Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Attila- The Chaos tour at the Granada

Written By Mikhael Sublett              

             Sunday night The Granada, in Lawrence, KS, rumbled as Attila shook the foundations with a raw and stellar performance in support of their newest album, Chaos. If you missed it, you should repent. It was a thrill ride from beginning to end. From the audience chanting “Suck my Fuck” to Chris Fronzak’s villain salute Attila delivered one of the best metal shows of the year, and it was right in KC’s back yard.

             To be honest, until a few days before the show, I had never heard of Attila. My time in the metal community included getting bruised in Cannibal Corpse circle pits and blowing out my voice slamming out Glen Benton lyrics. Though I kept up with the new acts, Attila seemed to slip right by me. When I saw their name on The Granada’s upcoming act list, and Chelsea Grin opening for them, I was intrigued. Chelsea is one of my metal music affairs, and I was curious to who this band was that had such a phenomenal, and thrash god group opening for them. I shot an email to the Granada and requested the opportunity to review the show. They approved. Buckle up, this is a hell of a ride!
"Protest this, Bitch!"
        We got to the venue just after Emmure left the stage. We instantly regretted missing the first two acts, but got a play by play from the fans taking a smoke break while the venue changed sets. One fan, after seeing my press credentials, immediately began telling me the metal community was alive and well in Northeast Kansas, and thanked me for coming out to cover the show. Each fan I spoke with was warm and welcoming to us and expressed their high points of the show so far, and how juiced they were to see Chelsea Grin and Attila. A few of them even mockingly scolded us for being late. My response was simple “Metal is habitually 30 minutes late” and grinned. They laughed and threw up horns. The community hasn’t changed. It is still just as inviting as it’s always been.
          We made our way into the venue and took a spot near the steps to the balcony. Chelsea Grin was coming on. My writer, Mandy Thomas, reviewed their set. You can check it out here. If you missed it, you missed a hell of a show. Chelsea Grin still puts on a flawless performance and their interaction with their fans is beyond awesome. So, while I enjoyed the show, Mandy was working. Sorry Mandy, but it was Chelsea fucking Grin! That’s ok though, I was there to review Attila.  Chelsea finished their set and left the stage. As the roadies were setting up for Attila, Mandy and I took a better spot, closer to the stage. I wanted the whole concert experience, and I got it.
Photo Credit: Mandy Thomas
           The lights dropped and left us in complete darkness. The audience started chanting “Suck my Fuck” as if in a séance to summon the group. The PA speakers blared reports of the notorious acts of front man Chris Fronzack, boasting each incident as a life accomplishment and badge of honor. The lights came up, and the band came on stage with an explosion of profanity laden lyrics and instantly addictive riffs. Fronzacks energy and stage presence was synergistic with his audience. The fans sang, moved, and screamed with the members of Attila throughout the show.  At one point Fronzack addressed the audience stating, “There are no rules at an Attila concert! I want to see a circle pit in the middle of the crowd. I want to see crowd surfing. I want to get all of you to the front!”  The crowd was all too happy to comply.  
Metal Voice
           The high point of the show came when Attila’s front man invited two fans on the stage to sing with Attila. He called it “A metal version of The Voice”. The two audience members, both clad in red Attila tank tops, were given mics and were told to vocally try out. The band played some riffs and each ‘contestant’ KILLED it. Fronzack said both fans were talented and he could not bring himself to send one of them back. The three of them belted out ‘Payback’. It was a hell of performance, and he made the month of two fans.
         This was, by far, one of the best metal shows I’ve been to in years. The fans and venue were incredibly inviting and accepting. I was happy to see pit etiquette still being practiced. If someone goes down, two pick them up. That is the metal community practice, in and out of the pit.

           If you missed this show, do yourself a favor and go see them when you get a chance. Attila’s live show is an experience you do not want to miss. Also, do yourself another favor and check out their album, Chaos. You will not regret it.





The Twisted Chelsea Grin Show at the Granada

Written By: Staff Writer Mandy Thomas

Photo Credit: Mandy Thomas
              Being a lifelong resident of the Lawrence/Douglas County area I was unaware of the exceptional metal scene that the Granada had to offer until Sunday night when Chelsea Grin joined bands Skylar, Emmure and Attila for an evening of mosh pits, crowd surfing and a house full of metal fans that came from all walks of life to enjoy the show.

