Monday, October 26, 2009

Lamb shines through Hatebreed debacle in AC

I got a call around 4:00PM Friday, “Dude I can’t go see Hatebreed and Lamb of God in AC, you wanna go?”… Of course I said yes. I laced up my driving shoes and floored it to AC hydroplaning, dodging deer and running over cones for shits and giggles. I had every intention of this being an Atlantic City funfest.
For starters, House of Blues Atlantic City is one of the most gorgeous venues I have ever seen. The place would be perfect aside from 9 dollar beers. The sound quality was fantastic; the lighting was perfect, ample room and very little obstructed viewing.
Thy Will be Done got the part started. Really heavy, tight live band who covered a little raining blood. So the curtain draws and everyone starts dispersing to smoke or buy more booze and the curtain opens again. TWbD comes out and plays 3 more songs. Then 35 minutes go by. Between sets 30 minutes is an ETERNITY.
So finally a head pops out from a curtain and two dudes are standing there, neither of whom are Jamie Jasta, and Hatebreed starts their set. People are furious. Water was thrown at the band, dozens of people stormed out and the pit was more violent than other Hatebreed pits I have traversed. The two guys were apparently the Hatebreed roadies, one kinda shouted the lyrics, the other threw in the occasional scream. To be fair to them, it was a bad situation to be in and they handled it as well as anyone not named Jamie Jasta could handle singing a Hatebreed set.
Three songs go by, four, five, six and finally Jamie appears. The venue erupts, the set continues. They play two songs twice and about six songs later it is ballgame over. The crowd is stunned.
Thank goodness for Lamb of God. They killed it per usual. With the entire lineup intact (Doc from God Forbid has been filling in on guitar) they played six songs off of Wrath and some old favorites like Ruin and Black Label. But it was the no show that stole the show. To put it in perspective, I saw Ekotren at Championship Bar and Grill in Trenton the next night and people there heard about it.
It was a debacle for sure, taking what could have been one of the best shows of the year and turning it into a bust. However, it could have been worse if they decided not to play so cudos for the roadies for trying and Thy Will Be Done for preventing a sure fire riot.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First Look: New WSOU merchandise

New merchandise!

Better-looking photos will be taken this weekend to enhance your purchasing pleasure.

Models by WSOU.
Photos by Luke Brereton.
T-shit Designs by: David Ayllon
Everything else by Spa for Hair in Middlesex, NJ.

Listen in Friday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a special treat!

This Friday from 10-1 pm, we will be airing an interview with the one and only John Baizley from Baroness.

Baroness' new album, called the Blue Record, dropped in stores yesterday. You can listen to their newest single "Jake Leg" spinning on WSOU daily.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Scene...Part 2

I wrote a few weeks ago about “The Scene”. Where did it go? Anyone who comes up to Street Patrol (Wednesdays from 8pm-10pm), whether it’s a band, promoter, or general concert go-er, they all say the same thing; the scene is dead and it sucks.

It is easy to sit around and complain while making excuses and generally not doing anything. Maybe that’s part of the problem. So how do we fix this? Last week, I said we don’t have a scene because no one has money, the music is mundane or crappy, and YOU. What’s the solution?

To regain a scene, bands have to be willing to play together. When a band comes up to promote an event, it is generally with 3 to 6 bands that they are friends with. They play to the same people and share fans and never expand.

HOW CAN YOU GET MORE PEOPLE TO HEAR YOU IF YOU PLAY TO THE SAME PEOPLE?! The lack of developing new listeners is a huge part of the problem. It’s great to play for your friends, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of metal bands in this area. Start meeting new people, go see other local bands play and STAY FOR OTHER ACTS. There is nothing worse than a band that loads up and leaves. I could go on for days with this, so I will stop. But, hopefully you get my point.

Another way to remedy this problem is to do what you can to get out of the area. There are a lot of places in New Jersey for a local band to play. The ultimate goal is to get a sweet opening spot at Starland before a nice national tour. However, New York City is right around the corner. I hear it’s hard to get a show there, but for most bands in this listening area it is less than one hour away. Spread your wings. Brooklyn has some great venues, L’amour’s is in Staten Island and even South Jersey and Philadelphia are not too far. To drive for an hour or two for the chance to play for new people, establish new relationships and to sell your merch to someone not in your graduating high school class is essential.

