Thursday, January 31, 2013

Need To Build Your Audience, But Not Sure How?

Modern day system disruptor and the real life Tony Stark, Elon Musk doesn't understand the word, no.
Success can be measured in a variety of ways. Do you have money in your pocket? Are you ultimately enjoying what you do or best of all? Are you creating new ideas and content instead of hacking up other folk's concepts, to call your own? 

We tend to think that if you challenge the norm and push forward with new ideas, you will be rewarded for the long haul. It may not be monetarily, or it might not happen for quite a few years, but putting skin in the game is the key to survival. I was told once that if you can last 10 years in the punk rock game, then you will have a name for yourself. This is partially true and holds the most weight by simply sticking to your guns. It takes more than just time to achieve solid results, you also need to add know how to your never adding stack of tools. 

There was a cool article that just popped into our inbox from an email blast about a write up in the Huffington Post about push and pull marketing. Never heard of this jargon? Well, surely you have experienced it and not ever known what was going on. Read the article below and think on new ways to capitalize on opportunity. The content creators will always rise above.

Check out original article over at 

"A common argument in the digital music era involves whether the Internet has empowered artists to control their own destiny. Now more than ever, there are incredible opportunities for artists to distribute their original work directly to their fans, with the goal of acquiring new fans and taking their act global. However, piracy has made it difficult for artists to sell their music, and the vast sea of young and buzzed-about artists has made it even harder to break through the noise so live performances are more important than ever for artists to make a living.

So how do musicians reach audiences, and where are they? Long gone are the days when music fans would pick up a copy of Time Out or City Guide to see who is playing near them that weekend. We know fans are shifting to online services like Spotify and Pandora to stream and listen to music, but the main question is how to engage them and alert them when artists are on tour?

To begin, it's essential to understand the two basic forms of music marketing: Push Marketing and Pull Marketing.
  1. Push marketing requires you to create demand by actively distributing your music and events. Push marketing helps musicians both new and established rise above the fray, whether for recorded music or for tour dates.
  2. Pull marketing effectively pulls fans to your website or band page who may already be looking for new music and hoping to "discover" you. Pull takes advantage of pre-existing market demand.
Fortunately, musicians are beginning to control the means of distribution through the Web, mobile and social networks allowing them to market directly to fans relatively cheaply and easily. And concertgoers are responding, preferring direct communication from artists where information is "pushed" to them rather than searching it out themselves. Given that social media provides a layer of data and analytics about fans like location and musical preference, artists can target their fan base as they never have in the past. This solves a critical issue in music marketing -- your most dedicated customers need you to find them, not the other way around. 

It's important to note that what we call music "discovery" is actually a passive activity for consumers. Streaming music sites like iHeartRadio and Songza are great examples of this, since listeners simply click on a station and let the service do the rest -- providing hours of endless curated entertainment. The same way the discovery of recorded music is a passive activity, so too is the discovery of live events.

In the fall of 2012, Bandsintown commissioned a study of American concertgoers to better understand what brings people out to shows and how to reach them. The results determined that music fans prefer to receive "push" notifications, such as Facebook posts and email blasts about upcoming shows, rather than "pull" notifications from artist or event websites. More than 80 percent of music fans surveyed said that Facebook posts and email blasts inspire them to purchase concert tickets, compared to more traditional outlets like magazines, newspapers, or even blogs. The survey also found that the majority of all fans buy concert tickets in advance when notified -- about 75 percent of the time -- because they don't want to risk missing the show. That's guaranteed revenue since artist's most dedicated fans have paid up front, and there are still countless artists in and out of the mainstream that are ignoring this tactic.

Musicians typically believe that because push marketing requires an investment of their time it will get in the way of what they love most -- make great music. It's true that with today's virtually unlimited choice of music, interacting with fans is now a part of the job if you want to be successful. However, there are inexpensive online tools available -- from Mobile Roadie and Bandsintown to Sonic Notify -- that effectively utilize social networks and automate the push marketing process, freeing up valuable time for other important things.

So while there has been a hazy cloud hanging over artists, managers and labels relating to how digital music and the Internet affect their sales and bottom lines, the opportunity provided by push marketing remains an untapped well for a wide swath of artists, from no-name garage bands to arena headliners. The bands are there, the fans are there, and the technology is there -- it's time that the dots are connected in a way that ensures success and exposure for artists of all stripes, while ensuring that fans are more plugged in and aware than they've ever been before."

