By now longtime subscribers to TNUC probably think I’m biased when it comes to any music released by Zombi, Majeure, Lovelock, Contact, Gianni Rossi and the rest of the Steve Moore and AE Paterra projects. Truth be told, these synth tycoons simply create the best sounding electronic music in today’s market.
The meatiest of these projects is ZOMBI, Moore and Paterra’s first and probably best-known creation. My first listen to the band was back in 2006 when they released ‘Surface to Air’, a record melted my melon directly on impact. Since then, Uncle T has been a big fan of pretty much everything they deliver.
It was announced yesterday that Zombi will return to release their 6th studio effort Shape Shift on October 16th via Relapse Records. In a recent interview Moore had this to say: “It’s a rock record — think of it as a follow-up to [2006’s] Surface to Air,”…”There are no techno jams or symphonic prog fantasies. No solo track interludes. We have officially moved from ‘studio project’ mode back into ‘live band’ mode.”
Listen to ‘Pillars of the Dawn’ and listen loudly. If this track is any indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, we’re all in for a long, dark and sketchy treat. ‘Pillars’ is Zombi blatantly telling us that they’re NOT FUCKING AROUND IN 2015. As much as I love the band’s more ambient work of the past few years, this percussion + synth + bass + ludes’ serum is tremendously refreshing to ingest. With the recent resurgence of synth-based soundtracks and bands heading into more electronic territory on albums, Uncle T was suffering from a slight overkill of keyboards. Zombi however, play this music with the attitude of a classic rock band and it’s seriously exhilarating. That old, familiar feeling of an instrumental version of Rush jamming with a pack of Italian horror maestros inside Disney’s Space Mountain was what drew my attention to this band in the first place.
Apparently Zombi have experienced a surge of enlightenment over the last year or so which is presumably from touring with legendary Italian soundtrack masters Goblin. Steve Moore has also been busy scoring such films as 2014’s The Guest, the upcoming Cub, and later this year with The Mind’s Eye. The forthcoming Shape Shift should see Zombi not pulling any punches and doing what they do best: making celestial, sinister, otherworldly, lurking, proggy synth-rock. THE REAL DEAL. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Hey, remember this?…
A few years ago TNUC teamed up with the powerhouse giants at Pontiac to deliver the ‘CONQUER THE WIND’ EP. The 6-track collection featured each electrifying Pontiac TV commercial from 1982 – 1988, in audio form. For the first time fans could strap on a pair of headphones and build-the-excitement whenever they pleased. The only issue? The company’s most memorable jingle of the bunch, “Ride Pontiac Ride”, was only a minute long. Fans were left feeling thirsty, and horny…for more.
FOR THE 1ST TIME SINCE 1988, THE WAIT IS OVER.
Uncle T pulled some strings and got the out-of-work maniacs at Pontiac to unearth the FULL, two-minute and thirty-two second version of the monster hit tune. Dig in and enjoy.
Does it satisfy your voracious appetite? Now watch the video version below!
Everybody knows that fast cars, trench-coats and steamy nights have been a weekly topic around here almost since the dawn of TNUC. Even still, this might be the first time I’ve witnessed something that manages to harness EVERYTHING we stand for so tremendously in a single package. Neon nights, hair flips, sexy silhouettes, drum machines, cool leather, snarling guitars, making out in the rain, rising RPMs, pop-up headlamps, foggy streets, seductive stares and grainy synths. It’s all here disciples, and we can’t express how satisfying it is.
‘RIDE, PONTIAC, RIDE’
“Wait a minute…Marcie Free of King Kobra? Something doesn’t sound right. The lead singer of King Kobra was a dude who sang in an AOR, power-vocal style. Wasn’t his name MARK? Then again…when was the last time I listened to King Kobra (if ever)?”
All these bewildering questions are about to be answered as we crown Mark Free AKA Marcie Free our Lost-Legend-Of-The-Month for July!
