Archive for the Music & Pop Culture News Category


Posted in Music & Pop Culture News with tags , , , on March 16, 2011 by bangbangslang

R&B’s ‘Hardest Man’, G-Funk OG, and in many ways an underappreciated hip hop legend,  has gone on to that deluxe apartment in the sky… BBS pours some out and remembers our Top 3 Nate Dogg tracks:


LISTEN: “Hardest Man In Town” (G Funk Classics: Vols. 1 & 2)


LISTEN: Regulate” w/ Warren G (Regulate – G Funk Era)


LISTEN: “The Next Episode” w/ Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg (The Chronic 2001)


Rest in peace, Nathaniel Hale. You’ve extinguished your lit blunt on the game in a way that no other R&B gangster ever could or will.

What were your favorite Nate Dogg tracks?


INTERVIEW: Flogging Molly’s Matt Hensely Talks New Album, Skateboarding, and Life on Tour

Posted in Bangers & Slang, Music & Pop Culture News, Tour Information with tags , , on March 11, 2011 by bangbangslang









In a few short hours, gallons of green dye will be pumped into the  Chicago River, pub crawls from the South Loop to Wrigleyville will commence, kilt-clad bagpipers will wail down Lincoln from bar to bar, and Chicagoans – Irish or not – will be lining up their first round of Jameson shots in hopes that what follows will live up to be a more drunkenly awesome St. Patty’s weekend than the last.

Oh, yeah. And Flogging Molly is playing 2 nights at the Congress Theater too. What else could be more drunken and awesome? (FRIDAY MARCH 11th & SATURDAY MARCH 12th TICKETS HERE)

It’s not every St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Chicago that we get Irish-punk pioneers to devote tour dates to one of the most piss-tossed, wild calendar weekends of the year (last year I found myself wandering into an RJD2 show and while badass it was, culturally festive it was not). So, when an opportunity for Bang Bang Slang to interview accordion player/vocalist (and skateboarding great), Matt Hensley, of Flogging Molly – we couldn’t have felt more lucky and eager to hear how their Green 17 tour had been shaping up so far and get some dirt on their anticipated new release “Speed of Darkness”. Matt and I had a chance to catch up last Sunday while he was en route to Flogging Molly’s next date in Minneapolis and I was en route to a hangover. Here’s how it went down:

Matt Hensley Source:

BANG BANG SLANG: I know that a lot of fans are really stoked on the new single that dropped last month, “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down” – tell me a little bit about that song and what else we can expect from “Speed of Darkness”.

MATT HENSLEY: ‘Shut ‘em Down” and the new record were recorded in Detroit. With every songwriting process you’re affected by where you’re around and your day-to-day surroundings and the result from recording in a place like Detroit is that the record has a sort of tonality about it that’s very working class. We were affected by what we saw in Detroit every day, a lack of jobs and overall frustration with the working world right now. I think this record really lends itself to that. As a band I think we’re continually trying to be better musicians, better songwriters, better performers, better in every regard to our craft. Also,  we don’t want to release the same record over and over and we know no one wants to hear that either. This new record is a sweet departure from our usual sound and I think the end result is something really good. It feels a little prickly around the edges which makes me happy and the ‘Shut ‘Em Down Single’ has this kind of Motown vibe which makes sense to me, also like a little jam in there too. Ya know, it’s us, but my heart really feels the influence with that song.

BBS: Will you be playing these new working class songs when you return to the Midwest for the Chicago double header?

MH: Right now we’ve been playing about 4 new songs a night. And since we’re obviously playing 2 nights in Chicago, we’ll be set up to play at least 4 new songs a night off  the new record.

BBS: So the record is complete?

MH: Well, the record is mastered. I have the mastered version right now and while it doesn’t officially come out till May, I got the mastered disc about a week ago and I’m pretty pleased.

BBS: 2011 seems to have Flogging Molly busy as shit on tour – how has Green 17 been so far?

MH: It’s been really great man, it’s been SOLID.

BBS: Which cities traditionally tend to be the kindest to the band?

MH: In America it almost goes without saying that any city with a lot of ethnicity has been very kind to this band – New York, Chicago, Philly, San Francisco, Los Angeles (which is where we’re based from). I think because of the instruments that we’re playing and the vibes that we give, it’s pretty good everywhere we go. It feels good. Ya know, Arizona – we get a lotta love there. We’re actually playing St. Patty’s Day there, at a place that’s been giving us crazy amounts of love for a while now. You wouldn’t think it’s a place at first glance that would be a big Flogging Molly town, but Arizona’s huge for us. And then we’ll play Texas and you wouldn’t think towns in Texas would be lvery Irish or anything, but Texas actually has a lot of Irish roots and European roots and it’s a border state, so  you’ll get a lot of people cool with accordions and acoustic instruments – our sound isn’t exactly that sort of music specifically but it lends itself to that.