2013 Releases from Rusty Knuckles Music and Then Some...

Screen shot from brand new Green Lady Killers video that is in the works
Damn do we have some great projects coming up for this year. We can't let all of them out of the bag just yet, as the final touches are being maneuvered on quite a few. Here is quick list of what is on the horizon for spring and summer from Rusty Knuckles Music:

1. Brand new album from the Carolina Still with video series filmed by Shane DeRuise
2. New video and album from the Green Lady Killers
3. Split 7" with the Flat Tires and History Repeated, featuring John Stabb of Government Issue
4. New mixed, remastered and repackaged album from Kara Clark
5. New song and video from Rory Kelly, filmed by Shane DeRuise
6. New video about to be released from Reno Divorce, shot in California
7. Re-release of Crank County Daredevils "Livin' In The Red"
8. Jay Berndt & The Orphans split 7" with J.B. Beverley and Buck Thrailkill
9. Antiseen & Grim Pickins and the Bastard Congregation Split 7"
10. Billy Don Burns documentary film project 
11. Hellbound Glory on tour with Kid Rock and Buckcherry
12. Four more awesomely great new projects we cannot spill the beans on just yet, but will definitely be wetting panties world wide.
This is just a taste of the music projects on the horizon. There is far more in the works with a lot of special guests popping in this year along with our new event series that we are partnering up with quite a few folks on.

Wrench N' Roll is our new event series put on with the Veterans MC, Friction, Shooting Star Tattoo and The Drunk Horse Saloon in Fayetteville, NC on March 1st 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Tucker Was Supposed To Be The Car Of The Future, From

Link to original post on

"Francis Ford Coppola’s car connection began at birth, or even before. He was delivered at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, and Henry Ford himself sometimes attended rehearsals of the Detroit Symphony, where Coppola’s father played first flute. “In a family tradition of giving the middle name to an important family acquaintance, they gave me ‘Ford,’” the Godfather director explains.

But Coppola would soon come to admire a more obscure automotive icon: Preston Tucker, father of the unlucky Tucker ’48, a cutting-edge car that was never mass-produced because of the inventor’s legal and financial woes.

“As a child, my father told me about the new Tucker,” Coppola recounts. “He had ordered one and invested in the Tucker stock. He took me to see the car when it was on exhibit and I was very excited. I remember the details very well and for months kept asking, ‘When is the Tucker coming?’ Finally he said it was never coming, and that the big companies didn’t want it to exist, and wouldn’t let Mr. Tucker buy steel or the supplies he needed.”

Tucker, the car that supposed to be the future in the late 1940's with it's unique features and accessories
Coppola’s father lost his $5,000 investment, a lot of money for a middle-class man in the 1940s, but “he didn’t blame Tucker. He loved innovation.” And to Coppola, the Tucker car became “a mythical thing.” Nearly 40 years later, Coppola directed Tucker: The Man and His Dream, a critical success that, in the Tucker tradition, failed to make money.

Today, Tucker’s 475-acre Chicago production plant houses a Tootsie Roll factory and shopping center. But 47 of the original 51 cars built there still exist in collections scattered throughout the world. Parked in a Smithsonian National Museum of American History warehouse, Number 1039 is the color of champagne. Usually up on blocks, and drained of all fluids but oil, it still emits a living glow, like a pearl.

Preston Tucker, an affable character with a weakness for statement neckties, was a Prohibition-era policeman known for chasing down boosmtleggers in Lincoln Park, Michigan. (He would be gratified to learn that the Smithsonian’s Tucker was seized during a government narcotics raid.) One frigid winter, he torched a hole in the dashboard of his unheated cruiser to pipe in warmth from under the hood, was demoted for his trouble and left the force. He later built race cars and the Tucker Turret, a swiveling machine-gun turret used in World War II.

After the war, and years of sugar and meat rationing, America’s biggest appetite was for cars. They were the keystone of the emerging suburban culture, but production had stopped entirely between 1942 and ’45, as automobile factories cranked out bomber engines and other wartime goods. There were long waiting lists for new vehicles, and consumers plunked down money, sight unseen. But the first models produced in 1946 featured tired prewar designs. Tucker knew that he could top them.

“Tucker thought of the automobile as a malleable object,” says NMAH curator Roger White. “He was kind of like Frank Lloyd Wright in that respect, unafraid to start from scratch.”

