Houston Calling

Obey Your Master (that is, your record label)

May 7th, 2003 · No Comments

I’ll be the first to admit it–I am a Metallica fan. I may not look like the stereotypical fan, or have long hair like the stereotypical fan, but I am a fan nonetheless.

I looked past the band’s last few meager offerings, I looked past Lars making a fool out of himself numerous times while speaking out about Napster. And yes, I thought their so-called Black album was great. Sure, not as good as their previous work, but I like it–and I liked Load as well. And I am very patiently awaiting the release of their new album, St. Anger.

But it was terribly difficult for me to watch last night’s “Metallica: Icon” show/tribute on MTV. It was like one big salad toss to the band, hosted by a bunch of other “icons” and flavor-of-the-minute chumps, and attended by Hollywood’s trendiest. Seeing bands like Sum 41 (I hate them more each day), Korn (an aptly-named band since they remind me of a big steaming turd), and Limp Bizkit (actually, their cover of “Sanitarium” wasn’t that bad but Fred Durst should just go away quietly) cover songs that only Metallica does best gave me chills–in a bad way.

For those smart enough to skip it, here MTV’s synopsis:

MTV honors iconic thrash masters Metallica with performances and testimonials from a metal appreciation society featuring Sum 41, Avril Lavigne, Korn, Rob Zombie, Jolene Blalock, Shannon Elizabeth, Limp Bizkit, Lisa Marie Presley, Sean Penn, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and more superstars influenced by the band, its videos, and its music. Don’t miss Metallica’s show-stopping set (their first TV appearance with bassist Rob Trujillo), as they show the wannabes how it’s really done.

At least MTV let everyone know that the show was packed with wannabes. That’s nice of them.

Truth be told, I flipped back and forth during the first hour because I am addicted to the Fox show 24 (hey, it beats reality TV). But I saw enough of it to know it was really bad. My wife could barely pull her lower jaw off the floor enough to cackle incessantly at the pathetic displays of “talent.” I swear I had to leave the room when “Snoop Dog” performed “Sad But True”–that has to be some sort of ironic joke.

Of course, once Metallica finally took the stage near the end of the show to play a half-assed medley of tunes all (more or less) was forgiven. They played a bit of a new song from their forthcoming St. Anger (due June 10th). But in typical MTV fashion, the band was cut off mid-song with the credits. It baffles me–the entire show is dedicated to the band yet you cut the band off mid-performance?

Hey, but at least Avril Lavigne got her entire Metallica cover song in. Surprises me she even knows who they are…

I know Metallica had to participate because they have a new record coming out in a month. I know that they’re hosting MTV2’s new “Headbanger’s Ball” this weekend for the same reason. But still. Maybe the band should follow James Hetfield’s example and go through some sort of “publicity rehab” program.

Enough of that. Be sure to catch the reruns bound to play 18 hours a day this weekend.

This Sunday night in Houston, one of my favorite musicians–David Garza–is playing at the Continental Club. I missed the last couple of shows he’s played here and might have to miss this one as well. I am going out of town for Mother’s Day and highly doubt I’ll want to attend a late-night show the day I return. We’ll see.

Next week, there are a few good shows in town. On Tuesday night (5.14.03), The Stratford 4, Ester Drang, and Pedro the Lion are playing at Fat Cat’s (formerly Mary Jane’s). Next Saturday night (5.17.03), Explosions in the Sky, The Motion, and Lazarus are playing at Fat Cat’s. Be sure to show your support to these great bands.

Now Playing in my iPOD: The Stratford 4: Love and Distortion

Tags: Music