Category: Music

The Best TANGERINE DREAM Song of ALL Time?!

Tangerine Dream is easily one of the best instrumental synth groups of all time, they have scored some iconic movies and even some sweet lower grade B-flicks. Creating true atmosphere that can take you to some pretty stunning places with their beautiful scores and trippy albums. Very few can go toe to toe with their brilliance, maybe the likes of John Carpenter & Goblin, come to mind.

This German electronic synth group was founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese with many different musicians joining the fold over the years. Sadly he passed in 2015 but the band continues on without him, for better or for worse. Anyway if you don’t know the group at least I can say you have probably heard them unknowingly in a movie over the years. The other day I came to a bold conclusion, which is in my opinion my top 3 favorite songs by the group. This is an open invitation to have my selections challenged and discover more of their best songs as I haven’t explored their vast scores and albums in their entirely. That being said here are my current picks for their BEST compositions of ALL time!

‘No Man’s Land’ from Hyperborea (1983) 

 As things currently stand I’m gonna have to go out on a limb and say that this is the best Tangerine Dream song of all time. As far as I know this was never used in a soundtrack and that’s a shame because this one takes you places places you’ve never been before flying through different dimensions sit back and close your eyes close your eyes take a puff off your joint and let your mind go wild!  If it’s not their best track it’s at the very least my current favorite…

The close 2nd goes to their mystically dreamy atmospheric track from the soundtrack of 1977’s brilliant mega tense adventure film ‘Sorcerer’ called ‘The Journey’. This song doesn’t play for nearly long enough in the movie but you get just enough of it there to make you search out the full version and behold it’s true glory…

  I’m also gonna have to mention ‘Love on a Real Train’ from 1983’s ‘Risky Business’ soundtrack.  Let’s face the facts without the brilliant tendering dream soundtrack this movie would lose a lot of it’s appeal and emotional flavor. Simply a stunner…

 So my question to you is what do you think are the best Tangerine Dream songs of all time? Please share!!

Top 10 Rock Album Covers by Comic Book Artists?!

There are some epic comic book artists out there in the world, true legends who produced some of the most iconic artwork of all time. I’ve always wondered if any big name comic book artists were employed by rock bands to make album covers? Let’s face it, one of the most important things as a musician is having an unforgettable album cover. So I did a little research of my own to see who, if any, throughout time had actually enlisted these talents! Here’s what I found!

Mark Texiera: Public Enemy, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)

Texiera takes a break from the pages of comic books to spice up Public Enemy’s 1994 release with an awesome LP cover. This is a great example of how wise it is to hire a comic book artist to craft a freakin’ masterpiece cover for your band.

 

Barry Windsor Smith: The Byrds, Preflyte (1973)

Barry is easily one of the greatest comic book artists of all time, who the hell wouldn’t ask the guy to do the art work for their record? This one though was a real surprise I had no idea he dabbled in the music genre with his skills!

 

Bob Camp: Newcleus Jam On Revenge (1984)

Bob Camp did some great work with Marvel Comics in the eighties on titles like The ‘Nam, Conan the Barbarian and G.I. Joe. But what a lot of people forget is that he actually did this iconic cover art for rap supergroup Newcleus!

 

John Byrne: Joe Satriani, Surfing With The Alien  (1987)

Superstar comic book artist John Byrne’s rendering of the Silver Surfer was used for Joe Satriani’s most famous guitar rock album. Apparently no one talked to him about using the artwork and apparently he remains uncredited in the album liner notes!

 

Todd Mcfarlane: Korn, Follow the Leader (1998)

I’ve gotta say I’ve never liked Korn, at all.  In fact I can admit that I actually hate their music. But when I found out they hired Todd McFarlane to do the cover art for their album they won me over just a little bit..

 

Bill Sienkiewicz: RZA, Bobby Digital in Stereo (1998)

Getting Bill to do your cover artwork Is probably about the wisest thing you could do for your damn musical career. The guy is a living legend and one of the best cover artists in all comic book history!  He nails it for RZA!