            Chelsea Grin kept the house rocking from the first note to the last echoes of the roof being blown off the classic venue by their set as fans joined in to sing along with the lyrics, bump their fists to the intense drumline and surf to the front of the crowd as the bassline worked in tandem with the wails from the guitar riffs to keep heads banging with each and every song the band played in their set.
Photo Credit: Mandy Thomas
           Based out of Salt Lake City and formed in 2007, Chelsea Grin seems to have carved out their own niche in the deathcore genre of metal and while their style does remind me of what one could expect if Slayer and A Perfect Circle had a metal love child, the similarities pale in comparison to the unique style this band offers by their stage presence alone.

            Despite the stereotypes metal bands and shows have, the crowd, venue, security and band worked incredibly well with one another to offer even the most novice or timid metal fan a positive experience in a safe atmosphere that offers a hospitable nature--even in the “pit” because from what I could see that if a man fell down, those around him were there to pull him back up. The band themselves seemed to be very interactive with the audience and showed their gratitude to those who came out by putting on an incredible show that left this smiling as big as a Chelsea Grin.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Metal Heads and Social Justice Warriors clash over Troglodyte show at the Granada

Written by: Mikhael Sublett

       Last Saturday, Troglodyte, a Bigfoot inspired death metal band,  performed at the Granada theater, in Lawrence, Ks in support of the Hammerween VII show.  When Troglodyte started their set, a mock protester came on the stage holding a sign that read "Bigfoot Lives Matter" ,(which was also written on the bands bass drum) and was promptly thrown off the stage by the band, The audience seemed to enjoy the spectacle and the band continued with their set. That is when the issues started.

from facebook

 The Facebook Group "I Heart Local Music" , a Lawrence media source that covers local acts in the city, posted a statement condemning Troglodyte claiming the band was mocking the Lawrence chapter of Black Lives Matter. The page went on to say they will not be covering Troglodyte due to the skit. The post got mixed reactions ranging from full support of their condemnation of the band to metal fans criticizing the ethics of the admin of the site, for being unable to remain impartial.


Granada apology from FB

         The next day, the Granada issued this apology to the fans and to the Black Lives Matter chapter for the incident. Social media exploded with comments condemning the venue for apologizing for the band and even accused the venue of censoring artists for the sake of politically correct behavior. Massev caught up with the Granada to discuss the apology and the backlash the event created on social media. 

       A spokesperson from the Granada stated she issued the apology statement to reinfirce their letter of solidarity to BLM issued earlier. She stated she had no idea the comments between the supporters of BLM and the fans of the band would have gotten so hostile. She said she knew the members of Troglodyte and they are not anti-BLM, that the opposite is true. She stated it is not the intention to censor any act that the Granada hosts but want to make sure each act respects the stance they hold. Concerning the comments, She said she wished she could have turned the comments off after the post.

We did reach out to Troglodyte for a statement, but as of the time of this writing we haven't gotten a response.

When we contacted the Lawrence BLM chapter coordinator Caleb Stephens and asked if he had a comment he said "Nope. The Granada and I Heart Local Music did a good job and actively communicated with us." 

Click Here for  a video of the Troglodyte show. the incident in question is in the first minute or two of the recording. 

Editors note: It is illegal to kill a Bigfoot in California. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Your Cable Guy and You-Things your installers wish you knew

Written by: Mikhael Sublett

     We all have a love/hate relationship with the cable companies. Like a scorned lover we complain incessantly about them. We slander the providers and hate ourselves for needing the 200+ channels of nothing to watch. God forbid we lose service while watching a ball game or the season finale of our favorite show. Even while waiting for installation, we are already contemptuous, believing the delusion that our installer only has our house to hook up.