Unveiled in 1946 in a series of sketches, the Tucker Torpedo, as the sedan was called, hurtled into the future: With its swooping lines, the car appeared almost as if it were moving, even when standing still. “It was like the Star Wars of that period,” says Jay Follis, historian for the Tucker Automobile Club of America. It wasn’t only the sleek shape that resonated: The car boasted innovations including a third, centered headlight, which swiveled to light the way around corners; fenders that pivoted defensively when the car turned; disc brakes; a pop-out windshield (designed to eject during a crash, protecting passengers); a rear engine; and a padded dashboard.

One of the few Tuckers in existence and in pristine condition
But while his designs and safety innovations were pioneering, Tucker’s business model lagged. Car manu­facturing had contracted during the Great Depression; by the late ’40s, only a handful of companies remained, rooted in a culture that valued corporate prudence over individual genius. By the mid-1950s, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler manufactured 95 percent of American cars.

Tucker refused to cede creative control to businessmen who could have made the Tucker ’48 commercially viable. Instead, he attempted to raise money through unconventional means, including selling dealership rights for a car that didn’t exist yet. The Securities and Exchange Commission investigated, he was tried for fraud, and although acquitted in 1950, went bankrupt. Tucker also believed that opponents in the auto industry had orchestrated his downfall. He died a few years after he went broke, still working on new designs. Some regarded him as a scam artist, others as a tragic visionary. (When a Tucker went up for sale this year, it fetched $2.9 million.)

“If someone has a beautiful dream, but doesn’t know how to achieve it, is he a great man or not?” White asks. “Whether Tucker was a great man or not, he was a quintessential American.”

Coppola, who is currently living in China working on a new project, believes that “We are a country of innovators, but we don’t always welcome them or aid them in their work.” A sometimes thwarted visionary in his own right, Coppola says that he has been involved in Hollywood versions of a “Tucker enterprise,” where worldly concerns triumph and great ideas litter the cutting-room floor.

Whether Tucker would really have jump-started automotive history will never be known. Test drives of his inventions have yielded mixed reviews. Coppola today owns two restored Tuckers. Although the cars “drive like boats,” he reports, they are “fast and fun.”"

Forget Lions, Tigers and Bears, Tools Are Our Kind Of Tattoo Flash

Forget lions, tigers and bears, tools are our kind of tattoo flash. We have a cool project in the works and decided to post a teaser of what is in the works.

Rusty Knuckles © 2013 tool illustrations

Lady Who Loves Motorcycles and Leather

Enjoy a sexy woman in leather? We thought so...

Tipu's Tiger, Automaton From India

History and works of are intertwined akin to a DNA helix. One doesn't exist without the other, speaking in general terminology. The art of an era generally follows the popular culture and politics, helping to define the mindset of that age. 
Over the last few years we have started to take a big interest in checking out automaton's. It is quite difficult to find them being created in the 21st century, as they feel like old technology. What fascinates us the most, is the intricate details of the sculpture, that is being animated. There is a classical sense of craftsmanship and story telling that is not lost, due to the effects of time. 

Stories that follow along with Tipu's Tiger give a huge insight into the plight of 1800's India with British Colonialism. Once you understand the meaning of the tiger and the soldier in the picture, this sentiment echo's some two hundred years later with a full roar.

Check out the Victoria and Albert Museum

'Tipu's Tiger', a carved and lacquered wooden semi-automaton in the shape of a tiger mauling a man, Mysore, India, about 1793. Museum no 2545 (IS).

The Tiger comes to London

'Tipu's Tiger' is an awesome, life-size beast of carved and painted wood, seen in the act of devouring a prostrate European in the costume of the 1790s. It has cast a spell over generations of admirers since 1808, when it was first displayed in the East India Company's museum. On the dissolution of the Company fifty years later, its properties were transferred to the Crown, and the contents of the museum eventually dispersed to appropriate institutions. The tiger was among items allotted to the Indian Section of the South Kensington Museum, now called the V&A.

'Tipu's Tiger' (detail showing organ), 1790. Museum no. 2545(IS)

The Man-Tyger-Organ: A mechanical toy

Concealed in the bodywork is a mechanical pipe-organ with several parts, all operated simultaneously by a crank-handle emerging from the tiger's shoulder. Inside the tiger and the man are weighted bellows with pipes attached. Turning the handle pumps the bellows and controls the air-flow to simulate the growls of the tiger and cries of the victim. The cries are varied by the approach of the hand towards the mouth and away, as the left arm - the only moving part - is raised and lowered.

