The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. Welcome to the 4th Annual Farty Awards. No long speeches, no horrible lip syncing, and sure as fuck there is NO Kanye West. The Farty Awards are THEE hard rock/metal awards festivity that matters. Ok, well, that’s just my opinion man but trust me, it’s far more entertaining (and intentionally funny) than the Revolver Gold Gods Awards.
You’ll notice some new categories this year as well such as “The Shark Sandwich” award and “Most Disgusting Creature” award! So read on! Did your band win anything? Did your band win best interview? Did your band win worst live show? Did your band put out the “Album That Made Me So Mad I Wanted To Kick My Grandma”? Read on and find out.
Let’s get started… Don Pardo…
WELCOME TO THE 4TH ANNUAL FARTY AWARDS!!!!
Band I Couldn’t Shut My Piehole About
Winner: Jess & The Ancient Ones
For the 2nd consecutive year, Jess and the Ancient Ones was a band that I just couldn’t shut my piehole about. This year, the band released their stellar album (and my album of the year), Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes and, in my opinion, they set the bar to a virtually unreachable height and I am hard pressed to find a band that I feel is doing it any better than they are these days. This is a band with a mighty future and after only 2 albums and 1 EP they have totally exceeded any and all expectations I may have for a band. I can only imagine what we will see from this band in the future.
Best Press Release
I am subject to a lot of shitty press releases but when the press release for Swedish space rockers, Horisont arrived in my inbox, I couldn’t help but love this band even a bit more than I already do:
“Big of moustache and tight of trouser, Horisont drink from the bottomless wellspring of inspiration that’s been bubbling up through the layers of time since the birth of the blues.”
How can you NOT fucking love that? Great band and even better press release!
Check out Horisont: https://www.facebook.com/horisontmusic
Most Annoying Press Releases
Surprise. This band is from Atlanta. Unfortunately, the very city where I live turns out the largest number of my least favorite bands of any city in the country and this band just takes the cake. With their cute little hipster haircuts and bullshit, they had the gall to publish this as a press release:
“Filmed with director Video Rahim (MASTODON) on location in their hometown, the video for “Restless Hearts” sees BITERS pushing the limits of rock ‘n’ roll excess with a wild keg party, cruising the streets of Atlanta in a stolen police cruiser, and frontman Tuk surfing on the boot of a car whilst tearing down the road at 50mph.”
Can you hear my eyes rolling around in my head as you read that? Seriously. How could you NOT read that and think, “What a fucking douchebag?”
Biggest Disappointment of 2015
Loser: Anubis Gate cancelling ProgPower 2015 Performance
The ONLY reason I even was willing to brave that entire ridiculous weekend was to see Danish prog masters, Anubis Gate. I bought my $100.00 ticket and then low and behold, they announced that they were cancelling. I was so bummed but they did have good reasons as it was due to health issues with a member. I hocked my ticket and no dough was lost but my disappointment about not getting to see Anubis Gate still hangs on. I love that fucking band and I still hold out for a chance to one day see them life… even if I have to go to Denmark and crash on one of the band member’s couch or something.
Comeback of the Year
Winner: Johanna Sadonis
From the ashes of The Oath rose Johanna Sadonis with her new band, Lucifer featuring not one but two legends: Angel Witch drummer Andy Prestidge and Cathedral guitarist Gary “Gaz” Jennings. Johnna and Co. put out their debut album which was not just one of the best albums I heard all year but they hit the road for their first US tour and killed faces left and right. I couldn’t have been happier to see Johnna see so much positive energy and success this year and it was so well deserved.
Check out Lucifer: https://www.facebook.com/luciferofficial
Band That Should’ve Put an Album out This Year but Didn’t
Winner: Holy Grail
Runner-up: Taddy Porter
2015 was the year that I really hoped that we would see a new album from NWOTHM masters Holy Grail. The band came out of hibernation and did some shows but it was was later made official that their much awaited follow up to 2013’s epic Ride the Void would not be released until next year. Well, at least we know for a fact that we will get a new album early next year in addition to a tour supporting shred master Marty Friedman which I am so looking forward to.
Check out Holy Grail: http://www.holygrailofficial.com/
Another band I was hoping would put out a new album this was Oklahoma roots rockers Taddy Porter. After a disappointing follow up to their awesome self-titled debut, Taddy Porter broke ties with the record company that was trying to make them something that they’re not and hit the studio to make the album that they really wanted to make. I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for that follow up and it never came. Next year maybe? I hope so.
