Decibel Geek Podcast

With KISSMAS in July just around the corner, we'll be knee-deep in the Hottest Band in the Land when Independence Day rolls around but we still wanted to celebrate America's birthday. We decided to do our Patriotic duty and spin some rock songs about America this week. 

Before we get down to business, we name Jay Hardman Geek of the Week for his hilarious response to a "Pick Your Poison" question on the Decibel Geek facebook fan page that pertains to some of Metallica's more "experimental" projects.

Chris attended the Geoff Tate-led version of Queensryche's performance at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. In this review, you'll hear his thoughts on the band's performance, concert attendence (or lack thereof), and his memories of the meet & greet after the concert. 

We kick off our ear-bleeding tribute to America with some love for the USA from a Canadian as Sebastian Bach performs 'American Metalhead' from 2007's Angel Down album.

The Offspring are well-known for their tongue-in-cheek, silly tracks from the 90's. However, there's more to this band if you dig a little deeper. We take a listen to the title track from 1998's Americana album.

Only in America would someone name themselves Jizzy Pearl. Love/Hate remains a criminally underrated gem of a band from Hollywood. We feel it our patriotic duty to give Jizzy and company their just due and spin the title track from 1992's 'Wasted in America' album.

Next up is a track about America that got this British hard rock band in quite a pickle during a festival show in England. British metalheads took it upon themselves to shower Def Leppard with bottles of urine during their performance at the Reading Festival in England. We take a listen to 'Hello America' from the On Through the Night album.

Before we get back tot he music, Chris reads some hilarious Letters to the Editor from a 1989 Hit Parader magazine. 

Up next is another rock artist that doesn't get near enough attention from the music buying public. Lizzy Borden has been doing his shock rock show for 30 years. We take a listen to 'American Metal' from 1985's Love You to Pieces album.

We go from Def Leppard telling America 'Hello' to Blackie Lawless and WASP bidding the Land of the Free adieu with 'Goodbye America' from 1995's Still Not Black Enough album. 

It wouldn't be a patriotic Decibel Geek show without a little KISS. To get you primed for next month's KISSMAS festivities, we spin 'All American Man' from the studio side of Alive II.

In 90 episodes (so far), we've never played anything by The Runaways. That changes this week as we take a listen to 'American Nights' from their 1976 self-titled debut album.

A true transplanted American is Lemmy of Motorhead. Always a fixture of L.A.'s Rainbow, Lemmy has written a number of songs about America. We spin 'Stone Deaf in the U.S.A' from 1987's Rock n Roll album.

Closing out the show is the lyrical genius of one, Alice Cooper. 1982's DaDa album has gone down in history as a piece of work that is not in Mr. Cooper's memory banks due to the high volume of alcohol consumption going on at the time. Aside from that, he had a spark of brilliance when he penned a patriotic song that extols on the joys of wonder bread, the A-team and waitresses that love to flirt. A perfect way to cap off our tribute to America. 

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Sebastian Bach

The Offspring


Def Leppard

Lizzy Borden



The Runaways


Alice Cooper

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Direct download: Episode_90_-_Rock_in_America.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT

We're hitting the road this week to go cross-country on a Road Trip! We're spinning some of our favorite songs with cities/states in the title. There have been a ton of songs written about a ton of places so we had plenty to choose from. Let's grab the keys and go.

We begin in the Pacific Northwest. Duff McKagan is a proud resident of Seattle and we take a listen to his ode to home with a track from his Beautiful Disease solo disc.

Up next is Chris' pick of what some would call a supergroup although there wasn't a whole lot of success resulting from it. In 1991 members of Shark Island, LA Guns, Ratt, Michael Schenker Group, and Vixen convened to form Contraband. Their self-titled release did not attain chart success but their cover of a Mott the Hoople classic is certainly worthwhile of play in this episode. 

There isn't a whole lot of information about the band Spearfish. We played their cover of a Sensational Alex Harvey Band track last year. This time we're spinning their take on a Steve Earle penned tune about attaining justice in a Canadian town. 

