7 Questions with Britta Gortz of Cripper

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by Ryan Meehan

Cripper have been converting fans to their cause with their riveting mix of old school and modern thrash metal since their inception in 2005. The band’s accomplished technical refinement, along with a healthy serving of groove, makes for a diverse and distinct listening experience. The guys and gal from Hanover, Germany have already made their impression as a rousing live band, and will look to continue to do so in support of their new album, “Hyëna.” Previously fans have seen Cripper on tour with Overkill and Onslaught, in addition to repeat performances at major European festivals: Summer Breeze, Wacken Rocks, Metalfest, and Rockharz Open Air.  But there’s even more – Cripper has been on board the immensely popular 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise ship from Miami twice. They’ve also played the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic, Bang Your Head in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, and they have been invited to perform at the Slovenian Metaldays 5 times! Cripper has put in the time and miles to garner a strong international reputation along with an ever expanding fanbase.  After having been exposed to Cripper at Metaldays 2013, Metal Blade Records signed the vibrant and highly motivated self sufficient group of musicians. The band’s creativity is always on display through in three different aspects: album artwork, merchandise, and (so far) four complex, and entirely self-produced music video productions.  Hyëna,” Cripper’s fourth studio album, is 11 tracks that each exemplifies the band’s unique flavor. The band would describe this album as overall much more heavy than previous works, and with a different, more transparent sound concept. “Hyëna” stands as an album that’s of special significance for the band. It’s their first with Metal Blade, and with the label’s global reach, they stand to further broaden their horizons and continue to grow to become one of metal’s finest up and coming acts on the planet.  Lead vocalist Britta Görtz of Cripper is our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

NFL Week Thirteen Preview

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by Ryan Meehan

Week thirteen brings us Thanksgiving Day, a time where we show our appreciation for the things that make our life great and forget about how we slowly chased all of the Native Americans into one casino resort in New Mexico.  One of the recurring themes in my NFL pieces this year has been the poor play of the NFC South.  You’re probably tired of hearing me bag on it, but it’s important that everybody understands how the integrity of the game is at stake if the play in that division does not improve.  For the first time in NFL history, we are looking at the mathematical possibility of a team winning a division with a 6-10 record.  This is how bad the NFC South is:  The last place team in the AFC North (The Cleveland Browns) is three wins better than the first place team in that division.  (The Atlanta Falcons)

I have an issue with this – I’ve stated many times before before that I don’t think any sub-.500 team should ever make the playoffs in any sport.  We briefly discussed this on KUGR last week, and Neil and I do not hold the same opinion on this.  He seems to be cool with the current format, but I just can’t reconcile knowingly sending a team to the playoffs that everyone can agree doesn’t deserve to make the trip.  If a 6-10 team makes it to the postseason AND gets to host a playoff game, I would think the competition committee is due for a get together where they decide on some major changes to the way the playoffs currently operate.  Adding a seventh team to the mix (which will likely happen in the near future) will only further complicate the problem, and I simply don’t think there are enough teams in the league yet to justify a seventh playoff team.  That’s a different discussion for a different day, and we have a lot of great games to discuss this week.  Focus is key, so this is what I think will transpire in week thirteen of the 2014 NFL season.

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7 Questions with Cash Levy

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by Ryan Meehan

Cash Levy has appeared numerous times on Comedy Central, Fox, NBC, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS), Comics Unleashed, Comedy.TV and is a regular at the Hollywood Improv. He can be heard daily on Sirius XM Radio, and has been heard on The Bob and Tom Show. With fifteen years of stand-up comedy expertise and national exposure, Cash has entertained to sold out comedy clubs throughout the country.  Internationally, Cash has performed for U.S. troops all over the world, from Afghanistan to Singapore.  Cash is known as one of the finest improvisers in the country. He uses this skill to interact with the audience, whether in a club or in front of a corporate crowd – spontaneously creating jokes specific to any event. Cash has a rare ability to play off the crowd, and he’s our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

NFL Week Twelve Wrap-Up

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by Ryan Meehan
Now that week twelve of the NFL season is over, I can’t help but think about a series of events that took place during the week which resulted in the Bills/Jets game being moved to Ford Field in Detroit.  I find it fitting that this game likely won’t affect any sort of playoff seeding, because the situation was very serious and made me think about the way the NFL view its supposed invincibility.  On Wednesday the Bills posted a want ad of sorts on their Twitter account, offering anybody who was willing to shovel some of the seven feet of snow that fell on the Buffalo area in the forty-eight hours leading up to the game ten dollars and hour and game tickets to get all of that white stuff out of the seating areas.  The next day, finally the game was said to be called during the early afternoon hours.  Then on Thursday afternoon, the NFL released a statement saying that the game would officially be played at Ford Field in Detroit.
By Wednesday morning, there should not have been any question that this game was to be moved.  We discussed this on KUGR Friday Night, and although Neil pointed out that you can never quite prepare for a once-in-a-century disaster – I still don’t think that the Bills or the NFL should have ever attempted to tackle this snowstorm head on.  I think it speaks to the arrogance of Roger Goddell, the owners, and the rest of the NFL that they would think they are invincible like this.  They aren’t bigger than weather.  And what was the Bills franchise thinking putting the citizens of that city at a safety risk by asking them to shovel out their stadium when the fucking mayor was telling everybody to stay home?  Hopefully the people of Buffalo will be safe and the city will return to its day to day business shortly.  The NFL was very busy elsewhere this weekend, so let’s take a look at what really happened during a very busy week twelve.

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7 Questions with Shane McCarthy of Wayfarer

Photo by Jenni Fae

by Ryan Meehan

Wayfarer is a four piece band hailing from the Rocky Mountains of Denver, Colorado. Through a storm of riffing and unrelenting atmosphere, the band creates a sound that feels at once archaic and elemental, and ultimately human. Wayfarer came together in 2012, after recording an instrumental demo the previous year. With the lineup complete, the band then cut its teeth playing out in the burgeoning Denver underground, and began work on their debut album “Children of the Iron Age”; a lengthy epic of blackened atmospherics interwoven with entrancing acoustic passages and driving, powerful post-metal soundscapes. The album was recorded in early 2014 at Flatline Audio in Westminster, Colorado with Shane Howard (Martriden) and mixed and mastered by Dave Otero (Cobalt, Primitive Man, Cattle Decapitation). The debut album was followed by subsequent touring of the Western United States with Denver cohorts Dreadnought over the summer. The band was signed to Prosthetic Records in August of 2014, and will be embarking on a West Coast tour in early Winter in support of the release of “Children Of The Iron Age” on Gatefold 2xLP and Digipak CD on November 24, 2014. Guitarist Shane McCarthy is our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading