time in my 29 years of living I saw a movie so fucking boring, contrived and shitty that I actually fell asleep during it.

Really I should have known. Being a remake and the PG13 rating should have been enough, but with Ed Norton and Mark Wahlberg I thought it would at least have to be passable. I really cant decide which actor performed more embarrassingly on this movie. I mean, Ed Norton had to wear the gay ass "evil twin" mustache and goatee. But Wahlberg acted like he was still playing Dirk Diggler staring in a no-plot, action porno -- but with no porno so it wasn't even like you could just fast froward through the dialog to get to the fuck scenes. Fuck scenes might have made this movie a little better -- not much -- but the formula
works for the rest of Hollywood. If there is no intellectually or emotionally stimulating substance to the film, then at least try to give me a boner, or real graphic violence of some sort -- something to make me feel like my money or time hasn't been thoroughly wasted.

Then you have Donald Sutherland. Sometimes there are actors that no matter what role they're playing you always remember them for one weird obscure thing they did years before. Like how Jeff Goldblum will always be the street thug who's ass you got to see when he was raping and murdering Charles Bronsons' wife and daughter in "Death Wish" and to me Donald Sutherland will always be the Nazi spy who murdered this hot English lady's paraplegic husband then made her fuck and feed him, while he waited for the U-boat to pick him up in "Eye of
the Needle."

Painfully disappointing cast performances aside this movie is a very weak "heist gone wrong" tale with an apparent target audience of retarded 12-year-old girls.

Do your self a favor and don't watch this movie. Go rent "Cannibal
Holocaust" instead. It's nothing like "The Italian Job" in any way,
which is a good thing -- and it's banned in most self respecting first
world countries, so you know it has to be good.

"The Quick and the Dead"
High points: Sharon Stone tit shot, Leonardo DiCaprio dies.

Low points: Everything else in the movie.

This abomination of cinema is essentially a horribly failed attempt to mix "Kill Bill" with at least one scene from every western ever made. We have Sharon Stone as the sass-mouth cowgirl on a quest for revenge against the man who killed her father. I guess we're supposed to get some kind of girl power vibe off of her, but instead most of the movie she acts like a timid, sissy bitch, who is too pussy to kill this dude the first 500 chances that she has. Then suddenly she becomes a badass in the last minute of the film, while uttering one of the gayest
one liners of all time. Once again, I don't believe it.

DiCaprio is the young show off who gets killed by his own dad (Gene Hackman). When he died in the movie I was happy because his character annoyed the fuck out of me.

Russel Crow plays a sharp shooting preacher who has renounced killing -- exactly like Lee Van Cleef in "Gods Gun," except that in this movie Russel Crow doesn't also play his own twin brother, who in "Gods Gun" comes back to severely mind fuck the bad guys and avenge his death.

Gene Hackman is the gang leader who is responsible for the death of Sharon Stones' dad (although we find out in some queer ass flash back sequences that Sharon Stone actually killed her dad, because Hackman was going to hang him -- but he said if Sharon can shoot the rope off then he'll let him go. But Stone accidentally shoots her dad in the head...HA!).

This movie offends me. Clint Eastwood kind of served as a father figure to me as a child. My moral compass is derived from his spaghetti Western characters ( and from Alan Alda as "Hawkeye" in the "Mash" TV series). Some review of this movie called it "campy fun," but as Dennis Hopper would say in "Blue Velvet;" Fuck that faggot shit. This movie is testament to the rapid retardation and pussification of
America. I hate this movie and anyone who likes it. Fuck it, and fuck you.

Good night.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Artist Entry: From a Second Story Window vocalist Will Jackson's bachelor party adventure

The night started off in the day time. The sun beat down on us as if we were all afflicted with fiery crimson locks and happened to be a large group of step-children. Sweat poured from under arms causing visible cries of cotton shirts, "Help, I'm fucking drowning here mate!" they would have yelled had they been able -- and perhaps been British. I pulled mine off to save myself the hours of verbal abuse flying from my muddled pits and continued to load the car.