Another pair of bellows, linked to the same handle, supplies wind for a miniature organ of 18 pipes built into the tiger, with stops under the tail. Its structure is like that of European mechanical organs, but adapted for hand operation by a set of ivory button keys reached through a flap in the animal's side. The mechanism has been repaired several times and altered from its original state. It is now too fragile to be operated regularly.

Unknown, 'Tipu Sultan', about 1790-1800. Museum no. IS.266-1952
Tipu (Tipu Sahib to his European contemporaries) was Sultan of Mysore in South India from 1782-99. The painted wooden casing of his tiger is unmistakably Indian, but there are indications that the mechanism came from a European hand. A French source seems likely, as many French artisans were employed in the Sultan's workshops under Citizen Tipu's unofficial alliance with the Revolutionary government. Other Indian potentates also collected musical automata, which were fashionable at the time; what makes this one so interesting is its uniquely personal significance for the owner.

Mysore against the Company

Unknown, 'Tipu Sultan', about 1790-1800. Museum no. IS.266-1952
He was the implacable enemy of the East India Company, a commercial enterprise with its own armies and civil administration, which during the late 18th century was engaged in extending British dominion in India. In the south the conflict of interests between the Company and the Mysore regime made war inevitable. 

Tipu's father, Haidar Ali, a Muslim of humble origin, had risen to high command in the Mysore army, until by 1762 he was strong enough to unseat the Hindu raja and make himself master of the state. Thus a weak province became one of the strongest and most militant in India.

There followed the four Mysore Wars, during which Tipu succeeded Haidar, and which ended in 1799 with the siege and fall of the capital, Seringapatam, to the British. Tipu died fighting bravely in the struggle for the city, and many of his belongings were seized as trophies in the plundering that ensued. The wooden tiger aroused great interest from the first, and was soon despatched to the Company's museum at the India House in Leadenhall Street, London.

Further adventures of a Tiger

Tipu and his exploits captured the popular imagination in Britain, figuring prominently in art, literature and drama far into the 19th century. Keats, who visited the India House while the tiger was on show there, in Cap and Bells envisaged a personal performance by the Sultan on his  Man-Tyger-Organ. The Storming of Seringapatam unleashed a flood of prints and broadsheets. It inspired one of the largest paintings in the world, exhibited in London as a panorama. It was featured as a vast spectacular at Astley's Amphitheatre, and cut down to size for the juvenile drama. As late as 1868 it set the scene for Wilkie Collins's novel The Moonstone.

The Lion of God is the Tiger of Mysore

This enduring fascination can be explained by Tipu's much-publicized tiger mania and anglophobia, twin obsessions which were embodied in the toy tiger. Tigers and tiger symbols adorned most of his possessions, from his magnificent throne to the uniforms of his guards.

His armoury included mortars shaped like sitting tigers, cannon with tiger muzzles, and hand weapons decorated with gold tiger heads, or inlaid in gold with tiger masks formed by an arrangement of Arabic letters meaning The Lion of God is the Conqueror. This text is highly relevant to Tipu's psychology. Victorious Lion of God, and Haidar, meaning a lion, were titles bestowed by the Prophet on the Imam Ali, after whom Tipu's father was named. (Lions and tigers were regarded as interchangeable in such a context.)

Theatrical print, 1823. Theatre Collection
Tipu's Dream Book - a Persian manuscript found in the Palace after his death, and preserved in the India Office Library - reveals his preoccupation with tigers, and his association of the cult animal with the extermination, or at least the driving out, of infidels (i.e. non-Muslims). He was in effect the royal tiger, the instrument of God, appointed to devour God's enemies, particularly the British, whose continuing presence in South India guaranteed opposition to the aggrandizement of Mysore. His opponents felt in him the mingled dread and allure of the 'tyger burning bright', irresistible to the European then as now.

English translations of the dreams were published in 1800. By the end of the third Mysore War Tipu had sustained heavy losses in territory and indemnities. He had also been obliged to hand over two of his sons as hostages to the British commander, Lord Cornwallis. The boys had been well treated, even feted, during their two years in Madras, but Tipu never forgot the humiliation. He ordered the walls of houses in Seringapatam to be painted with scenes of tigers mauling Europeans. Live tigers were kept in the city and there were stories of prisoners thrown into the tiger-pits.