There's a lot more to Bowling for Soup than just their take on 1985 and the a cartoon theme song. Their tongue-in-cheek lyrics can sometimes overshadow their great ability to craft some great modern-day power-pop music. This time we spin a track that features a singer pining for his girl to come home after leaving the Lone Star state for the Midwest. You can find this track on their album A Hangover You Don't Deserve.

In the 2 plus years we've been doing this show, we've never crossed the Kid Rock line. Until now...Aaron's been wanting to tempt podcasting fate by putting the Detroit golden-boy into the Decibel Geek ether. While he's certainly well-known for the rap and country stylings, there are nuggets of true hard rock material to be mined from Kid's catalog. This track features some heavy guitars, a blues influence, and lyrics about Mississippi. 

After influencing half of the hair metal genre in the early 1980's and fronting a great band like Hanoi Rocks, you'd think Michael Monroe would be happy to rest on his laurels and call it a career. But, this Finnish-born rocker's got other plans. We take a listen to his new single that's a tribute to the seedier parts of Manhattan in anticipation for his forthcoming Horns and Halos album due out August 27th, 2013.

One band that certainly got swallowed up int he hair to flannel transition of the early 1990's was Junkyard. Texas-born transplants to the strip, the band signed on with Geffen but wasn't able to gain any traction in the shifting sands of the music industry. We take a listen to this underrated band's material with a track from their  1989 self-titled debut that's all about that ever-changing Sunset Strip.

One artist that could relate to Junkyard's troubles would be Butch Walker. Now a hitmaker for many Top 40 artists and a well-respected solo artist, Butch came to Hollywood from Atlanta in the early 1990's with his band SouthGang. The group seemed to have all things in place; well-constructed songs, tight musicianship, and a singer that had "the look." The only problem, that wasn't "in fashion" anymore and SouthGang was on it's way out almost immediately. We take a spin back home with a track that seems to have been written out of homesickness from their Tainted Angel album.

We couldn't have a travel-themed episode without taking a spin up to Wisconsin. Aaron is not ashamed of his pride in all things Wisconsin and Packers. Tuff vocalist Stevie Rachelle is definitely of the same mind with his Cheeseheads with Attitude project. We spin a track by CWA that will sound a little familiar but, if you're a Pack fan, you'll certainly feel like a winner.

Closing out the show is, quite possibly, one of the most criminally underrated bands ever. They've had huge success overseas but never could catch on in America (unless it was via Quiet Riot). 

Noddy Holder and company have put together decades of strong material. We finish off this week's show with a track from their Nobody's Fools album from 1976 that celebrates the breaking off of bad luck in Tinseltown. See ya next week!

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Duff McKagan



Bowling for Soup

Kid Rock

Michael Monroe





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Direct download: Episode_89_-_Road_Trip.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:08am EDT

Back in March of 2013, Decibel Geek writer Rich "Meister" Dillon attended the Monsters of Rock Cruise. But, his reporting on the events and artists of this tour-de-rock on the seas goes back further than that. Remembering how great a time he had on the 2012 Cruise, Meister started his "Views of the Cruise" series in advance, interviewing artists that would be aboard as well as giving previews of the bands playing. Of course, while on the cruise, Meister kept a diary and reported back to us at DBG headquarters. In all, the Views of the Cruise series swelled to 19 volumes! 

Aaron and Chris were so impressed with Rich's amazing documentation of the MOR Cruise that we wanted to give our listeners a first-hand account from Meister himself. So, Rich sent us his Monsters of Rock Cruise Top 20 Memories and we got him on the horn (ie. Skype) from Canada to recount his days of debauchery on the high seas. Below you will see the actual Top 20 that Meister sent us so you can read along with us as we recount his Monsters of Rock Cruise Memories.


20-The whole damn thing!


19-JSRG(Vixen)-The biggest pleasant surprise of the cruise. They were astoundingly awesome at the pre party show. I did not expect them to rock like that! Gina is an excellent guitar player and there was a decided absence of the keyboards that make the records kind of flaccid. Their pool stage set was the same although you could see they were tired (it was a 1am show). These girls kicked my ass!


