Out now on Checkers Records Collective, the new LP by JCM, "The Fall of Bryan Metro".

Listen To This Now!!!!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Always Look On the Bright Side Of Life

Hey all Metro here. I decided to remove yesterday's post where I teased posting every single threat made against me, friends, and family. I was going through my legal shit and I got down in the dumps and figured, "Screw this. These people can say things, nasty, violent, things about me, many local businesses, their employees, and get away with it; in fact try to make money off it. Not on my watch."
Then I thought, why stress about it? Its bringing you down, which is what they would have a laugh with. So I pulled it. I still have close to two-hundred screenshots, but why bother? Anybody with eyes can look them up (if they haven't been deleted; a possibility), and there's still current original hate-fueled comments in the present. Instead, I will focus on the positive and not live in the past.

So here is a decent pic of Christina Ricci, who I practically grew up with (she's almost the same age by a few months).

I remember watching Addams Family Values in 1993 and we would have both been around the age of 14, and just enchanted by the scene where she breaks character and smiles, but it is the most insincere, evil smile, and I fell in love. Oh shucks ya made me blush. Here is a screenshot.

Holy crap I just realized she looks like the climate change acto…..advocate that has been in the news. Wow that's eerie. Need to retain my coming of age, wash my eyes, and scrub my brain...

Okay, I'm back and still continuing with the positivity. So, the ole birthday is coming up soon and another of my longtime crushes is Shannyn Sossamon who shares the same birthday, down to the year which I have always found cool. We're turning 41 together girl. Ain't it cool? Also call me. She was fantastic in "Rule of Attraction" as Lauren Hynde. A movie, and media personality who brings only positive memories. Here is a photo.

Oh shit, sorry about that. I have no idea why my Shannyn Sossamon photo was in the "Wings Project" folder next to the fisheyes.jpeg. Sorry about that. Immediately after uploading the pic I got a text from Trent saying that the fish eyes pic should be in the "10/11/19" folder and not the "Wings Project" one so I moved it Lets try this again...

Sorry, jeeze, yowie wowie. How did these get in my Shannyn Sossamon folder?? More technical issues. The first cap is from today Sept. 27th (oh the irony) and the second one was from a few months ago. Yikes. Lets redefine "horrific language" as public record hate speech threats against the police. Now granted, as I have said before, there are bad apples in every job, but "Every Single One"? That sure sounds like a call to terrorism. Actually calling for every cop to be physically harmed in a public forum may even be an act of terrorism. I'll look into it. Here is the actual picture of Sossamon.

So that's it. Sorry for the lack of content but hey at least the cliquey clique of JSB and George Morris have a new act. You know, the typical, same guys, lets change the band name and get booked on every Fest for the rest of the year along with next year. I won't even bother posting the name. Milo already "broke the news" before they even released anything, and in a Metro Times article even, so the fix is already in. If I was a current local musician I would be appalled. The same people given chance after chance getting.....another chance. The only saving grace is that nobody reads Milo, everybody reads Metro, nobody reads Metro Times anymore, and nobody cares. So anyway. Stay positive and we'll see you soon! Bye bye!

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, September 23, 2019

Official 2019 DIY Street Fair Review

*Disclaimer- This is a two-parter. The first half is a review of DIY that is part fact and part fiction (you figure it out) and the second half is movie reviews. I've had these for a few days but just want to do a blast post to scratch them off because I'll be spending this week sorting through hundreds of screencaps to submit....well never mind that. Hashtag #we'recoming.

Hey all, Metro here, and I actually made it out to the DIY Street Fair. Well actually I didn't but Johnny Press did. So, I'll turn the mic over to him...

I wake up covered in sweat or piss and I can't tell because with me everything smells the same after my nasal system collapsed in 2007. I think its piss because my pj's are soaked. Then again it could be sweat because I've had a hundred degree fever for a week. The pile of shit in the corner doesn't offer any help. Fuck it.

Its Saturday, and the plan is for Metro to impersonate me and cover the DIY Street Fair. I spend the afternoon looking through Metro's legal paperwork which is always good for a laugh and the mannequin I stole yesterday is propped up in a chair waiting for me to dress it. I am momentarily concerned that Robby didn't include me in the court documents as an alias. Forgetfulness. Getting old. I walk over to the mannequin I stole yesterday and yell at it, "What are they going to do? What the fuck are they going to do?"
Yesterday I stole this mannequin from Fairlane Mall. Just walked right out with it. I had a wide grin and had already disrobed it and the security guy (black, about 50) didn't bat a lash even though I told him, "Time to make some changes," and I think he was sleeping. Typical. What if I had been stabbed while hiding in a fitting room at Forever 21? Ah, fuck it.

Last night the stolen mannequin started communicating with me. Its first words were, "I'm so cold. Dress me," but I was into my second bottle of whiskey and just fell asleep. I woke up to it screaming, "So cold, so cold, so cold." I ignored it and put a towel over its head to muffle the cries and went back to the legal stuff. I stole the mannequin to use as a distraction while I cover DIY Fair. I figured my Johnny Press hat and cosplay Clint Booth "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" outfit would not be enough this time. So I decided to dress it up as Metro's tambo player Elizabeth First to not draw attention to me.