Check out Taddy Porter: https://www.facebook.com/taddyportermusic/
Best Music Video
Winner: Graveyard – The Apple and the Tree
In a time where bands don’t even really seem to put much effort into making videos anymore, it’s great to see a band that I love so much like Graveyard putting some effort and creating a though provoking video that was every bit as awesome as the song they were making it for. It’s nothing flashy but it’s just a really well done video. Not much else to say about that! Just watch it.
Band I’d Rather Eat Thumbtacks Than Listen To
Loser: Butcher Babies
First off, there is no way you will ever see me use the words “winner” and “butcher babies” together… EVER. This band is such a waste of precious oxygen and I can’t even begin to go into just how much I despise this fucking band. I’m done.
Five Reasons Why the Butcher Babies Are the Worst Thing to Happen to Women in Metal Since…Maybe Ever: http://thegreatsouthernbrainfart.com/?p=14661
Favorite Song to Sing Like A Goddamn Idiot While Driving
Winner: Venom – Long Haired Punks
This year was all about Venom! I fucking LOVE this band and I love the fact that they put out not just one of my favorite albums this year but one of the best albums of their career. I can’t tell you how many times I sang along with this song like a fucking idiot while driving. One day, I was driving and singing this song, I couldn’t even contain myself and I looked to my left and there was this old couple staring at me so I just screamed at them out my window. Yeah… Venom.
Metal Fashion That Makes Me Want To Eat Dry Baby Formula and Puke
Winner: Affliction Shirts
Luckily, I saw way less of these shirts this year than I have in the past so maybe this is a trend that will die soon. I can only hope that this will happen. I can’t think of any more repulsive metal fashion than Affliction shirts. Nuff said.
Most Disgusting Creature Award
Winner: Matt Pike (High on Fire)
I am hard pressed to find a more revolting human being than Matt Pike. From his methed out grill to his disgusting spitting all over the stage, Matt Pike is one of those things that you just look at and go, “This is a scientific specimen.” I mean, he’s fucking gross. Just standing at the back of the room my gag reflex kicked as I could only imagine the wretched stench that permeates from that ogre. Matt Pike is without a doubt one of the most disgusting creatures walking the Earth so congrats on winning this award Matt. Please don’t come by and pick it up. I’ll mail it to ya.
Most Ridiculous Stage Performance
Winner: Savage Master
So imagine this. This way hot little lady dressed in dominatrix gear walks out on stage with a band of 4 other guys dressed as hooded henchmen and one of them has, wait for it, GLASSES ON! Seriously. I literally laughed out loud when they took the stage but right away I was shut up when they started playing. Musically they blew my mind sounding like a NWOBHM band being fronted by Cherie Currie. They are a fantastic fucking band and while their stage persona is so ridiculous, they kick ass and I’m a fan so whatevs.
Check out Savage Master: https://www.facebook.com/savagemaster666
Best Local Band
Winner: Brother Hawk
Runner-up: Gunpowder Gray
This is nothing personal towards any of the bands from here but I’ll say it again, I am not a fan of the local scene here for the most part. Most of the bands from here are of the “core” or “death” variety so it’s a very rare occasion when I see a local band that really floors me. Well, that’s what happened with Brother Hawk when I saw them open for Graveyard this year. I was totally blown away by the musicianship and the awesome songs of this band and while I’ve only seen them once, they made a lasting impression on me and have me wanting more.
Check out Brother Hawk at https://www.facebook.com/BrotherHawkATL/
Runners up Gunpowder Gray is a band that I have been digging quite a bit but after a recent lineup change that moved guitarist Chris Heffernan to lead vocals, the band has stepped up to a whole new level of playing/writing. Live they bring a great amount of energy and they really hold their own no matter if they’re supporting a band or headlining. Gunpowder Grey is definitely a band that I will be looking out for in 2016 and expecting great things for sure.
Check out Gunpowder Gray at https://www.facebook.com/GunpowderGray/
Winner: Sam and Rosie of Purson
Runner up: Michael Sweet of Stryper
This was a REALLY hard vote for me as this year I had some epic fucking interviews. I mean, where even the least exciting one was still a really good one. When it came time to pick which one was my favorite I had to go with Sam and Rosie from Purson. Our interview on their Bandwagon was so much. We sat around, laughed, talked about clothes, freaking out while eating mushroom, and our connected passion for music. They were such great, funny, and easy going people that I immediately felt connected to them. It was a great interview with an amazing band.