The trip was planned for Charlotte, NC, and the pals were pulling in well equipped with beers of various brands, liquors from across the continent and farther (the Absinthe will top things off nicely), and an assortment of other explicables that Hunter S. himself would fully give a nod of encouragement and an "hrmmm, good good boys!" Needless to say everyone was excited and ready to dive right into the debauchery that is the time honored tradition of Bachelor Partying.

Mine was a crew of rather rough and wiley young gents that I have acquired sinful friendships with since the days of my becoming a man, the meetings include my first endeavor into the sloshy and short, first time I did it club, all the way to my very first indulgences into the visual side of mind expansion, i.e., you should know what I'm talking about. These were some boys with whom I had shared life and limb with at any and all cost. Homeboys one might say, and one of ours was getting hitched.

Now, needless to say, plans had been set and motions had been qued to make this one hell of a weekend. The room was booked down in Charlotte at the Courtyard Marriot, Suite 202 on the M2 level of the north tower, this was an upper level with a lower numeral in description, something I went over with the nice young woman who booked us the room. We had been told that it was a room where were could conduct our bachelordom in peace and quiet, at least to the outside world. I, having already removed my shirt and cracked a beer, greeted my fellow goers of fun with a friendly wave and a few lofty tosses of beers in their immediate direction. They plucked their beers from mid air as the descended upon them with great ease and began, as did I, to toast the young man whose life was about to be joined to another in a mere matter of days.

"To Billy boy, may you enjoy fucking only one woman for the rest of your life!" said a friend by the name of Brandon, a muscular gent of whom we all also knew by the alias Hambone, who followed it up was some hardy har har's or which we all followed suit.

After the toast and the laughs and a few more beers we all blinked a bit and looked at one another. Small bags that could be easily carried on any size airplanes surrounded the two cars that had been chosen to carry this gang of misbegotten souls.

"Who's driving, and where is everyone riding?" A tall lanky fellow by the name of Colby hooted, his eyes swayed behind thick corrective lenses framed in soft gold.

"Toby's driving my car, and I'm drinking. Who's with us you bunch of dogs!" I yelled striding behind Colby and smacking him firmly on his hind end with one hand while pointing at my mates with the other.

I must admit, I was getting rather excited thinking of our lavish room and mini bar just sitting there high in the air, empty and waiting to be ravaged; like those young girls who stroll down Marion drive walking home from high school not quite ready to be taken, but wanting it all the same. I could envision it floating, take the rest of the building away, just our box of sin waiting to be taken over.

The route was simple, 77 South, straight. It is best to plan a trip like this around as man simple directions as possible, especially when people are drinking and otherwise. The cars faired well. A 2007 Toyota Prius, economical, sporty, roomy, and wild as hell with our own Billy the bachelor nestled deep in the back seat smoking away his nerves. He was nervous I tell you. He had no idea what was in store from his foolish friends, God only knows what his mind was cooking up in there; what kind of devilish acts were about to take place down here in the deep southern city of Charlotte, NC...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Artist Entry: Lords' Chris Owens wants you to take that D-beat and shove it

If I hear the phrase "D-Beat" one more time, I'm going to fucking puke.


At some point -- I think around the mid-to-late '90s -- bands all around
the country started to think that it was OK to stop writing their own
songs and start producing lesser versions of what ever happened to be
popular at the time.

Now, it may be that this kind of thing was always happening and I was
simply sheltered from it by growing up on the musical island of
Louisville, KY that was chock full of genre pioneers and other fucked
up exotic punk oddities ranging from Slint to KINGHORSE. But in the
early '90s, when I was first playing in bands and going to punk shows,
it wasn't cool to sound like other bands. If you ripped some one else
off then you got called out and made fun of. There was this
underlying pressure to be better, tighter and different than
everything else that was going on around you, and the end result was

Anyone who's in a touring band knows the scenario of playing with the
same band in every city, but with different names and different
members. Sometimes you play with the same band several times in one
night and their sets might get progressively better as the evening
progresses, but it's still pretty much the same shit.