A Tiger's Vengeance, or, The Death of Munrow

Tipu must have been intrigued by a news item widely reported in India and Britain in 1793, only months after he had been compelled to sign the hated Treaty of Seringapatam. A young Englishman out shooting near Calcutta had been carried off by 'an immense riyal tiger...four and a half feet high and nine long', sustaining fatal injuries. The victim was the only son of General Sir Hector Munro, who had been concerned in a crushing defeat inflicted on Haidar and Tipu in the second Mysore War.

Far away in England 'The Death of Munrow' would be commemorated by Staffordshire pottery groups for the cottage chimney-piece; The 'Tiger of Mysore' may have devised a personal and more exotic memento."

Tipu's Tiger', emblematic organ, 1790. Museum no. 2545(IS)

Written by Veronica Murphy, 1976, and published in the V&A Masterpieces series. Revised 2006. For an updated history of Tipu Sultan and the Tiger, see Susan Stronge's 'Tipu's Tigers', V&A Publishing, 2009

Leroy of Hellbound Glory, Talks On The Kid Rock Tour, From Saving Country Music

Link to original post on Saving Country Music

"I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Leroy Virgil of Hellbound Glory, and specifically his vast collection of remarkable country songs, is one of the most overlooked and untapped resources in country music. Music Row should be pilfering his song library, and yet the man sits here without even a serious publishing deal. Leroy Virgil is country music’s best kept secret, but the cat may soon be out of the bag as none other than Kid Rock has tapped Hellbound Glory as the opener on the first two legs of his 29-date arena tour.

With Kid Rock’s place as a polarizing figure to some of the same country fans that Hellbound Glory appeals to, the association has drawn some ire. At the same time, it’s hard to not credit Kid Rock for doing something that no other major music artist or entity has done up to this point: recognize Leory’s immeasurable talent and give it a greater outlet.

As Leroy Virgil does a circuit of small town gigs in Idaho to prepare for the big tour, I talked to him about the opportunity, about the concerns of some fans about the Kid Rock affiliation and their worries the opportunity is too much too fast, and about where Leroy and Hellbound Glory go from here.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Trigger: In my review of Hellbound Glory’s last album Damaged Goods I said, “It’s time for someone to step up. It’s time for Hellbound Glory to graduate, for someone a step higher to step up and put these boys as the opener on a serious tour.” And when I said that, I didn’t have any names in my back pocket of who that would be. But Kid Rock was the guy that ended up stepping up, seeing the potential and talent and putting y’all on his tour. How did that come about?

Leroy Virgil: It’s kind of a funny story. When I first became aware that Chico (former drummer) was going to leave the band, I started doing this bass drum thing. And I started by going every Wednesday and Thursday night to a bar and play there for 4 hours. Rico (slide guitar player) would go down there as well. It’s a bar called Davidson’s in Reno, where we took the picture for the back cover of Scumbag Country. It was a biker bar, and they would play a lot of Kid Rock on the juke box. Me and Rico listened to it so much we were just like, “Yeah, someday we’re gonna tour with Kid Rock.” We never really expected it to happen, and then 6 or 7 months later we get a call, and it was an offer for that cruise ship thing (Kid Rock’s Chillin’ The Most Cruise), and of course we took it. I think Kid Rock may have had access to our music through our manager. I don’t know if it was his decision, but we got the call and there was no way we could turn that down.

Trigger: So you played the Kid Rock Cruise almost a year ago. How did that evolve to this tour? I mean this is a big tour–two months. You’re playing a lot of dates here.

Leroy Virgil: It’s 29 dates over the course of two months. And it’s the first two legs. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we will be invited to the 3rd and 4th leg. When we we’re on the cruise, we got a chance to hang out with him, my wife and I, partied with him some, had a good time. We all just hit it off, so that may have something to do with how we got on this tour.

Trigger: What do you have to say to folks who say, “I don’t want to see Hellbound Glory in a big arena. I don’t want to have to pay for an expensive ticket.” Will those folks still get a chance to see Hellbound Glory in a smaller, cheaper setting in the future?

Leroy Virgil: As far as the whole expensive ticket thing, I can understand. The economy is rough. I couldn’t afford to go to the show if I wasn’t playing at it. But if they’re fans of Hellbound Glory, the shows are going to be great. I’ve got a couple of new guys, a great drummer and bass player.