The fake E First didn't say anything on the ride there which could be perceived as ominous but not really. After the security geek checked the mannequin's purse (also stolen and filled with Monopoly money, Legos, and a knife, but that was in the secret spot we made), we finally were cleared to enter. As soon as we got to the Fair-proper Robo-E First said, "Drinks!", and with authority, so we got drinks. Two for me, none for you. By this time I'm drunk, lugging around the stolen mannequin decoy, yet we were able to make it to the music stage. On the way we pass the half-wit, failed booker, from Dear Darkness and I didn't say "Hello", and then the record store kid who I did say "Hello" to. I passed by Gwen Joy who I don't know but the E First mannequin says that Gwen is sore and kind of hates me because I pointed out that Zoe V's mother vandalized a house in Mexicantown. It was just trespassing and throwing a flag in the trash; nothing as horrific as setting fire to the Heidelberg project (I STRESS completely unrelated), which actually happened again today and a woman was arrested as a person of interest. I'm not sure if they thought the house was in blight-mode. Anyway, Gwen doesn't care for me because I post public facts on the internet when nobody else will so we kept walking. Then there was Kevin from Goldhouse, but no Tasha. Must've been Tunde's sponge bath day. We made it to the stage as Algebra Mothers were finishing up. They were okay, although Queen Bee's boobs look to have merged with her upper intestines, although it could have been an ill-advised wardrobe choice. There was a JSB sighting and Jeff Milo was floating around. Possessed mannequin E First pointed out Jeff and Laura from Duende and I just said, "Jeff's cool, but Laura is a total 2019 headcase," and E First said, "I have Brett Callwood on line 1," and we slapped high five.
The Beggars were due up next, and as always, they brought the fun. High energy rock and roll that the crowd, which was substantial, had a lot of fun with. I love that they still use the cheap fan for the cheesy hair effects. At this point Woodman spotted me and came over and said, ominously, "I still read," and the E First mannequin started shaking violently, or maybe it was me holding it. The doll went silent. We then shared a laugh and a back pat and I told him about stupid stuff and he said, "Bummer." I razz Woodman a lot on here about the quantity of shows, some pop-ups, but I will give him this. He is genuinely nice, and one of the few local musicians who go out of their way to support other acts, especially if they are not booked on that show. You know who you are. Trust me, that is rare. I always roll my eyes when I see messages on event pages (not stalking retards, public domain, I'm a journalist), that say "Sorry, can't make it. Work (the event is at 11pm)", or "Wish I could make it. Out of town," or the infamous, "We'll see." Hell, last week I even saw this eye-rolling gem, "I usually just go to one show a week," followed by the dreaded, "We'll see." After I calmed Shakin' E First down Woodman plugged in his portable amp and we did a pop-up set in the middle of the crowd during The Beggars' set which just seemed to confuse everyone. The Elizabeth First mannequin played tambourine via an elaborate string system that was attached to my right elbow and hip. After doing "Starting a Dance Craze" we went into one of my originals, "Dude, They're Not Breathing!" At this point I noticed that the mannequins hair was starting to fall out due to my gyrating hip movements and the elaborate string system (Elvis would be jealous), so I fled to the beer tent without saying goodbye because this bald goddamn mannequin could blow my cover despite my disguise of a loud Hawaiian shirt and the Johnny Press hat. Here is a shot the mannequin took (I think, I sure as hell didn't take it) of The Beggars just to prove I was there. In the lower corner you can even see Milo not watching the show and texting on his phone with probably the most interesting conversation ever, but maybe not. "We'll see."

It was time to go so I left the E First mannequin in a porta-john with a note stapled to its chest that said, "I'm Back!", of course in blood red letters, and then I left.

Hey all, Metro back. This concludes the coverage of Saturday at the DIY Fair. I woke up Sunday with the Superflu which makes sense because I was just in Ferndale. Who knows, I may have even caught the Bug. Anyway, its time for BONUS CONTENT!! As you know, when I'm not writing, I'm watching wrestling, sports, being sued, and going to the movies. I haven't been out to the cinema as much as I wanted to so far this year because of the death threats and threats of physical violence from A.M. and her (its?) crew, although John Wick 3 was a total blast. But I actually made it out twice, yes twice, this week to catch a few genre sequels, and here's my take:

3 From Hell- This is the latest from Rob Zombie's series revolving around the sadistic yet lovable Firefly family and it had a limited three day theatrical release. Rob Zombie's films can be polarizing. "House of 1000 Corpses" was a psychedelic horror show that introduced the main characters who ended up being so iconic that they are forever attached to Sid Haig, Sherri Moon, and Bill Moseley. Unfortunately the third act is a total snoozer. "The Devils Rejects" is Zombies best film and takes the same core characters into a more realistic environment and actually accomplishes taking these awful people and turning them into likable anti-heroes. This is aided by a tour de force performance from William Forsythe who actually is so brutal that he makes the Firefly family sympathetic. His two Halloween movies were, meh, although I liked some of the weirdness of the second one. I saw "Lords of Salem" in New York ($13 matinee) and hated it. Then I liked it, and appreciated its Rosemary's Baby vibe. It has a certain sadness to it and he scaled back on the language and violence. "31" was fun but forgettable; a funhouse ride that calls back to Corpses and Rejects.
   So this brings us to "3 From Hell", the third part in his Firefly trilogy. This is the rare movie that I liked and enjoyed, but had issues with. First off the good stuff. The characters are the selling point and they deliver. It was great to see them onscreen again and the chemistry is still there. Richard Brake (the best part of "31") as a new character fits right in. My main issues were that they weren't really given anything to do. I think the film was hindered by a lack of a real villain ala Forsythe in Rejects. They spent too much time on Baby in prison and there was too little of Sid Haig. I understand his health was an issue, but I'm just being selfish. I also thought the ending (which delivered) was a little too Robert Rodriguez for me with vans of Mexicans in luchador masks attack a brothel. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, and recommend it to fans of the series. I just think my expectations were too high. As Otis would say, "I set my standards pretty low. That way I'm not disappointed."
*Postscript- I wrote this review last week and am typing it up on Monday. Unfortunately Sid Haig passed away today at the age of 80 and this really bums me out. I met him in 2014 (shook my hand) and he was the nicest guy (and loved his sushi). He was impressed I had him sign the poster insert from the Jackie Brown special edition dvd because obviously everybody had him sign Spaulding stuff. His reply, "Well shit, that's right I was in this." RIP clown. Yayayayayayayayaya.

Rambo: Last Blood- This was batshit crazy. With this one, lets get my gripes out of the way first. It was a little slow to get going establishing new characters (macguffins) to set Rambo off and it lacked a major antagonist (Big Boss). Every review (most have been negative) that I have read refers to Trump, a Trump movie, Trumpism, whatever the fuck that is. This is 2019. Have these poofs even seen a Rambo movie. Part 1- Goes after good old boy rednecks. Part 2- Retcons the Vietnam war. Part 3- The damn Russians. Part 4- Burma because why not? This is nothing new. If this offends you go watch "Moonlight" and be miserable with a bunch of miserable people. In this one he goes after the Mexican drug and sex trafficking cartel, which by the way, is kind of like a real thing. There is a significant moment that happens in the middle of the film where I muttered to myself, "Good lord, every single one of them are going to die." And cue up the third act and it doesn't disappoint. Total gonzo chaos. I almost fell out of my seat multiple times.
For the record, both movies had a decent crowd and they all loved it, especially the applause after "3 From Hell". Sometimes its fun to see a movie with a crowd who doesn't have to watch their step because of social media tropes.

So that's it for this week's post. I should have a really good good one for next week. It should be fuuuuuun.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2019 DIY Street Fair Preview

Hey all, Metro here. I had to leave the house by the beach for a bit and head back to Michigan because the "Wings Project" had gotten out of hand when Trent and co. got back from South Africa all with mono and numerous Saudi house guests. I am due back sometime after 9/27/19. Thankfully, this weekend is the annual DIY Street Fair. The annual Ferndale DIY Street Fair says that summer's almost gone. As stated above, it takes place in downtown Ferndale (I know, I know), and I have covered it in person for the past few years and usually had a pretty good time. It features music, arts/crafts, and food. I think Hip in Detroit has an unlimited pass for the food trucks, but I might be wrong. As for the music, it is the same typical bands that always play totally safe music along with 4% of bands that actually applied. Whenever I picture the Fest geezers looking through the applications (if they do at all) it makes me think of the scene at the beginning of Animal House when Flounder and Amadeus are invited to pledge at the popular frat and when they arrive they are herded to a group of losers in a corner away from the popular clique. Hey, 4% of bands that make the cut.....this is you; a perfect microcosm of the local music scene. The nights are usually headlined by has-beens or never-were's, but more on that in a bit.

As for the artisan/food aspect, by all means support your local artists and foodies. They spent a pretty penny during the application process to ensure a spot at the Fair. At the very least, check out what they have to offer and grab some business cards if cash is tight. God knows that none of the music acts don't make any money off of this and even if they did they usually don't support other artists but if you have been following along you already knew that.

As always, I like to preview the music acts. I vaguely remember seeing a schedule posted or at least a list of all the acts that I sent to a friend whose reaction was, "Jesus ouch", but I went to the FB event page and couldn't find one. It could be there, but I am not wasting my time. Instead I wasted my time going to the actual DIY Fair website which was a disaster. The "Music" page consisted of a photo slideshow for each act with zero description. Who are these people my neighbor Roger would ask if he saw it. It took me five god damn minutes to scroll through it multiple times, jotting down as quickly as possible and still I don't even know if all the bands that are playing were on it. So if I leave your band out, I'm sorry. The web designer is a total asshole and needs to go back to community college. So here's the format: Band Name, whether I think they are a Hit, Minor Hit, Miss, or Minor Miss, and a brief blurb. If you want the schedule, well, do it yourself.

Music Acts-
Citizen Smile- Miss. Total Miss. Just a bunch of thin-skinned goofs who can't take a joke. Oh, the music? Boring pop. Next

Detroit Party Marching Band- Miss. A bunch of band geeks who stepped into the real world and instantly wished that high school lasted six years. Most of them could benefit from playing a pop-up at a Planet Fitness.

JR JR- Miss. Hard Miss. They changed their name but the apathy remains the same. Had a minor record deal with a major label (haha) that obviously went nowhere and are now playing at street fairs. I find it hilarious that despite changing their name, they still require that the old name Dale.....(eh, I'm not falling for it) in all their press pieces. They are one of the headliners so they fall into the "never-were" category. Plus the fat one mean mugged me at a Detroit Music Awards (he was by himself) and I mouthed, "What are you going to do?", and then borrowed a drink from the bar.

The Gories- Minor Hit.The other headliner. This one in the has-been categorie. They were a staple in the Detroit garage rock scene and members had success after with the Ditrbombs and Margaret "The Titty Master" Dollrod. I'm glad they were able to get Danny Dollrod to reconstruct himself after volunteering to turn himself to dust and act as the pitcher's mound at the Jack White sandlot game this summer.

The High Strung- Minor Hit. They've been around forever so Vegas odds say if you've seen one show of theirs, you're good to go. Serviceable rock

The Beggars- Hit. One of my favorite local acts with a bunch of good dudes who "get it" and always deliver. Plus they love wrestling, Rambo, and fun with no drama or politicking.

Siamese- Minor Hit. One of the local acts that absolutely HAS to play every Fest ( dead heat with Tart). It really starts to become a turn-off. Part of the "Touring but its Really a Vacation" club. As for the music, the song I sampled had a good New Wave vibe and I had no problem with it.

Ian Lamb- Hit. There are about 500 Ian Lambs on Youtube so this stressed me out but I managed to track him down. Good voice and seems like a good, no frills, dude, although his wife bears a resemblance to the Incredible Aquatic Abby Ropp.

Stone Clover- Hit. Well done/produced Irish-tinged rock. Zero problem with this. May have even liked it.

Brother Hallow- Minor Hit. It was fine for what it was. The song I sampled was from some derelict Ferndale Front Porch thing. They were okay but missed being a total hit because of the trombone which stressed me out.

The Dropout- Minor Miss. Wasn't my thing. Trying too hard to be The Cure in the video I sampled. I did find it funny that most of their videos were labeled "The Basement or Living Room Tapes" so...

Alluvial Fans- Minor Miss. The band and groove were good but the drummer is not a singer.