Until recently, it was that same shitty generic metalcore band that you
played with every night. Yeah, we get it, you can palm mute and do
sweeps. You wear your stupid Ibanez higher than Paul McCartney's
fiddle bass and you all have wicked cool rack tuners that make your
mesa's look like extras on the Battlestar Galactica set.

Now a days, it's the drop C, "d-beat" nonsense. There are literally
thousands of these bands, a few in every city, and they all sound
the fucking same! I mean, what's the deal guys?

I understand that a lot of you are young and probably haven't heard
much of that one rock band from England that's been playing those same
riffs for 35 years. Or the punk band that the drum beat is named
after, who were playing those riffs 25 years ago. And maybe not even
the guys from Tennessee who moved to Oregon and popularized this most
recent revival seven or eight years ago, but I know for sure that you've
heard of my friends from Louisville who've been playing these songs
for the last five years.

I just don't get it. Yeah sure, every thing's pretty much been
done already, and every band is influenced by other bands, but you
"drop C, D-beat" guys aren't even trying! Seriously.

I mean, I love Voivod and Megadeth. Listen to a Lords record and then
listen to "Rust in Peace" or "Nothing Face" and it should be evident. But
no one's ever going to confuse a lords song for Voivod or
Megadeth. Whatever.

So in conclusion, I think this tuned down dropped C, "D-beat" revival
is already tired, old and run in to the fucking ground -- and I really
wish you kids would start being more creative and original so that it
will make shows on tour a lot more interesting for me.

But that's just my opinion, man, what the fuck do I know anyway?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Artist Entry: Dance Club Massacre guitarist Mitch Hein checks in from the road

Day 1 - We had to drive 14 hours from Chicago to Raleigh, NC to start the tour on Thursday, so we left Wednesday night around 9pm to drive through the night. We were about to start driving when we realized, hey its Wednesday night, which means half price at the bar we frequent. So in typical DCM fashion we stopped there for a drink with some friends before making the dangerous trek -- with no working air conditioning I might add. While I was driving through who knows where in the middle of the night, we narrowly escaped smashing into a deer, who for some reason had thought it was a good idea to cross the highway right in front of us instead of the empty road behind. After freaking out for a few minutes we were back on track. Around 11am on Thursday we stopped in Mount Airy, NC to try and grab some lunch with our good friend , Will Jackson, vocalist of From A Second Story Window. After many failed attempts to reach him we ate at a local Wendy's full of old -- correction REALLY old people. It was like a Florida retirement home! Hours later we finally arrived to the show - 5 hours before load in - so to kill some time we played some bean bags and had a few $1 PBRs at the local bar next to the venue. The show ended up being a pretty good way to start the tour. Good crowd, good bands, good times. After the show we couldn't find a place to stay even though it was Killwhitneydead/The Demonstration's hometown, so us and Carnifex split a room at a nice Motel 6 and snuck everyone in. Getting out of the heat and being able to shower was great.

Day 2 - The 2nd day of the tour was in Burlington, NC. We only had to drive an hour to the show, which was nice considering that we had just driven 14 hours the night before. After working out a few kinks in our set list we had to open the show. We are playing a few new songs on this tour, which I'm pretty stoked about, and the kids seem to be too so that's always good. With nothing to do but sit around the rest of the night we sat around drinking the free beer that was provided....and then some more free beer that wasn't exactly provided...if you get my drift. Once again we couldn't find a place to stay, and with it being too hot to sleep in the van, we got ourselves yet another room at a Motel 6. This time it was by ourselves so we had a lot of room to relax and watch awesome movies such as Anaconda, and the Godfather Part 3. The pool was closed for cleaning so that was a huge bummer. If anyone with a swimming pool who is coming to a show soon is reading this, let us hang at your house. I promise, we are sweet dudes.

