Dr. Dave

Take the LeBrain Train Time Machine back to 1981!

Won’t you take me back to school?
I need to learn the golden rule.
Won’t you lay it on the line?
I need to hear it just one more time.  — Justin Hayward

Truly awesome show tonight as we took our musical time machine back to 1981.  Thanks to the awesome panel:  Harrison the Australia Guy, Eric “Uncle Meat” Litwiller, and Dr. Dave Haslam.  Together we went deep on the following 12 albums from the year 1981 A.D.:

  • Oingo Boingo – Only a Lad
  • AC/DC – For Those About to Rock
  • The Who – Face Dances
  • Thin Lizzy – Renegade
  • Iron Maiden – Killers
  • Blue Oyster Cult – Fire of Unknown Origin
  • Genesis – Abacab
  • John Williams – Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack
  • The Moody Blues – Long Distance Voyager
  • Styx – Paradise Theater
  • ELO – Time
  • Rush – Moving Pictures

In addition, if you indulge yourself to watch the whole 3+ hour show you will also get:

  • an unboxing of the new Kiss Destroyer 45th Anniversary box set
  • history of the year 1981
  • a clip of Eric’s cinematic debut Raiders of the Lost Fart
  • lots of laughs
  • a list of virtually every noteworthy album of the year 1981

This show was a sequel to last year’s retrospective on the year 1980 with Deke and a spinoff of Deke’s excellent followup on albums from 1981.

1981: In Depth with LeBrain and Friends

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Friends

Episode 88 – 1981 in Depth

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Last year, Deke and I went in-depth on key releases from the year 1980.  This year, Deke did an excellent followup with his friend Muc, on albums from 1981.  When Deke and I tackled 1980, we were still using Facebook Live, with all its limitations and frustrations!  We still did an incredible show, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to do it again.  This time I am able to beef up the panel to four.

These shows have a different format from the usual.  Each of us picks three albums from the year 1981, and we discuss them in depth.  From the facts & figures, to the historical context, and personal impact, we will cover it.  I won’t reveal the 12 albums total we will be discussing, but you won’t be disappointed.  Expect variety.  We will also tackle world history and pop culture of the year, and might even have early video footage of a very young Uncle Meat in his first acting role!

Your panel are as follows:

  • Myself (LeBrain)
  • Australia Guy (Harrison — who was not even born in 1981)
  • Dr Dave (Dave Haslam)
  • Uncle Meat (Eric Litwiller)

Sunday Screening: Max the Axe – Thirsty and Miserable

As premiered on the Friday November 12 episode of the LeBrain Train, here’s the new video for “Thirsty and Miserable” by Max the Axe — a Blag Flag cover via Lemmy Kilmister. From the new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.

This Is Max the Axe, on the LeBrain Train

Max the Axe went off the rails of the LeBrain Train, and we were hanging on for the ride!

This wide ranging interview with all four Max the Axe band members included the following subjects:

  • How they got their nicknames (fan question from Jeff Taylor and Tee Bone)
  • Drinking
  • Recording on 1″ analog tape vs. digitally
  • Trying to make a record during the pandemic
  • Gigs (or lack thereof)
  • Cover tunes
  • A 40 year-old tune that sounds current today
  • New track “Iron Cross”
  • New track “Droid” (which neither Meat nor Dave heard of before tonight)
  • Remixes of “Scales of Justice” and “Randy” for a new release
  • Lyrics, storytelling and getting political
  • LeBrain’s Cinco De-Listo Top Five Max the Axe songs
  • Meat’s “retirement” & future of the band

Thank you to Harrison the Mad Metal Man who helped me helm this car crash that you just can’t look away from!


NEXT WEEK:

Harrison and Uncle Meat back to discuss key albums of the year 1981!  This is both a sequel to a show I did least year with Superdekes, and also a sister show to Scotch On the Rocks’ own special on the year 1981 featuring Deke and Muc.  I was unable to participate in that show myself, but still wanted to celebrate four decades of great albums from that year.  Join us next week!