Before we begin, allow your anticipation to fly to the sky by watching King Kobra’s classic ‘Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)’ music video from the Iron Eagle soundtrack (1986). Seriously though, this is mandatory viewing if you wish to continue.
Go ahead and mention King Kobra the next time you’re in line at the deli and the conversation will typically revolve around three distinct memories. One would be the band’s semi-hit song from the soundtrack as mentioned above. Two, their drummer was the legendary Carmine Appice, who played with Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, Ted Nugent and Blue Murder (just to name a few). Or three, that 4 out of 5 band members had matching platinum-blonde manes.
Yet the most interesting and mind-blowing fact of all – which many people don’t mention – is that in 1993 their former vocalist Mark Free underwent sex change surgery to become Marcie Free!
“Marcie” burst on the scene a few years after the original King Kobra lineup broke up, but people were still shocked at the time, especially in the rock n’ roll world where this sort of act wasn’t a regular occurrence. Then again, this era of heavy metal was predominantly males with long hair + makeup who pranced around in spandex, so it really couldn’t have been that shocking.
The boys on vacation in Mexico. “Mark” on the far right, looking a little…off.
When looking way back at the early years of the era, bands like New York Dolls, Twisted Sister and eventually Mötley Crüe all indeed looked like women – but they backed it up with tough tunes and a “street” attitude if you heard the music. Still, the strange mixture of macho-ism and homo-eroticism in hair metal really peaked into new and highly questionable levels during the later part of the decade when the scene became over-saturated with everyone wanting to look the part. Bands like Pretty Boy Floyd, Nelson, Britny Fox and King Kobra emerged almost overnight it seemed. Even if some of them packed the talent, the image was so over the top that people had to start wondering what was really going on. *For a prime example of this, go watch The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years (out now for the first time on Blu-Ray/DVD from Shout Factory!)*
So it isn’t entirely shocking to hear that Mark Free wanted his johnson hacked off to transform into a full-blown lady. He had the musical chops so none of it really mattered anyways. In fact, Marcie was probably the most talented of the bunch with that high-soaring, melodic vocal range. She just fit more into the Steve Perry and John Parr category than with the heavy metal meatheads.
Nope, no early signs here at all!
To shed a little history on the career of the band, King Kobra released two noteworthy albums in the mid-eighties. In 1985 Ready to Strike was unleashed which is considered a glam metal classic among fans. The band spent months on the road during this time opening up for heavyweights like KISS and Iron Maiden. Their follow-up record Thrill of a Lifetime came a year later and saw the band adopting a more radio-friendly, AOR sound. Both records weren’t big enough hits to see King Kobra rise to the top of the heavy metal food chain and soon enough different members of the band were dropping out. The first member to bail was Johnny Rod in late of 86′ when he took Blackie Lawless’ $800 a week offer to play bass for W.A.S.P. Before Mark/Marcie left the group, she contributed vocals to the Black Roses soundtrack, singing the part of fictional horror-rock band in the movie.
We at the Land of TNUC are very pleased to hoist up our very first transsexual in his sacred land that we call home. With all the Chaz’s and Caitlyn’s making headlines these days, why not congratulate a true talent and veteran of the heavy metal scene?
Marcie continued with music after the band broke up with the melodic-rock projects such as Signal and Unruly Child. She went through a ‘lost’ period for a number of years but has resurfaced during the past few years to make new music and perform. According to several interviews she is happy and looking forward to making a comeback.
If King Kobra would like to reform their original lineup and play at Uncle T’s pool party this summer, by all means PLEASE give us a call!
[Lost-Legend-Of-The-Month is a heartwrenching chronicle of forgotten iconic warriors who were either wiped off the face of the planet for reasons unknown or simply never got the chance to “peak” during their short-lived careers. We cherish these individuals and devote an entire month to celebrate their impact on society. To see the rest of em’, go here.]
It all started with a trickle of sweat. That first inkling of perspiration which climbed down Big Mike’s neanderthal forehead, past his serious beak and over his chiseled cheek. As it fell to the ground, he woke up on the beach from his winter slumber and let out a gorilla-sized moan that shook coconuts from nearby trees and had families holding on to each other for safety. What happened next will be for history books to teach the children of the future.