Purson Interview: http://thegreatsouthernbrainfart.com/?p=15334
The follow up has to be just by a hair with Michael Sweet from Stryper. I’ve been a Stryper fan since 1985 and if you would’ve told me back then that I would get to talk to Michael not once but twice I would laughed you out of the room. Michael is such an amazingly sweet and funny person to talk with. Every time I’ve talked with him he’s just a blast and he’s also a fan of the blog which I have to say is awesome in its own right. This interview was just so much fun and it’s like talking to an old friend. You just have to read it to get just how fucking rad this guy is!
Michael Sweet Interview: http://thegreatsouthernbrainfart.com/?p=15442
Worst Interview (aka The Erik Peterson Award):
This year, there wasn’t a single interview worthy of this award. I’m starting to think that maybe Mr. Peterson set the bar so low that nobody can really get that bad? Who knows? 2016 will be a whole new year so maybe this will happen next year!
Worst Album (aka: The Shark Sandwich Award)
Winner: A Sound of Thunder – Tales From the Dead Side
Two words: Shit Sandwich.
Album That Made Me So Mad I Wanted To Kick My Grandma:
Winner: Randy Rhoads Immortal
No band, no musician, no musical legacy is safe from the “Tribute Album” treatment. Not even the timeless legacy of guitar legend Randy Rhoads. This album was an absolute travesty and what should’ve and could’ve been a very tasteful and well done tribute to a fallen legend ended up sounding like a hilarious SNL skit. Just listen to this cover of “Crazy Train” featuring that dork from System of a Down and that annoying as fuck guitarist from Rage Against The Machine as they hogtie this song, rope it to a trailer hitch and drag it through the fucking mud. And the drummer? What song is he playing anyway? This whole train wreck of an album, thankfully, made little less than a slight scratch on the face of metal this year and pretty much went ignored.
Winner: Heavy Metal Historian
Without a doubt my favorite podcast this year was Heavy Metal Historian. Greg Davies really outdid himself and put together probably the single most fascinating metal podcast I have ever heard or will ever hear. Davies breaks down various genres of metal such as Death Metal, Thrash Metal, and even Doom/Occult and dives deep into the roots to find to the best of his ability the history of its lineage. This is a truly fascinating listen and any and every metal fan should be listening to this podcast. It’s like going to school for metal.
Check it out at: http://heavymetal666.com/
Biggest Live Surprise/ New Band That Blew Me Away
Winner: Electric Citizen
Cincinnati, Ohio’s Electric Citizen was a band that completely caught me off guard. Discovered while venturing down the proverbial rabbit hole of bands, I stumbled across Electric Citizen a mere 2 days before their show here in Atlanta. I acted fast, worked my charm and connected with the band to do a review of their show. Not only did the band’s live performance leave me with my mouth hanging open but their material was some of the strongest I’ve heard this year. They are an electrifying and exciting live band to watch and they deliver the goods without batting an eye. This is without a doubt the biggest live surprise and the new band to blow me away the most this year. What an amazing band. Check them out for sure. They are a band to be looked out for.
Check out Electric Citizen: https://www.facebook.com/ElectricCitizen
Best Concert Bill of 2015
Winner: Electric Citizen/Mondo Drag/Slow Season
You’re probably reading this going, “Brainfart. This was a better bill than all the shows you saw this year? Even better than King Diamond/Exodus?” Well, the answer is yes and I’ll tell you why. This was one of those shows where there wasn’t a lot of people there but as I watched this bill unfold all I could think was, “This place should be packed to the rafters.” This show was a top notch quality evening of psych rock that was cohesive yet no band was identical to the other. This is how a concert/tour bill should be built and this RidingEasy Tour package knocked it clear out of the park with a really magical evening of facemelting psych rock n’ roll.
Best Live Show
Winner: Christian Mistress
It’s kind of hard to put to words just how amazing Christian Mistress is as a live band. I had been waiting for years to see them play live and when they finally made it to Atlanta (the day after my birthday nonetheless), it was everything I wished for and so much more. Christian Mistress lights up a stage with their electrifying energy and their no frills performance. When I watched this band I could feel every note, every riff, every drum beat deep down past the depths of any known part of the human body and psyche. From the first note of “III” to the last ringing note of “Haunted Hunted” the band covered so much ground from their short yet defining career. Christian Mistress gave 200% on that stage and gave everyone a show of epic proportions that the room could barely contain. This is the kind of band that should be playing to 1000’s and storming an arena stage before the masses. Hands down the best live show I saw this year and it was a live show that I will never forget for as long as I live.
Check out Christian Mistress: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianMistress/
Worst Live Show:
Winner: Die Once
I have to say, I have seen quite a few bad shows in my life and some are way worse than others. I will be honest and say that while Die Once was definitely nowhere near as bad as Whitechapel, they were hands down the worst band I saw this year. From their cheesy stage moves and headache inducing screaming to the awkward and at times uncomforting stage banter, Die Once just didn’t do it for me. This band clearly has a lot of “fans” but they are a band that I will not be going out of my way to see any time soon.
