Updates, cancellations and sadness

So… there have been some changes to Monday’s post in regards to shows. You may notice that a couple of the events I wrote about now have a line through them.

Before going further, most of the events mentioned are still going on, so go support the ones that are not crossed out.

However, I just found out a little while ago that the Iceberg Lounge, which was set to host the Norma Jean show (among others that were in the works) will not be open, and the shows have been canceled.

Rather than me giving a brief summary of the reasoning, I’ll just post the status update from David Jones, the man behind the Iceberg Lounge and Reaction Media:

It hurts me to say that Iceberg Lounge is over, before it even began, and that all events scheduled are cancelled, including tomorrows show with Norma Jean. I will chalk it all up by saying that the City of Montgomery officials are not interested in having a positive all-ages outlet for artists and musicians in the area. This was proven apparent through all of the excessive hoops we were forced to jump through, and when completed, were only given even further scrutiny. Without making this about the $10,000+, and hundreds of man hours I have personally invested and now lost, it more so just saddens me to see something with such a good intention be brought down by the officials of our city.

Feel free to direct any questions you have to Jerry Russel, head of the building inspections department.

Jerry Russell
Department: Inspections
Phone: 334-241-2173
E-mail: jrussell@montgomeryal.gov

Don’t mark this as Reaction Media or myself giving up on Montgomery by any means, the people of this city are more important to me than anything else, this is solely to make you all aware of the current situation. If you have any suggestions or ways to help accomplish our goals, hit me up.

Reaction Media has been working hard for years now, bringing mostly all-ages shows and bigger touring bands to Alabama, in Montgomery and lately branching out to Birmingham and Mobile markets. I hope they will continue to push forward.

Support local music and art.

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It’s been a week since my last update, eh?

Yes. It has. Everyone was cooking, eating turkey and watching football apparently. Oh, and the “eh?” in the title was a bit of foreshadowing because, if you haven’t heard, a Canadian band is touring the states right now.

The Trews are playing around the Southeastern U.S. at the moment, fresh off tours in Australia and the U.K.

This Wednesday, at The Nick in Birmingham, they are playing with my friends Rowe and Bearhead.

This Friday, at AlleyBAR in Montgomery, they are playing with Hail the Titans and the Poison Kitchen.

Both shows will be fun.

Other shows this week:

On Wednesday, Montgomery’s new all-ages venue, the Iceberg Lounge, is hosting Norma Jean as part of the Pizza Riot Tour. Other bands on this show include Oh Sleeper, Close Your Eyes, Stray From the Path, Lower Than Atlantis and Shadow Punch. 6 p.m. $15.

On Thursday, The Hotheads are making their hometown debut at The Tipping Point. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. They are a string band (banjo, guitar, upright bass, mandolin) made up of good people who play good music.

On Friday, the Iceberg Lounge, is holding a pop punk show featuring Hopes on Hold, Against All Odds, All You Need, A Time and a Place and more. That show starts at 6 and end at 10, which is when the AlleyBAR show starts, so feasibly, you could get about 7 hours of rock/punk/alternative/prog music of total listening enjoyment if you hit both shows.

Also on Friday, The Sneaky Hand from Atlanta is returning to Head on the Door. They put on a great show. 10 p.m. No cover. 21 and up.

So… since I was actually able to relax for a bit, I was finally able to catch up on a few movies.

I watched Red State by Kevin Smith. Yes, the same Kevin Smith who made Mallrats, Clerks and anything with Jay and Silent Bob. This was not his typical movie… at all. Imagine the crazies at Westboro Baptist Church crossed with a Waco-style arsenal on a secluded compound, and then add in John Goodman as an ATF agent and Michael Parks (the sheriff from Planet Terror, Death Proof and From Dusk Til Dawn) as the crazy preacher/leader. It was pretty good. Worth watching. There could have been a little more character development, but other than that, I would say it was nicely done and well-acted.

I also watched True Grit. To me, the best part was Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of Rooster Cogburn. The Coen Brothers are known for making great movies with interesting characters (Big Lebowski anyone?) and this one is good. The scenery and acting are both great, but for some reason – maybe it was the amount of praise or the multitude of great reviews and award nominations – I expected something else, something more. Or maybe it’s just that there are very few westerns that hold my attention (long live “Tombstone!”)

The highlight of the movies I watched recently, though, is definitely Machete. Yes, the Robert Rodriguez intentional B-movie that began as a trailer between the Grindhouse films. (And yes, I realize that I’m late to the game on watching this.) The fact that I enjoyed Machete over True Grit might cause some film snobs (not necessarily a bad thing… I’m kind of a beer snob, myself) to stop reading and just assume that I have no taste. But I think this movie did everything it was supposed to do – it entertained; it had over-the-top action like you would expect from this type of movie; and it lived up to the B-movie style it was going for. It’s a purposeful B-movie with an A-movie budget, which I think is a good thing. It’s only bad when it’s a B-movie (or worse) and the director still thinks he made a masterpiece.

More zombies and less “your mom”

You may remember the “Zombies and your mom” post from September. (If not, click here and catch up.)

Anyway, we wrapped up the principle filming of Gut Munchers yesterday. It’s got all the great qualities of a low-budget horror movie: blood, guts, brains, axes, rednecks, zombies, humor, chicks (it’s a zombie movie, don’t get offended at the term chicks.)

It was a lot of fun to film, and now it’s up to Mr. Jason Snellgrove and his video editing skills.

Also… in video-related news, I am almost finished with the editing of the music video for Hail the Titans‘ “I Am Become Death.”

If you missed it, click the photo below to see a Pint Bottle Photography gallery from the music video shoot.