Just as the founding fathers rode to Independence Hall in 1776, Big Mike stood up and galloped straight from Malibu all the way to San Diego, pulling a gladiator chariot packed with every member of Journey (re-united w/ Steve Perry), The Barbarian Brothers, Beer Wolf, 100 partying ladies and 100 gallons of beer. He would end up running about 150 miles, pulling the chariot in one hand and waving a giant American flag in the other.
This physical triumph was made possible only because of a 43 minute power-hour called BIG MIKE’S ALL-AMERICAN MEGA-MOTIVATION MIX! Pure adrenaline. The ultimate rush. Other guys snort for it, jab a vein for it – all you gotta’ do is press play!
Big Mike’s love for everything red, white & blue knows no boundaries but it especially shines during this musical freedom quest. From sports cars to Venice Beach, movies, pancakes, angus beef, supplements and soft drinks like Crystal Pepsi, he cherishes every inch of this great nation more than anything. These songs were obviously chosen with no ironic point of view or any of that bullshit. This is uplifting, no-holds-barred motivation for people to rise to their absolute peak. It’s like a roller coaster of high-on-life feelings that never ends.
Here’s what Big Mike himself had this to say about the mix: “It could motivate any overweight, 100 year old wooden leg guy to climb the himalayas.” Enjoy the free download and don’t forget to pair this mix with plenty of meat, fire, explosions and alcohol on this blessed 4th of July!
1) Naval Aircraft Intro
2) Robin Zander – In this Country
3) Journey – Be Good to Yourself
4) Level 42 – Heaven in my Hands
5) Cutting Crew – One for the Mockingbird
6) Paul Engemann – American Dream
7) Kenny Loggins – Playing With the Boys
8) John Parr – Two Hearts
9) Tim Feehan – Where’s the Fire
10) Honeymoon Suite – Feel it Again
11) Huey Lewis & the News – Jacob’s Ladder
12) Danger Danger – Rock America
13) John Cafferty – Hearts on Fire
Everyone’s aware of that frisky spot up the hill they call ‘THE POINT’. Even if you haven’t experienced one of these hot nights on your own, you’ve at least heard the stories.
In the event that someone is lost, ‘The Point’ a.k.a ‘The Make-Out Point’ is a somewhat secluded area where you take a loved one or a random steamy vixen during the evening hours in hopes of wrestling around together in your vehicle. The old folks called this act “parking”. The Point usually overlooks a city skyline, cliff or ocean – but it can really be anywhere you want it to be (e.g. under the bleachers on the football field, the roof of your barn, a baseball dugout). After a location is chosen, the real goal is to turn up the heat, so creating the right mood or vibe is crucial business. With a little help from a proper playlist of songs on your stereo, you’ll turn into lord of the thighs in no time. If only there was a certain influential Manimal with a song prescription that would help so many in need…
But wait, THERE IS. In today’s 1st edition of “Songs from The Point”, TNUC presents the top (5) songs that are guaranteed to make you a righteous ruler while sitting in that 4×4, van or muscle car. Today we’re sticking with mostly songs from the 1970s because they’re the most true and blue-blooded. (We’ll move to other decades later).
First though, some ground rules. When it comes to picking songs, don’t choose anything too obvious. NO BLATANT LOVE BALLADS. NO TOP 40. NO STAIRWAY! Deep cuts and hidden gems are the key. Nothing dorky or too progressive though. You need to impress your hellcat. You want chunky riffs that also boogie. You want swirling, celestial guitar solos that sound like they’re being played by long-haired, bong-ripping angels in heaven. Essentially “dad rock”…but not corporate dad who drives a Saab and can’t even build his own campfire. We’re talking about Union Carpenter dad. The one who spends his free time in the garage with the music blaring over a crappy stereo that he refuses to part with. He’s in there doing blue-collar activities like welding some cast iron with his shirt off, engulfed in fumes as a cigarette dangles from his bottom lip.
