Threat Level: Orange

This week, Hail the Titans is hitting two Mississippi cities.

Friday night, we’re making our Tupelo debut with our new friends The Violent. Other bands playing include Stay Strong, Canonball!; Graphics; and The Life, The Struggle.

Saturday, we’re excited to join Secret Society in Smaller Lies as we both open for legendary Southern California punk rockers Agent Orange. The show is in Ocean Springs at The Squeaky Lizard.

So what else is going on this week?

On Thursday, Head on the Door has David Pace.

The same night is Swank Sinatra and The Sneaky Hand at It’ll Do Tavern. Both of these Atlanta bands put on a great show.

Death is a Dialogue is returning to Head on the Door this Friday.

There’s a lot to choose from on Saturday (even though I know you’re planning to be in Ocean Springs anyway…)

Steve Hall Productions has Hank III at Rock Bottom. That show also included HellBilly, Attention Deficit Domination and 3 Bar Ranch.

Bonejackal and The Heavy Moan are at Head on the Door.

And Jucifer is back on tour, playing The Nick in Birmingham both Friday and Saturday.

And the following photo has nothing to do with anything above, but my friend Sam posted it to her Facebook profile, and I find it very funny. It’s the most extreme teeth brushing I have ever seen:

Have you seen me?

Have you seen this guitar?

If you see a guitar like this in or around the Montgomery, Ala. area, please let me know ASAP.

It’s an Eastwood “Sidejack” baritone guitar, and it most likely belongs to Justin Turberville of the band Bearhead.

It has been missing since their Friday night show in Montgomery, and it needs to be returned to its rightful owner immediately.

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Thanks to everyone who stuck around Saturday night after the roller derby event to see Hail the Titans make some noise, and thanks to the River Region Rollergirls for having us.

Randomness 16.0

Some stuff…

Tonight at 6 p.m. on TV station WSFA, they are running a story on the River Region Rollergirls, who happen to be skating in “The Iron Roll” tomorrow in a benefit for the A.skate Foundation, an organization that helps children with autism.

Hail the Titans is playing the after party to help with the benefit.

Also, as of this post, we’re currently in first place in the Knucklehead Strings video competition (with 91 votes). Voting goes until March 1, so if you haven’t already done so, please add yours to help us out. Thanks!

…and the Lawyers album, “What Would Black Michael Jackson Do?” is now available. It’s on CD Baby. Their official release party is at Head on the Door tomorrow night.

Looking forward to seeing my friends in Bearhead and Refuse the Fall tonight. I hope to see a lot of my friends out there at Head on the Door tonight.

Alabama made a list again. It’s an unofficial list, but it got some publicity on Alternet in a post titled “10 Scariest States to Be an Atheist.” It seems to have prompted a story in the Mobile Press-Register titled “Atheists live ‘fairly routine’ lives here (Your Word).

And here is something most people will understand and appreciate:

Time to break out the grill? [UPDATE]

Hail the Titans are finalists in the Knucklehead Strings YouTube contest. You might remember our “Grilling with Knucklehead Strings” video… well, now there are three finalists.

Click here to see all three finalist videos, and please vote for Hail the Titans.

Thank you.

In other news, I caught the Hematovore and Kill Baby Kill show Friday. If you haven’t heard these bands, you should.

My friend (and official Hail the Titans guitar tech) Zane Tremontana converted my old Telecaster into an Esquire, and it sounds and plays great. If you need any guitar work – wiring, pickup change, professional set-up… get in touch with him. He does great work.

The relic job was done by Adam Davila with some assistance by Trey Baldwin (Treybot Model One.)

OK… so what’s going on this week?

On Wednesday, Steve Hall Productions has Yelawolf performing at WorkPlay in Birmingham.

Thursday, BPM will be at It’ll Do Tavern in Montgomery.

On Friday, Distant Kin returns to the Tipping Point in the Hampstead community.

Also on Friday, Head on the Door is hosting my friends Bearhead and Refuse the Fall. You already know not to miss Bearhead, so please come see them and welcome Refuse the Fall to town, as it’s been a long time since they’ve been here.

On Saturday, Organic Hippie is hosing a Record Swap Extravaganza. This goes from 1 to 6 p.m. and according to the event info, Zaxby’s is providing food.

Starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday is “The Iron Roll,” a roller derby event that will raise money for the A. Skate Foundation in Birmingham, which helps children with autism.

The roller derby event is at the Ed Teague Arena at Garrett Coliseum and has skaters from all five Alabama derby teams (Auburn, Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery.)

The after party (also at Ed Teague Arena) will feature music by Hail the Titans. This may be our last hometown show for awhile, so come hear some music and support a great cause.

Also on Saturday is the …and the Lawyers CD release show featuring the Dirty Lungs. This show is at Head on the Door. (Read The Local Scene’s review of their album, “WWBMJD?” here.)

In Birmingham, the show to check out Saturday is Bearhead at The Nick with the Dirty Clergy and Rian Adkinson.

Yes, that’s a lot of information. You’re welcome.

[UPDATE] With all the events going on this week, it seems I have overlooked yet another event going on this Saturday. AlleyBAR is hosting a talented Americana style musician who hails from Athens, Ga. – Lera Lynn. If you’re into bands like Wilco or The Civil Wars, you’ll probably dig her music.