 

Richard Corben: Meatloaf, Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Corben is responsible for some of the grittiest comic book art out there! He hits a home run here with Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’. Recently I had to come to my own conclusion about Meatloaf, and I find myself in the same frame of mind as I did with Korn. NOT A FAN! But still Meatloaf wins me over employing Corben to make this iconic album cover…

 

Vincent Locke: Cannibal Corpse, Butchered at Birth (1991)

Legendary gore artist extraordinaire, Vincent Locke is best know for his crazy artwork for 80s horror comic Deadworld. With his unforgettable awesome LP cover for Cannibal Corpse he essentially just drew a cover for Deadworld and slapped on their logo and somehow created a truly gore-tas-tic metal massacre masterpiece!

 

Alex Ross: Anthrax, We’ve Come for You All (2003)

Mr. Ross is a true legend and Anthrax made an excellent choice in getting him on deck to craft this beautifully mysterious album cover. Ross is in league of his own and this adds more proof of that bold claim.

 

Jamie Hewlett: Senseless Things, The First of Too Many (1991)

 An amazing power pop punk album from the Senseless Things! This one was in heavy rotation for me when I was in high school. I didn’t make the connection until recently that this artist went on to produce the iconic Tank Girl comic book series!

 

Brian Bolland: Beautiful Happiness (1988) 

Who’d have ever thought that Brian Boland, comic book artist extraordinaire, most well known for Batman: The Killing Joke, was a punk at heart?  Easily one of my favorite comic book artists/cover artists of all time, this shows his true skill in crafting the ultimate punk rock compilation cover!


Freddy Krueger vs. The Goo Goo Dolls?!!

Hey I gotta admit, I love the old Goo Goo Dolls stuff and what most peeps don’t realize is that they started out as a punk rock band! Yep they had a very different sound in the late 80s and even in the early 90s were essentially an extension of sound to Minneapolis’ pop punk icons The Replacements. What even more people have forgotten is their horror themed music video they pumped out back in 1991 for ‘Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare’!

They indeed appeared on the soundtrack with a song called ‘I’m Awake Now’, this was when they were still brilliantly ripping off Paul Westerberg’s sound and touring with The Replacements on their final tours.

As it turns out The Goo Goo Dolls actually have 3 songs featured on the soundtrack as well as others by Iggy Pop & The Junk Monkeys. 

No wonder why I liked them so much back then they obviously were super down with Fred!

 And then there’s this super awesome fan made Freddy’s Dead video as well, that really highlights the movie’s insanity nice work OCPcommunications (a cool Youtube channel) on putting that together-A sweet little Halloween morsel!

Comic Cover of the Week: Marvel’s Epic 80’s Rock Fable!

The more that I think about it and revisit these classic comic book covers, it becomes so apparent, that Bill’s Sienkiewicz is quite possibly the greatest comic book cover artist of ALL time! Here with New Mutants annual #1 from 1984, we again get to see Bill’s amazing craftsmanship on display. I’m honestly quite surprised that bands from the 80s didn’t employ him to create their album covers! They would have been truly epic andvutterly unforgettable! Here’s the Proof!

Movie Review: Classical Thai Horror of ‘The Maestro: Symphony of Terror’!

I’m a big fan of the 1989 cult horror flick ‘The Laughing Dead’, If you’ve never heard of it and are a1980’s gore horror fiend, well I’ve a feeling that it’s gonna be your new favorite “lost” 80s gem. Rumor has it that it just might be getting a fancy blu ray release?! I hope that’s true! Well it’s director/cult horror novelist/composer extraordinaire S.P. Somtow is back after a long hiatus starring in and writing the latest creepy outing all the way from Thailand with ‘The Maestro: Symphony of Terror’.

The tale of a musical genius haunted by his past and pushed into a state of pure insanity, The Maestro tells the story of a mentally unstable man named Arun (S.P. Somtow), a dedicated composer who attempted a run for fame in Europe but ultimately finds himself deeply depressed, back in Thailand teaching rich kids music at a local shopping mall. Behind the scenes though, he’s been secretly planning a wildly dark magnum opus called ‘The Tongues of Angels’, his ultimate goal: premiering it to the entire world on a livestream during the Covid 19 pandemic. His wildly demented ambition however may induce a lot more than musical madness but also death to those who threaten his journey.

