Eye On Springfield with Chuck BB

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Chuck BB is the artist behind the amazing comic book, Black Metal. Following the adventures of metalhead twins, Sam and Shawn, Black Metal is hilarious and has some amazing art. He’s also the artists and writer behind the Stone Cold Lazy comic strip that is featured in Decibel Magazine each month. I’m a huge fan of Chuck BB, enough that I have his King Diamond cat tattooed on my arm. Needless to say, I’m beyond excited that he was into answering some questions about the Simpsons!

What is your history with The Simpsons?
Ah, The Simpsons and I go way back.  I remember the shorts from the Tracey Ullman show, which are fantastically crude now but I sorta love how Homer’s voice sounds in those.  I was a real young kid at the time the Simpsons went to series, but I loved it.  I along with all my friends had Bart “Don’t have a cow” shirts, and his various other ninja turtle-esque sassy phrases.  Obviously those early seasons are really rough upon revisiting, but they have a certain charm.  The show was in its prime when I was in middle school, I think just entering into syndication – So I would catch The Simpsons airing every night at that point, memorizing jokes and lines and talking to the other kids about the replayed episode the next day.  Every God Damn Day…except Saturday.  Stupid Saturday.

Sadly I don’t watch it hardly ever anymore, I’ll catch a new episode here or there, and it has, without exception a few good jokes, but something’s missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I was addicted to that Tapped Out ios game for a while though, I loved the Halloween themed updates.
Is there a character you see yourself in?
That is a tough one. Is it lame to say Homer?  He’s such a sweet character.  He’s a bit of a dreamer, too, but he’s a good man.  I have to say I do see myself in a lot of the characters in the show, I think that’s the benefit of having such a large cast of characters – you can really take all sorts of human attributes that really we all have, wish we had, or wish we didn’t have and place them on everyone and poke fun at them, or make a positive example of.  Sorry for the terrible answer, but that’s a hard one.
Who is your favorite character?
Jimbo.  He’s got the most casually metal style.  Nelson may be the like sorta Face-Man for the bully crew,  But Jimbo is  my pick.  His name is great too.  Maybe if he was a real guy, he’d probably like Slipknot or something terrible, but in my head he likes Sleep and Electric Wizard. Otto is pretty metal, too, but I can’t relate to a guy like that.  He’s cool to hang out with at a show for a minute, but then you quickly run out of things to talk to him about… so you gotta like keep your distance for awkwardnesses sake.
Do you have a favorite episode?
I always love the Treehouse of Horror episodes, maybe the first one most of all.  That whole thing really works and set the table so nicely for an really fun clever anthology thing you could count on year to year from the show.  The short format really allows for maximum creativity, and you could tell the writers were having a lot of fun with the rules being tossed out the window.  Plus, I just love Halloween, and all the ephemera that surrounds it.  That Raven segment, it’s so good.  It absolutely captures the visual and ethereal quality of the poem, while at the same time being cute, funny and terrifying.  I mean…fucking James Earl Jones?
As an artist, has the Simpsons influenced your work at all? If so, how?
I think it would be impossible for it not to influence me.  I remember loving the show , and I had a teacher who I guess had some knowledge of art and design and he would say “how can you love that show, the characters are so ugly.”  And I totally get what he’s saying now, and they’ve really cleaned up the design over time,  they’re tighter.  However, I think the aesthetic of the time was very different, and the show sort of embraced of a non-traditional style of character design that might have been a new thing to folks.  You know this was like pre-Beavis & Butthead, I don’t think you could have had a show on the air like that (not to mention comedy-wise), or that looked like that without the palate that the Simpsons sort of set forth. To have a show with that indie comix/not coming from traditional animation design houses kind of look, it might have been hard for some to swallow. So while I don’t think that my stuff looks like the Simpsons, I think it’s in my DNA, I grew up with it, it is there somewhere in the deconstruction. Plus, it absolutely shaped my sense of humor, I think I still say things day to day that are Simpsons quotes.
Who is your favorite guest star from the show?
I like when James Woods was a Kwik-E-Mart employee. It’s an older one, and I don’t know why I like it so much.  Maybe it is just the first one that was a little more obscure than a large guest star to at that age, and I actually knew who he was.  Certainly my least favorite is the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
The Simpsons has had Metallica and Judas Priest on as guest. Who from the world of metal would you like to see on the show?
I would love to see a King Diamond cameo, which will not happen but isn’t entirely un-possible. But I have to say, speaking of things that are not possible at all, Immortal would be the absolute best Simpsons cameo band, even if there was just a spoof version or something. It would fit so well. But it won’t happen. I’m sure someone has appeared in corpse paint on the show by now, but I haven’t seen it nor am I willing to do the research required to find out if that is true.
I’ve kind of become obsessed with the idea of the Simpsons doing a Treehouse of Horror segment based on ‘Them’ by King Diamond. Are there any other metal concept albums you think would be perfect for a Treehouse Of Horror segment?
I think you’re dead on there. Like I said before, I think the King would be an interesting and maybe perfect fit for the Simpsons, there’s a lot to lampoon and love about his visual and audio sensibilities. I’m not totally a concept album kind of guy, but maybe like Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son? Now that I think of it, I would really like to see all of the various Ed’s in a Simpsons episode. Has he ever appeared in the Simspons?  That seems hugely likely at this point.
Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
Sadly I really don’t.  I don’t know what made me stop watching, I mean I was never much of an appointment TV man, so I would mostly watch the syndicated stuff.  I’ve seen a few new episodes here and there, and they’re fine. They do seem to be missing something though, and I can’t quite put my finger on it, there is something not tying it all together. There are a few excellent jokes, and the Homer bits in the episodes that I saw, I laughed out loud for sure – but there was like less heart in it. At least that was my take away.
How would you like to see the series end?
LIke the end of Rosanne, where like, Maggie is actually an adult and had been writing Simpsons slash-fiction for the past few years, Homer had actually died years ago.  And they’re all living inside a snowglobe and all the dumb cliches wrapped up all into one.  And at the end like, Maggie walks to the front door and flips the light switch and it goes black. But then something funny happens.  I don’t know… Probably a compilation of all TV show last episodes would be funny though. Or maybe not.  NO that’s a terrible idea.  Please have the writers of the show disregard my dumb idea.
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You can pick up the Black Metal Omnibvs HERE!
You can follow Chuck BB at:

Band Crush Wednesday

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This weeks Band Crush Wednesday is the band Immortal Bird. Referring to themselves and “crusty, blackened, and uncomfortably angry”, Immortal Bird formed in 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Releasing their debut EP, Akrasia, the same year, the band has built a reputation as making incredibly angry and sludgy blackened metal. Their brand new album, Empress/Abscess, is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. It’s brutal, crushing, and at times quite beautiful. The vocals are ferocious. The music is bleak and heavy. There’s nothing to not like. Do yourself a favor and get both of their albums. Immortal Bird have become one of my favorite bands in the last year or so and I expect Empress/Abcess to end up very high on a lot of year end lists.

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Immortal Bird are going out on a short East Coast tour in August. If they are coming near you, you should go support them!

You can check out and follow Immortal Bird at:
Bandcamp
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The Simpsons: Everything’s Coming Up Podcast!

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Everything’s Coming Up Podcast is a podcast all about nerding out over The Simpsons. Hosted by Allie Goertz and Julia Prescott, each episode of the podcast focuses on an episode of The Simpsons, picked by whoever the guest is. The episodes are incredibly fun listens. You can tell the hosts and guest love nothing more than talking about The Simpsons. The ‘Mother Simpson’ episode is especially great. And most episodes end with them asking a “Krusty Q”, which they usually ask on Facebook and Twitter, and reading the answers on the show. I love this podcast so much. Check it out and download episodes HERE!

Follow them on Twitter HERE!

Follow them on Facebook HERE!

Instead of a metal section this week, I thought I’d add an extra Simpsons section and stick with the Everything’s Coming Up Podcast theme. Allie Goertz is also a songwriter and has written a couple songs based on The Simpsons.

