RBH #19; A CONVERSATION WITH MEGANOKE

Meganoke is an up and coming singer whose reach extends to the hip hop world and beyond. In just a few years she has left a bigger footprint in the underground music scene than many do in their whole careers. She has hit the road with Abstract Rude, 2mex, and other indie rap legends but would also fit the bill sharing the stage with someone like Feist or Sleigh Bells. This was an interesting conversation about her evolution as a musical artist. Give it a listen and check out all of our Rust Belt Hammer podcasts.

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KILLED BY OHIO; A COMPILATION OF PUNK FROM NE OHIO

I have decided to do some podcasts that are strictly music. This Ohio punk rock theme will be ongoing. Check out what I think is some of the best stuff to come out of Akron, Cleveland, Kent, etc. This is not a definitive collection. Just some awesome tunes. Some are classic and some are forgotten. Continue reading KILLED BY OHIO; A COMPILATION OF PUNK FROM NE OHIO

OUR PUNK, GARAGE, AND 60S PSYCH HALLOWEEN PODCAST MIXTAPE

October is the time to celebrate our favorite holiday, Halloween. Me and Davids Jaggutis of the Rust Belt Hammer Podcast put this treat together for all of our loyal listeners. The songs are handpicked (with the help of our FB friends) and put together with love. This isn’t just an ordinary mix. We include spooky sound effects, vintage television spots, and film trailers amongst the creepy, fun jams that you are about to experience. Happy Halloween and enjoy!

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WRESTLECIRCUS HELD THEIR FIRST WRESTLING EVENT IN AUSTIN AND HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS

WrestleCircus is a new indepdent wrestling promotion doing events in Austin, Texas. They are the new kid in a wrestling city which is home to Inspire Pro Wrestling and Anarchy Championship Wrestling. Being that this was their first event, I expected to see a few blunders and for things to run not so smoothly. Those were presumptuous assumptions on my part because this was one smooth production. It even started on time! That is a rarity when it comes to some of these wrestling show.This was different though. Right from the start, things were on point. The ringmaster for the evening was rambunctious and colorful, a true master of ceremonies. Here we go!

The action started off with Trevor Lee vs. Jordan Len-X. This was an impressive opening bout and a sign of things to come. Lucha Underground’s Willie Mac and Bullet Club’s Adam Page next buttered up the crowd and left them yearning for more insane action. Mike Dell took on “Dirty” Andy Dalton, a man whom I am told lives up to his nasty gimmick. I’ve honestly never heard people pop so loudly for Andy before. It was awesome. “Supercop” Dick Justice vs. “Gentleman” Jervis provided some comedic relief in a match with a time limit of “one year”. This made room for more hard hitting action as we saw a cruiserweight showdown featuring DJZ, Scorpio Sky, Ricky Starks, and Aaron Solow. Former PWG star Scorpio Star went home with the victory. Sammy Guevara vs. WWE’s Tony Nese was another high flying rager. Tony has the power and ability. Sami has the attitude and move set. Props to both of these warriors.

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Laredo Kid vs. “Texas Lion” Carson was an impressive showing of power versus quickness that saw the luchador score a pinfall. I am not familiar with Laredo Kid’s work with Mexico’s AAA but will have to peep his matches after seeing some of his seriously fly moves (pun intended).

Leva Bates vs. Jessica James vs. Christi Jaynes was a ladies three way tangle that left me a bit disappointed. Austinite Christi Jaynes won the match but to me the hardest and most impressive worker in the match is Jessica James. She is a fantastic athlete and it would have been nice to have seen her showcased a bit more.

(OUR INTERVIEW WITH KEITH)

The show stealer for me was Keith Lee taking on Donovan Dijak. These two have more chemistry than Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Excuse me for dating myself with that comparison but they did a tango that would drive any seasoned or novice wrestling fan into a frenzy. Lee and Dijak could show the non-believers why wrestling is an art form. If these two did a “best of 100 match”, I would seriously watch every single showdown. Hell yes and bravo!

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The main event saw Colt Cabana, EC3, Ray Rowe, and last minute addition Lance Hoyt in a fatal fourway. The action was what you would expect from these four bruisers. As an Ohio expatriate, it was nice to see two Clevelanders in the main event. EC3 and Ray Rowe made their hometown proud, displaying much finesse and skill. They certainly know how to engage and captivate an audience. Colt Cabana and Hoyt held it down as well. Colt is a one smart man. His mix of comedy and wrestling is always a hit. And Lance Hoyt! The man is just a terror. He looks and acts the part. Lance Hoyt is the definitive wrestler. He perfectly embodies the sport with a huge presence. Putting these four together was a good choice.