18-The guy at the pool party who started at a $20 offer for my 20 year old Four Horsemen t-shirt and was up to $115 when his wife dragged him away. Talking to same guy at Saxon pool deck show, laughing about shirt I pass him a card and he stops and looks at me and says "are you The Meister? I've been following your blog!" Holy


17-Helix-my fellow countrymen always put on a great show and they rocked the Zebra Lounge Set on the last day.


16-Keel-both of their shows aboard ship in the Theatre and Zebra Lounge. Awesome band live. Other performers often join the stage for Right to Rock-Zebra was Steve Riley and Lita Ford, theatre was Oz Fox, Brian Vollmer, Ted Poley and Jason McMaster. Many pics from all players too and autographed set list.


15-Making tons of new friends in the rock & roll party environment and meeting and chatting however briefly with performers like Jason McMaster, Share Ross, Nikki Blakk, Russ Dwarf, Brian, Kaleb and Fritz of Helix, Lorraine Lewis, Courtney Cox, Graham Bonnet, Nigel, Biff, Doug and Paul of Saxon, Dave Meniketti, Gina Stile, Georg and Brian of Rhino Bucket, Maz Mazza, Pat Fontaine and of course Ron, Dwain, Geno, Brian and Marc of Keel.


14-Alcatrazz-also a surprise. They were quite good both shows in the theatre and the Zebra. I would certainly go see them again if I had the opportunity.


13-TNT-their show in the theatre was surprisingly awesome. I was not sure what to expect and they were great. I caught a bit of their second set another day in the Zebra Lounge and they were not as good. Singer Tony Mills looked angry or drunk not sure.


12-My "in progress" sleeve tattoo-a guitar case with all my favourite band logos. Keel, Saxon, Russ Dwarf and Helix all took pictures of their logo and asked for pics when it's finished. Dave Meniketti looked unimpressed, but he was extremely drunk at the time.


11-Having the pleasure of introducing Dwain Miller (Keel drummer) to his hero, Nigel Glockler (Saxon drummer). A fun night drinking with Nigel and Biff and Doug of Saxon, Dave Meniketti, Ron, Geno and Dwain of Keel. Watching the two drummers chat and also watching Ron Keel interview Biff Byford for his radio show.


10-DangerousToys-closing the pool stage. Many are putting them up as the best show on the boat, incredible, yes but I think Saxon was better. I was distracted by beers and a young lady during this set however, so I may not have been paying full attention.


9-The Mojito Bar-on the top deck this is the spot to be late at night after all the performances as cruisers and performers alike drink until the wee hours, especially on the last night aboard ship.


8-Loudness-I only caught half to 3/4 of this show on the pool deck and I'm not a huge fan of their newer material, but they were unbelievably tight and Akira Takasaki's solos were blistering. They sounded awesome. Also a highlight-Akira Takasaki's hair!


7-Breasts-A young lady asking me to autograph her breasts before the first Saxon show. I don't know if she thought I was someone important, but I happily obliged. Also another young lady in a teal blue bathing suit exposing her magnificent breasts to a crowd of male onlookers during Cinderella and friends!


6-Y&T-their show the first night on the pool deck is something I have long looked forward to, tragically missing them last year. They were blistering and as their latest album says, Facemelting. Also leaning on front of stage for this show.


5-The AC/DC Beer Can Guy-this is a bit of nonsense, but still fun and a cool idea. AC/DC marketed a beer and this guy has started a FB page and is taking the empty AC/DC brand beer can to see the world. I met the can and had my pic with it. It has been as far as the south pole to date.


4-RhinoBucket-both of their shows in the small Zebra and Pigalle Lounges were flawless. Straight ahead rock, no gimmicks, call themselves "The last real rock & roll band". Got Forsythe pics and drumstick at Zebra show.


3-The island of Coco Cay-I'm not an overly "beach type" of guy, but this place was beautiful and quiet, private for our cruise ship. It was great to see stars like members of Helix, Keel, Queensryche, Wendy Dio, Loudness, Femme Fatale and others enjoying themselves on the beach.


2-Keel-riding in a limo with 3 of them to watch their rehearsal prior to cruising and singing a line of Speed Demon with Ron and later Right to Rock with Brian Jay. Totally incredible day!


