2012 Farty AwardsWelcome to the FIRST ANNUAL FARTY AWARDS! So just what are the Farty Awards? Well, I’m glad you asked. The Farty Awards are just a chance for me to have fun and offer up some recognition for all things good, bad, and downright awful. I didn’t think it was fair to have just a Top Albums and Top Shows thing when there were so many things that were getting left out. Things like, “Band I Couldn’t Shut My Piehole About”, “Best/Worst Local Venue”, “Best/Worst Local Band”, “Best/Worst Band Submission”, and “Person I’d Love To Kick In the Face The Most.”

All in all, this is all in good fun. If you are one of the ones listed and find yourself getting butthurt over it, maybe you need thicker skin or just to lighten up. I hope you will enjoy the FIRST ANNUAL FARTY AWARDS! Congrats to all the winners regardless of if you want to kiss me or throw a handful of tacks at me.

BraveBand I Couldn’t Shut Up About in 2012
Winner: Brave
Runners up: Gypsyhawk, Kyng, The Devil’s Blood, Christian Mistress

2012 was another amazing year of great music and great new bands. One of the bands that I just couldn’t shut my piehole about this year was the DC metal quintet Brave. I discovered Brave shortly after discovering the band While Heaven Wept when I learned that keyboardist Michelle Schrotz also fronted her own band. After seeking out Brave and listening to their album Monuments I was made a huge fan. I don’t think a single week went by that I didn’t at least listen to Brave once. They solidified a position in the top tier of some of my all time favorite bands and there they will reside for a long, long time. It is bands like Brave that continue to remind me just why I love hard rock/heavy metal music. They prove that it’s not just about the volume. It’s about having substantial, well written, and well delivered songs. Brave is a band that makes me proud to be a fan of this kind of music.

The runners up (Gypsyhawk, Kyng, The Devil’s Blood, Christian Mistress) were also bands that quickly were added to the top of my list of favorite bands as they all put out some of the most facemelting music that I have heard in many years.

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trunkPerson I’d Love To Kick In the Face The Most
Winner: Eddie Trunk
Runners up: Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson

The winner of this years award goes to that fat douche nozzle Eddie Trunk and the runners up are his two braindead sidekicks, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. Matter of fact, I’d like to give them all that award for every year starting at 2007 to now. Maybe next year someone will piss me off more but I have a feeling that I will just be cutting and pasting this entry for the next 10 years or so.

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draekonAlbum Released In ’11 I Wish Came Out In ’12 So It Could’ve Made My List
Winner: Draekon – Prelude to Tragedy

After seeing Draekon perform live at Pathfinder Metalfest IV here in Atlanta, I immediately picked up their EP and loved it. I was so pumped that right away I knew it would make my “Best of ’12” list but alas, it wasn’t to be. Why was it not to be? Well, it turns out the EP was released in December of ’11. Bummer. I just knew that there had to be a way to at least give this one some props so Draekon gets this coveted award. Well earned boys. Well earned!

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metalsucksFavorite Metal Site That’s Not Mine
Winner: Metal Sucks
Runners up: Brave Words/Bloody Knuckles; Blabbermouth

Metal Sucks is hands down my favorite metal website that isn’t mine. Metal Sucks has a knack for delivering original content that isn’t just cut and paste AP content. They deliver great stories with a touch of humor and they were actually the site that inspired me to do The Great Southern Brainfart the way that I do things. Metal Sucks was and still is an inspiration and a great place to go for some great original content.

I have to give a huge ass nod to my runners up Brave Words/Bloody Knuckles and Blabbermouth who, for the past few years, have been so great about posting many of my interviews and sharing my links with their millions of readers. Both sites have been a huge support of mine and to them, I raise my horns in praise.

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roger-waters-11Best NON-METAL Concert I Saw This Year
Winner: Roger Waters
Runner up: Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Sometimes the Brainfart has to dip out of the metal world to take in some shows of the “non-metal” variety. This year I was lucky enough to see two of my all time favorite acts put on two of the best shows I saw this year. Roger Waters performing The Wall in its entirety was one of the most awe inspiring things I have ever witnessed. Not only was it an amazing visual spectacle but musically massive and awe inspiring in itself. I left that show with a whole new appreciation for The Wall and felt like I had seen one of the single greatest performances of my life.