BBS: I also see that you and the guys will be a part of some MAJOR festivals in the coming months – namely Coachella and Sasquatch in the U.S. and plenty of others in Europe over the summer – how does playing to tens of thousands play in to the dynamic for the band and how do you like it?

MH: I think for me personally, and I’m sure if you asked the other guys in the band they’d probably have a different answer for you, but for me after you start playing for about 200 people then it kinda feels the same to me when we play the really big shows. If it’s 1,000 or 2,000 it feels the same. Put me in a room with like 20 people and I’ll actually get pretty nervous. When you’re lacking the amount of people at a show, you become more vulnerable to it all, that’s the feeling I have. At the same time though it’s always like the closer I am to the people, the better it is that I feel. When we’re actually playing a stage where we’re close to the crowd and we can high-five people, just within 2 feet of them it feels great. And the farther I am from the stage, I kinda get removed from that feeling. Sometimes in Europe you’re playing 20 feet in the air, 40 feet from the first people, it can take a little while to get out of your own head, get in your zone, and make sure you’re putting on a good show and build up the energy.

BBS: So you like playing the big festivals too then?

MH: I do, but my favorite gigs are when we get booked in like a bar, or I guess now like a very big bar, when it has that feel. It gives us that feeling like when we we’d play Molly Malone’s or a small pub, that’s my favorite. When we used to stand on the goddamn bar and throw shit, just raise shit – that’s my favorite.

BBS: How’s [Hensley’s] bar going, man?

MH: I’m actually not the majority owner of it anymore, I sold it – it’s still my bar though to some degree, it has all my artwork, all my vibe to it, I just couldn’t deal with being in a full time rock band and trying to run a restaurant. It just overwhelmed me to the point where I had to choose what situation was best for me.

BBS: I know that skateboarding is still a huge part of your life and your son’s life. You said in an interview with Fuel Tv “I still look in the mirror and see a skateboarder who’s in a band”. Is that still true?

MH: It is still true. I’ve been skateboarding my whole life, so it’s who I am first absolutely. I make a living playing music, without a doubt, but I wouldn’t be in this band an I wouldn’t have these opportunities had I not been a skateboarder to begin with. I know that sounds crazy but it’s the truth. I’ve given everything I could and skated my ass off since I can remember, but it’s also given back to me more than I could ever describe. When I moved to Chicago, I worked at Sessions Skateboard Shop and its because I did a demo at The Vic and I met Dan Fields who ran that shop and next thing I know I’m in Chicago working there. So I wouldn’t have even had my first job in Chicago if I wasn’t a skateboarder, ya know? It’s a very cool, small cyclical world.

BBS: Do you feel like success has changed you at all?

MH: I don’t man, though I’m sure it has. I still feel like I’m 16 years old goin to a demo. I’m just trying to keep it fuckin real. In the back of my mind I know that I don’t get to see as many people that I used to. I blow at the internet – I don’t have a myspace account or anything like that. I can’t do it. I probably don’t get in touch with my friends as much as I’d like to, but when I show up to do a gig I still feel like that’s a big part of my psyche that’s like, ‘I gotta keep this shit real. Street-level’. I never want to be in a situation where it’s so blown out that I’d be unapproachable. I’m never striving to be like that.

BBS: When you have time are you still skating or chilling with anyone from the H-Street days or when you’re back in Cali?

MH: I’ve skated with Steve Ortega a couple times. About two weeks ago I got a call from Sal Barbier and we just talked about music for like an hour, but I definitely keep in touch with a lot of the H-Street guys. Right before I went on this tour I did an interview for a Danny Way documentary – I must’ve talked about him for like 3 hours and I’ve been talking to him a little bit back and forth since then. They’re definitely part of my life still.

BBS: Do you get worried that if you ever bail too hard your accordion days with Flogging Molly would be fucked?

