Phil Anselmo's Desert Island Discs (at the Moment)

Brandon Marshall, Westword
Everyone knows that Zia Records hooks up all the Valley music junkies. Big-time. The lure of that sharp red and yellow "Zia" sign brings in people from all walks of life seeking novelty toys, every possible music genre, and movies. Personally, it's the smell of vinyl that calls my name and draws me toward those double doors.

The vinyl collection may be impressive -- Zia peddles everything from Miles Davis to Slick Rick to the soundtrack for The Hills Have Eyes -- but what really stands out for me is Zia's ability to organize so many in-store signings and giveaways for fans.

Because that's what music is all about, after all. The fans, right?

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The Best Food Trucks and Food Porn for Metal Fans

grill em all
Everything eventually turns into porn. Guitar porn--Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 is all about it--whiskey porn... well, regular porn. But recently, food porn has blown up. Which is great for me.

You see, there are only a few things that I take voracious pleasure in consuming, and two of those indulgences are heavy metal and cooking. Combine them, and I'm set for life.
Last week a friend of mine sent me a video called "Cooking With Phil Anselmo." You've probably never wondered what it would be like cooking in a kitchen with the Pantera/Down/Superjoint Ritual, etc. front man, but this viral video answers all of your questions.

The animated video has Anselmo wearing a "Cooking Hostile" black t-shirt, and concocting dishes with such references as "soy sauce from hell," "five minutes on looooow," and the "art of shredding lettuce." It's full of hilarious Pantera references, and was put together by Joey Siler of Pantera tribute band Good Friends & A Bottle of Whiskey.

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Record Store Day's Hot Heavy Metal Vinyl Releases

Photo(8) copy.jpg
Lauren Wise
You know what I like . . .

It looks like all these Record Store Days are paying off. In 2012, global sales for vinyl records hit $171 million, their highest point since 1997 -- the same year that Hanson's "MMMBop" topped the charts.

This Saturday, April 20, marks the sixth annual Record Store Day, when artists and labels dish out rare and exclusive releases to fans that results in a sort-of major shopping day on the musical calendar.

There are lots of reasons to love vinyl, especially heavy metal vinyl -- besides the fact that you can play them backwards and get the messages Satan wants you to hear.

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Five Holiday Gifts for Your Metal-Loving Uncle

Alright, slacker.

There's no more denying it: the holidays are here, and you need to get on that shopping list. Luckily, Up on the Sun has caught gift guide-fever, and over the course of this week we'll be offering you suggestions for the entire family.

It's hard to forget your metal-loving uncle -- even if you kinda want to.

Here are a couple of musical suggestions to slide under his mini-Jack Daniels bottle-bedecked Christmas tree.

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Digital Summer Drummer Ben Anderson Plays Contra on Drums

Categories: Geek Beat

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​Local success story Digital Summer has a lot of fans around the Valley and nationwide after touring with hard rock draws like Sevendust, Saliva, and Drowning Pool. I'm not one of those fans; the band plays the kind of crunchy, nu-metal drives me up a wall.

But like I said, a lot of people like them, and we even put them on the cover of our paper back in 2008. Plus, the band's "extra-rockular" activities (you know, day jobs) make it nearly impossible to hate on them personally. Vocalist Kyle Winterstein is currently a firefighter; Guitarist Ian Winterstein, is a paramedic. Guitarist "Fish" Cenfield is a teacher; Bassist "Guido" Hernandez is a student; and drummer Ben Anderson is a studio engineer.

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Seven More Alice Cooper Songs for His Grotesque Haunted Maze

Could there be any better Halloween gift than to wander around in Alice Cooper's brain for an evening, watching him teeter on the edge of sanity, just about to fall off?

Proooobably not.

That's why this year, Halloween Horror Nights 2011 at Universal Studios Hollywood will veer from its traditional horror movie theme with a personal addition from Alice Cooper himself: a haunted maze that draws on elements from the shock rocker's theatrical concerts and feature music from his 1975 concept album, Welcome to My Nightmare.

Imagine actual snakes, a sadistic insane asylum, Cooper's childhood bedroom where he turned from Vincent Furnier to Alice Cooper forever, and decapitations, all set to themes from some of his classic songs.