NASCAR Nick came back, he’s on Old Highs & New Lows. So it’s gonna be loud, and it’s gonna be rocking. We’ve got a wild set going. I think it’s going to blow some people’s minds to be honest with you. I can’t wait for people to hear it. But as far as playing smaller show, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of playing in small, intimate places. I enjoy playing small places, and four, five hour sets of my songs and country classics, drink whiskey on stage and bullshit with the crowd. It’s really becoming a thing where I’d like to play arenas and big places whenever I want, but I definitely don’t want to lose the grass roots, underground following that we have. I hope our fans and people that know our music come up to us and we get a chance to hang out. We don’t want to be isolated. That’s not where good songs come from.

Trigger: Along those same lines, do you think this tour will change Hellbound Glory? And if so, how?

Leroy Virgil: You know, I’m a really stubborn person, and I’m not gonna change any way I don’t want to change. In fact I think over the last couple of years I’m even more hardcore than I’ve ever been. And the new material is going to show that too. If anyone has any reservations about Hellbound Glory being on the road with Kid Rock or being mainstream or whatever, I just want the music to speak for itself. Just listen to the music and if you don’t like it, alright, then you don’t like it. But don’t write anything off just because of anything we’re doing. I’m not changing. I’m still the same person I’ve always been.

The new Hellbound Glory
The new Hellbound Glory
Trigger: So you’ll be standing up now, and playing acoustic, or electric, or a little of both?

Leroy Virgil: Yeah I just got this little Harmony guitar that I got from a friend. It’s a 1950′s Harmony arch top acoustic electric. It’s pretty old school. So yeah, I’ll be standing up. I’m trying to get back into that whole mojo of standing up, being a little big more of a front man just because I spent the last 2 1/2 years sitting on that bass drum. It’s exciting. A whole new venture, because I think we had gotten stale. Not with the lineup, just with the setup we had. And you know, I’ll probably continue changing. Who knows what I’ll be doing next year. I’ve got to do something to keep everything fresh. Wait till you hear the new material. You may hate it, you may dig it. No matter what, it’s country. Even if I was playing heavy metal, it’s still country. It’s where I come from. The whole Nashville thing would have never worked out for me anyway. Can you imagine Hellbound Glory, I don’t know, rubbing elbows with Jason Aldean? It’s two completely different worlds. So I’m just kind of eeking out my own thing. I feel like I part of a lot of the scenes, but at the same time I’m on the outside of it too. I think I’m in a pretty good place. I couldn’t be happier than where I am right now.

Trigger: You mentioned new material. I know that you’ve done some recording on this project you’ve called ‘Merica. When can people expect new music from you, or is that in the offing?

Leroy Virgil: I’ve done some work with Shooter (Jennings) but we really haven’t had the time to get everything to where it’s really moving yet. I mean, I don’t want to scrap these songs, I’ve spent a lot of time working on them. But I’m continuing to write new ones. And now I’m kinda sick of those ones so I want to do something new.

Trigger: So you’ve got a glut of material?

Leroy Virgil: I just want to have a microphone going all the time. Record old Hank Williams songs, old Lefty Frizzell songs and just give them away."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hellbound Glory Stage Flags and Mini Movie

Taking the easy road to do anything, is just plain boring to us. If we can create a new challenge and use it as a way to work through some ideas, we are into it! Take for example our concept to build a boat, for use in a quick little promo video with Hellbound Glory. The video is for their upcoming Rebel Soul Tour with Kid Rock and Buckcherry. Instead of just having actors play a role or to show some live footage of the band, we wanted to up the ante and have some fun. 

This whole project started off with the idea of creating a new set of flags for the band to be used as stage backdrops. The Hellbound Glory logo needed to be sewn on bright orange canvas, to help jump off of all the black on the stage setting. Putting up some crappy banners made from vinyl just felt soulless and we wanted them to have a proper setup, to be seen by the hundreds of thousands of fans on this tour. 

Our story needed an interesting narrative to help tie everything together. While conjuring up the the local folklore over in Morehead City, North Carolina, about the one and only Blackbeard, we got to thinkin' on his infamous pirate flag. Creating a flag and or banner from scratch was our mission and we enlisted the help of our favorite upholstery team to sew the various elements together. Our theory was that if the flags were done right and proper, then they should be approved by the one and only Blackbeard himself. Luckily for us, a partner in crime, just so happens to be a Blackbeard stunt double.

Getting the lettering just right, as it was cut out of black canvas and sewn onto orange canvas for a great effect
Ryan is putting the finishing touches on the Hellbound Glory flags, which are Made In the USA!
After a quick sketch in our handy notebook, we were ready to head off to Lowe's, to see what materials, we could procure. Now you might be thinking this is a bit of insanity and yes we completely agree with ya. But then again, that is the whole point of a design challenge. If we knew all the parameters and over thought this idea, then we might even reconsider spending the next twelve hours constructing a faux boat made for a minute long short movie.

Blueprints checked and double checked for accurate measurements on our boat build
With supplies in hand, what better time to start building a ship than 9pm on a Friday night. After working until about two am, we opted to call it a night and start up again early in the morning to finish the task at hand. All in all, it took around twelve hours to get the boat figured out and built. Would we do it again, yep in a heartbeat!

Next up, more movie props for the Carolina Still video series coming up this spring! 

Huge thanks to Tams Higgins, Mike Thompson, Buck Thrailkill and Shane DeRuise for helping out on this project. Without their help, there is no way in hell I could have gotten it all done. Also we need to give Blackbeard a proper shout out. His legacy lives on in these parts and growing up by the sea in old pirate stomping grounds, has allowed that part of East Coast nautical culture to be firmly embedded into my DNA. I also shot and edited the short film and put it all together. Life is too short not to try your hand at everything!

Our short film actors ready for their big roles, haha!
Troy Bilt now will become a ship!
Adding in the side frame for the starboard side
Basic structure of the frame is complete
Add the side ribs are in place and ready for the next layer
Main structure is just about complete
Design challenge, hmmm... how to create an axle system with spare parts
There we go, scrap wood and long bolts with sleeves from Harley shocks made just the right fit
Everything is now ready for the paneling to be screwed into place
Buck getting used to driving his new ship. Gotta dig the wood grain on the back side of cheap paneling, fit perfect!
"How is this supposed to be a boat?" Just go with it...
Saw dust everywhere and last minute pieces being finished up

Friday, January 25, 2013

Secrets Of The Viking Sword, From NOVA

The science of metalurgy, fascinates us to no end. We have no plans on dropping anchor into the world of black smithing, but seeing shows such as Secrets Of The Viking Sword, give amazing insight into where we are today in high tech alloys and raw metal materials.

Watching Richard Furrer of Door County Forgeworks craft an ancient style of blade from raw materials is truly good television. One aspect that we continue to be boggled upon though is how they knew what materials to use and where to mine for them. It is easy to think that we are much wiser in our modern age, but to see a sword such as the +ULFBERH+T come to life, it can be safely assumed that our ancestors were equally adept in many ways.

"The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings' rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle. But how did Viking sword makers design and build the Ulfberht, and what was its role in history? Now, NOVA uses cutting edge science and old-fashioned detective work to reconstruct the Ulfberht and finally unravel the "Secrets of the Viking Sword."

Link to original post on Nova

Find out more about Door County Forgeworks

Illustration of the +ULFBERH+T sword
Richard Furrer working on the inlay of the +ULFBERH+T sword
Richard Furrer drawing out the sword
The original +ULFBERH+T sword in detail

Should Lane Splitting Be Legal Everywhere?!

No matter which way you shake it, lane splitting tends to bother folks in cars. This could be due to all the distractions of cell phones, radios, automatic transmissions and potentially biggest of all, not having ever ridden a motorcycle. Luckily most other countries around the world and one state in the US, California, allow for lane splitting to be done in a legal and safe maner. 

After spending quite a few years in California and having to deal with mass amounts of traffic, lane splitting was an absolute necessity and made motorcycle traffic flow with ease. When on two wheels you have to drive offensively, not defensively and riding the paint, creates a safety buffer for motorcycles to be seen. The video below is quite informative and it would be great to see other states take the initiative in allowing for motorcycles to have more safe areas to traverse traffic.

Black Flag founder, Mike Vallely launch band

Musical collaborations can indeed bring great ideas together, but sometimes it leaves us wanting for more. After only hearing the one song below, I was left wanting more. Not to the effect that I wanted to play the song over and over, but hoping they had more material to fit the description of the write up about the new project. But then again, maybe it's my wanting to hear the next phase of what Mike V's last band sounded like in Revolution Mother, which was by far his strongest material to date.