Runners up, folk rock icons Crosby, Stills, and Nash, relied 100% on the strength of the songs and their delivery and for a bunch of old dudes totally rocked the house and had everyone dancing and then next thing you knew broke out the guitar/vocal song “Guinevere” which had the audience so quiet you could hear the crickets chirping up on the lawn. Now that is what I call heavy in its own unique way.

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witch mountainMost Disappointing Live Band
Winner: Witch Mountain

One of my favorite things is getting to finally see a band live that you have been waiting a while to see. I had been a fan of Witch Mountain for some time and I was so pumped when I finally saw that they were going to playing at The Earl here in Atlanta. The band was out supporting their new album “Cauldron of the Wild” and I made sure I was at this show and read to be melted down. To my big disappointment, watching Witch Mountain live was like watching paint dry. Matter of fact, it was like watching paint dry, strip itself off a wall, repaint, and then dry again. It was utterly painful. The band sounded amazing but if I wanted to hear them sound amazing, I would’ve stayed home and listened to the album. I could see that at one point they were trying to get to that place but the crowd was sparse and lame and it’s like the band just gave up. Disappointing to say the least.

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thedevilsblood5Best Live Surprise of 2012
Winner: The Devil’s Blood

After being asked if I would go cover a band called The Devil’s Blood, I nearly shrugged it off. The fact that they were opening for black/death metal acts Watain and Behemoth did little to make this an easy task but the minute they walked out on stage with their triple guitar attack and epic, psychedelic, classic rock vibe, I was blown away. Jaw open, head nodding, and totally not believing what I was seeing and hearing. I didn’t even listen to them before the show because I chose to see just what they would do for me live. It was a smart decision that ended up being not just the best live surprise of ’12 but one of the biggest surprises I have ever had in my life as a concert goer.

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tabermacleBest Atlanta Venue
Winner: The Tabernacle
Runner Up: The Masquerade

The Tabernacle is pretty much the most perfect venue in Atlanta to see a show. It boasts a huge, full size stage and capabilities for a huge lighting production, multiple tiered balconies, a great standing room floor, and all the while managing to create a very intimate experience. The sound is probably the best of any venue that I’ve ever been too besides The Fox Theater and I’ve never seen a bad show here. With the exception of them raping my wallet for parking (anywhere from $5.00 – $20.00), its my preferred place to see a show.
Following a close 2nd place is the Masquerade. I’ve been seeing shows here since 1992 and it really has come a long way. The Masquerade boasts three different sized rooms. Purgatory for the smaller bands, Hell for the midsized regional/international bands, and Heaven is the big room upstairs with a nearly 1,000 person capacity. The sound in Hell is much better than it is in Heaven. Heaven is a very cavernous room with lots of wood and metal so it’s a sound nightmare. If it’s a full house and you can situate yourself somewhere in the middle of the room the sound can be good. All in all, it’s another great venue to see some pretty amazing performances.

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529Worst Atlanta Venue
Winner: 529
Runner Up: The Drunken Unicorn

I would rather roll down a hill of razor blades into a lake of alcohol than to attend a show at the 529. Even their “logo” just reeks and drips of hipsterjuice.  How this place even can call itself a venue is beyond me. The 529 is situated in the middle of the cesspool of hipsters, intentionally bad facial hair, rimmed glasses, and PBR (aka. East Atlanta Village). It boats a 1 foot high “stage”, a room full of American Spirit smoke, and a sound system that sounds like the factory stereo system out of a Ford Pinto. I attended the Municipal Waste show here and the ticket price was $20.00 and the place was sold out. If you were behind two people, you didn’t see anything on the “stage.” Absolutely pathetic venue.

The Drunken Unicorn isn’t nearly as bad. It’s got a pretty decent stage and I’ve seen some pretty cool shows there but the staff of hipster “wish I was somewhere else” types make you wish you were somewhere else yourself rather than standing in room full of cigarette and cigar smoke with no ventilation. Not nearly as bad as the 529 but you’d pretty much have to twist my arm to go to a show there. As for the 529, you couldn’t drag my fat, dead corpse there by a fleet of horses.