MH: I’m not really pushing myself to that limit anymore and I really haven’t in a while. When I was first making it happen with Flogging Molly, I’d show up to shows with a broken wrist in a cast or shit like that and the band would be like , ‘You need to watch what you’re doin, man!’. I still skate with my son when we go, but I’m just not doing crazy shit because I really can’t. I literally can’t afford to break my hand, which is a weird thing for me. If I break my foot it’s one thing, If I break my elbow it’s another, but if I break my right hand I’m pretty fucked. Especially if I know I’m about to crash, I’ll be flying through the air and I’ll take my right arm and tuck it or try to make it safe and use the rest of my body to take that beating – that’s fine –  but, I just can’t fuck with my right hand.

BBS: You were touching on this before when you were catching up with Sal about music, what are you listening to right now?

MH: It’s kinda all over the place. Right now on my iPod I’ve been listening to a lot of Hank III. Also been listening to a Spanish accordion player called Tony De La Rosa, a lot of Mexican music. A lot of Mexican accordion music.

BBS: Why should Chicago fans take a break from their pub crawls and hike over to the Congress to see Flogging Molly next weekend?

MH: [laughs] I’d say to have a good time man! To have a drink and have a good time. I don’t know what else is going on in Chicago that weekend but I can guarantee you a blurry, good ass time at our show.

BBS: Lastly, What does Matt Hensely drink on St. Patrick’s day before he goes on stage – brown liquor or beer?

MH: Lately I’ve been on a whiskey kick, so I’d probably be drinkin Jameson to be honest with you. I’m tryin to lose my fuckin beer belly to be honest with you . I’ve been easin’ off the Guiness and settin up the Jameson. I’ll probably make an exception on that day though.  [laughs]

BBS will drink to that! Make sure to catch Flogging Molly at the Congress TONIGHT and TOMORROW! And catch them on the road to St. Patty’s Day, if you can’t raise your glass with the rest of us this weekend.


  • 03/13: Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
  • 03/15: Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
  • 03/16: Austin, TX – ACL LIVE @ The Moody Theater (SXSW)

Thanks again, Matt… and since we can’t make it this weekend, we’ll get “blurry” with you at Coachella!

Bang Bang Slang Meets Dean Ween… Goes Fishing – 09/10/10

Posted in From the Archives (Concert Reviews), Music & Pop Culture News with tags , , , on October 7, 2010 by bangbangslang


Mickey Melchiondo & BBS Hooligans off the coast of Belmar, NJ 09/10/10


It’s been nearly a month since we braved the open seas with one of our guitar heroes as Co-Captain – Mickey Melchiondo (the one and only Deaner of Ween) – and the experience is one that will hold lasting vibrations of awesomeness for the entire gang that came along on our fishing adventure.

Speaking now as founder of the site, I couldn’t have wrangled up a better group of dudes to bring out to Belmar, NJ. An overdue thanks has to be given to our buddy Yankus who put the wheels in motion, contacted Mickey, kept our asses in check, and solidified plans for the entire thing – thank you, man! After 5 hours of slaying bluefish, sea bass, and striper, shitfaced crushing of endless booze, slamming burritos with fish guts on our hands, and smoking cigs till our boxes were empty, we made it back to the shore with smiles ear to ear and a story to tell for the rest of our lives. If only we didn’t go bar hopping till last call afterwards, make friends with degenerates, and wake up on the grimey, prison floors of the Belmar Motor Lodge… we might have actually remembered the details.

Yes, going on a Brownie Troop trip with Mickey is as fucking awesome as you would imagine.


The Skylarker II Pirates of Belmar


I thought the only way we could do Mickey, Brownie Troop, Captain Steve, and Billy justice by means of commemorating the trip would be by offering up an account from an expert angler who was on board (and who is of course a devout follower of Boognish). Here’s Contessa’s official fishing report on our time spent aboard the Skylarker II:

“Fishing aboard the Skylarker II was the type of early autumn magic in which wet and salty dreams are made.  Admittedly, as the crew of 11 departed the parking lot of the unassuming Belmar Motor Lodge, I wasn’t confident in the success of the coming trip. To call our crew novice would have been an extreme understatement, as the majority of those among us had never fished before; but, what this crew lacked in experience, they made up for with unbridled enthusiasm and copious amounts of Bud Light.

While we motored north up the coast, first mate Billy dug in blade-first to a stack of Bunker flats which would make for the chum (and bait) of the evening. By the time Captain Steve found his numbers, whatever lack of confidence I had earlier was quickly trumped by the potent smell of bluefish grease in the air. The first hour of fishing was extremely consistent, offering the crew a mixed bag of 8-15 LBS bluefish, seabass, and even one keeper Striper landed by Tony of New Hope, PA.

