This week’s column leads off with a different future-scape before returning to a Twisted Sister concert, a multi-artist tribute to Black Oak Arkansas and news about The Proclaimers. Enjoy!
‘OzLand,’ A film by Michael Williams (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This July 28, DVD presents two guys (Leif & Emri) wandering through a post-apocalyptic landscape until one finds a copy of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
Leif lets the book lead him through the upsetting world he lives in, with sometimes-surprising results. The movie is very cool, alternately hopeful and depressing. Survival is the main thing for these guys, and both hope and occasional conflict comes from Leif’s belief in the book.
Credits are given to The Mississippi Film and Video Alliance, so some of this landscape is Mississippian.
‘Live From the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas: Metal Meltdown,’ Twisted Sister (Loud & Proud Records, ☆☆☆1/2)
This fiery CD/DVD/Blu-Ray combo release is subtitled “The Sound of Thunder-A Tribute to A.J. Pero.”
A.J. was the drummer who drove the band during their glory days. His replacement is uber-drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs). Profanity is what parents have to watch out for: Dee’s shirt even features the F-word!
My favorite tunes are the speedy “Stay Hungry,” the blazing “Under The Blade,” a slow A.J. dedication called “The Price” and the anthemic crowd-pleaser “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
Readers who have favorites, they’re probably here. This one isn’t my bag, but it’s a good multi-format collection.
‘Mutants Of The Monster: A Tribute To Black Oak Arkansas,’ Jocephus & The George Jonestown Massacre (Saustex Records, ☆☆☆☆)
This release Aug. 19: CD & Digital, Sept. 16 Vinyl) is a 17-track tribute to Black Oak Arkansas, the individualistic Southern 1970s arena-rockers who visited the Coast Coliseum at their commercial peak.
J&TGJM provide backing for many parenthetical vocalists and instrumentalists, including Jimbo Mathus, Shooter Jennings, former Saint Kyle Turley and more. Highlights include “Strong Enough to Be Gentle” (Ruyter Suys), the punkish “Jim Dandy” (Jello Biafra and Suys), “The Wild Bunch” (Turley and harmonicat Mickey Raphael), “Uncle Lijah” (Mathus and steel guitarist Robby Turner), the guitar-laden instrumental “When Electricity Came To Arkansas” and “Hot and Nasty” (Eddie Spaghetti). Your BOA favorite is probably here, too, so snag this one if you remember or you’re curious.
The Proclaimers, led by Scottish twin brothers Craig (vocals) and Charlie Reid (acoustic guitar & vocals) whose album “Born Innocent” made the Top Ten Plus List way back when (can’t locate on flash drive at this time); and they’re still going strong, though they’re more popular overseas than stateside. Their cool new album is called “Let’s Hear It For The Dogs.”
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.