This video is for a song called ‘Everything’s Coming Up Milhouse.’ It has become my favorite Simpsons themed song I’ve heard. It captures the feel of the show perfectly, with a good dose of humor and heart. The line “you’re so vacant, Milhouse. You could be ol’ Gil’s house” gets me every time. Allie has a bunch of videos on her YouTube Channel. You can also check out her first album at her Bandcamp.

Eye On Springfield with Shayne Mathis

eye on springfieldI’ve tried to write an intro to this interview about 6 times. Shayne Mathis is a guy I respect more than I can put into words. Between his writing for Metal Injection and his Full Metal Hipster podcast, Shayne has turned me on to some rad bands, especially He Whose Ox Is Gored. You should follow Shayne, read his writing, and listen to his podcast. I back all of his work 100%.

Shayne was nice enough to have me on his podcast when I first started this blog, so I’m really excited to finally have him on here. You can check it out HERE!

What is your first memory of The Simpsons?

I discovered The Simpsons when it was still a crudely drawn series of animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. My brother and I would stay up and watch the show on Saturday nights just to see the segments. At that time there wasn’t anything else on television like The Simpsons and I remember being drawn to it because the kids, who were the focus of the segments, were ill-behaved brats who mouthed off to their parents. I don’t remember many of the live-action skits on The Tracey Ullman Show, but the Simpsons segments have stuck with me for decades.

There is a pretty diverse cast of characters in Springfield. Who do you relate to the most? Why?
I imagine this is going to be the standard answer for any male who grew up watching the show, but I identified most with Bart. I really responded to a television character who was near my age and also hated going to church, wasn’t great in school and constantly mouthed off to his parents. When the show first premiered there weren’t characters like that on any of the multi-camera sit-coms that dominated prime time aside from Married…with Children – which I also loved much to the chagrin of my mom. Aside from Bart, most of the male adolescent characters on television at the time were lovable scamps like Mike Seaver from Growing Pains. These characters were mischievous but ultimately good at heart, where as Bart Simpson and Bud Bundy were borderline miscreants. Not that I was a budding criminal when I was young but I’ve always been bit anti-authoritarian and my parents would definitely describe me as a “hand-full” at that age. It was exciting to see character on tv who wasn’t afraid to give his parents and teachers backsass.
What is your favorite episode? 
Oh man, this is a hard question to answer. I seriously had to make a list of all the episodes I love and rank them by joke density so I could come up with a reasonably objective choice. The first episode that sprung to mind was Treehouse of Horror 3 because Homer’s, “Flanders was a zombie?” line is possibly my favorite joke in the history of the show. I also love You Only Move Twice and The Springfield Files from season 8. But my all-time favorite episode is Last Exit to Springfield. Last Exit is the from the fourth season which aired in 1992-93 and it’s quite possibly the best season of The Simpsons. At this point in the show’s history it was still airing on Thursdays and my friend Jeff and I used to sit in study hall every Friday regurgitating jokes from the previous night’s episode. Season 4 gave the world the aforementioned Treeehouse of Horror zombie episode, Mr Plow, Homer the Heretic, Lisa’s First Word (this very nearly tied for my favorite episode), and I Love Lisa. Every episode from this season is a classic but Last Exit is essentially a perfect representation of The Simpsons. It’s full of memorable jokes (“Dental plan! Lisa needs braces,” “back door shenanigans”) and smartly done cultural references (The Godfather 2, Lisa’s nitrous oxide-induced Yellow Submarine hallucination, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas). Season 4 is peak Simpsons and Last Exit to Springfield is a distillation of everything that made the show great.
My first exposure to vegetarianism was from the episode Lisa The Vegetarian. Has the show ever exposed you to an idea that impacted your life? (Lisa become veg, Barney quitting drinking, etc.) 

I wish I had a good story for this question but the extent of The Simpsons’ effect on my life was that I prank called my local grocery store a few times and got them to page Amanda Hugnkiss, I.P. Freely, etc over the PA system.

Do you have a favorite guest star?

