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Comments Off on KELEN HELLER ‘REDEFINES’ THE HANDLEBAR | Posted by Twisted Todd on August 16, 2011

After leaving work on Friday night, Tessa and I grabbed some dinner at Oriental House then headed to the Handlebar for the premiere of KELEN HELLER’s video for “Redefine”.  We got there just as RIGHT TO FALL took the stage while I got with DOGFIGHT drummer Skip to arrange to introduce the band.  This was the band’s first show with new vocalist Jason Hohenstein and they belted out the metal classics starting with “Shortest Straw” by METALLICA as well as “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” by MEGADETH and “Seasons in the Abyss” by SLAYER as well as “Vote With a Bullet” by CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and tunes by SLIPKNOT, MUDVAYNE and others.

During their set, I got with Ashley from the KELEN HELLER Street Team to get briefed on introing the video and draw a name for a $150 gift card for Relentless Tattoo.  She and Michelle from the street team threw out shirts on stage and drew the name for me to announce as I was introing the video.  The video, itself, was a nice slasher story with Efrum offing the other members of the band and their little ladies!

After the band played, Tessa and I hung around for a bit then headed home as we were both exhausted and had family functions lined up all weekend: my cousin Abby’s first birthday party and my cousin Tonya’s belated wedding shower.

Tonya and her husband, Soup (yes, that’s his name!) were registered at Target so we went there to pick them out a gift and get Abby a gift as well while we were there.  While we were out, we hit some other stores since we had just got paid….like Borderlands Comics so I could get my geek on!

After the birthday party, Tessa and had to grab some late lunch because we didn’t give ourselves enough time before the party and threw birthday cake on empty stomachs!  Yikes!

We then grabbed some groceries, dropped them off at home and ran down the road to Harley Davidson of Greenville for the Miss Chrome Drive Contest to support Katie our receptionist only to find out it had been postponed due to the threat of rain so we went home and relaxed for the rest of the day before another day of family fun….

On Sunday, we met up with my Aunt Pat at Cracker Barrel for some Sunday dinner before heading over to my cousin’s wedding shower.  On our way, we stopped and picked up a Rockstar Energy Drink, an item Soup had on the registry but Target was completely out of stock the day before.

Trust me, we got them more than that!  I’m not that much of a tight ass!

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Comments Off on WEEKEND CHANGE-UP | Posted by Twisted Todd on August 9, 2011

So sad that the new comedy The Change-Up flopped at the box office this weekend because, I gotta say, I thought it was hilarious!  Tessa and I went to go see the sneak preview last Tuesday night on our first anniversary and we both loved it!  The film was unapologetically vulgar which helped me to swallow the obligatory moral of the film.  Not that I have a problem with there being a moral to the story, but it seems Hollywood can’t justify making a comedy for the sake of just making you laugh.  It’s as if they feel the need to teach a lesson to counter any irreverent humor.

The Change-Up  \m/  \m/  \m/  \m

For my birthday last Thursday, Tessa baked me a batch of strawberry shortcake cupcakes that were divine!  I brought them to work to share and the response was tremendous!

When I got home, she had gifts waiting for me: the Fact or Crap board game and the Resistance Twin Pack for PS3!  So, no, I didn’t go out and party for my birthday….I stayed at home and played games!

Friday after I got off of work, Tessa and I hit the mall for tax free weekend!  I picked up a new pair of just standard black Chucks and a couple of tees – as if I need more shirts!

Saturday we rode up to Tessa’s hometown of Spindale, NC to visit her mom and grandfather for the day.

Tessa had to work Sunday so I had plenty of time to play Resistance: Fall of Man all day on PS3!  Life is good!

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Comments (2) | Posted by Twisted Todd on August 2, 2011

Today is mine and Tessa’s first anniversary together as a couple.  Thursday is my 35th birthday.  An eventful week to say the very least!

Sunday, my mom, her boyfriend Mark and Aunt Pat took me and Tessa out for an early birthday dinner….at the Dillard House Restaurant nearly two hours away in Dillard, GA!  The trip alone was an adventure in and of itself!  The restaurant is a family style restaurant where they bring out whole plates and bowls full of each meat and side as well as biscuits, cornbread and dessert!

The meal was great and we hung around and shopped in their country store for a while where I picked up a jar of honey and some of their fantastic peach butter which tasted sooooo good on their homemade buttermilk biscuits!  Man, my stomach’s growlin’….