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volumeIVBest Local Band
Winner: Volume IV
Runner up: Stonerider

I’m lucky to get the opportunity to see a lot of live music. Unfortunately, the local scene in Atlanta (or anywhere else for that matter) is somewhat sparse and there isn’t a whole lot to choose from. There are, however, a few bands that shine through the muck and present themselves to be a true gem. That is the case of the power trio Volume IV. They put on a great, no frills, and intense live performance with some pretty facemeltingly amazing tunes. There’s nothing pompous, hipster, trendy, or put on about these cats. Just three guys making some awesome music together for pure pleasure of making music.  Their live shows are full of that fire and passion that I love to see in a band.  Far too often do I see bands thinking they’re too cool for the school bus and just stand there.  Not Volume IV.  These guys let it all out and leave it all on the stage, the floor, the corner of the pool hall, or wherever it is they’re playing.  It doesn’t matter where they’re playing because no matter where the show is, you’ll always get a great performance.

The same could be said for the psychedelic, roots based trio Stonerider. They are just three guys making some no frills, bare bones, psychedelic blues based rock and roll. They walk out on stage, do their thing, and if you aren’t completely spellbound by them then something is seriously wrong with you.  Seeing them live is an experience all in itself and these guys really know how to captivate an audience.

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brazen angelWorst Local Band
Winner: Brazen Angel
Runner up: Void of Reason

Every local scene has a dark side and by dark side I mean a side where the bands just aren’t any good. Not once, but twice, I’ve found myself seeing redneck metalers Brazen Angel and both times found myself facepalming, shaking my head, and finding my way to the bar for something that would ease the pain of having to sit through these guys. I really, really tried and failed miserably at liking these guys. All it took was to hear them doing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (a song I already despise) to realize that this was not the band for me.

Void of Reason is the same. Not once, but twice have I seen these guys and just found myself completely unimpressed and not digging what they were doing. Pitchy vocals, over indulgent 7-string wanking that wasn’t even that good, and a really horrible version of one of my favorite Iron Maiden songs (The Evil That Men Do) had me shaking my head and hoping that I never have to run into these guys in a dark club again.

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crobotBest Band Submission
Winner: Crobot

I get a shit ton of music submitted to my site. Some good, some downright unlistenable but once in a blue moon I get one that just kicks me in the nads and rocks my face off. This year, that band was a little band from Minersville, PA called Crobot. I get press releases from bands calling themselves “the best at this and the best at that” or “a band doing something like you’ve never heard before” but these guys just sent me an email saying, “Check us out. You may like it.” Such a modest request from one of the best unsigned bands I have heard in years and their debut album even made it to my top albums of 2012 list. These guys set the bar really high for future band submissions without a doubt.

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beef-supreme-promoWorst Band Submission
Winner: Beef Supreme

What can go wrong with a band name like Beef Supreme consisting of guitarist and vocalist Niki Bel Grande, drummer Lou Chalupa, and bassist Macho Grande? Well, everything can go wrong. This band was the biggest joke and I don’t really think the joke was intentional. Their attempt and cleverness completely backfired and turned into absolute stupidity. FAIL.

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2443069-kiss-monster-cover-617-409Surprisingly Awesome Album of 2012
Winner: Kiss “Monster”
Runner up: UFO “Seven Deadly”

When I heard that Kiss was putting out a new album I kept my expectations pretty low. The band did good with Sonic Boom but it was almost there. With Monster, I feel like Kiss totally nailed it and made the album that they wanted to make. There’s no “hit factor” to this album or any of its songs but its totally fun, mindless, and it’s just the album that I hoped Kiss would make before I died. It actually sounds like it could be the follow up to Destroyer.

UFO also had me completely impressed with their roots, groove laden 2012 release Seven Deadly. Boasting one of the single worst album covers I have ever seen, it was what lied within that was a truly great surprise. I was never a huge UFO fan to begin with but this album, much like KISS’ latest album proved that these old cats aren’t out of ideas or juice just yet.