So yeah I’ve been quite excited to check this out, but also had hoped Somtow would be at the mantle as director on the project. I really enjoyed his campy approach on ‘The Laughing Dead’ and the comedic elements incorporated with the heavy effects work of legend John Carl Buechler made it a total blast. That all being said ‘The Maestro’ does definitely deliver some of Somtow’s signature tones, but perhaps with a more artistic approach. Director Paul Spurrier does a decent job behind the camera, giving the movie at times a more slick approach then what I’d ultimately prefered. It combines lighter elements of horror with tense hypnotic dark classical music but also has a few more deeply disturbing psychological aspects at hand here as well that at times made me a bit uncomfortable. The lush locales of Thailand combined with Somtow’s intensely creepy musical compositions sonically assault in a truly unique way.


To be quite honest, his beautifully dark score is probably the biggest star of the entire movie. I’d been expecting something quite a bit different, with more old school fx leaning in on much more on the horror side of things. Instead this one plays out more a psychological thriller and is the first movie I’ve seen that takes place actually during the Covid 19 era. We finally see people on screen irritated with and fussing with their masks as well as trying to navigate life through these current bizarre times. But that doesn’t stop the shamed Maestro from seeking out his pawns, a crew of young musicians gathered from his mall class and the even from the streets.

Most of the madness takes place at a stunningly creepy decrepit mansion In the countryside where the symphony of horror begins to take shape. The Maestro has one thing on his mind: his music and will let nothing get in his way of composing the ultimate dark symphony.

This one’s definitely worth a watch, it’s got a great cast of young actors and Somtow shines again as the villain in a similar way he did back in ‘The Laughing Dead’.

I’m glad that S.P. has again returned to his horror roots, overall I think this is a pretty solid return to form. Going forward I’d like to encourage him to get back behind the camera again, I think he’s got the chops that the people thirst for today with the 80s cult camp fanatics. If anything ‘The Maestro: Symphony of Terror’ must be watched for it’s incredible musical finale, which blew me away. I’ll be hunting down the soundtrack for sure!!

The DESCENDENTS Find a Time Machine & Bring Back Their Lost 80s Album!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Descendents, so you can imagine how damn stoked I am for their latest release ‘9th & Walnut’. Long story short, all of these songs from the new album are from the late seventies and early eighties. Lost tracks the band demoed but never released, instead produced a batch of new songs that became their iconic album ‘Milo Goes to College’. 

Well in 2002 the original line up recorded this lost album and in 2020 lead singer Milo Aukerman finally recorded the lead vocals for it. What we end up with is a bonafide classic brought back to the future, literally a lost punk rock time capsule. It oozes of eighties goodness with the sound and type of songs that I feel have been missing largely from the band’s last two albums. 

It also Clearly is oozing with teen angst, nowhere to be found are songs about getting too old or not being able to eat the greasy food you want anymore. Instead we get a batch of snotty love songs and angry punk ragers clearly fueled by a hefty dose of caffeine & french fries. This is the exact way that I love my Descendents, drenched in the 1980s sunshine and no filter.  It’s also notable that the sound comes full circle with the original lineup intact even though sadly guitarist Frank Navetta passed away not long after this was recorded.

Jam packed with classic guitar riffs with plenty of their nostalgic attitude & the sweet melodies of their original bassist Tony Lombardo bring me back to simpler times. This  album IMO is an absolute dream come true for hardcore fans who grew up listening to them in the 1980s. The anthems of those awkward teen nerds come alive one last time with this latest release from the Descendents! Mmmm…TOTALLY!

IRON MAIDEN Returns With Animated Metal Mayhem!

Legendary epic power metal band Iron Maiden has just dropped a brand new god damn song called ‘The Writing on the Wall’ which is accompanied by a brand new fully animated video that channels the cult classic style of the 1980’s movie ‘Heavy Metal’!

This 7 and a 1/2 minute long fully animated music video showcases a post apocalyptic distopian future with warring global factions hellbent on  ending all civilization. It also features plenty of action, cyborgs, monsters and ghostly motorcycle riding wraiths. All with a soundtrack by the epic band. It also features their mascot Eddie in a battle to the death against the evil forces that plague the planet!  At this point we can only speculate and hope that a new album is right around the corner- Maiden fans rejoice! 

U-Dork & Movie Melt Go on a Rad 80’s ‘ROCKIN’ ROAD TRIP’!