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Trek Tunes: A Quick Look at the Songs by Star Trek Stars

Categories: Funny, Geek Beat
In case you haven't noticed, a bunch of us at Up on the Sun are total nerds. Our coverage of artists appearing at Phoenix Comicon and related stories has not so subtly hinted at our fan-boy-and-girl hearts.

So we won't bother trying to tiptoe around the fact that we are a bunch of geeks. I explored the music of Leonard Nimoy in this week's pint issue, but Mr. Spock is really just one of the Star Trek stars who ventured into the world of pop recording.

Here are a few Trek tracks worth hearing. It's by no means a comprehensive list (I couldn't dig up Yeoman Rand's "Disco Trekkin'" or Gene Roddenberry's lyrics to the Star Trek theme), but it ought to be fun to listen to as you finish applying your Andorian makeup or bone up on your Klingon linguistics.

See you at the dork-fest, friends, and, ya k'now, live long and prosper.

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Cyndi Lauper Is Kicking Ass and Taking Names on Celebrity Apprentice

Categories: Geek Beat
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Cyndi Lauper is kicking some serious butt in the name of charity on Celebrity Apprentice.
If you're anything like me, you really enjoy watching trashy television, but hate admitting it in public. I've decided to blow my cover for the sake of Cyndi Lauper.

I've been watching Celebrity Apprentice in quasi-secret. For two hours every Sunday night, we all have the opportunity to watch celebs plan elaborate marketing schemes for already well-known companies, in order to raise money for charities they support.

While much of the show involves watching these celebrities pull out their "rolodex" (a.k.a. cell phone contact list) and beg their high-brow friends to donate to a cause, they are also forced into bizarre situations where they must take it to the streets. They're forced to interact with the people -- the common people -- and simultaneously create ad campaigns for multimillion-dollar companies in about 48 hours.

This season features several notables from the music industry, including Sharon Osbourne, Bret Michaels, and my personal favorite, Cyndi Lauper. All three of the rockers are among the six remaining contestants. More »

Nerdapalooza: 5 Geeky Events to Look Forward to in 2010

Categories: Geek Beat

We're done with resolutions to eat healthfully and quit our vices. This year we're resolving to reconnect with our nerdolicious self -- basically to let our geek flag fly. And it looks like we won't be alone. 2010 is shaping up to be the year of the geek, with scores of filmmakers, software companies, sci-fi cons and game developers clamoring for our attention. 

Here are just a few of the geeky happenings we're looking forward to experiencing in 2010.  

5. Free Comic Book Day (May 1)

Free. Comic. Books. Those three little words should be enough to lure any adult who remembers huddling under a tent of blankets after "lights out" reading back issues of Superman or X-Men at Camp Whatamayahoochee (not that we're admitting anything, mind you).

The deal: Initiated in 2002, Free Comic Book Day started as a way to help small indie shops and comic publishers attract new customers. Every year a couple dozen publishers sign up to sell select books to stores at cost, which the stores give away on FCBD in early May.

The lowdown: You're not gonna land a copy of Marvel Zombies or Blackest Night, but this year's titles include a cool Iron Man/Thor pairing, War of the Supermen and Fearless Dawn.  Not every comic book store participates (and most won't let you hog every title) but Samurai Comics, Atomic Comics and a few other locals usually get in on the action.

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Top 5 Geeky Fashion Trends of the Decade

Categories: Geek Beat

Pocket protectors. Highwater jeans pulled up to the neck. T-shirts with slogans like, "Ethernet (n), something used to catch the etherbunny" and "Got D20?". Geeks aren't exactly known for their fashion prowess, but that hasn't stopped them from inspiring trends that would make any Mean Girl cringe. 

Here are 5 geeky fashion trends of the 2000s -- a few of which real geeks, dweebs and nerds wouldn't actually be caught dead in.   

Thick Plastic Glasses

Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses. Yeah, whatever. Used to be that was somewhat true. The trend in the late '90s/early 2000s was paper-thin lenses and so-called "frameless" glasses which practically disappeared on your face. The thought was that the less visible your glasses were, the more attractive you'd look and the more confident you'd feel. Then the tides turned.

Midway through the decade, thick plastic rims became all the rage. We're talking everything from square, horn-rimmed '50s style frames to huge, clunky round nerd glasses. Some gals are even trading in their usual contacts for these puppies -- or wearing glasses for fashion when they don't actually need any vision correction.

"Do these black plastic glasses make my face look smarter?" Why yes, doll, yes they do.


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