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Category: Black Dragon Fighting Society

05/21/09

Permalink 11:35:02 am, by bobcalhoun Email , 718 words, 7120 views English (US)
Categories: Appearances, Black Dragon Fighting Society, Count Dante, Music, San Francisco

Rag-Na-Rocking My Way to Fitness with Thor

ArnoCorps and Thor at Slim's, SF

I set up a 75-lb. TKO brand heavy bag in my garage and started sparring again. I’m feeling the effects already – my hands hurt.

My band, Count Dante and the Black Dragon Fighting Society, is backing up Thor, the Rock Warrior, bender of steel bars, destroyer of hot water bottles and singer of such metal anthems as Let the Blood Run Red and Thunder on the Tundra at Slim’s (333 11th St., SF, CA) again this coming Wednesday May 27th at 8pm. Roughly translated this means that me, Jim and The General are going to be Thor’s band for the night. We did this about a year ago and many headbangers and even lowly hipsters came away from Slim’s that night exclaiming that it was the show of the year. We’re also playing an opening set so there’s going to be a whole lotta Count Dante and the Black Dragon Society at Slim’s next Wednesday. If the appearance of the Thunder God who lives to rock wasn’t enough to draw you out on a school night, ArnoCorps is headlining. They headlined last years’ dose of Thor/Dante merged Rag-Na-Rocking and the results were historic if not truly epic.

But back to boxing: since I have to relearn an entire set’s worth of Thor’s music in a little less than two months, I’ve had to listen to a mega dose of Thor. Call it total emersion into the art of the man who brought us the classic film Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare. Last week I started boxing to the same Thor CD that I use to pick up bass riffs from and, thus, found the perfect use for Thor’s straight ahead metal. Songs such as Thunder Hawk drive me to plunge my heavy fits ever deeper into the bag’s canvas and sand mass. When I am wavering, Thor’s lyrics offer affirmation, urging me to keep my arms up and throw leather as the bag sways back in forth in a futile effort to avoid my blows. “Thunder Hawk/I am the Thunder Hawk,” Thor’s voice tells me from the CD boombox on top of my washing machine. Yes, at that moment as I double the right hook into the side of the bag as if I am sinking those blows into an opponent’s ribcage, I am the Thunder Hawk! “In the sewers and the stench/Feeling sweaty, feeling drenched.” Thor, o ancient predator, you truly understand. Thunder Hawk ends. I take a break for a minute and lift my arms above my head and take deep breaths. Knock Them Down starts with its grinding power riff. Another round begins.

“I was born a fighter/Survivor of the street/Only Rage and Fists/Kept me on my feet.” Again Jon Mikl Thor understands the pugilistic urge better than even Jack London or Norman Mailer. “Knock them Down/Oh Yeah Knock Them Down/Rub all their dirty faces into the ground.” No one says it better than Thor.

It only stands to reason that Thor’s muscle rock would be the perfect soundtrack to manly physical pursuits such as boxing, judo or weight lifting. He is the first man to hold both the Mr. USA and Mr. Canada bodybuilding titles. The question now becomes, why doesn’t Thor open a chain of Thor’s Gyms across the US and Canada? With his godlike powers, he has revived a long dead Vancouver hockey team. He has done, and continues to do, feats of strength most of us schleps can only dream of. He has a new record label, Vulcan Sky, which has singed ArnoCorps. Your average Thor’s Gym can pump the music of Thor and other Vulcan Sky artists 24/7 and deliver us from the techo and disco usually played at your average 24 Hour Fitness. I’ll have to ask him about this at practice on Tuesday. Maybe I should write a business proposal.

You can buy tickets for next Wednesday’s show by clicking here.

