12 Fictional Bands That I Didn’t Mention on Nerd Lunch Episode 170

The Nerd Lunch Podcast Episode 170 is now available for download! It’s all about fictional/fake bands from various forms of entertainment. Tim Lybarger, CT, Pax, and myself offer some of our favorites and then later in the show we try to guess some really obscure selections! After you listen, check out my list of fictional bands below that I didn’t get a chance to mention on the podcast.

12. Danger Kitty, Discover Card Commercial, 2001
They’ve been enjoying the biggest success of their career as Steel Panther, and to think they started as a cover band playing ’80s hair band songs in Los Angeles! Originally they were known as Metal Shop, and then Metal Skool and they gained quite a following, now, as Steel Panther they’re touring the world, literally. Everyone loves a some good, tight zebra skin spandex and vagina jokes. Early on, the band appeared as Danger Kitty in a Discover Card commercial where they played a kids Bar Mitzvah. In 2001, at their website, you could get a CD single of the track they played in the commercial called “Love Rocket,” and you can imagine that I requested mine in about .02 milliseconds. Of course, I still have it and have been obsessed with the band ever since.

11. Arsenal, Rock of Ages Musical, 2005-present
Rock of Ages has been a staple musical since 2005 in various parts of the country and touring all over the world. The show spawned a 2012 film adaptation which I still haven’t watched in fear that it’s nowhere near as good as the stage show. The main band in the show is Arsenal and they play actual ’80s arena rock tunes, but what makes them so special to me is that all of the stops on their fictional first tour were to random New Jersey towns! If you want to see proof, I have their original promotional t-shirt and there are photos in my review of the off Broadway production from 2008. This early incarnation of ROA reviewed here was the best before they started tweaking the story, characters, and actors.

10. The Barbusters, Light of Day, 1987
The band in this rock drama is comprised of Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett in one hell of an oddball mash up. The title track was written by Bruce Springsteen. Bon Jovi also appears on the soundtrack.

9. The Lost Soulz, The Perfect Age of Rock n Roll
This rock and roll road movie was filmed partly in New Jersey and my friend Jasin Cadic from the band Starkiller co-wrote it! Check out my review from when it was released.

8. Black Roses, 1988
A monstrous metal band turns everyone into monsters – quite a masterpiece. I recommend adding it to your Halloween time viewing if you haven’t done so in the past. Tracks like “Dance on Fire” and “Soldiers of the Night,” are staples of my Fall playlists. Bands that appear on this rare soundtrack include Lizzy Borden and King Kobra.

7. Vesuvius, The Rocker, 2008
For a while I was watching The Rocker at least 3 times a week. That’s what happens when HBO gets a hold of a new movie. Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate star in the comedy, but it’s a who’s who of comedic actors such as Fred Armisen, Will Arnett, and Jeff Garlin. It’s well worth your time if you are into silly comedies about rock bands like Spinal Tap. The direct result of watching this movie constantly: I was obsessed with “Promised Land” and listened to it on loop on the way to work for several months. The tunes by Vesuvius are attributed to singer Keith England and his band Lazlo Bane.

6. Stillwater, Almost Famous, 2000
A young music journalist embarks on tour with his favorite band Stillwater to document their exploits for a possible published spot in a rock magazine. Said to be based off of the early years of director Cameron Crowe’s life. I’ve had a couple of Stillwater songs on my iPod ever since I owned an iPod. The authentic track, “Fever Dog,” it sounds like it was a lost track made recorded in the mid ’70s, and it’s not surprising because the Stillwater songs were written by Crowe, his ex-wife Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Peter Frampton which helped give it that special vintage sound. Although the film did not knock ’em dead at the box office, the soundtrack won a Grammy for best soundtrack/compilation.

5. Dyver Down from Holliston, 2013
Used mostly for comic relief, the Van Halen tribute band Dyver Down, lead by Lance Rocket (Dee Snider) actually has a track available on iTunes called “Love It Down Your Throat” and a schlocky, badass music video to go along with it. This was my favorite aspect of the show, well, this and Laura Ortiz of course.