Day 3 - Ahhh Richmond, VA. We played at a venue called Alley Katz, which turns out is actually in an alley. The promoter for the show had booked us last summer on our tour with Architect and Destroyer Destroyer, and its always good to see familiar faces. Well, familiar faces that haven't dicked us over on our guarantee. The show was an all day "fest" which I usually hate, but this was cool because all the kids actually stuck around all day. After the show the sound guy let us stay at his house. Finally, a free place to stay! He had a huge projector screen so we watched this movie called "Wristcuter: A Love Story" which ended up being really good. It had that really hot girl from "40 Days and 40 Nights" in it whose name I can't remember, but anyway I think I'm going to marry her.

Day 4 - I sit here typing this blog on my Sidekick at Crocodile Rock in Allentown, PA. Its finally not super hot out tonight, so I'm just hanging out enjoying the fresh air. We showed up a little late today because traffic in DC was a bitch, and as soon as we showed up we had to load right in and play. The sound guy was an asshole, but I won't get into that. Anyway, not much to say about today. We would be drinking but beers are $4 and we're poor. I think we just found a place to stay with some hot girls -- I hope they aren't 15. Nick will be writing a blog for the next few days so stay tuned for that.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Artist Entry: The_Network guitarist Kevin and a tale of a televangelist's demise

Bishop Kent Manning

by, Kevin Howley

A dead heart shrieks so loudly in the ER. In Bishop Kent Manning’s case, his lifeless heart was loud enough to bring him back from the dead. The EKG meter hummed steadily until the Bishop’s eyes blasted open, then continued with a rhythmic beeping. The EKG produced the beat of an appalling soundtrack. The cracking and scraping of bone, the slurping noise of blood, the whiz of cold machinery, and the muffled voices of doctors and nurses plundered horribly over the metronome of the EKG meter. His torso seemed a detached heap of metal and blood; an excavation site where he had the best view. Whether he was in shock or drugged, he felt no pain. His only real feeling was the trembling of his skull and he’d occasionally taste iron tickling the back of his throat. He was road kill; meat and bone being tenderized for consumption or a calf being packaged for distribution. His guts were exposed and his blood was decorating the ER staff. He had all the strength of a gnat smeared across a windshield and the only pain he felt stemmed from an echoing voice somewhere in his wiggling head.

“There is no God,” he heard.

Even while he could see a smashed bullet being plucked from his midsection, his only worry was that damn voice. He never remembered thinking that God didn’t exist and attributed the voice to the trauma he was experiencing. Even when his father died, when he’d watch the slaughtering of farm animals, when he’d cover his face in makeup for the television camera, when he was taking a shit, when he drove, when he slept, and especially when he counted money, he never doubted the existence of God. As he tried to ignore the voice, he heard someone mutter, “spinal anesthesia,” and he fell asleep.

“Bishop,” a voice called to him.

His mind fumbled to wake up.

“Kent! Wake the fuck up!” the voice continued.

He did wake up and tried to recognize the voice. Kent was in a hospital bed and sitting in a chair next to him was a stranger.

“Oh, right…my face,” the stranger said. “You’ve never seen me.”

“Who are you?” Kent asked.

“Well, when you rob a bank, Kent, the last thing you need is some shithead with a decent memory seeing your face so you usually wear a mask,” the stranger said. “I wore a mask when we met. I wore a mask when I shot you!” the stranger laughed.

Fractions of memories began to add up in Kent’s head and he remembered the voice. He remembered being in the bank when someone with a mask came in to rob the place. Kent tried to think of something substantial to say but could only whispered, “You.”

“Yea,” the stranger said. “Me.” The stranger continued, “Imagine my surprise when I’m just trying to get some money from some bank and I see Bishop Kent Manning, that annoying fuck from TV, standing directly in front of me. I remember thinking that, if anything were to go wrong, at least I’d have a well known hostage to take. But then you tried that charming “on-air” type of shit with me and, I gotta tell ya, Kent, it irritated the fuck out of me. And then you just had to break down like such a little bitch in front of me. It made me sick. I had to kill you, y’know?”