The bite slowed down as the tide went slack; which ironically was when things started to heat up. I realized that our other new friend from New Hope had brought a spinning rod with a bag of various metal; the right tools for a methodology of slaying I happen to know a lot about. In no time at all we were all taking turns on the spin-gear; bombing casts deep into the chum-slick, literally hooking mammoth blues on every crank. Artificials ended up out-fishing the bait about 20-1. Thankfully, everybody got their chance to partake in the festivities.  All and all, it was an amazing trip in the beauty that is coastal Jerz.” -DC

I couldn’t have summed it up better if I tried. Mainly because I don’t know shit about fishing. Sidenote: No one puked or fell overboard, which was a plus.


The Skylarker II in all its Glory



Billy preparing our chum



A Warm Welcome from Contessa, Biney, & Geoff



Starfish beer


… and then we caught fire and started bagging fish left and right.



Alex stands proud with Mickey and his Bluefish



Leslie is a boss



A-Trab & Deaner sharing in the glory



Tony's Big 'Ol Striper



Jordon's turn... bloodfest



Hale with his slippery bastard




The Cash Fan



Mickey & Drew after some serious metal skipping



On the way back to shore...



The Bachelor & Mickey




"Best sleep of my life..."



Gon' get em!



Baine's MONSTER Seabass



Hey... who's that guy?



Geoff crushes some breeters


Mickey Skipping A Lure – Belmar, NJ 09/10/10

BBS will let the pictures do most of the talking on this one. But Mickey really hit the nail on the head with his credo on the Mickey’s Guide Service website: “A fishing trip is the best gift one can receive in my opinion, whether it’s for one person or a huge gathering”. In this case it was a jumbled mess of drunken best buds and the end result was one for the history books, just as we had predicted.

Do yourself a favor and book a trip with  Captain Mickey before he wises up and stops taking bastards like us on the water: HERE


Mickey's Guide Service


And OF COURSE we flew all the way  back to NYC to see Ween play Central Park the following weekend. What sort of assholes would we be if we flaked on Ween‘s final performance of the summer in one of the sickest park settings they’ve ever played? (FULL SETLIST BELOW)



Ween Plays Central Park 09/17/10



Buckingham Green

She Wanted to Leave

Bananas & Blow

Learnin’ To Live

Transdermal Celebration

Up on the Hill

Take Me Away

Don’t Get Too Close (2 My Fantasy)

Even if You Don’t

Push ‘Th Little Daisies

Sorry Charlie

Voodoo Lady

Happy Colored Marbles

Stallion Pt. 3

Ice Castles

Final Alarm

With My Own Bare Hands

Your Party

Let’s Dance – David Bowie Cover

Touch My Tooter

You Fucked Up

Stroker Ace

Waving My Dick in the Wind

Hey There Fancy Pants

Wayne’s Pet Youngin’

Goin Gets Tough from the Get Go

Johnny on the Spot

The Mollusk

Spinal Meningitis

Mister Would You Please Help My Pony?

Roses are Free



Mr. Richard Smoker

Dr. Rock



Hail Boognish


… should Bang Bang Slang grow a pair and just fly out to Colorado for Ween’s Halloween show? We just might.

Tickets available for halloWEEN in Denver: HERE

WEEN news, merch, and tour info: OFFICIAL WEBSITE

LOST FOOTAGE: The Beatles’ Rooftop Performance of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”

Posted in Music & Pop Culture News with tags , on October 4, 2010 by bangbangslang

If you’re dumb enough to actually believe this then you don’t deserve to be a Beatles fan… or even a Gaga fan for that matter. But the vocal and instrumental edits are fairly impressive.

Somewhere Lennon is smoking a cigarette in disgust, but it’s definitely worth a Monday laugh. Enjoy…

Boardwalk Empire’s (Kind of) Suprising Musical Partnership with Brian Jonestown Massacre

Posted in Music & Pop Culture News with tags , , , , on September 27, 2010 by bangbangslang

Look at these two brothers from another mother. What do Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe and silver screen veteran Steve Buscemi have in common? Probably in real life not all that much, but if you’ve been watching HBO‘s new television masterpiece-in-the-making Boardwalk Empire, then you may have noticed an all too familiar rocking instrumental during the show’s opening credits.

LISTEN: Brian Jonestown Massacre “Straight Up and Down”

Emmy Award winning writer Terence Winter and Academy Award winning Director Martin Scorsese have scored again big time in crafting one of the most cinematic television experiences of recent memory. The pilot episode alone is a modern-day respected work of art that will easily stand the test of time as an unparalleled achievement for cable television programming. Assassinations. Raunchy sex. Brass knuckle fistfights. Corrupt cops and politicians. Gangster shootouts. Whiskey and cigs.  Give me a break – this is the greatest tv we’ve seen since Tony was sharing grub in that Jersey diner with Carmela, A.J., and Meadow.