After Dark Amusement Park- Minor Hit. The song I sampled was good. Standard high-tempo rock that wasn't bad. Lost points for the clip being from the black hole that is Smalls.

Algebra Mothers- Hit. I guess they have been around since the day I was born. I liked it and even sought out some of their other stuff. See, that's the benefit on non-slideshow previews. Strange that its the first I've heard of them. A few tracks reminded me of a heavier Richard Hell.

The True Blue- Miss. Bored me. I lasted 40 seconds (insert joke here). I can't believe how vanilla this was despite having an Asian singer.

Reuther- Miss. Emo puss-mist rock. Lost even more points for having one of those lame-ass videos of them walking around a city making them part of the "Touring, but Really a Vacation" Club.

The Doozers- Miss. This was rough to get through. The music was Talking Heads-esque but one of those songs you always skip. The video stunk too.

Billy Brandt and the Sugarees- Minor Hit. Basic bluesy rock by a bunch of geezers. Completely serviceable. The Fair crowd should like it. Decent background music.

Well that's it for the DIY preview. Oh, I almost forgot. There are also afterparties at the not in any way cliquey Loving Touch. A JCM side project played a DIY afterparty the year Electric Six headlined. It was the show cut short because Valentine had a "sore throat" but most likely using his mouth to focus on raising funds for that year's Kickstarter. (That was a shameless Kickstarter joke and in no way implies sucking dick, so bite me). Or maybe it was because they didn't get their requested performance fee. Who knows? Anyway, back to this year. I went to the official DIY site so I could preview the afterparties (I'm not going to any other sites. I have my limits), and they didn't even have any info up (as of this writing)! Hahahaha, the week of the Fair. No info. Ferndale Hustles Harder. Of course we should expect the usual undercard acts like The Handgrenades or Ryan Allen and His Extra Wives. Also keep an eye open for afterparties at Outer Limits, Ghost Light, Ant Hall, or Kell'y none of which are in Ferndale but are probably pissed being left off the Ferndale DIY Street Fair. That's all for now. Everybody have fun, be safe, and enjoy those parking tickets. Bye bye!

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, September 16, 2019

September 27th, 2019

"Trust me, this won't hurt."

Amy says this to me as she attempts a deep tissue massage on my shoulder because my shoulder has locked up because I have spent the past two days passed out on the lounge chair at the pool at the house by the beach on Xanax and my shoulder has locked up.
   "Ow," I attempt to mutter because it does hurt and I look over at Matt, who is on the lounge chair next to me, and he is watching intently, maybe even giggling, and I see he has a hard-on which is a real turn-off. There aren't that many of us out at the pool today. Trent, Scott, Oakley, and Finn are all in Romania meeting with Trent's father and working on something called the "Wings Project" and when I clicked on the folder on the house computer it asked for a password and there was an index card next to the house computer that said, "Password = 9/27/19," so I punched it in and it worked and I turned off the computer after I saw the file was empty.

Today, there aren't many out by the pool. There's me, Amy who is massaging me because my shoulder has locked up, Matt, Matt's hard-on, Trent Dilfer the former NFL quarterback, Alexis who is a high end prostitute, Phil who is Alexis' dealer and pimp but otherwise has no record of employment, Carlos the pool guy who is just on his break, and some geek that nobody knows and insists on being called "Freddy Kruger" but actually looks like Pee Wee Herman.

Out of nowhere Trent Dilfer decides that it would be funny to dunk Carlos the pool guy into the pool. Before any of us could warn or stop him, Carlos splish splashes (takin' a bath) into the pool which, everybody but Trent Dilfer knows, is possessed and has a taste for blood. Immediately, the pool becomes self-aware, sentient, and spools of white tendrils resembling a spiderweb engulf Carlos, but instead of ensnaring him, they cut right through him like melted butter, severing him into about 14 separate pieces which are then sucked into the pool's elaborate filtering system that was installed via request from Trent's father by some stud named Justin who insisted the pool be drained (there was an earthquake that day) and wore full military body armor because he heard the rumors (Wings Project: 9/27/19). A jet of blood shoots out into the pool from the pool's filtering system but nobody bothers to move because it is quickly sucked back into the pool's elaborate filtering system and somebody asks, "Okay, who is calling the Company (the word was stressed ominously) this time and telling them we lost another one?"

After the pool digests Carlos and resumes its normal blue, inviting, color and reflecting the sun (although sometimes it doesn't reflect the sun), I head to the house, pass by Mr. Zip Zip whose claim to fame is that he worked at the Tower Records in West Hollywood, and Mr. Zip Zip has a Talking Heads record on and David Byrne is singing, "And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention." Mr. Zip Zip looks to be passed out but isn't and asks, "Did you see me in the crowd on today's Good Morning America?"  I lie and tell him "Yes" even though I know Good Morning America is taped in New York and he's been on the couch all day.
   "I wanted to make sure I was on the September 11th episode," he continues despite it being September 16th, but not September 27th yet.
   "I understand," I tell him, "Why not, makes sense."
  "Stop making sense," he laughs as the Talking Heads mixtape is on to the next song and David Byrne is singing, "IIII"," and "No need to worry, everything's under control," and "You're being taken for a ride again," even though the original lyrics were "We're being taken for a ride again," and this unnerves me and I push back the panic with another Xanax and wonder where to put the human skull I bought from some Mexican in Westwood, or the valley, and make my way to the house computer. Mr. Zip Zip, whose real name is K. Pete calls out from the living room, "We're being taken for a ride again", even though the song has ended and David Byrne is now singing, "We're on a road to nowhere," and "There's a city in my mind," and "But we can't say what we've seen," and "The future is certain, give us time to work it out," and "Here we go," and "Time is on our side," and "I don't care," and "Ha", and "And its alright" and "Would you like to come along and help me sing this song and its alright," (Trust me, this won't hurt), and then I hear Mr. Zip Zip change the tape and "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five" by Paul McCartney and Wings plays and Paul starts singing "No one left alive in 1985 will ever do," and I think back to the horrific plane crash in 1998 where everybody died, but I didn't have to take another Xanax because I didn't know any of them.