One last thing: don’t let age be a factor. I know some bands don’t like playing with the young kids and some kids don’t wanna play with the geezers. It comes back to respect. Respect talent, respect drive, and respect sound. Young, old, black, white, brown, men, women, and boys, it’s a principal that applied to all and what you would expect from someone else. If every band does this, watch the scene come back. You’ll probably actually start making some money too!

-That Guy

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where Are They Now: Paul Roper

WSOU's been doing its thing for 61 years now, and we've had some of our staffers move onto some pretty great things. As of a few weeks ago, recent WSOU alumn Paul Roper has a new job - after a year of announcing for the Trenton Devils of the ECHL, he's moved to Erie, PA to serve as Media Relations Manager and Broadcaster for the Erie Otters of the OHL!

Here's a recent article about his new gig:

New broadcaster Roper gets to know Otters
Paul Roper has nine hours to pass during Thursday's bus ride to Sudbury.

He hopes his Internet card works on the road. He has more to read about the Erie Otters and the OHL.

That's how he has spent every spare minute lately. Even before learning he would replace Mark Jeanneret as the club's play-by-play broadcaster, Roper has studied the team and league inside and out.

Now with Friday's season opener three days away, "I have to prepare very meticulously," said Roper, 23, who also will serve as media relations manager. "I don't want to really waste a minute of that (time) doing anything else on the trip. ... I'm going to try to get as much information as I can about the Otters so I can provide an entertaining and informative listening experience to the fans here in Erie."

He moved to town this past weekend. But he already has a strong sense of Erie's hockey tradition -- from the Blades to the Panthers and now the Otters -- and what lies ahead.

He has seen the championship banners and former Otters great Brad Boyes' retired No. 16 in the Tullio Arena rafters. He knows about the club's recently completed lease and planned arena renovations.

"I'm glad to be a part of it," said Roper, who initially didn't like his odds of earning the job.

But as Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky once said, "100 percent of the shots you don't take won't go in the net," Roper said. "So I figured why not apply and see where it goes."

Roper had one year of professional experience, as Director of broadcasting and media relations with the ECHL's Trenton Devils last year.

In comparison, one finalist spent five years as a No. 2 broadcaster in the AHL. Another was a two-year AHL intern with a recommendation from an NHL broadcaster.

Yet, Roper was cautiously optimistic. Then while searching the Internet, he discovered an article stating that Shawn Waskiewicz, Otters assistant general manager of administration, had spoken to candidates.

"After that, I didn't think I had a shot at it," Roper said, "because I wasn't one of those candidates."

A few days later, Waskiewicz called him. He discovered that Roper knows about former Otters like Boyes, Carlo Colaiacovo and Corey Pecker and much more, Waskiewicz said.

"He's an encyclopedia of information with all the stats and different teams and leagues and players," Waskiewicz said. Roper has been a junior hockey fan for years.

Although his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y., wasn't known for it, The Hockey News was a young Roper's source of information on junior leagues and NHL prospects. Back then, he knew the importance of the Otters' move to Erie in 1996, since the Detroit Jr. Red Wings (now Plymouth Whalers) were the league's only United States club at the time.

Waskiewicz was intrigued. "I could have easily given the job to somebody who has five years experience," Waskiewicz said. "But somebody took a chance on me. How do you know how good the guy is if you don't take a chance on him?"

On Friday, Roper displays his on-air talent for the first time. "Hopefully I'll be prepared enough," he said. "Hopefully I can shake off the cobwebs and provide the fans with a good broadcast."

VICTOR FERNANDES can be reached at 870-1716 or by e-mail. Paul Roper has a different on-air style than his predecessor, Mark Jeanneret. Find out more on Shootout, the Erie Times-News' hockey blog, at

10/9/09 - New Music Fridays is ON LOCATION!


New Music Fridays will be live ON LOCATION at the State Scare Factory in Belleville NJ tomorrow night (10/9/09) - Tune in at 8 pm for the Top 10, then the Pirated Advance at 9 pm.

This week's Pirated Advance is Blue Record from Baroness - it doesn't drop till Tuesday, so you get to hear the whole thing before it's released in stores. Plus, you could win a copy!

ALSO: Baroness will be up at WSOU next week on Blue Record's release day for a live, in-studio interview. Make sure to listen in!

If you make it out tomorrow night, we'll see you there. Click here for more info on the State Scare Factory.