KNAC Radio out of Los Angeles, and now Billboard Magazine and other sources, are reporting that former STP frontman Scott Weiland, 48, has been found dead on his tour bus in Minnesota. Weiland and his latest band The Wildabouts were scheduled to perform in Medina, Minnesota this evening at the Medina Entertainment Center, whose web site shows tonight's show as cancelled.
The vocalist was known for fronting the bands Stone Temple Pilots, as well as the "Supergroup" Velvet Revolver, bands with which he saw his greatest success. His solo efforts proving less so, Weiland's problems with substance abuse, and his often contentious relationships with bandmates, the music press, and fans led him down a difficult path.
by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer
Los Angeles based Suicidal Tendencies is one of the bands opening for Slayer on their current tour, and despite 30+ years of road duty, frontman Mike Muir shows no apparent signs of slowing down. Running from side to side on stage through the whole set, he's still every bit the thrash punk I used to skate too back in the 80s.
Suicidal Tendencies will be touring with Slayer for the rest of their 2014 dates and then have some headlining gigs in December. For a list of tour dates check their site at http://www.suicidaltendencies.com/tour.
by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer
Formed in Richmond California, thrash metal band Exodus is the opener for Slayer on their current tour, with guitarist Gary Holt doing double duty and filling in for fallen guitarist Jeff Hanneman during Slayer's headline set.
Exodus will be touring with Slayer for the rest of their 2014 dates and then have some gigs of their own in December. For a list of tour dates check their web site at http://exodusattack.com/site/tour-dates/.
Primus returned to Austin last night, for the umpteenth time, to perform a unique two set show to a sold out crowd of fans at ACL Live. Austin has long been a favorite tour stop for the band and it's frontman Les Claypool on his many weird and wonderful side projects.
With a bare stage Primus first set was a solid covering of some, but not all, of the bands hits and crowd favorites. Starting with "Too Many Puppies" the band skipped around their career arc hitting "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver", "My Name Is Mud", and others before wrapping the first set with "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver".
After a brief break to build the set and don masks and costumes, the band returned to perform a multimedia performance of their vision of Willie Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's soundtrack. I always found the original film with Gene Wilder more than a bit dark and disturbed but in Les Claypool and Primus hands the music and film takes on a whole new level of twisted, weird, and creepy, like clown paintings by a mass murderer.
With oompa loompas appearing infrequently amongst giant candies and huge inflatable mushrooms Primus with The Fungi Ensemble, led by Claypool wearing a red wig, top hat, and mask proceeded to soundtrack the film, as snippets culled from the movie played on a giant screen behind the band. Favorite songs from the movie such as "Candyman", "Pure Imagination", and "Golden Ticket" were recognizable but just barely as Claypool and his consorts twisted their harmonies into a spooky disquieting melange.
I'm going to start having the oompa loompa nightmares again.
Primus current tour wraps in Escondido, CA this Saturday but the band has a few "one off" gigs in December and January. For a list of tour dates check their site at http://primusville.com/tour/.
Dave Brockie, known to fans of legendary heavy metal act GWAR as Oderus Ungerous from the planet Scumdogia, was found dead in his home in New York yesterday, leaving fans of the band in a state of shock worldwide.
Known for their shock and awe stage shows that often brutalized effigies of political and cultural figureheads with a chainsaw and always left audiences covered in multicolored goo fired from phallic shaped cannons, Dave Brockie's band pushed the boundaries of theater, music, taste, and wet-dry vacs worldwide.
I saw GWAR 4 or 5 times, met Dave once, and was friends with him on Facebook for many years, often chatting with him privately between tours. We always said we were going to connect "next tour" for a beer, but we never seemed to get our schedules to mesh.
Rest in peace Oderus.
The world will be considerably less sticky with your passing, but substantially less interesting.
Thrash metal titans Slayer made a triumphant return to Austin's Auditorium Shores on Sunday night, sneaking in one more outdoor show before the winter chill set in on the river city.
With a set that pays tribute to their fallen guitarist, the late Jeff Hanneman, the fall tour ends in Lowell Massachusetts Nov. 30th. Slayer has just one more Texas stop, Dallas on Wednesday, before they take a winter tour break. For a list of their remaining tour dates check their web site at http://www.slayer.net.
by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer
One of the funnest bands to see perform live, They Might Be Giants stopped in at Austin's Stubb's BarBQ to play to an enthusiastic house of fans last night, launching into a variety of crowd favorites that quickly had the audience engaged. Frontmen John Flansburgh and John Linnell know how to entertain crowds from 8 to 80 and it makes each live gig an experience.
Jeff Hanneman, guitarist, lyricist, and one of the founding members of the legendary and influential thrash-metal band Slayer, has passed away at 49 from liver failure, according to a press release from the bands management.
Hanneman, who has not performed with the Slayer since 2011 while he recovered from necrotizing fasciitis from a spider bite, was instrumental in writing many of the bands more well known songs, and was know for his interest in military history, which caused controversy with some of the bands lyrics. When I last met Jeff, during the recording of the World Painted Blood album in Los Angeles in 2009, we spoke at length about his interests, and I gave him some history books to read on the 2010 tour.
Jeff is survived by his wife of 16 years Kathy, two brothers, Michael and Larry and sister Kathy. Funeral arrangements are pending.
According to a statement posted on the Austin American Statesman web site, legendary Texas entertainer Willie Nelson has changed his scheduled concert at The Backyard April 28, just outside Austin in Bee Cave, into a fundraiser for the West Volunteer Fire Department, devastated by Wednesday's explosion.
“West is just a few miles from my hometown of Abbott,” Nelson said in a statement. “I was born and raised here and it was my backyard growing up. This is my community. These friends and neighbors have always been and are still a part of my life. My heart is praying for the community that we call home.”
Willie Nelson had previously been scheduled to perform with family members Paula Nelson and Lucas Nelson, but as a fundraiser I would expect additions to the lineup from a variety of Austin and Texas based artists, as well as friends of Willie and the Nelson family. It wouldn't be surprising to see Billy Gibbons and the rest of ZZ Top, Lyle Lovett or any number of other Texas artists end up on the schedule as Texas pulls together to help it's own.
UPDATE: 04/19/2013 - "The State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association said Friday morning that it believes 11 firefighters died in the explosion, including four who were emergency medical service personnel."
Adam Duritz and David Bryson's Counting Crows dropped into Austin's Stubb's BarBQ to play to a sold out and enthusiastic house last night, opening with crowd favorite "Round Here".
Rounding out a fall tour that ends in Anaheim Nov. 25th the band has just one more Texas stop, Houston on Monday, before they head west. For a list of their remaining tour dates check their web site at http://www.CountingCrows.com.