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NTMTO: The board that wouldn't die

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

ntmtoImage posted on NTMTO this weekAs of Sunday morning, Major Kong has yet to ride the bomb and discussions prevail on Pittsburgh's nevertellmetheodds message board on such topics as "Best Places to Fart and Walk Away," "There is a buffet at the O today all day, 3/1/14" (unrelated) and "rare stick insect(s)."

In fact, threads like as "RIP SWEET NTMTO" and "How the Board Died 101" are beginning to slip to the bottom of the page, and a feeling of normalcy is setting in on a site that was set for extinction on March 1.

The administrator of NTMTO, which launched more than a decade ago as the Roboto board, posted on Wednesday afternoon that "starting March 1st" he was shutting down this "parade of frustration."

Within minutes, posters navigated the five stages -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance -- before settling right back into screwball comedy. It has, without question, been the funniest three days in the board's history, with a whipped cream topping of classic threads.

After an 11:59 p.m. Friday "boardmageddon" scare and an uneasy Saturday, NTMTO has come out the other side. Bands are even posting new show threads, as if life is normal.

As for the man behind the curtain, there's been nothing but a cool silence. Maybe he felt bad and changed his mind. Maybe he's enjoying a panic among peasants. Or maybe he has a real life and just forgot to hit the button. I'm hoping for the former.

(Another word of disclosure: I posted there for nine years, threw a hissy fit and "banned" myself last week, and now exist there as something of a ghost -- which will be hated on even for more this latest news update.)

 

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Doobie Brothers: Takin' it to the country

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

doobie

 

In a move that is awkwardly familiar to John Fogerty's most project, the Doobie Brothers are reuniting with Michael McDonald to re-record their biggest hits with such country stars as Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Sara Evans, Chris Young, Jerrod Niemann, Love and Theft.

 

Apparently, a bunch of them have played Doobies songs in concert, and Sony Music Nashville label head Gary Overton’s first live concert was a Doobie Brothers show in Phoenix in 1972.

“Seeing the Doobie Brothers perform all those years ago was such a thrill for me. I loved their sound, and the enduring appeal and influence of the Doobies runs deep," he said in a statement. "Artists have been telling me how excited they are to be a part of this project, and that alone speaks volumes about the amazing heritage of music that the Doobie Brothers have created.”

Songs ripe for the picking include “Rockin’ Down the Highway," “Long Train Runnin,’” “China Grove,” “Take Me in Your Arms,” “Jesus Is Just All Right,"  “Takin’ It to the Streets,”  “Black Water,” “Minute by Minute,” “You Belong to Me” and “What a Fool Believes.”

Everyone wants on the new country bandwagon and this is starting to look like a trend that won't end till the surviving members of Joy Division re-record their catalog with vocals by Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and more.

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Panic erupts with news of NTMTO shutting down

Written by Scott Mervis on .

image

 

For the past decade, it's been the best place in Pittsburgh to hear about shows, break news, meet friends, debate Mineos-vs.-Aiello's, post cat gif.s, mourn, celebrate and revel endlessly in Star Wars/Star Trek geekdom.

Whatever band, movie, TV show, team or pizza you loved, it was sure to get dismantled and deconstructed by someone on nevertellmetheodds (formerly the Roboto board).

Now, unless there's a last second stay of execution, it appears to be going away. After a contentious few months on the Pittsburgh's favorite messageboard, the administrator who goes by gethexadecimal posted:

"After some long deliberation over the weekend and as a result of some things that happened this week, I have decided to shut the board down starting March 1st. This wasn't an easy decision, but beyond not wanting the burden of doing this on my own, I don't really feel comfortable asking others to take on overseeing this parade of frustration.

Sorry."

In response, it's been sheer panic among the 1,000-plus board members, who are pleading with the administrator to reconsider, looking for other board options and topping the greatest hits of old threads. As someone astutely posted, this is the worst news since the Taco Bell on Baum Blvd. closed.

Will the world end on Saturday? Stay tuned.

(A word of disclosure: I was a member of the board since November 2005, but quit last week after an inflammatory thread.)

 

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The Pressure drops rocksteady debut

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

pressureAfter spending almost a decade in punk band Weekend Warriors, David Riel found a more chill groove with The Pressure.

The band, which formed in 2008, goes tropical and back in time with a ’60s brand of ska, rocksteady and reggae.

“I’ve had a deep admiration for ’60s music most of my life,” he says, “and in high school was into Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Riley. This band came from a sort of retirement from my more fast-paced days of playing in punk bands. It’s always been a point in my musical career that I wanted to reach.”

The challenge, particularly in Pittsburgh, was assembling the musicians to pull it off.

“It was really difficult not only to find musicians that like this style but to get people that can play it,” Mr. Riel says. “Pittsburgh is not the hotbed for rocksteady musicians. The Pressure has gone through quite a few iterations over the past five years to get the right combination.”

It can be heard on The Pressure’s self-titled debut album, which captures the ’60s rocksteady vibe with soulful vocals from Annie Wagner and Eric Mazurak, and the instrumentation, equipment and techniques from that era.

Mr. Riel says it’s a change of pace for these parts.

“We play a lot of shows with bands that don’t really align with our style, but their fans seem to really dig what we do — a breathe of fresh music where most bands in the states prefer to play more of an upbeat fusion of ska and punk.”

The LP release show is at the Thunderbird Cafe, Lawrenceville, at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10. www.thunderbirdcafe.net

 

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Second Empire: Young symphonic metal

Written by Scott Mervis on .

secondempireIf you missed Female Voices of Metal Fest I, don’t worry, there’s a sequel and you didn’t have to see the first one.

Female Voices of Metal Fest II, at Mr. Small’s on March 1, features Second Empire, Leeja STARK, Lies, Inc. and Lady Beast.

The headliner, led by 16-year-old siren Alex Lindsay Roth, is a symphonic metal band formed in 2011 that draws comparisons to Evanescence and Lacuna Coil, but has roots in a few more obscure bands she learned of through guitarist Bret Stark.

“We performed covers when the band was just beginning, and the first song we decided to learn was ‘Faster’ by Within Temptation,” Roth says. “I had never heard WT or anything similar before, but the style intrigued me. A little later I watched Nightwish’s ‘End of an Era Live’ with [singer] Tarja and I couldn't believe my eyes. So, I guess I would say Nightwish and Within Temptation inspired me to immerse myself in female-fronted symphonic metal. To this day Tarja and Sharon [den Adel] are my inspirations.”

Second Empire won the inaugural Pittsburgh Rock Challenge in 2012, toured the Northeast and made a video for “The Valley Beneath.” Having released an EP in June and a pair of singles, a full-length album is in the works.

Roth is looking forward to this show of “some of the best female-fronted bands around” and hoping to take her band to the next level.

“I’d like to see Second Empire playing at Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium next year. We want to be all over the world — at Wacken in Germany and touring with the bands that inspired us. We hope to play shows starting this summer with international bands we have connected with through numerous internet radio stations.”

The all-ages show is at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 advance (www.sardonyxproductions.com) and $12 at the door. For more on the band, go to www.secondempireband.com

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