4. Mouthfeel and Juggernaut, Gettin’ The Band Back Together
You’re almost guaranteed not to be familiar with these next bands, (it’s a twofer, I cheated) but you will be soon if all goes well. I was lucky enough to see the play getting the band back together with Miss Sexy Armpit at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick in its early phase. It’s been rumored for a while now that it’s on making it’s way to Broadway. If this happens, you may be seeing Rock of Ages take a back seat because that is how funny and entertaining this play is. The comedy/rock musical hybrid is about, you guessed it, a guy who gets his band back together to save his home and neighborhood. They get into a battle of the bands which pits the evil Mouthfeel against the rock heroes in Juggernaut. The original songs are ’80s arena rock style and a select few are available on iTunes. Unfortunately the self titled track “Mouthfeel” isn’t available. I hope Mouthfeel’s tracks make it to the Broadway show otherwise I’m protesting in ’80s hair band attire.

3. Eddie and the Cruisers, 1983
This Jersey classic is possibly one of the most successful fictitious band songs ever. “On The Dark Side,” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, scored a number one hit on the Mainstream Rock singles and reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The sequel, Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives, arrived in 1989.

2. Tears of Blood, Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about how my life has spun out of control ever since Netflix removed Wizards of Waverly Place from their streaming service. I was completely devastated. It was like a punch in the gut! It’s one of my favorite shows of all time and it never fails to make me happy. One minor aspect of the show references a rock band called Tears of Blood. They get mentioned in a bunch of episodes and there’s even a poster that shows up on the wall in one scene. TOB is crazy popular with the teenage crowd within the universe of the show. They even get mentioned in other Disney shows which was always surprising considering the very un-Disney-like name of one of their tracks, “Crying Blood for You.” I can’t be certain anyone has actually heard their music though. If anyone has Tears of Blood music, send it my way!

1. The Hex Girls, Scooby Doo
Scooby Doo fans are ultra familiar with this “eco-goth rock band.” You can see and hear them perform in several Scooby outings, but I suggest you check out the Mystery Inc. episode “In Fear of the Phantom” while it’s still streaming on Netflix. In it, Daphne joins the band as a temporary new member, Crush, voiced by the lovely Grey DeLisle-Griffin. Look out for the influences of Phantom of the Opera, Phantom of the Paradise, and an awesome little surprise cameo from Vincent Van Ghoul from the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo!

Who are some of your favorite fictional bands? Leave ’em in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Steel Panther’s Stix Zadinia, A Jersey Drummer!

Steel Panther are the Viagra addicted, horny hair metal sons of Spinal Tap. The band has been on a tear since 2003’s Hole Patrol, and 2009’s Feel The Steel. Just a  few weeks ago Steel Panther released their latest album BALLS OUT available through iTunes, Amazon or wherever you BUY music. Don’t illegally download this album because these m’fers need the money. Especially Stix cause he’s obviously been in therapy ever since missing out on the chance of drumming for Bon Jovi. Read all about the Jersey drummer in his bio pictured above that appeared in  Feel The Steel‘s CD booklet.

The Misfits Captcha’d

The Misfits mean different things to different people. Classic film buffs know that it stars Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, fans of animated chick rock bands know them as the dirty whorish rival band of JEM & The Holograms, but they had no devilock, and no dong either. To fans of horror punk, The Misfits are the KINGS. Although, as it stands, The Misfits never seem to get the credit they deserve. Perhaps they’ll be recognized 10 years down the road, in a similar way that KISS has just been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Until that point, it’s the little things that indicate the greatness of The Misfits. The ghoulish band from NJ may not appear on on condoms or caskets, but bet your ass the Misfits have their own CAPTCHA!!!

Forget waiting 20 years, The Captchas were immediately inducted the hall of fame of annoying. Unfortunately, most of us have had a run in with THE CAPTCHAS at one time or another. It’s usually never a pleasant experience. After graduating college with honors, I thought I was moderately intelligent until I had to figure out what the hell these dumb little words said. Some programmer came up with these outlandish combinations and they rarely make sense. You can try to decode them, but most times you just get gibberish. Occasionally, the words are so hard to make out that I had a party when I realized there was a “try another” feature. Why even have a “try another” feature? You should be able to figure out what the words say in the first place. These code words are supposed to beef up security for a transaction but they actually waste our time and make me cross eyed.

The secret words are intended to make cracking security more difficult. It merely results in pissing off the end user who’s just trying to by some f’n Steel Panther tickets. Wasting precious seconds when trying to procure tickets to a venue that only holds 350 people is not a feature any ticket retailer should offer. I remember physically waiting on line for tickets and I never once had to whisper a secret password to the bouncer before he let us through the rope to the ticket window? I especially don’t recall being able to tap the bouncer on the shoulder so he could feed me the secret password in case I forgot it. That would have defeated the purpose of the password to begin with.

Formed in Lodi, NJ, The Misfits will be returning to perform a special miscief night concert in New Jersey at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville NJ. You can also catch Danzig and Gorgeous Frankenstein there in December.
The Misfits – 10/30/09
Danzig and Gorgeous Frankenstein – 12/26/09
Starland Ballroom

Most Romantic Moments Heard on my iPod Part 2

Valentine’s Day is one of the cheesiest days of the year. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives are supposed to be good to their significant others all year round, but for the past oh…let’s say 200 years, thanks to Valentine’s Day, we’re only contractually obligated to be nice once a year. I look at V-day simply as an unecessary occasion where men have to buy overpriced flowers and candy for their lady.

If you love someone, you should profess your love often, and in a variety of different ways. One way is to make a playlist on your lovers iPod or go old school and make them an actual mix CD. For hints on some of the best musical expressions of love, here’s part 2 of the most romantic songs heard on my iPod. If you are a completist and would like to read the first installment, then click here!

I want you, in a vinyl suit, I want you bad
The Offspring – I Want You Bad
I know you’re hungry I can see it in your eyes
She’s lookin at me like I’m a side of fries
I wanna take your chubby ass back to my place
And squirt my baby gravy all over your face
Steel Panther – Fat Girl

She took a lightsaber to my heart
And she picked my brain with a pocket knife
Marvelous 3 – Cold as Hell

You got a body like the devil and you smell like sex
I can tell you’re trouble but I’m still obsessed
Because you know you’re so hot, I want to get you alone
So hot, I wanna get you stoned
So hot, I don’t want to be your friend
I want to fuck you like I’m never gonna see you again
Kid Rock – So Hott

She calls and I come runnin’ back, I call, she never calls me back
What’s wrong with me I’m so addicted to you…
and you’re such a dick to me
Lit – Addicted

Don’t come hangin’ around my door

Don’t wanna see your face no more
I don’t need your war machines
I don’t need your ghetto scenes
The Guess Who – American Woman

The plaster’s gettin’ harder and my love is perfection
A token of my love for her collection

And my love is the plaster
And yeah, shes the collector
She wants me all the time to inject her

KISS – Plaster Caster

Put your hand in my pocket
Grab onto my rocket
KISS – Take Me

You know I thug ’em, fuck ’em, love ’em, leave ’em
Cause I don’t fuckin’ need ’em
Jay Z – Big Pimpin’

I used to love her, but I had to kill her
I knew I’d miss her
So I had to keep her
She’s buried right in my backyard
Guns N Roses – I Used To Love Her

Girls Don’t Like Boys, Girls Like Cars And Money
Boys Will Laugh At Girls When They’re Not Funny
Good Charlotte – Boys and Girls

Need your love 1,2,3
Stop starin’ at my D cup

Don’t waste time, just give it to me
C’mon baby, just feel me up
The Donnas – Take It Off

Hey! You’re a crazy bitch,

but you fuck so good I’m on top of it.
When I dream I’m doing you all night,
Scratches all down my back to keep me right on.
Buckcherry – Crazy Bitch

You say you’re cried a thousand rivers
And now you’re swimming for the shore
You left me drowning in my tears
And you won’t save me anymore
Bon Jovi – I’ll Be There For You

You let me violate you, You let me desecrate you, You let me penetrate you
I want to fuck you like an animal
I want to feel you from the inside
Nine Inch Nails – Closer

She dashed by me in painted on jeans
And all heads turned ’cause she was the dream
In the blink of an eye I knew her number and her name
Ah she said I was the tiger she wanted to tame
Billy Ocean – Carribbean Queen
I hope she’ll say, “Hey me and you should hit the hay!”
I asked her out she said, “No way!”
The Beastie Boys – Girls

One more thing before you go
would you please give me my records back
My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cheap Trick and Back In Black
You can keep the dog we bought but you can’t go near the Standard Bar
Don’t hang around, don’t call my friends, They won’t know who you are!

American Hi-Fi – The Breakup Song

I don’t drink tea
Or white chablis
I sit around and watch tv
Don’t send flowers
Or take showers
But I’ll be there to pull your weeds

Alice Cooper – Fantasy Man

I know you’d like to thank your shit don’t stank
But lean a little bit closer
See that roses really smell like poo-oo-ooo
Yeah, roses really smell like poo-oo-ooo
Caroline! See she’s the reason for the word “bitch”
I hope she’s speeding on the way to the club
Trying to hurry up to get to some
Baller or singer or somebody like that
And try to put on her makeup in the mirror
And crash, crash, crash.. into a ditch! (Just Playing!)
Outkast – Roses

But it all was bullshit.
It was a goddam joke.
And when I think of you Linda,
I hope you fucking choke.
Adam Sandler – Somebody Kill Me Please

I try to love you but sometimes it’s just a pain in the ass
RATT – I Want a Woman

Goin’ Hollywood

From the swamps, fumes, toxic sludge, and the congestion of New Jersey, The Sexy Armpit flew all the way across the country to Los Angeles, California. Like alot of other kids I knew, I grew up with a bit of an inflated idea of Hollywood. As a kid, I pictured famous people everywhere, hot girls galore, and bright sunny days. Regardless of my love for the state I was born and raised in, Hollywood sits on a gold encrusted throne high above any other city I’ve ever visited. There’s a slew of reasons why this town offers so much more than just the random celebrity sightings. (Mena Suvari, Ian Ziering, and Rebecca Gayheart just to name a few) If you’re trying to keep up with “the scene,” then you know that everything in Hollywood IS based on you’re look. It seems like the only people there who aren’t beautiful are some of the tourists, excluding myself of course…ahem. joke. I looked like a mutant compared to some of the natives. Those hot, hot, natives. Even the f’n mannequins are hotter there.

The most minuscule details of life in Hollywood seem to make everything about my life in New Jersey seem meaningless. I’ve always complained that “nothing cool ever happens in Jersey.” Of course that’s a generalization but it’s mostly true. It’s a disservice to say that the only thing cool about Hollywood is that there are celebrities all over the place. Actually, celebrity sightings just added to the amazing times I had there. In fact I don’t know if I can say I’ve ever had that much fun doing anything in New Jersey. If I stood on one leg eating a leftover bowl of macaroni in the middle of a street in Jersey and then did the same thing on the Sunset Strip…something tells me that it would be about 250,000 times more fun on the Strip. Maybe it’s because it’s called “The Strip?” It’s no coincidence that The Strip is home to the illustrious gentleman’s clubs that Motley Crue’s Vince Neil shouted out in “Girls, Girls, Girls” like the Seventh Veil, and The Body Shop. I couldn’t believe I was walking past places that are mentioned in a song that I’ve sang along to about 4,000 times! Screw you, that was exciting to me.

North Jersey guido’s or Jocks who are still re-living their high school football memories need not even visit Hollywood because they won’t fit in. The freaks, the flamboyant, and the filthy rich create the city’s aura and keep it’s blood pumping. New York was always said to be the city that never sleeps but Hollywood is way more of a constant party. There’s always an after party, and you’re never at a loss to find somewhere else to go. The people of the town are way more sociable than the angry, uptight NY/NJ people. Being a lifelong Jersey native and a person whose hung out in New York more times than you can imagine, it’s a fact that we’re a cold, aggressive bunch of folks. Even with smog blocking the sun on some days, Hollywood keeps it’s positive, go getting, adventurous atmosphere. That atmosphere may be what fuels people to go there to follow their dreams. Whether it was playing in a band, or acting, everyone seemed to have talent and ambition to “make it.” Believe it or not, just going out and showing your face consistently gives you your own “fun size” sample of star power.

Going to New York to follow your dreams may only land you a job on Wall Street or at a corner store selling fruit, energy drinks, and flowers. New York City in comparison to Hollywood is nothing but business. Not too much fun to be had there in Manhattan. You like Opera? Show tunes? Working your ass off? Traffic and honking? Getting lost? Then Manhattan is the place for you. Hollywood is all about a laid back, party atmosphere and it looks like not much has changed there in quite a long time. We even stayed in the Hyatt, West Hollywood because of it’s rich rock history. Click the link for a great rundown of facts about the hotel at Wikipedia.

In any local establishment in NJ all you hear over their sound system is Rhianna, Leona Lewis, John Mayer etc. All I had to do was travel 3,000 miles and in every establishment, EVEN MEXICAN RESTAURANTS, you can hear a whole slew of ’80s rock. Everywhere I was I heard Motley, Guns, Van Halen, Poison, and Bon Jovi. Even though it was only a few days, it gave me hope that at least some place in the world still likes to ROCK! Jersey sure as hell doesn’t remember that one of it’s own stereotypes was BIG HAIR!