Max the Axe brings the Oktoberfest Cheer on tonight’s LeBrain Train

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Harrison

Episode 87 – Max the Axe band interview

Hear ye, hear ye!  One band has consistently rocked us all since before the start of the pandemic.  That band is Max the Axe, and tonight we will have 3/4 of the group with us.

They are:

  • Mike Koutis/Max the Axe – lead guitar
  • Eric Litwiller/Uncle Meat – lead vocals
  • Dave Haslam/Dr. Dave – lead drums

This will be their first-ever interview together, and Harrison the Mad Metal Man will be with me to quiz the band on the new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.  The current crisis had a huge impact on its making and eventual release, and Max is eager to tell the story.  The EP certainly brought a lot of joy as we crawled through the second year of this pandemic.


On a serious note:  Please give this a “share” on your social media and help the guys out.  It’s no secret that views have been down, but every time we do an interview show, we sell a CD or two to a viewer.  You can help by sharing this show and maybe some of your friends will watch too.  I guarantee a great night and some great tunes!

VIDEO: Max the Axe – Oktoberfest Cheer (2021)

Today is the last day for Oktoberfest…but “Oktoberfest Cheer” goes on and on!

From the new EP Oktoberbest Cheer, written by Mike Koutis, here is the video for “Oktoberfest Cheer”.  Have a schnitzel on a bun and a frosty cold one, and get your copy at Encore Records in Kitchener, or by dropping us a line here.

  • Mike Koutis – guitar
  • Eric Litwiller – lead vocals
  • Mike Mitchell – bass
  • Dr. Dave Haslam – drums

 

  • Accordion by Catherine Thompson

 


Notes:  Since Eric deleted the only rehearsal footage of “Oktoberfest Cheer”, I was forced to use the video for “Randy” live at the Boathouse somewhat ham-fistedly.  However this works perfect with the punky off-the-rails nature of the song.  Speeding things up and slowing things down hides a multitude of sins in the edit, and the Keystone Cops flavour of the high-speed footage lends a comedic profile to the video.  Which is necessary for any song that contains lyrics like “don’t crush my smokes, don’t spill my beer.”

VIDEO: Max the Axe – “Pygmy Blowdart” – vertical video performance !

“Pygmy Blowdart” (2021 Koutis)

  • Mike Koutis – Guitar
  • Eric Litwiller – Lead Vocals
  • Mike Mitchell – Bass
  • Dr. Dave Haslam – Drums

From the brand new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.

VIDEO: Last Summer Weekend at the Lake 2021 / Max the Axe – “Pygmy Blowdart”

Now that the new Max the Axe EP, Oktoberfest Cheer, has been released, I am happy to present to you their new never-before-heard original “Pygmy Blowdart”.  Lead singer Eric Litwiller stressed to me (more than once) “I did not write the lyrics”.

Video footage was taken the last weekend of August, but held on to until I could use some fresh new Max music.  Check out “Pygmy Blowdart” and let Max and Meat know what you think of this new tune in the comments below!

 

Available at Encore Records.

REVIEW: Max the Axe – Oktoberfest Cheer (2021 EP)

MAX THE AXE – Oktoberfest Cheer (2021 EP)

Pandemics suck, but last year Max the Axe began working on a remedy.  Three new songs — one cover, two originals — and a new EP called Oktoberfest Cheer!  With this year’s Bavarian festival just around the corner, Max is ready to rock your beerhallen.  It’s the second release with the same lineup:  Mike Koutis (Max the Axe) – lead guitar, Eric Litwiller (Uncle Meat) – lead vocals, Mike Mitchell – lead bass and Dr. Dave Haslam — lead drums.  It’s a much more punk rock affair than the last album Status Electric.  Perhaps it’s even a concept record about intoxication!