Link to original post on Lambgoat

"On February 26, SST Records will release Life is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge, the debut album from Good For You, the brand new band featuring influential guitarist and bandleader Greg Ginn and professional skateboarder and musician Mike Vallely (aka Mike V). Featuring eleven uniquely distinct high-energy rock songs blistered with themes of betrayal, regret, disillusionment, resolve, determination and independence propelled by Ginn's distinctive, stun-gun guitar, Life is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge sets a new course for both musicians and delivers a strong statement of intent that begs to be heard.

Recorded at Ginn's Casa Destroy Studios in Taylor, TX, Life is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge teams the singular guitarist -- named as one of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" -- with the creative, aggressive Vallely for the first time since Black Flag's 2003 reunion shows in Los Angeles where Mike V performed the entire My War album from start to finish with the world renowned punk rock band at the invitation of Ginn.

As the founder, guitarist and driving influence behind Black Flag, Greg Ginn defined the west coast punk sound and the DIY ethos of punk rock. In many ways, Vallely is the perfect frontman to lead Ginn's first hard rock band since the dissolution of Black Flag. A strong-willed, determined, intense and inspirational figure, Vallely (owner and creative mind behind Elephant Brand Skateboards) has earned a devoted, worldwide following over the course of his two decade plus career as a professional skateboarder and years fronting the bands Mike V and The Rats and Revolution Mother. The vocalist first saw Black Flag perform at City Gardens in Trenton, New Jersey in 1984, crediting it as a life changing experience. Greg and Mike first met in Long Beach, CA in May 2003 when Mike V And The Rats started a supporting run of shows for Greg that would eventually lead to the guest vocal spot at the Black Flag reunion shows. A friendship was formed and the two have kept in touch through the years with the intention of collaborating on new music at some point. In February 2012, Ginn presented Vallely with new music and the singer spent the next five months filling notebooks with lyrics. The duo's intense songwriting chemistry generated both a solid set of dynamic songs that would become Life Is Too Short To Not Hold A Grudge and the formation of an entirely new band: Good For You. Life Is Too Short... features the traits of a benchmark release. Rarely is rock so pure and hard-hitting.

"Greg and I had been talking about writing music together for many years, comments Vallely. "There was no real plan in place to "team up" or anything like that. It was more so just about the music. Creatively and artistically we just found a common road and from that came an output that became this new music and this new record."

"Working with Greg really opened me up as a writer and vocalist, he continues. "His approach to writing, recording and producing was so free that for the first time I feel I was really able to honestly express myself in the studio."

"I can't wait to deliver these songs live with Mike," said Ginn. "I have the feeling that things are going to get wild.""

Side A:

1.) I'd Rather Die
2.) No Plan B
3.) Free
4.) Hanging Around
5.) Knife in the Face

Side B:

1.) Stupid Me
2.) Good Sport
3.) It's Just Business
4.) Dreams
5.) Blaze of Glory
6.) True Companion

Good For You is currently offering fans a taste of what Life is Too Short to Not Hold a Grudge holds in store, streaming the new song "Hanging Around" via its SoundCloud page. The band is expected to debut a number of additional new songs from the LP prior to the release of the record.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hellbound Glory - Lost Cause, Part 2

Opening up to an arena crowd is going to be a huge change of pace for Hellbound Glory, but one in which they will be able to build a huge new fan base. We are damn stoked to be able to do as much as we can to help promote the tour as Hellbound Glory is a huge part of Rusty Knuckles Music.

For any Kid Rock fans that haven't got a clue who these Real Country Music playin' fellas are, why not dive into some of the tracks below and learn all about them. Hellbound Glory has been killing it on stage after stage for quite a few years now and it's their time to take it to a whole other level. 

Buy some great items from Hellbound Glory

Feb 2 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
Feb 5 Springfield, MO – JQH Arena
Feb 7 Beaumont, TX – Ford Park Event Center
Feb 9 Tulsa, OK – BOK Center, On Sale 11/30 @ 10am
Feb 10 Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena
Feb 13 Bossier City, LA – CenturyLink Center
Feb 15 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Feb 16 Greenville, SC – Bi-Lo Center
Feb 18 Fort Myers, FL – Germain Arena
Feb 20 Pensacola, FL – Pensacola Civic Center
Feb 21 New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Arena
Feb 23 Birmingham, AL – BJCC Arena
Feb 24 Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center
Feb 26 Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Feb 27 Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Civic Auditorium
Mar 1 Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
Mar 2 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum

Kid Rock online tour poster with special guests Hellbound Glory and Buckcherry