Tonight, after work, Tessa and I are gonna catch the sneak preview of The Change-Up at Cherrydale 16 and grab some dinner at our favorite sushi joint, Red Bowl where I got us a great deal last Friday at myupstateperks.com!  Should be a good way to celebrate our first anniversary considering it’s a weeknight!  I still don’t have a clue what we’re gonna do on my birthday….

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Comments Off on CAPTAIN AMERICA BRINGS THE HEAT | Posted by Twisted Todd on July 26, 2011

Saturday morning Tessa and I got up, had some breakfast and went to Hollywood 20 to catch the special charity screening of Captain America: The First Avenger presented by Borderlands Comics with all the profits benefitting injured veterans.  The turnout was great as the theater filled to near capacity and the film exceeded all our collective geek expectations as the last installment leading up to The Avengers next summer….and came complete with the first teaser trailer following the end credits!

Captain America: The First Avenger  \m/  \m/  \m/  \m/  \n

Sunday morning we got up and actually made it to church for the first time since I can remember when!  After church, we grabbed some lunch then made our way to 7th Inning Splash in Piedmont, one of the three Greenville Rec waterparks offering free admission from 4 until 5:30 pm each day this past weekend due to the intense heat.

We got in and went straight towards their bowl slide being the most exciting ride there.  When we got in line, a kid told us we had to first take a swim test before riding the ride.  Being a poor swimmer, I was disappointed although I knew I could have completed the test just didn’t want to embarass myself with my pathetic doggy paddle swim style!  So we splashed around in the kiddie section for about an hour then called it a day.  Hey, at least we got to cool off for free!

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Comments Off on A DAY WITH BLACK STONE CHERRY | Posted by Twisted Todd on July 21, 2011

Yesterday was an incredibly fun day as I got to get out of the studio for a while and go bowling while on the clock….with BLACK STONE CHERRY!!!!  Tessa and I got to Golden Lanes in Simpsonville around 2:30 before the band and most of the contest winners arrived. 

While waiting on everyone to show up, a group of three early teenage kids approached me and asked if they could pray for me.  Assuming they had me pegged as some Hellbound heathen, I admittedly got a bit defensive and snarkily replied, “Are you gonna pray for my soul?”.  The lead kid then clarified that the Lord had laid on their hearts to pray for someone wearing camouflage as I was wearing my camo shorts.  He continued to ask if I had anything that needed to be prayed for and, after a moment, I told them my brother who is currently in prison.  He then showed me the tablet he had been carrying which had ‘lost brother’ written on it suggesting that it referred to the fact that my brother was incarcerated.  Not entirely sure what to make of it, whether it was a message from God or a stretching coincidence, I decided to let the kids lay hands on me and pray.

Definitely one of the more unusual experiences I’ve had at a station event!  And, yes, that’s Jeff Lewis Neal snapping the pic with himself in the bottom left-hand corner!

When the winners arrived, people went ahead and started bowling and eating some pizza provided by the bowling alley as I resorted back to my unusual bowling technique:

Yeah, I just chuck the damn thing!  Hey, it works….sorta!

When the band arrived, they did an autograph session followed by a quick photo session before hitting the lanes with our contest winners!

Later that night, Tessa and I went out to the show at the Handlebar and even got to hang out on BSC’s tour bus and preview their new upcoming single “Blame It on the Boom Boom”!

When the band hit the stage, it was ON!  Great stage presence especially from guitarist Ben Wells and drummer John Fred Young the latter of whom did an amazing midset drum solo!  Can’t wait to see ’em again!

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Comments Off on HARRY POTTER AND THE BAND WITH NO NAME | Posted by Twisted Todd on July 19, 2011

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and even THEN), you are without a doubt aware that one of the largest film franchises in the history of cinema came to its inevitable conclusion this weekend and, unsurprisingly, shattered numerous box office records.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 had the best opening weekend of all time with $168.6 million (beating out The Dark Knight which made $158.4 its opening weekend), best single-day gross with $92.1 million, best midnight screening with $43.5 million and best international debut with $307 million!  Wow!

And I have to say that the film definitely delivered indeed!  I’ve never read the books but I have seen all eight films in the theater and I know a lot of the stuff the movies miss because I know numerous people who have read them and have even dated a few and this truly was the chapter fans of all interest levels have been waiting for!  Many questions are answered and many characters, both beloved and despised, meet their ends.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2  \m/  \m/  \m/  \m/  \m/

Tessa and I actually went to see the film twice this weekend – both times in Spartanburg as we met her mother Friday night then her best friend Krista on Sunday.  Before the movie Friday, we met her mother and Darlene at Longhorn for some grub and did the same on Sunday when we met with Krista and her fiancee Brandon….only substitute Longhorn with DQ!  Lol!

