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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RIP Paul Gray of Slipknot

Tough few weeks for metal heads. Here's a roundup of some of the sad stories of Paul Gray, the bassist from Slipknot who died yesterday:, which is run by Slipknot's label, Roadrunner Records, has a bunch of info, including an interview with Hail!, the side project Gray was working on with ex-Judas Priest vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens.

Slipknot's hometown newspaper, the Des Moines Register, has the nuts and bolts of what happened, as well as a timeline of the band's rise out of Iowa to becoming Grammy winners and one of the best-selling acts in metal.

And for posterity's sake, here's a review I wrote last year for the Weekly Dig of Slipknot's show in Lowell, Mass.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

RIP Ronnie James Dio - Hoist the Devil Horns in his Honor

Anyone who has ever hoisted the devil horn in the air in their life should be paying deep respects today to Ronnie James Dio, who is credited with bringing the hand gesture now synonymous with rocking to the metal world.
In the great documentary, "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey," Dio explains how he brought the gesture to Black Sabbath and ultimately made it as important to metal as guitars, bass, drums, Satan, blow, leather and groupies. Love how he calls Gene Simmons a liar too:

I had the opportunity to cover Dio a few times in Boston, including when he played with Heaven and Hell in 2007 on the Loco Fest with Queensryche. Dio, who hailed from Portsmouth, N.H., cut a diminutive figure physically but was a massive voice, a trailblazer and a metal icon who will be greatly missed.

Poor guy went through seven rounds of chemo for stomach cancer but just couldn't beat it. RIP bro . . .

This from the Boston Herald:

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67

By Associated Press
Sunday, May 16, 2010 - Updated 1h ago
E-mail Print (7) Comments Text size Share Buzz up!
Ronnie James Dio, whose soaring vocals, poetic lyrics and mythic tales of a never-ending struggle between good and evil broke new ground in heavy metal, died Sunday, according to a statement from his wife and manager. He was 67.

Dio revealed last summer that he was suffering from stomach cancer shortly after wrapping up a tour in Atlantic City, N.J., with the latest incarnation of Black Sabbath, under the name Heaven And Hell.

"Today my heart is broken," Wendy Dio wrote on the singer’s site, adding he died at 7:45 a.m. "Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away.

"Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all," Wendy Dio continued. "We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us ... Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."

The statement was confirmed by Los Angeles publicist Maureen O’Connor. Dio was being treated at a Houston hospital, according to his site.

Read the rest here . . .

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mayor Menino Spends $400K on Firefighters' Fight; "state of emergency" in Boston; and Juwan Howard Being Stalked by Boston Guy!

The taxpayer tab for the Boston firefighters contract dispute has reached $400,000 - and counting. Read my story in today's Boston Herald.

Also, the Rev. Bruce Wall wants Boston City Council to declare a "state of emergency" because of the latest violence to hit the city.

Finally, check out this great exclusive by my colleagues Katy Jordan and O'Ryan Johnson. Crazy - Trailblazers' Juwan Howard is (allegedly) being threatened and harassed by some angry dude from Dorchester. Only in Boston . . .

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Politics: MIT Labor Guru Steps into Boston Firefighter contract; Plus - New Music: Danko Jones, Blood of Heroes and more!

The fighting over the new Boston Firefighters contract continues at City Hall with the city saying the deal will bust the city's budget at more than $74 million and an arbitrator claiming it's a $39 million package. The City Council, which will vote on the deal at some point, has brought in an MIT professor to decide. Here's a bit of my story from today's Boston Herald:

MIT labor relations prof to review BFD contract
By Dave Wedge

An MIT labor relations whiz is being brought in to sift through a state arbitrator’s complex and costly award to the Boston firefighters as the City Council mulls whether to fund the controversial deal.

Council President Michael Ross tapped Professor Thomas A. Kochan, a labor relations professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, to conduct an independent review of the contract. The raises in the deal have been estimated to be worth anywhere from $39 million to $74 million. Kochan will be unpaid.

“This is a critical issue,” Ross wrote to Menino yesterday, informing the mayor of Kochan’s review. “The question before the council should be whether or not to fund the award, not whether the appropriations figure is correct.”

Musically, check out my Q & A with Toronto rocker Danko Jones on Lime Wire Music Blog. And my review of the new album, Below the Belt.

And my review of the new album by Brooklyn experimentalist legend Bill Laswell's new project, The Blood of Heroes:

Album review: The Blood of Heroes – ‘The Blood of Heroes’ (Ohm Resistance)
Somewhere between the chaos of the most extreme metal on the planet and the trippiest ambient electronica and chill-hop lies a musical netherworld ripe for exploration. Genre-testing Brooklyn experimentalist extraordinaire Bill Laswell has made a life of testing these waters, whether bringing together funk keyboard titan Bernie Worrell and guitarist Buckethead, remixing Ozzy Osbourne and Herbie Hancock, or collaborating with artists as varied as DJ Krush and Serj Tankian.
Read the rest here . . .

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Court Workers Union vs. Judges and Boston vs. Arizona and

The union that represents Massachusetts court workers is fuming that judges are playing hooky to meditate while their members are getting wage freezes and facing layoffs. Read my story in the Boston Herald.

And the Boston City Council waded into the Arizona immigration flap, followed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who says he's going to cancel contracts with companies that support the controversial new Arizona law.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mass. Judges Skip Work to "meditate" - Boston Herald

Harvard doc helps judges open minds

By Dave Wedge
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - Updated 0m ago

Dozens of Bay State judges followed their bliss and abandoned the bench to mellow out with a meditation guru who taught them how to boost their “concentration” in the courtroom.

The six-hour conference - scheduled for a Friday - featured noted Harvard meditation expert Dr. Daniel Brown and attracted 66 of the state’s 80 superior court judges.

It was such a hit other judges are shedding their robes for some deep reflection . . .

Read the rest here

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FREE DOWNLOAD! New Glitch Mob track - remix Krazy Baldhead

From our friends at Magnum PR comes a slamming new nugget from LA party kids The Glitch Mob. "The Fourth Movement" is a, well, glitchy remix of a track by French electro guy Krazy Baldhead.
Catch Glitch Mob tomorrow night at the Middle East, Cambridge. And look for my piece on them soon in Big Shot magazine.

Enjoy this digital chaos . . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

Never Forget??? And a Swedish Idol in Boston!

You know all those "never forget" bumper stickers, hats and other propaganda that so many are fond of sporting? Well it seems that some people have forgotten. At least at Logan International Airport, which is where the terrorists launched their evil plot.
Read my Boston Herald report about cuts to the state police at Logan.

And here's a little something about Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and his ties to the Republican Governors Association, which lobbed a $1 million attack ad at Treasurer Tim Cahill this week.

And for good measure, here's a little feature I did on a Boston visit from rising pop starlet Agnes, winner of Swedish Idol.

Have a great week . . .