Jump cut to the house computer and the password remains "9/27/19" and the "Band on the Run" folder remains empty. I'm bored so I decide to apply for next year's Hamtramck Music Fest and as I click on the link I hear Amy's voice in my head saying, "Trust me, this won't hurt." Here are some shots of the application.

After submitting my application I click off the house computer as Mr. Zip Zip sings along with Paul McCartney from the living room, "Out of college, money spent. See no future, pay no rent. All the money's gone; nowhere to go," and I reply singing along, "But oh that magic feeling, nowhere to go," and I think back to David Byrne singing, "We're on a road to nowhere," and Paul starts singing, "Pick up the bags, get in the limousine. Soon we'll be away from here. Step on the gas, wipe that tear away," and then John Lennon starts singing "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven," and I wander out back to the pool (Mr. Zip Zip has officially fallen asleep) and Matt is on the phone with Trent who is no longer in Romania and is now in South Africa and Trent is yelling at Matt to change all the passwords at the house to "9/27/19" even though the current passwords are "9/27/19" already and all the "Wings Project" folders are empty anyway, and Matt no longer has a hard-on. Matt, who has been on phone duty, tells Trent that the Company is opening an investigation into the house and pool and the four disappearances, even though the real total would be seven-ish, and they will be over on September 27th, 2019, and Trent freaks out and tells him to change all the passwords again. I volunteer to change the passwords and say "Okay" and this seems to calm Matt down. After changing the passwords to 9/27/19 I head back outside, and Kentucky Pete has shut off the tape player and switched on MTV and Morrissey is singing "What difference does it make and the devil will find work for idle hands to do" and I think back of making out with Christopher at the Michigan/Canadian border in 2002 because I was in that soft bi-sexual phase, and it Was a phase, because who wasn't making out with everybody at the turn of the century and all men have secrets and I catch a glimpse of myself in the kitchen window and I'm looking very old tonight as Morrissey sings "You won't see me anymore", and Matt has disappeared and I hear noises from behind the garage so I decide to check it out expecting another dead migrant, and I find Amy jabbing a syringe into the back of her knee and she is saying, "Trust me, this won't hurt," over and over and I just walk away knowing I've been lied to, as Morrissey sings from the house, "I'm too tired. I'm so sick and tired, and I'm feeling very sick and ill today," and that I have been lied to. The wind picks up and the trees are active and I hear whispering in the wind saying, "He's oh so healthy in his body and his mind" but the tree on the opposite side of the yard is whispering, "She's not there." The tree offered no apology so why should I care and I walk back into the house. Mr. Zip Zip has vanished and I click on the house computer, plug in the password "9/27/19" and access the empty "Wings Project" file and leave a message, "But its too late to say you're sorry, how would I know, why should I care." And then I receive an instant message from Trent saying that on September 27th, 2019 I need to tell everyone, "Don't bother." (He left out the "please"), and I reply, "You're a wonderful person, but you have problems," and he replies, "How do you make an Asian blind? Give him a joint hahahaha," and I click off.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

*Writer's Note- Aside from the HMF application this is a work of fiction and nobody has to worry about anything. Trust me, this won't hurt, as Amy would say.*

*Postscript- I stumbled upon a good cause that benefits overseas military risking their lives. If you are in the Troy area I implore you to donate to benefit those who are out there putting their necks on the line to protect our freedoms, including freedom of speech. They postponed their careers and lives to do this, instead of quitting their job, complaining, and begging for money. Here is the link: Support those that sacrifice

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Spirit Animal and a List!

and its a story that might bore you but you don't have to listen

Hey all, Metro here. The tone of the Lavender Blog has shifted this year with more introspective posts, fiction, and restraint (a dirty word), and less poking fun at the local scene, poking fun at local idiots, and less poking fun at (or exposing) local Fests, venues, bookers, and Kickstarters (aside from that last post; I had to). Trust me, if there was anything to poke fun at I would. I even tried with the Labor Day Fest preview. The reality is, as I have stated before, that I don't have anything to write about anymore as the best local journalist in town. So the posts have become more personal (and bloated), and the hits have taken a hit because of it, even though I make no money off of this site. And so it continues, and its a story that might bore you

I am a firm believer in the "Spirit Animal". If you are an artist in any medium, you have your influences. That goes for anybody from John Lennon to the recently divorced Ryan Allen. I am no exception and I wear my influences on my sleeve. If I was an artist or, even worse, a muralist my Spirit Animal would be somebody from Mad Magazine like Don Martin or Sergio Aragones. If I were a director it would have to be the cold, cynical Stanley Kubrick or the pop culture riffing Quinten Tarantino. In terms of music, as far as guitar playing, Johnny Thunders, and songwriting, it would have to be somebody witty, yet cynical like a Warren Zevon, Elvis Costello, Ted Bundy, or Bobby McFerrin. In terms of wrestling many would say CM Punk, but I lean towards Andy Kaufman. Acting? I would go with early 80's Chevy Chase or Peter Sellers. However, I consider myself a writer first and foremost so that is where my Spirit Animals roam the most. I am an avid reader of actual hard copy books and not the internet bullshit and also a book collector (signed copies and First Editions turn me on) although I have had to give away/donate most of them due to money issues, but I admit to being influenced by these Spirit Animals. Good god, this is turning into a Jeff Milo post (not an influence, thank god!). So after you contemplate your Spirit Animals, here are mine: Bret Easton Ellis (About 70%), Hunter S. Thompson (25%), and Stephen King (5%). I have been fortunate to have met Thompson while in New York with my sister. He was very sweet and let her sit on his lap and signed the Vegas book that sits next to me to this day in the bedroom office at the JCMsTown Compound. Every now and then I have dreams where a voice tells me "Trust me, this won't hurt", but I actually think its that damn ghost from Pennsylvania.
I met Ellis, also in New York, at a signing at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square. He was very cool as well, very chill (Xanax?), and we talked about movie adaptations and alcohol.