Kent’s eyes began to drip as his memory improved. Kent remembered speaking to this man and exactly what he had told him. Then he remembered, “There is no God,” and sobbed.

“Yes!” the stranger said. “Just like that. It’s fucking disgusting, Kent.”

Kent tried to stop crying. He was always so good at conveying such confidence on television. When he was in front of the camera, while the phones rang, and while the funds kept rising, he was God. He thought of his church; the 26,000 members of Bishop Kent Manning’s “Rising Tide” Congregation. Then he thought of what he had told this masked stranger in the bank.

“Oh yea,” the stranger went on. “First you tried to get on my good side. You told me how barely any of the money you raise actually goes to helping anyone. And that, in fact, most of the money you raise goes to repossessing the homes of your “flock.” You were going on and on about how people are such sheep; how they need someone to do their thinking for them. You were so pleased with yourself while telling me how these old widows shell out their children’s inheritance to you. You told me about your fake bank accounts and all the political candidates who get most of the money. You told me how easy it would be for you to give me so much money to let you live. You said that you and I are alike. And, honestly Kent, I wasn’t going to kill anyone, but here’s this huge televangelist in front of me just pouring on the bullshit. I mean, I’m just a criminal. No grey area. You’re just so fucking fake. And when I raised my gun, damn did the blubbering start,” the stranger laughed. “Oh, it was too much. I really didn’t care about how much money you could give me. I wanted to shoot you. So I did. But, hey, now that you survived, I kinda want that fucking money, Kent.”

“There is no God,” Kent’s mind repeated.

With that echoing voice proclaiming so persuasively, Kent couldn’t find a way to perform. Even though he was a cheat and a criminal, he always did believe in God. Now, Kent was empty. He just couldn’t perform. Hell, he even tried to picture the face of a widow he’d taken money from. The proud Bishop. He meant nothing.

“There is no God,” repeated.

“So, y’know, keep your mouth shut and heal up,” the stranger said.

Kent’s stomach dropped and his throat swelled.

“When you’re all better, we’ll take a nice walk to the bank together,” the stranger said. “I shouldn’t have to bore either of us with details of what would happen if you tell anyone about me,” he continued. “I mean, your church and audience members, the politicians, the oh-so faithful, they’ll be so disappointed, Kent.” The stranger smirked. He had such sharp features. Kent was sure that there was something in the Bible about this, but he couldn’t recall anything.

“So, yea, I’ll be visiting every day until you’re better,” the stranger said as he got up from the chair and headed for the door.

Kent’s eyes swam as they followed the stranger from the chair to the door. He thought back to that loud EKG meter and the shriek that woke him. If God was not responsible for these events, who was? How do atheists deal with such situations? How does anyone deal with anything? He had never had so many questions and each one felt like a dull nail being driven into his forehead. He thought that the hate of the world must have been in that bullet. A fat tear dropped from his cheek when he looked up at the stranger opening the door to leave his room.

“Don’t look so down, bucko,” the stranger said. “You’re alive aren’t you?”

With that, the stranger was gone and Kent was alone, really alone. He looked around his room and everything seemed to exist without purpose. The walls of his room, the window, the bed; everything was meaningless. He looked down at the IV in his arm and wondered why he should be kept alive. He wondered who kept him alive. He felt that a great deception had been taking place with no author or benefactor. He then removed the IV and, with all his strength, got out of bed. His head throbbed as he looked left to right. He walked towards the window and opened it. The warmth of the sun met a strong breeze and blanketed his body in euphoria.

“I feel,” he thought.

He looked out the window. He looked down the 16 stories at all those people walking around with their own thoughts and ideas. The door to his hospital room opened and he hurled himself out of the window. From behind him, he heard an unearthly scream and, as the concrete launched skyward to meet him, “There is no God,” flashed in his mind.

A dead heart shrieks so loudly in the ER. In Bishop Kent Manning’s case, his lifeless heart was loud enough to bring him back from the dead…