Opening with the original “Pygmy Blow Dart”, Max sounds like Queens of the Stone Age jonesing for a smoke.  Litwiller is in full Homme mode with the groove of the Axe behind him.  “I think I’m going downtown, looking for some dope.”  Ah, the quaint pre-legalization setting!  By the end, the band is in a singalong, looking for some smoke.  “Round and round, and round and round…”  Hey guys…check the local dispensary!  There’s one on every corner now.  Great bass solo in the middle, right before Max rips on the six string.  Fans of the last album will love it.

The Black Flag cover “Thirsty and Miserable” is outstanding, full-on punkfied Max.  Definitely some influence from Lemmy’s version of “Thirsty and Miserable” too.  This track kicks and Litwiller sounds legit.  They could play it two or three times in a row and you wouldn’t get bored.

Finally the punk-inflected EP ends with the title track “Oktoberfest Cheer!”, a song destined to be a seasonal hit.  Feather in cap, beer on tap…October is here so raise up that beer!  You can picture the festhallen going mad for this October anthem.  This is the clear hit, frantic and haggard as it may be.  Adorned with festive accordion, it’s punk rock unlike any other.  You can play it year after year…or in August.  Don’t crush my smokes, don’t spill my beer!

The great thing about this EP is that it’s under 10 minutes in true punk fashion and perfect for repeat plays.

Kitchener knows.

5/5 stars

 

 

2nd Sunday Screening: 4 Max the Axe videos for you!

It’s a long weekend in Canada and I chose to spend my Saturday going through video footage on my hard drive.  Every Sausagefest I take a lot of video and most of it never gets used.  What I discovered was that I had a lot of fun footage that just needed to find a home.

At the same time, I have been making videos for Max the Axe songs, so I can use them on the LeBrain Train.  I like having music videos to play so we can take breaks, and I need things that won’t set off copyright strikes.  All of this footage I’m discovering is helping me kill two birds with one stone.  Or, as Ricky might say, get two birds stoned at once.

“Gods On the Radio” is the first one I made, for the Friday May 14th show.  It’s Max’s favourite.  It doesn’t have any previously unseen footage in it; it is just a video I made to play that night.  All the footage was simply edited down from the Sausagestfest 2019 video.  Dave Haslam approved of the editing and that inspired me to make more.

I didn’t want to keep recycling old footage that everybody has seen, so I started exploring the hard drive for “Next Plane to Vegas”, which was debuted on the Friday May 21 episode of the LeBrain Train.

One of my favourite Max songs is “Overload” from the EP of the same name.  Problem is:  it’s short.  Too short for me to play on the show and still get enough of a break to make a coffee.  So I had to extend it.  I found some cool footage of Uncle Meat singing and drumming “New Orleans Is Sinking” in 2014, accompanied by Max on backing vocals.  This served as a good intro to extend the video.  Bonus:  rare footage of Max playing bass.  60-70% of the footage has never been seen before.

Another goodie but shortie is “I Don’t Advocate Drugs” from Trillion Dollar Threats.  Mickey Straight sang this one with Max at the Boat House, so although Ted Moore is credited on the album, I used a little bit of Mickey footage that I had a few times in this clip.  The video is about 60-70% previously unseen video.

 


BONUS!

I took the most footage at Sausagefest 2015, where this video was performed.  We had multiple live bands jamming and I got video of a lot of it.  Unfortunately, the audio on most of it was completely unusable due to a problem with the camera.  Also, very few songs were captured in full, thanks to a rapidly draining battery.  I did, however, capture this unique version of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, played improvisationally, on the fly.  Though wobbly at times, the vocal is solid, the bass outstanding, and the take on it is unique.  The soloing in the long outro is smokin’.  I’m glad I recorded the whole thing.  If you stay tuned to the end, you’ll hear Bucky complaining that he forgot the snare drum.  That was true.  “Seven Nation Army” and every other song that weekend was performed without a snare!  (It sounds like they were about to go into “Iron Man” at the very end.)