Most Dull Live Show (The Ambien Award)
I can honestly tell you that this was hands down the single most dulling show I have ever been to in my entire life. At one point during the show, I think I started to dream while still awake and I couldn’t feel my feet. It was the weirdest fucking thing. I literally couldn’t feel my fucking feet. As a matter of fact, I’m almost certain that at some point I drooled on myself. I was bored to fucking tears. I was so bored that I started to hallucinate I think. At one point, a friend of mine came up to me, stood beside me and poked me with his finger to make sure I was still alive. I just didn’t get it. This was a band that back in the day I held in the highest of regard but now, there they were; up on stage just boring me with their songs. Sorry, I dozed off. What was I saying?
Best Non-Metal Show (Three Way Tie)
Winner: Grateful Dead – Chicago, Dead & Company – Greensboro, The Rolling Stones – Atlanta
You all know that I’m a huge fucking Deadhead so when the surviving members of the Grateful Dead announced that they were going to forever put that band name to rest, I just knew I had to be part of it. The band did 3 shows in Chicago and me and Mrs. Brainfart were lucky enough to score tickets to the very last performance. Was it perfect? No. Was it amazingly emotional and heartfelt? You bet your sweet ass it was. So many people smiling, singing, crying, it was easily one of the most amazing experiences I have ever witnessed in my 32 years of going to concerts and it was an experience that I will never forget for as long as I live.
If you would have EVER said that I would say that ANYTHING John Mayer would do was “fucking amazing” I would’ve died laughing but hey, insert foot in mouth. John Mayer fucking brought it in a huge way while joining original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kruetzman, and Mickey Hart. I saw two shows on this tour and their show in Greensboro, NC absolutely killed my face. The spirit of the Grateful Dead was very much alive and well and Mayer really took things to a whole other level reminding the world that The Grateful Dead really was one of the single greatest guitar driven bands of all time.
The Rolling Stones in Atlanta! What more can I say? If you saw the Stones on their Zip Code tour this year, you know for a fact that they were delivering the good and playing with a fire that they haven’t played with in years. Their setlist was absolutely epic and every song was played like it was just written. It’s amazing to see a band that’s been around that long still loving what they’re doing and putting everything they have into giving their fans a show that they will never forget! What an unforgettable show indeed.
Lamest Band That Was Tried to Be Passed off As Cool
I’m hard pressed to find a more lame band that Biters. Just a bunch of scenesters passing themselves off as edgy rock and roll. Trying too hard is more like it. I mean, it’s not that they flat out suck but it’s just that they are playing some of the most un-original, un-exciting music I’ve heard. It’s like, I can think of a zillion other bands that play this kind of music and do it many times better than these guys. I’m sure these guys will be forgotten by this time next year… I hope.
Most Ridiculous Band:
Winner: Steve N’ Seagulls
Steve N’ Seagulls was a band that burst on to the scene looking like a bunch of podunk farmers playing bluegrass versions of heavy metal songs. Man, it’s so original. Nobody has ever done that before. Oh wait, HAYSEED DIXIE. Remember them? Yeah. This is just a kind of tired schtick that is absolutely ridiculous and does absolutely nothing for me. Just a good waste of plastic and time.
Album That Came Out Last Year That I Totally Missed
Winner: Electric Citizen – Sateen
After stumbling across this facemelting Cincinnati band, I just couldn’t (and still can’t) stop listening to their awesome debut album, Sateen. While I’m so glad I discovered them just in time to see them perform live here in Atlanta, I kind of wish the album had come out this year as it would’ve DEFINITELY made my Top Albums of 2015 list. Nonetheless, this album deserves an award of some kind hence them getting this coveted Farty Award!
Best Old School Album That I Heard This Year
Winner: Black Widow – Sacrifice
This is a great example of the greatness that lies far back in the depths of time that I never even knew existed. Thanks to Johanna Sadonis of Lucifer, I picked up this album and discovered easily one of my new favorite old school albums. Everything about this album is just amazing. It’s dark, it’s melodic, and it possesses a lot of great qualities of music ranging from folk to psych rock. Everything about this album just blew me away and it’s a piece of music history that went on to silently inspire and be a part of large, underground movement. It’s finding shit like this that makes me love being a fan of music.