The rock music scene is still alive and flourishing. While there seems to be no place for rock in New Jersey, Hollywood wears their rock rags proudly. Whether you wear eyeliner or high heel boots, everything rock is accepted. In fact, all kinds of music get their fair share of stage time on the strip. New York and New Jersey are famous for certain venues but I guess I missed their golden age. Music venues in Asbury Park, Atlantic City, and Hoboken have become historic because of the artists that would frequently play there. Heck, even the Izod Center in East Rutherford and The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville constantly has huge concerts with all the big names. The problem is, they aren’t the type of places you go to just hang out and coincidentally catch an awesome band who might hit it huge in a few years. Regardless of the fact that Manhattan is home to the most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, as well as places like Roseland, Hammerstein, and the defunct CBGB’s, the good stuff takes a while to travel over to the East Coast. Perhaps it’s the vastness of the metropolitan area that hinders it from being as great as Hollywood. You can’t walk down a street and choose between 3 concert venues all featuring several solid acts. I can’t imagine how far it would be to walk from Starland Ballroom in Sayreville all the way to the Izod Center in East Rutherford. (According to mapquest it’s about 36 miles and it would take about 50 minutes depending on traffic…bummer) In Hollywood I can walk from the Viper Room to the Key Club, to the Roxy all in a matter of a few minutes. Venues like the Whiskey-a-Go-Go and all the clubs on the strip are legendary for the great bands and artists that have played there. When you visit the Jersey Shore, you can hit up Jenkinson’s and check out a cover band, and then also check out Martell’s Tiki Bar and then…check out a cover band! Now don’t get me wrong I love cover bands but after you had the time in Hollywood that I did, Jersey pales in comparison.

In about 4 days here’s the rundown of all the bands I got to see, and it wasn’t even a festival! Check this out:
The Donnas 15th Anniversary show, a very intimate gathering for the Donnas hardcore fans, and family members. Wow, these girls have worked hard for 15 years already and they’re music and performances just keep getting stronger. Back in ’01 I got to interview Torry, (The Donnas drummer) for my radio show and finally got to meet her in person at this show. Their latest album Bitchin is a kick ass rock party album and is in stores now.

Vains of Jenna – I first heard about these Swedish guys a few years ago on Stevie Rachelle’s Metal Sludge site and I picked up their CD (which was released on Bam Margera’s record label) as soon as it came out. I’ve always been a fan of Swedish rock bands (like Dogpound) because the folks in Sweden eat, sleep, and bathe in rock and roll. They are so obsessed with it that they study rock music that was popular in the ’70s and ’80s in the U.S. You might ask, for a bunch of guys so serious about their craft how can they be bad? Unfortunately I was actually disappointed in the recording quality of “Lit Up, Let Down,” and there wasn’t that many tracks that blew me away. It just seemed like a bunch of guys doing throwback sleaze rock from the ’80s. WAS I WRONG! Have you ever heard the old adage that you have to experience a band live to make an accurate opinion on them? Remember how the first few KISS albums weren’t big sellers but after people started seeing their explosive, loud, rocking live show the band started to blow up. This is exactly how Veins of Jenna is going to do it. They played one blistering set of tunes that sounded almost completely separate from the tracks on the album. Their CD does not do them justice. They also threw in a cover of Tom Petty’s Refugee which was heavy and friggin‘ amazing.

I also got to check out The Atomic Punks – The Tribute to Early Van Halen with lead singer Ralph Saenz, who coincidentally is also the lead singer of STEEL PANTHER. For those who have been under a rock for the last 8 years or so, Steel Panther (formerly Danger Kitty, Metal Shop and Metal Skool) are rock’s reigning kings of the sunset strip. Their original brand of Hair Band Parody sells out every Monday night. They play ’80s hair metal from Bon Jovi to Poison and always throw in one of their original comedy rock songs like “Death to All But Metal” or “Fat Girl.” Celebs are known to show up and sing with them from time to time like Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, and Pink. I was lucky to see Matt Sorum introduce the band, Scott Ian from Anthrax join them onstage, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, and Whitfield Crane formerly of Ugly Kid Joe/Another Animal.

Some of the other amazing bands I saw during my stay in Hollywood: Franki’s Broken Toys (Franki Doll=great frontwoman), Mack Winston and the Reflections,(original, pretty damn mesmerizing music) The Binges (BEST band I’ve heard in years) and the hard driving Bullets and Octane. And more! I don’t think a feat this cool could ever be accomplished in NY/NJ or for that matter, anywhere on the east coast. There’s always a band to discover there before it makes it’s way east. I originally intended the name of this site to embrace the good stuff Jersey offered but, man, I’m not far away from making it all about how it’s so not as cool as Hollywood. But really…not many places are.