I've never met King, although I think we would get along as long as we didn't talk politics. Anyway, its time for a list! Here, the criteria: All rankings are based on personal preference rather than literary achievement. Title, the edition I used to have but gave away, brief blurb, favorite sequence, and influence on JCM. Got it? Who cares

                                         Metro Ranks the Works of Bret Easton Ellis

8. Imperial Bedrooms- (1st Ed., signed)- Ellis' most recent, and likely last book of fiction is also his shortest. It is a return to the world of his debut novel Less Than Zero with the characters as adults. It is also a noir and clearly a mirror of the troubles getting The Informers film made. Yes, it's slight, but it has its moments.
Favorite Sequence- The opening, which blurs fiction and reality where the characters are aware a movie has been made about them (Less Than Zero 1987). Okay, also the "kennel" sequence where a boy and girl are rented and abused, a likely tame version of what really happens in Hollywood, much like the orgy scene in Eyes Wide Shut.
JCM Influences- None as of this writing.
"They made a movie about us."

7. Less Than Zero- (Paperback signed by Ellis along with John Doe and Exene Cervenka from the band X, a small victory)- Ellis' debut novel took the literary world by storm with its bleak, depressing, honest take on the youth of the 1980's. It was a shock to the system during a period where nobody had anything to worry about other than the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, and the AIDS epidemic. Its bleakness depresses me but there are enough witty sequences that foreshadow later works to come.
Favorite Sequence- The opening where Clay, the narrator, returns to LA that establishes the tone (emptiness) of the novel. Okay, maybe the snuff film also. "I wonder if he's for sale..."
JCM Influences- Song title "People Are Afraid to Merge", nominated for a Detroit Music Award.
"I don't want to care. If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. Its less painful if I don't care."

6. The Informers- (Beer stained 1st Edition paperback)- This collection of short stories was released after American Psycho as a publishing buffer as he worked on Glamorama (a decade). The tone goes back to the apathy of youth (and some adults), and most of the stories were written during the Less Than Zero years. The bleakness is still there but there are some funny sequences also such as the spoiled rich kid, bored, having to go identify the body of his father who died in a small plane crash. He described him as looking like Darth Vader without his mask, a joke I stole for whenever I comment on Pitbull's FB (I'm also blocked).
Favorite Sequence- "Discovering Japan" along with "Secrets of Summer" where it is revealed that there are actual vampires in LA, and not just in the movie biz.
JCM Influences- Staggering. The main character in the "Discovering Japan" chapter is named Bryan Metro, a pen name I borrowed and used to shape the ebb and flow of the local music scene for over a decade. Also the vampires in "Secrets of Summer" influenced the JCM hit "Vampires", nominated for a Detroit Music Award. Also a fun story. After a night of madness in a hotel I can't remember with me and founding member -XX, I got lost, smoked a ciggy, remembered the room (311 because of the band) and trying to sleep with a Mexican girl who looked a lot like Lorenza Izzo, Eli Roth's wife/actrress. After a brutal wake up call (I believe I said "Come and get me, asshole") me and -XX went to a coney island and had a boring breakfast and agreed to meet for a matinee of the Informers movie which came out that week. I remember waking up in the car to a storm and -XX pounding on the glass. He had already seen the movie. I slept through it all in the car. He left and I went in to see the next showing. It was just okay.
"Heading straight into darkness."

5. The Rules of Attraction- (1st Edition hardcover + First Edition Paperback signed, but given away as a gift)- Ellis' second novel is a slice of life, semi-autobiographical look into college life at an affluent New England Liberal Arts college in the 80's. It mostly revolves around three characters, Sean (Patrick Bateman's brother), Paul, and Lauren who are all unreliable narrators who are always drunk, using drugs, or fucking. One of my good friends said, "This was my college life," which depressed me because I went to Wayne State. Thanks dad! (although I made up for it those first few years at the hotel).
Favorite Sequence- The dinner scene with Paul and Richard ("My name's not Richard, its DICK") and their mothers. High comedy, and well represented in Roger Avary's film adaptation. The Richard/Dick character was used as my avatar for the Webvomit/Five Three Dial Tone local blogs for years for those that remember those glory days. Oh, also the bathtub suicide sequence.
JCM Influences- Large. The Richard avatar mentioned above. JCM guitarist's stage name is Peter the Freshman, an alias for an alias. Also song titles "Dress To Get Screwed Party" and "End of the World", both nominated for Detroit Music Awards. "Deal with it. Rock and Roll."

4. White- (1st Edition)- This is Ellis' first non-fiction book. It is half memoir and half social commentary. I highly recommend it, especially if you have a brain that can handle others' opinions. The memoir aspects deal with movies, the writing process, and being gay, and the social commentary deals with the insane absurdity of social media in 2018/19.
Favorite Sequence- The thought process when writing American Psycho. Also, any commentary on how people can be so stupid and ill-informed on social media. Something I can relate to.
JCM Influences- The shift in tone on the Lavender Blog starting in 2018.

3. Lunar Park- (2 First Editions, one signed)- This is Ellis' foray into horror. It begins with a meta look into the writing process (and book tours) for previous books that is obviously over the top fiction with a hint of truth (something I have borrowed). The main character is Ellis himself, and the actual novel is a Stephen King-esque haunted house (haunted person) experience, along with a sad commentary on father/son relationships (Ellis has no children). I have a Terby somewhere in the basement and it has yet to claw at my door.
Favorite Sequence- The Halloween Party which actually was a mirror of my Apartment Going Away Party substituting the garage with the laundry room but with the same purpose (thanks E First for a White Christmas!) and the expected chastising the next day. The police I think were called. Also, I enjoy the chapter of The Writer's latest novel "Teenage Pussy", whose first title was "Holy Shit!"
JCM Influences- Tons. "Holy Shit!" was the original title of my debut screenplay "Piss Bag". Band collaborators Mitchell Allen and Kentucky Pete take their stage names from this book (although Mitchell Allen appears in Rules of Attraction also). JCM song title "Never Never Land", nominated for a Detroit Music Award.
"Look how black the sky is, the Writer said. I made it that way."