Wed. May 27, 2009, 8pm
ArnoCorps
Thor
Count Dante & the Black Dragon Fighting Society
Freddie Flex & the Heavy Eric Si-Fi Show
at Slim’s
333 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
$12.00

Here’s a video of last year’s mayhem:

02/23/09

Permalink 11:43:22 pm, by bobcalhoun Email , 719 words, 4198 views English (US)
Categories: Press, Black Dragon Fighting Society, Count Dante, Music, Wrestling

Roctober Keeps on Rollin'

Roctober #46
Roctober #46 features in-depth coverage of Soul Train’s Chicago roots, trucker music, and my days of having tortillas thrown at me while I wrestled women + plenty of comics!

JAKE AUSTEN DON’T TAKE NO MESS. While such zines as Psychotronic and Punk Planet have folded in their tents due to the corporate rape of their distribution system, Austen still grinds out hard copy of his Chicago based music and pop culture zine Roctober, has them printed on pulpy newsprint that deposits a healthy amount of ink on your hands, stuffs them into envelopes and mails the mags to subscribers. He’s not giving up and becoming a blogger. The sheer volume of info on psychedelic freak outs, proto metal bands, Midwest soul and blues musicians, forgotten garage rockers and strange yet fascinating pop cultural phenomena lovingly packed into each ish of the Roctober cannot be broken down into one line bullet points on Twitter or lost to the flotsam and jetsam of the blogosphere. It was relatively recently (this century) that Austen embraced the scanner and computer as a means of delivering his pages to the printer. For him the medium is truly the message and that medium is the ‘zine.

Austen called me “the dynamic wrestling, seminar conducting, kung fu fighting, rock and roll genius” in his review of the last Count Dante and the Black Dragon Fighting Society CD Fat Power in Roctober #43. While that was flattering as all getout, what was even more awesome was that review of my most recent trash rock opus was in the same mag as an in depth interview with Paul Williams about the ghoulish rock musical, Phantom of the Paradise (1974). Not only is Brian DePalma’s Phantom one of my favorite films but, watching it recently, I realized that the glam numbers in it informed me of what a rock band should be at a tender young age. It didn’t help that they showed clips of it in the intro to Creature Features every week on KTVU Channel 2, reinforcing the message that rock bands should play distorted pentatonic riffs, wear outrageous costumes and be electrocuted on stage. Un-characteristically, the interview with Williams is available online by clicking here.

Roctober #43

The newest ish of Roctober (#46) has a flip cover. One side is cartoon of a trucker barreling down a highway with his trusty ape (pictured). The flipside has a photograph of Don Cornelius wearing what can only be described as a low cut blouse and an accessory that closely resembles a dog collar interviewing a very well dressed B. B. King. In the corresponding article, Austen delves into the locally produced, almost DIY Chicago Soul Train that ran parallel to its LA based nationally syndicated show.

But amidst the pages and pages of record, book and DVD reviews is a rollicking four-page interview by Dan Kelly with yours truly where I not only discuss Beer, Blood and Cornmeal but also get to spout off about my band like we really did something. I even start quoting The General’s lyrics to the still unreleased Sgt. Rock and talk about Steve Leialoha (the Fat Power cover artist), comic scribe Doug Moench, Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu and those really weird DC Shadow comics from the late 1980s. In all, it’s the kind of Filmfax or Psychotronic interview that I’ve always dreamed of doing. Reading it made me feel a little bit closer to H.G. Lewis or the late Ray Dennis Steckler talking to Fangoria or V. Vale. Thank you Roctober.

And if that wasn’t enough to inflate my already dangerously enlarged ego, the magazine also sports what may be the last interview with country picking legend and Smokey and the Bandit co-star Jerry Reed, an essay on Sam Pekinpah’s movie version of the hit C.W. McCall tune Convoy and a crazy comic spoof of 70s cosmic Kirby comics called The Internals.

It’s Roctober. There isn’t an online version. You have to buy it. It’s worth it even if you don’t want to read about me. You can click here to order a copy. In fact, get a three issue subscription. You’ll be glad you did when those 100+ pages of glorious newsprint arrive in your mailbox every now and then. You really will.

Beer, Blood and Piecemeal.

The rock and reading odyssey of a 300-pound hulk.

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