On Saturday, Tessa and I had some errands to run and then I met up with my old bandmate Chris Moon and cousin Ray at H&H Storage in the Five Forks area of Simpsonville so the three of us could all jam together for the first time in 11 years!  From ’98 until 2000, the three of us were in a band called MINDPHASER and, when it disbanded, had not played together since.  Granted I have worked with both Moon and Ray on different projects individually just never all together.

The session went really well once we got started after having set everything up.  We jammed and Moon showed us both some riffs he had been working on and, after a couple of hours, had at least half a song written.  After another couple of hours last night we pretty much have it finished.  Keep in mind, Moon has a knack for writing some pretty challenging guitarlines to follow!

So far, things seem to be going well after just a couple of jam sessions….all we need now is a singer and a name!

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Comments Off on LAZY WEEKEND AND A NIGHT AT SMILEY’S | Posted by Twisted Todd on July 12, 2011

This past weekend was one of those ideal lazy weekends where I didn’t step out of the apartment except for a few hours on Saturday just to grab some food, a few supplies and to feed some ducks at the lake.  I wish I could afford more of those!

Last night I got to step out for a few after work and go see my best friend Kenny from Atlanta do an acoustic set at Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe in Downtown Greenville for open mic night.  I was amazed at how many acts signed up for open mic that night!  What I wasn’t pleased with was the fact that several acts ignored the 3 song/15 minute time limit per set.  Three straight acts were a group of friends that kept interchanging members so there were several musicians who individually got significantly more than their fair share of 15 minutes of ‘fame’.

Needless to say, Kenny had to go on fairly late but did four amazing songs: three originals and a stripped-down version of QUEEN’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which still gives me goosebumps because he sings it so incredibly well!  How do I get such amazingly talented friends yet none of it rubs off on me?

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Comments Off on FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND 2011: JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF HOTLANTA | Posted by Twisted Todd on July 5, 2011

Tessa and I got away for the weekend and headed down to Atlanta which was living up to its nickname “HOTlanta”!  We initially went down so I could see CELLDWELLER led by Klayton who has had many projects I have been listening to for years starting with his original industrial metal band CIRCLE OF DUST whose debut CD I picked up back in ’92!  Since the show was on Friday, July 1st, we decided to head down the night before and stay with my best friend Kenny and hit the town first thing on Friday.

So, we did just that and first hit the Georgia Aquarium Friday morning hoping to avoid most of the impending holiday weekend crowd.  However, it was still a mess as I’m sure many people had the same idea in mind.  But it wasn’t bad so we made the best of it and conquered the World of Coca-Cola as well since it’s right next door!

We managed to finish touring both spots by mid-afternoon so we started to make our way down to the Masquerade which was, conveniently, just a few miles away.  We paid our parking fee and made our way out into traffic when Tessa suddenly realized her cell phone was missing!  I’m not sure who freaked out worse: me or her?!

After the freak-out session was over, Tessa could only think of one place the phone could be: in the restroom of the commons area outside of the World of Coca-Cola.  She kept her phone in the back pocket of her jeans and it must have slipped out while she was relieving her bladder of all the 60+ soda flavors from around the world!  Thankfully there was an attendee in the restroom so she approached her and inquired about her phone which is a nice Samsung Droid Fascinate just like mine.  Apparently the woman was rather fond of the phone she had found because, according to Tessa, she was rather reluctant to hand it over.

After she had reacquired her electronic device, we got back out into Atlanta traffic and made our way to the Masquerade.  Once we found the venue, we went back to the Burger King we had passed on the way and grabbed a quick bite.  Quick is the key word since the Masquerade is kinda in the ghet-to!

We got to the venue shortly after five and waited outside for a couple of hours before the doors opened.  While we were out there, we meet up with some South Carolina friends who were also attending the show and even made a few new friends including Big Troy from 95 Rock in Augusta, GA.

When the doors opened, Tessa and I immediately hit the merch table and picked up a shirt each as well as some stickers (including old school CIRCLE OF DUST and BRAINCHILD) and a CD!

A couple of hours later, the opening band INVIOLATE started the show and featured a bona fide bellydancer on vocals!

After their set, it was time for me to FINALLY get to see Klayton live and in person after being thwarted from seeing CIRCLE OF DUST back in college because some jackass at a Charlotte venue had told me the show was postponed when, in reality, the venue had been changed.  No, I’m STILL not over that!