2. Glamorama- (1st Edition Hard Cover, Beer stained trade paperback)- Ellis' longest novel took a decade to finish, and at times can seem bloated, but it is an excellent satire of the 1990's celebrity worship. It starts with the vapid Victor Ward/Johnson planning to open a club and merges into a terrorist thriller. It is common knowledge that Ben Stiller ripped off the "models as terrorists" premise for Zoolander. The novel includes name dropping every celeb from the 90's, horrific violence, a gratuitous MMF sex scene, and there is a film crew to film it all. Two actually. Give up on what is real and just enjoy the ride (my next tattoo).
Favorite Sequence- The opening at the club, the ride on the QE2, and the "Band on the Run" project plane crash.
JCM Influences- Victor Johnson is an alias that has contributed here and is currently filed as a person of interest in Detroit Circuit Court. JCM song title "Palakon", nominated for a Detroit Music Award. "The better you look, the more you see."

1. American Psycho- (1st Edition + 1st Edition signed Yowie Wowie!)- Ellis' most popular, notorious book is also his best. Yes, the movie is totally quotable but most of the best sequences are left out. This is The Writer at his peak (at the time) of social commentary, New York in the late 80's. The Writer pokes fun at what and who he despises and what he is becoming. Despite the gore and sex, it is actually a comedy, something the critics/protesters never understood (most not even read it) (sound familiar?). The book is far better than the movie, which is still good and directed by a female.
Favorite Sequence- Those that were left out of the movie that were so over the top it is hilarious. Bateman catching a rat, starving it, drugging a prostitute, inserting a habitrail into her vagina and letting the rat loose, eventually devouring her stomach. Or there's the infamous sequence when Bateman steals a urinal cake and has it covered in chocolate and gives it to his fiancé. "Its so minty!" Possibly when he stabs a child in the Central Park Zoo because one of the penguins in the penguin exhibit reminded him of a co-worker (McDermott, Van Patten?) and said he was a doctor but didn't really do anything.
JCM Influences- Aside from the fake racism/misogyny ("De black man is de debil"), surprisingly none. Although the JCM had a brief side project, Ugly Diamonds, that had a single called "American Psycho" that is actually really good. Look it up, although it was not nominated for a Detroit Music Award. It's pretty good, well until the rapping part starts lazily rapping about drugs, trying too hard to be cool, and missing the point, but whatever.
"Yabba dabba doo"

Well, that's it for the Spirit Animal post. If you have any interest I highly recommend everything. Hope you enjoyed it! I really don't have anything else to write about so till we meet again, you know where to find me; in Lunar Park.

Bye Bye,
Bryan Metro

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Yet Another Electric Six Cash Scam

Okay, this is getting out of control.
Hey all, Metro here. You know its really the end of summer, not because of Labor Day, but because Electric Six has another Kickstarter scam out there. Last week a friend alerted me to it (I've been blocked for years for having an opinion), and it took me days to muster up the mental fortitude to actually click on the page. By the way, there is no way I am posting the link here. Its a waste of time even though I have increased the curiousity factor more with this post. This year's cash scam comes after they made a point to say last year's cash scam would be their last cash scam. Of course, my first thought was, as always, "Okay, where is the money really going this time?" Did the bug-eyed keyboard player who doesn't understand the word "NO" have a relapse? Did the slack faced dude from Smalls that looks like he had a stroke or at the very least, mentally retarded, actually have a stroke? Did the Johnny Headband twerp need additional hair plugs? Did Valentine notice that his fat wife was getting even girthier and though, "Oh no, not another kid!"? Will the guy nobody knows or cares about get a cut of the loot? Is this for John Nash's Weight Watchers program because lets be honest here, the dude is reaching Ricky Rat levels of corpse found in a river bloat. I'm just sayin'. Actually they all are. Group Bloat!

Nahhhh, the truth is this band hasn't had a good album since their 3rd which was a decade ago, and I have no clue how many they have had since then. I've sampled some of them (Sucks COCK!), and was disappointed. This is just a case of middle-aged men living off of one album, scamming their fans out of their hard earned money to fund their annual European vacation, oh I mean tour. They could care less about the people that contribute. Their last record bombed and, and bombed bad, and I don't even remember its name so Google is your friend, and they need a cash influx. It is all sad, but I can't decide if its about the people (scientific term: Idiots) donating or the band just abandoning pride. Probably both. Lets do a little history lesson... *Some of this is from a previous post on this charade*

2013- Absolute Treasure- Raised $62,760- Reward: A live DVD. The JCM recorded a live dvd of our first show for free thanks to our friends at Rock N Rummage. It was gritty, sloppy, and real. Where did this money go?

2014- Mimicry and Memories- Raised $64,977- Reward: A two disc set. JCM made every CD in a basement or guest room, funded by ourselves. Where did this money go?

2015- Roulette Stars- Raised $63,243- Reward: Another dvd, plus a cd based on donation amount. Starting to get old. Where did this money go?

2016- You're Welcome- Raised $77,000 (not a typo). Reward: 2 cd's. Where did this money go?

2017- Electric Sixmas/Chillout- Raised $66,587- Reward: 2 cd's. Where did this money go?

2018- Live in Liverpool- Raised $77,173- Reward: A dvd. Supposedly their last Kickstarter and a total slap in the face to any schlomo who donated. Oh, and where did the money go?