Ease those seats back, crack some beers and listen loudly under the open sky…
5) Gianni Rossi – Free Wheelin’
Gianni Rossi’s track from the Star Vehicle soundtrack isn’t from the 1970s, but then again nobody knows when it’s from. Plus who could really care about details and release dates as those crunchy riffs and fuzzy synths infiltrate your senses. Good times are mandatory with this song. It’s the perfect kick-off jam. Play this at dusk right when you arrive at The Point. Consider it foreplay.
Moment of Climax: Don’t scorch your shorts just yet.
Preferred ride of choice: 1977 Ford Country Squire.
Link: Buy Gianni Rossi’s ‘Star Vehicle’
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4) Sammy Hagar – Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Originally we had a completely different song for our #4 choice but that guitar-stomp pulled me into it’s vicious vortex so hard and then wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. This track simply oozes sex. This is the one you keep humming all week in shop class while thinking about your Saturday night at The Point. Once that 3 o’clock bell rings on Friday, you drive straight over to your Uncle T’s infamous “Devil’s Den” – the place your parents warned you about. There you stock up on all the essentials: cigarettes, tall cans, electric lettuce, a half-empty bottle of Schnapp’s and a few frozen burritos. Then it’s off to pick up Tina and head up the hill to try your action at The Point. Don’t blow it!
Moment of Climax: “But Saturday night, I’ll be checkin’ it out. From the back of my van!”
Preffered Ride of Choice: Any old van that comes with that little ladder attached on the back.
Buy: Fast Times at Ridgemont High: The Soundtrack
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3) Blue Öyster Cult – I Love the Night
This calls for getting out of your Chevy and sprawling out on the hood. Don’t just climb on the hood like a chubby goon though. Do a radical slide to plant yourself right in the center (without making a dent). Now it’s just you and the lovely lady, under the stars above with Buck Dharma’s astronomical guitar work crooning through the night air. The idea of work, school, bills and deadlines doesn’t exist. When the guitar solo hits it magically synchronizes with the smoke rings you just exhaled above your heads. All is right with the world and there’s nothing you’d rather be doing than holding onto your girl and staring up at the sky. BÖC are one the most underrated rock bands of all time so your significant other will be totally giving you the eye. Pictured above is Lanie from The Stoned Age (1994), who called their record Agents of Fortune “a total fuck album” during one scene in the movie. This song, however, came a few years later on an album called Spectres, but we agree with Lanie.
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2) Uriah Heep – The Wizard
This bonafide classic is for when your night suddenly unfolds into something completely unexpected. As “The Wizard” plays the two of you connect on exotic parallel universes and begin speaking to each other in a new language. You’re finishing each other’s sentences. You talk about the self-sustaining farm you’ll build in a few years. She starts throwing fairy dust into the air as you scramble around on the velvet shag carpet trying to find the last roach to smoke. You come to realize later in the evening that this was the first time you heard Uriah Heep. She was the one who brought this song to The Point and it’s during this moment that you realize this babe might be the certified gypsy queen you’ve been searching for all summer.
Moment of Climax: The entire 3 minutes.
Preferred Ride of Choice: Anything with a warlock mural airbrushed on the side.
Buy: Uriah Heep’s ‘Demons & Wizards’
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1) UFO – Love to Love
Here we go. Forget those played out Zeppelin and Frampton records, all you need is the final track on Side B of UFO’s 1978 opus ‘Lights Out’ and your cute date night will transform into a pleasure odyssey of mass eruptions. Mockingbirds will sing…stars will soar…leather will rip…denim will tear…guitars will wail and strange scents of perfume and welding fumes will drift through the air. This is the one!
Moment of Climax: The grande finale.
Preferred ride of choice: 1978 Dodge or Chevy customized shaggin’-wagon with wood paneling inside and a water bed in the back.
Link: Buy UFO’s ‘Lights Out’
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