     I often wondered what it was like to be an installer. I was pretty sure it was never easy to deal with cable subscribers. After all, we are conditioned to have such disgust with any telcom provider and I am sure that carried over to the installer. I caught up with a few cable installers and asked them about their jobs, and more importantly, what they wish we knew. Here are a few responses:

"When I arrive to do your install on a Sunday, don't act surprised that I am here on the weekend. You set the appointment." -William, TWC

"FBI Surveillance Van is not an original,or clever, wifi name. You will not freak out your neighbors with that SSID."-Andrew AT&T

"Don't be suprised that I am here on a holiday. You set the appointment. I am missing family time so you can catch Dexter on demand"-Mitchell, Cox communications

"Don't call me 'Larry'" -Angela, DTV

"Move your furniture away from the wall before I start working. I am a technician, not a moving company." -John, Charter

"Most of the remotes are the same design. From the remotes alone it really doesn't matter what company you go with." -Charles, Time Warner

" Please put your dogs away. I am sure 'they would never bite anyone' but lets not take that chance" -Justin, Dish Network

"A mu mu with nothing underneath is not appropriate attire for me to see you in. Drug use in front of me is also frowned upon."-Jacob, AT&T

"That Jim Carey movie, The Cable Guy, is not entirely accurate. Please stop asking me that.: James-WOW!

"Don't apologize for your messy house. You knew it was messy before I got here. Just make sure I'm not putting my knee in dog crap." -Daniel, Charter

"Yes, we do need training to do this job." -Cassie, Time Warner

"We already know that 'The lady on the phone who told you we would do a 5 story interior wall fish' does not exist. Please quit trying to convince us she does." Mitchell, Consolidated Communications

"When we tell you it can't be done, don't throw a fit. Don't call customer service saying I am incompetent. If I tell you it can't be done it is because it is a safety risk to me and/or a property damage risk for you." - Cody, Cox Communications

"Don't tell us how to do our jobs or freak out because "we touched your couch".- Jackson, Comcast

"Yes, we know it is 2016 and we still don't have wireless boxes" -William, Time Warner

"Your basement is finished. We can not fish a line from your basement to your interior office on the third floor. Call a magician." Carl, Comcast

"Don't expect our internet service is going to work on your windows 95 computer. Upgrade." -Jacob, Consolidated Communications

"We sometimes have to do 12 or more installs per day. Sometimes we don't have time for lunch. On the rare occasion that we get lunch, please don't interrupt it by asking me when your install is going to be. Just call customer service." -Henry, Time Warner

"If you see me in public and I am not wearing my uniform that means I am not working. Do not approach me, especially when I am having dinner with my family, and start complaining that your whole house DVR isn't recording The Walking Dead." Eric-TWC

" It's just TV, nothing to get worked up about." -Mario, COX

     So, there you have it. Your cable guy is just as human as you are. It may come as some surprise, but I bet if we keep these things in mind the experience will be positive for all of us.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Suicide Squad-A Massev Movie Review

    Written by:Mikhael Sublett  

           We all love the bad guys. A good bad guy is what makes any story. It doesn't matter if it's summer blockbuster selling out the multiplexes, or a book from the 50 cent bin at your local comic shop, we are attracted to the villain. The most memorable, and best villains, we actually cheer for. When you take some of the best villains from the DC universe and put them into one film, you get Suicide Squad.

         I will keep this review as spoiler free as possible. The film has only been out a week. before I get into the meat of the story, lets talk about the elephant in the room: Leto's Joker. Each actor played the Joker based on their own interpretation. I loved Nicholson's portrayal in Tim Burton's Batman, but Ledger stole the part. Leto brought something to the role that his predecessors neglected, or overlooked completely. That was the Jokers humanity. You see it, if only for a moment, but it is there.  That is what won me over. Leto is a douche, we all agree. However, his Joker works in Suicide Squad, and is horribly underutilized. I understand why this was necessary, as his complete inclusion would overshadow the story. He had to be in the background for the film to work. 

          Now, on to the film. IT WAS SPECTACULAR! The pace was amazing. The casting was spot-on. Will Smith's Deadshot was the perfect anti-hero in this group. He brought a believable performance of an assassin anti-hero with charm that only Smith could bring to the table. Margo Robbie's Harley Quinn was spot on. Sexy, dangerous, and psychotic with eyes only for her 'puddin'. The best part about her character, for me, was that the writers did not forget she is a doctor. Jai Courtney's Boomerang brought some comic relief into the team, and played his role well. My favorites, though, were Diablo and Croc. 