Some stand-out guest stars for me are Michael Jackson, Spinal Tap, Leonard Nimoy, and Sonic Youth performing the Simpsons theme (I’m counting that as a guest appearance damn it!)  Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio is my favorite though. I loved how he was a business-casual, Silicon Valley-style Bond villain.
Who is someone you would like to see guest on the show?
Keeping with the theme of this blog and the fact that the show established early on that Bart is a metalhead, I was originally going to pick Metallica but apparently that already happened. I quit watching new episodes in the very early 2000s so I’m pretty out of touch. My second choice would be Danzig because he’s awesome and already sort of cartoonish. He could move into the neighborhood and catch Bart toilet papering his house or something. As punishment Danzig would make Bart move all the bricks off his lawn and send him to the store to pick up kitty litter. Danzig would also have to perform a Simpsons-themed version of one of his songs at some point.
The Simpsons have had some classic musical numbers. Do you have a favorite?
The short Dr. Zaius musical number with Phil Hartman from A Fish Called Selma. I’d gladly watch an entire episode of nothing but that musical.
You said on the podcast that you used to buy the Simpsons action figures. Do you have any other cool collectibles?
These aren’t really collectibles but I had a Simpsons trivia game, a few of the Simpsons video games for the NES and SNES including Bart’s Nightmare which was infuriatingly difficult, the aforementioned toys, and some bootleg shirts. I always wanted the shirt that said “Crack Kills” and had a picture of Bart Simpson stuck between an obese woman’s butt cheeks. I seem to remember a shirt with Bart flipping off Saddam Hussein, too, which would be awesome to have.
There is a fan theory on the internet that claims that Homer has been in a coma for 20+ years. In the season 4 episode ‘Homer The Heretic’, Homer has a conversation with God asking about the meaning of life. God tells him he’ll find out one day. Homer says he can’t wait that long to find out and God replies “You can’t wait six months?” Cut to six months later to the episode ‘So it’s come to this: A Simpsons Clip Show.’ Bart plays an April Fools day prank on Homer causing him to fall into a coma. In the episode, Homer wakes up. But some people think he’s been in a coma ever since and everything since then has been happening in Homer’s imagination. This explains why the characters don’t age, later episodes contradicting things like how Homer and Marge met. The episodes even get zanier following the coma episode including things like Mr Burns capturing the Loch Ness Monster, secret land of jockey elves, and non-Treehouse Of Horror appearances of Kang and Kodos. Thoughts? (Showrunner Al Jean has said this theory isn’t true, but it’s definitely intriguing.)

I’ve heard that theory. It’s fun to think about, but I think the shift has more to do with a change in writing style that favored an increase in surrealism and absurdity over realism and adherence to canon. As far as characters not again, I chalk that up to the nature of animation. It’s easier to draw characters exactly the same all the time and the voice actors don’t have to worry about developing slightly different voices every season.

How would you like to see the series end? 

I’d like to see either a flash forward that shows where the Simpsons and the major supporting cast are in 20 years or an ending that references those ‘it was all a dream” plot lines from 80s TV shows. Maybe the entire series could wind up being a fantasy Ralph Wiggum invented in his head a la the series finale of St. Elsewhere. I’m sure the current writers will have Homer blow up the planet or something equally ridiculous, though.

shayne

You can follow Shayne Mathis at:
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Full Metal Hipster Podcast

Band Crush Wednesday

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In black metal, evolving your bands sound can lead to backlash. Black metal is a genre built around staying “true” which ends up meaning people only like your demo. None of that matters to multi-instrumentalist Andrew Curtis-Brignell and his project/band, Caïna. Formed in 2004 in England, Caïna sound is hard to pin down and continually evolving. Releasing numerous full lengths, EPs, and splits between 2004 to 2014, Caïna released Setter Of Unseen Snares. After the completion of Setter, Caïna became more of a band with the addition of Laurence Taylor as vocalist. Setter Of Unseen Snares is an incredible album that has one of my favorite songs released in the last decade, ‘Orphan.’