Matters of faith and morality

There is an interesting interview on Sam Harris’ website. Titled, “Life Without God: An Interview with Tim Prowse,” the interview delves into one man’s decision to leave two decades of church and pastoral career, announcing that he is no longer a believer.

It also mentions a website known as The Clergy Project, which says it began in March 2011 with 52 members and currently has more than 150. The Clergy Project is an online “safe haven for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs.”

The entire interview is very thought-provoking, especially if you, or if anyone you know, has left a faith and know what can occur in those instances. It varies, of course, but there are people who throw in “atheism” with any other “-ism” that sounds negative – communism, satanism, etc.

One particularly interesting issue that gets brought up in the interview is one of morality, as it goes back to a debate between Harris and Rick Warren, author of the very popular book The Purpose Driven Life. The debate was published in Newsweek in 2007.

In the debate, Warren makes this statement: ” If death is the end, shoot, I’m not going to waste another minute being altruistic.”

Harris replies, “How do you account for my altruism?”

This goes into an argument that I have personally heard from a number of Christians – that without a belief in a god, more specifically their God, that there is no morality. This argument is also used in ways to defend creationist teaching rather than the scientific theory of evolution.

But it doesn’t stand up to the evidence that we see in a world where many nonbelievers do good and many religious adherents do bad. And history is full of examples of many religions doing many evils in the names of many gods.

I’m not perfect by any means. I try to do right and be a good person, but it’s not because of a deity’s instruction or because I think I’ll be rewarded for it in some other life.

Stuff to do, 2012: VD edition

This post is on Valentine’s Day, but it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, except for having “VD” in the title. In fact, the “stuff to do” has nothing to do with anything going on tonight, because let’s face it – there’s only one thing you’re trying to do tonight.

So let’s skip ahead to the weekend:

This Friday…

The Hotheads are back at the Tipping Point in Montgomery’s Hampstead community. Music starts at 7 p.m.

Head on the Door is hosting Kill Baby Kill and Hematovore, starting at 10 p.m.

And if you’re in Atlanta, the show to catch is Scale the Summit, with Elitist and Capillaries supporting. (Congrats to my friends in Capillaries for getting on this bill!) This show is at the Drunken Unicorn. 8 p.m.

And on Saturday, Memphis, Tenn.-based rock/punk band The Angel Sluts return to Head on the Door. 10 p.m.

Good news and bad news

I’ll start with some good news. I had a nice weekend with some great people that concluded with last night’s performances by Banditos and Super Water Sympathy at AlleyBAR. There was also lots of good beer, mainly in the hefeweisen and stout category.

Now for the bad news.

I got a text from a friend in Ocean Springs, Miss. on Sunday morning. It seems that the favorite Hail the Titans barbecue spot – The Shed BBQ – burned down. Here’s a news story from FOX-10: “The Shed in Miss. destroyed by fire.”

It had become tradition that the day after a show at The Squeaky Lizard, we would join Carl and Rachel from ScreamUntilTheyHearUs for lunch at The Shed. I hope they rebuild. Soon.

The rise of local music?

I must say that I was inspired this morning after seeing a video (and article on AL.com) of the Alabama Shakes performing on “Conan.” Many congrats to this rising band from Athens, Ala. It’s nice to see a good band from this state get a national (and probably international) audience.

This came just a few days after seeing (and being quoted in) an article by The Local Scene titled, “Supporting Local Music in the Gump.”

It seems like Alabama is beginning to get a little more recognition for music. I hope that’s the case. Not that it’s been completely dry in that regard, if you count a couple of American Idol winners who are from here, but winners of pop singing contests don’t seem to have the staying power of bands who find a national audience… at least from my perception.

I try to use this blog to highlight local music and artists from around the Southeast – many of which I have shared the stage with or developed friendships with – and I hope that you have found this information useful, or maybe even found a new favorite band.

But even more than this, I hope that you will continue to support the musicians who pour their hearts out into their music, through the good times and bad. Go to a show, buy a shirt, offer a floor to sleep on, inspire them to keep inspiring you.

And to all of the people who have supported me, Hail the Titans and the many other projects I have been a part of through the years: Thank you.

“I drink your milkshake!”

I revisited “There Will Be Blood” over the weekend and was reminded of just how magnificent that movie really is. The acting of Daniel Day-Lewis, the score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and the direction of Paul Thomas Anderson are a perfect combination.

It seems some of the members of Atlanta bands Gun Party and Jon Von Panther have formed another musical project – BrainLatest Disgrace describes them as what the Mars Volta “would like if they cared more about writing actual songs and less about pummeling you senseless with FIFTY THOUSAND NOTES and reveling in the glory of their own manic excesses.”

As an unapologetic Mars Volta fan, I don’t share the same view on them, but I do agree that the one song I’ve heard from Brain is good stuff:

Another Atlanta-based band is currently holding a fundraiser to release their debut full length on vinyl and CD. The band is New Terminus, a great four-piece indie/rock/pop band with some Sunny Day Real Estate influence. In fact, I’ve heard them play “How It Feels to Be Something On,” and they pull it off quite nicely.

Click here for more info on how to help New Terminus, and take a listen to some of their previous stuff:

Speaking of Sunny Day Real Estate, Justin from Bearhead reminded me of a show we both attended back in ’09 when they reunited with the original members. They played a new song: