I remember going into Underdog Records with my dad as a kid. That may date me just a bit but it was when people were still utilizing vinyl as a popular format, right before the transition to the dreaded and disposable compact discs that took over the world. I don’t know too much about Sonny but what I do know is the guy has a wealth of knowledge about music from Ohio. This is actually something I would like to tap into as the man behind Rust Belt Hammer. Anyways, more will come later. For now, check out this single that features a young Sonny from 1974. Go Youngstown!
Sometimes I try to pinpoint my weirdness. I want to know where it all started. Is it some sort of biological predisposition that has left me susceptible to the culturally abnormal? Or maybe I’m a product of my environment? I am no scientist or sociologist, but I want to talk about the latter; growing up in a place smack dab in the middle of Pittsburgh and Cleveland…the city of Youngstown. While not exactly living in a small place, I always looked at the near Cleveland, as some sort of artist paradise, a place where fledging weirdos ruled the land and couldn’t be bothered. This a bit of a distorted vision but it guided me through my youth. Continue reading THE RUST BELT HAMMER MANIFESTO; COMING OF AGE WITH UNDERGROUND CULTURE→
In Youngstown, Ohio, Richie Bernaki is a something of a celebrity. Commonly known to his associates and acquaintances as Richard Elmsworth, and remembered by many others as Ultimate Donny, the personage under which he cut his teeth and shed his clothes as part of the seemingly mythical Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, Bernaki now plays guitar and sings in the indie rock outfit Sam Goodwill. He also appears twice on Baker’s album, Baked (http://staybaked.bandcamp.com/album/baked). Rust Belt Hammer (finally) caught up with Richie at the Royal Oaks (http://rustbelthammer.com/2014/02/07/youngstowns-favorite-dive-bar-the-royal-oaks/)) to talk Donny, Party Dream, Sam Goodwill, life as a dad, life in Youngstown, and playing the role of Youngstown Joker in an independent play called “Pittsburgh Batman.” -Nick Baker Continue reading THE HAMMER INTERVIEWS RICHARD ELMSWORTH AKA ULTIMATE DONNY OF GIL MANTERA’S PARTY DREAM→
The story of Maurice Clarett is a fascinating one. ESPN’s award winning “30 For 30” documentary series did a great job of capturing the triumph and downfall of this kid from Warren, Ohio. I found a bootleg copy for free on YouTube and definitely wanted to share it with you faithful Rust Belt Hammer viewers.
Recent years have been good for stoner metal. Appreciation and opportunities have been coming for stoner metal bands of all genres – doom, sludge, jam, drone. Seeing Mastodon playing for thousands at festivals, or reading great reviews Pelican’s new album on mainstream websites is refreshing for fans and rewarding for bands, most of whom are longtime road dogs. As always, it comes with a bit of conflict: your favorite band gets some success, but seeing them on Pitchfork being lapped up by scene kids is akin to watching someone who can’t drive stick manhandle your vintage Camaro. Continue reading A MONOLITH OF METAL: EMISSIONS FEST; A PINNACLE IN YOUNGSTOWN MUSIC HISTORY.→