One of my favorite things about Andrew is his outspoken attitude towards how women are treated in metal. “While in the last few years it seems that it’s less OK to base your band’s whole aesthetic on it, metal is definitely a culture where generally it’s still OK to both exclude and casually objectify women. It seems to be acceptable to be a woman in metal within certain narrow parameters — basically if you’re attractive and nonthreatening. I find it unbelievable that a couple of major magazines and websites still have issues dedicated to the “hottest girls in metal.” How fucked up is that? Eleven months a year, cover to cover we’ll push a bunch of identical-looking white bros throwing their bullshit shapes and spouting the same quasi-edgy satanic motivational speaker bullshit, but hey, you ladies, you can have that one month where we’ll make jokes about that girl from Kylesa’s tits and ask her if it’s “tough on tour” because she has a vagina. Fuck off. Don’t be too attractive or demonstrably sexual, though, heavens no — look at what happened to that Oath band. I’m surprised they lasted as long as they did after seeing some of the shit the internet threw at them. Look at the reception of that Myrkur album— oh, it just had to have been ghostwritten by her boyfriend, according to some people. Are you shitting me? Is metal culture that terrified of women nowadays that it robs them of any agency whatsoever? I once got described as “girlfriend metal,” which I think was supposed to be a derogatory statement. I liked it — what the hell is wrong with appealing to both men and women? What the hell is so great about guys that I’m supposed to gear everything toward them? I don’t really get that as an insult, honestly. I’m absolutely, 100 percent a feminist and I genuinely don’t give a shit whether you like it or not really. We’re going to win, deal with it.” (taken from Kim Kelly’s interview with Andrew on Wondering Sound.)

Orphan from Setter Of Unseen Snares

I will always back any band that stands up for social issues, especially women’s rights, LGBT rights, etc. Luckily, Caïna make incredible music. I feel pretty strongly about Caïna and you should definitely check out their albums on Bandcamp and throw some money their way.

Plus, Andrew is a huge Simpsons/Futurama fan!

You Can Check Out Caïna At:
Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp

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First off, Alex Rocco passed away this weekend. Simpsons fans will know him as the voice of Roger Meyers, Jr. You can read a nice piece about him at Film Springfield.

The Simpsons:
Smartline this week is a short post just to help push these cool, limited edition archival quality Giclee prints from Gooney Toons. Limited to 15 prints each, one in green and one in pink, you should hop on these quick, because they won’t be available long. Featuring Homer and John (played by John Waters) from the season 8 episode Homerphobia. Buy it at Gooney Tunes Big Cartel!

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The metal:

For the metal section this week, I’m asking for some help from the readers of this site. I’m working on a new weekly segment about metal/punk/hardcore/whatever songs that feature samples or lyrics referencing The Simpsons. I’m looking to start posting the new segment sometime in August, so if you know of any songs, comment on this post or tweet at me at @xtapolapometal. I’ll do my best to credit whoever points towards particular songs.

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The Metal: Black Yo)))ga

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Black Yo)))ga is a yoga group that focuses on vinyasa yoga set to drone, noise, stoner metal, ambient, industrial, and other traditional meditation music. “Our goal is to spread the benefits of yoga to a nearly untouched demographic, people like us, the underground art and music communities. People who may battle depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug addiction, trauma/PTSD, phobias, dark passengers, etc. People who may not feel they fit into the typical yoga classes” says the groups founders, Kimee and Scott Massie. Creating a soundtrack with bands like Om, Sunn O))), Dark Space, and Earth, Black Yo)))ga sets up inside mom and pop grocery stores, parks, and punk/metal venues for their classes. Currently, classes are off because they’re in the process of releasing a DVD/CD set through Screaming Crow Records.

Check out Black Yo)))ga at:
Black Yo)))ga
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The Simpsons: Simpsons Shirts from Bigger Than Jesus

I discovered these shirts on Instagram and thought I’d share them because they’re pretty genius. Featuring Simpsons versions of Black Flag, Sonic Youth, The Descendents, Joy Division, and Dr. Dre, you can view them all HERE!