Band Most Likely To Kick In My Gag Reflex Every Time I Hear Them
I just gagged again. Ughh. This band. Why? There is nothing about this band that is awesome at all. I’m just going to stop even including them in these awards because they’ll never do anything worth my praise ever. I might as well give them a lifetime suck achievement award or something. Whatevs.
Favorite Metal Label:
Winner: Rise Above
Runner-up: Riding Easy Records
Once again, Rise Above reigned supreme putting out some of my favorite bands. Lee Dorian listens out for bands like a fan so when he signs someone, you know that it’s going to be right up your alley. Be sure to head over to the Rise Above website and just spend some time scanning through the bands that are signed to the label. Trust me, you will undoubtedly find some great music there and you may even find your new favorite band.
Check out the roster at: http://www.riseaboverecords.com/artists/riseaboveartists/
The runner up for this award was RidingEasy Records. Boasting bands such as Electric Citizen, Mondo Drag, and Slow Season, RidingEasy’s ever growing roster just may be the American version of Rise Above Records. I was really happy with the Riding Easy Records tour as well that featured Electric Citizen, Mondo Drag, and Slow Season and even give it the “Best Tour Bill” award. Riding Easy is a label to be watched in the upcoming years as I’m predicting some great things from this lil’ label that can!
Check out the roster at: https://ridingeasyrecords.bandcamp.com/
European Band I Was Pissed Didn’t Come to the US
Winner: Blues Pills
For real. HELLO! HELLO? BLUES PILLS? ARE YOU LISTENING? THE US NEEDS YOU AND YOUR JAMS TO GET HERE ASAP AND MELT OUR FACES. I know that Blues Pills is going to be hard at work on the follow up to their self titled debut album but c’mon, there’s fans here in the US that are dying to see you. I’m pretty sure that they’ll continue to get this award until they come here… that is unless Jess and the Ancient Ones doesn’t tour the US in 2016.
Best Venue in Town To Get My Metal On
Winner: The Masquerade
Once again, the Masquerade ruled supreme as the best venue to get my metal on here in Atlanta. Even with its god awful sound, this venue has housed some of the best shows I saw this year. The Masquerade has a spirit, a vibe all its own and unfortunately will see it’s physical demise sometime in 2016. Word on the street is that there is already a new location locked down for the Masquerade but we all know that THIS building will always be missed and be held as THEE place to see metal.
Venue Most Likely to Give You Staph Infection or Lung Cancer Upon Entry
Winner: The 529
Seriously. Why do I EVER think that this place will change? Why?
Band Everyone Said I Should Love That I Just Don’t Dig
Winner: All Them Witches
Nope. I just don’t get it. This is another one of those bands that I can add to the list of bands such as Mastodon, Royal Thunder, and whoever else of bands that people said, “Dude! You should love this band!” Well, the fact of the matter is that I didn’t and I found them to just be forgettable and nothing even remotely interesting. Just another “hip” band that I just don’t get.
Best Book I Read:
Winner: Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Heavy Metal
by Katherine Turman and Jon Wiederhorn
I am a slow as fuck reader so I tend to only read about 3-5 books a year. This year though, by a landslide the best book I read this year was Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Heavy Metal
by Katherine Turman and Jon Wiederhorn. The amount of work and attention to detail these cats put into this book is astounding and it was a book that I definitely couldn’t put down. Covering all of the bases from the early days of glam to the shitty nu-metal of the 90’s Louder than Hell covered all the basis. Reading this was like going to school and besides, it’s worth owning just for the quote where Don Dokken talks about George Lynch putting a girl’s own high heel shoe in her hiney.
Get your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Louder-Than-Hell-Definitive-History/dp/0061958298
Band To Look Out For in 2016
Runner-Up: Holy Grove
Finally, in 2016, the band to look out for is going to be Gygax. Former Gypsyhawk bassist/frontman Eric Harris is returning to the scene with a great new band that, surprise, sounds like Gypsyhawk but this is NOT bad thing. What I love about Gygax is that the sound is the same but the songs have taken a different path with lyrics that are more mystical and fantasy based than the “boogie till you barf” style of Gypsyhawk. I’m really eager to see where this band will go in 2016 with the release of their debut album, Critical Hits.
Check out Gygax: https://www.facebook.com/GygaxUSA
Last but not least, another band to watch out for is Portland, OR’s Holy Grove. Holy Grove really jumped out at me with a teaser of songs such as “Death of Magic” and “Nix” and they really captured my attention and piqued my interest. No, they’re not doing anything overly original with their psych/doom inspired music but the deal is that they are doing it REALLY fucking well with some excellently executed and well written, soulful material.
Check out Holy Grove: http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/bands/holy-grove.htm