        Jay Hernandez as Diablo was fantastic! He was the villain that took a vow never to use his power. His back story was heart wrenching, to say the least. You instantly fall in love with this character, and cheer him on every step of the way.

         Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje's Killer Croc was beyond description. His makeup was absolutely amazing, making him larger than life. He had, maybe six or so lines through the film, but he's Killer Croc for Christ sakes. He doesn't need a lot of words to get his point across. 

         As I said, this is spoiler free, but the best scene in the film, for me anyway, was the "Fuck it, lets get a drink" scene. The team breaks into a bar, in the middle of the fight, and starts throwing back shots. Trust me, it will be yours too.

     Visually, this movie is dirty pretty from the opening credits to the end and everything in between. Its been more than a decade since I've wanted to purchase a movie soundtrack. It was so well selected that it perfectly punctuated every scene. From the amazing soundtrack, to the chemical kiss scene, Suicide Squad is a must see, must torrent, and must buy. Let me know what you think after you check it out.


Friday, August 5, 2016

KCXW-Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling!

 Written by:Mikhael Sublett

KCXW Pro Wrestling

    Kansas City wrestling fans! There is a new sheriff in town. His name is Jordan Smiley, President of Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling.  July 30th KCXW hosted a double elimination event at Pearson Community Center in KCK. Two separate events, two cards, 14 matches.

     The organization does not use belts to signify a champion. Rather, they use a point system. Each event is worth a determined number, and the competition is between teams rather than individual wrestlers. For instance. When 'The Kingpin" Angel Medina faced off against Kyle King, and won, he didn't just take the point for himself, but for his team. It is a new, and fresh system to determine a champion, and sets the org apart from all other pro wrestling federations.

Captian Shabam
Jason Savior and JC Thunder
  The wrestlers are all incredibly charismatic and sell their personas well. Captian Shabam, dressed in a yellow and black costume taking on the persona of a super hero, instantly winning the hearts and imaginations of the audience. His small stature has one believing in his alter ego as every match is a David vs Goliath bout. Jason Savior, a persona trapped between "Hero" and "Heel", states he is a devout christian in the ring, claims to refuse to cheat, yet always finds that short cut. His match against JC Thunder, in the second event, is a great example. When the referee tells both men there will be no cheating in their match, and manages to break up cheating several times in the same match, the wrestlers turn on the ref. They simultaneously kick him in the balls and leave the ring. That match brought a lot of laughs and entertainment to the evening.

         We also got to see Curtis Wylde put through a table by Curt Gannon and Leo D, of  the Stranglers, from the top rope at the end of the Tag Team Table Match. The audience seemed to love that turn out. There is something special about watching a wrestler get slammed through a table, It is almost as classic as the folding chair.

David Cattin
President Jordan Smiley
          Heels are every bit as important in Pro Wrestling as the Hero. In some cases, I would say they are more important. David "Smooth as Satin" Cattin is a prime example of this idea. He is the wrestler everybody loves to hate. A cross between Chris Jericho and Cobra Commander, and cool simply because his mom says he is, takes the heel to a whole new level. His arch nemesis is not another wrestler. That would be too easy for Cattin. His nemesis is his boss, Org President Jordan Smiley, who flirts with the Heel persona himself. Cattin, the self professed "leader of the pack' is put in a lumberjack tag match by Smiley himself. Smiley also orders the other wrestlers to stand around the ring to keep Cattin from running. The match ended with Cattin losing, and "The Pack" eliminated. Cattin leaves the ring saying he needs to "think about this". Those words left the crowd wondering what Cattin was going to do next, knowing full well that he would not take that loss lightly.


 Then there's the folding chair. The most beloved of any wrestling character. We all love to see it. We all love the metallic thud it makes when someone is hit by it. It is the superstar of all foreign objects. It made several appearances between the two events.


        As the evening continued I found myself impressed by this organization of professional wrestlers. Their moves were fluid and believable. They stayed in a constant state of audience participation, with fights leaving the ring and landing on the floor, or wrestlers answering the hecklers from the ring itself. When the event was over, the wrestlers interacted with the fans. The ego was left at the door. They knew they did this for the people in the seats, chanting or cursing their names.They knew they brought the two hours of magic to the wrestling fans. They were happy and honored to do it.

