Kiss on “Dancing With The Stars”. End of irony imminent.

Trust KISS bass monster Gene Simmons to see an emerging market and grab it with both hands (or possibly his astonishing tongue.  You know what he’s like).

In words that I never thought I would have to type, last night saw arena rock titans KISS playing live on a ‘Rock Week’ edition of BBC-created reality contest, “Dancing With The Stars”.

Have some of THAT, middle American fanbase, confused viewers and KISS army maniacs!

Cue assorted pro-dancers gamely donning their best “Alive!” era stage garb and cavorting in a PG-rated fashion as the pyro explosions did their best to be louder than Gene’s rather questionable vocals.

KISS bass-player and lead venture capitalist Gene Simmons, pictured in a normal day at the office...

You can behold what it all looked like at Metal Hammer magazine’s blog – and take in some Steel Panther action, too.  I apologise in advance for Satchel’s trousers.  Let’s just put them behind us and move on with our lives…

Best Double Bill Ever?

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Rock jesters The Darkness are supporting noted alien glamstress and Mother Monster, Lady Gaga, on her optimistically titled UK ‘tour’ (two stadium gigs in England and a show in Ireland counts as a tour, does it?  I must be getting old).

GagaNicko - the REAL dynamic duo...

My sniping aside, this is clearly the greatest meeting of minds since wily old goat Gene Simmons decided to fund his latest house extension by going on tour in the States this summer with Motley Crue.  La Gaga loves herself some rock – witness  evidence of Mother Monster with a right old gargoyle above (sorry Nicko) – so this blend of pop glam and glam rock revival seems like a match made on a particularly prescient spreadsheet.

The shows are in September and – I’ll wager – probably sold out by the time that you read this…

Five Strings of Doom!

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Via Neatorama.  Isn’t it…pretty?

Well, pretty if Dragons and general fantastical nerd paraphernalia are your bag (Clue? Yup).

This is a custom five-string bass, made to order for a customer in Thailand by American Luthier Emerald Guitars.

If you’re going to get a guitar made, I guess it pays to go big, make it truly unique and specific to who you are and what your music’s about (I’m thinking sweet, lunatic Power Metal with lots of songs about heroically questing and the like – course, the owner could be in a BritPop cover band, but I can’t see it somehow).

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Perhaps the owner of Draco should think about playing with Takamizawa, lead guitarist for Japanese progressive rock band, The Alfee, whose Angel Sword guitar is pictured above?

New Deftones record in October?

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It’s not all swords, Power Metal and European men with prodigious levels of facial fuzz in my music collection, you know.  I have been known to listen to bands not from Holland, not fronted by warbling ne0-diva femme fatales and who formed in the nineties.  To wit – awesome lead bellowist and unintentional Greg Grunberg lookalike Chino Moreno is tentatively promising a new Deftones record before 2013 arrives (and makes the Mayans look like numpties).

Huzzah!

In an interview with an Argentinian radio station, Moreno confirms that pre-production is complete and recording is due to start imminently, with a release scheduled for the early part of the autumn.

2010’s “Diamond Eyes” was pretty damned stellar – unless the band have secretly committed to recording an album of Michael Buble and Aqua covers, the chances are that this new record will continue that enviable quality streak.  In related news, Sergio Vega will continue to sub in for indisposed Chi Cheng – with much love for Sergio and his work in the current Deftones line-up, I hope that there soon comes a day when he’ll have to look for another gig…

Jim Marshall – A Life Lived Loud…

The immortal Stackfather - Jim Marshall OBE with Slayer guitarist Kerry King.

This is sad news – Jim Marshall OBE, father of the modern amplifier, has died at the age of 88.  If you’ve listened to a noisy, obnoxious rock record made in the last fifty or so years, the chances are that it was made by some bunch of rampaging miscreants armed with one of the good Doctor’s cabs and stacks.

Oh look, poetry.

He leaves behind him a legacy of rocking sonic innovation which includes the iconic Marshall amplifier and a dedication to making even the most rudimentary of bedroom guitarists feel like stadium-headlining rock gods whenever they plugged in.

Why not have a look at Slayer’s Kerry King demoing his signature Marshall amp via the Tubes (warning: features awesome riffing and scary tatts).

Same moral panic, different day.

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Read the fricking label?

As we haven’t had one of these stories for at least two or three months now, let’s all be united in our shock and surprise as somebody else calls for action on the negative impact of video games on the fragile minds of young people.

Quel surprise.

Putting aside glibness for one or two minutes, the points made by Alison Sheratt of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are not wholly without merit.  Kids are being allowed to play unsuitable, age-restricted video games by their idiot parents and teachers are seeing the result of this in their classrooms.  They are understandably upset by this – this does not, however, permit them to presume to stop the rest of us from playing video games intended for adult audiences in the comfort of our own homes.

Puffing yourself up and demanding that the government introduce ‘stringent legislation’ to restrict access to video games, internet content and television programmes is going to do absolutely nothing to end this problem as the responsibility for children’s exposure to media ends squarely and solely with their parents – the self-same group who invariably allow their wee darlings to play Modern Warfare 3 because it’s a game like Wii Sports and couldn’t possibly be harmful to little Kyle and Jade.

Let’s state some undeniable facts, shall we?  Kids have no money – their parents buy games consoles and TV’s, give their children laptops and mobile devices and purchase the software which runs on them.  The software which they buy for these home systems comes with the industry’s self-policing certification system (see the PEGI graphic above).

This means that parents, so keen to scream, shout and bully their way out of being held accountable for anything that their little darlings do, have no excuse about being unaware that the latest Saints Row” is totally unsuitable for their offspring.  If they choose to ignore ratings, certificates and guidance aimed to help them make informed choices about their children’s entertainment, its a parent’s fault and nobody else’s if their delightful kids then go to school and, through actions and words, make them look like the negligent, incompetent and careless half-wits that they so frequently are these days.

If we need to start doing anything in society, it’s to make feckless and lazy parents own the behaviour of their children and be held legally and morally accountable for their inaction and, let’s be honest, frequent corruptive influence.  Everybody shouldn’t have to suffer because some parents can’t be bothered to, you know, parent.