Randomness 13.0

My new column where I finally offer comment on the “Occupy” movements was published yesterday at the Capital City Free Press.

INsite Magazine, in Atlanta, was kind enough to publish a review of the Hail the Titans album in this month’s edition. Read about that on the Hail the Titans website. They said some very nice things.

I got the 3xLP clear vinyl version of Sigur Ros’ “Inni” live album + DVD in the mail yesterday. It’s quite beautiful in packaging and sound. I haven’t had a chance to watch the DVD yet, but the album is great.

3xLP from @sigurros. Beautiful packaging on Twitpic

Along with working on new stuff with the band, Hail the Titans’ Adam Davila has recently been working on some solo material. Here is a demo version of one of his songs:

And speaking of new music, Aaron Hendrickson of Atlanta’s Nigredo has released a new EP of ambient stuff under his solo project name Tree Witch. Listen here:

And is anyone really buying into the whole Newt Gingrich “Washington outsider” crap?

If you weren’t there, you missed out

Congrats to everyone involved in the Denied and Underexposed art show this past Friday. It was a great event – even bigger and better than the one before. The event was captured on video by filmmaker Anton Jackson:

And congrats to Organic Hippie on your first year in business. The anniversary party Saturday night was very fun. I accomplished my goal of not falling off the stage that night. We (Hail the Titans) had a great time, and it was great to see Banditos, the O’Dudemen and DJ Bellizio.

And a Gut Munchers update – for just $5, you can get the original teaser on DVD. Details here:

Re-read it… and something else, too

On Tuesday, I posted about some events that are going on this weekend. If you missed it, click here to catch up. The Denied and Underexposed event has gotten some really good press as of today’s Montgomery Advertiser.

They ran a nice article about the event, and the partnership with Helicity Montgomery, titled, “A little exposure: Event hopes to open doors, expand horizons for area artists.”

From the Montgomery Advertiser: Will Abner sets up for the "Denied and Underex­posed Art Initiative" at the S.H. Kress Build­ing on Tues­day. / Amanda Sowards

[UPDATE] Per Johnny Veres: “The Suzies, El Cantador, and Vulture Whale are playing after at Alley Bar, and they are giving out 1000 wristbands to Denied and Underexposed attendees (over 21) for a 5 dollar discount on the door. DJ casequarter (Kevin Nutt) will be spinning vinyl in the front bar all night.”

Denied and Hippie-fied… no, that title doesn’t work at all

Congrats to the SyFy channel for combining words to make the movie “Sharktopus,” but it doesn’t really work in this case.

So, let’s start chronologically…

On Friday, the Denied and Underexposed Art Initiative is being held in historic downtown Montgomery in the Kress building (39 Dexter Ave.) From 6 to 10 p.m., local art will be showcased. There is no cost to get in. As I type this, there are 394 who have clicked “attending” on Facebook, and I would estimate the number of people who show up to be much, much higher. Their last showing was in February (read about that here), and it was a great turnout with some amazing art.

I got a very small preview of some of the pieces this past Sunday during a photo shoot with Pint Bottle Photography (which will also have pieces on display Friday), and you will want to be there for this.

After the art showing, BPM will be performing at Head on the Door. 10 p.m. also, no cover. You can get all kinds of free entertainment this weekend.

On Saturday, head over to Capitol Oyster Bar at the Marina (617 Shady Street) for Organic Hippie’s 1-year anniversary party. Again, no cover charge, and I believe this one is all ages since it’s a restaurant anyway. Starts at 6 p.m. Congrats to Stacy on her first year in business!

Hail the Titans will be performing at the event. I think the O’Dudemen will also play, along with a reggae band from Jamaica and a DJ.

I’m a bit late with this…

Um… yeah… so here’s some stuff going on this weekend, starting with tonight.

Reason to Rebel is touring again, and tonight they’ll be at Head on the Door with the Honey Tree Band.

If you’re in Birmingham, Music Hates You is playing at The Nick tonight with Skeptic? and Wolf Creek.

Tomorrow night, Music Hates You will be in Montgomery with …and the Lawyers. That show is at Head on the Door. Below is their difficult-to-read-but-very-colorful flier:

Randomness 12.0

First things first: happy birthday to my mom.

Friday, I saw The Great Book of John and Dead Confederate at Bottletree in Birmingham, Ala. Both bands were really good.

Saturday, Hail the Titans played at The Squeaky Lizard in Ocean Springs, Miss. We love that venue. The owners, employees, promoters, sound guy, crowd – all are awesome. And big thanks to Carl and Rachel from Scream Until They Hear Us for giving us a place to stay and joining us at The Shed for great company and great barbecue.

Sunday, Hail the Titans had our one-year anniversary show with Distant Kin. Thanks to all who came out to join us, and thanks to Michael and Nolan Dewey and the folks at Lagoon Park for allowing us to play there. That was our 54th show.

Last night, my friend Hillary and I were paid a visit by the Fail Fairy as finding a Firewire 800 cable in this town is about like searching for the Holy Grail without the benefit of Indiana Jones’ father’s diary. The plan was for us to begin editing video footage from the recent Hail the Titans music video shoot.

We gave up after trips to Radio Shack, Best Buy and Office Depot. No, we didn’t try Wal-Mart. Why? Because I despise Wal-Mart and have not given them a dime of my money in seven years or so… enough years to lose count. This is pretty common knowledge among my friends and those who overhear my rants. See what my band mates did to a sign at The Nick in Birmingham?

I will now say something positive about Wal-Mart: It can be a great source of entertainment thanks to the website peopleofwalmart.com.