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Band Crush Wednesday

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Twilight Fauna is the Appalachian inspired atmospheric black metal project from Paul Ravenwood. Inspired by the sounds of one man black metal projects like The Ruins Of Beverast and Burzum (minus the terrible ideology), Ravenwood uses traditional Appalachian folk instruments to expand his black metal sound into something totally unique and original. Forming in 2011, Twilight Fauna has been steadily releasing music, all recorded and written by Ravenwood. Sometimes sounding like more traditional black metal, with blast beats and fast tremolo picking, and sometimes sounding like blackened folk with sparse drums and acoustic instruments, along with lyrics about grief and loss and Appalachian folklore, Twilight Fauna is always engaging and fascinating.

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So far this year, Twilight Fauna has released an excellent split with one man doom metal project Old Thunder and a full length entitled Shadows Of Ancestors. Also, set for release later this year is a split with Jennifer Christensen. I’ve been lucky enough to hear the split and it’s beautiful and deeply moving.

Also worth your time is Paul Ravenwood’s neofolk project Green Elder.

You can check out Twilight Fauna at:
Twilight Fauna Bandcamp
Twilight Fauna Facebook
Twilight Fauna Twitter

Eye On Springfield with GeeGee Bradley

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GeeGee Bradley is a staple in the Dayton music scene. He was playing in bands when I was a junior in high school (1998), and is still playing in bands to this day. I used to spend hours hanging out at the CD shop he worked at, taking about Faith No More and The Misfits and Danzig. Today, GeeGee is playing bass in a punk band, Legbone, that’s basically been in Dayton since the dawn of time. He also helps run an indie wrestling promotion called Rockstar Pro Arena, and helps book shows in the same space. Bringing in bands like Corrections House, Weedeater, Full Of Hell, Raven, and Battlecross, GeeGee is one of the few people bringing metal to my hometown. I’ve spent 17-18 years nerding out with GeeGee over punk and metal, The Simpsons, and Batman and I’m excited to introduce him to anyone who reads this.

What is your history with The Simpsons?
My history with the Simpsons is just my history.  I grew up with the show.  I’m old enough to remember when the Simpsons was a sketch on the Tracey Ullman Show.  I’ve been watching through all 26 seasons.  I still have an old VHS tape I recorded a bunch of episodes on in the days before Season DVD box sets and FXX basically becoming the Simpsons channel.

Is there a character you relate to more than the others?

Regular cast?  I guess Lisa.  The under-appreciated, overlooked, nerdy, liberal-thinking, vegetarian, musician, underdog.  Her politics are pretty in step with my own.  She, sometimes, feels like the only sane person in a world of crazy.  I can relate.

Who is your favorite character?

Oh, wow!  I love the entire ensemble!  I always feel Homer is the heart of the show.  He’s the center of their comedy universe.  Most of the gags are at his expense but you can’t help but root for him.  He’s the everyman:  the overweight, balding, not-so-bright average American but, damn it, he’s doing the best he can and, despite his sometimes abusive relationship with Bart, he really cares & wants to do right for his family.  I’m always entertained by the antics of Moe.  He’s the lovable asshole.  Burns, Smithers & all the nuclear plant employees, the elementary school staff, Apu, the Flanders (RIP Maude), the Lovejoys, Barney, the Springfield government & cops, their local tv personalities… they all lampoon middle America so brilliantly.  I love when Kang & Kodos show up every Halloween!  I also really have a soft spot for Abe.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

As I just referred to, I love the Treehouse of Horrors episodes.  I love the Paul McCartney/Lisa goes vegetarian episode.  Homerpalooza.  I love when Homer eats the Insanity peppers and sees a red wolf with the voice of Johnny Cash as his spirit animal.  Of course, when the Ramones played Mr. Burns’ birthday party.  There are so many but those are the first that come to mind.  Oh, the recent hipster episode was pretty great.  They used Screeching Weasel’s “Cool Kids.”

Do you have a favorite guest star from the show?
All the ones I just mentioned, John Waters, Bret Hart, whenever Kelsey Grammer is on as Sideshow Bob.  There a million more I’ll remember later & be pissed I didn’t mention them.  haha

Who from the world of metal do you think would fit on the show?
Weird & wonderful question!  Wow!  Someone iconic like Ozzy or Lemmy would be a no-brainer.  Slayer.  Megadeth.  Rob Zombie. I’m just thinking metal acts that were huge enough at some point to have that kind of mainstream crossover appeal. Dave Grohl… and before you say he’s not metal, I call exibits Queens of the Stone Age, Killing Joke and Probot.  King Diamond would be hilarious.  Anyone with an outrageous look so they’d be easy to animate. I could imagine Nelson taking Lisa to a Cattle Decapitation show.


As someone who works on an indie wrestling promotion, is there a wrestler from past or present you would like to see on the show?
I would love to see Abe talk about some old-school wrestlers.  Abe was a pro wrestler, after all.  He could tell Lisa about Killer Kowalski, the world’s toughest vegetarian.  On the same note, Daniel Bryan is a vegetarian so there’s a contemporary WWE star for ya.  Groundskeeper Willie could meet “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Has The Simpsons ever introduced you to an idea that has changed your views? (Lisa being veg, Barney quitting drinking?)
It never introduced  or changed my views on anything but, again, Lisa’s plight is one I can identify with.

Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop?

I rarely watch new episodes, as they air on tv for the first time, but that’s just because of scheduling.  I keep up.  I haven’t turned away.  They may have slowed down a step but its still better than almost all other shows on the air.
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I felt it more important to put a picture of GeeGee’s dogs because look at how adorable they are!
You can find GeeGee at:

Also, if you are in the Southern Ohio area, hit up some of these shows coming to Rockstar Pro Arena:
7/24-Karma to Burn w/Crosley Court, Architects of Doom, Back Stabbath
8/8-Denihilist w/Eternal Void, Juggernaut, Hunter’s Chase, Plagues, We Are as Ronin
8/15-Native Construct w/Wings Denied, Outrun the Sunlight, Others by No One, The Ako Vendetta, Denounce Your Martyr
8/22-the Atomic Bitchwax w/Against the Grain, Neon Warship, Grand Mammoth, Bearer of Bad News
8/28-Your Chance to Die w/Zuel, Back Stabbath
9/6-Raven (thrash pioneers!)

Band Crush Wednesday

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This weeks Band Crush Wednesday is about the singer Julie Christmas and her various bands. There are very few vocalists as versatile and original as Julie Christmas. From the avant weirdness of Made Out Of Babies to the heartbreaking emotions of Battle Of Mice, Julie’s voice is equally bombastic, brutal, and beautiful.

Made Out Of Babies, Julie’s most well known band, was formed in 2005. Like the rest of her bands, the sound is hard to categorize. Drawing comparisons to noise-rock band The Jesus Lizard and having a chaotic live show, Made Out Of Babies garnered a cult following with their three full lengths, Trophy, Coward, and The Ruiner. Made Out Of Babies disbanded unceremoniously in 2012.

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In 2005, while touring with Made Out Of Babies, Julie met guitarist/keyboardist Josh Graham (from Neurosis, Red Sparrowes, A Storm Of Light), and formed Battle Of Mice. Having a less chaotic sound than Made Out Of Babies, Battle Of Mice recorded one full length, A Day Of Nights, that is basically a document of the disillusionment of the on and off again relationship between Julie and Josh. It’s a breathtaking and uncomfortable (one song actually containing a real life 911 call) listen that is utterly captivating.

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Following the break up of both Made Out Of Babies and Battle Of Mice, Julie Christmas released a solo album, entitled The Bad Wife. Featuring collaborators from Dub Trio, Candiria, Made Out Of Babies, and Sylacopa, the album is intimate, sometimes almost ballad like. Since the release of The Bad Wife, Julie Christmas has dropped out of the music scene to raise her child, only reappearing on the newest Spylacopa album, Parallels. 

The video above is the song Generation Of Ghosts by the band Mouth Of The Architect. Julie Christmas provides some vocals on it.

To check out Julie Christmas and her various releases, check out:

Made Out Of Babies on Neurot Records
Battle Of Mice on Neurot Records
Julie Christmas on Bandcamp
Spylacopa on Bandcamp