Just as it was with The Sopranos and any of Scorsese’s classic films – careful music selection and supervision plays a deep-seated role in the supersensory experience of Boardwalk Empire for the viewer. While we wouldn’t put it past the music supervisor/Winter/Scorsese to pick one of Brian Jonestown Massacre‘s greatest hits for their opening credits- a song that was released nearly 15 years ago- it was still a welcoming surprise. Take a look (and a listen) for yourself  below:

Boardwalk Empire airs on HBO at 9:00 PM/8:00 PM (for Chicagoans): OFFICIAL WEBSITE

And if you don’t own any Brian Jonestown Massacre records, then punch yourself in the face: OFFICIAL WEBSITE

…keep music evil

Another Sunday Trip to the Record Store… (And BBS Updates)

Posted in Music & Pop Culture News, Tour Information with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2010 by bangbangslang

Sunday's Trip to Dave's Records & Reckless

It had been weeks since BBS had an opportunity to throw our hard earned cash down the drain in support of our unhealthiest obsession. The recent reissue of Ween‘s “God Ween Satan” had us running to Dave’s Records over the weekend- sure, the repressings of “The Mollusk“, “12 Country Golden Greats“, and “White Pepper” this summer were a treat to the avid record collector, but “God Ween Satan” is one of the holy grails for record collectors who love Ween. It’s where the fraternal freak show all began and it’s a primal piece of raw musicianship that continues to impress me as I get more gray hair.

Other purchases were more or less a build up of LP’s that had been floating out there on our ‘must grab list’ for months and another was influenced by our stop at Park West to see The Tallest Man on Earth:

  1. The Love Language – Libraries (MERGE)
  2. Fanfarlo – Reservoir (Canvasback/Atlantic)
  3. S. Carey – All We Grow (Jagjaguwar)

LISTEN: Ween – “Fat Lenny”

LISTEN: The Love Language – “Heart to Tell”

LISTEN: Fanfarlo – “The Walls Are Coming Down”

LISTEN: S. Carey – “In the Dirt”


(Week of 09/27-10/03)

09/27: Laura Veirs & The Hall of Flames @ Lincoln Hall

09/28: Tim Kasher (of Cursive/Good Life) @ Reckless Records  (In-Store)

09/29: !!! (Chk Chk Chk) @ Bottom Lounge

09/30: Klaxons @ Lincoln Hall

10/01: Eels @ Metro

10/02: Louis CK @ The Chicago Theatre

A hell of a busy week for BBS so keep checking back for updates! Plus posts from last week’s The Tallest Man on Earth/S. Carey show, secret Deerhunter concert coverage, a FULL post from our fishing trip with Dean Ween (finally!), a ticket giveaway from Lincoln Hall, and a “From The Archives” post or two.

What’s on YOUR plate for the week? Let us know!

BANG ON THIS! w/ Freddie Gibbs (Friday Song of the Day)

Posted in Music & Pop Culture News with tags , , on September 24, 2010 by bangbangslang

Gary, Indiana's Rawest & Finest - Freddie Gibbs

Arguably one of the sickest MC’s on the come-up right now, Freddie Gibbs spits fire in a hip hop game that continues to  degenerate into Katy Perry collaboration after Katy Perry collaboration. His vocal delivery blatantly nods at Tupac, while at other times evoking Southern rap greats Pimp C and Andre 3000, but Gibbs is an OG (that’s original gangsta for all you white people) who’s innovative, fresh, and authentic in his own right.

Bang Bang Slang had a chance to catch Freddie Gibbs absolutely slayyyyy at Pitchfork Festival 2010 – more blunt smoke in the air than at a Grateful Dead concert – and along with the other 200 people that weren’t doing the “indie rock, arm cross, stationary nerd move” at the main stage with Panda Bear, we shook our asses and reveled in the murda music and crushed beers.

Gibbs released 2 mixtapes in 2009 – “The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs”, “Midwestgangstaboxcadillacframemuzik” – and with the much anticipated drop of his latest  “Str8 Killa No Filla“, BBS is giving our Friday “Bang on This!” song of the day to Freddie’s dirty south banger “In My Hood”. (Unofficial Video Below)


Follow Freddie Gibbs on TWITTER!: CLICK HERE

Happy muthafuckin’ Friday, y’all.