Since 2013, Electric Six has raised $411,740 in money from Kickstarter campaigns. All for 8 cd's and 3 dvd's. (Just a heads up, JCM has 8 CD/EP's and 3 dvd's). All of the bonuses had next to zero cost: personal belongings, cd track selections, cover song requests. One of favorite quotes from their page, "Its costly to put this project together, simply put. We have studio costs and similar costs for recording and mixing the record as well. Many of the reward packages involve costs as well (t-shirts, posters, books, etc) and then there's the manufacture of the CD's themselves".
You know what, shut the fuck up. This entire debacle is a slap in the face of every local artist who busts their ass, using their own funds and resources from Sisters of Sunshine Vapor to Caveman Woodman to everybody not able to hop on a Fest. All that money, free money, to a band that hasn't been relevant in years and needs extra money because they keep popping out kids, or buying cheap suits, being a drunk, or even worse a sanctimonious former drunk. Well fuck that. All of the above (number-wise) are actual facts and the rest, opinion (those are still legal right?). I really hate to rain on this year's cash scam publicly funded European vacation but I have a few more paragraphs...

I have contacted the IRS, and as a musician (haha), I know the costs of recording, producing, dvd'ing these things. Sure not at the level of E6, but its not that bad. The IRS told me that a 1099-K form must be filed with every crowd sourcing gimmick over $20,000. The form is provided once the threshold has been met according to my mole at Kickstarter. I also plan on filing a 3949-A form to the IRS requesting they look into this campaign along with previous campaigns dating back to 2013. Its a win-win for everybody because if they actually paid income tax on all of them, well wonderful, good for them getting away with scamming losers out of thousands every year. But if they didn't....then my job here is done. We'll never know, so who cares?

This is all pathetic and makes me ill. The songs on this year's cd have already been recorded, probably by failed E6 member Zach Shipps, probably on the cheap, and are mostly outtakes anyway so the $30+k "stretch goal" must be for those production costs. Okay, that was a joke. A joke like the constant scams. A joke like this band. By the way, none of these campaigns have exceeded 800 backers. Something fishy there too. Don't get ahead of yourselves, I am in NO WAY insinuating tax evasion/money laundering here. Just a little fishy. The title of the campaign "Bite Me" and verbiage on the info page (pic below) seem like a veiled jab at me, the only person around here that calls them out on this.

There are so many worthy causes and charities out there that your disposable income could go to instead of a bunch of middle age fat ass has-been's in a band that is disposable. Now let me tell you how I really think.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro

Monday, September 2, 2019

Exclusive Hamtramck Labor Day Fest Coverage!!

Hey all, Metro here with my exclusive coverage of this year's Hamtramck Labor Day Fest. Stay tuned for after the coverage for my exclusive interview with Harrison Fooooord.

Hahahahahaha! Let's start out by being serious for a moment. Nique Love Rhodes and the NLR Experience weren't going to draw anybody anyway at the Fest so it was no big loss. But this is completely unprofessional on so many levels. Yes, I understand......shit happens, Murphy's Law and all that, but look at the time this message was posted on social media: 5:57pm. Their set time was 6pm.....once again, 6pm. Of course it was entirely possible they notified the Fest hours in advance, and it is also entirely possible they just posted this apology three minutes before their set time. We'll never know. The band has obviously already moved on and the Ham Labor Fest social media isn't exactly the best.
Or maybe they are just complete idiots. They did a show in Toronto the night before, and we all know they didn't stay in Toronto-proper on a Friday night after probably making $30 that night. Still being serious here. Also, how can one not anticipate traffic on Labor Day Weekend! Also, what were they doing at the Windsor border when Toronto to Hamtramck is a little under four hours when going through Sarnia. Plus there would be less holiday traffic and would avoid the Windsor border process. Let's hypothesize that check out was a generous noon and put traffic back-up at an hour, nahhh give it an hour and a half. Still would have made it in time. Or maybe they're....just....not.....smart.
What about all the people who came to the Fest for the NLR Experience? Hahahaha, okay, no longer being serious. How about this for all the conspiracy nuts out there. What if they messaged Stefanie Cox, or some other artist who played earlier that day (or vice versa) and were told not to bother because nobody was there (more on that in a minute)? Just tossing it out there. I'm shooting fish in a barrel here, but any of the above are realistic options. Or maybe they're just incompetent. Oddly enough, their social media tag line is "One with the music. One with the people. Spread love. Vibrate higher. Positive vibes only. God is great! Google Maps is better, and don't forget alarm clocks!"

Well that's it for my 2019 Hamtramck Labor Day Fest Exclusive coverage. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend in person this year due to the sinus infection from hell (actually true, and a better excuse than traffic). This bummed me out because I've covered it in person the past two years and actually had a good time. All the artisans put a lot of elbow grease into their art and food, and while the booking of the musical acts is lacking, not many come for the music. Many times the past two years I have seen 0 to 8 people at a stage. That's JCM numbers. I'll spare you the Kimball photo from 2017 or was it 18? Nahhh, no I won't.

Maybe all the band boosters also got caught in traffic. Maybe the entirety of the traffic to begin with were people trying to get to the Fest? We will never know. Btw, this act shifted to Arts, Beats, and Eats for this year (more in a second). I remember my parents taking me to the Labor Day Fest for many years and it was always hopping (although I don't remember a single musical act or if there were any at all). One friend who attended this year said it was the lowest attendance they had ever seen, which sucks because I was also told that Arts, Beats, and Eats was actually overcrowded and parking was a nightmare despite the music lineup being the weakest I have ever seen, aside from a few local acts. Also had the Polish Cowards pulling double duty zzzzzz. Update, the wrestling thing (a great idea btw) and the Canoe Races drew a decent crowd. Cool. I would love to return to the Hamtramck Labor Day Fest next year but the fear is creeping in that its days are numbered, but hey, so are all of ours right?! So remember- One with the music. One with the people. Spread love. Vibrate more. Positive vibes only. God is great! Google Maps is better. Don't forget alarm clocks. And most importantly, follow the buzzards.

*Postscript- Stay tuned later this week for another dissection of a Kickstarter scam. If you are longtime Constant Readers, you know what this means. If you are new, I'll be sure to fill you in.

From the Iceman Commeth,
Bryan Metro