Meet nine-year-old Ezra Lux, your new favorite metal blogger/critic

​Behold nine-year-old Ezra Lux, possibly the world's first (and greatest) pre-teen metal blogger. Over at his barely a month old metal blog Crud Wizard (which is also the best name for a metal blog we've heard in a long, long time), Ezra is dropping some serious wisdom, such as this gem of an observation about Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath:

Sometimes it makes me picture someone doing a pole vault, and sometimes it makes me think of ninjas.

And we thought we were the only ones that happened to.

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The Complete Elvis Presley Masters offers truth in advertising -- and then some


Alright, now this is a frightening proposition, just utterly frightening -- and mind you, this is coming from a guy who files taxes each year with somebody who actually has Elvis's visage tattooed on her person. I, perhaps more than most people, have a firm grasp on maniacal, inexplicable fanaticism, especially when it comes to Elvis -- and even I'm completely dumbfounded by this absolutely staggering offering. Just dumbfounded.

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Nathaniel Rateliff gets four stars in MoJo

Growing up in rural Missouri, it's doubtful that the prospect of being written up in the pages of prestigious publications like the New York Times ever crossed Nathaniel Rateliff's mind. That said, you've gotta think that the thought of one day having his music reviewed in the pages of Mojo, one of the world's foremost and most well regarded music magazines, was even less of a consideration.

But there it is on page 105 of the September issue, and not just a review, but a four star send up that mentions Rateliff in the same breath as one of music's most revered and timeless voices. "The first thing you notice is Rateliff's voice -- a sinuous, hard-edged, highly individual instrument," writes Fred Dellar, before later concluding, "Johnny Cash would've loved it." Read the full review after the jump.

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Have you seen this black resonator guitar?

Aaron Thackeray (click to enlarge)
Andy Thomas and his Johnson, electric-acoustic, black, resonator guitar
​Andy Thomas is bummed. Can't say that we blame him. See that beautiful black resonator he's playing here? She's a beauty, yeah? Well, "was" a beauty is more accurate. Seems some unscrupulous jerk apparently swiped it this past weekend after his set with Tin Horn Prayer at the Irish Rover for the UMS.

While shit like this seems to happen entirely all too frequently (see the blog a few weeks ago about Hideous Men having their gear jacked from their car, or Boonie Mayfield's studio being burglarized), it stings even more when it happens to one of our own.

Thomas, you see, isn't just a member of Only Thunder and Tin Horn Prayer, he's also a cherished member of our Backbeat family. That in mind, a favor: If you happen to come across Andy's axe or see someone with it, drop us a line and let us know, will ya?

A half-dozen reasons why I'm gaga for Gaga

​Eclectic taste I may claim to have, but my favorite tunes usually fall into a category I like to call "cry rock" -- if it's likely to make me stare wistfully and pensively out of a coffee shop window while I hack away in my metaphorical Livejournal, I probably love it.

So I was as surprised as anyone when I recently found myself defending Lady Gaga to a room full of people with a zeal I normally reserve for wronged family members, my right to eat meat and a certain brand of underwear (Hanky Panky, if you must know).

I stomped my foot unashamedly in support of her that night, pitch of my voice rising with every listed point of why she is the best pop star on the planet, and I will happily do it again. Here is why she is awesome:

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You've played the Gorillaz music, now play the game

Chances are you've heard the newest Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach at some point since its release. You may not have even been aware of it -- maybe it was in the grocery store or while you were out at a club -- but you've probably heard it. Now you can play the game based on the album on your iPhone/iPad/Touch.

Escape to Plastic Beach is the final part of a three-part episodic game; the first two sections are Flash based games on the bands website. We assume the band hoped you'd get so attached to the story or the game play of the first two free episodes that you'd be willing to drop $1.99 in the App Store. Is it worth it? That depends on how much you love the Gorillaz.

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Alf plays "Don't Play This Song on the Radio" on, well, the radio. What a rebel!

​It's all Pinchers all the time around here. In case you can't tell, we're all sorts of giddy about this pair of reunion shows happening next weekend.

Hell, we've only been waiting for these gigs to take place for, what, like, eighteen years or so? And we purposely (well, some of us) avoided the Murder Pinchers set last weekend at 3 Kings, because, well, we want to have the full effect of seeing the original Pinchers lineup in its entirety (and with Dale Crover) at the Gothic.

As our excitement level continues to build with each day, you can only imagine how stoked we were to find this clip of Alf playing "Don't Play This Song On the Radio" a few nights ago on, well, the radio. Listen to the entire segment and the song after the jump in case you missed it. Oh and don't miss Hypnotic Turtle's interview with K.C. Kasum that we posted yesterday (we just added part two of the chat), plus the vintage Unmasking Satan footage.

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Tjutjuna gets love on Altered Zones, Pitchfork's new sister site

​A big hell yeah for Tjutjuna, who was written up last week on Altered Zones, Pitchfork's sister site, made up of a consortium of forward-thinking bloggers devoted to highlighting "the most notable and adventurous new artists."

Although we have to admit that the writing is a little dense for our simple minds ("Beautiful fireworks illuminate the void like simulacra of cosmic birth, an interstellar dronestorm reflected in the glorious onslaught of Tjutjuna's "Mosquito Hawk."), it seems like quite an endorsement.

And while we're going to have to look up "simulacra" to be absolutely certain, we're pretty sure we agree about "Mosquito Hawk," the song in question. It's pretty nifty.

When was the last time you played a music video? Here's "Inside a Dead Skyscraper," to fill the void

​You can chalk this one up as one of the more brilliant ideas of July 2010: "Inside a Dead Skyscraper" is an interactive music video (aka "music video game") from Jesse Stiles' Target Museum album. You read all that correctly -- it's a music video you can play.

The video itself comes from Italian studio Molleindustria -- a game company known for its predilection to make not-games and mini-epic art pieces. The song itself is a hazmat-pop ditty dealing with the destruction of the World Trade Center. Pretty heavy subject matter to be certain, but the song is fun -- or quirky at least, something in-between Stereolab and Postal Service.

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UMS tipsheet: MGB apologizes in advance -- for everything. Kyle Simmons debuts her new Boys tonight.


A couple quick notes about today's UMS lineup -- but first a post-script to the travelogues we've already posted from Jef Otte and Tom Murphy: Heard bits of Papa Bear from the sidewalk outside the Rover, and it was quite lovely. Very eager to hear more. Caught part of the debut set from the Centennial, the Meese brothers' post Meese project, which features Nathan and Patrick and the latter's lovely wife Tiffany on keys. The brand-spanking new act drew a substantial crowd for its 9 p.m. set, which didn't actually end up kicking off until 9:15 or so, due to sound issues.

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