When CELLDWELLER took the stage, their sound and set-up was absolutely AMAZING!  My only complaint about the show was that the entire set was comprised of remixes and new material which I have yet to hear.  I have their only straightforward album: the 2003 self-titled debut.  They have numerous compilations of remixes and instrumentals however I am not as familiar with those.  So, on that note, I was somewhat disappointed but I did enjoy the overall experience of finally seeing Klayton perform live and in person!

After the show, Klayton and his touring partner, Blue Stahli, met with fans back at the merch table to take some pics and sign some autographs….

When we left the venue, we met up with Kenny at North River Tavern in Sandy Springs and I drove his inebriated ass home while Tessa drove my Jeep back to his house to crash for another night.

We slept in a bit the next morning and then made our way out to the Chattahoochee River and drove around parts of Alpharetta where I used to work and frequent.  We then made our way to Buford, GA to check out the Mall of Georgia and surrounding shops including the new Museum Replicas store which had some kickass geek souvenirs such as Star Wars and Harry Potter memorabilia as well as some steampunk apparel!  I picked up a Cthulhu bobble-head!

After roaming the entire mall, Tessa and I grabbed some food from Chic-Fil-A before hitting the road and heading home.  When we got back into town, we hit Yogurt Mountain and then Bi-Lo for some groceries and went home.

Sunday we relaxed and went over to my Uncle James Ray and Aunt Tina’s house for some cooking out and swimming.  Outside of that, we didn’t do much of anything else except for laundry!

Monday was more of the same as we celebrated our independence and freedom to be lazy!  We did, however, manage to make it out to meet my mom and her boyfriend Mark at Hollywood 20 to see Cars 2.  I have to admit that the sequel to the Pixar original was a bit disappointing as I was expecting since they turned it into an animated spy movie.  That’s not to say that there wasn’t any redeeming qualities to the film because there were some very funny moments and the plot was better than I had expected although it did get a little ridiculous toward the end.

Cars 2  \m/  \m/  \m/

Unfortunately, Tessa had to go to work after the movie and I had to spend a few hours in my office getting caught up from the 4-day weekend so I could hit the ground running today!

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Comments Off on SICK AND TWISTED NEEDLE | Posted by Twisted Todd on June 29, 2011

This weekend I got to head up to the metropolis of Roebuck, SC for the grand opening of Twisted Needle Tattoo & Piercing!  I gotta say, it was a fantastic turnout and a fun event being as I LOVE TATTOOS!  Not to mention the fact that I know several of the tattoo artists fairly well: Miles, Corey and Leejohn, the latter of which I have known for years!  Plus Merckle was my promotions guy and took some great pics!

And NO, that’s not MY bun in the oven!  Lol!

While I was there, my allergy-induced cough that I had been dealing with for weeks began to progress and has blown into a full-blown cold/sinus infection thus the sick to my ‘Twisted’!  After fighting it for several days and coughing a lung or two while on the air, I seem to be on the mend as I get ready to head to Atlanta for the weekend!

Oh, and one last thing, HOW ‘BOUT THEM GAMECOCKS?!

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Comments Off on GREENSTOCK!!!! | Posted by Twisted Todd on June 21, 2011

You know, I don’t care what critics said about Green Lantern, I thought it was effin’ awesome!  I went to go see it with Tessa Friday morning before coming to work and going on the air and I loved it!  I think DC has stepped it up a notch which they’ve been needing to do since Marvel has been kicking their asses at the box office for the past decade!  Granted, I’m a Marvel guy myself, but it’s good to see DC at least making an attempt to give them a run for the money aside from Batman and Superman.

Green Lantern  \m/  \m/  \m/  \m/  \

After work Friday night, I made the trip up to scenic Sunnyview/Mill Spring, NC to catch Gerbstock III at the Ultimate Basement.  I got there just in time to catch up with an old friend from high school, Chris Buice and introduce his band EDGE OF ETERNITY.

I left shortly after their set and crashed with my friend Ron from the band MAY LAY.

I got up late the next morning and went over to Tessa’s mom’s to meet her and her mom for her mom’s birthday and to go visit her grandfather.  As we were ending our visit with her grandfather, we got caught in a nasty little storm that seemed to end just as we pulled back up at her mom’s.

Shortly after getting back to her mom’s, Tessa and I left to head back to the Ultimate Basement for day 2 of Gerbstock III.  Unfortunately, I got there right as the UPSTATE DRUMMERS group were tearing down but I still got to see SIX & TWENTY and SISTER TRISH although we didn’t get to stay for all of the latter’s set because Tessa had worked all night the night before and got very little sleep – and she had to drive home separately!

Needless to say, we didn’t do ANYTHING Sunday!

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