My only complaint about WrestleCircus would be the lack of local talent going over. When you have such impressive Texans on the card as Keith Lee, Jessica James, Ricky Starks, and Sammy Guevara; seeing them all lose was kind of a bummer. These men and women should be propped up and displayed as winners. Keith Lee is the Inspire Pro champion and an imposing, talented up-and-comer currently doing work for Ring of Honor. Seeing him lose in front of a native crowd was a bit displeasing, even if his match was insanely good. But hey, nothing is perfect, right? For the most part WrestleCircus did a fantastic job in all areas. One small flaw certainly did not ruin my evening. In fact, I had a blast.

Wrestling is a world where we can lose ourselves and be caught in the present moment. We forget our worries and watch these gladiators give up their bodies for our entertainment. In a way they are martyrs.

WrestleCircus presented some of the best current wrestling talent in the country. Win, lose, or draw, everybody looked fantastic at “The Opening Act”.

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Follow WrestleCircus on Facebook to find out about their upcoming November events. I heart Matanza will be in town!

FOLLOW RUST BELT HAMMER ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER @RUSTBELTHAMMER1. ALSO FOLLOW US ON ITUNES AND HEAR SOME AWESOME WRESTLING PODCASTS AND MORE. HERE IS OUR MATT CROSS FEATURE. WE DON’T MESS AROUND.

-MATT GREENFIELD

GREG SYMONDS; THE PARADIGM OF POSITIVITY

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE STORY FROM NOW RETIRED PRO WRESTLER, GREG SYMONDS. HE WAS TRAINED BY SKANDAR AKBAR AND HAS HAD QUITE THE JOURNEY.

YOU CAN ALSO HERE THIS AND MORE WRESTLING BASED INTERVIEWS ON ITUNES. FOLLOW RUST BELT HAMMER. ALSO ON TWITTER @RUSTBELTHAMMER1 AND WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/RUSTBELTHAMMER

HORROR OF 59 IS BACK AFTER A 9 YEAR HIATUS

Horror of 59 has a new album titled Necroaggression. It reminds me of old So Cal melodic punk mixed with rockabilly and a heavy dose of the Misfits. They have a song called “Nuke ‘Em High” so you can pretty much expect lyrics ripped straight out of the script for a b-movie. What’s not to love? You know what you’re gonna get and it’s what you came for.

“The Turning” is probably my favorite track upon first album listen. Horror of 59 definitely knows how to lay a catchy hook on your sorry ass. This one will be in my head all night.

HOW TO BOOK DIY TOURS; A PODCAST W/ NIK OLIVER

This one is both informative and entertaining. Nik Oliver became a DIY booking agent for independent artists out of necessity. He has made quite the name for himself and continues to expand. Check out this interview and learn a thing or two.

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@RUSTBELTHAMMER1 ON TWITTER
AND RUST BELT HAMMER PODCAST ON ITUNES

DESTROY CLEVELAND; ONE YEAR LATER (MORE THAN A MOVIE)

Destroy Cleveland was a passion project that I never expected to receive any sort of attention. At first, it was just going to cover a select few bands. My efforts were to be placed on the work of people like Chris Erba, Wedge, and Paul Schlacter. After a bit of contemplation, I of course decided to document Ringworm and Integrity. From there, I discovered bands new to my realm, late 80s heavy hitters like Outface, False Hope, and Confront.

I never made or directed a movie before so I contacted Matt Delrosa, a friend that had done some local video work in Kent. He and my long time friend Colby Grimes had recently done a documentary about our deceased friend Frank Bochard. They agreed to work on my unnamed passion project. Now the documentary wheels were set in motion. I flew to Ohio and started doing interviews with the people you have seen in the movie.

The trailer was released on March 7th, 2015; a day after my birthday. A few months earlier I created a Facebook page under the name Des Troy Cleveland to hype the movie. That along with the trailer started a whirlwind of hype that I certainly wasn’t ready for. Maybe it even got to my head a little bit. I was so busy taking pills, drinking, and doing drugs that it all seemed so blurry. The phrase I came up with for this time period is “I thought I was Mick Jagger but I was just Mick Jagoff.”

Vice came knocking, as did a lot of other hip national media outlets and regional blogs from all over the country. I was conducting interviews on the regular, hyping the movie up to be some groundbreaking Roman Polanski level type shit. I believed it and I believed in the movie. It was my life. I needed Ambien because thinking bout the movie kept me up every night.

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I got ahead of myself and scheduled the movie to premiere in August when we were clearly not ready. The editing took way longer than expected and I wasn’t in Ohio to oversee it. That was a big and painful mistake that I will talk about in a bit. I was just riding the wave of hype, ass kissers, and newfound attention.

The editing was cut so god damn close that I didn’t even see the final cut until one night before the premiere. In retrospect that is fucking insane! Well, what I saw was not the movie that I wrote. I’m not placing blame anymore but it was a letdown. I wanted a story with an emotional narrative. It was to be the story of a small group of friends in the 80s that formed these exciting new bands in a depressed midwest city. These friends eventually found themselves in bands like Integrity and Ringworm; and indirectly another scene was spawned. One of DIY punk like what was found at Speak In Tongues. The sad downfall to me was the decline and death of Chard from H100s/9 Shocks Terror. This was to be a central focal point of the movie but isn’t even mentioned in what I saw. Instead, the movie is like a library of information. It’s an important historical document, jam-packed with images. But, it’s not what I wanted.

Now let’s rewind a bit to the night that changed my life forever. I was boozing it up and taking Xanax at a local comedy show. Me and my friends found our way to some random local hardcore show because it was down the street. I ended up in some giant brawl with a bunch of punk rockers because someone shoved me when I wasn’t even in the pit. It was dumb. I yelled at some girls who were heckling me outside. I called them cunts and I don’t regret it. In retaliation, they made up a story saying that I came to a show and picked out a transgender person and punched them because of their identity. It was horrifying. I have always supported the rights of all humans. The story was never proven to have any validity or evidence but one of the girls made a big post about it online and spread it around. People in the punk scene seem to lack critical thinking skills and will just repost anything on Facebook that outrages them and makes them look righteous. They won’t question if it’s real or not. That’s what I learned as screening after screening got cancelled around the country. I wasn’t dealing with the bulbs that burned the brightest here.

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I spiraled into a huge depression for months. I waited anxiously for someone to “call me out” in public. I received death threats over the internet and more people threatened to kick my ass than I can count. To this day, not one person has confronted me to my face. That’s the nature of cowards that hide behind the internet. All talk.

I carried on the best that I could but I was pissed off for a good 10 months. I lived in anger. It took a long time to see the true nature of things and heal that anger.

My revenge was to make the movie successful. I sold more DVDs than I could count, toured 6 different countries, and played Destroy Cleveland all over the United States. It really was a blast. I had to succeed and not feel self-pity. It was well worth the effort. I got to eat pizza in Italy, travel the coast of New Zealand, and hang out with friends in Amsterdam, Australia, etc.

The movie hype was winding down. Some people loved it, some people hated it. I both hated and loved it. I was still hurt and angry though. In my mind, a small group of miserable losers had ruined something I put my lifeblood into.

I wrote an angry email to one of the girls who led the boycott. I knew her insecurities and called her a fat, talentless hog and noted that I had made a successful movie and all she has done is….well, nothing. Real mature, I know. Either way I had resentment and with that hateful email, I let it go. It felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Of course she posted the email publicly. A girl I had the displeasure of dating year’s ago that still holds resentments had sent it to Tony Erba. The poor guy nearly had another heart attack. The girl’s email was very divisive and basically said that a bunch of people were gonna come kick my ass at a show he was playing with Annihilation Time in Austin. Tony asked me not to show up but I assured him this girl was full of shit, and that I wasn’t missing AT under any circumstances. That was the end of Tony and I’s friendship and we still haven’t spoken. I went to the show and guess what happened? Nothing. More internet talk of kicking my ass that never came to fruition. Not a big surprise.

Around that time I decided that it was time to start a new life path, leave the movie completely behind, and work towards something positive. I changed my thoughts completely and forgave what I perceived as my enemies. I embraced them as teachers who put my exactly where I wanted to be in life.

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I began to use the power of positive thinking and intention; finding peace and success in my life. I quit a job that paid well with benefits, took the summer to travel, and explore my mind. It was truly a beautiful awakening.

I meditated in Hawaii and took a 12 hour mushrooms trip by myself. The results were staggering. I was finally healing myself. I did not and do not regret the past or the drama. It was hard, I made foolish mistakes that I will never repeat, but it catapulted me into a wonderful place. Spiritual growth stems from pain and being in a place of loss. It was time to change or die.

I started hitting the gym, working with a trainer, changed my diet, cut alcohol drastically, and saw results. I felt and feel better than ever. I am in a good place.

The journey was tiring. I lost friends, associates, made strangers hate me, and engaged in needless drama with fools. Why? I don’t know. Al I know is that everything happens for a reason and it led to me being in a good place. I don’t want to live life as a bitter punk rocker. Had not things unfolded this way, I might still be living from a place of selfishness, anger, and ego. I hope that people can forgive me the way I have forgiven them.

Destroy Cleveland wasn’t just a movie for me, it was a painful life transformation. It was a time of growing pains. I express gratitude to everyone involved. I yelled at Matt and said he ruined the movie with his team’s editing but that was me coming from a place of ego. We were friends for over ten years but haven’t spoken since the premiere. It’s true, the movie isn’t what I wanted but what in life turns out exactly as planned? Maybe a new edit will come out one day. All I know for certain is it’s an important movie and we all put our heart’s into it.

To reiterate, I regret nothing, Everything has happened for a reason and I am excited to be alive and feel what every moment holds.

-MATT GREENFIELD,
DESTROY CLEVELAND, RUST BELT HAMMER

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