     KCXW has several events planned throughout the year. The next one will be Sunday Night Takeover II on August 14th at 6:00 pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Takeover III is slotted for September 18, 6:00 pm, also at Alamo Drafthouse. You can learn more about the org from their website by clicking here





Friday, July 29, 2016

Hundreds meet at South Park in Lawrence, Ks for Black Lives Matter vigil

Written by:Mikhael Sublett      

           In the wake of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings, hundreds from all races congregated at South Park in Lawrence, Ks for a candle light vigil hosted by LFK and Black Lives Matter. The vigil was promoted to be an event to honor the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as to provide a safe place for people of color, as well as gay and trans to congregate and mourn and to be heard.The event started at about 8 pm and lasted past 10 pm.  The speakers each shared stories of fear and persecution at the hands of police officers, subtle racist remarks from white friends, and pleas for justice and conversation.

Caleb Stephens
  Event coordinator and inter-sectional clinician, Caleb Stephens, spoke passionately to the audience about love and justice. He said: ":The love you are sending to us is good, but it is not good enough. Because love without action is nothing." He also stated, "Justice lives and is active. Justice is not 'I will pray for you' it is ' I will walk and fight with you.'" and, he went on to say, "We have a right to safety, but not to comfort."

Jameelah Jones
           When Jameelah Jones took the mic, she began by reminding the white audience members that, "nice is not the opposite of racism." She then shared her 'stream of consciousness' Facebook posts surrounding the shootings.  Her statements ranged from "Holy God, #altonsterling" to "What happens when you realize the police officer shot Alton Sterling, then probably went home to make a left over plate from that BBQ they just had to celebrate freedom in America #heartbroken" She was interrupted midway through her speech when a white male took the mic, and began to quote the bible concerning unity, and how they are doing it wrong. The man was promptly escorted from the area and Jameelah continued.


    Of all the speakers, the two most profound for me were a man named Patrick, and a child named Quincy. Patrick's speech resonated Martin Luther King Jr. with his requests for conversation and communication. After telling his story, the trials he faced in his life and ultimately conquered, he left the mic with a single request. He said, "You know what I look like, come up and start a conversation."

          Little Quincy simply stated, "I matter."

          Of the 20 or so speakers, the theme seemed constant. Conversation, fear, anger, and demands for justice. I thought I got it. I had a few questions for Caleb, the coordinator and one of the key speakers. I approached him and started to ask him one. He put his hand up to me and simply said,

" I am speaking with people of color right now."

          I jokingly responded with, "I am Jewish! Does that count?" I don't think he heard me, as he was walking away. What I do know is I was shut out. I turned to my production assistant and asked him what just happened. He shrugged his shoulders in disbelief. Normally, when a journalist is shut out it is due to the interviewee being offended, busy, or just doesn't want to talk. I was shut out, at that moment, because people of color had priority. As my PA and I were walking back to the car, I finally got it. I finally understood. Caleb educated me. He showed me what it was like to be him. Educated, with something to say, but shut down because I did not resemble him. Because I was the wrong color. That lesson stuck with me. Determined, I was going to get my interview of three questions from him.

          The next day I reached out to him by phone. We agreed to have a phone interview that afternoon. However, from the morning to the interview I reevaluated everything I have seen and heard concerning the claims of BLM. Hell, the claims of every person of color I ever knew. I realized that something was, in fact, very broken, and excuses were no longer acceptable. It was time to acknowledge there is a problem in our country regarding race. That the end was not desegregation. The marches did not end when our parents came home from Selma. That the issue of race continues to rear its head, smirking at each one of us in our arrogance and ignorance of the issues of Black America. I thanked him for the incident. He taught me what it was like to be like him. He was glad that is what I took from it.

Caleb said, "Liberation is not the responsibility of the oppressed but of the privileged" Indeed.

Editor note: There were several speakers at this rally. All were inspiring and heartbreaking and they deserves to be heard. In an event of this size, I have my PA video the event for note taking purposes. I will be working on the video to post in the coming weeks, despite the picture quality, the sound quality is fantastic. Also, this event was much too large to cover in one article, so expect a few more after this,. Lots of exciting things coming up from the Lawrence BLM chapter. Stay tuned!.