1-Saxon-their show on the pool deck on Sunday-I was front row, leaning on the stage and lost my voice after that show. They were awesome, borderline erotic!

If you've been won over, book your spot on the 2014 Monsters of Rock Cruse HERE!

Monsters of Rock Cruise Official Facebook Page

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Direct download: Episode_88_-_Monsters_of_Rock_Cruise.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

As most regular listeners know, we like to mix it up as far as themes/format on the Decibel Geek Podcast. Over the 2+ years of our existence one of our most popular formats seems to be our Bizarro Covers series where hard rock/metal bands perform songs that, shall we say, are not typical for what they would perform. 

We've had three very popular installments of this theme with many requests from listeners for a volume 4. With the glut of cover songs out there; many of which are not good, we sifted through and think we've pulled out some real gems that you'll enjoy. If not, it's some good comedy either way.

We start things off with the Revolting Cocks taking on a 1979 Rod Stewart classic and pondering  if you think they are sexy. Strange question coming from a band that's "revolting." You can pick this one up on their 1993 album Linger Ficken' Good.

While Michael Jackson had quite a history of r&b hits, the closest he ever flirted with hard rock would probably have to be 1982's 'Beat It" from the iconic Thriller album. Featuring a some strong riffage from Steve Lukather and a scorching solo from Eddie Van Halen, the song was massive all over the world. We hear a much harder (yet still true to the original) spin on this track as Raintime, an Italian progressive/power metal band, blast out their version from 2007's Flies & Lies album.

Nine Inch Nails converted a lot of people to a different type of rock (good or bad) in the early 1990's. A big part of that was the Pretty Hate Machine album. We hear a feminine vocal approach to 'Head Like a Hole' from Lullacry's Crucify My Heart album from 2003.

Closing out segment one of the show is a song by Danish metal genre-mixers Volbeat. This band has really started to break through into the mainstream consciousness with their new album Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies. We take a look back, however, at their extremely creative cover of a Johnny Cash song that will grab you by the tongue.

One band that knows a lot about combining different elements of music under the metal umbrella is Anthrax. Their knack for taking hip hop foundations and building hard driving riffs on top has turned on fans of numerous genres to something they normally wouldn't tap into. We take a listen to their awesome update to a Beastie Boys track from the Beavis & Butthead Experience soundtrack. 

In the 2 years that we've been doing this show we never envisioned playing a montage song from a Rocky soundtrack. Actually, we did it a couple weeks ago but that was an obvious choice due to the vision theme of the episode. With that said, a show listener brought to our attention a fantastic cover performed by Bullet for My Valentine of a song from the Rocky IV soundtrack. We must break you.

Up next is possibly the strangest song that we've ever played on the show (until later). The Black Ingvars are a band that has been in contention for airplay on a Bizarro Covers special but haven't quite made the list....until today. If any song fits the Bizarro category, this Swedish dance-metal band covering the Backstreet Boys certainly qualifies. Please take it in a lighthearted form and don't unsubscribe!

Before we get to our next pick, we hear from listener Amy via our voicemail hotline (540) - DBGeek-1 if you'd like to call. Amy takes us to task for not including Dream Theater in our Epic Episode or our Big in Japan episode and asks if we have a personal beef with the band. We try to clear up any confusion as we spin a great Dream Theater cover of a Deep Purple song that will make us all closer.

Two stories going on in the world of rock include Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek passing away as well as the most recent breakup of Stone Temple Pilots. We decided to have both stories cross paths with a great Doors cover performed by STP in happier times.

Closing out today's show has to be the only song more Bizarro than the Black Ingvars offering. Stahlhammer is an Austrian metal band that's been around since 1992. Ironically, we spin a cover by the band of a song that was big right around that time in a much different world. Ever wondered what an Austrian metal band covering MC Hammer might sound like? Well, your wait is over. And we're outta time. See ya next week!

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Revolting Cocks





Bullet for My Valentine

Black Ingvars

Dream Theater

Stone Temple Pilots


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Direct download: Episode_87_-_Bizarro_Covers_4.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:09am EDT