It's the best news for longhairs since Lemmy made bail in '75: MTV's Headbangers Ball is returning to the airwaves. Even better: The Ball will premiere May 1 on MTV2 with a show broadcast live from the Agora Theatre. The concert, featuring Godsmack and Anthrax, has yet to be confirmed, though Godsmack's label, Universal/Republic, acknowledges that the band is tentatively scheduled to play the gig.
Last time Godsmack was in town -- in the summer of 2001 -- the band drew more than 10,000 at Blossom, so catching the group in the more intimate confines of the Agora would be a rare treat. The band's Faceless album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 last week, selling more than 360,000 copies. Anthrax is also supporting a new record, We've Come for You All, due out May 6.
· In other metal news, Swedish thrash greats Entombed have been added to the already loaded lineup of the initial Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles Six Pack Weekend, which kicks off Thursday, June 12, at the Odeon. Candlemass, Trouble, and Nevermore are also on the bill, which is shaping up to be one of metal's best in 2003.
· Whether pro- or anti-war, just about everyone agrees that U.S. soldiers overseas deserve our support. With this in mind, Jamsuites, a Westlake-based rehearsal/studio facility, has put together a benefit CD, We Salute You, with all proceeds going to the U.S.O. of Northern Ohio. The comp features an assortment of quality local artists, including up-and-coming hard rockers Hydra, funk favorites Geronimo's Cadillac, popsters Jaded Era, singer-songwriter Mike Farley, and more than a dozen others. We Salute You will be in local record stores beginning May 17. Jamsuites will sponsor a CD release party at the Odeon on Saturday, May 17, featuring Farley, Hydra, and 10 other bands from the disc. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 day of show -- and all proceeds from the concert go to aid the troops and their families. (For more information about We Salute You, go to www.jamsuites.com.)
· The Lakewood Skaters' Association will host a series of benefit shows at the Symposium every Friday in May to help fund a skatepark in Lakewood. Kicking off May 2 with Parma badasses Amps II Eleven, along with loud and fast punk hooligans the Gluttons and the Cleveland Steamers, the free shows will raise money through a series of raffles for skateboard products donated by the West Side skate shop Village Boards and the shoe company Osiris Footwear, among others. Lakewood's proposed skate park, part of a larger renovation to Lakewood Park, has been in the works since January 2001; the project has stalled of late due to a tight city budget. LSA hopes the benefit shows help get the project -- and Lakewood's many skate rats -- rolling once again.