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STEVE-HARRIS-BRITISH-LIONAlbum That Made Me Want to Play in Traffic
Winner: Steve Harris “British Lion”
Runner up: Beef Supreme – EP

The album that had me scratching my head the most and screaming, “What the fuck were you thinking?” was without a doubt Steve Harris’ British Lion album. Fans were quick to run to his defense saying asinine shit like, “It’s not an Iron Maiden album so don’t be so harsh.” I didn’t want it to be an Iron Maiden album. I just wanted it to be good and it wasn’t. Bruce Dickinson made some stellar solo albums that sounded nothing like Iron Maiden. This album just sounds like some weak ass garage band that Steve Harris found while on a stroll and decided to play bass for them. I’d rather eat glass than listen to this platter of dung again.

As for the runners up, the self proclaimed “stoner rock” band Beef Supreme was not even close to what I think of when I hear the term “stoner rock” and besides, when you label yourself so proudly with a lame ass subgenre like this, you are pretty much setting yourself up to fail.

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Vinny-AppiceFavorite Interview of 2012
Winner: Vinny Appice
Runner up: Doro Pesch

In 2012, I conducted 24 interviews. I was lucky that none of them sucked. Some were better than others but the one that stuck out to me the most was my interview with legendary Black Sabbath/Dio/Kill Devil Hill drummer Vinny Appice. Before the interview I was told that I had 20 minutes so I made sure my questions were concise and to the point. I called Vinny and right away we just hit it off. As my questions progressed he stopped me and said, “Dude, this is a really fun interview. We can keep going if you want.” And nearly 50 minutes later, I had learned so much about Vinny, had some laughs, and heard some stories that I had never heard before in my life. This was a great example of making that connection with someone and this was without a doubt one of my all time favorite interviews. It was so epic that it had to made into a two part special. Without a doubt, a memorable interview and one that will be hard to top.

My close 2nd would have to be the interview I did with legendary first lady of metal Doro Pesch. Doro was a super sweet and kind person to talk to. Even though it was on the short end of the spectrum, she answered every question gracefully and even told me that this was one of her favorite interviews yet. I’m not sure if she says that to everyone but even if she does, who cares? Doro was having a good time. She even invited me to be her personal guest at her Atlanta performance in February saying that she wants to meet me after the show so we can meet in person. I would say that this made for a pretty epic high for yours truly.

Thank you for the wonderful comments you made about my most Favorite band ever, “Crobot” I know the gentlemen from the band and I consider them dear friends, you’d never meet a more wonderful group of gentlemen! They are humble and have such warm hearts and personalities. I’ve said it many times, I feel I am blessed to have them as very dear friends! Then it goes without saying the talent they have! I was hooked from the very first time they came out on stage at Goodfella’s Pottsville, PA back on November 17,2012 and knew from the minute I saw them perform I was seeing a band that was going to go the distance and make it big! They have such love for what they do and it really shows! They, especially Brandon Yeagley, the lead vocalist, when I hear him sing, whether it be their original music or when he does acoustic, his voice and the heart and soul he puts into his performance really reaches down deep into your soul and moves you! I am left breathless and wanting more every time I see them perform “live”! Then the other talented gentlemen, Chris Bishop on Lead Guitar, Sam Grim on Bass, and Tony Kobel on drums, only add to the performance because each of them are wonderfully talented musicians, and they compliment Brandon and bring the music to life ! The full band is a powerhouse! I have heard the audiences raving about them after the shows, and have met people in my day to day life that as soon as they hear the name Crobot, they praise them and say to me OMG They are awesome! Nothing like seeing them “Live”! So, you are right when you say they set the bar really high for future band submissions ! I, for one, will be one of their biggest diehard fans for the rest of my life and am trying to support them as much as I can on their path ahead! They are true muscians that are humble and don’t do it for stardom, they do it because the music matters and comes from their hearts and souls, and they really enjoy what they do and they want to share it with the world! Thank you again, for the wonderful compliments you gave them! Sincerely,
Sharon R Frantz
Crobot Fan for Life!

R u sure it wasn’t Witch Mountain’s sound check that u witnessed? Sparse crowd & all..

thegreatsouthernbrainfart thegreatsouthernbrainfart says:

I’m positive… unless it was a really long sound check and afterwards they just didn’t play a set.