Check out the latest episode of the ‘Movie Melt‘ podcast where Universal Dork joins the conversation to cover an obscure summer blast of punk rock shenanigans with 1985’s ‘Rockin’ Road Trip’! 

Yes! We get down to the nitty gritty of this lost 1980’s summer road trip comedy adventure but also spend some time chattim’ about a ton of other weird-o movies, stupid demonic sex and more useless cinematic information than the human brain can comprehend!

Check this ridiculous shit out right HERE and check out the trailer for our wild ass feature presentation!

 

 

Anthrax’s ‘Among The Living’ Coming to a Comic Shop Near You!!

Anthrax’s 1987’s thrash metal epic ‘Among the Living’ was always one of my favorite albums of the genre! I used to listen to it all the time back then and it was the soundtrack to many skateboarding sessions I’d have with my friends. I even had the Among the Living t-shirt with Judge Dredd on it, who they had written a song about on the album. So now Anthrax & Z2 comics have developed a rad new way to explore the album with an original anthology graphic novel comic book! Come July 6th, each song on the album has been given it’s own unique story from an impressive creative team, with a new NOTMAN design by Greg Nicetero of Walking Dead fame!
The album is infectiously catchy, with choruses that stick in your head for years and iconic metal riffs galore, It’s an album of anthems and most uniquely known for it’s songs bases heavily in pop culture of the time. So I’m stoked to take a journey with this when it comes out and give the album a spin while I jump into these new stories.

With big names like Brian Posehn, Corey Taylor & Rob Zombie involved it’s certain to be worth a walk down metal memory lane. The album which a fan favorite, definitely deserves a new audience and I’m ready to mosh like it’s 1987 one more time!

U-Dork Rock: 90’s Alt Pop Punkers DOUGHBOYS + MEGA CITY FOUR Lost Vids!

I rarely ever do music posts here, but every now and again I’ll throw something up that really means something to me. Well today I wanted to share a few videos that recently surfaced from one of my all time favorite nearly forgotten bands, Canada’s own DOUGHBOYS. The Doughboys, who formed in ’86 have been a staple in my teen years right up to today. My best description of them would probably be to call them Canada’s answer to HUSKER DU (except with more focus on vocal harmonies) another of my all time faves. Blending their punk roots with crunchy power pop before the likes of Blink 182 was everyone’s go to idea of what pop punk is. I’d even go as far to say that in the early 90’s they were kinda like what the the classic early Foo Fighters would eventually become.

They also were one of the most entertaining & energetic live bands I’ve ever seen, I often felt bad for any band who had to follow them on a bill and the sheer amount of hair this band had collectively would leave any metal band envious. If you like the sound of what I’m laying out here I recommend checking out their 5 albums, you won’t be disappointed. So back in 1996 these guys released their last album ‘Turn Me On’ and it was one of their best. My old band, Ben Grim, even opened for them once in Green Bay, Wisconsin at the iconic ‘Concert Cafe’ during this period, ah those were the days.

Ok so the one thing that was exciting about this era of the Doughboys was that they replaced their longtime lead guitarist. Normally I’d have been upset by the news, but they chose Darren “Wiz” Brown (RIP), the singer/guitarist of one of my other all time favorite bands, Mega City Four, to keep the band in tact. Mega City Four is basically the British counterpart to bands like Husker DU and the Doughboys & Wiz even co wrote songs with the band. So hearing he’d joined made me and my friends most excited for what they might come up with for their next album. However that sadly was not the case, the Doughboys career didn’t last much longer and to my knowledge they only recorded one song with the Wiz in the line up (unless of course they did some demos?!). Still, he was clearly a Doughboy and was pictured on the album and also in the videos that ‘Turn Me On’ produced.

Yeah there were a couple videos back then that never saw the light of day here in the USA, but now 25 years later they of course surface on Youtube! The damn wonders of the internet, I tell you. So hopefully this post might be seen by other fans of the band. who like me. missed out on them decades ago, it was a big deal for Mega City Four and the Doughboys to merge back in the mid 90’s. For a few minutes upon watching these videos I felt the pressures of the modern day vanish into simpler sweeter times of alternative 90’s rock. Check out ‘I Never Liked You’ one of the band’s best songs from ‘Turn Me On’ that also features the late great Wiz on guitar…

….and another great one ‘Everything and After’ from the same album:

Also some footage I posted from the same era: